[Hpn] Dance Lessons...

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Sun, 30 Jul 2000 23:20:42 -0700

Sunday July 30, @11:56PM

Dance Lessons for the Executioner's Ball

By Frank Sherlock

  Civil Affairs Agent told a young activist, "I'm not here to debate you,
son." The masked protester replied, "I am not your son!" Officers in
business suits crowded the steps leading to District Attorney Lynn
Abraham's office as today's police brutality protest moved on to the
Roundhouse at 8th and Arch Street. Approximately ten anarchists covered
their faces with bandanas, continued to chant and waved the black flag.
Massive police presence on 15th and 16th appeared at each end of Arch
Street. One spirited counter-protester supported the Thomas Jones
beating by Philadelphia police, getting a nod of agreement from at least
one Philadelphia Inquirer photographer. The growing numbers of police
alarmed members of the media. Journalists fell into wagon-train
formation around the protesters while spreading the rumor buzz
concerning the group's pending arrest. The activists sat in the street
in an effort to reveal their actions as non-violent. When asked about
the alleged intentions to jail the group, they asked to speak with a
police officer. Their frustration heightened as their continued plea for
police communication went unheeded. Between requests for a police
spokesperson, the group also demanded the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal and
all political prisoners in American lockdowns. The dialogue was
eventually brokered by a member of R2K Legal and Civil Affairs. Legal
observers informed the surrounding crowd that everyone in the street
would be arrested once the group was taken into custody. The negotiator
emerged with Agent Fisk. He gave them six minutes to clear the street.
If they failed to comply they would be arrested for obstructing the
highway and wearing a mask with intent. One protester questioned the
scarf's ability to intimidate since he was sitting on the ground. Fisk's
interest in legal jousting was nil. He relayed his unwillingness to
argue and walked away. The activists came to a consensus (an
anarcho-syndicalist decision-making process) to leave the street. At
least one member noted that their choice was a way of maximizing the
effectiveness of their civil disobedience in the next few days. The
police quickly cleared the streets, using bike patrol officers to line
the curbs from one end of the block to the other. Since the group
dispersed, the show of force seemed to be a drill for law enforcement
and an exhibition for the crowd. Today's confrontation was a practice
run for protesters and the police, a taste of what's in store for
Philadelphia's streets this week.

<  Uvashi Vaid of NGLTFPI Critiques Both Parties and Protests | the
absolutely unofficial revolutionary anarchist Clown Bloc Communique  >

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