We showed up to the O22 demo against police brutality in response to the call for an anarchist bloc. Here are some observations we took from it.
Westlake is a difficult location for many reasons. Changing clothes is only safe if you can do it away from prying eyes, and downtown is full of cameras, security guards and citizen cops. Maneuvering the wide streets of downtown or finding exits when you need them also proves to be very difficult. The police generally have greater control than in other places like the Hill or the northern part of the CD. And while we are surrounded by walls of glass, there are little other opportunities or objects to add to a chaotic street scenario. If the point of a march is to be uncontrollable, downtown is not very conducive to this end.
Despite all the obstacles, a solid amount of people showed up prepared to counter both the RCP and the police. A few different flyers were passed out, denouncing both the SPD and the RCP. Anarchist banners (one read ‘ACAB’, the other ‘Blue Lives Murder’) were used as effectively as possible to help keep the bloc grouped tightly. And someone/s brought a sound system blaring anti-cop songs which helped drown out the RCP’s chants and statist rhetoric. As well as helping create a generally more energetic and conflictual atmosphere.
We’re excited that people called for and responded to this event. But in the future, maybe a more strategic response to a mostly irrelevant group would be for us to have our own demo somewhere better. It’s inspiring to see people in the streets, lets keep doing it!