More terror on the home front, RR. It’s really the police state that’s getting to me. It’s a total drag. So. Many. F*cking. Cops!
Today Denver experienced the anti-capitalist march, mostly attended by anarchists. I got there about 20 minutes before the cops boxed in a group of approximately 200-300 anarchists (and others) at an intersection downtown. The anarchists were trapped between three rows of cops in every direction who were backed by hundreds more in full riot gear.
Cops had the whole nine tonight: riot gear, water canon, pepper spray, rubber bullets, tear gas, cops on horseback, cops on bikes, etc. I left the scene at 9pm and by that point numbers had dwindled on both fronts. From what I’ve heard, the cops saved the pepper spray for a handful of the anarchists who were trapped. I think a few of the anarchists also got roughed up.
My friend Blake got trapped and detained. We kept in touch while cops took down information on everyone. Little by little the cops started releasing people to the cheers of spectators. It’s 12am and no word from Blake though.
The atmosphere was intense and I really wasn’t up for getting arrested, tear gassed or beaten. Not for this. This is a grossly outnumbered counterculture provoking a confrontation with heavily armed cops. What is the point? Seriously. Why are you putting yourself and others in this type of danger?
Frankly I need to justify a police beating with something better than a group of masked and alienated youth shouting “no slaves no masters.” Had it been immigrants demanding basic rights or wage increases, I’d be right in the thick of things. But not this. Exactly what were they expecting? We saw our numbers yesterday so we knew a confrontation wouldn’t have resulted in any kind of victory for us.
Coincidentally on both Sunday and Monday I heard two people ask two anarchists why they hide their faces. The essence of the anarchists’ response: “to hide [their] identity from constant surveillance by a repressive government.” What the fuck planet are we on? Do these guys seriously think that a black handkerchief is going to throw off the state in any way? If the anarchists reaffirmed anything tonight it would be that you have to be very public with your identity when doing political work.
Pardon the venting RR. It’s just been a long night of figuring out whether or not I should’ve taken a solidarity beating with the anarchists. In the end, I’m happy with my decision. I’m not going to land in the hospital without health insurance for the rhetorical battle cry of a counterculture. I’d rather go home, post this on RR and look forward to the moment when I have my own blog and can write without losing my non-profit job.