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(en) US, Columbus, REPORT ON REVOLUTIONARY ANTI-IMPERIALIST BLOC

From Chuck0 <chuck@mutualaid.org>
Date Mon, 11 Nov 2002 12:30:24 -0500 (EST)


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posted by ARA Columbus on Sunday November 10 2002 @ 11:53PM PST

Anti-War Activism Here's a report on the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Bloc 
that participated in yesterday's anti-war rally in Columbus, OH... we will be 
writing a longer, more in depth article tomorrow, so I'll post that when it's 
done.

There were approximately 75 people in the Bloc, from all over Ohio as well as 
some people from Michigan and PA. When we started marching, there was a very 
light police presence (from what I heard, all the cops - riot and undercovers 
included - were present at the main march's meeting point). In fact, we only 
had 1 bike cop and 2 squad cars that I saw watching us. We were able to lull 
the police into a false sense of security, by remaining on the sidewalk for 
the beginning of the march (where there was hardly any traffic or people to 
see us), and then taking the street as soon as we hit High Street (a very 
major street in Columbus that runs right through downtown, and passes by the 
Ohio Statehouse). The police kept trying to herd us back onto the sidewalk, 
but those of us in front took the banners and kept moving up ahead of the 
police and were able to keep the march in the street for the 5 blocks to the 
Statehouse. When we got to the rally at the Statehouse, we got a huge 
reception from the crowd - lots of encouragement, lots of yelling and 
chanting with us - it was really great! The person speaking even had to stop, 
and introduce us, as we brought our huge (18 foot) "No Blood for Oil" banner 
right in front of the stage - "Let's Welcome Anti-Racist Action" he announced.

After that, we mainly hung around on the street side, being energetic and 
chanting. We had some runs in with some Republican counter-protestors, some 
cops who told one of us "I want a piece of you," as well as some liberals who 
were pissed off that we were there. All in all, though, it went very well as 
far as I could see - we gained a lot of respect and new allies (a lot of 
people asked me about ARA and other anarchist events and groups in Columbus) 
and strengthened our reputation with those people who already knew and liked 
us. Best of all, we had a good time doing it. Both people that I spoke to and 
that friends of mine had a chance to speak with said that the Bloc brought 
all the energy and fun to the march, that stuff was really boring before we 
got there. People remarked that they hoped to see more of that kind of thing 
in the future, and that they would be interested in organzing some kinds of 
actions, as they are tired of preaching to the choir (or hearing others do 
it). That's all really good news!

More info on yesterday should be coming soon, and pictures should be 
available online in the next couple of days (we're waiting for a friend to 
scan them in). As far as the meeting went, a statement of formation should be 
coming from that coalition within the next week or so (we are meeting again 
in Cleveland next after the anti-war march there).

Thanks again to everyone who came out and made the Revolutionary 
Anti-Imperialist Bloc a success!


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