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(en) US, Omaha, The Great Plains Anarchist Caucus (GPAN) Reportback

From Stan the Man <dont.tread.on.me2@rt.nl>
Date Mon, 17 Mar 2003 07:50:34 +0100 (CET)


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> posted by Kansas Mutual Aid on Sunday March 16 2003 @ 12:11PM PST
The Great Plains Anarchist Caucus, held Saturday,
March 15th didn't quite go as planned. Affiliates of the
Great Plains Anarchist Network came to Omaha
expecting a day of discourse, knowledge and skill
sharing, and network building...All of which happened,
but what they didn't expect was to have a day filled with
arrests and massive police brutality.
The Great Plains Anarchist Network was formed at the
Kansas Anarchist Caucus held in Lawrence, Kansas in
November of 2002. The Network was formed to act as a
tool for organizing anarchists from across the Great
Plains of the United States into a cohesive movement.
The Network chose to make its next meeting March
15th in Omaha, Nebraska.

Anarchists flowed into the ReAct Community Center
and Infoshop all night Friday the 14th, and all morning
of Saturday the 15th. Affiliates were present from
Omaha, Lawrence KS, Wichita KS, South Dakota, Iowa
City, Des Moines, Columbia MO, and Kirksville MO.

The morning went well, with an introduction cirlce, and
a brainstorming for the agenda to take place during the
strategy session to be held later that day. The caucus
recessed for lunch and an anti-war protest at 12:30.

Nearly fifty anarchists were present at the rally, which
proceeded with the usual mix of long, overdone boring
speeches, and socialist newspapers. A march was to
then take place from the city park to a federal building
nearby.

The march went without incident. When the march was
to end back at the park, the anarchists, at the front of
the line, proceeded past the park toward the Old City
Market in downtown Omaha.

The illegal street assembly went the "wrong" way down a
one way street, disabling traffic with the 75 particpants
that remained from the larger march of nearly 500.
(Crowd estimates from Lawrence affiliates.)

A street party ensued in the heart of the Old City
Market district, blocking all traffic in the area.

A short confrontation occurred between a driver of a
vehicle and protesters at this intersection. The driver
nearly proceeded to run down an anarchist.

A short scuffle ensued, but no damage was done to the
vehicle, and no physical harm was caused to the driver.
The anarchist that was actually hit by the car recieved a
slight bruise and swelling in her leg. Everyone, though,
seemed to come out of this incident alright.

The breakaway march then went on back to the park (a
very real tactical error in some minds), where police on
horses and in squad cars were at the wait. The park was
only half a block from the ReAct Infoshop.

One Omaha man was grabbed by police on horses as he
tried to leave the march. The police were soon
surrounded by a small group of angry anarchists. The
man was able to get away at this point, as police
diverted their attention to the crowd assembling around
them.

Several anarchists acting as legal observers were soon
charged by police with night clubs, and at least one was
pulled by his shirt across the street and thrown to the
sidewalk.

Police continued to indiscriminately beat folks with
batons and charge the small crowd on the sidewalk.

Several anarchist comrades were chased by the police
on horses down a drive way outside the public library.
Two were able to outrun the horses, but another was
pulled to the ground and dragged by officers. She was
arrested.

Police continued to "disperse" the crowd remaining on
the side walk, and used pepper spray on at least one
person. This person recieved rudimentary medical help
and was rushed to safety.

The scene shortly died down. Nine arrests were made.
The GPAN caucus continued, with Kansas Mutual Aid
members performing the work of freeing the comrades
being held by the police. Bonds were originally fixed at
$700 each for almost all those being held, but were later
negotiated to $100. All but two of the detainees were
out by midnight.

One detainee was held on outstanding warrants and is to
be extradicted. Another was to be free by Sunday
morning, but this writer does not know the current
status.

GPAN will be holding an "emergency" caucus on May
17th in St. Louis to coincide with the World
Agricultural Forum protests.

Court dates for those arrested during the anti-war action
will be in court on April 7 and April 9. The Kansas
Mutual Aid Legal Collective is raising funds for the
defense of these individuals. To help please contact
KMALDF at (785) 865-0578, or at
kansasmutualaid@hotmail.com

Love, and solidarity from the Plains! Kansas Mutual Aid
Legal Collective

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