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(en) US, Phoenix Anarchist Coalition out against Bush

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 22 Jan 2004 21:40:49 +0100 (CET)


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by Collin Sick - Monsoon Anarchist Collective
One day after the State of the Union speech, President Bush
traveled to three states to promote themes from the previous
nights' speech. Bush spoke at Mesa Community College
(MCC), in Mesa, Arizona (Mesa is ten miles east of
Phoenix, nestled in urban sprawl, and run by the Mormons)
to speak on a panel for "Jobs in the 21st Century" and to
pitch his immigration policy. As Bush spoke inside, he was
guarded outside by a small army of security guards, the
thuggish Mesa SWAT team, Mesa police officers (Along
with other departments' officers as well), undercover
spooks, and snipers posted on tops of buildings.

Bush arrived shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon, and protests
had already commenced. Members from the Phoenix
Anarchist Coalition (Both collectives, the east valley
(MAC) and the west valley (APS)) had decided to meet at
2:30, but because of bad traffic (Caused by the Secret
Service shutting down a major freeway before rush hour)
most arrived at 3:30. So, until 3:30 some anarchists were
marching with the sizable peace contingent which numbered
around 40, or were sitting in the shade staring down the
different law enforcement types, waiting for something to
happen. Something did happen as an anti-border group
arrived with one hysterical member of their group yelling
"We're anti-Bush," as she tried to hand signs to folks
standing around hoping to get a glimpse of the President. A
couple of anarchists, myself included, decided to visibly
confront them in front of people, so as not to allow for them
to convey that they were with anarchists, or the peace
protest.

Around 3:30 a large group of eastside and westside
anarchists showed up, and we quickly banded together into a
small group and marched away from the crowd that was
gathering to see Bush in campus, and walked out to the
parking lot, where Bush was due to pull in any minute. The
peaceniks were marching in circles, some broke away from
the march to argue with college Republicans and one man
who was standing on top of a rock mocking everything Bush
protesters said. Most anarchists were together at this point,
putting our numbers at least at 30, we began chanting
“What do we want? Class War!”, and “Off the
rich, up the poor! Class War,” along with more of the
usual anti-state, and more militant anti-Bush chants. The
numbers of our mass began to swell as more militantly
minded protesters left the peace march to join us, as we
cheered on the Iraqi insurgency, and third world resistance
to the US empire. Anarchist women started chanting
“My bush is better, it’s fuzzy like a sweater, the
thought of revolution makes me even wetter,” after
which most of the crowd cheered them on and laughed.
Moments after that sirens could be heard, the crowd rushed
to the barricades screaming anti-Bush profanities, some
women climbed on top of a golf cart to flip off the President,
and all we got in return from the guy was a wave. After his
motorcade had arrived, anarchists moved back inside the
campus near the barricades by the hall where he was due to
speak, chanting “What is the enemy? White
supremacy!” or the variation on the theme, “White
male supremacy!” We soon were engaged in a
confrontation with an undercover cop, who had 15 college
Republicans behind him cheering him on and calling the
anarchists hippies (Which is really such a weird ***** thing
to say, as almost every Phoenix area anarchist looks nothing
like a hippie, or a crusty, or a punk rocker), as we responded
with insults and shoving. One anarchist women kicked one
of the Republicans right in the nuts after he grabbed them
and said some sexist shit to her, of coarse she was
applauded for her precision by her comrades. The focus had
turned away from protesting Bush to dealing with
confronting a bunch of racist and sexist assholes, as we
were confronting an extremely reactionary section of
America’s youth, while other confronted the
anti-immigrant protesters, who were at one point nearly
surrounded by Latino students and protesters who yelled
“Zapata vive, la lucha sigue!” Shortly afterwards, the
attendees of Bush’s invitation only gathering trickled
out, and were rightfully booed and heckled as they left.
Anarchists and protesters left soon after.

Phoenix area anarchists and activists have a long history of
mobilizing for Bush's visits to town, starting with his visits
in 2002. The first visit by the President in September saw
400 people come out as 50 valley anarchists confronted
donors attending a fundraiser, along with scuffling with
mounted police and riot cops. Bush came back in October for
a speech, as 300 people came out for the demonstration
which ended in an anarchist splinter march through the
downtown Phoenix area which saw anarchists (and others
who were not satisfied with the liberal section of the march)
take the streets, causing property damage, throwing
newspaper boxes into the streets and successfully alluding
the Phoenix PD riot cops, FBI, and secret service.

Bush had come back to Phoenix recently in November of
2003, but there was little planning for any sort of
demonstration from valley anarchists. Only 10-15 anarchists
even attended the November demo, but those of us who did
made the best of it and marched through the intersections
chanting with other demonstrators pushing for better
healthcare.

Pictures at infoshop.org
http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=04/01/21/7957332

Tell it like it is.


The ghetto bird.


PAC members with a new banner.


An anarchist's sign.


Link: http://www.phoenixanarchist.org/


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