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(en) US, New York's Alright: ALL IS QUIET ON THE EASTERN FRONT or An Update on the RNC Protests

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(nycanarchistgrapevine-A-yahoo.com)
Date Fri, 9 Jul 2004 08:25:04 +0200 (CEST)


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General Scene Report
The RNC protests are going to be huge! Hundreds of thousands will flood
the streets: Democrats toeing the party line, liberals of all stripes,
andcommunists of all sects. Even "the UNIONS are coming"! The hip hop
kids are coming, the collegekids are coming, the Greens are coming, Al
Sharpton's coming, the NGOs, Starhwak, the libertarians and tons of
assorted wing-nuts will make an appearance. And don't forget the millions
of New Yorkers ho hate Bush or are simply pissed-off because they have to
be inconvenienced by closed-off streets, delayed subway trains, or police
barricades - they'll be there too. And more power to them, right?

The question we have been hearing over and over
again is: Are the anarchists coming? You bet your
sweet ass we are! In fact we are already here and
you should come too.

So here's the skinny: Activists in the city have
been organizing for over a year now and
infrastructure is pretty much handled with a few
exceptions - see below:

Infrastructure

The No-RNC Clearinghouse: Meeting for a year, this
has been a gathering of different collectives,
groups and individuals planning actions. The amazing
thing about the clearinghouse is that it has not yet
become yet another three-letter coalition. They plan
to morph into a Spokescouncil as the RNC comes near,
but there is some resistance to this idea.

Food. You will not starve in NYC. The
Anti-Capitalist Kitchen and Food Not Bombs are here,
churches and community centers will be feeding folks
too. Not to mention New York's fine dumpsters. No
anarchist will go hungry in NYC.

Legal will be handled in tandem by the National
Lawyer's Guild (lefty lawyers) and the NYC-People's
Law Collective (a local anarchist legal group.)
Legal collectives from across North America are
coming to help along with NYCLU, Center for
Constitutional Rights and other national and local
progressive legal organizations. They will have an
office, street teams, legal observers and jail
support. <http://nycplc.mahost.org>
www.nlgnyc.org/rnc.html
<http://www.nlgnyc.org/rnc.html

Street Medical. The Medical Activists of New York
(MANY) have been doing Medic trainings for the last
year and will be doing street medical work along
with several groups and individuals from across the
region and country. <http://www.takethestreets.org

Art, and shows, and parties, and dancing, and other
tomfoolery: The city will be awash with posters,
puppets, costumes, radical cheers, music and our own
version of the infamous infernal noise brigade! Lots
of benefit shows of course, and a free continuous
performance space for music, spoken word, theater,
etc.

Web: www.rncnotwelcome.org
<http://www.rncnotwelcome.orgis basically the best
mobilization website for the US, period. KUDOS!
Started by anarchists, it is a depository for
information of all kinds.

Weaknesses: Space in general and housing in
particular is our weak link. The housing situation
is not sorted out. Don't plan on being able to get
hooked up with a place to crash at the last minute.
Think ahead, call your friends, relatives and other
people who can get you housing. We have handled big
protests in the past, but it's best for affinity
groups to show up with their housing sorted out. New
Yorkers can be stingy with their space, so be
warned.

What to Expect: Not the "big plan"

We should all finally face it - there is no Big
Plan. There will be dozens of events which stretch
from small single issue protests to UFPJ's
undoubtedly massive, possibly lame, (permitted)
march by Madison Square Garden. At present there is
no intention to "shut down" the useless coronation
of Bush at Madison Square Garden.

So what should anarchists expect action-wise? From
the people here on the ground, the big rotten apple
is wide open. There will be several, massive
demonstrations. There will be the chance to confront
Republicans in the Times Square Theatre district
during "Chaos on Broadway" on Sunday the 30th . This
is shaping up as the most interesting event of the
week-end. There are tons of opprotunities for
affinity group actions against the RNC and its
capitalist cronies throughout the week-end. The city
will provide the chaos - you should BYOA (Bring Your
Own Action) and do some homework for it.

To bloc or not to bloc?

Thus far, there has been no call for a black bloc.
For some, this is welcome news. Yet the ubiquitous
black bloc communique may arrive on the scene at any
moment. Regardless of the dress code, there will
certainly be thousands of anarchists at the main
demonstrations. Discuss the posssibilities of
joining these different events with your affinity
group.

As we learned from the World Economic Forum, the New
York Police Department is successful in targeting
black blocs, when they are isolated from the crowd.
The sad truth is that when it's just us as a black
bloc, we usually get our asses kicked. This does not
mean that autonomous direct action will not take
place - it will; it just means that it isn't the
best idea to bloc-up and run the streets without
some liberal crowd cover.

As far as the infamous NYC "Mask Law" goes, it is
important to keep in perspective. The last folks to
get arrested for it was over 4 years ago. It is also
important to know that the dreaded mask law is
actually part of the more general Loitering laws of
the city. No one has been arrested for simply
wearing a mask, there are always other charges. The
cops can arrest us and think up the charges after
the fact. Be smart, but do not be intimidated.

Meeting other Anarchists

We all know - the New York scene can be too big (or
too small for some), or too fragmented, to easily
meet everyone. So how can you hook-up with the
ever-elusive anarchists in NYC? There will be a
TRIBES meeting on Sunday, August 1st. It will be
like an anarchist consulta. Anarchists from outside
the city are welcome to attend and bring info back
to their communities.

What else is going on:

§ RNC Clearinghouse Meeting is on August 12th, 7pm
at St. Marks Church

§ The Bike National Convention begins on August 21st
http://www.times-up.org/bnc/calendar.php

§ a version of the Really Free Market on Sunday,
August 22nd.
(<http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/06/1682754.php>
and http://ncveg.com/freemarket/

§ many social, fun events throughout August under
the banner of the Anarchist World's Fair.

§ a gigantic anti-RNC Critical Mass on Friday,
August 27th.

§ an anarchist contingent at the UFPJ march on
Sunday, August 29th.

§ Spokescouncil meetings as the time draws near.
http://www.rncnotwelcome.org/clearinghouse.html

And don't end up in jail and miss the
post-convention party at Tompkins Square on
Wednesday, September 2nd.



So you are coming, right? But when?

The main days of action will start with the Critical
Mass on Friday and probably reach a peak on Sunday
with the UFPJ march and the Chaos on Broadway in the
evening. Numbers will decline, but should still be
pretty big for the following few days.

The Tuesday call for "Million Yeses One No" is not
being taken seriously by most local anarchists. For
one thing, yelling doesn't count as direct action.
Realistically, most people will come to the weekend
actions, and the numbers will drop for Monday,
Tuesday, and Wednesday. Our experience with the
arrest-o-ramas in simularly timed days in Philly and
the WEF make this call unappealing and fraught with
the threat of heavy police repression. The possible
arrests of the previous days will no doubt sap our
energy and resources, making the Tuesday actions
seem to be at this point isolated and just plain
stupid. Buyer beware.

Law Enforcement

There about 40,000 thousand cops in NYC and they
will be reinforced by 1,000 feds (according to the
media). We can only speculate what the cops' plans
are, but history suggests that the NYPD does not use
tear gas, concussion grenades, the "electric
shields" used in Miami and the other gadgets so
common in other parts of the country. Most likely
they will be using time tested techniques of crowd
control. That means horses, metal pens and a
shitload of uniformed cops. Look for more updates.

Local Support

Most New Yorkers are virulently anti-Republican.
Whether or not serious numbers of people from across
the city will throw down in the streets is a
different matter. There is a possibility of a
Quebec-like show of solidarity from locals. Will
they be militant? It's hard to tell. Will they be
pissed? For sure. The liberals will certainly be
marching around in circles, so at least there will
be crowd cover.

Forget 9/11

Most New Yorkers have dealt with 9/11 in their own
way. We are the least freaked out city in the
country as far as terrorism goes. The giant marches
against the Iraq war showed New York can and will
continue to have mass mobilizations. The police and
feds will no doubt have a scare campaign including
code-orange style warnings before the protests.
Don't worry, people will come to protest. See you
there!

The NYC Anarchist Grapevine is a loose knit of local
anarchists who are not organizing against the RNC.
We want to give you the real shit - accurate, useful
information to fellow anarchists who are coming to
town. We are not affiliated with any group. We will
put-out more updates,as neccesary, as we get closer
to the RNC. If there are any general questions you
would like to see addressed in the next update
please do not hesitate to e-mail us at
nycanarchistgrapevine@yahoo.com (realizing of course
our e-mail is monitored).


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