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(en) US, Boston, Complete Recap of Monday's Black Tea Society March for Civil Liberties and Against Police Brutality by TOC - AZ IMC

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 27 Jul 2004 07:29:06 +0200 (CEST)

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A detailed recount of Monday's Black Tea Society march for civil
liberties and against police brutality. About 400 people marched
from the Boston Common towards the Fleet Center, site of the
Democratic National Convention. The corporate media was swarming
everywhere. The police were surprisingly restrained, given how
they been behaving lately, such as in Miami and Georgia. The end
of the march was disorganized, since there was no clear plan about
what to do when we reached the protest pen. 26 July 2004
> Black Tea Society March
We arrived at the area of the Boston Commons around 12, but
the rally had gotten underway at 10. Music and speakers, but i
didn't catch any of their names.

At 12:37, the march started to gather following the rally.
Corporate media was swarming everywhere, especially at the
front of the march. The police presence was minimal. The march
left the park at 12:42, and we had 5 lanes of traffic, despite the
fact that there were only around 300 people at the start. The
chant at this point was “Police State- Shut it Down.”

The demographics were primarily white youth, with a fairly even
gender balance. There were a decent number of crusty punks,
other sporting anarchists paraphernalia, a small contingent of
Maoists, green party people, and a number of others. By 12:53
we were deep into the shopping district, passing by the Armani
store - probably not the best place to bring in new recruits to the
march, but definitely fun. “Bombs are dropping while you are
shopping.” Most bystanders looked either confused or pissed,
and the march was getting pretty spread out.

By 1 pm, we had reached Dartmouth and Newbury, with plenty
of cops standing around to guard Nike Town. The march had
pretty much separated into two groups, spread out by around 30
yards. At 1:10 while passing by the Prudential Center, one
protester dropped to the ground, and needed medical attention. I
didn't hear what the actual cause was, but I heard it was heat
related. Many people stayed behind to make sure the media did
not get any pictures, which was great except that it further
stretched the march's numbers. However, most people who
stayed with the fallen kid caught back up.

At 1:23 we were back at the Boston Commons, and people's
energy started to pick back up. Things had grown quiet, but it got
a little more rowdy while we were marching between big
buildings and we could get an echo effect. At 1:35 the cops
pulled someone out of the crowd, and everyone gathered round,
“Let him go, Let him go!”. Turns out the cops decided
they had the power to search who ever they wanted. Hopefully
someone who got a better view of the goings ons can fill us in on
exactly how it went down.

Things went quietly for quite some time, until we reached the
Federal Building and we saw the steel barricades for the first
time. At state street and Scolley Square there was a group of
horse cops and riot cops hanging around, and succeeded in
quieting down the crowd through intimidation for a while.
At 2:18 we reached the street the protest pen started on, but as
we turned on the street, the organizers stopped the march,
and gave a quick speech on how “We refuse to self-incarcerate.”
Cops surrounded the group on three sides, and at 2:22 the
protesters sat in the street. Corporate media swarmed
through the crowd, snapping photos and getting
interviews with who ever would give them . The police promptly
gave the dispersal order, but never enforced it. The media again
swarmed the police commander, who got into a back and forth
with an anti-Zionist jewish woman who had been leading many
of the chants. While the cops were talking to the media, a
mini-rally went on in the street, with one man singing a song
called “Shooting at Brown People in the Sand,” and it
was outstanding.

By this time, a huge crowd of tourists had formed and were
taking all sorts of pictures, and the cops were claiming they
didn't want to make any arrests. Truth be told, the police showed
remarkable restraint, especially in comparison to how the cops
have been behaving lately, such as Miami and Brunswick,
Georgia. At 2:30, the cops and legal were still negotiating, and a
spokescouncil was called in the street. At this point it was
becoming abundantly clear that the march was throughly
disorganized, with no one having any idea what we were going to
do when we got to the protest pen. During the spokescouncil,
many affinity groups had to decide whether to continue on the
march, or return to the convergence center or what. The march's
numbers continued to shrink the longer we sat around.

Finally, at 2:40 the march started going again, but cops were not
letting bikers continue on their bikes, telling them that bikes
were not allowed across some imaginary line. Eventually the
bikers won the right to ride a couple more block, but were turned
away by cops, some forcefully, as we neared the Fleet Center
where the Democrats were meeting. The march stopped once
again when the cops stopped the bikes the last time at 2:52, and
some masked anarchists started playing spin the bottle, then did
a repeat of Savannah and played a quick game of Duck, Duck,
Goose. The police commander was still making his rounds
talking to people, and at one point I overheard him say “Do
whatever you want, just don't break anything.” Seriously a far
cry from what i was expecting.

At 3:02 certain parts of the corporate media contingent got bored
and left, but the march left a minute later and finally reached the
protest pen at 3:06. There were National Guardsmen glowering
down at us, and the pen itself was amazing. It was about 8 feet
high and the same wide. We refused to go in it, and instead did
chants and yelled at the democrats from behind the fence, even
thought we could barely see through it. People started banging
on the fence, and the cops still stayed restrained. Interestingly,
the cops decided to form a line in front of the fence, but still
didn't even try to stop people from banging on it.
At about 3:18, cops gave dispersal orders, but people still stood
around for around another 10 minutes or so, with protesters
drifting off, and curious tourists mingling in with what was left of
the demo.
At 3:29 a group of delegates came out from the convention, and
had to work their way through the protester, and took plenty of
verbal abuse in the process. 3:33, and the leftovers of the
demonstrators began to move down causeway, the street on
which the protest pen was built. By the time we turned off
Causeway, the numbers were down to 20 from a peak of around
400, and I took off.

All in all, the march seemed fairly disorganized, which led to a lot
of standing around and kept the energy level fairly low, but as far
as i know there were no arrests, and the corporate media had a
huge presence, making it likely that perhaps some distorted
message we were trying to send might make it into their rags.

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