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(en) US, report from the really really free market, raleigh, nc

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 17 Jun 2004 19:31:03 +0200 (CEST)

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Downtown Raleigh, N.C. was eerily empty on Saturday, June 12 as some 200
people gathered at The Children’s Garden for The Really Really Free Market.
The museums and the Governor’s Mansion had been closed on the advice of the
police department’s Threat Assessment Unit; a police helicopter circled overhead;
a paddy wagon and mobile command station waited two blocks away; all the
parking meters had No Parking signs on them and the only things moving on the
streets were bike cops, mounted police and unmarked police cars. A Civil War
reenactment planned for the Old State Capitol grounds had been cancelled; the Old
State Capitol grounds themselves were cordoned off with temporary blockades.
A contingent of riot police with plexiglas shields waited in the State
Archives building next to The Children’s Garden.

The description on the permit application had called The Really Really
Free Market "a festival of performances, art and gift exchange to celebrate the
spirit of community sharing" and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. No
money changed hands: everything at The Really Really Free Market was, in
fact, really really free. People set up blankets and rugs under the trees
(bafflingly, someone had removed the picnic tables and trash cans from the park the
day before) and spread out their old books, clothing, stuffed animals, and
homemade crafts. A concrete platform near the entrance to the park became an ad
hoc buffet table as people laid out trays of food and baskets of produce from
their gardens to share. As the peaceful afternoon progressed with fresh-baked
vegan muffins, free massages, a bike repair workshop, face painting and
wildflower bouquets the bizarre police response took on an increasingly surreal
character. Several stories up in a building across the street a police officer
was visibly videotaping; down in the park people were square dancing to the
music of a string band set up under an oak tree.

In the days leading up to the event local TV stations and the Raleigh News &
Observer had characterized The Really Really Free Market, organized in part
by local anarchists, as a "citywide protest". The Really Really Free Market
was timed to follow the G8 Summit, an annual meeting of the heads of the world’s
wealthiest and most powerful nations, held this year at a resort on Sea
Island, Georgia. In providing a place for people to share what they had with
strangers The Rally Really Free Market demonstrated an alternative to profit-driven
economics and posed a contrast to the closed-door, undemocratic,
capital-driven decision-making process of the G8, but it was not in any way a protest.
The massive and expensive police response in Raleigh was prompted, as it turned
out, by an event that was never planned, was never threatened, and never

Really Really Free Markets represent a new form of opposition to the
corporate global economy. The first Market was held last November in Miami during the
FTAA protests. That successful event provided a model for Really Really Free
Markets in other parts of the country: since November Markets have been held
in Washington, DC and San Francisco and another one is planned for Boston in
July during the Democratic National Convention. As repression grows more
intense under The Patriot Act and police intimidation is increasingly used as an
instrument to silence dissent, Really Really Free Markets may come under more
serious police harassment. On June 12, however, the police presence merely
underscored the powerful message that The Really Really Free Market was designed
to convey: another world is not only possible, but is already here. Surrounded
on every side by the forces of violence, ignorance and fear, the people are
still dancing.

From: Hobbldhoy-A-aol.com
From the call for the project:
(en) US, Really, Really Free Market in Raleigh, NC June 12
"Calling all anarchists and activists whether you’ll be
going back home from the G8 protests in Savannah, or you live in
the southeast, come join us for a full day of feasting,
skill-sharing, gift-exchanging, and game-playing, followed by a
revolutionary punk, metal, and hip hop show - all free!
Anarchists, activists and communities to celebrate alternative
economics at the "Really REALLY Free Market" in Raleigh, June 12
Local artists, activists, and community members will gather at
Chavis Park in Raleigh on June 12 for a festive manifestation of
cooperative values."

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