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(en) US, Phoenix anarchists target recruitment center on May Day

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 8 May 2004 20:09:19 +0200 (CEST)


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On Saturday, May 1, the international workers day (aka May
Day), over 50 Phoenix area anarchists gathered at Cortez Park in
west Phoenix. This year's May Day activities were organized for
the first time by the west valley Phoenix Anarchist Coalition
(PAC) collective, the Anti-Power Society (APS), as the previous
four May Day demonstrations were held in either central Phoenix
or Tempe and had been organized by central Phoenix or east
valley anarchists under the east valley PAC collective. Anarchists
from PAC had discussed a theme for May Day and decided that
the demonstration, which would meet at Cortez Park in west
Phoenix would march to Metro Center, but even more
specifically to the military recruitment station inside.

The main drive behind targeting the recruitment station was to
create a symbolic awareness of the costs of the U.S. occupation,
as one year before on May 1, 2003, President Bush declared
major combat over in Iraq, whereas we all know that since that
declaration thousands of Iraqis have been murdered by coalition
troops, and over 700 US troops have died. The secondary reason
for targeting the recruitment center was due to the area May Day
took place in this year, the largely working class west Phoenix,
we believe that in order to truly resist the U.S. occupation of Iraq,
anarchists and radicals need to bring anti-recruitment messages
to working class folks on their turf. Not to mention this was also
the week that the photos of U.S. troops humiliating and torturing
Iraqis hit the news, and all of this after the bloodiest month in
Iraq for U.S. troops. Good timing for our message.

The march left the park shortly after 5, leading the march was a
banner reading “AT HOME or IN IRAQ: THE RICH LIE,
THE POOR DIE,” with almost zero police presence (The
Phoenix PD’s Red Squad was following in an unmarked
truck) the group made it’s way to Metro Center. Once on
mall property all of us quickly entered a mall entrance, much to
the dismay of mall security, one security goon attempted to lock
the doors, but unfortunately for him, there were four other doors
that needed locking and the crowd was already moving through
them. Once in the mall anarchists began clapping, which was
soon followed by the chant “Brick by brick, wall by wall,
capitalism’s going to fall,” mall shoppers attention was
quickly invested in our loud and rowdy crowd and the three mall
security goons who first attempted to stop us were now
completely outnumbered. Soon, the demonstration had attracted
the attention of three Phoenix cops (I don’t believe they were
in the mall for the demonstration, they’re just the three or
four cops that work the mall everyday) who ran up to the
demonstration and began grabbing and shoving anarchists. We
responded by locking arms and quickening our step as the
recruitment center grew closer, the police had no clue where our
group was heading to, or what we were doing, and probably just
wanted the demonstration out of the mall as soon as possible. In
their frustration to see all of us out of the mall, one of the pigs
decided to flash his pepper spray, while the other cops pushed
people toward the nearest exit. As very few, as in maybe two
folks, had any eye protection, and no one wanted to stumble
around the mall blinded while the cops kick ass, people moved to
the nearest exit. Once out of the mall the police were verbally
harassed to the point where they threatened arrest to anyone who
talked any shit. We quickly took a street corner and received
many shouts of solidarity from folks driving by, but through all of
this folks were wondering why the typical heavy handed tactics of
the Phoenix PD, in their riot cops, mounted officers, and bike
police, had never manifested. Only the usual three or four red
squad officers and the three or four mall police officers had shown
themselves, not long after taking the street corner a few of the
westside PAC kids reported to us that three vans of police were
on the other side of the mall, along with the mounted and bike
units, but they were not deployed on us. We later theorized that
they may have thought we were going to the mall to trash the
place, and while a good idea, Metro Center was not the place to
do such an action, maybe if we had chosen a super-rich mall,
such as the Biltmore Fashion Park, or Scottsdale Fashion Square,
but that wasn’t the purpose of this year’s action. After
nearly an hour of standing on the corner, we marched back to the
park where some tasty Food Not Bombs was enjoyed, and soon
after folks departed for some post-May Day partying.

A Phoenix cop grabbing an anarchist by the neck

Leaving the mall

Video is here:
http://arizona.indymedia.org/news/2004/05/17978.php
Link: http://www.phoenixanarchist.org/

Posted by Collin Sick Monsoon Anarchist Collective on infoshop.org


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