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(en) US, Chicago Erupts in Week of Protest during the Elections

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 8 Nov 2004 09:58:04 +0100 (CET)

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While people filled out their ballots and Bush was selected to a second
term, over thirty cities erupted in protest. Chicago activists threw a
week of actions to celebrate our role in changing society outside of mere
electoral politics. The message was loud and clear: We don't want Bush,
we don't want Kerry. We want an end to all US wars and occupations.
The week kicked off with "Capitalism Gives Us The Creeps", the
first annual Halloween anarchist march. Hundreds of costumed
anti-capitalists took to the streets in a festive and energetic
celebration of our power to change society without Bush or Kerry.
Police were nowhere to be seen for hours and when they finally
showed up they were powerless to push us to the sidewalks for at
least an hour. The march ended at the Treasure Island grocery
store where protesters showed support for the striking workers.
Activists later joined up with the annual Halsted + Roscoe
halloween march to have an anti-capitalist presence to oppose
both Bush + Kerry, which was met with much support. The
action empowered people to push the boundaries with police +
was a very festive way to prepare for the rest of the week's events.
Next year's Halloween march will be even wilder.

Election day saw several town hall meetings + media parties to
discuss our role in voting and the meaning of democracy. As
election results came in, unrest grew and an emergency protest
was called when it looked that Bush would likely take the
presidency. Within an hour forty people showed up while cops
swarmed the convergence point. It was decided that people would
split up and perform autonomous actions throughout the night.
Among the reports of direct action include smashing +
redecorating of several banks and starbucks windows, in addition
to a brick thrown through a Republican campaign office while
people were still inside. Similar actions happened all over the

When Kerry conceded defeat on the 3rd, Chicagoans along with
cities all over the counation took to the streets. What was
supposed to be just a candlelight vigil and rally, the crowd erupted
into the second unpermitted street march as thousands paraded
throughout downtown, blocking traffic and confusing cops. The
march joined up with the city college teachers strike where a brief
rally was held. A second march picked up and headed north on
Michigan Avenue towards the Intercontinental Hotel where the
Bankers Association for Finance and Trade conference was to be
held over the next few days. Police surrounded and blocked the
march from heading any further north than the river and refused
to cooperate. The march quickly headed backwards, confusing
police, and after a crazy light + siren show by several dozen squad
cars, the march headed west on the streets towards City Hall
where a speakout was held. The crowd soon dissipitated.

The next two days saw the invasion of hundreds of bankers for the
international Bankers Association for Finance and Trade
conference. Sixty people converged at the front of the
Intercontinental Hotel despite police orders to move to an
intersection far away and out of sight. Free food was served by
Food Not Bombs and soon after a picket was formed. Protesters
started pumping up the volume with drums, whistles,
megaphones, and radical cheerleader performances to the point
where bankers from the hotel came out screaming, demanding
that we cut off the racket. After several complaints were filed,
police threatened the entire crowd with arrest if the noise did not
cease immediately. The next day activists returned to celebrate
"Our World is Not For Sale", a nine-hour-long free market where
protesters offered free clothes, books, cds, dvds, hot cocoa, toys,
candy, and more. The highly spirited crowd handed out hundreds
of leaflets, gave out most of the free stuff, and donated the rest to
a nearby women's shelter as the event came to a close around

With Bush in office, where do we go from here? The results of the
election prove that we cannot stop this empire through electoral
methods. Our hopes and dreams will fail if placed into the hands
of the democratic party. It's up to us to recognize the power within
ourselves and move towards more radical models of organizing.
The next four years will be rough as the Bush administration
thinks that they have now have free reign to pursue their corporate
war agenda to it's fullest extent. Their electoral victory will not
beat back our resistance because we will raise hell every day of his
illegimate presidency. Be in DC to protest Bush's inauguration,
but remember that it's what happens every day that counts, in our
communities and in our workplaces.

see you on the streets, practice wishful thinking

-- Several city-wide groups helped organize, support and
participate in the week's actions, including but not limited to the
Chicagoland Anarchist Network, Peace Pledge Chicago,
Education not Empire, Depaul Students Against the War, the
radical cheerleaders, Pilsen Food Not Bombs, Chicago
Indymedia, Midwest Unrest, the Revolutionary Communist Party,
and others. -- Links to pictures / media from the week of actions:
http://chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/48943/index.php --
Other relevant links:
http://www.beyondvoting.org http://www.dontjustvote.com--
Activists all over the country have already begun organizing for
the protests in DC against Bush's inauguration. Buses are leaving
from Chicago to DC and local protests are also being planned.

To become involved with the Chicago organizing efforts against
the inaugurations, check

To join a moderated announcement/relevant discussion listserve
for organizing the counter-inauguration, you should send a blank
email tocounter-inauguration-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net

An unfinished website will be available at:
http://www.counter-inaugural.org/ (A Chicago website will be
available soon as well)
Copied from infoshop.org

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