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(en) US, NYC, August 31 2004 Wrapup

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://nyc.indymedia.org/)
Date Wed, 1 Sep 2004 18:11:25 +0200 (CEST)


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Waves of autonomous, well-planned, yet unpermitted direct
actions swept the streets of Manhattan today (A31). They stopped
traffic, performed street theater and crashed parties, striking fear
in the hearts of delegates. While none of the actions today could
claim to have brought down the walls of the Empire, they may
have, through their boldness and volume erroded some of the
layers of its facade. [Categorized Links of Events Throughout the Day]
Two theatrical direct actions were arrested prematurely in the
early hours of the morning, setting a tone for the hundreds of
senseless arrests that would follow through out the day.

However, a highly succesful and powerful demonstration against
illegal and inhumane INS detention policies set the tone for really
solid, politically-focused actions that would also follow
throughout the day. Statement to free illegal
detainees of the "War on Terrorism"

Between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon major actions seemed to
simultaneously errupt across the city.

A banner was dropped at Port Authority by Bus Riders Against
Bush that read: "Four More Months."

The War Resisters League gathered at ground zero to hold a vigil
followed by a march to Madison Square Garden, where they
planned to hold a die-in. Police arrested 100 marchers before
they even left. [ photos: 1 | 2 ]The die-in finally occured several
hours later, blocking traffic at Broadway and 28th St. for at least
an hour.

Simultaneously, several hundred people gathered outside of Fox
News at 47th st. and 6th ave. to hold a Fox "shut-up-a-thon,"
where they berated the news agency for its crimes against the
television-watchers of the world.

The "Men in Black Bloc" also caused a ruckus uptown at
Sotheby's where Johnny Cash memorabilia was being auctioned
off to Republicans. Their demand was "No Cash for the Rich!"

At the New York Public Library, also at the same time, a
gathering several hundred demonstrators and a foiled banner
drop attracted an onslaught of police, wielding metal barricades
and arrest nets. The library was soon shut down as protesters
were pushed across the street, where violence and mass arrests
occured.

While activity was constant in and around Union Square
throughout the day, marches set off for Madison Square Garden
on three separate occasions. The third and largest move was
immediately met with police repression at 16th and Irving. The
Bike Bloc, declaring "Still We Ride" after the police attacks on
cyclists on Friday and Sunday, also came through Union Square.

Earlier breakaway marches that had left from Union Square,
along with remnants of marches from other locations somehow
converged around Herald Square at 34th st. and 6th ave. Police
used nets to arrests large numbers of protesters, people
reportedly broke through the nets, pepper spray was deployed
and a spontaneous street theater piece recalling prisoner abuse at
Abu Graib was performed. One hooded participant in the action
broke onto the MSNBC live set, colliding with its host, Chris
Matthews.

A group that managed to break away from Herald Square and
start marching down 26th St., soon found themselves being
pursued by police on bicycles. They ran up to Madison Ave
where the cops leapt from their bikes, threw protesters to the
ground and arrested them.

Other groups successfully arrived at 35th and Broadway, where
first 15 and soon 150 people were sitting down, blocking delegate
buses from accessing the Garden. Delegates actually stepped off
their buses to take pictures of protesters in the streets.

Road blockades were relatively successful, happening not only at
35th and Broadway but also two other intersections in the
vicinity. 35th and Broadway eventually met with violent arrests.
But a large crowd of hecklers remained, generally instilling
feelings of terror and shame in delegates, who had to be escorted
individually across the street by police.

On different occasions throughout the day, protesters were able
to infiltrate delegate buildings, leaving trails of stickered
messages in their wake.

Zach de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine scribbled an
impassioned poem for Indymedia from the streets and handed it
off to another protester who posted it to our newswire.


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