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(en) US, Tween Cities, Anti-Capitalist Block at the RNC, Personal account...

Date Fri, 05 Sep 2008 09:06:48 +0300



I ran with a student group called the Campus Antiwar Network for reasons I won't
get into here. The night before we had contact with another group that was in
our sector and agreed to let them use us as a shield and distraction for there
activities. Our plan was to occupy intersections until they got too hot and then
bounce to another intersection and repeat. We agreed that we would be a
distraction when the cops were coming down on them and also a place they could
dive into and lose themselves when they were pursued. It turned out that they
dressed pretty straight and could change appearance pretty quick. ---- After
marching 5 miles with a large group going to the permitted march we split up and
met at a designated location and began to block an intersection. Other than an
ambulance and a SUV than would have ran over those of us who were trying to
block it we only let an old couple with perishables that asked politely to go
through. We held it for quite awhile while we watched riot cops arrive and then
suit up. We basically ignored "all day" any cop not in riot gear and only moved
when the riot cops marched on us.

We did this for quite awhile occupying intersection after intersection causing
the police to close off more streets than we could ever hold without them. Then
we hooked up with our comrades from the night before and proceeded to run bloc
for their actions which need not be discussed here. I'll just say they were
effective and elusive. It appeared to me that we picked up and lost different
affinity groups as we went.

At some point it was suggested that we meet up with another student group that
was having a wondering street party that were suppose to be a few blocks away.
We hussled towards where they were supose to be, dodging lines of riot cops.
Then things got funky as we had stumbled across the break away march. Hundreds
of masked people all in black were running down the street in front of a bunch
of cop cars. People were throwing anything not nailed down into the street and
the cops had officers ahed of the cars moving shit out of their way. Barricades
were being thrown up at every intersect to slow any police flank.

Our plan for the day had been to run with people and help were we could but to
run at any face to face were we might get busted or beaten. At every
intersection we took we had a plan beyond the greater group for escape that in
the end kept us unhurt and out of jail. My 3 person affinity group rushed up for
a good look and as the two others were dressed in black and masked up they
looked like everyone else I could see and I lost track of them at once. Without
an agreed upon plan I ran for the place with no cops which was ahead of the
bloc. At a dead sprint I ran up the hill overtaking most of the bloc but when I
reached the top I saw people jumping on cop cars in front of a wall of cops in
two of the three streets I was facing so I took the other one. I heard a smash
and turned around to see a window go out of Maceys and a cop car getting trashed.

Since I had my shirt off I stood out and my two comrades had followed me and we
ducked into a pedestrian mall full of bourgeois cafes were we began trying to
change our appearance as much as possible before a herd of black blockers
swarmed in from a small alley with a wall or fence they had to jump or climb. We
collected a stray Iowan and began trying to find our larger group through a maze
of cops. It turns out that this streaming horde of hundreds seamed to disappear
in front of the chasing cops as they dispersed into a crowd of citizens and
probably all "cleaned up".

We found the CAN group and ran with them some more until a friend had a heat
stroke and we dropped out. I was more than ready as we had begun to have to race
riot cops who were trying to surround us. That was pretty much it for my
affinity group and when we quit running cops stopped chasing us. The Iowa City
faction of CAN stayed out the longest with a few others and ended up pushed up
against delegate buses by cops using their bikes and getting maced with a CAN
"leader" being arrested. Only one person from Iowa City got busted in a
different sector than us out of 30 or 40 of us that were in the twin cities Monday.

Right now there are lot's of discussions going on over various list serves and
in person about this. Talking to the media, successes of the event, diversity of
tactics, respecting space, etc.

Personally all my goals were met. We created a radical anti authoritarian group
that will continue to build on the community level and are all closer for our
shared experience.
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