A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Trk�_ The.Supplement

The First Few Lines of The Last 10 posts in:
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Trk�
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006 | of 2007 | of 2008

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) US, SDS News Bulletin #2 - Throwing a Bike Wrench in the War Machine: The Anti-Capitalist Bike Bloc at No War, No Warming by m(A)tt, Capital Community College SDS

Date Thu, 31 Jan 2008 11:27:01 +0200

This is an excerpted version of a lengthier analytical piece, which can be read
in its entirety here: http://radicalblogs.org/ bikebrigade. Until the call out
for the Anti-Capitalist Bike Bloc at the No War, No Warming day of action, I had
no reason to believe that anyone was on the same wavelength as me. But this was
exactly what I had been hoping for. To my euphoria, the call was for people to
form affinity groups, make their equipment needs known to the local organizers,
and meet up Monday morning in DuPont Circle in the hopes of forming a real,
organized Bloc to support those doing civil disobedience at the Capitol. The
idea was to distract the police from those locking-down at intersections, while
creating some traffic havoc of our own. And the rhetorical icing on the cake,
the call emphasized the need to abolish capitalism rather than simply,
"going-green." Bikers after my own heart...
In this instance, about 30 of us managed to take both right
lanes coming down Connecticut Avenue from DuPont Circle,
with a battalion of cops on scooters and motorcycles and
such in toe. Reaching Union Station, we split up between
affinity groups (formal and informal) and headed for the next
rendezvous spot. My affinity group got pretty turned around,
in large part due to the fact that none of us knew DC that
well. When we regrouped, we had largely lost the big police
presence and we headed for the Capitol area. It seemed like two
contingents of us rode up, down and around Independence
Avenue, effectively turning it into an empty street on a Monday
morning at the heart of the empire. At some point we also
took an intersection for several minutes, as we rode around in
a circle, strongly asserting our occupation of that space and
refusing many motorists' passage.
The large SDS contingent soon took over the intersection at the
top of the hill on Independence Ave, at which point we received
the only relevant text message of the day. All the other messages
were the same news repeated again and again, to the point
where I only started checking them a half-dozen at a time. We
joined them at the intersection where we more symbolically
occupied the space that the lock-down had created. We circled
the intersection several times with cops on foot weaving in
between us as they prepared to arrest those sitting-in.
At one point, I strongly suspect, a collision occurred between a
cop and a cyclist. Because the next thing I knew, someone was
shouting, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" and I turned around to see a
cop and a man having a tug of war with a bike. Fortunately, it
didn't last long enough for the cops to amass on the poor guy, as
he gave his handlebars one good tug, and he was off, riding like
the wind down the long, steep hill on Independence Avenue.
At that point, the order was given to close off the intersection
and most of the Bike Bloc dispersed. Cops on motorcycles
formed a perimeter. I casually rode around a police car parked
on the side of the road and met up with my affinity group
on the other side of the line. To my knowledge no one in the
Bike Bloc was arrested in this instance (or any other), though a
number of people were arrested while standing on the sidewalk.
Once on the outside of the intersection, I checked on our
fleeing comrade to make sure that if his arrest were imminent,
that the least I could do was witness it. But he was already at the
bottom of that long-ass hill, with no cops in pursuit.
Overall, we did marginally fulfill our goals. We created some
disruption, we supported those locking down. We might have
even distracted the cops long enough to buy some time for the
SDS contingent to lock down, or at least delayed their arrests
and prolonged the lock down a little bit. We were a small group
of people and we managed to cause a somewhat high amount of
disruption, relative to our numbers.
First, let's talk about the easy criticisms we can make. To no
fault of the organizers, who specifically asked people to form
them, there were very few affinity groups in the Bloc. As far as I
could tell, 2-3 were present, with most of the Bloc composed of
individuals with or without a buddy. As a result, we were pretty
loose. My group of 3 had no locals in it and at times we had to
depend on the directions of people who were not more familiar
with DC than us and not people we knew we could trust.
One thing local organizers of such a Bloc might consider doing
in the future is to have trainings on different maneuvers and
formations. Forming perimeters might have been useful in this
context when we took intersections of our own, rather than
amorphously riding-in-circles, which allowed a small number
of motor vehicles to squeeze through. Preferably we would need
a greater number of cyclists to accomplish this; for example,
we might form lines blocking off two sides of the intersection,
while the majority of the Bloc remains in the middle on their
bikes and moving in the event of the cops arriving on the scene.
In future actions, we might benefit from using our bikes to
actually hold our lines against cops moving in on us, particularly
in instances similar to Georgetown on October 19th.

* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative network
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
By, For, and About Anarchists
A-infos-en mailing list

A-Infos Information Center