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DC ACC Actions

This is interesting. A real experiment. Since Seattle, these mass assemblies have had an undeniable impact on raising consicousness about many isses. They have also, however, become stuck in a familiar routine that no longer invoke mass appeal.
Wednesday night I went to the Red and Black Cafe on SE Division to listen to a representative of the DC ACC. There were roughly 55 people there, most were younger people between 18 and 25.

I was interested in what was going to be said because this particular event will be utilizing a more decentralized demonstration model. Rather than converging en force, as at a rally or march, the DC ACC plans on running a series of affinity group-style actions that are aimed at closing off the downtown work corridor in DC on the 27 of September.

This is interesting. A real experiment. Since Seattle, these mass assemblies have had an undeniable impact on raising consicousness about many isses. They have also, however, become stuck in a familiar routine that no longer invoke mass appeal. That is a main point isn't it? To raise the awareness of people who are being exploited? Certainly the other goals of such 'globalization summits' include disrupting the various meetings of uber-exploiters like the IMF or the folks at the World Economic Forum in NY. These direct-action style confrontations have met with varying degrees of success. Certainly the initial breakout of Seattle in 99 ushered in a new range of civil disobedience not seen in this cournty in decades.

But over time, the semi-predictable pattern of the protests diluted their effectiveness. There would be safe, permitted marches where people could listen to speakers, march as one, and demand change. There were also clusters of various blocs, a whole spectrum of colors, and they were instantly targeted by law enforcement. As always, there was State violence. The police target people and inflict massive bodily harm on people.

This D.C. protest aims to be different. Whether or not it will succeed at stated goals like "shutting down downtown" remains to be seen. Rather than give enforcement a large, single, body of people to harrass, they will be forced to move at smaller groups for shorter periods.

Curious-What did others think of this presentation? What do people see happening in D.C?
thanks 08.Aug.2002 11:38


Thanks for writing up something about last night. I had wanted to attend but was busy with other work. It is great to see people making use of indymedia to report on local events. There is enough happening that a person cannot go to all the things, but it is important to learn about what is going on in the community.

Indymedia Rocks! I look forward to when many more people are reporting on all the various local issues. It is so empowering and satisfying to be creating an information, organizing, and news source by people for people, rather than the oppressive propaganda machine the commercial media has become.

Sounds great on paper 09.Aug.2002 01:17


I am from the east coast here closer to DC. We have also been visited by a representative of the DC ACC, and let me tell you following that briefing we all walked out of there a little charged and ready to go. There are many problems with this style of action, and unfortunatly, very little right. On paper, this action sounds great. In reality, there are just not enough truly commited, well trained, and willing activists out there to make this happen (plese prove me wrong). Large demonstrations that were succesfull were succesfull on the fact that those who were willing to put their body on the line did so while working along side less militant activists. Though I agree fully that that style of protest is outdated, and especially in terms of DC police, is easily targeted and controled. This action is asking alot of participants, which it definitly needs to. For a while, I believe alot of people have just been showing up at demonstrations, expecting something to occur. What we all fail to realize at times is the reality of the situation, and the fact that we are the protest and only we can create the outcome for what is present. This demonstration is asking us to come prepared, be knowledgable, and also be well trained enough to handle want comes about. There is no hiding behind another with this one, except if you are able gather in large enough groups. Actions that take place must be key actions, and I think that some of us may be a little bit less creative on actions that could happen. The biggest fear is just a mass arrest, being that smaller targets are easy to pick off by police. We wont have the protection of large groups of people. We will only have our wits, our skills, and if need be, our little running feet. I would love to see this work, but the only way it is going to work is if enough dedicated, well trained, and well intentioned activists make it to DC those couple of days, and in solidarity we all truly aim at shutting down the city within our affinity groups. So on that note, spread the word massivly and get everyone you know of involved, without it, you will just be reading about another failed attempt at displaying the power we have as individuals within this system of corruption.