I made it out of the Bush protest today without having to take my bandana off of my head to mask up. Did we fail?
The pepper spray didn't come out until after the main crowd dispersed. Only a few young anarchists in training dared to block the road when the chemical weapons threat was made, and an officer convinced them to save their arrest for a later action. It was hours after we first gathered, and we had to rush to write the jail support on the folks tryin' to take on the mini all-terrain vehicles.
At first, I was disheartened by our lack of aggression. We booed and showed our collective middle finger, but catapults or a rush on the barricade to the motorcade seemed appropriate. With maybe less than 10 arrests, it didn't seem we'd made enough of a stink. But after it seemed that action quelled, I happened upon a swath of Darth Vaders in a park. Apparently a bus with the rich fucks was stopped by people in the street when there were no cops around! Those who paid $2000 a plate to see the dictator didn't get out of there without significant insult.
Over coffee and a chapter of Emma Goldman at the Red and Black, I wondered if the rigor in the streets wasn't a temporary flame. Happy about the traffic corks and a number of red and black flags and eyes that shined out of masked black hoodies, I still was disappointed that I wasn't able to personally stop Bush in his tracks and say, what the fuck!? The disparity between rich and poor, and more so, the lack of significant intelligent communication between those in power of the oppressed masses, is harsh. Over and over again I see the blank stares or snide smirks from officers who stand a distance from protestors whose message is never communicated to the average schmuck on their sofa via the corporate fucking media.
Will we slide into books and thoughts and northwestern depression as the summer fades and damp grey skies return and invade? Do we care enough for ourselves and for each other to continue to work against repression and to diligently work to build a sustainable day-to-day?
It was nice to have had stepped on the remains of a burnt flag, but still I wanted to go back to the woods and hide out with an old growth tree. Thanks to a friend I was able to wrench my gut of despair, drop my apathy and continue to work. There was magic in those streets as we ran amok, and whether we met new people when we marched with them, blocked traffic with them, or peed with them in an alleyway while lookin' over each others' backs for the Feds, we all went away feeling more a part of something greater than ourselves. At the root of anarchy is love, and we did love.
We were there today, and it made a difference. Not necessarily because Bush likely saw a few Sieg Heil salutes and bunch of middle fingers. And I doubt that we made a dent into the brainless pockets of patriotic sheep who clustered at a few intersections and front yards. Those of us who gathered made a difference with our solidarity, with our efforts to build a new community. The medics with water and Malox, the legal observers with their watchful eyes, the independent journalists with their cameras, and the anarchists who blocked the busses of rich fucks -- together we wove a web that over time will not be broken.
Next Wednesday, Mars -- the planet of war -- will be the closest to earth it's been in 5000 years. Can we continue to rev up and use that fire to boost our cause? Can we conserve our energy and keep the embers going and not burn out? Let's keep the fire under Bush's ass, block some traffic, tear up some streets, and plant some seeds in solidarity.