I have been involved in a number of protests over the years. I love a good march or protest. I’ll try to tell you what I know about how large groups of people react so if you ever decide to cowboy up and actually exercise your constitutional right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of your grievances as opposed to sitting on your butt pecking away at your keyboard you may know how to behave. Then again you may be just walking past a demonstration and get caught up in it by either the demonstrators or the police with a giant fishnet. That’s right during the 04 Repub convention in NYC the police used snow fence like a fishing net and scooped up everyone on the street.
First, if you want to be safer you are better off in the center of the crowd. More action happens on the edges and periphery. Stay in the center of the crowd and you will be less likely to get grabbed by the cops or hurt by anyone. You can see that the young gents to the left chose to disregard my advice and they are on the edges of the crowd. The guy on the ground was obviously rewarded for his efforts with a thump and a lump on his head.
Always have an escape plan. Be wary of being with a crowd in a narrow street or alley way. A big crowd of people can act as one big wild animal if they get startled. You do not want to be in the way of a stampede of people trying to escape teargas or rubber bullets. Always have an escape plan. Look for a doorway or even an alcove built into the side of a building that you can duck into. Whatever you do do not fall down. If you have to, look for a big planter or base of a statue that you can climb up on.
If you are there to protest don’t allow yourself to get herded into a Free Speech Zones. This is the free speech zone from Boston 2004. What you thought the whole country was a free speech zone. Haha. Like I said you better get off of your butt and cowboy up. A Free Speech Zone is basically a cage where the authorities want all of the protesters to go. Whether you are pro or con on whatever the issue is the authorities want to stick you in a cage. Don’t let it happen. You will be in a closed in area who are in favor of issues that you are opposed to and no one that you want to influence will be around to see you.
Look for the authorities. Beware of who they are. Cops and feds too will dress up in plainclothes and infiltrate the crowd. It’s not hard to spot them if you open your eyes. They look like cops who are dressed as protesters. Some of them will even have earbuds. You know the look, short hair, overly muscled, shirt is untucked but looks very out of place, like it’s the first time the shirt has ever been untucked. Cops have even been known to instigate a problem. If you can, identify the plainclothes authorities.
Marching takes a lot of energy and water. Make sure that you bring your own bottled water to stay hydrated. I’d also suggest bringing safety glasses, a bandanna or better yet an n95 or n100 mask. if the tear gas starts going off you can soak the bandana in water and cover you face. Safety glasses will help with tear gas, mace or flying objects. I’d also recommend bringing some easy food with you like granola bars or fruit.
I’ve seen quite a few citizens bloodied in the streets of London. I’m not generally a fan of attacking the authorities and I do feel badly for the Bobbies, but I think it’s about time the citizens start to strike back. It’s not right that the Bobbies bloody woman and hit folks in the head for being on the streets protesting. Maybe a few rocks, sticks on molotov cocktails might put the balance of power back into balance. That’s the breaks when the authorities hurt citizen, the authorities best expect to get hurt by said citizens.
I don’t know enough about William Ayers to condemn the guy. I’m not sure how instrumental he was in the wicked deeds of the Weather Underground. That being said the guy is now an academic. Ayers was hired by a Boston College student group to speak on the state of democracy in America. The Boston College administration canceled the event. Think about the irony. I’m not a fan of Ayers and I’m not going to defend what he did during the 60’s.
My point is, what does it say about the state of big D Democracy in the United States when someone who is supposed to speak on Democracy has the even canceled because it offends “The Administration.” No need for a speech. I think we were all taught a lesson. Want me to teach it to you? THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA that the authorities don’t allow you to have!
BTW what do you call someone who destroys private property and shoots at uniformed officers of the state?
You know, you got that word in your head? Do you? What do you call folks who destroy private property and shoot at agents of the government?
Well how about our forefathers that threw cases of tea overboard into Boston Harbor and shot their muskets across the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.
I don’t like Ted Stevens. I don’t like his politics. I don’t like his bridge to nowhere. In my opinion he is a dirty politician. None of that matters. Our government hid evidence and tried to prevent witnesses from testifying. That’s more than wrong. It’s tyranny.
Get outside everyday!
I love the way the roots of this old birch are like tentacles coming up from the earth to grab the ground. I like the way the roots have become covered in bark to protect themselves. What a grand tree.