Atlanta: Report-Back from Actions Against Police and Prison

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/atlanta-report-back-actions-against-p... Indymedia</a>

at 8, we're walking down piedmont, following multiple groups of black-clad people on the sidewalk in front of us. we don't recognize any of them and we're laughing at the appearance of new friends. signs go up on the street poles: march against police violence, 8pm. arrows show the way.
a few minutes before the march, we were walking out of a medical hospital with as many surgical masks as we could carry.

OUTREACH
three weeks before, we're on MARTA heading south. one of us stands up in the middle of the train car and announces the upcoming march against multiple police involved shootings and acts of violence. we're situated near the opening doors of the car and people are reaching for fliers on the way out, smiling.

rather than attempting to convince people that cops are bad, we are calling out to those who already know.</td><td><img title="Bad? Like deserving of a spanking?" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2009/crackedmirror.jpg"></td></t...
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when we get to the west end mall, the response is similar. conversations begin with "do you hate the police?" folks do a double take. of course they do. telling us they'll "bring the whole family!", they ask for stacks of fliers to pass out to their friends. posters for the march go up in all the shop windows. we're excited at finding new friends--no more "political work," no more emulating the bible thumpers on the university campus.

the Facebook page says 80 people are attending. a strange promotional video circulates online. a week before the march a large banner is dropped and flyers are thrown from above a barnes & noble in a busy shopping center.

none of the outreach worked. though a couple new (hidden) faces were present at the march, we recognized no one from MARTA or the west end. furthermore, a notable handful of folks we're used to seeing in the streets chose not to show up.

MARCH
a group of ~fifty gather at the entrance of the park. almost all are dressed in black. some wear orange cop watch shirts, video cameras in hand. boom boxes sit in the grass alongside banners that read cops pigs murderers, no justice/no peace/no police, and dance dance insurrection. an undercover asked if he was the only one who'd bolt if the cops showed up and if we heard the march on atlantaanarchists.org--that's not a real website. we pass out surgical masks and leaflets with a short statement and a map of the surrounding area. referencing the maps and looking for one-ways, we try to determine the best route for the march. word goes out that there are cops assembling south of where we are with dozens of squad cars, motorcycles, a mobile command center, and a swat team.

people continue to walk up as a speak out begins over a megaphone. a few share experiences of being beaten by police and their time in prison. someone reads the statement on the leaflet and someone else suggests we head out. we grab the banners and the boom boxes start up. still fairly uncertain of where exactly the fifty of us are going, we begin to march down 14th. toward the rich people, anyway.

a large banner leads the march. we're whooping, howling, chanting all cops are bastards/A C A B! the boom boxes blare anti-police rap and aggro dub-step, and some of us are dancing. most of us are in the street, though some people and two cop watch teams are on the sidewalk. the first few cars behind us speed past in the wrong lane. within a block, two cars are flashing blue strobe lights for our dance party. a dispersal order is blared over the speakers of one of the cars, barely thirty seconds into the march.
when we get to the intersection of 14th and peachtree, we begin to chant our passion for freedom is stronger than your prisons! people who can afford to stay in bourgie hotels in midtown are out by the pool, watching as we dance and block traffic. more blue lights flash and more of us begin to dance. anxiety, excitement, rage, whatever--it's hot out. fuck the heat! we turn left, south, down peach tree. people watch, bewildered, out the windows of their luxury cars. some of them pump fists. the number of cops following us swells, and we hear the buzz of the police chopper.

halfway down the block, people decide the cops are too close behind us and drag trashcans in front of the cars. everyone cheers. they stop to move the blockades and we move forward, dancing harder.

POLICE VIOLENCE
one of the police cars pulls around the side of the march and we're startled. a large swarm of squad cars and motorcycle cops move to head off the march from the south. we don't manage to tighten up and a group of cops charges, grabbing the two holding the front banner. a few surge forward and try and protect the banner holders, but the rest of the march takes off in a sprint. four are slammed to the ground and thrown into cop cars. even if a de-arrest had occurred, there was no group of people to throw de-arrestees into. during the commotion, someone smashes the front windows out of the bank of america.

four down after a ten minute march. the rest of us escape, scrambling up hills or darting into restaurants with food more expensive than any of us could afford. the police tell everyone this is an elaborate drill for the SWAT team. we all get out of there one way or another and head home to begin bailing our friends out. after two sleepless days, everyone's out. they were charged with pedestrian in a roadway, obstruction of an officer, and wearing masks in public. one of the arrestees told us the police said they took a hands-off approach during occupy and they're not making that mistake again.

NOISE DEMO
three days later, on monday evening, we assemble at the previously occupied park for a noise demo in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners. thirty of us take the streets on the way to the city jail, headed up by a huge banner that reads end jail. the drums and pots are loud and folks are clapping as we pass, some yelling fuck the police! back to us. we make noise on the sidewalk by the jail, getting louder as we hear our chants echoing from inside, accompanied by the sound of prisoners beating on their windows. we cross the street to wave to the prisoners on the other side of the building. four cops, including a white-shirted captain, walk toward us and we decide to head out. we keep to the sidewalks and they follow too closely on foot. the captain, who we recognize from the occupation, is able to get in between some of us. she stops short in front of someone who's walking backward as they film the other three pigs. "you just ran into me! one more time and you're going to jail."

they follow us all the way back to the park. we're careful to keep on the sidewalk, not ready (emotionally or financially) to face more arrests so soon. we stop in the park, in view of a large mass of cops with zip ties on the other side. four pigs from the jail walk up to give us a talking-to. when they approach we're a stone wall of intentional and awkward silence as the captain makes clear that if we march in the street, we will be arrested.

CONCLUSIONS
this weekend confirmed two things for us. abandoned by police during occupy, the streets are once again contested territory in atlanta. street marches will face immediate and brutal repression. we are nervous and regrouping, adjusting to the new police programs which are more intense, but at least more honest. they will surveil us, beat us, and arrest us. all future actions must take this into account--we have to be ready. the police will attack and we can only respond.

may our response be exhilarating. may resistance spread further and deeper forever and ever. to the barricades!

Comments

"furthermore, a notable handful of folks we're used to seeing in the streets chose not to show up."

your outreach failed in one huge way! you forgot to chant the word "Kasama" 3 times in a darkened bathroom while gazing into the mirror.

For those who might not get this comment, Kasama Project is an authoritarian communist group (heavy Maoist inflience) started by dissilusioned ex-members of the RCP/Avakian Cult.

They signed onto the solidarity statement against the current PNW grand jury because they want to be the ones oppressing and rounding up anarchists rather than the FBI.

For those who might not get this comment, if you chant "Bloody Mary" three times in the bathroom Satan is supposed to appear behind you. Satan is an anti-authoritarian (heavy Pagan influence) and all around swell guy.

The best thing to come out of Atlanta since Sherman: https://copsshootingpeople.wordpress.com/

Yo Atlanta why is your black cross called atlanta black cross and bot atlanta anarchist black cross

and not* atlanta anarchist black cross?

Because ABC is still a cooler acronym than AABC.

cool - the highest value

TODAY'S PIGS / TOMORROW'S BACON

IGTC 7/10

favorite things about this statement--honest, self-reflective, not trying to make it into something it wasn't, but thinking seriously and critically about a lot of important questions!

least favorite thing--lack of capitalization. i almost didnt bother to read it since you didnt bother to use the shift key. glad i did anyway.

^capitalist

pot meet kettle

racist

What do you do when you can't even march in the streets?!?!?
Fucking fascism!

I think you occupy! Occupy! Occupy!

"the police tell everyone this is an elaborate drill for the SWAT team."

it is demoralizing but i take this admission at face value.

the atlanta joint terrorism task force that is housed and headed by the atlanta fbi office was in the streets this night (apd and marta police are both attached). these are the ones in dark green jumpers with drop holsters.

they also brought out the big white cbrne (chemical biological radiological nuclear explosive) truck which is new in atlanta since june (attached to apd swat) and was purchased with a federal grant. the apd and dekalb pd were jointly trained on their new toy by the georgia army national guard's 4th civil support team of the 78th homeland response force. there were reports of men in military uniforms on peachtree st after the march was attacked and these may be the army national guard providing guidance in what was likely the apd's first use of the cbrne equipment.

this display of force (actual army boots on the streets of atlanta! oh em gee) is part powell doctrine certainly but in other cities and now in atlanta the state treats street marches as large dress rehearsals. they get to train officers in what amounts to a low risk yet high intensity environment. officers sometimes even get to tackle or otherwise harm hippies. these events are great for heightening training engagement and retention and increasing force morale. all are tangible and not to be underestimated benefits for our enemies.

what benefits do we get?

lest i am misunderstood: this is an argument for escalation.

fuck spectacle marches. rupture space and time for the infinite commune now.

i shouldn't have to explain how this is done.

how do rupture? plz splain.

You have some explaining to do

Prolly not enuff jargon!

trolls false activity is false. you wouldn't know what divine violence was if it fell on your head like a piano.

I feel like this individual and I were at different marches.
...
The march was not well organized as in, the location of the party was put on the fliers which were then tossed into the street when the cops closed in. This put everyone at the party in danger.

Also very few people danced, the overwhelming crowd feeling was that of unease. Most of the chants were mumbled and the 'dancing' consisted of people nervously bopping up and down as they stared over their shoulders.

There were no medics present- this makes me wonder if medics were asked to be there rather then just assuming that they would show up. I firmly believe that if hammers are brought to a march we can assume that cops will not be happy and may in fact act violently towards marchers, which would make medics a good thing to have.

The march also took place in an extremely rich area of the city, which makes me wonder who this march was for. It's not that I think doing things because we want to is bad, but when we risk the freedom and health of others I think some risk management would be a good idea. Risk Management including having one person stay home next to a phone so that individuals who are arrested can call them and get immediate support. Perhaps that did happen, but if it did it should have been communicated to the people taking risks by being in the street.

This post in very self congratulatory for an awkward march that left me with only the feeling of--- Well that happened.

Do you sometimes feel like no matter what, you're always the smartest? That's the vibe I get from this.

1) Your critique about a dance party to follow the event feels so snakey. People critique some people for not being accessible enough and then call attempts to be public "stupid". Maybe you're just paranoid Cops didn't show up to the dance party.

2) There were no marked medics, true. The medic collective has not exactly made itself easily reachable which is unfortunate because it's definitely a specialized role. I seem to remember the medic collective refusing to attend a "risky" march in the past - the exact opposite of useful. But there were unmarked medics present.

3) All marches in Atlanta are attacked by the police - ALL of them. Even liberal sidewalk marches. We cannot provoke the police. I mean that in the obvious ethical way, but also in a very serious practical sense. If you go to any protest in Atlanta that may even approach the road, assume they will send in snatch squads and helicopters. Your point about the medics comes uncomfortably close to blaming the hammer-user for police repression.

4) The march happened in a rich area where another action occurred successfully recently. Previous marches have occurred in "poor, black" neighborhoods and the critiques were flying about privilege and white supremacy. I assume this is an attempt to be more clearly hostile to yuppie fuckers. Also, we should always assume that anarchists are coordinating actions for themselves - they don't tend to believe in representation and they don't often like to play shock-troops. Anarchists shouldn't be in the habit of organizing things to fit everyone's standards - although we do need to protect from needlessly marginalizing ourselves.

5) I assume some folks had some sort of legal set-up. You should have set up your own if there wasn't something made public. Autonomous self-organization. Try not to assume too much.

This march was better promoted then almost any other event here in the near or distant past. This march featured leaflets, a speak out, banners, a mobile sound unit, a map of the local area, copwatch, free masks, a follow-up event, unmarked medics, legal support, and collectively planned a route beforehand.

The biggest problem is that people were not prepared to more seriously protect each other. This problem comes from a lack of self-organization - your critique makes it seem like the "organizers" should have left no stone left un-turned and determined everything. That sucks.

Let's work out some useful reflections, huh?
There was even a follow-up meeting for anarchists to collectively reflect. It went well but the absence of vocal critics was glaring.

I'm an under cover? Awesome. Is that what the ninjas said?

Let me tell ya something. I'm early 40... Yeah I totally felt out of place. It was my first protest, and my last. I sent email to COPWATCH, that's more my thing. I got in over my head, I'll admit. I wasn't expecting a dude with a metal pipe to "lay into a cop if I have to"

That's a game changer. I showed up to walk with what I thought was a bunch of like minded people, and some that I met were awesome....having some young kids in ninja suits trying to intimidate me because " I look like a cop" is asking for a lung kid in a ninja suit to get his ass kicked. It was my first protest, and I didn't need to start drama, or cause a problem. I was trying my best to fit in and keep my heart rate down. Honestly, I was getting a little scared.

My opinion? I'll offer it. The cause is a just one, I want to be a part of it. But in that group, well, too many dipshits. I videoed the whole thing, I offered it up if the arrested kids needed it.

I don't care if you think I'm an undercover cop, that's laughable, and makes me wonder how anything y'all do will grow if anyone who has a job or family or responsibilities is suspect.

Not planned as well as it should have been, who fucking throws out the address on a pamphlet into the street by e hundreds when we're are supposed to meet there later!?!?! Are you kidding me?

I will keep showing up protest similar to this, but only as a videographer. From the sidewalk. That's more my speeds, and I don't want to lose the message, I'm there because I believe in something, but I don't want to be associated with a bunch of nitwits.....

As for the website I mentioned, it's http://www.meetup.com/Atlanta-Anarchy/

It's a real website....they seem to have their shit together a little more....

Also, I asked about bail for the kids that got arrested....do we have a bail fund?

Bail fund? No, (scratching head)

I can throw in fifty bucks

Ummm no, we need to figure out what to do? (still scratching head)

You don't have bail? I can't believe that....ok, I'm leaving, thanks for an awesome first protest.

( yeah, that's really how that played out)

Kind of like a joke....

Agorism huh? No thanks.

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