“Spring is an insurrection. A hammer that cracks the walls of seed pods, a bud that breaks the sheets of ice.”-the Witch’s Child (http://knowingtheland.com/2012/04/09/in-celebration-of-may-day-the-witchs-child/)
May Day 2013 in Seattle was a celebration, a welcoming of Spring. The sun emerged after months of gray clouds, everything was alive.
The day started with an Immigration reform rally and march. Streets teeming with color and persistent sounds of drumming filled the air. Histories and cultures brought into the streets to clearly state that all humans are LEGAL, more importantly there is no thing as an illegal being on this planet and we deserve to be liberated and free. Overall an amazing turn out, people were having fun, and the police kept their distance.
First thought that came to me was the question of how many of these people would actually actively step into the front lines to fight for this freedom. There is a thrill in being in large, paced, marches. It makes you feel good to be part of a protest, because that’s our RIGHT, isn’t it?
It is important that those types of protests happen and that the support for them is immense and diverse.
I split off and went to lie down under the sun. I was waiting for the rush.
Spirits were high as beautiful beings gathered at Seattle Central Community College Wednesday evening to celebrate May Day with an Anti-Capitalist/Anti-State march. A speak out of why we gathered and the intentions for the night hit, music and dance parties, the crowd was energized and invigorated as the streets were taken and traffic was stopped forcing citizens who wish to stay asleep to listen to the spirited chants of AH ANTI ANTICAPITALISTA! The march weaved through the Capitol Hill area of Seattle, I was confused by the response of the police, they made their presence known but surprisingly they seemed to be letting us be. It was quickly escalated. I remember hearing an older man in the crowd screaming repeatedly “Let the people walk. You pull the trigger and you instigate the riot.”
We are frustrated and angry…rightfully so. Unafraid to express that. Celebration is our battle cry. We express our anger against the daily oppression and demonization, we express our anger to the daily violence against our sisters and brothers, we express our anger against the State, we express our anger against the inherently destructive system of capitalism, we express our anger through our music and dancing, through celebration of love and life and the joy of our souls, our resistance is our existence.
Silly string and clowns.
Refusing to be pushed to the shadows and cracks in the wall. The world needs to stop and see us. We are here and our communities are becoming stronger as we challenge the standard narrative that rules every waking moment and remind the mainstream that there are alternatives.
There are different levels of lived oppression as well as varying levels of radical critique, and being together in the streets provides a sense of power to vocalize the effects of what represses and wounds us, individually and collectively.
At Westlake Mall, the cornerstone of the retail district of downtown, 2 kids were arrested. It is hard to know what leads up to an arrest on marches, but it is impossible to ignore the response of the police because we are all criminals, menaces to society, in their eyes and deserve to be locked up in their cages.
As soon as a gang of bike cops surrounded the kids pinned to the ground, friends and fellow freedom fighters chanted let them go! Someone sat behind the police van and cops, with military precision, devised the plan and screamed orders to the rank and file. “We’re going to move out the van-need more bikes” which equated to lifting their bikes and ramming them into protesters, ordering them to move back. That is when the chaos pursued.
I don’t know how long this part lasted, it felt like hours. As the sun set, the police got into attack formation with bike cops surrounding rows of riot cops followed by police vans, squad cars, at least one tank. The march was divided, and they began to succeed in their effort to create confusion and panic.
As they escalated their force, people got riled up.
I used to be shocked by the response of police at our protests but its clear-the only thing the police protect is money. Soon it became a bit of a cat and mouse chase-cops would pepper spray anyone within reach, start randomly grabbing people to beat up and arrest, wielding their bully sticks, send out flash bang grenades. In response people would continue to hold intersections, and trying to continue gaining ground as newspaper bins and trash cans turned into our only line of defense from the advancing forces.
Some people had never been around this situation before started to run because it is a triggering and terrifying experience. But that’s how they succeed, when we can stay together and stay calm because we are not falling for their fear tactics that’s how we can continue our resistance. It is in these moments that the ideas of mutual aid and solidarity become extremely important concepts to carry over from the communities we are building as we create an alternative way of moving through life to when we are marching together in the streets.
No matter how hard the try, one thing is for sure-we are stronger then they want to believe. We continued to celebrate the glorious day late into the night with friends, new and old, with music and dancing, laughter and love. They can try to break us but the empire will crumble and we know, though there will be many more battles, that one day they will not be able to beat our existence.
They say Anarchy is chaos, but in reality the State is chaos.
Love and Light,