Monsanto: Poisoning our planet for over 100 years

“And the streams are so polluted/that the banks are blank and bare/and the baby’s all are born deformed/and the smoke is everywhere”-Desert Rat-Seattle Riots Teargas Song

Since its foundation in 1901 Monsanto has been poisoning the planet. A just a handful of highlights of their horrid history of destruction: during WWII Monsanto was involved with the development of the atomic bomb; producer of Agent Orange; in 1995, Monsanto ranked fifth among U.S. corporations in EPA’s Toxic Release having discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground, in the 1970’s they began producing the herbicide RoundUp marketd as “safe, general purpose herbicide for widespread commercial and consumer use, key ingredient-glyphosate, is known for human toxicity” and to go along with it, most crops today are “RoundUp ready” GMOs to further the sales of the chemical;they have ruined indigenous cultures and livelihoods throughout the global south …the list of injustices they have caused humanity goes on and on and on…

The food system of the entire world is controlled by a corporation that is completely intertwined with the government. They are one in the same, protecting each others interests, and allowing atrocities to occur over and over and over again. The empire has poisoned all that is necessary for survival-the air, the water, and the food. Not only have they poisoned it, they will not allow the return to what is pure and nourishes the body and the soul.

It is naïve to think that they are not poisoning each and every being on this planet to aid in their effort to brainwash us and slowly kill us off as they continue to pull the wool over our eyes and cover their hands in blood. There is no way to escape the fate coming down at the hands of the monsters,like Monsanto. They have patented the extermination of people, animals, the environment, culture, tradition, and way of life.

We have come to the point where there is no choice but to fight. We have targeted fights, like the fight against Monsanto but it is more than that. It is a fight for life- for the liberation of all dwellers of the earth and future of the planet.

I am indignant and wounded by the course we have taken, ensuing from a system that disregards all beings that inhabit the earth, disdaining anything that doesn’t enhance their power and wealth.

Our food is poison, our water is poison, and our air is poison. Our sisters and brothers throughout the world are tortured and murdered, every last resource exhausted. There is no way to escape it, it was formulated and no accident.

We must continue in the struggle to overturn the fraudulent and the corrupt, not only by smashing the existing state of affairs, ingrained history and way of life we despise, but by constructing liveable alternatives.

For now we live off the waste of this system, learning that every movement we make is an act of rebellion against war mongers and thieves.

“Radikal Road Trippin” -Northwest 2013

Brave pines cling to the side of her. She is exposed; indifferent, defiant, frozen in time. I was nine years old the first time I saw them from an airplane San Francisco bound. Since then it’s been been just a fond memory. Here, a mile up, Walter glides through the canyon, with every curve another surprise, another breath stolen. Its simple existence is beauty, majestic in its seemingly loose and random form. It’s surely not, for every grain, blade and needle of this forest has a name, a purpose and a story. (I suspect a consciousness as well) This road trip is only a few days in, but already I sense it is worth chronicling, so I will write along the road. Our first few days have already given birth to inside jokes, mostly from priceless moments so bizarre and unexpected the laughter that erupted lingered long after. Now, all it takes is that word, or that special phrase and that laughter can be called upon to lift us higher, keep us moving on down the line.

The road is just a road. Travel in good company, the road becomes your portal to freed experience. Get together and go!

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DAY 1: Pittsburgh, TX-Oklahoma City, OK May 19th, 2013

The drive out of Texas was easy and slightly more familiar since Jak’s drama with TransCanada. We managed to drive straight through tornado alley, which was about to reinforce its’ name. We slip through a break in the clouds, avoiding the terrible string of storms dumping rain around us. At the rest stops we caught bits and pieces of the news-“…flattened homes, buildings, …” “…more severe weather tomorrow…” Locals urged us not to stick around past the morning, warning that it was going to get a lot worse. We make it into Oklahoma City and settled in at the good ‘ol KOA (they are all over the country, affordable and simple, but I still prefer guerrilla camping for free) and I helped Walter set up his tent. (He’s still a little domesticated compared to what Jak and I are used to, but we’re workin’ on bringing out his primitive side)

DAY 2: Oklahoma City, OK-Boulder, CO May 20th, 2013

If we had left on our original schedule (a day later than we did) we would have smacked right into the nasty F 4 tornado that ripped through miles of land. With every rest stop we collected the story; whole communities had been flattened, children were missing and many more feared dead. We had no time to turn around if we wanted to make it to Seattle and our obligations there and beyond. I wanted to turn around, wanted to drop everything to go back. I was torn as I watched clips of the arial footage from another gas station TV. Jak and I hadn’t made many commitments thus far but this time we had. We were unprepared to jump off the Walter ship and chase storms. I was comforted at least knowing people would heed the call to come and help. (and they did-thank you to ALL who aided in the relief efforts!) A natural disaster wouldn’t have a media blackout so at the least the area would get lots of attention. And, sadly, this won’t be the last natural disaster the US faces this year.

We pass Denver and arrive in Boulder with daylight to spare. The ride wasn’t that bad-the plains of Kansas go on forever but are intermingled with pretty hilltops and dynamic cloud patterns. When we get into Boulder I notice the fashion. It’s anarcho-hippie chic; part hipster, part bohemian. WEED is LEGAL here, and throughout the town are dispensaries with the signature green cross. The local “village voice” style paper dedicates 3 full pages (in the back, but still!) to gorgeous ads for fancy strains, pipes, vaporizers, locations and discount “medical coverage.” Jak is in heaven. I’m relieved we made it-now we can chill a bit, have a stress-free smoke and *adjust to our new, much less oppressive surroundings.

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We are staying with an ally we know from the wonderful world of the internet. We pull up to a cluttered front yard in an area highly concentrated with college kids. People are lounging on the front porch when our host greets us at the front gate. They are laid-back and a little quiet at first. The other housemates are on the same “chill” level and friendly. We all mingle from the porch, through to the kitchen and back again. “Fight Club” ( 90’s relic on VHS) is on the TV. That provides the background noise through the last of the daylight. More roommates and friends arrive, crowding the crash pad with new names and conversations. Other than one crazy incident with an “”uninvited guest”, he night is relaxed with back-and-forth reflections on our crazy society. But I guess you’re wondering about the uninvited guest, so I’ll just tell you a little about that “”tornado” that ambushed us in the living room.

A tall red-head walked in at some point and quickly commanded the attention of the room. She was aggressive at times, then sweet. “I wanna meet all of your friends!” she declared. There’s a sudden awkwardness. No one in the room knows who shes talking to. Who is this girl? There are brief moments of clarity for her, (she introduced herself to me with a glossy pro photo of herself as a blonde. kinda weird.) but every time she started with a “I need more friends here” ,it ended with an out-of-place “fuck you!” One of the roommates tells me she’s manic and irrational sometimes. She’s also been drinking. That makes sense as I observe her, unsteady, targeting people one at a time, seeking some sort of validation. She’s an aspiring model, bitter about getting older and carrying a chip looking on her shoulder from LA. Now she’s looking for attention in all the wrong places. After a while everyone has fled the house (including Jak, who ran out as soon as this girl started hitting on him) except Walter and I, now left alone at the mercy of this unstoppable force. Walter has been sitting in a chair this whole time, clearly amused. The red head pounces and starts giving Walter a lap dance. That’s my cue to leave. I am speechless and embarrassed for her as I walk to join the refugees on the porch.

Long story short, and after some obnoxious protesting on her part, the poor gal was finally carried out of the house on someones shoulder and banished back to her car across the street where she eventually passed out.

I should thank her though, because that incident served as the comical ice-breaker for this house of strangers. We laughed and the room heaved and sighed with the energetic exchange. Our first encounter with the beautiful, intellectual souls of Colorado sells the place to me. It is the first on my list of potential places to “settle down” someday. Jak and I retire to our tent pitched in the backyard. I drift off to sleep, my mind re-playing the day’s drive in dream form. Tomorrow, dreamer, we begin again…

DAY 3: Boulder, CO – May 21st, 2013

We awoke and got moving. We packed up, said some good-byes and left for breakfast. We ate at “The Village,” a local pot that has a fun policy-if you’re a first-timer you are outed to the restaurant as a “village virgin,” followed by applause. We, although virgins here, avoid the attention and enjoy our meal in peace;classic diner-style eggs, hash browns and, to my surprise, gluten free toast for no extra charge.

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With full, happy bellies we head out to explore and cover some ground. We walked the baseline of the flat irons; distinct rock formations protruding from this first leg of the mountain range. We briefly walked through a popular shopping/dining hangout called “the hill,” then drove up the mountain to walk some more. At the top was flagstaff and a great view of the long distances we had travelled the day before. Denver was clearly visible and far of to the horizon were the wind-rippled edges of farms and fields back to Kansas.

We enjoyed a cliff-side toke at over 6,000 feet. Walter sorta participated. It had been a while since he had smoked, but he had plenty of stories to tell from when he did. Jak is in heaven again-the satisfaction of enjoying a stress-free spliff on the side of a mountain is, to him, just the way it should be. (That feeling doesn’t get old and I would suspect it gets a new lease again in Washington and California, the only other legalized states in the continental US) Oh america, why can’t we get the rest of you folks on board?

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Back down on the ground we meet up with Jeff, a friend of Jak’s from New York. He’s a New Yorker now, but he’s originally from Colorado and just happened to be visiting the same week we were. He’s also an occupier, so there’s already a strong common thread. He greets us warmly, giving off that laid-back vibe shared by so many here. We have been invited to stay the night at his parents’ cabin, a gem tucked deep in the mountains, hand-built years ago by Jeff’s grandfather.

Jeff leads us out of Boulder, along the range and into the countryside. Walker and I follow Jeff and Jak into a canyon and slowing ascend into magnificent forest with gloriously naked peaks that reach for the sky. I am thrilled to not e driving for this portion. My full attention is consumed by this glacier-carved canyon, covered in wooded abundance and soaring cliff sides. We finally pull in to the cabin, an adorable property right alongside a rushing stream.

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Before we get too settled Jeff invites us to some fun in the mountains. Still full of energy I climb into the back end of a bright yellow four-wheeler. Jak is in the driver’s seat, Walter’s by his side. I might as well be cargo as I hang on to the bars on the roof, balancing like a snowboarder down the highway and off-road into the trails. The trail was a mini-canyon of its own, an obstacle-course full of sharp boulders, gullies, lakes and clinging trees. Jak got used to it quick and got more gutsy, leaping over moguls, dodging trees and scaling cliffs. The wheeler bucked and kicked over ditches, forcing a shrill scream from my lungs with every lift-off from the earthen ramps. I was in flying in adrenaline heaven when I noticed something wrong. Jak had stuck to the trail the whole time, but now he veered dangerously close to trees and rocks on the left side. Jak can tell and stops. The steering is…broken. Damn. We lost a crucial nut to a screw somewhere back there. That’s the end of the fun with the four wheeler, leaving us with a good 5 minutes of memory and lingering heart beats to bask in.

While we wait for Jeff (now our rescuer with the pick-up truck) we hike up the side of the trail and take in the views again. I don’t think i could ever get sick of this skyline-I daydreamed of every skyscraper in the world as a mountain again, or a hill, a bubbling creek…we took a few pics and then Jeff was back. We leave with the wheeler pieced together enough to get us back home.

Back at the house we crack a few beers, make dinner and chat the night away. The smoke swirled around our breath as another bowl pack passed my hand. Walter takes a puff too, (for real this time) breaking decades of dormant pot use. He giggles and relaxes. Walter s a pleasure to be around. Plain and simple. But get him a little stoned and he will leave you gasping for air from all the laughter. He swaps all sorts of stories; funny war stories, road adventures/debacles, times in jail and his philosophies. The stories are told with a passionate energy that only a New Yorker like Walter has the stamina to deliver again and again. It’s a careful balance of wit and wisdom; sarcasm and honest compassion. I have loved this man from the start, but this trip has allowed me to see him day to day, beyond the Occupy marches and rallies. I smile and absorb his words. Walter warns that it still might take another day or two for our chatty group to relax. He knows Jak and I are all too well. If there was ever a trip to help us achieve peace, this would be it.

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That night we fell asleep to the white noise of the creek. The water was the only thing in a hurry for miles, its current cutting violently through the natural surrounding silence. We collapsed in a comfy bed to hear it, slowly soothing our tired bodies from another full day.

DAY 4 Boulder, CO- Big Timber, MT May 22nd, 2013

I cook a healthy breakfast early, slightly hungover from the night before. I’m especially glad for Walter this morning. I watch him whip up fresh-squeezed orange juice for us. 2 cups of it bring me back to life. After some careful re-packing of Walter’s cramped little car we are off again, snaking through those cliff sides with the creek loyally to our right. On the last mile of the canyon the land opens back up to us the mountains gracefully giving way to lower foothills and fields. The mountains left behind rise up behind, snowy tops peeking out above the blue. I gazed back through the window, breath taken again. I have noticed, since the start of our road trip with Walter, that I am smiling. A lot. The gray of industry fades (which REALLY makes me smile) and the road presses onward, leading us through pasture after pasture, then forest, river and rolling hill. The patterned features repeat for miles.

We’re now cruising at a steady 75 mph with the edge of the rockies to the left. “North bound!” Walter announces. The goal is to put at least 600 miles under our heels, half of which I commit to knock out to bring us in to Montana well before nightfall.

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My eyes light up as we enter Wyoming and spot a herd of buffalo lounging in the grass. The mountains are far away now and the vast landscape is sprinkled with wind farms-a welcomed site to all of us. We ooo and ahhh as they go past us. My hope is that, as more people witness the beautiful display of alternatives, more are built in support. There’s even a haunting beauty to them looming against the sky. Hundreds of these skeletal rotations are fixed and fused to hilltops, providing, storing. This part of the country has enough wind (aka energy potential) for centuries to come. May these monuments of clean energy continue on and on!

This is Somewhere in Wyoming (you go for miles without a single sign) we get stuck behind a truck. Not jut any truck. Behind a conga-line of other unfortunate drivers we get the butt-end of a bulky, sluggish 16-wheeler from Walmart. It did a steady 45 mph in a 65. Work is being done on the road, knocking us down to one lane for miles. I stewed over the fact that I was even seeing a Walmart truck out here, but the encroaching industry is never completely gone on the highway. Hell, the highway itself looks intrusive out here. When we were finally freed from that gas guzzler we zipped by climbing to 85 and then, just before we had passed, Jak and I gave 2 middle fingers to the “sky.”

The road is long, often ending at the horizon. The rockies are still on the left, drifting closer and closer as we climb up, curve and then down again. Even on the downward swing we are still going up. Just when you are about to tire from the view it changes. We pass pine-spotted plateaus, dried river beds and the rare, scattered trios of antelope and elk. These dwindling herds are all that’s left of the once abundant populations. It’s almost a cliche to say now; it’s just common knowledge that yes, we have practically wiped out these beautiful creatures and, oh yeah, committed mass genocide against the indigenous protectors of the land they shared. It’s a thought that stays with me as I push past these hills, wishing them wild again.

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The scenic slide-show is only interrupted for 2 things-pee breaks and fill-ups, both of which I would love to eliminate from road trips. Pee breaks can be fun if you choose the side of the road-otherwise it’s another awkward trip into a local shitting hole. Our group is getting a lot of stares through these states. It’s understandable. That’s why, whenever possible, I am opting for a squat in the grass with the birds and a sweet mountain breeze.

A storm has formed over the mountains and begins to stretch across the valley. We are now in the breathable state of Montana; nothing but wide open skies and endless acreage. The best part is seeing no sign of human interference (other than the road) for as far as I can see. Ahhhh. After living in a cramped, claustrophobic 6-floor walk-up in NYC, the satisfaction of mind and body stretching wide is truly priceless. The sheer mass of these great states-Kansas, Texas, Wyoming, Montana-is beyond comprehension. The remoteness might make it intimidating, even unforgiving for suburban or urban dwellers used to pavement that quickly leads them to some sort of shopping or privileged convenience. But, to me, there is also a privilege here in being able to survive here-maybe even thrive here.

Once in a while I spot one of those tough cookies on the outskirts of tiny towns. These are the kinds of places with only one streetlight. Mostly there are just those single houses, perched on hills or hidden among trees, with their next neighbor at least a 20 minute drive away. I guess if I needed to hide out off the grid in the middle of no where this could be a good option. I add it to my mental list and turn my focus on that storm, still far off but raging and stretching, swallowing up the light of the sky. These are the artful scenes of movie reels and the muse of mouth-made legends. And, it might continue to be a long time if we allow it, if we just leave it be.

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There are plenty of ghosts here. There are billboards that promote glorified stories of the bloodshed of old. “STOP NOW” and see this run-down place. “INDIAN SOUVENIRS” from some assembly line in China. Ugh. Occasionally there’s an emerald-green pasture that hosted violent battles now reserved for tourists. It’s not that I don’t care about our history here. I just don’t know why we continue to call the Indigenous “Indians.” We were looking for India. Didn’t find it. We still call the tribes we pushed to extinction Indians. It bothers me just a little bit.

It’s about 7pm when we pass Little Big Horn and decide to go check it out. (Those pesky signs, suckered again!) This is one I don’t mind seeing; a battle we lost. Walter gives us his one-line history of little Big Horn;
“Yeah, Little Big Horn, the Americans got their ASSES kicked!” I love Walter. We drive up to the supposed “viewing site” and it says “”closed” of course. Oh well, guess Walter’s version will have to do. We remember our race with the setting sun and head back to the highway.

We check in to the Lazy J Motel just as rain clouds roll in. This is a treat with good timing, courtesy of Walter. Out of the rain and cold! Yay! I plop down my things in the room and begin decompressing. From the start I knew this trip would be memorable-not just because of the window views. Walter is a treat in and of himself for me. Even though I love the excitement of meeting new people, sometimes it’s nice to ride with a familiar face. Walter is more than familiar for Jak and me. He’s family, one of many from New York. The journey has been filled with his unique laughter (what is the deal with Jesus?) and alternating with the paradigms that leave us all brooding. There’s time to remember (Walter reminisces sweetly about Zuccotti) and forget. (what day is it again? Okay. Wait, what’s the date?) Out here it barely matters anymore.

Walter is also an excellent tour guide in my opinion, mostly because he is honest. Always. His memory is pretty good but a lot has changed since he last came through this part of the country. That makes much of the experience a first for all of us. Walter’s memory serves as a reminder of what this land used to be. Land elsewhere faces the same fate and worse. For the moment at least, here in these wide open spaces, we are able to set aside the griping and simply take it in, breathing out together in silence. The beauty summons attention without asking; it just is. I drive on, the land incessantly calling, “be here now…”

My dear Montana, I am finally listening.

More to come..

In Solidarity Forever,

Lauren

Panopticon

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the power-mongers and capitalism, and to the destruction, and blood stained hands, one empire, under drones, with torture and slavery for all.

Drones. Unmanned Ariel Vehicles. Commonly associated as a tool to carry out targeted killings. The association with their use as a weapon of war will soon be transferred to civilian surveillance drones and it is a Pandora’s box of who will be watching who, from the sky. The technology of drones in and of themselves is not the issue. Who will have access to them and how they will be used is where the problems reside.

“By virtue of their design, their size, and how high they can fly, [drones] can operate undetected in urban and rural environments…Drones present a unique threat to privacy.

Citizens of the Empire are far from living in a “free society”. So fearful of losing the power, the fraudulent and corrupt with their blood covered hands will go to any length to ensure that it is not taken from them. They are spying on each and every one of us, keep tabs on whether or not we are following their prescribed way of living and thought, and devising plans about how to keep those who are straying and threatening the survival of the domination and social control in line and out of sight. They contrive stories about how dictatorships around the world are threatening and violating human rights and freedom, claiming that they are the threat to American Freedom and thus must be fought and destroyed in order to ensure peace and abundance in the world. What they are really saying is that they know that if they do not keep fighting then they will risk losing access to resources and world supremacy. The atrocities played out by the United States government and its best friends are the leaders of terror, and have been pulling their country men along in a game of make believe that we must uphold the nobility of the flag and continue to blindly follow along to ensure that our lives do not crumble.

Granted, the world is fucked. I am privileged, not having to worry about bombs dropping on my house any hour of the day and being so fearful that I will not go outside, not having to work as a slave to corporations to provide smart phones and diamond rings to westerners…I could go on, there is plenty that I, from my upbringing to the fact that I am an American do not have to worry about it. The US government has a huge hand in continuing the fucked up situations in the world, from keeping certain governments in place to ensuring that workers continue to be sheeple, and if America were to start falling from the inside it would be interesting to see what would play out world wide, for it is our fault in many ways that the world is the way it is today.

The social and political structure of the United States is an image of a brainwashed nation. Robots programmed to think and act in calculated ways that do not allow the liberation of people, that pit us against each other in constant competition rather then coming together to realize our shared conditions.

They derive part of their social control from surveillance of, rather spying on, citizens. From wire-tapping to internet censorship, security cameras and tracking devices, it is daunting to think about how much is actually being collected and databased about our lives. Some are brainwashed enough to truly believe it is for our own safety and is a necessary to keep this the land of the free. Others have fallen into the equation of distraction, of work consume watch TV and die, basically to be numb and asleep to the realities of life and the world as a whole. This allows the government to continue escalating their efforts and rely on us carrying on with daily life.

Living in a city provides a clear image of the level of surveillance we live under in the United States. Walking down the street, do you ever wonder who is really watching you, or what they are watching? How many video cameras snatch images of you while you walk down the street? There is no such thing as privacy any more.

What will drones add to the mixture?

Surveillance drones are equipped with sophisticated imaging technology that provides the ability to obtain detailed photographs of terrain, people, homes, and even small objects…On some drones, operators can track up to 65 different targets across a distance of 65 square miles. Drones may also carry infra-red cameras, heat sensors, GPS, sensors that detect movement…

The increased use of drones poses an ongoing threat to every person residing within the United States. Companies are developing “paparazzi drones” in order to follow and photograph celebrities. Private detectives are starting to use drones to track their targets.”

In the hands of the Masters these new technologies will only aid in their ongoing wars-on drugs, on terror, on the borders…on life.

In the near future these cameras may include facial recognition technology that would make it possible to remotely identify individuals in parks, schools, and at political gatherings…Drones are designed to undertake constant, persistent surveillance to a degree that former methods of video surveillance were unable to achieve…With special capabilities and enhanced equipment, drones are able to conduct far-more detailed surveillance, obtaining high-resolution picture and video, peering inside high-level windows, and through solid barriers, such as fences, trees, and even walls…The ability to link facial recognition capabilities on drone cameras to the FBI’s Next Generation Identification database or DHS’ IDENT database, two of the largest collections of biometric data in the world, increases the First Amendment risks for would-be political dissidents. “

They will claim that the use of surveillance drones is to aid in our protection and the fight against crime but we know that is far from the truth. They will use it to continue spying on freedom fighters and truth tellers, to patrol the border to stop what they consider illegal humans from crossing into the country, they will use it to follow suspects in the war on drugs.

The reality is that we are all prisoners, to some degree, to them. None of us are free whether we have been kidnapped by their minions and thrown behind bars, or if we have avoided that fate by carrying out the duties they dictate to us.

There is no way to protect ourselves from the use drones like we can, attempt to, from other forms of surveillance. Every second of our lives will be databased and used against us. If there was any doubt that we are living under a dictatorship this should be a clear example of how severe the situation in the United States actually is.

We cannot afford to stay asleep. We cannot afford to not fight. Each and every one of our lives depend on it.

All quotes from: http://epic.org/privacy/drones/

“ANY RESISTANCE TO THE STATE IS ALWAYS MET WITH VIOLENCE” may day 2013-seattle

“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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

APTOPIX May Day Immigration Marches Washington

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.

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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,

Aislinn