Chicago's Anti-Capitalist/FTP march NATO--G-8 2012
I ran up a windy street past scattered groups of black bandana-masked protesters till I reached the first line of riot cops. Night was falling. This wasn't going to be like the other occupation marches I'd been on for two days. You could feel it in the air. Tension. This was a large urban FTP march with an anti-capitalist theme--never a boring combination. The Chicago Police Department was about to see civil disobedience in a qualitative way that they hadn't seen in that town since the 60s. The Occupy Wall Street movement had energized and united group-after-group on the left in a profound way. The crowd grew and grew in the shadow of mid-level urban buildings. Hundreds of police, dozens of vehicles and the entire horse line of the CPD were shadowing us, unseen just a few blocks away. What they were soon to see were teens with black masks, young eyes with far-away looks peering from above bandanas, red flags with letters made of duct tape, etc. Then the group started to move. The dance that is civil unrest in 21st century America began--actually a beautiful thing if you're observant, yet if a right-wing Tea Partier had been there I have no doubt they wouldn't have said much more than : "“Oh, my Lord! They’re the worse kind of Commie, Pinko, Socialist filth I’ve ever had to lay my red-white-&-blue eyeballs on! Are you blind? Don’t you understand the threat that these and their kind are to the American way of life? What a disgrace! This’ll only go over like a fart in church!” But there weren’t any right-wingers in this crowd. The protesters surged along under bridges of steel and concrete holding up pamphlets with words like Revolution and Socialism.
“Head Towards Lake Michigan, Sleep on the Beach, Try Not to Get Arrested”
I ran like a banshee up a upscale Chicago street whose tendrils ended in Lake Michigan.Ragged storm clouds swept in from the Mid-West waters, dark and ominous.The church where I’d left my backpack was set to close its doors at 10 PM.All day, I’d been protesting downtown as part of the storm which became NATO/G8 Summit with Occupy LA.We occupied Rahm Emanuel’s house and participated in a FTP march that Chicago will never forget. “The worst out-of-town scum Chicago’s seen since ’68!” was what I read in the faces of cops sitting on long lines of horses.“Please, Rahm, send us in on this one!”They’d grip their reins until their hands turned white as ghosts, but they never got the order.Occupiers are smart.Even in distant cities from different occupations, occupiers don’t actually go over any property damage nor violence lines—but you wouldn’t know it from watching the Foxaganda Channel.We’d taken three large tour buses there—60 revolutionaries—a ride the bus company will never forget.Would they even take us back?I couldn’t even begin to think of that 1744 miles from home with nothing on me but $40 and an “Imagine Fairness” sign.