Philly anarchists fuck up gentrification on may day

Submission

Lots of people said they went harder than they ever had, and learned and experimented at this demo. At least four large condos both finished  and unfinished were smashed up so bad that it felt like a competition to get a swing in. People described feeling terrified and thrilled participating. Compared to the J20 march on South St, this demo is an escalation and a step up. The successes of this demo feel like they’re a result of the lessons learned on J20. Shout out to everyone who came prepared, brought things to share, and showed up on time. Cars, condos and cameras were hit with everything: bricks, porcelain, hammers, slingshot marbles, spray paint, and paint bombs!

All the above is a testament to the demo’s ferocity, since the neighborhood was challenging to say the least. There weren’t many little dip spots to duck into, there were many cameras around (fewer now). Neighbors were quick to snitch and formed ad-hoc vigilante groups that pursued participants. At one point someone was tackled by a good citizen; a comrade with a hammer intimidated them, allowing the demo-goer to escape. Let’s remember to look out for each other, even when the cops aren’t around, especially in white, yuppie, or  right-leaning areas.

The meet-up chosen by the organizers felt ideal; it was dark, wooded, and off the street. Organizers regret not having distributed a legal support number that had been set up in advance of the demo. Due to technological and communication failures, as well as unforeseen circumstances, two intended targets were not hit. Towards the end of the route, an unintended split between a smaller group with a banner and a larger group further back took place, causing the march to end early.

It feels like in recent months we’ve all been learning a lot, and it shows — things are happening harder and more often! There are a few things we can do better next time. To lessen confusion and worry, let’s choose crew names that keep us anonymous, let us find each other in hectic situations, and also don’t sound like or rhyme with words for police. Let’s be careful with each other while we get dangerous, let’s throw from the front of crowds, making sure we don’t accidentally splash paint or rain glass on comrades in front of us using hammers.

See you in the streets

<3 bitches with hammers <3

Yes, the neo-Fash attended the Philly MAGA March

from Idavox

They chanted things like, “Who’s streets? Kek’s streets!” But because Kek doesn’t exist, Antifa took them instead. Meet the neo-Fash!

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Organizers of Saturday’s Pro-Trump Rally in front of Independence Hall originally planned to be out for five hours with almost 500 people who would march from the Hall to the Rocky Statue at the Philadelphia Art Museum, a roughly three mile walk.

Instead, only 70 persons showed up to show their support for Donald Trump, they cut the rally down to three hours, and they only managed to march five blocks because antifascist protesters that included not only the Black Bloc but hundreds of teens on bicycles had overtaken their planned routes. In the end, the Trump supporters were left complaining online about how their event was successfully disrupted.

The faceoff between antifa and Trump supporters is a scenario that played itself out all over the country last weekend as several pro-Trump rallies were held in various cities on both coast. Many, such as Philadelphia’s rally, remained peaceful, but others, most notably the rally in Huntingdon Beach, CA erupted into violent clashes. Seaside Heights, NJ also had a brief flareup but was otherwise calm.

And among the crowd of those self-styled “patriots” that said they were standing up for their President, there was that ever-present group of neo-Fascists that have been a part of Trump’s ascension from the very beginning. Often called the “alt-right”, they even led the Philadelphia march and one even took to their Facebook event page to berate the organizers. “Your cancellation of the march was an embarrassment,” Penn State grad student Daniel Marulanda wrote. “(G)ood thing there was enough militant right-wing youth to reorganize it on the fly.”

Daniel Marulanda

Marulanda, who according to his Linked In page is an Army veteran who once interned at the United Nations, was there with the neo-Fascists, sporting a black hoodie with the words “Anti-Antifa” on it and occasionally a bandanna to prevent being identified. Other associates of his wore matching bandannas with a skull motif emblazoned on them. There was some information that they could have been a part of a neo-Fascist group called American Vanguard, but when asked they denied it, with one even saying that the group hardly existed anymore.

Many of the neo-Fascists that attended were young, mostly of college age. However, Dave Reilly, a radio personality at WHLM, a small radio station from Bloomsburg, PA, covered the pro-Trump march and in particular the neo-Fascists via video, and White Nationalist Jeff McGeary of Newtown, PA was also in attendance.

No other pro-Trump marches have been announced for the near future in Philadelphia, but many who attended this weekend’s outing felt defeated and want to schedule another one soon, many expressing if for no other reason to show up antifa who embarrassed them by shutting down their march. “(Next) time we won’t be so nice. Best believe that,” Louis Jordan posted on the MAGA March Facebook event page.

[Video]

IGD Philly: Black Bloc Shuts Down Trump Rally Being Led by Neo-Nazis

from It’s Going Down

 

A hundreds strong black bloc shut down a planned #MAGAMARCH Trump rally today, as neo-Nazis attempted to led the pro-Trump crowd in a march. According to DC Direct Action News:

On the 25th of march, a MAGA (pro-Trump) march and rally drew a tiny turnout including known neo-Nazis. It was quickly confronted by masked-up antifascist activists who police allege set off smoke bombs. The outnumbered and outmatched Trumpers and fascists reportedly cancelled their rally “in fear of violence,” as this is written it is uncertain if they are marching somewhere or have quit the city entirely. A “blue lives matter” racist, pro-police website reported the rally cancelled but twitter reports show opposing marchers in the streets, not sure which was last report.

The black bloc was also joined by hundreds of youth on bikes as neo-Nazis led the Trump marchers back to Independence Hall. Here’s a recap from social media:

Resistance, Repression, and Media Lies in Philadelphia: Reportback from the Black Resistance March, 2/17/17

from Crimethinc


Donald Trump has taken to his soapbox to carp about “fake news,” as if the corporate news media were a subversive force. On the contrary, while biased or outright dishonest reporting is the rule rather than the exception, it almost always serves those in power. The interests of the corporate news media cannot be disentangled from the advertisers who fund them and the authorities they count on for scoops. In this eyewitness report from a demonstration in Philadelphia last Friday, participants relate how police attacked them with batons and pepper spray, then persuaded local media to report that it was the demonstrators who pepper-sprayed them.
Last night in North Philadelphia, four people were arrested and many were injured by batons and mace during a march organized by a local militant Black Lives Matter group, Philly Coalition for REAL Justice. The flier described it as a “Black Resistance March.” The online description expanded on this:

“All are welcome as long as they make space for black people at the front of the march. The issues contained in the assaults on LGBT folks, on Muslims and refugees, occupation and militarization abroad are intersectional. Today we center our black women, our black immigrants, black LGBTQ family, and our black Muslims. Dress warm and be vigilant.”

The march kicked off with a line of Bodyhammer-style shields made from large city traffic cones. Each one had a letter painted on it so that together they read “U-N-G-O-V-E-R-N-A-B-L-E.” Even the protest chants had an air of militancy. “Bullets Trump Hate” resonated throughout the streets as the march headed north on Broad Street. One person with a megaphone paid homage to the words that became a rallying cry after police officers murdered Eric Garner. “They say ‘hands up, don’t shoot,’ but we have another one for you… ‘guns up, shoot back.’”

The march made its way north towards the Temple campus. We stopped at the bustling intersection of Broad and Girard, a main artery for traffic and public transit. The crowd blocked the streets and burned American flags while people of color talked about police repression and terrorism through a megaphone. “This is not my flag. It has never been my flag. We’re burning this flag for Emmit Till. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Freddie Gray. This is for Brandon Tate Brown.” There was more talk about the current racist stop-and-frisk policy, and, of course, the MOVE bombing of May 13, 1985. The list went on while the fire grew.

After it began to burn out, the march started to move again. The group wasn’t half as large as some anti-Trump demonstrations that brought out thousands only a few weeks ago. In a fashion typical of Philadelphia Police, the march was followed by dozens of squad cars and at least two police helicopters, and surrounded on either side by bike cops who seemed to outnumber participants by at least two to one. The strategy for policing mass mobilizations in Philadelphia is heavily influenced by former Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey; usually, the police avoid making arrests, while oversaturating the area with officers. This approach is informed by the “Vancouver Model” as outlined in the police manual Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field by the Police Executive Research Forum.

As soon as we neared Temple University, the march became confrontational. Those with megaphones tried to rush into the campus dining hall. Uniformed officers tripped over each other as they hurried to block the entrance and exits, using their bikes to shove people who stood in their way. They formed a line in front of the doors with their bikes as blockades.

Someone noticed a Bank of America across the street and everyone rushed in that direction. Only one officer stood guard before all the shielded protestors formed their own line at the entrance. Bike cops rushed over, clumsily tripping over each other again as they scrambled to catch up with the crowd. A scuffle broke out. Someone threw black paint over the bank window and perhaps an officer or two. Cops extended their batons. Shielded protesters stood their ground and moved forward, chanting “Kill the Rich.” Police pepper-sprayed a large portion of the crowd, then began swinging their batons and hitting many people. Four arrests took place. There was an unsuccessful attempt to de-arrest someone. I saw at least one person bleeding from the head after being hit by police. Street medics took care to help flush the pepper spray out of the eyes of those struck.

All the local news media outlets that covered this event reported that protestors pepper-sprayed the police and that police were hospitalized with injuries. No one I spoke with has witnessed anything other than the police pepper-spraying protestors. One person’s account is as follows: “Here’s what happened. We wanted to get inside Bank of America. A bunch of cops started beating people up with bikes and batons because they care more about capitalist institutions than people. One of them started spraying us with pepper spray. I got it in my eyes. The cops started shouting to their own guy, “Who’s spraying? Stop spraying!” Now, in order to cover up their incompetence, the press is implying that we were the ones who injured them.”

Six more people were arrested outside the precinct the next day while doing jail support. It took over 24 hours before everyone was released. The Up Against the Law Legal Collective worked nonstop to find out where everyone was being held and when they would be eligible for bail, while the local Food Not Bombs chapter fed the gathering crowd of people expressing support outside the jail. The charges being filed against the arrestees are outlandish, but we plan to fight the system with solidarity.

The courts and the police want us to feel scared and isolated. As long as we have each other’s backs in the mounting resistance to come, we can win. And we will win.

Any Time, Any Place : Welcoming Trump to Philadelphia

from Crimethinc

Last night at the GOP Summit, the most powerful Republicans, business elites, and alt-right white supremacists schmoozed in the luxury tower of one of the city’s most expensive hotels. There, they plotted the destruction of health care and our environment, mapping out a political platform that will include violations of indigenous land rights and further attacks on the freedom and dignity of indigenous peoples, people of color, migrants, and Muslims. As they schemed, over a thousand queer Philadelphians raged outside their windows. Dancing, singing, and yelling fierce chants—including “Any time, any place, punch a Nazi in the face!” and “Gay sex is great, try it!”—they tore up the night sky at the Queer Rage(r): Guerilla Dance Party. This video is a record of the night, and an invitation to join a more joyful world of ungoverned sexuality, anti-racism, and solidarity.

[Video here]

Philly J20 Report Back

from It’s Going Down

It’s not because Trump won. Its not because Hillary lost. Its because fuck all this. Its because the world is burning and the only way to ignore it is to side with the death culture– turning life into commodities. Trump is merely today’s incarnation of “democracy;” the logical extensions of capitalism, imperialism white supremacy, patriarchy, and all the systems that undergird “democracy” under any president. Because democracy is synonymous with capture. Because its all supposed to happen like this. In four or eight more years a new figurehead of the same system to march around blocks about. Because shits not working, folks.

As if we think broken windows and spray paint will change any of it. Of course it won’t. No window will ever be enough. No march, no rally, no bloc, no president. can we take seriously anything nowadays? Are we seriously still debating violence vs. non-violence. Property vs. life. Its farcical. The “system”, “protest”… Laughable, and yet dire, with real consequences for land, animals, people. Because actually, we’re dying. Because amidst all the rhetoric of hope, the closest glimpse we see sometimes is in people willing to throw down for each other- for some vision, fractured as it may be, that we can fight back, that we can be fearless, that we can strike, be ungovernable, remind ourselves, if no one else, that some part of our minds and bodies hasn’t yet been domesticated by our masters. It could be 100,000 people evicting the halls of D.C. – and would be a resurrection from suffocation, but instead, 100 here, 50 there… we are a death gasp. Signs of life in a dying body.

Signs of life in philly. 40 rebels affiliated only by our actions; no group, no platform. 20 minutes in the streets of one of philly’s most cop-friendly areas at 7pm on a busy friday night thoroughfare. Our rage left dripping from walls, shattered across sidewalks, and left upon cars, gentry property, peddlers of bourgeois excess, banks, atms, symbols of the capital that survives off the life of everyone. More life breathed into our bloc by the vast support of onlookers, who joined in; “fists up, fight back”, “kill your local fascist” (of which south philly is a haven), “a-anti-anticapitalista” etc. Shit got got. If your shit got hit, remember its not about you. Its bigger than you because, fuck all of this, right? Because, Everything.

As we disbanded safely before the lurking eyes of police, a shout, “its been real great, see you all next time!” And everyone faded back into the precarious turbulence.

In Solidarity with D.C. Rebels and Blockaders
In Solidarity with Indigenous Freedom Fighters
In Solidarity with everyone stepping it up in 2017

A “No More Presidents” Reportback

Submission

On J20, around 50 of us masked up and took down South St.  We wanted to set a tone of resistance against the Trump regime and the ruling class for the years to come.  There were chants of “Good Night Alt Right” and antifascist flags and banners. The OCF Coffee house was smashed while people spray painted windows along the street.  Bank of America took a paint bomb.  As we moved along, more windows were tagged and shattered.  There was a brief discussion before we turned off South St and started pulling baricades into the road, knowing the cops had to be close by, being earily absent so far.  When they did show, we split, the obstacles slowing them down enough for everyone to get away.
This shit is officially still possible in Philly.  Affinity groups can come together in direct, violent, contempt against the business of gentrification and the moneyed masters funding attacks on indigenous peoples.  For all those arrested on J20 and all those still fighting the Black Snake.

Expect more.

Report from New Year’s Eve Noise Demo

Submission

On new year’s eve a crowd of people gathered outside the federal prison at 7th St and Arch St to show love for those kidnapped by the state.

People brought banners, drums, a speaker, fireworks, whistles, and airhorns to get it going. Everything turned into a drum; signs, trashcans, walls, and bike racks were all kicked and banged to make sound. Fliers explaining the noise demo were passed to passersby and thrown around. Coffee and snacks were shared, as slogans against police and prisons were shouted through the megaphone. The night was fun and prisoners flashed their lights as we made a racket.

Police arrived toward the end as the energy was dying down, but didn’t intervene. The demo ended with a short march to a nearby park where everyone was able to disperse without incident.

Prisoners to the streets!
Burn down the plantation!

Philadelphia: Fragments from Last Night’s Anti-Trump March

from It’s Going Down

A few more things happened last night (11/9) then the cops and news are letting on. We were going to skip the march altogether until we heard that people had burned flags and surrounded the cops who tried to make arrests. We never found the flag burners but we still had fun. Here’s some moments from the night:

When we found the demonstration it was huge and full of energy. The march seemed to be mostly college kids, but not only. Cops couldn’t keep track of the whole thing because of how big it was, especially in the tight North Philly streets.

Some young people ripped down some “VOTE NOV 8” and run off cackling, vanishing into the crowd.

Chants that “Philly hates Trump” are nice, others that mention “this is what democracy looks like” seem to miss the point.

Masked strangers ask each other if they want to walk together, a small black bloc comes together. Anti-Trump stickers and fireworks go up, people clap and smile.

No one is the peace police, but we’re still reminded that doing graffiti is “not what we’re here for” even though it’s definitely part of what we’re there for.

A Rite-Aid truck almost becomes the canvas for an anti-trump message but the artist is interrupted by a plainclothes cop, the cop in turn, is interrupted by some masked people. Everyone gets away unscathed, except the truck. “FUCK TR”

A bunch of the light columns on Broad St are redecorated with anti-police tags.

Stickers and fireworks run out and people who wanted some are let down. Those of us who brought too little are also let down, more stuff next time?

It’s proposed that an American flag is burned but the bearers don’t want to. A lot of people are here because they are upset Hillary Clinton lost, they don’t seem critical of democracy or America or whatever.

A couple cop vehicles are tagged, surprisingly many people holler and clap. I guess anti-cop stuff is always in.

The march approaches the highway but police have formed a line in front of the ramp, after some chanting and an unfortunate firework we all leave toward city hall instead.

Fuck Trump!

Rebels To The Street!

A Rundown of November 5th in Harrisburg and Some Reflections

from It’s Going Down

This account and the reflections that follow are only a glimpse of the events that took place in Harrisburg on November 5th. I’m not interested in or able to cover the whole of what took place; instead I’m putting forward how I experienced the day (plus a few rumors I heard), what I learned, and some thoughts that came out of conversations following the mobilization. The reflections and critiques apply to myself and those I was with as much as they do to anyone else who was in attendance.

November 5th in Harrisburg, PA

Before I got to the meetup spot, a friend told me that a fascist livestreamer or photographer was present and was filming people. When he was pointed out and confronted, he punched an antifascist, got jumped right away, and left.

By the time I got to the spot, people were just about to march. A few blocks of walking and chanting brought us to a police line behind some wooden barricades. The fascists weren’t scheduled to arrive for another hour. People milled about and a few announcements were made on the bullhorn. More and more police arrived in riot gear and on horseback, strengthening the “thin blue line” between us and the steps of the capital building where the white power rally was set to take place. Slow moments passed uneventfully.

Eventually a man in a confederate flag t-shirt appeared on the steps and with the help of the cops set up a PA for a bit less than an hour. People were becoming more agitated, screaming at the fascist and the police. As the anger in the crowd was rising and more fascists arrived, including klansmen, members of the National Socialist Movement, Keystone United, and the Traditionalist Worker’s Party, I saw people losing patience. Although never in a coordinated or unified way, eggs, rocks, full soda cans, and vegetables flew at the police line, bottle rockets exploded in the air, and police barricades were dismantled. This continued on and off for hours as tensions rose and fell, responding both to our own energy as a crowd and to the actions of fascists and police in front of us. At one point some masked ones began breaking up the cobble stones to make smaller rocks to launch at white supremacy, but were dissuaded by local pacifists.

A lone fascist near the demo was punched and beaten by masked people; police quickly stormed the fight and arrested an antifascist. This again roused anger against the police but no concerted response came from us as a whole.

As the fascists packed up and filed off the capital stairs, everyone could be heard cursing the neo-nazis and cheering their departure. Some people began proclaiming a victory, others grumbled and started to mill around. Some bloc’d up people chanted their intention to find and fight the fascists and began marching. Moving slowly at first, the march blocked streets with trash and newspaper boxes; after turning onto a large street, those at the front of the march saw the fascists in the distance and picked up the pace. Those behind them called for the march to stay tight, unaware that there was an opportunity to finally bang on the neo-nazis. The mix of fast and slow marching led to riot police moving into the street fast enough, stopping the head of the march. From there, those at the front decided it was best to cut losses, leave downtown and disperse. The march changed direction, rushing down smaller streets and throwing trashcans into the street as cops closed in, eventually dispersing. I don’t think anyone from this short march was caught, although I heard one or more people who stayed behind at the steps of the capital were arrested.

Thoughts and Reflections

While talking after the demonstration, some points came up about things that could have been done differently, ideas for how to be more effective in similar settings in the future, and criticisms of both ourselves and the crowd in general. Two themes came out of our discussion: communication and cover; neither was completely separate from the other.

On the 5th, communication between each other and with passersby who might be interested in fighting against white power and white nationalist groups could have been better. There was little in the way of chants, speeches, fliers, or graffiti that communicated to people outside the demonstration why we were there. Even though they told people not to throw stuff at the cops, the crew of clowns did more to send a message (whether I agree with it or not) than many others there. I’m not saying that the demonstration was completely silent and inscrutable though; there were some banners, signs and at least one instance of anti-fascist graffiti. It’d be great to see more communication directed at potential accomplices and supporters. Often this kind of communication can add to the kind of “cover” that I’ll talk about a little later.

Internal dialogue also fell short in my opinion. As masked people, we didn’t come together to coordinate or try to do things that can’t be accomplished by individuals or small groups. If communication during the march at the end had been better, it’s possible that we might have been able to actually lay hands on the fascists as they were leaving. It’s true that beyond the friends I arrived with I didn’t know many people present, but even if we are unknown to each other, it doesn’t mean we can’t propose plans, let each other know what cops and fascists are doing, or just talk in general.

Cover was another topic that came up as something we would like to see more of. By cover I mean the amount of activity, energy, sound, and anonymity that make a crowd feel safe and exciting to take direct action from within. The cover waxed and waned throughout the day. Something that seemed to make the energy intensify was sound. Drummers, chants, fireworks, and the person banging on that stop sign with a flag really added to the feeling of power we felt in the crowd. When the police barricade was broken, people moved banners to line the whole front of the demo, which made those of us behind them feel both more protected and anonymous; it seemed that more throwing took place then too. Holding even taller, reinforced banners, and/or having banners both in front of and right behind us, would give even more cover to protect the people throwing stuff from the many high-grade police cameras that were watching us. Bringing more things to throw, talking more to people who happened to walk by the demo, making fiery speeches (that also communicate our ideas), filling the area with antifascist posters and tags, surrounding ourselves with banners, and having sound and music all contribute to a feeling that we’re powerful and builds our capacity up to do even more.

See you in the streets

PS: I also feel that it is worth mentioning the tension between wanting to attack police and focusing only on self-described white supremacists was still present. Comrades on the west coast have interesting reflections on this that can be worth reading here.