FW: Protests Against the Debates

Joe R. Golowka joeG at ieee.org
Tue Oct 3 22:25:38 PDT 2000

Below is a play by play of the protests against the presidential "debates" yesterday.

Tuesday, October 3rd

1:10pm EDT - Over 700 activists in the Freedom For Sale Trail march have taken to the streets from Park Street Station and have begun marching through Downtown Crossing and toward Fleet Bank in the heart of Boston's financial district. It is a very lively protest with lots of energy.

1:23pm EDT - Over 700 activists from the Freedom For Sale Trail march have gathered outside Fidelity Investment in the heart of Boston's financial district and are occupying the entire intersection.

1:33pm EDT - The Freedom For Sale Trail march has moved down the street from Fidelity Investment and reached Verizon Wireless. The Billionaires for Bush or Gore (see http://www.billionairesforbushorgore.com/ for more info on them) were chased out of Verizon after attempting to deliver "thank you" notes to Verizons executives. The Black Bloc (see http://www.infoshop.org/blackbloc.html for more info on them) attempted to enter the building through the revolving door but quickly exited. Numbers continue to grow.

2:00pm EDT - The Freedom For Sale Trail march reached Chase Bank at 73 Tremont Street. The crowd is approaching the doors and the Billionaires for Bush or Gore are attempting to to give out a third "thank you" note from the people, thanking Chase Bank for putting profits before people and the earth. Less than one dozen police officers are stationed in front of the bank.

3:50pm EDT - 100 people are marching from Andrews T stop toward the UMass Boston campus. They are attempting to open the campus up after it was closed yesterday in preparation for the presidential debates.

4:13pm EDT - Around 300 people, many who are pro-Nader are marching down Colombia Road toward the UMASS Boston campus.

4:26pm EDT - Pro-Gore march has taken the entire southbound side of street and are marching directly behind the pro-Nader/ open up the debate contingent. Numbers in both marchs are growing.

4:39pm EDT - The Open up the Debate march is heading back North to Colombia Circle, away from the debate site. They marched straight through pro-Gore, unionist march. Both marches are stalled near The Boston Globe's Headquarter and state trooper cruiser are surrounding the pro-Gore march.

4:51pm EDT - The Open the Debate march has turned down Mt. Vernon street and police in riot gear have pulled up in front of the march and are beginning to form a line. Several police transport units have also been pulled up, attempting to get in front of the march. Some Gore supporters(AFL-CIO) are following the march and taunting the activists.

5:05pm EDT - Activists are beginning to sit in street in front of the police line on Mt. Vernon street, blocking the streets at Harbor Point. Around 30 protesters have sat down and more are beginning to sit.

5:12pm EDT - Nearly 100 pro-Nader people have joined the Open the Debate march and everyone has stood up. Numbers are near 250 with around 60 AFL-CIO members taunting the activists. Police have received reenforcements and now hold two intersections.

5:25pm EDT - 20 to 25 activists are now sitting in street in a cicle and there is a passage for traffic. There are reports that the police are selectively boxing in the activists, while clearing a path for the AFL-CIO/ pro-Gore march, now that until that the Gore contingent has passed activists are being allowed back into much of the area they were pushed out of.

5:42pm EDT - Police vans are backing into the Mt. Vernon street intersection and the doors of police transport units are being opened. March numbers have decreased and the march is being slowly moved back with the police following.

5:52pm EDT - The Open the Debate march has continued to be pushed back as more police arrive. The marchers have almost been pushed into the AFL-CIO march and then that march was allowed to pass as the Open the Debate march was stopped. The left side of Morrissey Blvd. has been cut off by the police.

5:55pm EDT - Ralph Nader has been given a ticket to the Presidential Debates by a Northeastern student and will be attending this evening's debates.

5:56pm EDT - The police are not allowing the march to move anymore and the police are becoming more violent, splitting the march in half.

6:32pm EDT - Most police officers are not wearing badges and they have pushed the Open the Debate march to the point at which they are intermixed with Gore and Nader supporters.

6:41pm EDT - The Open the Debate march has begun moving again, pushing toward the gate to UMass Boston on Morrissey Blvd, attempting to get as close to the debate as possible.

7:12pm EDT - The death penalty march is approaching the JFK/UMass T stop and is being escorted by motorcycle police. The Nation of Islam will be meeting the march at Colombus Park. Estimates of the march size are in the thousands.

7:21pm EDT - The death penalty march has reached Colombia Park and reports of another march coming down from Andrews T stop and said to be of the same size as the death penalty march. These two marches are coming together and overwhelming the Gore/Lieberman supporters.

7:30pm EDT - The death penalty (see http://www.mumia2000.org/ for more on that) march has turned South on Morrissey Blvd. as helicopters fly overhead. The march has not stopped and is heading toward the UMASS Boston campus and directly into the protest pen.

7:33pm EDT - A 300-person strong contingent of Palestinians are demonstrating outside the upcoming presidential debates, demanding that Palestine becoming a nation.

7:39pm EDT - The death penalty march is rapidly approaching the UMass Boston gate and people are encouraged to move quickly in order to rush the gates. The group is said to be several thousand strong.

7:41pm EDT - Northeastern University student Todd Tavares gave his ticket for the president debates to Ralph Nader earlier today. Todd received the ticket after his roommate, a former UMass Boston student, received it in the mail and did not wish to attend.

7:50pm EDT - The Black Bloc is reportedly heading toward to the UMass Boston campus, pushing through the protest pen. Clashes between union members and activists are being reported with one video journalist having his video camera destroyed by members of the Ironworkers Union Local #7.

7:52pm EDT - Arrests are being reported. Three boys wearing black walking with the march were grabbed and pulled across the barricade headfirst by the police. They were then dragged away.

8:09pm EDT - Marchers have pushed as far as they can go, farther than the police had expected them to. Police are bringing horses in in an attempt to break up the protest. The Black Bloc is deciding whether or not to push further onto the UMass Boston campus.

8:19pm EDT - Activists tried to push open the barrier but the police held strong and replaced it. It is reported that a medic was arrested after the police searching his bag.

8:23pm EDT - It was reported that Nader was denied entrance to the presidential debates after the Committee on Presidential Debates boarded his bus and took his ticket. The crowd is now surging foward and chanting "Let Ralph in!"

8:24pm EDT - It was reported that eight police transport units are line up along Morrissey Blvd., just outside of the growing demonstration that is surging foward in an attempt to enter the UMass Boston campus.

8:33pm EDT - It is reported that between 500 and 800 more people just arrived at the demonstration to gain access to the presidential debates being held on the UMass Boston campus. This new group is reported to be loud and active.

8:35pm EDT - Ralph Nader is reported to have said "I was excluded on political grounds."

8:38pm EDT - It is reported that the police have begun attacking activists by reaching over the barricades.

8:44pm EDT - The Black Bloc has got the crowd going and they are beginning to challenging the fence. The police are respond with batons, clubbing anyone who crosses the fence. The police are about ten feet back from the fence and taunting the activists by waving batons and clenching fists.

8:46pm EDT - Much of the crowd has crossed the water area and many people are pushing forward toward the fences of the UMass Boston campus.

8:46pm EDT - More mounted officers are being brought in and it is believed that a riot squad is around the corner.

8:50pm EDT - The crowd is pushing through fences and a line of riot police has formed at the far end of protest pen but people are rapidly pushing them back as the direct action prepares to deploy.

8:57pm EDT - A squad of police in full riot gear were deployed after some activists started throwing things at the police. A second line of mounted police were placed behind that first line. Other activists are calling for nonviolence and asking that people not throw things at the police.

9:02pm EDT - Ten police transport units have been stationed behind the police in riot gear and thousands of people are chanting and drumming.

9:14pm EDT - The situation is detensifying, that is, the barricades are no longer being lifted and thrown. Activists have decided to cross the barricades in nonviolent civil disobedience.

9:17pm EDT - Over 150 people have crossed the barricades with their hands in the air. They were then crushed against the barricades by mounted police. Pepper spray was then used. Many people are injured and one radio journalist was assualted and battered by the police.

9:22pm EDT - The public forums that were planned for this evening along Morrissey Blvd. have concluded and the groups are reporting back. Many community members participated. A puppet show will conclude the street party.

9:29pm EDT - A medic area is being organized and a corridor to take injured people out has being created. The crowd is beginning to organize for any changes.

9:50pm EDT - The police barricade has been pushed back 30 feet by activists sitting on the ground and pushing the barricade over. The police then pick up the barricade. The activists them repeated the step. The activists are singing "America the Beautiful."

9:51pm EDT - The only report of property destruction resulted when a mainstream media representative was standing on a police car and broke the window.

10:36pm EDT - It was just reported that a fence was knocked down and people are pouring out into the streets. There is a huge line of riot police but they have not reacted yet. A large group of people are sitting on the ground in nonviolent civil disobedience. The number of people who are sitting down continues to grow.

10:45pm EDT - More people are sitting in the street and the barricades have been dragged out into the street and are being used to barricade in the mounted police. The police are now coralled into a small area by the activists.

10:46pm EDT - It is now being reported that the entire street has been taken over by the people as more police arrive with riot shields. A group has also locked down in the street.

10:57pm EDT - Riot police with shields have been moved to the frontlines facing protesters while the fence has been pushed onto the median. Mounted police are attempting to ride through people who are non violently sitting on the ground. The mounted police are attempting to push the activists out by stepping the hourses around them.

11:06pm EDT - Police barricades are being used to shut off the streets to prevent cars coming out from the debate. Police are quickly moving more and more barricades thrown out into street but cops keep moving the barricades out of the street. Protesters are taunting the people who are leaving debates.

11:12pm EDT - Black Bloc has taken a section of the fence and used it to effectively block off the street as they move up toward the UMass Boston campus. About 200 people are supporting the Black Bloc street occupation.

11:13pm EDT - A strong police line is slowly advancing and one person was just arrested as the police line moved past her.

11:14pm EDT - It was reported that food provided by Food not Bombs was confiscated by the police early in the evening.

11:25pm EDT - The barricade that the Black Bloc set up was used by the police to push the activists back. Pepper spray was also used. Pepper sprayed was used a second time and more people came into the contact with it and clubs were also used. Cops used the barricade that the Black Bloc set up to push activists back and then used pepper spray. At least one person was hit in the head. Many people were hurt.

11:42pm EDT - The Police have dismantled the barricades. They have warned people to disperse and it has been termed in such a manner that if people dont' disperse, they will be hurt. The crowd is beginning to drop back.

11:53pm EDT - New reports state that people are trickling out of the demonstration area although the police have not acted on their threat to use force to remove the activists from the streets.

11:58pm EDT - Its reported that approximately 500 people are still out in the streets near the UMass Boston campus and around 12 people were arrested. Boston University Greens are currently negotiating with the police for the release of these people.

Wednesday, October 4th

12:08am EDT - New reports state the following: Everyone without previous arrests or outstanding warrents will be released by 6am. Activists have been told that if they want those arrested to be released in the morning, then the streets must be cleared in the next three minutes. Activists are moving toward the train station, being filmed by the police. Its believed that the arrests were made after the mainstream media left the streets.

12:15am EDT - A negotiation has been made with law enforcment representative Billy Robichbau that if they all dispersed within 5 minutes and with due speed, all people who are "clean" will be released by 6am. People calling in from the Umass have reported that most people have left, but will be at the jail in the morning if the activists who were arrested are not released. Still waiting to hear where arrestees will be detained.

12:40am EDT - A final report for the evening: Everyone has evacuated the area and the roughly one dozen arrestees are being processed and they will be released by 6am granted that they do not have any prior criminal records. Charges are not known but could range from disorderly conduct to trespassing to obstructing a roadway.

Joe R. Golowka JoeG at ieee.org Anarchist FAQ - http://www.infoshop.org/faq

"An anarchist who supports male domination contradicts the implicit critique of power which is the fundamental principle upon which all of anarchism is built. Sexist anarchists do exist, but only by virtue of directly contradicting their own anarchism. This contradiction leaves sexist anarchists open to criticism on their own terms. Anarchism must be feminist if it is to remain consistent" - L. Susan Brown

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list