Post-J20 communiqué: Some Notes on the DC BLack Bloc
by A RAAB Organizer 10:46am Sun Jan 21 '01
-Some people said it seemed that the bloc march had no direction. We knew
exactly where we were going, for a short march around the area and then to
Washington Post, and indeed got there. Unfortunately, possibly due to the fact that
it was just us, some people were rather timid, and it didn't get the treatment it
-A lot of people have commented that it was one of the best organized blocs they
have been at, in that the banners down the sides helped keep it very tight and to a
large extent the demo was composed of people in organized lines of affinity
groups, rather than simply a mass of people. This is more secure and effective.
Plus comms was good and we did after all manage to get approximately 600
people with only two months work.
-When the police surrounded everybody about 80 from the bloc escaped through
an alley, others turning back, and about 10 were able to break through the police
lines. Meanwhile a decent sized bloc assembled across the street and tried to stop
traffic to put pressure on the police. Three times the bloc charged, but the farthest
we got was halfway across. Eventually the IAC march came through the area and
police were forced to let everyobdy go as they were becoming themselves
surrounded by protestors.
-Probably one of the most impressive actions was when a wagon was taken and it
wasn't used to smash just a barricade, but to completely barrel through one of the
checkpoints. The wagon sent the barricades flying, the cops scattered and we all
surged through. Had it not been for a quick thinking secret service agent who drove
his car into the middle of the road, rest assured the bloc would have kept going
right into the parade route with no problems. In any case, once we were past we
encountered lots of plainclothes police and secret service, but fotunately everybody
they got was unarrested (one of them got a barrel thrown at him). In terms of property
damage, several windows were broken, a luxury car was damaged, and the secret
service car that blocked the wagon was quite damaged as well.
-Things were quite calm for a while until we went to Navy Memorial. Quite a few
american flags were burnt, the black and red and black flags were hoisted, two
black blocers did an amazing dive over the cops and into the crowd to avoid arrest,
and we did indeed fight them off the square. From this point on there was about an
hour and a half of constant fights back and forth between black blocers (supported
by a good 15 RCP Youth) and riot police with shields and secret service. Again,
the bloc fought well, had several unarrests, and only two arrests.
-When the parade went by it was greeted with a decent hail of rocks and bottles.
There was talk of going to the balls, but when we re-assembled for the last time (at
about 5) we were only about 50, so it was decided to call it a day.
-All in all, given the tight security, and the actions that were done, I have to say that
in my opinion the DC bloc was a success. We developed a good relationship with
other protestors, we had a long, large, and organized march, we completely
destroyed a police checkpoint and arrived to within one line of police from
breaking into the parade route, we only had about 5 arrests, and most importantly I
think, we demonstrated yet again that from now on everytime there is a ceremony
of the ruling class it will take thousands and thousands of cops to keep them safe.