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smashing up televisions at may day 2001
by anonymous
Wednesday May 2nd, 2001 2:20 AM
these tv's were smashed up and set on fire at may day 2001 in san francisco. protesters helped pick up the trash and throw it away as the party move on down the street.
by m wingnut
Wednesday May 2nd, 2001 9:34 AM
Maybe its a nitpicking point, but the tv's weren't set on fire. There were these super macho punk boys who tried to start a fire, but it was quickly put out. Burning flags, bonfires, thats one thing, but burning plastic, blech. The corporations do enough of that for us.
by goat escrape
Wednesday May 2nd, 2001 2:48 PM
I was one of the people who put out the fire

I've seen the bad results of letting a fire take over

I was already a bit unhappy about the televisions
being smashed right in the dance space

Back in May 1998 we let a fire take over and it
turned off a whole lot of people who were inspired
to go to the first RTS in this country

Televisions were smashed in the living room we'd
set up, also in the dance space, and then our couches
were lit on fire...all because no one took initiative
to say no...

There's a time and place for fire, the fire blowing was
cool, but lighting up a cyanide death cloud in the middle
of our dance space was not...

Fortunately no one expressed unhappiness about this
and there were those who thanked us, but it still
is unpleasant to have to step in...

Not to suggest the party was anything less than
an utterly smashing success!!!

And the televisions were soon cleared, and the dance
space filled in and then grew and grew.


by Machopunkboy
Sunday May 6th, 2001 2:49 PM
We werent super macho punk boys we were just pissed cause the police might as well payed fer the stupid techno DJ who did nothing but calm the masses as the police smirked at the little dance rave hippies content with there four lane intersection of inaction

And we didnt burn the computers we burned the flag I care about the Earth just not the government. some black haired guy kicked our flare into the computers.

Be certain before you make accusations against people you dont know
by Macho Skinhead (fuckyouhippies [at]
Monday May 7th, 2001 12:02 AM
Ok, first off, how can you consider that a form of a protest? All that i saw happen, was a bunch of new wave hippies march down the streets, stop at the intersection of a already police blocked off road, so no traffic was to be detained, and drop e and listen to some crappy music. How dare you call that a protest, how dare you even say that that was in the name of a reclaim the streets? what exactly was reclaimed a measly intersection, and a few patch's of road? You found a nice little spot to set up your music, and were content with that. Sure, some people played soccer, which was cool, even wrote slogans on the ground with chalk, but for the vast majority, all you did was play into the hands of the police, by staying in a nice cozy spot the whole entire time. Halfway through the protest turned rave, i watched as at least a 100 people left, most of them the protesters who were there for a reason, the one's who brought signs, not a speaker float and rave crap.

So what if we broke TV's, computers, we even set flame a flag but we did it all to prove a point, to make a bold statement, saying we are sick and tired of our lives being ruled by the 9-5 life that has taken us over. Me and my "macho punk" friends are sick and tired of pacification protests, the only way to prove a point in this world is to make a bold statement, to have a voice that is loud enough for people to hear.

And finally, i would like to thank the overweight bunny ear wearing hippy who kindly put out the fire, and then ignorantly blamed us for setting it.
by M Wingnut
Monday May 7th, 2001 1:06 PM
Perhaps people are a bit confused over the point of Bay Area Reclaim the Streets. We never claimed to be "fuck shit up" activists. Some of us may do this sort of thing, but we don't do it at RTS protests. Reclaim the Streets throws street parties. We take over an intersection and have a party. Yes, thats what we do. Sometimes we march around and have a party. We attempt to show people an alternative to their capitalist controlled lives. We attempt to show the joy that is inherent in a life free of oppression. So yes, we don't always break things, nor do we throw things at police, or run real fast, or attack yuppies. Not to say that those are bad things, per se, they're just not what we do. What did you expect from something billed as a celebration of spring?

One more thing. The street was blocked by police cause we were there, stupid. We blocked the intersection of two major streets for over two hours, delaying the operations of both a parking garage and a major corporate entertainment center. That may not be macho and confrontational, but it is an act of defiance.
by the evil dj (radrave23 [at]
Tuesday May 15th, 2001 12:53 PM
Reclaim the streets is a form of protest that brings together joy and resistance and fun and diy and makes these things accessable to all sorts of people. The strength of reclaim the streets is that it is an organizing tool and a way to bring more different people into the streets and together. Capitalism and the state are obsessed with keeping us apart, fearful, and zenophobic.
The smashing of tvs is an individualist act or spectacle to be watched by a large group of people. That is fine, but taking other people's safety into account as to where you do this, is something that i expect from comrads. When i approached yall, all you could say in your defense was that property destruction is not violence. Da dude. It made me understand some of the problems that pacivists have expressed about having chaos jocks at their events. I am not a passivist, but i do think that tactics need to be taylored to situations. Smashing tvs near or on a crowded dance floor is disrespectful and irresponsible. Also there were children at this event and quite frankly, i want to see more children and more elders at our events, cause the resistance is about more than just strapping young men. Just cause everyone at the event wasn't an angery punc, doesn't mean they aren't part of the same struggle. Puncs haven't managed to smash the state yet, it has to be about a bigger movement and a sustainable culture of resistance.
If you don't like dance music, don't come and instead of getting all pissed off at us, organize your own action. Punc bands were invited to come play and outreach efforts where made, to have different genres of music there, but no one showed up.
People who came to RTS made the event what it was, there were tons of folks dancing and having a good time in liberated space. And yeah, it was mayday. Resistance is fertile. tc
by mayday rebel freakgrrl
Wednesday May 23rd, 2001 12:38 PM
yo. a late response to "machopunkboy" and "machoskinhead".

The idea of Reclaim the Streets, as people have said above, is to take back space, the streets, the land, and make it a place for us to be together in community, in celebration and protest. This is what was done. The only reason the streets were blocked was because we were there, blocking it. the police were not asked to "block the streets for us". traffic was stopped because we were there.

sorry you don't like techno. a lot of us do. a lot of us also have spent many years at demos listening to punk and some hip hop and like to hear something different, something a lot of people can dance to. as for the charge that the techno dj "did nothing but calm the masses" - what did you think? if there weren't music people would have run amok? i dont' think so. the point was to have a street party, to take back a street and make it ours. and have a party. if that's not your kind of protest then organize something else.

to be honest, i don't see how smashing tvs/computers that someone brought to an action is any more radical than dancing. it's not like you're breaking into macy's and doing it. what sucked was that it was happening in the middle of the dance floor, and there was glass and toxic dust flying around. yes, it makes a statement. a huge group of diverse people dancing and communing and playing together on the street, for free, blatantly breaking the law in the shadow of the corporate metreon, with a huge maypole and black flags and puppets, also makes a bold statement. and flyers were passed out explaining the action as well, describing the history of mayday, and why we need to organize and resist together.

also, in regards to marching versus staying in place having a party. we did both, without permits and without permission. marching is not necessarily more radical. in fact, in June 1999 the police were fine with the crowd marching but as soon as we tried to take an intersection they moved in. i was surprised we were able to take the intersection as long as we did on may day. surprised but pleased.

i think you guys just don't like dancing. there was plenty of other stuff you could have done at the action. it wasn't a "stand around and listen to speakers" kind of action.

you also might want to remember that people dancing together outside the control of the authorities is a threat. the church and state for years tried to control people's music and dancing and drumming.

and, by the way, i'm the bunny ear wearing woman you mention who put out the fire. i do have big hips, but i'm not a hippy.

by Nickole (somevlvtsidewalk [at]
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2001 6:23 AM
ok. so you and your "macho Punk" friends didn't like it. good for you. so don't come next time, if you don't like it, leave. every person has their own idea of a protest, and because at this one, we didn't break things or light them on fire, does not mean it's not a protest. i'm sorry hun, but ive probably been doing this a lot longer than you have, (going on 30 years in 2002!) and i know that people don't listen to "anarchist punk thrashers," that just makes them fearful, and speak out against all anti-globalization protesters. If the public sees how rediculous it is that we are being called terrorists for dancing and "oh hey, that girl with the skirt looks similar to me, maybe i can relate to her, hmmm, maybe i should give their message a listen." I am not saying that i have never used trashing to make a point, in fact, i still do for some issues, but that is not appropriate in this case. This isn't "im going to prove the size of my penis by making big mess, break stuff. find good girl, make good food, fun to beat. *grunt*" this is " i am going to make my point in a non-threatening way, and include everyone that wants to, and we are going to open the eyes of the "yuppiescum" by showing them that there is more to life than tehir failing dot-com"

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