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Radical Cheer Block at DC Women's March

by tristan (trismegatus [at]
We had a rocking feeder march to and at the DC March for Women's Reproductive Freedom
When the Women Lead the Men Will Follow, When the People Lead the Politicians Become Irrelevant

I went to the best march ever yesterday(4/26/04). There was a huge women’s rights march and we had a Radical Cheerleader/Anti-Fascist feeder march. Many of us had come for the IMF/World Bank meeting protest the day before which was good and fun with about 2,500 people on a festive procession and entertaining rally/Really Really Free market in the Park. So today we gathered in another park. We had so much energy and the energy that often comes from women and it was amazing. There was no one demanding that women go first or anything, just those who jumped up to shake their bodies and shout funny rhymes took the lead, because that’s what this march was all about. All the cheerleaders, anarchists, radicals and fun people were there. By 9:30 AM several hundred people had gathered. Most were dressed in black, pink and a little purple.
At 10:30 Food Not Bombs had a free pancake breakfast and we headed out with flags, banners, whistles, drums and pom poms. The energy and excitement were incredibly contagious. The cops were mellow and we marched and cheered and had so much fun. The founders of the Radical Cheerleader concept were dancing in the crowd. There were amazing cheers. Many people from mainstream groups such as Planned Parenthood Chicago joined in as women’s rights activists filled the city. We soon reached the Supreme Court and a Bay Area (California) cheerleading squad did cheers about not shaving their armpits and a human cheer pyramid. Meanwhile boring cops (just doing their job) lined the steps and expensive but blank marble walls made up the backdrop while Roman symbols of corporal punishment and execution topped the Supreme Court building. Everyone could see we were more fun than executions any day. The Bay Area cheerleaders called for all those who knew one of the oldest cheers and about 25 people ran over and did a rousing version of:

kiss the backa my butt!

Break IT On DOWN!!!!
My back is breakin' My belt's too tight
My Booties shakin' from left to right!!!
Enuff is Enuff!!!! The poor must RISE UP!!!
Didnt eat today
No place to stay!!
Kiss The back of MY Butt!!! UGH!!
Kiss the back of MY Butt!!! UGH !!
kiss the back of my
kiss the back of my
kiss the back of my BUTT !

Yahhh! We continued and headed down Capitol Hill. A masked anarchist dressed in black darted out of the crowd, sprinted between the police motorcycles, in front of a police car. His gloved hand shot out and grabbed an object out of the gutter and hurled it towards the crowd. The bright pink beach ball flew over us just as a huge roar of our excited voices filled the air. More groups of women joined as we passed the US Capitol building but that wasn’t even worth looking at compared to our block.
We got to the Women’s rally and many who had joined our march in passing peeled off. The cops tried to herd us into the park but we jumped around them and continued marching on a parallel street. The other participants cheered and took photos whenever we appeared. We stopped in the middle of the Mall, having so much fun and entertained everyone. “We are the Cheer Block, Couldn’t be prouder, If you can’t hear us, Shout a little louder!”. The march started and we cut across, got split up, burned a flag and continued. The Black Bloc took the lead with “What’s the solution, People’s revolution, What’s the reaction, Direct action.” We all went and shouted at hundreds of pro-lifers gathered along the sidewalk. Same gender kissing also joyfully began. “Get Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries!. We also met some Pro-Life vegans that had marched with us the day before against the IMF but now had ‘All Life is Sacred’ shirts on and were on the other side. Police stood between, but we were having so much fun and were so happy that there was no need for confrontation that day.
We continued marching on a street parallel to the Mall. Soon police motorcycles tried to cut us off but they were blocked by the Black Bloc, who were maybe a bit macho. The Black Bloc let a bunch of cheerleaders get in front, and the police decided that to attack today was a bad idea. We were strong, so strong that we didn’t need to do some of the more militant things we sometimes do just to make our presence felt. “Bush is pissed, ‘Cuz he can’t fuck this, So resist and raise up your fist.“ We continued and had to join the main march. Pro lifers lined the other side of police barricades. We took the whole street-- first came cheerleaders in bright, amazing outfits then came the Black Bloc all masked up and with a wall of banners at the front and everyone else following. We shouted about birth control and masturbation, cunts and clits and taking the streets while the Black Bloc ripped huge signs of fetuses out of Pro-Lifers’ hands. Passing a group of high-level clergy with a special police guard we shouted “Not the Church, Not the state, Women will decide their fate.“
We continued and arrived back at the mall and rested in the middle of the street. Madeline Albright spoke and we all booed while cheers filled much of the mall. Many of our people began to leave while the march continued to arrive for over two hours. There were many good speakers against the war, and others said good things, as well. Chalk began to cover the ground “@ just do it” and “Pro-Choice and we riot.“ Soon a few of us played drums and whistles and noisemakers. More people danced and many marchers joined in. After a rest the drums began again -- we danced up a storm of joy. Many other people joined the dancing and soon it was mostly students and others having a great time. The anarchists started things off, then let them take their course. I felt it was a perfect model of how things should be done. Women took off their shirts, a break dancer busted some moves, people banged stuff together, a saxophone appeared, a huge women’s symbol rose above us, puppets came through, and thousands snapped photos or danced for a bit as they marched by. From the stage blocks away, Dolores Huerta spoke about immigrant women and Ani di Franco sang songs and spoke against capitalism to end the rally of 800,000 people.
Finally those left of us left, but stopped to have Ninja versus Pirates sword fights with tubes from pro-choice signs, and play freeze tag with passers by. On the way to the metro we ran into two Canadian women who called out to me for carrying a pink and black ”No War” flag. They said the rally was awful, everyone praising the Democratic Party. We said that we agreed that it was bad that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were there, and that many speakers encouraged voting and Kerry as the alternative to Bush. But for us we had had so much fun and made such a statement as our own block that we had found the march incredibly inspiring. That’s what life is about. Finding joy in resistance and life, in spite of governments, politicians, police and religious zealots.

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