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Communique from Anarchist Action Organizers of the SFJuly 8 Anti-G8 March
On July 8, 2005 approximately 300 people marched in the San Francisco Mission district in solidarity with demonstrators attempting to shut down the G8 Summit in Scotland. These 300 people marched and at times engaged in militant direct action in response to the oppressive global capitalist system and the state of perpetual imperial war that it has created.
Communique from Anarchist Action Organizers of the July 8 SF Anti-War, Anti-Capitalist March Against the G8
On July 8, 2005 approximately 300 people marched in the San Francisco Mission district in solidarity with demonstrators attempting to shut down the G8 Summit in Scotland. These 300 people marched and at times engaged in militant direct action in response to the oppressive global capitalist system and the state of perpetual imperial war that it has created.The G8 (Group of Eight) is made up of the ruling class leaders of eight imperialist governments- the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada,Italy, Japan, and Russia. Every year, they meet secretly to set global economic and social policies, which result in misery, poverty, alienation, wage slavery, war, structural racism and sexism, and environmental destruction that affectsthe majority of the world's population-the working class, the poor, and the colonized. With the continued US occupation of Iraq, the systematic genocide of the Iraqi people, and with Iran looming on the horizon as the next target of the American Empire, it is time for autonomous resistance as well as social and economic sabotage to be stepped up.These and other forms of direct action are necessary in order to stop the war and to disrupt the disgusting system that produced it. July 8 was a move in that direction.
The difference between an anarchist approach to organizing a march and typical authoritarian leftist and liberal methods is that the latter seeks to control the actions of the participants, often squashing attempts at direct action. Authoritarian leftist and liberal groups favor routine, symbolic protests and beg for reforms from the ruling class. This does little in terms of actual resistance to the war or to whatever social condition is being opposed. An anarchist approach rejects all forms of authority and therefore does not set protest laws or try to keep people within boundaries- we believe in freedom and when we take to the streets that is the atmosphere we want. Anarchist Action does not coordinate, plan or participate in direct action, economic sabotage, or any other similar actions, we simply organize a protest space in which people may autonomously enact a diversity oftactics, and express their resistance in whatever way they choose.
Demonstrators at the July 8th action met at 8pm at the 16th & Mission BART Plaza. During the first half hour, protesters converged, and bilingual Anarchist Action pamphlets were distributed to residents, passers-by, and protesters.Over a dozen banners were present expressing creative messages against capitalism, the war, imperialism, police repression, borders, and environmental racism as well as espousing anarchism and social justice. English and Spanish Anarchist Action banners and a Not In Our Name banner were present. Within a few minutes of marching, the SFPD declared the march illegal and ordered those present to disperse. People continued to march down Mission St. and we were pushed from the streets onto the sidewalks. The sound system was confiscated and the person carrying it was arrested relatively quickly for noise "violations." At this point, the protest remained legal.Despite this fact, the police continued to push and otherwise physically intimidate protesters.
Once the march turned onto Valencia Street (a major hotbed of gentrification in the Mission), some protesters autonomously began setting up newspaper boxes in the streets as barricades. The newspaper box barricades were a fitting symbol of the economic barricades that capital and the State have placed between the working-class community of Mission St. and the increasingly gentrified and yuppie-filled Valencia St. The march broke up as one portion was blocked in by riot police and the other portion outran the cops. Social rage boiled and riotous and militant conditions began to coalesce. Protesters were in the streets for over three hours. Throughout that time, the march was periodically broken into different groups, taking different routes along Mission & Valencia streets. Many took their own initiative and, rather than take orders from an authority (whether it be the cops or the "leaders" of the protest), proceeded to break the chains of constraint and do what they desired and felt was necessary- expressing radical resistance and participating in economic sabotage against the System. Many corporate businesses run by the rich capitalist class, including those investing in the Iraq War, were targeted for property destruction. Many newspaper stands were placed in the roads as barricades to block the police. There was no central command. Instead, affinity groups and individuals autonomously decided to make direct actions take place.
Thousands of bilingual Anarchist Action pamphlets (available at: anarchistaction.org/g8pamphlet.pdf) were distributed throughout the night. The general response from working-class residents of Mission St. was positive; some participated in the march and some chanted with us against capitalism and the police. Quite a number of the protestors were working-class residents of the Mission, and the majority of the Anarchist Action organizers of the March are people of color. The yuppies out on Valencia St., however, seemed quite turned off and threatened-it is true, we are attempting to threaten their privileged status in class society. It is unjust that while thousands go without food and homes in San Francisco and even more slave their lives away at shit jobs, yuppies dance around undisturbed in trendy and expensive bars in gentrified areas.
The overall mood of the night was very energetic, and replete with many loud radical chants. Photographers and camera people from both the radical and the bourgeois media were present. Indybay.org provided the breaking news coverage, and a live Enemy Combatant Radio feed, which included music, protest play-by-plays, discussion, and interviews. Sf.indymedia.org and santacruz.indymedia.org were out in full force providing coverage of the night. Corporations which were autonomously targeted for economic sabotage via property destruction and spray painted messages explaining the actions, by militant protestors included:
Two Wells Fargo Banks and a Bank of America ATM: Banks are operated by the rich to coordinate the imposed wage system and are another method of exploiting the working class and making the rich richer. Furthermore, these two banks are direct investors in the Iraq War, which has led to the death of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and around 2,000 U.S. soldiers.
Kentucky Fried Chicken: This fast food corporation makes enormous profits off of the daily speciesist enslavement, torture, and extermination of thousands of animals. Its workers are forced to do high stress tasks for poverty-wages.
PG&E: The racist, environmentally destructive electric company which operates a power plant that has, for years, been poisoning the poor, predominantly African-American community of Bayview-HunterÕs Point. PG&E also continues to tighten its monopoly of the City's power through sweetheart deals with the cities elite.
Chevron: Genocide and the international military and arms industries have allowed this mega-corporation, which has won huge contracts from the government in the colonial "reconstruction" of Iraq, to keep on pumping out that black gold.
Vanguard Properties: A leader in the gentrification and destruction of our communities. Vanguard like other firms seeks to redevelop the city for rich people only and is cozy with the City's Redevelopment Commission and Planning departments.
Other known businesses that were attacked included Skechers (corporate shoe chain), and Shoebiz (a Valencia St. store that is an agent of gentrification).
The point being is none of these targets represent the working class, predominantly Latino population of the Mission- these are the institutions which are placed in the community to exploit and to funnel wealth and resources outside and into the hands of the rich.
The police, themselves servants to the ruling class-initiated the nightÕs violence as they physically pushed marchers, brutally hit dozens with batons, and made arrests using unreasonable and excessive force. Police repression was met with resistance; multiple cop car windows were smashed and there were reports of smoke bombs being thrown at cops. Although the bourgeois media sensationalized the report of an injured officer, they failed to note that every day in the Mission district and all over this white supremacist society, poor people of color are brutalized by the police Both the police and prison-industrial complex exist to uphold this system of white supremacy and social control.
At least five arrests were made, possibly more considering the consistent disinformation campaign being spewed by SFPD. One Latino protester suffered racist attacks from the Police, having his head smashed against a wall and his belongings taken. Jail solidarity outside the Valencia St. Police station was conducted that night, with around 40 people initially participating. Later into the night, protesters discovered that Sixth Amendment rights to an attorney were being violated for the detainees. 15 people spontaneously entered the station demanding these rights for their comrades. At least three innocent people are facing felony charges, some still being held in jail. An autonomous legal support collective has formed to provide for any protesters facing legal repercussions. Donations for bail and legal support are being collectedÑcall the National Lawyers Guild Hotline (425-285-1011) for more information on this. We view July 8 as a step forward for anti-war, anti-capitalist, and anarchist movements in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the first time in two years, protesters (at the same time) outmaneuvered the cops, caused significant economic damage to the rich, and did not get arrested en masse.
This summer, Anarchist Action San Francisco will be involved in multiple organizing projects and multiple actions are planned. MUNI Social Strike will be coordinating with autonomous self-organized transit workers and organizing a fare strike and actions against the MUNI fare increase, service cuts, and layoffs for drivers. On Sep. 16, the racist vigilante Minutemen will be patrolling the California-Mexico border, and a mass action will take place to resist them and the system of borders, governments, and racism that they uphold. On Sep. 24-26, there will be an anarchist march and mass actions against the War and the IMF/World Bank. Check the website for updates!
Don't Wait for Instructions, Don't Ask for Permission
Resist the System! Free your Desires and Take Action Now
Realize your Dreams and Destroy the Capitalist Nightmare!
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