As the dust settles around the storm of protests surrounding the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Bay Area activists who were on the streets of Denver and the Twin Cities are coming together to talk about their experiences -- what strategies were employed, what went right, what went wrong, and where we will go from here?
While protests at the DNC yielded harassment from the police and brutal arrests, the RNC became the training ground for attacks on anti-authoritarian organizers, infrastructure, legal observers, and independent media not seen in recent mobilizations. In the Twin Cities, several activist houses were raided along with the convergence center and other radical spaces. Local organizers were targeted for arrest and charged under the state terrorist laws. Along with pre-RNC raids and intimidation, protesters faced tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and other "less-lethal" weapons, as well as mass arrest, by the police and the national guard. Juxtaposing the repression was the overwhelming presence of dissent in the streets at both the DNC and the RNC, in which anarchist, student, Iraq war veteran,and economic justice groups were at the forefront of the mobilizations. Now that the conventions are behind us, activists are not only dealing with how to respond to the repression but also trying to learn from our experiences. What are our strengths and weaknesses? Where are we as a movement and how best to move forward?
The reportback will include video footage and will be facilitated by Bay Area anarchists who were present, as well as members from Iraq Veterans Against the War. The reportback will be a benefit for the RNC8 -- two of whom came to SF on an info tour this past spring -- now facing serious felony charges for their organizing efforts and a long, expensive legal battle.
Added to the calendar on Monday Sep 15th, 2008 12:00 PM