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Strike for Choice in Palo Alto — We Don't Talk to Police

by Vigil for Democracy (vigilfordemocracy1 [at]
Whole Foods Palo Alto called the police on peaceful pro-choice protestors the afternoon of Dec 1. The action was led by Raging Grannies Action League, who model how to interact with police. “We have no leader.” “We don’t talk to police.” Video is 58 secs.
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Our goal is to create effective protest, make it easy, repeatable, and even fun, and spread the world on it. We succeeded partially yesterday, December 1. It was World AIDS Day, fitting, because we owe so much to the Act Up movement that moved the needle on the government’s attitude towards powerless AIDS patients.

We created very effective protests around the country, which got the message out to dozens of bystanders per protestor. These were bystanders who were largely grateful to see people acting up about loss of rights — once they were informed about the Texas and Mississippi cases attacking Roe v Wade. Most, including shoppers and store employees, were surprised to learn about the corporate villainy involved in this struggle.

In many cases, AT&T and Whole Foods called the police as soon as protestors arrived. This was eye-opening to suburban people who had never been treated this way. Police arrived ready and willing to escalate, with their standard weapons and body armor, outnumbering the protestors in some cases. It was a terrifying and familiar sight to urban and brown protestors, and it was a confusing novelty to many white suburbanites.

Where we failed is in convincing pro-choice allies to depart the model of giving speeches in nearly-empty town squares. They insisted on doing this in most major metros, and the press flocked to this familiar model. Very few outlets showed up to witness actions at stores, which tend to be their advertisers — so no surprise there.

Coverage on the evening news featured rallies and their passionate speakers preaching to their small likeminded audiences. The media missed spectacles like the one below, which repeated with variations at dozens of AT&T and Whole Foods stores nationwide. Sound up!!

#WeHaveNoLeader #Leaderless



#WholeFoods #ATT
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