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So we won, but did anybody notice? Thoughts on the G20
10/02/2009, 3:48 PM
Filed under: war-machine

From Anarchist News:

The events of Thursday the 24th were amazing to experience. A day full of dispersed and heartening conflict culminating in the night time Bash Back march which ran shit harder than anything I’ve been a part in the past 6 years, leaving the heart of a college business district wreaked, flaming dumpsters and all. That night is summed up best by an incident where a lone security guard watched the bank he was posted at get smashed while being mocked with chants of “You can’t stop us!” Yeah… that’s how we do.

Once the march dispersed some of us found ourselves in a crowd of college students. Before we could catch our breath the oh-so-familiar, oh-so-comical, robotic “Warning To Disperse” alerted us that a million fucking riot police were advancing toward us, but we experienced it from a very different perspective this time. Now we were no different than anyone else on the street. I wondered if the police even knew what just happened as we watched them fire teargas canisters hundreds of feet in the air… just for the wind to catch them and blow it back into their own ranks. The whole while oblivious college kids took pictures with their camera phones. Fucking surreal.

Against all odds and all the repressive capacity of the state, we hit them off guard and the fumbling police could do little more then stand by watching as we insulted them and their pretensions of control. The only thing they succeeded at was phenomenal and relentless incompetence, occasionally manifested as unwarranted brutality against random bystanders. I can only hope we made the pigs bussed into the city from Miami miss the good ol’ days (of the FTAA).

At the end of the day everyone present seemed to agree we “won” but what does that mean? To me it meant feeling empowered, getting revenge, being able to fight back and get away. It meant having the opportunity to prove to each other that we are powerful and that we are only beginning to realize the extent of that. Victory was in my comrades tears of joy and the glee of overhearing an outraged cop scream that “everything is out of control!”.

That night I fell asleep to the buzz of helicopters hovering frantically above the city, and dreamed sweetly .

Of course the morning after shit went down I ran to the nearest computer to find the freshest riot porn to jerk-off to, but was surprised to find that the media was by and large not impressed.
They hyped up all the least militant segments of the day (This just in! Large black bloc fucks off in some random neighborhood) but basically ignored the largest riot to take place in the US in ten years, and it seems that to the general public, it almost didn’t take place. If a police substation is smashed in the city and there’s no one around to film, does it actually happen?

So now were left with the strange feeling of winning a battle that no one except the people who were there, even knows happened. It makes me wonder if it’s beneficial to let the images of our resistance be portrayed through the media in hopes of expanding struggle, or do we continue actively smashing their cameras? Either way, even if the significance of the day isn’t recognized by a single person that wasn’t there, hundreds of anarchists came away from the G20 with tighter crews and a taste for social war.

Pittsburgh represents a shift for us. This was evident to me, in everything from our reasons for going, how we perceived what would happen there and how we acted on the street. In general it seems that we’ve finally accepted the uselessness of the summit protest. We’ve admitted their lack of revolutionary potential and in fact deplore being associated with “protests” anymore.

We don’t want to “Speak truth to power” or whatever fucking non-sense we were saying ten years ago. Were beyond making demands because we seek no concessions from power. We seek nothing from power but its destruction and we act accordingly. Still we exploit the opportunity to gather our forces that such a summit represents but we have become realistic with our aims and expectations.

The G20 was a spectacle. It represents the causes of my daily misery far less then my liberal bosses friendly smile does. Shutting down the G20, or even marching to the convention center, was not only unrealistic but irrelevant. We went to have fun and get experience fighting in the streets together, attacking capital where ever it was weak and avoiding fights we couldn’t win. This is how we build our capacity and this is where we found our success on the streets in Pittsburgh.

-A member of the Thug Section



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