By Nezua Limón Xolagrafik-Jonez
May 3, 2007
THERE IS NO RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY IN AMERICA. There were signs earlier, it's true. But now it can be said to be official. File this along with what you read on blogs about habeas corpus and wiretapping, this latest display of contempt for our rights: here is a clear example of excessive use of police force, of tyranny by weaponry, of unwarranted police aggression, assault and battery—on women, children, and citizens alike. The police issue their typical statements about investigations and being upset, but give it a month (when the results of thier "internal report" is due and we've seen how these turn out time and time again) and it doesn't matter anyway. They have done what they wanted, made their mark, instilled fear. And despite what they say, they didn't do this because some people stepped off the sidewalk, bullshit. We know why the cops were there and in such gear, and with such attitudes and agendas. The government fears the numbers they saw last year on 2006. In 2006 we actually showed, lived out, demonstrated the Power of the People, and it scared the living shit out of our keepers. Because America is only about the Power of the People in word. That's advertising to keep us defending our jailers, paying our taxes, and joining the
So this year not only did the press keep very quiet about the May Day marches (as if they wouldn't be important to report on in context of all the ICE raids since, if nothing else!), but the city of LA—a city infamous for their brutal and lawless police—sent out their goons in riot gear to chase Americans out of a public park and fire weapons at them, disregarding the children, of all things.
I was over on the Southern side of Macarthur park and I saw the police move in on the park, shooting non lethal weaponry, tear gas guns openly into a crowd of women and children, unarmed women and children, unarmed men...this was a peaceful demonstration, the police showed up here and turned it into a violent demonstration.
—L.A. man at MacArthur park [YouTube vid below]
We got a right to be here. Fuck this running shit! This is how they got us all scared. Nobody wants to stand their fucking ground.
—L.A. Woman at MacArthur park [YouTube vid below]
I know what these cops do. I've seen it. They flood the area with hostile, armed men looking for a fight. Ordered to have a fight. I've lived it. I've seen their faces up close, seen them snarl at requests for help or aid, seen them grab girls by the hair, seen them stomp on instruments just to watch them crumple. They are sadists. I can't speak for their life or totality of spirit, but once they are in those uniforms, they are pure sadists. Once you send in these numbers armed in riot gear, you are sending in bullies to begin a fight. You are free to disagree, but you will not convince me, because my life has not only spun out in front of a computer monitor or TV screen, you see.
Basically everyone is out of the park, and they are still firing.
—Narrator of video taken at May Day 2007 police action [below]
A naked display of violence acted out upon the powerless by the power-holders in violation with the bedrock of our codified "rights," and today the blogs and news sites discuss Republican debates, TV-shapes, and one of the many wars we started overseas. Wars started in the name of preserving our Freedoms and Laws. Which were, yesterday, mocked and made irrelevant. They will excuse endangering lives and causing blind panic to break out and military type formations of tear gassing, rubber bullet firing battallions because people "stepped off the sidewalk." We know what this means. It's like when someone walks into a bar or a gathering of other people and insults and pushes around people until he gets them to glare or raise a hand or stand up. Then the bully gleefully engages in the fight they wanted so badly the whole time. The one they lacked the courage to outright state was their goal. It's what I call the "Rio Grande" method of beat-down, for my own reasons.
Oye: Fuck the police and thier terrorist tactics. Yes, I am very pissed off. Maybe I have enough for both of us. Dunno. But it shouldn't work that way. I hope once you watch the video below, you will join me a bit. There is a huge and egregious violation of our most dear rights being mocked here, the Constitution itself made a joke. Yes, it is made a joke on brown people. But not only have laws been violated, but basic human morality has been completely disregarded, and our National Media has said what? Nada? Just passed along the cops' lawyer's words? That they are investigating to determine IF excessive forced was used? Watch the video! People fleeing in terror, as if an invading army has stormed the streets in black riot gear and is firing tear gas and hard, rubber bullets into the crowd! Because it is, and they are! Rubber bullets fired on crowds where women and children are? And innocent men, let's not forget! We have the right to peaceful assembly, too! By birth, let alone the "Goddamned Piece of Paper!" Pardon me garçon but WHAT THE FUCK is WRONG with you people, you so-called "Fourth Estate? Has all the People® magazine, and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and American Idol, and polyethylene glycol wiped the very essence of your molecules out, churned them into pixels that respond to whatever thugs pronounce? How can you claim any "America" and "American ideals" and "American freedoms" and NOT be enraged at this? What if that woman was your MOTHER? They are people's mothers!!!!
But yeah—the press and cops are counting on Average Americans not to care because they will tout the gathering and the abuse as nothing more than ALIENZ being corralled. And who cares about ALIENZ????
And you think this doesn't apply to you? Do you, then, silently give up your right to assemble in great numbers? Because that's what this is about. Power of the People. Numbers that freaked out the old white men in Washington. They don't want to see us in numbers, and they don't want us to feel empowered. But they don't want that for any of us! Brown, black, or white! They want us all living in fear. Always in fear. And when the rhetoric fails to corral us, the violence is loosed. This is the same tactics they used on us in NYC, on the RNC 1800. Same marching lines, same "sidewalk" terminology, same mass attack that ignored your actual complicity in any crime.
They are testing themselves out, flexing their crowd-assault/control, practicing on us like the USA Military tests new weapons each time they bomb, and horrors like Shock And Awe become corpse-littered gleeful practice ranges for the white-hearted men in the halls of American power.
Another way to say all of this is that if the rhetoric of superiority works to maintain the entitlement, hatred and direct physical force remains underground. But when that rhetoric begins to fail, force and hatred waits in the wings, ready to explode.
—The Culture of Make Believe, Derrick Jensen
Isn't it interesting what happens to those who speak truth to power and remind the people where the power truly lies—in themselves? To those who preach unity and love? Why are those who live this, show this unity, demonstrate the awareness of this locus of power always gunned down, shot, strung up, crucified? Why are they always answered with violence? Because in the void of truth and reason thrives violence. Today we see the forces of control still hate the Power of the People, and the "goddamned piece of paper," the Constitution. We see they operate in a void of reason, and now live in a new post-9/11 fear-based mentality. A place where there is no room for reason or quaint documents.
They are not following constitution law, they are totally taking away our unalienable human rights...women...children, i mean would they do this to their own mother? to their own little sister? terrorize? They put on the uniform and think everyone is bad."
—U.S. Citizen at LA Park, May 1, 2007
People talk to me about not holding troops personally responsible for their actions. But do we then forgive police when they shoot at us, en masse, for no reason? When they teargas us because we peacefully fill a public park? They were, after all, clearly acting on orders. Police do not organize like that on a whim, or off-the-clock. So do we say they had the right? Of course some heartless and mindless maniacs on the far right are bound to justify this. Just as the chuckling, budding, Police State prefers. It will always have its defenders, acting freely on their own will and hate. Always those sad humans who think they are speaking out and making themselves stronger, not seeing the walls close in around them as they cheer.
What happened to our peaceful right to assembly? Curious? We do not have this right. If you are a teacher, don't you be lying to your classes. We do not have it. In fact—and I've known this since I was 16, learned it firsthand and have had it reinforced multiple times since—you have whatever right the cops feel like giving you at any given moment. And that, my friends, is ALL. Don't you be a naïve subject.
Here, what rights did the mothers have who could not run fast? What rights did babies or kids with respiratory issues have when the tear gas settled? what rights did the humans have who were shot at, point-blank, with huge, hard, rubber projectiles? No, the only "right" la chota gives these people is the right to run away in terror. The cops march in a tight line through the very streets of the city, as if it is a war zone, as if people were rioting, when it was these pigs themselves who brought the violence, the black-masked, stick-handed violence. They fire rubber bullets right in public, right on public streets, randomly into the terrified crowds. They attempt to hem in the people so they can mass-arrest them, or mass-attack them. For what? Tell me again? For what?
For gathering in a park. And for being brown and loud and present in great numbers.
They are making the people work for miserable wages and then on top of that they come here and fucking oppress them.
Man at MacArthur park, May Day 2007 [YouTube vid below]
One day this shit isn't gonna be people running. And one day they are gonna come prepared for the police to come.
Woman at MacArthur park, May Day 2007 [YouTube vid below]
But you will not stop us, O ancient force of force and oppression and hate and "racism." Now, again, you come. For the people. With your weaponry. That we paid for. You tiny, scared men.
Little kids are hitting the floor, bleeding, and then cops fucking shooting!....
Man at MacArthur park, May Day 2007 [YouTube vid below]
Remember Brad Will! Remember MLK! Remember the old dream of America—if you must think Like an American—the good parts of it. Remember that there are MANY more of us than them. We will need to keep this in mind one day soon, I fear. Unless we're happy with less and less and less freedoms. You gun lovers think you are safe in your home with your "right to bear arms"? You radical libertarian types think you will be safe with your collection of rifles when the Federal government drops down martial law? No, you are not. We saw in New Orleans what happened to people. The military swooped in and took away everyone's guns. Constituationally guaranteed or otherwise. You are not protected by any document. Our government knows this. They redact it at will.
Remember we have asked how so few could control and harm so many! We've asked it before! We are moving there now. They will act again, in different ways. Time and time again, chipping away at everything. Until all the talk of American Freedom is a joke to every single country and person but us, here, still living smiling and wrapped tight with the binding and blinding gloss of marketing, packaging, State propaganda, until it is only you, and your movement has been curtailed to such a tiny space you are doing jumping jacks in front of a telecreen and fearing your eyes will give away your thoughts. [Metaphor alert, trolls.]
What happens if we begin showing up at peaceful assemblies with padding under our clothes? Or football facemasks? Will they then outlaw football facemasks? Or would they then fire real bullets? I think you know my guess.
And how did this happen again? because of what, again? What caused platoons of police in riot gear to begin making war on people in public American streets and parks?
The Brown™ dared take the Constitution literally, as if it applied to us. The average person dared think they were safe from American police tyranny in 2007 in a public place exercising Constitutional rights. That was the first mistake.
What made the cops think they could get away with it? Because they know the American Media very well. And they remember all the times they get away with police brutality.
What I think is funny about this is its like the working class people pitted against the working class cops. It's just an irony that like...its a system of oppression, and when you have a fascist state...and it works. You keep people in fear and you can keep them from rising up.
They are concerned with this, these days. Because they have big plans, you know. And they don't know at what point it will be, but they know at some point, instinct will kick in and Americans will resist.
Add up the recent years, the unreported Halliburton prisons, the way they habituate the public to mass arrests and detentions, the police actions like this and the RNC mass arrests, the troops on the ground in Katrina, the loss of the Posse Comatitus protection, the Decider making clear his philosophy and hunger. Keep telling yourself they are isolated incidents. Keep thinking small. You may, one day, need to economize your range of motion.
Reader RickB points the way to this last video, the News take on it, from a Fox affiliate station, no less. Watcha. Even the female camera operators reporting the news and the reporters themselves get beat down by the cops. Now what ya say? Are they strange Newscast-ey Alienz? Shapeshifters perhaps? Dangerous Alien Wimmenz assuming the guise of Constitutionally-protected Americans? Good thing we have so many well-armed thugs to protect us from the scourge from outer space.
Nezua Limón Xolagrafik-Jonez is an artist and writer. His talent can be found at TheUnapologeticMexican.org, which is a site he runs. Reposted with permission.