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News ::
Injured in Boston? (english)
20 Mar 2003
Modified: 23 Mar 2003
Tonight the police corralled people with motorcycles, and used other aggressive tactics to control the crowd demonstrating against the war in Iraq. If you or someone you know was hurt in today's anti-war demonstrations, contact the Boston Area Liberation Medics.
Tonight the police corralled people with motorcycles, and used other aggressive tactics to control the crowd demonstrating against the war in Iraq. If you or someone you know was hurt in today's anti-war demonstrations, contact the Boston Area Liberation Medic Squad (BALM Squad). We can provide documentation of injuries, as well as health care services.

We are also available to cover any upcoming demonstrations.

Please contact us at bostonmedics (at) riseup.net.

Peace to all,
the BALM Squad
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when were these aggressive tactics? (english)
20 Mar 2003
When did the police use aggressive tactics tonight? I was downtown from 4:45 to 7:15 or so and was marching down Mass Ave in Cambridge after the Harvard rally and neither time did I see anything even remotely objectionable. According to other reports on IMC, the police were "cool all day." I'm not suggesting that the police weren't cool when I wasn't looking, or when I wasn't involved--so I'd be curious to know if things got worse later in the evening when people marched from Copley. Is that what happened?
storm the highway (english)
20 Mar 2003
copley.jpg
thank you for your caring BALM.

i'm glad the police were there tonight to stop some 'leaders' of the march from channeling the flow from newbury street onto
the mass pike. y'all woulda had a situation on your hands if people has started jumping in front of semi trucks to protest the war. "whose streets? our streets!"

the only confrontation i saw between arriving at copley at 6:40 and splitting off at mass & comm ave at 8:15 was when the police were stopping protestors from parading onto the highway.
bullshit -the cops were cool (english)
20 Mar 2003
bullshit the cops were very cool almost across the board
Motorcycle cop ran over demonstrator (english)
20 Mar 2003
On the local news (either ch.5 or ch.7), it appeared that as the first group left Copley at approx. 7:30-8:00, the police attempted to stop the demonstrators from proceeding down a particular street. (Possible the highway, as was reported above) They actually showed a police officer on motorcycle running over the legs of a demonsrator. Of course, the newswoman said "it appeared that the protester jumped in front of the motorcycle." To me, it appeared like the cops were running over people. Reports were two arrested. But I agree with others who said the cops were cool throughout most of the day. I was only at Copley a short time, but they weren't even noticible until there was only a small crowd left there, when they attempted to clear the street. I wish the cops were like this more often. Looks like they brought in the stormtroopers in Chicago.
aggressive tactics (english)
21 Mar 2003
Modified: 12:51:21 AM
yeah. most of what's been said is in line with my own experience. at one point along the spontaneous march, a number of us attempted to get on the mass pike by pushing through a line of 5-7 semi-riot cops (the ones without faceplates but with those big wooden sticks). we had to do some unarrests, and i saw two people hit/run over by motorcycle cops and at least one person hit in the face with a truncheon (not too hard i think). during that time i heard that people were being arrested elsewhere in the march, but haven't heard anything about it.

in general, the police seemed relatively few in number and really didn't seriously challenge anything we did except the mass pike thing. a few of them were pushing, shoving as early as the march from harvard, but not many. i even heard that there was some disagreement between the police about what to do. it was a very interesting night.

i am sure that things will become more interesting in the near future.
the police where violent (english)
21 Mar 2003
the police attacked several people with clubs when they attempted to get on i95, one officer slapped me in the face.
One kid was hit so hard in the head with a club that the sweat flew off his face. The police also attempted to shove and disrupt the black bloc when the march was starting.
pike ramp (english)
21 Mar 2003
The cops on the onramp SUCKED. I talked to at least a couple people immediately afterwards who'd had their feet run over or were whacked with clubs, but were mostly OK. It was a pretty terrifying situation on all sides, and I wish the mass of us hadn't just taken off that quickly.

Prawnpie, check out what happened in Chicago last night--I heard they took a highway. It's doable. (Although it's much more doable if you have 6 or 7 friendlies intentionally slowing to a halt--hard to time I'm sure!). Although, yes, it was scary for a minute there.

I will admit that Cambridge cops were cool. It was a big relief to reach the other side of the bridge. Boston cops were nasty but seemed to be geared towards appeasing/containing us (but you know what would've happened the second something got broken).
stupid black bloc tactics (english)
21 Mar 2003
Modified: 24 Mar 2003
I saw the motorcycle thing on TV, too, last night, though it went by too fast to tell if the cop intended to hit the kid or they were just squeezed for space, but my main concern is that the black bloc has once again chosen a pointless action against a strategically insignificant target too late in the day to make any difference.

A Pike onramp after 8 p.m.? What're you all, high? You should pay more attention to the current crop of Boston Mobe people. They had the right idea blocking the stock exchange the other day.

You all would be far more effective if you ditched you little macho costumes, looked like regular people, and did a surprise action at some corporation or something. I mean, do you all really think the cops aren't going to figure out who you are with the masks (particularly if they bust you and take them off you anyway)? All they have to do is follow you a couple of blocks after an action and wait for you to take them off. The snap a telephoto picture. Or just follow you home.

The Black Bloc had its day in Europe in the 80s and early 90s. It was most useful as sort of a squat defense militia or anti nazi skinhead squad, or in great numbers as a forward wedge to break through police lines at big demos--or to prevent mass arrests and help unarrest people. Now, at least here in the U.S., the tactic is just a pale imitation of its former self. You're now just a big fat target for government operatives; so you might as well come up with a new schtick.
just for the record-- (english)
21 Mar 2003
there were plenty of people not in the black bloc who tried to get onto that highway; it was actually a pretty diverse crowd. and the decision to approach it was not made by the bloc either--it just sort of happened. i agree with you, 'sage one', to some extent, about the silliness of masks, etc.--but in my (limited) experience with them, even the small, fragmented 'black bloc' on the east coast has a better grasp of march tactics than almost anyone else and an excellent record of taking care of other demonstrators (unarresting them, pulling them out from under horses/motorcycles, and so forth.)

i don't think it's so useful right now for groups to be attacking each other, about tactics or otherwise, but there are also some concerns, as i think you'll admit, about small, 'designer' CD actions of the kind practiced on Wednesday (as opposed to a thousand people actually shutting down the building for a day)--but maybe I'm being unfair, and there were things about that action that were quite impressive.

The impulse to block the highway came, I think, from a desire to actually block something that was being used.
Had the rally gotten to that point earlier in the day, blocking a building might have been a real possibility, but surrounding the federal building at 7PM would have been even more symbolic and less productive. As it is, maybe the state has at least gotten the point that a large number of people are quite serious about stopping the war. Let's not diffuse ourselves with cheap shots at kids who happen to be punks.

--a non-kid, non-punk
Think About What You're Doing! (english)
21 Mar 2003
Modified: 22 Mar 2003
Have you thought about the consequences of taking over a highway? Or any major street in Boston? While you're all out in the middle of the streets congratulating yourselves on the gridlock you've created, what about ambulances and fire trucks that may need to respond to emergencies? They'll be stuck in traffic too. People may be injured in a car accident or experiencing medical difficulty somewhere. Who's going to take responsibilty if the emergency responders cannot respond in time and someone dies? It just might be one of you people that will need help someday. You better hope a bunch of jerks aren't causing gridlock in the city and help can get to you quickly.
Stop acting so smug and arrogant and THINK about what you're doing.
you're way off base (english)
22 Mar 2003
sorry, buddy-- it's our constitutional right to rally and march. what's more, you imply that we're all selfish, heartless hippies (does anyone else see that as an oxymoron?) how can you say that when we're: a) working to save american soldiers' lives, b) working to save iraqi lives, and c) working to make this world a safer, more accepting place for YOUR children. i am THINKING about what i'm doing; maybe you should too, rather than supporting an unelected man who implemented nationalism in our nation, before going into iraq to finish what daddy started. you're supporting a man who thinks the US is the rightful ruler of the entire world... now who's smug and arrogant, joe???
emergency vehicles (english)
22 Mar 2003
Speaking of emergency vehicles, what was up with that fire truck(s?) at about 4:30 on the way to the state house? Were those really responding to an emergency? I was at the front, and people on the street split onto one side or the other to let it through, but people at the back did not. So much for the cops providing for public safety, I guess, but I would hope our own march stewards could let a fire truck through.
What did you expect (english)
22 Mar 2003
What did you expect the police to do if people are trying to walk out onto an interstate highway? Did you think they'd stand back and watch while you risk your own lives and endanger the lives of all the motorists on the highway? Pedestrians on the highway get KILLED. People driving along an interstate at 70 MPH are not expecting a mob of pedestrians to suddenly be in the middle of the road in front of them. Add to this the facts that at the time you were trying to get on the highway Thursday night it was dark and raining. People would have gotten run over, or a serious accident would have happened because motorists would be suddenly jamming on their brakes and swerving to avoid you. A multi-car pileup at 70 MPH would have been ugly. Would any of you have taken responsility for the serious injuries or deaths that may have resulted? The cops who kicked you off the Pike ramp did you a favor. They may have saved your life.
If the cops HAD let you out on the highway and people HAD gotten injured, then everyone would have been blaming the cops for not doing enough.
It seems the cops were very tolerant all day except when people really started to threaten public safety. Then they did their jobs.
What did you expect? (english)
22 Mar 2003
What did you expect the police to do if you're trying to endanger your own lives and the lives of motorists by walking out onto an interstate highway? Did you think they'd just stand there and let it happen or meekly say, "Hey, you guys can't do that"?
Do you realize how dangerous it is to walk out onto a major highway? Pedestrians on highways get KILLED. Motorists driving along at 70 MPH aren't expecting a mob of people to suddenly be in the middle of the road in front of them. Add to this the facts that on Thursday night when you were trying to get out there it was dark and raining. People would have gotten run over, or a serious accident could have happened by people suddenly jamming on their brakes and swerving to avoid you. Would you have accepted responsibilty for the injuries or deaths that might have happened?
The cops did you a favor by kicking you off the ramp; they may have saved your life.
I suspect if the cops HAD allowed people out onto the highway and people HAD gotten injured as a result, everyone would have blamed the cops for not doing enough.
/ the sage one / (english)
22 Mar 2003
just a note: "the sage one" who posted above is not anyone by that actual name. "sage" is an adjective there.

note number 2: "friendlies" on the highway sounds like the superior plan for this kind of thing. smart. dont forget this.
Did you witness arrests at the Day After Marc (english)
23 Mar 2003
Did you witness an arrest at the Day After Emergency Response to the War March?

We desparately need eyewitness reports, photographs and video of any arrests during the Emergency Response to the War march that left from Copley Square at 7pm.

One arrested protestor is facing serious charges and we need your help in building a defense case.

If you saw anything or know of anyone who did please email boguscharges (at) yahoo.com

Thank you