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News ::
The Missing GAP Protest
23 Dec 2000
Police 1...Free Speach 0. Police entirely diffused the GAP protest today and threatened to arrest protesters.
The first thing that struck anyone attending the GAP/Niketown protest today(Saturday 23rd) was: "Where is everyone?" People figured that it was cold and people were traveling to merry xmas destinations but that wasn't the reason for the lack of protest. The key was the police mandate that everyone keep moving. The result was the protest couldn't gain any mass because people arriving went home assuming that noone showed up.

Police were smarter this time arriving early (before protesters) and keeping people moving from the beginning. The protest simply blended in with holiday shopping. Food Not Bombs showed up but was not allowed to put down the food (or be arrested). Arriving they assumed that there was noone to feed. A reporter from MIT radio (I think) showed up and at first couldn't find people to interview. Different groups of people came and left. A couple of anarchists in black clothing were harassed by police (asked for id and wanted to search bag)and told to leave. Later a protester was told something like, "go the fuck home or be locked up!"

This protest was a real eye opener (for me) of how effectively police can shutdown a protest. They basically stretched the law as far as possible to keep people from interfering with xmas shopping. When that didn't work they went beyond the law in intimidating protesters within the law. If this protest happens again it is critical that people stay around and stay together.
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There were only a few successes today
24 Dec 2000
Yeah. I turned the corner of Mass. Ave. onto Newbury at around 1:30 and there was a large van marked, Boston Police Prisoner Movement Unit, you know the one. Then they had cops at Niketown and Gap, both sides of teh stores before any dissenters got there as far as I could tell.

The cops were pissed, why, I don't understand. They could have stood there and not been Asshole all day. There was only 20 people at the max point handing out fliers and the cops were badgering anyone that stopped. Those guys were making $40 an hour to stand there and be fucking Pigs. Why not stand there for $40 an hour and be a nice guy and let people flier? Probaly orders. Boston is old school and tight. The Police Union, the Mayor, the old and new Business Men and Women. They are in serious control of things up here and Newbury St is the UNTOUCHABLE TURF. We need more than 10 people or they just harrass us and in general people are rushing by, some reluctant to even take a flyer. They had a paddywagon parked at the corner, cop cars and the aforementioned van on Newbury and you would think that alone would cause some bystanders/Shoppers to stop and look around. I guess a Police State is normal to them???

The successess you ask? We handed out fliers and reached some people. Hopefully they will spread it around too.

Side Note to above:
A couple of weeks ago I witnessed an undercover bust on Newbury St. At the corner of the Architectural school, just past Newbury Comics. This dude was walking down the street, when all of a sudden, 4 undercovers popped out of unmarked, brought the dude to the ground, cuffed him, stuffed him in the car and drove off. It them about 3 minutes. It was a nice day out, around 4 p.m., pedestrians everywhere. I would estimate that in that time, 40 people walked by, going both ways, on both sides of the streets and I saw 5 notice and stop to look. It was WERID.
newbury st
25 Dec 2000
yes
newbury st is the corporate consumer shopping mall police state mothership. we need to disrupt it and we need more support. those cops were very obvious about protecting business as usual after the ruckus we made last week, we need to think of some new tactic to deal with them (it was interesting, i learned many new things such as the sidewalk is private property, having pins on your bag is a crime, and standing still is most definitely a severe crime against public decency, unless you're a cop standing still to scream in someone's face for sticking up for exploited kids in another country!) anyway, we need more people, we need to increase the pressure, not wither in the face of outright fascism. it's true, newbury st is their home turf, which makes it the most important battleground there could be. i say return to newbury st and return with numbers and plans!
peAce,
~janek
I'll be back
25 Dec 2000
Yes. We should return and do this again. If we can be totally shut down by 10 cops we'll never get anywhere. The failure of Saturday should only make us more vigilant. If you don't come to protest sweatshops come to protest the cops disrespect for free speach.
stuff
26 Dec 2000
wouldn't it make more sense to meet up somewhere else and go there? and, like, pick a location the night before, maybe?
I agree
26 Dec 2000
yeah, you should congregate a group together, maybe meet in the commons, and then arrive together for the protest...if the cops have to make mass arrests, they have to think twice. What are the legal issues of the protest? Do they have any right to harass people for not walking, any basis in law at all?
Where to meet
26 Dec 2000


For future actions on GAP and Niketown it may be best to meet before hand in front of the church at Copely sq, (where the speakers were for biodevestation). It's only about five minutes if that from Niketown and there are always alot of people around so a large group wouldn't be so out of the ordinary.
Legal Basis for Harassment
27 Dec 2000
Response to dinklebat on legal justifications:

I think the cops have legal justification for some stuff. Supposedly the property line for the stores on Newbury is the middle of the sidewalk. The stores are private property so protesters can be asked to stay out. It's somewhat strange because what is the basis for keeping someone off your property when you are an open business. Of course, if a black person was asked to leave a store for being black people would be horrified. But asking someone to leave a store for wearing black or for their political beliefs is ok.

There also seems to be a law that prevents people from obstructing sidewalk traffic. This has been used in the past to keep homeless people moving. The frustrating part is that this is clearly just an excuse to prevent free speach.

The only thing that seems truly illegal is the people that were asked to leave the area or be arrested. Some people who were protesting on the "right" side of the sidewalk and not obstructing sidewalk were still threatened with arrest. This was the real bullshit, but unfortunately police are above the law and in the end can do whatever they want. The best defense might be video since police won't want to violate the law on camera.
What next?
27 Dec 2000
What action do we take next? When is the next protest? Does anyone know??????
mass representation
27 Dec 2000
If another protest happens, I think its pretty clear that they have to arrive as a group or the cops will target individuals to break it up. Bringing cameras is a good idea, if anybody can get legal observers that would definately help, notify the press maybe, they might downplay the protest in their newsbite but them being there makes the police think twice. When the cops understand they will be held accountable for their actions, they have to act accordingly. I don't know if there are plans for another demonstration any time soon (did the mass labor party try to set this up, that's what the stickers said) since it was sort of about targeting the holiday shopping season. All of this information is pretty helpful to keep in mind for future protests. As for letting people in the store regardless of skin color, it might be a little better now, post-60s, but they still keep a clerk eye-ing you if you are black, hispanic, asian, poor, dirty, anybody they consider "shady."
mass representation
27 Dec 2000
If another protest happens, I think its pretty clear that they have to arrive as a group or the cops will target individuals to break it up. Bringing cameras is a good idea, if anybody can get legal observers that would definately help, notify the press maybe, they might downplay the protest in their newsbite but them being there makes the police think twice. When the cops understand they will be held accountable for their actions, they have to act accordingly. I don't know if there are plans for another demonstration any time soon (did the mass labor party try to set this up, that's what the stickers said) since it was sort of about targeting the holiday shopping season. All of this information is pretty helpful to keep in mind for future protests. As for letting people in the store regardless of skin color, it might be a little better now, post-60s, but they still keep a clerk eye-ing you if you are black, hispanic, asian, poor, dirty, anybody they consider "shady."
protest more yay
01 Jan 2001
mass labor party did not set it up, AT ALL, they just like to put their name all over stuff because they are marxists. anywho! it shouldn't be hard to put another one together, and indeed we should, i'm going to email dan denvir (unity11 (at) hotmail.com) an activist whose dedication and work helped a lot in making the first protest come together.