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News :: DNC
Complete recap of Monday's March
26 Jul 2004
A detailed recount of Monday's march, minute by minute.
26 July 2004

Black Tea Society March

We arrived at the area of the Boston Commons around 12, but the rally had gotten underway at 10. Music and speakers, but i didn't catch any of their names.
At 12:37, the march started to gather following the rally. Corporate media was swarming everywhere, especially at the front of the march. The police presence was minimal. The march left the park at 12:42, and we had 5 lanes of traffic, despite the fact that there were only around 300 people at the start. The chant at this point was “Police State- Shut it Down.”
The demographics were primarily white youth, with a fairly even gender balance. There were a decent number of crusty punks, other sporting anarchists paraphernalia, a small contingent of Maoists, green party people, and a number of others. By 12:53 we were deep into the shopping district, passing by the Armani store- probably not the best place to bring in new recruits to the march, but definitely fun. “Bombs are dropping while you are shopping.” Most bystanders looked either confused or pissed, and the march was getting pretty spread out.
By 1 pm, we had reached Dartmouth and Newbury, with plenty of cops standing around to guard Nike Town. The march had pretty much separated into two groups, spread out by around 30 yards. At 1:10 while passing by the Prudential Center, one protester dropped to the ground, and needed medical attention. I didn't hear what the actual cause was, but I heard it was heat related. Many people stayed behind to make sure the media did not get any pictures, which was great except that it further stretched the march's numbers. However, most people who stayed with the fallen kid caught back up.
At 1:23 we were back at the Boston Commons, and people's energy started to pick back up. Things had grown quiet, but it got a little more rowdy while we were marching between big buildings and we could get an echo effect. At 1:35 the cops pulled someone out of the crowd, and everyone gathered round, “Let him go, Let him go!”. Turns out the cops decided they had the power to search who ever they wanted. Hopefully someone who got a better view of the goings ons can fill us in on exactly how it went down.
Things went quietly for quite some time, until we reached the Federal Building and we saw the steel barricades for the first time. At state street and Scolley Square there was a group of horse cops and riot cops hanging around, and succeeded in quieting down the crowd through intimidation for a while.
At 2:18 we reached the street the protest pen started on, but as we turned on the street, the organizers stopped the march, and gave a quick speech on how “We refuse to self-incarcerate.” Cops surrounded the group on three sides, and at 2:22 the protesters sat in the street. Corporate media swarmed through the crowd, snapping photos and getting interviews with who ever would give them . The police promptly gave the dispersal order, but never enforced it. The media again swarmed the police commander, who got into a back and forth with an anti-Zionist jewish woman who had been leading many of the chants. While the cops were talking to the media, a mini-rally went on in the street, with one man singing a song called “Shooting at Brown People in the Sand,” and it was outstanding.
By this time, a huge crowd of tourists had formed and were taking all sorts of pictures, and the cops were claiming they didn't want to make any arrests. Truth be told, the police showed remarkable restraint, especially in comparison to how the cops have been behaving lately, such as Miami and Brunswick, Georgia. At 2:30, the cops and legal were still negotiating, and a spokescouncil was called in the street. At this point it was becoming abundantly clear that the march was throughly disorganized, with no one having any idea what we were going to do when we got to the protest pen. During the spokescouncil, many affinity groups had to decide whether to continue on the march, or return to the convergence center or what. The march's numbers continued to shrink the longer we sat around.
Finally, at 2:40 the march started going again, but cops were not letting bikers continue on their bikes, telling them that bikes were not allowed across some imaginary line. Eventually the bikers won the right to ride a couple more block, but were turned away by cops, some forcefully, as we neared the Fleet Center where the Democrats were meeting. The march stopped once again when the cops stopped the bikes the last time at 2:52, and some masked anarchists started playing spin the bottle, then did a repeat of Savannah and played a quick game of Duck, Duck, Goose. The police commander was still making his rounds talking to people, and at one point I overheard him say “Do whatever you want, just don't break anything.” Seriously a far cry from what i was expecting.
At 3:02 certain parts of the corporate media contingent got bored and left, but the march left a minute later and finally reached the protest pen at 3:06. There were National Guardsmen glowering down at us, and the pen itself was amazing. It was about 8 feet high and the same wide. We refused to go in it, and instead did chants and yelled at the democrats from behind the fence, even thought we could barely see through it. People started banging on the fence, and the cops still stayed restrained. Interestingly, the cops decided to form a line in front of the fence, but still didn't even try to stop people from banging on it.
At about 3:18, cops gave dispersal orders, but people still stood around for around another 10 minutes or so, with protesters drifting off, and curious tourists mingling in with what was left of the demo.
At 3:29 a group of delegates came out from the convention, and had to work their way through the protester, and took plenty of verbal abuse in the process. 3:33, and the leftovers of the demonstrators began to move down causeway, the street on which the protest pen was built. By the time we turned off Causeway, the numbers were down to 20 from a peak of around 400, and I took off.
All in all, the march seemed fairly disorganized, which led to a lot of standing around and kept the energy level fairly low, but as far as i know there were no arrests, and the corporate media had a huge presence, making it likely that perhaps some distorted message we were trying to send might make it into their rags.

This work is in the public domain