US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | View comments | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
Commentary :: Organizing
Anarchy in the Hub
12 Dec 2004
The Bad Seed Report


Anarchy in the Hub
What's wrong with peace, love and understanding? For the
anarchists in Boston, quite a bit.

Anti-war protests, I’ve been to plenty. And when it comes to making copies,
the bullhorn and brickbats crowd can take on Xerox any day.

Same impassioned poster board pleas. Same paranoia-ridden, lysergic-
driven rants. Same mixed up, muddled up messages - Liberate Palestine.
Love your Mother. Lend me a dollar. But this one was different. For me at
least, this one signaled a change, a growing division between the believers
in the ways of the Woodstock Nation and the culture-jamming disciples of
Tyler Durden.

The day: Saturday, December 3, 2004. The time: 2:59 p.m. The place:
Copley Square.

I had just walked out of the downtown library, and I found myself in the
middle of a protest. I hadn’t come to be a part of the protest nor to observe
it. For some reason, I had gotten a wild hair up my ass to pick up a copy
the Marquis de Sade’s “120 Days of Sodom.”

I’ll be the first to admit I’m desensitized. What with Boston Herald covers, and front page pictures of Mistress Lyndie and the
other doms at Abu Ghraib testing the boundaries of the master/slave
relationship, it’d been a long time since I was shocked by anything. I was
looking for a jolt.

The marquis did his best, but the subject matter wasn’t erotic in any way. It
was surgically frank and about as arousing as listening to Geritol-popping
sexpert Sue Johanson wax on and wax off about rabbit pearl vibrators and
double-pronged dildos. However, I did find it amusing. In fact, I’d go as far
as to call it pure comedy gold, comparable to blue-period Redd Foxx. I
recommend it, but be warned: gas is passed, piss is drunk and most of Old
McDonald’s Farm is buggered.

But neither Sanford nor Sade has anything on the chap behind me. Even
though he has a stud through his upper lip, he apparently has a thing for
Bon Jovi, and he wants to declare his devotion to the world. He starts with a
verse and sings right through to the arena-rocking chorus: “Whoa, we’re
halfway there. Whoa, we’re living on a prayer.” His friends join him briefly
but soon grow tired of karaoke night at Copley Square.

At first I take his affection seriously, and as such, chuckle to myself, but it
becomes apparent his “American Idol” moment is itself a form of protest, a
sneering indictment of the peace lovers across Copley Square preaching
sweet dreams and picket-line sleepwalking as the means by which to catch
the attention of the big men in the boardroom stroking their stock options
and diddling their 401(k)s and the little men in the living room huddling
around their plasma screen TVs living vicariously through Direct TV and

Noticeably frustrated at his threatening-as-a-British-Bobby-with-a-billycub
brothers across the way, the Bon Jovi fan peddles over to his likeminded
comrades – the anarchists. With their black clothes and mouth-covering
bandanas, they’re part Bauhaus, part Cobra Guard.

Fashion statements aside, you have to give the anarchists credit for their
willingness to take protesting to a level the peaceniks, with their double-
decaf, soy lattes and Phish-sticker covered Volvos, have forgotten about –
the sort of in-your-face offensive favored by Abbie Hoffman and his Yippie
brothers and sisters. They at least try to provoke.

Two hold aloft signs that read, “Victory to the Iraqi Resistance.” Another
brandishes an Adbusters-approved American flag in which the stars have
been replaced by corporate logos – Nike, Disney, McDonalds, etc…. One
wears a paper mache skull over his face. Another plays a plastic bucket
like a drum. A boombox plays “Fight the Power.”

However, even among the anarchists there appears to be some dissention.
The matter of division: what to do about their pacifist-minded, Hobbit-weed
smoking kinsmen. A girl with a bullhorn tells the group they need to unite
with the others across Copley Square. Bon Jovi, for one, disagrees, and he
lets his feelings be known. He says, “How about we unify in the streets.”
The girl replies, “We’re not going to have any provocation here. I don’t
want anyone to get arrested.”

The “Slippery When Wet” fan isn’t too pleased. He wants action, not words.
Which is about all that Max Yasgur’s young ‘ens have.

One by one, speakers take the stage. One by one, they plead their case
against the war and George W. Bush. No one is particularly inspiring. No
one is particularly threatening. That is if you ignore the anarchists who
slowly make their way to the pit in Copley Square. Their presence is felt like
a canker sore.

The peaceniks soldiers on, attempting to regain control over the protest.
One speaker, a man in a green jacket tries to give rabblerousing a shot.
His jacket is supposed to appear Army but in reality it looks Old Navy. He
leads the crowd in a chant of “Fuck George Bush.” The crowd responds
enthusiastically. However, I’d be willing to bet it has less to do with political
opinion and more to do with Carlin’s Dirty Seven.

Finished with dropping F-bombs, the speaker then congratulates himself
for the inspired message. “Fuck George Bush,” he says, “how can I top
that?” Unfortunately, he tries, launching into a Der Fuhrer fury of Mean Mr.
Dean screams.

The anarchists aren’t buying it. For them, it’s performance art. It’s Ashlee
Simpson on “SNL.” One yells mockingly, “Argh. I’m so angry.” Another
says, “Blah, blah, blah.”

The Hitler Youth cools down and hands the microphone to a more subdued
comrade, one who is well aware the natives are getting restless.

The new speaker possesses all of the nerdy earnestness of Charles Martin
Smith, and he’s ready to teach the kids a lesson in the proper way to start
a revolution – you lecture and wave your finger disapprovingly. “Today is
not about getting arrested,” he says. “The war won’t end today. It will take
time.” An anarchist shouts back, “Stop being afraid.”

As Chuck reaches the height of his speech, the anarchists gather together
in the pit, staring straight ahead at the speaker. They unveil a banner. It
reads: Disarm the state. The sign includes a little anarchist (A) in “disarm.”

The Glee Club knows something is up. There is a collective tension among
the line of speakers at the lip of the pit and the listeners below. They know
the anarchists are about to do something.

In the end, what the anarchists do is really nothing at all - they leave. As
one, they march across the pit in Copley Square toward the oatmeal soap
and homeopathic cure-all crowd, giving the group a collective “fuck you.”
The anarchists believe that protesting is all well and good, but sometime,
well, you just have to break the law. And in this case that means parading
the streets with out a permit.

As the anarchists pass by their anti-war minded brothers and sisters, a
distraught peacenik shouts at them, “Don’t turn your back. Please come
back,” to which one of the men in black counters, “Anybody who is serious
to the streets.” A hippie adds, “Get a job.”

Approximately 30 minutes later, the anarchists return. Their fellow
protestors have abandoned Copley Square. The anarchists know the fight
against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq cannot be given up so
easily. Innocents are dying every day. They need our support.

And the anarchists provide it. For an additional 20 minutes. Thirty tops.

chris (at)
See also:

This work is in the public domain
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.


Re: Anarchy in the Hub
12 Dec 2004
...i think my head just exploded.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
12 Dec 2004
boho pomo toy journalists should save their uninformed critiques for their fellow salonieres, and leave the politics to all of us who won't be allowed to run off and play tragically hip expat in some unfortunate eastern european country when shit gets too hot here at home because assholes like them never lift a finger to improve society when it actually matters--preferring to instead take a holier-than-thou "plague on all your houses" arch and oh-so-ironic stance on any issue or event smacking of reality. . .until reality gets up and smacks them upside the head one day not too long from now. . .of course, by then we might not be around to save their freedom to be the waste of pixels and hot air they are today
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
12 Dec 2004
seriously. get over yourself.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
12 Dec 2004
You're a genius, we all know it; heck everyone knows it, especially you. From Sade to Carlin, the range! And to think that all it took to summon forth this masterpiece was a piddling little Copley antiwar counter-protest! My question is, when the mind is racing like it's about to explode, with one idea of genius spawning another and another and yet another, how to get it all down, so as not to lose a word of it? Laptop? Palm Pilot? Crumpled up Dunkin' Donuts napkin? Tell us, what's your secret?
Re: Anarchy is the hub
13 Dec 2004

Play the day away while the world rages around us.

huh well i bet you had fun writing your rather witty summary of events eh senor?
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
The world does not rage around us, my friends. Unless by rage you mean something akin to the temper tantrum thrown by a child on the candy aisle when his mom refuses to buy him sweets. Not to minimize today's troubles, but please put our present ills in perspective. As for the part that you and yours may play in curing those ills, that remains to be seen, but as long as there exist such divisions between organizations, divisions caused by inflexible idealogies and the fight for owership over the movement itself, then the future promises more small rallies hidden from public view and attended only by a likeminded choir. Set your differences aside.
And lighten up. Life is just too dreary without a few laughs.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
i hope you aren't suggesting that anarchists are "fighting for ownership". ha
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
I hope you aren't suggesting that anarchists are above fighting for ownership. Cherish your idealism.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
worst article ever...
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
oh yeah, and you wrote that thing on pretending to be a bum, too, right? weak.

i think you should stick to writing fiction/philosophy, you kind of sound like a jerk covering real events.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
Sound like a jerk... come on, you have to give me more credit than that. I am a jerk.
But seriously, no one has questioned the legitimacy of what I reported here, or previously in the bum story. You may disagree with my point of view, the fanciful color commentary... fine, but the reporting is accurate. While I believe by and large that the article portrayed the anarchists in a positive light, as opposed to their more timid brothers and sisters, I must say that I find it troubling that the individuals that have posted here, that appear to be of an anarchist bent, seem to care so much. I would have thought that an anarchist would view the world with at least a small amount of cynicism, and as such, would not be driven by idealistic, surreal world passions. Free Mumia.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
13 Dec 2004
Right on, vague insults and random attacks that have no factual backing make you look real smart. Great job reporting. Do you work for the Herald?
Boston has no anarchist movement.
13 Dec 2004
Just cops pretending to be anarchists.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
Oh wow. This is the bum story guy. What a fucking loser. Found a job yet? I have an idea: you can take it to the next level and go "volunteer" at a "battered" women's shelter, and then write up a hilarious account for the Dig. It's the kind of stuff they're looking for. Haw haw!
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
MJ, thanks for the suggestion. Will you be there?
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
i don't quite see what you are trying to accomplish with this article. there is no constructive criticism i can really find in this article, just a denouncement of your own, personal experience within a protest.

it could have been a potentially good article, because it does feel as if rallies and marches in boston are completley ineffectual. but all you have served to do is insult the entire activist community of boston.

it does not seem as if you are trying to help.
Comments prove the scummy nature of Boston's anarchist movement.
14 Dec 2004
Look at all the back stabbing, finger pointing, writer bashing and downright nastiness. No wonder Boston's anarchist movement is considered a joke to the rest of the world. No anarchist in her right mind would stick around Boston for long. Who else get's escorted at protests by the police, communicates with the police online, allows the police to fling shit at other anarchists on Boston IMC, and supresses the publication of photos of real cops infiltrating Boston events?

Boston is the slime at the bottom of the anarchist frog pond.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
I personally find your hipper-than-though remarks amusing, though i would suggest you step off your pedastol. There's a reason that a writer with your talents is still posting his rag to indymedia.
Pete thinks he's dialoging with the author
14 Dec 2004
Um, Pete, try contacting the author. I ain't him.

What anarchist are you pretending I am? Why? Running out out of carnage or something?
Analysis of Pete's Comment
14 Dec 2004
"There's a reason that a writer with your talents is still posting his rag to indymedia."

I did some research on bullying at some point in the past. This is the kind of comment bullies makes. It creates the false impression that there "is something" behind the statement when it is vacuous. It's like the statement "I've talked with your friends and they all think you're shit too." This kind of comment can easily be thrown out into the discourse without backing it up, but it creates the illusion that there is something to it, even when there is nothing.

Cops do this too.

While I'm at it, be a man Pete and spill the beans. Who are you backstabbing and what is the "reason" you insuate? Be a man, Pete, do share with us your beliefs.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
An even more lothesome form of passive-aggressive attack in print is to ask someone to refute charges of some horrendous nature -for example: "Mayor Menino, is true that you bugger dogs while reading Danielle Steel?," to which the mayor replies, 'No,' and the questioner gets to report, "The mayor denied charges that he does not bugger dogs while reading Danielle Steel," therefore implying to the reader that the mayor does in fact bugger dogs and read Danielle Steel.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
Wasn't reffering to you Amused.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
stop stop stop, you all sound like idiots
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004
I think Chris should hook up with Flipside. and Haters Mag ( could merge. They'd both look like they actually had content and there could be a "creative synthesis"of thier similar styles--both of which rely primarily on mocking easy targets and overcompensating.
Re: Anarchy in the Hub
14 Dec 2004