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News :: International : Organizing : Politics
Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
20 Mar 2005
Thousands of Bostonians joined actions around the globe today in protest of the continuing occupation of Iraq. Speeches from notable local activists and scholars were interspersed with music and poetry. A wide diversity of class, race, age and political inclination was represented in the crowd, although much of the real energy behind the event and on the stage came from student activists.
Peaceful protest was the norm until late in the day, when violence erupted between police and protestors at the end of an unpermitted march led by City Councillor Chuck Turner. According to reports, a police officer pushed an attendee into a police motorcycle unprovoked. The startled man then turned and spit on the officer. The following melee saw four arrested before Chuck Turner was able diffuse the situation using a bullhorn and some sensible advice on how to proceed in solidarity with the arrestees.

More coverage to come---

All photos copyright Pete Stidman. Use by Indymedia and affiliates permitted- all others must ask permission- all rights reserved.

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
20 Mar 2005
nice pictures pete!
Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
21 Mar 2005
except that the "official" organizers derailed the march and facilitated these arrests by extending the rally to 3 hours, thinning the crowd tenfold and giving the police time to bring in their reinforcements. we could have marched 5,000 strong, instead we were 500.

they did this when they heard they werent getting a permit to march. this was cowardice on the part of the organizers, and courage on the part of everyone who marched. at least we had each other's backs, even if "boston mobilization" and the self-appointed "leaders" of the movement did not.

this war demands a stronger response next time.
Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
21 Mar 2005
This is definitely the last time I show up for anything organized by Boston MOBE, UJP or ANSWER. That rally was ridiculous, and I feel incredibly disempowered by the empty posturing that was on hand all day yesterday. Yeah, we're such a strong and powerful voice against war. Does everyone feel good about themselves? Do you feel like you did your part "raising your voice" against war so you could home with a clean conscience? Do you feel "strong"?

The rightwing is right. This "movement" is a joke. Until people are willing to step out of their comfort zones and make a real stand of defiance, we deserve every defeat handed to us by the right. We deserve every bit of humiliation. We deserve to feel as powerless as we really are. Fuck.
Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
21 Mar 2005
To Anarchist:

Dude you are so polarised it is sick. What's wrong?

Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
21 Mar 2005
Sorry dude, just speaking my mind.

I am from a working lcass background and never attended college. I have been an activist for years. I have been to countless protests, been tear gassed, maced, beaten, and jailed. I participated in teach-ins, forums, marches, picket lines, non-violent civil disobedience, and full on riots.

Unfortunately, I am starting to feel very tired and demoralized by it all. And it's not my politics that are wavering. I still am unwavering in my anarchism.

I just question the sincerity, committment, and strategic sense of many of my so-called allies.

Honestly, if you feel alienated by my polarizing "bad vibes" tough shit. Deal with it. I've had to deal with years of alienation in a radical/progressive movement that is so dominated by privileged middle class people and their values, indulgent activist clowns, and lifestyle fadists. And it only gets worse with time. I am sick of it.
Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
21 Mar 2005
Anarchist is not the only one who feels that way; in fact her/his opinion represents many many people. The antiwar "movement" in many ways is a joke, "activists" spend all of their time attending self-important rallies which don't get anything accomplished instead of writing letters, holding teach ins, and creatively resisting; and the self-appointed "leaders" of the "movement" (many of whom I've worked with and personally know) are only involved with their own egos and image.

It stinks that we can't just take this criticism and admit we have problems instead of silencing internal dissent; the fact that we can't take criticism is proof of the fact that our egos, and not the movement, are central to all of this.

And I think that stinks- I have better, more effective things to do than be part of ego masturbating.
Re: Thousands attend anti-war rally in downtown Boston- photos
21 Mar 2005
Thanks. I am sure I could come up with more detailed and constructive criticism, but after yesterday I don't feel up to it and honestly don't care if I offend some of the 'nicer' activist's sensibilities. Sometimes people need to be challenged with some stone-cold honesty spoken from the gut.

I recognize that social movements are very much shaped by objective social conditions. Comparatively, the United States is an affluent society. There is poverty, unemployment, racism, sexism and exploitation everywhere you look. But it is managed in way that doesn't bring mass dissatisfaction to as boiling point. Much more so than most countries. And obviously there is the influence of the media and rightwing cultural hegmony too.

So I expect some level of affluence to reflected in our social movements (fuck's sake, even the bulk of labor movement has college-educated middle class people calling the shots!). I also expect many people to reflect the already existing marginalization cast on us by sinking further into subcultures (anarchists definitely included) and self-indulgent rebellion.

But yesterday was just too much for me. It was like a circus of everything I hate about leftist circles all out in full force. I saw many ordinary people check out the rally and walk away either confused or in disgust.

If I have to pass a fucking hippy drum circle, some droning Buddhists, some animal rights kids telling me about the plight of Chinese bears, and be assaulted by someone shoving a copy of Workers Vanguard in my face to get to a muddy patch of grass to hear five hours of depressing speeches and see all sorts of middle class liberals patting themselves on the back for a job well done... well fuck, I just can't do it anymore. I've reached a breaking point. I agree with alot of the people who snicker at when we march by them: SOME OF YOU SHOULD SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET A JOB AND CHALLENGE YOUR PRIVILEDGES BEFORE YOU PREACH A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT TO OTHER PEOPLE. There, I said it.

And this is from someone with years of participation in left social movements and political circles. Someone who idenitifies as an anarchist, and is sympathetic to all movements against oppression and for liberation and social justice. Someone who isn't content passively talking about a better world being possible, but actually ready to fight for this world.

So basically, fuck, if people like me are being pushed away from progressive/radical movements, well that's a pretty sad state of things and it says nothing about all the yet-to-be-politicized people we are trying to appeal to.
disappointment and a bit of hope!
22 Mar 2005
I came to the rally sunday hoping to get out on the streets and march, because that's where we have more power. Not in a park that we got a permit to be. I waited for hours with others, for the rally to end and a march to start. I was standing there with a group who was ready to go, but there were not nearly enough people to keep such a march going. I talked to so many people, they were willing to march, but the rally just kept going and going. When it was finally done, alot of people left. We did finally get the march going, but we were directed by the police. They blocked us. I hope for next time we can learn from Sunday. Mobalize sooner, with more force, and direct where we want to go. More people! more unity! more strength!