Marina | 23.11.2003 06:01
From what I and others have witnessed in these last days in Miami, the level of violence and repression that the state is prepared to marshal against us as a movement has increased dramatically. Thousands of militarized police, in full riot gear, including electrified shields, tanks, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags, violently arresting peaceful demonstrators, in some cases with tazers, in others at gun point. Combinations of these and similar means have been used, of course, in response to global justice movement actions in the past. What makes Miami different, more frightening, is that all of these tactics were used in the absence of direct action. On Thursday morning, for example, we experienced all of these tactics without even touching the fence. Later in the day and into the evening on Thursday, and then again on Friday, we witnessed police combing the city, searching vehicles, accosting activists, in some cases throwing them to the ground at gun point, some of these including death threats.
Again, the significance of what has occurred is not simply that we have been repressed, brutalized, and criminalized, but that we have been repressed, brutalized, and criminalized based solely on our political identities as actors on behalf of a better world, and not on anything we were able to in fact do.
Repression is not what I want to write about. I want to write instead of how the ways in which we relate to one another reflect the world we are creating, one of direct democracy and spokes councils, of beautiful puppets and theater, of the joy and celebration of life. Repression and brutality, however, is trying hard to interrupt this world under construction. We may not yet live in a police state, in what other direction can we be moving if we have come to a point at which we fear expressing our political views in public because we are fear for our well-being, or for our lives even.
I hope this reflection can help spark the conversations that we will need to have in the coming weeks and months about how we organize and protect one another.
Amor, Imaginacion e Autonomia,