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Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

#media_874;right#
The Heartland G-8 anti-capitalist mobilization drew roughly 50-75 people from various places in the mid-west including people from Arkansas, Des Moines, St. Louis, and Kansas (and others). It was held in Kansas City, Mo with a diversity of groups from KC there to stand together in opposition to the G8 (Group 8) and the Free-Market principles it represents. These principles inevitably lead to environmental degredation, the erosion of worker's rights and social stratification among the poorest of the poor.
While G8 was trying to pat itself on the back with a "proggressive" agenda (namely debt relief in Africa and climate change), people were in the streets all over the world to send clear messages that they know what a sham the G8 is, especially when it tries to address issues that it does so well exacerbating. Kansas City, Mo was just one of the cities that held demonstrations on July 6.

The crowd was a mix of progressives, anarchists, and SEIU members local 1 KC (Service Employees International Union). Other organizations that participated were Kansas Mutual Aid (legal) and Tent State students (UMKC activists). The rally and march was loosely organized by the Kansas City Direct Action Network.

I talked with Clark Brown the SEIU organizer about why SEIU had a presence at the demonstration and he went on to say that they have 3,000 members in the local branch of the SEIU consisting of janitors and other service employees some of whom were present at the march. He spoke about the interconnections involving NAFTA and CAFTA with the G8 and how this affects workers here in America. They wore red t-shirts that had "10 years of Union Summer" on them, I approached Seth Hutchinson (Union) and asked about their significance and he went on to say that Union Summer is funded by the AFL-CIO with the purpose of empowering students and youth to spend their summers campaigning for worker's rights.

Kansas Mutual Aid (anarchist legal collective) was there at the march to do legal observation and they wore green arm bands to distinquish themselves as observers, this would lead to eventual police() brutatlity and harrassment later on ending in the arrests of two members (I will go into that later).

Although Tent Staters were not officially there as an organization they were in attendance to march and show solidarity. Tent State University is a grassroots student/union movement to stop budget cuts to schools (ie workers) that are implimented to divert funds to the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq().

The festivities kicked off on July 5 at MoMo's (art space/community center) with a convergence and meeting which I was unable to attend (working on a farm that day). MoMo's is located right next to the empty shell that was once Crossroads Infoshop, it recently closed down (bummer, I didn't even get to see it when it existed). MoMo's is going to take over a small portion of the library (zines) and keep alive some of the same spirit and ethic, this according to Mott-Ly (one of the owners). Mott-Ly showed me some hospitality when I first showed up in town on July 6th and for that I am very grateful. I mosied around and admired all of the amazing graffiti around the building and the really powerful art inside the gallery. Then Arkansas Indymedia kids showed up and we had ourselves a little hootinanny.

Shortly after our arrival we headed down to Penn Valley Park (firefighter memorial) to meet up with other marchers. The plan was to reconveen at Pioneer Park (downtown) for a rally, which is exactly what we did.

At the rally there were speeches from various participants. Cynthia Stone from SEIU spoke of her disapproval of the G8, Ryan Calway from Kansas City Direct Action gave a well thought out speech on the need to resist G8 and capitalistic entities, and Joe Carr a political activist/journalist who has been to both Palestine and Iraq recently gave an empassioned speech linking the event to the ongoing suffering of peoples from both nations and the world.

After the Rally people walked straight into the intersection and took to the streets. We got about 3/4ths of a mile down the road, then the police showed up with a jar of mase as big as a fire extinquisher and started running after people yelling at everyone to move to the sidewalk. One guy was posturing with his shot-gun. The strange thing about the whole incident was that they didn't arrest anyone until everyone was already on the sidewalk, and they specifically targeted KMA legal collective members who were on the sidewalk at the time. Two members were arrested and five members were maced by the KC police/fascists. The pigs actually stole two bikes from other marchers for no apparent reason besides harrassment. Marchers were rightfully angry and stayed around to haze the police for their obvious harrassment and brutality, then the cops told people that they would start arresting people for "verbal assault" (so much for that whole freedom of speech thing). One of the KMA members was brutalized while in custody.

We regrouped and continued to march onward to the Kansas City Board of Trade building on the sidewalk with a police helicopter following overhead. Street people downtown sympathized and gave us congrats for standing up, while there were others who gave blank stares. We stood outside the building with people beating on painted buckets with tree branches. Then people started to disperse and headed off to the jail to do jail solidarity for the political prisoners being processed. Apparently after the march police arrested one more marcher while making his way back from the Board of Trade building.

At the jail we brought drumsticks and lots of energy to make as much noise as possible (enough for our comrades to hear us from inside). We made signs explaining the situation and everyone who walked and drove by was supportive, with even one guy saying how much he hates both cops and war. We beat on street signs, light poles, buckets, and anything that made a really loud sound. Eventually we rounded up enough $$ to pay the bailbondsman to bail them out after camping out across from the jail/police building for roughly 3 and a half hours.

I left KC just before the scheduled critical mass ride on July 7 with scattered notes and a long list of contact info. The Arkansas Indy-Media kids said they would pick up where I left off and give an update on the KC Critical Mass ride so stay tuned for more indy-media coverage.
 
 

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Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

Pasco: When converting your article to a feature, I accidentally deleted your photo. Can you upload it again please?
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

Thanks for this write up and thanks for allowing me the opportunity to stand with you for this rally!
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

The Pitch's coverage of the event:

Poor Protesters


Leaders of the eight richest nations in the world were meeting in Scotland last week, so naturally that called for a protest in Westport.

After initially setting up in Penn Valley Park, about 50 union representatives, aging hippies and young anarchists came down to the island at Broadway and Westport Road last Wednesday to rebel against the G8 conference. But after a rousing speech about workers' rights in a global economy, things got silly fast.

A man who identified himself as an independent journalist took a megaphone and urged the crowd to stand with revolutionaries in Iraq and Palestine and fight American imperialism.

This made a lot of sense, urging support for jihadists the day before trains were bombed in London. We need more protesters with this sense of timing.

Anyway, after a few more speeches, the small crowd took to the street, heading down Broadway and blocking traffic.

But did Kansas City's finest have to validate our angry revolutionaries by arresting them?

We asked KCPD Capt. Rich Lockhart why a group of 50 sign toters wasn't too small to bother with. Fifty is actually quite a sizable group that can cause a lot of trouble, he replied. We figure that's a fairly sad statement about the level of political activism in our sleepy town.

Maybe if Kansas Citians gathered in larger numbers (and behaved a little less ridiculously), such small groups wouldn't be worth policing.

But Lockhart says numerous warnings were given to the protesters to stop blocking traffic and get on the sidewalk before three were arrested. Others were maced when, Lockhart says, the crowd made a threatening advance against officers.

At least the protest was partly successful: Later, walking away from the uproar, we noticed two middle-aged women jogging in Mill Creek Park who had noticed all the political action. What were they discussing? American fair-trade policy.

Capitalism may suck, but midtown's live theater sure doesn't.




www.pitch.com/Issues/2005-07-14/news/backwash.html
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

The Pitch's coverage of the event:

Poor Protesters


Leaders of the eight richest nations in the world were meeting in Scotland last week, so naturally that called for a protest in Westport.

After initially setting up in Penn Valley Park, about 50 union representatives, aging hippies and young anarchists came down to the island at Broadway and Westport Road last Wednesday to rebel against the G8 conference. But after a rousing speech about workers' rights in a global economy, things got silly fast.

A man who identified himself as an independent journalist took a megaphone and urged the crowd to stand with revolutionaries in Iraq and Palestine and fight American imperialism.

This made a lot of sense, urging support for jihadists the day before trains were bombed in London. We need more protesters with this sense of timing.

Anyway, after a few more speeches, the small crowd took to the street, heading down Broadway and blocking traffic.

But did Kansas City's finest have to validate our angry revolutionaries by arresting them?

We asked KCPD Capt. Rich Lockhart why a group of 50 sign toters wasn't too small to bother with. Fifty is actually quite a sizable group that can cause a lot of trouble, he replied. We figure that's a fairly sad statement about the level of political activism in our sleepy town.

Maybe if Kansas Citians gathered in larger numbers (and behaved a little less ridiculously), such small groups wouldn't be worth policing.

But Lockhart says numerous warnings were given to the protesters to stop blocking traffic and get on the sidewalk before three were arrested. Others were maced when, Lockhart says, the crowd made a threatening advance against officers.

At least the protest was partly successful: Later, walking away from the uproar, we noticed two middle-aged women jogging in Mill Creek Park who had noticed all the political action. What were they discussing? American fair-trade policy.

Capitalism may suck, but midtown's live theater sure doesn't.




www.pitch.com/Issues/2005-07-14/news/backwash.html
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

The Star's coverage of the event:
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

Where the protesters in the street blocking traffic? I saw part of the protest (after the cops came) and no one was in the street. Any pictures?
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

Yes, folks were in the street at one point blocking both lanes of traffic (of course there wasnt really any traffic). There are pics all over this site.
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

From the article: "But Lockhart says numerous warnings were given to the protesters to stop blocking traffic and get on the sidewalk before three were arrested. Others were maced when, Lockhart says, the crowd made a threatening advance against officers."

That's not how I remember things happening, but then again I didn't speak to the Pitch to bash 'radicals' and distance myself from them by making a fallacious statement regarding how the violence began.
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

"That's not how I remember things happening, but then again I didn't speak to the Pitch to bash 'radicals' and distance myself from them by making a fallacious statement regarding how the violence began."

I can't believe anyone in attendance to the event would bash radicals. That is absurd.

By the way - did everyone write the pitch to tell them that their article was awful (the annonymous article - when we all saw the writer from the pitch there)?

And not to defend corporate media by any means - but had a media advisory went out in advance, there might have been a reporter there from the Star (for future reference).

But yea, thanks for the chance to march with some great people I'd never met.
 

Re: Midwest Says No More G8- Report Back from KC G8 Mobilization

Here is an explanation by Chuck of why he deleted one of my posts:

Your post was deleted because it was pro-ISO and because it
contradicted
my factual post about how anarchists are seen as team players. Most
anarchist activism takes place in coalitions and in other groups, much
more so than anarchist activity in explicitly anarchist groups. The
work
that anarchists do in coalitions id widely respected, whereas most
people see the ISO and similar groups as headaches to be avoided.

Chuck

And here was my response:

Is it okay for people on your site to trash political groups but not okay for others to defend them? How is that a "libertarian" editorial policy?

At any rate, my post was not "pro-ISO." What I was questioning was your blanket statement that all activists see anarchists as "team players" and the ISO as "disruptors." Plenty of respected activists groups--e.g. Citizens Alert, Voices in the Wilderness--have worked with the ISO, with anarchists, and with many others. Your statement was not "factual," it was mistaken.

This is really disturbing--do you just delete posts you disagree with? How can you hope to carry on a productive discussion that way?
 

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