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A Black Bloc's view of last night's police riot

by Left Out Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 6:02 PM

As an individual in the Black Bloc I felt that the police showed its true colors last night with the indiscriminate gassing and shooting of the people.

I want to preface this article by saying this represents only my views and not necessarily the views of the rest of the Black Bloc.

Yesterday, from the early morning the police were egging for a fight. The police marched alongside us while giving us ominous looks that would foreshadow the tone for the rest of the day. Unlike the day before the police blocked the paths out of The Cage creating an atmosphere of even more tension. I think there was an attempt to break that tension by the Black Bloc's playing of Duck-Duck-Goose.

On our way back, some protesters had a direct action and the cops divided us from these brave comrades. We attempted to move forward to be with them but the police violently pushed us back. This practically created a running stampede. The cops pointed their paintball guns directly into our faces, too. The cops were practically asking for a standoff.

At Pershing Square protesters waited for the next march. The Black Bloc decided to stay at the Square until protesters came back for the final march in order to save our energy. Cops were surrounding Pershing Square with lines of riot police, bicycle cops, and filming us from a close distance away. I felt that at that time no matter how the protesters reacted the cops were going to shut us down during the concert rally.

We arrived at the Staples Center around 6 PM as the police surrounded us, intimidating us. The cops are the ones with the guns, tear gas, helmets, and other weapons while we have nothing but our bodies. The corporate media criticizes the Black Bloc for its masks and other supposedly intimidating tactics while the truth remains that the fascist repressive apparatus has the lethal weapons.

Being trapped in this cage with cops surrounding us did not make protesters feel safe. There were some protesters that did not feel that they were going to let this pass without some kind of statement. For better or worse there were some plastic water bottles thrown over the fence and police responded with pepper spray pellets, injuring many comrades. More things were thrown over such as rocks of dirt, protest signs, and a kind of smoke bomb. After some time, the cops turned off the electricity to the cage and ordered dispersal. It wasn't enough time for everyone to get out and many protesters were hit with rubber bullets, pepperspray and batons. Most of them were hit while running AWAY (including an 11 year old)!

The fact is, the police exist in order to protect capitalist's property as well as the interest of the rich, in general. It is systemic so that even if a cop feels that the police are overreacting they must follow orders. However, we could see in the eyes of the cops how much they detest us. We are a real threat to them. Why did they react to plastic bottles being thrown while at the LA Lakers "riot" they did nothing? Again, it is because we are a real threat to the status quo. My belief is that we must uncover the true blue of the police, especially a police department such as the LAPD. The LAPD has beaten, killed, and planted evidence against mostly people of color and the poor. It is high time for them to understand that we refuse to put up with this abuse any longer.


From the Police State known as the City of Angels,

Left Out

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