It was looking like a police state out there. I counted 180 cops, and that was mostly along First Street and up in front of Parker Center. There were certainly more on Temple and Broadway.
Undoubtedly, this was in response to last year's demonstration, where dozens were beaten and shot with rubber pellets. This time around, they came heavily armed, with new rifles, colored green; who knows what they shoot? Several police were girded with belts full of silver canisters, again containing unknown product, but I'm guessing they're rubber pellets.
But the people were *peaceful*. Angry, but peaceful. And they only thing the cops got to shoot was surveillance photos for their databases. I'm sure they were angry too, but for different, related reasons. Riot officers don't volunteer for riot duty as community service :-)
The plan was to walk around Parker Center, and the permit planned for a march down First, up Alameda, left on Temple, and back to the police station. It went off without a hitch. Getting back to the stage, the radical crowd was rocked into a pit by a soundsystem blasting Rage Against the Machine and KRS-One, with Jerry Quickly on the mic rapping poetry.
This is a request to everyone. Please post your observations. Also, next time (or at the next event) don't hesitate to call in a quick report to the IMC with information about what's going on. The IMC has volunteers who can keep the website updated with breaking news.
This is good for out-of-town people and people at work to stay updated on the events.