Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Starhawk's RNC post 5: A Spiral Dance in the Streets
Hey friends, first, thanks for all the support you’ve been giving us. For those who have made calls about the permibus, thank you! They’ve been very effective and we’re making some progress toward getting it back. Keep them coming! If you’ve tried to donate and can’t get through, here’s a corrected link: http://www.earthactivisttraining.org/donate.html
The phone info, again, is:
Phone: (612) 673-2100 or
call 311 or call (612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis.
Also call the Ramsey County Sheriff
Sheriff - Bob Fletcher 651-266-9300
and demand the immediate release of the Permibus.
Our whole cluster is safe—one person was arrested but is out of jail. My account begins below and will continue later today when I get a bit of time to write.
A Spiral Dance in the Streets
Monday morning: we gather up with the cluster at the beginning of the march. We meet early, on a quiet space near the Korean War Memorial at the Capital, where ghost soldiers hover around us, reminding us why we are there to protest war.
We had planned to march as a cluster and then, after, join the blockades in the streets that would attempt to disrupt the beginning of the convention. But all plans have changed, as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast. The Republicans have condensed their convention, canceled Bush and Cheney’s planned speeches, and moved the timing to earlier in the day. We have moved up our timing as well, in order to intercept the delegates.
Why do we want to interrupt their convention? For me, the answer is simply this: Bush, Cheney and by extension the party that supports them have violated their public trust. They lied to bring us into a war that has cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. And no one has held them accountable. The Democrats refused to even consider impeachment, although both of them have committed grave offenses. The Democrats have continued funding the war even while speaking against it. The political process has not brought reckoning for the lives they have destroyed and the resources they have squandered. So we will, directly, by putting our own bodies in the way of their immediate ends and goals.
Our cluster is deeply committed to nonviolence. We see nonviolent direct action as a powerful form of magic, of consciousness change. When we commit to nonviolence, we say, “Violence stops with me. I might receive it, but I won’t pass it on. I won’t inflict it, or resort to it to make my point.” When we commit to direct action, we say that we won’t wait for someone else to redress a wrong for us—we will do it ourselves in some way, if only by interposing our bodies into its operations and interfering with its ends.
But we’re also aware that not everyone who will be in the streets shares our philosophy or our goals. The police, and the Republicans, certainly have no commitment to nonviolence. So we are very tightly organized. We each have a buddy. We have scouts who can roam around and bring us back information. We have a medic and a person who will compile any needed information for the legal team. We have a flag to follow, for those willing to enter situations of more danger, and another flag for those who want to stay more safe. Those who do not want to risk either arrest or the other consequences of action will stay with the march.
We circle up, sing, put protective circles around us, bless each other. Then a small group heads off for the march, and about twenty of us head into the streets.
Ahead of us Funk the War, a group of several hundred young people who roam the streets with portable sound machines--direct action by dancing and sheer exuberance. We want to stay a bit away from them—love the kids, hate the sound system, which makes it impossible for us to drum or sing or do the things we do to raise power. Following on their tail, we find ourselves on the edge of a mass of people trapped in an intersection, with riot cops closing in behind. We see an escape route, but we also see an open space in front of the line, and decide to run in and begin a spiral dance. We’re singing “Rising, rising, the earth is rising, turning, turning, the tide is turning” and spiraling in front of the bemused cops, weaving in and out with some of the kids joining us and a hundred cameras clicking away, and when I look up, the riot cops have moved off. Just like magic.
It’s the first victory of many—but now the tension between living life and writing about it has reached crisis point, and I’ve got to go off and play with the grownups today at the Peace Island Conference. So this account will resume later.
Below are all of the DemiOrator posts containing Starhawk's reports from the 2008 Republican National Convention:
Starhawk's RNC post 1: On the Bad Side of Town
Starhawk's RNC post 2: Raid on the Convergence Center
Starhawk's RNC post 3: New Moon Ritual
Starhawk's RNC post 4: Police Seize Permibus
Starhawk's RNC post 5: A Spiral Dance in the Streets
Starhawk's RNC post 6: Emergency Calls Requested
Starhawk's RNC post 7: Dancing with Delegates
Starhawk's RNC post 8: Peace Island and Poor Peoples’ March
Starhawk's RNC post 9: Updates on Thurs, 4 Sept 2008
General Info about Starhawk's RNC Posts