[sixties-l] Fwd: Philly Anarchists Stay a Step Ahead of Cops

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Aug 07 2000 - 23:47:12 CUT

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    >Published August 2, 2000
    >villagevoice.com exclusive
    >Philly Anarchists Stay a Step Ahead of Cops
    >Cat and Mouse
    >by James Ridgeway
    >PHILADELPHIA, August 2The big difference between the
    >tumultuous demonstrations in the streets of Chicago during
    >the 1968 Democratic convention and the rolling guerrilla
    >maneuvers yesterday evening in the streets of this GOP
    >convention city is machine-age technology.
    >In Chicago, protesters stood amidst National Guard troops
    >and flashed signals back and forth to supporters in hotel
    >windows. Yesterday, the demonstrators were organized in
    >distinct groups based on political priorities, but were in
    >minute-to-minute contact through cell phones. Reporters
    >could follow the action by contacting a demonstration hot-
    >line where operators, sounding like taxi dispatchers, rattled
    >off the fast-changing actions: "Sixteenth and Chestnut is
    >still happening. Wait a sec. Now it's at 12th and Arch.
    >Twelfth and Arch. The cops are moving in. Go there."
    >The police tactics, too, are far different. So far, cops have
    >been relatively restrained, sometimes even collegial. When
    >one group of bike-riding anarchists, dressed as horses, rode
    >toward the raucous demonstrations at City Hall, one of the
    >costumed pedalers crashed. Half a dozen police officers in
    >riot gear then surrounded the "horses" and helped the fallen
    >protester to his feet.
    >Police are working in traveling squads of cyclists, swishing
    >through Center City like riders in the Tour de France. Yesterday
    >the bike cops were doing much of the arresting, while mounted
    >police worked to corral the crowds. Whenever protesters managed
    >to take over a block and stop traffic, a line of a dozen cop
    >cars, sirens wailing, raced through the city to block the
    >streets. Police on horseback, arms raised in a signal to attack,
    >pushed the demonstrators back. The squads of bike cops quickly
    >followed, wading in to make scattered arrests.
    >Overhead, four or five news helicopters vied for a look. Spotters
    >dotted the horizon, peering down from building tops.
    >Unlike their predecessors in Chicago, these demonstrators function
    >for the most part in highly mobile guerrilla-warfare formations,
    >appearing suddenly with whoops and yells amidst the ever-present
    >black and red of the anarchists, and then disolving into the crowds
    >as the police move in. Many are themselves riding bikes, which
    >helps them stay one step ahead of the thick blue line.
    >When a phalanx of black-clad figures blocked a police van carrying
    >prisoners, hundreds of demonstrators fell into skirmish formation.
    >The police, caught off-balance, turned around traffic to open the
    >road, and brought in mounted cops. But before the mounted police
    >could move forward, the demonstrators had backed away, leaving the
    >police confronting dozens of television cameras whose hubbub spooked
    >the horses.
    >While the conventioneers and most of the 15,000 journalists who are
    >covering them move from one meeting to another, the demonstrators
    >are accompanied by their own media entourages, which broadcast over
    >radio, on the Web, and in print.
    >Tell us what you think.

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