Posts tagged the ruckus society

repeal prop 8 action

in an ironic twist of fate after my last post, i ended up on an action team to protest the passage of prop 8 last night in san francisco.  there was a mass march planned from civic center to dolores park starting at 5:30pm, and after the march stepped off at 7th and market, 10 of us (after quickly forming an affinity group in 24 hrs), followed the march to 9th and market where we then stopped, linked hands, and formed a human chain across market street, displaying a banner that said, “We Will Not Be Silent: REPEAL PROP 8″.

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our street blockade effectively stopped traffic for several hours, and the energy of the group and the crowd that surrounded us was amazing.  there weren’t more than 30 seconds pause between the endless chants, some tried and true, and some innovated on the spot.  then, just when we were considering an escalation of tactics, the main march came back to join us, and our group led the crowd past the cops, throughout the city, taking over the streets and ending with an occupation of the castro well into the night.  you can read my report of the night’s events on the ruckus society website.

although there were no arrests (the cops behaved in typical SFPD “another day, another protest” fashion, making no arrests as long as things remained nonviolent, which they did), the spirit of the night was empowering for all who participated, and perhaps introduced many to the world beyond permitted marches and rallies, even if just slightly.

below is a really grainy video from my phone during the castro occupation of one of the individuals from our group, yelling “how many people held 9th and market?!” and the group standing up to cheers from the crowd:

when i was asked to support the action and participate in the blockade, i didn’t hesitate.  and while some may find that ironic or confusing, given my stance on marriage, to me this was a grassroots endeavor worth participating in:  an entire section of society (which includes myself) just had some of their rights stripped from them on tuesday, when prop 8 eeked past 50% support in the state-wide election.  although the state (and federal) constitutions may not have ever originally intended to permit marriage rights to same-sex couples, the constitution also never meant to include blacks and women, when it said “all men are created equal”.  they meant white men who owned property.  don’t tell me the word “men” is a shorthand, inclusive term!

so despite the fact that i hope one day state-sanctioned marriage becomes irrelevant, prop 8 has stripped people of their rights through pure discrimination and blatant bigotry, which to me is more important to fight than marriage itself.  our rights are being eroded regularly, and we can’t let one slide, lest we find ourselves under martial law (oh wait…).

adrienne maree brown wrote a heartfelt piece about the hate experienced through the prop 8 campaign.

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Un-Dam the Klamath! IP3 Action in Portland

congratulations to everyone from the klamath river tribes and the klamath justice coalition for their action at the PacifiCorp headquarters in Portland on Thursday, protesting Warren Buffet’s PacifiCorp-owned dams on the Klamath River that are killing off salmon and native ways of life.  ruckus’s IP3 (indigenous peoples’ power project) has been actively training and supporting native klamath activists in strategic nonviolent direct action tactics in their campaign against PacifiCorp/Warren Buffett’s dams. big ups to marty and IP3!

update from marty:  “crowd of about 30 of 100 crossed the line into pacificorp property and staged a die in. Once resurrected 4 gallons of green algae were escorted by the crowd but were locked out of the building in a standoff that lasted about 20 min. The reclaimed space then became a stage for street theater where a 20 foot dam was broken down by a fish puppet.  Riot cops were about to kick in to high gear when the crowd regrouped to hear testimony from community members, tribal officials, elders, and commercial fishermen.  Community members and local supporters felt great about reclaiming space and disupting business as usual on the anniversary of the 2002 fishkill in which 68,000 salmon were killed by the Pacificorp dams…”

read more about today’s action at the pacificorp headquarters here on portland indybay, and here on the ruckus site.

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