Council releases official statement on protests; no word yet on plans for next march
First up, the Herald-Sun has the full text of the council’s position on the matter. It’s not long, but the tldr version is:
- please get a permit if you’re going to block traffic
- please don’t run around wearing masks and breaking shit
- please don’t barge into DPD facilities
Or, as I’d like to even more succinctly summarize it:
- Don’t be a dick
The Council can’t really do anything concrete to enforce any of this, but it’s a gentle reminder that these protests are illegal (and that legal alternatives do exist).
Next, there’s the question of what the future holds for these protests. The first one happened within a week of Huerta’s death, but the following two events were scheduled for the 19th of their respective months – not a coincidence I would assume, as Huerta died on November 19. I imagine that if there is to be a February march, it would also likely be on the 19th.
So far, I see nothing indicating that one is being planned. There are a few places you can keep an eye on if you’re bored:
- The prisonbooks dot info web site. These guys are a Chapel Hill
anarchistgroup [ed - they don't claim to be anarchists specifically, sorry] who has been publishing accounts of the protests. There’s a blog post from shortly after the event which expresses disappointment in the turnout, and seems to imply that another event may not be imminent, with statements like: “It seems likely that for the foreseeable future these monthly street conflicts may die down. The second and third marches were progressively smaller, albeit by a small degree, suggesting a period of rest and recovery.”
- The Facebook page of Rafael Estrada, AKA Rafael Estrada Maya (which appears to be his full legal name, as some media outlets reported in the past) . Estrada created the event pages for the marches and publicized the earlier events on social media. NB: Estrada has since changed the name of his Facebook account to “Hombreranapez Burbujas“
- The Facebook group page for prisonbooks dot info
- The Facebook group page of UNC anarchists, which publicized earlier marches
I really want to go back to something I mentioned in a previous post: if you’ve got a problem with the DPD, for whatever reason, there are much smarter ways to pursue your complaint than by associating with anarchists or others who are intent on committing vandalism. If any of the groups listed above start publicizing an event, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll take over the situation and steer the crowd towards at least property damage and potentially an all out escalation of conflict with the police.
I mean, this is the kind of thing they’re saying:
If a critique can be made of the march at this point, it would have to be that we lacked the numbers or the will to effectively hold ground against the riot cops after the attack at the police station. Choosing to disperse a couple blocks after the attack rather than face a near certain mass arrest was probably the correct decision, but had the social force existed to hold territory in downtown rather than cede it, a new barrier would have been broken.
So when the
anarchists agitators start RSVPing, you might want to bow out – unless you specifically want to pick a fight with the cops, rather than peacefully demonstrating concern over how things are being conducted by the DPD. If you’re looking for a peaceful demonstration, be advised that these guys have very different priorities from you.
EDIT: prison books dot info writes back, to let me know that they don’t identify as an anarchist group. Duly noted above.