2011-12-01 "Black Bloc and indigenous peoples disrupt the ALEC Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona"
"We found love in a hopeless place..."
On November 30, 2011 (the 12th anniversary of the WTO shutdown in Seattle) a group comprised of indigenous peoples (Akimel O’odham, Tohono O’odham, Hia-ced O’odham, and Dineh), anarchists, unitarians, ‘occupy’ers, etc. (identities that are not mutually exclusive!) came together to disrupt the American Legislative Exchange Council State and National Policy Summit. We did this on stolen/occupied Akimel O’odham land and seek nothing less than absolute decolonization and the destruction of capitalism, racism, patriarchy, heterosexism and the state (for starters).
A group marched at 8 am from a nearby park to the monstrous Westin Kierland resort where state senators from all over the US and multinational corporations (such as Corrections Corporations of America, Geo Group, Taser International, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, Inc, Peabody Coal, Koch Industries, etc.) were meeting to draft new legislation and compare bank accounts while laughing over martinis about genocide, poverty, putting humans in cages, and ecological destruction (or whatever those assholes do at such functions) .
This is the same racist group that wrote AZ SB1070. As the march arrived at both of the two main entrances it merged with a fierce black bloc that came storming in from another street chanting “Shut Alec down!” The crowd of approximately 250 people cheered wildly for the bloc and met them with overwhelming support. The police scrambled as the crowd blockaded the entrance and the block pushed towards the conference center. Many of the legislators and corporate bastards were attempting to arrive right as the blockade formed.
The whole scene lasted from roughly 9 am to 1 pm and was successful in many ways. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer gave the keynote address at 11:30 am while riot police flooded the resort and militarized the periphery and much of the grounds, disrupting their fascist function. Guests had to be escorted in and were unable to access the resort from the west entrance. The black bloc had been quickly attacked by the riot pigs, but held their ground with large, reinforced banners as shields. As the pigs attacked hoards of others mixed in and supported the bloc. The pigs pepper sprayed much of the bloc repeatedly and each time the crowd responded impressively. Small fortresses were created out of bodies and banners to protect the black bloc’ers that had been intensely sprayed in the eyes. Medics attended to them while others hid their identities from pigs, undercovers, media, and any other camera. Many cameras were forced away while those who disrespected the boundaries were promptly told to fuck off. It was inspiring to see how many different people were committed to hiding the faces and identities of the black bloc’ers. At one point a group of elderly, religious folks were circled around one hurt black bloc’er keeping cameras and wandering eyes out. Anarchists not in bloc also held the line side by side with indigenous elders. They were committed to having each others’ backs and making sure that the racist, colonizer pigs were not able to harm these respected elders. Unfortunately, one elder was injured and was taken to a nearby hospital (only after a police chief interfered with the street medics’ treatment).
The bloc rotated in and out and kept a fierce line despite the continual attacks. The crowd got behind booming chants of “From AZ to Greece, Fuck the Police” and quickly overpowered a colonial chant of “Occupy forever. Never give it back!”with “DECOLONIZE!” A radical marching band stepped up and placed themselves strategically in between two rows of riot police, strengthening the shutdown of the entrance, and also pumping people up with songs that were actually good! (Who knew?!)
By the afternoon 8 people had been arrested, some of which were targeted. The pigs continued to flood the area, while two helicopters circled overhead. It must have been the most interesting morning the boring, rich-fucks of Scottsdale have had in years! We took great pleasure in taking the battle to their turf and we found unexpected comrades there.
As the group returned to the park nearby (continuing to be a beautiful eyesore on the disgustingly sterile neighborhood) the riot cops followed and encircled the park where they proceeded to try and pinpoint people in the crowd. Those in need were protected and removed while others regrouped and marched again on the grounds with a fresh black bloc and an almost entirely new crowd for more ruckus. Additionally, a jail solidarity march commenced shortly thereafter in downtown Phoenix. As of December 1st all arrestees have been released and the injured elder is scheduled to be released from the hospital.
This piece is only report back from the Summit. There was at least one solidarity action in Oakland confirmed. There are various rumors of other disruptions that will be publicized as they are confirmed. Attack the root!
Solidarity with all those living insurrectionary lives! O’odham solidarity! Dineh solidarity! San Juan Copala solidarity! Xayakalan solidarity! Oakland solidarity! Miner solidarity for Peru and Indonesia (where workers are on strike, halting operation for Freeport McMoran)! Solidarity with all those whose movement is thwarted by prison bars and borders, yet continue to resist!
Photos from Scottsdale:
Photos from Oakland Solidarity rally: