PITTSBURGH: Building Capacity Steadily (Report-Back from 04.17)

Anonymous submission received on 04.18.21

Take Enthusiastic Walks With Your Friends

Building Capacity Steadily

On a brisk but lovely Saturday afternoon, some friends gathered in a park. We stood chatting and waited for more friends to arrive. Some rode bikes. Many carried backpacks. Of course, we all wore black.

First we gathered and shared among each other stickers, zines, and other printed material. Conversations about topics large and small, the news, the weather, etc. Eventually our group moved east down the park and did a grounding exercise. Immediately following we commenced an enthusiastic walk.

The ways that enthusiasm entered the world are familiar. The state continues to kill at will. At this point, we are literally chanting “I don’t want to say another motherfucking name” because of how many people have been murdered by police.

We walked in the street, even on more trafficked roads like Penn. Our route generally followed a meandering loop that ended back in the park where had started. At that point, people scattered like seeds.

Some takeaways:

We engaged with pedestrians and some of the drivers of the cars we passed. Police abolition remains a topic that people have Strong Opinions about. Bring zines! Literature passed to an onlooker might stay with them longer than your conversation.

Stay mobile! We put the juke shoes on to try to elude a small detachment of motorcycle cops. Getting down alleys, turning off of main streets only to pop out ahead of the cop trying to get in front of us, all frustrated them and disrupted more traffic. We made decisions as a group and more importantly executed on them decisively. There was even a small amount of barricade work followed by a turn to lose motorcycles.

Practice doesn’t make perfect but it will make permanent. Actions like this create camaraderie between the people who show up. These actions slowly sharpen the tactics and practices of people in the streets. There are things that happened today that didn’t happen the last time we were out. We’ll keep honing, testing, tinkering. Opportunities will present themselves to use these lessons.

Do the same. Get out there. Find each other.

In solidarity,
– anonymous

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