The City County Building is a Trap and Notes to Consider for the Summer

Anonymous submission received 06.26.22

The City County Building is a Trap and Notes to Consider for the Summer

It’s time to get back out there. With theocratic fascism ascendant in the USA (more ascendant than normal, to be clear) everyone from hardened veterans to people who have never been to a protest before are hitting the streets. Against police forces that haven’t lost a single dollar and are emboldened by the rising fascist tide, we have a shorter runway to make mistakes.

So, let’s talk about a few things. And note, this is all forward looking, seeking to introduce different reasoning to planning discourses, not question why previous decisions were made. 

The City County Building is a trap for both ideological and practical reasons. The former isn’t that important but it’s worth noting. At this point, appealing to the state that has gotten us *looks around* here won’t save anyone. It’s also the kind of backdrop that politicians love appearing in front of. The mouthpieces of a supposedly liberal state in front of their domicile? Gross. We are not here to ask, we are here to take. The same could be said about the marches on Peduto’s house September 2020 and on. Become ungovernable is undoubtedly one of the funnier things you can see on an internet meme about a cat stealing a sandwich but it still should mean something for us.

Practically – and this is more important – barring a crowd the size of May 30th 2020, downtown is a trap. Any crowd smaller than thousands or tens of thousands that so much as looks at a Starbucks storefront wrong is easy for police to contain and brutalize. As we learned from the 2020 uprising, the whole area is blanketed with cameras too, making it that much harder for radicals to stay out of the clutches of the various window integrity task forces. Mobilizing people to get downtown involves a lot of car transport into those cameras too. And getting out safely requires walking quite a ways.

There’s also something to consider regarding multiplicity. Downtown lends itself to one big crowd (again, barring actual thousands of people showing up). Let’s do a little geometry. Say you have enough people to fill a 2×2 square (use whatever units you like here). The perimeter, also known as the area the police have to cover to surround you, is 8 (2×4). But if you subdivide that square into four 1×1 squares, or even two 1x2s, your perimeter goes up to 16 or 12 respectively. Stretch the cops thin. The gaps in their lines are places into which our possibilities can expand.

Last but certainly not least. Good on people taking material steps to separate Socialist Alternative and PSL from protests on the ground. It’s been demonstrated here and in other cities how dangerous these groups are and how casually they treat proximity to the police. Keep fucking bullying.

See you in the streets. Solidarity forever.

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