(initial) report from wednesday march 16th

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

(initial) report from wednesday march 16th.

Protest from noon to six pretty boring and uneventful. politically not interesting.  good turn out around noon estimates from as high as 10,000 but not much higher than that. closer to 5,000 for most of day and about 3,000 around 5:30p.m.

The main rally was pretty upbeat and relaxed. Had a festival feel til about 3pm. Ok for what it was but there seemed to be very low expectations. Racially it was majority white but a considerable black contingent and was relatively racially diverse.

there were two, one hour breaks from 1-2 and 3:30-4:30 when there were not speakers. during this time, people would go into the capital. filling rotunda and having people rounding the 3rd and 4th floors chanting. high energy and probably the highlight of the day.

Speakers started at 4:30pm and went until 6pm.  Doors of the capital closed at 5:30pm. People were told that doors were closing at 5:30pm but most choose not to come in. probably around a 100 folks tryin to get in but couldn’t due to not getting in in time.  150 people or so inside plus lots of media.  bout 100 students/young people, 50 union folks give or take making up the 150.  Clearly most union folks were not coming in. talk of union people who had committed to staying the night did not materialize. Either they changed their mind or there it was inaccurate. 

Clear from beginning of the capital action that there were not enough people to hold the capital.  Several hundred needed and a union (or union looking) contingent would have helped alot.

orders given to leave or you would be arrested.

hopes of people getting in from any of the doors being upened from the inside, after they were locked, did not materialize. 

talk of staying but concerns about numbers.  in my opinion most folks knew it was not enough people to hold the capital and that it was a lost opportunity.

4 or so arrests made around 6:15pm.  targeting of vocal leaders was clear and a priority for the police.  First two arrest were two vocal black organizers that were clearly targeted.  some arrests just random. slamming at least a couple of them to the ground. i felt it was to intimidate folks. 

protestors given orders to leave again by police and capital security. people slowly filing out.

a couple of vocal union people telling people to leave and blaming protestors for arrests.

conversations of 25 or so about whether to stay or not, most others in my opinion planning on leaving. 5 decide to not leave, sitting down on the rotunda.

Protestors on the outside but at a door were maced by police.

By 6:40 only the five and press are still in the capital.

Close to 8pm, protestors moved to vehicles. 50-60 people argue with police about letting them go. a couple more arrests with cops being agressive. several people thrown to the ground very hard by police escorting the vehicles.

pretty demoralizing overall. not much room for radical politics during main event. inside the capital was very disappointing, numbers not reflected even in number of people saying they were going to spend the night inside.  not even close to expectations.  what was frustrating about that is that there was the potential there for it to be dynamic, exciting and confrontational.  That is probably what was most demoralizing. there was absolutely the potential for even 500 people to come inside and not leave. that did not happen.

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