Not that any of this is unusual for Black Bloc “anarchist” protests, but since this story is local (in fact I lived and worked in that part of Phoenix for 2+ years) I figured I should cover it.
It should be noted that the Black Bloc group posting the youtube videos of this event on facebook uses photos like these to promote their group
and the description of their group reads “Smashing Starbucks windows since 1988”.
So now that you have some background, let’s talk about this protest that went down on Saturday night.
Whoever runs the Black Bloc page that I linked to was clearly involved in this protest. They posted various links and commented on an Arizona State Press article to tell the “true” story of what happened on Saturday night.
Let’s check out what they had to say.
Okay, so violent police. Slurs and obscenities. Statements that the protesters did nothing wrong and were just minding their own business, not causing any trouble when suddenly pepper ball shooting fascist police came flying out of nowhere and tackled the helpless protesters and dragged them off to a moldy damp dungeon somewhere.
Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that not all cops are good people. I’ve had a few run ins with complete assholes in the Phoenix PD (To the cop who called me a bitch when I asked why you had blocked every street in a 2 mile radius around my apartment…I remember you) so maybe this was a case of “police brutality”.
Except the videos that “Black Bloc” says he/she will post don’t show anything of the sort.
The first shows clips of the protest, almost certainly recorded by one of the protesters, from beginning to end. There is no footage to be found that contains slurs or verbal harassment from the cops that are escorting the protesters around the city.
The second shows the part of the evening that supposedly included “police brutality”, but strangely enough it is quite clear that the police are not the ones that started the problem. The police give clear warning that protesters who go out into the road while the light is green are going to be arrested.
The protesters continue on regardless and at 48 seconds into the video one of the protesters escalates the situation by swinging a flag on a long pole at an officer.
The police continue to repeat their warning about arrests and then, shock, they carry out the arrests.
At 1:04 a protesters clearly throws a flag and the pole it is attached to directly a police officer, that’s when a fellow police officer pulls a gun to shot pepper balls at the protesters who are escalating the situation.
Once the protesters who were crossing the street get to the other side at 1:21 most of the cops cease to chase them, some protesters even walk past the police completely unopposed and unmasked. The action on the other side of the street (on the train tracks in fact) continues as police arrest several of the protesters there, who are still screaming “FUCK THE POLICE!” as they are arrested.
Yet the police, based on this footage, are not being unnecessarily violent towards the arrested protesters. There’s no pepper spray, rubber bullets, tazers, or physical violence occurring.
The only questionable instance I see is at 2:44 where an officer is taking a sign from a protester and another officer grabs the protesters arm to make them release the sign. However since the footage doesn’t show the beginning of this interaction we can’t know why the officer was taking the sign away. We do know that earlier in the video there were signs and flags on the ground and on the train tracks and the officers were gathering them. It’s possible that these signs were on the ground and the protester tried to take them back after an officer picked them up.
The woman in that scene is later shown talking about the “violent response to the non-violent crime of being in the street when the light changes color” which is, frankly, bullshit since it’s obvious from the video that this was not what happened.
My favorite part is where she stands outside the circle of police, trying to goad them into reacting toward her and calling them “fucking cowards” when they don’t react in the violent manner she wants (in fact that pretty much completely ignore her) because apparently police have more self control than she would like.
The woman is a perfect example of the delusion of victimhood that nearly all of these “black bloc” protesters have. She’ll twist her own memory up in knots so that she can remember it how she chooses to, because she was clearly the victim of the evil fascist police, rather than a voluntary victim of the mass stupidity of the group she was marching in.
I’ve got news for you protesters. You may be making headlines, but you certainly aren’t winning support. You aren’t winning sympathy from anyone new because half the public are annoyed at you because you inconvenience their lives and the other half (which contains me) are annoyed because of your blatant lies and delusions.
Here’s a hint. Crazy doesn’t look good on anyone.