by Walter Edmond Bond (37096013)
I remember the first time I was ever in a riot. It was Martin Luther King Day in Denver, Colorado and the ku klux klan and assorted nazi, fascists and skinhead scum had turned out to spew their invective racist garbage from the steps of the capital. Our mayor was mayor Wellington Webb. He was incredibly distraught with the fact that the kkk had come to town and obtained legal permit to gather and rally on the capital. So he organized a counter march and demonstration of which I took part.
Tens of thousands of people marched in protest. the march started in Aurora on Colfax Avenue and ended in Denver proper right in the center of downtown and in front of the racist scum. the klan and assorted wing nuts were heavily protected by police and riot squad. as a sea of people gathered the kkk began screaming racial epithets and slurs and laughing at the protesters. And that’s when…………..
All at once the crowd seemed to surge forward like a great tide in the ocean! And all hell broke loose! people began flipping over cop cars and starting them on fire, fights broke out and the few supporters of the nazis to stupid to remain behind police lines (or more likely unable to after the crowd surged) were drug out into the protest and severely beaten even as they ran away with all the speed their little aryan legs could carry them. A few teenagers snatched up an RTD bus and drove it down 16th street mall and ran in right through the front of the ESPN sports store.
I remember that while one racist piece of shit was getting his ass kicked their was some corporate media guy there trying to record the ensuing mayhem. I think he was an affiliate of FOX. People were trying to block his view of the action and he kept forcing his way forward. I was only 13 at the time but I felt outraged that this one prick with a camera ( note: this was still in a time before the entire globe was under a microscope and there was no such thing as cell phones for the masses) could possibly get good people arrested that were simply cleaning the town of racist trash. So I picked up a brick and threw it at his camera, and I nailed it! I also ended up busting him in the forehead at the same time, but he lived.
The nazis, skinheads and kkk had planed to escape out the back of the courthouse to a bus that was waiting to take them to safety. The crowded got tipped off to this and instead the knuckleheads found themselves being pelted with a shower of stones as they tried to get on the bus which sped away with about half of them, leaving the other half scurrying like mice through the city streets! It was a glorious day!
I remember looking around surveying the damage. the racists that incited the hatred were dealt with, with expedience. The police that protected them had their cars flipped and burned and afterwards the kkk was banned from ever holding a rally again in Denver city limits!
Conversely, I remember a year later going to my first legal protest. It was with a PETA style organization and we met up at a bookstore ahead of time to go over what would be the days “action for Animals”. Basically we would be standing across the street from a Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant. We were not allowed to actually stand on the sidewalk directly in front of the KFC where people could actually hear us or we might possible disrupt the steady flow of commerce with our buttons signs and pamphlets, oh, the horror!
The woman that organized the event gave all of us newbie’s a quick indoctrination. Were were to basically be super shiny happy people, wave at all the cars and be ready to tell people verbatim what was already in the handbill. If any media showed up they were to be instantly directed to our spokeswomen, and the rest of us (about 20 in all) were to remain human props in the background that just smiled a lot and said “Yeah, Vegan!”, kinda like cheerleaders.
No one took a pamphlet from me, a few people honked, some held up their buckets of fried chicken and flipped me off or screamed at me to fuck off as they took off out the drive thru! One or two people asked my why I wasn’t out here helping people when so many of them needed help instead of the Animals. Then we all ran back to one of the “activists” apartments to see if we made the local news. Which we actually did for about 90 seconds and everybody declared it an incredible win for the Animals.
Unfortunately, Not one Animal was helped that day. Not one Animal heard us, And not even one person was turned away from their lunch meal choice of dead meat. It didn’t do shit except make US feel like WE were doing something, busy work for the compassionate.
I guess I never got good at being deluded. Doing nothing, or at least nothing of benefit always ends with a bunch of abstract thinking. A sort of connect the dots butterfly effect or talk about the seeds that have been planted or the consciousness that’s been raised. While Direct Action always has a a direct effect that is perceivable in the real world and has little need for diatribes, candles or good vibes…….
Walter Edmond Bond is an imprisoned Animal Liberation Front prisoner of war. Working as an underground operative, “The Lone Wolf” single-handedly burned down three merchants of death, causing substantial property damage and putting one almost-permanently out of business. He is in federal custody, scheduled to be released in April 2021. Please write Walter and make donations:
Walter Bond (37096-013)
PO Box 5000
Greenville IL 62246