Act 5 Scene 1

a5s1The march and rally on January 14th is much larger than the one on the 7th, more people and more energy, more cameras and more expectation for action. Meserlhe was arrested last night in Nevada and the DA is filing murder charges. The timing with today’s mobilization is no coincidence. There is still the lingering memory of the seventh: the freedom of large throngs of people roaming abandoned streets, working in cohesion with a total, terrifying freedom, a line of people standing together against the cops, deflecting anger and testing resistance, fleeting conversations, holding a line, each exploding car windshield making police push us backward, crews of friends methodically wrecking windows, beginning with a kick, a punch, a key mark.

But that was last week. At the end of the permitted march lined by protest-marshals, these self-appointed guardians of revolution force us to walk from a rally at City Hall, to the courthouse for another rally, back again to City Hall to tell us to go home. They are trying to wear us out. Their rallies say little. Lawsuits, healing spaces for businesses, how charming of a man Oscar was, and of course: “Stay peaceful.” They mean to say, “Stay the same,” or “Don’t act up,” or “Now’s not the right time.” They are little Napoleons trying to domesticate a new world.

We suppose they think we are too uppity.

Back at City Hall groups are split on either side of the street. We are divided somewhat racially. Members of the sponsoring organizations try to disperse us:

“OK everyone, it’s time to go home. The rally is now over, so you can go home.”

“Take your people, and go home. They are not going to arrest you, it’s going to be those kids over there, it’s going to be youth of color who are arrested when y’all do something STUPID.”

“Go home, please go home. Go back to Piedmont, Castro Valley, SF, or wherever you came from”

Lines of “organizers” in electric colored vests link arms, at- tempting to push people out of the streets and onto the sidewalks, telling us over and over again that the rally has ended. Everyone, the marshals, the would-be rebels, everyone is tense. The unity from the seventh feels tenuous as “politics” emerges on the street.

“We support the demands of the Grant family. The Grant family has advocated for peace. The Grant family does not want violence. Please go home.”

Some people move onto the sidewalk, others remain in the streets, still others cross back and forth, dodging organization security, but no one seems ready to go home.

End Scene.

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