We waited east of the camp for our friends to show up, smoking cigarettes so familiarly in front of an unremarkable bar that was self-consciously empty. Striding up the blocks, four, three, two…military formations of riot police march up our sidewalk, going in our same direction. Stomach acid adrenaline and panic and now we are breaking into a sprint, not even conscious of why exactly. It’s real. This is real. They have helmets and clubs and legitimacy and holy shit we better run!
Crossed their barricades just in time, crowded and chaotic, high frequency panic animating voices and arms and legs. I mentally collapsed for a second into the excruciating void of the inevitable, and then my brother grabbed my hand and pulled me through the narrow walkway towards the kitchen. Directions were shouted echoing, the nurturing character of the kitchen shifted towards defense. We furiously tossed and stacked our own barricades in the way of the advancing cop riot. WE ARE THE 99%! YOU ARE THE 99%!
We would have grabbed the thickest locks and pierced our flesh straight through at that moment, but flashed logically in the racing moment. Outer ring. Soft lock. Shouting. Flashing. The drone of a recorded lawyer monotonously repeating our eviction notice. Arms locked, ass to pavement, sweaty shirts and scarves wrapped around our airways. Waiting. Watching. Sanitation workers indifferently sweep away our lives as we pass around cigarettes waiting for the stormtroopers to advance. And they do. Semi-circled and staring hungrily. In between their silhouettes the medical tent is slashed open and boots grind and smear and kick.
The early morning dug its fingernails in and crept forward screaming the dissonance of resistance and destruction. The wails of those brutally picked off one by one rush by us, out of sight but invading every other sense. Muscles contracted and throbed. Leveled. Emptied. Lost. Hours. Minutes more likely. Pots and pans crashed hard and skipped across the marble, jars exploded, shelves spiked to the ground with steroid jock fury. A light rain fell. I closed my eyes tightly, and squeezed my arms tighter. Terrified. Fingers pried apart by black gloves, head bounced on marble, arms twisted, wrists strapped. Dragged and carried and thrown to the ground again with everyone else.
The collective overtook the personal as I rose to my knees and made eye contact with the movement embodied, and the fruitless effort to destroy its spirit; the long and endless history of struggle for dignity and justice; all those who came before and those yet waiting in the future. We are everywhere. Our time has come.
WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE! ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!