I feel safer when I see people around me who are bloc’ed up in hoodies with their faces covered.
One day not long ago at a manif, cops started to break up the march by separating people at an intersection. They charged in quickly, and I was near the end of the front part of the march that had been cut off from the rest. The cops were firing chemical irritants and being menacing. A few people behind me started to run, and one person stepped on the back of my shoe, which started to come off just as my friends started to help me run off to the side. I stumbled a bit. People in black hoodies with their faces covered held back many of the cops at the intersection by throwing things. Their actions kept me and many others safe.
It was the bloc and my friends who kept me safe and made it possible for me to leave without injury. I am so grateful to them. It is humbling and deeply touching when someone takes a risk to protect you from harm. I've experienced something like this several times recently.
I saw video of bloc’ed up people throwing things towards cops on RDI a few days ago, and despite the predictable blather from the newscaster, the footage showed the bloc trying to prevent the police, who were in a park, from getting to the crowd in the manif nearby. The tired story being told was at odds with the story the video footage told if one was paying attention. The seeds for undoing the logic of mainstream media stories sometimes show up in those stories, and that was definitely one of those cases.
Most people who have hit the streets of Montréal for a manif recently have, in all likelihood, been protected by bloc’ed up people at some point. I know I have. It seems the least we can do is express our gratitude and stick up for actions and outfits that are routinely maligned and misrepresented in mainstream media and official storytelling.
My sense was that the May 22nd mega-manif was bigger than the one on March 22. 7 hours after some of us started off the afternoon, there were still smaller manifs in defiance of la loi matraque (on s'en tabernak!) downtown. Starting at 8pm, neighborhoods across town made a ruckus to usher in the evening manif. People of all ages in my neighborhood came out of their homes, banging pots and pans and making lots of noise. People walking, biking, and driving by made noise with us too. We could hear people banging pots and pans far away, and that sound continued to resonate around town until at least 9. A good friend told me she passed by the sinkhole on her way home.
What I've learned of things late last night & early this morning, here and in NYC, has been fukuzatsu.