Saturday, July 24, 2010

R2K+10: 10th Anniversary of the Philly RNC Protests & Legal Resistance

Suzy Subways

Friday July 30, 6pm at LAVA, 4134 Lancaster Ave. Free!
R2K Art Exhibit & Reception
Food/Drinks and Exhibit -- Check out news clippings, photos, posters,
flyers, artifacts, sound stations and video from the summer of 2000.
R2K Legal will be on site with legal files for those arrested to

Open Mic, Movie and Party
Saturday July 31, 6pm onward at the Puppet Warehouse, 4100 Haverford.
6pm: Food & Drinks // Sharing stories from 2000 through an open
mic // Screening of Elizabeth Fiend?s 2 part documentary on R2K
?Unconventional Coverage: The Message and the Means? // and other art
and artifacts from the previous day's exhibit.
9pm: Dance Party! Featuring R2K Legal veteran DJ Halfbreed.

This July 2010 marks 10 years since Philadelphia was the site of the
2000 Republican National Convention. The week of August 1, 2000,
thousands of activists took to the streets of Center City
Philadelphia for direct action against police brutality and the
prison industrial complex. We were riding an exciting wave of mass
direct actions against global capitalism following the previous
November?s actions which shut down the meetings of the World Trade
Organization in Seattle and large scale street actions against the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank in DC. This summer, let?s
celebrate our fighting spirit 10 years ago, and let?s celebrate our
resilience in surviving R2K!

While we were organizing to shut down the city on August 1st and
simultaneously helping with vast logistical needs for the multitude
of other protests and actions that week in Philly, the Philadelphia
Police Department (in tandem with the District Attorney?s office and
judges) were planning repression on a scale we hadn?t anticipated. In
the months leading up to the RNC, organizers were spied on, picked
off the street, infiltrated and harassed. On August 1st, starting
with an early morning raid of a warehouse and mass arrest of artists
and puppet makers, cops chased and brutally beat activists on the
streets with blessings of police commissioner John Timoney and the DA
Lynne Abraham (and a million dollar insurance policy protecting the
City against police brutality lawsuits). About 480 activists were
arrested, and while in jail for up to 3 weeks, many were physically
and sexually abused by police and prison staff. About 40 people faced
bogus but serious felony charges. Because police destroyed hundreds
of our puppets, including skeletons representing the loss of 138
people that George W. Bush had executed as Texas governor, the
corporate media told the world we had no message.

But we also created a new independent media, with collective use of
internet, camera, radio and writing skills, which became Philly IMC.
And while in jail, organizers met with ?general population? detainees
and publicized a list of demands: no more waiting 2 or more years to
go to court, no more beatings, prompt medical attention, and more.

For many who organized for, attended and/or stayed around after to
deal with the legal defense, the RNC was a transformative event. For
some of us it was our first protest and led us down a road of
lifelong struggle. While for others, the repression meant it would be
the last time we would ever attend a protest again. Many of us who
are currently still active 10 years down the road still draw on the
lessons learned while organizing as well as the trust and shared
struggle from the RNC to further our current work. The best way to
heal from trauma is to tell our stories together. Let?s support each
other to build collective healing and share our lessons with newer

All are welcome - whether you were there in 2000 or want to learn
more about it. Hope to see you there!

RSVP online at the Facebook Event // Learn more at the Archived R2K
Legal Site & at the Defenestrator site

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