May Day Protests in Seattle...
I am not diminishing the presence of Black anti-capitalists at this protest, I recognize that there are plenty of Black anarchists fighting for what they believe in. HOWEVER the media/police response to this event is surrounded in white privilege. There may have been plenty of Black protesters and other non-Black POC but the main face of these marches were white and because of that, the response was very different.
The response was not Ferguson or Baltimore, and the language used was certainly toned down. “Protesters” and “marchers” not “thugs” and “savages.” No state of emergency declared. No tanks. No guns fired from the police. No snipers posted. No curfew. No denying children school access for weeks.
Instead there were police on bicycles. Protesters threw bricks, flares, rocks, and molotovs at police and how extreme was the response? Some pepper spray? There were people physically attacking police and you watch the cops simply push back and let them go on their way.
Now, this is not to say that I agree with extreme police response. But we have to acknowledge the obvious difference when the crowd is overwhelmingly Black versus overwhelmingly white. We have to recognize the coded language used when covering these news stories.
When we march for Black lives we are not only labeled differently and treated differently, but we are arrested. Less than 10 people were arrested in Seattle. Meanwhile hundreds and hundreds were arrested in Ferguson. Hundreds and hundreds were arrested in Baltimore. Warrants were still being issued a year later. There’s a huge difference here when the bodies are mostly white.
Once again, I am not saying that I agree with the police action in Ferguson and Baltimore. I am not saying that these protesters should face police violence because we do. I am not saying anything like that. It’s just important to see the differences, especially when so many anarchists want to tell us it’s not about race. Or that we’re all equal out there, because we’re not. You’re held off by bikes, we were held off by tanks and snipers and riot gear. You’re treated differently and to ignore that and pretend it doesn’t exist is racism.