was the last cover ever going to be anything else

Trump Survival Tips No. 8: Black Bloc, Part 2

I’m assuming you’re reading this immediately after reading Tip 7, so we’ll jump right in. You know what a black bloc is and why it’s important. So, how do you bloc? Pretty simple. We’ll go top to bottom.

Your face should, of course, be covered. Bandannas, black scarves, balaclavas, or a wrapped T-shirt can provide effective masks. Your mask should cover your face fully, be breathable and comfortable, not come off when you move around, and be quick to don; practicing masking up at home is definitely something you should do. Your hair should also be covered. Wear a hood or hat.

Avoid wearing clothes with visible labels, patches, or other designs; they’ll make you stand out, and provide a convenient target for police to settle crosshairs on. Wear your shirt inside out if you have to. Clothes should fully cover your arms and legs, for physical protection as well as anonymity. A black hoodie and pants should do the trick. Cover your hands as well; cheap knit gloves are more than sufficient, and don’t leave fingerprints. Remember, cover as much skin as you can. Leaving anything exposed endangers racialized peeps, and can also expose identifying tattoos.

Shoes can be tricky, and the most easily-identifiable part of your outfit. Communicate with your affinity group to determine what everyone’s wearing. Personally, I’m usually split between cheap sneakers (Vans or Converse work), and combat boots. Sneakers have the advantage of being common, and therefore make you hard to identify both during and after the bloc, but boots are much more durable for both kicking Nazi teeth and protection against rubber bullets or tear gas canisters. Stay in contact with your affinity group; if you’re all wearing boots, go nuts.

I’d recommend bringing a backpack. Like the rest of your clothing, it should be plain black, without identifying labels, markers, or designs. Being in a black bloc implies that you’re there for direct action, and it’s good to bring stuff along for that; bags can also cover designs on the back of your hoodie. Stuff to bring in said bag includes, but isn’t limited to, a respirator (here’s one for $35, if you’re willing to buy Israeli; no ethical consumption under capitalism, remember), extra masks for someone new to bloc, enough snacks and water to keep you going, a change of clothes and shoes, and whatever supplies you need for your action. If it’s an antifa counter-demo, bring a baton or a cut-down baseball bat; if it’s an anti-capitalist demo, bring spray paint for graffiti and painting over camera lenses; if you’re a street medic, bring a first-aid kit. If you bring your phone, take the battery out; cops can track your phone, and even use the microphone, without you turning it on. This goes for planning as well as during the bloc.

Knowing when to bloc and de-bloc is important as well. Don’t leave your house masked up and don’t leave the demo masked up; either makes it easy to target you. Mask up at the demo, preferably out of sight of police or cameras, under a banner, smoke cover, crowd cover, or as you’re walking in. (Layers are super good for this. Wearing a jacket over your hoodie and carrying your rucksack in a separate bag will do the trick.) Same goes for de-masking; do it somewhere you’re not being watched, or under smoke or crowd cover. Basically, don’t be the only one in or out of bloc. Anonymity at the demo is no good if you’re not anonymous going in and out. Smoke grenades are legal to buy in the US, no restrictions, so it might be worth getting one or two and putting in your bag. Talk to your affinity group.

After the march, be careful as well. Don’t go home alone if you can avoid it, and don’t ever post anything specific on Snitchbook. It’s fine to share photos that someone else took, or to express support, but the last thing you want to do is announce that you were there on Facebook.

Finally, be wary of cops in your bloc. Black bloc’s greatest strength can also be its greatest weakness; it’s relatively easy for undercover cops or journos to be as anonymous as you are in bloc. From there, they can try to entrap folks, try to start violence or make the demo seem like a riot on camera, or even try to snatch someone. Know your folks, and if you think someone’s a cop, make folks aware! Distance yourself from agents provocateurs, and make sure other folks do the same.

Remember folks: when we fight, we win, so know how to fight!

Family Always Has Your Back

Here it is, the next installment of The Convention Connection. This was a one shot originally written for Nicole @iwantthedean and has taken on a life of its own and is now an ongoing series. I hope y’all like it. 

There is no disrespect to Jensen or his family. This is a work of fiction, please regard it as such. 

Haven’t read it - CATCH UP HERE

Word Count: 2100-ish

Warnings: none really

I was finally Mrs. Jensen Ackles. I looked over at my husband as I let out a content sigh.

“Happy, Mrs. Ackles?” He asked, wrapping his arm around me and I melted into his side.

“I couldn’t be happier, Mr. Ackles. We got married yesterday. We are on a plane, in first class, might I add, on our honeymoon. What could make me happier than this?” I gushed, placing a chaste kiss to his lips. “Oh wait! We are going to ‘The Happiest Place On Earth’ so I will be happier!”

I pulled out my phone and logged into my Twitter account: @TheRealMrsAckles and was checking all the photos and posts from our friends and family from the reception. People took some very candid shots and they were funny to look at. One of me and my bridesmaids taking a shot at the bar was getting some attention, most of it good, but some not so good.  

“Look at her boozing it up. She’s probably an addict. Who gets drunk like that on their wedding day?!”

“Wow, what an amazing looking dress, too bad the model is mediocre.”

“She must be pregnant or he would never have married her.”

Have you ever heard that old saying “They won’t remember the 99 things you did right, just the one thing you did wrong”? That is how I feel right now. I have read all the comments and for every 99 nice ones, it was that one nasty comment that stuck with me. I tried to shake it off, turning my phone on airplane mode before stowing it back in my pocket.

I looked up at Jensen and the thought slowly disappeared as he kissed me once more.

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