The most important story of the #BlockCopCity action is not the police aggression, which was expected. It is the methods and tactics used by protesters to keep one another safe, effectively preventing any arrests or injuries. Let’s take a closer look.
Clothing: many protesters wore matching white coveralls. Many others wore muted or neutral colors. By blending in with one another, activists make it more difficult for police to target vulnerable people in the crowd.
Reinforced banners/umbrellas: Using structured signage and lightweight umbrellas, protesters were able to withstand police charges, batons, pepper balls, rubber bullets, flashbang grenades, and mace.
Glasses/masks/respirators: aside from concealing the identities of vulnerable activists from hate groups and other opponents of emancipation struggles, these defensive tools allowed protesters to withstand pepper spray and tear gas.
Formation: the front of the crowd marched in a V-shaped “wedge”, allowing the crowd to advance through obstructive lines of militarized police without causing or incurring any injuries or bodily harm.
Heat-resistant gloves: by wearing gloves, some participants were able to pick up tear gas canisters shot at the crowd and to throw them out of the way, minimizing harm and suffering. Such canisters tend to be hot enough to burn the skin.
Confidence: the most important tool for crowds facing state repression is their ability to inspire and motivate themselves through joint action, clarity of purpose, respect for differences, and clear metrics for success/failure. “Don’t panic, stay tight. We will be all right!”
Unpredictability: by using creative messaging, methods, pacing, and routes, activists were able to spread police resources thin. Police were not prepared for the continuous momentum of the march and ended up teargassing themselves.
n the coming years, liberation struggles will have to draw from experiences + intelligence of protest movements + uprisings around the world. In Atlanta, activists would do well to assume the illegal intent of the administration and to prepare accordingly. #StopCopCity /thread