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November 30–10 Years Since Seattle: Climate Change Action

By Starhawk

Ten years ago tonight, I was sitting in a spokescouncil in a warehouse in downtown Seattle, surrounded by a sea of dreadlocked youth, preparing to rise at dawn and hit the streets the next morning. Was it that night or the next I went with my friends Margo Adair and Bill Aall with whom I was staying, to the late-night grocery store for some emergency vinegar to soak our bandannas in case of tear gas? Some of the memories have faded after ten years—although I won’t soon forget the caustic bite of some sort of intense Japanese wine vinegar that was all we ended up with—and as bad as the tear gas itself, in my opinion. But I recall that I wasn’t too worried. I hadn’t seen the police use tear gas on a political demonstration since the Sixties, and I didn’t really comprehend that they would.

Now I mostly remember snatches of images from the day: setting off in the morning with one of the marches, banners flying, giant puppets hovering above the crowd, drums thundering and feeling a sense of joy and liberation that never deserted me even in the worst times of the next few days. Our Pagan cluster dancing by the Union sound stage most of the day in one corner that stayed fairly quiet and peaceful. Rounding the corner to find smashed windows, burning dumpsters, casualties weeping on the curb from the tear gas—a new kind of war zone. Hearing that we had indeed shut the meeting down! Trying to facilitate a meeting that night with a thousand people at once pumped, traumatized, triumphant and fearlul, with someone running in at intervals to yell, “The cops—they’re coming this way! They’re tear gassing everyone, and they’re five blocks away!” “The cops—they’re coming this way! They’re tear gassing everyone, and they’re five blocks away!” “The cops—they’re coming this way! They’re tear gassing everyone, and they’re thee blocks away!” “The cops—they’re coming this way! They’re tear gassing everyone, and they’re right outside the door!”

Read the original article at: Dirt Worship

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