Pink Bloque Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

you asked for it: a long post from the r

hey all
i reckon it is time for me to post something about nyc considering we have been here for two weeks. it is hard to put all of the events and excitement into one post. at this point it is a haze of mass mobilisations and slices of pizza.

in no particular order, members of the pink bloque were spotted at:
- the life after capitalism confrenence. highlights were d and n's dreamy eyes after the 'organising from the inside out' workshop and all the foxes at ray's 'theory to practice' workshop. the lows were the wierdos who would stand up and read manifestos during a panel discussion. talk about no proper home training!

- critical mass. highlights -- the whole ride was 98% highlight. we tried to ride with the queer bloc [who happened to be in pink] but damn if the critical mass was too huge and we could never find them. we rode from union square park to central park past madison square garden through times square [that experience merits its own blog entry that is not going to happen. suffice it to say that it was so intense and amazing and at one point a whole ny city bus that was stopped in traffic because of the critical mass was cheering us on and throwing up peace signs]and all around the lower east side. it was so amazing to be with thousands [estimates range from 4 000 to 6000 cyclists] of people determined to make this statement about how the streets are for everyone and how bikes and skateboards and strollers and funny pushcarts are as valid ways of getting around and taking up space as expensive gas guzzling cars. so i was high on some public space reclamation after the critical mass and was minding my own eating some food not bombs in st. mark's church when the po' po' began rounding people up who were still on the streets at the end of critical mass. they unveiled 'the net' which i have never seen before. it is a net whereby a section of the street is cordoned off and whoever is in there gets taken to the brig. yikes! it was very 'madmax; beyond thunderdome' if you ask me. but no one ever does ask me because i would tell them not to arrest some 250 people just trying to kick it on their bikes. it was a bummer after a very amazing street reclamation demonstration.

- 16 beaver art space. this was arranged by our girl, paige s. who now lives in chicago but used to reside in the nyc. we talked to some people about the schick of the pink bloque and had an interesting discussion on 'tactical flirting' -- which is the most misunderstood facet of the pink bloque. for the record, we do not really flirt with cops or anyone else for that matter -- we talk in calm tones and attempt to de-escalate potentially f'ed up situations. it is all crisis intervention and zero attempting to be sexy. i have been working in the crisis intervention field for a large part of my working life and let me tell you that sh*t does not get you dates. telling people 'i hear you are frustrated' is not tantamount to 'you wanna come home with me'. still, it is a joke we made two years ago and it blew up along with us and has caused much controversy. i think people really want to think that we flirt and try to get all sexy with people on the streets and that helps us get our way. why? we talked about this a lot and then we taught all these artsy people [i believe the word dialectic was used in mixed company] the dance despite some logistical snafus with the sound. all in all it was a useful discussion and i thank paige for setting that up for us.

- the united for peace and justice march. it was huge. what else is there to say. it is at this point a leftist cliche to say that it is not the march that matters but the work that goes into making it happen and the relationships that foward the movement afterwards that matter. if that is the case the prep, at least for me, was juggling all sort of anxiety about what the nyc police was going to think about our use of amplified sound -- or if this was going to be another miami [which is a really wonderful place despite the police state that is occaisonally imposed]. still, we did not get to teach the dance at the kick off, but we performed it a lot. when we were in the women's feeder march it seemed less creepy and sidewhow like --- people appreciated the distraction in the midsts of waiting for the march to move forward. my teacher from college, his partner, her dad, and other members of the nd bloc were there and happened upon us. it was encouraging to see people at this event that i have not seen in years. hank's friends hung out with us the whole time [big up to the p.b. i.t department and it's satellites] and that was comforting too. we also had a suprise appearance by tom g and he danced with us during our last dance. it was our last dance on account of as we were dancing to the last chorus [at the end point of the march, by the way] three police came in and made us stop. the crowd booed the cops so loudly that we probably could not have heard the music anyway -- and there was tons of media around taking all this footage of these burly cops trying to hate on some dancing girls. i have yet to see any of that footage -- which if the mainstream press really wanted to show something shocking they would show that --- but whatever, more on the mainstream press later. what was f'ed up was how hard it was to get in and out of the march -- go forbid a group of ten women in hot pink outfits need to pee. it was damn near impossible. then there was the media frenzy which as kmd mentioned was wierd. after all, we are a performance group and we do want attention -- i reckon we do not get to pick the kind of attention we get. personally, i never thought i would end up on cnn but there we were. it was wierd that i felt obligated to talk to cnn / c-span [are they the same?]. for 20 minutes after it was beating myself up for not saying all the things i wanted to [i totally forgot to mention that the way the us and isreal are operating in palestine horrific and unjust. how could i not talk about palestine? uy yuy yuy!] i wonder if our tv cameo made people sympathetic or just amused. i vote amused -- but since the electoral system is a sham what does my vote matter anyways. we also had the distinct pleasure of meeting traxx, another dance troupe that ka started when she left us for new york. they looked gooooood and danced to 'toxic' by britney [who is a republican! -- talk about culture jamming!]and had a great flyer that talked about all the ways bush is toxic. it was hot. i am glad that we were able to be in a context with people who do exactly the same thing we do -- but with their own spin.

- the still we rise march: it was hot. kmd and rt had to do some tactical shopping to get skirts that did not oppress them. because the day before was so physically draining we decided not to throw up all pink and to show up in pink bloque shirts and march. people, you have to understand that being in the pink bloque --- being this cute and fun and dance-y all the time is hard work and we cannot do it all the time. it was refreshing being able to be present at a march and not have to worry about when we are going to dance next and where are the amps and where are the flyers and where are the cops and how is the crowd feeling. we hung out in front of the rude mechanical orchestra for a large part of the march and they were hottt. they played 'crazy in love' on their instruments and it made the crowd go nuts. they kept singing 'uh oh uh oh george bush has got to go'. it was awesome. [i would like to mention we had the extreme pleasure of seeing four amazing marching bands in effect: the infernal noise brigade, the hungry march band, the rude mechanical orchestra, and this one whose name did not get but who were from florida! --- marching bands are really amazing things to be near at a protest as they make you feel all hyped up but not out of control. i highly recommend people start protest marching bands. these people made such a difference. they practiced a lot, too --- i could tell]
i liked this march more -- maybe because of my decreased personal anxiety and definitely because there were more people of color being visible in the street. it was easy to tell this was organised by people of color to articulate issues that effect us disproportionately [hiv/aids, incarceration, unemployment, lack of health care...]and i am glad that groups that are predominantly white / middle class were given the back seat in terms of visiblity and speaking and even being at the front of the rally.

ok. today is the day of direct action against the rnc. the pink bloque is not particpating so all the haters out there waiting to see us with our necks u-locked to a starbucks can forgetaboutit. i am going to check out the 'peace signs' show and break bread with some political prisoners. i hope the rest of the bloque is home safe and thinking of fun new shennanigans.

sorry if this post is too long. i am famous for excessive text.
wordiness to your motha
[who is the sole writer of this post and does not attempt to reflect the opinions of the pink bloque]

also big thanks to n and b -- our boyfriends on call , t and s --- our medics on call, cb -- our legal contact who had his digits sharpied on 10 hot ladies in one day --- and all the sexy smart activists in the world.

Monday, August 30, 2004


We made it safe and sound through the march.

It was an odd protest, hard to get a handle on how many people were there, and while there was not the full-on military gear usually sported by Chicago cops we got a sense of fear and anxiety the whole time. Maybe it was protesting in another city, or maybe it was all the fear instilled by the police and media leading up to the march. We were nervous about using amplified sound and, perhaps partly because the music was so low, it was hard to get the crowd going--unlike at the March for Women's Lives. A totally different mood overall. Often we try to get those in the crowd to dance and participate with us, because although we do put on a spectacle, we want it to be something everyone can enjoy. At the March for Women's Lives many people danced with us, and it was amazing to be surrounded by people dancing with us. But in NYC, as is often the case in Chicago, we were surrounded by a bunch of dudes with cameras and slightly perplexed onlookers, too nervous (or too cool) to join in. It was disappointing, and I don't feel we ever really gained the momentum we were striving for, (but that's just me-kd). The march was long and hot, there were Korean drummers who pulled us into their group for dancing; there were many naked people; Billionaires for Bush; cops running right past us with a giant orange net with which to surround a random group of protestors for mass arrests; too many puns involving Bush; and much more we can't quite remember just now. The press was everywhere, often walking up and sticking a mic in your face, asking questions and snapping photos. A bit disconcerting.

Around Madison Square Garden is where things got really crazy. We were in this wide open space and it was like the media was just hovering around, scooping up people to talk to. We spoke to C-Span (which was odd, but their liason was really cute). The funniest interview was with Fox News who asked D what her number one issue is and she said she didn't have just one issue. The reporter said something to the effect of, "Aw, c'mon this is TV--don't make it complicated." D and S replied with, "But politics is complicated, and we want a more complicated media."

More thoughts on the march to come. Right now we need to get some coffee and bagels in us and head out to the Poor People's March.

Stay tuned, y'all.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Flism Flosm

Well, we have all finally arrived here in New York. Those of us in the van, myself included, had an ardous journey that included lightning hitting our hotel, speeding tickets, hours of sitting in the middle of Pennsylvania in an unexplained traffic jam, body shampoo parlors and Alanis Morrissette medleys. But we are here, exhausted and excited.

We had dinner on the Lower East Side, and there was no hint of the tension people have been talking about. Then again, we had just spent 14 hours in a van with a driver strung out on donuts and curly fries, so maybe we weren't yet in tune. Apparently there was a 6,000-rider Critical Mass yesterday and they took over Times Square. Three-hundred arrests were made. This is the only thing weighing on our minds right now, just like everyone else. We are participating in two permitted marches, but you never know. Other than that, nothin' exciting to report yet other than we perfected our Bill Cosby impersonations in the van. May you all never want for a hoagie.

Flism Flosm,


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Our very first post

Well, if you are reading, hello! At some point soon you will see updates here about RNC and our plans there. Because the situation in NYC changes almost daily, we are remaining flexible with our plans. Nevertheless, we still plan on participating in the Women's March and then joining the larger rally...wherever that may be. But, like I said, please check back in.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


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