RECLAIM THE STREETS – NYC

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RTS NYC began under the auspices of a giant iron hand- disembodied and reaching out blindly from the side of a hulking office building at union square- and a huge digital clock laid out like a racetrack across the same building, with green numbers that were increasing exponentially; at 2 pm the crowd was gathering, swelling closer to a critical mass. having anticipated a movement south towards the village, a heavy contingency of nypd thugs had taken up glaring positions along 14th street. i would have loved to see their faces once RTS whistles started blowing and the crowd turned north instead and poured down into the union square subway station, where a smiling girl handed out free tokens at the turnstile. thanks to the mta, party-goers, protesters, and assorted culture-jammers were transported quickly and (relatively) coplessly uptown, to that center of fucking consumer culture, TIMES SQUARE.
Once above ground again, we ran towards the soundsystem which was waiting in the middle of 44th Street (the exact spot panned every morning by the cameras of the today show), strapped, chained and half-boarded up on the bed of a pickup truck. tourists froze in their tracks as the heart of times square soon completely filled with madly-dressed denizens thrusting signs and banners and guiliani death masks into the air; there was a massive sea turtle being flaunted asround on someones head and a purple dragon zooming back and forth, WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS! and FUCK GUILIANI! chants were clamoring loudly- the only fucked up thing- and this was really unfortunate: was that the soundsystem’s tuner went on the fritz and couldn’t pick up the transmitter’s signal. people were working frantically to get it going, but the technical difficulties might have proved to be a blessing in disguise.
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while the sound was off, the cops hung back and the crowd was able to completely surround and protect the tripod, whch got set up, mounted, and manned no problem. but once the soundsystem got going and began pumping out cataclysmic bass beatz-energizing hundreds of us to dance madly in the streets- the cops came to life and moved in. it’s so predictable what happens to cops in that situation: tekno drives them crazy. as soon as they hear that shit they start to shake they hate it so much. and events unfolded from there as you might imagine: nypd at its finest- cops everywhere with clenched jaws and
braced muscles, slamming kids to the cement head first, the ones in uniforms flagrantly yanking people off the sidewalk and arresting them while undercovers aided and abetted by shoving kids off the curb from behind, gangs of cops jackrolling anyone holding a sign or a camera…but you know how it goes. all in all times square was reclaimed, traffic was blocked, and shopping was disrupted for over 45 minutes.
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