The following report back from a march against anti-AAPI racism was originally published on Philly Anti-Capitalist.
On the night of 3/27, about a dozen people responded to a call to march against anti-Asian racism and white supremacy. After a brief discussion about intentions, the bloc marched about 10 blocks, without a police tail, through pedestrian streets that have been overtaken by outdoor dining, chanting slogans against racism, the police, and white supremacy. This disrupted what would otherwise have been a lovely evening for Philly’s yuppies, before dispersing without incident. Some of these chants included “A-C-A-B, FUCK/END WHITE SUPREMACY!”, “COPS & KLAN GO HAND IN HAND!”,” WHEN ASIAN/IMMIGRANT/BLACK LIVES ARE UNDER ATTACK, WHAT DO WE DO, STAND UP FIGHT BACK!”, “A-ANTI-ANTICAPITALISTA!”, some feral screaming into the night, etc.
The march was a really fun night out! Spirits were high, the chanting was strong and heartfelt. The bloc was playful and even had an impromptu dance to some street musicians playing Vanessa Carlton’s “1000 Miles.” The route choice of pedestrian streets meant that the march could be loud and visible with a low risk of encountering the police. Communication between marchers felt easy and people were able to make decisions together.
Here are some things to think about for future actions. Considering nearby cameras and visibility from the street and sidewalk when choosing a meet up location can help increase anonymity and the chance of a smooth start. The messaging on the banner was confusing — it said that no one has to die for people to fight racism, which is true, but racism does kills everyday.
This action was successful in being highly visible, spreading a message against white supremacy, avoiding arrests and a police tail. The route was clever in that it went through streets already closed to car traffic. This kind of relatively low stress action builds confidence, as well as experience moving and deciding together in the street. It also felt like a good first outing of the spring, and a way to show that actions can be fun, playful, and confrontational all at the same time.
Stock Photo: Jason Leung via Unsplash