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Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 21:50:19 +0000
Subject: -ALLSORTS-Uruguay and Berkeley Street parties report backs

From: Joseph Hill -

sorry for the lateness of this bit of news... busy holiday season here...

DROP BASS NOT BOMBS! Berkeley Reclaim The Streets Party

On Sunday, December 16 Bay Area Reclaim the Streets held our second annual "Holiday Surprise Party by Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley [California].

The party lasted for several hours through the afternoon, and included live heavy metal, live and dj'ed techno/breaks, hip hop, and ant-FBI xmas carols. Food was served, couches were lounged upon, and people danced, chatted and chalked the streets. There was even a teddy bear tea party. Colorful ribbons and orange traffic cones blocked car access to the party.

The party was advertised only by word of mouth (hence the surprise) but once the street was transformed from auto thoroughfare to party space, all were invited to join in. The atmosphere was festive and many people from the nearby telegraph ave. crafts fair attended.

Some partiers wore signs reading "The FBI says i'm a terrorist", referring to a speech earlier this year by the departing FBI director which described Reclaim the Streets, along with animal rights activists and "carnival against capitalism" as a potential threat to the united states. We also handed out information about the USA PATRIOT act and current assaults on civil liberties.

In addition, we passed out flyers describing the action as "taking back the streets from cars, capitalism and cops" and making them "a place of community and creative resistance." We also asked people to think about their consumption habits - whether they were supporting chain stores, etc., and also to think about how they could give something of themselves back to their community and toward creating a society that's not based on money and greed.

The party/action was also a statement against the war, as banners proclaimed "Drop Bass Not Bombs!" and flyers decried the war in Afghansistan, as well as the wars at home against the poor, people of color, drugs, and the earth.

The police kept a low profile this time, and there were no arrests.

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