We participated, in one way or another, in three different marches over the weekend, with very different tones and energies. And they were all fine. The ACC march had some tense moments, but it all worked out. Nobody rioted, none of the marches were attacked by counterdemonstrators, even the masked Black Bloc in the ACC got peace signs and waves of support from bystanders. We held onto the political space of street demonstrations in spite of a lot of fear in a whole lot of people. We kept the movement for social justice moving forward. And the success of the marches will inspire more people to speak out and stand up.
We did intensive, marathon magic: was it five or six spiral dances? that helped shift the balance of probablities toward peace. We held onto this moment in time as a possible positive opening. And we exorcised the World Bank!
We set up healing spaces in the park on Saturday and Sunday, a foot-washing, foot massage space after Sunday's march, and ministered to a whole lot of people, whether that meant giving out water to thirsty kids from the Black Bloc, or holding someone while she cried and grieved.
We continued developing a model of organizing that allowed everybody to participate in ways that best used their skills and at the level of risk they felt comfortable with. This includes the people who did home support, who provided food, water, banners and the hand-died cloth of our magical river, and rituals. There were people who could not march but who anchored the healing space, offered Tarot readings, helped organize trainings and discussions and workshops. Our model allowed us to bring elders and children on a march surrounded by riot cops and bring them out again safely.
A lot of us in the Pagan cluster got pretty tight with the Anti-Capitalist Convergence folks. We offered and received solidarity from the Black Bloc and had great conversations with lots of activists of different persuasions. We also met some of the local Peace Activists and did a spiral dance to close the Peace March.
Katrina represented us, and now let me praise her: she was brilliant! In under five minutes, she woke up the church, had them eating out of her hand, then dropped the words 'Witch' and 'Pagan' onto them, and then planted the seeds of our magical spellworking into all the different traditions. And she looked beautiful! Awesome job! Then afterwards, we did a spiral dance across the street for those who had survived what turned out to be a marathon religious service.
We deepened our connections with each other, and helped to strengthen the ties between our different communities. Also we had a whole lot of fun hanging out together.
All in all, it was important and successful work. Thanks again to all who made it possible.
And now we face the even harder work of taking it home, of regaining momentum for all the issues that we've been working on, of exploring the strategies and tactics and models that can serve us in this particular moment.
Copyright (c) 2001 by Starhawk. All rights reserved. This copyright protects Starhawk's right to future publication of her work. Nonprofit, activist, and educational groups may circulate this essay (forward it, reprint it, translate it, post it, or reproduce it) for nonprofit uses. Please do not change any part of it without permission. Readers are invited to visit the web site: www.starhawk.org.
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