Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Abby Zimet: Then They Came For the Drummers, Chanters, Chalk Artists, Trash Pickers, Balloon Carriers, Bike-Helmeted Moms and Naked Athena

Photo by Dave Killen.

Having giddily praised the “fantastic job” his unwanted federal goons have done in Portland tear-gassing moms, medics, reporters and stubbornly peaceful protesters against racial injustice, our wannabe Benito is now threatening to invade other American cities to protect them from “violent anarchists” painting on the sidewalks, with Chicago reportedly slated as their next target, maybe because lots of black people there? The escalation of TrumPinochet‘s “decidedly fascist” actions comes with justifications that would be laughably flimsy if anything at this point except Sarah Cooper was still remotely laughable. Chad Wolf, his perfectly named, acting Thug-In Chief, argued, “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not,” citing the horrific crimes committed during the city’s “rampant long-lasting violence” in a document thatreads like a Monty Python skit: “Violent anarchists graffitied the BPA le Building. Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse. Violent anarchists graffitied the Terry Schrunk Plaza.” Etc. Little Benito, meanwhile, is feverishly ranting in his usual fourth-grade syntax, “This is worse than Afghanistan, by far. This is worse than anything anyone’s ever seen. These aren’t protesters, they’re anarchists. These are people that hate our country.” He should know.   

Thus do we now have the grossly under-reported spectacle of unnamed, unbadged, unaccountable hoodlums in camo combat gear and unmarked vans wildly tear-gassing and pepper-balling engaged citizens, city officials, medics, media,  support tents, people drawing with chalk on sidewalks, culinary-minded patriots grilling Riot Ribs amidst the teargas, and marchers wielding chants, signs, masks, drums, balloons, umbrellas, dance moves, litter picker-uppers and other weapons of peace. They include the bike-helmeted Wall of Moms, who’ve turned out in growing numbers in hopes of “protecting peaceful citizens’ right to protest,” by now a quaint idea. “We wanted to look like we were going to Target, like normal people,” said their organizer. They got tear-gassed too, though in indomitable mom fashion they also began sharing anti-tear-gas recipes online. They were also joined  by a dramatic “Naked Athena,” a lone woman wearing only a mask and cap, who emerged from the tear gas and struck yoga poses before the stunned goons; they eventually shot pepper balls at her feet, but she didn’t seem to notice, and for a moment, wrote one admirer, “the forces of destruction were abashed.” Meanwhile, the protests have grown, as has the hashtag #PoliceState. This weekend, the Lincoln Project released a new, Holocaust-echoing ad about the coming of fascism titled, “This Is How It Starts.” A few days ago, it seemed over the top. Now, it doesn’t. 

Thugs stunned by naked lady unafraid of their big boy weapons.

Thugs bravely combating graffiti

“These are people that hate our country.” – Donald J.

2 comments on “Abby Zimet: Then They Came For the Drummers, Chanters, Chalk Artists, Trash Pickers, Balloon Carriers, Bike-Helmeted Moms and Naked Athena

  1. Suzanne
    July 24, 2020

    How wonderful to read the other side of a story we only see as sensationalist headlines over here in Australia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike
    July 24, 2020

    Thank you. It’s uplifting to be aware of this creative response to fascism.

    Liked by 1 person

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