archives of global protests

Action at Rene Levesque: Wall goes down...
by zoe mitchell 4:46pm Fri Apr 20 '01
A casual "shit goes down" story. Except the shit is the wall of shame.
(Professor English: read this.)

The Wall in the night of A19:
Zone de Lutte contre l'Exploitation et l'Abus
(ZLEA = FTAA in french; lutte = battle; abus = misuse)

Source: Indymedia DC

It only took 10 minutes but the Wall of Shame came down early this afternoon, less than 24 hours after it was built. Protesters torn down the security perimeter at Rene Levesque, and the police, protecting capitalism, followed with a storm of teargas.

I arrived at Rene Levesque after hearing a report over the CMAQ dispatch of a heavy action there. Running up from behind on Berthelot after hearing shots, I heard people screaming "Don't go up there unless you're protected. They're gassing everything." I being the crazy journalist that I am, masked up, put on my sealed goggles and ran toward Rene Levesque. I didn't get far. The wind was blowing directly toward me and I had to head down the hill.

Even though I was already in pain, I ran up St. Patrick and up Scott to Rene Levesque. There was a tremendous amount of teargas in the air and there were 3 lines of cops in riot gear protecting the summit attendees from the thousands of protesters standing feet away. Pieces of the fence were being thrown back at the police. Protesters were sitting on the front line yelling "peace, peace" but moving forward toward the police slowly.

Teargas was being shot in all directions. Behind the sitting protesters to clear the road. Behind the cop lines to prevent people from running up the sidewalk and jumping behind the cops. And down some sidestreets.

As I struggled to take pictures of the rubble the Wall had become I was overwhelmed by more teargas and hundreds of people running down Scott St. I joined them just before the cops created a line blocking protesters from coming back up to Rene Levesque from Scott St. They also blocked Burton St. which runs parallel to Rene Levesque.

They spread plenty more teargas at Burton St. and pushed protesters down the road. The teargassing is continuing as I write this. The streets are packed with people who having been teargassed for the first, fifth, thousandth time...are upset. And it's nearly night-time.