The Struggle Is Our Inheritance

From RNC Welcoming Committee

A collaborate project of the RNC Welcoming Committee—an anarchist collective that formed around resistance to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008—The Struggle Is Our Inheritance is an awesome glimpse into Minnesota’s often forgotten radical past. 23 essays on topics such as the 1934 Teamsters Strike, the co-op wars of the 70s, Anti-Racist Action, The Minnehaha Free State, and many more.

Download the PDF here.

A.L.F. Targets Latzig Mink Ranch

From the Animal Liberation Front

To all those who refuse to give in,

In the early morning hours of April 29th, our small band of do-gooders made our way through muddy fields and wet forests to descend upon Latzig Mink Ranch in Howard Lake, MN.It has been ten years since the A.L.F. last visited this farm, and it has been too long since there has been a liberation.

Only the breeding animals were on the farm. After cutting several holes and opening gate in the surrounding fence, we entered the main breeding shed. All of the breeding information was removed and destroyed. Every cage was opened, releasing hundreds of mink into the surrounding countryside.

Imprisoned in fur factories, these solitary creatures are forced to endure the intensive confinement of only a few square feet of cage, compared to the miles of territory these animals would enjoy in the wild – their natural state. Even if these animals die after being released into the wild, it is better there than at the hands of those who would otherwise imprison them and cause them to suffer. It is better to die after a life of running free in the wild under starred skies while chasing their prey, as these animals are supposed to do, than to die a death brought about by gassing, anal electrocution, or snapping of the neck. How do you think these animals would prefer to die: after a lifetime running free in the wild under starry skies, or after a lifetime of confinement ended by a brutal murder of gassing, anal electrocution, or a snapped neck – a murder all for the profit and vanity of others.

Many of the mink scratched and paced in their cages, searching for ways to escape. We aided them by removing the nesting boxes and opening the cages. Initially, many of the mink had trouble walking because of the deplorable and cramped conditions of the cages. All cages contained at least two mink, but many contained several more. By the time we had finished, many had darted to the freedom that sat on the other side of a broken fence. We hope with all of our hearts that some of these beautiful creatures make it!

This is the second A.L.F. liberation in the midwest done in absolute solidarity with Peter Young, whose unparalleled bravery and determination serves as an inspiration to us all.

To all of those who smirk at the fate of Peter and other captured activists, remember this: we have broken, closed, and burnt down more of your farms, more or your labs, and more of your business than you have been able to capture activists. As in the case of Peter, for each year that one of us faces in prison, there will be an equal, if not greater, number of liberations in response. Your attempts at scaring us and making an example of our comrades will not work.

Finally, to all fur farmers, furriers, and profiteers of death, this is the last warning: close down your businesses, or with boltcutters, fire, and storm, we’ll do it for you. You can try to scare us, you can try to imprison us, and you can even try to kill us, but the day we stop will be the day that the last animal has been freed from its cage.

Let the third and final part of Operation Bite Back commence!

For Absolute Liberation,

the A.L.F.

P.S. Peter, I hope this helps raise your liberation to letter ratio.

Inmates Occupy Rochester Jail

From Daybreak 5

On September 5th, 72 inmates in the main housing unit of Olmsted County jail were told that more inmates were being brought in, creating a need for double bunking. Inmates were told that they only be let out of their cells in two groups in 90 minute shifts. Inmates were ordered to return to their cells so authorities could complete the changes. About 30 of the inmates refused to return to their cells. The three guards tried to control what was now an uprising but fled when their realized they were unable to do so leaving prisoners in control of the complex for more than seven hours. Inmates broke tables, smashed vending machines and damaged an electronic door in the common area causing $50,000 in damages. Power and water were cut off to that portion of the jail and the SWAT team moved in when only a handful of the objectors were still in the common area. There are no reports available for how brutal the repression was after the uprising.

The number of people incarcerated in Minnesota’s county jails has more than doubled since 1980 and is still growing at more than 10% a year. Severe overcrowding brought by harsh sentencing and sentence stacking (making a prisoner serve 3 one year sentences instead of 1 three year sentence) is allowing county bureaucrats to install harsh and stressful living arrangements. They are currently exploring the option of imprisoning people in Wisconsin.


Squad Cars Collide; 3 Officers Injured As 150 Residents Taunt Them

From Daybreak 5

At about 10:45pm on June 6th, 2 police cars collided while running a red light at Arcade and Minnehaha in St. Paul. The 3 officers were laying on the ground dazed as a crowd of 150 gathered around them yelling and taunting. “I’ve never seen anything like this. This is about the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” one person told the reputable and not so sensational 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “They were just grabbing any part they could get of them. And that’s when the people started saying, ‘grab his gun, grab his stuff.” Local people looted the cops belongings and badges and took humorous pictures until emergency vehicles took them to the hospital where the only confirmed injury was a broken wrist.

Daybreak Solves The Stadium Issue

From Daybreak 4

Daybreak! has been criticized by some for not taking practical stances on the burning issues of today, things that ‘the people’ really care about. So we’re throwing our powerful editorial weight behind the Minnesota stadium question. For those who don’t know, in the late 70’s the city of Minneapolis built the monstrosity known as the Metrodome for the Vikings, Gophers, and Twins to play in. It’s consistently ranked one of the worst stadiums in the country, making fans and owners believe this is why their teams are losing. Although the team owners want a new stadium, they don’t necessarily like the idea of spending billions of their own money to build it. So they’ve tried putting pressure on politicians and the public but, so far, people have been divided on all the proposed schemes (which all somehow require government removing money from our pockets). 

The solution for this complex problem is not to tear down the Metrodome and build yet another stadium in Minneapolis but to follow the example of the gentrifiers redoing warehouses and artists co-ops all over the Twin Cities—luxury lofts for yuppies! The benefits of this are manifold; there is nearby parking for thousands of Hummers (which also brings up the idea of housing yuppies in the parking ramps). The Metrodome trough bathrooms have a gritty urban aesthetic that appeals to the Young Professional. The Metrodome is “pre-packaged” with an inside lawn the size of a football field that will stay green forever—no need to mow that! In fact, downtown Minneapolis’ skyway tunnels could connect them to their office buildings, so Metrodome dwellers wouldn’t need to go outside at all. The stands currently selling popcorn or hotdogs in the stadium could be converted to Starbucks’ and “health food” restaurants, so nobody would have to go far to get their skinny cappuccino and “low or no carb” entrée. The luxury lofts at the Metrodome just might be the closest thing to paradise in the Twin Cities.

Since yuppies feel uncomfortable paying less than $5,000 a month for rent, we could make $300 million by filling “the Dome” to capacity. (We might want to buy another sports team or two. Maybe the Yankees.) Since the Twin Cities can’t hold any more stadiums, we could probably take over the Stillwater Penitentiary in the name of sports, freeing the prisoners, apologizing for their years of confinement, and convert the place into a stadium. Until then, the teams could probably just play in South Minneapolis’ Peavey Park. We’d pay them minimum wage (with the prospect of tips!).

Obviously these solutions will satisfy even the most persistent of critics of a new stadium. However, if, by some oddity, the owners are unhappy with our changes, we suggest that the teams exile them to the East Coast and declare themselves community owned like the Green Bay Packers.

This is only the first of our editorial solutions to complicated problems. Next time, watch for our argument that abortion is the only 100% effective form of birth control.

Angry Residents Riot As Cops Murder Again!

From Daybreak 3

mpdThe Jordan neighborhood on the North Side of Minneapolis exploded in rage on the night of Thursday August 22nd when Minneapolis Police shot an 11-year-old boy during an alleged drug raid. According to bystanders, the police rolled up to the house with weapons drawn and immediately opened fire with MP5 submachine guns (supposedly) at a dog that was being held by a leash near where the boy was standing.

“He [Julius] is a little kid, he was shocked,” Toney Powell said. “Then the dog just stood there barking and the cop just came up from the ground with the gun shooting, ‘bap-bap-bap-bap-bap!’ Then [Julius] fell and hit the ground shaking.”

The police began gathering at the scene of their crime but were confronted by hundreds of angry residents who taunted and attacked them with bottles and debris, forcing them to retreat outside the neighborhood. The crowd then began an assault on the abandoned corporate media, beating them and throwing rocks and bottles at reporters and their vehicles. At least five vehicles were damaged, including a torched news van, and 10 people were injured. The riots continued throughout the early morning. Four people were arrested.

The shooting came in the wake of 3 other high-profile police murders of black people during the month (as well as a number of other police killings in St Paul, most notably of 3 mentally handicapped people in the space of 3 weeks) and the constant harassment of residents by police, including beatings, threats, and ridiculous arrests. Jordan resident Marguerite Cannon complained that lesser examples of police misconduct in the Jordan neighborhood are commonplace. She said a teenage neighbor out past curfew ran from police, who chased him and gave him a black eye. It recalls similar situation to that of a 17-year-old Somali man who was shot in the back by police earlier this summer. Alice Lynch, executive director of the Black, Indian, Hispanic and Asian Women in Action group, said racial profiling and random stops of black residents by white cops has eroded the frail level of trust between some community members and police. “Many of them [the police] have military training and act with a mentality of being in a war,” she said.

In the aftermath of the riot many different groups with different interests sprouted up, from surreal speeches by rich politicians to landlord groups making statements about the necessity of police tactics. Later in the week it was revealed that Police Chief Olson struck a deal with professional community activist Spike Moss to give him about 20 temporary police badges and pay about 6,000 dollars to his ‘community’ policing groups who roamed North the rest of the weekend, supplementing the MPD presence that smothered the entire city.

Although the ‘raid’ was supposedly made for drugs related complaints, police found only six bags of marijuana worth about $10 each on one man. The complaints against the house were made by a loose group of primarily white homeowners calling themselves the Jordan Livability Committee. Tim Dolan, head of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct, pointed out that “people in the suburbs don’t realize the reality is we have two communities of people up here, One that works, owns property and raises families, and a community of people that is selling drugs and committing crimes and would like to see the police leave the neighborhood.” There’s no doubt that what Dolan means is that there are rich homeowners and landlords and there are poor people, who are criminals because it’s criminal to be poor. The police are, as usual, not only vicious and irresponsible, but accessories to the war of the rich on the poor, enforcing the landlords and yuppies ‘street-cleaning’ by harassing and assaulting poor people, especially poor black male people.

Steve Wash, a south Minneapolis housing advocate was quoted in the Star Tribune as saying “To all those who say: ‘Let’s get these homegrown drug dealers off the street,’ I’m saying let’s look at what’s creating all these dope dealers. It’s the only viable economic opportunity for many of these young men. People don’t want to hear that, but the true problem is a solvable economic one. […] When a defeated community gets so angry it boils over, a team is brought in to quiet them down but not advocate for better conditions. We hear that it’s a time for peace and it might sound crazy, but why should all these poor people remain quiet and keep going along with a system that marginalizes them?”

Weeks have passed since the night of rioting but the only response of authorities has been to increase the police presence. Communities United Against Police Brutality are trying to bring in a Federal Mediator to help bring the conflict to resolution, but local politicians and the police chief are attempting to crush any possibility at creating a community oversight over police. As the fuse continues to burn low in the neighborhoods there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the police will kill again. That’s what they do: The enforcers of the rich against people without power of all colors.

The Revolutionary Anarchist Bowling League (RABL)

From Daybreak 3

Bowl a strike, not a spare—Revolution everywhere!

– RABL slogan

The original Revolutionary Anarchist Bowling League, RABL, was founded in Minneapolis in the mid-1980s. I was one of the founding members of the organization, and in fact helped come up with the name at one of our meetings.

We were a revolutionary anarchist collective that participated in various actions locally and nationally. We were anarchists who believed in anti-authoritarian organization against racism, sexism, homophobia, and capitalism. We believed that an anarchist revolutionary insurrection was ultimately necessary to achieve a free and equalitarian society.

We were founded sometime after the 1986 Haymarket Centennial in Chicago. We periodically put out a paper in Minneapolis called The Rabble Rouser, hosted the North American Anarchist Gathering in 1989, and helped organize the now defunct Love and Rage newspaper, which was published monthly in New York. Over the years we organized many demonstrations, and worked and participated in dozens of other demonstrations and coalitions. Through our actions we obtained quite a bit of notoriety, both locally and to some degree nationally, and were considered to be one the most militant Anarchist organizations in North America.

We would often have meetings in bowling alleys, and put out a monthly paper locally called RABL Rouser, in which we used lots of campy bowling graphics. We also used the names of famous profession bowlers as pseudonyms for our articles. There was also a local anarchist bookstore, Backroom Books, which some of our members worked at, where we would have meetings.

In my opinion our most important action, of all the things we did, was throwing a bowling ball through the window of a recruiting center in Minneapolis. In a rarely remembered incident, the Reagan administration began telling the media that Nicaragua was “invading Honduras”, and that it might require actual U.S. troops to invade Nicaragua (as opposed to the U.S-proxy army of Contras operating out of Honduras, that it was then using). Because of this, there were large and militant demonstrations all across the country. Even small towns, such as Duluth or Mankato in Minnesota, to name a couple I know of first hand. Demonstrators blocked off the Golden Gate Bridge. The mainstream press, however, did not report the news. There was a news blackout about the demonstrations, similar to the kind of thing that happened later during the Gulf War. Attempts were made by the fledgling independent news media (such as Pacifica Radio) to spread this information.

In Minneapolis, there were barricades in the streets, and a major business and traffic intersections of the city were occupied for three days. It was during these mobilizations that a nearby recruiting center had a bowling ball thrown through its front window. We in RABL, while not taking direct responsibility, supported what had happened, but we were attacked by the liberals in the demonstration as being supporters of violence. Liberals lied and misrepresented us to the media just as bad as any conservative would have done.

We felt somewhat vindicated when we later found a quote in the NYTimes, by a Reagan administration official that one of the reasons they had backed off on sending US troops into Honduras was because of the damage to recruiting centers. While we had heard of militant actions in other cities, the recruiting center in Minneapolis was the only one that we heard had been damaged.

I like to think that that bowling ball actually helped stop a war.

RABL disbanded in ’91 shortly after the Gulf War, which, in the wake of the death, destruction, and the media’s self-censorship and prowar hysteria, severely demoralized much of the Left in this country.

Summary Of May Day Actions In Minneapolis

From Twin Cities Indymedia

The May Day march began with labor, politicians, anarchists, and socialists together. Everyone marched and demonstrated outside the American Express building, where the radical cheerleaders gave us some cheers. A banner was dropped in a skyway that read “Hate has no home here”. Seven cops on horseback gathered at the opposite corner of the building. The march split into two—the anarchists continuing on an illegal march, everyone else staying on the permitted rally. For 45 minutes, the anarchists obstructed traffic while shouting “Happy International Worker’s Day!” to observers. In one intersection, the group ganged up on a corporate media reporter. But soon they started running through the streets, racing each other to the next intersection. The marchers finished the march by playing games on the lawn of a corporate building.

Throughout the demonstration, the police watched from behind, and did not confront the group. At one time, the police coned off a street for demonstrators. The anarchists cheered as the police waved them through.

E.L.F. Takes Action Against Biotechnology Research at the University of Minnesota

From the Earth Liberation Front

nbt0302-211-I3The construction site for the new Microbial and Plant Genomics Research Center at the University of Minnesota had incendiaries left in the main trailer and two pieces of heavy machinery, including a bulldozer. Heavy damage was caused to the machinery and trailer by the fire, which then spread to the adjacent Crop Research building. The construction of this research building is being funded by biotech giant Cargill Corporation who develop, patent, and market genetically modified crops, making people dependent on GE foods. We are fed up with capitalists like Cargill and major universities like the U of M have who have long sought to develop and refine technologies which seek to exploit and control nature to the fullest extent under the guise of progress. Biotechnology is only one new expression of this drive.

For the end of capitalism and the mechanization of our lives,

Earth Liberation Front


E.L.F. Claims Responsibility For Attempted Arson At Nike Outlet Store In Albertville, MN

From the Earth Liberation Front

Take Actions Against Globalization Now!!!

The Earth Liberation Front has very recently paid a visit to a Nike outlet in the town of Albertville, MN. This visit was in solidarity with all people of all nations to fight globalization, and to support the growing anti global sentiment. This is also a call for direct action against globalization in solidarity with all of the anti FTAA actions scheduled in Canada later this month.

After witnessing first hand the treacherous conditions that Nike workers experience daily in sweatshops around the world, it was decided that no NGO organization, could have the immediate impact necessary to end conditions that exist currently at any sweatshop.

Instead, direct action is more efficient tactic to stop Nike in their footsteps. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, the visit was short, and although the plan was to destroy the roof, only minor damages were sustained.

Although the roof of this Nike outlet did not go up in flames as planned, this action is still a message to Nike they cannot ignore. In fact, there are only two options for Nike at this point. Option 1.- you can shut down all of your sweatshops immediately, and immediately place all assets into the communities that you have stolen from. Along with this, you must close down all Nike outlets, starting with the Albertville, MN location (you are especially not welcome in this town!!!)… Or, option 2.- people across the globe will individually attack Nike outlets, as well as retailers that sell Nike (including college campus shops) until Nike closes down, or adheres to demand #1.

It is important to point out to Nike that the violence they use against the poor, and especially those that do all the work for them will only be met with violence towards what they hold dearest… They’re pocket books. all E.L.F. actions are non violent towards humans and animals. But if a building exists which perpetrates, and sponsors violence towards people or animals (such as a Nike outlet, or a Gap outlet, etc.), then by god, it’s got to be burned to the ground!!! the E.L.F. wholeheartedly condones the use of violence towards inanimate objects to prevent oppression, violence, and most of all to protect freedom. Direct action is a wonderful tool to embrace on the road to liberation.

E.L.F. Crop Destruction At University of Minnesota

From the Earth Liberation Front

In the early hours of February, 9 the Earth Liberation Front paid a visit to Green Hall at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN. The target was transgenetic oat research crops. The research was being done by University professors David Sommers and Howard Rines. All the oats found in the greenhouse were destroyed, messages were spray painted, and the locks were glued on the way out. Oat research is simply one of the projects that the University is taking part in, in partnership with gross corporations that are adding to the destruction of the Earth. Let this action be a warning to the University of Minnesota and the entire biotech industry, that if you continue to destroy the biodiversity on the Earth your profits will continue to fall.

The elves are always watching. Stop genetic engineering or we will.

For Freedom and Wilderness,

Earth Liberation Front

E.L.F. Claim Responsibility For Sabotage on Highway 55 Construction Equipment

From the Earth Liberation Front

Greetings from the Earth Liberation Front.

We are claiming responsibility for the second attack upon C S McRossan’s machinery. In the early morning hours of Sun. Oct 3 (’99), the ELF entered the construction site on highway 55 in Minneapolis where the company is working. Machines that were found with accessible holes had sand poured into the oil, the draining of them. Three machines had hoses and wires cut before the elves escaped into the night. This follows an attack earlier in the week on Mon Sept 27 when a visit was paid to CS McRossan’s offices in Maple Grove, where we slashed conveyor belts and damaged machinery. We see highway 55 as symbolic of the larger system that is strangling us of our air and water. The NAFTA superhighway and the roads into the forests are all a symptom of the sick capitalist system that puts profits before people or ecosysytems. As long as the trees continue to fall, so will the profits made of this project. This is just the beginning of a new level of battling against highway 55 and car culture. We urge the elves of MN and the world to unite against the profit hauling infrastructures around the globe. Target machines, offices, and equipment used to build roads. We are everywhere and we are watching. We will be back.

Bolt Weevils Strike Second Genetic Engineering Giant In Minnesota

From the Bioengineering Action Network

The direct action campaign against genetic engineering and corporate agriculture in Minnesota is underway. Following up on the attack on Novartis/Northrup-King’s Seed research facility on September 1, “Bolt Weevils” trampled 50 rows of research corn adjacent to Pioneer Hi-Bred’s seed research facility in Mankato, Minnesota (Hwy. 22) on Sunday, Sept 12. Company vehicles parked at the facility were also damaged, and “free the seed” and “stop agribusiness” were spray-painted on a shed at the site. The Pioneer sign in front of the facility was appropriately amended to read “Pioneering Farmageddon”.

Pioneer Hi-Bred is the largest seed company in the world and was acquired by Dupont Chemical Co. earlier this year for $9.4 billion. As farmers in the US, France, India and elsewhere struggle to maintain a place in the expanding global economy, corporate mergers and acquisitions increase, giving more control over the world’s food systems to a handful of huge seed-chemical-pharmaceutical conglomerates. The technology of genetic engineering has been developed and marketed to the world by these companies with no regard for the social, ecological or economic consequences of releasing millions of acres of mutated plants into the environment, or the consolidation of seed ownership that has resulted from such a profit-driven science.

Our strike against pioneer is a call to the Weevils and Borers of the world to join the growing resistance to the quickly approaching “Farmageddon”. Crops, research facilities and corporate offices are all sources of this technological threat and should be targeted. Genetic modification of plants is a dangerous experiment on nature and people, and should be stopped.

Minnesota Bolt Weevils Attack Novartis Research

From the Bioengineering Action Network

Harvest came early this year at the Novartis Corporation’s Seed Research facility on Hwy 19 in Goodhue County, Minnesota. Several thousand stalks of corn from research plots ajoining the Northrup-King (Novartis’ Seed Division) facility were trampled and crushed in the pre-dawn hours of Wed. September 1 by the Bolt Weevils. Simultaneously in a northern Twin Cities suburb, another strain of Weevils glued and jammed the locks at Novartis/NK Seeds’ Corporate offices at 7500 Olson Memorial Hwy, to prevent another day of profiting off the dirty business of genetic engineering.

Reviving the namesake of the MN farmers who toppled NSP power lines in the 1970s, todays Weevils targetted one of the largest “life sciences” conglomerates in the world. Created in Switzerland in 1997 by the merger of two major pharmaceutical and agriculture firms (Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz/NK Seeds), Novartis is one of many companies seeking to commercialize and expolit the most basic biological process- genetic evolution.

Much of the corn attacked by the Bolt Weevils was labelled as genetically modified with Bt (Bacillus thuregensis), a bacterial insecticide sprayed topically by organic and small scale farmers as a last resort to control problem insects, but now increasingly genetically engineered directly into the DNA of corn, cotton and potatoes, to make plants express the pesticide throughout. Ecologists, farmers and corporate executives alike agree that such widespread exposure to the toxin will eventually create Bt-resistant “super pests”, rendering small scale use of the bacteria in spray form obsolete. Novartis and other companies producing Bt seeds respond to this prediction by suggesting “refuges” of non-Bt crop be grown amidst transgenics to slow adaptation by insects. This rationale ignores the reality of cross-pollination, and could unleash irreversible genetic pollution on plants and insects.

Additionally, recent research has revealed that Bt pollen has a similar fatal effect on the intestines of the Monarch butterfly as on the corn borer, and scientists have shown that engineered Bt accumulates in the soil and could disrupt soil ecology irreversably.

Decades of farm policies designed to boost profits for agricultural chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow and Dupont has left the rural farm economy in shambles, with suicide rates among desperate farmers on the rise. Intensive industrial agribusiness has severely degraded, eroded and poisoned the American heartland. Now these very same companies are creating new ways to profit off industrial agriculture, promising farmers “improved” genetically altered seeds that will boost production and help them compete on the world market.

Rapid industry consolidation has centralized control over the research and development of powerful genetic technologies, allowing the industry to control market forces. This trend spells disaster for the global food supply, from agrarian third world communities to rural America. Family farms won’t survive without a new approach to farm economics and a turn to ecological farming practices. There is abundant knowledge of such agricultural methods, as evidenced by the growing organics and permaculture movements, and more importantly, by the ancient breeding and seed saving traditions still used in indigenous cultures. Why have these practices taken a back seat to agribusiness?

The Bolt Weevils’ harvest is meant as a WARNING to the entire “life-sciences” industry that opposition to its sinister plan is far more widespread than they think, and growing exponentially. Though the true natures of this industry are hidden behind slick PR campaigns, people all over the world are exposing and attacking it on many levels, most dramatically in the fields and greenhouses where research and breeding occurs.

Our fellow weevils in Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Maine, Vermont, and California, have set the stage for a full scale underground attack on the roots of this threat to the future of life on earth. Unsurprisingly, government agencies like the USDA, FDA, EPA, and state departments of agriculture have acted as collaborators with the biotech industry, and should also be targeted. This action should be seen as an incitement to join the biotech resistance by taking direct action against this menace in all its forms.

Minneapolis Dyke March Does It Again

From The Blast 3

For the second year in a row, hundreds of dykes took to the streets of Minneapolis in an unpermited display of frisky and militant less energy on Saturday, July 9, the night before the official and comparatively milktoasty LGBT Pride Parade.

Sounds of drumming and the rev of motorcycle engines rallied the women who collected in Loring Park in front of Amazon Bookstore. As the march stepped off, somewhere between 400 and 700 dykes, lesbians, gay women, bi women, queer women and a smatter of queer guys chanted, hooted, toted signs and caught street chalk being tossed out to them to use for civic beautification along the way. The march streamed onto Hennepin, then over to 12th and up Nicollet as Dyke March marshals—wearing armbands sporting such monikers as Carpet Muncher, Muff Diver, Ball-Busting Dyke and Sodom & Gomorrah Tour Guide—stopped two lanes of traffic, held intersections, and stalls the cops along the way. About a dozen gay men kept appearing and reappearing along the march route sidelines, yelling and carrying signs reading “Cocksuckers for Muffdivers,” “Dykes Rule,” and the like, much to the entertainment of the women marching.

The march, organized by the Lesbian Avengers, was to be a spontaneous expression of whatever women showed up. Two possible march routes were suggested, to be decided upon depending on the numbers of women present, the collective energy, and the rapidity with which the cops figured out and attempted to quash what the marchers were up to. Dykes on bikes led the way and circled around the throng, picking up info from marshals about which route women wanted to take next.

Officers attempted to shoo the women off the streets and onto the sidewalks, but fortunately most marchers totally ignored the police and continued along Hennepin avenue until the finished what they set out to do. Avenger marshals distracted a cop who wanted to know who organized the march, where it was going, and who he should collar for a report. The interchange went something like this: Cop: “What is this?” Dyke: “A dyke march.” Cop: “Don’t you have a march tomorrow?” Dyke: “Yep.” Cop: “Then what is this?” Dyke: “A bunch of women who wanted to march tonight.”

At the end of the march four dykes ate fire in memory of the Oregon Martyrs, a Black dyke and a white gay man who were killed when their apartment was firebombed by neo-nazi skinheads during the Oregon Measure 9 anti-gay referendum fight in 1992.

Twin Cities dykes appreciated the significance of an unpermited and militant display such as this, and organizers plan to continue the march as an annual event. Minneapolis Avengers hope to work in coalition with other groups over the next year in order to schedule the march at the best possible time and to help the Dyke march represent a genuine coming together of not only enthusiastic individual dykes, but a strong collectivity of organized activist Queer women.