Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
Occupy San Diego Riders: Cavalry Arm of Occupation
“We’re the cavalry arm of the occupation,” says Nexus, a participant of the Occupy San Diego Riders who meet at 9 p.m. (or whenever general assembly ends) on Tuesday nights at the Civic Center to arrange mobile protests.
“This is the fourth ride,” Nexus says. “The last ride was like 30 people, and I imagine it will be more than that this time. Right now we’ve just been doing rides Downtown , but we have intentions of being able to hit the periphery of the city and outlying areas because we are so mobile. We want to do raid style protest rides on banks, businesses that work against unions, subsidiaries of Wall Street firms, stuff like.
“Since we’re an affinity group, we work autonomously so we set our own standards. No drugs or alcohol whatsoever on our rides, no aggression towards motorists, obeying traffic laws as often as possible, not blocking traffic unless that’s part of our plan, and working on formation riding and the communication necessary to make that possible. Since were working under a direct action setting, we will be under more scrutiny, so we have to maintain these standards to ensure our safety and longevity.”
Nexus says that direct action protest rides will take place in the day for maximum impact.
Four days ago, the direct action committee arranged a Black Friday flash mob of about 70 people who went to two local Walmarts, shopped for about half an hour, and all moved to checkout at a prearranged time to clog the lines and read aloud a list of grievances against Walmart’s for exploitation of employees, small businesses, and foreign labor.
“Some people got it,” says Nexus. “Many were confused. A few were kind of mad. But we actually had people leave their carts and walk out with us.”
In a similarly subversive maneuver, occupiers announced last night that they would be returning en mass to the Civic Center to reestablish the tent city which has been disbanded by a series of police raids and over 120 arrests.
With a near even ratio of officers to protesters on site, occupiers established a Hooverville-type village of miniature tents in a gesture equal parts a prank, a symbol, and a plea for reason.
For more, check out Reader reporter Dave Rice's coverage of last night's tiny tent event.