|While much of May Day proved a disappointment to Atlanta A’s — the anti-capitalist march downtown remained relatively tame throughout and our more ambitious actions were abandoned — some of our collective hunger for direct, defiant and fun gestures was satiated later that night:10pm. A small commercial building for lease in Old Fourth Ward, a neighborhood that’s become Atlanta’s most prized gentrification project, noisily loses its locks and windows.
11pm. Anti-gentrification slogans are sprayed all over the main entrance, “Occupy Everywhere” is more carefully painted in the center of the main floor space, and a large banner reading “FUCK CAPITALISM – LET’S DANCE. MAY DAY 2012” adorns the only intact front window.
Within the hour the nearly empty building is transformed into a sketchy discotheque and canvas for graffiti. Attendees construct makeshift furniture out of the wood and bricks in the building, share their interior decorating visions, scheme for more sustainable future actions and, of course, dance. (KRS-One, Grimes, Wugazi, and Dead Prez being highlights.)
Non-radicals are text blasted about the event and attend in decent numbers. We hope they were seduced. (We had some short and saccharine propaganda for them, of course.)
Confused yuppies drive by the raucous occuparty, which is conveniently situated at a stop light, doing their best to look away. We hope they were scared.
People on foot and bicycle are on pig patrol, ready to call people at the site for the inevitable moment our foes are near.
1am. Two warning calls are received, and everyone leaves as the pigs arrive. The exit strategy goes as planned, leaving no one arrested and everyone eager for more.
Let’s make it happen!
Text from leaflet handed out in bulk and tossed all over the street out front:
REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING:
I always imagined that growing up was something of a terrifying adventure: changing schools, moving out, getting a job. In fact, the uncertainty and fear that I always felt about getting older in many ways resembled my anxiety about death: “so like…what the fuck happens?” I would later learn, much to my dismay, that the answer to both questions was quite simple:
Nothing. Nothing happens.
So here I am with all of my friends and I can barely catch my breath.
The cops should be here any minute now but I can barely hold back my smile.
Something is finally happening.
It’s hard to say exactly what it is but it has to do with finding new ways to fulfill, shape & share our desires. Transforming our surroundings is crucial in this exploration. Tonight a small, unremarkable building on Irwin Street became more than just dead space awaiting transformation into an underpaid barista’s familiar nightmare. I have found the terrifying thrills that I had once hoped for – in crime.
The point, now, is to create spaces of rebellion – to spread anarchy – and to get away with it.
Not all experiments end up how we hope, but the secret is to really begin.
The risk is the reward and the stakes are higher than ever.
Long live the dance party! Long live the commune!