Seven Creative Ways to Make a Blockade
Look at these hay bales doing being totally out of control!
I wake, bleary-eyed, to a recording of chirping birds. I groan, turn it off, and roll back to doze. I sleep till I’m late, visions of the work week crowding out whatever dreams I had: staring endlessly into a computer monitor; being sexually harassed by my clients; faking excitement and joy in conversations with my boss and coworkers.
When I finally make it out of my bed I race to get out the door and to the train. On the way I smudge my eyeliner, force down some fruit and yogurt, and pull on clothes that I wore the day before. I may be ragged but I’m still running.
The train is so crowded that I drop my purse to my feet and wedge myself between the wall of the car and some man’s armpit. From the window I can glimpse the San Francisco skyline and, laid out before it, cars shuffling ever toward the city on a twisted mess of highways. I'm pressed against a mass of workers making their way to shitty jobs but each person is mute, lost in their phone.
The doors burst open at my stop and I push out, jogging ahead of the crowd to make it up the stairs and into the light. As I approach the turnstile I think, for just an instant, of freezing in place just to hold up the machine for a few minutes. On the street, I pass unattended police barricades and I imagine them on the tracks below. I dodge construction workers and skirt around scaffolding, eyeing boards and pipes and fences that could be piled in the street and set alight.
I see all of these things ... and then I get to work.
Here are seven blockades that I look to for inspiration on days like these.
1. Bahrain revolutionary youth construct a burning tire barricade
2. Members of the Mik’maq warrior society fell trees to block fracking trucks on highway 134
3. Chilean high school students barricade themselves inside school with classroom chairs
4. Drivers hold a sideshow on highway 880 in Oakland, CA
5. Ukraine Euromaidan protesters pour water on sand bag barricades to freeze them together
6. French farmers dump hay on roads
7. Protesters build burning trash barricades on the streets of Oakland, CA in the wake of the Mike Brown verdict