Bl(A)ck Tea Society

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The Bl(A)ck Tea Society was an ad hoc, nonviolent anti-authoritarian coalition whose purpose was to protest the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. The group believed that the United States was a two-party duopoly that offers no real choice between Republicans and Democrats.

The largest event organized by the Bl(A)ck Tea Society was the Really Really Democratic Bazaar on the Boston Common on July 27, 2004, the second day of the DNC. The idea for the bazaar came from the Really Really Free Bazaar during the protests in Miami against the FTAA. The bazaar was organized decentrally, almost anyone was invited to set up a booth or an activity. Booths were set up by radical groups from all over New England. There were also games and arts activities. Near the cluster of booths was a stage that featured a wide variety of musicians from all over, as well as an open mic. Andre 3000 of Outkast wandered across the Bazaar, and David Rovics directed his audience to lie on the ground spelling out the phrase "Fuck You" to the hovering police helicopter.

"As the convention opened, police were braced for potentially violent confrontations. But as the week unfolded, they often found themselves chatting casually with small groups of protesters or shepherding them around the downtown area during marches. Despite dire pre-convention warnings, most activists appeared disinclined to have a confrontation with the police. At today's main event in Copley Square, more than 200 protesters on bicycles converged on the small park, along with a tiny but boisterous collective from the anarchist society. While the non-stop beating on buckets and pans, as well as the ragged dress of most of the participants, may have put off some of the city's residents and visiting delegates, protesters were largely well behaved, riding their bikes in the street and causing only minor traffic delays while flanked by scores of Boston bike police. In fact, at one point during the protest, a motorcade bore down on the bicyclists, sirens blaring from the lead SUV. Members of the bike police conferred quickly with the protesters, who pulled to the side of the road to allow the VIPs, hidden behind tinted windows, to pass unhindered."[1]

Following the DNC in Boston, the group disbanded as planned. However, a zine covering the group's formation, operation and experience is forthcoming.

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