Class war on broad street: a report back from the 52nd Super Bowl riots in Philly

  • Posted on: 7 February 2018
  • By: thecollective

via Philly Anti-Capitalist

On February 4th, 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles stomped out the New England patriots in a classic expression of proletarian violence versus the statist symbol of a modern day “patriot.” Such highlights as known trump supporter and nerd Tom Brady getting dunked on will continue to inspire us. With this event in mind, our affinity group coordinated with other anarchists and anti-authoritarians in the weeks leading up to it to make sure that we all agreed to violently attack institutions and pigs using the sports celebration as cover. Fliers were posted all throughout the city calling for a loose “bird bloc” aka wear eagles gear and fuck shit up. We set the meeting point as city hall, leaving it vague and open to interpretation with the intention of autonomous groups coming together to perform their own actions. We felt this type of action would be more productive for this situation than an organized bloc. From everything we’ve seen so far, this is exactly what happened.

Decked out in Eagles gear, our crew used the cover of this celebration as an opportunity to attack what we view as the structures of domination that continue to keep us in chains. Instead of choosing specific targets, we recognize that with the oppressive structure of civilization, everything in the major business districts of a city, is a valid target. Hidden amongst thousands of eagles fans, we joyfully wandered the streets smashing, painting, and torching whatever we pleased. We also used this opportunity to violently assault police officers with a scattered volley of projectiles. For some of us, this was our first opportunity to physically strike back against the police with the aid of more experienced anti-cop militants. It was wonderful to see the way our friends eyes lit up with joy when they realized that they had all the tools they needed to fight back in ways they felt most comfortable.

We reached out other east coast anarchist crews to assure that we all got the opportunity to experience the fun of this attack, and as an opportunity to reconnect with friends we’ve made while traveling to actions in other cities. It was extremely refreshing both physically and mentally to share these moments of insurrection with people we don’t have the chance to revolt with in our everyday lives. We urge other insurrectionaries and revolutionaries to call upon friends in other places more often. Borders aren’t real and we shouldn’t let imaginary lines define our friendships.

We feel that it’s critical for anti-authoritarians to look for events such as this to plan attacks but also not to wait for them. This sports riot was perfect cover to carry out actions to temporarily liberate ourselves but these events are rare and we strongly believe that we must create our own spaces to act in however ways we see fit. It is worth noting that the NFL is an extremely fucked up hyper-masculine, sexist, racist, oppressive, capitalist institution that profits off the bodily harm of people who, for the most part, grew up in working class neighborhoods. We are also disgusted by the way the state uses the super bowl as an opportunity to further occupy and militarize cities. We stand in full support of the folks in Minnesota holding it down with protest and direct action. Philly loves y’all. Keep up the good work.
We took these actions with the memories of the murders of David Jones, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Scout Shultz, Laquan Mcdonald, Alexis Grigoropoulos, our Russian comrades being tortured, and everyone else who has been murdered, tortured, assaulted, or imprisoned by the state. We one day hope to see the structures of domination that keep us unfree as piles of ashes and distant memories.

Free Meek, The Move 9, Mumia, the remaining J20 defendants, and all political prisoners
Fuck the Patriots, fuck the pigs, fuck 12
To Amazon: Fuck you, theres plenty more where this came from. STAY OUT
To all our friends who couldn’t be with us today: We love y’all
Last of all “GO BIRDS”
With Love, rage, and solidarity
-Philly anarchists and 161s



"Sport can only be individual, like a prayer"
"Mass sport is a social need of the human beings, so it is unacceptable from either a sporting or a democratic point of view to 'subcontract' sport to others [professionals]"
"Stadiums exist in order to restrict the masses from using sports fields"
"Boxing and various kinds of wrestling suggest that humanity has not completely rid itself of the vestiges of barbarism."

-Muammar Gaddafi

What you got against barbarism Muammar?! Remember when all the "civilized" kids at school acted all superior towards you? I'll take the barbarians every time. Oh right … you're dead. That sounded like a rough way to go out dude.

This type of riot porn explains why Philly Anti-Capitalist posts often at It's Going Down ("Where Bros Can Be Bros and Slap Each Other with Their Respective Penises.")
Bashing windows with a mix of working class Bros , middle class Bros, and upper class Bros (diversity !) in Philly is very radical, bro. "Fuck capitalism, Go Birds !" pro-NFL type of thinking from Philly Anti-Capitalist bros shows their limited thinking and their love of guys smashing windows with their dicks.

On their website, Philly Anti-Capitalist has a picture of a protest (of course) with a Refuse Fascism banner (Bob Avakian group that also loves street protests).

Also, a picture of one of their stupid "Go Birds!" pro-NFL posters on a board covering up a "Support Marius Mason" poster posted on fellow "Let's use our Penises as swords !" Love City Antifa idiots Instagram. These bros, like Philly Anti-Capitalist, are also fucking morons.

Expect a Submedia coverage on "U.S. Football Hooligans Repruzent!" soon!

Hey! You know what would be cool? not assuming that people have penises or are bros! A lot of non-cis people feel uncomfortable going out into public to do this type of action when there isn't a large group like there was during this celebration. This action wasn't about waving your "dick" around it was about using the situation to their advantage to attack the state. Your take on this article is pretty poorly thought out, maybe you should take your pro-statist, cis-centric, bullshit somewhere else.

We can safely assume "Man Bro" is a troll but I would never presume to assume their genitalia!


"The gun is good, the penis is evil"

" the Philadelphia Eagles stomped out the New England patriots in a classic expression of proletarian violence versus the statist symbol of a modern day “patriot.”"


proletarian violence... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA holy shit, i can't stop laughing....

I'm assuming (or hoping, I guess... dear lord) that it was intended as a joke.

another satrical post by philly anti-cap

ahem.. satirical..

All that Eagles gear seems to have been a potent shield. No J20 style mass arrests, mass felony charges, and mass pepper spray, no Standing Rock style grenade wounds and major felony charges, no Baltimore style National Guard occupation and selectively targetted major felony cases brought on the basis of skin color.

You are allowed to riot over the Super Bowl, but raise your voice against a dictator and you risk a fire extinguisher style stream of pepper spray down your throat, police grenades hurling rubber balls into your skin, kettles, and felony charges carrying combined prison terms longer than the rest of your life.

Do this while Black or Indigenous and things get even nastier. Both Baltimore and Standing rock had to face the National Guard in armored Humvees, and the overt display of all-out military weapons. I was in Baltimore in 2015 in April and May, and it looked like fucking Fallujah 2005 with all those troops and Humvees. We had big enough crowds in Baltimore to make kettles physically impossible even for the Guard, but there were still nasty felony charges for an unlucky few, including a kid snitched out by his own family.

At Standing Rock, video from the Battle of Backwater Bridge showed armored vehicles and cops in turtle suits blasting razor wire with fire hoses in below-freezing temperatures. Water protectors in raingear wreathed in tear gas, smoke, and icy spray looked like a WWI movie of a gas attack. One water protector lost part of her arm to a police grenade that struck her and detonated on contact. Many more were hurt, and hundreds of felony cases were filed. Most likely the Standing Rock felony cases were the precedent for J20, I remember direct warnings in late 2016 that what was happening there would spread over the whole continent.

No criticism of the Eagles riot is meant here, rather it is the pigs and the mainstream media I am trying to call to account for their crimes. As it was in Philly, so it should have been in Ferguson, Baltimore, Standing Rock, and DC, at least so far as the behavior of the pigs and the mainstream media are concerned.

"it is the pigs and the mainstream media I am trying to call to account for their crimes"

Counter info on the nets does help to that regards, but I don't think that's enough. You'll need something far bigger than the movement that followed the murder of Mike Brown, and also a movement that can overcome identity politics. In the U.S. it ain't easy as the racial lines have been maintained.

i think a key distinction is that in occurrences like ferguson, baltimore and J20, the police were directly attacked along with property. these were direct fights against police and capital (and to some extent this is true in standing rock, hearing stories and being there, it seemed that people engaged in illegal activities and of course the police responded by suppressing and surveilling--lots of money was at stake and technically they had every right to help a business secure its area). of course the police will not respond too kindly to being directly attacked and the force will be disproportionate, but hey, that's always the case and there's no use being continually shocked by this....and let's not deceive ourselves that people were merely doing nothing--rocks, windows, gunfire, looting, etc arent nothing. this helps people get off of felony charges and it's worth employing, but hopefully someday people can just come out with what really happens in these moments, it's kind of our only hope... otherwise we're stuck forever in the game of appealing to our enemies. again it's worth employing to get off but is it really what we want as anarchists?

anyway, i agree with you somewhat, a political riot woulda been different. but i worry that your narrative of the situations you are portraying misses the mark a little and muddles the reality. it might actually disempower people and turn them into mere victims of the state as opposed to actors against it. people weren't just innocently standing around in these occurrences. in ferguson and baltimore, the police did lose control because they were out maneuvered in a many ways, and often overwhelmed by the threat of people fucking them up

the super bowl riot/celebration wasnt really that interesting to me in a political way and it also wasn't a white thing either (which i dont think youre saying?)... the police werent going to attack people because hell might break lose and it seems like when they tried to stop the party, people responded with anger.

Not saying we lost those battles, only that they were expensive. Standing Rock was of course a defeat, but only because Trump turned around and rammed the pipeline through as everyone knew he would. Baltimore and Ferguson are another story. Expensive for us, and expensive for the Enemy. Very, very bad press for the pigs and they would probably do anything they could for a time machine to take back the killings of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. That makes both those battles victories for us.

Key in Baltimore probably was shutting Orioles games down and holding the stadium closed for a week. I was there when we marched on that fucking stadium. The last baseball fans ran to get inside, even though we were not chasing them, didn't even have a beef with them. Cops then freaked out, would not let them back OUT of the stadium after the game because of some minor trashing, and a bit more street action after white baseball fans had the nerve to throw rocks at protesters. Things really blew up a couple days later when pigs attacked students changing busses after school, probably having planted the "purge" stories themselves. The resulting curfew drained money out of business's pockets, and beginning Mayday there were nightly fights over it. The city caved and the battle was over but not the Freddie Gray case.

There is no question in the world that protesters won and Trump lost at J20! There were four days of action against him, from the march on Mike Pence's house, to the Deploraball that faced SO much disruption, to an Inaugural parade before empty bleachers while protesters filled the streets everywhere else, to the largest protest in all the history of the United Snakes the next day against him by the Women's March. I've always said that kettle and those felony charges were "not about 11 broken windows but about one broken Presidency." The furious, four days of action took the wind out of Trump's sails, took away his honeymoon, and as others have said so eloquently caused "deep state" and Democrat elements to conclude they could benefit from obstructing Trump every way they could. Shit he thought he could do in a week (notably the Muslim ban, partial Obamacare repeal,huge Medicaid cuts) took a fucking year.

J20 was incredibly, incredibly expensive for this movement, but Trump's objective was a massive parade before a huge, cheering crowd. He didn't get it-and partially because of that didn't get a honeymoon either. J20 vs Trump goes to J20. The fash objective was to beat up and drive protesters off the streets, they barely showed and Richard Spencer got that famous punch. J20 vs fash goes to J20. The cop objective wasn't just to arrest a few hundred people but rather to push protesters far enough back that the checkpoint blockades could be cleared and MAGATs get to the parade. They failed in those objectives, resulting in that hours-delayed flop of a parade and a huge embarassment for Trump. Once again, the detemination of who won and won lost a battle is usually determined by which side achieved their stated goals and which side did not. Pigs (and later prosecutors) may have done a hell of a lot of damage, but they did NOT gain control of the streets as there were entirely too many protesters.

"but only because Trump turned around and rammed the pipeline through as everyone knew he would"

Sorry but I think you're wrong here, Luke. Many so-called resisters and supporters had left the camp as soon as the project was held back by Obama, as they, as a bloc, immediately went back to their university faculties yelling victory. It's not like their "support" changed anything, but rather their removal of support seems to have imposed the simulacra that the battle was won, and that's all anyone needed to know.

Even if that makes me sound like a conservative, the most efficiently reactionary crowd in the U.S. are the "bible-thumpers" or the Far Right Trumpsters; it's the pro-establishment liberals. They got an immense collective power in steering the dominant discourse in one direction or another. They're behind most of the mainstream media businesses, they dominate Hollywood, from the Oscars to Sundance, and of course control the tech industry fronted by their Messiah Elon and Google/Fedbook. The biggest question in U.S. politics right now is whether Trump's megabillions will be enough to overcome their para-political system or not. If the patriarch was able to pay himself a golden Presidency, then...

Having people not coming is not nearly as bad as faketivists who'll just let you down at the coldest of the winter so they'll save their softy butts.

yeah all the kids putting standing rock on their resumes are annoying. but hey also some of us can't stay in the middle of the plains forever, aren't tapped into support networks...err i mean cliques...that hand out lowes gift cards to their friends, networks that made the stay easier. also people have to fucking go to work and have responsibilities n shit, tho im sure there were many who just came to gawk..

but defeat could also been the elders who told people the fight was over and to go home or the various factions of elders who said do this and that, much the confusion of everyone. and of course the white and non-white anti-racists dont know who to believe so they listen to the loudest most compromising voice, instead of actually figuring out the dynamics of camp and the various infights. or the reactionary security forces within the camp who would police you hard if you were from another camp and in oceti after dark. also the glorification of red warrior led to it being an easy target for feds and other native folks and also it being a very exclusive group (for good reasons at times) didn't always help, especially when you had good friends deep in it that ignored you because they were afraid of losing their clout with the "frontline warriors." the incredibly impossible and deep historical dynamics of the camp itself certainly didnt lend itself to it being easy place for resistance, which honestly made it the most compelling aspect of the occupation itself--the deep seated shit that needed to be worked out and showing the true colors of previously hidden enemies

What are the "purge" stories'?

kids in balitmore made twitter posts about there being a "purge" the day or night before the bigger unrest. it prolly wasnt the police who made these tweets...

Was this your affinity group?
It's not a riot until the free eats arrive!

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the code without spaces.