I was at a protest, much like Cracklemore, on November 3rd in 2012.
Austerity vs. Solidarity.
In fact, Cracklemore was there, with me.
It was my first protest that really counted, but for some reason I had elected myself to be on a flag banner team with my "Comrades" from the Portland Student Union, and Cracklemore. None of that matters though, until we encountered the police.
Everything was strangely silent, until I noticed the noise of aerosol cans, and suddenly, one lone person yells... "Pepperspray!"
That words is one of the most pivotal moments of my life. The world seemed to explode. There was screaming, confusion, and anger. I managed to put my face in my shirt like a turtle, but as soon as I came out, I was hit by a spritz of pepperspray. And I noticed something- I was alone. Cracklemore had to be removed as they were sprayed terribly. My "comrades" had all run, or they were crawling on the ground, in pain, crying, begging for help.
Suddenly an officer ran up to me, and raised his baton. I prepared myself for a blow that would never come. Why it didn't, I will never know.
Later I found out from combined videos that I stood still for around five minutes.
After that five, I was yelling and screaming.
I then realized there was something horribly right about what I was doing.
Then, later, when I saw the pictures of my comrade, Cracklemore, being sprayed and hit, I knew what I was doing right: I was resisting. I knew Cracklemore knew something I didn't, and because of that, I knew that anarchism was what lead me on that march. Since then, I have not looked back.
I am an anarchist because of Cracklemore. The compassion they showed, the bravery they demonstrated, were all testaments to the true power behind the belief in anarchism- that we will risk everything to fight for our freedom.
If the price for freedom is our lives, so be it.