Freeway Takeovers and Urban Disruption

Tropics of Meta

san-diego-5-freeway-protest Freeway protests on Highway 5 near La Jolla, CA circa Dec 2014

[Editor’s Note: Last night citizens in Chicago shut down Lake Shore Drive in protest over the Staten Island grand jury’s refusal to indict the police officer responsible for the choking death of Eric Garner. Yet in SoCal, protesters have been using the freeways as a vehicle for protest and political awareness for decades. UCSD PhD candidates Troy Araiza Kokinis and Jael Vizcarra explain the goals, meaning and context of these protests and others like them.]

Driving along the Interstate 5 in Southern California makes commuters privy to the militarization of port cities like San Diego. It is not unusual to encounter a tank headed to Camp Pendleton or a truck filled with “1.4 Explosives.” These sightings normalize the spatial coexistence of daily life with technologies of destruction. These quotidian reminders along the freeway belie the laid…

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