VIDEOS: JMU’s Block Party-Turned-Riot: Blood, Sweat, and Tear Gas
If a bro were to choose a song that truly epitomizes the vibe from this year’s Spring-fest/Block Party festivities at James Madison University, it would be without a shadow of a doubt, “Fight for your Right to Party,” by some of the biggest bros of all time the, Beastie Boys.
If that same bro were to choose a band that truly epitomizes the activities this year in Harrisonburg it would be Rage Against the Machine. A quick YouTube search of JMU block party 2010 and you will quickly be reminded of a European soccer hooligan riot and the Rodney King riots of ’92, only with way more Bros and babes in sundresses.
Ron Burgundy said it best, “Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”
The day began beautifully with the sun shining, a slight breeze rummaging through the mountains of Harrisonburg, and the brews flowing like water. My boys and I headed down to the festivities in Forrest Hills after a solid early afternoon of pre-gaming and recruiting girls to hit the slip-n-slide.
Upon arrival it was easy to see that this day was going to be incredible. We maneuvered through the crowd and heard lots of commotion coming from the middle of the street. We hit up the hill to see three cops alone in an open space about 100 or so feet all around, surrounded by thousands of people chanting “Fuck the Police” in unison. A few beers got thrown at them, and they soon realized they could no longer hold down the cleared-out area, so they left to a huge roar from the crowd.
We moved to the backyard of the frat houses, to find this:
The scene was peaceful for about 30 to 45 minutes, until some girls standing on one of the electric boxes wouldn’t show their tits, despite the chants from the crowd. Rowdy bros don’t do too well with rejection, as we all know, and the beer began to shower down upon them, which led to the craziest beer throwing extravaganza I’ve seen outside of Preakness. Seen here:
Cops watched from just up the hill, armored with good reason, catching a few rogue beers against their shields. I saw kids bleeding from their heads, I saw a girl get knocked out cold, but most of all, I saw the wildest Block Party of all time.
The beer fight died down due to tired throwing arms, soaked sundresses, and bruised egos. The rage continued as one might expect during a glorious sunny Saturday in April. Hard drinking with lots of babes around in not too much clothing is always a good combination. Picking up a girl in a massive crowd of 8,000-plus is a daunting task and working in groups is a must. The buddy system is in full effect here and running game as a squad is the only way to go. Numbers exchange, maybe a few make-out sessions here and there, but nothing too serious. That’s what the nighttime partying is for (if you can make it out at night).
O.K, so don’t be mad I haven’t shared too much info about the usual activities at a spring festival, because what truly made this year’s block-party one to never be forgotten was the unusual. With a few fights breaking out here and there and more beers flung towards to police, they began to advance their position and attempt to disperse the crowd, seen here:
With the cops moving forward the resistance grew, leading to some true teenage rebellion. Most bros who have drunk around a bonfire know how quickly an empty beer case can go up in flames. With dumpsters full of said empty beer cases, imagine how quickly and ferociously those bad boys can go up in flames. Contrary to popular belief, riot control squads don’t respect a good ole fashioned dumpster fire, and that’s where the tear gas comes in.
Some brave souls picked up tear gas canisters and threw them back at the police; trees and shrubs were ripped out of the ground to help stoke the raging dumpster fires; and beers still rained down on the onward-marching police leaving wreckage behind.
Here’s a video that pretty much captures all elements of the madness that took place. Well worth the six minutes and forty-seven seconds of your time.
If you made it out of the madness without being arrested, pepper sprayed, in unbearable sinus pain from the tear gas or, unlike my unlucky friend, gunned down with rubber bullets, then your home free for a night full of more drinking and sexual debauchery the likes of which even Tiger Woods would question.
We headed back to the house to nurse our wounds, grill, and get more beer to prepare for a night that had no chance of topping the day. The tear gas spread throughout the area and was too much to bear. Crowds dispersed leaving behind some truly ridiculous wreckage.
JMU Spring-fest/Block Party 2010 was truly an amazing event; something that I doubt will ever be topped due to the fact that I doubt there will ever be one again after this riot. Everyone there has their own special story from their perspective, and if you find someone who was there, I’m sure they will be just as willing as I was to share it with you. I survived the JMU riots of 2010, and that’s a badge th
at I will wear proudly on my sleeve for the rest of my days.
Signing off and still somewhat hungover,
Broseph Stallin, Leader of the Brommunist Party