Archive for anarchist news

Tortuga House Update: Pennsylvania Drops All Charges Against Madison & Wallschlager For Twittering

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by Anarchy Library

g20-twitterist

In the face of a PR nightmare, Pennsylvania authorities have withdrawn all charges against two members of Tortuga accused of using Twitter to aid protesters at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. At a hearing today, instead of oral arguments regarding a defense motion to unseal the secret 18-page affidavit authorizing the arrests of Elliott Madison and Michael Wallschlager at a motel just outside of Pittsburgh, the prosecution immediately moved to withdraw all charges against the two before the defense had a chance to argue its case. Although clear from the beginning that these charges were absurd based on the State’s very own laws, our housemates were incarcerated for 36 hours, had their van towed and belongings confiscated, and one house member was given $30,000 in straight bail.

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Infiltrators In Santa Cruz, California

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by Anarchy Library

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Three people recently entered some radical spaces in Santa Cruz and behaved in ways that led many people who encountered them to conclude that they were police agents. What follows is a description of these individuals and a summary of the sequence of events that led people to draw these conclusions. Although it may seem at first glance that they might just be some stupid naive kids eager to impress, read the whole story first because it does look really bad. In fact, the best thing that could be said of them is that they’re dangerously stupid and would therefore also be very unsafe people for that reason. Unfortunately no pictures were obtained.

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Anarchists of the World Unite – In Cyberspace

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by Anarchy Library

Every scholar of 20th-century history can tell you about the Communist International – usually called Comintern, and strictly speaking the third in a series of four global fraternities whose aim was to pursue the class struggle all over the world. —- Is it possible to imagine an Anarchist International, a trans-national version of the inchoate but impassioned demonstrations that have ravaged Greece this month? (Perhaps because it is easier to say what Greece’s malcontents are against than what they are for, the word “anarchist” is an accepted catch-all term for the anti-establishment rebels who form the hard core of the Athenian protesters.) —- By definition, anarchy is harder to propagate than rigid Leninism. Whatever is spreading from Athens, it is not a clear program for a better world.

The malcontents of Greece include ideological class warriors, nostalgists for the protests against the junta of 1967-74 and people (including drug dealers and bank robbers) with a grudge against the police.

Relations between police and the counter-culture have worsened recently; the police are accused (rightly) of bullying migrants, the bohemians of dallying with terrorism. A messy scene, with no obvious message.

But the psychological impulse behind the Greek protests – a sense of rage against all authority, which came to a head after a 15-year-old boy was killed by a police bullet – can now be transmitted almost instantaneously, in ways that would make the Bolsheviks very jealous.

These days, images (moving as well as still) spread faster than words; and images, of course, transcend language barriers.

E-communications are now a familiar feature in pro-democracy protests against dictators. Equally fast-moving, say specialists, is the role of technology in what might be called “undemocratic protests”: violent acts in prosperous, networked societies.

This became obvious during the French riots of 2005, when teenagers posted blogs that urged people to “burn the cops” – and made massive use of text messages to co-ordinate the protests.

The youths who trashed Budapest in 2006 relied on blogs to enlist supporters, and to distribute an audio recording of the prime minister admitting government corruption.

Already, the Greek riots are prompting talk of a new era of networked protest. The volume of online content they have inspired is remarkable. Photos and videos of the chaos, often shot with cell phones, were posted online almost in real time.

Twitter, a service for exchanging short messages, has brimmed with live reports from the streets of Athens, most of them in Greek but a few in English.

A tribute to the slain teenager – a clip of photos with music from a popular rock band – appeared on YouTube shortly after his death; more than 160,000 people have seen it.

A similar tribute group on Facebook has attracted more than 130,000 members, generating thousands of messages and offering links to more than 1,900 related items: images of the protests, cartoons and leaflets.

A memorial was erected in Second Life, a popular virtual environment, giving its users a glimpse of real-life material from the riots. Many other online techniques – such as maps detailing police deployments and routes of the demonstrations – came of age in Athens.

And as thousands of photos and videos hit non-Greek blogs and forums, small protests were triggered in many European cities, including Istanbul and Madrid. Some 32 people were arrested in Copenhagen.

The spread of sympathy protests over what began as a local Greek issue has big implications for the more formal anti-globalization movement. That movement has ignored the idea of spontaneous but networked protest, and instead focused on taking large crowds to set-piece events like summits.

Such methods look outdated now. Governments are not the only things that networked “anarchy” threatens.

– From A-Infos

An Anarchist Perspective on the “Violence” of the Oscar Grant Riots

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2009 by Anarchy Library

The news of the riots that followed the shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant has sensationally occupied the headlines of Bay Area newspapers and television programs over the last week. These reports have focused almost exclusively on the vandalism of local businesses and cars and have remained chillingly silent on the topic of the police violence that occurred that evening. The troubling assumption made throughout all of the reportage is that the destruction of storefront facades and car windows somehow equates to the horrific execution of Oscar, and that it justified the police violence against demonstrators that night.

As anarchists who were involved in the demonstrations, we fully reject the notion that the vandalizing of private property could ever be weighed against the violence committed against not only Oscar Grant, but against youth of color every day by police and the prison system. This way of thinking, that gives property more value than people, is what allows the violence of the police to become dangerously normalized and unquestioned.

At the time of this writing, the police officer that executed Oscar Grant in cold blood still walks the streets without criminal charges, while some of those arrested during the demonstration are locked away in prison awaiting trial and will likely face harsh sentences. The violent system that so quickly punishes those who demonstrated while simultaneously protecting the murderer of Oscar Grant should be the target of our collective criticism and condemnation, not the angry youth who reacted to the shooting in the streets that night. While Bay Area journalists have presented themselves as being objective reporters of the aforementioned events, their reports and broadcasts repeatedly reveal their bias in favor of the police when recounting the evening of the demonstrations. The endless images of smashed windows and burned cars, and the litany of condemnations of “lawlessness” and “destruction” serve to obscure the most violent events of the night, and indeed the only violence perpetrated against human beings: the brutal police beatings of protesters. One witness described a police officer beating a protester on the head so severely his bike helmet was split in two. Another described how police made over 70 protesters lie down on their stomachs in positions that eerily echoed Oscar Grant’s pose as he was shot. A visibly pregnant woman was screaming in pain after being attacked by police. It is clear to us that the police were protecting private property and not human beings that night. We are disgusted by this, and we condemn Bay Area journalists for being complicit with police violence by attempting to justify their actions.

A very distorted and troubling view of what constitutes violence in our society is perpetuated by the current coverage. A car does not scream in agony when it burns, and similarly a storefront facade does not sob when its plate glass window shatters to the sidewalk below. It is true that the cost of replacing cars and windows may be a burden for the working-class people who were affected, and that is certainly regrettable. However, there is simply no comparison between those costs and the brutal consequences of police violence. The youth who were brutalized by police the night of the demonstration will have to live with their injuries and traumas for years to come, and Oscar Grant cannot be replaced. We call on the public to recognize the real violence in our society – the violence of the police, the prisons and the politicians. As long as police and corrupt politicians protect the cop that killed Oscar, as long as youth of color are continuously attacked and criminalized by the police and court system, as long as property is valued over people – we will not grieve over the property vandalized on Wednesday night.

Signed,
Bay Area Anarchists

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A parchment to those in Oakland

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by Anarchy Library

Fight The Police State“The day after the first night of rioting. BART trains are filled with police and BART headquarters in Oakland to ensure calm during the agency’s board of directors meeting, where many African-American community leaders expressed outrage over the killing of Grant. All vacation or days off for police are postponed and all police have been on call. The community leaders may rhetorically speak of justice for Grant, but the justice they speak of will be the cop getting away with murder and this entire apparatus distilling the rage into a pacifist bliss. Again back to the normalcy of daily life. This entire situation has a larger context. That of civilization, capital, class, work, school, submission, domination and the exploitation of daily life. The mechanisms of control – the police – are spreading everywhere throughout the city. On trains, in the streets and in the air. As a response to this state of emergency. The tightening on surveillance and the free movement of bodies.

These community leaders have been portrayed as the vehicle for the rage expressed during these nights.

Reverend Dion Evans denounces the rioters by saying “He is going to be held responsibly by the people of this community we will see to it before he leaves here today. No one has the right to co-opt the minds of our young people to send them in the streets to do disorderly and dishonest conduct.” The community this leader talks about is that of a hierarchical and exploitative community. Where the relations we share are of commodities in a world of commodities. A community based on capital and its rulers. In an attempt to quail the rage and push each other against one another. The corporate media which is another vehicle for the distillment of rage. Interviews local business owners (of the Lake Merritt area of Oakland. Which is largerly commerical and residential area) saying that most of them are women and people of color. This is a push of pacifism towards the rioters and to pit people against each other. A dichotomy of us and them. But if one looks at many of the targets attacked on the first day. It was not a violence of mob-mentality. When a Sears, McDonalds, Palapas Taco Bar, I.B.’s and cars of Oakland city where destroyed as well as cars of the bourgeoisie set aflame. This clearly shows a strategic direction of attack and a class analysis carried out into action. Media was also attacked, understandably so. Because during these riots the media will hand over photos of riots to the police. Doing the job for the police and the media is no better.

Anarchist in this area should hopefully delve into strategic dialogue about these actions and events (look at Greece). Specifically with the attacks on smaller business. Though it is not really know whether it was anarchists attacking these business’s or not. A degree of hypothesis considering the recent focus on insurrectionary text and ideas. The dialogue proposed would be to either keep the riots in the next few days going or to find a strategic focus for the next rupture in the social fabric.

As the riots enter a second night. As well as an attack on a police station in Berkeley across the street from the the Ashby BART station. Lets keep the rage going let it not die down and that many more fires will be set aflame. In echoing solidarity with Alex, Oscar, Jose and the countless others murdered by the police.
For a complete destruction of this world.
Some anarchists from afar.”

AnarchistNews.org