Archive for protests

US Government Annual Threat Assessment In Favor of Revolution

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

“The Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was posted today at Cryptome.. Among the various interesting things this document contains, it’s analysis of the global economic crisis is important to social movements and anarchists in particular.

According to the US Director of National Intelligence, “The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications. The crisis has been ongoing for over a year, and economists are divided over whether and when we could hit bottom.”

This means that we’ll be afforded opportunities in the near future that we normally wouldn’t be afforded because of the economic situation. Talk has been going on in the scene about this recently and for once, it looks like anarchists and the government have something they can agree on.

“Roughly a quarter of the countries in the world have already experienced low-level instability such as government changes because of the current slowdown. Europe and the former Soviet Union have experienced the bulk of the anti-state demonstrations. Although two-thirds of countries in the world have sufficient financial or other means to limit the impact for the moment, much of Latin America, former Soviet Union states and sub-Saharan Africa lack sufficient cash reserves, access to international aid or credit, or other coping mechanism. Statistical modeling shows that economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one to two year period.”

Revolution is on its way in third world countries. The US economy relies on the capital from these areas to support its unsustainable spending and the US government relies on this reality to do horrendous things. We should support revolutionary movements elsewhere and wait for the opportunity to throw the wrench in here. Over the next year or two (or more), those opportunities will come more often and more easily.

The file is absolutely worth reading and analyzing.”

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Revolt Spreads Across the Globe as “Crisis” Continues to Unfold

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2009 by Anarchy Library

After numerous European governments expressed fear that the unrest in Greece would spread to neighboring countries and perhaps around the world, the spreading global revolt has taken on another tone: that of confronting the elite for their manipulation of the economic “crisis” (which is really a systemic collapse) in order to consolidate yet even more wealth as the masses of the world suffer the brunt of the former’s greed. The spirit of the Greek revolt has not been forgotten, however, for it is clear whose interests the police serve and protect (as America was recently reminded in Oakland).

As Iceland became the first country to fall due to popular revolt against the economic elite, and then proceeded to elect their first female PM, who is also openly gay, things are heating up around the globe. Recently, over 1,000 protesters assembled illegally to protest the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, and while the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, fear of unrest prompted the police to systematically target and arrest known and identified militants and revolutionaries.

As GNN’s Grady reports, in China “2,000 workers and farmers held wage protests for twelve days outside of Shanghai” in December 2008, “striking workers and security guards clash in a textile factory in Dongguan” on January 15th, and on January 16th, “100 police officers stage a rally in Shenzhen after being sacked from their jobs.” The Times Online also reports that in the southern province of Guangdong, “three jobless men detonated a bomb in a business travellers’ hotel in the commercial city of Foshan to extort money from the management.” In the 12 days of mass demonstrations last December, the Times reports:

…angry workers besieged labour offices and government buildings after dozens of factories closed their doors without paying wages and their owners went back to Hong Kong, Taiwan or South Korea. In southern China, hundreds of workers blocked a highway to protest against pay cuts imposed by managers. At several factories, there were scenes of chaos as police were called to stop creditors breaking in to seize equipment in lieu of debts.

In France, an estimated 2.5 million people hit the streets in a national general strike in response to the global economic collapse, and in disdain of the handling of the so-called “crisis” by their country’s ruling-class economic elite. The Telegraph reported that “the streets filled with flag-waving protesters and in Paris protesters clashed with police, throwing bottles, overturning cars and starting a fire in the street. After a day of peaceful protests, violence erupted on the fringes of the Paris protest. Dozens of young men wearing scarves across their face were charged down by riot police after throwing stones and bottles, tearing up manhole covers and lighting fires in the Opera district.”

The Beeb reports

Across Europe, victims of the economic slump who are losing their jobs in their tens of thousands are furious that public money is being doled out to the banks. In some countries, they are more willing to vent their anger. As huge crowds took to the streets across France this week, in a national day of protests and strikes, the far left points to a boost in the number of its supporters in times of financial gloom.

Certainly, ministers in Paris are wary of some form of insurrection. Recent intelligence reports talk about an “elevated threat” from an “international European network… with a strong presence in France” and a “new generation of activists”, possibly a “re-birth of the violent extreme left”. A spokesman for the interior ministry, Gerard Gachet, told the BBC that the threat was real. “The term ‘ultra-left’ was used by the interior minister to set this group apart from the extreme left who turn up for elections and keep within the parameters of democratic debate,” he says. But talking of more radical groups, he points to recent pamphlets and books published anonymously, but sometimes with a circulation of about 20,000, with titles such as How to Start a Civil War and The Insurrection That is Coming. “They say that the fires of revolt will spread everywhere,” he says, “and we see acts like damage to bank branches or state buildings and claims of solidarity with the Greek rioters.

The Guardian reported that “the French government fears a wave of extreme left-wing terrorism this year with the possible sabotage of key infrastructure, kidnappings of major business figures or even bomb attacks. Last week hundreds of fly-posters around Paris called on young people ‘forced to work for a world that poisons us’ to follow the example of their Greek counterparts. ‘The insurrection goes on. If it takes hold everywhere, no one can stop it,’ the posters said.” In another article entitled “Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets,” The Guardian reported: “France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battlefield. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment figure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New figures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.”

Across Russia, thousands of protesters demonstrated against their government’s economic policies and response to the global economic crisis, echoing the grievances of others around the globe. Al Jazeera reports that “Russian police forcefully broke up many of the anti-government protests on Saturday, arresting dozens of demonstrators.”

In Mexico City, the BBC reports, thousands of people “protested against what they say is the inadequate response by the government to growing economic problems in Mexico.”

As the global economic collapse continues to unfold, the spirit of revolt and resistance is being rekindled within the hearts of the masses, and the people of the world are rising up. Resistance is spreading from Athens, Riga, Paris, Budapest, Kiev, Reykjavik, China, Mexico, and elsewhere.

Chris Hedges recently wrote that “the daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time.” He continues:

At no period in American history has our democracy been in such peril or has the possibility of totalitarianism been as real. Our way of life is over. Our profligate consumption is finished. Our children will never have the standard of living we had. And poverty and despair will sweep across the landscape like a plague. This is the bleak future. There is nothing President Obama can do to stop it. It has been decades in the making. It cannot be undone with a trillion or two trillion dollars in bailout money. Our empire is dying. Our economy has collapsed. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations? Will we heed those who are sober and rational, those who speak of a new simplicity and humility, or will we follow the demagogues and charlatans who rise up out of the slime in moments of crisis to offer fantastic visions? Will we radically transform our system to one that protects the ordinary citizen and fosters the common good, that defies the corporate state, or will we employ the brutality and technology of our internal security and surveillance apparatus to crush all dissent? We won’t have to wait long to find out.

Joshua Holland, in a recent piece on AlterNet entitled “The Whole World Is Rioting as the Economic Crisis Worsens — Why Aren’t We?,” reported that “explosive anger is spilling out onto the streets of Europe. The meltdown of the global economy is igniting massive social unrest in a region that has long been a symbol of political stability and social cohesion. It’s not a new trend: A wave of upheaval is spreading from the poorer countries on the periphery of the global economy to the prosperous core.” He continues:

Over the past few years, a series of riots spread across what is patronizingly known as the Third World. Furious mobs have raged against skyrocketing food and energy prices, stagnating wages and unemployment in India, Senegal, Yemen, Indonesia, Morocco, Cameroon, Brazil, Panama, the Philippines, Egypt, Mexico and elsewhere. For the most part, those living in wealthier countries took little notice. But now, with the global economy crashing down around us, people in even the wealthiest nations are mad as hell and reacting violently to what they view as an inadequate response to their tumbling economies. At least in Western Europe, cries of “burn the shit down!” are being heard in countries with some of the highest standards of living in the world—states with adequate social safety nets; countries where all citizens have access to decent health care and heavily subsidized educations. Places where minimum wages are also living wages, and a dignified retirement is in large part guaranteed. The far ends of the ideological spectrum appear to be gaining currency as the crisis develops, and people grow increasingly hostile toward the politics of the status quo.

How will the people of America respond to the systematic consolidation of wealth within their own country, coupled with environmental degradation and the unfolding police state? At what threshold will the people of America have had enough? At what point will we stand up and resist our own destruction? The choice is ours.

You shouldn’t be so timid—you are not alone. There are millions of us waiting for you to make yourself known, ready to love you and laugh with you and fight at your side for a better world. Follow your heart to the places we will meet. Please don’t be too late.Fighting For Our Lives

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The First to Fall: Protesters Topple Icelandic Government

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2009 by Anarchy Library

Unrest has spread across the globe as people are losing their jobs, watching their savings vanish before their eyes while banks and other multi-billion dollar institutions are bailed our by their governments. Iceland, a typically tranquil country, has been turned upside down with social unrest, and recently gained the notoriety of being the first government toppled by its people through street protests.

The country had the world’s fifth highest per capita income in 2007, but is now experiencing Unemployment, once at zero, is expected to soar after Iceland sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

A small island country of just 305,000 people is generally laid back with little conflict but after Iceland’s currency, the krona, collapsed and the banking crisis left many Icelanders with unpayable debts, the country fell into almost daily protests. Eggs and toilet paper were thrown, youth scuffled with riot police and for the first time since 1949 the government retaliated with tear gas on demonstrators.

When parliament reconvened after Christmas Break, the politicians were barricaded inside for hours as thousands of protesters smashed windows, set off smoke bombs, banged pots and honked horns demanding the resignation of the ruling conservative party. Many of the other protests took on similarly confrontational tones- including protesters pelting the car of the prime minister (who has now resigned) with eggs and paint.

On January 26, after denying the possibility of holding early elections, Prime Minister Geir Haarde announced the resignation of his cabinet and the collapse of the current coalition government. Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir is expected to fill the vacancy, becoming the first openly gay head of state. Still, despite new leadership and promises to also dispense of the now loathed Central Bank of Iceland, this will unlikely satisfy the protesters, who have widely reached the point of losing faith in all politicians, echoing the sentiments of the Argentinian protests of 2001 that were so well encapsulated in the popular chant “Que Se Vayan Todos- They All Must Go.”

The future of this small island nation is unsure, though it is certain that popular resistance has already forced large concessions to the people of Iceland, sending shockwaves to the leaders of neighboring countries, who have anxiously watched the first government fall to the monumental failures of capitalism.

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Come Out: An anarchist protest of the Presidential Inauguration

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

We are Ungovernable

An anarchist protest of the Presidential Inauguration

The recent economic crisis has shown us what happens when a small group of wealthy individuals is able to make decisions with long-lasting consequences for the welfare of the American people. Bankers and investors single-mindedly pursued the accumulation of short-term profits, ignoring the devastating effects their behavior could have on the general economy. Now we are preparing to handover the country’s welfare to another small group of wealthy of individuals: the Obama administration. They have consistently and without reservations supported President Bush’s bailout project, and plan to fork over more public money to the same institutions that started the crisis in the first place.

These are bad decisions. They put the welfare of businesses above the welfare of the American people. Businesses do well by slashing wages and cutting jobs in an endless struggle to meet the bottom line, and in doing so screwing over the mass of workers who produce the majority of their wealth. And yet they are also the main provider of employment and healthcare in this country. It is therefore understandable why our government has seen the rejuvenation of the private sector as the key ingredient to improving the welfare of everyday Americans.

This is a protest in support of a different solution: anarchism.

Anarchism is a political movement made up of people obsessed with public accountability. Anarchists…

(1) … believe decisions concerning the production and distribution of goods and services should be made democratically. Our current system, capitalism, puts the majority of our country’s resources in the hands of a few wealthy individuals who have no vested interest in the well-being of the great majority of Americans. As we have seen with the economic crisis, eventually the whole nation suffers. Rather than strap businesses with taxes and regulations to limit their most grievous behavior, anarchists believe we should scrap capitalism altogether and substitute a set of democratic enterprises.

(2) … applaud what little accountability our government has and demand more. But when anarchists talk about democracy they are not referring to our current form of representative democracy, where the people elect officials to make public decisions for them. Anarchists stand for direct democracy, where public decisions are entrusted to the assembly of all individuals who chose to participate. And for anarchists, all decisions affecting the general populace are public.

The anarchist solution can be summarized in this way: let the people decide, and their interests will be guaranteed. Unlike our Founding Fathers, who in the words of James Madison, designed a government to protect “the minority of the opulent against the majority”, anarchists think the American people possess the ability to make sound decisions down to the very foundations of our society. If you believe that government “of the people, by the people, for the people” means more than a choice between two parties every four years, come out in support of real democracy.
We are holding a planning session for the protest on Saturday, January 3rd at 6 PM. Please come– we need your input!

Location

7310 Columbia Ave
Apt 3
College Park, MD 20740

By Metro

Take the Green Line to College Park Station. Make a right at the station exit and head through the tunnel. The building is on the first street parallel to the train line and is directly across from the station.

Contact us