Thadeaus D. Umpster, persona non grata

ThadeausFrom NYC ABCF:

Today the Love and Resistance collective, NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABCF-NYC), Support NY, Bitches Roll Deep Anarcha-feminist collective, Aftershock Action Alliance, the New School in Exile, Students Creating Radical Change (NYU), and other individuals active in the anarchist and revolutionary scenes in New York City find ourselves in the position of issuing the following statement:

Dennis Burke aka Thadeaus D. Umpster has been around anarchist groups in NYC since 1999, residing in a well-known anarchist house in Brooklyn, NY and part of the largely defunct group A New World in Our Hearts.

While initially considered a comrade by some of us, Thadeaus’ erratic, disruptive, abusive and otherwise troubling behavior caused almost everyone in NYC to disavow him. Thadeaus has been called out multiple times for abusive behavior, by both ex-partners and other women who have come in contact with him, and by survivor support groups. Those of us who have been involved in political projects with Thadeaus have seen his dominating, manipulative and stubborn behavior destroy groups and drive dozens of people away.

Until now some of us have held our tongues on the subject (in retrospect for way too long), but recent events have made it impossible to do this any longer. In the past year Thadeaus has become more isolated, as well as violent and bizarre in his behavior. He has forcibly entered into rooms of other people in the collective house he lives in, and has repeatedly called the police on roommates who confront him about this behavior. Thadeaus recently threatened a roommate who has a pending legal case, with contacting the district attorney’s office, and volunteering to testify as a character witness against them.  In short, Thadeaus will not hesitate to use the police or the threat of the police to hold power over others.

Weeks ago, residents of the house unanimously decided that they did not want Thadeaus to live there anymore.  This was communicated him and he has refused to move out.  On December 10, a new resident was moving into a room at the collective house, Thadeaus attempted to physically block their entrance, called the police reporting a “home invasion” in front of several witnesses and began throwing the new resident’s belongings out a second-story window.  Thadeaus met the police at the gate, and despite the efforts of another resident present, invited the cops into the house.  Thadeaus lied to the cops, claiming that a non-existent roommate was being forcibly evicted, in an attempt to get at least one of his roommates arrested.  A long debate ensued, in the presence of the police, resulting in the cops telling everyone present that if they were called again that night, everyone (including Thadeaus) would be arrested.

Four days later, on December 16, he once again called the cops after changing the locks of a housemate’s room.

On January 5, 2010, an inevitable confrontation occurred after two roommates (1 & 2) walked in on Thadeaus and two of his associates inside roommate 1’s room going through the individual’s personal belongings. When confronted, Thadeaus pulled out a video camera and became confrontational. In the ensuing melee, police were called by both parties and they in turn arrested roommates 1 and 2, both people of color. Unlike previous attempts to have comrades and roommates arrested, this call played on the pervasive racism of the NYPD and both of them were jailed facing serious charges.

When another resident returned to the house from the precinct, this resident and another person went to secure one of the arrested roommate’s belongings.  Thadeaus attempted to physically prevent them from doing so, and then promptly called the NYPD again.  After about an hour-long conversation with the police, no arrests were made.

On January 6th, the day after putting our friends in jail, Thadeaus once again called the NYPD to the house on yet another made-up claim.

It pains us that we have to spend our time dealing with a destructive individual like Thadeaus who has been a plague to our scenes for years, instead of using our time and energies to fight for liberation and against capitalism.  It is clear that Thadeaus is not a comrade and is instead the kind of violent, abusive individual who will not hesitate to use the police against comrades.  Members of the anarchist community have spent months attempting to address his inter-personal abuse history through an accountability process.  However, because of his attempts to evade accountability, continuing abuse and now snitching, Thadeaus has effectively removed himself from this community thereby precluding the continuation of that process.

Finally, it should be noted that Thadeaus is persistently manipulative, and will likely try to rationalize, deny or minimize the events described herein.  As an example of such, below is a quote taken from a widely seen email, where he was called out for contacting the police years ago in a non-threatening aftermath of an infoshop property dispute:

“I have never called the cops in my life…people are throwing personal insults and insinuating that I am a snitch. That is bullshit and I hope that people take note of who is leveling these allegations.” (Thadeaus, 10/4/09)

Please forward this widely, and fight against snitches, snitching and individuals who prey on radical social scenes.  The strength of our movements depends on it. This statement serves as a notification to all that Thadeaus is a persona non grata in NYC and should not be welcomed elsewhere. He is a dangerous, manipulative person and should not be trusted nor tolerated within any social or political communities.

-ex members of the new world in our hearts collective,
January 7th, 2010, New York City


4 Responses

  1. this story is developing on our website as it happens. the accusations are being disputed and a huge variety of people are coming forward to contribute to this case of accountability. We would encourage readers to reserve judgment until there is a true sense of finality to this whole case.

  2. For those who desire more conversation about the situation, the comments board here: is already rolling.

  3. […] scenes in New York City find ourselves in the position of issuing the following statement: Dennis Burke aka Thadeaus D. Umpster has been around anarchist groups in NYC since 1999, residing in a well-known anarchist house in Brooklyn, NY and part of the largely defunct group A […]

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