While updating the listing of anarchists imprisoned in North America on this site, we discover that Andrew Mickel, convicted in a claimed assassination of a police officer, is facing imminent execution at the hands of the state, and that Casey Brezik, accused in the attempted assassination of the governor of Missouri (and an attack on the college dean who tried to thwart him) has been condemned to indefinite captivity in a mental institution–one of the loopholes the state utilizes in its own laws to deny prisoners their supposed “rights” of trial and “due process.”
We discover this while also translating a text from comrades in Chile titled “In the social war, nothing and no one is forgotten.” All this, on a day in which the masses of Americans are encouraged to “remember” Martin Luther King Jr. because the State finds it safe to portray his actions of social change in a sanitized way that they can use to maintain their existing and continuing order (even while encouraging us to forget many aspects of his life, not to mention the thousands and millions who have fought against Power in a way that it will never sanction, because they fought not for its reform but for revolution, and/or for the insurrection of the individual)–this awakens powerful feelings which urge us to write in defense of Andy and Casey, who we (the whole anarchist space) have been all but completely fooled into forgetting because of the ploys of power, and to declare although we have not met these individuals we stand with each of them against power’s cowardly attacks on their lives, freedom, memory, affinities, and reputations.
Andrew “Andy” Mickel is an anarchist from Ohio and later Olympia, WA (where he attended college in the years before his arrest) who was convicted in 2005 for the political assassination of a Red Bluff, CA police officer that happened in 2002. The case was unsolved until Andy’s lengthy online communique claiming the assassination and calling for revolution led to his arrest.
In the communique, Andy claimed the action “to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country.” He also critiques corporations, government, war, the apathy of citizens, “whining to politicians” to change things, the justice system, police, media, etc, and encourages everyone to wake up, take action as they see fit (not as pressured by others or to pressure others into something they’re not comfortable with) to take back their lives and destroy the current system. He reminds us, especially who are young, that the “impulse for freedom that you feel within yourselves, which everyone else seems to be trying to silence… is Life, tugging at you, asking you to actually be Alive! The systems of control that surround you, which you hate, do not get better as you age. The control gets more invasive, more complete. Smash it while your youth still helps you to see it!”
He has been sentenced to death and is currently held on death row while his appeal is reviewed. We do not know the current status of the appeal but we do know that the State’s plan is to execute him quietly and soon, after completing their “due process” and without awakening the spirit of rebellion that was and is alive in his actions-words-life for all to see, and which he was dedicated to awakening in others.
And we know well the strategy that order seeks to follow in murdering Andy, an anarchist, a rebel, an individual whose words and actions are profoundly moving and inspiring. We remember that the State has the blood of many millions on its hands, but that they fear to openly execute one who is remembered for having fought against their system of control. They remember, for example, that from their execution of 4 anarchists in 1887 there arose thousands of acts of revolt, over a century of combative remembrance, that their memory has yet to fade away from rebel hearts, from the fires that burn the symbols of their power, and the bombs that thousands detonate against their order. Today the State knows to strike first at the weapon of memory and the bonds of affinity and solidarity, that only in this way can they take the life of one who has declared himself or herself an enemy of its order.
Casey Brezik is the accused anarchist assassin from Kansas City area who is charged with slashing the throat of the Dean of Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in an alleged plot to attack the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon during a talk at the college. He is currently being held by the state of Missouri pending trial for two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. Some time ago, there had been a brief notice from anarchist comrades who know Casey to inform others about his situation and ensure that he would not go forgotten.
In February 2011, the State of Missouri declared him to be incapable of standing trial [press link], which means he is forced to stay locked up in a mental institution indefinitely without possibility of bond or trial until the state declares him to be sane. Although it has been almost a year since he was condemned to that situation of perpetual imprisonment, not having any timeline for release or even for trial, there has been no word about his situation in the public anarchist space. As the press reported, Casey demanded to know of the court if this was their way to prolong his incarceration indefinitely without allowing him any chance of release. It is also, notably, a way to brand him as insane and his actions as therefore not being understandable.
The State’s “mental institutions” are an especially horrible form of prison, one of the most concrete and extreme ways for the State to try to isolate individuals who act and live against the social order. They want us to forget our comrades while they are locked away, or at least to be silent regarding them, and to even begin to believe that we really have nothing in common with them because of the diagnosis that the sick doctors of the State decide to place on them.
This is not true. We remember, for example, the frenzy with which the State and their media tried to mark Ted Kaczynski as insane, even while many of the State’s own doctors admitted that he was perfectly clear-headed, even while all his words clearly came from a reasonable person with concrete reasons for all of his actions and far more consistency, insight and critique than the vast majority of the population–but for the State that was exactly the threat. The forces of order would not allow his writings to be considered anything of interest or value because in his case his words were not dead words, but lived in action. When such a scathing critique of civilization is made that divorces itself from action (such the writings of Derrick Jensen, however frantically he may try to pressure others into actions he is unwilling to carry out), the State does not perceive this as such a threat or so necessary to discredit. But when one carries their ideas to their logical conclusions, the State does everything in its power to brand her or him as insane and terrorize the population into ignoring and forgetting the person’s life-ideas-actions-self (we join these words because for them and for us they are not separate).
As Andy put it in his communique: “Everyone!- Remember that the authorities will lie to you. They will try to make you distrust one another. Trust each other in spite of the disinformation they feed you. Don’t believe any rumors you hear until they are confirmed. Different views and different tactics are okay, but communicate with one another! Especially when you are two autonomous groups collaborating. Communicate and don’t believe rumors.”
For our part, we understand the State’s tactics to keep people from seeing the reality. And we understand perfectly the desire to make an attempt–as Andy and Casey are accused of doing–against the forces of order, whether on the politicians, cops, or other roles, and we stand always on the side of those rebel individuals who face the repression of the State. For us this is neither a question of guilt and innocence, nor of sanity and insanity–those are not our way of seeing things. For us there is only the question of how one responds to the situation at hand, and this will correspond with one’s affinities and one’s position.
When many comrades will speak favorably of the actions of propaganda by the deed committed a century ago, while their lips never speak the names of anarchists who today are accused of assassination or attempts and are condemned to death and indefinite incarceration, this silence is unbearable and inexcusable! We go forward with memory as another weapon in our arsenal against society in its attempts to isolate the comrades who also fight against it, its attempts to make them forgotten.
It should be clear by now what motivates us to write these words. We cannot in good conscience declare our position and allow texts such as In the social war, nothing and no one is forgotten to be disseminated by us among the anarchist and nihilist individuals in this country (may its flags and borders burn) while leaving unasked the question of how have these comrades come to be all but forgotten in anarchist spaces, discussions, publications, web sites, communiques, and actions of solidarity even among the comrades who have known them personally?
We do not translate and disseminate texts from Chile or anywhere with the intention for them to become words that die in the mouths and minds of passive consumers. It is in life and action that our understandings of affinity are alive, it is thus that one recognizes the rebel who is accused, imprisoned, who awaits the executioner’s rope (or chair, or syringe) as related to oneself, and seeks concretely to fight for their freedom–or if this is not possible then to make their captors and executioners pay, by carrying on the fight they carried and carry, in whatever forms of action we are drawn to, in the destruction of the existent, never fooled by its ploys to impose silencing, forgetting, or allowing ourselves to be divided by the State’s walls or by the preferences for different forms of activity turned into static categories and supposed barriers.
We echo Andy’s words of invitation and encouragement:
“Manifest the World you want to live in!
Do this for yourselves.
If this be treason, make the most of it.”
In memory of Louis Lingg, August Spies, Albert Parsons, George Engel, and Adolph Fischer! In memory of Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti! In memory of Carlo Giuliani, Mauricio Morales, and Lambros Fountas! In memory of Anthony DiGeronimo! In memory of all the fallen iconoclasts, comrades and combatants, named and unnamed!
Freedom to Andrew Mickel! Freedom to Casey Brezik! Prisoners of the war against this world, to the street!
War On Society