“If I Die in Police Custody, Burn Everything Down!”

Originally posted to IT’S GOING DOWN:

Across the US, in response to the outpouring of rebellion in the wake of a tidal wave of police murders, a handful of cops have been charged, several have been fired, and a few have simply quit. Those in power, from president Obama to the local police chiefs, rush to make cosmetic changes to an ever militarizing police force. They hurry to buy police body cameras while at the same time departments spend millions on decommissioned military vehicles and weapons to suppress future rebellions.

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They say the conversation on policing and race and America has changed, but the daily reality of American life continues to produce piles of dead bodies and millions of people incarcerated. Since Mike Brown’s murder by Ferguson police, over 1,100 people have been killed by law enforcement in the United States.

We aren’t in a crisis of policing – we’re in the middle of a war.

“That’s the Only Way Motherfuckers Like You Listen!”

At the same time, due to the ongoing rebellions in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Oakland, those in the “opposition,” from the unions, to Jackson and Sharpton, to the Nation of Islam, have all intensified their rhetoric. The commemoration for the ‘Million Man March’ is entitled, “Justice or Else!” The recent disruptions of the Presidential debates, from Sanders to Clinton to Bush all point to a growing anger at politics as usual and an acceptance of more radical action. But these protests also continue this idea that if “justice” is not served, there will be consequences. “If you don’t negotiate with us, we’ll set the rabble loose!,” say the activists and politicians in waiting.

But it hasn’t been the ‘leaders’ of the official Black Lives Matter group, the New Black Panthers, or any of the leftist parties that have pushed the current uprisings; the revolts has by and large been carried out by the people themselves and the youth in particular. In Baltimore, it was high-schoolers who trashed cop cars and threw stones at police, driving them out of the neighborhood. In Ferguson, it was the neighborhood of Canfield which fought back every night for weeks in the face of a military occupation. It was a collection of graffiti writers, youth of color, and anarchists who held the streets and blocked freeways in Oakland for close to a month.

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During these rebellions, the “official” organizations, whether the Democratic Party or the non-profits, were all trying to smoother the uprisings. Now, they hope to turn this energy into votes and new members. But while the official groups try to match their rhetoric to the actions of the people, all they have as leverage against those in power to make changes is the actions of the people they hope to drown out. “Listen to us and we will make sure there isn’t a riot,” they say. “Make these changes, put us in power, and there won’t be an uprising.”

But things must change, everything must change.

The riots were just the start, we must go much further.

“Rise the Fuck Up! Shut that Shit Down!”

Buildings have been burned, freeways have been blocked, and millions of dollars of property and police equipment has been destroyed. “But nothing has changed,” we hear people say over and over again. And they are right.

With each cycle of revolt, things only seem to get worse. The anti-war movement, the student movement, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter – all of these moments were largely based around the idea of exacting a cost on a system in order to push it to make structural changes. From blocked freeways, to burned buildings, to shaming hashtags, “Here, have a taste of our anger,” was our mindset.

But those in power became quite adapt at making changes – changes that didn’t amount to shit. Their rhetoric changed; they said words like, “the 99%” and “Black Lives Matter,” around election time. They put cameras on police, but in the end the cameras are still pointed at us. They took healthcare away from prisoners and diverted it into higher education. They passed laws upping the minimum wage to $15 in several years time; keeping us squarely locked in poverty. All the while, this society continues to break down and the ecological system continues to hurtle us towards apocalypse.

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The militant movements of the last several years have been failures because they have only sought to generate reforms from the present system, even if they didn’t make demands. We went into the streets knowing something was wrong, but in the back of our minds we hoped those in power would listen to us and make changes.

Those in the Left groups with their newspapers claimed we lacked a vanguard party to guide us. The unions claimed we lacked representation in the workplace. The churches and mosques said we lacked moral superiority in the face of state violence. The non-profits whined we had a poor outreach strategy.

The riots, blockades, occupations, and shut-downs failed because they didn’t go far enough.

Revolutions that go half-way, dig their own grave.

“If I die in police custody, don’t let my parents talk to…Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or any of the motherfuckers who would destroy my name.”

Being a revolutionary in the present terrain means knowing that things aren’t going to get better; that currently there are no reforms that the system can grant that will get us out of the current crisis. Those in power will continue to offer only more repression, surveillance, incarceration, and policing to quell in rebellion, while also attempting to placate to popular anger by attempting to offer cosmetic changes or “expand the dialog.”

But what would a revolutionary strategy look like? What has already taken place in the streets that can show us a way forward? In the past several years, across the world, from Oakland to Egypt, we’ve seen the proliferation of various tactics and strategies – all responding to a historical moment of crisis that defines our era.

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We have seen the proliferation of occupations, whether in camps, squares, or buildings. These communal spaces serve as a vehicle to get organized from and meet the needs of the insurgents involved. We saw this in many Occupy camps, in Tahrir square, and in Ferguson around the burned QT building. All insurrections need bases of operations; they need space. But we have to push and expand this space, into schools and universities (such as in various occupations across Chile and Europe), in occupied union halls and workplaces (such as in Greece), and into public areas and whole regions (such as in Turkey at Gezi Park, throughout the Rojava Revolution in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, indigenous blockades of pipelines such as across Canada, and at the ZAD in France).

Autonomy is power.

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Beyond just being a place where people talk and make plans, these places need to expand the communal activity of people organizing themselves and meeting their needs directly. But such space will always need to be defended. Whether it is the streets of Ferguson from the police and the National Guard, or the occupied Egyptian squares, rioting has been the offensive capacity by which people have defended themselves from government forces and expanded their territories.

“Let them know, that my sisters got this!”

Rioting, in a defense and offensive capacity also allows people to attack the infrastructure of the enemy: namely the police, surveillance systems, and the like. However, beyond bank windows and burned patrol cars, the use of blockades has proven to be a very effective tactic in shutting down the flows of capital, stopping the construction of a project, and preventing the movement of state forces. We can see this most spectacularly in the indigenous struggles in Canada (such as the Mi’kmaq and Unist’ot’en), where Native groups are setting up encampments to stop the development of fracked oil pipelines.

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But these tactics by themselves are just that, tactics. Blockading a freeway against white supremacy might be the start of a longer revolutionary struggle or a way to gather our forces, but simply going onto a freeway and hoping that something will materialize (or worse yet, someone will listen,) is delusional thinking. If we want to build a revolutionary force capable of destroying this system of domination, white supremacy, and exploitation, then we have to think about tactics in terms of a strategy.

Thinking about a strategy means paying attention to the situation we are in both locally where we live, but also nationally and internationally. We have to think about how the Left and those that try and control social struggles will react and try and hinder our efforts. We have to think about how the state will try and repress us for attacking the social order.

But above all, we have to think about how our actions can grow, expand, become more powerful, and ultimately link up with others across the social terrain.

 

The above text has been condensed into a flyer which you can download below. Use the box to fill in a link to local projects. 

Whole page. Quarter sheet.

Europol and Mexico to cooperate against anarchist groups

Note from WOS: It goes without saying that we do not share the analysis of the Europol or of the press that are reported below. What we do consider important is to be aware of international police cooperation. It is also worth mentioning that what follows is a decent summary of recent anarchist action especially in Mexico, and we have added links where they may be helpful.

from the press, translated by waronsociety:

Alarm in Europe due to Mexican Anarchists

The European police seem to be more interested in fighting anarchism (which they automatically equate with terrorism) than narco-trafficking. They demonstrate this in a cooperation accord which will soon be negotiated between the European police and the Mexican government, and the report on “terrorist trends in the EU” which is about to be published. A recount of the attacks in Italy and Mexico would explain Europol’s alarm.

BRUSSELS (Proceso) — The police force of the European Union (EU), Europol, intends for the cooperation accord it will negotiate with Enrique Peña Nieto’s government to include the exchange of information about anarchist groups operating in Mexico.

Last October 4th, the EU Cabinet approved Europol’s beginning of accord negotiations with the Mexican government. Its primary–but not sole–component would be the fight against narco-trafficking.

The eventual collaboration of the Mexican and European police against the anarchists (a tendency toward what they automatically qualify as terrorist) would fall within the framework of European politics of fighting terrorism, according to a Europol document dated April 4, 2012 of which Proceso has a copy.

The document specifies, “At this time there has been no cooperation between Mexico and the EU in matters of the fight against terrorism. Nevertheless, Mexico is relevant for Europol because there have been reports of the presence of members of terrorist groups based in Europe (for example ETA). Mexico is also very relevant for Europol due to the numerous extremist anarchist attacks that have been committed there (…) Frequently (the authors) claim that they were perpetrated in solidarity with anarchists incarcerated in the EU.”
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Europe: Update on Gabriel Pombo da Silva and ‘Operation Ardire’

For additional background on Operation Ardire

Anarchist Solidarity against Europe, Police, and all authority.

On June 13 2012, after several different government operations targeting other comrades, the Italian state launched a wave of repression against dozens of anarchists, called “operation Ardire,” consisting of 40 raids, 24 targeted investigations of individuals, and 8 incarcerations. This time, the state wanted to add yet another dimension, and also charged comrades already incarcerated in several European countries, including Greece, Switzerland, and Germany. As always, the state claims to see its own authoritarian shadow in the smile of its irreducible enemies, and construes roles such as “chief,” “executive,” or “coordinator” in the midst of the latest “terrorist association,” where there exists only affinity, correspondence with prisoners, struggles, and the desire to fight. This is how Gabriel Pombo da Silva and Marco Camenish, both incarcerated for many years, found themselves wrapped up in this investigation, following an international hunger strike in December 2009. The state is now treating them as “symbols and points of reference of a new subversive project,” of which they would be the “idealogues and propellers.”

After 20 years spent in the Spanish dungeons (including 14 during the ongoing FIES regime) that he managed to flee, Gabriel was arrested again in 2004 after a run-in and subsequent shoot-out with the cops in Germany. He served 9 additional years in that country. Extradited to Spain on February 25 2013, to finish out the last of a sentence waiting for him there, he was transferred an additional 3 times in less than 2 months. Now in the prison of Valdemoro (Madrid) he appears before the “National Audience” on tuesday April 16, 2013, for the purpose of presenting him with the “European Arrest Mandate” filed against him in March in Italy, within the scope of Operation Ardire. Gabriel is determined to refuse this measure. Nevertheless, if this process is validated, he will appear in front of 3 judges about a week after, this time before a public audience.

It’s clear that this petition against Gabriel is for the purpose of extraditing him to the wing in the prison Ferrera (Italy), constructed especially for the breaking of anarchists, and where many more comrades are still kept in isolation, but more generally, this is a warning against all. Because the heads have to be down, the mouths gagged and the eyes closed. But this is a warning that we’ll never heed. In the midst of prisoners of this world, we draw our strength also from the refusal to participate, the refusal to submit, the refusal of all the obligations that they invite us to respect and the permanent conflict with all institutions. And we continue to defend that, even if we can’t escape from this reality, we can nevertheless continue to attack it from every angle. Alone or in good company, in day and night, in actions and in words.

Now the Italian state demands that Gabriel Pombo da Silva be surrendered to them, so as to continue their dirty work. The powerful know well how to align their interests-let’s show them that we too can oppose them with all our weapons, the weapon of solidarity from both sides of the walls, between prisoners of the social war who also know no borders.

Opposition to the transfer of Gabriel to Italy!
Down with all states, their cages, their cops, their courts and their trafficking of prisoners!
Freedom to all!

Internationalist Anarchists
April 13, 2013

Court rules in Italy’s favour over demonstrator’s killing

March 24, 2011 monstersandcritics.com

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1628424.php/Court-rules-in-Italy-s-favour-over-demonstrator-s-killing

Rome/Strasbourg – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday that an Italian policeman’s fatal shooting of a demonstrator at the 2001 Group of Eight (G8) Genoa summit, was in self-defence and that the case had been properly investigated by authorities.

The judgement by the 17 judges of the ECHR’s Grand Chamber is definitive, the court said in a statement.

The case had been brought before the ECHR by relatives of Carlo Giuliani who, aged 23, was killed on July 20, 2001.

Giuliani, who since his death has become an icon for many in the anti-globalization movement, was wearing a black ski mask and was holding a fire extinguisher which he was apparently about to hurl at a police car when he was shot dead.

The ECHR dismissed allegations that Giuliani’s death had been caused by excessive use of force.
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Portugal: Recent acts of revolt against prisons

from Agua Daspedras via Sysiphus Angry News:
26 February, Leiria – the screws in the prison of Leiria beat up a prisoner after he refused to hand them the TV in his cell (as a punishment for coming back a few minutes late).  Seeing this, many prisoners demand to talk with the prison director before they re-enter their cells.  The director refused, and ordered the guards to beat every prisoner that was causing trouble.  At that time, the prisoners who were in the refectory resisted the beatings, and the guards opened fire on them.  After running away to the cells, the prisoners were beaten one by one, and the cells were raided.  Two days later 6 prisoners escape.
9 February, Lisbon – Center for Judiciary Studies attacked with paintbombs.
“Solidarity with the prisoners in struggle and with the comrades persecuted by Justice, here and elsewhere.
Freedom for António Ferreira de Jesus, serving a hidden life sentence. Freedom for the anarchists Alfredo Bonanno (who has a serious health condition) and Christos Stratigopoulos, imprisoned in the Greek concentration camps.
Freedom for all.”
6 February, Lisbon – flyers handed out in the downtown in solidarity with the prisoners in struggle and against the society that builds up prisons.
31 January, Sintra – Sunday afternoon, a banner with the words “THE PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN THE PRISON” appears hanging in the train station of Portela de Sintra.On the same day, flyers are distributed at the entrance of the prison of Linhó (Sintra). The text referred to the hunger and work strikes in the prisons of Alcoentre and Linhó and the different acts of revolt in different prisons, and it ended with “[…] prison is the final threat, the sword that both dictatorships and democracies lean against our necks. Prison is not only its building in a distant and isolated place. It is the entire world that builds it and needs it, and all the companies, institutions and people supporting it and collaborating with it in a direct way. To struggle against prison is to struggle against its world. It is in the acts of insubordination, small or big, that we recognize ourselves. And it’s acts of insubordination that we want to spread.”
29 January, Lisbon – in the morning of 29 January the words “SOLIDARITY PRISONERS IN STRUGGLE!” appears painted on the façade of the cathedral of Lisbon.
26 January, Lisbon – posters against prisons and in solidarity with the strikers in Linhó are glued around the prison of Lisbon.
22 Janeiro, Sintra – 3 cars of prison guards are burnt with molotov cocktails, in the “prison guard neighborhood” of the prison of Linhó. The gate of a house also catches fire.
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Three German “autonomes” refuse to speak to Judge Fragnoli concerning the “Tarnac Affair”

Two autonomes from Berlin and another from Hamburg received summons to appear as material witnesses on 16 and 17 July, respectively, in the so-called Tarnac Affair. They were summoned to give testimony against nine comrades (the “Tarnac 9”) in the framework of a major series of investigations in Paris. In November 2008, nine people were arrested in France on the basis of anti-terrorist laws following the sabotage of the railroad network when nuclear waste was going to be transported during a strike by French railroad workers.

Demonstrations were organized in Berlin and Hamburg on the occasion of the summons.

In Berlin, the 50 people who met before the French Embassy were surprised to see a yellow, high-spirited ape the height of a human being — an orangutan — with a placard against the transport of nuclear wastes attached to it ass. The orangutan joined in the demonstration and, in a clearly female voice, spoke up. A quarter of an hour later, while preparing to leave the demonstration, the ape was arrested. Perhaps the sensible reader won’t be surprised: under the disguise was one of the witnesses. She was taken to the headquarters of the federal police for the Tempelhof region, where she was detained for several hours. The participants in the demonstration took the same route to support the people who had been questioned.

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