“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.

if-i-die

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.

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Support the arrestees of the October 2nd Rebellion in Mexico City!

mexico city riotDonate via wepay

Free the Comrades Arrested at the Demonstration for the Anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City

This is a request to the English-speaking world and beyond for funds to bail out anarchists and other comrades who were arrested during the October 2nd, 2013 riot/demonstration in commemoration of the 1968 massacre of students in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. Not only were many arrested at the demonstration, but some people were targeted and arrested before they even arrived at the demo.

It’s currently unclear to us exactly how many were arrested, but potentially upwards of 50. Many are still in jail and comrades in Mexico have asked for help raising funds to bail people out as well as help with legal fees.

It’s important to note that this incident is part of ongoing militant student, teacher, anarchist, and other struggles throughout Mexico, and wasn’t an isolated incident.

We will provide more updates as they are recieved.

For global revolt and solidarity against a world of capitalism and domination, towards a proliferation of the many worlds we dream of.

Total freedom!
Report from BBC:

Riot police have clashed with protesters in Mexico City during a demonstration commemorating the 45th anniversary of a student massacre.

Protesters, some of them masked, threw firebombs, bottles and rocks at police who battled to disperse the crowd.

At least 40 people were injured, Mexico’s El Universal newspaper reported.

The rally marked the anniversary of the 1968 killings of student protesters in Tlatelolco Square.

Official reports at the time said 25 people died, although rights activists say as many as 350 may have been killed.

The anniversary of the killings is often marked by protests and violence.

In the latest clashes, police said 20 officers had been injured and 20 people were arrested. Authorities said anarchists had infiltrated the march.

Earlier, thousands of teachers and students blocked the city’s main roads during rush hour to honour victims of the massacre.

The deaths in Tlatelolco Square took place during months of pro-democracy protests by students and workers.

The killings took place a few days before the Mexican capital hosted the 1968 Olympic Games.

List of those arrested

Photos

Update from Mexico City: All comrades released

We received word from our comrades at the Mexico City Anarchist Black Cross, that all of the arrested comrades have been released. More info as it comes.

Mexico City: 4 anarchists arrested during solidarity demonstration for Chilean prisoner Hans Niemeyer

hans niemeyer

Hans Niemeyer

Yesterday, Tuesday August 20th, there was a demonstration in solidarity with our comrade Hans Niemeyer, at the Chilean Embassy. After the protest, as our comrades were getting ready to leave, they were followed and arrested by the police; Jaime Alberto Aguilar Marroquin (member of the Anarchist Black Cross DF) Guarneros Tonatiuh Garcia, Jair Juarez Victorino and Mario Alberto Lopez Gutierrez.

Our comrades were taken to the Public Prosecutor, charged with: undermining the authority and damages against private property.

As far as we know up to this point the City Government, headed by Miguel Angel Mancera, has instructed the Attorney General to keep them as prisoners.

This is a clear example of the policy of persecution and harassment against the anarchist movement that has been carried out by the Mexico City’s Governor Marcelo Ebrard, and continued now by Mancera. We hold the City Government as well as the Judicial Power as the ones responsible for this repression.

We are calling to all of our comrades around the world to demand their
freedom to these officials:

Jefe de Gobierno del Df

Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa

53 45 80 62

53 45 80 42

@Mancera Miguel MX

Procurador General Justicia del DF

Rodolfo Fernando Rios Garza

53 45 55 57

rriosga@pgjdf.gob.mx

Because solidarity between anarchists is not only written words.

Down with the prison walls!

DF Anarchist Black Cross

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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Call for Actions in Solidarity with Fugitive Comrade Felicity Ryder

We recently received this from comrades in Mexico City Anarchist Black Cross.

A call for two weeks in solidarity (February 21st- March 7th) with Felicity Ann Ryder, an anarchist comrade on the run.

Greetings in Solidarity to all anti-authoritarian hearts who read this wherever they may be. To everyone who, with conviction and strength, combat, in whatever manner they see fit, every institution and symbol of the apparatus of capitalist patriarchy, oppression, domestication and the farce of power.

Comrades, we put this call out from inside of the beast to howl our solidarity with our sister and comrade Felicity Ann Ryder, who remains fugitive from the claws of the state after more than 7 months.

In the early hours of June 27th, 2012 an unfortunate event occurred: an explosive device detonated leaving our comrade Mario “Tripa” López injured (and behind bars for 6 months). Mario is now “free” on Conditional Release and has an ongoing case against him. After police and government forces found Felicity’s passport, and facing the risk of also being put in jail, our comrade began life as a fugitive.

Since then we know that there has been constant harassment of her relatives in her country of birth (Australia) as well as throughout the so-called social networks. It is also possible that more investigations have been opened in other countries attempting to tie together various action oriented anarchist cells. This all forms part of a frame-up instigated by police forces on an international level that is used to attack the anarchist movement using fear and terror in an attempt (unsuccessfully) to immobilize us.

We understand the difficult situation that Felicity must be facing after all these months. Living clandestinely, despite being a better option than the cold bars and cynicism of a jail cell, also becomes a form of prison in that it stands in the way of enjoying full liberty because of the constant threat of possible detention. This situation brings many difficulties in terms of mobility, for self-sufficiency, and struggle; isolation and distance from loved ones and the abandoning of life plans.

Clandestine life as a necessity, and not as a privilege of an authoritarian vanguard, also requires our solidarity, the obligation of our comrades to constantly be on the run, pushed underground and forced to dig their way to liberty, deserves our support.

Living clandestinely does not afford the same support, material and emotional, that a comrade in prison receives from the outside. We know that wherever our comrade Felicity may be, she stands firm in her convictions as an anarchist, she laughs at the enemy while continuing to attack them, face to to face.

From here we send a warm greeting and call on all of our forces as anti-authoritarians to participate in two weeks of activities, greetings, and gestures in solidarity with our comrade Felicity from the 21st of February until March 7th, to take the form that one sees fit, so Felicity knows that she is not alone and that solidarity between anarchists in struggle is not merely a written word, or a phrase used to adorn pretty “revolutionary” pamphlets.

For us solidarity is a weapon that destroys power. We also wish to remember that there are other comrades living as fugitives like Hans Niemeyer, persecuted by the Chilean State, as well as Grigoris Tsironis, Marios Seisidis, Vassilis Palaiokostas, Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa from Greece.

No Remorse, No Defeat!!!!
Free and Wild, Felicity is with us!!!
Comrade, you are not alone!!!! Many of us follow you in struggle and embrace your convictions!!
Freedom to all prisoners of the social war!
https://nycabc.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/call-for-actions-in-solidarity-w…

Recently Translated Chilean and Mexican Anarchist Prisoner News

Thanks to War on Society for the translating and Liberacion Total for hosting the news in Spanish.

Chile: Investigation against Carla Verdugo and Ivan Silva closed

On December 27, 2012 the prosecution decided to close the investigation against Carla Verdugo and Ivan Silva; both comrades were arrested on April 17, 2012 for possession of explosive material.

Charged under the anti-terrorist law, the police are speculating about the possible target of the device, pointing fancifully to the Justice Center, since Carla is the romantic partner of Juan Aliste, a comrade accused in the Security Case who had a hearing that day.

In spite of the months that the comrades have spent in preventive prison, they have with dignity rejected the southern prosecution’s petitions that intend to bring about an abbreviated trial (in which they take responsibility) under the anti-terrorist law. Faced with the null sentences for the anti-terrorist law in other cases, the prosecution insists on the blackmail against the comrades.

From December 27, the southern prosecution has a period of 10 days to present the “Accusation.” A judicial document and stage where the persecutors indicate the sentence they intend to apply and the list of witnesses, experts and evidence. Then comes the preparation of the oral trial and finally the trial.

We affectionately greet Ivan and Carla; we expect and call on you to accompany them in this whole juridical process of blackmail.

Ivan and Carla: To the street!

Solidarity letters from Italian anarchist prisoner Elisa to Luciano Pitronello and Mario López from inside Rebibbia prison in Rome.

Dear compa Luciano,

We do not know each other yet every time I hear news surrounding you and your incarceration (your wounds and capture by the Chilean state) I feel we have met, every time my smiling eyes admire your smile and firm gaze.

Though we have never met, I greet you every time I read your words full of flame and tenderness, forcefulness and gentleness, of struggle and love…The solidarity you expressed to me from the 10th of September on to the 11th through a hunger strike filled me with emotion and gratitude. Your simple act of complicit revolt, in which you shouted your own love of freedom entered “my” cell of iron and cement. It separates, crumbles, and removes the miserable “dignity” that each state, or dictatorship pretends to give with a reformist touch, and turns it into a dazzling blinding bonfire, a savage flower, a snow-covered peak.

Brother Tortuga I hope you are well! I know that your spirit is unyielding and free…You are not alone, we are not alone!

From this snow-covered peak, where my anarchist essence knows no bars, I send you a strong embrace of solidarity and rebellion, full of strength and love!

Elisa Di Bernardo,
Anarquista.
c/c Rebibbia femminile
via Bartolo Longo, 92
00156 Roma
Italia

Greetings compa Mario,

When I heard what happened to you, my heart stopped for a few minutes, I felt so much…for sometime now I find myself in one of the thousands of the state’s cages. I am one of the Italian prisoners rounded this past June 13th under “Operation Aidre.”

My rebel spirit accompanies you through your days spent in the hospital and still accompanies you through your seclusion in the cells of Mexico!

I want you to know that you are not alone…We are not alone! I hope you are well, for real, with a combative spirit.

You already know about the absurd judicial hysteria surrounding Stefano and I…from the beginning we knew that these days it is a crime to distribute counter-information and to have contacts amongst compas–above all anarchist and rebel compas. If being an anarchist is a crime…I am guilty!

As an individual I also reject the concepts of federation, front, organization or whatever else… The blood in my veins grows hot with each act of rebellion, with each action of revolt, with each liberatory outburst that seeks to destroy that which oppresses us, that which poisons each of our existences, transforms it into a grey death, into economic gain, and turns the natural instinct of autonomy and freedom into a frozen calculation.

With these few words I want to express my closeness and complicity! May the bridge between “your” cell and “my” cell, in between every cell which encloses our compas in struggle, become a constellation of concrete solidarity…That will break down every wall, each isolation!

It is from “my” cage without walls, that I send you a strong embrace full of strength and anarchy! The same I send to compa Felicity!

Elisa Di Bernardo,
Anarquista.
c/c Rebibbia femminile
via Bartolo Longo, 92
00156 Roma
Italia

Letter from clandestinity for Mario López’s recent release from prison under bail

To my brother Mario,

Six months have passed since they captured you that ill-fated night, since they tortured you and threatened you, since they harassed your family and friends. For six months they tried everything to be able to break your anarchic spirit–they enclosed your body between four walls and innumerable bars, far from the wild forests where you belong, but it did not occur to them that at every moment you were going to be with your compañerxs in affinity around the world. They left you enduring pain, but your will to fight always won out.

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