“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.

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

Atlanta: Anti-police rebellion makes cops retreat 4 times

From Anarchist News:

Today, April 9th 2013, there was a riot in Edgewood, a neighborhood northeast of downtown Atlanta. The area is almost entirely residential and is about a year behind in the ongoing gentrification of Atlanta.

Around fifty people gathered for a “March Against the Police” with drums, banners, and a desire for vengeance at the playground in Edgewood Courts, an apartment complex in the back of the neighborhood. Edgewood Courts contains some of the few remaining low income housing units in Atlanta. Yesterday, the police pepper sprayed a group of kids and beat and arrested a man grieving over his lost father.

The march started off slowly — a few people started chanting All cops are bastards / Fuck the police! as drumming began. As the crowd left the complex, some people lined the streets, looking on. People walked up behind the complex toward the front of the neighborhood. As the first cop car approached, more and more people joined in. At first, the crowd seemed apprehensive about what to do, but all of a sudden something clicked. Contrary to most situations, the presence of the police did not act as a deterrent. Instead, the crowd became more excited and angry as the cops approached. A bottle was thrown at a police car and the momentum and joy picked up. What ensued was something that we will never forget. People began kicking the cop car and chased it away when it began to retreat. One pig gone. Cheers and chants filled the air as the crowd, feeling emboldened, decided to keep going.

The riot proceeded away from the Courts and the police started to put more distance between themselves and the crowd. The intensity grew as numbers swelled, fluctuating between 75 and 100+. The crowd blocked off the main entrance to the Courts, refusing to let the police drive down. What happened next could not have been anticipated.

A cop car was stopped at one of the central intersections in Edgewood. People quickly approached the squad car, even going so far as to lean in the window to shout at the cops while others banged on the side of the car. More and more people drew closer, eventually circling the car. Once it was successfully blocked and the pigs inside were intimidated, they tried to leave. The crowd joyfully sent them off with rocks, sticks, and even basketballs to speed the process. People cried out in excitement, leaping into the air for high-fives and hugs. Throughout the event not a single person made a plea for the police. It was clear the police were our common enemy.

On the way back to the apartment complex, people noticed an unmarked car coming toward the crowd up a sidestreet. People immediately responded by running toward the car and letting loose a rainstorm of pebbles, and then rocks, and then bricks. The cops threw their car into reverse and exited the area as fast as they could. Laughing, the crowd ran back down to the Courts and broke apart. A number of cop cars began circling throughout the apartments but left after people continued to throw projectiles, including a hammer, at the cops. Some kids, who had to be under 10, were even letting stones fly at cops.

All in all the police were forced to retreat 4 times — leaving the neighborhood completely. The crowd of people never backed down. An arrest occurred just outside of the neighborhood after the event; it is unclear if it is related.

There’s a war on between the Edgewood residents and the cops, and the conflict is only escalating. Anger and riotous joy is the response to frequent harrassment. The day before this event the police attempted to manage a crowd of people outside the apartment complex and were met with rowdy resistance. Three people were arrested, but not one went down easy. The cops have been upping their patrols around Edgewood recently, but tonight, there aren’t any squad cars on the street.

Mainstream Media Coverage:

“Neighbors throw bricks, hammers at police cars over alleged brutality,” WSB-TV Channel 2 Atlanta – http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/neighbors-throw-bricks-hammers-poli

“APD police crusiers pummeled with bricks during protest,” 11 Alive Atlanta – http://www.11alive.com/news/article/287484/40/Police-crusiers-pummeled-w

“Two Atlanta police cruisers hit by bricks, rocks,” CBS Atlanta – http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/21926610/two-atlanta-police-cruisers-hit

“Protesters throw items at police cars in NE Atlanta,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/protesters-throw-items-at-police-cars

“Residents protest physical arrest in NE Atlanta,” Fox 5 Atlanta – http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21926137/protester

Background:

“Cop Threatens Kids With Shotgun,” CopWatch footage from March 19th shot at the Edgewood Courts Apartment, Edgewood, Atlanta, GA – http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/cop-threatens-kids-shotgun

“Poster: War in the Neighborhood,” An image to be printed as a poster to be hung around Atlanta – http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/poster-war-neighborhood

Chicago: 5 arrested during rebellion in response to shooting death of unarmed community member

From Capitalist Media:

Accused of joining a violent mob that formed after a Chicago police officer shot and killed a suspected robber on Saturday, five men appeared in bond court yesterday.

The suspects, ages 19 to 31, all face misdemeanor charges of mob action. Four of the five are also accused of other crimes.

The crowd gathered midday Saturday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood shortly after a “very violent encounter” led one officer to shoot and kill Jamaal Moore, 23, of the 5600 block of South Shields Avenue authorities said.

Police said two officers confronted Moore, who they believe participated in an armed hold-up of a truck driver earlier Saturday. Moore, who police say appeared to be holding something in his hand, engaged in a tussle with one officer.

When Moore charged at the other officer, she feared for her life and shot him, Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Saturday. Officers didn’t find a gun with Moore. He was carrying a flashlight.

The Chicagoist is reporting that 9 folks were arrested. Story here.

Anaheim, CA: Police attack crowd after neighbors respond to police shooting of an unarmed resident

From capitalist media:

ANAHEIM (KTLA) — A crowd of neighbors got a bit unruly Saturday night after a man was fatally shot by police earlier in the evening.

The shooting happened around 4 p.m. in an alley near the 600 block of N. Anna Drive.

Two officers made contact with three men, who then fled.

According to a witness, an officer caught up to one of the suspects in an apartment courtyard, shot him once and told him to put his hands behind his back. They then shot him again, striking him in the head.

The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

The crowd threw rocks and bottles the the officers investigating the incident. Officers pushed the crowd back and they left the scene.

Officers returned to the scene five hours after the shooting after the crowd refused to disperse from the area.

At one point, the neighbors lit a trash can on fire and threw it into the street.

Police say several bystanders were arrested during that scuffle.

The other two suspects are still on the loose.

No further information has been released.


Video of police response to the rebellion, where police use bean bag rounds and dogs to attack a crowd that included small kids and families.

University of Puerto Rico Students Clash with Riot Police at University Plaza

UPR on strikeFrom Libcom:

Photo account of the demonstration and attack by riot police during the shut down of the administrative building at the University Plaza of the Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico in the morning of January 13th, 2011.

UPR Students Clash with Riot Police at University Plaza
by CMI-Puerto Rico Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 at 5:38 PM
pr@indymedia.org

Spanish source with photos: http://pr.indymedia.org/news/2011/01/46923.php

Translator’s note: For those who haven’t followed, this is the next chapter in a nine-month-long struggle at the University of Puerto Rico. Since the first 60-day long strike last April, students have used an immense variety of tactics with a range of goals and radical visions just as varied. At this point, dialogue has become less and less of an option and both the students and the police have become more direct and militant in their approach. Whether or not anarchists and radicals would agree with their above-ground pleas for dialogue, their consistency and success at shutting down the university over and over and over (almost becoming a habit) should be inspiring.

The rumor about a possible opening of the enrollment process made its rounds among students since last Tuesday the 11th, the day that the Rio Piedras campus reinstated its strike against the $800 fee. In spite of the ambiguous statements made by the university administration to begin the enrollment process on January 13th, the students decided to mobilize the protest towards the University Plaza, where most campus administrative offices are located.
Continue reading

London: Student rebel undergoes brain surgery after beating from police

Police beating studentsA student was rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery after he was allegedly hit with a police truncheon during last night’s tuition fees protest.

Alfie Meadows, 20, developed bleeding on his brain when he was hit as he tried leave the ‘kettling’ area outside Westminster Abbey, his mother said.

The Middlesex University student fell unconscious on the way to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where he underwent a three-hour operation to save his life.

He was one of 44 people, including six police officers, treated in hospital after London’s most violent night of student rioting over fees.

A further 14 people were treated by paramedics at the scene.

Alfie’s mother, Susan Meadows, 55, an English literature lecturer at Roehampton University, said her son had described the blow to his head as ‘the hugest he had ever felt’.

‘Basically he had a stroke last night,’ she said. ‘He couldn’t speak or move his hand.

‘The surface wound wasn’t very big but three hours after the blow, he suffered bleeding to the brain,’ she said.

‘He survived the operation and he’s in the recovery room.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337468/Tuition-fees-protest-Alfie-Meadows-emergency-brain-surgery-beaten-police.html#ixzz17knYNVTp