Archive for Exiled Arizona

An Alternative to What? Art and Counter Insurgency.

On June 17th a group of “artists” will entertain themselves, their friends and tourists in the neighborhood of Exarcheia. These groups, Troubadors Digital, ATATHENS, SarBarBar and Fabrica are all directly connected and in some cases housed under the same roof on Evripidou. All of them are implementing this program under the guidance and funding of co-Athens implemented by the European pilot program of the Municipality of Athens Curing the Limbo. The program is co-financed by the ERDF under the UIA program. On the same evening as their “walk” they will hold their grand online event opening with speeches by Kostas Bakoyannis and Melina Daskalaki the head Athens Development and Destination, an investment firm attorney and member of the defunct Drassi political party, a small party whose ethos could be extreme pro business.

Gentrification is not just a process of economic displacement. It is also a process of cultural and ideological displacement. And it’s this process that the “artist” and the “creative” become the crucial element to introduce to fund and to use as a spearhead. Within this counter insurgency capital itself searches for elements that provide safety for those individuals seeking an alternative outlet minus the uncomfortable aspects of oppositional culture. It’s in this process that a group of artists comes to the point where a city sanctioned cultural event in Exarcheia seems like the right thing to do. For now let’s ignore the absolutely infuriating situation that has allowed this to happen, the brutal repression of our neighborhood these past years.

You have to wonder, if these groups see themselves as an alternative, they mention it on every piece of content produced, what is this an alternative to?

It is important to understand that the artist often sees themselves as a natural outsider. In turn much of society does as well and makes assumptions based on this caricature. The assumption is usually political in nature, the individual in question must be “radical” as an outsider. This creates two separate issues, first the outsider does not question the scope of the art and it’s connotations, and for the artist this caricature creates an air of sanctimony that often looks like a holier than thou shield to deflect criticism. When we do criticise the artist those who watch will often be confused or make assumptions about those who are critical. This begs the question of what our criticism should look like and how action can oppose this general counter insurgency.

So let’s be real, what do you think the individual willing to work with the city to bring “culture” to an area forcefully occupied by the city thinks of it’s inhabitants? Are they just stooges tricked by the City of Athens, lured by a little money and credit on their CV or is there something more? If not do we think every artist in Athens is incapable of action in Exarcheia that doesn’t look like a farce mocking the neighborhood? That every artist in Athens doesn’t understand the importance of self organization within the neighborhood that is critical of the city and it’s benefactors? We know this isn’t true, so who are these people. What do you think they say about the anarchists and the “problems of the neighborhood” in private. Of course they aren’t the only ones, but this is the reality. And they know exactly what they are doing.

This is why we oppose them through direct action, not discussion. It’s why gentrification must be met with the wild nature of oppositional culture. If that is lost, if we are pacified, it is gone. In Athens the city and it’s investments may be running out of money, but the individuals who seek to use the general repression of the neighborhood still exist. They exist on Valtetsiou or Mavromachali, drinking fancy cocktails safely tucked away behind the riot squads. Imagine the individuals who choose to be in Exarcheia, next to the cops. The cops who have terrorized this neighborhood for decades. The city knows that in order to let them in, to have our neighborhood in relative safety it must be pacified first. The parks must be ripped up. The squats must be gone and the stekis and bars that support us have to be shut out as well. Believe it or not, we still have the upper hand and the potential to push it back where it belongs.

And it’s why I always ask, what is more dangerous to Exarcheia, the MAT cop on the corner or the introduction of liberal ideology spearheaded with money and guidance by the forces that want nothing but the neighborhoods destruction. The answer for me is clear.

  • Feel free to translate

Social authentication in light of the anarchist bans on Facebook/Twitter etc + Athens events

I have decided to restart this site under the old name for three brief reasons. And for those reasons this post will stay constantly pinned to the top.

  1. When/if the social accounts I manage are deleted I will need a way to authenticate new accounts. The political thoughts/commentary are not so important but live updates from the ground in the coming years wherever you are will be. These new accounts I may create will need to be trusted. This blog will list current usernames and URLS.
  2. I would like to encourage others to consider new means of effective communication. We can use the socials with the knowledge that we will be banned. This site, can easily be ported to TOR or other virtually unbannable servers. It’s not the best solution but it IS a solution. Back up your data now. Don’t wait and cry later.

Lastly! The new posts here from henceforth when not regarding authentication will list events I support or encourage. These could be meetings, demos, parties or whatever. Please do not message requesting event inclusion. At the moment both and list most if not all events of a political nature.

Good luck to you all.

Original Twitter screenshot with my URL in bio. @exiledarizona is still the current authenticated username.

Thoughts on the Guardian Article “The end of Capitalism is Beginning”

My thoughts on the following article: The end of capitalism is beginning

This is a topic that I focus on a lot myself. There is this part where the author mentions that they are “just focusing on the economic” part of the equation. And that, the social and political part can be talked about by others. This is fair but they don’t in fact shy away from it towards the end and their conclusion gets messy.

Messy for the same reason a lot of these folks can’t handle the conclusion. There’s no way these “changes” can happen simply through economic and social planning. I really believe that a lot of it can happen that way and in fact, before we get to the sort of crisis that turns the table so to speak, as this author says “the right way” must be found. This would piss off a lot of anarchists but well for one, I don’t care and I think he is right.

Couple things that bother me about his specific view: He seems to rely way too much on a need to let the reader know that everything can be automated. I think he is doing this for academic reasons instead of following the natural conclusion that some manual labor probably won’t matter in the long run.

The insistence on the need for a state sounds somewhat Marxist and also academic. Like, instead of just following the natural conclusion that the state will wither away or go out with a bang within his theory he clings to it. For what reason, I am not sure but it would be great to hear an answer.

The criticism of Syriza and other late stage left formations is a bit weird. For whatever reason, it would seem obvious that the information age and the issues he talks about has given rise to these parties. It’s not a last ditch effort for them but a mid point of confusion in rapidly changing environment. One where the nation state is failing and the people who live in them try and respond.

Overall, even though there are clearly bothersome parts for anti-authoritarians it points out highly important aspects of what is upon us. His article seems to hit some walls with academic analysis at points and this prevents a consistent conclusions.

Lastly, I have noticed some criticism that is a constant headache for me, mainly the “it doesn’t seem as serious as the author says.” Basically folks who can’t grasp how important the information around us is. You are in the middle of a serious revolutionary period in human history. Deal with it.

Athens Saturday Update: Polling, Rioting, Rallying, Repression, International Attention & Meddling

NOTE: If you want to comment or contact me regarding this update please do so through Reddit or Twitter as the comment system on my blog is not really functional or useful

Might end up being a longer update. Thanks for the kind words and thanks on the last one. These past few days have been intense and busy as you can imagine.

1. International meddling in the crisis and referendum is at a fever pitch. I can’t even begin to detail the obvious propaganda aimed at Greece right now. The idea that we are having food shortages is a lie. ATM’s are all functioning with a limit for citizens with local banks. The ‘YES’ vote clearly has an international media company managing their campaign. The Youtube videos are ridiculous and look like something a USA media yuppie firm would create. What will happen next week is of course an open question but I will get to that in a moment.

2. Some truths. The air is thick with extreme tension everywhere. Even on the streets you see patience snap with fighting and pensioners upset at the money situation. There was a very depressing picture posted the other day that showed an older man crying outside an ATM. This isn’t hyperbole, people are afraid of what is coming.

3. So many foreign journalists are here. I keep running into them over and over and most are of course total idiots. Some are OK but even my friends who are journalists foreign and local are losing patience with some of them. A known holier than thou USA anarchist from USA showed up in Exarchia over the past few days and has almost gotten beaten up twice for different idiocy. This shit makes me and other internationals look bad and I beg anyone coming here to screw your fucking head on straight. Which knowing most USA radicals is near impossible.

4. The police have basically fanned out all through Athens. Acting how they did prior to Syriza being elected. Following alongside demonstrations, harassing people, checking papers, standing outside the Polytechnic gates, coming far into Exarchia in order to provoke clashes. It’s been bizarre though, the feared and hated DELTA squads are seemingly not around at night. Although yesterday a motorcycle demonstration was straight up attacked for no reason. It’s been nonsense and confusing as the police have mostly stood down the past few months. Life is scary and the air is thick. Rioting has been breaking out nightly in Exarchia and lasted till almost 6 AM this morning. There was clashes earlier yesterday on the edge of Syntagma when the motorbike demonstration was attacked.

5. On Wednesday there was a larger demonstration for YES than the previous NO demonstration. Last night there was a final NO demonstration which I guess could be thought of as a response to that YES demonstration. There were so many people, thousands and thousands.

6. The polling for the referendum is incredibly close. At this point it is too close too call but most people think the NO vote still has it. Check here for polling:,_2015

Here is the link for the Greek elections site, if you are a nerd like me you will be able to watch them all roll in and it will be pretty clear by 9 or so Greek time what the result is{“cls”:”main”,”params”:{}}

Lastly, I am not going to lie. People fear what would happen if YES wins. Anarchists are somewhat split on whether to vote or not. I can personally see both sides and to be honest, my personal feeling is that most people can see both as well. What will happen after is really the question and I am not sure if anyone can answer it. Something feels different, it is in the air and to deny it is impossible. The past year in Greece has been a struggle and this may be part of the culmination. But there is a big question as to what it really means, what it signifies and how it will fit into a bigger picture.

Lastly let me wish my Greek friends luck, this isn’t “my fight” as much as it is theirs and there is no other position other than support, solidarity and risk. Fuck the international capitalists, the state apparatus and all of their supporters.


Things white liberal suburbanites do

Tell outspoken anarchists who “represent” them to shut up with 10 paragraph essays and screenshots while ignoring politicians who claim to in fact, represent them.

Safe & Sober, Party Laws and the Future of Downtown Tempe

Its 2015, I get some flack here and there for not updating this blog but in between all the other writing I am doing in multiple places EA only exists for the random posts and notes on the big piece of writing/book I am working with. So, maybe there will be more this year but Twitter and other means will more than likely suffice for now. Plus, it is dangerously annoying when my login page is constantly disabled due to bothack attacks. Thanks China/Russia!

Being away from Arizona for going on a year now has given me some time to reflect on projects, ideas and the future. Not just my personal future but where Tempe may be headed and what the immediate moment contains. It is pretty clear to me that the campaigns that have caused so much anger are ready to be nixed. I want this post to encourage the city staff to just do it and get it over with. I’d like to also offer some very basic alternate ideas for some of the actual issues Tempe has to deal with. The valley for me no matter what I am doing will always be my home. It is always important to me.

This post is going to lack context in the furtherance of saving space. With that said, Safe and Sober simply needs to go. The people who came up with the idea, and those who tacitly support it have a Tempe in mind that doesn’t serve the majority of the Downtown residents. It seems to me that it’s continued existence is now just a face saving measure. Let’s get rid of it. If we want to go above and beyond the policing tactic of DUI checkpoints and visits to our homes here are some ideas

  • Take a massive portion of the funding and use it for on campus education and empowerment programs to combat assault
  • Promote free ride and taxi systems for people who have had too much to drink.
  • Let neighborhood organizations educate new residents about the history of the Downtown Area in terms of partying, sobriety and partying responsibly
  • RELAX policing and laws so people are not afraid to have fun in Downtown Tempe¬†
Along with the last point we have to talk about the partying laws. These laws created by the the same people are one in the same. They have the same puritan impact of pushing what once was a thriving culture to the sidelines. This serves absolutely nobody, it certainly doesn’t make for good neighbors and it definitely makes for increasingly dangerous conditions while having fun. It might seem ridiculous that we have to argue that having fun is a good thing but clearly, one side here is out of step. It’s time to consider that it isn’t us. Here is what needs to happen, as sitting council member Corey Woods already stated; we need to give a warning first for parties. Some ideas
  • Roll back the system to include a first warning after 10 PM, the current fining system borders on harassment
  • Improve with support of the neighborhood organizations Downtown neighborhood lighting
  • Relax laws regarding outside gatherings, sound permits and other codes to encourage the unique atmosphere that has and still exists in our neighborhoods
  • Seriously consider allowing bars and other establishments to serve liquor until 4 AM

Personally, I believe that the current administration has it within their power to make these changes happen. And much, much sooner than later. With that said, there are next steps we can take as people who now have a stable base of support in neighborhoods all over Tempe. Besides encouraging the spread of our campaigns and ideas throughout Phoenix, Tempe is wide open. Some points of contention follow;

  • Develop neighborhood to neighborhood points of contact for our ideas both through social media and real life
  • Begin taking over traditional cultural mediums that we have yet to touch on
  • Use our current contacts within Tempe based companies and organizations to orient them for and against the specific initiatives
  • Fund projects through our base of support that are “difficult to attack,” spread this out into other areas if possible
  • Seriously consider running a candidate or multiple candidates in 2016 that could swing the election causing major issues within Tempe
I am looking forward to seeing my home again one day and the more of the above the better. It doesn’t have to be a constant struggle, and it seems to me that there is light at the end of the current tunnel. For now this is probably my last bit of above the scenes work regarding Tempe, this year is going to be a trying and challenging one for me. Writing, travelling, new projects and big ideas as always. And thats that.

The Surprise is that People Still Ask Why. A Short Essay on Extreme Actions & 2014

I don’t expect and do not want people to be desensitized to murder. And of course with the police, it’s easy to point out the double standards. But, what gets me is the disbelief that throwing people in prison for decades, using solitary confinement as punishment, and the general promotion of this idea that “crime” in and of itself can and should result in death will somehow never have extreme consequences.

You see the people everywhere leaving comments about criminals. Editorializing petty crime as worth death. Property crime, “throw them away and lock the key for decades.” As a society, many of us are used to and tacitly accept this commentary. Just right wing conservative racists etc. This idea though, represents something that is far more serious.

The people making these comments are not disparate people in basements who find themselves only in dark corners of cyberspace. They are the people who vote for tyrants, who support torture and spying and what unites them in complete solidarity is a belief that “law” is pure, religious in nature. This pole is represented and accepted in American society, promoted through mass media.

There is no way to mistake the growing gulf in society, no matter your side. Consider that the growing opposition truly wants to dismantle prisons, borders, policing and at the very least change the entirety of the justice system. Middle ground between these two competing worldviews is not existent because it is impossible. This extreme divergence tearing at the fabric of society worldwide is where extreme acts are born.

The Iron is Hot: Phoenix 12/5 First Friday Self Organization Against Police Occupation

Where law exists justice is absent. The answer is self organization of events and neighborhoods without police. Oppose the police and their tacit supporters in the business, arts and cultural communities. Lead by example in order to drown out the “moderate liberals” who wish to funnel anger into politics. It’s time.


From Fresno to Tempe, New DTC President Supported Ripping Out Sidewalk for Roads in Fresno Gentrification Group

Now, the City of Fresno plans to revitalize the area by tearing out the 50-year old pedestrian mall and turning back the clock to the days when cars drove Fulton Street. Mayor Ashley Swearengin says that the lack of vehicle traffic is holding the area back, and discourages private investment. Area property owners, including the business group the Downtown Fresno Partnership generally support the plan

Tempe is certainly rising! And with it brings a brand new Tempe resident Kate Borders, hired by DTC and tasked with the job of re-branding our neighborhoods. Certainly a tall order for a brand new resident but she seems to be up for the job fresh from re-branding Fresno California advocating for destruction of sidewalk among other tactics opposed by local residents. For more information on that read “Is It Terrible, Or A Treasure? Fresno’s Fulton Mall Debate Heats Up

Of course there are many, many people to blame for this ridiculous attempt to gentrify Downtown Tempe. And, they should be blamed and called out personally. The advertising agency Zion and Zion, the Awe collective tasked with the rebranding specifically. Don’t fall for the “they are just trying to get by.” We all, try and get by and live with the consequences of doing so. This push by real estate developers will impact our city negatively for the long term. It will push poor people out and chisel away at the small sliver of “not Arizona” in Arizona that we still have.

What will you do to oppose it?


Ferguson Police Documents Reveal Orchestrated Media Repression, Let’s Be Real Though

Just released documents confirm what many suspected all along. During the course of events in Ferguson the police created a no fly zone that was only meant to restrict media coverage from the air. This created a scenario where the full picture of events was difficult to gauge as on the ground cameras only reveal bits and pieces. During these sorts of uprisings news helicopter footage many times creates some of the most striking and obvious pictures as to the real situation on the ground. So, restricting it essentially stops a large portion of the population, even those already in support from grasping the overall strategic situation. From the Associated Press;

Such images would have offered an unvarnished view of one of the most serious episodes of civil violence in recent memory. The recordings also offer a rare look into government operations, especially as local public-records requests to Ferguson officials by the AP and other news organizations were denied or met with high processing fees

Along with this direct evidence, we need to step back and realize what this also means. It can be assumed with very little doubt that when photographers and other media were arrested for seemingly doing nothing that this, was also orchestrated. Of course it may never be possible to prove this directly, but it really doesn’t matter. When the worst is proven, we should assume the worst for all related questions. And, it is essential not to forget that for the past few years restricting news helicopters has been an unconfirmed but well recognized tactic during insurrection and protest. It is a national strategy, not a “hair brained local one.”

The media in Ferguson was restricted, managed and repressed in total


Why did the Ferguson police restrict the media? 

Well, we know the typical safe opposition response that simply, the police do not want to be recorded violating the law and beating citizens. Sure, this may partially be true but camera phones can record police brutality quite well, many times much better than news footage. The main reason though isn’t any more complicated than the safe one. Restricting certain types of media is designed to fuel an ongoing counter-insurgency operation. It is a tactic, not used to cover up the “crimes of the police,” but a tactic used to defeat insurgency.

So why is the real answer uncomfortable? Well, it requires the believer to really, in all actuality understand that the organized justice system is working to defeat you. They want you to stop protesting and are willing to arrest and restrict the media to meet that goal. When it’s just “police brutality” it seems manageable. Even when it’s bad you can work with the cops and fix the problem. But you can’t work with the cops, this is not Mayberry 1950, this is USA 2014 where millions of people are in prison. Where cops shoot people all the damn time. I mean hell, do you really think the cops care about a news chopper catching “brutality?” They are the ones shooting people. What they care about is more citizens joining an ongoing rebellion. Let’s be clear and real about it.

Over the past few months I have talked a lot about police strategy in Ferguson and elsewhere. Many other pieces have been written about it that detail specific examples of this. Remember that, the police restricting media is just a tactic. A tactic that allows their strategic purpose of controlling information to move forth in a less turbulent fashion. And propaganda by design is meant for the masses, which will influence the situation on the ground. It’s up to us to directly counter their propaganda with our own. In order to do this we need to drop the moderate pretense of “they want to beat us,” and move directly to

they want to stop us.

From outside agitators, to pushing racial strife, to good cop/bad cop, to mass arrests, empowering moderate community leaders and as discussed, restricting specific media….they are trying their hardest.