Archive for State

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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_bailout_referendum,_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
http://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/e/public/index.html?lang=en#{“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.

Thanks.

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.

 

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.

 

“Solidarity With the Ferguson Rebellion” Posters Hanging in Athens, Exarchia Greece

English:

Solidarity With the Ferguson Rebellion

Popular sustained rebellion has continued in an American suburb for the past week. Sparked by police killing an unarmed black teenager, Mike Brown. Unlike other uprisings against the police, state propaganda and repression has not stopped resistance. Anarchists have shown solidarity in different ways including on the ground support. The state has brought in national guard troops and imposed a curfew. Resistance continues in ways that have not been experienced for decades.

Ferguson will be remembered as a turning point, the moment that the state offered martial law and the people fought back. The moment which acceptable leaders could not contain. A point in which the battle against the police, state and capital could happen and spread in any town, USA.

Greek:

Αλληλεγγύη στη εξέγερση στο Ferguson Μια λαϊκή εξέγερση κρατά εδώ και μια βδομάδα σ’ ένα αμερικάνικο προάστιο. Πυροδοτήθηκε από την αστυνομική δολοφονία ενός άοπλου μαύρου εφήβου, του Mike Brown. Αντίθετα με άλλες εξεγέρσεις ενάντια στην αστυνομία, η κρατική προπαγάνδα και η καταστολή δεν έπνιξαν την αντίσταση. Οι αναρχικοί έδειξαν την αλληλεγγύη τους με διαφορους τρόπους, περιλαμβανομένης και της ενεργούς στήριξης στους δρόμους. Το κράτος έφερε στρατεύματα της εθνοφρουράς και επέβαλε απαγόρευση κυκλοφορίας. Η αντίσταση όμως συνεχίζεται με τρόπους που δεν είχαμε δει εδώ και δεκαετίες. Το Ferguson θα μείνει στην μνήμη μας ως σημείο τομής, ως η στιγμή που το κράτος πέρασε σε κατάσταση έκτακτης ανάγκης και ο λαός αντιστάθηκε. Ως η στιγμή που οι ως τότε αποδεκτοί ηγέτες δεν μπόρεσαν να χειραγωγήσουν. Το σημείο απ’ όπου ο πόλεμος ενάντια στην αστυνομία, το κράτος και το κεφάλαιο, μπορεί να διαδοθεί σε κάθε πόλη των ΗΠΑ.

Unmediated Solidarity; Just Do It! Uncovering and Disrupting Police Disinfo in Ferguson and Other Flashpoints

Over the course of a few years, local police in a seemingly coordinated effort have put forth narratives designed to stop radicals from lending unmediated support to impacted communities during times of crisis. The pattern of this counterinsurgency strategy is simplistic yet fairly effective. A decade of intense militarization, economic decline and an overall breaking system has created a need for the state to stop uprisings before they take hold. Their strategy is two fold, divide the impacted community into good and bad protesters while concurrently attacking the anarchist movement.

Taking a look at Ferguson should reveal a pattern that follows along a fairly specific and similar national trajectory. This narrative is usually something like;

The police mention anarchists as the main provocateurs

This information is picked up by well meaning moderates within impacted communities

Disinformation spreads and does the damage it is intended to do

During a daytime news conference on August 11th the Ferguson sheriff issues the first statement blaming anarchists for starting trouble

Fairly amusing that a local sheriff would be privy to information detailing an organized plot by local anarchists to rile people up. Of course with statements like these the questions are never asked and the damage is done. The disinformation spreads and works to discredit anyone “causing trouble” and prevent radicals from continuing on the ground support. If you think this is some sort of conspiracy theory I suggest you take into consideration that the entire global community right now is experiencing serious social and political upheaval. If you think the USA is immune, I will buy all of your gold for a good price and teach you how to make 1000’s a week online.

My intention isn’t to shame or call out anybody who ends up using this disinformation for their own gain. As radicals we should understand that moderates, well meaning liberals and wannabe politicians will always be willing to exploit this disinformation. They do it in black, white, latino poor and middle class communities. That said, my intention is to explain that an effort by the state exists to isolate radicals and prevent them from participating in unmediated solidarity. What is mediated solidarity? Staged rallies put on by Democrats with a safe message for white people. Marches in circles around empty buildings on a Sunday guaranteed to be “non-confrontational.” Letter writing campaigns and unity rallies in high school gymnasiums. Unmediated solidarity?

Unmediated solidarity means support that is direct without the watchful eye of the state and lap dogs. Direct support financial and political to people arrested. Showing up in impacted areas, telling the real story on the ground. White people showing uncritical, uncompromising support during times of rebellion is crucial. We don’t need to wait for politicians or leftist social managers. They are irrelevant and should be ignored and shut down when possible. In Ferguson, anarchists have been reporting events on the ground since day one while also setting up a jail support fund. Where are the leftists? Mostly complaining about anarchists and sharing Al Sharpton quotes on social media.

Of course Ferguson isn’t the only example of this disinformation, in NYC last year police shot and killed Kimani Gray. Within hours there was a response from the community that was sustained for days. The interesting point about these events and the blame put on anarchists was that very little disruption ever took place. Small incidents here and there, for whatever reason necessitated police blaming anarchists for what boils down to, any and all non sanctioned behavior. Here is an article detailing small acts of disruption that took place and outside agitators blamed by the NYPD from the beginning. Much of this information and disinfo is chronicled on Twitter, it is worth noting that the platform has been under intense scrutiny by states looking to stop and disrupt unrest.

Blaming White People for Black Anger is Fucked Up

Here’s the thing. Were white anarchists at these uprisings? Sure, probably. Do white people always act perfect? No. Do white anarchists look to control or “lead” black anger? No. Do white anarchists seek to incite people? No. Anyone who tells you different is lying because they have their own agenda.

Anarchists want to support people in struggle, on the ground. It is that simple. Police, Leftist managers and capitalists would rather that not happen. Ferguson at least to me shows, we can do it.

 

When Liberals Have Had Enough: Che Cafe & UCSD Books to Prisoners Under Attack

Being in the Mediterranean for a few months now I wanted my first post back to be inspirational and thoughtful regarding my travels and learned experience. It’s been good and there will be more of that although, I wanted to highlight an ongoing attack against radicals in the California University System. It’s the Summer, school isn’t in session and with that we have the first in what is to surely become an ongoing issue. Janet Napolitano the ex-homeland security director under the Obama administration is now in charge of all California schools. What other context is needed here really? We know where this is going.

A few months ago the Che Cafe was served with an eviction notice that ended up being supported by the entirety of the student government. The reason they supported it? The school gave in and granted them unisex bathrooms. The liberal jokes write themselves here but it can’t be considered that funny since the context is completely demolishing radical projects on campus. So, the establishment left has conceded bathrooms in return for pushing any non-establishment sentiment off campus. UCSD is the test run, the rest of the system is no doubt in the cross hairs.

So today, in a greater than expected fashion Books for Prisoners UCSD has been served with the equivalent of a “move your desk to the basement” order. How is this project an issue, how much could it possibly cost the university? We know what is going on. The university is not a place for anti-establishment discourse specifically in the age of austerity stateside. Behavior that is obviously outside the status quo is quickly criminalized. Cleansing the university system makes sense, a long term radical project on university grounds has legitimacy. It attracts more people within that space. It has power in that regard.

Anarchist and radical projects, people and spaces are under attack in the USA. The liberal establishment appeases the sorry state of the left with social issue scraps. There is much worse coming and when it does, will we be able to fight?

Unisex bathrooms for all! Use them or else!

Thoughts on capital and an organic need for gun control

Overall, during the current crisis a few acceptable and somewhat distinct trends are emerging in relation to the management of violence.  While these trends play out, the need for comprehensive gun control is becoming much more necessary.  The acceptable positions are as follows:

  • More guns more freedom defend the second amendment
  • Restrict citizens rights to own guns
  • Provide a greater range of mental health options

For decades, second amendment crusaders have been victorious in defending and pushing guns for all.  Or at least for most, felons are excluded completely and if you are non white you don’t want to get caught with a gun, legal or not.  But for most, the ease of obtaining a weapon is widespread and a part of the American cultural landscape.

There are many parts to this cultural lexicon with the Second Amendment being just one.  American wealth and dominance is another part, a part that is currently in massive crisis.  And within this crisis certain cultural characteristics are beginning to fracture and blur.  They are doing so out of necessity in order to maintain economic and overall social normality.

Massive concentrations of wealth demand sacrifice by those without it

If any point is made here it’s that during times of mass crises, those in power will stay in power by sapping the life of those with none.  The upper classes will use violence and propaganda in order to suppress any threat.  Let’s be real here, last week unions were stripped of their power in Michigan! Michigan, the most recent historical home of fighting unionism. The originator of the sit down strike! What was the narrative that emerged?  Violent union workers rip down tent because they didn’t get what they want.

When markets and capital are in crisis they will dictate what is needed for survival.  And when necessary, the state will follow through on these needs.

Advocates for the second amendment state that if everyone had a gun there would be much less worry for mass violent homegrown tragedy.  The acceptable gun control argument is generally hysterical, such as “we have had enough of this, its time to ban guns.”  And even though the vast majority of gun control arguments are emotional, the core element is correct:

Banning guns will get rid of gun violence

For the past 20 years the proliferation of mood altering medication has skyrocketed.  So much so that different classes of mental disease have been created.  Much of this medication and diagnosis has been designed to help individuals navigate through the modern American cultural milieu.  The problems that crisis creates exacerbates the unique problems that are already present in the average American citizen.  For the past 20 years the sink or swim, work hard, bootstrap mentality has experienced increasing strain.  And with that strain comes:

Stress

Not just stress on the average individual but extreme stress on anybody that does not fit in.  The propaganda dictates that you need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and if you can’t, society owes you nothing.  So the problem/solution is:

Capital dictates that if you do not fit within the markets, you have no use for society.  And it is capital that creates the solution, medication.

But now, this solution is failing, medication is no longer able to cope with the increasing stress imposed from the current crisis. More and more people are beginning to crack and with it there is an increasing strain on the social fabric that may be, at this moment in time, unacceptable.  You could make the argument that mass tragedies inject fear that is overall positive for the markets.  Although, with the quick 24 hour news cycle, tragedy is mostly just an impediment to spending.

The only solution to the question of random violence if you support the status quo, the current incarnation of American society and capital is gun control.

Medication has failed, second amendment arguments will not combat stress and you can’t monitor everyone at all times, yet.  There is no acceptable solution that does not appease the march of wealth.  There is no market for less work and more play as a means to combat stress.   Criticizing the isolation of mass technology and the extreme toll it enacts on your body is counterproductive to the American Dream.

We need to take away guns from people who can’t physically and mentally handle what we support any longer.

Voting for really bad things as a strategy

How can people justify voting for this system? It seems like the last thing you can do is trust anyone who is dismal enough to do so. If it comes down to it, the people who claim to be for revolutionary change who vote will be the first to seek moderation, reaction. We are really fucked, sad to see so many people who have no serious conception of the current situation. Troubling times.