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Posts by Jon Riley

Phoenix: October 22 discussion on Race Traitor politics

A presentation on Race Traitor politics is being held this Monday at the Rusty Spoke Bicycle Co-Op in downtown Phoenix. During our active era as PCWC, we wrote with some frequency on Race Traitor politics (with my partner P.I. writing on the subject ye…

Continue reading at Fires never extinguished: A blog of the Phoenix Class War Council …

Write to Branson, doing 30 days in Tent City for anti-ALEC night demo

Consider taking some time to send a letter/postcard to Branson Brockman, who is serving 30 days in the county's Tent City for allegedly assaulting a Phoenix police officer at the First Friday anti-ALEC demo, the final day of action during the the annual ALEC meeting held in Phoenix last December.  Branson was charged with walloping a cop with a skateboard after the cop grabbed ahold of some other person dragging a barricade into the street.  

The cop who attacked the unpermitted street march was one of the usual bike cops patrolling the monthly First Friday in downtown, the thirty officers who swarmed the area in the seconds after the lone officer attacked the march were laying in wait.  Directed by the legendary asshole Phoenix cop Mark Schweikert, the dozens of officers flooded that stretch of Roosevelt, with the first cops out of their cars deploying liberal amounts of pepper spray.  

 

 As people scattered from the pepper spray, the Phoenix police deployed snatch squads of officers across the arts district, eventually arresting Branson and charging him with assault on an officer.

Branson is due to be released by the 6th of October, in the meantime his friends, comrades, and bandmates are putting the word out to send some love his way.  All the relavent info is below, along with the original call out from his friends.  

ACAB/FTP!

Here's the info on how to write my homie/bass player of my band, and all around badass motherfucker Branson who is doing 30 days in Tent City for "Assaulting An Officer" with a skateboard at some Phx anti-ALEC demo.

Little destroyer scurried away after the scuffle with them wrangling the shirt off of his back, and when he was caught in some bourgeois art gallery, they threw him in the car and

THEN pepper sprayed him.

Send him some appreciation and shit. Anything helps.

Send METERED (means postage paid, NO STAMPS) POSTCARDS ONLY in BLUE OR BLACK INK ONLY. You can also order him books off of Amazon, and you should.

Tent City
Branson Brockman P901194
2939 W. Durango st
Phoenix AZ 85009
(Then, on the Then on the bottom right corner, write:)
41 house 19 pod N cell 1 bed 3

Tempe Police and Arizona Anti-Terror Unit are targeting anarchists and indigenous projects in Arizona



A campaign of political repression is under way against anarchist and indigenous projects in Arizona, spearheaded by the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center and the Tempe Police Department Homeland Defense Unit. The Tempe police department’s anti-terror division preemptively shut down the Protect the Peaks solidarity benefit show that was planned for Friday night, using the threat of a fire code violation to ensure that the venue would have to cancel the event.  The Homeland Defense Unit acted on an alert they received from Arizona's main counter terrorism information gathering hub, also known as a fusion center, that a benefit show to raise money for the struggle to save the San Francisco Peaks was scheduled to take place in Tempe on Friday night.

The benefit show organizers had contacted a DIY venue/space run out of a warehouse in west Tempe, a well regarded space that has hosted a number of shows over the last year, often receiving coverage in the Phoenix New Times and other media.  It is a labor of love for the person who runs it, who has a full time job in addition to hosting the occasional show at the venue.  The Protect the Peaks benefit show would have been the first political show to have been hosted at the space, it also put the venue on the radar of Arizona's counter terrorism fusion center.

On Thursday, September 6th the venue operator received an unannounced visit at his workplace from an officer assigned to the city’s Homeland Defense Unit.  The officer, Detective Derek Pittam, threatened to have the venue shut down for fire code violations if the Protect the Peaks show wasn’t canceled immediately.  Detective Pittam informed the person that he was aware that the venue regularly held shows and made it clear that under no circumstances would this benefit show be held at the venue.  The venue's future is now up in the air due to the threats of the Homeland Defense Unit, even though Detective Pittam admitted to the venue operator that he was aware that there had never been one call to police or reports of any illegal activity at that location.

 Detective Derek Pittam of the Tempe Police Homeland Defense Unit

At least one officer working in the Homeland Defense Unit spent last week locating the DIY venue, identifying the operator of the venue, finding his cell phone number, and where he works his full time job so that he could be harassed by Detective Pittam. They had also decided that their anti-terror unit was going to manufacture a fire code violation as pretext to shut down the show, unless the Homeland Defense unit is regularly enforcing code violations in Tempe.

I've learned that during the workplace visit, Pittam specifically identified support for the "Save the Peaks" as a concern for the authorities.  Throughout his visit Detective Pittam made it clear, the issue is with the benefit show not the venue, however the venue would face the consequences for allowing a radical, anarchist, and indigenous themed event.

I've also learned that the venue operator was again contacted on his cell phone Friday night by a Tempe police commander who wanted the venue's permission as the primary property manager to arrest individuals (who may not even know the show was canceled) for trespass on site.  The venue operator declined, and was then asked by the commander for the landlord's phone number, which he also declined to provide to the Tempe Police.   A friend who drove by the venue Friday evening observed one marked police vehicle on the property where the venue was located, and another vehicle parked near by.

In the short time since word got around about the show being canceled, many people involved with various projects are shocked and outraged over this show of state repression.  I was able to chat with Alex Soto, a Tohono O'odham MC from the hip hop group Shining Soul, one of the acts that was scheduled to perform on Friday.  In addition to his music, Alex has organized against border militarization on his traditional land,  the Tohono O'odham nation, a land divided by the US/Mexico border wall and militarized by the border patrol.

He had this to say about the cancelling of the show:
"The show itself is an example of the solidarity between indigenous people, the Diné and O'odham, and anarchist people who are supportive, it also means that the authorities are afraid of us acting in collaboration, collectively.  They’re afraid of all of us coming together, it’s not new, it’s happened before at past demonstrations where we’re targeted, we’re marked for oppression, mainly just by being ourselves and being there.

It doesn't matter to them whether it's an action or protest, or in this case with our talents and our musical gifts to bring people together, the state doesn’t respect that.  This act of repression by the police further motivates myself and everyone else involved to push forward and to have another benefit or show, because we know this will be effective, and all we’re doing now is picking up mics and guitars.

In addition, I’d like to express that as a Tohono O'odham person, I have solidarity with other indigenous people in this area, in this case it’s Diné people and the other 12 tribes that hold the San Francisco Peaks as a sacred site.   This act by Tempe police, and all the entities involved is an attack on who I am and who we are as indigenous people, it verifies to me that we’re doing our role, in this case by standing in solidarity with the peaks, or when we oppose the loop 202 freeway or oppose the border and militarization because this is what solidarity and healthy communities look like.   When we stand together, fight alongside each other, or in this case sing together to defend who we are and what we hold sacred, then fuck the Tempe PD, fuck Phoenix PD, fuck DPS, and any entity that tries to stop this energy that’s building here in Arizona."

When the authorities act to intimidate or threaten dissident voices and movements, it causes a chilling effect, in this case the Tempe police were willing to let a fire inspector poke around in the venue until any little violation could be found that would shut the show down.  We also know that they wanted to arrest anyone who came to the property expecting to see a show. This is a direct attack on the ability of people to freely gather, communicate, and organize without the potential of arrest or physical injury by police, in addition to the potential for serious financial problems for the venue operator. 

More information will be coming this week.

Tempe Police Homeland Defense Unit detective issues anti-anarchist letter ahead of "Take Back the Commons" event for 4/29/12

Below we have published an interesting email that came our way concerning tomorrow’s expropriation of the unused and now vacant and bulldozed land where the Gentle Strength Co-op once stood.  A few things are worth noting.  First, the cops ar…

Continue reading at Fires never extinguished: A blog of the Phoenix Class War Council …

Financial support needed for charges stemming from Phoenix anti-nazi action


We'd like to pass along information from the Arizona Antifa Defense about the case of Dane Rossman, a Tucson resident facing charges from the anti-nazi demonstration in Phoenix back in 2010. With the wounds from the passing of anti-immigrant bill SB 1070 still fresh, 300 people took to the streets back in November of 2010 to drive the white supremacists and fascists from the National Socialist Movement from the streets of Phoenix.

Fierce clashes played out that day, as anarchists and anti-fascists fought both cop and nazi, as the police used liberal amounts of pepper spray attempting to clear the streets. Only two people were arrested that day by Phoenix police, we believe the police were desperate to walk away from the fight with an arrest or two given the intensity of the conflict. The cops had been hindered in making more arrests since two of their undercover officers were chased out of the anti-NSM meeting place, and three other undercover cops were identified as the demonstration wound down.



Dane was one of the people snatched and arrested that day, he was subsequently charged with 5 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon/dangerous instrument and 1 count of rioting. His defense team gives a good run down of the events since that day:

Within a month of the action and arrest, Dane went to an arraignment only to find that his charges had been “scratched.” This meant that while the charges were not being actively pursued, they could be brought back up at any time within 7 years, with or without notifying Dane. And so it simmered for the next year or so.

On Sunday, November 20th, 2011, Phoenix police pulled over a car full of out of town folks for allegedly running a stop sign. The officer immediately informed one passenger, Dane Rossman, that he recognized Dane from actions against the NSM.

After loudly mentioning “anarchists” over police radio, several more squad cars arrived, along with at least one undercover officer. Dane was immediately arrested on a warrant for charges brought back by a County Grand Jury in September 2011. No attempt to notify Dane that the charges were back seems to have been made. Word could be heard over police radios that “there’s a guy working on things” that would “really appreciate 8x10s of everyone in the car.” All passengers were subsequently searched, photographed, and asked if they identify as anarchists.

Dane was released after posting $7,500 bail and now faces six counts of aggravated assault and one felony riot.

Dane is currently facing multiple felony charges that could result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years, his supporters are busy raising funds for legal defense, their goal is to raise $8,000 for private legal counsel. His defense committee has raised 1/4 of the total funds needed, and that's where you come in. We all know money is tight these days, and there's no shortage of comrades who are locked up or facing time and need our support, which is why we are asking for you to find those few extra dollars and send them down to Tucson. Anarchists in Arizona are still very active in opposing the growth of the far-right by staying in struggle with immigrant and indigenous communities under attack by the state and racist vigilante groups. Here, the fight against colonialism isn't left to the history books, it's a daily battle.




Donations can be made through the supporters' WePay account and through paypal (donate using the ramshackleglory@gmail.com email as the recipient). The Arizona Antifa Defense can be reached through email at AZAntifa@gmail.com.

Phoenix: Join the editors of the Bash Back! anthology for a discussion on"Queer Resistance in the Age of Austerity"

“A mob of gay terrorists”

-Bill O’Reilly

The editors of the new book "Queer Ultra Violence: Bash Back! anthology" will be stopping in Phoenix on Monday March 12 to host a discussion on "Queer Resistance in the Age of Austerity." The event kicks off at 7 PM and will be held at the Phoenix Infoshop, located at 1206 E. McKinley in central Phoenix.
A Presentation by Tegan Eanelli and Fray Baroque; editors of "Queer Ultra Violence: Bash Back! Anthology"

Queer Ultra Violence: Bash Back! Anthology published by Ardent Press, is an analytical anthology that chronicles the (non)organization and militant queer tendency known as Bash Back! Although short lived, Bash Back! had an astonishing impact on both radical and queer organizing in the United States. Bash Back! took on gay assimilation, anti-queer violence, the queer radical establishment, and capitalism with a queer struggle that rejected traditional identity politics. The anthology complies essays, interviews, and communiqués to document the new queer tendency spawned bythe Bash Back! years.

As capitalism and the state are thrown into deeper and deeper crisis, queers and all others historically excluded from both formal economies and from the safety net of the nuclear family, will bear the brunt of the age of austerity. Reflecting critically on the past several years of radical queer action and imagination, the editors of Bash Back! Queer Ultraviolence will attempt to navigate queer space and potential in a world torn by crisis. Through this talk, Eanelli and Baroque will present a series of proposals for action and survival, taking as their starting point the position of queer autonomy and queer revolt against the State and Capital. This lecture will theorize queer gangs, self-defense networks, occupations, communes and a praxis of vengeance.

We highly recommend that all interested people attend this event, and if this is the first you're hearing of Bash Back!, you can check out some of the links below to get familiar:

Bash Back! MKE Statement About Pridefest and Nazi Confrontation
A collection of Bash Back! videos
Reflections on the Demise of Bash Back!
Selections from the Introduction and Conclusion to Queer Ultra Violence
Rowdy Queers Trash and Glamdalize Human Rights Campaign Giftshop in Washington, DC on the 42nd Anniversary of the Stone Wall Riots


A classic flier calling for the BB! convergences on the national political conventions
Categories: Anarchism

When Growth is More akin to a Tumor: The AZ Republic Stumps for the Loop 202 Freeway


The frame-up of the Akimel O’odham and Maricopa communities of the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) is in full effect. For over thirty years, city and state planners have tried to fund a section of the Loop 202 freeway that would extend from Chandler to Laveen on the south side of South Mountain. They did this knowing full well that the communities in Gila River have opposed the construction of any freeway on or near the reservation. In particular, the residents of District Six, who would be most impacted by a freeway due to their immediate proximity to the proposed Loop 202, have already drafted a resolution against any freeway construction, as did the tribal council back in 2005.

Now GRIC residents and tribal members have to go to the polls on February 7 to show that, for the third time, the tribe wants no freeway. There have been three proposals for the freeway, an alignment through Ahwatukee that would mean for the destruction of some of the western side of South Mountain; a path through GRIC that would place the freeway, the toxic pollution, and the noise near villages; or the “No-Build” alignment which, despite the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)’s best effort to conceal, is still a viable option. It is still possible that the freeway will never be built.

The belief held by the business, political, and civic leaders is that this growth is good, it’s unstoppable, and everyone can benefit. Pay no mind to the major implications the freeway and accompanying development will have on the air, the land, the wildlife, and the people who live not only in Gila River, but nearby Laveen, Chandler, and Ahwatukee.

With just under one month until the proposed Loop 202 freeway extension goes to a vote in GRIC, the Arizona Republic editorial board has written one of the most unabashed attacks on the residents of GRIC. In an editorial titled “Gila River tribe should vote to allow freeway on its land” the Republic’s board contends that the benefits of the proposed 22 mile, eight lane, 1.9 billion dollar project outweigh any of the perceived drawbacks. If the Republic editorial is a rallying call to the Akimel O’odham residents of GRIC, and the original inhabitants of this land, it is an utter failure. However, if the editorial board is trying to cast the O’odham communities as villains if the freeway is voted down, then they may have succeeded with this slimy piece of pro-freeway propaganda.

In their own words:

“It may seem like a no-brainer for tribal members to approve the freeway on their land. Economic-development projects typically follow freeways, and this one would provide more access to casinos. But tribal members are well aware of the benefits. Their concerns center on increased traffic and air pollution, and loss of more land, especially after the state promised but neglected to build interchanges and frontage roads years ago on Interstate 10, which cut the reservation in half.”

The editorial board moves on to congratulate longtime freeway booster, Phoenix City Councilman Sal Diciccio, for uniting enough of his constituents in his district of Ahwatukee to force the vote in GRIC. Likewise, the Republic applauds Governor Brewer, ADOT, and the Maricopa Association of Governments for their part in pressuring tribal leaders to accept the freeway plan.

So, what I’m hearing the editorial board say is that they acknowledge that people in GRIC don’t want a big stinking, noisy mess in their community, not to mention (since the editorial board conveniently left this out) that the tribe had been told by ADOT that they can only choose between the on reservation alignment, or ensure the destruction of a sacred site by keeping the freeway off the reservation on the Ahwatukee alignment. Neither ADOT, nor the tribal government acknowledged the third option of “No Build” until they received pressure from grassroots groups of Akimel O’odham and Tohono O’odham who are organizing in the GRIC communities against the freeway.

Those organizing in Gila River are joined by a coalition of friends and allies from outside the community who are also concerned about the effects of yet another road or freeway project that will negatively impact the valley’s environment and people. Some of us have been organizing against the freeway for a few months, others for many years now, just as we are facing off against a revolving door of bureaucrats and moneymen who have been pushing for this project for over 30 years.

We are determined to defend South Mountain and to put a stop to any extension of the Loop 202. We want to live free from toxins in the air, the ground, the water, and our bodies. We want these things because of our respect for the Akimel O’odham people, the original inhabitants of the land (before the colonial theft by Spain and subsequent dispossessions by Mexico and the United States), and because we ourselves desire a world where we are free from the bonds of capitalist "progress" and "growth."

These are never concepts that are synonymous with our individual or collective well being, rather it’s the growth for the rich and powerful, it’s the new roads and expressways for their goods to travel faster on. It’s their capital that accumulates at a quicker rate than ever before, progressing leaps and bounds beyond last years projections. These concepts are so in contrast with the balance required for human life in the desert that rooting them on is like cheering for the growth of a tumor, as it progresses to a terminal stage.

Shutting this freeway down is a first step towards the undoing of the damage that has been done to the valley for over a hundred years, it is also a step in the right direction in letting our neighbors in Gila River know that they are not alone in this struggle, nor will they be in their next.

PCWC presents a discussion on "Whiteness and the 99%" with Joel Olson

The Phoenix Class War Council presents: "Whiteness and the 99%", a discussion at Occupy Phoenix.

Where: Cesar Chavez Plaza/Occupy Phoenix, on Washington between 2nd and 3rd Ave in downtown Phoenix.

When: 2 PM this Saturday, November 26



Joel Olson, member of Bring the Ruckus and the Flagstaff Repeal Coalition (which demands the repeal of all anti-immigrant laws in Arizona), will be discussing his recent essay "Whiteness and the 99%".

In addition to the general focus of the essay, the talk will place a particular emphasis on the attitudes of white people towards police historically and what that means for the current occupy movement. In addition Joel will be engaging the question of how the other largest social movement of our time, the immigrant movement (which called a general strike in 2006), remains largely unnoticed by -- and unconnected to -- the occupy encampments, and what that means for the trajectory of white and non-white movements fighting against economic dispossession and state repression.

From the essay:

"Occupy Wall Street and the hundreds of occupations it has sparked nationwide are among the most inspiring events in the U.S. in the 21st century. The occupations have brought together people to talk, occupy, and organize in new and exciting ways. The convergence of so many people with so many concerns has naturally created tensions within the occupation movement. One of the most significant tensions has been over race. This is not unusual, given the racial history of the United States. But this tension is particularly dangerous, for unless it is confronted, we cannot build the 99%. The key obstacle to building the 99% is left colorblindness, and the key to overcoming it is to put the struggles of communities of color at the center of this movement. It is the difference between a free world and the continued dominance of the 1%."

Read it here:
http://www.bringtheruckus.org/?q=node%2F146

Rundown of local struggles and events for the remainder of November

After an interesting October that saw the emergence of the Occupy encampments across the globe, including one here in Phoenix, and the level of struggle generalize to incredible lengths with the General Strike in Oakland, and inspired by the possibilit…

Continue reading at Fires never extinguished: A blog of the Phoenix Class War Council …

#Occupy Phoenix reading roundup for 10/30

The text of the Oakland general strike solidarity statement approved by the Occupy Phoenix General Assembly, 10/28/11


The latest news of interest in our continually updated readings regarding the #occupy movement:

Oakland on Strike! For a Radically Democratic Oakland without Cops, Politicians, or Bosses! (Counterpunch)

Three Nazis Kicked Out of Occupy Seattle (The Stranger)

Phoenix police chief: Occupy Phoenix demonstrations cost city over $200,000- Councilman Sal DiCiccio to suggest charging protesters (Arizona Republic)

Portland police arrest 25 Occupy Portland demonstrators overnight (The Oregonian)

Denver Anarchist Black Cross update from 3 weeks of social war in Denver, Colorado (Denver ABC)

Don't Assume those who confront the police are agents provocateurs (Joaquin Cienfuegos)

Occupy Denver: Police using rubber bullets and teargas (Censored News)