Posts by ret marut

CrimethInc. in Scandinavia and the Balkans

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This coming month, CrimethInc. operatives will offer two presentations in Scandinavia about the new wave of global revolts and a three-week speaking tour in the Balkans on the theme “After the Crest,” discussing the life cycle of social movements. Catharsis, one of the flagship bands of passionate anarchic hardcore, will also be playing a rare handful of shows in northern Europe.

Hope to see you at one of these events!

Anarchy in the Age of Global Revolt

In this discussion, we will consider the causes of of the recent wave of global revolts, address the roles that policing, nationalism, and the rhetoric of democracy have played in limiting its horizons, and consider what anarchists could do to open up new possibilities.

August 27 Aalborg, Denmark 1000 FRYD
August 28 Gothenburg, Sweden at Bokkafé Vulgo

Catharsis in Scandinavia

August 29 Oslo, Norway: Blitz
August 30 Jyväskylä, Finland: Lutakko Liekeissä festival
August 31 Stockholm, Sweden: Cyclopen following the Stockholm Anarchist Book Fair in the same venue
September 1 Berlin, Germany: Köpi

After the Crest: What We Do between Upheavals

Over the past few years, many places have witnessed sudden eruptions of protest in which everyone pours into the streets. This has taken many forms: anti-austerity protests in Europe, Occupy in the US and elsewhere, transportation protests in Brazil, the Gezi resistance in Turkey, the uprising in Bosnia, and most recently—and problematically—the nationalist revolution in Ukraine.

But all of these have passed without solving the problems that gave rise to them. What limits have they reached, and what would it take to go beyond these limits? If a single upheaval won’t bring down capitalism, we have to ask what’s important about such high points of struggle: what we hope to get out of them, how they figure in our long-term vision, and how to make the most of the period that follows them.

In this presentation, participants in popular struggles in Slovenia and North America will speak about our experiences and pose questions. Please come ready to discuss!

This tour is part of an ongoing investigation on the theme “After the Crest.”

September 3 Ljubljana, Slovenia: [A] Infoshop, AKC Metelkova
September 4 Rijeka, Croatia: Masari
September 5-6 Mostar, Bosnia: 5th Antifascist Festival and 8th Balkan Anarchist
Bookfair, OKC Abrašević

September 7 Sarajevo, Bosnia: Kino Bosna
September 8 Tuzla, Bosnia: Klub Bunt
September 9 Belgrade, Serbia: Infoshop Furija, Inex Film
September 10 Timisoara, Romania: TamTam
September 11 Cluj, Romania
September 12 Bucharest, Romania: Claca
September 13-14 Sofia, Bulgaria: Be the Change festival
September 15 Skopje, Macedonia: AKS Centar
September 16 Thessaloniki, Greece: Yfanet squat
September 17 Volos, Greece
September 19 Athens, Greece: OCCUPIED THEATRE EMBROS, hosted by Void Network

Work in German Translation

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Work has just been published in German, thanks to our comrades Black Mosquito. Our poster depicting the pyramid of capitalism is available alongside it in German translation, as well. A German-language speaking tour to present the book is ongoing, following last spring’s Engish-language tour on the same subject.

Black Mosquito recently suffered a police raid in which the authorities used a pretext to steal their computers and merchandise. Our comrades remain unstoppable, but should the authorities continue to harass them, we will call for solidarity actions. We would also like to express our appreciation to everyone who has been involved in the occupation of the Hauptmann School in Berlin, taking direct action against police attacks on refugees.

We reproduce here in English our introduction to the German version of Work, which briefly reviews the goals of the project, the context in which it appeared, and the preliminary results.

Notes Introducing the German Translation of Work

We’ve sold 15,000 copies of Work in the past three years, and distributed over 60,000 copies of the accompanying poster. The text has been published in Serbo-Croat, Russian, and Korean, among other languages. We also sent several hundred copies of the book and thousands of posters to rapper POS, who sent them out with his album “We Don’t Even Live Here.” That put the books in the hands of many people who don’t ordinarily seek out anarchist literature; we’ve received really positive feedback from some of his listeners.

As with all of our publications, we approached Work as a multimedia project, not simply a book. It exists on multiple levels: as the “pyramid of capitalism” poster, updating the IWW poster from a hundred years earlier; as a series of other posters, which were pasted across the walls of many cities for months after it was published; as the book itself; as a series of speaking tours spanning three continents, engaging with the subjects it addresses; and finally, as a series of internal discussions aimed at sharpening our understanding of the current economic context and what strategies are best suited to it.

We chose to revise the original IWW poster on account of its centennial, and to express continuity with the old workers’ movement—a great deal has changed, but we are fighting our conditions as our predecessors fought theirs. At the same time, we wanted to depict a more complex pyramid, showing the wide variety of hierarchies created by capitalism and emphasizing that the problem is not the ascendancy of any particular social body but the power imbalances imposed by the market. Rather than a didactic or inflammatory poster, we wanted to create a design that would pose questions.

We began work on Work in mid-2010, when the economic recession had been in effect for more than a year but there was little evidence outside Greece of the global upheavals that were on the way. We had just published “Fighting in the New Terrain,” and aimed to create a general outreach project that would pick up where the projects critiqued in that retrospective left off. Several of us read a wide range of material and met regularly to hammer out a shared understanding of the contemporary economy, starting from the details of our daily lives. Through lengthy arguments, we agreed on the details of the pyramid poster—as well as an analysis of the growth of the service sector, the proper wording of the paragraphs about sex work, and many other challenging issues.

As we were finishing the book at the beginning of 2011, the so-called Arab Spring was underway. At the end of the design process, we included a photograph of a poster bearing text from the draft, which comrades had pasted up outside the occupation of the capitol building in Wisconsin. For a few months after the publication of Work, we were ahead of the course of history, proclaiming to anyone who would listen that no uprising in the United States would spread that began from fixed positions in the economy (such as job security or union rights): that the important thing was to begin from the shared precarity increasingly imposed by capitalism.

This hypothesis was corroborated by the eruption of the Occupy movement. During the following months, we participated in the actions that pushed it to its limits, and organized speaking tours across the country to address protesters newly curious about anarchism and revolution.

In 2012, as the Occupy movement was dying down, comrades in New York City sent us the copy of Work that had been in the Occupy Wall Street library when the New York police raided the encampment and confiscated everything. After months of being passed from one hand to another through rainstorms and pepper spray, and then months more in police custody, the book looked like it had been through a war.

One of the distinctive things about Work is that it is an attempt to distill an anarchist—that is to say, non-Marxist—analysis of the economy. Some Marxists, who (like monotheists) see the workings of their master in everything they behold, have misunderstood the project: for them, there is no critique of capitalism without Marx, so anything that addresses economics must be evaluated as better or worse Marxism. From our perspective, rather than studying the ideas of the Great Men of history, the important thing is to be constantly and collectively refining our own analysis of our conditions, based above all on our firsthand experience.

The process of developing our critique for this book has gone on sharpening our strategic acumen in the years since we sent it to the printers; that critique continues to evolve, as evidenced in our more recent projects such as “Deserting the Digital Utopia.” Above all, Work is meant for those who are committed to updating their resistance to respond to the latest developments on the economic terrain, rather than navigating by blueprints a century and a half old.

This book may be especially relevant in Germany today, precisely because of the differences between the German and US context. Germany has yet to experience a real recession, but all the world is on the same slow track towards economic precarity as the old treaties erode between state and subject, employer and employee. What we are today, so you shall be. Be ready.

For the revolutionary abolition of capitalism and work itself,
-a CrimethInc. ex-Worker

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Police Poster Translated for the World Cup

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In response to the massive display of violence necessary to make the World Cup a safe zone for capitalist profiteering, our comrades in Brazil have produced a Portuguese version of our classic poster about the police. We present it here in hopes of equipping others throughout the Portuguese-speaking world to respond to the encroachments of authority. Without the servile brutality of the police, none of the social and economic inequalities of our society would be possible, nor the oppression and ecological devastation they entail. Let us delegitimize policing and stand up to police everywhere they operate.


 
      Download PDF [10MB]

This poster is also available in French and in two different German versions (one, two). We’ll publish a Spanish version here shortly.

Em resposta à exposição da maciça violência necessária para realização da Copa do Mundo uma zona segura para a exploração capitalista, os nossos camaradas no Brasil produziram uma versão em Português do nosso cartaz clássico sobre a polícia.

Nós o apresentamos aqui na esperança de equipar outros Falantes de Língua Portuguesa no mundo para responder abusos de autoridade. Sem a brutalidade servil da polícia, nenhuma das desigualdades sociais e econômicas da nossa sociedade seriam possíveis, nem a opressão e devastação ecológica que eles acarretam. Vamos deslegitimar o policiamento e levantar-se contra a polícia em todos os lugares que eles operam.

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After the Crest: The Life Cycle of Movements

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Over the past six years, cities around the world have seen peaks of anti-capitalist struggle: Athens, London, Barcelona, Cairo, Oakland, Montréal, Istanbul. A decade ago, anarchists would converge from around the world to participate in a single summit protest. Now many have participated in months-long upheavals in their own cities, and more surely loom ahead.

But what do we do after the crest? If a single upheaval won’t bring down capitalism, we have to ask what’s important about these high points: what we hope to get out of them, how they figure in our long-term vision, and how to make the most of the period that follows them. This is especially pressing today, when we can be sure that there are more upheavals on the way.

To this end, we’ve organized a dialogue with anarchists in some of the cities that have seen climaxes of conflict, including Oakland, Barcelona, and Montréal. Over the next several days, we will present the results of some of those discussions here, as a series of reflections on the opportunities and risks that arise during the declining phase of a movement.

After the Crest, part I: What to Do while the Dust Is Settling


We encourage our comrades around the country to discuss your own experiences in the waning phases of movements. Below, you can find the interview questions we sent out to initiate this dialogue. If you want to share your conclusions, please contact us: rollingthunder@crimethinc.com.

Between peaks of activity, what can anarchists do to prepare for the opportunities and challenges that will arise when momentum picks up?

What projects, practices, and connections that developed in the lull before the upswing proved useful? Which did not? Is there anything you wish you’d known or done in advance?

During a crescendo of social struggle, it can be difficult to maintain perspective; some things seem central yet prove transitory, while other things that fall by the wayside turn out afterwards to have been pivotal. What has the passing of time revealed about what really mattered?

It is rarely easy to tell where you are in the trajectory of a period of activity. Often at the high point, it seems that you are at the threshold of tremendous new potential, when in fact the window of possibility is already closing. Did you have a realistic sense of where you were in the course of events? What strategies did people employ to keep the window of possibility open? Were any of them successful?

In the waning phase of a period of momentum, what are the greatest risks and dangers? What can be done to retain ground that has been gained?

What errors proved most costly as momentum was dying down? What succeeded in preserving relationships and possibilities after the crest?

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Is S/He an Informant? A Ten Point Checklist

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A group of people who have been directly harmed by informant provocateurs have put together this checklist, drawing on personal experiences as well as those of other activists and information from informant provocateurs who have gone public. We hope you can learn from the damage that has already been done, so these people can be stopped before they are able to harm you.

Here are ten warning signs:

1.

Something feels “off.” Something about them just doesn’t line up. Their stories about their activist history or life history, don’t ring true. At this point, you need to run a background and criminal check. If you wait for all the other signs, it may be too late. The most obvious cause for serious concern is when someone shows up in an activist community and they don’t seem to have existed prior to that. That should be a dealbreaker right off the bat.

2.

Despite the misgivings of some members, the individual quickly rises to a leadership position. S/he eagerly takes credit for actions in the media and begins to promote him/herself. S/he works to become one of the “faces” of the organization, and clearly wants to be a poster child for the group, attempting to “brand” their identity with the group’s name, imagery, and identity. S/he likes getting photographed, even when engaged in illegal activity.

3.

S/he photographs actions, meetings, and people that should not be photographed. S/he posts photos of actions and meetings on social media sites like Facebook, even tagging activists without their permission (in effect, facilitating law enforcement surveillance).

4.

S/he is a liar. S/he shows signs of lacking ethics and lacking transparency with the rest of the group.

5.

S/he advocates for high-risk illegal action to people s/he should not trust, while claiming to understand the importance of security culture. S/he goads others to violent action, for example by telling them they need to be “warriors.” Upon reflection, the illegal actions in question often have no real purpose and will not advance the goals of the group in any meaningful way. The person generally has a very twisted perception of what it means to be a warrior.

S/he seeks internal rifts in the community and exploits them. S/he has a cycle of abuse with groups and individuals: a honeymoon period, followed by manipulative, abusive behavior, followed by apologies and promises to do better. Then the cycle repeats.

6.

S/he always has bail money and pocket money, but either no real job, or no job that pays that much. S/he may imply access to a trust fund or similar resources, but this needs to be checked. S/he somehow has the financial freedom to be at any action that will get media attention, or any underground action that may involve illegal activity.

7.

S/he is found to be lying about really serious things like identity, family, background, race, or ethnicity.

8.

S/he has warrants but is unafraid of announcing and advocating illegal action, using his/her real name, publicly advertising his/her whereabouts, and once again jumping into the frame whenever photos or video are being taken at illegal actions. When picked up, s/he always makes bail and gets released, sometimes released on Own Recognizance even when the charges are very serious. This happens a lot. Then the individual goes right back to meetings, taking photos and posing for photo ops. S/he has a Catch and Release cycle with the cops. S/he may have a history of very early release from prison, then going directly to political meetings, sometimes of groups s/he privately claims to hate, or that would have been forbidden as a condition of normal parole.

9.

Juicy information, given only to the suspected informant, comes out the law enforcement end. To be sure this is taking place, the information must be unmistakable, and have been shared face to face, one on one, with zero possibility of surveillance (say, whispered in the informant’s ear in the middle of a field).

10.

Full admission: “My name is ________ and I was employed by [agency] to infiltrate [organization].” A full admission of informant and/or provocateur status may include details of what the informant provocateur received in exchange for their work: either the amount of money they were paid, or the deal they got to be released from prison or avoid prosecution for particular crimes. In some cases, the deal includes a future position with the law enforcement or intelligence agency that hired them. On the unlikely chance that someone is mentally ill, this information could conceivably be checked against the going rate for informant provocateurs; but if the other criteria are met, assume they are telling you the truth, even if they are mentally ill. While mentally ill people do not make reliable informants, they can make excellent provocateurs, and their history of instability can be cited as evidence when law enforcement denies the individual was hired as a provocateur.


If a person meets any of the criteria beyond points 1 through 3, you shouldn’t be working with them. Hopefully, all the points beyond number one will not even matter, as you will have already cut ties with the person after the first red flag. Regardless of whether we can prove someone is an infiltrator, if they display any of the problematic behavior described here, they shouldn’t be party to anything sensitive in the first place. Even if they’re not an infiltrator yet, it offers reason to believe they could be turned or crack under interrogation.

Here are some other warning signs to watch for. When it comes to people’s daily behavior, outside of meetings and actions, is the suspicious person behaving inappropriately with children? Are they harming their partners? Can they not keep their hands off kids? Or are they trying to sleep with multiple adults in the group (or one of the leaders)? Make sure you don’t have a pedophile who was let free in exchange for disruption, or a serial rapist or woman beater who has been turned loose on an activist community to cause devastation. Note when such people never face consequences from law enforcement, even when the victims press charges. If there’s a solid case against a predator, and that predator is allowed to flee, then goes to political meetings in another jurisdiction while the feds refuse to extradite him for trial… bingo.

In our recent experience, a predator who met nine out of ten of the above criteria (including number ten: an admission to other activists he was trying to turn) was never convicted by law enforcement. Instead, he was turned loose on a series of activist communities, wreaking havoc and destruction. Only his death put a stop to it. But there are plenty just like him, eager to take his place. Some of them may be on your friends list on Facebook. Some may have literally gotten away with murder.

When it comes to the thorny question of agents provocateurs and direct action, the point is not whether violence or nonviolence is preferable, but whether someone has violated the consensus of their affinity group and put their team in danger without their consent. It is irresponsible to allege that violence is always the work of agents provocateurs; rather, agents provocateurs set out to instigate violence that will be disadvantageous or isolating for the participants.

Here’s an example. Someone who has met all the above criteria except numbers nine and ten shows up at a public march. The march has been planned as a peaceful, legal event. Perhaps not all actions by this group are peaceful and legal, but for this event, that is the agreed strategy. The event is covered by the media, people are using their real names, and elders and children are participating. The provocateur has spent months ingratiating himself into the group, showing up for every action, paying the bills, giving people rides, saying whatever they want to hear, even buying them drugs. But once the march is underway and the cameras are rolling, the provocateur proceeds to show no regard for the safety or consensus of his group. He does whatever he can to shift the mood of the crowd, to instigate and encourage high emotions. The conditions are tense, and the provocateur does what he can to encourage breaks with discipline, and violations of the conditions previously agreed to. Suddenly he strikes out with a small but significant action, say of property damage or violence toward an individual, providing the flashpoint for sudden escalation. Then, as others follow suit, and illegal and dangerous actions erupt in front of the cameras, the provocateur fades back into the crowd, his mission accomplished. He has now put vulnerable and unprepared members of the community into direct danger, leaving them to handle the consequences of his actions while once again he goes free.

Check videos of actions on YouTube. Some people have filmed themselves breaking the law at actions. Some videos include this flashpoint moment. Note who does this over and over. Note who is and isn’t arrested for these things, and who does and doesn’t do time.

Successful agents can be hard to spot. But most infiltrators are not trained law enforcement officers. Most are criminals who have been cut a deal if they simply go to meetings and listen, or if they go to meetings and actions and disrupt.

In our experience, there have been a bare few, but significant, cases in which activists have been mistaken in their suspicions. In one case long ago that affected many of us, this misidentification had devastating consequences. The mistake was due to a lack of evidence and experience on the part of those who made the misidentification and a lack of solid criteria with which to evaluate the situation–not to mention the participation of actual agents in scapegoating an innocent woman. But because of this serious mistake, many activists compounded that mistake by swinging to the other extreme, overlooking blatant red flags and even direct admissions of infiltrator status. By providing this checklist, we aim to help you to develop your ability to identify, and prioritize, the truth in these situations. It’s not “bad jacketing” when it’s true.

There are a number of guidelines and articles out there about security culture. But just because a group has posted links or statements about the need for security culture doesn’t mean everyone in that group is paying attention and practicing security culture properly. We recommend this text to people and hope that this checklist will be a helpful addition.

Be safe, be effective, and trust your gut.

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Catharsis Discography Repress and Tour

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Last winter, we released the Catharsis full discography; it sold out almost instantly. In response to popular demand, we have re-pressed it, this time as two double gatefold LPs with oversize booklets including all the original artwork.

The first double LP includes the songs from the Samsara LP and debut 7″. The second double LP includes the complete Passion LP, “Live in the Land of the Dead” and “Arsonist’s Prayer” from the split releases, and the final song, “Absolution,” unreleased until the discography.

This time, the band will handle the preorders directly. We are offering a limited run of the records on red-and-black vinyl for $26 each or $50 together (postage paid in the US). Orders are limited to one copy of each double LP per person; they will go out at the end of the summer. If you are only ordering one of the two double LPs, specify which one! If you want to preorder multiple copies, or to order from outside the US, email rollingthunder@crimethinc.com.

This is the Paypal email for ordering: rebellionintomoney@gmail.com

If you are in Europe, order from Refuse Records.

In addition, we have packaged the test pressings from the original run of the discography for record collectors. If you are interested in buying one of these, email rollingthunder@crimethinc.com. Proceeds from these will enable us to fund other projects, which is no easy task in this line of work. If you’re just interested in the songs themselves, the digital download is considerably more affordable.

Finally, Catharsis will be following up on last winter’s reunion shows in the US with a few European shows this summer:

July 27 — Prague/Fluff Fest
August 3 — Refuse Records 20 Year Anniversary Fest Warsaw, Poland
August 4 — Budapest, Hungary
August 5 — Brno, Czech Republic
August 6 — Rote Flora, Hamburg
August 7 — Cassiopeia, Berlin
August 8 — The Winston, Amsterdam
August 9 — La Miroiterie, Paris, France
August 10 — Ieper fest, Belgium

More information here.

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Podcast Episode 3: Luddites and Lockdowns

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Industrial civilization got you down? Download the third episode of The Ex-Worker, our twice-monthly podcast of anarchist ideas and action—then smash your computer.

A short radio play about the Luddites introduces our theme segment for this episode, launching an exploration of the vibrant history and ideology of Green Anarchism. Hosts Alanis and Clara also present an activist fresh off the Tar Sands Blockade, a review of Fredy Perlman’s seminal book Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!, a statement from grand jury resister Jerry Koch, and a wide range of international news.

You can download this episode as well as our first two episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to podcast@crimethinc.com. Episodes appear on the first and third Sunday of every month.

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Anarchism and the English Language

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To complement our Contradictionary, we’ve added an exchange with Kristian Williams about anarchist writing to our reading library. Choosing Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” as his point of departure, Kristian takes contemporary anarchists to task for sloppy writing that leads to sloppy thinking. We respond with an assault on everything normative in language, calling for an anarchist writing that shakes readers free of the control mechanisms coded into English itself.


 
 
 
 
 
Anarchism and the English Language: Imposed PDF for Reproduction [56k]

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Daniel McGowan Imprisoned for Speaking Out

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This morning, environmental activist Daniel McGowan was taken back to jail despite his exemplary parole record, presumably in retaliation for his recent article on the secretive Communications Management Units the US prison system uses to silence political prisoners.

Daniel’s article cites court documents confirming that, during his incarceration for environmentally motivated direct action, Daniel was moved to a CMU to punish him for expressing his political views. Despite first facing the threat of a life sentence, and then serving years in the CMU with very little contact with the outside world, Daniel has never cooperated with efforts to incriminate other activists, nor ceased to speak his mind. The US government is determined to make an example of Daniel for this. We too might hold him up as an example, showing that no amount of threats and coercion can break the spirit of a person determined to stand up to oppression.

There are two and a half million people in prison in the US, more than there were in the gulags at the height of Stalin’s reign in the Soviet Union. As in the Soviet Union, the authorities do everything they can to keep this population invisible: to prevent them from communicating with the rest of society so most people never learn how much violence and coercion are necessary to maintain this social order.

We should respond to attempts to silence Daniel and others like him by listening to what they have to say about what is going on in America’s prisons–and by doing our part to make it impossible for the authorities to silence anyone.

Background

Daniel’s original article from within the CMU, “Tales from Inside the US Gitmo”

Our overview of Operation Backfire, in which Daniel was arrested, “Green Scared?”

Update

Daniel’s attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights just released this statement:

Daniel McGowan has been released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was taken into custody yesterday and is back at the halfway house where he has been residing since his release from prison in December. Yesterday, Daniel was given an “incident report” indicating that his Huffington Post blog post, “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech,” violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from “publishing under a byline.” The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010. After we brought this to the BOP’s attention, the incident report was expunged.

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Support the NW Grand Jury Resisters

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For months now, three courageous individuals—Matt Duran, Katherine Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeiffer—have been held captive in the Federal Detention Center in Seatac, Washington for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury currently underway in Washington state. Another person, Kerry Cunneen, has been subpoenaed but declines to appear. Convened in March of 2012, the grand jury is clearly intended to discourage anarchist activity, which has proliferated on the West Coast over the past few years.

In the following statement, we emphasize the urgency of offensive as well as defensive strategies, and present new support materials to draw attention to the grand jury resisters. This situation has been going on for many months now, but it’s important to renew public awareness on a regular basis.

Support Material

Corina Dross has created a postcard to raise funds for the Committee Against Political Repression’s fund for material and legal support for Grand Jury resisters. We are offering pdfs of a handbill and of a color version of the poster, in order that supporters around the world might print them out and distribute them.


11×17 Color poster [754kb]   :   Half-size Handbill [748kb]

Postcard text:

Grand juries are used as a tool to coerce people to provide testimony to the authorities about their friends or acquaintances, whether or not they are involved in illegal activity. Those who refuse to testify may be held in jail for the duration of the grand jury—often a year or more—for choosing to protect their privacy and the privacy of others.

Recently, a grand jury has been convened in the northwest to investigate anarchist organizing. Three courageous young people are imprisoned for refusing to cooperate, while more subpoenas are forthcoming.

Let’s show the investigators that our lives and friendships are none of their business. Support the grand jury resisters!

Why Solidarity Means Attack

Until someone takes a step to oppose them, the tragedies that are heaped upon us daily cannot even be recognized as tragedies—they remain invisible, merging with a sea of other misfortunes, a few more threads in the grey fabric of existence. That’s life. 

This is why it doesn’t make sense to premise the right to act on victimhood: today’s outrages will be taken for granted tomorrow. All it takes to cease being recognized as a victim is to suffer the same offense long enough that everyone gets used to it. Think of all the atrocities everyone is resigned to today! Justifying our actions as responses grounds them on an ever-receding foundation.

So it is always the right time to act out, to revolt against age-old tragedies as well as brand new ones—even if the news of the day offers no rationale for our actions. If we want evictions, incarceration, deforestation, and genocide to be recognized as tragic, we have to attack their perpetrators ceaselessly. It is too easy to become accustomed to our cramped conditions, the tiny bubbles of freedom that remain to the obedient. Only in straining against the walls of our cages can we rediscover in our bodies that we were made for forests and open fields.

Likewise, when new tragedies are forced on us, if we do not wish to be alone in our outrage, we have to act immediately: to show to others that these are not just reprehensible but intolerable. If we do this, others may feel entitled to do the same—and together, we will be able to feel something that would have been impossible otherwise: that we deserve better. We remember Alexis Grigoropoulos, but not the thousands of people shot by police since his murder. Tragically, a tragedy is not a tragedy unless we respond appropriately.

For these reasons, we applaud the anti-capitalist march that took place in Seattle on May Day 2012, during which hundreds of people cheered as a black bloc destroyed government and corporate property. Capitalism and the state are responsible for most of the needless suffering taking place on this earth, but this will remain invisible unless we strike against them openly. It is all too rare for people to take the offensive and give shape to the discontent seething below the surface of this society.

The empire always strikes back, and a large number of people have been subpoenaed to a Washington State grand jury intended to map anarchist activity and relationships. Six of these subpoenas have been served; several more subpoenas are known to exist, but have not been successfully served. The government has very little to show for this effort, as all but one of the subpoenaed have refused to cooperate in any way and the entire operation is proving to be a media debacle.

In addition to commending the resisters, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has acted out in solidarity with the people being held captive in Washington. This kidnapping might otherwise have passed unnoticed, like the imprisonments of nearly two and a half million more people in the United States—yet another blow to isolate and demoralize those who desire another world. Instead, it has become a rallying point for new acts of revolt. When we take practical steps against the injustices around us, we recognize ourselves in others’ attempts to do the same, and the state’s assault on them becomes an assault on us. Some of the most inspiring actions have been the ones that open space for revolt to spread, like the marches in Portland, Olympia, Atlanta, and Bloomington.

If you have not done anything yet to support the grand jury resisters, there is unfortunately still time. The more opposition this witch hunt generates, the more hesitant the state will be to use this tactic against others.

What You Can Do

-Write to the prisoners
-Donate to their legal support
-Organize solidarity actions
-Learn more about Matt Duran, Katherine Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeiffer
-Read the text of Kerry Cunneen’s powerful and defiant radio interview

…and strike against the system that kidnapped them!

Appendix: Solidarity Actions

As reported via saynothing.info, these are some of the actions to date that have been claimed in solidarity with the grand jury resisters.

  • 1/28/13 – Guelph, ON – a development billboard paintbombed
  • 1/24/13 – Anonymous announces Operation Grand Jury Resisters
  • 1/15/13 – New York, NY – a bank attacked
  • 1/11/13 – Portland, OR – luxury car tires slashed
  • 1/8/13 – Rochester, NY – luxury car tires slashed and graffiti
  • 1/2/13 – Portland, OR – a bank attacked
  • 1/2/13 – a call-in to get Matt and Kteeo out of solitary
  • 12/31/12 – SeaTac, WA – a noise demonstration at the resisters’ prison
  • 12/31/12 – Bloomington, IN – a mischievous demonstration
  • 12/28/12 – Cleveland, OH – solidarity graffiti
  • 12/27/12 – Milwaukee, WI – luxury car tires slashed
  • 12/26/12 – Bloomington, IN – a bank ATM and private security company attacked
  • 12/26/12 – Berkeley, CA – a bank sabotaged
  • 12/12/12 – Olympia, WA – state police car tires slashed
  • 12/16/12 – Anonymous DOS attack of USDA office
  • 11/28/12 – Vancouver, BC – a bank attacked
  • 11/26/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – a banner drop
  • 11/24/12 – Toronto, Ontario – a banner drop
  • 11/19/12 – Hamilton, Ontario – a banner drop
  • 11/19/12 – Denver, CO – a march
  • 11/18/12 – Seatac, WA – a noise demonstration
  • 11/17/12 – Attica, NY – cars sabotaged
  • 11/17/12 – Tempe, AZ – a banner drop
  • 11/17/12 – Melbourne, Australia – a protest at the US Consulate
  • 11/17/12 – Melbourne, Australia – a banner drop
  • 11/2/12 – Bloomington, IN – a march
  • 10/23/12 – Bristol, UK – arson of private security vehicle
  • 10/17/12 – Bloomington, IN – a demonstration
  • 10/12/12 – Olympia, WA – a demonstration
  • 10/12/12 – Vancouver, WA – a yuppie restaurant attacked
  • 10/12/12 – Fox Valley, WI – ATMs sabotaged
  • 10/11/12 – Portland, OR – a march wrecked banks and business
  • 10/10/12 – Portland, OR – a banner drop
  • 10/9/12 – Vancouver, BC – a community policing center attacked
  • 10/8/12 – Atlanta, GA – a noise demo
  • 10/4/12 – Vancouver, BC – a bank attacked for Pax and GJ resisters
  • 9/25/12 – Canby, OR – Animal Liberation Front liberates pheasants
  • 9/22/12 – Anonymous shuts down US District Attorney’s phone systems
  • 9/20/12 – Seattle, WA – a bank attacked
  • 9/18/12 – Vancouver, BC – a yuppie restaurant attacked
  • 9/17/12 – San Francisco, CA – a banner drop
  • 9/17/12 – New York City, NY – a railway sabotaged
  • 9/13/12 – Vancouver, BC – a community police center attacked
  • 9/13/12 – Seattle, WA – a solidarity demo as Matt Duran is imprisoned
  • 9/12/12 – a fax-in to US attorney
  • 9/9/12 – Vancouver, BC – a noise demo and grocery store expropriation
  • 8/31/12 – New York, NY – a banner drop
  • 8/29/12 – a call-in to US attorney
  • 8/28/12 – Oakland, CA – a bank attacked
  • 8/22/12 – San Francisco, CA – yuppies attacked
  • 8/17/12 – Vancouver, BC – a banner drop
  • 8/15/12 – Paris, France – car tires slashed
  • 8/10/12 – East Vancouver, BC – a banner drop
  • 8/7/12 – Athens, Greece – stenciling and graffiti
  • 8/6/12 – Atlanta, GA – a banner drop
  • 8/5/12 – St. Louis, MO – an attack on ATMs
  • 8/5/12 – Atlanta, GA – an attack on parking meters
  • 8/3/12 – Milwaukee, WI – an attack on an Obama campaign center
  • 8/2/12 – Seattle, WA – a demonstration in front of the federal courthouse
  • 8/2/12 – Milwaukee, WI – an attack on 4 police vehicles and a NYPD pizza shop
  • 8/2/12 – New York City, NY – a banner drop
  • 8/2/12 – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – a solidarity demonstration
  • 8/2/12 – East St. Louis, IL – an attack on a courthouse
  • 8/2/12 – Asheville, NC – a solidarity demonstration
  • 8/2/12 – Oakland, CA – an attack on a police substation
  • 8/2/12 – Oakland, CA – an attack on 2 police vehicles and a police recruitment center
  • 8/2/12 – Kirkland, WA – an attack on a courthouse
  • 8/2/12 – San Francisco, CA – an attack on 9 police vehicles
  • 8/1/12 – a call-in to US attorney
  • 7/31/12 – Seattle, WA – a banner drop
  • 7/31/12 – Oakland, CA – a banner drop
  • 7/31/12 – San Francisco, CA – a banner drop
  • 7/27/12 – San Francisco Bay Area, CA – a beautiful statement of solidarity
  • 7/27/12 – East St. Louis, IL –  an attack on police vehicles
  • 7/25/12 – Bloomington, IN – a noise demonstration outside of a jail
  • I refuse to appear because I despise the state. They are working to undo
 everything that Anarchists stand for. I refuse to help them on the principle 
that prisons should be abolished. I refuse them because I am in complete
support of the crimes they are investigating. I refuse them with a visceral
 hatred for the law and all of the lives they ruin. I am glad for the little bit of
 resistance I can provide in denying them information. I respect and admire
 Matt, Kteeo and Maddy for making the sacrifice that is involved in sitting for 
an undetermined jail sentence. I just am not personally willing to take a
 step in the direction of my own jail cell.

    -Kerry Cunneen