News

Trump Hates the Antifascist Movement; Let's Refuse to Follow His Lead

Truth Out - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 04:00

 Tally Bower)Two antifascists climb a flagpole during a counter-protest on August 27, 2017, in Berkeley, California. (Photo: Taliesin Gilkes-Bower)

Fascism in the US has never been so evident or enjoyed as much freedom to act as it has under the Trump administration, which flaunts its contempt for conventional politics and the rule of law. Antifa have offered crucial resistance to the rising violence of the Nazis and fascists, and liberals and progressives are doing us all a disservice when they condemn the movement.

 Tally Bower)Two antifascists climb a flagpole during a counter-protest on August 27, 2017, in Berkeley, California. (Photo: Taliesin Gilkes-Bower)

Among the many strange associations and accusations that came out of the mouth of Donald Trump during his August 22 "speech" to his base in Phoenix, Arizona, was the correlation of Democrats, the "media" and antifascists. According to Trump, the Democrats have "no ideas" and have constantly obstructed him and the "media" are "bad people" who give a platform to hate groups. The antifascists, meanwhile, are described thus: "they show up in the helmets and the black masks, and they've got clubs and they've got everything -- antifa!"

Trump's gambit, of course, is to criminalize those opposing his racist, white nationalist base. He seeks to tar and discredit all forms of protest against racism and xenophobia, including the beautiful, massive march of 40,000 people in Boston on August 19.

Trump's fans have helped spread the message. A petition to label "antifa" as a terrorist group, started by what Politico has described as a "pro-Trump troll," has gathered more than 250,000 signatures. Politico says the instigator of the petition "said the submission has already done its job: help shift the narrative toward decrying 'leftist violence' and galvanize conservatives."

And Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham has now amplified that message over the airwaves.

We should be deeply concerned by these efforts to label "antifa" as a terrorist organization, which would open the door to criminalizing and harassing a wide range of antifascist actions. Under such a dispensation, one could legitimately say that the 40,000 people who marched in Boston were all "antifascists."

Trump's Arizona speech was an attempt to join two of the most dangerous strands of American political history: virulent racism and McCarthyism. Trump was not merely attacking those opposed to him, he was clearly targeting the left, and specifically trying to criminalize left-wing politics.

He is attempting to consolidate his right-wing base by liquidating social justice movements into a Twitter soundbite: antifa.

It won't work. Those who marched against Nazis and white supremacists in Boston recently did so under a united front banner of standing with and defending the most vulnerable. It is precisely the targets and victims of fascism and the "alt-right" -- Muslims, immigrants, people of color, Jews, women, LBGTQ+ people that the broad anti-Trump, antifascist movement seeks to consolidate and unite as a fighting force.

Trump's targeting of Democrats and "the media" is of course to be expected, and the addition now of antifascism as the object of Trump's anger is consistent with his deeply reactionary politics. What is of deeper concern is that one of the most energetic and unequivocal movements against white supremacy, ethno-nationalism and fascism is also being targeted by liberals.

For example, in essays published this week, both NYU Professor Todd Gitlin and independent journalist Chris Hedges warned against antifa tactics. Hedges went so far as to discourage people from confronting fascists in the streets. Both writers replicate Trump's narrative of antifascist activism as outliers and threats to the social order.

The pairing of the far right and the moderate-liberal sector is enabled by the conflation of many aspects of antifascism into its most controversial elements -- mostly those antifascists who take aggressive action to preempt violence emanating from the alt-right. This conflation reflects an age-old attempt of the political elite to divide a social movement into "good" and "bad" protesters. What is deeply disappointing is that many liberals and even some progressives continue to ignore the specificity and dangerous uniqueness of this historical moment.

It should signal that something extraordinary is happening when a president can pardon Joe Arpaio, a sadistic, criminal "officer of the law" whose actions included detaining undocumented immigrants in detention centers Arpaio himself described as "concentration camps."

This egregious act has led people like law professor Ian Haney Lopez to call for Trump's impeachment. In his article in The Nation, Lopez wrote: "In pardoning an official who spat upon the 14th Amendment right to racial equality and who treated the federal courts contemptuously, Trump abused his presidential powers. He enabled a racist to trash our country's core values and subvert the rule of law and face no consequences for these actions."

Fascism in the US has never been so evident and has never enjoyed such freedom to act as it will, unencumbered by the rule of law or by conventional politics. Which is why we need organized antifascist action.

The urge to marginalize antifascist work was again evident in Chuck Todd's "Meet the Press" segment with Professor Mark Bray, author of the book Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook, and Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bray made the case that antifascist action was required to address a startling trend in fascism in the US, which seeks to normalize itself, hiding behind the mask of khakis and polo shirts instead of sheets and hoods. As even the fashion magazine GQ pointed out:

They could be from anywhere, and wouldn't look out of place foisting martini shakers in Portland, or Nashville, or Brooklyn -- they blend together so seamlessly that you'd be forgiven for checking WebMD for symptoms of white people face aphasia. Even if they are indiscernible, their expressions, taken together, suggested an emboldening. As Eve Ewing observed on Twitter, "They didn't even feel the need to wear hoods. They're all confident they'll have jobs on Monday."

Bray made the point that white supremacist organizations had asked that marchers adopt this "normalizing" garb while spewing hate speech and perpetrating physical violence. In such situations, Bray said there was nothing wrong with defending oneself and others from physical violence. Cohen agreed, saying there was nothing wrong with defending oneself. Yet Todd insisted that this be a "debate," pressing the issue of "free speech" and avoiding the all-important issue of self-defense.

Two things need to be emphasized: First, many activists in Charlottesville, including Cornel West, said in the absence of police protection, the antifa "saved our lives." This was confirmed by a long piece in Slate that included many eyewitness testimonials such as this one:

We tried not to break the line, but they got through some of us -- it was terrifying, to say the least -- shoving forcefully with their shields and knocking a few folks over. We strengthened our resolve and committed to not break the line again. Some of the anarchists and anti-fascist folks came up to us and asked why we let them through and asked what they could do to help. Rev. Osagyefo Sekou talked with them for a bit, explaining what we were doing and our stance and asking them to not provoke the Nazis. They agreed quickly and stood right in front of us, offering their help and protection. 

Secondly, a large number of antifascists believe in nonviolent, mass action as the way to combat fascism. But this fact is being deliberately ignored by those on both the right and the left who want an expedient way to dismiss and disarm everything that would fall under the label of antifascist action.

People opposing Trump's demonization of antifascism should recount and recite its history. The fight against fascism in Spain, Germany and Italy in the 1930s and 1940s was nothing if not politically broad and united in diversity: workers, soldiers, women, gays and lesbians, pacifists, trade unionists, Socialists, Democrats, Jews, whites, non-whites, writers, artists. People from all walks of life, with differing political viewpoints, found solidarity in fighting a common enemy. That fight against fascism, rightly and proudly called antifascism, was one of the most spectacular moments in broad solidarity the world has ever seen. In the end, it helped save millions of lives. It is that spirit of broad unity and defense of human life that was on display in Boston.

We need to reclaim the word antifascism, not disavow it.

Our fear is that some liberals will rush to condemn even the word "antifascism" in an effort to dissociate themselves from a Trumpian caricature of the concept and historical reality, and thereby form common cause with the "alt-right." We need to reclaim the word antifascism, not disavow it, and embody its values. The fight against fascism in the US must be a "big tent" where people with diverse political points of view stand united against a single foe: fascism.

We must also not shy away from what the fight against fascism means: fighting everywhere, including in the streets, to defend the oppressed who are targets of fascist violence. Americans watched in horror as white supremacist Jeremy Christian murdered three people in cold blood in Portland. We cannot let that happen again.

And we must not let Trump's Orwellian reversal of language and meaning -- his notion that fighting fascism is "terrorism" -- cloud our thinking about fascism's violent menace.

Indeed, George Orwell himself was nearly killed by fascists while fighting against them in Spain. That legacy of fearless commitment to justice is the real meaning of antifascism.

Note: The authors of this piece are all part of the Campus Antifascist Network.

Categories: News

NC Resists the Grand Jury: Update on Katie Yow

It's Goin Down - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 02:48

The post NC Resists the Grand Jury: Update on Katie Yow appeared first on It's Going Down.

After Katie refused to testify on July 31st, the Assistant US Attorney informed her and her lawyer that the government would be requesting contempt and that she was not released from the subpoena. Since that time, she has been waiting on notice from the court about the status of her subpoena and whether a contempt hearing will be held. This afternoon, the AUSA informed Katie’s attorney that there are no new updates. She has not received any notice from the court. We believe this means that Katie will not be required to appear before the grand jury again when it convenes next week. However, she has not been released from the subpoena and a contempt hearing could be scheduled in the future. We will continue to provide updates as they happen.

pinecone complete pdf

In the meantime, our whole community and Katie will continue to resist this grand jury. Whatever the next steps are and whenever they come, Katie will always refuse to testify.

Our community supports Katie, and we all stand in solidarity with each other. Communities across NC are holding firm and having each other’s backs while we deal with not only this grand jury, but all the other state repression people are facing in our area. Keep loving each other well and helping each other build strong networks of support and powerful walls of silence.

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Categories: News

Port Arthur mayor: 'Our whole city is underwater'

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 01:33

Port Arthur mayor: 'Our whole city is underwater' | 30 Aug 2017 | The mayor of Port Arthur, Texas, said early Wednesday that his entire city "is underwater" but that crews would continue conducting rescue missions in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey. "Our whole city is underwater right now but we are coming!" Mayor Derrick Freeman wrote on Facebook. "If you called, we are coming. Please get to higher ground if you can, but please try stay out of attics." The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has asked any individuals looking to be rescued to "hang a signal such as a sheet out of your window" to alert authorities.

Categories: News

Eye of the Storm: Scott Crow on Revolutionary Infrastructure

It's Goin Down - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 01:22

The post Eye of the Storm: Scott Crow on Revolutionary Infrastructure appeared first on It's Going Down.

Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas and thousands of people are not displaced from their homes and are having trouble meeting their basic needs. As in past disasters, everyday human beings and autonomous formations are providing more on the ground aid and support than government agencies or major NGOs. In the meantime, journalists have attacked and police have arrested those who have been caught looting just to feed themselves as the city has also implemented a curfew. Many have also noted how Trump has given more compassion to the wealthy as he pushes forward his plans for tax cuts than to those who have died or lost their homes in Texas.

Looking back at past autonomous and anarchist responses to disasters, which includes efforts like Occupy Sandy in New York, we immediately come across the Common Ground Collective that sprung up in New Orleans in the Lower 9th Ward which was founded by Malik Rahim. At the center of the action was long time anarchist organizer Scott Crow and in this interview we discuss how the Common Ground Collective and Clinic grew to include 7 clinics throughout the neighborhood and over 200 community gardens.

#Harvey VOLUNTEER INTAKE EVENT:
Volunteer with Common Ground & @BalanceAtx
TONIGHT 7:30pm at Springdale Farm,
755 Springdale Rd, #Austin

— Austin Common Ground (@ATXFlood) August 30, 2017

Scott argues that anarchists and autonomous anti-capitalists need to concentrate their efforts on building up revolutionary infrastructure and dual power. Towards this end we spend a lot of time talking about what this could look like and how a project similar to Common Ground could possibly be built today.

We've raised nearly $4k in two days for #peoplepowered #Harvey relief. Donate generously, share broadly, RT. https://t.co/DPlRUty9zs pic.twitter.com/CyO8LPvfCK

— Building Autonomy (@buildautonomy) August 30, 2017

After this podcast was recorded autonomous and anarchist groups began to respond to the Harvey disaster and currently are organizing supply lines, working on the ground, and are raising money. Check out the above tweets for how to plug in.

More Info: Black Flags and Windmills and Scott Crow on Twitter.

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Categories: News

Hurricane Harvey death toll rises to 28

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 01:17

Hurricane Harvey death toll rises to 28 | 30 Aug 2017 | The death toll from Tropical Storm Harvey rose to 28 on Wednesday, according to a report. Another 17 suspected storm-related deaths have occurred in Harris County, Texas, which was devastated by catastrophic flooding that occurred throughout the state, CNN reported.

Categories: News

The Hotwire #2: August 30th, 2017 Antifascism after Charlottesville, Grand Jury Resistance, and Eclipsing the Empire

Anarchist News - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 00:13

From CrimethInc.


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Full Episode Transcript

Summary

Welcome to the first episode of The Hotwire! Our feature for this episode covers the upswing in antifascist action post-Charlottesville. We also bring you an interview from Hurricane Harvey, The Hotwire horoscope, and news of resistance and rebellion from around the world. Listen until the end for prisoner birthdays and announcements of upcoming anarchist events and bookfairs.

Notes and Links
  • Table of Contents:
    • Introduction {0:00}
    • Solidarity efforts for Hurricane Harvey {1:10}
    • Headlines {4:42}
    • Feature: Antifascism after #Charlottesville {8:29}
    • Repression Roundup {24:45}
    • Prisoner Birthdays {29:45}
    • Next Week’s News {31:14}
  • Hurricane Harvey grassroots relief efforts: You can donate to Bayou Action Street Health here or consult their resource wishlist. You can also contact them directly via houstonstreetmediccollective@gmail.com. Austin Common Ground, the Black Women’s Defense League, Redneck Revolt Houston, and Houston Food Not Bombs are all coordinating relief efforts as well.

  • Legal fund for anti-fracking arrestee Freddy Stoneypoint.

  • Security culture! Learn to protect your communications, protect yourself from doxxing, and how to respond when police come knocking. For a comprehensive list of resources on resisting grand juries, check out NCResistsTheGrandJury.com

  • We speak about felony riot charges being used from DC to New Orleans to Durham this year. For more on the use of riot charges to suppress resistance, check out Natasha Lennard’s wonderful article “How the Government Is Turning Protesters Into Felons”

  • We also mention Dane Powell’s courage on the streets of DC during Trump’s inauguration. This video spells it out. 196 of Dane’s codefendants are still pending trial, check out DefendJ20Resistance.org to learn more.

  • For a good introduction to writing prisoners, check out this guide from New York City Anarchist Black Cross.

  • If you’re near Asheville, North Carolina, show some love for anti-authoritarians during their Radical Rush Week next week. If you’re near Chapel Hill, their Radical Rush Week calendar can be found here.

  • Upcoming prisoner birthdays:

    Ronald Reed #2195311

    Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City

    7600 525th Street

    Rush City, Minnesota

    55069–2265

    {August 31}

    Alexander Irwin #2016012934

    St. Louis County Jail

    P.O. Box 16060

    Clayton, MO 63105

    {September 5}

    Please note that Alexander is pre-trial. Do not write about illegal activity and assume that any charges from the state are alleged and falsely accused.

    Brian Vaillancourt M42889

    Robinson Correctional Center

    13423 East 1150th Avenue

    Robinson, Illinois 62454

    {September 5}

    Dane Powell

    BOP Register number 82015007

    Federal Correctional Institution - Low PO Box 1031

    Colman, Florida 33521

    {September 7}

Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to podcast@crimethinc.com.

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Categories: News

Not Our Comrades: ITS Attacks on Anarchists

Anarchist News - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 00:03

From It's Going Down by Scott Campbell

In May of this year, the eco-extremist group Individualists Tending Toward the Wild (ITS) issued a statement claiming responsibility for the murder of two hikers in the State of Mexico and the femicide of Lesvy Rivera at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, providing as justification for these acts their belief that “every human being merits extinction.” In response, I wrote “There’s Nothing Anarchist About Eco-Fascism: A Condemnation of ITS” for It’s Going Down, denouncing both ITS and the U.S.-based anarchist platforms that disseminate and promote the group’s activities.

While by no means the first anarchist condemnation of ITS, it did garner a bit of attention, facilitated in part by the responses of ITS and its supporters, which we will turn to in a moment. Shortly thereafter, strong critiques emerged from other quarters, in particular from insurrectionary anarchists such as L from the UK, Eat from Indonesia, and a joint statement from former members of Anonymous Anarchist Action, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, the Mariano Sánchez Añón Insurrectional Cell and others in Mexico.

Taken together, these statements offer a robust distancing of ITS from anarchists and anarchist practice across varying tendencies. None were written in the hope of actually changing the behavior of ITS but to unequivocally clarify the distinction between anarchism and ITS. Indeed, since May, ITS has continued on its terroristic path. Most notably, the ITS franchise in Chile claims to have twice placed bombs on Transantiago public buses (one, two). In doing so, they follow in the steps of ITS in Mexico who claimed to have placed a bomb on public buses in Mexico City last October and November and ITS in Brazil who in January claimed to have placed a shrapnel-filled bomb at a crowded bus station in Brasilia. Indeed, the favorite tactic of ITS these days appears to be putting bombs in public areas in the hopes that they explode and maim or kill as many random people (or “hyper-civilized sheep” in their words) as possible.

While indiscriminately blowing up civilians based on a twisted, authoritarian ideology places ITS in league with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the State, of particular concern to anarchists should be the special vehemence ITS reserves for us and the threat it poses to anarchists. With tiresome predictability, ITS goes on and on about how wrong and bad anarchists are. (Undoubtedly this article will receive such a reply.) At times it is not clear who ITS hates more – all of civilization or just us. But in an odd twist, alongside the relentless defamations, ITS also spends a notable about of energy attempting to recuperate selected anarchist history into their eco-extremist ideology, in particular the few attacks by anarchists in which several civilians were killed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like a spurned lover, ITS cannot accept that anarchism is just not that into it. So it adopts a defensive position of projected hatred, all the while continual reaching out to anarchism as if to pleadingly say, “See what a few of you did over 100 years ago? You’re just like us. We should be together, even though I hate you.” Yet in its anarchist revisionism, ITS fails to grasp that even in the rare anarchist action which resulted in the loss of civilian life, it has never been anarchist praxis to kill people for the sake of killing people.

Helpful in understanding this behavior is the matter of ITS’ ideological (or theological) fragility. Though they have been around for six years, those six years have been marked by frequently shifting and inconsistent rationales, beliefs and analyses put forward by the group for what they do and why. They have now sought resolution to their existential incoherence by resorting to the basest of premises: “kill ‘em all.” This oppositional posture creates a Manichean world without nuance and therefore requires no explication or nuance on their part. By proclaiming all to be the enemy, they provide themselves an impenetrable refuge from all critique and also any need for internal consistency. Yet by existing as purely in opposition to everything, with nothing but disdain for all aspirational proposals, they reduce themselves to mere activists. Their actions seek to change nothing, they are symbolic and done simply to make themselves feel better. They are like a graffiti artist who goes out to put their tag on as many walls as possible then goes home, pats themselves on the back and sends out a communique. The tragic part, of course, is that the ITS brand of futile activism involves killing and wounding people.

By creating an ideology against anarchism and also shielding their actions from critique by stating that they believe that they will never change anything, ITS can come across as both inventive and reactionary at the same time. The small anarchist following ITS generates is also telling, insofar as they are people who are already hostile to social struggle and see ITS as developing a critique of currents within anarchism they also wish to attack. In short, while ITS is an instrument we are told to “have a conversation with” and “ask questions about,” in reality ITS is simply a means to an end for those who desire to wage a ‘culture war’ within anarchism. They help normalize and popularize ITS while still holding it at arms-length as a way to divorce themselves from any responsibility. This is something ITS wants just as much as do the people who make money selling their communiques and use ITS to build up their personalities as podcasters and journal publishers. Meanwhile, the very group these anarchists use to reap social capital from threatens to kill us and attempts to blow up our friends and spaces.

That anarchists would want nothing to do with this is unsurprising. It is therefore predictable that as the anarchist rejection of ITS has become more strident, the reaction of ITS has reached new levels of unhinged vitriol. In November of last year, they issued a statement complaining of “censorship” from Noblogs after the site dropped their page. In March, after Chilean insurrectionary anarchist prisoner Joaquín García criticized ITS, it mocked him and called for an attack on “that senile hippy Zerzan” in the same breath. The article I wrote in May apparently touched a nerve and ITS responded with the only tools at its disposal – anger and violence – by threatening to kill me.

Mr. Campbell, you should value your life more. You’re addressing some dangerous people who have killed people indiscriminately for over six years. We are still free, and they have not been able to catch us. How are you so sure that we don’t know the place in Mexico where you “vacation” and we won’t show up as we tend to do? You should chill out because in a country where killing journalists is very common, it’s not a good idea that you go about everywhere with your camera, or you’ll end up like your colleague Bradley Will. Remember him? Only this time the bullets won’t be coming from PRI goons.

For good measure, in the same statement they also throw in some homophobia, referring to myself and others as “fucking faggots,” and some sexism in denouncing the “pussy motherfucker sons of Contrainfo.”

After more anarchist condemnations of ITS came out, they responded with another statement going after insurrectionary anarchists in Mexico along with snitchjacketing the main individual behind the anarchist library and social center Biblioteca Social Reconstruir. It being an ITS statement, of course there is again a fair amount of homophobia and sexism contained within. However, in this case it also clarified an incident that occurred last year at OkupaChe, the occupied Che Guevara Auditorium on the campus of UNAM.

OkupaChe is an autonomous space for a variety of collectives and individuals that for years has been under threat and attacks from the police and university administration. On December 14, after a growing push for the eviction of the okupa, there was to be a large student assembly with OkupaChe as the first item on the agenda. At some point during the night before the assembly, an explosive device was left outside the doorway of the auditorium. It was described as a package made up of flammable material and nails, powerful enough to have started a fire and wounded people at the space as well as passers-by. Initially thought to be part of the push to evict OkupaChe, in March an ITS group mentioned “an annoying device that we left in the mousetrap called che.” In the more recent statement, ITS elaborates further, regurgitating without irony the government’s talking points about the space:

[D]id you know that one of our groups placed a bomb at the “Che Squat”? That was done mainly because they were defaming us and we shit on those anarcho-rock star ex-con politicians and drug addicts who hang out there, because the auditorium is supposedly so legendary: a symbol of “autonomy” and the “combative” student movement of the ‘90’s.

So along with their tirades and death threats against individual anarchists, one can see that they have actually attempted to kill or injure anarchists en masse and cause damage to anarchist spaces. In preparation for this article, I reached out to anarchists in Mexico to attempt to document other ITS threats. They indicated that numerous threats from ITS have been directed against anarchist individuals and projects, but no one felt comfortable going on the record.

In case their reprehensible actions, along with threatening and attempting to kill anarchists, is not enough of a reason for anarchist disassociation from ITS, there is another cause for anarchist concern. ITS proudly proclaims it has never been caught, even though “Interpol has already collected all the information that it could from the Internet about our Mafia.” Yet is that true? If ITS is placing bombs on buses in three countries then why the subdued reaction from the State to an international terrorist movement? The English-language spokesperson for ITS calls himself Abe Cabrera. Abe is an unknown figure among radicals yet has been welcomed into some circles because of his advocacy of eco-extremism. He is open about where he lives, yet remains unmolested by the state. This is odd if Interpol is involved and when compared to the treatment members of the ELF press office received for the less-egregious acts they reported on. I am certainly not advocating that the state target him and to attempt to answer why he hasn’t been would be pure speculation. But as with many of ITS’ own claims, things do not add up.

Aragorn, a member of the Anarchist News collective, laughing on Facebook in response to ITS’ death threat against an anarchist, alongside the posting of that threat on Anarchist News, before it was removed.

Despite all of the above, the disturbing fact remains that various anarchists and anarchist projects in the U.S. continue to provide a platform to ITS. In relaying that fact to both social and insurrectionary anarchists in Mexico, they responded with bewilderment, anger and disappointment that a group that is bombing and threatening them is being propped up in the U.S. by some anarchists. This again speaks to the privilege these U.S.-based anarchists enjoy in treating ITS as an intellectual exercise while comrades in Mexico are under attack by them. Since May, these platforms have posted a slew of articles and podcasts about ITS and personally attacking anarchists who criticize ITS. In response to the ITS statement threatening to kill me, one prominent anarchist in this vein wrote, “OMG this shit is so hysterical. Wow.” And then promptly reposted it on their website. (It was later removed after numerous individuals pointed out that an anarchist site reposting death threats against anarchists was rather outrageous.) Most recently, this same grouping published Black Seed, a journal being distributed nationally that in part seeks to incorporate eco-extremism, including ITS, into green anarchism. A second edition of the eco-extremist journal Atassa is set to be published around year’s end, presumably again by Little Black Cart.

This is pointed out not with the expectation that these individuals and projects will stop supporting ITS. Rather, it is so anarchists are aware of those in our circles who are providing legitimacy and cover for a group whose sole purpose is to murder people and who have a history of targeting anarchists in particular. ITS has proclaimed itself an enemy to anarchists. Its words and deeds reaffirm that. Why, then, should our enemies be welcome or tolerated in our spaces?

Tags: ITSthis siteatassabookslittle black cartcategory: Essays
Categories: News

The Hotwire: Autonomous Flood Relief & Bay Area Mobilizations

It's Goin Down - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 23:10

The post The Hotwire: Autonomous Flood Relief & Bay Area Mobilizations appeared first on It's Going Down.

Summary

Welcome to the first episode of The Hotwire! Our feature for this episode covers the upswing in antifascist action post-Charlottesville. We also bring you an interview from Hurricane Harvey, The Hotwire horoscope, and news of resistance and rebellion from around the world. Listen until the end for prisoner birthdays and announcements of upcoming anarchist events and bookfairs.

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/3/4/a/34ad0e1f5cdf27ca/The-Hotwire_2_Antifascism-after-Charlottesville-Grand-Jury-Resistance-and-Eclipsing-the-Empire.mp3

Listen and download here.

Notes and Links
  • Table of Contents:
    • Introduction {0:00}
    • Solidarity efforts for Hurricane Harvey {1:10}
    • Headlines {4:42}
    • Feature: Antifascism after #Charlottesville {8:29}
    • Repression Roundup {24:45}
    • Prisoner Birthdays {29:45}
    • Next Week’s News {31:14}
  • Hurricane Harvey grassroots relief efforts: You can donate to Bayou Action Street Health here or consult their resource wishlist. You can also contact them directly via houstonstreetmediccollective@gmail.comAustin Common Groundthe Black Women’s Defense LeagueRedneck Revolt Houston, and Houston Food Not Bombs are all coordinating relief efforts as well.
  • Legal fund for anti-fracking arrestee Freddy Stoneypoint.
  • Security culture! Learn to protect your communicationsprotect yourself from doxxing, and how to respond when police come knocking. For a comprehensive list of resources on resisting grand juries, check out NCResistsTheGrandJury.com
  • We speak about felony riot charges being used from DC to New Orleans to Durham this year. For more on the use of riot charges to suppress resistance, check out Natasha Lennard’s wonderful article “How the Government Is Turning Protesters Into Felons”
  • We also mention Dane Powell’s courage on the streets of DC during Trump’s inauguration. This video spells it out. 196 of Dane’s codefendants are still pending trial, check out DefendJ20Resistance.org to learn more.
  • For a good introduction to writing prisoners, check out this guide from New York City Anarchist Black Cross.
  • If you’re near Asheville, North Carolina, show some love for anti-authoritarians during their Radical Rush Week next week. If you’re near Chapel Hill, their Radical Rush Week calendar can be found here.
  • Upcoming prisoner birthdays:Ronald Reed #2195311
    Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City
    7600 525th Street
    Rush City, Minnesota
    55069–2265
    {August 31}Alexander Irwin #2016012934
    St. Louis County Jail
    P.O. Box 16060
    Clayton, MO 63105
    {September 5}
    Please note that Alexander is pre-trial. Do not write about illegal activity and assume that any charges from the state are alleged and falsely accused.

    Brian Vaillancourt M42889
    Robinson Correctional Center
    13423 East 1150th Avenue
    Robinson, Illinois 62454
    {September 5}

    Dane Powell
    BOP Register number 82015007
    Federal Correctional Institution – Low PO Box 1031
    Colman, Florida 33521
    {September 7}

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Categories: News

Hurricane Harvey: 5 Reasons Looting is Essential for Survival

It's Goin Down - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 22:46

The post Hurricane Harvey: 5 Reasons Looting is Essential for Survival appeared first on It's Going Down.

Looting is a rational response to disaster situations and price gouging. Liberals would prefer people to dehydrate, starve, or drown, while food rots underwater.

1. Price gouging and hoarding by capitalists goes unpunished.

As Hurricane Harvey has devastated Texas, Best Buy capitalized on the devastation to sell $42 packs of water amidst hundreds of others of cases of price gouging.

Houston’s local state has responded to this not by requisitioning water from Best Buy and other retailers, but by enforcing an indefinite curfew between midnight and 5 AM to prevent looting.

The District Attorney in Harris County issued a statement last night stating that not only had 14 people already been arrested for looting, but that they would have additional punitive sentencing – including life sentences – under a Texas law allowing for harsher penalties during a crisis.

Meanwhile residents at a nursing home were only airlifted out after a photo of them up to their waists in water went viral. These responses show the liberal state’s insistence on enforcing property relations in the face of all basic common sense and regardless of the cost to human life

2. Looting is survival.

In an area devastated by floods, people are fleeing flooded homes, rescue support and shelters are inadequately provisioned. Joel Olsteen’s Lakewood mega-church in Houston was opened as a temporary shelter only after massive public outcry following an announcement it was going to remain locked.

Stores are the only source of food and water, and it’s a choice between directly appropriating goods and death in the most extreme situations. Despite this, Tom Llamas, a journalist from ABC covering the floods, reported people entering an abandoned supermarket to police. 

3. The people getting arrested for distributing commodities for free are the same one losing their jobs as stores close.

Even if people fleeing flood water wanted to buy food and water, how are they supposed to do so when the stores themselves are closed – are staff expected to keep working and taking money in a meter of water? Of course Julie Turkevitz from the New York Times thinks that’s a great idea:

4. Floods aren’t the only time that commodity relations lead to starvation.

The breakdown of property relations in disaster situations mirrors their irrationality in daily life. Famines are not due to lack of food, but due to lack of money. More than 15 million (over 10%) households in the US are food insecure 1, food deserts and other issues with access to fresh food mean that 85% of Americans have some kind of vitamin deficiency.

5. Looting and other action against price gouging also has a long and rich history in the class struggle.

Food riots were a regular occurrence during the American revolution.

On July 22nd 1918, Fisherman’s wives began a national wave of rice riots and strike action when they attempted to prevent the export of grain in Toyama, Japan. In the ’40s, Japanese workers seized factories and mines to run them directly to produce basic necessities in the face of hoarding by corporations and massive food shortages.

In ’70s Italy, workers acted collectively to force transport and electricity price reductions.

Looting is not only normalised during natural disasters but during urban insurrections such as LA 1992 and Ferguson 2014.

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Categories: News

Tropical Storm Harvey makes 2nd landfall, now in Louisiana

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 22:23

Tropical Storm Harvey makes 2nd landfall, now in Louisiana | 30 Aug 2017 | A weakened Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall in southwest Louisiana early Wednesday, leaving residents bracing for more wind, rain and possible tornadoes and hoping water would stay out of their sandbagged homes. The storm came ashore before dawn just west of Cameron, Louisiana, bringing maximum sustained winds near 45 mph (72 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Harvey had lingered over Texas for days before meandering back into the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters said there was a risk of tornadoes across a large part of the South as Harvey trudged northeast toward northern Louisiana.

Categories: News

“Hate Preachers” and Militia Turn Tail in Face of Mass Numbers in Berkeley

It's Goin Down - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:54

The post “Hate Preachers” and Militia Turn Tail in Face of Mass Numbers in Berkeley appeared first on It's Going Down.

“The fascists weren’t turned away by Pelosi, the feds, or the police; they were turned away by us. That liberals have the privilege to think otherwise shows how disconnected they are from the facts on the ground.”

A quick note on the narrative among the liberals in the media that the fascists “provoked the foolish, violent, auto-immune response from the (Bay Area) leftists”, and that, actually, there was no reason to take our streets this past weekend. We might even forgive them for thinking this, as the view from the sheet-cake factory probably made it seem like there wasn’t an immediate threat and we went out for no reason.

The reality of the situation is much different, of course. There were (and continue to be) Alt-Right goons of various stripes in the bay area; in addition to our local fash like the Bay Area “proud boys” and Kyle Chapman’s “Alt-Knights”, many came from out-of-town. For the past several months the Right has been organizing their most violent west-coast contingents to converge in the Bay Area. Golden State Skinheads from Sac-town, Rise Above Movement, FOAK, Hammerskins from SoCal, Oath Keepers from Oregon (to name a few), were all planning to waltz into our cities and terrorize our people.

The reason it appeared these deplorables and their fragile egos didn’t turn out and no major clash went down stems from one fact: they were too fucking scared to come near a force that was diverse, highly-organizing, militant, and prepared to defend ourselves at all costs. The few that wandered though our ranks were unceremoniously removed, but scouts also spotted small groups of right-wing members in the surrounding suburbs.

The images below show one such group congregating in Berkeley on A27, it includes well-known and violent members of The Hell Shaking Street Preachers (Allen Pucket and Quincy Anatello, both of Oregon) and the Oath Keepers, armed and ready with their lacrosse helmets. Pucket is on video at the April 15th rally kicking someone on the ground. They were parked there deciding between a fist or the road out of town; they chose the latter.

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Right-wing violence is real and it kills. Friends and allies at these events have been stabbed, shot, and run down in cars. With that knowledge in mind we tirelessly organized, trained, and turned out to prevent this terror from continuing to spread into our communities.

We were ready to face real violence, and we won the day because of that bravery. The fascists weren’t turned away by Pelosi, the feds, or the police; they were turned away by us. That liberals have the privilege to think otherwise shows how disconnected they are from the facts on the ground, and are in fact buffered by our strength.

We know and we’ll remember. Stay vigilant.

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Categories: News

UNC denies Richard Spencer a chance to speak on campus

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:39

UNC denies Richard Spencer a chance to speak on campus | 30 Aug 2017 | [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] Chancellor Carol Folt has declined a request from the National Policy Institute to rent a space for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus, citing safety concerns. "Our basis for this decision is the safety and security of the campus community--we are not willing to risk anyone's safety in light of these known risks," Folt said in a statement. Folt announced the decision on Wednesday after consulting with university, local and state law enforcement that assessed the risk of Spencer speaking at the university, according to the statement.

Categories: News

CORRECTION: Aug 29th (not June 29th) Multi-City Coordinated Banner Drop: Abolish America

Anarchist News - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:30

This is the first and last communique from the "informal anarchist collective for the abolition of america".

"On August 29th in six fairly obscure cities, (Knoxville, Tennessee. Menomonie, Wisconsin. Elgin, Illinois. Kansas City, Missouri. Oak Park, Illinois. Carpentersville, Illinois) a coordinated banner drop took place. The purpose of this action is to encourage the expansion of the current wave-making anti-racist/anti-fascist analysis to include America itself. With a history of over 500 years of colonial white supremacy and patriarchy, we have no intentions on limiting our anti-racist/anti-fascist actions and analysis to only specific groups. We want to include the establishment as a whole, which on a daily basis organizes white supremacy and patriarchy on every psychological, institutional and cultural level.

We hope to inspire actions that recognize america as a white supremacist establishment deserving of the same destructive abolition as any white supremacist organization. When burning confederate flags, why stop there? American flags are everywhere around us, reflecting a genocidal history justified by white supremacy. Every institution we frequent for work, education and resources is monumental in reinforcing the values of colonial white supremacy. In every city and state, these monuments and statues litter parks and financial districts. The opportunity for direct action is everywhere around us. We refuse to participate in validating their spectacle of peaceful denial.

We don't want to waste time attempting to captivate this "historical opportunity" to "organize the masses". As individuals, we hope these small coordinated actions inspire a wildfire of realized insurrectionary potential in others. We dont want nor need political parties or organizations to lead us. We wont water-down our ideas for mainstream media consumption- we really do want to destroy America.

With deep love and respect to all those of every skin color fighting white supremacy in the streets, and in memory of all those murdered by the police, and by racists and fascists, escalate, abolish america, strike everywhere!"

-informal anarchist collective for the abolition of america

Tags: KnoxvilleTennessee. MenomonieWisconsin. ElginIllinois. Kansas CityMissouri. Oak ParkIllinois. CarpentersvilleIllinois anarchysocial warcategory: Actions
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Montreal: No Borders, No One Is Illegal

It's Goin Down - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:30

The post Montreal: No Borders, No One Is Illegal appeared first on It's Going Down.

This past weekend, a group of Montreal anti-racist organizers and graf writers collaborated in an effort to remind people living in Montreal and throughout Québec that no one is illegal: there is no such thing as illegal migration. The piece went up underneath the rue Sherbrooke overpass between the Stade Olympic and Parc Maisonneuve.

Montréal is on unceded Kanien’kehà:ka territory that has also long served as a gathering place for many First Nations. The Canadian nation-state was founded and continues to rely on the ongoing dispossession and displacement of Indigenous peoples from their territories, cultures, and languages. Borders are an illegitimate, state-imposed apparatus that serve to divide and displace people and communities and then make such divisions appear natural.

Borders promote settler nationalism, reinforce state power and control, and protect the economic and political interests of the capitalist elite. There can be no rightful Canadians within geographic borders established through theft and genocide. 

There. Can. Be. No. Justice. On. Stolen. Land.

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Under the Fog: A Report from Crissy Field

It's Goin Down - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:24

The post Under the Fog: A Report from Crissy Field appeared first on It's Going Down.

“There was a black man with an anti-BLM shirt who I was told was a street preacher. I was also told that there was a neo-Nazi in the group.”

What follows is a firsthand account and analysis of the events that transpired at Crissy Field, San Francisco, on Saturday, August 26, 2017. I am not affiliated with nor represent any organization.

I arrived at Crissy Field at around 10:30 AM to meet friends and comrades who were concluding a morning prayer. These were water protectors from Standing Rock, activists in the #NoDAPL campaign, and allies. Chase Iron Eyes and Isabella Zizi spoke eloquently about the convergence of environmental justice, racial justice, and economic transformation (you can find a live stream on Indigenous Rising Media’s Facebook page). Other than the horns of passing freighters, the park was quiet, and having been born and raised in San Francisco it seemed like it always had: runners and bicyclists, groups of tourists, blue skies and heavy fog. The only things out of the ordinary were the piles of barricades that sat stacked around the field like hay bales. That and the legions of park rangers and police officers, they had set up base in one of the large hangers and could be seen standing and watching from a distance.

The gathering of water protectors ended around eleven, and my friends and I debated how to proceed with the day. As most were aware, Patriot Prayer had cancelled the rally at Crissy Field, then cancelled the subsequent plan to rally at Alamo Square, and finally said that they were going to hold an indoor press conference at 2 PM then “pop up at random spots in the city.”  We had several options:

  1. Go to Alamo Square, where we knew police had barricaded the park but counter-protesters were gathering anyway.
  2. Go to Civic Center, where the larger march and rally were taking form.
  3. Stay at Crissy Field.  After all, the permit could still be active and this was the original destination of Patriot Prayer.

We opted for #3 and sat down on a pile of barricades. Some napped, others went for sandwiches. Hours passed like the fog, quickly and with little notice.  We got sunburned. In the early afternoon Refuse Fascism marched along the path with a large anti-fascist banner, handing out leaflets and holding small rallies. Their presence was encouraging as other than the tourists, joggers, and three police on horseback, we were the only ones on the field.

Around 1:30 PM a solitary man walked onto the field holding a large American flag on a pole. We all took notice as he look confused, got on his phone, then went back to a parked car and placed the flag inside. He was ordinary looking, wearing khaki shorts, a t-shirt, and a baseball hat. I went and canvassed the parked cars in the lot, noting that many displayed government license plates and had individuals sitting inside. It was unclear if they were with the Patriot Prayer people or unmarked law enforcement. Time, which had been passing so quickly, seemed to slow down. Had everyone really abandoned the field for Alamo and Civic Center?

We discussed these realities until a group of six men exited a parked car and walked across the field to a small area between two buildings bordered by the beach. Attired in a hodgepodge of camo, American flag decor, an anti-BLM shirt, and a red hat, they were obviously who we had been waiting for. I left my friends and canvassed the gathering, wondering if they intended to hold their rally in that location. As I walked back, the park rangers sped across the field in several cars and confronted the group, apparently telling them that they could not gather there. They in turn chose to rally under a large tree on the field.

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More began to arrive in twos and threes, and they stood around and took photos of themselves with their flags unfurled, the fog refusing to provide them with a clear shot of the Golden Gate. Bless the fog. We communicated with friends and comrades in the city, telling them that the ‘cancelled rally’ was indeed a bluff and that they were convening at this very moment. The rally numbered about fifteen now, and two of the original six walked towards us. Both had cameras strapped to their chests and they introduced themselves, stating that they were here for dialogue and free speech, and wanted to know what we were doing here. A conversation ensued and while I did not participate, I heard the entirety of the many discussions.

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“Patriot Prayer has completely co-opted ‘progressive’ discourse.  they practically have ID cards with all their racial credentials.”

The first thing I noticed was that each member of Patriot Prayer opened with a list of their racially-diverse credentials. One even went so far as to refer to himself as a “half-breed,” explaining how much racial discrimination he had received due to the supposed darkness of his skin. This was a commonality among every single individual I witnessed. They all had some story to tell to prove they were not racist because of their wife, kids, colleagues, neighbors, or whatever. Another commonality is that most were white men, white men who liked to hear themselves speak. But not all were white. There was a black man with an anti-BLM shirt who I was told was a street preacher. I was also told that there was a neo-Nazi in the group, though the individual speaking to me went on to explain how they did not like said person. When I confronted them, arguing that shielding and harboring a neo-Nazi makes them a sympathizer, they changed the subject and went back to trying to paint the Patriot Prayer group as different from other alt-right groups. This group, it was claimed, was simply out to bridge the gap between conservatives and centrists or leftists through dialogue and free speech. I beg to differ.

Take Home Point #1:

  • What Patriot Prayer utterly fails to realize is that free speech does not exist in a vacuum. By this I mean that all free speech is contextualized historically and socially. This is to say that a black person speaking freely is not the same as a white person speaking freely. Thus, for a group like this to aspire to such goals would demand that they also confront the structural inequalities that frame any dialogue. But Patriot Prayer refuses to do this. They firmly argue that all free speech is identical and by extension there is no such thing as structural white supremacy and racism, or systemic patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia. All acts of oppression and brutality are written off as bad apples or individual actors failing to respect the law. This perverted and willfully-ignorant perspective was repeatedly confirmed at nearly every minute of discussion. And what kind of a discussion can one really have with such a person? My conclusion is that Patriot Prayer doesn’t really have anything to say; they don’t actually have a point.

This supposed dialogue inevitably ran its course into oblivion and the guys returned back to their rally that had now grown to about twenty or more. Counter-protesters arrived with banners and signs and stood about a hundred yards away, perhaps evaluating the situation. I went and spoke to them as they had medics in their midst and informed them of what I had witnessed, what I had been told about the plans for the rally by the Patriot Prayer people themselves, and where the police were stationed. At this point the sides were about even in number and a police officer came out to explain how beautiful the day was and what the ground rules were: yell all you want, no fighting. Thus the yelling began.

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Most of the controversy surrounded a single woman who wasn’t having any of the Patriot Prayer shit. She was loud and proud and stormed this way and that. But she was all alone in the middle of a group of twenty-plus who were yelling and demeaning her. One of our group said they were going in to support this lone woman and did so. Eventually others joined and the other counter-protesters moved in closer, some coming into the fray to see what the ‘dialogue’ was all about. It was pathetic. Arguments ranged from how great or terrible coal power was, to how Trump did or didn’t demean women. There was no room for progress as the Patriot Prayer group clung firm to a distorted, bastardized world-view littered with talking points and absurdities.

Take Home Point #2:

  • Patriot Prayer has completely co-opted ‘progressive’ discourse. As I mentioned above, they practically have ID cards with all their racial credentials. They are readily prepared to try and refute claims of racism with ‘evidence’ to the contrary and most of this has to do with questionable counter-examples of discrimination. But they are also ready and willing to call out others on body shaming (see below), gender assigning, and so forth. The fact that they will in one sentence discriminate and verbally abuse someone and in the next call out that person for doing the same does not show itself as self-contradictory to them. The black man wearing the anti-BLM shirt (the words Black Lives Matter were surrounded in a cross-hair) introduced himself as being for “peace.” Discourse has many levels to it, and Patriot Prayer has overwhelmed the surface with absurdities, contradictions, and false flags. It is impossible to reach any deeper level of dialogue, and that is the point of their “free speech”: it is a surface-level phenomenon that exists as an end in itself. As such, this form of free speech undermines the efforts for real transformative action as it posits the two as equal when they are not. A false equivalency is at play, whereby white privilege is now basic freedom – a freedom obviously not available to most.

The arguments being so absurd and fruitless, the pitch and tone of the exchange increased. When a counter-protester asked how the women present felt about Trump’s open sexism and sexual violence, a woman responded that she didn’t care because her husband talked to her like that all the time. This caused a general cringe among both sides, until another woman commented that no one would want to sleep with her anyway because of her appearance. This comment was labeled as body shaming by a member of Patriot Prayer. No more than a minute later, another member of Patriot Prayer said that Trump was right, that Rosie O’Donnell was a “fat pig,” and when confronted with that statement as being body shaming, the response was that since O’Donnell was not physically present it was not body shaming. The twisted logic of these people was astounding. Other things were twisted too. Openly standing in their ranks was a person dressed nearly identically to the Nazi character Arnold Ernest Toht in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. The sole addition to this cosplay was a Kekistan flag pin.

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This nonsense seemed to have no end until one person, clad in all black, masked, helmeted, and holding two large black megaphones, unleashed a maximum volume siren upon the group. Bless the siren. Its ear-piercing screech drown out everything except the most committed of yelling. It said without saying anything what we all knew: there was no dialogue to be had here. It surrounded the ensemble with perpetual din and had its intended effect: the Patriot Prayer group began to move. Some tried to end arguments with handshakes and “thanks for talking with me,” others haphazardly walked back in the direction of their vehicles. The police had been quiet until this moment, but they began to stretch their lines along the warehouses, presumably preparing to shuttle the alt-right out. As Patriot Prayer was leaving, one member ran over to my friends and said: “Just so you know, there’s a group coming here right now called BAMN. I don’t know what it stands for, By Any Means Necessary, I think. There are 1,500 of them and they are coming here to make every white person unrecognizable. That means you and me brother.” [Editor’s Note: This faulty information seems to come from photoshopped messages that were posted on social media. Again showing that the rank-n-file of the far-Right falls for it’s own bullshit.]

#PatriotPrayer reduced to sharing badly photoshopped images in attempt to distract from their massive failure. pic.twitter.com/KvL6Q6kUyo

— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 26, 2017

Then he ran off. A small group of black bloc had arrived at this point and the counter-protesters were swelling in number, standing on the field across the street from the parked cars and in front of the police. The riot police emerged from their hidey-hole, presumably having been cooped up there for the entire day, and formed ranks a hundred yards from the bloc and protesters. BAMN arrived in numbers far less than 1,500 and with no intention of hurting white people in general. The siren continued its glorious wail and the alt-right fled.

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Take Home Point #3:

  • Patriot Prayer exists to carve out social space for reactionary ideas. They are a low-intensity front of the alt-right. Basically, it’s a bunch of white men terrified about losing their privilege, something they claim they don’t have. If you’re wondering how you can lose something you don’t have, you have entered into the logic of Patriot Prayer. They are using the law to create space for hate speech by effectively saying nothing and calling it freedom. At first glance, this seems to serve them but in reality it serves every other alt-right group from which Patriot Prayer goes out of their way to distance themselves (note that an Identity Evropa sticker was found on a sign near Crissy Field after the rally). After all, if they can have a rally and be non-violent, why can’t the KKK? Make no mistake, this whole event was nothing more than a PR move. The goal was to create a self-serving spectacle, film themselves ‘engaging in dialogue,’ force the police and counter-protesters to run around the city chasing phantoms, and flee home. And it worked.

Liberals and centrists rallied in Civic Center and declared victory over an enemy that at that very moment was succeeding in their task in the exact spot they said they would. Was everyone away at Burning Man? [Editor’s Note: Earlier in the day thousands of people also confronted and shut down Patriot Prayer at a failed press conference. Hours later at Crissy Field people pushed the Alt-Right to their cars and they quickly left.] Has San Francisco changed so much since I was a child that letting your dog defecate on a field counts as activism? Patriot Prayer is analogous to San Francisco in that both live in vacuums. This alone explains why so few showed up to confront the alt-right as well as why the city claimed victory. Both the city and Patriot Prayer live devoid of, or in spite of, historical context. Both see themselves as legitimate but only insofar as they ignore and attempt to rewrite history at large. Thus, institutional racism and sexism do not exist, and analogously, homelessness, gentrification, and homogeneity are written off as functional problems to be addressed through bureaucracy and policy. No social assessment or change is necessary. San Franciscans are losing their history—Patriot Prayer denies history. Free market—free speech. All of this leads to one conclusion: without history, the present is a prison.

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Despite Huge Losses and Its own Bungling, Southern Company Wants to Complete Vogtle Plant

deSmog - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:19

By Dan Zegart, crossposted from Climate Investigations Center

With Southern Company’s board voting today to green light the completion of the Vogtle nuclear power plant, the prospect that Georgia utility customers may be on the hook for many billions for a plant that may never be economically feasible becomes very real.

Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning has blamed the bankruptcy of nuclear reactor builder Westinghouse for the plant being billions over budget and years behind schedule, calling the Westinghouse collapse an unforeseeable event that caught Southern by surprise.

Tomorrow, Southern Company will recommend to the Georgia Public Service Commission that it nevertheless continue to build the project – which is only 32 percent complete after four years of construction – despite the huge and ever-increasing cost of a plant that the PSC’s own analyses indicate may never be viable commercially.

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Tillerson Scraps US Climate Envoy Position Ahead of UN Talks

deSmog - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 20:48
Pershing

With the next round of United Nations climate talks scheduled for November, eyes will be trained on how the United States chooses to engage — or not — now that President Donald Trump is withdrawing the country from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Yesterday, Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson indicated that this process will not happen through the State Department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, because, well, he’s scrapping the position.

In a letter to Senate Foreign Relations chair Bob Corker (R-TN), Tillerson wrote, “I believe that the Department will be able to better execute its mission by integrating certain envoys and special representative offices within the regional and functional bureaus, and eliminating those that have accomplished or outlived their original purpose.”

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Shaming & Shunning, Part II: 'You Must Be a Rightwing Nut-job'

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 20:09

One of the many difficulties that attends a mass attack by hordes of cyber-critics is getting around to answering them. I would never try respond to every critics, for the late O.W. Crane told me: "If you stop for every barking dog, your path will never end." Yet I have wanted to address at least the most egregious cases and also to answer one or two of the predominate type(s). Mind you, I am not hereby issuing any apolgies or attempting to regain any love from or appreciatng from my critics. I, myself, don't care what they think, frankly. What I do care about involve utter misrepresentations, falsehoods, defamation and in some cases, libel. I simply do not want bald, bizarre and sometimes libelous defamation floating in the simulacrum without providing Google an opportunity to delist my response.

A rather non-specific characterization implicit in many, especially leftist attacks of my position have suggested that I am "guilty by association." The Left believes avowedly and unreservedly in guilt by association, and perhaps not unreasonably. After all, mass politics is a matter of association. Likewise, one's associations, as as lefists see it, are crucial, and one has a responsibility on account of them. Indeed, one can be "charged" of apostacy on the basis of so-called assocations, and assocations alone.

But first, what the standard-issue leftist critics do not seem to grasp is that my criticism of PC and "social justice" authoritartianism represented and continues to become, to an even greater extent, a criticism of mass politics en se. I'll leave that to the side for the moment and simply address the apparent "charge:" because I am followed by right, right-leaning, Trump supporters, and others leftists disapprove of, and have friends on Facebook of said persuasions, while not spending my time attacking them, I am thereby "guilty."

First, I reject the very self-arrogating claim implicit or made explicit in such the attacks of such presumptuous arbiters of behavior and expresson, and keep handy a short-hand response that at least literally elides vulgarity: "IGAF!"

But seriously, at some point, one must reference the characteristics of these hurlers of ad hominem epithets and throw the ad hominems it right back in their faces. The actually-existing Left in the U.S. and beyond not only attacks those on the Right; leftists also attack anyone who won't attack the Right as they do. And they will do so with close to if not the same degree of vituperation, vehemence and violence that direct at actual Right.

According to the new New Left, toleraton equals association. I reject the premise entirely -- because I am first and foremost a believer in what leftist's used to prize: self-determination -- or, to use an unfashionable word -- liberty.

Meanwhile, the position represents the very sort of authoritarianism that I deplore, and is mainly why I criticized in PC/SJW authoritarianism in the first place. Why would I accept other attempts by leftists to control and "bully" me? I have retained friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook -- of many political persuasions -- and the only requirement is that they do not troll or otherwise attempt to torture me for what I do or do not say. I issue no ideological or political litmus test other than this: if someone cannot tolerate what I say, this someone should leave. If this someone persiss in harrassing me, I will show them the door directly. No, this is not a contradiction on my part and is not tantamount to censorhip. You can say whatever want within constitutional limits -- which are very broad by the way. That doesn't mean I have to listen to it. Leftists seem to be under the mistaken impression that the speech of others carries the compulsion to attend to it. No wonder they try so desperately and violently to no-platform expresson that they either do not like, or in some cases, frankly, do not quite understand.

My sharp "anti-SJW turn" hinged and continues to hinge on this very point. The "tipping point" was the day that I posted to Facebook a link, without comment to an article published last fall about the University of Michigan student who, when given the carte blanche option of choosing or creating whatever pronoun he preferred, selected "His Majesty." I may have selected "Your Highness." No, I do not think myself royalty, nor do I wish to reestablish hereditary monarchy. I make the remark and posted the link simply because I thought, and still think, that the satirical trope hilariously of the U. of Michigan student brilliantly underscored the aburdity of gender and pronoun proliferation.  I don't care that his political persuasion is conservative or right-leaning. He had a point and made it to stunning effect.

Speaking of which, ss my forthcoming book will elaborate, I am a fierce critic of contemporary transgenderism -- that is, of the belief structures that underwrite transgender apologetics. But my criticisms of transgenderism do not thereby make me a transphobe. A leap like this requires a category mistake of the sloppiest categorty. I criticize an ideology that I believe to be seriously mistaken, philosophically and otherwise, as well as being attended by pernicious consequences. That no more makes me transphobic than being a critic of Scientology makes me an a priori hater of individual Scientologists. I like John Travolta.

To return to the main path of my argument, my public criticisms of social justice ideology and politically correct authoritarianism have resonated with large swaths of the political Right. I gained a sizeable new audience and support network – through Twitter, Facebook and via hundreds of supportive emails – from the traditional Right. I also drew backing from “cultural libertarians,” as Paul Joseph Watson dubbed this newly-emergent “counterculture.” It should come as no surprise that many Trumpists backed me, especially given Trump’s regular (although non-specific) criticisms of political correctness.

Criticism of political correctness was supposed to be the exclusive province of the rightwing. For most observers, it was almost inconceivable that an anti-P.C. critic could come from another political quarter. Unsurprisingly, then, the majority of people who discovered my case, including some reporters, simply assumed that I was a conservative. As one Twitter troll put it: “You’re anti-P.C.? You must be a rightwing nut-job.”

But as I have explained on numeous occasions in several interviews and essays, I was not a Trump supporter; I was never a right-winger, or an alt-right-winger; I was never a conservative of any variety. I wasn’t even a classical John Stuart Mill liberal.

In fact, for several years, I had identified as a left or libertarian communist. For reasons I will discuss briefly below, I no longer do identify as such and reject collectivist politics, whether communist or fascist, roundly and consistently. But at this point, that is, at the moment of my criticisms of ID politics and social justice authoritarianism, my politics were decidely and publicly declared to the left (and considerably critical of the authoritarianism) of Bolshevism! I published essays in socialist journals on several topics, including analyses of identity politics, intersectionality theory, political economy, and the prospects for socialism in the context of transhumanism. I became respected as a Marxist thinker and essayist. Around the fall of 2008 and into the spring of 2009, had flirted with a Trotskyist sect. But I soon found their authoritarianism and doctrinaire, hair-splitting line to be absurdist. In any case, after I shared a paper I had written in my field regarding the historical (evolutionary and familial) ancestors of Charles Darwin, the group ironically declared my thinking to have been irremediably tainted by postmodernist ideas and thus rejected my application  join the party. I am extremely relieved that they did and remain forever grateful that they spared who knows how many wasted years trying to peedle a crusty and defunct Trotskyite lineage as if it were the indisputable gospel truth. 

I later became affiliated with a loosely organized left or libertarian communist group, a group that I had believed more closely resembled my own perspective and was predicated on the belief that the ultimate liberation is not liberation of an abstraction like "class," or of any group as such. The ultimate libreration, as Marx suggested in various places, will be the liberation of individuals as such, to become fully themselves, full expressions of their own singularities.

It wasn’t only strangers who mistook me for rightwing or conservative. So too did many who actually knew better. I attribute a lot of the backlash to the anti-Trump mania and the reactionary fervor that gripped liberals and leftists of nearly all stripes, and still does. This "resistance," as I have suggested in an earlier essay, has long ago been co-opted, if it ever had any legitimacy in the first place, which is doubtful. It's an astro-turfy movement whose prefabricated ideology is matched by the rapidity with which it produces cliche slogans and slick signage. But previously unaffiliated and warring left and liberal factions, even "social justice" warriors and communists that had hitherto been utterly dismissive of each other, now consolidated and circled the wagons. Anyone who failed to signal complete fidelity to “the resistance” risked being savaged. I woudn't and thus I was.

After my appearance on Fox Business News, such rabid ideologues ambushed me. The social-justice-sympathetic members of the left communist group to which I belonged denounced me in a series of group emails. Several members conducted a preposterous cyber show-trial, bringing charges against me and calling for votes on a number of alleged transgressions. From what I could tell, my worst offences included appearing on Fox News, sounding remotely like a member of an opposing political tribe, receiving positive coverage in right-leaning media, and criticizing leftist milieus just as Trump became President.

I denied that these self-appointed judges held any moral authority over me and declared their arbitrations null and void. Meanwhile, the elders of the group (supposed friends of mine) had remained silent, allowing the abuse to go on unabated for a day. When they finally chimed in, they called for my official expulsion. I told them not to bother as I wanted nothing further to do with them; I quit. In their collectivist zeal, they later stripped my name from three essays that I’d written for publication on their website, and assigned their authorship to someone else entirely. Upon discovering this fraudulence, I publicly berated them for plagiarism. A prominent member of the American Association of University Professors noticed my complaint and investigated the alleged breach of intellectual integrity. Verifying my authorship of the essays, he condemned the group’s actions in a popular blog. Only then did the benevolent dictators return my name to the essays’ mastheads.

Friends and acquaintances from other communities also turned on me with a vengeance, joining in the groupthink repudiation. After my appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, the Twitter attack was so fierce, vitriolic, and sustained that my associate Lori Price and I spent a whole night blocking and muting tweeters.

Even to this day, former friends and acquaintances continue defaming me and misrepresenting my views, while intentionality to my actions and their outcomes as if I had masterminded some sinister plot. They ascribe to me an ambition to become "famous" at any cost, a willingness to sacrifice principle for popularity. But notihng could be further from the truth. In fact, I risked my career and reputation to express what I actually thought and which thoughts I have developed further.  

A post by Ross Wolfe, a former friend, provides the most recent example for this imputation of political malice and naked opportunist ambtion to me. As much as I loathe providing exposure, I will quote from his blog post entitled "Intellectual Imperialism," But first, a note about the hyprocisy embedded in the title and its post is stunning. It suggests a criticism of intellectual imperialism of some sort. Huh? As if Ross Wolfe does not hope and work for a day when his blog has become "hegemonic," when it spreads  (while eschewing "manspreading") as far and wide as possible, to "colonize" whatever ideological and mental space he and and his blog can possibly penetrate, while carrying his name along with it. Yes, he would have turned down offfes to appear on Fox News -- my ass. Anyway, to the point, here's the passage that mentions me:

"Social networks are crucial for spreading of 'American thought' not only because they promote simplified expression, but also they are simplifying language itself which suits this narrative of theoretical simplification and impoverishment. Also, social networks allow certain academics, who have not published anything genuine or important in their lives and that cannot even grasp the basics of their own academic disciplines, to gain attention and a following just by saying “shocking things” on the Internet. I am talking about cases such as George Ciccariello-Maher’s tweets about 'white genocide' or Michael Rectenwald’s stunt to get tenured employment at New York University. Narcissistic need for constant attention is certainly one of the most important missions of “American thought,” but unlike academia of the past it is unable to fulfill its basic social purpose: to educate and to develop theory. Even though, one could point out that they are still developing theory that serves the agenda of the ruling class in this present capitalist epoch with its identitarian and individualist discourse. Also, this narcissism is present in activist circles too. Some of the worst examples of this were the various “thinkpieces” surrounding the recent murder of Heather Heyer.

As I responded in the comment section below the post, Wolfe's pot shot is both factually errant but also tonally and condenscending and beneath contempt. Further, the statement betrays a transparent ressentiment of the most blantant variety. Wolfe has never published a single book, nor, I believe, will he ever. I have published three scholarly books, one of which is taught in classes all over North America. Eh, the comment says enough:

Wow, you give me far too much credit. If this had been a planned operation, I would have to be a mastermind. But it wasn’t planned and you make two wrong statements about it.

1) I did not get “tenured employment” at NYU. I did receive a promotion from “Assistant Professor” to “Professor” (full professor). I got a promotion and a raise. But there’s no tenure in my program, so that was not an option and I didn’t receive it. 

2) I had applied for the promotion in April 2016. My application portfolio was unparalleled among the other applicants in my program. I had published three books on one year. None of the other applicants came even remotely close to that. I had published in top Cambridge University Press periodicals and anthologies...[Cut comments about the journals my "colleagues" have published in...I shouldn't have deigned to remark on them.] I had the idea for the first international conference (on secularism) hosted by our program. The proposal was accepted. I chaired it and ran the whole thing. It was a major success. Scholars from around the world presented. I produced an anthology on the basis of the conference.

So while on the one. hand you give me credit for being some sinister and successful schemer, as if I had planned this entire scenario and predicted how it would end, on the other, you have no idea about the actual conditions of my promotion, and the fact that of 19 other applicants, who all received the promotion by the way, my application was unparalleled in terms of accomplishments, and that includes my excellent teaching evaluations. (errata corrected here but not on his blog as it has no edit function.

Try to get your facts straight. I admire your scholarship but these kinds of ideologically-induced lapses are unfortunate and in this case libelous. [Notice how I credit him for his knowledge, which is extensive -- even after the louse defamed and libeled me.]

Wolfe's remarks merely represent one of the most explicit statements to the same, spurious effect. He should be ashamed of himself, but as others know, he's an interlocutor of the shameless variety, for whom no stooping is too low in attempts to promote his own notariety, including pretendng to play white knight when leaking and publishing the internal emails of a socialist organization as they tried to deal with accusations of sexual criminality within their ranks. (I have the answer to that problem, by the way. Rape is a crime. Neither universities nor political groups have the right or the wherewithall to prosecute them.) He's hated by various groups for the same stunt-pulling garbage, including illegally posting PDFs of books publsiehd by a struggling leftist publisher. Wanting to play the hero to his friends was more important than avoiding criminality and simply being a leech.

But the worst treatment came from the NYU Liberal Studies community – to which I had contributed a great deal, and of which I had striven for years to be a well-regarded member. Soon after the open letter appeared, I recognized a virtual universal shunning by my faculty colleagues. One after another, colleagues unfriended and blocked me on Facebook. The few that didn’t simply avoided me entirely, until I saved them the trouble and unfriended them. Most stinging were the betrayals of those who once relied on my generosity, some whose careers I had supported and considerably advanced.

Despite the harsh treatment doled out to me by the social justice Left and the warm reception I received from the Right, I did not become a right-winger, or a conservative. But after the social-justice-infiltrated Left showed me its gnarly fangs and drove me out, I could no longer identify as a leftist. Yet I also resisted the libertarian label, even though the denotation of the term addressed many of my concerns.

Part of the problem was that our conventional political vocabulary had been adulterated beyond recognition – utterly ruined. In any case, I no longer felt at home in any political grouping. I am committed to and believe in the ultimate liberation as a liberation of and into the singularity of the indivdual, autonomy to become who want to be and what you want to do. Although someting of this notion of the ultimate importance on the singularity of the individual, I could not adopt a label or declare an allegiance to a political perspective without feeling that I thereby misrepresented my viewpoint and reality itself. What this made me was a specimen of a vastly outnumbered, widely dispersed, and still unchartered breed – a political animal with a (weakened) herding instinct, yet without a herd.


 




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To be continued...

Michael Rectenwald is a Professor of Liberal Studies at New York University and author of seven books, including Nineteenth-Century British Secularism: Science, Religion and Literature (2016), Academic Writing, Real World Topics (2015), and Global Secularisms in A Post-Secular Age (2015). A prominent spokesperson for academic freedom and free speech, he has published widely and has appeared in numerous national and international media venues regarding politically correct authoritarianism and social justice ideology. He is currently working on a memoir tracing his encounters with the postmodernist theoretical precursors of social justice ideology. Follow him on Twitter @antipcnyuprof.

Copyright 2017, Michael Rectenwald and CLG News, www.legitgov.org. Any reproduction of this essay without permission is prohibited by law. 

Categories: News

Not Our Comrades: ITS Attacks on Anarchists

It's Goin Down - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 19:54

The post Not Our Comrades: ITS Attacks on Anarchists appeared first on It's Going Down.

In May of this year, the eco-extremist group Individualists Tending Toward the Wild (ITS) issued a statement claiming responsibility for the murder of two hikers in the State of Mexico and the femicide of Lesvy Rivera at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, providing as justification for these acts their belief that “every human being merits extinction.” In response, I wrote “There’s Nothing Anarchist About Eco-Fascism: A Condemnation of ITS” for It’s Going Down, denouncing both ITS and the U.S.-based anarchist platforms that disseminate and promote the group’s activities.

While by no means the first anarchist condemnation of ITS, it did garner a bit of attention, facilitated in part by the responses of ITS and its supporters, which we will turn to in a moment. Shortly thereafter, strong critiques emerged from other quarters, in particular from insurrectionary anarchists such as L from the UK, Eat from Indonesia, and a joint statement from former members of Anonymous Anarchist Action, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, the Mariano Sánchez Añón Insurrectional Cell and others in Mexico.

Taken together, these statements offer a robust distancing of ITS from anarchists and anarchist practice across varying tendencies. None were written in the hope of actually changing the behavior of ITS but to unequivocally clarify the distinction between anarchism and ITS. Indeed, since May, ITS has continued on its terroristic path. Most notably, the ITS franchise in Chile claims to have twice placed bombs on Transantiago public buses (one, two). In doing so, they follow in the steps of ITS in Mexico who claimed to have placed a bomb on public buses in Mexico City last October and November and ITS in Brazil who in January claimed to have placed a shrapnel-filled bomb at a crowded bus station in Brasilia. Indeed, the favorite tactic of ITS these days appears to be putting bombs in public areas in the hopes that they explode and maim or kill as many random people (or “hyper-civilized sheep” in their words) as possible.

While indiscriminately blowing up civilians based on a twisted, authoritarian ideology places ITS in league with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the State, of particular concern to anarchists should be the special vehemence ITS reserves for us and the threat it poses to anarchists. With tiresome predictability, ITS goes on and on about how wrong and bad anarchists are. (Undoubtedly this article will receive such a reply.) At times it is not clear who ITS hates more – all of civilization or just us. But in an odd twist, alongside the relentless defamations, ITS also spends a notable about of energy attempting to recuperate selected anarchist history into their eco-extremist ideology, in particular the few attacks by anarchists in which several civilians were killed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like a spurned lover, ITS cannot accept that anarchism is just not that into it. So it adopts a defensive position of projected hatred, all the while continual reaching out to anarchism as if to pleadingly say, “See what a few of you did over 100 years ago? You’re just like us. We should be together, even though I hate you.” Yet in its anarchist revisionism, ITS fails to grasp that even in the rare anarchist action which resulted in the loss of civilian life, it has never been anarchist praxis to kill people for the sake of killing people.

Helpful in understanding this behavior is the matter of ITS’ ideological (or theological) fragility. Though they have been around for six years, those six years have been marked by frequently shifting and inconsistent rationales, beliefs and analyses put forward by the group for what they do and why. They have now sought resolution to their existential incoherence by resorting to the basest of premises: “kill ‘em all.” This oppositional posture creates a Manichean world without nuance and therefore requires no explication or nuance on their part. By proclaiming all to be the enemy, they provide themselves an impenetrable refuge from all critique and also any need for internal consistency. Yet by existing as purely in opposition to everything, with nothing but disdain for all aspirational proposals, they reduce themselves to mere activists. Their actions seek to change nothing, they are symbolic and done simply to make themselves feel better. They are like a graffiti artist who goes out to put their tag on as many walls as possible then goes home, pats themselves on the back and sends out a communique. The tragic part, of course, is that the ITS brand of futile activism involves killing and wounding people.

By creating an ideology against anarchism and also shielding their actions from critique by stating that they believe that they will never change anything, ITS can come across as both inventive and reactionary at the same time. The small anarchist following ITS generates is also telling, insofar as they are people who are already hostile to social struggle and see ITS as developing a critique of currents within anarchism they also wish to attack. In short, while ITS is an instrument we are told to “have a conversation with” and “ask questions about,” in reality ITS is simply a means to an end for those who desire to wage a ‘culture war’ within anarchism. They help normalize and popularize ITS while still holding it at arms-length as a way to divorce themselves from any responsibility. This is something ITS wants just as much as do the people who make money selling their communiques and use ITS to build up their personalities as podcasters and journal publishers. Meanwhile, the very group these anarchists use to reap social capital from threatens to kill us and attempts to blow up our friends and spaces.

That anarchists would want nothing to do with this is unsurprising. It is therefore predictable that as the anarchist rejection of ITS has become more strident, the reaction of ITS has reached new levels of unhinged vitriol. In November of last year, they issued a statement complaining of “censorship” from Noblogs after the site dropped their page. In March, after Chilean insurrectionary anarchist prisoner Joaquín García criticized ITS, it mocked him and called for an attack on “that senile hippy Zerzan” in the same breath. The article I wrote in May apparently touched a nerve and ITS responded with the only tools at its disposal – anger and violence – by threatening to kill me.

Mr. Campbell, you should value your life more. You’re addressing some dangerous people who have killed people indiscriminately for over six years. We are still free, and they have not been able to catch us. How are you so sure that we don’t know the place in Mexico where you “vacation” and we won’t show up as we tend to do? You should chill out because in a country where killing journalists is very common, it’s not a good idea that you go about everywhere with your camera, or you’ll end up like your colleague Bradley Will. Remember him? Only this time the bullets won’t be coming from PRI goons.

For good measure, in the same statement they also throw in some homophobia, referring to myself and others as “fucking faggots,” and some sexism in denouncing the “pussy motherfucker sons of Contrainfo.”

After more anarchist condemnations of ITS came out, they responded with another statement going after insurrectionary anarchists in Mexico along with snitchjacketing the main individual behind the anarchist library and social center Biblioteca Social Reconstruir. It being an ITS statement, of course there is again a fair amount of homophobia and sexism contained within. However, in this case it also clarified an incident that occurred last year at OkupaChe, the occupied Che Guevara Auditorium on the campus of UNAM.

OkupaChe is an autonomous space for a variety of collectives and individuals that for years has been under threat and attacks from the police and university administration. On December 14, after a growing push for the eviction of the okupa, there was to be a large student assembly with OkupaChe as the first item on the agenda. At some point during the night before the assembly, an explosive device was left outside the doorway of the auditorium. It was described as a package made up of flammable material and nails, powerful enough to have started a fire and wounded people at the space as well as passers-by. Initially thought to be part of the push to evict OkupaChe, in March an ITS group mentioned “an annoying device that we left in the mousetrap called che.” In the more recent statement, ITS elaborates further, regurgitating without irony the government’s talking points about the space:

[D]id you know that one of our groups placed a bomb at the “Che Squat”?  That was done mainly because they were defaming us and we shit on those anarcho-rock star ex-con politicians and drug addicts who hang out there, because the auditorium is supposedly so legendary: a symbol of “autonomy” and the “combative” student movement of the ‘90’s.

So along with their tirades and death threats against individual anarchists, one can see that they have actually attempted to kill or injure anarchists en masse and cause damage to anarchist spaces. In preparation for this article, I reached out to anarchists in Mexico to attempt to document other ITS threats. They indicated that numerous threats from ITS have been directed against anarchist individuals and projects, but no one felt comfortable going on the record.

In case their reprehensible actions, along with threatening and attempting to kill anarchists, is not enough of a reason for anarchist disassociation from ITS, there is another cause for anarchist concern. ITS proudly proclaims it has never been caught, even though “Interpol has already collected all the information that it could from the Internet about our Mafia.” Yet is that true? If ITS is placing bombs on buses in three countries then why the subdued reaction from the State to an international terrorist movement? The English-language spokesperson for ITS calls himself Abe Cabrera. Abe is an unknown figure among radicals yet has been welcomed into some circles because of his advocacy of eco-extremism. He is open about where he lives, yet remains unmolested by the state. This is odd if Interpol is involved and when compared to the treatment members of the ELF press office received for the less-egregious acts they reported on. I am certainly not advocating that the state target him and to attempt to answer why he hasn’t been would be pure speculation. But as with many of ITS’ own claims, things do not add up.

Aragorn, a member of the Anarchist News collective, laughing on Facebook in response to ITS’ death threat against an anarchist, alongside the posting of that threat on Anarchist News, before it was removed.

Despite all of the above, the disturbing fact remains that various anarchists and anarchist projects in the U.S. continue to provide a platform to ITS. In relaying that fact to both social and insurrectionary anarchists in Mexico, they responded with bewilderment, anger and disappointment that a group that is bombing and threatening them is being propped up in the U.S. by some anarchists. This again speaks to the privilege these U.S.-based anarchists enjoy in treating ITS as an intellectual exercise while comrades in Mexico are under attack by them. Since May, these platforms have posted a slew of articles and podcasts about ITS and personally attacking anarchists who criticize ITS. In response to the ITS statement threatening to kill me, one prominent anarchist in this vein wrote, “OMG this shit is so hysterical. Wow.” And then promptly reposted it on their website. (It was later removed after numerous individuals pointed out that an anarchist site reposting death threats against anarchists was rather outrageous.) Most recently, this same grouping published Black Seed, a journal being distributed nationally that in part seeks to incorporate eco-extremism, including ITS, into green anarchism. A second edition of the eco-extremist journal Atassa is set to be published around year’s end, presumably again by Little Black Cart.

This is pointed out not with the expectation that these individuals and projects will stop supporting ITS. Rather, it is so anarchists are aware of those in our circles who are providing legitimacy and cover for a group whose sole purpose is to murder people and who have a history of targeting anarchists in particular. ITS has proclaimed itself an enemy to anarchists. Its words and deeds reaffirm that. Why, then, should our enemies be welcome or tolerated in our spaces?

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Categories: News

Federal judge again throws out Texas voter ID law

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 19:52

Federal judge again throws out Texas voter ID law | 23 Aug 2017 | A federal judge Wednesday rejected Texas' revised voter identification requirements, handing another court defeat to the state's Republicans over voting rights. Texas has spent years fighting to preserve both the voter ID law -- which was among the strictest in the U.S. -- and voting maps that were both passed by GOP-controlled Legislature in 2011. Earlier this month, a separate federal court earlier found racial gerrymandering in Texas's congressional maps and ordered two of the state's 36 voting districts to be partially redrawn before the 2018 elections.

Categories: News

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