From Anarchist News
From Anarchist News
From the Animal Liberation Front
On October 7th, an individual working alone emptied a mink shed at the Myhre Mink Farm on Highway 16 in Grand Meadow, Minnesota. At least 250 fur-bearers ran to the lake directly behind the property. These animals needed very little help to freedom. As the cages were being unlatched, many of the individuals pawed it open themselves to make a dash. They are not domesticated and their spirits are not broken. Many of these mink screeched loudly at the sight of human hands, having only known the murderous hands of Einar Myhre. The only thing keeping these animals imprisoned is our own fear and a simple latch on a cage. A wild existence for them is only feet away. Make animal liberation a reality.
This is the ninth U.S. fur farm raid of the year. This level of activity has not been seen for nearly twenty years.
To the fur farmers of the world, we have nothing to say to you. We offer only this prayer: The rest is secrets. Silence now. If night has fallen, sleep well.
From the Animal Liberation Front
Two windows smashed, in addition to locks glued, at Ribnick Fur and Leather on the night of August 22.
William Ribnick, be warned: As long as you continue to profit off of the captivity, electrocution, and gassing of wild animals, we will be back time and time again.
We would like to dedicate this action to [Marius] Mason, serving a 22 year prison sentence for trying to stop the real criminals.
Animal Liberation Front
From Three Way Fight
The following report comes from some comrades in Minneapolis:
On November 16, 2012, David Irving, renowned Holocaust denier and Hitlerite disciple (though he prefers the phrase ‘controversial historian’) attempted to hold an event on his speaking tour, “Hitler and I,” at the Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. The Twin Cities, which has decades of successful antifascist and anti-racist organizing behind it, was ready for him. In a display of mass, disciplined, and coordinated action, we stood in defense of our fellow human beings.
Irving’s events have long been focused on four goals: the talks provide Irving with a venue at which to profit heavily from his work, both the books and movies he sells as well as from ticket sales for the event. Additionally, and of greater concern, these events legitimize fascism in the public eye, provide networking opportunities for local white supremacists and fascists, and provide infusions of cash to local fascist groups. The antifascists of Minneapolis and St. Paul recognize the real and present danger such events pose to our communities and loved ones, and organized to disrupt Irving’s event.
Having gotten past the lobby and up five floors of hotel elevators, we entered the room approximately 60 strong. While some antifascists videotaped attendees to help us identify local fascists, others seized the opportunity to destroy his books and dvds, depriving both him and his fascist sympathizers of much-needed funds for their violence and hatred.
Irving and his cronies are attempting to research members of the antifa crowd, posting their photos on his page, comparing to Facebook and other social and local media, and offering rewards. Their attempt to intimidate the people on the basis of their hateful property points out the common collusion of the fascists with law enforcement and the principle of capitalist profit. But not to worry: for the most part, their ‘intelligence’ is at the quality you’d expect of people often referred to as ‘boneheads,’ and has amused the local community, which long ago overcame its fear of fascists.
Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society.
Political repression is also happening here in the Twin Cities as local organizers from Occupy Homes MN are currently facing riot charges for defending our neighbors from foreclosure. From the Midwest to the Northwest, repression will be met with resistance and solidarity.
From Minneapolis Space Liberation
On January 28th over 50 people met at Stevens Square Park in Minneapolis and marched to an abandoned historic building for a dance party and foodshare. This event coincided with a similar event in Oakland, and other solidarity actions around the country.
People blocked 3 lanes of traffic en route to the downtown Minneapolis building where they dismantled the plywood from the front doors, before seizing the government repossessed church. Having stood vacant for a decade, the neglected building was cleaned and redecorated for the purpose of this day.
Although there was a police presence, no arrests were made. The group marched safely back to Stevens Square after the dance party.
This occupation was temporary as it was a capacity-building action to grow the possibility of a squatting movement in Minneapolis as well as to inform the public of neglected buildings that the government has left to rot. As their movement gains strength, occupiers plan to indefinitely hold a building in the future and turn it into a social center/community space.
From Twin Cities Indymedia
On October 9th, 11th, 20th, and 22nd, 2011, noise demonstrations emerged from the Occupy Minnesota encampment to march on the Hennepin County prison in solidarity with the California Hunger Strike.The march was organized by local anarchists and carried a message of attack against all prisons and systems of social control.
The U.S. uses prisons and policing as a failed “solution” to social problems.As a result, our communities are being destroyed. In the past two decades, the number of people in prison in the U.S. increased 400%. Prisons are filled with 68% people of color.These statistics can’t even begin to convey the misery that a prison society entails.
In neighborhoods where people are most affected by mass imprisonment and policing, we see the direct impact of our annual $50 billion investment in prisons and policing: closed schools, homelessness, basic health care is out of reach, and poverty remains a reality in the richest country on earth.
Supporting prisoner-led resistance throughout the state of CA or in any prison across the country is about supporting those who are living and fighting through the most expansive and sophisticated prison system in world history. The fact that people can resist at all from inside US prisons is a testament to the struggle of life against the forces of death and disappearance. This deserves our solidarity, dedication and support.
As George Jackson said:
“The point is…in the face of what we confront, to fight and win. That’s the real objective: not just to make statements, no matter how noble but to destroy the system that oppresses us. By any means available to us. And to do this, we must be connected, in contact and communication with those in struggle on the outside. We must be mutually supporting because we’re all in this together. It’s all one struggle at base.”
Although the Hunger Strike is paused while the participants evaluate a new offer from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in regards to their demands, it is clear that this strike is only one of many ongoing acts of resistance against the Prison Industrial Complex. From Georgia <http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/01/naacp_retaliatory_abuse_of_georgia_prison_inmates.html> to Pelican Bay, the struggle continues.
Here in the Twin Cities, we march in support of:
-Prison rebels in California (currently on a hiatus from their hunger strike: http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com)
-Local friends and comrades arrested at an anti-foreclosure demonstration on October 20th . (http://www.occupymn.org)
-All targets of state repression and the prison-industrial complex, including two Somali women recently convicted in Minneapolis, of 15 counts of “material support for terrorism” for sending blankets and food money to their homeland. (http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/132239033.html)
During the demonstrations, we can often see the raised fists and waves from inside the jail and juvenile detention center. Our response is more resistance: Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons!
The noisy, march of 50-100 people traveled from Chi-Lake to Lyn-Lake and back again, making a stop at the police station at Nicollet and 31st. Although the cops were caught off guard, eventually a few squad cars and two bike cops trailed – but the march picked up more passersby than pigs. The militant anti-police message was well received by bystanders on Lake Street, much more than, say, the average antiwar march in Minneapolis. Nobody was arrested and the event ended after a little over two hours. No one organization was behind the unpermitted action.
From the Animal Liberation Front
A hunter’s stand has been destroyed.
Because of this simple, low risk action, thinking, feeling beings will survive next hunting season.
There is no excuse for inaction. Get out and fight!
Enemies of the animals: Stop or be stopped!
Animal Rights Militia
From Áŋpaó Dúta 4
In the early hours of November 9, 2009, the museum at the Whitestone Hill Battlefield Site in southeastern North Dakota was gutted by flames. The museum was built at the site of the Whitestone Massacre, where General Alfred Sully and the U.S. Cavalry murdered 750 Dakota people. Until recently, re-enactors were employed by the site, including soldiers who performed military drills.
The state fire marshal said that the fire that destroyed the museum was intentionally set. The building contained no electricity. The locks on the museum doors were cut, and artifacts had been removed. The building was completely in ruins except for a few stone walls.
After the imprisonment and exile of Dakotas in Mnisota following the 1862 war, Gen. Sully and the U.S. Cavalry was commissioned for the genocidal extermination of Dakota people both in the border of Mnisota and beyond. On September 3, 1863, the Sixth Iowa Cavalry found a camp of Dakota and Lakota people on Whitestone Hill. Sully and his troops encircled the camp before launching an attack.
Many women and children were murdered or captured in the initial attack. The Dakota warriors of the village, including Inkpaduta, rallied in defense against their attackers. The warriors held their line long enough to allow the surviving women and children to escape. They were then hotly pursued until after dark, exchanging gunfire only long enough to keep the Cavalry at bay. Sully set up camp on Whitestone Hill and sent troops out over the next two days to hunt down fleeing Dakotas. He ordered the destruction of all homes, food caches, and supplies of Dakota people, including over 400,000 pounds of buffalo meat.
While 72 U.S. soldiers had been killed by the Dakota defense, an estimated 100 to 300 Dakota and Lakota warriors were killed. The remainder was 750 murdered women and children. The hundreds of captured Dakotas were exiled with the other survivors of 1862 to Fort Thompson at Crow Creek, South Dakota. While Sully’s massacre dealt a massive blow to our people, it did not temper our resistance on the plains.
The North Dakota State Historical Society says it plans to rebuild the stone-walled museum as soon as possible. But funds need to be allocated, and construction might take a couple of years.
Re-enacted military drills are no longer performed at the site, and the museum is no longer able to stand in celebration of the U.S. massacre of 750 Dakota people. All that remains are the scorched black walls of another icon of imperialism.
From Bash Back News
On the night of February 10th crews of anarcha-queers glamdalized a army reserve complex, an army recruiting center and two navy recruiting centers in the Twin Cities with posters that read “Queers Out of the Military! (We Need You in the Streets.) BASH BACK!“ with a picture of Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson and a comic of a soldier saying, “What? But I feel so Gay Liberated when I kill people in the third world!”
We carried this out for many reasons.
For one, it was fun.
Secondly, the posters are purty and we wanted to share them with the world.
But most importantly, we are utterly disgusted by assimilationist queers who want to join in the imperialist pillaging and occupation of other peoples’ lands and commit atrocities on behalf of the state and gross corporations.
Obama potentially abolishing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the near future and the clamoring of mainstream GLBT groups for that sort of “equality” makes us want to vomit.
Queers (and everyone else!) should be working to smash the state not join in military conquest and occupation.
Love and Rage,
an autonomous cell of Bash Back! Twin Cities
From Twin Cities Indymedia
Sorry we’ve been too busy to write. We’ve got three more actions to catch up on…
On the afternoon of October 31st, 2009 — a night that would go down in Bash Back! TC history as “Halloqueen”– a crew of radical queers dressed in our most fabulous costumes and convened at the Lake Street light rail station. Scary costumes abounded, with folks dressed as clipboard-wielding HRC representatives, Hillary Clinton/Barrack Obama worshipping liberal lesbians, and camo-clad DADT military gays!
Once our posse assembled, we boarded a train bound for the most terrifying place in the Midwest -the Mall of America- the setting for a racistly named event called “Nick or Treat” put on annually by Rosie O’Donnells childrens media conglomerate Nickelodeon.
When we arrived, we found that we weren’t on the invite list and that this safe-haven of American capitalism was filled to capacity with mega corporations, consumers, assimilationists, tourists, & security. But that didn’t stop us. We pushed through the crowds avoiding security and found ourselves peering over the fifth floor balcony.
From there, we threw down thousands of fliers which condemned consumerism and outlined the link between capitalism and the oppression of trans people, people of color, womyn, and queer people to the massive assembly of people on the first floor. Thinking this was a “planned event” folks began pushing and shoving like greedy Wall Street bankers to get their hands on a flier. Here’s the text from one of the leaflets:
Queers continually have our desires, bodies, and genders policed in public spaces and privatized sites of capitalism. Queer and trans folks -especially queer and trans people of color- not only face queer-bashing but are also targeted and brutalized by police on a regular basis. Aside from targeting queers who are out in public, the state continues to raid gay bars and other queer spaces.
There are no safe spaces except those temporary sites of community that we struggle to create and defend for ourselves. This is one of those spaces.
Liberation Not Assimilation – Queers Bash Back!
It wasn’t long before a security guard got ahold of a flier and called over the radio for “heightened security, and that there be a “manhunt” (or transhunt, if you’d rather) for the individuals who threw this disgusting literature.”
But we had been braving heteronormative society for a lifetime and the bitter cold weather all night, so we weren’t going to let a bunch of mall cops get the best of us. Using our charm, our costumes, and our cunning to our advantage, we escaped security checks and boarded the train towards downtown.
Upon departure, we brought out a boombox and massive amounts of glitter, and convened a dance party. While it started off as just our queer crew dancing –and giving MetroTransit riders their money’s worth for once— things eventually spun out of control and turned into a full-fledged train party, as astonished passengers joined in, showing us their best dance moves. It wasn’t long before the train floor was covered in glitter confetti, the boom box was playing at full volume, folks were singing along, and passengers were hanging from the rails dancing.
When we arrived back at the Lake Street station, we parted from the worked up light rail passengers — who were still dancing, shook some of the glitter out of our hair, and said our goodbyes…
On Sunday Nov. 15th Bash Back! Twin Cities participated in our own way in a march and demonstration put on by Join The Impact Twin Cites – a reformist front group founded and controlled by straight folks from one of the local Trotskyist groups (Socialist Alternative). The rally and march was called “Legalize Love” and began with speakers in front of the government center and later marched to the Bedlam theatre for more speeches and slam poetry. Its fliers boasted “inspiring report backs from the National Equality March”, a questing asking readers if they are “Outraged by the vote to ban same sex marriage in Maine?”, and an appropriated quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. Being tired of the way gay marriage has co-opted our identities and utterly sick of this new trend to assimilate the Civil Rights Movement, we decided to attend to make it known that; Legalizing straight family models and having them reflected in our own families is NOT at all conclusive to gay rights.
We burst onto the scene in the middle of their pre-march rally in a pink and black bloc, and were immediately approached by one of the speakers who said they wanted us to make our point on the megaphone because the “movement is severely lacking the voices of womyn, people of color, & trannys”; when this speaker approached one of the straight organizers about that possibility – that organizer reportedly said we could not and called us fascists, and “a shame to ‘our’ movement”.
After the rally, people began assembling to march. As the march proceeded, and chants became increasingly assimilationist, we responded to their chants with our own such as “Smash the church, smash the state, don’t get married, fornicate!”, “Gay marriage/gay rights… Same Struggle? Not quite”, & “Queers who seek equality with straights lack ambition”.
While chanting “Queers don’t deny it, Stonewall was a fucking riot” one persyn turned around and screamed “shut the fuck up you backwards fucks, you’re hurting the cause!!!” at us.
The police were blaring their sirens at us and told the marshals that we could only take one lane. Bash Back! was told by the marshals to get out of the other lanes but we held our ground even as the police tried to herd us into one lane using their squad cars. As police presence grew we changed the chant to “Queers don’t deny it, stonewall was a police riot!.” We wish it was done in irony, but once the cops were trying harder to suppress the march the group started chanting “Show me what democracy looks like, This is what democracy looks like” to which we agreed later we should’ve responded “shut the fuck up you backwards fucks” but instead countered with “show me what a police state looks like, THIS is what a police state looks like.”
As we approached the Bedlam, police began blaring their sirens, and cutting into our march. At this point the main marshal (one of the straight organizers from the Trotskyist group) ran to the front and diverted the march from the street over a curbed shortcut which left a queer persyn in a wheelchair attending alone with Bash Back! in the streets to go the long way around, not only leaving that persyn behind but leaving them vulnerable to cars and arrest in the street. Near the end, police came up to us in the streets and told us that back a ways someone’s knee had given out and they needed help getting up and getting to the train station. The police officer, then looked at one white persyn and said “you should hurry, this is a rough neighborhood, she might get robbed” (referring to Minneapolis’ largest Somali neighborhood), at this point some Bash Back!ers began calling the officer and his comments racist and classist. Unsurprisingly, liberal gays attempted to interrupt us by saying “he’s on our side.”
Once at the Bedlam we walked inside to find a white persyn on stage repeating “We shall overcome, We shall overcome.” At that point we decided we couldn’t take any more of this “Gay is the new Black” cultural misappropriation bullshit, and left.
During and after the march, a few liberals tried to start criticizing our views by starting with the premise that “we have the same goals”, and that “although marriage is a terrible institution, expanding it is a step in the right direction”. We also argued with them that productive dialogue does not take place in the streets while being surrounded and “supported” by cops. We passed out some literature explaining our views which some people (mostly organizers) tore up and threw on the ground but most people read eagerly and with interest…
We’ve thought it necessary to take our collective rage to the streets more than once in the past few months. On Wednesday, December 2nd, hundreds of individuals convened on Loring Park in Minneapolis in response to Barack Obama’s announcement of a troop surge in Afghanistan. Autonomous queerz from Bash Back! Twin Cities along with other individuals representing various groups then marched middle of rush hour traffic, chanting and dancing and ignoring the honks from angry drivers. Hundreds of people took over the streets of downtown Minneapolis to disrupt “business as usual” and to oppose escalation of war. Bash Back! Twin Cities put out an anti-authoritarian bloc callout to “Bring Sexy Back”:
We’re Bringing Sexy Back: A Call for an Anti-Authoritarian Bloc at the March Against the Troop Surge
The Anti-War movement in the U.S. today is a pathetic and polite plea to the rulers of the nation to listen to their conscience and pray for peace. Enough pandering to liberal politicians who talk about change and hope but then uphold the status quo once they are elected. Enough standing on the sidewalk in orderly rallies waving peace signs.
Enough permitted marches that do nothing but express opinions that those in power ignore. We are five years into this war and the same old tactics are not getting us anywhere. People have dropped out of the movement in droves because of the ineffectiveness of these tactics. If we want to build an effective movement that could actually end the wars and infuse some life and energy into the corpse of the U.S. Anti-War movement, we have to get more creative, disruptive, and empowering. Enough is Enough!
In order to end the war, we have to act from the premise that corporations and politicians do not give a shit whether we want the war or not. The only way the war will end is if we – not the politicians and corporations– decide to end it. Politicians and corporations care about two things: power and money. History is quite clear; those in power will end the war only when it becomes unviable due to public unrest and direct action. We have the power to end the wars as soon as we come together to exercise that power.
We at Bash Back! are still optimistic about the opportunities for queers to bring down the military (and the state and capitalism along with it…) from the inside out (see Bash Back! Communiqué #666), but we are not content to sit back and wait for the cumming insurrection.
We are asking our fellow anti-authoritarians in the Twin Cities to come together to build community in the streets and bash back against all systems of oppression. Let’s up the sexy, fun, mischievous militancy in this town and the anti-war movement in general.
No war but the social war.
We also brought a mobile sound system called the Funk Mobile, which kicked out some amazing beats like Testament’s remix of “Run This Town”. Bash Back! Twin Cities had a militant presence in the march, interrupting liberal chants with revolutionary classics like “Bring the War Home!” and other radical chants and cheers. We helped keep folks together, calm and collected, taking up as much of the streets as we could despite police trying to break up the crowd and herd us over with police horses. We were somewhat on edge because of police provocateurs in the black block (among other things, the provocateurs detoured the march and asked us if we had hammers and encouraged us to go break bank windows) but we kept their interference to a minimum and made sure that others were aware of them and didn’t say or do anything that would be obviously incriminating.
As the march came to 3rd Avenue and 10th Street, several dozen individuals formed a “soft blockade” by sitting in the intersection and unfurling a banner. Eleven people were arrested and the march continued in different directions. No one affiliated with Bash Back! was arrested. Bash Back! played a crucial role in making jail solidarity happen that night for those arrested. We put out a call for jail support and went to get food, drinks, and warm clothes and then we waited outside for our friends to be released as it began to snow. 9 of the 11 folks arrested were released that night were charged with misdemeanor unlawful assembly and released on bail. The other 2 were released the following day. Aside from having their cuffs on too tight and one persyn having their chin slammed in the pavement during their arrest and the police interrogating folks individually for being anarchists, all those arrested were ok and are doing fine now…
BB! Twin Cities
From Twin Cities Indymedia
My, how this month has flown by! I have been so busy bringing the queer insurrection; I’ve hardly had time to write everything down. Where to begin…
When the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) held its annual Gala Dinner and Silent Auction Saturday, Sept, 12th, autonomous queerz Bash Back: Twin Cities, The Revolting Queers, and the Twin Cities Avengers were there to welcome them even though we had not been invited and had no intention of paying the $200 entrance fee.
This year’s Gala was themed “Speak the Truth”, a truth which congratulated rich gay celebrities and gave them expensive “visibility” awards, while Duanna Johnson, Leeneshia Edwards, Tiffany Berry, & the thousands of other murdered transwomen didn’t even receive an honorable mention…
It was clear from the bourgeois atmosphere, and the serious lack of dancing that this Gala was meant to be some sort of overpriced support group for whiney elite gays and lesbians, to express their dreams of a bigger prison industrial complex (hate crime legislation), heteronormativity (gay marriage), and more state militarism (don’t ask, don’t tell).
But Bash Back! Twin Cities, was fed up with the ridiculous state-lovin’ of the HRC lobby and its distance from our own lived realities, so we decided to do what all rich queerz do in a time of crisis; we got gay married! The Gala had been billed as a “festive, all styles welcome event” so we dressed in our hottest wedding attire and stormed into the dinner.
Despite heckling from HRC security, we stood our ground and held a brief marriage ceremony and handed out leaflets inside. Before the HRC corporate hacks could push us out the door we were able to read the following vows:
“Do you, Bash Back! Twin Cities, take one another to be insurrectionary radical queerz, to resist and to liberate ourselves from all systems of domination, for glitter and for cupcakes, for unicorns and for rainbows, in genderless bathrooms and in the streets, in love and in rage, from this dance party forward?”
“We do!” We held our wedding reception dance party outside and consumed our marital cupcakes to the beats of Janet Jackson, Cher and Lady Gaga. We look forward to the HRC inviting us to its annual Gala next year for our one year anniversary.
On October 11th we glamdalized a bridge the night before it was used for a local “equality” rally in conjunction with the National March for Equality in DC. The bridge was beautified with phrases such as “Liberation Not State Sanction – No To Heteronormative Assimilation”. During the rally, we attached a banner to the bridge that read simply “Liberation not Assimilation!” This action was not only meant to disrupt the complacent rally for (rich, white, homonormative) gay and lesbian “rights” but to also coincide with National Coming Out Day.
Bash Back! Twin Cities resists National Coming Out Day because it is reformist and forces the production of gender-deviant subjects into rigid identity categories that do not disrupt the regime of white heteronormativity. BB! Twin Cities asks the questions “Who gets to ‘come out’ and “why are there so few identity choices when you do”? BB! Twin Cities rejects the idea that your sexual practices equals your sexual identity and asserts that any group that thinks this is true needs to check its cultural privilege. We disagree with mainstream LGBT movements in general because they reinstate systems of domination through their state-sponsored tactics and politics and frankly their inefficiency to yield material change is simultaneously enraging and a snooze cruise.
On Saturday October 17th, Bash Back! Twin Cities organized a radical queer bloc to confront a racist neo-Nazi rally in Austin, a small town in Southeastern Minnesota. Aside from making the counter-demonstration more fierce and fabulous, the National Socialist Movement Twin Cities Unit Leader Corporal Erik Flann was successfully glamified with a green glitter bomb on their disgusting Nazi uniform.
While one of the Nazis hit a demonstrator’s hand and broke their camera and another showed up to the rally with a stun gun, baton, and body armor – not surprisingly – the police were only interested in going after counter-demonstrators while protecting the Nazi scum.
The police indiscriminately pepper-sprayed the crowd a few times and made three arrests. The first person arrested was an Austin local who tripped over the Nazi’s loud-speaker while the crowd was trying to move forward. The second, was a Bash Back! member who police allege threw a glitter bomb at Eric. The third, was a Bash Back! member, and was arrested for simply telling police that he was not a “ma’am”, that he was a transboy, when an officer asked him to “Get back ma’am”.
he two Bash Back! members arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly, and obstruction of legal process. We need your help to raise money to cover their legal expenses. Please check out the support website we set up at: http://bashbacklegal.weebly.com/
Love and Rage,
Bash Back! Twin Cities
From Twin Cities Indymedia
dusk on a december tuesday, barely warm enough to emerge from our (barely) heated abodes. the suited democrats descend on the swanky minneapolis club, expecting a calm entrance to susan gaertner’s birthday fundraiser for her gubernatorial campaign, but alas! the iron gates are surrounded by the rabble, an angry mob of the dispossessed and their defenders. the suits push through, ignoring our festival. these ruffians, armed with a sound system and raucous tunes, cast a spell of momentary liberation outside this fortress of the rich. the panopticon watches: the ubiquitous surveillance camera and two cops guard the door, allowing only the monied minneapolites through. someone tries to deliver a singing telegram to gaertner, but they are turned away. a banner is dropped from a parking garage, but quickly removed.
the crowd exudes life and rage, in stark contrast to the drab professionals waiting for busses, and the ominously shiny skyscrapers. we are dancing and hollering and watching each other’s backs. the filth drift in, tension rises but the unbirthday celebration continues. one pig emerges from the building, tells us to shut off the sound system, but he is alone and surrounded by people chanting “drop the charges!” the music stops for a moment but soon begins anew. an unmarked van full of pigs arrives, then a “booking van” parks nearby. the filth pull out zip ties, itching to fill their arrest quota, but still they make no move. they order us to disperse, and we move the dance party around the corner. they repeat the dispersal order: we repeat the move.
for once, a relief from the drudgery of recuperation! so many put in chains by the police state, and so many years faced in jail. for a community struck by infiltration and repression, we managed to prove ourselves unintimidated. if the state means to crush our resistance through their legal system, we mean to struggle ever harder. gaertner may try to ride into the governor’s office on the waves of felony convictions, but we plan on exploiting every point of tension we can, turning the cracks in society into ruptures.
DEVASTATE the avenues of the rich! DEPOSE all politicians! vote YES on CIVIL WAR.
From Becoming Riot
A haze still hangs over the events surrounding the first day of the RNC. What is certain: broken windows, smashed cop cars, blockades, and cops and right-wing vigilantes beaten to the ground by black-clad thugs. We took part in these events on September 1st, when at least two black blocs flooded into the streets, shutting down roadways and wrecking parts of downtown St. Paul. Such intense conflict hasn’t been observed at demonstrations in the US since at least the start of the anti-war mobilizations or possibly since the mythologized Seattle black bloc. We refuse to let the actions that defined that day be erased or mystified by the media.
A large group leaves the state capitol equipped with PA systems and led by the colorful coeds of “Funk the War.” The crowd walks straight into a line of bike cops; it is still weak. They are hosed in pepper spray and stripped of their dignity. We are separated from our comrades and left to wander the surreal territories of a city where the state has materialized. Every block a squad of riot cops —some tense and shaking, others confused and afraid. We find our friends; we are powerful again. Soon after, a black bloc emerges from the crowd, ready to unleash its hate. With physical barriers present we continue to move –within the confines we find mobility.
It’s been far too long since the black mask has corresponded to rioting in this country. Our tried and true tactic, our insidious uniform, has been co-opted by capital, regurgitated as a mere fashion symbol. Something for today’s disempowered youth to splay across the internet in their false communities as a false declaration of rage. That day when our festive button down shirts disappeared to reveal the classic team color of the anti-everything squad, the kid’s eyes blinked in confusion. The black mask is not something to play dress up in. To take back the mask means to actualize our desires, blood and glass and a street filled with us.
A hammer cracks two windows, and a good citizen dashes from the sidewalk in pursuit. He grabs the young man with his right hand, a “Let Our Soldiers Win!” sign in the other. He wants to be a cop, a hero, but he’s made a mistake. This isn’t a peace march; this is the thrashing body of a wrecking machine. The man is rushed from behind, knocking him off balance just long enough for someone to slide their arms around him. He receives a swift kick to the side, and his do-gooder momentum is redirected into the pavement, dropping him like a dead weight.
There are those who speak of property damage as a tactic, as an implement in the activist’s toolbox. We are not among them. They’d like to coerce us into this utilitarian relationship through the edifice of politics; we’d prefer not to. The rioting on Monday, despite its limitations, materialized our inclinations as exploited and alienated individuals to gouge at the eyes of both capital and politics. We make these attacks because we wish to improve our conditions immediately and to do so in way that violates the peace treaty signed by the managers of politics.
Our joy and malice intertwine as another crowd fuses with us and becomes-rioting. Desire moves our appendages, and objects are released through the imaginary field constructed between law and order. Someone runs on top of a moving police car and exposes that the state too is made of sinew and fiber. In moments a lonely police car is located, and with force a body stomps a perfect “pop” through its windshield. Each of us sheds our polite veneer, and we reveal the social conflict that is the shared experience of our conditions.
We stress that no one has felt a comparable pleasure in America in the last five years. No amount of bodily fluid, mixed with syzurp, swirled together to the sound of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” could concentrate the joy felt when stones collapsed bank windows. Ecstasy was the vandalized cop car. Music was the hissing tire punctures. Glee was the foot inserted into the gendarme’s paunch. Like we freed our companions from the police’s grip, our collective force will rip words from restrictive reference. From here on, beauty, decadence, and orgy can only connote immediate destruction.
The management of Funk the War begins to recognize our intentions of commandeering their decomposing endeavor. Our momentum necessarily severs from any objectives outlined in any spokes council. Aspiring bureaucrats shed tears for their failure to regulate, and the politics of impotency reveals an impotency of politics. With unabashed sincerity and intensity, the dead weight is cast aside, holding only its precarious career and a falsified notion of failure within its palms. The corpse of activism begs for rejuvenation, but to no avail.
The blockades were never enough for us, and judging them solely on their own terms, they were a failure. The delegates weren’t blocked and the convention occurred with little disruption. But to even accept the goal of shutting down the convention requires accepting the discourse of power the RNC itself represents. It is a gathering of figureheads, nothing more. It is not a strike against the heart of the system; at best it is a site where we can manifest social war. The overt objective of the mobilization was always a bit banal, and luckily most saw through this thin veneer and prepared for street conflict instead.
Cameras surround us on all sides, independent, corporate, freelance, whatever. They’re all there, snapping away, reducing beautiful moments to trite representations for use by the police or for sale to newspapers and magazines. The joy of vicarious violence is what they seek, either for their own careers or for the public they sedate. After broken windows, smashed cars, and burning residue, like lapdogs they ask, “But what do you want?” The media finds us interesting, but we find them disgusting.
What those in a protest march want: a clear message, written on signs, to be transmitted to the media, which then represents it to the public vis-à-vis the news. What those in a blockade want: a collective message, performed through an action, captured by the media, which then represents it to the public. In both these cases, whether they are symbolic or concrete actions, whether the medium is the transparent screen or whether it is the message itself, the logic of the media is unquestioned. The media is but one weapon in the democratic arsenal of repression. It promises us the ability to “get the message out,” to communicate. But this is an illusion. Stuck somewhere between clips from Iraq, quirky news anchors, and human interest stories, our “message” lingers momentarily as merely another piece of information to form an opinion about. To act as a social force in the street is not to give the media a clear message, rather it is to purposefully disrupt the chain of messaging that is embodied in the protest-media-audience script. Our message is a code hidden within our form, pressed against the media itself, subverting its smooth capture of our desires. We have neither words nor deeds to be represented, only representations themselves to be corrupted. When the medium destroys the message, our message can only work by destroying its medium.
One lone cop, albeit a large one, has the gall to grab one of us. One of them and fifty of us. After countless experiences of being on the defensive at demonstrations or simply on the streets of our hometowns, we will take advantage of any opening we find. A hooligan sneaks up behind the cop catching him with a well-placed kick between the legs and runs back into the loving arms of the mob. As the cop releases a shower of pepper spray into the crowd, another person surges forth, body checking the cop with a flying leap. The pig hits the ground, and our comrade is freed.
Our milieu has always found ways to provide material and legal support for comrades imprisoned by the state. Support in this manner is always commendable, but by itself fails to capture the true nature of solidarity. This is because solidarity cannot be narrowly defined within the legal sphere. When any comrade in struggle is arrested, their capture must be seen as a strategy of state repression to inhibit the wide scope of social revolution. Thus, the closer we come to complete societal transformation, the more the state will use draconian laws, like anti-terrorism legislation, to imprison us all. The only way to break this violent cycle is to continue our jailed comrade’s struggle to its end. Hence, solidarity means attack, attacking every vestige of the system that collaborated to lock our friends behind bars. These attacks are to continue until everyone is liberated from their cages, whether cubicle or cell. From this perspective, providing the sledgehammers to turn banks into debris is equivalent to filling a commissary with chainsaws for penitentiary revolt. Just like the greatest possible gift to a friend is the destruction of all authority, the best support for a comrade in jail is the destruction of every prison.
On Monday, we catapulted off of expensive cars that propelled us through department store windows. When we finally landed, sneakers-first onto a police officer’s frown, the state’s precautionary plans were overturned like the dumpsters that crowded the streets of St. Paul. We aren’t passive victims, nor are their tactics surprising to us. The forces of order prepared quite well for this engagement, arming themselves with every technique at their disposal. The state of exception came to bear as the National Guard was deployed to work in tandem with the police, guarding the jail and attacking demonstrators. But naked force was also complemented by juridical repression. The “conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism” charges are no haphazard application or abuse of the law; they are its logical extension.
Many would like to use the events of September 1st to gain credibility for or to invigorate their historical reenactivist societies, be it recreating the ‘60s or the anti-globalization protests. It’s time to bury the myths of Chicago and Seattle once and for all. The demonstration form is a suffocating cocoon from which we need to break free. We were not in St. Paul for the illusory goals some had swallowed wholesale. We don’t give a fuck about a summit, but we can use it as a springboard, parasitically sucking life and leaving behind anemic remains. We were there this time because we do not yet have the force to manifest such conflict outside of the context of mass mobilizations. One of our goals is to take all of the force directed against false epicenters of power and redirect it into social conflicts that have the actual potential to disrupt the flows of this system. We are abandoning the vapid discourse of protest towards a concrete offensive in the social war. We refuse to run in circles anymore.
To my left there is a swarm of bodies destroying a police cruiser, and to my right, others completely ruining the exterior of a bank. Magically, bricks are removed from one side of the building and returned through another.