Posts from August 2012

Show me what a police state looks like… (2012 edition, part 1 of ????)

These are from the streets of Tampa, Florida. The first is from Brian Miller, via Radley Balko (August 28, 2012) (via my cousin Emily): it’s a picture of the out-of-town police brought in to Tampa to guard the 2012 Republican National Convention. The others are from many sources, collected in Examiner.com’s article on the use of the newest technology in civilian surveillance and police weaponry in Tampa and Charlotte.

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Show me what elected government looks like…

(A photograph of a line of State Troopers in heavy body armor and riot gear.)

This is what elected government looks like.

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Show me what a police state looks like…

(A photograph of two police officers on a boat with a mounted carbine pointing off toward the top of the photo.)

This is what a police state looks like.

(A photograph of a huge crowd of bicycle cops arresting a young man in a Misfits t-shirt, while other bike cops hold onlookers off at a distance.)

* * *

From the Examiner.com article:

Officials in Tampa are preparing for mass arrests; Orient Road Jail has been vacated to ensure that the 1,700 beds can be utilized if needed. It has been reported that an Occupy Tampa protester was arrested on August 27, 2012, for refusing to remove his mask at the request of the police. Occupy Tampa has also reported that homeless people are being arrested near the convention by ‘secret service.’

Tampa received a $50 million federal grant just for security. Tampa bought high-tech security cameras, body armor, and an armored tank. During the RNC, Tampa will have boat patrols armed with fully automatic .308 caliber rifles. Trapwire surveillance systems have also been installed throughout Tampa . . . .

. . . According to 2012Tampa.com “The Convention is designated by the Department of Homeland Security as one of only four National Special Security Events (NSSE) to be held in 2012; other examples of potential NSSE events include G-8/G-20 Summits and the World Bank/IMF meetings.”

— Chris Time Steele, Examiner.com (August 27, 2012): From the DNC in Denver to the RNC in Tampa, the surveillance state grows

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(A photograph of a crowd of sheriffs walking past an MSNBC pavilion.)

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Here is what I wrote a few years ago, during the paramilitary occupations of the Twin Cities during the last Republican National Convention.

. . . Remember that so-called electoral democracy — in fact, nothing more than an imperial elective oligarchy — never means that we (meaning you and I and our neighbors) are respected as sovereign individuals or left alone to manage our own affairs. What it means is that a highly organized, heavily armed elite insists on the privilege of representing us, ruling over us, and ordering us around, on the excuse that, once every several years, we are given some minimal opportunity to select which of two tightly regimented political parties will take control of the ruling apparatus. It is, in other words, not freedom, but rather a Party State, in which we are given only the choice of which of two bureaucratic political parties might control our lives and livelihoods, with their authority supposedly justified by the ritual of elections and the mandate of popular sovereignty. And if the people (again, meaning you and I and our neighbors) should dare to think that we might challenge the authority of the regime supposedly representing us, you’ll find that it’s the people that go out the window, not the rigged electoral system or the parties’ grasp on the authority supposedly derived from those people.

— GT 2008-09-03: This is what a police state looks like (part 1 of ???)

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(A photograph of a line of police in body armor and riot gear standing in front of a group of seated, unarmed protesters in casual dress.)

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Also.

From 2008.

Shameless Self-promotion Sunday

It’s a beautiful Sunday to-day in the bright sunny South. A day for a stroll; a day for a picnic; a day for relaxing. A day for Shamelessness.

How about you? You know how this goes. So what have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

Anarchist Communications.

Here’s some things that have come across my desk this week that I’ve been meaning to post a note about.

Publications.

  • Shawn P. Wilbur, La Frondeuse Issues #3 and #4. From Shawn Wilbur: The Black and Red Feminism zine has been reborn as La Frondeuse [The Troublemaker, or The Anti-Authoritarian.] The name is borrowed from one of Séverine’s collections. Issue 3 features works by Louise Michel, Paule Mink and Séverine. Issue 4 contains works by Jenny d’Héricourt under various pen-names. The name-change comes with a bit of fancy repackaging, and will be retroactive. . . . With just a little luck, the paper edition of La Frondeuse will become the first monthly subscription title from Corvus Editions, starting this fall….

  • Roderick Long, Three from The Liberator. From Roderick Long: William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator was the premier abolitionist journal of the antebellum u.s. I’ve just posted three pieces from The Liberator: an anti-voting piece by Garrison, an anti-slavery piece by Lysander Spooner, and a report on an 1858 reform convention.

  • Fair Use Repository, Now available: The Relation of Anarchism to Organization (1899), by Fred Schulder OK, this one’s by me, so the path of communication was a relatively short one. Still, check it out: a rare individualist anarchist pamphlet from Cleveland, Ohio, printed in 1899. By Fred Schulder, an individualist anarchist noticeably influenced by Tucker, Clarence Swartz, and Henry George.[1] From the Fair Use Blog: Schulder’s essay is, in any case, an interesting attempt at discussing the possibilities of consensual social organization, and the anti-social, anti-coordinative features of State force, from a framework based on Spencerian evolutionary theory. [More here.]

  • CAL Press, Modern Slavery #1: From CAL Press: . . . The first full issue of this journal has now taken half a decade to come to fruition. It’s been a struggle on many fronts to turn the original impulse and idea into reality. But from here on there’s no turning back and we refuse to be stopped! The Modern Slavery project is a direct successor to previous C.A.L. Press projects. These include the magazine Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (published since 1980, and now produced by an independent collective since 2006), the North American Anarchist Review (published for a few years in the ’80s), the Alternative Press Review . . ., and the C.A.L. Press book publishing project . . . . The original idea for this new journal was to provide a space within the libertarian and anarchist milieu for the publication of some of the really important, critical and creative material that has too often fallen into the cracks between what will fit into the inadequate spaces available in libertarian periodicals and what has been publishable in book form. . . . The original concept for Modern Slavery included a roughly 200-page, perfect-bound oversize journal format oriented towards people who enjoy reading and who aren’t afraid to dive into longer texts that are exciting, intelligent and well-written. In order to remove any possibility or appearance of competition with the now separate and independent Anarchy magazine project, the intention was to avoid newsstand distribution, keep the graphic design simple, severely limit artwork and photos, and avoid publishing any material on the shorter side. The planned format was actually intended to be something not yet too far from what you’ll find in this first full issue. However, since the Anarchy collective has recently decided to end its newsstand distribution and shrink its circulation, Modern Slavery will instead seek (limited) newsstand distribution, include more complex graphic design and more artwork and photos, while attempting something more of a balance between longer and shorter contributions in future issues. The changes in direction will probably become more clear as future issues appear. Issue #1 includes articles by Paul Simons, François Gardyn, Henry David Thoreau, Ron Sakolsky, Voltairine de Cleyre, Massimo Passamani, Jason McQuinn, Émile Armand, and the first parts of serialized works by Karen Goaman, Wolfi Landstreicher, and Lang Gore.[2] [More here.]

CFPs.

  • InterOccupy: Science & Society Accepting Papers on Anarchism: Theory, Practice, Roots, Current Trends. From andrea @ InterOccupy: Science & Society is planning a special issue on the broad theme of anarchism, as appearing in both past and present-day political movements. . . . While we expect contributors to innovate and shape their papers according to specific interests and views, we encourage them to contact the Guest Editors (email parameters provided below), so that completeness of coverage can be achieved, and duplication avoided, to the greatest extent possible. We are looking for articles in the 7,000-8,000 word range. Projected publication is Spring 2014, so we would like to have manuscripts in hand by January 2013. Discussion about the project overall, and suggestions concerning content, should begin immediately. Note that, this being Science & Society, the top two suggested topics for contributions are, essentially, What is it that an understanding of Anarchism can contribute to the confirmation or theoretical development of Marxism? But there are a bunch of other topics that they’re throwing out for consideration in the CFP, and it may well turn out to be an interesting issue. (This being a CFP, whether it’s interesting for good, or for ill, is partly up to you….)

Events.

  1. [1]Oh well, you can’t have everything. –R.G.
  2. [2]Also there’s an article by Bob Black, but oh well, you can’t have everything. –R.G.

Shameless Self-promotion Sunday

It’s a rainy Sunday here in Auburn, but neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night should stay you from the swift completion of your appointed Shamelessness.

For me, to-day is mostly going to be a day for preparing, catching up, and staying more or less resolutely offline — catching up on some movies, then helping prepare for a yard sale in the afternoon, and then prepping some exciting stuff for the Distro — the latest issues of Market Anarchy and the Anarchist Classics Series, plus a long-needed catch-up on the many titles that have come out since last I updated here about it, plus prepping the Distro’s largest single order to date, destined for Fort Worth, Texas. And you? What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

If it moves, regulate it.

This is from the OA News from a few days ago.

. . . On another issue, AU is requiring all students, staff and faculty bringing a bicycle to campus to register it with AU’s Parking Services, Smith said.

Although people have previously been asked to register, the requirement will be more strictly enforced now, something Smith said is necessary as the campus has become more pedestrian.

We’re seeing many, many more bikes on campus and because of that we’ve got to get a handle on how many we have …

— Donathan Prater, Opelika-Auburn News, August 15, 2012

(No, you don’t.)

. . . and registering them is a good way to do that, Smith said.

— Donathan Prater, Opelika-Auburn News, August 15, 2012

(No, it isn’t.)

You register your car on campus and the same is true for bicycles.

— Donathan Prater, Opelika-Auburn News, August 15, 2012

(This is a completely specious comparison.)

Registration is free.

— Donathan Prater, Opelika-Auburn News, August 15, 2012

(Don’t count on that lasting forever.)

Smith said the number of bicycles registered with the university will help ensure that an adequate number of bicycle racks are available on campus.

— Donathan Prater, Opelika-Auburn News, August 15, 2012

The reason the University requires you to register cars is specifically to limit and control access: parking space near campus is extremely limited, it’s expensive to build more, and the parking tags regulate who can park in which zones. None of these rationales apply to bicycles on campus, no matter how many there may be. The idea that you just have to know the exact number of bicycles might be brought in at any given time is inane. If you’re seeing many, many more bikes on campus, then evidently you have some idea of the order of magnitude you’re dealing with, and if you want to tell whether you need to install more bike racks, you can do this pretty easily by looking at the bike racks and seeing whether or not they’re full up all the time, or by watching for bikes chained up to lightpoles when the racks are all full. If you see these problems, you need more bike racks. If you don’t, you don’t. The cynic in me would point out that one reason to enforce this policy is that it’s a way of making up for the declining revenues from on-campus cars, by extracting a little more revenue from the bicycles they are going to seize and impound. But really this, and a lot of other policies controlling bicycling that are justified by the same kind of specious comparisons to motor-cars, seems to be driven, more than anything, by a reflexive belief if there’s ever a lot of any damn thing at all, it’s a Problem that has to be counted out and controlled; that any and every important part of civic life, or campus life, must be registered with, and legible to, the controlling authorities. There is no reason at all to enforce this policy, other than an irrational compulsion to control anything that moves in your field of vision. In practice, the effect of the policy will be to waste students’ time, to cost students money, to punish bicyclists, to impound bikes, and to make campus less accessible to the rest of the community. (A lot of us have bikes. But we’re not eligible to register them.)

Also.