Posts tagged Mike Gogulski

Wednesday Lazy Linking

Reprint: Report on Slovak State Police attacks against Mike Gogulski

From Mike Gogulski (2009-10-22): Report on Slovak State Police attacks against Mike Gogulski, 5 September 2009. Mike has asked that this information be republished as widely as possible in order to spread the word about it, and, I presume, in order to make it impossible to suppress the information by suppressing a single distribution point. I lazy-linked the story as soon as possible after Mike let me know about it; now, in the interest of spreading out the record as far as possible, I will also reprint it in full. If you have a blog, you might do the same. Here you go:

To all who pledged to support me in this matter, I would ask that you republish the below information as broadly as possible, and without delay.

Also available in MS Word 2003, PDF, and MS-Word exported filtered HTML formats.

REVISION HISTORY

  • v1.0 – 20090906
    • Original version, real names, episodes 1-9, 6 image attachments
  • v1.1 – 20090908
    • Name labels harmonized in preparation for generation of 2 versions
    • Forked into full and no-names versions
    • Minor cleanup throughout
    • Added WITNESS
    • Added offense “Abuse of Authority by Public Official”
    • Introduction added to Episode 1, including first interaction with WITNESS
    • Episode 9 expanded
    • Episodes 10 and 11 added
    • Catalogue of injuries added
    • Tables of contents and figures added
  • V1.2 – 20091022
    • Release version, with relevant, known names

TABLE OF CONTENTS

REVISION HISTORY.. 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS. 2

CAST.. 3

LOCATIONS. 4

CATALOGUE OF INJURIES (created 8 September 2009) 5

EPISODE 1 – Saturday, 5 September 2009, inside building, BAR.. 6

EPISODE 2 – 5 September 2009, courtyard, BAR.. 7

EPISODE 2 – 5 September 2009, courtyard, BAR.. 8

EPISODE 3 – 5 September 2009, courtyard, BAR.. 9

EPISODE 4 – RESIDENCE.. 12

EPISODE 5 – POLICE STATION.. 13

EPISODE 6 – POLICE STATION.. 14

EPISODE 7 – POLICE STATION.. 15

EPISODE 8 – POLICE STATION.. 16

EPISODE 9 – POLICE STATION, Kramáre hospital, RESIDENCE.. 17

EPISODE 10 – RESIDENCE – Saturday, 5 September 2009. 18

EPISODE 11 – RESIDENCE – Sunday, 6 September 2009. 19

EPISODE 12 – RESIDENCE, POLICE STATION – Monday, 7 September 2009. 20

CAST

Michael Jude Gogulski – Bar patron, victim, complainant, victim, prisoner, victim, patient, witness.

WITNESS – Female who frequents/works at BAR. Brunette, short hair, late 20s to early 30s. Knows me by sight and by name.

BARTENDER – Early-30s female, black hair. Bartender/supervisor at BAR.

ATTACKER – Manager/owner of BAR. Early 40s (?), moustache, straight greasy hair. Presumably Ján Kurtulík, owner/officer of KELLE, s.r.o., operator of the BAR.

BLONDE – Unknown blonde female associate of ATTACKER’s, possibly his business partner.

MIROSLAV PAŠEK – Police officer and main police attacker, about 5’10”, muscled, close-cropped hair, early to mid-30s. Standard police uniform. Identified by name tag pinned to uniform chest, left side. Two-stars plus wings rank insignia (uncertain).

CURLY – Police officer with short dark curly hair, fat with prominent belly, early to mid-40s. Equal in rank or superior to MIROSLAV PAŠEK. Standard police uniform.

ROOKIE1 and ROOKIE2 – Early-20s police officers wearing blue jumpsuit type police uniforms.

DISPATCHER – Emergency police dispatcher responding to my call at telephone number 158.

MARTIN – English-speaking police officer assigned to interpreter duty. Late 20s to early 30s.

FRIEND1 – My friend who I called from jail.

GUEST1 and GUEST2 – Two female couchsurfing guests from Slovenia staying at my residence.

FRIEND2 – My friend who met me at the hospital and drove me home.

LOCATIONS

POLICE STATION – Police station where I was taken. Šuňavcova 2, Bratislava – Nové Mesto

BAR – “Erotic Salon” establishment at Mikovíniho 2, Bratislava, Slovakia. Called variously “Wild Angels” and “Nymfa Salon”. Operated by Kelle, s.r.o., operated in turn by its officer, Ján Kurtulík. Location of attack by ATTACKER.

RESIDENCE – My flat.

CATALOGUE OF INJURIES (created 8 September 2009)

  1. 2-cm round dermal abrasion, outer left elbow Possible Source:  Falling to ground after being struck by ATTACKER; Falling to ground after being struck by MIROSLAV PAŠEK at bar or in cell
  2. 1.5-cm oblong dermal abrasion, inner left elbow Possible Source: Scraped BAR wall while being held in pain-lock hold against wall by MIROSLAV PAŠEK
  3. Several other dermal and epidermal small abrasions on outer left elbow Possible Source: Uncertain
  4. 2-cm round dermal abrasion, inner right elbow Possible Source: Falling to ground after being struck by MIROSLAV PAŠEK at bar or in cell
  5. 1-cm epidermal cut, right index finger Possible Source: Uncertain
  6. Two .5 to .75-cm dermal abrasions to head, 3cm above hairline at forehead Possible Source: Head smashed into wall at BAR by MIROSLAV PAŠEK (multiple times)
  7. 3-cm dermal laceration, behind left ear Possible Source: Uncertain
  8. 1-cm dermal abrasion, top of left knee Possible Source: Falling to ground after being struck by ATTACKER; Falling to ground after being struck by MIROSLAV PAŠEK at bar or in cell
  9. 1.5-cm light dermal abrasion, front of left knee Possible Source: Falling to ground after being struck by ATTACKER; Falling to ground after being struck by MIROSLAV PAŠEK at bar or in cell
  10. 6-cm x 5-cm deep contusion, inner side top of left knee. Purpling bruise Possible Source: Falling to ground after being struck by MIROSLAV PAŠEK at bar or in cell
  11. 5-cm x 4-cm light contusion, left thigh, 10-15-cm from kneecap. Light bluish bruise. Possible Source: Uncertain
  12. 8-cm x 4-cm contusion, upper right inner arm. Banded and jointed pattern reflecting 2 or 3 fingers’ grip. Possible Source: Attack by MIROSLAV PAŠEK in holding cell
  13. 6-cm x 2-cm light contusion, right side of back below scapula, near side. Possible Source: Punched by MIROSLAV PAŠEK or CURLY at BAR
  14. Contusion to right pectoralis. Possible Source: Punched by MIROSLAV PAŠEK at BAR
  15. Contusions to ribs and connective tissue below right pectoralis. Possible Source: Punched by ATTACKER1, by MIROSLAV PAŠEK or CURLY at BAR, or by MIROSLAV PAŠEK in cell
  16. Contusion to upper lumbar spine Possible Source: Punched by MIROSLAV PAŠEK or CURLY at BAR
  17. Contusion to lower tip of right scapula Possible Source: Punched by MIROSLAV PAŠEK or CURLY at BAR
EPISODE 1 – Saturday, 5 September 2009, inside building, BAR

~4:00 AM: I arrive at BAR and order a whiskey. As I walk to a free table, WITNESS sees me and calls my name. I’ve introduced myself to her by name and spoken to her at length during two previous visits. We greet each other and I offer here some of my whiskey. She drains the glass instantly. I get another from the bar.

~4:35 AM: I am told “You must leave” by BARTENDER. She has been giving me trouble for only buying drinks rather than the other services on the menu as well.

After refusing to leave for no valid reason, and after dashing briefly upstairs in reaction to hearing a woman screaming but finding nothing amiss (WITNESS had gone upstairs with a patron), BARTENDER makes a phone call. Shortly after, ATTACKER appears in BAR with BLONDE. ATTACKER has a conversation with BARTENDER, stands behind bar looking at me. He is clearly the owner or manager. BLONDE also stands behind bar, and I observe her doing paperwork. ATTACKER and BLONDE retire to back room.

There were several other people in the establishment who witnessed me reacting to the scream, and being asked to leave and refused service: three presumably Slovak patrons, and 3-4 female staff.

After relenting to her demand and while asking a final time for a last drink (she told me they had stopped serving, then went to deliver drinks to some guests), I take a photograph of BARTENDER with my mobile phone and exit the building into the courtyard. As I leave, I observe BARTENDER hurrying into the back room.

EPISODE 2 – 5 September 2009, courtyard, BAR

Between Episode 1 and 4:53 AM

I approach the outer gate to the courtyard and find it locked. I turn around to see ATTACKER emerge from door to back office and walking toward me. ATTACKER carries some sort of blunt weapon (metal baton?) in right hand, resting the weapon against the back of his head as he approaches me.

ATTACKER approaches me and a verbal exchange begins. I demand the door be unlocked. ATTACKER demands that I delete the photo of BARTENDER. I refuse. ATTACKER makes threatening gestures and continues approaching me more closely. Exchange continues until ATTACKER strikes me at least once, possibly twice, on right side of upper body with his left hand. He then strikes me open-handed on right side of face, causing my glasses to fly off and clatter to the floor of the courtyard somewhere.

I tell ATTACKER now that I will delete the photo of BARTENDER. I take the mobile phone (Nokia 6120c) from my pocket. He takes it from my hand and begins looking for the photo. I snatch it from his hands, show him the screen, locate the photo of BARTENDER, delete it, then page through other photos until he is satisfied it has been deleted.

ATTACKER now opens the gate to the courtyard and walks back into his the back room office, inside which I can see a number of active video monitors. He sits behind a desk looking toward me, while BLONDE sits in a chair in front of the desk, facing the video monitors. I search for my glasses on the ground and cannot find them.

CHARGEABLE OFFENSES: False Imprisonment, Assault and Battery (all to ATTACKER)

EPISODE 2 – 5 September 2009, courtyard, BAR

Still in the courtyard, I dial 150 on my mobile phone at 4:53 AM. I tell respondent I need police. I’m told this is the fire department, and to call 158. I hang up and call 158 to be answered by DISPATCHER at 4:54 AM.

I tell DISPATCHER that I may have been robbed of my glasses and that I have been physically assaulted, requesting the police to come. I give him the location and address.

I continue searching for my glasses, to no avail, remaining in the courtyard. Several times I approach the open door to the back office where ATTACKER and BLONDE sit as described above, tell them that I’ve called the police. Over the course of ~10 minutes waiting for the police to arrive, I make an escalating series of demands for money from ATTACKER to simply leave and forget the incident, starting at €500 and ending at €3000. ATTACKER is impassive, says nothing. BLONDE never looks in my direction, and I don’t hear them speaking to each other.

EPISODE 3 – 5 September 2009, courtyard, BAR

~5:05 AM. Two police cars arrive, carrying MIROSLAV PAŠEK, CURLY, ROOKIE1 and ROOKIE2.

I stand behind open gate to courtyard, smoking a cigarette. Police stalk past me and enter ATTACKER’s office directly. Presumably a conversation occurs between ATTACKER and/or BLONDE and one or more police officers.

Either ROOKIE1 or ROOKIE2 remains outside the office. I tell him that I’m the one who called DISPATCHER. He says something to other police officers, who emerge from office.

Officers begin asking me questions, which I have trouble following. I tell them that ATTACKER attacked me, knocked off my glasses and that I can’t find them – presumed stolen.

Main interrogator quickly becomes MIROSLAV PAŠEK, who is short-tempered and aggressive. He asks more questions about incident. I try to respond as best I can in broken Slovak. MIROSLAV PAŠEK grabs my cigarette out of my hand and throws it to the floor. “What are you doing?” I ask (or something to this effect).

MIROSLAV PAŠEK: „Občiansky preukaz.” (“ID card.”)

Me: „To nemám.” (“I don’t have that.”)

MIROSLAV PAŠEK: „Pas.” (“Passport.”)

Me: „To nemám.” (“I don’t have that.”)

There may be more words after this exchange. My memory is cloudy.

At this point, MIROSLAV PAŠEK strikes me several times in the right side. At least the first blow is with his left hand. I cry out in pain and fall to the ground.

I cannot remember the remainder of the sequence of events which occurred at the BAR courtyard clearly.

MIROSLAV PAŠEK demands I stand, and I comply. I tell him this is going to make an interesting story for tomorrow’s SME or Pravda, featuring his name. He becomes enraged, strikes me again at least once, grabs my right arm, pushes me to wall of BAR building between entry door and back office door. Pushing me into the wall causes my head to impact the wall. MIROSLAV PAŠEK pins my upper body to the wall and wrenches my right arm up behind my back, putting extreme strain on my right shoulder and elbow. MIROSLAV PAŠEK says something to the effect that he doesn’t want to hear anything about seeing himself in SME or Pravda.

During all attacks by MIROSLAV PAŠEK, I cry out in pain and terror. Neighbors may have heard, and should be interviewed.

Other incidents during Episode 3:

Police finally understand that I have neither an ID card nor passport because I am a stateless person. They demand to see my Travel Document, which is not with me.

At one point, either CURLY or MIROSLAV PAŠEK makes some sort of threatening remark referring to “Američan.” I laugh. MIROSLAV PAŠEK strikes me again several times, and I collapse again.

I am pressed up against the entry door to the building in the pain-restraint hold as before. With my left hand I attempt to open the door to escape MIROSLAV PAŠEK’s attacks. It is locked. MIROSLAV PAŠEK and others observe me. MIROSLAV PAŠEK strikes me several times in the lower back, right side, and spine. At least one other police officer strikes me in the ribs, spine or lower back.

After more insults and threats, demands for respect and compliance, “speak this way”, etc., I am turned around and released to face MIROSLAV PAŠEK. I gaze at his name tag and memorize his name. MIROSLAV PAŠEK observes this and asks what I am looking at. I don’t respond. MIROSLAV PAŠEK strikes me several times and places me back in the restraint hold, smashing my head into the wall again. He asks again what I was looking at. I laugh. He wrenches my arm much harder, either forcing me up the wall or causing me to rise onto my toes. The pain is extreme. “Nothing,” I say.

At one point after being struck by MIROSLAV PAŠEK, falling to the ground, beaten by MIROSLAV PAŠEK while on the ground and then demanded by MIROSLAV PAŠEK to stand, I remained sitting and raised both arms with wrists crossed, asking to simply be taken to jail. Laughter resulted from MIROSLAV PAŠEK and several other officers, followed by MIROSLAV PAŠEK’s repeated demand to stand.

At some point they may have demanded proof that I deleted the photo of BARTENDER from my mobile phone. I laugh and say that proof of this is impossible, but page through my photos anyway until they are satisfied it is gone.

Ant some point during this encounter in the BAR courtyard, one of the police officers (not MIROSLAV PAŠEK) walked to the outer gate which was standing open. He closed the gate, making exit or observation impossible.

Toward the end of this engagement, one of the female staff, WITNESS, opened the door to the building and looked out. She looked me directly in the eyes, I believe as I was sitting on the ground, freshly beaten. She closed the door quickly.

Eventually, agreement is reached that we will go together to my flat to retrieve my Travel Document so they can verify my identity. I am bundled into a police car, back seat right side. I can’t recall the driver. ROOKIE1 or ROOKIE2 sat in the back to my left.

CHARGEABLE OFFENSES: Assault and Battery plus Abuse of Authority by Public Official (MIROSLAV PAŠEK and unknown officer who struck me in ribs), Failure to Report Crime (other 2 officers)

EPISODE 4 – RESIDENCE

ROOKIE demands I wait in the car, opens car door, demands I exit and stand by car. I am then escorted to front door of RESIDENCE building. I open front door with my electronic key. Officers ask on which floor I live, and I tell them the 5th. Two officers (one ROOKIE and another not recalled) take the stairs, while I ride the elevator with the others. ROOKIE takes position in front of my door, demands I opened it, asking if anyone else is in the flat. I tell them two couchsurfers are present, GUEST1 and GUEST2.

ROOKIE allows me to open door with my key and reach inside to turn on lights. I call to GUEST1, asking her to bring my backpack to the door. I retrieve my Travel Document from the backpack and give it back to GUEST1. Officers take Travel Document. I tell GUEST1 repeatedly to call FRIEND1, tell her what was happening, that I was going to jail, and that she could find info on my computer.

Police officers demand I come back down stairs with them, load me back into car and drive me to POLICE STATION.

EPISODE 5 – POLICE STATION

My memory is increasingly cloudy. I am trying to hold on to a single fact, the name of MIROSLAV PAŠEK. I am told to sit on a bench while discussion goes on inside an office near the entry to the building of my case. The officers have my Travel Document with them. ROOKIE1 or ROOKIE2 stands in hallway outside office watching me.

ROOKIE1/2 demands I empty my pockets, take off belt, turn off mobile phone, leave all objects on table opposite holding cell door. I comply. I am led into holding cell. I ask for water and to visit the toilet and am told “soon”.

There is part of a bottle of water in the cell. I drink it and place the empty bottle next to another one in the cell.

I lay down on the bench to rest. I notice my jeans are wet on the back side, presumably from falling on to wet ground at the BAR courtyard. I take off my jeans and lay them on the bench to dry, and lay down again. A passing officer tells me I must put my jeans back on. I refuse, telling him they are wet. He says that I must, since other people are passing by the open-bar door of the cell. “Prežijú,” I tell him – “They will survive.” He goes away.

After some time I am led out of the cell into an office. A male officer with short dark hair and a black laptop computer wants to interview me. He is assisted by another officer, female with long blonde curly hair. I answer a few basic questions. Female officer asks me for my mother’s name. I tell her. She doesn’t understand, asks me to write it down. I ask her if I may have paper and pen to make notes. She refuses. I refuse to write anything unless I can take my own notes. Eventually she relents and writes down my parents’ names herself with spelling assistance from me.

The male interrogator is asking a series of questions about the events of the evening. He asks why I took the photograph of BARTENDER. I state that I don’t want to answer. I am told that I must answer. I tell the officers that I’m not going to answer any more questions without an interpreter and an attorney.

During interrogation I state that I was beaten by police at BAR courtyard. Police officers are impassive.

During interrogation CURLY appears at the door to the room. When I turn to look at him he turns away before I can view his name badge, while he looks me in the eyes.

I am taken back to my cell, and lay down again. I am in extreme pain all over the right side of my body. I cannot lay on that side, and moving is painful. I feel extremely cold, and parts of my body are trembling at random.

POTENTIAL OFFENSE: Failure to Report a Crime (two officers)

EPISODE 6 – POLICE STATION

MIROSLAV PAŠEK comes to the door to my cell after a few minutes. MIROSLAV PAŠEK demands that I sit up. I ask why. He says I must obey him. I refuse and lay down. He calls me insulting names and threatens me. I ask if he really wants to do that while on video (camera mounted at back of cell near ceiling) and he snarls. MIROSLAV PAŠEK enters the cell, demands again that I sit up. I ignore him. MIROSLAV PAŠEK grabs my shirt collar and right upper arm with his left hand and attempts to haul me up, loses his grip. MIROSLAV PAŠEK grabs me again, hauls me to my feet, strikes me several times in right side, and on head. I fall to the floor, striking my head on the floor. MIROSLAV PAŠEK demands that I get on the bench and sit. I comply.

CHARGEABLE OFFENSES: Assault and Battery, Abuse of Authority by Public Official (MIROSLAV PAŠEK)

EPISODE 7 – POLICE STATION

An English-speaking police officer who calls himself MARTIN appears at my cell door saying he’s been asked to help me with the interview since my Slovak is not so good.

I ask MARTIN if I’m being charged with anything, and he says no. I ask if I’m free to go, and he says no, I must give a report. I tell him I’m not giving any information without an attorney.

MARTIN goes away and comes back several minutes later. Normally I would give the attorney’s name to them and they would call, because it’s “not like America here”. But they give me my mobile phone. I call FRIEND1, explain situation, ask for help. I turn the mobile phone off and return it to MARTIN, who places it back with my items on the table opposite the cell.

I remain sitting. I am dizzy and in great pain. My head hurts like nothing before. I feel like my temperature is dropping rapidly. I continue to experience tremor in my extremities.

Some time later I stand and go to the cell door. MARTIN sees me, asks if I am all right. I tell him about my symptoms. He asks if I want a doctor. I say yes. He says a doctor will be here shortly. I ask him if there is a rule that I cannot lay down on the bench. He says no. I ask him then if his friend Miro (MIROSLAV PAŠEK) is still here, since he beat me in the cell because I would not sit up. He states that MIROSLAV PAŠEK has left, his shift having ended.

POTENTIAL OFFENSE: Failure to Report a Crime (MARTIN)

EPISODE 8 – POLICE STATION

MARTIN returns to my cell and leads me to another office. Two more senior police officers are there. One is typing something on a typewriter. They ask me a number of questions about answering questions for the report, which I refuse to do. MARTIN interprets. I again state that I was beaten by police officers at BAR, and then by MIROSLAV PAŠEK in the holding cell. They seem incredulous.

POTENTIAL OFFENSE: Failure to Report a Crime (MARTIN, two interrogating officers)

The older officer sitting on the right side of the office at one point says that I can leave if I pay a penalty of €30. I refuse, saying I’m not paying anything.

Two paramedics arrive. One speaks English and asks me about my condition. They decide to recommend that I go to the hospital, and I agree. They fill out and ask me to sign a Patient Agreement. I comply. I demand a copy of what I signed and they refuse, saying “You don’t need that, that’s just for us,” until finally they give me a blank copy of the same document (ATTACHED).

MARTIN tells me that I’m to be released with a “predvolanie” order to appear at the police station at 8am Monday morning (ATTACHED), and that I’ll be taken to the hospital without escort “So it doesn’t seem like you’re a murderer or something.” I agree, and sign an envelope (ATTACHED) indicating my receipt of the predvolanie document.

The paramedics call the ambulance service. There is trouble because I don’t have my insurance card with me and can’t remember the name of the insurance company. The paramedics require €2 in payment for something. I have a five-euro note, which I give them. They don’t have the proper change. They return a €2 coin to me, and I tell them to keep the change. They give me a cash receipt (ATTACHED).

Knowing I’m released, I ask to make a phone call. My phone and other items are given to me. I phone GUEST1 at 8:34AM, who has already left my residence with her friend.

EPISODE 9 – POLICE STATION, Kramáre hospital, RESIDENCE

I go with the ambulance personnel and am taken to the hospital at Kramáre. Female paramedic takes my blood pressure and presumably pulse prior to departure. At the hospital, I am given an intake examination in the emergency room. I am then X-rayed 3 times for the head, twice for the chest. I am given a physical examination by one doctor. I am given an ultrasound examination of the abdomen and lower chest. I am given a second examination of a sort (see below), during which the doctor reviews the X-rays. I am discharged without admission or treatment, with a medical report (ATTACHED).

Between examinations I lay on seats in the hallway and try to sleep. I cannot sleep. The pain in my right side is debilitating, and I continue to experience peripheral tremors.

During the second general examination (largely verbal) in the emergency room, I point out to Dr. Michal Magala that I have a number of cuts, scrapes and bruises that I received while being beaten by the police. I ask that they be examined and noted in the file. Magala tells me that these are “somariny” (“jackassery”), and that I could have gotten them anywhere. I insist that I’m here for a medical examination after being attacked, and want all of my injuries noted in detail. Magala yells at me, again saying these are “somariny”, approaches me threateningly and smashes his left fist into a cabinet between us for emphasis.

My friend FRIEND2 meets me at the hospital and drives me home, where I arrive about 11:20AM, Saturday, 5 September 2009.

Deficiencies in the medical report:

  1. The notation “Homans negat.” indicates that a physical test for indications of deep vein thrombosis was conducted. No such test was conducted.
  2. bez vytoku krvi genitalu” indicates there was no discharge of blood from the genitals. No questions about this were asked, nor was I ever asked to remove my trousers for the necessary examination.
  3. The report claims that a pelvic palpation examination was conducted. No such examination was conducted.
  4. The report claims that an examination of the legs was conducted. No such examination was conducted.

EPISODE 10 – RESIDENCE – Saturday, 5 September 2009

I take 800mg of ibuprofen, make some phone calls and fall asleep around 12:30, for about sixteen hours. I’m in extreme pain. I cannot lay on my right side, my head hurts, I feel dizzy, moving my chest in any fashion causes great pain. The tremors have ceased. I am terrified, and can’t think clearly.

EPISODE 11 – RESIDENCE – Sunday, 6 September 2009

I begin writing this report, and share early versions with a number of people.

I photograph some of my injuries with my mobile phone camera and a mirror.

A friend comes and photographs my injuries, and takes with him the unwashed clothing I was wearing during the attacks.

I am supposed to give a statement at 8am on Monday. Numerous contacts to lawyers result in failure. All are either not certified for the criminal system, on vacation, don’t speak English, or otherwise unavailable.

I make contact with a court-certified interpreter, and arrange to meet at her flat at 7:30am.

I go to a restaurant to have dinner around 8pm. A friend’s contact calls to give me the number of a qualified lawyer. I arrange with the lawyer that I will phone him at 7:30am, and he will call the police station to exercise my right to postpone the interview until I can have counsel present.

I go home and make phone calls and other arrangements. I cannot sleep. I am terrified, in pain and can’t think clearly. I set five alarms on my mobile phone to awaken me before 6am, and finally get to sleep around 4am.

EPISODE 12 – RESIDENCE, POLICE STATION – Monday, 7 September 2009

I awaken at 10:40, having not heard 5 alarms or a call from FRIEND1 at 8:11am.

I shower, dress, take 800mg of ibuprofen and go to a restaurant to have coffee. I phone the interpreter and ask her to call the lawyer for me, for him to call the police station, apologize for me and to arrange another time. She phones him and calls me back, saying that I should just contact them myself. He doesn’t want to represent me now, because he does not speak English.

I walk to the POLICE STATION, appearing there around 11:45am. Since I have no interpreter, they will arrange one.

While I am waiting, I briefly catch sight of CURLY entering the building. I am terrified.

The police tell me that the interpreter will arrive at 1:00pm. I leave to meet a friend, and show her an early version of this report in hardcopy.

I return to the police station, part with my friend and enter at 1:00pm.

Around 1:15pm the interpreter arrives.

The interviewing officer is the same one who told me to put my jeans back on while in the cell, and who attempted to conduct the interview previously. The interpreter is presumably another police officer, unknown to me previously.

I apologize profusely for being late. The officers seem to accept this.

I ask if I’m being charged with anything. No. But I could be charged with a breach of public order offense, a misdemeanor which carries a €100 fine.

I tell them that I want to move the interview to a time later in the week when I can have counsel present. It’s not clear whether or not this is permitted, but they insist on carrying out the interview now.

The parameters of the interview are set such that I can discuss things with the interpreter at length, and he will then dictate a summary in Slovak to be entered into the report.

I tell them that I am reluctant to give any information, because I was beaten by the police at the scene and while in the holding cell. They seem incredulous and shrug this off.

I tell them I don’t want to file any charges or register any complaints.

I end up signing a “witness statement” of some sort, which contains a very vague description of events, roughly this:

Around 4:00 AM on Saturday, 5 September 2009 I went to BAR. I had a couple of drinks. There was a conflict between me and the bartender. As I left, I could not find my glasses. I called the police. The police arrived and asked me for my ID, but I didn’t understand. The police took me home to retrieve my ID, and then to the police station to file a report. I was released to the hospital for medical treatment.

I was not resisting the police in not providing my ID, there was a misunderstanding.

I sign two copies of the statement, and ask for one copy. I am refused, the interpreter telling me that they are not allowed to give me a copy.

I leave the police station around 2:30pm. I go home, take 800mg of ibuprofen and sleep for six hours.

Mike Gogulski (2009-10-22): Report on Slovak State Police attacks against Mike Gogulski, 5 September 2009

The Crash

For a long time I had conflicting feelings about Bureaucrash. On the one hand, I was encouraged to see a well-funded, well-organized libertarian organization that had broken out of the electoralist trap, was no longer focusing on trying to persuade statist politicians to be less statist, or, even worse, to try to replace them with other statist politicians, and that instead was committed to bypassing that whole shell game in favor of a primary focus on culture jamming, street-level organizing, and other forms of activism directed at ordinary people rather than at the political apparatus and its hangers-on. And I know lots of awesome organizers and activists who have come out of Bureaucrash, I think precisely because of that focus.

On the other hand, Bureaucrash always presented itself as a wing mainly of the American libertarian movement; even while many or most Crashers were not only radicals but anarchists, they spent a great deal of their time hanging out with, and promoting the causes of, reformist minimal statists — a strategy I think to be fundamentally self-undermining. And part of the reason for all this was, of course, that there was always the Competitive Enterprise Institute hovering there, in the background. And besides the institutional ties, in site of the shift in focus and rhetoric, there were still the lingering cultural and rhetorical attachments to the old conservative think-tank-tarian world — notably, a lot of cap-doffing, even in supposedly irreverent culture-jamming, to Capitalism, President Thomas Jefferson, and other idols of libertarian respectability; also what seems to me to have been a lot of crude, or even willful, misunderstanding of the counter-globalization movement, and the critique of multi-statist neoliberalism.

However, as you may have noticed, in recent days CEI has taken some major steps towards relieving me of the burden of ambivalence. If you haven’t noticed, former Crasher Xaq Fixx lays out why in his resignation letter:

Hello Crashers,

I have had the pleasure of working with many of you during our time with Bureaucrash, and some of us have only recently discovered each other. Regardless of whether we are new friends or old allies, I thank you all for your commitment to liberty.

As you all know since the beginning of Bureaucrash the position of Crasher-in-Chief has always been held by very principled libertarians. All were welcomed to be members of the Bureaucrash community so long as they shared the desire to decrease the roll of the state in our lives. Passionate freedom fighters Ryan Oprea, Jason Talley, and Pete Eyre have guided the organization as members and not as top down masters by encouraging people to find their own path to liberty and offering assistance along the way. I had hoped to continue in this tradition if I was passed the sledgehammer. Jason and Pete were some of my earliest supporters, and I thank them for that. There were several other applicants for the crasher-in-chief (CiC) position that I would have gladly worked alongside as they followed the trails blazed by their CiC forerunners.

CEI has decided that tradition has no virtue, and crasher quantity is far more important than crasher quality. Over the past several years they have attempted to exert more control over BC, stifling several pro-liberty projects, hamstringing others, discouraging some issues and encouraging others that fit their narrow vision of liberty that coincides with the interests of their donors. Jason and Pete proved difficult to control, and I would be no better so they hired an outsider with no knowledge of our community. They chose someone that they wouldn’t have to fight with or attempt to mold. I cannot blame them for their hiring decision, because to them it makes sense. Bureaucrash became their brand several years ago and they can do with it what they wish.

Lee Doren to some extent is as much a victim as any of us. He was hired to turn Bureaucrash into a youth outreach organization by a conservatarian think tank. Having no prior knowledge of Bureaucrash tt was not unreasonable for him to expect a crowd that shared similar views. He was also not given help for feedback from CEI after being hired; he was given a site and a password and told to make it work. His views may not be in line with ours, but they are what his superiors were looking for. We could perhaps fault him for taking a job with an organization where he strongly disagrees with the majority of active members, or at least being woefully uninformed about the goals of views of that group but, most likely, he was brought in to reform those things anyway. He is just doing his job, and as this is a voluntary organization we should remember that every government employee is more deserving of scorn and ridicule than he.

Because of CEI’s clear disdain for Bureaucrash’s traditions, and complete lack of respect for all of us, the Crashers, I feel it is time to turn our backs on the Bureaucrash brand. I will no longer be hosting the Podcrash, and will be returning all the equipment to CEI. If they are to offer me the position of Crasher-in-Chief, I cannot in good conscious accept it knowing what they want to turn BC into. I cannot continue to contribute my time, labor, and money to what is becoming a front group for an organization that is aligning itself with the authoritarian right instead of those that love liberty the most.

I would be honored if you would join me in finding somewhere else to unite against the ever growing state. I have created a facebook group, ABC (After Bureaucrash) Action to share some alternatives, and discuss what you want out of them.

Yours in Liberty,
Xaq Fixx

For some excellent commentary, see Brad Spangler’s remarks, Misconception: Radicalism undermines reform efforts. I’d just want to stress, in addition to what Brad has to say, that the kind of co-optation and self-vitiation that Brad talks about aren’t just tendencies, and they aren’t just the work of some clever set of minimal-statist manipulators. I think that they are built in to the electoral-reformist project itself, necessarily and always — that they are structural limitations that you will always face if your politics is hitched primarily to influence the state or trying to gain a base of power within the state. The process itself only admits of certain outcomes, and the process itself also tends to consume those who put themselves into it. (For more on why, see GT 2008-11-14: So you are in favor of personal money holes? and GT 2008-02-25: I am shocked! shocked! to find that politics is going on in here.)

So, depending on how you want to look at things, and how you think of what Bureaucrash was, you might think of this as the dismantling of Bureaucrash by the CEI. Or you might think of it as the liberation of Bureaucrash from the CEI. It all depends on whether you’re interested in the brand or in the substance. If it’s the latter, then it doesn’t matter what kind of shit the CEI decides to call Bureaucrash. What’s matters is what’s going on among those who have come out, who have left the purges and the chickenshit co-optation behind them. And if you’re interested in that, then I think there’s good reason to hope that this particular cutting of strings will lead to a more radical politics of individualism, without the constraints imposed by the think-tank paradigm, and with better connections and stronger ties to their real allies (or ALLies) and conversation partners in the freedom movement — the radicals, not the reformists; the counter-economy, not the Establishment; the anarchists, not the minimal-statists concentrated around the imperial Metropole; that is, the left-libertarians, agorists, mutualists, social anarchists, and the rest of us on the anti-statist radical Left. Here’s hoping, anyway.

So let’s get started. The ex-Crashers are congregating around ABC Action:

ABC Action means After Bureaucrash Action - This group is dedicated to those liberty loving activists that have made BC great over the years but are exploring other options due to the new direction CEI and Lee Doren want to take the organization.

And, for those of you who have a radical sensibility and some rad geekery skills, I especially want to point to Mike Gogulski’s Activism opportunity for liberty-loving geeks, which was the main motivating factor in my putting up this post. Mike says:

I have been asked to start up a small sub-working-group, a task force, if you’ll pardon the term, of active people with the time, inclination, experience and knowledge necessary to provide and manage the technology infrastructure for this effort.

This will include, right away, setup and administration of a new ning.com social-networking site, and probably the same duties for a WordPress blog.

Longer-term, we need to create a new activist platform that goes beyond the capabilities of ning, and which could rival the reach and power of the online campaign management and fundraising systems used by groups like moveon.org, Campaign For Liberty, etc.

Anyone who would like to participate in this tech working group — or perhaps become its long-term leader — is invited to contact me directly, and right now!

Full contact info for me is at http://www.gogulski.com/contact.html

Yours in liberty,
Mike Gogulski

Bureaucrash has long been a focal point for libertarians who are young, focused, practical, radical, passionate, and creative. Now that CEI has made it clear that they want more boring professionalist politicos, the ex-Crasher networks are going to become a focal point for libertarians who are young, focused, practical, radical, passionate, creative, pissed off, and, for the moment at least, have become free of binding ties to gradualism, reformism, conservative small-government types, and their program of governmentalist futility-through-respectability.

A time, then, to strike, while the hammer is free to swing. We are going to dismantle the master’s house, and we are going to build our own damned tools to do it with.

Onward.

Friday Lazy Linking

  • Winter Soldier: Just Another Tuesday. From Ryan Endicott, formerly a United States government Marine stationed in Iraq.

    Via Clay Claibourne, L.A. I.M.C. (2009-05-13): Winter Soldier Southwest on YouTube #1

  • The regulatory State versus freed markets and the human future: A quote from Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, via B.K. Marcus at Mises Economics Blog:

    To expect the government to prevent such fraud from ever occurring would be like wanting it to provide cushions for all the children who might fall. To assume it to be possible to prevent successfully, by regulation, all possible malpractices of this kind, is to sacrifice to a chimerical perfection the whole progress of industry; it is to restrict the imagination of artificers to the narrow limits of the familiar; it is to forbid them all new experiments; it is to renounce even the hope of competing with the foreigners in the making of the new products which they invent daily, since, as they do not conform to our regulations, our workmen cannot imitate these articles without first having obtained permission from the government, that is to say, often after the foreign factories, having profited by the first eagerness of the consumer for this novelty, have already replaced it with something else. … Thus, with obvious injustice, commerce, and consequently the nation, are charged with a heavy burden to save a few idle people the trouble of instructing themselves or of making enquiries to avoid being cheated. To suppose all consumers to be dupes, and all merchants and manufacturers to be cheats, has the effect of authorizing them to be so, and of degrading all the working members of the community.

    — Turgot, Éloge de Gournay (1759), translated by P.D. Groenewegen

Outrage

Think.

Left-Libertarianism

  • On dialectical jujitsu: Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-05-19): How to annoy a conservative

  • Ownership failures, not market failures Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling (2009-05-01): Markets, the poor & the left. Dillow makes two really important distinctions: one of them the familiar left-libertarian distinction between freed markets, on the one hand, and actually-existing corporate capitalism, on the other; the other a less familiar, but very important, distinction between market processes and patterns of ownership. Quote: In many ways, what look like ways in which markets fail the poor are in fact merely ways in which a lack of assets fail the poor. Exactly; and the many cases where there are not really market failures, but rather ownership failures, have everything to do with feudal, mercantile, neoliberal, and other politically-driven seizures and reallocations of poor people’s land, livelihoods, and possessions — and nothing to do with genuine market exchange.

Counter-Economics

Movement

Communications