Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A call for international solidarity: with Greek anti-fascism

From the Organizing Committee of the “19 January – Athens Antifascist City” (athensantifa19jan.wordpress.com):

"We appeal to the antifascists who have been alerted by the rise of the neonazi Golden Dawn and to those who stand in solidarity with the greek people. Our call for international solidarity has now grown into an international antifascist movement.

Demos outside greek embassies and consulates are now being organised in London (UK), Dublin and Derry (Ireland), Barcelona and Ossona (Catalunya), Lyon (France), Tampere (Finland), Chicago and New York (USA) and news for initiatives in other countries are streaming in.

We ask for more demos in solidarity with the greek movement, that is preparing for a big show of strength in Syntagma Square on the 19th of January. It is not just an international affair, it is part of a concerted effort to build a movement that will target rising fascism and racism in Europe and in the whole world.

We ask you:

1) to contact us and give us details for your activities on the day, through facebook, twitter or email: antiracismfascism@yahoo.gr

2) to send us photos and videos of support, holding plackards, stating your solidarity.

3) to send us statements of support that will be read from the platform the day of the demo and concert in Syntagma.

4) to take photos from your solidarity events and send it to us, in order to publicise the size and breadth of our movement."

Read more

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Red Skies at Night: new revolutionary journal


"Red Skies at Night is intended as a humble and limited contribution to the project of building a revolutionary left that can think and write as well as act and fight. We are interested in being one tool in developing a revolutionary communist pole by building comradely dialogue and debate between class struggle anarchists, anti-state communists, autonomist marxists, revolutionary feminists, critical leninists, and others about the questions facing us."

Red Skies at Night expects to print their first issue in about a month. They are looking for groups to help with distribution, submissions for Issue #2, and donations of funds to help keep the project afloat.

Check them out at 

www.redskiesatnight.weebly.com

Monday, January 07, 2013

Tinley Park Five: Anti-fascists accept non-cooperating plea bargain

The Tinley Park Five are a group of anti-fascists who were arrested for allegedly assaulting a number of neo-nazi organizers in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Illinois, on May 19, 2012. 

From the Tinley Park Five blog: 

"On January 4, 2013 all members of the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea bargain in which they each plead guilty to three felony counts of Armed Violence in exchange for “lenient” sentences and the guarantee of ‘day-for-day’ good behavior. Jason Sutherlin was sentenced to 6 years. Cody Lee Sutherlin and Dylan Sutherlin were sentenced to 5 years. Alex Stuck and John Tucker were sentenced to 3 1/2 years due to their youth and complete lack of criminal history. Each will be placed upon two years of supervised release upon release from prison.

"Before the plea was accepted, the State offered the Tinley Park Five one last chance to betray their comrades in exchange for their freedom. What a waste of time! As anarchist and antifascists, the Tinley Park Five are no more capable of selling out the struggle than their broken system is capable of reforming itself! They laughed at the offer and bravely accepted their fate."

Read more

For background information, see the Tinley Park Five blog's "News" page, with links to articles on several other websites.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Feds + Corporate America versus the Occupy movement

This post was originally titled "FBI versus the Occupy movement" but has been retitled based on a reader's comment below.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) recently released federal documents showing that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) coordinated not only with local police but also with universities, banks, private security firms, and other corporate bodies to monitor, disrupt, and suppress the Occupy movement. The PCJF obtained these documents through Freedom of Information Act requests and has made them available online together with commentary. Many mainstream and leftist media outlets have picked up the story, for example Naomi Wolf at the Guardian, Dennis Bernstein at Consortium News, and David Lindorff at Counterpunch.

PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard declared, "These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America."

The PCJF notes that "FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country," and that the FBI "treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did 'not condone the use of violence' at occupy protests." At the same time, the FBI learned of a plan to assassinate Occupy movement leaders in Houston (which fortunately was not carried out), but the agency arrested nobody for this and did not warn those targeted.

In an interview with reporter Dennis Bernstein, Verheyden-Hilliard also highlighted the fact that this operation took place under President Obama. "People think if you shift the Democratic, Republican administration that somehow these abuses are not going to occur. But, of course, this is full license to have this type of activity going on under the Obama administration."

The operation involved FBI offices in at least ten states, from New York to Colorado and from Alaska to Florida, as well as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the DHS's fusion centers, and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and Campus Liaison Program. PCJF reports, "The Memphis FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force met to discuss 'domestic terrorism' threats, including 'Aryan Nations, Occupy Wall Street, and Anonymous.'"

The released federal documents include a report by the little-known Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), which describes itself as "a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector." A "handling notice" in the report warns that its contents are "meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…"

The DSAC, according to its website, was formed in 2005 and includes more than 200 companies, accounting for over one-third of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. The DSAC's Leadership Board represents 29 major companies such as Walmart, General Electric, Walt Disney, Merck, United Airlines, and ConocoPhillips.  Over one-third of the board's members are from firms in banking and financial services -- the capitalist sector most directly targeted by the Occupy movement -- such as Citigroup, Barclays, and Ernst & Young.

In my previous post, I warned that counterinsurgency operations against the paramilitary far right can and will be used to bolster ruling-class power against the rest of us. The federal government's campaign against the Occupy movement underscores this point. Like the anti-rightist operations envisioned by the New America Foundation and other liberal think tanks, the anti-Occupy operation involved the same network of security agencies, the same framework of "fighting terrorism," and the same preemptive, interventionist approach. Above all, the campaign makes clear that -- whether directed against the left or the right -- the security services' fundamental role is to protect the capitalist elite.