Can It Happen Here?

No, I don’t mean that kind of open mutiny, as is occurring in Greece, but the State running out of tear gas. Road salt, or anything else, yes, but never weapons, lethal or otherwise. Occasionally, they will cry like spoiled debutantes and pretend their gear is falling apart, but funding is first priority, survival for bureaucracies, even the ones entrusted with dispensing legal violence. The physical militarization of US police forces, (as opposed to the granting of law enforcement powers and duties to other government agencies, businesses and citizens)  the kind that’s easy to see, with carbines in every radio car, mechanized infantry patrols, and this little drug war machine, helped keep defense contractors in the red, between the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks.

The US Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Officials Act, in 1981 which allowed for the sharing of information, facilities and equipment and training by active-duty military personnel in 1981. The policies of the “liberal”  Clinton administration facilitated a massive increase in paramilitary raids and the issue of absurd amounts of military hardware to civilian police departments:

Between 1995 and 1997 the Department of Defense gave police departments 1.2 million pieces of military hardware, including 73 grenade launchers and 112 armored personnel carriers. TheLos Angeles Police Department has acquired 600 Army surplus M-16s. Even small-town police departments are getting into the act. The seven-officer department in Jasper, Florida, is now equipped with fully automatic M-16s

Greece

Greece

The Greek police look almost naked and empty-handed compared to the toys that police in the US are issued. I literally own more riot gear than the average, individual, paid terrorist in Greece, from what I’ve seen. Contrast that with the kinds of equipment deployed for even the smallest demo in the US. A stark contrast to the Ninja turtle suits, APCs, grenade launchers and tons of other shit that this jealous little boy wishes he had. Even a minor traffic stop quickly turns into an unpermitted FOP convention with traffic jams for the rest of us.

USA

USA

It’s also been the better part of 40 years since shit has actually gotten out of hand, in any kind of big way, so it’s not easy to predict how contemporary, widespread civil unrest would be dealt with.  Would you see the National Guard machine-gunning apartment buildings ala Newark, ’67 or state bombings not unlike they did to MOVE?  We know that the less lethals are reserved for white folks, as it stands, but there’s no way of knowing if they’d go to live ordinance for anyone who can’t pass for white, as they have clearly done in the past. The violence directed towards Katrina victims by State and mercenary forces in New Orleans, not to mention the media , may be a preview of the kinds of treatment that will accompany the acceleration of the crumbling empire.

Race is obviously a factor in the US equation and the Alexis’ assassin was a member of an organized neo-fascist group called the Golden Dawn. There is obviously no kind of reasonable evidence to begin to quantify how many US police are members of neo-fascist groups, but given the level of institutional racism in the US, from the 3/5 compromise to racial profiling, there is really no reason to bother with such wannabees or their little clubs, except to protect them from the rest of us. The heavy reliance on informants and illegal combatants plainclothes infiltrators further blurs the line between official and unoffical hate groups. The situation with the Love Park 4 is a good example of this kind of symbiotic relationship. This is to say nothing of the role of liberals who confuse “free speech” with hate speech.

There have been some grumblings regarding the deployment of regular US troops for domestic purposes, but this is nothing new. Despite the alleged protections of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the rarest of birds, a one sentence law enacted by southern democrats after the US civil war, Federal troops have been used to break dozens of strikes, before Big Labor was successfully recuperated. The State must not trust the local cops at the end of the day, and maybe their loyalties will lie with the people in the end. In more recent years, super-secret Delta Force commandos were on the ground at the 1984 summer olympics in California, the 1993 State murders of religious kooks and their children at Waco and  the 1999 WTO demonstrations in Seattle.

Whoever, except in cases and under such circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or by Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined no more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Aside from the cop-toy shortage in Greece it also seems bizarre that the terrorist who murdered Alexis would be charged with any miscounduct, a rare occurrence in the US. Of my two cop relatives who have murdered civilians, neither of them did any time for killing, but one of them was briefly detained and released without charges for allegedly stealing from the victim. The police didn’t make this system and they are a relatively new development. If the US ran out tear gas, I imagine law enforcement types might begin to protect and serve the people. The local medical examiner, who by all accounts is something of a megalomaniac, has spent a good deal of time in federal court over machine politics as usual, and the only thing that makes him any different than the rest of the region’s bottom-feeders, was his suggestion that State violence was unjustified in several incidents.

It was also strange to read that this was the first teenager murdered by the state in Greece since 1985, but apparently there are consequences for such behaviors. Here, it happens so often that no one seems to notice and the media loves to blame a victim,  and brandishing a firearm (or old-timey cell phone) at members of a specialized warrior class with a license to kill is a high risk behaviors, and the outcome of these incidents is not very surprising.

This another example of the multi-tiered US justice system, where the privileged classes (the wealthy, the famous, politicians, informants, security forces) are exempt from the both the spirit and letter of the law. A clear, simple example of this is the removal of civilians and media to make room for off-duty police to intimidate witnesses and jurors in cases where civilians defend themselves from State violence.

Another tier is for those who appear repentant (and/or attractive) enough to be willing to retain an attorney, with punishments well below the level stated by the law. At the bottom is everyone else, (the poor, the mentally ill, the illiterate) who are subject to the brunt of the law. The “impeach Bush” wingnuts refuse to acknowledge this as sure as the right-wing constitution worshippers who too act surprised, when ‘the rule of law’ is ignored by privileged groups and indviduals.

I must admit to being ignorant to the nature of the Greek legal system, as well as other objective realities (I have personal comrades on the ground there, as of 12/14) but the notion of a constitutionally mandated “no-go” zone such as is the case with Greek universities seems like a parallel universe to someone as ignorant and provincial as me, who has never left North America. The only “no-go” zones that have existed in the US, that I can recall firsthand in my lifetime were created with firearms, during the upsurge in entry-level capitalism in the early 90’s.

Maybe the sheer numbers of personal firearms in the US, as opposed to Olde Europe, provides the justification for the supression of dissenters? Obviously media complicity is a factor, as is institutional racism, and the US epidemic of Stockholm syndrome, which results in a lack of sympathy for freedom lovers and fighter, but I’m sure I must be missing something. I guess that’s why the urban guerilla-type groups in Europe fared so much better than their US counterparts. Who knows, maybe the police will get tired and quit? Part of the job is creating the appearance of being superhuman and that’s not easy to keep up. We don’t often get to see these types of things out, normally the unions sell it out pretty quick, and I’ve read something to that effect. This appears to be more youth than labor oriented so maybe ther is no central command to accept concessions.

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Love Park 4: Court Reportback and Trial Date Set

On October 3rd, the Love Park 4 appeared in Philadelphia Municipal Court for their first court date. As expected – since they were just scheduled for a preliminary hearing and the courtroom was over packed as usual – not much happened. The prosecution passed some discovery to the defendants’ legal team and a trial date was set. Defendants are now scheduled for trial on December 13, 2007 in courtroom 1003 at the Criminal Justice Center in Center City Philadelphia. The Love Park 4 Defense Committee is encouraging friends, family and comrades to pack the courtroom that day to show their support and solidarity for the defendants.

Members of the Love Park 4 Defense Committee are confident that with the right resources, all of the anti-fascists arrested will be able to defeat these outrageous charges which could potentially result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines and years of jail time. The Defense Committee also reports that the defendants themselves are confident in their lawyers ability to help them beat the trumped up charges, and are currently proceeding towards trial in December with cautious optimism.

With that said, however, the Love Park 4 are still in need of your help. They do need the resources to win this legal battle and you can help right now!

Simply go to PayPal, click on the “Send Money” tab and make a donation to arastore@hotmail.com. If you wish to send funds through the mail, send a check or well concealed cash to

Heartsville Community Space
PO Box 5917
Philadelphia, PA 19137.

Make sure to note that it is for The Love Park 4 and leave room in the “To” field to add a name.

Write to philly_ara@yahoo.com to receive updates on our case and find out how else you can lend a hand. You can also visit the Support the Love Park 4 Myspace or the Love Park 4 blog for more information and background on the case.

Local Reporter Confronts Bonehead, Bonehead Runs to Police

A PG reporter describes his experience confronting a “skinhead” who was apparently abusing a young woman in public. It sounds like one the members of a local bonehead crew, which is led by a probable government informant and documented mental patient, and according to a former Squirrel Hill video store clerk, consumer of, what was described by a former punk parody band vocalist, turned realtor, “ethnic porn” (although said realtor uses “sociopathic” as his racial slur of choice). Even the other child-molesting, meth-cooks in funny uniforms, want nothing to do with them. The incident ended as most encounters with such “fearless white warriors” do, with the boneheads hiding behind the police. Or maybe he just wanted a job, that came with free, stupid, Village People/Cub Scout clothes. Not a bad idea, considering the number of government agents and snitches that make up these groups. It served them well in Philly on the 23rd.

From One People’s Project

PS-They don’t care what color the cop’s skin is when they’re scared, as seen in this photo from Valley Forge, which could be entitled “Teach Your Children Well”.

Love Park 4 Site Up and Running

Photo from philly imcThere is now a support site for the Love Park 4 defendants, who face trumped-up charges in an incident which bears many of the hallmarks of the ongoing collusion between the State and fascist groups.

Anti-Racists Face Serious Legal Battle in Philly

UPDATE AND PLEA FOR LEGAL FUNDS!

*PLEASE FORWARD*

On Monday July 23rd, four anti-fascists from the Philadelphia, PA area
were arrested at what was supposed to be a Ku Klux Klan rally in Center
City Philadelphia. Jared Schultz, Tom Keenan, Jason Robbins – all of
Philadelphia Anti-Racist Action – and Jim McGovern – of the Progressive
Labor Party – were all arrested and charged with a series of trumped up
misdemeanors in a situation that – for all practical purposes – was
straight up entrapment.

 

Rumors spread through Philadelphia starting Friday July 20th that the Ku
Klux Klan was supposed to show up for an 11AM rally on Monday at Love
Park. While anti-fascists were present in the area starting at 10:30AM, no
racists showed up for the rally until noon when two men wearing what
appeared to be neo-Nazi t-shirts showed up in the area. Anti-fascists
approached the men, confirmed they were neo-Nazis and told them to leave.
Words were exchanged between the Klansmen and the anti-fascists, and then the neo-Nazis said they were leaving. The anti-fascists then followed
behind them to make sure that they kept their promise.

 

Strangely, Civil Affairs cops remained on the other side of the park the
entire time and made no efforts to follow the group even when they were
out of their sight. The boneheads got into an SUV around the corner and
were driven away. As they attempted to drive off, conveniently blocked by
traffic, a verbal confrontation ensued with the anti-fascists lasting
several minutes before a window of the SUV was smashed. The driver – who could have flashed his badge at anytime to disperse the crowd – then
ordered Schultz, Keenan, Robbins and McGovern against the wall.

 

While the arresting officer was a Philadelphia Police Department
detective, the SUV was, according to paperwork received by the arrestees,
the vehicle of FBI Special Agent Sean Brennan, also present during the
arrests. What an FBI agent was doing escorting neo-Nazis away from the
park remains a total mystery.

 

After the arrests, all four of the anti-fascists were transported to the
9th Police Precinct where they remained for approximately 27 hours
awaiting notice of their charges and bail amounts.

 

Initially, the arrestees were informed that for some odd reason, Internal
Affairs was investigating their case and that they would be facing 10
charges – 4 felonies and 6 misdemeanors. In the end, however, all of the
felonies were dropped, leaving the arrestees with 8 misdemeanor charges of varying degrees upon being bailed out. The fact that the charges were
dropped so quickly proves just how trumped up these charges are. However
there’s still a lot at stake for The Love Park 4.

 

Currently, everyone is facing the same 8 charges – Possession of an
Instrument of Crime With Intent, Criminal Conspiracy Engaging with
Possession of Instrument of Crime with Intent, Institutional
Vandalism/Illegal Possession, Reckless Endangering Another Person,
Resisting Arrest, Criminal Mischief, Harassment – Subject Other to
Physical Contact, and Disorderly Conduct/Grading.

 

At this point, everyone is out of jail, doing fine and just taking some
time to relax for a few days before what could be a lengthy and expensive
legal ordeal. All of the defendants are scheduled for court on October
3rd, and are in the process of establishing a legal defense fund and
securing legal counsel.

 

We are confident that with the right resources, all of the anti-fascists
arrested will be able to defeat these outrageous charges which could
result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines and years of jail time

 

*But we sure can’t go it alone*

 

We need the resources to win this legal battle and you can help right now!

 

Simply go to paypal.com, click on the “send money” tab and make
a donation to cyndipitt@gmail.com. If you wish to send funds through the
mail a check or well concealed cash to

 

Heartsville Community Space
PO Box 5917
Philadelphia, PA 19137.

 

Make sure to note that it is for The Love Park 4.

 

Write to philly_ara@yahoo.com to receive updates on how you can lend a
hand. They’ll be plenty of work to do.