Greece:”anarchists hijack the state television station!”

More news from the Pittsburgh anarchists in Greece:

Fri 12/19/08 9:08 AM

Today is a beautiful day here in athens. It is sunny and warm and already the day kicked off with a solidarity action: The french cultural center was burned down. In solidarity with their struggle for education. I finally got around to uploading my pictures… enjoy

they can be viewed here

Editors note: After some facial redacting, the pictures will be posted. There’s been a pox on our house for the past few days and I’m preoccupied with being loving and nurturing and unable to get into character.

Thu 12/18/08 4:35 PM

was the most intense day of my life. I was at the law school.
It was kinda traumatic honestly.

(We)… are alive though, back in relative safety at the occupied economic university

Wed 12/17/08 11:42 AM

Tomorrow huge solidarity actions planned.

so those who haven’t been reading: http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/ should read it. best english news site for the events…

There was banners hung from the acropolis, that read solidarity in a variety of languages….
and declaration from workers who occupied union building:

We will either determine our history ourselves
or let it be determined without us..

http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=948395

Things are going awesome once again, I am safe, having fun, and extremely tired! So much exercise!

Wed 12/17/08 9:20 AM

Today we travelled into the suburbs for a demo against the prisons, people here are trying to abolish them, but there wasn’t many people, about 40 kids 12-17 years old. so we disbanded and headed for a demo near the occupied universities against the courts and the police. again, there was only 150-200 people. mostly kids 12-17 years old, they had fun throwing eggs, flour, and silly objects at the police. the police got somewhat agressive, and so we reacted. which turned into a small riot, dumpsters burned, bank smashed, advertisements smashed. mind you these are high school kids… everybody hates the police here! they chase us back almost all the way to the universities ~2 miles. we stay here until we hear that down the street a bit an occupied trade union building (by anarchists/squatters) is under threat of eviction by the union bosses. we hurry over with pipes, poles, rocks, and you know, all the usual prolitariet street fighting gear. The bosses leave, the occupation remains. in a few more hours there will be another demo against the police… I am safe, a bit tired, but the rebellion continues

Tue 12/16/08 4:17 PM

we also made transit free in the city for today, but wrecking the ticket machines and spray painting the cameras, mad graf everywhere today.

no riots though

Tue 12/16/08 10:00 AM

So much is happening today!
The prime minister makes a speech on tv, but anarchists hijack the state television station!

The banner reads “free all political prisioners” the signs read “stop watching, turn off your tv, everyone to the streets!”

(Greek news story in Greek)

Tue 12/16/08 9:38 AM

The situation has turned for the better, yet again. Around 1pm Today (Athens Time)  Anarchists firebombed the Police Barracks and burned them to the ground. Also the Soldiers in the Greek Military formed a union and made a pact that states “they will not take up arms, or fight against civilians”.

More actions are planed for today that will unify the country against capitalism and the state.

Advertisements

Greek Solidarity Banner Drop On Liberty Avenue (from Pittsburgh IMC)

banner1

banner2

From Pittsburgh Independent Media Center

A banner in solidarity with greek anarchists and in memory of 15 year old alexandros grigoropoulos, who was recently killed by police in athens greece, was spotted hanging from a building on liberty ave. this morning. the banner hung for approximately 4 hours from the roof which is located between ella and taylor sts.

the banner reads:

in memory of
a. grigoropoulos
humanity’s struggle
against authority
continues

“This is social war!” Boots on the Ground in Greece

Two comrades of the Yinsurrectionary Times arrived in Greece over the weekend. We’ll be posting updates as they become available. Check back.

Mon 12/15/08 7:01 PM

Greece is fucking dope.  School children fight better than the most seasoned militants.  Rocks line the air and dumpsters burn, shit is mad fucking real.  I hope all is well with you there.  I miss you!

Mon 12/15/08 4:56 AM

So what really hyped people here in Athens was the Milwaukee banner drop

Also there were some under cover cops on motor bikes circling the university… yeah it’s amazing how quickly people organize, suit up, and get ready for attack. the cops left.

Over 700 schools, dozens of industries and hundreds of buildings are now occupied. This is social war! There are thousands of school children (who have occupied their schools) that are going to march today. Tomorrow will bring back the some of the flavor that we saw last week 😉

love yinz,
staying wild…
*****

Sun 12/14/08 9:37 AM

***** it is amazing… there are no more banks, atms, or police stations.

Sun 12/14/08 6:34 AM

I have arrived with **** in Athens. We had no problem with customs/immigration. I am staying in the School of Economics (right up the street from the Polytechnic) which is occupied by students/anarchists. It is undescribeable how amazing everything is. There is Anarchist graffiti everywhere, music playing, stockpiled molotov cocktails, free food, huge banners, amazingly friendly and welcoming people, and people working on a voluntary co-operative basis. I am taking some pictures and will be putting them online shortly. People are resting now from a hard week, but the sentiment here is that it is far from over!

From within liberated space,

*****

Protest to Express Solidarity with Greek Uprising (from Pittsburgh IMC)

A reportback from this event, with photos, can be seen at infoshop.org

alexkiller

Protest to Express Solidarity with Greek Uprising
by Anarchists in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 at 10:58 PM
yinzersolidarity@gmail.com

This Saturday, December 13 11:30am In front of the Pittsburgh Police Zone 2 Headquarters: Because the role of the police as agents of state control and repression is universal, and our resistance must be just as global. Bring: Signs, banners, flags, noisemakers, and other symbols and expressions of resistance and support for our Greek comrades.

add your comments

On December 6, Greek police shot and killed 15-year-old anarchist Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Exarchia, an anarchist area in Athens. This act came days after police killed a Pakistani immigrant and attacked textile workers protesting for unpaid wages. These specific acts of state violence are within the context of the right-wing government’s program of privatization, deregulation, repression against social movements, and escalating attacks on pensions, labor rights, education, immigrants, and anarchists.

The murder has sparked a general uprising by tens of thousands of anarchists, students, immigrants, and workers who, for almost a week, have been occupying schools and universities, confronting police, and attacking government symbols of authority and corporate power. While diverse tendencies are engaging in these decentralized actions, they point towards a number of reformist and revolutionary views worthy of support: a desire to remove the current right-wing government from power; dissatisfaction with capitalism and corporate globalization; the desire for autonomy and freedom from coercive hierarchies; and rejection of the state repression being directed against immigrants, anarchists, and other groups.

The cost of holding the streets has been heavy, with dozens of protesters injured and hundreds arrested. It is the largest outbreak of social discontent since the fall of Greece’s military dictatorship and may yet topple the current government.

In these decisive days of heroic resistance within Greece it is the responsibility of anarchists, students, and workers around the world to show our support. This is critical in light of the media coverage that seems only to show WHAT people are doing while distorting or ignoring the reasons WHY.

Greece is an inspiration to all of us who believe in human solidarity, who desire to live free and to shake off government and corporate control of our lives, workplaces, and communities.

Hundreds of solidarity actions are occurring around the world. Protesters blockaded the Greek Embassy in London, and the Berlin and Paris embassies have been occupied. Within the United States solidarity protests are happening in San Francisco, New York City, Olympia, and elsewhere. In Pittsburgh we are organizing a public, visible gathering at the Zone 2 Police Headquarters. The role of the police as an agent of state control and repression is universal, and it is a fitting location to connect our resistance locally to that occurring globally.

We encourage people not just to attend, but to continue manifesting their solidarity in other direct, creative, and relevant ways throughout the city.

This solidarity gathering is organized by individuals affiliated with various radical projects and initiatives in Pittsburgh. Due to the time sensitive nature of the event, we are unable to seek endorsement by specific groups. Instead, we are simply calling for the local radical community to put aside any personal or organizational gripes to come together in a unified gathering in support of the uprising in Greece.

Organizers can be contacted at: yinzersolidarity@gmail.com

**Resources on the Greek Struggle**

Rioting Explodes Across Greece: http://libcom.org/news/rioting-explodes-across-greece-08122008

Communiqué from those occupying the Athens Polytechnic University: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=936215

Police Shooting at protesters as clashes rage: http://libcom.org/news/shots-ring-out-athens-riots-continue-09122008

Blog about Greece Riots: http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/

Review: Steel City Revolt #1

Steel City Revolt #1 (Fall 2008)

48 pages, quarterly

(POG, c/o The Thomas Merton Center, 5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224)

(Full Disclosure: I was affiliated for a couple years with the group who put out this publication. )

I was unsure what to expect from this project, since I hadn’t been keeping up with POG’s recent activities, membership, or orientation. I recalled some members of the group had wanted to publish some kind of ongoing anarchist periodical for years, but election years can dilute the character of resistance (and make it hard to find reefer). It’s good that this finally came together.

The first issue of Steel City Revolt manages to walk a fine line. The covers and printing are professional enough to be taken seriously outside of radical ghettos, without being so slick that you wonder where that money came from. Good layout and graphics. The content is militant, without being too threatening or scary. A sizable portion of the magazine is composed of personal accounts which are much more readable than the kind of manifesto rhetoric that can only ever hope to preach to the choir, at best. The internal group documents and donation/membership forms are less obtrusive than your average subscription card. Overall, it adheres to a pretty orthodox left/activist anarchism, but pays some lip service to the insurrectionary project with a quote and illustration from the Harper’s stuff on the 1877 uprisings, a Bonanno quote, pretty cool centerfold world map listing various international ruptures occuring between July and September.

Fortunately there are no attempts to redefine anarchism and it’s relationship to presidential elections. The firsthand accounts of  the RNC actions did an especially good job of  capturing the mood of these kinds of events and the interview-style article on US elections was solid, all told, there’s a bare minimum of the kind of diplomatic mollifying that is required to keep liberals from spitting on you, because you disagree with them.

The sadly, largely neglected struggle against I-69, a time-line of anarchist hunger strike from Spain, the RNC 8, and a tribute to two recently slain activists make up some of the outside content. There’s also some features/cultural stuff including movie (which is also a personal account of the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle) and book reviews, gift ideas, crafting, the mandatory ascetic recipes, and poetry (although an excerpt from P. Shelly’s “Mask of Anarchy” is erroneously labeled as “The Call to Freedom”, as it is in many places on ‘teh interwebs’. It seems like the sparts objected to the rest of the poem and cut their own favorite piece off and gave it their own title)

One of the things that I found less than thrilling was the “indivdualism” vs “collectivism” false-dichotomy that popped up in the “Get to Know an Anarchist from the Past” feature. An anarchist collective must by definition be composed of anarchist individuals, although some days I have to wonder.  Devoting four pages to business union boilerplate wasn’t entirely unexpected or entirely negative, especially the plain talk on the PAT/ATU situation. The unconditional cheerleading for big labor isn’t limited to POG, but is a shortcoming of left/activist anarchism in general, and won’t likely be solved in a periodical review.

All told, POG has put together a entertaining and informative magazine.While I have my doubts about formal anarchist groups, left activism, and their capacity to attack State and Capital, during periods of low revolutionary actvity, a project like Steel City Revolt proves they can publish a worthwhile periodical. I’m glad to see more time devoted to radically-oriented media as opposed to the futility of trying to get honest treatment from corporate media. I look forward to the next issue.

An Open Letter to the “Anarchists” Who Voted for Obama

In a future revolutionary period, the most subtle and most dangerous defenders of capitalism will not be the people shouting pro-capitalist and pro-statist slogans, but those who have understood the possible point of a total rupture. Far from eulogizing TV commercials and social submission, they will propose to change life… but, to that end, call for building a true democratic power first. If they succeed in dominating the situation, the creation of this new political form will use up people’s energy, fritter away radical aspirations and, with the means becoming the end, will once again turn revolution into an ideology. Against them, and of course against overtly capitalist reaction, the proletarians’ only path to success will be the multiplication of concrete communist initiatives, which will naturally often be denounced as anti-democratic or even as.. “fascist”. The struggle to establish places and moments for deliberation and decision, making possible the autonomy of the movement, will prove inseparable from practical measures aimed at changing life.
-Gilles Dauvé: When Insurrections Die (Part 2)

Beloved and respected friends and comrades,

I’ve been putting this off for a little while, because it pertains to those who I “know” only digitally, and those of you whom I know and care for, which is little different than my normal motives for procrastinating. I’m also having difficulty coming to any kind of conclusive conclusion. Sometimes I feel like that straight-edge teen I used to be. The one who had to ignore my friend’s personal habits, if I wanted the friends I had. I’ve since exchanged abstinence for abstention, but the moral highlands get lonely. We all have moments, every day, when our words and actions are not explicitly anarchist ones. That’s no real contradiction. Theory’s theory,  and reality is reality. I lack the formal education to decide at what point (or which actions) we rack up enough ‘un-anarchist’ points to get the discount on gas or free coffee or purged from the Movement.

The recent US national election saw many of you anarchists (outside of the title, I’ll refrain from using quotation marks or “self-described” out of respect) publicly endorse and proudly vote for Barack Obama. I was unaware of the existence of modern anarchists in the US in August of 1999, but when I look back, I can find no evidence of any radical fanfare when Franklin Raines became CEO of Fannie Mae.

Looking back, It seems that anarchist involvement in US political conventions seems to be a baby-boomer contribution. I’m unaware of any anarchist actions at the political party conventions before 1968. Other than the tactical lack of Republican mobs in the street, we seem to harbor a soft spot for the Democrats. Maybe later we can figure that one out and we can also discuss why we even protest the political conventions?

This election, many people who identify as anarchists, saw no contradiction in voting. Some of you weren’t even the “hold your nose and vote” types. Some anarchists seem  proud of themselves, their country, and their candidate, for the moment, but that’s a moment too long. The reasons you gave us were pretty much the same reasons that people who vote democratic tend to give, plus some debatable notions that democratic administrations allow room for social movements to flourish (like they’re mountain lions) and murky stuff about solidarity. Which you may remember is the flipside of my past endorsements of “the worse of two evils”, because “an increase in open repression, privation, and alienation would push our beloved homogeneous masses to open mutiny” and that “republican policies can hasten the end of US empire quicker than the democrats can”. But I was less than half-serious and never actually went through with it. I didn’t have much internet access before the election, so I was unaware of this backslide into electoral superstition.

The  memory escapes me, but I am unaware of democrats nurturing radical social movements, I remember many armed right wing, “partiot”  groups, who are in favor of Jesus, if they don’t consider themselves Jesus. This time around, they can protect us from the UN and the Federal Reserve and al Qaeda in Idaho.  Dubya just didn’t deploy the black helicopters like Clinton did. Conspiracy kingpin, Alex Jones, should be able to afford an island soon. This is good news for the State security apparatus, because the similarities in views, structure, goals, and appearance between the FBI and the theocratic militias is much easier than these years of tormenting Muslims.

Anarchist voters also had to be pretty certain that Obama would govern from the center-right, in the manner expected of a modern US president, because if he was the “marxist” that right-wing radio still maintain he his, the repression against anarchists would likely be swift and brutal, if the 20th century is any indicator. The 21st century hasn’t proven to be much better.

Some of us knew that the campus radicals were easy prey for the democrats. The rise in anarchist votes in the last two elections seems to be reflective of the recent increase in youth turnout, overall, but many comrades who should have known better, “signed their social contract” last week. It’s not hard to see where material conditions become more of a concern as the acceptable age for youthful rebellion in the US is left behind. Add a few kids to that mix, and anything that has an outside chance to make material conditions even slightly less miserable must seem like a real good idea. Besides, who doesn’t crave some legitimacy every now and again and the pressure exerted by the people around you can be great? I also have the luxury of not being canvassed all day by co-workers.

I think that many of the anarchists who are concerned with building a mass movement of some sort, may have been more susceptible to voting. It’s likely some anti-authoritarians wanted to be on the winning team for a change, because there was that kind of group energy and momentum swirling around the Obama campaign, if you were willing to ignore the structure and aims. The business unions may have made voters out of some the anarchists who are there to radicalize the union. Which is telling, as far as the notion of changing the system from within is concerned, as if that one needed another debunking.

We tend to run with a pretty iconoclastic bunch, so it’s easy to forget, but hard to discount the effect that endorsements by some of the leading lights of mainstream anti-authoritarian academia must had. Bill Ayers probably gave Obama some radical credibility. Or was it radical chic? The republicans simply couldn’t grasp the political reality that people like Ayers are big-money liberal fund-raising props, like their wounded troops and police widows. Liberals love proxy violence and armed-struggle; so long as it is from another time or place, as sure as conservatives love US military and police violence. Zapatistas and Sandinistas and aging bombers are venerated money magnets, but break a window at a present day demo or hit a nazi with a stick and their American Exceptionalism is triggered. They’re incensed.

Like christmas, it’s not easy to avoid being sucked into the campaign reality grid, considering the resources expended on sucking us in. Avoiding Obama’s gravitational pull wasn’t easy, either. I guess even I’d seem pretty attractive if I spent $650 million of someone elses money to do so. I love politics as a spectator sport, though and this cycle was particularly entertaining, but I still don’t have a favorite team. Having lived through seven presidents, it wasn’t hard to figure out that the pendulum would favor a democrat this time around. McCain’s dementia-influenced health care plan which I sill can’t comprehend, was a far cry from the Wall Street sanctioned Obama proposal. When the reality that capitalism is just a game we all agree to play wounded the markets, there was no way Obama could lose. It was almost shocking to be reminded that the democrats were ever skilled at the game of elections.

US elections have also proven to be of extra dubious legitimacy lately, and electronic touchscreens have done little to make the results seem more valid. The participation of people I care about does nothing validate that process for me either. The fraud, intimidation, disenfranchisement, and other irregularities make the powerball seem like a better idea.

Does anyone really believe that the aircraft carrier of State can make a quick 180 degree turn, no matter how cool the captain seems? That’s why there are so many bizarre laws still left on the books, it’s not easy to put these things back into the box, Pandora. The State ensures its existence by passing laws, not repealing them. The issues that separate the US parties are meant to stay unresolved, or all they have to differ on is semantics and the parties would go out of business. Abortion & firearms seem to be the defining ones, and both are here to stay. The need to be armed and voluntary eugenics will never go out of style, as long as this system exists. The firearms manufacturers love democratic presidents, who become amazing gun salesmen through hysteria generated by lobbyists and pundits. Dubya was quite the Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Issues that unite the parties include; staying in Iraq, also known as supporting the troops, and as much surveillance as is technologically and near-economically feasible, which is pretty much just not mentioned by politicians or the media, at all. Obama, as you may recall is a-ok with domestic suveillance, and the “War on Terror®” is the replacement for the cold war. I don’t know which of the “changes” you “believed in” but they apparently weren’t in white house staffers, since 37 of the 41 appointed so far were ex-Clinton lackies. Can we look forward to more “workfare”, humanitarian airstrikes, and extra cops, fresh back from Iraq? Elected democrats are often called upon to prove how ‘tough’ they are on certain issues, typically these are mostly things like “Crime”, “Communism/Terrorism,most-isms”, “Drugs” and ocassionally “Poverty” or “Illiteracy”. The last two aren’t as much a priority, because they seldom involve explosions.

I can’t pretend to begin to have anything even resembling a clue, as far as how many of us the US consider themselves to be anarchists. I’d prefer to be wrong, but it can’t be too many. There’s probably a bigger Fiero owners club. In fact, I doubt that if every anti-authoritarian moved to a sparsely populated US state; all of us put together would not be enough to change the outcome of a US election. The math is what makes any argument for voting moot. I thought we knew our votes didn’t count? Had former 1960’s bomber John McCain won the election would that have jogged your collective memories? Would so many have admitted to voting? The folks who took a sabbatical from practicing anarchist theory and voted were not even a factor. Had you all remained proper abstentionists, like a big chunk of the population who don’t consider themselves anarchists, I wouldn’t be wasting a week on this one post.

Once again, it made little difference to the election whether anarchists participated or not, so I guess it shouldn’t matter to me?  I don’t know why I feel a little betrayed, though. Maybe it’s just knowledge of the loss of a shared affinity? After the passage of a little time, I have to question the election as a great historical event. Whites in the US have accepted Tiger Woods as the greatest at an activity that brown-skinned people have traditionally had sense enough to avoid, like skydiving. For 35 years I’ve listened to the blue-collar bigots in my family and neighborhood profess their admiration for Muhammad Ali, a physically dangerous black man with legitimately radical views, who practiced Islam.  As long as our celebreties are attractive enough, race can be easily overlooked.

I guess I didn’t campaign too vigorously against this election, out of guilt, which I imagine is what led you to endorse, campaign, and vote for Obama, and why you are still proud of your vote.

Parts of this will be addressed later, but something had to be said.

Love,

yinsurgent

Landslide Farmhouse Eviction Account and Support Information‏

The City has unboarded the house, but informed the residents that they may not sleep there. Legal status is being worked out. A benefit is planned, and donations are being accepted.

UPDATE!!!!

Thanks to the hundreds of phones calls of support to Council Woman Payne’s office, public works, the mayors office, and to 311; the Support of Council Woman Payne, and legal aid from the ACLU, our lawyer and one long, hard day of work from many other helpful folks, the boards will be removed from the farmhouse. We are thankful for all your support. This victory, though temporary, has shown us just how many people in our community and the larger community care about Landslide.

Personal Account of November 7th 2008 Landslide Community Farm’s Farmhouse Eviction

On the morning of November 7th 2008 the Landslide Community Farm volunteers were assembling to plan the 3rd day of their yearly farm closing work week, when Pittsburgh Public Works arrived escorted by several PGHPD vehicles, including a police wagon. The police asked for identification from all people on the sidewalk when they arrived. They then asked to see a written lease agreement or deed for the farmhouse.

No written agreement was able to be presented; police officers then notified all present that we had fifteen minutes to remove our important belongings before the house would be barred. When asked why we were being evicted, we were told that an anonymous complaint call had been made to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s 311 hotline. The caller claimed that we were violating building code.

Neighbors, visitors, and volunteers helped us retrieve as much of our property as we all could before we were denied re-entry. The Public Works employees then measured and tried to board the doors, but their van was a bit too far down the hill. They pulled the van up and backed over their own saw. They had to leave the premises to purchase a new one. Police officers remained outside watching the community farm members as we watched over the farmhouse.

Public Works returned and boarded two of the entrances. The police asked if anyone was still present in the house. A full time volunteer re-entered and checked the premises and reported that no one remained inside. Then, two police officers entered the house admittedly without permission from the owner and without a search warrant. Public Works then boarded the last door and the police informed us we would be immediately arrested if we entered the farmhouse. The PW workers left with the police shortly afterward.

Councilwoman Tonya Payne, a major supporter of the farm, came a bit later with the same PW employees that had sealed the farmhouse. She and the other city employees said they wished they could help us in this situation. The councilwoman didn’t know how to go about that, and the PW employees said that they could only follow orders. We are now trying to figure out our next steps and what our options are. We are currently working with a lawyer but if you have ideas or advice please email Landslide@riseup.net.

If you would like to help us out, we need you! Please come to Landslide in the next few days to help us finish our closing work. You can also attend our emergency fundraiser tomorrow, November 8th, 2008 5452 Wilkins Ave. at 8 pm. We will be having our weekly Sunday Brunch benefit (a spilt benefit between Landslide and Book ‘Em) as usual on Sunday, November 9th Noon-3ish pm. Anything that you have (especially love and support) will help get us through this tough period and build our collective strength. Monies collected will first go toward legal fees and we will also be raising money in case the farmhouse goes up for city auction soon. If you cannot physically come to Landslide but want to donate money, you can send donations via Pay Pal on http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org by selecting “Donate” then “Projects” then choosing the Sustainable Living Project. Checks should be made out to “The Thomas Merton Center” memo “Sustainable Living Project”. Checks and money orders can be sent to: The Thomas Merton Center 5125 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15206. We will have a list of tools and materials that we could use and projects that are being completed posted on our website shortly. Please check http://www.landslidecommunityfarm.org for updates.

Thanks so much to everyone that has been a part of all the kindness, generosity, and overwhelming support that the project has received. We couldn’t be here with out it.


members
of The Landslide Community Farm