Archive for the Corporations Category

How to (non-violently) sabotage railways

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment, Indigenous, Revolution with tags , , on June 28, 2013 by Ⓐb Irato

Ecodefense is a historical artifact. It be argued that it is the most controversial environmental book ever published; more importantly, though, it is a key exhibit in the legal history of freedom of the press in the United States. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1791. It reads in part, “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” That enshrined freedom of the press and speech sets the United States of America apart from all other nations. No other country so jealously defends the right of its citizens to speak and publish controversial ideas. Though we do not fetishize non-violence or ascribe to a pathology of pacifism, we thought it was worthwhile, in the context of the current indigenous and anti-civ resistance movements, to republish these easy (and harmless to life, as opposed to capital) instructions for railway disruption, courtesy of comrades in so-called “Southern Ontario”. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The below text is for educational & entertainment purposes only.

Choose a section of railway tracks with a degree of privacy. Using no less than 12 feet of large gauge copper wire (plastic casing removed), wrap each end of the wire around the two railway ties and back onto themselves, ensuring as much contact with the railway tie as possible. As soon as both ends are securely in place, the circuit will be complete and the railway traffic signals in the area will signal that there is a barrier on the tracks. Leave promptly.

FAI / ELF New Horizons of Burning Rage’ take responsibility for media sabotage (UK)

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment, Revolution, Technology with tags , , , , on January 6, 2013 by Ⓐb Irato

From Act For Freedom Now!

As part of the ongoing anarchist war for total liberation, we carried out a hit on the Bathampton radio and TV relay station. Fires were set at four points of the structures, and we left undisturbed. As a result of the sabotage, on top of causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage, we regionally shut down all TV channels on Freeview as well as all national analogue and digital radio stations. Additionally it took down Vodaphone and other mobile networks, damaging police communications and other digital services. 80,000 homes and businesses in the area were affected.

The entertainment industry is an important tool to manipulate human behaviour.

Without a steady supply of distractions it would be much harder to persuade people that their lives are satisfactory, to convince them to keep going to work or in whatever way to reproduce the system. So to deprive the network of the ability to offer this essential means of escape from chronic modern stress, anxiety, frustration and dissatisfaction is to undermine the smooth running of society, however temporarily.

There are many soft targets and many lo-tech methods available for us malcontents who gladly choose conflict over despair. This gives rise to the prospect of rebellion with thousands of faces, with infinite reasons to blockade and destroy whatever stands between us and our goals. We want to experience harmony as a living planet, face to face encounter as intimate circles of proud and free-thinking individuals, and a chance to mould an existence filled with wild play and fierce joy.

Our first response when faced with today’s crushing domination and a subservient society will always be outbreaks of disorder, refusal and beauty.

Our comrades from far and wide who also carry this fight share our thoughts so closely that often their words could be ours. So when they are kidnapped and held far away from us our determination is only further fuelled. Following many actions in Italy the state has unleashed a wave of repression against anarchists and their projects (Operations Ardire, Mangiafuoco, Ixodidae, Thor…), some across borders, accusing some of attacks of the FAI (Informal Anarchist Federation) and raising a trophy for the media-judicial circus: Nicola Gai and Alfredo Cospito, who they claim are FAI / Olga Cell. But if the prosecutors thought for one minute that they had dismantled the group even in Italy with their operations, another cell soon proved them wrong with an attack on the banking system in the capital, followed by grid sabotage in Indonesia, gunshots in Mexico, liberations in Russia, bombing in Greece, mass arson in Argentina, to name but a few. The new anarchist guerrillas laugh in the faces of the powerful because the repression is only throwing petrol on the fires of the open leaderless resistance.

We are on the side of everyone who has burnt stuffy textbooks and taken the offensive to reanimate an anarchy that had turned to dust in so many throats. Any rebel’s capture becomes yet another motive to strike, as we have before and will again, as a reminder of the social cost of their imprisonment.

This action carried out eight years to the day since Xosé Tarrio (a dignified prisoner of Spain’s FIES isolation units, against which a series of attacks last decade were later claimed by the first generation of the FAI) died in the cells, leaving his blood on the hands of the jailers, courts and cops.

FAI / ELF,
New Horizons of Burning Rage

Critique of ‘Do Not Support the ALF’

Posted in Anarchism, Animal Liberation, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment, Police State, Prisoner Support with tags , on November 16, 2012 by Ⓐb Irato

By Jake Conroy (SHAC 7), from Because We Must:

I don’t tweet or tumbl or any of that stuff, so I don’t really have a place to put this besides here. Nor can I contact websites like Animal Liberation Frontline or NAALPO due to my legal issues. But this ridiculous article about how we need to do away with ALF supporters has been heavy on my mind. So I thought I would share my thoughts. Feel free to share on your social media outlets if you feel inspired to:

While I share in the anonymous author’s desire to see more action and less talk, the arguments laid out in their article are tragically flawed, dangerous, and counterproductive (and somewhat laughable as it is being posted on blogs and all things social media, thus creating just the opposite affect of the original argument). I have spent awhile thinking about and being angered over the article and how best to respond. Ultimately, my own personal story, which I think is fairly commonplace for a lot of us, was the best rebuttal:

I think my story is pretty typical for anyone coming up in the mid 90′s. I moved to the Northwest in 1995 when I was 19. I quickly became vegan and interested in politics. I didn’t know any other activists or even vegans at the time. However, I found myself captivated by hardcore and punk music, and zines that espoused the lifestyle. I would go to places like Fallout Records and dig through the dusty box they had in the corner, full of old magazines. Here I would find old Sea Shepherd journals and issues of The Underground (the ALF Supporters Group newsletter). I would go to hardcore shows and pick up literature at tables. I spent hours in used bookstores digging through the history sections for books on radical activism. I would spend days pouring over these materials, reading and rereading them, and dreaming and scheming.

Eventually I would find my way into my local animal rights group. I worked with the Northwest Animal Rights Network in Seattle that was a mix of the greatest group of people. Our tight-knit core group of 10 or so had retired naval lawyers in their 70s down to punk rock teens with mohawks. But the one thing we all had in common was that we unabashedly supported the ALF. One of the first demonstrations I ever went to was an ALF support demo after a local Honey Bee Ham restaurant had its windows smashed in. Myself and a friend started passing out information on animal rights and animal liberation at the local hardcore shows. We would be doing tables upwards of 3-4 times a week. There wasn’t much in the way of ALF support merchandise at the time, so we screened pro-ALF shirts and hoodies we got from the thrift store and sold them to cover the costs of photocopies. While I certainly don’t attribute it entirely or even remotely to the two of us, there was definitely a genuine feeling of support for direct action and the ALF within the community.

Over the next several years I would redirect my focus from simple protests to civil disobedience, to direct action in the form of whale hunt sabs off the coast of Washington, to helping get the SHAC USA office off the ground and working on the anti-HLS campaign for 5 years. During that time I also worked on and helped start some of the biggest and most important direct action support magazines of those times. Those magazines would help build, among other things, community support for imprisoned activists around the world. That support would come in many forms, including leaflets and magazines, t shirts, videos, benefits, and support funds. Eventually myself and 5 friends would be found guilty in the SHAC 7 trial. I would be sentenced to 48 months in federal prison, partly because we chose to publicly share ideas. Controversial ideas, like supporting direct action and the ALF.

All of this started with zines I found in a box in the corner of a record store. It led to high-fives with friends, wearing black shirts and taking goofy pictures with disposable cameras at hardcore shows (that’s what we did before Instagram). I started out as a kid listening to music and reading propaganda. I never was a press officer, or a convicted (or not convicted) operative, nor am I disabled. But I think I’ve accomplished some really exciting things in my 17 years as an activist – from getting fur out of major retailers in Seattle, to using direct action to stop the killing of whales off the coast of Washington to organizing with SHAC USA, one of the most successful grassroots animal rights campaigns in our history. And I started out exactly as the kid you are saying needs to stop their “madness”.

Do you know who else started out the same way I did? Being inspired by listening to the music you want to end and reading the zines (now online, called blogs) you would like to do away with? ALF activists like Rod Coronado, Keith Mann, Peter Young. Andy Stepanian, Darius Fullmer. Do you know how ALL of those folks survived their prison experiences? By receiving books and letters and photos and donations by all those people who you suggest do nothing more than “work and watch movies with friends”.

The bottom line is, for over 40 years there has been ALF support work going on all over the world. (Please learn the history of that work at Conflict Gypsy) That work has created a community of people that might not be exactly what you want them to be, but ultimately will support those people you revere so much when they need it the most. Their simple presence will keep that community around, will foster that support when its needed, and keep the issues as relevant as possible. Of course we want more action, less words. But ultimately we need both, because that’s what will keep these ideologies going throughout the peaks and the troughs, the highs and the lows. To not show your support publicly for direct action is what may be the final blow to one of the most important elements of the animal rights movement.

International Conspiracy for Revenge – FAI/IRF takes responsibility for arson of a school in Manado (Indonesia)

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Police State, Prisoner Support, Revolution with tags on November 15, 2012 by Ⓐb Irato

School burns during the week of solidarity action for Eat and Billy, called by the International Conspiracy for Revenge.

325 receives and transmits:

On 11 of November 2012, covered by the night and with desires of revolutionary solidarity to the imprisoned anarchists from around the world, we burnt one state elementary school in Paniki, Manado. We salute our action to all of our brothers and sisters from Informal Anarchist FederationInternational Revolutionary Front (FAI – IRF).

Maybe, many of the comrades will be asking why we put a fire in a school? It’s a simple answer.

First, school is a prison. And there’s no other excuse to defend the school and write it out from the list of targets of revolutionary actions. In school, we can’t learn about freedom, bravery, uniqueness and revolutionary solidarity. We learn nothing but the situation of society that imposes on our dignity as a human being.

We dedicated our action to remember our brothers, Eat and Billy who are still jailed by the state. Also, through this action we want to send our revolutionary greetings to Nicola Gai and Alfredo Cospito, members of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Theofilos Mavropoulos, Gabriel Pombo da Silva, Marco Camenisch, members of Revolutionary Struggle and the
imprisoned anarchist in Chile and Bolivia. To Luciano Tortuga and Mario Tripa Lopez, we send you revolutionary hugs to both of you.

This action is part of our issue of Direct Action for one week to remember our brothers who are imprisoned by the state, the struggle against state, capital and society.

Never step back,
Never unarmed,
Never bow,

For anarchy
For the black international


International Conspiracy for Revenge (ICR)
Informal Anarchist Federation – International Revolutionary Front (FAI – IRF)

-

Notes on the action:

The fire started at around 9pm. The entire school was burned out. 322 children now have a lot of free time without state education. There was not a single casualty. Following the previous ICR action in Manado on 5th November, the police organised a meeting specifically to discuss the situation, where media were not allowed inside to hear the proceedings. They are presumed to have decided on a policy of denial, to attempt to suppress the information about the attacks. Hence, the previous explosive device in Manado was declared only to be an “empty suitcase” mistaken for a bomb, and the arson of this school declared as an “electrical short-circuit”.

(Mainstream media)

October 5th, 2012: Call for Day of Action Against Mexican, US & Canadian Consulates & Embassies

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment, Government, Indigenous, Revolution on September 9, 2012 by Ⓐb Irato

From Decolonize the World:

On October 5th, 2012 we are calling for a global day of action against the Mexican, US, and Canadian consulates and embassies worldwide. We are not recommending any particular actions; instead we are calling for as many people as possible to expose the role of these entities in resource extraction and poisoning of the earth, genocides, and assassinations of rebels rising up against the many headed hydra of capitalism—especially its mining companies.

In the spirit of resistance, we are calling for actions against the embassies of these countries to reaffirm our solidarity with Indigenous peoples who are fighting back against the systemic rape of the earth and exposing the sickness of capitalism. The three fascist governments of Mexico, the US, and Canada make up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Canada is a legal exception with regards to mining policy: it is the only nation-state that does not require its companies to follow its own laws when operating in another nation-state.  While it is important to call attention to Canada’s exceptional legal status, it is equally if not more important to recognize that all mining is fundamentally unsustainable and will always be pitted against the earth and its inhabitants.

Mining companies are maintained by the militaries and police forces of these fascist states.  Whenever a population rises up to stop the exploitation of the land, they are inevitably confronted by the forces of the Policia Federal, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  In the most unstable situations, insurgent populations are encircled by the military and put under siege.

These companies and governments have not relented in their efforts to enslave and poison the planet within their webs of fences, pipelines, murder and money.  They must be confronted directly and it is our hope that this call serves to bolster intergalactic solidarity in the fight against capitalism, genocide, and slavery.  We welcome all actions against these institutions and recommend the wide spread diffusion of this call out.

No borders or prisons can contain or suppress our intergalactic solidarity.
Long live life!
Long live freedom!
Love and Solidarity!
 
This action is part of the Decolonize the New World 2012: West Coast Anti-Colonial, Anti-Capitalist Convergence in San Francisco during Columbus Day weekend. The convergence is being called for by Decolonize and Anti-Capitalist comrades in the Pacific Northwest and Bay Area.

9/11 Redux: Call for an All-Out Anarchist Attack on the Mainstream Media!

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, War & Peace with tags on September 9, 2012 by Ⓐb Irato

Big media and its State has attacked us… Now let’s strike back.

We know this is a last minute call, but we wanted keep as much time as possible out of State’s hands for protecting itself, while attacking us.

This is going to start on 9/11, the 11th anniversary of the Dark Day of Terror; this unrivaled jewel of the society of Spectacle, when for hours, the same images of planes hitting the towers were televised in a loop, like countless shots of an invisible yet very present weapon of mass disruption. We believe that this significant date is the exact right time when to bring this anarchist insurgency up to a new level.

Eleven years ago, a major attack was carried upon the people all around the planet. This was an all-out onslaught of terror through the Spectacle, that resulted into a global fall into an Orwellian nightmare for most if not all of us. This attack was used shock the public, especially the establishment, into calling out for total mindless vindication upon anyone who’ll be labelled a «terrorist», by terrorist States. It was used to crush our civil liberties, develop an unprecedented grid of total surveillance upon the proles, through CCTV’s and telecoms, as well as to bring despotic legal-militaristic measures to repress dissenters, immigrants and native people alike, put them into maximum security prisons; and to further impose racist, restrictive immigration policies. It was also used to justify endless foreign military invasions worldwide, in what now seems to be part of the «new world order» agenda that George H.W. Bush called for, 22 years ago on the exact same date.

Whether intended or not, and conspiracy or not, the 9/11 attacks were the foundation for a new Nazi “Enabling Act”, aimed at bringing ordinary fascism everywhere in the Western world, under a doctrine of Terror, of (inter)national (in)security. It was a further way to bring new legitimacy and life to age-old imperialist policy by rich Western countries, in a time where there wasn’t any global Enemy to fight against. No matter which political figure of democracy was in charge, this was aways pushed further and deeper, to the benefit of a few corporate crooks, and to the most grassroot level, with the invasion of our neighborhoods by a violent, paramilitary «gestapo» on steroids, in body armors and with an murderous arsenal around their belts. This has become, in essence, the signs of a dead, broken society, which needs to always further invade and militarize itself in order to keep going longer. As others pointed out, the rising Prison Society is a way for the State to buy itself more time; even perhaps secure its future, like it tries to secure its futures by invading Eurasian, Middle-Eastern and African regions. But primarily, all this cannot be achieved without a propaganda and mind-control machine that plays a central role into this global war theater. In a society that no longer exists, the established order relies on propaganda, as it presents itself as the only thing that binds all together. The only social tissue that exists is a power grid.

The Spectacle and the State are now one and the same. Attempts to distinguish them are irrelevant, since all that differs is the process behind these that pretty much equate to the same thing at the bottom of equation: producing a spectacle of power, and giving power to this spectacle. The police are the heroes in the evening news just like they’ve been for decades in mediocre Hollywood productions. The political, financial, scientific elite are the only relevant expertise, and the figures of the capitalist establishment they work for. Electoral process is intertwined with media manipulation. And none of this is new, only that now it is so obvious. The spectacle, in their world, is everything, and the telescreens of all kinds are its most pervasive weapons, their results being the production in our minds of the illusion of society, especially its fictitious projection across time and space. Like following trends and materialist ideals. Like seeing yourself in a televised debate, or fantasy movie. This is always, always, about what’s not there, what tries to be real, but that is never.

Therefore the total rejection of this shallow, lifeless, despotic, violent capitalist society can be best achieved through the direct counter-offensive upon its Mouth, the Mouth of the State, which keeps the sheep into line, that tells them which way to march. We gotta do this any way we can, with the best means we’ve got at hand, but the machine of the Spectacle has got to be subverted, broken, sabotaged, disrupted, tarnished, destroyed.

A clash with the image, a crashing of the spectacle, a cognitive dissonance is what will liberate us and the rest of the slaves. It can get as simple as someone losing reception on his-her cell phone, TV, radio, and then seeking to communicate with other people. That is the only true revolutionary event that can happen at this point in our collective alienation by technology. We can’t convince people to unplug themselves, this would be an obvious waste of time, especially when we can’t manage to unplug ourselves. We gotta unplug them all, cut off their servitude with the techno-industrial system. We believe this is the best we can do as anarchists, the most high-profile, far-reaching action. How this can be achieved? That is the question that’s been haunting some of us for a long time. But it may be simpler than it seems from afar.

To destroy cell phones, TVs and laptops will be useless (not at least for more people than ourselves), as the devices of invasion and oppression of the Spectacle are to be found in things as diverse as transmission antennas, cables, data servers, TV/radio stations, asshole reporters themselves, advertisement panels, CCTV cameras, “telescreens” in public places, speakers shouting the most inane mediocrity and despicable sounds in our ears everywhere. We should follow the mainstream media’s own sacred principles of maximal propagation and direct, aggressive exposure. Developing alternative media was an absolute necessity, and it contributed to the spreading of our movement, or at least its survival through time, but it is now time to go beyond that, to wage war on the media infrastructure of Power, to invade its long, mostly unchallenged dominion. Because this is about taking power, for ourselves.

Whether it’ll have an effect or not depends on YOU, if you choose to adopt this kind of tactics and for how long, wide and deep the attacks are gonna be carried up against this totalitarian regime. The more the media is attacked, the more it will be recognized by the so-called «masses» as the very hostile, dictatorial system that it really is, the more the many will be likely to join in the resistance. That is our theory for a new praxis. We hope that the many will find ways to prove it right.

There is no need for slogans (although we’re not calling against it!), sabotaging the media infrastructure -in noticeable ways- is in itself a clear enough signal of its refusal -in the same way that the media itself is its own message of domination- a refusal of its violence and invasion in our lives, beyond words. At best, détournement is a always a grand, beautifully subversive tactic, but we cannot expect it to be easily applied to every context or situation. The machine can be destroyed, it is in our power to do so. If you have located and isolated any kind of device of the spectacle in your area, this is a call for you to attack it on this September 11th, and onward…

“Against all authority” is our eternal principle. Down with all Power and its advocates.

For total liberation!

- some anarchist(s)

How is it to be Fun?

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Police State, Revolution with tags , , on September 8, 2012 by Ⓐb Irato

It’s been almost a year since Occupy Wall Street began and quickly evolved into a nation wide series of events. In that time we have witnessed an increase of attention and interest in anarchism and black bloc activity.  We are excited about all the new arrivals but are also concerned for their safety. There are many texts available about black bloc tactics as well as about how to minimize your risk of experiencing harm while engaging in these kinds of actions, but these texts are largely only available through obscure publications and websites. We wonder if things would have been different for the Cleveland five if they had been able to access some of this information prior to winding up in a police trap.  The following is a letter to the new arrival, may it find you well and be of some use to you as you experiment with new means of approaching freedom.

So you caught wind of some of the media hype about the black bloc or maybe you saw us at a protest doing what we do and now you want in. Sweet, welcome! We’re not an organization so you don’t have to sign up anywhere, we are people all over the world who employ a certain tactic against domination when we see fit to do so and we’re excited to meet you. Together we’ll create and destroy history. However, before crossing that line into illegality with us there are some things you could benefit from knowing and considering.

Alright, first things first, Security Culture. Security Culture is exactly what it sounds like, it’s when we adopt a set of habits and practices that allow us to create and maintain a culture in which we keep ourselves and each other secure from police repression.  Obviously, we hate the police and the police hate us. We attack them when we can and they attack us when they can. This does not only take place in the arena of protest. When we’re not openly fighting them in the streets we are doing everything we can to undermine their authority and make their jobs more difficult. We spread anti-police propaganda, we collect and exploit information about them, we clandestinely sabotage their infrastructure, we figure out ways to solve our own problems and keep ourselves and our neighbors safe without them, and in rare cases throughout history we’ve even murdered some of the bastards! And likewise, when the police are not beating, gassing and arresting us at protests they’re doing everything they can to put us in jail. They listen to our phones, read our text messages, infiltrate our events, surveil our spaces, record keystrokes on our computers, plant evidence, raid our homes, force our friends to give up information on us, send undercover agents to entrap us, and in some rare cases throughout history they’ve even murdered some of us bastards. The State has and uses many agents towards this end; they’re expanding their technologies, developing their tactics and getting paid well to do so.

This brings us to the most basic element of Security Culture, keeping your goddamn mouth shut. This means not talking to people about illegal things you’ve done to prove you’re cool. It sounds easy but a lot of people fuck this up. The only people you talk to about sketchy stuff are the people who you’re doing it with (those people are your affinity group, we’ll explain what that is in a second).  It also means never talking to police or feds for any reason ever; the only thing you will ever have to say to them is “I want to speak to an attorney”.  And the second most basic element of Security Culture is staying off their radar.  This means being careful of what you say on your cell phone and where you bring it, the same goes for email and what you look up online.  It means not announcing your intentions to overthrow the government via violent means during and Occupy General Assembly in Cleveland. The whole thing basically boils down to being careful that the government has no idea what sneaky plans you have cooking up in your head, you don’t want to go to prison for years BEFORE you even got to burn a bank just cause you let it slip to the wrong person you’re going to bring molotovs to the party.

You’ve probably heard all that before but it never hurts to hear it again.  Even experienced criminals can sometimes find themselves caught in police traps, and inexperienced criminals often fare little better than fish in a barrel. Type Cleveland bridge 5 into an internet search engine to find out what can go wrong when inexperienced people allow a sketchy dude they just met into their affinity group.

Now for some basics about a key elementary component of the black bloc: the Affinity Group. If you haven’t got one yet don’t worry, you can still riot, it just won’t be nearly as much fun or as destructive. An affinity group is basically three to eight people who trust each other well enough to get their hands dirty together. Don’t just grab a hold of the first few anarchists you meet and form an affinity group. These should be people you know well, preferably people you like and get along with.  Friendship is helpful in these groups for developing bonds of trust, but remember that someone who is an awesome party buddy might be a total liability in an arrest scenario, and likewise someone who is totally solid, down, and capable might be a complete bore to hang out with. It can also be helpful if you share subcultural roots like punk or hip hop or fly fishing enthusiasm or whatever.  This is not because a shared subcultural identity is in any way a magic defense against betrayal, but because it makes it easier for you to find out about someone’s personal history.  You can find out through friends of friends what this person was up to before you met them last year. Were they volunteering at an infoshop somewhere with people whose friends you’re acquainted with, or were they getting busted with a bunch of drugs and mysteriously doing no time for it only to show up later in activist circles trying to get people to do illegal actions? Also it’s best to avoid having people in your group who are mentally or emotionally unstable, as well as people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. You’re not going to get much sleep if someone from your group gets busted and they’re sitting in a jail cell with a head full of information the police want to mine and they’re getting dope sick or having a panic attack. You might also want to be cautious of committing crimes with rich kids. It could be very easy for someone to decide that their rebellious phase is over when they are forced to make a choice between going to jail, or enjoying wealth and leisure. For more on why you should avoid doing actions with drug addicts or rich kids look up ‘Jake Ferguson‘ and ‘Jennifer Kolar‘ on the internet.

Once you’ve gotten with a sick tight clique and are ready to go all out, it’s probably a good idea to start small. Before paintbombing the face shields of a line of riot police together, you can instead go out at night and do some wheat pasting or graffiti together. After that try moving on to more risky nighttime vandalism, a smashed ATM here a slashed cop tire there, use your imagination. You’ll get a better idea of who you’re working with and whether or not you want them by your side when the stakes are higher. A great way for you and your group to deepen your knowledge of each other is to do a reading group together.  Not only is this helpful for expanding and deepening your own ideas about why you wish to destroy the current order, but you also learn important stuff about who is in your group. Someone who is an adrenaline junky just in it for the kicks will often have little interest in reading and discussing ideas.  This person is a liability because if they are motivated not by a desire to resist domination but only by a desire to get their pulse up, then the likelihood that they’ll roll on you when the fun part is over and they’re facing charges increases greatly. Often, but not always, an informant or provocateur will also have no interest in developing and expanding their analysis and will only be interested in pushing you to commit crimes.

There are no easy answers for dealing with snitches and infiltrators. It’s important to out snitches publicly so they can’t just move onto their next victims, but before outing someone as a snitch or an undercover you want to be completely sure which is usually difficult. If you get too hasty you could end up needlessly ruining friendships and reputations just because you let your paranoia get the better of you. It’s a good idea to discuss your suspicions with others and get some feedback; you might find out there is a reasonable explanation for what was making you suspicious. But if someone is acting in a way that makes you uncomfortable and you’re having a hard time trusting them, just stop associating with them, they can’t entrap you if you don’t plan or commit crimes with them. There have been instances where people have collected information about people they’ve suspected of being infiltrators and found out for sure, like when Peter Bohmer managed to get a hold of the parents of a suspected informant on the telephone, he pretended to be an insurance salesman and they mentioned that their son gets insurance through his employer, he then asked who their son was employed by and they proudly told him that their son is an FBI agent! There have been other times when informants have been so obvious about it that there was never a period of doubt. It would be cool if we dealt with snitches the way the mob does but so far as I know, no one snitching on anarchists has wound up in stitches yet.

If you have to, go it alone for your first few times out with the black bloc. Keep in mind that even though you won’t have an affinity group watching your back or helping you to pull off some of the more exciting things we black bloc’s have been known for, you at least know your group isn’t compromised. Patience is key with forming a crew. Choosing the right affinity group could be the difference between a series of exciting adventures in your war on Control or an excruciating sentence in a prison cell. While it is important to stay snitch free and safe, there’s really not too much to worry about so long as you keep your senses sharp and exercise good judgment. For every agent or snitch out there trying to bust you there are a hundred people like you who want to destroy this world and experience joy and freedom in the process.  You’ll end up meeting just the right people and you’ll be doing this for a long time, I promise.

So how do you find out where the next rowdy action is going to take place?  There’s a number of ways to find out about upcoming Black Bloc marches and/or riots. The best and easiest way is to be in a community of anarchists – don’t worry you’ll meet them (although after a while you might wish you hadn’t, I won’t lie to you, we’re a strange bunch!). But barring that, you could look for call-outs for upcoming black bloc actions on websites like Anarchistnews.org or Infoshop News, but you might find it easier to try to connect with anarchists in your region through more local sites like Puget Sound Anarchists for Seattle or Bay of Rage for the SF-Oakland bay area or Sabotage Media for Eastern Canada. If you live in a big city try and look for posters at anarchist spaces or just around town announcing any upcoming anarchist demonstrations. You can usually tell whether or not it’s going to be a riot based on the language in the call-out and the imagery in the posters. There is no point in going to a liberal protest march with very few other anarchists and proceeding to vandalize ATMs and fight the cops. It’s much better when it’s 300 or more of us chasing off the riot police and helping each other loot and burn the property of the ruling class. Again be patient and vigilant because there’s gonna be some crazy shit going down as the system continues to crumble and you won’t want to miss it!

Now let’s say you know the date, time and location of the anti-capitalist march. You know there’s going to be a black bloc and you’re either going it alone or with your affinity group. You’re bound and determined to get fierce against oppression, but do you know the terrain? You might consider walking, skating or biking around the area beforehand to take it in and familiarize yourself with its features. This could include noting the locations of Corporate targets, banks, State buildings like courts and probation offices, as well as other insidious institutions like anti-gay mega churches or white supremacist meeting places. Note whether or not these places are near the march routes. Try to locate CCTV surveillance cameras, escape routes, good places to hide things before the demonstration, rooftops with quick and easy access, bars or coffee shops you can dip into. Keep an eye out for weapons caches, maybe a hotel’s fountain is full of heavy river rocks, or perhaps there’s a construction site guarded by a rickety chain link fence that’s full of rubble and rebar. Take note of whether it’s on a hill or not, what the weather will be like and anything and everything you can think of. If there is a lot of hills try to remember where the dumpsters are, those things can get rolling pretty fast with the help of gravity and whatever they crash into is going to feel it. Captain Obvious gets caught, so look sharp, and try to not act suspicious.

So now you know the area and the demonstration is still a few days away, what are you going to do during it? If you’re alone you might want to start small. You might have fun printing or photocopying a leaflet you made for the demonstration or printing already made ones from anarchist websites. If you size it so you can cut the paper into fourths with the text and images on the front and back, you can fill your backpack with these and throw them up into the air when people start breaking shit and that way the gawkers can be informed of why this thing they just witnessed took place. You might have noticed that there is a staircase to a roof overlooking the march route and you took steps to make sure it was open during the march so you could run up those stairs and make it rain propaganda leaflets as the march passes. You could also shoot off some fireworks or hang a banner from up there. Any of these things can serve the purpose of both communicating to others and raising the excitement level of the march, which is important because a bored march is a vulnerable march. Maybe you just want to show up with a can of spray paint express your ideas all over the walls of a city in the midst of revolt. You might consider bringing something sharp you can use to slash the tires of police cruisers or corporate media vans before blending back into the bloc. Perhaps you’ll bring a hammer, crow bar, U-lock, plastic bag of rocks, a chain or some other blunt instrument you can use to smash capital (literally) and or protect yourself and others from police attacks. Remember to keep these items concealed from the cops when they’re lining both sides of the march looking for troublemakers like you, or you can hide your heavy wooden pole in plain sight by attaching a black flag to it and waving it proudly! (A flag pole by the way will go through a window easily if instead of swinging it like an axe or a baseball bat you use both hands and jab with the end of it.)  It’s also helpful to know that the flow and mood of the march at some point might call for mobility, defense from police attack, and to not to stick with preplanned march routes. When this happens be ready to use the forces of spontaneity and improvisation.

Now let’s say you do have an affinity group and don’t need to act alone.  What can groups do together that you can’t do by yourself? Well, for starters, you can act as organs within the bloc. You could be medics, window smashers, paint bombers, graffiti writers, wheat-pasters, scouts, a communications team, a shields team, a video team, looters, or you could just hold a sweet banner you and your friends made. Your crew could take on the task of building barricades with whatever is around to impede the police. Newspaper boxes, trash cans, tables from fancy restaurants, or dumpsters (lit or unlit, your choice) can all be used to slow the pigs’ roll with little effort. Some clever graffiti during the May 68′ riots in Paris read, “Barricades close the street, but open the way” referring to their use of cars to block roads in their informed push towards freedom. Even though the demonstration you’re planning to attend probably won’t involve burning barricades or hanging the last capitalist with the guts of the last bureaucrat, the point is that it is a good idea to have a game plan.

Police and Feds call the part where you and your crew come up with said game plan as ‘the conspiratorial stage of a crime’, so it’s important to do this part carefully. Many arrests happen because of mistakes people made while putting their plan together. So watch what you say on the phone, or what you look up on your computer. Don’t buy sketchy things on your credit cards or from a place near where you live. Before excitedly hashing out your menacing plans with your affinity group make sure you’re someplace where you’re not going to be heard. It could be a good idea to ditch your phones and go for a walk in the park, or on a hiking trail just to be sure that your conversation isn’t under surveillance.  Not that you’re going to be doing anything larger than Black Bloc but when Fox News uses “Black Bloc” and “Al’Queda” in the same sentence it makes sense to take precautions.

Now that the big day is coming you might be thinking ‘what do I wear‘?  Obviously you want a black jacket with a hood to hide your hair and something to cover your face. A black ski mask will cover more of your face than a black bandana will but you also might be the only one there wearing a ski mask and will therefore be easier to single out. It’s probably best to go with a solid black bandana (solid black means no pictures or designs printed on it) and maybe some dark sunglasses.  Underneath your black party clothes should be some normal-flauge, something you can blend into an unmasked crowd with after you’re done tearing shit up. You want to look like a yuppie, a college student -a liberal peacenick- someone the police aren’t going to think to search for the hammer that just smashed that ATM ten minutes earlier. Maybe wear a nice button up, or an Obama 2012 shirt, or a preppy blouse. At this point you might be wondering, do I just show up to the march already in bloc? No. Have your black bloc clothes in your backpack ready to put on when you start to see other people mask up, if you show up to the bloc and everyone is already masked then go inside the crowd (these are your friends) and mask up, if not, then duck down behind a car or something and quickly assemble your ensemble. The reason you duck low behind something is so there aren’t photographs of you bloc-ing up that can be used to connect you with all the crazy shit you did that’s featured on the next days’ front page. Something not so obvious to some that the police use to sort out the differences in the black bloc are shoes and backpacks. Insurrectionary anarchists in Chile have dealt with this by wearing their hoodies over their backpacks and covering their shoes with plastic grocery bags so they don’t have to throw them away afterwards. Maybe showing up to your first or second riot with plastic bags on your shoes isn’t the best idea, but it does gives you an insight in the ways the police police the bloc. Sometimes police will kettle and mass arrest entire crowds, if for some reason you can’t get away make sure you do not get arrested with your party clothes on you or in your back pack. Mass arrests take a long time to execute, giving you plenty of time to ditch anything sketchy you’re still carrying.

This might be a good time to go over body armor. Unless you plan on confronting the police head on with sticks, shields and helmets along with thousands of other people in the streets all day long, which does happen but not often (enough), you probably don’t need it. If you’re new to this whole riot thing, try to wear things that help you remain agile and reflexive to your surroundings; always remain ready to run, attack, defend, de-arrest, disperse and blend in. You’ve probably seen many of us pick up tear gas canisters and throw them back the way they came.  Well those things will burn your hands so we do this with gloves, heavy duty gloves stolen from Corporate chain stores, like just about everything we arm ourselves with, even computers and video cameras. If you think you might find yourself in a situation of prolonged conflict in tear gas, a gas mask is handy to have and if that fails lemon juice and apple cider vinegar on a black bandanna pre-sealed in a ziploc bag will help counter the effects. During the December 2008 riots in Greece, people neutralized the tear gas in the air by setting fire to cars, dumpsters, and whatever else was around to burn up the gas, while the jury’s still out on the scientific merit of these anecdotes, word on the streets of Athens is it works. However, it’s usually a bad idea to play with fire outside of the context of total open insurrection in the streets. If you find yourself in something like the 92′ LA riots, or the above mentioned Greek insurrection, then sure go for it, but if it’s forty people in hoodies breaking away from an anti-war march, then maybe don’t up the ante so much.

So the big day is here! You’re so glad you went to bed early last night, but you’re so nervous you wanna throw up. Well I’m glad you noticed because on a day like today it’s really important to listen to your body. It’s normal to feel some butterflies but if you’re gut tells you something is Totally Wrong: listen to it. This might mean ditching your super sketchy plan and just going and playing it by ear, seeing how the day unfolds and striking only if an opportunity arises. Even if you decide to commit no crimes at all, just being another body in the crowd dressed in black is helpful, the more of you there are the harder it is for the police to single anyone out. Try to have a Plan B scenario worked out beforehand in case one of you doesn’t feel up to it. Make sure to stay well hydrated throughout the day and avoid eating huge meals. Have a lite meal before leaving home and eat small amounts of food periodically throughout the day, think apples and protein bars.  Also do some stretching; you’re going to be on your feet all day so you want to feel limber and agile. Make sure you and your friends look inconspicuous on your way to the demonstration. Arrive 5 to 10 minutes later than it officially starts, avoid police lines, and find your people. It’s customary for at least one person to raise a black flag high so that others can find the black bloc before the demo starts.

So what ends up happening? Maybe nothing memorable. Maybe you just go home with blistered feet and no cool stories. Maybe you all just get beaten and arrested. Or maybe you start a fight that sets off something big and the police flee in terror while you and your friends burn the banks and loot the shops. Whatever happens remember, we don’t do this because we believe we have a road map out or a blueprint for a better world, we know that any one who claims such absurdities is a lying politician. We do this because capitalism has created a world here and now that has nothing for us and this is just one way our deep and total desire to destroy that world can manifest itself materially. We don’t believe in waiting for some magic moment to strike. The system perpetuates itself by controlling you, promising you a future so long as you politely endure a miserable present that seems to never end. When we resist their control the present becomes ours for as long as we can keep it. This is the state of exception, this is what we want to create and expand. We might never end up expanding it into perpetuity, but we don’t see that as a reason to simply accept the conditions of the nightmare we’re currently living. We refuse to go down without a fight.

Be dangerous and stay safe. We’ll see you in the streets. ATTACK!

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