Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anti-police, bay area, july 19th, police, san francisco, they can't shoot us all
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchy, anti-police, bart, charles hill, civil war, fuck the police, kenneth harding, muni, police, riot, san francisco, sfpd, war
On Tuesday July 19th, hundreds of people took to the streets of San Francisco in order to demonstrate their rage against the recent murders of Charles Hill and Kenneth Harding in the city by BART police and SFPD respectively. We marched behind a banner reading “they can’t shoot us all; fuck the police” as an expression of our intention that police murder will be met with resistance and retaliation every time they rear their ugly heads in our city.
IT DEFINITELY WENT DOWN
The march began at Dolores Park where nearly 200 of us departed and began moving towards the Castro. The route followed MUNI rail lines, obstructing the functioning of the rail system as it proceeded. Upon reaching the Castro MUNI station, all hell broke loose. While approaching the intersection (home to the underground MUNI station as well as the crossing of several MUNI rail lines) a significant portion of the march had donned masks and hoods.
What had now become a mob moved effortlessly past the bewildered cops and descended into the station. Down below on the mezzanine level, trash was set alight and thrown down onto the tracks below, followed by advertisements and signs. The ticket machines, the fare checkpoints and the agent booth were all smashed with hammers and flags – totally ruined. Smokebombs and fireworks were thrown throughout the station, adding to the chaos as the group resurfaced. The march then moved back through the Castro, hurling bricks over the heads of riot police and through the windows of Bank of America before heading into the Mission.
Those at the front of the march, made the spontaneous decision to continue onwards to the Mission police station on Valencia street. As the march approached, the pigs moved into formation to protect their sty. This didn’t stop us from throwing flares, a paint bomb, and a hammer at the façade of the building and at its defenders. The crowd, now swelled to almost 300, stayed in front of the police station for a while, screaming in the faces of the scum that patrols our streets and kills and imprisons the people we love. After making it abundantly clear that we wanted them the fuck out of our neighborhood, we continued through the Mission . At this point, the march dwindled slightly but continued down Mission St. Things escalated again when CBS news began harassing the crowd. People grabbed the big ass camera and smashed it on the ground. Police moved to make an arrest, but were repelled by the stick-wielding crowd.
After leaving the Mission, the crowd took Market St. and began moving through downtown toward Civic Center Station (the site of Charles Hill’s murder) and then onto Powell Station. At this point the number swelled again to more than they had been at any point, as countless onlookers joined the anti-cop demonstration. The crowd was big enough to block both sides of Market (a rare occurrence). The police began issuing dispersal orders from their sound truck tailing the march. Not giving a fuck, however, hundreds of us drowned out their orders screaming “SHUT THE FUCK UP” over and over. As the march turned up Powell (where we had intended to disperse) riot cops were able to surround and kettle about 30 people. As they filled in to enforce their kettle, hundreds of people pushed against them, hurling projectiles and screaming at them to let them go (and die). Skirmishes broke out as a handful of friends were unarrested and several more attempts were made to free those trapped inside police lines.
When it became clear that it would be impossible to free the 30 or so friends caught by the police, the strategy shifted to outright fighting. As the police began moving the vans containing the arrested, our crews and others did everything we could to stop them. The vans were chased and blockades attempted. The police and their vehicles were pelted with rocks, bottles, D-batteries and whatever else could be thrown against them. All-out brawls broke out leading to police injuries and a handful of arrests. Several police motorcycles were knocked over and stomped on. The night ended with a tense standoff against police. At this point, hundreds of people from the surrounding area had flooded the scene, screaming at the police or just looking on in awe. More shit got thrown at them and eventually people left, as we had word that several of the arrested were already being released.
It is the humble opinion of these participants that this last round of events was marked by some of the most wild physical fights with police at a demo in a long time. By the end of the night, all but one of the arrested had been released with misdemeanors (for disobeying orders and/or battery). One person remains in jail, being charged with Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Felony Vandalism. (Updates soon)
RESISTANCE IS SPREADING:
Yesterday’s attacks come in the context of a growing campaign of diffuse attacks against the MUNI system in retaliation for the murder of Kenneth Harding. On Saturday, within moments of his murder, people on scene began attacking the police with bottles and trying to disrupt the T-train. In the subsequent days various crews of people in and around Bayview have spontaneously and diffusely taken up a campaign against the MUNI system: blocking tracks, breaking the windows on trains and busses, attacking agents, fighting with the police. Most of this resistance, of course, has gone unreported by the scum media. At a press-conference held in Bayview on Monday, many family-members of police victims and other angry people gathered to denounce the most recent murders, share stories about how much they fucking hate the pigs, and articulate a strategy of resistance.
The message at the conference and in people’s actions is clear: “We want pigs off the MUNI system and we want the system to be free, or there will not be a system at all.” People vowed to continue their attacks and blockades against the trains and buses operated by MUNI until they are fare-free and cop-free. As austerity takes its toll on poor people in the Bay Area, it is becoming increasingly clear that the only solution is attack, and that these attacks are the clearest way to demonstrate our solidarity.
It is in following the lead of those struggling for freedom in Bayview that we decided to trash the MUNI station in the Castro. This is only one contribution in what is mounting up to be a wave of chaos against a system that values a 2$ fare over our lives.
SYSTEMIC DISRUPTION AND SABOTAGE:
Last week, over 100 of us disrupted the BART system by blockading trains and vandalizing stations. This activity resulted in 3 hours of solid obstruction and delays through the BART system caused by several station closures. This was called for in response to the killing of Charles Hill on the Civic Center platform by BART police. Once again, we disrupted the transit system in an act of vengeance against the slaughter at the hands of the armed enforcers of fares. Last night, in addition to putting the Castro MUNI station out of commission, we blocked tracks, buses, and trains. Police went on to close at least three BART stations for fear of the destruction at the Castro station being brought on other stations throughout the system. Through our actions and the response of the police, we brought the transit system in the heart of the financial capitol of the West Coast to a grinding halt for the second time in as many weeks.
It should be noted that obstructing these systems and destroying their apparatuses takes very little effort. System disruption is a valuable tool, and should be considered for use as a response every time the pigs murder someone in our towns. The economic damage and the disruption to networks of control caused by these actions is deeper and wider than a brick through a window (however lovely the act may be).
WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE PIG LIES:
Fearing full on rebellion, SFPD and their servants in the media have gone into full spin mode. Each day they make new justifications for their killings. They say Charles Hill had a knife. They say Kenneth Harding shot at them. They talk about Harding’s previous convictions and allude to his connection to the murder of a pregnant woman in Washington State. In each of these cases, it is important for the enemies of the police to not be tricked by these diversions.
The issue has never been the character of Kenneth Harding or what type of weapons the victims of police violence may or may not have been carrying. The issue is that the armed enforcers of Capital and the State have enforced a death sentence on the poor in this city; made themselves the judge, jury and executioner of anyone who cannot afford a fare, is homeless, or breaks their meaningless laws in order to survive. We don’t care if Kenneth Harding had a gun. In fact, we wish he had shot the men who went on to shoot him ten times in the back and throat. Any justification for his murder misses the point that the situation should never have happened in the first place. We shouldn’t have to pay for their trains and the cops shouldn’t exist to enforce fares (or anything at all). To blame Kenneth Harding or Charles Hill or any victim of police violence for the atrocities enacted upon them by the police is to side with the State, always. Kenneth Harding is dead for one reason: because officers shot him ten times in the back and throat and watched as he bled to death on the street.
It is also worth noting that the mythology of black male violence against women is consistently used by the police and other armed white people as a pretense for racist murder, whether at the hands of a lynch mob or by the bullets of a cop’s gun. To counter this narrative, and the entirely false idea that police exist to protect women, a feminist contingent within the march prepared a statement and distributed it, denouncing the police.
When the police kill in our cities, we need to respond immediately and to continue and escalate that resistance. This has been the case so far in the response to the recent murders in San Francisco. People throughout the city – victims, family members, angry kids, anarchists, communists, hooligans – didn’t wait for the Left or any Non-Profit groups to begin. We acted without hesitation and constraint, in doing so setting the narrative of the struggle against the police. It is important that we not fall into the traps set out by the State. The struggle cannot be limited to one neighborhood or one “Legitimate” series of concerns or any one part of the population. We need to fight against SFPD throughout the city, against BART Police throughout the Bay, and against policing on a global scale. This weeks events have already demonstrated that angry people are willing to act against the police and the system they enforce in their neighborhoods, and to join the struggles of others and act in solidarity through attack. The struggle that began with the Oscar Grant rebellion is just beginning to emerge from hibernation. People here are just beginning – collectively and diffusely – to resist police terror in our streets. This is just a taste.
In sadness and in rage.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
JULY 20, 2011
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchists, anarchy, anti-police, atms, bart, bay area, muni, police cars, war
Yesterday, hundreds of enraged people took to the streets of San Francisco in response to the murder of a 19 year old by SFPD in the Bayview neighborhood. He was killed for running from the police after not paying his MUNI fare. Immediately people in Bayview responded – confronting the police, screaming at the murderers and throwing bottles. At Midnight, another group called for a last minute march against the police. About 100 marchers took the street and attacked ATMs, banks and a cop car.
Whether we like it or not, this city is a fucking war-zone. For the second time in as many weeks, police officers have murdered someone in cold blood. Yesterday, they murdered a 19 year old in the Bayview district. For the crime of not paying his $2 bus fare, he was executed by SFPD; shot ten times in front of a crowd. On July 3rd, BART police responding to a report of a man too drunk to stand, arrived at Civic Center Station and shot Charles Hill within a minute of their arrival, killing him as well. His crime: being broke and homeless in a city that fucking despises us.
And so, within a few hours of hearing word of SFPD’s latest atrocity, we called for a march against the police in the Mission District. About 100 of us gathered, donned masks, and marched down Valencia St. toward the Mission Police Station. We attacked the first pig car that approached. We attacked ATMs and a Wells Fargo as well. We upturned newspaper boxes and trash bins, throwing them into the streets at the encroaching riot cops. We screamed in the pigs faces and confronted them at their front door. By 1AM we had dispersed without arrest.
This march comes on the heels of Monday’s attack on the BART system in response to the murder of Charles Hill. Again, over 100 of us clogged the BART system, blocking trains, vandalizing machines and bringing the rail system to a grinding halt. For over three hours BART suffered system-wide delays and the BART police were forced to close several stations throughout the city. After being forced out of the system, we took the streets in an impromptu march. Causing havoc and avoiding two attempts by the police to kettle us. The march ended in a heated stand-off with SFPD in front of hundreds of tourists at the Powell St. plaza.
In reporting this we hope to make it obvious: we will no longer allow the police (regardless of what badge they wear) to murder us in the streets. When they kill, we will respond with force. These two marches along with the burgeoning revolt in Bayview are only a beginning. We do not care about their attempts at justifying themselves. In each of these killings they claim that their lives were in danger. We say they lie, but honestly don’t care either way. As the State has removed any illusion that it exists to serve or protect people, we can see clearly that it exists only to push us into prisons and to shoot us in cold blood. Two single dollars are worth more to them than our lives. The very existence of the police clearly endangers all of us, and we won’t be safe until they are destroyed.
WAR ON THE POLICE
WAR ON THE BART SYSTEM
WAR ON THE MUNI SYSTEM
some anarchists in the Bay Area
Filed under: Milwaukee area, war-machine | Tags: beating up people, civil war, fighting, living, looting, milwaukee, police, power, race, riverwest, war, white people
From the Ignorant Research Institute (MKE):
We enter into a war that we were already a part of.
The problem is not whether or not the taking, sharing, and thereby profaning property or the attack on the physical bodies of white people (in fact corresponding closely with value of the commodity of whiteness) is a poor revolutionary strategy. The problem is how to align ourselves with attacks on the social order while making our allegiances explicit enough to not be confused with being on the side of whiteness – that is, being on the side of domination. We do not claim to patronize the position of those who acted by claiming to understand them, but it would not be hard to understand the desperate nihilism of such risk and the seeming anti-social nature of the attack. It is difficult not to see how the experience of the other (the one outside of whiteness) responds to the white mass that erases their existence with a healthy share of hostility. Hence the need to differentiate oneself from the “good, well behaved, and civilized” black citizens, from white people (which needs little explanation), from any includable and pacified category within society.
We now understand the disaffection, desertion, and destruction of whiteness to be of the utmost strategic necessity. But this situation is and isn’t about race, like all questions of identity. Our power, against the power of the social order which imposes identity upon us, is a power of identity’s overflowing, of its self-abolition. It is a betrayal of what we are, of white people no longer doing only what white people do, of women no longer doing only what women do, of even humans no longer doing only what humans do, as we constitute ourselves against every mode and apparatus of containment. It becomes an issue of opening up space for an exodus, for others to join the already excluded and deepen the rifts which already permeate the social terrain of the city.
Among the many things made clear by the events of July 3rd, we have before us an example illuminated: civil war in Milwaukee already exists.
And if civil war exists, then the question is how to take part. We ask you to take very seriously this task. We ourselves are just barely starting.
Filed under: Milwaukee area, war-machine | Tags: diversity, flashmob, ignorant research institute, july 3rd, milwaukee, police, race, racism, research, riverwest
From our friends at the Ignorant Research Institute (MKE):
To say that the events of July 3rd were unprovoked is partially true. The victims seemingly did nothing to invite hostility on an individual level. However, to claim that race or class tensions are unprovoked – in other words, that there is no explanation for these events – is absurd. Milwaukee is the 4th poorest and most segregated major city in the United States, and the police are notoriously racist and brutal. All economic growth and opportunities take place in the white areas of town, while the nonwhite areas are left to fester. The Milwaukee Public School system (largely serving poor and nonwhite communities) has one of the lowest graduation rates of any city in the country.
Riverwest constitutes a border between the poor black neighborhood of Harambee (to the west) and the significantly better off college neighborhood of the East Side (to the east) and the well-to-do, white, somewhat liberal neighborhoods of Shorewood and Whitefish Bay (to the northeast). Demographically, Riverwest is diverse, and some sort of community seemingly exists here, but it should be acknowledged that the peaceful, tolerant, and diverse bubble of joy here is not immune to its place within the larger context of the city. (We have heard such frequent reference to the diversity of Riverwest as a supposed reason why the attacks should be considered senseless that we are pretty much done with the term. So far as we’re concerned, it seems mainly to mean, “Hey look, we live with black people! We’re so beyond racism.”)
Milwaukee would be thinking about race even if the attackers had not called the victims whitey, simply as a result of who was involved and that it took place on a border, as well the racial discourse in the city. Whether we make the claim that it was the fault of black people, refuse to discuss racial issues, or acknowledge that occasional chaotic violence is to be expected given race and class tensions in the city, every single discussion concerns race. We believe this is important to recognize as an essential component of the narratives and of the relations of power.
There seem to be two main factors fueling the outrage over this: that the police weren’t doing their job properly and that a large attack occurred on people who had individually done nothing to invite attack. That police ‘weren’t doing their job’ is an materialization of the fact that the police cannot protect us. Their jobs are to gather evidence, incarcerate, and use violence; their function is to maintain control and remove those who upset the social order. People in this area seem shocked that cops maybe don’t give a shit about them, and aren’t really here to protect them or to make things right. This sentiment also implies that there is an obvious sort of people from whom we want protection, the same sort of people who cross Riverwest from the west to go to the lakefront and watch the fireworks. I hope it is obvious how racist this attitude is.
The solutions being proposed tend to focus on cops doing their jobs better. At the Institute of Ignorant Research, we think this is a horrible idea. We also think this won’t actually work. Let’s look at its horribleness for a moment: We find it difficult to see how ‘cops doing their jobs better’ isn’t the same thing as ‘cops making sure that black bodies and poor bodies are policed more.’ The connection is denied, but following the logic of the desired results back, we see no other way to interpret this. It is a problematic situation that desire for better police (to effectively enforce segregation) and feelings of being let down by the police are being expressed while segregation is being accepted as an inescapable part of the scenery and (usually racist) police violence is not confronted.
Racial attitudes and racial tensions are being stirred up from their usual invisibility in this city. Their increasing visibility is exciting and perhaps useful. However, it is clear how race and racial tensions serve to mask and redirect class antagonisms. The lack of discussion both in terms of race and class is troubling.
An appropriation of goods combined with an attack making Riverwest appear dangerous for white people (a direct attack against gentrification) and elaborating race antagonisms is perhaps one of the most notable and radical actions to take place here for some time. It is irrelevant whether or not those involved had a revolutionary ideology, consciousness, or mindset. It must be admitted that over the last few days, having the racial tensions in this city further exposed by the openly racist and unconsciously racist dialogue, we have also fantasied about beating white people.
For those unfamiliar with the story: