Posts tagged Resistance
Posts tagged Resistance
The lines of a ferocious struggle are crystallizing. In fact, it has been ongoing for decades, even centuries, but in the United States and elsewhere it has been strangely one-sided for some time. A class war from above has been assaulting us, with little visible response, outside of occasional outbursts from those most victimized and excluded by the system of domination and exploitation.
The global economic system has sustained itself, since the early 1970s, through the expansion of debt—corporate, household and state debt. The US has gone through an orgy of overconsumption; other countries exporting to the US market, an orgy of overproduction. Added to this already volatile situation was a massive amount of fraud and speculation, torrents of blood money for a repressive security-surveillance-industrial complex and imperial wars, the unprecedented acceleration of giant financial transactions, and, fundamentally, all the limits the capitalist delirium of eternal economic expansion and profit accumulation is bound to run into.
The inevitable disaster arrived in 2008. State and central bank bailouts saved the financial system, but the rest of us have to live through the consequences: tremendous unemployment, home foreclosures, “austerity”—i.e. decimation of wages and benefits in the public sector, elimination of social services, etc. An enormous upwards transfer of wealth has been engineered. What was already a vicious neoliberal attack on ordinary people beginning in the Reagan-Thatcher years—depressed wages; spurs to new levels of productivity; a prison-industrial complex to exacerbate racial divisions, confine and torture those “superfluous” to the work-system, and send a warning to the rest of us—has blossomed into open destruction of our lives. Passivity and conformism were once the norm, but it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the social and political problems weighing down on us.
Capitalism has always meant exploitation by the bosses and oppression by state bureaucracies and police forces. Even during the Golden Age for the OECD zone (the richer countries) after World War II, there were of course strata of the population who suffered miserably, while the middle classes entertained and distracted themselves with their newfound ability to consume. The fact that we are in world crisis does not change our basic perspective one bit; perhaps it only adds to our determination to find ways to prevent capital from restructuring (or prevent elites from exiting capitalism into an even more barbaric system!). We know, at least since the revolts of 1968, that the rhythms of the “class struggle” do not necessarily follow those of the economy. But it is important to map the landscape, to orient ourselves and decide the best means of attack. The one given is that the national and world situations are ones of chaos and uncertainty, giving no reason to hold back or bide our time, in the hope that “better days” (or the “moment of collapse”) will arrive of their own accord. Every moment lost is a moment the ruling elites will use to their own advantage, to impose order and consolidate their position.
Many of the mainstream perspectives of “opposition” that have emerged recently have a nostalgic tinge; the defensive, backwards-looking idea that it is still possible to return to the “good old days” of Keynesian class compromise, “full employment” and consumerism for (almost) all is implicit or explicit in all the arguments of liberal or “socialist” writers like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Doug Henwood, Dean Baker… . their endless cries for more regulation, stimulus packages and jobs programs are falling on mostly deaf ears, however. The strategies of exploitation encapsulated by the word “austerity” (and the militarization of society that comes under the heading of the “War on Terror”) indicate that the capitalists’ stance has hardened. Today it has to be recognized that our masters are in no mood to deal. This should have been obvious decades ago, when neoliberalism was introduced into France and Spain by “socialist” parties; today, it’s a party of social democrats that is imposing the severest austerity measures on the Greek people.
It’s a mystery why anyone would want to influence the politicians and policy-makers, anyway: to save the system from itself, producing the reforms that might insure its smoother functioning and place it on a more equilibrated path of development? Even if this were possible, it is something that must be rejected. Our task, our responsibility is not to rescue capitalism by advising its leaders, by demanding the concessions that, in the long run and on the whole, could in fact benefit the capitalist classes. If we are to do something other than help “manage” the crisis, we must refuse to be bought off with baubles and crumbs from the table. In our view, there has already been far too widespread a complicity, in the geopolitical “center” of the system, with its destructive nature. Liberal hegemony and what political philosopher Étienne Balibar has called “extremism of the center” are no longer really tenable options. Were the ruling classes to again offer an integrating project like that of Keynesianism, which at any rate seems unlikely, we would only find it detestable. Behind every concession is the structural necessity for capital and the state—and all the related institutions and everyday practices that form us and tend to compel our obedience—to devour our lives.
Side Note: Sorry for the sudden influx of posts; I’ve been reading this stuff through out the past two days and finally had time to share them here on Tumblr.
On the night of Friday, April 20, 2012, four people were arrested by police when comrades are doing acts of vandalism as a form of solidarity against a variety of asymmetric struggle against the state, capital and society and solidarity to the imprisoned revolutionary combatants (Billy & Eat, Tukijo and Hidayat). The four comrades were detained and underwent a long interrogation for 17 hours without stopping before then released while still in the surveillance and investigation of the police.
During interrogation, the police force four comrades to mention Facebook address each of the accused as a “communication tool” of internal “group of troublemakers and bullies the social order”.
They also were asked about their relationship with the combatants in the jail (Billy & Eat, Tukijo and Hidayat- just released from the prison now), then how do they communicate with our comrades in prison (whether via phone, email or other medium), name of group or network in which they are involved and how these groups communicate, and other silly things related activities each captured comrades.
Equipment used for this action were seized as evidence such as spray paint, solidarity poster for Billy & Eat, Tukijo and Hidayat, poster for local anti-mine resistance at Tambak Bayan. Another posters who follow the seizure is reads “POLICE KILLER”, “DESTROY MINE”, “FUCK SOCIETY”.
The police then connect these acts of vandalism by an anarchist webblog calledMemori Senja (http://memorisenja.blogspot.com/) and trying to find out who is the admin of the web. Web Memori Senja now no longer accessible online.
Later on Monday, April 23, 2012, the four comrades must face another interrogation again.
For each of us in NEGASI, this is a continuation of the repression against the rise of a new generation of anarchists in Indonesia. Although each of us vowed never retreat, but we still expect solidarity from the other comrades every where in every forms.
Long live the rebels!
Long live anarchy!
In May 2011, tens of thousands occupied plazas throughout Spain in a protest movement that prefigured similar occupations around the world, including the Occupy movement in the United States. On March 29, 2012, a nationwide general strike erupted into massive street-fighting in Barcelona, as participants wrested control of the streets from riot police. How did this come to pass, and what can it tell us about what will follow the occupation movements outside Spain?
Here, our Barcelona correspondent provides extensive background on the riots of March 29, tracing the trajectory from the plaza occupations to the general strike, and explores the questions that have arisen as anarchists face new opportunities and challenges.
“La rosa de foc ha tornat!” This was the expression of excitement on many people’s lips during the general strike throughout Spain on March 29, 2012. While the unions estimated an impressive 77% turnout, it was the fires blackening the skies over Barcelona that everyone talked about.
At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, when more anarchist attentats and bombings were carried out in Barcelona than in any other two countries combined and dozens of churches and police stations were burned to the ground, the city was affectionately known as la rosa de foc, “the rose of fire.” The period of“revolutionary gymnastics” in the ’20s and ’30s foregrounded the city as a laboratory of subversion for anarchist struggles worldwide, a role that was taken further with the revolution of July 1936. The struggle of Catalan maquis—guerrillas—during the Franco years was the precursor to the guerrilla struggles that blossomed in Europe and Latin America in the ’60s and ’70s; in some cases, it was the vector along which experience and materials were directly passed on. But this history has largely been lost, thanks to the rupture imposed by fascism and democracy, and Barcelona lost its significance on the revolutionary stage.
With the backing of the democratic powers, forty years of dictatorship and repression effectively suppressed the anarchist movement in Catalunya and the rest of the Spanish state. A great deal of pro-anarchist sentiment remained, but this was dissipated when the rebounding social revolution was sidetracked by the transition to democracy in the 1970s. Hundreds of thousands of people were taking the street, hoping to pick up the torch that had been dropped in ’36, but the government played its cards well, the returning CNT played its cards poorly, and democracy carried the day. Since then, the city has been tamed, if not outright pacified, and the rose of fire forgotten.
Fierce neighborhood struggles continued into the ’80s, but these were largely limited to marginalized immigrant neighborhoods and they were calmed by the political and economic integration—or bulldozing—of the slums and shantytowns that gave them birth. In the ’90s, there were several intense squatter and antifascist riots, but the media successfully spun these as isolated phenomena. In the ’00s, social control and pacification made great leaps forward. A new police force trained in democratic policing tactics, the mossos d’escuadra, were introduced along with an insistent public campaign of civic behavior ordinances; in time, the riot disappeared along with street-fighting know-how, the use of Molotov cocktails, and the practice of resisting evictions. The police became untouchable: they only had to charge—or simply draw their batons—to send people scattering.
A combative spirit was still widespread, at least among anarchists, some squatters, and a part of the Catalan independentistes, but the tools needed to express it were lost. In 2007, when police tried to win undisputed control of the streets once and for all by kettling and shutting down any non-permitted protest, the so-calledantisistema halted this by seeking broader alliances, returning to the streets, and emphasizing the contradiction between the State’s attempted power grab and its democratic narrative. This persistence achieved some results, but no one could figure out how to go back on the offensive.
When the economic crisis eroded the public welfare that had guaranteed the social peace, many more people besides the couple thousand antisistema began to take action. Neighborhood assemblies formed, pushed forward by well-meaning reformists, indepes, or closet libertarians, and attracting a few Trotskyists and similar types. The anarchist CNT and the anarcho-reformist CGT, kept in shape by minor labor struggles in a supermarket chain and among the bus drivers, geared up for a battle more worthy of their history. The indepes, irked by years of irrelevance despite strong public support for independence from Spain and reenergized by the emergence of a new political party that has not yet entered government to betray them, also made ready for a new offensive. And the black bloc anarchists, finally ready to take the initiative after years of action-repression-prisoner support, moved from the limited field of clandestine action, antisocial propaganda, and self-organization within autonomous ghettos to a more porous terrain on which the skills they had honed could have greater effects.
The general strike of September 29, 2010 was called by the major unions (CCOO andUGT) along with the smaller unions like the CNT and CGT. But a large part of the organizing was also carried out by neighborhood assemblies, non-union anarchists, indepes, and others. On a national level, it was a success from the union standpoint, achieving majority participation despite being the first general strike in eight years. In Barcelona, it was also a success from an insurrectionary standpoint, precipitating an intense riot in which attacks on agents of government and capitalism generalized. The rioting was largely spontaneous, carried out by many more people than the usual suspects, and reached a scale and intensity not seen since at least the la Cine Princesa riots in 1996. A large number of arrests with serious charges and an intense campaign of demonization via the media conditioned future actions and attitudes. Nonetheless, September 2010 left diverse actors with more strength and social backing.
CCOO and UGT immediately went to the negotiating table and traded in a large part of that backing for the privilege of signing on to the Socialist government’s pension reform. Both unions were in true form. UGT had been a major force in hampering proletarian struggles in the ’20s and ’30s; they were the mass organization that gave the paltry number of Stalinists in 1936 the cover they needed to sabotage the revolution. CCOO (Comisiones Obreras, Workers’ Commissions) is the institutionalization of the libertarian communist Workers’ Autonomy movement of the ’70s. When the fascists who became the Popular Party were looking for leftists to invite into government to help them forestall revolution by putting on a democratic mask, they found their men in the CCOO and the newly reformed Socialist Party (PSOE).
On the other side of things, the CGT (a split from the CNT) and the two CNTs(another split) got over their age-old enmity and started working more closely. Squatter and black bloc anarchists also started working together with CNT anarchists or joining the neighborhood assemblies and working with indepes, closet libertarians, and community activists. Widespread isolation, as much the result of a shared social condition as of any particular choices, began to melt away.
In January 2011, these latter groups decided to organize another general strike without the two major unions. Most people regard this second strike as a failure on account of the low level of participation. This frames the purpose of a strike through the quantitative, organizational mentality of a union. The historical significance of the January strike was to demonstrate that CCOO and UGT were losing their hold. It showed that those operating from a more insurrectionary logic could seize the initiative, cause a significant disruption, and communicate radical ideas if they were willing to work beyond narrow affinities and address the immediate concerns of livelihood usually monopolized by reformist discourses. This discovery is at the heart of two tensions that recur throughout the history of the events of March 29. These tensions have to do with how the principle of affinity changes its behavior between times of isolation and times of coalescence; and how immediate concerns are frequently paired with reformist methods, and idealist concerns with revolutionary, methods, creating a false polarization. This will be explored further in the final section.
After January 27, 2011, the next significant date was May Day, when the anticapitalist protest comprised of black bloc anarchists, the CNT, and many indepes marched from Gràcia to the rich neighborhood of Sarrià, where they smashed a hundred banks and luxury stores before police managed to disperse them. May Day 2011 demonstrated the strength of this new encounter between previously segregated sectors of antisistema. People still did not have the power to withstand the police, nor had they regained street-fighting know-how, but they did manage to go on the attack. For years before 2011, black bloc anarchists in Barcelona had been trying to regain May Day as a combative holiday, failing every time despite creative and varied attempts, while the CNT anarchists had been content with peaceful marches commemorating a waning history. The success in 2011 was an important breakthrough. It also revealed a fear that anti-capitalist violence against the rich would resonate widely, as the media suppressed most news or imagery of the protest.bus drivers, geared up for a battle more worthy of their history.
On the other hand, criticisms by some fellow protestors demonstrated that these new relationships would be lost if the hooded ones used heterogeneous, multitudinous spaces instrumentally as a mute and convenient terrain apt for wreaking havoc and nothing else. The specific criticisms were not pacifist, nor were they coming from people who were displeased by the smashing up of a rich neighborhood. They had more to do with who bore the brunt of the repression, who held the line against the police, and who carried out the smashing; or with sticking to joint objectives, or sharing information so others wouldn’t be unprepared for a confrontational situation. Nonetheless, after years of dealing with a broad public rejection of their violence, the more insurrectionary of the antisistema were predisposed to ignore these criticisms.
New prison measures vindictively applied against eco-anarchist comrades Sadie & Exile, unrepentant members of the Earth Liberation Front. Letters of solidarity are appreciated by the two wild ones… nothing forgotten, nothing forgiven…
Text by Leslie James Pickering
Earth Liberation prisoners Joyanna “Sadie” Zacher and Nathan “Exile” Block, who are a married couple, have been disallowed correspondence by their captors with the excuse that Sadie is “unrepentant” of her crimes. Sadie and Exile are nearing the end of their seven-year-and-eight-month federal prison sentences for two million-dollar arsons prosecuted under the FBI’s Operation Backfire investigation into the Earth Liberation Front. Specifically, the couple has been convicted of the the $959,000 arson of the Romania Chevrolet dealership on March 30, 2001 and the $994,412 arson of Jefferson Poplar on May 21, 2001.
For the past 4 years, the couple has been allowed correspondence between the Federal Correctional Facilities in Dublin, California (where Sadie is locked up) and in Lompoc, California (where Exile is imprisoned). However, shortly after Sadie released a public statement on her case, their correspondence ‘privileges’ were revoked. When Sadie’s lawyer wrote the sentencing Judge on the matter, the US Attorney’s Office in Portland, Oregon sent a rebuttal directing the Judge to an online video of the release of Sadie’s statement being read by former Earth Liberation Front Press Office spokesperson, Leslie James Pickering, at Burning Books [click for videos] in Buffalo, New York.
In the statement in question, Sadie wrote, “There have been some dark days in here, when the rage of being imprisoned boils over into tears of frustration – but never regret, not ever. Even knowing this would be the price to pay – seven years of my life here, I still would not change my actions in any way.”
This “unrepentant” tone is anything but new. Shortly after their sentencing, the two released a joint statement, which righteously criticized those of their codefendants who opted to cooperate with the state in their own prosecution. The statement made clear their“opposition to cooperation with, or apology to, the state” and read, in part, “Those who now work in collaboration (under the innocuous term ‘cooperation’) with the same powers which they once felt compelled to raise themselves in opposition to, have in their wicked apostasy, desecrated the sacred covenant that exists between nature and those who align themselves with the very Element of Fire and the very Essence of Destruction in the defense of the Wild… for in the hour when the struggle returned for them, when the predator had once again become the prey, they failed in spirit and resolve, cowardly breaking long held oaths and begging for mercy from their captors, hoping to gain leniency by offering as a sacrifice to the altar of a perverted ‘justice’ their former friends, trusted colleagues and any dignity they once held.”
It appears that what the government is really after is a 1984-style public apology, but when that isn’t forthcoming something less than repentance will suffice, so long as it is silent. However, when strong examples of outspoken resistance are set by prisoners they are punished for their thoughts and words. Daniel McGowan, the most vocal of the Operation Backfire targets, and who was the focus of the Oscar-nominated 2011 documentary If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, has been housed in a new, ultra-restrictive Communications Management Unit in response to his being continuously outspoken.
You can currently write Sadie and Exile at:
Joyanna Zacher #36360-086, FCI Dublin, 5701 8th St., Camp Parks, Unit F, Dublin, CA 94568, USA
Nathan Block #36359-086, FCI Lompoc, 3600 Guard Road, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA
Sadie and Exile are due to be reunited at a halfway house this spring. The struggle continues…
A group of people who had attended an anarchist book fair in Manhattan later marched to a nearby Starbucks on Saturday night and began swinging at the windows with metal pipes, as frightened customers hid under tables, the police said.
The confrontation ended with three arrests and minor injuries to two police officers, the authorities said.
The police said the episode began near Washington Square Park, as a number of people who had attended the nearby book fair began to march in the street, against traffic, chanting anti-police slogans like “cops are murderers” and “all pigs must die,” according to the police. A witness, Obenjii Johnson, 19, who was riding a skateboard as the group passed, said he heard them shouting the names of Sean Bell, who died in a hail of 50 police bullets in Queens in 2006, and Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch coordinator in Florida this year.
The ranks of the demonstrators swelled to 150, with many wearing masks and black clothing, the police and witnesses said.
When they arrived at the Starbucks, about five blocks east at Astor Place and Lafayette Street, about 8:45 p.m., some in the group began to swing at the windows with long metal pipes, the police said, although on Sunday there was no evident damage to the windows. In a statement, the police said that patrons hid under tables afraid “that they would be hit by flying glass.” Two witnesses said that the group had tried to enter the coffeehouse, but were locked out by those inside.
When a police sergeant and several officers tried to arrest those who were swinging the pipes, about 25 of the demonstrators fought back with the pipes and bottles, the police said; a sergeant and a lieutenant were hurt.
The group continued farther east, “like a gust of wind,” according to one witness. At a 7-Eleven storefront on St. Marks Place, “one guy swung a pole” and cracked a window in two places, said Mohammed Habibur Rahman, who works across the street. Farther east, the police shut down Tompkins Square Park, as well East Sixth Street between Avenues B and C, citing the march.
Three people were arrested, two of whom, Alexander Penley, 41, and Nicholas Thommen, 30, were charged with “inciting to riot,” in addition to other charges, including assault and menacing. Eric Marchese, 24, was charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
“We periodically encounter relatively small groups of antagonists trying to turn otherwise peaceful gatherings violent, and urging others to violently confront the police,” the Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said in an e-mail.
The demonstration, which, according to the police and witnesses, left in its path a trail of graffiti and tipped garbage cans, had more in common with anarchist actions at events like the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh in 2009 than with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York, which have been largely devoid of property damage.
“In the context of protests here in New York City, it’s extraordinarily rare for there to be riotous conduct,” said Christopher T. Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Comrades, we decided to write in response to a degree of uncertainty we’ve noticed that expanded word-of-mouth following our last attack (on March 20th, 2012) on a bank branch in Chillán, $hile, where we happily turned a large part of the bank to ashes; we cannot forget to mention that this was part of the day of solidarity with our brother Luciano Pitronello, but we know what intrigued was the news that circulated in the local mercenary Press, in which echoed how individuals of our cell were reportedly injured in that action.
We don’t deny it happened, but to appease those anonymous in other parts of the territory, pervaded by anguish and doubt: the comrades have already recovered and learned from the particular act not to not repeat the action, but to take precautions, since at the time the hatred and the decision failed to complement the planning.
We now look forward to more experience of war, with our hearts swollen like a stone calling upon the anarchic and wild fire, which will soon be spread as a bad weed throughout the civilization that gives life to structures and authoritarians of Chillán and the world.
Freedom to Tortuga, Freddy, Marcelo, Juan
and the recently abductees Ivan Silva and Carla Verdugo!
Fire to authority and its prisons!
The words are nothing, action is everything!
We are everywhere, we will communicate soon!
From some place in the $hilean region
Informal Anarchist Federation / Efraín Plaza Olmedo Incendiary Cell
From Liberación Total (April 15, 2012):
Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!
Last night, we took to the streets with the clear intention to rupture their social peace, to break the order constituted by most of society’s passiveness, conformism, and ambition for power. At around 11:30 p.m., we placed two delayed incendiary devices next to a State Security Agency (ASE) patrol car parked in front of the ASE headquarters on Avenida Texcoco in the Juan Escutia suburb on the border of Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl and the Federal District. At the site, we also left graffiti claiming responsibility by the FAI!
We attack the property of the State/Capital’s security forces with fire, just like we would lethally and explosively attack those henchmen of power. The conflict with authority also exists in the neighborhoods on the edge of the city. We don’t expect to turn the system on its head with a single action. This is a daily war for freedom and individual rights. May they burn wherever they are, whether in Polanco or Santa Fe, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl or Ecatepec! Let everyone destroy their own oppressions and burn down the city! Conflict is in the streets, and it is accompanied by incendiary discourse that incites breaking the chains on thought and action that are encouraged, espoused, and imposed by pacifism and nonviolence!
Solidarity with comrade Tortuga!
Solidarity with Gabriel Pombo da Silva!
Solidarity with Braulio Durán!
Solidarity with the compas who were recently retaliated against in Italy!
Solidarity with Eat and Billy of the Indonesian FAI!
Against the police: arsons every day!
Against the State/Capital: social War on all fronts!
Long live anarchy!
—Cell for Violent and Excessive Attack on Power (Informal Anarchist Federation); A; April 13, 2012
325 receives and transmits:
17 April 2012
We stand alongside the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire / Informal Anarchist Federation (CCF/FAI) and salute our brothers on hunger strike in the prisons of Greek democratic totalitarianism for the final prison transfer of CCF/FAI prisoners of war Gerasimos Tsakalos and Panagiotis Argyrou. for dignity and rebel solidarity.
STRENGTH TO THE CONSPIRACY!!! STRENGTH TO THE ANARCHIST URBAN GUERILLAS!!
STRENGTH TO BILLY, EAT, LUCIANO, STELLA, THE ITALIAN ICONOCLASTS!!!
On 17/04/12 we set on fire a promotional “employment van” of the Cambridge Jobcentre, we entered the gated carpark, lit our fire and left, right under the snouts of passing cops.
FROM THE UK TO GREECE FIRE TO SOCIAL PEACE
FOR THE ANARCHISM THAT’S CONSPIRATORIAL AND VIOLENT
LAMROS, MAURI, ALEXI, CARLO – ALWAYS BESIDE US
- Fire Cell / Informal Anarchist Federation – International Conspiracy for Revenge
In the militarist society in which we live in these latter days of American Empire, all soldiers are “noble heroes” who have signed up at “great personal sacrifice” to “defend our freedoms,” and we are all expected to pay homage and a great deal of our hard-earned money to support them, both in their brutal efforts to subjugate people in desperately poor parts of the world, and (when they leave the service, either to take jobs in the private sector or to live out broken lives if they were wounded) as veterans.
But let’s be honest about all this.
Most of the men and women in the military didn’t join the US armed forces out of any noble motives. They joined because there are no jobs to be had, and the military is taking pretty much anybody who’s willing to sign on the dotted line (they’re begging for recruits). Or they joined because of the promise that they would get trained for a better career, at government expense. Or, like one kid I know, they joined for the excitement.
Just today I got a phone call from a recruiter asking if I was “interested in learning more about the Army.” I don’t know if he was so hard up he was hoping to sign a 63-year-old war resister, or whether he thought he had my 18-year-old son on the phone.
But looking at a Navy recruiting flier that came in the mail the same day addressed to my son, it’s clear that the Pentagon is not trusting to patriotic fervor to lure its new cannon fodder.
Selling military recruitment as a jobs fair. Heroes for hire?
The recruiting flier starts out by telling my son that “In today’s Navy what you get out of your job can set you up for a lifetime of success.”
Signed by “Thomas Gelker, Commander, US Navy,” the glossy letter goes on to say, “Don’t take my word for it. Take inventory of what you want out of a career. Then compare your job prospects in the real world to the outstanding opportunities available in the Navy.”
The following list he provides includes:
* Hundreds of high-tech positions in over 60 highly competitive career fields
* Paid training to learn high-tech skills and work with the latest technology
* Potentially, full tuition for college
* Competitive salary with opportunities for promotions, plus potential specialty pay and retention bonuses
* 30 days’ vacation with pay earned every year and free or low-cost travel opportunities
* Generous retirement income after 20 years plus a 401(k)-like savings plan
* Tax-free allowances for housing and meals plus tax-free shopping privileges at military stores
* Complimentary/discounted recreational privileges, including golf, swimming , fitness centers and more
(As an aside, I find it instructive that the very things that America’s business and political leaders are complaining are costly job perks demanded by unions that are allegedly making America “uncompetitive in the global marketplace” are being offered to our soldiers and sailors as job inducements.)
Only at the end of the list does Gelker throw in:
* The pride of serving a greater cause and being the part of something bigger than yourself.
Small groups of insurgents fighting the US-led occupation of Afghanistan carried out a coordinated series of attacks on Sunday against prominent NATO and Afghan government facilities in the capital Kabul and three other provinces. Among the buildings hit with small arms and rocket propelled grenades were the parliament, the US, British, German, Japanese and Russian embassies, the NATO headquarters and a newly-opened hotel. In the country’s eastern provinces, airfields and police stations were attacked.
Operations by Afghan and foreign troops to regain control of the heavily-guarded governmental and diplomatic zone in Kabul continued for 20 hours into Monday afternoon. Afghan government forces, assisted in some cases by foreign troops, claimed yesterday that they had killed 39 insurgents. Eight Afghan army and police personnel were reportedly killed and up to 40 wounded. At least four civilians were killed in cross-fire and several dozen injured. There were no reported casualties among foreign military forces or diplomatic staff.
The attacks had parallels with last September’s assault on the US embassy and NATO’s main command centre in Kabul. On Sunday, fighters were again able to infiltrate weapons, ammunition and explosives into the city and take up positions undetected in construction sites within a few hundred metres of their intended targets.
Side Note: I’d like to thank Forgottenness for alerting me to the Halandri case. I will be following it the best I can - and I’m going to attempt to only present it from the perspective of Anarchists, why? the corporate media ALWAYS lies, and they don’t provide ANY context. Anyway, this is one of those trials that NEEDS to be paid attention to.
SOURCE: This Is Our Job
At the beginning of the session, five family members of the defendants took the stand, as well as a friend of the Nikolopoulos brothers. The questioning by the prosecutor and presiding judge was far too personal. They accused the mothers of “failing to keep an eye on your children in order to know what kind of company they keep” and pressured the father of the Nikolopoulos brothers to take a position on the fact that his sons admitted to being members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy as well as give his opinion on “the value of human life.” The latter line of inquiry was an obvious reference to the Fire Cells Conspiracy statement read in court two sessions ago. Defense attorney Ifigenia Karandrea and her clients reacted immediately, with Christos Tsakalos rereading part of the statement in question and emphasizing that “the presiding judge is provoking us when he says that our organization generally disregards the value of human life.”
Two more police officers—presumably “eyewitnesses” to the Fire Cells Conspiracy attack on the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace—then took the stand, but neither one was actually on duty the day of the attack and therefore neither had anything of note to say. Nevertheless, the judges had the gall to ask them what they heard about the incident from coworkers and television.
Two store employees and and EMS worker also testified, repeatedly stating that they didn’t see the faces of the “perpetrators” and thus couldn’t describe their physical features. The judges then asked them to look at the defendants in the dock “to see if you recognize some of them.”
Three Special Guards who were “robbed of a logbook of fines by a threatening group of youths” (apparently the logbook was found during one of the searches) had nothing of consequence to contribute, nor could they positively identify anyone.
Finally, Gerasimos Arsenis took the stand. It was his apartment (which he shares with his wife Louka Katseli) that was attacked by the Fire Cells Conspiracy in September 2009. He testified that the explosion was very weak, but that “it theoretically could have endangered human lives” since the courtyard windows were broken and a door was destroyed. Arsenis neglected to mention that the Fire Cells Conspiracy placed a warning call, the apartment building was evacuated, and the courtyard windows were broken by firefighters in order to allow smoke to escape. Tsakalos and Michalis Nikolopoulos posed several questions to Arsenis in an attempt to make him recognize the political nature of the attack on his apartment, but the former minister just kept repeating that it was “an act of terrorism.”
The defense attorneys then resubmitted their request to subpoena former Antiterrorist Unit chief D. Horianopoulos, who has already ignored two prior subpoenas.
To conclude the session, Michalis Nikolopoulos read the following statement in the name of the entire Fire Cells Conspiracy:
Gerasimos Arsenis is a recognized dignitary of power. During the course of his lengthy political career, he was in charge of the Ministries of the Economy, Defense, and Education, and he also led PASOK for a time.
Believing in the classic American Dream that hard work will deliver prosperity is like believing that buying super lottery tickets is a smart way to become wealthy. Both are delusional beliefs because both are bets on incredible long shots that will disappoint nearly everyone who believes this garbage. The American Dream has been destroyed by a revolution from the top.
Americans have been watching authentic bottom-up revolutions in other countries but remain oblivious to a very different kind of revolution by elites that has been in progress for over three decades in the US. It has not destroyed the government or Constitution, merely bought control of both. Our government was not overthrown in a bloody revolution. It was purchased to win the class war against the 99 percent.
Call it the frog revolution. It is best understood by the parable of the frog in water that stays in it as the temperature is raised, ultimately to the boiling point, killing the frog. The key indicator of the US frog revolution is a mountain of data showing the rise in economic inequality, the loss of upward economic mobility, and the killing of the middle class. The vast majority of Americans, the 99 percent of frogs, remain ignorant of how they are being destroyed by that infamous rich and powerful one percent.
Note that in a poll released by Pew, 19 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that “success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of our control,” the highest number since 1994. It would be much higher if there was not an epidemic of delusional thinking. But more on target, 40 percent of Americans — also the highest number since 1994 — agreed with the statement that “hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people.” For the counter-revolution we need that number must get much higher.