Tag Archive: state repression


UPDATED JULY 19, 2014

Ann Parkes is a good friend of mine, a veteran animal rights activist, a brilliant and dignified woman, and yet another victim of neoliberalism, class oppression, and state repression. Below and in her own recorded video statement, is a shocking story of capitalist war against the disadvantaged and the subsequent campaign of harassment, threats, and intimidation the UK Social Services, police, and State unleashed against Ann Parkes for daring to challenge their deplorable treatment of those in need and those who dare to speak against the agents of repression. Ann Parkes is a brave and noble woman fighting a courageous battle on behalf of her sick husband (Alfred Parkes), her embattled family, and her own right to dissent. This is her story.

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Statement on Behalf of Ann Parkes:

As a global community of Human Rights Advocates, we are beginning to question the legitimacy of Social Services, particularly at Solihull Council. The travesty of justice through their derelict duty of care towards the Parkes Family of Solihull is incomprehensible, aside from reprehensible.

Mr. Ian James, Director of Social Services, accompanied by Fiona McGill, systematically ignored emails pertaining to a disgrace that occurred at Jubilee Gardens whilst Mr. Alfred Parkes was in their care.

This has been an ongoing but preventable saga since January 2013. Social Services is simply a service to the people they represent. In the case of the Solihull department, their intention has not been one of care, compassion and integrity, rather the opposite. Antagonistic, bullying, abuse of power towards a citizen and absolute derelict duty of care. Collectively James and McGill not only refused to investigate blatant impropriety regarding the staff but denied knowledge of the fact. Emails in our possession suggest a cover up connected to flagrant lies.

Mrs. Parkes aside from experiencing the police arriving at her home, requested specifically by Fiona McGill in an attempt to prevent her posting this sorry saga on social media, has been forced to endure despicable disregard by those who are paid to serve the people. This disgraceful abuse of power prompted Mrs. Parkes to follow up visiting the police station herself, only to discover there was no record or log regarding the two officers involved, which leads us to believe it was a favor owed or bestowed. Attempting to personally speak with James and McGill at Solihull Council, in an endeavor to resolve these issues, she was promptly asked to leave by security. Is the UK becoming a “police” state of oppressors? Many people are watching this story from around the globe, in disbelief and horror.

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To support Ann, please send letters to:

andy.burnham.mp@parliament.uk  (Shadow Health Secretary); huntj@parliament.uk  (Jeremy Hunt, Health Sec.); mb.scfs@dh.gsi.gov.uk; burtl@parliament.uk  (Lorely Burt, MP/Solihull); hemmingj@parliament.uk  (John Hemming, MP); ianjames@solihull.gov.uk  (Director of Solihull SSD); caroline@carolinespelman.com;  roger.harmer@birmingham.gov.uk; John.o’shea@birmingham.gov.uk; stewart.stacey@birmingham.gov.uk; labour.secretariat@birmingham.gov.uk; npage@solihull.gov.uk

UPDATE:

Ann’s battles with Solihull Social Services and to receive justice from the UK Police State continue to this day; please view her recent video which speaks to her recent battles to receive fair treatment over health care in the UK:

 

 

Also, please sign this petition to “Hold Solihull MBC Accountable For Abuse of Power & Corruption”

Sundry individuals come into resistance movements without a clear history, without known connections, and with sketchy or unverifiable backgrounds. Typically, they are disagreeable persons, they often don’t work but have access to money or constantly beg for funding on social media sites like Facebook, using the pretense they need funds for demos, endless “legal costs,” “successful campaigns,” etc. They are either opportunists or agent provocateurs, or just police agents. They quickly rise to the forefront of a movement, they spew militant rhetoric and agitate for “radical” actions, and they clearly have other agendas than what they pretend to care for.

These people are white belts — novices in the movement for just a few weeks, months, or years at most — posing as black belts — time-tested veterans whose loyalties, sacrifices, and history are fully transparent and accountable for.

The article below is an excellent list of red flags to watch out for, and people who fit the descriptions are advised to be shunned, investigated, or approached with extreme caution. All movements are replete with nefarious opportunists, cops, infiltrators, and agents; they might be your lover, best friend, or “hero.”

Novelist Thomas Pynchon identified the mindset all activists need to steer clear of potentially pseudo-activists as one of “critical paranoia.” It is not a consciousness paralyzed by absolute paranoia, but one that proceeds with caution, has a healthy critical approach and skeptical outlook, identifies the warning signs of faux-activists and/or agents, and never succumbs to false prophets and provocateurs. The following contains wisdom and warnings all activists in any resistance movement should heed.

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CrimethInc, July 6, 2013

Is S/He an Informant? A Ten Point Checklist

1a

A group of people who have been directly harmed by informant provocateurs have put together this checklist, drawing on personal experiences as well as those of other activists and information from informant provocateurs who have gone public. We hope you can learn from the damage that has already been done, so these people can be stopped before they are able to harm you.

Here are ten warning signs:

1.

Something feels “off.” Something about them just doesn’t line up. Their stories about their activist history or life history, don’t ring true. At this point, you need to run a background and criminal check. If you wait for all the other signs, it may be too late. The most obvious cause for serious concern is when someone shows up in an activist community and they don’t seem to have existed prior to that. That should be a dealbreaker right off the bat.

2.

Despite the misgivings of some members, the individual quickly rises to a leadership position. S/he eagerly takes credit for actions in the media and begins to promote him/herself. S/he works to become one of the “faces” of the organization, and clearly wants to be a poster child for the group, attempting to “brand” their identity with the group’s name, imagery, and identity. S/he likes getting photographed, even when engaged in illegal activity.

3.

S/he photographs actions, meetings, and people that should not be photographed. S/he posts photos of actions and meetings on social media sites like Facebook, even tagging activists without their permission (in effect, facilitating law enforcement surveillance).

4.

S/he is a liar. S/he shows signs of lacking ethics and lacking transparency with the rest of the group.

5.

S/he advocates for high-risk illegal action to people s/he should not trust, while claiming to understand the importance of security culture. S/he goads others to violent action, for example by telling them they need to be “warriors.” Upon reflection, the illegal actions in question often have no real purpose and will not advance the goals of the group in any meaningful way. The person generally has a very twisted perception of what it means to be a warrior.

S/he seeks internal rifts in the community and exploits them. S/he has a cycle of abuse with groups and individuals: a honeymoon period, followed by manipulative, abusive behavior, followed by apologies and promises to do better. Then the cycle repeats.

6.

S/he always has bail money and pocket money, but either no real job, or no job that pays that much. S/he may imply access to a trust fund or similar resources, but this needs to be checked. S/he somehow has the financial freedom to be at any action that will get media attention, or any underground action that may involve illegal activity.

7.

S/he is found to be lying about really serious things like identity, family, background, race, or ethnicity.

8.

S/he has warrants but is unafraid of announcing and advocating illegal action, using his/her real name, publicly advertising his/her whereabouts, and once again jumping into the frame whenever photos or video are being taken at illegal actions. When picked up, s/he always makes bail and gets released, sometimes released on Own Recognizance even when the charges are very serious. This happens a lot. Then the individual goes right back to meetings, taking photos and posing for photo ops. S/he has a Catch and Release cycle with the cops. S/he may have a history of very early release from prison, then going directly to political meetings, sometimes of groups s/he privately claims to hate, or that would have been forbidden as a condition of normal parole.

9.

Juicy information, given only to the suspected informant, comes out the law enforcement end. To be sure this is taking place, the information must be unmistakable, and have been shared face to face, one on one, with zero possibility of surveillance (say, whispered in the informant’s ear in the middle of a field).

10.

Full admission: “My name is ________ and I was employed by [agency] to infiltrate [organization].” A full admission of informant and/or provocateur status may include details of what the informant provocateur received in exchange for their work: either the amount of money they were paid, or the deal they got to be released from prison or avoid prosecution for particular crimes. In some cases, the deal includes a future position with the law enforcement or intelligence agency that hired them. On the unlikely chance that someone is mentally ill, this information could conceivably be checked against the going rate for informant provocateurs; but if the other criteria are met, assume they are telling you the truth, even if they are mentally ill. While mentally ill people do not make reliable informants, they can make excellent provocateurs, and their history of instability can be cited as evidence when law enforcement denies the individual was hired as a provocateur.


If a person meets any of the criteria beyond points 1 through 3, you shouldn’t be working with them. Hopefully, all the points beyond number one will not even matter, as you will have already cut ties with the person after the first red flag. Regardless of whether we can prove someone is an infiltrator, if they display any of the problematic behavior described here, they shouldn’t be party to anything sensitive in the first place. Even if they’re not an infiltrator yet, it offers reason to believe they could be turned or crack under interrogation.

Here are some other warning signs to watch for. When it comes to people’s daily behavior, outside of meetings and actions, is the suspicious person behaving inappropriately with children? Are they harming their partners? Can they not keep their hands off kids? Or are they trying to sleep with multiple adults in the group (or one of the leaders)? Make sure you don’t have a pedophile who was let free in exchange for disruption, or a serial rapist or woman beater who has been turned loose on an activist community to cause devastation. Note when such people never face consequences from law enforcement, even when the victims press charges. If there’s a solid case against a predator, and that predator is allowed to flee, then goes to political meetings in another jurisdiction while the feds refuse to extradite him for trial… bingo.

In our recent experience, a predator who met nine out of ten of the above criteria (including number ten: an admission to other activists he was trying to turn) was never convicted by law enforcement. Instead, he was turned loose on a series of activist communities, wreaking havoc and destruction. Only his death put a stop to it. But there are plenty just like him, eager to take his place. Some of them may be on your friends list on Facebook. Some may have literally gotten away with murder.

When it comes to the thorny question of agents provocateurs and direct action, the point is not whether violence or nonviolence is preferable, but whether someone has violated the consensus of their affinity group and put their team in danger without their consent. It is irresponsible to allege that violence is always the work of agents provocateurs; rather, agents provocateurs set out to instigate violence that will be disadvantageous or isolating for the participants.

Here’s an example. Someone who has met all the above criteria except numbers nine and ten shows up at a public march. The march has been planned as a peaceful, legal event. Perhaps not all actions by this group are peaceful and legal, but for this event, that is the agreed strategy. The event is covered by the media, people are using their real names, and elders and children are participating. The provocateur has spent months ingratiating himself into the group, showing up for every action, paying the bills, giving people rides, saying whatever they want to hear, even buying them drugs. But once the march is underway and the cameras are rolling, the provocateur proceeds to show no regard for the safety or consensus of his group. He does whatever he can to shift the mood of the crowd, to instigate and encourage high emotions. The conditions are tense, and the provocateur does what he can to encourage breaks with discipline, and violations of the conditions previously agreed to. Suddenly he strikes out with a small but significant action, say of property damage or violence toward an individual, providing the flashpoint for sudden escalation. Then, as others follow suit, and illegal and dangerous actions erupt in front of the cameras, the provocateur fades back into the crowd, his mission accomplished. He has now put vulnerable and unprepared members of the community into direct danger, leaving them to handle the consequences of his actions while once again he goes free.

Check videos of actions on YouTube. Some people have filmed themselves breaking the law at actions. Some videos include this flashpoint moment. Note who does this over and over. Note who is and isn’t arrested for these things, and who does and doesn’t do time.

Successful agents can be hard to spot. But most infiltrators are not trained law enforcement officers. Most are criminals who have been cut a deal if they simply go to meetings and listen, or if they go to meetings and actions and disrupt.

In our experience, there have been a bare few, but significant, cases in which activists have been mistaken in their suspicions. In one case long ago that affected many of us, this misidentification had devastating consequences. The mistake was due to a lack of evidence and experience on the part of those who made the misidentification and a lack of solid criteria with which to evaluate the situation–not to mention the participation of actual agents in scapegoating an innocent woman. But because of this serious mistake, many activists compounded that mistake by swinging to the other extreme, overlooking blatant red flags and even direct admissions of infiltrator status. By providing this checklist, we aim to help you to develop your ability to identify, and prioritize, the truth in these situations. It’s not “bad jacketing” when it’s true.

There are a number of guidelines and articles out there about security culture. But just because a group has posted links or statements about the need for security culture doesn’t mean everyone in that group is paying attention and practicing security culture properly. We recommend this text to people and hope that this checklist will be a helpful addition.

Be safe, be effective, and trust your gut.

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Also see:

“Undercover Cops: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police”

“Confessions of an Undercover Cop”

In 2005, after being misquoted by the Daily Telegraph during a public lecture in England, I was banned for life from the entire UK for the crime of defending animal rights in public lectures and rallies (see here and my response here).

Oxford University Anti-Vivisection Demo, 2003

Oxford University Anti-Vivisection Demo, 2003

As a university professor, writer, speaker, and activist, I have no criminal record beyond various civil disobedience actions in support of animal rights. 6 years and 3 governments later, I defied the ban and told the British Home office I would be flying into London via Gdansk, Poland in order to speak in London and Manchester. Upon trying to board my flight to London in September 2011, Polish security agents told me the Home Office prohibited my departure. I spoke to audiences via Skype, but could not physically enter the UK.

Once a society begins banning philosophers, one has to wonder how perilous is the slippery slope toward a police state, and recent state repression and surveillance in the UK, as well as in the US, demonstrates a rapid and dangerous erosion of civil liberties and privacy. By reinforcing their lifetime ban against me, the UK demonstrated they have chosen to be a police state rather than a democracy.

I am deeply indebted to UK activist, Darren Sunderland, for grasping the larger implications of this ban against me. and taking the initiative to create and maintain the following support sites:

BBB, Causes.Com

BBB, Facebook

BBB, UK

Please sign the petition on Causes.com and join the Facebook page if you would like to support free speech rights and ending the UK lifelong ban against me. Thank you, and thank you Darren.

Tragic story of a young internet pioneer who died of double-trouble: physical depression/illness and state repression. The ironies emphasized in this article are troubling as well.

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250px-Aaron_Swartz_profile

Huffington Post, January 13, 2012

Aaron Swartz is no longer among us though the contributions he made to promote free flow of information and knowledge sharing will continue to benefit our present and future generations. He was charged with 13 felony counts for downloading millions of academic articles from JSTOR and accused of intending to distribute these articles through file-sharing sites.

The manner in which Aaron had been prosecuted offers a sharp contrast to the manner in which our legal system dealt with corporate America after the 2008 financial crisis, where there were no prosecutions of top corporate figures. Sadly, the contrast highlights that trying to disseminate knowledge, quite literally by making academic journal articles available online, is a greater crime than bringing down the United States economy through “corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking.”

Driven by a desire to make knowledge accessible Aaron has been attributed to author the “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.” Some key excerpts are as follow:

Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable … Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world … It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy … It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.

Aaron’s untimely death has left us without a great mind and even more importantly a compassionate activist. While Aaron is irreplaceable, we must aspire to freely disseminate the moral imperative he advocated, in the very spirit that he himself would have done.

In this March 15, 2011 file photo, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks at the National Fusion Center Conference in Denver. A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program that was created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced no valuable intelligence on terrorism, according to a Senate report that describes an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone’s ability to control.

A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone’s ability to control.

What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found.

The lengthy, bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. Much of this money went for ordinary local crime-fighting.

Disagreeing with the critical conclusions of the report, Homeland Security says it is outdated, inaccurate and too focused on information produced by the program, ignoring benefits to local governments from their involvement with federal intelligence officials.

Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don’t know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent.

Despite that, Congress is unlikely to pull the plug. That’s because, whether or not it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments.

A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 unclassified reports over a one-year period and concluded that most had nothing to do with terrorism. The panel’s chairman is Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

“The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,” the report said.

When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights.

One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group’s list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting.

No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers. The federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes.

“It was not clear why, if DHS had determined that the reports were improper to disseminate, the reports were proper to store indefinitely,” the report said.

Homeland Security Department spokesman Matthew Chandler called the report “out of date, inaccurate and misleading.” He said that it focused entirely on information being produced by fusion centers and did not consider the benefit the involved officials got receiving intelligence from the federal government.

The report is as much an indictment of Congress as it is the Homeland Security Department. In setting up the department, lawmakers wanted their states to decide what to spend the money on. Time and again, that setup has meant the federal government has no way to know how its security money is being spent.

Inside Homeland Security, officials have long known there were problems with the reports coming out of fusion centers, the report shows.

“You would have some guys, the information you’d see from them, you’d scratch your head and say, `What planet are you from?'” an unidentified Homeland Security official told Congress.

Until this year, the federal reports officers received five days of training and were never tested or graded afterward, the report said.

States have had criminal analysis centers for years. But the story of fusion centers began in the frenzied aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The 9/11 Commission urged better collaboration among government agencies. As officials realized that a terrorism tip was as likely to come from a local police officer as the CIA, fusion centers became a hot topic.

But putting people together to share intelligence proved complicated. Special phone and computer lines had to be installed. The people reading the reports needed background checks. Some information could only be read in secure areas, which meant construction projects.

All of that cost money.

Meanwhile, federal intelligence agencies were under orders from Congress to hire more analysts. That meant state and local agencies had to compete for smart counterterrorism thinkers. And federal training for local analysts wasn’t an early priority.

Though fusion centers receive money from the federal government, they are operated independently. Counterterrorism money started flowing to states in 2003. But it wasn’t until late 2007 that the Bush administration told states how to run the centers.

State officials soon realized there simply wasn’t that much local terrorism-related intelligence. Terrorist attacks didn’t happen often, but police faced drugs, guns and violent crime every day. Normal criminal information started moving through fusion centers.

Under federal law, that was fine. When lawmakers enacted recommendations of the 9/11 Commission in 2007, they allowed fusion centers to study “criminal or terrorist activity.” The law was co-sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman, the driving forces behind the creation of Homeland Security.

Five years later, Senate investigators found, terrorism is often a secondary focus.

“Many fusion centers lacked either the capability or stated objective of contributing meaningfully to the federal counterterrorism mission,” the Senate report said. “Many centers didn’t consider counterterrorism an explicit part of their mission, and federal officials said some were simply not concerned with doing counterterrorism work.”

When Janet Napolitano became Homeland Security secretary in 2009, the former Arizona governor embraced the idea that fusion centers should look beyond terrorism. Testifying before Congress that year, she distinguished fusion centers from the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces that are the leading investigative and analytical arms of the domestic counterterrorism effort.

“A JTTF is really focused on terrorism and terrorism-related investigations,” she said. “Fusion centers are almost everything else.”

Congress, including the committee that authored the report, supports that notion. And though the report recommends the Senate reconsider the amount of money it spends on fusion centers, that seems unlikely.

“Congress and two administrations have urged DHS to continue or even expand its support of fusion centers, without providing sufficient oversight to ensure the intelligence from fusion centers is commensurate with the level of federal investment,” the report said.

And following the release of the report, Homeland Security officials indicated their continued strong support for the program.

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Rapid City Journal, October, 2 2012

The following report of the government repression encountered by an activist crossing the Canadian border was reported by the North American Animal Liberation Press Office on May 25, 2012:

Another report of activist harassment at the border just in.

“I was denied entry into Canada yesterday after arrival. The Canadian Border Security Agency interrogated me for over an hour about my past and also about animal rights organizations they had information I was a member of a particular animal rights organization. After denying everything they took me into custody and held me for the next flight back to the US (which was in another 4 hours).

US Homeland Security Officials told the Canadians they wanted to interrogate me before I left Canada.  They brought me in for interrogation, seized my phone and copied its contents, took 3 camera memory cards inside my cameras and copied those, and took my laptop and copied the hard drive.

They then interrogated me on the contents of my phone (names, numbers, and pictures). They said if I continued not to be completely cooperative they would detain me for 3 days and no one would know where I was. They took photos of different items in my luggage (incl. a Walter Bond shirt) and a book entitled “Muzzling A Movement” and questioned me for over an hour and a half before releasing back to the Canadians.

Under escort of four Canadian Border Security Services Agents, they put me a plane bound for Chicago (not even close to where I live).

This just happened yesterday!
In solidarity!”

Please note that there is never a requirement for you to speak to any law enforcement agent about anything, other than possibly giving your name, and this includes the thugs at the border. They usually threaten you with prolonged detention, but in our extensive experience, this has not happened. Once they realize you are not going to talk, the can’t wait to get rid of you. Sometimes you even get through the customs and immigration line faster! For more information, read this.

Remember that the more effective we become in resisting the current culture, currently in the process of exploiting animals and destroying the planet, the more repression we can expect by those in power. Our mission is to stay strong, stay active, and get smarter and more effective, so that one day we will prevail against those who would destroy everything beautiful and wonderful about the planet we live on.

North American Animal Liberation Press Office
www.animalliberationpressoffice.org

“When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that she will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a person saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath she is going to tell you what she won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A person who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire…or preserve his freedom.”– Malcolm X



Contact: (213) 640-5048
Animal Liberation Press Office
3371 Glendale Blvd. #107
Los Angeles, CA 90039

www.animalliberationpressoffice.org
press@animalliberationpressoffice.org

 

On October 14, 2011, Italian activists occupied the roof of the beagle delivery unit at Green Hill (Marshall BioResources), Europe’s largest farm breeding dogs for vivisection. Currently in the UK, the farm’s sister company – B&K Universal – are attempting to gain permission to construct a facility holding 2,000 beagles for laboratories. On April 28, animal liberationists launched a bold raid which, despite losses noted below, was a clear victory and set a new precendent Italian activism and, along with the amazing Chinese activists who have stopped trucks carryinmg hundreds of dogs to the slaughouse, let us hope the global animal liberation movement is turning a corner away from pacifism — technically, passivist non-resistance and collaborationism — toward militant direct action and animal liberation by any means necessary.

The Green Hill beagle liberation has made major waves in the Italian mainstream media; see:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=257359814362022&set=a.174625875968750.35221.173255396105798&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=257364261028244&set=a.174625875968750.35221.173255396105798&type=1&theater

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LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

Cops arrest 12 activists, 7 still held, servants of the state and ultimate slaves to capital, cops return 7 of 30 liberated dogs to their tormentors in white suits; all animals freed from the budgeons of the phamaceutical-industrial complex noted to have strong smell of urine and one puppy bore the scar of an incision running the length of his abdomen (see the Examiner story).

“Anonymous” threatens retaliation for arrests and return of some dogs to their executioners, sending this message to  a fur company and to the Italian state: “Attack of the site SD Fur: Anonymous has made an attack against those who derive profit from the blood and the suffering of animals. We intend to support with our means of speciesism and the victims of human cruelty. We want to raise awareness about the daily barbarism that are committed in the name of profit and bloody fashion, these animals are blinded and deafened before their death. These are innocent victims, and we will send a clear message to perpetrators. This is just the beginning.”

Sincerely,

Anonymous OpSaveAnimals # # # OpItaly Operationgreenrights

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN:

1) Phone number and email of Brescia cop station where the GH7 are being detaineed:

+39 030 37441 

urp.quest.bs@pecps.poliziadistato.it

Call to demand the release of the GH7 and the dogs that were recaptured; via email, send this message: Per favore Liberate gli attivisti arrestati a Green Hill  (“Please free the activists arrested at Green Hill”)

2) Sign a petition demanding the release of human and nonhuman prisoners held at/by Green Hill Labs and the Italian state.

3) Support the ban on breeding vivisection animals in Italy

4) Continue to monitor important events and news, such as at:

A.L.F FRONTE LIBERAZIONE ANIMALE ITALIA

International Day of Action to Close Down Green Hill

THE DOGS WERE NO ONE’S TO “OWN” IN THE FIRST PLACE, LET ALONE TO MAIN, POISON, TORTURE, AND MURDER; HUNDREDS PERHAPS THOUSANDS OF ITALIAN FAMILIES ARE NO DOUBT OFFERING LOVING CARE AND HOMES FOR THESE VICTIMS OF CAPITALISM AND PSEUDO-SCIENCE. THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, VIVISECTION IS ROOTED IN AN OUITMODED 17TH CENTURY PARADIGM. SMASH THE GLOBAL VIVISECTION-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

MORAL AND SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS ARE INSEPERABLE FROM ANIMAL LIBERATION!

This beagle is safe tonight and will likely never agained he hated and tortured, only loved and comforted.

by Kevin Gosztola (firedoglake)

Twenty-eight protesters were preemptively arrested in DeWitt, New York as they tried to reach Hancock Air Force Base for a demonstration outside the gates against the use of drones. The protesters were charged with “failing to obtain a town permit,” according to the Post-Standard.

Concerned citizens from Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rome and Albany had planned a “Peace Walk” to the base, where Reaper drones are present. They planned to protest “murderous use” of drones, which violates international law, just as they did last year. But the group reached an intersection near a commercial strip mall and about ten sheriff’s cars pulled out to block the road.

In the parking lot was a Greyhound bus for arrestees. The police began grabbing people and saying everyone was under arrest. Debra Sweet, director of the World Can’t Wait, reported the police in the town of DeWitt were issuing all sorts of orders. It was confusing. They were saying you could put down your signs and go back to where you came and avoid arrest. They also were saying anyone walking away would be charged with resisting arrest.

Sandy Kessler, who is from Rochester, said anyone walking on the road with a sign would be arrested.

I said, what if I put my sign back? He said no you will get arrested. I said why? He said there can be no individual protests, no group protests. You don’t have a permit. Well, nobody really ever gets a permit. Last year, with the big one where thirty-eight people got arrested, yes, we got a permit. But we just decided we really didn’t need a permit. This is America.

Everyone there to demonstrate got together and forced the head sheriff to explain what was going on. Sweet said the sheriff explained in DeWitt “you are not allowed to have any sort of gatherings for any reason with signs and to parade in the street without permit.” After about five to ten minutes of negotiations, he backed off.

“It is apparent that many of you didn’t know a permit was required, he told the demonstrators. And, if you make the choice to leave you will not be arrested. But, at least ten people found this all completely unacceptable. They challenged the police and kept on heading toward the base and were arrested.

The police were not in riot gear. All of the people there were videotaped. Everyone who parked where they customarily park for vigil protests received parking citations, according to Sweet.

Kessler said this has “been going on for years since we found out there have been drones flying out of there.” She told Upstate Drone Action she saw police and military high-fiving.

These were arrests “based on prior knowledge of our plans and on the content of our message,” contended Sweet. She added I am sure if we had held a support rally for the Air Force or for drones they would not have treated us like this at all.

Reportedly three people who were arrested had their phones confiscated. Two people had their video cameras confiscated. A person had their phone and video camera confiscated. They were given receipts but their property was not returned, even though they were released with a citation. The citation read, “No permit.”

Video from the protest has been posted by Syracuse Peace Council. It shows a sheriff telling protesters to head to a parking lot. He is telling them he is not here to discuss the law. That is why they are going to go to court. He tells a woman at around three minutes into the video that because they were in a “formation,” beating drums and carrying signs they are to be arrested. The woman challenges him and he tells her, “I didn’t make the law, ma’am. I’m just enforcing the law just like you guys want to enforce international law.”

At the six-and-a-half minute mark, you can see the sheriffs tell the protesters that they understand people weren’t here to break the law but they have to understand the town requires permits. There’s a compelling section of the video at the eight-minute mark where a woman, who appears to be affiliated with the ACLU gets clarification on what demonstrators would not be able to do without a permit. She informs another officer, politely, that the sheriff’s understanding of the permit law in DeWitt is “extremely problematic.” She makes sure the sheriff understands a challenge to this interpretation will be coming in court.

There’s an interview with a man in a wool cap and sunglasses twelve minutes into the video where he explains he is trying to protest militarism and that this is the wrong direction. He says if Americans want to protect their rights and the rights of innocent people being killed in so many countries by drones, people need to take action. [At the fifteen minute mark, the permit law is read by the woman who appears to have some affiliation with the ACLU.]

This clampdown by DeWitt police comes days after peace activists of the three-day convergence “Trifecta Resista” were met by stormtroopers at the gate of Whiteman Air Force Base. They were there to protest not only drones but also nuclear weapons and the continued detention of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks.

In the video above, the military police can be seen doing some kind of fascist goose step toward the protesters. They smack their wooden batons on their police shields as they advance with jackbooted bravado and close in on a small group of activists singing songs with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly leading them.

This response to demonstrations is not coming from city governments. It is nearly obvious that this repressive conduct is being ordered by the military and federal government. The authorities are afraid of people’s efforts to protest against drones because they could influence public opinion on a technology that is still relatively new. And, undoubtedly, this only empowers the activists who daringly and boldly confront the military industrial-complex on a regular basis in this country.

Update

Upstate Drone Action has posted a press release on the action. The posting includes a copy of the “indictment” they were trying to symbolically deliver to the base.

The drone attacks either originating at Hancock or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing war crimes.

We charge the chain of command, from President Barack Obama, to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, to every drone crew, to every service member supporting or defending these illegal actions with the following crimes: extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians.

We demand that they immediately stop these crimes, and be accountable to the people of the United States and Afghanistan.

Academic RepressionThe extreme repressive attacks on Churchill, Finklstein, Fontan, Best, Massad, the “Dirty Thirty,” and many others represented in this book demonstrate the repressive logic of “US democracy,” whereby political elites, the mass media, and the education system establish and police the parameters of acceptable discourse. Churchill became America’s own Salman Rushdie terrorized by the fatwa of the right. Unprecedented for the media coverage given to a professor (in a mass media culture that virtually ignores substantive ideas in favor of spectacle and sensationalism) the Churchill affair was, however, just one of many cases of attacks on academic freedom that eerily evoke the tyranny of the McCarthy era where actors were blacklisted and professors were fired for having even liberal views or showing dissent against state repression. While there has been much research on political repression carried out by the Bush administration, FBI, and various law enforcement agencies, there has been little discussion on political repression in academia and how the shockwaves of 9/11 have reverberated throughout academia. This anthology brings together prominent academics who contribute original essays commissioned for this volume. The writers are known and respected figures in their respective fields, and many have experienced academic repression first-hand. This volume aims to be a cogent intervention in debates over free speech, culture wars, and academic freedom. Given that the importance of free speech to academic life, and the crucial role universities play in the intellectual life of cultures as a whole, a volume addressing the political environment of universities in the current period promises to make a significant contribution. 

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