Thursday, March 5, 2009

Anti WOPR Action

By Tangent

In the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 11th, Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky ascended a pine on state capitol grounds and began an urban tree sit in protest of the Bureau of Land Management’s Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR). She descended on Friday, Nov. 14th in order to speak at a rally of over 200 anti-WOPR protestors on the capitol steps.
The BLM claim on their website that the basic principles behind the WOPR include managing natural resources “for human use and a healthy environment” and management that is “focused on ecological principles to reduce the need for single resource or single species management”. However, several statistics regarding the WOPR do not support these claims. According to Oregon Wild’s® forest expert Doug Heiken, logging on Oregon BLM lands would be increased upwards of 375%, and old growth logging would be catastrophically scaled forward. Additionally, approx. 180 million tons more carbon would be released into the atmosphere as opposed to a “no-harvest” alternative. Statistics such as these have incensed Oregon environmental groups, who banded together in the WOPR and Beyond Coalition to organize the anti-WOPR rally and garner popular opposition to the new forest plan.
Trip Jennings, a member of the radical advocacy group Cascadia Rising Tide, claimed, “The number one reason to oppose the WOPR is that it represents a forest policy that The WOPR ignores all of the most progressive and sustainable ways to get our forest products and reverts back to a time when we thought the trees were endless, and we could clear-cut forever without any repercussions.” Cascadia Rising Tide is an activist collective formed to address the root causes of climate change.
Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky is also a member of Cascadia Rising Tide, as well as a University of Oregon student. She claimed that during the tree-sit, “the support that poured in from all over was very amazing, at times almost overwhelming... My middle school sent a big card, with things like “I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing, I love big trees.” Their anecdotes were very inspiring. Also having people from the capitol building come out, say hello, and say they were proud of us was very reaffirming.” Regarding the rally, she said, “I thought that the rally did a good job of not only exposing the WOPR, but exposing a host of bad forest policy that we need to keep fighting.”
So, now that you’re all fired up with talk of rallies and protests, what can you do to help stop the WOPR and bad forest policy across the state of Oregon? One approach is to contact the Obama administration via web; after all, our new president has promised to address environmental issues in his policy. If you want to get a little more “grassroots” with your approach, a good place to start is Google: look up the WOPR and Beyond Coalition, to discover various Oregon environmental justice groups that work to prevent harmful logging practices.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

By Eliza Crunch

The Sea Shepherd is a real life band of pirates. They are guardians of the ocean, shepherding marine mammals, keeping them safe from illegal whaling and over fishing. Japan kills hundreds of whales per year in the name of research and also results in selling the leftovers and making bank. Whale meat is a cash crop in Japan. However, The Steve Irwin Foundation and many research facilities in California have dedicated their time and efforts to develop non-lethal or even non-harmful ways of gathering the same data. The ways are developed and being finely tuned everyday. The cash crop ‘research’ that Japan engages in could be done without the bloodbath.
Cpt. Watson of the Sea Shepherd has developed non-lethal pirate techniques to stopping the slaughter. Greenpeace just stands aside and whines, “Please let them go.” But Sea Shepherd has acknowledged that petitions haven’t made them stop, and has taken the stand (as the only organization doing this) to put themselves physically between the Japanese boats and the whales.
Conservation means protecting and preserving what little is left. Right now in Antarctica the boat, The Steve Irwin, is patrolling the area with a helicopter and a gas powered little inflatable boat I like to call Speedy. There are multiple cameras being used at all times because documentation is everything. Catching every action made internationally protects the Sea Shepherd and is evidence against Japan. From Speedy, crew members throw stink bombs on whaling boats which A) make the boat smell offensive to possible oncoming whales and B) make the boat smell so offensive that the crew gets nauseous and have to turn around ASAP. From Speedy, they can also deliver official international notices of violating ocean laws. For example, certain areas in the Antarctic oceans are protected as breeding grounds for species like humpbacks whales, going there for the purpose of slaughter is against the law!!!!
SSCS also protects seals in Canada from being clubbed. They were the first to get film footage of the massive bloodbath dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. This footage got on international news so the world could see the reality that occurs every year. And what about the sharks in South Africa? Or the habitats being destroyed in the Galapagos? The SSCS is about education and action but they need our help.
The Sea Shepherd runs off of donations. Fall term, an individual recognized the need to help them and organized a pirate costume party fundraiser at the Campbell Club that raised $553. SSCS ACTUALLY save the Whales. Look forward to a follow up party Winter term. To stay up to date, watch Whale Wars on Animal Planet.

The Socialist Ideology

By Robert Caswell

This world is plagued by fear. Fear of economic downturn. Fear of financial insecurity. Fear for the lack of control over the means of production. This is the fear that has inhabited the planet since the inception of the free market; as such, it is perpetuated by the fundamental structure of capitalism. The capitalist system breeds anxiety and self-loathing, and thus, all ideologies that adhere to this economic system innately oppress the masses. Every ideology, from the New Right to modern liberalism, endorses the corporate structure, save one: socialism. In a society where job security is guaranteed and economic hardships are shared across a population, suffering is significantly less present and poverty on the individual level is nonexistent, since the whole of society distributes the burden equally. Socialism is the only political theory that holds any merit, and its establishment is necessary to guarantee true freedom to all and give courage, hope, and a voice to the oppressed.
Capitalism, especially the American version, is comprised of artificial entities that serve no purpose other than to generate a surplus of wealth and to propagate insecurity. Banks and conglomerates, minorities in the world, are nothing more than constructs that own a majority of the assets and control the means of production. Meanwhile the real majority, the working class does not actually own property, even in the Information Age; rather, they are allowed through contract to operate underneath capitalist oppression. The banks permit proletarian residents to live in property that is actually owned by the banks, so long as the workers continue to make monthly payments. All the while, the banks, which serve no real purpose, generate large amounts of capital to feed back into the same illusory system, and the working class remains in the same fearful state, worrying whether they will have a roof to live under next year. To make matters worse, markets are allowed to fluctuate violently over periods of time and force massive layoffs which spread more misery through the working classes. As long as the system is fairly stable, the government allows a certain amount of individual freedom, which is taken away the moment financial security is lost. This perpetuates fear and inequality, which causes suffering. Suffering would be limited in a socialist society where the means of production are owned and controlled by all.
Whether through reformation or through revolution, a socialist world must be brought about to ensure equality. The abolishment of private ownership is necessary to end the cycle of human suffering, and its end will help to see the creation of a truly free society. When the means of production are owned collectively, self-interest decreases over time, and mutual prosperity ensues without the interference of affliction upon the masses. The selfish ego matters less and less during the evolution of a classless society. Goods and services are valued only by the need they fill in a community, and monetary value is abolished to be replaced with a system of need-based consumption in which all commodities are free to everyone. When items are free and readily available to all, theft and greed lose their appeal, and hoarding supplies to create a safety net is no longer necessary since all individuals are secure in all aspects of life.
At current, the American system is not yet ready for the construction of a society based on collective ownership of all industries. The recent election of Barack Obama as President of the United States shows a slight movement towards the left for this country, but even President Obama endorses the free market without remorse. His support for nationalizing healthcare is only a movement towards a state operated social democracy, under which the proletariat is still oppressed by capitalist overlords. In fact, on the political spectrum, Obama lies entirely to the right of the median line, encouraging market competition instead of cooperation. His views are not only authoritarian, but they help to artificially substantiate the claim that capitalism could be reformed to eliminate class oppression. This idea has failed in the past in Northern Europe, as all Nordic economies have started a trend of slow decay, and the reformation of capitalism will fail in the United States if President-elect Obama intends to found it there.
While detrimental to the working class now and further along if a social democracy is established, the Obama regime could further the spread of leftist ideals in the long run. In fact, he could prove entirely different than his Senate record suggests in terms of ideology. Also, although descriptions of a socialist Obama are at this point entirely false, his administration could allow Americans to observe what a social democracy is like, and if it’s a success, the political spectrum of the United States could shift as a whole towards socialism. However, this would be a slow transition for American politics and would allow for the bourgeois to maintain power while the suffering of the working class continues. Patience is the only path to tread in seeing what the Obama’s regime holds in store.
On a world scale, socialism’s future is more hopeful. In particular, the Netherlands, famous for its ingenuity and forward thinking, has seen an increase in socialist movements. The Socialist Party of the Netherlands has had enormous success over the past fifteen years, currently comprising the third largest share of seats in the politically significant Lower House which directly reflects the democratic will of the people unlike the Upper House which is appointed by regional councils. As one of the forerunners for modern capitalism and the stock market, the Netherlands was among the first colonialist nations to build factories and transition to modern oppression; at that time, capitalism and imperialism were a step forward for human rights. Also, the country has always been known for its permissive attitude towards non-standard cultures and has been able to maintain this attitude in a world that isn’t so complacent. Thus, a self-sufficient agrarian economy is feasible for the tiny nation, and its embrace of modernity allows would allow it to progress intellectually and technologically. These two key features would allow the generation of capital and of required goods, and a society like this would be able to subsist while the rest of the world remains capitalist. This is why Holland is one of the more perfect breeding grounds for the first true tests of socialism.
Other small democratic nations could follow suit, or perhaps could beat the Low Countries to the chase by claiming a majority of socialist citizens within their borders; a simple majority is all that stands in the way of establishing a socialist state in most countries. Other options exist, but are less favorable than democratic processes, since they require the suppression of dissenting ideas which are needed, even if they are primitive. Anyway the revolution is brought about, the ultimate goal of socialism is a single, unified, and globally socialist human civilization. This is brought about through the rationalization of individuals across the globe, and their inevitable rejection of capitalism. The spread of ideas is therefore the key factor in swaying minds to the cause.
But why must capitalism be rejected? With reform and a post-ideological mindset, it could be possible to keep the free market, since rationality could justify this position. Post-modernism and the globalization of the “shrinking world” through the spread of capital, information, and ideas have brought about the simplified approach to politics that is the post-ideological belief structure. This position concentrates on skirting multiple viewpoints with a strong sense of incredulity, and its skepticism of simple methods of progression seems valid at first since it calls into question all foundations. The post-modern approach to ideology claims socialism, like every other belief, cannot be justified. It rejects the notion that there is only one legitimate political view, asserting that post-ideological non-partisanship is the most logical way to view politics.
However, a post-modern globalized system is still oppressive to the majority of the world, and creates excess capital that is squandered on the business class bourgeois. Post-modernity, while striving for a valid philosophy through reason, overlooks the fact that the entire capitalist system is based on fear. Consequently, the exploited classes should refuse this and every other viewpoint as corrupt and tyrannical. They should embrace the globalization of socialism as the only valid ideology.
The socialist view holds that the means of production must be collectively owned by all in order to ensure security for all. This principle is unyielding to a reformed free market or State capitalism, and it calls for the expedition of global revolution, primarily through the active spread of ideas. As stated by the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, “Silence is consent.” In order to throw off an oppressive capitalist government, the spread of ideas and the spread of one unified voice for socialism are mandatory. So stand up, gather your voice, and support the socialist ideology by inspiring action and thought.

Security Culture

The first step in recognizing security risks in a community is working towards creating a security culture. Below we have compiled some relevant materials and links that should be used in conducting security workshops and educating activists that you work with.

As our direct action movement becomes more effective, government harassment will only increase. To minimize the destructiveness of this government harassment, it is imperative that we create a "security culture" within our movement. Violations of security culture include behavior is inappropriate because it intensifies government harassment, jeopardizes the freedom of other activists, and destroys the trust within the movement.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND STATE REPRESSION

It was not that long ago that discussions about security culture were seen as not relevant to the vast majority of community organizers. As long as one didn't "break the law" it was assumed that social freedoms in North America and Europe would allow for the expression of dissent without a rise in repression. A number of events have conspired since the late nineties to change the landscape of organizing considerably.

New legislation - the PATRIOT Act in the US and Bill C-36 in Canada - which have been sold to the public as required to fight the spectre of terrorism in a post-911 world, serve double-duty in giving the state new laws with which to crack down on internal dissent. A rise in state-hyped racist hysteria, has made community organizers from middle eastern origins (or other "suspicious" backgrounds), increasingly targets of incarceration without cause, and other abuse at the hands of governments eager to deflect attention from the real issues of failing economies and unpopular wars. In many countries, governments have enacted laws to make it illegal to work with overseas organizations now declared "terrorist" - putting at risk communities who have worked to support liberation fighters around the world.

It follows that those who fight to change the world will be met with resistance by those who do not want it changed. One does not have to participate in extralegal activities to raise the interest of state security forces (whether those be local, regional or national agencies). Security culture must no longer be thought of as merely the domain of those who might break unjust laws - but as something that is part of the organizing toolbox as a mechanism for community self-defense.

The guidelines presented here are designed to enhance your personal safety as well as the overall effectiveness of our movements. By adopting a security culture, we can limit or neutralize counterintelligence operations meant to disrupt our political organizing, be it mainstream or underground.



TOWARDS AN EXPANDED DEFINITION OF SECURITY CULTURE

Creating secure communities is about more than being educated about the state and its security forces. Fundamentally, it means creating working dynamics of respect, education and inclusion in all our work. Building strong communities that act in solidarity with one another is the best protection against infiltration, disruption and other conditions of repression.

So what is a security culture? It's a culture where the people know their rights and, more importantly, assert them in all situations. Those who belong to a security culture also know what behaviour compromises security and are quick to work with people who exhibit insecure or oppressive behaviour. Security consciousness becomes a culture when a community as a whole adopts this awareness and demonstrates that those behaviours which violate security are unacceptable.

SECURITY CULTURE MEANS CHALLENGING OPPRESSION

Security culture is about more than just targeting specific behaviours in individuals such as bragging, gossiping or lying. It is also about checking movement behaviours and practices as a whole to ensure that oppressive practices aren't feeding into intelligence operations being carried out against our community.

Within the histories of groups targeted by COINTELPRO (such as AIM and the BPP), and certainly within the animal rights and environmental movements, there are many example of how oppressive behaviours created conditions ripe for FBI manipulation.

Underlying sexism in some groups has meant that women trying to raise security concerns are not taken seriously, or (on the other end), are not suspected as informers simply because they are women. A tokenistic approach to recruitment has lead socialist organizations to bring in new members who fit their 'ideal' of what the working class should be - only have them to later turn out working for the British Home Office.

Racism, sexism and homophobia in the movement spread division that create overall weaknesses and create openings easily manipulatable by state operatives. Exclusion can make those people who feel marginalized by group practices more open to infiltrators.

Obviously, our movements still have a lot of work to do before we have satisfactorily addressed issues of oppression - but what is important here is a recognition that oppressive behaviours feed into poor community security.

(IN)SECURE PRACTICES

The following section was originally written for an audience engaged, or on the periphery of extralegal activity, and so focuses on "underground" groups. We would like to add that the same rules apply to discussions about individuals involved in or providing support groups considered "terrorist" by western governments (but who are in actual fact, liberation fighters at odds with US foreign policy). It is generally good practice to limit discussion about movement individuals where you are unsure what information about them is "public" knowledge.

As community organizers, a lot of activists like to verbally engage with each other and have no trouble spending hours discussing theory, tactics, and strategy. This is an essential part of building our analysis and work, but in some cases this can put ourselves or others in jeopardy.

WHAT NOT TO SAY

To begin with, there are certain things that are inappropriate to discuss. These things include:

* your own or someone else's involvement with an underground group
* someone else's desire to get involved with such a group
* asking others if they are a member of an underground group
* your own or someone else's participation in any action that was illegal
* someone else's advocacy for such actions
* your plans or someone else's plans for a future action

Essentially, it is a bad idea to speak about an individual's involvement (past, present or future) with illegal activities, or with activities that may raise the interest of the state (such as advocacy of certain groups or tactics). These are unacceptable topics of discussion regardless of whether they are rumor, speculation or personal knowledge.

Please note: this is not to say that it is incorrect to speak about direct action in general terms - just be sure that you don't link individual activists to specific actions or groups. It is perfectly legal, secure and desirable that people speak out in support of all forms of resistance (though if you're involved with illegal activity, it is probably best that you don't openly advocate for breaking the law as that alone can raise state interest in your life).

THREE EXCEPTIONS

There are only three times that it is acceptable to speak about specific actions that may be against the law. These are the only situations when it is appropriate to speak about your own or someone else's involvement or intent to commit an illegal act.

The first situation would be if you were planning an action with other members of your small group (your "cell" or "affinity group"). These discussions should never take place over the Internet (e-mail), phone line, through the mail, or in an activist's home or car, as these places and forms of communication are frequently monitored. The only people who should hear this discussion would include those who are actively participating in the action. Anyone who is not involved does not need to know and, therefore, should not know.

The second exception occurs after an activist has been arrested and brought to trial. If s/he is found guilty, this activist can freely speak of the actions for which s/he was convicted. However, s/he must never give information that would help the authorities determine who else participated in illegal activities.

The third exception is for anonymous letters and interviews with the media. This must be done carefully and without compromising security. Advice on secure communication techniques can be found at elsewhere on this site.

BOTTOM LINE SECURITY

If you are engaged in activity that is considered illegal, it is best to take a lesson from veteran activists of the direct action movements and only allow a select few to know about your activity. Those few people should consist of only the individuals who you are doing work and actions with and AND NO ONE ELSE!

The reason for these security precautions is obvious: if people don't know anything, they can't talk about it. When activists who do not share the same serious consequences know who did an illegal direct action, they are far more likely to talk after being harassed and intimidated by the authorities, because they are not the ones who will go to jail. Even those people who are trustworthy can often be tricked by the authorities into revealing damaging and incriminating information. It is safest for all cell members to keep their involvement in the group amongst themselves. The fewer people who know, the less evidence there is in the long run.

SECURITY VIOLATING BEHAVIOURS

In an attempt to impress others, activists may behave in ways that compromise security. Some people do this frequently - they are habitually gossiping and bragging. Some activists say inappropriate things only when they consume alcohol. Many activists make occasional breaches of security because there was a momentary temptation to say something or hint at something that shouldn't have been said or implied. In most every situation, the desire to be accepted is the root cause.

Those people who tend to be the greatest security risks are those activists who have low self-esteem and strongly desire the approval of their peers. Certainly it is natural to seek friendship and recognition for our efforts, but it is imperative that we keep these desires in check so we do not jeopardize the safety of other activists or ourselves. People who place their desire for friendship over the importance of the cause can do serious damage to our security.

The following are examples of security-violating behaviours:

* Lying: To impress others, liars claim to have done illegal actions. Such lies not only compromise the person's security -- as cops will not take what is said as a lie-- but also hinders solidarity and trust.
* Gossip & Rumors: Some people think they can win friends because they are privy to special information. These gossips will tell others about who did what action or, if they don't know who did it, guess at who they think did what actions or just spread rumors about who did it. This sort of talk is very damaging. People need to remember that rumors are all that are needed to instigate an investigation, or even lay charges. New anti-terrorist law in both Canada and the United States allows state security forces to carry out raids on individuals based on nothing more than hearsay evidence.
* Bragging: Some people who partake in illegal direct action might be tempted to brag about it to their friends. This not only jeopardizes the bragger's security, but also that of the other people involved with the action (as they may be suspected by association). As well the people who s/he told can be charged as accessories after the fact.
* Indirect-Bragging: Indirect braggers are people who make a big production on how they want to remain anonymous, avoid protests, and stay "underground." They might not come out and say that they do illegal direct action, but they make sure everyone within earshot knows they are up to something. They are no better than braggers, but they try to be more sophisticated about it by pretending to maintain security. However, if they were serious about security, they would just make up a good excuse as to why they are not as active, or why they can't make it to the protest . Concealing sensitive information from even trusted comrades is far better than jeopardizing underground work.

SELF-EDUCATION TOWARDS LIBERATION

With the above information about security, it should be easier to spot those activists who compromise our movement's security. So what do we do with people who display these behaviours? Do we shun or expel them from our groups and projects? Actually, no - not for the first security violation, at least.

The unfortunate truth is there are some security-ignorant people in the movement and others who have possibly been raised in a "scene" that thrives on bragging and gossiping. It doesn't mean these people are bad, but it does mean they need to inform themselves and learn about personal and group security. Even seasoned activists make mistakes when there is a general lack of security consciousness in our groups. And that's where those of you reading this can help. We must ALWAYS act to inform persons whose behaviour breaches security. If someone you know is bragging about doing an action or spreading security-compromising gossip, it is your responsibility to explain to her or him why that sort of talk violates security and is inappropriate.

You should strive to share this knowledge in a manner that encourages the person's understanding and changes her/his behaviour. It should be done without damaging the person's pride. Show your sincere interest in helping him/her to become a more effective activist. Keep your humility and avoid presenting a superior, "holier than-thou" attitude. Such an attitude can raise an individual's defenses and prevent them from listening to and using the advice offered. The goal of addressing these issues with others is to reduce insecure behaviour, rather than showing how much more security-conscious you are.

Share your concerns and knowledge in private, so that the person does not feel as if they are being publicly humiliated. Addressing the person as soon as possible after the security violation increases effectiveness.

If each of us remains responsible for discussing security information with people who slip up, we can dramatically improve security in our groups and activities. When people recognize that lying, gossiping, bragging, and inappropriate debriefing damages both themselves and others, these behaviours will soon end. By developing a culture where breaches of security are pointed out and discouraged, all sincere activists will quickly understand.

DEALING WITH CHRONIC SECURITY PROBLEMS

So what do we do with activists who repeatedly violate security precautions even after being informed several times? Unfortunately for them, the best thing to do is to cut them loose. Discuss the issue openly and ask them to leave your meetings, basecamps and organizations. With law enforcement budgets on the increase and with courts handing down long sentences for political "crimes", the stakes are too high to allow chronic security offenders to work among us.

By creating a security culture, we have an effective defense against informers and agents who try to infiltrate groups. Imagine an informer who, every time they ask another activist about their activities, receives information about security. It would frustrate the informer's work. When other activists discovered that she/he continued to violate security precautions after being repeatedly informed, there would be grounds for isolating the person from our groups. And that would be one less informer for us to deal with!

ADOPT A SECURITY CULTURE NOW! Activists are restless and resistance is on the rise. Some people are adopting radical and confrontational tactics. The more we organize and are effective, the more police forces continue to escalate their activities against us. For direct action movements to continue, we need to consider our security more seriously. Good security should be made one of our strengths.

http://security.resist.ca/personal/culture.shtml

Poetic Terrorism

By Joseph Savage

The class on Friday the 13th began as normal as any other class on any other day might. Students trickled in until the exact hour and while we sat waiting for the lecture to begin one of the students started talking about the police. There was a “traffic-stop-sting” on 18th and she’d been pulled over with about 7 other cars. They were all lined up on the shoulder of the street with fully uniformed officers writing tickets at their windows.

“The policemen are such a problem,” the professor is young, from Latin America and begins to tell us a story.

“When I lived at my home, my car was stolen. My family reported it, but with luck the car made it back unharmed, parked right in front of our house,” she went on, “The thing is, since it was reported stolen we had to take it down to the police station to sit for one night. We drove it down, everything perfect on the car, and dropped it off. The next day, when the car showed back up, everything was missing. The CD player, windows, anything and everything that could be removed was stolen,” she sighs, “and it was done by the police. That’s the way it is. I’m not saying anything bad about the police here, just that in my country they are horrible.”

Everyone sort of laughs it off. Whenever anyone talks this way about the cops it’s always kind of funny because everyone knows there is nothing that contests the authority’s absolute power.

I sit in the back of the class. I don’t really care about the material; I just come to class to finish school. I am in my last few terms before entering the real world. There is a very curious student who always seems overly hyped up about everything and regularly acts very critical of everything. His name is Slater Brawley.

I like to watch Slater because, at the very least, he seems a little different from the other students. I wonder what he thinks about all this university stuff. I wonder what he thinks of being a duck. You can tell he’s unsatisfied. I’d like to talk to him, but don’t know what to say and it’s definitely not the norm to just go up and say hello. That part of college I still haven’t figured out. Social networks are a very strange thing, and I assume that Slater wouldn’t mind talking with someone; it is his first term here at the University.

The class goes on. The professor is always trying to get people to speak up. Slater is always ready, but you can tell he holds back. He doesn’t want to dominate the class. He doesn’t want to feel marginalized or on trial as the one student who is really interested in the subject matter. So you can see him, a bit nervous, watching and thinking, his eyes move from here to there and unlike most of the students, Slater tries hard to always sit up straight, to always maintain good posture with powerful broad shoulders.

The theme of today is two short stories concerning the Independence of Mexico. The first one, “The Dead Man” talks of a man who accidently falls on his machete while working in his plantation. The main character didn’t want to die, and Slater kept talking about our inability to accept death although we are constantly aware that it will come. It’s difficult to exclude philosophy from a literature class. The second story, The Bullet Party was about the era of Pancho Villa. Some 300 prisoners were shot by pistol, one after the other entering from a corral to meet their doom. Slater went on talking about morals and the values of human life. It’s hard to keep ethics out of a Literature Class.

I personally don’t care. I mean, I care about life, but stories and essays and lecture class…I’m tired of them. And as I was day dreaming of the parties coming up for Valentine’s Day, someone came into the room looking distraught and serious. The whole class looks up at him.

“Are you the professor?”

“Yes, I am the discussion leader. The GTF, what can I do for you?”

We all wait to see what’s happening.

“I need to speak with you in the hallway for a moment.”

The two of them disappear. Slater looks a little worried. I wonder if it has something to do with him.

“WOW,” a student says, “That’s the director of Student Life. I’ve never seen him so shook up. He’s usually very happy and upbeat.”

“I wonder what’s happening,” another student says.

“I’ve never seen anything like this happen before.”

Everyone is discussing what’s going on; everyone except Slater and myself. I don’t say anything because I just don’t say anything, but I have a feeling this has something to do with Slater.

The door opens again and the GTF enters saying, “Ok, well nobody worry. Whatever the problem is I’m sure it will be resolved easily and simply.”

“What’s the matter?” a few students are still curious.

“It’s a secret,” she says, “no one worry. Let’s finish up our lecture; we only have 10 minutes left.”

Everyone goes back to acting studious, discussing and aiming for a good grade. The professor acts as if nothing’s happening, so does everyone else, even Slater seems a bit more at ease. I continue to sit slouching, chewing on my pin. It’s still a little too early to be in class, and I’m hung over from last night, and still there are the parties this weekend. I need to take a nap. I’ve yet to see Slater at any of the parties I’ve gone to. I wonder what he likes to do after class. Maybe the visit from the Office of Student Life has something to do with it.

“Okay class. Thank you. Have a great weekend.”

The professor’s dismissal snaps me out of my day dream and I gather my things to go. I don’t have any more classes today so I’ll just turn in my work and head home to prepare for the festivities. And as I was slipping my assignment into the folder with my identification number on it, I hear the professor speak to Slater, “Slater, could you please stay after a few minutes?”

“Sure,” his voice is cherry and complying.

I go out the classroom like normal, but wait around on the lawn outside Condon Hall to see if Slater comes out with the Director of Student Life. As I really don’t care about the university too much, I do care about drama, and I’ve been interested to know Slater for some time. So I waited.

Sure enough he leaves with the Director and they begin walking down the street slicing thru the middle of campus, heading for the Office of Student Life. Slater doesn’t seem too worried and is talking and smiling with his escort. I really wanted to know what happened so I followed them carefully, nonchalantly, and it is very easy to blend into the crowd, for all together there are close or even more than 20,000 students enrolled each year.

They walk quickly and arrive all the way to the other end of the campus in no time disappearing inside Oregon Hall. With nothing to do, I sat there out in front of the new residence halls, put in just 2 years ago, covering up the old tennis courts and outdoor recreation sites. I smoked a cigarette and looked around. The campus health center was right next to me and I watched the sad people go in, climb the stairs, and await their therapy session. There are so many depressed people in this world. When I was a kid the doctors tried to give me meds. Said I wouldn’t be able to function in society without them. I disagree and that is part of the reason I keep to myself. I don’t want to be labeled.

Time went by, 20 minutes maybe, and finally I see Slater coming out the door with the same man who walked him down, pointing over in my direction, yet not at me directly, which the thought frightened me, but over towards the entrance to the Health Center. Curious. Did Slater have a problem? Is he troubled? It’s not every day that the Director of Student Life meets with you and then shows you where the entrance to the Health Center is. I decided I’d stick around and see if I could find out more.

Slater crossed the street. He rolled a cigarette and sat down and pulled out a notebook and began writing while he smoked. I almost went up to him, but suddenly he got up and disappeared up those same stairs that all the sad people take. What’s wrong with Slater? Did he forget to take his meds this morning? Did he do something horrible? And just as those thoughts passed thru my head, 2 fully uniformed police officers left out the building of Student life. They took the same exit that Slater had used just 5-10 minutes ago. Was there a connection? Did those two cops have anything to do with this whole thing? I thought back on the two antidotes told in class.

By this time I was hooked to figure out all the mystery. I sat and waited to see if Slater would come back out of the Health Center, all the while watching the masses of people walking, stopping, smoking, talking, eating, all the things that we do on campus. I guess part of the reason I was so curious is that I just wish sometimes to see something different happen. I long to see emotion on campus with some sort of breaking from the norm and a leap into true existence. The university is a bubble, and as I’ve just seen, not a bubble totally separate from guns. I mean, the two officers that walked out of Oregon Hall both had full holsters. What is the need to bring firearms onto a campus?

Finally Slater walks out the front door of the Health Center. I had to know at this point and so as he passed me heading back up towards Kincaid I said, “Hey.”

“Hey. You’re in my class, right? The one we just got out of?”

“Yeah. I wanted to know what was happening. Did those cops have anything to do with you?”

There were cops? No way. I saw them in the lobby when I left the building, but I didn’t think they had anything to do with me. Maybe they were just in case.”

“Well, what did you do?”

“Uh...,” and he smiles, almost proud of himself, “I wrote a poem…,”he pauses, “and sent it to the president of the university and the Oregon Board of Higher Education. Kind of a protest, but also as a suggestion for the new selection of president. You know that Dave Frohnmayer is retiring this year, huh?”

“No I didn’t know that. But why all the drama? It’s like high school that you’d be called out of class like that. What did the poem say?”

“Well, it was just some thoughts. I didn’t think it was too serious, especially for an intellectual atmosphere. I just made some statements concerning the contradiction of this school. But I guess they thought I was gonna hurt somebody. I think they were picturing a bloody suicide on campus, or maybe even a terrorist attack. But hey! I’m not a terrorist. I swear.”

“Ha ha…Kind of like Virginia Tech, or something, huh?”

“Yeah of Columbine, except I used a pen and paper with words and images, and I sent it thru email to a few people, including one of the wealthiest members of our little community. Did you know that the president makes around $700,000 a year? And our professors make the same as a mail courier, while students drown in debt. It’s all so interesting.”

“Well, do you have the poem?”

“Yeah, you wanna hear it?”

Of course I wanted to hear it. This thing that had caused all this drama, I had to hear it. He pulled out his journal and started to read.

“ To the University of Victory


Teachers!
Why is it like this?

There’s no time…
There’s no time…

Instructors!
Why do I feel this way?

I’m falling behind…
Falling behind…

Time ticks and the clock quickly tocks…
Your lecture halls are filled with stale
electric light…

Professors!
Why does it have to be this way?

Athletes make millions…
Arts and science starve away…

Teachers!
I know you see this…

The library’s dying…
Oh! It’s dying…

Instructors!
Don’t you feel it?

Inside I’m crying…
I am crying…

Professors!
Can’t you see this?

The intellectual sits aside
while the crowd cheer on with pride,
feeling we’re alive through great Olympian dreams.

Time and time again,
I pass Kesey’s statue with a grin…
I stop and stare at him
And think of this town we’re in…

Teachers!
Don’t be defeated…

I come to class my eyes are bleeding,
And my body swims in alcohol.

Instructors!
Please appease me…

Tell me how to talk your lectures
at these parties I’ve been seeing.

Professors!
Please forgive me…

I don’t know why I call on you
Just sometimes I feel lost
And that maybe you’ve the clue.

Time and time again
I walk Knight’s million volumes

“Ye Shall Know the Truth”

MIGHT MAKES RIGHT

Teachers!
Have you heard it?

We live in a town of taser tag
with red coats in the streets
searching through our bags.

Instructors!
Do you not feel it?

Exclusion Laws…
Exclusion Laws!

Professors!
Don’t you hear it?

It’s time to let if fall,
before they drown us all
converting journalists to marketers
selling golden shovels. GOLDEN SHOVELS?!?

Teachers!
I need more of you…

I do…
I do…

Instructors!
Be my friends.

My parents are far away
I want to feel okay
I need to make all A’s
So I can go back home.

Professors!
Why does it have to be this way?

There’s no time…
There’s no time…

Teachers!
Why do I feel this way?

Falling behind…
Falling behind…

Time ticks and the clock quickly tocks…
Our lecture halls are filled with stale
electric light.

He stopped reading. He’s a good reader. It’s a poem to be heard rather than read. He does the whole thing with this funny English accent and with hand gestures and movements and all. He’s eccentric. I can relate to the poem a little, but it is critical and I guess it might sound angry, but I don’t know. I just say,

“Well, that’s not so bad. It’s critical, but no scary or threatening. I don’t get it. But you need be careful these days. Terrorist are everywhere.

“Terrorists can be anyone…I guess I’ve committed Poetic Terrorism in a sense. I don’t know if I should continue writing or just shut up and visit those counselors. I mean, they all kept asking me if I wanted to commit suicide. Suicide! Or if I wanted to hurt other people. Well, I don’t. I thought Americanism was being critical. I thought intellectualism was to write poetry. But now…Now I’m just not sure…now…you know what I am now?

And I told him. We were thinking the same thing.

“Red Flagged…”

He knew what I meant and then it suddenly hit me. Could I be red flagged too for my curiosity? Who might have seen me here with Slater? It’s funny because I began to feel watched and strange, and I didn’t want to be in the same boat as Slater, but I could relate to him in certain ways. In many ways I feel the same, but it’s not worth it to be red flagged.

Having those thought I cut the conversation short with Slater even though he was gonna say more, even though I wanted to hear more, even though I wanted to say more, and I walked away. I waved goodbye and told him I’d see him in class, but I don’t want anyone to associate me with him…and as I looked back over my shoulder walking away, I saw Slater sitting back down smoking a cigarette and writing in his notebook and I thought that maybe, just maybe, he is a terrorist.

Of Budgets and Bureaucrats

“The purpose of the incidental fee is not to save the world.”
- Sam Dotters-Katz

Just before our yearly budget hearing when a committee from the student government decides how it will allocate funding to the various student groups, the Oregon Daily Emerald published an article stating that “committee members” (of the PFC) mentioned that the Insurgent mails off campus and because that “takes money off campus” they “anticipated a contentious meeting”. Let’s cut through the bullshit for a moment, what they are doing there is threatening to cut our funding; presumably the excuse they would give is that this somehow does not benefit the university. With deceptiveness typical of establishment media the Emerald only mentioned that we send to prisoners, failing to mention that we also send to organizations and individuals. The Emerald also put forward no significant effort contact us for comment, presenting only the opinion of anonymous student government bureaucrats. So much for balanced reporting. To begin with we at the Insurgent heartily protest these accusations and threats. First of all our mailings allows us to maintain the Left Alternative Media Project (L.A.M.P.) a radical lending library open to all students (located in the EMU, Suite One). In exchange for receiving our paper we receive the free books, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, zines, newsletters, etc. that allow us to maintain the L.A.M.P. where anyone may enjoy what we have to offer. Second sending to prisoners allows students a unique opportunity to hear the voices of those whose lives and suffering are subject to a blackout in the mainstream media. Nowhere else would UO students be able to find this information, perhaps that is what the authorities find so threatening. Furthermore we reject this logic, which claims that university should exist in a bubble and that it has no duty to the wider community. The university must act not only to enrich itself; it must also act to enrich the communities around it. Sending our paper off campus is part of doing this. In addition to all this the measure of newspapers success is the number of readers it has, obviously institutional blocks to our success are unacceptable. But we at the Insurgent don’t believe for one moment that that this most recent attack on our paper has anything to do with the reasons given. It is nothing more than an attempt by the Dotter-Katz administration to push their right-wing agenda by acting to silence left-wing voices on campus. ( As of the time this goes to print OSPIRG has had it’s funding completely cut). In a phrase, this is censorship disguised as bureaucracy. These suits want to turn you into another cog in machine, a mindless technician for empire. We want to make space where you have enough material comforts and free time to explore your potentials. The lines are drawn. Now the question is: which side are you on?

-SI

O the trees!

by Joel Durr

O the trees! O the trees!
Cut off at the knees -
they reach for the sun no longer, you know.
Now they serve the interests o' capitalists
As catalysts to subsequent selfishness.

Our plunder for lumber and popsicle sticks;
The well-calculated blowing of mountains to bits,
for the profit from coal, bituminous
are far more dangerous than any terrorist hits.

For it was Abraham Lincoln a-sittin' and thinkin'
that our fall would surely come from within.
He feared for the day
when corporations could say
they succeeded in usurping the state.

This line we surely have already crossed,
that is unless you are asking your boss.
For all is maintained quite out of perspective
by framing within the specific objective
of free market, benefit and cost.

"Consume, be silent, and die" they say
though phrased in a much more positive way
through television, internet and radio ads
that promote all the newest material fads.

This is a smokescreen to serve the obstruction
to your view of the heinous perverted destruction
of our natural waters, air, and land
and to keep you submissive beneath their command.

But remember this o woman, man and child!
These plans rely upon our complicit denial
of the consequences of certain free market decisions
that further perpetuate our social divisions.

But we can yet repair the damage produced:
distinguishing wants from needs - consumption reduced.
This here's a bandwagon worth jumping on
because we can survive "business as usual" for only so long.

Angry Reactions: Neo-Consumerism

By Matt Silbernagel
I usually don’t have strong feelings of distaste for anything, but every now and then I get really worked up about things. Such was the case last weekend when I was standing in line for food, and the guy in front of me went off on a rant about the ethical treatment of animals to the person behind the counter. He didn’t have to say more than a few sentences before it was obvious his intent was not to reprimand the shop for running out of tofu or spout out a coherent argument; rather, he was seeking self-fulfillment through the degradation of the worker. It was then that I looked down and saw his shoes: old cowboy boots, made of leather. Because of his blind rage, I clearly wasn’t going to make any impact by challenging him there about how his choice of foot apparel didn’t correlate with the words coming from his mouth. So, I just smiled and went home to write this blurb about trend hippies, what a friend of mine calls “neo-consumerists”.
The corporate system we live in is inherently oppressive in nature; it discourages free thought in lieu of boosting profit and maintenance of the status quo. Thus, the corporate system can be called fascist without hesitation. But what happens when the system molds itself to control the thoughts of the subversive population? When the seditious themselves become targeted customers of corporate heartlessness, we arrive in the present, where being “borderline socialist” becomes the norm, even as those who embrace this trendy, brand-name ideology support a system fundamentally at odds with true leftist ideals. In the reality of neo-consumerism that surrounds us, organic hemp tee-shirts are made in East Asian sweatshops to sell to susceptible “activist” youth, and self-actualized moral vegetarians carry around leather purses and iPhones adorned with peace symbols. We’ve entered a new era of corporate manipulation. Consequently, we’ve entered a new era of fascism.
Fascism is an idea neo-consumerists like to throw around a lot. Phrases like “fascist propaganda,” “fascist oppression,” and “corporate fascism” are tossed in the wind without thought to what meaning lies behind them. It’s because of this that the word has lost all substantial value, since those who use it are the very patrons of the ideology they claim to despise. The resurgence of this defunct and oppressive belief structure isn’t a good omen and says something about the concerns of the masses. When a community is more interested in wearing the “Save Darfur” shirt for aesthetic pleasure than with actually fighting on the front lines for change, society loses.1
With environmentalism becoming an everyday product, the public is not at all hidden from the facts of greenwashing companies. Rather, reports like Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics attempt to give consumers a relatively objective view on how many prominent companies with pro-conservation programs (Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo, etc.) measure up to Greenpeace’s high standards. This isn’t to discredit companies like Apple’s progress, but rather to give them a little nudge to get them further along by pointing out the hazardous chemicals contained within the accessories we use every day.
However, the ignorance and affluence of the American version of neo-consumerism are the main problems that keep the facts hidden. Complacency is easy to manage, and the fa├žade of important daily tasks consumes most of the population’s endeavors. Inconsequential ordeals take up too much time for the elite, and, therefore, thinking and seeking the facts takes extra effort which self-important individuals put off and replace with easy labels (e.g. 100% organic) that they can stamp on their forehead to make them seem more in tune with reality and peace. This is not supporting a cause; it’s furthering the cause of the elite few of this nation. Don’t let corporations capitalize on this narcissistic view and further the creation of the trend hippy culture which is already adhered to by a sizeable portion of the emerging adult population. Stop neo-consumerism.

1 I realize that standing against genocide is important, and fundraising for a cause is easier if more people want to purchase your product. However, this is a problem within the system, as it is the system that pushes for competition and attention in an individualist society that drives the people to act in such a way. Peace is neither a commodity to be bought or sold nor a fashion statement; it is a state of mind and being.

“Peace may sound simple - one beautiful word - but it requires everything we have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal.” Writer/Musician Yehudi Menuhin

The Rape and Attempted Murder of Magdaline Torrez

By Magdaline Torrez

I would like to write a story for the Student Insurgent regarding my recent rape and attempted murder, in January, in our neighboring Linn County.
I was fed up with Eugene, after living here for nearly 36 years, and rarely being able to make enough money to even take a vacation, let alone relocate. So...I walked west on 11th ave., straight out of town, alone, in the middle of the night. I said fuck it all to hell. I’m going to Manhattan come hell or high water.
So, anyway, I was picked up by a seemingly kind young man in a truck, tattoos all over his face, arms, legs, and chest. I thought he seemed mellow.
Well, he took me to a crack house, somewhere in Linn county, we got really stoned, watched the rob zombie movie “house of a thousand corpses,” which, in my stoned state, I thought was hilarious.
What I didn’t know was that there were three men and two women waiting in the adjoining house for me to pass out so they could rape, beat, and an attempt to murder me.
I remember being yanked off the couch after I’d passed out, thrown against a wall, kicked, beaten, and forced to take liquid acid.
I was subsequently fucked by several people at once, while being beaten. I could not shit because of the pain in my ass for almost one week.
Obviously, I managed to get away. A rape culture was performed, the results of which I have never seen. A police case was filed, the results of which I know nothing.
Since then I have been committed to the Johnson unit at sacred heart twice (for those of you who don’t know, it is the crazy house).
Anyway, I am too tired of the story to continue now, but there is much more to tell...like the fact that I put my own life on the line to prove that the night should be safe for women. I failed. Don’t try it.
We need to handle these crises together; young and old, men and women, victims, support groups, and even (I would say especially) the perpetrators.
Thank you for your time. Look out for yourselves. Look out for your friends.
I tried to be a super-hero. Ooops. But, you know, I believe that, when we come together, super-heroes are precisely what we become.
Thank you, Magdaline Torrez

Hate Crimes in Eugene

The Eugene Weekly recently reported a hate crime in the University area (http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2009/01/15/news.html#2) and many members of Eugene’s radical community are aware of the Nazi presence in our city. Many of us have also noticed a lot of fascist graffiti around town. Rising unemployment and Oregon’s overwhelmingly white population means that this area is a breeding ground for racist groups, below are some examples of how other communities have coped with hate groups:

Dave described his work organizing in Montreal’s East End, which is a poor, white working class district. There was a lot of organized racism in the district, by skin-heads and neo-nazis. The district residents had been beset with violent personal assaults by these groups. Dave and his friends decided to do something about it. They eventually recruited about fifteen activists who were interested in launching and conducting a campaign to deal with the problem. The group right away decided not to deal with it in physical terms, that is, they decided not to fight the neo-nazis (I guess I’ll refer to them as fascists, although Dave didn’t), as had been the practice of some anti-fascist leftists/anarchists in the past. Instead they decided on a community approach. They wanted to try to involve the whole community. They took as their model tactics used by certain Irish neighborhoods to drive drug dealers out of their communities. Most East End residents were at least mildly progressive but there was a substantial minority who were attracted to the fascists. These people were hurting from economic and other forms of oppression and were angry. The fascists offered them a certain kind of solace. So Dave and friends started organizing cultural events, and appealed to punks, hip-hop artists, and various other music groups. At these events they would hand out leaflets and make literature available to educate the neighborhood about the problem. They also eventually studied out the areas and groups which the fascists were targeting for recruitment. So they focused on those groups too, like skate boarders or graffiti artists, and would hang out with them and try to neutralize the appeal of fascists. Also, since the actual physical attacks were an ongoing problem they organized community patrols which would try to defend individuals who were being attacked. All these tactics worked to greatly reduce the violence in the neighborhood. The Neo-Nazis are still there, but they are pretty much confined to certain bars and hangouts, and no longer are able to recruit very openly or freely among the youth, let alone attack individuals at will as before.

- From a Public Forum Organized by the Anarchist Communist Union of Boston (the Boston Chapter of the Northeast Anarchist Communist Federation)
http://www.jamesherod.info/


What Is ARA?

Anti-Racist Action is an international movement of people dedicated to stopping racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry from harming our communities. We work hard to "expose, oppose, and confront" hate in whatever form threatens the diversity and safety of the places we live in and the people we live with. We also firmly believe in building a fun, diverse, liberated and explicitly anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic youth culture.

Having organized in over 200 different communities across North America, Anti-Racist Action is a diverse movement. Each chapter is autonomous, and members are free to decide for themselves what are the issues and problems in their community that need to be addressed. Still, we find enough common ground to work closely with each other on a number of fronts. All ARA members and chapters agree with the Points of Unity, the statement of beliefs and principles adopted by the Anti-Racist Action Network.

The Anti-Racist Action Points Of Unity

The Anti-Racist Action Network consists of people from all different backgrounds, with a lot of different viewpoints. With over 150 ARA chapters out there, it's not surprising that no two are alike! What we all agree on, however, is the following:

1) We go where they go: Whenever fascists are organizing or active in public, we're there. We don't believe in ignoring them or staying away from them. Never let the nazis have the street!

2) We don't rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us: This doesn't mean we never go to court. But we must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.

3) Non-Sectarian defense of other Anti-Fascists: In ARA, we have lots of different groups and individuals. We don't agree about everything and we have a right to differ openly. But in this movement an attack on one is an attack on us all. We stand behind each other.

4) We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. ARA intends to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, discrimination against the disabled, the oldest, the youngest and the most oppressed people. We want a classless society. WE INTEND TO WIN!

http://www.antiracistaction.us/pn/

ELF Response

A right-wing publication on campus recently published an article titled “The Student Insurgent loves terrorism”. We have a policy of ignoring them, however we felt it was important to correct false impressions that people who read the article may have gathered about the Insurgent’s stance on terrorism or what the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is about. We want to begin by letting the author of the article above know that we are aware that the only reason he used the title that he did was to provoke, to cause anger and bad feeling and the only reason he said the things they did was because they are ignorant. We want them to know that we understand and that we forgive them, we know they are only poor, misguided souls and we hope that they take the opportunity we are giving them to read over what we have to say and honestly consider the arguments presented. That said the main audience of this essay are those students who may have been confused by the original article. To begin with the Insurgent staff don’t hold any common positions beyond those printed in the mission statement. Some of us are committed pacifists; others don’t necessarily foreclose on any tactic and rather select strategies and tactics based on their effectiveness. However, none of the Student Insurgent contributors who identify as revolutionaries would support what they consider to be terrorism, namely using or threatening violence against civilians in order to achieve political or religious goals. Trotsky put the attitude our staff hold about terrorism best:

“If we oppose terrorist acts, it is only because individual revenge does not satisfy us. The account we have to settle with the capitalist system is too great to be presented to some functionary called a minister. To learn to see all the crimes against humanity, all the indignities to which the human body and spirit are subjected, as the twisted outgrowths and expressions of the existing social system, in order to direct all our energies into a collective struggle against this system – that is the direction in which the burning desire for revenge can find its highest moral satisfaction.”
- Leon Trotsky: Terrorism (1911)

It must be remembered however that the term “terrorism” is, in reality, nothing more than a convenient way for the powerful to slander dissident groups, devoid of any actual meaning or substance. In reality it is a justification of government passing draconian laws strangling your rights. The author of the article said that the ELF qualifies as a terrorist group because they employ violence and fear, we however believe that it takes more than the use of violence to make a group a terrorist group, surely they would not refer to the American revolutionaries, who certainly made use of violence, fighting for their independence from Britain as terrorists? As for fear that is simply a byproduct of using violence. The article also referred to ELF actions as “ineffective” and “counter-productive” to prove this they point to the fact that some ELF targets have insurance, which means they are able to rebuild after an attack let’s see what the ELF Press Office has to say about this:

“A common argument against the actions of the ELF has been that each target has been covered by insurance so the given entity fails to suffer little, if any, economic loss. While it is largely true that most if not all of the ELF targets have been insured it is completely ludicrous to believe that insurance companies can suffer losses of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars without greatly raising the rates of insurance. If the given entity or even industry was targeted repeatedly by the ELF, insurance companies would either cease to cover these entities or raise the cost too high for a profitable business.

The only problem with ELF actions at this point is there are not enough of them occurring.” - North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office (NAELFPO) http://www.elfpressoffice.org/elffaqs.html

Of course there is a lot more that goes into how effective the group is, but that is a subject for a future article. The last argument the article brings up is that ELF actions are “insane”. To this we can only respond that we rely on a clean, sustainable environment for the survival of our species, and in the face of losing this, is any action insane?

To read more on this issue you won’t find in the mainstream media go to:
http://www.elfpressoffice.org/

On DeChristopher

The wilderness areas of southern Utah are some of the most beautiful and fragile places in North America, formed and preserved through eons of geologic time by the arid stillness of the desert. Here a single footprint or a set of tires, easily crushing the delicate soil crust, asphyxiating the slow-growing microbes, lichens, and mosses that make vegetative life possible in this harsh terrain, can set the ecosystem back millennia.

On December 19, a sweetheart auction of drilling rights to these public lands by the outgoing Bush administration’s Bureau of Land Management, opposed by a host of local and national environmental groups and even by other branches of the Interior Department, was confused and brought to an early halt by a single monkeywrenching student at the University of Utah, Tim DeChristopher, who posed as a bidder to disrupt the sale. The auction was cut short and DeChristopher was arrested by the FBI’s “Utah Energy Team,” but not before driving up the bids at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to oil companies and disingenuously “winning” leases on 22,000 acres of public lands near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument, successfully putting them out of reach of the Bush administration.
The BLM had hastened to hold the sale in the eleventh hour of the departing administration with as much speed and secrecy as possible, announcing the auction on the evening of election day, bypassing environmental review and keeping its plans secret from the National Park Service to head off internal opposition. When DeChristopher showed up unexpectedly to unravel their plans, representatives of the slighted interests were left in sputtering indignation. Kent Hoffman, deputy state director for the BLM in Utah, declared, “He’s tainted the entire auction.” Utah’s second-largest paper, The Deseret (sic) News, called on DeChristopher to “apologize to every one of the legitimate oil and gas developers whose day you disrupted,” and to develop more appreciation for the benefits of “gas and oil and… other products bequeathed to us humans by dinosaurs and other ancient creatures and plants.”
But the auction, tremendously unpopular and widely viewed as illegitimate, may now have completely unraveled in the face of prominent opposition. “This area in southern Utah is the land of my youth,” said Rep. Brian Baird of Washington, who grew up in Colorado and is co-chair of the congressional National Parks Caucus. “Its beauty is stunning, its silence is deafening and it is simply no place for an oil derrick.” In January, a federal judge put the leases on hold pending further environmental review, and on Wednesday, February 4, new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar scrapped the auction altogether.
While a broad coalition of environmental groups share credit in this victory, DeChristopher’s actions to disrupt the auction brought national attention to the struggle. “What Tim did was in the best tradition of civil disobedience,” said Patrick Shea, a former director of the BLM and a member of DeChristopher’s legal defense team. DeChristopher’s courage came from confidence of the justice of his stand, which sustained him afterwards as he made a circuit of national media outlets in the days following, poignantly exposing the criminality of oil industry lackeys in the Bush administration whose veneer of legitimacy proved extremely thin. A fundraiser in DeChristopher’s honor packed a Salt Lake City church to capacity and was hosted by Salt Lake’s popular former mayor, Rocky Anderson. There DeChristopher told the crowd that it’s time for environmentalists to stop playing ball. “Our team is getting slaughtered. The referees have been paid off. There’s no rules, and the other side is playing with dirty tricks. It’s time for us to rush the field.”

He’s right. The governments of both parties have long rigged the system to facilitate the steady destruction of our common heritage and the despoliation of places of both common and exceptional beauty, while environmental groups have spent too much time dutifully lobbying and going to court to beg for scraps. Now that increasing numbers of people are realizing that time is short to save what’s left, it’s time to change the rules and press our advantages. If young people, having spent less time as supplicants in the halls of power, are sometimes able to see the course of action more clearly, it falls upon us to take the lead. “The greatest enemy of authority is contempt,” wrote Hannah Arendt in a famous essay from the 1960s. Where the legitimacy of the status quo has slowly eroded, only a confrontation is needed for the edifice to crumble. “We know of many instances when utterly impotent regimes were permitted to continue in existence for long periods of time—either because there was no one to test their strength and reveal their weakness or because they were lucky enough not be engaged… and suffer defeat. Disintegration often becomes manifest only in direct confrontation.” American history abounds with good examples of this. Today, a gleaming statue of Rosa Parks, who was arrested fifty-three years ago, graces Eugene’s downtown bus station, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is a national holiday. There are no statues honoring Bull Connor or Strom Thurmond, and nobody celebrates their birthdays.
You can find updates on Tim DeChristopher’s legal troubles and contribute to his defense at www.bidder70.org.

Review: Obsolete Communism: The Left Wing Alternative By Daniel Cohn-Bendit

By: Johannes Pedersen

This was an excellent book, first and foremost it is an account of the May 68’ uprising in France by one of it’s leaders. The uprising was a spontaneous expression of popular discontent that started in the universities and boiled over into the French working class, nearly unseating the government. The book explains the students and workers roles in the uprising. It also analyzes the reactions of the State and the counter-revolutionary role played by the trade unions and the Communist Party. At the end of the book is an analysis of the Russia Revolution in which the author argues structure and methods of the Bolshevik Party were counterproductive and that the Party flagged behind the masses, that the authoritarian nature of the bureaucracy that developed was due to the organization of the Party not solely due to Stalin’s efforts, as some have claimed. Ironically, many of the facts cited to back up his claim are quoted directly from Trotsky’s “History of the Russian Revolution” (Trotsky was a prominent figure in the Party during the Revolution). I do have a number of criticisms of the book however. First, scattered throughout the book are phrases like: we are against authority, or against power, or leaders etc. If you take the time to define these terms then holding positions such as those becomes absurd. If authority is defined as the imposition of our will on another, then a revolution, a riot, or even a protest makes use of authority. Certainly we are not against these things; therefore it doesn’t make sense to say that we are against authority. The same sort of logic could be applied to power, or leaders. This way of framing our ideas is a problem that is rampant in the anarchist movement, and it seems, among the left-communists as well. My second criticism of the book is its rejection of the vanguard. Don’t mistake me here I am not embracing Lenin's tyrannical notion of the party, the vanguard is merely that segment of the population which acts first. Revolutionary organization's role, in my opinion, is to initiate popular struggle and to act as a sustaining force when the initial popular enthusiasm has subsided, to prevent the revolution from being taken over by totalitarian elements within the revolutionary milieu. Perhaps the greatest gem of insight contained within the book, and perhaps the only new theoretical idea presented in the book is the analysis of the universities role under capitalism namely, the production of a managerial elite. Basically what that means is that the purpose of college is not to bring knowledge to the population but rather to turn out a class of people with the ability to make the day-to-day decisions that keep the wheels turning. Well worth picking up.

The Whole World Around

By: Cimmeron Gillespie

Come on Come on,
The whole world ‘round,
Everybody Get together,
The whole world ‘round.

It’s you and me,
The whole world ‘round,
It’s everybody we see,
The whole world‘round.

Move past the killers,
The whole world ‘round,
Move past the drillin’
The whole world ‘round.

Bikes for everybody,
The whole world ‘round,
Together for peace,
The whole world ‘round.

We are talkin’ freedom,
The whole world ‘round,
Abolish the citizen prison,
The whole world ‘round.

Peace and freedom too,
The whole world ‘round,
Together me and you,
The whole world ‘round.

Got to have food
The whole world ‘round,
I am talkin’ to you,
The whole world ‘round.

Come join a fight
The whole world ‘round,
Cuz it ain’t alright,
The Whole world ‘round.

Come join the fight,
The whole world ‘round,
We can make it right,
The whole world ‘round.

So come join the fight,
The whole world ‘round!

A word on Freedom

By: Cimmeron Gillespie
Despite all the alternatives, all the more exciting and glamorous stories I would like to talk about one smaller story. A story attacked on two sides as impossible, one side attacks for its audacity to call for freedom and liberation, on the other for being a conman trying to uphold authoritarianism. The Story I want to tell is from a land of high plains, harsh winters and the crown of the world. Tibet.
Located in the Western area of the People’s Republic of China, high in the Himalayas, Tibet has been the arena for much recent political discourse. In 1951, the People’s Republic of China invaded the nation of Tibet, declaring Tibet as an autonomous region. The PRC marched a ideologically socialist army against a country of devout of Buddhism, the results were culturally catastrophic. It may be hard to conceptualize the effect of destroying thousands of Monasteries, to a region which contains an almost absolute theology, of Buddhism. During the Chinese takeover, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet the ‘Dali Llama’ escaped Tibet to India, where he now resides in Darmalahasala. The PRC has assumed control over Tibet and has turned Tibet into an ‘autonomous region’. Which in practice is a very rural-based area.
Chinese dominance over the area has resulted in tensions. The Dali Llama is the spiritual leader of the majority Buddhist religious population in Tibet. The Tibetan people are not allowed to have the flag of their formerly sovereign nation, or to promote Tibet as a nation. Having a picture of the Dali Llama, having a Tibetan flag or speaking of independence is a crime labeled “Separatism”, any of which can lead to imprisonment or worse. In China, separatism is like the term terrorism, the government can label any act as separatist and put a person in jail for years!
On March 10, 2008, Tibetans protested Chinese rule. On the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising, monks were in the street. The protests were peaceful, but grew very large, the most notable protest in Lhasa, where police lost control. Chinese authorities responded with force, arresting many and violently beating many. In response to the treatment, as well as to previous Chinese treatment of Tibetans, the protests turned violent. Stones were used against police, shops were burned, the damages were estimated in the millions. Tibetan shops were spared, marked by traditional white cloths. The images from after the destruction are those of a single shop, covered in white garlands, amidst rows of charred buildings. China has responded with a strong military presence, armed guards, checkpoints at many roads, a crackdown. The Chinese have precedents from the era of Deng Xiaoping (PRC’s second military chairman), who responded to the Tiananmen square incident, that Chinese rule is law. The boundaries there have undoubtedly been disturbed by the Tibetan protests, so naturally the Chinese government responded with force (there are even video images of the same troop-transport style vehicles driving en mass down the China-Tibet highway). The Tibetans were called to action on a day of historic significance, calling for the release of several monks in Chinese custody. As a result, the leaders of the demonstration were arrested and further protest erupted. The Dali Llama called for peace in the region, but also asked China to allow the Tibetan people to be able to demonstrate peacefully. China responded to the Dali Llama by accusing him of being behind the protests, saying he encouraged the violent demonstrations. The Dali Llama denies these allegations.
The situation in itself would be remarkable, but has been compounded with the upcoming Olympic Games. China desires a positive public image, for its hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The crackdown in Tibet has prompted questions about China’s human rights history. The issue of Olympics was picked up by Pro-Tibet activists in an attempt to raise awareness, targeting the Olympic torch as it travels across the world. In London, England, the torch was met with large protests. In Paris, France, the torch was extinguished three times due to protests. In San Francisco, United States, the torch was stopped around half way into its course and could not be moved forward. The pro-Tibet demonstrators are calling the Olympic flame, the ‘Flame of Shame’. Many Pro-Chinese demonstrators also lined the streets calling the protests an insult to China. In the blog-o-sphere, a common sentiment is that the real loser here is the Olympic games, which should be a symbol of unity. There are various asks in the issue of Tibet, one to allow Tibet to become a sovereign nations, some for greater autonomy, some to release prisoners, to change the route of the torch to not pass through Tibet and many combinations of the above.
The Issue of Tibet pops us every now an again, but seldom with such intensity. Some attack the West for getting involved, when their human rights records have not been so clean. Some attack Tibetans for being tied to the CIA, in a violent imperialist struggle to restore a religious leader. Some call for freedom and territorial autonomy for Tibet. The Dali Llama calls for autonomy and has always advocated peace. Many ideologies cloud the air and tempers can run hot, but at the end of the day; what is unity in a world of silent genocide, extreme rendition and authoritarianism?

Authors note: It has been the position of the Insurgent, that all people should be free from oppression. This article sits in this tradition, because Chinese actions amount to violent state rule, that the Tibetans should be given autonomy in their beliefs and that they be allowed to express themselves.

Homeland Security 2050

By: Cims

I am concerned about a growing idea that absolute power is to be applied in government. Instead of experimentation or testing, the rigid charge or be inactive frightens me. I foresee a day when one order will be given to arrest, or perhaps more innocently to ‘investigate’, those of differing opinion. Those who marched, who dissented, spoke, wrote, postered, placarded, picketed, protested. Those malcontents were targeted. I can see now, how the times we call dark toady, will be sunny. Too soon a change may emerge, may it never…

Home;
With great vividness the idea of black-clad police officers could burst through my frond door, no shouting, no warning, until the great force is applied to the door, smashing it down. I can see the shocked look in my families eyes, the darkness shattered by burning lights, making clear for the officers and blinding myself. Guns, overlarge, pointed in the faces of children, or friends. I could scream NO! Then they pounce on me, knocking me to the ground, twisting my arm in an unnatural position. All I could do was scream. What good is it to scream, they only get some sick satisfaction. Perhaps they will be bold, the arrival would come in the day and riot gear would mask faces. Perhaps for one instant, I could see their eyes, not malice, but adrenaline and perhaps a sad dedication. To ‘serve and protect’ that was once the oath, right? What could be done, even if I carried a gun; could I get it in time? Would it help?

Sorting;
After arrested, would my neighbors remember my face, would my family ask about me? Where would I go, a detention facility? Detention after interrogation, probably. The bright lights, still feeling soreness from cuffs, words echoing from foreboding figure, or perhaps a two sided mirror. Questions until exhaustion, demands of the names of others, allegations, feigns, hammering. My mind a blur from the initial shock, all in a small cramped room, they hope I am acquiescent and my exhaustion and confusion will beak me. Would I have clarity to stay quiet? Would I crack? There would be a table only if the questioner in the room, to provide tangible leverage and to make clear who was in charge. Hours and hours, until weariness had overtaken me. Finally taken in a variety of halls to a cell or courtyard. I want the cell, the courtyard means the firing squad, by this time so many have been arrested, holding all is not an option. I hope to be lucky, but if not, perhaps I too can call like Che, that I too am only mortal!

Lucky;In a small cell, the click of the lock behind me, hopelessness sets in. That is what they want of course, before the next interrogation, hopelessness. I am forced to think about the cold room, darkness, the loss of all self will and being trapped. Perhaps it will have a toilet and a bed, perhaps not. The sound of silence, resonating in my ears, the place will be unnerving. At least I didn’t get the wall in the courtyard. Perhaps rest would be nice, but the day’s events still bring on adrenaline, the questioning too intense. Like pulling a mental splinter, every memory hurts a little. In the darkness, this is what I think. How did we get here, what fear could have blinded a nation beyond reason? I suppose the radical acts of government, would be justified in their memory, to make a better society ‘without dissent’ they would cry on the television. Secretly they may have enjoyed watching the few who protesters, recording names, for later condemnation. But the cell I am in now will give me time to think about all these things; it is a poser game, I am alone physically and if I tell all, I will be welcomed back. Of course that is not possible, at best I will be put in internment, hoping, praying, that someday, a sense of rationality will come to the leaders and I will be released. But I will not fight them, if I strike them, I am just as cold and heartless as those who seized me. I must retain and exemplify civility, I will not fight physically, but I will not talk. I must not talk, for that is all I have, my memories. I will not talk. If they try to starve me, I will use my clothes. Better to die by my hands than by those of a government specter. I will not die to a nameless, murderous bureaucrat. Better to keep my dignity, than die in a shallow pool of vomit, excrement and self-surrender.

Pain;
Perhaps it will start with food, or billy clubs, or noises to keep me from sleep, but they will try to break me. They will try to bribe, coerce, blackmail and cheat me of my memory, every time, the ‘talks’ will be longer, pushing and pulling for information. Extraction will be mind numbing. They will try good cop/bad cop, they will say others talked and if I talk I could get released, but I know these are all lies. I knew from before everything went sour; I that harder they fight you for it, the more you have against them. Don’t crack, talk, snitch, rat, tattle or let anything out; after all, once they have all my information, what incentive have they for keeping me alive, none. Perhaps they will torture, make me scream, even crack. But I must resist, it is only thing my life will have to offer. The time will creep by, poor food will burn the stomach, bruises will creep along the hands, feet and skull, blood stains may have changed the color of the prision garb. The sounds at least can be ignored to allow for a fitful sleep. Yet periods of rest are less and less frequent, until they feel I will not crack, or have nothing l can offer, then it’s the wall or lockdown. Any good interrogator knows, you can hurt someone more if they are alive, dead men don’t scream.
Imagine the torture. What joy they could derive, cutting out one eye, forcing the other to be eaten. Served ones own excrement. Stretched, bent, lashed, cut, drained of blood. They can do a great many things. Imagine breaking all the bones in the body, or tearing all the muscles from the bones. Once I am alone, there is no ACLU, perhaps they too have been arrested. For all I know, I may not even be in the country. If you want to hurt someone, you don’t kill them, you keep them alive. Al time wears on, it is easy to see which ones will live, by how loud they scream. The less they cry the easier they die.

Lockdown;
Lockdown, made in the USSR; solitary, dark, will crushing. Me myself, alone, darkness, no sounds in, no sounds out, deadly boredom. I know they used to sit people in these cramped quarters until they confessed to anything. They can break me, starve me, ignore me while wallow in my own filth, the fumes too great. When deathly exhaustion comes and they open a door, I cannot move, they pull me out. I am spilled like an unholy pancake batter over cement, unfeeling, sickly, begging for death. But they don’t want me dead, they want my information. I have two options, spill it, or get locked up. If I am locked up, I die of starvation. If I talk I can be taken to the wall, or to internment. By now will power does not exist, spirit is non-existent. I am living dead, a corpse, held together by artificial machines. No bone has now been unbroken, most several times. The disfigured and broken body, not me, but my shell, talks. Perhaps slowly, perhaps with shame, perhaps with fake names, perhaps with lies, perhaps everything and everyone.

Trial;
A judicary, they call me forward, accuses me of sedition, or perhaps no accusation is necessary at all! My confession is read before the judicary, I can say nothing, perhaps some false witnesses are produced to spice it up. They ask for any final words, but before I can rise to speak, I am carried off. Perhaps to another dark hole, perhaps to the wall, who can say for sure? Maybe I will be taken to internment, but for now I am moved. Through the building, once a court, or perhaps an educational hall, or even a government building, I suppose it doesn’t matter. At this point I would notice the surroundings, any moss, mold, mildew, or tree, or window any natural light, or reflection, I will see it all. Most of all I would relish a look, a single glance into the eyes of my captors, though it would not matter. If they can pass judgment on me, I want to see them, I want to see their eyes, stare into their soul. It is strange to desire such an insignificant thing, perhaps I am greedy and want to pass judgment, perhaps I desire for them to see my emotion, or make them feel. Really all I want is to know if they are human? If they are not, I could understand. Not otherwise. The terror, the suffering, why? I want to see their eyes, that they should know me, know my existence for one instant. Without this, I am only a memory, only a criminal and they just garbage men. I want to see, no, I want them to see.

Work;
To live, is to die. Yet here they make life more insufferable than death. The hours in sun, no clothes, chains, sweat and blood and unhealed scars adorn us. This work, bleeds us, tears down the soul, grabs your life and shakes the meaning out of it! This suffering we deserve, because we somehow wronged the state, or so they tell us. The soil will produce little, the labor is not aided by machines, never stopping for winter or rainy season. This is our life, for the silent shells, clicking together in a burlap bag of the state. There is no salvation for us, we work, we work, we work, our hands like our souls do not heal. The meek, the slow and resistant are shot, or perhaps left to dry, tied to a pole. This life is of course for the betterment of the state. Shelter does not exist, sleep does not exist, we fall into rest. The inhumanity could not be any worse, save in the ground; the wall would be a relief. We are now machines, condemned, feeding and working, bleeding and kneading the bread of society. Cast asunder by the benevolent society and government. There is no justice for us, only the butt end of a gun, we are the receivers of revenge and subservience. Bent and broken, we cease to be human; we are shells in a sea of suffering.

Perhaps, we are soylent, perhaps slaves, perhaps we become criminals. Perhaps we are denied our humanity. One day, a shovel goes missing, and a long tunnel is started. Perhaps we escape, perhaps we are killed. We resist, perhaps the ground has mines and we set one off in the tunnel. If we die, we die trying to escape, we die resisting.

What is scary here is not the actions or the government, but that this is not a too far distant future. What each of us has to ask and act upon, is how to prevent this from occurring? For when we do not speak out, when we leave it to others, we have abandoned in ourselves our own justice. When basic rights disappear, when we the people cease to work for their defense, are we not tacitly passing acceptance on the actions? Surely this is not who we want to be and if it is not, then we must act fervently and frequently. If you drink, drink to rebutting the arbitrary imposition of government. If you speak, then swear fealty to none, but work for freedom and justice. If you write, make music and papers on the necessity of justice. If you walk, walk for liberty. If you sit, then sit down and hold on for the treatment of all equally.

Self Visualization

By Cims Gillespie

While you’re going jogging or running,
Its all in your mind

Its all around you, its makes you want to,
bleed out the eyes

They put the pictures in all the magazines,
Expecting all to see

They put the pictures there,
To be in your mind

Its all bloody insane,
Like a sadistic sign,

They want you to act, think,
And be the same

Its all bloody insane,
INSANE,

Its all bloody insane,
Deranged

Pictures and poses, sex and red roses,
Arranged

Black and white madness, with corporate fascists,
I feel harangued

Oh no, what now conformist cow,
No more a hagiographer

Human is human, love is love,
Share the beauty like a dove!