Category Archives: Summer 2001 (6/21/01)

Qatar is WTO’s vision for the future

Why did the World Trade Organization chose to hold its first global meetings since the horrendous debacle in Seattle in the tiny, Persian Gulf nation of Qatar? And what does this decision tell us about the kind of future the WTO envisions for the world? The WTO meeting, which may launch a new round of trade talks, is set for Doha, the capital of Qatar, from November 5-9.

Qatar has a lot of advantages from the WTO’s point of view. First, it is a monarchy, not a democracy. The same family has been in power since World War I. There are no rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, or freedom of association, so the WTO won’t have to worry about pesky protests getting in the way of business. In fact, even according to the US State Department, not exactly a critical source, Qatar can’t be called “democratic.” The State Department’s latest report on Qatar, published in February 2000, notes severe restrictions on freedom of assembly and association:

  • The Government does not allow political demonstrations.
  • The Government does not allow political parties or membership in international professional organizations critical of the Government or of any other Arab government
  • Private social, sports, trade, professional, and cultural societies must be registered with the Government. Security forces monitor the activities of such groups.

Trade officials say Qatar has promised to allow all WTO critics who so desire to attend the meeting.

WTO officials at first spurned Qatar’s offer, saying the tiny Persian Gulf emirate didn’t have enough hotel rooms. But with no other viable alternatives because of the tear gas drenched debacle in Seattle, trade officials worked out a compromise: Delegates will stay on cruise ships in the harbor. Qatar’s ambassador to the WTO, Fahad Awaid al-Thani, said that WTO member states informally polled by WTO General Council chairman Kare Bryn of Norway had found “no opposition to us.”

“I am very pleased about this,” WTO Director-General Michael Moore said. “They [Qatar] were the first to make an offer.”

Declaration of War Against the Powers of Injustice and Poverty

Communiqué

To the Global Civil society

To the Italian Defence Committee – Chief of Staff

To the Italian Government – The Prime Minister – The President of the

Republic of Italy US Army Chief of Staff – American Embassy in Rome

CIA Office – SISDE headquarters

We learn from the Italian media that in a meeting held in Rome on May 24, the Italian and the US government have decided to declare war to the multitude of brothers and sisters that will gather in Genoa against the G8 meeting scheduled for July.

Your choice to deploy your armies and special forces against humanity, takes you closer to your allies in the global south where everyday they kill, starve, and persecute those who don’t accept the neoliberal exploitation.

All over the planet your soldiers use guns against the ideas and the dreams about a different world, a world that would include other worlds.

In your Genoa meeting too, you want to impose a world that is exclusive, a world where the only ideology is that of money, profit, market, goods and bodies. Your world is an empire, you are the emperors and billions of people are simply your subjects.

From the outskirts of this empire, from the several worlds that resist and grow dreaming of a better life for all, today, we, rebel subjects, formally declare war on you.

This is a choice that you made because we do prefer peace and this decision will mean defying your arrogance and your power, but we have to do it.

It is our duty to try to stop you in order to end injustice.

It is our duty to give voice to our brothers and sisters of the world who are suffering because of you.

It is our duty not to surrender to the fear of your armies and to raise our heads.

It is our duty because we declare wars only when we are obliged to do so.

But if we have to choose between fighting your occupying troops and passive acceptance, we have no doubts. We will fight.

We formally announce we are going on the war-path too. We will be in Genoa and our army of dreamers, poor, children, indios of the world, women, men, gay, lesbians, artists, workers, old and young people, whites, blacks, yellows and reds will disobey your impositions.

Our army was formed to be disbanded but only after your defeat. Today we say ‘YA BASTA!’.

From the outskirts of the empire.

White Overalls for humanity against neoliberalism

26 May 2001 – Genoa – Italy – Planet Earth

Is Dancing Terrorism?

FBI brands Reclaim the Streets as “terrorists” – what the fuck have they been smoking?!

In another sign that the growing anti-capitalist, anarchist, anti-car movement is gaining effectiveness, the FBI recently listed Reclaim the Streets amongst the “Threats of Terrorism to the United States.” In a May 10 statement before the Senate Committees on Appropriations, Armed Services and Select Committee on Intelligence, FBI director Louis Freeh listed Reclaim the Streets as a “potential threat” to the United States along with assorted terrorists from Egypt and Lebanon.

The report reads in part: “Anarchists and extreme socialist groups – many of which, such as the Workers’ World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival Against Capitalism – have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States. For example, anarchists, operating individually and in groups, caused much of the damage during the 1999 World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Seattle.”

The list also included “extreme fringes of animal rights, environmental, anti-nuclear, and other political and social movements” as well as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).

Getting included in such a list is always both a good and a bad sign: it means we’re doing something right and are threatening the system, but it also vastly increases the likelihood of infiltration, frame-ups based on planted evidence, government-sponsored internal movement “splits,” police use of deadly force, etc.

Reclaim the Streets is actually more of a tactic than a movement or an organization. In 1996, activists in England decided to hold the first RTS “street party” by holding a day-time rave, complete with sound system, dancing, and party games, all with a political spin in a busy intersection. The party aimed to temporarily “reclaim” the street from cars and point out how capitalism and car culture deprive people of public space and opportunities for public festivals.

The brilliant tactic rapidly caught on, and Reclaim the Streets street parties are now regularly carried out all over the globe. RTS goes beyond the limitations of the traditional “march and rally” protest by building coalition with the rave/dance/youth scene to create something that is disruptive and public like a protest, but that is also joyous, fun and beautiful like a party. Because it’s fun and crosses over with the counter-culture, it’s a lot easier for a street party to attract a large crowd.

A street party can effectively shut down a business district, in a positive, militant yet non-threatening way. Instead of handing out flyers about the world we want to build, street parties permit a revolutionary society to be conducted in the here and now, right on the street for all to see. Any passer-by recognizes that dancing is a lot better looking and more fun that smog-choked asphalt. The asphalt is what capitalism is all about creating; a world of enjoyment, art, music and social intercourse is what we’re all about creating.

So it is particularly ironic and interesting that the FBI considers these dance-based parties as a “terrorist” threat. Where is the terror? Where is the violence?

As far as we know, no RTS street party has ever (1) exploded; (2) emitted poison gas; or (3) kidnapped anyone. It is true that there has been flagrant (1) dancing; (2) loud pulsing music; (3) flyers and banners; (4) public art; (5) kissing. While you might say it is scary seeing the weird guy with the spiky hair kissing the buff longshoreman type out in public, it isn’t exactly terrorism.

Maybe the terrorism is because auto traffic gets blocked. We have noticed that a car bombing, like a street party, stops traffic until the mess can get cleaned up. But we thought the FBI only got involved when there was something seriously illegal going on or people getting hurt.

After wracking our brains, we figured it must be the video footage on Bay Area Reclaim the Streets’ web page, which shows a car getting flipped over during the first street party held in the USA on May 16, 1998. (http://xinet.com/rts.) That street party was to protest the WTO, 18 months before Seattle. Just for the FBI’s benefit (you’re reading this because it has the newly “terrorist” word RTS in it, right?) that car was donated to us by a friend to help us block the street. We drove it into position in the middle of the streets, let the air out of the tires, and flipped it. It was just a prop. Kinda like art, ya know? We didn’t flip all the cars in Berkeley, as much as they might deserve it, because, ya know, we’re about having a good party, not getting into fist fights with innocent people who happen to park in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Anyway, humor aside, the FBI terrorist listing is troubling. Getting branded a “terrorist” is usually a precursor to getting your ass shot off or thrown into prison for life, etc. What’s next, Food Not Bombs on the “10 Most Wanted List” for conspiracy to commit lunch?

At its heart, reclaiming the streets is radical and does have the potential to over throw the “American Way Of Life.” What if instead of just having a street party once every three months with a few hundred people, there were thousands of autonomous cells everywhere organizing many street parties around the world every single day? Picture millions of people dropping out from capitalism living life for joy, not for their bosses. Imagine people more interested in partying in the streets (and disrupting business as usual) than partying in some capitalist club. Instead of billions of hours wasted on MTV in some suburb, what about billions of hours wasted partying down on the interstate highway while digging it up to plant crops, bringing the whole capitalist, techno machine to its knees! (While, ironically, listening to “techno” music!) I guess that’s why the FBI is watching.

Security Culture

If the FBI is listing anarchists on its list of terrorist threats for dancing and organizing street parties, you can bet surveillance, infiltration and covert government disruption are in the works. Therefore, here’s some tips on making it harder for the FBI. Don’t make the government’s job easier for them by being sloppy and stupid. There’s nothing fun or romantic about going to jail or ending up dead.

Surveillance

Assume you are under surveillance if you are involved in organizing mass direct action or anything illegal, and take precautions. Don’t discuss sensitive matters on the telephone, through the mail, by email, or in your home, car or political office/center. Don’t talk about anything illegal, even if you are just “joking.” Keep written materials and lists of individuals secure and never bring address books to protests where arrest is possible – if you’re arrested, the police may investigate all your friends.

Never discuss illegal activity

It is never okay to:

  • ask about someone else’s illegal activities;
  • discuss your involvement or someone else’s involvement with an underground group;
  • discuss someone else’s desire to get involved with such a group;
  • talk about your participation or someone else’s participation in any action that was illegal;
  • talk about someone else’s advocacy for such actions
  • discuss your plans or someone else’s plans for a future action.

The only time it’s okay to speak about illegal actions is when you are planning them with the small group of trusted people who will be doing the action with you.

Adopt a Security Culture

Activists organizing mass protests, direct action or anything illegal should make it as difficult as possible for police agencies by adopting a security culture. Activists who are part of a security culture know behaviors that compromise security and quickly educate anyone who acts in a way that violates or threatens security. When all members of a scene understand security and correct mistakes, unsecure behavior becomes unacceptable and will stop. This frustrates police surveillance and infiltrators because they can’t obtain information or plant it.

People in the scene who gossip, brag or ask for unnecessary information about underground groups or illegal activities are a severe danger to the movement. The first time this happens, take such a person aside and gently educate them in private about why such talk is a danger. Be careful not to preach, injure the individual’s pride, or raise defenses and prevent them from absorbing the advise. If an individual repeatedly engages in gossip, bragging and/or seeking unnecessary information about inappropriate topics after repeated educational talks, the person should be removed from any position of trust in movement by being kicked out of meetings, organizations, base camps, etc. Such a person is a grave risk at best, and a police agent looking to provoke or entrap others at worst.

Infiltrators

Infiltrators attempt to get information about organizations, disrupt them by creating splits and disorganization in meetings and in individual’s lives, and entrap activists by urging insecure illegal activity. They often disrupt groups, ironically, by promoting destructive witch hunts for infiltrators! Carefully check out the authenticity of any disturbing letter, rumor, phone call etc. before acting on it. Ask the supposed source if she or he is responsible. Don’t try to expose a suspected agent or informer without solid proof. It generally works better to criticize what a disruptive person says and does without speculating as to why. Avoid entrapment by only doing illegal direct action with people you know well and trust. Avoid government-sponsored splits in movement groups by dealing openly and honestly with differences within our movements in race, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc. before the FBI can exploit them.

The Business End of Spirituality

If I could stop howling at all the amusing quips Bill Ford has made to the press, concerning the Ford Motor Company’s vision for a more virtuous future, I might actually be able to write this article.

It isn’t even supposed to be about the Ford Motor Co. Ford came up entirely by accident. You see, I looked up the website of the San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility, an organization dedicated to what is termed “socially responsible investing.” I learned, rather to my surprise, that the organization’s most prominent members include Starbucks, Ford Motor Co., Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, KPMG LLP, Levi Strauss & Co., American Express, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Eddie Bauer, Liz Claiborne, McDonald’s Corporation, Providian Financial and WalMart.

But its actually not so surprising after all. The environment, as our friend Bill said somewhere, is a big seller. People like hearing terms like “environmentally friendly” thrown around. Use the term “environment” somewhere, prominently, and people will buy the product. “Oh look, honey. It’s environmental.” As our friend Bill likes to say in his amusing way, this is a really exciting development, and just might help people make the difficult decision to buy an SUV.

Now, our pal Bill is a friend of the working man and the environment, but he likes to point out that his great-granddaddy was ahead of him in this. Henry Ford tried to inculcate real values in the working man by subjecting them to country music and dance lessons, and we’re still getting that kind of fine moral leadership from the Ford family.

What links all these companies — from Ford to WalMart (and how’s that for a mind-bending stretch of the imagination?) — is the discovery that a “values-based corporate culture” is highly profitable.

This is an understandable conclusion. I mean, when I was (between the ages of 14 and 18) a potential high-school dropout, my concerned parents grimly threatened: “Do you want to work at McDonald’s for the rest of your life?” To this day when I walk by a McDonald’s and see people inside working at McDonald’s I automatically think, That person didn’t listen to his-or-her parents. The corporation has a serious problem on its hands: if the mere concept of working for them is used by parents to terrify their teenage children into obedience, imagine the state of employee morale in those franchises?

Morale is a big issue for corporations. It gets more critical with every environmental disaster, plant closure, corporate takeover and switchover to an HMO. Morale is a problem for Job at the bottom, who has to work 70 hours a week to survive, and it’s a problem for Job, Jr at the top, who has to work 70 hours a week because its in his $100,000 contract and has to golf at the same country club as his boss.

Well the corporations have found an ingenious way to boost employee morale. Starbucks, for example, is proud of its many community-building programs, and as a matter of policy encourages employees to do charity work. Some corporations take their claims of do-gooding so far that they promote the idea that the company is itself a “good cause.” My all- time favorite is Chevron’s “People Do” marketing campaign, which portrays the oil company as a conservation organization, saving America’s wetlands and wildlife.

It doesn’t worry me too much that the corporations are coopting ideas like “social responsibility” — because the idea of socially responsible business was eminently cooptable from the get-go. Essentially, the idea was that capitalism could go on and on, endlessly exploiting resources (for the new ecologically-friendly market, of course), workers (who would be paid “living wages,” of course), and third world countries (in the most helpful, charitable way, of course) and ordinary Americans, like you and me, caring people, could make oodles of easy money by investing. In fact, it’s practically a duty to invest in Green Business, and Community Business, and Businesses Run By Disadvantaged People.

What does bother me is that business, whether big or small, has succeeded to some degree in boosting morale in corporate culture. Corporate culture is the culture of cheap, crummy developments built up on toxic waste dumps; it’s the culture of solacing unfulfilling lives with imaginary needs for Technology and Stuff; it’s the culture of days wasted in labors which have no satisfying conclusion and “free time” consumed by recovering from mental and physical exhaustion; it’s the culture of fear which keeps every man and woman a “worker” instead of a self-defined person, dependent on a hated way of life, convinced of the inevitability of disappointment. That is corporate culture, no matter how many walk-a-thons and literacy drives the corporation chooses to sponsor.

But according to observers like Corinne McLaughlin, Executive Director of The Center for Visionary Leadership, American corporations are becoming not only socially responsible, but spiritual. The proofs she cites are incontestable. The World Bank, whose commitment to social responsibility is already much admired internationally, drawing excited crowds everywhere its members go, has a Spiritual Unfoldment Society with lectures on meditation and reincarnation.

This movement to bring spiritual practices into the corporations is being led by people like Christopher Walker. Not only does Chris Walker teach InnerWealthâ„¢ to corporate executives, but he was brought in by the Canadian government to instruct the Mi’kmaqs of Big Cove in real spiritual values so they would stop killing themselves.

I expect that at this point we’re all getting a little confused about why we want to kill ourselves, but let me remind the reader that amassing vast private capital from the blood, sweat and tears of the suicidally depressed formerly independent populations of formerly clean and beautiful countries with the friendly help of U.S.-funded military dictators and corporate spiritualists, is not the solution. No, dear confused reader, it is the problem. Remember: problem. Not solution. Problem. Repeat this, if necessary, daily.

I’ve tried to read Chris Walker’s teachings, which are available online at www.walkerinternational.com, but they are very creepy. I don’t recommend them to anyone who values their sanity. He knows his stuff — you can’t fight him on that level. I am reminded of a former coworker, a friendly Jehovah’s Witness, who told me that in his view, there are just four kinds of people: good, bad, wicked and evil. Well, this guy is evil. On the other hand, the members of groups like the Fellowship of Companies for Christ International are only wicked. They blithely “request that you pray as you complete the contribution form, and ask God how HE would have you support FCCI.”

And Slingshot, amen.

I’ve singled out the most evil and the most funny, but actually there are many “spiritual” corporate consultants and religious alliances of business owners. After all, there’s a huge market for what they’re peddling. Why? 1. Morale. Like the Mi’kmaq kids, we (the employees) are being told not to see our futures of continuing privation and exploitation with despair. The corporate executives want us to have a sense of optimism, a sense that things are changing, that we are living, as Chris Walker puts it, in revolutionary times. Raise morale, and people will work harder, more willingly. Their lives will still feel hard, but they will think it’s in a good cause. The members of the World Bank feel — despite all the hostility they get every time they show their faces — that they are making a positive contribution to the world. Why do you think corporations organize vision quests and higher power lunches and feng shui and yoga for their executives? Simply, the executives carry the burden of conscious responsibility. They have to believe that their actions are good, or at worst, inevitable. Belief is what keeps them going, day after day. Belief is everything.

2. Greed. Flat out greed. There seems to be profit in it for everybody. Spiritual corporate consultants can make a killing preaching the gospel of capital. Corporations can reap the benefits of improved morale and marketability — don’t forget how well social responsibility sells! Even small-fry employees seem to believe there’s a profit in it for them. Some are inspired by the gospel to start their own business. Others swear that the office feng shui brought them unanticipated windfalls of money. Managers believe that “incentives” get people to work harder, and help combat the tendency of people to hate the company they work for. Spiritual meditations help people to drive away “bad attitude” and before you know it, those gift certificates for $5 off at the company store start looking like sincere gestures of appreciation from one’s fellow inspired and loving man.

3. Piety. Many people want their lives to be infused with the sort of depth and quality which comes from living in tune with their spiritual beliefs. The trouble is that no gospel worth its salt can accept — much less endorse, accommodate and work for — the goals of capitalism. The gospel of capital depends on the assumption that the physical and metaphysical are entirely separate entities. Damaging one can be done with impunity if one simply prays and has a good heart. But the metaphysical is entwined with the physical world, and when we damage the physical, we do harm to the metaphysical at the same time. The only way to truly infuse our lives with sanctity is to approach living with faith instead of fear; to believe that if we step away from capitalism and act on our values instead, that we will find the support we need. That is true piety.

So, what can we do about it, besides make fun of Bill Ford, which is always amusing?

  • First, we need to be really really clear about what true spirituality is.
  • We need to be able to identity the gospel of capitalism when we see it, and understand why it’s bunk.
  • We need to destroy corporate morale — at every level, from the little guys to the big guys. Don’t let the World Bank’s members believe they are doing good in the world.
  • Get better at distinguishing between pleasure and greed. Live for pleasure, not for profit.
  • Know the difference between kindness and exploitation.
  • Know the difference between inner truth and bad attitude.
  • Recognize and respect the harmony of the physical and the metaphysical.
  • Don’t allow fear to prevent you from changing, growing, and acting in ways which expand freedom and joy.
  • Expose the Chris Walkers of the world.
  • Smash capitalism, smash the state, eat lunch, get more soil amendments and start thinking about a new article.

Judi Bari Trail Set for October 1st

Funds and support crucially needed

More than 11 years after a car bomb exploded under Earth First! activist Judi Bari as she drove her car in Oakland, her

rights lawsuit against the FBI and the Oakland Police Department is finally scheduled to go to trial October 1. Although Judi didn’t live to see trial (she died of cancer in 1997) her spirit is powerfully present in the final days of trial preparation.

The lawsuit alleges that the FBI and the Oakland Police Department framed Judi and Darryl Cherney (who was riding with her in the car) on charges that they car-bombed themselves. Instead of trying to find the real bomber, the FBI and the OPD tried to smear Judi and Darryl’s reputation in an attempt to disrupt the 1990 Redwood Summer protests which aimed to preserve the ancient redwood trees in Headwaters forest and elsewhere.

In the ten years the lawsuit has been pending, Judi and Darryl’s lawyers have uncovered shocking evidence of FBI and police misconduct, while surviving numerous government motions to dismiss the case. Part of the headwaters forest was preserved for future generations when the government bought a 7400 acre section in 1999. Forest defenders in the Mattole valley are still struggling to preserve 3,000 acres of old growth from Pacific Lumber chainsaws.

With trial approaching, community support and public awareness of the lawsuit are crucial. In particular, funds are needed for the legal team who are fighting the case. See the end of this article for where to send donations.

Eleven years is a long time to wait for “justice”, and a lot of folks aren’t familiar with Judi’s case. Therefore, we publish this summary of the issues at stake.

When Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney first filed their

rights lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police Department in 1991, they were told a suit of this kind would take ten years to come to trial. In those 10 years, the case has gone through four name changes, two different judges and an appellate court decision. It has survived repeated attempts by the defendants to have the case thrown out, and unearthed thousands of pages of FBI files and police documents. The result is documented proof of a covert operation in 1990 against Earth First! that used the tactics of the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO). The FBI claims that COINTELPRO was discontinued in 1975, after a congressional investigation found it involved massive violations of constitutional rights. The trial on October 1 will expose the tactics used since 1975 on the radical environmental and other progressive movements and prove this claim a lie.

The Bombing

Just before noon on May 24th, 1990, a pipe bomb exploded beneath labor/environmental organizer Judi Bari’s driver’s seat as she and fellow activist Darryl Cherney drove through Oakland on their way to an organizing event in Santa Cruz. Judi and Darryl were the two most prominent organizers for Earth First! Redwood Summer, a planned summer-long campaign of non-violent protests in defense of California’s North Coast redwood forests. In the weeks prior to the bombing, Judi, Darryl and other Earth First! organizers received numerous and increasingly scary death threats focused on their involvement in the redwood struggle.

The bomb was hidden under the driver’s seat and triggered by a motion device, clearly a politically motivated assassination attempt. Even so, the FBI appeared on the scene within 15 minutes of the blast and seized on the attack to attempt to portray Judi and Darryl as bombers and “neutralize” their EF! organizing. Aided by the Oakland Police and in contradiction to the physical evidence, the FBI declared that the activists had been knowingly transporting the bomb on the back seat floor board of the car, and that it had exploded accidentally. According to Oakland police testimony, the FBI told them at the scene that Judi and Darryl, two non-violent activists, were “the type of individuals who would be involved in transporting explosives, bombs.”

The Oakland Police placed Judi under arrest just three hours after the blast as she struggled for her life in the hospital. Her leg was partially paralyzed and her pelvis shattered. by the bomb that left her permanently disabled and in constant pain until her death March 2, 1997 of breast cancer. Darryl was arrested within twelve hours. The two became the focus of an FBI smear campaign that resulted in nationwide headlines declaring the activists guilty of transporting the bomb that had been used to try to kill them. After seven weeks, the Alameda County District Attorney declined to press charges; there was simply no evidence. To this day, no legitimate investigation has ever been conducted and the bombers remain at large.

The

Rights Lawsuit

Knowing that such violence and government repression would only increase if left unchallenged, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney filed suit against the FBI and OPD in May of 1991, charging them with false arrest and

rights violations. The federal lawsuit claims that the FBI and Oakland police knew that Judi and Darryl were innocent, and that they were in fact the intended targets of a brutal assassination attempt. But instead of treating it as such, the FBI launched a plan to discredit Earth First! and Judi and Darryl as organizers, in order to “neutralize” the burgeoning forest protection movement.

The Frame Up

Through the lawsuit’s discovery process, Judi’s lawyers have gotten access to the FBI’s and OPD’s own documents, including striking police photos of the bombed out car that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bomb was hidden beneath the seat and the FBI knew it. The files document the series of blatant lies told by the FBI and Oakland Police from the first moments after the blast.

LIE # 1: The search warrant states that the FBI claims that the bomb “was on the floor board behind the driver’s seat when it detonated.” This is disproved by the police’s own crime scene photos, which clearly show the hole in the car’s floorboard to be centered under the driver’s seat, and the back seat still intact. Also, the FBI’s own bomb expert from the lab in D.C., SSA David R. Williams, has confirmed that the bomb was hidden under the driver’s seat, and that this would have been obvious from the damage to the car.

LIE # 2: The search warrant also quotes the FBI as saying that “a separate bag of nails was discovered in the vehicle that are identical to the nails taped to the explosive device.” In fact, the nails taped to the bomb were finishing nails; while the nails found in two bags in the car were roofing nails and sinkers, quite different to the naked eye from the nails in the bomb.

LIE # 3: FBI lab bomb expert SSA Williams has also testified that the bomb was triggered by a motion device, consisting of a large ball bearing that had to roll to connect two contact points. The fact that the bomb was hidden under the car seat and triggered by the motion of the car certainly undermines FBI/OPD claims that a reasonable officer could have thought Judi and Darryl were anything but the intended targets of the bomb.

LIE # 4. In the warrant for a groundless second search of Judi’s home one month after the bombing, Oakland police claim they were told by FBI lab expert SSA Williams that nails were found in the house that matched nails in the bomb “in a batch of 200-1,000 nails.” SSA Williams has testified that he never said that, and in fact nails are made in batches of millions, and cannot be matched on that scale.

The Bogus Investigation

The files also document the FBI’s bogus investigation of the bombing, as page after page reveals that they used this case as an excuse to conduct a far reaching campaign of political intelligence gathering on environmentalists, both locally and nationally. Meanwhile the FBI failed to follow up on significant leads that indicate the bombing was an assassination attempt, plotted in retaliation for Judi and Darryl’s organizing activities. For instance, the death threats Judi had received before the bombing were never investigated or even sent to the FBI lab for analysis.

FBI Bomb School

The most outrageous revelations about FBI involvement in the bombing case came through deposition testimony which disclosed that an FBI “bomb school” was held in Eureka, California, just one month before Judi and Darryl were bombed in Oakland. During the week-long Bomb Investigators Training Course, the FBI blew up cars with pipe bombs and practiced responding. The teacher at bomb school was Special Agent Frank Doyle, the very same FBI bomb expert who showed up at the scene one month later in Oakland and supervised the collection of evidence. SA Doyle is credited with the pronouncement that the bomb was visible in the back seat.

Another FBI lie was uncovered when the defendants were forced to unredact previously blacked-out passages of internal FBI reports and communiqués made during the first hours after the bombing. Throughout the depositions, every FBI agent and OPD officer involved in this case denied under oath that there had been any investigation of Judi, Darryl or Earth First! prior to the bombing. Yet the passages ordered disclosed by the court show them characterizing Earth First! as suspected of terrorist activities, and stating that Darryl and Judi were already known to the FBI and were the “subjects of an FBI investigation in the terrorist field.”

The evidence that raises the most serious questions about the extent of FBI involvement in the bombing case is the FBI’s “THERMCON” file. The San Francisco FBI records of the THERMCON case, the FBI sting operation targeting Arizona Earth First! and EF! founder Dave Foreman, are key to the Oakland bombing case. Not only does it chronicle an active FBI undercover operation against EF! at the time of the bombing, THERMCON was a concerted and deliberate plot by the FBI to connect EF! with explosives in order to discredit the movement.

Most disturbing about the THERMCON file is what isn’t there. Where the documents from February through May of 1990 should be, there is a page that reads simply, “Serials 141-159 were missing from the file when it was processed.” The next document in the file is dated June 1990, one month after the bombing.

Funds and support are needed. Contact the Redwood Summer Justice Project, PO Box 14720, Santa Rosa, CA 95402, 707-887-0262. Donations should be earmarked for the lawsuit. The final hearing before trial will take place on July 28 to hear the FBI’s summary judgment motion. Judge Claudia Wilkin’s court, Oakland Federal Bldg, 13th and Clay, 10 am.

Nuclear Power – Hit or Myth?

Have we time-warped back to the 1950s, or is the future here? Just a few years ago, it seemed like the anti-nuclear movement had sent nuclear energy towards its grave. Yet now major players from President Bush to the UN are hyping nuclear power as a clean, cheap energy source.

We thought we knew nuclear power was a bad deal. But the pro-nuclear arguments peppering the mainstream press are seductive: Since nuclear energy doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses, perhaps it is a good alternative to fossil fuels? And isn’t it cheaper right now than both coal and natural gas? Industry-funded polling indicates that a slim majority actually does support nuclear industry.

But although Vice President Cheney dismisses those against nuclear power as influenced by “irrational fears,” there continue to be sound arguments against nuclear energy. From an economic, environmental, and safety standpoint, nuclear energy is not a good choice. We cannot consider the work done; we must continue to voice these arguments in contrast to the pro-nuclear rhetoric appearing daily. Continued vigilance is essential to prevent a nuclear renaissance.

Myth #1: Clean

It is true that nuclear power generation emits few greenhouse gasses, even in comparison to ‘clean coal technology’. However, the immense amounts of pollution associated with the rest of the nuclear fuel cycle render this statement woefully ridiculous.

Nuclear advocates like to point out that the waste, although highly radioactive, is also very concentrated, unlike air pollution from fossil fuel plants, which is almost impossible to handle once it’s out in the atmosphere. But what to do with this concentrated waste has not been resolved by any of the countries using nuclear power. Vice President Cheney likes to cite France as an example of a well-managed waste disposal program, in contrast to the problems plaguing the US program, which he says are purely political. Perhaps Cheney should do more research: In actuality both the French and US efforts are facing humongous technical and political difficulties.

In the US, the Department of Energy (DOE) wants to permanently store spent nuclear fuel underground at Yucca Mountain, NV, about 120 miles NW of Las Vegas. Although several locations were origionally considered, Congress decided Yucca Mountain would be the only site to receive serious study. After almost 20 years of work, finding the site unsuitable would be political suicide for the Department of Energy, and is thus essentially not an option no matter what scientific results show.

Major scientific issues continue to pop up, but the DOE, in a rush to have the site certified as safe by Winter 2001, has taken an engineering approach to the project. Scientific questions are ignored in favor of ‘engineering’ the problems away. The project is poorly managed, morale is low, and the best scientists are driven away out of frustration. Politically, Nevada resents storing the nation’s waste when the state does not have any nuclear power plants.

At the earliest estimate, the dump would be open by 2010; until then, spent fuel will continue to be stored at the plants were it is used. This is a generally safe way to store the spent fuel; however, plants are already running out of storage room and the problem will only get worse if plant licenses are renewed for another 20 years of operation.

In comparison to US disposal problems, Cheney points to France and their “well-run” program of both recycling nuclear fuel (called reprocessing) and attempting to dispose of it underground. But the French situation is a joke. Cheney is apparently unaware that France does not even have a site picked out for the underground dump, due to intense public opposition to the locations selected (at least one of which was, unsurprisingly, in a poor region of the country). And fuel reprocessing is an international scandal. One of the main objections to reprocessing is that it makes available plutonium that could be used in nuclear weapons. Theoretically this plutonium is carefully tracked and disposed of. However, the French plant is managed in such high disregard of French law that their ability to properly handle the plutonium is in doubt: Under French law the plant (the largest reprocessing facility in the world, with a majority of shares owned by the French government) can take fuel from other countries, but the recycled fuel and highly radioactive waste must be returned to the country of origin after the 5-8 year process. Surprise! Contracts from the early 1990′s indicate that foreign countries had no intention of retrieving their reprocessed waste- in order to continue generating contracts, the French facility essentially became a dump for European high level nuclear waste. Lawsuits from the mid 1990′s are forcing the plant to return the waste, but extreme public all along the transport route makes this difficult. The reprocessing facility has also repeatedly treated wastes for which it did not have a permit. Several EU countries are moving to shut down the plant.

And while the waste is the biggest dilemma, the rest of the fuel cycle is far from benign. Uranium mining leaves behind piles of uranium mine tailings. The process of turning uranium ore into fuel is the single largest user of electricity in the US– and this electricity is ironically generated by some of the dirtiest coal plants in the country, according to the executive director of the US Enrichment Corporation (located in the heart of Appalachia in Padacuh, KY). Power plants emit radioactive gasses and particles; it is difficult to quantify damage to surrounding communities by this radiation, but the Massachusetts Department of Health did link high leukemia rates in the counties surrounding the Pilgrim power plant outside Boston to radiation emitted from the plant.

Myth #2: Cheap

The production price of nuclear power (including the costs of fuel, plant maintenance, and operation) is now less than that of coal or natural gas, at 1.83 cents/kilowatthour compared to 2.07 and 3.52 cents/kwh, respectively, during Winter 2000. But look at muddy dealings behind these numbers, first at the fuel market and secondly at the large subsidies given to the nuclear industry.

Nuclear power is suddenly so attractive mainly because of the spikes in natural gas prices over winter 2000. Incidently, one of the major natural gas suppliers in the country, Enron Corp in Texas, is also one of the two corporations scrambling to buy nuclear power plants across the northeast. The uranium fuel market has been glutted since the late nineties when the Department of Energy privatized the world’s largest fuel enrichment facility. At the same time that uranium fuel became dirt cheap compared to platinum-priced natural gas, construction costs on many plants were finally paid off, leaving utilities ready to reap the benefits of their nuclear behemoths.

The industry requires a huge infrastructure, which relies heavily on government support even when the plants themselves belong to investor-owned utilities. Much of this support net is already in place, but has not yet been completely paid off. One example is fuel enrichment. The Department of Energy (DOE) is required by law to get a full return on the approximately $11 billion it has put out toward uranium enrichment. Including the costs of cleaning up and decommissioning enrichment facilities, this figure rises an additional $4-20 billion (depending on different estimates). Utilities are only liable for a third of the clean-up costs. Privatizing the enrichment company was one step towards recovering the costs, but also flooded the uranium market, thus lowering fuel prices. (In order to look appealing to investors, the newly private company, US Enrichment Corp, stated it had huge reserves of enriched uranium.) Simultaneously, legislation wrote off all but $3 billion of the debt the DOE had accumulated around uranium enrichment. The public absorbed most of the enrichment expenditures, while the nuclear power industry had a large supply of cheap fuel.

The government also siphons money to the nuclear industry through the Price-Anderson Act. First passed in the 1950s and extended through the 1990s, this legislation is government-provided insurance for the nuclear industry. Utilities are liable for damages up to $8 billion; past this figure the government assumes responsibility. There are many possible accidents that could result in damages in excess of $8 billion: The cost of the Chernobyl, for instance, was $350 billion. (A better comparison would be a damage figure from Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island accident; however, for some strange reason, updated estimates are not readily available.) Although Germany and Switzerland adopted unlimited liability for utilities in the 1980s, a bill in Congress (H.R. 1679) now proposes renewing the Price Anderson Act past its 2002 expiration date.

In recent years the government has been less willing to support the nuclear industry. The amount the industry receives from the federal government has not been increasing; in fact, although Bush administration rhetoric supports nuclear power, the Bush 2002 budget proposal cuts funding for parts of the industry up to 50%. However, bills have been introduced in both the Senate and House drastically increasing government support, including the Price-Anderson act extension. Watch out for Senator Pete Dominici (R-NM), a major supporter of the nuclear industry and sponsor of the Senate bill (S-472).

Over the long term the government (ie, the public) will be forced to pour money into the decommissioning and cleanup of different nuclear facilities, because surcharges mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to support these long range activities are estimated to be too small. Even with the nuclear industry dormant the public foots their bill; reviving nuclear energy will require a renewal of government-funded infrastructure support.

Myth #3: Safe

It is theoretically possible to run a nuclear program very safely. Safety at US plants is generally good and is actually improving as the plants are privatized. (Since one company owns several plants, knowledge is shared among the plants, and investor-owned utilities have monetary incentives to keep the plants running well.) The industry likes to point to nifty new reactor designs which prohibit the possibility of a meltdown.

However, even at well-run facilities, strange mistakes happen, like the incident at the Japanese enrichment plant where hurried workers added too much uranium. And, although little work has been done to investigate connections between nuclear facilities and local leukemia rates, some strong links have been established (for example, between high leukemia rates and both the Pilgrim power plant outside of Boston and the French fuel reprocessing facility).

Nuclear power is a bad deal. Despite Cheney’s claim that people against nuclear power are slaves to “irrational fears,” nuclear power’s unsuitability is obvious to anyone who can step outside the industry’s rhetoric. You don’t have to be a paranoid freak to oppose spending billions supporting the creation of a highly radioactive riddle (nuclear waste), the solution to which has not yet been developed and requires even more billions of dollars. All because nuclear power doesn’t directly emit greenhouse gasses? Last time I checked, there was a comparatively benign solution to both energy and global warming woes: energy efficiency and solar/wind power.

In fact, research into energy efficiency wins the prize for the greatest returns on the least amount of money, a piddly $8 billion compared to $66 billion spent on nuclear energy research over the past 50 years. The US today uses 42% less energy per unit of gross domestic product than in 1970, a much greater gain than the 11% of the country’s energy supply generated by nuclear power.

According to a MSNBC poll, a majority of young, college-educated people in the US think both nuclear energy and energy efficiency are “energy sources of the future”. Many people support renewable energy but question how it can meet the baseload energy demands currently covered by a combination of coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy (20%). Well, yes, that is the billion dollar question: the answer is dependent upon whether the government chooses to support renewables and energy efficiency research or nuclear power.

Unfortunately, energy efficiency and solar/wind power are not as sexy as the image of ‘harnessing the atom’. And more importantly, they are smaller scale projects that don’t require the huge infrastructure and long time attention associated with nuclear power. The nuclear industry is large and almost inseparable from governments around the world. Now that the Bush administration is vocally supporting nuclear energy, and investor owned utilities have taken an interest, the industry may experience a small renaissance in the form of extended plant operating licenses. Plants are initially licensed for 40 years; licenses will be up for renewal as soon as 2006, with all but two due by 2030. Two plants in Maryland and South Carolina recently had their licenses extended by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a move unforeseen a few years ago. Investor-owned energy companies will not back down easily from their quest to re-license their newly-acquired plants.

But as Congressman Ed Markey said, you can prop up a corpse but you can’t reanimate it. Even with the recently completed designs for small scale, passively safe reactors, it will be very difficult to build a new nuclear plant in this country. Anti-nuclear activists must follow the nuclear industry’s rapacious gaze to lesser- industrialized countries; China, India, South Korea and other countries have developed nuclear energy programs without the hindrance of the strong US and European antinuclear movement.

Germany, with 25% of its electricity generated by nuclear power, is the first industrial country to dismantle its nuclear power system. In an exciting, unprecedented move, Germany will be shutting down their 19 plants over the next 25 years in favor of energy efficiency and alternative energy sources.

Within the US, activists must push whole-heartedly for government and cultural support of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Although there has been little public scrutiny of the nuclear industry in recent years, the legacy of the strong anti-nuclear movement means that nuclear policy in this country is still somewhat dependent upon public opinion. It is thus up to the public to shove the government towards energy efficiency and renewable energy research, and to support the cultural shift required by a serious commitment to these technologies. We must break out of the inertia holding us to a grossly consumptive lifestyle.

Perhaps the ‘irrational fear’ of a nuclear meltdown will help fuel this cultural shift, although the primary arguments against nuclear power aren’t safety-orientated. Rational considerations of economic and environmental realities dictate a move away from nuclear power. From any angle, the heart of the nuclear industry is rotten.

Capitalism Hates the Sun

This summer, three energy related stories are unfolding in California: Governor Davis is spending $6.6 billion in tax money to buy off a handful of energy companies in an attempt to avoid rolling blackouts; despite the ransom payments, rolling blackouts are expected to happen almost daily anyway; and meanwhile, billions of watts of solar energy are falling from the sky on millions of rooftops across the state, and are going to waste, unused.

At the very least, it is highly ironic that here in the “sunshine state”, where it is sunny pretty much all year long, people are worried about an energy “shortage.” In reality, energy is all around us – we just don’t realize it.

Current solar technology is already adequate to provide most if not all energy for water heating, and solar electric technology is quickly becoming price competitive with fossil fuel powered electricity. And that’s without any appreciable corporate or government support for years. There’s even lots of Do It Yourself solar opportunities: each clothesline replaces a fossil fueled drier and those camping solar showers can be heated up in an hour, hung on a hook in your regular shower and used instead of a fossil fueled shower until you get the permanent solar water system put on the roof.

The reason why no one seems to be talking about just getting rid of the dirty, private, corporate electrical generators and replacing them with decentralized, clean solar technology is because solar power is bad for capitalism.

“What?” you say.

Its true that initially, when you spend money to install solar systems, it can be “good” for companies that supply and install the systems. But ultimately, capitalism requires constant growth to survive. And once you install solar, it produces power for free for decades, with no one to pay.

Meeting people’s needs for energy is basically irrelevant for the capitalist system: what is really important serving the system’s internal needs.

Solar, where installed in a decentralized fashion, reduces dependence on market transactions and makes folks more independent. That’s bad if capitalism is to keep expanding. Extractive industries like fossil fuel production, in contrast, are perfect for capitalism because, since these fuels run out at any particular location, there’s always room for more expansion of production.

What would happen if California Governor Davis spent the $6.6 billion he plans to spend this summer on solar panels instead of paying off the fossil fuel Mafia? Either way, whether he spends the money or not, there are going to be blackouts. Perhaps a summer of blackouts might not be so bad if at the end of the summer, there was something to show for it.

How much solar power does $6.6 billion buy?

According to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which has installed 750 residential rooftop photo voltaic solar systems since 1993, a 2000 watt system costs about $9,000 and supplies more power than an average household needs.. Such a system produces 3,600 kw/hours per year, and has a greater than 30 year expected lifetime. It pays for itself in about 10 years. Moreover, each 2000 watt system prevents 3.7 tons of coal from being burned, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 pounds. And, according to SMUD, “it looks cool!”

For $6.6 billion, you could put solar systems on 75,000 houses, assuming SMUD cost estimates. SMUD talks about how they’ve brought down costs with “volume purchasing”, but 750 systems in 8 years isn’t very much volume. For $6.6 billion, each system would be cheaper, so maybe 100,000 houses could go solar.

The “peak demand” for power, when its so scarce there are blackouts and when the energy cartel reaps their most obscene profits, is in the middle of the day, just when solar power is supplying the most power. Would 100,000 roof solar systems help during peak demand? It wouldn’t hurt, and what is the $6.6 billion poured down the private energy deregulation rat hole buying? Blackouts.

Sometimes I sit on the front porch watching the waves and waves of traffic going by and think how modern industrial society is like a little kid playing in the mud, oblivious to the mess he or she is making. Here we are on this most beautiful planet blessed with strong wind and lots of sun. Instead of taking advantage of these resources, we dig up the ground everywhere and burn what we find, gradually choking the pure air with smog and carbon dioxide. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are up 30% since the start of the industrial revolution, and at this rate, they’ll go up another 150 percent in the next 100 years.

The temporary electrical shortages in California aren’t the real issue. This issue is how we can allow the sun’s rays to go waste on a million rooftops, while burning fossil fuels as if there’s no tomorrow.

Surving Protest

After I returned from the WTO protests in Seattle, I couldn’t sleep or concentrate for weeks. In Seattle I had seen a lot of “action”: I’d been pepper sprayed, arrested and then “unarrested”, run over by a horse, tear gassed, charged by cops, illegally detained and searched, lost my housing unexpectedly, shot at. But when I got back, I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I heard explosions of concussion grenades in my sleep. Loud noises made me jump. I was tense and irritable. I just couldn’t seem to get things back to normal. Finally, my therapist mentioned I might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I had heard of it, but I thought it only happened to vets who had fought in Vietnam. It happened to “someone else.” But in fact, it can happen to anyone who goes through a stressful experience.

And increasingly, battling capitalism is getting to be a more stressful experience. The state is scared and they are turning to more repression to maintain their grasp on control. The FBI recently listed anarchists as a major “threat of Terrorism” in the United States. Infiltration, harassment and intimidation are on the rise. Tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets at protests, once rare, are now common. Resistance is getting more effective and expanding.

Slingshot has in the past published tips on surviving at the demonstration. This issue, here’s some info on what happens after the demonstration. As a community we need to take care of each other and our selves – both physically and mentally – so people can stay in the struggle and avoid burnout. For more excellent information, check out the website “healingtrauma.protest.net.”

Feel the Rage

In the many times I’ve been to jail, here are some of the overwhelming responses I’ve noticed in myself and which you might be experiencing:

Rage: Jail is simply the distilled form of the larger violence around us. Anger is a sane and healthy response, but you may find it deflected onto your friends and families instead of directed to the systems of oppression we’re fighting. Warn your friends and coworkers to tread gently and not order you around for a while. Be prepared for flashes of rage, and try to remember who we’re really angry at.

Self-Blame: You’ve been in a system designed on every level to make you feel bad, wrong, inadequate and powerless. The men and women who run it are experts in psychological manipulation and intimidation. They spend a lifetime developing their techniques-you had at most a few hours training in how to resist them. When you’re in jail, you’re constantly faced with decisions to be made with inadequate information under conditions of fear and exhaustion. You may make mistakes. You may end up complying when you later wish you’d resisted, or failing to act when you think you should have. You may make decisions you later regret. Try not to blame yourself. One of the ways the system functions is to keep us focused on what we, individually, did or didn’t do instead of on the violence of the system itself. Self-blame is the way we take the violence of the system in, and beat ourselves up instead of making the guards and police do their own dirty work. And it rapidly turns into blame of each other, becoming a force to divide us and cut us off from the very support we need.

Difficult Re-entry: It’s hard to go back to regular life after the intensity of an action. It’s hard to go home to a lonely apartment after the strong community we’ve felt in the action and in jail. It’s hard to go back to a school, a job, or to any institution that suddenly seems like a softer-edged version of the jail. And everything suddenly does look like a version of jail-a system of punishment and control.

You may find yourself tired, depressed, unable to take pleasure in things you usually enjoy, vicariously experiencing the sufferings of all the oppressed and dispossessed. Food may seem tasteless, work or studies meaningless. You may lose things, get confused, and have difficulty functioning.

These are common human responses to loss, trauma and stress. They are not a sign of your personal weakness or inadequacy. Here are a few things that can help:

Talk About It: Ideally with the others who were with you, with your affinity group or with someone else who has been through a similar experience. If that’s not possible, find a friend who is willing to lend a sympathetic ear, or a counselor. You need to tell your story, sometimes over and over and over again.

Rest: We’ve all put out a phenomenal amount of energy. Sleep. Take yourself out into a natural environment with trees and green plants. Lie on the ground. Restore your energy.

Cleanse: Do something physical and symbolic to release the energies of the jail. Take a shower and scrub with epsom salts, bathe in the ocean or a running stream, wash your clothes. Do it with the conscious intention of letting go of the jail energy, of emerging renewed.

Renew: If you have a spiritual practice, now is the time to intensify it. If you don’t resonate with spirituality, take time for what does inspire you and feed you, whether it’s the forests, music, or the company of friends.

Learn: You’ve just received a priceless educational experience. You now know more about the underlying workings of the system we are fighting. You’ve had a small taste of the violence and repression experienced every day by the poor, by people of color, by those who end up in jail without the support of an action and a media team. You will never be the same person you were before this action.

Honor yourself: And all of us-for the courage, strength, and commitment we’ve shown in taking action, for the movement we are building together, for the ways we’ve listened to one another and struggled with our differences and already changed the world. I’m deeply, deeply proud to have been part of this action, and to be in a movement that contains such brave, committed and caring people.

Carry it On: Rage can be an energizing force. So can love. As hard as a jail experience can be, it can also be empowering. We can come out of it stronger than we went in. What we’ve learned from this action can move us into the next phase as we build the movement that will transform the world.