Category Archives: Fall 2001 (9/27/01)

Turmoil: A Brief History of Afghanistan

Imperialists have been fighting over Afghanistan for hundreds of years. Both the Russians(USSR) and British have fought losing battles there. Afghanistan is between Europe and the Indian sub-continent and so necessary for the imperialist aims of Britain and Russia (and then the Soviet Union) wanted a warm water port on the Arabian Sea. Britain wanted to protect their imperialistic aims in northern India (now Pakistan)

Afghanistan is ethnically and linguistically diverse. At least 30 languages are spoken there. The ethnic groups include Pashtuns, the Hazara, the Tajiks, and the Usbeks. Even though Afghanistan is so diverse they have resisted intrusion from outsiders. In 1841 the British suffered a major defeat. About 20,000 soldiers and their dependants were massacred at the end of the first Anglo-Afghan war. There was only one survivor.

In 1973 the Soviet Union was hoping the government that came to power after the overthrow of King Zahir Shah would do their bidding. But such was not the case and in 1979 the Soviets invaded. That war lasted a decade and saw the US get involved in fighting a proxy war against the USSR by supporting the mujhadeen, Muslim fundamentalists. The mujhadeen captured Kabul in 1992 but there was infighting among the various factions and in 1996 the Taliban faction took over Kabul and most of the country.

Today Afghanistan is suffering from a four-year drought as well as the excesses of the Taliban regime. No Doubt the regular people would appreciate help with both problems. Further destruction of their land for imperialist aims won’t help.

Ewoks Plot to Disrupt G8 Summit In the Forest of Endor

BACKGROUND: In order to avoid the impact of dissenting voices at next year’s G8 Summit in 2002, Canada’s Prime Minister (henceforth referred to as the Big Cheese™) has chosen to move the meeting to the mountain resort of Kananaskis. [The G8 are the leaders of the world's richest and most powerful countries. Their last meeting in Genoa, Italy was protested by 100,000 people and led to the shooting death of anti-globalization protester Carlo Guliani.] In order to aid protesters in their planning for the 2002 Summit, the Deconstructionist Institute for Surreal Topology (DIST) commissioned this study to assess the prospects for direct action during the summit.

A number of our security experts visited the site, and conducted a thorough survey of the area. Our top researchers then analyzed the data, and have issued the following interim report. It is intended for informational purposes only, and can serve as a basis for the first spokescouncil meeting (to be held in Edmonton).

CONCLUSION: Kananaskis was chosen by the Big Cheese™ because of its remote location, and because the only road leading to the resort is easy to seal off. However, the Cheese forgot one thing – the location is remote and is easy to seal off.

The terrain is ideal for hippies, crappy for cops. Can you imagine riot troops in full body armor plodding through dense forests? What were they thinking?! Don’t they remember Vietnam?! Don’t they remember Return of the Jedi when the Ewoks kicked Stormtrooper ass in the forest of Endor?

SUGGESTED ACTION PLAN: Protests around summits are usually given labels to mark a day of protest (for example J26 to signify a protest on June 26th). It is advised that protesters drop the numbers. The letter J will do nicely – a month of intense resistance…and a refreshing change of tactics.

DETAILS of ACTION PLAN: Early May: Hold a training camp in Kananaskis to allow participants to get a feel for the location. Plan, strategize and hold workshops. Consider it a dry run. Participants can learn vital skills such as how to incorporate grizzly bears into a direct action.

June 1st, 2002: Tree huggers begin blockading the road leading in and out of Kananaskis. A wilderness area should not have thousands of police plodding through it. The road is ideal for Robin Hood tactics. Block-and-run style; tripods; cars with their wheels removed. It’s one real long road, and they can’t defend it. Stop The Man from setting up their security equipment and preparing the site.

June 7th: Set up tent city on the edge of Kananaskis. Have a huge festival of resistance including music, workshops, food, naked hippies. Create space.

June 10th: Critical Mass rides begin along the highway leading to the site. Stockpiling mountain bikes will be key later on. When they block the road, anarchists will bike around them.

June 13th: Affinity groups and assorted desperados move deep into the zone, and set up outposts. Bring a video camera to protect yourselves from getting batoned. Stick together. Pretend it’s a giant game of hide and seek. Use tactics inspired by the Ewoks. Maximum disruption combined with maximum cuddliness. Anarcho-hippies can climb trees; they know how to use ropes; they love it out in the mountains, and even enjoy eating fungus. For a good laugh, watch the cops try to get protesters out of the tree tops. Did you see Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon?

June 22nd: The tent city moves onto the meeting site. Protesters seal off the road before the cops do. Lockdowns, hiding, running, and regrouping. With enough people, the space can be defended.

June 25th: For people that arrive late: hike into the zone. Don’t forget your rope ladders, and try to avoid the traffic jams along the hiking trails. Ewoks shut down the force field generator. Watch in mild amusement as the black-bloc searches in vain for a McDonald’s to smash. Oh, did we mention rope ladders? Victory will go to those with the most rope ladders (and the best pants).

June 26th: Summit canceled – too many fuckin’ Ewoks in the area.

Berkeley Radical Photo Exhibition

The Whole World’s Watching is an extraordinary exhibition which examines the rich history of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s through documentary photography. With a focus on Northern California where many of these activists were born, distinguished photographers illuminate the rise of the Black Panthers, the Free Speech and anti-war movements, feminism, disability rights, environmental activism, the struggle for gay rights and the cultural milieu which formed and informed them.

The exhibition presents 100 images taken during those turbulent times by noted photographers. A 160 page catalog accompanies the exhibition. the exhibition runs through December 15 at the Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut Street in live Oak Park. Admission is free. Hours are Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 5.

Judi Bari Trial Delayed

Right before the September 11 attack, activists in Northern California were preparing for an epic showdown between the environmental movement and the FBI – the October 1 jury trial in Earth First! activist Judi Bari’s civil rights lawsuit against the FBI and the Oakland police. Right after September 11, realizing that Judi couldn’t get a fair trial with all the pro-government nationalism following the attack, Judi’s lawyers moved to delay the trial. Their motion was granted and her trial is now scheduled for April 8, 2002.

Even though April seems like a long way off, its not too early to continue organizing to build public support for Judi’s trial.

A car bomb exploded under Judi as she drove her car in Oakland as part of an organizing drive for Redwood Summer, the 1990 series of protests to preserve California’s last old growth redwood trees. The bomber was never apprehended and Judi and Darryl Cherney (as passenger in the car at the time) were arrested and charged with bombing themselves! The lawsuit alleges that the FBI and the Oakland Police Department framed Judi and Darryl. 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 Redwood Summer protest.

In the ten years the lawsuit has been pending, Judi and Darryls lawyers have uncovered shocking evidence of FBI and police misconduct, while surviving numerous government motions to dismiss the case.

For information on how you can help, please contact:

The Redwood Summer Justice Project

PO Box 14720

Santa Rosa, CA 95402

707-887-0262

Donations should be earmarked for the lawsuit

For A World Without the Terror of States

New York City’s financial center is still burning. As the rescue workers dig up the ruins buried embers reignite. The pall of smoke trickling from lower Manhattan is a constant reminder of the carnage and devastation NYC is just beginning to cope with. Rescue workers tell grim tales of body parts and charred remains. The papers posted all over town with “missing” written above their picture are getting worn and sadly ironic in the firm conviction that there is no one left to save. Except the rest of us perhaps.

The larger activist community in New York has sprung into action. A call went out and the meeting mobilizing for the Washington, DC IMF / World Bank protest was immediately transformed into a 150 person coalition to fight the drive toward war and the inevitable racist backlash. Four days later we met again and there were over 300. The coalition includes anti-globalization folks plus Vieques support, anti-prisons groups, Palestinian support, anarchists, older peace activists, and downtown students, many just arrived in NYC. While another huge coalition of old left and labor groups is arguing in midtown, the downtown coalition has done a candle light vigil against war and the racist backlash and the nations first major march from Union Square to the Times Square army recruiting station. The police tried to box us in but the five thousand person strong march proved too slippery and eventually took Times Square. Seven were arrested for standing on the sidewalk with the help of police from NJ, PA, OH, upstate NY, and the national guard. A motley invasion of our city has taken place.

New Yorkers are acting in a very new way. People are talking to each other, sometimes reaching out for support, sometimes arguing. Union Square has transformed itself spontaneously into a people’s free space. It began the night of the tragedy with people gathering at the edge of the police state zone around pieces of paper that individuals had taped to the ground with markers everywhere moving and expressing the torrent of feelings, most calling for mourning and for peace. A humble arab artist made a statue of a candle. Open dialogue circles erupted spontaneously and continue. There is a debate going on and people are not waiting to be spoon fed their dose. This happened here and we need to work this shit out. The scene is like a happening or a free state with people sharing food and music and a rare retreat for the NYPD. A chant of war was overpowered by Unity. The space is jammed with mini memorials to lost loved ones, flowers, candles, written texts. Sadly it is becoming a attraction for religious fanatics and tourists as well but the space is constantly transforming and fascinating.

You notice in the city that those closest to the blast zone felt it the most. They are the ones having the hardest time shaking off the tremors. We are just beginning to heal. Understand first and foremost that there were poor working people of color hit hard. Undocumented workers killed will probably never be identified. As the stock market opened and the financial dust storm kicked back into a nose dive, people all over the city still cannot get their welfare and workfare checks or food stamps. It’s not hard to see where the city’s priorities lie. And Adolph Giuliani has been transformed from lame duck wasted furniture to international hero and is in charge of $20 billion in rehab. I wonder what his priorities will be in distributing the cash. The NYPD moral and recruitment were at an all time low. They were backed into a corner. Years of terror swept away. Thousands of New Yorkers showed up to volunteer and were turned away day after day. We have been invaded and martial law continues in the financial district. What is the value of the 11 tons of gold buried under tons of smoldering rubble? As the world bank is forced into limbo and the protests go on in DC against a racists war machine we need to take a breath and reevaluate the anti-corporate globalization movement. It is a time to expand our scope and talk directly to the terror of bombing and sanctions as part of a larger call for global justice. The blood soaked billions are backed by guns in the hands of our puppet dictator’s minions as well as domestic police. Prison and drug war policy are our own domestic terror to keep a nation enslaved. Both Columbia and Afghanistan have been major tools in drug production. Where the US intervenes drug production flourishes.

The world will never be the same. And an increasingly militant movement has been pushed off of center stage by military terror. We were the warning that this was coming. We were screaming for this nation to wake up to its burden. Now we face the backlash against civil liberties at home. The “war on terrorism” will be a combination of the war on drugs and the Vietnam war: sustained, bloody persecution at home and across the sea. When will it end? As soon as we make it end, because they are creating a endless cycle of blood lust we must stop.

There are funeral services all over town. When people point down town you know what they mean. This horror. Now we get a taste. Sickening. A rescue worker showed me the blood on his gloves and described the stench. Terror breeds terror. This is the intent of right wing fundamentalists pushed to the brink and lashing out. Our right wing and theirs, working in unison. We need to bring this to a halt. No more innocents can die.

Love from NYC, for a world without the terror of states.