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Attack On City Hall

in regards to the molotov attack on city hall.
on tuesday april 1st, word on the streets is that someone(s) throw a molotov coctail into or at city hall in downtown santa cruz. rumor also has it that the attack was against the war. this was appranty done in broad daylight. the increased police presence and reports of lots of cops at city hall support what i've heard.

some have stated that the attack is unfounded because the city council was one of the few to pass a resolution against the war in iraq. this is shallow thinking. though the council may make symbolic statements to please their liberal supporters, in action they support the war. through the allowance of millitary stations, extraction of resouces, allocation of funding for roads, communications, and electricity the council maintains the infrastructure necessary for war. and not just the war in iraq but the war against the earth. and let us not forget the council's support of the police and the war on the poor.

at some point all governments impose their agenda upon the populace. it is not about regime change but the eradication of regimes. the destruction of the oppressi ve apparatus and the opeing up of possibilities to create our lives as we see fit.

i support all such attacks and hope that they will increase and generalize.

may those involved in this attack stay free.
 
 


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Finally some REAL direct action

This fire seems to be the first REAL non-violent direct action taken against the governmental-capitalist war machine in this area: the city hall is, of course, just a branch of that machine, working inside the same philosophy and framework of enslaving people and raping the earth, and the action was nonviolent because no one was injured or killed. Let's hope we see some more REAL nonviolent direct action of this type, both pointed directly at the more obvious tentacle of the military, and at other targets.
 

non violent?

How can anyone say that arson is non-violent direct action?
How can anyone who is against war endorse violent protest?
How do you think you will change the world for the better by becoming the thing you say you hate?
 

Non VIOLENT?

So, the molotov coctail is non-violent because it didn't kill anyone? Than I guess the bombs that are dropping on Iraq are non-violent, as long is they don't kill anyone. Another stupid argument from stupid people. If you don't want to live in society, move to the woods. We'll all be better off without you, anyway.
 

Deaths

You mean no humans were killed, two cats got killed
 

beyond violence vs. non-violence


in regards to the molotov attack on city hall.

on tuesday april 1st, word on the streets is that someone(s) throw a molotov coctail into or at city hall in downtown santa cruz. rumor also has it that the attack was against the war. this was appranty done in broad daylight. the increased police presence and reports of lots of cops at city hall support what i've heard.

some have stated that the attack is unfounded because the city council was one of the few to pass a resolution against the war in iraq. this is shallow thinking. though the council may make symbolic statements to please their liberal supporters, in action they support the war. through the allowance of millitary stations, extraction of resouces, allocation of funding for roads, communications, and electricity the council maintains the infrastructure necessary for war. and not just the war in iraq but the war against the earth. and let us not forget the council's support of the police and the war on the poor.

at some point all governments impose their agenda upon the populace. it is not about regime change but the eradication of regimes. the destruction of the oppressi ve apparatus and the opeing up of possibilities to create our lives as we see fit.

i support all such attacks and hope that they will increase and generalize.

may those involved in this attack stay free.

 

violence against property

If you destroy someone's property, don't they have to replace or repair it?
How is that expense different from robbery?
If you destroy public property, don't taxpayers have to pay to replace or repair it?
Do people have the option of not paying their taxes?
If they don't pay their taxes, won't violence (seizure) or the threat of violence (armed collection agents) be used to get them to pay?
Maybe the victims are insured, but don't their premiums go up? If enough of this "non violence" happens, won't premiums go higher for all? Might insurance become impossible to get?
 

beyond violence vs. nonviolence

Personally, i like living in the woods, and i like living with people (preferably in the woods with people), but i don't like "civilization" if being "civil" means putting up with shit jobs, exploitive landlords, relationships mediated by money and restricted by government, and protest strategies and tactics that can't cross over the mote of "historical inevitability" which surrounds our present capitalist system.

And, yet, i also don't support this action as an anti-war action. If the attack did, indeed, have something to do with the war in Iraq, it is an absurd target. If it was an attack against government, generally, fine, but the personnel offices of the City of Santa Cruz are so utterly irrelavent to the war effort that any claims to be attacking systemic and infrastructural support for the war are laughable. There are much more strategic nodes of state and capitalist power in so far as its warmaking ability is concerned than these offices, even if one is focusing on the local "war against the poor" (which designation honestly strikes me as more of an effort on the part of Robert Norse to capitalize on the growing peace movement to draw attention to his pet issues).

I would tend to agree with the above comment that this action is ill-advised, but it is ill-advised on the level of strategy, not tactics. Likewise, i would agree that calling this action nonviolent is stupid. It continually escapes my understanding, why it is that self-described militants and revolutionaries are so eager to jump on the "non-violence" bandwaggon and attempt to claim the label for themselves.

Naturally, it is important to draw the distinction between attacks against people and attacks against capital. It is important to point out the idiocy of statements like those coming from Tim Fitzmaurice when he claims that the action (at 2:15am) somehow endangered the lives of city workers. Not that it absolutely didn't, but the likelihood is so low that there are so many other issues that could be addressed.

To claim that attacks against property are nonviolent is a cop-out. At best, it is a refusal to recognize that we are living under a capitalist system that conflates the rights of private property with the freedoms of human beings, whatever one may think of that arrangement.

To physically attack a storefront window, a government office, a military installation is to violate the sanctity and the sense of entitlement of that retail outlet, of that government, of that military. In that sense, it is violent. Any threat to these powers will be construed as violent, no matter whether anyone gets hurt or any property gets destroyed. Even pacifist demostrations will be considered violent IF THEY ARE EFFECTIVE. The extent to which a particular action is labeled by those in power as "violent" often indicates the extent to which it is successful at subverting (or VIOLATING) their power. Conversely, the extent to which a particular action is labeled by those in power as "peaceful" often indicates the extent to which it can be controlled or recuperated under the logic of those in power.

However, we must resist the urge to allow those in power to measure our effectiveness for us in this way. Violence is the inevitable by-product of resistance and the building of "dual power", but it should never be the goal of that resistance. Those who fetishize property destruction as the primary tool in the struggle for liberation would do well to remember Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass", in which thousands of synagogues and jewish homes and businesses were trashed by Nazi youth during pogroms in late 1938). The racist, sexist and reactionary character of popular insurrections against the upper classes as recently portrayed in "Gangs of New York" is another lesson to be heeded.

The goal should not be simply to subvert, emasculate or violate state or capitalist power, much less appropriate it in the manner of Stalin, Mao or Castro. The goal should be to build a generalized power dynamic that reflects our values of individual liberties and mutual aid. Most of us would agree that coercive force should be avoided or minimized, but this should be done out of common decency and a libertarian ethic, not out of deference to a narrow reading of the history of "non-violent" (sic) struggle or some Gandhian orthodoxy.

Ultimately, i think we need to cease using "non-violence" as the register of our ethical conduct. The term is fluid semantically and hence entirely subject to manipulation by those who have greater control over popular consensus than ourselves. When used by those in power, the meaning of "violence" and "non-violence" varies according to how threatened they feel. When used by dissidents, "non-violence" is generally associated more with a narrow field of tactical praxis or certain political idologies than any real ethic.

Perhaps if we stopped having this interminable debate over "violence vs. non-violence"--which turns most often into a semantic debate, not even a tactical one--we could turn our attention to questions of strategy. If this action was strategically ill-advised, it's not because the perpetrators are stupid. It could be that we could all develop some better strategy if there were less derision heaped upon advocates of militant tactics, if those advocates were not so systematically ostracized from any strategic discussion. It might help if people like "inquiringmind", above, could learn to recognize the immense qualitative chasm separating the US imperial war machine from attacks against government infrastructure which take no lives (except for possibly a couple cats--where did this information about the cats come from, anyway?). It might also help if people like Jerry would consider that not all advocates of attacks against government property are anti-social troglodytes. Some may, in fact, live in the woods out of necessity. Some may have been marginalized by the City's pogrom against the poor and homeless. Jerry's words help this situation not a whit. On the other side, the tactical chauvenism of cheerleaders for property destruction like "Gandhi Satyagraha" doesn't get us any closer to developing effective and ethical strategies to counter oppression, here and in Iraq.

The point is that we need dialog, but not the dialog that so much of Santa Cruz's progressive scene is attached to: namely, dialog to the end of consensus building. We don't need to have consensus to be effective and ethical. We need discussion and coordination.
 

Stop Talking and Start Fighting And Loving!!

While I mostly agree with Woods Dweller, I think that all you folks need to spend more time talking to real people face to face and taking real action to mutually aid your neighbors or mutually sabotaging your enemies and a hell of a lot less time staring at a computer screen. Nuf said.
 

re: violence against property (to Inquiring Mind_

> If you destroy someone's property, don't they have to
replace or repair it?

Well, they don't *have* to, they choose to, but yes the victim loses one way or another.

> How is that expense different from robbery?

If I steal something, and I'm so well armed that you can't hope to get it back from me, but you can find a way to destroy that which I stole, isn't the goal of depriving a thief of the benefit of their ill-gotten gains, a worthy one?

People say we live in a capitalist society, but any capitalist will tell you that "taxation" - the forced extraction of value from another without voluntary exchange - is theft. (Read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand for an excellent illustration of this perspective.)

"Taxation", "tribute to the king", "protection money", it's all the same - give us money to spend as we see fit, or we'll hurt you. (And maybe we'll throw out a few freebies to a few folks so we can pretend we're "public servants", so long as we can keep most of the loot for our own purposes.)

I don't care if you then turn around and give it all to Mother Theresa to feed newborns in Calcutta - it's still theft.

Nor do I care how many people you have stating their voluntary agreement to participate in this little charity - those who wish not to contribute, are still made victims of theft. "Democracy" only applies to atomic resources - that which cannot be divided. But our cash supply is already divided into what's mine and what's yours, and so-called Democracy needs to learn to keep its greedy little hands out of people's wallets, else it becomes mere majority tyranny.

> If you destroy public property, don't taxpayers have to
> pay to replace or repair it?

No, the govt pays to replace or repair it - with stolen money.

If you take a stolen car from a car thief, doesn't he have to steal another car to replace it? Guess we should stop punishing car thieves, huh?

> Do people have the option of not paying their taxes?

We have the option of refusing to make it easy for them, but eventually they'll come after us with guns and take our money. Even if they have to kill us while we try to defend what's ours. So no, we can't stop them and thus don't really have the option. The only option we have is to go to lose everything we have, go to prison, or die.

> If they don't pay their taxes, won't violence (seizure)
> or the threat of violence (armed collection agents) be
> used to get them to pay?

Yep, organized crime gangs are like that - especially the ones whose soldiers wear badges and blue uniforms. They try to hold everyone hostage against their neighbor, and promise that if you fight them today, they'll only punish your neighbor tomorrow.

It's their slimy way of turning your neighbor against you, and you against him. It's called Divide and Conquer. It works in any society where people care more about themselves than the common good.

> Maybe the victims are insured, but don't their premiums
> go up? If enough of this "non violence" happens, won't
> premiums go higher for all? Might insurance become
> impossible to get?

That is a matter for each individual to negotiate with his or her insurer of choice (except in evil police states like Kalifornia, where the govt controls which insurance agents with which you're permitted to contract. But that's the fault of Kalifornia and its "law enforcement" warrior class.)

Your philosophy of moral causality fails to consider the obligations that come with free will. We are each 110% responsible for *every* decision we make, and for the deterministic forces we set into motion. But any repercussions from the decisions of others, are not our responsibility.

Even in self-defense, moral causality is inferior to free will. Say, for example, some lunatic holds a gun to my head, puts a knife in my hand, and tells me to stab your daughter in the stomach (an awful, but surgically repairable, injury). If I do, he'll leave. If I don't, he'll blow my brains out and I'll surely die.

By your reasoning, I should stab your daughter in the name of the greater good.

By my reasoning, I'd rather die than do someone else's dirty work just to save my own sorry skin.

Now tell me which code of ethics is more likely to produce a stable, sane, and more importantly - truly civil - society.

My point? Do not blame this arsonist for what govt officials may now do to you or I, no matter how loudly they claim to be acting in our name. The two are morally unrelated.

Even if you accept the taxes you're made to pay, and accept in return the idea that you own a share of city govt - the problem is that you now also own a share of responsibility for the evil that even our own Santa Cruz city municipal machine commits on a daily basis in the form of punishing (and then profiting off of) countless people for victimless so-called crimes.

When you let your dog run loose in the neighborhood and it develops a fondness for mauling random strangers even on their own property, don't cry foul when someone finally shoots that dog - even if it was only sleeping on your doorstep at that moment.

-Van

p.s. Hello to all you ATF/OHS guys reading this site thinking "That's it! We found the arsonist!" Fucking morons.

p.p.s. My opinion? I have no idea who did the fires or why, and speculation on the matter is like speculating on a random hit against a mob boss. When you're involved in that much shit, you make so many serious enemies that it could be anybody.

I'm just amazed someone in Santa Cruz showed the intestinal fortitude to actually do this, regardless of whether their reason was valid or bullshit. This is normally such a hot-air town.
 

Kabul Around the Corner

Kabul Around the Corner

"I come as a thief in the night, my sword drawn in hand, and as the thief that I am, I say: Give me your purse, give it to me, rogue, or I'll cut your throat! I say give it to the beggars, to the thieves, to the whores, to the pickpockets that are flesh of your flesh and that are quite equal to you, those who are ready to die of hunger in pestilential prisons and filthy dungeons have everything in common, otherwise the scourge of God will cut down all that you have in order to putrefy it and consume it."
-- Abiezer Coppe, 17th century England

The fire of anti-aircraft guns illuminates the Kabul night, and yet the war did not erupt either today or on September 11, 2001, the day of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York and a good part of the Pentagon. This war did not erupt in Afghanistan for the sole, valid reason that it had already erupted some time ago; for years, the entire world has lived in a state of permanent war.

We did not want to see how close Rwanda and Kosovo, Somalia and Bosnia, Algeria and Macedonia were to us. But the Boeings of September 11 have brought Jalalabad, Baghdad and Jericho into the hearts of our cities. Therefore, no one can any longer ignore the planetary gangrene that shows no signs of coming to an end, the chosen heir of modernity, of the technological era.

The industrial system has poisoned the earth, rendering it sterile; the opening of global markets has sent the peasant world into ruin; industrial restructuring has dismantled the old productive apparati; strategic and geopolitical necessities determined by the control of resources have unleashed unending conflicts capital, heavy with the immense possibilities that technology is providing to it, has broken up every possibility for autonomy, every past form of community in a large portion of the globe. At our latitudes, this same process has brought forth the precariousness that we have been tasting for the past few years, the abandonment of the old certainties and guarantees to which we were accustomed. Distorting the conditions of life for the exploited, capital has removed practical knowledge, the autonomous capacity to create one's existence for oneself. Where it still survives, the means of subsistence are mere appendages of a technological system that none of the exploited can understand or dream of controlling: no one knows what to do anymore; no one knows how to do anything. Goodbye, then, to every common feeling of the poor, to all collective identification, goodbye to the dream of appropriating this world and driving out its masters.

This is how, over the last twenty years, the planet has increasingly come to resemble a refugee camp. One runs from conflict or from a wasteland, from poverty or from dictatorship; one runs from a world one no longer recognizes. The old ways of life, of being together, have vanished irremediably, and nothing can be seen on the horizon. All that is left is hatred and fear, with more accumulating every day, and it is having difficulty finding an objective, an enemy to fight. This is why whether hidden or declared civil war has already broken out, everywhere.

To each their own then, in this macabre exhibition that celebrates the decomposition of an entire planet. Led by their masters, the exploited Yugoslavs' have slaughtered each other for years, convinced that their next-door neighbors were their enemies. The poor of Somalia and Rwanda have not acted so very differently.

Now the huge powder keg of the Islamic world is exploding. The poor have every intention and utter determination to call in accounts for years of suffering. Deprived of every concrete social connection apart from precariousness and fear most superimpose the words of the only common feeling that is proposed to them onto their rage, that of religion. The identification of a collective enemy causes fraternization beyond every boundary and every division; the epic poetry of the struggle against Evil fills History with meaning it speaks of a future promise and gives a meaning to past tribulations. This is why they wage war against the entire western world and not, instead, against those specifically responsible for their oppression: the masters and governors of the east and the west.

When you read these lines, we don't know what will be happening in Afghanistan or Iraq, we don't know what will be happening in Palestine. The bombs over Kabul precipitate events, increasingly channeling revolt in the Islamic world into the narrow path of religious war. The bombs over Kabul don't just wreak havoc on Afghani civilians, nor do they only cause further surges of refugees, nor do they just set the Middle East on fire: the bombs over Kabul also fall on our heads, finally giving meaning to our fear of the future, putting order into the social precariousness of these times. The hypocritical "anti-terrorist" rhetoric of the western powers terrorizes us and, at the same time, gives a name to our terror; it bestows on us a new enemy against whom we can fight: the exploited of the Islamic world, who are in Afghanistan and in Italy and America, instead of capitalist society, as was beginning to emerge in social conflicts. Therefore, it is not a collision between civilizations that is being fought. It is the realization of the civilization of capital, its ripest fruit putrefaction, death, war between the poor.

Not a single word of peace makes sense anymore; no mediation is possible when the desperation of the poor breaks through the doors of a world that is falling to pieces. All that we can oppose to the bombs over Kabul is class attack: freeing the hatred that smolders and hurling it against those responsible for our oppression and that of all of the poor of the world. Identifying the common enemy with precision the masters, the rulers, the technological and productive network is the first concrete form of solidarity toward the bombed, toward the refugees. Attacking this enemy is the only message of fraternity that we can send to the exploited of the world, the only tool that we have for transforming the war between the poor that is about to set the world on fire into a war of liberation from exploitation and from authority.

-- Strangers Everywhere, Italy
 

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