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D1. Anarchism

Don’t Panic, Stay Tight: Frontline Reflections on Block Cop City

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/26/2023 - 21:35

A critical reflection on the recent Block Cop City mobilization in so-called Atlanta, Georgia.

“You fight with the army you have, not the army you wish you had.”

On Monday, November 13th, a group of about 350 people marched from Gresham Park to Constitution Road in an effort to march onto the Cop City construction site. We participated as an affinity group of five people from Atlanta.

We are writing this report back as a group that was initially skeptical of the Block Cop City initiative, finding the “nonviolent direct action” framework a bit naive. We are not among those who thought it “dangerous” or “liberal.” As revolutionaries, we chose to participate despite our reservations, recognizing that the world is not always as we want it to be. We saw few alternate avenues for mass participation in the wake of a failed referendum campaign and an objective decline in the frequency of clandestine actions. We offer our experience, analysis, and critiques from a place of respect for all the organizers and participants, and a desire for revolution in our lifetime.

We unequivocally denounce and distance ourselves from the opportunistic, shameful, and unsolidaristic statements and screeds written by bloggers, passive spectators, and media spokespeople from the City government about this mobilization and its proponents over the last several months. May we all outgrow that part of ourselves seeking to demean and belittle people we disagree with.

We send our humble greetings to those who participated in the front of the clash and also those who reportedly set fire to 16 Ernst Concrete trucks on the night of the 13th. We are also proud and inspired by the vigil at Dekalb County Jail during which inmates broke windows, set fire to a bush outside the jail, and successfully lowered plastic bags to the ground; bags which protesters filled with cigarettes, lighters, and pizza. While Block Cop City caused hundreds of police to evacuate the construction site of all equipment, the reported direct action on the night of the 13th extended the consequences of the initiative well into the future, halting construction for at least a week and forcing the APF’s concrete provider to unceremoniously back out.


The first day of the spokescouncil was an opening presentation and Q&A closing. About 450 people crowded the room, a majority of which were not from Atlanta and had never been to the forest. Many had never been to a protest involving tear gas or less lethal munitions, and a significant percentage had never been to a protest at all. Accordingly, a basic framework for the action was shared as well as some rather necessary information about the forest, the roads surrounding it, and the activity happening there recently. More specific details about the content of the action were discussed the next day.

Organizers of the spokescouncil took responsibility for coordinating hundreds of strangers into a collective conversation, and they did a good job. They declared their support and solidarity with acts of combative protest and clandestine sabotage within the movement. The room, which remained dedicated to tactical nonviolence for the morning and mid-day of November 13th in the vicinity of the Weelaunee forest only, chanted in unison, “If you build it, we will burn it!”

At the opening of the second day of the spokecouncil, roughly 30 minutes of the allotted time were taken up by someone who had no intention of attending the action and actively encouraged others not to attend. In a confusing and cliche-filled rant reminiscent of a counter-insurgency handbook script, they suggested that Muscogee people did not support the initiate. They simultaneously accused the group of not being militant enough and of not being careful enough. Another Muscogee person briefly combated them, vocally supporting forest defenders’ bravery and courage. Belkis Teran spoke up and shared ideas for supportive roles for those who did not want to attend the action and led the spokescouncil in chants. The opening remarks were closed, and the spokescouncil broke out into color clusters.

The colors were not divided into risk level. Instead, they were divided by position within the march, and by roles. The Blue was the vanguard cluster, assigning itself the responsibility of setting the pace and of clearing obstacles and police if the occasion arose. The Purple was the middle force, assigning itself the responsibility of filling space cleared by Blue, and of planting tree saplings, playing music, and maintaining morale. The Orange cluster was the rearguard, assigning itself the responsibility of maintaining a solid defense from behind, and a safe zone for others to retreat to in case of injury or chaos.

We participated in the Blue cluster. It seemed that the Blue group volunteers were among the most experienced participants in the room. The group did not have some of the anxieties expressed by other members of the general spokescouncil about adventurous outsiders or legal risks. We discussed tactics with ease and without a need for ideological or strategic debate. The framework of strategic nonviolence was accepted and the task of breaching the site within these parameters was discussed in some detail.

After discussing likely police reactions, we decided to maintain “perpetual forward momentum.” For our cluster, this meant that we would not indulge in stare downs or face-offs with the police. Since this was not a photo-op, and since we had nothing to communicate to them, we did not care to yell or chant at cops outfitted in tactical gear. We decided to move around them if possible and through them if necessary. We discussed possible munitions at length, and determined that the use of less lethal munitions would not make us retreat automatically, and that we would only turn around if we were physically incapable of continuing forward. Later, we relayed this to the general spokescouncil.


When we arrived at Gresham Park on the morning of Monday the 13th, it became abundantly clear that this was not the “Mass Action” we had been hoping for. It seemed that about a third of the people who had come to Atlanta for the weekend had opted to take on offsite support roles, and very few locals showed up. The march set off with 300-400 people, many of whom were extremely anxious and insisted on stopping every 10-12 steps so that the crowd could “stay together.” As locals, we take partial responsibility for not better inoculating newcomers to the fact that the first 1.5 miles would be on the bike path and through side streets where we were highly unlikely to meet a police response.

The route successfully misdirected the police. Multiple lines of riot cops crowded into the bike tunnel beneath Bouldercrest Road, anticipating we would replicate the route we took into Intrenchment Creek Park on the first morning of the 5th Week of Action (March 2023), which we attempted to take again during the 6th Week of Action (July 2023). When we turned off the bike path onto Cherry Valley Drive, the police had to scramble to regroup. In an online blog post titled “Participant Reflections on Block Cop City,” the author(s) incorrectly claimed:

Even on the day of the action, the planned route that had been agreed upon (marching down constitution road rather than the bike path) was discarded in favor of marching up the bike path, a narrow choke-point that ended in a fortified tunnel full of Dekalb County Police officers. People were then funneled back onto the street, ending up on constitution road anyway. From start to finish, it seemed that the police controlled and chose the route that protestors took.

We are grateful for this article, because it offers real insights from a participant without the smug and self-aggrandizing tone and perspective of many other articles and denunciations. We respectfully disagree with the above excerpt, and many other parts of the report as well. Perhaps the author(s) lack of familiarity with the terrain impacted their analysis of what was happening or of what was possible. The part of Gresham Park we departed from does not connect with Constitution Road, and it is necessary to either take another road or the bike path to reach it. Moreover, the march did not encounter any lines of police on the bike path, thus it did not decide to turn on account of their presence. Finally, there was no publicly agreed-upon route. Instead, Block Cop City organizers assured us continuously that not all information was safe to share during the spokes-councils, including the route. We agree with the decision to keep the route a secret until the morning of the action. We expected this, and have experienced this many times in black blocs, counter-summits, and break-away marches. We believe that the secrecy of the route helped produce a situation in which we could engage on our own terms, in spite of the superior weaponry of the authorities, as well as their commitment to violence in the face of the crowd’s commitment to nonviolence.

For those who can only visualize this information bottleneck from afar due to their lack of participation, picture anonymous people in balaclavas, hoodies, sunglasses, gloves, etc. discreetly sharing the march route with those who seemed to come donning similar outfits.


Upon meeting the line of riot cops, the Blue cluster continued without hesitation, forming the two banners into a v-shaped wedge. The wedge broke through the police line, as planned the night before. 50-60 protesters from the Blue and Purple cluster got behind the banners, chanting and pushing through three lines of riot police before being blinded and suffocated by tear gas and pepper spray. As the Blue cluster retreated, the Purple cluster scattered amidst the wafting tear gas. The Orange cluster more or less held their position in the street. Many may have been unable to see the clash at all. They gave others a stable crowd to reassemble with or blend into. The clash was more ambitious than the parameters for confrontation discussed at the spokescouncil. Spokes had discussed that if there were multiple lines of riot cops, we would consider alternative routes. We commend the bravery of the Blue cluster, which proceeded until it no longer could, and prevented police from grabbing individuals as we retreated.


As we passed the fire station, I could see a line of armored riot cops filing into Constitution from the direction of the Internchment Creek Park lot. “They’re playing our game,” said one friend. We kept marching, many of us starting to beat our chests and howl like a pack of wolves in unison. Two cops came forward from the main line, seeking to act as negotiators, holding up a peace sign with one hand while the other gripped his riot shield. “Are we doing this?” I asked. “Hell yeah!” someone responded. “Go toward the little one!” yelled another friend, pointing at one of the (still quite large) cops. The first two cops were bounced off the banners like water off a duck’s back. Then came the crush of the crowd against the shields and batons. Large men pushing their full weight into 20-year-old women who can’t have weighed much over 100 lbs. For a moment, I could hear the logical, risk-averse voice in my head screaming, “Run! They’ve got you surrounded!” But by that time, thankfully, it was too late. I temporarily ceased to be an individual, became an organism whose only function was to push forward, holding those in front of me and held by those behind me. I dropped my shoulder into it and moved ahead against the resistance, supported by all those around me and awash in the ecstasy of a good mosh pit. Line after line of police fell away. It seemed we were unstoppable, until the banner-holders fell down under fire of rubber bullets and bean-bag rounds. As we promptly lifted them back up, I felt my friend with whom I had linked arms retreating. Only then did I realize I could scarcely see or breathe, having been shielded by the umbrella or the adrenaline or some combination of the two.


When I saw the line of police, a sense of relief washed over me. I knew that we stood no chance of making it into the construction site when I saw the crowd at the meet-up point. I was worried that all of these people would have come to Atlanta for nothing. The lines of police showed me my concerns were unfounded. While many people prefer to evade the clash, to move around the danger, to stick to the shadows, I have always preferred the front lines, the exploding canisters, the sour smell of the tear gas, the wild crush of the crowd. Real knowledge lives in the body, not the mind. The experience of the mob howling in unison, linking arms, rushing headlong into lines of police, is worth years of speculation and theorizing. If we were more numerous, we would have doubtlessly split into multiple corridors to spread the police response thin. “Be water”: such is the fashionable watchword. In that case, I probably would have stayed with the big group, certain that they would be fortunate enough to confront the riot police directly. To my left and right, my friends were shoving umbrellas upward, pushing ahead in the dense throng. For a few moments, it was dark and almost silent. The veil of the umbrellas, the silent heaving, and incredible pressure of the comrades packed together behind the banners is an experience you can’t describe easily for those who have never felt it. Eventually, I couldn’t breath anymore and I grabbed someone as I retreated. Thankfully we didn’t make it past the fourth line of officers. We would have all been arrested.


For the first hour of the march, I was bored. It wasn’t a contemplative boredom but an agitated one. I wasn’t nervous but I could tell other people around me were. As we left the park someone yelled, “It’s not a march, it’s a direct action.” If I had heard that earlier I might have felt better about the character of the march but it was too late. I had no time to adjust my expectations. What I love in crowds was missing. I’ve walked up the bike path, into and out of the forest, countless times. Sometimes walking my dog, other times evading the police. We walked slow. There must have been thirty photographers back-peddling in front of the banners. If we confront the police now, they’ll be the ones having to break through their line. When we turned onto Cherry Valley things started to change. The sound-system found its way to the front, neighbors came out of their houses, and then the police came into view. The energy was growing. As we got closer the clarity pushed us faster. The indecision, the anxiety, the debate, was over. There was consensus. We are going to clash. There was no talking or even words anymore, just “Ah-ooh” “Ah-ooh.” We started to break through the riot police. I kept my head up, looking at the police as they fought to hold us back. One of them pulled a shotgun with orange tape up and pointed it right into my face. I looked down. I was being pushed in every direction and I was pushing in every direction. We are making it through, I could feel it.


The march did not retreat at the first use of police munitions or force. In fact, the wedge faced police batons, pepper spray, pepper balls, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds, and teargas from the first moment of contact with the skirmish line. The first canister of tear gas was shot above the Blue cluster, landing in the middle of the Purple group. The preparedness of some people in the front, including those who brought umbrellas and goggles, went a long way in limiting the consequence of those munitions and batons on the Blue and Purple clusters. The use of heat-resistance gloves by a single person in the Purple cluster allowed them to throw the canister of noxious gas away from the crowd.

While the clash was unfolding up front, two people in black clothing, one of them wearing a camouflage baseball hat, attacked someone pushing a sound system in the middle of the crowd. They screamed, “The hyenas were right, fuck you guys and fuck your plans!” They are certainly referring to a few bloggers who have spent the better part of the last 10 months publishing strange theories and gossip online. We do not think that the hyenas themselves would have ever participated in this kind of action against the march. At least one interpretation of their writings have allowed two people to justify attacking anarchists who were trying to push through lines of riot police. This was misguided and cowardly. We don’t know what these two people were thinking, but we hope they reflect on their actions with humility and clarity instead of doubling-down on their obscene, authoritarian, decision. The two opportunists were not up front with the action. They fell back in fright when the tear gas and concussion grenades began landing in the road after the eventual retreat of the wedge.

It is quite possible that had more people from the Purple cluster rushed forward to fill the space we cleared, the march could have continued past the first lines of police.  Given the number of marchers and the overwhelming reinforcements staged farther down Constitution Road, continuing ahead would likely have resulted in many arrests and more injuries. Nobody can say for sure if pushing through would have necessarily allowed us to get on the site. Given that the Police Foundation already cancelled construction for the day in anticipation of the march, occupying the site at all costs would have been a fool’s errand. We feel good about the crowd’s decision to retreat when it did, with no arrests and only minor injuries.

After the long retreat, out of harm’s way, hundreds of people broke out into small groups and discussed ways to continue fighting Cop City in the coming hours, days, weeks, and months.

While we reject the idea that direct action can or should always be safe and scripted, we felt satisfied with this action, which was able to engage in a frontal clash with the police without serious negative consequences.


We applaud everyone who took initiative to organize this convergence. We know that the punishment for taking initiative is the gossip, animosity, bitterness, resentment, and shit-talk of spectators, jealous people, die-hards, and ideologues. We do not want to add our voices to the obnoxious chit-chat. The following reflections should be read with a convivial and light-hearted tone, the tone of people reviewing a collaborative art piece, or members of a band reflecting on their collective performance.

In general, we disagree with the setting of nonviolent parameters. Frankly, we disagree with tactical parameters in general and with the minutely “organized” coordination of events, although we recognize that this type of attention to detail makes some people feel more confident and brave. We also recognize that it is impossible to know if this crowd could have even materialized without the parameters. We do not believe that it is possible to know if the “nonviolence” language in the promotion helped or hindered attendance without conducting a thorough interview with attendees before the action occurred. It is our unprovable suspicion that it did not increase participation much, and that it only shifted it from one segment of the population to another. It is also conceivable that a high percentage of those in attendance would have attended if the event was only branded as a “mass direct action.” We did not put in the energy to organize a convergence of this nature, so we cannot be sure of all the details and considerations informing the discoursive framing of the event.

Without the parameters, we may have seen a more militant and experienced crowd. Perhaps it would have been smaller, but more capable. We do not know if this is true either, judging by the small demonstration following Tortuguita’s murder, and the small crowd that assembled for the 6th Week of Action. Regardless, given the forces we had and the terrain (which is currently much more favorable to police than protesters), it made sense to pull some of our punches.

Perhaps an intention of the organizers in setting these parameters was to re-establish trust with the socialist and abolitionist Left, factions of which used March 5th as an excuse to distance themselves from the direct action-oriented segments of the movement. In our experience, though they support bold action abstractly, these parts of the local Left never really show up to actions they do not organize. This does not mean they are untrustworthy. We also respect and understand efforts to build alliances, because we believe that the real nature of politics is war, and the side with greater alliances can ultimately marshall the greater force. That said, we don’t think the mobilization worked to build those alliances as intended. We hope to be proven wrong.

We also recognize that an innovative and misleading form of political queitism is re-emerging at this phase of the movement. Some people have taken to over-emphasizing the violence and capacity of the police, hoping to lead people to believe that only extremely disciplined, clandestine action is adequate for the task at hand. This framework is lodged energetically somewhere in the political Venn-diagram connecting the “we keep us safe” community organizer world, the “nihilist” environmentalist subculture, and the militarist orientation of left wing militias. Because proponents of this framework cannot be held accountable for following through on their proposals (since it would be an unjustifiable security risk to inquire), we believe that for most (but not all) proponents of this theory, it is just the latest and most fashionable way to retreat from real confrontation with Cop City and its supporters. We are not a part of this tendency.

We hope the disproportionate police response dispelled the narrative that pacifism can keep us safe from police violence, while re-broadening the definition of “nonviolence” back to where it was during the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-War movement of the 1960s and 70s. More than that, we hope that some of those who participated feel encouraged to take confident and bold initiative moving forward, with whatever means or tactics they prefer.

Fight peacefully, fight forcefully. However you are willing, just fight.


We will not know the real consequences of this experiment for at least a couple weeks or months. For our part, we feel that the BCC action did well to “break the spell” of the RICO indictments and general atmosphere of repression. Some of us had grown wary of public demos, extremely fearful of arrest and long-term legal consequences despite being seasoned participants in the riotous events of the George Floyd Uprising and prior. Police arrested only one person during the weekend. They were not in the crowd or in the march. That person was charged with misdemeanor obstruction. If we were to guess, we think that the movement has created circumstances in which the state feels it can no longer charge people with Domestic Terrorism and RICO, for to do so weakens the initial case. The last ten people arrested in the vicinity of the forest or even on the construction site have only received misdemeanor charges. This may be a higher level strategy of the prosecutor to illustrate that they have a discriminate strategy of law enforcement, and are only charging “actual terrorists” with terrorism. Only more action can clarify this matter.

We hope to see self-directed action taking place in cities across America continuing the protracted struggle against Cop City. The paths proposed in the “What’s Next” info session on Sunday–chiefly the “Uncover Cop City” campaign targeting insurance providers Nationwide and Accident Fund–should be undertaken with the same tenacity as was the campaign against Atlas Technical Consultants, who dropped out of the project after “you guys smashed all our windows,” according to an executive.


In a final debrief session following the action, one participant noted a tension within the reflections of many other attendees: on the one hand, people decried organizers for not taking more responsibility for keeping everyone safe (e.g. through mass purchase of respirators and goggles); on the other hand, they criticized organizers for being hierarchical. When they say “hierarchical,” we think they must mean that there was some discretion and secrecy about the route and the anonymous group who intended to break down the perimeter fence. We can’t really think of what else they could have meant, because the organization of the weekend was gratuitously, painfully, democratic. We would have preferred a slightly less democratic weekended, even. We do not think that secrecy is a true hierarchy, but we understand that hierarchies do often involve an element of secrecy.

We also do not think that debate and principled disagreement are forms of “dismissal,” as has been claimed elsewhere. From time to time, individuals or groups make objections or claims with the tone of someone who has been silenced or harmed, even if they have not. If their concern or idea is not immediately adopted by everyone, they claim to be “silenced.” This, we feel, is the real authoritarianism we see in movements time an again. We also believe that those who act this way do not always realize the effects their actions have on others and probably do not intend to consolidate influence for themselves, even if their actions do often come across that way to others.

During the Block Cop City weekend, several of these contradictory positions were frequently expressed by the same small group. The comrade who pointed out this tension later did so in a kind and thoughtful manner, suggesting that this represented a sort of dialectical awakening of autonomy in the heart of each individual. We all have to confront the terrible burden of autonomy and freedom head-on.

In the end, there is only anarchy and the fear of anarchy. Let’s keep pushing ahead by every single means at our disposal.

photo: Defend the Atlanta Forest on Twitter

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Statement on the Recent Arrests in Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/26/2023 - 10:12

Statement from the support group in solidarity with Miguel Peralta following the recent arrests of three more community members from Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Oaxaca.

The Indigenous Mazatec community of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón is a factory where they manufacture crimes through a combination of political party-caciquismo, state corruption, impunity, and indolence.

Since 2010, Indigenous women, men, children, and elders of the municipality of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, in the state of Oaxaca, have been under siege by a cacique group led by Elisa Zepeda Lagunas and her father Manuel Zepeda Cortés.

The cacique family has utilized their different political positions at the municipal and state levels to orchestrate the continued persecution in complicity with different levels of government in Oaxaca, the judicial power of Oaxaca, and the legislative power at the state and national levels.

For thirteen years the people of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón have seen their right to live in freedom and peace trampled on. The community fabric has been unraveled by the systemic repression that the state has permitted and participated in.

The tolerance of the persecution against the Mazatec people of Nguixó is outrageous. They have faced political imprisonment, arrest warrants, fabrication of crimes, half-century prison sentences—like that which was imposed twice on Miguel Peralta—public accusations, harassment, and media attacks.

It is shameless the way the Zepeda Laguna cacique family has used the three branches of government—executive, legislative, and mainly judicial—to prevent community organization. The racism is evident against Indigenous peoples who defend their own forms of representation, their natural resources, and their territory. That is to say, their right to live.

Until when? What more? How many more arrests are they going to carry out for fabricated crimes? How many more acts of torture are they going to allow? How many more freedoms do they intend to snatch away? Their lies do not have any substance. It is clear that they govern tyrannically, and that political persecution is the method chosen by Elisa Zepeda, her cacique group, and her family, to impose themselves in the Sierra Mazateca and the state of Oaxaca. In the face of all this, we continue making noise to demand:

End the persecution in all its repressive forms against the Mazatec people of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón! Immediate freedom for Jaime Viduaria, Artemio Viduaria, Ranulfo Viduaria, Alfredo Bolaños, Fernando Gavito, Francisco Durán, Paul Reyes, and Marcelino Miramón! Absolute freedom for Herminio Monfil, Jaime Betanzos, and Miguel Peralta!

Enough already of the impunity and simulation of justice! The state’s justice only serves those in power. All of the arrests carried out against the compañerxs of Nguixó have been illegal because the crimes for which they are accused don’t exist. What exists is manipulation, and criminalization against those who resist in Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, both inside and outside the community, in the streets, in the encampments, in the mobilizations, in the prisons, in persecution, in exile from the community.

Freedom for all the Prisoners, Persecuted, and Processed of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón!

Down with the Prison Walls!

Supreme Court Take the Case!

Eloxochitlán Resists!

Peralta Betanzos Family (from Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, ex-prisoners and persecuted), Grupo de apoyo en solidaridad con Miguel Peralta, Grupo Solidario de la Mazateca con los presos y perseguidos políticos, Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, Colectivo contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (CCTI), Los Otros Abogadoz, Axolote Radio, Cruz Negra Anarquista México, IndiosSinDios, Valentín Peralta (Plastivaleando), Colectivo Revuelta, Antagonismo Editorial, Red Mujeres Violeta AC, Amigos de Mumia en México, Herbolaria y Somática, Confederación General del Trabajo en España, Libre Ya Comisión por Karla y Magda, Luis Betanzos, Amador Betanzos, Teodora Montalvo, Comité Integral de Derecho Humanos Gobixha AC, Espacio Autogestivo Casa Moustra (Oaxaca), Ya Basta Netz (Alemania), Tlamino

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Kite Line: Block Cop City

It's Going Down - Sat, 11/25/2023 - 16:45

Long running abolitionist radio show and podcast Kite Line speaks on the recent mobilizations against Cop City in so-called Atlanta, GA.

Listen and Download HERE

Since 2021, a diverse movement in has challenged the construction of Cop City, which is slated to destroy Atlanta’s South River Forest.  The forest is also known by its Muscogee name, Weelaunee.  The movement has created new intersections between abolitionist and environmental politics, since it is defending a forest with important ecological elements for the surrounding Black community, in order to protest the creation of new police training facilities.

In the movement’s latest phase, a new coalition called Block Cop City made an ambitious proposal for mass, non-violent action.  That action forced the city to suspend construction that day- and as of our airdate – has not resumed in the days since.

Here are selections from the statement issued by Block Cop City about the mobilization:

On November 13th, a bold and joyful procession of roughly 500 people marched along a public road to the proposed Cop City construction site. Holding banners and giant puppets, and accompanied by drummers and a brass band, Block Cop City activists reclaimed Atlanta’s rich civil rights legacy from politicians who continue to tarnish it with every voter disenfranchised and each tear gas canister thrown. Despite the violent response by police, activists minimized arrests and harm through careful planning, extensive preparation, and close attention to lessons learned from generations of revolutionary struggles against repression and authoritarianism.

Despite numerous stated commitments from religious leaders and city officials to honor the right to protest, armed riot police terrorized the crowd with tear gas grenades, attack dogs, clubs and ballistic shields.

As other protestors took to planting tree saplings in the Weelaunee Forest, journalists were forcibly separated from the crowd and threatened with arrest by police. We condemn this infringement of these journalists’ rights as well as the arrest of protestors including the Indigenous activists arrested while visiting Tortuguita’s altar in the Weelaunee Forest over the weekend.

The movement to Stop Cop City and Defend the Atlanta Forest is undeterred by today’s police aggression.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Indigenous Activists Detained in Oaxaca Following Gathering on Political Prisoners

It's Going Down - Sat, 11/25/2023 - 00:50

Report on repression of indigenous activists in Oaxaca, Mexico following a conference on political prisoners.

On Tuesday, November 21st 2023 three Indigenous land defenders were kidnapped by the State in their hometown of Eloxochitlán (Nguixo), a Mazatec community in Northern Oaxaca. For nine years, Jaime Vidauria Romero, Artemio Vidauria Romero and Ranulfo Vidauria Estrada have been persecuted and hunted by the Mexican State and their henchmen on trumped-up charges because of their efforts to defend their communal territory against the capitalist extraction of their natural resources. They have been in hiding but took the risk of participating in the 3rd Internationalist Gathering [Faena] for the Safe Return (of Political Prisoners and Persecuted People). After three days of talks, presentations and cultural activities, when most people and organizations had left, police in civilian clothing with long arms moved in on the community kitchen, pointing their guns, threatening to shoot, and quickly arresting the three land defenders.

Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón is the birthplace of Ricardo Flores Magón, who in the years leading up to the Mexican Revolution tirelessly advocated not only for an end to the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz but also openly and explicitly for an anarchist society. His periodical Regeneración and the Mexican Liberal Party (named according to the conventions of the time; it was neither a political party nor liberal by todays standards) had a very important role inciting and guiding the Revolution. In 1911, a multi-national group of anarchists inspired by Magón’s writings held the towns of Mexicali, Tecate, and Tijuana along the US border. Ricardo Flores Magón continued his insurrectionary activism even as he passed most of the Mexican Revolution in US prisons, where he was eventually murdered by the State in Leavenworth Penitentiary.

In Eloxochitlán this tradition of anarchism and Indigenous communalism continues to this day with assemblies, self-defense groups, direct action and communal work projects. But the defenders of privilege, headed by the Zepeda family, have gained a foothold using fraudulent elections, abuses of the legal system, collusion with corrupt political parties, and illegitimate violence carried out by their minions, the police. In response to their persecution, local women from their neighborhood of La Escopeta have formed a self-defense group.

Unfortunately Jaime, Ranulfo and Artemio are the most recent victims in a long line of indigenous activists from Eloxochitlán persecuted by the State, including Alfredo Bolaños, Fernando Gavito, Francisco Duran, Paul Reyes, and Marcelino Miramón who are still in jail, as well as Miguel Peralta, Carlos Pacheco and eight others who have been forced into hiding. Thanks to the persistence of the community others have been freed from the dungeons of the oppressors. After 9 years as a political prisoner Jaime Betanzos attended the Faena to share his experiences of struggle, which include brutal beatings and surviving an ambush where he was shot and nearly lost his life.

Since the illegal detention of Jaime, Ranulfo and Artemio there have been solidarity actions daily in Huautla de Jimenez (about a half hour from Eloxochitlán), the city of Oaxaca where the compas are currently being held, in Puebla City, and in Mexico City, where for over two and a half years Mazateca women have maintained a protest camp in front of the Federal Judicial Council (Metrobus Station Dr. Galvez) demanding the freedom of their compañeros.

The community has called for solidarity actions of all kinds, especially at Mexican Embassies, and mesages that show that they are not alone and that the world is watching. Please use the following hashtags.


For more informacion on social media you can follow:
Instagram: @mujeres_elox

Viva Eloxochitlán!
Viva Ricardo Flores Magón!
Viva la Anarquía!

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Portland Mobilizes and Shuts Down Anti-Trans Hate Group with Links to the Far-Right

It's Going Down - Thu, 11/23/2023 - 22:45

Report on recent mobilization in Portland, Oregon against anti-trans hate group with links to the far-Right. For more information on the Women’s Declaration International (WDI), go here.

photos: @marcielinenovatore

A few months ago, Women’s Declaration International (WDI) announced their intention to have a “nationwide gender abolition tour” comprised of three stops: Philly, San Francisco, and Portland. The final Portland stop of their tour amounted to booking a room at the Hollywood Library on November 19th and giving speeches inside.

For those unfamiliar with WDI, they are a trans-eliminationist group deeply embedded with the far-Right and conservative religious groups who directly collaborate to craft anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, in particular targeting trans people. More information on their history can be found here. WDI is closely intertwined with Lierre Keith’s front group, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF). Older radicals will remember the long history of conflict between anarchists and Keith (as well as her other project Deep Green Resistance). Keith oversaw planning for this photo-op in Portland and attempted to prepare WDI’s hapless attendees by regurgitating some activist trainings from her days in the Left. As the event neared, they cultivated and actively celebrated the loud support of far-Right actors like Andy Ngo. Having been pied last year on Portland, their plan for a redo was to aggressively posture as innocent helpless women, take a pie or two and comfortably denounce that as unfathomably extreme violence.

However the trans-eliminationists dramatically underestimated the resolve of Portland and people’s readiness to stand against genocide. Combined with a host of incompetent missteps, the result was all the complete disintegration of all their plans with Keith’s reactionary foot-soldiers shocked, and sadly running home covered in pie and silly string – plus, at least in one case, a tag scrawled across their backs.

The night before their rally, Rose City Antifa released a write up on WDI and their plans, which had been obtained through a variety of infiltrators in the reactionaries’ planning group. In their meeting, beyond all of the disgusting transphobic and far-Right vitriol, they frankly admitted their pretense of caring for women and children was merely a cynical cover to mask their transphobia. The “direct action” they had planned was simply to obtain footage of a few dissidents and single out “crazies” to “make the trans look bad.” Essentially a contrived “self-victimization” tour that they hoped would boost their attention among the far-Right media sphere, while personally risking almost nothing so long as they stuck to Keith’s orders.

Following the failure of their attempted rallies last year, there have been sharp divisions within the trans-eliminationist movement over how openly to collaborate with other far-Right forces, as well as arguments over how directly violent to be on the streets against trans people. It’s important to be clear that these are merely differences in degree and openness. Keith, for instance, has no objection to friendly appearances on white nationalist podcasts or openly cultivating relationships with far-Right figures, and, through DGR, she is an open advocate of extreme insurgent violence by reactionaries. But Keith represents a faction that wants to obscure these existing alliances and commitments so as to facilitate WoLF and WDI’s continued influence of state power and the radicalization of recruits who do not know what they’re getting into. This stands in contrast with other factions who openly brag about macing children and relationships with Proud Boys, and want their violence to be open and public. To keep her grip on the trans-eliminationist movement and her strategy of respectability and hidden power levels, Keith needed a win in Portland.

If the public release of RCA’s article left them shocked, scrambling, and internally recriminating, the woes of Keith’s soldiers were only getting started. The morning of the rally, they reportedly woke up to find all their tires had been slashed. After being outraged that 911 dispatchers refused to treat this as an emergency and then an awkward ride in two Uhaul moving vans, they arrived to the Hollywood library two hours late, and were greeted not with a handful of individuals they could mock but over 100 community members assembled under trans flags. A table with pies of a variety of flavors hosted a large stack of flyers detailing the hate group. Posters of the reactionaries’ faces and personal details covered the neighborhood. Even though the library had closed, many initially skeptical bystanders in the local community quickly pivoted into enthusiastic in support for the disruption after being shown the extent of WDI and WoLF’s trans-eliminationist activities and policies.

In response to the unexpected strength of counter-protesters, Keith’s soldiers gave up on rallying inside or even outside the library and chose instead to try to hold a short flash mob on a minor street corner a few blocks away, whereupon they were chased off in a deluge of pies and tomato juice, a scuffle that they claim also saw their phones and cameras snatched, depriving them of any useful footage for the contrived pity party they wanted. Meanwhile a small handful of TERFs who had not been with the core clique and showed up on their own were left without support from Keith’s soldiers and were ejected in various levels of embarrassment, including one who left with a circle-a spray painted on their back.

Reportedly this hot new trend of tagging a TERF is already sweeping the nation. Forget train cars or heaven spots, if your tag isn’t riding around town on the backside of a genocidal bigot, can you even say you’re up?

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Fire Ant: Anarchist Prisoner Solidarity #17

It's Going Down - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 00:36

Announcing Fire Ant #17, a publication featuring the writings of anarchist prisoners.

[PDF for printing]

Fire Ant is a quarterly publication focused on spreading the words of anarchist prisoners and generating material solidarity for our imprisoned friends. Begun as a collaboration between anarchist prisoners and anarchists in Maine, Fire Ant seeks to raise material aid for anarchist prisoners while fostering communication between anarchists on both sides of the walls.

Issue #17 features letters, poetry, and updates by and about Sean Swain, Jennifer Rose, Thomas Meyer-Falk, Eric King, Toby Shone, Victor Puertas, Marius Mason, Epona Rose, and Michael Kimble.

photo: Shannon Potter via Unsplash

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Hurricane Otis, Mutual Aid, and the Multiple Disasters in Guerrero

It's Going Down - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 23:22

Not long after midnight, in the early morning of October 25th, 2023, the largest Pacific hurricane ever to make landfall touched down on the coast of Guerrero, Mexico, bringing with it 165mph winds, flooding rains, and devastation in its wake. In just 12 hours the tropical storm transformed into a category 5 hurricane, made possible by the multiple effects of climate change, including rising ocean temperatures in the Pacific.

The coastal city of Acapulco, with around one million inhabitants, took the brunt of the storm. For decades the city has been developed as a national and international tourist destination, organized politically, socially, economically, and spatially according to the interests of capital, and not local necessity or long-term sustainability. As such, many underlying problems that were already present in Acapulco and the surrounding areas were only magnified by the tremendous hurricane.

Many tourist development projects built right on the beaches and cliffs of the Pacific Ocean were destroyed by the pelting winds. The working class and popular neighborhoods on the peripheries of the tourist zones, with homes made of wood, sheet metal, and brick, were brought to ruins. Rising waters flooded the streets and homes with mud, debris, and trash, along with trees that had been ripped from the ground by the winds.

Photo: Oscar Guerrero/Amapola Periodismo

It wasn’t just Acapulco that was affected either. The government declared an emergency in 47 municipalities in the state of Guerrero, later reducing that number to two specific municipalities that were the most affected: Acapulco and Coyuca de Benítez. The communities pertaining to the agrarian nuclei of Cacahuatepec, part of the Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositoras a la presa La Parota (CECOP), reported serious damages to their homes and crops. Furthermore, the communities in the Montaña of Guerrero, one of the poorest regions in the state and country, reported the loss of crops, including coffee, bananas, and corn, all of pivotal importance for the alimentary and economic subsistence of the mostly Indigenous communities.

The hurricane left 48 dead, others remain missing, and the number of people affected are countless. Housing, businesses, roads, highways, and crops have all been destroyed. The stage had already been set for this disaster in Guerrero. Led by the forces of global capitalism, climate change, tourism, gentrification, and organized crime, Guerrero and Acapulco were already characterized by poverty, marginalization, insecurity, insufficient housing, and poor planning. With Hurricane Otis, these things were only exacerbated.

Capitalism is a Disaster

On October 23rd, just one day prior to Hurricane Otis making landfall in Guerrero, the 25th International Mining Convention was inaugurated in the Mundo Imperial Resort in the Punta Diamante tourist zone of Acapulco. The International Convention on Mining, considered the most important mining event in Mexico and Latin America, brings together mining corporations, businessmen, engineers, students, etc. every year to organize the future of the global mining industry. In a state plagued by mining exploitation the event being held every year in the state of Guerrero is not a coincidence.

The effects of mining have been catastrophic for many Indigenous and campesino communities in Guerrero, and have been a source of conflict between communities seeking to defend their territories and livelihoods on one hand, and companies seeking to extract massive profits from minerals in the earth on the other. The arrival of a Hurricane Otis just one day into the 25th International Convention on Mining; the destruction of the Mundo Imperial Resort where the convention was being held; and the forced cancellation of the event due to the extraordinarily powerful hurricane; together show the vicious interconnections between capitalism, mining, tourism, and climate change.

Princess Hotel after the hurricane. Photo: Amapola Periodismo

Just five days following the passing of the category five hurricane, on November 1st, while many people were still struggling for access to clean water and food, a group of businessmen and government officials led by Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim, met in Mexico City in the Museo Soumaya to discuss the situation in Acapulco. Others present at the event were Francisco Cervantes, the president of the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE), a representative body of the private sector in Mexico, Julio Carranza, the president of the Asociación de Bancos de Mexico (ABM), and José Abugaber, president of the Confederación de Cámaras Industriales (CONCAMIN). The intention of the meeting was to begin discussion on how to rebuild Acapulco, with a specific focus on the reactivation of the economy and the tourist industry in the port city.

On November 8th, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador led a meeting with these same figures, Carlos Slim and Francisco Cervantes, along with Antonio Cosio, CEO of Brisas Hotels and Resorts, and Juan Antonio Hernández, president of the Mundo Imperial Resort. Again, the discussion was the reconstruction of Acapulco, the tourist industry, and the reactivation of the economy. For them, the crisis caused by the hurricane is an opportunity for restructuring, reorganization, and most importantly, more profit.

In coordination with these businessmen, AMLO has promised to have at least 35 hotels open for business come April of next year, when the Tianguis Turistico is scheduled to take place in Acapulco. The Tianguis Turistico is a yearly gathering of corporations and companies from all different spheres of the tourist industry, one of the most important events related to the tourist industry in the country, solidifying Acapulco as an international tourist destination. The event is scheduled to be held at the Mundo Imperial Resort.


The state of Guerrero has long been a site of extensive political resistance and militarization. The mountains of Guerrero were the center of operations of different guerrilla fighters in the mid to late 1900’s, and Guerrero too was an epicenter of the so-called dirty war in Mexico, where different organizers, activists, and social fighters were disappeared, tortured, and killed by state and para-state forces. Furthermore, Guerrero has long been an area for the cultivation of marijuana and opium. More recently it has become a battleground between rivaling drug cartels seeking to control trafficking routes, and the production of synthetic drugs. These different factors have led to the ongoing militarization of the state.

Prior to hurricane Otis, Guerrero was already one of the most militarized states in the country with 5,120 National Guard troops stationed there. With the passage of the hurricane, the president has sought to consolidate the militarization of the region. In the days following the storm, around 20,000 elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard were deployed to Acapulco to maintain order and facilitate relief efforts. The overwhelming presence of armed forces was partially a response to reports of looting in the city, as the local population lacked food, water, and other basic goods.

Photo: Amapola Periodismo

On November 7th, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the head of the Secretariat of National Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval González announced the Security Plan to Armor the Municipality of Acapulco, with the intention of making permanent the presence of National Guard troops in Acapulco. The plan is to build 38 new national guard barracks, one in each residential area of Acapulco that exceeds 1,000 homes. With each barracks stationing 250 members of the national guard, there will be a permanent presence of nearly 10,000 national guard members in the municipality of Acapulco alone. This will make Guerrero by far the most militarized state in the country.

The stated intention of the militarization in Acapulco is to ensure security and the reconstruction of the port city. The more obvious reason is to protect major private interests, and insure the smooth functioning of capital into the future. And while security is the pretext, we know that the armed forces have been a source of insecurity in Guerrero and across the country, collaborating with organized crime in order to repress communities and movements in resistance. The case of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, and the ongoing narco-paramilitary attacks on the communities of the Indigenous Popular Council of Guerrero—Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) are just two examples.

Mutual Aid

While the state militarizes and capitalists profit off of this terrible disaster, collectives, communities, and organizations have responded with solidarity and mutual aid. The National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) launched a campaign on October 27th seeking economic and material donations for those affected by the hurricane. The communique signed by the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN put the hurricane in context:

This hurricane is not an atypical phenomenon as the media and bad governments are framing it. It is a direct product of the destruction provoked by capitalism, by the ever-increasing damage caused by major corporations and government policies against our Mother Earth. What is atypical isn’t the hurricane. What is atypical is this violent system sustained by wars, pandemics, and the brutal exploitation and plundering of millions and millions of human beings and nature.

The site of collection for the campaign has been the House of the Peoples “Samir Flores Soberanes” in Mexico City—ex-offices of the National Institute for Indigenous Peoples (INPI) which was occupied by Indigenous Otomies demanding dignified housing, and has since become a center of resistance for Indigenous struggles throughout the country. On November 6th, a 12-ton truck was loaded with supplies at the House of the Peoples which was taken to Guerrero and delivered to the communities in need.

On October 31st, in an assembly of communities and ejidos pertaining to the Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a la Presa la Parota (CECOP), in the agrarian nuclei of Cacahuatepec, the decision was made to launch a campaign to help rebuild their communities. The communities and ejidos belonging to the CECOP have long organized and struggled in defense of the Papagayo river, against the construction of a hydroelectric dam, La Parota. The organizational forms already developed in resistance to the megaproject are now serving mutual aid efforts. In coordination with the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, the communities are receiving sheet metal for roofing, and basic living supplies to support the communities in need.

Furthermore, the Organizacion Campesina de la Sierra del Sur (OCSS) is carrying out a toy drive for Indigenous children of Coyuca de Benitez, Guerrero, to bring smiles back to their faces as the organization has put it. The OCSS is another organization with a long history of resistance in Guerrero. They were the victims of the tragic massacre in Aguas Blancas on June 28th, 1995, where 17 campesinos were murdered and 23 others injured in an attempt to destroy the campesino movement in the region. More recently they have been fighting for the freedom of their long-term political prisoners.


Guerrero and Acapulco, before and after Hurricane Otis, are a microcosm of the realities being faced throughout much of Mexico, Latin America, and the world. While Hurricane Otis has been a disaster, Guerrero was already inundated by a multiplicity of disasters: colonialism, capitalism, militarization, climate change, state and organized crime violence, etc.

Yet, Hurricane Otis has also brought to light alternatives to these disasters; alternatives that exist in the everyday lives of the communities, and that become more visible in extraordinary times of need. That is the strength of cooperation, mutual aid, and solidarity. It is that strength that animates other possible futures, ones grounded in community and regional self-organization from below, as opposed to the multiplicity of disasters which characterize our modern world.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Letter from Miguel Peralta 101 Years Since the Assassination of Ricardo Flores Magón

It's Going Down - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 14:32

Letter from Indigenous Mazatec anarchist Miguel Peralta to his community of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón to mark 101 years since the assassination of Ricardo Flores Magón and the ongoing struggle against political imprisonment and persecution in the community.

What’s up, compas? I greet you all with much love. First, I would like to ask for a strong applause for Angelita Velasco, Genero Vargas, and Alberto Cabanzo…compañerxs who’ve left this world and who were part of this struggle.

One-hundred and one years since the assassination of Ricardo Flores Magón, the seed of rebellion that he sowed continues bearing fruits of knowledge, ideas, anecdotes, and strategies of resistance. In spite of the constant political imprisonment and persecution he faced, including outside of Mexico, he always maintained a firm and clear ideological posture, something necessary for us to remember.

Revindicating Ricardo means strengthening ties of community, and a sense of belonging that the powerful can never eliminate.

I want to send a strong embrace to my uncle Jaime Betanzos and Herminio Monfil who have managed to get out from behind the prison walls. I’m very happy to know that you are both in the community with your loved ones.

I am with you all from a distance. The forced detachment from my territory has implied a certain uprooting, forcing me to distance myself from things that I wanted to do in my community. To stop reproducing these community practices sometimes makes me lose sleep. Yet, there is also a bond that is very deeply rooted because that is where I was born.

Exile from one’s community doesn’t necessarily imply moving away from what you believe in. Living beneath political persecution, there is always anguish and fear. You walk, run, and stumble in the night, but you get up and you continue advancing with cautious steps, watching out for the security of your accomplices.

I hope that all the imprisoned compas are soon free, and that the persecuted can return home so that once again their families are united.

Greetings to the compas of the independent media who are always giving it their all. Also to the compa Luis Olvera Maldonado, and Doña Fili. We have some pulques pending. A warm embrace.

Down with the prison walls!

Freedom for Alfredo Bolaños, Fernando Gavito, Francisco Duran, Marcelino Miramon and Paul Reyes!

Freedom without restrictions for Jaime and Herminio!

Freedom for Jorge Esquivel!

Freedom for Karla and Magda!

Freedom for Alfredo Cospito, Mónica and Francisco!

Freedom for all political prisoners!

Miguel Peralta

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Interview with Anarchist Prisoner and Okupa Che Member Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel

It's Going Down - Mon, 11/20/2023 - 14:12

The following contains an interview with anarcho-punk political prisoner and member of the Okupa Che collective in Mexico City, Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel. Stay up with news about political prisoners by following our In Contempt column. La versión en español de la entrevista sigue a la versión en inglés.


IGD: Can you start by introducing yourself?

Hi, my name is Jorge Emilio Esquivel Muñoz. Alias “el Yorch.” I am an artisan and cook, member of the Okupa Che, an autonomous and self-organized space in Mexico City. I am also part of the Collective of Rebel Women and Men in Struggle for a New Humanity. I am an anarchist and political prisoner in the Reclusorio Oriente of Mexico City.

IGD: Can you give us a brief history of your case? What has led to your imprisonment?

I was arrested in 2016 in an arbitrary detention outside of the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (University City) where I was tortured and transferred to prison in Miahuatlán, Oaxaca. Afterwards, I was transferred to a maximum-security prison in Hermosillo, Sonora all because of a set-up organized by UNAM authorities and supported by the government with the intention of smearing the autonomous organizing work of the Okupa Che.

The charges brought against me were based on a falsified anonymous report against someone with a different name that was supposedly selling drugs in a neighborhood in southern Mexico City. Following my arrest, the officers who filed the charges against me claimed that I was carrying a backpack that contained large amounts of different drugs which they claimed I was selling. Four witnesses testified that I was not even carrying a backpack, and forensics testing proved that my fingerprints were not found on the backpack nor on any of the different baggies or packages of drugs they claimed belonged to me.

During the following weeks, through actions of solidarity in different parts of the world, my lawyer was able to travel to Hermosillo and defend me against the fabricated charges. He was able to get the charges reduced to simple possession and I was released on bail on March 9, 2016.

On December 8, 2022, I was again detained by plainclothes officers in unmarked vehicles at the exact same location on the same charges, and brought to the Reclusorio Oriente prison in Mexico City, where I have been held ever since.

My judicial process is plagued with many irregularities, and there are frequent cancellations and delays. The judge recently notified that we have to repeat part of the evidence stage, which delays the process once again. The hearing scheduled for this was supposed to take place on October 23, but there was a strike at all levels of the Mexican judiciary system, so it has just been rescheduled for Friday, November 24. It is expected that after that we will move on to the closing of the investigation and final conclusions. To date, no evidence has been presented to sustain the fabricated charges against me.

IGD: What’s everyday life look like in the Reclusorio Oriente? Can you describe the different spaces and activities? What are you doing to stay busy?

Life here is monotonous, everything takes place at the same hour: roll call, school, recreation, gym, and workshops. We are locked in our cells daily from 6pm to 9am.

I go to school twice a week. Classes last an hour and a half. Because I am new in my cell, I have to do the cleaning, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom, dishes, filling the barrels with water. We have to bring water in buckets because in our area of the prison there is no water faucet. After that I prepare my foods and do some artisanal work to pass the time. We play poleana or other board games.

IGD: What forms of mutual aid and prisoner-to-prisoner solidarity have you witnessed on the inside? Is there solidarity amongst the prisoners or what are those relationships like?

The solidarity between prisoners here is very little. Generally, prisoners here only think about watching out for themselves and protecting their own interests. Many think it is dangerous to not look out for oneself; they think that if they help out others it is a sign of weakness. However, in my case, I’ve got to know a fellow anarchist here in prison. We share food, books, publications, zines, and other material that people bring us during our visits.

IGD: You’re a punk rocker, you’ve been involved in punk rock for many years. In your experience, how do punk rock and anarchism complement each other?

I grew up in the streets where I got to know punks through the music, and afterwards through the practices of others who were anarcho-punks. We lived in abandoned houses, collectively cooking food for children and sex workers who lived in the streets. There I began to understand practices of mutual aid and solidarity.

In my experience as a punk, the song lyrics were really important for me, and getting to know practices like DIY, mutual aid, self-management, embodying them in everyday life. Participating and supporting different social movements, I think anarchism and punk complement one another.

IGD: What are some anarcho-punk bands, publications, or projects you might want to highlight?

Some bands that I’d like to mention are Desobediencia Civil, Sin Dios, Fallas del Sistema, Massacre 68. I remember some zines, Pensares y Sentires, Brigada Subversiva, and some projects like La Granada, the Comedor Vegetariano in the Okupa Che, and the project Bicis Piratas.

IGD: You’ve been involved in the Okupa Che in Mexico City, and the ongoing attacks on the Okupa are part of the reason for your imprisonment. Can you tell us more about the Okupa? Why the repression against you and the space?

Since my first years participating in the Okupa Che, I’ve suffered different attacks from porros and campus security. Porros are shock groups organized and paid for by the university, whose objective has been to disarticulate student movements and social struggles emerging from within the Okupa Che. These shock groups are protected by the university security.

In March of 2014, the Okupa was attacked by a group of people contracted by the university to evict the squat. I remember that attack being one of the most violent. Various compañeros and I were brutally beaten and tortured.

And another moment of repression was when I was unjustly arrested by the state in 2016 just outside the university when I was headed home after participating in an anti-prison event in the Okupa.

The harassment and repression have been constant throughout the years in which I have participated in the Okupa. The UNAM security spies on us, takes pictures of us, and surveils us daily.

IGD: What can folks do who are reading this interview whether in so-called Mexico or in other parts of the world to support you?

What people can do is disseminate information about my case and participate in the different events being organized by my compañeros. You can also organize your own events in your own trenches of struggle. To the compas in other parts of the world, you can organize to carry out actions at Mexican embassies or in your own social spaces demanding my freedom.

You can also help with economic support so I can continue with my legal process and cover my expenses here in prison.

For more information you can go here:


Instagram: @yorchlibre

To get in contact, send a letter, economic donation, or other form of solidarity, you can write an email to the following address:

For more information on the Okupa Che you can go here:

Facebook: Auditorio Che

Instagram: @okupache

Entrevista con el preso anarquista Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel

Para empezar, ¿puedes presentarte en la manera que tú quieres?

Hola mi nombre es Jorge Emilio Esquivel Muñoz. Alias el (Yorch). Soy artesano y cocinero, miembro de la Okupa Che, un espacio autónomo de trabajo autogestivo y del Colectivo Mujeres y Hombres Rebeldes en Lucha por una Nueva Humanidad. Anarquista y preso político en el reclusorio oriente de la CDMX.

¿Puedes contarnos brevemente la historia de tu caso? ¿Qué te ha llevado a la prisión?

Por este caso actual en 2016 fui arrestado por medio de una detención arbitraria a las afueras de ciudad universitaria donde fui torturado y llevado a un penal federal en Miahuatlán, Oaxaca, posteriormente trasladado a un penal de máxima seguridad en Hermosillo, Sonora todo por parte de un montaje hecho por la UNAM apoyado por el Gobierno mexicano con el objetivo de desprestigiar el trabajo autónomo de la okupa che.

Los cargos fabricados en mi contra fueron de narcomenudeo. Se basaban en una denuncia anónima falsificada contra una persona con un nombre diferente que supuestamente vendía drogas en un barrio del sur de la Ciudad de México y, tras mi detención los agentes que presentaron los cargos en mi contra afirmaron que llevaba una mochila que contenía grandes cantidades de diferentes drogas que, según ellos, estaba vendiendo. Cuatro testigos declararon que yo ni siquiera llevaba una mochila al momento de mi detención, y las pruebas forenses demostraron que no se hubo huellas dactilares mías en la mochila ni en ninguna de las diferentes bolsitas y envolturas de droga que decían que me pertenecían.

Durante las semanas siguientes, a través de acciones de solidaridad en diferentes partes del mundo, mi abogado pudo viajar a Hermosillo y defenderme ante los cargos fabricados. Consiguió que los cargos se redujeran a posesión simple y fui puesto en libertad bajo fianza el 9 de marzo de 2016.

El 8 de diciembre de 2022, fui detenido de nuevo por agentes vestidos de civil en vehículos sin placas en el mismo lugar por los mismos cargos. Fui trasladado al Reclusorio Oriente de la Ciudad de México, donde he permanecido recluido desde entonces.

El proceso judicial está plagado de muchas irregularidades, y frecuentemente hay cancelaciones y demoras. El juez recién notificó que tenemos que repetir una parte de la etapa de la presentación de pruebas, lo cual atrasa el proceso una vez más. La audiencia programada para eso era para el 23de octubre, sin embargo hubo paro en todos los niveles del poder judicial en México, entonces recién la reprogramaron para el viernes, 24 de noviembre. Se espera que después ya pasemos a cierre de instrucción y las conclusiones. Hasta la fecha no se ha presentado ninguna evidencia que sostenga los cargos fabricados en mi contra.

¿Cómo es la vida cotidiana en el Reclusorio Oriente? ¿Puedes describir los diferentes espacios y actividades? ¿Qué haces para mantenerte ocupado?

La vida acá es monótona, todo es a la misma hora el pase de lista los tiempos para asistir a la zona escolar o al campo, el gimnasio, los talleres, el tiempo que tenemos cerrada la celda es de 6pm a las 9am.

Yo asisto a la escuela una hora y media por clase, dos días a la semana. Como soy el nuevo en la celda, tengo que hacer la limpieza de la estancia, lavar piso, baño, trastes, y llenar los tambos con agua. Hay que traer el agua en cubetas donde estoy porque no hay tomas de agua. Después preparo mis alimentos y hago un poco de artesanías para pasar el tiempo, jugamos la poleana o algún juego de mesa.

¿Qué formas de apoyo mutuo y solidaridad entre presos has visto en el interior? ¿Existe solidaridad entre los presos o cómo son esas relaciones?

La solidaridad entre los presos es poca. Generalmente solo piensan en cuidar sus espaldas y sus intereses pues de no ser así se sienten en peligro pues piensan que ayudar a los demás es como una debilidad. En mi caso conozco a un compañero anarquista y compartimos comida, libros, juegos, algunas publicaciones o fanzines que nos han hecho llegar por medio de nuestra visita.

Eres un punk, has estado involucrado en el punk durante muchos años. Según tu experiencia, ¿cómo se complementan el punk y el anarquismo?

Pues yo crecí en las calles donde conocí a la gente punk por la música y después por las prácticas de otra banda que eran anarco punk. Habitamos casas abandonadas y hacíamos comida comunitaria para los niños de la calle y trabajadores sexuales. Así empecé a conocer las prácticas como el apoyo mutuo y la solidaridad.

En mi experiencia como punk pues para mí, las letras de las rolas tienen mucho que ver y en la vida punk conociendo las practicas del hazlo tú mismo, el apoyo mutuo, la autogestión, y llevarlas al día a día. Participando y apoyando varios movimientos sociales yo pienso que así se complementa.

¿Cuáles son algunas bandas, publicaciones o proyectos que te gustaría destacar?

Las bandas que me gustaría nombrar son Desobediencia Civil, Sin Dios, Fallas del Sistema, Masacre 68. Recuerdo algunos fanzines, Pensares y Sentires y Brigada Subversiva y algunos proyectos son la Granada, el Comedor Vegetariano de la Okupa Che, y el proyecto de las Bicis Piratas.

Has participado en la Okupa Che en Ciudad de México, y los continuos ataques contra la Okupa son parte de la razón de tu encarcelamiento, ¿puedes hablarnos más de la Okupa? ¿Por qué la represión contra ti y el espacio?

Pues desde mis primeros años de participar en la Okupa Che he presenciado y sufrido varios ataques de los porros y la vigilancia los porros es un grupo de choque organizado y pagado por la Universidad cuyo objetivo ha sido desintegrar los movimientos estudiantiles y la lucha social que surgen y se organizan en la Okupa Che. Estos grupos porriles son protegidos por la vigilancia interna de la universidad.

En marzo del 2014, la Okupa y las personas fuimos atacados por un grupo de gente contratado por la misma universidad para desalojar la ocupación, yo lo recuerdo ese ataque como uno de los más violentos, ya que varios compañeros y yo fuimos fuertemente golpeados y torturados.

Y otro momento de represión fue cuanto fui arrestado injustamente por el estado fue en el 2016, a las afueras de la ciudad universitaria cuando me dirigía a mi casa después de participar en un evento anticarcelario en la okupa.

El hostigamiento y la represión han sido constantes en todos los años en que, participado en la Okupa, la misma vigilancia UNAM nos espía, nos toma fotos y nos vigila de manera cotidiana.

¿Qué puede hacer la gente que está leyendo esta entrevista, ya sea en el llamado México o en otras partes del mundo, para apoyar la lucha por tu libertad?

Lo que pudiera hacer la gente es visibilizar mi caso y participar y asistir a los diferentes eventos que realizan mis compañeros, hacia como organizar los propios desde sus trincheras y a los compas de otros lados invitarlos a organizarse para realizar acciones en las embajadas de México y en sus espacios de lucha por mi libertad.

También se extiende la invitación para realizar apoyo económico para poder continuar con mi proceso político y los gastos que conllevan a estar dentro de la cárcel.

Para Jorge:

Página de internet:

Instagram: @yorchlibre

Para mayor información y para solidarizarse con cartas, aportaciones en especie o económicas:


Okupa Che Espacio Autónomo de Trabajo Autogestivo:

Facebook: Auditorio Che

Instagram: @okupache

Categories: D1. Anarchism

International Call For New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstrations

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/19/2023 - 22:41

Call from the NYC chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) for noise demonstrations this New Year’s Eve (NYE).

This is a call for a raucous night of strong solidarity with those imprisoned by the state on one of the noisiest nights of the year. On New Year’s Eve gather your crew, collective, community, organization, or just yourself and come together to raise a racket and remind those on the inside that they are not alone.

Internationally, noise demonstrations outside of prisons are a way to remember those who are held captive by the state and a way to show solidarity with imprisoned comrades and loved ones. We come together to break the loneliness and isolation.

We know that prison is beyond reform and must be completely abolished. It is a mechanism of repression used by the state to maintain a social order rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. To come together outside of the sites of repression is to also stand in defiance of what they represent.

The logic of the state and capital—of punishment and imprisonment, must be replaced by a rejection of oppression and exploitation. This call is one step in that direction.

Wherever you are, meet on New Year’s Eve at the prisons, jails, and detention centers, be loud in solidarity with those imprisoned and to push forward the idea of a world free from domination.

We send this call in solidarity with those defying state repression of large scale dissent: from anarchists in Chile to Atlanta to Russia and all of those in the spaces between.

We want a world without walls and borders.

We will fight together until everyone is free!

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Report back from Running Down the Walls Event in Philadelphia

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/19/2023 - 21:03

Report back from Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) on their recent Running Down the Walls event in support of political prisoners.

We’re pleased to report the success from the sixth annual Philadelphia Running Down The Walls in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war, and the movement to #StopCopCity.

Before we go any further, we’d like to give the biggest shout-out to the prisoners that participated from inside the walls. The joint inside-outside participation is one of the most important parts of this yearly event. Our inside participants this year included:

Jerome Coffey – SCI Pine Grove
Mumia Abu-Jamal – SCI Mahanoy
Paul Kali Hickman – Vaughn Correctional Center
John Bramble – Vaughn Correctional Center
Beans (Abednego Baynes) – SCI Mahanoy

With a light breeze, partial cloud coverage and temperatures staying around 75 degrees, the weather could not have been much more ideal for a 5k run/walk/roll/cheer. The first wave of what would end up being around 300 participants, began arriving around 10am in FDR park. After some time for checking in, setting up tables, and hanging banners, Sheena Sood kicked off another amazing yoga warm-up in the grassy area in front the Boathouse Pavilion.

The event was emceed by Gabe Bryant from the #FreeAnt Committee and the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. As the yoga concluded, Gabe amped up the crowd to start the 5K, but not before having a comrade read aloud a statement in solidarity with the Weelaunee forest defenders, including those facing repression and behind bars, in honor of Tortuguita, and calling for the release of Victor Puertas.

[L]ess than two weeks ago, Georgia’s Attorney General issued RICO indictments against over 60 people who they allege to be a part of a “criminal” conspiracy to stop Cop City. And yet, the struggle continues! … This is why it is of national importance to raise funds to support the defense of the Weelaunee forest [and] fortify the struggle.

We can take action by calling for the release of Victor Puertas, who is being held in ICE detention after his arrest at a music festival in the Weelaunee Forest.

From city to city, and however long it takes, we will ensure that Cop City never gets built!

Sometime between 11:00 – 11:30am, the first contingent lined up and kicked off the run/walk/roll/cheer after a countdown. The second group doing a hybrid jog/walk took off ten minutes later, with the fastest pace group taking off ten minutes after that. Those who stayed behind cheered and handed out water as participants completed their laps. Upon the return of all three groups, we began reading aloud solidarity statements by political prisoners Eric King, and former political prisoners Jalil Muntaqim, and Ray Luc Levasseur.

In between statements we gathered for a group photo, and took time for speakers and performers. The first speaker was Russell Shoatz III–son of beloved ancestor, freedom fighter, and former political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. Along with decades of work with different groups and committees in the movement to free political prisoners, he is one of the Maroon Legacy Keepers that organize the Annual Maroon Memorial and Prisoners’ Families Brunch, and the Homegrown Maroons Retreats. He spoke of his active support for Running Down The Walls since its inception, and brought forward examples of the liberation of his father and Sundiata Acoli, to demonstrate the importance of the many facets of solidarity propelled by this event.

It probably is a triple or quadruple edged sword in a lot of ways. Of course, there is the solidarity, which is probably at the top of the list. … Obviously, it is the workout and the conditioning and training. And even if we’re not conditioning training, if we just come out for one day and give ourselves some workout, the intersection with the self love there, with the workout, is heavily important there. Then the political work around the political prisoners and folks who are still incarcerated, and the fundraising that happens here, happens to support a lot of people who need the money.

[Y]esterday I was at Porchfest in New York and I was able to be chilling with Sundiata. And so that’s because of y’all. … He’s home because of this style of work. … You coming out and running brought people like Sundiata home. … I couldn’t have, my sisters couldn’t have, my family couldn’t have liberated my father without you. Without you doing this work, we could not have done it. So, again, keep coming out. Keep doing this work.

Next, we had some outstanding performances from Philly-based artist, YahNé Ndgo. YahNé is a longtime and respected organizer involved several campaigns to free political prisoners, including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Kamau Sadiki, and Imam Jamil Al-Amin. She is also an organizer of the Annual Maroon Memorial Prisoners’ Families Brunch, Homegrown Maroons Retreats, Black Lives Matter Philly, and more. The second of two songs she performed was her incendiary single Philly Work: A Rally Cry.

The final speaker was a member of MXGM Philly, talking about the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement within the larger New Afrikan independence movement, the six principles of unity, and why MXGM supports the movement to Stop Cop City.

Following were more statements read aloud from current political prisoners Oso Blanco and Xinachtli Luna Hernandez, and former political prisoner Fidencio Aldama Perez (Español).

The event concluded with some final announcements from the #FreeAnt defense committee and organizers from #SaveTheMeadows. A huge thanks went out to all of Ant’s supporters for helping to spread the word via letters, social media posts, and rallies, and for the ongoing court support. The new sentencing date is currently November 28th. Please come out in numbers and pack the courtroom, the hallways, and streets outside! The Save the Meadows crew announced an upcoming Stop Cop City solidarity event–a festival of workshops, skill sharing, and presentations taking place the following weekend.

We give many thanks to MXGM Philly for organizing this epic and empowering event with us again, and the ~300 people who participated in person or remotely–inside or outside prison–from California, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, and internationally from Ontario and Japan.

We’d like to thank Unicorn Riot, Hate5six and Marcus Rivera for filming the event. We thank Food Not Bombs Solidarity for the snacks and refreshments, IWW, Socialist Rifle Association, Iffy Books, and Mobilization for Mumia for tabling, and to Latziyela and Come On Strong for their expert help printing the shirts. We thank the Save the Meadows crew and Free Ant defense committee for the announcements, Gabe Bryant for emceeing, and Sheena Sood for leading the yoga warm-up.

Together we raised $12,812 to be split between jail/legal support for folks facing repression from alleged connection to the #StopCopCity movement, and the ABCF Warchest that sends monthly stipends to 15 political prisoners and prisoners of war with little or no financial support. A full breakdown of Warchest funds in and out since 1994 is available here (updated July 2023). Funds available beyond the reserved amount needed for the monthly stipends will be disbursed as one-time donations to other political prisoners who demonstrate financial need, or to the release funds of the next comrades to come home.

We look forward to more successes in the next year as we further the struggle to free all political prisoners, and ensure that a Cop City is never built!

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Mass Protests and Direct Actions in Solidarity With Palestine Grow into Student Occupations and Blockades

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/19/2023 - 02:47

photo: Ash Agony on X/TwitterSupport Here

Direct actions, mass demonstrations, and increasingly, disruptive protests in support of occupied Palestine and to demand an immediate ceasefire by the US backed Israeli state have continued unabated and in many areas, have intensified. While mass marches and protests in many cities have continued, the movement has also expanded into direct action campaigns targeting weapons contractors and corporations, student occupations of university buildings, and disruptive protests and blockades.

Over the past week, thousands marched and blockaded delegates in San Francisco, during Biden’s recent visit during the APEC conference; actions which culminated in protesters blockading the bay bridge for hours. In Washington DC, police injured reportedly up to 90 people when they attempted to stop protesters from locking arms in front of a DNC meeting, while in Sacramento, California, another meeting by Democrats was disrupted, “taken over,” and shut down by protesters who held a sit-in and demanded an end to the US backed war. In Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Chicago, thousands marched, blocked streets, targeted businesses directly helping to fund the war, and in some cases, pushed passed police to shutdown roadways.

Meanwhile, student protests on college campuses are upping the ante. Occupations of an administrative building have occurred at the University of Michigan, Occidental College in Los Angeles, and a hall at Harvard in Cambridge, MA, while walkouts and protests organized by pro-Palestinian students across the US have continued.

Direct actions and claimed acts of sabotage also continue to take place across the US. A claim of responsibility posted to Indybay and other websites, claimed credit for helping to shut down a fundraiser for the IDF in San Francisco, California. From the communique:

Despite reports and appearances otherwise, this fundraiser was effectively shut down within the first hour. Donor attendees began hurriedly leaving in a steady stream at the start of what was planned to be a full evening of blood money raising. This disruption, however, was not achieved by the tame, above-ground rally being safely contained by both the police and the rally organizers themselves, at a far distance from the unbothered attendees. These symbolic and futile attempts to shame and appeal to the moral conscience of individuals who have no shame or conscience, will always fail.

You cannot do damage to the Zionist project by merely engaging with its facade; you must strike at its soulless heart. You must strike at its veins (supply chains, logistics, cash flows, infrastructure).

While the liberals were congratulating themselves for having their nonthreatening photo op parade out in front of the gala, our people were out of sight at work on the veins of the building. Palestinians have suffered decades of Israeli soldiers and settlers restricting and destroying their access to water, often bricking up or concreting any water source not directly under strict control of the occupation forces, cutting off Palestinian access to the Jordan River while draining it to near extinction for settlement mono-crop agriculture, shooting holes in Palestinian water towers, bombing Gazan water treatment facilities, poisoning Palestinian springs and enforcing water apartheid in order to exert total control over Palestinian life. We decided to give these Zionist bootlickers a taste of their own medicine.

We cracked open the water main for the building housing the gala, switched it off, and filled the box with fresh concrete. This form of sabotage is quick and incredibly easy to replicate, and the tools are quite cheap. It also renders the building in question completely uninhabitable and unusable. We had a good laugh imagining these fascist motherfuckers driven out of the gala by the stench of overflowing toilets, unable to raise any more money for genocide. As we did we were reminded of how Israeli settlers flood Palestinian olive groves with sewage, poisoning food sources, destroying livelihoods.

On November 9th, Elbit Systems, a weapons contractor, was vandalized in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. On November 12th in Bloomington, Indiana, a military recruiting station was sabotaged in solidarity with Palestine. Banner drops and graffiti campaigns also took place across the United States in the bay area and in Philadelphia.

Banner drop in Bay Area. Source: Indybay.Org

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Remembering the Life and Times of Revolutionary and former Political Prisoner, Ed Mead

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/19/2023 - 00:22

A memorial and look-back at the life of former political prisoner and activist, Ed Mead.

“Regardless of when a general change in political consciousness may come to the U.S., the fact remains that the march of history and the forces of progress are on our side. Through the process of our struggle we will make important changes right now, changes that will also help to propel that much needed rise in consciousness right here in the belly of the beast.”
— Ed Mead (1941–2023)

On November 6, 2023, lifelong abolitionist, writer, fighter, and former political prisoner Ed Mead joined the ancestors. Ed died at home, on his 82nd birthday, after almost a decade of battling late stage lung cancer. Born in 1941, in Santa Monica, California, to Ramona (Ona) Irene Mead and Edward Leo Mead, Ed was the second oldest of six siblings.

Ed Mead did not live a conventional life. As his lifelong friend and comrade, Mark Cook, is fond of saying, Ed spent his life “kicking ass for the working class.” After spending much of his youth in reform “schools” and detention centers along the Pacific coast, Ed became politicized in prison in the 1960s. He was a founding member of the George Jackson Brigade, a revolutionary guerilla underground organization based in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-to-late 1970s. Ed spent 35 years of his life in prisons, 18 of which were for his political actions as a member of the George Jackson Brigade.

A brief bio for an essay Ed wrote in the 2024 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar reads, “I was once a young man doing life on the installment plan, well on my way to becoming just another crime statistic. Then something changed, I became rights conscious. I no longer identified as a criminal, instead I came to identify as a prisoner rights activist. With the passage of time and a lot of effort, I morphed again; I became class conscious—I became a communist. These changes were not sudden, they involved years of struggle and difficult study. The one thread throughout the years of change was political struggle on the inside and studying the writings of early revolutionaries. This is the path for those of you who will no longer accept the things you cannot change and are instead changing the things you cannot accept.”

While in prison for his part in armed struggle, Ed helped to form Men Against Sexism (MAS) at Walla Walla State Penitentiary in Washington. With other comrades, Ed helped to put an end to prisoner-on-prisoner sexual assault and other forms of abuse at Walla Walla. He also helped to form the Committee to Safeguard Prisoners’ Rights at Arizona State Prison. He was a seasoned jailhouse lawyer and a committed organizer within the prison walls. While imprisoned, Ed was a prodigious journalist. He co-founded and wrote for the Red Dragon in the 1970s, The Abolitionist in the 1980s (different from the contemporary newspaper of that name), and Prison Legal News, which still exists and is the longest running newspaper produced by and for current and former prisoners in the United States.

Once released from prison in 1993, Ed worked tirelessly with revolutionary organizations and prisoner support groups, including but not limited to the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, the Attica Brothers Legal Defense Committee, the Seattle chapter of the National Jericho Movement, All of Us or None, and the National Lawyers Guild. Ed created the Free Mark Cook Organizing Committee and worked relentlessly to free his comrade Mark Cook, who was finally released in 2000. He also founded Prison Art, a nonprofit website that provided a platform for prisoners to sell their crafts and artwork. And he continued to write about prison conditions and prisoner resistance. He wrote for California Prison Focus, founded The Rock to support California prisoners on hunger strike, co-created the prison newsletter The Kite, and Prison Covid newsletter to track the pandemic in prison in 2020–2021. Ed believed changing prisons will come from the prisoners themselves. This belief motivated his work on publications featuring prisoner journalism and communications.

In 2016, Mead donated his papers to the University of Washington Libraries to be accessed by researchers, students, activists, and others. The collection, which forms the basis of something now called the Washington Prison History Project, includes several prisoner-run newsletters and lawsuits that Mead participated in. It also included the programming code for the Warden Game, a computer game Ed designed in prison in the mid-1980s after the Washington Department of Corrections introduced computers on a limited capacity in prisons. (A playable version of the game, based on Ed’s original code, is on the WPHP site.) Ed was later able to use the computer skills he taught himself inside to gain employment as a technical engineer for several different agencies.

Ed published the zine, The Theory and Practice of Armed Struggle in the Northwest: A Historical Analysis (Kersplebedeb, 2007), and the book Lumpen: The Autobiography of Ed Mead (Kersplebedeb, 2015). Some of his organizing in Washington prisons is also captured in the books Concrete Mama: Prison Profiles from Walla Walla (originally published by University of Missouri Press, 1981), Guerrilla USA: The George Jackson Brigade and the Anticapitalist Underground of the 1970s (University of California Press, 2010), and Creating a Movement with Teeth: A Documentary History of the George Jackson Brigade (PM Press, 2010), as well as in dozens of talks and interviews he conducted over the years. He can be seen in the film The Gentleman Bank Robber: The Story of Butch Lesbian Freedom Fighter rita bo brown (2017). Along with Mark Cook, Ed also has an interview in the forthcoming book Rattling the Cages: Oral Histories of North American Political Prisoners (AK Press, due out in December 2023).

In the Postscript to Lumpen, Ed wrote, “Let me tell you what my mama told me. She said the Earth should be a better place to live as a result of you having passed through. It took me a long while to internalize that message, although I do think the world is a slightly better place as a result of my having been here.” We agree with Ed—the world is a better place because of his lifetime of struggle and sacrifice. Ed Mead Presente!

Cover photo: The George Jackson Brigade in 2010. Ed is in the foreground, to the left. Above, from left to right, is Mark Cook, bo brown, and Janine Bertram.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Report back on Jail Vigil outside DeKalb County Jail following ‘Block Cop City’ Mobilization

It's Going Down - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 11:35

Report back on recent noise demo in solidarity with those arrested during recent ‘Block Cop City’ mobilization in so-called Atlanta, Georgia.

On Monday, November 13th after the mass action to Block Cop City in Atlanta, there was a press conference and jail vigil at the Dekalb County Jail, where many people arrested in affiliation with the movement have been brought and spent significant time. Jail vigils and noise demos have been an important part of Atlanta autonomous action for a number of years, especially at Dekalb County Jail where in 2019 a struggle formed around the inhumane conditions within its cell walls. People held captive there have become intimately aware of the stop Cop City movement because of the incarceration of activists there. While no one was arrested at the Block Cop City action, one person was arrested off site while playing a support role, and three people had been arrested over the weekend.

Initially, an altar was built across the street, kitty-corner to the jail, with snacks and food provided. Speakers included Block Cop City spokespeople, long time defend the Atlanta forest activists, and one of the people who had been arrested over the weekend and released before the vigil. The person who had just been released spoke during the press conference to the brutality they witnessed or heard reports of within the jail, from mold covering the walls and unclean water to reports of a female inmate beaten to death by guards. The marching band was present alongside some media. As people walked up to the vigil, passing the jail, people locked inside who had busted out their windows chanted, “Stop Cop City!,” and those below returned their chants, alongside chants of, “Free them all!,” and, “We love you!”

A few hundred feet down the street from the vigil, and directly in front of the jail, about 45 minutes into the press conference that accompanied the vigil, a projectionist began projecting “STOP COP CITY” on the side of the jail. When three Dekalb County Sheriff’s vehicles pulled up to harass the projectionist, 30 or 40 people from the around 100 person crowd ran to their assistance, surrounded them to protect them from the cops, and began fierce chants of, “The whole world hates the police,” and “Quit your job!” After a few minutes of being drowned out by chants the cops pulled away. Throughout the night, however, there was heavy police presence, with cars stationed across the street and constantly pulling past the group, every few minutes or so. Their presence seemed to only anger and embolden the crowd.

People were frustrated to be across the street from the jail and have the vigil on the opposite corner, so after the projectionist was protected and the crowd was feeling bold, someone got on the mic and encouraged the crowd to cross the street and relocate to directly in front of the jail, about 30 or 40 feet of lawn and hedges separating the vigil from the walls of the building. Vigil attendees and and incarcerated people traded chants of “we love you” and “we love you too.” At least 5 windows had been busted out from the inside and people waved cloth flags out of them. The energy was extremely high, the marching band with crushing renditions of Bella ciao, the crowd was amped and chanting, the people inside were throwing toilet paper out the window covering the trees below them. The people inside were yelling about jail conditions and what they needed, the fact that there is no hot water and they aren’t being fed enough. Despite the weight of the messages, the power of direct communication swelled people’s spirits.

Then a line started dropping from one of the windows, with a bag tied to the bottom. Instantly the crowd knew what was necessary and assembled cigarettes, pizza, and water bottles for the folks inside. Initially, people were thinking of trying to move the entire 120 person or so crowd across the lawn and to the building to fill the bag and protect people participating, but it was taking too long and a heroic attendee darted from the crowd and filled the bag with the goodies, before disappearing back into the center of the safety of the crowd, being shielded by those around them.

The bag was raised and brought into the cell. Then another bag dropped, and this time a group of six people made the run for it together and loaded it up, before similarly returning to the protection of the crowd. The police then finally approached after the third bag was dropped, and began clearing out the stuff that had been dropped from the windows and cut down the line. As they passed in front of the crowd, people chanted things like, “Burn the jails, burn the prisons, just make sure the cops are in them.”

A beautiful night of spiritual connection turned into an opening towards material solidarity in an unprecedented turn of events because of the courage and innovation of a few people locked inside the jail and a few people attending the vigil, supported by the entire crowd. From starting the vigil on the opposite corner, to crossing the street to confront the cops harassing the projectionist, to the whole crowd reassembling directly in front of the jail and supporting a few heroes in helping get food and water inside, the arc of the vigil was a spiral of collectively inspired escalation, and progressive expansion of what the crowd believed it’s power to be, and what it was able to do. This capped off, of course, an entire weekend of empowerment and strength cultivated through the trainings and spokescouncils in preparation for the Block Cop City action, in which hundreds of demonstrators confronted riot cops near the Weelaunee forest, pushed their line back until they deployed tear-gas on themselves and scattered, and escaped without a single arrest. Energy was riding high, and the actions grew bolder and bolder. We’ll see where jail vigils go from here.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Banner Drops in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor in Solidarity with Stop Cop City

It's Going Down - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 19:46

Report on recent banner drop action in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor in solidarity with the movement to stop Cop City. Originally posted to Unsalted Counter-Info.

Last night we dropped a banner in downtown Ann Arbor reading “Free Palestine, Stop Cop City” in solidarity with the Block Cop City Week of Action and with Palestinians everywhere.

The genocide of Palestinians is directly supported by the Atlanta Police Foundation and all cops defending it. These two struggles are connected. The unmitigated violence of Cop City as well as the IDF will be brought “home” to be used against us if the need arises. No to settler colonialism, no to cop city!

We also improved a local police monument by hoisting a black flag reading “ACAB” in place of some thin blue line trash, to make them mad and make us laugh.

Love and rage to everyone throwing down to stop Cop City, and to everyone fighting for life against domination.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Barricades, Rocks and Blockades Shut Down Defense Contractor Raytheon in El Segundo

It's Going Down - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 14:33

Report from Black Powder Press on recent direct action and blockade in Southern California against defense contractor, Raytheon.

On Monday, November 13th at 7am, hundreds of people converged on defense contractor Raytheon’s sprawling southern California campus in an autonomous action that blockaded the facility for upwards of 7 hours, effectively shutting down operations for the day, in response to a call by workers in Palestine to take direct action to prevent the arming of Israel in their ongoing campaign of genocide against the Palestinian people.

Screenshot via @ACatWithNews

Protesters built barricades, marched, carried and hung banners, vandalized Raytheon signs, lit smoke bombs, physically blocked employees from entering the gates, and even filled entire roads with rocks in order to prevent police from advancing. Raytheon is one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the world and is currently providing sophisticated military technology and weaponry that is being used against Palestinians.

The action was called and coordinated autonomously (meaning without formal involvement from organizations, nonprofits, or under the banner of any groups), which resulted in hundreds of individuals coming together for the common purpose of shutting down Raytheon for as long feasible. The stated framework for the action was that it would be non-symbolic, a diversity of tactics would be supported, and that the overall goal was to prevent people from going into work to create and export weapons of war for as long as possible.

Photo via @ACatWithNews

Several days ago a call was issued online for people to show up to a direct action to stop the flow of weapons to Israel, with links to a telegram channel that only confirmed the location of the action the morning it was to take place, which seems to have helped this time to prevent an early response from law enforcement that was coherent enough to stop the action from taking hold before enough participants arrived.

After hours of preventing employees from entering the facility, ignoring dispersal orders, and playing cat-and-mouse with police, the action ended after 7 hours of blockaiding. There were no arrests.

Screenshot via Black Powder Press

Over the past month, a Palestinian child has been killed every 10 minutes on average. One out of every 200 Palestinians is dead, totaling over 11,000 civilian lives lost, and that number is likely to rise fast as starvation, dehydration, and disease start to take their toll. Unknown thousands more are buried under the rubble of buildings collapsed by Israeli airstrikes. We can’t afford to wait any longer to do everything possible to help put this to an end.

For those of us who live in the heart of the empire, it’s not a question of IF we should act, it’s a question of how. As our tactics and strategies develop, it’s imperative that we learn from past successes and failures alike, constantly evolve our actions, grow our capacities, and multiply the impact to cause maximum disruption to the war machine. Weapons manufacturers, shipping routes, financial backers, and powerful apologists of this genocide are unfortunately everywhere, but so are we. The time for action is now.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Police Attack Protesters As Hundreds March Against Cop City in Atlanta, Halt Construction

It's Going Down - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 11:49

Press release on recent mobilization against Cop City in so-called Atlanta that was attacked by police. Originally posted to Stop Cop City on social media.

Atlanta, GA – On Monday morning, a bold and joyful procession of roughly 500 people marched along a public road to the proposed Cop City construction site. Holding banners and giant puppets, and accompanied by drummers and a brass band, Block Cop City activists reclaimed Atlanta’s rich civil rights legacy from politicians who continue to tarnish it with every voter disenfranchised and each tear gas canister thrown. Despite the violent response by police, activists minimized arrests and harm through careful planning, extensive preparation, and close attention to lessons learned from generations of revolutionary struggles against repression and authoritarianism.

The march began with a festive gathering in Gresham Park where participants adopted an explicit commitment to nonviolence and heard from Kamau Franklin (Executive Director of Atlanta-based Community Movement Builders) and Joel Paez (father of Tortuguita, a forest defender murdered by police in the forest in January).

“Now is not a time for cowardice. You are either with the oppressed or with the oppressors. You are either with the people or the pigs. You cannot stand in the middle. You cannot be on both sides. You cannot close your eyes to the terror of policing that happens in this world,” stated Kamau Franklin. “We are going to continue defending the forest. We are going to continue defending the legacy of Tortuguita. We are family. You are my family,” said Joel Paez.

Once the march was underway it took less than an hour for the police to declare it illegal, just as they did in 1965 during the March from Selma to Montgomery. Despite numerous stated commitments from religious leaders and city officials to honor the right to protest, armed riot police terrorized the crowd with tear gas grenades, attack dogs, clubs and ballistic shields.

“We just witnessed overt violations of our civil rights on a road named after the U.S. Constitution. Atlanta claims itself to be a civil rights hub, but it erases its own legacy when protests arise that confront the power of politicians and police. The police’s violence against protestors today affirms our belief that Cop City must never be built,” said Mary Hooks, field secretary for the Movement for Black Lives

As other protestors took to planting tree saplings in the Weelaunee Forest, journalists were forcibly separated from the crowd and threatened with arrest by police. We condemn this infringement of these journalists’ rights as well as the arrest of protestors including the Indigenous activists arrested while visiting Tortuguita’s altar in the Weelaunee Forest over the weekend.

The movement to Stop Cop City and Defend the Atlanta Forest is undeterred by today’s police aggression and is planning a press conference and vigil at the Dekalb County Jail at 8PM. Additional vigils were also held at the Atlanta City Detention Center and Rice Street Fulton County Jail where arraigned RICO defendants are expected to be released on Monday.

Sam Beard, Block Cop City spokesperson stated, “The City of Atlanta’s actions against this movement under the leadership of Andre Dickens have been draconian but we remain committed to the opposite: building a world free of police violence and repression where all of us can thrive.”

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Repression Tech Hub Shut Down in Hamilton, Ontario in Solidarity with Palestine

It's Going Down - Sun, 11/12/2023 - 21:28

Action report on recent blockade of L3 Harris, which specializes in “surveillance…microwave weaponry and electronic warfare.” Originally posted to Hamilton 4 Palestine on social media.

Over ten thousand Palestinians have been murdered; at least 4,237 of them children. Thousands more have lost their friends and family. Entire lineages of kin have been erased from their homes and homelands with prejudice.

For those watching and cognizant, it’s not hard to draw at least some parallels between the State of Israel’s occupation and violence against Palestinians, and the Canadian State’s ongoing occupation and genocide of Indigenous People here on Turtle Island. When Indigenous peoples and their accomplices across these lands have risen to challenge their oppressors, the state has always acted with swift force to quell them. That is what we see happening to Palestinians, and that is why we take a stand today – and call for others to follow.

We are a group of Indigenous peoples of many Nations and settler accomplices that have shut down access to L3Harris in Hamilton, ON. We do this not just as an act of solidarity with Palestinian people here at home and abroad, but to stand against settler colonialism more broadly and act in solidarity with Indigenous people across Turtle Island.

L3Harris profits from, and is directly implicated, in the attacks on Palestine as well as the repression of those involved in Indigenous, anti-colonial, and anti-imperialist struggles. L3Harris technology is contracted widely by intelligence, military, and police forces throughout Turtle Island, and globally. This includes equipping the Israeli Air Force – which has been deployed for heavy assaults on Gaza – and also manufacturing the controversial Stingray surveillance devices used to repress and surveil movements across Turtle Island.

We demand a ceasefire, and an end to Canada arming Israel.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

Invitation to the First International Gathering of Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarian Practices in Tijuana, Mexico

It's Going Down - Sat, 11/11/2023 - 22:57

Announcement for an anarchist gathering in so-called Tijanaa, Mexico from January 25th – 27th of 2024.

From the territory dominated by the Mexican State, we sound this call for the First International Gathering of Anarchist and Anti-authoritarian Practices to take place in the borderlands of Tijuana, Mexico.

We are organizing for the gathering to take place January 25, 26 and 27 2024, with the goal of agitation, solidarity, and self-organization of anarchist and anti-authoritarian rage against the borders across lands, the borders in our minds, and the emotional borders between us as individuals. As part of the anarchist legacy of confrontation, we have never invested any hope in the political spectacle of elections, nor waited passively for some rupture from “the masses,” nor expected the appearance of a clearly defined revolutionary subject to descend upon us and make the revolution or raise the consciousness of the bosses, the rich, or their lackeys.

Accordingly, we invite all collectives, projects, and individuals involved in publishing, audio-visual propaganda, counter-information, anti-prison work, and anyone else that advances daily on the treacherous path of anarchism and anti-authoritarianism—of attacks against power—to send in your proposals for workshops, discussions, book presentations, short films and documentaries, musical performances, works of theater or other art, which will be spread horizontally, in solidarity, and self-organized in an offensive against power and its henchmen.

To propose an activity, please reach us at:

We will update the organization of the gathering as we continue to confirm the activities.

For more information:


Categories: D1. Anarchism

A Front-line Report from the West Bank of Occupied Palestine

It's Going Down - Sat, 11/11/2023 - 16:49

On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, IGD contributor Scott Campbell speaks with a Palestinian comrade based in Ramallah, which is located in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. The West Bank, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967. For a deeper dive on the history of the occupation of Palestine by the state of Israel and how it is propped up by the US government, go here.

The interview covers the current unfolding situation on the ground in the various parts of Palestine, the role of the Palestinian Authority during Israel’s current war on Gaza, the place (or lack thereof) of anarchism in the struggle for Palestinian liberation, how international solidarity can best manifest itself, and much more.

photo: Miami Antifascist Newsletter

Categories: D1. Anarchism


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