Originally from CrimethInc.
Over the past month, the FBI has initiated a spate of entrapment operations designed to frame anarchists as “terrorists.” Significantly, they have not targeted longtime organizers, but rather people who are relatively peripheral to anarchist communities.
In response, we’ve prepared a pamphlet suitable for a wide readership explaining how this entrapment strategy works, and an analysis exploring why the FBI has adopted it. Please circulate these widely.
The Latest Trend in Repression
Not so long ago, it seemed that the FBI focused on pursuing accomplished anarchists: Marie Mason and Daniel McGowan were both arrested after lengthy careers involving everything from supporting survivors of domestic violence to ecologically-minded arson. It isn’t surprising that the security apparatus of the state targeted these activists: they were courageously threatening the inequalities and injustices the state is founded upon.
However, starting with the entrapment case of Eric McDavid—framed for a single conspiracy charge by an infiltrator who used his attraction to her to manipulate him into discussing illegal actions—the FBI seem to have switched strategies, focusing on younger targets who haven’t actually carried out any actions.
They stepped up this new strategy during the 2008 Republican National Convention, at which FBI informants Brandon Darby and Andrew Darst set upDavid McKay, Bradley Crowder, and Matthew DePalma on charges of possessing Molotov cocktails in two separate incidents. It’s important to note that the only Molotov cocktails that figured in the RNC protests at any point were the ones used to entrap these young men: the FBI were not responding to a threat, but inventing one.
Over the past month, the FBI have shifted into high gear with this approach. Immediately before May Day, five young men were set up on terrorism charges in Cleveland after an FBI infiltrator apparently guided them into planning to bomb a bridge, in what would have been the only such bombing carried out by anarchists in living memory. During the protests against the NATO summit in Chicago, three young men were arrested and charged with terrorist conspiracy once again involving the only Molotov cocktails within hundreds of miles, set up by at least two FBI informants.
None of the targets of these entrapment cases seem to be longtime anarchist organizers. None of the crimes they’re being charged with are representative of the tactics that anarchists have actually used over the past decade. All of the cases rest on the efforts of FBI informants to manufacture conspiracies. All of the arrests have taken place immediately before mass mobilizations, enabling the authorities to frame a narrative justifying their crackdowns on protest as thwarting terrorism. And in all of these cases, the defendants have been described as anarchists in the legal paperwork filed against them, setting precedents for criminalizing anarchism. Read the rest of this entry »
We wanted to take the time and tell you about what our friend Miranda Gibson has been up to. For the last 154 days, long time forest defense activist Miranda Gibson has been living in an old growth Eucalyptus tree (named Observer tree) nearly 200 feet up in the heart of Australia’s Tasmania’s southern forests. The forest that Miranda has been calling home is due to be logged any day now, and she has vowed to stay up in Observer tree until the forest is protected.
With the help of a decent solar panel, Miranda has turned the tree top platform into a fully functional media center. She has an awesome blog; Observer Tree, which allows the world to keep up with her forest defense work in protecting the beautiful Tasmania forest. The Observer Tree blog is frequently updated with video footage of Miranda and all things forest defense. You should really check it out and keep up to date with her campaign. Miranda has already broken the record for the longest tree sit in a Tasmania forest, and from the looks of it, she is only getting started.
This area of forest is in an area earmarked as one of Tasmania’s future forest reserves. It was promised protection by the State and Federal governments. Yet, if the logging industry has its way, it is going to be logged this summer! What is really going on in Tasmania’s forests?
A brief history of the Tasmanian Forest Negotiations:
2011 could have been a year of celebration for Tasmania’s wild forest. In October 2010, A statement of principles signed by Environmental NGO’s, industry groups and Unions paved the way for comprehensive forest protection and a restructuring of the logging industry. But, more than a year later, not one tree has been saved, more cash has been delivered to the timber industry and destructive logging continues in some of our island’s most sensitive and iconic forest areas. So what went wrong?
A series of broken promises, industry pressure and Government backpeddling have jeapordised the progress of this historic agreement.
First, in December 2010, the Tasmanian Government failed to implement a promised moratorium on the logging of 572,000 hectares of high conservation value forest. Forestry Tasmania, the State-owned forest management agency, flaunted this failure of leadership by pushing ahead with roading and logging in some of Tasmania’s most contentious forest areas.
In August 2011, the Tasmanian and Federal Governments signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that promised immediate protection for 430,000 hectares of high conservation forest. The IGA stipulated that the Tasmanian Government would ‘ensure that the 430,000 hectares of State Forest identified … is not accessed [for logging]‘ and that the Commonwealth would compensate any contract holder affected by the protection of these areas.
But the agreement also required that hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of sawlogs and veneer peeler logs must continue to be supplied to the industry. Malaysian logging company Ta Ann Holdings has been promised an ongoing supply of over 265,000 cubic metres of timber per year from Tasmania’s forests. Forestry Tasmania argued that they could not supply this timber without continuing to log within the 430,00 hectares. In another backflip, the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments have turned a blind eye to the ongoing logging of pristine forests within an area they earmarked for immediate protection.
As 2011 draws to a close, Tasmanians are suffering the loss of hundreds of hectares of native forest that should have been saved from logging. Activists have occupied forests on the flanks of Mt Mueller to document this destruction. Prime Minister Julia Gillard must keep her word before the trail of broken promises undermines this crucial opportunity to protect Tasmania’s forests. Read the rest of this entry »
This is our first published workshop video from the 2012 Law and Disorder Conference in Portland, OR. We hope you enjoy this video, and the ones to come! For this video, Rose City Copwatch gives the workshop ‘Abolishing The Police’. Watch a wonderful, thought provoking workshop discussion around the reasons why people believe we need the police in our society, and community alternatives to the police and how to put them into practice.
What are your thoughts? What will need to change in the way our society functions if the police didn’t exist? What are the first steps in achieving this? We would like to see a discussion form in the comment section on this post. Thanks for watching!
“Greetings animal liberation comrades,
I have been doing animal rights activism for the past decade. I moved from Long Island, New York to Portland, Oregon on May Day 2011. As some of y’all might be aware, courtesy of The Vegan Police, I have been found responsible in civil court of stalking Leviticus Christian Cole. “Levi” is a member of the Portland Meat Collective, which butchers animals throughout Oregon. I have a permanent restraining order against me and was forced to pay $9,500 to Levi’s attorney in legal fees, despite an appeal that Levi’s attorney spent most of his billed time stalking my Facebook wall and searching my lack of criminal history. The day after the ruling, Levi tried to friend me on Facebook. This was an entrapment that could have landed me in jail, ala Rod Coronado accepting Mike Roselle’s friend request! This has been a very traumatic experience for me, something I want to make sure no one in our movement ever experiences again.
It all started with being alerted that a rabbit butchering class was being scheduled. I was informed of this by a long-time animal rights activist, past snitch jacket and current informant from Portland who is serving a 1-year sentence in an Arkansas prison. The Portland Meat Collective was selling spots in their class for $100 to learn how to slaughter a rabbit. Upon hearing the news of the butchering class, I decided to engage in some impromptu street theater where the class was when, unbeknownst to me, I was informed of the liberation of 23 rabbits from the tenant of one of Levi’s properties. Levi and his goons tracked me down with the help of local police to consider me their top suspect, although they didn’t have sufficient evidence to charge me criminally. I take solace in knowing that the individual(s) who had amazing compassion in their hearts went unidentified! However, civil suits do not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. They merely need a preponderance of evidence. Levi and his lawyer, Matthew C. Ellis from Kell, Alterman, & Runstein L.L.P., completely made up an encounter I had in front of his other house. They were straight up calling me the ALF and linked me to actions I had no involvement in nor evidence of, all because I reposted articles from Bite Back with my personal opinion in the status update bar. Judge Richard “Dick” Baldwin who is running for Supreme Court, was completely swayed by this charade. Even though the civil trial was not about this, he said he believed that I freed the rabbits and confronted Levi in front of his house later on. It didn’t help that my intended lawyer was unreachable and I was forced to defend myself. Read the rest of this entry »
Update: At least two others have been contacted by the FBI, one of them has been subpoenaed as well. Stay safe ya’ll.
Taken from our comrade Jose Palafox
I HAVE BEEN SUBPOENAED BEFORE A GRAND JURY
On Friday May 4th, I was approached by two FBI agents at the BART Station at 19th and Broadway in Oakland. They asked my name, identified themselves as Carrie and Matt from the FBI, and served me a subpoena to testify before a federal Grand Jury. They informed me that I had been served and left without asking me any other questions.
From the face of the Grand Jury Subpoena, it appears related to an animal rights action that took place in Santa Cruz in August of 2008. I believe this is a political repression and part of a government attempt to gather information on activists and the animal rights movement.
This is the second time I have come into contact with the FBI. A couple of years ago, I had to deal with the Oakland Police Department regarding a private criminal matter, unrelated to activism, and without my knowledge was interviewed by an FBI agent. He began to ask me questions about my activism and political affiliations. I asked what agency he was from and I immediately stopped answering any questions. Probably unrelated but you never know.
I feel that it is important to let folks know about this political repression and to let people know that I will be needing support. However, please don’t ask me to speculate about the FBI’s investigation. I can talk about the government’s accusations and what is happening with court appearances but I can’t answer questions about the facts, so please don’t ask. I will update the community if I learn anything further.
In solidarity, Jose Palafox 5/10/12