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(en) US, Tempa, Media: Anarchy reigns for Tempe visitors

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 21 Apr 2003 11:06:39 +0200 (CEST)


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A week ago today, a "Support the Troops" rally was held at Seventh
Street and Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. A couple of hundred people
attended. They weren't alone.
One block south and two blocks west was the official Welcome Center
for the spring conference of the Southwest Anarchist Network. According
to promoters, the conference was an opportunity for interested anarchists
to "learn to network, organize and destroy capitalism."
In pursuit of that elusive goal, a new "anarchist house" was opened
in Tempe last November. The Phoenix Anarchist Coalition holds its weekly
meetings in Tempe. And the Coalition has established its new headquarters
in downtown Tempe. The grand opening was held in March.

Conference attendees were cautioned that last weekend's workshops were
"not the place to brag about illegal activity or to plan illegal activity."

Conference organizers recommended attendees "bring no alcohol, weapons
or drugs to the conference location or anything that would give the
police the pretext to bother us."

Furthermore, they encouraged everyone to "travel with at least one
buddy and to leave pertinent information with trusted family or friends
at home. We don't mean to be paranoid, but we're living in a police
state and some precautions can be helpful." There's an understatement.
The use of the word "paranoid" doesn't begin to describe their level of
paranoia.

See for yourself at http://security.tao.ca/personal/culture.shtml .
The Web site is designed to help activists "stay safe in our oppressive
world." Those of you who visit it can learn about informants and infiltrator
or brush up on building and structural security. Other topics include
police interrogation, intimidation and harassment. Considerable space
is devoted to physical and electronic surveillance.

The section on letter and package bomb indicators is a must read. Did
you know that "protruding wires or tinfoil" might be indicative of
a bomb? Other indicators include excessive postage, incorrect titles,
lopsided or uneven envelopes, misspellings of common words, oily stains
or discoloration, excessive weight, no return address, handwritten
or poorly typed addresses and the excessive use of masking tape or
string. The site leaves one important question unanswered. Who would send a
bomb to an anarchist?

Conference participants, many of whom camped out in the nearby Maple-Ash
Neighborhood (home of the anarchist Welcome Center), came to Tempe with a
variety of expectations. A woman named Warrior from Laramie, Wyo., wanted
to spend her weekend "sharing, loving, helping and talking." Michael from
Los Angeles came to build an "anti-racist, anti-colonialist caucus."

Keith from Santa Cruz, Calif., was interested in the "establishment of an
underground economy" and what he termed "post-apocalyptic monuments" to art.
A fellow named Texas from Denver wanted to "cultivate and share
revolutionary skills."

When the anarchist community isn't meeting, it's busy doing. Last December,
for example, the coalition endorsed "the mobilization to confront, curse
and celebrate the demise of yuppie and rich developer's establishments."

The object of their ire was the Brickyards on Mill. According to their Web
site (www.phoenixanarchist.org), "The Yuppies have attempted to take over
downtown Tempe and we will say enough is enough. Confront the downtown
developers. No more business as usual! Prepare for a celebration. Be
prepared with costumes and noisemakers."

Then the writer's enthusiasm got the better of his brain when he opined,
"A year ago, on December 21st, the people of Argentina rose up and
dismantled a system similar to the creation of yuppified Mill Avenue. We
celebrate their victory and prepare for ours. All anarchists in the Valley
come out and show them that we will win."

Huh? The Brickyards? Mill Avenue? Argentina? Anyway, back to the conference.
On Friday night, a series of "great" acoustic acts were scheduled to perform
These included Chip from Phoenix and Sonya from Tucson "doing her awesome
political songs." On Saturday night, Joel Olson of Phoenix Copwatch and
Bring the Ruckus was scheduled to speak on racism and White abolitionist
politics. Sunday began with yoga.

Workshops covered a variety of topics. One focused on the "Environmental
Impact of the Militarization of the Border." Another was titled "Arrest!
Avoiding, Dealing With & Planning For." Other workshops dealt with "Non-
Violent Communication" and something termed the "Anarchist EcoVillage."

All in all, it was a dizzying three days for the conferees. As such, the
weekend's events concluded with a dinner and a post-conference "chill-out"
swim party.

Pity the poor residents of the Brickyards. They don't have a pool.

From: arizonarepublic
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/eastvalleyopinions/articles/0418durrenberger0418.html
Dan Durrenberger is a 30-year resident of the East Valley who lives in
Tempe and works in Mesa. He can be reached at DJDurrenberger@aol.com or
P.O. Box 24494, Tempe, AZ 85285-4494. The views expressed are those of the
author.




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