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(en) US, Kirksville, Meedia, Anarchists continue activity after FBI surveillance

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 27 Dec 2004 20:56:24 +0100 (CET)


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The Kirksville men still don't know exactly why they were targeted by
an FBI investigation that began over the summer.
Daniel Coate, 22, a graduate student in English; Ben Garrett, 24; and Chris
Scheets, 20, all of whom are self-described anarchists, appeared before a
grand jury July 29 in St. Louis in connection to alleged plans to disrupt
the Republican and Democratic national conventions, elections and debates.
The FBI also followed the men between July 24 and 30.
Coate and Garrett said they haven't heard from the FBI since they
appeared before the grand jury. The men said their lawyer still is
following up on the case, but they haven't received any new information.

Peter Krusing, FBI media relations coordinator, declined to
comment.

"[Other anarchists across the country] were also wondering why they
were targeted," Coate said. "No one really planned to do anything
that was truly disruptive. They think it's to intimidate us from doing
anything at all."

Coate and Garrett said they still are not sure why they were targeted
or subpoenaed.

"The point of being an anarchist is not to have the FBI following you
and harassing you," Garrett said. "We're still doing the same things."

Coate, who is part of the Great Plains Anarchist Network, said little
has changed in the past few months, and the network continues
activities such as serving food to poor people and supporting
prisoners. He said he supports prisoners in Missouri and
Pennsylvania by writing to them and providing legal assistance.

Garrett said he also continues to support anarchist and political
prisoners by acting as their outside resource.

He said he helps prisoners buy stamps, writes letters to prison
officials and contacts organizations on their behalf.

"My goal is to foster a real sense of community that isn't dependent
on institutional authority," Garrett said. "The network is not so
important as the goal of a strong community of people that care about
the world and each other."

Other Kirksville residents also continue to remain involved in the
anarchist movement.

About 25 to 30 anarchists and other individuals recently participated
in a peaceful protest in downtown Kirksville after the November
elections.

"In anarchist thought, it's kind of like you don't want to have an
election because we don't believe that one person, especially a white
male, should be ruling over everybody and making decisions for
everybody," freshman Samantha Pounders said. "People came out to
protest pretty much whatever they wanted."

Pounders, who is friends with the men, said the FBI investigation did
not deter her from demonstrating.

"I'm not doing anyting illegal," she said. "The fact that my friends
had to live like that for a while is really aggravating. They weren't
doing anything wrong either, and I think there's something wrong
with that."

Coate said the group played drums, carried signs and handed out
fliers explaining why it was protesting.

He said he thinks most people were supportive of their right to
protest, but some were upset at being inconvenienced when the
protest impeded the flow of traffic.

Local anarchists also are making their voices heard through literature
and pamphlets.

Garrett said the Kirksville Anarchist Collective created the Black
Unicorn Press in September to publish local writers and other
independently published material. He said the Black Unicorn Press
publishes more than just political writings.

"We're mostly going to local concerts and distributing literature,"
Garrett said. "We've gotten a very positive response. People really like
it. People like knowing what other people in the area are doing."

Garrett said he and other anarchists offer a variety of pamphlets at the
concerts. He said some of these pamphlets are free, and others have
requested donations to help the authors who pay for the printing
themselves.

"We always find a way to get our goals accomplished with the
amount of resources we have," Garrett said.
==========================
See also:
http://www.ainfos.ca/04/aug/ainfos00051.html
(en) US, Kansas City, Media, The Anarchists' Datebook (FBI Goes Info-Shopping)


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