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(en) US, Palo Alto: A Communique From the Organizers of the J25 Anti-War March

Date Thu, 23 Jun 2005 14:54:00 +0300

Dismantle the War Machine! Meet 7pm . Saturday . June 25 Lytton Plaza
in downtown Palo Alto University Ave. at Emerson 2 Blocks from Palo
Alto Caltrain http://www.anarchistaction.org
On June 25th hundreds if not thousands of people will take to the streets
of downtown Palo Alto to give voice to their collective outrage at the US
occupation of Iraq. We will march against imperialist war, invasion, and
occupation; against Bush and his corporate interests; against empire and
against the systemic war machine. This is the new face of the anti-war
movement. After a strong peak at the beginning of the invasion of Iraq and
a two year ebb, the movement is again building momentum. But the movement
is also growing louder, angrier, and more radical. As the occupation drags
on with more and more casualties each day, popular outrage is growing, and
with it popular support for the movement through which it is expressed.
Emboldened, the movement is charting new territory; testing new tactics,
abandoning its restrictive authoritarian leadership, and discovering the
new directions in which it can grow.

All indications suggest that the movement now poses a substantial threat
to those waging this war. Police from six different departments assemble a
massive force to repress the upcoming demonstration. Undercover officers
attempt to infiltrate a political group suspected solely of organizing a
protest, and suspected organizers are followed, harassed, interrogated,
and threatened. The corporate media - who hold a vested interest in the
current system, war, empire, and all - print misinformation, distortions,
and deliberate police misrepresentations. Despite these best efforts of
those entrusted with protecting the system responsible for this war, an
immense inertia is building behind this week's march, behind this

There is a clear pattern of deliberate misrepresentation which can be
traced throughout the six articles which have appeared in the local
corporate media in the past week. The demonstration has been portrayed as
a "second show of force" by "self-styled anarchists" "plotting to return
to Palo Alto" and "expected to cause chaos and property damage." When
applied to the anti-war protest planned for this Saturday, the image
manufactured by the media is absurd. However, viewed in its appropriate
social context, this distortion is perfectly understandable; the corporate
media has its own interests which are directly contradictory to those of
the anti-war movement, and of revolutionary anarchism in specific. Any
movement which seeks to end war and empire must also oppose the corporate
interests which creates them, including the corporate media. Beyond this,
the media have received the vast majority of their information from the
Palo Alto Police Department.

The Police Department has also consistently provided deliberate
misinformation to the public, media, and city council as to the nature,
scale, and organization of the protest. Police chief Lynne Johnson has
repeatedly insisted, "It's our information that they are coming back to
Palo Alto in far greater numbers to inflict more economic damage and
incite confrontations with police." It is difficult to understand how we
may be "coming back"; despite her hilariously misinformed assertion that
"most" of the participants in the May 20th demonstration were from
"outside the Bay Area", we all reside here and have never left. In fact a
total of one affinity group (3-8 protesters) from outside of the Bay Area
participated; perhaps this is deliberate misinformation, perhaps Lynne
Johnson and her undercover detectives are complete idiots. Both appear to
be true.

Either scenario would similarly account for her insistence that their
"other intelligence" indicates that "800 to 1,000 anarchists" are
"plotting" to attend the demonstration. While the protest's organizers
would certainly be overjoyed by such a radical turnout, a much smaller
number of "self-proclaimed anarchists" are likely to attend. The vast
majority of the participants in Saturday's demonstration will hail from
Palo Alto and the Mid-Peninsula, and the majority will not identify as
anarchists. A more likely and historically accurate explanation for
Johnson's "other intelligence" would be as follows: The number of police
Johnson would like to occupy downtown streets on Saturday, 160-200,
multiplied by five "expected anarchists", leaving a politically acceptable
ratio of one officer per five anarchists and an impossibly inflated total
800-1,000 anarchists. We can always hope...

Apparently Johnson's omnipotent "other intelligence" also read the
demonstration's call to action on the Anarchist Action website; she
rightly states that protesters are planning to "inflict more economic
damage." Unfortunately for her intelligence and reputation, "inflicting
economic damage" can mean anything from a boycott to a civil suit, and the
protest's organizers themselves have no plans to break corporate windows
or engage in any other similar activities which seem to get her so
excited. So now Police Chief Lynne Johnson has used our advocacy of legal
activities which may hurt a corporation's ability to profit off of mass
murder to send at least a half-dozen of her undercover officers to attempt
to infiltrate Anarchist Action - Palo Alto, two of which she publicly
admitted. As she said, "The threshold is when public safety is
jeopardized." Apparently Johnson's notion of "public safety" is the
economic prosperity of corporations whose practices the vast majority of
Palo Alto's residents find abhorrible. Perhaps she should ask Albert
Hopkins or any of the dozens of protesters injured by her officers on May
20th for a lesson on "public safety".

If our opposition to corporations who pay to elect and lobby politicians
who in turn wage wars to earn them billions of dollars in subsidies wasn't
enough, Johnson insists that organizers are planning to "incite
confrontations with police." This is coming from the Chief of Police is
overseeing the assembly of a six-department tactical squad numbering in
the hundreds, complete with a San Jose horse squad, and authorized to use
tasers, batons, pepperspray, and teargas to prevent us from marching in
the streets. Organizers have no plans to "incite confrontations with
police", but make no mistake: Patriot Act, Lynne Johnson, tactical squad,
or not, it is our human right and responsibility to protest this war and
we will march this Saturday. It is our human right to defend ourselves
from police attacks and regardless of whatever their pathetic
"intelligence" may suggest, Lynne Johnson and the PAPD can expect fierce
resistance of every form to police violence against the march.

It's up to us to resist war and empire; but for real change to be made we
must also target every aspect of the war machine and the institutions
which keep its gears turning. This means every corporation with a stock in
this war, from Halliburton to Bechtel and Walmart to Starbucks. This means
every corporate media outlet. This means every police department, whose
legal responsibility it is to violently defend the corporations,
government, and system responsible for this war. And this means the US
government, the most violent institution on the face of the planet, built
on a foundation of centuries of colonial genocide, imperialist war,
political oppression, capitalist exploitation, oppression and starvation.

There's a war on - a war between the United States government and the vast
majority of the world's population. This war has many faces - the
struggles over globalization, corporate empire, and the invasion and
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan - but everywhere the same lines are
drawn. Everywhere the US government is acting in the interests of
corporations, and everywhere people are being slaughtered, are starving to
death, and are watching their lives be torn apart and sold for profit.

This war has to stop. The occupation must end, neoliberalism must be
buried, and any attempt to invade Iran must be prevented. The prediction
that the US may not have the military or political capacity to wage
another war must be fulfilled. Already well over five thousand soldiers
have deserted and recruitment is falling far short of the military's
goals. It's up to us to ensure that the US government does not maintain a
political or social capacity to continue its war on the world's

What does this mean? This means we need to step up our resistance - and we
need to do it now! The US can only continue its devastating economic
pursuits if it can rely on our complacency and the safety of the
corporations which it serves. If we act together to take back control out
our own lives, environments, and relations, present a serious challenge to
government power, and inflict serious economic damage upon the
corporations responsible for this war, they won't be able to invade Iran
or even continue the occupation of Iraq - and they'll be in a lot more
trouble than that!

It is not enough to oppose one piece of this horrible puzzle - what we win
one place will be taken away somewhere else. From war to globalization,
occupation, and all other attacks on working and poor people around the
world, to their architect, the G8 - it is the system itself which must be
destroyed. As hundreds of thousands converge on Scotland to prevent the
leaders of the world's 8 wealthiest countries from meeting to plan their
next attack, we must mobilize here to resist it. Converge on downtown Palo
Alto this June 25th - destroy the war machine - create the world you want
to see!

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