Cover your forehead! (and other lessons from Pax)

From: Puget Sound Anarchists

n May 3rd, our friend Pax was arrested on 36 felony charges of criminal mischief and 36 felony charges of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. This was dropped down to 5 counts of each after their arraignment, and Pax took a plea deal in October for 3 counts of felony criminal mischief. A number of people have asked how Pax got caught up in legal trouble for allegedly smashing banks and a police substation. It has come to light in the last few months that the FBI has been actively monitoring Portland anarchists since at least early April, though to what extent it is not clear. We now know there was federal involvement in the raid during which Pax was arrested in May. Because the federal investigation is ongoing, there may be crucial pieces of information relating to Pax’s arrest that we don’t know about yet. With that in mind, here are some tips for staying safe when you’re angry in the streets, compiled by some friends who looked through the Discovery.

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Masked Militants March in Anti-Pipeline Protest

Militants carry banner against Pacific Trails Pipeline during anti-Enbridge rally, Jan 14, 2013.

by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, January 15, 2013

As many as 1,000 people gathered in downtown Vancouver on Monday, Jan 14, 2013, to protest the Enbridge hearings. Organized by Rising Tide and a coalition of community groups, the demonstration occurred on the first evening of hearings held by the National Energy Board’s joint review panel in the city. Citing security reasons, the panel hearings are closed to the public and only those who have registered to make submissions are allowed entry.

The initial rally point was at Victory Square, a dimly lit park in downtown Vancouver. The weather was cold and rainy, at times snowing. Many of the speakers were Indigenous people, including an opening statement and prayer by local Coast Salish people, as well as some participants in the recent Idle No More rallies.

It was at this time that I noticed a group of perhaps 25 people dressed in all-black clothing and wearing masks. The Vancouver police attending the rally point also seemed to notice them at this time, for soon there were an equal number of cops standing in groups around the black-clad protesters. These were members of the ‘Public Safety Unit’ (PSU), used by Vancouver police for crowd control.

After several speeches and drum songs, the rally moved onto Cambie Street and began moving west on Hastings, towards the Sheraton Wall Centre, a hotel complex in downtown Vancouver where the Enbridge hearings were occurring. At this point, people had been gathered for nearly 1.5 hours.

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New Years Eve Jail Solidarity Noise Demo

From Vancouver Media Coop

On December 31, 2012, a group of about a dozen anarchists met near the Burnaby Youth Detention Centre for the annual jail solidarity noize demo. These noise demos happen around the world on December 31, and those in the streets yell to remind those locked inside the oppressive prison walls that they have not been forgotten and that the systems that oppress them are not unshakeable. It’s a tradition that has largely been adopted by anarchists, who see the injustice of not just the prison system, but of all systems of oppression that are imposed upon us against our will. There is no hope in reform, and while it may seem like an impossible task, we fight to dismantle the prison industrial complex that bathes the rich in money and locks up the poor.

The evening was freezing but when masked up we all felt a little bit warmer. The excitement of what was about to happen also warmed us, and after grabbing pots, pans and black flags from the trunk of one of the cars, we headed toward the jail.

We marched quietly to a parking lot nearest the cells where the youth are held, and started making a ruckus. Many fireworks were shot in the direction of the jail, and pots and pans created a cacophony. Messages were yelled towards the prisoners, supportive messages to the prisoners and the opposite to the guards.

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