İstanbul, Turkey: Raw updates from the occupation at Taksim Gezi Park

The occupation of Taksim Gezi Park in İstanbul began on May 28th, 2013. Following the police raid in the park area on May 30th, hackers from the RedHack sabotaged the website of the Beyoglu police headquarters in response to the morning attack.

The occupation continued, and thousands of people gathered to resist the government’s plans (to build a shopping centre and destroy the green area). It soon became one of the largest mobilizations for years, with various different participants (from radical activists to NGOs, etc.), resembling the worldwide Occupy movement.

On May 31st, street clashes started from 5am in İstanbul. The resistance grew wider, while the police fired an incredible amount of tear gas bombs. Before yet another crackdown, supporters from three major football teams (Besiktas, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce) took to the streets united. Clashes continued late in the evening. The number of people in the streets was enormous. In every way, thousands were trying to reach Taksim square. After 16 hours of street fighting, the struggle went on.

Meanwhile, one man died of heart attack, but it was circulated that his death was not directly related to the police gas bombing. According to unconfirmed reports, two more persons were killed in Taksim: one young woman was reported dead after she was hit by cops on the head with gas bomb, while another young woman is said to have been crushed to death by a police panzer (anti-riot vehicle with water cannon).

At least 6 protesters suffered head injuries and were admitted to intensive care unit. In addition, more than 100 protesters were injured (among them, one congressman as well as journalists, who were also hospitalized).

Meanwhile, dozens have been detained by cops in Istanbul. Throughout the day, police forces constantly searched and detained people that had gasmasks, antacids, lemon juice to protect themselves from the effect of the huge amount of tear gas. For a better understanding of what is happening, it must be noted that the military does not act against protesters.

These protests have turned into a popular uprising, far beyond an environmentalist claim. At the same time, the developments have been completely gagged by the local mainstream media (one of the “alternative” communication channels currently used is twitter under #occupygezi and other hashtags).

Protests have spread nationwide, with several rallies at Turkish cities in solidarity with people repressed in İstanbul. Demonstrations were also scheduled in Holland, Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

Comrades in Turkey estimate that this is one of the biggest uprisings in recent years. Street clashes are ongoing tonight (31/5) from every direction to Taksim square. Nobody goes back home. It seems like everyone is determined to remain on the streets till morning.

Spread the word.

English and the Anarchists’ Language

from CrimethInc.

To complement our Contradictionary, we’ve added an exchange with Kristian Williams about anarchist writing to our reading library. Choosing Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” as his point of departure, Kristian takes contemporary anarchists to task for sloppy writing that leads to sloppy thinking. We respond with an assault on everything normative in language, calling for an anarchist writing that shakes readers free of the control mechanisms coded into English itself.

English and the Anarchists’ Language

CrimethInc. Writers’ Bloc

, responding to Kristian Williams

“The alchemists have a saying: ‘Tertium non data’: the third is not given. That is, the transformation from one element to another, from waste matter into best gold, is a process that cannot be documented. It is fully mysterious. No one really knows what effects change.” –Jeanette Winterson

Kristian’s essay says much of what we would like to say to other anarchist writers. It is cowardly to conceal slipshod reasoning behind a smokescreen of gibberish—and dangerous, too, if you still encourage people to act on your arguments. Down with pseudo-academic posturing! Death to all who affix suffixes to project, potential, and position! And hyperbole to the guillotine!

Yet seeing this spelled out as a program, our hearts rebel. Orwell’s advice, as Kristian presents it, might improve bad writing, but it says nothing about the alchemy that sets good writing apart from the merely serviceable. Nor does it engage with what could make writing anarchist. Does one write well as an anarchist the same way one writes well as a social democrat or an advertising agent? Or is anarchist writing another project entirely, which must be evaluated according to other criteria? Kristian is either making a big assumption or a fatal omission. It’s important to address this, lest his prescriptions be used against those who strike off in the right direction.

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Solidarity with the rebels in Stockholm

“We don’t want a slice of cake;
we want the whole bakery…burned down.”

Solidarity with the rebels in Stockholm!

from: Contrainto

For five nights people in and around Stockholm have taken to the streets to militantly express their dissatisfaction with the injustices of the system, and the society that results from them. After years of bullying from the police, schools, kindergartens, and other state institutions, the murder of an elderly man by the police in the suburb of Husby was the final straw.

Night after night, angry people return to the streets and rebel against everything that oppresses and annihilates them and their lives. Thus, during the last 5 nights, in and around Stockholm, 4 police stations, kindergartens, and schools have been attacked with stones or with fire. About 100 cars have been torched, and cops have been pelted with stones.

To us, this is not desperate, mindless rioting. To us they are targeted attacks on diverse forms of authority! The authority that, from childhood on, forces people in to any kind of productivity, from kindergarten through school. From physical appearance, to housing, and to work. The authority that tries to squeeze any rebellious thoughts into the costumes of conformity. However, in the end, this shitty system just doesn’t have enough place for everyone, no matter how well the costume fits. Thus we were not surprised now when debates about failed integration, poor education and the poor work prospects of people from the suburbs broke out. But these discussions are not ours, since we can do without state “benefits” in the form of integration, education and work, which mean nothing other than social pacification, just as we can do without state “benefits” in the form of surveillance and police.

Repression and peace are two sides of the same coin, that of false freedom.

The clean image of the social Sweden begins to crumble! Finally! In a pacified country like Sweden, where even the DIY scene is given state money so that they can buy squatted houses from the city in order to preserve the “social peace” and avoid resistance, the facade begins to crumble and out comes the disgusting state racism, the everyday harassment, and now also, for days on end, the incredibly hypocritical media discourse about the so-called “urban underclass”.

We are pleased by every rebellious act that spits in the face of the system! After all we are imprisoned as well in a cage that calls itself democracy! We hate this State and everyone who supports it.

Solidarity with all insurgents!
Best wishes and strength to the rebels of Sweden!

Grand Jury Resister Jerry Koch Imprisoned

From Jerry Resists

Jerry was taken into custody of US marshals today at 4:18 PM. Throughout his hearing, he did not answer any questions; he remained silent the entire time.

Over a hundred people showed in support of Jerry. The court room was packed, and he knew as he was taken by the marshals that we support and love him. The crowd yelled out their support for him as he was escorted out of the room.

Jerry asked that we release this statement to his supporters after his incarceration:

By the time you read this, I will be in the custody of the United States government for continuing my refusal to cooperate with a federal grand jury. This is the right thing to do.

I continue to believe that the government is using this federal grand jury in an abusive manner to force me to divulge information about my political associations and social networks.

If we mean what we say when we talk about radical politics, then we do not participate in witch hunts, inquisitions, or the assembly of black lists. As an individual, I will not lend legitimacy to government brutality and intimidation; I will not be used. As an anarchist, I will summon the courage to be stronger than the forces of the State’s all-too-real repression; I will not break.

Your show of truly powerful support has done nothing but strengthen my resolve in refusing to cooperate. We must not let ourselves be isolated by the government’s heavy-handed tactics. We must not give the state that last inch it tries to break in every one of us.

With Love, with Dignity, in Solidarity

Jerry Koch

If you haven’t already, please sign up for a recurring donation so that we can ensure that Jerry has immediate access to his commissary and will be able to be in touch with his loved ones.

Why They Break Windows

From:Slog

It’s been three weeks since May Day, and the reverberations from the day’s mayhem continue. At a court hearing last Thursday, two young men accused of throwing rocks at the police were arraigned in King County Superior Court. That evening, Seattle police posted to their website asking for tips from the public on eight suspects, complete with videos that appear to show young men smashing windows with rocks and skateboards.

“I could feel my temper rising as I watched this thing fall apart,” KIRO radio host Dave Ross told Mayor Mike McGinn the day after May Day. “Why have they adopted [Seattle] as their playground?” his co-host asked.

“There is a desire to provoke a confrontation with the police, so then they can claim the police overreacted,” McGinn said. “This is in fact the objective of the march.”

“I speak for the majority of Seattle when I say fuck you all and your stupid white privilege that thinks you can walk around smashing shit up, yelling and throwing shit at the police,” wrote one typical Slog commenter.

It’s easy to stereotype window-breakers and rock-throwers as spoiled kids throwing tantrums, out with malevolent intentions to mess with the police, and then feel indignant about it. But truth be told, those are lazy, inaccurate assumptions.

At the court hearing last week, it became clear that the two guys being arraigned are homeless. The prosecutor argued against letting them go and called them “threats to community safety.”

But the judge released 18-year-old Joshua Irwin-Patterson back into “clean and sober housing,” run by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA), until his June trial. A JRA employee testified that under her supervision since 2011, Irwin-Patterson had been “doing well.”

Twenty-one-year-old Marcel Davis would return to the Orion Center, a facility for homeless youth, if released, his attorney said. At one point during the hearing, Davis, who is black, seemed to have trouble understanding a simple question. He’s being charged with second degree assault for allegedly throwing a rock that broke a police officer’s kneecap. The judge decided to continue jailing him on $60,000 bail.

Of the 17 people arrested on May Day, “about nine” are homeless or without stable housing, according to Lizz M. (she prefers not use her last name), a Seattle University student who’s helping raise money to defray their legal costs. “Four or five identify as queer. Two are juveniles,” and “two or three” will be judged in mental competency hearings.

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The Ex-Worker Podcast, Episode 2: Work and the Anarchist Critique of Capitalism

Fed up with your job, or stressed because you can’t find one? Daydreaming of a world off the clock? Tune in to the second episode of the Ex-Worker, our twice-monthly podcast of anarchist ideas and action.

Why is this podcast called “the Ex-Worker”? In this episode, hosts Alanis and Clara join a friend in a café to discuss work and how it works, in the first installment of our series exploring anarchist critiques of capitalism. Other features include a special report on 2013 May Day actions around the world, a review of Silvia Federici’s “Caliban and the Witch,” and an interview and reportback from a Canadian anarcha-feminist conference, as well as news and upcoming events, with music from Underground Reverie.

Interested? Download the episode or stream it online or read the full transcript. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. We’ll be releasing a new episode on the first and third Sunday of every month, so stay tuned!

Call for Anarchist Participation at March for Monsanto and Response to Delusional National Statement

The March Against Monsanto is obviously not the lynch pin that holds together the rotten corpse of capitalism, it isn’t even the new Occupy or the next big thing. Although, anyone who may be paying attention knows that we are not far from the time where anti-authoritarian action will be necessary on a large scale. That the state has continually attacked, even at a time of lessened organizing shows that they are serious about dampening our ability to hinder their continuing efforts. They do not want another Occupy with the large amount of people radicalized from the last round.

Anarchist Participation

With that said, next Saturday around the globe there will be marches opposing Monsanto. This statement is being written to respond to the organizing already taking place and as a call for greater anarchist and radical participation. This is not intended to spell out why Monsanto as a capitalist institution is bad, we already know that. It is intended to state that these marches seem to be drawing greater interest than your every day single issue demonstration. And that as a one off event in a time of lighter organizing there is good reason to push our own ideas, draw in more people and get greater experience while promoting cohesion for the next big task we collectively face.

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A Letter to North American Anarchists from Radical Beirut

Comrades, —- The Arab uprisings and Occupy Wall Street and the rest of global uprisings since 2011 have opened more doors for us to communicate and realize more than ever how our struggles against the state and dominant power structures are interconnected and the same. Our fight against the beast is one; we are informed and inspired by your past and current struggles, as well as we know that you are informed and inspired by our struggles, yet we still have a long way to go to understand one another and scale up our common fight. —- Our collective is a small group of radicals, deep ecologists, anarchists, and feminists, and we haven’t done much compared with the great sacrifices of many of our comrades elsewhere. Yet we know we also speak the mind of many of our comrades in the Arab world from Morocco to Syria, who encountered the same dilemmas while communicating with their Western counterparts.

We know that there are a lot of good actions carried out, and honest efforts in all directions, and lives being put on the line, but we also realize that the radical non-authoritarian scene in the West, and especially in North America, is dominated by the strict boundaries of a single “politically correct” ideology. It’s fine if the ideological and tactical parameters you chose work for you, but it doesn’t work for everyone, and it definitely doesn’t work for us. So it’s unfortunate that during many exchanges with North American anarchists (and to a less extent European anarchists), some of our comrades were always trying to impose their politically correct ideology on us.

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some tips and hints from an autonomous resister

From: PSA

Hello friends!
I know there have been several posts already pertaining to black bloc styled tactics, but I’d thought I’d throw out some friendly words of advise.
When blocing up or deblocing in a huddle I’d suggest using something to cover the top of the huddle.

Below is the URL of a video that shows pretty clearly why that might be important.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpACnSNEQLs

You can also get snatched if you’re walking alone in bloc and I’ve seen people get conspiracy charges, but this doesn’t happen often due to political fallout.

Another pressing issue I’d like to address is the use of bandannas. Of course achieve complete anonymity is virtually impossible, but a bandanna alone certainly will not do what a lot of people think it will. Especially if you take it off at any point during the day in plane sight.

Let’s say your at an action and your wearing a bandanna and some nondescript clothes. That’s all fine and dandy, but then let’s say you want to do some smashy smashy and then let’s say earlier you had taken the bandanna off to drink water or something. Maybe you didn’t see the camera filming you when you chugged that mountain dew with your bandanna off, but the camera got a glimpse of your face none the less. Hell, this might not even be that big of a deal as long as you get rid of the clothes you were wearing that day and change your hair up a bit. If you find yourself in this situation don’t freak out. Alter your appearance a bit(or don’t if you don’t look like Sid Vicious or something), or if you live somewhere out of the jurisdiction of the department investigating you could be fine if you cover your bases and aren’t in any news stories and don’t have your picture on some radical website or whatever.

For my standards a bandanna alone doesn’t cut it, but maybe a bandanna and a hoodie with an underlayer of clothes does. Honestly there’s a lot you can do to make it way harder for the authorities to figure out who the fuck you are, but don’t over or under estimate them. Play it a bit safe, but if you’ve already fucked up don’t over stress it, just be mindful of it and take some precautions.

Some people can pull off a hat and sunglasses some people can’t especially in a street battle or smashy smashy scenario. Remember the authorities go after the easy targets or the targets that have the most potential to increase rupture, but they also don’t want to arrest loads of anarchists and the like due to the inevitable ruptures that would happen within the prisons. However we are supposedly a leaderless resistance, so more often than not they’ll just go after the easy targets. So don’t be an easy target. Most importantly though, be in solidarity with those who do fuck up. We’ve all fucked up, there is no perfect way to do shit. I’ve seen people in the best blocing conditions get fucked later for bullshit and I’ve seen people without even a hat on their head nor a piece of black clothing dearrest people without the slightest slap on the wrist.

What are some more tips…hmm…that foam cushion stuff on ski-goggles melts when it comes into contact with pepper-spray…the only constant in life is change…dresses fit under most outfits…plywood, rope, and soft cushion type materials make good shields…phalanxes and the like are more easily broken when you surround them or come at them from behind…move like water…people are usually scared of fire…we can do so many things our enemies can’t and we will always have a leg up on them tactically and strategically speaking if not materially speaking…smoke blocks teargas…things are harder to move when they’re on fire…news crews are just cops with cameras…looting is fun…build attack communes…organize the alcoholics…t-shirts make great masks…stacked newspaper boxes are harder to move…you don’t need a march to have a bloc party…DGR is basically a green RCP…the violent revolt of oppressed people is always in the category of self defense, but that does not mean it cannot take offensive forms…use startpage to look up shit on the internet…shattered storefront windows make for better doors than that storefront doors, but storefront doors are more expensive…you can be a source of inspiration…there is no after the revolution…

Cheers,

Raven Coal Mine Proposal Rejected!

From: BCBlackout

A letter to John Tapics, Compliance Energy CEO, from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO), says the 12,000-page application for the Raven Coal Mine, is missing information. The BCEAO “has determined that the application does not contain the required information and has decided not to accept the application for detailed review,” it says. The letter is accompanied by 114 pages identifying areas not adequately addressed.

We can’t say how long it will take Compliance to re-submit their application (it could be a couple weeks or it could be a year). WHEN they do it will be 210 days before the process ends. This means, at the very earliest Raven Coal construction won’t start until late February 2014 if everything goes smoothly for them. This has definitely struck another major blow to the project and it is a time for celebration. But as they have already sunk millions into this project and they have so many millions to be made we should certainly not assume this struggle is over.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on this site. In the mean time you can read BCEAO letters, corporate media and other articles pouring in at coalwatch.ca