Listen to the Episode — 92 min


Rebel Girl: May 1, 2018: May Day, Beltane, International Workers’ Day and more on this very special episode of…

The Hotwire.   A weekly anarchist news show brought to you by The Ex-Worker.   With me, the Rebel Girl.   Happy May Day everybody!

This week, we’re going to release our normal weekly episode on Thursday, a day late in order to include as much as possible in our May Day coverage. But, to tide you over for that extra day, and as a celebration of our favorite holiday, we’ve made this very special episode just for…well, honestly it was kind of a nerdy self-indulgent labor of love. As an anarchist news show ourselves, we wanted to pay homage to all the anarchist newspapers, zines, and other media projects that have inspired us—so for the next while enjoy a carefully crafted “greatest hits” of anarchist news reporting from the vaults.

You’ll hear anarchist news reports from as far back as the Paris Commune, the punny and irreverent 1980s British organization Class War, a 1977 article in Fifth Estate about this newfangled thing called punk rock, coverage of the very first nationally called-for black bloc in the US, a firsthand report from the streets of Seattle in ’99, and much more. We’ll even have guest appearances by other anarchist podcasters, like MC Sole, the Stimulator, The Final Straw’s William Goodenuff, and our friends from Resonance Audio Distro.

And if you’re listening to this episode on May Day—stop. Take out your headphones, put away your computer or smartphone, and go out to strike a blow against authority wherever and however you can. Make some kind of anarchist news yourself, and send us an action report at so we can include it in our May Day roundup on May 3. And after that, we’ll release our final episode for the season on May 9, but we’ll be back with more weekly anarchist news in the fall.

A full transcript of this episode with shownotes and useful links can be found at our website,, and you can subscribe to The Hotwire on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, just search for The Ex-Worker. In the interest of TOTAL FREEDOM, we’re not censoring out curse words this episode…so maybe don’t play it on the radio if you’re a community station trying to stay on the FCC’s good side.

And now, for some of the best anarchist news from throughout history.


The roots of May Day go back to a time well before podcasts, before newspapers, in a way even before “news” as we know it today—as much more of humanity lived in connection with the earth and measured their significant events on a cyclical timeline, rather than a linear one.

As Peter Linebaugh writes in “The incomplete, true, authentic and wonderful history of May Day,” which we will quote from at length:

“The immense forests of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America provided the atmosphere with oxygen and the earth with nutrients. Within the woodland ecology our ancestors did not have to work the graveyard shift, or to deal with flextime, or work from Nine to Five. Indeed, the Native Americans whom Captain John Smith encountered in 1606 only worked four hours a week. The origin of May Day is to be found in the Woodland Epoch of History.

“In Europe, as in Africa, people honored the woods in many ways…

“The Celts lit bonfires in hilltops to honor their god, Beltane. In the Tyrol people let their dogs bark and made music with pots and pans. In Scandinavia fires were lit and the witches came out…

“The farmers, workers, and child-bearers (that is, the laborers) of the Middle Ages had hundreds of holy days which preserved the May Green, despite the attack on peasants and witches. Despite the complexities, whether May Day was observed by sacred or profane ritual, by pagan or Christian, by magic or not, by straights or gays, by gentle or calloused hands, it was always a celebration of all that is free and life-giving in the world. That is the Green side of the story. Whatever else it was, it was not a time to work.

“Therefore, it was attacked by the authorities. The repression had begun with the burning of women and it continued in the 16th century when America was “discovered,” the slave trade was begun, and nation-states and capitalism were formed. In 1550 an Act of Parliament demanded that Maypoles be destroyed, and it outlawed games. In 1644 the Puritans in England abolished May Day altogether. To these work-ethicists the festival was obnoxious for paganism and worldliness. Philip Stubs, for example, in [1585’s] Anatomy of Abuses wrote of the Maypole, “and then fall they to banquet and feast, to leape and daunce about it, as the Heathen people did at the dedication of their Idolles.” When a Puritan mentioned “heathen” we know genocide was not far away…

“The Puritans also objected to the unrepressed sexuality of the day. Stubs said, ‘of fourtie, threescore, or an hundred maides going to the wood, there have scarcely the third part of them returned home again as they went.’

“The people resisted the repressions. Thenceforth, they called their May sports, the ‘Robin Hood Games.’ Capering about with sprigs of hawthorn in their hair and bells jangling from their knees, the ancient charaders of May were transformed into an outlaw community, Maid Marions and Little Johns. The May feast was presided over by the ‘Lord of Misrule,’ ‘the King of Unreason,’ or the ‘Abbot of Inobedience.’”

Misrule, unreason, inobedience! Yes!!!

In this time period, newspapers were generally unavailable—and where they were available they were largely inaccessible except by the noble and monied classes. Reports of May Day celebration and resistance sometimes had to wait until a participant sat down years later and wrote their whole biography. Such was the case with Thomas Morton, an egalitarian colonist from England who the Puritans dubbed “the lord of misrule,” for befriending and later arming the local native people, organizing indentured servants to override their master and collectivize his land, and allegedly aiming to open a “school of atheism.”

Barely two years into his new life in America, Morton was participating in May Day festivities with the local indigenous people, which we know about in detail thanks to Morton’s later writings. Again, from Peter Linebaugh’s essay, “On May Day, 1627, he and his Indian friends, stirred by the sound of drums, erected a Maypole eighty feet high, decorated it with garlands, wrapped it in ribbons, and nailed to its top the antlers of a buck. Later he wrote that he ‘sett up a Maypole upon the festival day of Philip and James, [Christian saints that the church used to appropriate the pagan holiday into their calendar] and therefore brewed a barrell of excellent beare.’ A ganymede sang a Bacchanalian song. Morton attached to the pole the first lyric verses penned in America which concluded,

“With the proclamation that the first of May At Merry Mount shall be kept holly day

“The Puritans at Plymouth were opposed to the May Day. They called the Maypole ‘an Idoll’ and named Merry Mount ‘Mount Dagon’ after the god of the first ocean-going imperialists, the Phoenicians… the Puritans were the imperialist, not Morton, who worked with slaves, servants, and native Americans, person to person. Everyone was equal in his ‘social contract.’

“…Merry Mount became a refuge for Indians, the discontented, gay people, runaway servants, and what the governor called ‘all the scume of the countrie.’ When the authorities reminded him that his actions violated the King’s Proclamation, Morton replied that it was ‘no law.’ Miles Standish, whom Morton called ‘Mr. Shrimp,’ attacked. The Maypole was cut down. The settlement was burned. Morton’s goods were confiscated, he was chained in the bilboes, and ostracized to England…

“The rainbow coalition of Merry Mount was thus destroyed for the time being. That Merry Mount later (in 1636) became associated with Anne Hutchinson, the famous mid-wife, spiritualist, and feminist, surely was more than coincidental. Her brother-in-law ran the Chapel of Ease. She thought that god loved everybody, regardless of their sins. She doubted the Puritans’ authority to make law. A statue of Robert Burns in Quincy near to Merry Mount, quotes the poet’s lines,

“A fig for those by law protected! Liberty’s a glorious feast! Courts for cowards were erected, Churches built to please the priest.”


Later, in the 19th century, but before May Day became the international day to celebrate labor struggles, workers and other rebels observed March 18, the anniversary of the beginning of the Paris Commune in 1871. The commune published its own daily paper to keep communards up-to-date in their resistance and self-organization. For example, the April 6, 1871 issue of the Journal officiel de la Commune de Paris reports "Women have been caught smuggling cartridges in tote bags, baskets, milk jugs, and even loaves of breads. Many of them have actively contributed to making these cartridges…

"An energetic woman is fighting in the ranks of the 61st battalion. She has killed several gendarmes and police officers.”

That woman was Louise Michel, the so-called “Red Virgin” famous for her participation in the Paris Commune uprising and for decades of anarchist organizing afterwards. Today she is remembered on posters that describe her as a nurse, but according to news reports from the time, Michel killed more policemen and soldiers than any other famous 19th century anarchist, including Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, and Lucy Parsons. This is why we should consult the original news sources when we are learning about our heritage as anarchists, not just watered down biographies and hastily drafted posters.


By the time Haymarket happened and May 1st became recognized around the world as the holiday of labor struggles, multiple anarchist newspapers had been established. In the United States alone, you had papers like The Alarm, Liberty and Arbeiter-Zeitung, which at their height ran weekly and even daily runs of thousands of copies. The editors of both The Alarm and Arbeiter-Zeitung, Albert Parsons and August Spies, were both arrested for having spoken at the May 4 rally in Haymarket Square before the bomb was thrown and police began firing on striking workers.

During their trial, anarchist newspapers around the world ran Spies’ and Parsons’ courtroom speeches, as well as those of their six codefendants.

Here is a part of Spies’ address:

“What is Anarchy? Is it not strange that when Anarchy was tried nobody ever told what Anarchy was. Even when I was on the witness stand, and asked the State’s Attorney for a definition of Anarchy, he declined to give it. But in their speeches he and his associates spoke very frequently about Anarchy, and it appeared that they understood it to be something horrible—arson, rapine, murder. In so speaking, Mr. Grinnell and his associates did not speak the truth. They searched the Alarm and the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and hunted up articles written years before the month of May, 1886. In the columns of these papers it is very often stated what we, the “Anarchists,” understood by the term Anarchy. And we are the only competent judges in this matter. As soon as the word is applied to us and our doctrine, it carries with it the meaning which we, the Anarchists, saw fit to give to it. “Anarchy” is Greek, and means, verbatim, without rulership; not being ruled. According to our vocabulary, Anarchy is a state of society, IN WHICH THE ONLY GOVERNMENT IS REASON. A state of society in which all human beings do right for the simple reason that it is right, and hate wrong because it is wrong. In such a society, no laws, no compulsion will be necessary.

“The attorney of the State was wrong when he said: “Anarchy is dead.” Anarchy, up to the present day, has existed only as a doctrine, and Mr. Grinnell has not the power to kill any doctrine whatever. You may call Anarchy, as defined by us, an idle dream…

“Anarchy is a dream, but only in the present. It will be realized. REASON WILL GROW in spite of all obstacles. Who is the man that has the cheek to tell us that human development has already reached its culminating point? I know that our ideal will not be accomplished this or next year, but I know that it will be accomplished as near as possible, some day, in the future. It is entirely wrong to use the word Anarchy as synonymous with violence. Violence is one thing and Anarchy another. In the present state of society violence is used on all sides, and, therefore, we advocated the use of violence against violence, but against violence only, as a necessary means of defense…

MAY DAY 1971

Rebel Girl: In the late 1960s and early 70s, the underground press boomed with papers published by hippies, anti-war activists, insubordinate soldiers, black and brown power groups, and queer and feminist collectives. Anarchists at the time participated in the Liberation News Service, a Washington DC-based collective that would collect resistance and counter-culture news from all over the world and syndicate it to different underground publications—sort of like a radical Reuters. For May Day 1971, tens of thousands of anti-war activists converged on DC for a week of direct action to disrupt the war machine. In the end, a staggering 13,000 people were arrested and held in the local football stadium, but the demonstrators’ radical vision of a different kind of society still got through. The Great Speckled Bird, an underground paper out of Atlanta that often featured anarchist reporting and comics, reported that, “Collective decision-making by demonstrators has been an outstanding feature of the D.C. actions… Even the straight newspapers noticed it: ‘Movement Adopts ’Group Thing’’ was the headline.”


Rebel Girl: The practice of underground media carried on from the 60s to today—in many ways it’s the radical lineage that we here at the Hotwire fit into.

The following article, “Punk Rock: Musical Fad or ‘Radical Kernel’” is from the December 1977 issue of The Fifth Estate, the longest running English language anarchist publication in North America. Punk rock was barely a year old, and while the aging hippies at The Fifth Estate couldn’t always get down with the music, they did appreciate the anti-authoritarian nature of the scene and the network of underground publications that the kids were producing. For anarchists for whom punk rock was a major political influence and inspiration, this report is an important reminder that no subcultural space—whether it be punk rock or gaming—is inherently political or liberatory. It takes constant participation to make the kinds of spaces where rebel ideas can flourish, and it takes nurturing and care to keep them egalitarian and fun.

So without further ado, Punk Rock: Musical Fad Or “Radical Kernel” from 1977:

Fifth Estate: Although features on this new music trend have appeared in every magazine from Time to Rolling Stone to the Fifth Estate (see last issue), it’s not entirely clear what is always at issue or under discussion. There appears to be at least three separate punk currents, each with a different approach and all with a somewhat different sound. The English working class punk variant, with its most notable exponent being Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols, has received the most publicity and notoriety, but as Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones pointed out recently, now that Rotten has appeared on the cover of rolling Stone magazine and the Pistols have released their first album on the Warner Brothers label, it’s only a matter of time before they (or some band like them) begins to exhibit all the characteristics the Pistols once reviled. The second center for punk is the neo-deco scene centering on the CBGB’s nightclub in New York City where groups like the Dictators merge right-wing lyrics (like “Manifesto Destiny Disco”) with not so subtle appeals to the faddish sadomasochism now so popular in the Big Apple. Not much there. While New York and London get the big splashes in the media, a lesser known scene (or perhaps little known would be better said) has developed around the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area that does appear to contain what some of our California friends call the “radical kernel” of punk. Centering on several bands and a few newsletters and magazines, West Coast punk has expressed a contempt for the recording industry and has generally produced its own independently released records, meanwhile voicing a critique in both their music and interviews that attacks the whole structure of capitalist society-its values, its sacred institutions and its sensibilities…

Just as the counter-culture and New Left of the ‘sixties began to develop a network of publications, so has the punk scene of the West Coast. Although some of them are just music mags, others like New Deseases include a whole range of topics beyond just the music played by the bands.
An example from a recent New Deseases is an editorial condemning fascism and the wearing of nazi paraphernalia to concerts. The article is hand-printed and accompanied by a simple anti-fascist cartoon; words are misspelled, but the message clearly separates it from the Melody Maker and Creem magazines of the worlds: “Fascism is on the rise. The time is to renounce it FOREVER. Fascism is negation and the end of the individual—the end of creativity. Punk and anarchism is the shout of the individual. It’s creativity brought into our lives. It’s the end of the oppressor and not the myth of the fascist dictator. It’s not coy posing—it’s revolution!”
In the same issue, in an interview with the Avengers (also hand lettered) New Deseases asks: “Do you like money$? A: Yeah, but I HATE THE RICH. Q: Do you vote in elections? A: ARE YOU KIDDING? I didn’t even know they still did that.”
In an article on Elvis, a New Deseases writer states: “Somebody said ‘The King is dead!’ Well, this ain’t no monarchy! Elvis was 20 years ago, FUCK! even before I was born. People have been telling me what a PUNK Elvis was. I was looking at some pictures and I say to myself, ‘He looks pretty cool—I mean that was ’56. Then I come across this other picture where this ‘punk’ is in uniform and HE’S SMILING! I see a string of movies, Xmas albums, cowboy hats, religious songs, fleets of Cadillacs—and ever growing poundage. REAL PUNK, THIS BOY.”
What came as perhaps one of the more startling utterances of the publication was in an interview with Chip and Tony of the Dils (latest release “I Hate the Rich” b/w “You’re Not Blank”), in which Tony when asked, “Why are you so opposed to drugs?” answered, “Drugs make you easily controlled. They dissolve your intelligence. PUNK is a confrontation; drugs are a REMOVAL.”
This is startling because it is a 180 degree reversal from what many of us took as a matter of course: weed, acid, nitrous oxide, etc. opened you up, made you more aware and receptive to change. John Sinclair and others event went so far as to say that marijuana use was in itself revolutionary.
Well, of course it didn’t work out that way, and getting high is now quite a socially acceptable thing to do. But does dope play the socially acceptable thing to do. But does dope play the socially reactionary role of a palliative much like that of the soma tranquilizer in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? There’s every indication that it does. Drugs have become one of the many things that make our existence “tolerable”—our willingness to trade living a truly human existence for mere survival. Drug usage pervades the factories of Detroit, becoming the only way many young workers can make it through the days and weeks and years of tedious anti-human labor. This very nearly re-creates the Huxley model of the “Beta type” who is designed especially to do routinized, onerous work. Nothing can be so diametrically opposed to a human vision of the world than an anaesthetized workforce plodding through the day’s drudgery and then after work to hypnotically consume the entertainments provided while also in a drugged state[…]

To make the observation that punk “sounds terrible” only echoes in our heads what our parents said about Chuck Berry and the Beatles. “It all sounds the same!” The music coming from a new trend always sounds crude and inexplicable when compared with the dominant style. As an example, listen to old recordings of the first wild days of be-bop jazz when the mad playing of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker at Minton’s in Harlem in the mid ‘forties had many people thinking these two innovators had simply lost their wits. Still, punk may not be the wave to crack the monolith; reggae, music with authentic folk rhythms and a message of revolution didn’t do it. A major marketing research firm which programs the music for popular Detroit rock stations calls punk a “fad” that has failed to sell records (their major criterion) and lacks “musical excellence.” But the latter observation says little. Technique is what capitalism excels at, so on one hand you have a group like Blue Oyster Cult coming to Detroit to play a concert bringing their equipment in three semi-vans and needing a crew of technicians to produce their sound; compare that to groups on the West Coast who boast about having a drummer who has only been playing for three months or of having a song with only three chords in it. Well, we are talking about two different types of music and performers—one group is on the inside; the other the outside[…]

The Fate of Punk

Well, so what of punk? If it maintains itself only on the terrain of entertainment, it will either disappear as the music marketing research people predict or, if contrary to their assessments the music takes on a popular following, punk will simply become the new commodity on the music market and all of its exponents the next rock starts […] completing the next cycle of music commercialism.
In many ways, it’s not really up to the bands, but is equally our responsibility. If we are just passive consumers of entertainment, digging the rebellious aspects of punk in a totally voyeuristic manner, that leaves the bands no route to travel other than the traditional one. The only real alternative is the creation of communities of rebels that include musicians, which does what it can to eliminate the relationships of capital that attempt to transform all of our creative acts into salable commodities. To the extent that this does not appear to be on the agenda only means that we are cutting our own throats that much more. If we are not capable of creating activity which we define ourselves, our entire lives will be determined by the culture of capital—a world of things, not people.


Rebel Girl: In the UK in the 1980s, the group Class War started publishing their own newspaper, which mimicked the British tabloid press with irreverent and punny headlines. For example, issue 56 featured the headline “Fergie Topless,” referring to the media darling Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. But below the fold, it wasn’t the kind of topless Fergie you would expect from any other tabloid, but rather a depiction of the British royal—decapitated. Other clever covers include one with a picture of a group of judges, which read “Relieve executive stress—execute these scumbags!” and another weighed in on the royal wedding of 1986—it featured the happy couple kissing, underscored by the headline, “BETTER DEAD THAN WED.”

In keeping with the British tabloid style, the paper always had outrageous features, like the regular page three “hospitalised copper.” Here’s an excerpt of one from issue 55, which was actually a dead aristocrat rather than an injured cop:

“It’s a good sign that rich folks are taking a lead from Prince “I talk to plants” Charles if the results are always going to be as fruitful as the recent case of Lord James of Rusholme.

“The loony lord was boring one of this house pants with a discussion on the finer points of being a daft old bastard when he stumbled upon it, a twig penetrating his eye and killing him instantly. Many congratulations are due to the plant and let’s hope that some other rich folk’s houseplants take a leaf out of its book and twig onto some new ways to shut their owners up.

“The Class War Horticultural branch have obtained some seeds from the plant involved, which we’ve generously donated to toffs all over the country. Let’s hope this phenomenon grows and grows. A tree-mendous success!”

And here’s another choice cut from issue 57:

“A Shining Example.

“Whatever anyone thinks about Xmas and all the big business hype that tries to get us to spend, spend, spend, there’s a tale from Somerset to bring a grin to even the gloomiest old Scrooge:

“Ronnie Garth, a local carpenter, was busy putting up the town’s 200 yards of Xmas lights recently, when some git drove over them, crushing the bulbs.

“’Any fool could see them,’ said Ronnie, and while the lights were only on the ground for a moment before being hoisted up, the daft driver just reversed back over them to do more damage.

“It’s not surprising though, to hear that the driver was the town’s Mayor, Liberal Democrat and VIP wally Brian Potter, who was due to be switching the lights on a week later.

“Ronnie, predictably a little pissed off, warned Potter not to wind his window down or he’d get a clout in the cops for his daftness. Being particularly dim, the Mayor did and got a wallop in the gob.

“While the former road safety campaigning Mayor is not pressing charges, Ronnie’s comment wins the day: ‘I don’t care if he is the Mayor, he still deserved his lights punched out.’”

But Class War wasn’t all injured cops and politicians…only about 90% of it. The paper also had a regular sports section, the only anarchist paper that we know of to do so, and the rest of it had solid anarchist analysis. For example, here’s an excerpt from a 1991 issue, right after the fall of the Soviet Union:

“Stalin-Khruschev-Brezhnev-Gorbachev: The Party’s Over

“What we say: Once again, the people of the Soviet Union have showed that the only way to get results is to go out on the street and fight for them. In 1917 they rid themselves of Tsarist rule, only for the revolution to be hijacked by the Bolsheviks. Now they are rising up again to rid themselves of the last of the Stalinists.

“What now? We hope that unlike in the 1917 revolution, in this one the people do not allow a power hungry ministry to seize control. No matter how ‘liberal’ and ‘democratic’ they pretend to be. Surely one lesson that must be learned from the uprising in Eastern Europe is that yesterday’s reformers very quickly become today’s bosses. Like Lech Walesa, the Polish president who rose up through workers’ struggle to become the very boss that the Polish people set out to destroy.

“The new leaders of the Soviet Union will dangle a carrot of prosperity and ‘freedom’ to the people – Western style. But as we know this is nothing more than a sick joke. The only prosperity capitalism can offer is for the privileged minority; and as for ‘freedom’ this is just the paper freedom of the ballot box – the real power will remain firmly in the state’s hands.

“The Soviet people have had a taste of people power—this has been the driving force behind these historical changes. We need no leaders! The sooner that they realize that the new leaders need them, but that they don’t need the leaders, that’s when people power will mean real change…

“Freedom won’t come through a change of government, only through the removal of government. People power doesn’t just mean one-off demonstrations or toppling over statues—it means going all the way and taking control of society: by ourselves and for ourselves.

“From the comfort of their armchairs world leaders queued up to advice the Soviet people on how to fight back against the coup. But Maggie Thatcher’s statement “the people should take to the streets” comes top of the pile, and must rank as one of the most sniveling piece of stink hypocrisy ever!

“It’s a very different story whenever people take to the streets in these leaders’ own back yards. Trafalgar Square rioters weren’t praised for fighting back, nor are the people of Chapeltown, Soweto, or Belfast. We wonder why?”


Rebel Girl: For our next anarchist-news-report-from-history, we have a guest voice!

William Goodenuff: Hey there all you May Day maniacs. This next story comes from Profane Existence, the newspaper at the forefront of the anarcho-punk movement of the 1990s. Perhaps thanks in-part to the analysis offered by the anti-authoritarian hippies at The Fifth Estate, punk rock had indeed grown into a hotbed of anti-capitalist and do-it-yourself ethos. Profane Existence used connections made through the worldwide DIY punk network to bring back reports from Europe of squatting, anti-fascist street confrontations, and ecological-minded sabotage. Black bloc tactics had been experimented with in Berkeley and the Lower East Side of New York in the late 80s, and in a 1990 issue of Profane Existence, there was an ad for a new pamphlet about European street tactics for demonstrations and their possibilities in a North American context. Not long after that, in March of 1991, the paper reported, as far as we can tell, the very first self-described black bloc action in the United States. Here’s the story:

Profane Existence: January 26 – Black Block Hits D.C.

On January 26, 1991 people from all over the world heeded the call for a massive demonstration in Washington dc against US policy in the Persian Gulf and the inevitable outbreak of the “Oil War. Estimates of the overall numbers in attendance ranged from 75,000 people by the local park service to over 250,000 by the organizers of the demonstration…

When our group arrived we went directly to the Garfield Monument where the anarchists were organizing a “black block”—this meant an anarchist contingent that would march together as a group. When we arrived there were lots of black flags and familiar faces, at least until masks were put on to preserve identities. Surprising was the large concentration of punks here, most traveling many hundred miles to be there. The atmosphere was pretty festive—what you usually get when punks get together—a party!

After many delays, some confusing and a little rabble rousing, the blackened contingent was on the move—nearly 1000—an imposing sight against the blinding neon sea around us. As we progressed we passed numerous buildings where police agents were filming our section of the march from the rooftops. Our response: “Jump! Jump! Jump!”

Past the Canadian consulate: “We support the Mohawks!” and “We remember Oka and Kanesatake!”

Past the construction of the FBI building: first we told them where they can shove it, then the fence around it went down. To the surprise of the frightened construction workers, only pocketfuls of rocks were taken.

The first “actions” took place as we passed the excessively large and expensive-looking treasury building. A few taxpayers got early refunds when stones were hurled through windows and red paint thrown on walls. Money can buy new windows but no amount can replace the lives of those lost for the government and its wars. Smoke canisters and firecrackers were put to use, which added the effect of instability to our section of the march.

Not surprisingly some of the other marches took exception to our actions, which they dismissed as “violence.” Funny thing as that most of these people were much older, white, and from at least middle-class backgrounds, unlike us who would most directly have to suffer in this conflict. For many of us this is a personal struggle as we’ll be the next to die when the draft is effected.

After this things were pretty tame. Too many cops by the White House for any fun, but the small group of counter-protesters (many of them foaming at the mouth and vehemently waving the old glory) made for a brief moment of amusement. However, near the end of the march, black block decided to take a detour off the “legal” march route to the World Bank and IMF headquarters. At least 500–600 people participated in this side march, ready for doing some direct action and self-defense from the cops if necessary. Along the route some bank windows were done-in and graffiti left. There was some confusion when we actually reached the objectives and the police were closing in so we retreated back to the main march leaving only our graffiti mark (though a smoldering crater would have been preferred).

With the cops in pursuit (this reporter was almost run over by a motorcycle porkbelly) we rejoined the march. The cops tried to isolate us from the rest of the march but to no avail as they were completely overwhelmed by numbers when the rest of the march walked through the cop line to join us. Someone later said a small scuffle broke out with the cops…but all I saw is a motorcycle hit the ground—honest!

This was pretty much the end as we marched into the Ellipse and the black block eventually broke up. After some merry debate on what to do next, we all went our merry way. I personally had the honor of relieving myself on the Department of Justice building on the way out of the city-center, clearly giving my opinion on our government’s sense of justice.


Rebel Girl: Our next report comes from our friends at Resonance Audio Distro. It’s a firsthand report from the anti-WTO protests in Seattle 1999. The report first appeared in CrimethInc.’s journal Inside Front.

Inside Front: I can’t do it. I can’t. I can’t tell you what it felt like any more than a bird could tell me what it feels like to fly. I can tell you my story, but it’s only my head talking. My heart can’t write, and my guts don’t have lips. I cannot truly explain how it felt to taste ecstasy in every breath as the invincible forces of privilege and coercive power finally lost control, how it felt to stare down the world’s most ruinous and abusive bullies and watch them blink, how it felt to fall in love with tens of thousands of people at once, to not know what would happen next, to become dangerous.

And that is a tragedy that haunts me as I write every one of these words. Because if somehow I could share with you what I felt for ten days in Seattle, you would never settle for anything less again. You would kick in your TV, run outside buck naked, tear up the freeway with your bare hands, flip tanks upside down, and dance with panda bears through the streets. The barbarians would emerge from exile to knock down heaven’s door and the dead would rise up from their coffins and cubicles. And once you got a taste of the sublime joy of reclaiming control of your life and your world, of regaining your lost kinship in a human community of which you are an integral component, of realizing your wildest dreams and desires, you would do whatever it takes to make it happen again.

Tuesday, November 30

I wake up before dawn and walk to SCCC, where the festivities begin. Before long I am surrounded by thousands of friends, and at 7 a.m. we set out for the Washington Trade and Convention Center, where the summit is supposed to be held. As we near it we fan out, taking over the surrounding streets and blockading entrances to the building. Everything you can imagine turns into a barricade. Bodies, puppets, lockboxes, a fifty-foot tripod, barrels full of concrete, dumpsters, cars. We begin to form a human chain around the convention center.

In an amusing display of either arrogance or stupidity the delegates all wear matching beige suits and big ID tags that say “DELEGATE.” Whenever they try to approach the building we stop them and chase them off. Without the protection of their armed servants they are as powerless as a brain without a body, and their expressions are priceless as they run away. Before long the chain is complete, and the only ways in are through parking garages, hotels, and underground tunnels. We cut these off one by one. I dart around by myself, patching up holes where blockades need help and trailing delegates to their secret entrances. I dog one for blocks, grinning malevolently at him as he searches in vain for a way into the convention center. He finally gives up and asks a cop for advice, and I listen in, rubbing my hands with glee. “How do we get inside?”

“Well, sir… right now there is no way to get inside.”

The opening ceremonies of the summit are postponed, then canceled altogether. This is when the cops begin to riot. They have failed their masters miserably and they are pissed.

I run up to the barricade at 5th and Seneca, which I hear is about to be attacked. The cops, sporting Darth Vader suits and unmarked raincoats, have formed a line across Seneca. Behind them there are five or six more on horses and a couple with big ass guns. We push a line of dumpsters in front of them so that they can’t trample us, and form an enormous immovable knot so that they can’t drag us away and arrest us. The cops flip on gas masks and begin to fire tear gas into the crowd. Others blast us with jumbo tanks of pepper spray. One throws a can of gas into my lap. Ronald McDonald and his band of merry devils run amok through my organs, burning plastic bonfires in my windpipe and hacking at my lungs with chainsaws dipped in DDT. Vampire fangs sunk down to the gums suck the soul from my skull, and all that remains in the hellish wasteland between my ears is fear and hatred.

Everyone around me starts to run. While I am getting up a cop bucks me in the face with pepper spray. Tony the Tiger is scouring my eyes with his chemical claws, my nostrils are searing, and I can’t see a damn thing. I scramble down Seneca stone blind and finally collapse in the street, gasping and convulsing. Someone pours water on my face and rubs life back into my eyes. I am born again in their hands. We all tear ass back up Seneca towards 5th to make out what the cops are doing and how to stop them. I realize that my friends are not all just going to bail when things start to get ugly.

And here come the cops, storming through the sickly clouds, ejaculating toxic gas as fast as they can stroke their triggers. They open up on us with rubber bullets and concussion grenades, and we stampede back down Seneca and around the corner. The stampede becomes a fairly orderly retreat as we book down 4th Avenue, hurling everything we can get our hands on out into the street to protect ourselves from their cars and horses. Trash cans, newspaper stands, concrete tree planters, dumpsters, construction barricades, anything that will stop them or slow them down. The gas is inescapable but we grab the cans and throw them back. The rubber bullets are legitimately scary but we chuck sticks, stones, and bottles and hope for the best. I find myself on top of a newspaper stand in the middle of 4th Avenue, unleashing a psychotic stream of invective at the interchangeable bullies who are approaching through the smoke. “FUCK YOU, COWARDS!, I’M INVINCIBLE!”

This is happening all over town. They can move us but they cannot disperse us. At 4th and Union the worm is beginning to turn. The cops, facing thousands and thousands of us now, are a little less gung ho than they were at 5th and Seneca. They form a line across 4th and we come to another standoff. Only this time no one is going to sit down for them. I find myself on top of another newspaper stand in the middle of 4th Avenue, roaring at the top of my lungs. “I can’t TELL you how THRILLED I am to BE here right now. I LOVE every ONE of you, like a SISTER or a BROTHER. There is NOWHERE, in the WORLD, EVER, that I would RATHER BE then WHERE I AM right now. There is NOTHING I would RATHER BE DOING than WHAT I AM DOING right now. I would RATHER be OUT HERE than spend another FUCKING SECOND in my CAR, or at my JOB, or WATCHING TV. I DON’T think these cops can say that. I DON’T think those delegates can say that. I would rather EAT MORE TEAR GAS than any more of their FUCKING fast food. I would rather DRINK MORE PEPPER SPRAY than any more of their FUCKING soft drinks. I would rather DEAL WITH THAT than ACCEPT THIS SHIT for another FUCKING SECOND. And I would rather DIE LIVING than continue to LIVE DYING…”

Somebody hugs me. It has been so long since anyone has touched me that I nearly melt in their arms. Someone else jumps up and roars, and then someone else, and then someone else. I rest for a minute while a stout Chicano man recounts some interesting news. While the servants were busy terrorizing us and the rest of the blockades, the wily and mobile Black Bloc dealt with their masters in kind. Masked little elves armed with slingshots, sledgehammers, mallets, chains, and crowbars attacked The Gap, McDonald’s, Niketown, Bank of America, Starbucks, Levi’s, Fidelity Investment, Old Navy, Key Bank, Washington Mutual, Nordstrom’s, US Bankcorp, Planet Hollywood, and other manifestations of corporate dominance, smashing windows and redecorating facades. I am ecstatic. Those glittering towers are not invincible after all. The greatest trick the vampires ever played was convincing us that garlic did not exist. Let their facade be torn to pieces, and may the walls come tumbling down.

The stout Chicano man tells me that during the LA riots he and his friends burned down police stations and nothing else. We freestyle from the newspaper stand until my larynx is throbbing. Eventually the cops get impatient and one of them bucks my man full in the face with pepper spray. I kiss him on the head, they club me and everyone else they can reach, and back down 4th Avenue I go, a phalanx of crocodiles in ankylosaurus suits at my heels wreaking havoc and pain.

Yet another standoff at 4th and Pike. The cops form a line across 4th Avenue. This is getting repetitive. I have inhaled so much tear gas, ingested so much pepper spray, and ducked so many concussion grenades and rubber bullets that running the bulls on 4th Avenue is no longer novel or fun. It’s just frustrating. We outnumber them almost immeasurably, yet they still attack us with impunity. They hold all the cards, they make all the rules, and they cheat all the time. I am terrified. We are in no way seriously prepared to defend ourselves. All it would take would be for one dumb ass aggro cop to decide to get his rocks off and open fire for all the rest to follow suit. It would be a massacre. Kent State. Bonfires smolder behind my eyes, and the smoke rises out of my mouth. I choose one—at random, for they all look exactly the same. Every inch of his body is hidden under black cyborg armor. He is armed to the teeth. His face is hidden under a gas mask, face shield, and full helmet. “O’Neil” is embroidered on his bulletproof vest. I plant myself squarely in front of his face and I stare dead into his eyes. He won’t look at me. He blinks constantly, looks down, left, up, right; anywhere but at me. It infuriates me almost beyond words that this coward has the impudence to attack me when I am unarmed but lacks the courage to even look me in the eyes. “Can you look me in the eyes? CAN YOU LOOK ME IN THE EYES? LOOK ME IN THE EYES, O’NEIL.” Nothing.

I know why he won’t look at me. When he was halter-broken he joined his trainers in a companionship stimulated not by love, but by hatred—hatred for the “enemy” who has always been designated as a barbarian, savage, communist, jap, criminal, gook, subhuman, drug dealer, terrorist, scum; less than human and therefore legitimate prey. I try to make it impossible for him to label me as a faceless protester, the enemy. I pull off my ski mask and continue to stare into his eyes. I tell him that I am from the south, about fixing houses and laying floors and loading tractor trailer trucks, about nearly getting killed in a car wreck in October, about carrying my dog around crying to all the bushes that she loved to root around in the day she died of cancer. I tell him that we all have our stories, that there are no faceless protesters here. Nothing.

“Can you look me in the eyes, O’Neil? I am a human being, and I refuse to let you evade that. I won’t let you label me as a protester, and I don’t want to have to label you as a cop. I refuse to accept that they have broken you completely, that there is not something left in you which is still capable of empathizing with me. I want to be able to treat you as an equal, but only if you prove to me that you are willing to do the same. And the only way you can do that is by joining us, or walking away.” I remain dead still, staring into his weak cow eyes. He is blinking excessively and is visibly uncomfortable. “Can you look me in the eyes, O’Neil? The difference between me and you is that I want to be here and you don’t. I know why I am here. I am enjoying myself. I am reveling in this. I am rejoicing. I have been waiting for this to happen since I was a little kid. There is nowhere, in the world that I would rather be than where I am right now. There is nothing I would rather be doing than what I am doing right now. It has never been so magnificent to feel the sublime power of life running through the marrow of my bones. I know that you don’t want to be here. I know that you don’t know why you are here. I know that you are not enjoying yourself. I know that you don’t want to be doing this. And no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to. Wherever you want to be, go there, now. Whatever you want to be doing, do it, now. Go home and get out my way. Go make love with your girlfriend or boyfriend, go snuggle with your kids or dog, go watch TV if that’s what you want, but stay out of my way because this is a lot more important to me than it is to you.”

I have not moved my feet or my eyeballs at all. I have been trying to blink as little as possible. O’Neil’s eyes are quivering and squirming to avoid me beneath the mask. “O’NEIL! CAN YOU LOOK ME IN THE EYES? CAN YOU DO THAT FOR ME, O’NEIL? CAN YOU LOOK ME IN THE EYES. Basically this whole ‘Battle of Seattle’ boils down to the relationship between you and me. And really, there are only two kinds of relationships that we can have anymore. If you can either join us or walk away then you will be my brother, and I will embrace you. If you cannot then you will be my enemy, and I will fight you. The relationship that we are not going to have is the one where you are dominant and I am subservient. That is no longer an option. That will never be an option again. “Which kind of relationship do you want to have with me, O’Neil? Look around you. Look at all of these people singing and dancing and making music. Don’t you see how beautiful this is? Don’t you see how much more healthy and strong and fulfilling and desirable and fun relationships that rest on mutual respect and consent and understanding and solidarity and love are than ones that rest on force and fear and coercion and violence and hatred? Don’t you see that the life and the world that we are beginning to create out here is superior to the one that you have been trained to accept? Don’t you see that we are going to win? Don’t you want to be a part of this? I know you do because you still can’t look me in eyes. If you want to remain my enemy then so be it. But if you want to be my brother all you have to do is join us or walk away.”

At this exact moment the Infernal Noise Brigade appears. For the first time since I began this surreal monologue I look behind me. A small man wearing a gas mask and fatigues is prancing about in front, dancing lustily with two oversized black and green flags. Behind him two women wearing gas masks and fatigues march side by side, each bearing an oversized black and green mock wooden rifle. Two columns of about fifteen march behind the women with the guns. They are all wearing gas masks and fatigues, and they are all playing drums and horns and all sorts of other noisemakers. They are making the most glorious uproar that I have ever heard. The Infernal Noise Brigade marches all the way to the front where we are standing. When they reach the line the columns transform into a whirling circle. We form more circles around them, holding hands and leaping through the air, dancing around and around in concentric rings like a tribe of elves. We dance with absolute abandon, in possibly the most unrestrained explosion of sheer fury and joy I have ever seen. On one side of the line across 4th Avenue there is a pulsating festival of resistance and life. On the other side there is a blank wall of obedience and death. The comparison is impossible to miss. It hits you over the head with a hammer.

When the dance is over I return to my post up in O’Neil’s face. I stare into his eyes and invoke all the love and rage I can muster to fashion an auger to bore through his mask and into his brain. And Cow Eyes cries crocodile tears. His eyes are brimming, with red veins throbbing. His cheeks are moist. He won’t look at me. “O’Neil, I don’t care if you cry or not. I don’t care what you’re thinking right now. I only care about what you do. Before long you will get orders to attack us, or one of you will get impatient and provoke another confrontation. What are you going to do? When that happens I am going to be standing right here. If you choose to remain our enemy then you are going to have to hit me first. You are going to have to hurt me first. I dare you to look me in the eyes when you do it. You may be able to hurt me and not look at me. You may be able to look at me and not hurt me. But you won’t be able to look me in the eyes while you hurt me, because you are afraid you will lose your nerve. You are afraid of me, and you should be.

“O’Neil, you all have been terrorizing us all day. If this goes on all night we will have to start fighting back. And you and I will be standing right here in the middle of it. I have no illusions about what that means. Neither should you. We may get killed. But I would rather deal with that than accept this one second longer. I would rather die than give in to you. I don’t think you can say that, can you, O’Neil? Would you rather die than be my brother? Who are you dying for? Where are they? Whoever gives you orders is standing behind you, man. Whoever gives them orders is relaxing down at the station, and whoever gives them orders is safe in some high rise somewhere, laughing at your foolish ass! Why isn’t your boss, and their boss, out here with you, O’Neil, risking their lives and crying in the middle of 4th Avenue? Why should they? You do it all for them! What are you thinking? I just don’t get it. They don’t care about you, hell, I care about you more than they do. You’re getting used, hustled, played, man, and you will be discarded the minute you become expendable. Please look me in the eyes. I’m serious, O’Neil, come dance with me…”

Someone whispers in my ear that another cop is crying down the line to my right. For a fleeting moment I can feel it coming, the fiery dragon breath of the day that will come when the servants turn their backs on their masters and dance… …And then it’s gone. Because O’Neil is not dancing. He is completely beaten. His lifeless eyes don’t even quiver or squirm. And he won’t look at me. I could whisper in his nightmares for a thousand years, I could burn my face onto the backs of his eyelids, I could stare at him every morning from the bathroom mirror, but he would never look me in the eyes. He is too well-trained, too completely broken, too weak to feel compassion for the enemy. His eyes are dead. There is nothing left. The magic words that could pierce his armor and resurrect him elude me, if they exist at all. “O’Neil, I know that you have been broken and trained. So have I. I know that you are just following orders and just doing your job. I have done the same. But we are ultimately responsible for our actions, and their consequences. There is a life and a world and a community waiting for you on this side of the line that can make you wild and whole again, if you want them. But if you prefer to lay it all to waste, if you prefer death and despair to love and life, if all of these words bounce off of your armor and you still choose to hurt me then FUCK you, because the Nuremberg defense doesn’t fly.”

I have nothing left to say. I sing the last verse of my beaten heroes’ song, softly, over and over and over again, staring into O’Neil’s eyes and waiting for the inevitable. “…In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold, greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold—we can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old…”

Eventually a cop down to my right either gets impatient or gets orders. He grabs a guy, completely randomly, pulls him across the line, and starts beating him. The crowd surges to rescue our friend, and O’Neil makes his choice. “LOOK ME IN THE EYES, O’NEIL!” He clubs the person standing next to me, and the cop standing next to him clubs me. “LOOK ME IN THE EYES, MOTHERFUCKER!” But he never does. I ram into him as hard as I can, praying that the sea behind me will finally break through the wall, drown the both of us, and carry my friend away to safety. But I am not strong enough, and the wall of death beats us back once more. Over my shoulder I watch one cop walk up to a very small older woman and unload a tank of pepper spray into her eyes. Her indomitable and bitter face is the last thing I see before I have to run away.

There are no words that are poisonous enough to convey the venom that I hold for O’Neil and all of the rest of his kind. These wretched scabs, these Uncle Toms, these despicable bullies, these hellish machines, these dead bodies are utterly beneath contempt. I look at their faces and I feel nothing but hatred. I run down 4th Avenue, ducking gas and grenades, my eyes brimming with red veins throbbing. Training has dehumanized me in O’Neil’s eyes, and O’Neil in mine.


Rebel Girl: As photocopying became more prevalent in the 1990s and 2000s, so did copy shop scams. Anarchists could put out propaganda and news without building a subscriber base or undertaking the big production costs that a newspaper like The Fifth Estate has. Zines abounded, and we’re going to share one of our favorite anarchist zines hailing from western North Carolina in 2006 and 7. It was a one-off publication entitled “A Chorus of Versus,” “versus” spelled with a “u.” They essentially just trawled the news for any wild and rebel crime in their region, but we’ll start our excerpt with their introduction so they can explain in their own words what the zine was all about:

A Chorus Of Versus: The daily newspaper. So chock full of bad news that any regularity of reading results in an overwhelming sense of despair and general futility. Stories of police beating and killing people whenever they can get away with it; downtown “revitalization” forcing out the poor in order to make room for hip cafes serving fair-trade coffee and trendy restaurants with overpriced organic fare; taxes levied for new prisons for those same, now displaced, poor folks; arctic ice shelves and ancient glaciers throwing themselves into the sea at an ever increasing pace; national RFID cards to keep us all “safe”; boorish and servile suburbanites and condo-dwellers mindlessly driving and shopping themselves to their (and quite possibly everyone else’s) demise.

But here and there, tucked in between all the bleakness and gloom, are sweet little underreported victories. A bank robbery with no suspects, a school break-in with no arrests, people fed up with the daily grind and doing something about it. Whether these actions are taken out of a sense of hope, desperation, or sheer desire for destruction, whether collective or individual, whether well planned or spontaneous, they each constitute a blow, however large or small, to the prevailing social order which enforces such drudgery and boredom upon us all. And when clipped out and written down or read aloud these acts very clearly depict an ongoing struggle against that same drudgery and boredom. People understand that, when the 9 to 5 just isn’t cutting it, chain store clerks and bank tellers are required to fork over cash if told to do so, weapon or no weapon. Kids understand that school offers them nothing but a future of insecure and miserable 9 to 5’s, and so bomb threats and trash can fires are perfect ways to get out of class… It is also understood that at times, flagrant destruction can be therapeutic and soothing to the spirit, hence the prevalence of vandalism and arson reports in these pages.

On a side note, we find it encouraging that despite all the snitching, surveillance, and repression which surrounds us, most of the “criminals” in this publication did not get caught. The acts in these pages could have been committed out of a thorough, radical critique of the capitalist and State systems and/or out of a desperate need to survive; we find both of these motivations equally valid and aspire to encourage their integration.

One final thing deserves our mention: our aim is not particularly to promote crime in and of itself, being that there are many criminal acts committed out of a sense of powerlessness and lack of control that are wholly reprehensible (rape and child abuse for instance). What we hope to do is encourage those actions which contribute to the destruction of the structures and institutions that enforce conditions of powerlessness and alienation. And so we begin the chorus…

August 15, Asheville – Anarchists vs. Republican Action Club Anarchists twice alter a racist Buncombe Country Republican Action Club anti-immigration billboard. The billboard features an American flag turned upside-down beneath a Mexican flag and has a caption that reads “Had Enough?” The modifiers black out the group’s website and paint “RACISM” underneath the question “Had Enough?” and on a second occasion return and paint “They meet at Ryan’s Restaurant.”

November 1, Gibsonville – Unknown Person(s) vs. School Eastern Guilford High School burns to the ground. A fire started in a chemistry lab trash can quickly spreads to the rafters and causes the entire roof of the building to collapse resulting in the total loss of the building and nearly all its contents. Many of the 1,059 students that are evacuated from the school cheer and dance as they watch smoke pouring out of the building. When asked their feelings about the school in flames one 16 year old replied, “it’s about time,” and another that her biggest regret was “not seeing the fire start.” The cause is later deemed arson and it is reported that in the past give years, Eastern Guilford High School has had 16 reported fires, 15 of which were intentionally set. In addition to this, Eastern Guilford Middle School has had 18 reported fires, 17 of which were intentionally set.

December 12, Asheville – Unknown Person vs. First Citizens Bank A man enters the First Citizens Bank on Tunnel Road and demands money. No weapon is brandished and he successfully makes off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

December 15, Chapel Hill – Unknown Vandal(s) vs. U.S. Army The newly built Army recruitment Center on East Franklin Street is vandalized with its door locks glued and “not welcome” spray-painted on the front of the building. In addition, several government vehicles are also spray-painted with the same slogan. This vandalism coincides with a demonstration that is held later in the day protesting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new recruitment center. The ceremony is ultimately cancelled due to fears for the safety of the Chapel Hill Town Government staff. Success!

December 19, Barnardsville – Unknown Person vs. Cop 1 vs. Cop 2 Two state troopers collide while chasing a speeding truck on N.C. 197. One of the cars is already in pursuit of the truck when the second trooper, coming from the opposite direction, pulls a U-turn in front of the first trooper. Both of the cars have their lights flashing at the same time the accident happens. The wreck causes about $8,000 in damages to the two patrol cars and slightly injures one officer. The drive of the truck escapes.

December 30, Cary – Unknown Person vs. Food Lion In the early morning hours the Food Lion at 973 North Harrison Avenue has the glass on the front doors broken and the security camera room ransacked with a VCR missing.

December 31, Cary – Unknown Person vs. Food Lion: Round 2 The same Food Lion at 973 North Harrison Avenue again in the early morning hours has the glass on the front door broken in addition to 3 cartons of cigarettes, a security videotape, and $13,400 from the store safe missing.

January 4, Brunswick – Ambitious Robbers vs. Wealthy Vacation Home Owning Scum and High Tech Pigs Newspapers report that since mid-December, nearly sixty homes have been burglarized in Holden Beach and the surrounding area. Holden Beach is an island just off the mainland with around 2,100 upscale vacation homes. Only 250 to 300 of these homes are occupied year round. Police are continually baffled by the thieves as there is only one bridge that leads to the island which they have kept under heavy surveillance, leading them to believe that the thieves are using a raft to ferry flat-screen televisions, computers, and other electronics items across the Intracoastal Waterway to waiting transport. Police also begin to employ thermal imaging devices as well as deliberating about the possibility of calling in the military in order to obtain night vision equipment. Eventually, police arrest two teenagers ages 16 and 17 in connection with the burglaries but only one flat screen television is recovered.

January 14, Stockbridge, Georgia – Ingenuitive Shoplifters vs. Wal-Mart A Wal-Mart employee spots four men attempting to shoplift toys. When the employee goes to get help, the men go to the area where swimming pool chemicals are stocked and mix a chlorine based item with another items causing a small explosion releasing a toxic white cloud in the store. Four people are taken to the hospital with breathing problems, are treated and then released, but the men escape in the chaos that ensues.

January 21, Nashville, Tennessee – Christopher Daniel Gay vs. Penal System, Cops From Five States, and Famous Country Singer Christopher Daniel Gay, 32, escapes from a prisoner transport van and leads police on a five state manhunt that involves Gay stealing a pickup, a Wal-Mart big rig and the tour bus of country singer Crystal Gayle. Gay allegedly has a history of theft and escape and has multiple warrants out for his arrest in several Tennessee jurisdictions for theft of heavy equipment that cost “well over $1 million.” At the time of his escape he was being transported to Pell City, Alabama on a warrants ordering him to appear on escape and felony charges. He was last sighted in Lakeland, Florida where he tried to obtain a new generation for the tour bus at Speedfest 2007 at the USA International Speedway by posing as a member of NASCAR racer Tony Stewart’s racing team. Police believe that Gay’s motive for escaping is to visit his mother who is dying of cancer. “What he done was wrong, but he knows his mama don’t have long,” said Anna Shull, Gay’s mother.


Rebel Girl: Green Anarchy magazine was another excellent source for roundups of rebel news. Alongside their impassioned critiques of civilization and technology, not to mention some of the freakiest design work in the anarchist print media world, they included detailed, comprehensive direct action reports. Here are a few from 2004’s issue #15:

From the “wild ones fight back!” section, “November 11, Pennsylvania: Lone Deer Wages Private ‘Anti-Agriculture’ War!

“Millertown—A deer that chased a farmer for about a half-mile is speculated to be the same buck that has harassed and threatened other farmers this fall. Gene Robbins, and Pennsylvania farmer, says that a seven-point buck chased him out of his cultivated field and into his neighbor’s garage. Is this the case of an uppity animal not knowing its place within the human-created hierarchy of species, or could it instead be viewed as an act of land reclamation?”

And from the “broke down engines, barbecued kops, and further symptoms of the system’s meltdown” section, “October 15, Canada: Cancelled Punk Show Turns Into A Real Riot in Montreal

“There’s only one news section in Green Anarchy where this items belongs and that’s ‘Further Symptoms of the System’s Meltdown!’ Angered by the cancellation of a punk rock concert dozens of young people smashed windows and overturns cars, setting them ablaze. The young punks rioted after they were told that the groups Total Chaos and The Exploited wouldn’t be performing. Some members of The Exploited were refused entry into the country by Canada Customs. Hundreds of young punks were waiting on the street for about 45 minutes before the fun began. Several then picked up material form a nearby construction site and hurled the items at cars and windows. Minutes later, at least four cars were overturned and set on fire, flames shooting out the side windows as firefighters directed streams of water at them. A one-block area was littered with 24 cars that had their windows smashed. Some of the rioters grabbed a computer from one of the stores and hurled it at a car. The windows of at least six stores were smashed.”

And from the ecological resistance reports, “October 24, Indiana: ELF Sabotages Wal-Mart Construction Site!

“In its 11th known (claimed) action of 2003, the Earth Liberation Front has taken credit for extensive sabotage at the site of a Wal-Mart under constructions in Martinsville, Indiana. What follows is what many of us in the Green Anarchy Collective consider to be one of the best ELF communiqués ever released:

‘On 10/24/2003 in Martinsville, IN we visited a construction site for new Wal-Mart store. We pulled up dozens of survey stakes, spraypainted building walls and machines. Sabotage was done to over a dozen pieces of heavy machinery and vehicles by putting sand in the fuel tanks, slashing tires, and cutting engine hoses and tubes. Before leaving we broke out 20–30 construction machine windows.

‘We are overwhelmed by the amount of shit society offers us. We look around and see our lives displayed in neon lighting. In one city block there is a McDonald’s, a Chevron, a couple of banks, and a Taco Bell. Two massive car dealerships glow in the short distance, the new SUV’s proudly displayed in the front. We can even see the old Wal-Mart, which apparently wasn’t large enough or new enough to satiate a growing population of consumers. Everything must be new, and it must be big. Even the highways passing through town isn’t big enough. And there is nothing unique about this specific location. This is life in North America. This is becoming everywhere.

‘But what life is to be found in this?

‘Some will have us believe that this is what should be desirable to us. Things are just large enough to keep us looking and shopping. Things are just fast enough that we never even have to leave our cars for most of our transactions, as we speed off to work. Everything is convenient and people are satisfied, and for those who might be discontented with this reality, there is plenty of television to watch.

‘Most people are content with this, but we are not. We know that life does not have to be one monotonous routine played out over and over again. We know that the places we live can offer much more than Wal-Marts and McDonalds and Chevrons. We know, because at times we have experienced a break with this reality, and know that other possibilities exist.

‘And how can things change really?

‘For us, sabotage may not be a means to change any world but our own, as an expression of our feelings towards this society. We strike for ourselves, out of our own frustrations, and rage and despair…as a means of therapy and adventure. Because to not act, or to resign oneself to such an impoverished life of working and consuming is not good enough for us. We are not content and intend to express this.

‘This society offers us shit…how can we repay them?


Green Anarchy also had regular roundups of anti-genetic engineering actions, indigenous and campesino resistance, anarchist resistance from around the world, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist resistance, animal liberation actions, and prisoner uprisings and revolts, as well as up-to-date information on how to support prisoners from those and other struggles.

Even the reddest of workerist anarchists would occasionally pick up a copy of Green Anarchy for the action reports, but then there were highly controversial columns as well, like “News From the Balcony with Waldorf and Statler.” If you don’t know who Waldorf and Statler are, they’re these two old yuckitty Muppets, like, actual Muppets from The Muppet Show, who are always talking shit… and “News from the Balcony” was, “a regular column from the two most crotchety anarchists out there. They offer a spicy and no-holds-barred analysis of the anarchist movement…a sort of gossip column for the scene. While we don’t always agree with their senile rantings, they are provocative, and for puppets there certainly don’t seem to be anyone pulling their strings!”

Definitely some of the Waldorf and Statler columns were pot-shots made in poor-faith that made one wonder if their primary enemy was industrial civilization or the anarchist movement, but sometimes they could be hilariously on point. We’ll share one of their more insightfully incisive columns:

Waldorf And Statler: Crass Opportunism

Seems there’s a bunch of self-styled anarchists way out there in San Francisco campaigning to get Mr. Matt Gonzalez of the Green Party elected mayor. The reasoning asserts that such an election would be an “important victory” and a “step in the right direction” toward making survival marginally more tolerable for a little while longer. These managers-in-waiting sent out a press release on one of those inter-web pages haranguing “radical activists” to not only vote in this mess, but to also “phone bank, table, and get out literature in neighborhoods.” Who’da ever thunk that toeing the line of the status quo was so revolutionary! Apparently these mediocre anarchists have lost interest in being enemies of the State and will now settle for being its guilty conscience.

As pathetic as all this rightfully sounds, the caveat is that they of course don’t actually believe electing Gonzalez will accomplished anything in and of itself: “We urge you to get involved not because we expected that Gonzalez would solve our problems, rather than at a victory by this coalition will help build our power to solve our own problems.” Yup, you read that right—all the energy wasted on this joke is not to actually elect Mr. Gonzalez, but just an opportunity to build another vague and ephemeral “movement.” You whippersnappers want to build a movement? Try chugging some Metamucil first thing in the morning!

…So, is this then cynicism or paternalism? I get confused, like that whole tactics vs. strategy conversation that always puts me to sleep—but then again, when you’re as old as we are, pretty much everything puts you to sleep!


Rebel Girl: Our next report comes from MC Sole.

Sole: Wuddup. It’s Sole, host of The Solecast. And on May Day, I’d like to share an inspiring and heartwarming piece of writing written by comrades in Mexico about ten years ago:

“Eighty eight years of the day Trotsky directed the suppression of the anarchist uprising in Krondstadt, a group of bandits scaled the walls of his former house in Mexico City during the late hours at night. We broke the lock on his mausoleum and we expropriate the content inside it: a silver large vase that bears the inscription of his name, wrapped in the red scarf that he carried around the neck, containing the ashes of the corpse inside. We replace with care the lock in the monument with a reproduction that was similar in the appearance and escaped into the night. The vase along with its content then was taken far away to a place where the vase was discarded and the content (a combination of ash and bone) were baked in cookies. These cookies then were sent, along with a letter that explains our actions, to newspapers, to organizations of Trotskyists, and to the groups of anarchist around the world. While we will not repeat everything of our full letter, briefly we propose to give new light to the idea that history does not end with the past and still a small group of bandits can give new direction to fights thought long to be frozen in the time. We want to expand the fight to include dead objects of the past that hold hostage us in the present. Nevertheless, if Trotsky is right about the history, we do not determine anything, but we are only characters whose actions were written in the revolution of October. As was his destiny, coincidentally, to come to be a cookie. The ones that receive these cookies have a decision. Through time, the act to consume enemies have been seen as a way to absorb their powers. On the other hand, consuming the body and the blood of the dead person as a sacrament have also been a form of worship. We would want to indicate that, at any rate, the result is always shit. For those a little delicate, we have tried them, and although they be a little sandy, they are delicious. The green dots, by the way, they are just candies.”


Rebel Girl: And our final report is from an episode of It’s The End Of The World As We Know It and I Feel Fine—our favorite anarchist news show ever. The Stimulator himself gave us a call and told us what this clip is all about.

Stimulator: Gooooooooood morning CrimethInc. I am The Stimulator, the host of The Fucking News. Today I bring you an excerpt form one of my favorite episodes of it’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine, when hundreds of black clad freedom fighters destroyed the main financial and shopping district of Toronto, in defiance of a massive police presence there to protect the twenty gangsters of the industrialized world, also known as the G20. Enjoy!

Stimulator: I must pay my respect to the peeps who organized last Friday’s Justice for Our Communities Rally. You see, confronting the security ‘apparata’ and smashing capitalism is only one side of the muthafucking resistance. The other side is the folks building roots in the community while providing alternatives to the fucking corrupt beast that we are trying to liberate ourselves from. Here’s Mohan Mishra, one of the organizers of Friday’s action:

Mohan Mishra: You can see from the demonstration that the police presence today was outrageous. You see so many police on the street, you know, essentially turning the city into an armed camp, trying to stop people from communities around the city from being able to voice their concerns.

Stimulator: You see, when you expose the system for the failure that it is and show peeps a different way to see the world, the muthafucking ruling elites start getting trigger-happy. Friday’s march saw an escalation of pig presence even though the event was billed as a music-filled block party.

Person 2: I am with a group of people who are all here with their children, very intentionally.

Stimulator: That’s right, this diverse group of organizers created a friendly space and even provided loads of food and childcare for the muthafucking resistance. And as a bonus, the food was fucking tasty. When the crowd finally took to the streets, I wanted to see how many different struggles were represented. Migrants, disabled peeps, trans and queers, and brown peeps from all parts of the world united in their desire to better the planet. To not just hope that things will change, but to actively work to make that shit real. As the fun-filled street carnival spread like sugar all over T-dot, the muthafuckin pigs came in Darth Vader-style and attempted to piss on our parade.

{Shouting, sounds of fighting} {Cop yells} Get out! {Sounds of fighting}

The po-po also formed a wall of bacon in front of the Police Museum and Discovery Center. Now, try to remember this scene, because the next day the situation would look very different.

In the end, the muthafucking resistance shut them down and the street party circled around the city for several hours, ending in a tent city and a dance party well into the wee hours, where for one night, people lived in the world they wanted to see.

On Saturday morning, a humongous rally of many different groups gathered at Queen’s Park to let blah blah muthafucking blah. You already know what happened there: abso-fucking-lutely nothing. At the back of the march, well, that’s a different story.

{radio} Comin to ya loud and clear!

Stimulator: The Get Off The Fence contingent was billed as a confrontational anti-colonial, anti-capitalist where:

“We will take back our city from these exploitative profiteers, and in the streets we will be uncontrollable! This is a militant march where many forms of resistance and tactics are welcomed and respected.“

This uncontrollable expression of rage kicked off with a big splash, as a sea of black-clad freedom fighters broke off from the main march and swarmed and smashed this pig mobile. Now, for those who say that police abandoned the cop cars so that the black block could smash them, you’re absolutely right about the smashing and the abandoning, but absolutely wrong about the motivation. The police did abandon this car, but only after it was smashed.

After this explosive start, for the next hour, all you could hear was:

{smashing glass and cheering}

Do you know what that is? That’s the sound of capitalism being smashed. I cannot even count how many corporate stores were vandalized. Starbucks, Adidas, Burger King, Starbucks, American Apparel, Starbucks, to name just a few. I suspect that at Tim Hortons, a Canadian corporate doughnut store, the po-po were able to get there before the bloc, as the shelves that normally stock pig fuel were already empty. But corporate chains were not the only ones that got smashed. Jewelry stores and porno stores were also targeted. But the crowning symbol of this powerful demonstration of courage was the burning of cop cars. Banks were also high on the target list, and I can say without a doubt that every single muther-fucking financial institution along the way got its just desserts. The scum-sucking corporate media and the subservient state-run media were also not welcome in this new vision of the world. Remember this building?

{smashing glass, cheering}

Well, the pigs were not that brave this time around and stood back like stiff statues as the resistance remodelled the pig museum. This was a fitting symbol, because when we abolish the police, the only memory of their past existence will be in the halls of a museum. Yep, that day, the people were writing their own history.


  Rebel Girl: And that’s it for this episode of The Hotwire. We wish all our listeners a happy and hell-raising May Day. Thanks a million to William Goodenuff, Sole, the Stimulator, and Resonance Audio Distro for their guest contributions. As always thanks to Underground Reverie for the music. Don’t forget to e-mail us your May Day action reports by May 2 so that we can include them in our May Day roundup on May 3—hit us up at Don’t forget to check out all the links, mailing addresses, and useful shownotes we customized for this episode at   Stay informed. Stay rebel. Plug into The Hotwire.