Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Ever Tightening Grip Of The State.

          As the states across the West, and elsewhere, turn sharply to the right, we will see from them, a more brutal response to dissent, dissent in any form. Harsher sentences, shifting to minor offences being dressed up as serious offences, large sweeping arrests, and catch-all charges. The charade of "due process" will evaporate as guilt by association will become the norm. Most states stand up and spout about their adherence to the "letter of the law", the only problem with that is they keep shifting and changing those "letters" to their advantage. They make the laws, so they are always on the right side of "the law", to protect and enhance their grip on power.
      This happens under all manner of guises, subtly, by small unannounced degrees, under the cover-all banner of state security, "anti-terrorist" legislation, or the ever increasing "state of emergency". Procedures introduced under these banners are seldom, if ever, relinquished, they are kept on the state's agenda for further use, and in most cases, become common practice.
       The following article refers to America, but can equally apply to almost any state, for example, France's now year long "state of emergency", Turkey's new massively increased powers to the President, Italy and Spain's sweeping up of anarchists. They are all at it, as dissent rises, so does the harshness of the state, eventually we see the raw power and authority of the state institution. Don't expect the babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media to get all hot and bother about this ever diminishing rights of the citizen, they are there to protect the established power structure, and no matter what, will continue to spew out their usual illusions, sweared with bubble-gum and popcorn crap.

        "It's crazy, a few windows got smashed," 23-year-old Olivia Alsip said, two months after her arrest on felony riot charges. "Why are 214 people looking at ten years in prison?"
      Alsip only knew one other person at the protest march that day. The political science graduate student from the University of Chicago had met her partner in November, when the two had joined the camps at Standing Rock opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. When they heard about calls to protest Donald J. Trump's inauguration in D.C. on January 20th under the banner "Disrupt J20," they felt they had to be there. "I identify as an anarchist, and I've been an activist for women's and queer rights since the 8th grade," Alsip told me over the phone from Chicago.
      Alsip is among 214 defendants facing felony riot charges, up to a decade in prison and a $25,000 fine for their participation in the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march, which ended with a mass arrest on the morning of Inauguration Day. As far as the student understands, the evidence against her amounts to little more than proof of her presence at the unruly protest, as indicated by her arrest. Like the vast majority of her co-defendants, Alsip didn't break or throw anything. Now she lives in shock over the steep price she and her fellow protesters might pay as the new administration and police forces set the tone for how they will deal with the spike in organized dissent.
    Anarchists and anti-fascist activists across the country have responded to Trump's ascendancy, and particularly the attendant emboldening of white supremacists, with confrontational protest. Rivers of digital ink were spilled approving and denouncing the meme-friendly punch delivered to neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, as well as the militant demonstrations that prevented far right troll Milo Yiannopoulos from waxing hateful at UC Berkeley. But while scattered vandalism and punching (a neo-Nazi) were deemed headline-grabbing militancy, the media relegated the most extreme incidents involving anarchists and antifascists—namely, recent treatment of them—to footnotes.
    A New York Times article published two weeks after the inauguration about anarchist protests accorded just half a sentence to the fact that a Yiannopolous supporter in Seattle shot and seriously injured an anti-fascist activist, and has yet to face charges. Fifteen paragraphs down, a mere mention was given to the mass arrest of the 200-plus anti-fascist protesters on Inauguration Day. The fact that these arrestees now face felony riot charges went unmentioned by the Times—blanket charges, which carry a heft unheard of in the last decades of protest history.
      "In my over thirty years of practicing law, I've never seen anything like this," said veteran D.C. attorney Mark Goldstone, of the charges. Goldstone, who has defended dozens of activist cases and is representing six of the J20 defendants, called the charges "unprecedented territory."
       Dragnet arrests at protests are nothing new—recall the arrest of over 700 Occupy protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge. Nor is the leveling of serious criminal charges to demonstrators accused of property damage. With a legal logic seemingly opposite to that in the J20 cases, just one man was blamed for the $50,000 of property damage wrought during the 2009 Pittsburgh G20 Summit; he was convicted of felony criminal mischief and three misdemeanors. But the charge of felony riot is in itself rare, let alone when applied to over 200 people.
Continue reading HERE:

Visit ann arky's home at

No comments:

Post a Comment