Monday, July 27, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Olympia Anarchists Sentenced for May Day 2008 “Riot”

On Tuesday, July 21st, 4 local individuals were sentenced for smashing
bank windows, "rioting", and thwarting the arrests of others on May Day
'08 in Olympia. The court house in Olympia was packed with supporters. A
ring of police stood between us and the judge, smirking and chatting with
the prosecutor during recess.

The actual crime of this whole affair is the persistence of the state, its
apologizers and witless functionaries, and the daily coercion which
becomes concentrated against individuals who show resistance. This was
displayed nakedly as the prosecutor and judge showed special enmity for
our companero, Bryan, by ordering 120 days in jail because he held his
head up during the proceedings intended for humiliation.

We know that jail time is one of the prods used by Authority to break a
human being down into subservience. In this regard, we think Bryan may
still be better off than others who received less time, because his spirit
was never fooled that the same State which is purposefully attacked every
May Day might spare anyone even a little breathing room from its wretched

We are reminded of a comrade in Greece, Ilias Nikolau, accused of an
explosion on the police in January, who sees clearly the stakes of his
imprisonment. He writes, "To all those who think that they have overcome
me, that they have overcome us…
For me and my comrades it works just the other way around! Because as long
as there are prisoners of war, we will continue to struggle."

We are sickened by Bryan's lawyer, who thought his liberal grandiloquence
would convince the liberal judge of anything but more of the same. Had he
watched Stefanie's defense (Stefanie abstained from groveling and was
granted 30 days of electronic monitoring), at the very least we might have
been saved 30 minutes incarceration by his painful sermon. The other
sentences were 45 days for Randal, and 30 days for Shyam. References by
almost every suit around the court indicated that the final absconded
defendant, "the At-large Mr. Wilson", was being vilified to the furthest
extent. We all laughed at the twit piece-of-shit prosecutor describing
black clothing as 'combat attire', but the judge threatened us to be
silent because she wanted to give her dirty verdict and then disappear
from any responsibility of her own. Some grumbles accompanied our
departure and someone shouted to her before leaving that she embraced a
vision of democratic self-deprecation. We feel that the Judge and
Prosecutor attempt to inseminate their filthy Ideal of pacifist democracy
and the sanctity of property.

All four have two weeks before beginning their sentences, as well as two
years probation. The other two arrestees, Daniel B. and Forest, have
already served 60 day sentences. Plank of America is requesting +$10K for
its broken windows, and the judge will most likely comply with that
bullshit, too, in the next month.

Do you think we ignore that in other countries your doppelgangers simply
kill our comrades for their crimes? Do you think we forget all those who
have been 'suicided' inside your wards? Why do you think that in Greece
and Germany it is not so forgotten that the state prosecutors and prison
directors were the target of attacks? It is because we understand this
entire open-air prison to be a death threat. As the torment increases, we
will continue fighting for our lives!

Scumbag mainstream article here:

leaflet on international imprisoned anarchists:

Do not pass go, Do not collect $200

On July 21, 2009, the events of May Day 2008 finally came to a close with
the sentencing of four anarchists of the South Sound region. For over a
year they have been legally bound to endure an array of court dates, legal
costs, extradition waivers, etc. All this has stemmed from some debatable
interactions with banks that have since then had a wide impact on the
Olympia activist and broader communities.

May Day 2008 began at noon downtown in Sylvester Park with a large crowd
listening to speakers who talked about issues ranging from establishing
Olympia as a sanctuary city to the history of May Day. Because the rally
was intentionally focused on immigrant solidarity, all the speeches were
directly translated into Spanish. At the conclusion of the speeches the
crowd led itself on a permitted march up Capital Blvd. to the Capital
Campus. At the Capital more speeches followed as well as some
disagreements over tactics. Next, the crowd continued the march to the
City Hall and then downtown where a "break away" march occurred. The break
away march consisted of people who were seemingly prepared to use a
diversity of tactics. These tactics proved to include property destruction
via rocks through the windows of banks. The cops reacted predictably as
pigs and began assaulting and arresting people at random. Six people were
arrested and taken away though many more were de-arrested.

In the weeks that followed police harassment against activists continued
as well as a disturbing amount of in-fighting and finger pointing towards
local anarchists. Claims went as far as to blame anarchists for the denial
of the Sanctuary City proposal, demonstrating a lapse in memory regarding
standard city council behavior. Whether or not all groups agreed the
tactics were effective they did work to initiate a significant amount of
dialogue around property destruction and what solidarity looks like.

Over the next year, despite state repression, anarchist activity continued
undeterred. In addition to countless hours of day to day community
organizing, the cops were attacked at their Westside station.

Mid afternoon on July 21, 2009, about 20 or so friends, family and
comrades of the arrested converged at the Thurston County Courthouse to
witness the conclusion of the court proceedings. While the defendants and
their supporters waited for the proceedings to begin, a badge wearing
buffoon tried to quiet the crowd but was met instead by jeers and
laughter. The atmosphere amongst the visitors remained supportive and
there was an understanding that this particular charade of justice was
soon coming to a close.

Inside the courtroom at last, the authorities displayed a typical
detachment with reality. There was an excessive amount of sheriffs
supposedly meant to deal with the anarchist crowd control. The prosecutor
Bruno, a parody of JP Moneybags, consistently talked in language equating
anarchists to criminal combatants. The Judge could hardly suppress her
disdain for the accused with body language that all but gave away her
bias. In the end after final statements were given, a last ditch effort to
demonize the defendants was provoked when Prosecutor Moneybags submitted a
photo of an unidentified person in black clad clothes. Meanwhile, the
defendants and their supporters braved the drudgery with jokes, small talk
and hugs.

The co-defendants received from 10 to 120 days in jail, although they will
avoid hard time because Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch
authorized the use of work release or home detention with electronic
monitoring. They must report by Aug. 4. Hirsch also ordered the
co-defendants to each serve 240 hours of community service.

Not all defendants interacted with the judge in a similar fashion when
given space to present a statement. Responses ranged from so-called
"groveling" or using an apologetic response and conceding to making a
mistake to a "defiant" non-response. It should be understood that
whichever approach is taken, the bottom line is the state is illegitimate
and we should not expect nor desire them to be moved by our behavior in
court. More importantly, within our anarchist communities we should
respect our own capacities to navigate the legal system in whichever way
we see fit. Ever heard of self-determination? We would do well to balance
a level of being self-critical with a space for support and compassion.
There is no interest in being part of replicating the same characteristics
of culture thriving on bickering and miscommunication.

If there is anything to be remembered from such a day in court, it is that
amidst the fallacy we remained in solidarity with each other and were able
to offer and provide comfort to our compañeros during a time of
misfortune. We do this because we love each other, what we stand for, and
how we are creating a world where days in court are a boring memory.

Anarchist activity looks like many different things for all anarchists. We
are deeply involved in building communities based on mutual aid, voluntary
cooperation and happiness inside a world programmed not to understand such
concepts. While our daily affairs may lead us into conflict with cops and
other authorities, anarchy is much more than the reliable opposition to
banks, schools and prisons. We must consider moving beyond defining
anarchist activities solely as confrontation with figments of the state.
We do not advocate a cease of direct action but rather an applause of the
all the dreams that we can realize.

On August 4th the defendants are ordered to comply with their respective
sentences as given by Judge Hirsch. As documented in the court proceedings
all four defendants have been and will continue to be involved in
important work within their communities. Luckily, the court has no idea
about what community work actually means and how subversive it is to their
positions of authority. These punishments should not be seen as setbacks
but rather as court-appointed hindrances that we will creatively endure
together. We would like thank our friends who will now have the
opportunity to reflect not on mistakes but on the learning process of
being an anarchist with a monitoring chain on their ankle.

PS – on May 1st 1886 the struggle for the 8 hour work day culminated with
the arrest and eventual execution of four anarchists (Albert Parsons,
George Engel, August Spies and Adolph Fischer). May Day has deep ties with
the anarchist tradition. In the Olympia community we would like to
recognize this tradition and not repeat the history of state repression of
anarchists by continuing to put anarchy on trial.

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