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2: Letters to the Editors 3: Stamps, Torture Taxis, Environmental Justice 

4: Biodiesel Hot Rod 5: Microradio vs. the FCC 6: Biojustice in Boston 

7: Gold Mining’s Legacy of Exploitaiton 8: Indigenous Uprising in Guatemala 

10: Protesting the G8 in Germany 12: Interview with Josh Wolf 

13: Interview with Gabe Meyers 14: Housing Justice 

16: Guerrilla Gardens in SF and Beyond 20: Arts in Action 










The San Francisco Bay Area Independent 
Media Center is a non-commercial, demo- 
cratic collective of bay area independent 
media makers and media outlets, and 
serves as the local organizing unit of the 
global indymedia network. 


Fault Lines, the newsmagazine of the San 
Francisco Bay Area Independent Media 
Center, aims to give all communities the 
opportunity to actively participate in a col- 
lective process of media production and 
distribution. By operating with transpar- 
ency, this newsmagazine hopes to achieve 
the goal of allowing the public, not corpo- 
rate conglomerations, to set the agenda for 
news coverage. Our mission is to train and 
empower marginalized voices. This publi- 
cation was created to be used as a tool for 
radical change in our communities by ex- 
posing the stories and raising the issues 
that the media plutocracy seeks to supress. 
We are the people, we are the media and we 
are dissenting from the ground up. 


The IMC has an open door. You can write for 
Fault Lines, film events and rallies, self- 
publish articles to the web, take photos or 
just help us run the office. As an organiza- 
tion relying entirely on volunteer support, 
we encourage all forms of participation. 

The print working group reserves the right 
to edit articles for length, content, and 
clarity. We welcome your participation in 
the entire editorial process. 



Home Base: 

2940 1 6TH 5T. SUITE 216 
SAN FRANCISCO, EA, 94103-2682 


Matt Gereghty, David Zlutnick, 
Flunter Jackson, Liam O'Donoghue, 
Sean McMahon, Hannah Potassium, 
Nico Rahim, Rez, Sakura Saunders, 
Tim Simons, Ali Tonak, Herb Sand- 
hu, Chris Avilla. 


Dave id, Katrina Malachowski, Media Al- 
liance, the Indypendent (nyc imc), Street 
Sheet, Station 40, Howard Quinn Press, 
CorpWatch, Elizabeth Sy and lushorchid, 
janky hellface, Lorna and AK Press, Alter- 
native Tentacles, Sonoma Valley Publish- 
ing, Inkworks, Khalil Bendib, Dan Raccug- 
lia, Santa Cruz IMC. respect. 

We’d also like to thank everyone who has donated to Fault Lines, 
those who have subscribed, and the organizations and small 
businesses that have advertised within these pages. Your sup- 
port helps make this happen. 


Last issue we did a call out tor responses 
to our letter From the editors about the 
role oF radical print. Here are some oF the 
responses. Thanks, and keep ‘em coming. 

Dear Editors, 

I read your editorial in the spring is- 
sue recently and felt compelled to write 
in. I wish to stress that it is impera- 
tive that alternative newspapers such as 
yours remain in print. I myself run a 
small zine which depends largely on do- 
nations. I have been publishing it since 
2000. Since then I have never aban- 
doned my readership to go online. I 
will tell you why. A large percentage of 
my readers are incarcerated. They regu- 
larly have their mail and reading mate- 
rial censored. When they do receive my 
zine, they can read the writings of other 
prisoners, political writings, and con- 
tribute their own art. Prisoners have no 
access to the web. Neither do the ma- 
jority of homeless or oth- 
erwise marginalized folks. 

It is for this reason that I 
keep my zine accessible. 

I would implore you to 
do the same. If I had not 
found your paper in a lo- 
cal restaurant, I probably 
would not have gone to 
the web to find the same 
information. Instead I 
read your mag and found 
a lot of interesting a rel- 
evant information. Here 
is something I recently 
published from a prisoner 
in Pennsylvania: . , , . 

} Making 

“Zines on paper are disap- 
pearing, as online publishing is easier 
and more cost effective... This is a two- 
pronged problem. First: as the number 
of available outlets shrink, those still 
trying to help are faced with the often 
heartbreaking task of trying to help 
all who ask, with fewer and fewer re- 
sources, when the need is ballooning 
out of proportion. This leads to burn- 
out, as well as simple collapse, where 
the help sources insist on trying to help 

everybody, no matter what. The second 
prong of the problem is that with fewer 
and fewer places still using paper, the 
Department of Corrections will have 
an easier time of controlling, banning 
and forbidding them. With fewer of 
these voices, there will also be fewer to 
join together to fight these bans and re- 
strictions; again making the censorship 
easier for the DOC’s. Add that to the 
continual refusal to even limited inter- 
net access to prisoners, and the censor- 
ship picture looks bleak indeed. A new 
“dark age” of information is coming, we 
prisoners need to be ready and self-reli- 
ant when it comes, and that’s our only 
hope. Vernon Maulsby, Pennsylvania 
Dept of Corrections.” 

Thank you for your time and do keep 
up the good work. 


Christopher Robin 

Indymedia: The Fault Lines crew at work 


Since you asked for feedback I feel 
compelled to let you know my thoughts. 
I have been reading your paper on and 
off as I find it on my forays into SF over 
the past few years. Since I live in Marin 
I have found your paper originally very 
focused on SF issues and yet informa- 
tive. However, with this issue, it’s defi- 
nitely improved with unique coverage 
of the sqautting move- 
ments, CAFTA, and the 
Sublime Frequencies la- 
bel. It may be your best 
issue yet and it would be 
a shame if you stopped 

However, I appreci- 
ate the difficulties you 
face. When I first began 
reading Faultlines I was 
struck that Indymedia 
would venture into “old 
style” print journalism 
but I understand why. 
There are still many 

people who appreciate the multiplicity 
of news sources and still prefer to read 
their news on paper. I have a broad mix 
of preferences in this regard although I 
am increasingly in the minority. Having 
helped publish two cooperatively-run 
investigative newspapers in Austin the 
the ‘80-’90s myself I know the extent of 
the effort required to do so and to carry 
on. I want to congratulate you for carry- 
ing on as long as you have. 

At the same time, I want to also of- 
fer some suggestions as to ways to pos- 
sibly expand your appeal. Faultlines is 
too clearly a newspaper for activists. 
The way it looks, reads and feels ap- 
peals only to a limited audience. While 
the jargon has clearly been toned down 
over the past few issues in favor of well- 
articulated analyses and well researched 
journalistic styles, your limited appeal is 
bound to be causing you problems. The 
question you may have already asked 
yourselves is: How do we 
widen our appeal without 
compromising our message 
and objective? 


1. Write with fewer pe- 
gorative words. Say what 
you mean instead of using 
activist words as a short- 
cut. For example, instead of 
“struggle” or “movement” 
say “the conflict over” or 
“people concerned about”. 
Non-activists will know 
what you mean and more 
likedly to find the paper 
useful and worth reading 
and supporting. 

2. Cover broader issues that may 
be less overtly political. Your review of 
MacPhee’s book is great but what about 
all the underground, experiemental 
events and dance shows around town 
I have heard about and get very little 
advance info on? When you cover them 
you will get a new expanded audience of 
readers and possible advertisers. 

3. Cover so-called green and alt 
businesses such as veggie restaurants, 
fair trade coffee shops, local fashion, 
etc. Review their stuff and they will be 
likely to hang the review in their place, 
let you distribute there and eventually 
pay for an ad. 

4. Have theme issues with strong 
local tie-ins. If there’s a music festival, 
invite well-knowns to write about the 
record contract scams, crackdowns on 
downloads, etc. 

I hope these suggestions are helpful. 
I look forward to seeing the next issue. 

In jubilee, 

Robert Ovetz, PhD 

Photo by Granny Ruth 

Stamping Out Independent Media 

Media giant pushes for undemocratic postal rate hikes 

In an unprecedented move, the 
agency that oversees postal rates in the 
United States has approved a plan that 
would drive many independent print 
publications out of business. Earlier this 
year, the Postal Regulatory Commission 
(PRC) rejected a postal rate increase 
plan offered by the US Postal Service. 
Instead they opted to implement a 
modified version of an extraordinarily 
complicated plan submitted by media 
giant Time Warner. 

Although there was a formal review 
and comment process, the matter was 
so complicated and unreported that the 
general public played no role whatso- 
ever, and publications that could not 
afford significant lobbying and lawyer 
fees faced high barriers to effective par- 


We all lose if the media system loses 
numerous small publications due to mas- 
sive postal rate hikes and if it becomes 
cost-prohibitive for new magazines to 
be launched in the future. This is not an 
issue that should be determined exclu- 
sively by the owners of magazines, with 
the biggest owners having the loudest 

Although this year’s rate increase 
was somewhat inevitable, as the postal 
service struggles to meet its costs, the 
Time Warner plan will mean higher 
costs for small publishers and discounts 
for big publishers. 

The Time Warner plan represents 
another step (albeit a giant step) in the 

gradual reversal of the Founder Fathers’ 
public service principles of supporting 
democracy through the postal service. 
It is the latest, largest move towards 
abandoning these public service pri- 
orities and permitting a system that no 
longer favors low-advertising, political 
speech — like In These Times and Left 
Turn — over ad-heavy magazines like 
People and Cosmo. The practical result 
of this move is not only the decline of a 
democratic mission, but a rate shock for 
small and medium-size magazines even 
as big publishers are getting a break. 

Demand a formal and open accounting 
of why more than 200 years of pro-democ- 
racy postal policy was abandoned. 
More info: 

“Here’s your government- 
subsidized corporate media! 

ACLU Sues Jeppesen For being CIA’s Travel Agent 

On May 30, the ACLU announced 
a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan, 
a subsidiary of Boeing Co, for its par- 
ticipation in the US government’s ex- 
traordinary rendition program. Ex- 
traordinary rendition is the extrajudicial 
transfer of suspected terrorists to coun- 

tries known to employ harsh interroga- 
tion techniques and often torture. In 
conjunction with the ACLU press con- 
ference, The Raging Grannies Action 
League, South Bay Mobilization and 
Amnesty International held protests 
against the extraordinary rendition ser- 
vices provided by Jeppesen in front of 
the company’s offices in San Jose. 

Although President Bush admitted 
last year that the US has maintained a 
global network of secret prisons since 
9/11, he has refused to divulge details, 
because “Doing so would provide our 
enemies with information they could 
use to take retribution against our allies 
and harm our country.” 

Fault Lines asked A.C. Thompson, 
co-author of “Torture Taxi: On the Trail 
of the CIA’s Rendition Flights” a few 
questions about the lawsuit: 

FL: How solid is the basis for this 


AT: There’s a lot of evidence and 
more coming out. Jeppesen does flight 
planning and travel arrangements for all 
kinds of companies and also what looks 
to be an array of CIA front companies. 
The link first came out when the Span- 
ish authorities were looking at rendition 
flights going through their country. It 
looks like Jeppeson actually booked the 
hotels and ancillary travel arrangements 
for some of these rendition operations. I 
spoke to a source at the company, and he 
said it was brought up at and discussed 
directly at company meetings. When 
answering questions from the media, 
Jeppesen says they can’t talk about their 
clients because of confidentiality rules. 

FL: What have you heard about the 
lawsuit’s chances for success? What is 
the vibe from the legal community? 

AT: The lawsuit will be successful no 

matter what, because its drawing atten- 
tion to the rendition program and mak- 
ing accountable those involved. A major 
ACLU legal victory is doubtful, but the 
PR value is huge. It’s already a victory 
for human rights by shedding light on 
the US involvement in a torture opera- 

FL: What are the implications for 
this lawsuit? Is this the beginning of a 

AT: The trend started several months 
back when a citizen in Oregon com- 
plained to the state bar about a lawyer 
who set up a phony front company 
called Bayard Foreign Marketing. As- 
sisting the rendition program and do- 
ing the CIA’s dirty work is a breach of 
legal ethics, according to the complaint. 
You’ll definitely see more of these cases 
against accomplices of torture. 



DTSC issues enforcement order against Romic Environmental Technologies 

On May 30, members ofYouth Unit- 
ed for Community Action (YUCA), 
celebrated a California state order that 
will shut down large portions of a major 
hazardous waste handler located in East 
Palo Alto, ironi- 
cally named Romic 

For 43 years, 

Romic Environ- 
mental Technolo- 
gies has operated 
a hazardous waste 
recycling facility 

finally began to listen to the East Palo 
Alto community. On May 3 1 , the DTSC 
announced it had issued an enforcement 
order to Romic, charging it with such 
state violations such as unsafe opera- 
tions (that re- 
sulted in a June 
2006 toxic re- 
lease) and reck- 
less disregard 
(for the risk of 
serious injury to 
an employee in 
March 2006). 
The order pro- 

in East Palo Alto. Annie Loya began organizing against Romic ten hibits Romic 
Since 1991, com- V ears a 9°’ when she was 13 - l pic: R - Robertsor| I from handling, 
munity residents treating and 

have waged a campaign to shut it down, storing hazardous bulk liquid waste in 
This year, the California Department containers greater than 85 gallons, 
of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) More info: 

Starbucks Pays for Anti-Union Tactics 

Victory for fired barista, organizers 

Starbucks has agreed to reinstate 
Chicago barista Gloria Sykes and pay 
her a confidential amount to settle 
charges filed with the National Labor 
Relations Board earlier this year. Star- 
bucks fired Sykes after she told her store 
manager that employees would reach 
out to the IWW Starbucks Workers 
Union (SWU) if management did not 
address age discrimination and work 
schedule issues. The Starbucks manager 
responded in clear violation of federal 
law that any talk of the Union was pro- 
hibited and would result in termination. 
Ms. Sykes, 55, was undeterred and sub- 
sequently did join the SWU [Starbuck-]. 

Starbucks, with its battered share 

price, still faces significant legal scru- 
tiny. On July 9, the coffee giant is set 
to go on trial for extensive anti-union 
violations in New York City. 

Joe Tessone, an SWU member and 
barista at a Chicago Starbucks said, 
“Given the overwhelming evidence of 
its illegal anti-union campaign, Star- 
bucks should stop insulting the Ameri- 
can people by claiming it respects the 
right to organize.” 

Starbucks workers can earn a start- 
ing wage as low as $6 or $7 an hour and 
are prohibited from obtaining full-time 
status. While the company boasts of its 
health care offering, Starbucks actually 
insures a lower percentage of its work- 
force than Wal-Mart, a company no- 
torious for its unaffordable health care 

More info: 






I N 

□ YM ED I A 


The Philippines News Today, a 
local newspaper in the cities of San 
Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, 
Canada will release a full page ad of 
American and Filipino progressive 
organizations and individuals calling 
for, among other things, an end to 
political killings in the Philippines 
and the immediate release of de- 
tained Congressman and labor leader 
Crispin Beltran and all political 

The Supreme Court of the Philip- 
pines recently dismissed a trumped up 
case against six Congress leaders in- 
cluding Beltran. 

Another local newspaper, Diaryo 
Pilipino, based in Southern Cali- 
fornia issued the same statement a 
month ago. Both newspapers have a 
combined circulation of 60,000 that 
targets to reach the majority of Filipi- 
nos living on the west coast of North 


On Tuesday, June 5, two anarchists 
and a friend of theirs (all 20-22 years 
old) were arrested after trying to at- 
tack a car of the municipal police in 
the neighborhood of Paleo Faliro in 
Athens, Greece. During their arrest, 
all three were severely beaten by the 
police to the point of collapse. 

After being beaten further and tor- 
tured (psychologically and physically) 
at the Police Headquarters in Athens, 
the Attorney General ordered the pre- 
trial detention of all three (up to 18 
months imprisonment before the ac- 
tual trial). 


On the morning of June 5, a 
team of five protesters and their sup- 
port crew successfully halted Shell’s 
operation in Erris, Ireland for five 
hours through the use of “lock-on” 
arm tubes. 

The blockade ended with the five 
being cut loose from each other by the 
fire brigade and arrested while a crowd 


Microradio Blues 

5F LiBeranon Radio's courr DepeaT exempLipies 
By Rubble F e □ e ra l/ c □ rp o raTe comroL of airwaves 

On February 15, 2007, three years af- 
ter its demise, San Francisco Liberation 
Radio’s (SFLR) case against the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC) 
finally reached the Ninth Circuit Court. 
This was the station’s third appearance 
in court, and it unfortunately reached 
the same conclusion as the previous 
two: a decision overwhelmingly in favor 
of the FCC. A victory would have done 
nothing in regard to the station’s abil- 
ity to broadcast, but would have made it 
more difficult for the FCC to raid and 
shut down unlicensed microradio sta- 

With so few options for the public to 
make its voice heard through the media, 
many see unlicensed broadcasting 
as an act of civil disobedience. A 
look at the FCC’s role in radio 
raises many questions and contra- 

SFLR lawyer Mark Vermeulen 
argued that the station had oper- 
ated responsibly as a community- 
based radio resource, interfering 
with no other broadcasters. He 
also asserted that the public has 
a right to the diversity in content 
and that SFLR’s legitimate efforts 
to apply for a license were twice 

Although Circuit Judge Clif- 
ton interrupted the defense to 
ask why a station openly “break- 
ing the law” has any right to be in 
court, Senior Circuit Judge Betty 
Fletcher feigned sympathy for the 
station’s plight. Fletcher noted, 
“Congress made it difficult for 
people who were the pioneers” by 
inserting a provision in the Low 
Power FM (LPFM) law banning 
access to licensing to any station 
that has ever engaged in unli- 
censed broadcasting. He also suggested 
station operators “ought to be lobbying 
Congress to change the statute.” Good 
advice or bureaucratic shuffle? 

The crackdown on microbroadcast- 
ing raises many questions: Where is the 
due process when the FCC hands down 
an ultimatum to either cease broadcast- 
ing or pay tens of thousands of dollars in 
fines? Who oversees the FCC? Should 
the FCC be allowed to operate like an 

Unlicensed broadcasters have report- 
ed agents questioning neighbors, stak- 
ing out stations, watching and copy- 
ing license plate numbers, transcribing 
shows word-for-word, infiltrating 
meetings and public events, pressuring 

landlords to evict, and sending notices 
threatening broadcasters and landlords 
with major fines before heavily-armed 

A look at the present state of radio — 
basically a public-private political oli- 
gopoly — finds the FCC presiding over 
a mass of contradictions. In 2000, the 
FCC voted to issue FM licenses to Low 
Power stations after being unable to 
eliminate them. While hailed as a vic- 
tory for the movement, the celebration 
was brief. An outraged National As- 
sociation of Broadcasters (NAB) — an 
aggressive industry lobby arm — quick- 
ly got Congress to pass a “three band 
space” rule requiring several dial spaces 

left empty between each FM station to 
avoid interference. Based on phony sci- 
ence, it was overturned after a required 
study showed no interference. This rule 
eliminated about 75 percent of the po- 
tential LPFM dial spaces and the “bad 
pirate” rule eliminated all existing unli- 
censed broadcasters forever. 

In late 2006, the Future of Music 
Coalition updated a study first commis- 
sioned in 2002 supporting the need to 
fight further media consolidation. Be- 
fore the Clinton Administration’s 1996 
deregulation bill, a radio station could 
own a maximum of 24 stations nation- 
wide. Clear Channel Communications 
owned over 1200 stations by 2002 as a 
result of the legislation. The study in- 
dicates the number of companies own- 

ing stations peaked in 1995 and has 
declined dramatically since, as have 
jobs in radio. Between 1995 and 2005, 
holdings of the ten largest companies 
increased by over 15 times! Local own- 
ership declined from 97 percent to 70 
percent, with most of the new licenses 
going to the big ten, including “repeat- 
er” stations, a transmitter that repeats 
the signal of another radio station; most 
are used to fill out or extend the broad- 
casting of an existing radio station. 

In addition to the problematic situa- 
tion of a few conglomerates controlling 
the bulk of information on the airwaves, 
music fans are also losing out. The 
original 2002 study highlighted a “twin 
bottleneck” in which the 
ten radio companies in- 
teract with the five largest 
record companies for 80 
to 100 percent of songs 
played, with local artists 
completely shut out. The 
dial has become a nation- 
alized corporate jukebox 
with virtually no news, re- 
petitive Top 40 music, and 
more commercials and 
computerized announcer 
voices. The “non-com- 
mercial” FM spectrum 
space is dominated by 
NPR, funded and tight- 
ly content-controlled 
through grants from the 
federal government’s 
Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting. NPR con- 
tinues to build an empire, 
buying up college and 
other independent sta- 
tions that can cash in for 
millions of dollars for the 
band space. 

What about the FCC’s last attempt 
at deregulation? The entire campaign 
was based on the premise that more 
consolidation brings more local pro- 
gramming. It has since come to light 
that the FCC’s own study, suppressed 
and ignored, shows just the opposite. 
Millions of people contacted the FCC 
with over 98 percent opposed to the 
deregulation that was passed and later 
overturned in court. Payola continues 
as a standard industry practice, report- 
edly far beyond the scope uncovered by 
a recent New York State Attorney Gen- 
eral’s investigation. Radio listenership 
has declined 22 percent from its peak in 
1989. Is this the 

corrnnueD on paqe 19 

The crackdown on micro- 
broadcasting raises many 
questions: Where is the due 
process when the FCC hands 
down an ultimatum to either 
cease broadcasting or pay 
tens of thousands of dollars 
in fines? Who oversees the 
FCC? Should the FCC be al- 
lowed to operate like an FBI? 


On April 19, City College of San 
Francisco celebrated Earth Day by 
showcasing alternative fuel and electri- 
cally powered vehicles on the school’s 
Ram Plaza. Among the line-up of ve- 
hicles was a biodiesel hot rod that some 
fellow CCSF students and I built in 
the school’s Automotive Department. 
The hotrod is a 1974 El Camino Super 
Sport that was originally gas powered 
with a 350 Chevy engine. We pulled 
the engine and replaced it with 6.2 liter 
GMC diesel engine and filled the tank 
with biodiesel. 

The biodiesel hot rod project was 
initiated in the fall of 2005 by a few of 
us from the CCSF Anarchist Library-a 
group that has maintained a lending li- 
brary in the school’s Student Union for 
the last five years. The group’s motiva- 
tion for the project was to expose our- 
selves and other working class students 
to a fuel that can be made cheap or for 
free with the use of the proper filtration 
unit, as well as to see how fast we could 
get a car going on the fuel. Another one 
of our goals was to activate 
our biodiesel filling station 
at City College and learn 
how to provide an accessible 
and affordable fuel source, 
which we would use to pow- 
er a collectively-run moving 
service fleet. This would al- 
low us the ability to provide 
a living wage for struggling 
students as well as hooking 
up a working class com- 
munity with super cheap 
fuel. Converting hot rods 
in particular is important to the club 
members, who see fit to give the current 
image of eco-friendly driving some ap- 
peal outside the realm of upper-middle 
class liberal environmentalists. 

Hence the biodiesel El Camino Su- 
per Sport. This is a car that one could 
throw a set of 22s on and proudly show 
off. So when club members showed up 
with the Super Sport for the Earth Day 
event, they had no problem attracting a 
crowd of car enthusiasts. After all, the 

car was looking tight, with a fresh coat 
of paint and an engine loud enough to 
wake the block up and turn some heads. 
When students found out that it was 
biodiesel fueled and had the potential 
to run off waste grease from the school 
cafeteria, jaws dropped in amazement. 

After much hard work, we had success- 
fully produced a mean machine that 
runs on free fuel, is better for the envi- 
ronment, and better for human health. 

Three days after the auto show, 
MTV aired their Pimp My Green Ride 
episode, in which they took a beater 
‘65 Chevy Impala and did a similar en- 
gine swap to the one we did. Even the 
Governator himself appeared to give 
a thumbs-up for biodiesel. Then they 
took the Impala to the racetrack where 

they raced a Lamborghini at the quarter 
mile, leaving the flashy Italian racecar 
in the dust. Needless to say, pimped 
out alt-fuel automobiles, like all things 
“green,” are ripe for the mainstream. 

Despite all of this popularity, our 
Biodiesel Club has been met with seri- 
ous resistance from the Ev- 
an’s campus administration. 
Vice-Chancellor Phyllis 
McGuire, the Dean of the 
Evans Campus, has refused 
to allow the club access to 
funding for our project and 
denied us a permanent space 
to keep the El Camino, pri- 
oritizing the project of the 
Motorsports Club instead. 
It is a front club started by 
staff member Ron Young, 
who posed as a student by 
signing up for one class so he could start 
a club and work his way into Student 
Government. Over time, Young some- 
how got his paws on $19,000 of student 
activity money to buy a Kit Cobra race 
car. With full support from Dean Mc- 
Guire and limited student involvement, 
Young managed to finally get the car 
running five years later, only to total it 
on Evans Campus. After teachers told 
him not to drive it, he invited our school 
counselor Dennis to sit passenger as he 

In the end the grant money 
was put in the pockets of the 
administrators. Anarchist 
club members were not 
surprised by this swindle. 

connnueD on page is 

ccsf AominisTraTors accepT Huge CHecK prom the EpA 


of around thirty people cheered them 
on. Shramore is the final stop on the 
peat haulage route from the site of the 
proposed gas refinery at Bellanaboy. 


In 2004 there were 58 riders, in 
2005 a creditable 250 riders, rising to 
a massive 800 in 2006. But in a scale 
that surprised even the organizers, 
more than five thousand naked peo- 
ple took to London’s streets on June 
9 to protest against oil dependency, 
celebrate body freedom, and curb car 


At dawn on the morning of June 
4, immigrant rights activists locked 
themselves to the entrance gates of 
the Houston Processing Center, a 
private immigration detention facility 
in North Houston. 


On Wednesday, May 30 the Unit- 
ed States Department of Justice, on 
behalf of the Forest Service, filed for 
a rehearing and appeal in the case to 
protect the San Francisco Peaks in 
Northern Arizona. The 9th Circuit 
Court of Appeals previously ruled in 
favor of Native American tribes and 
environmental groups on the grounds 
that a proposed ski area development 
and expansion would violate the Re- 
ligious Freedom Restoration Act and 
the National Environmental Policy 

On June 4, 2007 a protest was held 
outside the Coconino National For- 
est Service office to show outrage at 
the government’s decision to con- 
tinue to pursue the desecration of the 
San Francisco Peaks. Activists vow to 
continue to fight for the defense of 
native rights and sacred sites, www. 





■ l 

By Sean McMahon 

orgamzeo in opposiTion 


annuaL meeTing in eosTon 
Bio-acTiviSTS repuseo to 
STano oown. 

,ljaZAP d 

BIM 1 i 

Chinatown - 5.03.07 

Up a dusty flight of stairs in the heart 
of Boston’s Chinatown lies the arterial lining 
of the Boston anti-biotech movement. Ban- 
ners for the US Social Forum line the walls, 
stacks of the Bioustice 2007 underground 
newspaper sit prepared for distribution, and 
various flyers await eager hands. Amidst 
these tools of resistance, there is a murmur 
of activity as a motley crew of committed in- 
dividuals plot and laugh heartily. These are 
not your typical anti-authoritarians. 

Although over the course of the next 
six days they will be met by armed oppres- 
sors, today the afternoon sun shines through 
the 5 th floor windows into a space ripe with 
expectation. This is the Biojustice Conver- 
gence Center. 

Biojustice 2007 is a direct challenge to 
the annual B.I.O. (Biotechnology Industry 
Organization) International Convention. 
Biojustice participants celebrate sustainable 
food and healthcare alternatives, and resist 
the tools of corporate domination: geneti- 
cally engineered foods, drug monopolies, 
and biological weapons. 

Downtown - 5.04.07 

Across town at the Boston Conven- 
tion and Exhibition Center, corporate sci- 
entists conspire to engineer Genetically 
Modified Organisms (GMOs), produce 
medical dmgs using means other than di- 
rect extraction from native biological sources 
(biopharmaceuticals), and build ‘biodefense’ 
weapons, pushing what Brian Tokar of the 
Institute for Social Ecology calls a “corpo- 
rate agenda of control over our food and 
health.” This is not a new development. 
Since the 1980s, food and drug corpora- 

tions have experimented with genetic engi- 
neering, the process of transferring genetic 
material between living organisms. In 1982, 
Genentech developed recombinant human 
insulin (rHI), the first biopharm product. In 
1987, the first Genetically Modified (GM) 
crop of 2000 testers was planted outdoors 
in Brentwood, California and subsequently 
destroyed the next night by Earth Firstlers. 
In 1990, the first transgenic pig produced 
human milk proteins via implanted DNA. 
Corporate domination abounds in the world 
of biotechnology. 

Further, the profit-driven attempt to 
use biological agents as weapons is key to the 
Biojustice movement. Central to the cur- 
rent struggle in Boston is the fight against 
the “Biosafety Level 4” laboratory being 
constructed in the South End by Boston 
University. Twenty-five thousand people 
live within one mile of this highly volatile lo- 
cation, where research would be conducted 
on the most deadly pathogens in the world. 
Carmen Nazario of SafetyNet, a Roxbury 
neighborhood action group, understands 
that the powers that be want to study these 
pathogens in case of emergency. Today at 
the Biojustice Press Conference she objects, 
clearly stating “a case of emergency will be 
that they are causing one.” 

Blackstone Park - 5.06.07 

Upon arriving at Blackstone Park, locat- 
ed in Boston’s South End, I find a core group 
of activists gathered around and inside the 
park’s fountain, dramatically reworking the 
“myths” of corporate biotechnological domi- 
nance through puppetry and theater. Food 
Not Bombs is serving food and coffee, a DJ 
emits blasts of funk and soul, and the ever 
present Boston Police force circles nearby. 

Though internet chatter will later criticize 
the Biojustice event as a “bio-bust,” I find 
a wonderful harmony present in the park. 
The relatively small gathering of neighbors 
and community members is peaceful, posi- 
tive, and inclusive. As a young white male, I 
find that a humble and respectful approach 
is best suited to productivity. Instead of at- 
tempting to take over a neighborhood and 
temporarily reclaim the streets, these activ- 
ists networked with the local community 
and the international Biojustice struggle, 
and recognized the importance of perma- 
nently restoring community power. 

The Common - 5.08.07 

Boston Common is just that: a com- 
mon space for community to come together. 
Originally owned by William Blaxton (often 
pronounced “Blackstone,” as in Blackstone 
Park), the Common was sold to the city and 
over the years has evolved from a lynching 
ground to battlefield to concert space to 
platform for such notables as Martin Luther 
King, Jr. and Pope John Paul II. Today, the 
Common is transformed from a static space 
to a neoliberal market in reverse, an antidote 
to the mediocre and insincere. By offering 
mutual exchange and providing an outlet of 
sorts for self-sufficiency, the Really Really 
Free Market acts as a medium of creativity 
and a substitute for the mundane. 

On the surface, sun shining and cool 
breeze greeting us as we exit the Park subway 
stop, the Common appears to be any ordi- 
nary city park. Young people gather and play 
games, small groups chatter idly, and couples 
stroll complacent along concrete paths. Yet 
there is an atmosphere of expectation, of 
something waiting to happen. 

As the cops patrol atop supersized 

horses and V8 engines, we read poetry aloud 
under a shade tree, collapse, and gather our- 
selves again. The Market really was free 
here, and the community was one. 

It was only later that we learned that 
innocent people had been detained for exit- 
ing the park in a group. So what happened? 
Why was the RRFM such a small, isolated 
event? The Market happened later than we 
expected, on a different day, so only those 
who were “in” on the currents were able to be 
there. Those from out of town or who were 
not part of the organizing collective would 
be ill-informed as to specifics, and only those 
who took the time and energy to see what 
this group of free-marketeers was all about 
would be able to experience just how com- 
munity-based, self-sufficient exchange really 

In my experience, I found that only 
those who unsettled their comfort zone, 
asked questions, and acknowledged one an- 
other as fellow human beings were able to 
fully participate in this idea so radical that 
its physical presence had to be violated by 
agents of the state. 


As an “outsider” to the Boston anti-bio- 
tech movement, I was surprised and relieved 
to find a strong die-hard presence of com- 
mitted folks. Although from the margins 
Boston seemed to be inundated with cops 
and appeared to have little to no strong mass 
movement, there were a number of instances 
in which I found comrades in arms in the 
struggle against corporate biotechnological 

(or: a Briefing on how BioTecHnoi_ogY Has FUCKeo up THe Earm so Far) 

1990 : Transgenic pigs produces human milk proteins for infant formula 
1991 : DNA Plant Technology develops tomato crossed with Arctic floun- 
der gene 

1994 : FlavrSavr tomato created, first genetically modified food sold in 

1 997 : Biotech crops grown commercially on nearly 5 million acres world- 

1998 : Hemoglobin producing pigs patented 

1999 : Science journal Nature study suggests toxins in Bt corn pollen 

harmful to monarch butterfly larvae, confirmed in 2001 

2000 : Monsanto begins patenting GM seeds 

2002 : Biotech crops grown on 145 million acres in 16 countries 

2003 : Worldwide biotech crop acreage hits 1 67.2 acres in 1 8 countries 

2006 : American GM rice exports confirmed to be contaminated, and 


From the Biojustice 2007 Newspaper, published by The Boston Underground. 


Photo: Sophie Yon-Gharbi 



By Sakura Saunders 

From the uselessness of the final 
product to the dramatic environmen- 
tal and social impacts of its excavation, 
modern-day gold mining serves as an 
absurd illustration of the dangers and 
complexity of our global economy. 

Hovering at around $630 an ounce, 
the price of gold is based both on its de- 
mand from the world market (80 per- 
cent of which is used for jewelry) and 
its supply. The supply is both naturally 
and artificially limited; naturally limited 
by the 79 tons of waste that is extracted 
for every ounce of gold, and artificially 
limited by the amount of gold that is 
kept in storage vaults by investors and 
nations who back their economies by 
holding gold reserves. It is estimated 
that enough gold is stored in these re- 
serves to meet the current gold demand 
for 20 years. 

The only thing more astonishing 
than the 79 ton per ounce ratio is the 
fact that this waste is largely toxic. A 
portion of this waste is drenched with 
cyanide to extract the microscopic flecks 
of gold from the ore. The toxic waste, 
or tailings, then sits in tailing ponds to 
await its reuse. There have been over 30 
recorded spills of this toxic substance 
(in either its transport or storage) in the 
last five years, resulting in massive fish 
kills and drinking water contamination. 
In some countries, they dump this cya- 
nide-laced waste directly into the rivers 
and oceans. 

And the untreated ground up ore? 
Well, this is likely toxic as well. Wher- 
ever you find gold, you also typically 
find sulfides, such as pyrite (also known 

as fool’s gold), and heavy metals. These 
ground up sulfides need only to mix 
with air and water to create sulfuric 
acid, which creates acid mine drainage. 
Not only is this acid water destructive 
to local plant life and water systems, but 
this acid also leaches out heavy metals 
- such as mercury, cadmium, and arse- 
nic, which in turn pollute the air and the 
water. It has been estimated that metals 
mining accounts for 96 percent of the 
world’s arsenic emissions. 

Mining companies often claim that 
only a few environmentalists oppose 
mining operations at the expense of 
the economic development of the com- 
munities they purport to represent. 
Meanwhile, the companies themselves 
promise to bring jobs, build schools and 
hospitals, and encourage investment 
that will ultimately outweigh the dam- 
age to the environment. 

The reality of mining, however, con- 
flicts with this false dichotomy. Mining 
often relies heavily on government sub- 
sidies for water and energy, the royalties 
that mining companies pay are often 
significantly less than other industries, 
and the average life of a gold mine is 
a mere 14 years. Additionally, countries 
rich in gold reserves suffer from the 
“resource curse” that ails most other ex- 
traction industries. 

The “resource curse” is a term coined 
to describe how resource rich countries 
have statistically lower economic growth 
rates than resource deprived ones. It 
turns out that countries with great ma- 
terial wealth also have a high propensity 
for high level government corruption 
(hence the “investment incentives” and 
light taxation). These large scale opera- 

tions often negotiate the displacement 
of peoples and destruction of liveli- 
hoods directly with the national gov- 
ernments, despite resistance from local 
governments, such as is the case in the 
Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, and Tan- 
zania. Hence, you get situations like 
in Peru, where a provincial mayor was 
pegged with rubber bullets at an anti- 
mining demonstration, or in Indonesia 
and Papua New Guinea where mine se- 
curity has played a role in suppressing 
independence movements. In Tanzania, 
Village Chairmen served 30 month 
prison sentences for allegedly “inciting 
villagers to reoccupy their farmlands 
and mine pits,” after a Canadian corpo- 
ration took over an area that was at the 
time being mined and farmed by some 
30,000 to 250,000 people. 

The infringement of local autonomy 
is most pronounced when looking at 
the numbers. According to estimates 
by Oxfam, 50 percent of newly mined 
gold will be from native lands. For many 
indigenous people, who often rely on 
their environment for food and neces- 
sities, mining threatens not only their 
livelihood, but also their traditional way 
of life. Their lands tend to be vulnerable 
to encroachment because of their lack 
of power within their country’s politi- 
cal system; their land and water rights 
are often ignored while their resources 
are exploited and their environments 

This global exploitation is backed by 
both private security and military might. 
Many of the same mercenaries who are 
now finding work in Iraq got their start 
guarding mines and oil fields. These 
private militaries operate with impu- 

nity in dealing with local conflicts that 
often end in injuries and even deaths. 
In some countries, mining corporations 
will make direct payment to the police 
or the country’s military to guard their 
gold mine, leading to conflicts of inter- 
est when those same police repress pro- 
testors at anti-mining demonstrations, 
as has happened in the Ancash region 
of Peru. 

In spite of the threat of repression, 
people are wising up to the toxic legacy 
of gold mining and these global opera- 
tions are increasingly met with resis- 
tance. All throughout Latin America, 
communities with experience in min- 
ing are traveling to those considering 
it, sharing their stories of environmen- 
tal devastation, economic depression, 
and struggle so that others can avoid a 
similar path. Meanwhile, more atten- 
tion is being focused from within the 
countries of the mining corporations, 
such as Canada, the US, the UK and 
South Africa, to bring attention to the 
human rights abuses for which they 
are responsible. Through the strength 
of the local organizing, coupled with 
the support of international solidar- 
ity campaigns, some communities have 
succeeded in chasing away the threat of 
open-pit mining. However, many more 
communities continue to feel the pres- 
sure of global capital encroaching on 
their lands, alongside the promises of 
economic development, the rhetoric of 
“environmental stewardship,” and, that 
failing, force and intimidation. 

Sakura Saunders is the North American 
editor of www..protestbarrick. net. 

When Barrick Gold 
SUVs began to ply 
the dusty roads of 
La Rioja, a group 
of four women 
met in the town of 
Famatina in March 
2006 and formed 
the "Self-Orga- 
nized (Autoconvo- 
cados) Neighbors 
of Famatina for 
Life." Soon a series 
of smaller, inclu- 
sive groups sprang 
up in towns and 
villages around 
Mt. Famatina to 
educate their 
neighbors on the 

dangers of gold mining - gathering enough political clout that the local govern- 
ment introduced an anti-open pit mining referendum and brought the pro-mining 
governor to trial for corruption. Mistrustful of the political process to save the 
community from the threat of mining, the autoconvocados decided to blockade 
the mining road at Penas Negras, some 9,300 feet up Famatina, forcing Barrick to 
suspend activities on March 14, 2007. 

Less than one 
third of Indo- 
nesia's military 
budget comes 
from the national 

The rest of the 
money is raised 
from the military 
itself, through 
means such as 
prostitution, hu- 
man trafficking, 
and of course... 
providing security 
for the extrac- 
tion industry. It is 
estimated that in 
2002 alone, New 

Freeport McMoran paid $5 million directly to the Indonesian military for securing 
their West Papuan mine, where they have been operating since 1967. Since before 
that time, there has been an indigenous struggle or independence for Indonesia, 
and Amnesty International has estimated that 100,000 Papuans have died as a 
result of government-sponsored violence against West Papuans. 




in Abya Yala 

"The only good Indian is a bad one.” 

A report-back from the Continental Summit of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos , by Ramor Ryan. Photos by Marc Becker. 

As the historic march flooded into 
the old colonial central plaza, there was 
a moment of great jubilation. From the 
side streets flowed legions of people 
from the feeder marchers, swelling the 
ranks of the main body. As the rivers 
of indigenous marchers merged, a tre- 
mendous roar filled the air as hundreds 
of smiling faces greeted each other like 
long lost brothers and sisters re-unit- 
ing — which of course in many respects, 
they were. 

Guatemala City had never seen any- 
thing like it: thousands of Indigenous 
people from almost every country of the 
Americas coming together, celebrating 
their culture, and organizing resistance. 
This is the grand finale march on Gua- 
temala City to top off the successful 
weeklong summit at nearby Iximche. 
The grey, suffocating streets are filled for 
once not with smog and gridlock, but 
with a blaze of color from the forest of 
rainbow colored flags and banners, and 
the sound of drums and pipes and ma- 
racas and the multitude of voices each 
with their own distinct language unit- 
ing to chant and sing together. Like the 
march of an army of the dispossessed — 
the invisibles — reclaiming the city of 
fear where once, not so long ago, they 
were hunted down, disappeared, and 
murdered with impunity by the state 
security forces. 

“After more than 500 years of oppres- 
sion and domination,” proclaimed the 
Bolivian speaker from the stage before 

the cheering crowd, “they have not been 
able to eliminate us. Here we are alive 
and united with nature. Today we re- 
cuperate together our sovereignty.. .Our 
task is to begin to govern ourselves.” 


This Third Continental Summit of 
Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of 
Abya Yala (referring to the North and 
South American continents in the Kuna 
language) is being convened amidst the 
ebullient upsurge in the fortunes of in- 
digenous peoples across the Americas. 
The flagship on the rising tide is Evo 
Morales presidential victory in Bolivia. 
He is not the first indigenous presi- 
dent elect in Latin America, but he is 
the first indigenous and staunchly left 
representative in office — as much part 
of the indigenous revival as the Latin 
American left turn captained by Ven- 
ezuelan President Hugo Chavez. And 
this is the starting point of this sum- 
mit — indigenous, left, and premised on 
the theme “from resistance to power.” 

“The indigenous people have de- 
cided to recuperate our identity, citi- 
zenship, natural resources, and culture,” 
explained one representative from Ecua- 
dor, “and now we are setting our sights 
on taking political power.” 

This latest indigenous’ summit (the 
first was held in Mexico 2000, followed 
by Ecuador, 2004) is being convened in 

a suitably prestigious location. The sa- 
cred Mayan site of Iximche, 60 miles 
outside of Guatemala City is a place 
with a both lauded and turbulent past. 
The great city was once the capital seat 
of the Kaqchikel people. Typical of the 
rambunctious nature of indigenous his- 
tory in general, Iximche — founded 
in 1470 — has a complicated past. The 
Kaqchikel first collaborated with the 
invading Spanish conquistadores led 
by Pedro De Alvarado in 1524, against 
their old rivals, the neighboring K’iche 
states. Such a duplicitous collabora- 
tion soon came undone as they learned 
the true nature of the avaricious Span- 
iards. The Kaqchikel rebelled, overrun- 
ning the Spanish garrison in 1527. The 
Spaniards in turn came back in greater 
numbers and with new local allies, even- 
tually vanquishing the Katchikel. 

This week Iximche is transformed 
from a museum of the past and a case 
study for academics to being a vibrant 
theater for political discourse and cul- 
tural dynamism. Foremost on the minds 
of the organizers is to cleanse the space 
of the bad vibes left by President Bush, 
who visited here two weeks earlier while 
on his monumentally doomed Latin 
American tour, despite widespread pro- 
test. In an elaborate cleansing ceremo- 
ny — signifying ignominy for the US 
President — the Mayan priests purify 
the space to replace “the politics of war 
with a politics of life, dignity, equality, 
transparency, inclusive democracy, and 

indigenous people’s unity founded on 
a sustainable co-existence with Mother 

In the shadow of the old ruins, huge 
tents have been set up and a flurry of 
activities is going on as workshops and 
plenums take place in multiple loca- 
tions. It is an autonomous space, con- 
trolled for the duration of the summit 
by the people themselves, without the 
presence of cops or authorities from the 

Among the hordes of colorfully 
dressed delegates, the most prominent 
are the enthusiastic 70-strong Bolivian 
delegation, wearing distinctively beauti- 
ful textiles and the women in their sig- 
nature bowler hats. The press is all over 
them, snapping away photos, knowing 
that this exotic indigenous eye-candy 

But as Ecuadorian Blanca Chancosa 
points out in her opening address - “We 
are not just for folklore or adornment, 
we want to be authors and constructors 
(of our own destiny).” 

So each day, after the pre-dawn spir- 
itual ceremony, such cosmological im- 
materialism is overshadowed by hard- 
core anti-neoliberal political discourse. 
The themes highlighted by the summit 
and its numerous workshops and panels 
include: land and territory, the depletion 
of natural resources, the environment, 
climate change, autonomy, migration, 
and privatization. Concrete campaigns 
and struggle against neo-liberalism, 

militarization, the US war and the US 
border wall were consolidated, as well 
as specific campaigns such as promot- 
ing economic alternatives, legalization 
of coca leaves and opening up Bolivia’s 
access to the sea. 

Bolivia’s foreign relations minister 
David Choquehuanca sets the tone of 
the discussions, quoting a Chotewanka 
by saying, “Our minds are colonized, 
but not our hearts. It is time to listen to 
our hearts, because this is what builds 
resistance.” Indigenous people, he said, 
should look how to “live well,” to seek 
a “culture of life” rather than the one- 
dimensional development. 

“Our world is not for sale,” contin- 
ued Blanca Chancosa. “Bush is not wel- 
come here. We want instead people who 
support life. Yes to life! Imperialism and 
capitalism have left us with a historical 
debt and they owe us for this debt.” 

Bush is not welcome, but the US 
contingents are warmly received. Mak- 
ing the link between struggles north and 
south — across the despised Rio Brava 
wall — a representative from the West- 
ern Shoshone people said, “The indig- 
enous here are facing the same kind of 
issues we are facing in the North, and 
face the same threat by the multi-na- 
tional corporations such as mining and 
environmental contamination. These 
affect the traditional foundation of our 
nations which is the land, the air, the 
water, and spirituality.” 

Linking the environmental and the 
political is a constant underlying theme 
here in this construction of a “culture 
of life.” Capitalist neo-liberalism is 
fueling environmental destruction, as 
Miguel Palacin from Peruvian peasant 
organization CONACAMI empha- 
sizes: “They are trying to create eco- 
nomic blocs to impose treaties based on 
the exploitation of nature. But now we 
are becoming visible, because they are 
messing with Mother Earth, and we are 
organizing in order to respond. “ 

From the panels discussing Territory, 
Natural Resources, and the Indigenous 
People, Magali Rey Rosa, of the Gua- 
temalan Madre Tierra organization has 
the final word: “Mother Earth is not 

bearing up any more with the kind of 
use that the dominant civilization is im- 
posing on its ecosystem. Development 
is smothering life. If we continue with 
this boss,” she said wittily, “our Earth 
will not survive.” 


The set up of the indigenous summit 
is modeled on the World Social Forum, 
both in method and style. There is the 
usual elaborate registration process, ac- 
companied by the ubiquitous parapher- 
nalia — t-shirts, shoulder bags, glossy 
brochures, and posters. Oxfam and oth- 
er NGOs are footing the bill. Consider- 
ing that the political formation of many 
groups and organizations is old-school 
Left, the methodology of the summit is 
centralized and hierarchical. 

There is little of the new methodol- 
ogy of the more anti- authoritarian ele- 
ments of the movement — no horizon- 
talidad or Zapatista-style assemblies. 
Indeed the absence of a Zapatista del- 
egation is telling, being so close to Chi- 
apas. Chavez and Fidel are the non-in- 
digenous inspirations here, not Marcos 
or Flores Magon. Said one Guatemalan 
delegate hailing from a group linked to 
the ex-guerrilla URNG, “We think the 
Zapatistas have ceased to have any sig- 

So the dominant political overture 
is about constituting a new democratic 
Left. The new Continental-wide radi- 
cal indigenous resurgence is marked by 
a division between the Zapatista mod- 
el — anti-Capitalist, anti-electoral, and 
focused on building grassroots auton- 
omy — and the Bolivian model — anti- 
neo-liberal, constitutional, and seeking 
power by uniting social movements in 
a common electoral platform. While 
many people in the attending the sum- 
mit would probably position them in 
varying degrees between the two poles, 
the final documents and declarations 
clearly assume the latter line. 

And going down the constitutional 
road in an effort to take political power 
necessitates a strong central leader- 
ship. As Bladimir Painecura, Mapuche, 
points out, “The maturity of the leaders 

participating today and the solidity they 
bring to the discussions [is the strong- 
point of this movement]. As a result of 
this maturity, the movements have been 
consolidated and bring social transfor- 
mation to the nation-state, as witnessed 
in Bolivia. Indigenous peoples have ad- 
vanced and have continued resisting, so 
much so that they have arrived at power, 
and are administering well.” 


In a vast old rustic town hall, thou- 
sands of delegates join with the local 
townspeople to celebrate the finale. 
Although Tecpan is a racially evenly 
mixed town, it’s noticeable that very 
few of the mestizo population have 
come out to celebrate with the indig- 
enous. The wounds of Guatemala’s 
30-year long brutal civil war linger in 
rural towns like these despite the peace 
accords signed over ten years ago. The 
rebels were supported predominantly by 
the indigenous poor and the state by the 
Mestizo middle class. Tecpan was wit- 
ness to guerrilla combat, army massa- 
cres, disappearances, and all the horrors 
of counter-insurgency repression. 

Like all encuentros of this kind, 
much of the important work is done be- 
yond the official panels and workshops. 
At social events like this, personal and 
political networking takes precedent. 
And the unofficial stories emerge. For 
example, why did Nobel Peace Prize 
winner and prominent indigenous 
rights spokeswoman Rigoberta Men- 
chu not appear at the summit? She is 
currently running as a presidential can- 
didate in the upcoming Guatemalan 
election. Although she has little chance 
of winning, one would expect support 
from this very summit considering she 
is indigenous, of the Left, and running 
for political power. 

“She is a thought to be a pawn of 
the Right Wing and the ruling class,” a 
community leader from the Coban re- 
gion tells me. “She doesn’t represent the 
indigenous; she is interested in power 

and has cut a deal with the Mestizos and 
the rich. They tolerate her so as to show 
the world that Guatemala has changed 
and has stopped oppressing the indig- 
enous. But it’s a lie...” 

The time for speeches and presen- 
tations has arrived. I discover to my 
horror that they are awarding all the 
different delegations with plaques to 
commemorate their participation in the 
event. When the moment arrives to call 
the Irish delegates to receive theirs, it 
seems I am the only Irish person pres- 
ent to accept the award. The other two 
Irish are nowhere to be seen. The truth 
is that I am here somewhat acciden- 
tally — a gatecrasher of sorts — and cer- 
tainly don’t merit any sort of accolade. 
I had been traveling across Guatemala 
on my way to cover a story in Nicaragua 
when my Irish magazine, Island, sent an 
email to say they had folded, and there 
was no more Island to write for. Fortu- 
nately the photographer I was traveling 
with noticed in the morning newspaper 
that there was an indigenous summit 
taking place nearby. So we came here 
on a whim. Now I am approaching 
the organizing committee who are all 
smiling broadly to collect the plaque, 
and I’m wondering what I can possibly 
say. What have the Irish ever done to 
help the indigenous of the Americas 
throughout the ages? Should I quote 
the infamous US General of Irish de- 
scent, Philip Sheridan — the racist mass 
murderer who led the “Indian Wars” in 
the 1860s — accredited with the charm- 
ing ditty “The only good Indian is a 
dead one”? 

I am spared the ordeal as someone 
snatches away the microphone to make 
an important announcement. I scurry 
away with the impressive ornament 
feeling like a bit of a shyster. Later on, 
over strong local hooch given out for 
free for those delegates still going strong 
by midnight, a garrulous Canadian del- 
egate is telling me about the militant 
Six Nations struggle in Ontario where 
the indigenous resurgence is gaining 
ground, and he re-quotes Sheridan. 
“You see, buddy, the only good Indian is 
a bad Indian!” Yo, high five — slap! 





Heiligendamm Report Back 

By David Zlutnick 

This year’s meeting of the Group of 8 
(G8, the 7 richest nations in the world: 
Great Britain, United States, Germany, 
France, Japan, Italy, and Canada, plus 
Russia) was held in the resort of Hei- 
ligendamm, Germany from June 6-8. 
At the meeting, the 13 percent of the 
world’s population was “represented” to 
decide policies that will have tremen- 
dous effects on the other 87 percent of 
the world. 

In response, tens of thousands of 
demonstrators arrived in the area in an 
effort to shut down the summit. The 
reasons for such a confrontation include 
the G8’s policies on aid to Africa, the 
propagation of neoliberal economic 
globalization, the neglect of the fight 
against AIDS, the inherent and rabidly 
undemocratic nature of the G8 itself, 
among many others. 


On May 9, state repression of anti- 
G8 organizing exploded with the raid of 
40 sites including private homes, social 
centers, and the alternative web provid- 
er Police searched the sites 
of what were to be convergence centers 
in Hamburg and Berlin to stop leftist 
groups from allegedly forming “terror- 
ist groups.” However, after the police 
admitted they had made no arrests and 
found absolutely no evidence of a ter- 
rorist plot or any illicit materials, it be- 
came quite obvious that the real reason 
behind the raids was simply to smash 
the infrastructure that had formed to 
counter the G8 summit. But the plans 
of the German police failed as, follow- 
ing the raids, thousands spontaneously 
took to the streets in cities across Ger- 
many to denounce the raids and public 
support for the G8 opposition grew tre- 

Around the actual site of the sum- 
mit in Heiligendamm, a 12 km security 
fence was built at a cost of $17 million 
in order to protect the grounds from 
protests, and a no-go zone was created 
to keep people from getting anywhere 
near the fence. In May, the Kavala (spe- 
cial police) banned most of the planned 
permitted demonstrations. After law- 
suits were filed for reasons of unconsti- 
tutionality, many were then re-permit- 
ted, only to be banned once again days 

before the G8 began. 

Another measure the German state 
took to repress the anti-G8 movement 
was the use of travel bans and the clo- 
sure of relatively open borders within 
the European Union. This same tactic 
was used to defend the G8 in Genoa in 
2001, where activists were turned away 
at the French border and prevented 
from entering Italy. 

This power that was granted under a 
of Emergency” 
was, in actual- 
ity, used less 
than many 
people thought 
it would be. 

But there is 
one case worth 
mentioning in 
which a group 
of Polish an- 
archists were 
stopped on a 
train while at- 
tempting to 
enter Germany. 

The group was 
told that if they 
entered the 
country they 
would be immediately arrested, and in 
response they occupied their train car, 
hanging banners out the windows, and 
were soon joined by five Germans. After 
hours of threats, the group left the train 
when the German border patrol said 
that an anti-terror unit would board the 
car if they remained. 

Hamburg and the AS EM 


The international demonstrations 
began on May 28 in Hamburg, the first 
day of the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting 
(ASEM). ASEM is an inter-regional 
forum consisting of the European Com- 
mission and the 27 members of the EU 
and the 14 members of the ASEAN 
(Association of Southeast Asian Na- 
tions) Plus Three regional grouping. 
The “Three Pillars” of the ASEM con- 
ference are political dialogue, security 
and economy, and education and cul- 

At least 5,000 people — several thou- 
sand in the black bloc alone — marched 

from the St. Pauli neighborhood of 
Hamburg. The original route of the 
march was changed last minute by the 
police, despite the demonstration orga- 
nizers having secured proper permits. 
Thousands of riot police (almost out- 
numbering protesters) lined the march, 
completely surrounding it, and numer- 
ous police vans, water cannons, and ar- 
mored tank-like vehicles used for clear- 
ing barricades, followed closely behind. 

The spirit 
was lively as 
the black bloc 
led the march 
through the 
city streets, 
followed by a 
diverse crowd 
of marching 
bands, dancers, 
and various 
leftist groups 
and parties. 

As the 
march neared 
its destina- 
tion — the 
Hamburg city 
hall where the 
was taking 
place — riot police cut off the demon- 
stration. Some of the black bloc ended 
up on the other side of the police line 
and watched quietly while riot cops 
kept back the rest of the march. 

Soon scuffles broke out between 
demonstrators and riot police, as the 
latter began to forcibly end the march. 
From that the situation escalated un- 
til a small riot broke out. Bottles were 
thrown at police vans and riot units, and 
snatch squads chased after small groups 
of black-clad protesters. A molotov 
cocktail streaked through the sky but 
missed its target of a police van below. 
Fireworks were popping off from all di- 
rections. And water cannons soon raced 
through the streets, blasting away as the 
crowd dispersed. 

Close by, other groups from the black 
bloc had successfully made their way to 
the city hall, and small street battles be- 
gan with the police at the security fence. 
At one point a riot cop — who had taken 
off his helmet and armor — was caught 
alone outside his van as the riots drew 
close. And in a moment reminiscent of 
Genoa and the death of Carlo Giuliani, 

the officer drew his gun. But just as he 
raised his gun in the air, the back win- 
dow of his van exploded from behind 
him by some flying object, and he re- 
treated to cover. 

The police eventually withdrew, after 
taking 86 prisoners throughout the day. 

Back at Rote Flora — the huge squat- 
ted theater serving as a social center and 
convergence point for the G8 demon- 
strations — there was an excited atmo- 
sphere as the militant march had largely 
been able to hold its ground against the 
repressive police measures, and people 
anxiously discussed their journeys to 
Rostock, where the anti-G8 movement 
would be based. 

Rostock Convergence Center 

Many months before anybody came 
to Rostock for the G8, German activists 
moved there in order to prepare the nec- 
essary infrastructure needed to oppose 
such a summit. Rostock lies roughly 30 
km from Heiligendamm and served as 
the main point from which the protests 
were to be centered. Amazingly, the city 
(slightly disgruntled at the enormous 
costs of having such a summit nearby) 
donated a school building for use as a 
convergence center. 

The Elm-Welk School was a four- 
story building with three wings, covered 
ground to roof in revolutionary murals, 
banners, and graffiti. It housed a large 
Indymedia Center, equipped with com- 
puters and video editing stations, as 
well as a radio broadcasting over three 
continents. There were also two press 
groups operating, sending press releases 
to thousands of media outlets in over 35 
countries. There were numerous rooms 
were set aside for sleeping, a large kitch- 
en, a bar, a cafe, art room, and outdoor 
bike workshop, among other facilities. 
Despite threats of Nazi attacks and po- 
lice raids, the convergence center func- 
tioned throughout the summit and was 
a valuable asset for the demonstrations. 

Many times a tense atmosphere 
hung over the school during periods 
where police or Nazi raids seemed a se- 
rious risk. Only on June 7 was there any 
serious confrontation, however. A large 
group of local Nazis, numbering from 
50-70, gathered at the Convergence 
Center. Soon, organized anti-fascist 
groups from the surrounding camps ar- 

During the 1999 anti-WTO 
protests in Seattle, the small 
black bloc was generally 
thought of as a success by the 
more confrontational wing of 
the radical movement, and that 
was possible because the 
massive nonviolent blockades 
detracted most of the police 
attention. Here the situation 
was exactly the opposite. 

Protestors are completely enclosed by riot police as they 
march through the St. Pauli neighborhood of Hamburg. 

rived at the school to form a counter- 
presence. Police then arrived, surround- 
ed the Nazi group, and acted as a buffer. 
Despite pledging not to raid the school, 
the police did set up a checkpoint for 
anyone entering or leaving the building 
and conducted mandatory searches, al- 
legedly looking for “weapons.” 

June 2nd- Make Capitalism History 

The Riots in Rostock- 

June 2 marked the first day of action 
against the G8 with the Make Capital- 
ism History march bringing together a 
very diverse crowd of tens of thousands 
from NGOs, trade unions, Communist 
groups, various leftist organizations, a 
5,000-person black bloc, and 13,000 
German police. 

The riot police attempting to control 
the demonstrations were pelted with 
bottles and rocks as cobble stones were 
torn up from the street for additional 
ammo. Cars were flipped and one set 
alight for use as barricades, as well as 
dumpsters and other objects. One police 
van was destroyed after being caught on 
the wrong side of the street fighting. 

Police used pepper spray to keep back 
anyone who got too close, including 
nonviolent activists and even the large 
numbers of press present with video and 
still cameras. As things progressed, they 
used water canons and tear gas. By the 
end of the day, over 125 protesters had 
been arrested in Rostock, and according 
mainstream press accounts over 500 in- 
jured — 433 of them police officers. 

This last figure is widely believed to 
be extremely exaggerated by police and 
media. But it is certain that many more 
injuries than reported were sustained by 
demonstrators, as they were typically 
treated by the medical collectives who 
do not cooperate with the authorities, 
or simply not treated at all. It is also 
fairly safe to assume that the protest- 
ers’ injuries were far more serious than 
those of the police for lack of protective 
armor and helmets, and weapons to in- 
flict damage. 

June 6th 

On the morning of June 6, people 
began to leave the camps to head to- 
ward different blockade points as part 
of the coordinated Block G8 effort. 
Police attempted to stop the different 
convergences, but it proved impossible 
as protesters dispersed throughout the 
fields. By the time the first main group 
reached the no-go zone they numbered 
5,000. Police helicopters hovered over- 
head but generally did not engage the 

demonstrators below. 

Surprisingly, police harassment was 
not as severe as was expected. They 
searched some buses and detained oth- 
ers, but the massive repression that had 
been expected never came to fruition. 

Later, however, as about 2,000 peo- 
ple trekked through fields towards the 
security fences, police chased them with 
water cannons and tear gas. Helicop- 
ters occasionally landed teams of riot 
units to control the demonstrations, 
but overall, direct confrontations were 

rare. By afternoon, the blockades were 
deemed to generally be a success as over 
10,000 people participated. Five thou- 
sand blocked Gate 2 alone after skirt- 
ing police lines, and most of the roads 
into Heiligendamm were blocked either 
by protesters or police. Around 2:30pm 
about 500 participated in dismantling 
part of a NATO-constructed security 

Riot police crushed several of the 
smaller autonomous blockades later in 
the afternoon, brutally arresting dozens. 
Police officially cleared the West Gate 
at 5pm after a snatch squad had encir- 
cled a group of clowns. 

The large blockade at Gate 2, how- 
ever, was still present by nightfall at 
around 9pm. The group numbered 
around 1,000 decided to stay overnight. 
By this time around 200 people had 
been arrested during the day, about 60 
of which happened in a parking lot near 
the Rostock-Laage airport. 

June 7 th 

At 9:30am, a group of 2,000 began 
their walk north towards the fence. 

Meanwhile the blockade at Gate 2 
was still active. Supporters arrived with 
food and supplies early in the morning. 
The police presence was strong but at 
around 11am twenty police vans and a 
tank left the gate — presumably to head 
towards the abandoned Gate 1 where 
the march from Reddelich was expected 
to arrive. 

Around noon water cannons arrived 
at Gate 1 just in time to meet the Red- 
delich march as they emerged from the 
woods and scattered into the fields. 
About 200 protesters were at the gate 
and surrounded by police as they gave 
the first order to disperse. By 1pm al- 
most 3,000 people were present at Gate 
1. The police attempted to push two 
groups together in order to clear the 
road. Scuffles broke out as police used 
water cannons, tear gas, and batons to 
push the crowd and the demonstrators 
pushed back using banners to try re- 

connnueD on paqe 19 

Roadblocks were a daily presence, from protestors 
blocking foreign dignitaries to police blocking protestors. 

Police meet demonstrators as they exit the train leading 3 

into Rostock. £ 










Anti-G8 Fallout: Learning from Past Actions 

Fault Lines interviewed Josh Wolf and Gabe Meyers, the two people targeted by the federal and local authori- 
ties after the July 8, 2005 Anarchist Action Anti-G8 demonstration. Anti-capitalist protests and demonstrations 
against the G8, WTO, and other institutions that represent neo-colonial domination and corporate globalization, 
have always been met with more aggression and hostility than normal marches for peace. Granted, these demon- 
strators are often much more militant. With a police officer injured and a police car damaged, the authorities felt 
a need to subpoena and prosecute. Here are their stories... 


By Nico Rahim 

Fault Lines: The consensus is you were 
committing an act of journalism, and were 
protected under the California Shield 
Law. In some interviews you said that the 
Feds were on a witch-hunt. What kind of 
witches do you think they were after? 

Josh Wolf: It seems they were after an- 
archists and anarchism in general. But it 
also seems like a multi-level attack on civil 
dissent, and on anyone who demonstrates 
against this administration going all the 
way up to the US Attorneys who were 
fired. Which couldn’t be that much far- 
ther from anarchism. 

FL: Were you surprised at the support you 
received from the mainstream media? 

JW: Yeah, I guess pleasantly surprised 
would be a good way to sum it up. It didn’t 
seem shocking; it seemed sensible. It sort 
of mitigated some of my distrust around 
the mainstream media, and its entirely be- 
ing fucked to the core. 

FL: You have described your video blog as 
transparent journalism, transparent in that 
your biases are open and transparent to all. 
What is the significance of radical media, 
independent media, and other media that 
is not afraid about taking stands in social 
justice movements? 

JW: When it comes to civil dissidence, 
the mainstream media only covers from 
the cops’ perspective - to reinforce the sta- 
tus quo. Half of the dialogue is missing, 
so independent media and the alterna- 
tive press fills in the other half of the 

The mainstream news sources do 
serve a purpose, but if you look at it like 
there is a pie of information, that’s just 
one-eighth — one slice — out of the giant 
pie of things that we, as educated and in- 
formed people, should really stay abreast of 

FL: Going back to the Anarchist Action 
demonstration in San Francisco against 
the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles, it 
seemed like two police officers in one cop 
car were the catalyst of the violence, by 
breaking ranks and going after the pro- 
testers instead of letting it die down on its 

JW: That’s partially right. It’s not that the 
two police officers broke ranks with the 
tactical police force covering the demon- 
stration; they were actually on duty patrol- 
ling the Mission. They were responding 
to a 911 call about vandalism by people in 
black, which was not at that time known 
by the dispatch to be a part of the dem- 

FL: Not to justify violence against the 
police, but was the fallout caused by the 
police being overly aggressive in trying to 
disburse the remaining demonstrators? 

JW: When you look at the policemen, 
you have to look at Shields and Wolf, who 
were the police officers involved in that 
thing, arriving on the scene. Prior to that 
[the police] were almost respectively. . .it 
was weird, when they called over the loud- 
speakers to disperse, they were like, “The 
officers from the San Francisco Police De- 
partment order you to disperse. Failure 
to do so will result in you being arrested.” 
That sounded like something they don’t 
say, it was far different from their normal 

San Francisco police officer Peter Shields on the ground with a fractured 
skull after receiving a blow to the head while clubbing protestors. 

shouts. Then Shields and Wolf showed 
up and I guess got freaked out and decid- 
ed that the best approach was to acceler- 
ate the car in the hopes it would force the 
protestors to disperse. Which is obviously 
a highly dangerous tactic. And their re- 
sponse to that was to chase after the two 
people they almost hit. . .was just obscene. 

To give some context: The year prior 
there was a Reclaim the Streets demon- 
stration on June 8, 2004, to correspond 
with the G8 Summit in on Sea Island. 
The police mass arrested 120 people. 
They surrounded everyone at 5th and 
Market and then arrested everyone who 
was there— there was no disperse order or 
anything. A number of those people did 
not want to give their names to the police 
so in a jail solidarity action about 40 peo- 
ple identified themselves as Jane and John 
Doe. The government refused to release 
the protestors until they gave their names. 

They eventually worked out a deal 
that they would drop the charges, prior 
to them giving their names, which would 
be retroactively reversed if they didn’t give 
their names. So here we have a situation 
where some government entity was prob- 
ably seeking the names of protestors on 
June 8, 2004. So this just reinforces the 
thought that this was again just some sort 
of witch-hunt to identify those who were 

FL: So the reason you stayed in jail for 
so long was not because you didn’t want 
to release your unpublished video, but be- 
cause you did not wish to testify in front of 
the grand jury about your video? 

JW: They wanted the footage because 
they wanted all of the intelligence they 
could gather, but what they really wanted, 

which never really came out in court, was 
for me to testify and give the identities of 
those on the footage. After we had lost 
the fight in the 9th circuit level to protect 
the footage, we actually offered to show 
the US Attorney that there was nothing 
on the tape. We submitted a declaration 
saying there’s nothing on the tape. [My 
lawyers said] how about we just turn over 
the tape and you let Josh go. [And the US 
Attorney responded] “No, we need his 

FL: What do you say to those who say 
that your case was a waste of time because 
you weren’t protecting anything? 

JW: There are some things that are worth 
fighting for, but when you lose the fight 
seeing that you are only protecting the 
right to fight it, you might as well just 
show them that you have nothing in your 
hand. It’s kind of like when you’re playing 
a poker game, you might want to bluff a 
hand, but when it comes to all in and you 
really have nothing, then there’s no reason 
to stay all in. 

FL: It seems the federal government will 
continue to crack down on civil dissent, es- 
pecially on those who should be protected 
and aren’t professional journalists. Do you 
see anyone else being put through the or- 
deal that you were put through in the near 

JW: It will probably be someone related to 
the something like the Wen Ho Lee case, 
and I imagine it will be highly unlikely 
that it will be an independent journalist. 

Josh Wolf served 226 days in prison, longer than any other journalist in US 
history. He is pictured above with videocamera in hand. 

Photo: Steve Rhodes 

ad imerview with cjaee meyers 

By Matt Gereghty 

Fault Lines: What happened after the 
squad car started toward the crowd? 

Gabe Meyers: That guy was just driv- 
ing through there like it’s the Indy 500 
or something. And I don’t really see any 
reason he would drive into this crowd 
other than to run people over. . .1 ran out 
of the way and dropped my sign. It went 
under the wheels and that’s when he hit 
the brakes. 

His partner got out, chased me, tack- 
led me, strangled me, and put me in a 
chokehold in front of all these people, and 
people took a picture and it was on video- 
Josh Wolf’s video. Then the driver [who] 
had barreled into a crowd, he gets out of 
his car — and this is even confirmed in the 
police report — and he starts using his ba- 
ton on some people... So somebody hit 
him over the head. 

He’s gotten a lot of sympathy because 
he got his skull cracked, which has kind 
of made him out to be the good guy. I 
mean, just because that happened to him 
shouldn’t get him off the hook for trying to 
run people over with a car. . .1 don’t really 
condone hitting him in the head, it could 
have killed him. . .But you know, if you try 
to run people over with your car, and then 
you beat them with your nightstick, well, 
duh, what do you think’s going to hap- 
pen? Nobody’s going to put up with that 
shit. . .I’m sorry the guy got beaten up but 
you know, he initiated the whole incident. 

When they talk about it in public, 
with the media and so forth, the real story 
is not being told. . .All that you saw on TV 
was ‘whatever, it was a violent anarchist 
protest and this police officer had his head 
cracked in and his police car was set on fire’ 
and, you know, that’s not the whole story 
there — this guy started the whole thing by 
trying to mn people over. 

FL: So what exactly were the charges they 
tried you for? 

GM: This is really weird; getting charged 
with lynching is pretty rare and most of 
the time when people get charged with it 
they’re trying to 
do it to somebody 
else. Meaning 
they’re trying to 
take someone out 
of [police] custo- 
dy. . .This police 
officer who was 
and videotaped 
trying to strangle 
me ‘til my face 
was bright red — 
this guy decided 
to charge me 
with a felony of lynching myself— in other 
words saying that I tried to take myself out 
of his custody by trying to incite a crowd. 
By saying the words “help me” while he 
had me in this chokehold. 

FL: How long were you detained? 

GM: I was only in custody for less than 
a week 

FL: What was it like after that? 

GM: It was a major pain in the ass. Hav- 
ing to show up for court. Other than that 
it was just kind of psychological, even 
though I knew it was bullshit. . . 

The police were mad because they 
didn’t catch who they were looking for, 
and they wanted a scapegoat and they 
wanted it to be me. I was the only person 
they charged with a felony. 

FL: Did you feel like you had a lot of 

support during all of this? 

GM: I got some supporters who came 
out. There were a lot of hearings. There 
were always a few people, and I think that’s 
where you really see who your friends are. 

I think a criticism of some of the or- 
ganizers is that 
they didn’t 
show me that 
much sup- 
port. I didn’t 
really see a lot 
of them show 
up. But I had 
some good 
people show 
up, some of 
the grand jury 
resistors. It’s 
important. I 
think it’s really 
cool when people show their support. You 
really can build a bond through a thing 
like this. 

I was just some guy who got arrested 
and got caught in the wrong place at the 
wrong time. I think they just want to be 
mean and harass you for 18 months and 
shit like that. I just had to put up with this 
shit and watch everything else go down, 
like Josh Wolf. 

I kind of feel like Josh Wolf wouldn’t 
have been in prison if people would have 
spoken up more. In hindsight I think I 
should have made more noise about it as 
well. But my lawyers had advised me just 
to keep quiet. There were a lot of witness- 
es who saw the cops beating on people. I 
saw a lot of stuff posted on Indybay. I saw 
one legal observer, who was also a law- 
yer, had made a statement at one of Josh 
Wolf’s first appearances in federal court 
and in a press conference, and basically he 
said what happened— that they just drove 
into the crowd and started beating people 

To me going into a working-class neighbor- 
hood like the Mission and causing chaos 
and smashing windows, even though those 
are corporate structures and so forth, we’re 
still in a neighborhood— I think the energy 
could have been directed better... I think a 
lot of people in the Mission, just because 
they might not want these big corporations, 
they don’t necessarily want all this chaos 
going on. 


ac t | orv,o» 

Pictures above (clockwise) : An- 
archist Action sign that led the 
march. Newspaper boxes litter the 
street of the Mission. Officer Wolf 
with Gabe Meyers in a choke-hold. 
Masked activists holding anti-G8 
sign. PG&E office with paint splat- 
tered windows. Activist with Anar- 
chist Action pamphlet in hand. 

with batons and choking people — well, 
me. But I guess that’s the whole thing 
with the media control issue — that those 
sorts of things were able to get hushed up 
or played down even though people were 
saying them publicly. There just wasn’t 
enough people saying them. 

Maybe I should have started getting 
the story out earlier, it’s just hard when 
there’s charges coming against you. 

FL: Having been the one person blamed 
for the actions of an entire group of people, 
what did you think about the behavior of 
the rest of the crowd? 

GM: To me, going into a working-class 
neighborhood like the Mission and caus- 
ing chaos and smashing windows, even 
though those are corporate structures and 
so forth, were still in a neighborhood — I 
think the energy could have been directed 
better. . .1 think a lot of people in the Mis- 
sion, just because they might not want 
these big corporations, they don’t neces- 
sarily want all this chaos going on. 

I don’t necessarily have a problem 
with people being militant but you’ve got 
be smart about it. I want those corpora- 
tions out of the Mission. I don’t like their 
domination here in trying to take every- 
thing over. That’s one of the effects of the 
G8, and it makes me want to protest. It’s 
good to go to the Mission and say, “Get 
out of our neighborhood, we don’t want 
you taking everything over and exploiting 

But I think that just to go in there and 
kinda go nuts and throw things through 
windows and shit like that, I mean there’s 
people inside there too. . .It could be a per- 
son that lives here in the Mission that’s 
working this shitty job because they need 
the money. I guess it’s just one of those 
things that you’ve got to be smart about. 











The housing situation in San Fran- 
cisco is a prime example of the great- 
est evil of capitalism. Only those who 
can afford it get to be housed. Everyone 
else lives on the streets. They get trash 
talked by neighbors and politicians alike 
for the sin of being homeless. They are 
arrested or cited with “quality of life” ci- 

The situation couldn’t be worse — 
unless you throw into the mix the fact 
that landlords in San Francisco have the 
ultimate weapon against tenants they 
want to get rid of: The Ellis Act. Even 
with all of the tenant protections, rent- 
ers have in a “progressive” enclave such 
as San Francisco, one can be tossed out 
into a housing market where rents are 
astronomical, just because some specu- 
lator wants to turn a building into over- 
priced tenancies-in-common (TICs, 
pronounced like the bloodsucking crit- 

Various solutions have been proposed 
for the housing crisis in San Francisco. 
Most of these options involve band- 
aiding a system that is problematic to 
begin with. Real change will only come 
by changing how we do housing in 
America. That means housing can no 
longer be a commodity. As long as it is, 
there will be a basic inequity: those who 

can afford to rent or buy versus those 
who can’t. Housing is a basic human 
need and should be guaranteed, just as 
healthcare is in many countries. 

In the meantime before we get to 
that point, however, there are things 
that affordable housing advocates in 
San Francisco can fight for. They’re still 
band-aids on a sick system, but they 
will give working-class and poor people 
more of a chance at affording to live 
here. They include: 

1) A moratorium on market-rate 
housing. The last thing San Francisco 
needs is more housing for the rich. 

2) A moratorium on condo conver- 
sions. Every condo that is converted 
from the rent-controlled stock is the loss 
of a unit that’s price is controlled while 
the tenant lives there — not to mention 
displaces a person paying low rent. 

3) Vacancy control, which puts price 
restrictions on a unit after the ten- 
ant moves out. Under vacancy control, 
a landlord can only jack up the rent a 
small percentage for the next tenant. 
Right now, it’s prohibited by state law 

4) Community land trusts. The land 
is purchased by a nonprofit entity and 
taken off the market forever. The ten- 

ants who live there either rent or pur- 
chase at 30 percent of their income. It 
is similar to a co-op, only there is no 
equity in a land trust. 

5) Squatter’s rights. If a building is 
vacant, why can’t people make use of it? 

A radical \ southern Italian, working- 
class queer, Tommi Avicolli Mecca works 
by day for the Housing Rights Committee 
of SF, a tenant’s rights organization. 


By the San Francisco Tenants Union 


•Your landlord can never force you to sign a new lease that is different 
from your original lease. (Your landlord can evict you for refusing to 
sign an identical lease.) 

•Your landlord must provide you with a habitable residence. "Habit- 
able” means, among other things, that your unit is in good, safe condi- 
tion with a sturdy front door and heat. Leaks, infestations, electrical 
problems, and mold— if not caused directly by your actions— are the 
landlord's responsibility to repair. 

•If your building is sold, you do not need to sign a new lease. Your old 
lease is still valid, and (if your building is covered under rent control) 
your landlord still cannot evict you without a just cause. 

•You do not need to let your landlord into your apartment, unless 
he/she is completing a necessary repair or showing the building to 
prospective buyers. Your landlord needs to give you 24 hours written 
notice under those circumstances, and you can negotiate fora reason- 
able time. 

•If you are a rent-controlled tenant, your landlord can only raise your 
rent by a small amount every year. (It's usually around two percent.) 

•Master tenants are considered landlords when there is a conflict with 
subtenants. Certain "just cause” regulations apply to them. It is illegal 
for master tenants to charge subtenants more than a fair pro- 

portional share of the rent. Master tenants must disclose the full rent 
of the apartment, if asked by a subtenant. 

•If an original tenant (lease-holder) moves out, and additional room- 
mates stay on, the landlord cannot evict the roommates. 

•Your landlord cannot retaliate against you for asserting your rights! 
Keep a record of landlord (and building manager) activity. Keep a 
record of everything you do, too. Put requests for repairs and other 
communication in writing so that you have a good record, just in case. 
(Email is fine.) 

•If you request it, your landlord must inspect the apartment during 
your last two weeks there and provide a list of all the damages that 
he/she plans to charge for. This gives you a chance to do any needed 
cleaning or repairs before moving out and avoid deductions from the 

•Rent Control applies to all units in San Francisco that were con- 
structed before 1979. However, if you live in a single-family home, 
your landlord can raise your rent to any amount for any reason. If you 
live in a condo (recently renovated) unit, or live with your landlord, you 
are not covered under rent control. Illegal units (units that are not up 
to housing code standards) and residential hotels are covered under 
rent control. 

For more info, contact the San Francisco Tenant’s Union by phone at (415) 282-6622), check out their website at or drop by 558 Capp St. in SF 


photo by miLes “otis” Mcsreen 

What Do More Condos 
Mean for the Mission? 

By Emma Gerould 

At a time when affordable family 
housing is on the political agenda, Sev- 
en Hills Properties is pushing a condo 
development through the planning 
process for 60 new condos and anoth- 
er Walgreens Drug Store. The site in 
questions is 3400 Cesar Chavez Street 
(at Mission), now a empty parking lot 
where day laborers wait for work daily. 

Mission Anti-Displacement Coali- 
tion (MAC) and others from the Mis- 
sion and Bernal Heights are opposing 
the condos because the project does not 
reflect the community’s needs - afford- 
able family housing and mitigating ris- 
ing land costs. 

The proposal is not an isolated de- 
velopment. Condos are being built 
throughout the Mission. Recently, 
condos went up on Mission and 29th 
Street and many more, like 700 Valencia 
Street, are in the pipeline. 

Based on the projected cost of the 
proposed condos, less than 10 percent 
of the neighborhood earns enough to 
move into one. What does it mean 
when over 90 percent of residents can- 
not afford to buy these new condos? It 
means that residents of this tradition- 
ally low-income neighborhood will be 
priced out of their own community by 
sky-rocketing land values. The Mis- 
sion, along with the Castro and the 
Haight, has one of the highest levels of 
Ellis Act* and owner-move in evictions 
in San Francisco. 

Seven Hills Properties claim that the 
3400 Cesar Chavez condos will be avail- 
able for local families. Nothing could be 
further from the truth. To be able to af- 
ford such a condo, a family or individual 
must make a median annual income of 
$203,000. The median income in the 
area stands at $44,000. The majority 
of the condos would be one bedroom 
apartments. The few affordable hous- 
ing units proposed in the development 
are not a gesture of goodwill, but the 15 
percent minimum required by law. Only 
four units would be for family housing. 
Despite the developer’s claims, these 
units are not affordable. In fact, they 
cost too much to qualify for assistance 
through the city’s Downpayment Assis- 
tance Loan Program. 

Mission residents and community 
groups have simultaneously been creat- 
ing an alternative plan for the site that 
would prioritize the community’s needs 
and includes affordable housing and 
community services. 

More condos for the Mission mean 
higher eviction rates and pricing families 
out of their homes. Testify at the Board 
of Supervisors to stop the Cesar Chavez 
Condos: affordable family housing not 
market rate condos. To stay informed 

For more info, call (415) 206 2140 
ext. 155. 


The Ellis Act is a state law that says 
landlords have the unconditional right 
to evict tenants to “go out of business.” 
For an Ellis eviction, the landlord must 
remove all of the units in the building 
from the rental market. The apartments 
cannot be re-rented, except at the same 
rent the evicted tenant was paying, for 
five years following the evictions. There 
are no such restrictions on converting 
them to ownership units (e.g., tenancies 
in common or condos). 

EEis Act evictions generally are used 
to “change the use” of the building. Most 
Ellis evictions are used to convert rental 
units to condominiums using loopholes 
in the condo law. 


Filing an Ellis Act with the Rent 
Board means that the re-rental restric- 
tions will be recorded on the deed of 
the property. Thus landlords are mo- 

tivated to issue Ellis “warnings” and 
“advisories” to the tenants. These are 
not legal eviction notices but nonethe- 
less are perceived as eviction notices by 
tenants — don’t move based on a bluff! 

may be limited, but tenants who fight 
the Ellis eviction win surprisingly often. 
Tenants who don’t win often drag out 
the eviction for well over a year and get 
into a position where they can settle on 
their terms. 

From the SFTU website— 

SB 464 is a bill before the California 
State Senate that would limit use of the 
EEis Act. The bill would require three 
years of ownership before EEis Act evic- 
tions, Emiting the abEity for speculative 
realtors to buy up rent controEed hous- 
ing and evict people for a profit-sadly a 
huge business in the Bay Area. 

Former Tenant Pickets as Realtors Try to Sell House 

By Susan 

Currendy, I am picketing the building 
I was Ellised* from in 2001 by specula- 
tors Michael Gallin and Elba Borgen. 
The apartments were sold as TICs*, in 
2003 and 2004 after the building sat 
empty for almost two years. Three of 
the four apartments are for sale again as 
TICs. The purpose of the picket is to 

make sure prospective buyers know the 
building’s history. While an EEis Act 
eviction must be recorded on the deed, 
many realtors try to hide this informa- 
tion or omit it in their initial advertis- 

At the first open house I attended 
I discovered this was indeed the case. 
People I spoke to told me the realtor 
was being vague. While I was stand- 
ing in front of the budding, the realtor 
told me herself “weU, these people [the 
current owners] didn’t do an Ellis.” I 
pointed out that it made no difference 
who did it. The effect was the same- 
tenants were evicted. 

By the second week, she had totaEy 
changed her tune. She was revealing it 
before being asked, although stEl trying 
to minimize the fact by saying that her 
clients didn’t do it. A few people have 
asked me why I bothered to picket the 
house. I have observed people change. 
On one Sunday, at least ten different 
people thanked me, said they wouldn’t 
buy it, wouldn’t go in, etc. One person I 
spoke to was another real estate broker, 
and even he thanked me because he said 
his client didn’t want to buy where ten- 

ants had been evicted. I have seen the 
change in media coverage of Ellis evic- 
tions. I have taken part in other pickets 
and have seen the looks on peoples faces 
when you teU them who used to live in 
the building they are looking at. Many 
of them express disgust and walk away. 

According to the Rent Board, there 
has been a 20 percent drop in Ellis evic- 
tions since Proposition B-the proposi- 
tion which mandated disclosure of se- 
nior and disabled evictions-passed in 
June 2006. Disclosure works. 

What is unusual about 1879 Oak is 
the timing of this picket. The former 
tenants are still around, six years later. I 
would encourage people to continue to 
attend pickets, ask questions, and gen- 
erally raise doubt about the solidness 
of TICs as investments. In real estate 
terms, buildings that take longer to seU 
result in lower prices. Taking the profit 
out of evictions is the only thing greedy 
real estate speculators understand. 

’"Ellised: Evicted by a landowner 
evoking the “Ellis Act” (see text box). 

* TIC: “Tenancy In Common” hous- 
ing unit. Can be used to technicaEy ap- 

ply an Ellis Act eviction in order to evict 
tenants of a rent controlled unit. 











Who owns the land that you live on? 
Who controls the space around us, be- 
tween the street and the walls of anoth- 
er rented building? Who gets to decide 
what happens on a long neglected street 
corner? These questions cut to the root 
of a battle our neighborhood fought to 
save a street-side garden and claim a 
little bit of land as a commons for all 
to enjoy. 

In the middle of our neighborhood 
sits a vacant lot. For decades this land 
grew nothing but weeds and trash and 
neighbors grew more disgusted by the 
sight of the overgrown land. Actually 
it’s remarkable that this plot was never 
developed, sitting catty corner to Gold- 
en Gate Park, in the inner Richmond, 
the land is just a shade too small to be 
buried under another apartment build- 

In January 2007, in the midst of our 
driest winter on record, some friends 
got together and planted fava beans. 
We took some old shovels and turned 
the encrusted Earth that sat inches 
from the well traveled sidewalk of Ful- 
ton Street. With no fence to separate it 
from passersby this land represents a bit 
of an anomaly. The sight of folks dig- 
ging and planting seeds drew more than 
a little attention. People on the street 
stopped to stare, many smiling and a 
few talking with us about the land. 

Fava beans are a good way to start a 
garden. They are easy to grow and after a 
good night of soaking they need almost 
no water. Favas help fix nitrogen from 
the air into the soil. They can be eaten 
at almost any stage, fresh greens for sal- 
ad, green beans in a stir-fry or big soup 

beans when fully mature. But mostly our 
favas were growing the idea of a garden. 
With little effort these plants changed 
the appearance of the lot just enough 
that people knew something was hap- 
pening. Our experiment was a success 
and soon every time we stepped foot on 
the land to check on our growing bean 
crop neighbors came out of their houses 
to see what was going on. People were 
happy to see something finally hap- 
pening with the lot. Everyone knew 
about the 
place. We 
heard sto- 
ries about 
when it had 
been a love- 
ly yard 30 
years ago 
and about 
all the 
things that 
had hap- 
pened to 
bring it to its current state of neglect. 

We tilled more ground and soon rows 
of lettuce and potatoes grew amongst 
garlic and peas. The lot started to look 
more like a small farm and we attracted 
more attention than ever. The more 
time I spent in the garden the more I 
realized that what we were really grow- 
ing was community. I eventually came 
to know dozens of people on our block; 
people that I had lived next to for more 
than a year and never had the opportu- 
nity to meet. 

Along with the gratitude expressed 
we heard ominous tales of the land 
owner. Several long time residents 

knew the landlady, Aileen O’Driscoll. 
They warned us not to go above her 
radar. We heard stories about spiteful 
evictions and it seemed that contact- 
ing her was out of the question. Our 
hope was that by the time she found out 
about the garden it would be amazing 
and beautiful and there would be no way 
she could deny that it was an improve- 
ment to the land. Fortunately for us she 
spends most of her time at her house in 
Hawaii, so it was fairly easy to dig in 


We had 
several big 
work days 
where doz- 
ens of peo- 
ple showed 
up to pull 
weeds, sow 
seeds, hang 
out and play 
music. Our 
little street 
corner became a community commons. 
We brought out picnic tables and chairs, 
made big salads to share with neighbors 
and declared our plot of land a free 
state. Never before had I seen such an 
amazing response to a garden project. 
People were coming out of their houses 
to see what was happening in this place 
that we all walked by everyday but no 
one ever seemed to notice. Interestingly 
enough no one seemed too concerned 
that we had no permission to use the 
land. As far as everyone on our street 
cared we had their permission and that’s 
what really mattered. One of the resi- 
dents of O’Driscoll’s adjacent building 

even gave us a key so that we could wa- 
ter the garden. 

At this point the garden became 
much more obvious. Previously, people 
may have been able to pass by and not 
differentiate between the rows of garlic 
and the tall grass. The untrained eye 
might have missed to garden all togeth- 
er. But after several big cleanup days it 
was hard to ignore the transformation 
happening inches from the sidewalk. 
We hung signs declaring the land a 
community garden; it seemed that now 
was the right time for our work to be- 
come really obvious. 

It wasn’t long before our bold move 
attracted the attention of the Citywide 
Property Management, the company 
hired to collect rent and supposedly 
maintain the lot. Several neighbors 
received a letter from Citywide regard- 
ing the garden and a few of them were 
passed along to me. The letter was 
from Matt King and basically said that 
the garden had not been approved and 
that if it became a problem they would 
be forced to remove all the plants. I 
immediately called Matt King on the 
phone and was relieved to find out that 
the letter was simply a formality, it not 
meant to be threatening and as long 
as the landlady didn’t find out or care 
everything would be fine. He warned 
me about O’Driscoll but reassured me 
that from her house in Hawaii she was 
unlikely to notice our little garden. It 
seemed time to celebrate we had the 
unofficial blessing of the very people 
who might have ripped out our plants. 
But celebrations were cut short as I re- 
ceived another call from Citywide the 
next day saying that the landlady was in 

Revolution is based on land. 
Land is the basis of all 
independence. Land is the basis 
of freedom, justice and equality. 
-Malcolm X , November 10, 1963 

Before you dig into that piece of abandoned soil you've had your eye on, here 
are some important things to remember. 

Plant in the early winter. In our mild climate, many plants will spend winter 
growing deep roots that will sustain them through the long dry season. 

Soak your seeds. Many crops such as beans, peas, corn, squash, and most 
other large-seeded plants will benefit from overnight soaking before planting. 
This should give them all the water they need to sprout and is much more ef- 
ficient than watering the soil around them. 

Choose the right plants! Don't plant watermelon in the middle of a dry 
spell. There are many food plants that will "naturalize" in our region and require 
little care. Here are some suggestions. 

Kale (Brassica oleraceaj is as tough as it is nutritious. Sow the mustard-like 
seeds in moist soil in winter or early spring. Once they are established these 
plants can live for years and spread their own seed around the garden. 

Fava beans (Vicia faba) are a large bean that can be grown in the winter. 

Soak a handful of beans (available at most health food stores) overnight. Plant 
them about one inch deep. They take about two weeks to come up so be patient. 
Favas are great because you can eat them at every stage of growth and nitrogen- 
fixing bacteria on their roots provide free fertilizer. 

Jeruselum artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), a close relative of the sun- 
flower, are perhaps the world's toughest vegetable. Once established, these 
plants will never go away. Plant a piece of their knobby root anytime between 
January and May and within a few weeks thick green leaves will push their way 
up. Be selective when choosing where to plant these aggressive tubers— they'll 
destroy native habitat or an established garden, as well as pavement. 

town. She had seen the garden and was 
outraged. To this day I question Matt 
King’s honesty and wonder why she 
would have made an unexpected visit to 
check on her neglected property. Most- 
ly she was offended by our pea trellis, 
decorative logs (that also served to keep 
cars from driving across the vegetables) 
and our use of water from her building. 
We removed the logs, wrenched the 
trellis out of the firm grasp of the pea 
tendrils and stopped watering. But this 
was not enough. Soon O’Driscoll was 
calling for the removal of the garden. 
We told citywide that we would be hap- 
py to negotiate with the landowner, but 
she continually refused any contact with 
us. Obviously we were dealing with 
someone who wanted to distance her- 
self from any conflict. With Citywide 
doing her bidding there was no reason 
she had to deal with us. 

Now it was time to organize. We 
went door to door all over the whole 
neighborhood, talking to people about 
the garden and circulating a petition. 
Soon many neighbors and friends were 
doing the same thing. All and all we 
gathered more than 300 signatures in 
support of the garden. Most of all this 
was a very good excuse for us to go to 
every house on the block and meet our 
neighbors. People usually approached 
with caution, when they saw us standing 
on their stoop with a clipboard and fly- 
ers. But as soon as we introduced our- 
selves and explained what we were do- 
ing, everything changed. People lit up 
at the mention of the garden and were 
concerned to hear about its threatened 
destruction. No one could figure out 
why O’Driscoll would want to destroy 
something so good for our community 
that essentially was keeping her lot from 
becoming urban blight. Our negotia- 
tions with Citywide became more frus- 
trating. They had no idea how to deal 
with us. They couldn’t understand why 
we just wouldn’t leave, or rip out the 
garden ourselves. Eventually our talks 
broke down and I realized I couldn’t buy 
anymore time, the garden was slated to 
be destroyed. We got together with 
neighbors and friends, garden organiza- 
tions and community groups and orga- 
nized a protest. 

On the morning of the slated de- 
struction about 20 people came out wav- 
ing banners, playing music and carrying 
garden tools. When Citywide showed 
up to rip out our plants we were going 
to be there to stop them. That whole 
day we waited. More neighbors came 
out, some brought us food and water. 
We called the media and did TV, radio 
and newspaper interviews. We passed 
out Citywide’s phone number and soon 
their office was flooded with calls to save 
the garden. Our occupation went on for 
five days. From morning to night we 
stood guard over the garden. We had 
minimal contact with Citywide during 
this time, they knew we were there, but 
were trying not to deal with us. After 
five days it seemed that O’Driscoll had 

bent to the public will. The calls from 
community groups and garden organi- 
zations as well as hundreds of neighbors 
and friends had overwhelmed the prop- 
erty managers who thought it easier to 
just not deal with us. We had sent a 
clear message: if you destroy our garden 
we are going to make things very hard 
for you. 

So the garden remained. After two 
weeks we continued planting veggies 
and cleaning us the lot. We celebrated 
quietly. At this point it seemed more 
strategic let the clamor die down and 
let O’Driscoll forget all about this little 
piece of land. But everything changed 
on April 30. I received a call from my 
elderly neighbor Kathleen, one of the 
many people watching over the garden 
night and day. She told me some men 
were at the garden ripping out all the 
vegetables and when she tried to stop 
them they yelled at her, saying they had 
their orders. When I returned home 
that evening the garden was gone. Our 
plants had been cut to the ground and 
the rows of tomatoes and mustard greens 
had been ripped out by the roots. The 
land looked as if a plague of locusts had 
descended from the heavens to destroy 
our crops. The Earth looked barren and 
lifeless. As I walked where the mulch- 
laden paths once had been, I recalled 
all the amazing times digging in with 
friends and neighbors and I cried. All 
that work and effort, all those hundreds 
of people who care about this place and 
this one person, who’s only relationship 
to this place is the money she makes off 
it, has the power to destroy something 
we all love. The calls from neighbors 
started pouring in. Some people called 
for the replanting of the land, others 
suggested new spaces to garden, all of 
us were angry. By morning, the dissent 
of the neighborhood had appeared on 
the sidewalk. Erie messages scrawled in 
spray paint read “Where did the garden 
go?” and “Fucking Bastards!” 

Now the lot sits vacant. Only the 
shadow of our garden remains as Je- 
rusalem artichokes resurface along 
with our rows of potatoes. It is obvi- 
ous that Citywide has no other plans 
for the land as it once again returns to 
its blighted status. Now we get to see 
two distinct possibilities for this land. 
One of bare dirt, awaiting the arrival 
of trash and weeds, the other a place 
where neighbors gather to take care of a 
piece of land, growing healthy food and 
beautifying their home. This brings up 
some important things for us to con- 
sider, mainly who gets to control space 
in our neighborhood? Is it an absentee 
landlord who may never step foot on 
this piece of land or the people who 
live here and want to create a safer and 
more beautiful neighborhood for all of 
us to enjoy? We need to come together 
to show O’Driscoll, Citywide and peo- 
ple across San Francisco that we are the 
ones who get to decide what happens 
in our neighborhood, and this garden is 
only the beginning. 

Top to Bottom: Farmers present a cornucopia of fresh 
produce at the South Central Farm (RIP). Neighbors and 
gardeners gathered in support of the now defunct garden 
at Stanyon and Fulton. Fava beans grow with little water 
and add nitrogen to the soil. 

: 7 



Indigenous Resurgence in Abya Yala 

connnueD prom page 09 

The Declaration of Iximche: From 
Resistance to Power 

Back on the central streets of Gua- 
temala City, the thousands of marching 
delegates are joined by thousands of lo- 
cal indigenous peasant farmers from the 
CNOC, CUC, and CONIC organiza- 
tions. These are groups formed by war 
victims, refugees and support base of 
the 80s resistance, and the remnants of 
the near genocidal state onslaught that 
claimed more than 100,000 lives, mostly 
rural indigenous. I remember being here 

in this same city in the early 90s staying 
at a human rights house, feeling petri- 
fied as police agents tailed us and death 
threats were left on the phone. To be a 
“bad Indian” in those days meant death. 
Now, here they are — the rebel indig- 
enous, re-emerging from the shadows 
and re-claiming public space one more. 

Amidst spiritual ceremony and music 
and dance spectaculars, the celebrated 
“Declaration of Iximche” is read out, to 
“announce the continental resurgence of 
the Pachacutic (the return) along with 
the closure of Oxlajuj Baq’tun (long 
count of 5,200 year), and as we approach 
the door of the new Baq’tun, we journey 

together to make Abya Yala a “land full 
of life. ’’Then the declaration gets down 
to the hard political specifics: against 
the FTAA (Free Trade Agreement 
for the Americas), against transgen- 
ics, against multinational mining and 
resource extraction, against Bush’s war 
and the US border wall and condemn- 
ing the practices of the Inter American 
Development Bank, the World Bank, 
and similar global institutions who ma- 
nipulate the indigenous. The document 
stands firmly for indigenous peoples’ 
sovereignty, autonomy, and self-de- 
termination, ratifying historical rights 
to stolen territories, and consolidating 

unity between the different indigenous 

To the somewhat mysterious and 
haunting epitaph, We Have Dreamt 
Our Past and We Remember Our Fu- 
ture, the demonstration and the summit 
concludes, and the multitude disperses 
into the ominous dusk of the dangerous 
and insecure city. The departing mood 
is not triumphant but resilient and qui- 
etly optimistic. Despite everything — 
500 years of colonization, dispossession, 
poverty and migration — the resurgent 
indigenous of the continent have sur- 
vived and are looking to the future. 

Pacifism Summer 

connnueD prom page BacK cover 

edition of Pacifism points out that 
in “colonized/neo-colonized” Third 
World countries, there has never been 
a successful campaign against the op- 
pressive state without resorting to vio- 
lence, which often begins for defensive 
purposes. The use of violence is em- 
pirically indispensable when dealing 
directly with state oppression. But here 
in the First World we are dealing less 
with direct oppression and more with 
forces of alienation and the remorse of 
ineffectuality. “Pacifism” makes the case 
that no matter what logic you use to 
condemn it, violent resistance has his- 
torically been the threat that forces First 
and Third World states alike to cave to 
the demands of nonviolent resistors. 
In this way, both groups are necessary 
for change to occur. Churchill cites the 
case of the Black Panthers, who polar- 

ized the left and allowed those in the 
nonviolent movement to feel like they 
had made a bigger difference than they 
could have alone. In the process, Pan- 
ther members faced heavy and in some 

cases fatal persecution. 

In a post-Seattle, globalized atmo- 
sphere of resistance, the nonviolent 
tactics of decentralized mass mobili- 
zations have had some success where 

they’ve been able to catch police off 
guard. However, ample funding and 
the sophisticated militarization of mu- 
nicipal police have picked up the slack 
against the current movements, and we 
have seen that when successful, even the 
tactics of relative nonviolent resistance 
are not tolerated. Throwing rocks at 
multi-million dollar armies or symbolic 
destruction of property is branded as in- 
excusable violence and “justified” perse- 
cution ensues. This persecution tells us 
that tactically, someone is doing some- 
thing right. But historically we know 
that successful resistance can bear grave 
consequences. Revolution Summer , if 
anything, reinforces the need posed by 
Churchill to consider creative violent 
resistance to achieve social change. It’s 
just too bad that the hopeless shallow 
dimwits considering it never make light 
of the scope or history of such resis- 

Clean Burn 


connnueD prom page os 

stepped on a stuck gas pedal and then, 
stepping on a brake line that snapped, 
he crashed into a pole and they were 
both hospitalized. Dennis suffered se- 
vere head and knee injuries and hasn’t 
returned to work since the accident, 
which was in November. 

The accident was quickly swept un- 
der the rug and all negative focus has 
remained on the Biodiesel Club. In 
fact, City College Police harassment 
got so bad that we had to get auto- 
motive teachers who were fed up with 
the cops’ harrassment to convince the 
Board of Trustees and the Chancellor 
to step in on our behalf. That got the 
police off our backs, but administration 
found something new to hassle us about 
when we decided to move club outreach 
out from faculty advisor David Dias’ 

hands and into our own. Club mem- 
bers wanted to post fliers that reflected 
our concerns and interests. The first 
flier we posted focused on class issues 
rather than environmental, picturing 
Mickey Mouse flipping off the bosses 
of oil companies. The flier was up for a 
day before Dias found it and instructed 
all fliers to be torn down, as it reflected 
poorly the message that he wanted to 
portray about biodiesel being better for 
the environment. In one day our flier 
brought in more people to a meeting 
for new members than all of David’s fli- 
ers put together in the previous year. It 
was a diverse crew of working class folks 
ages 20-60, even one GI and a city col- 
lege landscape worker. Dean McGuire 
then instructed Dias to formally censor 
the club, denying us all rights to adver- 
tise or be our own media contact. We 
then decided to get rid of David and 

go with Transmissions Instructor Barry 
Lynch as the club’s new advisor. 

Weeks later, David approached us 
saying that the EPA was planning to 
give the garage a biodiesel grant of 
$200,000. Apparently the EPA had 
seen what we did with the El Camino 
and considered it cutting edge, while 
the administration acted as though 
they were supporting our project. The 
Biodiesel Club was lead to believe that 
the grant money would benefit the stu- 
dents, and we were asked to get the car 
ready for a press conference. Spending 
money out of pocket and backtracking 
on the project, both club members and 
faculty made the car picture-worthy. 
In the end the grant money was put in 
the pockets of the administrators, with 
a small portion to go toward a biodie- 
sel workshop that CCSF students are 
not allowed to attend. Anarchist club 

members were not surprised by this 
swindle. Unfortunately it left other 
students and faculty upset for being 
lied to. If anything, this latest scandal 
validates the anarchist standpoint that 
we, the working class, must take pro- 
duction of bio-fuel into our own hands 
and not concern ourselves with going 
mainstream in hopes of getting the ap- 
proval of big oil, and automotive and 
transportation industries. 

connnueD prom page 1 1 

pushed back using banners to try re- 
gaining the road. 

Thousands of protesters spread 
themselves out along the fence through- 
out the afternoon in an effort to disperse 
police. The cops were unable to control 
the entire crowd due to the area covered 
and so were unable to forcibly disperse 
the demonstrators. 

Meanwhile, at Gate 2, water cannons 
stood by as the blockade continued. 
Cars with G8 delegates were delayed 
extensively and some eventually had 
to turn back. At around 5:30pm, water 
cannons dispersed the crowd. The same 
began at Gate 1 where police violently 
attacked the blockade with water can- 
nons and batons. Several injuries were 
reported, one of which was extremely 
serious and the street medics asked for 
help from the police medics to transport 
the victim to the hospital. 

Throughout the night, police at- 
tacked protesters with water cannons 
as they tried to hold the blockades. By 
midnight five people were injured badly 
enough to be hospitalized, mostly as 
a result of the water cannons. As the 
night became morning, the blockades 

were completely cleared by police. 


The blockades seemed to have been 
the most effective aspect of the week, 
which was surprising for many who had 
opted out of participating in favor of 
conducting more militant actions that 
never really manifested. It will no doubt 
be used by strict pacifists as an example 
of successful nonviolent direct action. 

But it is important to look at the diver- 
sity of tactics and how they compliment 
each other. 

During the 1999 anti -WTO pro- 
tests in Seattle, the small black bloc was 
generally thought of as a success by the 
more confrontational wing of the radi- 
cal movement, and that was possible be- 
cause the massive nonviolent blockades 
detracted most of the police attention. 
Here the situation was exactly the op- 
posite. The massive nonviolent block- 
ades were largely successful because of 

autonomous blockades and the employ- 
ment of more confrontational tactics 
that took police presence away from 
the main gates. But time will tell how 
these events are analyzed and lessons 
are learned. 

All in all, over 700 people were ar- 
rested during the protests against the 
G8 summit. Many had already faced 
their “fast-track” trials by the time the 
conference ended and had been sen- 
tenced to long prison terms — up to ten 
months without probation in a number 
of cases — for crimes such as throw- 


■$. ing rocks at the police. The repression 
9 against the anti-G8 movement was 
J extreme to say the least, and will most 
likely continue for a long while follow- 
ing the conference. 

As this summit has drawn to a close 
we must remember to take the fight 
back home and keep up the militancy 
generally exhibited in the streets and 
camps surrounding Heiligendamm. 
What we saw in Germany was a week 
of intense action, but what we didn’t see 
was the massive organizing effort and 
sustained resistance to repression that 
made the counter actions possible. We 
must always be working against the G8 
and the system they represent. 

connnueD prom page 04 

result of more media choices or just 
bad radio? 

Then there’s the media democracy 
movement lobbying against further 
attempts to deregulate media. Elimi- 
nating the “three band space” rule 
and filling the dial spaces with “legal” 
LPFM stations will only make the cur- 
rent unlicensed broadcasters extinct by 
eliminating unused frequencies. The 
entire LPFM licensing bill is targeted 
at non-profit organizations, with most 
of the licenses going to churches in 
small, rural markets. The few broad- 
casters who do get on have to follow the 
same self-censorship process as others 
to avoid arbitrary, excessive FCC fines 
intended to drive them off the airwaves. 
Meanwhile, Clear Channel shock jocks 
continue to inflame problems such as 
racism, sexism, and homophobia, and 
some have even sponsored pro-war ral- 
lies. Do these corporate lackeys have the 
sole right to define public discourse? 

Unlicensed “pirates” have little inter- 
est in limiting themselves to corporate- 
sponsored models of polite speech or to 
stay within liberal/progressive political 
discourse. “Advocacy journalism,” in 

which broadcasters choose content as an 
activist tool, is under attack as we read 
insulting corporate newspaper debates 
about whether or not local journalists 
such as Sarah Olsen and Josh Wolf 
have any legal rights because they are 
not employed by a big media company. 
Activists want to go beyond the liberal/ 
progressive limits on issues and pro- 
gram radical politics. Music program- 
mers want to play all kinds of music, as 
they and listeners want less repetitive 
formats and more local music played. 
Independent programmers do not want 
play lists, station managers, fund-rais- 
ing bureaucrats, or government officials 
telling them what and they can and 
cannot broadcast. 

The corporate-government powers 
are naturally afraid of losing advertising 
revenues, but political motivations are 
obvious despite continued FCC denials. 
SFLR started broadcasting in the early 
90s, along with Free Radio Berkeley in 
the East Bay, to report on the criminal- 
ization of the homeless in San Francis- 
co — a population that had absolutely no 
voice in the media. 

In 2002, SFLR moved to a loca- 
tion high in the hills above the Castro, 
expanding its signal and broadcast- 

ing hours to provide clear listening for 
the central and south parts of the city. 
When the bombing and occupation of 
Iraq started in 2003, SFLR provided 
numerous independent anti-war voic- 
es while a licensed radio broadcaster 
was fired for uttering a word against 
it. Indymedia activists assisted with a 
nightly news show otherwise relegated 
to the web. As activists shut down San 
Francisco for a day with street protests, 
web-based Enemy Combatant Radio 
initiated internet broadcasts in real time 
with cell phone call-ins describing the 
street actions. SFLR broadcast this for 
several days, and other micro stations 
outside the area were able to stream it, 
allowing activists with Indymedia sta- 
tions around the world able to tune in 
live via the web. 

Another example of the organizing 
potential for radio is community mem- 
bers in Oaxaca, Mexico using radio 
to rally solidarity among US activists. 
Freak Radio Santa Cruz has done phone 
interviews with activists directly from 
Oaxaca, as well as direct reports from 
immigrant actions around California. 
Berkeley Liberation Radio provides a 
platform for homeless activists. Imagine 
the possibilities if every town and every 

Independent Media Center had a right 
to dial space? What if activists had ac- 
cess to airwaves for event-specific cov- 
erage — such as when Houston-based 
activists set up a public service broad- 
cast in the Astrodome after the New 
Orleans tragedy? Can people-to-people 
communications happen outside of the 
Internet without the filter of corpora- 
tions and government agencies? 

SFLR chose to engage the authorities 
and got nothing. They have not broad- 
cast on the airwaves for over three years. 
Since then, Pirate Cat Radio (87.9FM) 
andWest Add Radio (93.7FM) haveleft 
the SF airwaves after receiving written 
FCC threats, leaving the city without a 
microradio station. Berkeley Liberation 
Radio and Freak Santa Cruz continue 
broadcasting in their respective towns 
despite threatening notices and armed 
raids. The FCC has announced another 
deregulation process with a bad LPFM 
component. Several bills have been de- 
bated in Congress for LPFM access not 
under control of the FCC, but none 
have made it to a full Congressional 
vote, and the FCC continues dragging 
its heels on licensing stations. Mean- 
while, real microradio continues as an 
act of civil disobedience. 



Revolution Summer through the 

lens of Churchill's “Pacifism as Pathology" 

State police, often serving as the or- 
der-preserving arms of global capital- 
ism, have a simple formula for dissolving 
groups that pose a threat to that order. 
This formula has been documented for 
decades in the US and has even been 
applied against completely nonviolent 
groups. According to Ward Churchill 
in “Pacifism as Pathology,” reissued this 
year by AK press, the existence of such 
a formula brings up an inherent flaw in 
the logic of American Liberals and oth- 
er totally ineffectual leftist groups that 
remain stridently critical of the use of 
violence in resisting the state. Churchill 
makes light of the absurdity of assum- 
ing that as long as dissent remains non- 
violent, the state will be forced to follow 
suit. He then unveils the harsh truth 
that within nation-states that can mo- 
bilize violent use of force to protect rul- 
ing-class interests, the stance of abso- 
lute nonviolence has become a placebo 
for the progressive class, quelling their 
woes but changing nothing. 

In the police state we live in, under- 
standing this reality does not lead to any 
particular solution. Pinned between a 
rock and a hard blow to the head for 
even nonviolent assembly, we continue 
to choose from the ever-increasing list 

The most comprehensive DIY book for independent au- 
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FreePress. net 
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of state-sanctioned ways to rebel against 
the system — marching in permitted 
protests, signing petitions, calling your 
local legislator, wearing buttons espous- 
ing your political views, and making an 
annual trip to Burning Man. Some- 
times we’ll even end up in jail for some 
symbolic action that hopefully gets de- 
cent press and allows us to cope with 
our relative helplessness. But the fact 


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remains that our tax dollars pay for the 
very batons that come cracking down 
when we stick our necks out to ask if 
this is really necessary. 

Concerned citizens, and even a Fox 
News reporter, were asking this ques- 
tion at MacArthur Park on Mayday in 
LA after what seemed to be a real-life 
episode of Cops Gone Wild (Youtube 
it if you haven’t seen it yet). That day, 
police were apparently given orders to 
do their stomp and smash robot march 
during a peaceful immigrant rights rally, 

clearing the park, battering kids, taunt- 
ing old ladies, and trampling news me- 
dia. Yes, they are trained to do that. Yes, 
they would do it to you. 

That same week at this year’s San 
Francisco International Film Festival, 
a packed Kabuki Theater watched the 
premier of Revolution Summer , a dark 
indie feature examining the lives of 
young hipsters coping with life in a dis- 
mally repressive world. The film, pro- 
duced and shot here in SF and Oakland, 
portrays a couple impassioned morons 
fetishizing vague revolution in a vague 
plot to use armed violence against the 
vague state. Through the lens of “Paci- 
fism,” the film is thematically germane, 
glorifying an earnest desire to react, and 
considering armed plots as a means to 
do so. However, a slow drawn out plot 
in which a couple of angry kids plan 
some kind of haphazard offensive and 
have to face grave consequences — get- 
ting beaten and interrogated before they 
even carry out the action — seems like a 
pretty incoherent assessment of the di- 
lemma of repression for the privileged 

An essay by Mike Ryan in the new 

connnueD on page 1 8 


The story of Niccolo Sacco and Bar- 
tolomeo Vanzetti was one so powerful 
that it is still lamented almost 90 years 
later. In 1920, the two Italian -Ameri- 
can anarchists were convicted of murder 
outside of Boston and held for seven 
years before their execution in 1927. To 
the authorities’ chagrin, the execution 
resounded as an electric shock heard 
‘round the world, as the two had gar- 
nered support from the far-reaching 
corners of the planet. Everyone knew 
the names Sacco and Vanzetti, and 
nearly everyone resented their deaths. 

In 2006, Peter Miller directed a 
documentary about the plight of Sacco 
and Vanzetti. Laid upon the backdrop 
of black and white footage from 1927, 
Miller skillfully combines interviews 
with historians, including Howard 
Zinn and Studs Terkel, and icons like 
Arlo Guthrie (whose father wrote songs 
about the duo), in addition to folks who 
were then only children but still re- 

It is a true challenge to recreate the 
feelings of anger and injustice that ac- 
companied the trial and death of these 
anarchists profiled for their ethnicity 
and political beliefs. But Miller achieves 
this through his masterful storytelling 
in addition to the connection that we all 
feel to this kind of repression, whether 
the enemy is profiled as anarchists or 
communists, Italians or Arabs. 

In this sense, the film is not only 
about Sacco and Vanzetti. It resonates 
as a universal illustration of prejudice, 
fear, hype, and hatred. Our Sacco and 
Vanzetti of today could easily have 
slightly darker skin and headscarves 
instead of bowler hats. But the poten- 
tial for scapegoating is still there, and 
that’s what makes Sacco and Vanzetti 
such an important film. Today’s genera- 
tion growing up in a time of endless war 
must know that there were folks who 
fought before them and that the strug- 
gle still continues. °