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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tues Sept 28th- Workshops

Yesterday was the security culture and conspiracy charges workshop at the spore. We had a good turnout and the discussion made all the research and rehearsing worthwhile.

Elements of the workshop:
1. a puppet show about security culture. It's fun story about socks organizing anti-human mayhem, with audience interaction in the form of kazoo blasts. We'll be performing this again at the Oct 22nd solidarity showcase, and probably making a youtube video and a zine-style PDF for anyone who wants to perform it elsewhere. 

2. discussion of security culture, covering not only what it is, but also how it can be misused for social status and macho posturing, and how it's overuse (for example: gossiping about potential infiltrators when nothing illegal is happening or being considered, or dismissing non-clandestine actions) can be stifling and counter-productive. Personal favorite moment was the use of "flooding the governor's office with kittens" as a hypothetical action.The outline used to guide this discussion is below.

3. a presentation and discussion of conspiracy charges. Again, the outline is below. We also assembled a lot of information about recent conspiracy charges in a handy chart, which I'll complete and post online in both wall poster and zine-pdf form soon. 

Big thank you to everyone who came out and contributed to the discussion!


7PM Start with puppet show, then...

7:20- discussion

Why a security culture workshop?
- to be aware that the gov’t is actively disrupting activist movements.
- this disruption extends to the entire spectrum of activities
- to spread awareness of how to frustrate those efforts
- we are not privileging clandestine actions (but not excluding them either)
- to introduce SC to new people in a helpful (not macho) way.
- to better understand the line between good and abusive security culture

What is security culture?
- ask group for definitions.
- mine: security culture is a general awareness of how gov’t surveillance and infiltration work and a set of common understandings and practices that prevent them from working.
- Recap puppet show.
- additional security behaviors that weren’t well covered by puppets
- indirect bragging
- electronic surveillance
- the difference between general surveillance and targeted surveillance.

Questions for audience
- how is SC working?
- what are your thoughts and experiences with it?
7:45 done with SC, 5 minute break

What is conspiracy?
- simple definition
- legal definition

How does gov’t use conspiracy against us?
-The state has a long history of infiltrating, beheading, and otherwise breaking up or co-opting effective hierarchical or centralized organizations and movements. EXAMPLE: black panthers, SF 8.
-Radical activists have shifted to decentralized organizations or “network war” EXAMPLE: SHAC 7, ALF, ELF.
-The state’s response is to extend conspiracy law to criminalize these loose associations, bog activists down with long and frivolous trials, and intimidate anyone otherwise moved to take action. EXAMPLE: Scott and Carrie

How might gov’t further expand this use? EXAMPLE: recent FRSO raids.

What can we do to make them fail?
1. BEN- don’t be intimidated. They’re “making examples” of people to deter anyone else from even trying anything. EXAMPLES Marie Mason, Eric McDavid
2. ALEC- Research non-anarchist groups, why?
1. understanding how gov’t operations work.
2. understanding scope of repression (activists vs muslims vs militias)
3. many gov’t actions against muslims target poor communities for entrapment and persecution.
4. they also often target academics, clerics, intellectuals, people who’re fighting more for equality than islamo-fascism.
5. Islamic movements are also liberation movements.
3. KATE- minimize vulnerability. EXAMPLE: operation backfire (failure)
4. BEN- discredit charges and mobilize. Make the case galvanize the community. EXAMPLE: RNC 8

1. Donate money to existing cases. CONSPIRATORS list
2. Solidarity Showcase. OCT 22nd, 8PM Awarehouse
3. Write letters to prisoners. Postcards. OCT 19th 7pm 64 King
4. file freedom of info requests.

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