On June 1, I was sentenced to a 1 month stay in a Federal Prison,
starting June 22nd, after being convicted of a 'violation of the terms
of my supervised release.' To give a little bit of background, in
2006, I was convicted of 'damaging United States property' after
setting fire to an Army recruiting center in the Bronx, and served 6
months in a federal prison, followed by 3 years of 'supervised
release.' Last year, a few months before this term of supervised
release was set to expire, I was arrested outside of the second
occupation of the New School, and charged with assaulting an officer,
rioting, resisting arrest and maybe a couple other things.
While ultimately all of the State charges were dropped, my
'supervision' status allowed the federal government to pick up the
slack and ultimately take me to trial on the same charges, only with a
lower standard of proof ('a preponderance of evidence' as opposed to
'beyond a reasonable doubt') and with rules allowing hearsay, in this
case, from the pigs called in to testify. The prosecution recommended
a sentence of 9 months, plus 2 years of supervised release and some
other stuff that I'll go into later, but ultimately I got the 1 month
in, plus 1 additional year of supervised release, plus 200 hours of
Okay, so that's the bare bones boring stuff. Now I get to take this
opportunity, as someone who already is one of the usual suspects, and
unquestionably under surveillance, to say some wild shit that others
trying to preserve their relative freedom would be unable to.
Let's go point by point.
1. I am a crazy motherfucker.
When I was first sentenced for setting fire to that Army recruiting
center, part of the judge's sentence was that for the entire three
years I was on supervised release, I attend weekly therapy sessions,
so that "I could understand why I did what I did". At the time, I
remember thinking 'it's pretty fucking obvious why..." but didn't go
much deeper than that. After I got back to NYC, my PO sent me to my
assigned therapist and the goal of state-mandated therapy became more
After a month of these 'sessions', I realized that not only was this
therapist reporting everything I said to my PO, but my PO was telling
the therapist what areas to 'probe deeper into.' Most of this
involved him trying to get to the bottom of why I really had problems
with authority. 'Because I'm an anarchist?- But what about your
relationship with your Dad..?' So that had to end. When I got a
little bit of money together to switch to a therapist of my choosing,
who refused to tell my PO anything about what happened other than the
fact that I showed up, the probation department took me to court, a
battle that I eventually won.
In that case, my lawyer argued that my political beliefs were being
looked at as a pathology, and that the probation department was using
therapy as political re-education camp. Now I am in exactly the same
position-Once again, I've been sentenced to weekly therapy. At the
sentencing hearing, the prosecution stressed the need for this
therapy, because "I had exhibited an extreme problem with authority,
particularly police officers." While at first I got angry about their
characterization of me, I realized that they're right.
The past 10 years of my life have been dedicated to fighting authority
in general, whether they be the pigs, politicians or bosses. They all
have to go. So, if that makes me crazy, fuck it. When I hear about
cops getting attacked in Seattle, I get all jittery and excited. When
I read about French workers taking their bosses hostage, I wanted to
catch the next plane over. The best part: I'm not the only one who's
crazy like this. Most people are 'crazy', and every day, more and
more people are starting to do something about it.
2. We need to step up our game. One of the benefits of being an
anarchist 'usual suspect' in NYC, is that it allows me a rare glimpse
into the mind of the government, and I've found that there's not much
going on in there. Every time something gets blown up around these
parts, (you know, annually, when one of those cute little packages
gets delivered from everyone's favorite cyclist) the Feds show up at
my house (I'm never there) or follow me around everywhere, or call me
into my PO's office, because they know I have to show up there. And
every time they start asking questions, it becomes abundantly clear
that they are unable to understand how anarchists operate. They keep
trying to find leaders, or try to make dubious connections between
above ground groups and actions that occur. Their obvious frustration
is what leads to the kind of prosecution that put Eric McDavid away,
which will hopefully be overturned on appeal.
But what we need to recognize is that this shows our strength! When
we stop squabbling with each other for long enough to extend our
struggle, it turns out that fighting without leaders and without
hierarchy actually works. Given that we're still in a period of
'crisis', this is the time we need to be hitting the hardest.
Now, some people have been leading the way(see Mayday 2k10). Much of
the negative response towards those actions falls into the 'it's only
going to bring greater repression' category. Of course it is, but
what the hell did you expect when you decided you were an 'anarchist'?
This is the point where I get to pull out my 'former/pending political
prisoner' card, and say people are going to catch some heat, but guess
what-there's over 2 million fucking people in prison. My whole
neighborhood is under police occupation. I'm going to prison for a
violation-level charge of 'resisting arrest'. Shit is bad, and anyone
who fights back is going to potentially subject to consequences. We
have to understand this, and take calculated risks, but when they take
some of our people, we hit back harder.
3. Hitting Back. I mean this literally. Solidarity means attack,
remember? There have to be real, tangible consequences for the state
or capital attacking us. However, the only way this can be
sustainable is if we get out of the anarchist ghetto. This means
putting our energies towards helping out with other peoples struggles,
and building real relationships in the places that we live. Is your
neighbor getting evicted? Well, guess what, landlords have addresses.
The police are running up on your block to grab somebody? You and
your neighbors have to let them know there's gonna be consequences.
The point, however, isn't just to fight for the sake of fighting.
We're trying to create some kind of liberated spaces, right? This
means actually creating spaces, and then militantly defending them.
Look at how Portland is doing it-they're getting a little wild in
their battle against the cops. NYC needs to catch up...
4. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK. The only way we're going to be able to
maintain any of our efforts at creating liberated spaces is if we go
on the offensive. If by day we're running community centers, doing
alternative education, fixing bikes, or growing our own food, by night
we're attacking the police stations, the business owners, the real
estate agencies. There is no conflict between these two ends, because
guess what, Capital with the assistance of the State is going to come
down hard these projects sooner or later, and if we've been on the
offensive this whole time, we'll be much better prepared to fight
back. We'll be building alliances and through those connections
finding people with whom to go on the attack. And when the shit hits
the fan? We won't be 'those crazy anarchists'; people will know who
the fuck we are.
From where I stand, what you get out of building things up in your
neighborhood or town is necessary to be a complete person, whether
it's helping out with childcare or whatever. The same is true of
striking back against the forces that make our lives miserable in a
million different ways, both large and small. The point is to make
these two goals complement each other.
5. Don't get all worked up about a cracker being locked up. So, I
gotta end this by pointing out the obvious-as a white man from a
relatively "privileged" background, I'm getting a slap on the wrist.
But there's over a hundred prisoners in the US from less privileged
backgrounds who have been sitting in prison for literally decades.
Many of these folks were part of liberation struggles in the 60s and
70s who took part in actions that make anything we've ever done look
tame in comparison. Millions of dollars taken to fund revolutionary
activities? Check. Assassinating cops in response to the police
murdering Black people? Check. Busting comrades out of prison?
So, take a second to check out listing of prisoners done by the
Anarchist Black Cross Federation, at abcf.net. Start up a
correspondence with one of these folks, throw a benefit for them,
figure out a way to get them the fuck out of prison. Also, check out
the work done by local ABCs, especially those in Denver, NYC and
Toronto at denverabc.wordpress.com and nycabc.wordpress.com or
So, in closing, I'd like to address a few words directly at the
federal employees who will be reading this, particularly those in the
Probation Department and our friends in the NYC Joint Terrorism Task
Force (especially those fat motherfuckers that keep showing up at my
First and foremost, fuuuuuuuuucccckkkkk you. It doesn't matter how
many times you try and get my ass up in that court, or how many times
you lock me up, or how many times you show up at my house (I will
never be there). I'm never gonna stop. But guess what, much as you
wish this were the case, I'm not a lone wingnut. There's thousands of
us, all over the place, and this shit's just gonna keep growing, and
we'll keep fighting.
Finally, remember when you brought up in court that part of the
communique I wrote when I was like 18, about how I was trying not only
to bring down the United States, but to abolish the idea of the state
itself? Yeah, I'm still on that shit.
Can't Stop Won't Stop,
As soon as Dave's address in jail is available, it will be put out
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
On June 1, I was sentenced to a 1 month stay in a Federal Prison,