May 29, 2011 Anarchist News
Justice is Revenge...
On May 26th, NYPD officers Moreno and Mata were acquitted of raping a
woman in her East Village apartment. The cops in this city have a long
history of acting with total impunity while unleashing their brutality:
rape, torture, and murder on the city all without any serious response
from the rest of us. We are not naive enough to believe in the "justice"
system that the police are a part of, and furthermore, we were not
surprised that Moreno and Mata were acquitted despite overwhelming
evidence of their guilt. We, however, were and still are filled with rage.
Inspired by both the rowdy end to Friday's protest of the acquittals,
which saw hundreds facing off against the police, briefly blocking the
entrance to the Brooklyn bridge, and repeatedly pushing back police
attempts to corral protesters onto the sidewalk; we are also extremely
encouraged by anti-police actions in Seattle, Oakland, and Denver, and we
decided it was time to push back.
Saturday night we converged on the intersection of Bowery and Houston
street in Manhattan. The intersection was blocked and held for 15 minutes,
fireworks were set off, and hundreds of fliers were thrown into the air
while anti-police chants were screamed into the night and dozens more
leaflets were distributed to motorists and passersby. Traffic came to a
stop as Saturday night revelers gathered to observe the sight of masked
people holding a major intersection. Posters bearing photos of Moreno and
Mata with "NYPD Rapists" emblazoned on them were simultaneously
wheat-pasted on walls throughout the area. Eventually, feeling that our
point was made clear, we headed north up Bowery taking the entire street.
At this point trash cans and other debris were thrown into the street. A
garbage can was also sent through a plate glass window of a Chase Bank
before the crowd quickly dispersed into the night. We encountered no
police response to our actions and suffered no arrests.
This small, yet successful, action was only a beginning. We have had
enough of police terror in this city, the tide is turning.
This action is dedicated, in total solidarity, to Amelia Nicol, currently
in jail in Denver, Colorado facing trumped up charges for taking a stand
against police terror.
Below is the full text of the flier distributed last night:
Moreno and Mata: Pigs Let Out of Their Sties
We hate to say, that unfortunately, we're not surprised...
After the rape and torture of Abner Louima; the years Officer Wilfredo
Rosario spent soliciting sexual favors with the threat of arrest; the
sexual attacks made by Officer Frank Wright; the sodomy of Michael Mineo
on a Brooklyn subway platform; the mutilated corpses of young women
appearing on the shores of Long Island being linked to current and former
cops; as well as the countless incidents of police brutality that don't
make it to the front pages; one can easily recognize a long history of
violence, sexual and otherwise, clearly attributed to New York State's
police departments. With this graphic record allowed to speak for itself,
the sexual assault committed by Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata
is nothing less than the pitiful behavior that we have come to expect from
In societies such as ours, the most striking expression of the forces of
power and domination are the uniformed police on every corner. To uphold
their authority, police are allowed exceptional recourse to violence, and
earning a badge, in many instances, means acquiring an open license to
rape whomever one pleases. The prevalence of sexual violence by police
should not be understood in terms of sex, but is instead, a violent and
coercive act motivated by the urge for power and domination. It is only in
extreme cases, when police violence exceeds the threshold deemed tolerable
by public and legal standards, the Blue Shied is then quickly brandished
to absolve all culpability. The swift hand of “justice” at best, confines
the police to a sentence of cushy deskwork or a paid exile in their
suburban homes. More often, they are simply let out of their sties and
back into the streets to reconvene their terror. It need be said: that
these observations are not appeals for a fair trial by judge and jury, but
rather to implicate the judicial system’s role in this broader cycle of
State-institutionalized repression, which was constituted by violence, and
can only function by perpetuating it. And while the acquittal of Moreno
and Mata left many of us with a stinging sensation from a public slap in
the face, an adequate condemnation of their actions must also extend to
the entire police, judicial and prison system.
It is true that the State and its servile police uphold the patriarchy,
which is decisively shaped by other forms of domination. In this
contradictory society, where the property relation unquestionably rules,
women are deemed both public and private property. In relation to their
fathers and husbands, women are still thought of as possessions. Thus the
police, designated solely to guard the rights of property, half-heartedly
defend the well-being of women, not as living human beings, but in the
same way they would protect a proprietor’s car, house, or any other
inanimate and purchasable item. If on the other hand, a woman is thought
to have no discernible "owner," then she is considered to be an unclaimed
object readily available for use or plunder. With this in mind, we point
to the innumerable instances, in which women, most often poor and/or
working-class, report having been raped, and the police sardonically reply
with the question: "What were you doing walking around in a neighborhood
like that, alone?"
The very same State, that condones, justifies, and aptly promotes rape, is
given the chance to secure another reprehensible victory, when its said
critics fall prey to a limited political vision and confront it with a
single issue campaign. We feel the need to reprimand the false opposition,
in their various manifestations, for again proving to be astonishingly
inept in recent days. On the one hand, we are obliged to mention the
noticeable absence of the various anti-police brutality organizations and
consider this a clear indication that they have joined the other side. On
the other hand, we censure many of the feminist groups in New York City,
who talk a big game, always reassuring their comfortable existence within
their tiny and insignificant activist circles, yet seem quite happy to
give their silent consent to the police's activity by doing little to
nothing in response. To reduce the conduct and subsequent acquittals of
Moreno and Mata exclusively to a question of violence against women, or to
a question about police violence, leads us to a dead-end, always missing
our target, which left unscathed, wins again by default.
When more than half the population of living, breathing human beings is
inexorably regarded as things, no amount of legislative reform or
conclusive judicial rulings can cure the symptoms afflicting an ailing
society. In our present situation, we can therefore only rely on popular
justice. A justice, in which, there is no room for judge, jury and trial;
instead, there exist only the masses and their enemies with no mediating
body in between. Furthermore, the masses, when they perceive somebody to
be an enemy, and when they decide to punish this enemy, they do not rely
on an abstract universal idea of justice, the farce passed off in a court
of law, they rely only on their own experience, that of the injuries they
have suffered, that of the way in which they have been wronged, in which
they have been oppressed; and finally, their decision is not an
authoritative one, that is, they are not backed up by a State apparatus
which has the power to enforce their decisions, they purely and simply
carry them out.
We vehemently cite Stonewall in 1969, Los Angeles in 1992, Cincinnati in
2001, and Oakland in 2009. For justice to finally become a substantive it
requires that it take the form of an angry mob; aroused and incensed in
the middle of New York City, carrying with it an unmatched fury as it
stampedes down city blocks, to then finally descend upon One Police Plaza
with a tremendous impact, unleashing a carnage comparable only to the
devastating force of a natural disaster.
Justice is Revenge!
- May 28, 2011