direct action

friday night link dump!

Apparently he’s got his own blog, but it’s all greek to me.

This is a ship that disappeared from the Baltic Sea last year. The Russians said it was piracy, which would have been the first act of piracy in the Baltic in as long as anyone could remember, but no one really believed that story. Intercepted arms shipments was the buzz. There are still no answers.

  • The Road to Area 51
    After decades of denying the facility’s existence, five former insiders speak out

“We couldn’t have told you any of this a year ago,” Slater says. “Now we can’t tell it to you fast enough.” That is because in 2007, the CIA began declassifying the 50-year-old OXCART program. Today, there’s a scramble for eyewitnesses to fill in the information gaps. Only a few of the original players are left.

According to the wikipedia, the OXCART program produced a plane that was the precursor to the SR-71.

anarchist smash-up

We took to the streets yet again last night (4/26). This was an anarchist police abolition march, which meant no reformist chants and no holding back.

Police believe these actions are the responsibility of anarchists in the area that also protested and vandalized businesses several weeks ago in downtown Portland. The Portland Police Bureau is preparing for similar acts throughout the week leading up to May 1.

The quote of the night comes from the anarchist communique. The author has just described attacking a recruiting center and three bank branches, and now concludes:

To end this laundry list, we smashed a Starbucks. We smashed it because fuck you, you fucking capitalist bastards, that’s why.

There’s been a big increase in anarchist street actions in Portland lately. There was what seemed like a fairly spontaneous smash-up the night of the latest police shooting, followed by a march a few days later that tied up parts of downtown and resulted in some mayhem, some blood and some arrests.

I wonder if people in other towns are seeing a similar uptick. The national climate seems to encourage it- if it’s not terrorism for some guy to crash his airplane into an IRS office, who’s going to quibble about a few bank windows? But Portland’s got some local stuff going on too, mostly about police shootings and the like.

Anyway, looks like the May Day parade should be interesting. Whatever happens, my alibi is that I’ll be playing D&D, and I’m sticking to my story.

I can’t tell what’s going on in this video, but whatever. Watch it anyway.

i’m just tagging this “direct action” without comment


Crystal-Covered Protester Arrested After Nuclear Break-In

Ordinarily, James Richard Sauder spends his time writing books like Underground Bases and Tunnels: What is the Government Trying to Hide? and Kundalini Tales, “which deals with paranormal and mind control themes.” But earlier this month, Sauder took a break from his investigations to scale the fence of a nuclear missile silo.

“We need cooperative, mutually beneficial economic arrangements, and harmonious relations between peoples and nations on this planet. As a symbol in that regard, I have left a skein of multi-colored Red Heart yarn at the missile silo to signify that here the thread of a new, world-wide narrative begins. It is a new global narrative with heart,” he wrote just before his arrest at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota for federal criminal trespass.

sea shepherd update

The Shonan Maru No. 2 comes into view around an iceberg:


More pictures here:

There was a new confrontation between the Shonan Maru and the Steve Irwin on Tuesday. Here’s two sides of the story:

The Ady Gil finally caught up with the Steve Irwin just after midnight Wednesday morning (yes, it’s still Tuesday night here.) Looks like they switched the green laser thing to the Ady Gil, or else each ship is equipped with one. It’s apparently a handheld device of some sort. I suppose it explains what they mean by “The Ady Gil crew defended their ship utilizing photonic disrupters in an effort to get the Shonan Maru No. 2 to back off to a safe distance.”


I do appreciate, by the way, how many of my best pictures are coming from the whalers.

And here’s another take on the Sea Shepherd visit to French researchers at Commonwealth Bay, from the researchers’ side. Sounds like they’re a bunch of enviros, as you’d have to be to work there, but also like they’re happy to see almost anyone visit. No one else was expected there until sometime next month.


On the topic of direct action…

Radical environmentalist Jeffrey “Free” Luers has been released from prison after spending more than nine years behind bars for setting three SUVs on fire at a Eugene dealership.

I went to Green Is The New Red to find out more about that, and came across this instead:

On November 17, 2009, Scott DeMuth was jailed for contempt of court, since he refused to answer questions posed to him by a federal grand jury in Davenport, Iowa. They were interested in questioning him about his knowledge of an unsolved Animal Liberation Front action in 2004 at the University of Iowa. Scott is a University of Minnesota graduate student and Dakota language student. Scott took a principled stand against the grand jury and paid for it with a contempt charge and, two days later, a charge of conspiracy to commit “animal enterprise terrorism.”

All of which reminded me of this, which is a couple of weeks old by now but still of interest:

omg sonic beams and lasers

Giant waterfights too:

First encounter of the season, and it turns into a water cannon battle:


A couple of days later, the Japanese deploy their Long Range Acoustical Device, and Sea Shepherd busts out a laser on them. Oh, and tries to foul their propeller too:


Judging from that picture, the Steve Irwin’s got some new anti-boarding measures- the yellow spiky things along the side. You can see it better in some other pictures here. Looks like maybe a new hangar for their helicopter, too.

And where’s the Ady Gil during all of this?

Back in port again, it seems. This time their new radar got wiped out by a big wave. That was a couple of days ago, and I can’t find any indication that they’ve sailed yet.

sea and space

Sea Shepherd vs. Japan, round 3- now under way:


And looking up a bit, Burt Rutan & co. unveiled their second generation space ship yesterday. This one is supposed to carry actual paying passengers in the next couple of years:

sea shepherd pre-season roundup

The Japanese whaling fleet has set out for the Antarctic for another year of hunting disguised as research. Not surprisingly, Sea Shepherd is not far behind. Operation Waltzing Matilda sails from Australia next week, and they’ve got an awesome new ship this time:

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The Ady Gil (formerly known as the Earthrace) is faster than anything either fleet has ever had, and it’s got Kevlar armor and a coat of stealth paint as well. Paul Watson says they’ll use it to get between Japanese harpoons and the whales.

If anyone’s going to get killed this year, this is how it’ll happen. The Ady Gil was built for a world speed record at circumnavigating the globe, not for frigid waters and icebergs. That kevlar armor may help, but the ship seems a mite delicate, and Antarctica is a long way from any real repairs.

But hey, Sea Shepherd crew say they’re willing to risk their lives, and they’ve certainly pushed their luck in the past. Sooner or later we’ll find out just how much they mean it.

Is it worth the risk, though? One measure is whether they can actually stop the whaling. They’ve cut into it in the past, depriving the Japanese fleet of its profits. This year, the heavily subsidized whaling program is under the scrutiny of budget-balancers. A combination of bad press and financial failure could be enough to scuttle the program.

Japan has fought back in a variety of ways. Last year they got Interpol in on the act, and more recently they’ve tried to get the Netherlands to yank the registration of Sea Shepherd’s other ship, the Steve Irwin. The Japanese wouldn’t cooperate with the Dutch investigation, however, so the Dutch refused this week to take action.

And Animal Planet is tagging along again for a third season of Whale Wars. I have to admit I’ve only watched a little of the first season so far, because hey, who can be bothered with TV? But it’s getting them more exposure than any direct action campaign I can think of on the enviro side of things, so I’m glad it’s still going strong.

The action is due to start sometime in December, so I’ll be sure to keep you up to date.

roma under attack, kosovo mayhem and political trials

Europe may be your liberal utopia, but if you want to see its true colors, ask the Roma.

Jozsef Bencze, Hungary’s national police chief, said in an interview on Friday with the daily newspaper Nepszabadsag that the perpetrators, believed to be a group of four or more men in their 40s, were killing “with hands that are too confident.” Military counterintelligence is taking part in the investigation, Hungarian radio reported, and Mr. Bencze said the pool of suspects included veterans of the Balkan wars and Hungarian members of the French Foreign Legion.

Experts on Roma issues describe an ever more aggressive atmosphere toward Roma in Hungary and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe, led by extreme right-wing parties, whose leaders are playing on old stereotypes of Roma as petty criminals and drains on social welfare systems at a time of rising economic and political turmoil. As unemployment rises, officials and Roma experts fear the attacks will only intensify.

Kosovo has never fully settled down after declaring independence, and unrest seems to be increasing again. No comprehensive roundup for today, but just a snapshot:

And assorted treehuggers facing The Man:

(Typical lousy Earth First! photo. Can’t tell what’s going on, can’t read the banners. They’re treesitting, if that helps.)

omg terrorists!

The FBI says this guy is the first “domestic terrorist” to hit the Most Wanted Terrorists list, but Katie Monster is reading over my shoulder and reminds me not to believe this. I know I’ve seen alleged “eco-terrorists” on the list before, so there must be some technicality involved here. Or they’re full of it. Whatever. Anyway, he’s wanted for bombing companies that did business with Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Not a bad idea to see what Green Is The New Red has to say about it:

It was an overtly political move to neutralize the growing chorus of opposition to the recent DHS memo warning of right-wing extremism. When the memo came out, right wing groups sprang into action (much more so than environmental or animal groups have) and have already filed a lawsuit. Meanwhile, some environmentalists mistakenly saw it as reason to believe the Green Scare is over.

KM also points out that it’s World Week For Animals In Laboratories, so this may be the FBI warning folks not to get any bright ideas.

Of course if you go around blowing things up, you should expect the cops to be looking for you and people to call you a terrorist. It’s just curious the FBI has never shown this zeal to catch doctor-killers or clinic-bombers.

If you should happen to see this fugitive, please give him food and money and a place to hide, even if you’re not an animal rights supporter. If you’re reading me, you probably have more in common with him than with the police, and it’s a good idea to support anyone who opens up space for more militant action.

And in news of other animal rights activists getting the shaft:

Sounds like they’re being charged with felonies because they’re known for legal, above-ground actions protected by the First Amendment. This is pretty common- the cops can’t find the people committing the actual crimes, so they bust whoever they can find, hoping to wring some sort of information out of them and hoping to scare the other activists into silence.

It does demonstrate some flawed strategy on the part of the animal rights crowd, however. Mixing above-ground and underground action on the same campaign creates a huge hazard for the law-abiding activists, who probably didn’t sign up for years of trials and prison. Are the bombings effective enough to counter the loss of good activists and the chilling effect on the whole movement? Maybe, although unlikely. It’s situational. But I suspect no one ever did a cost-benefit.

Not so much flawed strategy as a lack of strategy. Not on everyone’s part necessarily, but probably on the part of the bombers.