Filed under: Critique, Editorials, Police, Repression, US, White Supremacy
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
As a video of a white police officer brutally attacking a young African-American student in South Carolina went viral, the FBI was helping to manufacture fear of a fictitious anarchist group with plans to attack police throughout the United States on Halloween.
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) October 27, 2015
Keen to pick up on this “story,” which was promoted through the FBI on twitter and was based off supposed ‘information’ from a Facebook group that now seems shut down called the “National Liberation Militia,” conservative rags such as the New York Post helped spread ‘the news.’ According to the New York Post article:
The FBI released an alert Monday warning the NYPD and police departments nationwide of a potentially dangerous anarchist group that says it plans to ambush cops on Halloween.
The extremist group – known as the National Liberation Militia – has proposed a “Halloween Revolt” that encourages supporters to cause a disturbance to attract police and then viciously attack them, the FBI said.
The group has recommended that members wear typical Halloween masks and use weapons such as bricks, bottles and firearms, according to the release.
According to Revolution News:
The New York post reports that there is an alert being sent out to various police departments, including the NYPD, of a “Halloween Revolt” planned by a supposed Anarchist group called the “National Liberation Militia” – who the FBI says are suggesting people should wear Guy Fawkes masks and randomly attack police officers with bricks and bottles.
It is not immediately clear what the National Liberation Militia is or if it has a website, but there is a stub of a Facebook page for an organization of that name, which three people have liked.
Glancing at the facebook page which has nothing on it, it seems very likely that the FBI has manufactured the entire situation to play up fears of not only anarchists in particular, but the anti-police and Black Lives Matter movement more broadly. Recent documents have clearly shown that the FBI and Homeland Security have been heavily monitoring the recent anti-police uprisings, as did they Occupy several years before.
At the same time, far-Right Republicans and various proponents from within the white nationalist and Patriot/militia movements have been busy beating the drum of war against anyone that stands up to challenge the power of the police. In recent days, many Republicans have made headlines by claiming that the wider BLM movement has encouraged violence against the police.
What is ironic about all of this is that these attacks against the Black Lives Matter leadership comes at a time when it is attempting to court the Democratic Party into passing its package of basic police reforms and is even attempting to organize a debate among the Democratic candidates. In doing so, the BLM leadership is attempting to strangle and kill any sort of autonomous energy and power that the uprisings started in Ferguson, Oakland, and Baltimore generated and direct them back into politics.
It seems that the FBI has thus thrown its hat into the ring and the pig media is only happy to lap up the lies that the government throws at its feet.
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) October 28, 2015
In the past, the FBI has helped to spin misinformation into the hands of local law enforcement that has lead to harassment, beatings, and outright murder of revolutionaries and the destruction of various social movements. This includes the coordinated attacks on the Black Panther Party which was carried out by and large by brutal local police departments via COINTELPRO.
In regards to anarchists, the FBI in the recent past in the US has used similar strategies to disrupt attempts at organizing. For instance, when anarchists launched a day of action and solidarity with Jeff “Free” Luers who faced over 20 years in prison for an arson attack against several SUVs on a car lot to bring attention to global warming, the FBI played up fears that the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) would target cities across the US. Then, like now, the FBI was able to use the media and local police departments to play up fears of ‘anarchist terror.’ Ironically, this publicity actually backfired and the campaign to free “Free” gained steam and he was released after 9 years. This victory happened by and large due to the pressure that the national and international anarchist movement generated around his case.
— Earth First! Journal (@efjournal) May 1, 2013
What is also telling, is that in the wake of the Ferguson uprising, there was an outbreak of attacks against police as well as a generalized wave of rioting, demonstrations, and anger at the power of law enforcement in US society and its role in upholding white supremacy. However, by and large, the media under-reported these actions and sought to isolate them, or at the very least, downplayed their disruptive, radical, and potential revolutionary nature. People are attacking, shooting, and fighting the police. But when they are, by and large the media is quiet about it for a simple reason: they don’t want it to spread.
Furthermore, as police have already killed almost 1,000 people this year in the US and each day brings another atrocity, another shooting, and another horrific video of a police attack to the screens of millions of viewers, it is very clear who the real violent monsters and thugs are: its the fucking police.
If people are fighting back, it’s not because some political vanguard is pushing them to do it, it’s because millions of people are fed up across the US and have lost their fear of resisting state terror. As the text That’s War argued:
Before the officers shot in Brooklyn were announced dead, the state began working to capitalize off of the events. The blame was shifted to the demonstrations, and anyone that dare questioned police impunity. On the other hand, Civil Rights organizations and other participants from the Black Lives Matter protests denounced the shooting as well. Under public pressure, the moderate elements of the movement become more moderate, and attempt to reign in the radical elements, all in the name of the movement’s legitimacy. Widespread anti-police sentiments are erased and replaced with a reformist agenda in an effort to distance themselves from those who would take up arms against the police.
In truth, those who have revolted against the system do bear a mild amount of responsibility for the recent shootings of police. From New York to Ferguson to Oakland, people have taken to the streets, defied the police, attacked their property and even the officers themselves with projectiles. As loosely concerted acts, they undermine the legitimacy of the police and provide a social context in which bolder self-defense measures can be taken by oppressed populations. In the cases examined here, this self-defense takes the form of shootouts with law enforcement.
When workers go on strike, or when people reclaim houses previously rendered inaccessible by private property laws, they fight back in the war. When people come together in the streets and fight the police, this is another form of engaging in this war. The war is only noticeable, even if not perceived as a war specifically, when people fight back. So when people take up arms against the police–and not just anyone, it is less alarming to the public when white supremacists murder police officers, which unfortunately happens more often than not–it makes this war extremely visible.
It is by rendering this war invisible that the system can maintain legitimacy. The system’s tactics of warfare are normalized and internalized by eliminating or recuperating any manifestation of resistance towards them. Elimination by repression such as arrests, tear gas, and shootings. Recuperation by directing resistance into political channels such as non-profits, citizen complaints, electoral campaigns, and other compromises.
Creating both the façade that the Black Lives Matter movement is calling for violence or that fictional anarchist groups are planning clandestine attacks only helps to distract from the reality that the police are the absolute enemy.Tags: Black Lives Matter, FBI, mass media