Infiltration and Agent Provocateurs
From 2007-09, John Towery, a criminal intelligence army analyst in the Force Protection Service fusion center at the Fort Lewis military base spied on anarchists and peace activists in Tacoma and Olympia, WA who were part of SDS and the Port Militarization Resistance, which protested international war shipments. Under the name ‘John Jacob’, Towery became close friends with the activists, surveilled them, and shared data with local, state, federal and military agencies. A public records request uncovered the surveillance operation of Towery against the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, IWW, Iraq Veterans Against the War, an anarchist bookshop, amongst others. The 9th circuit court of appeals has ruled in December 2012 that the subsequent lawsuit against Towery can proceed in the narrow terms of intentionally enabling arrest without probable cause in order to repress free speech, but apparently not on the Posse Comitatus law that bars the use of armed forces for law enforcement activities inside the US.
The Earth Island Journal published documents obtained through FOIA requests that show how the Bryan County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s department was spying on the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and other direct action groups against the proposed tar sands pipeline to run from Canada to Texas. Some activists were arrested earlier, the action camp infiltrated and a protest preempted. The targets are described as eco-activists; Native American resisters; Occupy members; Anarchists; and locals from the community. Documents also show how the corporation TransCanada who will build the pipeline works closely with the multi-government agency Fusion Center in Oklahoma advising on policy, changing laws, sharing intel, ensnaring activists, and generally protecting their own interests and facilitating the increase of their profits.
The agent provocateur “Anna” performed extensive FBI surveillance and entrapment of three other activists (see the Life During Wartime book review) used to convict Eric McDavid for 19 years and 7 months, the second longest sentence for recent environmental prisoners. During McDavid’s trial, his lawyer attempted to argue government misconduct because of “Anna’s” intimate relationship with him, however this was dismissed in light of the 1991 9th Circuit ruling in US v Simpson that the government can exploit intimate and sexual relations between the infiltrator and anyone under a surveillance investigation.
Back in January 2011, The Guardian newspaper journalists Paul Lewis and Rob Evans broke the huge story of how Mark Kennedy, a London Metropolitan Police officer, infiltrated numerous European left and direct action networks under the name “Mark Stone” and “Flash”. 22 countries including Germany used Kennedy as an agent provocateur in order to ensnare activists in illegal activities, gather information, maps networks, etc. (The website “Mark Kennedy: A chronology of his activities” gives more details and corrections to the initial news reports, although not on his Berlin spying.) Various British police and government agencies cut Kennedy loose, avoided responsibility, attempted to stop or curtail “reform” of undercover agents’ behavior, and denied their support of his spying, especially concerning how Kennedy had sexual relations with numerous women over the years in order to gather intel and ensnare them. 8 of those women have sued Scotland Yard for sexual misconduct by five agent provocateurs Bob Lambert, John Dines, Jim Boyling, Mark Cassidy and Mark Kennedy. The reporters have in 2013 published a book on the wider use of infiltration and surveillance called Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police.
The Associated Press reporters Matt Abuzzo and Adam Goldmann, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for their series of investigations of the NYPD’s surveillance operations against Muslim Americans (in and outside NYC and the state), have published a new book Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Spying Unit that gives much greater detail through meticulous research on these operations. NYPD’s Demographics Unit spent six years using a huge network of informants to surveil every aspect of life, actions which did not lead to a single arrest, criminal cases or thwarting of so-called ‘terrorism’ plots. (Ray Kelly, the NYPD Commissioner, has been floated to be nominated to run the Department of Homeland Security.) Various lawsuits brought against the NYPD by Muslim Americans affect by the spying are pending in court.
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The precursor to datacide is the magazine titled Alien Underground, which appeared with two issues in 1994/95. In the first issue of Alien Underground, there is a manifesto-like text signed “praxis nov. 1994” titled “Nothing Essential Happens in the Absence of Noise”. It describes “Techno” as a subversive agent that shook up cultural production, whether corporate or independent. “The industry then got the fear (…) because the principle of its organisation > the top to bottom one way transmission > got short circuited, & there was no transmitter or receiver, only a mixer & rooms full of people + noise. (…) a zone populated by savages seeking forbidden pleasures in a wasteland (…) uncontrollable and incomprehensible for teacher, cops, parents, the industry & media.” The backlash was not long to follow: “Formula were created & market research employed, documentaries were made, and laws drafted. It all needed to be brought back into the world of the spectacle, made safe for mass consumption; faces appeared, and like in a demonstration of power, talentless DJ’s were made superstars.” What we saw as raw and subversive was “streamlined for mass-brainwashing & pacification” in the form of “Nazi-Trance and Audio-Valium”. Still there was optimism: “But techno is always mutating, (…) always moving into different directions, & the time is now that transformations are under way that will lead to new places, eruptions, excess… In a situation where most of the supposedly underground parties are playing the same shit as everywhere else, where sponsorship deals + big money have moved in, a new resistance is emerging slowly>>>”.
This was also the moment when TechNET appeared. [Read more →]
Friday, 14 October 2011
Presented Datacide and Cagliostro
Film: “Un Tigre de Papel” (Dir. Luis Ospina, Colombia 2007, spanish with english subtitles).
Starts 22h introduced by R.C. (Datacide)
Pedro Manrique Figueroa, pioneer of collage in Colombia, has never had a biographer. For a very simple reason: his life’s like an adventure novel that is both incomplete and contradictory. It’s just based on fragmented reminiscences and anectodes passed on by word of mouth. Taking Manrique Figueroa’s life as a pretext, this film takes the viewer on a journey through history from the year 1934 up until 1981, when the artist mysteriously dissappeared from view. “A Paper Tiger” is itself a collage, where art and politics rub shoulders, where truth and lies are placed side by side, where documentary and fiction intermingle.
Tato: (Live) – Italy
Base Force One: (Live)
starts at midnight
Hard dubstep to noisy breakcore, experimental broken beats to hardcore drum’n’bass
Record: Last but not least we celebrate the new release on Praxis “Anonymous Series Volume Two” 12″: Dance time is here folks, the artistic ballet of fucking it up and shaking the old world to the ground!
Datacide Magazine: All proceeds of the party will go towards the printing costs of the next issue of datacide – magazine for noise & politics
in the space of Subversiv e.V., Brunnenstrasse 7.
no sexism, no racism, no nationalism
The first night of datacide events happened on Thursday February 3 with Neil Transpontine’s talk “Dance Before The Police Come” and – since DJ Balli was stuck in Rome and couldn’t catch his plane – Nemeton’s talk about the American radical right and the rise of the tea party movement, plus discussion with Neil, Nemeton, Kovert, CF and the audience about topics in the new issue. Balli has safely arrived and his talk will be at 5pm at Cagliostro Lenbachstr. 10 10245 Berlin Friday! – before the launch party at subversiv.
We are currently adding the last finishing touches to the new print edition of datacide!
And we are preparing 2 events to launch Datacide 11: an evening of talks and a party:
Thursday, 3. February 2011 – TALKS & DISCUSSION
Cagliostro, Lenbachstr. 10, (Ostkreuz), from 17h
“333 bpm” – a sonic-fiction by Riccardo Balli
Iconographic references by: Caina
Every style in electronic music inspires a certain social behaviour, well more, it actually structures the listener’s brainframe. Do you want to know how? And, above all, do you want to smash this social brainframe down by hyper-mixing genres? Some tips on how to do this can maybe come from this fiction, a sonic one, of course!
Dance before the police come – talk by Neil Transpontine
What’s going on when police raid parties? Neil Transpontine explores the different ways laws on sex, drugs, noise, property and subversion are used to constrain dancing in the UK and across the world.
Friday, 4. February 2011 – PARTY