The Los Angeles Times today reports the arrests of some 13 activists, apparently anarchists, who are being held for police "questioning".
Their "crime"? "Trespassing" Clearly the focus of the questions won't be how they may have entered a building on Melrose Avenue to "squat." LAPD spokesman Lt. Horace Frank spelled out the cop's real concern this way. He said officers found "anti-establishment, anti-police, anti-FBI and anti-big business literature," according to the Times.
"We don't know what they were planning to do," Frank said. "They
indicated that they are anarchists and that they are here for the convention."
"We have to take them seriously. If nothing happens, nothing happens" , he said.
The Times story reflects the same concerns. It's not 'til the bottom of the report that the actual charges against the 13 are noted.
The rest of the report is focused on creating a negative picture of the activists. It makes a point to note that they were sleeping on the floor, that a number of other occupants of the building ran, escaping arrest, that their were juveniles with adults and that the adults lacked proper indentification.
Their papers were not in order. They were deviants who possesed printed materials that slandered the state and state security services. Sound familiar? All too familiar?
The media demonizes activists and ESPECIALLY anarchists. They will do it before, during and after the protests. We, as anarch-tivists must put out a human image of ourselves out in the media as much as we can. We MUSTassert our position and our presence in the public mind as much as we can PRIOR the protest. That means NOW. The more they can marginalize us the more they can hurt us and get away with it. It serves us to aggressively fight for representation in the media. Yes, I know - the media sucks ass and generally we have nothing but contempt for the institution - but TRY and do something. Press releases, position papers, editorials, etc... especially in the LA weekly,and whatever possible sympathetic news outlets exist, but ENGAGE the mainstream as well. I'm not suggesting we have high expectations or hopes about the outcome of such a p.r effort, but we really do want to represent ourselves on OUR TERMS as much as possible, to COUNTER such demonization tactics, if for no other reason, then for personal safety issues. I think because of all the sensationalism around anarchists in the media post-WTO, that you might actually get a receptive ear here and there - if for no other reason than papers look for interesting stories. And besides, it's always good to articulate the anarchist vision of the world we want to live in - at every opportunity, and put our criticism of the DNC and RNC out there... GO Go Go!