We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

THE REAL TARGET

by Rafael Renteria Monday, Aug. 14, 2000 at 2:59 PM
renteria22@aol.com

The power structure's real fear is unity between those causing a "ruckus" on the streets and those on the bottom of society. Our job is to forge that unity, and not to let ourselves be distracted by the system's efforts to paint the overall movement that exposes them as "violent."

THE REAL TARGET,

by Rafael Renteria



LOS ANGELES 8/13 - According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, John Sellars of the Ruckus Society targetted fellow activists for criticism in a statement made after his release from an unjust arrest on several misdemanor charges - charges that led to an outrageous bail of one million dollars.

"It wasn't very hard to tell who was smashing glass out here last Tuesday", Sellars said, acccording to the Inquirer. "If they wanted to arrest those people, they would have arrested those people. They chose to target nonviolent protesters,organizers, and folks who were standing in the street in acts of conscience."

A careful look at this statement shows us several things we should avoid. The first is that it implies the police could have done a better job in picking their targets, and that those who may have broken windows were legitimate targets for arrest.

It goes on to say the police didn't want to arrest legitimate targets, but instead targetted "non-violent" protesters and leading organizers such as Sellars himself. It also says the police targetted "folks standing in the streets in acts of conscience." We can assume that by "acts of conscience" Sellars means acts of civil disobedience.

The implication is that, although civil disobedience is as illegal in the eyes of the state as any act of vandalism, that those who partake in it have a "conscience" and should not be arrested, while those who use other tactics have "no conscience," and should have been arrested.

We should be careful not to adopt this line of reasoning..

Its first error is that in pointing toward certain protesters as legitimate targets for arrest, it validates the propaganda of a power structure that labelled Seattle as a "riot", and legitimizes the very system of injustice - and its enforcers- that we are protesting.

.

Its second error is that comments of this kind allow the system to drive wedges more deeply between people who are fundamentally on the side of justice- people on the same side- and helps create an atmosphere where all of us are more vulnerable to attacks by the police and the state security apparatus.

Its third error is in failing to grasp the actual intent and interests of the state in targetting activists for arrest. The main concern of the state isn't broken windows, or even a couple of cops getting bruised.

The reason police targetted the "non-violent" protesters along with the more openly rebellious, is that All those whose intent is to disrupt and "cause a ruckus" at events like the conventions represent the principle and most immediate threat to the interests of the ruling powers. This point is driven home very clearly in an article from the corporate media published earlier on this site, called "The Sound and Fury..."

The powers that be have to account for and undercut the ability of protesters to shut down official activities, lest they lose credibility. The one area where they can't afford to lose credibility, where no state can afford to lose credibility, is in their power to exert social control through force. If people, especially those on the bottom, lose their awe of the power of the state, then anything is possible.

That's why they call it the Seattle "riot", even though only a property damage was utterly minimal. But it's in Los Angeles that the motives of the state are most clearly expressed. A story in Friday's LA Times entitiled "Shadow of 92 Riots Shapes LAPD Stance on Protests" reveals a little something about this outlook.

'While protesters facing police in coming days may be fighting what has been called the Battle of Los Angeles 2000, many officers including [LAPD Commander Tom] Lorenzen and his team will be trying to redeem the recent, calamitous history of the LAPD.'

'The 1992 riots were their Vietnam. They won't let it happen again. "I said then that if I'm ever in a position to change what went on there, I would," Lorenzen said. "Well, here I am."

Other ruling class spokesmen have openly worried that the protests against the DNC could spark another post Rodney King style rebellion.

Its not a situation for now where a relative handful of people moving a car or breaking a window is likely to lead to a wider rebellion, if that's all that were happening. But if massive police violence were unable to re-establish social control, like in Seattle, where the combined tactics of the Teamsters, turtles, direct action activists and "anarchists" overwhelmed the police, and if the tear gas and the outrage spread to areas like Pico Union, which is next door to the site of the Democrat's convention - and which was a focal point of the 92 rebellion - then the results are unpredictable.

It's mass direct action at this point that could practically serve as the linchpin for the unfolding of the ruler's most feared scenario, so participants in direct action are among the primary targets for arrest, along with those in organizations that have the deepest roots among oppressed groups and other "disrupters".

In these scenarios, as always, the fundamental targets of the police are the dispossesed, and in this situation it is through the arrests of activists- the most potentially disruptive activists - that leverage is applied to keep the oppressed in their place.

No amount of fingering or blaming anarchists and other rebels is going to change that, and we have to avoid the kinds of divisions that the police are trying to suck us into with their "violence" baiting, at all costs.

The real deal is this- it's good when we are attacked by our enemies, when they unjustly target and attack protesters - its what they do to the the poor and those of us from the oppressed nationalities every day. When they attack, it shows that the power structure hates and fears us, that we have drawn a sharp line between justice and injustice, a line they cannot bear to see drawn. It shows we have done our job in exposing the brutal nature of the system, and that we have stood firmly and proudly with the people on the bottom in the hope of a new and better world.

Report this post as:

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy