CALL FOR AN INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT CAMPAIGN FOR THE LONG BEACH/SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ANARCHIST MOVEMENT
By Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
Recently I visited Los Angeles for a speaking tour, and learned of the harassment and frame-ups of Anarchists in Long Beach/Los Angeles county, California. It seems that repressive police And FBI terrorism is being used to crush the Anarchist movement there. During May Day protests against capitalism held in Long Beach, police without provocation attacked a street demonstration with brutal violence, arresting about 100 persons, and physically injuring several others. People were shot with rubber bullets, beaten with baton, and sprayed with chemical Mace.
One of those arrested, Robert Middaugh, was later railroaded to prison with a three year sentence for "assaulting" the one of police officers attacking the protesters. He is now in prison as an Anarchist political prisoner of the government at a California penitentiary.
Police justified the police riot by claiming protesters threw rocks, bottles, and other projectiles, and even feces at them, which has been proven to be a total lie. These attacks were unprovoked, and just designed to break up the demonstration and stifle the organizing of the Anarchist movement. They were political repression.
Since those protests last year, several other Anarchists have been arrested on bogus charges, and others have received numerous threats and harassment from the police, including constant visits to the Anarchist infoshop. A goon squad of cops have followed them at demonstrations, and tried to goad them to violence.
Yet, through it all they have continued to protest pig/stage repression. And they are now being supported by the Black community, especially folks who have witnessed or been the victims of police brutality. The Black community in not only Long Beach, but throughout L.A. county, has been subjected to police racist violence and police racial profiling.
Add to this the continuing FBI spying and the January arrest of Sherman A., founder of the radical website, RaisetheFist.com, then one can clearly see that the American government's police forces have singled out the Long Beach area as a test for how to crush the Anarchist movement in this period.
As has happened in the past, whenever Anarchism became a dangerous and potent political force, the government then engages in a policy of systematic political repression. This is similar to the FBI's COINTELPRO campaign against the 1960's Black Panther Party and New Left. They framed activists, set groups against each other to prevent joint support, and used massive violence to put down protests.
We must support these Anarchists, or they will be coming after us next. Today it's Long Beach and L.A., tomorrow it will be those of us in New York, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, or wherever Anarchists are organized. The new "anti-terrorist" laws give the government a strong hand to put down political dissent, but solidarity is our major weapon. We must support each other, and not allow government lies and misinformation lead us to inaction.
I am calling on the international Anarchist Black Cross movement, and Anarchists all over the world to support the Long Beach Anarchists, Sherman A., Robert Middaugh, and others caught up in the government's dragnet. We cannot let this repression go unchecked, and injury to one is an injury to all.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Send donation for legal defense of these Anarchists to: Long Beach Infoshop, 684 Redondo Avenue, Long Beach, CA. 90814-1453.
2. Send letters of complaint to Long Beach city and L.A. County officials demanding that they drop these prosecutions and end the harassment of Anarchists: Mayor Beverly O'Neil, 333 West Ocean Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA. 90802 e-mail: Mayor@ci.long-beach.ca.us; Tom Reaves, City Prosecutor also needs to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org for bring the misdemeanor charges, as does Steve Cooley, L.A. County District Attorney, who is bring the felony charges, email@example.com
3. Send letters of support for the victims of these frame-ups or this repression to: Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross, P.O. Box 3671, Anaheim, CA. 98203-3671 email: LA_blackcross@hotmail.com or Blackcross@disinfo.net
4. Spread the word on the case of the Long Beach Anarchists, and when the time comes for a mass solidarity protest (Day of Action) and a tribunal on police crimes, be ready to come there. (dates to be announced)
For more information on the Long Beach struggle, or to see pic(s) of the May 2001 police riot, plese go to: http://www.infoshop.com , http://www.StopLBRepression.org , http://www.RaisetheFist.com