The Countdown Begins…

Our first ever public fund-raising campaign has now officially begun!

We got all of our ducks in a row over the last couple of days, and the project moved swiftly through the approval process at Indiegogo.com. Within the first 24 hours of “going live” we have already received a greatly encouraging response from the community and by day #2 we are already the most “successful” anarchist film project ever to be crowdfunded on that particular website!

And that’s saying something; because this film project is (without a doubt) also the most ambitious & expansive of any similar undertaking ever proposed via Indiegogo’s fund-raising platform.

Where others have tried, and not been as successful as they had hoped, we’re already seeing success above & beyond even our most optimistic expectations. Which means some “thanks!” are already in order.

We especially would like to thank the project’s “early adopters”, who demonstrated a great deal of faith in us by making generous donations even as we’re still working to finish & polish the website for this project (i.e., the website that you’re reading right now)…  we’d like to thank Noam Chomsky, Mark Achbar, Carol Brouillet, Yoni Laos, and all of the anonymous donors who contributed to the project within just the first two days of its appearance at Indiegogo.com. It is very gratifying to have others recognizing the potential in the promise of a project that is yet to be realized; and after this experience it is not surprising why crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter continue to grow exponentially (in spite of economic decline around the world.)

We still have quite a long way to go before reaching our ideal goal for this fund-raiser, and there is still plenty of time for others to contribute. In the coming days & weeks we will likely be adding some more personalized ‘perks’ for financial contributors (all of which can be applied retroactively, for those who have already contributed)… So keep checking back to see how the fund-raising effort is progressing and what exciting new developments may be happening on that front.

Again, thanks to everyone who has already helped to get this project underway… and, if you haven’t done so yet, please check out our campaign on Indiegogo.com — where you can learn more about the film series and see additional comments & questions from several of those early contributors. If you’re feeling generous, every little bit will help us along toward our goal, and no amount is too small to qualify you to receive the ultimate ‘perk’ in the form of the finished project… since our intention is to release it free to the commons as soon as each installment in the documentary series is complete.

Thanks to EVERYONE who has already shown an interest in turning this idea into a reality.

*gasparin

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Young Persons Called to Private Grand Jury for Owning Books

Just a few weeks ago, an FBI task force raided a home* in Portland, Oregon very early in the morning. They broke down the front door with a battering ram and threw in a stun grenade, which is non-lethal but produces a very loud and disorienting noise and a blinding bright light. The team locked down the building and secured the sleepy, compliant occupants. The operation was one of several which also occurred in Olympia, WA and Seattle, WA, involving some 60-80 officers.

Just who were these dangerous criminals, these domestic terrorists whose threat level is so high that an FBI team with stun grenades, battering rams, and assault rifles needed to burst into their homes in the wee hours of the morning?

Why, it’s these two young folks,

Leah-Lynn Plante:

and Matt Duran:

Reportedly, the FBI search warrant was for black clothing, paint, sticks, computers and cell phones, and ‘anarchist materials or literature.’ According to an FBI Domestic Terrorism guide published by greenisthenewred.com, “anarchists are criminals seeking an ideology to justify their actions,” and are “not dedicated to a particular issue.” Common meeting places are “college campuses, underground clubs, coffee houses/ internet cafes.” The implication is that owning “anarchist” literature is enough to indicate to the FBI that one is a criminal – even if that person happens to be a student studying political thought. Or maybe particularly if you are a student – the FBI document states that anarchists are “educated persons of various backgrounds, often students.” Continue reading

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The `Anarchist Menace’ — Past and Present

Anarchist searched by police -- image from National Archives
New York City police search a suspected anarchist after the Union Square bombing, 1908. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

 

(From Bloomberg)

 
In Chicago on May 19, three men described by police as “self-proclaimed anarchists” were detained for stockpiling Molotov cocktails and conspiring to attack President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters and other targets.

During the following weekend’s anti-NATO protests, scores of demonstrators — many of them clad in black and connected with anarchist factions — were arrested for participating in militant confrontations with Chicago police.

The incidents seemed to be part of an unexpected trend. On Nov. 3, after vandalism and violence broke out following an Occupy Wall Street demonstration, Oakland’s interim police chief described some of the protesters as “generally anarchists and provocateurs.” On May 1, five men were arrested in Ohio for allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland. FBI spokesmen announced that they had foiled an “anarchist” plot.

For almost a century, anarchism has been a forgotten creed. But with the rise of the anti-globalization movement and Occupy Wall Street, the iconic figure of the bomb-throwing anarchist appears to be making a revival. And the response of police and prosecutors to this alleged new threat has some unfortunate historical parallels.

Few cultural signifiers have lasted as long, or have justified so many desperate actions, as the image of the anarchist. Opponents of governmental power, anarchists advocated a type of socialism based on individual autonomy and democratic decision making. Considered bestial, insane, desperate and implacable, the bomb-throwing radical was a bugbear as familiar to fin-de-siecle Americans as the turbaned terrorist is today. Since the 19th century, anarchism has usually been equated with transgression and chaos. If anarchists were criminal by nature, then it followed that they were also criminal in fact. Such simplistic blurring facilitated numerous repressions in the past. And it is just as dangerous now. Continue reading

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UK anti-terrorist police detain Anarchist Federation member

UK anti-terrorist police detain Anarchist Federation member

Two anarchists returning to the UK from a conference in Switzerland were detained, denied a solicitor and interrogated by counter-terrorist officers.

 

For the past week, thousands of anarchists from across the world have been converging in St.Imier, Switzerland to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist international. The gathering took the form of a festival and educational, with music, films and entertainment as well as workshops and discussions.

On returning from the St Imier gathering, two anarchists, one a member of the UK Anarchist Federation, were detained for nearly two hours at Heathrow by SO15 (counter-terrorist) intelligence who initially refused to identify themselves to the detainees. During the detention, the anarchists were told that their normal rights did not apply, and had their names, addresses, email addresses, DNA, photographs and fingerprints taken. The detained anarchists were also forced to sign forms – which may or may not be legal – waiving their rights to silence and a solicitor. Police also conducted a thorough search of personal possessions, photocopied literature and passports and took information from phones and cameras. Continue reading

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