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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons

McDonalds' Surveillance Cameras Stolen
by anonymous
Monday Oct 20th, 2008 2:03 PM
On October 18th both exterior surveillance cameras at the McDonalds on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz were stolen in a follow-up to the action in August. This time the cameras were removed and disposed of.
McDonalds is a major sponsor of the 2010 Winter Olympics which are flooding the city of Vancouver with increased surveillance and police presence (and invading native lands that have never been surrendered with rapacious corporate development and profiteering). Our enemy has technological eyes everywhere, but that only means that it is easier to gouge them out anywhere.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by yessss
Monday Oct 20th, 2008 3:07 PM
thank you too all you brave people who do this, you give me hope and more importantly motivation
by Rob
Monday Oct 20th, 2008 5:52 PM
You do realize that all this means is that the burger people will buy new cameras and not even blink. The security camera companies are the only ones who benefit from this.
by felis
Monday Oct 20th, 2008 7:08 PM
The "burger people" will indeed blink. Stealing or breaking surveillance cameras is an obvious rejection of the ideology of social control that they represent. The cameras are meant to instill fear and compliance. I think it is a beautiful thing when people refuse to be cowed and strike back at these intrusive technologies.

The only problem I see in this kind of activity is that more people don't follow suit. Is this a problem we could solve?
by ~Bradley
( bradley [at] riseup.net ) Monday Oct 20th, 2008 8:08 PM
mcdonalds-ocean_10-20-08.jpg
mcdonalds-ocean_10-20-08....

This photo of the McDonald's on Ocean Street, taken on October 20th, shows what appears to be a camera mount with cut wires and a missing surveillance camera. Red lines are drawn from the camera's location to a larger photo of the camera mount.

Workers at the McDonald's on Ocean Street confirmed that cameras were stolen on Saturday and that this was the second incident. It was also stated that the cameras will be replaced, probably tomorrow, and that the McDonald's Corporation will be paying for it.
by sc4life
Monday Oct 20th, 2008 8:36 PM
thank y'all so much

solidarity with native peoples
by SCP
Tuesday Oct 21st, 2008 6:25 AM
good work

Surveillance Camera Players

http://www.notbored.org/the-scp.html
by ronald mcdonald
Tuesday Oct 21st, 2008 7:57 PM
enough is enough! leave me alone you assholes. im just tryin to run a business here. i know struggle, i used to be a fucking clown for god's sake... all im trying to do is feed the world... with highly subsidized and chemically treated animal products, is that so wrong? i dont care what you say, i know you anarchists still love my mcapple pies
by Mickey D
Tuesday Oct 21st, 2008 8:02 PM
This appears to be the work of the Hamburgerlar.
by Becky Johnson
( becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday Oct 22nd, 2008 12:20 PM
This is a stupid action. McDonald's is not "spying" on its customers. It is simply responsible for policing what occurs on its property. Surveillance tapes are also used as evidence when a crime occurs on their property.

McDonald's can reasonably held accountable for paying low wages, serving unhealthy food, for burning down the rain forest, and for discrimination against homeless people using their facilities, but for HAVING working surveillance cameras? No.

Burglars STOLE property and caused DAMAGE. There is no moral high ground here. Their insurance will pay for it. The costs will be passed on to customers.
by (a)
Wednesday Oct 22nd, 2008 2:06 PM
Becky, far lousier than stealing the cameras is your critique. With the all-watching eyes of the surveillance state creeping into every public and private space, how can you defend this faceless and heartless corporation? Your allegiance to private property and capitalism are more than obvious. Your priority of capital over freedom is how those who carried out this action stand apart from loyalists like you. Some have broken the chains of the ideology of capital, and that should be celebrated.

There are some who are afraid to act so directly, but they will find their courage. The more actions like these that happen, the more people will see how easy they are to carry out. More and more, people disenfranchised in our society will act in ways you would deem 'criminal' to attack the system that shackles them. Maybe they will publicize what they did (like this action), maybe not. Maybe you'll just be walking down the street and see the effects of what happens when people aren't afraid to act anymore. Actions like these are already more common than they were a year ago in Santa Cruz.

Then there are some (like you) who have something to lose when those lower on the hierarchy attack the property of those higher up. Maybe you feel threatened because an attack on surveillance cameras blinds, if just momentarily, part of the capital (to which you are appearantly allegiant), thus making it vulnerable. Perhaps the 'unmanageable' elements in our society are tired of being controlled, of being watched, of being on the bottom of the hierarchy. Perhaps they're tired of the hierarchy itself! But professional activists like yourself do have something to fear when political action defies the 'rules' you've set for it. You become irrelevant.

The more cameras are destroyed, the easier the rest of us will breathe.
by makes me wanna puke
Wednesday Oct 22nd, 2008 8:27 PM
...more than eating at CrapDonalds.

Look, you wanna play "fight the power" and take an easy route like stealing a MickeyD's camera? Go for it.

But to try to raise it's relevancy by proclaiming it a strike action that supports First Nation people's in Canada, and link it to that?

Laughable.


Doing it is bad enough. Thinking that by responding with a post of "in solidarity with native peoples" changes the fact that you're still one of the oppressors squatting on their land? Worse still.

Pitiful "activism".


by Becky Johnson
( becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com ) Thursday Oct 23rd, 2008 7:02 AM
(a) WRITES: "With the all-watching eyes of the surveillance state creeping into every public and private space, how can you defend this faceless and heartless corporation? Your allegiance to private property and capitalism are more than obvious. Your priority of capital over freedom is how those who carried out this action stand apart from loyalists like you."

BECKY: I am neither a pro-capitalist nor pro-socialist. I think a well-regulated capitalist system with a social safety net is the best system for the people who live here. I know that there is a litmus test for Indybay monitors that requires them to be "anti-capitalist" but I'm sure they buy things at stores all the time. I think this test is wrong.

Capitalism allows for goods and services to be available to the public without government expense other than regulation.

Nor am I pro-McDonalds. If you re-read my post, you see that I do hold them accountable for serving unhealthy food, paying low wages, and for rain-forest destruction. I also recalled that that particular store had a problem with prohibiting some homeless people from using the bathroom. So you can't say I'm "defending this faceless, heartless corporation." I didn't.

But I do NOT have a problem with private surveillance cameras located on the property of McDonald's or any other retail outlet. Thanks to technology, a smaller workforce can oversee and control the entire site better. I expect businesses to control their sites.

I don't want to get beat up in the parking lot or have my car burgled while I'm there. McDonald's can't have carloads of teenagers there drinking beer on the property either. They have an obligation to police their own grounds.

This "action" was just theft. The person(s) who stole the cameras are common thieves and should be rebuked. All they have done is drive up the operating costs!!

Nor is McDonald's unusual in having surveillance cameras. Most businesses have them to catch shoplifters and employee theft. These tapes are kept about 2 weeks and then recorded over again in most cases. I just don't see what you call the "creeping surveillance state" as justifying THEFT!!

Pointless. Stupid. Criminal. Unjustified.

I prefer the freedom of not getting mugged or burglarized to any "freedom" from not being seen by a private security camera.
by pdog
Friday Oct 24th, 2008 10:55 AM
With the huge amount of these acts of theft and property damage going on in Santa Cruz recently, how have the police not solved this yet? This is becoming a major outbreak of crime in Santa Cruz. C'mon SC cops, get to it!
by Thomas Leavitt
( thomas [at] thomasleavitt.org ) Sunday Oct 26th, 2008 8:47 AM
I'm not going to defend McDonald's at any level. I wouldn't mind if they wound up being driven out of business (although this isn't going to do it). They represent everything that is wrong and dysfunctional about the corporate business model. They sell death, deskilled low wage jobs and environmental destruction in a tasty package. But...

If you're going to pursue this direct action, then it needs to be done in a smart and politically effective manner... one example is sticking "This Insults Women" stickers (or spray painting it) on public media images that degrade women. Make a direct connection between the action and the political aim. Do something visually arresting and theatrical... and, in the overall scheme of things, pick something significant to protest about. There's a lot more directly relevant things to protest about, relative to what McDonald's does, than security cameras.

Trying to connect destroying security cameras at McDonald's to the surveillance state being established in Vancouver is hardly credible... the politicians in charge there aren't going to be influenced at all by this action taking place in a small part of another country and McDonald's certainly isn't going to withdraw their sponsorship or lobby for less security to be put into place. As long as this is an isolated action, the media isn't going to cover this as a rebellion against the nascent surveillance state, or do anything to communicate your message to the larger public. This will be a cops and courts item, at best.

As well, you need a public spokesperson with some media saavy, to communicate your message (ala ALF, ELF, etc.), as well as a manifesto and a stated set of goals and ethical framework. None of these elements are in place here.

Furthermore, what you're going to do here is provoke them to install a more sophisticated security system that is not easily detected as such. They'll leave up the visible "security cameras", but not actually have them hooked up to anything, and instead use dozens of small wireless cameras spread all over the lot. If they're not already doing that.
by Willis
Sunday Oct 26th, 2008 3:17 PM
The truth is that a lot of drug dealing takes place at that McDonalds. Without the cameras, that gives the drug dealers a free market for a day or two. This is not a "politically motivated action." It is vandalism designed to allow drugs to be sold so that the sellers don't get caught.
by no majesty's ship
Sunday Oct 26th, 2008 7:05 PM
"I prefer the freedom of not getting mugged or burglarized to any "freedom" from not being seen by a private security camera. "

The problem with this statement is that security cameras do not prevent crime. Over and over again, security cameras have failed at decreasing petty crime or increasing "safety". In the most glaring example, thousands of cameras were installed in London and crime levels did not decrease.
"Security" is a myth. A better way to ensure a safer, less violent world is to work towards the elimination of poverty, alienation, racism, and the other root causes of violence.
Perhaps not coincidentally, security cameras reinforce poverty, alienation, and racism. Suspects are profiled based on perceived class and race (as cameras chiefly capture an individuals APPEARANCE), and make people feel continually monitored and untrustworthy. The effects of cameras and surveillance are certainly not productive of community, which is what we need more of.

Surveillance cameras protect undeserved privilege and gross difference in wealth. They serve no other purpose, except helping capture the occasional sexual assaulter, who wouldn't even exist in a society not based on coercion and hierarchy.

At absolute best, security cameras are a symptomatic treatment of social ills. At worst, they reveal the increased privatization and militarization of social space, while reinforcing social hierarchy. Either way they're not a solution to anything.
by They will cower!
Friday Oct 31st, 2008 12:18 AM
"The "burger people" will indeed blink. Stealing or breaking surveillance cameras is an obvious rejection of the ideology of social control that they represent. The cameras are meant to instill fear and compliance. I think it is a beautiful thing when people refuse to be cowed and strike back at these intrusive technologies. "

Social control? They don't control anything... There's nothing a security camera will deter you from doing that isn't already illegal...

"The only problem I see in this kind of activity is that more people don't follow suit. Is this a problem we could solve? "

Not likely, your view that vandalism is an acceptable method of coercing others is not one shared by the majority. But keep it up, you'll ultimately piss people off enough that something might be done about it. At this point the damage you cause is so insignificant it hasn't yet warranted any coordinated response.

Why?

Because no one cares about your infantile acts.

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