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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Animal Liberation
Southern California Anarchists Hit Again By Repression
Southern California Anarchists in Need of Help, Jail Support Calls, and Solidarity!
Support Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians of Southern California Facing Government Harassment! Stop the arrests! Free all Prisoners!
On the weekend of May 15-16, various anarchist, earth and animal liberation, and anti-authoritarian groups converged in LA for “Liberation Weekend”. The first day featured groups ranging from animal liberation like Compassion for Farm Animals (http://www.vegsandiego.com), and SHAC (http://www.shacamerica.net), radical environmental groups like Orange Country Earth First!(http://www.ocproject.org/earthfirst/), anarchist/anti-authoritarian groups like LA Anti-Racist Action (LA-ARA) and Food Not Bombs, and revolutionary political groups like Arissa (http://www.arissa.org). The speakers included Rod Coronado, former ALF activist and political prisoner, Leslie P., former spokesperson for the ELF, and Kevin Jonas, director of the SHAC campaign. The following day was to also include a meeting and planning session for the newly formed Southern California Anarchist Federation (http://www.anarchistfederation.org/) which included collectives from San Diego to the Antelope Valley (http://www.geocities.com/autonomousvalley).
In the wake of various large scale Earth and Animal Liberation actions that occurred largely in Southern California (http://www.directaction.info, http://www.earthliberationfront.com), the FBI and local law enforcement seemed itching at the chance to suppress activists in Southern California. David A., from CFA (Compassion for Farm Animals) remarked on the conference:
“Yesterday L.A. activists hosted Liberation Weekend, a conference devoted to promoting activism that breaks the stale useless confines mass mobilization ad nuseum . Meant to provide information about the various militant struggles that go beyond protest and begging the system to end itself, the conference had a variety of speakers including members of Earth First!, SHAC and was organized by members of SCAF (So-Cal Anarchist Federation). Headlined by indigenous earth first warrior Rod Coronado, [who] last year spoke here in San Diego, and two homes of activists were raided by FBI, ATF and “Department of Homeland Security” agents.
We believe the harassment occurred to silence Rod’s voice from inspiring all who hear his message of militant resistance. Just as the FBI targeted the black and native America activists in the 60’s and 70 LA, animal-rights and radical environmentalists are the being targeted this weekend…today! The organizers of the conference expected harassment but imagine our surprise that the harassment begun already.”
Following the end of the conference, police moved in on various individuals, made several arrests, and began following various people. David goes on to write about the various people and groups being harassed:
“Nic H., a LA based animal liberation activist (who is not a conference organizer), has noticed that he has been followed since Friday. Yesterday, after confronting the under covers, he was arrested. Nik was released and came to the conference but was never even told what he was being charged with. He was followed home from the conference, and he went to a friends home that was also [near] the conference. 4 unmarked cars remained stationed out side of the activist home until 3:30 am. Some of the cars had Nevada plates. Nik is still at a loss why he is being targeted. For more info you can write nik [at] nocompromise.org
Details are still coming in, but appears members of LA Food Not Bombs were also followed. Melissa of SCAF is being followed as I write this by 4 cars. Activist Rob “ruckus” Middugh has been arrested by federal agents, charges unknown.”
Melissa, a organizer for the event, and member of SCAF, wrote this on LA-IMC (la.indymedia.org), about the harassment she received right after the conference was finished:
“The current situation with me is: I'm safe at the house of a member of the
NLG but there are still vehicles surrounding the house. After dropping off
Liberation Weekend speakers, members of SCAF headed down to OC for the gathering. We were being followed by 4 vehicles, and because we didn't have a safe place to go, we hung out at ‘Native Foods’ - we had two attorneys with us. After we left, we were immediately pulled over by police- 7 cars & a helicopter. They arrested most everyone inside for not wearing seat belts (they also searched my car)- there were 8 of us total. I was told that I did not have the right to consult with an attorney, and they ripped my cell phone away as I tried to call one of them. 5 were taken to the station and released due to jail solidarity. We were still being followed, and after taking most [everyone] home, there were only two of us left but now we were being followed by 7 cars. Close to my friends house we were ordered to pull over by the FBI. They ordered us out of my car and identified themselves as FBI. They told me there were ALF signs in my car, (that the deputy "noticed" during the illegal search), there were none in my car. They asked me about propane tanks I had used for camping. They asked me about a brown jar with liquid - there is none. Finally they asked me about ELF & ALF. Several other
activists were followed and harassed this weekend. All entrances to Hart
park, where the SCAF meeting was set to take place, were blocked off. We’ll
keep people posted, support for everyone involved is needed and much
Also targeted was Robert M. (http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=01/11/16/6316462), who was recentally out of jail after two years for throwing a bottle of soda at a police officer during the famous May Day police riot in Long Beach in 2001, (http://la.indymedia.org/news/2001/05/6466.php). He was apperentally charged with violating his parole by going outside of his area without telling his parole officer, and has spent several days in jail.
Animal Liberation activists from Oakland were also targeted, and we stopped while going over the Grapvine, and asked if they were going to the conference.
In San Diego, members of Compassion for Farms Animals also had their homes raided and were visited by FBI agents once again. In what seemed like a repeat of the harassment that happened last year in the wake of the ELF attacks in San Diego.
The harassment continued into the next day as well, and according to the SCAF website, the FBI made it clear that they did not want anarchists organizing in LA:
“The first SCAF meeting that was to take place on Sunday May 16th at Hart Park in Orange County has been delayed due to state repression. All of the roads that lead to the park were blocked off. People who got around the road blocks found a black SUV with tinted windows parked in the middle of the park, identical to the black SUV's that have been following multiple activists around all weekend. They're trying to stop us early on because once we organize, they will be powerless against us! We'll post more about this along with pictures of some of the FBI agents.”
Repeatedly the FBI and government agents said to various revolutionaries during their harassment, that they should “lay low”, and that property destruction and violence was no way to further a cause. While it is totally laughable that the US GOVERNMENT would state that VIOLENCE is never away to achieve anything, we have to 1.) Be aware that our militant activism is being seen as effective, and 2.) That there will also be very real repression against us now, and in the future. Just as in the same way that FBI and local police came in a totally destroyed the Long Beach anarchist scene, imprisoning Sherman Austin, Matt L., and others, shutting down the REACH Center, Copwatch and Food Not Bombs, this same thing will also play out in LA if we are not aware of what’s going on, and offer our help. As David of CFA stated, the harassment being lodged at activists in the Southern California area isn’t going to go away, and it isn’t going to stop. The only way it’s going to stop is if Southern California anarchists stop being active and stop fighting, which is not an option, or if we increase the pressure, show solidarity, and work harder to back each other up!
Action!: Call the jail that is housing Rob M., and demand that he be released! The number of the jail is: 909-955-2400 . His booking number is “200420258”. For more info email: hello_3500 [at] yahoo.com . (Take from la.indymedia.org). Various SCAF members are also currentaly working on conducting a press conference, and some various workshops/teach-ins. Keep up to date by visiting: http://www.anarchistfederation.org
Network! Help! Solidarity!: Please visit this thread on the SCAF website, and talk with Federation members about how you can help. View at: http://www.smokescreenprinting.net/scaf/viewtopic.php?t=35