On December 10th, 2014, the ambiguous multitudes of the Counterforce found themselves at the gates of UC Berkeley waiting for the fifth night of protests to begin. For the past weeks, the many cities of the Bay Area have been engulfed in an upheaval against the police and the racist, capitalist order they maintain. As we all know, the police are the dogs of the ruling class and serve as punching bags for the public to hit when angered. Unfortunately for the ruling class, these punching bags have egos, emotions, and psychoses that cannot be contained and sometimes overflow. The police have been given free reign to terrorize us all for centuries and are accustomed to murdering with impunity, spreading lies to the public, and engaging in every manner of criminal enterprise, just as lower classes have always known. The ruling class has no choice but to allow the various police brotherhoods their sick powers in exchange for maintaining capitalist order. But now that the police have grown out of control and are creating disorder, the ruling class is seeking to replace them. The only problem is that the robots are not quite ready yet.
Given the current situation, we found it opportune to direct the current energy away from the punching bags for just a moment and aim for the tip of the pyramid. Everyone was in their proper place, at precisely the right time, and with no anticipation of the other. When the march began we turned away from the common routes that had recently delivered us to downtown Berkeley or Oakland. Instead we traveled into the campus itself and stormed Wheeler Hall, the site of a recent occupation by Cal students in protest of new tuition hikes. When we arrived, we found tables filled with Peter Thiel's new book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. This despicable book was described by Forbes as “worth reading in the same way a triple espresso is worth drinking: It makes you feel superhuman, at least temporarily.” The book deals with such repulsive concepts such as “creative monopolism” and strives to justify his new techno-capitalism.
Besides writing this corporatist drivel for the public, Thiel also happens to be chairman of Palantir Technologies, a smart little tech company that designs software that helps the rulers of the world gather more data on their subjects. One of the initial co-founders of Palantir just so happened to be the CIA. They were very interested in the data-gathering capabilities of Palantir software, and gave them a modest $2,000,000 to get started. Their little investment paid off big and soon enough even the FBI and the NSA were on board with all the new gadgets. Once the US military began to use Palantir software, it quickly earned the name “the killer app” for its ability to help liquidate enemy targets.
While the FBI is given smaller data sets and have limited mandates, the NSA has access to big data on billions of people and a seemingly unlimited mandate. With their Palantir technology (and the help of Google), the NSA has mapped nearly everything in the open network and continues to do so to the best of its ability. Peter Thiel knows full well what his company does for the world and still he had no qualms accepting an invitation to speak to a room full of students. These young Republicans and aspiring technocrats listened in awe as Thiel sermonized them and without a doubt would have engaged in a rhapsodic Q&A session had there not been a sudden disruption.
There we were, all in the same room, and it had been so long since the lay lines and crosswinds of the world collided in such harmony. The right people were patiently waiting in the audience for the right moment, the right people were outside, and the oak trees themselves seemed to be with us. We blew into Wheeler and tore a handle off the auditorium door before quickly deciding to favor the Chancellor's house with a kindly visit. Once the guard dogs of the UCPD began to shove people with their sticks in front of Chancellor's front steps, we were determined to go back to Wheeler Hall and shut down the psychopath in the auditorium. Various people informed the crowd of who was in there, what he was responsible for, and by the time we all arrived, everyone knew to go straight to the top of the pyramid and not mince words. The crowd collided with the doors of the auditorium, some holding them open while others crowd surfed over the heads of the event staff into the auditorium. Just then, a member of the audience stood up and delivered these simple words to Peter Thiel: “Fuck you!”
Shortly after that, the deluge began. We flooded into their tranquil cesspool and disrupted the idolatry of a man who embodies technological evil. Despite the clear purpose behind the march, the crowd of young students began to boo at the intruders. Finding this to be despicable behavior, we all went into various frenzies against the spectators, denouncing them for being the little fascists-in-training that they were. The day after the CIA torture report was released, these monsters in the audience had the nerve to condemn a march against police terrorism. Peter Thiel definitively helps the CIA do what they do best, although it was not clear if the audience knew this. While Thiel willingly enables documented torturers in their deeds, he also fancies himself some sort of techno-philosopher and prattles on endlessly about this new world of anal torture and smart phones.
To paint of a picture of his bleak worldview, Peter Thiel made his first investment into a start-up called Facebook just as the US began its brutal assault on the city of Fallujah, Iraq in April, 2004. After the execution of several Blackwater operatives, a brigadier general in charge of US operations in Iraq promised to quickly pacify the city in retribution for the killings. Thousands of troops encircled the city, erected concertina wire around its perimeter, and watched with glee as bombs fell on insurgent buildings. Although the siege lasted a month, the US was unable to fully pacify the city. They tried again in November, 2004, and after bombardments of white phosphorous and the death of thousands of vicilians, the city finally fell to the US. Meanwhile, back in Silicon Valley, the groundwork was being laid for a surveillance apparatus that would include the NSA, Palantir, Google, and Facebook. In August, 2004, when Thiel bought a 10.5% of Facebook, he did so with a clear ambition: to know everything in the world. There are now 2,000,000,000 people in the global network who are feeding data to this surveillance apparatus and willingly reporting their every move and emotion.
When we stormed into the Wheeler auditorium, the crowd immediately took out their smartphones and began to film us. It was only after large amounts of water had been spilled on the stage that the crowd began to boo. Thiel silently scurried away and gathered his belongings like their was a fire under his butt. On his way out of the auditorium he kindly took the time to call one of us an idiot. Once this scumbag had been carried away by his security team, the crowd started to chant “Peter Thiel matters!” in reference to the chant “black lives matter!”. This was so disturbing that one of us began to scream, “Do you like dead black people? Do do like police murder? Do you like it when cops kill innocent black people?” That seemed to shut them up, given that many of them were 19 years old straight out of the suburban McMansion. The crowd stopped booing just as the chant “black lives matter” took hold of the room. Although they would not realize this until the the day after, the students who came to see Peter Thiel revealed their ignorance and racism to the whole world by chanting for the protestors to “go home!” But we had the last laugh. The organizers panicked and asked the audience to kindly go home, given the event was completely ruined. Before these sad technophiles could all leave the auditorium, we were away on our long journey to Oakland.
Let it be said that our course down Telegraph was filled with joy, laughter, honking, weed, alcohol, smoke, sage, revelry, and light. We enjoy life very much, and the moments we spent on the march were a blessing beyond anything Thiel will ever know. We moved as one, unified and comradely, a perfectly amicable and pleasant procession that even included a motorcycle and two cars. When we arrived at Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland, black youth began to smash the nearby Chase bank windows because, in their own words, they “just don't give a fuck.” As we went along, dozens of people decided to smash in and then loot a T-Mobile. The smartphones and tablets they were meant to spend their wages on were quickly snatched up and carried away to better use. In the end, it all amounts to insured commodities that will be replaced tomorrow, more smartphones in circulation, more data in the network, and as luck would have it, more money in the pockets of those who need it the most. We are neutral on the matter, but as the capitalists are so fond of saying, you have to give the people what they want.
After this expropriation of digital technology, we all drifted towards Lake Merritt and found ourselves in front of the Whole Foods. As if on cue, two large men wearing ski masks appeared out of nowhere and entered the crowd. They were quickly exposed as undercover police officers and repeatedly told to leave the protest. They had clearly come to wrong place. Knowing how fond Oakland is of Whole Foods, it is likely the police were waiting for some sort of looting to occur. Instead, someone snatched off one of the cops mask and hat, revealing him to these. Someone else tried to unmask the second cop, but the cop panicked, spun around, and lost site of the person who took his mask. When he came to, the cop immediately tackled the nearest person, a young black man just standing there. The undercover took the man to the ground while his white partner took out a collapsible metal rod and threatened the crowd. When no one stopped yelling, he took out his pistol with a shaking hand and pointed it at several people. People told him to put the gun down and let the young man go. While all of this was occurring, over 100 uniformed cops sat one block away, waiting for something. Whatever it was, they were late, because we all stared down the barrel of a gun for a few endless moments before the riot police arrived.
Two people were arrested during the last hours of December 10th, 2014. Their charges are unknown at the time of this writing. It has been revealed by the mainstream media that the two undercovers were some sort of rouge California Highway Patrol unit. The Oakland Police Department was quick to deny any involvement, and directed the media to the Highway Patrol. At the time of this writing, they have not issued a formal statement on the matter. A Reuters journalist happened to be on the streets that night, and he captured a terrifying image of the cop pointing his gun directly at the camera. In one picture, this photographer revealed the dictatorship we live under every single day.
While Peter Thiel and the CIA pontificate within their cocoons of capital and data, the rest of us live under threat of police violence, economic warfare, and endless poverty. The population that generates Thiel's wealth does not realize they are being manipulated, nor do they fully understand the implications of entities such as Facebook, Palantir, and the NSA. We are literally being shot and killed, imprisoned and tortured, robbed and crippled. Over 2,000,000 people currently live in prisons and jails, tens of millions of others live in perpetual poverty, and everyone else above them is quickly sinking. The only thing standing between us and freedom are the police and their capitalist masters. Without them, we could expropriate what we need to survive and end this destructive and murderous order that threatens to bring us and the planet down with it.
These people are now trying to flee the earth they have poisoned. Thiel and his buddy Elon Musk await the day when they can fly off to the moon in a posh space shuttle, leaving us all here to work, toil, and sweat for their utopia. But we will not let them leave. As Eric Garner said shortly before his death, this all stops today. The rebellion is now irreversible, and even the most sophisticated algorithm will be unable to find any links, correlations, or logic within the structure of these nomadic bands that drift across the capitalist landscape, doing what they please for once in a world that restricts them at every turn. For weeks now, highways have been paralyzed, commerce suspended, millions of dollars wasted on police, and general disorder reigns on the streets. No one is in control of this rebellion, as we promised, and even the best analysts have no idea of what is coming next.
We simply wished to tell you a single story from this rebellion, not to predict the future. Now that we are done telling it, we want to leave you with one final image. It is the shape of our rebellion, captured in a digital image, forced to take some shape within this world of straight lines and bright lights. Our rebellion inhabits the dark areas, the free zones that open up when capitalist normality is disrupted. It is here that we have found each other, and it is through here that we will now depart.