Monday, October 31, 2016

Natives and Drinking Water Under Attack in North Dakota

Standing Rock, North Dakota, U.S. - A large force of militarized police, mainly employing clubs and less deadly weapons such sound cannons, chemical irritants, etc. attacked an indigenous camp in the path of a corporate pipeline. Police on ATVs targeted natives on horseback with rubber bullets and less lethal explosives leading to the death of one horse. Police who had to be brought in from a number of neighboring states, were backed up by National Guard troops.

Last Thursday an armed employee of the Dakota Access, the company behind the planned $3.7 billion, pipeline, was caught attempting infiltrate the water protector's camp. Over the weekend a mysterious brush fire was set in the vicinity of the camp. It's believed that the fire was set by employees of the company.

More than 200 water defenders have been arrested over the last few days and sent to jails throughout the state. The struggle to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and defend the water that could easily be contaminated by a leaking pipeline, continues and calls have gone out for supporters to join the ongoing camps and to plan and execute solidarity actions in other locations.

For those interested in joining the struggle in North Dakota please visit these sites for more information:

Recent solidarity actions have targeted some of the banks funding the pipeline project such as TD Bank in Montreal and CitiBank Headquarters in San Francisco. In Brooklyn, NY, indigenous youth brought pressure to wannabe president Hillary Clinton by taking over the lobby of her campaign headquarters and erecting a teepee. Apparently oil pipelines, which frequently rupture destroying eco-systems and water supplies, are also easy to safely disrupt.

In August, and again just a few weeks ago, a series of suspicious fires left a number of bulldozers, backhoes, and other heavy equipment used to construct the pipeline inoperable. The heavy machines were located along the pipeline route in two Iowa counties. Individuals opposed to the construction of the DAPL are believed to be responsible. Police have estimated the costs of the fires at approximately $3 million, not including the cost of delays to the company.

Stay up to date on this struggle and follow:
Democracy Now!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri, U.S. - The people of Ferguson Missouri have shown that when there are riots, when business as usual is disrupted, the world takes notice. Five days ago an unarmed black male teenager named Michael Brown, due to begin college next week, was harassed by police and subsequently gunned down in the streets while holding his hands in the air. Since then the good people of Ferguson, a small municipality in St. Louis County, have not let the world forget that. The rage they are expressing is not only for Mike Brown, but for everyone who has lived under the eye and the boot of an increasingly militarized surveillance and police state.

Protesters have engaged in violent conflict with police and or destroyed property (including a liquor store) each night since the teen was murdered. The city of Ferguson is two thirds black, but it's 50-person police force has only 3 black officers. This discrepancy is prevalent among area elected officials as well and makes it clear just how entrenched the institutionalized racism is in the area. Police are refusing to release the name of the officer who murdered the teen and have begun to attack journalists with "less lethal weapons" such as beanbag rounds and gas.

The militarized and heavy handed police response in Ferguson hasn't just been targeted at journalists. Demonstrators have been confronted by very well armed and equipped police in unworldly looking riot control gear and firing "flash bang" bombs and gas at citizens.

The social unrest and disturbances aren't the only reason this case has become an international news story. It follows on the heels of a large number of instances of police brutality, many of which cases have been caught on camera and made national headlines. The ubiquity of smart phones with the ability to record and share images quickly and increased use of lapel cameras by police has greatly increased the visibility and awareness of how the police operate day to day when dealing with dis-empowered low income or minority communities.

The victim's family spoke to the press saying they don't want to see violence but at the same time Mike Brown's father's t-shirt proclaimed "NO JUSTICE / NO PEACE." The implication is clear that if the situation does not change there will be violence, or at least the threat of it until it does. Of course the elite, professional-recouperators of "the black community" like Al Sharpton have tried their best to neutralize and suppress people's justifiable anger and channel it into pointless and well controlled activities.

Others have called for support for the dozens who have already been arrested standing up to the police in Ferguson and solidarity actions have been planned for tonight in various cities. As of today municipal police have been ordered to step down in Ferguson and the governor has called in the Highway Patrol headed by a black police officer in hopes of quelling the violence.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sao Paulo, Brazil - Demonstrators took to the streets of cities across Brazil Saturday, with the largest disturbances taking place Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populace city. The day of protest was called for online by Anonymous Rio who called it Operation Stop the World Cup.

Like many events organized through Facebook far fewer people actually took to the streets than indicated they would online. Still thousands including a large militant black bloc engaged with police and destroyed state and corporate property including a police car. Some media reports have claimed that the police car was unoccupied, but as seen in the picture above at least one officer was inside the vehicle when it was initially attacked.

Black blocs and anarchists politics generally have been growing more popular in the country as feelings of general unrest and alienation spread. Support for these tactics and ideas have been increasing since last June when activists took to the streets in opposition to a transit fare increase. The protests forced politicians to back down and rescind on their promises to raise prices on commuters.

Since then anarchists have supported and been supported by striking teachers and their union: The State Union of Education Professionals (Sepe). While the media as predictably attempted to portray the militant and confrontation protesters at provocateurs and opportunists, the teachers who marched with the masked anarchists in the streets saw them as allies willing to risk their own safety to support their struggle.

Police attacked demonstrators with gas, and small bombs. They also fired rubber bullets and arrested more than 100 people. The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Brazil in June and is being hosted by the country at an enormous cost to the taxpayers. The fact that politicians have deemed this a necessary expense in a country were so many live in poverty or on the precipice of it has outraged many.

While Saturdays actions were relatively small, previous demonstrations saw hundreds of thousands of people shutting down streets, government buildings and partially constructed stadiums. It is near certain that those in power and their security forces will have to contend with more mass protests and destruction between now and June.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New York, New York - Jeremy Hammond did not humble or prostrate himself before the court as others have done while in his position, at the mercy of a formidable power. Jeremy stood tall, with his head high. He took responsibility for his actions, which he referred to as "acts of civil disobedience and direct action." He expressed regret and offered an apology for some of his and LulzSec's actions, which helped expose personal details of private individuals. He maintained all this in the face of his maximum 10-year sentence, which he received after having previously offered a guilty plea to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

US district court judge Loretta Preska, whose husband is a client of one of the companies targeted by LulzSec, had one of his own email accounts compromised, tried to discredit Jeremy's presentation as an activist. She argued that his were "not the actions of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, John Adams or even Daniel Ellsberg.” Daniel Ellsberg was responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers and wrote an unsolicited letter of support for Jeremy to the court that offered high praises. Nelson Mandela the now distinguished South African statesmen gained notoriety in the 1960s when he engaged in what the right-wingers worldwide defined as terrorism and armed guerrilla warfare. John Adams of course was also obviously a proponent of armed revolutionary warfare against an oppressive government that was reviled for spying on its subjects, and violating their personal homes, spaces and effects. Jeremy's prepared statement, which he read to the court, talked about being motivated to join Anonymous and later LulzSec in confronting corruption: there appeared to be no shortage of this in his prosecution.

Probably the most interesting revelation during the proceeding came when Jeremy alleged that he had targeted a number of websites maintained by sovereign foreign governments, both those allied with and at odds with the US, and that the idea to target these sites originated with Sabu, a.k.a. Hector Xavier Monsegur, while he was operating as an informant and agent of the FBI. Many of the secrets revealed by these computer attacks where stored on a server, the use of which was provided to Jeremy by Hector Xavier Monsegur: that was actually in the control of the FBI. Presumably the FBI was interested in illegally gaining information from these foreign sites and used Jeremy as a means to obtain that information without having to dirty their hands directly.

When Jeremy began listing off the countries whose sites he hacked, Judge Presca interrupted him and told him he would not be permitted to talk about those crimes. She and lawyers from both sides had already agreed that doing so wouldn't be fair to the countries who may still have vulnerable websites that others may then exploit! Presca is essentially saying that, if Jeremy had broken into a targeted physical building in real life -- at the suggestion of a government agent -- he'd be ordered to hide that from the public: otherwise someone else might do the same thing.

The issue of what was to be redacted had come up early in the hearing when David McCraw, a lawyer for the New York Times, had offered a motion to un-redact a significant portion of Jeremy's statement to the court. The motion was denied.

Jeremy did get three names into the list offering that he had attacked sites maintained by Turkey, Iran and Brazil. A press spokesperson for Jeremy, Andy Stepanian of the Sparrow Project, suggested that the countries listed where done so in order of importance.

A fully unredacted version of the statement has been circulating thanks the Berlin based independent computer security expert Jacob Appelbaum. It reads as follows:

At his request, these websites were broken into, their e-mails and databases were uploaded to Sabu's FBI server, and the password information and the location of root backdoors were supplied. These intrusions took place in January/February of 2012 and affected over 2,000 domains, including numerous foreign government websites in Brazil, Turkey, Syria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Iran, Slovenia, Greece, Pakistan, and others. A few of the compromised websites that I recollect include the official website of the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of the Military Police of Brazil, the official website of the Crown Prince of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, the Iranian Academic Center for Education and Cultural Research, the Polish Embassy in the UK, and the Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.

Judge Presca talked about wanting to teach respect (read: fear) for the law and recidivism, but made it clear that she was sentencing Jeremy to the longest possible sentence in order to send a message to others who might engage in similar activities that challenge powerful states and corporations.

Following the reading of the sentencing, many of Jeremy's supporters, obviously overcome with emotion, hurried out of the courtroom. Many later rallied outside and across the street in Foley Square. Before exiting the courtroom Jeremy turned to his supporters and shouted “Hurrah for anarchy!”

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mi’kmaq Territory, New Brunswick, Canada - RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers met with serious resistance after making an effort to clear a highway blockade, that targeted a company trying to exploit resources under their tribal lands by hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as fracking.) The blockade was a joint effort of Mi’kmaq tribal members and warrior society, Acadians and people from local anglo-speaking communities, who are rarely unified. The blockade had continued peacefully for weeks until the heavily armed and militarized police forces were ordered to step in and protect the interests of SWN Canada, a subsidiary of the Texas based South Western Energy company.

Yesterday the blockade was attacked by police who fired potentially deadly "less-lethal ammunition" and used pepper-spray on protesters; the attack was met with molotov cocktails, and later five police vehicles were torched. In all 40 demonstrators were arrested and no serious injuries were reported. According to authorities the local RCMP office on First Nations land itself came under attack and there was an attempt to burn it down.

According to SWN the blockade was costing them upwards of $60,000 per day. Dozens of solidarity blockades along highways and other demonstrations have taken place or a scheduled throughout North America, and beyond.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New York, New York - Jeremy Hammond, the Chicago-based Anonymous and LulzSec affiliated hacktivist has accepted a non-cooperating guilty plea agreement for his role in hacking numerous state and private police and security related websites. Jeremy for the first time stated that he was responsible for these acts. He did so with his fist raised in the air before Judge Loretta A. Preska in a lower Manhattan Federal courtroom. He may ultimately be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison and be ordered to pay more than $2.5 million in fines and restitution for his non-violent crimes. A sentence of that severity is many times more what his co-defendants in U.K. have been sentenced to.

The  U.S. State Attorney's Office made a statement on the case in an effort to malign Jeremy as someone simply focused on chaos and to imply that he was motivated by financial gain‽ They even attempt to deny that he was "fighting for an anarchist cause" as if anarchists should reject Jeremy as some sort of 'bad anarchist!'

The information Jeremy and his co-defendants retrieved from these sites was forwarded to Wikileaks, so that it could be released freely to the public. These hacks were not done for personal gain. Jeremy was arrested by FBI agents in early March of 2012 thanks to the aid of fellow hacker turned snitch Hector Xavier Monsegur a.k.a. "Sabu." Monsegur helped execute a computer attack against Strategic Forecasting, Inc. or Stratfor with the support of the FBI who were seemingly more interested in making a big case than protecting the so called victims of this hack.

It is possible that Jeremy could be released after his September 6th sentencing date with time served. It is more likely that this may happen if Jeremy's supporters demand it!

Jeremy Hammond's  statement:

Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.

During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government’s case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. I have wonderful lawyers and an amazing community of people on the outside who support me. None of that changes the fact that I was likely to lose at trial. But, even if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. Ultimately I decided that the most practical route was to accept this plea with a maximum of a ten year sentence and immunity from prosecution in every federal court.

Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.

I have already spent 15 months in prison. For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement. I have been denied visits and phone calls with my family and friends. This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process.

I would like to thank all of my friends and supporters for their amazing and ongoing gestures of solidarity. Today I am glad to shoulder the responsibility for my actions and to move one step closer to daylight.

Jeremy Hammond

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stockholm, Sweden - Rioting spreads into a fourth day since police fatally shot a 69-year-old mentally ill man in an immigrant neighborhood. "Youths" are being singled out as being largely responsible and are said to be motivated by a lack of hope in the future, racism, and joblessness. Sweden has been scaling back it's social welfare programs since the 1990s, leading to the enormous increases in economic inequality, at a greater rate than in any other advanced economy.

Disturbances of this sort are nearly unknown in Sweden, and certainly are on this scale. What began as rock throwing at police in the Husby area, where the shooting occurred has escalated. More than a hundred cars being set alight and then even a number of state buildings including two schools. A police station in the suburb of Jakosberg area was also attacked. Rioting has spread to more than a dozen Stockholm neighborhoods.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today marks the five year anniversary of the death of Brad Will.

Brad Will ¡Presente!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Everywhere - The Occupy Wall Street movement has gone global, after just a few thousand gathered in lower Manhattan one month ago. Momentum and support is continuing to build, and spread to new locations.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Bombs and Shields is on hiatus.

Check out some of our other projects!
A New World in Our Hearts - NYC
Sticks and Stones - Santa Cruz

Riot porn wise, there was some pretty sweet burning and looting outside the NATO summit in Strasbourg recently.

Social Rupture is a frequently updated blog on attacks in the U.$. and links to a number of similar blogs from Europe and Canada.