The police—agents of social control and pacification, army of the rich, the long arm of law and order whose purpose is to instill fear and submission—are fundamentally enemies of any individual who wants to escape from predetermined roles and live a life of freedom and creative-destruction. Cops literally put people in cages; they also convince many to live in cages of their own, made out of fear. As such, an attack (quite different from a military operation) against the police is an essential part of the destruction of a world that is imposed upon us.
“… permanent conflictuality (a constant and effective struggle towards the aims that are decided upon, not sporadic occasional interventions); … attack (the refusal of compromise, mediation or accommodation that questions the attack on the chosen objective).
“As far as aims are concerned, these are decided upon and realized through attacks upon the repressive, military and productive structures, etc. The importance of permanent conflictuality and attack is fundamental.” – O.V., “Autonomous Base Nuclei”
It is beyond the scope of this introduction to delve any deeper into the historical context of the anti-police activity in early 2011 than a cursory review of the events of 2010 in the Pacific Northwest. The spring of that year saw an uprsurge in anti-police activity that was largely organized by anarchists in west coast cities, significantly inspired by the Greek insurrection in December 2008 and the periodic anti-police activity in Oakland California through 2009 and 2010 (the Oscar Grant Rebellions). The city of Portland saw several conflictual demonstrations and well-coordinated attacks on police property, while in Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle a variety of activity from demonstrations, graffiti, wheatpasting, counter-informational leafletting, jail noise demos, and clandestine attacks contributed to the practice of permanent conflictuality that is an important wager in the insurrectional process when struggle is relatively isolated (as it has often been in the United States in recent memory). The motivation for a practice of permanent conflictuality is not based in the adherence to a program, however, but emerges rather from individuals’ own refusal to wait for a generalized struggle before attacking state and capitalist infrastructure.
In the fall of 2010, the police execution of John T. Williams sparked general outrage in Seattle. The public (re)emergence of anti-police struggle had certain limits from the beginning, as all specific struggles do, simultaneously with and in contradiction to their insurrectional potential. The pattern is far from unique and cannot be overstated. The movement was, from its birth, focused on one particular victim, one specific “bad cop” who had gone beyond “acceptable use of force,” and at the same time the particular instance illuminated a generalized rage toward the police and their social role that is ever-present and, if unleashed, is the very fuel of an insurrectional process that attacks and destroys the state and capitalism. The various leaders who organized the movement, despite their political differences, all sought throughout to contain and limit anti-police sentiment and prevent the generalization of the struggle, the expansion of analysis, and the diversification of tactics. It was in this emerging struggle, in spite of its limited scope, that certain anarchists in the Puget Sound positioned themselves to intervene and unleash a common rage——unwilling to ignore the struggle as reformist and wait for something more total, not satisfied to accept the limits out of deference to the “movement,” and not seeking to act as its vanguard element.
“Riots, uprisings and insurrections are not generally inspired by grand ideas, utopian dreams or total theoretical critiques of the social order. Often the spark that sets them off is quite banal: economic instability, bad working conditions, betrayal by those who claim to represent one’s rights, police brutality. These seemingly minor details spark revolt when rage combines with a distrust in both the ruling and oppositional institutions. This fact calls for anarchists to avoid an ideological purity that calls for participation only in total struggles. It also calls for the a keen theoretical development capable of immediately understanding specific situations in terms of the totality of domination, exploitation and alienation, and at the same time capable of making a practical application of this theory. This requires a willingness to constantly examine the developing realities around us, making connections that show the necessity for a revolutionary rupture, while at the same time singling out appropriate areas for intervention and appropriate targets for attack.” – Wolfi Landstreicher, “Autonomous Self-Organization and Anarchist Intervention”
The communiques that follow (everything from texts of leaflets distributed in the streets to call-outs for demonstrations, report-backs and summaries of mass actions, communiques from attacks on police property, and more) represent ideas and actions that mostly followed the general trajectory that we outlined above (of permanent conflictuality and anarchist intervention), while also expressing ideas on a variety of subjects from revenge and solidarity to counter-insurgency and methods of attack.
We believe that the events that are documented in this pamplet, far from having importance for what they accomplished, should act as a source of inspiration and also a reminder of the possibility to engage in struggle in every moment and in every place, no matter how pacified the struggle against state and capital may be——a constant wager not to be overlooked or dismissed. In other words, the events of January to March 2011 in the Pacific Northwest are exemplary within the trajectory of constant war, which is far from over and of which these events are but a tiny drop within a tsunami of rage and destruction against the world of law and order, of work and misery.
Imposed Pamphlet Version:
Against the Police and the Prison World They Maintain (Communiques from the PNW January – March 2011)