Does Immigration Limitation Require a Police State? 13

Says one of my critics:

“…my problem with Keith Preston’s approach is not that he suggests identifying and allying with criminalized, marginalized, or lumpen people. My problem is, first, that he has what I consider a disastrously selective view of whose criminalization and marginalization counts as legitimate libertarian concern (=). And, secondly, that he has the wrong idea about what the process of building such an alliance, and the terms on which allies might ally themselves with each other, looks like.

(=) Hence, for example, his bizarre efforts coddle pseudo-populist Right-wingers who support the immigration police state and the mass criminalization of people without papers. Whereas on my view, if you’re concerned about identifying with the most criminalized, marginalized, exploited and oppressed, it would be harder to find a better place to start than with standing up for the rights of “illegal alien” workers confronting the border Stasi without government papers.”

The first problem here is the fact that the Stasi were oriented towards keeping people inside the German Democratic Republic, rather than keeping immigrants out, and repressing political dissent among East Germany’s captive native population. Beyond that, however, is the wider question of whether immigration limitation by itself requires a police state. No doubt there are plenty of anti-immigration enthusiasts who would like nothing better than a police state hunt-down of suspected illegal immigrants. No doubt the militarization of U.S. law enforcement generated by the various “Wars on…” (pick one) drugs, crime, guns, gangs, terrorism, vice, cults, racism, sexism, poverty, urban blight, child abuse, animal abuse, et. al. ad nauseum has at times included police state tactics in immigration enforcement as well (see the shenanigans of Uber-PIG Joe Arpaio).

But is a fascist police state essential to the restriction or limitation of immigration? Iceland  and Switzerland are among the most restrictive of the European nations concerning their immigration policies. Yet both of these are widely considered to be among the most progressive and libertarian of all nations anywhere. Iceland has no standing army, and bars nuclear weapons from its territory. Neither of them maintains the death penalty, and neither will extradite fugitives to the U.S. who may face capital punishment. Some years ago, an Icelandic court refused to extradite a fugitive to the U.S. because of the conditions found in U.S prisons. Switzerland is one of the world’s most non-belligerent nations. There are certainly no signs of fascism here.

Does immigration restriction even require a state of any kind? If the Spanish anarchist militias had been triumphant in the civil war, could they not have proceeded to safeguard the borders of the Spanish territory following victory? The Hezbollah militia of Lebanon is a non-state entity, yet it is an effective fighting force. Hezbollah is not only capable of guarding the Lebanese border, but of repelling an actual Israeli occupation. Likewise, the Armed Forces of the Colombian Revolution are a non-state entity, yet they have at times successfully held substantial portions of Colombian territory. Could not the FARC also safeguard its territorial boundaries?

What about all of the different kinds of territories within the United States itself where entry is restricted? These include industrial parks, office complexes, shopping centers, schools and universities, recreational facilities, country clubs, gated communities, stadiums, private neighborhoods, airports, bars and nightclubs, and private homes. All of these territories impose at least some degree of limitations on who may or may not enter. Those who do not buy a ticket are forbidden from entering theaters and stadiums. Those who do not pay a cover charge or have an ID are refused admission to bars. Those without a membership are denied entry to private clubs. Entry into schools is typically restricted to students, parents, employees, and others with authorized business. Even ordinary commercial facilities impose some minimal requirements for entry: “Shirts and Shoes Required”; “No Smoking”; “No Playing Loud Music”; “No Pets or Animals”; “No Rude or Aggressive Behavior.”

Of course, it might be argued that all of the aforementioned are private or semi-private institutions and organizations, as opposed to public streets, sidewalks, thoroughfares, lands, waterways, and airways. Yet most of these things are currently owned not by “the public” but by the state, which anarchists and the most radical libertarians ostensibly consider to be illegitimate. If the state were to disappear, into whose hands would such “public” areas fall? The anarcho-capitalist solution is to place these in the hands of private landowners, whether individual or collective in nature. The geo-anarchists prefer land trusts. Left-anarchists and libertarian-municipalists would prefer community control on the basis of some kind of Athenian model “direct democracy.” Syndicalists might prefer that all public services be put under “workers’ control,” meaning that, for instance, public streets and highways would be under the management of the highway workers’ and street maintenance workers’ unions. Mutualists might prefer “consumer control,” meaning, for instance, airports might be managed by, say, associations of frequent flyers or consumers of airline services. Whatever model or combination of models one prefers, it is quite possible that at least some of these kinds of entities would enact entry requirements at least as restrictive as those currently in existence.

There are other possibilities. Upon the demise of the state, perhaps all public properties and areas could be ceded to “squatters’ rights.” The first person to show up and pitch a tent on a piece of land in Yellowstone Park gets to keep the lot. Perhaps all public areas could simply be declared “No Man’s Lands” akin to present day Antarctica or remote desert or mountainous regions. Perhaps these might be areas where everything is a free-for-all, and where even ordinary criminal laws do not apply. I confess that if such a proposal came up for vote in a national referendum, the nihilist in me might well take over and I might not be able to resist the impulse to vote in favor of it. But how many people really think this would be a desirable state of affairs?

Either way, from where can the principle be deduced that a stateless or near-stateless society, nation, or territory would necessarily maintain unrestricted entry? Even if public areas were “No Man’s Lands” could not a xenophobic militia simply organize and drive away unwanted migrants? In contemporary Western-model societies, much of the mass immigration we presently observe is not simply occurring according to natural patterns of population movement, but is actively encouraged, promoted, and subsidized by the state. See here and here for some examples of how this works. I suspect this trend could be reversed if the support given to mass immigration by state and corporate policies was simply ended. Much of this immigration is economic in nature. Take away the economic incentives, and the overall amount of immigration should diminish. Indeed, there are some signs that the present economic situation is having such an effect.

I’m not going to go into the problems with allowing mass immigration from the Third World into the West. I’ve already written about that in the past and have really said all I have to say about the matter. See here and here. Critics already understand the potentially rather severe consequences of this. Proponents of mass immigration generally make it clear that they don’t care about the consequences. But when Islamic revolutionary parties start becoming competitive in European elections, and there’s a replay of the Mexican War complete with good old fashioned ethnic cleansing in the U.S. Southwest, don’t say us dirty, rotten, fascist, racist, nationalist, right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic bigots didn’t warn you. 

Some interesting articles on immigration:

How Can An Armenian-American Oppose Immigration? It’s Easy! by John Attarian

Liberalism and America’s Immigration Policy by John Attarian

Beyond Open or Closed Borders by Laurence Vance

Immigration Symposium by David Gordon

Nader on Immigration by Matt Welch

An American Indian View of Immigration by David Yeagley

From the Great Society to the Great Betrayal by Rob Freeman

Switzerland: A Model for America on Immigration by Srdja Trifkovic

Updated News Digest January 10, 2010 Reply

Why Read the Sunday Papers When You Can Read AttacktheSystem.Com!

Community Organizing and National-Anarchism presentation by Andrew Yeoman

Tribal Anarchism Video Series Parts One, Two, Three, Four

United Anarchism Vs United Nationism 

Quotes of the Week:

“Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.”

“Governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it.”

“Mere goodness can achieve little against the power of nature.”

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

“Once the state has been founded, there can no longer be any heroes. They come on the scene only in uncivilized conditions.”

                                                                         -Georg Wihelm Friedrich Hegel
First Circle: Liberty Has Been Lost by Paul Craig Roberts

Faith in the System is at an All-Time Low by David Brooks

Interview: Taylor Somers of Occident from Amerika.Org

Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary by Stephen Baskerville

The American Elite by William Blum

Small Government Conservatives Who Worship the State by Kevin Carson

Full-Spectrum Civilian Disarmament by William Norman Grigg

Three Cheers for the Swiss by Paul Green

Fake “Journalist” Defends a Forgery by Justin Raimondo

Nuclear Poker With Iran by Pat Buchanan

The War on Terrorism Is About Scaring People, Not Protecting Them by Gary Younge

The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See by Chris Hedges

The Long War: Who’s Winning?…It Ain’t America by Justin Raimondo

Robert Owen: Welsh Radical and Co-operative Pioneer by Troy Southgate

A War We Can’t Afford by Doug Bandow

Serial Catastrophes in Afghanistan Threaten Obama Policy by Juan Cole

The Fear Decade: We’ve Embraced Our Inner Coward by Ted Rall

They Hate Us for Our Freedom by Glenn Greenwald

Gerald Celente’s Predictions for 2010 by Amy Judd

Protect the Children: Shut Down the Schools by Jerome Kohn

Our Prole-Inducing Public Schools by R.C. Murray

Understanding the “Unserious Empire” by Karen Kwiatkowski

New Hampshire Looks to Nullify Federal Gun Laws by Michael Boldin

Stop the Western Left Before It Kills Again by Robert Lindsay

Are U.S. Forces Executing Afghan Kids? by Dave Lindorff

The Ugly Fortress  by Patrick Cockburn

Revenge and Retaliation in Gaza by Lynda Brayer

How China’s Attempts to Censor the Internet Are Failing from Techdirt

Bummer by Cheryl Cline

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves by Thomas Knapp

You Are In Control by John Robb

Presidential Lunacy by Walter Williams

Yet Another Reason to Secede by Patrick Samuels

The CIA, Narcotics, and the Underworld Doug Valentine interviewed by Susan Mazur

The Food Crisis for Dummies by Eric deCarbonnel

CIA Killings Spell Defeat in Afghanistan by Doug Valentine

First It Was Cigarettes, Now It’s Food by J.H. Huebert

Your Kids Belong to Us by William Norman Grigg

France to Ban “Psychological Violence” by David Kramer

Marijuana Reform for Czechs by Manuel Lora

Drones to Patrol the Skies Above American Cities by Charles Featherstone

Joan Rivers Barred from Flying by David Kramer

More Than 40,000 New Laws by Manuel Lora

Old Blackwater Keeps On Rollin’ by Jeff Huber

Where’s the Beef, Mr. Murdoch? by Philip Giraldi

Counterterrorism in Shambles; Why? by Ray McGovern and Coleen Howley

A Dual System of Justice by Jacob Hornberger

Good Morning, Yemen? by Leon Hadar

Another Iranian Revolution? Not Likely by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

Bodyscanning Captain Underpants by Julian Sanchez

Civilian Trials and the So-Called Rule of Law by Glenn Greenwald

History Will Judge War on Terror Architects by Olivia Ward

Getting Away With Torture by David Cole

Vanunu: Our Duty to Speak Up by Duncan Campbell

Peter Hitchens and the British National Party by Bede

Ron Paul Slaps Down Dick Cheney by Red Phillips

Steve Forbes to Endorse Rand Paul by Red Phillips

The War on Afghanistan’s Environment by Josh Frank

The Media Vultures by Ramzy Baroud

Panic in Needle Park: Return of the Fear Mongers by Anthony Papa

When Does It Become Genocide? by Nadia Hijab

Dennis Steele for Vermont Governor in 2010 by Matthew Cropp

More Than Left and Right by James Leroy Wilson

Rapists on Patrol by Rad Geek

From Anarcho-Capitalist to Libertarian Socialist by Francois Tremblay

The Sheriff is Coming! The Sheriff is Coming! by Katherine Mangu-Ward

That’ll Show ‘Em by Kevin Carson

Ben Franklin on Patents  by Sheldon Richman

The Backfiring of the Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald

The Collapse of Elite Authority from Armed and Dangerous

Only the Guilty Need Fear-But We’re All Guilty by Kevin Carson

Anarchy 2010: The Time Is Now by Alex R. Knight III

The Coming Food Shortage by Arthur Sim

It’s Illegal Not to Be a Government Victim by Bill Sardi

33 Conspiracy Stories That Turned Out to Be True by Jonathan Elinoff

The CIA, AFL-CIO, and Drug Smuggling by Doug Valentine

The Big Blue Crime Wave by William Norman Grigg

Heroin High School by James Ostrowski

Perverted Police by William Norman Grigg

John Stockwell vs the CIA by Lew Rockwell

Anarcho-Africa by John James

Yet Again: Don’t Call 911 and Don’t Help the PIGS by William Norman Grigg

Our Stupid Foreign Policy by Jack Hunter

More Cause and Effect In Our Ever Expanding War by Glenn Greenwald

The Naked Truth About Airport Scanners by Steve Chapman

What’s the Difference Between Obama’s Anti-Terrorism Policies and Bush’s? by Jacob Sullum

Afghan Nobody Faces Trial By Military Commission by Andy Worthington

Acting Responsible  by Alexander Cockburn

How the Teamsters Beat Goldman-Sachs by Andrew Cockburn

Giving the Homeless the Cold Shoulder by Walter Brasch

Pakistan and the Afghan Insurgency by Brian M. Downing

Naked Empire by Saul Landau

Officer Involvement from Rad Geek

Chomsky’s Augustinian Anarchism by Roderick Long

Conservatism vs the Past from Rad Geek

The Broken Logic of Statism by Don Cooper

Resistance Is Not Futile by Josh Eboch

Big Government and Big Business: Cojoined Twins by Thomas Knapp

Why Africa Has Gone to Hell by James Jackson

Democracy: Another God That Failed by Pat Buchanan

“The Italians were called wops, the Jews were called hymies, I was of course a greaseball, and every Hispanic was a spic. Well, we all got along famously! It was rough, but it was fine.”

                                                                -Taki Theodoracopulos

They Hate Us for Our Foreign Policy Michael Scheuer interviewed by Scott Horton

Afghanistan and Vietnam Daniel Ellsberg interviewed by Scott Horton

The Permanent Crisis Eric Margolis interviewed by Scott Horton

The Forged Iranian Nuclear Documents George Maschke interviewed by Scott Horton

America, Get It Together Cindy Sheehan interviewed by Scott Horton

How Not to Run a World Empire Philip Giraldi interviewed by Scott Horton

Hastert and Heroin Sibel Edmonds interviewed by Scott Horton


How To Flex Your Rights During Police Encounters 

“The “clash of civilizations” is, in a very literal sense, a clash of God and Mammon. The Islamic revolutionaries are driven by a fanatical devotion to their god and the promises they believe he has made to them if only they take up arms on his behalf. The nations of the West are driven by an almost as fanatical devotion to Mammon, that is, to wealth, luxury, power, pleasure and privilege. Further, the culture of the West combines this unabashedly materialist ethos with rejection of strength and discipline in favor of a maternalistic emphasis on health, safety, “sensitivity”, “self-esteem”, “potential”, “personal growth”, “getting in touch with one’s inner child”, “feelings” and other concepts common to pop culture psychobabble. Of course, the socio-cultural ramifications of this is to create a society of weaklings, mediocrities and crybabies.”

                                                                                                   -Keith Preston

Long Time by Angel

Jet Boy by the New York Dolls

Delilah by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Please Don’t Judas Me  by Nazareth

Strange Band by Family

Lord Have Mercy On My Soul (Halls of Karma) by Black Oak Arkansas with Ruby Starr

Burnin’ Whiskey by Ruby Starr and Grey Ghost

D.O.A.  by Bloodrock

(hat tip to Chris Donnellan for the following links)

Small Town America’s Growing Voice of Rage Is a Force to Be Reckoned With 

Pareto Redux 

“Racist”-A Word Invented by Leon Trotsky

Pray for Michael Brewer 

No, Obama Isn’t a “Far Leftist” 

Hemp Oil and Cancer 

An Introduction to American Third Position 

Window Cleaning Chemical Injected Into Fast Food Hamburger Meat 

Tolkien and Politics 

U.S. Maoist Says Revolution Is Near 

The Mind-Expanding Harvard Psychedelic Club 

Lawrence Welk Meets Velvet Underground 

Americans Job Satisfaction Falls to Record Low

Keeping the Ruling Junta in Power 

Real Video Footage of Custer Veterans 

Obama-Bernanke Recovery Is Actually a Dangerous Bubble

A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The Revolution Within Anarchism 

Forty Years in the Wilderness? 

Liberty and Populism: Building An Effective Resistance Movement for North America

Organizing the Urban Lumpenproletariat

National Anarchy and the American Idea

“The king is most wounded by ridicule.” -Thomas Hobbes

Black Liberation Army (A European's View) 1

The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was a rare phenomenon in the annals of modern American terrorism: a group that intended to kill and did kill multiple times, and that killed with guns rather than bombs. Beginning in 1971 the BLA went to war against the police in several big cities across the country. Its members ambushed patrolmen and assaulted police stations in an effort to expel the “pigs” from their communities. In turn the BLA guerrillas were intensively hunted, and many were killed or wounded in shoot-outs with the authorities. Even from jail they continued the war, organizing escape attempts and freeing captured comrades. In later years remnants of the BLA robbed banks and armored cars, shooting guards and police officers who resisted. Their last job left a bloody mess at an on-ramp to the New York State Thruway on October 21, 1981.


Rule number six of the Black Panther Party (BPP) stated that “No party member can join any other army force, other than the Black Liberation Army.” The rules were drawn up in 1968, about two years after the founding of the Panthers, and BLA clandestine units were probably first established in that year. But these were self-defense squads; they did not engage in offensive actions at the start or issue communiqués. While some Black Panthers were involved in police shootings by the late 1960s, or engaged in crime or fought with rival groups, this violence did not rise to the level of terrorism. The BLA only turned to terrorism when the Black Panther Party was coming apart, in the first months of 1971.  The split occurred when Huey Newton, Minister of Defense of the BPP, expelled Eldridge Cleaver and his followers in the New York branch of the party. The rift in part reflected philosophical differences — Newton was pulling back from armed struggle in 1971 while Cleaver believed that the war had already begun. But the clash also stemmed from personal jealousies, and it was intensified by government manipulation. The FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counter-Intelligence Program) initiative spread false rumors within the party and inflamed the suspicions of the two camps. Newton ousted the Cleaver faction on February 26, 1971, and the two groupings soon drew blood from one another. On March 9 the West Coast Panthers assassinated Robert Webb, a Cleaver loyalist. The East Coast Panthers retaliated on April 17, killing Samuel Napier, the circulation manager of Newton’s paper. Napier was bound, shot, and then set on fire by men who would begin a war with the police a few weeks later in the name of the BLA.

These men were loyal to Cleaver, but Cleaver did not direct the BLA or participate in its actions. At the time he was living in exile in Algeria as head of the International Section of the Panthers. He would return to the United States in 1975, become a born-again Christian a year later, and eventually join the Republican Party. But in 1971 Cleaver and his allies believed that “we have to fight a revolutionary struggle for the violent overthrow of the United States government and the total destruction of the racist, capitalist, imperialist, neo-colonialist power structure.” Blacks were living in Babylon, slaves to a fascist despot bent on the genocidal destruction of peoples of color across the globe. They had to fight back, “forcing all those responsible for oppression to realize that they too can bleed, they too can feel our pain. Only when this is realized … will we be conceded our right to self-determination.”  A prison poem by one of the captured BLA guerrillas suggests the logic of armed struggle:

i believe a people wronged
are duty bound to make it right
valid claims long gone unanswered
justifies the fight.
“Liberation and Land”
is my slogan
war without terms
on the ruling class
no pie for me, you see
i want some ass
Off the Pigs!

War without terms commenced on May 19, 1971, the birth date of Malcolm X. Two officers guarding the residence of the prosecutor in the Panther 21 trial were lured into a trap. A car drove the wrong way down the street and the squad car gave chase. A few blocks away someone in the fleeing vehicle opened fire with an automatic weapon, seriously wounding both officers. Two days later the press received the first communiqué from the BLA:

The armed goons of the racist government will again meet the guns of oppressed third world peoples as long as they occupy our community and murder our brothers and sisters in the name of American law and order. Just as the fascist marines and Army occupy Vietnam in the name of democracy and murder Vietnamese people in the name of American imperialism are confronted with the guns of the Vietnamese liberation army, the domestic armed forces of racism and oppression will be confronted with the guns of the black liberation army, who will meet out in the tradition of Malcolm and all true revolutionaries real justice.

That very day, May 21, the BLA struck again. Two patrolmen were ambushed outside a public housing development in Harlem, struck from behind and at close range with automatic-weapons fire. Both were killed. One of the officers was black — a traitor to his people according to the BLA.
Two weeks later, on June 5, there was a break in the case. Four men were arrested during an armed robbery at a private social club in the Bronx. Three of the men were BLA members and had been indicted for the murder of Sam Napier. Ballistic tests on their submachine gun revealed that it had been used in the May 19 shooting. The next attacks claimed by the BLA came in late August, after the death of “Soledad Brother” George Jackson during a prison breakout. Jackson was an articulate and fiery advocate of armed struggle, revered by far-left revolutionaries. Although three guards had their throats slit during Jackson’s escape attempt, his advocates insisted that Jackson had been set up or killed in cold blood.

Weatherman bombed the California State Department of Corrections after Jackson’s slaying, harming no one, but the BLA wanted blood. Several BLA members belonged to the Panther 21, and the Panther 21 had chastised Weatherman for its bloodless terrorism. The Panther defendants insisted that “just to be ready to die does not make a revolutionist.” Militants “MUST be ready to KILL to change conditions. Revolution is ARMED STRUGGLE — revolution is VIOLENCE — revolution is WAR — revolution is BLOODSHED.”

Acting on this philosophy, a black man walked into the Ingleside police station in San Francisco on the night of August 29, 1971, and fired a shot-gun blast into the chest of the desk sergeant, killing him instantly. Outside, his accomplices peppered the station with gun fire, wounding a female clerk. Two days later the authorities received a note claiming the assault in the name of the BLA. A communiqué published in Cleaver’s journal Right On warned that “if one drop of Black Blood is shed, the sons and daughters of Malcolm will rise and pig blood will flow like a river wherever pigs exist. Woe unto those who cannot swim.”

But it is not clear whether the San Francisco assailants were connected with the New York BLA. The Black Liberation Army was not a disciplined and hierarchical unit able to coordinate attacks across the country. Rather, it was a concept and a name which black militants could employ to communicate their agenda and express solidarity with other African Americans engaged in armed struggle. The label was not trade-marked and the BLA issued no membership cards. You were in the BLA if you took up the gun and used it in the name of the organization.

The San Francisco BLA perpetrated other attacks during the last week in August. It fired a 66 mm. anti-tank gun at the Mission police station and firebombed a branch of Bank of America. Two militants pulled alongside a squad car and tried to spray it with an automatic weapon, but the gun jammed. They were captured and the pistol of one of the officers killed on May 21 in New York was found in their possession. Meanwhile the New York section of the BLA fled the city in late summer to escape the intense manhunt. They rented two houses in Atlanta, stockpiled weapons and explosives, produced false identification, and trained daily in the yards. They also robbed banks and stores to raise funds for the war. Three of them were captured on November 7 during a holdup in a supermarket; they were suspected of having killed an Atlanta police officer four days earlier. But before the investigation was concluded the three managed to escape from the DeKalb County jail on December 12.

After the arrests in Georgia, the Atlanta cell scattered. On November 11, several were stopped by a sheriff’s deputy in Catawba County, North Carolina. The deputy was shot and killed but four BLA suspects were captured after a chase. On December 20, a patrol car in Queens was demolished by a grenade as it pursued a BLA vehicle. The officers were not injured by the explosion but the suspects escaped. On the last day of December another BLA member was cornered by FBI agents at a Florida motel and gunned down in an exchange of fire.

But on January 28, 1972, the BLA once again took the offensive. Two NYPD officers were ambushed on the Lower East Side, cut down by submachine-gun fire. The assailants stood over the fallen officers and emptied their magazines into the bodies. Shortly thereafter the authorities received a communication from the George Jackson Squad of the Black Liberation Army:

No longer will black people tolerate Attica and oppression and exploitation and rape of our black community. This is the start of our spring offensive. There is more to come. We also dealt with the pigs in Brooklyn.

The last sentenced referred to two recent incidents in which officers had been wounded by unknown attackers. The BLA next showed up in St. Louis on February 15. A gun battle erupted during a routine traffic stop and one officer was wounded. Others returned fire, killing one suspect and wounding two more. A search of the car turned up one of the pistols taken from the officers who were ambushed on January 28.

But then the trail went cold for almost a year. January 1973, however, was a bloody month. On the twelfth a BLA suspect wounded two off-duty housing detectives in New York. Twelve days later the NYPD cornered three BLA members at a bar, killing two in the shoot-out. In retaliation, the BLA ambushed patrol cars on January 25 and 28, wounding four officers. In its communiqué the BLA urged black cops “not to take arms against us and refuse to be pitted in mortal combat against their own people, defending a system which has enslaved, still exploits, brutalizes and murders black people.”

Another huge manhunt followed, but suspects were only captured after a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike on May 2, 1973. The BLA fugitives opened fire, killing one state trooper and wounding another. Other troopers returned fire, killing one man and wounding a woman. A third suspect escaped. The woman was a reputed leader of the BLA, Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur). The authorities dubbed her “the soul of the Black Liberation Army.” But the organization was not broken yet. On June 5, 1973, a BLA member was chased by transit authority police in the Bronx for jumping the turnstile. He drew a gun, killing one patrolman and wounding the other. But the dying officer returned fire and hit the suspect, who was captured shortly thereafter.

The first phase in the life of the BLA came to an end on November 15, 1973, when one of the last BLA fugitives was gunned down on a street in the Bronx. During the arrest he pulled a gun and wounded an FBI agent, two police officers, and a bystander before being killed in a hail of bullets. He was the seventh BLA member to be killed by the authorities. Nineteen others had been apprehended by then, including the only white associate of the group, Marilyn Buck. She purchased weapons and ammunition for the BLA at gun shows but was arrested in March 1973.

In 1974 a group in Jacksonville, Florida, began abducting and murdering white youths. The group took credit for the killings in the name of the Black Liberation Army, declaring that the victims were “executed and made to pay for the political crimes that have been perpetrated upon black people.” But this BLA was not connected with the New York BLA and the four members were caught and convicted for the murders in 1975.

Busting Out

The second phase in the BLA’s war was fought in courtrooms, jails, and prisons. Several BLA members were acquitted or had charges dismissed or reduced, but most were convicted and received long sentences. Many did not resign themselves to this new Babylonian captivity, however. They plotted with comrades on the outside and made numerous attempts to escape. Several were successful. One BLA prisoner escaped from a county hospital on September 27, 1973, but he was recaptured a week later. On December 27, four BLA sympathizers were caught trying to break into the Tombs through the sewer system. Another four tried again on April 17, 1974, using a small blow torch to cut through a steel partition in a visitor’s booth. The attempt failed and the four fled. Several were tracked to New Haven and captured on May 4 after a shoot-out in which two police officers were wounded. On August 5, 1974, a woman was caught trying to sneak a hacksaw blade in her shoe to a BLA convict. A week later that convict and two other prisoners overpowered their guards and tried to scale a fence at the Brooklyn House of Detention. The BLA prisoner was shot and recaptured.

On February 17, 1975, BLA commandos in wet suits paddled rafts to Rikers Island and tried to free 11 comrades held there, but the attempt failed. On May 12 sympathizers smuggled explosives, mace, knives, wrenches, and lock picks to three BLA members on trial in the New York Criminal Courts Building. The materials were hidden in large envelopes and sat on a courtroom table all day before being discovered in the holding pen. Two weeks later two more BLA members broke free from their cell and tried to climb down a wall at the Brooklyn House of Detention. The improvised rope broke and one escapee plunged 100 feet to his death. The other inmate was recaptured at the outer fence.

There were other attempts too. A prison uprising in New Jersey was organized by a BLA convict. Marilyn Buck walked away from a prison furlough and went back underground. But the most famous escape attempt liberated “the soul of the BLA,” Joanne Chesimard. Several armed men forced their way into the minimum security facility where she was being held and led her out safely. The getaway vehicles were driven by Buck and another white woman from the M-19 organization. Chesimard was then spirited out of the country and into exile in Cuba. Her escape was a media sensation.

The Family

The final phase of the BLA story involves the Family, a mixed group of BLA members, white revolutionaries, and ordinary criminals. They were not an assassination team, as the earlier BLA had been, but instead robbed banks and armored cars. Some of the proceeds from the robberies were funneled to black nationalist groups, but the rest of the money was distributed within the Family.

The Family was headed by Nathanael Burns (Sekou Odinga), one of the Panther 21, who had fled underground in 1969. He was involved in a plot to bomb a police station in New York that summer but the plan was foiled by an undercover agent, who replaced the plastic explosives with an oatmeal concoction. Burns joined Eldridge Cleaver in exile in Algiers. When Cleaver fell out of favor with the Algerians, Burns returned to the United States in January 1974, after most BLA members had been captured. But he remained committed to the cause and helped organize the liberation of Chesimard.
The Family began its robbery spree in December 1976. Its attempts were not always successful, but with practice the sophistication of its attacks grew. The Family recruited a small, white revolutionary organization into its operation. M-19 (May 19 Communist Organization) was formed by a handful of ex-Weathermen (David Gilbert, Kathy Boudin, Susan Rosenberg, and Judith Clark) who remained underground after that organization disintegrated in 1976. M-19 provided cover for the BLA core of the Family; the whites drove the getaway vehicles to fool the authorities, who would be looking for black men.

On June 2, 1981, the Family netted nearly $300,000 from an armored car in the Bronx. But they killed one guard during the robbery and wounded another. The carnage was even greater, however, in their last job. The plan was to rob an armored car at a mall in upstate New York. Some of the proceeds were to be used to bomb a Brooklyn police precinct where one of the BLA members had been held. The robbery started well but ended badly. The gang made off with $1.6 million in cash but killed a guard and wounded two others in the process. A few minutes later the getaway truck was stopped at a roadblock. The white radicals were driving and the blacks burst from the back of the truck with guns blazing. They killed two police officers and wounded another. One of their own was mortally wounded by the return fire, and Marilyn Buck shot herself while pulling a pistol from her boot. The team then piled into several cars, but the one with the cash crashed during the chase and four members of the Family were apprehended. Others were captured in the days to come. The Black Liberation Army had come to an end in a hail of bullets.


Over the course of a decade BLA members killed at least 14 guards or law enforcement officers and wounded more than 20. Nine of their own died in action and more than two dozen were convicted of various crimes. At its height the police believed that the BLA (or at least its New York branch) consisted of 25 or 30 hard-core activists and another 75 sympathizers. Sixteen people belonged to the Family, including the M-19 associates.
Although they had no faith in the criminal justice system, several BLA members were acquitted at trial. Joanne Chesimard’s first trial ended in a hung jury; in the second she was acquitted of bank robbery; but in the third she was convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting of the New Jersey State Trooper. Henry Brown was acquitted for the murder of two police officers in January 1972 but convicted of several other charges. Richard Moore was found guilty in 1973 for the first BLA shooting, but eventually his conviction was thrown out and he was paid a large cash settlement by the government.

All of those involved in the October 1981 Brinks armored car robbery received long prison sentences. A few in the second tier of the Family have been released in recent years, but many participants will not be eligible for parole for several more decades.

Nov 2, 2009 “Assata Shakur Liberation Day” marks 30 yrs of freedom for our Comrade Assata Shakur, Our Warrior was liberated from a NJ prison by Comrades In The Black Liberation Army click here to read more or here

No One True Culture of Liberty 2

Tolerance is important but difficult to define and easily subverted.

Daniel McCarthy

Libertarians ought to support a culture of liberty. But what does that mean?

Many scholars of liberty—the sociologist Rodney Stark, to name one—have argued that Western Christianity is the original culture of liberty. It ended classical slavery, improved the status of women, recognized the sanctity of the individual soul, and set the stage for a proliferation of private property rights and the spirit of enterprise throughout Europe as nowhere else. From all that, it may not follow that Christian culture is still the womb of liberty today. But conservatives and culturally right-wing libertarians believe it is.

Progressives and culturally left-leaning libertarians tell another story, in which Christianity is a seedbed of intolerance and repression—often violent repression. Libertarians of all stripes are comfortable enough condemning aggressive violence categorically. (Though even here questions arise: Who defines aggression? Is violence against a fetus in the womb aggression, or is it a defense of your right to your own body?) What kind of culture leads to minimal aggression and maximum freedom is a matter of contention. Tolerance is probably an important attribute of any culture of liberty, but tolerance is harder to define than liberty itself.

Consider: If McCorp fires John Doe because he voices support for gay marriage, a libertarian who subscribes to a progressive view of the world might say McCorp has committed an act of intolerance against Doe. But if Cold Harbor Laboratory fires a molecular biologist (let’s call him “James Watson”) because he states a belief that Africans have weak cognitive abilities, the same progressive libertarian may not believe any act of intolerance has occurred—or, if one has, that Watson is the guilty party. After all, can you foster a culture of liberty in a society polluted by views like Watson’s? If that example seems too easy, consider the case of an otherwise qualified professor denied tenure because he’s a creationist, or because he’s a Republican.

Must a free society treat those who hold irrational or bigoted opinions the same way it treats those who have enlightened views? To do so, Herbert Marcuse warned, amounts to “repressive tolerance,” a kind of tolerance that allows fascist personality types to flourish and thereby undermines freedom. Right-wingers have their own list of views that must be suppressed (by force or by social stigma) in the name of freedom. Willmoore Kendall, for example, believed that public orthodoxy ought to trump free speech, since all liberties rest upon a cultural consensus. Thus, according to Kendall, Athens was right to execute Socrates, and 1950s America ought not to tolerate Communists. For disciples of Marcuse and Kendall, freedom really isn’t free.

Maybe a true culture of liberty has nothing to do with left-wing or right-wing orthodoxies. Rather than taking sides in culture wars over race, religion, sex, and subversion, libertarians —so this line of thinking goes—ought just to affirm a culture that supports property rights. In this case, the libertarian position regarding John Doe or James Watson should be to support employers whenever they fire anyone, since (unless a contract specifies otherwise) an em-ployer always has a right to dismiss subordinates. But even this culturally neutral standpoint does not have an uncontested claim to be the pure libertarian view. Those who take their cues from John Stuart Mill will argue that expressive liberty is at least as important as property rights. We therefore ought to defend employees with unpopular views against arbitrary dismissal, regardless of whether we find their opinions righteous or repugnant.

If Mill is patron saint of the expressive libertarians, Murray Rothbard is the champion of the propertarians. Kerry Howley’s essay makes the case for a substantive left-libertarianism. She suggests the Ed Feser of 2001 as spokesman for the culturally right-wing libertarians. Today Feser, who has continued to move rightward, or at least stateward, is not a libertarian at all, which might seem to prove Howley’s point. But I held views not far from Feser’s in 2001, and I have followed a different trajectory. That Feser and I can move in different directions from similar cultural presuppositions might prove the point I want to make: that there is no one true culture of liberty.

The idea that only traditional attitudes, never progressive ones, can be oppressive strikes me as naive. Cultural progressives are as apt as anyone to make the leap from stigmatizing to persecuting their enemies. Scapegoating has been as useful for the authoritarian left as for the authoritarian right: Witness the hysteria about white separatists and right-wing militias that recurs every time a tolerant Democratic administration succeeds an intolerant Republican one. Randy Weaver, no less than Matthew Shepard, can attest to the consequences of demonizing misfits.

Nor do progressive attitudes toward sex and race necessarily lead to a culture of liberty. In the 1920s the Soviet Union was less racist and more sexually open than the United States. Divorce and abortion were legal and readily available, and more than a few Bolsheviks practiced as well as preached free love. Yet that did not make Russia a more fertile soil for liberty. Workers’ orgies were no defense against the power of the Soviet state, which soon revoked the moral license it had granted.

To point out the inadequacies of cultural progressivism is not to excuse the flaws of cultural conservatives. Either side may be more or less libertarian in practice. Paradoxically, the nonlibertarian qualities of the mutually antagonistic left and right sometimes entail unexpected benefits for freedom. Some of the most effective centers of resistance to state power over the centuries, after all, have been nonindividualistic institutions such as labor unions, churches, guilds, and extended families. Conversely, when libertarians attack these organs of civil society in the name of freedom, they may only succeed in empowering the state—not always, but sometimes.

If some libertarians won’t tell you what freedom should look like beyond the absence of the state, don’t assume that these people must subscribe to a crabbed idea of liberty or else are smuggling their values behind a veil of cultural neutrality. These anti-statists may refuse to define the cultural content of libertopia because they believe deeply in the pluripotentiality of freedom—that freedom can mean the freedom to be a Mormon housewife as well as to be a postgendered television personality. Freedom, they realize, may even mean the freedom not to be free. Libertarianism does not demand that everyone subscribe to the same idea of the good life. By extension, libertarianism also should not demand that everyone subscribe to the same idea of liberty.

Thoroughgoing anti-statists understand that politics is not culture, even if culture—that is, how people live their lives—shapes politics. What follows from this is that in letting culture remain diverse, anti-statists accept that politics will be diverse too and will not always lead to outcomes that all libertarians like. The political theorist Chandran Kukathas explains this well in his paper “Two Constructions of Libertarianism.” In what he calls the “Union of Liberty,” everybody has to interpret the rules in the same way, under one centralized libertarian government. In the “Federation of Liberty,” there is a “meta-tolerance” toward different understandings of tolerance and liberty because it is understood that other people interpret political rules, including the fundamental libertarian rule of nonaggression, in different ways.

The danger of the Federation of Liberty is that it permits violations of liberty, perhaps even outright slavery. The danger of the Union of Liberty, however, is much worse. The trouble is not only a universal state but a universal orthodoxy, a tyranny of the supermajority that threatens to destroy the individual personality. In culture, even tolerance, justice, and liberty can be carried too far. One must be permitted some room for error, psychological space for entertaining thoughts other than “libertarian” thoughts.

Consider the plight of Alex in the Anthony Burgess novel and Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange. By any standard—left, right, Millian, or Rothbardian—Alex is no libertarian. He’s a vandal, a murderer, a rapist (ipso facto a misogynist). He’s guilty of every crime. So why do so many of us sympathize with him? Our feeling for Alex derives from something deeper than mere horror at his eyes being pried open in the film’s famous torture scene. We have a right to, or better still a love for, what is inside our own skulls. If mental content, even good values like nonaggression, can be poured into Alex’s conscience as if he were nothing more than a vessel, the same could happen to any of us. Not only the state but also our culture must not press its demands so far into the individual conscience, whether by “justified” coercion (in the case of the killer Alex) or by any other means.

Our moral imperfections are our last guarantee of liberty against the benevolent system builders who would have all men and women speak with one voice and assent to one idea. Cultures of liberty tend to be bric-a-brac, full of unresolved tensions between competing ideas. Freedom does not depend upon universalizing the “right”—or left—values. It’s the other way around: A clash of values is what makes even mental liberty possible.

Daniel McCarthy ( is senior editor of The American Conservative.

Updated News Digest January 3, 2010 1

Why Read the Sunday Papers When You Can Read AttacktheSystem.Com!

Community Organizing and National-Anarchism presentation by Andrew Yeoman

Tribal Anarchism Video Series Parts One, Two, Three, Four

United Anarchism Vs United Nationism 

Quotes of the Week:

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.”

“Intolerance is evidence of impotence.

“In the absence of will-power the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.

“Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.

“Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

                                                                                         -Aleister Crowley 

Against the Power Elite by Lew Rockwell

Obama Destroyed the Peace Scene by Ian Huyett

Obama’s Civil Liberties Failures by Robyn Blumner

The Case for Doing Nothing In Iran by Stephen M. Walt

Obama: Imperialist and Ultimate Jihadi Hero by Michael Scheuer

Why a Resister Chose Canada Over the War in Iraq by Rodney Watson

The Lap Bomber Mystery by Justin Raimondo

Blue in the Face? Take a Breath by Ian Huyett

Next Stop: Yemen by Justin Raimondo

Obama, Tell Me How This Ends by Andrew Bacevich

A Lawless Presidency by Stephen Green

One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists by Chris Hedges

Iran Nuke Document Was Forged by Gareth Porter

A Decade of Self-Delusion by Pat Buchanan

Israel Rules by Paul Craig Roberts

Terrorism Is the Cost of Empire by Jacob Hornberger

Another Surging Safari by Jeff Huber

Abandoning the Interventionist Temptation in Afghanistan by Doug Bandow

2009: The Year the Iraq War Was Lost for Good by Kelley B. Vlahos

Still Not Home for the Holidays by Charles Pena

What’s Next for Flyers? Underwear Checks? by Ron Holland

The Underpants Bomber and the Keystone Cops by Becky Akers

Terrible Arguments for Climate Change Legislation by Xon Hostetter

The Joys of Airstrikes and Anonymity by Glenn Greenwald

Christians United for War by Philip Giraldi

The U.S. Military Is Exhausted by Sarah Lazare

What the Soviets Learned in Afghanistan About Assumptions by Jordan Michael Smith

Bombs Without Borders  by John Laughland

Et Tu, Jimmy Carter? by John Tabin (and more from Ranni Amiri)

Obama, Progressives, and the Press Cindy Sheehan interviewed by Mike Whitney

Christians Against Christmas? by Tom Piatak

Tea Party: The Documentary Film by Greg Johnson

The John Birch Society Was Right by TGGP

The Double Standard on Race by John Smith

Holiday HomoCon Series One: Noel Coward, Mad About the Right by James O’Meara

Is There a Constituency for Liberty in the U.S. Media? by Bill Anderson

Worse Than Weimar or Zimbabwe by Doug Casey

American Justice? by James Ostrowski

Secession: The Hope for Humanity by Russell Longcore

Health Care Nullification by Michael Boldin

Decriminalize Political Speech by Jayne Lyn Stahl

Ben Stein Is a Scumbag by Thomas Eddlem

America’s Looming Class War by Mark Crovelli

Some Things We Learned in 2009 by Eric Margolis

The Old False Flag Trick by William Norman Grigg

PIGS Assault Man in Diabetic Seizure by Matt Welch

Public-Private Co-Dependence by Jeremy Weiland

This Berlin Wall Is Going Up in Smoke by Alex R. Knight

Failure As a Strategy by John Robb

Underpants Bomber: Israeli Intelligence Black Op? from Brad Spangler

Have You Got a Form 27B/6? by Kevin Carson

Way to Miss the Point by Kevin Carson

 2010: Welcome to Orwell’s World by John Pilger

Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Attempted Bombing by Ivan Eland

AIPAC Celebrates 47th Birthday in Court by Grant Smith

Joe Lieberman: How About Another War by John Nichols

Israel Resembles a Failed State by Ali Abunimah

Dog Hanger as Model Citizen? by Walter Brasch and Rosemary Brasch

Ivan Illich: The Peoples’ Priest by Chase Madar

The Neocon/Evangelical Alliance by Jeff Taylor

Stick It to the Banksters by Gary North

The Health Care System Is a Mess by Per Bylund

2010: U.S. to Wage War Throughout the World by Rick Rozoff

Secession and the 2nd Amendment  by Russ Longcore

The Ironic Flaw in Obamaite Healthcare Arguments by Saul Weiner

The State-AMA Complex by Steven West

The Road Ahead  by Justin Raimondo

Changing the Narrative for War by Philip Giraldi

Five Myths About Keeping America Safe from Terrorism by Stephen Flynn

Yemen: Yet Another Al-Qaeda Trap by Patrick Cockburn

Let’s Not Invade Yemen by Leon Hadar

U.S. Kicks Hornets Nest in Yemen by Eric Margolis

The Degrading Effects of Terrorism Fears by Glenn Greenwald

Get Naked to Defeat Terrorists by Becky Akers

The God That Fails by David Brooks

The Criminalization of Protest by Radley Balko

Denial on Terrorism and Foreign Policy by Jacob Hornberger

Honest Men by Taki Theodoracopulos

Richard Spencer Is Leaving Taki’s Magazine by Richard Spencer

The Real War by Pat Buchanan

Anarchists and HOAs by Gary Chartier

Don’t Go There, Heritage by Kevin Carson

The Year of the Tiger  by Alexander Cockburn

The Awful Truth by Ralph Nader

Terror Suspects and U.S. Courts by Joanne Mariner

Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old by Bob Sommer

 Taking Liberties by John Kampfner

“The Italians were called wops, the Jews were called hymies, I was of course a greaseball, and every Hispanic was a spic. Well, we all got along famously! It was rough, but it was fine.”

                                                                -Taki Theodoracopulos

On Being a Medic in the Iraq War Michael Anthony interviewed by Scott Horton


How To Flex Your Rights During Police Encounters 

Police State Tyrants: PIGS Will Be PIGS, Again 

“The “clash of civilizations” is, in a very literal sense, a clash of God and Mammon. The Islamic revolutionaries are driven by a fanatical devotion to their god and the promises they believe he has made to them if only they take up arms on his behalf. The nations of the West are driven by an almost as fanatical devotion to Mammon, that is, to wealth, luxury, power, pleasure and privilege. Further, the culture of the West combines this unabashedly materialist ethos with rejection of strength and discipline in favor of a maternalistic emphasis on health, safety, “sensitivity”, “self-esteem”, “potential”, “personal growth”, “getting in touch with one’s inner child”, “feelings” and other concepts common to pop culture psychobabble. Of course, the socio-cultural ramifications of this is to create a society of weaklings, mediocrities and crybabies.”

                                                                                                   -Keith Preston

Ride the Sky by Lucifer’s Friend

Death Walks Behind You by Atomic Rooster

Black Blade by Blue Oyster Cult

The Hunter by Blue Cheer

Silver Machine by Hawkwind

Breadfan by Budgie

Teaser by Tommy Bolin

Gypsy by Uriah Heep

(hat tip to Chris Donnellan for the following links)

Berkeley May Cut Out Science Labs in the Name of Anti-Racism 


The Geography of a Recession 

Afghanistan Will Never Be a Western Democracy 

Iraq Is Still in Chaos After Six Years of War 

The GOP’s Three-Headed Monster 

Evil Exists, Or At Least Destructive Does 

Governments vs The People: Replacing the Population With Another One 

Bishop Fulton Sheen on Cooperative Ownership 

Distributism    Part Two       Part Three 

Islamic Banking Resists the Financial Crisis 

The Mondragon Cooperatives

Southern California Shanty Town/Tent City 

The Scam of Social Conservatism by the Southern Avenger

Karl Marx: Racist and the Ancestor of Modern Genocide

Pakistan Supreme Court Recognizes Third Gender 

As the West Looks Elsewhere, the East Becomes More Autocratic 

Edgar Julius Jung: Conservative Revolutionary 

A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The Revolution Within Anarchism 

Forty Years in the Wilderness? 

Liberty and Populism: Building An Effective Resistance Movement for North America

Organizing the Urban Lumpenproletariat

National Anarchy and the American Idea

“The king is most wounded by ridicule.” -Thomas Hobbes