Reflecting on Occupy

occupy_wall_Street_sexual_assaultLooking Back on Occupy

1. Your assessment of the Occupy movement was very positive. What is the overall perception you have of this movement today? What is left of Occupy?

There is not much left of the Occupy movement as such — almost all the encampments were destroyed in November or December 2011 and virtually no new ones have emerged. On the other hand, the movement was in no way “defeated.” With few exceptions, the people arrested were quickly released and totally exonerated. The elimination of the encampments simply had the effect of forcing the participants onto other, more diverse terrains of struggle. Countless people all over the country continue to meet regularly, to network with each other and to carry out all sorts of actions — picketing banks, disrupting corporate board meetings, blocking home foreclosures, protesting environmental policies (Monsanto, Tar Sands Pipeline, fracking, etc.), in addition to more specifically “occupy” type actions such as attempting to take over and reopen schools and libraries that have been closed and abandoned, or “Homes Not Jails” attempted takeovers of vacant housing to provide dwellings for homeless people. One of the most interesting and well planned of these latter types of actions, “Occupy the Farm,” took place just a few blocks from my home last April, when ecological activists took over a large plot of vacant urban land and turned it into a community garden, planting more than ten thousand seedlings in the space of a few days. The gardener-occupiers were driven out after three weeks, but the agitation continues and has resulted in a temporary victory against a planned commercial development. [November note: Since the completion of this interview the immense disaster relief work of Occupy Sandy is yet another very important and exemplary development.]

The Occupy movement already had the implicit goal of “reclaiming the commons” — occupying public squares or parks played on this theme, since regardless of quibbles about permits it was obvious that such spaces belong to the public and are, or at least originally were, intended for public use. But these more recent actions have the merit of challenging the fetish of private property in a more direct manner. That fetish has always been extremely strong in the United States, and the police responses to its transgression have always been more immediate and brutal. But I like to hope that these types of actions will eventually weaken the fetish, just as happened in the days of the Civil Rights movement. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when black people first started restaurant sit-ins, one often heard this argument: “That restaurant belongs to the owner, he has the right to do whatever he wants with it, including deciding who he wants to serve.” But as more and more people kept peacefully sitting in and calmly accepting arrest, the general public was gradually brought around to the idea that there was a “higher law” than property rights — that other rights also had to be respected, such as the right to be treated fairly as a human being. I think this may eventually happen with these post-Occupy invasions of various types of property, as people see the absurdity of there being millions of vacant buildings while there are millions of people living in the streets. Even now many people sympathize with the idea of defending a family against foreclosure, despite the fact that a bank technically owns the home, because there is increasing awareness that the banks have often acted illegally. The notion of reopening abandoned schools, etc., is even more exemplary in that it hints at the notion of a society based on cooperation and generosity rather than on how much money can be made from something.

The two drawbacks of these types of action are that they are risky and that they thus tend to be the work of a small minority (mostly young and mostly male). Occupying public spaces is much more likely to attract the sympathy, the support, and ultimately the participation of multitudes of ordinary people (including parents, children, elderly, disabled). But for those who want to push the limits and don’t mind the risks, taking over vacant buildings and opening them up to public uses is much more challenging and inspiring than breaking windows.


2. Looking back, what do you see as the movement’s most significant features or innovations?

There were several, most of them closely interrelated. Some were genuine innovations, others were inspired by recent struggles in other countries (Argentina, Tunisia, Egypt, Greece, Spain).

  • The fact that it appeared in such a sudden, unanticipated manner. In the past, and in other countries, particular issues have sometimes provoked massive gatherings that turned into radical popular assemblies; but in this case the assemblies appeared first, without any particular provocation.
  • The fact that its agenda was open and everyone was welcome. It called on people to come together to seek practical solutions to the problems we are all facing, but it did not prejudge what those solutions might be. People put all sorts of differences aside (at least for the time being) and agreed to come together amicably, with love, or at least respect, for everyone who came and spoke up, even people with dramatically differing views. This openness was a radical break with almost all previous radical movements, and it was undoubtedly one of the main reasons that so many people were won over so quickly.
  • At the same time, it suggested a provocative terrain for these gatherings: “exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space.” This uncertain, semi-legal terrain provided just enough edge to keep the discussions from becoming too academic. (There’s nothing like wondering whether the police will move in to arrest you to encourage speaking to the point and sticking to practicalities.)
  • From the very beginning it was apparent to everyone that this was a participatory movement, not just something that you might watch from afar. In most cities and even in many towns all you had to do to find out about it was to go visit the local encampment, look around, ask questions. You could walk right in and immediately take part in the assemblies. This cut through the usual social isolation and spectator passivity, undermining the lies and misconceptions that prevail when people depend solely on what they’ve imbibed from the mass media.
  • The occupiers’ unexpected refusal to specify any particular demand. This reflected the understanding that there are innumerable issues and that they are all interconnected; that it is our whole social system, and in fact our whole way of life, that is at stake.
  • In contrast to previous radical struggles that would come together for a demonstration about a particular issue on a particular day and then disperse, the occupiers declared their intention to remain indefinitely. This enabled them to settle in and to experiment with various forms of democracy and self-management. This experimentation of course took place within the impoverished conditions of the present society, and was thus awkward and easily subjected to ridicule. But we should not underestimate the powerful effect that even such minimal experiences have on people. For most of them this was the first time in their life that they had gotten a taste of real democracy in action.
  • For many of us it was also a illuminating on-the-ground social experience. The encampments brought us together with the homeless people who are involuntary “occupiers” of the streets and parks since they have no place else to go, and who bring with them so many of the problems produced by this society, from economic poverty to every type of substance dependence and mental illness. Getting to know them on an intimate, everyday basis was a sobering experience, but also a rewarding one — sharing a meal or a tent with them, finding yourself in the unaccustomed situation where they are the ones helping you, giving you advice as to how one makes do under such conditions.
  • The fact that it spread so widely and rapidly. Many of us were used to the idea that American radical activity mostly took place in the larger cities on the two coasts and had despaired of the vast regions of conservative and clueless Mid-America. In contrast to many other countries, the United States seemed too large and too uncentralized to lend itself to the spread of a radical movement. (France, with its dominant central city, is the most obvious contrary example — numerous times a comparatively small number of people have initiated a revolt in Paris which then rapidly spread to the rest of the country via the existing networks of communication and transportation.) Thus, when I first heard about Occupy Wall Street my initial thought was, “Wow, that looks wonderful! If it continues, maybe it will eventually inspire similar movements in one or two other large cities. That would really be fantastic!” Within three weeks it had in fact spread to hundreds of other cities and towns, including many that were in isolated and conservative parts of the country.
  • Despite their geographical separation, the Occupies knew that they were all part of a national (and to some extent even international) movement, and this awareness gave them both confidence and credibility. A few dozen people in a small Midwestern town, whose demonstrations under ordinary circumstances would have been ridiculed by the local population and ignored by the local media, might now be respectfully interviewed due to the perception that they were part of a newsworthy national movement.
  • The movement was able to spread like this due to the Internet and other “social media.” As in Tunisia and Egypt, people used Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other interactive forms of communication to organize their actions, to share experiences, and to analyze and criticize their practices in real time. Most revolts of the past had to depend on much slower and clunkier forms of communication (leaflets, phone calls, snail mail) or, worse yet, had to hope that their actions and aims would be reported without too much distortion by the mass media. Now, people saw online videos of assemblies in New York and other cities and immediately decided to set up similar occupations in their own communities, then posted videos and reports about their own actions that might in turn inspire others. This was happening while the mainstream media was not even mentioning the movement. The movement effectively created its own alternative networks of communication and publicity while almost totally bypassing and ignoring the mainstream media.
  • This massive interactive communication was sometimes confusing or overwhelming, but it could also be immensely powerful, as when a particular idea or meme suddenly spread to millions of people in less than 24 hours. Instead of relying on a few leaders or specialists, we could draw on an incomparably vaster pool of human knowledge and creativity that no one was in any position to dominate. For any problem, any number of people might come up with a workable solution. At its best this reflected a sort of “communism of ideas” in the sense that people were less concerned with who “originated” some idea, let alone who might “own” it, and more involved in the practical use of ideas, rapidly weeding out the ones that could not pass the test of experience and refining those that could. This collective process also reduced the traditional emphasis on “authors” and “texts.” In my own case, for example, although I wrote a few short pieces during the early stages of the movement, I soon found that most of the points I might have made were already being made by others. Rather than writing an article, all I needed to do was to forward or “share” (via Facebook) what someone else had said (adding a comment if I had some reservations).
  • This manner of spreading also had the unforeseen effect of creating an unusual degree of autonomy among the different Occupies. As I noted in my leaflet The Awakening in America, “each of the new occupations and assemblies remains totally autonomous. Though inspired by the original Wall Street occupation, they have all been created by the people in their own communities. No outside person or group has the slightest control over any of these assemblies. Which is just as it should be.” This autonomy was so obvious that no one could have denied it, yet oddly enough I can’t recall anyone else ever noting its importance. Amid all the differences between the Occupies in different cities, no one ever dared to suggest that any Occupy should defer to any other. As I went on to note, this had two great advantages: “the proliferation of autonomous groups and actions is safer and more fruitful than the top-down ‘unity’ for which bureaucrats are always appealing. Safer, because it counteracts repression: if the occupation in one city is crushed (or coopted), the movement will still be alive and well in a hundred others. More fruitful, because this diversity enables people to share and compare among a wider range of tactics and ideas.”

I considered this latter feature so significant that at one point I toyed with the idea of putting out an “Appeal for the Continued Autonomy of Each Occupy.” This would have been amusing because political appeals are almost always aimed at changing something bad, whereas in this case I would have had the easy and pleasant task of urging the occupiers to keep doing exactly what they were already doing. Now, of course, the circumstances have changed in some ways due to the destruction of the encampments, but I think that most of the above features remain exemplary.


3. What new values and experiences did the movement bring to practice?

Far more than I can say here. It would be like asking the same question about May 1968! One of the homemade signs read: “Remember the Sixties? Here they are again!” That was only a slight exaggeration. In some ways it was indeed like a revival of the 1960s counterculture condensed into a few weeks, except that in this case the movement was not based on a narrow “hip versus straight” cultural antagonism. Everyone was welcome, all differences were accepted and appreciated as long as people shared the basic openness and good will. There was a feeling that we had all suddenly awakened, that everything was now being called into question and that everyone knew it. I will just offer a few links that may give a hint of this spirit:

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4. Would you agree that Occupy has changed the perception of the social question in the States?

Yes. First and most obviously, the “99% versus 1%” theme refocused people’s attention to the increasingly extreme economic divisions. Second, the form of the movement gave a hint of how such divisions can and must be overcome — by participatory collective action, as opposed to relying on politicians or other leaders to act for us.


5. Would you say that State repression (especially the unified and coordinated raids against the camps) was the main cause of Occupy’s decline?

Yes. Without that repression, most of the encampments would still exist (though they were beginning to face other problematic issues).


6. Were there other factors?

There were various internal contradictions. In some places there were cultural or racial divisions, or divisions between homeless and non-homeless people. In other cases, there were divisions around tactics — “reformist versus revolutionary” or “nonviolent versus black bloc.” I put quotation marks around these latter divisions because they are somewhat artificial and simplistic. Also, they are not identical to each other: nonviolent does not necessarily equal reformist, and black bloc does not necessarily equal revolutionary. In my opinion being a revolutionary does not preclude working for reforms or other immediate improvements. And though I am not a pacifist, I think that in most circumstances “nonviolent” tactics are more effective than “black bloc” ones. (The situation may be different in countries like Greece, where a large part of the population sympathizes with street-fighting tactics. But this is certainly not the case in the United States.)

Note also that the national electoral spectacle, which began to take center stage in early 2012, has also naturally tended to eclipse other events. When the election is over we will probably see a resurgence of popular agitations that will challenge the Democrats as well as the Republicans. We can already see an example of this in the recent Chicago teachers’ strike, which was struggling directly against Rahm Emanuel (Obama’s former Chief of Staff and now the mayor of Chicago). These kinds of contradictions are now dampened, but they should become more evident after the election in November.


7. From a different angle, do you think the case of the Wisconsin Recall and its failure is an example of how the Occupy movement fell into the trap of Democratic Party and labor union political strategy?

No. The Wisconsin movement, though significant and exemplary in many respects, was not part of the Occupy movement. It began several months before the Occupy movement started, and it was from the beginning focused very specifically on the Wisconsin political situation — on particular Wisconsin laws and on the Republican and Democratic parties that were involved in passing or opposing those laws. So it is hardly surprising that it rallied behind the recall elections. Virtually everyone involved in the struggle wanted to get rid of the Republicans and the laws they had passed, regardless of what other things they may have disagreed about. But this had little to do with the national Occupy movement. As far as I am aware, none of the Occupies ever fell into any sort of “Democratic trap.” Some Occupy participants will undoubtedly vote for Obama and other Democrats as lesser evils, but the Occupy assemblies constantly stressed the complicity of both major parties with the ruling economic system and almost unanimously avoided supporting either party.

There are, of course, heated debates about this issue of voting versus not voting (or of voting for some third party instead of for the Democrats). But this was going to be the case even if Occupy had never arisen. The experience of the Occupy movement simply made it clearer that, whether one chooses to vote or not, electoral politics is at most only one facet of social struggle, that direct engagement in social issues is ultimately far more important and effective. Moreover, despite the fetishisms on both sides in this issue, I don’t believe this is an either-or choice. See the statement that I posted a few weeks ago: Beyond Voting.


8. Do you think some of the spirit and ideas of Occupy has spread to the US labor movement?

Yes, but not as much as we had hoped.


9. How did the traditional union movement, considering its bureaucratic nature, connect with Occupy?

It did not connect very much, though there were some communications and attempted collaborations in New York and Oakland and a few other cities. There was much sympathy from rank-and-file workers, but the union bureaucracies evaded any significant practical collaboration. For example, the New York Transportation Workers Union expressed “support” for Occupy Wall Street, so there was some hope that those workers might strike in its defense, but this never happened.


10. Retrospectively, how do you analyze the attempts by Occupy to block the West Coast ports and the movement’s difficulties in relating to the workers involved?

The first blockade (the Oakland “General Strike” of November 2) was very successful. It was not really a general strike, but it was extremely massive and jubilant. But the longshore workers’ participation was ambiguous — they did not actually strike, they merely used the Occupy blockade as a legal excuse to stay home. The West Coast Blockade of December 12 spread to more cities, but its success was uneven and equally brief, and in most cases I believe the workers’ participation was similarly ambiguous. However, the threat of similar massive support by West Coast Occupies seems to have pressured the bosses into resolving the Longview, Washington, strike a couple of months later (February 2012). That partial capitulation probably reflected the bosses’ fear that workers and occupiers might have established a closer collaboration if the strike had continued.


11. More particularly in Oakland, did the Occupy movement succeed in reaching the black community and, if so, to what extent?

Yes. In fact, it is misleading to speak of “reaching” the black community. The black community was heavily involved from the very beginning, constituting a large percentage of the original Occupy Oakland encampment as well as of the various demonstrations and celebrations.


12. How do you see the relation between Occupy and traditional leftist groups and anarchists?

First of all, it should be noted that the traditional authoritarian leftist groups (Maoists, Trotskyists, etc.) have almost all faded away, and nobody pays any attention to the few that still survive. Back in the 1960s and 1970s such groups had a certain influence and one of our primary tasks was exposing them, trying to convince people not to be taken in by them. This is now totally unnecessary. The Occupy movement was so imbued with participatory democracy that the very notion of allowing some would-be “vanguard party” to tell them what to do would have been jeered by everyone.

The initiators of Occupy Wall Street included some anarchists and other antiauthoritarian radicals, but the great majority of participants there and in the other encampments that sprang up around the country were ordinary people who had had little or no political experience. Many were disillusioned Obama supporters; a few were even right-wing libertarian or “Tea Party” types who also had been angered by the recent Wall Street manipulations and bank bailouts.

During the first few days, many anarchists and other leftists contemptuously dismissed the Occupy movement as mere “liberal reformism.” To their credit, once they realized that this was in fact a major and in some ways unprecedented radical mass movement, most of them dropped their preconceptions and took part in it with an open mind, to see what they might learn as well as what they might teach. But some persisted in seeing the struggle in terms of their old ideological perspectives — as if the most important thing was how many people they could win over to an explicitly “anticapitalist” or “antistate” perspective. As I stressed in the “Awakening” leaflet, I think the dynamic of a popular movement is far more important than its ostensible ideological positions. It is quite natural that people react against particular grievances without waiting until it becomes feasible to envision more fundamental social changes. Moreover, they are unlikely to ever arrive at the latter stage if they have never tested their strength or developed their critical capacities in more immediate struggles. Once they are engaged in this process they will soon enough figure out for themselves if they need to go further. Virtually every revolution in history has passed through such phases. To take just one striking example, in early 1789 the French people were asked to submit complaints or demands that their representatives could bring to a national meeting of the Estates. These “Cahiers de Doléances” (Registries of Grievances) raised hundreds of different issues, but they were virtually all in the form, “The King should change this or that law . . . The King should abolish this or that tax . . . The King should order the nobles to stop doing this or that . . .” A superficial observer might have concluded that the movement was not only totally reformist, but totally monarchist! Yet a few months later the Bastille had fallen and three years later the King had been beheaded.


13. Would it be fair to say that some of these groups are stuck in an old pointless militant bravado which did not work in Oakland, except to disgust and discourage most people from participating?

I don’t think most of these groups had much effect at all, either positive or negative — the movement was far broader and deeper and more alive than any ideological tendency. On the other hand, I think that the militant “black bloc” bravado, which rightly or wrongly was often seen as reflecting anarchist perspectives, did have the negative effect you mention, namely bringing about a drastic decrease in participation. Some people attribute this decrease primarily to the police repression, and that was of course an obviously important factor. But note that the most blatant police repression — the destruction of the Occupy Oakland encampment on the morning of September 25, followed by the tear gas and other police violence later the same day (including the near murder of Scott Olsen) — actually resulted in a huge increase in public support. So many thousands of people called the Oakland mayor or posted denunciations on her Facebook page that the next day the police hardly dared to show their faces (which enabled the occupiers to reestablish the encampment less than 48 hours after it had been destroyed). The November 2 “General Strike” a week later drew more than 50,000 people. And these were not all merely casual visitors; close to half of these people also took part in the illegal and potentially dangerous port blockade the same day, even though many of them were political novices. The mood was euphoric. Thousands of newcomers were visiting the encampment every day. People all over the world were watching. The movement’s audacity and positivity were undermining all the reactionaries’ talking points and there was every likelihood that these events would continue to dominate the public consciousness for at least the next few days and inspire further advances in other cities.

The next day we woke up to see that the media coverage had shifted to a few incidents of “black bloc vandalism.” I and my friends (radicals as well as liberals) all had the same sinking feeling — not because we particularly cared about a few broken windows, but because we suspected that this idiotic side-show would distort the perception of the movement and interrupt its momentum. And so it did. The occupiers were thrown back on the defensive and proved unable to resolve the issue to anyone’s satisfaction. A large majority of the general assemblies recognized that such vandalism was counterproductive, but a sizeable minority blocked any abandonment of the “diversity of tactics” policy. (That policy had originally sounded like a reasonable compromise, but in practice it meant that a tiny minority could crash a demonstration even if most of the participants wished it to be nonviolent. The latter then had the unenviable choice of allowing the minority to hijack their demonstration or being denounced as “Peace Police” if they tried to prevent it.) A month later, following continued obsessive media focus on “irresponsible black bloc violence,” the Oakland portion of the December 12 West Coast Blockade drew perhaps 5000 people. The mood, though still enthusiastic at times, was more subdued and uneasy, and few newcomers were showing up any more. A month and a half after that, the attempted takeover of an Oakland public building on January 28 drew scarcely more than 1000 people. Actions since that time have rarely drawn more than a few hundred. The numbers tell the story. It would oversimplify matters to attribute all of this decline to black bloc tactics, but the connection was undeniable.

Actually, it was more a matter of tone than of tactics, more a matter of bravado than of violence. As always, the real violence came almost exclusively from the police. The black bloc’s supposed violence amounted to nothing more than a few broken windows, a few bottles thrown from a distance and a few make-believe barricades that wouldn’t have stopped a baby carriage. But those macho posturings played into the hands of the ruling order, enabling its spectacle to reframe the struggle. In place of a joyous, welcoming, inclusive and rapidly growing movement coming together to create a new world, we were now offered a rerun of the stale old “militants versus police” scenario. That scenario naturally tended to discourage any other form of participation and to shove most people back into the role of passive spectators. The militants wondered where everybody went, and some of them eventually concluded that the fault lay with everybody but themselves — the “liberals” and “reformists” and “pacifists” and other ordinary people were to blame for no longer turning out to support the heroic minority of suicidal revolutionary martyrs. This is the sort of vanguardist delirium that destroyed the American radical movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s and it is no wonder that most people have no interest in going there again.

I don’t wish to totally disparage the black bloc efforts. Although some of these actions were probably instigated by provocateurs, it is clear that most of them grew out of a sincere and quite understandable rage against the system. It should also be noted that many of those who took part in them had also been involved with some of the most admirable constructive actions in the encampments. The problem is that they do not ever seem to have seriously considered the ultimate effects of their tactics.

In this regard, they might do well to examine some of the “blitz” tactics that appeared during the French anti-CPE struggle of 2006. The French insurgents were certainly aggressive, but they were creatively aggressive rather than merely reactive and impulsive. As I noted at the time: “Mass demonstrations have a greater force of numbers, but they lack the flexibility that enables blitzes to move rapidly and to disperse and regroup as appropriate. This was the main reason for the development of ‘black bloc’ tactics in recent years. But black blocs are often caught up in silly fantasies of street fighting or urban guerrilla warfare. Blitzers strive to evade the system’s strengths and exploit its weaknesses, challenging it on the level of feelings and ideas as well as physical force. While black bloc actions tend to be impulsive, grimly self-important and purely destructive, blitzes contain a larger element of calculation, creativity and humor” (Reflections on the Uprising in France).


14. You were encouraged by the Quebec movement. What common points did it have with Occupy?

Although the Quebec movement did not establish any fixed occupations, it carried on much the same spirit in a more mobile fashion, operating in a similarly open, experimental and nonideological manner, thereby inspiring widespread sympathy and spreading out into the general population. You can see some of the kinship with the Occupy movement in the similarly joyous faces and similarly lively slogans and debates. Even though the Quebec movement began as a particular protest (against tuition increases), it was quickly understood that the whole social organization was being called into question.


15. More generally, do you see Occupy as a moment in a new global movement, raising new political contents and looking for new paths for action in the new period we are entering?

Yes.

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False-Flag Media Creations: Activist Scare/FBI & Propaganda tactics

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READ THE FULL STORY HERE: https://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/10/national-media-misleads-readers-by-validating-halloween-revolt-by-alleged-anarchist-group/

The group of anarchists even has a name; the National Liberation Militia. And their planned ambush also has a name; the “Halloween Revolt.”

At least according to the New York Post, which broke the story Monday, claiming it received its information from an FBI press release.

However, not only is there no mention of this group on the FBI’s official website or no mention of the news on the FBI’s Facebook page, which they update frequently, there is no evidence anywhere this group even exists.

No Facebook page. No Youtube channel. And no mention in any prior news stories.

However, if you do a search for the National Liberation Militia on FBI.gov, you get absolutely nothing. 

For an anarchist group with such a catchy, yet contradictory name, and such an ambitious, yet imminent plan, you would think they would market themselves more effectively.

So either the New York Post is completely making the story up or one of their FBI sources is feeding them a bullshit tip knowing they would never question its authenticity.

The bottom line is this, which is obvious to any of us not working for the mainstream media. Anytime there is a surge in police violence as we’ve seen in recent weeks, there will be an attempt at damage control.

 

New Album announcement

Currently writing material at The Pigeon Coop, where work for the next album is underway.  In June, we will head to B.C. Studio in Gowanus with legendary sound alchemist, Martin Bisi (Swans, Foetus, Sonic Youth) where vocals, overdubs and mixing will take place. Post-production will see James Plotkin (ISIS, Earth, Jesu) handling mastering and Cody Drasser on the artwork. The project is expected to release in the summer of 2015. 

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“History Of Illusion” now available at more locations

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History Of Illusion” is now available at the following Long Island record stores: Looney Tunes (West Babylon), High Fidelity (Amityville) and Infinity Records (Massapequa). Support your local record store!

“History Of Illusion” now in select Target locations

3850 Hempstead Tpke Levittown, NY 11756
999 Corporate Dr Westbury, NY 11590
2003 Broadway Mall Hicksville, NY 11801

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Featured Release of the week at IndieRockMag

Our new EP, ‘History Of Illusion’ is one of the featured releases of the month at french publication IndieRockMag alongside Aphex Twin, Thom Yorke, Godflesh, Sunn O))), Caribou, and many more.

They will also be reviewing us in the coming weeks, check their site over at:http://www.indierockmag.com/agenda-cd.php

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History Of Illusion out now

VIDEO: Electric Caves live @ Cameo Gallery 9.14.14

video_9.6.14 live at the 2014 Indian Summer Festival

PART III: Jonestown (1978)

Jonestown massacre, Guyana (1978)

Jim Jones was born in a small Indiana town to a father who was a KKK member and a mother who was convinced she had given birth to the messiah. He was mostly remembered as a strange and troubled kid who would torture and kill small animals and then have funerals for them, he even decorated their graves. He was a voracious reader and studied Hitler and Stalin to figure out where they went wrong with their plans. After his parents split he moved to the city of Bloomington where he sold imported monkeys door to door to fund the church he was busy creating and he also joined the local communist party. His landlady referred to him as “a gangster, who used the bible instead of a gun.” The local police chief, Dan Mitrione was supposedly an old friend of his and kept him out of jail and also from being run out of town.

He married a nurse and started adopting many children, most of them black or Korean. By this time Dan Mitrione had left the police force and was back east training with the CIA. Mitrione was then sent to Brazil to take over the CIA forces there. He was in charge of teaching them electroshock torture among other things and was a brutal enforcer. Coincidentally, at the same time Mitrione moved to Brazil, Jim Jones left his church and followers and moved his family to Brazil where he lived an extravagant lifestyle even though he had no visible means of support. Jim Johnson lived in Brazil until shortly after the JFK assassination in which he returned to America with $10,000 in cash and started a new church in Northern California.

He started an unlicensed rest home and orphanage and actually got the courts to award him 150, mostly minority children. Jim Jones considered himself the great integrator and his followers were over 80% black. Most of his followers were from mental asylums, prisons, orphanages, rest homes and homeless shelters. He put on fake faith healing shows saying the ends justified the means. He became a SF celebrity and was loved by the likes of Willie Brown, Jerry Brown, Harvey Milk, Mayor Moscone, Walter Mondale and First Lady Rosalynn Carter. In fact, Moscone appointed Jim Jones Chairman of the SF Housing Authority Commission. During this time Jim did not hide the fact that he was a communist, that his church was socialist and he was an atheist. He decided to use religion to bring about his ideas of communism and he was quoted as saying his church was the purist form of communism on earth. His followers numbered 20,000 at one point with most being black with the rest being white liberals.

In 1978 Jim Jones then left his church and career in SF and moved to Guyana with a couple hundred of his followers. He departed just before an article broke accusing his church of violence, torture and kidnapping. With the help of the US Embassy in Guyana, Jim Jones obtained the property that was formally a CIA camp that trained mercenaries for their covert war in Nicaragua. The camp was in the middle of nowhere and was rigged with loudspeakers everywhere that broadcast Jim Jones speaking 24hrs a day. The followers were given drugs like thorazine, valium, Quaaludes etc. everyday and then sent out to the fields to work. While they were working they would be observed to see how the drugs were affecting them. There was a group of 50 heavily armed white men that guarded the camp at all times with instructions to kill on site. Regularly, Jim Jones would tell a group of people that he poisoned them and they had an hour to live and then would observe how they responded. Those that tried to escape were brutally punished and then experimented on to learn the best ways to control dissenters. Basically, Jonestown was a CIA slave torture camp that was run by a handful of white men where they controlled and experimented on about 1,000 black people in the camp.

Jonestown existed because of CIA assistance and also because Jim Jones would use some of his followers as sex slaves and give their services to local politicians and authorities. Then, Jim would use these indiscretions to blackmail the local authorities and ensure that Jonestown had a steady supply of victims and that it would be left alone. However, Northern CA politician Paul Ryan, an opponent of the CIA was forced to take a trip to Jonestown to investigate the claims of violence in the church. Against all warnings, the CIA’s biggest enemy, Paul Ryan flew down to Guyana and found about 50 followers who wanted to leave with him. As they went to the airfield Ryan was attacked by a knife wielding follower but was only scratched. But, as they got to the plane Paul Ryan and several others were shot dead. However, Richard Dwyer, who was with Ryan was not killed in the shooting. He has been proven to be a CIA operative and the video immediately before the shooting shows him walking away from the group as the shooters arrive almost like he expected them.

With Ryan Dead, Jim Jones says everything is fine and then has his staff start injecting people with cyanide. Most of the deaths were not suicides, instead most bodies were found face down with a needle mark in the upper back. Hundreds of others were shot in the back as they ran to the jungle. That night, Richard Dwyer made radio contact with the CIA and reported a mass suicide from poisoned Kool Aid. Coincidentally, the military already had hundreds of body bags shipped from storage and ready to go right before the killings. Another coincidence is that at the time of the massacre, 300 green Berets trained in covert killing and 600 British Black Watch commandos were on a training mission nearby and came over to help.

The first reports claimed that 400 were dead in Jonestown. However, after a couple of days 500 more bodies were added to the count. What was the reason for suddenly finding 500 more bodies? First, they blamed the Guyana police for mis-counting then the story changed to say that the 400 bodies had hidden the extra 500. Photos of the bodies and testimony from some of the rescue personnel tell a different story. Apparently, the British and American soldiers had been chasing down followers for a couple days, shooting them or poisoning them and then dragging the bodies back to the camp where they sat in the hot sun for days and rotted making an autopsy almost impossible. A local pathologist took in upon himself to comb the killing fields for days in the hot sun with his assistants and thanks to his gruelling work, this is the only evidence we have about how most victims were killed. In fact, the body of Jim Jones was never officially found and as far as we know he may have escaped with Richard Dwyer to Granada where a few years later the local hospital known to house secret CIA experiments was suddenly bombed by US forces and replaced with a state of the art replacement facility run by the CIA. But, that’s another story.

The killing didn’t stop in Jonestown, it also found it’s way back to SF. During Jim Jone’s stay in SF he was given important positions by mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk wrote a letter to President Carter defending him and saying he was a man of highest honor. But, nine days after the Jonestown massacre, both Moscone and Milk were shot and killed by Dan White who was once in the army at Ft. Bragg, NC and has a missing year of his life before he returns to SF politics. (Remember, Ft Bragg NC is the East coast head of CIA/MK ULTRA for the military much as VA Tech is the headquarters for civilians on the East coast. Wade Michael Page was in Psy Ops at Ft. Bragg) Apparently, Dan White had CIA connections and there is credible evidence pointing to the fact that he was brainwashed into killing Milk and Moscone for the CIA as both of them knew more about Jim Jones than the CIA would have liked. Interestingly enough, the last person to speak with Dan White before the shootings was Dianne Feinstein, who then became mayor after Moscone died, who very easily could have spoken the “trigger words” to him. The killing was still not finished as Jean and Al Mills, who were writing a book on Jonestown were bound, gagged and shot and a former survivor was shot and killed in Detroit.

Part II: Connecting three incidents: Columbine (1999), Aurora (2012), Oak Creek , WI, “Sikh Temple Shooting (2012)

Let’s start our tour of some of the most infamous CIA operations of the past couple of decades. I have decided to combine the Aurora, Columbine and Oak Creek tragedies into one narrative as there is a common thread linking all of them. This common thread is named Wade Michael Page and soon we shall see how he relates to all three incidents.

Although MK ULTRA was officially ended in the 1970’s, former CIA agents have testified that not only has this practice of mind control not stopped but instead it has grown and become even more sinister and pervasive than before. The CIA began to use underground bunkers at various military sites across the country to continue these MK ULTRArelated experiments. There is a base in the DC area, there was a large underground base in the 1990’s in Plattsburg NY and now most of the CIA mind control operations are located deep under the Denver airport as their entire domestic spying operation is deep in a 15 story bunker under the new airport.

Back in the middle 1990’s the air force base in Plattsburg NY closed down. However, after it’s closure, a few dozen families remained on the base as they were working with the CIA/MK ULTRA which was under the base. One of these families was the Harris family. They had a young son and after the dad finished his military career as a pilot, he went to work with the CIA in Plattsburg. At the age of 10, Eric Harris was now moving from Plattsburg and he told one of his classmates that he couldn’t wait to leave NY as he wanted to get away from “all of the experiments”. Little did he know, his dad was being transferred from a closing CIA base in NY to a brand new state of the art facility in the Denver area. The 10yr old who was apparently subject to MK ULTRA programming moved to Littleton CO only to be dragged further into the CIA mind control web.

Meanwhile, in 1992, Wade Michael Page joined the army as a missile technician. He was very intelligent and good at his job, so much so, that he was promoted from repairing missiles to working in Psy Ops at Fort Bragg. He was introduced to and taught how to use MK ULTRAtechniques. There is also a good possibility he was a victim of MK ULTRA and Monarch programming as many soldiers unknowingly were. In 1998 he was released from the army under suspicion of getting drunk on the job. Then, he apparently returned to Colorado and was immediately hired by the CIA in Denver as he had training and experience in mind control. Plus, there is a good chance he was already Monarch programmed. The CIA learned from the Nazi scientists that once you switch personalities on a slave, they will usually not remember what happened. Therefore you could program them to kill and when they left that personality, they would not remember being involved in the crime.

In 1999 Wade Michael Page was living within 5 miles of Eric Harris, who had been programmed in Plattsburg since before the age of 10 and trained by his CIA father in explosives and weapons. Eric was involved with a loose knit group of guys who listened to metal music and hung out at a local pizza joint that Eric Harris and his buddy Dylan worked at. They called themselves the trench coat mafia. About 4 miles from this pizza joint was a 28yr old Page who was known to love metal music and pizza. We can be pretty sure that despite their CIA connections, Harris and Page probably would have met just hanging out at Black Jack Pizza one would assume.

So, who are Eric Harris and his buddy Dylan? They are, of course, the two students involved in the Columbine shooting in 1999. The shooting where the shooters supposedly committed suicide at 12:07pm yet the SWAT teams didn’t enter the school until almost 3 hours later. Shots were heard by many witnesses after 1pm and 6 of the student deaths had to be investigated because witnesses and evidence showed the SWAT team killed 6-7 students. Many witnesses saw multiple gunmen with masks, casings were found in areas the shooters never went, 911 calls have shooting going on at two different ends of campus simultaneously. There were reports of a shooter on the roof and casings were found that don’t belong to either shooter. The most telling reports are from the rescue workers as they tried to assist. Many report that they had to stand by and wait for hours as victims cried out for help. There are reports that the rescue personnel were threatened to be shot by the county sheriff deputies if they attempted to enter the campus. If you watch the live coverage from CNN you can see that early on there is a 2 star general in fatigues on the scene and an FBI SWAT team. So, how did all of these agencies end up on scene within minutes? Who called the FBI and US military and who were the three men in black/fatigues that were caught near the school after the shootings and why were they released?

At the end of the Columbine tragedy both shooters were dead as was just about every eye witness to the shootings. Most of the victims died waiting 3 hours for the police to enter the compound. The only teacher killed had survived over 3 hours with students helping him yet dies within minutes of the police “helping” him. Even though the police tell us there were only two shooters, both killed in the attack, it takes over 1 year to release the first police report, filled with errors. What is so complicated about 2 kids shooting up a school? And why do the witness reports vary and change as the siege continues?

Now, what happens to Page who lived up the road from the school after the shooting? Well, he just so happens to find his calling in life and he becomes the leader of a white power metal band, End Apathy. In interviews from years ago Page describes how it wasn’t until the year 2000 that he suddenly decided to become involved in white supremacy. This is very telling for many reasons. Earlier we discussed how the Nazi scientists used mind control based upon Nazi beliefs. It isn’t an accident that all the Nazi leaders had the same racist, pure bloodlines beliefs as this was actually part of the MK ULTRA programming. They learned that Nazi images were one of the best way to create a slave.

Many people are not aware of it but there exists a large underground white power/Nazi movement complete with music, record labels, books, groups etc. And most of this white power industry is controlled by the CIA. This is for two reasons. First, this allows the CIA to basically infiltrate the Nazi movement and gather intel. The second reason is that MK ULTRA slaves programmed with Nazi motifs could be kept in check by their CIA “handlers”. Much of the white power movement is simply Monarch programmed slaves being kept as sleepers until they are needed, then, they are simply called a crazy racist and disposed of, nobody really knowing the truth behind the operation. The same principle was used in the 1950’s/60’s with the Black power movement which also was basically run by the CIA. The CIA has an agent start a radical racist group, white or black, then they instigate their members to commit violence and now the CIA/FBI has reason to crack down on “the movement”, which was created by them in the first place!

Page’s band was signed by a label owned by an admitted CIA “double agent” working for the US gov’t. This way, the CIA could keep an eye on Page during the next 12 years as he played in a white power band which was signed to a label owned by the CIA. Needless to say, Page was kept close to those who would need his services in the future.

Flash forward to present day Denver. The huge CIA complex under the airport is fully operational and is the main base of operations for whatever MK ULTRA was now calling itself. A brilliant grad student is working on mind control studies at the university in Boulder and actually created a program to help trigger and exploit specific parts of the brain. This student was also receiving gov’t grants to further continue his studies. This grad student’s name is James Holmes. His father, Robert Holmes has a PhD from Stanford and created a complex algorithm that could effectively check in on the world banks and make sure they were not cheating anyone. In fact, he was set to testify regarding the LIBOR banking scandals.

Before Robert Holmes could testify, his son James suddenly “went crazy”, dressed like the joker from Batman and shot up a movie theater in Aurora, CO which is a 17 mile drive on the freeway away from Littleton, home of BlackJack Pizza and the former stomping grounds of one Wade Michael Page.

In 2000, following Columbine, Wade Michael Page sudden became reborn as a white power follower. He was into the scene, started his own band and was signed to a label owned by a self admitted CIA informer. He spent the better part of the next decade living in North Carolina and eventually ended up in Wisconsin. A few weeks before the Aurora shooting Page disappeared. His friends, coworkers, bandmates and girlfriend testified that he had simply vanished. For 6 weeks nobody knew where he was and when he suddenly returned he was different. He moved into a new apartment, quit his job and spent a couple weeks sitting alone in his apt. like a zombie.

Suddenly, this former rocket maintenance technician and psy ops specialist who was in a white power band attacks a Sikh temple in WI mistaking them for muslims. The witnesses described an attacker who silently and methodically gunned people down. He wasn’t screaming white power slogans or hurling racial invectives, he was calmly shooting people. Then, he was killed by a cop which was later changed to he shot himself. The end of the Wade Michael Page story.

On the surface, these final two events seem unrelated and examples of an “open and closed case”. However, if you start to pull at the strings it all starts to unravel yet again and all we are left with are coincidences. Coincidence on top of coincidence on top of many more is what you find. I don’t want to bore anyone with too much info so I will simply give you an outline here. (Google- batman shooting conspiracy, Wisconsin sikh temple shooting conspiracy)

As with all CIA operations, there are many inconsistencies with both shootings. The most obvious in each case are the fact that several witnesses at each shooting said there was more then one shooter. The second most obvious is the videotape. It has been confiscated by the gov’t in Aurora and the large complex in WI filled with cameras we are told they were not working at the time of the attack. Nobody outside of the gov’t has seen footage from either site although there were video systems in place. However, during a press conference on the WI incident, the FBI agent interviewed said he watched the tape and the police officer involved was to be commended. What video tape could he be talking about? Supposedly there was no videotape in the WI incident.

Also, in Aurora, a second gas mask was found on the opposite side of the theater where James Holmes was found. And how was James Holmes found? Sitting calmly in his car, dressed in a black suit of armor that cost about $10k, weapons beside him. He immediately tells the police his apt. is booby-trapped. The police check it out and find a system of explosives so elaborate the FBI had to be called in and a technician reported that you don’t see this kind of stuff outside of war zones. Interesting how a grad student with no military training could construct such an elaborate maze of explosives that even impressed veteran FBI bomb agents. And why would he go to all the trouble to booby trap the place and then tell the cops right as he was caught?

Witnesses in the theater before the shooting testified that a heavy set white guy with a goatee took 2 calls as the movie was beginning and walked to fire exits and appeared to be motioning to somebody. Coincidentally Wade Michael Page was a heavy set white guy with a goatee  who used to live in the area and at this time, nobody in WI knew where he was.

Anyways, following the shooting the suspect is found basically incoherent sitting in his car. There are blood stains all around but mysteriously, there aren’t any leading to the car he was found in. (Google- Aurora shooting scene photos) Then, James Holmes was whisked away in gov’t custody and the last couple of times we have seen him they have him so drugged up he can’t even focus his eyes. Instead of testifying he will be conveniently drugged until the time is right.

Back to the WI Sikh temple shooting for a moment. Two witnesses described three white men dressed in black methodically shooting people and if you listen to the recordings of the police radio they mention that a witness states two vehicles left the compound immediately following the shooting, before the police arrived. (Google- WI Sikh shooting, police dispatch) Also one of the witnesses described seeing strange white men in a van hanging around nearby the day before the shooting.

The bottom line in all of these shooting is the following. In Columbine, both gunmen and almost every eye witness was shot dead. In Aurora, people were shot by a masked gunman in black and all we know is a man in black sitting behind the theater is now drugged up and in gov’t control indefinitely. Finally, the shooter in WI is dead as are most of the eye witnesses. Even though there was video surveillance at all three places, the video either doesn’t exist or we have only been shown snippets of it, with some scenes apparently edited before being shown to us. All we are left with is a bunch of questions and a few lone gunmen theories, open and shut cases. A few crazy nuts killed some innocent people we are told.