They Shot the Sheriff. Anonymous leak 10Gb of Police Data

They shot the sheriff, and they claim it was in self defence……..

In what Anonymous and AntiSec have dubbed Shooting Sheriff Saturday (#SSS in twitterland), digital activists and hackers have just dumped 10Gb of information they say has been hacked from over 70 US law enforcement institutions.

Usually such leaks are released as P2P sharing torrents, and its seems this info dump will be the same. Those releasing the info set up a pre release page at featuring a link to Bob Marleys I shot the sherriff on you tube and flagging up what was to come.It seems the plan is to make the leaked emails and correspondence, which is said to contain evidence of police corruption,  a searchable database accessible to all.


We hope that not only will dropping this info demonstrate the inherently corrupt nature of law enforcement using their own words, as well as result in possibly humiliation, firings, and possible charges against several officers, but that it will also disrupt and sabotage their ability to communicate and terrorize communities.

We are doing this in solidarity with Topiary and the Anonymous PayPal LOIC defendants as well as all other political prisoners who are facing the gun of the crooked court system. We stand in support of all those who struggle against the injustices of the state and capitalism using whatever tactics are most effective, even if that means breaking their laws in order to expose their corruption. You may bust a few of us, but we greatly outnumber you, and you cannever stop us from continuing to destroy your systems and leak your data.

So whilst this hack and leak is in direct response to the arrest and charging of many hackers over the last fortnight, most famously that of the arrest and charging of Jake Davis, (alleged to be Topairy) an 18-year-old from the Shetland Islands, who was released on bail on Monday after being charged with five offences relating to computer attacks and break-ins by the LulzSec and Anonymous hacking groups earlier this year, its clear that the agenda is not simply about defense of fellow hackers, or what could be called comprades – see what i did there.   US Law enforcement agencies are downplaying the leak, but we remember how HBGary also downplayed the leaks that led to demise of the company hire/d by Bank ofAmerica, via the federal government, to find ways to bring down Wikileaks , following Assanges semi veiled threat to dump the info- still unreleased- Wikileaks has on BoA. In fact all those emails are still searchable at

HBGary getting the piss taken out of them

HBGary getting the piss taken out of them - pic courtesy of Jaded security

We lol’d as we watched the news reports come in, quoting various Sheriffs who denied that they were ever hacked, that any personal information was stolen, that they did not store snitch info on their servers. Many lulz have been had as we taunted the sheriffs by responding to their denials by tweeting teasers exposing their SSNs, passwords, addresses, and private emails. We also took the liberty to backdoor their online store and capture a few credit card numbers, which were used to make involuntary donations to the ACLU, the EFF, the Bradley Manning Support Network, and more. Despite active FBI investigations and their additional security measures, they could not stop us from owning their servers, stealing their identities, and dropping all their data. Two weeks later only a few of the sites are up with limited functionality as we scared them into removing any dynamic PHP scripts, forcing them to use static HTML content.

I wrote a few months back about how i could see parallel between the original pirates of the Atlantic maratine state and stealing credit details and donating money to progressive groups like EFF – “the leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world” certainly inject more than a bit of humour into these hacks.

These leaks, much of which can be found at contains info ranging from  low level informants ratting on “illegal” migrants to concerned citizens busting their neighbours for having a party and selling booze. There is also information people reporting others they suspect of being involve in criminal activity such as

Joe that works at aromatique is on meth so bad right now it's
ridiculous. Jaclyn Williams smokes more dope than she helps y'all
bust. Cc Wilson gives sexual favors for money and sells dope.

as well as email ‘spools’ from various’ law enforcement’ organisations. I havent had a chance to browse through much of this so I can really comment further on the content or any of its implications though.

[*] BROWSE THE LEAK: http://vv7pabmmyr2vnflf.onion/ (ON TOR) (NOT TOR)


The booty contains:

[*] Over 300 mail accounts from 56 law enforcement domains
[*] Missouri Sheriff account dump (
7000+ usernames, passwords, home addresses, phones and SSNs
[*] Online Police Training Academy files
PDFs, videos, HTML files
[*] “Report a Crime” snitch list compilation (60+ entries)
[*] Plesk plaintext server passwords (ftp/ssh, email, cpanel, protected


The US cable the Irish Independent won’t cover

Heres a link to that US cable amongst the 250,000 leaked out by wikileaks to papers.  Its really worth a look in full.  Whats really notable is some of the direct language used in setting that are supposedly not in the public’s earshot. The UKs Guardian released it over 6 months ago

This discussion took place in Dublin 27 Nov 2004 with “a leading US Official” United States Secretary of the Treasury at that time John W Snow (leading capitalist cheerleaders bio here). He was here to “discover the secrets of the Celtic Tiger”.

Which at first glance seems odd considering that much of the theoretical background ( as well as the military backup to create ‘space’ for the first experiments) of neoliberalism came from within the US. The cable itself can be found here The highlights in bold below are mine as these are the things that stuck out to me as important and/striking.   Section 1 is a general over view and then more detailed breakdown of conversations over a few days Would love to here what you all think. It does nothing to reduce the reality of a very cosy elite who see us as pawns to move around of for their and our own good. Some priceless quotes and one can only imagine the worldview that underpins them. These folks would have you up against a wall if they felt it was needed ———————–

1. (C) Summary: The November 14-15 visit of U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow was an opportunity for discussion on SIPDIS the “secrets” of Ireland,s success with policy-makers and businessmen who were the architects of Ireland,s Celtic Tiger economy. These key figures noted that while the concepts behind Ireland,s reforms had been simple, the political will to carry out the reforms had only come in the context of an economic meltdown in the mid-1980s. They said that good-faith relations with labor, investment in education, and a “dictatorial” leadership that exposed industries to the full discipline of the market had been key to success. Ireland,s skill in securing substantial EU support funds and in exploiting U.S. policy on corporate tax deferral was another important factor in Ireland,s economic turnaround. Looking ahead, the policy-makers cited both the need to ensure Ireland,s continued competitiveness as a magnet for foreign direct investment and also the role of education in shaping Ireland as an innovation-based, higher-value economy. Secretary Snow,s classroom discussion at Dublin City University (DCU) highlighted the role of higher education in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

End summary.

———— Introduction ————

2. (U) The November 14-15 visit of U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow was an opportunity for substantive discussion on the “secrets” of Ireland,s economic success. During a dinner hosted by the Ambassador and a lunch arranged by the Ulster Bank, Secretary Snow spoke with 16 policy-makers and businessmen (listed in para 12) who were instrumental in the emergence of the Celtic Tiger economy. A breakfast with the American Chamber of Commerce and a classroom exchange at Dublin City University (DCU) reinforced the points made by these key figures. The following are the principal insights that emerged from Secretary Snow,s visit (which are organized thematically, not in the sequential order in which they were discussed).

——————————————— ——–

In the Beginning: Political Will and Industrial Peace ——————————————— ——–

3. (C) Although the concepts behind Ireland,s reforms had been simple, the political will to carry out the reforms had only come in the context of the mid-1980s, economic meltdown, said Padraig O,hUiginn, former Secretary General in the Office of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister). O,hUiginn recalled drafting a proposal for economic recovery during that era, using ideas that were “apparent to any first-year economics graduate student” ) cut the fiscal deficit, spur competition, lower corporate taxes, etc.

The ruling party at the time, Fine Gael, did not act on the proposal, but the Fianna Fail government elected in 1987 made the document the basis for the Program of National Recovery (PNR), which set forth the policies that underpinned Ireland,s economic turnaround. Fianna Fail,s “great advantage” at the time, said O,hUiginn, was Ireland,s economic crisis; with 18 percent unemployment and government debt at 130 percent of GDP, the political opposition, industry, and labor could not afford politically to impede solutions. The PNR,s linchpin was labor,s decision to accept a moderate wage increases in exchange for income tax relief, which became the basic approach to successive national wage-setting (Social Partnership) agreements. O,hUiginn recounted that the Government offered Irish pounds 700 million in tax relief in 1987 and also cut the fiscal deficit, forcing the closure of several hospitals and the retrenchment of 16,000 civil servants. He noted that the moderate wage increase incorporated in the PNR laid the foundation for Ireland,s competitiveness as an export platform and as a draw for foreign direct investment (FDI).

4. (C) The Government,s good-faith dealings with unions in negotiating Social Partnership agreements were, and remained, central to Ireland,s economic success, said Peter Cassells, former General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. According to Cassells, a shared understanding between unions and the Government on the importance of decent wages and housing for workers was the basis of labor,s commitment to the Social Partnership approach. He added that the transparency and inclusiveness of wage-setting negotiations, in which even the most disgruntled union representatives were given voice, were also instrumental to success. The typical industrial relations model in which union chiefs and politicians hammered out back-room agreements, in the mode of Lyndon Johnson and Lane Kirkland, would not have secured labor buy-in to economic reforms, Cassells asserted. He further observed that the Social Partnership approach might not be replicable in other EU Member States, which typically were more populous than Ireland and had more diffuse union structures.

The Key: Human Capital ———————-

  1. (C) The chief source of Ireland,s success has been its educated labor force, said EU Commissioner-designate and former Irish Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy. He noted that the introduction of free primary and secondary education in the 1960-70s initially benefited other countries as much as Ireland, due to the emigration of educated Irish workers. As a young parliamentarian, moreover, McCreevy had warned that the 1970s, baby boom was a looming disaster, on the pretext that Ireland,s small, weak economy could not accommodate a future surge in labor, even with emigration. As it turned out, this large pool of young, educated workers became Ireland,s principal resource and the main attraction for foreign multinationals to establish subsidiaries in the country. Far from a disaster, the period 1987-2003 saw the addition of 600,000 jobs to the economy and drop in the unemployment rate from 18 percent to 4 percent. This success, concluded McCreevy, was primarily attributable to Ireland,s investment in human capital

———————— “Dictatorial” Leadership ————————

6. (C) The implementation of reforms that underpinned Ireland,s economic recovery had required “dictatorial” leadership, said McCreevy. This involved incenitivizing industries to achieve efficiencies by exposing them to the full discipline of the market, even at the risk of bankruptcies. The challenge in this approach, explained McCreevy, was to press ahead with reforms in the face of elections, which provided temptations for politicians to adopt softer, more populist economic platforms. Secretary Snow observed that whereas the gains from economic reforms in any country tended to be diffuse, the losses were often concentrated in particular sectors or geographic areas, making it easier for those affected to organize political opposition. McCreevy commented that the test of any government was how well it explained to dislocated workers that the reforms responsible for their plight were good for the country. Indecon Economic Consultants CEO Alan Gray separately pointed out that Ireland had succeeded, through education, in giving workers the skills to move across industries, to the point now where those laid off did not ask, “Do I have any hope of a job?” but rather “Which one of my new employment choices should I take?”

——- EU Help ——-

7. (C) EU tools, primarily structural support funds, were another factor in the emergence of Ireland,s Celtic Tiger economy, explained former Prime Minister (1992-95) Albert Reynolds and Ray McSharry, former EU Commissioner and Irish Finance Minister. Reynolds said that the Irish Government did not shy from viewing such tools as entitlements, since Ireland, as an island nation, faced additional challenges trading within the European Community. He and McSharry recalled that Ireland had negotiated well to maximize the level of EU support. For example, Reynolds claimed that he had obtained over euro one billion from Brussels as a result of a discussion with Chancellor Kohl in which Reynolds agreed to support Germany,s push for rapid EU enlargement. EU Commissioner-designate McCreevy separately echoed Reynolds, points, saying that French Finance Minister Sarkozy,s proposal to reduce EU support for new Member States that applied low corporate tax rates was shortsighted. McCreevy said that any EU measures to increase growth in the new Member States would redound to the benefit of the entire EU.

————————— U.S. Policy on Tax Deferral —————————

8. (C) The U.S. policy of tax deferral for foreign subsidiaries of American firms, combined with Ireland,s 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, underpinned the large influx of U.S. investment to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger period, observed Padraic White, former CEO of Ireland,s Industrial Development Authority (IDA). White recounted his numerous trips to the U.S. House of Representatives, Ways and Means Committee to defend tax deferral, and he argued that Senator Kerry,s plan to reverse tax deferral would have “killed Ireland,” had he been elected. White believed that complaints by the U.S. public about the job outsourcing that accompanied U.S. investment flows were wrong-headed. U.S. subsidiaries in Ireland, he argued, were the principle reason that the United States had penetrated the personal computer, software, and pharmaceutical markets in Europe. He further observed that under-performing U.S. companies were typically those that had not attempted to expand overseas. Secretary Snow concurred that U.S. companies that were outsourcing overseas were those creating the most jobs in the United States. He highlighted, however, the political difficulty of explaining outsourcing to the U.S. public, recalling slogans during the recent election campaign that criticized “Benedict Arnold CEOs.”

—————————A Propitious Lack of Monetary Policy Tools——————–

9. (C) An ironic feature of Ireland,s success has been the Government,s lack of monetary policy tools, remarked Cormack McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Ulster Bank. One might think that a country that had performed so well in terms of exports and investment would have relied heavily on interest rate and exchange rate levers, said McCarthy. As a euro-zone member, in fact, Ireland had ceded control of its monetary policy to the European Central Bank. The positive result, said McCarthy, were low interest rates. He believed that if Ireland had remained control of monetary policy, the Government would have been tempted to raise interest rates to slow rapid growth in the late 1990s. Instead, the low rates set by the ECB had been a boon to Ireland,s private sector and had lent a sense of stability and consistency to the Irish market for foreign investors.

——————————————– Looking Ahead: Competitiveness and Education ———

10. (C) Looking ahead, the principal danger for Ireland is complacency, said Eoin O,Driscoll, Chairman of Forfas (the Government think-tank) and the Government-commissioned Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). Echoing the ESG,s recently published findings, O,Driscoll cited the need to ensure Ireland,s continued competitiveness as a magnet for foreign direct investment (FDI), which, he said, had driven the country,s economic transformation. (U.S. and Irish businesspersons who attended the November 15 American Chamber of Commerce breakfast with Secretary Snow made similar points, noting that multinationals were increasingly attracted by low-cost manufacturing opportunities in China and India.) O,Driscoll said that, just as industry and Government had collaborated in the 1990s to make Ireland a base for leading bio-pharmaceutical and IT companies, the country needed a new shared vision to go another rung higher in the production of innovative, high-value goods and services. He note that this challenge would involve marrying innovation to better business practices, particularly in sales and marketing, and he praised the U.S. model of perfecting product designs in the market, as opposed to the European preference of the laboratory. While Secretary Snow cautioned against government attempts to pick winners in the market, he ventured that the key to economic prosperity rested with countries like the United States that fostered a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

11. (U) Secretary Snow,s classroom discussion with students, professors, and administrators at Dublin City University (DCU) was a venue for further discussion on the role of innovation, entrepreneurship, and academia in strengthening the Irish economy. The event took place at DCU,s “Invent Center,” which serves as a business incubator for student entrepreneurs and community start-up companies. Secretary Snow highlighted the centrality of education and SIPDIS intellectual capital to the modern, knowledge-based economy, and he explained that to embrace a market economy was to embrace ever-changing needs for new ideas and skills. He also noted the difficulties that economists had encountered in finding ways to capture creativity, “that spark,” in modeling economic activity. DCU president Ferdinand von Prondzynski commented that the university had encountered a similar challenge, but espoused the belief that entrepreneurship could be taught, in the same way as poetry, painting, and other modes of creativity. Prondzynski also stressed that innovation meant little without business skills, and he cited DCU requirements for students to establish relationships Irish entrepreneurs who had both succeeded and failed in bringing new ideas to the market.

——– Participants in the “Architect” Discussions with Secretary Snow ——————————-

12. (U) Participants in the Ambassador,s November 14 dinner for Secretary Snow were: Charlie McCreevy, EU Commissioner-designate and former Irish Finance Minister; Dermot Desmond, financier; Eoin O,Driscoll, Chairman of Forfas and the Enterprise Strategy Group; Padraig White, former CEO of the Industrial Development Authority; and Padraig O,huiginn, Former Secretary General in the Office of the Taoiseach. Attendees at the November 15 Ulster Bank lunch were: Ray McSharry, former EU Commisioner and Minister of Finance; Lochlann Quinn, co-founder of Glen Dimplex; Peter Cassells, former Secretary General of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Albert Reynolds, former Prime Minister (Taoiseach); Allan Gray, Chairman of Indecon Economic Consulting; Willie Walsh, CEO of Aer Lingus; Bill Harris, National Science Foundation Director; and Cormack McCarthy, David Pierce, and Michael Torpey of the Ulster Bank.

Links here

Queens Visit: I Predict A Riot (Maybe)

UPDATE 2 : I was asked on to RTE Liveline to discuss an anarchist perspective on the visit i wrote about below. You can listen to it here

UPDATE: Sunday 15th 9.23 am.  In a decision i can only describe as nuts, the irish state has invited leaders of the UDA/UFF, a paramilitary and vigilante organisation from the north, to take part in celebrating the Queens visit to Ireland.  Cameras really prepare for flash…..

“People who talk about revolution & class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love & what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth.” – “Never before has a civilization reached such a degree of a contempt for life; never before has a generation, drowned in mortification, felt such a rage to live.” R. Vaneigem

George Orwell was bang on folks. Not only do we have to stump up €30 MILLION in security for the visit of Liz Winsor and Barrack Obama, but its pretty clear that the state is yet again actin’ like a gin soaked headmaster from the 1950’s trying to ensure that his pupils are on best behaviour for visits by the Bishop.

Police clocking up much over time trying to catch TNMT before Liz's tour of duty

thx to @jaimiesf1

Currently not content in the covering our capital city with the most grotesque mass graffiti imaginable, (there are X’s sprayed every where around town)  the police have taken to removing posters and stickers from that express any dissent about the Queen or Obama’s visit. And to make matters worse police have just announced that they are shutting down freedom of movement around our capital city for 4 days. Your going to be asked what you are doing, where you are going, and you and you possession searched. Failure to comply may lead to your arrest.

€30million would buy a lot of medicine. Not as much medicine as perhaps we could have bought for it before Mary Harney pushed through changes demanded by her lobbyist husband and the pharmaceutical industry, but a lot of medicines all the same. Or it could have fixed up a lot of school rooms for kids. More directly its could properly fund the national data collection programme for child sexual abuse and rape. Instead multi millionaire Minister for Health Dr James Reilly  and the HSE are slashing that programme in a decision decribed by the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland  as  “the worst possible outcome for child protection.”

This is Dr James O Reilly who live in a 13 bedroom mansion on a 150 acre site, subsidised by our taxes. Yep you read that right 13 bedrooms on one hundred and fifty acres. Thats like all of Stoneybatter and well into Cabra. The place is that big people pay into it to get tours around its. Its pretty sick that we seem to get a series of health ministers not only completely detached from us lesser spotted plebs, but intent in doing us harm.

So its tough if you are a young kid getting raped, or a potential victim in the future. Sorry we no longer have the resources to keep stats on that kinda thing. Thats nothing to do with the rising figure either I’m sure.  On the other hands its quids in if you’ve got  rich minister friends and more at the HSE, pushing through you privatised data gathering service.  It must feel pretty powerful when one week you make decisions to cuts the service that might help protect the vulnerable, and then offering your spacious pad for Obama the next. You might even begin to feel like royalty yourself but maybe not quite as good as  a dear old lady with a limp wrist and and 62 million serfs paying her way for her. Im not sure why it surprises me that we have money for the “celebrating” of rich and powerful elites but dont have it to protect children who are being raped and abused. Maybe something to do with the fact that the State has done a pretty good job of setting up institutions of abuse itself since its inception. Ireland is not unique in being an anti woman and child state across the decades. In fact its the commonality across borders everywhere that one sees the links between class, gender, capitalism and patriarchy. But i digress…

Now the gards have taken to scraping stickers of lamp posts too, just in case Liz Winsor catches a glimse of any images or words that might make one feel that there is anything other than pure childish joy,  as she moves through our streets broad and narrow singing cockles and mussels.  Thats a pretty impressive take on democracy when we  are paying the police force to carrying out acts of cultural street cleansing more associated with North Korea or the Olympics. But WTF is the Queen gonna make about all those X’s on the ground?

Police have also been spotted taking down posters for this years Anarchist Bookfair and many more are missing.  Dublin City Council have already denied it was any of their workers. Whatever your take on an in breeding elite who collect taxes as tribute from subjects and hard working folks, its pretty nuts that the Irish  public is not allow to legally show its discontent and refusal to consent to such madness and flagrant misuse of our taxes. If people are not carrying a bomb or a gun and have no intent of doing any physical harm to anyone else,  there is no reason why they should not be allowed to assemble and make public that they personally do not consent to this waste of money.

This isn’t even about being churlish to a slighty dim old lady who im sure if rather charming in her own right, but about the fact we seem to be extending invitations to heads of states who have just royally fucked us ordinary plebs over. How? Well consider this…..

The UK ‘lent’ the Irish state €3.7 billion, with economists saying we should be greatful. Except this isnt a friendly dig out at all. With interest at 5.9% the UK state will make €46o Million out of this “special relationship”. Doesnt seem that friendly really does it?

Obama is even less of a friend. His Treasury Dept, via US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner recently vetoed a plan cut Irish debt by €30 Billion.  €30 BILLION, you get that €30,000,000,000 in cash that we have to come up with our sweat, that cannot now be used for preventative health, for education, for carers, for providing some notion of equality. So when you hear all the site about american inward investment make sure a start of with a minus €30 billion before you get dazzled by sums.

Why are we welcoming these people as some sort of ‘special friends’.  Why has the mainstream media adopted a complete uncritical approach to either visit. Ive already written here about other reasons we shouldn’t getting starry eyed about the stars and stripes. Now we are meant to jack off about the union jack? Talk about of post colonial bollix and pulling of the forelock. Sorry but this aint any type of democracy I think is worthy of the name. This is a conscious choice to keep their mouths shut,a complicity in the problem.

Red Joe Higgins getting some Riot Cop Love in Dublin

Its like they really want ‘us’ to riot. And the chances are they just might get it too. Why do I think this? Well we have been hear before, with the scaremongering and lies. The anarchist boogie man Today we had the treat of listening to a former Deputy Garda Commissioner, who is now a private security ‘analyst’ stating on RTE News at One today that special branch officers where spying on “anarchists” amongst others. So are they spying on me? Its my view that the police want a riot. In fact the state needs a riot to let [people off some steam, and also prove to the state that it is up to the job of keeping dissent under control. We have been hearing drip drip drip all year about police training for ‘public order’ out in the Curragh etc. And riot cops the world over want nothing more than a riot. Its what they do. When the last time you saw a riot anywhere where there wasnt riot cops. The only reason its called a riot is the assymetry of ‘legitimate’ violence against sets of people.

Large scale and sustained public expression of anger and for systemic change is an inevitability at some points anyway over the coming years, regardless of what the chattering classes think. The combination of factors for major social unrest – including rioting but also occupations and other more considered civil disobedience opening up possibilities for genuinely systemic change – are all lining up very nicely in the medium term. And this is nothing to do with armed ‘dissident’ republicans, who I personally think are on the road to nowhere, have zero politics and even less idea of how to be involved in transformatory political and social movements. Almost every party in the state considers themselves real republicans of some strand, where I grew up was pretty republican and nationalist. Neither republicanism nor nationalism (or indeed authoritarian socialism) are ideologies/frameworks in and off themselves  can resolve the global hegemonic nature of capital, power and patriarchy in the times we live in.

So in part im writing this both an attempt to understand and vocalise a perspective on street confrontations with the state, in the form of its Riot Cops and to place it in another broader – id say proper- context, rather than a tailor made establishment/mainstream media context.  A bit like the Love Ulster riots a few years back, its all to easy to dismiss people as either thicko republicans or underclass scum. It avoids asking difficult questions.  Like at what role does a violent aggressive and authoritarian police force play in shaping particular street situations? How much abuse and economic slavery must will we take before we say enough?

And how much easier it is to avoid such questions was that for alot of folks a few years back who think of themselves as middle class.  However that security of mind – and lets face its thats the main, but not only, divide between the recently middle class and the working class, how people think sbout themselves – such security no longer exists without effort. In austerity we quickly find that lots of us are expendible to capitalism requirements, our percieved security is founded as much upon faith as any material facts. In times like this its much easier to see that class is not a merely a ‘thing’ or a social position but rather its is about relationships between ourselves, others and capital/power.  And at the minute those relationship are playing out in ways that are wrecking havoc stress and real pain in people lives.  We can’t step outside of this relationship – Australia will be a desert before too long-  we can only decide what we are to do to shape and radically transform them.

As dole queues get longer, social pressure mounts as capital undermines our dignity

We have a massive unemployment in what is traditionally manual ‘unskilled’ labour (their term not mine) but also increasingly high jobless amongst people who have been through a higher education system. Every time in history you have a large segment of the population who know that their personal and collective aspirations are being squashed by the very system that seek to maintain itself at all costs, then that’s when institutional power is at its most vulnerable. Thats when it needs water cannon, men masked up in sticks and heavy black suits. The state reveals to all that it insist that only its violence against our bodies can be considered legitimate. And in essense they are making the same mistake as paramilitaries. They believe that the stongest force you can have is groups of men willing to beat up on people. As has been said before, you cant blow up, or beat down a social relationship. Those of us serious about meaningful social change know the strongest things we have are our empathy with fellow humans, commitment to learning from history and each other and solidarity.  It might take years to work it out, and for people to coalesce into strong, diverse, coherent social movements -and that is what its all about – but when that happens its a game changer.

There are a section of the population who basically have never had much to lose and lots to gain. This section is most ‘available’ as it where and often willing to respond very quickly and directly to large scale confrontations as a manifestation of both anger and empowerment. Dublin in particular has a massive high concentration of communities that have been shat upon, ignored, harassed and bullied. Its never been higher than now. At times of converging crisis, its can take small sparks to see proper street conflict.

The state rolls out it men in baton to beat up unarmed students last Nov

The other angle here is the states provocation/response. The state has always acted as like a belligerent alcoholic macho head master when face with a non compliant population. De Valera thought he could look into the Irish soul by looking in the mirror, actually having proper public conversation or even notions of particpatory democracy continues to be seen as a weakness from an elitest perspective. “So guys like thats the wrong result in the referendum, do it again please”. Whats most annoying is that these people are the exact products of past irish society, trained to be visionless technocrats with a slavish impluse to authority.

Our police force reflects this totally. The police force style of ‘public order’ is much closer to the Italian police than the UK. Vicious brutality, no accountability, almost no independent overseer (the Garda Ombudsman is useless as written here) and generally conservative and right wing media that rarely does anything other than reprint Garda Press office releases. Lets face it, any time in the past there where minor uprising against the churchs abuse, or when women and children tried to escape from state insitutions where they where simply imprisoned for being both poor and “immoral” the Irish police force was completely complicit. But this part of our history seems to be airbrushed out by many. Those who serve at the most highest ranks of the police force, and in the most senior positions, come from a generation of people used to keeping their mouth shut about injustice. But they seems perfectly capable of opening thier mouths with a little dark humour.  “Give me your address or I’ll rape ya”. Ha Ha Ha indeed. One feels very safe about the culture within a police force (and indeed some commentator within the press) with seeks to normalise such behaviour as simply stuff that happens as part of a stressful job.

Reclaim The Streets (video above) Rossport, recent actions against the bailouts, student demonstrations in Nov, Mayday 2004 and the regular incursions into working class communities when young men and women are harassed daily all occupy part of living memories. We are not terrorists, we are people who can very clearly articulate why we take to the streets. They are a growing number of us across allsections of society who can mane the root causes of our problems. we want to have power and meaningful  control over the decisions that affect our lives. When we call for “radical” change we mean radical in its original sense. We want to change “the roots of” the problem, not sticking plasters that have little to do with real democratic control

RTE doing a good job decribing the complete opposite of what is obvious to the viewer, the cops are beating the shit out of a peaceful process.

New social medias and networks, as well as citizen journalism has  increased the public’s awareness and visibility of this in ways not possible a decade ago.  And as such it is a strategy of militarising public situations of popular dissent is doomed to failure in the long term.

Police use water cannon on an unarmed public for the TV cameras in May 2004

But the biggest factor are economic realities of the situation we are in, and the political and economic choices taken by the state itself. Its attacks the most vunerable and leave the most powerful untouched. There is nothing about love care emapthy or democracy in these chioces. We live in a state that absolves it self from respondsibilty yet refuses to devolve responsibility for our lives to the population as a whole. The state seems to see direct democracy as mob rule.

Its is increasingly likely that there will be no economic recover for the vast majority of the population. Export led growth is growth on paper with the money going in to a few pockets that are already quite full. We are fucked, really fucked. Combine that with coming energy crisis, rising food and commodity prices, because of speculation by the likes of Goldman Sachs who are currently betting on starvation.  Add the geo-political implications of climate change, mass migrations and climate justice movements and over the next 20-40 years as there is no end in sight to crisis.  One has to wonder at what point the 10’s and 100’s of million who face death from the policies of EU and USA and global financial speculators will say fuck this and . The movements of the global south are much more versed in how the world works. Our struggle is alongside theirs.  Increasingly the option for many is revolutionary, for a total and lasting change in social relations, with democracy, equality and empathy center stage, not some kind of polite after thought tacked on to an economic policy.

No politician, no economist and no social commentator has yet grappled with the illusory promise of infinite upward economic growth on a planet of finite resources. It is thee most central contradiction of capitalist ideology – one that most 14 year year olds with any notion of resource sustainability can grasp but one that institutionalised group think provides cover for intellectual dishonesty disguised as economic “common sense”

Ive yet to hear David Mc Williams, or any of our other celebrity radical economist speak to this fact. Yet we continue to look at economist as some kind of useful expert on the world, rather than indoctrinated seminarians whose faith is increasingly questioned by the worlds population at large.  Its like living in the land of the Wizard of Oz after the green curtain has been pulled back. The emporer is naked yet everyone is suffering from weird catholic sexual repression where no one can actually bring themselves to say “get your fucking nuts out of my face”.  So  in some sense the only interesting questions left are around what are we going to do about it?

That the queens visits Dublin 37 years to the day after the Dublin Monaghan bombs, and herself is to be a few hundred yards from where annual commemorations are held by the families of the victims sense is nothing if  at the very least insensitive – an could be preceivedby some as provocative –  as the state suggest that the families may not be able to hold a memorial service because of the queens visit. These are families who are still waiting for the Irish state to come clean to its own citizens killed in the street while shopping, playing and walking around. Killed by bombs planted by serving members of the UDR and British Intelligence. People in my village across the border can tell you who from the Glenanne gang was involved, as can the families themselves yet no one has ever been charged. Successive goverments have fudged the issues of collusion, in passed years not wanting to upset the peace process being a familiar refrain.  Yet somehow it is the families of those killed and those who intended to stand with them in solidarity and dignity are made feel as if they are somehow a quaint embarrassment to wider Irish society,  rather than being people within our society worthy of our empathy, support and solidarity. A bit like the children I mentioned ealrier, if you are no use to power, power has no interest in you

If it does kick off when the queen or Obama is here, think a little bit past the Joe Bufftys, Kevin Cryers and Paul “IRA’ Williams of this  world. Maybe start asking how do we start taking back power in ways that last, not just on the street for a few hours.  How do we work together to make equality and democracy more than nice ideas. If its simply people out on the streets armed with nothing more than rage and anger, sure see its limitations and condemn it if you must. But if your happy  to spend the rest of you days silent and complicit within a society that is being run into the ground your condemnations are little more than empty chatter and gossip. The problems we face are systemic, institutional and cultural, and they need involvement of 10’s 100’s and millions of us if we want to live as equals. I dont believe that people fighting with the cops on the street provides us with any lasting answers. But I also know if you put men in masks and baton and watercannons into a crowd of people whose live have just got much more insecure, whose futures are more than uncertain and who are already angry and unsure where to put that, you are either provoking a response or totally stupid.

 You like to see democratic control over our lives,communities, workplaces and resources. Maybe you're an anarchist too

Reasons for not welcoming Obama.

These are some of gruesome pictures taken by members of a US Army ‘Kill Team’ have been released by German publisher Der Spiegel following an undercover investigation by their reporters. The US Dept of Defense has been working hard to keep this under wraps as they fear a backlash from all right thinking people. One assumes a similar damage limitation operation is under way as  when its soldiers – as well as private contract staff from the same company hired to carry out the upcoming Irish census – where found to have forced innocent Iraqis into sexually submissive position so that the US troops could take trophy photos.

The images released are of a much more vile and upsetting in nature as they show how US marines not only murdered innocent people in Afghanistan, but that they posed with the bodies of the recently murdered in macabre ‘trophy’ photos. Its likely that these photos will cause a massive revulsion, and more publically organised opposition to the continued imperial actions of the US government.

Currently there is rising resistance to the US Military within the US particularly around the state continued torture of 23 year old Bradley Manning, being held in isolation on alledged charges of passing US diplomatic cables to wikileaks. Whilst Manning’s case has become a focus for anti war activists and Wikileaks supporters and groups like Anonymous, its likely that these images will galvanised a much stronger global revulsions and likely much more immediate riots within Afghanistan.  As as the experiences of history show such callous brutality only ever serves to foster a more militant and agressive reaction. It would not be cynical to suggest that the beneficiaries of this itself would of course be the military industrial complex within the US

Image one

The Guardian reports here that

Senior officials at Nato‘s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.

They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year.

Some of the activities of the self-styled “kill team” are already public, with 12 men currently on trial in Seattle for their role in the killing of three civilians.

Five of the soldiers are on trial for pre-meditated murder, after they staged killings to make it look like they were defending themselves from Taliban attacks.

Other charges include the mutilation of corpses, the possession of images of human casualties and drug abuse.

All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The Guardian report here  also says that Der Spiegel uncovered over 4,000 pictures  and video and included evidence that body part where removed from victims for fun.

The lengthy Spiegel article that accompanies the photographs contains new details about the sadistic behaviour of the men.

In one incident in May last year, during a patrol, the team apprehended a mullah who was standing by the road and took him into a ditch where they made him kneel down.

The group’s leader, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, then allegedly threw a grenade at the man while an order was given for him to be shot.

Afterwards, Gibbs is described cutting off one of the man’s little fingers and removing a tooth.

Whilst no doubt much of the reporting will attempt to portray this as a rogue element with the US army it worth noting significant changes in recent practice that enable and indeed foster a culture of dehumanised barbarism with the military. Much of this is a actually a result of fewer and fewer american’s actually sigining up for the US continual military programme in support of neo-liberal expansionism.  So much so that the Army dropped its prohibition on neo-nazi’s joining the army in 2009.  Matt Kennard writing in July 2009 said

I spoke with neo-Nazi soldiers who had served in Iraq and the picture they painted was truly awful: the level of hatred for Arabs they evinced made me shudder to think what effect this had in the war zone. I talked to non-extremist veterans who said the general culture of racism towards Iraqis or “hajjis” would make it difficult even to notice a white supremacist soldier, as everybody was at it, including the brass. One veteran told me he had heard a general call the Iraqis “fucking hajjis” at a meeting outside Tikrit.

You can read his full report into neo nazi grouping in the US army here

The bodies of murder Afghan, posed for a 'trophy' photograph

However there have been even more recent signs both of encitment and the increasing neo-liberal privatisation of the US military and internal police force against Muslims in general.  Journalists investigating the role of private contractors training ‘counter-terrorism’ paint a scary picture of racists and charlatans more interested in making money than anthing else.

The revelations of the sickening ritual and celebration of murder, which Der Spiegel broke here comes at a difficult time for both President Obama, and Irish Taoiseacht Enda Kenny just days after Obama annouced a visit to Ireland.  During a TV set piece atter a St Patricks Day visit to the Whitehouse, Obama thanked Kenny, after the bland special relationship bullshit that accompanies most meeting with a US President, very specifically for Irelands continued complicity(and compliance ) in the US’ global military infrastructure.  Not only that but also thanked Ireland for providing ‘trainers’ as part of the US occupation.

We want to thank him for the operations at Shannon that are so vital for us moving our troops into Afghanistan.  It is a testimony to Ireland’s friendship to us.  In addition, Ireland actually has trainers in Afghanistan that have provided us great assistance.  And I expressed my appreciation for those sacrifices.

Very different from the guy talking here

Wikileaks recently made public cables suggesting just how important Shannon airport is to the US

For the United States, geography makes Shannon a key transit point for military flights and military contract flights carrying personnel and materiel to Iraq and the Middle East/Gulf theatre in the global war on terror, as well as to Europe and Africa. In 2005, roughly 340,000 U.S. troops passed through Shannon on nearly 2,500 contract carrier flights; about 450 equipment-related/distinguished-visitor transit milair (sic) flights and thousands of airspace overflights also took place.”

Ive written here about how close – unknowns to ourselves-  the anti war movement in Ireland came to making the political price for political parties here too high, and also about how the movement made a strategic mistakes in the past by removing its focus from popular direct actions at the airport itself,  in preference for publicity/party building in Dublin.  The cables themselves show the folly of that mistake, and its one we should learn from both politically and pragmatically

The recent overturning of Mary Kellys case  as well as the eventual accquittal of the PitstopPloughshares suggests that public opinion support direct actions and the smashing up of US planes in Ireland.

The last time a US president visited Ireland was back in 2004, when many of us made it pretty clear that Bush was not welcome. Our actions require the irish state to role out the biggest military and internalpolicing operation in the history of that state.

We still managed to disrupt the TV  spectacle but holding up the bus full of journalists

Here some images from back then.  7 years later and US troops are still murdering with impunity and, sickenly it seems, for fun.

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more images and background

UN Resolution pass “unprecedented” No Fly Zone on Gaddafi


Statement released by Libyan anarchist on 17th March and now on the Worker Solidarity Movement website here. It is a condemnation and critique of the ‘intervention’ via air strikes.

UPDATE.  Despite Gaddafis announcement of a ceasefire, heavy shelling still continues in Misurata, a city in northwestern Libya, situated 210 km (130 mi) to the east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast. footage was just posted to You tube

UPDATE. 13.38 18/03/11 In the article below i refer to Frontex, the private entity that is the military enforcer of the EU’s ‘migration policy’. Ive  got confirmation that Dutch coast guards are flying around Malta to ‘intercept’ Libyan refugees. You can hear the coastguard login via conversations recorded at traffic control here

Gaddafi’s regime has also called a ceasefire within the last 30mins, though it is unclear what this means right now.

UPDATE 4.24am GMT 18/03/2011  : Fire at the main station providing power to Benghazi and other towns around. The fire is a result of bombing from Gaddafi’s forces

“This was a fuel tank that was bombed. This station is holding power grids which lights up the whole area from Sirt along to Benghazi, so if it will catch all fire and burn then we will have no light no more at all we will lose power by the end of the day tomorrow because it’s catching fire all over. They are trying to control it.”

Recorded by Lybia Alhurra 3/17/2011 11:24 (GMT+2) :

Tonight at 22.45 GMT the United Nations passed resolution 1973/211, which imposes a no-fly zone across Libya, as well as restricting the asset movements from Libyan national companies. Amid celebratory scenes in Benghazi with lots of fireworks and lots of automatic weapons fire , China, India, Russia and Brazil (sometimes as a block called BRIC) all abstained along with Germany. (Thank to @pettybooshwah for clarifyfing this)

Members of the Security Council explained what the individual positions of each government would be and it is still  unclear exactly how this no-fly zone will be implemented. It also speaks of potential military intervention. Al Jazeera mentioned that this is the first time in the history of UN that the Security Council has passed a resolution on the basis of the protections of civilians and that this sets a precedent. What the fuck have they been doing before? Making decisions on the basis of  things like profit, neoliberal expansion of capitalism at all costs, or some other self serving programme against the majority of people on the plantet??****

(**** @kyrah very helpfully pointed out that there is a dimplomatic evolution of norms within the UN.  Owing to pressure from human right and other NGOs  this  resloution  incorporated a relatively ‘new’ legal concept of the Respondsibility to Protect or R2P.  Its odd how intuitive concepts such as love and care and compassion require the continual resolve of advocacy and pressure from below before the suited elite take on ideas most of us consider common sense)

So there is a flights embargo, an arms embargo and assets freezing. But given the given the history of sanctions against Libya,and how experienced Gadaffi is at circumnavigating them one wonder what other military actions have already been meticulously planned. The guy is clearly a socio-path. A socio-path whom until recently the US, Italy  and UK, amongst others, have been happy to prop up. In the midst of war, lets not forget that Tony Blair met with him, on behalf of UK industry and Royal Dutch Shell, proclaiming a new Libya. Shell even drafted his letter for him.  And perhaps unsurprisingly it was Blairs buddy Peter Madelson -who also is a friend of  Gaddafis son Saif who pointed Gaddafi to Brown Lloyd James, an international strategic comms agency hired in 2009 to promote Gadaffi as ‘a fascinating world figure’. These PR parasites are at the center of protest following exposes by pressure groups, Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Live and BBC radio’s Today programme

Italy has made an announcement making its military bases and its ports around Sicily available for implementation of the resolution. I can imagine that this puts Italy in the middle as Berlusconi has been a close personal friend of Gaddafi, expressing his support publically and Italy is one of Libya’s closest trading partners and very dependent on Libyan oil. However its unlikely that Berlusconi was attrached by Gadaffi himself even though he was a useful ally for the EU.   Gadaffi has for a long time played a role in supporting the racist policy of Fortess Europe with mass detention centers used as a physical valve to stop human beings trying to escape poverty by coming to wealthy Europe. Indeed whilst the EU ‘officially’ dithered as the Egyptian people rose up to overthrow Mubarak, the EU foreign minsters did find common cause amongst themselves and Pact in unison very quickly. What did they do? Perhaps offer immediate, practical support to people across North Africa?

Emmmm well no….  They actually threw lots of resources at Frontex, the private company used to militarise, arrest, harass and shoot migrants at Europe borders.  Essentially the EU elites have pulled up a drawbridge to stop people of color, people escaping poverty, people seeking security from entering. And i write this as someone who is living in a country, Ireland, where many thousands are leaving to escape the same things. Insecurity, precariousness and the desire to have control over our future, leaving where we are to go somewhere else that we hope offers hope. Why is it that money can move freely across borders but people cannot. Borders that most of us have no part in making, but they define our lives? Its the recognition that it is also hope that defines our lives we can build build hopeful movements against precarity, see our struggles as common. The present struggles in North Africa and in the Middle East have reclaimed the idea of revolution from academia and from history, and placed in the now. Placed it in a place of where its now possible to imagine what large scale reimagining can do.

If anything has been held apparent to the many people across the the world both with the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East as well as the horrific situation that the population of Japan find themselves, it is the centrality of our shared humanness.  The expressions of the majority across social medias have been finding voices across new mediums as we talk to each other like this.  I find it almost impossible to believe that there has not even the pretence that previous security council resolutions where bases ‘officially’ on the protection of “civilians”.  Though it is really nice that the power elites have a special category for us arent in the armies they build or own weapons they make. ‘Civilians’ are the vast vast majority of people on the planet.  However right now that is the world we live in, and our struggles for direct democracy continue.

For this resolution to have popular support across the region, not just Benghazi, its clear the US need not just rethorical but practical involvement from the Arab League as the US is both an ongoing occupying force in Afghanistan and Iraq.   It is understandably held  by many as anti Muslim and anti Arab given the propensity of the US state for war, occupation and neo colonialism.  And before I come across as a smug US basher, my ‘own’ country is complicit as yet another Irish prime minister visits the US president on St Patricks Day, and we get to hear Obama thank Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, for the continued use of Shannon Airport as part of the US global military infrastructure of war and resource/wealth extraction. The fact is that people in this country have not made it politically/socially unacceptable for an Irish government to continue this policy. However as i have written here  a Wikileaks cable showed how close we came and we can do it again.

The United Nations resolution has been supported by Lebanon. Their permanent member of the UN security council said “We understand that the provision of the actions of resolution cannot guarantee peace in Libya and for this reason we reaffirm the importance of the idea of peaceful solution to the situation. We backed measures the secretary general’s envoy taken to stop the atrocities”

The resolution comes amid Gaddafi’s call for those seeking to end his regime to give up and he will ‘show leniency’.  So the psyco killer who has been blaming drugs, crazy kids, Al Quadi and the US for the uprising  is willing to ‘show leniency.’  This sits alongside his announcement earlier today that he will attack Benghazi and ‘show no mercy‘. Al Jazeera is showing footage of thousands of people are in a square in Benghazi dancing and singing after the votes where announced.

The US’  UN ambassador speaking said

The US supports the UN special envoy in order that the grossly and systematically abuse of fundamental human rights of Libya’s people are prevented, the Security Council resolution establishes a no-fly zone and [lets us] take other measures to protect civilians.  Today’s resolution is a powerful response and the urgent needs of the ground this resolution demands an immediate ceasefire and a complete end to violence and attacks against the Libyan people.  The League of Arab States and the Security Council has authorised use of force including enforcement of a no-fly zone to protect civilians and civilian areas targeted by Col Gaddafi, his intelligence and security forces and his mercenaries. The resolution also enforces an arms embargo and bars all international flights are being owned or operated by Libya.”

I can imagine that going to piss of a lot of US companies amongst others based in France, UK, Russia and China since they all made a lot of cash selling arms, munitions and ‘crowd control’ that have been used right across MENA to suppress popular uprisings and revolution. Not to mentions that many interior security organisations have recieve training in torture from the US, with many regimes also providing an outsource for the US’s global network of illegal detentions

The resolution freezes the assets of seven other individuals and entities, that includes the state owns leading companies. The resolution works alongs side an established Libyan sanctions committee finally, the Council established a panel of experts monitoring short and long-term implementation of the sanctions on Libya.

India’s UN ambassador  has

“been following with serious concern developments in Libya last numerous life and injuries and we are very concerned with the death the civilian population and forms in Libya. We deplore these last this is totally unacceptable and must not be resorted”

Following the vote there was a press conference from Gaddafi’s regime which ended very abruptly when a journalist asked about the joyous scenes in Benghazi…. I wonder why! The tone was completely different that one adopted earlier today. Only time willl  tell wether this is a real change from the “no mercy” tone earlier or if it is part of the schizophrenic regime playing its role for world media.

“We are very grateful for the five countries that abstained, namely China, Russia, India, Brazil and Germany. What a surprise! Ha ha ha [this is real I didnt add it – ed] Libya has been in contact with a number of European countries regarding the resolution of Security Council despite reservations on the text and so yesterday but here I have to focus on two elements from the previous text. The first one is the protection of civilians. We will. And also we will [something inaudible] the other other elements of the resolution which is regarding their integrity and unity of Libya the territorial unity of Libya, which is very important but I think the challenge tonight before the international community that you make sure that the separatists and the rebels, they will not get any support by arming them. Which if countries do that means they are inviting Libyians to kill each other and finally we will deal positively with resolution and we will reaffirm our intention through the protection of civilians everywhere in the country and the intentions of the Libyan armed forces and the police is to protect the civilians and guarantee the medical and food supplies. We will cooperate as we have informed yesterday and the day before the special envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations last very of Lebanon and we also this morning sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to give assurances that the international community that we care about our people and we care about the territorial unity of the country. Thank you very much regarding the ceasefire. We told the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the Armed Forces that we are ready immediately to do that but we need to talk to someone to agree on the technicalities of this will because there is a lot of technical details such a decision thank you”

Im very sceptical of US or UN military ‘interventions’ generally, but in reality my scepticsim feels to me like a luxury people in parts of  Libya dont have.  And im both confused and glad that this resolution is based upon the defense of civilians. Lets hope that the self determination and desire of people to have control over their own lives is assisted by it. Lets keep our critical eyes on Libya, and more importantly lets make sure what Libyans themselves want is vocalised and amplified as we speak of the situation. We cannot pretend that UN resolutions have not consistently been used to further the ends of vested interests and of neoliberalism. But lets us be hopeful that the voices and powers within Libya working for a particpatory democracy will win out in the very near future