About Philly Anti-Cap

Posts by Philly Anti-Cap

Give Through the Bars 2022

from Philly ABC

give-through-the-bars.jpg

The closing stretch of 2022 with its holidays and festive gatherings is in sight. No doubt, many of you are eager to gift the new Certain Days calendar to friends and loved ones. However, just because the year is winding down into sweater weather and hot cocoa, does not mean that the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s struggle against repression will be taking a break.

On the contrary, we plan for 2023 to be full of solidarity, mutual aid, and freedom for political prisoners and we’d love it if you could help us get a head start on those efforts.

Tax Deductible Donations

The ABCF can now provide tax deduction receipts for donations of over $500 through our fiscal sponsor, IDAVOX/One People’s Project.

To take advantage of the tax deduction, make your check payable to “One People’s Project” with “ABCF” in the memo and mail it to: ABCF-OC, P.O. Box 4341, Santa Ana CA 92702. Be sure to include a return address (preferably email) where we can send your receipt back to you.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to contribute to the work the ABCF does– we can accept contributions of any amount through the normal CashApp, Venmo, PayPal and checks/money orders if no tax deduction is desired. You can also pick up some sweet Pushing Down The Walls and other merch from our Orange County chapter.

Looking Back and Planning Ahead

Speaking of “the work,” here’s an incomplete list of what we’ve been up to since our last year end round up:

Online and in-person letter-writing events hosted by various chapters, as well as our ongoing administration of prisonersolidarity.com.

ABCF Chapters and comrade organizations all over the US and Canada put together 12 Running Down The Walls 5K events which raised a combined $21,154.84 for the Warchest Program.

Regular, reliable disbursements to the 17 current Warchest Program recipients.

Additionally, we’ve provided mutual aid to comrade organizations internationally as well as individual political prisoner support committees here on Turtle Island. For example:

$2000 to Belarus Anarchist Black Cross to support political prisoners there.

$1500 to Moscow Anarchist Black Cross to respond to the repression of anti-war organizing against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. We were able to make this transfer before Russia was excluded from SWIFT banking systems.

$1000 to the Civil Liberties Defense Center to assist with their eventually successful representation of Eric King. The BOP’s bogus, retaliatory charges were designed to bury him decades beyond his original sentence.

$4000 to Sundiata Acoli’s post-release support fund.

$1000 to the housing fundraiser for Herman Bell, a former Black Panther and political prisoner who was incarcerated for 45 years.

$1000 to the support committee of Kamau Sadiki to help cover ongoing legal, medical, and visitation costs.

Now that you have some idea of what to expect from us in 2023, please consider making a contribution and inviting your friends to do likewise. As an organization made up entirely of volunteers, our ability to fight for the survival and freedom of imprisoned comrades is dependent on gifts from our community.

They’re in there for us. We are out here for them.

intro to internet security and tails

from Instagram

Monday November 28th: Letter-writing for Kojo Bomani Sababu

from Philly ABC

kojo-bomani-sababu-letter-writing.jpg

Philly ABC is back with our regular letter-writing events this month featuring New Afrikan Prisoner of War, Kojo Bomani Sababu. He is currently serving time for actions with the Black Liberation Army, and later an attempted escape from prison.

Kojo was captured on December 19th, 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was also charged with the murder of a drug dealer in his neighborhood. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy in 1981 and sentenced to 55 years in prison (until 2045). Then in 1988, he was convicted of conspiracy to escape from the federal prison at Leavenworth with Puerto Rican Independista Oscar Lopez Rivera. He is now scheduled to be released to state prison upon the expiration of his federal 55-year sentence to serve possibly an additional 15 years for this case. Notably, Ojore was paroled and Oscar was granted clemency by President Obama.

Join us this Monday at 6:30pm, at Iffy Books (319 N. 11th St. #3E) as we show Kojo that he is not forgotten! We continue to advocate for our elder freedom fighters serving time for their service to liberation struggles. Snacks and letter-writing supplies will be provided and we will listen to a few short audio recordings of Kojo.

We will also send birthday cards to U.S.-held political prisoners with birthdays in November & December: Josh Williams (November 25th), Muhammad Burton (December 15th), Casey Brezik (December 30th).

Aryan Compartmented Elements and Michael “Doc Grimson” Brown Exposed

from CVAntifa

In the early days of November, a Telegram channel called Aryan Compartmented Elements (ACE) became known to researchers through various channels. ACE’s name is a reference to Army Compartmented Elements, a nickname used by the 1st Special Operational Detachment in the US Army, better known as Delta Force.

ACE is adjacent, if not directly involved with, other groups in Terrorgram. These groups venerate neo-Nazi mass shooters and the group seems poised to join the ranks of their pantheon of “Saints“. Most of ACE’s content consists of them discussing doing reconnaissance and destroying people’s property. Multiple pictures posted show them stalking who they consider to be leftists and of them looking at targets in crosshairs. It seems clear that they intend to commit acts of mass violence.

 

Multiple of these targets include schools. We have determined that the schools pictured are the Universal Technical Institute in Exton, PA and Harrisburg Community College. If you are in touch with individuals attending either of these institutions, please contact them to let them know about these threats.

 

 

Researchers were able to find holes in ACE’s security almost immediately. In one of the “degenerate assets” photos, there was an attempt at redacting information, but they forgot to scrub one thing. We spotted it immediately:

 

It reads: Lower Saucon Township. That led researchers to begin looking closer into the Lehigh Valley and surrounding area of PA.

Through a random stroke of luck, we were able to spot one major misstep. We noted that there was a comment on an ACE post made by telegram user Leo Solaris OTMO, also known as Luke Kenna (more on him later.) On this comment there was one like. The user who made the like has the username, “Doc Grimson”. When expanding the profile of Doc Grimson, all his personal details were laid bare, which led us directly to Michael Brown.

The chat function has since been removed from Aryan Compartmented Elements (ACE) Telegram channel and all the comments deleted.

 

Michael “Doc Grimson” Brown is the owner of Black Market Tactical (BMT) and Black Market Strength and Conditioning (BMSC), companies which are registered to his home at 15 Fox Ridge Road in Glenmoore, PA. His companies provide various tactical trainings and sell his homemade knives and other tactical gear.

 

On the BMT website, Brown lists his location as Exton, PA. Multiple photos posted to the ACE channel were specific to the Chester County, PA region and the larger Lehigh Valley. There have been many towns that Brown has been traced to in the area through simple Google searches. Using the ACE channel, Brown has even posted video of what appears to a school sporting event. We were able to geolocate the event to Downingtown, PA (Chester County) using the phone number on the scoreboard and the reflection in the puddle. This doesn’t seem like the kind of man who should be teaching anyone about opsec and covert reconnaissance training…

 

Brown isn’t new to stalking. He has numerous serious stalking and assault charges that have put him on the FBI’s radar.

ACE has been consistent at posting field notes from their nighttime recon missions but will delete the information after a few days. The format and tone of writing is heavily influenced by military operations. According to the ‘about us’ section on Black Market Tactical:

Doc worked as an 911 EMTB and Paramedic in suburban Philadelphia for approx 10 years and also served as a warrant service officer for Montgomery County, PA.

Doc served as the Lead Medical SME and combat skills instructor for the USAF Air Advisor Academy at JB MDL in support of the GWOT for approx 6 years. 

His experience in being an SME and instructor for the US Air Force gives clarity to the *tactically ascertained* style of his writing. At this time, we have not been able to confirm if he has served in the military or not. We were also not able to locate a CAGE code, something which is required for all military contractors, to verify that he has provided training. There is evidence on his website of him training soldiers, however.

A picture from Michael’s website showing him training soldiers.

 

Michael Brown offers high-cost training programs through BMT. During our investigation, we uncovered the best piece of evidence we could have hoped for. There is an image from his website for a ‘Protocol Immersion Course’ costing a mere $2,999 to spend 48 hours training with Brown (lol).

This listing has since been removed, but archives show that a photo used in that sale is the same as a photo posted to ACE telegram. While Michael Brown may have deleted the posts from ACE directly, they still live on in other chats, such as Church of Aryanity where both he and Luke Kenna frequently share ACE posts.

A photo posted on ACE shared by Michael in the Church of Aryanity telegram chat.

 

The same photo on the Black Market Tactical website

 

If any more proof was needed, we were able to identify this generic skull vector as a key asset that crosses all of his platforms. It’s on his merch, it’s on his website, it’s on his YouTube, it was on his Instagram, and it just so turns out it’s used in ACE as well.

 

 

Luke Winchester-Kenna:

We first put out info on Luke Winchester-Kenna last year in the wake of a mass shooting perpetrated by one of his online acquaintances in Denver, CO. For more detailed background and information on Winchester-Kenna, we suggest reading our original article here. Luke has links to several previous articles we have written on Wolf Brigade Gym, Operation Werewolf, and Rural Nexion.

Luke and Doc holding a BMSC flag.

 

Kenna is very closely associated with Black Market Tactical and Michael Brown. Before our original article came out, he frequently posted tagging BSMC and BMT on his Instagram page. Posts made on Doc’s telegram also reference Tyr Tactical. Tyr is a tactical training business located inside of Luke’s wife’s racist new age crystal shop, Freya’s Forest in downtown Gloversville, NY. Much to the dismay of Luke, his hometown newspaper even wrote about he and his wife as being radical neo-Nazi extremists. Brown and Kenna recently held a “Warrior’s Lodge” that was located ‘somewhere in the Adirondacks’ near Saratoga, NY. Saratoga Springs is roughly 40 minutes from his home in Gloversville. It’s unknown how many men attended this, but there is evidence that there was at least 5.

Luke Kenna is present in many fascist Telegram chats using the name Leo Solaris OTMO. OTMO signifies the rank of Knight in the white nationalist Church of Aryanity. We were able to determine Leo was Kenna because of posts he made shilling for his company, Tyr Tactical.

The Church of Aryanity, a “religion” established by Aaron Chapman of Traditionalist Workers Party ( prior to the Night of the Wrong Wives) and Colton Williams. For those interested in learning more about the this organization, we encourage they check out this recent article from SoCal Research Club and Left Coast Right Watch that details the group’s ideology and history.

As recently as November 17 of this year, Kenna posted in the Church of Aryanity Telegram channel that he was “slowly and methodically building a temple on secure private land to serve as the auxiliary church of New England.” We think it’s safe to connect these dots and say that the “auxiliary church” is likely at the same location where the Warrior Lodge was held.

We aren’t sure how legit this is, but it seems to be in-line with the ideas of Militant Ruralism, about which have written extensively in previous posts. This is a neo-Nazi ideology that centers around building rural compounds to serve as bases of struggle in a coming race war. This ideology ties Kenna and Brown to a nationwide network of extremists operating compounds like Rural Nexion and Donnybrook Farms. Kenna was present in Rural Nexion’s telegram channel, and Brown proudly displays a sign made and sold by the group.

Rural Nexion sign in Brown’s garage

 

Alabama Arson:

On November 6, the Aryan Compartmented Elements (ACE) Telegram channel, the operators claimed to have been responsible for burning down the home of a school administrator who had added LGBTQ books to the library. They posted a somewhat redacted video of the arson.

ACE post detailing the arson

 

When looking for reports for an arson matching the description above, the only one we were able to find was the burning of a school superintendent’s house in Boaz, Alabama. While we cannot be certain that the claimed arson is the same one described, details from the redacted video seem to match up to publicly available photos of the burned out house.

Burned out house in Boaz, Alabama

 

It seems strange that a duo of Nazis from the Northeast would torch a house in Alabama. However, it appears the pair have a local connection. Ian Michael Elliott is a member of Patriot Front who was exposed by Atlanta Antifascists last year. He lives one county away from the arson in Harvest, Alabama. Ian is also a member of the Church of Aryanity and was present in the Church of Aryanity chat using the handle Varangian where ACE propaganda is frequently shared.

Ian Michael Elliott

 

The connections don’t stop there. In a Patriot Front training video obtained by Atlanta Antifascists, Ian can be seen training while wearing a Black Market Strength and Conditioning shirt. He can be seen posing in the photo below with Luke, Michael, and other Black Market Tactical associates during one of their training sessions. We are actively seeking IDs on the other men pictured in this photo.

 

 

Ian wearing a BMSC shirt during Patriot Front training.

Ian wearing a BMSC shirt during Patriot Front training.

 

While it is possible the arson is not associated with Aryan Compartmented Elements (ACE) or Ian Michael Elliott, we feel that the amount of circumstantial evidence is too high not to mention here. Despite these individuals’ complete and total clownishness, they have the potential to put people in very real danger.

 

On OPWW:

All of the men discussed above have deep connections to Operation Werewolf. In 2020, we began circulating a a piece entitled The End of Operation Werewolf urging researchers to pay more attention to the group given the high potential for disaffected members to engage in acts of extreme violence. We published that piece in 2021, in the wake of the Denver shooting. We still think the sentiments expressed within it are important. Check it out here.

 

Conclusion:

The individuals mentioned in these articles are incredibly dangerous, and we want to bring maximum awareness of them and their behavior to the communities they threaten. If you know anyone in these communities, please send them this article.

We also want to pay specific attention to the concerning trend of violence against Queer people that these individuals are following. The victim of the arson was targeted for the same reasons that are vitriolically spewed by Tucker Carlson every night. We are finishing up this article the day after a mass shooter murdered 5 people at a Queer club in Colorado Springs. The connections between fringe lunatics like these and the mainstream far-right are evident. Wherever you are, work in solidarity with the LGBT community to defend it from people like this.

This work wouldn’t have been possible without help from good folks at White Rose Australia and other anonymous researchers. Please check out their work at thewhiterosesociety.writeas.com.

Graffiti Written At FDR Meadows

from Twitter

We love art at the Meadows

Noisy Philly Counter-Demo Challenges ‘TERFs’ at Independence Hall

from Unicorn Riot

November 21, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA — On Sunday, November 13, 100+ counter-demonstrators tried to drown out about 30 protesters who were demonstrating against transgender people’s access to medical transitions, recognition of chosen gender and other rights near Independence Hall. The counter-demo side characterized them as “TERFs” or ‘Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.’ Philadelphia Police and U.S. National Park Service Park Rangers separated the crowds using bicycle police and portable barricades. Inside the barricades, several men, mostly masked up concealing their identities, paced around and eyed the crowd; they were widely suspected to be Proud Boys providing security according to a counter-protester. However, their identities are unknown.

Over almost three hours, Unicorn Riot interviewed nearly a dozen hoarse but spirited attendees. In this 29-minute video, we hear about why they consider noisy counter-demonstrations strategically significant, as well as reactions to how the recent U.S. elections largely — but not entirely — refuted anti-transgender politicians and messages.

[Video Link]

Some interviewees believed that John Fetterman, the current lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, who will soon be seated as a U.S. senator, would protect their rights. Another interviewee said that democracy and electoralism create situations where groups are enabled to spread messages about taking away rights from transgender people.

While there was at least one round of counter-demonstrators splashing the anti-transgender demonstration with water, no arrests transpired during our time observing the event.


Marquee speaker linked to white supremacists

The marquee anti-trans speaker was British activist Kellie-Jay Keen Minshull, who has also been known by the name “Posie Parker.” Keen Minshull appeared on a podcast with white nationalist French Canadian Jean-Francois Gariepy. An ardent ‘white ethnostate’ supporter, Gariepy has made videos with key Neo-Nazis including Richard Spencer, David Duke and Mark Collett. Several Philadelphia counter-demonstrators highlighted this shared media connection between Keen Minshull and Duke, although they have not appeared side-by-side.

Connections between “gender-critical feminists” like Keen and far-right white supremacists have been turning up for years, and the far-right has tried to leverage opposition to transgender rights to expand its movement. More about Gariepy’s long history with far-right circles and accusations of abusing a minor has previously been documented.

In 2019 Keen Minshull praised high-profile English racist ‘Tommy Robinson’ of the English Defense League who has been supported by the Philadelphia-based think tank Middle East Forum, The Guardian reported in 2018. Robinson’s real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon; he is banned from entering the United States and has been convicted of fraud, in addition to drug and public disorder offenses.

 

Kellie-Jay Keen Minshull (“Posie Parker”) appeared with white nationalist French Canadian Jean-Francois Gariepy (YouTube/PinkNews.co.uk)

After the anti-trans protesters left the area, they were forced to leave the nearby Khyber Pass Pub by employees who became aware of their bigoted views. The pub “is a punk and metal institution … they aren’t to be fucked with by bigots and fascist[s],” one observer noted.

[Twitter Link]

Solidarity Action Communique

Submission

On the night of November 5th, a small group of Anti-colonial Anarchist settlers in Lenapehoking blockaded a chokepoint of a high frequency railway in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en resisting drilling in the Wedzin Kwa and all those resisting colonial capitalist development and infrastructure all across Turtle Island and the World!

It was a very simple and easily replicable action using commonly found blockade materials that were near the tracks already.

We hope to inspire many more and frequent railway blockades as an effective action to disrupt colonial and ecocidal infrastructure all across Turtle Island and Globally.

Shut down Canada, Colonialism, and Capitalism everywhere!

Protesters Call Attention to Development and Gentrification in Philadelphia

from Unicorn Riot

 

Philadelphia, PA – A number of groups are rallying and marching on Saturday afternoon around concerns regarding how space and development in the city are controlled, the day’s call is about “democratizing development.” The group is gathering at FDR Park in South Philly.

Follow our livestream here:

[Video]

Organizer flyers included some of the key concerns. According to an event page the attendee groups include “Philly Thrive, Sunrise Movement, VietLead, Save UCTownhomes, Save the Meadows, RECLAIM, PSL, Cobbs Creek EJ”.

One major concern is the redevelopment of a massive Southwest Philly refinery site which was the site of a massive, dangerous fire in 2019. Highly toxic hydrofluoric acid was released, and an explosion launched a section of a tank all the way across the Schulykill River. On October 11 the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) released its final report on the disaster including a gripping video animating the sequence of events. Despite the many decades of chemical exposure on nearby neighborhoods, the public has been largely shut out of the redevelopment process (including a recently shelved, long sought community meeting with the development company).

[Video]

Another issue raised by organizers is the rapid redevelopment of FDR Park itself, which they argue put people at risk by felling trees without warning. Unicorn Riot released a closer look at the park site in September.

Another topic raised by organizers is the impending eviction of 70 families on Market Street. UC Townhomes residents have been struggling to reprieves from eviction this year — the Save the Townhomes campaign has pushed for more time and demanded ‘just compensation’ for the sale deal, part of a long history of displacement including eminent domain in the 1960s.

Organizers are also calling attention to Chinatown residents who are “having another stadium forced on them” after “fighting off a casino and a stadium.”

Cover aerial photo by Trev Adams.

Anti-Trans Bigots With Nazi Ties Coming To Philly Nov. 13th – Protest Party Planned

from Philly Antifa

Come Tell Anti-Trans Fake “Feminists” to Fuck Off!

British Anti-Trans hate monger Posie Parker, aka Kellie-Jay Keen, is currently on a U.S. “Speakers Corner” tour to spread her bigoted bullshit.

Check out this thread by @B_for_backup about Parker’s record of violent transphobia and racism:

[Twitter Thread]

A dance party and noise demo has been called to counter the tour’s stop in Philadelphia, which is scheduled to occur at 1PM on Sunday, 11/13/22 near The Liberty Bell. While we are not organizing this event, we encourage everyone to come out and be loud and proud.

Transphobes Fuck Off,

Raising funds

from Twitter

Stop Camp Grayling

from Instagram

Stop Camp Grayling
midwest(ish) tour
The larget military base in Turtle Island is planning to expand to twice the size of so-called chicago to develop, test, and train cops and troops in surveillance warfare, autonomous weapons, space warfare, counter-insurgency, and much more.

We are mobilizing an offensive against the camp and the so-called united states, along with everything that gives it life. If you are interest in figuring out what that can look life, come check us out!
11/15
7pm
Grays Ferry Crescent Skatepark

all out against empire, capital, and the war machine
all out against everything

intagram: @stop_camp_grayling
twitter: @graylingcamp
from Instagram

ALERT! English White Nationalist Group Announces Conference in Philly, Do Not Show Up.

from Philly Antifa

Hideous Flyer Being Circulated on Social Media for “English Nationalist” Conference at The Ritz Carlton 11/7/22 that seemingly went underground or was canceled.

UPDATE: The English Nationalists failed to materialize at the Ritz tonight. It’s possible this “conference” was so tiny that it was simply going to be a dinner that they moved last minute. It’s also possible that they held a small meeting in one of the rooms. Nevertheless, good work to everyone who called, shared and showed up tonight. White nationalism is not welcome in Philly.

Apologies for the short notice on this, readers. We were informed just yesterday of this planned event and wanted to do a little research, as we don’t know anything about this “English Nationalists” group.

They appear to have tabled at The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference this year, and to be supporters of the far-right UKIP party. They are staunch monarchists who celebrate both the royals and monstrous murderers like Margaret Thatcher.

Going by the flyer, their goal appears to be re-colonizing Ireland, Canada, The United States, New Zealand and Australia. Presumably, those countries (as opposed to Jamaica, the virgin islands or half of Africa) because they have a majority White Population. Hence the “one people” language. No regard for the indigenous populations of these countries from these proud racists, of course.

While coming to Philly and talking of re-colonizing the U.S. seems ridiculous, this is still not an event to be ignored. The English Nationalists will be joined by at least one other far right group, “European American Community,” and this event is likely to attract local white nationalists and allow them to network and recruit.

 

Meadows Interviews, Unabridged

from Anathema

Anathema sat down with two people involved in defending the FDR meadows. Below are the complete transcriptions of the interviews with each of them.

First Interview
Anathema: Would you like to introduce yourself?

I am somebody who likes to hang out at the Meadows. I live close by. I have been involved in some land and anti-gentrification struggles in Philly for awhile and now I’m participating with different folks under different names organizing to try to stop the development at the meadows.

Anathema: Can you tell us a little bit about FDR park, the Meadows, and the development taking place there?

Yeah, I don’t know about the original history of this park. I know for long term residents of Philly, FDR park is called the Lakes because of the big bodies of water here. I think FDR park was built around these golf courses, and The Meadows was a golf course for a century. It was repeatedly flooded and decommissioned as a golf course in 2018. Although even when it was a golf course, you hear stories about people who have used this land to make a connection to nature. People have stories about foraging all kinds of stuff from South Philly communities. It’s kind of one of the last wild spaces in the South Philly area.

The development that’s taking place here, it’s titled “The Master Plan for FDR Park.” It is an ongoing city plan to raise the elevation of certain areas of the park and add 12 new sports fields. The plan is also connected to development plans with the Philadelphia Airport, which wants to expand and is destroying 40 acres of wetland. By law, it has to restore a comparable amount of wetland. So funds for the redevelopment of this park are funds from the airport to offset the wetland destruction there. They’re also going to “improve” 35 acres of wetlands here at FDR Park.

Anathema: What have the struggles against the development looked like so far? What’s happening?

I heard about it through these meetings happening in the Spring of 2022. They were organized mostly by this one person but under the banner of The People’s Plan for FDR Park. It brought a bunch of people to the park and made people more aware of the imminent development plans. I’m not a long term resident of Philly, I just started exploring the wild space here during the pandemic. So The People’s Plan for FDR Park were trying to let people know that the city had imminent plans to develop it. But the organization of The People’s Plan for FDR Park was more about convincing the city to change the Master Plan to actually include what people want for the park.

From there, a bunch of people were like, okay, The People’s Plan for FDR Park is not the avenue for struggling against this development. It wasn’t for everybody. It wasn’t decentralized. It was very centralized and hierarchical; not super supportive of people working autonomously. After that initial meeting, there were lots of splinters–people branching out and asking what we want to happen here. Do we want this to stay a meadow? Do we actually want the city’s ecological restoration plans to move through, but not the sports fields? There were a lot of conversations about how we are going to organize. One contingent that I was a part of was trying to map out the ecology here, to figure out what species of trees, bugs, animals have a home here. And to encourage more people to come down and hang out. It is a bit far south, and I know a lot of people who have never been to the Meadows. Wanting to encourage and grow other people’s connection to the space before development happened.

The dates for when the destruction was going to happen were pretty unclear. There were people from the parks saying it’ll happen in 2023, people saying it’ll happen in June 2022. There was a kind of waiting or complacency maybe, because we didn’t know when it would happen. There wasn’t a big offensive push. I think that equipment got staged in late August, and there was push back. People…serviced the machines that arrived *laughs.* I think there were a lot of people doing different things, discussing whether construction people had permits, or thinking of ways to put pressure on the construction company. People trying to put pressure on city officials in ways that had no real effect whatsoever.

At first, when the destruction happened in late August, there wasn’t a clear construction zone. Lots of people were just out and about amongst the destruction, kind of putting themselves at risk in hopes that the construction company would get some kind of retribution for endangering people. That didn’t have much effect. They put up more solid fencing pretty immediately. In the first week of destruction, people were messing with equipment, people may or may not have spiked some trees. That stopped the destruction for a week. The place was swarming with cops and the unusable machinery got replaced.

They did the destruction pretty quickly after that. I feel like they were destroying dozens of acres a day. After a few weeks in which there wasn’t much real material resistance, they had cleared like 70 acres. From what I hear, all they have funding for is this first phase of destruction. As far as I know, now that the first 70 acres are destroyed, there’s gonna be a pause. I’m not sure what the development schedule is, or what their priorities are…it seems with the FIFA bid for the World Cup, creating the soccer field is gonna be a priority. I don’t know if they’re going to do the wetland restoration first. I know that they’re going to move a 4 story soil mound pretty close to the entrance of the Meadows, which they’ll use to try to raise certain areas. As far as the schedule for what’s up next for the developers, I’m not sure.

Anathema: How have the city, the cops, the neighbors responded to the struggle for the Meadows?

The city doubled down on its greenwashing media blasts. The Inquirer and other news outlets are like “The protesters are out of control!” or “Why the city needs the development at FDR Park.” They’re just pushing a narrative that they’re trying to make the space better, of course. Gentrification. They’re trying to make the park welcoming to sports people.

A response from neighbors…I’ve definitely seen people who are used to using the land express heartbreak and dismay that they can’t access the space, that it’s being destroyed.

I think the city has a lot of talking points that seem to be pretty convincing for people, that sports fields are about equity for young people of color in the city. How this project for them is about creating more equity. People seem really confused about that. Trying to represent this wild space that people already use as needing to undergo some kind of city developed equity and inclusion transformation…people seem to be buying it. I haven’t heard any neighbors express excitement. I’ve heard some people be like, “Hopefully it’s worth it.”

What I have heard from neighbors is dismay or anger, and confusion.

The cops…I feel like the police presence was heavy for awhile, and was coming down to interrupt arts and youth programming just to intimidate people using the space. They definitely set up a lot of new fences, and there’s tons of signs saying “A wetland is coming to this space.” They city’s increasing its greenwashing efforts, the space has gotten new fences, there is a heavier police presence here. There was a 24 hour cop station here for awhile, but I don’t know if they’re still here.

Anathema: You kind of touched on this already, but a lot of the land in FDR has already been cleared. Has this changed how people are struggling and what are some of the next steps in light of this clear cutting, leveling, and bringing in dirt?

I think that once the destruction started and it was kind of clear that we were slow on having both an offensive and a defensive strategy. Once we weren’t able to hold ground anymore, a lot of people were like “Oh fuck, we lost.” I guess it’s real to feel disheartened. People have distanced themselves from this struggle.

There’s still around 100 acres of land that hasn’t been touched, that they plan to develop. There’s still a lot worth defending here. Trying to get ahead of what the developer’s plans are makes sense as a strategy. There could be a long lull until they get enough money to move forward. And continuing to make the project financially unviable for them will always benefit us in trying to stop them.

People are still doing programming to keep people connecting to the space and aware that the space hasn’t been destroyed; it’s still open, there’s a lot of life here. With winter coming, hopefully it’s a time to strategize.

Anathema: What would you say to anyone who wants to take part in defending the Meadows?

I would say there’s a lot of ways to do that. There are a lot of people invested in this project for whatever reason–annoying them and making their lives difficult is great. I think a lot of people would probably enjoy that. There’s still a lot of open space here to have parties, bring people out. I think A&P construction and the other subcontractors who stand to gain from this project…it definitely makes sense to try to make their lives more difficult.

If you’re looking for offensive or defensive entry points, there are many.

Anathema: Do you think there’s anything people outside of Philadelphia can do to contribute to this struggle?

I feel like having solidarity, especially in land defense struggles but I’m thinking in particular urban land defense struggles – like the Atlanta forest, or stopping big development projects. Continuing to boost each others’ struggles and bringing attention to them is bugging the people who stand to gain from them. Those people, those companies exist in different cities. It feels really good, fun, and exciting to be learning from each others’ strategies and boosting each other in those efforts.

Anathema: Totally. Is there anywhere people can follow these struggles and keep themselves informed about what’s going on around the Meadows?

Yeah, I think the news source I trust the most at the moment about it is the Save the Meadows. They have a website savethemeadows.com. The instagram account is @savethemeadows.

Anathema: What would you say are some strengths and weaknesses of the struggle to defend the Meadows?

Some strengths are that our opponents in this struggle–the city, parks and rec, the developers, the cops–are really stupid. The people involved in defending the Meadows are more creative and smarter.

There is a difference in resources, obviously. The city has machinery that can facilitate destruction really fast. The city’s monopoly on violence and destruction is an obstacle to work around. But I feel like there are a lot of artists, smart and brave people involved in the struggle. A disadvantage is that this plan created by the city precedes a lot of our knowledge. They had a big head start.

Hopefully we can outlast them. Their resources are going to run out and be dependent on other companies coming in to boost how they move forward with this project. If we can stay creative and continue to engage with this space, then that’ll be a strength.

Anathema: What are some of the biggest tensions involved in people defending the Meadows?

Politically, a lot of people involved are still invested in a centralized decision making around what happens here, whether that’s collaborating with the city or having a centralized organization. Of course you don’t have to participate in that, but a lot of organizers are still thinking in terms of how they can get other people to do things instead of doing the things that they want to do, or encouraging people to do the things they want to do. Maybe that’s an issue with how we imagine projects getting done, or how we imagine working together for a shared goal. There is a desire amongst some of the organizers to continue a top down model, and it’s a lot of work to continually challenge that.

Second Interview

Anathema: Would you like to introduce yourself?2.

I do a lot of autonomous work. That’s why I’m around.

Anathema: Can you tell us a little bit about FDR park, the Meadows, and the development taking place there?

I live in the suburbs and to be honest, I don’t know much about the history and background. From what I do understand, these meadows have been here for awhile and they have been enjoyed by residents and community members for years. It seems like the airport and the city want to develop the nature aspect of FDR Park, commonly referred to as the Meadows, to be somewhat turned into astroturf. To commodify the space in general. Also the airport wants to expand by basically digging into the wetlands and trying to cover that by making a new wetlands.

Anathema: What have the struggles against the development looked like so far? What’s happening?

So far, the things that have been happening that I’ve been witness to, have been bulldozing. So just clearing the area of natural trees and wildlife. Fencing it off from the general public who were once able to freely roam around it. The struggle has been trying to find the exact dates of when bulldozing will happen, and also people have done campaigns like phone zaps, and making banners and posters. There have been some events held around the Meadows such as foraging, tree-mappings to try and identify trees and other species within the Meadows to have a perspective on if there are some species that might be endangered.

Basically trying to find ways to halt the destruction. When that didn’t happen, the struggle has looked like more events in the park, more walkabouts, filming. Trying to spread as much awareness as possible. There has been some apparent sabotage of equipment, so you could also say some insurrectionary developments in there as well.

Anathema: How have the city, the cops, the neighbors responded to the struggle for the Meadows?

For the most part, the Friends of FDR Park have been going around telling people that they were going to make the Meadows into a different type of area, but that they were going to leave a certain amount for people to still use. Trying to talk about it being more nature. Ultimately it’s being discovered that that’s a lie and not what they were really going to do. The community really enjoys this area, so they have responded like “that’s really fucked up.” But there are still people who believe their master plan, if you will. Because of that, they are under a false assumption that the Meadows will be made into something different and better, so they’re all for the project.

The police response was very minimal at the beginning. As tactics escalated, they responded with a lot more surveillance. It went from a little surveillance, to 24 hour surveillance, to bringing in the FBI. They’ve also brought in the counter-terrorist chain. They’re really trying to snuff out any real sense of eco-justice of an insurrectionary nature.

There have been some neighbors that really wanted to have the project, because the city is going to talk about how it’s going to be better to have this happen, and FIFA is coming. They want FIFA and the World Cup to come through. Some people are not so happy with the resistance as well, just based on wanting things to be better for FDR as a whole, apparently.

Anathema: A lot of the land in FDR has already been cleared. Has this changed how people are struggling and what are some of the next steps in light of this clear cutting, leveling, and bringing in dirt?

People have definitely had to go and do things a little more under the radar or while knowing there are multiple FBI and security personnel that are constantly watching and trying to analyze where they’re going. There have been rumors of cameras being placed in the park every so often. That’s been a general concern which has deterred a lot of people from coming back into the park. A lot of equipment is now under heavy surveillance or is just off of the grid, so any type of sabotaging efforts have pretty much come to a standstill.

In light of the clear-cutting, the next steps have really just looked like more events in the park, trying to get awareness out there, collaborating with other projects such as the UC Townhomes struggle. Also trying to appeal to the city to stop future leveling efforts.

Anathema: What would you say to anyone who wants to take part in defending the Meadows?

Environmental defense of any kind is important. All ecosystems are important. All matters of wildlife are relatively equal to all of us, we’re not more than any animal that is out there. Ecological defense is very much needed. Any effort you want to give is very much appreciated. I understand people have different comfort levels and ideas, but if you were looking to start somewhere, definitely come out and take a walk around the area. Talk to the local people. Go on instagram. Come get involved, come through to an event.

Anathema: Do you think there’s anything people outside of Philadelphia can do to contribute to this struggle?

Some people outside of Philadelphia have done banner drops, calls for solidarity, sharing of information as best they can. Some people have also collaborated with the Meadows efforts, such as the Defend the Atlanta Forest people who have come through.

Anathema: Is there anywhere people can follow these struggles and keep themselves informed about what’s going on around the Meadows?

@savethemeadows

Anathema: What would you say are some strengths and weaknesses of the struggle to defend the Meadows?

The struggles for the Meadows really seem to be coming internally in the form of communication, even though there is an instagram and a website. For instance, there was communication of how much is being cleared, but not about how much all at one time. There was speculation of whether there were 100 acres left or less. I would say the struggle of communication is real.

There have definitely been internal struggles. Not everybody is on board with all the tactics that have been used or talked about through this entire movement. There are definitely people trying to control narratives, peace policing, and denouncement of tactics by certain organizers. A struggle is people not getting along or communicating.

The strengths are the diversity of tactics, when it’s celebrated and left to people’s own autonomy. For the people who might want to do, say, spicier tactics, they can leave the people who want to do paperwork or just spreading the word alone. The other side of that coin is when people who want to do spicier things are left alone. Or when they don’t ask a lot of questions about it.

Anathema: What are some of the biggest tensions involved in people defending the Meadows?

The biggest tension thus far is between organizers and people who are more of a free association, so to speak. People peace policing, people trying to fit a certain narrative or only wanting certain tactics. This has been really frustrating for a lot of people. Organizers have definitely talked a lot of shit on each other. The solidarity is not really there.

The tension has also been between some people who value security culture more and are trying to stay more anonymous, and some organizers who are being a little more public, use more public and unencrypted platforms such as discord, or a website where they want people to sign up with their fucking email addresses. To combat that I guess you could use a proton email or whatever, but people don’t always use that as much. Most of the time, people like to either use telegram or signal to try to communicate through more encrypted methods. Organizers in particular have been trying to push things out into a non-encrypted space and that of course leads to a lot of tension between loads of us who are trying to stay as secure as we possibly can.

And also organizers trying to throw shade, really belittling the work because it wasn’t approved by them. Really trying to go after this narrative of “the movement is 95% white and half of these people are not from the community, so their opinions don’t matter. The ways they choose to enter into the struggle don’t matter.” It’s a real fucking shame because it’s going to show there’s not solidarity amongst everybody, and I think it’s going to turn a lot of people off, if it hasn’t already.

Anathema Volume 8 Issue 2

from Anathema

Volume 8 Issue 2 (PDF for reading 8.5×11)

Volume 8 Issue 2 (PDF for printing 11×17)

In this issue:

  • What Went Down
  • Interviews from the Meadows
  • Alabama Prison Strike
  • The Social and Survival: On Becoming a Threat
  • When One Door Closes….Break It In: Thoughts on the Criminalization of Abortion
  • The Conscious Soldier-Brother: Puerto Rican Struggle
  • Cospito on Hunger Strike
  • Service

Stop Cop City and Anarchist Graffiti in Philly

Submission