Freedom of Movement

Submission

Seeing the crowded conditions in the concentration camps in Texas reminds me of Inauguration Day two months ago. That night we rose like lions striking at slumbering poachers.

We found a Customs and Border Protection SUV and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement SUV in a parking garage in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. They were redecorated with paint, flattened tires, and shattered windows. Wouldn’t you know it? That advice that an awl can more quietly deflate a tire when pushed through its sidewall was right. And in a pinch, the awl can also be used to break the same vehicle’s glass. This tool can be found at most any hardware store.

So much of this settler-colonial empire’s origins can be traced to this very neighborhood. Paternal participants in slavery and genocide negotiating the imaginary lines that would cross so many living beings decreed their authority here, attempting to halt and erase so much life. The continuation of those programs crosses party lines as easy as capital does the border, and Democrats are as deserving of our fury as Republicans. Freedom cannot be attained beneath their thumbs or anyone else’s.

Another predator has settled in to his position as overseer, accompanied by an officer of law and order. Between them they have personally authored and been party to so much gendered and racialized violence, which is inherent to the nation-state. Don’t mistake what appears to be silence for inaction, because we’ve been busy. But this is a reminder that you don’t need to wait for a protest to interfere with the functions of this country, especially as so many return to resting on their heels. It’s imperative that we don’t wait and we support each other with words and actions.

 

For the destruction of this and every other empire.

For anarchy.

How many light bulbs does it take?

Submission

Exterior Decoration Tutorial and Communique

Supplies Needed:
gloves
glass light bulbs
paint
water
funnel
alcohol
screwdriver
pliers
duct tape
soft surface or container

Step 1:
Wearing gloves, use pliers to remove the top of the light bulb (to make a hole in the top). Be sure to break off any extra pieces. (Remove the small plate and dark glass, NOT the threaded metal sleeve.)

Step 2:
Use screw driver to pierce a hole through the top into the main section of the light bulb.

Step 3:
Mix paint with water.

Step 4:
Use funnel to transfer paint mix into light bulb.

Step 5:
Wipe everything (tape, bulbs etc) clean with alcohol.

Step 6:
Duct tape hole shut. You can use a soft surface (like an egg carton) to secure bulbs and keep them from falling over.

Step 7:
Pack your bulbs with cushioning in a container you don’t care about getting messy.

Step 8:
Find your target.

Step 9:
Aim high and throw hard!

In response to the March 6th Call for Action we paint-bombed a pro-life billboard because fuck pro-life propaganda. No one should have to have a baby who doesn’t want to.

Sabotage is fun!
Paint on patriarchy and gender!

-Insurrectionary Feminist Exterior Decoration Committee

New Year’s Eve vandalism of federal buildings in Philly leads to multiple arrests

from mainstream media

New Year’s Eve vandalism of federal buildings in Philly leads to multiple arrests

[Philly Anticap note: Everyone arrested has been released. See Up Against The Law’s post here]

Several people were arrested Thursday night after police and city highway patrol officers responded to reports of large unruly crowds and vandalism at federal buildings in Philadelphia.

Police observed a crowd on the 900 block of Market Street at about 8:50 p.m. Thursday, on New Year’s Eve. A 25-year-old man threw a brick through a window of the Robert Nix Federal Building, according to police.

The man, along with another man, age 24, and two 23-year-old women, all dressed similarly in black clothing, tried to flee the scene, but were taken into police custody.

The damage to the Nix building was estimated at $3,000.

Shortly after at 9 p.m., Philadelphia Highway Patrol officers were also in the area of 900 Market Street responding to reports of a large group of people breaking windows and spray-painting the federal building.

Officers stopped three individuals who had spray paint on their clothes, markers in their possession, and other suspicious materials.

A 25-year-old man had a glass jar with a fuse going into a bottle with a strong flammable odor, police said. He also had a container with a powder labeled “Fire Starter.”

A 22-year-old woman had bottles of liquids with chemicals and spray paint on her hands and clothes, police said.

And a 26-year-old woman had spray paint on her clothing.

The three individuals were taken into custody and charged with attempted arson, risking catastrophe, having an incendiary device, conspiracy and related offenses.

The materials they had with them will be examined by bomb technicians, police said.

City Officials Addressed In Paint

Last night in North Philly, on 19th & Oxford street, the site that the city planned to move unhoused individuals into today Wednesday, December 30th was targeted.

The unhoused individuals are currently staying in “Covid hotels” at the Holiday Inn on 13th and Walnut streets for shelter from the pandemic and cold. City government says they’ve run out of funding and can no longer house them here, but we know that’s not true. The city wants to save money and alternatively use the site to shelter housed and employed people suffering from covid. Yet another instance of the city further displacing unhoused people and prioritizing the privileged.

We’ve had enough of the bullshit and the runaround. We’ve had enough of orgs that hardly show up or don’t make proactive and decisive moves. We have decided to act autonomously and will continue to.

The slow trickle of evictions started on December 15th when advocates began to post up outside the hotel and distribute donations to residents and friends on the streets.

Mayor Kenney, in an attempt to ward off bad press, put out statements to the effect of “do not be concerned, the hotel residents will be situated with permanent housing, we will not be kicking people out on the street.” Spewing his usual bullshit, he is interested only in saving face and assuring liberals they need not be concerned or called to action. Meanwhile, some hotel residents were moved to an unused former PRISON in Kensington that same week — an interesting take on “permanent housing.”

The recent snow fall and protests have delayed planned evictions. However nothing concrete has changed. We’re tired of pushing meekly against the force of those in power, of doing nothing more than creating delays. Delays that temporarily disrupt the plans city officials still intend to carry out when we become fatigued and distracted. Despite the protests, another eviction notice was issued this week. Today marked the last day residents were apparently going to be permitted to stay in the hotel.

The site at 19th & Oxford, where they were expected to be transferred, appears to be a detention center of sorts. Word on the street is that it does not have hot water, some units may not have heat & the residents were going to be roomed in pairs. The point is this situation is abhorrent.

The city treats unhoused residents like undesirables they mean to discard of. They prioritize saving minimal amounts of money at the expense of the most vulnerable, marginalized Philadelphians— most of whom have existing health issues, adding to the stress and trauma they already endure by being unhoused. Our neighbors are not disposable. They should not be shuffled around from place to place, often without understanding where they’re going or what the conditions they’re walking into will be.

All attempts at negotiating with the city for better treatment have failed and been full of deceit on behalf of city officials… no fucking surprise. We have been too gentle in our modes of feedback. Protests have received media attention and some public support, but none of this is stopping the city from making their moves.

We all know this city loves and hoards it’s property. We need to “dialogue” with them in a language they understand or at least can’t ignore. Instead of waiting for the city to move people into the Oxford building, last night anarchists rolled up to sabotage the locks, graffiti the building and smash about 20 large windows and the glass door entrance.

Liz Hersh, the Office of Homeless Services, Resources for Human Development and Mayor Kenney have been addressed in paint. No one should be mistaken about the intention behind the actions. The media will surely spin its usual narratives, but we are not interested in letting the anticipation of their words influence or silence ours.
We did our thing. We said our piece.

Acts Against Goliaths

Submission

Carpet tacks spread in the police headquarters’ parking lot before a demonstration. More tacks dispersed at the local Amazon warehouse’s truck entrance. One valve stem cut on an Amazon truck’s tire. Two Amazon van tires slashed. Fiber optic cables cut where they hung low on three telephone poles in more affluent neighborhoods.

Small but unceasing acts against so many Goliaths. We hope to put a sling in many more hands while hunting for low-hanging fruit that might actual nourish our revolt.

The spectacle of the spell-out on the Regional Rail train is hardly worth mentioning without documentation, but our word is all we have. Those straight letters reading NO MORE PRESIDENTS taking up half the clean car in the earliest hours of somebody’s election day blazed bold in black and chrome. Maybe CLIP or Septa Police have the flicks to share from this earlier act. Either it ran and shared the message or was taken out of commission for cleaning.

We won’t stop. This world teeters on too many terrifying and enchanting precipices to stop. We invite you join us, with these recent acts as a minimum of examples. The greatest difficulty is in beginning, but once you’re out the door it gets easier. Take care and it gets easier.

“Let every act of repression visited upon us bloom infinite vicious resistance.”

Looking toward a winter of anarchy.

Transaction Denied

Submission

On the 20th day of Black December some pranksters gave to me, 12 banks sabotaged with glee! Sabotaging card slots is easy. We sabotaged some vestibule entrance slots and ATM card readers. We put gift cards with glue on them in the slots. We cut each card into 3 to have more and to make it harder to pull each out. We covered everything but our eyes because ATM’s have high resolution cameras. It looked like we were just using the ATM, no one suspected a thing. You can also use cardboard or the free business cards found at cafes. Make sure you wipe any fingerprints off the cards.

RIP all the homies we lost this year!
Here’s to hoping 2021 is more lit than 2020!
Long Live Anarchy!

– Transaction Denied 😉

rail interference

Submission

We halted freight train traffic on two different sets of tracks in Philly using the copper wire method to send a false signal. Solidarity with first nations people continuing to oppose colonial destruction of this continent and the rest of the earth. Solidarity with those facing prosecution for similar actions.

About to Explode: Notes on the #WalterWallaceJr Rebellion in Philadelphia

from It’s Going Down

The following analysis and reflection looks at the recent rebellion in Philadelphia following the police murder of Walter Wallace Jr.

by Gilets Jawns

Nearly every week over the course of this long, hot summer, a different city has occupied the center stage of this particularly American drama. Through this passing of the torch, the sequence of riots had has dragged on far longer than anyone could have expected. In the last days before the election, in perhaps the most significant swing state, in the Philadelphia’s turn to carry the torch.

Following the climatic violence of Kenosha, each subsequent riot has been less able to capture the public imaginary or mobilize wide layers of society. It is too soon to tell whether the spectacle of the election will tower over the spectacle of insurrection; if this summer of unrest has finally run its course, or if black proletarians will continue to carry forward the struggle on their own. The riots in Philadelphia none the less leave us with a set of questions about the composition and tactics of movement, and the role of pro-revolutionaries within it.

I.

On Monday, October 26th, Walter Wallace Jr., a father and aspiring rapper with a history of mental illness, was having a crisis and acting erratically. His family called 911, hoping to have him temporarily hospitalized. Soon the Philadelphia Police Department was on the scene, rather than ambulance they had expected. Officers on the scene were told by his family that Wallace was having a mental health crisis. Nonetheless, within minutes, Wallace had been shot at over a dozen times. He died soon afterwards in the hospital. Shakey footage of the incident, captured on a cellphone, ends with family members confronting and screaming at the police officers on the scene. Everybody knew it was about to explode.

As the video begins to circulate on social media, a demonstration is called for that evening at Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia, not far from the site of the shooting. Several hundred people join a rowdy march from the park to the nearby 18th Precinct, then through the neighborhood, and eventually back to precinct. One section of the crowd breaks away to march on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus police station, breaking it’s windows.

On the blocks cleared from the police, fireworks are set off and the crowd begins looting. Most of the storefronts on that stretch of 52nd Street, occupied by small, black owned businesses, such as bookstores and beauty salons, remain untouched.

Clashes breakout at the 18th Precinct between between demonstrators and riot police and the crowd spills over onto 52nd street, the commercial strip in that part of the neighborhood, where a police car is set on fire and another one has its windows broken. Dumpsters are dragging into the street and also set on fire. On the blocks cleared from the police, fireworks are set off and the crowd begins looting. Most of the storefronts on that stretch of 52nd Street, occupied by small, black owned businesses, such as bookstores and beauty salons, remain untouched. When riot police eventually charged the crowd, people took off running down side streets, jumped into cars, and disappeared. Looting soon broke out all over the city, as groups drove around breaking into pharmacies, liquor stores, and chain stores.

In West Philadelphia meanwhile things began to take on the form of a classic community riot. A crowd fought back the police with bricks and bottles until they retreated. In the space opened up, a stretch of several blocks, much of the neighborhood was out in the streets or on their porches. Young people broke up bricks on the sidewalk, in anticipation of another battle with the police. Others drank, debated, enthusiastically greeted their neighbors, shared looted goods, and cheered on the youth as they fought with or ran from the police. Everyone shared in the revelry of the moment, even if they didn’t partake in, or even criticized, the pot-latch of destruction.

Older drunk men took on the roll of town crier, walking from block to block enthusiastically shouting the news from elsewhere in the neighborhood: what intersections were being looted; where groups were headed now.

The doors of pharmacies and bodegas were broken in. People calmly walked in and out, taking what they needed. “Is there any kid’s cereal left? If you don’t have kids, you might not know this, but that shit is expensive.” A whole range of people from the neighborhood walked the streets with trash bags with stolen goods slung over their shoulders. Older drunk men took on the roll of town crier, walking from block to block enthusiastically shouting the news from elsewhere in the neighborhood: what intersections were being looted, where groups were headed now.

When riot police inevitably tried to retake the block, most of the crowd, most either went back inside their homes, or ran down the street to their cars. A pattern emerged for the rest of the night: someone would yell out an intersection in the neighborhood, crews would drive there, regroup, and begin looting until enough police arrived that it was time to disperse and regroup at another intersection.

Tuesday, October 27th

The next morning it was announced that the National Guard would be arriving within the next 24 to 48 hours. The riot thus had a window of time to make the most of. A flier circulated for another demonstration at Malcolm X Park that evening. In an almost comically exaggerated form of what the movement has come to call swooping, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), a Stalinist sect, circulated a separate call for a march at exact same location, only an hour earlier. This confusion led to the crowd splitting, with some following the PSL towards Center City and others marching towards the 18th Precinct. The group gathered at the precinct steadily over the course of the evening to around 400 people, a significantly larger and more diverse crowd than the previous night.

In the meantime, a caravan of cars descended on a WalMart in Port Richmond, on the northern end of the city. Video footage from a news helicopter showed people running out of the store with flat-screen TVs and other home appliances into a parking lot densely packed with idling cars. PPD speculated that up to 200 people were inside the WalMart at once, and the caravan may have involved up to 1,000 people. For the next few hours, hundreds of people in dozens of cars marauded through Aramingo avenue, looting a Footlocker, furniture stores, kid’s clothing stores, and other box stores along the way. WalMart announced later that week that, due to the threat of continued social unrest, they would be taking guns and ammunition off of their shop floors.

When the crowd at the Precinct began to march, some people almost immediately began to build barricades and throw bottles at the police. Soon a group of riot police were being chased under volleys of bricks and bottles nearly back to the precinct. Most of the march though tried to steer clear of the street-fighting, but was nonetheless overwhelmed by the sheer size of the police presence. Along 52nd Street the march was cut off and then broken up, with much of the crowd either kettled, dispersed, or stuck in a stand off with riot police. Eventually two or three smaller marches criss-crossed the neighborhood. One of these groups marched away from the heavily-policed zone towards Center City, leaving a trail of burning barricades and a looted liquor store in it’s wake.

Around midnight, with the streets largely evacuated of activists, youth from the neighborhood began to gather around 52nd street. They hurled bricks at the line of riot police and set dumpsters on fire in the street until police eventually charged at them. They then led the police on a chase for the rest of the night, stopping occasionally to break up bricks and wait for their enemy to get within striking range, throwing as many as they could, and then running again.

At the head of the march, improvising the route, was a twenty-something-year-old in a wheelchair dressed in black bloc. Everyone behind him was carrying bricks. Improvised barricades were occasionally dragged into the street and burned. An ATM was set on fire, as well as several vehicles, including an Xfinity van. “That’s for cutting off my wifi, bitch!” The whole proceedings had a festive air to it. Almost everyone knew each other from the neighborhood and would crack jokes on each other as they went. A solidarity demonstration that night in downtown Brooklyn threw bricks at the police, broke the windows of a police car, a court building, and numerous businesses.

Wednesday, October 28th

The next morning, the FBI arrested four people, including a prominent community organizer, who are being charged with arson and accused of having a role in setting three police cars on fire during the uprising in May and June. The FBI made similar arrests and raids in Atlanta that week.

A curfew was declared for 9PM. No demonstration was called for that evening.

As soon as the sun set, looting started spreading all over the city.

That evening, a small crowd gathered outside of the 18th Precinct, composed of more journalists than protests. After being warned by community affairs officers that the gathering was illegal, most of the crowd went home. For the rest of the night, youth from the neighborhood sporadically clashed with the police and set off fireworks across West Philadelphia.

After being warned about the curfew by community affairs officers, most of the crowd dispersed. Throughout the night, small groups of people, mostly from the neighborhood, clashed with police and set off fireworks across West Philadelphia.

Along City Avenue in Merion Park, a caravan of looters ransacked strip malls and box stores. Groups of between three and a dozen cars swarmed the area, storming businesses, and then stopping at gas stations to regroup and discuss their next move. At times the swarm of looters was so dense that there traffic jams along the highway.

Dispersed looting continued for the next several days, as did the occasional daytime activists demonstration, but neither found a way to pick up momentum or relate to each other. Several days of bad weather didn’t help. This was perhaps the first time since rioting began this summer where a curfew was declared for a city and large crowds didn’t come out to challenge it. The national guard finally arrived on Friday, too late to prevent any of the rioting.

///

II.

Innovation

To stay dynamic and overcome the impasses they face, movements need to constantly innovate the tactics they use. In many cities, including Philadelphia as the large-scale riots and social looting of late May ran their course, the unrest was kept going through a turn to diffuse looting. Rather than struggling with police over a particular territory, groups spanned out by car throughout the entire city and surrounding suburbs. This often happened on such a large scale that it was nearly impossible for the police to contain it. Diffuse looting has reemerged sporadically in recent months, during the unrest in Louisville and Philadelphia, as a way to disrupt the city in the absence of large-scale protests.

Philadelphia’s unique tactical innovation has been the introduction of so-called “ATM bombings.” Groups will detonate small explosive devices at an ATM and, ostensibly, walk away with the cash. During the heady days of May and early June, the sound of explosions became part of the background ambiance of the city where American democracy was born. This tactic reemerged during late October’s unrest. There were likely a dozen ATM bombings each of the three major nights of unrest. This tactic has so far not spread elsewhere, likely due to the amount of technical knowledge required.

The fact that innovations, like the caravan, tend to leap from city to city indicates that proletarians are paying attention to how the struggle is unfolding elsewhere. It also shows that the choice of tactics isn’t arbitrary, but it is grounded in an intelligent read of the situation they find themselves struggling within.

The major innovation this summer has it’s origins in Chicago. After police shot Latrell Allen on Chicago’s Southside, a caravan of looters poured into the downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s most famous shopping district,breaking windows and emptying out luxury stores. For the next few hours, this caravan marauded through the city, evading the police and looting luxury boutiques, pharmacies, and liquor stores. This tactical was repeated on a smaller scale in Louisville in September and on a perhaps larger scale in Philadelphia.

The looter caravans, in particular, highlight a much higher degree of coordination, organization, and boldness of action than is within reach of any activist, leftist, or revolutionary group. The fact that innovations, like the caravan, tend to leap from city to city indicates that proletarians are paying attention to how the struggle is unfolding elsewhere. It also shows that the choice of tactics isn’t arbitrary, but it is grounded in an intelligent read of the situation they find themselves struggling within.

These innovative tactics have so far allowed comparatively small groups to overwhelm police departments and disrupt the flows of the city. But there are clear limits to how much these high-risk actions might generalize. They, in fact, seem premised on the boldest layers of proletariat acting alone. This perhaps indicates that black proletarians no longer expect the large, multiracial crowds that joined them in the rebellion earlier this summer.

Composition

These recent nights in Philadelphia pose a challenge to the hypothesis that this is a multiracial uprising. Or rather, they seem to indicate that the “rigid lines of separation” that appeared to break down in May are quickly re-emerging. Throughout the country, the crowds that flooded the streets in May and June closely corresponded to the demographics of the city they were in. White people, in fact, were often over represented compared to their share of the total population of the given city. It was only during some of the most intense moments of looting that the participants were mostly black, but never exclusively so. The riots and demonstrations were also rarely confined to particular black or working class neighborhoods, but rather tended to envelope the entire city.

Instead, during the recent riots in Philadelphia, black proletarians stood largely alone. When multiracial crowds arrived in West Philadelphia in October, they were largely unable to overcome the separations that had been so easily dissolved earlier in the summer. If these activists had hoped to express their support for the rioting, they had the perhaps unintended inverse effect of stifling it, as black proletarians in the crowd hesitated to see how these newcomers might act. For moments on Monday and Tuesday night, a multiracial crowd worked together to build barricades and attack the police. But more often than not, even when different elements of the crowd took part in the rioting, they did so separately. Each night by midnight, almost no one was left on the streets that wasn’t black.

A certain amount of hesitation around whether or how to act in the streets likely result from anxiety around these “rigid lines of separation.” Debates abounded in the streets, on Telegram channels, and within activists circles about the proper way to relate to the black struggle. It is worth remembering though that this anxiety is often only one-sided. People from outside of the neighborhood who showed up for the riots were at times treated with suspicion until they made clear that they were there for the same reasons as everyone else. Then they were widely embraced. Those taking initiate in the streets were glad that others had joined them, especially if they had something to contribute.

It is not simply that separations reasserted themselves within and between the crowds. The riot did not spread from neighborhood to neighborhood, and only a minority of the immediate neighborhood ever participated in a significant way. No wider layers of the class ever came into the streets, and the activist crowd that mobilized never exceeded a few hundred people. Solidarity demonstrations, with the exception of the one in Brooklyn, were small and attended only by committed activists.

What Are We to Do?

If there is to be a collective leap from riot to insurrection, for this long, hot season stretch into an endless summer, people will need to find ways to contribute to this unfolding. Rather than being paralyzed by anxiety, pro-revolutionaries should consider what practical knowledge and capacities they have to offer.

This is often quite simple. One way in which pro-revolutionaries make themselves useful is by holding onto the memory of lessons learned in previous struggles and experiments. This can be as basic as reminding people to wear masks or showing them how to use Telegram to out smart the police. There are certain gestures, such as circulating a call for a demonstration, that can be necessary to keep things moving forward.

The balance sheet on this is fairly clear in hindsight. Despite their awkwardness, the two evening demonstrations spilled over into riots, while the other nights only saw more diffuse actions. This is because they provide a space for those who want to take initiative to find each other and for those who may not want to take initiative, but who nonetheless support the riots, to express that publicly in a way that provides cover for others. The evening demonstrations also provided cover for the looting happening elsewhere, by occupying much of the city’s police force along 52nd Street.

With the declaration of a curfew and the threat of the national guard, providing some basic container to act within, such as calling for another evening demonstration, could have created the conditions for the unrest to keep going for a few days longer. In this sense, a small intervention by pro-revolutionaries could have been significant.

Otherwise, pro-revolutionaries try to read what the dynamic of a given struggle is, and how to contribute to its unfolding. This can look like trying to take initiative in a way that may resonate and be taken up by other members of the crowd. Even if we may stand out from the crowd, when the gestures we take prove themselves to be sensible, people tend to recognize them as material contributions. Other times, simply having the foresight to bring tools, whether masks, fireworks, umbrellas, or a sound-system, can go a long way towards contributing to the dynamic of an event.

This point may seem banal, but it’s worth remembering. After the first days of the uprising in New York City, much bigger crowds began to come into the streets. In these moments, the rigid separations between different components of the crowd could be felt. Many of the new participants were inspired by the bolder acts of the uprising, but in person were as afraid of the specter of the riot as they were of the police. They desperately looked for people to appoint into leadership roles, who then tried their best to micromanage the demonstrations. Young black proletarians in the crowd began to sense their isolation, and, by the the end of the first week, stopped coming out. If others in the crowd had also tried to take initiative, it’s possible they could have contributed to a circumstance where the black avant-garde didn’t feel constrained, perhaps extending the uprising a bit longer.

In this sense, solidarity literally means attack. The more pro-revolutionaries have felt the confidence to act, they more they been able to meaningfully contribute to unfolding of this struggle set in motion by black proletarians.

These leaps forward in proletarian self-organization and tactics over this long summer present pro-revolutionaries with a particular dilemma. The role of pro-revolutionaries has been to contribute to the intensification and generalization of struggle, to push them towards their insurrectionary horizon. But when proletarian self-activity becomes much more daring and risky than many pro-revolutionaries are ready for, what then becomes our role? When these tactics already entail such a degree of coordination and intensity, then even if pro-revolutionaries are to participate, it is not clear what we have to contribute.

Some black proletarians seems committed to carrying the struggle forward and intensifying it, but unlike in May, they are almost totally isolated. To be able to struggle at all, they have thus had to be immensely creative in their choice of tactics. But these innovations seems to presuppose their isolation. This riddle may solve itself as struggles once again generalize and new tactics proliferate. The black avant-garde may continue to blaze ahead on its own, struggling with an intensity that many cannot participate in, and it will be important for revolutionaries to decide how to contribute.

The election is now in the rear view mirror. While the dust has not yet settled, it may turn out to the case that the left’s fascination with the possibility of a coup or civil-war only obscured from us the more difficult questions raised by this moment. The black avant-garde may continue to blaze ahead on its own, struggling with an intensity that many cannot participate in. We may be faced with the option of either joining them on this path, with neither a clear horizon or sense of how we can contribute, or of vacating the streets ourselves. This riddle may solve itself as struggles once again generalize and new tactics proliferate, but we cannot take that for granted.

Report from a march into University City

Submission

Here’s a report back on one march that took place Monday, October 26. This march didn’t get much attention so I want to share my experience of it because it pushed the envelope in terms of what a medium sized group of people can accomplish. This report back is a snapshot of one moment that night, so much more happened that night and the next one, and there are so many things worth discussing that I don’t touch on. Hopefully this is only one of many reports and conversations on the Walter Wallace Jr uprising.

A buzz of the phone let me know that the police had shot a man in West Philly. Then word spread that the man who had been shot had died at the hospital, and that unsurprisingly he was black. A call was circulating for a demonstration at Malcolm X Park.

A group of a couple hundred of us marched out of the park toward the 18th Precinct where the cops who killed the man were from. Multiple approaches to the building were foiled by barricades and cops with helmets and riot shields lined up behind them. After a few attempts at getting to the building we turned around and went east instead, back toward the park. Photographers’ and journalists’ cameras were blocked as we went toward 52nd St. Once we were one 52nd St a few people tried to throw rocks at an unmarked police car ahead of the march, were told off, and after a strikingly short conversation had convinced their critics, some of whom joined them and also proved to have better aim.

We stopped at the corner of the park and some people began to tell a camera person to stop filming. As they left a news van parked at the corner was vandalized, sides tagged, tires pierced, and the windshield smashed. The marching was buzzing and joyful as people chanted “what did you see? I didn’t see shit!” People discussed and quickly decided to head towards the police stations in University City where they would likely be less guarded. On the way people learned the man who had been killed was named Walter Wallace and we shouted it, and it was written upon available walls alongside anti-police graffiti.

With only a couple blocks between us and the police stations the march stopped and a heated argument ensued. The argument was between some people who felt the march should be going toward the unguarded University City precincts and some people who wanted the march to return to the 18th Precinct to support the family of Walter Wallace Jr. The argument was unnecessarily heated, the two approaches — support and attack — are both important, it’s a strength that we can find more than one way to confront the situation. The argument split the march; some headed back West towards the 18th Precinct while others continued to the University City ones. I was with the latter march.

University City is policed by the Philly Police Department, Drexel Police, the University of Pennsylvania Police, and University City District Safety Ambassadors. As we approached the back of the UPenn police station a line of maybe four cops blocked the street with bicycles. We took the sidewalk, went around them, and people smashed and tagged the back of the building. At the end of the block we turned north onto 40th where a UPenn police car sat idling, as we passed it someone smashed some of its windows before it drove away. Turning another corner east onto Chestnut St we found ourselves with almost no cops around in front of a PPD substation and the UCD office, both of which lost most of their windows. Having visited the police stations like we’d wanted, we decided to head back toward the 18th Precinct to see what was happening there. The march back was unusually calm considering what had just happened. We had police cars and a police bus following us that we kept at bay by repeatedly barricading the street with dumpsters and other materials. We made it to the 18th Precinct with no arrests and joined the larger crowd there.

It’s still unbelievable to me that a group of people that wasn’t that big was able to attack two police stations and the UCD office, while the police were there, and walk away! It sets a new precedent for what is possible.

RIP Walter Wallace Jr
Much love to everyone who took their rage and sorrow into the street
Freedom for everyone arrested during the uprising
Forever fuck the police

The Irvine Vandalized

Submission

Last night while the cops were busy protecting their precincts, we took advantage of the moment to go after a different target. We ended up taking out several windows of The Irvine (on 52nd St near Baltimore Ave) around the back of the building, while some of its yuppie residents panicked on the patio. This was a small first step for us towards moving beyond just attending mass protests when they kick off – we’re also trying to think about how we can aim our actions in ways that help spread or sustain mass resistance and our side in this war against police and property.

We have seen firsthand how gentrification projects like The Irvine have increased the cops’ presence and racist violence in this neighborhood. We don’t want developers to feel safe here. We hope this action is just one of many future attacks against The Irvine!

Gentrification is death. Revolt is life! <3

Unrest in Philly After Cops Shoot and Kill 27-Year-Old

from Unicorn Riot

Philadelphia, PA – West Philly saw a quickly escalating situation develop on 4 p.m. Monday afternoon and dragging into the evening and overnight. In a graphic and disturbing video circulating on social media, two white Philadelphia Police (PPD) officers are seen repeatedly shooting a Black man in front of his mother from several feet away as he walked while holding a knife. Neither of the two officers in the video seemed to attempt to use their taser, and they appeared to have fired around ten bullets while they were several arms lengths away from the man they shot.

The man struck down dead by the two PPD officers was identified as 27-year-old Walter Wallace, Jr.

His father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his son was dealing with mental illness, was on medication, and “his mother was trying to diffuse the situation” when police came and shot him.

Many witnesses were present for Wallace’s death and his family, friends and neighbors quickly reacted with grief and rage to the sight of him being gunned down dead in the street.

Video of the scene taken by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Ellie Rushing shows that police had placed evidence markers indicating as many as 13 shell casings.

The scene of the deadly shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. by two Philadelphia Police officers. Screenshot taken from Twitter video by Ellie Rushing

Both of the white officers involved in the shooting death of Walter Wallace, Jr. have reportedly been suspended pending an investigation. If common police practices for “officer-involved shootings” are being followed, they are both presumably now on paid leave.

In an official city statement, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney said, “I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered.” Kenney promised “a speedy and transparent resolution” but the only specific detail he offered was that the “Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit of PPD will conduct a full investigation.

Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner’s statement about the shooting avoided any specifics but also promised an investigation.

Police called in reinforcements to clear the mourning neighbors from the street and reportedly dispersed the crowd at the shooting scene by 6:30 p.m., according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Around 7 p.m. on Monday night, a crowd of several hundred protesters began to gather at Malcolm X Park.

Protesters marched throughout the area, taking the streets and followed by supporting honking vehicles. They also congregated for a time outside a nearby police precinct.

At some point outside the precinct, objects such as rocks and bricks reportedly began to be thrown at officers.

Police with riot gear and shields then pushed the crowd away from the police building, charging people through the street as trash cans and various other projectiles were pelted at them by an increasingly militant local crowd.

Police appeared unable to contain the community’s furious response to their having shot a Black man to death in the middle of the street in the middle of the day. Crowds went on to smash into several area businesses and take commercial goods, smash and burn police vehicles, launch fireworks, and reportedly commandeered at least one construction vehicle.

In one photo captured by Inquirer journalist Samantha Melamed (who was arrested by PPD while reporting on a protest in June) a police cruiser can be seen burning in front of a billboard reading “the power of justice”:

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As of early Tuesday morning, protesters remained out in the streets of West Philly. Police made several arrests, with the Major Crimes Unit reportedly having been deployed.

Around 12:45 a.m., police were using batons and charging tactics to encourage the remaining crowd to disperse.

According to Philly journalist Jason Peters, some arrested protesters are being held at PPD’s 18th precinct.

Philadelphia’s lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, which supported officers involved in brutalizing protesters earlier this year, has indicated it will defend the cops who ended Walter Wallace, Jr.’s life while his family watched.

Amazon Van Burned

Submission

This week I set fire to an Amazon delivery van on Broad and Ellsworth. Reports of sabotage against Amazon are not reported by local news sources.

Officials: Two Charged In Arson Of Philadelphia Police Patrol Car In Southwest Philadelphia

from Mainstream Media

Two suspects have been charged in the arson of a Philadelphia Police Department patrol car in Southwest Philadelphia early Sunday morning. Police say the vehicle was parked near the 12th Police District on the 2100 block of Simpson Street around 3:30 a.m.

Fire Marshals were called to extinguish the flames.

An investigation led to the arrest of two men who were found hiding on the front porch on the 2100 block of Simpson Street with a strong odor of gasoline coming from their clothing.

There were also clothes inside a crate at the location which matched the description of the video that was recovered from the crime.

The suspects were arrested and taken into custody.

Police say no one was injured during the incident.

Anticapitalist group claims responsibility for West Philly unrest that left windows smashed, buildings vandalized near Penn

from Mainstream Media

An anticapitalist group taking part in what it called the “Summer of Rage” has claimed responsibility for unrest that erupted near the University of Pennsylvania campus Tuesday night, leaving windows smashed and prompting campus police to warn students and staff to remain indoors.

Roughly 60 people in black clothes and donning black masks gathered at Clark Park, near the intersection of 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, and began marching just before 9:30 p.m., campus police said. They quickly cut a swath of damage along 40th Street — building barricades, vandalizing several buildings and a marked Penn police car — before dispersing about 40 minutes later.

In their wake, several businesses were left damaged along 40th Street, including a PNC bank, a coffee shop, a pizza parlor, a bar, the Free Library branch at 40th and Walnut Streets, and a university residence hall that was spray-painted with the phrase “Nerds Call 911.”

A post that appeared Wednesday morning on Philly Anti-Capitalist, a clearinghouse for local antiauthoritarian and anarchist groups, and submitted by a person claiming to be an organizer of the demonstration, declared the event a success.

“Over 45 people marched through the streets chanting and smashing windows of banks, business and developments,” the post read. “There was a surprising amount of destruction.”

It went on to describe demonstrators using barricades to elude police intervention and covering identifying tattoos and facial features to avoid detection by authorities.

Philadelphia police declined to comment on whether their investigation of the vandalism was focused on the “Summer of Rage” group, saying only that the probe continues. Penn police didn’t respond to requests for details.

But as business owners and university staff boarded up windows, cleared broken glass from sidewalks, and power-washed antipolice and anarchist graffiti off building walls Wednesday morning, many were still trying to figure out exactly what had happened. Most of the businesses along the corridor were closed when the destruction began.

The shattered windows at a PNC Bank branch on 40th Street near Walnut. The windows were destroyed by a group of protesters marching in response to the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin.

Security footage at Allegro Pizza & Grill near 40th and Spruce Streets showed a crowd of people walking north on 40th just before 9:30 p.m., flanked by people walking their bicycles and halting traffic. People in the front carried a banner that read: “F— the police.”

Louie K., a part owner of Allegro who asked that his last name be withheld over safety concerns, said members of the group spray-painted on the wall of his business and a man took a baseball bat to its ATM, causing more than $10,000 in damage.

Another local business owner, who asked to remain anonymous because he didn’t “want [his] windows broken, too,” said he saw a crowd of about 25 people in black clothing ransacking a construction site near 40th and Sansom Streets.

The group threw traffic cones and toppled trash cans, he said while noting he didn’t see any violent behavior. At one point, he said, police approached the crowd near Chestnut Street and the group shouted profanities at officers but kept on walking.

A worker power washes graffiti off of a construction barrier outside of a University of Pennsylvania residence hall Wednesday morning after a night of unrest saw demonstrators vandalizing buildings and breaking windows along 40th Street in West Philadelphia.

The gathering that led to the unrest came together quickly through mostly private messages and social media posts. A graphic shared on Instagram directed attendees — “in solidarity with Kenosha” — to meet at Clark Park at 9 p.m. and wear black. “Screenshot & share on IG story only,” the graphic read. (Instagram’s “stories” function is not easily searchable.)

The post early Wednesday morning on the anticapitalist blog said the group was marching in solidarity with Philadelphia sanitation workers, Black Lives Matter, and protests in Kenosha, Wis., over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old man seriously injured by officers Sunday as he leaned into his car in front of his children.

Organizers involved in previous protests on behalf of those causes have disavowed property destruction in their pursuit of social justice goals.

But a group donning similar dark clothing and masks and also claiming to be associated with the “Summer of Rage” drew attention in 2017 after causing more than $100,000 in damage to new buildings and high-end cars in North Philadelphia.

Those demonstrators said they were marching against gentrification in the neighborhood.

Neighbors at the time described the masked demonstrators smashing windows, spray-painting messages like “Leave!” on new buildings, and throwing Christmas ornaments filled with paint. Two protesters were arrested after area residents surrounded the group and kept them penned in until police arrived.

No arrests have been reported in connection with Tuesday’s unrest.

Garbage cans thrown in the street by a group of protesters marching in response to the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin. Numerous windows were shattered at the University of Pennsylvania.

Police car burned in South Philadelphia

from Mainstream Media

An unoccupied Philadelphia Police car was set on fire overnight near Passyunk Square. Part of the vehicle was damaged, police said, but no one was injured.

The cruiser could be seen Wednesday morning parked outside the Third District precinct at 11th and Wharton Streets. The area around the front passenger side wheel well appeared to be charred.

A police car was burned at 11th and Wharton streets in South Philadelphia near the Third District police precinct.

The fire was set shortly after 3:15 a.m., police said, and it caused damage to the right wheel area and hood. The fire marshal declared it an arson, and police said they are investigating. No arrests had been made as of early Wednesday.

NBC10, Fox29, and 6ABC reported that authorities may be looking for a person on a bike who was seen fleeing the scene.

It was unclear whether the act was linked to an incident last month in which four unoccupied police cars were burned overnight. In that instance, at least two of the cars were burned from a tire, police said at the time.