Crypto-eugenics, biopower and “Freedom Day”: Another response from some anarchists in Wales and England

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Aug 092021
 
Leaked photograph of Downing Street whiteboard sketch from beginning of the pandemic, reading “who do we not save?”.

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

This piece is a belated response to “You Can’t be Anti-State & Pro-Lock-down”, which is itself a response to our “Anarchy, Lockdown and Crypto-Eugenics” (a critique in turn of “On the Anarchist Reponse to the Global Pandemic”).

The state has blood on its hands. Anarchists know this. Police killings are normalised – it takes riots to be noticed. Mass death beyond fortress Europe is all too usual, even as it intensifies. But it is unusual for the West to dispose of its own citizenry on such a large scale, and to do so with such a steady manner. In the UK, the pandemics’ mass of dead bodies is the greatest since the second world war.[1] And yet, at this very moment, we hear comrades slip into apologetics. They excuse the state and its economy of death. They wash the blood from its hands and blame “nature” in its place. Yes, we attack the curfews, the policing, the evolving surveillance and disciplinary techniques. We wouldn’t expect anything less. But some anarchists enter new topics; in the same breath, they shout for the freedom of business, of pubs and retail, the return to schools, the reopening of Churches. Their rallying cry: “Anti-lockdown”! The existential threat faced by the disabled and the elderly is simply an inconvenient footnote to liberal rights.

In our critique, “Anarchy, Lockdown and Crypto-Eugenics”, we didn’t begin with abstract notions of “consent”, but from this reality of an existential threat. From there we located targets for attack and provided some speculative points of unity. We welcome the space given to our piece and the wider discussion. We agree with our recent critic that such discussions often “devolve into name-calling”; indeed, we found it amusing to be compared with Italian futurists, Soviet and Trumpian propaganda and (unexpectedly!) the Spanish Inquisition. (On top of all this they described us as British!) We won’t bother refuting these labels in this piece, but will focus on their other claims; (1) that our critique, particularly our use of crypto-eugenics, was in “bad faith”, (2) that we refuse to critique the pharmaceutical industry and (3) that we are “pro-lockdown”.

A very short genealogy of “crypto-eugenics”

In our original piece we located eugenics (and its father, Malthusianism) as a logic of capitalism and the state. The notions of degenerate bodies in need of improvement, efficiency and elimination, and of surplus, disposable bodies, burdensome and unnatural, have a long and deadly history – one which is intimately tied with the modern state and colonialism in particular. As our critic notes, eugenics is the most statist of the concepts – but this does not necessarily make it obvious. The term “crypto-eugenics” was first used in a 1957 memorandum of Dr. C. P. Blacker, Honorary Secretary of the (British) Eugenics Society, to describe a policy of “pursuing eugenic ends by less obvious means” – the obvious being unfashionable in light of Nazism’s recent horrors. (Policy (b) was “to campaign for the control of immigration, and for a reduction in the total population of Great Britain”).[2] Confusingly, the term has more recently been appropriated by anti-Semitic conspiracists (claiming a worldwide Jewish plot of secret eugenics) and the Christian evangelical right (who see a grand eugenic plan in reproductive rights and gay parenthood). Decolonial and disabled critics on the other hand have long pointed to the continuity between classical eugenics and post-war state policies, particularly with regards healthcare, welfare and immigration. We used the term in our piece in a double sense: to refer to an ideology, either covert (as in Blacker’s proposal) or unconscious and “accidental”, and to a eugenics which is increasingly technological, encrypted in a proprietary care algorithm.[3] We then used it in a third sense, proposing that “capitalism itself could accurately be described as an algorithm of crypto-eugenics”.

Our discussion of crypto-eugenics certainly proved to be provocative, but we assure our critics that it was done in good faith. We do not believe our friends are secretly engaged in an eugenic plot, but we do argue that eugenics is a creeping logic, a logic which has crept to certain corners of anarchist thought. Our words were chosen with careful forethought. Claiming that Covid isn’t a risk, because it is only deadly for specific minorities, is crypto-eugenics. Claiming these deaths are simply “natural”, that death from Covid is nature’s plan for certain bodies, is crypto-eugenics. Masking the risk for specific minorities with statistical averages (the “normal” body) is crypto-eugenics. Perhaps tellingly, our friend did not engage with this part of our critique. Instead, they simply quote further statistical averages (from an article which in fact emphasises our very point – that Covid-19’s lethality is highly differentiated across population groups).[4] They limit any notion of “eugenics” to reproduction in its narrowest sense (procreation) and claim that we are not only in bad faith, but off-topic! We would point out that it’s difficult to procreate once dead, and that eugenics concerns not only procreation, but the altered reproduction of populations as a whole and the non-reproduction of specific minorities. They protest that we make an accusation which is impossible to refute: that our accusation of crypto-eugenics is an unfalsifiable claim in the style of “the Spanish Inquisition”. We counter that our claim is clear. Rather than engage with it or refute it they have chosen simply to repeat their friend’s initial argument.

Beyond “big pharma”: biopower

According to our critic, our analysis of eugenics is simply a distraction, a smokescreen to avoid critiquing the pharmaceutical industry. We would argue that it is only through an analysis of eugenics that we can properly critique the pharmaceutical industry. Rather than limit ourselves to “big pharma”, we argued in our last piece that the entire field of public health is based on eugenic logics. The problem isn’t just drugs – but healthcare in general, as a process of ranking, disciplining, saving and disposing of bodies. Our friends’ problem is really that our critiques are not quite the same.

Medicine under capitalism is of course based on exploitation and domination, rather than free desire. The animal liberation movement has done much to critique and attack the specific violence of the technical-production of medicines. And we agree with our friends, that capitalism in turn complicates questions of dependence in relation to medicines as commodities. In the context of Covid-19 this is clear – in the name of the economy it spreads everywhere, and now (unless we are to celebrate mass death) we are dependent on vaccines. Vaccines are powerful – not because Bill Gates will control your mind, but because they can prevent death in a world of death. The urgent question now is not their composition, but their availability: their artificial scarcity. Vaccine capitalists have reaped super-profits through monopolisation, patents (including process patents) and subsidies, on an incredible scale even for pharma corporations. These patents are written in the blood of postcolonial populations. Just as death was displaced on to racialised and migrant bodies within the UK, intensified death-worlds are being created in the “Global South”. We saw world leaders discussing these intensities in the G7 spectacle – how many vaccines to distribute, whether “too much” contagion and death might or might not undermine global racial capitalism. Many anarchists pay lip-service to Foucault’s notion of biopower, but few remember that this is the power to “make live and let die”. The biopolitical state is indeed “letting the bodies pile high”.[5] Our critic’s original piece described anarchism as a set of liberal rights, as a subject’s freedom from “external” coercion. As a result it fails to understand the full power of the modern state, and ends up apologising for its violence.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Now partially vaccinated, the UK government is once again actively pursuing contagion as state policy, with “only” 60 average daily deaths at the time of writing. The eugenic violence remains, particularly for the 500,000 immuno-compromised, a group for whom Covid-19 is a far higher risk and for whom vaccines are suspected to be ineffective.[6] This group faces peak rates of infection in the wider community, forced to try and survive in the midst of England’s maskless “Freedom Day” celebrations. They face a situation worse than even the Barrington Declaration’s proposals, which at least suggested some support for those forced to isolate to survive. Many hundreds of thousands more will suffer from long Covid, many it would seem from long term organ damage. Meanwhile, the UK, already a mass exporter of the Delta variant, is feared to be a “variant factory”, producing the existing virus and new variants on a mass scale to infect the unvaccinated world.[7]

Anti-Lockdown or Anti-State

For recognising the state’s violence for what it is, we are accused of being “pro-lockdown” and, consequently, statist non-anarchists. In our original piece we discussed how “lockdown” in fact refers to a nebulous set of measures – from curfews and policing to closing retail premises and schools. We argue that anarchists should locate our targets, and not allow ourselves to be reduced to one side in the latest culture war. Let’s take schools for example. Anarchists, since Godwin, have critiqued education. We recognise that schools lie on the same continuum as factories and prisons. Hierarchical institutions, which in turn judge and rank pupils, made to produce docile, disciplined bodies, future productive workers, housewives, bureaucrats and prison guards. Why would anarchists support a return to these schools? Of course, a virtual-classroom computer stuck in the walls of the nuclear family household is just a different problem. An anarchist approach must reject both these worlds. In the strikes against unsafe schools, the pupils who faked infection tests to get a day off (or the students burning the union jack at Pimlico) – it’s here we begin to see the possibilities of anarchy.

The “anti-lockdown” narrative offers us nothing. In the UK the organised anti-lockdown demos have clearly shown their colours. Anti-Semite David Icke has regularly topped the bill of speakers amongst other similar reactionaries. They decry the “Covid conspiracy”, masks and vaccines and celebrate the deaths of the disabled. This is not some diffuse gilets jaunes movement of oppositional tendencies and diverse, separated riots. Unless you hate masks and vaccines and are happy to walk under union jacks with known fascist groupings, you cannot join in good faith.

But these are weird times. Simply for affirming violence to achieve disabled liberation, our critic associates us with Italian Futurists and proto-fascists. (They might remember that anti-fascist anarchists, such as Renzo Novatore, were also part of the Futurist movement.) Our critic is half-right however: we should all heed the cautionary tale of those “anarchists” involved with early Italian fascism. The far-right have had a field day, and with little anti-fascist opposition to the London conspiracy demos the anarchist scene has opened itself to entryism. We have heard concerns of crypto-fascists gaining affinities with anarchists and squatters in London, and others sharing videos with and allowing a far-right youtuber to accompany and film the black block at kill the bill demonstrations.[8][9] Without a critique of eugenic state violence, creeping fascism remains a threat to the anarchist scene.

Away from the anti-lockdown demonstrations we can see real antagonisms against the state. Renewed protests against police murders in South Wales, the kill the bill riot at Bristol police station and even a resurgence in political squats (despite tremendous repression). But with regards the mass of Covid death, anarchists in the UK have been outmaneuvered. There have been mutual aid groups and some syndicalist attempts, but little critique and even less attack. The black flag was at one time a flag of mourning: we call on comrades to remember, and to avenge the dead.

Notes

[1] Total UK civilian deaths in the second world war numbered around 67,000. As of 23rd of July, total deaths within 28 days of a positive test number over 129,000; total deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate over 153,000. This makes it the highest death toll from a disaster or war since the total casualties of the second world war. https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths The third measure used, excess deaths, numbered over 90,000 for the UK in 2020, again the highest on record since the second world war. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jan/12/2020-was-deadliest-year-in-a-century-in-england-and-wales-says-ons

[2] Blacker’s Memorandum claimed that “crypto-eugenics … was apparently proving successful with the US Eugenics Society”. In 1960 it was “generally” agreed that “the Society’s activities in crypto-eugenics should be pursued vigorously”. See “The Activities of the Eugenic Society” (1967) in it’s own Eugenics Review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2906074/pdf/eugenrev00003-0012.pdf . Documents relating to the 1960 Extraordinary General Meeting, which reference Blacker’s 1957 Memorandum, can be found here: https://wellcomecollection.org/works/gew94w8y/items?canvas=1 . The original “rolled-off” Memorandum is detailed as being digitised here, but appears to be missing: https://wellcomecollection.org/works/umfds5vk The point for us as anarchists isn’t to overstate the influence of the Eugenics Society (later renamed The Galton Institute), but to expropriate their terminology.

[3] “Unfortunately it directly stems from the COVID-19 critical care referral algorithm which mentions those with learning disabilities or autism with the under 65-year-olds as being potentially frail and therefore not in line for ITU [Intensive Care Unit] care.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/246490/catholic-doctor-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-dnr-notices-for-covid-19-patients-with-learning-disabilities An algorithm is also mentioned with regards “blanket do-not-resuscitate orders” in the context of care homes here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/mar/18/blanket-do-not-resuscitate-orders-imposed-on-english-care-homes-finds-cqc

[4] As the article cited by our critic states: “COVID-19 death risk shows tremendous risk stratification with over 1000-fold variability between children and elderly nursing home residents … Divergence may be larger in some low-income countries, for example, India … Within several countries, disadvantaged minorities have a greater toll … UK has almost 5-fold higher COVID-19 death rate in blacks and Bangladeshi/Pakistani than in whites … Regardless, COVID-19 is a disease of inequality and it also creates even more inequality … Substantial increases in death risk (1.5- to 5-fold) are conferred by organ transplantation, severe obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, severe chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, liver failure, kidney failure, haematological malignancy and recent cancer.” Notably, the article’s speculation that “the proportion of people who need to be infected to reach herd immunity [i.e. without vaccination] may be much lower than originally estimated”, with specific reference to estimated seroprevelance in India (!), has since proven catastrophically incorrect. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/eci.13423 The other journal article cited by our critic regarding the effectiveness of lockdowns has been marked controversial by its own publisher.

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premiership_of_Boris_Johnson#%22Let_the_bodies_pile_high_in_their_thousands%22

[6] “With just over a week to go before the so called ‘Freedom Day’ in England, a coalition of 16 health charities are calling on the Government to do more to support around half a million people(1) who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, and so may be less protected by the Covid-19 vaccine(2).” https://www.kidneycareuk.org/news-and-campaigns/news/lack-awareness-covid-19-protection-puts-half-million-risk/

[7] “Government advisers expect about 1,000 to 2,000 daily hospital admissions over the summer as restrictions are lifted, and 100-200 deaths a day under what was described a “central scenario”… Minutes published by the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) also highlighted the threat of a new vaccine-resistant variant emerging in the UK, which they warned would pose a risk to the whole world.” https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jul/12/boris-johnson-urges-covid-caution-amid-warnings-of-1000-hospitalisations-a-day

[8] ResistanceGB is a classic case of calculated fascist entryism. British symbolism is frequent but ideology generally covert. In this video however they can be seen carefully encouraging viewers to get on the “alternative” social network Gab (a neo-Nazi, alt-right and Q Anon fork) and 4chan following Trump’s ban from twitter and Parler’s demise, and complaining about “communists”: https://youtube.com/watch?v=A27zmatEEGY In another live-stream they complain that the filmed “communist” demonstration (one of many following Sarah Everard’s murder by police) is left alone by police. Within moments of the live-stream starting, known fascists can be seen commenting in the chat: https://youtube.com/watch?v=WTSHoUoIbi8 In addition to a Gab account they also maintain a Bitchute channel (far-right youtube alternative).

[9] As others have pointed out, our critic also cites the “anarchist voices” of “Winter Oak, and the Acorn” (in reality one website) as having informed the original piece – a UK blog which has turned to full blown “Great Reset” and anti-mask conspiracies. Winter Oak was already fond of conspiracies, having previously deduced that those who confronted the TERFs at the London Bookfair must be undercover police (!). They have also taken a whole host of other bizarre and damaging positions as detailed here: https://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/in-defence-of-anarchism-and-antifascism-a-reply-to-the-winter-oak/

Greece: So What About Vaccinations?

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Aug 062021
 

From Athens Indymedia

While the Greek state – like many other European states – is ramping up the pressure on its population to get the Covid19 vaccination, many seem to have ceded to this imposition of “making the responsible choice”. Let it be clear that we think individuals can have legitimate reasons to get the vaccination. We do not hold a moralistic judgment on getting vaccinated or not. But we keep on being reluctant. We think that the whole discourse about taking responsibility actually aims to give greater powers to the state by creating a dual society with privileges for those who comply and sanctions for those who don’t want to or cannot comply. This means a reinforcement of control and inequalities.

Believe the leaders

We don’t think we have to dwell on this very long. We have been forced to wear masks while walking alone in a park. We have been fined for being on the street at night while the metros were overcrowded during the day. We have been insulted for sitting on the squares while the indoors work places were running at full capacity. And we have seen them cynically calculating the costs of providing extra hospital beds against shutting down parts of the economy. We have seen them opting to hire more cops while the health of people was at stake. We have seen them trying to smother any form of protest while ramming through more exploitative and oppressive policies. They have lost all credibility and they know it, the only thing they can still do is twisting our arms and blackmailing us.

Believe the data

We are told that the data are clear, that getting the vaccination is the safe(r) choice. But even if we might accept that the existing data on vaccinations is correct, there is a whole lot of data we don’t have (yet). The first thing that springs to attention is that all the available vaccinations are temporarily approved through an emergency process. None of the Covid19 vaccinations are fully approved and they cannot be because we don’t have any data on the long-term effects. We can make assumptions based on other similar vaccinations in the past (although the vaccines based on the new mRNA technology don’t have such a history), but there are no guarantees about the long-term. Everyone taking the vaccination should be fully aware of this. And already because of this fact alone any obligation or pressure to take the vaccination should be ethically wrong.

The data we do have about the vaccines are mainly from trials in labs and controlled settings. These tests have to be set up in highly controlled conditions (even if they’re tested on people living their daily life) to make any meaningful conclusion about cause and effect. Of course, real life does have many complications, interferences, unforeseen events etc. Thus these data can only predict the behavior of vaccinations in a very limited way. Indeed, we have seen the recommendations on who not to give certain vaccinations to and the lists of possible side-effects being updated while the vaccinations are being administered in the real world and unforeseen problems start to occur. On this scale side-effects that only have an effect on a tiny percentage of vaccinated people can mean in reality a collateral damage consisting of thousands of people. Even at the best of times, modern medicine has far from an impeccable track record when it comes to respecting life in all of its diversity, nuances, complexities and totality. Make no mistake, this is an ongoing experiment on a massive scale.

Believe science

We are told to have confidence in science. But even when we only look at the scientific recommendations during this year-and-a-half of Covid19 pandemic, that statement is naive or dishonest. At the beginning of the pandemic in Europe, the wearing of masks was strongly advised against. The theory then was that the virus spreads by contact and thus disinfecting was the right answer (and there was a shortage of masks so they were reserved for hospital staff). Months later this opinion changed and the consensus now is that the virus spreads through the air and not contact. Suddenly masks became the answer to everything. Nevertheless, we also keep on disinfecting everything (instead of ventilating – this is called the sanitary theater, where the impression of safety matters most). This is an example that demonstrates that science can get it wrong and that broader society can take even a longer time to realize it was wrong.

Another example from the pandemic about how we should not just trust science is the fuzz around the lab-leak theory. Early on in the pandemic an article cosigned by many scientific specialists on the matter, declared the hypothesis that the Covid19 virus could be coming from a laboratory as total nonsense. At the time this article became the basis for mainstream media, social media, politicians and specialists to label any mention of the lab-leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory. It took a whole year, at a time when this virus was nevertheless on the front-pages every day, before some scientists and journalists looked more critically at this article to conclude that the main piece of evidence was irrelevant and that some of the authors had a direct interest in keeping up the good name of (the methods of) the laboratory that would be the first suspect in the lab-leak hypothesis. Now it’s widely accepted that a lab-leak is possible and merits to be investigated (to be clear neither the lab-leak hypothesis nor the zoonotic hypothesis have been proved or refuted, they both are probable to a more or lesser degree). This is an example that shows that the scientific method isn’t as robust and foolproof in reality as it claims to be. Consensus that shifts due to non-scientific arguments (political opportunism, financial interests, etc.), a small circle of highly specialized scientists that don’t want or don’t have the time to control each other, etc. The philosophy and sociology of science have already demonstrated the gap between the ideology of science and its reality since the 2nd half of the 20th century (see for example Paul Feyerabend and Pierre Thuillier). Still people seem to hold on to a very naive conception of what scientists do.

Believe in group immunity

We are told to mobilize to reach group immunity and “be free” again from the virus. For this the aim of vaccinating 70% of the population is put forward. But actually this number dates from before the appearance of variants (like the Delta one) that are more infectious and against which the vaccinations are less effective. Let’s also keep in mind that the vaccines are designed to limit the severeness of the sickness, and the reduction of infections is only a side-effect (and most non-mRNA vaccines seem to be not very good at it). Given these new variants, many experts believe now that actually 80 to 90% of the population should be vaccinated to reach group immunity. This number would mean that – if we still consider it unethical to massively give minors a new and not fully understood vaccination and that some people can medically not get vaccinated, the whole rest of the population would need to get vaccinated. Any public policy that needs 100% compliance to succeed is doomed to fail.

Another factor is that immunity decreases over time. There’s already talk of booster shots after a 6 month or 9 month period (Would that be one time, or should it be repeated every half year, or every year? At this moment we don’t know), making the opportunity for failure even bigger.

Moreover, since this is a worldwide pandemic of a very transmittable virus it seems very unrealistic that a country or region could reach group immunity on its own. Big parts of the world have hardly enough supplies or the infrastructure to vaccinate a small part of the population, let alone the big majority of it. They also mainly rely on vaccines that are less effective at stopping infections. The chances of eradicating this virus are nonexistent. At this point it has reached its endemic phase, meaning that Covid19 will start to behave like other corona varieties with their seasonal epidemics. Group immunity is the latest carrot that is being dangled in front of our eyes, it will sooner or later be replaced with yet another one to make us believe that we can achieve “freedom” if only we follow.

Be responsible

The issue of group immunity (or at least vaccinating as many people as possible) points towards the question of who gets the vaccines. In many regions people that do run a risk of severe sickness from Covid19, don’t have access to health care and want to get vaccinated, are not getting any vaccination. While in Europe people that don’t even have a big risk of developing mild symptoms and have an infinitely small risk of severe illness have millions of vaccinations reserved for them. The hoarding of vaccines will increase again with the need for boosters. The fact that the WHO doesn’t want to recommend boosters now seems primarily inspired by these kind of worries. The responsible choice or the reproduction of global inequalities?

The building of group immunity and the “war against the invisible enemy” rhetoric goes in practice together with a strict control of access to the territory and an intensified population management. It seems like we have come to a situation where the so-called progressive side of society is now in favor of controls on movement and closed borders (of course, they will hardly notice it themselves since they possess the right documents to move “freely”). The responsible choice or an intensification of surveillance and exclusion?

If we have learned anything from the past decades – 9/11 and the threat of terrorism, the financial crash and the threat of bankruptcy, austerity and the threat of social cannibalism, refugee boats and the threat of racist pogroms, climate change and the threat of ecological disasters etc. – is that a position that doesn’t radically opposes the power of the state (no matter who controls it), will eventually only reinforce it and thus open up the way for the next cycle of crises provoked by the state and capitalism and their management by the state and capitalism.

Anarchists
Athens, Mid-July 2021

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From Embers: A Year At 1492 Land Back Lane

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Jul 272021
 

From From Embers

This episode features an interview with Skyler Williams of 1492 Land Back Lane, a land reclamation on the edge of the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve near Caledonia, Ontario. This week marks the one year anniversary of the camp which was reclaimed last July in response to plans to develop a subdivision on Six Nations Territory. Skyler speaks about a year spent at the camp, the recent announcement that the McKenzie Meadows subdivision has been cancelled by the developer because of Six Nations resistance, and what’s next for folks at Land Back Lane.

Music in this show is all from artists who have performed at Land Back Lane: Six Nations singer-songwriters Derek Miller and Logan Staats, as well as Ottawa-based “powwow-step” group The Halluci Nation, formerly known as A Tribe Called Red.

Announcing the Counter-Surveillance Resource Center

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Jul 222021
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Announcing the Counter-Surveillance Resource Center, an online hub for building a culture of resistance against surveillance.

Around the world, anarchists and other rebels are subject to surveillance due to our activities. Surveillance can be carried out by state institutions or other actors – for example, private investigators, fascists, mercenaries, and law-abiding citizens. Surveillance can be intended to disrupt our activities, make arrests, secure convictions or worse.

As technologies develop, some surveillance techniques stay the same, while others change to incorporate these emergent technologies. While cops still follow us in the streets and keep records about us in their archives, nowadays cameras are everywhere, drones fly overhead, and DNA forensics are sending many comrades to jail.

We felt there was a lack of collective tools to tackle these issues, so we created a website, the Counter-Surveillance Resource Center (CSRC). Our aim is to gather various resources in one place in order to help anarchists and other rebels fight the surveillance that is carried out against us. We want to encourage international collaboration, and we accept submissions in all languages.

How does one avoid leaving fingerprints and other traces during an action? How can we use computers and phones more safely? What should you do if you suspect that someone is an informant? How might one deal with the psychological consequences of clandestinity? How might one destroy cameras in the street? Is this thing you found on your car a GPS tracker? We want to answer these questions and more.

Feel free to send us submissions, translations or comments. Visit the website at: https://csrc.link

Quentin Pallavicini, the Mole Inside Atalante Who Fed Information to Antifascists

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Jul 152021
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

Since its foundation, Montréal Antifasciste has received all sorts of messages from antifascists hoping to support our work and/or posing questions and sharing the fruit of their research and observations. It is much rarer for far-right extremists to communicate with us, except in the form of childish insults.

On June 18, 2018, someone using the name “Lola Parisi” sent us an e-mail from the address moosque1@hotmail.fr. In September 2018, the same person also contacted us several times by Messenger using the pseudonym “Marie Dubois”.

The message making contact was titled “Atalante spotted” and read as follows:

The person behind “Lola Parisi/Marie Dubois” claimed to have been referred to us by “comrades in struggle,” but gradually it became clear that this person was a man who didn’t particularly embrace progressive thinking and was generally misogynist, but who claimed to be a comrade in arms of Clément Méric. Between June 2018 and July 2019, “Lola” sent us at least forty-five e-mails and numerous messages by Messenger.

The contents of the e-mails, often very short, but occasionally detailed and accompanied by a photo, can be summed up thusly: a speck of original and authentic information that had to come from someone with privileged access to the hardcore of Atalante submerged in an ocean of disinformation. Let’s dissect the content.

The information :

  • Some very precise information that we were able to verify permitted us to identify people we knew nothing about: Baptiste Gillistro, Louis Fernandez’s accomplice during the attack at LvlOp, and Giulio Zardo, a former Olympic champion who trains the Atalante crew in Montréal at his private gym. The e-mails also gave us advance warning of trips planned by members of the group and information about the French National Socialist Black Metal band (Baise ma hache), which played in a Québec City bar in June 2019. Given this, it seemed likely that “Lola” was a core member of the group, and the explanation that “she” had infiltrated a private Atalante discussion did not appear credible.
  • An important focus of the e-mails we received seemed to be to encourage us to publicly out certain women, with a particularly unhealthy fixation on Vivianne Saint-Amant, all the while insisting that they were not important Atalante members but were fangirls, followers, the “girlfriends of…,” or “easy” women who were “good for nothing.” That was another reason that we took “Lola’s” information with more than a grain of salt.

The disinformation :

  • A major thrust of the e-mails, on the other hand, was to lead us astray as to the real identity of Lucie Mergnac: her real name would be Chloé Fleuri or Fleury; in fact her real name was Merignac, not Mergnac; then she was Belgian, not French, and finally she wasn’t really involved with Atalante.
  • Toward the end of our exchange, the demand that we remove Lucie’s name from our articles and publications grew increasingly insistent.
  • Far and away, most of the messages seemed to follow the life, adventures, and movements of Quentin Pallavicini, while trying to make us believe that his name was actually Jean Brunaldo, all the while describing Quentin having a fabled dream life: a young ultraviolent fascist who is a seasoned brawler close to the elite of European and Québécois fascism, who made a fortune speculating on cryptocurrency, who is independently wealthy and owns stores, houses, and luxury automobiles, who splits his time as he wishes between Québec, France, and Italy, who, with his hotshot lawyer, has won numerous court cases around acts of aggression… all of which we know beyond the shadow of a doubt to be pure fabrication.

In reality, we know that Quentin is far from rich, that he rents an apartment in the Saint-Canut neighbourhood of Mirabel (after moving out of the flat he shared with his partner in Laval), that he has modest blue-collar jobs and that he rents cars to fake a high-style life. We also know, courtesy of our French and Italian antifascist comrades, that Pallavicini is not the “big-shot” he claims to be, even if he hangs out in the Serge Ayoub and Troisième Voie scene.

A careful rereading of our e-mail exchanges raised doubts for us. The multiple inconsistencies, the fixation on the Quentin/Lucie couple, the repeated attempts to protect Lucie, the odd piece of genuinely useful information embedded in a poorly written hagiography that bragged about Jean/Quentin’s dream life, etc., allow us to now confirm that “Lola Parisi” is, in fact, Quentin Pallavicini, a member of Atalante Montréal (at least until the autumn of 2019) who, to protect himself and his partner, betrayed his organization and sold out his little comrades to antifascists—including asking for money in exchange for information! And perhaps—why not?—to increase his questionable credibility with the Atalante boneheads.

Announcing the Fourth Annual Halifax Anarchist Bookfair

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Jul 152021
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

September 4th, 2021
~ For anarchists, and those curious about anarchism ~
FREE [1]Location TBA in Kjipuktuk, Unceded Mi’kmaq territory

We will not go back to “normal”. The pandemic has only intensified social control and surveillance, capitalism and colonialism, with those in power deepening their pockets through intensified industrial extraction, skyrocketing housing prices, and intolerable working conditions. While the defenders of this racist colonial system look out for their own interests, we know that we are the ones who must look out for and care for each other. The roots of ecological destruction, poverty, white supremacy, colonialism, police violence, patriarchy, etc lie within the construct of authority itself. Anarchism helps us to understand the roots of these systems of power, articulate our desires for self-determination, and dream of a world where all are free. It is crucial in these times that we find each other, create space to remember what liberation can feel like, share our grief and rage, and bring collective energy into our struggles.

The bookfair is for anarchists, those curious about anarchism, book lovers, and anyone simply questioning authority. It will feature publishers and book distributors, vendors, artists, and facilitators from all over North America/Turtle Island; the day/weekend will include workshops, discussions, kids’ activities, art exhibits, parties and more!

We are currently accepting proposals. Please get in touch with your table requests, inquiries, accessibility needs, collaboration ideas and wildest dreams at:
halifaxanarchistbookfair@riseup.net
Proposals are due by Aug 4, 2021

For a more Anarchic Halifax, and a freer, more joyful world (A)

Quebec.wingism and their Hangers-on

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Jul 122021
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

Warning: the following article contains extreme racist and transphobic content.

Almost exactly one year ago, Montreal Antifasciste released an article on the Front canadien-francais, a reactionary nationalist group. In that article, we included a quicklist of about 10 meme pages from the FCF’s entourage that gravitated around hardcore reactionary themes – anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and LGBTQ2+, with accents of white nationalism and a strong ultra-Catholic leaning. With names like “Mèmes evangéliste Duplessiste” and ”Mèmes clérico-nationalistes du Canada français”, such pages provide a convenient way for far-right sympathizers to spread a wide range of reactionary and often racist notions like that of the notorious “great replacement” conspiracy theory (and a whole host of other dehumanizing ideas) to their followers and beyond.

Started in January 2020, the Quebec.wingism page on Instagram (originally called Rightwingism.quebec) is similar in politics and aesthetics to many of the meme pages mentioned above. Although memes are, by definition, meant to be spread, there is also a tendency for whole meme pages to multiply and be copied in style and politics as well. This is particularly the case for Quebec.wingism, which is modeled after other “wingism” pages – two articles have already been written about the beginnings of the wingism pages, reporting that the first Wingism page was started in Canada by a University of Calgary student.

The format is the following: in general there are multiple administrators identified by the first letter of their name, and although the pages purport to provide a platform for a variety of ideas, the range is generally firmly in the far-right spectrum: from eco-nationalism to fascism, often with some neo-nazi imagery thrown in for good measure. Many of the pages seem to coalesce around an obsession with the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, fascism, and a hatred of people of colour, LGBTQ2+ people (most especially trans and gender nonconforming people), and feminists, amongst others. It seems the format was easily scalable, as people from different countries all over the world slightly tweaked the politics and format (memes with fashwave filters and alt-right iconography) to their specific white nationalist context. As such, these pages contribute to the dissemination and development of an international far-right online cultural milieu.

Although Instagram has occasionally purged certain rightwingism pages, many accounts simply rename themselves ever-so-slightly and reopen (it is not uncommon to see “v2” or “v3” next to a name, signifying the second or third rebirth of the page since being banned).

Who are the moderators and entourage of Quebec.wingism? (go directly to the photo gallery)

Quebec.wingism is a meme page cast in that mould – fashwave filters on historical reactionary figures and fascists, Islamophobia, white nationalism, overt racism, anti-feminism and hatred of transgender people, mixed with bog-standard Quebec nationalism. Wingism pages specialize in taking tired and repugnant reactionary ideas and spicing them up with “cool” filters or “funny” cartoon characters, all with the plausible deniability of a good dose of confusionism and “irony”. If it sounds like this is building on the cultural accomplishments of the alt-right movement from the USA, we most definitely agree. Wingism pages use the same tired Pepe memes and “based” Photoshop effects that reek of 2015-2019-style online American racism.

… Continue reading on montreal-antifasciste.info

1492 Land Back Lane Forces Cancellation of McKenzie Meadows Development

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Jul 042021
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

After nearly a year of re-occupying a tract of land slated for a settler housing development of around 200 homes, Six Nations members have successfully forced the cancellation of the project. Haudenosaunee land defenders and their supporters have been occupying the 25-acre site since July 19th, 2020. They have survived a raid, dozens of arrests, constant surveillance by the OPP as well as CSIS, and court orders from racist judges.

On July 1st, Canada Day took another hit when it was announced that Foxgate Developments — a joint venture between Losani Homes and Ballantry Homes – had been forced to cancel the project and would be returning deposits to their prospective homeowners.

In the words of Skyler Williams, spokesperson for Land Back Lane:

“I think this is a big statement to Indigenous communities and to all of Turtle Island … these wins are attainable. I think we have an opportunity to be able to say to the feds and the province that if our community says no to these developments, whether that’s massive housing developments or resource destruction — if we say no to that and we stand behind it, these wins are possible.”

While the developers were able to raze the site, removing all the trees and grass from the area before the occupation began, land defenders have since planted an orchard, a community garden, installed multiple tiny homes, and built two small buildings on the site. Foxgate cited the “evolution of the project from a temporary camp to a site with more permanent buildings” as one of the reasons for the cancellation of their development.

The news of the cancellation is a wonderful partial victory but the struggle is not over; at least 50 people have been charged in connection to Land Back Lane, and people will continue to occupy the site while it remains under injunction. Foxgate also initiated a $200 million lawsuit against the Indigenous land defenders and others in April.

“We do have to take a moment to celebrate those wins, but understand that the work is only just beginning,” Skyler said. “This is just the very foot of the mountain.”

Land Back Lane is still asking for donations to their camp/build fund by e-transfering landback6nations@gmail.com

You can also donate to their legal fund here: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/legal-fund-1492-land-back-lane

Solidarity to Six Nations land defenders!

Dark Nights

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Jun 202021
 

From Dark Nights

“In the Dark Nights there is always the warmth of the fire!”

‘Dark Nights’ because we found each other during these dark times, we do not fear them, instead we as anarchists see the moment between sunset and dawn as the moment to attack, to strike the powerful in their hearts, to make fear change sides.

We are an anarchic counter-info project of incendiary critique and direct action. Against the State, capitalism and the techno-industrial system that is rearing its head more powerful than before. Our network holds onto the principles of DIY, that we don’t expect anyone to fight the social war for us. Neither do we form any sense of a traditional hierarchical or even any organisation to adhere to or issue membership for anything, we met and act together, beginning an informal network, that goes beyond a circle of friends or contacts. Our outlet is a destructive alternative to the spectacle and disinformation that is the mainstream media that are the weapons of the state and capitalist system we oppose. We publish direct action reports from revolutionary/insurrectional/anarchist groups, not in the interest of reproducing endless streams of empty words and theory but to support said groups and to spread the ‘propaganda by the deed’, to avoid the blatant attempts by the system to eliminate them and any memory of anarchist and revolutionary struggle.

Solidarity for us is not based on ideological dogma, what matters more to us is the direct attack upon what we perceive as the enemy. We DO NOT support the cops, they are not our friends, neither our protectors, they are our enemy as much as anyone who snitches, provides information on comrades, allies or co-defendants.

We support but are NOT connected to any direct action group that you see a report of from this project. We laugh at the label of ‘terrorists’, a word that is used to often denounce individuals and groups who attack capitalism, the state, for the earth, animal and human liberation. If anything is terrorism it is the death, destruction, torture and genocide that the state, capitalist, industrial-technological system inflicts, along with other fascist elements, upon the whole earth and its inhabitants for centuries. Dark Nights supports the polymorphous revolutionary struggle, against all forms of exploitation and authority.

Dark Nights DOES NOT follow the dictum of guilt or innocence, or the concept of ‘crime’ in terms of their support for prisoners. The only exception is when a prisoner clearly assumes responsibility for an action or attack. We support prisoners based more upon being charged and/or accused of anarchist, revolutionary, earth or animal liberation action, rather than false or true and accused of being part of some underground movement or activity.

We encourage any communication from like-minded individuals and groups who are similarly for direct action, insurrection, revolution and building an international informal network for counter-information. More than ever it is important to spread coordination on an international level against the accelerating advance of the technological-industrial-military complex, that is inflicting repression not only against those who fight but also those who support such actions. In the past, the state and the capitalists attacked papers, journals and publications produced by anarchists and revolutionaries. Just as then, as now in the present, they will fail, history has shown this.

A critical junction is before us, with the rise of smarter-than-human intelligence which will govern society and the state. From Artificial Intelligence to Facial Recognition, 3D Printing to Cashless Society, Biotechnology to Nanotechnology, Drones to Automated Vehicles, 4th to the 5th Industrial Revolution, Artificial Reproduction to Trans humanism, 5G to Internet of Things, Smart Phones to Smart Cities, Augmented Reality to Artificial Reality, even the Technological Singularity where we as humans are even threatened, along with the dying planet. By the time it is widely accepted that technology has entered every cell and atom, it will already be too late to resist.

Unless, we act now, map out the new and old elites, as the shift begins even off-world. The Black Flag of Anarchy must return and strike fear into the elites once again.

Send us information about prisoners, direct action communiques, solidarity events, new occupations, publications, proposals from around the world. use Tor Browser (IP Shielding) &; GPG (Encrypted email). Also, check out this guide to computer security and this text. Our public pgp key is here if you wish to contact us with encrypted email.

darknights(at)riseup.net

For the struggle against all forms of domination and the Technological Prison Society! For a new Black International!

– Dark Nights Collective