I actually heard someone on the radio say (without a trace of irony, mind you): "Perhaps it is time to consider giving up our liberties in order to protect our freedoms." Many years ago, in a book called *Nineteen Eighty-Four*, George Orwell imagined a world plunged into a perpetual war without clear objectives—former enemies become allies overnight, and everything that you thought you knew is now wrong. Monolithic mass media completely controls all thought and action, and two minutes a day an image is shown of a mysterious figure who heads a shadowy organization that threatens public safety so that people can vent their anger, frustration, and confusion at this bogeyman. If this sounds familiar, then you've been paying attention to what the news has been calling "America's New War" (the old one was getting so tedious, after all... ).
In *Nineteen Eighty-Four,* there is this great line about how the only concept of "freedom" that is NOT a thought-crime is illustrated by the sentence "The dog is free from fleas." In the coming National Security State, the only concept of "freedom" that will be allowed is illustrated by the sentence "Our neighborhood is free from terrorists." War is Peace!
This is not surprising, given that the corporate media has been trotting out every right-wing bully boy that they can find in their "expert" rolodex-- Kissinger, Lawrence Eagleburger, all of these "I-told-you-so" authoritarian white men--with absolutely no explanation given that they currently lobby & consult for the defense industry. NPR ("less-than-commercial radio") is not much better: this AM, we heard from some strategic-center think-tank bozo who said that "Americans" should consider developing "a closer relationship with local authorities" and "keep an eye on newcomers to your neighborhood." Then NPR interviewed people who told them what the "American" flag meant to them—- no one mentioned that the aggressive exhibitionism of the flag means terrorism against anyone who looks or thinks differently; last night, I was in a convenience store and the South Asian guy behind the counter was wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with an "American" flag AND a confederate flag, and was wearing a sweatshirt of a huge crying eagle head against a background of smoking ruins. Given all the attacks on non-white, non-native English language speakers, I recognized this as the equivalent of a star-spangled bullet-proof vest. The traffic-report message boards over the highways in Chicago now blink "In God We Trust" (just like on the back of a dollar bill) and "United We Stand." ameriKKKa uber alles.
How long before anarchists are linked to al-Qaeda? Italian cops raided a bunch of anarchist headquarters a couple days ago and said "There's no evidence yet to link them to the WTC bombing." Who in the hell ever said that there was?!? A S29 mutual aid collective here in town got a visit from Officer Friendly the other day, and two of our own were picked up on outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court. I am sure that this was just a coincidence, right?
We strongly encourage anti-authoritarians, anti-fascists, and anti-imperialists to go to ground-- not to cease activities or curb their message, but to change tactics and to swim among the people like fish. Choose the time and place of your actions carefully. This will, in a very real sense, "criminalize" anti-authoritarians even more than we already were, but the specter of "homeland security" and "infinite justice" leaves us no choice.