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Abrahadabra: A Collapsed Building In 4 Parts

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Abrahadabra: A Collapsed Building In 4 Parts

I:

The foundation is rotten.

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At 3405 hours, 6 March 2008, a bomb was detonated at the Times Square Recruiting Station causing damage to the front of the facility. At the time of the bombing, law enforcement agencies were conducting an active investigation of three alleged anarchists with ties to France and Canada. Weeks prior to the bombing, a New York City Police Detective informed a member of the recruiting station of a possible threat...No imminent threat to the Recruiting Station was ever identified...but NYPD was increasing law enforcement presence in the area and would continue to monitor the situation...Although there is no positive link between the initial suspicious activity report and the bombing investigation, and no known association between the vehicle stopped and searched at the Canadian border, the incident shows excellent cooperation and police intelligence sharing at the lowest levels.

-from Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Police Intelligence Operations (PIO), 4 March 2009

A man in a beret and sunglasses stands on a bridge in Olympia, Washington. The man stands with a group of young and old people holding signs that say HONK IF YOU HATE COPS and FIGHT BACK. The man stands there on the bridge with those people and hears dozens and dozens and hundreds of cars honk their horns. That man stands there and feels his mind begin to be pulled. He must show enthusiasm for the event. He must agree with the people honking their horns and the people holding the signs. But he must also remember that he is looking for something. He is looking for a threat. A threat to his country. And all the while he hears people using their car horns to fill his ears with noise that indicates only one thing: they all hate him.

There are a bunch of lost children sitting on a porch. Facing the porch is a camera. The camera is encased in a fake electrical box. The camera is facing the Pitchpipe Infoshop. The lost children on the porch are attending an anti-RNC consulta. They all know about the camera but have their meeting anyway. Amongst these lost children is the man from the bridge. He has since lost his beret and glasses, preferring to wear black sweatshirts and jeans. He watches and he listens. The lost children head blindly towards Saint Paul. The camera records.

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The man asks an anarchist if they ever considered looking into the way fascist groups are structured. He recommends looking into these groups. His suggestion is met with bewilderment and alarm. It appears to the anarchist that this man has taken the bait. The man continues to probe everyone he comes into contact with, looking for the threat he was told was there. But the man finds nothing. There is no threat. Waiting for something to happen does not reveal any terrorists. Trying to encourage people to act does not reveal any terrorists.

Slowly, as day stacked upon day, as year stacked upon year, it became clear that he was as lost as the children he was ordered to follow. He could never find what he was looking for. There were no terrorists anywhere. All the man saw were anti-war groups plagued with infighting, anarchists battling windmills, and lost children overwhelmed with information that was driving them mad. He saw the citizens of the country he was meant to protect disabled by their ignorance and fear. He saw something which fancied itself a resistance movement but was in reality nothing but a dismal failure, a caricature of everything which had come before, everything which had spent itself, everything which had already failed. The man came to see that there was very clearly no threat. And despite knowing this, he continued his work.

By the end of it, he could be seen blindly stumbling through the dark in front of the gates to Fort Lewis. Behind him was the next incarnation of the dead resistance movement, fruitlessly attempting to block military vehicles with their bodies. Nothing was happening. The Lakewood Police were arresting the activists one at a time while the military vehicles went on their way. The activists waited in line to get arrested. Nothing was left. The resistance, the feeble, half-alive resistance movement had thwarted itself without his assistance. What he was sent to stop was the only resistance left. And the ones still throwing themselves in front of tanks were the only people, the only people, the only people who cared enough to use their privilege to do something which made no difference to anyone except themselves. Everyone else was at home. Sleeping. Drinking. Waiting to go to work.

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The man did not find democracy. He found only apathy. The man did not stop terrorists. He stopped lost children from using the only tools they had. There were no missiles or chemical weapons. There were only lock-boxes and posturing and bandannas and flags and slogans and chanting and open meetings and sign and protests. The man was sent to help kill the last remains of a dying democracy. He was sent to stop the last few people with enough free time to care about words like citizen, moral duty, conscience and democracy. And when he stopped these people from having any effect on anything, the man realized that there was nothing left. His democracy was gone.

He and the others like him had helped murder it.

II:

The house has collapsed.

A Stryker Brigade Combat Team was preparing to move equipment to a port of embarkation for deployment. The shipment required the movement of 300 vehicles across eight law enforcement jurisdictions. Based on previous threat fusion expertise, the garrisons force protection fusion cell was uniquely qualified to be the lead intelligence producer to support the movement. The fusion cell coordinated police information, intelligence and civilian security with over 22 local, federal and Department of Defense agencies...the coordinated effort gave law enforcement agencies the knowledge to identify and prevent disruptive actions by violent protesters.

-from Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Police Intelligence Operations (PIO), 4 March 2009

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The man described above is named John Towery. He had been monitoring anti-war and anarchist groups in the South Puget Sound area for almost three years. In July 2009, he was outed as a member of the Police Intelligence Operations Tiger Team, a group of military personnel who developed techniques to not only freely share information between law enforcement agencies, but to more effectively neutralize above ground resistance efforts. He was one of the researchers who contributed to the finding presented in the Concept of Operations for Police Intelligence Operation manual quoted above. His mission was to protect Fort Lewis, the military base situated between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington. Somehow, this mission led him to closely monitor a large group of civilians, to befriend and eventually betray them.

He first insinuated himself into anti-war groups after the police riots at the Port of Tacoma in the spring of 2007. The events in Tacoma showed the military that civilians had the potential the severely disrupt the deployment of equipment overseas. When the next deployment of Stryker Combat Vehicles took place in Aberdeen, Washington, John Towery appeared on the scene, wearing a beret and sunglasses. As the anti-war groups mobilized to disrupt the shipments, Towery supplied the several law enforcement agencies involved with the identities of activists, details regarding their plans and the number of people traveling from Olympia to Aberdeen.

Details about what exactly went on in Aberdeen are still emerging. There is currently a lawsuit against the Washington State Patrol stemming from the arbitrary arrest of an activist by one of their troopers. When the activist was pulled over and thrown in a cruiser, a picture of his car was sitting on the dashboard. A tremendous amount of information was shared during that one shipment. The lawsuit will undoubtedly provide specific details about this law enforcement program.

John Towery, who went by the name John Jacobs, continued to attend anti-war meetings and began frequenting the Pitchpipe Infoshop in Tacoma. He brought his children with him to events in an effort to protect himself. He told stories of trouble with his wife, who disliked him hanging out with anarchists. Later, he was to tell people that every time he came to the Infoshop his wife thought he was having an affair. All the while he was sending information on civilians to the military, mapping out friendships as networks, looking at civilians as if they were the enemy. John Towery met peoples grandparents and learned details about peoples romantic relationships. He dressed in black bloc and hobbled around the streets of Olympia. He made people believe he was their friend, a man questioning his allegiance to the military and capitalism.

In October of 2007, anarchists and activists in Tacoma and Olympia planned a protest against Wells Fargo and the ICE Detention Center which that bank finances. The organizers claimed that the protest would shut down downtown Tacoma. John Towery popped in and out of the scene, asking questions about the protest. He sent this information to his superiors who then sent it to the Tacoma Police. Before the protest was to take place, the police tried to evict the residents of the Pitchpipe Infoshop, telling their landlord that they were a homeland security threat. During the protest, the protesters were met with a large, aggressive police presence. The protesters were attacked at various points during the action. No businesses suffered any damage during the protest, no smoke filled the sky, no threat materialized. After the protest, some of the organizers thanked the police for shutting down the city for them.

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In March of 2008, an anti-war demonstration was planned in Tacoma to coincide with the anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war. The protest was planned by local anti-war activists and anarchists. It was to take place at the Tacoma Mall with the intention of 'stopping business as usual'. John Towery was involved in the planning of this protest. As the date of the action drew closer, the activists decided to focus all of their energy in front of Tacoma Mall Recruiting Center. Just before the protest, the US Army's Northern Command (NORTHCOM) issued an advisory to all of its personnel, advising them to stay away from the Tacoma Mall. Shortly after this, the local conservative shock jocks began stoking their listeners into a frenzy, imploring them to stage a counter protest. Because of the recent bombing of the Times Square Recruiting Center, there was much hysteria around the fact that the target of the protest was a recruiting center.

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When the day arrived, dozens of riot police were waiting for the activists in front of the recruiting center. Next to the police were over a hundred right-wing protesters. In the midst of this was a standard liberal protest, complete with puppets, signs, a stilt walker, piles of symbolic shoes, megaphones and chants. Huddled together, dressed in black, laughing their asses off, were the local Tacoma anarchists, watching the insane spectacle unfold in front of them. Standing with them was John Towery, dressed in black, a hat on his head, glasses over his eyes and a black bandanna over his face.

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During both protests, at the mall and in downtown Tacoma, there was an exaggerated threat that evoked an overreaction by the authorities. What role John Towery played in these overreactions is unclear. But it is clear that he ran like an autistic puppy towards anything that resembled a bone, falling for every trick, passing on every bit of information to his superiors. It became apparent to many in the area that some sort of feedback loop existed between them and the authorities. But this loop was creating a lot of unusual noise that no one could understand. Jown Towery was one of actors creating this feedback.

John Towery, like everyone else, was caught in the middle of a game few realized was being played. It was a game of chicken. On one side were free, illuminated humans and on the other was the over-equipped, authoritarian system of control. Something happened while the game was being played, however, something no one anticipated. The two sides of the game of chicken collided and merged. No one knew who was who or which side was which. If an agent recommends a certain action to a lost child, does that lost child become an agent if they carry out the action? If an agent unwittingly becomes a pawn in the scheme of a lost child, do they become a lost child as well?

III:

Disclaimer: The term subculture shall here be used to signify the practice of relating to people based on how they are perceived as opposed to what they believe in and how they act upon it.

Everything is gone.

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

-H.P. Lovecraft

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There came from the north strange creatures who spoke of magic. They made ridiculous claims and unbelievable threats. They said they had infiltrated the International Space Station and claimed to have caused a flood. They boasted of being able to render themselves invisible and communicate through seeing stones. They focused their energy on the activities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the movements of the military out of Fort Lewis. They spoke of living without fear and whispered gibberish about insurrection and spell casting. They made no sense. They were irrational, illogical, non-nonsensical, fascistic, anarchistic, lucid, incoherent and non-existent. They intentionally made themselves into a joke. And yet they were perceived as a threat. For they claimed to be able to use something which did not exist in the minds of the police: magic.

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Various law enforcement agencies were sucked into the enigma presented before them. What they discovered was not what they were expecting. The did not find the living mythos of violence and sorcery. They found an anti-war movement ridden with fear, ignorance, dogmatism, privilege and heading quickly into irrelevancy. They found anarchists who were stuck inside the world of activism and struggling to rationalize the lives of parasitism they knew they were living. They found people who were tormented with a desire to do something, anything, it did not matter. Activists were supposed to do something. Anarchists were supposed to do something. Neither questioned why they had to do something. No one questioned the urge, the desire, the compulsion. It was robotic and habitual, as automatic as it was mindless. Holding a sign. Breaking a window. The differences are negligible.

The authorities could not enter this arena and find a threat. It became clear that the only way to find a threat was to push people towards becoming one. This is what John Towery did. He tried to create a threat. Just like Anna, Andrew Darst and Brandon Darby. They preyed upon the desire of activists to do something. They found people who did not care about why they wanted to do something. They used people who wanted to be lead. They dazzled people with their knowledge of firearms and urban exploring. They attracted people with their puffed up backgrounds and tantalized their target's egos. And then, when the final moment arrived, the moment for glory and fire and martyrdom and heroism, when that marvelous moment was upon them, the jaws snapped and the trap was closed. The cattle were lead to the slaughter.

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John Towery never found any cattle around the base. He found some wild, grumpy cows, living alone on a patch of grass that was rapidly shrinking. The anarchists he chose as his targets spent most of their time drinking tea, not getting along, criticizing each other, reading too much, talking too little and doing nothing other than surviving. They tried to bring attention to the all but invisible immigrant detention center in Tacoma. They tried to serve food on the street. They tried going to city council meetings. They tried to make a social center and succeeded in creating a house that no one but anarchists and John Towery came to. The windmills stood high over their heads.

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The house in Tacoma that John Towery came to was green and stood three stories above the ground. The camera mounted on a utility pole across the street could see a tree growing near the left side of the front porch. Sometimes children climbed this tree. On the porch was a couch, taken from the house next door when the neighbors moved out. Sometimes people sat on this couch. The neighboring children would come over and jump on its cushions. Sometimes the children jumped too recklessly and fell off. The camera saw all of these things. But it could not see the back of the house. In the backyard was a garden and a bike shop that had just opened. The bike shop is now somewhere else. Directly above the bike shop was the kitchen. It was the one place that everyone in the house felt together in. The fireplace in the living room also provided some togetherness for the grumpy witches living in the house. In the middle of winter, the flickering light of the fire could be seen by anyone who walking on the sidewalk. There were a few nights where John Towery sat in front of that fire, beneath the gaze of a plastic owl, waiting for something which would never come. He had been drawn like a moth to a candle. And there he was allowed to sit.

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Magic cannot be seen by those who cannot see it. What little magic existed in Tacoma was spent keeping a light on the ICE Detention Center and keeping each other a little bit warm. When all was said and done, there wasn't enough magic for anything else.

IV:

Do not rebuild it. Let it die.

Empire perceives civil war neither as an affront to its majesty nor as a challenge to its omnipotence. It sees it only as a risk. This explains the pre-emptive counter-revolution Empire has not failed to wage against anyone who might have punctured holes in the biopolitical continuum. Unlike the modern State, Empire does not deny the existence of civil war—instead, it manages it.

-from Introduction To Civil War by The Invisible Committee

What happens when one takes the darkness inside of them? Can someone absorb what is trying to destroy them? What happens to that person? Does the darkness eat them? Or do they eat the darkness? Can there be a balance? And if there can, how difficult must the journey be? What tragedies lie in store for those who attempt to reconcile the compulsion to control and the inevitability of a flood?

Everything became a fad in the subculture. Everything. There was no substance, only large talk. Some people wrote texts with exclamation marks in them. The activism which birthed many anarchists was kicked away and then burned to the ground. Once it was gone, there was nothing except an orgy of destruction. And now even that is gone. Nothing is left. When activism died, it took with it the anarchistic outgrowth that it had birthed. There are still some people holding signs on street corners. There are still some people breaking windows. Surely, both sides believe that if they do it for long enough, something will happen.

The formula for authority's control mechanism is simple: propagate a mythos of violence within the anarchist subculture. Moving within this wide field of receptors, locate the individuals who fervently embrace this mythos. Activate these individuals, push them towards action, encourage and aid them up until the final moment. Apprehend targeted individuals. Use apprehension of targeted individuals to justify control mechanisms and discredit anarchism.

The function of this formula is simple. It drains energy from the anarchist subculture as a whole by directing many of its members towards mindless destruction while at the same time neutralizing the individuals who have more energy than they know what to do with. If insurrection is conceived of solely as destruction, the ones who build enough support and security to act with safety will quickly be isolated, neutralized or apprehended. There will never be enough anarchists to smash enough windows to bring down the empire. There will only be actors waiting to be stopped amidst a population that could care less about their actions.

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We can all see the effects of this formula. We are the guinea pigs. We are the living wreckage of a government program to cripple resistance. We are spent pawns. The subculture is dead. It has been stripped of whatever potentiality it had. What little potentiality it had was spent destroying everything it touched. Whoever happened to figure this out years ago has been consistently ridiculed as being reformist, burnt-out or liberal. And now the anarchists who long ago renounced the subculture and the half-alive world of "anarchyism", the anarchists who settled down and began working where they were, the ones who really, finally and truly began, they are now all that is left. All that matters, anyway.

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A feedback loop: an anarchist breaks a window. An agent becomes aware of this fact. An agent breaks a window and earns the trust of an anarchist. The agent recommends certain ideas to the anarchist. The anarchist passes off the ideas to other anarchists that the agent does not know. The anarchists uses the agent's ideas on their own, autonomously, only using some elements of the initial idea. The agent becomes aware of this fact but not the identities of the anarchist actors. The agent becomes aware of his ability to influence the anarchist subculture. The agent tries again. The second attempt is unsuccessful. The first idea has grown into something autonomous, unmanageable. The suggestion of an agent has become an anarchist tactic. Soon, for various reasons, the anarchist becomes aware of the existence of an agent somewhere in the subculture. The anarchist begins feeding garble into the ears of everyone who is potentially an agent. The agent hears some of this garble from someone else and, using it as the basis for further action, attempts to suggest a new idea to the anarchist. The anarchist hears their own garble come back to them and knows they are speaking with a potential agent. More garble is exchanged. The feedback loop continues.

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The futurists believed in the sanctity of war, in its ability to burn away the dead wood, to destroy everything which held their new ideas at bay. They waited with anticipation for their moment to arrive, the moment when they could leap into the all-consuming fire and stoke its flames with their own hands. And when the first world war began, those same futurists enlisted. When the war ended, many of them became fascists. "We want to glorify war - the only cure for the world - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman." Their ideas were pretty and sexy. The elegance of the automobile. The silent beauty of a bomb falling from the sky. "Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man." The excitement of a nightclub. The intoxication of disembodied sex. The rush of a riot. The orgy of destruction. Destruction. Destruction.

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It is possible to trash a bank and go home, smoke a joint and go to sleep. It possible to write nothing about it, to leave no trace, to be invisible. It is possible to be as silent as the moon, to wake up the next morning, under the sun, and live a normal life. To help where help is needed, to hold onto what one believes and not wear it on one's sleeve. It is possible to not be isolated, to not be alienating, to destroy, to create. It is possible to achieve balance, it is possible not make the same mistakes again and again and again. It is possible to forget. It is possible to begin.

The feedback has stopped. It has stopped because it is now audible. The authorities cannot stop visible, free humans, acting with confidence amongst the population. All that can be plundered is at your disposal. Use it to the best of your ability. Nothing is taboo. Window smashing, renting a building, having a picnic. Nothing is taboo. The compulsion to act without thinking, to act just because, leads to fascism. The orgy of destruction is the same blind, irrational force which fascists use to their advantage, the same force which every leader exploits, which every authority prays for. It is the variable that they use to justify the state of exception. You and I have been there, swept up in rupture, intoxicated with power. Shall we make the rupture last forever? Authoritarians and fascists are far better than us at channeling rupture to their favor. Shall we be like them? The Nazis also knew how to stoke the population into riot, into rupture, into gleeful destruction.

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Champion nothing. Just be there when the glass starts shattering and the cars start burning. Be mindful companions to those who wish to lash out. Do your best to keep the people from being swept up by authoritarians and fascists. Never become one. Be silent when invisible, speak gently when your are seen. You will be a thousand times more potent by never doing what they want. It is clear what they want. They want you to act without thinking, to seal yourself off from everyone around you. Do not do those things. You will be unstoppable. Start from where you are. Take care of your own heart. Help people heal their own. You will only be effective if you are healthy. Otherwise, you will simply spread your own sickness into everything you touch.

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Know yourself.

Be well.

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