Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Sunday, 24 February 2013
VIDEO: Unpermitted Does Not Mean Police Can Hurt People 2013 Portland Oregon
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Unpermitted March does not mean the police can now hurt the people for public safety!?


http://youtu.be/RLvJeU_V8ZI [20 minute video]


Unpermitted March does not mean the police can now hurt the people for public safety!?

This is a video with clips taken from the recent 2.14.13 unpermitted One Billion Rising March, recently in Portland in which the police treated peacefully the unpermitted marchers *this time.

In contrast:  There is out-takes added from May Day 2012 and from the N3 Austerity march in 2012 that were both unpermitted marches... where folks who were protesting were then pepersprayed, blocked and tackled by the police. [while in the street trying to march]

There is also a short out-takes from 2008 when the police took my camera, whereupon I filed a lawsuit and changed the policy regarding filming the police in public [and] I got my camera back, [plus $3,000 in lawyer fees and a tiny token 100 bucks for my personal fee but mainly we all got --> police policy changes regarding filming]. A small discussion about filming the police is included in this 20 min video.

The point of this video is to highlight the peaceful marches and the ones where their has been a (uncalled for) call for violence orchestrated by the police.

Which usually always is justified by them, by using words like; public safety, and anarchist [?] being involved, [etc.] The video from Veterans Day highlights the "A" word concern expressed by Officer Friendly (inches from my face) The police were there, for the possible Veterans "unpermitted march" {that didn't happen]. - And same for the One Billion Rising.

As many have pointed out the money paid for these police services, (related to unpermitted marches) could be used for better things, especially than paying from resulting lawsuits and more shift salaries, including OT pay. So rather than wasting taxpayers little money on violent tactics and so called "public safety" the people want better policing. The citizens also appreciate not having the police hurt and threaten them, [which also helps with better over -all- relationships]
There is no need for violence at non violent public demonstrations that don't have a permit. The violence must stop.



Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:09 AM PST
Sunday, 3 February 2013
Learning to Listen and Conflict Resolution
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Being an Active Listerner is Explained by Chris Lentil

Active Listening as Conflict Resolution

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in Feature ArticlesComments (0)




In the book Solving Tough Problems Adam Kahane lays out a methodology for dealing with tough problems in the most difficult situations. Kahane played an integral role in the Mount Fleur Process which brought together representatives from Apartheid-era South Africa. Participants discussed what South Africa would look like after Apartheid. After the Mount Fleur Process, Kahane took part in similar gatherings throughout the world (Follow this link to learn more about Kahane’s work).

Many aspects of the book will be useful to people in their everyday lives, I would like to focus on listening. In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie tells us that by “becoming genuinely interested in people” and “be[ing] a good listener” are two important roles in building successful relationships. That’s great, but what is listening and how do we do it?

Perhaps you are rolling your eyes at the thought of this silly question, but I have been involved in many frustrating conversations with non-listeners. These “conversations” generally become a waste of time and quickly deteriorate into mindless arguments, with people talking past each other.

Adam Kahane details Otto Scharmer’s Four Ways of Listening:

  1. Downloading - listening from within our own story, but without being conscious that what we are saying and hearing is no more that a story. When we download, we are deaf to other stories; we only hear that which confirms our own story. This is the kind of nonlistening exhibited by fundamentalists, dictators, experts, and people who are arrogant or angry.
  2. Debating - listening to each other and to ideas (including our own ideas) from the outside, objectively, like a judge in a debate or courtroom.
  3. Reflective Dialogue – listening to ourselves reflectively and listening to others empathetically-listening from the inside, subjectively.
  4. Generative Dialogue – listening not only from within ourselves or from within others, but from the whole system.

According to Kahane and Scharmer, downloading and debating repeat already existing ideas. Nothing new is created. Reflective dialogue and especially generative dialogue can create new social realities. This is intimidating to think about, but can be done quite easily.

The website PersonaDev offers 10 Tips to Be a Better Listener. There are plenty of articles dedicated to active listening, but I think this one is short and to the point. I’m going to provide an excerpt, but I highly recommend the reading article and website.

  1. Be Legitimately Interested: Be interested. Drop whatever you were doing and focus. Stop focusing on the email you were writing or the article you were reading and really listen. Put yourself in the speaker’s place and make his or her problems your own. The speaker will consciously or subconsciously pick up on this and you will learn more from the conversation. However, if you are in the middle of something just a little too important to drop…
  2. Be Honest About Your Time: If you really are in the middle of something important, tell the speaker. Apologize and plan for another meeting where you can ensure your full attention and focus. This will let the speaker know that you appreciate their coming to you and you want to give them your full concentration. It’s much better than lending half-an-ear and not listening well.
  3. Accept the Speaker’s Point-Of-View: At least until he or she is done speaking. Some of us have the desire to get our point across and a word in for every sentence spoken. Even if you disagree with the speaker’s stance on a subject, allow him or her to finish their thought before voicing your disagreement and then only if necessary. Remember, you are trying to be a listener, not partake in a discussion.
  4. Use Body Language, Eye Contact, and Repetition: Using body language and eye contact the right way can really have an impact on the speaker. To show you are listening and interested, lean slightly forward in your chair. Not so much that your elbows are on your knees, but enough so you aren’t reclined back on your chair. Make consistent eye contact, but do not stare. Make noises like “mm-hmm,” or say “I see,” and frequently repeat what was just said. These actions show that you are interested and actively listening.
  5. Go Beyond the Words: Good listeners are actively thinking not just about what was said but also why andhow it was said. Why did this person come to you to talk (or be heard). Is there excitement in their voice? Resentment? Jealously? Once you determine the motive of the speaker, can you react more smoothly to their words.
  6. Get Rid of Distractions: Just by slightly closing a door or turning off your monitor you can portray to the speaker that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Focus.
  7. Avoid Planning Counterarguments: It is a natural response to automatically start planning a counterargument as soon as something is mentioned. As hard as it may seem, don’t. Mentally record your disagreement and formulate a response later after the whole message has been received.
  8. Be Aware of Your History with the Speaker: As a corollary to tip 5, think about how your history with the speaker may affect what is being said. Is there potential for flared feelings? Sympathy? Fear? Figuring this out will help you better understand the speaker’s motives and, thus, respond accordingly.
  9. Ask Questions: If there is something said that is not clear to you, ask for clarification. Be careful not to use questions to rebut or represent your point-of-view. Only ask questions that’ll help your understanding of what the speaker is saying.
  10. Watch and Learn from the “Good Listener”: We all know one or two “Good Listeners”. Next time you are speaking to them, really pay attention to what they do. One can read a ton of articles and not learn as much as they would from actively watching a good listener in action.

Being a good, active listener makes life a lot easier. Your conversations will be more enjoyable and less nuanced. More importantly, your active listening will encourage others to do the same. Whether you are trying to solve a tough problem, perform a group mediation, or plan your weekend, everything will go a lot smoother and more will be accomplished.

The large scale implications are what interest me the most. In our current society, people are quick to call the police if a problem or disagreement arises. A more ideal situation would involve people talking out their issues either by themselves or with a mediator. A lot of conflict can be resolved by listening and understanding the other person’s motivations.

Peer mediation is a common model in elementary and high schools for a reason. . .it works. Children and youth are encouraged to work problems out amongst themselves. A group of youth mediators told me that mediation works and has led to a decrease in violent behavior amongst their peers. Active listening plays and important role in mediation and conflict resolution.

A lot of conflict stems from not listening to what the other person (group, etc) is saying. Further, we often do not even bother sharing our ideas because we don’t feel as the other person actually cares what is being said. On a personal level this can destroy relationships. On a larger level it can destroy communities, organizations, and the entire world. If you doubt the validity of my claim, consider politics and war.

Altering our communication methods is an easy thing that we as individuals can do to create a better society. We don’t have to wait for “The Rev”. . .we can do it now. In Rules for Radicals Saul Alinsky explained that it is important to take advantage of easy victories much like a championship boxer chooses opponents carefully. He calls this the cinch fight.

Our cinch fight is listening. On one hand it involves deep personal reflection. After reflecting we must change our listening habits to incorporate various components of active listening. Some will be easy and some will not. The important thing is that we make the effort.

Shut up and listen.


Chris Lempa is a pickler, fermenter, and aspiring runner who is ideologically inspired by mutualism, egoism, and Ned Ludd. Visit him at http://picklesnotpipebombs.info where you can find a sampling of his recipes and cookZines.



Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:33 PM PST
Monday, 28 January 2013
Apple Inc. is found to be using "child labor" - January 2013
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: Child laborers uncovered in Apple's China Factories

Child labour uncovered in Apple's supply chain


Internal audit reveals 106 children employed at 11 factories making Apple products in past year




The Guardian, Friday 25 January 2013 14.22 EST

Juliette Garside, telecoms correspondent


Apple has discovered multiple cases of child labour in its supply chain, including one Chinese company that employed 74 children under the age of 16, in the latest controversy over the technology giant's manufacturing methods.


An internal audit found a flipside to the western consumer's insatiable thirst for innovative and competitively priced gadgets. It uncovered 106 cases of underage labour being used at Apple suppliers last year and 70 cases historically. The report follows a series of worker suicides over working conditions at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles must-have products such as the iPad and iPhone, and lethal explosions at other plants.


Apple's annual supplier report – which monitors nearly 400 suppliers – found that children were employed at 11 factories involved in making its products. A number of them had been recruited using forged identity papers.

The report uncovered a catalogue of other offences, ranging from mandatory pregnancy tests, to bonded workers whose wages are confiscated to pay off debts imposed by recruitment agencies. They also found cases of juveniles being used to lift heavy goods, workers having their wages docked as a punishment and one factory dumping waste oil in the toilets.

One Chinese supplier, a circuit board component maker called Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, was axed by Apple after 74 children under the age of 16 were recruited to work on its production lines. According to Apple, the children had been knowingly supplied by one of the region's largest labour agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources. Its investigators found that the agency conspired with families to forge identification documents. Apple did not disclose the ages of the children involved, but its code of conduct states it will not employ workers under the age of 15, or under the legal working age in any jurisdiction – which is 16 in China.


Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, who in a previous role was responsible for building Apple's supply chain, has been under pressure to push through changes after the suicides at Foxconn, whose manufacturing operations are largely based in China. Last September a brawl involving up to 2,000 workers forced Foxconn to close a plant in northern China.

Last year he described the use of underage labour as "abhorrent", saying it was "extremely rare in our supply chain", and stepped up measures to weed out bad practice including hiring an independent auditor, the Fair Labor Association.


"Underage labour is a subject no company wants to be associated with, so as a result I don't believe it gets the attention it deserves, and as a result it doesn't get fixed like it should," said Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations at Apple. He vowed to eradicate the practice, but said it could take some time.

At Pingzhou, the children were returned to their families and the employer was "required to pay expenses to facilitate their successful return". Although 95% of the facilities scrutinised by Apple complied with child labour laws, transgressors were told to return minors to a school chosen by their family, pay for their education, and give them an income equal to their factory wages.

Bonded labour was discovered at eight factories. In order to find work, some foreign labourers pay fees to a string of recruitment agencies and sub-agencies, amassing huge debts. Their wages are then automatically handed over to pay the debts, tying them to jobs until the balance has been paid off.

Apple ordered its suppliers to reimburse excessive recruitment fees – anything higher than one month's wages – and said $6.4m (£4m) was handed back to contract workers in 2012.

Investigators found 90 facilities that deducted wages to punish workers, prompting Apple to order the reimbursement of employees. Mandatory pregnancy testing was found at 34 places of work, while 25 tested for medical conditions such as hepatitis B. At four facilities, payroll records were falsified to hide information from auditors, and at one, a supplier was found intentionally dumping waste oil "into the restroom receptacle".

Apple said it took measures to protect whistleblowers, and that it made 8,000 calls last year to workers interviewed by auditors in order to find out if they had suffered intimidation. 



Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2013 10:19 AM PST
Sunday, 13 January 2013
PDX March - Rally for MLK Day - COUNTDOWN CLOCK
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Here is a picture of the MLK PDX count down clock with HTML code


I have this posted and running on my website you can view it here:  www.joeanybody.com or check this view of a larger countdown-clock  http://goo.gl/cpnlT 


 (picture) of countdown clock (not running, just a picture)


Here is the HTML embedded code for the "MLK PDX countdown clock"

(include no spaces in your code)


<EMBED SRC="http://games.webgamedesign.com/free/counter2-1.swf?title=PDX%3A%20MARCH%20FOR%20THE%20DREAM%20-%201.19.13&count=down&time=1358647200000&bgc=0xff0033&bgb=3&bgd=0&bc=0xcccccc&bb=1&bd=0&tc=0xcccccc&tb=1&td=4&uc=0x99ccff&ub=1&ud=5&nc=0x333333&nb=1&nd=0" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" NAME="Free Counter" ALIGN=MIDDLE WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=100 quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" allowFullScreen="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:46 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 13 January 2013 1:51 PM PST
Sunday, 30 December 2012
The End of 2012 - The Begining of 2013
Mood:  celebratory





[and older]
or by



Posted by Joe Anybody at 4:02 PM PST
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Anarchists and Dual Power - Thoughts from the Anarchist Library
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Active Revolution: Anarchist, Grassroots Duel Power
Topic: Anarchism

Title: Active Revolution

Author(s):An Organizer

Date: 2002


Notes: From The Northeastern Anarchist Issue #4, Spring/Summer 2002


plain PDFA4 imposed PDFLetter imposed PDFEPUBclean HTMLTeXsource

An Organizer

Active Revolution

Part I: Anarchist, Grassroots Dual Power


Dual Power Defined

The term “Dual Power” has been used in several ways since it was first coined. The following definition builds on the previous meanings of Dual Power, most importantly by articulating the equal and necessary relationship between counter-power and counter-institutions. In the original definition, dual power referred to the creation of an alternative, liberatory power to exist alongside and eventually overcome state/capitalist power.

Dual power theorizes a distinct and oppositional relationship between the forces of the state/capitalism and the revolutionary forces of oppressed people. The two can never be peacefully reconciled.

With the theory of dual power is a dual strategy of public resistance to oppression (counter-power) and building cooperative alternatives (counter-institutions). Public resistance to oppression encompasses all of the direct action and protest movements that fight authoritarianism, capitalism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and the other institutionalized oppressions. Building cooperative alternatives recreates the social and economic relationships of society to replace competitive with cooperative structures.

It is critical that these two general modes of action do not become isolated within a given movement. Counter-power and counter-institutional organizations must be in relationship to each other. The value of reconnecting counter-institutional organizations with explicitly oppositional counter-power organizations is a safeguard against the former’s tendency to become less radical over time. As counter-power organizations are reconnected to their base, they ground their political analysis in the concrete experience of counter-institutions — mitigating against the potential political “distance” between their rhetoric and the consciousness of their families, fellow workers and neighbors.

Dual power does not imply a dual set of principles, and therefore processes — one for public resistance and other for building cooperative alternatives. The process used for both strategic directions has the same set of principles at its root. The anarchist principles of direct democracy, cooperation and mutual aid have practical implications which inform the dual power strategies for revolution.

Direct democracy means that people accept the right and responsibility to participate in the decisions which affect their lives.

Cooperation means that our social and economic structure is egalitarian, that we cooperate instead of compete to fulfill our needs and desires.

Mutual aid means that we share our resources between individuals and groups toward universal need and desire fulfillment.

These principles lend us the foundation for creating inclusive, anti-authoritarian relationships as we work in grassroots organizations. Regardless of the strategic direction within dual power that is being pursued, we will follow the same process — building relationships, organizing these relationships into groups, and moving these groups toward collective action.

We organize in order to build power with others — power that gives us the opportunity to participate in the decisions which affect our lives. It is in the conscious construction and use of this power that we find true democracy.

Part II: Defining a Process for Revolutionary Social Change

Liberation is the struggle to be fully present, to have the ability to act — to become powerful, relevant and therefore historical. Liberation through action is one of the ways in which people experience such self-actualizing transformation. Of course, liberation can also take place through other means — chief among these are popular education, cultural work and identity-based activity.

But, in our complex and oppressive society, a holistic strategy for liberation must be multi-faceted and geared toward some measure of action.

Once we get beyond this general agreement on the centrality of action to liberation, the debate on the specifics of action begins. There is a clear distinction between the three most common forms of action in the United States — activism, advocacy and organizing. Their effectiveness as strategies for change is at the heart of this essay. First, a summary of each strategy.

Activism — An activist is a person who is responsible to a defined issue and who helps address that issue through mobilizing a base of people to take collective action. Activists are accountable to themselves as moral actors on a specific issue. Democratic structures are a utilitarian consequence of activities designed to win on the defined issue (my definition).

Advocacy — An advocate is a person who is responsible to a defined issue and who helps address that issue through collective action that uses the instruments of democracy to establish and implement laws and policies that will create a just and equitable society (Advocacy Institute).

Organizing — An organizer is a person who is responsible to a defined constituency and who helps build that constituency through leadership development, collective action and the development of democratic structures (National Organizers Alliance).

To clarify, power is simply the ability to act — and it can be used over or with others. As anarchists, power with others forms the core of our belief system. In each of the above strategies, power is gained through collective action — how each uses that power begins to illuminate considerable differences. The democratic structures created to focus that power also shed light on these differences.

Relationships form the foundation of all collective action. The intentionality of those relationships determines if your primary commitment is to your constituency or to the issue around which a constituency is built.

People participate in collective action because they have a self-interest in doing so. Self-interest is a middle ground between selfishness and self-sacrifice, determined most practically by the activities in which people spend their time, energy and money. Self-interest is the activity of the individual in relation to others. It is in the self-interest of people to participate in social change because such activities resonate with a need or desire within themselves. Thus, people choose issues or organizations because something about them is in their self-interest.

In addition to a shared commitment to collective action — power, relationships and self-interest are all critical elements that the three strategies of action have in common. The differences emerge in the use of power, the degree of intentionality placed on relationship-building, and the emphasis on issue or organization as the point of connection between people.

1. Use of Power

Activists and advocates use power primarily to win on issues. Given that power is currently derived from two sources — people and money — activists and advocates try to mobilize a quantity of each to affect change. More often than not this means mobilizing a lot of people, and a little bit of money. These two strategies differ in that advocacy is explicitly about altering the relations of power in the established institutions of society, while activism doesn’t necessarily place its faith in the perfectibility of American democratic institutions.

Advocates make a serious error in not differentiating power over others and power with others. They try to negotiate for a change in the relations of power between oppressor and oppressed, failing to understand that these two conceptions of power cannot be peacefully reconciled. Advocates end up negotiating to share power over others, and in doing so find themselves transformed.

No longer are they building power with others, but power for others — which is just a lighter shade of power over others. The struggle between these two types of power is a zero sum game — as one wins, the other loses. Only power with others is limitless; power over others always implies a finite amount of power.

Activism’s power is derived first from its ability to affect change on issues and secondly on the potential force for change embodied in organized people. Organizing uses power differently — by first building an organization. For organizers, issues are a means to an end (the development of peoples’ capacity to affect change). Organizers’ use of power with others to alter the relations of power over others inherent in government or capitalist corporations forces such authoritarian groups into a debilitating contradiction. Opening such contradictions creates room for change. Authoritarian institutions may well react with violence to preserve power over others, or these contradictions may result in real social change. Liberation and revolution take place as relationships change from authoritarian to egalitarian.

Too often organizers and their organizations fall prey to the same negative transformation as advocates — in negotiation to alter the relations of power they begin to build power for others rather than power with others. The authoritarian government and capitalist system are frighteningly seductive. They promise to change incrementally, and then slowly lull organizers, advocates and activists into a reformist sleep. However, the strength of organizing lies in the deliberate construction of a constituency that holds itself, its organization and its organizers publicly accountable. A commitment to relationships rather than issues is key to public accountability, and to insuring a lasting dedication to building power with others.

2. Relationship-Building

All action has the potential to be liberatory. However, it is the degree of intentionality placed on relationship-building that determines the quality of the learning that takes place. Organizers differentiate between public and private relationships. Public relationships are those in which there is an agreement between people to act and reflect together in the process of social change. Organizers cultivate deliberate public relationships and bring people together in situations that foster relationship-building among those taking action. Intentional reflection upon action is key to maximizing learning. In organizing, people recognize relationships — not issues — as the foundation of their organizations.

Activism and advocacy use relationships as a means to an end — victory on an issue. Relationships are an end in themselves for organizers. This element of the debate centers on the question of constituency. The constituency of activism is other activists and potential activists, motivated through their individual moral commitments to a given issue. Advocates have no primary constituency. The constituency of an organizer is the universe of people who are potential members of a given organization with a defined geographical area or non-geographical base (through affinity or identity).

3. Issue vs. Organization

Relationships are built between people; only through abstraction can we say that people have relationships with institutions or issues. There is an inherent contradiction in activism’s attempts to mobilize people around an issue, given that issues are conceptual while people actually exist. People are not in relationship with issues — they can only be in relationship with other people.

Organizations provide the context for public relationships. As anarchists we build organizations based on the ‘power with others’, non-hierarchical model. We believe in organization — how much and in what form are the debatable points. But, as anarchists, we know that organization is necessary as a vehicle for collective action.

Multiple dynamic relationships (organizations) are the product of an organizer’s work. For activists, organizations are a utilitarian consequence of their work on a given issue. And for advocates they are a utilitarian tool used to negotiate for power. Organizers trust in the ability of people to define their own issues, a faith that rests in the knowledge that maximizing the quantity and quality of relationships produces dynamic organizations and therefore dynamic change. Advocates synthesize issues from a dialogue between people and dominant institutions, and they struggle for practical changes to the “system.” Activists engage in continuous analysis of issues, producing clear and poignant agendas for social change — and then rally people around those agendas.

The problem of “distance” is primarily one of both activism and advocacy. People who spend a great deal of time developing an issue have a tendency to create an analysis that is significantly different than that of most other people. As the distance increases between the depth of understanding between an activist or advocate and that of other people, we find increasing polarization. Such distance can breed a vicious cycle of isolation.

4. Revolutionary Social Change

Perhaps the greatest difference between these three strategies of action is in their ability over to time to create revolutionary change. In the final analysis — primary commitment to an issue is in contradiction to a primary commitment to power with others. The faith of anarchists lies in the ability of people to govern themselves — on holding power with others. This faith implies a staggering level of trust in others, and a monumental commitment on a personal level to participate publicly in social change. Activism and advocacy have no such trust in others — their faith is in their analysis of, and moral commitment to, an issue. By putting their faith in an issue they are removing their faith from people. Relationships do not form the basis for their action, and therefore they cannot be said to have a primary commitment to power with others. Of the three strategies of action, only organizing has a primary commitment to people — to power with others — and to anarchism.

The modern anarchist conception of dual power encourages us to build liberatory institutions while we fight the oppression of the dominant system. Activism and organizing exist in both arenas, while advocacy exists only in the latter.

There is room to construct and practice a fresh revolutionary organizing process that is relevant to our current historical context. Aspects of such a revolutionary program would certainly incorporate radical social service, counter-institutional economic development, counter-power, educational and cultural dimensions. To maximize our effectiveness, it is important to define our strategy for action clearly across the range of possible activities and organizations.

As a model approach, organizing offers a starting point for a strategic social change process. Advocacy, as a contradictory and liberal strategy, may be necessary in order to keep the system from degenerating at a faster pace but it is insufficient for anarchists interested in revolutionary change. Activism is flawed by its insistence on elevating issues over relationships and its tendency to use organization and people as means to an end.

Organizing begins when we make a commitment to develop the capacity of ourselves and those people with whom we work to affect change. The intensity of conscious action and reflection is the engine that drives organizers to build relationships, construct dynamic organizations, and move those relationships into collective action. As anarchists we must learn the theory and practice of organizing if we are truly committed to revolutionary change.

5. Organizing Theory/Organizing Skills

A holistic framework of effective organizing (through community, labor or issue-based organizations) must include some conception of relationships, self-interest, power, and organization. Again, relationships are the means with which we communicate and regulate our social existence. Relationships are always political, and as such are the foundation of all conceptions of power. Self-interest is the self in relationship to others, and signifies our political bonds and individual priorities for how we spend our time, energy and money. Power is simply the ability to act, and can be used as either power with others or power over others. Organizations are social constructs with which power is exercised.

The skills of effective organizing are all geared toward building relationships, organizing those relationships into groups and moving those groups into collective action. One-on-one meetings are structured conversations that allow each person to share their experiences toward identifying their individual and mutual self-interests. These meetings may be scheduled, or they may take place going door-to-door, house-to-house, or over the phone. A network of one-on-one relationships can be increased exponentially by asking people to hold “house meetings” where people invite their own networks (family, friends, neighbors or co-workers). Through this process we can identify people who are potential leaders — people with a sense of humor, a vision of a better world, a willingness to work with others, and a desire to learn and grow in the context of action. As relationships are built between leaders, organizations are formed which can move into action on collectively defined issues.

This is the critical point — it doesn’t matter what issue people choose to work on. And we shouldn’t steer people in a direction that we think is better or more radical. Organizing is not about identifying an issue and rallying or mobilizing people around it. Organizing is about building organizations that can wield collective power. Action may begin as reform to the existing system, and that is OK. We cannot expect people to take radical action if they have not yet given up on the “system.” It is our job to encourage action in many forms, and to reflect upon that action in order to learn from it. We must trust that such action and reflection will radicalize people over time.

Finally, how do we organize non-anarchists, or more seriously, people with different class, race, cultural backgrounds from ourselves, or do we? We must begin by locating ourselves in the complex matrix of oppression. What is your identity, in what ways do you experience oppression? In this way we can identify the social networks in which we either have relationships, or because of our identity could readily form relationships.

Then we must ask ourselves — where do we want to have an impact? In what communities can we identify a constituency for our organizing efforts? Do we have a common identity with these identified communities? If not, why do we consider them a possible constituency?

It is very important to identify the constituency in which we want to have an impact before we identify issues that we will work on. To do otherwise takes us backward, and initiates an authoritarian process in which we are dictating issues to a constituency.

Getting back to the question — is it wrong for an organizer to define a constituency that is not a part of their history or identity? Should we concentrate on organizing within our own communities? I cannot answer these questions for you — I simply don’t have the answers. But, I do know that they are critical and must be resolved before an organizing or popular education project may begin.

6. Active Participation by Anarchists in Community, Education, Labor and Issue-based Organizations

It is not a concession to liberalism, nor a descent into reformism, for revolutionaries to participate actively in organizations that are not explicitly radical. Neither are we their vanguard. The only realistic way to build a mass movement is to work directly with oppressed people — in essence, we are transformed as we transform others.

We join existing organizations to build our skills in the realm of political action. Through immersion in grassroots struggles we develop an understanding of the process of radicalization — beginning where people are at, using dialogue and research to build our collective analysis, taking action, and reflecting upon that action in an ongoing circular process.

There are some hard learned truths in these ideas. First, your vision of a better world is incomplete and impotent without the participation of grassroots people in its construction.

Second, you cannot impose your ideas, however radical you think they are and however backward you think others’ beliefs are, without compromising anarchist principles. So then, how do we move forward?

Participation in existing organizations allows us to gain experience in political action. We can then use this experience to create new organizations that are based more closely on anarchist principles, but which are still dedicated to a grassroots base. But, you should not presume that you are ready to start a grassroots organization without having a clear idea on how to build and sustain such a group. That is why I encourage you to learn from the many models of organizing and education that are currently operating in the world before you strike out on your own.

Part III: Concrete Directions for Dual Power

1. Current Anarchist Forms of Organization

Anarchists have used a wide array of organizational forms and strategies of action in the past one hundred and fifty years.

Collectives: Cadre organizations (or closed collectives) and open collectives closely resonate with an activist strategy. Infoshops, for example, operate as open collectives. As activist groups, they tend to coalesce around an issue — in this case anarchism itself. Most infoshops of the 1990s who attempted to move beyond the limitations of activism were hampered by theoretical and practical barriers. The Beehive (Washington, DC), Emma Center (Minneapolis, MN)and the A-Zone’s (Chicago, IL) attempts at anti-gentrification organizing have been intermittent and rarely effective. Issues and analysis must be developed in conjunction with the people affected by those given issues, or the separation between people and analysis leads to vanguardist distance. You cannot be an ally without first choosing the method of alliance — what is your relationship to the people affected by an issue, and how will your organizational form contribute to effective work on that issue? These are central questions for anarchists operating on a local level and who are interested in grassroots struggle.

Worker/Consumer Cooperatives: Worker cooperatives are a special category of closed collectives — as consumer cooperatives are of open collectives. As needs-based organizations, they combine elements of activist and organizing strategies. It is critical for grassroots cooperatives to commit themselves to organizing’s participatory model of action, but it is also vital that they are allowed the space to try out new ideas. With a careful eye to the issue of distance, cooperatives are an effective means of organization.

Mass-based Organizations: Mass-based organizations, like the IWW, have the potential to be influential elements of a popular revolutionary movement. There is no effective way to build a mass-based organization except through organizing. A cursory reading of history shows mass-based organizations growing as movements spring up in response to injustice — and then they fade away when justice is met. This conception of history ignores the countless years of work that go into every “spontaneous” movement. Spain had a revolutionary anarchist movement in 1936 because of the incredible organizing that began there in the 1860s.

Intermediary Organizations: Organizations that directly encourage the creation and development of the above forms of organization are necessary adjuncts to a holistic conception of revolutionary organizing. In an anarchist model, intermediary organizations are most effective in the form of a confederation. Intermediaries can provide:

Dialogue and Action — as a political formation, counter-institutional and counter-power organizations would come together to engage in revolutionary praxis (action and reflection).

Training — on the basics of organizing, facilitation, issue analysis, direct action techniques, organizational, issue and membership development, etc.

Technical Assistance — participatory research on issues, access to technology, technical knowledge on the “how-tos” of things like forming economic or housing cooperatives (where to get money, how to get started, etc.).

Financial Assistance — grassroots fundraising, grant writing, and the investigation and implementation of resource pools.

The point is that anarchists must think strategically about their forms of organization and strategies of action within a particular historical context. We must make conscious and informed decisions about the prospects for effective revolutionary social change that are either enhanced or limited by our choices of organization and action.

2. Becoming More Radical and More Grassroots

More than fifteen years of modern anarchist gatherings, conferences and events haven’t led to a coherent anarchist movement — on a continental, regional or local level. This is significant because other groups of people, similarly collected together on the basis of political or issue affinity have developed a higher degree of movement organization. Why? First, anarchists have tended to form organizations that are not integrated with a grassroots base and, second, anarchists have not built effective intermediary organizations.

The lack of a grassroots base is the result of an anti-mass conception of organization among anarchists. Favoring collectives, anarchists have constructed insular groups that are simply not relevant to the lives of their families, neighbors and co-workers. While collective organization is useful under certain conditions, it is not conducive to building a movement, which implies a much higher level of mass participation. Learning organizing and popular education theories and skills is the answer for anarchists interested in building a broad-based and diverse movement.

Additionally, North American anarchists have not developed intermediary organizations to connect locally organized radical groups with each other, and then to regional/national/continental networks. Anarchists seem hellbent on remaining a collection of individual people and their individual groups due to a reluctance to be accountable to a wider constituency through engaging in the process of strategic organizing and popular education. Simply arguing for a network (locally or continentally), presumably for communication and mutual aid, also hasn’t taken off despite numerous tries. And in the case of the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation, it did work for almost a decade, but at the expense of losing the local organizations. This does not have to be the case.

We need to develop massive resources of our own — social and economic — if we want to make similarly massive changes in society. Our forms of organization must infect and transform society away from competition, capitalism and oppression.

The challenge is to initiate broad-based organizing and popular education to build both counter-power and counter-institutional organizations and to construct intermediary confederations to connect them. We must stop trying to build a movement of anarchists and instead fight for an anarchistic movement.

* * * * *

Editor’s Note

Although we welcome the author’s insights and analysis around dual power and grassroots organizing, we reject his final conclusion which claims that anarchists must “stop trying to build a movement of anarchists, and instead fight for an anarchistic movement.” Those of us from NEFAC would argue that both are equally necessary.

We do not believe that an activist strategy based solely on anarchist methods of organizing (self-organization, mutual aid, solidarity and direct action) will inevitably lead us any closer towards anarchism. Such a strategy, on its own, only serves to provide a radical veneer and egalitarian legitimacy for liberal-reformist or authoritarian activist trends.

A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the social movements and popular struggles of the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. We believe that, if only to wage the battle of ideas, anarchist organizations are necessary. The purpose of such organizations, for us, is to connect local grassroots activism to a larger strategy of social revolution; to create an organizational pole for anarchists to develop theory and practice, share skills and experiences, and agitate for explicitly anarchist demands (in opposition to liberal-reformist or authoritarian trends) within our activism.

toogle ToC

Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:55 PM PST
Monday, 3 December 2012
Slaves to the IMF - Iraq and the slave labor laws
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Iraq Labor Laws and the IMF
Topic: WAR



 {original article found here}


The new Iraqi labour law, a law for a new slavery

We received this request for international protests against the new labour Law being introduced in Iraq under the pressure of the IMF. It is clearly against the interests of workers in Iraq and openly defends the right of capitalists to brutally exploit the workers.

“Dear Sister and Brothers in working class organizations around the World,

“We are sending out this report by Falah Alwan, president of the Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq, concerning the new labour law in Iraq. We are calling on all trade unions and leaders around the world to support our struggle against it. Please speak out loudly to stand with us in solidarity. Send your letter to the government of Iraq to respect workers’ rights now. Send us copies of your letters please as we want to publish them among the workers in Iraq. Your support is very important to us always.

“Hand to hand and shoulder to shoulder in working class struggle for freedom and Equality.

“Akram Nadir,

Union Organizer in Iraq and Kurdistan and International Representative of Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI).”

[email: akram_nadir_1999@yahoo.com, www.fwcui.org]


More than one hundred serious notes and objections, to the 156 articles which are the components of the draft of the new labour law, were set out. Such issue means that it is an objectionable draft. And these objections are undermining it.

Since 2004 there have been five drafts of the new labour law in Iraq, none of them were presented publicly or to the workers' unions. The Ministry of Labour, coordinating with the government controlled trade union federation, composed the latest draft of the labour law surreptitiously in a conspiratorial manner. The other unions in Iraq received copies of the latest draft, via the Solidarity Centre, only one year ago.

The recent draft of the labour law is not merely the result of a normal development of the economic necessities, or a kind of cure to the economic crisis. It is the direct result of the IMF policies which have been imposed by the US occupation in collaboration with their loyal government, so the struggle against it is part of the struggle against the occupation policies and the neo-liberal agenda.

The spirit of the draft is to legitimize the capitalist interests, and to defend them within an officially authorized framework. The notes are so numerous, that we cannot list them all in detail; here we focus only on the main key points.

The new labour law confirms the laws of the former regime, which consider the workers in the public sector as officials, depriving them of the most basic rights and guarantees, denying them the right to organize and the right to strike.

Most of the articles of the new labour law are to guarantee the interests of the capitalists. More than one article gives the full right to the capitalists to lay off workers for no reason. The dismissals of the workers are up to the owners of the factories or the projects.

In 2004 the Iraqi government had accepted the 6 demands of the IMF as conditions for a compulsory loan of about US$436million. All those conditions are undoubtedly expressions of the neo-liberal policies.

The new labour law reflects clearly and overtly the class interests of the capitalists before the workers' interests. It gives legitimacy to exploitation, while justifying the greed of the capitalists. In a word, the new labour law is a framework within which to intensify and justify the exploitation and the suppression of the workers and to enable the neo-liberal model to control the economy in Iraq.

The preamble of the draft is to facilitate the investment conditions for the capitalists. There is no real confirmation of the rights to strike, to sit-in, to assemble or to demonstrate. There are no guarantees for the workers' rights, such as,
1. Protection against dismissal,
2. Assurances against unemployment,
3. The safety insurance and benefits to the workers.

Finally, we realise it is impossible to end exploitation or to acquire full rights of the working class by simply changing or reforming the labour law. In addition, the implementing of the new labour law will not change the system of property relations or implement a new social state, i.e. socialism.

Actually, our criticism of the new labour law is aimed at implementing many reforms, such as; the right to strike, the right to sit in, unemployment insurance and the full right to organize and join unions, in a word, to strengthen the ability of the working class to struggle against the exploiters, and the whole of capitalism.

Falah Alwan

November 2012


Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Filming the police - Illinois sticks with the appeal rulling "Yes you Can"
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Supreme Court rejects plea to ban taping of police in Illinois

Horizontal Divider 8 


Supreme Court rejects plea to ban taping of police in Illinois


Phone interview with ACLU legal director Harvey Grossman as he reacts to the recent Supreme Court ruling. Content edited for time.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a controversial Illinois law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.

By passing on the issue, the justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the state's anti-eavesdropping law violates free-speech rights when used against people who audiotape police officers.

A temporary injunction issued after that June ruling effectively bars Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez from prosecuting anyone under the current statute. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit against Alvarez, asked a federal judge hearing the case to make the injunction permanent, said Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois.

Grossman said he expected that a permanent injunction would set a precedent across Illinois that effectively cripples enforcement of the law.

Alvarez's office will be given a deadline to respond to the ACLU request, but on Monday, Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Alvarez, said a high court ruling in the case could have provided "prosecutors across Illinois with legal clarification and guidance with respect to the constitutionality and enforcement" of the statute.

Illinois' eavesdropping law is one of the harshest in the country, making audio recording of a law enforcement officer — even while on duty and in public — a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Public debate over the law had been simmering since last year. In August 2011, a Cook County jury acquitted a woman who had been charged with recording Chicago police internal affairs investigators she believed were trying to dissuade her from filing a sexual harassment complaint against a patrol officer.

Judges in Cook and Crawford counties later declared the law unconstitutional, and the McLean County state's attorney cited flaws in the law when he dropped charges in February against a man accused of recording an officer during a traffic stop.

Alvarez argued that allowing the recording of police would discourage civilians from speaking candidly to officers and could cause problems securing crime scenes or conducting sensitive investigations.

But a federal appeals panel ruled that the law "restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests."

Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has said he would favor a change allowing citizens to tape the police and vice versa.

Meanwhile, several efforts to amend the statute in Springfield have stalled in committee amid heavy lobbying from law enforcement groups in favor of the current law.

Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributed jmeisner@tribune.com

Posted by Joe Anybody at 7:18 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2012 7:30 PM PST
Monday, 26 November 2012
Foxconn - Robots on the move - Goal is for replacing 1 million workers
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Robots for Foxconn moving ahead toward 3 year goal



Foxconn, the largest electronic industry manufacturer in the world, has ranked top of the 200 powerful export enterprises for consecutive nine years. In 2009, it ascended to the 60th of the global top 500 companies. However, Foxconn has gone through hardships in the negative news of employee turbulence, suicide, bad working conditions and employment of students, which, fortunately have been solved.

Early this year, Foxconn announced it had planned to replace one million employees with robots in three years, and now the plan has been implemented. According to relevant report, Foxconn has put into use the first 10 thousand robots and it aims to get in 20 thousand robots by the end of this year.

Those robots, designed by Foxconn itself, are used to conduct simple and repeated actions with high working efficiency.

The cost of those robots are low. The manufacture cost of one Foxconn robot is 20-25 thousand dollars, about three years salary of an ordinary worker, which is very cheap. So we estimate Foxconn will complete its three-year plan in advance if those robots operate well in daily productions.

Allen from Shenzhen Post (original post)






Foxconn  CMMSG Industria de Electronicos Ltda, a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., revealed that it has bought 1.42 million square meters or about 350 acres of land in Brazil from Toulous Incorporacao SPE LTDA Group for a total price of 12,640,000 dollars.

One of Hon Hai’s subsidiaries, Foxconn , is the largest manufacturer of computer fittings in the world and also an internationally well-known enterprise that cooperate with Apple, Sony, Nokia and other multinational companies. Foxconn has exclusively assembled iPhone and iPad tablets for Apple Corporation.

The purchase verifies Hon Hai’s announcement earlier that it would make an investment of total 492 million dollars to establish a new factory in Sao Paulo in Brazil for production of smart phones, tablets and other electronic equipments, according to relevant information.

Hon Hai Group also said, Brazilian government’s tax reduction policy and local market’s preferential policies make the country the best manufactory place except for China. It is also a good opportunity for Foxconn to develop it business. There is no more details in the company’s announcement.


Allen from Shenzhen Post (original post):



Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:33 AM PST
Friday, 23 November 2012
Homeland Security - Accountability is shielded by their badge
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Human Trafficking and other crimes - shielded by the DHS badge

Department of Homeland Security’s untouchables: shielded by the badge




Related topics

A woman from South Korea is enslaved by the owner of a bar in Queens, New York. As it typically happens in cases of human sex trafficking, the captor takes away the victim’s passport and forces her into prostitution. Terrified, the woman attempts to escape her grim predicament. The bar owner involves two goons to intimidate his prey into submission. One of them speaks Korean, which enables co-conspirators to threaten the captive in her native language. To punish the woman for refusing to prostitute herself, they threaten her with deportation and incarceration in her home country. Taking their threats one step further, the perpetrators shove her into a taxicab and claim that she is being taken to the airport to get deported. Desperate to get away from her tormentors, the woman makes a daring move and escapes.

The criminal plot is finally uncovered. The victim’s passport is found at the residence of Goon No. 1, who is identified as a Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO). Goon No. 2 is a Federal Air Marshal (FAM). CBPO pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to 120 months confinement and 5 years supervised release. The FAM also pleaded guilty to deprivation of civil rights and was sentenced to 4 years probation.

The same disturbing trend runs through the myriad of corruption cases involving the Department of Homeland Security’s employees. Crime doesn’t match the punishment that any civilian would face if they were to commit the same offenses. Here are some astonishing examples:

• CBP technician Thomas Chapman and his friend Paul Brickman stole a Customs declaration form, filled out by the late Astronaut Neil Armstrong. They’ve attempted to sell it at an auction. For stealing and conveying an official record of the United States, the thieves were facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the United States Attorney's Office. What was the actual sentence? After pleading guilty to Theft of U.S. Government Property, Chapman was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

• TSA Officer wanted to have some fun, so he called in a fake bomb threat at the Columbus Regional Airport on May 6, 2009, where he was employed. On November 17, 2009, the TSO was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

• Transportation Security Administration manager Bryant Jermaine Livingston had an interesting hobby: he was running a prostitution ring out of a Crowne Plaza Hotel in Maryland. Responding to a hotel manager's complaint about a man who often invited large groups of people into his room, police went in to take a look. Livingston opened the door and proudly introduced himself as the Department of Homeland Security manager, handing the officers his TSA business card. Glancing into the room, police officers observed 11 subjects (male and female), many of whom were naked and trying to get dressed in a hurry. It was later uncovered that males would routinely pay Livingston $100 dollars to enter the room and cavort with the prostitutes he was pimping out. Livingston was charged with four counts of general prostitution. He pleaded guilty, received no prison time and was ordered to pay a $500 dollar fine.

• ICE Agent Taryn Johnston figured out a nifty way to make a living without having to show up to work. All it took is being married to Frank Johnston, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles. Taryn Johnson received approximately $582,000 in salary and benefits from ICE and its predecessor agency, Immigration and Naturalization Service, essentially as a gift from the government. She was convicted of making false statements to federal investigators, sentenced to 30 days in federal prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

• U.S. Border Patrol Agent Eduardo Moreno brutally assaulted a Mexican national who was in his custody. Moreno admitted that while he was walking the man through the processing center, he struck him in the stomach with a baton, threw him to the ground, kicked and punched him for no reason whatsoever. The victim suffered severe bodily injuries. Moreno pleaded guilty to a federal criminal civil rights charge, facing 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Outrageously, he won’t serve any time in prison. Moreno was sentenced to 12 months supervised release, 4 months under house arrest and was ordered to pay a miserly restitution of $1,392.25 towards his victim’s medical expenses.

• Jovana Deas, a former special agent with ICE Homeland Security Investigations, ran queries in law enforcement databases, as requested by her sister in Mexico, Dana Maria Samaniego Montes, who had direct ties to violent drug cartels. One of the people Deas looked up using her work computer was later assassinated in Juarez, Mexico, after she provided her sister with the man’s photo and other information. Prosecutor said that Deas may have caused the man’s murder. A copy of the photo was later discovered in the computer of sister’s ex-husband, Miguel Angel Mendoza Estrada, during a drug-trafficking investigation in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Deas pleaded guilty to a 21-count indictment. Instead of spending decades in prison, Deas received a short 2.5-year sentence.

• Border Patrol agent Teofilo Rodarte stole a woman's purse and used her credit cards to buy $231 in merchandise at Walmart. He was charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, three counts of computer tampering, third-degree burglary, two counts of identity theft, three counts of forgery and three counts of theft. Rodarte was sentenced to 3 years of probation.

• An ICE Special Agent covertly imported banned steroids from China for illegal distribution in the U.S. He pleaded guilty to one count of importation of controlled substances and was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

• CBP Officer Manuel Salazar, an 8-year veteran who was assigned to the Pharr, Texas, Port of Entry, allowed drug smugglers to transport 1,700 pounds of marijuana through his inspection lane in exchange for a bribe of $10,000 dollars. During the course of investigation, Salazar lied to investigators under oath. He was subsequently convicted of providing materially false statements to investigators and accepting bribes. Salazar was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

• Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer of ICE in Detroit, Michigan decided to single-handedly solve the burglary of a relative’s residence. He kidnapped a man at gunpoint, forcing him into a government-owned vehicle. The ICE officer drove the man to an abandoned house, where he pistol-whipped the victim with his duty weapon. The man was able to escape after the officer fired one round from his duty weapon to intimidate him. On May 25, 2009, the same officer approached another man, threw him to the ground and threatened him at gun point. This ICE Supervisor was convicted in September 2009 for Unlawful Imprisonment; Felonious Assault; and Felony Firearm Possession. He was sentenced to 48 months incarceration and was ordered to pay a $600 fine.

• A CBP Officer was caught red-handed, acting as a “lookout” for a drug trafficker who was transporting narcotics from New York to Cleveland, OH. He also transported the proceeds of illicit drug sales back to New York and was paid $15,000 by the trafficker. The CBP Officer pleaded guilty to distributing and possessing narcotics and was sentenced to 36 months of probation.

• CBP Officer Tori Ferrari (Detroit, MI), pleaded guilty to altering an immigration document. He falsified the status of an Iranian national (Iran is on an official list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism,” designated by the State Department) by forging an F-1 visa into an F-2 visa. Ferrari was sentenced to 24 months of supervised probation.

• Border Patrol Agent (BPA) in Wilcox, AZ, punched a fellow BPA, then pulled his loaded service weapon and pointed it at the victim’s head. Playing their own version of “Fashion Police”, the victim ridiculed the offender’s attire. The BPA was convicted and sentenced to time served (which means that he would not serve any prison time after the sentencing).

• TSA Officer Elliot Iglesias worked at the Orlando, FL, International Airport. Over a three year period, he had stolen more than 80 laptop computers and other electronic devices, valued at $80,000, from passenger luggage. Iglesias admitted that he fenced the items in Osceola County, FL. He pleaded guilty to Federal charges of embezzlement and theft and was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

• FPS Program Analyst entered into a sham marriage that gained unwarranted immigration benefits for his “wife”. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 months of probation and 4 months of home detention.

• A Department of Defense Contract Employee had obtained a Top Secret security clearance, based on her fraudulently obtained immigration status. She pleaded guilty to Immigration Fraud and was sentenced to 24 months of supervised probation.

• Two Department of State contract employees illegally obtained valid immigration documents and sold them for cash. One pleaded guilty to procuring citizenship unlawfully and was sentenced to 36 months probation. His accomplice, who at one time held a Secret-level security clearance, pleaded guilty to fraud and procuring citizenship unlawfully. He was also sentenced to 36 months of probation.

• USCG Auxiliary Member used government fleet credit cards to buy gasoline that he gave to a drug dealer in exchange for cocaine. He also used government fleet cards to purchase gasoline for himself, his friends, and family. He was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised release.

• DHS Security Specialist William Thorpe (Washington, DC), received over $200,000 from Total Security Products, as kickbacks for contract-rigging. This company was identified as the lowest bidder on a $100,000 DHS security contract. Thorpe pleaded guilty to improperly providing internal DHS documents to a company that was competing for a government contract. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation.

• Pawnshop owner reported a number of laptop computers with DHS property stickers being sold to his store. A DHS Information Technology contractor had stolen more than $8,000 worth of DHS computers and sold them to various pawnshops in Maryland. DHS may not have even noticed that its laptops were missing. According to an OIG report, the agency doesn’t keep an accurate inventory of its laptops containing classified data. In this particular instance, the DHS contractor pleaded guilty to theft of government property and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and $650 in restitution.

• ICE Deportation Officer in Chicago, Illinois, accepted bribes for destroying the U.S. immigration “A” files of two deportable Iraqi alien nationals and preventing their deportation (Iraq is on the State Department’s list of Special Interest Countries with terrorist ties). He also fraudulently issued an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunication stamp to another deportable alien and arranged an illegal release of an alien in ICE custody. The ICE Officer was charged with one count of Obstruction, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a term of 3 months incarceration and 24 months probation.

• Eric Higgins, CBP Officer at Port Huron, Michigan, used the Internet to communicate sexually explicit messages to underage girls and viewed child pornography on his laptop computer. Search of his laptop computer by the United States Secret Service turned up over 40 images previously identified as child pornography by the National Association for Missing and Exploited Children. On August 31, 2010, Higgins pleaded guilty in Federal Court, Eastern District of Michigan, for violations of Possession of Child Pornography. This crime is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Higgins was sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison.

• TSA Officer and a Delta Airlines baggage handler were arrested for stealing items from checked luggage. Both offenders were sentenced in May 2010 to 45 days confinement and 60 months probation.

• An ICE Special Agent and two CBP Officers in Tucson, Arizona conspired with two employees of a local car repair garage to scam the government by using DHS fleet cards. They’ve cooked up fraudulent invoices totaling over $55,479, which was then shared amongst co-conspirators. On March 12, 2010, in the District of Arizona, one of the CBP officers was sentenced to 12 months of home confinement and 36 months of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $37,525 restitution. The ICE Special Agent was sentenced to 60 months probation and $6,613 restitution, and the other CBP officer was sentenced to 60 months probation and ordered to pay $6,531 restitution.

• A CBP Officer working at the Houston International Airport in Texas was covertly providing information from a law enforcement database to an individual under investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The CBP Officer also ran queries in government databases for the names of his accomplices’ friends, family and other partners in criminal activities. On October 13, 2009 the CBP Officer was sentenced to 36 months probation and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.

• Background investigator for DHS was caught inventing falsified interviews of persons associated with the background investigations he was supposed to conduct on applicants for employment with the CBP. On May 25, 2010, he pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Michigan and was sentenced to 12 months probation.

• CBP Officer assigned to Field Operations in Tucson, Arizona, misused his official position by running queries in law enforcement and other government databases to obtain information about a person he was suing in a civil case. He was charged with three counts of misdemeanor Misuse of Government Computers. The Officer pleaded guilty and on February 1, 2010, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court of Arizona to 3 years of probation and a fine of $3,000.

• CBPO at a Port of Entry in San Ysidro, California, was assisting a known alien and drug smuggling organization. He had accepted cash bribes from the smuggling organization for allowing vehicles loaded with marijuana and/or illegal aliens to enter the U.S. without inspection. The CBPO laundered his bribe money through a front business and paid bribes of $15,000 to $20,000 a week to Daphiney Caganap, the head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) intelligence unit and anti-smuggling operations at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. She covered up an illegal alien and drug smuggling operation, allowing it to continue for years. When questioned by the FBI, Caganap lied under oath. Even though the government was well aware of Caganap’s bribery, she continued to receive promotions and was appointed as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port Director at the Metro Detroit Airport. After being indicted, Daphiney Caganap was placed on administrative leave (which means that she continued to receive her exorbitant salary, courtesy of American taxpayers). Caganap was facing 36 years in prison. She was sentenced to 3 years of probation and a fine of $3,000. She was allowed to keep all of the bribes she received in the commission of her crimes, as no restitution was ordered.

• U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) District Adjudications Officer (DAO) in San Jose, California was extorting money from immigration applicants, promising to approve citizenship applications for a bribe of $2,000 in cash. The DAO pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 4 years of probation, 100 hours of community service, $3,000 restitution and a $200 fine.

• Immigration Information Officer facilitated the illegal entry of at least 116 aliens from Lebanon and Yemen into U.S. Her scheme included the advance parole of aliens, creation of fictitious alien files and unauthorized approval of applications to replace permanent residence cards. She was charged with alien smuggling, conspiracy and bribery, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months confinement and 12 months probation.

• USCIS employee was stealing money orders received with immigration applications and altering them to make herself the payee. She pocketed $10,527 dollars as a result of this scheme. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months confinement, but almost all of the sentence was suspended, whereas she served only 45 days in prison. She was ordered to pay $5,137 dollars (only half of the amount she stole) and $100 in court costs.

• ICE Special Agent in Miami, Florida was receiving kickbacks from ICE informants who were paid by the agency for their cooperation. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation.

• Supervisory Transportation Security Officer (STSO) had been communicating via the Internet with an undercover CBI agent whom he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. The STSO’s communications were sexually explicit and as a special treat, included a photograph of him wearing his TSA uniform, with his genitals exposed. The STSO was arrested and charged with sending harmful matter to a minor. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 1 year confinement and 5 years probation.

• Two Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) at the Honolulu, Hawaii, International Airport were stealing large sums of money from the checked luggage of Japanese tourists. Both TSOs pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to three and a half months intermittent confinement (periodically showing up to prison to serve out the sentence at their convenience).

• A TSO in Phoenix, Arizona, attempted to pass narcotics to a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Facility in Tucson, Arizona. The TSO pleaded guilty to unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, was sentenced to 1 year probation and ordered to pay a special assessment of $25. The federal inmate in the same case was charged with the same crime and sentenced to 8 months incarceration. The disparity in sentencing is quite striking.

• DHS Deputy Press Secretary Brian Doyle was using the Internet to solicit a minor for sexual acts. Doyle sent pornographic materials to a person he believed to be an underage girl, who was really a Florida law enforcement officer. Doyle couldn't have been more brazen, giving out his title, calling from his DHS office, even sending a photo showing his Department of Homeland Security identity card along with his genitals. Polk County, Fla., Sheriff Grady Judd said, "It doesn't come any more hard core. He graphically explained to a 14-year old girl what he would like to do to her and what he would like her to do to him." This is not the first time Doyle's lust for pornography landed him in trouble. While working at Time Magazine's Washington bureau prior to his DHS employment, Doyle was caught looking at pornography on a receptionist's computer late at night. He admitted to the incident, was reprimanded, and had to issue a formal apology to staffers. Apparently, the DHS wasn’t bothered by this information in conducting their Deputy Press Secretary’s background check. He was charged with 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor and 7 counts of using a computer to seduce a child. Doyle was sentenced to 5 years incarceration and 10 years probation.

• A United States Secret Service contract employee stole approximately 60 laptop computers from a warehouse at the DHS Headquarters. When interviewed, the contract employee admitted to stealing an estimated 60 computers. He pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property, was sentenced to 36 months supervised release and directed to pay a $1,000 fine.

The takeaway from all of this – if you’re inclined to be a criminal, join the Department of Homeland Security first. That way, the seriousness of your crimes notwithstanding, you’ll most likely get away with probation and a silly little fine. Those empowered to enforce the law often consider themselves far above it.

Additional sources:

OIG Special Report: Summary of Significant Investigations January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011

OIG Special Report: Summary of Significant Investigations October 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010

OIG Special Report: Summary of Significant Investigations October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009

Special Report: Summary of Significant Investigations March 1, 2003 - September 30, 2008

Subscribe to receive alerts when Julia Davis publishes new reports

Read more stories by Julia Davis, Los Angeles Homeland Security Examiner

Los Angeles Homeland Security Examiner Julia Davis on Google Blog

Los Angeles Homeland Security Examiner Julia Davis on Facebook

Follow Los Angeles Homeland Security Examiner Julia Davis on Twitter

This post was copied from:



Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:18 AM PST
Updated: Friday, 23 November 2012 9:21 AM PST

Newer | Latest | Older

« February 2013 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28
You are not logged in. Log in
Ben Waiting for it ? Well Look Here!
Robert Lindsay Blog
Old Blogs Go to Joe's Home Web Site
Media Underground
Joe's 911 Truth Report

Alex Ansary