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News :: Human Rights : Politics
Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
01 Mar 2004
If you live in Rhode Island, you could get ten years in prison just for reading this. I have on my desk right now a copy of the new Rhode Island "homeland security" bil proposed by Governor Carcieri. It's an 18 page document, and right on the first page, before talking about weapons of mass destruction or poisoning the water system or anything else that a rational person might consider "terrorism", it says "any person who shall teach or advocate anarchy" will go to prison for ten years. Of course, we're not just going to roll over and let the government fuck us. We're going to fight this the right way, the anarchist way.

Update: The day after submitting the "homeland security" bill, Governor Carcieri withdrew it.
Rhode Island's War on Anarchism You Could Get 10 Years in Prison Just for Reading This

By DAVID GRENIER

You could get ten years in prison just for reading this.

I have on my desk right now a copy of the new Rhode Island"homeland security" bil proposed by Governor Carcieri. It's an 18 page document, and right on the first page, before talking about weapons of mass destruction or poisoning the water system or anything else that a rational person might consider "terrorism", it says "any person who shall teach or advocate anarchy" will go to prison for ten years.

Let me make this clear. I am an anarchist. I write an anarchist blog. Don't be fooled by the pop-culture references and the fact that I maybe don't fit whatever rock-throwing stereotype is the current popular view of anarchism. I am facing ten years in prison for writing if this bill passes, because I am not going to stop being an anarchist just because some dumbass politician wants to tell me what I'm allowed to believe.

In addition, my wife will go to prison for ten years because she runs an anarchist book club that reads the likes of Alexander Skirda's Facing the Enemy: a History of Anarchism from Proudhon to May 68 and Alexander Berkman's Now and After: the ABC of Communist Anarchism. Moreover, anyone who flies any flag other than the U.S. flag will also go to prison for ten years. Technically, this headline is inaccurate, though.

For reading this website there's not a specific penalty. You'd only go to jail for reading the Rhode Island Anarchists site. Since that would be "associating" with an "organization [that] teach[es] and advocate[es] disbelief in or opposition to organized government." Welcome to the land of the free.

Of course, we're not just going to roll over and let the government fuck us. We're going to fight this the right way, the anarchist way. We're not going to beg politicians to make the right decision. We're not going to be content with yet another bullhorn-and-chanting rally. At this point, we're the ones on the front lines, and we're going to do things our way.

They want to make it illegal to teach anarchy? We'll hold a teach-in and get 2,000 people to show up.

We'll call every union who's picket line we've walked (HERE, 1199, UNAP, Steelworkers, and SEIU I'm looking in your direction), we'll call the Narragansetts who we stood in solidarity with over the smoke-shop showdown, we'll call every anti-war activist who's protests we've attended, every Democrat and Green I met as the coordinator for the Kucinich campaign, everyone we stood side by side with on the Living Wage and Rising Sun Mills campaigns. We'll not only remind them that we've stood with them in their struggles, but that while we are on the front line of this fight for freedom, if we are allowed to fall, they'll have their freedoms picked off one by one. We'll get them all to show up, we'll give lectures on the theories, history, and current practice of anarchy and we'll force the State to either give out 2,000 ten year sentences (which it can't afford) or back the fuck down.

That's how you fight with direct action. That's how the IWW won similar "free speech fights" 100 years ago when government had similar laws against dissent. Anything less is just begging for your freedom, which is yours by right. And I'm through begging.

David Grenier is an anarchist from Providence, Rhode Island. His website is http://www.davidgrenier.com/

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
01 Mar 2004
Wow, this is very interesting. Can you verify that there really is such a bill and whatever you have read is not just something floating around? If this is true, it should be big news.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
01 Mar 2004
damn, who knew that Rhode Island would need its own WMD laws
i mean, before it was fine to use Sarin gas in RI, but now you get a 250K fine for it. Damnit!

but seriously, this is pretty crazy. I don't think it'll pass, though:
http://www.davidgrenier.com/securitybill.pdf
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
01 Mar 2004
This is why dates are useful. Gernier posted this several days ago, and the Governor has withdrawn it. See a report on it at http://www.turnto10.com/politics/2860323/detail.html

You can also go to David Grenier's blog and look for "You Could Get 10 Years in Prison Just for Reading This" in the right-hand column for updated info.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
02 Mar 2004
the whole globe pays 'cause you're doing nothing 'bout your cretin governors. things that concern you today in the u.s., are doing a lot of damage to the rest of the world since i don't know when. this law is shit though, so, good luck.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
02 Mar 2004
whether it passes or not, just the attempt should be enough to get people moving.
It would have passed on Sept 12 and will probably reappear the day after the next staged attack.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
02 Mar 2004
Whew! I was born and grew up in Providence. I live a pretty far distance away form there now but this story really had me freaking. Keep the pressure on them. Don't let em' get away with this bullshit!
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
02 Mar 2004
Nice piece David. Hope you are doing well. We miss you here in Seattle. (Hello, too, to my other Boston anarchist comrades). A little over ten years ago I started an anarchist social (TADPOLE- Thinking Anarchists Drinking in Providence, Ole') in RI that was based on the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade in Boston. The social was never meant to "do" anything, it was meant to be a social- drinking, talking, laughing. Since that time, anarchism has become much more popular and anarchists have finally found the strength to organize on the level of NEFAC or FNAC. This is encouraging. It is also why they are afraid of us. Dave's comments are spot on. We are at the forefront now. When we can, we need to fight on our terms.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
03 Mar 2004
More jackasses trying to control people that dont want or need controlling.

Seriously I know it sounds far-out but am I the only one just a little spooked by the notion that both presidential candidates are members of the same secret Skull and Crossbones organization?

Is this coincidence and I am making too much of nothing or are there unknown powerfull people making moves behind the scenes?
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
04 Mar 2004
Hey Wondering. It would seem that there really are unknown and powerful people pulling strings behind the scenes. The fact that Kerry is also a Skull & Bones member is very scary. This is the first time in U.S. History that both candidates are S&B. Do some research on this secret fraternity. They're a frightening bunch.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
04 Mar 2004
for al and wondering
Read more at www.parascope.com

Sloane Coffin, Jr. ('49)
V. Van Dine ('49)
James Buckley ('44)
Bill Buckley ('50)
Hugh Cunnigham ('34)
Hugh Wilson ('09)
Reuben Holden ('40)
Charles R. Walker ('16)
Yale's 'unofficial' Secretary of War, Robert D. French ('10)
Archibald MacLiesh ('15)
Dino Pionzio ('50), CIA Deputy Chief of Station during Allende overthrow
William and McGeorge Bundy
Richard A. Moore ('3?)
Senator David Boren ('63)
Senator John Kerry ('66)
...and, of course, George Herbert Walker Bush. Bush tapped Coffin, who tapped Buckley.

Some other prominent Bonesmen include:


Henry Luce ('20), Time-Life
John Thomas Daniels ('14), founder Archer Daniels Midland
Gifford Pinchot ('89), President Theodore Roosevelt's chief forester
Frederick E. Weyerhaeuser ('96)
Harold Stanley ('08), founder of Morgan Stanley, investment banker
Alfred Cowles ('13), Cowles Communication
Henry P. Davison ('20), senior partner Morgan Guaranty Trust
Thomas Cochran ('04) Morgan partner
Senator John Heinz ('31)
Pierre Jay ('92), first chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
George Herbert Walker, Jr. ('27), financier and co-founder of the NY Mets
Artemus Gates ('18), President of New York Trust Company, Union Pacific, TIME, Boeing Company
William Draper III (50), the Defense Department, UN and Import-Export Bank
Dean Witter, Jr.('44), investment banker
Senator Jonathan Bingham ('36)
Potter Stewart ('36), Supreme Court Justice
Senator John Chaffe ('47)
Harry Payne Whitney ('94), husband of Gertrude Vanderbilt, investment banker
Russell W. Davenport ('23), editor Fortune Magazine, created Fortune 500 list
Evan G. Galbraith ('50), Ambassador to France and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley
Richard Gow ('55), president Zapata Oil
Amory Howe Bradford ('34), husband of Carol Warburg Rothschild and general manager for the New York Times
C. E. Lord ('49), Comptroller of the Currency
Winston Lord ('59), Chairman of CFR, Ambassador to China and assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton administration
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
08 Mar 2004
I don't believe in Anarchy, but probably because i am sort of ignoratnt about it...but geez this is insane!! Who wrote this bill? If it passes will it be legal (due to the patriot acts 1 + 2)? Holy crap. and the govt has people infiltrating protest groups, damn the hippies of the sixties had it easy compared to what people have to go through now in order to voice an opinion that doesn't agree with the right-wing agenda! This country is falling apart... RI will be a prison if that passes! I hope Massachusetts doesn't pass any legislation like that, but to be honest itt might be possible conisdering how we have Mitt Romney in office (grrr!). Thanks for the article anyway!
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
09 Mar 2004
hold the teach-in anyways, just to show that there is enough life and motivation in the groups opposing these type of bills; enough activism now and perhaps a new bill will not be proposed in the fall.
it would be good to display how active anti-patriot act sentiment is: otherwise our rights will slowly be picked off one by one in a process too gradual to stand up against it.

a teach-in would also help address the misconception of anarchism in the media and drunken subculture. (somehting you mentioned concern about, and i know i would benefit from)
thats my advice- i am far away right now, but this makes me fear for the providence i will be going back to.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
09 Mar 2004
cool off my friends little roady is way relaxed for this to pass. Every year all kinds of wacky legislation gets proposed from both sides of the aisle very little of it ever sees the light of day. Career politicians are many things but not dumb. They know better than to alienate large voting blocks ie "the x games vote" for lack of better word. Politics is like business if there is a market for it somebody will provide it. In this case the market for skeptics and anarchists is large.

ps rhode island is still the best state over all to be counter culture in. have no fear my wild friends.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
15 Mar 2004
so, is there going to be a teach-in? i'd help. i agree with meg,it would be an awesome thing to do anyways. why the fuck not?
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
30 Mar 2004
actually, i hate to have to point this out, but the law is already in effect. if you go read the pdf, the proposal is to add the changes, which are underlined. so, techynically, it is already illegal. i doubt any sane prosecutor would actually try to take it for teaching anarchy as we're talking about here- it is referring more to the mainstream definition of "street chaos". but, it still disturbs me, cause the fact that it is there, regardless of its intent, a conservative judge could certainly interpret it that way.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
11 Apr 2004
They forgot about Sacoo&vanzetti case. Did they?
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
19 Apr 2004
This bill doesn´t really suprise me. Anarchy has always terrified people with power and they will do anything do misinform the public on what anarchy truly is. People in the media and in politics want the public to believe that anarchy is the same as chaos and destruction, when anarchy is in fact our desire and neccesity to live in freedom and autonomy. Those people in power might feel safer by putting us in jail, but you can´t jail the fight for freedom.
Re: Rhode Island's War on Anarchism
20 Apr 2004
Wow, a friend told me about it today i just couldn t believe it. Im from Germany. See things arent easy here either but these is just wow. You have all my solidarity.
Just a small suggestion. Instead of teaching Anarchism start teaching about el communismo libertario ;-)