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News ::
Assholes and Angels in Our Midst (english)
06 Nov 2003
Adventures in Meeting the Enemy





Assholes
and Angels in Our Midst:
Adventures in Meeting the Enemy






Author:
Stephen DeVoy
November 6, 2003


Six
months ago I decided to take my website's message to the street -
literally.  Many readers and friends had mentioned to me that the web
is not sufficient for reaching the general population.  It was also
stated that it takes little courage to run a website (I disagree).  I
had set my goal at contributing to the dethroning of Bush and I was
willing to do whatever I needed to in order to take my message to a wider
audience.  After thinking about techniques for bringing the message
to the people, I settled on the bumper sticker as a means of meme
propagation.  Corporate media may own the airwaves and the presses,
but they don't own our bumpers.  Along the way, I've had some
adventures.  Nearly all of my experiences have been positive, but the
negative experiences speak legions about the nature of Bush support. 
This article focuses primarily on the negative experiences.  For each
negative experience mentioned here, I've had at least ten or more positive
experiences where opponents of Bush have been kind and generous.
I created my first
bumper stickers at home using bumper sticker paper, a printer, a clear
spray paint, and a cutting tool.  The process takes some time and is
not highly efficient.  However, it has the virtue requiring minimal
production equipment and can be conducted from start to finish by a single
individual.
After creating my
first set of bumper stickers, I faced the problem of distributing
them.  It seemed to reason that bumper stickers are literature. 
Yes, they carry small statements, but making a statement in print is the
only function of a bumper sticker.  It has no other practical
use.  Since bumper stickers are literature, I reasoned, their
distribution must be covered by the First Amendment.  This, I
thought, must be true even more so when applied to political speech. 
With this observation on my mind, I did some research and discovered that
cities and towns always fail to win court cases where permits are required
for the distribution of political literature, even when provided in
exchange for donations.  For speech, the First Amendment is a permit
for all to distribute literature everywhere within the U.S.  Thus, my
impression was that I could display and distribute bumper stickers on
public property without a permit in exchange for donations.  The
donations could be used to fund my website and to fund the bumper sticker
production process, thereby creating a self funding mechanism for the
creation and distribution of propaganda.  It worked.
I
purchased a small table, small chair, and a plastic letter sorter. 
On one weekday morning I took the subway system to Park Street in Boston,
set up my table and chair in the Boston Common, and sat.  Nearby,
Food Not Bombs was distributing food, another individual was distributing
newspapers, and someone else was vending T-shirts.  After about an
hour, a man walked up, looked at the stickers, smiled widely, and donated
a few dollars for two of them.  Shortly thereafter, another man stood
in front of me, looked at the stickers, and made an angry face.  He
began hyperventilating.  He was a middle-aged white guy. 
Perhaps the bold "Fuck Bush" bumper sticker with the inverted
American Flag was a little beyond his expectations.  After all, it
was June of 2003 and nearly all Americans were silently and sheepishly
biting their tongues.  The disturbed man left, walking about in
different directions, looking for someone.  After a few minutes I
forgot about him.
Suddenly, an MDC
police SUV pulled up.  A police officer emerged, walked straight
towards me, looked at the bumper stickers, and asked me if I had a permit
to sell them.  I replied that the First Amendment is my permit and
that the city cannot require me to have a permit to distribute literature
and accept donations.  He asked me if I wanted to be arrested. 
I told him, "Well, of course I do not wish to be arrested and I will
comply with your request should you ask me to leave, but I want you to
know that this will not be the end of the story.  It is my
Constitutional right to do what I am doing and I will pursue it in court
should it become necessary."  The officer looked angry and
threatened again to arrest me.  I asked him for his name and badge
number.  At this point he calmed down and just said, "please
go."






My
first attempt to distribute bumper stickers in Boston
Common.  Note the small collection and the modest operation.


Close
up of my set up that offended the RepubliNazis.


Food
Not Bombs, another anarchist operation, running simultaneously and
physically close to my own operation.




MDC
Pig SUV


MDC
Pig's Ass


MDC
Pig Seeking Donuts?




With plans of calling
the ACLU swimming in my head, I decided that I would not throw in the
towel for the day.  If MDC cops are insufficiently intelligent to
understand our Constitutional rights, that was no reason to believe that
Cambridge police would be equally as stupid.  I packed up my stuff,
took several pictures of the cop, and reentered the subway.  I took
the Red Line to Harvard Square, found a spot in the pit, set up my table
and chair, and continued anew.  While sitting there, I pulled out my
cell phone, called the Cambridge Police Department, and asked them whether
I needed a permit to distribute bumper stickers and accept donations in
Harvard Square.  An intelligent sounding individual told me that he
believed that it was covered by the First Amendment but that he would
prefer to transfer me to the city's licensing board.  Upon
transferring me, a woman with a competent sounding voice responded that I
do not need a permit.  My activities would be legal.
With that reply, I
made a sign and placed it in front of my table.  The sign read,
"anti-fascist bumper stickers."  Within minutes a young man
from the Cambridge Arts Council approached and asked me if I had a
permit.  I informed him that I had just telephoned the police and the
licensing board and that both verified that I had the right to do what I
was doing without a permit.  He smiled and told me that he would
check it out.  He did not attempt to stop me in the meantime. 
The difference between Cambridge and Boston was vast though the distance
was a mere four subway stops.
Hoping to avoid more
contact with the Arts Council guy, I moved my table down the street about
1/2 block and set it up in font of a bank on the shady side of the
sidewalk, right next to the building.  Instantly pedestrians began
stopping.  They loved the stickers.  Within two hours I had
distributed all of them and took in enough donations to make nearly twice
as many for my next visit to the city.  During these two hours,
however, a Harvard University Police Officer approached and told me that I
could not distribute my literature there.  I informed him that the
Cambridge Police and the Licensing Board verified that it was legal. 
The cop looked at me, smiled, and said, "Look, I like your bumper
stickers and I don't like Bush.  However, the building you are in
front of is on Harvard land and there as an easement of about two yards in
front of the building.  If you move beyond two yards, I will have no
problem with you distributing your bumper stickers, but you will be in the
middle of the side walk and you need a permit for blocking the
sidewalk.  However, if you move to the edge of the sidewalk just next
to the street, I think you will be legal."
This was a vast
improvement!  A cop was helping me to position myself to distribute
bumper stickers without getting in legal trouble!  I moved to his
suggested location and the day went very well.  I even made a few
friends, both within the Harvard community and within the homeless
community.
After going home, I
purchased more bumper sticker paper, ink for my printer, and clear spray
paint.  I made more of each of the stickers.  I also put them on
my car to be sure that they would hold up to the elements.  My garage
became my print shop and my car became my test bed.  As time passed,
I improved the process.  I also used the money I took in to purchase
better software for designing bumper stickers.
My
third visit to the same location in Harvard Square coincided with the week
of a College Republicans conference in Boston.  Things turned hostile
that week.  The first hostile incident began with a young white man,
about twenty eight years of age, with a crew cut and black hair.  He
stood in front of me, while others were looking at my bumper stickers, and
with an angry look stated, "You are pathetic."  I ignored
him at first, but he he kept repeating himself.  I was sitting on a
low chair in front of a low table.  He was standing.  From his
perspective I must have looked small, but I am not small.  I looked
up and asked, "Why do you think this is pathetic?"  He
asked, "You hate George Bush, don't you?"  I responded,
"Yes, I do hate George Bush.  Tell me why I shouldn't hate
George Bush."
The
brownshirt looked like he was about to explode.  He yelled, "You
have no right to hate George Bush.  He's our leader!   I
fought in the first Gulf War and those Iraqis are worthless shits. 
They deserve to die."
I ignored him once
again as more people were crowding around reading my bumper
stickers.  They had heard him and seemed to be crowding around in an
effort to stand by me.  Several of them responded to his words by
asking for a large number of bumper stickers and providing a nice
donation.  The brownshirt backed off a few yards and watched. 
Seeing people accepting my stickers and donating made him furious. 
However, like most brownshirts, he was a coward.  So long as many
witnesses were around, he would do nothing.  He continued to back off
and I lost track of him.  The crowd dissipated and I was once again
alone.  Suddenly, while I was looking in another direction, he came
running up and kicked my table in the air.  Bumper stickers flew
everywhere.  I had been sitting for a few hours and my legs were
cramped.  I tried to spring to my feet but it took a few seconds as
they were numb from sitting so long.  Once upon my feet, I ran after
him.  While I was running after him, pedestrians began picking up my
stickers and table and repairing the damage he had done.  I didn't
even know these people, but I was impressed.  Upon catching up to him
he turned towards me.  I made a fist was intent upon leveling him
when he said, "Go ahead, I'd like to see you get
arrested."  I thought about it for a few seconds and realized
that that was exactly what would happen.  These cowardly brownshirts
break the law and violate the rights of others and then run to the cops
for protection.  I returned to my table and continued.
About an hour later a
water balloon was thrown at me from the direction of the street to which
my back was turned.  Two people were looking at the stickers, talking
to me when it happed.  They couldn't believe their eyes.  This
was Cambridge.  Such behavior is not a normal response to dissent in
Cambridge.  However, as I would discover over time, the universe
seemed intent upon assisting me with my activities.  The water
balloon, though traveling at great velocity, merely bounced on the
sidewalk a few times, came to a stop, and then someone walking by jumped
on it, letting it harmlessly pop beneath his feet.  No damage was
done.
Next
passed an older man well known in Cambridge for his Republican political
activities.  Let's just call him by his first name,
"Vince."  Vince stood in front of me, looked down at my
table, shook his head, called me a traitor, and left.  Each time I
came out to the square, for the next several weeks, Vince would repeat
this ritual.  Sometimes he would be more insulting.  I would
reply by calling him a fascist.  The antipathy grew.
Two
days later I set up in the same spot again.  A man walked up, read my
bumper stickers, called them "uncreative and stupid" and told me
that I would be killed soon.  He told me to watch my back as I would
never know when he'd show up.  Shortly thereafter a tall white guy
with a rather stupid looking face left Au Bon Paine, came over to my
table, and called me a terrorist.  As usual, I attempted to ignore
him but he would not go away.  Fortunately, a woman was looking at my
stickers at the time.  When she saw that he was hostile, she decided
to stay in order to discourage him from violence.  She was from
Portugal.  I've noticed that women are braver than men.  On
several occasions it is women that stayed and helped when violent
brownshirts approached.  Women have also been more frequent
purchasers of bold bumper stickers than men have.
As
if they were all pumped out of the same "Stepford Bush-Hole"
factory (which seems to be Fox News), this brownshirt immediately asked if
I hated George Bush.  "Yes," I relied.  "I do
hate George Bush."  He told me that I had no right to criticize
the commander-in-chief.  As if he were the ghost of the previous
violent brownshirt, he stated, "He is our leader."  Having
heard this again, I just had to say something.  I told him that the
German word "Fuhrer" means leader and that his reaction is the
same that I would expect should I be doing the same thing in Nazi Germany,
only with anti-Hitler bumper stickers.  He said, "Yes, you are
right.  The Germans should have supported Hitler since he was their
leader and you should support Bush for the same reason."  The
obvious absurdity of this statement struck me.  Perhaps there is no
difference between supporters of Bush and supporters of Hitler, in any
meaningful sense.  He continued, "Bush is defending your
freedom."  To this I asked, "What freedom of mine is he
defending and how?"  He was tongue tied.  I repeated the
question.  He responded that, "Saddam was going to hit us with
weapons of mass destruction."  I pointed out that no weapons of
mass destruction had been found and that Bush had lied.  He stated
that they would be found (this was back in June, it is now November and no
such weapons have been found).
The
brownshirt decided to take another tact.  He said, "You should
love Bush.  He gives you your freedom.  Saddam would never
permit you to do this in Iraq."  I laughed and told him that
Saddam would have been quite happy to see me distributing anti-Bush bumper
stickers in Iraq.  He said, "You know what I mean!"  I
replied, "Yes, but Bush doesn't 'give' me my freedom.  Bush has
done nothing but attempt to take away my freedom.  My right to free
speech is inalienable.  It exists as part of my nature.  No
President can give me a part of myself.  Bush does NOT give me the
right to free speech!"
Since that didn't
work, he decided to try something else.  He looked down at me in my
chair and said, "You are lucky to be an American.  There you sit
on that chair on this street in front of that table!  You are
lucky!"  Once again, I laughed, "OK, this chair costs
$4.99.  The table costs $5.99.  I purchased them.  American
did not purchase them.  The street is dirty and I am currently
unemployed.  What do you mean that I am lucky to be an
American?  After all, if I were lucky to be an American there would
be no need for me to come here and oppose Bush.  America would be in
great shape.  The fact is that America is not in great shape."
The brownshirt, once
again, called me a traitor.  The Portuguese woman attempted to argue
with him.  He asked her if she was a foreigner.  She replied,
"Yes."  He said, "if America sucks, what are you doing
here?"  I told him that plenty of countries suck and I've
visited them.  Why should America be any different.  He was
losing the argument.  A crowd was forming and people were smirking at
him.  He began to back off.  As he left he screamed,
"Terrorist!"
The Arts Council guy
walked by and told me that he had called the police earlier regarding
whether or not I needed a permit and that they stated that I did not need
a permit.  It was getting late so I decided to return home.
Meanwhile, an
individual posted anonymously on Boston IndyMedia a call for all
anti-Authoritarians to gather in Harvard Square on July 25th for a
"be-in."  The idea was to come and do whatever you
pleased.  People were encourage to express their dissent over the
war.  I decided that I would show up for the event.
In early July I came
out to Harvard Square on a Wednesday in the afternoon, set up my table,
and began distributing bumper stickers.  Vince passed by, shook his
head, and left.  He went into a building.  Within minutes a cop
came, took out a ticket book, and asked me for a permit.  I told him
that the First Amendment is my permit and that I had already cleared my
operation with the police department, the city's licensing board, and the
Arts Council.  He asked me for the names of the individuals at the
police department that had talked with me.  I told him, truthfully,
that I did not write them down.  He told me to leave or I would be
arrested.  I decided to leave but to follow up on this one.  I
had not followed up on the Boston Common incident merely because I found
another venue and was satisfied with it.  However, I had no intention
of looking for another venue when I knew for sure that what I was doing
was legal.  I packed up, took the train home and then called the
Cambridge Police Department.  I explained the situation to the
dispatcher.  He told me that we would put me on hold and then hung up
on me.  I called him again, one minute later and repeated my
request.  Once again, he put me on hold only this time no one
answered.  I called again, informed him that he could either speak to
me or to my lawyer.  He connected me to the officer in charge of the
current shift of all officers in Harvard Square.  This officer knew
immediately what officer had made me leave and what the issue was. 
He informed me that I was within my rights and that he would speak to the
officer.  He informed me that it would be wise for me not to use a
table as their were laws regarding the placement of structures such as
tables that could be enforced.  While I doubt that those laws were
intended to apply to small, foldable, cloth tables used for literature
distribution, I agreed to change my mode of presentation.  The
officer gave me his name and told me that if the cop showed up again, I
could call him.
Rather
than using a table, I decided to stick my bumper stickers on sheets of Plexiglas
and display them by leaning them against a wall.  This had the
disadvantage that people could not touch the stickers until they selected
one.  People like to feel the things they acquire.  It slowed
down my distribution process by about 33%, but it did not stop my
distribution process.  It had the advantage of being easier to set up
and resistance to rain.  This change made me more independent of the
weather, so it had some positive effects.  Rather than sitting in a
chair behind a table, I was now standing next to a wall with a row of
Plexiglas sheets, each bearing about five bumper stickers.  Since I
had been at it for a while, people knew to look for me.  The change
did not harm my operation excessively.  It had another, unexpected
benefit.  Standing made it obvious that I was not small. 
Brownshirts are cowards.  When I stood up, fewer Bush-lovers harassed
me.
The first week that I
set up the Plexiglas was disappointing.  It was easier to not notice
that I was there.  Many people just wandered by without
looking.  I came to the conclusion that it was not worth my time to
do this alone.  When alone, it was difficult to see the displays and
when alone the police were more likely to attempt to run me off.  In
fact, this happened one more time.  Another officer tried the same
trick.  I told him the name of his boss and that his boss had
indicated that I do have the right to do this.  He said he'd be
back.  He never came back.
On July 25th we had
our "be-in."  Several small groups and various individuals
showed up.  A black-masked anarchist group showed up, huddled behind
a sheet reading "Class War" and then left for a party.  We
never saw them again.  Some people came and asked where the protest
was.  We told them it was not a protest, it was a
"be-in."  The idea was to do whatever you wanted to and
that dissent was encouraged.  Some people were disappointed. 
They expected leaders to be there telling them what to do.  However,
about half of the attendees understood the concept and embraced it. 
Among these were myself and a few individuals that would become the core
of an ongoing movement to continue this form of dissent.
The
most hilarious and effective individual to show us was Nick.  Nick
had a large, actual size cut-out, of George Bush holding a sign that read
"Will Kill 4 Oil."  I knew I had seen Nick before, but it
took some time to remember exactly when and where.  Nick had once
mistaken me for a cop at a demonstration.  He photographed me. 
When I confronted him about it, he explained that he thought I was a
cop.  I told him who I was and that I owned the Stop Fascism!
website.  He recognized my name and the name of the website.  I
showed him my drivers license to prove that I was who I said I was. 
I also took a photo of him just in case he tried to publish mine.  We
parted on good terms.  Now we were working together in Harvard Square
in public dissent.
Another highly
effective individual, Gustavo, showed up.  He had an American flag
and was asking people to be patriotic and sign up for the war in
Iraq.  In the course of the day, no one volunteered.  There were
many others too.  Together we made a motley crew of dissents. 
We were amusing and people enjoyed it.  My bumper stickers
complemented the operation and provided a means of future funding for
placard paper and markers that we would make available to all that would
choose to join us.  It also financed the printing of propaganda and
psyops stickers (small stickers handed out to individuals for the purpose
of spreading anti-Regime messages).
At
the end of the first "be-in," we decided to begin a weekly
occupation of Harvard Square open to all dissidents.  Our goal has
been (and continues to be) an eclectic display of disorganized
dissent.  During the course of every Saturday, many people stop by
and join us.  Some join us briefly.  Some return on subsequent
weeks.  Our "group" consists of individualist anarchists,
liberals, socialists, communists, and an occasional green.  However,
we continue to be open to everyone.
As my own contribution
changed from passive distributor of bumper stickers to active participant
in aggressive dissent, the nature of my interactions with the people of
Harvard Square evolved.  Having more dissenters present reduced the
frequency of harassment by brownshirts.  Brownshirts are, by nature,
cowards.  Anyone that devotes him or herself to a leader and takes
the "safe path" of active support of the regime lacks individual
initiative and seeks the protection of the regime as a child in a
kindergarten seeks the approval and attention of his or her kindergarten
teacher.  Brownshirts are losers to the core.  They dare not
physically attack groups of individuals that outnumber them.  Of
course, this does not stop them from being hostile, it just modifies their
mode of hostility.
During the second week
of the occupation, Vince came by.  The growing movement of Bush
bashing dissidents seemed to disturb him greatly.  He began yelling
at one of us stating that what we were doing was illegal.  Of course,
Vince was wrong.  In his mind, any dissent should be illegal, but, in
fact, it is not illegal.  I find it absurd that I even need to state
this, however things are not as they were in America.  On this
particular day, Vince seemed determined to stop us.  He yelled at me
as well and then went storming through the square, shouting something at
the members of the Revolutionary Communist Party engaged in distributing
Revolutionary Worker.  Vince was losing his battle.  Shortly
thereafter another cop showed up.  This time it was the same cop that
caused me to call the Cambridge Police.  He demanded, once again, a
permit.  I informed him that following the previous encounter, I had
contacted his boss.  I pulled his boss' telephone number and name out
of my bag.  He backed off.  It is my belief that Vince (the
Republican politician) has been sending the police to harass us.
Republican antics
morphed into "drive by shootings" of the mouth.  The
typical Republican reaction was to walk by quickly, turn their heads
slightly towards us just after passing, followed by shouts of,
"Losers," or "Traitors," or "Saddam Lovers,"
or "Get a real job..."  They always walked away quickly,
trying to melt back into the crowd.  The wall behind me is the
entrance way into a train station.  From about the waste up, the wall
is glass.  As these Republicans descended into the station they would
knock on the glass.  As I turned around they'd give me the finger and
disappear quickly into the station.  This is typically Republican
cowardice.  The funny thing is that they fail to understand something
very important.  I actually want to piss them off.  Next to
seeing the bright smile of a Bush supporter happy to revel in dissent, the
next best high I enjoy is seeing a pissed off Republican give me the
finger.  I have always considered it a salute of respect when it
comes from an enemy.
The next week even the
Republicans and their police agents seemed to resign themselves to the
fact that we were there to stay.  Harassment became almost nil. 
More and more news about the fact that Bush had lied began appearing on
the media.  Even some Republicans gave us words of support.  Our
primary focus was Bush bashing and shaming Americans for supporting the
war.  Nick, however, showed some major initiative and began focusing
on Republican bashing.  This was a generalization of our
technique.  The problem was expanded from their leader, George Hilter
Bush, to their followers - the Republicans in the street.  At first I
was a little uncomfortable with this, but as I thought about it, I could
see Nick's brilliant move for what it was - role reversal.  We all
came to embrace this technique and the technique evolved.
Nick would stand on a
small wall above the foot traffic and declare that Republicans are
unpatriotic, anti-American, war mongers.  I joined in by creating a
sign "Republicans: The Other White Meat."  Most
non-Republicans loved our new tact.  They would laugh and applaud as
they passed.  Occasionally, we'd see them looking at one of their
friends.  Their friend would usually have a read face.  It was
clear that he or she was the token Republican in their group.  For
the most part we got "thumbs up."  However, Republicans
were not amused.  Many of them were obviously angry.  Of course,
we enjoyed the fact that they were pissed off.  After all, we'd been
putting up with their shit since 9/11 and we'd had enough of it.  We
decided to make Republican bashing our new theme, at least for the time
being.  New signs went up: "How do you know that your Republican
neighbor is not a terrorist?"  "Cook Republican well to
avoid Mad Cowboy disease."  "Deport Republicans before they
deport you."  "Better dead than Republican!"  The
angrier the Republicans got, the more amused we were.
Now, this is not a
common protest technique.  Most protestors are concerned about media
coverage, their image, and being politically correct.  The thought of
being politically correct never crossed our minds.  We were there to
run a psyops project, not to make friends.  As for the media, we've
ignored the media.  The corporate media is not our friend.  The
corporate media always distorts reality to serve the fascist state. 
We decided that at least in Harvard Square every Saturday, WE were the
media.  Our image has not been important to us as well.  In
fact, we've played with that as an issue.  Alternatively we have held
up signs telling people to grow their hair and smoke dope.  No, we
don't support drugs, but we do support rebellion and individual
sovereignty.  The point of making such a statement is the act of
making the statement.  Being free means being free to say whatever we
choose.  The more we push our liberties, the more liberties we have.
In time we began to
generalize the reverse psychology theme of our project.  While
Republican bashing is still our current major theme, we've also been
demanding that "Whitey go back to Europe!"  "Gringos
out of North America!" and other such themes.  Coming from a
group whose members include many white males, this looks rather
hilarious.  Nearly all of the people passing by comprehend what we
are doing - reverse psychology.  However, that does not prevent some
from pontificating to us.
One older white woman
stopped by and asked me furiously, "Do you really think you're doing
any good with that sign?"  Now, before you take her seriously,
this woman was like a misplaced punctuation mark in a sentence.  She
didn't quite fit in.  There were probably one hundred "thumbs
up" before she began her diatribe.  Obviously, we were doing
some good.  I replied that I did think we were doing good.  I
explained that it was a psyops project and that we were using reverse
psychology.  She puffed her chest out and said, "Well, I'm a
clinical Psychologist."  My first thought was, "Gee, you
must save a lot of money on counseling," but I bit my tongue and
didn't insult her.  I told her that for every irate person such as
herself, there were hundreds more that either understood what we were
doing or even agreed with what we were doing.  "Well, it won't
work!" she protested.  "Are you sure you're not just hoping
that it won't work," I enquired?  "You won't convert anyone
doing that," she said.  "Ah, but we'll encourage others to
be bolder in speaking out, won't we?" I answered.  She shook her
head and hobbled off.
One woman passed by,
pointed at herself, and stated emphatically (with stress on the word
"I"), "I am a Republican!"  My reply was that she
was a very attractive Republican.  She smiled.  The point is,
you can bash in such a way that people know that it is being done for its
psychological effect.  This makes them think.
One group of
individuals that have been especially pesky are Russian immigrants living
in Cambridge.  Some have been supportive of us, but quite a few have
been very hostile.  One man stands out strongly.  He was a
Russian of about the same age as myself.  He told me that we were
spoiled brats.  "If we had been living in Soviet Russia,"
he shouted, "we would be shot."  I've heard similar
arguments from other immigrants that have come from oppressive regimes, so
this did not surprise me.  I asked him of what relevance Soviet
Russia was to the question of my right to dissent freely in the United
States.  His argument centered on the notion that since there are
places in the world less free than the United States, even under Bush, we
should shut up and be happy.  I work with many Poles and most of them
have been very supportive of my activities.  Poland, like Soviet
Russia, passed through many years under a Stalinist regime.  However,
Poland's history is very different from that of Russia.  Before
Poland became a Soviet Satellite, it was occupied by Nazi Germany. 
Before the Nazi occupation, Poland was a democratic republic.  Poles
had had their freedom and lost it, first brutally to the Nazis and later
to the Soviets.  Poles knew what it was to have freedom and then lose
that freedom.  The experience of Russia is very different. 
Russia transitioned very quickly (in a matter of a few years) between
being a brutal Monarchist state to a brutal Leninist and later Stalinist
state.  Russians, currently, enjoy far more freedom than they had
under the Soviet system.  The Russian experience has gone from
absolute despotism, to a "people's dictatorship," to a Mafioso
system of less than perfect freedom.  In sum, Russians have been
gaining freedom, albeit very slowly, without losing freedom.  It is
outside of the Russian experience to have our kind of liberty and then
lose it.  One does not miss what one never had.  To lose one's
liberty is far more painful than to never have it.  This is a concept
that this man could not understand.
As he began to lose
the argument, he tried to change subjects.  He began attacking me as
an individual claiming that I was uneducated.  I pointed out that I
had two degrees, one in Computer Science and one in Philosophy. 
"You're not a computer scientist!" he said.  "I can
prove it!"  He then asked me who Alan Turing was.  When I
answered him correctly, he asked, "What is a Turing
machine."  When I answered that, he tried to change the subject
again.  He was clearly disturbed to be losing the argument on every
path so he began shouting.  He then claimed that I was shouting at
him, left, and melted into the crowd.  About an hour later he came by
again with a bag in his hand.  He pulled out a new pair of sneakers
and looked at them proudly.  "This is freedom!" he
stated.  My thought was that, "this is freedom to a man that
thinks with his feet," but I held it back.
Shortly thereafter, a
short white woman with long black hair showed up and informed me that I
should be shot.  I asked her why.  She replied that we should
not question our leader.  I suggested that she shoot me
herself.  She replied that she just might.
At around 9:30 PM I
was the last one left.  Two guys came up to me and started talking to
me as if they knew me.  The strange thing is that they didn't know
me.  A homeless friend of mine showed up and stood next to me. 
One of the two guys in front of me told him to leave.  He
refused.  He stated that I was his friend and that he was not going
away.  To my side another guy showed up with a bicycle.  It was
clear that the three were coordinating something.  The two guys in
front of me told my friend to leave, once again.  I told them that he
didn't have to leave and that he was welcome to stay.  The two looked
at each other and then began to walk away and watch from a distance. 
The guy on the bicycle backed off as well.  My friend Mike looked at
me and said, "I've been on the street a long time, this is a hit or a
robbery, you need to pack up quickly and go.  I'll help
you."  So we packed up and he walked into the train station with
me making sure that I got on the train without harm.
After that experience
I decided that I would advise my fellow dissenters to make sure that the
last two of us always left at the same time.  These three guys showed
up several times, at the end of the day, over the next few weeks. 
Each time they showed up, too many people were around.  One time it
turned out that I was once again alone.  One of us needed to leave
early and I foolishly decided to stay on.  Just as these two guys
showed up again, a Jewish woman approached and began asking me about my
stickers.  We had a long conversation.  I explained to her that
the two guys intended to mug me or something and that I should pack up
while she was there.  She told me that she thought something was
up.  I think the universe sent her to provide a witness and
discourage an attack.  She helped me pack up and leave.
I keep mentioning the
universe because many odd things have happened to assist us in our
operation.  Luck seems to always have been on our side.  Even
some trivially strange things have happened.  For example, I stuck a
"Fuck Bush" kitchen magnet on the train station.  It is a
very weak magnet.  Despite the rain, the wind, the sun, and the
thousands of people passing by and despite the fact that many stickers
have been removed and ads removed, the "Fuck Bush" kitchen
magnet remains to this day, about two and a half months after it was
placed there.  I am an atheist and I don't believe there is a God,
but I do believe that we are on the side of good and that the universe,
for reasons unknown to me, prefers good over evil.
A
short time ago another violent incident took place.  This one started
as a threat on a member of the RCP engaged in distributing Revolutionary
Worker.  The RCP is not part of our operation.  They have their
own operation distributing their newspaper.  However, my own personal
experiences with this group has been good and I consider them
comrades.  An older white man with a veterans hat walked up to one of
the RCP members.  He was holding a very large board with what looked
like a nail sticking out of it.  He started calling the RCP guy a
"fucking communist" and threatened to "bash his head
in."  I came to the aid of the RCP member, asked the man why he
was holding up the board, and asked him to leave.  He told me he'd
bash both our fucking brains in.  I asked him to go ahead and try
it.  He began walking backwards, slowly, away from me.  As he
walked away he started calling me a "Japanese Lover." 
Perhaps he was involved in WWII.  I don't know.  In any case, I
told him that he was correct, I do love the Japanese.  He continued
walking down the street shouting.  A few days later a homeless friend
told me that he was attacked by that same man.  The man, still
wearing the veterans hat, pulled out a knife and slashed his leg while he
was lying on a sidewalk.  A woman came to his aid.  The man
slashed her arm.  He was arrested and released.
There
was another attempt by brownshirts to use the police to shut us
down.  A young white male accompanied by two females began haranguing
us.  The two females distanced themselves from him.  He told me
and the anarchist next to me that if there weren't surveillance cameras
everywhere, he'd kick our asses.  I asked him why that was stopping
him.  Brownshirts seem to be under the false impression that anyone
holding an antiwar sign is a pacifist.  Most anarchists are not
pacifists.  I am certainly not a pacifist.  I invited him to
attack me.  The other anarchist joined in the invitation, "Go
for it," he said.  They guy sheepishly walked away.  A few
minutes later one of Vince's friends came by and told me that the police
were talking about us.  Ten minutes later a cop stationed himself in
front of us and began watching us, talking on a cell phone.  Thirty
minutes later five MBTA (train) cops showed up and began tearing our signs
down.  We asked why they were doing it and they replied that it was
illegal to hang signs on the train station.  We pointed out that
there were many other signs on the station, including commercial and
"for rent" signs.  They stated that they received a
complaint and all of our signs must go.  They told me to take down my
bumper stickers too.  However, I later discovered that this was
incorrect.  Provided I do not affix the Plexiglas sheets to anything,
they are legal.  We asked the Cambridge cop why he had called the
MBTA police.  He told me that someone complained.  Dozens of
people came to our aid and began shouting at the police.  These were
not just protestors.  These were people that just happened to be
passing by.  Many of them joined us.  We held up the signs that
the police had torn down and many individually held up bumper
stickers.  The police could not make us leave, at least not
legally.  We stayed.  We also came back and continued our
operation each week thereafter.  The same homeless friend that had
his leg slashed came up and informed me that he had observed the young
white guy that threatened us talking to the police and demanding that they
remove our anti-Bush signs.  Once again, Bush supporters are cowards
and expect the police to silence dissent.

Recently a man and
woman stopped by.  It was late and I was the last one there.  I
decided to begin staying late again.  Perhaps I'm too unconcerned
about myself, but I have a deep feeling that I should put everything I can
into this cause.  The woman asked me if I were an anarchist.  I
answered affirmatively.  "Anarchism will never work," she
stated.  "I could just drop you right here and now, if there
were no police."  I found this an odd statement. 
Remembering that I was alone and that the man could be her witness, I
decided not to use my standard response.  Rather than saying,
"well, why don't you try it," I figured that it might be a set
up and she would claim that I threatened her rather than the other way
around.  I pointed out to her that in an anarchist society she could
attempt to attack me but that the consequences of doing so would outweigh
the benefit and that in a society where she could not go to the police for
protection she would need to think carefully about the eventual
consequences of such acts.  For example, there would be nothing to
prevent me or others allied with me from seeking retribution at a later
place and time, others would look down on her for her behavior, and
without a good reputation she might find survival in an anarchist world
difficult.  The man chimed in claiming that I'm not an anarchist and
that I'm just trying to make money.  I pointed out that there are
much easier ways of making money.  He asked what I would do if
someone handed me six million dollars, would I take it?  "Of
course I would," I explained.  I could do a lot of good with six
million dollars.  "Oh, so you'd just give it away?" he
asked.  As I was attempting to explain to him that I would use the
money to set up a self financing operation that would continuously effect
social change thereby benefiting people more than simply giving away six
million would, he interrupted me after the word, "No" and
claimed that I was just a capitalist.  The interesting thing to me is
not the confrontation.  The interesting thing is the underlying
assumption set.  Here are the assumptions.  (1) People are evil
and will attack others unless there is something to stop them.  (2)
People only engage in activities where money is exchanged in order to
enrich themselves.  Clearly, neither of these assumptions must be
true.  However, what is interesting is the way these assumptions
parallel the assumptions of other fascists.
Having discussed the
reaction of Republicans, I thought it would be educational to include some
information about the reactions of other fascists.  My point in
describing the following incidents is that the New Republicans are, in
fact, fascist.  Their techniques are the same as other fascists and
their reasoning is the same.
A Zionist came up to
me and told me he hated Bush too.  I explained to him that I was very
angry at the slaughter of Iraqis for Bush's profit.  The man looked
at me as if I were from another planet and said, "I hope he does kill
all the Arabs.  It's not the issue of killing Arabs that bothers me,
it's the effect on the economy.  The economy is terrible." 
The assumption here is that it is OK to murder provided you are well paid.
A pair of Zionists
came up to me and told me that they found my allusions to an association
between Bush and Nazis offensive.  More specifically, they told me
that "as Jews we find your use of the Nazi theme
offensive."  In question were two bumper stickers.  One had
Bush dressed up like Hitler with the statement, "Impeach the Punk Ass
Dictator."  The other had Bush in front of a Nazi flag with the
statement, "Ein Volk.  Ein Reich.  Ein Idiot" (One
people, one regime, one idiot.)  I told them that as an American I
did not find the use of the Nazi theme in disparaging Bush to be
offensive.  What I did find offensive was the notion that one people
owned World War II and could use it exclusively as their property, despite
the fact that 10 million Russians, millions of Poles, and millions of
others died at Hitler's hands.  Yes, Hitler was a monster and the
Genocide against the Jews might be one of the greatest crimes of genocide
in human history, but that it was a crime against humanity and not only
against Jews alone.  More importantly, I asserted, is that I am
comparing Bush to the Hitler of the 1930s and not the Hitler of the
1940s.  If you don't want another Hitler to arise, is it not better
to remove him from power before he commits genocide?  They had a
difficult time refuting this statement.
Last week two Nazis
confronted me.  These were real Nazis.  They freely admitted to
being National Socialists and denounced Jews repeatedly.  I let them
know that I disagree with their position and denounced
anti-Semitism.  One of the Nazis decided to argue with me about
anarchism.  He echoed the beliefs of the Republican couple that
confronted me the week before.  His argument rested on the same
assumptions.  He claimed that if there were no police, he could
attack me and take my stuff.  I replied that if there were no police
and if I believed that individuals such as himself would come and attack
me, I would be armed.  His argument turned to the absurd claim that
in an anarchist society there would be no guns because no one would
organize anyone to make them.  This is a contradiction. 
Anarchism is not against organization.  Anarchism is against
hierarchy.  There is no reason to assume that production of complex
items would stop under anarchism.  However, the essential point is
this: like the Republicans his belief system rests in the notion that
people are basically evil.  Moreover, his sentiment about Jews
parallels the sentiment a previous Zionist expressed about Arabs. 
The New Republican = The Zionist = The Old Nazi.
Those of you that have
been following my website for the last two years know that I have been
attacked repeatedly by Zionist brownshirts.  As you can see from this
article, Republican brownshirts abound.  The term "brownshirt"
itself arises from Hitler's private thugs that waged terror against
dissent.  These brownshirts are the assholes in our midst. 
Those who come to our aid are the angels in our midst.  Good will
prevail but the path to good involves struggle and solidarity.  We
will not convert the brownshirts.  We will defeat them.


Other
evil deeds of Republicans
Good
deeds of angels


One
Republican spat upon my bumper sticker display.
One Republican
tore down a sign and stomped on it.
Several
Republicans in many instances engaged in long rambling diatribes
while screaming hysterically.
See also:
http://www.stop-fascism.org
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