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Commentary :: Media
Fact-Checking the Herald
12 Apr 2005
Modified: 08:37:34 AM
Dismantling the Herald's Disinformation Drive
Anarcho-Terrorists Invade Boston
Dismantling the Herald's Disinformation Drive
By Micah Lee
The Student Underground

February 28, 2005. It was a cold Monday morning when the Boston Herald published an article entitled, "FBI: Anarchists Operating in Hub." In a highly untruthful attempt to inform the public of local anarchists groups, Michele McPhee, wrote an article that was about the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Boston Police's investigation of the Boston Anarchist Black Cross (ABC). The article contained a picture of Dominic Giannone getting violently arrested with the caption, "The Anarchist Black Cross Federation has expressed solidarity with 'comrades,' such as Dominic Giannone, who was arrested during the Democratic National Convention." The day that the article was published, NRG Power Station in Somerset, MA requested that the police issue a no trespass order against Giannone, who is an employee at the plant.

McPhee's article contains numerous questionable facts about the Boston ABC. She claims that it is a member of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF), which FBI Director Robert Mueller mentioned in a congressional briefing about domestic terrorism; the Boston ABC is a member of the Anarchist Black Cross Network (ABCN), and is in no way affiliated with the ABCF.

"We found out from our contacts in Los Angeles who are part of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation that Michele McPhee did contact them in regards to her article," said Tania Vamonte, a member of the Boston ABC. "They declined to comment, but they did tell her that the Boston ABC was not part of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, which is also what the Boston ABC told her, yet she still reported that we were part of that group."

McPhee claims that the Boston ABC released a flier that lists the addresses of government and corporate sites around Boston. The flier in question was released in 2003 in response to the initial invasion of Iraq, while the Boston ABC was formed in 2004; and furthermore, journalist Dave Wedge, who recently lost a $2 million libel case, published an article in the Boston Herald o­n April 8, 2004, headlined "Radical Problems" in which he gave BAAM, another local anarchist group, credit for releasing the same flier, which was also false.

John Riley, a member of the Boston ABC who McPhee interviewed for her article, explicitly told her in an email that "the Boston ABC has no affiliation with the ABCF," and that "the Boston ABC had nothing to do with [the] flier." Riley continued, "The basic facts are, [McPhee] was talked to ahead of time and she chose to ignore everything that she had been told, and just print what she wanted to print regardless. So she knowingly printed false information for her article."

In the same issue of the Boston Herald, McPhee wrote another article about prisoners the ABCF supports headlined "Group seeks aid for 'political' prisoners" in which she mentions that William Gilday, a Vietnam era student radical who was arrested for killing a Boston police officer in a 1970 bank heist, was a member of the radical anti-war group the Weather Underground. Gilday was never a member of the Weather Underground. She mentions that "Jaan Karl Waaner," who was a Vietnam era radical serving a life sentence for a 1976 bombing, maintains the website ""; from his jail cell. "Jaan Karl Waaner"'s name is Jaan Karl Laaman, and his website is not, but rather

"I called Ms. McPhee the night of the publishing of the article and she was not too happy about this," said Nicole Weber, a 17 year old Charlestown High School student. "She asked what I was calling about and I told her that it was about her highly inaccurate and bad article, pretty much. The first thing she told me was that I needed to move out of the suburbs and get a job and stop living off my parents. And I mean I'm in high school and I do live off my parents. After talking to her a little bit more about her article she called me a stupid bitch, and when we got into talking about some facts some more she said she would check o­n it and she's a professional journalist and that's her job and I told her she should get a new job. And she hung up o­n me."

In her article, McPhee wrote that Giannone was "arrested during the DNC for assaulting Boston police Superintedent Robert Dunford," implying guilt by leaving out the word 'allegedly' despite the facts that Giannone is still going through the legal process for the case and that eyewitnesses claim he is innocent.

"As I told Michele McPhee when I spoke to her," said Giannone, who is now banned from his place of work, "the article is a fantastic piece of shit. But I would also like to add that this is just part of the overall effort to criminalize dissent. Despite all the trouble this article has caused me, I still believe that the real intended target was the Anarchist Black Cross. They were targeted, I believe, as part of what seems to be a governments plan to attack those who defend criminalized dissenters."

The end of McPhee's article ties al-Qaeda to the Boston ABC, while the two groups are entirely unrelated in tactics, goals, and ideology. McPhee states that "the FBI chief also said some US-based militant groups" are Islamic fundemantalist groups that have solidarity with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, ending the article with, "Riley insisted his group [...] does not sympathize with al-Qaeda." The Boston ABC is not a militant group, nor is it an Islamic fundamentalist group.

The Boston ABC is a "community defense organization," according to Francis Little, a member of the collective. "Whenever members of the community are in prison, we support them in prison, we write letters to them, we do legal support work for them, that sort of thing."

McPhee refused to make any comments when contacted for this article.

"Local Joint Terrorist Task Force investigators are keeping close tabs o­n a group of anarchists hellbent o­n creating a classless society – using armed resistance if necessary" heads McPhee's article, although when asked if the FBI was investigating Boston anarchists, Special Agent Gail Marcinikiewicz, the Media Relations Representative at the Boston FBI office, said, "We have a Department of Justice policy that prohibits us from denying or confirming an investigation."

When asked if anarchists have a history of violence in Boston, Marcinikiewicz said, "You know, I'm not aware of... umm, I think Michele [McPhee] refers to an individual who was arrested during the DNC, and I think that was for an act of violence against a police officer. Other than that I'm not really aware of any sort of acts of violence by any anarchists here in Boston." The individual who was arrested during the DNC, Giannone, is still considered innocent until proven guilty.

Officer McCarthy, a Media Relations representative at the Boston Police Department (BPD), said it is policy of the BPD "not to comment o­n investigatory subjects," but he did say that its "intelligence unit does monitor groups like the [Boston ABC] and others."

The first Anarchist Black Cross was started in 1905 in Russia "to organize aid for Political Prisoners and their families as well as organizing self-defense against political raids by the Cossack army," according to the ABCF website. The ABCF was started in 1995 when "a small group of ABC collectives merged into a Federation whose aim was to focus o­n the overall support and defense of [political prisoners and prisoners of war]." The website also states that its member collectives include Cleveland, Jacksonville, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia, and Winnipeg, but not Boston.

The Boston ABC website states that it is a member of the ABCN, which was proposed by "a former Black Panther, political prisoner and a longtime anarchist revolutionary named Lorenzo Komboa Ervin" in 1991.

The ABCN lists its member collectives as Minneapolis, Kentucky, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Boston, Lawrence, Waukesha, Houston, and others worldwide.

For information o­n anarchism in Bostonr
*Boston ABC/*

For cause and affect related purposes:
*Michele McFee/* mmcphee (at)
*Micah Lee/* pirate.micah (at)

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
12 Apr 2005
This should be moved to the local interest section.
About Feeding The Trolls
12 Apr 2005
Boston IMC may not like someone's posting. Doesn't mean that replying is feeding a troll. It means that Boston IMC is really NOT letting Free Speech take its course.
To everyone at Boston IMC: If it's worthy news or comments? Avoid the Troll message. This article is worthy.
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
12 Apr 2005
the troll message has been automatically included on all articles (trying to fix the double problem though)
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
12 Apr 2005
I'm sorry but I often actually prefer the over-the-top lies and bs of our enemies over some of the mealy mouthed revisionism of groups like ' anachist- communists' and Platformists who want to totally dislink us from the great classic ' propaganda of the deed' era.

I am seeking help for this.
12 Apr 2005
I like how there are two big, giant, huge, highlighted warnings that say "ignore those tring to interrupt or discourage meaningful discourse". Way to follow your own advice IMC.
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
13 Apr 2005
Looks like that Aussie wackjob PR found his way onto Boston IMC. Don't you have some IMC's to discredit anarchists in your own country?
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
13 Apr 2005
hi ya'll,
we're a volunteer-based group. we have an editorial process to go through. this was just posted yesterday. give us a little break, will ya? ;)

in solidarity,
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
14 Apr 2005
Did somebody say McLibel?
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
14 Apr 2005
hey, i just found out that this a re-post from The Student Underground. My bad! We don't center re-posts, that's what "In Other Press" is for...

much luv,
Re: Fact-Checking the Herald
15 Apr 2005
Micah Le's report about Michele McPhee's "highly untruthful" writing is not the first such report about McPhee. See
for a report about articles she co-wrote on March 10 and 11, 2004, for the New York city's Daily News newspaper.