Monday, June 27, 2011

Copwatch and Infoshop on Missouri's bizarre domestic threat list

Copwatch, Infoshop and Christian vegetarians are on Missouri’s domestic ‘treat’ list -- rather than domestic ‘threat’ list -- thanks to a misspelled word

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Copwatch, Infoshop and Christian vegetarians are all under surveillance because they pose a “significant domestic terrorist” threat.

Why? Because they are anarchists, according to the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) of the Division of Drug and Crime Control.

Well, actually, due to a misspelled word, it says they all pose a “significant domestic terrorist ‘treat’ at this time.”

Missouri, are they domestic threats or domestic treats?

The report, “MIAC Strategic Report 11-28-2008 on Anarchists,” is a police watch list published in 2008. The watch list was exposed by Lulzsec, in the Arizona Department of Public Safety files.

The Missouri watch list tosses feminists, peace activists, labor activists and environmentalists into the mix.

“Although they have not all been listed, we believe the groups discussed pose a significant domestic terrorist treat at this time,” the report states.

In its bizarre categories of anarchists, the Missouri watch list states, “direct action radical sub-groups not all believe in violence.” Feminists, peace activists and race equality activists are listed as anarchists in the Anarchist Punk category.

“Many Anarcho-Punks are supporters of issues such as animal rights, racial equality, anti-heterosexism, feminism, environmentalism, worker's autonomy, the anti-war movement, and the anti-globalization movement.”

Christian vegetarians are apparently something to be feared, at least by Missouri officials, who fail to explain how being a vegetarian deserves a mention on a police watch list.

Here’s what Missouri officials say:

“Christian anarchists have opposed war and other ‘Statist’ aggression through nonviolent tax resistance. Many Christian Anarchists were vegetarian or vegan.”

The watch list includes a variety of labor union organizations, Black Bloc and eco-anarchist groups, without naming any personal names.

Although Copwatch is most often considered a human rights organization and Infoshop, an online news source, Missouri officials, however, place both on the anarchists watch list, as domestic threats:

Copwatch is a network of United States volunteer organizations that "police the police". Copwatch groups usually engage in monitoring of the police, videotaping police activity, educating the public about police misconduct, and advocating for more accountable law enforcement practices.

The main function of most Copwatch groups is monitoring police activity. "Copwatchers" go out on foot or driving patrols in their communities and videotape interactions between the police and civilians. Some groups also patrol at protests and demonstrations to ensure that the rights of protesters are not violated by police officers. Copwatch organizations generally abide by a policy of non-interventions with the police, although this may not be true for all groups. The anarchist ran Infoshop News published the new “Copwatch 101” booklet found at the following address

Run for the 1950s bomb shelter: Missouri officials say the Anti-Racist Action Network is not only anarchist, but are “sometime seen to be ‘Red’ or Communist.”

Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) is a decentralized network of anti-fascist and Anti-Racist Activists. ARA activists organize actions to disrupt neo-nazi and white supremacist groups and help to organize resistance mainly to fascist and racist ideologies. ARA groups also oppose sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, anti-semitism, and anti-abortion activists. They are sometimes seen to be "Red" or Communist, particularly by detractors, however; the network includes a large number of anarchists.

ARA started in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1987. Since then it has expanded to different communities, countries and continents. Members of Love and Rage, a revolutionary anarchist organization played a major role in building ARA groups and the ARA Network in the 1990s. They are sometimes associated with the Skinhead and Punk subcultures and work with organizations such as Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP).

Environmentalists, check your activist cards to make sure you’re in the right category:

Green Anarchism puts an emphasis on environmental issues. Some green anarchists can be described as Anarcho-Primitivists and sometimes Anti-Civilization Anarchists, though not all Green Anarchists are Primitivists.

Finally, here’s Missouri’s take on dumpster divers, Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front.

Warning: Rereading this can result in a loss of brain cells:

Some anarcho-punks are “straight edge”, claiming that alcohol, tobacco, drugs and promiscuity are instruments of oppression and are self-destructive because they cloud the mind and wear down a person's resistance to other types of oppression. Some crust punks also condemn the waste of land, water and resources necessary to grow crops to make alcohol, tobacco and drugs, forfeiting the potential to grow and manufacture food. Some may be straight edge for religious reasons, such as in the case of Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hare Krishna anarcho-punks.

Anarcho-punks universally believe in direct action, although the way in which this manifests itself varies greatly. Despite their differences in strategy, anarcho-punks often co-operate with each other. Many anarcho-punks are pacifists and therefore believe in using non-violent means of achieving their aims. These include peaceful protest, refusal to work, squatting, economic sabotage, dumpster diving, graffiti, culture jamming, ecotage, freeganism, boycotting, civil disobedience, hacktivism and subvertising. Some anarcho-punks believe that violence or property damage is an acceptable way of achieving social change. This manifests itself as rioting, vandalism, wire cutting, assault, hunt sabotage, participation in Animal Liberation Front- or Earth Liberation Front-style activities, and in extreme cases, bombings. Many anarchists dispute the applicability of the term "violence" to describe destruction of property.

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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