We Are All Terrorists Now

January 15th, 2014   Submitted by Gyorgy Furiosa

TerroristsNowSmash down the door, six in the morning comes the Law, to protect you from your wicked ways, and pin you to the floor. The sound of your front-door splintering on its hinges as the battering ram hits it is a singularly significant moment. Especially if you live with your partner and children, the invasion of armed, black clad riot police screaming orders and brutally throwing you and your loved ones face down on the ground at gunpoint by automatic weapons means you’ve done something the State is not best pleased about.

When it happens to a respected university lecturer and civil rights campaigner, we assume it means we are talking pure history. The invasion must have been perpetrated by the KGB in Communist Russia during a purge of intellectual dissidents, or perhaps by the Gestapo raiding members of the resistance in Occupied Europe during World War 2.

But, no. This is what happened to sociologist Andrej Holm, in progressive champion of democracy and civil liberties Germany, on 31st July, 2007. He was accused of being a member of a left-wing terrorist organisation – die Militant Gruppe – and would spend the next three years of his life attempting to clear his name and stay out of prison.

The most shocking elements of this story are the reasons for his targeting by security forces. Essentially, the police Googled the words ‘gentrification’ and ‘precariousness’, and up popped his name, the prime suspect. Andrej Holm is a respected academic with a history of political affiliation and involvement with left-wing groups, having published papers on the divisive nature of globalized urban centers and the inherent oppression caused by gentrifying neighborhoods and driving poor people out of their communities in the name of development.

His connection with three men accused of attempted arson on military vehicles confirms his guilt, in the eyes of the State, for he met them without a mobile phone, and organised these meetings through encrypted messages sent from internet cafes. Any such attempts at privacy are deemed ‘conspiratorial’ in the eyes of authority.

But really, the significance of Andrej Holm’s arrest and persecution is far more sinister. Selected with all the randomness of Google – which is to say, not randomly at all – he became the excuse for the Polizei to launch a multi-million Euro investigation and surveillance operation involving thousands of hours of manpower with him at the center. This illegal police operation built documents on literally thousands of people connected with left-wing political organisations. Data on their emails, interactions and affiliations, has been compiled and processed in a webbed network orbiting around Holm. His arrest was the official culmination of this operation, but of course, all that data will remain on file and for use in future efforts by the Polizei.

The point being that the age of PRISM, ubiquitous broad-spectrum surveillance and the death of privacy, has its roots in the very existence of a State. By its very nature, the State intrudes in every aspect of civilian life and mercilessly collates data to crush opposition. As in Russia, as in Nazi Germany, Franco’s Spain, Mussolini’s Italy, the modern State is no benign presence, no harmless and benevolent faction of bureaucrats, but a ruthless authority that brooks no genuine or implied challenge to its monopoly on violence and control.

Recently in the UK the House of Lords rejected the first draft of the Bill that would introduce IPNAs – Injunctions on Public Nuisance and Annoyance. This incredibly broad term could feasibly extend to carol singers, buskers, children playing noisily, and in fact, anyone. It would give police sweeping powers to criminalize people for being a pest, for arguing, for objecting. At the moment, they are discussing unlimited powers to enact IPNAs on people, with an unlimited time of effectiveness. Ostensibly being introduced to replace Anti-Social Behavior Orders (ASBOs), in fact the IPNAs are the legal straw-man police and politicians need in order to mask their ongoing extension of repression of any challenge to their powers. It is mortifying to think what a debt we owe to the House of Lords for rejecting this first draft, but as with most laws it will be watered down ever so slightly, then bunged with clauses at the last minute that slip their way through and change the game. For examples, see the tacking of a ban on residential squatting on to a Bill about Legal Aid in 2011.

If you are reading this, then the State is watching you. It seems prudent to assume they are watching me too, documenting every email exchange, blog post and web click, monitoring every phone call. We cannot pretend that by hiding behind decency, fair play, honesty, openness that we will be spared the indignity of oppression, that the jackboot of the State will land elsewhere. We cannot pretend that we will be alright if we ‘have nothing to hide’, as the definition of what should be kept secret is continuously changing and becoming defined by paranoid megalomaniacs in fear of losing their position and prestige in society. For the State and its machinations, we are all illegal, we are all guilty, we are all terrorists.

Critique and awareness are the only ways to combat the choking fear and doubt that grows when we begin to see that ‘liberal democracy’ is a deluded myth. The State is not there to protect us, but to exploit us, to keep the minority of the opulent sitting high and dry whilst the plebs drown in the refuse and ecocide the rich produce. Once we accept this, we can begin to see that it is the State that is illegal, the State that is guilty, and the State that is the real terrorist, and from that a hopeful, joyous defiance can be born.

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13 Responses to “We Are All Terrorists Now”

  1. FranzNo Gravatar says:

    You should learn about the organization, “Oathkeepers.” These are people who take seriously their oaths to the US Constitution, as military, veterans, police, and government agents of various sorts (including intelligence agencies). They are prepared to defend the Constitution at all costs. They also don’t forget who the bad guys are. In an emergency exercise at our regional emergency operations center in my area back in November, I didn’t meet a single person who was not a member of The Oathkeepers. I joined after learning about the organization from a local DHS supervisor.

    • PaulNo Gravatar says:

      Have you conducted an investigation of the Constitution with due diligence? Do you or your fellow Oathkeepers ask good probing questions about it?

      ‘Is this thing, the Constitution, legit?’
      ‘If it’s legit, how can we know that?’

      In fact, has any Oathkeeper ever read Article VII carefully and deliberated its meaning? It’s very difficult to believe that any Oathkeeper does so, given what I know about the character and temperament of cops, soldiers, and sundry government agents. But let me explain, first by asking another question.

      Q: How could the clause of Article VII have been lawful for its ostensible purpose before “Establishment” of the Constitution?

      You’d better read that question again to be sure that you understand the issue: There’s a good reason to suspect that all apologists of the Constitution use circular thinking to maintain their faith in “Establishment”.

      Now, I know of no one, esp. famous law school professors, who have given a cogent answer to my question about Article VII. This is surprising because more than 200 years have passed since the alleged establishment, and there are no shortage of fanatics to praise the Founding Fathers and their legacy. There may be a good reply, however. The clause of A7 could have been established separately from the Constitution. In fact, if it was licit to use A7 for its ostensible purpose, then its clause MUST have been established separately and prior to establishment of the Constitution. But where is the evidence of that separate establishment? What authors and historians have explained the details in a clear and precise way? And why was that particular clause included? If it was already a law that nine states’ conventions were needed, it would have been enough to insert a scholarly reference to a reliable source.

      As far as I can tell, there is no evidence of the necessary separate establishment, and no credible authors have explained the details of any such establishment. Not even law school textbooks provide a good explanation; those that I’ve checked just gloss over the topic of establishment with a few words. What’s left but to believe that Article VII did not state any law in Sept. of 1787? that it did not state any law on 21 June, 1788? that A7 didn’t state any law in the spring of 1789 and that it has never stated the law concerning establishment? A better belief is that the apparent lawfulness of Article VII is just an illusion, and the Constitution, a hoax.

      Yet affirm that hoax you do, and when you say that Oathkeepers “are prepared to defend the Constitution AT ALL COSTS”, you assert that Oathkeepers will destroy civility and peace to perpetuate the hoax. Please reconsider your commitment, for you’re a dangerous terrorist threat in your present condition.

  2. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    Great stuff, Mr. Furiosa, thanks.

  3. RobertNo Gravatar says:

    Kinda tough for me to feel sympathy for a left winger. If Holm was a politician the police would probably be even worse. Surely there are better examples of an actual freedom lover having his rights violated? Holm is no friend to anarcho capitalists, I can assure you. And most of the oath keepers tend to be neocons, sorry.

    • PaulNo Gravatar says:

      Indeed, Andrej Holm deserves no sympathy whatsoever for the ironic attack upon him. In fact, it’s not in spite of the Andrej Holms of the world, but in part because of such people, that police have acquired power to act with impunity.

      If there was an injustice involved there, it’s that self-defense against Holm and his ilk has been criminalized such that private action against those despots puts one at grave risk of assault and battery by police.

  4. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    Let me get this straight, if wealthy people move out of the city and the city turns into a ghetto, it’s the fault of wealthy people fleeing. If wealthy people move into the city and build it up nice and poor people can’t afford to live in the city any more then wealthy people are guilty of “gentrification.”

    I see. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  5. JdLNo Gravatar says:

    @Robert:

    Kinda tough for me to feel sympathy for a left winger.

    If you don’t join in condemning this violation of your political enemy’s rights, then please don’t whine when he does not condemn the violations of your rights. Ever heard of Martin Niemöller?

    We must all speak up for the rights of everyone, not just those with whom we share complete philosophical agreement.

    • RobertNo Gravatar says:

      If holm was running germany he would have the cops busting down the doors of people like you in a heart beat. I didnt say the premise of the article was wrong, im just saying there are much better examples right here in the US.
      In any case, if you ever want a shot at freedom things need to get a whole lot worse. We are in that middle area in which things are bad, but not bad enough to pull people away from facebook and their reality tv. So the more the police run wild, the higher our debt goes, the more rights we have taken away from us, the closer we get to our goals, not further away.

      • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

        If you were in power you wouldn’t bust down his door? No, I think you would. Because it isn’t who has power it IS power.

    • PaulNo Gravatar says:

      Holm forfeited any right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of life when he became a proponent of despotism. He has no rights to speak up for.

  6. Single acts of tyrannyNo Gravatar says:

    You are entirely correct. If you are looking at an anarchist website, you are being watched.

  7. FranzNo Gravatar says:

    When fascist thugs kill and terrorise innocent people, it’s important to find out the names of those thugs and make sure that they are accorded all the public infamy that they have earned. That includes people who “just follow orders,” whether in the police department, the IRS, the NSA or anywhere else, and those people who gave them those orders. As long as the press shields the evildoers, evil will only expand. It’s very frustrating when the press cannot even bother to follow up on these stories once the headlines go cold. Names, we need names, of the evildoers.

    • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

      These people exist and the press shields them, and had done so sense it’s inception. The question is what are we going to do about it? We need a plan.

      When I say we, I mean those who would resist.

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