Inside Opinion

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Tag: anarchists


Unfair to Evergreen?

A pleasant and faithful reader called me this morning to object to what she called a gratuitous shot at The Evergreen State College at the end of today’s editorial. She believed I had smeared the whole school; when I was writing it, I was thinking of a very small number of students.

Lesson for me: Write so readers understand, but also write so readers can’t misunderstand.

I’ve been watching people connected to Evergreen, including former students and “groupies” who are merely friends of friends of students, engage in malicious mischief and outright assaults for a long time now. I don’t like to call them “anarchists,” because some schools of anarchism have respectable pedigrees. I promised her links to stories and articles. Here’s our exchange:

Though we disagreed on the phone, I did appreciate your civil tone.

Some of the links below don’t report arrests but do illustrate connections with people who practice vandalism and what they call “direct action,” which includes smashing photography equipment. Note the connections with last year’s May Day events.

My experience has been that for every person arrested or convicted, there are quite a few others cheering him on or other otherwise encouraging him. As you noted, that would apply as much to drunken idiots at the UW and WSU as it would to politically motivated actions by students connected in some way to Evergreen.


Pat O’C

“Anarchist” “convergence” on TESC campus.

Former Evergreen student at last year’s May Day violence in Seattle.

Political graffiti reported (disapprovingly) on “anarchist” website.

2011 event on TESC campus to learn about Internet attacks to supplement “direct action” and “sabotage.”

Newspaper photographer roughed up after TESC professor tells “mainly students from The Evergreen State College” that the journalist shouldn’t be photographing protest. Afterward, The Olympian’s Tony Overman had his house and car vandalized.

Former Evergreen student convicted of arson at University of Washington. This is an old one; to me, it illustrates the persistence of this subculture.

Police pelted at anti-war protest.

Read more »


Westboro Baptists, meet May Day ‘anarchists’

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Organizers of Wednesday’s May Day marches in Seattle were hoping — really hoping — that the usual black-clad, rock-throwing morons wouldn’t steal the show from them this year as they did last year.

No such luck. As happened on May Day last year, thousands of people walked through the streets in peaceful demonstrations for immigration reform, same-sex marriage and other liberal causes.

Then came that sinking feeling. Late in the day, the masked punks crawled out from under their logs to assault police officers and smash things.

Sorry, law-abiding demonstrators. There’s only so much space in the newspaper and only so much time on the evening news. An attempted riot will upstage decent people carrying signs every time. The public would scream if the media downplayed orchestrated violence in the state’s largest city.

The street thugs claim to be anarchists. But they are best compared with the Westboro Baptist Church, another collection of vicious ranters who leverage their minuscule numbers by parasitizing high-profile events organized by serious people.

Say this for the actual Westboro Baptists, though: They don’t throw actual rocks at human beings.
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Vandalism? No, this is what domestic terrorism looks like

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

If what happened last week to The Olympian newspaper and photographer Tony Overman had been done at random by a bunch of bored, misbehaving kids, it would be vandalism. But that’s not what happened.

Destruction that targeted The Olympian and Overman’s home were deliberate acts by self-described anarchists for the purposes of retaliation and intimidation. Retaliation for journalists’ exercise of their First Amendment rights and intimidation to make them hesitate to exercise those rights in the future.

That’s not vandalism; it’s domestic terrorism. And in a free society, it cannot be justified or tolerated. We trust that the authorities are treating this case in that light.
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A glimpse into the mindset of an anarchist

We aren’t the only ones who think the Olympia protest-cum-riot earlier this month was a debacle. The anarchists who staged the demonstration are apparently not happy with the results – and not just because three-fourths of them ended up behind bars.

Someone who claims to be one of the “State Street 29″ dissected the protest at an online clearinghouse for anarchist news. The upshot of the post: The rampage was a failure because it caused some damage but didn’t wreak total havoc.

If the purpose of the march had been to localize the maximum amount of damage

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Protesting violence with violence? Senseless

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The masked anarchists who attacked police officers and a newspaper photographer in Olympia this month say they were taking a principled stand against cop brutality.

Proving themselves common thugs and punks is more like it.

Consider this statement from a 22-year-old protester accused of kicking a cop in the groin and knee with her combat boot: “The last time an officer said I assaulted him, the charge got dismissed, no contest. My Mom has a lot of money, my friend.”

Margaret Belknap indeed got a lucky break after she was charged with assaulting a police officer during an antiwar protest in San Francisco last year. Officials dismissed the charges after she completed a diversion program.

The only lesson she seems to have learned was that mom’s bank account can buy a get-out-jail-free card. Belknap is now charged with two counts of felony assault. She is one of 29 rioters who were arrested April 8 after a downtown Olympia protest turned violent.

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