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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oct. 10th Radical Movie Night: Free Screening of "Let the Fire Burn."

October Radical Movie Night - "Let the Fire Burn"

 Next Radical Movie Night Oct. 10th

September's debut of the Las Vegas Radical Movie Night went very well. In fact, it went well enough that we will now be doing two showings per month. So, on every second and fourth Friday of the month at 6:00 pm, the Sunset Activist Collective will host a free screening of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value.

The location where Radical Movie Nights take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)



In order to coincide with the National Day of Action Against Police Brutality, which is held annually on Oct. 22nd (for more info see: http://www.october22.org/) October's screenings will involve movies that relate to police abuses. On October 10th, we will be showing "Let the Fire Burn" a documentary about the Philadelphia police department's response to a group known as the MOVE Organization, which was a radical black liberation group that practiced anarcho-primitivism, during two raids in 1978 and 1985.

This film raises many questions about the tendency of governments and law enforcement to use
Delbert Africa is arrested by police after the 1978 gun battle.
legitimate complaints as an opportunistic excuse to go after people or groups they dislike and the heavy-handed ways in which they often do so. As the movie shows, the members of MOVE were very bad neighbors and made things difficult for those living around them. However, the Philadelphia Police's "solution" resulted in most of those neighbors losing their homes when a fire ignited by a police bomb burned 61 surrounding buildings. In addition, 11 of the 13 MOVE members living there , including 5 children, were killed by that fire, which was intentionally allowed to burn until it was out of control.

Further, those residents' and the city's years long battle over poorly constructed and massively over budget replacement homes highlights the often corrupt and crony driven nature of politics. One might be tempted to ask if they were actually better off with their noisy neighbors. It certainly does beg the question of whether there were many, many better options to resolve the issues.

About the Movie (via: http://LetTheFireBurn.com)

"In the astonishingly gripping 'Let the Fire Burn,' director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of
Let the Fire Burn
cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to '...let the fire burn.' Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history."

Awards:

Winner - Best Editing in a Documentary Feature - Tribeca Film Festival

Special Jury Mention - Best New Documentary Director - Tribeca Film Festival

Director Jason Osder was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine July 2013.


Further Information:
The Aftermath

Watch the Trailer: http://youtu.be/-v5ZXAxTGHg

Check out the official website: http://www.letthefireburn.com/
Philadelphia - The City That Bombed Itself: http://www.copblock.org/745/pete-visits-the-city-that-bombed-itself/
The website of the MOVE Organization: http://onamove.com/
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Free the Mojave Dolphins from the Mirage's Death Pools in Las Vegas

MojaveDolphins.com

The Mojave Dolphins: Abuse isn't Entertainment

As most people know, the Mirage is a casino on the famous  Las Vegas Strip. Unfortunately, very few people are aware of the real mirage, which involves one of their main tourist attractions. Many people look forward to an opportunity to see the dolphins at the Mirage during their trips to Vegas. On the surface it is a great and rare chance to meet these beautiful and friendly animals. No doubt, a huge percentage, if not all of them, are animal lovers who would never intentionally harm their fellow creatures.

Life in a Bathtub is No Life at All.
However, the less well known truth is that the "Mojave Dolphins" aren't guests or residents of the Mirage. They are captive prisoners of a corporation that cares nothing about their true well being and only values them as a commodity which can be sold to tourists for $20 a visit. They are confined to a tiny pool that doesn't give them adequate room to play or even move around sufficiently. Because the Mirage is too cheap to even provide proper shelter from the scorching desert heat, the dolphins suffer from a skin condition known as a pox virus, which is also associated with stress. Dr. Martin Dinnes, the man responsible for almost all of the Mirage's dolphin prisoners has a shameful  and long history of animal abuse and neglect. The pipeline that starts at the Taiji Cove in Japan (see below) is an incredibly cruel and inhumane horror show of death and abuse, where many cetaceans are slaughtered and others are sold into cruel, exploitive captivity.

Cruelty is Not Entertaining!
Listless, stressful, and unhappy lives followed by an early death are the norm rather than the exception for these poor animals confined to the cramped space of the Mirage's Death Pools that are otherwise so well known for their playfulness and happy, outgoing nature in the wild. Anybody that cares about dolphins or simply has compassion for living things, in general, should boycott the Mirage and demand they stop exploiting and torturing the Mojave Dolphins. Paying to see the dolphins at the Mirage is directly supporting and encouraging animal abuse. Even Rick O'Barry, the man who trained the dolphins that portrayed "Flipper" in the 70's T.V. show has come out against the Mirage and their treatment of the Mojave Dolphins.

The Sunset Activist Collective, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, Nevada Cop Block, and I on a personal level all stand in full agreement with the Free the Mojave Dolphins group, and Rick O'Barry (along with everyone involved in making "the Cove") and in solidarity with and compassion for the Mojave Dolphins.

Do the right thing and stand against animal abuse this Thursday and Friday in Las Vegas:

Thursday Oct. 2nd: Free Screening of "the Cove" with Rick O'Barry

On October 2nd, Free the Mojave Dolphins is offering a screening of the Academy Award winning documentary, “The Cove”. The event is open to the public, all ages, and absolutely free. It will be held at the West Charleston Library in Las Vegas. The address is 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV. The library is located on the campus at College of Southern Nevada. Doors open at 7:00pm, and the showing will begin at 7:30pm

Rick O’Barry, star of the documentary, will be the special guest speaker.

We have 250 seats to fill up, and hope you will be in one of them. Please RSVP on the facebook event page.
“The Cove,” a heartbreaking documentary, describes how Richard O’Barry, director Louie Psihoyos and a team of adventurers penetrated the tight security around the Taiji cove and obtained forbidden footage of the mass slaughter of dolphins. Divers were used to sneak cameras into the secret area; the cameras, designed by Industrial Light and Magic, were hidden inside fake rocks that blended with the landscape.


The logistics of their operation, captured by night-vision cameras at times, has the danger and ingenuity of a caper film. The stakes are high: perhaps a year in prison. The footage will temper the enjoyment of your next visit to see performing dolphins.

-Roger Ebert

Friday Oct 3rd: – Protest 24 years of Dolphin Abuse at the Mirage in Las Vegas


On Oct 3rd, we will be gathering in front of the Mirage on the Las Vegas strip to peacefully bring awareness about the mistreatment of cetaceans,and protest their captivity here in the Mojave desert. The protest will run from 5pm to 7pm. Signs and literature will be provided but limited, so feel free to get creative and bring your own!

Ric O’Barry will be protesting right along side us against the Dolphin Death Pool on the infamous Las Vegas strip!
This protest comes the night after our free screening of The Cove with Ric O’Barry at the West Charleston Library.
The Mirage received their first shipment of 5 dolphins on October 19th 1990. Only one of those dolphins survives. Her name is Duchess. She is the matriarch of the Mojave pod. Sophie, the newest member shipped over from Seaworld earlier this year, will be turning 9 on October 6th. Merlin, one of the original 5, was captured on October 27th 1982, and died October 27th 1994. Banjo, another member of the original pod, died Oct 12th 2004. Though gone, they are never forgotten.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Sept. 12th - Join the Sunset Activist Collective at the Free Screening of "If a Tree Falls."

September's Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of "If a Tree Falls"
September's Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of "If a Tree Falls"

Sept. "Radical Movie Night"

September 12th marks the debut of Las Vegas' own Radical Movie Night, hosted by the Sunset Activist Collective, co- Sponsored by Nevada Cop Block and Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, and officially endorsed by the Las Vegas A-Cafe. This will be a monthly free showing of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value. 

The main purpose of Radical Movie Nights will be to connect local community members and encourage active participation within the local community by those within it to promote and empower those wishing to make positive grassroots-based improvements where they live and within their personal workplaces.


The location where Radical Movie Nights will take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)

In order to coincide with actions against the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (for more info about the AETA and local actions in response to it, see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/07/animal-enterprise-terrorism-act_n_5659893.html) beginning in September, the first movie that will be shown is " If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," a documentary about the Earth Liberation Front, in general, and one of its members, Daniel G. McGowan, who was characterized as a terrorist by the US government after his arrest for environmental activism actions, in particular.

Radical Movie Nights in Las Vegas will take place every second Friday at the Sci Fi Center
Radical Movie Nights in Las Vegas will take place every second Friday at the Sci Fi Center

The movie, which was nominated for an Academy  Award and won numerous other awards, shows the history and personal reasons why those involved in the ELF actions did what they did and how they became "radicalized," during previous less militant actions. In addition it addresses issues involving the declaring activists, who never actually harmed or ever tried to harm people, terrorists, based solely on property damage.
However, it also interviews and discusses the perspective of the targets of those actions and the effects they had on them. As a result, it is a fairly even handed presentation of the facts involved, which allows viewers to decide for themselves who was right or wrong and why.


About the Movie (via http://www.ifatreefallsfilm.com/):

"In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front-- a group the FBI has called America's "number one domestic terrorism threat."
For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.
With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.
IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members.
Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.
Drawing from striking archival footage -- much of it never before seen -- and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word "terrorism" had not yet been altered by 9/11."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Anarchism and (Some of) Its Different Flavors - via "Non-Partisan Liberty For All"

Just Don't Lick Someone's Ice Cream Without Their Permission
A little while back, I took part in a discussion of Anarchism on a Las Vegas based internet radio show, which is entitled "Non-Partisan Liberty For All" and is hosted by Dave Bourne. The show is embedded below, if you want to skip all of my filibustering and just listen to it.

It was a fairly casual "roundtable" sort of discussion also involving Sean Gruber, who is a Libertarian (although he's had some issues with them lately) from Pahrump that is pretty well known amongst people active in Las Vegas, and Janel Florez, who is a "Voluntaryist" Anarchist from Kansas City and the co-founder of KCK Cop Block and Women of Cop Block.

As anyone that's (genuinely) studied it knows, Anarchism is a pretty complicated subject and because of the fact that people are obviously encouraged to think for themselves and decide what works best for their own situation, rather than imposing a one size fits all solution on everyone, there are a lot of different variations. Of course, as long as no one enforces their own interpretations upon others by force, that's not only okay, it's actually one of the strengths of Anarchism. It does, however, make it difficult to definitively explain the ins and outs of Anarchism or even one segment of Anarchism within the space of a two-hour show, especially when there are four people (including Dave, the host) sharing that time.

So, this is really a surface level discussion of the basics of Anarchism and on my part left libertarianism, rather than anything in depth. I also did discuss some of the history of the Libertarian party, my very limited experiences with it, and why I don't agree with Minarchism or, in general, with the idea of trying to work within the political system vs. direct action and grassroots organizing. Also, because left libertarianism is somewhat of a hybrid between what's commonly considered the left and right spectrum that believes in (true) free markets, but not capitalism, I addressed my opinions of how such a market situation could be worked out absent governments, workers' potential roles within such a societal structure, the need for legitimate, fighting unions; such as the IWW; to protect those workers' interests, and why I believe those workers would actually realize that bosses (as we know them) would no longer be needed; once all of the false barriers against economic involvement are removed.
If We Just Vote Harder Next Time...

In addition, there was some discussion of morality (natural law) and why the common myth that an Anarchist society would lack any structure or safety without the coercive and forced hierarchies of government is false. How government itself actually enables bad people to use violence against others, even those who might not be able so of their own volition. Also, I explained that I do believe we should have social networks to help those in need, but why I believe that government-based social "safety nets" are ineffective and in many cases, actually counterproductive to such goals. Plus, why I don't rely on the Constitution for protection of or consider it a source of my individual rights. There was also a very brief mention of property rights and issues many left libertarians have with absentee ownership.

The other thing that was discussed, which is something that I bring up quite a lot when discussing the different "strains" of Anarchism, is the need to define terms when doing so and especially if people are debating about them (which wasn't the case here). In my own experiences (often as a neutral party during such debates), I've generally found that most of the disagreements between "left" and "right" wing Anarchists stems from the opposite side using state-based definitions of the other side's position (I.E. Socialism = Communism and Free Markets = Capitalism) or even self-identifying using that terminology with a definition reflective of the broader movement, rather than the smaller subsets within them. For the most part, once everyone actually makes it clear what they are really arguing for (and against) they tend to not be that far apart, within an Anarchist framework, in their beliefs. Personally, I've always felt that, once government is removed from the picture, members of a community can (voluntarily) work out the economics for themselves, based on their own needs and desires.

Online Politics Radio at Blog Talk Radio with Non Partisan Liberty For all on BlogTalkRadio

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Larken Rose is Coming to Las Vegas - Saturday, August 2nd


"Government Is Not Your Friend" 

Learn why government is not merely inefficient and corrupt, but can never and will never be conducive to civilized society.

Larken Rose will be coming to Las Vegas Saturday, August 2nd, to do a talk about the government and its true effects on society. The talk will start at 5:00 p.m. (but feel free to be early) lasting until 7:00pm and will be held at "The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf" (4550 S. Maryland Parkway) right across from the main entrance of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (see below for map). Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, a grassroots mutual aid group that reduces waste and supports the local community by preparing food that would otherwise be thrown out and sharing it with hungry people, will be sponsoring the event and Nevada Cop Block will be hosting it.

Larken Rose is a well known Anarchist writer and political activist. He's also pretty well known for
having challenged the legitimacy of income taxes and for subsequently being sent to prison. In addition, he has been published on the Cop Block site, including a post and video entitled "When Should You Shoot a Cop?" That video was the subject of a lot of controversy as a result of it's provocative name and subject, which consists of asking at what point people are justified in physically opposing the actions of an oppressive government. It should be a very informative and entertaining evening.

Larken plans his talks to be at a level that is good even for the 99.9% of the population who haven't really thought much about the basis of statism before. So if you're in the area, find a way to bring along a statist or two! It will be casual, fun and comfortable (it's happening at a coffee shop, after all).

Plus, it will be free. HOWEVER, while he doesn't like charging people to attend the talks and presentations he gives, he also doesn't like being destitute, and it does cost him money to get from one place to another around the country, which is one reason he doesn't plan on any more speaking tours after this trip (and that is another reason you shouldn't miss this one). So, if you plan on attending--or maybe even if you don't--and want to chip in a few bucks so the thing isn't a loss for him, he would very much appreciate that. It's also a good way to encourage other speakers and personalities to add a Las Vegas stop to their schedules.

If you are so inclined you can send contributions in one of two ways (or even both, if that's what you want to do):

via PayPal to:
larken@larkenrose.com

via Bitcoin to:
16rhWV17H3HCCQw6hUfHsZ93fYMS1kvUeL

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chalk the Police State - July 18th

sunset 3
Chalk Washes Off, Injustice Never Will!
Emma Goldman once stated that if voting actually changed anything they would make it illegal. The rapid progression of new laws designed (or existing laws twisted) to prevent different forms of direct action bears out the truth of that sentiment.

Direct action truly does "get the goods" and whenever the establishment recognizes that something is an effective method of exposing them for what they really are the crackdown is inevitable.

Among the terrorist cameramen, illegal milk traffickers, outlaw food sharers and cancer patients using unauthorized treatment methods another group has recently joined the ranks of the recipients of this treatment of making mundane, harmless actions illegal. This dangerous, scary group consists of people that draw on sidewalks with (gasp!) "sidewalk chalk," something that (spoiler alert) is packaged for, marketed as, and primarily used to write on sidewalks.

Of course, the fact that someone is writing on a sidewalk isn't really the issue as evidenced by the masses of children playing hopscotch, public events featuring chalk drawing areas, and even businesses that use it for advertising on sidewalks nearby. It's really the content of what people have written that have gotten them in trouble, which is pretty much the definition of a First Amendment violation (in spite of what Jeff Olson's judge would have you believe).

When a friendly game of four-square turns into an airing of the local police department's record of police brutality and unwillingness to hold anyone accountable for that record of violence and murder, well then we have to protect the public's property from an easily washed off, non-staining, material that will disappear on it's own within a matter of a few days. It's all fun and games until someone starts pointing out the crimes of the State's enforcers and then the next thing you know people will be writing about how they steal people's homes only to turn around and sell it to billion dollar corporations for less than market value or to people pretending to build stadiums nobody even wants and no local team can fill.
"Second Saturdays" with NVCopBlock.org

The reason that I know that chalking is an effective way of protest is because about a month ago, on June 8th, I along with two other members of the Sunset Activist Collective were cited during a Nevada Cop Block monthly protest for "graffiti" while listing the crimes and paying tribute to the many victims of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. After nine months of "Second Saturdays" and other events calling for the accountability that is sorely missing within Las Vegas area police departments, we were told by a "graffiti expert" that drawing with chalk on a sidewalk is now illegal, in spite of us having been explicitly told by some of his own co-workers that sidewalk chalk is in fact legal previously.

Inevitably, the upside to when the state cracks down on legal forms of protest is that they generally overreach and in the end often the public spotlight and embarrassment generated by their heavy-handed methods backfire in a big way. Such was the case when Jeff Olson wrote stuff about how corrupt the system was in favor of banks and then the San Diego police proved his point by bowing to the pressure of a bank manager to charge him in a case they didn't even want to prosecute (and that even the mayor called stupid) with the outrageous potential of 13 years in prison for writing on a sidewalk with something that was manufactured for that explicit purpose.

Our  case, of course, doesn't involve a penalty anywhere near that level of ridiculousness, although there are some bribery demands (i.e. fines) that could amount to as much as $1000, forced slave labor (AKA "community" service), and for some bizarre reason the removal of our legal ability to drive around for two years. Personally, I'm not particularly concerned about any of those things because the case is not just silly, it's already been ruled in courts that chalking is legal and constitutionally protected as free speech.

Solidarity Rally for the "Sunset 3"
What has me looking forward to our court date on July 18th is the fact that this case and the subsequent lawsuit will bring more attention to the unchecked crimes of the LVMPD and their cohorts in and around Las Vegas than we ever did in those nine months of writing our demands on the sidewalk surrounding their (fancy new) headquarters buildings.

And regardless if the outcome isn't what I expect (and common sense dictates) it to be, I will continue chalking until Metro decides to stop allowing their employees to murder people without consequence. In fact, I won't even be waiting until the current case is decided. The next "Second Saturday" is July 13th and we will be there chalking again. We will also be holding a solidarity rally on the morning of the 18th, prior to the trial starting, and there will be chalking that day.

Unjust laws need to be challenged, especially when those unjust laws are themselves being used to hide the injustices of those in power and their enforcers. That's why I won't be putting down my chalk any time soon and you should pick up yours. The best way to overturn a bad law that violates basic human rights, such as the ability to protest injustices, is to violate those laws en masse in order that their true nature can't be ignored. It's even more true when the laws are silly and obviously being used in ways they were never intended to be.

At 11:00 am (PST) on July 18th, join us at the Regional Injustice Center (see map below)to let them know that you want accountability instead of paid vacations for cops that murder people in your community and that they can't silence you with petty, misapplied laws. If you aren't in Las Vegas, then be with us in spirit, draw out some stuff on the sidewalk where ever you are, and join us in a lively round of hopscotch.

We'll see if they have the nerve and the room to haul all of us "graffiti artists" away.


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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Las Vegas A-Cafe to Host Talk by Organizer/Author Scott Crow Co-Founder of the Common Ground Collective at UNLV

The Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe will be hosting a presentation by Scott Crow, in Las Vegas at UNLV's Frank and Estella Beam Hall (room 105) on June 5th. The Common Ground Collective is an anarchist inspired grassroots organization founded in New Orleans to provide disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina. Crow uses his book, “Black Flags and Windmills,” as a foundation for a visual, fast moving, and engaging presentation of stories to show what ordinary people can do to change their own worlds and create power from below without governments.

The talk seeks through a collection of stories to show how the philosophy of anarchism has shaped and changed modern political movements. Anarchism’s influence on organization and actions has allowed spaces for projects like the Common Ground Collective, the largest anarchist organization in modern US history to come into existence after Hurricane Katrina, the Occupy uprisings, and the environmental climate change movements across the US.

The presentation which is equal parts personal story, radical history and organizing philosophies asks questions about how we engage in social change, the real and perceived challenges presented by the state and dares us to rethink our grassroots movements in how we engage for the future. This talk will be of interest for anyone that has been involved in grassroots organizing and community related planning from a decentralized, member based perspective.

Scott Crow bio:
 
Scott Crow has spent his varied life as an underground musician, coop business owner, political organizer, trainer, strategist, consultant, 'green collar' worker, writer and speaker advocating the philosophy and practices of anarchism for social, cultural, environmental, and economic aims.

Over the last two decades scott has worked for a number of national organizations like Greenpeace, A.C.O.R.N. and Ruckus Society and co-founded a number of varied projects, businesses and organizations including Lesson Seven (political industrial band), Red Square (coop art gallery), Century Modern (antique cooperative), Treasure City Thrift (volunteer/worker cooperative) and the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (the largest anarchist inspired organization in modern US history).

He is the author of the book Black Flags and Windmills (PM Press 2011), appeared in What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation (South end Press) and co-produced the film Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation (PM Press). He has appeared in international media as both a writer and subject including the NY Times, Democracy Now, CNN and NPR as well as the documentaries Welcome to New Orleans, Better this World, and Informant.

NPR’s This American Life called him “a living legend among anarchists” and the New York Times characterized him as “anarchist and veteran organizer… that comes across as more amiable than combative…”. Currently Scott splits his time speaking and consulting nationally and organizing locally.

The Las Vegas A-Cafe is a weekly meeting of local Anarchists that has served as a social and political discussion group and organizing space for over four years. Some of the various groups affiliated with it include the Sunset Activist Collective, Nevada Cop Block, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, OccupyLV.org, and the Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World.
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Join Me Today for the Las Vegas IWW's May Day After Party (5-4-13)

The Las Vegas IWW at May Day 2013
The Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World will be holding our official monthly meeting on Saturday, May 4th at 4pm at the Sunrise Coffee shop on Sunset between Eastern and Pecos (see below for map). Among other things, we will be celebrating and reminiscing about the recently concluded May Day march.

Despite some initial misgivings about some outside organizations attempting to exploit the International Day of the Worker for their own misguided purposes, this years May Day turned out great and there was an impressive visible turnout by Las Vegas' IWW crew. Everyone that was there and helped to hold the ground for the true spirit of May Day deserves an enormous pat on the back.

We also will be discussing and finalizing our official bylaws, and potentially electing a treasurer, delegates, and other necessary positions for our branch to be certified as an official GMB along with other formalities such as when we will officially meet, on what days, how long meeting should last and other related issues.

This meeting is an open meeting and can be attended by the general public. Prospective members and those wishing to find out more about the IWW are welcome to attend, but will not be able to participate directly in any decisions or votes that might take place.

What is the IWW?:

The IWW is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow. We want our workplaces run for the benefit of workers and communities rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.

We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially. This means we organize all workers producing the same goods or providing the same services into one union, rather than dividing workers by skill or trade, so we can pool our strength to win our demands together. Since the IWW was founded in 1905, we have made significant contributions to the labor struggles around the world and have a proud tradition of organizing across gender, ethnic and racial lines long before such organizing was popular.

For more info visit: IWW.org


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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On May Day this Year I will be Fasting in Solidarity with Salvador Zamora's Hunger Strike for Immigration Reform

Salvador Zamor (far left) has been on a hunger strike for 21 days as of 4-30.
The  other day, while out flyering for the May Day march, I came across Salvador Zamora. While talking to him, I learned that Salvador has a long history of sacrificing himself physically for the cause of immigration reform.

In fact, he is currently conducting a hunger strike across the street from the Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas for 21 days (as of 4-30) demanding genuine immigration reform. I was personally pretty impressed by that, since I get cranky whenever I miss a single meal. I'd be hard pressed to even imagine going without food for three weeks (and counting). And he even told me that he once went 70 days without eating during a previous hunger strike

So honor what he is doing and because it is the spirit of May Day, the true worker's holiday, I will be joining him in solidarity to support and help bring attention to his cause and would like to invite others to join me.

You can find out more info either on FaceBook here: May Day Solidarity Rally event or on our Meetup group here: Las Vegas Anarchy Meetup May Day Solidarity Rally.

Unfortunately, this is very short notice due to the fact that I didn't even know he was doing this until I happened to walk past and see him. While he has received some coverage from the local Spanish language media, none of the other local media has even mentioned it at all. Personally, I'm pretty hard pressed to understand how a guy going without food for over three weeks (and counting) isn't newsworthy, regardless of the reasons.

Although it isn't actually required to participate in the rally, I will be fasting for 24 hours beginning at midnight once May Day officially starts to show my support for his own sacrifice.

There is no "official" start time, although I'll be going down there in the morning and spending the day with Salvador. You are welcome to come at whatever time is convenient for you.

There will also be an official, albeit really sanitized and docile, May Day parade hosted by local unions and politicians beginning around 4 o'clock at the federal courthouse that you may or may not want to take part in. If so, you could just show up a bit early to show Salvador some support.

I hope to see you there. You can find the location on the map below:

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stanley Gibson's Murder by LVMPD to be Subject of First Police Fatality Review on Feb. 28th

Danger! Police in Area
The first "Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review," regarding the murder of Stanley Gibson by Metro Officer Jesus Arevalo, is scheduled to take place on Thursday February 28th beginning at 9:00 am and will be located at the Clark County Government Center, where the Clark County Board of Commissioners hold their regular meetings.

We'll be meeting up at 8:00am in order to organize together and go over the specifics of what we will be doing to bring attention to Stanley's murder. It's incredibly important for anyone that cares about justice and supports accountability for police that commit crimes against people within the Las Vegas community to be there and make their voice heard for past victims of police violence and to prevent future innocent victims.

In spite of the long-winded name change, the new process that was created by LVMPD's Sheriff Gillespie and Chris Collins of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (Police Union) is designed to do anything but allow the public to find facts. The reality is that it is much worse than the original, much maligned, Coroner's Inquest system that it will be replacing.

Unlike the Coroner's Inquest, the Police Fatality Review will involve no opportunity for testimony from witnesses and only voluntary testimony by the police involved in the shootings, which the LVPPA has already gone on record as saying that pretty much has no chance of happening.

What it amounts to is a choreographed staging of the police department's version of events with zero representation from a genuine neutral party, the victim's family, or independent witnesses. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson actually referred to it as a "performance," while endorsing it, during the Commissioner's meeting in which it was initially proposed. That's just how much of a blatant and callous cover up the Police Fatality Review is.

The first case to go before this Police Fatality Review involves the murder of Stanley Gibson, an unarmed man who was shot seven times by Jesus Arevalo in spite of having committed no actual crime and having had his vehicle blocked in by several police cars so that it was unable to move. Stanley, a disabled veteran, who was lost and suffering a panic attack as a result of PTSD and other ailments he suffered during his time in the Persian Gulf, represented no direct or imminent probability of harming anyone at the time.
Caution Police State ahead
Caution Police State
There was no reason for any of the dozens of heavily armed police to feel in any way threatened by him. And the fact that of all those cops there, only Jesus Arevalo felt the need to fire the shots that killed Stanley Gibson only supports that conclusion.

Instead of holding someone that at best was grossly negligent that night accountable for his actions, D.A. Wolfson, Sheriff Gillespie, LVPPA's Chris Collins, the Clark County Board of Commissioners, and every other member of the LV Metro Police Department are closing ranks around him in a misguided attempt to cover up yet another officer involved shooting under what could only mildly be called questionable circumstances.

Anyone living in Las Vegas should be well aware that there is a longstanding problem with brutality and outright murder by members of Las Vegas area police departments, especially those of the LVMPD. In several cases, especially those involving Stanley Gibson, Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, Henry Rowe, and Rafael Olivas, the circumstances behind the shooting have been incredibly questionable, if not completely inexcusable.

The obvious reason for the mounting body count by local police is the fact that no Las Vegas area police officer has EVER been held accountable for shooting someone, no matter how questionable that shooting has been. Replacing what was already a terribly flawed system with one that not only retains those flaws, but incorporates even less transparency and can only be seen as a conscious effort to ensure the police never have to fear being held accountable for deaths they cause not only doesn't address this problem, but in reality actually makes it harder for the police to do the things they are supposed to do by creating a lack of trust and discouraging any support for police from the people living within the community that they work.

It's a self-perpetuating downward spiral that only exacerbates an already toxic and often violent relationship. The time to put an end to this has already passed and things can only get worse at this point if the transparency and accountability that Sheriff Gillespie promises so often isn't actually upheld truthfully and with honest intentions.

As of right now, I have been unable to find any info regarding the specifics of the expected length of the kangaroo court that will begin Thursday or restrictions on public entry into the chambers where it will be held. Although, I suspect this lack of information is intentional, if I do come across that information I will post it here.
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