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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in nathan's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 29th, 2007
11:52 am


The first in-person court date in 12 years (2001 was canceled) has been
announced for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

On May 17, 2007, Mumia is scheduled to appear in the Third Circuit Court of
Apeals in Philadelphia for the hearing of oral arguments presented by his
attorneys. The possible outcomes include life in prison without parole, a
new execution date--or a *new trial.*

Please check www.freemumia.com for info and updates.

Below is just a list of events--more info coming soon!

THE MOVE 9 IN NYC MUMIA 911 PART II Featuring: A-Alikes, C Rayz
Walz, Imessiah Soul, Queen Godis, Seeds of Wisdom, Pat-riot

The Remote
Lounge, 327 Bowery St, NYC(Bet. East 3rd and East 2nd
Streets) 8pm, Doors Open At 7:15 $12 At The Door
APRIL 24:Mumias Birthday with Danny Glover, Sonia Sanchez,
Delacy Davis (of Black Cops Against Police Brutality), Journalist Linn
Washington, Exonerated Death-Row Inmate/Activist Harold Amin Washington, Ron
Hampton (of National Association Of Black Police), and Attorney Michael

LOCATION: Cleff Club on Broad at Fitzwater Doors Open at 6 PM
Film Showing of Framing an Execution? with Danny Glover at 6:30
PM Speakers will begin at 7:30 Sharp!

On May 17th Mumias case will be reviewed by The Third Circuit Court Of
Appeals in Philadelphia to decide whether Mumia gets a new trial, life in
prison without parole, or execution. The whole world is watching how The
Third Circuit will rule. We must let them know where we stand: Only
Mumias release or a new trial is acceptable! APRIL 24th WILL BE AN

APRIL 28:A U.S. Delegation will visit the French city of Saint-Denis
on the one year anniversary of the naming of one of its streets in honor of
Mumia Abu-Jamal. The delegation will be honoring the activists and mayors of
that city for their steadfast support of Mumia in the face of both US and
French right wing and police attacks on them.

MAY 11:The NYC Writers Union will host an event to honor Mumia.
Details to be announced.

17th Mumias case will be reviewed by The Third Circuit Court Of Appeals
in Philadelphia to decide whether Mumia gets a new trial, life in prison
without parole, or execution. The whole world is watching how The Third
Circuit will rule. We must let them know where we stand: Only Mumias
release or a new trial is acceptable! MAY 17 WILL BE THE START OF AN
Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
3:33 am
i finally finished my GED today. so ill be going to seattle as soon as possible. then to europe after i get by passport in the mail. crickety crack
Thursday, August 24th, 2006
6:31 pm
Sunday, February 26th, 2006
12:47 pm
Olympia pair tied to ring of arsons



To their landlord, Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher appeared to be the typical twenty-something couple.
The Olympian - Click Here

He worked as a carpenter; she as a nanny.

Neighbors say they kept to themselves and lived quietly in the rental on a large wooded lot off Delphi Road outside Olympia. Their rent check arrived on time each month.

It appears no one in Olympia knew the couple’s other identities as “Exile” and “Sheba.”

That was until their landlord heard the federal agent on his answering machine Thursday saying his tenants were now in federal prison.

Block and Zacher were arrested Thursday for their alleged involvement in a 2001 Oregon arson that federal officials say is linked to a string of ecoterrorism attacks in five western states.

The arrests came eight days after a federal grand jury in Eugene, Ore., indicted Block, 24, and Zacher, 28, in connection with the May 21, 2001, arson at Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie, Ore., northwest of Portland.

They join four people already charged in the case.

One of the co-defendants, Kevin Tubbs, is charged with an arson at a federal research laboratory outside Olympia.

John Ray, supervisory assistant U.S. attorney in Eugene, said he expects the couple will be added as codefendants in the government’s conspiracy case covering numerous other arsons or attempted arsons involving members of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. Last month, 11 people, including the four allegedly involved in the Jefferson Poplar Farm arson, were indicted in connection with the conspiracy. The arsons took place between October 1996 and December 2005, according to the government.

Local and federal authorities who searched Block and Zacher’s home Thursday found a small marijuana-growing operation inside.

Each faces a 14-count indictment for involvement in the Jefferson Poplar Farm arson.

Twelve of the counts are for their role, directly or indirectly, in the arson of the farm’s vehicle shop, office building and 10 Ford and GMC trucks. There also is one count for the attempted arson of the main office building, and a count for using incendiary bombs to commit a violent crime.

If convicted on all counts, Block and Zacher each face a minimum sentence of 95 years in prison.

The two appeared briefly Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma before Magistrate Judge Karen Strombom.

Detention hearings for both were set for Tuesday, according to the court’s online docket. Typically, defendants arrested outside the district in which they were indicted are afforded a hearing to challenge whether they are the person named in the arrest warrant, said Emilie Langley, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.

They are scheduled to stand trial in Eugene.

“We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsible for acts of ecoterrorism in Oregon,” U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut said in a statement announcing the indictments.

The couple joins Tubbs, Chelsea D. Gerlach, Daniel G. McGowan and Stanislas G. Meyerhoff as codefendants in the arson.

Tubbs was one of two men indicted in December for the June 21, 1998, arson at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Services facility near Littlerock. The other man, William C. Rodgers, later committed suicide in a jail cell in Arizona as he waited to return to Washington to stand trial.

All of the codefendants joined in a cell they called “The Family,” which worked “by means of force, violence, sabotage, mass destruction, intimidation and coercion, and by similar means to retaliate against the conduct of government, commerce and private business,” according to the indictment.

Other targets listed in the alleged conspiracy include Superior Lumber Co. in Glendale, Ore., U.S. Forest Industries in Medford, energy transmission towers in Eastern Oregon, a meatpacking company in Eugene, wild horse and burro facilities in California, a Colorado ski resort and a sport utility vehicle dealership in Eugene.

All used aliases similar to those the government contends Block and Zacher used. Block also went by “Hasan” and Zacher’s other pseudonym was “Sabina,” according to the arson indictment.

In a 2000 Internet posting, a person claiming to be Zacher said she had been charged with malicious mischief and assault after a tussle with a Seattle police officer during the 1999 World Trade Organization riots. In the statement, she sought donations and support from the “anarchist/radical community” for help with her legal defense. It’s unclear whether she is the same person.

Internet court records show Zacher was charged in King County Superior Court, but it was unclear late Thursday what happened to her case. A criminal history check through a State Patrol database showed no criminal conviction in Washington state under her name.

Thursday’s arrests led detectives with the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force to seize 44 plants and five pounds of processed pot, estimated to be worth $3,000, from the house, task force Sgt. Fred Bjornberg said.

The two were not suspects in any ongoing drug investigations, he said. “It was kind of a surprise to us. But we’re always up for a good surprise.”

The arrests left their landlord, Glen Kilburg, stunned and a bit shaken. The couple signed a one-year lease Oct. 18, and Kilburg had thought the criminal background check would have uncovered any problems.

He met them once and talked on the phone with them several times.

“They came across as very nice people,” he said. “I talked more to Nathan than to Joyanna, and he seemed just fine.”

When he heard the message from the federal agent, he went out to check on the house. He found the home unkempt, with marijuana grow lights in the back.

His prior tenant had several dogs, and Kilburg said he spent time and money to repair the damage. He didn’t look forward to doing the same work again.

“I’m having bad luck with renters right now,” he said.
Thursday, January 26th, 2006
2:29 pm
so, i got my fake id taken away by some bitch ass bouncer the other day, i went even though i knew it was going to get taken away cause that bouncer takes everyones ids but i tryed to get in anyway because i was drunk and didnt care. im seeing the blood brothers in two days and then im hitch hiking down to portland with my brother. ill be there like a week. then were hitch hiking along the coast back to seattle. yesterday i stole a flask and some gloves from walmart, two t shirts from target, a jcket from the thrift store, 4 lighters and some cranberry juice from the dollar store. i cant even remember the last day that i didnt steal something. fuck you capitalism!
Thursday, January 12th, 2006
12:48 am
argument with a marxist friend
jesus christ. you need to get over this state capitalist shit. neither lenin nor rosa luxembourg were communists. they only wanted more power for there party and thus for themselves at whatever cost to everyone else. lenin took power by crushing the revolution and massacring anarchists and anyone else who didnt believe that you could force people into communism with terror and murder. FUCK CUBA. cuba is not a communist country, castro and guevara were both hardline stalinists. che murdered and exiled anarchists in his purging of the cuban army. social revolution can only be brought about by the workers themselves, not some power hungry state capitalist vanguard. learn what your talking about before spouting stupid bullshit. and while were at it FUCK MARX, he expelled bakunin and all of the other anarchists from the first international because they wouldnt blindly worship him like everyone else.

Typical anarchist idealism. Everything has to be perfect and not one hair on your pretty little head can be hurt.

The idea of state capitalism is funny to me, I still have no idea how anyone can believe a transition from capitalism to communism can happen instantly...
Did you think it would be easy? Did you think it would happen without blood? I think you have a flowery view of revolution, which is nothing but revisionism.

Lenin took power at the forefront of the almost completely working class Bolshevik party, he was elected under the criteria of democratic centralism, which is the only effective party policy. To say otherwise is more naive idealism. Lenin crushed anarchists after they revolted against the worker's state, if the anarchists had succeeded, there would have been no chance. Anarchists have a history of accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Cuba is a communist country, you seem to have a warped definition of communism. I find it ironic that you buy into bourgeois propaganda so easily. No communist country should be looked favourly upon by capitalist powers, since they are completely opposed to them. Che did not exile anyone, he was in charge of a court that executed Batista thugs and murderers.

Of course social revolution must be brought on by the workers themselves, but to say that in the early stages of this revolution that there should be no leadership is idealism. Nothing would be accomplished, and as proved by the Spanish anarchists, nothing was.

I'm sorry my opinions don't fit into your narrow list of acceptable beliefs, but this is due first and foremost to my belief in reality. I charge you to show me a successful anarchist revolution. You can insult me however much you want but it doesn't change the fact that anarchism is unrealistic.

Bakunin was no socialist, so he should not have been a part of the socialist international.

Anarchist logic amuses me greatly. Here you are bitching at me for being authoritarian and not letting anyone think for themselves, when you are the one insulting me for my beliefs. I never said anything about your ideology, and wouldn't have if you hadn't insulted me. You seem to be of the belief that everyone should be able to do whatever they want, unless it happens to conflict with even one of your beliefs. As people in the far left, our ideologies are not very far apart, so I find it amusing that you simply attack me and help to further split the movement instead of working together.

Thank you for proving the rightist point that the left can never get its shit together. They are completely right, we, as people completely out of the mainstream and so far on the left cannot even be civil for disagreeing on a few things.


i wouldnt be angry if i didnt think that marxist dogma is doing more harm than good to the revolution. people are sick of being told how to run every detail of their life. if revolution is only associated with a changing of masters than they will have no desire for it. i have seen and i know for a fact that workers are perfectly capaple of organizing there own lives and in fact are incredibly happier when they can work together and put there own ideas into there work rather than someone else telling them what to do. this makes them prone to counter revolutionary propaganda. think about when you are working with a group of people, are things done faster and better and are you happier when everyone works together in a spirit of equality or when someone dictates every detail of what must be done and people who do not follow orders are punished, as was the case in "soviet" russia. that turns you into a counter revolutionary, which is why they so called communist regimes collapsed in russia and china. which never could have happened if they had the support of the working class. i have friends who were slaves under your "workers and peasants" government in russia, and i have talked to people from cuba. poor working class people, and they never would have left there countries if the governments had genuine working class interests in mind. and even if they do. it has been shown by example that communism can only come about by the completely free initiative of all workers, not just bolshevik workers. if cuba is a "workers state" then why do poor working class people die trying to escape to capitalist america because they are unable to feed there families while bolshevik party beurocrats live in luxury. i am not angry with you. i just have a deep hatred of the bolsheviks who executed hundreds of thousands of genuine revolutionaries, many of whom had lost there families and risk there lives for the revolution and for the freedom of the entire working class to decide its own fate. maybe you should read "left wing communism, an infantile disorder" by lenin who called freedom a "bourgeois luxury." as for you saying that i have a "flowery" view of the revolution and that i dont want one hair on my head to get hurt, i would die for the revolution in a second, and i probably will, i just do not want to risk my life so that i can be executed by a "workers and peasants" government because i believe in the freedom of the entire working class to decide its own fate on its own terms. it is simply a matter of knowing who are the real friends of the revolution and working together with them and knowing who are the real enemies of the revolution and utterly destroying them. i hope that you are the former.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006
2:32 am
2:15 am

i went to a sweet hardcore show IN MY FRIENDS GARAGE! there like fifty people stuffed into a garage, CROWD SURFING. i had fun. and got a cd and a patch and a pin and some other shit all for five bucks. then i panhandled fifty cents and took the bus home. trying to find a few people who are interested in starting a squat,probably in like georgetown. arguing with stupid marxists who think that lenin massacreing tens of thousands of anarchists is justfiable because they didnt agree with him, silly dumb fucks. oh well were going to win anyway. marxism is totally dead.


Tuesday, December 27th, 2005
6:54 am
so ive been hanging out in bars and drinking a lot of wine for the holidays. today this guy kicked me out of the bar after hed already let me in three times because "i looked to youg" douchebags...
Thursday, December 8th, 2005
2:10 pm
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
4:52 pm
Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
1:22 am

French riot police patrol Clichy-sous-Bois on Nov. 2

France is invoking state of emergency law to impose curfews and call up police reservists to stop rioting that has spread out of Paris' suburbs and into nearly 300 cities and towns across France.

Nearly 600 people have been arrested; so-called "fast-track" trials are being used to punish rioters.

The tough new measures came as France suffered through a twelfth night of what is its worst civil unrest in decades. Police say vandals burned 1,173 cars overnight, a few less than the previous night, over 1,400 vehicles were torched.

In Toulouse, rioters set fire to a bus and threw gasoline bombs and rocks at police.

CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports that what began on Oct. 27 in a northeastern Paris suburb is a contagion of violence fed by long-simmering tensions now affecting communities from Marseille in the south, to Metz in the north, and in Paris (video).

Outside the capital in Sevran, a junior high school was set ablaze, while in another Paris suburb, Vitry-sur-Seine, youths threw gasoline bombs at a hospital, police said. No one was injured. Earlier, a 61-year-old retired auto worker died of wounds from an attack last week, the first death in the violence.

Asked on TF1 television whether the army should be brought in, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said, "We are not at that point."

But "at each step, we will take the necessary measures to re-establish order very quickly throughout France," he said. "That is our prime duty: ensuring everyone's protection."

The recourse to curfews followed the worst overnight violence so far, and foreign governments warned their citizens to be careful in France. Apparent copycat attacks took place outside France, with five cars torched outside the main train station in Brussels, Belgium. German police were investigating the burning of five cars in Berlin.

The mayhem is forcing France to confront anger building for decades in neglected suburbs and among the French-born children of Arab and black African immigrants. The two teenagers whose deaths sparked the rioting were of Mauritanian and Tunisian descent. They were electrocuted as they hid from police in a power substation, apparently thinking they were being chased.

"It is really the result of groups of angry youths who feel like they have no way out," Vanity Fair contributing editor Janine di Giovanni told CBS News. "Unlike Britain, unlike the Netherlands, they don't feel that Muslims are represented in the political process. So this is, in a way, their way of giving themselves a voice."

President Jacques Chirac, in private comments more conciliatory than his warnings Sunday that rioters would be caught and punished, acknowledged in a meeting Monday with Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga that France has not integrated immigrant youths, she said.

Chirac deplored the "ghettoization of youths of African or North African origin" and recognized "the incapacity of French society to fully accept them," said Vike-Freiberga.

France "has not done everything possible for these youths, supported them so they feel understood, heard and respected," Chirac added, noting that unemployment runs as high as 40 percent in some suburbs, four times the national rate, according to Vike-Freiberga.


A burnt-out van in Clichy-sous-Bois



Police search men in Clichy-sous-Bois

Many held as French riots spread
Firefighters battle a fire in Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris on 4 November 2005
The deaths of two teenagers of African origin triggered the unrest
French police have arrested more than 250 people following fresh riots in and around Paris and other parts of France.

Nearly 900 cars were burnt on the ninth consecutive night of unrest in immigrant-dominated areas near Paris, despite a heavy police presence.

Nurseries and a school were burnt overnight and unrest spread to Nice, Lille, Marseille and Toulouse.

Hundreds of people have heard a call for calm at a rally in one of the Paris suburbs worst hit.

The mayor of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Gerard Gaudron, made the appeal to marchers outside a fire station which had come under attack.

But youths at the rally in the suburb's rundown Mitry estate predicted violence would continue until tough-talking Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy resigned.

Muslim and Christian leaders were expected to join the march along with the families of the two youths whose deaths triggered the unrest.

Bouna Traore, aged 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station in Clichy-sous-Bois, near Paris.

Firemen try to extinguish a car set which was set on fire during the third night of riots in the Paris suburb city of Clichy-sous-Bois, October 30, 2005. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

Image: Strasbourg car fire










French youth face riot police in the Paris suburb of Clichy, October 29, 2005.

A van burns after clashes between French youth and riot police in the Paris suburb of Clichy, Octrober 29, 2005.

Clichy-Sous-Bois residents, some wearing t-shirts reading 'Death for Nothing', as they walk for the peace Saturday, Oct. 29, 2005.

Janitor cleans a destroyed phone booth after riots erupted between youths and security forces in the Clichy-Sous-Bois suburb of Paris during the night, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005.

1:07 am
Paris is Burning
State Violence in Clichy Sous Bois : An Eyewitness Account
Clichy-sous-Bois : lawlessness or injustice?
by Antoine Germa

I have been in and out of Clichy since Saturday morning, working with a France-Inter reporter on a series of reports about the situation in Clichy-sous-Bois. The city was “in arms” from the night of Thursday October 27th to the night of Monday October 30th.

I am writing what I have seen, heard, understood, and been told.

1. Two dead teenagers (Zyad and Bounna, 17 and 15 years old, from college #3) do seem to have been chased by the police, contrary to the official version which denied that there was any pursuit (the Sarkozy/Parquet version). Why else would they go in that alleyway and climb a wall to hide in a power substation when they lived so close by?

2. The ten young people who were playing soccer ran away from the police who were checking people’s i.d. because some of them did not have proper papers (amongst these, the third electrocuted youth, Metin, was in the process of having his case regularized). They were never involved in any theft from the site as the official version claimed, but that did not stop these claims from being repeated by [Prime Minister Dominique] de Villepin on Thursday. Nobody stands by these claims today, as the prosecutor from Bobigny acknowledged Saturday that it was a simple i.d. check. The youths who were arrested were released within an hour, more proof that the police had nothing on them. Metin, suffering from severe burns, “does not remember anything” according to the official version… is this silence connected to his legal status?

3. All sorts of rumours began to circulate in the city : Why are the police lying? What are they hiding? People spontaneously began to riot on Thursday, on Friday they were reinforced by the “older ones”. The first targets were: the post office (many cars burnt), the fire station (a fire truck demolished), bus shelters, a school (set on fire). The rioting became particularly violent on Friday (people throwing rocks and firebombs and shooting at police cars) This took place in the big thoroughfares that run through the Chene pointu neighbourhood (close to Pama). Many cars were set on fire, their burnt out shells were still littering the streets Saturday morning.

Saturday morning there was a silent march organized by religious associations and the mosques. There were appeals for calm. All eyes were on the justice system and [Minister of Public Security Nicolas] Sarkozy was singled out for criticism. Moslem community institutions, city officials and activists were visibly united, and seemed to have the situation under control. There were slightly more than a thousand participants. Visibly tired and emotional, the Socialist Mayor of Clichy, Claude Dilain, who seems to enjoy real support amongst the population of Clichy (including the youth), made an official request to Sarkozy to open an investigation into the deaths of the two teenagers. Coming out of a meeting at the city hall after the march, the lawyer for the victims’ families announced that he would be filing a complaint in order to expose the circumstances in which they died. The police were nowhere to be seen and all seemed calm that day.

Saturday night, as the fast was broken (around 6:30pm), 400 riot police – including some who came from Chalon s/saone – appeared all over the Chene pointu neighbourhood. As usual, they were encircling – “closing off” – the neighbourhood. The police are ridiculous : joggng in step, like Roman legionnaires, shields raised and flash-guns in hand, they went street by street as if fighting invisible enemies.

At that time of day everybody is eating and nobody stays outside. So why such a show of force at a time when the streets are unusually quiet? “Provocation” is the answer given by everyone from the area I asked. This is the recurring theme since Friday night.

After an hour, some young people go outside and stand in front of the police: everyone expects a confrontation. How does the police strategy make ay sense, except in terms of “marking their territory”, “restoring order” in the most primitive and macho way possible.

Several different eyewitness accounts and recordings clearly show that the police wanted to have it out with the youths: calling out racist insults, challenging them to fight, posturing. I went to the Bousquets mosque at 9pm: it was overflowing (roughly 1200-1300 people), as this was the Night of Destiny that is traditionally spent in the mosque. Several cars and garbage cans had already been set alight, and young people were here seeking refuge in this sanctuary in the middle of the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, there was a mood of solemn contemplation, and from the beginning the imams had played an important role in restoring the peace.

Despite the police provocations, Saturday night seemed less violent. Was this because of the appeals to calm repeated all day long? Was this due to the importance of the Night of Destiny at this point in Ramadan?

4. Sunday night, I receive an outraged and dismayed telephone call from Ibrahim, the son of an imam, at 10:55pm. He tells me that while people were praying the police gassed the de Bousquets mosque. He tells me that some women – who were in the section reserved for them – almost passed out. As they left they were met with insults from the forces of law and order: “whore, bitch…” Attempts to speak to the police proved futile, those who dared to try were ordered to “Move on!” and risked being wounded with a flash-ball. Ibrahim asks me to come to be a witness but I am not in Clichy at the time.

This news seems beyond belief. How can they attack a religious gathering? Why gas the mosque when (apart from the mayor) the religious authorities have been the only ones capable of calming things down? Things are now ready to explode; new confrontations break out and more cars are set on fire: positions are becoming more and more radical, especially as the police deny that they used tear gas in the mosque. They say the type of grenade that was used is not the kind issued to police. From this point on there are two issues: the deaths of the teenagers and the attack on the mosque.

It is at this point that Sarkozy appears on television defending and justifying the police actions in Clichy, once again calling for « zero tolerance » : one hand the iron fist, the other hand… nothing, except perhaps the invisible hand of the market.

5. Monday morning : the mood is tense. At 11am, Sarkozy meets with the security forces at the de Bobigny police station, offering them his congratulations and support. The official version of the gas attack on the mosque has been somewhat modified over night. It turns out the kind of grenade used was indeed the sort issued to police, but there are still some doubts: just who could have thrown the grenades into the mosque? Yet again, the official version is completely disconnected from reality.

At 1pm I arrive at Chene Pontu to watch the news on TV with the Imam and his family: the way the media is covering events is another one of the things people have complained about since the “riots” began. People here feel that the media are the representatives of the establishment, that they are spreading lies, and more than anything else that they are helping to stigmatize people who live in these working class neighbourhoods.

And yet, one can hear a change: the newspapers and the television channels are voicing some criticisms. They are beginning to question the official version of how the two kids died and the mosque was gassed.

At 2pm here is a press conference at the Bousquets mosque. A video of the attack was caught by on a cell phone camera. It is shown to many reporters: it shows the panic as the worshippers were gassed. Then the officials spoke, firmly, with emotion, demanding a judicial inquiry and an official apology. At the heart of these demands is the fact that people of different beliefs should be treated equally. The mosque president, Mr. Brouhout, who is close to the UMP, was strikingly able to calm people down. Bouna’s older brother told journalists that he would not meet with Sarkozy, who he feels is “incompetent”; instead, along with Zyad’s family he demands a meeting with the Prime Minister. There is a consensus that the police must leave the neighbourhood in order for things to calm down.

Around this press conference, community activists are highlighting the socio-economic causes behind these events. Clichy is one of the poorest municipalities in France and community groups have less and less money to work with. Things are tense as the press conference draws to a close: young people are sharing their stories, women are explaining what they experienced and saw first hand. A common theme in all these accounts is anger at the police, who are carrying out more and more foolish – and often illegal – “muscular” interventions, and at the authorities in the ministry who are not condemning the gas attack against the mosque. The religious authorities, visibly shaken by what happened the night before, slowly manage to take control of the situation.

Everyone is nervously waiting for nightfall. At 7pm representatives of the mosque and the police reach an agreement: some youths are designated mediators in order to “calm” the more hot-headed ones and prevent further confrontations with police. This is not a new idea: indeed, some young people had suggested this Saturday, but the police were not interested then. Is it that they feel they are unable to find a solution? Is this the end of the “hard” approach, which has proven itself so ineffective?

11 :30pm : the police are playing cat-and-mouse with some young people, but the situation seems under control. I am told that the mediators are playing a key part on the ground: they go and meet with the younger kids, they talk to them to convince them to not do anything. Later that night I learn that the police station at Montfermeil has been set on fire and that the police had made some arrests. There had been no major confrontations.

Antoine Germa , Tuesday November 1st. The author is a history-geography teacher who works in Clichy-sous-Bois.

According to legal sources, one minor and two young adults were arrested in Aix-en-Provence and the Paris region Monday, accused of using the internet to incite people to riot and attack police.
The three blogs in question were hosted on the site owned by radio Skyrock, which deactivated them over the weekend.
“The sites were inciting people to participate in the urban violence and to attack police and police stations,” a parquet judge told Reuters in Paris.
The parquet is supposed to decide today whether or not to open a judicial file, having decided that an investigation in necessary to ascertain the political connections of the accused as well as whether or not their activities were part of a broader organization.
The accused could face up to five years in prison if the charges of “inciting assault against individuals” is upheld.

Clichy-sous-bios Riots : Youth Accuse the Police

Police provocations and repression
Sunday October 30th 2005, by David Cadasse

Following the insurrectional reaction to the two teenagers who died of electrical burns in a substation as they tried to “run from the police,” young people in Clichy-sous-bois (a suburb of Paris) are accusing the forces of law and order of throwing fuel on the fire, knowingly provoking them and even shooting them with rubber bullets for no reason. Afrik has obtained a video in which one can see this police violence, and has also collected several accounts during a meeting, Sunday, between the mayor and neighbourhood youth.


Sunday, 3pm, Clichy-sous-bois. The mayor has organized an informal meeting with young people from the neighbourhood, all of whom are very disappointed and upset by the attitude of the police the night before. Yesterday the city had organized a silent demonstration in honour of the two teenagers, Ziad and Banou, who were burnt to death last Thursday in an electrical substation after being chased, or at least thinking they were being chased, by police. But if, after two days of rioting, the tension seemed to have subsided, the youth accuse the police of fanning the flames and keeping people’s hatred alive by committing more and more provocations, abuses and needless repression.

“Everyone has made tremendous efforts to calm things down. The demonstration was peaceful, but that night the CRS [riot police] made a point of harassing the youth, provoking them,” admitted a municipal official who requested anonymity. In the parking lot at city hall, over 150 youths, almost all of African origin (Black and Arab), came to listen to the mayor. The mayor made a point of reminding them that all of the damage that has been done will be paid for by the city, which means by the taxpayers. He suggested that the solution should be between people in the city and seemed to leave aside the question of the police. Everyone expressed themselves quite freely.

In the crowd everyone was talking. Little groups formed here and there to discuss the events of the night before. Everyone condemned the provocations and abuse of the police. Many people witnessed or were themselves victims of abuse.

Jeremy, fed up, explains: “They [the police – Afrik] are more hot-headed than usual, they are provoking us more. The brother of one of the dead kids was with us, as usual, in front of his building when the police came by with their flash balls [a gun that fires rubber bullets – Afrik] and started checking us out, finally telling him ‘you, go home to your mother.’ He took a few steps towards the cops to talk to them when one of the cops told him ‘Stop or I’ll shoot you.’ We ran in and up to the tenth floor, and they started shooting gas into the lobby.”

Mothers Insulted As They Leave The Mosque

“They all say shit, especially the journalists,” says Youcef, looking over at the Capa camera crew (Le vrai journal) surrounded by young people, taking pictures and getting quotes. “First of all, they started by attacking the reputation of the victims, when today even the prosecutor from Bobigny admits that the police had not ever suspected them of anything bad. The media wants us all to look like trash, whereas it is the police who provoke the youth, trying to get any excuse to hit or shoot.”

With barely contained anger, Morad tells us this: “We were leaving the mosque when the police surrounded us with their flash-balls drawn. They took us aside, but what really shocked us was when they started insulting the mothers who were leaving the prayers: ‘Get out of here you gang of whores and keep a better eye on your kids!’”

Morad does not seem like the type who would look for a confrontation with the police, but not everyone is so cool-headed.

Forces of law and order… or disorder?

You can feel the tension in the air. All the more because three police cars are stationed just 50 meters from the town hall. One of the officers has his flash ball in his hand with his finger on the trigger. The crowd takes this as yet another provocation. Tempers are rising. Two people start shouting that the crowd should attack the police: “Come on, we out-number them, we’ll all go together and smash them up,” says one of them. Luckily, calmer heads prevail, and manage to disperse the line of youths that had formed in front of the police.

“They are provoking us too much, I have friends who had been shot at, just like that, for no reason, with plastic bullets. This can only lead to more violence. Everyone is angry. Now if it’s going to explode, it’s going to explode. I am not afraid of them and their weapons. We will get to a point where we will get weapons . It’s going to get like in America here,” predicts Jonathan.

“The police stopped me at 4am. I was alone in my car. They searched the car and found a baseball bat in my trunk. When they asked me why I had the bat, I told them that there is no law against having a bat in your trunk. They answered me, saying ‘Well is there against a law against me ramming it in your face?’ Then they started going on saying ‘This isn’t Beirut here’ and calling me a ‘little faggot.’ One of them really wanted me to cry. He came right up to me and shouted ‘Cry!’ Luckily, just as this was happening some reporters drove by. I called out and they stopped. Before they got there the cop said he didn’t like reporters, but there was nothing he could do and he had to leave me alone.”

Nicolas Sarkozy Supports The Police

There are two different versions of the dramatic events at Clichy-sous-bois, regarding whether or not the police were chasing the teenagers after their soccer match. The police say one thing, and the young people from the area say something else. The problem is, there are witnesses. One of the young people who were chased explains that he hid while his three friends ran straight to the power substation. Even without this testimony, some people just don’t understand how the police version makes any sense. “Why were some young people arrested if they were not being chased, seeing as they all ran away?” “Why else would the teenagers have decided to climb a 3 meter high wall with barbed wire on top?” Just more questions that the police sweep aside.

Sunday at 8pm, the Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy stated on channel one that, according to the information he received, “The police were not chasing the youths.” If he does intend to “tell the truth to everyone,” he also made a point of paying “homage to the remarkable work the police have been doing” and to “congratulate them” for the arrests they have made. A law-and-order discourse that many people feel leads to a dangerous conclusion – that those who have been arrested [during he riots] are all thugs – and which gives the police carte blanche to do what they please with impunity.

A damning video for the forces of law and order

Once again, Nicolas Sarkozy repeated that he will maintain a policy of “zero tolerance” towards urban violence. Discounting community policing, he insists on the need for more and more arrests. “Real young people” will have nothing to fear from the police. In the meantime, on Sunday a security force of over 400 CRS [riot police], guardsmen and police took up positions throughout the city.

Can the police, supported by the Minister of the Interior, do as they please? A video, recorded with a cell phone, is circulating throughout the neighbourhoods. A file called “Sarko’s new keufs” [keuf is slang for police] was given to Afrik, and part of it can be viewed online. We see a police car parked with its door open. We think we can make out that someone has thrown something at the police. The response is immediate. We can clearly see plainclothes police firing again and again with heir flash-balls. We see them chasing the young people, calling out “Come back you bastards!”

“Some of the rubber bullets are even signed,” says Kader. “There is a guy who was hit by one that had ‘Boum boum on your ass, see you soon, Luc’ written on it.”

There seems to be a great divide between the police and the youth. Between the politicians who approve of the police’s behaviour and the media, which is accused of distorting and falsifying reality, the hostility and exasperation are feeding feelings of hatred that may unfortunately lead to worst.

"Anything could have started it. When you're an immigrant here, you're just stuck in your shit. Does it really surprise you it's going up in flames?"

- Momo, Age 26, Aulnay-sous-Bois

“The thugs will disappear, I will deploy the force necessary to clean this up… We will use the Karcher treatment [referring to a cleaning product]. We will send in special teams and then, if necessary, the riot squads.”

- Nicolas Sarkozy, Minister of Public Security, June 20th, La Courneuve

A bit of background

Nicolas Sarkozy is the Minister of the Interior and Town and County Planning, and is widely seen as a leading presidential candidate in 2007. He has staked out the right of the political field, excelling at outrageous macho statements, all in an attempt to curry favour with the white racist vote. And it seems to be working, as he is considered the most popular politician in France. (Sarkozy pledges police crackdown after riots in Paris, The Guardian, Tuesday November 1, 2005)


France has a powerful far right – this is the country of Jean-Marie Le Pen – and has long been a strategy of all kinds of bourgeois politicians to try and win votes from these fascists by trying to outdo them at their own game (what has been called the “lepenization of the mind”). Perhaps in this vein, in June Sarkozy provoked public outcry when he promised to give the suburb of La Courneuve (in Seine-Saint-Denis) the "Karcher treatment". Just a week befor ethe events discussed here he referred to local youths as "thugs" and "trash" when he visited Argenteuil (Val-d'Oise), another Parisian suburb. (Clichy-sous-Bois: Nicolas Sarkozy seul en première ligne, le Nouvel Observateur, November 1st 2005)

And then came the night of October 27th, in the last week of Ramadan, in the suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. Home of 28,000 people, “many of whom are immigrants from North or Central Africa. Most live in rundown, low-rise public housing estates. Unemployment rates are among the highest in France and many locals see the police as 'the enemy'.” (Fires of 'civil war' erupt in Paris, The Guardian, Sunday October 30, 2005)

A Certainly Incomplete Timeline

Thursday October 27th
Clichy-sous-Bois, 6:12pm: A group of a dozen or so teenagers have been playing soccer. They are on their way home for their evening meal (Moslems fast during the daylight hours of Ramadan.) The police routinely harass young people in the heavily immigrant suburbs that form a working class ring around Paris (the “petite couronne”). So when the teenagers spot police checking people’s IDs they run. Ziad Benna (17 years old), Bouna Traoré (15 years old) and a third friend are chased into a power substation where they hope to hide; they are all electrocuted and Benna and Traoré die.

Initially, Minister of the Interior Sarkozy accused the dead teenagers of being thieves, while also claiming that the police never in fact chased anyone, but that this was all some kind of misunderstanding or hallucination on the part of the teenagers. (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

Later on, everyone will acknowledge that the teenagers were not thieves and had no history of run-ins with the police.

The police will continue to deny that they ever chased the teenagers, but several eyewitnesses contradict this story. According to Sofiane, a 16 year old friend of the victims, the police chased the youths right up to the substation. (Incidents épars en Ile-de-France, France2.fr)

That evening neighbourhood youths clash with police, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, setting cars on fire, and vandalizing buildings. A shot was reportedly fired at police. (France hs strict gun control, so the use of liv ammunition by rioters has caught everyone's attention.) Police responded by firing tear gas at the rioters. About 27 people were detained. 23 cops and 1 journalist were wounded. The number of rioters injured is not known. (Wikipedia: 2005 Clichy-sous-Bois riots)

Friday October 28th
Clichy-sous-Bois: over 200 riot police battle neighbourhood youth. At least one shot was fired at the police, 19 people were detained and 15 cops and one journalist were injured.
'There's a civil war under way in Clichy-sous-Bois at the moment,' Michel Thooris from Action Police CFTC police trade union, said. 'My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical nor theoretical training for street fighting.'

Saturday October 29th
Clichy-sous-Bois: roughly 1,000 people hold a silent march, many wearing T-shirts bearing the message: 'Dead for Nothing'.

Sunday October 30th
Clichy-sous-Bois: During evening services a tear gas grenade is fired into the Bourgets mosque; as they flee the building Moslem women are insulted by police who call them “whores” and “bitches.” The police deny that he tear gas grenade was the kind that they use.

Monday, October 31st
Rioting spreads to Seine-Saint-Denis. In nearby Montfermeil, the municipal police garage is set on fire. (Wikipedia: 2005 Clichy-sous-Bois riots)

The cops are forced to admit that the tear gas grenade used in the attack against the Bourgets mosque was indeed the kind that they use.

As night falls the Clichy-sous-Bois police station is attacked with a molotov cocktail. (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

Tuesday November 1st
Over the previous night rioting has spread to nine other suburbs. A total of 150 arson attacks on garbage cans, vehicles and buildings were reported. The unrest was particularly intense in Sevran, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Bondy, all in the Seine-Saint-Denis region, which is considered to be a “sensitive area of immigration and modest incomes.” Three cops were slightly injured. In Aulnay-sous-Bois, rioters threw Molotov cocktails at the town hall and rocks at the firehouse; police fired rubber bullets at advancing rioters. (Wikipedia: 2005 Clichy-sous-Bois riots)

Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin meets with the parents of the three teenagers, promising a full investigation of the deaths and insisting on "the need to restore calm." (Clashes continue in Paris suburbs, The Guardian, Wednesday November 2, 2005)

Wednesday November 2nd
Reports suggest rioters briefly stormed a police station while 177 vehicles were torched during the previous night. One government official claims that live rounds were fired at riot police. Two primary schools, a post office and a shopping centre were damaged and a large car showroom set ablaze. Police vehicles were stoned as gangs turned on police. Rioting spreads west-ward to the area of Hauts-de-Seine where a police station was bombarded with home-made Molotov cocktails. Jacques Chirac, the President of France made appeals for calm, and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin held an emergency cabinet meeting. (Wikipedia: 2005 Clichy-sous-Bois riots)

Aulnay-sous-Bois: “youths lobbed molotov cocktails at an annex to the town hall and threw stones at the fire station” (Clashes continue in Paris suburbs, The Guardian, Wednesday November 2, 2005)

Sarkozy cancels his upcoming trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan and Prime Minister de Villepin cancels his trip to Canada. (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

Thursday November 3rd
Over the previous night protestors set fire to 315 cars in the Paris area overnight, half of them in Seine-Saint-Denis, where nine people were injured, officials said. (French youths open fire on police, The Guardian, Thursday November 3, 2005) Throughout the Paris suburbs rioting is reported in Bondy, Aubervilliers, la Courneuve, Saint-Denis, Gennevilliers and Asnières-sur-Seine. In Aulnay-sous-Bois, “gangs of youths set fire to a Renault car dealership and incinerated at least a dozen cars, a supermarket and a local gymnasium.” (French youths open fire on police, The Guardian, November 3rd 2005)
Rioting is also reported outside of the Paris area, notably in Dijon, where several; cars were set on fire. (Incidents épars en Ile-de-France, France2.fr)
The families of Ziad Benna and Bouna Traoré file a formal complaint against persons unknown for non-assistance of a person in danger. (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

1,000 police, including 12 new mobile and anti-riot units, patrol Seine-Saint-Denis at night (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

Sarkozy goes on television, claiming that “What we have seen in Seine-Sainte-Denis is in no way spontaneous, it is prefectly organized. We are working to find out by who and how.” (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

Prime Minister de Villepin addresses the Senate, saying that “The Republican state will not give in” and that “law and order will have the last word.” (Heure par heure, le Nouvel Observateur, November 3rd 2005)

to be continued...
Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
2:38 pm
halloween was pretty fun. everything is really shitty right now but my mom said she was going to give me three hundred dollars today so... yeah. money brings happiness.. fucking burn it all down.
Friday, September 2nd, 2005
5:41 pm
You scored as Cocaine. Be careful, this drug is very addicting, and you can build a tolerance quickly.
















What's your ideal drug?
created with QuizFarm.com
12:20 pm
hanging out at the fair and smoking to many ciggarettes. panhandling 3.60 from christians. going to the fair again to day. not sleeping a whole lot.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005
11:17 am
"Purity is the opposite of integrity—the cruelest thing you can do to a person is make her ashamed of her own complexity. The stories of our lives have no morals. Any single conclusion drawn would be false; the episodes, taken together, are untranslatable, incomparable. If we are to conclude at all, we can only conclude against conclusions."
Friday, August 19th, 2005
5:34 pm
i went to some show yesterday and i didnt know anyone there. im sitting in a little town called sutton and im the only one at my house because everyone is in homer or at work or something. someone should come here.
Monday, August 1st, 2005
11:44 pm
im in seattle. im really tired right now. my dad is here to see a doctor so i will get to see him hopefully tomorrow. me and piper lived on a sailboat for awhile and that was fun. bob dylan played in portland on saturday but i didnt get to go because i am too poor. so that sucked.
Friday, July 15th, 2005
5:19 pm
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