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Hieronymous
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Sep 10 2017 17:29
Serge Forward wrote:
Can I just say, continually referring to this nark as "Dr J" while mentioning his projects and collaborators is all a bit bloody daft.

It also disparages the real Dr. J

bootsy
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Sep 13 2017 10:49

What a laughable comment from Joseph Kay! Samotnaff may be a bit verbose at times but that doesn't mean his analysis of Drohn Jury's cop consulting wasn't on the money. On the other hand, TPTG have effectively shown JK and Aufheben's assertion here to be nothing but shameless lies and wishful thinking, particularly in their second open letter. Don't take my word for it though, have a look at it for yourself and make up your own mind if you still aren't aware of this depressing saga - https://libcom.org/library/second-open-letter-those-concerned-progress-o...

SECOND OPEN LETTER TO THOSE CONCERNED WITH THE PROGRESS OF OUR ENEMIES (INCLUDING SOME NECESSARY CLARIFICATIONS AND REFUTATIONS OF THE COP CONSULTANT’S DEFENCE TEAM’S CLAIMS)

We have followed almost all the comments (both positive and negative) made on the various sites on the questions we raised in our first Open Letter. What made the worst impression to us about the defence team that was organized around Dr. JD was not only the scurrilous behaviour of Libcom’s administrators but mainly the seemingly bizarre response of Aufheben to our Letter. Since many questions raised in our Letter have been evaded by Aufheben in their response, we will have to start this second Letter with a summary and an extension of what we had said.

TIME SPENT ON ANALYSING THE PROGRESS OF OUR ENEMIES IS NOT WASTED TIME

Let us summarize the main arguments in our previous Open Letter and the broader context we put them into.

As everybody knows, we are in a critical period of capitalist attack and class counter-attack in which, among other things, confrontation with police tactics and their academic/intellectual consultants is of vital importance for us.

Starting from a basic analysis of the modern democratic capitalist state in its two contradictory fundamental aspects: the provision for the smooth course of capital accumulation and the legitimization of exploitative capitalist relations, we can only understand its policing/repressive apparatus and its methods if we put them into this very context. Like the rest of the state institutions, the police should also act in such a way as to both facilitate exploitation and capitalist circulation in imposing public order through outright repression when needed and to legitimize its own role appearing as “co-operative” and flexible enough by hindering potential crowd unification, extending/reinforcing existing separations in the struggles, encouraging, and even leading to self-policing by, the non-violent crowd members themselves. And this is the where the cop consultant academics’ role proves useful to the state, for example D and Co. Those social psychologists focusing on crowd theories from a police perspective present the state and its repressive mechanisms with the most sophisticated approach so far to crowd control by dismantling fallacious older relevant theories on crowds. Their approach instead takes into consideration the social identities of the crowd members, the different groupings within the crowd and their interaction with the police. Their proposed ways of policing therefore help the cops minimize conflict and at the same time gain the co-operation of the peaceful majority in policing the minority of trouble-makers – thus, they legitimize the police themselves. As this scientific advice to the cops aims at pacifying class struggles, such pacification should be conducted in an elaborate manner so that the police profile remains intact (or hardly damaged) and thus the legitimacy of the state is renewed. However, make no mistake here: theirs’ is not a liberal-reformist approach as nowhere in their analyses does there appear a broader political view of extending civil rights and transforming social relations. It is a modern, realpolitik, technocratic model of policing whereby indiscriminate police violence is not favoured lest it provokes unified crowd violence –besides, the riot squads always lurk at a distance, as suggested… This knowledge-based public order policing approach, presented in their article Knowledge-Based Public Order Policing: Principles and Practice (by Reichert, Stott, D and others), offers practical guidelines to the police (e.g. the correct use of corralling – i.e kettling) but also examples of successful implementation (as in the 2004 Euro Championship): the guys deserve every last penny they get.

In our first letter we also stressed the limited perception of social conflicts these scientist, cop consultants have: “conflicts between the police and other [than hooligans] alienated [sic] groups in our society” are not “seemingly intractable”, as they claim. The conflicts they refer to are class conflicts, that is real contradictions of capitalist society that no academic, police consultancy, operationalist approach can ever solve. However, the state itself is the embodiment of this very contradiction between capital and “alienated groups”. The state is compelled to use more modern, advanced and elaborate academic cop consultancies to deal with class contradictions together with harsh repression when needed. Therefore, we believe, in a period of escalating class struggles in Greece (and worldwide), pro-revolutionaries should not disregard or underestimate such academic guidelines and research strengthening policing but on the contrary take them into serious consideration, analyse and deal with them. Such knowledge-based cop consultancies are even more dangerous to us especially when “knowledge” derives from academics who are simultaneously (and in a schizophrenic way) involved into anti-state communist politics.

This is the social context in which we put the “D issue” – the case of the member of the Aufheben group. It is because of the seriousness we attribute to well-informed academic research into policing, from the inside, that we handle D (and all the Ds of this world) with equal seriousness. Other issues are also important, though: the role of academic, state intellectuals in general; the dreadful state of some anti-state communists who not only choose to passively ignore state strategies but also defend energetically their clique and proven cop consultants in a truly gang-style way; the degree of alienation that schizophrenic types such as D reveal etc. However, we let such issues to be dealt with by others (some have already started doing it).

“IT ALL COULD HAVE BEEN RESOLVED VIA EMAIL” -a member of Libcom collective

Before we take on the core arguments of the Aufheben group’s response, we will comment briefly on what had happened in the months preceding the publication of our Open Letter. Aufheben say, in the beginning of their response, that we published our letter “despite an email circulated in August clarifying the numerous factual errors and false claims [we] make” and again in the end of their text “[TPTG] made no attempt to clarify the facts – for example by contacting us with a simple e-mail. We circulated an email back in August explaining these facts. It seems to have been ignored.” This is what happened: when we discovered last January that D, whom we knew as a member of Aufheben, was a cop consultant we were shocked (honestly, we have no idea what this “decade-long gossip” his group refers to is about but we would be interested to know how they dealt with it – just ignored it as another “smear”?). We immediately contacted some London comrades we have known since the 90’s, sending them the relevant documents (including the Policing article) and asking them if they had ever heard anything about this guy’s job. Nobody knew anything about his relation to the police neither had they seen any of the documents before. In the past, whenever we had tried to get in contact with Aufheben through their collective email address it was always “Johnny” – as Dr. D is known in the milieu - who answered. On principle we refuse to discuss politics with people related to the cops (or at least suspected of working with the cops). That is why we asked the people we know in London if they had any of the other Aufheben members’ personal emails. One of them said that he would try to get their consent to be contacted by us using their email addresses. The other members did not give him this consent (i.e. told him they did not wish to give it) because they wished comments to be made via the Aufheben collective email address. So, there was not a commonly acceptable way we could communicate with the rest of the group. Some months later, in August, somebody gave Aufheben a copy of a draft text on the issue Samotnaf was circulating for discussion and whose final version he was intending to post on Libcom. On August 22nd, they sent him a reply to this draft which they CCed to other people including us. This awkward and weakly argued email, instead of providing us with satisfactory answers, actually increased our suspicions and urged us to look into the matter more closely. Their “response” to us on Libcom dated October 7 is simply a cut and paste answer taken from the first 4 pages of that older email of theirs (which, by the way, we cannot publish here, since they said it is not for circulation; they can do it, if they wish). All they have done is change the names from Samotnaf to TPTG and cut out a few phrases, plus add a couple (which is how they managed to reply within 12 hours to our Open Letter…). From this ready-made response of theirs’ then, our suspicions that all these people cared about was to defend their cop consultant friend at any cost were confirmed. Actually, by not dealing with our specific arguments against knowledge-based public order policing and the concrete examples of how dangerous it can be, they proved - in their only concern to protect their member - their indifference towards the matter of state repression. It is obvious to us that even if we had managed to contact them last spring, we would have been served with the same lies and distortions included in their response. So, since August this question of contact and discussion between us and them has been of no interest to us. Why? Because we don’t like to be treated in a dishonest way, as if we were idiots. To state it bluntly: our initial suspicions about their refusal to let us contact them through their personal emails (thus avoiding Dr. D) were reinforced by their totally unconvincing email in August, so not even a grain of truth was expected from them anymore. We had to go on with our research on the researcher ourselves.

THE SUPPOSED HARMLESSNESS OF KNOWLEDGE-BASED PUBLIC ORDER POLICING AND ITS TECHNOCRATIC DESIGNERS

Let us now focus on their response in some detail. In it they develop a line of argument that attempts to belittle what we exposed publicly. At first, they try to devaluate our Open Letter as a “smear” and as a bunch of “factual errors”, “false claims” and “unfounded speculations”. Then they try to disconnect the work of Dr. D from his “liberal-reformist” – as they call them - colleagues (Dr. Stott and Prof. Reicher). After that, they want to persuade the readers that the work of these two people is not dangerous and when they do “lobby” the police they do it for a humane reason. In addition, they argue that Dr. Stott’s and Prof. Reicher’s research is not really useful for the police. Through a series of irrational arguments they intend to show that the cops don’t take into account their “insights”. They even try to connect “soft” policing strategies with the advance of struggles. As they write: “we also disagree with TPTG when they suggest that this expert intervention is an active impediment to social change.” Finally, they scold us for not communicating with them. Let’s now see if any of their arguments are valid.

Leaving the part on the research work aside for the moment, let’s start with the “supposed dangerousness of the liberal reformists” part of their response. At first, it looks quite bizarre that Aufheben devote a disproportionately large part of their response to “correct” us regarding the Policing paper and their member’s colleagues’ work in general, while they have already stated categorically that their member had nothing to do with it and moreover that they (their member, as well) “reject fully” these academics’ “assumptions”. Wouldn’t it have sufficed just to denounce our accusations and prove his dissociation from them? However, what looks bizarre or ambiguous or awkward in this part of their response may not be at all, as we will show later. We argue that their choice to label the work of these policing designers/consultants as “liberal-reformist” is a deliberate distortion. A careful reading and analysis of the “Policing article” would suffice to prove that these strategists do NOT “lobby for less violent policing” and do NOT “seek to reduce police violence, arrests and jail sentences” because they “support ‘anti-capitalist demonstrators and football fans’”, as we have already shown in our first Open Letter. According to their designing of policing, the police strategy should be graded whereby “levels of policing intervention” should be developed “with the aim of creating a positive and close relationship with crowd members, but also of monitoring incipient signs of disorder”. While the first level of policing intervention should be carried out by “officers in uniform, working in pairs spread evenly throughout the crowd within the relevant geographical location – not merely remaining at the edges” with “their primary function” being “to establish an enabling police presence” and having been “specifically trained to be friendly, open and approachable”, accepted as they are by the crowd, they can “spot signs of tension and incipient conflict” and can “therefore respond quickly to minor incidents of emergent disorder and ensure that they targeted only those individuals who were actually being disorderly without having impact on others in the crowd”. Policing shifts to level 2 “where disorder endures or escalates” with “larger groups of officers moving in, still wearing standard uniforms” in order to “communicate with fans [or “other alienated groups in our society”] in a non-confrontational manner, to reassert shared norms concerning the limits of acceptable behaviour, and to highlight breaches of those norms and the consequences that would flow from them. Should this fail, the intervention would shift up to level 3. Officers would don protective equipment and draw batons, but always seeking to target their actions as precisely as possible. If this is still insufficient, then the riot squads in full protective equipment and with water cannon are always ready at the fourth tactical level” (as cited in the Policing article, p.412-413, slightly re-arranged for clarification’s sake). So, there is nowhere a sign of “lobbying for less violent policing”. On the contrary, D and Co. talk about the right timing of the use of police violence which should be as targeted as possible and seen as “legitimate” as possible. The argument of the supposed “support” of these policing strategists’ for ‘“anti-capitalist demonstrators and football fans’” is equally groundless and false. What they actually support (and also advise the police to do) is respect for the enactment of the right of peaceful citizens/members of the crowd to demonstrate or protest in the street insofar as their protest is self-limited within the permissible limits of bourgeois democracy. No matter how hard we tried, we found in the article no support for the anticapitalist demonstrator to question practically existing bourgeois legality and to broaden it, as a liberal reformist would do on principle. On the contrary, they fully support the “right” of the police to repress violent demonstrators, the ones that disturb public order and by extension bourgeois legality and capitalist circulation of commodities. Thus Aufheben’s claim that they “seek to reduce police violence, arrests and jail sentences” is equally wrong: they clearly advise for targeted, differentiated police violence and pre-emptive arrests. So, how “politically irrelevant” can it then be to “do research” with fellow technocratic designers of advanced policing strategies who propose methods and interventions for the state’s apparatuses and organizations in order to de-escalate conflicts, enhance the legitimacy of the police and the state and also save budget money? (given that a confrontation, except when really needed, is always more expensive for the state’s budget, than a peaceful “crowd event”).

Based on this initial distortion, Aufheben go on to criticize our “misunderstanding”: “the ‘Policing’ paper has [not] helped in tactics of repression”. Why? Because, as they say, “in plain English, ‘guiding the cops to act in ways which maximizes the opportunities to engage crowd members’ in processes of de-escalating conflict means suggesting to the cops that it’s in their own interests not to use force as their first choice method. The research on which the paper is based shows that policing perceived by crowd members as illegitimate and indiscriminate brings them together against the police; the premise, therefore, is those situations [our emphasis] where people are not already united against the police. The research and ideas don’t explain how the police’s actions can create difference in a crowd where it didn’t exist previously.” What a clumsy attempt to present the cop consultants’ basic method of divide-and-rule as useless and harmless since the crowd is already divided! Now, although English is not our mother tongue, what we have understood perfectly well by reading the cop consultants’ guidelines is that they always perceive crowd members to be in different groupings within it, as far as violent intentions are concerned, and that is why D and Co. say, in plain English, that: “the relationship and the balance between groupings within the crowd is critically dependent upon the interaction between the crowd and outsiders [e.g. police]” and that “where the police have both the inclination and the power to treat all members in a crowd event as if they were the same, then this will create a common experience amongst crowd members which is then likely to make them cohere as a unified group”. So, for them what is of importance is not to “disrupt the willingness of crowd members to contain the violence of those in their midst - what we term self-policing” and thus they “do suggest that this understanding [of “processes through which violence escalates and de-escalates”] can guide the police to act in ways that minimize conflict and maximize the opportunities to engage crowd members themselves in achieving this end”, with this “engagement” actually meaning that the non-violent ones can be “recruited as allies in subduing violence” (all excerpts are from the Policing article, p.407, 408, 409, cited in our previous Open Letter. We are sorry for repeating the citations but we have to since neither Aufheben took them into consideration in their cut-and-paste response nor their sympathizers in Libcom and elsewhere). Reinforcing existing divisions and separations within crowds on the street level and outright repression is, of course, the most the police can do as an apparatus of repression (with a little elaborated scientific help) but this is precisely the field these cop consultants “do research” in as specialists. The “obvious limits to the extent to which the cops can take on board and act upon this knowledge” are the limits of the police in general faced with proletarian struggles, a fact that police practitioners already know, that’s why they are constantly seeking for more effective policing methods. What seems simplistic therefore is to suggest, as Aufheben do, that the cops act “regardless of such insights”, when the HMIC report was based precisely on D and Co’s “insights” and consultancies or that state funds are spent on such “research” out of bad judgement or plain idiocy and, moreover, it’s just as simplistic to dismiss – in such a twisted manner – the designing of policing implemented so many times against proletarians in struggle or in fun (so-called “hooliganism”). However, Aufheben not only underestimate, through distortion, the importance of these policing consultancies; they even directly reject any serious discussion about the “relation between ‘facilitative’ policing and the falling back of struggles”. This relation is not a “simple” one, they say, as if they are addressing simpletons. “There are too many mediations”,“contingencies”, “numerous factors”... Yes, we are very well aware of the fact that other mechanisms and mediations (political parties, unions, the media etc) that hinder proletarian “empowerment” should always be taken into consideration and Aufheben would be entitled to “correct” us if we were engaged in a communist theoretical discussion with them on the importance of violence and police repression in general in class struggles –and, moreover, if we argued like hot-heads. However, the situation is completely different: while we prove that one of their members has been heavily involved in consulting the police how to repress struggles “correctly”, instead of just refuting this, they also feel obliged to both present such expert intervention as harmless and to relativise police repression (soft or hard) as if it had no importance at all. Why such a bizarre response from a supposedly communist group, we ask again. Perhaps a social psychologist could be useful here: “Once people define themselves in terms of a group membership, the fate of one member of the group and (hence of others in the group), the well-being of that member, the prestige and reputation of that member becomes the group’s fate, its well-being, its prestige and its reputation” [paraphrazing D and Co. from the Policing article, p. 406].

But apart from that, we also argue here that by doing this they want to preemptively minimize the effect of further evidence about his involvement in policing consultancies that could be brought to light sooner or later. Well, we prefer to have it sooner.

WHY LET THE FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF A “GOOD SAMARITAN” STORY?

Now let’s debunk one by one all of their misleading claims about “correct” and “incorrect” facts.

1. Aufheben claim that JD “did not write the Policing paper or any part of it”, that “he was added as an author by the first author as a “favour” because part of the paper refers to J’s research on identity-change in crowds” and that “he allowed his name to be added to a paper that he was against in principle.”

Some people have already reasonably asked why after four long years (the Policing article was published in 2007) Dr D has not withdrawn it from his profile on the University of Sussex site if he is against it in principle. This reasonable question can easily be answered by the simple fact that he had no reason to be against what he himself had written or helped write numerous times before and after that article. People might be interested to know that this is not the only article in a police journal where JD appears as an author. Namely, JD is one of the authors of the article Chaos theory, which was published in Jane’s Police Review, 117, 6026 in April 2009, two years after the Policing article. This article which is co-signed by two of the co-authors of the Policing article (C.J Stott and S.D. Reicher) repeats almost verbatim what D and Co. had written two years earlier. According to the editorial summary of this article (available at: http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/staff/CStott/PR_24_Apr_Feature_Protests....), “new research into policing high-risk protests suggests that understanding a crowd is key to controlling it. Clifford Stott, Stephen Reicher and JD look at how the theory could have helped officers police the G20 protests”. In this case, just because “the police handling of the G20 protest” that year had become “the subject of ongoing negative national news headlines” [p.20] the police perspective of the authors is even more pronounced than in the Policing article as the following quotations show: “Mass containment of crowds during public order incidents may be legally justifiable, but how effective it is in managing crowd dynamics remains open to question” [p. 20]. “What is clear is that policing a major event in central London [the G20 protest] has turned into another critical incident for the service, and the more positive aspects of the operation will be widely ignored” [p. 20]. “If the police want to manage crowds, the most effective way of doing so is to understand and harness the processes underlying their behaviour. What our research suggests is that a lack of accurate knowledge about crowd dynamics is also leading to missed opportunities during public order events for developing more effective tactics and command-level decision making”. We have also been exploring the implication of our understanding of crowd dynamics for police command and control structures, approaches to intelligence, accountability and multi-agency co-operation. This new theoretical approach means it is possible to start asking the right questions about how to build more effective and proportionate policing responses to high-risk crowd events” [p. 21-22]. As D and Co. boast: “The success of this approach has now been recognized internationally. The research-led model has been adopted by the European Council Working Group in International Police Co-operation and continues to be used across Europe” [p. 22]. Therefore their work may also have direct implications to the ongoing class struggles in Greece or elsewhere. It must also be noted that this article cites 3 other papers co-authored by Dr. D including the article published in the Policing journal. This should be noticed by all those who have swallowed Aufheben’s lie that JD is not one of the authors of this gem.

Moreover, according to a December 2009 press release by the University of Sussex (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/?id=2567) (also mentioned by two commenters on the Libcom discussion), Dr D, along with his respectable colleagues and friends Dr. Stott and Prof. Reicher, was “consulted by the HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) review into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London. Now the HMIC’s report – Adapting to Protest – Nurturing the British Model of Policing – [http://www.hmic.gov.uk/media/adapting-to-protest-nurturing-the-british-m...] reasserts the principles of the traditional British model of approachable, impartial and accountable policing based on minimum force for major public order events. The researchers’ ‘new psychology of crowds’ formed the basis for the recommendations of the report. They emphasize that most crowd members have peaceful intentions and would normally shun advocates of violence. However, this can change if people feel they are being mistreated by the police. Effective policing therefore needs to be based on a ‘dialogue’ approach. This approach has three core elements: an understanding of the aims and intentions of crowd members; a focus on helping crowd achieve legitimate aims; and a series of graded interventions which target those causing disorder without denying the rights of the majority. These ideas have already transformed policing in several European countries through the team’s consultancy, led by Dr Stott. The researchers conclude that, if implemented in the UK, they would be equally effective in minimizing crowd violence here.” But let’s see what Dr. D himself said about his team’s work (his comments are included in the same press release): “Our recommendations form part of a new agenda for the mass democratization of crowd management. We have designed interventions based on our approach and have shown that they work.” He refers to chapter 4 of the above mentioned HMIC’s report and the interventions he and his colleagues have designed for the police are those mentioned in the Policing and the Jane’s Police Review articles –at least, these are the ones that have been published up until now. Also, notice that Dr. D approves of “mass democratization of crowd management”. So much for a rejection of liberal-reformism!

We believe that the above evidence suffices to prove, beyond any doubt, that all the above claims made by Aufheben are totally mendacious and, what’s more, that their position on this issue is totally hypocritical for a supposedly revolutionary group, especially when they admit that there’s been some “decade-long gossip” around their comrade’s activities. If there’s been “decade-long gossip”, as they say, how come that they never searched if there was fire behind the smoke? [ii]

INTERLUDE:[i] “We have ways of making you talk” (quote from Aufheben no. 12)

JD’s research on “identity change in crowds” is not at all as harmless as Aufheben have tried to convince us. As Dr. D’s team of state experts has repeatedly stated, the theoretical knowledge of crowd psychology is promoted by them as the solid basis for the determination of “police strategic and tactical decisions during an event” and the design of certain policing models which, as they have shown, have already been put into practice. It would really be interesting to examine how Dr D and his colleagues have formed their theories of crowd psychology that now inform police tactics and strategy. If the references of “Knowledge-based Public Order Policing: Principles and Practice” (http://www.liv.ac.uk/Psychology/cpd/Reicher_et_al_%282007%29.pdf) are reviewed[iii], it becomes evident that the theoretical knowledge which informs police tactics and strategy for crowd management has been constituted through an analysis of interviews with participants in the Poll Tax movement and the 1994 No M11 Link Road Campaign (and others which we leave for the reader to find out for himself/herself). An excerpt from his paper which deals with some specific crowd events during the No M11 Link Road Campaign [see Collective Action and Psychological Change] is indicative of his police perspective: “Thus, the majority did not radicalize as soon as the police arrived on George Green. Rather, any changes were dependent upon the ways in which the police acted towards crowd members. In short, the ‘extreme’ position only became influential to the extent that the police acted towards the majority so as to create a new context and new social relations within which ‘extreme’ actions became both legitimate and possible. Had the police been present but not violated the expectations of the majority, or if they had even acted in ways that violated the negative expectations of the minority, then we would not have expected any radicalization of the majority and we might even have found moderation among the minority. Hence, we would argue that the minority influence and polarization phenomena that we have found cannot be understood simply by reference to who is present in context. They demand an analysis of the evolving interactions through which the very nature of those parties is changed” [p. 598].

As D and Reicher point out in one of their papers [see The Intergroup Dynamics of Collective Empowerment]: “in analyzing contested events where crowd members are doing things that are opposed by police and local authorities and where the topic concerns acts that might be censored by these authorities or even be illegal it is necessary to have the full trust of respondents. This is complicated by the fact that members of many groups in protest distrust academics who they see as implicated in the system that is being opposed. It was this consideration which led us to analyse the specific protest against the setting of the poll tax by Exeter City Council in March 1990. The researchers had good contacts both among the protestors and among the councilors. On the basis of these contacts a sizable number of participants were prepared to discuss their perspective and their actions in some details” [p. 386].

There are two comments we would like to make. First, from now on no protesters should ever participate in such research organized by academics that present themselves as “sympathetic to their cause”. Second, the militant inquiry or “workers’ inquiry” – which was presented so unfavourably in Aufheben #12 by D and his ilk, under one of his multiple identities, this time that of a “communist” – is a completely different activity that may contribute to the expansion and strengthening of proletarian struggles on the absolute condition that it has no connection whatsoever with academic research.

[i] According to the description provided by the journal’s publishers: “Jane's Police Review has been in circulation for over 118 years as the independent journal of record for UK policing. The magazine is published by IHS Jane’s, a brand of IHS Global Ltd. The Jane’s brand holds an unrivalled reputation for the reliability, accuracy and impartiality of its information and advice, trusted and relied upon by business, government and military decision-makers worldwide” (http://www.policereview.com/about-janes-police-review). Furthermore, “Jane's Police Review keeps you up-to-date with the latest news about the UK police service. It combines the best independent coverage of national and local issues with expert comment, analysis and interviews. An extensive recruitment section, plus special features to address the issues that matter to officers and staff of every level, with its law updates and exam study programme. This is essential reading for anyone preparing for the Sergeants' or Inspectors' promotion exams, or National Investigators' Exams. It also offers a study guide for student officers undertaking the initial police learning and development programme.” (http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Police-Review-Community-99/CRIT...). More information about this journal can be found on its website: http://www.policereview.com.

[ii] It might well be that JD has completely misled the rest of Aufheben into believing that he has nothing to do with crowd control and cop consultancy. And yet, if the article The Role of Police Perceptions and Practices in the Development of ‘Public Disorder’, written by J. D, C. Stott and T. Farsides and published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology 33(7), 1480–1500, 2003 is examined carefully (available at: http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf), one will find among the references the following interesting item: Stott, C., and D, J. ,“A survey of the factors influencing levels of job satisfaction among employees of the Tayside Police Force (internal report, Tayside Police)”, Dundee, Scotland: University of Abertay, 1998. It seems, thus, that JD has worked for the police since at least 1998! It’s really astonishing and very depressing that, if the other members of Aufheben did not know about the 13 year-long endeavours of their comrade to make police repression more effective and the cops more “satisfied” with their job, that they never made the effort, nor showed any curiosity, to find out. Also, if they didn't know, to claim they knew all along to hide the shame of their lack of interest in, and ignorance about, what he was up to; to feel the need to remain loyal to him, despite the fact that he kept quiet about what he was doing; to show loyalty to someone who's put his career above everything they stood for – and going down with the Aufheben ship together with this money-maker and liar; to not abandon him when he has treated them as naive dupes; – that all this takes precedent over loyalty to the basic class struggle perspective that they've held over the 19 years since Aufheben began, and probably since even before that, is completely stupid and utterly self-defeating.

lettersjournal
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Sep 15 2017 20:30
Johnny wrote:
I was asked to do a press conference by the university to publicize some of my research, as part of the British Science Festival. I presented findings from our (unpublished) study, which show that the basis of the spread of conflict in the early stages of the 2011 riots shared identity (an anti-police identity that united the postcodes) and empowerment (crowd members gave each other support, and felt encouraged by beating the police). Obviously the journalists wanted to know the policing implications of this. I don’t think the study has policing implications, though, and the draft paper we have written does not make any such recommendations. I agreed with one of the journalists who said ‘by the time the riot started, it is too late.’ I said the clearest ‘policy’ implication, of the findings, if there was one, has to do with ‘stop and search’, since this shared experience of police harassment was a common theme in the shared identity and in the grievances people said they had beforehand.
Our work is (and will be) publically available and thus accessible to police and others. However, I reject the implication that the finding that defeating the police is empowering for rioters is instrumentally useful to the police in the way R and the other poster suggests. Obviously, what the media say in their articles is their biased interpretation of my statements, and I cannot respond to all of these. To be clear, we have had contact with some police forces in order to obtain police data (arrest and crime figures) which has been important evidence in our analysis of the August 2011 riots.

Quote:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity.

Tom Henry
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Sep 28 2017 03:42

By chance I just heard this interview on the radio - see link below.

It is JD's Science Week interview.

My favourite [sic] part:

Quote:
Interviewer:
How do you deal with it [rioting]?

JD:
What really needs to be addressed is [sic] the precipitating conditions and how did we get to that point where rioting is occurring and police have these difficult choices.

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2017/09/ssw_20170923_1205.mp3

This interview reflects exactly the original objection to JD's work that Libcom and other Aufheben supporters so vehemently attacked here all those years ago.

Tom Henry
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Sep 28 2017 05:50

In bed with Academia:

What could possibly go wrong?

el psy congroo
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Sep 29 2017 01:43

"If graffiti changed anything it'd be illegal."

If Libcom changed anything it'd be compromised by State security.

Tom Henry
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Oct 2 2017 05:41

Is there really simply to be silence from the Libcom admins and the others who supported Aufheben at the time of the revelations? Silence from Aufheben itself?

Maybe what JD is doing is still acceptable behaviour for Aufheben? I actually think that it is, and I don't blame them. Aufheben (and Endnotes, a departure from Aufheben in 2005, but not over this issue) clearly occupy a position of some kind within academia, particularly if they achieve some success there: their radicality is useful for the university, and enables them to gain leverage within academia. Whether they manage to gain that leverage is another matter.

I do not think JD should be hounded or abused, he is not really at fault here, he is acting as a function of his position in academia. The route he has taken has led to a particularly obvious situation. The route others in academia take leads to less clear situations. I feel sorry for him over this, and I do not wish bad things for him. I hope he is/will be OK.

[EDIT: by the way, I don't think Joseph Kay should be hounded or abused over this either, since he invested so/too much in defence of JD/Aufheben.

But I do think that Aufheben and Endnotes should be be critically re-appraised by those who find Aufheben/Endnotes valuable sources of theory and interpretation.]

I know that others will say that my perspective here is wrong. Firstly in 'letting him off' as an individual, and secondly in my suspicion of the University.

But I think most people here who supported the defence of Aufheben - or were the strongest voices - were academic (am I wrong though? If I am then there is another discussion to be had as to our relation as radicals to the educational/pedagogical system that surrounds us).

I don't think JD has anything to add to a potential discussion on this, but I do think that it would be interesting for Aufheben and/or Endnotes people, as well as Libcom admin if they are closely related (?), to offer their thoughts about the connection between radicality and the university in the light of all this.

I think it is not irrelevant either, though I know others will deem it irrelevant, to observe that both Aufheben and Endnotes have consistently employed a journalistic style and method in their writing. (For me they - both journals - occupy a kind of journalistic 'left of the Guardian' space. With always the addition of a few profanities for street-cred/hip status.)

As I have written elsewhere, universities are, in my opinion, key motors of capitalist culture and they are centres of authority and research for the control of populations and the working class. The university is not an innocent satellite to Western hegemony. Rather, it is a central process. The university sucks in radicality and spits out better ways to manage situations for the benefit of the system as it is. It is never an innocent repository of objective knowledge. On the contrary, it is an action on the world, a one-way dialogue, funded by the ruling classes, that disingenuously presents itself as impartial and objective.

Whenever I think about academics talking about the hardships of their lives - "It's not easy being an academic you know, the pressures to publish and all that" (and in truth I think that it must actually be crap for a lot of them, there does seem to be some kind of bullying hierarchy present in these institutions much as in the private school systems of old) - I think of this sketch from Monty Python:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkihKpnx5yM

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Sep 30 2017 06:36

Joseph K and Mike are admins.

I don't think you're wrong about academia not being a neutral place and that the ruling class fund it because they think that they can get something out of it, but I don't think the casualisation of academic staff should be sneered at. Publish or die is a stressful system that forces people to do large amounts of unpaid overtime etc. and as communists/anarchists we defend workers' conditions, but these jobs are rarer and rarer and we have the people trying to get those jobs and working what often amounts to starvation wages, these are generally phd students to whom more and more of the teaching load is being shifted. I wouldn't complain about my conditions at work because they're not too bad but we also need to avoid a hierarchy of misery. Obviously the worse workers are being exploited the more we want to fight back, but ultimately bringing down capitalism requires all workers to demand and keep demanding until none of this system is left.

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Sep 30 2017 16:27

Well admin Mike Harman at least has more recently revised their opinion in relation to all this - suspect some other admins have mixed feelings about it all as well but wont revisit it now - 428 posts and still here. Last time round there were some separate and more interesting discussion threads on the broader related issue of the role of academia etc.

Tom Henry
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Oct 2 2017 00:17

Yes, the discussion has been had, as you say. Mike Harman is an admin and has commented (or rather asked JD a question). And as you say it is is unlikely that anyone else will now comment. So it's : "nothing more to see here", as usual, and as predicted by several posters long ago.

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Oct 1 2017 13:09

I sense a shift here. When I first came to Libcom I asked about this and was guided away from even looking into it and that it was conspo fruitloopery of the highest order.
Then more recently I was informed that Samnotaf was a sort of commie David Icke with a head full of delusion and a giant axe to grind after he had contacted me. Now it seems he's a guy that has a point but a bad attitude(?).
I'm not really interested enough to look any further, just noting the development.
I will say though that Samnotaf's dialectical delinquent stuff is pretty good at times.

Tom Henry
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Oct 2 2017 05:51

Conspo fruitloopery!

Noah Fence, your wordsmithery exceeds even that of my good friend, Mr Jarse (first name, Hugh).

But did you mean to add that 'f' in your first sentence above? If not, then something is definitely at least mildly malodorous in the state of Denmark... smile

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Oct 2 2017 11:31

Noah Fence: this is the conspiracy theory that went ‘round in 2012, it wasn’t written by samotnaf: http://www.non-fides.fr/?Libcom-and-Aufheben-working-with there were also people calling us state assets in various other places.

samotnaf, over a year after it was posted, posted a response to that piece including “It’s ridiculous, careless, unthinking and potentially dangerous to go around publicly claiming someone works for the cops when they don’t.” https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/08/511893.html?c=on

My main arguments here at the time were:

1. that doxxing someone from an anonymous/pseudonymous publishing collective as ‘collaborating with the state’ should have been handled with a lot more care. As from the link above, we can see that this led to snitchjacketing/badjacketing, and that’s fully what I expected it to do when I initially read it. This assessment I stick by.

2. that researching crowd behaviour in disaster situations was skirting the line on what might be useful vs. used against protest movements, but didn’t automatically imply ‘working with/for the police’.

JD’s not having studied protest movements for several years in 2011 seemed relevant to me and implied moving away from an academic career based on movements (to ‘just’ disasters). This was obviously immediately contradicted by doing the riots research published recently and as I said a week or two ago, clearly got that wrong.

OOTW have talked about responses to disaster situations and that work is great as far as I’m concerned, but it’s auto-didact rather than academic.

Someone asked why remove JD's name and not Michael Schmidt's:

- he wasn’t publishing pseudonymously so there was no pseudonym/collective to dox - he’s a public figure/published author.
- he was outed by his own publisher (AK Press) initially.
- one of the main initial concerns with Schmidt was that he’d been in direct contact with far-right groups via st0rmfr0nt, so there were direct security implications that he’d been leaking information on people. In the end that was never directly alleged, but the initial AK Press ‘infiltrated’ statement implied that, and the way the allegations were serialised across several weeks meant no-one knew the full extent as the thing started. There was never a concern from samotnaf/TPTG that JD had been leaking information on individuals to police (rather that his academic research was harmful), although that was fabricated later on based on the initial allegations.

Samotnaf
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Oct 8 2017 04:02

My response to all this recent stuff:

http://dialectical-delinquents.com/articles/uncategorised/x/

Tom Henry
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Oct 8 2017 06:11

Jef Costello wrote above that Joseph Kay was an admin, but he isn't:

https://libcom.org/profile/profile_group-membership/libcom.org%20group

Libcom is the

Quote:
Online home of Aufheben, a UK-based libertarian communist journal founded in 1992.

http://libcom.org/aufheben

Aufheben and the Libcom group (group? See third comment down by Steven: https://libcom.org/library/participatory-society-or-libertarian-communism ) would seem to be very close, which would explain much of the defence of Aufheben here, but not Mike Harman's questioning of JD here, above, in a public space:

http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=13#comment-597841

Why Mike Harman has questioned JD so directly and publicly here is confusing.

I still maintain that the real 'problem' with this whole fiasco is the support of the University and its pedagogical mission (repeated in schools, asylums, and prisons) that is very evident amongst the milieu that frequents Libcom. This support of, and acceptance of, the University - the belief in 'Education' - is the ongoing deep, cultural, complicity with 'things as they are', or capitalism, of which the JD story is merely a crystal clear example.

As I said at the beginning of all this, GK Chesterton, who wrote, The Man Who Was Thursday, about an anarchist group peopled almost entirely by police spies, would be rolling in his grave with laughter.

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Oct 8 2017 21:33
Tom Henry wrote:
Jef Costello wrote above that Joseph Kay was an admin, but he isn't:

https://libcom.org/profile/profile_group-membership/libcom.org%20group

He was, and I thought he still was when I wrote the post, I'm pretty sure that I checked.

Mike Harman
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Oct 9 2017 10:08
Tom Henry wrote:
Jef Costello wrote above that Joseph Kay was an admin, but he isn't

Just to confirm, Joseph Kay is a libcom admin (and so am I). The profile data is not the best guide.

Tom Henry wrote:
Why Mike Harman has questioned JD so directly and publicly here is confusing.

He posted on the thread, I replied. I've personally never met JD and didn't know who he was until this all started.

wimpled off
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Oct 9 2017 18:25
Tom Henry wrote:
I still maintain that the real 'problem' with this whole fiasco is the support of the University and its pedagogical mission (repeated in schools, asylums, and prisons) that is very evident amongst the milieu that frequents Libcom.

"Tom Henry" writing as Garco started an earlier thread "Being a teacher is like being a prison guard"

In that his collaborator,

for-da-game wrote:
in fact, Garco is a teacher

from post 153

Tom Henry is part of the milieu that frequents Libcom.

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Hieronymous
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Oct 9 2017 19:30

Tom Henry/Garco, which prison do you guard?

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Hieronymous
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Oct 9 2017 19:31

dp

Tom Henry
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Oct 9 2017 21:35

We all work for capitalism, but we don't have to believe in it. My point above is, if one reads it correctly, that it is the ideological support for, or belief in, education that should be taken to task. Not the fact that people might work in education institutions. Our beliefs are important to how we engage with others. The education system (schools, universities, asylums, prisons) are crucial to the reproduction of society. We live in a pedagogical society. Everyone's 'got to learn', everyone needs to be trained, 'everyone needs 'enlightening'.

Revolutionaries carry this pedagogical imperative, which is a necessary feature of State society, refined highly in the modern day, into their politics, theories, and practice: The class must become conscious; We must help it to become conscious.

I was a teacher who wrote against schools in the thread mentioned above. Not to change them, but to get rid of them. I have never heard of a 'revolutionary' worker in a university writing that universities should be abolished outright. Education is not a 'socially useful ' phenomenon, unless by socially useful you mean to support the pedagogical tenets of modern society - the complex web of hierarchy that entraps us - and you mean to perpetuate the deceit that education is within one's so-called revolutionary politics.

For a similar view of education, from an Indigenous perspective, I recommend Paul Nadasdy's book, Hunters and Bureaucrats.

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Oct 9 2017 21:39

Fair enough, Garco. We're you the warden or just an ordinary guard?

Tom Henry
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Oct 9 2017 22:05

Wimpled off pointed to this thread from 2010:

https://libcom.org/forums/theory/being-teacher-being-prison-guard-07062010

I have just had a quick look through a couple of its pages. Well worth a perusal. Thanks.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Oct 10 2017 06:37

Is anyone - for example Mike Harman, radicalgraffiti or Jef Costello - going to respond to this?:

Quote:
Meanwhile, Mike Harman, one of libcom’s admin (who back in 2011, when the scandal broke, always sided with his co-conspirators in censorship and avoidance of the bleeding obvious) cites a text I wrote justifying his previous wariness about snitchjacketing. This text was published in August 2013 and was in response to a French text in France which appeared 21 months after the scandal broke in October 2011, and had no relevance to anything said during the development of the scandal at the time (the English translation is wrongly dated as 6th July 2012, but the real date is correctly dated on the original French version – 6th July 2013; if extra proof of this is needed – the article refers to a text I published at the beginning of 2013). As for the fear of “snitchjacketing” by naming him – why the fuck should anybody who wants to subvert this society care about him being thumped because he gave/gives advice to the cops? Moreover, the fact that his name was used became a pretext-cum-red-herring for libcom admin to get all high & mighty about the whole affair, fearing he could be sacked or whatever – when anybody who spoke to his immediate bosses at University of Brighton would discover that they’d known about his involvement in Aufheben for at least 5 years previous to the scandal breaking. And, besides, libcom accepted links to articles that clearly had his name on it – we revealed nothing that wouldn’t have taken 5 extra seconds to find out about if we hadn’t revealed it, but they have to rigidly stick to their original phoney “outrage” in order to give their authority an image of strength and consistency. On October 2nd this year, MH said “JD’s not having studied protest movements for several years in 2011 seemed relevant to me” – but this shows that his advice to cops included the anti-G20 demos in London in April 2009, when Ian Tomlinson was killed by the filth this guy works with. Besides, as an argument it’s a bit like saying “X not having raped anybody for several years seemed relevant to me”. MH then goes onto another red herring – somehow conflating autonomous help during disasters with state control during disasters (which he considers merely “skirting the line on what might be useful vs. used” – a pathetic evasion of a critique of state control during disasters). “For the State a catastrophe is a catastrophe. It is a moment of rupture with consensus, with social peace, whether it be for one reason or another. For the State it is clear that the primary objective is to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. In the towns around nuclear power plants the State organises mock evacuation and emergency procedures claiming that this will help people to be prepared in case of a nuclear accident. In health terms these exercises are of no benefit to anyone. But they are however a great opportunity for the cops to learn precious lessons about crowd management. The Katrina catastrophe did not dull the cops’ sense of responsibility as they beat up looters and protected stores.” – here. As for “JD … leaking information on individuals to police … was fabricated later on based on the initial allegations. ” – not even the flawed non-fides article claims that, so I suspect that this is just an expression of his own cavalier attitude towards the “facts”.

But Mike Harman has to justify the niggling guilty feeling of having taken the wrong side back in 2011, even if such a justification involves distorting history and any chronological sense. He probably hopes that his current position will act like some exorcism of unpleasant dreams, as if mere talk is a cure. His tightrope act balancing between his commitment to a project that has no integrity and a critique of aspects of it allows him to carry on as normal, but relieved of his bad conscience. But like all ideologists he has to alter history to “relieve” himself of this bad conscience, a bad conscience bound to return yet again until he finally does something to genuinely relieve the bad conscience. Like stop playing silly bugger politics with re-organising history so as to make himself seem like a good “reasonable” guy. Of course, he’s not quite the only person in the world to play such games

Radicalgraffiti said (here) : « the initial aligation may have been taken more seriously if some people had not gone straight to denouncing libcom, the london anarchist bookfair, afed and solfed as cops »

If this is a reference to me, I never denounced anybody listed there as cops. The critique of libcom admin came after the admin defended (with censorship and lies) JD giving advice to the cops, and was an attack on their censorship and lies, not saying they were actual cops. The anarchist bookfair was only critiqued a year later when they allowed JD, the crowd controller, to have a stand there and nobody bothered to confront him, not saying the bookfair were actual cops. Afed was never critiqued by myself, so I obviously never said they were cops. Though Afed’s silence about Aufhebengate is clearly both opportunist – it allows them to contribute to libcom without the slightest hassle; battlescarred might complain about Chris Harman being in the library but he’s not bothered about JD or Michael Schidt, the fascist, being there. In fact indifference to such questions is as common to the vast majority of those who participate in libcom as it is to the vast majority of those who remain asleep before the enormity of bullshit that’s spewed out by the system and by those complicit in it. Increasing amounts of people don’t give a toss about anything any more, and that applies to so-called anarchists, communists and libertarians as much as it applies to those who have no pretension of trying to oppose this world of lies etc. In fact, nobody said that libcom and JD , or afed and solfed or the anarchist bookfair were cops themselves, though some, in France mainly, said (some 21 months after the scandal broke, as I’ve already said ) libcom worked with cops (which I critiqued). Red Marriott gives some semblance of credence to Radicalgraffiti’s calumny with his « Maybe, but », which is just typical of his lazy attitude towards any facts that might vaguely implicate him directly, and certainly expressive of an embittered attitude towards anything concerning me.

Let’s make it clear – what JD does and did, is far worse than just the job of an ordinary cop: he’s an informer, in effect a 5th columnist, giving information that only could be gleaned by being part of some semblance of a movement. And only someone who responds to such things in the manner of meandering philosophical irrelevance, or constant distortion of the facts, would dispute this.

As for Jef Costello’s «Honestly, my first thought when all this emerged was that as it was Samotnaf then it was all exaggerated because I don’t think he has ever written anything that wasn’t denouncing someone. » – this is a gross exaggeration itself, and said not at all “honestly” – as can easily verified by any reference to any of my texts. A lie. A convenient caricature, designed to ingratiate himself with his libcom scene. In fact, this was the first text on libcom that focused on a specific person, that simplistically could be said to be a “denunciation”. And Jef Costello knows some of my other texts on libcom, since he made largely uncritical, largely complimentary, comments on them (e.g. this and this, where his comments are reproduced). So for JC to dismiss what I wrote about JD on the basis of some totally spurious idea about previous texts of mine is just a convenient retrospective deceitful excuse, a lie which he hopes to get away with because no-one, other than me, is going to be bothered to check it up (and, anyway, probably it’s only me who cares whether what he said is true or bullshit). Typical political manipulative mentality: falsify the attitudes of those you can’t so easily dismiss without having firstly falsified them – typical strawman technique. What’s rarely said about such manipulative lies is that it also befuddles the mind of the liar: s/he ends up repressing their own memory and often starts believing their own lies. Those who falsify their own memory in order to temporarily feel good about themselves and manipulate others against a perceived enemy invariably end up confusing themselves as well.

Of course, all radical critique involves « denouncing » but, unless one believes that such « denouncing » should only be of abstractions (capitalism, reification, commodity fetishism, etc. ), one can hardly avoid denouncing individuals who are unnecessarily complicitous with the state and the commodity economy, particularly those who claim to want to contribute to a revolutionary opposition to the state and the economy3. But then his uncritical support for the French racket “Alternative Libertaire”, phoney “libertarians” who collaborate with the the semi-Trot electoralist party – the NPA (New Anti-capitalist Party), illustrates, at best, an absolute absence of anything other than a risk-free adherence to such abstractions and an almost total lack of critical vigilance.

Amongst the posters responding to this revived affair, only el psy congroo seems to have shown some integrity and made a public decision about it. And then decided to return because that’s what libcom does to you – it’s so deeply annoying you just can’t let it go with the deafening silence the cynics at aadmin are going to – as Red M put it, “ignore it with a deafening silence”. The rest just use “freedom of expression” to merely mouth off without making any decision, nor even asserting any demand off libcom admin. They might well feel frustrated about the fact that libcom admin has done nothing other than make some mild written gesture towards reluctantly accepting fragments of truths that were blatantly obvious 6 years ago. But if the frustrated critics do and demand nothing, then the only pressure on libcom admin is to also do nothing: to speak but avoid any fundamental and concrete change. Which must leave these critics as frustrated as if they hadn’t said a word in the first place. About as satisfying as complaining to the cops about the cops and then finding your complaint filed away for eternity in some cop-bureaucrat’s dust-filled computer.

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Oct 10 2017 07:04

What is there to respond to?

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Oct 10 2017 07:19
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
Is anyone - for example Mike Harman, radicalgraffiti or Jef Costello - going to respond to this?:

Quote:
As for Jef Costello’s «Honestly, my first thought when all this emerged was that as it was Samotnaf then it was all exaggerated because I don’t think he has ever written anything that wasn’t denouncing someone. » – this is a gross exaggeration itself, and said not at all “honestly” – as can easily verified by any reference to any of my texts. A lie. A convenient caricature, designed to ingratiate himself with his libcom scene. In fact, this was the first text on libcom that focused on a specific person, that simplistically could be said to be a “denunciation”. And Jef Costello knows some of my other texts on libcom, since he made largely uncritical, largely complimentary, comments on them (e.g. this and this, where his comments are reproduced). So for JC to dismiss what I wrote about JD on the basis of some totally spurious idea about previous texts of mine is just a convenient retrospective deceitful excuse, a lie which he hopes to get away with because no-one, other than me, is going to be bothered to check it up (and, anyway, probably it’s only me who cares whether what he said is true or bullshit). Typical political manipulative mentality: falsify the attitudes of those you can’t so easily dismiss without having firstly falsified them – typical strawman technique. What’s rarely said about such manipulative lies is that it also befuddles the mind of the liar: s/he ends up repressing their own memory and often starts believing their own lies. Those who falsify their own memory in order to temporarily feel good about themselves and manipulate others against a perceived enemy invariably end up confusing themselves as well.

Didn't know it existed so no, didn't plan to respond to it at all. Even if it had been pôsted here I doubt I would have read the whole thing, I'm not even sure why opened the thread this morning.
There isn't much of a response possible, I didn't remember those posts at the time I wrote the last post, but I did remember samotnaf's tendency towards the polemic. I gave the impression I had at the time, as far as I can recall it, I did go back and check if they were posted under the samotnaf name, and they were, so I should have remembered, but most of the news stuff I do is relatively ephemeral so I often forget things. Most of the posts from that era have been deleted so I can't check them, I don't think I would anyway, but I had that impression of samotnaf before this blew up and unwisely let that colour my judgement, especially as people I respected vouched for him. I think I abandoned posting on the original thread once people I respected started asking harder questions, probably should have kept out of this one too.
My recollection of samotnaf's posts was incorrect and I shouldn't have made such a sweeping generalisation. In samotnaf's eyes that makes me a liar, so there's not much more to say.

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Oct 10 2017 13:13
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
Is anyone - for example Mike Harman, radicalgraffiti or Jef Costello - going to respond to this?:

I'll respond to the bit that's about me:

samotnaf wrote:
Meanwhile, Mike Harman, one of libcom’s admin (who back in 2011, when the scandal broke, always sided with his co-conspirators in censorship and avoidance of the bleeding obvious)

Several articles about Aufhebengate are up in the library on this site, as is this thread. We unpublished the article originally because the name was not redacted and no offer was made to do so. Calling this 'censorship' devalues actual cases of censorship that happen.

samotnaf wrote:
And, besides, libcom accepted links to articles that clearly had his name on it – we revealed nothing that wouldn’t have taken 5 extra seconds to find out about if we hadn’t revealed it

This is the exact difference between responsibly sharing information and doxxing. If you put all the information in one place on the internet attached to someone's name, then a name search on google will surface it, if you don't, then it won't. The 'extra 5 seconds' is potentially the difference between someone ending up featured in a tabloid/Br3itbart hitpiece or not.

samotnaf wrote:
cites a text I wrote justifying his previous wariness about snitchjacketing. This text was published in August 2013 and was in response to a French text in France which appeared 21 months after the scandal broke in October 2011, and had no relevance to anything said during the development of the scandal at the time

If you point out the potential for snitchjacketing due to careless handling of accusations, and later the snitchjacketing you warned about actually happens, then it is relevant. If I warn you a piano is about to fall on your head, then the piano falls on your head, would you say the piano having fallen on your head isn't relevant to the me warning you about it? What if I warn you, you pull me under the piano, and the piano falls on my head?

Samotnaf wrote:
As for “JD … leaking information on individuals to police … was fabricated later on based on the initial allegations. ” – not even the flawed non-fides article claims that, so I suspect that this is just an expression of his own cavalier attitude towards the “facts”.

samotnaf wrote:
Let’s make it clear – what JD does and did, is far worse than just the job of an ordinary cop: he’s an informer, in effect a 5th columnist, giving information that only could be gleaned by being part of some semblance of a movement.

You've just in that paragraph called him 'an informer', with no context, despite people using lines like that to smear us as MI5 agents - but of course it's me who's incapable of real self-reflection.

Specific allegations about libcom admins, solfed etc. snitching to the police and working with MI5 are still on this site and elsewhere (indymedia particularly). This is just one example:
http://libcom.org/forums/general/anarcho-leftism-politics-libcom-1301201...

For those who don't click through, the comment starts with:

Мѣньскъ wrote:
Libcom and JD's links to MI5, exposed by brave investigations by TPTG [link] go back many years.

Now samotnaf can try to claim these allegations aren't his fault, but he shouldn't claim they don't exist or that they don't feature his work prominently (if exaggerated, distorted and embellished - but that's what happens when you handle allegations carelessly).

Who exactly is "distorting history and any chronological sense"? On top of this, some of these comments attempted to dox JK - except the real life person they found was someone else with no connection to us (i.e. people smeared a random person they thought was a libcom admin as an MI5 agent). And yes we removed that random person's name from the comment, another example of 'censorship'?

samotnaf wrote:
MH then goes onto another red herring – somehow conflating autonomous help during disasters with state control during disasters (which he considers merely “skirting the line on what might be useful vs. used” – a pathetic evasion of a critique of state control during disasters).

If someone's doing research on autonomous help during disasters, then it's the former. What's problematic is doing so within an academic framework that feeds into state control during disasters. It's this conflation that is precisely 'skirting the line'. People write articles about state control during disasters too - the Danzinger Bridge shooting during Katrina and similar incidents. Doing so doesn't necessarily help the police otherwise we couldn't talk about police killings and protection of private property in those situations at all, it's the actual content that determines this.

It turns out that since 2011, JD's started doing research on protests movements again and actively recommending that research to the police, but that was not the case as understood in 2011 which is when I made the distinction.

This doesn't mean there's no critique to be made of academic research roles in disaster responses, but samotnaf mixes that critique up with words like 'informer' and 'fifth columnist', just in this post. These are not just words devoid of historical context and consequences.

radicalgraffiti
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Joined: 4-11-07
Oct 10 2017 16:46
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
Is anyone - for example Mike Harman, radicalgraffiti or Jef Costello - going to respond to this?:

Quote:
some long rambling garbage i cant be bother to read in full

wtf is that? am i supost to spend all day googling my name in case someone mentions me anywhere? who even wrote it? was i samanof or what ever his name is? theres 2.5 pages there the only bit that seems to mention me is

Quote:
Radicalgraffiti said (here) : « the initial aligation may have been taken more seriously if some people had not gone straight to denouncing libcom, the london anarchist bookfair, afed and solfed as cops »
If this is a reference to me, I never denounced anybody listed there as cops.

i dont know who this is, what should all my posts be directed that this one person? aragant fuck, i do know the abhafen gattors went to straight to spamping th fuck out of the forums and denouncing everyone in british anarchism as cop state agents etc, do i fucking care one of them didn't do all that?

speaking of spam look at this crap, which is entirely typical of the abhafen gators https://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-...
bootsy posts an entire fucking article 9 full pages 5600 words in a comment, this is like when people try to force you to watch a video, its extremely off putting and makes you come off as conspiracy loons.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Joined: 27-06-06
Oct 10 2017 22:31

Some people have asked for an admin view, well this is mine: what we said back in 2011 was based on knowledge we had at the time, specifically that JD had had no involvement in any work to do with policing of social movements in several years. Whatever the situation back then, that clearly is not the case now, and we totally reject any kind of work with state security forces, and I condemn this completely. We have no formal relationship with Aufheben, other than hosting texts in our library as we do for large numbers of other groups and individuals, many of whom we have massive disagreements with. So if you want anyone to defend this behaviour then you will need to contact Aufheben directly.

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
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Joined: 7-05-06
Oct 10 2017 23:01

He bullshitted you and you all wanted to believe it, regardless of other damning evidence.