Why this article has been removed?

480 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Oct 14 2011 15:02

Huh? Mark Kennedy being a mole for ACPO it was potentially much more dangerous for activists to confront him and risk having the entire police structure come down on their necks in retaliation than for a group in another country entirely to confront a British academic who at worst has helped police through his research.

But either way, yes I would confront J about it if I felt I had a serious accusation to make. I wouldn't mail out my accusations to the world unless I'd specifically spoken to him, gotten an official reply from Aufheben based on those replies, felt that a lack of action seriously compromised the entire movement and consulted with as many people in Britain as I could think of who could be trusted to give me a sensible steer on it. And THEN I'd try and put it through a British group, phrasing it in a constructive and questioning way.

In short, I'd act responsibly and make sure that groups aren't jumped with it in such a way as to basically shut out all hope of a sensible discussion.

So yes. some people on Libcom have been OTT. But so have satmonaf and the TPTG and frankly this whole thing has been handled with about as much care as a foam pie in a circus tent. What I'd like is for everyone to row back a bit and start thinking sensibly rather than slinging mud like it's going out of fashion.

avantiultras's picture
avantiultras
Offline
Joined: 8-10-11
Oct 14 2011 15:28

Here is a nice example of heading into Kafka territory:

Joseph Kay wrote
this is the same thing, J added as third author. but don't let that stop the shit stirring.

I suspect that the articles in the Aufheben journal were also written by Stott and Reicher and the Aufheben group simply signed them.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 14 2011 15:33

Like in his famous short story where something happens, and then a similar thing happens later. Chilling.

Harrison
Offline
Joined: 16-11-10
Oct 14 2011 15:39

i hope Samotnaf gets turned into a giant fly.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Oct 14 2011 15:39

And what are you interested in avanti? A useful outcome or a good barney?

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
Oct 14 2011 16:22
Tojiah wrote:

as well as his original university homepage, in which he prides himself on his work with NATO and the police, and which he since edited (and is also available in the second TPTG letter), it starts to look that the mere formality is his repudiation of this consultancy work, rather than its content.

This does not look good. The second TPTG letter raises yet more questions. I was surprised when sams blog was blocked by the mods.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 14 2011 16:24
gypsy wrote:
I was surprised when sams blog was blocked by the mods.

Sam wasn't surprised, as he submitted it in the middle of the night knowing full well it was against site rules, having discussed it with us previously. Of course the 'censorship' then becomes part of the scandal and the whole bandwagon rolls merrily on.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Oct 14 2011 16:25
Quote:
I was surprised when sams blog was blocked by the mods.

Of course it was, and he knew it would be, because he names the guy throughout and talks directly about where he works after they directly said that to do so was against guidelines. which is what has irritated me most tbh, I'm not going to throw in on whether the guy's guilty or not but if you're going to call foul then for fucks' sake don't mess about with manipulation and trap-setting.

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
Oct 14 2011 16:36
Joseph Kay wrote:
gypsy wrote:
sams blog was blocked by the mods.

Sam wasn't surprised, as he submitted it in the middle of the night knowing full well it was against site rules, having discussed it with us previously. Of course the 'censorship' then becomes part of the scandal and the whole bandwagon rolls merrily on.

True. Can't say its a bandwagon though.

Cooked's picture
Cooked
Offline
Joined: 6-04-10
Oct 14 2011 18:46

Started typing this post yesterday but though better of it. Now RobRay has raised it and I would appreciate to hear what outcome the anti J people want from this "scandal". I would also like to know why it matters to people who have very little to do with him.

- Is the drama intended to set an example to prevent others in the movement from slipping into dubious territory?

- Is there an idea that his output is somehow tainted and that the Aufheben texts are no longer valid? If not his you would presumably prefer him continuing his writing?

- Is there a hope he will resign from his job and focus all energy on communism? Thus preventing more crowd controlling theory from being potentially put into practice by the police?

- Is it a strictly moral issue where no outcome is sough other than punishing the fallen.

- Is this a warning to people who might get politically involved with him. If this is the case what are the perceived risks of getting involved with him.

- Is it just a matter of getting the info out so people can make up their minds?

My own view is that the best thing would be that the crowd control research doesn't come into the cops hands. If there is a way to achieve that I'm all for it. If there is no likely hood of this happening I can't see why this campaign is waged. Judging by the posts above J is not the driving force behind this angle on the research. I can see a risk of J's Aufheben input diminishing if the campaign is sucessful but I can't see why this would be a good thing.

Only no 4 above, it being a moral issue, would require shaming and punishment involving real names. Or possibly no 3 but him getting fired instead of resigning.

If anyone could give some good answers as to what outcome is sough it would be much appreciated. I cant see how we can affect policing by these means, so I'm only vaguely interested in degree of guilt. What interest me more is thinking behind the public real-name usage.

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Oct 14 2011 20:09

Cooked - you probably haven't read this text because you wouldn't be asking these questions if you had, but despite that I'll respond in some way when I've got the energy - having massive problems getting onto the internet, and besides have got a long weekend ahead. But take all the crap coming from admin with a Siberian mine full of salt. For example:
Joseph Kay (in response to this article :

Quote:
this is the same thing, J added as third author. but don't let that stop the shit stirring.

And anyone who says the emperor's new clothes aren't exquisite is also shit stirring...

I wonder if Stott and Reicher get pissed off with constantly doing all the work whilst J rakes in a third of the pay?

Why the censorship of my and the TPTG's texts? - ostensibly because Copcom think that outing a cop consultant as a communist is like grassing them up, when we were outing a so-called communist as a cop consultant: in the spectacle everything is upside down.

I wrote (name ommitted):

Quote:
Dr. J is a lying piece of shit!!!

J , to those who know him, defended here by Aufheben - has lied to his Aufheben comrades – who have been willing dupes - who have then passed on his lies to libcom, who have also been willing dupes – both of them not seriously checking the facts, basically taking J ’s word for it all. When someone is asked if they’re doing something utterly repugnant they innocently reply, putting on their most wide-eyed angelic face and shrugging, “What? Me? I’m as pure as the driven snow, guv - honest”. Now most people wouldn’t take that any more at face value than they would if it was Tony Blair who said it. But, amazingly, it seems that some of those with the pretension to having a well-developed radical critique of this world in fact have the naivety of a 5-year-old.....

...So why are libcom admin and Dr. J ’s cohorts in and close to Aufheben so incredibly gullible? It’s not just love and faith that are blind: friendship, abstractly theoretical closeness, the political gang mentality of circling the wagons – all these also, it seems. On reading this, they might well be writhing in acute embarrassment and choking on their own nausea; but the essential lesson to learn is what is it in these ‘radicals’ ideological practice that they took the self-assurances of this scumbag for his word? This is undoubtedly a big scandal in a small pond, but if we are to make waves, then we have to begin with tJoseph Kay (in response to this article :

Quote:
this is the same thing, J added as third author. but don't let that stop the shit stirring.

And anyone who says the emperor's new clothes aren't exquisite is also shit stirring...

The first contribution of these sleepwalkers to the social movements beginning to wake up from the stupor of the spectacle is to consider and subvert the social relations they directly tolerated themselves, the daily life that led them to believe that with Dr. J what you see is what you get. Like all forms of false consciousness, such a degree of denial, of naivety, stems from a persistently repeated self-repression of what is semi-conscious: the niggling questioning at the back of each individual’s mind that says “doubt everything” (and doubt everything not just through some, often arbitrary intellectual negativism but through practical experiment and enquiry with clear goals). And such doubt should firstly be for yourself, not necessarily with the immediate support of all those you have automatically trusted up until now. In this case, such a doubt should lead to the recognition that the unbelievable truth is stranger than fiction – the absurdity that an “anti-state communist” is – like the Alec Guinness character in “Bridge on the River Kwai” – giving what he claims are his enemies ideas to help them repress his ostensible antagonistic perspective....

...[Admin: name removed] denies co-authoring Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice . In the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, [url= http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mandy_Rice-Davies]“Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”.[/url]

.

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Oct 14 2011 20:13

Clearly something's gone wrong with this above post - major computer and/or internet problems - but too tired to edit now...

Wellclose Square
Offline
Joined: 9-05-08
Oct 14 2011 21:53

Don't worry, I think this nugget just about sums it up:

Quote:
the unbelievable truth is stranger than fiction: the absurdity that an 'anti-state communist' is, like the Alec Guinness character in Bridge on the River Kwai, giving what he claims are his enemies ideas to help them repress his ostensible antagonistic perspective....
Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
Offline
Joined: 2-10-06
Oct 14 2011 22:20
Rob Ray wrote:
Huh? Mark Kennedy being a mole for ACPO it was potentially much more dangerous for activists to confront him and risk having the entire police structure come down on their necks in retaliation than for a group in another country entirely to confront a British academic who at worst has helped police through his research.

I actually don't know anything about this Mark Kennedy business. But was he confronted by people from his own milieu, or from an entirely different group from across the world? Because the way I see it, had the situation with J actually been more severe, say, had he been more in cahoots with the police, getting in touch with him without talking to his immediate group first would put the latter in more danger and would be even more foolhardy.

subprole's picture
subprole
Offline
Joined: 29-01-11
Oct 14 2011 23:17

http://athens.indymedia.org/local/webcast/uploads/open_letter_2.pdf

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 14 2011 23:58

And for the benefit of readers, Samotnaf circulated a version of this text in August, we discussed it and told him it breached the posting guidelines, including use of real names. So Samotnaf's alleged surprise at "censorship" is entirely for effect.

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Oct 15 2011 00:55
Samotnaf wrote:
major computer and/or internet problems - but too tired to edit now...

that's what happens when you get up at 4am just so you can play victim later.

just been made aware that one of my posts in this thread is quoted in the second TPTG letter, with the insinuation that I'm posting on instruction of J .......................... I'd be funny, except this means I should really read that rambling tedious letter dripping with pomposity - could anyone summarise the points they are actually making?

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Oct 15 2011 01:23

1. The text would have been up at 10 pm or earlier your time on Thursday evening if everything had gone according to plan, but the TPTG were doing re-writes and I had to correct both errors in nuance and the occasional grammatical errors, so it dragged on to late into the night. I got up because I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. It was put up at about 5am your time. Boring detail, but really when you lot clutch at straws I have to take them away from you.
2. There are no "names" or "individuals" plural - just singular. No-one apart from the cop consultant himself is named.
3. Defending him is defending crowd control ideology.
4. Calling it "libel" is like calling "Shakespeare wrote 'Hamlet'" libel. Check out "Chaos Theory" if nothing else.
5. I guessed you would censor it - but predicting this predictable fact doesn't stop it being censorship.
6. I don't feel victimised, but I guess loads of people who have been kettled in part because of Dr.J's ideas might.
7. You're defending the indefensible. As I said, in a personal message to admin at the same time as I posted up "The Strange Case...":

Quote:
If you nail your colours to the mast of J's sinking ship, you'll go down quicker than the Titanic

Clutching at straws won't help you in these icy waters.
8. I have nothing more to say on this thread (sighs of relief from admin).

Arbeiten's picture
Arbeiten
Offline
Joined: 28-01-11
Oct 15 2011 05:11
Quote:
Boring detail

Just to play devils advocate here. i would say. Careful, we know how easy details get woven into stories.

That said, this whole thing has gone well over my little head roll eyes

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 15 2011 07:46

So it's "censorship" according to Samotnaf and "totalitarian" according to TPTG. I'm glad everyone's got a good sense of perspective.

Wellclose Square
Offline
Joined: 9-05-08
Oct 15 2011 10:01

Lest we lose perspective through a diversionary discussion of 'censorship', let's not lose sight of the good Dr.'s contribution to "the mass democratisation of crowd management", which prompted TPTG's and Sam's 'blowing the whistle' in the first place. Funny how sections of the 'radical milieu', such as 'the Libcom defence team', reflect the same intolerance to whistleblowers as NHS and social work managers - a similar social strata?

The response of Libcom/Aufheben provides such a rich seam of material to be explored - the psychology of gang behaviour, even Camatte and Collu's discussion of the racket. But let's not go there for now. I'm intrigued by the Orwellian (Kafkaesque?) concept of "the mass democratisation of crowd management", which seems to boil down to the police allowing crowds to voluntarily police themselves or else. Failure to comply would induce the 'graded response' of 'corralling' and batons on heads. This area seems ripe for the critique of democracy, or are Aufheben/Libcom unwilling to see the critique extended to such a vital area of their comrade's research?

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Oct 15 2011 11:00

Oh don't be so pretentious. Some Libcom admins have reacted in an entirely predictable way to an article which they disagree with publicly naming someone they regularly work with written by people who've never even met the guy.

And I must have missed the bit where they acted like managers dealing with whistleblowers - have they banned Satmonaf/TPTG from the site? Threatened their jobs maybe? Trying to take the moral high ground about how other people have behaved while throwing in such wilful hyperbole (CENSORSHIP!) is exactly why I'm loathe to address the issue at hand.

If no-one can be bothered to behave like an adult and avoid accusing the other side of basically being totalitarians (for disagreeing on a website ffs) or being deliberate troublemakers (I'm sure TPTG/Satmonaf are acting because they feel they should, even if I think they've gone about it in the most unconstructive manner humanly possible) then fuck this I'm out of here [to do something more useful - not off libcom].

Why NOT throw your collective toys out of the pram and destroy years of good work building connections and trust in the midst of the most vicious global ruling class attack we've seen since Regan/Thatcher. Sounds like an awesome plan.

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Oct 15 2011 11:03
Arbeiten wrote:
Quote:
Boring detail

Just to play devils advocate here. i would say. Careful, we know how easy details get woven into stories.

I think you're right, the debate has deteriorated to the level where any rational discussion has become impossible, because any factual details are now merely evaluated on whether they fit the grand narrative. I suppose that's the destructive dynamic bound to develop when a comrade is subjected to public denunciation. I think I'll disengage from this sorry mess.

Blasto
Offline
Joined: 17-11-10
Oct 15 2011 15:34

Just to get some "perspective":

- an ever growing body of research is being uncovered which shows the person in question to be involved in the development of repressive policing tactics with regard to 'public order' situations. The most recent and unequivocal discovery is Chaos Theory

- J claims his research only refers to mass emergencies. The reality is the research in question is about policing, explicity public order and has been applied to mass emergencies. The researchers themselves have said as much in Chaos Theory:

Quote:
Our team has also begun to explore the implications of this theory for reacting to mass emergencies and disasters. The results are already leading to important policy developments, such as in revisions to the Police National CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) Centre training and policy documentation and in the new NATO guidelines on psychosocial care for people affected by disasters, and there are opportunities for advancing police public order responses to CBRN attacks.

- Libcom and Aufheben regard this public order research as defensible and Aufheben go as far as to describe it as "humane"

- Libcom insist that J was not an author various texts because (a) he says so and (b) his name is third out of three listed. This apparently this proves it.

- the researcher in question has published research in academic journals which clearly identify him as a part of the milieu, and texts such as Chaos Theory, which clearly identify him as a supporting the police. This is all out there in the public sphere, yet his critics are continually accused of "outing" him. All any one has done is join the dots and highlight the massive contradictions.

- The research is question relates directly to the policing of protests, with the aim of diffusing any potential for that protest to realise its own power and potential. This, we are told by several people here, is of no relevance.

- The validity of any criticisms made is dependent on what time of day they were made.

For anyone serious about social change, who desires to do more than comment on movements far away, the implications of having a 'comrade' using the insights gained from their involvement in the movement, as well as research contributed to in good faith by fellow protestors, to improve the police's ability to render demonstrations and direct action impotent should be of great concern.

What we have in response is:

- utmost denial by libcom and aufheben, who even refuse to accept that there may be a problem here
- at worst the defence of this research, or more often the excuse that it isn't effective - a bizarre logic.
- people who have raised concerns being labelled shit stirrers, snitchjacketers, etc (the same old "whistle blowing" bullshit again)
- the word of J who, like a child with the wrappers under his bed and crumbs around his mouth, is still denying nicking the biscuits.

If we do not re-evaluate, are not self-critical and refuse to allow our perspective to change and adjust to new insights, we become just another historical irrelevance. While the original concerns of TPTG have been reinforced with a growing body of J's work and words, Libcom have offered nothing but stubborn denial.

I originally posted on this thread because I was alarmed to find a text I had been pointed to by a friend had been pulled by admin and reposted after some clear abuse of admin privilege at libcom (the pinochio picture, the slurs, etc). It seems such tactics are fully acceptable to libcom to defend their own friends. I took the time to do what lib com admin had suggested, read and research, and in all honesty it took a few minutes to uncover a raft of publications, etc that completely corroborated TPTG's concerns. * this para has been edited to address my own poor use of English.

The ins and outs of timing, who emailed who and when is of no consequence to me. What matters is what J has done. What he does. That affects me. It affects many, many people like me. And that is what libcom and Aufheben refuse to face up to. The ridiculousness is this wasn't about them.. It was about J. He had publicly, but it seems unnoticed, dug a very deep hole for himself. No one asked libcom and Aufheben to jump in.

Ocelot posted this:

Quote:
Worse still, experience teaches that some people are so lame that rather than admit that some of the things they said under stress, were a mistake and/or politically absurd, they then spend the rest of their days trying to rearrange their political frameworks to retrospectively justify hastily adopted opportunistic positions, forced on them by the contigencies of the moment. (look at the Bordigists for example - Bordiga chose to stop fighting against Mussolini, rather than go into exile, now all bordigist believe that fighting against fascists is objectively counter-revolutionary in any and all situations, including Spain 1936 for e.g.). Hopefully the people involved are bigger than that, and will learn the lessons and move on.

I think that is food for thought for both libcom and Aufheben.

mons
Offline
Joined: 6-01-10
Oct 15 2011 17:15

Couldn't you just edit the name out (although tbh that seems pretty pointless at this point) and put the second TPTG letter and Samotnaf's piece up? I've read the second TPTG open letter elsewhere but haven't managed to find Samotnaf's article anywhere else.

I'm sure Aufheben and libcom (or some of them) know J and what exactly his work does quite well, better than any of J's critics anyway. I don't see why they or J would be lying about his name being put to those specific pieces without him having any part in writing them, and it seems believable.

It does seem strange that there hasn't been any criticism at all of J's work though, because it seems dodgy at best. Like people said, the defence of 'oh but it's not influential' doesn't work because it's impossible to know that and it's still being done with the intention of aiding the police. And even if it's done for 'crowd control' or to deal with football hooliganism, rather than political protests, riots, etc. that's still helping the police do their repressive job, and like others have pointed out could be used in different contexts to the one it was originally intended for.

I'd like to hear J's response to this, and what he does for a living in detail.

I'm sure everyone has the best of intentions but some stuff, on both sides, has been intentionally misleading and that's really fucked up.

jura's picture
jura
Offline
Joined: 25-07-08
Oct 15 2011 12:04
mons wrote:
I'd like to hear J's response to this, and what he does for a living in detail.

Yeah, give us all a FULL BACKGROUND CHECK on J right now. The people demand justice.

All you white knights lot remind me of the Moscow trials.

mons
Offline
Joined: 6-01-10
Oct 15 2011 12:38

No, it's more that everybody's discussing what he does at work, and he'd probably be able to give a much more thorough account of it, and explain how he justifies what he does at work with his communism. Maybe he does feel there's some conflict. What he said would probably be more valuable than everyone else speculating on it. There's no potential punishment, so it's hardly the Moscow trials...

Picket's picture
Picket
Offline
Joined: 20-12-10
Oct 15 2011 13:12

Seems like a lot of wasted time and energy to me. I've never witnessed leftist in-fighting at such close quarters. Someone may or may not be less than perfect, shocking.

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
Oct 15 2011 14:48

Would you credit it - after all these years reading and occasionally distributing Aufheben material I only just got round to identifying 'Aufheben' as my favourite libcom page to be then hit with this lot.

On one point at least I should say that, as far as I can see, this 'issue' with Aufheben and 'J' doesn't appear to have had any serious or substantially detrimental affect on the many valuable contributions of that group through their publications - so for now at least I will not be removing my favourite page reference.

I also consider the libcom web project to be one of the (with all it's weaknesses) best resources currently available to 'pro-revolutionaries' in the english language and I am very concerned that this heated debate could very well see many contributors withdrawing their involvement if this gets out of hand.

With valued comrades lining up on either side of the argument it's a struggle to try and separate 'feelings' of comradeship and solidarity that I have towards you all from a more hard headed examination of the facts.

But..... from everything I have read so far, including several but not all the links, it does seem to me that TPTG have at least put forward a genuine case which has been answered by Aufheben so far in only a very thin and confused way.

The most generous interpretation I could put on J's professional work (and taking at face value claims of non-responsibillity for certain publications) is that he may have initially been motivated by a genuine desire to deal with problems associated with such as natural disasters in an efficient and humane way, but that in practice he contributed, at least indirectly, to alternative police strategies of crowd control relevant to the class struggle (effectively or otherwise being of secondary consideration). Even if it was indirect it was hardly accidental or unknowing. It does seem that a desire for carreer advancement overtook any radical self-critical examination of the effects of his work. This is a risk of course in many areas of professional work but pro-revolutionaries can usually rely on their close comrades to pull them back from such dangerous paths. In this case I suspect that other Aufheben comrades may have failed ''J' as much as he may have failed them.

As to some of the libcom admins responses - I think they were right to carefully consider the presentation of this material and ensure Aufheben the opportunity to respond in equal measure to TPTG, but that after that they were a little too quick to jump in to the defense of Aufheben, if based on understandably genuine feelings of solidarity for longstanding comrades and past experience of false accusations within the milieu.

This thread, has unfortunatly got sidetracked by a number of interesting, but only partially related matters, and needs to be a bit more focussed and contained to the original issues in dispute for all our sakes.

'Cooked' asked some relevant questions as to what results TPTG and others criticising 'J' and Aufheben wanted from all this.

They can answer for themselves but it seems to me that Aufheben do need to address far more seriously, and in depth, the broader issues raised regarding policing and the role of academics perhaps in a debate format in their magazine.

If 'J' is (hopefully) no longer involved in this kind of work he should clearly accept that he made serious errors of judgement in mixing his professional and 'pro-revolutionary' activities, and Aufheben, as the rest of us, need to learn some lessons from all this so as not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. We all make mistakes sometimes and should have the good grace and common sense to recognise when that happens.

All of the above is just my current view of things. It is still hopefully a discussion amongst comrades and I'm open to pursuasion that I'm mixed up or just plain wrong in my assessment.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Oct 15 2011 15:10

Thank you for that post, Spikymike.