Why this article has been removed?

Submitted by soc on October 7, 2011

Hi,

quick question: Why did you remove the TPTG open letter? This doesn't look good: a decent answer is better than take it down.

Rachel

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@298
In the 90s a few people criticised Aufheben as far as I can remember because J was researching protests and policing. Aufheben were also denounced for giving their magazine a tricky foreign name, and for reading and discussing Marx. In those days these things alone were enough to damn them in the eyes of some 'prolier than thou' members of the scene. It would surprise me if Samotnaf wasn't aware of all this - some of the London friends were, so perhaps that makes them all cop collaborators?

Seriously, like others here I find this whole thing very depressing, and one of the things that makes it so is that I find myself being drawn into a 'camp' when I hadn't intended to be - the way that the thing was laid out, and the tone of the writings and Samotnaf especially just seems to make it very difficult for discussion,and makes me want to reply in kind. Some like Serge Forward have taken a measured tone, and tried to look for a possible direction out but that just gets ignored.

This is why I raised the question of what a good outcome could be - it seems to me that destruction itself is one goal. Ad hominem attacks may have been sanctioned by the situationists but they can certainly have the effect of putting people off the movement altogether, as RR says. It's working in my case.

Devrim

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

- J claimed he wasn't the author of the public order stuff (despite his name being on it), and Aufheben have showed us evidence which shows definitively he was not the author, but was added as a 'favour' by the others.

This is the bit I don't get. If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

Devrim

Devrim

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

proletarian.

Yes, I see a problem with people thinking about organisations as their political project and not a 'project' of the class.

This sounds all very good, but what does it mean? Obviously Libcom is not a 'project of the class'.

proletarian.

And yes, I also think there should be room for some who contribute to be involved more in the actual organisation. Forums are different from propaganda sheets - essentially what communist papers are. Some users on here contribute so much to the forums, uploading texts and so on, countless hours. And not in small numbers but quite a few people.

Well if you want to be involved in it then I would suggest that you discuss it with them.

proletarian.

what I have tried to get across is that I think the internal structure of the Libcom group should be widened and not consist of a small minority with little to no input from others who use the forum. Obviously there is input from these people like this very sub forum! But I am suggesting something more fundamental

Despite disagreeing with some of the admins decisions, I think that on the whole Libcom is pretty well run. More importantly though, it isn't a political organisation. It is a discussion forum.

Devrim

Fall Back

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

This is the bit I don't get. If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

No, not really. I mean, for example if a communist lied/exagerrated on their CV, should they take flak for this? Lied about their beliefs in order to keep their job? There are plenty reasons you might want to lie to your bosses in order to gain benefit - I think it'd be madness to say these have to have political consequences.

Serge Forward

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fall Back

No, not really. I mean, for example if a communist lied/exagerrated on their CV, should they take flak for this? Lied about their beliefs in order to keep their job? There are plenty reasons you might want to lie to your bosses in order to gain benefit - I think it'd be madness to say these have to have political consequences.

Except, this isn't just a case of lying on your CV or keeping schtum so as not to get sacked.

Joseph Kay

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

Except, this isn't just a case of lying on your CV or keeping schtum so as not to get sacked.

the stuff on his profile was meant to be taken at face value by potential funders and other institutions. that's one thing (and some of it was stupid, sure). but it's quite another thing for other communists to insist on taking them at face value even when they've been told there's more to it. it's wilful ignorance in fact, choosing to go with bad appearances over banal realities for reasons known only to them.

Fall Back

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

Except, this isn't just a case of lying on your CV or keeping schtum so as not to get sacked.

I didn't say it was - although IMO it's closer to these things than what Samotnaf is trying to present it as. But the point was Devrim's claim that if you do something to gain advantage then you should also take any flak from it doesn't really work.

Yes, it was a mistake to let his name be put to the papers - which J and Aufheben have admitted from the start. But to say he should get the flak for it because he was happy to get the benefit from it is wrong - as the examples I gave demonstrate. If there's any flak to be had, whether he was happy to get benefit from it or not is an entirely moot point.

Serge Forward

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Agreed, some of the allegations about J have been a bit mental and have not helped the situation. Also, the incessant point scoring on these forums is really setting my teeth on edge and I'd really like those concerned to pack it in.

I'm willing to accept that J may have made a stupid mistake. However, given J's association with revolutionary politics and our small revolutionary milieu, then it's a fucking enormous error of judgement on his part, and on the part of Aufheben for being so easy going about this. Given that J is clearly not an infiltrator but, for an educated person, he is apparently entirely clueless about how things work in revolutionary circles, at the first whiff of this, his comrades should have given him a serious bollocking and either put him back on the revolutionary track or disassociated from him, whichever was more appropriate.

I'm a forgiving guy, so, like I say, J needs to grow a pair and accept that he's made an enormous fucking boo boo. Aufheben needs stop colluding with J's dubious activies and tell him to stop or else give him the big heave ho. Libcom needs to stop being so fucking understanding about him (you twats) but carry on doing everything else you do so well :groucho: J's detractors need to keep to the issue and stop muddying the water or drifing off into weird allegations that have no bearing on reality. And for anyone involved in point scoring, if I catch you at the bookfair, I'll bang your fuckin heads together :D

proletarian.

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

Despite disagreeing with some of the admins decisions, I think that on the whole Libcom is pretty well run. More importantly though, it isn't a political organisation. It is a discussion forum.
Devrim

Yes, I think I previously misunderstood what the Libcom group was. It is not an organisation as such. The other points I think I have already commented on or alluded to.

Devrim

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fall Back

Devrim

This is the bit I don't get. If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

No, not really. I mean, for example if a communist lied/exagerrated on their CV, should they take flak for this? Lied about their beliefs in order to keep their job? There are plenty reasons you might want to lie to your bosses in order to gain benefit - I think it'd be madness to say these have to have political consequences.

You know that it is different from that. As you wrote:

Fall Back

Yes, it was a mistake to let his name be put to the papers - which J and Aufheben have admitted from the start.

Fall Back

But to say he should get the flak for it because he was happy to get the benefit from it is wrong - as the examples I gave demonstrate. If there's any flak to be had, whether he was happy to get benefit from it or not is an entirely moot point.

I don't think it is. There is a difference between the sort of things that I sign in my work, which are actually only timesheets, and things which are 'intellectual products', and you are aware of this too.

Devrim

whatisinevidence

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm a forgiving guy, so, like I say, J needs to grow a pair and accept that he's made an enormous fucking boo boo.

But he has been doing this for a decade, and Aufheben knew about it. Not only did they know about it, they were criticized for it in the past (something they "forgot" to mention in their letter). Aufheben have been knowingly colluding with his activities for a long time.

The conjecture (since it hasn't been proved, only stated over and over again) that JD had his name put to things with which he did not agree, is laughable, but even if it is true, it's completely fucked. Picture it: Hey J, can we put you down as an author on these papers about policing? ... Sure guys! I didn't write them, and I disagree with them, but what the hell! It'll be good for my career! Just being friends with people who write policing policy papers is fucked.

Why hasn't JD personally defended himself?

Fall Back

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

(something they "forgot" to mention in their letter)

Apart from where they explicitly refer to 'ten year old gossip', you mean?

It's not a secret in "the scene" that J does research about crowd behaviour and that there has been (public) criticism in the past. In fact, I'd go as far to same that on the tiny scale of people who would have any interest, it's pretty common knowledge. So the idea that they've been hiding anything is ridiculous.

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Admin - fall back, Joseph Kay especially - this is bullshit - maybe bullshit you've been fed but certainly which you've gulped down with relish and vomitted up again - there's no-one I know who knew he was giving his name to stuff useful to the cops until January this year. No one I know knew about Chaos Theory before September this year - Joseph Kay himself said he heard about this article in August. The anger he got in the 1990s was the fact that he was doing research as part of his career burt not that he was feeding this stuff to the cops (and, personally, I had a lot of other things to deal with at that time, including becoming a father for the first and so far last time in my life; someone telling me about this Auf creep didn't register very high). But when someone spoke to G of Aufheben in February she said, "I never knew The Doctor's career had gone that far", so either she lied then or she's lying now out of misplaced loyalty. And back in the 1990s nobody made it public, nor 10 years ago as far as I know - but maybe you could pont out where it has been made public. "Public" usually means published in some form or another, not chatted about in a pub.

All this, on a small scale, is enough data to give some understanding of why people swallow (and want to swallow) The Big Lie generally - amongst which is the idea that "it's so unlikely - it must be true", as a magistrate said about a cop's story in a courtcase a very long time ago.

And about sitting on this since January, that's because of loads of intervening things (personal and financial crises, the class war in Greece, discouraging attitudes, etc. ) which also included waiting for some way of contacting the non-Doctor Aufheben lot (not entirely logical, I admit, since group-type blood is thicker than the watery flow of class solidarity: gang loyalty more important than thinking about the meaning of this for the class struggle; we obviously gave them too much the benefit of the doubt). Personally, I wish I had had the time and energy to have done this in March and I've got a feeling of guilt that I didn't insofar as this needed to be known so that people on demos could make up their minds if they wanted to talk to this guy or if they happened to find themselves next to him: it's the kind of information they should have had.

Picket

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

gang loyalty more important than thinking about the meaning of this for the class struggle;

What does it mean for the class struggle, Samotnaf? I might be missing something, a lot has been written and I haven't digested every word, but it seems that cops now know that if you're nice to people they're less likely to turn against you, they might even identify with you. It's not exactly a revelation of epic proportions, it's a Janet and John theory expressed in sociological jargon. Is that the spectre in our midst?

I feel a bit like I'm sticking my nose in as I have no connection to anyone involved except for shared politics, but I have a big nose, it has to go somewhere, and it saddens me to see relationships destroyed by something that seems fairly trivial. But as I say I might be missing something.

jesuithitsquad

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Edited out mean-spirited comment...

You've been accused of outing people as a hobby. Would you care to respond? It's notable that you keep coming back every 10 posts or so to clarify competely banal points, but haven't as of yet addressed this assertion. I, for one, would really appreciate reading summaries of your counter itelligence activites.

Also just to add: obviously situations dictate our behavior in varying degrees, and while it would've taken Job-like patience given the way TPTG and Samatnof chose to begin the debate, it is really too bad JK's last post wasn't his first post on the matter. It was very informative and measured, and had it come earlier in the conversation, it might have helped frame the debate in a more respctful, informed manner.

Joseph Kay

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf, you can thrash about calling me all the names under the sun, but the fact remains libcom actually investigated this and saw that Aufheben could back up their explanation with evidence. If you thought they were lying, you could have asked them to prove it. Basic fact-checking of the kind anyone who claims to be concerned with exposing state collaborators should undertake as a matter of course.

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Prove it.

whatisinevidence

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

Samotnaf, you can thrash about calling me all the names under the sun, but the fact remains libcom actually investigated this and saw that Aufheben could back up their explanation with evidence. If you thought they were lying, you could have asked them to prove it. Basic fact-checking of the kind anyone who claims to be concerned with exposing state collaborators should undertake as a matter of course.

But even if their explanation is true, it is not an acceptable explanation.

whatisinevidence

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The problem with this debate is that Aufheben (and by extension, Endnotes) cannot give an inch, because if they accept that J.D. was fucked up etc etc then they are implicated as well. They knew what he was doing for a decade and didn't intervene or give him the boot. It went on too long to claim ignorance or "mistakes" or something.

So we get three explanations:
1) These are all smears or rumors, none of it is true, he didn't consult with police at all, he didn't write the papers
2) Well okay, he did consult with the police but just on minor stuff that doesn't matter, and the papers aren't so bad
3) Actually, J.D.'s research is "humane" and can be defended

Maybe the most interesting thing about this incident is that the defense of Aufheben is rooted in a specific ideological understanding of class - that professors, journalists, etc are actually working class. The implications of this are profound for communist politics. I disagree with the formulation, obviously, but I encourage those making it to follow it to its logical conclusions.

Wellclose Square

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And it's not just about a name appended to a couple of articles...

Joseph Kay

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

Prove it.

I don't have to "prove" anything as I'm not the one making very serious allegations against a named individual. If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, do what we did: talk to them and get them to back it up. Pretty basic fact-checking you could have done months ago.

dinosavros

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph K,
you keep mentioning again and again the "facts" and "concrete evidence" that you have seen, and then you admit that it is only an "e-mail trail". That is hardly concrete evidence, it would be very easy to fake or alter. J and Aufheben haven't made it public so in fact all we have is your word for it, your entire argument is based on an appeal to your own authority. And then you and others accuse Samotnaf and TPTG for publishing allegations that they know to be false... well obviously they are just not convinced by this 'evidence', neither are a lot of us it seems.

You blame TPTG & Samotnaf for not contacting Aufheben and asking for the evidence like you said you did, but Aufheben were aware of the letter and texts for months now but didn't bother to let them know, so the blame is equally on Aufheben. But in any case I am not convinced that the email trail constitutes evidence.

The fact remains that there are two articles with J's name in the authors that are written to explicitly advise the british police on how to police crowds more efficiently, and specifically how to divide the violent and the nonviolent protestors so as to isolate the violent ones. To my mind it is natural that TPTG and Samotnaf have reacted as they did and the attacks against them are unfounded.

While on the other hand it is worrying how Aufheben and some people from the libcom team have reacted, giving such unbelievable defenses such as saying that it is normal for academics to be attributed as authors on papers they had nothing to do with and in fact apparently disagree strongly with, or claiming that J had no control over his faculty web page (despite the fact that he changed it after becoming aware of the letters, something that nobody has denied).

If I was in Aufheben's shoes I would ask J to publicly leave the group or else kick him out, and publish something that distances the magazine from his work in no uncertain terms without attempting to defend his work. I think this would be the only way to at least save some face. Because it is a pity, Aufheben is one of the few marxist theoretical groups that deserve respect today and if they don't react in this way this whole episode will leave a stain on their reputation for good, and they will deserve it too, they are excusing the inexcusable.

I am sure J is a nice enough guy judging from the support he is getting, probably very smart and good to talk with etc, but responsibilities are responsibilities. You can still be friends with someone you have distanced yourself from politically.

RedHughs

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, do what we did: talk to them and get them to back it up. Pretty basic fact-checking you could have done months ago.

The basic outline of the argument against JD can sumarized by these three links.

On the other hand, the source material for libcom's "fact checking" has not been provided. IE, we haven't seen the "email trail" which proves JD didn't write "the article". And further, this invoking of private information has not even mentioned the other, non-academic article - "Chaos Theory" (a point already mentioned numerous times in this very long thread - please tell us, why is JD's name on that?).

So for an outside observer, the damning information remains public and the hypothetical exonerating evidence remains private and based on "trust me - I checked the facts". Given this, both the Libcom administrators and Aufheben just don't look good. "Not good" both in terms of the facts and "not good" in terms how they are handling the situation.

I suspect that many others folks here indeed keep at this thread because we want Libcom and Aufheben to provide something more. We "shout" online because we indeed cannot step through the computer screen and shake them by the collar yelling "wake up to how much you've fucked up, do something different".

Read Serge Forward's post. He likes you. A large group of folks like both the Libcom admins and Aufheben and value the significant contribution they have made to the libertarian communist milieu. I suspect a significant portion of those feel betrayed by you (and of course another significant portion dismiss this as a trivial shit-storm in a tiny milieu but those are the people don't think much of the project to start with).

And integrity of those who unearthed this is totally irrelevant. If Aufheben was more widely read, the facts could have been unearth by the right wing press and you would still have to deal with them using a plausible story. And so far, your story hasn't been plausible.

And questions concerning what S, TPTG or anyone else but Libcom admin and Aufheben "wants to get out of this" are a bit misplaced. Considering they are seemingly allied, the problem seems to be Libcom admin and Aufheben's. However much I might want them individually or collectively to solve the problem, I don't think I can tell them how to do this.

All this is from everything I've read, gone over numerous times in this thread so far. If you evoke some crisp, clear link or argument showing me wrong, I'd be happy. But I haven't anything remotely like that so far.

RedHughs

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes,

I wrote and posted my reply above before dinosavros' earlier reply became visible.

Notice that we more or less say the same thing in different words.

Best...

whatisinevidence

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dinosavros

If I was in Aufheben's shoes I would ask J to publicly leave the group or else kick him out, and publish something that distances the magazine from his work in no uncertain terms without attempting to defend his work. I think this would be the only way to at least save some face. Because it is a pity, Aufheben is one of the few marxist theoretical groups that deserve respect today and if they don't react in this way this whole episode will leave a stain on their reputation for good, and they will deserve it too, they are excusing the inexcusable.

Well yes, but...

They knew about his work for a decade, so if he goes down, they go down with him.

tastybrain

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

whatisinevidence

Maybe the most interesting thing about this incident is that the defense of Aufheben is rooted in a specific ideological understanding of class - that professors, journalists, etc are actually working class. The implications of this are profound for communist politics. I disagree with the formulation, obviously, but I encourage those making it to follow it to its logical conclusions.

No, it's really not about that. I started a whole different thread for that debate, discussing that question on here will only cloud the issue. The fact is that the vast majority of academics do not consult with the police or any other branch of the state apparatus.

Someone asked what I thought was wrong with this. I will copy the relevant passages.

Wanstead residents objected to their local green being dug up for the construction of a trunk road. They changed on a number of levels. They came to see themselves as in the ‘same group’ as the ‘activists’ who had come to the area for the protest - and indeed in the same group as activists across the country and around the world. They therefore came to see themselves as different from their local neighbours who stood passively by and watched the loss of green space. They also adopted a much more critical view of the police force: when previously the police had been seen as neutral or a protector of their individual rights, now they were seen as agents of unpopular government policy and hence ‘political’.

The ‘activists’ I spoke to attributed these changes in the views of ‘locals’ to the force of argument. They had spent long hours together in vigils to protect the green, and in that time had the opportunity to develop their points about the global significance of the ‘local’ road-building scheme and hence the political nature of ‘environmental’ issues.

The role of ‘discussion and debate’ in ‘politicizing’ people in social movements is also stressed by a number of sociologists and social psychologists. There is plenty of evidence that discussion and argument can be persuasive.

But there was something else happening at the time of the transformation of these ‘local’ people into ‘political subjects’. This was their participation in the ‘direct action’ itself. While they may have intended their participation to be different (less ‘direct’) than that of the ‘activists’, it was not seen that way by the police, who acted upon the protesters as a whole – as a crowd, in fact.

Put differently, the (unintended) consequence of the ‘locals’ acting ‘with’ the rest of the crowd was police action which served to impose a common experience (of ‘illegitimate attack’) on all, such that the distinction between ‘activist’ and ‘local’ could no longer be easily sustained. In a context when one is treated as ‘oppositional’ by the police, arguments about the ‘political’ nature of road-building will seem more plausible, and those making them more persuasive. Such people come to be seen as ‘one of us’ rather than ‘one of them’, and we might listen to more carefully.

By itself, this observation is not damning. Lot's of writers have noted how indiscriminate attack on a crowd can in some cases unify the crowd and obviously lower their opinion of the attackers. But the fact is that he made these observations as part of academic research, which was then used as the basis for a model for "public order policing" (however ineffective or flawed such a model might be) which is intended to isolate more combative groups during protests; groups which some people on this forum might conceivably be a part of. I simply don't buy the idea that his name has been on so many things which are directly meant to be of use to the police and that he has lectured the police and he is somehow completely innocent of any kind of cop-collaboration. Regardless of any effect this does or does not have it is clearly intended to be of use to the state for more intelligent repression. Even if there are no real-world consequences from this research the mere fact that it is meant to teach the police how to isolate radical elements of protests makes his participation in this unacceptable, and I highly doubt he hasn't participated as some people are asserting.

Wellclose Square

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tastybrain, you're right to highlight the above, especially as the implications you draw out have largely been overshadowed by the 'sound and fury' of whether the Dr. approves of his name being appended to a couple of papers.

jesuithitsquad

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just a quick note to apologize to Samatnof for an unkind comparison I made earlier. It was pointed out to me by a comrade that it was an unhelpful comment and in hindsight I agree.

Joseph Kay

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is going round in circles. No sooner is one charge refuted than the goalposts shift. 'He didn't write the papers? Never mind, he works for NATO. He doesn't work for NATO? Never mind, Stott & Reicher want to crush 'violent minorities'. Oh, Stott & Reicher are reformists who think "riots are the voice of the powerless" and argue explicitly against the "repression agenda"? Never mind, Katrina. His work has nothing to do with Katrina, and in fact argues the exact opposite? Never mind, his name is on the papers...' And round and round it goes: he must be guilty of something, enough shit's being thrown, some of it has to stick! It's dishonest to quote detail after detail, then when these are disputed, to claim the details don't matter anyway. Quantity of allegations is not a substitute for quality. If you're going to claim 'Chaos Theory' (for example) as a smoking gun, you can't just shrug off the fact the authorship is disputed (and Aufheben can prove this).

And I'm not telling anyone to take my word for it. By all means don't. But nobody is in a position to opine about how "plausible" or "unbelievable" Aufheben's explanation is unless they've checked it out, otherwise it's just more hot air in cyberspace. There's nothing stopping anyone else getting in touch and doing exactly the same thing libcom have done, i.e. basic fact-checking (hear their explanation, see if they can back it up). If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, get in touch and arrange something. If you can't be bothered, that's fine. But then don't call us dupes or liars!

It's particularly ironic (/depressing) that this whole affair is supposedly motivated by the dangers of the state getting inside knowledge on the movement, yet the persistent demand - by people with anonymous pseudonyms, some registered especially for this thread - is for personally identifiable information on another communist to be put in public on a site we all know is read by google, cops and journos (and has been used as evidence in numerous workplace disciplinaries). Stop and think about it for a minute.

I also didn't say the evidence is "only" an email trail. The email trail relates only to the authorship question on the Stott/Reicher papers. We've also spoken to J and Aufheben; heard his explanation for the 'consultancies' and followed the links to confirm it; seen the powerpoint slides on mass emergencies he gave to (amongst others) cops; and read academic papers. In other words, we've got off our arses, got off the internet and actually investigated the situation whereas it appears everyone else has just googled for incriminating quotes and ran with it, or worse, just taken the people doing that at their word. And then those same people claim libcom bothering to investigate the matter is itself suspicious and proof of a conspiracy! First comes the verdict, then follows the trial...

Of course if people are going to go down the road of saying evidence is faked, nothing will ever suffice. After all, since J is 'guilty', any contrary evidence must be a fabrication and libcom must be dupes or liars (*sigh*). But to go down this road is getting into conspiracy theory territory. If J is so dangerous that TPTG can't even email him (!), why on earth would Aufheben (and libcom?) - i.e. groups who have a working relationship with him - want to start faking emails, powerpoint presentations, web pages and so on to cover it up? It doesn't make any sense, we'd be the ones at most risk if what TPTG says is true! It's just piling one speculative accusation on top of the other to try and distract from the fact TPTG and Samotnaf have made very serious allegations they didn't bother to investigate thoroughly, and in assembling various googled tidbits into a narrative of enemies within have ignored all contrary information first from others in the scene, then from Aufheben and now from libcom.

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've not heard ONE bit of verifiable information "from others in the scene, then from Aufheben and now from libcom." If you're going to play "I know best", at least try to show you do with some knowledge we don't know other than hearsay.

PS Thanks, jesuithitsquad, for the apology - besides, I know very little about "Bored not bored" other than he attacked Dauve because of some crap Dauve's dad did, if I remember correctly....the sins of the father...

tastybrain

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

Never mind, Stott & Reicher want to crush 'violent minorities'. Oh, Stott & Reicher are reformists who think "riots are the voice of the powerless" and argue explicitly against the "repression agenda"?

JK, the article you link to contains this passage:

That is, you need to look at the experience of relations between rioting communities and those with power, authority and influence in our society. The danger is that the repression agenda not only ignores this but that it actually creates experiences that both increase the sense of illegitimacy and decrease the sense of alternatives.

So the accusation of mindlessness, the lazy language of the "mob", and the use of discredited deindividuation theories, is not just wrong. It is positively dangerous. It stops us paying attention to what crowd actions tells us about how rioters understand their society. It stops us from addressing how these understandings come about. It dooms us to more disaffection, more division and more violence.

So Stott and Reicher want to prevent the "danger" that repression "creates experiences that both increase the sense of illegitimacy and decrease the sense of alternatives". They wish to maintain the legitimacy of the state and emphasize the "alternatives" which exist within the state paradigm. The state needs to understand how rioters understand their society so they might better control how they understand the society (put it in a more positive light). They wish to prevent "disaffection", "division", and anti-state "violence", all things which we want to increase, if I'm not mistaken!

Stott and Reicher do in fact want to crush violent minorities. They don't say as much in this article but if you read between the lines it's very clear. They are against a knee-jerk "repression response" but only so repression can be doled out more intelligently and precisely. In other work of theirs they explicitly lay out their theory for how the violent minorities can be isolated and crushed! (And Dr. J's ethnology of anti-roads protests is part of the basis for such a model).

They quote MLK on riots, but much like him they take that approach solely so they can deflate such militant forms of protest. Both MLK and Reicher/Stott see the riot as the "voice of the powerless", but the goal in both instances is to give the rioters a real "voice" and real "power" within the realm of state relationships.

Reformism is not always benign. Often it is the best defense capitalism has against its own contradictions. By trotting out "kinder, gentler" aspects of capitalism rulers can demobilize revolutionary movements.

Fall Back

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samothnaf

I've not heard ONE bit of verifiable information

Of course not, you've refused to speak to Aufheben, and ignored them when they contacted you. If you refuse to talk to the people in possession of the verifiable information, of course you're not going to hear it.

Aufheben 
Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre
P.O. Box 2536
Rottingdean
Brighton
UK
BN2 6LX

aufheben99[AT]yahoo.co.uk

RedHughs

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph,

This is going round in circles because... when you notice someone who seems generally intelligent and who you often feel at least sympathetic with but who is currently arguing something that you not only disagree with but which sounds patently fallacious, then you think, "well, let's try one more go at it and see if he can somehow get it".

All issues were gone over by the first two pages of this thread but I'm here for the above reason. Maybe I'm the one with the fallacious and you can show me why I'm full of shit. Please, if so, do me the favor.

But until you show me that, I have the impression that you are the one who's arguing stuff that isn't just incorrect but clearly wrong and contradictory and you simply don't see this clear contradiction because you are caught up in the psychological dynamic of the situation. Like I said, it could be the exactly opposite. I'm open to that. But perhaps we could just engage in looking this stuff even more closely keeping in mind that one of the two positions being argued might just be totally bonkers and we might not know which it is.

Anyway...

And I'm not telling anyone to take my word for it. By all means don't. But nobody is in a position to opine about how "plausible" or "unbelievable" Aufheben's explanation is unless they've checked it out, otherwise it's just more hot air in cyberspace.

This statement looks to me to be confused on both a practical and a logical way.

The practical part first; IE, what precisely is involved with checking "it" out? There is a wider anti-state communist milieu beyond London and beyond the UK. Is every hypothetical reader of Aufheben expected to email them about Dr. Who if they happen to find TPTG's piece online? Are they expected not to have an opinion on the subject?

Practical Point: Seriously, can you outline in detail what you imagine would or should go through the head of a hypothetical Aufheben reader who Google them and discovers the TPTG discussion? How exactly could they accept the Aufheben explanation if they did not take either your or Aufheben's word on the subject.

Also, it doesn't seem you are getting the meaning of "plausible" here. Plausible means "believable", not true or false. Aufheben's statements are not plausible to me or to a number of readers. That doesn't prove they're to true or false. But the point is that as written, the statement look like, uh, bullshit.

If I say "got my money from selling a meteorite of pure gold that fell into my back yard", I would be making an implausible statement. In the unlikely event that, despite sounding implausible, the statement was true, I might be able to supply supporting information to back it up. Anyone who was going to actually believe me would have to either have gotten that information or take on the trust the word of someone had gotten the information.

With that background on what plausible means, let's look at your statement in more detail (and again, I appologize if I sound like an ass here, you can show me how deluded I am if you bear with me now).

Aufheben's statement, as written, is either plausible or not. In the "ordinary course of events", no one requires corroborating evidence to determine if a given statement is plausible, that is no one inherently need additional evidence to read a statement and decide whether sounds like could be true. Now, if Aufheben's statement depends on private information (the "email trail") then whether the statement is plausible or not, any observer would need that private information to determine whether the statement is true.

So, you can at least say logically say "nobody is in a position to opine about whether Aufheben's explanation is true unless they've checked the (secret) evidence". But your original statement, about plausibility, is more or less "an abuse of language". Anyone should be in the position to decide whether a given statement plausible.

And "we critics" are definitely talking plausibility, not truth. Of course I don't know what happened. I'm on the US West Coast, I've all the parties involved but very briefly, years ago. I don't know what's really the case but I still know that the story you're telling me is implausible. Not just a little implausible but wildly implausible. To use the old detective term, "it stinks". This is a statement of appearance. Aufheben's text and your posts here together are unconvincing and (at least) seem contradictory.

And this seems like one of the several flaws in what you've been arguing.

Logical Point: Communists should not simply not work with the police. Communists should also not appear to work with the police. If a communist appears to work if the police, he or she should remove that appearance. If the information seeming to, appearing, to link a communist with the police is public and the information debunking that appearance is private then someone looking in public must trust those who know the private information.

The above paragraph is my logical statement of why appearances matter, why supposedly exonerating information being private is problematic. I know repetition is annoying and patronizing and if I'm wrong I apologize in advance though I'll apologize more afterwards.

But if I'm wrong, it doesn't seem like I'm the only one making this mistake so it would still be worth your while to go in detail to show why I'm wrong.

Best,

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

pdf of my text in unbowdlerised form is available if you contact: [email protected]

Joseph Kay

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fair play to dinosavros, he came and found me at the bookfair, we had a sensible conversation and I introduced him to Aufheben. It became pretty clear this cannot possibly be resolved online: forwarded emails can be edited, screen-grabs of emails can be photoshopped and so on. I think they're going to sort out either a meet-up or something with a neutral third party.

Apparently Aufheben had tens of complaints about the 25p inflation price rise, but apart from dinosavros nobody complained about this at all. This tends to confirm my impression all this sound and fury is a storm in cyber tea cup. This thread self-selects for the handful of people who give a shit and are willing to bash out post after post, giving it disproportionate prominence.

RedHughs: this isn't a question of formal logic, it's really simple. If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, ask them to back it up. There's no "secret evidence" here. Libcom spoke to Aufheben and they were completely open with us. By all means do the same. Contact details are on libcom, and have been posted on this thread. As it is you're just gossipping on the internet about things of which you have no first-hand knowledge, have no connection to, and are refusing to look into. Idle talk. You'd just better hope your comrades have higher standards when some ultra-left Inquisitors, or an investigative journalist, or a state snitchjacket paints a target on you. I wouldn't want anything to do with 'comrades' who'd accept such serious allegations without even bothering to talk to the accused.

tastybrain: I'm glad we agree Stott & Reicher are liberal reformists, as for much of this thread I've been attacked for saying that! I also agree that liberal reformism (in general) is not necessarily harmless. What I'm saying is in Stott & Reicher's case it is.

Stott & Reicher attack the mainstream view that riots are a meaningless, random and untargetted phenomenon, which leads to 'solutions' which increase the coercive power of the state to be able to put down such 'random' outbursts of 'the mob' (watercannon! troops on streets!). By contrast, they say collective violence is targetted, selective and meaningful, and therefore 'solutions' should be found in social change (relationships with the police, poverty etc). This analysis is fairly common amongst anarchists and passes without comment, e.g. the WSM's analysis of the August Riots says "apparently the solution to murderous police violence is to be more murderous police violence". The only difference is the reformists think nicer police and a better welfare state is sufficient, whereas anarchists say the police not being nice is a structural necessity and the contradictions in capitalism can't be abolished with a few social democratic trimmings.

Another way of looking at is that if the class struggle can be pacified by the police talking to people instead of twatting them, then it isn't a fundamental social antagonism at all, but a mere technical problem of how to regulate an otherwise harmonious society. Obviously liberals do think this. But they're wrong, and thus harmless when they base policy proposals on this false premise. However, TPTG seem to share the same equation of violence with class antagonism, only whereas the liberals want to reduce it with nicer police and more youth centres, TPTG seem to want the opposite and thus see these things as sinister new methods of crowd control (since without police provocation, where could antagonism come from?). Both share the same fallacious premise of equating class conflict with violence. This is fetishism: because revolution is violent, they see violence as revolutionary, and anything which (may) reduce it as counter-revolutionary.

Yet another way of looking at this: "the best way of (...) keeping the Wobblies and other unions at bay is to take steps now to insure employees have no reason or desire to organize". This might be true, as far as it goes. But it doesn't really help the bosses all that much because it means making concessions without a fight to eliminate possible grievances, concessions cost them money and this goes against their social role. Similarly, the police might know that repression can escalate struggles against them, but they have to do it anyway for material reasons dictated by their social role. Grievances are inherent to wage labour and conflict with the state is inherent to class struggle. These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

whatisinevidence

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am sorry to those who have to share a milieu with you. I hope the lack of anger about this at the bookfair was because those who would have been angry were too disgusted to attend.

If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, ask them to back it up.

This is ridiculous. JD ought to be condemned purely on the terms of his defense (ie. at the very least, he did speak in front of police about crowds, he did work closely with people writing policing policy papers, he has made a career out of understanding crowds to aid state responses to emergencies, etc). If those things - which are acknowledged as true by Aufheben in their damage control document - are not enough for you, you ought to stop calling yourself an anarchist.

Put aside the question of class struggle. JD's research is about how the state can "humanely" control and manage crowds. To be blunt, if your "communist" group is made up of people researching how to control crowds, rather than by those who find themselves victims of this "humane" crowd management, there is a problem. If you get together for your meeting and find that everyone at the table is making a salary researching social movements, there is a problem. The problem is that 'communist theory' is largely the domain of social managers and professionals rather than proletarians. This is not a side issue.

In the end we have the perfect Stalinist farce: JD changed his University page he has no control over to remove the articles he didn't write which are not a problem anyway. Being professionals, Aufheben know how to handle a PR disaster: release a statement that doesn't say much of anything, cover your trail, have others speak for you, and then remain silent. Once time has gone by, you can silence critics by saying, "haven't we gone over this already? Let's move forward instead of staying in the past."

These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

Quite so! Maybe every communist group should have one member who gives clever intellectual 'insights' to police. I hear the police love clever insights from radical groups. They'd probably even pay for them.

Arbeiten

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

you were too angry by writer in one magazine to attend a bookfair :roll:

dinosavros

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph just to put things in context,

You saidJoseph Kay

As it is you're just gossipping on the internet about things of which you have no first-hand knowledge, have no connection to, and are refusing to look into. Idle talk. You'd just better hope your comrades have higher standards when some ultra-left Inquisitors, or an investigative journalist, or a state snitchjacket paints a target on you. I wouldn't want anything to do with 'comrades' who'd accept such serious allegations without even bothering to talk to the accused.

I don't think this is accurate and you keep repeating it... when someone's name appears on articles as an author (and also lists those articles on his faculty page) it is not "gossipping on the internet" or "snitchjacketting" or an "Inquisiton" to take it for granted they are responsible for writing those articles. I said this to you in person too. I think we established yesterday that it is very rare that an academic will attach his name to articles which he had nothing to do with, especially if it is articles that he disagrees with strongly. So the burden of proof is on J.

It is not a matter of "shit-slinging" but of shit that J put himself in. The responses of TPTG, Samotnaf and other users like whatisevidence are all justified given the circumstances. Like Devrim says above Devrim

If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

Regarding the specific articles, there's two scenarios, (a) he did help write the articles, and after the letters were published he lied and pretended that he didn't in order to save face, and (b) he really didn't write those articles and stupidly let his name be added to them. Of the two the second seems more implausible, and the first seems much more likely. I said this both to you and Aufheben in person yesterday.

But I am willing to accept that scenario (b) while it is more implausible, it is not impossible. If there really is evidence for this then I would be willing to take the bus down to Brighton one day and verify its truthhood or falsehood - since we also established it is something that cant be done electronically. But I don't know if my doing this is worth it, since I don't know if my word will mean much either way.

Joseph Kay

Apparently Aufheben had tens of complaints about the 25p inflation price rise, but apart from dinosavros nobody complained about this at all. This tends to confirm my impression all this sound and fury is a storm in cyber tea cup. This thread self-selects for the handful of people who give a shit and are willing to bash out post after post, giving it disproportionate prominence.

Yeah I didnt realize that I was the only one who would come and talk in person (complain?), I assumed a lot of people would have done it too. Personally I dont have much emotionally invested in this whole issue but I followed it fairly closely and took the time to read because of the respect I had for all those involved (TPTG, Aufheben, Samotnaf and some libcommers like you) and the gravity of the accusations (which I find convincing and serious). Approaching you and Aufheben in person just seemed like the right thing to do.

My impression from others I talked to is that not a lot of people had heard about it (some people I talked to yesterday don't like libcom and dont read it) and those that had hadn't read through everything in order to form an opinion. And some people dont want to take sides and would rather stay neutral.

As for Stott and Reicher I don't want to get into this argument in depth, but the two articles co-signed with J are there for anyone to see and TPTG quotes them extensively. Anyone can see them and judge for themselves. They are explicitly aimed at training police into having increased control over crowds by applying psychology methods so that the majority of the crowd identifies with the police and not against it.

dinosavros

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

whatisinevidence

This is ridiculous. JD ought to be condemned purely on the terms of his defense (ie. at the very least, he did speak in front of police about crowds, he did work closely with people writing policing policy papers, he has made a career out of understanding crowds to aid state responses to emergencies, etc). If those things - which are acknowledged as true by Aufheben in their damage control document - are not enough for you, you ought to stop calling yourself an anarchist.

Put aside the question of class struggle. JD's research is about how the state can "humanely" control and manage crowds. To be blunt, if your "communist" group is made up of people researching how to control crowds, rather than by those who find themselves victims of this "humane" crowd management, there is a problem. If you get together for your meeting and find that everyone at the table is making a salary researching social movements, there is a problem. The problem is that 'communist theory' is largely the domain of social managers and professionals rather than proletarians. This is not a side issue.

In the end we have the perfect Stalinist farce: JD changed his University page he has no control over to remove the articles he didn't write which are not a problem anyway. Being professionals, Aufheben know how to handle a PR disaster: release a statement that doesn't say much of anything, cover your trail, have others speak for you, and then remain silent. Once time has gone by, you can silence critics by saying, "haven't we gone over this already? Let's move forward instead of staying in the past."

I think everything whatisevidence says here makes a lot of sense.

At the same time I would like to note that today I also read the main article in the new Aufheben which I bought at the bookfair yesterday and I thought it was an excellent analysis.

Paradox.

mons

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Regarding the specific articles, there's two scenarios, (a) he did help write the articles, and after the letters were published he lied and pretended that he didn't in order to save face, and (b) he really didn't write those articles and stupidly let his name be added to them. Of the two the second seems more implausible, and the first seems much more likely.

I wasn't gonna comment anymore because it's all getting too much attention anyway. But I changed my mind and guess I'm now totally in the Aufheben point of view.

Why of the two scenario's does the first seem more likely? The second seems way more likely to me. Why assume J's lying, and Joseph Kay, etc. are lying when they say Aufheben can prove it?! That doesn't make any sense to me.

Also, I'm not even convinced it was that stupid of J to put his name to the articles tbh. It doesn't have any actual negative effect on the class struggle. I mean whether J's name is there or not makes literally no difference. It was only stupid insofar as he didn't anticipate it would lead to all this mess.

If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

I disagree Devrim, because J was taking credit from his bosses for the article (which he didn't write), he wasn't expecting it from the communist movement.

Serge Forward

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I was going to leave well alone with this thread, but this post kind of niggled me.

mons

Why of the two scenario's does the first seem more likely? The second seems way more likely to me. Why assume J's lying, and Joseph Kay, etc. are lying when they say Aufheben can prove it?! That doesn't make any sense to me.

You're kidding, right? Only in the land of care bears and my little pony would the second be more likely. But, as was clearly stated, it's not impossible either and J might be allowed benefit of the doubt. But to dismiss the more plausible reason on the basis that it makes JK look like a liar is not a reason to dismiss it. I don't think JK is a liar by the way but whatever you or I think about his honesty is not relevant as far as J is concerned.

mons

Also, I'm not even convinced it was that stupid of J to put his name to the articles tbh. It doesn't have any actual negative effect on the class struggle. I mean whether J's name is there or not makes literally no difference. It was only stupid insofar as he didn't anticipate it would lead to all this mess.

Not stupid? When it comes to understanding the revolutionary scene he is involved with, then for an educated person, J would appear to not have the sense to come in out of the fucking rain. How anyone could not anticipate such a shit storm over allowing one's name to be added to a policing article is beyond me. Mind you, being an idiot to the N-th fucking degree in this instance is possibly J's saving grace, because if he's not an idiot, it's much more serious. Idiocy is forgivable, the alternative is not.

mons

If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

I disagree Devrim, because J was taking credit from his bosses for the article (which he didn't write), he wasn't expecting it from the communist movement.

Have a word with yourself. This is just silly. If your name appears in such an article to take credit from your bosses, then that is fucking shite. To not expect flak from communists for it is mental.

Mons, please stop defending J as you're really doing him no favours here. There was me willing to accept he might have made a very stupid error of judgement, and now you go and ruin it all by making him look an even bigger twat.

Juan Conatz

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to reiterate, perhaps a bit more strongly and with more detail, my only other post in this thread, TPTG and Samontaf....you did this wrong. The entire style of this exposal not only borders polemic, it often strays into defining the word itself. That is not the point of exposing someone at all. It is not to make ideological points, besides, maybe brief ones for the purpose of mainstream media.

In 2008, while a group I was involved in was organizing for the Republican National Convention protests, there was an individual with a number of different names, but to us was known as Valvilis, or Val for short. Val claimed he was a conscientiousness objector from the military, which gained a great deal of sympathy from the antiwar group he and many of us in an anarchist group were involved with.

He also, apparently, was hard up, not being able to find employment, much like many veterans, and he was housed, fed and borrowed money to by a number of members of the university anti-war group he was a part of.

Around August 2008, a month before the RNC, Val came to a couple of us, saying that he had been approached by the FBI, wanting him to turn informant. He told us he said no. And while, we had our suspicions, without any hard evidence, we took him at his word. In any case, the affinity group style of organizing we were doing left his knowledge of what others outside his group were doing somewhat ambiguous. Despite what was to come, I think this was a good decision, because without any hard evidence, any action would have been a gamble. One with dire and destructive consequences if we were wrong.

The RNC came, and his role was as a medic. In fact, he "treated" me as I was showing signs of heat stroke after marching for 5 miles, than running from riot cops for 3 hours in 95 degree weather, dressed in black with a cigarette hanging from my mouth.

As with all summit type mobilizations, there is intense repression immediately prior and after them. The case of the RNC 8 and countless others proved this was no different. As court proceedings started and the FBI, sherrif's office, police and prosecutors unloaded their evidence, a set of documents was sent to us from the Twin Cities that revealed there was an FBI informant in the group.

At first, only 2 of us had these documents. We read them, found it easy to figure out who the informant was (despite the documents never naming him) through process of elimination and selected quotes. We decided to meet with everyone named in the documents privately, giving them a copy, and then to set up a group meeting of the people named. These people including folks pretty close to Val, including one of the people who housed him and one person who was a co-worker.

We had 3 objectives with this meeting.

1)Come to a consensus that the 'confidential human source' was Val.
2)Confront him and isolate him from our groups if we did indeed decide it was him.
3) Publicly expose him in case he jumped town.

In the meeting, there was no doubt from anyone that he was the 'CHS'. I and another person were tasked with confronting him. This occured at his place of work where we informed him that we knew that he was working for the FBI and that he needed to stay away from our groups and all individuals involved in them. He tried to bait me into an argument, but my task was to make that demand and leave.

Our next task was to inform the antiwar group and the anarchist group about the situation. Due to specific instructions given to us by the people who gave us the documents, we couldn't show it to people who weren't named, but the 6-7 of us made our case and because we were trusted organizers, we were believed and the decision was made to formally kick Val out of both groups. The process wasn't easy, though. Val's girlfriend came, contesting our accusations, and informed Val of who was accusing him and what they were accusing him of. He, of course, at first, denied it.

Then some of us started Facebook and email messaging him, directly asking him. He eventually admitted it, justifying it for a number of reasons, including a James Bond style mission to find out a supposed (and never discovered) second informant, so he could expose them for us. He actually came clean about a lot of the stuff, presumably in the hopes of being forgiven. Whether the amounts of money he was paid or some of the other information he provided was true or not...who knows. Who knows if he was even a CO, much less in the military at all.

After the overwhelming consensus was made in our locality, we privately went to the national groupings we were associated with. Some of them, apparantly, recieved the documents through one of us who were named, and we also had long phone conversations with them. Because of the number of us making the accusations (6-7) and who we were (core organizers), there wasn't much doubt. And they too put a call out through the national channels about him.

We then wrote a exposal letter, posted it around the internet, with contact info. Since we were instructed to not make the documents public, we had to rely on the fact that there was full agreement in Iowa City on the statement and had people more well known in the national group vouch for our version of events.

Eventually, the documents were leaked to the media (uncensored) by somebody either in Iowa or the Twin Cities, and the whole thing blew up. It made the national media, and we had magazines like Mother Jones and The Progressive contacting us for info.

A little later, me and another person in Iowa, recieved around 500 pages of FBI documents through a Freedom of Information Act that further revealed the extent of the investigation on us.

Now, I don't think we went about this perfectly. Now that I'm more experienced, a bit older and smarter, I would have done things differently. However, there are a couple key things we did, that I feel are a must in these types of broad situations (recognizing the case with J is a whole different thing, but part of the same broad context).

1)We held back going public until we had hard evidence.

2)Once we had hard evidence, we approached individuals and the groups associated with him to build a consensus around his activities, trying to avoid any doubts that would lead to angry splits and heated arguments. If our main aim was to eventually expose him and keep him from continuing his activities somewhere else, we needed to prevent controversy and contested accounts which would throw doubt on whether he was an informant or not.

3)We confronted him in person and thorough electronic means, giving him some amount of time to contest or admit it.

4)We contacted the wider milieu privately, to make sure they knew what was going on and there wasn't going to be a great amount of controversy.

5)We exposed him.

Don't get me wrong, this whole process was nerve racking and probably one of the most stressful moments of my life. For others with certain legal and employment ramifications in their life, it was beyond what I experienced. However, we avoided splits in the 'radical community;, either locally, regionally or nationally because we made a concerted effort to include everyone who dealt with him.

I don't see the same level of effort going into this at all.

For those interested in this whole situation:

A History of Wild Rose Rebellion
http://libcom.org/history/history-wild-rose-rebellion-2007-2009

FBI Infiltrates Iowa City Protest Group
http://www.progressive.org/mc052609.html

Cointelpro Gothic: Docs prove Iowa FBI's Wild Rose Rebellion a pretend RNC "Terrorism Enterprise" for great "statistical accomplishment"
http://www.hongpong.com/archives/2010/10/13/cointelpro-gothic-docs-prove-iowa-fbis-wild-rose-rebellion-pretend-rnc-terrorism

FBI files on investigation of Iowa City peace activists made public
http://iowaindependent.com/43846/fbi-files-on-investigation-of-iowa-city-peace-group-made-public

RedHughs

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

JosephK

it's really simple. If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, ask them to back it up. There's no "secret evidence" here

I'll comment more later, maybe. But apparent absurdity in just these two sentences is astounding.

What exactly will Aufheben do when they are asked to "back it up". Your next sentence implies that they won't provide any non-public information. So what do they do? Some Steve Jobs-type reality distortion field. Show me their wide-eyed, innocent gaze? Or is there information-we-don't-make-public which is not "secret because" ?? because secret sounds bad and we're not bad??

Anyway, I want Aufheben to backup their story publicly, to the world. I don't find the argument plausible. I suspect they read this thread - J had an account someone linked to a while back.

And just consider, what use would it be for them to clear their name to just me anyway? They need to clear their name to world. How is that not obvious? How??

Mike Harman

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@RedHughs. I think JK is suggesting that if someone contacts Aufheben directly and they can reasonably expect that this person won't then post that private correspondence all over the internet that they'll show them the same information they showed JK.

Personally I also think that whatever can be shared with with people over e-mail could also be posted publicly (or at least made clearer how to get hold of it if they don't want it googlable). So I'm going to e-mail Aufheben to suggest they do that.

If not, then they could show that information to x number of groups, and those groups could make up their minds, then collectively sign (or not sign) a statement - then it wouldn't come down to Aufheben + libcom admins vs. TPTG + Samotnaf which is a fucking stupid situation that is pissing me off.

Fall Back

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is obvious is that no one, beyond an ever decreasing circle of internet ultra-leftists, actually cares.

no1

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan, your mistake is to take the charge of police collaboration literally. J has not literally collaborated with cops, instead he has been involved with emergency services (including some cops) in strategies of dealing with mass emergencies ; and his name was put on papers by a colleague pursuing a misguided but (according to J) harmless project of trying to make policing of political protest less violent. J thus stands accused of ideological crimes which in the strange world of 'samotnaf' and TPTG obviate the need for any proper process such as finding out the facts and putting them to the people in question, and instead call for a full blown public denunciation and character assassination campaign. As acknowledged in the Aufheben response J made the mistake of allowing his name to be added to papers he disagrees with, which is all there is. Somehow TPTG and 'samotnaf' think they can pursue their denunciation campaign if they compensate for the lack of substance with bluster, paranoia, endless repetition of the word 'cop collaborator', conspiracy theories and unreadably tedious missives. This is all about ideology, not about the actual damage which police informants do.

Serge Forward

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fall Back

What is obvious is that no one, beyond an ever decreasing circle of internet ultra-leftists, actually cares.

I fucking hate this. This kind of comment has been repeated several times. However, it bears no relation to anything and is just a feeble attempt at the old 10,000,000,000 flies can't be wrong argument. Yes, in the scheme of things, 'nobody' cares about J, TPTG and the ultra left milieu; 'nobody' cares about Aufheben or Libcom; 'nobody' cares about class struggle anarchism or revolutionary politics in general. In fact, you'll find that far more people care about the fortunes of the Labour or Conservative Party, or who wins the X-factor, or who some film or pop star is shagging. So, what’s the point of this kind of comment, apart from making you sound like a complete tit?

This is part of the problem. Yes, those who exposed this situation went about it all wrong but those who defend J have also got it wrong, and daft comments like Fall Back’s don’t help. Both sides talk shit and let either their faith in J or their vivid imaginations run away with things. So behave.

Point of fact, it doesn't matter how many of us care about this nasty episode within our movement. What matters is that some of us care, however few in numbers, and that's good enough for me.

Thanks for fixing my account though, Fall Back :oops:

Fall Back

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge - I think you read my post at cross purposes - my fault for not quoting RedHughes there, as Mike replied in between.

It was a direct response to

They need to clear their name to world. How is that not obvious? How??

ie, refuting the idea that they "obviously" need clear there name to the world, whereas actually even in the terms of our mileau, the world by and large doesn't care.

RedHughs

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@Mike Harmon

Mike, I think your suggestions sound good or at least sound like some movement on the question...

Keep us, "the public" informed how this goes...

I still am at a loss how it could be that the outline of the information could not be disclosed. Perhaps We'll find out something here, though

tastybrain

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

tastybrain: I'm glad we agree Stott & Reicher are liberal reformists, as for much of this thread I've been attacked for saying that! I also agree that liberal reformism (in general) is not necessarily harmless. What I'm saying is in Stott & Reicher's case it is.

Stott & Reicher attack the mainstream view that riots are a meaningless, random and untargetted phenomenon, which leads to 'solutions' which increase the coercive power of the state to be able to put down such 'random' outbursts of 'the mob' (watercannon! troops on streets!). By contrast, they say collective violence is targetted, selective and meaningful, and therefore 'solutions' should be found in social change (relationships with the police, poverty etc). This analysis is fairly common amongst anarchists and passes without comment, e.g. the WSM's analysis of the August Riots says "apparently the solution to murderous police violence is to be more murderous police violence". The only difference is the reformists think nicer police and a better welfare state is sufficient, whereas anarchists say the police not being nice is a structural necessity and the contradictions in capitalism can't be abolished with a few social democratic trimmings.

Another way of looking at is that if the class struggle can be pacified by the police talking to people instead of twatting them, then it isn't a fundamental social antagonism at all, but a mere technical problem of how to regulate an otherwise harmonious society. Obviously liberals do think this. But they're wrong, and thus harmless when they base policy proposals on this false premise. However, TPTG seem to share the same equation of violence with class antagonism, only whereas the liberals want to reduce it with nicer police and more youth centres, TPTG seem to want the opposite and thus see these things as sinister new methods of crowd control (since without police provocation, where could antagonism come from?). Both share the same fallacious premise of equating class conflict with violence. This is fetishism: because revolution is violent, they see violence as revolutionary, and anything which (may) reduce it as counter-revolutionary.

Yet another way of looking at this: "the best way of (...) keeping the Wobblies and other unions at bay is to take steps now to insure employees have no reason or desire to organize". This might be true, as far as it goes. But it doesn't really help the bosses all that much because it means making concessions without a fight to eliminate possible grievances, concessions cost them money and this goes against their social role. Similarly, the police might know that repression can escalate struggles against them, but they have to do it anyway for material reasons dictated by their social role. Grievances are inherent to wage labour and conflict with the state is inherent to class struggle. These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

JK, you know as well as I do that everything people do has a subjective component. The presence of "fundamental social antagonism" does not produce violence or rebellion in every case. If you take a view of "material imperatives" entirely determining class struggle then the third world should be having a revolution right now. As for the uselessness of "intellectual insights", do you really think the cops are smart enough to be doing everything right? I have to agree with Whatisinevidence. The wrongness of JD's actions starts long before cops can realize actual gains with the research. It begins with the attempt in and of itself.

ocelot

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

tastybrain

Joseph Kay

[...]
Another way of looking at is that if the class struggle can be pacified by the police talking to people instead of twatting them, then it isn't a fundamental social antagonism at all, but a mere technical problem of how to regulate an otherwise harmonious society. Obviously liberals do think this. But they're wrong, and thus harmless when they base policy proposals on this false premise. However, TPTG seem to share the same equation of violence with class antagonism, only whereas the liberals want to reduce it with nicer police and more youth centres, TPTG seem to want the opposite and thus see these things as sinister new methods of crowd control (since without police provocation, where could antagonism come from?). Both share the same fallacious premise of equating class conflict with violence. This is fetishism: because revolution is violent, they see violence as revolutionary, and anything which (may) reduce it as counter-revolutionary.

Yet another way of looking at this: "the best way of (...) keeping the Wobblies and other unions at bay is to take steps now to insure employees have no reason or desire to organize". This might be true, as far as it goes. But it doesn't really help the bosses all that much because it means making concessions without a fight to eliminate possible grievances, concessions cost them money and this goes against their social role. Similarly, the police might know that repression can escalate struggles against them, but they have to do it anyway for material reasons dictated by their social role. Grievances are inherent to wage labour and conflict with the state is inherent to class struggle. These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

JK, you know as well as I do that everything people do has a subjective component. The presence of "fundamental social antagonism" does not produce violence or rebellion in every case. If you take a view of "material imperatives" entirely determining class struggle then the third world should be having a revolution right now. As for the uselessness of "intellectual insights", do you really think the cops are smart enough to be doing everything right? I have to agree with Whatisinevidence. The wrongness of JD's actions starts long before cops can realize actual gains with the research. It begins with the attempt in and of itself.

Absolutely. There is fetishism here, but it is fetishism of reified categories of "fundamental social antagonism" whose movement is the motive force of history, a play in which human actors are reduced to mere vehicles. This is Objectivism as the return of the repressed. A fetished view of social forces that evacuates from class struggle the very element of real struggle itself. According to this perspective the contigencies of police response in particular situations can have no role in the wider development of social struggles. NYPD pig Anthony Bologna maceing those women in the face, can in no way be a factor in the development of the Occupy movement. The shooting of 14 people dead on the streets of Derry in January 1972 had no effect on the development of social conflict for the next decades of Northern Irish history. And so on. Reductio ad absurdam.

Yet at the same time, there's a yawning abyss of contradiction between the objectivist "fundamental social antagonism" position and the accompanying "too many mediations" one, which insists that the interplay between police repression and crowd composition is so contigent, that no direct relation can be inferred between them. Two arguments which appear side by side to argue for the same conclusion, yet the logic of each gives the lie to that of the other.

Faced with the example of JD's writing on the Wanstead conflict, JK has partly retreated from the position that "intelligent policing" can only have an impact in cases where there is no fundamental division between police and public (but as the above shows, not completely). But there was something bugging me, namely that the argument looked similar to one in the Aufheben reply, but somehow different. Looking back I found the original "division" question in the reply:

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 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.

This division is about the division between the crowd itself. And here we are treated to something extraordinary. The idea of a crowd that, from the outset, contains no differences. Here we have the same problem as the objectivism of the "fundamental forces" argument - the lack of any consideration of process, of composition. In other words, a "true" antagonist force is assumed to already exist - perhaps due to the action of the "fundamental antagonisms" - that which is to be demonstrated is taken as a presupposition. In that context, and that context only, we could say that the actions of one side of the class struggle has no effect on the development of the unity, consciousness and determination of the other, because the latter have already been predetermined by these reified categorical forces. In other words, the passage from class for itself to class in itself, is presupposed as an externally given, objective fait accompli, in true orthodox style.

Back in the real world, it is clear that the composition of unity, whether of crowd or class, cannot be taken as a starting point (as yesterday in Syntagma Square so bloodily demonstrated), and that therefore, the technocrats who attempt to turn "divide and rule" into a science and train the police in it's use, so as to retard or obstruct the composition of that antagonist collectivity, are defenders of the status quo and we should withdraw cooperation from their research wherever possible and obstruct it whenever we can.

no1

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

Absolutely. There is fetishism here, but it is fetishism of reified categories of "fundamental social antagonism" whose movement is the motive force of history, a play in which human actors are reduced to mere vehicles. This is Objectivism as the return of the repressed. A fetished view of social forces that evacuates from class struggle the very element of real struggle itself. According to this perspective the contigencies of police response in particular situations can have no role in the wider development of social struggles. NYPD pig Anthony Bologna maceing those women in the face, can in no way be a factor in the development of the Occupy movement. The shooting of 14 people dead on the streets of Derry in January 1972 had no effect on the development of social conflict for the next decades of Northern Irish history. And so on. Reductio ad absurdam.

You know what is absurd? Being pompous as fuck, using bullshit phrases like "fetishism of reified categories of fundamental social antagonism", and then getting your Latin declension wrong.

But it's even more absurd that you think you found a communist guilty of not living up to your standard of communist purity while you're actually agreeing with a liberal, whose work you confuse for the communist's work, and which the communist in question rejects.

And a million buckets of flowery pseudo-intellectual bullshit can't hide the lack of comradeship displayed by an ongoing campaign of character assassination and denunciation.

ocelot

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

no1

ocelot

[...] And so on. Reductio ad absurdam.

You know what is absurd? Being pompous as fuck, using bullshit phrases like "fetishism of reified categories of fundamental social antagonism", and then getting your Latin declension wrong.

I had actually spotted the s/dam/dum/ typo but I didn't bother editing the post again as I couldn't see anyone would be petty enough to make a point out of it. As far as political responses goes, it speaks for itself.

freedomforfans

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Who says that the research done by "liberals" is useless?
J.D. seems to believe the opposite:
Check this out:
While the book presents a critical perspective it is also a constructive one. The ultimate test of the authors' `hooligan' hypothesis was what they describe as `the biggest social psychology experiment ever carried out'. When the European championships were held in Portugal in 2004, the researchers were able to brief half of the local police forces involved with the principles derived from these research. Fan behaviour at events policed by these forces showed almost a complete absence of hooliganism, whereas in other areas the `English disease' was still evident. The intervention was judged such a success that Cliff and Geoff's research later came to inform the European Union handbook on the policing of football fans abroad.
You can find it all here
http://www.amazon.com/Football-hooliganism-Clifford-Stott/product-reviews/1906015678/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

I hope you can read it before Amazon "hides" it!

waslax

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, but the apologists for JD here will simply assert that those aren't his words or that he doesn't agree with them. It is all so easy for them.

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think this would be a good tactic for all of us - every time we say something we regret we could say "I didn't say that - somebody put words into my mouth", or "I only said that to get my numbers up for the University" or "I only pretended to co-author it for the money" - not so much hearsay evidence, more heredidn'tsay evidence.

(any comeback on this from Joseph Kay et al, my response has already been written - just take your pick from any of the above alibis)

ocelot

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I had sworn off this thread (I'm happy that the political points I wanted to make have been made), but I was just reading this article from Friday's Financial Times by Gillian Tett and I had to smile. Tett is now the US editor of the FT, but comes from an Anthropology background rather than the more usual Economics academic formation for FT contributers. (which is possibly why she picked up on the derivatives story before the 2007-2008 crash, while her more mainstream econ colleagues continued to swallow the then official line that because derivatives net to zero, they had no overall economic effect, or even the moronic Bernanke line that they reduced systemic risk). Tett's article, entitled "Interrogation is not a social science" is about the controversy in the AAA before their upcoming conference about "embedded" social anthropologist working with the US military in Afghanistan, advising on interrogations (torture sessions). Tett's position is that anthropology has always had a schizophrenic relationship to established power and ends with this observation.

This [interrogation issue] probably only affects a tiny minority of anthropologists. But it has sparked horror. Indeed, the AAA now operates a so-called “rapid response” team to offer ethical advice. This supports anthropologists who want to help, say, aid programmes – but not interrogations. “Advising people on how to extract information from people who don’t want information extracted, that is the antithesis of what the anthropological encounter is supposed to look like,” Hugh Gusterson, a network leader, has observed. But the pressures will not die away soon; not when budgets are being cut, jobs are scarce and governments (and corporations) are desperate to get better information about culture. To put it another way, precisely because anthropologists are good at analysing cultures and power structures, their research is of interest to people in… er… power. It is a bitter irony; even – or especially – in Afghanistan.

Compare and contrast the awareness of these issues between the editors of the Financial Times and Aufheben. :D

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://libcom.org/forums/general/aufhebens-crowd-controlling-cop-consultant-strange-case-dr-who-mr-bowdler-1610201?page=2#comment-453140

lurdan

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Over in the other, now locked, thread a link was posted to an article by JD. It was called "What critical psychology can(’t) do for the ‘anti-capitalist movement’" and was published in volume three of the journal 'Annual Review of Critical Psychology' in 2003. This was a special issue on the theme of Anti-Capitalism edited by Melancholic Trogladytes. Here is more user friendly link to the page for that issue of the journal containing a link to a downloadable version of it in doc format.
http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/3.htm

The article is a very cogent argument about the limits of academic work and the (limited) opportunities it offers for anything of use to the anti-capitalist movement. (Actually given the interest in the issues it raises I'd have thought it could usefully find a place in the Libcom library).

Academia is alienating essentially because it is the institutionalization of specialized knowledge. Within itself, it fragments this knowledge through the separation of the distinct disciplines and obscure specialisms of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. In relation to the wider world, academia embodies the dehumanizing division of labour between the mental and the manual that characterizes capitalism. It is a realm of knowledge abstracted from practical concerns; as such, it is (along with the media) part of a one-sided ideological realm whose inhabitants are one-sidedly intellectual. It is the counter-part to those practical realms (i.e. most other work) where the inhabitants are largely denied from fully exercising their intellectual faculties.

When I say that academia is alienating, therefore, I mean that it is an institution, which subsumes our (intellectual) activity within alien needs and purposes – i.e. those of capital. In a moment, I will suggest in what capacity academia functions for capital. For now, the argument is that academia cannot stand outside a revolution that abolishes the capital relation but must itself be abolished. Put differently, if our specialized roles are alienated, we need to act out of role rather than try to hang onto them as part of our supposed radicality. This kind of point was ably made in Refuse:

The ‘opposition’ by counter-specialists to the authoritarian expertise of the authoritarian experts offers yet another false choice to the political consumer. These ‘radical’ specialists (radical lawyers, radical architects, radical philosophers, radical psychologists, radical social workers – everything but radical people) attempt to use their expertise to de-mystify expertise … The academic counter-specialists attempt to attack (purely bourgeois) ideology at the point of production: the university. Unwilling to attack the institution, the academic milieu, the very concept of education as a separate activity from which ideas of separate power arise, they remain trapped in the fragmented categories they attempt to criticize … [But] when [others] participate in the class struggle they don’t do so by ‘radicalizing’ their specific place in the division of labour (e.g. radical dockers, radical mechanics) but by revolting against it (pp 10-11, 23).BM Combustion (1978).

Well worth reading imo.

avantiultras

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi,
since the thread Aufheben's Crowd Controlling Cop Consultant: The Strange Case Of Dr. Who? And Mr. Bowdler has been locked by libcom administrators I post here a very interesting analysis by "lines".

This post concerns the article in the most recent Aufheben, written by Aufheben, entitled:
“Intakes: Communities, commodities and class in the August 2011 riots – Aufheben”

It begins with a section from this article, parts of which will be referred to later. To make it clear, it would seem that, on reflection, there is a connection between the ideology of Aufheben, and the recent ‘scandal’. This connection is no surprise to some, some of us have criticised the theory, conclusions and style, and the haughty attitude of Aufheben from the beginning of their endeavours.

Aufheben: “‘Cops, slaves to the commodity’
What were the cops doing in all this? There was some outrage in the bourgeois press that they apparently ‘stood by’ and let the ‘rioters’ do what they wanted. Clearly they didn’t always ‘stand by’, since they were ‘proactive’ in Hackney and certain other places, and they protected some places but not others. Yet some of those on the side of the ‘rioters’ have also seen something sinister in the sight of cops standing back from burning cop-cars and from certain attacks on property. In the otherwise really good YouTube film ‘Rebellion in Tottenham’,68 the fact that the cops apparently allowed people to trash and burn two of their vehicles is interpreted by some speakers as a deliberate ploy; the cars were left there so that people would attack them so that the cops would then be able to legitimately escalate their riot tactics. The cops deliberately escalated the riot, apparently.

Where have we heard this kind of explanation before? Almost every time there is a kick-off, it seems. According to one of the Militant stewards at the time, the great poll tax riot of 1990 was set up by police ‘agent provocateurs’; apparently, the cops, working at the behest of the government, ‘wanted’ the riot in order to ‘discredit’ the anti-poll tax movement.69 Similarly, when the Tory headquarters at Millbank got trashed at the student demo last year, there was a claim that the lack of cops outside was evidence of a conspiracy to make the student movement look bad. On the student demo two weeks later, the police van abandoned in Whitehall was supposedly left there ‘deliberately’ so that people would trash it, to discredit the protest and to give the cops an excuse to attack the crowd (which they were kind of doing anyway with an indiscriminate ‘kettle’ of all and sundry).

These kinds of explanations are typically premised upon an understanding of ‘politics’,
within which the cops and the crowd are competing to win over an audience in the ‘middle ground’ who only support ‘rioters’ when they are victims. These kinds of explanations are politically disempowering, for the ‘victims’ are inevitably outwitted by the Machiavellian planning and superior anticipation of the super-intelligent cops.
If such conspiracy theories are true, there is no point taking action for the real action takes place behind the scenes. However, explanations such as this are rarely true and in general are complete bollocks. The supposed clever strategies of the cops at the poll
tax and the student demonstrations appear to have backfired somewhat, for it was the cops who were the losers and victims, the ones treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and made to look like incompetent fools, while the movements each took encouragement from the events. In the case of Tottenham, there is a simpler and much more plausible explanation for what happened that night than cop conspiracy. One of
the main concerns for the cops when the cars were burning and they stood back was most likely to be Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the ‘right to life’.

In other words, they stood back because they believed that someone could have died if they got stuck in; and if it was a toss up between a car and a life the choice was obvious to them. They didn't want to risk either another Blakelock70 (corporate manslaughter) or killing a rioter, with all that would have implied for an escalation – against them. Acting Assistant Chief Constable Tim Godwin of the Metropolitan Police stated to a Home Affairs Committee after Tottenham:
‘I think we would be having a different conversation if we had a young person on life support at the moment as a result of a brain bleed or some other injury. I take great pride in the fact that we filled up prison places as opposed to hospital beds’.’
So from their perspective it was a good result - because nobody got killed. In general, the cops simply are not sophisticated or organized enough to plot in the way that some people imagine. They just react from one set of circumstances to another; and, in many cases (poll tax, Millbank) ‘cock-up’ is simply a far more plausible explanation for what the cops are up to than conspiracy. During the ‘riots’ in London in August, it took the Metropolitan Police two days to assemble 1,900 officers trained in public order (riot police) after the incident in Tottenham. On the first night (Saturday) they had 480 available for duty and on the Sunday evening 1,27573 for the whole of Greater London.

As senior officers explained, the ‘thin blue line’ was spread very thin and these logistical problems were compounded by the rapid and diffuse spread of disturbances in the capital as well as the intelligent manoeuvring of the looting crowds. By the time the Met had procured enough riot units to potentially control the situation, the horse had already bolted. These concrete factors are far more realistic explanations for the apparent ‘lack of action’ by the Met, than conspiracies based around ‘police angry about cuts’ and sinister stories of them ‘allowing it happen’ for hidden political reasons.

What is more interesting were the tactics employed by the various constabularies. Thirty years before in 1981 the police had (similarly) been caught hopping by the scale and ferocity of the initial ‘riots’ in Brixton, London (April) and Toxteth, Liverpool (July). Although at the time partially tooled up with large unwieldy riot shields, their initial tactics essentially involved static phalanxes of police officers plodding (sic) on
foot slowly forward in an attempt to retake neighbourhoods under the control of rioters. As a result, their casualties in the face of missiles and petrol bombs were massive. The escalation and modification of policing tactics, particularly in Manchester over 7th-9th July 1981, were a direct result of the injuries sustained by police and their perception of ‘defeat’ during their deployment to the neighbouring city of Liverpool in the preceding Toxteth disorders. These new tactics included the use of mobile police units, ‘snatch squads’ to target ‘ring leaders’ and most controversially the use of semi-armoured police vehicles as high speed battering rams to break up crowds.

This aggressive policing style, previously unseen in mainland Britain (though developed and long-used by the security forces in Northern Ireland), was a significant factor in the suppression of further disorders in Moss Side and Greater Manchester over the following week. Their ‘successful’ use in further disturbances in Toxteth later in that month led to a death and serious injuries to several ‘rioters’.

In August 2011, a similar pattern emerged, however this time the police were already ‘tooled up’ to a much greater degree. Failures to effectively disperse crowds in Tottenham and other areas of London on Saturday and Sunday night led to the deployment of armoured vehicles in several locations in London during the third night of rioting (Monday 8th).

These ‘Jankels’ were used to scatter crowds and drive them out of contested areas. Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh of the Met. stated: ‘The use of armoured vehicles driving at speed towards these looting individuals is a new tactic never used before. It's quite shocking for the people of London to see that's what we have to do.’ Despite Kavanagh’s lack of historical knowledge of policing, it appears that many in the Met saw these ‘old tactics’ from Northern Ireland and July 1981 as the way forward.”
ETC

From: http://libcom.org/files/Communities,%20commodities%20and%20class%20-%20Aufheben.pdf

The whole of the article is fascinating. Not for the insights it gives (the police are not that clever) but for the gathering of information and the relation this information has to the perspectives of those involved in the production of Aufheben and those who have formulated the Elaborated Social Identity Model (Stott, Reicher and a member of Aufheben), which seems to be being taken up, or is being encouraged to be taken up by Stott and his team, by police forces around the world. (See, for example, http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/)

I always mistook the reason for Aufheben’s writing style as symptomatic of their attempts at journalism. It has now become evident that the style is also generated by the tenets of academic discourse and research – with the occasional tossing in of the word ‘bollocks’ in order to display ‘proletarian intelligentsia’ credentials.

Why the fascination with statistics and graphs and a writing style that resembles journalistic analysis? Well, it is part of the passion of one of the members of Aufheben, and it is his job, of course. It will probably be wondered by a few here if the Aufheben writer has worked, in his capacity as an advising social psychologist, with any of the police officers mentioned in the article?

I am uncertain as to what the argument of the article actually is, beyond informing us that the police are not clever enough to be conspiratorial all the time. But even this platitude becomes strangely interesting in light of the social psychologist’s work. Would it be better if the police were more conspiratorial? But not in order to escalate tensions, rather, in order to dissipate them? If they followed the advice of Stott and the team then they would certainly be able to ‘infiltrate’ and control crowds in a more subtle way – and this has been proven, apparently, in the controlling of football crowds.

The Aufheben article quite openly argues the case that the police are not too clever, and, more importantly, that they suffer losses and damage in their mismanagement of situations. This is described in situations from the 1981 in the UK through to the riots last August. See the text above.

It is very useful to know that the police aren’t so clever, and that things they do may not be conspiratorial - but this is ‘common knowledge’ for many of us, a platitude. It is invariably in the mismanagement of situations, or the mismanagement of the economy, that human beings rebel against the status quo. We have seen this countless times. We saw it in World War One; we are now seeing it in Greece and, in a minor way, in Oakland. How far these rebellions go, of course, is another matter. Some would argue, for example, Paul Mattick, or the nihilist communists, that it is only in economic catastrophe, or, in other words, catastrophic mismanagement of the economy, that communism is possible.

What is really weird is that the article argues that when the cops mismanage things then the crowd makes gains against them….

From the section of the article above, Aufheben:

“The supposed clever strategies of the cops at the poll tax and the student demonstrations appear to have backfired somewhat, for it was the cops who were the losers and victims, the ones treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and made to look like incompetent fools, while the movements each took encouragement from the events.”

“Thirty years before in 1981 the police had (similarly) been caught hopping by the scale and ferocity of the initial ‘riots’ in Brixton, London (April) and Toxteth, Liverpool (July). Although at the time partially tooled up with large unwieldy riot shields, their initial tactics essentially involved static phalanxes of police officers plodding (sic) on
foot slowly forward in an attempt to retake neighbourhoods under the control of rioters. As a result, their casualties in the face of missiles and petrol bombs were massive.”

…YET, the work of Stott and the team, through their ESIM framework, and through their direct workshopping/training/whatever with the police, are actively trying to encourage the police to manage crowds more intelligently (more humanely too, of course) and the basis of their advice is their research. Which, quite clearly, it could be argued, this Aufheben article is a product of or, even, a part of.

This leads us onto more interesting terrain, the closing of ranks around the Aufheben member.

As the writer Steven said, we have more pressing matters on our hands than agonising over this issue, like the austerity measures and the stuff in Oakland – these matters take up all my time, don’t you know, even if I am not in the same country in which they are happening… because they are the class struggle. I don’t even have time to go to work or talk to my wife because of my commitments to battling the austerity measures. Already the class have wondered where I am as I have spent so much time on the Aufheben scandal.

Of course, Steven and others are only repeating part of the argument Aufheben used in their initial response to TPTG which they used, it could be argued, to deflect attention from this ‘minor’ affair. As a friend said, “I don't know what is more depressing - the defence of [the Aufheben member] or Steven et al believing they are playing an important role in current events.” He also pointed out that that the original text came from activists in Greece…

Is someone going to get hold of the secret Aufheben response (only sent to trusted comrades) and publish it?

Is the real issue here (for Aufheben and Libcom) the fact that J has been exposed to the cops as a ‘communist’?

But why would that be a problem since he doesn’t agree with anything written by Stott and Reicher, and he has only had his name put on things he doesn’t agree with, and he has had to speak to cops as part of his day job?

The real problem for the rest of us (not Aufheben or the Libcom administrators) is that this affair reveals more about the ideological bases, or the modus operandi of Aufheben than it does about one person’s infidelities. This is why some people here have used the word ‘shame’. ‘Shame on us’ as one poster put it. This is the really important aspect – and it is the reason that this affair will not be resolved, only passed over and forgotten. The milieu which visits Libcom and elsewhere is weak. There are no lines in the sand.

It is the theoretical/ideological core of Aufheben and, by extension, the libertarian/communist/anarchist/marxist left/milieu which is the problem – it is this core of errors, at the heart of communist politics, which should be rooted out and laid bare.

Put very simply, on one side you have people who say that the consciousness of people must be changed before communism can happen, and that communism is a progression developing on from capitalism – which means, in essence, that people’s ideas have to change while the structure of production (minus private owners) remains the same.

On the other side you have people who say that people’s ideas only change when they are forced to change by new circumstances… and from this perspective we are left with the possibility of communism only coming about through and after the catastrophic mismanagement of capitalism (when the fall of current ideology will create the space for new ideas – new consciousnesses).

The Aufheben member is quite clearly, for some of us, part of a LEFT (in Aufheben) and ESTABLISHMENT (in academia) process that works for the continued sensible management of capitalism.

As has been said long ago, this perspective, like that of all other reformist attitudes and initiatives forms the basis of all future modifications of capitalism and its sociological/ideological dominance.

Just like the environmentalists, for example, the true, though largely unrecognised, objective for the extended leftwing milieu that surrounds Aufheben is the saving of capitalism. One hundred years of history have not been enough to make this fact clear.

The baseline for communists is that we don’t cooperate with capitalism as communists. Even if this means going home and doing nothing. Instead of promoting the self-management of production we should be putting forward the much more problematic slogan, “Destroy all Workplaces.”

There will be no solution to this affair in Libcom, and possibly none in the wider libertarian community. (But I would like to be surprised here.) The Aufheben/Libcom strategy clearly seems to be the managerial and PR one of toughing it out. After the steam has gone from this then we will all be able to move on. If anyone brings it up again they will be told, “But we have gone over this all before, there is no point bringing it up again, we need to move on.”

Destroy all Workplaces.

(PS – please feel free to begin the abuse at your leisure smile )

(PPS – an interesting analysis: http://madlib.anarchyplanet.org/ )

PPPS:
If Aufheben didn't write the article then why did they write this at the beginning of it:

"Aufheben's detailed analysis of the August 2011 UK riots.

The following article was written in the immediate wake of the August ‘riots’ of 2011 in Britain and is an attempt to provide an empirical base to an analysis of the unrest. Commentators across the political spectrum have spewed out speculative explanations for the disturbances. What unites most of them is their lack of evidence and fixation on anecdotal or exceptional incidents within the ‘disorders’. Within the limited time available, we have attempted to gather as much quantitative and qualitative evidence as possible to underpin this examination. This evidence comes from various sources, including mainstream media statistics (events, arrestees, locales), relevant academic studies, social media, video and audio footage, some interviews with ‘looters and rioters’ and our own experiences as participants.
The first part of this article presents a brief ‘history’ of the August events. This is followed by an analytical comparison with the ‘riots’ of July 1981 that considers their spatial and temporal characteristics. The final part employs quantitative and qualitative evidence to examine aspects of the August events such as ‘looting’, the composition of the crowds and policing tactics."

Even if this wasn't written by an actual member of Aufheben (maybe it was written by a recent ex-member, for example) the article is in their style and fits perfectly the perpsectives of Aufheben.

Who did write it then?

radprole

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since the other thread has been locked by the admins of libcom, I also believe that it's necessary to copy here some really important exchanges that have taken place in the other thread in order to continue the discussion.

Fallback

I'm finding it hard to motivate a reply here, as I'm pretty tired of dealing with all the goalpost-shifting mudslinging that has taken up far too much time already (not an attempt to "shut down debate” - this is all hosted on libcom ffs - but rather a statement of fact: spending time on this has seriously distracted from srs bsns politics). But I do think there are serious and important issues at stake here, so I shall perservere. Namely: if this shit passes so easily when so little is at stake (no one is being kneecapped or shot, revolutionaries aren't being locked up wholesale...) then it terrifies me where we'll be when the shit hits the fan and the state starts sowing serious division. So, on that basis alone, I shall perservere for now.

As Arbeiten said earlier tho, the thread(s) are just going round and round – there is far more quantity than substance here. One minute the charge is that J's a paid agent of the state designing counter-class struggle tactics across europe, next minute it's shifted to 'oh well he spoke about social identity at an academic conference in 2001'. I suspect the move to this one by our budding witchfinders is that they know very few people will be bothered to read the tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of words on the other thread, TPTG and Samotnaf letters and Aufheben response, and will just assume from all the muck here that J must have done something. However, with charges like this, there isn't a “reasonable middle ground” to be found – the allegations are either true or they're not. If they're not, there may still be issues to discuss, but these are completely obscured by the prosection's shrill accusations that anyone who disagrees with them is in league with the cops ('the defence team' etc).

The main issues of authorship of the 2 main pieces has been on over and over in the main thread. If you've followed it all, and don't believe that J didn't write them (or you think it doesn't matter because his name was on it, or just that any contact with the police/those who work with the police is unacceptable) then there's nothing much more that can be done to convince – the prosecution have already declared that any evidence that is presented is not enough, that it must be faked. But I'd urge people to actually read the material in question before assuming a “reasonable middle-ground” stance. And if you don't believe Aufheben, instead of speculating about it, just ask them to back it up like libcom did. Apparently nobody has yet done this in four weeks, yet for far less time and effort than put into public denunciations anyone could have sent them an email saying 'this looks dodgy, can you back up your explanation?'. A really basic step with charges this serious (and as Juan Conatz and others have mentioned, a courtesy extended to actual paid agents of the state, but conspicuously not in the far less serious case here).

Of course, even though he didn't write the papers but simply allowed his name to be used on them, this was a mistake (as Aufheben and J have been open about that from the off). Fucking hell, having wasted endless hours on this shit, I know this as much as anyone. But this isn't really the issue – the allegation is not that someone made a mistake, or should be more careful what his name ends up on. Rather the prosecution are determined to show that J (and by extension Aufheben) are eternally damned assets of the state and that his work has played a major role in the "pacifying the class struggle" across Europe. The prosecution seek to use peoples' (understandable) unease at seeing a communists name next to policing related papers and expand this into a much grander narrative with no basis in fact. Just showing he made a mistake isn't juicy enough – as we've seen, people have tired of this – even of those who followed the thread at first, very few people retain an interest any more.

Similarly, the charges that J “trains cops” in crowd control has been refuted again and again. He has spoken about social identity at conferences where police have been, yes, and has spoken to the police about mass emergencies (not protest tactics or class conflict). Again, it might be a mistake (I'm fairly open minded on this tbh – I think it's less of a fuck up than letting his name be on the papers, certainly), but does critiquing police responses to crowd situations constitute 'training the police to pacify class struggle'? No. J's work as a whole is a critique of the police as being a major cause of disorder in crowd situations - an argument made again and again by all kinds of radicals without criticism, I would add. However, from J writing as an academic, there's nothing particularly radical about this. Contrary to claims elsewhere, J doesn't see his work as being “radical” or part of a communist project – it's just his job. As said earlier, J is no more a “radical academic” than a communist bricklayer is a “radical bricklayer”. This is exactly what the Aufheben critique of “radical academia” is about. J's situation isn't so much in contradiction to this position as the basis of it (he's the sole academic in Aufheben).

Now, is there an issue that even stuff written with benign intent could later be taken on an used for adverse reasons? Sure, of course. It's a perfectly valid discussion. But does it tie in with the case that the prosecution are making against J? Again, no, it doesn't. The case being made is that he is actively and consciously working for the class enemy. In the view of some of the prosecution, he not only doing this, but is deliberately infiltrating movements in order to give the police secret knowledge to suppress them. If people want to have the wider debate here, then sure, go for it – but as people have raised, you are then left with the problem that almost anything written about class struggle can be used against us. Just as we wouldn't persecute someone who had written an account of say, a subversive workplace action if it was found by bosses and used to inform counter-strategy. Even if J's work was used in order to police dissent (which as has been repeatedly pointed out on the other thread, it hasn't been because it's not applicable to situations where there is an underlying conflict of interests between police and the crowd), then this is still entirely different to being a paid agent of capital, actively working for the other side.

As has been said repeatedly, J's work is not about how to police crowds in the slightest. It is the exact opposite: a critique of the police approach. J's work argues that police tactics are a cause of violence, and calls for emergency situations to not be treated as public order situations at all. In his mass emergencies work (his overwhelming focus) it even goes as far as to argue that the police shouldn't even be present in some emergencies. Unless you have a 'never talk to the police under any circumstances stance', I really find it hard to see much issue with this. Is there really a problem with a communist in a work capacity saying - and yes, telling - police shouldn't treat disaster situations (or by extension other crowd situations that aren't inherently hostile) as being public order situations? If it has any real-world consequences at all, it would mean the police stop repressing survivors of disasters. Not revolutionary or anything, but probably a good thing ('worthwhile and humane' rather than political, as Aufheben/J put it).

What I do find interesting here is how in the process of trying to attribute the views of Reicher and Stott on public order to J (despite J's explicit rejection of them), the prosecution mirror several of Reicher and Stott's core assumptions. Say for the sake of argument we follow the various logical leaps that lead us to 'ESIM methods being utilised to pacify class struggle', are we really to believe that society is so free of antagonism that if the police just act nicer and don't attack people indiscriminately, then this will stifle class struggle? That all the state has to do in order to pacify class conflict is to not hit liberals? That's what Reicher and Stott believe as liberal/leftist human rights types, and apparently, it's also what the prosecution believe. We're not talking about some magic mind control super science here – if you actually read the academic papers, this is pretty much the only insight the police could gain from his work (in laymans terms 'if you piss people off they kick off against you'). The ESIM ('Elaborated Social Identity Model') is an ontology of the crowd. It's not about kettling, developing tactics for isolating out militants or whatever else it's been accused of. It's actually pretty banal, which I suspect is why so few people have bothered to read it, and why the prosecution have barely quoted any of J's work except to try and snip bits out of context to imply sinister intent or to go on bizarre polemics about 'psychologism'.

But if you realise that the liberal worldview of 'harmonious interests if only the police are nice' is patently ridiculous, then what? How then has the work been used to police class struggle? The ESIM model, by it's very nature, can't be applied to hostile crowds. You can't peacefully facilitate a riot or a picket line shutting down a workplace if your social function is to prevent these things. What are the police going to do, stand by and let looters empty a high street? Sit and watch while pickets shut down a factory? To be honest if J had somehow secretly managed to convince the police that they should do this, I'd probably think it was brilliant. But I don't, because it obviously hasn't happened and isn't going to.

Anyway, there's another chunk of my life I'm not getting back. But I'd implore those who aren't in the prosecution to actually look at what is being alleged and what is said in response, and read the main thread. Even if you think J has fucked up (or worse), then please at least look at what he's actually done and not the chimerical, ever-shifting trumped up charges of the prosectution. At the very worst (I don't accept this in the slightest, but just for argument's sake), he's done work that could subsequently be used by the police to justify more 'hands-off' tactics. This is a million miles away from the various charges being thrown about so casually by the assembled anonymous interlocutors. He hasn't given the state new tactics to police class struggle, he doesn't train police in public order situations and he isn't a fucking infiltrator. For all the talk about 'would you stand next to him on a demo', it's not people in Brighton making a fuss over this, it's people in Greece, France, the US and god knows where who will never even face that supposed dilemma. If you've followed the whole thing and still think he's crossed the line then I'm probably not going to be able to convince you. But at least be clear about what he has actually done. None of it comes close to the various charges the prosecution have made, and even if there is a problem here, it's not the one that is being presented.

radprole

This is the first time that I write in Libcom but after reading about this incredible story and how some supposedly revolutionary people reacted to it I felt obliged to intervene... I have read carefully the texts mentioned as well as the evidence provided by Blasto in another thread and the whole discussion in this and the previous thread.

First, I would like to comment on the claim of Fallback that the charges raised against J shift all the time. Sorry fellows, I don’t have this impression. For me it’s clear that J is accused of being a police consultant who used experience which he was able to gather through his participation in social struggles in order to define the ESIM model according to which specific guidelines for the policing of protests and mass emergencies have been determined.

As far as I have seen no evidence at all has been presented for the claim that he did not co-author the two articles in policing journals. We are expected to accept unconditionally the claim of Aufheben that he did not co-author them and that he disagrees with them when he has not even removed the “knowledge-based policing” one from the list of the “Selected Publications” from his University profile. Not to mention that it is totally absurd to believe that he repeated the same mistake two times, supposedly for a better academic record, when one of the publications (in Jane’s Police Review) does not count research-wise since Police Review is not a scholarly peer-reviewed journal.

As far as the charges that J trains cops are concerned, sorry again fellows, there are no refutations to be found. How on earth can the Police CBRN Consultancy (http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf) be refuted? The specific consultancy was given by J alone and its content includes the following advice: “Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves Communication of police aims, facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority, a graded response to potential disorder”.

How can you refute the fact that J was the organizer of a Continued Professional Development course in the University of Sussex entitled “The psychology of crowd management” whose description contains the following: “This CPD course is aimed at all professionals who work with, or plan around, crowd events, including the emergency services, event organizers, stewarding organizations, stadium managers, health and safety officers, emergency/resilience planners and business continuity managers. Crowding and public safety, emergencies, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and the potential for crowd conflict and disorder are some of the most pressing contemporary hazards. Those who work with crowds depend upon knowledge of crowd behaviour in order to manage these risks "(http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/cpd_sussex.pdf). Why these references have disappeared from his university site?

Further, the conference that was mentioned before by Blasto and held in 2001 had a specific policing content (we’re talking about the 6th international conference of Investigative Policing with participants from worldwide police forces) and there J did not talk about “mass emergencies” but about “intergroup dynamics at an anti-road protest”, i.e. about the dynamics between police and protesters in the “anti-road protest”.

About the supposed inapplicability of “J’s work… to situations where there is an underlying conflict of interests between police and the crowd”, it seems that Fallback has not read his papers or deliberately misrepresents them. As far as I have read it’s clear that J has written about situations where there are different groups within the crowd with different attitudes in relation to legality, peaceful or violent means, etc. According to what he has written the tactics of the police can either promote the unification of the crowd or help in the preservation or deepening of divisions that may lead to self-policing and even moderation in the case of the “violent minorities”. We all know that contrary to what Fallback asserts, the crowd does not usually face police in a uniform way even if “there is an underlying conflict of interests between the state and the crowd”. There are always conflicting interests, viewpoints and practices within the crowd itself.

Regarding the issue of “emergencies” I have to note that according to my reading J calls for emergency situations to be treated cautiously by the police (similarly to the graded policing of protests) because of the existing danger of turning a public safety situation into one of public disorder (see http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf). It’s widely known that this is one of the main problems that the police and the state in general face when they manage a mass emergency. Usually, people self-organize to satisfy their needs, proceed to expropriation of goods, etc, etc. The whole approach by J is about how the state would better manage such situations (that’s why the specific niche is called “crowd management”). Sorry fellows, I cannot find anything “worthwhile and humane” in this shit…

Finally, contrary to what Fallback says, the work of Reicher, Stott and J is not only about “ontology”. If it was only about that there would be no great problem. The issue is that they have designed specific guidelines that have descriptions of police tactics reaching details such as the removal of masks, banners, etc (“These conditions might include the removal of clothing that obscures individual identity, abandoning placards, bottles and other objects that could be used as weapons.” Knowledge-based policing).

Regarding what Steven says about the supposed insignificance of the issue with references to the “general strike in Oakland” and other ongoing struggles, I would like to point out that police repression is never an unimportant issue and this is clearly shown by the post "Crowds, protest and police" in the blog of the Madison Police Chief David Couper which was discovered by Blasto that specifically references the work of J (http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/crowds-protest-and-police/) in the context of the Occupy movement (and Oakland in particular).

For me it’s totally outrageous to ask “even if what he did was all that bad, what would that mean”! It seems that for some people the fact that J used his connections and experience from his participation in the social struggles to help police is insignificant… I have no words to express my anger about this… I have no words to express my terrible anger that persons like “Steven” express their worries about collaborating and trusting Samotnaf who had the stomach to take the initiative on this important issue and have no problem with cop collaborators and consultants such as J. Shame on us

Steven

radprole

As far as I have seen no evidence at all has been presented for the claim that he did not co-author the two articles in policing journals. We are expected to accept unconditionally the claim of Aufheben that he did not co-author them and that he disagrees with them when he has not even removed the “knowledge-based policing” one from the list of the “Selected Publications” from his University profile.

well, the guy himself says that he didn't co-author them. You may not believe him, but that is still evidence. It is also clear from his political perspective (not to mention his own words) that he does not agree with that perspective. Furthermore, some people including us in the libcom group have seen the original e-mails which prove that he didn't co-author them, but agreed to have his name on them for the kudos of an author credit. Again, you may not believe us but that is also evidence. And I certainly would have no reason to lie on behalf of someone I have never met, have no idea what he even looks like and have never spoken to him online or in person in any way.

He acknowledges that allowing himself to be credited as an author was an error on his part in terms of his image in the milieu, but him not being credited wouldn't have made any difference to the articles in any way.

As far as the charges that J trains cops are concerned, sorry again fellows, there are no refutations to be found. How on earth can the Police CBRN Consultancy (http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf) be refuted? The specific consultancy was given by J alone and its content includes the following advice: “Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves Communication of police aims, facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority, a graded response to potential disorder”.

as is clear, and as Aufheben acknowledge, he has recently given presentations to the emergency services (which obviously includes police) about dealing with mass emergencies, which he has to do as part of his job. The police being involved in dealing with mass emergencies is not something which has held back class struggle in this country. This does leave him open to having his revolutionary purity attacked by individuals with grudges, however plenty of workers as I said including social workers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, etc need to work with police, especially in emergency situations and to me that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed in the communist scene (whatever that would mean anyway!)

How can you refute the fact that J was the organizer of a Continued Professional Development course in the University of Sussex entitled “The psychology of crowd management” whose description contains the following: “This CPD course is aimed at all professionals who work with, or plan around, crowd events, including the emergency services, event organizers, stewarding organizations, stadium managers, health and safety officers, emergency/resilience planners and business continuity managers. Crowding and public safety, emergencies, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and the potential for crowd conflict and disorder are some of the most pressing contemporary hazards. Those who work with crowds depend upon knowledge of crowd behaviour in order to manage these risks "(http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/cpd_sussex.pdf). Why these references have disappeared from his university site?

he didn't organise it, he does do it as part of his job though. But again are you saying that no one should research how to deal safely with crowds in emergency situations? Clearly that would be ridiculous. Are you saying that someone who does shouldn't be allowed to be a communist? Or what?

Further, the conference that was mentioned before by Blasto and held in 2001 had a specific policing content (we’re talking about the 6th international conference of Investigative Policing with participants from worldwide police forces) and there J did not talk about “mass emergencies” but about “intergroup dynamics at an anti-road protest”, i.e. about the dynamics between police and protesters in the “anti-road protest”

.

this is the only thing that has anything to do with protest struggle - and this was 10 years ago. He stopped doing research work related to protests, in part at least (or maybe entirely, I'm not sure) due to political concerns he had with this work.

For me it’s totally outrageous to ask “even if what he did was all that bad, what would that mean”!

yes, how totally unacceptable to ask what his detractors actually want? Because then some of you might actually have to come up with a practical proposal rather than just have a go at someone on the Internet.
What you think should happen to J because of this? Should he not be allowed to write for Aufheben anymore? And instead do his own blog which Aufheben readers would still read, because we like them? Or do you want to beat him up, or to stop being a communist and be a Liberal Democrat, or what?

I have no words to express my terrible anger that persons like “Steven” express their worries about collaborating and trusting Samotnaf who had the stomach to take the initiative on this important issue and have no problem with cop collaborators and consultants such as J. Shame on us

Maybe you should switch to decaf.

If you could point to any communists who have been exposed to victimisation or repression, or any proletarian struggles which have been set back due to J's work then please do and I will take it into consideration.

Samotnaf deliberately broke our site guidelines and publicly named a communist, his political affiliation and his employer on a site which he knows that employers, police and journalists read. This is out of order.

no1

radprole

As far as the charges that J trains cops are concerned, sorry again fellows, there are no refutations to be found. How on earth can the Police CBRN Consultancy (http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf) be refuted? The specific consultancy was given by J alone and its content includes the following advice: “Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves Communication of police aims, facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority, a graded response to potential disorder”.

What is there to refute? The Aufheben statement talked from the beginning about mass emergencies. Is your position that any contact with police whatsoever is unacceptable, and that it is wrong to play a role in designing the response to mass emergencies because police are involved in that response?

radprole

Regarding the issue of “emergencies” I have to note that according to my reading J calls for emergency situations to be treated cautiously by the police (similarly to the graded policing of protests) because of the existing danger of turning a public safety situation into one of public disorder (see http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf). It’s widely known that this is one of the main problems that the police and the state in general face when they manage a mass emergency. Usually, people self-organize to satisfy their needs, proceed to expropriation of goods, etc, etc. The whole approach by J is about how the state would better manage such situations (that’s why the specific niche is called “crowd management”). Sorry fellows, I cannot find anything “worthwhile and humane” in this shit…

What are you actually taking issues with? Do you think mass emergencies - like the Hillsborough disaster, Katrina, sarin on the Tokyo underground, Bhopal - have revolutionary potential if only the police reveal their violent and repressive nature by contributing to death, injury and trauma? This could be the implication of your comments.
Also, it may be that your cognitive abilities are clouded by this witchhunt, but the document you link to attributes disorder to police treating crowds as though they are the problem and liable to 'mass panic'. It advises that instead the police should avoid making things worse by trying to limit themselves to effective communication. What's worthwhile and humane about is that this may stop the police from causing more people getting killed, injured and traumatised. Do you want more Hillsboroughs?

radprole

Steven

Furthermore, some people including us in the libcom group have seen the original e-mails which prove that he didn't co-author them, but agreed to have his name on them for the kudos of an author credit.

As I mentioned before the Jane's Police Review publication is not a scientific one, so there are no kudos there. Further, if you read "Chaos Theory" it's completely clear that the research on protest crowd control is completely linked with the research on mass emergencies, with the latter presented as a development of their common work. From my little knowledge of scientific work, it's clear that each author writes a specific part of the article and assumes responsibility for the whole. If he disagrees with the article he can always make a public retraction. Of course I totally doubt that he will do so, since he has chosen to keep the specific entry in his "selected publications" list (i.e. the most important ones).

Steven

as is clear, and as Aufheben acknowledge, he has recently given presentations to the emergency services (which obviously includes police) about dealing with mass emergencies, which he has to do as part of his job. The police being involved in dealing with mass emergencies is not something which has held back class struggle in this country.

The content of the specific Police CBRN consultancy which he alone offered is not restricted to "dealing with mass emergencies". In particular, it is divided into three main themes (check the link: http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf):

1. "Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder" (where you can find the advice quoted before)

"Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each crowd.
- Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
o Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
o Legitimizing anti-police elements
- Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
o Communication of police aims
o Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority
o A graded response to potential disorder
"

2. "Psychology of mass emergencies and disasters"

3. "Specificity of managing crowd behaviour in CBRN incidents"

Therefore what you say is inaccurate and misleading. How do you expect us then to trust you with regard to your reassurances that "he hasn't co-authored the two articles"?

Steven

he didn't organise it, he does do it as part of his job though. But again are you saying that no one should research how to deal safely with crowds in emergency situations? Clearly that would be ridiculous. Are you saying that someone who does shouldn't be allowed to be a communist? Or what?

What you say about the CPD course is also false. I did not refer to the CPD course organized by Stott in Liverpool, but to the CPD course organized by J in the University of Sussex. Moreover, it is not

research how to deal safely with crowds in emergency situations

According to the description of the CPD course its content is the following:

"As distinct from existing practitioner-led courses, this course presents the latest scientific research and thinking in crowd psychology. It is intended to ground crowd management professionals in core concepts and principles transferable across a variety of domains, as well as presenting rationales for practice in specific areas.

Topics covered will include: types of crowds; models of crowding and crowd behaviour; mass emergency behaviour: ‘mass panic’?; crowd protests, conflict and ‘public (dis)order’. There will also be opportunity for discussion around specialist issues such as communication; CBRN; facilitating crowd resilience; public responses to pandemics; and crowd self-policing." (emphases are mine).

Steven

this is the only thing that has anything to do with protest struggle - and this was 10 years ago.

According to the previous information, what you claim is totally inaccurate.

Steven

What you think should happen to J because of this? Should he not be allowed to write for Aufheben anymore?

Clearly, the obvious thing to do would be to be kicked out of Aufheben and of the libertarian communist milieu and to ensure that he will not have access to interviews with protest participants that would be later used for police consultancies. It's f...g elementary...

Steven

If you could point to any communists who have been exposed to victimisation or repression, or any proletarian struggles which have been set back due to J's work then please do and I will take it into consideration

As far as I have read their model has been implemented with success in at least one case: the policing of anti-war demonstrations in Sweden. Therefore, it was used to successfully repress the more radical tendencies of the movement there (see Chaos Theory) and it may have serious implications for loads of people in the future.

no1

Do you think mass emergencies - like the Hillsborough disaster, Katrina, sarin on the Tokyo underground, Bhopal - have revolutionary potential if only the police reveal their violent and repressive nature by contributing to death, injury and trauma?

The issue is not about appearances ("the police revealing their violent and repressive nature") but about concrete implications. The guidelines provided by J aim at the avoidance of situations where "mass emergencies" turn into "public disorder". That's why he has written articles in "Business Continuity" journals, i.e. how the capitalist normality would be restored.

no1

Also, it may be that your cognitive abilities are clouded by this witchhunt, but the document you link to attributes disorder to police treating crowds as though they are the problem and liable to 'mass panic'.

I am not the most intelligent guy in the world but I think I know how to read. See for example, Specificity of managing crowd behaviour in CBRN incidents in the Police CBRN consultancy:

"Managing scarcity: After effects of CBRN incident, unlike other kinds of disaster/ emergency, could create disunity in the public around access to scarce resources"

Does it ring a bell about Katrina? Of course I don't disagree that the approach proposed by J tries to limit police violence according to a graded model and towards "self-policing" and "democratization of crowd management". This does not make it less dangerous for the revolutionary development of social struggles. On the contrary, it might prove much more dangerous!

Steven

If they actually think that he is just pretending to be a communist for some reason in order to write good content for a good publication for some sort of nefarious ends. It doesn't make any sense.

It's obvious that this guy used his connections from the communist milieu and the social movements in order to perform the research for his Ph.D. What's most serious is that he didn't stop there. He pursued a career as a consultant of the police and other emergency services based on the collective experience he has managed to smuggle. It's obvious that he did it for money and climbing up the university ladder. It's not strange at all... The answer to the question why he is still involved in the "communist milieu" is very simple: no one bothered to question and criticize his practice till now...

radprole

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And also this post by Blasto was pretty revealing also...:

Blasto

I too had pretty much bowed out, but I think this is worth posting up simply as it helps clarify who is been honest here and who isn't. Steven's 'why would he lie" line is probably equally relevant to a 'leading academic' going on public record.

Regarding the Chaos Theory article, this is from co-author Dr Clifford Stott:

Following the death of a member of the public during the G20 protests in 2009 the Guardian Newspaper began a campaign to bring into question the tactics of the Metropolitan Police during the demonstration. The subsequent political crisis cascaded outward to bring into question the nature of public order policing across the U.K. Within this context I was asked to write a piece on the policing of crowds by Jane's Police Review. I wrote the article along with [J] and Steve Reicher. We made the argument that a central failure was a reliance on the use of force that flowed directly from the dominance of outdated psychological theory; theory that has become institutionalised in the police. The article was influential in that it stimulated a question asked of Commander Bob Broadhurst during his appearance before the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee. But more importantly it led to my involvement in the HMIC inquiry and the subsequent adoption of some of our core recommendations as the policy basis for the future of public order policing in England and Wales.

And here is Clifford Stott again:

I suppose in a sense what I've been working on with [J]... is basically a scientific model, a theoretical model, of what makes collective behaviour in crowd events possible from a psychological point of view, so the psychology of crowd behaviour. And from that theoretical model, from that science, we've been been able to start asking very important - difficult but practically important questions about the way we manage crowds out in society, particularly at these critical times we get violence in political demonstrations, in football crowds and various other events like that.

avantiultras

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

lurdan

The article [http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/3.htm] is a very cogent argument about the limits of academic work and the (limited) opportunities it offers for anything of use to the anti-capitalist movement. (Actually given the interest in the issues it raises I'd have thought it could usefully find a place in the Libcom library).

You're right, but on the other hand we should not forget what Samotnaf stressed in his post:

Samotnaf

Samotnaf deliberately broke our site guidelines and publicly named a communist, his political affiliation and his employer on a site which he knows that employers, police and journalists read. This is out of order.

What do I care if he gets sacked as a cop consultant as a result? I'd regard it as a good result. But fat chance - he outed himself in an article in 2003 that links his University work and department to Aufheben and his ethnographic work. See Annual Review of Critical Psychology Volume 3, pages 88 to 114. If they gave a toss about his participation in Aufheben, they've had 8 years to give him the sack. On the contrary, they need the kind of innovative angles on things that he, fairly uniquely as far as I can see, provides.

Mike Harman

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Blasto

I too had pretty much bowed out, but I think this is worth posting up simply as it helps clarify who is been honest here and who isn't. Steven's 'why would he lie" line is probably equally relevant to a 'leading academic' going on public record.

Regarding the Chaos Theory article, this is from co-author Dr Clifford Stott:

Within this context I was asked to write a piece on the policing of crowds by Jane's Police Review. I wrote the article along with [J] and Steve Reicher. We made the argument that a central failure was a reliance on the use of force that flowed directly from the dominance of outdated psychological theory; theory that has become institutionalised in the police.

Stott has already gone on public record saying that J authored the article - when adding his name to the list of authors. That leaves two possibilities then:

1. Stott added J's name as an author, then continued to maintain this when posting about the article about the internet (if we want to get into 'lying' we'd say that Stott lied twice).

2. J lied to Aufheben and by extension the wider milieu about authoring the article.

Which is exactly the same question that was raised hundreds of posts ago.

And here is Clifford Stott again:

I suppose in a sense what I've been working on with [J]... is basically a scientific model, a theoretical model, of what makes collective behaviour in crowd events possible from a psychological point of view, so the psychology of crowd behaviour. And from that theoretical model, from that science, we've been been able to start asking very important - difficult but practically important questions about the way we manage crowds out in society, particularly at these critical times we get violence in political demonstrations, in football crowds and various other events like that.

Again, I don't see that this is new.

J has publicly stated he worked on the ESIM model (the 'theoretical model'). Stott and Reicher have then taken that model to apply it to policing, crediting J for some of that work which he claims to neither have done nor support, but was prepared to take some academic credit for.

This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line), or he has not done that but has allowed his name to be associated with it (which for me personally is stupid, but IMO crosses the 'stupid' line rather than a class line).

Then there's the further question of whether working on crowd psychology in the first place is compatible with being a communist - given that this model can and has been used for things like liberal policing strategies. For me personally if I'd worked on something like this (and reaching the conclusion that police make things worse in emergency situations by policing them - I haven't read the research but that appears to be the cliffs notes version), I'd be extremely pissed off if it then got used as part of a project to reform policing of protests. But I am not convinced that simply having done that kind of research at all is incompatible.

A while back on one of these threads SpikeyMike pointed out a very liberal article in a recent edition of Freedom making very similar arguments to Stott and Reicher. I'd be much more concerned with people writing for an 'anarchist' newspaper making those arguments in the newspaper, than someone who is associated with people who make similar arguments via their work.

Blasto

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line), or he has not done that but has allowed his name to be associated with it (which for me personally is stupid, but IMO crosses the 'stupid' line rather than a class line).

And would this work, or this, or this, or contributing to this, or this constitute applying this work to policing?

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay replies:

Everything you say proves nothing; everything we say proves that what J told us is true.

Thread locked before I go into another temper tantrum

Baderneiro Miseravel

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The other thread had actually much more interesting and a focused discussion. Why was it closed?

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I said, when Ed originally suggested locking the thread:

I realise that Ed's decision is to avoid having my article going to the top of the recent posts list and have a thread that many people have ignored (Valeriano is one of them, it seems) because it seems like something not very interesting and very internal to libcom. It's an appalling thread in which everything gets lost and confused amidst Joseph Kay's constant self-contradictions which the rest of libcom admin and their hangers-on have taken on trust and without showing the slightest attempt at independent reflection or self-reflection. A good reason (something a bit better than "this is critical of our cop collaborating mate - we prefer to keep such criticisms hidden under a mass and mess of constantly repeated confusion, and particularly in a thread that looks uninteresting") for locking this thread should be given, if there is one.

Then, when I pointed out that Dr.Who had outed himself in 2003:

What do I care if he gets sacked as a cop consultant as a result? I'd regard it as a good result. But fat chance - he outed himself in an article in 2003 that links his University work and department to Aufheben and his ethnographic work. See Annual Review of Critical Psychology Volume 3, pages 88 to 114. If they gave a toss about his participation in Aufheben, they've had 8 years to give him the sack. On the contrary, they need the kind of innovative angles on things that he, fairly uniquely as far as I can see, provides.

Joseph Kay hit the roof and said, firstly quoting me:[quote]Samotnaf wrote:

a collective line coming from Aufheben and Joseph Kay, which includes a constant evasion of all the points raised

The problem with telling bare-faced lies like this is, should anyone bother to read the 350+ post clusterfuck they'll see that you're lying, and I and others have in fact made repeated, detailed responses totalling thousands of words (e.g. see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 for some of the more substantive examples). And of course I'm not the only person arguing against you, but the fiction the people disagreeing with you are "dupes" or an some other unthinking, uncritical automatons is easier to sustain if you pretend it's just me.
Anyway, there's already a long thread on this so we don't need to go over everything again from the top here. Thread locked

.

(I haven't put the urls for JK's links).
2 points:
I should not have said " a constant evasion of all the points raised" but rather " a constant evasion of most of the points raised". The failure to respond to Blasto's post, for example, illustrates this.
The text in which JD outs himself, quoted here by lurdan, is indicative of a classical intellectual mentality that thinks that if you simply articulate a contradiction that can be confronted practically in and against this society, that that is all you need to do; in fact, what you're doing is pre-empting a critique in order to deflect it - a more complex version of, "I don't mean to be rude but..." and then launch into a rude attack which you clearly mean to do. The article by Dr.Who is interesting insofar as it shows his practical failure to break from his career as a producer of a very recuperative ideology whilst at the same time, lucidly recognising (when applied to others) how some elements of recuperation in academia work (he even quotes positively something I wrote in the 1970s).
I'm not, by the way, totally totally opposed to work in academia - a Teaching assistant is low in the hierarchy, for instance, and probably hasn't much control over their work; there are other types of work which are far less ideological, far less useful to the state, and totally unrecuperative, than what Dr.Who does/did (e.g. astronomy or geology). I do about 90 hours a years' work teaching english to French engineering students (though possibly won't be able to do this any more, and haven't done since April). There's an ideological aspect to it - but it's not the main, central, aspect of it.

Mike Harman

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf

- this is the chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear stuff. It personally doesn't bother me that someone works on disaster response, since that's not to do with policing protests. If CBRN ends up including protests somehow (CBRNP?) then I would consider that differently, (and no I don't think an LED screen with their logo on it outside St Pauls counts).

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf
http://www.i-psy.com/conferences/sixth_prog.php
http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/cpd/Stott_%26_Drury_%282000%29.pdf

All of these three look close to the line to me (possibly over it but I've not read the papers all the way through). However it's my understanding that [J] stopped working on anything to do with protests around 8 years ago (when these are from) because of these contradictions, which suggests the self reflection that is being claimed was lacking was actually there and responded to.

15 years ago I did an A Level sociology project, don't remember the exact title but it was something like "Police tactics at the anti-veal export protests." I really wanted to do something on the anti-roads protests, but the anti-veal export protests were a lot closer, and they were both showing up in "crap arrest of the week" in Schnews around that time or a bit earlier. Didn't care about animal rights stuff but did care about police brutality on protests, so did an interview with one protester about their treatment by the police and stuff like this. Did not remotely occur to me that this could have been the prelude to a decade of cop collaboration and contributed to the suppression of the class struggle if I had done though. But perhaps I should retire from all political activity retrospectively having conducted sociological academic research on protests and policing?

http://www.gmpa.gov.uk/d/scrutiny-of-major-events-policing-report.pdf

My understanding of this one is he advised them (Greater Manchester councillors, not actual police officers) on emergencies, then for policing of anything else referred them to Stott and Reicher. Again this is not really using protest research for policing protests is it, although it is contact with police/policing bodies but that in and of itself is not enough really. Everything here looks really bad on the surface, then when you start to unpick it, it is very mundane - especially some of the earlier work was leading towards some dodgy areas (albeit with good intentions like my A level project). Had he continued in the direction Stott and Reicher had I would not have this opinion, but as far as I can see that has not happened.

@Samotnaf, there was 19 hours between Blasto's post and yours claiming we failed to respond to it, some of which time I was asleep. Yet it's almost two weeks since jesuithitsquad's post here which you've yet to answer. So who is avoiding who?

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What exactly is there here in jesuitshitsquad's post that's worth replying to?This is what he wrote:

Since you're in to publishing PMs I'd like to add this exchange to the record, edited for relevance:
Samatnof wrote:
JD (edited out name. Why do you insist on using his real name?) is very clearly NOT on the side of the social movement against capital despite his pretensions to the contrary and that his collaboration well deserves publicity (would you like to find yourself next to him on a demo, being treated as some guinea pig in his lab?); if you are capable of a modicum of clarity, you would see this is true.
And my response:
I wrote:
One quick point about your message, you asked if I would feel comfortable standing next to JD on a demo, and I will be completely honest and say I am uncertain. I will reflect on the question because I do think it does break down the matter to a very basic point.
That said, and I do say this with all sincerity and respect, if the same question were put to me in regards to you following this episode, I think I would have to say the same thing. I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with you having any of my personal details or knowledge of my activity because while I sincerely believe you to be committed to the class struggle, I feel you handled JD's information in an uncomradely and dangerous manner. Heaven forbid you ever find out something about me you find objectionable and google becomes awash with my name and other identifying information. All point scoring aside, this is my honest and sincere point of view at the moment, presented with all due respect.
As I said, I will reflect further on your question about JD. Will you commit to doing the same regarding my reservations about you?
And you never responded. Would it be fair of me to conclude from your lack of response that you're not really opposed to this society? I mean after all, you've 'ignored this very serious issue' and have shown an 'avoidance to answering a simple question.'
Or, is it more likely that you're busy and have forgotten to respond? Or maybe there are more important uses of your time? Do you see the point? It might be worthwhile to lay off the bombast just a bit because none of us are perfect, and anyone can draw a straight line between any two points, even if it doesn't make sense to do so.
Back to your initial question from the PMs, yes upon further reflection I think I would feel comfortable standing next to JD in a demo because nothing he's done, from what I've seen, has compromised individual security, and I really don't think his mass emergency work has compromised collective security. (Though I still believe your question is an important one to ask.) Conversely, I'm more certain than before that I would NOT want to stand next to you in a demo because you have shown a continual propensity for both handling personal details in haphazard (at best) manner and for drawing extreme conclusions from minimal or distorted information.
I still would be interested in finding out if my reservations give you second thoughts about how you've comported yourself in this debacle.
Now hopefully, I'll move on to doing something worthwhile with my very minimal time...

I could be boringly pedantic and say that it was only Ed's PM that was made public - in order to stop him locking the thread - and therefore the plural "PMs" is inaccurate. Was that worth replying to?

I could be boringly pedantic and say that I used JD's real name in a private message and that, besides, his name is plastered all over the internet in relation to this affair and only libcom in submission to JK's friend and comrade have not published it. Was that worth replying to?

I could boringly repeat myself and say that I don't think JD is a comrade in any way whatsoever and besides he's outed himself. Was that worth replying to?

I could kind of repeat myself and say that if I thought jesuitshitsquad was a cop collaborator masquerading as a comrade - ie truly "objectionable" - then I'd have no qualms about outing him to the movement against this society. If he is, then he is right not to want to stand next to me at a demo and the feeling is mutual. Was that worth replying to?

And yes - I had other things to do and forgot. Was that worth replying to?

You have shown how petty you have become, asking me to reply to something utterly petty.

And besides I'd decided not to post on this but went back on my decision, mainly to show how Dr Who had outed himself 8 years ago. But also because it's very difficult to not respond to bullshit attacks.

Someone, who gave me permission to use his PM as long as I didn't mention who he was, said

I wouldn't say the work JD's done (or work that's been used by the police) is the worst thing about this. I believe he's been weak and crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed... not for someone involved in revolutionary politics. I'm a forgiving kinda guy and if JD had held up his hands, admitted he'd fucked up and did something to rectify the situation, that would have been a minor problem. However, he has done exactly the opposite and tried to justify his conduct with loads of feeble excuses. Worst of all, Aufheben has colluded with all this and so has Libcom. And the resulting cover up is what stinks more than anything. If you fuck up, you come clean and sort it out, but pretending nothing's happened is poison.

I responded:

You say "if JD had held up his hands, admitted he'd fucked up and did something to rectify the situation, that would have been a minor problem." Big "if". I agree to a certain extent, but you can't just say "sorry" and rectify a problem without massive upheavals, trauma even (in my experience- - talking about myself here; and my criticisable attitudes and roles were by no means as bad as JD's) if such a change is to be anything than cosmetic, designed to appease an onslaught, not designed to break through to some basic radical integrity. He's been avoiding the practical truth for years. See this very interesting article by him produced as part of this journal: http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/3.htm . It in fact quotes me (the quote from Re-Fuse that lurdan put up) but cannot break from his ideological role in practice; practice is for others. And in fact justifies this ideological paid intellectual role even as he critiques it. But I agree, the cover-up, the denial, is insane and clearly shows the lack of serious commitment to the struggle against capital on the part of libcom admin and Aufheben: if you can't deal with something so basic as this, the kind of thing that 30 years ago would have been met with violence or at least the threat of it (in Greece, the guy would have to leave the country) then all the talk of Oakland, etc. is just an easy cop-out (pun intended) for not dealing with the shit in your own backyard. As you say, poison.

In fact, "poison" isn't the best word - more like a virus infecting everything that libcom admin say and do, everything their fellow travellers say and do. Every time they/you say something against the cops or the state, I think about how you avoid attacking the state and the cops where it most counts, where it actually has some practical effect - in your own real lives, in this situation that's part of this milieu.
The weight of indifference descends like some mind-numbing fog, obscuring the most basic things. Anger gets caricatured as "hyperbole" or some other way of not looking at and doing something independently of the immediate support of your precious little scene. The familiarity of this family breeds contempt - mine, and the secret contempt you have for yourselves and each other. You can't oppose the state and yet hide this cover-up from yourselves when it concerns someone close or the friend of someone close, when it concerns the "milieu", which is showing itself to be as rotten as the society it pretends to oppose. The 30 years of counter-revolution have embedded themselves in the racket mentality that sees no critique, hears no critique, speaks no critique when it comes to those within their vicious circles of friends.

jesuithitsquad

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, if other people don't respond to your questions they are not really committed communists and not opposed to capitalism, but if you don't respond it's because the questions were just too petty for you? My questions were sincere, something you should have known from my apology and the tone of my PM.

Yet, you still haven't answered the main question. Does the fact that multiple posters here now have reservations about their dealings with you give you any pause, whatsoever, to how you've handled this situation?

In case you'll lower yourself to respond to some more questions, how is it that you are empowered to be judge, jury, and executioner? Even if you're right about everything you've asserted, what gives you the right to unilaterally determine his punishment ('losing his job would be a good outcome')? Even if it were a cut and dry case, and quite clearly this is anything but, how do you, as an individual, have the right to do this? It just doesn't strike me as a very communist approach.

Please, don't give the "he outed himself," (an excuse after the fact) answer or the "his name is already plastered everywhere"
(as if this just magically happened and you weren't the one doing the plastering) one; these are simply not legitimate arguments.

The victim card about the PM is ridiculous. You gave me permission in your PM to publish it if I wished.

It's really quite amazing to see you compare Steven. to Stalin for using the word disagreement instead of blood feud or whatever phrase best describes your single-minded focus on a rather obscure issue. All this in the same post in which you overtly claim that anyone who might disagree with you likely does so because they also have something to hide. The level of unintentional self-parody in this fiasco is unreal.

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll answer most of this later, as I've got to go to work, but it's obvious I didn't do this merely as an individual separate from everybody else - I did this in conjunction with the TPTG, who are 7 people.

As for the process of producing the original article, here's something I posted in a PM to some other people:

Late January the tptg contacted me (I live in France) and 4 others in London about the links to JD's various online stuff. I was in favour of going public after contacting the others in Auf. Others also wanted to contact them, and one of us who knew them contacted G from Auf who said, "I had no idea that J 's research had gone that far". She was asked to provide a personal email address, which the common friend knew, but rightly wanted her approval before giving it out. But she finally said that anyone who wanted to should contact the email address for Aufheben; but since in the past the tptg had always got J answering their emails, it seemed a pointless thing to do. I was not against contacting JD in some other way but, living in France, I asked the 4 people in London how this could be done, and got no response - for various reasons: 1 was in favour of at least initially a limited degree of publicity through the Crisis list - but then her boyfriend got nicked on a demo and that occupied her mind up until September; another, the common friend of Auf and us, seemed aloof and disinterested; another was against publicity but in favour of contacting J but didn't do so; another was in favour of publicity but felt seriously tense about it all and explicitly said it was up to others. For various personal reasons, including, but certainly not only, the discouraging attitudes of at least one of the people in London, whom I was very close to, I let it slide up until July, when I knew I could meet the tptg in just over a week in France, so set to writing a first draft, finished on 8/8/11. This was given to the tptg, another Greek and 2 former members of Aufheben, plus one other person who had stayed at my place several years previously: 8 copies in all, clearly marked: "This is an uncompleted draft document intended for discussion. It is certainly not intended to be the final published version, which will be published online on 'libcom blog' later this month."
A few days later I got an email from someone I knew in London who was a friend of J. and all the rest, who told me not to be a jerk, not to publicise this, as this would ruin the Aufheben project and besides J.'s a nice guy who naively allowed his name to be used on the "Knowledge-based policing... " article, saying the now standard line that this team's research was useless to the cops and saying we should have contacted JD. She ignored everything other than her own subjective feelings about it all. An awkward phone call and a few strained emails between us later resolved nothing. Just 9 days after distributing the first draft of the "Strange Case", Aufheben sent a critique of this draft to my personal email address (which probably the previous mentioned woman had given them, without asking me first) as if it was a finished text, a critique which only differs from their public refutation of the tptg's first "Open Letter..." (the one libcom called a smear and put a Pinnochio picture on) in that it had specific things against pro-situationist attitudes, me being moralistic and against my "character assassination" which were kind of relevant only to my text. It suggested we contact them directly, but in an arrogant manner not conducive to a positive response. It was entitled "Not for circulation". It was aimed at stopping publication. It also mentioned the fact that "P" had been given the personal email addresses of the rest of Auf. Nobody knew who this P was, as all those we knew beginning with the letter P had had no contact with Auf. I was in London for about 10 days during which libcom asked me for the draft of the text I was planning to put up, which they'd heard about, so they could form an opinion of it, so they could kind of pre-moderate it (not exactly of course - since I , along with anyone else, could put it up, but making it clear it would be taken down immediately; nobody mentioned the fact that Joseph Kay had been a part of Auf in the past and was very close to them). I had to deal with several emails from various people who clearly thought I was going about it the wrong way, but had no suggestions of doing it better other than contact the very person who we found had betrayed (in a very basic fundamental way) our own and others notion that he was in some way on our side against this society and these were from people in London who had had a far greater ability to contact the guy than either me or the tptg (one was the friend whose boyfriend's trial was coming up, a trial that could have led to imprisonment in the wake of the August riots, so I can, at least, excuse her - in fact, the case, in September, was dismissed before the prosecution was even heard). Me and the tptg decided to do more research and keep quiet to almost everybody because it only brought endless obstruction. Just less than 2 days before i left, I discovered the "Chaos Theory" text (having been alerted of its existence by the tptg), which at that time we didn't realise was online, in the British Library in Collingwood on the edge of London. I was even more astonished and disgusted and furious than I felt when I first heard about JD at the end of January. The rest you already know - slight delays because of further research, the tptg's involvement in the struggles in Greece etc. before the publication of the 3 texts. The tptg, of course, have no further desire to contribute to libcom, other than maybe (I don't know) to make a final statement.
I give you all this information, these petty, probably boring, details, as a way of asking you - how could we have done this better, how did we do this "all wrong"? Next time, perhaps, I'll be able to be perfect.

Rob Ray

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I had to deal with several emails from various people who clearly thought I was going about it the wrong way, but had no suggestions of doing it better other than contact the very person who we found had betrayed (in a very basic fundamental way) our own and others notion that he was in some way on our side

So you were actually repeatedly advised to do so and ignored it? And were then surprised that people found this a weird approach to take, given that the subject is by far the most obvious primary source in any investigation? I mean seriously, what did you think would happen if you, as the main person interested in researching the subject, talked to him? That he'd put in a call to GCHQ, trace your IP, send in Mi5 to intimidate you?

The tptg, of course, have no further desire to contribute to libcom

So because they've had an argument with libcom's admins they don't want to contribute to the site? That's a bit sad tbh - even if they don't trust J to work with any more that seems to me to be overkill, given that libcom's only direct involvement is that one of its members has worked on Aufheben before and they've collectively taken a position that J's innocent. I mean fuck I get into disagreements with people all the time (including libcom admins), sometimes quite heated ones, doesn't mean I would stop working with them unless they specifically had done something wrong.

no1

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

I'll answer most of this later, as I've got to go to work

btw., have you ever heard of concision? It's this amazing method to avoid wasting people's time.

Blasto

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Harman

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf

- this is the chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear stuff. It personally doesn't bother me that someone works on disaster response, since that's not to do with policing protests. If CBRN ends up including protests somehow (CBRNP?) then I would consider that differently, (and no I don't think an LED screen with their logo on it outside St Pauls counts).

Ok, well everyone changes their mind. You had said:

This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line)...

So this document describes a police consultancy, Its not research, its the direct application of that research to policing. And why is 'CRBN' such a get-out? The first third isn't about CRBN per se, its about public order policing (see below). This is then applied to CRBN in the subsequent two sections. Its police tactics (graded policing) to control crowds - exactly the same proposition put forward in Chaos Theory. But like I say, everyone changes their minds. Principles bend in order to deal with inconveniences...

Heres the first section of that consultancy document - it pretty unequivocally related to policing as far as I can see (not least because police are the recipients):

Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder
Crowd behaviour is meaningful, limited
• Different crowds have different identities (i.e. norms, values and aims)
• Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each
crowd
• Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
• Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
• Legitimizing anti-police elements
• Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
• Communication of police aims
• Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-
policing in the majority
o A graded response to potential disorder

It finishes with

These issues are relevant not only for Bronze command etc but just as much for the most junior officers on the ground

This is absolutely, unequivocally training the police in tactics dealing with public disorder.

Then there's these articles, "close to the line" as you put it. Of course the line has already moved quite a bit.

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf
http://www.i-psy.com/conferences/sixth_prog.php
http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/cpd/Stott_%26_Drury_%282000%29.pdf

Your response was:

All of these three look close to the line to me (possibly over it but I've not read the papers all the way through). However it's my understanding that [J] stopped working on anything to do with protests around 8 years ago (when these are from) because of these contradictions, which suggests the self reflection that is being claimed was lacking was actually there and responded to.

The first is a piece of research conducted by J. He questioned 80 serving police officers just before they received training on crowd psychology as part of their police diploma course, and also a wider group of Scottish riot police (PSU). Here's the subject matter of the questionnaire:

Measures were taken of perceptions of and reactions to crowds in terms of the following themes: (a) heterogeneous composition (“People of all sorts can be found among crowds”); (b) dichotomous composition (“Professional agitators are skilled at inciting violent behavior among previously peaceful members of demonstrating/football crowds”); (c) homogeneous threat (“Once violence starts in a demonstrating/football crowd, everyone nearby is liable to join in”); (d) coercive methods (“Demonstrating/football crowds must be strictly con- trolled in order to prevent widespread violence erupting”); (e) tactical reasons for treating the crowd as a unit (“By the time the police take any serious action against violent members of a demonstrating/football crowd, most genuinely peaceful crowd members will have retreated to a place of safety. Most people remaining want conflict with the police”); and ( f ) attributions (“When violence occurs involving demonstrating/football crowds, the police are rarely responsible for either the initiation or any escalation of such violence”).

The aim of the research was to demonstrate that their ESIM crowd behaviour model:

has not only theoretical significance-demonstrating the role of identity and out-group action in structuring in- group norms-but also practical importance.

This is absolutely, unequivocally applying ESIM to public order policing - specifically demonstrations.

The second piece is an international conference on investigative psychology, delivered by and to a mixed group of academics, police and prison staff. J's involvement was to part deliver a session called THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF 'PUBLIC DISORDER'. His particular input was on Collective Action and Psychological Change: Intergroup Dynamics at an Anti-Road Protest

This is absolutely, unequivocally applying ESIM to the development public order policing - specifically using protest movements that he'd participated in as an example. I call that a downright betrayal of his fellow protestors, not least those who'd agreed to be involved in his research because he was "one of them"..

The third is an extraordinary piece of research recuperating the poll tax riot for the Tavistock Institute (a favourite of conspiracy theorists). It explores the crowd and police perceptions and response to events as they happened. We can only speculate about the Institute's motivation for this research, but we can be sure it won't be to further the aims of those who rioted.

As for the GMPA policy document, J advised a Commission established by Greater Manchester Police Authority, not just 'councillors". The consultation is described in their words as

Greater Manchester Police Authority’s review of major events policing was conducted between August 2009 and March 2010. Using a variety of research methods including specific case studies, Commission members gathered evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of Greater Manchester Police in policing different types of events focusing on high profile events, protests and football matches.

The reason for the commission was because:

Members of the Police Authority raised some concerns regarding the policing of the G20 summit protests and the human rights issues that had emerged. Further discussion was prompted by a question received from a member of the public concerning the police tactic referred to in the media as ‘kettling’ and used by
the Metropolitan Police Service at the G20 summit protests on 1st April 2009.

It had absolutely nothing to do with emergencies at all - where to you get that 'understanding'?

Your opinion that Everything here looks really bad on the surface, then when you start to unpick it, it is very mundane is the exact opposite of reality. The apologists for this activity present it as mundane, but when you unpick it, it is utterly insidious.

lines

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have no connection with Blasto, or Wellclose Square, and do not know who they are. But they do seem to be getting the analysis of this situation correct, in my opinion. Who else agrees with them?

Anyway, I would urge readers to read the above post from Blasto carefully.

25 years ago ‘Aufheben’ would have been metaphorically, and possibly literally, run out of town.

Times have changed.

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is my last post on this thread. And if I feel tempted to respond to provocations, calumnies, repeated stuff that merely show how little people want to actually look into what I wrote, what the tptg wrote or what loads of other people have shown or any other pointless evasions of the practical truth, I shall phone up my support counsellor on Libcom Anonymous to restrain me from indulging in what is rapidly becoming a dangerous addiction.

I have answered - probably far too fully, particularly someone who has clearly made known his preferences for the cop collaborator over me - jesuitshitsquad's post enough.

Blasto's post (if it was really needed after all the other information that's out here) clearly shows that the whole of libcom admin and their hangers-on cannot do the most obvious facing up to reality that a 12 year old would be able to do. But I guess, having dug a hole for yourselves you feel it's beneath your dignity to admit it and will continue to bury yourselves alive.

RobRay
:

Quote:
I had to deal with several emails from various people who clearly thought I was going about it the wrong way, but had no suggestions of doing it better other than contact the very person who we found had betrayed (in a very basic fundamental way) our own and others notion that he was in some way on our side

So you were actually repeatedly advised to do so and ignored it? And were then surprised that people found this a weird approach to take, given that the subject is by far the most obvious primary source in any investigation?

Do you read? I presume you can. But sometimes I wonder.
I said:

I was not against contacting JD in some other way but, living in France, I asked the 4 people in London how this could be done, and got no response

Read again before you write about something you clearly wilfully avoid having any idea of what you're writing about.
The rest of Auf made no attempt to contact either me or the TPTG or anybody else we were on speaking terms with, despite knowing our concerns. Until their "Not to be communicated " email which insisted on continuing to keep this under cover, secret, where they could reduce everything to hearsay, gossip and Chinese whispers whilst accusing us of reducing everything to hearsay, gossip and Chinese whispers (when everything we discovered was public, written by J openly, though not so open that anybody in the so-called revolutionary /activist milieu could know about it) . Hearsay, gossip and Chinese whispers could only be remedied by publicity, the prospect of which they were shitting themselves over whilst trying to prevent .

But of course, we should have talked to someone who we increasingly discovered was covering up his own history and therefore would have been yet another of those conversations (even if we were in a physical position to have one, which we clearly weren't) which sheds obscurity onto everything.

As for what you say about the TPTG, your comment:

I mean fuck I get into disagreements with people all the time (including libcom admins), sometimes quite heated ones, doesn't mean I would stop working with them unless they specifically had done something wrong.

- libcom admin's picture of Pinnochio and the lie that what the TPTG were writing was a smear tactic indicated a very clear partisanship (when, if nothing else, libcom has always been eclectic) on behalf of someone whose deep recuperation of things radical spreads a virus throughout the whole milieu of those who protect him. It's not something petty, along the lines of political role-bound arguments you're clearly used to having. It's not a trivial question of someone farting in the broad church of anti-capitalism. It's fundamental. Not some argument where everybody can play some debating society role designed to reinforce one-upmanship separations and pretend it's all a game. Our lives are at stake in this. And anyone who avoids the essential contradictions in all this sick story is just a pretentious phoney, wilfully incapable of understanding basics.

Wordsmiths like you like to get into endless discussion without consequences because decision, the alpha and omega of all progress, scares you. Like all consistently ideological writing, you write not to clear the air but to fill it with smog. To continue participating in such a fruitless game of Scrabble would be doing the exact thing you like to do. I shan't respond to any more of this deliberate polluted confusionism.

joyanu

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

hai

i thing not interest so delete that article

waslax

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

lines

I have no connection with Blasto, or Wellclose Square, and do not know who they are. But they do seem to be getting the analysis of this situation correct, in my opinion. Who else agrees with them?

I do. If I didn't, I'd be arguing against them. Those arguing against them are really just playing a game of smoke and mirrors; and it's really quite pathetic. I feel sorry for anyone who can't see that.

lines

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you for replying to this question, waslax (I don't know who waslax is).

Others should also state what side of the line they are on, For the sake of integrity. Several people, mainly on the Libcom administration team, have said that they support 'Aufheben' in this affair. So we know which side of the line they are on.

But they will say that the line I have drawn here is spurious of course, before calling me a complete mental, or as boringly banal and pathetic as Boris Boring and the Pathetics (a little known Soviet pop band from the 1950's...)

Those who are uncomfortable with what 'Aufheben' have done, and are doing, should say so. This deciding on which side of the line one wants to be on will then, hopefully, force some sort of 'tipping point'.

lines

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is the post I sent to the 'Undercover Cops' thread, but was deleted by admin - is it OK to post it here?

Dear Ed,

I don't know what Sam(otnaf) said [in the Undercover Cops thread], but it is interesting that you term it a 'vendetta'. [Samotnaf's post was deleted].[By the way, I have nothing to do with samotnaf, and do not know him].

I guess you too do not see a problem with the cross-over of activities between sociological police analysis (day job) and 'Aufheben' by JD?

This is explicitly related to this thread... as is the book by G K Chesterton, 'The Man Who Was Thursday'.

This century old novel, which was written by a right-wing journalist of some literary repute at the time, describes the composition of an anarchist group in which all the members turn out to be police spies...

As I thought when I first heard of the 'Aufheben' scandal:

GK Chesterton would smile.

It is odd, it seems, by Samotnaf's deleted post, that no discussion of the similarities between the topic of this thread [ the Undercover Cops one] and the topic of the Aufheben scandal is going to be allowed.

GK Chesterton must be rolling with laughter.

Mike Harman

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Blasto

Mike Harman

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf

- this is the chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear stuff. It personally doesn't bother me that someone works on disaster response, since that's not to do with policing protests. If CBRN ends up including protests somehow (CBRNP?) then I would consider that differently, (and no I don't think an LED screen with their logo on it outside St Pauls counts).

Ok, well everyone changes their mind. You had said:
stuff

This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line)...

[/quote]

Well my mind hasn't changed, although I should probably have said 'policing protests' which I think is a clear line that afaik no-one disagrees on (i.e. an 'absolute' line). What I've read of the CBRN stuff (which is not all of what's been linked so I may well be wrong, I can barely keep up with this thread) is it is basically telling the police not to police disaster scenarios (because crowds can self-regulate in emergency situations etc. etc.), especially not to police them as if they are public order situations (because they are not, unless you turn them into one etc. etc.).

I do not have knee jerk revulsion to someone working on emergency response stuff or saying something like that. I might if they were claiming to be a 'radical academic' based off it or similar but no such claim has been made, in fact the opposite.

Let's compare that to say the article SpikeyMike found in Freedom (which I don't think is online but it did not sound good from his description), which was pushing the same line as Stott/Reicher on police reform in an 'anarchist' newspaper around the same time as the bookfair. That for me is far more damaging but no-one as far as I know has investigated the authors of the Freedom piece.

So on the scale of things in relation to the police, for me there is a bit of distance between working on disaster response, and trying to reform policing of protests. That doesn't mean you have to agree they are both fine, just that they are not the same thing.

And why is 'CRBN' such a get-out?

Well a get out of what? There are several accusations being made, and this isn't an exhaustive list:

1. that he is actively pushing the Stott/Reicher liberal policing stuff as part of his work (and even via Aufheben).

2. that he is lying about doing this work to the milieu (to Aufheben and everyone else, or that Aufheben and libcom are wittingly or unwittingly colluding with that lie - I have no reason to wittingly do that, have never met this bloke (with the possible exception of having bought copies of Aufheben from their stall on the bookfair three years but not sure if that was him or not), I could be an unwitting dupe of course).

3. that allowing himself to be associated with that work is as bad as actually doing it, even if he didn't actually do it.

4. that the work which he's been open about doing ('CBRN', research on protests from 8-10 years ago etc.) is also beyond the pale because it brings him into contact with the police (in a capacity different from reporting a burglary to get insurance or similar). Or that working on CBRN is no different to working on protests because they both get treated as public order situations anyway, or that CBRN disasters could turn into protests due to heavy policing and this might be a catalyst for class struggle etc.

5. That the academic research that he did on the anti-roads movement and the poll tax several years ago was equivalent (or even worse than) to snitching ('infiltrating' protests groups then giving information to the police).

Now I disagree with the factual basis of #1 and #2 based on what I have seen from Aufheben. Because I disagree with that factual basis, I disagree even more with the fact that people went ahead with publishing stuff despite knowing that was disputed and without verifying with the person involved. Samotnaf's explanation of why they went ahead anyway does not cut it for me (as one of the people who asked him to check that stuff before publishing). Nor does his comparison with Mark Stone - or if we're going to do that we can start with how people went about handling the discovery. If environmental activists can confront an undercover police officer in person then TPTG/Samotnaf should be able to manage an e-mail to an academic.

Not to mention people opening up sock puppet accounts to agree with themselves while their cheerleaders accuse others of 'smoke and mirrors'.

All the energy rightly or wrongly expended on both sides around this point, has completely obfuscated having a serious discussion about points #3, #4 and #5, which are not factually disputed but the implications of them are. For me I am spending all the time I have for this keeping up with this thread/replying and still haven't read the fucking articles in question properly yet. However what I've seen of the CBRN (not 'chaos theory' etc.) does not look de-facto beyond the pale for me, although it has obviously led to a lot of associations which could be problematic like the continued association with Stott and Reicher even if it looks like that mainly goes in the other direction. I'd personally steer very clear of doing work like that - I have worked in NHS psychiatric hospitals before doing very low level temp/admin work and did not feel comfortable with that (because it 'associated' me with clinical psychiatrists in that I had to speak to them every few days), although I don't think doing shitty temp jobs excludes me from being a communist.

Heres the first section of that consultancy document - it pretty unequivocally related to policing as far as I can see (not least because police are the recipients):

Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder
Crowd behaviour is meaningful, limited
• Different crowds have different identities (i.e. norms, values and aims)
• Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each
crowd
• Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
• Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
• Legitimizing anti-police elements
• Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
• Communication of police aims
• Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-
policing in the majority
o A graded response to potential disorder

And this is talking about crowds that are in the middle of a radiological, biological, chemical or nuclear incident - so their 'legitimate aims' are not being irradiated, poisoned, infected etc.

Then there's these articles, "close to the line" as you put it. Of course the line has already moved quite a bit.

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf
http://www.i-psy.com/conferences/sixth_prog.php
http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/cpd/Stott_%26_Drury_%282000%29.pdf

Right, those look specifically different to the CBRN work - of course since they are research on protests movements, however you did not respond to my point that he stopped doing this stuff 8 years ago (as far as I can tell from the account that has been given). Having done research on protests (which I have also not read in full either) 8 years ago does not mean he is working with the police to pacify protests and this is something that needed to be urgently exposed, which is what is continually being claimed. I really need to read that stuff to see how bad it actually is, or whether it's being presented as bad, which I have not done.

It had absolutely nothing to do with emergencies at all

Hence the referral to Stott/Reicher rather than consulting on the protest bits.

- where to you get that 'understanding'?

From private correspondence, that particular part of it seemed OK to reproduce since there is no new personal information in there. I do not like the fact that apparently I know something that you don't (which frankly is probably about the only thing since I'm way behind on the actual papers), but neither have you said how you got on e-mailing Aufheben to ask them directly about some of these disputed details.

Blasto

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In Mike's post above you have it all. Regardless of what is said, of what is written, of what has been done, there is aways an excuse. A distraction. A justification. An alibi. Even an acceptance that he "crossed a line" is twisted into an attempt to legitimise or trivialise it.

J claimed authorship of all the articles discussed in this thread. Whether he wrote every word or none of them is immaterial. He claimed them.

He has trained police in crowd control. Regardless of what imagined scenarios were conjured up to do that, when he trained police in concepts such as ESIM and tactics such as "graded responses to disorder", he sanctioned crowd manipulation and police violence.

Just last year he contributed to making one of the country's most notorious police forces more effective in controlling protest. I don't care how he described himself when doing that, what badge he wore, that is what he did.

He has also conducted research on protests, including road protests and the poll tax riot. He has used the findings of that research to further the aims of the police and State - in papers, at conferences and for outfits such as the Tavistock Institute. I don't care whether it was three, five or eight or ten years ago. He did it. He protested with others, had them disclose their perceptions and experiences and fed that directly back to policing and crowd control 'experts' and, as we have discovered, to the police themselves. There's a whole load of words to describe that kind of behaviour, but I'll keep this post clean.

I don't need Aufheben (or Libcom for that matter) to mediate, to offer up excuses. He was contributing to crowd control and actively collaborating with cops (and specifically with regard to policing protest) in 2001, he was still doing it in 2010. What Aufheben, Mike and the little scene he is part of have offered has been an avoidance, a distortion and increasingly a justification of that single irrefutable fact.

This is my last post here.

Spikymike

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I did refer and link to this on another related thread but can't just find it again now.

Much of the content relates also to the discussion on the 'Pro-revolutionaries and academia' thread which I tried to encourage in my posts there, particularly numbers 115 and 121.

Worth another mention I suppose.

lettersjournal

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It was repeated several times that Aufheben would send special, secret information exonerating JD to people who contacted them directly. Did anyone do this? What did Aufheben send?

lettersjournal

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can I take the silence to mean that nobody received the secret information from Aufheben?

libcom

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Admin note: Users may be unaware that 'lettersjournal' has already participated extensively in this thread as 'whatisinevidence'. Therefore, he is well aware that there is no 'secret evidence'. Rather, some people spoke to Aufheben and heard their explanation, which has been recounted at great length on this thread (e.g. here and here). Contact details were provided if people wanted to independently verify this (e.g. here).

Presumably while waiting a month then bumping the thread under a new username, lettersjournal has forgotten all this, and is in no way making up claims of 'secret evidence' in order to troll :rolleyes:

lettersjournal

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Throughout this thread, Joseph K urged people to contact Aufheben so they could so clear, verifiable proof that the allegations against JD were not true. Some people discussed doing this and reporting back, but reading through the thread again I can't find a post where someone does this. Here are some posts where this is discussed:

http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450450
http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450451
http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450701

If I missed where someone reports back on the evidence provided by Aufheben, please post a link to the post.

mons

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i got aufheben's email, which i found convincing - it wasn't made up!

Hieronymous

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

lettersjournal

Throughout this thread, Joseph K urged people to contact Aufheben so they could so clear, verifiable proof that the allegations against JD were not true. Some people discussed doing this and reporting back, but reading through the thread again I can't find a post where someone does this. Here are some posts where this is discussed:

http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450450
http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450451
http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450701

If I missed where someone reports back on the evidence provided by Aufheben, please post a link to the post.

This is an example of bad faith. Nothing is stopping you from contacting them yourself. But if you did, there would be no reason for passive-aggressive trolling.

bzfgt

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is weird. If every single person contacted Aufheben individually, there would no longer be anything private about their response. But if only some people do, and they can't say anything about it to all the others who didn't, then the response remains private. So it seems that this is exactly the situation Aufheben is trying to create--where every question about their 'private' response is answered with 'contact them yourself,' which of course not everyone will do, so only a few people will be able to evaluate the response, in private. This seems fishy to me, just formally, regardless of the content of the response.

Khawaga

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I got sent the e-mail without asking because they have my e-mail address alredy. Kinda hard to send something to someone if you don't know where to send it.

Juan Conatz

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I got it too, although I didn't explicitly ask. They did have my email from mutual connections/brief questions about subscriptions. I'd have to read it again, but I pretty much stand by previous posts I made on the topic, which anyone who disagrees with is not going to sway so I'm not going to repeat again.

Mike Harman

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bzfgt

This is weird. If every single person contacted Aufheben individually, there would no longer be anything private about their response.

Not really. 'Everyone' in this case is perhaps 200 people at most.

That is very different to posting something in this thread which will be coming up in internet searches for many years to come.

Especially given that one of the main things that's been disputed factually in this thread is whether someone did their academic job 'properly' on certain papers around policing, or was taking credit for work they didn't actually do.

Since the people doing the 'outing' went out of their way to name people individually from the outset of this, it does not surprise me that Aufheben would not want to simply add to the increasing mass of public information about them on the internet, but that's not in and of itself 'fishy' even if it's very inconvenient for fast paced internet discussion, and even if I'm personally annoyed that so little response came publicly from Aufheben that it is allowing these accusations of fishiness to continue being made.

bzfgt

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Couldn't they just release a statement without using full names?

bzfgt

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Obviously I don't expect you to speak for them, just floating a possibility.

wojtek

10 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've just put an article up on the gulf war and it's disappeared/ been deleted, why?

Fall Back

10 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Duplicate - http://libcom.org/history/war-damages-healthand-health-service-health-workers-1991-gulf-war-practical-history

wojtek

10 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ah right ok, bummer!

Edit: Just to say I've edited this to include Brixton round 1:

http://libcom.org/history/short-hot-summer-1981

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone still not convinced that Dr J aids and abets the development of policing policy and tactics? From today's London Evening Standard;

London riots 'were fueled by a warped sense of community spirit'

The 2011 riots that started in Tottenham and swept across the UK were inflamed by a warped sense of community uniting against the police, psychologists have said.

Traditional postcode rivalries dissolved as gangs united to form a "band of brothers" working together against a common enemy, research suggests.

Scientists have claimed that this togetherness, amidst the looting, violence and destruction, produced a feeling of euphoria that contributed to the disorder.

Dr J..., from the University of Sussex, led an investigation into the early phases of the riots in Tottenham Hale and Haringey.

Speaking the British Science Festival at the University of Brighton, he said: "This riot saw traditional post-code rivalries melt away in the face of a common enemy in the police, and the emergence of a new shared identity. Our research shows for the first time how that happened.

"Police forces and others may feel that they understand how gang mentalities work but our findings show that at times like this, a fresh sense of community can break down existing loyalties.

"We're talking to police forces and councils about what our research shows. We hope that those responsible for law enforcement and keeping communities safe will take stock."

The August 2011 riots were sparked by the death of Mark Duggan, a suspected gang member who was shot by police in Tottenham. Five people died, property suffered damage estimated at £200 million, and police made more than 3,000 arrests.

The psychologists studied YouTube videos and Google Street View images, looked at police reports and arrest records, and interviewed 41 rioters.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/london-riots-were-fueled-by-a-warped-sense-of-community-spirit-a3627566.html

bootsy

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriot that's unbelievable... Even knowing what we know about JD it's still a shock to see quotes like that, plus I hoped all the negative attention he got after being outed by TPTG may have encouraged him to chill out on the cop collaboration stuff but I guess not. Looks like he's still in the mix with that investigation into the riots.

If the admins here and all the other hacks who rallied around JD had anything resembling a spine they would swallow their pride, put their hands up and say "I fucked up, I was wrong about JD and should have stood with the TPTG & Samotnaff after they outed him" and then be sure to cut their ties with that motherfucker once and for all. I've even seen a few people who were standing with him now saying they think he's in the wrong after all, although haven't seen anyone engage in any sort of self-critique over this mess.

Shame on anyone who's still sheltering that piece of shit.

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I expect we'll hear a deafening silence about all that from the defenders & excusers, bootsy.

Mike Harman

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bootsy

Red Marriot that’s unbelievable... Even knowing what we know about JD it’s still a shock to see quotes like that, plus I hoped all the negative attention he got after being outed by TPTG may have encouraged him to chill out on the cop collaboration stuff but I guess not. Looks like he’s still in the mix with that investigation into the riots.

The CBRM stuff and working with Clifford Stott was skirting the line - at the time I thought it was close to the line but not necessarily over it (and he claimed not to have done research on protests for several years at that point iirc).

This absolutely crosses the line, especially the way it’s been reported. He’s been RTing this press coverage on twitter and hasn’t made any statement condemning the framing as far as I can tell. Only thing I can see from Drury directly about the work is here: http://theconversation.com/english-riots-2011-new-research-shows-why-crowd-behaviour-isnt-contagious-83454

For me the original ‘open letter’ was badly handled and led to snitchjacketing of both libcom and Aufheben (see samotnaf’s comment criticising that snitchjacketing here: https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/08/511893.html). Where I personally went wrong was slipping from criticism of the handling of the open letter to arguing how close to the line or not his academic work was, won't be making that mistake again.

Tom Henry

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Have most of the 'anti' posters now retired from Libcom? Perhaps over this and/or a succession of other things that are not, perhaps, unrelated?

Why, then, are you both still here? Is it for the same sad reason as I?

I was the poster 'lines' then.

I now remember I got banned, I didn't have to demand to be banned, mais Libcom est un poisson étrange et magnétique.

Johnny

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Mike Harman

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Standard has a direct quote from you, are you denying saying this? Obviously they'll put their own spin on the research, but it's easy to say if they've misquoted you or not.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/london-riots-were-fueled-by-a-warped-sense-of-community-spirit-a3627566.html

JD in the Standard

"We're talking to police forces and councils about what our research shows. We hope that those responsible for law enforcement and keeping communities safe will take stock."

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is how this field of work is presented to, and interpreted by, fellow professionals;

MAKING THE CASE FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Psychologists Professor Stephen Reicher AcSS of the University of St Andrews, Dr Clifford Stott of the University of Liverpool and Dr J of the University of Sussex have been studying crowds for nearly 30 years using a variety of methods: interviews, surveys, ethnography and experimental studies. They have found that, contrary to popular belief, people do not adopt a ‘mob mentality’ (i.e. lose their identity and lose control of their actions) once in a crowd. Instead, they act in terms of a shared social identity rather than their own personal identity.
These social identities appear to develop though the interactions that take place between crowd members and other groups and it is out of these that violence is generated and escalates. As a result, public order policing can be more effective if it is based upon the recognition of the diversity of sub-groups within a crowd, their specific beliefs and goals and how these can be facilitated. That way, the police can win the majority to their side and so aid crowd members themselves to police disruptive minorities.
Police forces have increasingly adopted these ideas as best practice and they were used with great success at the European Football Championships in Portugal in 2004. The notion of ‘dialogue policing’ has spread across Europe and Scandinavia and, in 2010, the UK adopted the ‘social identity approach’ for public order policing in the HMIC report Adapting to Protest – Nurturing the British Model of Policing.
This new approach encourages the police to use targeted interventions which distinguish between crowd members rather than treat everyone as the same.

This research has also been applied to improve our understanding of crowd behaviour in emergency situations. The team’s work – which has examined a variety of events from the sinking of The Herald of Free Enterprise to the 7/7 attacks in London – has shown that emergencies lead to an emergent sense of shared identity, self-organisation and mutual self-help, so that the emergency services need to ask how they can assist people in what they are already doing rather than impose themselves on the public.
A 2009 NATO report on psychological care for people affected by disasters and major incidents adopts the team’s approach as standard and the researchers are now helping health authorities, emergency planners and the government devise new
procedures for what to do if and when disaster strikes.
http://britsoccrim.org/new/docs/AcSSMakingtheCasecrimepdf.pdf

el psy congroo

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can't believe this website and the collective running it. This guy is still allowed to post?

This is the straw that broke the camels back for me. I'm out, ya'll. Resigning from the site in protest, S. Artesian style, if you must.

All the best to everyone here who isn't collaborating with the police state.

bootsy

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the TPTG's second open letter:

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].

Johnny's comments are purposely misleading, his research is not just available to the police in the same way it is available to the public, his research on crowd psychology has clearly been used by him and his colleagues to develop crowd control recommendations for the police. This goes way, way past the occasional press conference and is in no way harmless. Johnny uses people, he uses his so-called "comrades" for his own benefit, for the benefit of his career and for the benefit of the police. Now he's lying to us in order to salvage the reputation of Aufheben and of himself. He's an absolute sack-of-shit and that would be it, except that this particular sack-of-shit is still helping the police and their hacks in academia to learn about our struggles and figure out how to repress any future uprising as effectively as possible. This is far worse than the usual empty pontificating that goes on in the academy, this is work which actually helps the State become more intelligent about its methods of controlling us and more efficient at reproducing capitalist social relations. Johnny has shamelessly betrayed the trust of those who he struggled alongside and interviewed in the anti-roads struggle, which became an Aufheben article and the basis of his future crowd psychology research. His allegiances should be made widely known so that others are able to be aware that he cannot be trusted and ideally he should be ejected from our communities and our struggles before he's able to use and manipulate even more people for the sake of his career.

Mike Herman I don't see the difference between JD's previous work and this stuff about the riots, its all the same shit. Your comments just come off as a convenient way of admitting the obvious while avoiding the fact that you supported him when the TPTG & Samotnaff aired this mess in public six years ago. Or maybe you really do believe that conducting research on the protest movements you're involved with for the sake of advising police on the most effective means of understanding and controlling crowd behaviour is "skirting the line", maybe you actually do believe that, I dunno. However I think that anyone who doesn't have an interest in downplaying the gravity of what JD has been doing can see very clearly that he's gone far past any line and has blatantly been aiding and collaborating with our enemies.

Serge Forward

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The "it's not my fault if our research gets used by the filth" line has never really washed and it's about time the Libcom admins finally pulled their collective finger out, sacked this cunt right off and admitted their own stupidity in backing up their shithouse mate over the last few years.

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dr J..., from the University of Sussex, led an investigation into the early phases of the riots in Tottenham Hale and Haringey. ...
"We're talking to police forces and councils about what our research shows. We hope that those responsible for law enforcement and keeping communities safe will take stock."

Before it was posted here the above article was happily retweeted by Dr J without any claims of misquoting. This is all a continuation of Dr J & co's ongoing research project going back decades. In light of this, the claims earlier in this thread by lead defender and apologist Joseph Kay look even more ridiculous, "dirty and insidious";

This is precisely why such smears are so dirty and insidious, because otherwise intelligent people see all the smoke and conclude there must be a fire. J, categorically, is not and has never taught "cops how to control riots"[my emph]. This is a smear, now repeated, presumably in good faith. As stated in the Aufheben letter, J's presentations to cops have been about his work on mass emergencies, nothing to do with how to control riots. posts #33 http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=1

radicalgraffiti

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i think 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 the when people where not initially convinced.

probably posting the quotes where he says "we work with cops" with a short explanation would have been more convincing than multi page denunciations of everyone in British anarchist and making a weird principal out of repeatable posting his name after being told it was against the rules.

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe, but none of that was an excuse for the dishonesty or unconvincing excuses. And the evidence has always been plentiful enough to take the accusations seriously - criticising the presentation of it was mainly an attempt to dismiss the validity of the content.

jef costello

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not sure if he is saying anything that is particularly secret or that hasn't been said in libcom analysis, that said he is defnitely working with cops. The idea that stop and search provoked this, that people hate the police and that that hatred can unite them is hardly telling the cops our secrets.

This worried me more

He said a turning point came when the police chose not to respond to one of their cars being torched, generating a feeling that the police were weak and encouraging rioters to move onto other targets offices and shops.

They haven't quoted him directly, but anything like this that seems to be advocating zero tolerance policing, which is simply an assault on the poor and people of colour, is deeply worrying and unacceptable.

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. Facts speak for themselves but I didn't take any of this seriously until people I respected, like Red, started speaking.

When he talked about how his work was to do with crowd movement during emergencies it seemd like it could be acceptable, but this is openly working with the police. I don't think it matters if they could get the information elsewhere, they shouldn't be getting it from us, or people who claim to be us.

Incidentally I don't believe in this postcode war stuff, I am from Tottenham and lived there until a few years ago, I didn't see it growing up or as an adult, fights, gangs (but not how they are presented) yes but the postcode stuff is a media invention.

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef

They haven't quoted him directly, but anything like this that seems to be advocating zero tolerance policing, which is simply an assault on the poor and people of colour, is deeply worrying and unacceptable.

He's quoted here;

“People gathered confidence from apparent police defeat,” said Dr J, the social psychologist who led the research.

“Seeing a burning police car and no police responding gave people the idea that the police were weak. “That in turn allowed them to move onto a number of different targets.”

He acknowledged, however, that the design of his study made it impossible to rule out a worse reaction from the rioters had the police responded strongly.

“The police didn’t always engage, which created the impression the police were incapable of engaging,” said Dr J.

"It turns out they misjudged that because it emboldened people more than they calculated.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/05/police-missed-chance-strangle-2011-riots-infancy/

Dr J then stated he would be sharing such insights with the police and local councils – for what reason but to help avoid such “misjudgements” in the future and make ‘better’ ones to suppress public disorder?

That the ESIM – (Elaborated Social Identity Model – Dr J, his co-author and close collaborator Dr Stott & co’s pet theory of crowd psychology) has overlapping multiple applications is made explicit again in the description of Dr J’s recent teaching curriculum;

UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY
The psychology of crowds and collective action
Autumn term
(teaching term 1) 2016-17
Module
convenor:
Dr J

Module outline
This module is about crowds and other collective phenomena, including riots, protests, social movements, mass emergency behaviour, music and sports crowds,
and experiences of mundane situations of crowding. ...

Reading
... The following e-book is an extremely accessible introduction to academic debates around riots, centred on the English riots of August 2011, which contains a number of
core readings for the module:
Reicher, S., & Stott, C. (2011). Mad mobs and Englishmen? Myths and realities of the 2011 riots . London: Constable & Robinson. ...

Part 6.
The original statement of the ESIM is Stott and Reicher (1998) and Stott and Dr J (2000) apply the ESIM to the 1990 poll tax riot (this week’s video showing). ...

Part 7.
... Perhaps the most powerful support for these arguments about the development of football crowd conflict is Stott’s natural experiment involving fans and two police forces during the 2004 European Championships in Portugal. This and the other football research has provided perhaps the strongest evidence for the pivotal role of police perceptions and practices in many cases of ‘public disorder’.

Learning outcome

By the end of this week’s lecture and seminar, the successful student will be able to:
Explain how psychology (mis)informs ‘public order’ policing in relation to the problem of ‘football hooliganism’. ...
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=psychology-of-crowds-and-collective-action-(c8817)-module-handbook-2016-17.pdf&site=23

Serge Forward

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can I just say, continually referring to this nark as "Dr J" while mentioning his projects and collaborators is all a bit bloody daft. Are the Libcom mods ever going to lift their ruling on not using his name. It's not as though he can't be easily identified already from his work and connections anyway and I really can't see him getting menaced by the dibble. Besides, that dodgy Schmidt character gets mentioned by name all the time. None of this silly "S" stuff for him. I realise the doc who must not be named has previously been connected to some folks at Libcom Admin but if this hasn't taken him beyond the pale, then I don't know what will.

Joseph Kay

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

the claims earlier in this thread by lead defender and apologist Joseph Kay look even more ridiculous (...)

J, categorically, is not and has never taught "cops how to control riots"

That was in 2011. As far as I'm aware, that was the case then, and he was working on things like emergency evacuations, resilience in disasters, stuff like that. I haven't seen the new research, and if it's about how to control riots then the situation has changed, and that's for JD to answer.

Red Marriott

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That won't wash JK - it's never been either riot control or emergency/disaster management; a few years ago the British Society of Criminology and British Psychological Society described the nature of Dr J & co’s 30 yrs of work and its multiple application more honestly than you ever did;

MAKING THE CASE FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Psychologists Professor Stephen Reicher AcSS of the University of St Andrews, Dr Clifford Stott of the University of Liverpool and Dr J of the University of Sussex have been studying crowds for nearly 30 years using a variety of methods: interviews, surveys, ethnography and experimental studies. They have found that, contrary to popular belief, people do not adopt a ‘mob mentality’ (i.e. lose their identity and lose control of their actions) once in a crowd. Instead, they act in terms of a shared social identity rather than their own personal identity.
These social identities appear to develop though the interactions that take place between crowd members and other groups and it is out of these that violence is generated and escalates. As a result, public order policing can be more effective if it is based upon the recognition of the diversity
of sub-groups within a crowd, their specific beliefs and goals and how these can be facilitated. That way, the police can win the majority to their side and so aid crowd members themselves to police disruptive minorities.
Police forces have increasingly adopted these ideas as best practice and they were used with great success at the European Football Championships in Portugal in 2004. The notion of ‘dialogue policing’ has spread across Europe and Scandinavia and, in 2010, the UK adopted the ‘social identity approach’ for public order policing in the HMIC report Adapting to Protest – Nurturing the British Model of Policing. This new approach encourages the police to use targeted interventions which distinguish between crowd members rather than treat everyone as the same.
This research has also been applied to improve our understanding of crowd behaviour in emergency situations. http://britsoccrim.org/new/docs/AcSSMakingtheCasecrimepdf.pdf

Dr J's blatant recent statements have been a just reward for your loyalty.

Khawaga

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This stuff reeked back then, but now it is clear cut that it was a stinking pile of shite. While the approch of Samontnaf wasn't the best, he wasn't wrong on Dr. J.

JK, there is nothing in wrong in just saying: ok, we were wrong on this, Dr. J took us for a ride.

Hieronymous

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

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

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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-our-enemies

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.pdf), “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-model-of-policing-20091125.pdf] 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/CRITICISM-OVER-SCOPE-OF-NPT.html). 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

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Johnny

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.

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

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

It is JD's Science Week interview.

My favourite [sic] part:

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

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In bed with Academia:

What could possibly go wrong?

el psy congroo

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

Tom Henry

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

jef costello

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Spikymike

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Noah Fence

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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... :)

Mike Harman

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Tom Henry

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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.

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tom Henry

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

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

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tom Henry

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

in fact, Garco is a teacher

from post 153

Tom Henry is part of the milieu that frequents Libcom.

Hieronymous

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tom Henry/Garco, which prison do you guard?

Hieronymous

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

Tom Henry

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Hieronymous

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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.

Tarwater

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is there to respond to?

jef costello

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

Is anyone - for example Mike Harman, radicalgraffiti or Jef Costello - going to respond to 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.

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.

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

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

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

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

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

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

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-13012013#comment-506168

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

Мѣньскъ

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

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

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

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

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

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-07102011?page=14#comment-598031
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.

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Steven.

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

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

The additional evidence we saw back in 2011 was enough to persuade us at that point he was skirting the line but had not stepped over it (e.g. slides from the talk he was criticised for doing showed it was a disaster and emergency service related, not policing, and emails showing he didn't author the Chaos theory article but instead agreed for an author credit – misguidedly – to hit publishing targets). But that is not the case now. I wouldn't say I wanted to believe it as such, as I have no sort of relationship with any of the Aufheben people. I'm not even sure I've met any of them. It's possible I've bumped into one or two of them at a book fair, but do not know any of them by sight, or any of them by name/online identity other than JD. I guess in general I would prefer to give comrades the benefit of the doubt, and back then I do not believe the critics had met the burden of proof (considering our independent investigation). But like I said that is clearly not the case now. I think back then the sheer nature of some of the criticisms, which were essentially overblown snitch jacketing, did provoke an unnecessarily defensive reaction from us, when criticism from others such as yourself was reasonable and constructive.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

emails showing he didn't author the Chaos theory article

I wondered if it was possible to see these emails from whenever it was. I am sure, several years afterwards and with you on the point of banning him (I presume)for crossing the line, that these could now be made public.

Red Marriott

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The crucial question, for most critics I think, was not whether he was at that moment in time engaged in directly helping develop police strategy but that the whole orientation and trajectory of that field of 30 year research inevitably and clearly did - and still does.

Steven.

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

The crucial question, for most critics I think, was not whether he was at that moment in time engaged in directly helping develop police strategy but that the whole orientation and trajectory of that field of 30 year research inevitably and clearly did - and still does.

from my perspective that was a separate issue. I know some articles, for example by wildcat if I recall correctly, specifically were around this issue, and we gave no comment on these to my recollection as I think we would generally agree with that sort of critique of academia.

I haven't read any of this stuff in years but from my recollection the primary allegation against JD back then was his being the co-author of Chaos Theory, and presenting some talk, both of which we looked into and found we didn't have a problem with (in that he didn't write Chaos Theory, and the talk wasn't related to policing/public order).

So yeah no disagreement in this more general criticism. But like I said I think back then positions got a bit entrenched due to the extremes probably on both sides (for example many people/websites, including Aaron Bastani of Novara recently, claiming that libcom works with police etc).

Fleur

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bastani said that? Jfc. I haven't actually paid much attention to Novara since they became cheerleaders for Corbin tbh.

Steven.

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Bastani said that? Jfc. I haven't actually paid much attention to Novara since they became cheerleaders for Corbin tbh.

yes, but that was because we were criticising him for supporting the B10 group who defended a serial sexual abuser. After that he pretty much blocked us on social media then claimed that, amongst other things

Fleur

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wouldn't those accusations, even as a retaliatory thing, have some of it's roots in the snitch jacketing, guilt by association, tittle tattle emanating from this time? Tbh, never read Aufheben, know none of the protagonists but the gossip and denunciations did verge upon a paranoid witch hunt, dragging in & potentially exposing people who had nothing to do with it. Knowing someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who once wrote something is a long way away from you're all fucking cops, imo.

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ret Marut

The crucial question, for most critics I think, was not whether he was at that moment in time engaged in directly helping develop police strategy but that the whole orientation and trajectory of that field of 30 year research inevitably and clearly did - and still does.

If we look at the TPTG open letter (I hadn't recently so just re-read it), it has several clear allegations that JD was 'engaged in directly helping develop police strategy'. Several people, me included, did a shitty job separating the specific allegations that he denied, the broader implications of the research that he definitely did do, and the way the allegations were presented when discussing it all. Had the argument about trajectory been made without any contested factual information and direct doxxing, then possibly that could have been the 'crucial question' and a more productive discussion, and if we'd been less defensive possibly it could have too.

Here's just a few examples, all from the first open letter:

TPTG

Therefore, JD and Co. propose ways of policing that not only hinder such crowd members’ unification, but on the contrary perpetuate – or, even better, extend - already existing separations amongst them

TPTG

JD and Co. are not paid to limit themselves to a pure theoretical debate. They provide their readers, who as mentioned before include senior police officers, researchers, policy makers and fellow academic cop consultants, with practical guidelines, regarding the most suitable police tactics. To this end, they give two “examples of knowledge-based policing in practice”. It is important to notice that after having dealt with the practical details, JD and Co. ask their readers to bear in mind that what their “approach provides is a means of asking the questions from which these specifics can be developed” [p. 414] and it is certainly not a question of “‘one size fits all’ public order policing. The specifics must always be tailored to the given event” [p. 414].

TPTG

One common excuse often used by academics, who collaborate with the state and its various repression mechanisms, is that what they do is of purely theoretical value. Apparently this is not the case here, as the authors feel the need to back up their theoretical principles with strong evidence obtained from field-research, while they also present the practical outcome of the implementation of their guidelines “in all the [Portuguese] areas under the Public Security Police’s control (which covers all the major cities in Portugal and seven of the ten tournament venues)”

TPTG

What is also striking is the 100% police perspective that characterizes their article

TPTG

It is obvious that JD and Co. have long ago taken sides in the class war and their aim to overcome “seemingly intractable conflicts between the police and other [than hooligans] alienated groups in our society” [p. 414], as expressed in the very end of the article, is clearly about pacifying class struggles.

This isn't about trajectories, it's direct accusations of advising the police on specific tactics.

In 2011 I hadn't had to deal with (or even read about) many similar situations to this, but since then we've had Michael Schmidt (which I caught up very late on, but reading the development of the situation developing over a year or two in a compressed couple of weeks was eye opening), multiple cases of sexual assault in activist groups (and denial, victim-blaiming, institutional cover-up in some of those) coming to light, the Pitchford inquiry, Michael Rectenwald and others. This situation is different to all of those, but especially with Schmidt, the messy way the information came out and the defensiveness in some quarters with which it was received showed similar dynamics. There's a general failure in how political groups handle accountability that's pretty endemic and needs examining (something that's as important as the general argument about academia). The only place I've seen any real decent work happening on this is by victims of sexual assault though, and that's only partly applicable to situations like this.

fleur

Wouldn't those accusations, even as a retaliatory thing, have some of it's roots in the snitch jacketing, guilt by association, tittle tattle emanating from this time?

Bastani's post included a screenshot of the non-fides article, which is entitled 'libcom and aufheben working with the police', so yes.

Fleur

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hold on, Novara works with Paul Mason, who is pretty pro police & army these days, wouldn't have thought it would be much of an issue for Bastani anyway. ;)

bootsy

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Herman's account of what happened when TPTG's First Open Letter was initially published is extremely misleading as he misses out some rather crucial details. The text was removed for far longer than would have been necessary to simply redact names and the initial justification from Libcom was not only that the text contained JD's name but also that it contained many lies and blatant "smears". Then once the Open Letter was finally published it contained an image of pinochio with an enlarged nose along with a disclaimer alleging that it contained many lies and was being reproduced for reference only.

There were no lies in the original open letter though and if anything the TPTG and Samotnaf have been thoroughly vindicated by the more recent information shared in this thread. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this whole thing I would encourage you to be extremely skeptical of Aufheben and Libcom's version of events.

bootsy

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Libcom's claim that the initial allegations were untrue and that JD did not author the article Chaos Theory, as TPTG and Samotnaf allege, is not a generally accepted fact. It is based upon JD's claim that his name was added to the article without his consent and that, at the time these allegations were first raised, JD had only participated in researching disaster situations rather than public order policing. However I don't see how anyone could possibly continue to believe this story now that the evidence against JD has become undeniable. It looks pretty obvious that Aufheben's defenders are clinging on to this dubious story as a way of saving face.

What makes this story even more unbelievable is that the "Chaos Theory' article was just one of many similar articles discovered at the time to have JD listed as an author. Thankfully you don't have to take my word for it because the poster "Blasto" compiled this list of all the different evidence that was found soon after the TPTG published their Open Letter.

So, in spite of what some of the Libcom admins are trying to now claim, there was a mountain of evidence of JD's collaboration with the police that was presented to them at the time.

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bootsy

The text was removed for far longer than would have been necessary to simply redact names and the initial justification from Libcom was not only that the text contained JD's name but also that it contained many lies and blatant "smears".

TPTG or anyone else with an interest in this could have redacted names and reposted the article.

bootsy

There were no lies in the original open letter though and if anything the TPTG and Samotnaf have been thoroughly vindicated by the more recent information shared in this thread.

JD having done the riots research since 2011 doesn't retrospectively make him the author of Chaos Theory. Either he lied about the authorship, or the original open letter is based on false information.

Again, it would have been possible to get clarification on this before publishing ("did you author this paper?"). Depending on the answer, you could then either accept it, decide that not only did he write the paper but also lied about writing it, or if not sure, use a paper he definitely wrote as the central theme instead - and include that decision and the reasoning for it in the open letter. Or if there was no answer at all, include that you gave x time for comment, got nothing and published anyway. None of these happened, they all would have resulted in a less defensive response from at least some people though, and we wouldn't have had to have waited weeks (months?) for Aufheben's very late and disappointing response post, but could have read them at the same time from day one.

Steven.

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Hold on, Novara works with Paul Mason, who is pretty pro police & army these days, wouldn't have thought it would be much of an issue for Bastani anyway. ;)

exactly that's what is so opportunistic about it. Bastani was on TV supporting a party with a platform of not only controlling the police by becoming government but adding 10,000 new officers. That is a massive step up from just working with them

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That was a reply to #466, I hadn't read #477 and crossposted with it but the point stands. Seeking clarification would have allowed the initial open letter to either explicitly state he was lying about authorship on top of having written the articles in the first place, or to have based it on articles whose authorship he admitted. Do you not think either of those situations would have been a better place to start going public?

Serge Forward

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Agreed the way this was initially brought to our attention was somewhat heavy-handed. Nevertheless, the "official" libcom response has been poor. Steven and Mike Harmon are doing their best but others who were on Dr J's defence most seem not to be around now. As for the rest of us, for fuck sake, we're still redacting JD's name, even though we now know for sure he is a copper's nark.

admin: doxxing comment removed

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How dare Serge Forward reveal such a safely-guarded secret! Ban him immediately!

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

Agreed the way this was initially brought to our attention was somewhat heavy-handed. Nevertheless, the "official" libcom response has been poor.

Yes, both of those things are true.

Red Marriott

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is "Johnny" still going to be allowed to post here even after this? He's not banned at present. Banning him would only be a gesture, as he could post under other names as others do, but it's a sanction often been used against others.

bootsy

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Herman:

JD having done the riots research since 2011 doesn't retrospectively make him the author of Chaos Theory. Either he lied about the authorship, or the original open letter is based on false information.

How could you possibly continue to believe that he was telling the truth? Like I said, if you look at that list compiled by Blasto and which I provided a link to, its obvious that Chaos Theory is merely one of many articles and projects Dr. Drury was involved with - all of which were either explicitly done in a police advisory capacity or which had obvious utility to the police.

However even without all that extra evidence it still seems pretty obvious to me that his research on the riots does make it more likely that he authored the Chaos Theory article since both are fundamentally similar. If he's willing to do research on the social psychology of the 2011 riots that is of value to the police, then why would he object to being associated with the Chaos Theory stuff?

Even in Johnny's previous post in this thread he's tried to spin a new lie. I mean I get that it can be difficult to accept when someone you trust is blatantly lying to you but its time for the penny to drop here - the only person telling lies, smears and mistruths here is Johnny.

At this point the most important thing is not any personal vendetta against Johnny, although myself I really dislike the guy and probably wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire, but the more important thing is to learn from this and reject any further participation with academic researchers. If any of us really must pursue an academic career then it should be in something as non-political as possible: abstract mathematics, a historical study of your local bowls club, supermassive black holes, dolphin language... you get the point. Academics who wants to participate in protest movements as part of their research should be isolated and excluded in order to avoid another Druryesque scenario...

This is what the TPTG suggested in their first Open Lette and instead of splitting hairs over whether they raised the issue in the appropriate manner or whether Drury truly did author the Chaos Theory article, discussion should have been centred on how to learn from this and develop a counter-strategy. There was a little good discussion about this amongst those who sided with the TPTG but unfortunately it never went anywhere. For me, more important than denouncing Drury is the problem of how we respond to the police tactics he has helped to develop. For that I suppose I should start a new thread though.

bootsy

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As a final point, I'm surprised anyone is still using the term "snitchjacketing" to describe the TPTG's first Open Letter. This should be so obvious it doesn't need saying but apparently it does - its not "snitchjacketing" if the person is actually a snitch.

Steven.

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bootsy

As a final point, I'm surprised anyone is still using the term "snitchjacketing" to describe the TPTG's first Open Letter. This should be so obvious it doesn't need saying but apparently it does - its not "snitchjacketing" if the person is actually a snitch.

I don't think anyone has done that. Those of us in the libcom group have only referred to that term with regard to those websites and individuals like Aaron Bastani who accused us of working directly with police. Certainly not the TPTG open letter in any case (if we did consider it snitchjacketing we would not be hosting it on our website).

Serge Forward

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

admin: comment complaining about admin decision removed. If you want to complain about admin decisions start a new thread, do not derail existing threads

Red Marriott

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bootsy

As a final point, I'm surprised anyone is still using the term "snitchjacketing" to describe the TPTG's first Open Letter. This should be so obvious it doesn't need saying but apparently it does - its not "snitchjacketing" if the person is actually a snitch.

Steven

I don't think anyone has done that. Those of us in the libcom group have only referred to that term with regard to those websites and individuals like Aaron Bastani who accused us of working directly with police. Certainly not the TPTG open letter in any case (if we did consider it snitchjacketing we would not be hosting it on our website).

You're mistaken - see on the 1st page of this thread;
Joseph Kay

Tbh, if TPTG were made aware of the factual inaccuracies and published anyway, then this is just snitchjacketing plain and simple. That's totally unacceptable conduct. If it's an honest mistake, they still should have contacted Aufheben first before making such serious charges, knowing full well that if you start flinging shit some of it might stick.

Snitchjacketing people you've never met based on poorly understood or simply misrepresented 'evidence' and guilt-by-association smears is absolutely unacceptable. ...
Blasto

Joseph, your response confirms almost everything I wrote.

JK

that it's ignorant, dangerous snitchjacketing with no regard for truth? yeah i guess. if you're so concerned with real life, perhaps you should refrain from labelling people guilty as collaborators until proven otherwise, based on bullshit. you're damn right this has real world consequences.

http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011

In comments 14, 16, 29 & 31 on 1st page of this thread lead Dr J defender JK clearly refers to supposed snitchjacketing of Dr J, not of libcom.

Is JK's personal friendship and loyalty to Dr J still protecting Dr J's presence on here? If not, why hasn't "Johnny" been banned?

Red Marriott

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So "Johnny" is still free to post here with no answer to my earlier questions about that. That pretty much undermines everything else said about this whole issue by admins. The simplest thing they could do to back up their recent claims of reassessing the evidence remains undone. That's pathetic.

Mike Harman

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Johnny account has been blocked.

Everything is a bit slow on our end at the moment (two people almost completely offline this month) so even if we're not the quickest usually, it's even worse than usual, (edit - to be extra clear this means we haven't been able to discuss this as a full group yet at all).

Serge Forward

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hopefully after full group discussion it'll stay blocked.

Red Marriott

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A description of the £700,000 research project that the news articles were referring to - the reasearchers spell out very clearly their intentions and who are the intended beneficiaries;

Beyond contagion: Social identity processes in involuntary social influence
Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of Psychology

Funded Value:
£730,440

Principal Investigator:
Dr J

[...]

Planned Impact

In addition to academic beneficiaries, there are two types of stakeholder in this project: government and professional organizations concerned with the spread of violence; and the general public
1. Government and professional organizations concerned with the spread of violence
The issue of the spread of violence is of concern to National and Local Government, to a range of general Government agencies (such as the military and the police) and also to a number of specialist organizations such as Glasgow's Violence Reduction Unit. Our work will be of relevance to such organisations
in two ways. First, we will be in a position to explain the processes governing the spread of violence within particular events and articulate in clear terms how such factors can best be managed to avoid conflict and 'disorder'. Specifically, where we find that 'contagion' cannot explain the spread of conflict and that conflict is better accounted for through a combination of identity-based influence and relations with those in authority - particularly the police - we will point to the ways in which the actions of those in authority may contribute to the spread of violence and hence how they can avoid being a contributory factor. Second, we will provide for a better understanding of the factors which make it more or less likely that violence will spread between events to particular areas and hence allow for improved preparedness should rioting begin elsewhere. Such understandings will be particularly important for local authorities and policing organisations in determining how to invest increasingly limited funds in order to maintain resilience. Overall, we will contribute to a more reflexive approach to collective violence, which does not pathologise those involved from the outset (an approach which, hitherto, has been dominant - see Reicher & Stott, 2011) but rather examines the meaningful types of interaction between authorities and specific communities and how such dynamics may play important roles in the production and avoidance of conflict. We have unprecedented contacts with groups in all of the above-mentioned categories and strong infrastructures underpinning knowledge exchange with policing organisations. Dr J and Reicher are members of government committees dealing with the behaviour of crowds in emergencies; Stott has excellent links with UK and international police agencies, an ESRC national impact award for this work and lectures at police academies across the globe; Reicher lectures regularly to the UK Defence Academy and has worked with the Glasgow Violence Reduction Unit. As detailed in the Pathways to Impact document, we will draw on these links in order to feed our findings into the various agencies to achieve change.
[...]
Our work will therefore contribute towards a more informed discussion of the roots of collective disorder and hence to most effective responses to such disorder: what is the most appropriate balance between responses that prioritise punitive actions towards those who participated and responses that address the underlying causes of participation? A balanced debate clearly depends upon a more balanced understanding of the phenomena themselves. Public discourse will therefore benefit through stimulating and enriched public discussion. In this way, our work is of importance both at the level of individual understanding and of societal well-being.
http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=ES%2FN01068X%2F1

[My emph]

GerryK

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just because his name is on this "Beyond contagion: Social identity processes in involuntary social influence" does not mean he wrote it - he just put his name to it to increase his status at the University, as he did with all the other things he never wrote. It is very hard being a professor of crowd psychology - you always have to claim to write things you never wrote - or is it that you always write things and then never claim to have written them? It is all very confusing. But I suggest clarity might come to those who read this if they go back to the beginning of this thread and look at the wonderful defenses of Dr.J by Joseph Kay, Steven and all the other wonderful people at our wonderful libcom who rightly attacked those who claim he wrote things he never did (according to emails that have never been made public) as snitchjacketing and all sorts of other wonderfuly correct and pejorative attributes.