Below we have published an interesting email that came our way concerning tomorrow’s expropriation of the unused and now vacant and bulldozed land where the Gentle Strength Co-op once stood. A few things are worth noting.
First, the cops are trying to divide the community. They use classic red-baiting and anarchist fear-mongering tactics to attempt to convince locals and business owners to support a police assault on people who think that fallow land should not remain so merely because some Canadian land speculator wants to keep some property unused. They don’t say it, but it is likely that they continue to be threatened by the level of support that local anarchists have developed in Tempe, perhaps most visibly displayed during 2010′s anti-SB1070 organizing, neighborhood assemblies, march and protests. Hundreds came out then, unafraid of the fact that anarchists were organizing. Second, we can boil down the cops’ argument to this: “we don’t want to look bad attacking people who want to use unused land (after all, we are the defenders of property first and foremost), so we want to make sure that only people who will look bad on camera — anarchists — are present for the police attack”. You know what, cops? There’s an easy way to avoid looking bad attacking people trying to use empty corporate land for community purposes: don’t attack them. I know that’s hard for cops to do, being that they are a violent bunch of thugs. But, who are the defenders of community? The “anarchists” who want to create a commons or the cops who attack the community in defense of corporate property?
A few other interesting points: this property is controlled and left unused by the same company that owns Zuccotti Park. Also, cops have been visiting local businesses to get them to oppose the occupation. Another is that Tempe PD bike cops, which Officer Pittam used to be part of, got training from the Eugene PD after the first Tempe May Day protest, which they deployed the following year in brutal fashion, as is their general tendency. This was facilitated by the nationalization of local policing that has generally prevailed under the post-9/11 regime. And the TPD has tried this scare-mongering before. Note that Pittam himself is now a part of the “Homeland Defense Unit”. What “homeland”? Unused corporate property homeland? What they want is for us to leave that property empty until some out of town land-speculating company can finally make a profit.
For the total expropriation of the capitalist class. Also, Pittam needs an editor.