Peter Bohmer: (A)rchnemisis to 1st Amendment/Press


Peter G. Bohmer, privileged TESC professor & r@dical @gainst the state

Professor says v@ndalism against Olympian photojournalist not his fault

BY BRANDI KRUSE  on June 15, 2011

[*Editor’s Note: Peter Bohmer has always had difficulty accepting 1st Amendment principles (“Fuck the Law!”) since his San Diego State College days, ~45 years ago, unless controlled in a way that suited/served his own viewpoint. He was fired from that college, not because, as he claims today, he was targeted by the FBI, but for intellectual dishonesty as an academic professor accused by one of his students of grading papers badly turned in by members of his class whose essays were inconsistent with Bohmer’s own radical political viewpoints. The college’s administration investigated the complaints, found merit in them, and booted Bohmer to prevent him from further abusing his position. Today, he urges his students to ‘smash the state’ (and capitalism) while admittedly holding a privileged position at a State institution of higher learning where he’s paid handsomely. Some things never change.]

In November 2007, a group of protestors, mainly students from Evergreen State College, gathered at the Port of Olympia to block shipments of military cargo to Fort Lewis. Tony Overman, a photographer for The Olympian, captured photos of both activists and police. At one point, he came so close to the action he was unintentionally pepper sprayed.

CLICK here for Brandi’s Interview

Tony Overman

Overman was a media regular at such demonstrations. His photos seemed to be fair. So why did protestors, as he puts it, suddenly turn on him?

“One of the protestors told the other protestors that I worked for the police and they need to stop me from taking photos,” Overman said. “From that point on, it was; this photographer from the newspaper is your enemy.”

That protestor, said Overman, was Peter Bohmer.

“I was involved in the protests,” said Bohmer, an economics professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. “I’m proud of that. I’ve nothing to hide.”

Bohmer also didn’t hide the fact that he did indeed say something to protestors about Overman that day.

“I knew he was a photographer for The Olympian,” he said, although he didn’t know Overman’s name at the time. Bohmer said protestors were cutting a lock or chain on a gate to the port when Overman started taking pictures.

“I did say he should not be photographing,” Bohmer said. “I didn’t think that he was working for the police. I said how the stuff could be used by the police.”

Overman said that’s when protestors backed him up against a fence and started to reach for his camera. He called 911.

Drew Hendricks is a well-known Olympia cop-watcher who monitors police. He was at the Port of Olympia that day gathering intelligence for the protestors on police and military movements.

“I saw Tony was agitated and he was on the phone with the police describing what had occurred,” Hendricks said.

Bohmer said Overman walked away from the group. “To me that was the end of it,” he said. “I’ve never had any other contact with him again.”

Since the Port of Olympia protests, however, Overman has been the target of vandalisms to his home, workplace and vehicle. He was even attacked at an anti-police brutality march by people who identified themselves as anarchists. Overman had been labeled a snitch and he blamed Peter Bohmer.

“He’s made no effort to tell me that he’s backed off on that claim,” Overman said. “Never apologized to me for saying that. Never admitted that it was wrong.”

But Bohmer said he didn’t know Overman blamed him.

“I don’t feel I threatened him,” he said. “I had zero to do with anything that’s happened to him since. You know while I may disagree with some of his actions, it’s not like I’m into targeting him personally.”

Bohmer has dedicated almost his entire life to radical social change. Before coming to Evergreen State College, he was known for his activism while an assistant professor at San Diego State University. He also played a major role in planning protests of the 1972 Republican National Convention.

“I began to see movements really having an effect,” he said. “I just got really committed.”

But his students at Evergreen say Bohmer has never forced his ideals onto them.

Miriam Calkins was involved in the 2007 Port of Olympia protests. She said they didn’t need Peter Bohmer to make them wary of having their pictures taken.

“Photographs are very powerful objects; they’re very powerful tools that people can use,” she said. “It’s very nerve-racking to have someone taking pictures of you when you don’t know their intentions.”

Calkins said they had good reason to believe there were anti-protestors taking pictures to share with police. But very few of Overman’s photographs were ever used to prosecute activists. The Olympia Police Department said only those that were published in the paper or online were used as evidence.

Hendricks, who is an anarchist, said he has no reason to suspect Tony Overman was working for the police. He also rejects reports that the recent string of vandalisms against Overman were done by anarchists.

“The fact that somebody’s trying to paint Tony as a snitch tells me the political author of this act isn’t thinking the way that we do as anarchists,” he said. “The idea of picking on Tony Overman, what is that going to achieve? It’s hard for me to wrap my head around.”

And while he encourages activism, Bohmer said targeting Overman isn’t the way to do it.

“I do think people need to really speak up, and stand up, but I don’t’ think targeting individuals is a way to build the kind of society we need and want.”

But Overman feels that’s exactly what Bohmer did.


Justin Justin with Peter G Bohmer, Elissa Goss, Andrew Meyer, Rick Fellows, Sonja R Wentz, John Harvey, Anees Mansour, Matt Velky, Matt Fu and Kristina Erickson, Zahid Chaudhry & Ann in Olympia, WA.


Drew Hendrickson has taken it upon himself to take issue with this article in the comments section below. Due to the verbosity of the exchange, his arguments can best be summarized in the words of Donald Rumsfeldt, the Secretary of Defense during the Bush administration, in the following video:

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14 Responses to Peter Bohmer: (A)rchnemisis to 1st Amendment/Press

  1. Drew Hendricks says:

    Since this report came out I actually requested the Olympia Police records and emails of their contacts with Tony Overman, and it did turn out that he was cooperating with the police and in some cases (in 2008) provided pictures to police which had not been published and were still on the camera. He was censured by his publisher for this, and they wrote a story about it in the Olympian. Bad research on your part, to republish a story without doing any original research or even fact checking on the story for your update.

    You can read the more nuanced version of this history here:

  2. admin says:

    It’s old news, but ongoing in that Pete Bohmer, yourself, too often the police, and violent (A)narchists continue to target/assault/bully photojournalists in public venues. Tony conceded he had released certain photos to the police before they were published. The Olympian disclosed this and the fact he was reprimanded by his employer for doing so in an article they ran in their paper. But all this is a red herring for the fact Tony was assaulted by street toughs encouraged by Peter Bohmer to ‘stop him’ because he was ‘working for the police’.

    Frankly, it’s irrelevant whether someone is working for the police or not or if they are even a police undercover detective. The police have no fewer rights than anyone else. They are not 2nd class citizens for wearing a badge or carrying a gun. They have a heightened responsibility to honor their oath by obeying all the laws. We, as citizens, have a responsibility to respect their job entails placing themselves in harm’s way–presumably (in theory) on our behalf.

    That Tony Overman was assaulted is indisputable. That he was stalked over many months is evident. That his property and home were vandalized is a matter of record. Pete and those involved in that harassment, stalking, vandalism, and assault deserve condemnation for promoting violence and criminality against a reporter whether he was serving his employer’s best interests or not. Anonymity properly belongs to proponents of pure speech, not as a weapon for those involved in violence and property destruction. If Mr. Overman was stripping the anonymity from street thugs in Olympia openly engaged in criminal behavior including vandalism along with their open avowals of being at ‘war with the state’, so much the better. It’s time the gloves came off. Even the right to speech is not absolute. One exception lies in treason, both against the federal government AND the State. They should be taken at their word and treated as petty traitors rather than petty criminals. Some (A)narchists would be intellectually honest enough to concede this point. They (and Pete) are self professed enemies of the state. Moreover, a substantial number of (A)narchists go further by declaring they are also enemies of society, the law (even denying the concept of ‘rights’ exist), and civilization itself. By definition, they include any ‘right’ of the people to a free press as hostile to their agenda. This is not empty rhetoric. They actively target, threaten, and assault photojournalists covering public events on the streets. By doing so, they have set themselves against the people (and their inalienable RIGHTS!) becoming enemies of the people in the process.

    The research (over 45 years, being very familiar with Peter Bohmer during that period) is rather more extensive than yours. It is consistent with the conclusions published here. An audio recording of a conversation with Peter on his front porch (he was advised it was being made) is also consistent with the facts outlined here. Pete was promised it wouldn’t be handed over to the authorities as a weapon to be used against him by the state. But no assurances it would remain confidential were given or that it wouldn’t be used to parry those who would challenge the veracity of the assertions made here. While Pete was given a pass on having to defend himself in the courts of the state, he was given no quarter on being tried in the court of public opinion with respect to the audio. As to any personal bias here, he was given no pass whatsoever.

    While advocating ‘smashing the state’, Pete Bohmer (along w/Noam Chomsky) received handsome sinecures from their respective state employers. The lifestyle (A)narchists are beneficiaries of similar privilege, often while attending state colleges/universities, driving late model cars, and living off their parents’ nickel while preparing themselves for their future as bourgeoisie. Such hypocrisy provides ample justification for feeding the more violent miscreants (and their mentors) to the pigs. If Tony Overman had the wit to pull their covers, so much the better. These street thugs are the worst form of tyrants save for lacking any real power which they’ll never achieve because they alienate everyone/everything they touch, even each other.

    At first blush, given their youth and sophomoric polemics, they curry curiosity and even some sympathy for their protests against an overarching government and its corporate co-conspirators. But after taking the time to plumb their depths, it’s readily apparent they have nothing to offer except parroting lines handed to them by their seniors…no critical thinking, no theory of government, no perspicacity, nothing original or creative, nothing but schoolyard bullying and manipulation. -editor-

  3. admin says:

    Here is a copy of the ‘balanced’ article to which Mr. Hendricks, a self described snitch hunter/data miner, refers:

    Sun, 06/12/2011 – 11:16am — wildleaf
    I want to applaud the ‘anarchists’ who bravely stood up to Tony Overman. That’ll teach the Olympian once and for all to stop sending photographers to our demonstrations and protests. Little did we know before that Overman was not a photographer just doing his job but was in fact a ‘snitch.’ Yes, Tony Overman’s cover was finally blown, he has been exposed with spray paint by heroic ‘anarchists’ who deduced that their escapades like the one that ended with the front page photo of ‘anarchists’ smashing bank windows in the middle of the day was snapped by none other than the Olympian photographer in the course of him doing his job, leading to possible convictions.

    All across the US, Tony’s true identity is now known, Snitch, even making it into the Washington Post. That dastardly devil was shown what happens when you try and do your job around ‘anarchists.’ Now the whole nation has beholden the awesome power of ‘anarchists,’ as they go about their mission to liberate the earth one circle A at a time. That circle A once placed upon a vehicle or building means something, something like freedom, or liberty or something kind of noble like that, who fucking cares exactly! Thanks to the ‘anarchists’ in their selfless mission to bring about justice through actions that don’t get hung up in details like planning or messaging or alliance building or education or strategy or thoughtfulness or awareness. Keeping it simple, Overman = snitch, circle A, people will understand. I hope they posted it in their ‘anarchist’ blog under anonymous so I can leave them an anonymous comment about how cool that was. Keep up the good work ‘anarchist,’ whoever you are. Slash some more tires in the middle of the night like drunken college students but with a purpose! I know! You can put a turd in a paper bag light it on fire and ring the mayor’s doorbell! I’ll bet he’ll step on it trying to put it out and get doggy doodoo all over his shoe!

    Remember folks don’t snitch! When ‘anarchists’ do something really cool like get national news for spray painting the home of a photo journalist’s house with something as classy as calling them a snitch it is your duty to never let anyone know who it is so that they can be sure to do something brilliant like that again and again like recent history has proven! The anarchists who do the really really free market, egyhop, bike and bike, books to prisoners, food not bombs, make zines, organize protests, and defend forests all thank you for staying quiet and not snitching on the ‘anarchists’ who decide that they would rather punish local photojournalists in the dark of night. It might have partially undone, in the course of one night, decades of work building positive associations to anarchist community work but it was so totally worth it! Overman was all like scared and shit! Woohoo! Yay fear! Intimidation! Do I sense a chest bump coming?

    Accountability is like totally an important part of anarchy. Like it is totally important that ‘anarchists’ hold local photographers accountable by going to their homes in the middle of the night and anonymously intimidate them. I’m so proud to be associated with anonymous, but totally accountable, ‘anarchists,’ running around at night serving as like the total package! Like the wild west! Like the policeman, the jury and executioner all in one person! Total anarchy! I mean like the police if the police weren’t a bunch of pigs but wore cool black clothing and were all agro and committed property damage without any regard for consequences! Then the ‘anarchists’ would be like the police or whatever! You know what I mean!

    Dude, keep up the good work, I like your style! And community, shhhh! Don’t snitch or you may end up like Tony! Or fucking dead, because dude might be crazy! Who knows! Anonymous! Yeah! logo Twitter logo
    Anarchy journalism Police tony overman
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    Sun, 06/12/2011 – 11:43am — Sandy M
    Thank you, wildleaf
    I completely share your (sarcastically expressed) sentiments about the threats to Tony Overman and the late night actions at his home. Thank you for publishing this here and elsewhere.

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    Sun, 06/12/2011 – 1:16pm — Laurian
    Bravo wildleaf

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    Sun, 06/12/2011 – 4:12pm — Sarah
    I second that Bravo

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 11:05am — TheImaginaryParty
    Negative Bravo, Bro
    Report from Intelligence Department of The Imaginary Party:


    “…and in light of recent events, it is important to make certain facts clear. Key incidents that took place in 2007 and 2008 have been obscured or intentionally forgotten. For instance, Tony Overman had been asked to not take pictures when barricades were being erected to stop the Stryker vehicles in 2007. During this same period of time he had to be chased away or intimidated because he would not stop. Similar instances occurred throughout 2008. It would be safe to say that from November 2007 to the early summer of 2008, Tony Overman had been asked and warned to not take pictures of people engaging in what the authorities would consider illegal acts on multiple occasions and had been given ‘fair warning’ by dozens of people.”

    “…neutrality is the cover Overman hides behind, but it is no secret that his pictures have been used to incriminate people. While there is no solid proof he has given his unpublished photos to the police, it is universally understood that his published photos have in fact lead to several people being charged with crimes and in some cases going to jail. Despite this, Overman insists on being objective, neutral, etc…”

    “…expect the following from the local population:

    1) Fear of being associated with anyone who would attack the Olympian or its journalists. Although a significant portion of the population was and continues to be against the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, was extremely critical of The Olympian’s pro-government and pro-war coverage, and in general viewed The Olympian as a mouth-piece of the government, the local population will more than likely be against and hostile to any overtly hostile action taken against The Olympian. This is due to their fear of conflict, their own inability to act, and their obsession with democracy.

    2) Defense of Tony Overman and ‘free speech’. Rather than come to the aid or defense of any attacker, the local population will side with Tony Overman and ignore the many police actions he has contributed to. They will more than likely say that Overman has the right, under free speech laws, to take pictures that will lead to the incarceration of free people. This will be said despite the fact that Overman, himself attacked by the police (something he uses as a badge-of-honor), utilizes his own ‘free speech’ to put people into cages. In the event of any attack on Overman or The Olympian, ‘free speech’ will come to mean activities that sustain the status quo, aid the police, and are completely legal. As is well known, this is the prevailing conception of ‘free speech’ in the Olympia activist community and contributes to said community’s stagnation and ineffectiveness as an antagonistic force.”

    “…in brief, Olympia will side with authority, as it always has.”

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    Thu, 06/16/2011 – 1:16pm — DrewHendricks
    Burdens of proof
    This is pretty important, Imaginary:

    “While there is no solid proof he has given his unpublished photos to the police, it is universally understood that his published photos have in fact lead to several people being charged with crimes and in some cases going to jail.”

    It would help if you could name some of those cases, they are folks with names and they are folks whose stories are a bit more complex than this statement would suggest. To consider Tony Overman to be the main, or only reason these people were arrested or targeted is just wrong, by my reading of the police reports, and the history of these actions. That you essentially admit lack of evidence of actual ‘snitching’ but refer instead to little more than “common sense” or “persistent rumor” is a serious admission that the action you are defending is not your own, or that if it was yours, it was very poorly considered.

    It’s not just the “law” which requires proofs of antisocial acts or crimes, it’s simple logic. You’ve placed some people in the position of deserving protection (people asking Tony to stop taking photos) and others into the category of UNdeserving of protection (The Olympian, the State, its employees). That implies you have to somehow parse who is which category, and that implies standards for such parsing. What are your standards? Rumor? Common sense? A roll of the dice? Or facts, documents, testimony, admissions, payroll slips?

    Autonomy is important: it’s a fundamental value of Anarchism. You don’t give Tony Overman the space for autonomy (you don’t defend his right to be free from attacks which you decry for other’s sakes) because you fear his photos might harm you when the State tries to target those who resist it. But has this same logic been applied to the officers who actually made those arrests, the attorneys who actually prosecuted, or the defendants who actually plead out? Does any series of petty vandalism attacks on the individuals who serve in these roles actually dismantle or impede the system in which they participate?

    If someone were going fight a guerilla war against a nuclear power on its own territory, why would you use etching solution against the windows of its press photographer (assuming for argument the worst possible case against Tony) ? Doesn’t that seem a little alienated, indirect, and bass ackwards? The March attacks against the police cars at the westside police station are not the acts which rasied a fuss – not much of one, anyway, in public terms. But this attack on someone the public can identify with HAS. Is that reaction simply to be dismissed? What is the consequence of that kind of blase dismissal?

    It’s trite to say that “Olympia” will always side with authority, when the critique lodged against the vandalism against Tony’s house and truck has been made by folks all over the political spectrum, and most of these who critique don’t defend Tony as a snitch and would not approve of that behavior at all. Yet proof of that central fact is lacking, and apparently isn’t forthcoming.

    I’m against coercion, whether by a mob driven by ‘common sense” or a self selected vanguard driven by “persistent rumor.” It’s always up to the guerilla to explain to the audience why the target was attacked. If we find that explanation lacking, it’s not our political stance which is suspect: it’s the authorship of the act itself which is suspect. Especially when the result of the attack is beneficial to the needs of the State, more than the immediate needs of the anonymous attackers.

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    Wed, 07/20/2011 – 6:00pm — DrewHendricks
    An example of doing this the right way:

    Wed, 07/20/2011 – 5:41pm — Anonymous

    On Wednesday, July 20th, we hung a banner that read “SOLIDARITY WITH CALI PRISONER HUNGER STRIKE (A) DESTROY ALL PRISONS” off the sixth floor of the parking garage on 3rd and Pine in Downtown Seattle. Below the banner, a smoke bomb was set off in the intersection, sending enormous plumes of orange smoke into the air. Those who hung the banner tossed thousands of fliers into the concrete canyon below the parking garage. The fliers rained down on the dozens of people waiting for the bus, grabbing lunch, shopping, or simply loitering. We later saw many people on the street reading and discussing the fliers.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 11:15am — TheImaginaryParty
    Yo, yo, yo, bro. Check it!

    Police got hella evil on everyone, beat ’em up and blinded them then, you know what, your main man Tony O-man took some sweet photos then Da Olympian published them and PRAISED those police. Hella sick, bro. I love Tony-O and the twisted ass police. He’s a journalist with integrity, not a pathetic little worm working for a totes hostile paper. Boo ya ka sha!!!!!!

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    Thu, 06/16/2011 – 1:25pm — DrewHendricks
    Contexts again
    Tony was also pepper sprayed by those police, and treated by an Anarchist organized medics collective on the scene. The Police commander who was the scene supervisor of this attack then served as the “Internal affairs” lieutenant for the next year or so (to potentially hear the cases arising from his own conduct). The State did not use Tony’s photos to prosecute police, but nor did they use them to prosecute anyone attacked on that morning at the Franklin Street Gate. In fact, police made no arrests until later in the day at the entrances to I-5 several blocks away. Other than being distracting, I am not sure what this video does to prove he needs to be attacked. At best it’s defense for how the Olympian as a business favors the story of the powerful against the rest of us, but that is not in dispute.

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    Sun, 06/12/2011 – 4:53pm — DrewHendricks
    Context is key
    I just saw Tony Overman a little over three hours ago, on my way into town. He was headed out to a BBQ and stopped to talk with the police who were running a speed trap on the road we were on (Sgt Partin and Bryan Wyllie). We all four spoke for a while about the attack on Tony’s truck and house and I told Tony I was ashamed this was done in the name of Anarchy. It isn’t anarchist to do this; it is terrorism, the very opposite of respect for autonomy and the very essence of coercion. Tony and I both use public photography of police, he for his employment and I for my activism.

    I didn’t take Tony’s photo, or a photo of his truck, since he has recently been targeted for being a “snitch” without anything like proof, and I did not want to contribute to that feeling of vulnerability. I did ask him if the rumors were true that he had given OPD access to his unpublished photos. He denied that, as did Sgt Partin. (I don’t think that Sgt Partin would necessarily know if Tony had done this – he’s not a detective and has not been in the recent years, and thus would not KNOW if Tony had provided photos to detectives or not). I would tend to believe Tony’s denial until I see evidence to the contrary.)

    All that I do know is that Tony called police when he was jostled during the Nov 2007 PMR actions, and was on 911 in that case and again in April 2010. But both of these instances were during what Tony perceived as attacks on his person for being a photographer. I might add that it is important that the people accused of attacking Tony in April 2010 were not charged with that crime, and were not convicted of that crime, and that two other persons WERE convicted of punching a cop who was not punched and kicking another cop who was not kicked. One of those two convicted persons just happened to be a person who was a “known anarchist” in the car when WSP pulled Phil Chinn over in May, 2007. We know that was a political frame-up, and we know that Phil got a settlement from that government crime. We also know that she was charged with PERJURY for telling the truth on the stand in her own defense, though that charge was eventually dropped.

    Now we know that the other person accused of assault on an officer in April 2010 (who plead guilty due to not having the resources to prove themselves innocent) has been targeted by OPD and WSP from early April 2011 until the past few days, has been ticketed and stopped in several recent instances, and just got evicted by his Landlord for what the Landlord described in writing as political reasons.

    There is a social and political war going on, and not all the people taking shots in that war are working for the sides which they purport to support.

    I find it very interesting that the attack by OPD on Scott Yoos became the focus of the news on Wednesday, in reaction to a massive community of support for Scott. The reaction was the publication, by the police, of detailed police reports containing pre-conviction allegations of criminal acts by Scott, despite this being illegal for the police to release to the media. It certainly might end the prosecution of Scott (yay!), but it speaks to the political nature of the police response to Tuesday night’s challenge to their legitimacy. And the now the news cycle for the last four days has become a nationally carried story about anonymous “Anarchists” who attacked a journalist in Olympia. The timing is uncanny. I feel like it is June 2008, suddenly.

    We should keep in mind, that in that era of intense political targeting of PMR and SDS and Anarchist activists, we had several prominent political crimes pulled by anonymous individuals and a lot of community anger directed at the people assumed to be the authors of those crimes. We also now know that US Army spy John Towery was a fully ‘vouched’ member of that Anarchist and SDS and PMR community at the time.

    People who refuse to learn from history are indeed doomed to repeat it.

    We are expecting Stryker vehicles at JBLM in four to six weeks.

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    Sun, 06/12/2011 – 5:05pm — Sarah
    good stuff
    There is a social and political war going on, and not all the people taking shots in that war are working for the sides which they purport to support.

    This quote from Drew above is important.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 8:07am — tezzer1
    Not even close
    “Accountability is like totally an important part of anarchy. ‘

    Midnight raids on people’s homes, cars, businesses. Black masks so as not to be recognized. Anonymous postings. Try for a different word than “accountability.”

    “heroic ‘anarchists’ ….like the one …..smashing bank windows.”

    Did you throw food across the room when your mother told you to eat your vegetables? Where does all this rage come from? Do you just want the world to run according to you? How would you do have it be? Now sensible answers to some of those questions would be ‘heroic’.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 10:56am — Thad Curtz
    This sounds as if you’re reading wildleaf’s heavily sarcastic post as if she were saying these things straightforwardly and they expressed her views directly? As Sandy’s first comment in this thread says – sarcastically expressed…


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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 11:57am — boylaboratory
    Freedom is Slavery and other Real Things
    I find it foolish to insist that Tony was “just doing his job” and that he therefore is above reprisal for his actions.

    Anarchists told Overman to stop taking photographs of the April 8 march against police violence, but he persisted, probably
    out of some ridiculous journalist ethic that insists on getting the story/photo no matter what. For some reason, I think because myths of “free speech”* and media neutrality are so deeply imbedded in the US, most people accept the presence of media at demonstrations and radical events, either passively or sometimes even enthusiastically. The theory is that we
    need the media to help us get our message out. And certainly it works sometimes, for a little while. But the mainstream media (which includes The Olympian) will only favorably report on something as long as it does not actually pose a threat to its own interests and the interests of its shareholders, advertisers, and those members of the economic and political elite with which it has symbiotic relationships.

    Working for mainstream media is not a “neutral” choice. By providing content for (and getting paid by) the mainstream media, Overman has clearly shown his support for perpetuating lies and shaping a popular discourse that serves to bolster
    the state and capitalism. Furthermore, Overman’s status as a mainstream media photographer makes him a threat to radicals and anarchists. When anarchists take photographs of demos and actions, they usually choose to blur the faces and other identifiable characteristics of people in any published photos. The rest are often (and should be) destroyed or hidden. This way, we can still share images and do our own version of reporting that does not put comrades at risk.

    Overman was told to stop taking photographs of anarchists and he kept right on doing it anyway.
    His photographs and testimony have been used by the state to prosecute anarchists.
    Perhaps this should serve as a lesson to other mainstream media reporters and photographers. Probably, it won’t.

    OH, and another thing. The author of this post has ONCE AGAIN, like many others before, chosen to separate the “good” and “bad” anarchists into mutually exclusive categories that do not actually gel with reality.

    A note about free speech:
    Free speech is a bullshit lie and so is the Constitution. If you don’t know this already, you really need to study a bit. American citizens (which already excludes millions of people within US borders) are “free”, at least in the legal sense**, to say or write whatever we like as long as we don’t do anything too extreme, like say… advocate for rebellion or insurrection or the overthrow of the government, etc, etc, etc.

    See here:

    The PATRIOT Act has, of course, limited our “freedoms” even further.

    I’m certainly no law expert, but I think this effectively criminalizes the free speech of most anarchists and other anti-authoritarians, even lots of wholesome left wingers, too. And, on top of everything else, if it’s all well and good and legal to speak about something, but not to act on it, then what is the point anyway? Pure poetry?

    Also, I must wonder if Overman would be such a staunch advocate of free speech for neo-Nazis, other fascists, and supremacists of all stripes. Maybe he would, maybe not. But the purest logic of “freedom of speech” suggests that no one should be censored because if freedom is what one wants, the trade-off is allowing others the freedom to express whatever fucked up thing they’d like. Well, no thanks. I’ve seen where that’s led.

    For anarchists, freedom is inherently opposed to hierarchy and domination in all forms. Therefore, our ideas don’t fit within the confines of Tolerance and Law. In fact, our ideas (and many of our actions) are illegal. So don’t expect any arguments stemming from “free speech” rhetoric to hit home with us. Offer strategic or tactical criticism if you like, but unless you’re already sympathetic to an anarchist analysis of the world, including the media, don’t expect anyone to be particularly receptive to your castigations.

    **I do not actually consider anything having to do with Law to be even potentially libertarian in nature; quite the contrary.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 2:56pm — Thad Curtz
    In brief
    Here’s how this sounds to me –

    “Freedom” is what I want to do. Other people doing what they want to do is not “freedom”

    I am opposed to domination in all forms. Threatening other people to try to scare them into doing what I want them to do instead of doing what they want to do is not trying to dominate them.

    I am opposed to hierarchy in all forms. Thinking that I am morally superior to most people and therefore am justified in ignoring the community’s rules (with impunity) does not place me in a hierarchy of virtue and insight.

    Honestly, I don’t see where to find the difference between what seem to be the assumptions and the logic here and the rationale that drives Latin American death squads or drove Pol Pot. (We are the righteous; our particular vision of what society should be like is the only true one; therefore we are above the law. We are in the role of the teacher, other people are the ignorant children. (We “teach people a lesson,” and the lesson is “Do what the teacher says, or the teacher will punish you again.”)

    I’ve actually found some work by anarchists really inspiring personally – especially Paul Goodman’s. But as far as comments on tactics goes, these incidents with Overman and these posts justifying them definitely haven’t furthered the cause of the local Imaginary Party in my eyes….


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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 3:39pm — TheImaginaryParty
    sup TC
    Firstly, the Imaginary Party (an Olyblog account name) is simply the viewpoints expressed by several unreliable people and in no way, shape, or form is an organization or an actual party.

    Secondly, anarchists are against the things you mentioned (hierarchy, dominance, etc). But when they are being attacked, they do not fall into the pascifist/christian trap of wracking themselves with guilt and trying to purge the “violence of the system” out of themselves, either through self-flagelation or innefectual peaceful rallies.

    Thirdly, anarchist violence or threats (especially ones made with paint and glass etching solution and popped tires) are insignificant when compared to sherrif’s knocking on your door and, with their gun on their belt, telling you to be out of the house in a week or face physical violence and arrest. The funny thing about anarchists is that they don’t have an entire system at their backs (like the sherriff) and, as a matter of fact, want to destroy any system even remotely resembling this one. The violence of anarchists will never reach the level of what our enemies currently inflict on us daily (Scott is a good example).

    Before comparing the poor anarchists to Pol Pot or US backed death squads in El Salvador, perhaps you should write a comment or article explaining how the OPD enforcing city law is a lot more similar. An arrogant minority knows what’s best for the majority and has an army of racist, ex-military psychopaths to enforce its rules.

    By the way, you or anyone else interested should watch this movie. Very prescient, we think.

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    Thu, 06/16/2011 – 1:29pm — DrewHendricks
    but MOOooommmm….
    HE took some cookies from the jar, Tooooooo…..

    Ugh. It’s just that stupid. Seriously, is this your argument? That no one in Olympia is critical of the police when they attack people without cause? Seriously? You apparently forgot Tuesday of last week already… covered elsewhere on Olyblog…

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 4:29pm — boylaboratory
    Based on your logic, it seems like the only way to confront someone who has done something you consider unacceptable or harmful is by nonviolent means–is this true? If so, our foundational principles are so different that it is unlikely we will ever agree on this issue. Do you believe that any act of violence against someone who is oppressing/repressing one or helping others to oppress/repress one is some kind of “dominating act” which places one nearer the top of a hierarchy? This sounds like the same kind of crap I sometimes hear about violence being inherently “masculine” and therefore patriarchal, ignoring how counter-violence is often necessary to end greater violence. This isn’t surprising considering we live in a place where a woman could easily be sent to prison for murdering her abusive partner.

    I do not think I am morally superior to other people. Anarchists have criticisms of morals, too, as they are constricting and usually serve to prop up social norms that in turn support the status quo. I certainly have ideas that are much different than those of some (not all) other people and think those people are any number of negative things depending on who they are (intimidating, duped, annoying, dangerous, pathetic, scary, etc.), but I don’t put myself above them. Nor do I consider myself a member of some kind of nebulous, undefined “community” not of my choosing. Nor would I respect the “rules” of this community which are, in this case, actually the laws of the state.

    I respect those I choose to respect and expect the same in return–if I don’t get it, I choose to disassociate myself. If someone does something terrible to a loved one, together we choose what to do about it… and that doesn’t mean “whatever the fuck we want, just cuz”. Believe it or not, anarchists are perfectly capable of reasoning and critical thinking, and I don’t personally want to cause any unprovoked pain or damage nor would I want to associate with anyone who did want to do this. Nearly all humans adhere to certain social norms, whether we like it or not, and I think it’s safe to say that true anarchists are opposed to things like rape, abuse, bullying, and psychopathic murder.

    As to your references to Latin American death squads and Pol Pot, well, I’m used to hearing people trying to make weird arguments comparing anarchists to various shitty people anarchists have and will always fight against, including Nazis. Anarchists are not “above the law”, they are outside of the law. Authoritarians impose their worldview through networks of coercive apparati–three cornerstones of which are police, law, and prisons. Anarchists are opposed to these three institutions and you will not find anarchists anywhere within them except as unwilling captives and punching bags.

    So, suffice to say, I don’t really get the comparison, but I think it has something to do with a general unwillingness on the part of anarchists to compromise. If you look through history, you won’t really find too many anarchists setting up death camps or prisons, but you’ll find lots of them dying in them. You’ll find them murdering or hurting presidents and kings and bosses and policemen and fascists and right-wing journalists, but not too many regular ol’ working people, peasants, children, etc, except in accidents or in a few incidents fiercely criticized by other anarchists. And, actually, this is a pretty important point–not all anarchists are the same, and sameness is our enemy, too. So, no, I don’t want everyone to “do what I want them to do” because I want them to do it. Ideally, people (yes, many of whom are ignorant and relate to the state and their bosses as obedient, abused children relate to their abusive parents) would act anarchistically (whether or not they called themselves anarchists–I don’t really care about that) because they felt empowered and liberated doing so… because they wanted to, for themselves, each other, and the earth, too.

    Freedom to me means lots of things, like freedom from the state, law, and capitalism. No, it does not mean carelessly hurting other people with impunity, which is actually what Tony Overman did… and with his “community’s” blessing, it seems. Being that Overman has chosen to ally himself with my enemies and has aided in the prosecution and incarceration of comrades, I’m not really troubled by these recent actions against him. Maybe I would have done something different, sure. But because I think the things I do, I can’t help but try to understand, and I end up symapathizing with the perpetrators.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 5:16pm — Thad Curtz
    “our foundational principles are so different…”
    “that we are unlikely to agree.” I think that’s right (though I actually agree with a lot of your views about our current social/economic system and how it operates.) I certainly don’t think we’re going be able to work through how we do or don’t agree about these issues on a blog.


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    Thu, 06/16/2011 – 1:33pm — DrewHendricks
    “If you look through history, you won’t really find too many anarchists setting up death camps or prisons, but you’ll find lots of them dying in them. You’ll find them murdering or hurting presidents and kings and bosses and policemen and fascists and right-wing journalists, but not too many regular ol’ working people, peasants, children, etc, except in accidents or in a few incidents fiercely criticized by other anarchists.”

    In this case as well, most of us who don’t buy the idea that Tony is a ‘right wing journalist’ also see him more as ‘regular ol’ working people.’ And this is indeed being “fiercely criticized by other anarchists.” So, how about some mutual aid in the form of some freaking evidence of snitching?

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    Wed, 06/15/2011 – 12:29am — listening
    Bullies are Bullies – excuse the vulgarity
    Thad, as usual, agreed, except the Pol Pot. Pol Pot committed ethnic cleansing against whole populations. These folks, the supposed “anarchists”, are just having a metaphorical pissing contest that dribbles down our community’s left leg.

    Unfortunately, the mess gets on all of us. We are told to clean it up and to not distance ourselves from the piss ants, or you aren’t deemed a worthy leftist by the supposed “anarchist” royalty.

    Simply put, it seems a lot of folks are more interested in doing some real community organizing and ignoring the droning warning that we need to have a diversity of stupid tactics, instead of an all inclusive, intelligent community goal in mind.

    It is true that the personal attacks on Tony coincided with Scott’s unwarrented arrest, abuse and outpouring of support is too coincidental. If the attackers aren’t paid by the cops, then they should be.

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    Wed, 06/15/2011 – 2:21am — Sue
    Well said, Thad
    and precisely to the point.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 3:07pm — Berd
    Another Thank You
    Thank you for writing and posting this. Valuable contribution.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 5:17pm — Laurian
    Imginary and Boylab
    So many words, so little thought.

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 7:15pm — TheImaginaryParty
    What was once was red

    Now is black instead

    A lot of wind I hear

    Coming from a rotund man

    With a little head

    -Oscar Wilde

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    Mon, 06/13/2011 – 8:46pm — boylaboratory
    That’s all you’ve got?
    That’s all you’ve got?

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    Tue, 06/14/2011 – 7:18am — Berd
    Build Trust, Build Community
    Personally, I think the best way to change the world is to build trust, and build community. I think we need a popular movement for true and basic meaningful changes. I can’t see how vandalism and anonymous threats could help to build trust and community to mobilize a massive popular campaign for change.

    It seems like what happened to Tony, the targeting of a photo-journalist, does more to let the air out of the tires of inter-issue, inter-organizational, and community trust-building.

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    Tue, 06/14/2011 – 10:39am — Guglielmo
    They don’t care about your tires.
    They have their own little clown cars.

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    Tue, 06/14/2011 – 12:26pm — boylaboratory
    too true
    too true

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    Tue, 06/14/2011 – 1:23pm — Frame of Design
    Like, Don’t you
    Love “In” fighting?

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    Tue, 06/14/2011 – 10:24pm — Berd
    More about Building Trust and Building Community
    After posting earlier today, I thought a lot about this.

    And there is so much more about this issue, in so many ways. It’s hard for me to even begin to encompass.

    First, let me discuss the issue of COINTELPRO. Some people will say that the progressive radical liberational community should just chalk it up to secret government program. I think this IS NOT a productive line of argument. Primarily because the likelihood of ever proving such a thing (especially in light of the anonymous nature of these acts.) I will grant that I am NOT an expert on Cointelpro. And obviously there is motivation, in terms of dividing the “left.”

    However, what I believe is that this doesn’t need to divide the left. I am troubled and concerned about the way Overman was targetted individually as a photojournalist, for what some argue was basically just doing his work. (Although there is some information that would indicate the possibility that Tony has co-operated extra-judiciously with the state to prosecute anarchists.)

    What is important here, I believe, is that people need to ask whether this whole issue can best be understood as blowback. People are angry at mainstream media. The Olympian is no exception.

    The mainstream media lets us down, lets us as a humanity down.

    What I need to further say is that The Olympian needs to build trust, build-community, and start behaving with respect!

    Here is one example to illustrate, though there are certainly many more that would lead to similar conclusions.

    Let’s look at how the story of global warming and climate change is portrayed in the mainstream media. (And I do believe this directly relates to the frustrations that anarchists of all stripes, and others, feel about our world—and this media-injustice is part of what drives people to act our in urgency against what they perceive as the purveyors of injustice, like media institutions and government and multinational corporations.)

    The mainstream media, maybe with a few notable exceptions, does not portray the potential disaster that awaits us.

    Instead, the mainstream media seems befuddled by the anti-man made global warming arguments of a tiny minority of scientists, 9/10 of whom are funded by the fossil-fuel industry itself (+ the 1/20 funded by the US Chamber of Commerce, and then there is the random unpurchased skeptic.)

    In this statement I have gone for quite a loop. From Overman and the Olympian and anarchists, to COINTELPRO, to global warming and the fossil fuel industry.

    Really, I wish I had a better way to affect change. I am not merely trying to pad my ego with superfluous statements about interconnected injustices. I do believe that these issues are real, and that the anger that anarchists feel is due to the sense of urgency with increasing human population, atmospheric carbon levels, and mounting conglomeration and amalgamation of corporate power.

    …my thoughts,


    p.s. i hope that’s clear enough, and sorry if it comes off as a rant.

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    Wed, 06/15/2011 – 11:59am — wildleaf
    Divisive? I think not…
    Fear makes people act in the night. It is the fear created in the minds of people who are very aware that the older generation has sold them a lemon of a future. There is no lemonaid just bitterness as they look upon their families members and society blithely burning up oil and living in their huge homes watching their large television and eating their big meaty foods while the whole ecosystem goes into cardiac arrest. Feeling completely isolated with no path to follow, they dig through historical books and fictional movies looking for some tale of heroism and struggle similar in scope to the one that they feel they must face. The stories of masked folks at night mixed with revolutionaries are more of an influence on young radcals than most alive today. Who can blame them?

    Paranoia. A life lived in fear. The folks who write snitch are telling us that they are paranoid, which is a disease that can be cured only by facing fear. They need a lot of love in their lives and guidance from positive influences of folks being corageous and fearless from the left. Love is conflict. Love is community. People act at night because they feel they can’t act in the day. Why can’t they? A repressive society, scary police, patriot act, cointelpro, surveillance, harassment, fear campaigns, detached people, poor communication, a complacent left that pats themselves on the back while the younger members of society face the real possibility of no future whatsoever.

    How can folks tell these young people to have some self control or at least some community respect or awareness when the progressive community is still largely hiding behind their own complacent ideologies or have sold out/ bought in? Thoughtlessness has no place in our community. Everyone has to have an awareness of how our actions or inactions affect others and the broad consequences of those actions or inactions. None of us should be an ideologue against all property destruction, Father Bix cut through that fence and spilled his own blood at Bangor, appropriate property destruction. Some would say spiking trees and letting the news know before any loggers start cutting ensuring their safety, burning down an empty unfinished ski resort, well done and well placed political graffitti all could be considered appropriate, others would be appalled by those examples but few would claim Bix’ fence cutting was inappropriate.

    If you are doing that stuff you’ve got to have thought that through and if your target were a target that people would easily recognize as appropriate even if they don’t care for your methods. If you are not doing some sort of direct action you’ve got to have thought that through as to what effect your unwillingness to dig your heels in and push back means in a time of great world wide strife and economic and environmental collapse. If someone had spray painted the Olympian building with something like “The Oly Tacoman Corporatocracy” then we all would have cheered and been very supportive. Why didn’t we act instead of leaving it to someone to get it wrong? Why aren’t we risking ourselves with vigor and life affirming tiny acts of rebellion?

    The Black Car Project

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    Wed, 06/15/2011 – 5:50pm — Phil Owen
    I really appreciate all of
    I really appreciate all of your contributions on this thread, wildleaf. Ditto on just about everything.

    Bread & Roses
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    Thu, 07/07/2011 – 7:07pm — DrewHendricks
    Today I got the emails between the Olympia Police, and the Olympian Newspaper. I’m not going to try to summarize them here, but they are very interesting and I’ll post the images of them so you can read them for yourself.

    I think some of this ‘debate’ (and I realize that this is an inexact term for what transpired above) will have to re-frame in light of what the emails reveal about OPD / Olympian cooperation.

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    Thu, 07/07/2011 – 8:09pm — DrewHendricks
    “Smoking Gun” – or perhaps not.
    Email from J Herbig to T Overman

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    Fri, 07/08/2011 – 4:10pm — Thad Curtz
    Is the point…
    that they probably gave the police the photos the photographer took of the people who attacked him and busted his camera? (I mean, rather than the point being that The Olympian has been supplying the police with unpublished photos of demonstrations in some kind of regular or even intermittent way.)


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    Fri, 07/08/2011 – 7:10pm — DrewHendricks
    No point… only data.
    As I wrote, I wasn’t going to summarize the email. It’s (at best) ambiguous what exactly happened. All I have evidence for at this point, is that an OPD Detective wrote that the Publisher of the Olympian had given him the okay to get all of the photos. We don’t have evidence (in the emails) that this actually happened.

    We can assume that means both published and unpublished shots went from the Olympian to the OPD – OR, we can assume that the Olympian published the entire product on their website and thus all of the shots shared with the OPD were ‘published’ shots. The important thing to keep in mind is that there were no convictions based on the photographs taken by Tony Overman. From what I recall, no one was even charged with the actual assault, even though someone specific was named in the Olympian stories.

    Entirely separately, we’ve heard from numerous folks that the ‘common wisdom’ is that the Olympian’s photos are used by the Olympia Police, and a separate document I got yesterday seems to support that notion. The power point document uses many Olympian and some protester-published shots of prior PMR and May Day protests to illustrate a guide written for briefing OPD officers on protest history and tactics. I’ll work on publishing that power point when I get an electronic copy of it.

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    Sun, 07/10/2011 – 8:26am — Thad Curtz
    More than data
    From this morning’s Olympian:

    The most precious attribute of any news organization is its credibility. Readers and viewers must know that we report events accurately and honestly to the best of our ability.

    Maintaining our credibility also requires that we tell you when we’ve failed to live up to those standards. This, unfortunately, is one of those occasions.

    In the aftermath of violent acts by protest marchers in 2008 and 2010 in downtown Olympia, we stated repeatedly that neither The Olympian nor Tony Overman, our photographer who covered the protests, ever supplied unpublished photos of protesters to police.

    That’s not true. We regret that we misled our readers.

    As reporter Sean Robinson discovered in researching today’s Page One story about anarchists in the region, Overman allowed police officers to view photos of protesters committing acts of violence during both marches. In each case, police used the photos to identify and arrest protesters.

    Read more:
    One striking and peculiar thing about the paper’s retraction is that the long front page story on these incidents omits any mention of the fact that Overman lied about this repeatedly for several years, as the rest of the publisher’s statement details. I haven’t seen a hard copy of today’s paper yet, but this retraction is apparently completely separated from the reporting of the story, printed back on the editorial page, which I think is probably a considerably less popular section of the paper.


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    Sun, 07/10/2011 – 1:58pm — DrewHendricks
    Policy vs. Personal acts
    Tony’s sharing that May Day 2008 photo and his forgetting or omitting it is not neccessarily the Olympian’s fault in policy terms. Their policy was apparently not to privately share data with the police, unless we believe this email (which only shows that Jeff Herbig claims the Olympian’s publisher gave him permission to get some photos). The OPD still didn’t give me any photos they got from the Olympian, which either shows they didn’t actually get them – or they destroyed them since then.

    The email I liked to above is much more damning of the Olympian in policy terms than any direct ‘moment of the incident’ sharing of the photo of Dan throwing a rock. But it’s good that the truth came out somewhat. Tony’s denials (to me, to Dan) are now quite solidly discredited in his own words.

    I’m still opposed to what someone did at Tony’s house, however – I don’t think that Tony’s actions constitute being a snitch the same way that Towery’s use of his listserv access to identify protesters made him a snitch. For me, being a snitch involves some level of promise to keep another persons’ secrets. Tony never agreed to keep secret what anyone could see in public – and actually he promises by the nature of his job to do essentially the opposite.

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    Sun, 07/10/2011 – 9:57pm — Thad Curtz
    I got a copy of the actual paper. In it, the story ran with a conspicuous referrral to the retraction on the side near the top of the story, and the retraction itself ran on A8 or A10, in the middle of the paper rather than on the editorial page. (I still think it’s odd to leave this part out of the story, but it certainly wasn’t tucked out of sight.]


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    Wed, 08/24/2011 – 8:21am — Laurian
    And the bullshit continues
    Two men were set on my a mob strewing garbage in downtown. The Olympian coverage.

    Fuck these so-called anarchists. Seriously. Fuck them.

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    OlyWA Twitter Hashtag

  4. Drew Hendricks says:

    Well, apparently too many words for you to chew on. You accuse me of fostering or excusing the abuse heaped on Mr Overman, when in fact I did the opposite.

    “We all four spoke for a while about the attack on Tony’s truck and house and I told Tony I was ashamed this was done in the name of Anarchy. It isn’t anarchist to do this; it is terrorism, the very opposite of respect for autonomy and the very essence of coercion. Tony and I both use public photography of police, he for his employment and I for my activism.” Those are my words. You even quoted them above.

    Your words were that I assault journalists or intimidate them, and I’d like you to name one time when that was true or else withdraw your statement.

    • It has been more than three weeks, and yet you continue to let Libel stand on your little blog, while you copy and paste full zines worth of content (which you then disavow) aimed at teaching folks how to sabotage industry. You’re a coward and a liar and a shill.

      • admin says:

        Those are harsh words for someone slinging the term ‘libel’ about. But, thank you for reading anyway. Let’s try to address (out of courtesy) some of your concerns. Do you deny you’re a self described snitch hunter/data miner…and pride yourself in it? You spent some digital ink describing how Tony Overman turned over photographs to the police before he had published them. Your words speak for themselves.

        You’ve proudly acted as a kind of agent for @narchists in assisting them in ferreting out government attempts to spy on their activities. But, you’ve eagerly cast a wide net and cut a broad swath for somebody concerned about fairness. Your personal attacks have included implications the motives here are to act as a government agent rather than to publish news or topics of public interest. In short, you casually label others, make shallow innuendos, and then act like a stuck pig when your own activities are profiled.

        If you’ve apologized to Tony Overman, well and good…it doesn’t take away from your obsession with ‘snitch hunting’ or equating journalism with it. For instance, you challenge editorial choices found here. Rather than ‘balanced’ reporting (an element of editorial decisions), you disparage presentations of differing philosophies when it comes to critical questions of our day…even where those presentations are properly attributed and disclaimers are prominently displayed. Were this site to publish a copy of Mein Kampf or Das Kapital, would your objections remain the same? Are you making some kind of protest over copyright?–a strange position for an anarchist.

        Not all content here is original. But, pointing/links or reposts in the age of the internet on the information highway is common AND valuable. Mainstream newspapers do what amounts to the same–they reprint articles that have previously appeared elsewhere. Nor is it necessary to agree with an article or ‘zine’ to assert publishing/posting the same is constructive. Many repugnant ideologies are posted here precisely because the public has a right to know what’s coming at them. Yet you label this as ‘cowardly’, ‘lies’, and being a ‘shill’? How so? Those claiming authorship of the works of which you complain are represented here were given credit, even anonymously.

        Are you (Drew Hendricks) objecting to the fact such works are posted here, to the idea of who made an editorial decision to do so, or to the contents of the works themselves? Which is it?..perhaps all of the above? If so, you haven’t made a palpable case for your objections. 1st Amendment guarantees and freedom of the press doesn’t only belong to you and your ideological comrades. If you believe any of this is illegal or a crime, provide an address where a $0.25 can be sent so you can call a cop. To date, we do not have laws (or at least they’re rare and extremely narrow in scope) prohibiting pure speech.

        If you object to references to you as a self described ‘snitch hunter’/data miner, the public record speaks for itself. The internet never forgets. While its true nobody knows you’re a dog on the internet, your paw prints are all over this issue. You’ve made your bed as a ‘snitch hunter’, now lie in it. Why the reticence now when you were once so proud to be publicly associated with it? Is it getting burdensome to beat the heat? Just what, specifically, is your beef?

        If you’re questioning motives/ideology represented here, you’ve proven too obtuse to grasp it. In fact, it’s incredible you, of all people, would find fault with screeds posted here written by some of the ‘saints’ of your own pantheon.

        If your objection is primarily that these works were posted here and/or that ‘here’ is associated with someone for whom you have a disaffinity, it will be ignored. If, on the other hand, you find fault with the contents of those works, then make the most of it and state your case. Or, if it’s only that all this makes YOU personally uncomfortable, get over it. Your ad hominem attacks aren’t persuasive or relevant here. Save them to trade with your @narchist pals who passionately subscribe to labeling.

        • You wrote that I attacked Tony Overman or applauded others in doing so, which I had not done. You accused me of criminal acts in a manner I have shown to be wantonly and knowingly false. You continued to hold these positions after being notified of their falsity. You demonstrated malice and disregard to the facts in your writing, rather than withdraw that false accusation. If you cannot grasp these issues, perhaps you should not advertize yourself as a paralegal.

          • admin says:

            Drew, here’s the deal:
            Opinions are published and conclusions drawn here. However, rather than being cited in the abstract or a vacuum, the basis is most usually published along side those opinions/conclusions. You criticized those opinions/conclusions earlier in this thread as poorly researched and contrary to your position on the Overman conflict.

            Tony has recently been interviewed by this reporter. He was asked if he knew you and he conceded as much. He criticized ALL of Olympia’s so called progressives/liberals as much as the @narchists for failing to defend him against the more violent street elements. He did NOT make an exception for YOU. Of course, his story rang true given documented similar behavior by area @narchists directed at other photojournalists and personal experience with the so called good liberals/progressives in Olympia when witnessing this kind of intimidation and bullying. YOU were noticed in defending some of the hostility toward photojournalist in Heritage Park, at least this one during Occupy Olympia’s tour d’force there. As usual, an audio recording of the incident was posted along with editorial criticism of the miscreants.

            Whatever grievance you have with opinions or conclusions posted here involving you as a public figure, you’ve been accorded a great deal of space to defend your position/views and the very posts you cited as belying the opinions published here were included. Interestingly, they appeared to damn you with faint praise and raised the question of why you relief upon them in your defense/attack on the views expressed here.

            You now claim you disapprove of how Tony Overman was victimized for his work as a photojournalist and told him so. It was said this was well and good (if true), but hardly caused the spots on the leopard to vanish.

            You’ve repeatedly bragged about filing PDA requests to ferret out government informers. It’s not a question of whether our government is dangerous or treats its own citizens as the enemy, because they do. It’s a question of whether a person has the right to report on or photograph those in public venues/events regardless of WHO they work for or WHAT their political persuasion is. It’s a question of whether 1st Amendment guarantees belong to all the people, or only a select/chosen few. It’s a question of whether the commons and our public spaces belong to ALL the people, or only a select/chosen few.

            You’ve demonstrated/professed an affinity for an amorphous group that targets photojournalists–an avocation you claim as your own. It’s why your denial of having been part of the controverted video clip is ironic as it actually shows a photojournalist defending 1st and 2nd Amendment rights at the same time. It was surprising when it was reported to be you. It made made the author seem more balanced and fair minded than the reputation which precedes you. It did, however, seem odd you’d film a post Sea Hawks’ victory celebration in downtown Seattle unless you were a big football or Seattle street scene fan. The manner in which the photographer interacted with the bizarre dude blocking his footage of the Seattle police also seemed a bit unorthodox for your style. So, who knows–well you do, but for a lot of reasons, that’s unpersuasive for the moment. Do you happen to know who the photographer actually was? The Auburn Police, no doubt, do by this time.

          • Your sad attempts at derailing, diverting, and distracting from the very straightforward facts I laid out above are not going to convince a judge of your position, John Smith. You can equivocate all you want, filibuster all you want, but in the end you are the pigeon strutting about the chessboard, pooping and pretending you won by knocking over the rook.

          • admin says:

            Drew, I won the Open Chess tournament in my county (adults and all comers) while still a junior in high school. Check Mate! I suppose I should be flattered, but you’re just annoying now, and harassing me. Go find a hole to crawl into. You’re not offering anything of interest.

            You may think your ‘snitch’ hunts and intimidation are effective, but that dog won’t hunt here. You and your p@ls will NOT be allowed to usurp editorial control in this forum. Your assertions of derailing, diverting, distracting and filibustering on a Mason County community blog not under your control are amusing while m@licious at the same time. There has been no ‘equivocating’ in this forum. You’re an @ss, a dangerous and malicious @ss who pontificates about copyright while destroying lives in the finest tradition of the McCarthy hearings of the early 50’s. Your p@ls must really be hysterical. If you can’t control it/someone, you think you can destroy it/them. Well, you can’t…not here, anyway. The editors of this publication will NOT bow to your intimidation or baseless carping. Reporting and editorial opinions will continue to be published as usual without fear nor favor. Do everyone a favor–go find a hobby.

          • See, when you say that I am harassing you, by posting clarifying speech to counter your libels, it strikes me as irony.

            SLOG: Feb 17th comments on January 10th 2014 Story

            “How is this news or a problem that a corporation is watching those watching it? It would be poor management who ignored its persecutors. It’s not that I like BofA–hate it, actually–but, I recognize its natural incentives to self preservation. That’s hardly a surprise. That it need not share its intelligence with a ‘snitch hunter’ such as Andrew Hendricks is hardly disturbing. Drew is a self described (A)narchist. Does he have a BofA account? Now THAT is the real story in all this.” – Pinballwyz (John Smith)

            “I don’t get it. So what?? What’s sauce for the goose is good for the gander. (A)ctivists plan & plot on how to bring down businesses/corporations. Why shouldn’t these targets resort to fact gathering, which is perfectly legal, to defend themselves or preempt nefarious intentions? It’s not like Olympia businesses haven’t been vandalized for failing to fall in line with the @genda Olympia’s @ctivists are promoting.”
            – Pinballwyz (John Smith)

            The problem, john Smith, is that when Corporations tell their buddies in the Washington State Patrol that some critics will have a First Amendment Gathering to enjoy some more public protesting of the Corporations, the WSP responds by spending nearly $30,000 tax dollars in trooper time (Plus the cost of a Cessna aircraft overflight for most of two hours) to ‘watch’ that protest. Compare that response to the Open Carry event on the same lawn just a few months later, and we will see where the bias lies.

          • “Peter Bohmer has a doctorate and is an esteemed (and privileged) professor at TESC who receives a handsome salary from the State plus lots of other insane perks and working conditions to drool for. I, on the other hand, am unlettered and have no advanced degree in anything. I’ve read Dr. Bohmer’s PhD thesis and the math in it was so heavy duty (a dissertation about economics–Pete is religiously anti-capitalist) it was beyond my ken despite having a science background.

            So, perhaps it should come as no surprise I simply don’t get it! I’ve looked at each of the points Pete argues in the above comment and considered my own experience with many for whom Pete maintains an affinity, including @narchists. Before I launch into a litany of scorn for the double standards held by these street radicals and implicit in Bohmer’s premise, I want to try to address his 4 points listed above:

            1) Transparency in government, in general, is consistent with a true democracy. An ill informed electorate cannot provide informed consent. We hold that a legitimate government must have the consent of the ‘governed’. Clearly our government has too many secrets: Secret prisons, secret detentions, secret extraordinary renditions, secret wars, secret torture, secret violations of law passed by Congress, secret arms smuggling, secret drug smuggling, secret wire tapping and telephone eavesdropping on a previously unimaginable scale such as Snowden has revealed.

            BUT, has TESC resorted to breaking into the doctor’s offices of dissidents? Does it listen to phone conversations?–uh, well, actually it does listen in on phone conversations–at least the ones on campus. Rumors abounded about how TESC’s security (before they became LEO’s officially) routinely listened into the conversations of staff and students using campus phones when Mr. Savage was in charge of security–before being demoted for misconduct…but not THAT misconduct. Still, this isn’t what Bohmer and associates are carping about. Pete and they are married to the misapprehension they have some kind of right not to be watched, photographed, filmed, or audio recorded in public forums and venues open to the public. I’ve watched this come off up close several times and had Pete explicitly express this belief (“Fuck the law!”) on occasion. I’ve known him for over 45 years. His views are extremely partisan, to say the least–so much so they resulted in his being fired many years ago (in the 60’s) from San Diego State college for the allegation by some of his students that he graded papers harshly whose political viewpoint was at odds with his own…basically, an allegation of intellectual or academic dishonesty. Whether this is true, or not, I personally witnessed, decades ago, Pete bridling at a San Diego State college administrator who showed up at a public meeting called by Pete Bohmer himself at the Newman House, a Catholic Church venue made available to students. I heard Pete demand the official (who was not ‘masked’ like so many street radicals today, or unknown to Pete and his supporters) LEAVE! When the official demurred by pointing out Pete had announced the meeting as public by inviting the same, Mr. Bohmer had no rejoinder, just his insistence. The official remained. He wanted to hear what Pete had to say. Today, many would like to hear what Pete and certain militant r@dicals have to say at these so called ‘public’ meetings/venues. Because, in law, there is no expectation of privacy in such public meetings/venues, recording the presentations, questions, answers is no more illegal than it would be in any City/Council meeting where the public is permitted. Yet, photojournalists have been assaulted, their equipment destroyed, their homes, vehicles, and workplaces vandalized in retaliation for them exercising the same 1st Amending principles Pete and the r@dicals insist on for themselves. Essentially, it’s difficult to distinguish between their behavior and that of LEO’s who ignore 1st Amendment principles.

            Arguably, TESC, the Police, detectives, SPIES, and my mother’s pet poodle have as much right to see, hear, photograph, record, videotape such public events as anyone else. LEO’s don’t become 2nd class citizens divested of rights simply by donning their uniform, their shield, and taking an oath to uphold the law. They have as much right under those laws as anyone.

            Unless these PUBLIC events/meetings consist of conspiracies to commit crimes against property and persons, what’s the violation of democratic principles? Pete, after all, is demanding transparency from TESC and the local police. To a large extent, it’s available: Witness the volumes of documents procured by Drew Hendricks through his countless public records requests. Try asking the r@dicals for their records. Try asking them who they are. Try asking them who they witnessed robbing and assaulting a photojournalist. Actually, they have a duty, in law (misprision) to reveal who is responsible for a felony they witnessed. The fact they do not do so is reflected in their attitude of “Fuck the law!” Yet, here, they want the protection of the law, they want THEIR civil rights respected/protected. It’s “Civil rights for you, civil rights for me…just not for that fellow behind the tree.” Transparency must cut both ways. We need it as a bulwark against corruption in government, but perhaps we also need it against corruption in the people as we see so often in our community with gratuitous destruction of private property and assaults upon individuals, especially those holding different political viewpoints from violent street r@dicals…the kind Mr. Bohmer has publicly embraced.

            TESC should be held to the same standards as those making the demands are held to. Under that litmus test, TESC passes with flying colors. The r@dicals (and Drew Hendricks) ‘spy’ on the State, the government, individuals working for/with the government, photojournalists, and TESC officials. What’s sauce for the goose is good for the gander.

            2) Why should ANYONE be ‘disciplined’ for recording, observing, or reporting on a public event, who attends, or what was said/done? There is NO right to ‘privacy’ in public spaces/venues. ‘Public-privacy’ is an oxymoron. It’s like believing in the tooth fairy, only worse. Our public transit buses now video and audio record every passenger and the driver without anyone’s ‘permission’ or even knowledge. The theory, in law (and correct according to case law) is there’s no expectation of privacy in public. But, Pete and the r@dicals have a ready answer to this logic: “Fuck the law!” Inter alia, each shall do as they wilt shall be the whole of the law is their mantra. Yet, when TESC or State agents are at issue, they want them circumvented according to the law. It’s an obvious double standard where they want a free hand while a government conceived in liberty by the people is bound, gagged, and emasculated by the very laws they reject as applied to themselves.

            Yes, discrimination exists. Government agents seek to target and retaliate against those considered hostile to the state. Photojournalists routinely experience this. But, how does what Pete and the r@dicals propose alter this fundamental flaw in human nature? “I have seen the enemy…and it is US!” -Pogo-

            “We here are all alike…and if any among us is different, let them be with others.” -1st American Commandment-

            Aren’t we all better served by transparency in government and ALL public venues/events/spaces? Should we all wear hoodies and masks when we go about our daily public business? Try wearing a mask/hoodie when going to make a deposit in your local bank–see how far you get. Try going to court, even if you aren’t a litigant, asserting your right to anonymity and the use of such screens. Yet Pete wants a different standard based on political pretexts. This is akin to those who want a particular religion acknowledged as public policy. The founding fathers included a mandate for a separation of Church and State for good reason. For reasons cut from the same warp and weave, we must guard against those who would limit Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, rights, and liberty to only the PC (politically correct). Moreover, those who openly declare w@r against the state, against all laws, who deny ‘rights’ even exist, and profess a desire to destroy society, even civilization, cannot be considered ‘business as usual’ or engaged in normal public debate. They actively conspire against all of the above, yet wish to be protected by that which they attack. It’s a bit odd and hypocritical when a state sponsored/paid employee with an admittedly privileged position calls for destroying that state, supports its destruction, and refused to hold accountable those who rob, steal, assault, injure, and deny the civil rights of others.

            Pete, et ux, loathe being exposed, but they (and Drew Hendricks) insist on exposing others. Are dissidents entitled to MORE civil rights than the rest of us?

            3) The TESC should be committed to the safety of staff, professors, students, and visitors on campus. To date, they’ve failed to accomplish this mandate–first things first. The appeal Pete Bohmer makes to personal civil liberties here is hypocritical, to say the least.

            4) ‘Surveillance’ is a 2-edged sword. Why should TESC be obligated to maintain a ‘committee’ to oversee ‘surveillance’ any more than the public transit authority? What Pete calls ‘surveillance’ is nothing more than the unwanted attention of those who don’t agree with his, et ux, political views, but are interested in them nevertheless. If one doesn’t want to be seen unlawfully conspiring to break the law in public or actually breaking the law in public, then (DUH!) don’t break the law in public! It’s a bit ludicrous to think the 1st Amendment was intended as a shield for criminals. It isn’t. Neither should anonymity be a shield for criminality. It has a long tradition of acceptance as a shield for pure speech, particularly written or published speech. That’s not what’s being demanded, however.

            Ron, currently, Seattle’s law enforcement apparatus is under scrutiny from the US Dept. of Justice–the FBI is their enforcement arm. While I have a natural antipathy toward such concentration of power, my example serves to reveal you ignoring your own argument: a false dichotomy.

            Amy’s failure/disinclination to comprehend my criticism of Pete and his groupies for their threat to 1st Amendment principles (which I pointed out is hypocritical given they insist on its guarantees when applied to them, but not those who disagree with their polemics) misunderstands the point, which is not to tar Pete, et ux, with too broad a brush. I’ll leave the labeling to the r@dicals, which they excel at. Pete has been a tireless advocate against the military-industrial complex, war, and is not, to be sure, a rocking chair radical. He has done prison time and put himself at great risk for those principles he believes in. My criticism is rooted in the argument those beliefs are too narrow and fallacious. Pete is no friend of the 1st Amendment. Neither is he sympathetic to the idea of holding wrong doers accountable–unless they’re on the opposite side of his philosophical/political fence. This tendency stretches all the way back to his firing from the San Diego State College.

            I don’t dislike Pete. He has courage. He also, obviously, has a lot of privilege and ‘insane’ perks in his current position. He’d be the 1st (and has) to admit this. He’s provided sabbaticals for trips abroad, paid for field trips with his students to S. America, and has local working conditions and perks most can only dream of–much like any CEO of a major corporation. The disconnect comes when you realize the guy calling for the dismantling of the state WORKS for it. Excuse me, but I see that as hypocritical. Incidentally, the same can be said for Noam Chomsky. I’ve attended Noam’s lectures, and like what he has to say, but I’m enough of a realist to see the contradiction talking in front of me.

            My point is simple enough to grasp for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear willing to use them: Civil/Human rights aren’t just for some, they’re for everybody. Moreover, they’re the law! Pete and his associates have rejected the former in practice, and the latter in theory. I’m calling BS on such sophistry. Just because a college professor says it, even one with a track record of courage in the face of adversity, doesn’t make it so. I wish Pete well. But, I wish my country well and my countrymen. I feel those wishes will come to naught if any of them are denied their fundamental liberty interests/rights. As Pete might acknowledge, “Injury to one is injury to all.” I will not sit idly by and say nothing when any citizens are denied their fundamental liberty interests, whether they’re law enforcement agents, government employees, photojournalists, or names on the long list r@dicals love using to bully their political adversaries, labeling them ‘snitches’ (including photojournalists). Pete and his supporters may abhor surveillance, but at the same time they behave as though they abhor transparency. There’s a contradiction in that. Public spaces/venues and the commons belongs to everybody. Too many (A)narchists try to privatize it for themselves and their p@ls. In that, they’re indistinguishable from corporations attempting (and succeeding) in privatizing the commons, except instead of for political pretext, they do it for profit. Pete is very much at the center of this controversy here in the Olympia area. He and his associates have come under intense scrutiny by government agents and, so far as I can see, this is deserved. Tyranny is no stranger to any portion of the political spectrum. Corruption in the people is equally pernicious to that found in government.”

            – Sauce for Ganders and Double Edged Swords should not be picked up with abandon by those whom subtlety escapes. (Drew Hendricks) [Editor’s note: That last line is Drew’s comment, the rest is a re-post by Amicus Curia from a FB blog maintained by Bruce Wilkinson.]

  5. admin says:

    A federal appeals court has ruled that bloggers and the general public have the same protection of the First Amendment as journalists when sued for defamation. Should the issue be of public concern, the claimant has to prove negligence to win the case.

    “It’s not a special right to the news media,” he said. “So it’s a good thing for bloggers and citizen journalists and others,” Gregg Leslie, of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, told AP.

    The federal court’s ruling came after a new trial in a defamation case: an Oregon bankruptcy trustee was the plaintiff against a Montana blogger who wrote on the Internet that the trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case.

    In 2011, Crystal Cox, a blogger from Montana was sued by attorney Kevin Padrick and his company, Obsidian Finance Group LLC, following her posts disclosing the alleged fraud, corruption, money-laundering and other criminal activities carried out by Obsidian. It should be noted that Padrick is not a public figure, so the facts exposed by Cox couldn’t inflict reputational damage on him.

    Padrick and Obsidian won the case, and were granted $2.5 million.

    Cox addressed the court of appeals, and was joined by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who found out about her case and offered her to represent her as an attorney in court.

    “Because Cox’s blog post addressed a matter of public concern, even assuming that Gertz is limited to such speech, the district court should have instructed the jury that it could not find Cox liable for defamation unless it found that she acted negligently,” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote for a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “We hold that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages,” he added.

    Eugene Volokh, who wrote an article on the issue, stated that the case ensures that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as professional media workers.

    “There had been similar precedents before concerning advocacy groups, other writers and book authors. This follows a fairly well established chain of precedents. I believe it is the first federal appeals court level ruling that applies to bloggers,” Volokh said.

    The plaintiff, however, disagreed with the decision and was disappointed with the ruling.

    “Ms. Cox’s false and defamatory statements have caused substantial damage to our clients, and we are evaluating our options with respect to the court’s decision,” AP reported Steven Wilker, an attorney for Obsidian and Padrick, as saying.

    The issue of defining the term “journalist” has been on the table for a long time.

    In 1974, the Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc. case marked the beginning of the debate on the level of state protection for public or private figures.

    In September 2013, the US Senate committee voted 13-to-5 early Thursday to approve S.987, a bill meant to protect members of the press from government intrusion and “maintain the free flow of information to the public.”

    The legislation covered bloggers and freelancers both paid and unpaid who work with the “primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information.”

    Tobe 20.01.2014 22:16 says:
    Thank goodness for this honest judge! Sometimes I think lower court judges decide wrong deliberately to bump up a case to the next level which has more precedent and speeds similar cases through the court system much faster. Now all the lower courts have to follow the Court of Appeals’ decision. I wish to believe this was the intent of the lower court’s strategy–quickly bumping it up to the next highest court; such a move might hurt their record, but they do so much good for the abused public. Thank you Court of Appeals for maintaining the laws.

    Samuel von Staunton 18.01.2014 18:29 says:
    While I’m glad that the court ruled the right way, I’m disappointed that we needed a court ruling to tell us that the general public is entitled to the constitutional protections of the first amendment.

  6. Pingback: TB 200701 — Robbery in Progress | The Thunderbolt

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