Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 74

It Could Happen Here Weekly 74

Sat, 11 Mar 2023 05:01

All of this week's episodes of It Could Happen Here put together in one large file.

See for privacy information.

Listen to Episode

Copyright © 2023 iHeartPodcasts

Read Episode Transcript

The hugs, the joy, even the sleepless nights. Whatever you get from parenthood, you always want to give your children everything, and the UNESTAP makes it easy to save for their future. The UNESTAP puts smart investing tools right in the palm of your hand. Plus, you'll grow your UNESTA count with every purchase you make from over 150 top brands, like Disney Plus and DoorDash. Download the UNESTAP and use the code iHeart25 at Signup to receive a $25 bonus when you fund your account. See terms and conditions at That's When you arrive in the all-new Toyota Crown, every entrance becomes a grand one. With an available hybrid max power train that says, you always arrive fashionably on time. Style that says, emphasis on the fashionably. And presence that says, you speak softly and everyone listens. Introducing the Toyota Crown, the car that says so much. Toyota, let's go places. No matter what you're a fan of, Texas has the trip for you. There's the trip to Texas and the trip. Or maybe you're the kind of fan who'd prefer a trip to Texas. Or a trip. Either way, go to slash get your own for the only trip to Texas that matters. Yours. Hey everybody, Robert Evans here. And I wanted to let you know, this is a compilation episode. So every episode of the week that just happened is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to listen to in a long stretch. If you want, if you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Gears, let's start talking about crimes. And so I was like, okay, I'm going to hold off I'm pressing the remote. I didn't mention crime at all. Actually, that's true. That's true. That's true. James said the word crimes. James is the one that brought up doing crimes. I would never talk about doing crimes. Oh, welcome to Nick. It happened here. Yeah. Where if we never talk about anything illegal with us today is myself, Garrison James Stout and Mia Wong. That's right. We are talking about crimes today actually, but we're not doing any crimes crucially because we never would. Yeah. Like for example, actually, I don't know if it's technically illegal to talk about your enolification on air. I don't know. I don't think they can stop you from saying the words. I think they can I think I think you you don't have the rights to do it, but you have the ability. I think as a way a lawyer explained it to me, but they also said, I'm not your lawyer before that. So take that with a great assault. Yeah. Yeah. You probably say you shouldn't be describing how to do jury notification or googling it if that's in your future. Stay tuned for our upcoming episode. How to nullify your jury. Yeah. Yeah. How to nullify your jury. That will be our final episode. Okay. So now we're not talking about jury due today. We are talking about crime. The people doing the crime in this episode shockingly are the cops. So I want to start on October 28, 2016. Some of you can probably cast your mind back then. The last week of the pre-trum period. Yeah. Yeah. So inside the captain's office at the Sheriff's Station of Rancho San Diego, one of the most expensive zip codes in the country, Captain Marco Garmo was making a deal. Garmo, along with Giovanni Tilotta, who's a licensed San Diego gun dealer, sold a clock hang gun, an AR-15 star rifle, and a Smith and Wesson hang gun, to local defense attorney because Pajaj inside Garmo's office. Garmo coordinated backdated paperwork to avoid the 10 day waiting period required by California law for hang gun purchases, and supplied Pajaj with misappropriated San Diego Sheriff Department issue damnation. Oh, fun. Yeah. Good times. Good times. Yeah. So he's really thriving in his side hustle here, Marco Garmo. I've used the word misappropriated because that's what the DOJ used. And guessing the more vernacular term would be stolen here, I think he's... So, what do you say issued? Is this ammo that like was supposed to be given to a cop, or is this stuff they had an impound? No, I think it's supposed to be given to a cop. I think he's good. I think he's gone into the armory and just grabbed a few boxes of ammo and stole them. Your cops have just turned into the Afghan army. It's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The ANA, they've got the, what's that guy who had the like hell here, they're like night vision on backwards or something. That was that was a Taliban guy. Yeah. Interestingly, what they have in the compound, Mia, is another story that maybe we should do another day. I also PRAed that, like the weapons that are impounded. Jesus Christ, they have some shit. Like they have like a full auto shotgun, like a bunch of NFA items, and they keep them all for like lab testing in theory, like so they can, so they can be like, oh, well, this person was shot. What does that wound look like? Well, let's get our armory out from the fucking Institute of Ballistics, Jell, and see if that helps us. It's like that scene from 2008, the dark night where Christian Bale was Batman, fires a ridiculously loud gun in a sealed bunker, absolutely destroying both his and Alfred's hearing for the entire rest of the movie. That's why they make so many bad choices. Fathating, yeah, I didn't know that it was a character called Alfred in Batman. Yeah. They really Welshed him on the names because like Batman is a cool name, the Joker cool name. Did you not know who Alfred Penny was? No, that is the one British character in Batman. He is your culture. When people think of British people, they think of Alfred J Pennyworth. No, my culture is not a costume, Garrison. Well, I've had news. Yeah, they've been disgusted that this is the point of reference, not one of our many wonderful modern British role models. Alfred's great. I don't know what you're talking about. Okay. Yeah. No. Okay. He is a working class hero. He was a, he was a wait. But there's our working class, right? Oh, God. What is this course off very quickly? I would say Petty Booshua. Yeah, it's kind of complicated because you're like working directly for a billionaire. And you're living in the billionaire's house and you're living a very upper class life. But you still are working. It's kind of complicated. What is your relationship to the main production though? Oh, this wow. Well, but it's all service set. Like I don't know, I feel like we have to do a divide here. Like I think I think the gender division of labor routine made in Butler is very important. I look forward to meeting how if Alfred is based or not. Yeah. Yeah. So you can find Garrison on Twitter. I write. Okay. We made it to paragraph two. In February of 2019, federal agents executed a search warrant on the Rancho San Diego Sheriff Station. Later that year, they arrested Captain Marco Gamo. In 2021, Gamo pleaded guilty to trafficking over 100 guns which were deemed unsafe for civilians. His sentence, I shouldn't say civilians with cops are also civilians, right? But non-cops. His sentence saying the judge said Gamo was almost becoming a mob boss of sorts. What you want to strive for as a sheriff's captain. Gamo admitted to engaging in straw purchases, which is buying guns with the intent of transferring them to someone else. He also acknowledged tipping off an illegal marijuana dispensary that was about to be searched in order to. A big, based, based, come on. Nothing this guy did is inherently wrong. It's the fact that he only did it to certain people. So that was his cousin who earned the marijuana dispensary. He was also engaged in illegal consulting with other dispensaries, which I don't fully understand. Yeah, I'm guessing his consulting emerged to being like, hey, the cops are on their way tomorrow. Maybe stop being a dispensary by the time they arrive. Yeah, that seems like a that that that that seems like a very classic. The cops take a cut. Kind of. Yeah, I guess so. Yeah, yeah. There are a lot of the things in this DOJ thing are like really fantastically phrased. So Gamo and his co-deferendent, why you will Anton also helped paying clients, skip the waiting list for a difficult to obtain, can still carry permit. As part of this scheme, Anton took a legal cash payment to a county clerk who ensured favorable treatment for his clients. Gamo might have flown a little too close to the sun with this one, but it's not actually that unusual for gun laws to have carve outs for rich people. And often those carve out don't involve cops stealing ammo, but it's pretty easy if you're wealthy enough to work your way around firearms legislation, which is kind of what I want to get into today. So while Gamo did go to jail for gun trafficking and multiple other crimes he was doing, the sale of so-called off-roster firearms by Lauren Forthman offices in California is relatively common. And there's not much that's been done to prevent it since Gamo was arrested. So to understand this, I think you have to understand Gamo forthman using credibly complicated firearms laws, which probably requires like an undergraduate degree. But to give a brief summary, California introduced its gun roster in 2001. And like many of our laws, it has its roots in entrenching systemic inequalities. In this case, legislators were trying to ban something called a Saturday night special and people know what that is. No. It's a small, conceivable, affordable handgun. It's like there were these guns that came out in the 80s and 90s that were like super small, very cheap, very simple, very conceivable, and shit. Well, that's the thing, right? So this is really fascinating. So in practice, these were at least culturally associated with like black communities, right? That's you see them in sometimes like certainly like there was a stigmatic reference to like it's these guns that is causing violence and we're not going to fucking look at inequality at all, right? We're just going to ban the guns. Are they shit is an interesting question because California introduces legislation which said that handguns have to be drop safe. So that means you can drop them and they can't go off. That is generally a desirable feature in a handgun. Able to fire 600 rounds without more than six malfunctions and have a manual safety device. Later on, they added another thing that would make the gun only fire when it had a magazine inserted. And they put all these rules in place and had said manufacturers had to submit guns for testing. All the guns they were going after pass the testing. So I guess they're not as shit as one of one is suspected, which is kind of like that is the intent. They are laboring under that misabrahension, but it seems like these guns which are very cheap actually pass the testing just fine. So if you look at the California roster. So once those guns have passed that testing, right, they go on a roster. And that roster, like it's done by SKU. So like by the individual code that's given to the gun. And you could look up the California roster. It's online still. And there are hundreds of cheap small handguns that are on it. And so they failed in that regard. But they created this kind of bizarre system where most manufacturers had to make a California compliant model if they wanted selling California, right? Because they had to have a this magazine disconnect, which means that the gun won't fire without the magazine in it, which is not a usual thing for semi-automatic handguns to have. Like if you are outside of California and you have like a normal, like a clock, for instance, it doesn't have that, but you would need one that did in California. And so that means that these guns are going to have a much, much smaller economy of scale, right? They're going to be more expensive. Manufacturers also have to pay for the testing and submit three models. So what it de facto means is that fewer guns are available in California. It doesn't really become a big issue until 2013 when the DOJ in California add a micro stamping requirement. They added it earlier actually, but in 2013, they certified it was possible for microstands. Sorry, can I ask a thing? But so is the roster the list of Guns are allowed to buy? Yes. Okay. And if it doesn't appear on the roster, we're going to get into that. You can actually buy it, but you can't buy it new from a store. So you can buy it used. And there are two ways that these used handguns can enter the state, right? One of them is if you move to the state, so let's say Garrison moves to LA, right? And they bring with the... Horrifying. Yeah. Just enjoy. Just like a Vulcan minigun. They bring with them an M1 Abrams tank. It's a balloon shooting gun. Yeah, everyone of the West Coast has to have one now. And so it's actually different for rifles, sadly, but they bring with them pistols. And those pistols are not on the California roster. They can keep them and they can sell them, right? To a California resident. The other way that these guns can enter and be sold is cops are exempt from the roster, right? So yeah. Oh boy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And when I say cops, I am speaking in the broadest possible turns because of a variety of peace offices are exempt to include employees of the California State Horse Racing Board. So I would think park rangers can do this, right? I think it depends what you are within the park ranger, within the park ranger. And it seems to be... There is actually a list, though, that's in the legislation, but it seems to be largely at the discretion of the gun shop, like in practice. They could get in trouble, but I've heard of firefighters and EMTs being able to purchase off roster guns, which is fucking not in the legislation. It's also kind of funny. But in theory, it would depend on what unit you're in or they could contact your park ranger office and be like, hey, this girl is trying to buy a gun. She uses it at work. Because the idea is that they would have the most up-to-date weapons to carry at work, right? Or that they could buy themselves, even though they get issued guns. So if you need a gun, there's a cop, you get issued a gun, right? So what it means in practice is that there's a thriving market in off-rust of firearms, but there's also massive price premium, right? They often sell for two or three times RMSRP, even though they're used. And I did a little digging into this and I looked at one particular item, which was a P365, a P365, which is a fairly like popular pistol, right? But after 2013, California didn't allow any new guns to be added to the roster unless they micro-stamp their bullets. Micro-stamping is a little feature where the firing pin of the gun stamps the casing, not the bullet, with a little tiny stamp, which is unique to the gun, right? Or it stamps it with the serial number of the gun. So in theory, this would allow you to pick up the casings at a murder scene and be like, huh, well, they were fired from this gun and this gun is registered as person. Therefore, we got someone to talk to you, right? Pick up the casings. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Absolutely. No ways around this. I mean, admittedly, admittedly, one thing I've learned over the years is that people are really lazy when they're doing crimes. And so true. So true. So true. You could be slightly less lazy and get caught significantly less. That is my biggest advice to the illegalists. Literally think five minutes before. Yeah. Yeah. Also don't tweet your crimes. Ever. Ever a great statement. Yeah. Yeah. It's one of our mortars here. You could also just use a revolver, I guess, and that wouldn't inject the casings. But because there are no guns, don't in 2013, right? The DOJ says, you are not allowed to add a gun to a roster unless it microstamps. And we did we've decided that microstamping is possible. No firearms manufacturer will make a gun that microstamps because other states will require all guns to microstamp once that technology is available. So they just don't built it. So they just don't do it. Yeah. I mean, it is. It is very funny. It's like car companies just being like, fucking, you know what? If we put airbags in that bad boy, they're going to make us put airbags in over cars. You know, this is a thing that I've run into a lot. I think it's really interesting, which is like, okay, the specific combination of regulatory state and corporations being required to do a thing gives you a bunch of really, really weird like outcomes that are like not what you would expect when you're writing the legislation, which makes them ineffective. Like, I mean, like the most famous one is like the clean air act actually worsens air quality for a huge amount of time because they put in this exception for like existing coal facilities under the assumption that people would just like, you know, build new coal facilities and thus be like, and thus like have better like create that cleaner technology. No one just, no one ever did. They just left these old coal facilities running. Or the other one like everyone always talks about those like those fucking that like why the giant SUVs keep getting bigger. And the reason for that is actually, I mean, it kind of is sort of fascist like closest, but like the actual reason for that is Obama era pollution controls on cars, right? Had these fuel emission standards. But the larger your car is like the worst fuel emission standards are. So they keep, so okay, in order to get around the fuel emission things, they just keep making bigger cars. Make it bigger. Amazing. Yeah. And this shit just like, I don't know, this is, this is I think a pretty good argument against like against a sort of regulatory state being able to contain like capitalism doing horror botfying shit is like every single time someone tries to make an air pollution thing, it just makes it worse. Yeah, they just create perverse incentives to do something which is like just stupid and polluting as opposed to. Yeah. Or they just don't comply. It was with the microscope thing. I just like, no, like this. Yeah. He simply will not. Yeah. The specific interaction of like people who elevate them, who make it to the California legislature on one hand and gun companies on the other hand just leads to this complete intransigence. Well, like any time a law is written, it is like someone has found that end run or a loophole. But before it comes into practice, do you know what won't illegally smuggle, illegally smuggle guns into California and start them for two to three times a retail price, Mayor? Is it all the firms that are doing child trafficking? That's right. The Washington State Highway Patrol. We're back and we're talking about cops selling guns for a lot of money in Southern California. So, big Marco Garma wasn't the only cop who chose a life of crime as it turns out. And shockingly enough, this practice is pretty common. So a Guadiena police officer in 2021 was also convicted of making 41 illegal off-ruster sales in a year. And at least six L.A officers have been found to be engaged in illegal firearms transfers, according to a 2021 L.A. Times investigation. So that's eight in a single year if you're keeping track. And it's pretty common to see people posting about this. If you go on to this California guns forum where people will be where they sell guns, right? You don't actually sell the guns on the internet because that's illegal. But people will post it and then say meet me at this gun dealer and we'll do the background check. And you'll see people being like, oh, I'm L.A.O. I have a friend who's L.A.O. and happened to be selling this gun new in package. I bought it to carry it on patrol, but I decided I didn't like it. Like that's the theoretical canard here, right? Oh God. Okay, the thing that reminds me of specifically is a very, very weird use case of like people who measure the gathering tournaments where you're not legally allowed to both draw and split the prize money. So you have to say this incredibly complicated series of sentences where you're like, I want to draw and that new conversation can we split the prize money? It's like I have to like say this exact series of words in order to make it clear if I'm not doing exactly what I'm doing and breaking the law. Yeah, this is how the law works, right? Like it always ends up being some kind of like, totalistic magic and contation that you can say. And then the thing that they're trying to fucking stop obviously no longer applies to you and you can do what you want. Like, it's incredibly assing out. And so in mid 2021, I tried to, I wanted to get a sense, right? And when I was doing this, of how many of these off-ruster guns are in California to get a sense of like exactly how much of a fast the attempt to create this roster has been. So I've been going off this for a while, but in the middle of 2021, there was an assembly bill pass called assembly bill 2699 if you're interested. And the bill required the Department of Justice to send a letter to owners of off-ruster weapons, which California officially calls unsafe handguns to remind the people who earn the mother-laws surrounding them and to whom they could transfer them, right? I first became a wordist letter because someone started to post it online. And that kind of gave me an opening where, because I can't PRA the names of the people who earn the guns, right? Or even where they live because obviously that's protective information and it probably should be. And I don't think that I can convince even I say stored by the state, but I can PRA the letters they sent out. So PRA is a public record set request, right? It's what people might know as a foyer. And so I did that and it took me more than a year and it cost me more than a hundred bucks, but eventually I managed to get the DOJ to send me the information, which showed that at least at the time I got it, which is in middle of 2021, 4,510 firearms have been obtained by the subsection of the law that allows exemptions for police officers. There are some other exemptions for like anti-concollectable firearms as well. So it's not clear that all of those were cops. They also noted that it had sent 213,804 notices to the owners of off-ruster weapons, which yeah, it suggests that like if we think of that the roster became a serious issue in 2013, right? So that suggested about 10,000 weapons a year since a roster began in 2001, have entered the state that are off-ruster, which kind of makes a point that it's a rather farcical attempt at gun control, right? But it still is that the roster, which I don't think you're fine, right? You can buy a very effective gun in California, as we have seen, they're very effective at killing people. But it does kind of make it a joke that if you have enough money or a friend who's a cop, then this doesn't apply to you, right? Then you've over 200,000 of these guns, which are supposed to be like banned in circulation, as long as you're wealthy enough to buy them. I tried also to PRA if any of these guns have been involved in crime or murder, and they wouldn't tell me that. And it's always worth pointing out that like the cops themselves are issued guns, which are illegal for civilians to purchase, right? Oh, it's not possible for them to purchase some new, I should say. They offer us to guns that issue to the cops, right? So by definition, some of these guns have been used in the accidental shooting of bystanders, shooting of officers by themselves, and shooting of officers by other officers that have occurred in California since the rusted began. So by definition, offer us to guns and kill some people. So this isn't actually the only way that being wealthy can get you around gun laws. And I want to go a little further east for my next example. I want to go in fact to a little town called Lake Arthur in New Mexico. Benny, have you guys familiar with this part of the world? Not, well, not that specific. I lived in New Mexico very, very briefly when I was a small child, but not there. So I've been using Google Street View, that's my, my, my dive. It appears to be the back arsehole of nowhere. And in Lake Arthur, they have one cop who it turns out was a volunteer and was being paid a dollar a year. Uh-huh. Yes. So this is, this is, whatever problem starts. This guy is called William Norwood and I'll, I'll issue a spoiler here that William Norwood is no longer a cop in order to department exist. And that's because Norwood was running a scam that took advantage of something called leo sir. Leo sir is a law enforcement officers safety act. And what the law enforcement officer safety act does is allow cops from any state in the union to conceal carry a gun in every state in the union. So this was a big deal. Yeah. I think you might be able to see what is going. This was a big deal before the Supreme Court brewed decision, right? The brewed decision was the one that significantly reduced the impediments in between you and getting a concealed carry weapons permit. I didn't totally remove them. And it didn't make it any less expensive. And California seems to be going about trying to make it even more expensive, which is bullshit. Like everyone should have the same rights regardless of how wealthy they are. But if you were covered by leo sir, right? If you're a law enforcement officer, you could conceal carry anywhere. So this is very desirable for some people. And one of those people is Robert Mercer. Do you guys remember Robert Mercer? No, I do not. Okay. So Mercer is a big time Donald Trump appreciator. Oh, yeah. He's that like super rich guy. Yeah. The bright black guy, the Cambridge Analytica guy. Yeah. Yeah. So this guy is rolling in it. And he, he was, he actually hosted like a like success party soon after 2016 election. This guy is definitely pivotal to the whole Trump scene, right? Like his bankrolling a bright bar of Cambridge Analytica. He, as it turns out, is also a cop in this little New Mexico town, which is kind of weird, right? Especially when you consider that 150 other people are also cops in this new Mexico. Yeah. One of these scams. Yeah. So that's a, that's one cop for every 2.9 residents. Jesus. Yeah. And turns out they're probably not doing much copying. But they are doing at least a certain amount of volunteering. It's actually unclear how much. So the, the Lake Arthur treasurer was, and Bloomberg did some PRAs around this. And it turns out that Mercer was what's called an honorary member of the police department. But there, there are no records to indicate that he did any policing. But nonetheless, he took advantage of Leo, so right? And that's carried in all 50 states. So these jurisdictions, there are several of them. Another famous person who's taken advantage of this is a friend of the podcast, Steven Segarle. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Steven Segarle, who apparently has been a volunteer cop for a very long time. And like actually was doing some copying according to a reality TV show he made called Steven Segarle Lawman. You know, the thing about that show, right? Is it's like, are you going to defend the show? Are you pro the show? Really? Yeah. Here's what I think on this show, right? Like obviously, Segarle's doing stuff that's really messed up. But it's also unclear. But how much he was doing is then the average cop, like probably what he's doing is worse than the average cop. But I don't think it's like, like I don't think it's as bad as like a Chicago special operations unit. It's like I can't believe he just came out in defense of Steven Segarle. He has worked to do to reach like the true upper echelon of like this is a man who gave his time freely to volunteer for Joe Oppio. This level of apologism coming from you right now is simply shocking. I don't know how to deal with this. This is Segarle's. Segarleism. Segarleism. That is what I was working my way towards when I couldn't finish it. Yeah. Thank you for delivering the coup de gras. Yeah. Me coming out with the sum cops are bastard to take scab. Okay. So what is Carousine's deceased? Thank you for the died. Okay. So these badge factories, like the ones in Lake Arthur, and generally trade influence cash or connections for a badge in the right to carry a gun, nationwide. Mercer and his son-in-law George Wells have supported the town generously. So the most kind of the best investigated example of this, right? Because Bloomberg went after him, and Bloomberg, the publication, not Bloomberg, the dude. He went down there, personally, to sort this one out. That was the best or Bloomberg. He formed an alliance with apparently a one point this with his police department did do a raid on a meth house. I would love to see Bloomberg forming alliance with the meth dealers of Lake Arthur to fucking take on Mercer. So if Bloomberg can take on 9-11 single handedly, surely he can bust up whatever, whatever operations going down in New Mexico. 150 steep and cigars. Would you rather fight one Bloomberg size Steven cigar? And yeah, and don't bother messaging. No, not bother messaging me. I know he wasn't the mayor during 9-11. That was the joke. Don't bother messaging me. I already know. Thank you. No, no, no, no, I said I didn't say it. I wrote okay. I'm sorry. Yeah. Gary's in Twitter again. I wrote a case. He also famously dropped to Staten Island Phil Bloomberg. You guys don't know about Staten Island Phil. I don't know. Okay. Staten Island Phil is a groundhog. This will be in a bastard episode, as well. So it's a second mentioned Staten Island Phil for some people. Staten Island Phil is a groundhog similar to Pucks a 20 Phil. Yeah, but he lives in Staten Island. Yeah. Wow. Would we say that? Second, second, pretty, pretty disgusting take from me. Anti-Staten Island. This is my me get canceled episode. Yeah. Going back the time and getting rid of the Yankees. Things of the state. Yeah. Yeah. Unfortunately, Bill de Blasio dropped the groundhog on his head and it died. Bill de Blasio blames the groundhog for its reduced popularity. Everyone who's been the mayor of New York is a piece of shit. A piece of shit. A piece of shit. A piece of shit. A piece of shit. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like, fucking, the current mayor just went on like TV to take and talked about how he has this magic sponge that this is so that he can ring it. Yes. So that he can absorb a despair and ring the despair ass. What the fuck? I'm so sick. The only thing I saw out of New York was it was the whole like there shouldn't be any separation of churches. That is so much funnier. He's doing a sham. Wow. Sadness in New York. Yeah. What a place. What a town. All right. So if you're wondering how much it costs for Mercer and his son-in-law to carry down his everywhere, they paid at least 93,000 to set up this thing called the South East New Mexico Police Reserve Foundation, which is doing the valuable work of supporting reserve cops in Southeast New Mexico. They are the thin blue line between us and people not be able to buy concealed carry permits in all 50 states, I guess. And are its bylaws of his half-the-foundations net Jews were required to be paid to police departments whose reservists were members of the foundation. The time of its founding, all of the members were like Arthur reservists. Just a good public benefit. Just money going around in circles. He also paid for Lake Arthur officers to get swap training in Vegas. Again, there is only one full-time cop and he's a volunteer. So some of the lads went to Vegas, I guess. And this was a donation that was probably tax deductible. The way that this came out is when a quote unquote firearms expert from North Carolina got drunk and shot his brother-in-law in the leg. And people were like, why were you carrying, bro? Like, you're a cop. Yeah, from there things began to unwind. A lot of the other clients for this place are people like bodyguards and they were clients. Cops, volunteer officers, I should say. They're people who do close protection for wealthy folks, right? And carry guns as part of that work. And I'm guessing it's their employers who are making these significant donations to Lake Arthur that probably allowed these people to be reserve officers, which allowed them to carry in all 50 states, which in turn allowed them to protect these wealthy people, right? So it's another and like, it's important to understand that like New York, for instance, declined before this is before the brewing decision. A concealed carry permit applicant from like an FBI informant who had taken down a biker gang. They were like, no, you don't need to carry a gang. Like, it was almost impossible for people, even if they were like helping the cops to get concealed carry permits in some parts of the United States. And like, California was very hard, lots of places before brewing. Like, I think what's it? Nancy Pelosi had a concealed carry permit or fine-stined. Yeah, so this is the whole thing. Okay, so this was fine-signed. One of the other scams for this is you can get deputized as a federal martial. There's like a bunch, like, fine-stined rumours, there's like a bunch of, like, a bunch of sort of like, California, like, Congress people have done this. They get deputized as marshals and so they can do this shit. Yeah, incredible stuff. Yeah, it's so, I guess what I want to come back to is that like, all of these laws, right? All of these gun control laws are circumventable if you have enough money, right? So if you want a nice brand new gun that doesn't micro-stem, but doesn't have the, it doesn't have the magazine disconnect and like modern, they got modern carry guns, especially you're a lot nicer than they were in 2013, right? They're smaller, they have a higher capacity, you can put a little red dot site on them if you want to. And if you want one of those things, you can have it in California as long as you're rich. And if you're not, then you can't. And the same applies with this 50 state carry, right? If you want to carry a gun all around the country and even now with Bruin, and states are not required to recognize each other's concealed carry permits, right? So I have a concealed carry permit in California. It's not recognized by any other states because California doesn't recognize any other states carry permits. So I can apply for one Arizona that cost me more money. And but if you want to carry no 50 states, you can just make this donation to the cops, right? And you can almost all of these things, right? These aren't the only examples. Rick, me has cited the federal martial thing. Another one is the NFA, right? The National Firearms Act, yeah, Act, which like essentially it's not illegal to have a suppressor. It's not illegal to have a short-barrowed rifle. It's not illegal to have a machine gun. Actually, you just have to spend a shit ton of money to get one. Hmm. Which a Mercer has a collection of machine guns, I guess. So all of these things, yeah, it's great. It's fine. It's great that we live in a country with two tears of rights for people. Those are those those machine guns are totally going to be used for normal, completely normal things like that. Yeah, normally in 20 years. Yeah, yeah, a totally normal guy who will use them for normal stuff. And just I'm sure like select make holes in paper with his friends. And it's not problematic at all that like to be as rich as this guy is, you have to be a problematic dude. And it may be those are the people who shouldn't be having guns. Yeah. But instead, it's it's going to be poor people who can't be having guns. And I think, regardless of what you think, it's perfectly reasonable to think that like there should be fewer guns in this country. It's perfectly reasonable to leave that. And I think like it's perfectly reasonable to think what the fuck should we do about the fact that kids get shot in schools? That's not unreasonable. So it's at all. But if the way around it is saying, well, only rich people get to shoot people, then that's not really a solution. It's just kind of the appearance of one. And I don't think any of us, certainly if we were on the left should should really support that. And yeah, that's where we are in California, which is great. Yeah. So that's about all we've got on this. If people are interested in seeing more about either the Mercer case or the public records I have, we'll put the more up on our sources page. You can find our sources page on there. It could happen here website. And we put all of those there for all our episodes. So yeah, go check that out. Anything else to finish off with guys? The cops having guns bad cops being cops bad cops bad. Yeah. Oh, well, what about Stephen Sagar? The me this is a dramatic change of form from your earlier stars. I only have I only have your idea that he was slightly more violent than than a normal cop. That was the extent of my argument. He is only slightly more violent than a regular cop. She is flip flopping on the some some cops are back. Again, you can send me your opinions on the police. She's on Twitter at I right. Okay. March means nonstop college basketball. It all starts with the conference tournaments. Man, it is dramatic. Who will earn their bid into the biggest tournament of the year? And who will be left waiting, right? Join the excitement and make your bets with Draft King sports book. New customers can bet just $5 on a pregame money line and get $150 in bonus bets if your team wins. Plus all new and existing customers can take a shot at caching in big with draft Kings stepped up parles. It's all about draft Kings. You love sports. You already love sports. Let's get draft Kings involved. Download the Draft King sports book app. New customers use the promo code Bobby sports bet $5 on any college who pregame money line and get $150 in bonus bets if your team wins. Only a Draft King sports book with the code Bobby sports 21 and up in most eligible states. But age varies by jurisdiction. Elgibility Restrictions apply gambling problem called 100 gambler in New York call 8778 hope and wire text hope and why 467369 see show notes for full details. In 1804 vice president Aaron Burr killed his rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel making him a pariah and a fugitive desperate to return to power Burr began to plot a daring insurrection. Hi I'm Lindsey Graham the host of Wonder East podcast American history tellers. We take you to the events times and people that shaped America and Americans our values our struggles and our dreams in our latest series a disgraced Aaron Burr conspires to break off America's Western frontier and found a new independent nation with himself as emperor. When president Thomas Jefferson discovers this scheme Burr becomes the highest ranking official in US history ever to be charged with treason follow American history tellers wherever you get your podcasts and you can listen and free on the Amazon music or wonder app. Wherever you go in the all new Toyota crown you make a statement because the Toyota crown is the car that always has something to say. It's style that says you're ready to steal the show even when you're not trying and the available hybrid max power train and standard all-wheel drive lets you rule the road and tells everyone to get ready for a show stopping performance every time. Outside the Toyota crown has an innovative design that always makes you look sharp but it's on the inside where the Toyota crown really does the talking with a premium driver focused interior that puts you in control. When you're ready for a vehicle that makes every entrance a grand one get behind the wheel of the car that speaks softly but commands attention and makes everyone listen. Introducing the all new Toyota crown the car that says so much Toyota let's go places. Hello and welcome to it crap in here once again who's sit by myself aren't true as we talk about whatever. Today we have two special guests sprouting Sherian from the Black Flore collective and they had talked to us about the dichotomy between Urban and rural political organizing. I mean as we can all recognize in this day and age being politically active is incredibly important. There are a lot of vulnerabilities that we are all facing under this intersection of systems and we are looking for ways to get out but it could be difficult to navigate especially when you don't know exactly where to begin. That's part of the focus of my channel and it's also something that these folks are here to talk to us about but before we delve too deeply into the meat of that discussion let's begin with a quick introduction you know who is Black Flore collective how did you all begin and what is some of your goals as a group. Hey this is Sprout and we got started organizing with the Black Flore collective through previous organizing projects here in Aberdeen Washington such as the Chahaylis Urban Mutual Aid Network. That collective got started after the Black Lives Matter rebellion in so-called Seattle and was started by feeding the movement out there in Capitol Hill and Chaz and then brought that organizing effort back to the community to start a food and up arms here in town. Through those meetings and relationships that we formed we got to know the local homeless in town and started getting to know their needs as we tried to fill them with our mutual aid efforts and out of those conversations over meals we learned that one of the biggest needs was some sort of home base where people like us trying to support the community could come together and cook meals together and serve them in a collective area. Yeah having a safe place to be able to just cook food and plan other types of organizations or collectives is imperative because we face a lot of backlash from the reactionary politics around our town being in the kind of the heart of Trumpland and the type of people that show up in the big city protests to mo people down with their trucks and whatnot. Right and how was that affected your old rejects what you see? Thankfully not too harshly but we've definitely had some scary situations. There was one time at the homeless camp we were told about by the campers there where somebody had tried to run down a tent that somebody was sleeping in and they might have just like jump out that like mean before they got hit and they jumped out of the truck and was like waving of a police baton or some sort of like stick or something around threatening people. Somebody got like a bigger stick which prompted them to get in their car and start waving a pull out a pistol and certain waving that around before they end up driving off. Yeah sometimes when we get new volunteers there can be a bit of hesitance from people to like you know take food or supplies because there's a bit of a relationship that needs forming there of trust because of those actions of right wing actors and towns so it's kind of like what is why you're out here feeding so there's a bit of hesitance there but once they realize they're with our group we've established enough of a reputation that you know that name drop is usually enough to reestablish that trust. Right but it's good that you're all of some other established yourselves you know locally and builds up a reputation. Would you say that that has been one of your major goals as a group to build that trust in the community and where you'll see that trust go in from where it is now. I've always seen that personally as our only asset we don't have a lot of money obviously we're not funded by anyone so all we really have is our reputation in the in the community and in the wider community our reputation has led to some of that backlash that Cherian was talking about but within the actual unhoused community you know we have a reputation of doing whatever we can to help people and always showing up consistently and you know always being willing to go the extra mile when someone needs something in crisis. That's fantastic that's fantastic so having had some experience with like you mentioned working in the various movements that were happening in 2020 what would you say some of the major differences that you've noticed between organizing in major cities and in urban areas compared to rural political organizing. Well I'd say the majority of the issues we've noticed depend on the material conditions of the town that we're in. Being a small and rural area there's a lot more poverty here and so those material conditions lead to a lot of differences between urban and rural areas. I found before coming to the area I was involved with Occupy Oakland back in the day so I had a bit more of a running with larger cities what larger cities way of doing things. What about you Cherian? Well I've grown up here in this town my whole life and I haven't really left outside of it all too much. This type of organizing is always something I heard about more so through rumors than anything else versus actually seeing people on the ground and doing things. Once we got our food nut bombs chapter started during 2020 it opened kind of just a new world for not just myself but a lot of people around here. Right so one major difference that we've noticed that is the dichotomy of electoral politics in the town. Most of the opposition that we've faced has not been from the city but from grassroots initiatives and so some of those people over the course of the last two years have taken positions on city council but the police that they control are still demonstrated unwillingness to attack their own community in the way that far-right politicians would want them to. Yeah so take like the police that show up and they're like big city protests or whatnot they'll bring in all police stations from all surrounding areas people who aren't familiar with the community who you know it's just a job to them which helps sever their connection to that area. While here it's the same people dealing with the same people every day and in the minds of police it does create like a sense of community in their mind that makes them a little more reluctant to use the type of violent force that we see in the bigger cities and it's not to say that force isn't present and doesn't happen here but it definitely doesn't happen on the frequency. If I could run back a second by way this is Mia I'm also on this episode um yeah if I could if I could walk back a second ask for something when you say that most of the resistance to what you've been doing is from grassroots movements is that like like are you talking about like sort of grassroots like right wing political movements are you talking about sort of NGOs opposing you or? No like we have a local grassroots right wing initiative in town that's been the main Brent of our our little groups opposition and they have like I said they have run and won a few city council seats since then but it started as a grassroots you know clean up the trash sort of campaign yeah yeah you could still find their page on Facebook it's a save our Aberdeen oh god save our Aberdeen please so it is and they got like little soap bubbles and whatnot and they're here to clean up the city streets said oh boy I I don't think they're talking about the trash not trash as we were defining yeah so sort of right so this is a place where sort of like right wing like anti homeless stuff has been has been their sort of main way to build organization yeah it's a it's a huge I mean I don't really even know Sherry and like what are their talking points do they have other than the homeless everything centers around the homeless even stuff that has to do with like businesses in town and local economics that gets blamed on the homeless you know everything gets blamed on the homeless so it really all goes back to that yeah they are the scapegoat for every problem that the city council faces or or not just a city council but businesses you run a shitty business it's it's the homeless's fault I don't have customers so it has nothing to do with the fact that I haven't sold anything in years and this is just a hobby shop for me because I got a fat inheritance but yeah I'm talking about you all that glitters oh we call the names no so you speak you spoke about how this this grassers right wing movement has picked up some steam and wanted some seats in the city council um but I one thing I recognize about grassroots movements is that they tend to have to sort of balance their goals with the trust they need to build with the broader public with the perception that the public has of them and how they're trying to shape that perception so how would you say that the public of Aberdeen views the right wing initiatives the SOAP movement as your reference in and how do you think that the of tentative view black folk elective well I think a lot of people um feel scared to voice their opinions if they're on the left in town but we do get a lot of support for the mutual aid that we do the uh the base of the other the right wing movement in town is pretty strong and you know I don't see them drawing in a whole lot of new people because of their extreme nature and their tendency towards conspiracies but they do have quite a substantial base that whatever they say they're gonna they're gonna agree with and they're gonna go along with take for example like here about a year or two ago um think it was November 2021 or August um there was a big anti-trans rally outside of a star warshop here in town that uh yeah they had to bring in a bunch of proud boys from you know out out of town and they're like filled their numbers from outside you know uh with outside uh uh help and whatnot while chanting about how antifo was coming from Seattle to burn the shop down and kill the shop owner and all this and all this stuff they they had the guy during the whole protest they gave him like a bulletproof vest that he's like walking around did they brought it brought Matt Walsh to fucking town it it was a mess wow yeah it's um really a classic example of pot meat ketzel with a lot of their rhetoric in my experience i think the majority of the public though does care about the issues that the homeless are facing and of the fallout issues from that uh but they kind of it's kind of this tug back and forth between us telling them what's really going on on the streets and there's stories of people down at camp and this other more right wing tendency to just blame things on the homeless and take the simple route of saying if we just get rid of these homeless people then our problems will be solved and local efforts to gentrify the area with the influx of Terry Emmer a right wing capitalist who's bought up like 60 properties in town recently and as well as just the local media landscape in town has a right wing tinge to it i mean where we're at everything has a right wing tinge to it but so it's hard because there's not a lot of voices even though there is a lot of sentiment of caring about the homeless there's not a lot of voices that are actually telling the truth of what's going on on the streets and so when you get all of the lies and bullshit coming from the police and city hall and just being reported verbatim by the papers in town it leads to a lot of people forming conclusions based on faulty facts and so they might think oh the homeless did this the homeless did that and we go into the comments sections every time and push back and say you know actually this is what happened and it's actually a lot of times that we get people you know opening their eyes and saying oh i didn't know that you know it's not always just the standard figure heels and sort of thing that you see on social media because it is a sort of small town so right everyone kind of knows everybody yeah there's a bit more accountability in that sense if you're gonna spout off online it's you know it's likely that you can't have to face the opposite and the grocery line that's offensive not only that but it makes like for organizing in general anonymity a lot different of a tactic in how you in how you use it because like say in the big city you're constantly surrounded by security cameras everywhere you go you're constantly being monitored watched or whatnot but it's a lot easier just disappearing the crowd just another face you know they're like you can go out spray paint ditched got a big deal in place like here in Aberdeen for example but like I could mask up and do everything you know I can but if I get known in any kind of sense of way by going you know spray paint a wall it's like oh there goes sharing and you know spray painting walls again yeah and once once you are a docks to identify it's really hard to undo that and just sort of re-anonymize yourself so we've taken anonymity and our our security in that aspect very seriously from the get go a couple people in our organization who didn't have faced you know public harassment and stalking so yeah it is a big deal so you've managed to maintain a level of anonymity despite your outer Jefflets in a small town yes well to a large degree to a large degree okay there's different people in our group you know it's not like our group has rules about it so some people use their real names some people don't but those who are concerned about it have been able to although it's it's difficult and you know once that once that identification comes you know it's pretty much games up right it also kind of has affected our recruitment in the sense that people on the outside looking in may see what we're doing as more dangerous than it actually is because of those security concerns and they might be scared of retaliation and not want to participate because of that so we have taken to kind of reducing the fire in our online social medias for some of that mutual aid stuff so that we don't get as much of the backlash on those accounts and we found that it's helpful to have ancillary groups that can go and do more autonomous stuff if we need stuff done that it more said that is a you're going to create more backlash right so different layers of the organization I remember the after-futurist abolitionists the Americas one of the statements that put out they were they had used it to move like my core is a in the sense of having sort of different levels of network in place yeah like the above ground level of you know more visible public face in action whereas you have that sort of underground fungal network of anonymous and probably more risky action taken place yeah because we have to sort of maintain a certain level of goodwill in town for the mutual it for certain sides of our organization organizing uh like the the police for example they're always down at camp and so having a amicable relationship with them is advantageous in certain scenarios um so yeah splitting apart roles I would say you know one role being the the public facing side of things and one role being the more private uh autonomous group and how would you say you're talking about your semi-amicable relationship with the police how has that uh been sort of sort of set up you know uh what's the basis of that well as we were mentioning the uh the the structure of policing is a little bit different since the police in an area small like this is gonna hire locally as opposed to in large metropolis areas you generally see police departments in big cities hiring from the suburbs surrounding the area right leads to sort of like a foreign occupation feel uh that's definitely the feeling that I got when I was doing stuff in Oakland was that the Oakland police department was not made up of anyone who lived in Oakland you know uh they were coming from the surrounding suburbs that were much more affluent and removed from the problems of Oakland and they were just there to occupy by force and so we get more like the anti-grifith feel out here where it's like uh the cops are you know the good guys who's trying who's helping grandma across the road and you know will uh you know carry your groceries up the stairs for you and that kind of stuff at least that's more the at least that's more the public perception anyway uh they also they also have a small tank and conduct all sorts of drug rights right there's that yeah they caught me like yeah well helping you you know uh walking you down the road and carrying your groceries in the house for you within all the so yeah because of the small town aspects of it though um being able to like play on their um wanting you know for the ones who do want to help but are misguided because their cops a cab um but for the ones who are trying to help who aren't like specifically going out trying to fuck over homeless people besides their their jobs you know once you occasionally like go out and buy stuff of their own money or whatever to like help so so whatever they'll kind of like rely on us to deal with that slide of the population so they don't have to waste their time dealing with the homeless is how and which is allows us to deal with more of the problems in the homeless community in house versus having to get the police involved right because you know the police aren't really trained or capable of resolving those kind of issues for example like my father for for for for example um he was in and out of prison his whole life and after I was born and he got out of prison that last time um he had a moment where he's gonna get ready to have a relapse right uh he went to his dealer's house you know he's there he's he bought his eight ball he's sitting there you know getting ready to do his thing and there's a knock at the door and they open it up and it's police they're they got a warrant for the dealer they're raiding the house and this one cop you know pulls my dad aside because he knows if the other cops he's I'm he's gonna send him straight to prison and he's like you know hey but you know what what are you doing here man and whatever possessed my dad to do it he's like I just want to go home he put the eight ball in that dude's hand and cops kind of looked at him was like just just get the fuck out of here just go because he knew if the other cop you know saw him he would have sent to prison right then um and they're like again a a cab like this is you know the best story you're ever gonna hear it's the best story if a cop is a cop not being a cop pretty much yeah exactly yeah all every time but you definitely get more of that here though that they're advantage to takeover yeah and we have a certain uh people in our group that can liaison better than others with the police and so we've used that to our advantage as well uh they've largely ignored I want to say the police not the city the city wants to stop us uh it's like they're undying wish apparently but the police have largely ignored or shown tacit support for our efforts because they're members of the community and they at least uh the older crop of officers have been working these streets and seeing the same homeless individuals for in some cases longer than I'd been a lot so you know there are relationships there even it's a thing if it's one mediated by that position of being a police officer um when you see someone struggling for that long you know it's it's hard not to be empathetic as a human and so we've been seeing a bit of a shift now that they are all those officers are starting to retire and we're getting a new crop of younger more gun hoe police uh because who would who would bond who would sign up to be a police officer in 2023 you know other than people who have something going on so we're seeing a distinction that's extra yeah yeah but for a while there it was this you know that sort of old crop of police officers who had built relationships in the community and had that public image of being the helpful uh peace officer as a were which makes it hard to push back when you're when you're a group that's trying to advance you know uh abolitionist thinking and anti-cop sentiments when they are beating people with batons it's easy for your community to look at that and be like okay these guys are clearly the enemy but when they're just you know helping grandma across the street it's a lot harder to make those arguments so that's been one aspect that has made things difficult for us and another dichotomy in the just the list of these in the mere differences between the conditions around organizing in a small town rural area versus bigger than cities such as say Seattle yeah but despite all of their helpful nature they are they are enforcing local ordinances that criminalize the unhoused despite the ruling out of the night circuit court of martin v. Boise that says it's unconstitutional to do so so even with no alternative no alternative shelter available this year we have zero cold weather shelters and everything they're still out there sweeping people and telling them hey you got to move along when the maps handed out by the city say specifically you can sleep here and you can camp here as long as you leave enough space for pedestrians to get by you can set up on the sidewalks and yet they move along every day yeah as we're talking about you know the different dichotomy is that your face between urban and rural political organizing I would imagine that population is certainly an issue about that you might have to face as you know an organization trying to make a change in a small space have your phone did challenge into build your base and you know get connections and stuff going yeah for for certain like as we said there's already the issues with the of us having a more reactionary based politics in a lot of our population and that's scaring what allies that we do have here so it's definitely resulting us having to do the best we can to network outside as much as possible yeah there's not a really wide base of radicals to pull from so we have to work with a bit wider ranging group of folks out here although it has always shocked me how many people are willing to get involved in in radical organizing here in time you know I think the smaller group size has led to a need for more connection and more listening in our decision making processes which has been nice I think we've gotten really good at operating as a small tight make group which may be organizers in larger areas where where groups are larger have to deal with a little bit differently you know there's also the difference in terms of where we socialize in places like Aberdeen there's nothing to do in terms of social gatherings there's no center of socialization in town the only thing that we did have was the mall which has been closed for a couple of years now so there's not a lot to do in terms of activities and there's also just not a lot of space like physical space in which together as a community that's why we are currently serving our through-knop om meals under a bridge because the city has removed all covered areas in one of the most rainy areas in the country yeah like when I go to like Seattle for for example I could walk into any business any doorway just about any street pole and see flyer after flyer after flyer for this event this concerting this group's doing this this got this these classes are taking place etc they straight up have a law against putting anything on the poles in in town versus let alone they're actually being any events happening worth using the poles in the first place right right so I would imagine that parts of your aims as a collective would be to find ways to bring the community together through those sorts of social events in formal and formal for sure and that's definitely a big part of our goal with the black flyer project is to create a sort of social center a place for the community to come for various reasons and you know experience whatever they might discover so it sounds like you'll have a good lay of the land in terms of what is happening in the town and what sort of movement you want to be making in the next part of this episode you can join myself and Mia and Sharia and on sprout as we discuss the actions of black folk elective plans on taking in their community and what sort of material conditions they've continued to have to navigate in this space until then I'm Andrew of the Dujanel andrysum you can form me on twitter at underscore sein true and support on slash sein true and you can also check out black flower collective and support their week yeah you can find us at link tree backslash black flower LLC or blackflower you can also find our content at link tree backslash al 1312 where you can find our podcast small talk now and a bunch of our other projects by cyber media thanks a lot guys march means nonstop college basketball it all starts with the conference tournaments man it is dramatic who will earn their bid into the biggest tournament of the year and who will be left waiting right join the excitement and make your bets with draft king sports book new customers can bet just five dollars on a pregame money line and get one hundred and fifty dollars in bonus bets if your team wins plus all new and existing customers can take a shot at caching in big with draft kings stepped up parles it's all about draft kings you love sports you already love sports let's get draft kings involved download the draft king sports book app new customers use the promo code bobby sports bet five dollars on any college who pregame money line and get one hundred and fifty dollars in bonus bets if your team wins only a draft king sports book with the code bobby sports 21 and up in most eligible states but age varies by jurisdiction eligibility restrictions apply gambling problem call 100 gambler in New York call 877 8 hope and wire text hope and y 467 369 see show notes for full details wherever you go in the old new Toyota crown you make a statement because the Toyota crown is the car that always has something to say it's style that says you're ready to steal the show even when you're not trying and the available hybrid max power train and standard all-wheel drive lets you rule the road and tells everyone to get ready for a show stopping performance every time outside the Toyota crown has an innovative design that always makes you look sharp but it's on the inside where the Toyota crown really does the talking with a premium driver focused interior that puts you in control when you're ready for a vehicle that makes every entrance a grand one get behind the wheel of the car that speaks softly but commands attention and makes everyone listen introducing the all-new Toyota crown the car that says so much Toyota let's go places Day 3 of my exclusively adult virgin voyage last night as I dine on the truffle yogi from one of the Michelin stars chef curated menus I discovered something about myself I do not miss the chicken nuggets on the back of our freezer I do not miss them at all who covertly invoaged by March 31st for 50 percent off your second sailor and up to $600 in free tricks ask your travel advisor or visit virgin now we're voyaging hello and welcome to it grab and hear joining me again for this second part of a two-parter sherryan and sprout from the black flower collective in Aberdeen, Washington as they've joined us to discuss the dichotomy between urban and rural political organization. I last we spoke they gave us some background on exactly how the black flower collective began and what sort of motivating factors they have been in their development as an organization as well as some of the dichotomy as they've experienced between urban and rural political organization. Now we're going to take a moment to explore some of the material some of the other material conditions that they have faced in their city or rather in their small town sherryan. As we were talking about in the last episode there's a huge difference between the modes of socialization in big cities and then versus small towns like our own you know peer we socialize more like in our houses you meet friends at at the homes of other friends houses where in the you know bigger cities it's more so that you know you went to a club you went to an event concert class what what I have you and these are definitely things that have flow like evolved and developed based on the you know just different material conditions like you know there's not as many classes around here in events and stuff like that because people just don't have the money to go to them and be there's nobody has the money that really put them on or you know any of that's a startup capital there's not enough money coming through the town that's why the far right are always trying to push this homeless narrative because they're trying to make like turn this town into like a tourist town or something which makes no god damn sense to me there's nothing in this town to come here for us but like the the only reason you're coming to this town is because you're driving through here to go to the ocean that's it like the highway dumps out here and then it's the old highways back to the rest of the ocean sounds pretty isolated it can be pretty isolating out here but it doesn't disconnect us from the overall struggle throughout our organizing we've discovered that there's a lot of things that we can do for urban comrades through our mutual aid for example rural people can do anything that is virtual such as graphic design or web support we can also offer up rural spaces for rest and recuperation for frontline activists in urban areas while we may not be present in the heat of battle we can make our isolation a strength as often people abuse directly by the system require peace and solitude to recover from such trouble that makes sense we can also use our local networks to identify enemies and report this to the wider radical community out here there's a huge number of out here and in the Pacific Northwest in general there's a huge number of white supremacist and neo-Nazi militias and organizations and so they generally organize in small towns like Aberdeen you see a lot of that here and so people living in those towns bear the responsibilities we think of reporting on the activities of those groups to the wider community because a lot of times what you see is you know it's kind of like the police coming in from the suburbs the extremists often come in from the outlying rural areas either in protest scenarios or you know usually in protest scenarios we saw a couple instances in which our local right wing neo-Nazi group went out to Chaz and was filming videos out there and collecting information for their organizing back here so we can also be doing the same throughout the interim and collecting information on those groups for our comrades in urban areas right right that sounds like some really viable and put in ways to to build that sense of urban rural solidarity yeah yeah because there's definitely a lot of people out here that need some notes taken on them for example during the height of the 20-28 protests there is a small solidarity protest that was essentially just five women that you know holding a couple signs and which resulted in a line of reactionaries and their assault rifles the you know the harass they get threatened this very small group of women of you know if the it's saying how antifo was coming to the town they were going to burn the town down and all this stuff um you got people like in uh and wall wallet for example you have a Henry Contrara who um utilizes what uh connections what not that he has out there to like call other white supremacists um around the nation and it would essentially be like hey you know move here we'll get you a job we'll get you a house we'll get you all set up just come here and organize with us and we kind of have our own version of that here in Aberdeen with uh Cash McCollum a the leader of the Pacific Northwest Wolf pack our local neo-nazzi group and people like that I think it's only just them it's a whole group that uh they're a whole social setting that follows them and us being in rural communities are going to have the best opportunity to keep tabs on that kind of stuff and war on the wider community great yeah that's that's absolutely vital and you know one of my questions I'd prepared uh incoming to meet with with you uh I was gonna ask actually you know how can we avoid this sort of idea that a lot of people are having their heads or radicals having their heads or the sort of the distant commune trap you know this idea that uh you know radicals they move out to the country they set up their happy little commune and either falls apart to the into a cult or just like pulls away from the broader struggle but it seems like in some ways uh you're not being able to utilize that distance as a sort of a strength um and you've spoken quite a bit about how rural communities different ways they've been able to help urban communities in the broader struggle uh but now I guess want to tune the tune the tables a bit and ask uh what sort of ways urban radicals can support uh the struggles within rural communities well one way that we've seen a lot of solidarity from urban comrades has been in the topic of harm reduction uh it's really hard to access services out here where we're at uh there's really only one player in town and they are highly bureaucratic and the line to get any sort of social service from them is a mile long so fun notes uh that cashmacolum person I talked about earlier is on the board for that that social service as well as long as uh as well as other people who are part of the soap group yeah so we've seen a large um show solidarity from urban comrades sending us harm reduction supplies such as Narcan which has literally saved dozens of lives since we started that program healthcare in general is a is a tough issue for rural areas uh transportation distances lack of providers lack of services all of those things compound to make it really difficult to get uh appropriate healthcare and so anytime anyone has any actual injury in town they're they just send them to Seattle and our hospitals out here are really terrible and so um training I think would be a really vital need that we could benefit from a lot out here if we could get these sort of medical collectives and the harm reduction collectives that exist in these more urban areas to conduct rural training workshops I think that that would be a huge benefit to not you know not only just Aberdeen but any rural area that that was to take place in because that would allow those communities to start employing harm reduction and general first aid in their communities and prevent transportation out to these more metro areas yeah the more we could do skillshares the more we could do workshops the more we could do radical classes or anything under the idea of kind of unschooling um that we could do for rural communities is imperative because the the outside of high school unless you're going to college for something specific there's just not much for me learning out here what about the next generation what about that uh site of struggle in education well I believe sprout could probably delve into this a bit more but it definitely would say that our ideas for you know education was was in the next generation as much as everything kind of goes under this uh I forget um the name of it but it's this idea of the like uh seven years generation um in inter planning and the like what what would this look like for the next uh next seven generations right seven generations sustainability or seven generations to you with ship is another team used I think education uh is central to a community it's really the same sort of you know you're going to get the same answer with all of these healthcare addiction poverty they're all interrelated out here and because education is so crucial we have focused the Blackflower Collectives initiatives on a lot of educational programs so we're trying to get this space set up so that we can start having some uh revolutionary coursework that we can offer there we would really like to develop it into a real campus for learning um both for uh youth programs and for like continuing education uh GED and college level kind of stuff we think that the unschooling method is pretty cool um where people can kind of just pace their own learning and decide what it is they want to learn uh so that's the method that we would go with and we think that that allows for a lot more diversity in the styles of learning that are employed and through that you can kind of learn you can kind of learn new ways of learning I guess um which helps add resilience to any community and I think that a lot of those skills offered at a place like that like like Sherry I'm saying skillshairs I think a lot of that could come from we'll need to come from urban communities because we don't have a lot of that out here of our right hopefully right when we get our when we get our space set up we can host all manner of gatherings and start bridging that divide between the rural and urban yeah and I mean I've been looting more about your space uh a little bit of research on it um you know prize of the episode and we stood first out talking very inspiring stuff very much in the vein of something that I plan on doing uh locally here in Toronto being who let's pretend that this is uh as for some this is a revolutionary version of shocktack right like let's just pretend this is an anarchist shocktack uh give me your your your elevates a pitch for this space like what is the plan there okay our plan is twofold the property would be divided into two separate sections the public facing section would be dedicated to the social center we've been speaking of and the rest of the property would be what we're calling an eco village where residents would live uh the social center will be where we centralize community resources and the self-governed eco village would have immediate access to those shared resources uh the plan is to run the social center as a bit of a small business incubator for various community initiatives that we've been talking about and as well for the residents of the eco village to start their own small personal businesses because uh in our discussions with people on the streets you know everyone has an idea of how to make money and it's just always some small uh barrier like paperwork or permits that gets in the way of them starting to to have their own income and that sense of independence uh so we want to be able to help with that uh it would also obviously be a central hub for preparing and serving food which has been the basis of all of our organizing so far is the coming together and sharing of meals we want to have an internet cafeteria and a kitchen there uh we would also host hold space for the mutually network to store supplies and conduct its work both on and offsite uh we want to have enough space to have a meeting hall for uh potential unions and start pushing on the unionization locally with the i-w-w all of these spaces would be rentable to the public so the union hall for example would be a great venue for an event that someone wanted to throw or perhaps a wedding even and so that could be one source of revenue for the social center as well as the bookkeeping a back-end bookkeeping services that we're going to have as part of the business incubator and the permaculture design services that we're going to have as part of the eco village it really sounds like a lot of the different ideas that have had converged on my channel for some time now you know this idea of a sort of a library economy in this idea of the eco villages the sort of permaculture spaces and moods and centers of community outreach and education I'd be lying if I didn't say say that uh that we're a huge fan of your channel actually appreciate that appreciate that and I'm honestly uh in tune this project is something that really inspires me as well yeah I'd like to say that none of this is from us we've taken so much inspiration from other projects uh to cobble together this plan um that yeah it's been a real joy to to just go through all of everyone else's different content and kind of see like oh this could fit with that and this could fit with that and come up with a plan that we really think could start to solve some of these issues that we're seeing in town right I think that's the real one of the few beauties of the internet these days you know the fact that it's still able to connect people and ideas from all over for the place yeah for sure I wanted to ask as we mentioned the sort of eco villages and that that whole idea uh having spaces for housing um and benefiting the people in that community developing that sort of sense of interdependence uh I wanted to in a kind of really talk about urban and rural and urban without bringing up the fact that urbanization you know seems to ever crawl into the rural space you know like there's always this sense of the encroachment of the city on the surrounding rural regions um what do you what does your take on that yeah it does seem to be a one way street I think the uh model that we're trying to push is one of degrowth where you would see sort of a reversal of that trend of gentrification or urbanization and you would see more of like a ruralizing of urban spaces to start uh having more green spaces more growing of their own food and more production of agricultural products right there in the urban centers right you know which is kind of what we want to do with the eco village is provide a bit of a model for how uh uh community organizing uh of how a community could organize itself around ecological principles prefigurative politics and action exactly another note uh that I guess I want to bring up before we start to come to the clues uh is you know again we were speaking a lot about the urban and the rural but one element uh except in you know sort of a passing sense of our discussion of the police one element that's kind of been lost in that and that I know people might be asking about is what about the suburbs you know like do you see a space for organizing there um where's that fit into that urban rural dichotomy um what sort of focuses do you think suburbinole the ice as might want to tackle well I think uh suburban comrades are probably gonna uh have a bit of both worlds as it were because they're not in the downtown core of a city where most protests or sites of struggle happen but they're also not out in the boonies uh in a rural environment so you know they might have police that are a bit more preoccupied with the actual community and actually from the community and so they might need to take some lessons from the rural center or from the rural areas in that regard and try to diversify their group into multiple different roles multiple different channels so that they aren't having continuous backlash against a group that's just trying to feed the homeless uh but at the same time you know they have a lot of resources that rural people don't have access to and so they could be coming into rural areas and providing those same sort of trainings and workshops that urban comrades could and they could also be going into urban centers and learning and providing workshops and skill shares in those scenarios I think they're kind of uh maybe play a bit of a buffer zone between the two so what does the future look like for block flow collective you know what project say you're planning on tackling in the here now a couple months from now a few years down the line and how can folks support well right now we are definitely focused on securing funding um the housing market is a horrible property prices are going up and when there is a good deal on something it's gone usually within a day within hours so we are definitely full focus on fund raising right now we need to have the money on hand to be able to jump on a piece of property when it comes up because we need a good deal and we need a good amount of land to make sure that we have the room to grow and build various projects in the future uh yeah so the projects that we're focusing on right now immediately is the um permaculture design services and so if anyone wants to have us design their farm or garden or house or balcony um they can go to blackflower and get started through that process there um hopefully once we get land and as you're saying in the next five years the the permaculture design services can grow into a a permaculture design course that we could actually start offering people to come and do like a two-week intensive study on the building techniques that we're using on site in the eco village and on how to apply those back at home. Another project that we're currently working on is the boatkeeping. Uh this is sort of the bedrock of the business admin side of things that we're going to be folding into the business incubator once we get that going um and we are looking into a couple different grants for that but as Sherry and said you know right now we're focused on the funder asin. So we are we do have a couple different platforms that we're collecting donations from and we are starting to plan a few uh benefit shows here locally in Aberdeen so if anyone is in a band and wants to roll through and and play a show for us you know that would be much appreciated and they can they can just get a hold of us through our website. So our role in Blackflower is trying to spread awareness help with this fundraising gave them kind of free advertisement uh in order to help their growth. Um meansprout and our podcast mall tub now are from the SABLE media collective which once things are going with good with Blackflower we're hoping to be housed by them to help grow our media efforts but uh if another good way to help in supporting Blackflower is to go to our website at SABLE SA BOT media um dot no blogs dot org and you should share our podcast mall tub now check us out on social media on whatever social media you are on from collectiva mastodon to if Facebook at Aberdeen local 1312 we have articles that we write on the Harbour Rat report and a whole host of other content for people to check out and share with donation links that all go to Blackflower's efforts. That's fantastic and I would encourage folks to check out what they do in uh and all these different platforms and well that's been it for it could happen here it's been great to have you both from Blackflower collective uh I've been your host for today Andrew of the channel Andrism which you can follow uh slash Andrism on Twitter at underscore Saint True and on slash Saint True all power to all the people that's half your thanks for having us thanks for being on thank you guys great recording with you march means nonstop college basketball it all starts with the conference tournaments man it is dramatic who will earn their bid into the biggest tournament of the year and who will be left waiting right join the excitement and make your bets with draft king sports book new customers can bet just five dollars on a pregame money line and get one hundred and fifty dollars in bonus bets if your team wins plus all new and existing customers can take a shot at caching in big with draft kings stepped up parles it's all about draft kings you love sports you already love sports let's get draft kings involved download the draft king sports book app new customers use the promo code bobby sports bet five dollars on any college who pregame money line and get one hundred and fifty dollars in bonus bets if your team wins only a draft king sports book with the code bobby sports 21 and up in most eligible states but age varies by jurisdiction eligibility restrictions apply gambling problem call 100 gambler in New York call 877 8 hope and wire text hope in y 4 6 7 3 6 9 see show notes for full details wherever you go in the all new Toyota crown you make a statement because the Toyota crown is the car that always has something to say it's style that says you're ready to steal the show even when you're not trying and the available hybrid max powertrain and standard all-wheel drive lets you rule the road and tells everyone to get ready for a show stopping performance every time outside the Toyota crown has an innovative design that always makes you look sharp but it's on the inside where the Toyota crown really does the talking with a premium driver focused interior that puts you in control when you're ready for a vehicle that makes every entrance a grand one get behind the wheel of the car that speaks softly but commands attention and makes everyone listen introducing the all-new Toyota crown the car that says so much Toyota let's go places day 4 of my exclusively adult bird in voyage i've come to discover a new version of me one that prefers relaxing on my private balcony hammock without a co-worker inside instead of staring at the amount of video call from home much prefer book a virgin voyage by March 31st for 50% off your second sailor and up to $600 in free trinks ask your travel advisor or visit now we're voyaging ah that's my getting absolutely screwed over by the medical establishment voice whoo people thought it was another sheet podcast they were briefly extremely excited no the sheet the sheet podcast will that I make no promises about the sheet podcast well we're going to tell them about the last sheet episode no yeah okay we'll try we'll just leave that one yeah this is this this is it can happen here the podcast where I you you would think that the medical issue is a trans thing and it's absolutely not and it's amazing and I love it uh yeah it's it's a podcast for i complain about medical issues and talk about other stuff uh with me is james yeah uh i'm a person who complains about medical issues and sometimes goes to mexico to buy drugs say yay that legal drugs medical drugs did you did you did you did you did you did you did you did you do well with while we're being recorded the thing is is making me think of this I was in oh god i don't remember where mexico i was um I was not very old but so we took up we took up cherry and it was i got like so seasick was like the most easy to have ever been so we had to like go back and um we so I I this might my Spanish is not great. At this time my Spanish was much worse than it is now. And we have to we go to this drug store and we're trying to find something that's like an anti-c sickness drug and we buy this drug called Vamasin. And we're looking through the thing. We find the part where it says side effects and I remember and I look at this and I read it and it says, Halusa Dacia, and I'm like, oh no. Wow, dope actually was completely fine. I did not vomit over the rails again. I'm in high training on the ferry ride back. I have a good inadvertent medicine, hallucinogen story and then we can actually do the podcast. When I was a bit younger I was climbing mountain in Morocco and became extremely altitude sick. My fucking nose was just unleashing my blood. It was a real moment. Yeah, I'd better look great. And so I tried to get some medicine. We went somewhere and like, I speak French but most of people spoke Berber and I wasn't a language that I speak at all. Anyway, I received some medicine which I took in the form of I think like a powder that I mixed with honey and I was like, okay, this is unique and different. Whatever. Fuck me. Did I have so many credible dreams? I just kept taking it because I was going well, it was definitely opium. The thing I was taking was I'd bought it down and was like, I've got this stuff. It's really helped house my altitude sickness. One of the adults I was with was like, oh, yeah, don't do drugs, kids. Speaking of not doing drugs, okay, so what we're here today talk about democracy. The opium of the masses. Yeah. So this this script was originally written in a period where I had spent an enormous amount of time being forced to watch documentaries about what democracy was. My conclusion from all of this is that the history of democracy begins with a mis-translation. Okay. So, okay, what it was that mean? The answer is that, okay, whatever someone starts talking about democracy, the first thing they do is they go like, I'm going to start by translating the word democracy. The most common translation, you'll see this like everywhere from like astrotailers like documentary, what is democracy? You're just like the thing that's on Wikipedia holds that democracy is derived from two Greek words, right? You have demos, meaning the people and cradios, meaning rule. So you put these two together, you get demos, cradios, you get democracy. I my Greek, I can't pronounce a Greek for a while, it's fine, whatever it's, this is ancient Greek. Yeah, but you know, this this means rule by the people. So, okay, this translation has several advantages, right? Foremost among them, it is simple enough to be taught to a school to school children and catchy enough that there's a non-zero chance like the most pedantic of them will remember it after like the day after the test, which presumably is the explanation for why this is this is the translation of democracy that opens every single fucking thing people write about democracy. Unfortunately, unfortunately for our believe in grade school teachers and answer, those are the broader populaces of whole. This translation is so blatantly wrong that I have been forced to start a thing about democracy and also about writing, yelling about ancient Greek. So great. Okay, so what what what what what what is the actual issue here? The actual problem is the mistranslation of cradios in particular is incredibly important both conceptually and ideologically. And the actual sort of proper translation and the implications of this are worth examining in some detail. So the anthropologist David Graber, it's a way of mentioned a lot on this show, wrote in his regrettably very poorly read essay there never was a West, he describes cradios thus quote, in this this in turn might help explain the term democracy itself, which appears to have been coined to something of a slur by its elitist opponents. It literally means the force or even violence of the people. Cradios, not Arcos, the ancient Greek word for ruler, also the root of anarchism, but without Arcos. So what was he? Yeah, so what is that? Wasn't cradios a dude like he's a dude I find to solve them and immortal dude? Yeah, he's also he's the the main character of the God of War games. Okay, that is the thing I did not know. And hilariously that that is like him being the main character of the God of War games that is actually a better way to understand what cradios is than the rule by thing that everyone usually translates this out because like like ancient Greek has a perfectly good word for like rule by right it's Arcos, it's the root of anarchism like an anarcho, but it's the word it's like the the normal thing when you have a Greek derived word where you want to say rule by is that is is Arcos, right? Yeah, but democracy is not that, right? Yeah, like oligarch is like that, but like like democracy is specifically cradios. And this is because what democracy literally means is ruled by the violence of the people. Okay, so like this, this, this, this, like, this sounds like I am essentially pearl clutching about translations, but the context here is actually important, right? As as Graber points out, the sort of, you know, Athens, which is the exemplar society, society against which the original anti-democratic philosophers rail, by the way, this is like Plato, etc., hates democracy. Most of the people who you read from sort of classical Greek like, yeah, philosophy despises democracy, even though they live in them. It's huge. You know, like, not, not, not, not to like white water, theenean society, but like, these people like, sparta apologists and it's like, yes. We haven't really, it's funny that people have definitely, I don't know if they've actually recovered Plato or red Plato or they just get mad when Donald Trump doesn't win elections, but like this whole like, this whole like benevolent philosopher, King Shit has definitely, definitely made a comeback in recent years and it's troubling. Yeah, and I think, I think part of this, this is another complaint that I've had about sort of like the way that like, the sort of like great author's thing is taught in universities is they deliberately, like, there was like, in what specific readings they assigned, there was like an incredible intellectual effort that goes into making sure you never see the absolutely deranged shit that these people believe, like Plato, Plato literally worships angular momentum. I like that is, his god is angular momentum. Like, he hates democracy. He loves like, spurtin, like, all the garkey basically, like, all of this stuff is like, that's like, stuff that you don't read to get a side plate out. It's like, yeah, but that's a huge like, as someone who's taught like a ton of universities, that's this huge fucking impediment to you assigning that stuff. Like, I've specifically tried to assign different stuff in these like writing courses, which which ended up being like, great white dudes of history, right? Like, like, if you can assign different things, but like the cost of assigning those and that the cost isn't born by you or the university right to born by your students, it is massive. Like, even if, like, for a while there, like we would just, like, a lot of text, you know, if you take the time as a professor to label out the text, you can take it to a print shop, get them to photocopy it. And they're almost going to have to be, you need to find someone who's willing to kind of play fast and lose with copyright. But still, it will end up costing your students so much more than the text, which are in the book that you can fucking auto generate the quizzes because the book also has a website, and you still get paid like you're doing a job when you're not. So yeah, yeah, yeah, and bad. Yeah. And this stuff was had, you know, like, this has had sort of profound ideological influences. It's had, you know, it's has sort of profound, it's had profound influences on like the, I mean, just sort of the way that like, ancient Greece and Rome are like conceptualized. And I think this also really has, you know, it has an, it makes it very hard to see what was sort of actually going on in a place like Athens. And, you know, a great, great way to point this out, right? Like Athens is a sort of like example or I like, you know, sort of, it's a sort of example or like, it is literally like the place for which like, like most descriptions of sort of democracy are, are sort of originally about. And Athens, you know, we are trained to think of Athens as like, oh, it's like, well, Athens, this is like the first democracy or whatever. This is like actually, this is actually like a very normal sort of society. And it's not, this is an extremely weird society. And what, what Graber sort of points out about this, right, is, you know, the thing that is, you know, okay, so like there have been lots of societies over sort of the course of human, like, you know, hundreds of thousands of years in the sort of like course of human history, right? That I've had collaborative decision making systems. What is very, very weird and almost unique about Athens is it has two things put together. It has a decision making apparatus where people have equal say and it also has a violent enforcement mechanism to impose the will of the people on other people. And as you know, as we'll get you in a second, also imposed the will of those people on other people. Most society, yeah, that that that that turns out to be a very important part of sort of the Indian empire, etc. And like who the people are. Yeah, this is this is not all the people. Yeah, well, we'll get to that in a second too. Nice. But so most societies, Graber argues, either have one or the other of, you know, having a having like a decision making apparatus for people of equal say and a violent enforcement mechanism, right? You have a lot of societies with collective decision making apparatus is that involve the entire community. But the thing is these processes invariably sort of like develop some kind of consensus process as a sort of expedient to keep the community from just tearing itself apart through constantly conflict, right? Because like, okay, like if you can't actually without the threat of force, right? You can't actually have a society where you constantly have really, really controversial decisions being made by like 51 49 splits where both sides absolutely hate each other and one side is imposed over the other. Right? In order to sort of like keep your like, you know, you're like city or your state together, right? You have to actually create political solutions that people, people, not not that they necessarily like fully agree with, but that they're willing to live with. And then you know, this generates sort of like various so increasingly elaborate, sometimes not very allowable, but you know, various sort of forms of consensus processes. On the other hand, you have societies with extremely violent and forceomechanisms, but these societies are almost always incredibly hierarchical and they're ruled either by sort of monarchs or oligarchs who just simply do not care about the notion that like people should rule themselves or that, you know, other like other people who are not like the king or the body of oligarchs should have like anything even remotely to do with making decisions. And that that's what makes Athens really weird, right? Is Athens has both of these things? It has a sort of, it has like a violent, it has a way of like imposing decisions on people through violence. And also it has this principle that like people should be able to make decisions for themselves collectively by, you know, like through through through a sort of process that doesn't involve them all being ruled by just like some guy. And you know, what makes Athens and the other sort of Greek democracies because there are other democracies in Greece over the sort of period that this goes on. What makes them unique is that like the people quote unquote is composed largely of soldiers. As Graber puts it, in other words, if a man is arms, then one pretty much has to take his opinion into account. One can see how this works in its starkest and xenophones and nebises. I have been, I have now been told by several dictionary sites that this is in fact how you pronounce it. I don't know. And nebises sounds terrible to me, but such as the will of of, of, I don't know, dictionaries. Which tells the story of a Greek army of mercenaries who suddenly find themselves lead to listen lost in the middle of Persia. They elect new officers and then hold a collective vote to decide what to do next. In a case like this, even if the vote was actually 6040, everyone could see the balance of forces and what would happen if things actually came to blows. Every vote was, in a real sense, a conquest. So what we're dealing with here, right? And this is, this is sort of what democracy is and it is very rawst form. Is you're dealing with a group of very heavily armed men who need to find a way to convince slightly more than half of the group to agree to help them impose their rule on everyone else. Do you know what I will get you? Do you know who will fail to pay your mercenary contract leaving you stranded in the middle of a Persian civil war which you have backed the wrong side? Vladimir Putin. Yeah, don't take mercenary contract and Vladimir Putin. And we're back. So, you know, as I was sort of saying, like what we're dealing with here, right? We have a group of very heavily armed men and they need to find a way to make a, you know, they need to find a way to make like half of slightly more than half of the group agree with them to impose their sort of rule on everyone else. So it is slightly more technical terms, right? Ethenian, you know, the Athenian democracy or democracy in the Athenian sense is composed of two co-determining elements fused together. There is a decision making apparatus and an enforcement mechanism. The two are co-determining because the structure of the enforcement mechanism, which is 51 blocs with sticks beating 49 blocs with sticks over the head also determines the structure of the decision making apparatus, which no longer needs to concern itself with the opinion of everyone in the group as they wouldn't society without the ability to sort of employ violence to enforce decisions as long as they have enough people to sort of militarily defeat a minority of the group, right? You know, you could see how the structure, how, how the enforcement mechanism is, is the thing that is structuring what the decision making process has to look like, right? It's the thing that sort of sets its limits. And this is something that it turns out is very, very sort of important in what a democracy is. The enforcement mechanism, too, is also determined by the sort of decision making apparatus because the people here are armed soldiers. So the 51% that becomes the sort of like basis of democratic majority rule, you know, it literally composes the enforcement mechanism itself. And this sort of double coded termination is the origin of majority rule democracy, right? The institution that, you know, it in various forms and we will get into this like this has gotten increasingly less and less quote unquote democratic over time. But this, this specific form is the thing that has come to sort of define what democracy is. If we look at what democracy is as a political project, though, right? What we see is that the essence of democracy itself is to transform the majority from a simple count of military strength into a into a signal of morality, right? The citizens of democracies and even even a lot of people who are either not citizens of a democracy and live in it or who don't live in a democracy, simply believe that is the moral right for a majority of people to be able to impose the will in the minority. This is this is just this, you know, this, this, this, this, this is what, this is what forms a kind of democratic common sense, right? It is the thing that everyone believes that is sort of the basis of everything about how a democracy functions, right? And, you know, democracy is almost never framed this way explicitly, except by, you know, every once in a while you'll get someone who makes his argument who is like, I don't know, they're a billionaire, they're like, you know, I, what's his name? I, I, yeah, hi, hi, I want, well, like, if you press him, like Milton Friedman for to also, well, like if you press them, we'll make this argument, right? Which is like, no one actually wants to live in a democracy because, you know, like if you, you know, if we actually live in a democracy, everyone will just like increase our tax rate, or like marginalized groups will like, these are critiques made of the United States as well. Yeah. It's like earliest inception, right? Yeah, you know, what's his name? I think it was, I think it was John Adams. So some of the early founders, like very explicitly, this was their argument against like, maybe very, very, so anti-democratic arguments against giving anyone who didn't have property in the vote, which was like, I think the, the exact line was if you give people the vote, the first thing they will do is erase the debts and redistribute the land. Yeah, I know. I was a whole ask rebellion about this, right? Yeah, yeah, I wish it would have been based, uh, good program usually kind of kind of messed up in the US where you have to ask where that land comes from. But, you know, yeah, but like, you, this, this is an argument you really only ever hear from people who have like, like the only minority that makes this argument are people who have a shit ton of property who were like, oh, God. And you know, I'm, and they're, they're thinking, here's, well, okay, we need to make this system less democratic so that people can't take our property away. Yeah, I'll give property rights. Yeah. Yeah. But on the other hand, the reason for sort of pointing out that this is what democracy is in theory is really sort of cynical and like reactionary. But the thing that the reason this argument works, well, quote unquote works with sort of like, you know, with sort of libertarians is that this equation of sort of numerical superiority with the more right to exercise power is like the key underlying assumption of democracy. And it is the idea without which democracy simply ceases the function. Right. But, but this is something that, you know, people don't talk about democracy like this, right? The, the, the sort of trick of, of the democratic system is to, is to push the enforcement mechanism into the background, right? When, when, when you talk about democracy with like regular people, the thing that they walk and they know when they think about voting, right? But, you know, and any, any kind of thing that is like a collective, like decision making process, right? A regular person is going to call democracy. And, you know, they're, that's kind of true. But, but, you know, if, if, if you want to sort of get like technical about it, it's not. And there's an, there's an incredibly large ideological apparatus that specifically built up around making sure that people don't look at the way that the, that the enforcement mechanism is, is as much, if not more so, a sort of key element of what, of what democracy is, then the part we, you know, where everyone comes together and makes it, just makes a decision that everyone talks about all the time. I was watching an interview with Gray by the other day. That's the such a thing I do in my free time. And he was talking about, like, democratic confederalism in, in Northeastern Syria, right? And he talked about it as like democracy without the state, which I think is interesting. Like it's him using that vernacular. Yeah, he, so, so, okay, so like, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm taking a lot of the arguments from self-griber rope, but he, he backs away from the implications of his own argument. Right. Yeah. And, and goes back to all, like, like, caviar thing. There were, they, and I guess it's worth noting that there are a ton of, like, hugely divergent, like, when, like, prisoners of etymology, right? Like, like, yeah, the meaning, like, I think it's Rosa Luxembourg who said, government is politics in the people's interest or something. Like, it's, it's kind of bullshit, tanky interpretation of, like, what most people would see it as to, like, there are these broad definitions. You know, and, and I think this is something that, like, like, asher Taylor's documentary, right? Like, you know, part about that's good, right? It's like, there's, I forget who says it. There's this, like, kind of famous political line that's like, I, if, if, if, if, if there, if there is a thing that everyone agrees is good, no one will agree on what it is, right? Like, yeah, and this is something that, like, you know, you, like, I think, I think it's, it speaks to the power, I think it speaks specifically to the power of the sort of, like, like, the idea that more people be like agreeing with something, like, gives, gives legitimacy to that thing, which is that, like, every, like, like, even societies that are like, not even like, really remotely democratic, right? We'll pretend that they're so democracies, right? Like, the bathists have elections every sort of, like, cycle, right? Yeah, I mean, like, like, you know, this, this is a thing I think isn't very well understood, but like, like, this, this was also a thing, like, for example, China has this like, okay, sorry, I, I, as, as I'm preparing to explain this, I'm realizing that the China walk, like, like, the, like, Chinese government experts are going to get mad at me because I think, I think I'm about to confuse the United, the United Front with the United Front Works Department. But, so China, China, like, technically speaking is, there are like other parties, technically that are kind of remnants from, like, you know, for example, like, the, the, the left faction of the KMT, which is like the Chinese Nationalist Party, right? There's, there's like, technically a faction of them that's part of this thing called like the United Front. There's like, technically other parties and they have like this, like, consultative role. It's, it's an incredibly convoluted and elaborate system. But, you know, like, that whole thing and you, you, you, you, you can find, you know, like, this, the Chinese system is like not, it's not democratic in the sense of like, you can like vote for someone. Or like, okay, like, it's not democratic in the sense of you can make a vote that will make a thing happen, right? You know, and to be fair, the US is also not democratic in the sense of you can cast a vote and make a thing happen, right? But this is sort of like, you know, okay, like, it is, it is a, it is a society that is less democratic than the US, which is sort of astounding, considering the US, like, doesn't even have one person, one vote, right? Well, we'll get into, like, republics a bit in a second. But like, you know, like Chinese, like, quote unquote, democracy is like not. It has very little to do with like the principle of like, the vote, like, 51% of the population votes for a thing that it happened, right? But, but you know, like, if, if you look, if you look at the sort of rhetoric that you see from, or in the internal justification of like, like, you know, you, you, you sort of like read Chinese bureaucratic documents, or you read sort of like that their PR stuff, like they constantly talk about, like, yeah, we're going to make a more democratic society. Because like that legitimacy, like the idea of democracy is really incredibly powerful and enduring. And it's something that like, even like, you know, like, I mean, like, I don't know, like the Saudis don't pretend to be a democracy really. But like, I mean, mostly the other like, like, Gulf monarchies have like, electiony things, right? Like, it's, it's, it's an idea that is, that is enduring and powerful enough that even people who don't agree with it are forced to sort of like, do this pageantry of it. And I think I think that's really interesting. And I think it explains a lot of the kind of, I mean, especially around occupy, but I think it explains a lot of the kind of political movements that we've been seeing over the last about 15 years, which is I think this is also an explanation for why, why we see so many riots as as a form of sort as a form of politics, and why you get these demands that are sort of like, I don't know, you like, and then she doesn't love revolutions. And you get to see, so you sort of also see this now, you get a lot of sort of very abstract calls for democracy while also doing things that like, are quote unquote not legitimate in a democratic society. Like, reset like rioting is not supposed to be sort of like a legitimate political action in a society because, you know, like, there's this whole, like, A, because there's a system under which violence is supposed to be administered administered, right? Like, you have a state, the state is the thing that's supposed to do violence. If anyone else does it outside of that, they're like, you know, they're an illegitimate extremist. But okay, if we go back towards sort of base definition of what democracy is, right? Democracy is a collective decision making apparatus and to enforce that mechanism. It's like, well, what is a riot, right? A riot is both of those things happening at the same time. There are a bunch of people collectively making a decision and then imposing that decision immediately. Yeah. Is it a P Thompson who called the Luddites collective bargaining by riot? Quite possibly. Yeah. It's, it's often like reference now and other stuff like, like, like, people talk about like, you know, like, you're here, you're here, they're used all the time. I think they're the origin of it is, um, what is it? Eric Hobbsport could be Hobbsport. Anyway, yeah, famously, the Luddites were called collective bargaining by riot. Yeah. I think, well, I think there is something sort of interesting there about collective bargaining by sort of physical force. You know, it's like the decision making apparatus is happening outside of the certain normal bounds in which decision making apparatus is supposed to happen. And I think, I think there's there's this sort of, this is another, I forget exactly which Graber thing this is from, but you know, there's, there's Graber. There's my, actually, there's my actually be from, that's about Batman, which is pretty funny. Um, what's his take on Alfred's class status? I don't think he unfortunately, I think that's, I think that's the one thing he doesn't mention. I'm pretty, I'm pretty sure there's no Alfred discourse at it. There's lots of other discourse. He calls, I, is it, Bane? No, he calls, Joker. He calls one of the Batman villains deserves a night, which I think is very funny. Um, yeah, but you know, okay, he has this argument about sort of like, okay, how do you, you know, so the other part of democracy is, it's, it's, it's the part about the people, right? And this is always a thing that's, that's very much in contention. Like, how do you determine what the people quote, unquote are? And, you know, the structure of Athenian society is, is very much determined by who isn't, isn't included in the people, right? Like, you know, women can't vote if you're a slave, you also can't vote. There are lots of people who are directly under Athenian rule who can't vote and are, you know, not part of the people and therefore is sort of like, and this, this isn't something that's the origin of like the, the trajectory democracy goes on, right? Which is that it, it, it, it, it, it goes through his republicanism because, you know, like the, the, the, the, the founders of the US, right? If you look at this, sort of that style of 50, of 50 plus one style majority democracy, right? Those guys, you know, as we talked about, like, they didn't want a democracy because they thought in a democracy, people would vote against their sort of like aristocratic interests. Yeah. And so what did you sign on it? Yeah, they're like, yeah, it's like, okay, well, all these people own slaves, all these people own a bunch of land, all these people, like, I don't know, like bankers and shit. And they're like, okay, so it's, it's gonna be a bad idea if we let people like decide what to do with their stuff. So instead, you know, they, they, they go to this republican structure. And the republican structure is, I think, very interesting because it, it takes the 50 plus one structure, right? But, you know, it, it, it abstracts it to the point where like the, like, you're, your vote for the most part basically simply does not matter. Like every once in a while, like a local election, you can do something. But, you know, like what's actually happening, right, is is you are like, you, you, you, you are selecting who is going to rule you. And, you know, the other part of this is that the enforcement mechanism becomes autonomous from the people itself. Because, you know, unlike, unlike an Athenian thing where like everyone's either like on a ship, because they're like a, a, a, you know, they're part of the navy or they like, you know, they can go strap on their fucking shield and like plates and grab their big ass spear, right? And you know, like, well, this, this is the state, right? The state is like, fucking, Jerry and his friend, like, Patrick Clis or whatever the fuck, you know, like, forming a shield wall with the, like, the shields they have at home. You know, but, but, you know, and that's like in, in, in, in, in sort of like warrior democracies of that style, like, there are, there are, there are, there's like the Cassattria Republic, I think it's the same of it. Um, they're, they're the sort of like, they're like, you know, like, they're, they're, there are republics like this, or quote unquote republics like this, that, that exist in various places in the world, you have these sort of like military classes that, you know, like, 250 plus one. But those people, right, the, the unfortunate mechanism is very, very, very direct. In a republic, the unfortunate mechanism becomes autonomous and also the decision making apparatus becomes both with both of them become autonomous from like the people quote unquote, of course, mostly making decisions. And suddenly you have the situation where, you know, okay, if you live in the US, right, it is very, very clear that there are lots of things that everyone supports that simply like are not, is not like, like, it's not happening, right? Like, you know, I mean, you, you, you could look at sort of like universal healthcare, like, I mean, for example, another example that we could take, that's, I think for poignant right now is like, there was a pretty recent study on like what percentage of the population in the US supports trans people getting like, trans, affirming healthcare. And it was like 70%. And then, you know, you, you know, you look at how fucking state by state basis, right? And it's like, well, we'll be talking about this more sort of later, but, you know, on a state by state basis, like, well, that's not fucking happening, right? People are just making it illegal. And it's very easy to look at this and go, like, well, okay, so the, the, the principle of 50 plus one is being violated, right? Like, this is not a democracy. Something else has happened. Mm-hmm. One sort of solution to this is to go back to, you know, is to very literally go back and, and ask the question, who is the people? And, and this is, this is, you know, a lot of ways what Occupy is doing, right? Like, Occupy is an answer to this is like, we are 99% right? It's, okay. So like, there, there, there is a thing that is claiming to be the, like, the demos in, in democracy, which is, you know, Congress, right? But like, okay, Congress trivially is not the people, right? And, and best a section of them is definitionally not in any, any, yeah, right? You know, and, okay, so you have, you have lots of versions of this. Like, the, the American one tends to be a lot of people sitting as squared, you know, but like, like, like, like, can, can, actually convening a, a, something that's kind of like a democracy, but even, but, you know, that's everything. Like, is, is Occupy democracy, right? Like, they don't have violence as like a political tool. Really, I mean, this isn't to say that like, there wasn't some weird shady shit that happens. But like, you know, like, they don't have the ability to sort of like, coerce people into accepting like a 51% decision that, that people like Jenny, why they can't live this, right? So, so they don't, they don't really like, they, they, they, in some, in some, sense, in challenging democracy, they create something that isn't really a democracy, right? They, they create a sort of like a labric consensus process. And this is, you know, like, if, if the Kratos part is, I'm trying to think of a way, I've been trying to think for like 10 minutes, but wait to phrase this. But like, if the, if the strength and power is like, is the people and is evenly distributed among the people, as opposed to, is the state? And like, if some, this, if theoretical abstraction of the will of the majority of the people, then that, that leads to a consensus almost by definition, right? Like, like, if, yeah, well, I mean, I think the, the sort of breaking principle here is, if you think that it is legitimate to use for a group of people to use violence to enforce something, and at that point, everyone is still armed, then, then you, you, you get a 50 plus one structure, right? Right. But if, if you don't think it's legitimate to use violence to coerce people into sort of like doing whatever the thing is, you want to enforce, then by definition, you get some kind of consensus process. But, you know, we have a system that everyone, like, thinks that what's happening, like, you know, in some sense, like the ideological principle is that like, you know, everyone thinks that what's happening is, you have a 50 plus one system, and that's where the legitimacy of the system comes from, because like, you know, we voted for these people. But also, it's so clearly not, and also, like, the police are so clearly just this sort of like roaming, like, bandit force that is like not, even like remotely, like, yeah, they technically draw a gin, miss even the people, but like, you know, okay, like, what, what, what, what, what happens if you try to convene an assembly of the people in the US, the answer is they beat the shout out of you with sticks, and then tear gas you, and then like, start shooting you. Yeah. So, you know, I mean, this is sort of, you know, like, this is what occupied proof, right, which is like, if you challenge the sort of the claim of the government to represent the people, right, because like, who the fuck are these assholes to like, to be like, hey, like, no, like, we are the people, we are sort of like the legitimate manifestation of the people. If you want to do anything, like, you have to go through us, we'll say, okay, so like, how, how did, how did they get that? How did they get that authority? Right. And the answer is they didn't, they didn't by staging an armed revolution. Yeah. That's what they're, that's what their actual legitimacy derives from, right, is they, they want, they want the armed revolution. Yeah. And violently dispossessed people of that before they did that, like piggybacking off colonialism to do an armed revolution. Yeah. And so like, okay, but like, you know, their legitimacy is incredibly tenuous, right? Like, this gives you this question of how do you determine, like, what, you know, how does the democracy determine what the people are? And one, one way that you can make a sort of counterclaim against the democracy is by a, like, physically assembling a shitton of people in a place and going, like, we are, like, physically, we are the people and we are going to make decisions. And you know, that, that can, that can look like Occupy with like a seven hour meeting about whether where we want to put plants, right? Or it can look, and this is, you know, you get this a bit in Occupy, but like, or it can, it can look like, you know, here, here are a hundred thousand people, like, they are going to fight, they are going to just like throw shit at the police until the police run away. And, you know, that, that is, that, that is a, that is a thing that, like, we have seen in this country, this, this will be like another episode, but this, this, this was a thing that happens in Mexico in 2006 in Wohaka where people basically ran out the police by literally hundreds of thousands of people, like, wait, wait, waking up to a bunch of police, like, a bunch of police just beating the shit out of like a bunch of striking teachers and then, like, picking up a brick and throwing it. You see it in a little bit, oh, not really, but like, in, like, Podemos in Spain, if you're familiar with that. Yeah. Like, they, they kind of, they're attempt to have people determine their policy platform. We'd not largely a successful one, but like, yeah, well, I mean, it's like Obama did that too. I really? Yeah. This was a thing. Obama had this job, like, one of the Obama's initial pitches was like, he was going to have, there's going to be this like online thing where people could vote and like, decide and policy things and he immediately mandated it. And Podemos also immediately, like, this is one of the things that, like, this is like one of the ways you try to like capture this kind of like, you know, because what, what what you're really see, like, when, when, when riot police are like fighting, like, a bunch of people in the street, right? Like, what, what you're watching is, is, is two kinds of democracy fighting with each other, right? You're watching a sort of like, like, you're, you're, you're watching the crowd, which is an, you know, a very, very immediate, like, for like, you know, literal form of democracy, right? Where, you know, the crowd makes a decision and people do things, fighting the police who are like a very, you know, the, like, the police are technically at, like, a part of a democratic system, right? But the police are just purely the sort of like, like, like, they're, you know, they, they, they, they are the violence by which the people rule. And you, you are watching, you're watching these two things sort of like, clash with each other. And you know, I mean, I, I, I think I think one of the, the sort of like, products of, of the way that republicanism, like, specifically developed, or like, republicanism, the sense of like, this is a republic that a democracy, essentially, etc., small, like, yeah, small, like, yeah, small are, but also in the sense of like, okay, so instead of you voting on things directly, like, you know, you vote for some asshole who, yeah, like represent democracy, like, yeah, whatever, yeah, right? Like that, that sort of like, unmooring of, of, of the means of violence from the people, which was, you know, which is the essence of democracy, good or bad, right? And, and, and I would also say, like, you know, that can go like, that, that sort of like, having, having violence in democracy, like, you know, violence and decision making being paired together, like, that's not always a good thing. That can go really, really badly, right? Like, you know, because like, like, for example, like a race riot, right? Like, like, like a, a clan march, right? Is, technically, like, is technically an expression of democracy, right? It is, you know, it is a group of people convening themselves as the people and then doing an action. And, you know, and like, I, this has been something I've been sort of been forced to think about a lot with the anti-trans laws, which is that like, trans people are like, you know, the most optimistic estimate you could, like, have is like, maybe two and a half percent of the population, if you assume there's a bunch of people who are trans and don't know that they're trans, right? Like, you know, and, and if, if you were two and a half percent of the population in a, in a 50 plus one system, it is very easy for 51, but like, there is no physical way that you can have, like, if 50 plus one percent of the population size that kill you, all there's nothing you can do, right? Like, there's, there's no amount of like voting that you can do that will make you not die because that, that's the sort of like, yeah, the tyranny of the majority or whatever, like, or like, yeah. Yeah. Have you, the familiar with like the argument against utilitarianism that like, the greatest good for the greatest number or the greatest happiness for the greatest number, but if you're looking to serve the greatest happiness for greatest number, if like 10 people get two units of happiness from beating one person to death with sticks. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And like, she kind of experiences much sadness as they experience happiness, like it, yeah. Yeah. Democratic impulse in action. Yeah. And, and, and you know, like, this is a thing that is, again, we've talked about, like, is, is normally brought up by like, incredibly corrupt, corrupt, sort of, Vita Lalitans, who want to protect their status, but like, it is also, you know, like, this is part of the reason why, for example, the US just fucking puts like, immigrants at camps, right? Because they can't fucking vote, right? Like, they're, they're not part of like, quote unquote, the people, right? Like, there are large sections of the population who are just, you know, like, booted from this entire process, right? Um, yeah, this is an argument that William C. Anderson and Zoe Suboodsy make in the book as black as resistance, which is that like, yeah, like, black people, like, fucking are not part of the shit, right? Like, they're not a, like, a constitutive, like, part of the people, TM, right? Yeah. And, you know, this, they, they, they, they, they call this, they call this the anarchism of blackness, um, which is this sort of like, it's, it's, it's a position of being like, removed as like a legitimate sort of, like, subject in the state who can, you know, exercise your like, democratic rights or whatever the fuck is like, yeah, okay, like, lots of people have never had this and, you know, this, this, even, even even in this sort of like, you know, relatively egalitarian, like, you know, like, there, there, there had been like parts of the US, like, especially the early US, right? You have your, like, sort of like New England town council, right? It's like, well, what is, what is your New England town council to do? It's like, well, it votes to send out the fucking militia to kill indigenous people, right? Like, you know, even, you can, you, you, even, even when the US has functioned as something that is closer to like a, like, democracy TM, where like, the means of violence and the means of sort of decision making are actually placed in direct directly in people's hands, right? Like, that doesn't always go well. But yeah, you know, but like, you know, we, we, we, we, we have now developed a, like, in, we, we, we, we, we, we developed a system that has like the worst of every single parts of, every single aspect of this, right? We're like, okay, so we, we, we have 50 plus one as the sort of, like, legitimating factor. But also 50 percent of the population plus one does not actually vote for a thing. It is possible for like more than half of the population. It's possible for a majority of the population to vote for a business, you can't it. You get a different one, right? Like, yeah, it's possible. Like, we've seen this, like, so many fucking elections have had this now, like two in my lifetime, like, like, and, and also, also, we have, we, we, we have the other part of it, which is that we, we also have like, the, we, we have the other Democratic principle of like, you should be able to enforce a political opinion by violence. Yeah, we got that in space. And, you know, I guess, get, get, get, like, guess, guess, guess, guess who fucking gets to make that decision. It's not 50 plus one of you. Like, no, it's a bunch of assholes and suits and like, six cops. Yeah, I think a good way to view the US is like, a bunch of landowners made a system where land votes and people don't. Yeah. Well, and then, and then they went about making sure that like, even if the land does vote for a thing, if it's not, yeah, if it doesn't happen, 75 weird dudes in between your vote and anything actually happening. Yeah. Which is how you get, like, this kind of constitutional magic that the Trumpists are always trying to do, because, like, it's not actually like that far from reality, right? There are like 17 magic incantations I have to get set off. Do you put your ballot in the box and then an old white dudes in charge again? Yeah. And, but, you know, I think like, you know, the US system is like, it's stunningly bad. Like, it's, it's like a, it's a really dog shit, like, terribly written democratic system. Like, it is, it is designed not to function. Like, that, that, that was actually the point. Yeah, yeah. There's like, there's a king, a thing that like, you shouldn't have, like, the, the, the president is supposed to, is supposed to be a king, right? Like, I think like, if you, if you go back and read, like, what the balance of powers was supposed to be, it was like, they're doing the Roman thing of like, you need like, you need to combine the king and all the garkey and the democracy. And it's like, well, okay, so we have like a fucking king who could just like kill people. It's great. That's great. It's great. But, you know, okay, so I think, I think the, the, the, the, the, the broad total argument that I want to make here is that what, what we have been seeing over the last about 15 years, right, with the sort of movement of the squares, with the series of uprisings that we saw, I mean, you know, in 2020, the US, but also like all over the world from about 2018 to, I mean, I, some, there's still some of them are still going like now, right? You know, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's been a reaction to sort of this, right? It's, it's, it's, it's, it's been a reaction to democracy as a legitimating principle, not matching like, like, you know, you even, even, even, even what the principle is supposed to be. And then people going out into the streets and doing democracy. And the sort of clash between like democracy and theory and democracy and action mostly has resulted in democracy and action winning because it, it, it, it, it turns out the thing about republics is that they're really, really, really good at creating like military apparatuses that are very hard to defeat by just purely fighting them. Yeah. Sadly. Yeah. But however, comma, sometimes they lose. And you know, and as, as, as, as the, as the Oliore thing goes that they have to get lucky every time we only have to get lucky once. So keep, keep collectively bargaining by riot. Yeah. What the fuck else are you going to do? You know, like, uh, vote like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, vote like, uh, your life depends on it. Oh, you can vote if you want to, right? Like, there, there are instances in which it might meaningfully reduce the cruelty of the state a little bit in some places sometimes. But yeah, it's not going to, it's not going to like take away the central fucking cannot of the whole thing. Yeah. Yeah. So I do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do democracy by writing that is our official legal position. This is legally. I'm going to legally non actionable, but also legally actionable at the same time. This is called dialectics. And yeah, this is a bit of a gap here. Find us in the places. I don't find us in the places. Reade the Graber. Yeah, do that. Read the never was at rest. It's great. Nobody reads it. It's, it's really good. People have been asking for a Graber book because we keep talking about him. So you have read, I've never read the never was a West, uh, read towards an anarchist anthropology. Bullshit jobs. It's a good start if you read my, if you, if you, if you, if you, if you want to be the real gravehead and read something that fucking no one has read, go read, uh, towards an anthropological theory of value. I read into one of my colleagues at Supermarket the other day when we were talking about that. Say, good book. No one has ever read it. I, in a, uh, yeah, read more Graber. Marche means nonstop college basketball. It all starts with the conference tournaments. Man, it is dramatic. Who will earn their bid into the biggest tournament of the year and who will be left waiting, right? Join the excitement and make your bets with DraftKings sports book. New customers can bet just $5 on a pregame money line and get $150 in bonus bets if your team wins. Plus all new and existing customers can take a shot at caching in big with DraftKings, stepped up parlays. It's all about DraftKings. You love sports. You already love sports. Let's get DraftKings involved. Download the DraftKings sports book app. New customers use the promo code Bobby Sports bet $5 on any college who pregame money line and get $150 in bonus bets if your team wins. Only a DraftKings sports book with the code Bobby Sports 21 and up in most eligible states. But age varies by jurisdiction. Eligibility restrictions apply gambling problem call 100 gambler. In New York call 8778 Hope & Wiretext Hope & Y 467369, see show notes for full details. Wherever you go in the all new Toyota Crown, you make a statement because the Toyota Crown is the car that always has something to say. It's style that says you're ready to steal the show, even when you're not trying. And the available hybrid max power train and standard all-wheel drive lets you rule the road and tells everyone to get ready for a show stopping performance every time. Outside, the Toyota Crown has an innovative design that always makes you look sharp. But it's on the inside where the Toyota Crown really does the talking with a premium driver-focused interior that puts you in control. When you're ready for a vehicle that makes every entrance a grand one, get behind the wheel of the car that speaks softly but commands attention and makes everyone listen. Introducing the all new Toyota Crown, the car that says so much. Toyota, let's go places. Day 3 of my exclusively adult virgin voyage. Last night as I dined on the truffle yogi from one of the Michelin stars chef curated menus, I discovered something about myself. I do not miss the chicken nuggets in the back of our freezer. I do not miss them at all. Book a virgin voyage by March 31st for 50% off your second sailor and up to $600 in free tricks. Ask your travel advisor or visit Now we're voyaging. Yeah, it could happen here. That's the podcast that you're listening to. It's a news podcast about shit falling apart. That's the only intro you're going to get because Garrison is right now in the city of Atlanta, Georgia reporting on the continuing stop cop city protests. Garrison's done a number of scripted episodes covering these into tail over the last year in change. They're in the thick of it right now. So I'm just going to bring them and a friend on to talk about what has been happening this week. Yes. That's your cue. This week is this week is a special week because this is the fifth week of action that has happened here in Atlanta as a part of the stop cop city and defend the Atlanta Forest movement. This episode is going to be like a mid-week update because this this week of action is still very much ongoing. There's still many many days that that things have happened with. But a lot of a lot has already happened in these in these first few days anyway. So we're going to kind of do a quick a quick little update and then a more comprehensive piece will be later down the line. But with me to hear to help talk about what's what's gone down so far is someone from the Atlanta Community Press collective. Clarke. Hello. Welcome to the show. Hey. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for being on. Yeah. We've been kind of we've been we've been kind of teamed up the past few days here as as many many many things both silly and serious have have taken place across Atlanta. Yeah. Safety and numbers. Safety and numbers. Yeah. That it's always nice to have friends when you're watching Jack booted Sugs go fucking ape shit with all of their new toys. And I mean I think that is part of the week of action idea is getting as many people here as possible and hopefully some of that makes makes some people more safe. That's something that we'll probably talk more more in detail later when we have kind of hindsight. But I guess today let's just start on what's kind of happened so far chronologically I guess starting on Saturday we I I met you Saturday for a rally at Gresham Park. I think it's where we first met up this week. Yes. We met at the rally at Gresham Park which had about I would say an hour's worth of speeches before they kicked off a march down the bike path from Gresham Park to what the activist called Wheelonning People's Park which is the side of the protest beforehand. So the forest around it had been unoccupied since the raid in January that saw the killing of Tortegita. So this was the first sort of permanent return to the forest. So we took a I don't know 40 minute march down the path and then landed in Wheelonning People's Park that had one more little round of chance with a promise to defend the forest and then they they broke off and everything was a it was a nice really relaxing day. Yeah. It was it was a pretty positive start to the week of action. People essentially retook Wheelonning People's Park and started to go into the forest once again. Camp got set up in the forest. Lots of people from both in town and folks from out of town started to camp in the woods again. And then in the the hours after this small march people started to prepare for the music festival which was planned in like a few hundred feet away from Wheelonning People's Park I guess inside inside like a more like open field area. And music festival went off without a hitch the first day. It was pretty pretty rad. Yeah. I think there was about 500 people for 500 people that first night of the music festival. Yeah. The vibes were great everyone was having a fun time. I think it went on until about 1 a.m. And I don't think the first day could have gone better. I think it went on till about 4 a.m. Okay well I went to bed at 1 a.m. I did not could have been at 1 a.m. I was at the music festival quite quite a bit longer. I'm quite a bit older and I think that was the reason I had to leave. Jason doesn't understand things like needing sleep yet. In another year or two before they hit that sweet sweet wall. So so true. Then I'll have to find another teenager to go do journalism. Every four or five years you just find a new one. Yeah just just keep re-upping like Leo de Caprio. Perfect. So the first day was was pretty good. There was no substantial police response that I saw. Police kind of left people alone in the forest. The March from Gresham Park was fine. And people got to spend a night in the woods again. Had not had that many people in the woods in like months. And this is it should be said like camping in a music festival but it's like relatively high risk because people have gotten significant charges just for camping in the woods in the past. Yes. And the very recent past. Part some of the warrants that have been issued that justify the charges like domestic terrorism have included things such as sleeping in a hammock with someone else in the forest. And that's the reason why they're getting charged as a domestic terrorist. So yeah it is a music festival. People are camping. It's kind of chill but also there's absolutely this kind of this just like this like a ever present kind of fear that despite what is being done being pretty pretty kind of like normal and not not not not not in and of itself militant or radical still the consequences from the state are kind of always always looming. Which kind of leads us to Sunday. Yeah. Which picks up exactly where we left on. Yes. So I got there around noon on Sunday. Same thing. And the first thing we see is a bouncy castle. Large, large bouncy castle in front of the music festival. It has a big stop cop city banner. Massive multi colored bouncy castle. People are having a pretty pretty good time. Yes. Soon as they finished setting up the bouncy castle it was filled and everyone I think there were about 75 100 people just set up on blankets around the stage. Initially I think in the next few hours that definitely grew to be there being hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people returning to the music festival for the second day. I mean I think the the the march on the Saturday I was anywhere between like I saw estimates of anywhere between 500 to a thousand people. Music festival seems to be like over 500 people. And then on the second day of the music festival it's slowly grew in size to again being hundreds and hundreds of people. And it's yeah it's it started off just kind of continuing on with the music continuing on with the people people having having nice times in the woods. I I walked around the campsites got had conversations with people talking about all sorts of anarchy related things. And then they're slowly throughout the day. I think this was posted on social media as well. There was a plan for a rally at 5 p.m. To meet on part of part of the field that the music festival was also happening on. By the time that happened people people met up the group that that kind of a converged was in a mix of black block, camo block. So like people like covered head to toe in various various camo print. And they set off from from the RC field where the music festival was at. So they left they they what they went down Boulder Crest Road to the section of the woods called the powerline cut. So to to understand what is going on here you kind of have to understand some of the geography of the walani forest. So we have like the the walani peoples park parking lot and that immediate kind of kind of campsite. This is this is like the the eastern most part. And then there's the RC field which is just like right right next to that to the west. And then even west of that is entrenchment creek and entrenchment creek kind of divides up this this this section of the forest. And then everything everything west of entrenchment creek is generally referred to as like the as the old Atlanta prison farm area. And the the powerline cut is is is pretty close to to to the creek and to and that that is kind of where this this this this prison prison farm section is and this this is an area of the woods that cops have been more rigorous about policing more rigorous about surveilling more rigorous about having kind of constant surveillance and people on the ground. It's estimated that they're spending over $40,000 a day running security on this part on the on this part of the woods. Yeah. Yeah. So people for that amount of money they could hire like more people than are on the police force if they just used fiber. That's really that's really that's really the tactic they ought to be embracing. And I think if they had used fiber they might have had enough people to counter the protesters. But they overbloded police salaries they only had like 20 people there. Yeah. They did not have any so this group sat down Boulder Crest they they marched up the power line cut they they laid out like tire tire barricades industry. And then upon them marching marching on the power line cut after after they arrived near the near near the police surveillance set up that we that we that we just mentioned some of some of the equipment somehow burst into flames. People have blamed like shoddy construction people have said that you know sometimes equipment just does that. But yes, no. So people people set set a whole bunch of police infrastructure on fire set some construction equipment on fire that is being used to destroy sections of the forest where they wanted to build a cop city. Police were repelled with stuff like rocks and fireworks. The cops that were stationed there very quickly retreated. I think lots lots of stuff was not on fire. There was the the surveillance tower was that on fire. A bulldozer was that on fire. Well, I mean it's it's winter people need fires to camp come from I understand a UTV. A UTV was some kind of like like like a big like a big like trailer like storage unit thing was that on fire. Yes. And the cops were very worried about that. They didn't know if there was flammable material inside that you you wouldn't store flammable materials in an easily accessible area. We shut down an entire interstate because we did that a few years ago. So we wouldn't in Atlanta Atlanta what all of Atlanta collectively. So so so this happened a thermal chopper from a a thermal police helicopter was was watching all of this. And honestly the footage is pretty interesting. It is it is it is worth it is worth discussing how yeah. How how this type of surveillance works. Um I think the same thermal cameras that are on the Bay Ractar drones that Turkey makes by the way. It's it's it's it's it's pretty it's pretty foo's boomerang. Yeah. Oh absolutely. No, it's it's it's it's it's pretty it's pretty frightening with their ability to track into track individual people. I also think it's worth because there's video of the cops being pelted with stuff including fireworks. I think it's worth noting that like while it is unpleasant to be pelted with the kind of stuff the cops were pelted with you and I have both been pelted with numerous fireworks of similar size and it is not a serious threat to life and limb. No, no, they're we we survived but it's it's modestly unpleasant. But the cops that were there were not very happy about it. They put out calls for officer in need of support and for all available units in the greater Atlanta area to converge on the forest. Um people who were who who marched to to this to this section of of the power line cut started to disperse throughout the woods and I I was back by the road watching this from hundreds and hundreds of feet away because I I did not need to go up there that would not have been helpful in any way. Um but as this as this was happening a whole bunch of police cars zoomed by so I started following those cars I went back to the music festival. Um I I I met up with with some with some other other media people that I was that I was communicating with and then I got a text message saying that a cop showed up in the parking lot of the Wallani peoples park with an AR 15 I started making my way over and then as as I'm running across the music festival I see a whole bunch of police at the parking lot for the music festival itself at the at at the RC field. So I don't I don't make my way over to the Wallani peoples park parking lot where there's the AR 15 because instead I see way way more police closer closer to where I am. So I I stage there minutes later police start running into into the music festival they start tackling seemingly anyone who's like by themselves and that they could like get their hands on it didn't it didn't seem incredibly targeted. Um it's this is something that will kind of I'll probably like discuss in more detail once we have slightly more hindsight but a lot a lot of the arrests do not seem specifically targeted. Um in the bail hearings from just yesterday as of time of recording they said they were going after people who had mud on their clothing and like it it it it rains a day before the music festival. Incredible detective work only only a true terrorist would have mud. I think a month and a half ago Ryan Milo sap tore up the parking lot so it rained the day before and anyone who would walk through that parking lot or the trail system had to walk through mud. You're walking through but also people are just sitting on the dirt at the music festival like so yes. I mean this might also include like useful advice for people in the future because if the movie predator was telling me the truth and it's never lied to me yet coding yourself entirely in mud makes thermal vision no longer function. Uh-huh uh-huh yeah. Mm-hmm. Um so police police started tackling people it was it definitely they were going after people who were like by themselves. Um and yeah people with mud. The police alleged in there in their in their warrants that were read out at the bail hearing that they were going after people who had metal shields and they said that almost everyone they arrested was arrested carrying a metal shield. Now here's a few funny notes about that. There was not a single metal shield present at all. There were a few small plastic shields not a single metal one and in in looking through all of the footage of arrests that footage that I have that's been sent to NLG footage. Other people have had no one was arrested carrying a shield let alone a metal one. Um so a whole bunch of the the reasoning for these arrests is incredibly suspect. Uh police so rated once tackled arrested like five people carried them out they rated again and this is where they started launching tear gas into the forest. Um I got gassed decently bad. Uh it was not was not very fun. The first time I've gotten tear gas in years. Uh old old old memories um um and during the time. Uh it's like a kiss from a dear friend. So that was exactly what I was thinking and I did not I I brought gas masks to Atlanta but I didn't bring them on the Sunday because it was a music festival. Usually you don't bring gas masks to a music festival. Yeah. I'm the thing about gas the thing about tear gas and and gas masks is that like when you're used to getting tear gas it's really easy to have them handy and get them on when like you're not used to being tear gas you're probably not going to bring it with you. Yeah so uh people got people some people in the forest got gassed pretty bad. Um I mean the the whole point was to so confusion make it so that people could not hide out in the woods. It was it was to make people scatter run away so that they can be tackled and arrested. Um one person that was a national lawyers guild legal observer was arrested. Um there also a lawyer at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Uh this this this person was the only person arrested that I'm aware of that was released on bail. Um everybody else is being held. Everyone everyone else is being held indefinitely. That actually includes there was a second legal observer who was not wearing the hat. Uh so during the bail hearings yesterday their lawyer said that they were a legal observer but because they weren't wearing the hat and because they were not local they were not given bail. It was reported there was like around like 35 arrests the night of. Yes. Uh APD released a press release that said there were 35 detainees which at the time they released it was a very interesting term because we thought 35 people had just been arrested and were on their way to jail. Yeah. But just uh about 45 minutes after that 12 of those 35 were released. So this was very curious. Um that there is a lot of theories going on for what has happened. Um I'm gonna I'm just going to relay what I heard when I was listening to the bail hearings yesterday. So a defense lawyer for some of the people arrested said yesterday during the bail hearing that um to his understanding the 12 people that were detained but not arrested were people from Atlanta and the 23 people who got arrested and charged were not from Atlanta. And part of so what police could be doing here is basically if you're from Atlanta well we will ID you but we're not going to actually arrest and charge you but we will arrest and charge you if you're from out of state so this so they can continue this outside agitator narrative so they can say every single person arrested after this protest was from out of state. Um the the the cops in the media have done a lot of weird collusion regarding the events of Sunday night. Um they've conflated the location of the arrests a lot. Police want to make this seem like they arrested people at a crime scene that like they they arrested people as they were like torching construction equipment which just is it's true. They arrested people almost seemingly at random at a music festival that was like hundreds and hundreds of feet away like it was it is it is not an it is not an easy walk from from the power line cut to the music festival because not only do you have to go through some like pretty pretty harsh brush some woods and like jump over a pretty large creek of the alternatively you have to like walk down a road which nobody did. So the police have done a police and and like local media like large like large corporate local media have have tried to make it seem like that this that this music festival thing is just like a red herring that it's it's not it's not important but a lot of the people that that were that were that were arrested seem seem to be people that were just enjoying this music festival. So 23 of them have been charged with domestic terrorism. Most of those people are being held indefinitely for now. They're the the the bail hearings going to get appealed to the to the superior court where we'll see if that changes anything. The judge said that they were not presented with any evidence that these people did anything wrong but they still decided to not give them bail. The judge the the reasoning for that was that the judge thought that people who did not have any local ties to the community could be a flight risk and some people who did have local ties to the community they said still were a threat to the community somehow despite many of them not having any prior convictions not not having any prior arrests. It's it's it seemed it seemed pretty suspect during during during the during the bail hearing but that was that was most of Sunday night. Eventually police kind of surrounded and kettled the group of people that that was still still at the music festival hours after these arrests happened. They gave like a five minute dispersal warning and then they gave a ten minute dispersal warning. Eventually cops let most of the people who like gav who were gathered right in front of the stage leave. That was probably like 50 people at that point because people throughout the night were trying to leave as as police were you know like rating the forest. Some people were able to some people were just like let go and like were able to leave others were detained almost arbitrarily. It's it's it's it's hard to say. So that that was the first two days of the week of action and it felt like a week. What happened the next day. So yeah. The nonviolent direct actions and then the Monday the events. Oh no Monday. Yeah. Because that was only so that was holy the second day. No Monday is the city council meeting that we were in for eight hours. Yes. Yes. So Monday there was there was an interfaith coalition of clergy that that held a press conference outside of city hall. Um basically like endorsing the stop. Cops city movement or like. I clerk how how would you describe what what what happened. So there were a couple elements to the clergy. Um we'll just call it an action. Uh the first thing was they presented a letter with over 200 other clergy members who had signed that uh denouncing cops city calling for independent investigation into the killing of Tortugita and calling for an independent investigation into the use of domestic terrorism charges to chill free speech. Uh and then during that press conference uh Miko Shaban uh called for land back and called for land back of in the willani forest uh to the Muscogee people to stored in um um coordination with the legacy black residents of the area. Yeah. So they they were both like uh talking about the need to stop cop city but also providing a plan on how this land could be used. This this land that is that is leased by the city. It is on decap county. After this press conference some of these people from the coalition uh gave public comment during the city council. And that was most of the events on Monday that I can recall. Oh there was the there was the Perum in the forest that night and that was that was very enjoyable. That was kind of the first time people like tried to go back into the forest since since the Sunday night raid. Um and I think that started to slowly boost morale again. Yeah and I think we should talk about also after the raid there are a few um really unique things that happened. There were a lot of people who didn't have housing and they were housed by a local activist. Um there was the bus network was set up to transport people from the site where everyone was getting arrested to somewhere safe. Uh they moved breakfast off site to a different location. So there was a lot of work done in in in continuing the week of action and providing some sort of infrastructure for all of these people who had come into town and didn't have anywhere else to go. Yeah. Once again the resiliency on display was impressive and people's ability to adapt to the ever evolving situation was was tested and people adapted pretty well. Um Tuesday there was there was starting to be like typical nonviolent direct actions happening throughout to downtown. A whole bunch of banner drops happened around highways and interstates around Atlanta. People were detained for. Yes. Uh three people were briefly detained at the site of of a banner drop. Um but throughout throughout the day there was people handing out letters to people to folks like the uh the CEO of Norfolk Southern Norfolk Southern Alan Shaw and then similar similar types of like nonviolent direct action were happening. Uh a small a small march was led from Woodruff Park to AT&T and Georgia Pacific. Um there was like maybe maybe 50. I think 50 is an accurate number. 50 people gathered to march. Well there were 50 marchers gathered and then like 120 police officers in the in the surrounding area massive massive police presence police caused a huge a huge disruption to to to downtown. Um that that's something we've seen kind of ever since the Sunday raid the police have been incredibly heavy handed in their response to every single thing whether that be people handing out flyers or whether that be you know uh you know people at people at at at a music festival. Um a whole whole bunch of police were mobilized Tuesday night near the forest like a hundred again like 120 cops at least three or four different agencies uh bear cats uh helicopters uh I think there it's unclear what they were doing um this is something that we might we might speculate further on once we have hindsight when I when I put together my my kind of my kind of a more more intense deep dive and then uh then today the the thing that me and Clark just got back from uh how do you want to explain today's today's events. So today was a lot of leaflet handing out and marching for it was a smaller group than the uh march yesterday I would say there was like 20 25 people. Yeah like it started off being like only only but like a dozen um and it's it's slowly grew to like maybe like two or three dozen but yeah small small small group of people. Yeah small group of people and when they met at noon they they met and they broke into three different groups. Yeah and so the group that we followed was just uh they walked a little northward and started passing out flyers at the Petrie center marty station they went to all three entrances and each uh group warranted its own police uh surveillance unit. Massive police surveillance unit was following everybody around. There was there was a SWAT vehicle parked right right outside uh where these people were handing out flyers um it was if there was there was like 50 to a hundred cops flanking people on like from like from like from like different sides uh eventually all the all of the smaller groups that kind of branched off converged again and police then gave a dispersal warning to people who were standing on a sidewalk outside of a hard rock cafe who were handing out flyers. Okay well they mean look in that case they may have been protecting people because you want you want to get folks as far away from the hard rock cafe as possible. Garrison really want to go out there and that's a real dangerous. I was I was campaigning for all of the press gathered to meet afterwards at the hard rock cafe. Between the hard rock saturday guys on that one. So Garrison I watched you at the rainforest cafe you barely made it through that desert. That was different. That was different. I was I did I did get food poisoning from that rainforest cafe. I will I will continue to claim and I woke up with a headache for an under an inexplicable reason that because you were carrying around a bottle of bourbon throat. Throat, philosophic bourbon and a t.h. When I go or milkshake or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. So so cups gave a dispersal warning to people who were not not in fact blocking a sidewalk we're simply handing out flyers. See people were still walking everywhere. So they basically moved to a different section of the sidewalk and cops kind of left them alone. Nearby a group of indigenous activists from the Indian collective I believe is what it's it's actually the Muscogee Nation. The Muscogee Nation went went to a a meeting that the mayor of Atlanta Andre Dickens was having nearby Clark. I think you know slightly more about what happened here than I do. Yeah. So several of the indigenous activists entered so where he was having this meeting is a is a mall. And true Atlanta fashion. So they entered the mall and they they found where he was in the building. And so Miko Colonel Shibon delivered a letter essentially evicting the city of Atlanta from the Wielani forest. So they got in without the police noticing. And then the moment they got out a large squad of police. What did they were they were not happy how close people got to the mayor. So at this point we don't know what the full reaction of that's going to be we do know that the mayor ran away from accepting the letter and then one of I believe they handed it to one of the mayor's. There are few few more beautiful sites that in mayor running away. No more mayors need to spend time fleeing from their peoples. So I think this this episode comes out I think like like late Thursday night, Friday morning, Thursday afternoon there so like we are we are recording this Wednesday. There's plans for Thursday. There's going to be there's going to be a large march at 6 p.m. I believe there's going to be a youth rally at Saturday. And then on Sunday morning, a manual to run a tour to Gita's family is holding a memorial for tour in the Wielani forest where I've been told that they're going to spread towards ashes inside the woods. And that is kind of the last thing that's going to happen. And so those are the things that have not not not yet took place. So this but we've explained in pretty in pretty in pretty extraceating detail. Some of what's happened so far. So yeah, that that's kind of the current current state of on the ground at the week of action. I guess Robert, do you do you have any questions for Clark as someone who's kind of been on the ground in Atlanta for years covering stop up city. Yeah, I mean, I'm curious what over the last few weeks like you've you've had some direct clashes with the police that have ended in a variety of ways. Broadly speaking, is there anything that you're you're kind of leaning towards this doesn't work and is there anything you're kind of leaning towards this seems to work really well. So there is something to be said for the more aggressive actions. And I think they serve their purpose. And there's what's definitely something to be said for the forest occupation. It continued the movement until there was a groundswell of support. So at this point, I think the actions have sort of switched gear into more nonviolent direct actions as we're seeing this week. And I think that those actions will will continue. I'm sure the anarchist contingent will continue to do some other more aggressive. Shall we say direct actions? Yeah. And all of these work, we have a large swath of different avenues of engagement that the movement has developed. And each of them has their place. And if they're used in the proper place, they're used to great effect. I think one kind of change that has happened. We've seen a we've seen a bit of a decrease in the types of like nighttime sabotage. Like the this sort of like attack and disappear tactics that was was really popular in like the early days of the occupation of like of like the forest occupation of people living and living and camping out in in the woods. And you know the because like the last two much more like militant actions were done during the daytime during like large rallies. There was there was the protest on Saturday after Tortugito was killed where a cop car was torched. Then there was this then there was this protest on on Sunday night that people that people marched people marched to the to the power line cut. And then the police started doing repression at the music festival. But like those things were happening like during like but before the sun was setting. So I think that that that's one interesting change. I feel like some people are definitely thinking about this, especially because there's been 23 people arrested during this week of action. And they're being held in jail. And we have no idea when they're going to be able to have the option of getting out. So I think this is something this is something that people are thinking about in terms of how they are how they are doing direct action and how how their involvement in direct action will affect people who did not participate like with people at people people at the music festival who who were not who were not present at the power line cut a direct action. And how some of those people are undoubtedly now facing like punishment from from the state. So I feel like that there is definitely going to be some discussion about that. I have I have I've seen discussion about this threat in in the city. But I mean the the week of action is still is still ongoing. It is it is only Wednesday. It feels like it's been a month. But it's only been like three or four days. But I mean it's people people are in this for the long haul. We're we're starting to see more solidarity from from groups that are less militant like with the interfaith coalition right like you're not I don't think any of like the priests or the priests or the clergy were there throwing Moltov cocktails at the at the surveillance tower yet the very next day they're standing outside a city hall and demanding the same things that the people throwing Moltov's are are demanding. And it should be noted that they didn't denounce that it is it is solidarity across the movement. Absolutely. They talked about how them as clergy you know and the in the history of Abrahamic religions how many how many people associated and are the figureheads of such religions have been killed by the state and how often often these religions have been in opposition to the state during during their formative years. And they I don't know I just I just can't think of any prominent Christian figures or Jewish figures who were who were murdered by the state that's just not nothing's coming up right. None. Zero. Yeah. No. I grew up Christian and I can't really remember anyone. So yeah. That is that is that is that is the week of action so far. There will there will certainly be be be a more a more detailed deep dive with like analysis and like you know a narrative through line in the coming weeks as we're actually able to like look back on what has happened interviews with more people who are who are like actually involved interviews with like organizers protesters force defenders. But people despite them a massive amount of repression that we've seen on Sunday the increasingly like heavy handed response police have had to both direct action that includes property destruction and nonviolent direct action despite all that people are still continuing to be in the woods they are not letting it scare them away. The woods are still a place that the people are able to like exist in they're still able to to live live together in the woods stay in the woods. The cops don't like being in the woods. No there's a real fear. That's what you're trying to tear them down. Yes. The cops are the cops are still very much scared of the woods and and people have have not have not let the the violence that's shown by police scare them away from from wanting to stay in the forest. So that is that is something that continued every day there's been like guided twogers throughout the forest showing off the different different types of plants the different sections of the woods different different old campsites that people have slept at. Yeah it's it's been it's been pretty nice to see with the with just the incredible level of resilience. Well I know that that I I am and I'm sure many people are kind of watching this from a distance and very very happy to see that folks are continuing to adapt and endure and and take punches it's unfortunate that the punches keep coming but the ability of the community to take those hits and continue iterating and adapting remains tremendously impressive. I think kind of the note that makes most sense to end on is to say that this is still a winnable fight. Absolutely and that is a sentiment that literally everyone on the ground shares like we are at a point where like people keep saying like at this point they have to win like like there there is no other option than winning and people have the ability to win this this is a winnable fight and that is that is something that people continue continue to talk about and that that is why people are fighting so hard that's why people are are risking getting these ridiculous charges because they know that this fight is both worth it and they know this fight is winnable like this these are these the actions and the risks that people are the actions and the risks that people are taking are not for nothing like they they know that it is impactful and there is a very good chance that this this will lead to victory and will lead to the forest being preserved to being protected and being able to continue continue to grow. It does have a feeling of inevitability that they will win that that we will win I don't know which the appropriate way to say that is as a journalist but the feeling is that that cop city will not be built and that is something that shared I think by all of the activists in in this city. And I guess the the last thing I'll say is Atlanta Solidarity Fund if you if you've been listening to any of our coverage you should already know what it is you can find the Solidarity Fund at you can donate there to help the forest defenders and you know and anyone who was who was arrested in relation to this with with legal expenses lawyers that sort of thing. Yeah. Well that's going to do it for this episode and we'll have more from you Garrison and more from Atlanta soon. Until next time everybody uh keep an eye on shit. Hey we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. It could happen here is a production of Cool Zone media. For more podcast from Cool Zone media visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find sources for it could happen here updated monthly at slash sources. Thanks for listening. I'm Malcolm Grabble. I don't know if you noticed about me but I'm a car nut and I will do anything to keep my cars happy to make sure they stay running smoothly. I look for those things at eBay Motors with eBay Guaranteed Fit. When you see the green check you know that part will fit get the right parts at the right prices. eBay let's ride. Eligible items only exclusions apply. How are you spending your weekend with friends and family or at the car dealership? Why lease a new car the old way? With Roto lease your vehicle in three easy steps all from our app. Shop real-time inventory and see the clear cost that means the best price personalized to you with no haggling then complete your lease right from your phone. The best part your new car is delivered right to your door download the Roto app today that's R-O-D-O ready set Roto. When you arrive in the all new Toyota Crown every entrance becomes a grand one with an available hybrid max powertrain that says you always arrive fashionably on time. Style that says emphasis on the fashionably and presence that says you speak softly and everyone listens. Introducing the Toyota Crown the car that says so much. Toyota let's go places.