On the heels of three new settlements in which the government of Washington, D.C. is paying protesters well over $22 million, we’ve completed a new feature and two-sided poster on the subject of payouts to survivors of police repression. Both black and white and color versions of the poster are available.
Over the past decade of mobilizations, CrimethInc. agents have repeatedly pulled off narrow escapes from mass-arrest situations in which all our comrades were captured. We felt pretty pleased with ourselves until we learned, some years too late, that everyone who didn’t get away was making thousands of dollars! How embarrassing—we’re such dropouts, we can’t even get a job getting arrested! This, despite the FBI defaming our milieu as the “top domestic terror threat.” What’s a ne’er-do-well supposed to do? So we read with sympathy the account from our comrades who followed in the footsteps of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters, crawling through the sewers to escape arrest and, little did they know, a whopping $18,000.
Pass the word around—resistance doesn’t always end in defeat, even when we get beaten and arrested. We may not believe in the legitimacy of the law any more than our rulers do, but we still ought to include the battle in the courts in our strategizing alongside the battle in the streets. By bringing lawsuits against our oppressors, we can increase the costs of repressing us, and sometimes tie their hands for future demonstrations—compare the behavior of the Washington, D.C. police at the 2000 and 2002 IMF protests to their conduct during the 2007 IMF protests. Unfortunately, some sectors of the current anarchist milieu have such short memories that by the time the lawsuits are concluded, many have stopped paying attention, and the initial thoughtless appraisal of protests as “a failure” is all that sticks in people’s heads. We’re only now learning the net results of mobilizations that occurred a decade ago. To mount an effective resistance to capitalism, we need to think in terms of decades, not months.