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Chris Spannos on B-Fest and Greek Trip pt. 1

Chris Spannos documents his trip to Greece for the B-Fest "Freedom Strikes Back" Conference. Originally published on ZSpace.

Greece Arrival
May 27th, 2009

Arrived in Athens yesterday. I'm here with others for the B-Fest "Freedom Strikes Back" conference hosted by the Athens Anti-Authoritarian Movement. One of the organizers picked us up from the airport and drove us to our hotel in Exarhia. We are staying at the Museum Hotel right across the street from the Athens Polytechnic. Exarhia and the Polytechnic were central locations for last December's social uprising here and also in 1973 when students rose up and were brutally suppressed by the military.

We were met at the hotel by Nikos Raptis, a long-time friend of Z and regular writer as well. We went around the corner for some beer, food and discussion.

I spent most of the day walking around, absorbing my surrounds, and dealing with technical matters like the 3 times I blew the power in our hotel room due to poor power adaptors from the U.S. While walking around I also chatted with movement people leafleting on the streets. I was told that the occupations movement has grown, with about 40 occupied spaces in Athens alone and serving diverse purposes such as becoming centers for meeting and organizing.

An Open Letter to Susan Gaertner from Dave Mahoney's Mom

Originally published on Help Dave Mahoney.

The following is an open letter written by Susan Mahoney, whose son David Mahoney was arrested at the Republican National Convention protests in 2008 and is facing inflated charges of "terrorist threats." The letter is written to Susan Gaertner, the St. Paul, MN prosecuting attorney.


"My name is Susan Mahoney. I am the mother of David Mahoney, who is due to stand trial accused of assault in the second degree and terroristic threats, arising from the Republican National Convention of September 2008.

Since David was arrested on September 4th, I have been finding out as much as I can about the RNC and its aftermath. As well as David’s first-hand account of events, I have watched hours of video footage and read much of the extensive media coverage, as well as numerous websites, blogs and the Heffelfinger Luger report.

Participatory Society: Urban Space & Freedom by Chris Spannos

Originally published on ZNet:

[A variation of this talk was delivered today, Friday, May 29th at the B-Fest in Athens, Greece. The gathering is an international anti-authoritarian festival hosted by the Babylonia newspaper, at the University of Fine Arts in Athens, from May 27-31. The purpose of the gathering is to explore vision and strategy after last December's social uprising there.]

A Brief Chat with Harjit Singh Gill

Orginally published on Everything Is Dangerous.

I first encountered Harj after the Feds had rather ceremoniously hauled him out of a Jello Biafra talk a few years back (on charges related to dodging their questions about a series of property attacks related to the war, if I recall). He was contacting his favorite punk bands to see what help they could offer in raising funds for his defense, and... Well, a beautiful friendship has resulted from our contact. Having since spent a good deal of time in each other's presence since, in our respective transcontinental jaunts, his recent addition to the board of the IAS means we're now poised to pass utterly juvenile notes back and forth during board meetings in NYC/Montreal. Arguably one of the rising stars of north american anarchism, Harj recently sealed his status as someone to watch in a panel (in somewhat hostile territory, even) on Prefigurative Politics at the Left Forum, and totally wrecked house. Definitely check out the video below, and follow his writing at Planes for Baskets (he's far better about staying on top of this blog business than I could ever hope to be).

Anyway, somewhere in all of this, we thought it might be interesting to document some of the more recurrent themes in our conversations, and see if any of our babble proved useful. The results are after the jump. As this exchange evolves, it could potentially see print publication, but for now it's here. Enjoy.

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