Last Friday night, July 8, 2005, anarchists staged and anti-capitalist march against the war and G8 in San Franciscoâ€™s Mission district. The protest ended up being overshadowed by a senseless beating of a San Francisco police officer. The efforts leaving us with the question of what will be remembered more, the march against the war and G8 or the injured cop laying face down on the asphalt, head split open, his blood staining the streets?
The march organized by Anarchistsaction, an autonomous working group made up of individuals and collectives to organize their own forms of resistance based on anarchistic principles. They are opposed to the war itself and the war here at home. They are also opposed to the G8 (Group of Eight), and informal group of the seven most economically powerful countries. France, the U.S., Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada plus Russia. The G8 has had meetings every year since 1975 to discuss the economic crisis created when the U.S. abandoned the gold standard, resulting in floating currencies. While initially focused on macro economic and trade issues, political issues of interest to the G8 such as security nuclear weaponry and â€œterrorismâ€? have over the years become more important. The Anarchists charge that typically the G8 makes a series of promises of aid at these summits yet rarely if ever delivery.
The anarchists have a lot of facts and proof to back up the valid points they are trying to make, but who is going to listen to them if every time they try and stage these rallies and protests, violence erupts and bystanders and local businesses are hurt. I believe in the Anarchists and their ideals, but who will listen if people especially police are getting injured when they try and voice their opinions. More people will remember the cop getting his skull cracked open than anything the Anarchists have to say.
The Association of Chief Police Officers has asked for new legislation giving the security services "powers to attack identified websites". The proposal, along with one for a new offence covering "use of the internet to prepare, encourage, facilitate acts of terrorism" was part of the terror law 'shopping list' presented by ACPO at the Prime Minister's meeting with law enforcement agencies on Thursday.
Much of ACPO's list covers territory where legislation is already planned by the Government and/or is part of broader international roadmaps being pushed by Europe's Council of Ministers and the G8. The request for a cyberwarfare capability, however, is one of several new proposals put forward by ACPO, and has wide-ranging implications. ACPO doesn't give specific details of what it envisages, but says the power "has significant benefits for counter terrorism and overlaps with other police priorities namely domestic extremism and paedophilia/child pornography." ACPO therefore clearly envisages the security services being given the power to attack a wider range of websites than those simply associated with international terrorism.