Thursday, November 20, 2008

Anything We Do is A Threat: Account of the Police Raid on Sunday Nov. 16

On Sunday 11/16/08 the Hip-Hop duo know as X-VANDALS (MC Not4Prophet of RICANSTRUCTION and DJ Johnny Juice of Public Enemy) was scheduled to do a benefit show for RAC (Revolutionary Autonomous Communities) a dirt roots anarchist organization doing work in the communities that they work and live in...

The show was to be a benefit for an Anarchist Book-fair that RAC is planning...

The LAPD had other plans.... click on the link for the full story... com/watch? v=p7WaTPGhPLA

www.x-vandals. com
www.myspace. com/xvandalsbori cuas

Anything We Do is a Threat to the System
Account of the Police Raid on Sunday Nov. 16, 2008
by Joaquin Cienfuegos
"It's a war between city blocks and cops." -Psycho Realm
I was released on Tuesday November 18th after spending about 3 days in police custody for "resisting/obstructing police." First I want to start by apologizing, because I feel like the police caught us off guard on Sunday November 16, and I personally could have been more prepared or should not have put myself in that type of situation. This political repression was made clear to me when the arresting officers were cracking jokes to the "watch commander" about how thy had "shut down an anarchist party."
The event was a fundraiser for the first ever Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair (, the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities' Defense Fund, and to support a traveling revolutionary hip hop group from New York called the X-Vandals, held at a warehouse space collectively rented out to artists from Los Angeles. Part of the problem is that this space is isolated in an industrial part of the city with no traffic, so it made it is easy for the police to surround us there. Their intentions were clear, they wanted to shut down the event, and according to several accounts, it seemed like they had specific targets for arrest. Their main excuse was that some youth allegedly stole beer from a liqour store, but they were also asking people to show them proof that we weren't "trespassing." They were also saying that they needed to go in because they "smelled something."
The police had been patroling and watching the event. People say they thought there might have been undercover police there as well. I was walking outside to talk to some of the artists who needed directions and I was waiting for some sound equipment. Inside we had a DJ spinning some hip hop, but we hadn't even started the show. The police pulled up and ask me to go talk to them. People who were outside were walking into the show. The police asked to speak to the person in charge of the event, I walk in to find someone to talk to them. I was telling someone to find one of the people in charge of the space when the police kick the door open and tell me to go over to them, they then grabbed me and pull me to the outside. They try to push my head into some steel bars outside while they put handcuffs on me, but I held my head back, so I wouldn't get my head smashed. At this point there were over 10 cop cars filling 6th street, and a helicopter circleling the warehouse, which included more than 15 cops (high ranking officers as well).
Someone talked to the police from behind the door. People stuck out some cameras from the doorway to film my wrongful arrest and detention. While the arresting officers Cervantes and Cho were yelling at me and putting their hands into my pockets, I told them I did not consent to my pockets being searched. Cho (39259) told me I didn't have a choice, and that they didn't need a warrant to go into the warehouse, that we were trespassing. They draw their guns and grabbed one of my comrades who was filming, and continue to try to push the door to the warehouse open. They told me I was being arrested bor 148 (A) (1) PC Resisting/Obstructing a Police Investigation. One of the arresting officers, Cervantes was upset because I was letting them know that they were breaking an entry and told me that we didn't know the law, and pushed me into a police car.
The Black Riders Liberation Party came out from inside along with other people who just wanted to leave the scene, and told the police that they did not do anything and that they wanted to leave. The police then put handcuffs on Comrades Nadia and Kambui and started to put everyone from inside the warehouse onto the wall. They also spotted two people on the rooftop of the warehouse and arrested them as well, along with Nadia, Kambui, Ulises from Los Angeles Food Not Bombs who tried talking to the police about the space, and one young person who was id'd for allegedly stealing some beer from a liqour store.
We were taken to Central Division on 6th and Wall in Downtown L.A., where we were booked, and taken to Parker Center. The white artists bailed out that same night. My main concerns were the Riders who I felt were targeted because they wanted to get them back into the system to do some time for their organizing. They are now out on bail and pending their court case on December 6th at Bouchet St. Court. Our charges were reduced to infractions (equivalent to a ticket) "disturbing the peace." When I talked to the public defender he told me the police didn't have a case and the police report didn't make sense and was full of holes and lies. We pleaded No Contest, to be released that day, and fines were waived due to time served. What upset me was the waste of time, and I felt bad for all the people who were arrested on Sunday as well. I'll repeat what I told the pigs Cervantes and Cho, "this isn't over."
While in jail we talked to many people and we definitely had an effect on people in custody. We told everyone we talked to that we were in there because of our politics and that we were revolutionaries. Many people were surprised at the real Black and Brown unity and solidarity, but also were inspired by the work that is being done in the community, and wanted to support some of the community programs in Los Angeles. I would say 99% of people in custody were people of color, and felt they were there because of the injustice system. We have to continue to fight off these attacks on our people and our communities.
The show before it was raided was a rare mix of people, which I think is why it was shut down as well. There were punks, hip hop heads, revolutionaries, artists, and others. The police attack serves as a learning experience for me. Anything we do is a threat to the police and to the state as a whole, so if we don't take our enemies seriously then we are going to suffer defeats constantly. We have to know when to strategically retreat and have protocols in place to deal with state repression. We have to understand that the reason they are attacking us is because they take us seriously. They also wanted to scare the youth that were there, so they won't come out to any political events. It is our responsibility to let youth and other community members know about the seriousness of these events, and defend our people as well.
This will not stop us, or intimidate us. We will continue to fight, and be strategic at all times.
As always, in struggle,
Joaquin Cienfuegos
Power Through the People!

Police Raid of Anarchist Event
by m and johnaimani Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Joaquin Cienfuegos, a member of RAC and Copwatch LA Guerrilla chapter was targeted by the police and pulled out from the space. When folks inside the space heard what was going on in front they went over to observe and document what was going on. Joaquin asked why he was being detained and they told him to "Shut up" and "Do as he's told". He was handcuffed and searched without his permission. While he was being searched Joaquin stated loud and clear that he did not consent to their search and once again asked to please be told why he was being detained.

While I was at the door way observing I could see the the street was blocked off and there were about 12 police cars on 6th street and about 30 or more Deputies/Depupigs. As we tried to get cameras to document what was going on the police rushed the door again and I was pulled outside by 4 police officers. They pushed me against the wall and made me place my hands on top of my head and searched me. I asked the Officer why i was being detained and he said, "A crime had been committed a few blocks away and they were going to bring the victim to identify the person."

As I was pulled out, the folks inside closed the door to prevent the rush the cops into the property. They began to kick the door and yell at the folks inside to get out. Not once did they announce themselves as the Police Department or why they were there or to let peple know that they wanted folks to exit the show. Police officers were outside making jokes;" Do you smell that? I think its weed, we should go inside and find out", and "This is some kind of illegal rave or show or what do we call it?". Clearly unable to choose a reason why they were trying to raid the space they made up whatever we want.

After i had been searched, a female officer came over and I asked once again why I was being detained. She stated that this was an illegal gathering and they wanted to figure it all out. Officers were walking all over the front in very confused manner having to be told by other officers to
move out of the way. I could see the shadows on the officers behind me and Joaquin who continued to hold their hands on their weapons while we were handcuffed with our hands behind our backs.

After the police ignored the request by the owner of the space to present a search warrant or leave the private property, the comrades from the Black Liberation Party that were there in part to perform for the fundraiser exited the building and were immediately detained and sister Nadia and Kambui were placed in handcuffs and the rest of the the Black Riders where made to face the wall. The police then rushed inside and pulled everyone out. They had us right in front of the space and then made me walk down the block as they lined everyone up against the wall. They pull more than 60 people out from the space and had them with their hands against their back facing the wall. They separted the women from the men and began to search everyone.

A police officer that searched me came and asked for my ID. They said they were going to check me for warrants or any priors. He pulled out my ID and pulled out a card that he began to fill in with all my personal information. I asked what that card was for but I was not given an answer. My ID was returned but the card with my information was kept by them.

After they searched everyone's belongings they lined up all the males and females and said that this was going to be a line-up and they were going to bring the the victim of the crime to identify the perpetrator. When asked what crime (had been committed) an officer told another brother
that they had had a crime committed a few blocks away and some beer was stolen from a liquor store. When asked why so many officers where there for stolen beer the officer said, "He didnt know", that they just felt that whoever committed the crime was in the space.

A police helicopter was circling and made the announcement after everyone was removed that they were the LAPD. Two people from Food Not Bombs who were in the premise were pulled out and placed in handcuffs.

A police car with 2 Officers in the front and a woman in the back seat drove by slowly. The officers proceeded to tell people to look into the light and not look at the car. Everyone said they couldn't look at the light because it hurt their eyes but the officers from inside continued to shine the light into people's eyes. As this was going on, officers continued to line up and make jokes about "overtime" and the way different folks were dressed. For one officer in particular he lamented his rookie friend, "was off tonight because he would have loved to have been a part of this!" As the police car made its way down the street they stopped and singled out one youth . He was immediately arrested. They drove back again slowly and continued to point the light in people's face. My handcuffs were removed but i was not allowed to leave. I was made to remain facing the fence with my hands behind my back.

After a police officer from some other car came with a piece of paper and pointed to Nadia and Kambui from the black Riders Liberation Party and said they were being detained for "148"- interfering with a police officer. When people asked why they were being detained or singled out police officers told them to shut up. They placed them both in cuffs and removed all their belongings and put them into plastic bags. They were then placed into the backseat of a police car.

Another police officer came and then annonced that the party was over and people needed to leave. People still had equipment inside and were made to line up and escorted inside to get thier belongings. While inside I noticed that money from the fundraiser was missing and according to folks inside the money was there before the police ran inside to pull everyone out. We got out all the groups' equipment and waited for someone to come close the space. They continued to harass people and tried to intimidate many of the youth to leave and to learn their lesson. Besides the one youth that was arrested for supposedly stealing beer, everyone was arrested for interfering with a police officer when all they asked was why they were being detained.

The officers were congragulating themselves and laughing at everyone. Many of the officers were staring down many of the sisters that were there and making sexist jokes about he'd rather be home with his wife than there. Then he proceeded to make a hand gesture to 2 sisters who were standing near by. No one but the other officers were amused by these pigs but they continued to talk shit and tell people to leave. The majority officers left smiling and staring at folks in attempts to instigate some incident to lead to further arrest.

While we were waiting the final officer drove by and rolled down his window. He stated" Im sorry we had to shut down your party but you have to keep the youngsters in check and can't be letting them go anywhere stealing beer. If they hadn't stolen the beer we wouldnt have canceled your show"
Everyone was pissed as this provacateur behavior which is being utilized as the excuse to enter into private property and raid a peaceful gathering. The police looked for whatever excuse to shut the show down.

Joaquin is currently being held for misdemeanor . He has not been taken to jail and is still being held by Central Division. He will probably be going to court tomorrow or Wednesday. Please spread the word.Help support Joaquin and the Black Riders Liberation Party and Food Not Bombs folks to get out.

This is a quick report trying to include as many of the important details as possible but I'm sure I might have overlooked other important details from last night that other folks who were also there can maybe share and i will try and write more about last night later tonight and will follow up with more details.

Free ALL Political Prisoners.Organize Organize Organize

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