Free Screening of “If a Tree Falls” Sept. 12th in Las Vegas

September's Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of "If a Tree Falls"
September’s Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of “If a Tree Falls”Sept. “Radical Movie Night”

September 12th marks the debut of Las Vegas’ own Radical Movie Night, hosted by the Sunset Activist Collective, co- Sponsored by Nevada Cop Block and Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, and officially endorsed by the Las Vegas A-Cafe. This will be a monthly free showing of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value. The main purpose of Radical Movie Nights will be to connect local community members and encourage active participation within the local community by those within it to promote and empower those wishing to make positive grassroots-based improvements where they live and within their personal workplaces.

The location where Radical Movie Nights will take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)

In order to coincide with actions against the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (for more info about the AETA and local actions in response to it, see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/07/animal-enterprise-terrorism-act_n_5659893.html) beginning in September, the first movie that will be shown is ” If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,” a documentary about the Earth Liberation Front, in general, and one of its members, Daniel G. McGowan, who was characterized as a terrorist by the US government after his arrest for environmental activism actions, in particular.

Radical Movie Nights in Las Vegas will take place every second Friday at the Sci Fi CenterRadical Movie Nights in Las Vegas will take place every second Friday at the Sci Fi Center

The movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won numerous other awards, shows the history and personal reasons why those involved in the ELF actions did what they did and how they became “radicalized,” during previous less militant actions. In addition it addresses issues involving the declaring activists, who never actually harmed or ever tried to harm people, terrorists, based solely on property damage.

However, it also interviews and discusses the perspective of the targets of those actions and the effects they had on them. As a result, it is a fairly even handed presentation of the facts involved, which allows viewers to decide for themselves who was right or wrong and why.

About the Movie (via http://www.ifatreefallsfilm.com/):

“In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”

For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.

With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.

IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

Drawing from striking archival footage — much of it never before seen — and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word “terrorism” had not yet been altered by 9/11.”

Las Vegas A-Cafe to Host Talk by Organizer/Author Scott Crow Co-Founder of the Common Ground Collective at UNLV

The Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe will be hosting a presentation by Scott Crow, in Las Vegas at UNLV’s Frank and Estella Beam Hall (room 105) on June 5th. The Common Ground Collective is an anarchist inspired grassroots organization founded in New Orleans to provide disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina. Crow uses his book, “Black Flags and Windmills,” as a foundation for a visual, fast moving, and engaging presentation of stories to show what ordinary people can do to change their own worlds and create power from below without governments.

The talk seeks through a collection of stories to show how the philosophy of anarchism has shaped and changed modern political movements. Anarchism’s influence on organization and actions has allowed spaces for projects like the Common Ground Collective, the largest anarchist organization in modern US history to come into existence after Hurricane Katrina, the Occupy uprisings, and the environmental climate change movements across the US.

The presentation which is equal parts personal story, radical history and organizing philosophies asks questions about how we engage in social change, the real and perceived challenges presented by the state and dares us to rethink our grassroots movements in how we engage for the future. This talk will be of interest for anyone that has been involved in grassroots organizing and community related planning from a decentralized, member based perspective.

Scott Crow bio:

 Scott Crow has spent his varied life as an underground musician, coop business owner, political organizer, trainer, strategist, consultant, ‘green collar’ worker, writer and speaker advocating the philosophy and practices of anarchism for social, cultural, environmental, and economic aims.

Over the last two decades scott has worked for a number of national organizations like Greenpeace, A.C.O.R.N. and Ruckus Society and co-founded a number of varied projects, businesses and organizations including Lesson Seven (political industrial band), Red Square (coop art gallery), Century Modern (antique cooperative), Treasure City Thrift (volunteer/worker cooperative) and the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (the largest anarchist inspired organization in modern US history).

He is the author of the book Black Flags and Windmills (PM Press 2011), appeared in What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation (South end Press) and co-produced the film Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation (PM Press). He has appeared in international media as both a writer and subject including the NY Times, Democracy Now, CNN and NPR as well as the documentaries Welcome to New Orleans, Better this World, and Informant.

NPR’s This American Life called him “a living legend among anarchists” and the New York Times characterized him as “anarchist and veteran organizer… that comes across as more amiable than combative…”. Currently Scott splits his time speaking and consulting nationally and organizing locally.

The Las Vegas A-Cafe is a weekly meeting of local Anarchists that has
served as a social and political discussion group and organizing space
for over four years. Some of the various groups affiliated with it
include the Sunset Activist Collective, Nevada Cop Block, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, OccupyLV.org, and the Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World.

Special A-Cafe Event: Las Vegas IWW’s May Day After Party

The Las Vegas IWW at May Day

The Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World will be holding our official monthly meeting on Saturday, May 4th at 4pm at the Sunrise Coffee shop on Sunset between Eastern and Pecos (see below for map). Among other things, we will be celebrating and reminiscing about the recently concluded May Day march.

Despite some initial misgivings about some outside organizations attempting to exploit the International Day of the Worker for their own misguided purposes, this years May Day turned out great and there was an impressive visible turnout by Las Vegas’ IWW crew. Everyone that was there and helped to hold the ground for the true spirit of May Day deserves an enormous pat on the back.

We also will be discussing and finalizing our official bylaws, and potentially electing a treasurer, delegates, and other necessary positions for our branch to be certified as an official GMB along with other formalities such as when we will officially meet, on what days, how long meeting should last and other related issues.

This meeting is an open meeting and can be attended by the general public. Prospective members and those wishing to find out more about the IWW are welcome to attend, but will not be able to participate directly in any decisions or votes that might take place.

What is the IWW?:

The IWW is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow. We want our workplaces run for the benefit of workers and communities rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.

We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially. This means we organize all workers producing the same goods or providing the same services into one union, rather than dividing workers by skill or trade, so we can pool our strength to win our demands together. Since the IWW was founded in 1905, we have made significant contributions to the labor struggles around the world and have a proud tradition of organizing across gender, ethnic and racial lines long before such organizing was popular.

For more info visit: IWW.org


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Announcing: A May Day Solidarity Rally with Salvador Zamora (currently on a hunger strike for immigration reform)

Salvador Zamora has been on a hunger strike for 21 days (as of April 30th) in front of the las Vegas Federal Courthouse demanding true immigration reforms

Salvador Zamora has been conducting a hunger strike across the street from the federal courthouse in Las Vegas for 21 days (as of 4-30) demanding genuine immigration reform. To honor what he is doing and because it is the spirit of May Day, the true worker’s holiday, I will be joining him in solidarity to support and help bring attention to his cause and would like to invite others to join me.

Find out more info either on FaceBook here: May Day Solidarity Rally event or on our Meetup group here: Las Vegas Anarchy Meetup May Day Solidarity Rally.

Unfortunately, this is very short notice due to the fact that I didn’t even know he was doing this until I happened to walk past and see him. While he has received some coverage from the local Spanish language media, none of the other local media has even mentioned it at all. Personally, I’m pretty hard pressed to understand how a guy going without food for over three weeks (and counting) isn’t newsworthy, regardless of the reasons.

Although it isn’t actually required to participate in the rally, I will be fasting for 24 hours beginning at midnight once May Day officially starts to show my support for his own sacrifice.

There is no “official” start time, although I’ll be going down there in the morning and spending the day with Salvador. You are welcome to come at whatever time is convenient for you.

There will also be an official, albeit really sanitized and docile, May Day parade hosted by local unions and politicians beginning around 4 o’clock at the federal courthouse that you may or may not want to take part in. If so, you could just show up a bit early to show Salvador some support.

I hope to see you there.

Help Expose the Official Cover-Up of Stanley Gibson’s Murder by LVMPD

The first “Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review,” regarding the murder of Stanley Gibson by Metro Officer Jesus Arevalo, is scheduled to take place on Thursday February 28th beginning at 9:00 am and will be located at the Clark County Government Center, where the Clark County Board of Commissioners hold their regular meetings.

We’ll be meeting up at 8:00am in order to organize together and go over the specifics of what we will be doing to bring attention to Stanley’s murder. It’s incredibly important for anyone that cares about justice and supports accountability for police that commit crimes against people within the Las Vegas community to be there and make their voice heard for past victims of police violence and to prevent future innocent victims.

In spite of the long-winded name change, the new process that was created by LVMPD’s Sheriff Gillespie and Chris Collins of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (Police Union) is designed to do anything but allow the public to find facts. The reality is that it is much worse than the original, much maligned, Coroner’s Inquest system that it will be replacing.

Unlike the Coroner’s Inquest, the Police Fatality Review will involve no opportunity for testimony from witnesses and only voluntary testimony by the police involved in the shootings, which the LVPPA has already gone on record as saying that pretty much has no chance of happening. What it amounts to is a choreographed staging of the police department’s version of events with zero representation from a genuine neutral party, the victim’s family, or independent witnesses.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson actually referred to it as a “performance,” while endorsing it, during the Commissioner’s meeting in which it was initially proposed. That’s just how much of a blatant and callous cover up the Police Fatality Review is.

The first case to go before this Police Fatality Review involves the murder of Stanley Gibson, an unarmed man who was shot seven times by Jesus Arevalo in spite of having committed no actual crime and having had his vehicle blocked in by several police cars so that it was unable to move.

Stanley, a disabled veteran, who was lost and suffering a panic attack as a result of PTSD and other ailments he suffered during his time in the Persian Gulf, represented no direct or imminent probability of harming anyone at the time.

There was no reason for any of the dozens of heavily armed police to feel in any way threatened by him. And the fact that of all those cops there, only Jesus Arevalo felt the need to fire the shots that killed Stanley Gibson only supports that conclusion.

Instead of holding someone that at best was grossly negligent that night accountable for his actions, D.A. Wolfson, Sheriff Gillespie, LVPPA’s Chris Collins, the Clark County Board of Commissioners, and every other member of the LV Metro Police Department are closing ranks around him in a misguided attempt to cover up yet another officer involved shooting under what could only mildly be called questionable circumstances.

Anyone living in Las Vegas should be well aware that there is a longstanding problem with brutality and outright murder by members of Las Vegas area police departments, especially those of the LVMPD. In several cases, especially those involving Stanley Gibson, Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, Henry Rowe, and Rafael Olivas, the circumstances behind the shooting have been incredibly questionable, if not completely inexcusable.

The obvious reason for the mounting body count by local police is the fact that no Las Vegas area police officer has EVER been held accountable for shooting someone, no matter how questionable that shooting has been.

Replacing what was already a terribly flawed system with one that not only retains those flaws, but incorporates even less transparency and can only be seen as a conscious effort to ensure the police never have to fear being held accountable for deaths they cause not only doesn’t address this problem, but in reality actually makes it harder for the police to do the things they are supposed to do by creating a lack of trust and discouraging any support for police from the people living within the community that they work.

It’s a self-perpetuating downward spiral that only exacerbates an already toxic and often violent relationship. The time to put an end to this has already passed and things can only get worse at this point if the transparency and accountability that Sheriff Gillespie promises so often isn’t actually upheld truthfully and with honest intentions.

As of right now, I have been unable to find any info regarding the specifics of the expected length of the kangaroo court that will begin Thursday or restrictions on public entry into the chambers where it will be held. Although, I suspect this lack of information is intentional, if I do come across that information I will post it here.

This Week at the Anarchist Cafe (A-Cafe): “Disarm the Police”

Reduce Violence, Disarm the Police

This week, the Anarchist Cafe will be part of a special event, hosted by Nevada Cop Block, which will focus on bringing accountability to Las Vegas area police.

This will be an informational and organizing meeting regarding issues with police brutality, lack of accountability, and official corruption. In addition, there will be discussion about setting up regular actions based around bringing attention to and addressing those issues.

Methods, goals, and acceptable outcomes will all be discussed. Also, information about how to get involved with local police “watchdog” groups, such as Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org), will be provided for those wanting to become more involved on an ongoing basis.

The Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe meets Saturdays, from 6:00—8:00pm, at Sunrise Coffee Shop, which is located on Sunset Rd. between Pecos and Eastern. The A-Cafe is not a place, it’s an event–a social experiment in urban anarchy, organized by the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left and a group of unaffiliated local anarchists. The A-Cafe is a forum for anarchists in the Las Vegas area to get to know each other, to hang out, to shoot the breeze, to talk some shop, to talk about the projects that we are working on, and to organize new projects. Anyone who’s an anarchist, anti-statist, or just anarchy-curious is invited to join us.

Drop in any time — the gathering is informal, and based on chatting and sharing information. There isn’t a fixed agenda. (But if you want to set up an organizing meeting for a particular project with a fixed agenda, A-Cafe is a great place to meet people to invite.) Feel free to drop in at any time and leave whenever you need to.

Bring yourself. Bring a friend. And bring anything — ideas you’ve had, projects you’re working on, literature, zines, flyers, art, whatever — that you’d like to share with some like-minded people.

Come for the Worker Solidarity, Stay for the Anarchy (Cafe)

This week the A-Cafe will be part of a “double-header.” As usual, members of the Anarchist Cafe will be getting together from 6:00-800 pm at the Sunrise Coffee Shop on Sunset to discuss, plot, and plan Anarchy-related things and other associated local issues/groups.

Plus, just prior to the A-Cafe, the Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World will be holding our first official monthly meeting on Saturday, February 2nd at 4pm. We will be discussing and finalizing our official bylaws (view text file here), and will also be electing a treasurer, delegates, and other necessary positions for our branch to be certified as an official GMB. In addition, we will decide how often to formally meet, on what days, how long meeting should last and other related issues.

This meeting is an open meeting and can be attended by the general public. Prospective members and those wishing to find out more about the IWW are welcome to attend, but will not be able to participate directly in any decisions or votes that might take place.

What is the IWW?:

The IWW is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow. We want our workplaces run for the benefit of workers and communities rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.

We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially.

This means we organize all workers producing the same goods or providing the same services into one union, rather than dividing workers by skill or trade, so we can pool our strength to win our demands together. Since the IWW was founded in 1905, we have made significant contributions to the labor struggles around the world and have a proud tradition of organizing across gender, ethnic and racial lines long before such organizing was popular.

For more info visit: IWW.org


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Idle No More World Day of Action – Rally Against NVEnergy/Reid Gardner Coal Plant – Monday, Jan. 28

As part of the Idle No More movement‘s worldwide call for action Las Vegas activists will be joining members of the Moapa tribe of Paiutes to demand the closure of the outdated and environmentally disastrous Reid Gardner power plant operated by NV Energy.

The coal that fuels Reid Gardner is not only unnecessary with current technology, but more importantly, has been polluting the air over the skies of the Moapa tribe’s homes at their reservation, which is located alongside it.

Major health and breathing problems, as well as premature deaths (including dramatic increases in childhood mortality rates) among Moapa tribe members has been traced back to emissions from the plant. In addition, clouds of polluted air can be visually observed on the reservation.

We will be meeting at the offices of NVEnergy (on Sahara) at 4:00pm.

The Las Vegas A-Cafe will be “on location” this week (1/19/12)

 

In the recent past Nevada Cop Block and assorted allies in the Las Vegas area have used chalking of strategically chosen public areas and government locations to bring attention to local issues. It’s proven to be a quick, easy, and effective way of making grievances known and ensuring visibility both by those being protested against and the public within the area.

After several recent despicable actions by local officials, NVCopBlock is once again planning to take it to the streets to show our disapproval. We’ll be meeting up at the Clark County Government Center, where County Commission meetings are held (for reasons explained below) and then moving from there to the LVMPD headquarters buildings, which are within walking distance of each other.

Signs are welcome, chalk will be used extensively at both locations, and creativity is always appreciated.

Among other things, District Attorney Steve Wolfson has continued his pattern of disdain for the safety of the residents of Las Vegas and the surrounding area by refusing to hold Jesus Arevalo accountable for the cold-blooded murder of Stanley Gibson.

Sheriff Gillespie of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has partnered with Wolfson and Chris Collins, of the Police Protective Association (police union), to ensure that such accountability will never be an option by pushing through a proposal that reversed all of the Coroner’s Inquest Reforms that had already been passed with the intention of creating a more fair and transparent process, which would actually lead to accountability for questionable shootings by police.

Finally, the Clark County Board of Commissioners lead by Steve Sisolak, Larry Brown, Susan Brager, and Mary Beth Scow voted to approve that proposal in spite of the fact that the new proposal is worse than the former Coroner’s inquest process that had functioned so poorly as to prompt an outcry for those reforms. This vote was taken during a commission meeting in which the inclusion of this proposal on the agenda was only announced a couple days earlier to ensure that public turnout would be limited.

And for good measure, Metro’s own Sgt. William Wilson illegally entered someone’s back yard and unnecessarily killed their pet dog last week.

Post-Apocalyptic Anarchy (Cafe) in Las Vegas

We made it! Now what?

Now that we’ve officially survived the Mayan Apocalypse , it’s time to get together and celebrate the continued existence of the Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe.

Of course, there are plenty of serious issues to discuss this week among these are:

  • The official announcement earlier this week that the grand jury set up to make sure Jesus Arevalo won’t ever be charged with the murder of Stanley Gibson has done just that. Why this was no surprise to those of us that have been following the case over the past year and what we plan to do in response
  • …The related issue of Coroner’s Inquest reforms that have already been approved several times and ruled constitutional (in response to police lawsuits) by the NV Supreme Court, but which are in danger of being overturned in favor of a completely meaningless dog and pony show that Sheriff Gillespie, LVPPA head Chris Collins, DA Steve Wolfson, and Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Larry Brown cooked up prior to the last Commission meeting. A vote between the two proposals is scheduled for the end of January.
  • The Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World and labor issues in general.
  • The continuation of previous discussions concerning potential ideas for co-ops and other community based collaborations amongst members…
  • …Related issues surrounding gentrification and corporate use of political ties to force local workers and small business owners out in order to replace them with other corporate raiders and their slave labor products. Of particular emphasis is Zappos’ efforts to sanitize and whitewash downtown.
  • The so-called “Fiscal Cliff” and how newly r/elected politicians are expertly using it to justify going back on pretty much every promise they made just over one ago. Why it’s completely unsurprising and has in fact been predicted by most of the regular A-Cafe attendees. Also, why most of the general population will completely accept it, but how we should reach those that finally manage to pull that curtain back.
  • And of course, whatever YOU want to discuss.

As usual, we generally have members of various local groups including Las Vegas Food Not Bombs, Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org), the Sunset Activist Collective, The Las Vegas Industrial Workers of the World, LVWORCS (co-op resources and support group), OccupyLV, and others in attendance. So, if you have an interest in getting involved in local activism, the A-Cafe is good place to connect with people already involved within the community.

The Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe meets Saturdays, from 6:00—8:00pm, at Sunrise Coffee Shop, which is located on Sunset Rd. between Pecos and Eastern. The A-Cafe is not a place, it’s an event–a social experiment in urban anarchy, organized by the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left and a group of unaffiliated local anarchists. The A-Cafe is a forum for anarchists in the Las Vegas area to get to know each other, to hang out, to shoot the breeze, to talk some shop, to talk about the projects that we are working on, and to organize new projects. Anyone who’s an anarchist, anti-statist, or just anarchy-curious is invited to join us.

Drop in any time — the gathering is informal, and based on chatting and sharing information. There isn’t a fixed agenda. (But if you want to set up an organizing meeting for a particular project with a fixed agenda, A-Cafe is a great place to meet people to invite.) Feel free to drop in at any time and leave whenever you need to.

Bring yourself. Bring a friend. And bring anything — ideas you’ve had, projects you’re working on, literature, zines, flyers, art, whatever — that you’d like to share with some like-minded people.