Anarchists march in protest of APD, gentrification

Chanting “cops, pigs, murderers,” and “smash the state, burn the prisons, anarchy and communism,” about 40 people gathered in Pack Square early this evening to protest police actions (including the arrest of 11 alleged vandals on May 1) and gentrification. The group marched down near the Buncombe County jail and up to Pritchard Park.

Photo by Jerry Nelson

The protest, targeting the “criminalization of youth,” gentrification and police, specifically the APD, was announced through a series of fliers downtown. Though the fliers cited no organization or spokesperson, some of the protesters referenced the Asheville 11 Defense Committee, a group set up to defend the alleged vandals, dubbed the Asheville 11 by some. The 11 defendants’ next court date is Dec. 6.

Most of the protesters refused to give their names or talk to media (“it’s incredibly cold out here, you can quote me on that,” one told Xpress). William Paap, who held a banner reading “why are Cops buried 6 feet underground?”, did talk, however, asserting that “This is how change happens, you can’t wait for it to happen. I’m tired of being locked up for no reason. It’s like this all across the country. You can’t get peace by pointing a gun at somebody. We all want peace, period.”

One man, on a megaphone, asked the crowd, “who is it that murders and imprisons poor people every day?” “The pigs!” came the reply. Indeed, if the chants hadn’t clued in the passerby, a number of banners made the protesters’ sentiments on law enforcement quite clear.


Photos by Jerry Nelson

A number of those “absolute enemies” stood a few feet away, and between seven to 20 cops were present throughout the protest. When the protesters later marched, forensics officers videotaped the scene. The closest thing to a direct conflict came when, shouting “these are our streets!” the marchers briefly blocked the right lane of College Street while heading to the county jail. After some of the police officers instructed them to clear out the road, they got back onto the sidewalk and proceeded towards the fence in front of the jail, where the marchers banged drums, shouted and waved banners.


Photo by David Forbes

The protest ended in Pritchard Park, where one man (who, like many of the others, refused to be identified), thanked the protesters for coming out “and showing how much they support the defendants — all defendants — and everyone targeted by the police state, and to show how much they support the right of everyone to share this world, for it not to be privatized and cut up.” He warned them “to be careful, we have very powerful enemies, and a few people who are willing to be bought off by those enemies and turned against us.”

— David Forbes, senior news reporter

SHARE

43 thoughts on “Anarchists march in protest of APD, gentrification

  1. The Pontificator

    I know about 40 people who need to put on their big boy and big girls pants.

  2. mel

    one man thanked the protesters for coming out “…and to show how much they support the right of everyone to share this world…”

    except for downtown small independent business owners apparently. The “Asheville 11″ acted out if ignorance not anarchy.

  3. BigAl

    Surprising restraint from a group of “murderers” being openly threatened (“why are Cops buried 6 feet underground?”). I say this kind of behavior is well beyond protected free speech and is an invitation to a well-deserved beat-down. Kudos to APD for remaining professional while being slurred like this. I hope the “ashevillage” will do something similar to show their support of our police, but I will not hold my breath.

    The anarchist/communists (their words) talked tough, but I notice they complied very quickly with police orders to clear the street despite outnumbering the cops 2-to-1. Also, a very orderly and organized protest for folks who supposedly despise order and espouse chaos.

    Fools. Hypocrits. Cowards.

  4. Jeff

    Anarchy AND communism? Kids, those are mutually exclusive terms.

    A more appropriate chant (and more fun, I think) would have been “We don’t need no education…”

  5. One banner reads:

    “Free All Prisoners!
    Jail All Cops!?”

    An ironic example of cognitive dissonance if I’ve ever seen one. ???

    I wonder if they’d work to free all prisoners if they were cops.

  6. Spoiled, self indulgent little creeps have obviously never been mugged, robbed, raped, had a loved one murdered, or been ripped of via some white collar criminal, or been abused by a corrupt sheriff (Bobby Medford for example). I don’t want any of those folks freed, and neither do most sane folks.

    They might have gotten more support and warm bodies, had their talking points not come across as bat sh_t crazy.

  7. Louis Lange

    What a Laugh.I love how most of the “anarchists” are hiding behind their signs.

  8. dpewen

    They have the right to march. Libertarians are behind this I am sure … do not trust them!

  9. Agnes Johnson

    ‘Spoiled, self indulgent little creeps have obviously never been mugged, robbed, raped, had a loved one murdered, or been ripped of via some white collar criminal, or been abused by a corrupt sheriff (Bobby Medford for example). I don’t want any of those folks freed, and neither do most sane folks.’

    Thank you Davyen. I will bet anyone that every one of these kids come from somewhere else, mostly up north. We have welcomed them to move to our town, and they are too spoiled to see what a wonderful place this is, and pay us back by throwing this juvenile temper tantrum. These brats need to go back home if they don’t like it here. And those ‘anarchist communist protesters’ who smashed windows and other vandalist acts on our businesses on May 1st need to stay in jail. With all the felony counts against them, I think you’ll see some prison sentences out of it. And if they think this is bad, they need to move to Cuba.

  10. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Our reputation as a fair city, a good place to live, is blemished with every one of these unfortunate incidents, even silly as they are.

    Is this the reputation we want for our city? Or that we can continue to tolerate?

    Protest and aggression cloaked in anonymity is without credibility and is for cowards, but everything begets more of the same, and our economic wellbeing, already teetering precariously during this time of uncertainty, should be of primary importance to us as a city of people, families and neighbors.

  11. Piffy!

    (this time without typos)

    Who are these people? Where did they come from? No one I know in the ‘anarchist’ community condones these moronic, destructive actions that only create more divisions in our community.

    Anarchy isn’t about rebelling against your parents. It’s about building sustainable community models that serve us all equally, to the detriment of the capitalist state tat enriches the very few.

    I honestly thinks this is a tactic of infiltration by someone like the cia or fbi. REAL anarchists build, too. Not just destroy. who is feeding these naive college kids these destructive ideas that only serve to harm our community?

    You know, there are some great community gardens these kids could volunteer in if they want to do something useful.

  12. “They have the right to march. Libertarians are behind this I am sure … do not trust them!”

    1. Yes, they do have a right to march. Their right to march in protest of the police was protected by the government in the form of law enforcement.

    2. These marchers and vandals are anti-capitalists. Libertarians are pro-capitalists. No connection. Quite the opposite, actually.
    ……………………….

  13. dpewen

    I do not feel this puts a blemish on the city. I believe it shows how diverse we are. I do not want to live in a city that is plain and boring … like most US cities.
    Keep Asheville freaky!

    Libertarians are selfish people who do not contribute to the type of society I wish to live in.

  14. Piffy!

    [b]2. These marchers and vandals are anti-capitalists. Libertarians are pro-capitalists. No connection. Quite the opposite, actually.[/b]

    While I see your point, i think the connection being drawn is they both are often very privileged world views that assume merely removing forms of control and authority will inherently engender a blossoming of absolute freedom, without ever addressing the very real fallout for those less-privileged f such a removal of authority were to occur.

  15. communia

    To be clear: Anarchism is the political form that seeks to abolish the state and the system of class relationships called capitalism. Communism is the real movement that puts in common the means of production of life, by taking it from the hands of the wealthy.
    Police serve as the first line of defense for the wealthy; they explicitly serve only the interests of the state and capital. Historically and idealistically, their purpose is to maintain the system of private property and the social order through the use of force legitimized by a monopoly on violence. Any poor or marginalized person understands the actual role of the police in a more visceral way than I could possibly explain: poor and brown people are magnets for police bullets and blows from their nightsticks.
    The typical response to the possibility of eradicating the police state, that “we’d all kill each other”, only betrays the sadness of the speakers experience. Anyone who’s ever been a part of a community knows that you don’t need police to solve your problems or keep you in order.
    Anyhow, the second part to the joke on the banner “Why do you bury a cop six feet underground?”
    Because deep down they’re good people.

  16. Matt Howard

    Funny, I was just thinking how the system is too quick to let out violent offenders. Most of the guys nailed for raping and killing little girls already have a prior.

  17. Ken Hanke

    I will bet anyone that every one of these kids come from somewhere else, mostly up north.

    Oh, not this old canard. Please.

  18. twinkie223

    aaaawwww, aren’t they cute. I remember when I used to believe in stuff, too.

  19. JWTJr

    “Libertarians are selfish people who do not contribute to the type of society I wish to live in.”

    The way the Libertarians see it dpewen, you are saying you don’t want to live somewhere where someone isn’t carrying some of your water.

  20. Edward

    There’s a great deal of ignorance about anarchism, as many of these comments reveal.

    I have to say I’m ashamed for the commenters here. Calling people cowards without leaving your house or taking a stand for anything unpopular is cowardly. Accusing others of immaturity the way above commenters have is pretty puerile, too.

    As for the person who says he wants to see these folks in jail just for legally protected free speech, and then says Cuba is worse… I think he has more in common with the supporters of totalitarian power than he’d care to admit.

    Cheers to the people brave enough to take part in this march, despite all the cowards. spoiled brats, and closet fascists who want them to be silenced. Freedom doesn’t come from shutting up when others want you to.

  21. Ken Hanke

    The way the Libertarians see it dpewen, you are saying you don’t want to live somewhere where someone isn’t carrying some of your water

    He’s actually saying that he expects to have to carry some water for others as part of a civilized and caring society, too. Big difference. I don’t care what Ayn Rand said, selfishness is an ugly attribute.

  22. Well, it looks like they created a lot of solidarity all right. Mostly against themselves but, hey, it is still a form of solidarity, amirite?

  23. cwaster

    Well… they do have the right to say their thoughts and assemble peaceably. That being said, I don’t agree with them but it’s my right to state that as well.

    Kudos to APD for being cool-headed.

  24. Katy

    communia Quote
    “Any poor or marginalized person understands the actual role of the police in a more visceral way than I could possibly explain: poor and brown people are magnets for police bullets and blows from their nightsticks.”—————-
    I’m sorry, but growing up poor myself..I do not know what you mean here. The only people in my community that were arrested were the ones who needed to be because they were doing things that harmed others. Keep your quote in mind when you wreck your car and are dying, or get stabbed on the street, maybe you’ll change your attitude about the police. They give hungry children food, revive the dying before the EMS arrives, help shelter battered women, …the list goes on. Grow up, live a little. Your attitude will change whether you like it or not. Talk to me when you are 35.

  25. Piffy!

    [b]The typical response to the possibility of eradicating the police state, that “we’d all kill each other”, only betrays the sadness of the speakers experience. Anyone who’s ever been a part of a community knows that you don’t need police to solve your problems or keep you in order.[/b]

    Be that as it may (in theory, to the mind of an adolescent), these actions do NOTHING to move towards the goals you speak of. If anything, it will only serve to FORTIFY the system you claim to want to dismantle.

    And I agree with thunnderpig; if you want to ‘burn the prisons’, does that mean release all the violent criminals?

    It’s easy to react against the system. But the process of making things better is slow and tedious. You upheaval s nothing but tantrum, and when you finally have to exist free from mom’s trust fund, you will grasp the necessity of that.

    ‘burn the prisons’. puhlease. Burn your parent’s mcmansion.

  26. dpewen

    Thanks Ken .. JWT does not seem to understand the idea of a society where everyone contributes to the betterment of the whole society. Libertarians are only concerned about themselves and how much stuff they can accumulate. I have seen too many of these people and they make me ill.

  27. Daniel Withrow

    Ken, isn’t it actually true that the jerks who busted up downtown are all from outside of Asheville? True, some of them were from Carrboro, but none of them were locals. The local anarchists I know uniformly despise these jerks.

    The canard that chaps my hide is the one about how anarchists love chaos. It’s easy to disagree with anarchists–the political movement tends, IMO, toward the naive and toward too much trust in folks’ desire to be self-directed–but anarchists in no way are fans of chaos. That’s just ridiculous, like reducing terrorists to “people who hate our freedoms.”

  28. Ken Hanke

    Ken, isn’t it actually true that the jerks who busted up downtown are all from outside of Asheville? True, some of them were from Carrboro, but none of them were locals. The local anarchists I know uniformly despise these jerks

    Well, at least one of the anarchists marching and supporting them is definitely local, though I admit I don’t know if he was born here. It’s not so much the “out of town” insularity that I’m over, it’s the “damn yankees” part of it.

  29. tat2matt

    I’m just curious to know if these protesters would have called for police help if someone had walked up and started randomly bashing their knees and ribs with a pipe. Or would they have just accepted the violent beatings as the attacker’s form of anarchic expression and welcomed him/her to the group?

  30. Jason

    The typical response to the possibility of eradicating the police state, that “we’d all kill each other”, only betrays the sadness of the speakers experience. Anyone who’s ever been a part of a community knows that you don’t need police to solve your problems or keep you in order.
    A “community” does not a city make,
    or a state,
    or a country.

    When you hand pick maybe 200 like minded people to live in you anarchist collective, the sure it may succeed, but when you try to apply those ideas to a city of 75,000 people, or a state of 9,000,000 people, or a country of 311,000,000 people who by no means share your idealistic views, it will not work. Anarchism as a form of government is an outdated idea, that could never succeed on a larger scale.

    These arguments always remind me of the Dead Kennedys song, “Where Do Ya Draw The Line.”

    “Anarchy sounds good to me
    Then someone asks, “Who’d fix the sewers?”
    “Would the rednecks just play king
    Of the neighborhood?”
    How many liberators
    Really want to be dictators
    Every theory has its holes
    When real life steps in.”

  31. Daniel Withrow

    Fair enough. As I said, the local anarchists I know absolutely drip with contempt for the vandals. I, as a native North Carolinian certainly agree that the “damn yankees” insinuation is pernicious. We Southerners are certainly capable of homegrowing juvenile self-entitled jerks.

  32. virginia wells-layne

    Um, this is silly…anarchists aren’t suppose to organize! the whole point of anarchy is to buck the system, have no system and to have complete lawlessness. look up the definition people! you are NOT anarchists if you organize!

  33. erock

    These people humor/annoy me…protesting the arrest of 11 morons that smashed the car windows and store windows owned by their fellow common citizen…Way to make a statement and sharing your enlightened viewpoint. Maybe someday when they actually work their asses off for something they own that gets vandalized, be it a car or a business that they’re proud of then they will see the stupidity of their ways. I know I did, I once believed this way before reality smacked me in the face.

  34. Daniel Withrow

    Virginia, one of my pet peeves is folks who correct others on definitions when they’re ignorant of the definitions themselves. Since you didn’t look up the definition before you told others to, here are some helpful links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism
    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAanarchist.htm
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anarchism

    I trust these are helpful. You may also look at the etymology, which in this case is closely related to the modern meaning of the word: it literally means “without government.” It does not mean “without order.” You’re confusing “anarchy” with “chaos.” While certain definitions of each word are synonyms, clearly anarchists are not using the definition synonymous with chaos.

    Always happy to help!

  35. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Daniel Withrow is correct. Innumerable categories of anarchism have been pretty well defined for several centuries now, worldwide.

    Actually, some Asheville “anarchists” are rather in the minority in attempting to redefine anarchism in a kinder and gentler manner and to distance themselves from historical worldwide meanings through use of local neo-terms centered in individualism and sixties-style non-violent small-group togetherness, community gardens, organic vegan food, alternative entertainment, bartering, etc.

    But it’s going to be awfully hard for a handful of Asheville’s self-styled “anarchists” to overcome the centuries-old, international, commonly-accepted definitions of anarchism that are firmly associated historically with worker solidarity and purposeful smashy-smashy activism (not chaos)—which is not to say that the Asheville 11 fit into any preconceived definition, since their purpose for vandalism on May 1 in Asheville is still shrouded in mystery, as are subsequent anarchist activities in Asheville.

    Has anyone ever heard exactly what the Asheville 11 vandals were protesting? And, given that many if not most of the recent protesters were outsiders, why Asheville is being targeted for such activism?

    Also, why would any self-respecting protester (who thinks he has something valid to say) resort to anonymity—smashing glass in a hoodie, hiding behind a sign, refusing to give a name, and never explaining exactly what he is protesting? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose (assuming there is one)?

  36. “Also, why would any self-respecting protester (who thinks he has something valid to say) resort to anonymity—smashing glass in a hoodie, hiding behind a sign, refusing to give a name, and never explaining exactly what he is protesting? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose (assuming there is one)?”

    Which is why they will not be taken seriously by anyone who matters……why should we give respect or creedence to anyone who doesn’t have the cajones to honor their own dessent. Instead they hide from sunshine?

  37. bitterclinger

    Is Asheville-style anarchy another term for spoiled adults who might need to mature a bit, quit blaming others, the system, cops, etc… and take some personal responsibility? If I caught someone smashing up my car, they would find themselves in a very unfortunate situation requiring medical intervention.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.