Real-estate offices in downtown Asheville vandalized; anonymous group takes credit

An anonymous group claiming concern for the environment is taking credit for vandalism of two downtown Asheville real-estate and development companies on Thursday.

Private Mountain Communities and Beverly-Hanks Associates were targeted by the vandals, who left broken windows and spray paint behind. Later in the day, Mountain Xpress received an e-mail from the self-proclaimed “Concerned Citizens of WNC” that calls for taking “militant direct action against the developers.” The return e-mail address utilizes a Web site that provides anonymous e-mail services.

Statements by the two companies and the Asheville Police Department are expected soon.

The entire e-mail sent to Xpress is below.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer



Date: June 14, 2007 12:39:06 PM EDT
Subject: Asheville real-estate offices struck

Early in the morning of June 14, windows were smashed out, locks
were glued, and spray paint was left behind at the offices of
Beverly Hanks Realtors and Private Mountain Communities in downtown
Asheville, North Carolina. These two companies play a major role in
the destruction of our beautiful mountains by perpetuating sprawl.
BH and PMC both have exclusive rights to the marketing of gated
communities, where the priveleged build second homes in one of the
most diverse ecosystems in the US. Thousands upon thousands of
acres of Western North Carolina’s mountains are stripped bare every
year for these exclusive developments where the rich attempt to
shelter themselves from the rest of the world.

We will not stand for the desecration of the trees, streams, and
creatures at the hands of greedy developers. Despite overwhelming
public opposition to these developments, the real estate companies
and development firms continue on their path of ecocide.

So we decided to hit them in the only way they understand—money.
As long as these scumbags continue their rape of the Earth, we will
inflict economic damage on them. Join us in taking militant direct
action against the developers in your neck of the woods. We must
take responsibility for the land that sustains us!

In defense of the wild,
Concerned Citizens of WNC


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28 thoughts on “Real-estate offices in downtown Asheville vandalized; anonymous group takes credit

  1. 3 Bears

    The bulldozers scraped away my cave on Cedar Mtn.
    So why do they complain about a brick?

  2. RingoStarchy

    Seems like it was only a matter of time until this sort of thing started going down around here.

  3. A. Leopold

    It’s about time. Someone had to take up the mantel and continue the good work. I, for one, hope it continues in earnest.

    Cutting off the tops of mountains to build McMansions for “money from other places” is just flat wrong. The newcomers know zero about the history of the mountains, the people or the culture.

    A pox to ’em.

  4. hauntedheadnc

    I agree. I’m more surprised they didn’t firebomb the place.

  5. Sage

    Seems Asheville has it’s own little version of ELF from the Pacific Northwest. I hate the destruction of the mountainscape as much as they do and while direct action of this type may be fleetingly gratifying it’s counterproductive in the end. Staging protests in front of these offices and other insensitive developers would be a better legal path. Also the ELFers caught in Oregon just got nailed with terrorism sanctioned lenghty prison terms. I don’t believe what happened here yesterday is “terrorism” but the Feds sure think so and these guys better be ready to deal with the consequences if they get caught.

  6. oh boy, here goes the “‘what defines violence?’ debate.”

    thanks guys!!! asheville needs this dialogue.

    hey Tim Peck, what exactly is ‘violent’ about riding bikes, dumping coal, or even the lock? no person was harmed in ANY way.

    i love how liberals living in this culture think that they can be non-violent. i agree that violence begets violence, and that one must be a sining beacon of peace if one wishes to see that. but too many ‘liberals’ and the like have a very skewed sense of ‘peace’ i would wager to say that even the most peaceful, vegan, meditative, quiet, liberal aging hippy still can only practice said attributes because we live inside the bubble of Imperialism. people are working in slavery every day around the world to bring us the toys we enjoy every day.

    mountain-top removal is violent. dumping coal in front of one of the institutions which finance it is not violent. juvenile, perhaps, ineffective perhaps, even stupid. but it is not violent.

    these so-called radicals are the ones who make you middle-of-the-road moderates look as such. otherwise, you would be the one labeled as ‘radical’ dont get to caught up splitting hairs with folks with whom you essentially agree with.

    personally, i dont expect ‘the system’ or partisan politics to solve any of these issues. direct action does, after all, get the goods.

    nobody hurt any people during this protest. this is not the weather underground, or a bunch of stereotypical 60’s BS. this is here and now. how are you going to defend your action or inaction to future generations?

    whether or not i think these activist folks are just reactionary kids, acting from anger, i still am very appreciative of their initiative and their desire to educate those of us still deeply asleep inside the American Dream.

  7. Ominous J. Rumbling

    People want to sell, and developers (and, subsequently, their clients) want to buy. Hitting the middlepeople is like a drug. It’s easy, it’s convenient (convenient downtown location, no muddying of shoes, no uncomfortable dealings with strangers, no acknowledgement of your personal responsibility or complicity), and it can feel powerful and good, but it doesn’t touch the real equation, and it doesn’t slow down the bulldozers one jot. Realtors aren’t developers.

  8. mtndow

    It is Terrorism. There is no “noble justification” for this. Identify, apprehend and prosecute.

  9. realbilly

    funny how commie/marxist wannabes yap about peace and love and being open minded, blah blah blah, when in fact they are the ones with whom discussion is a complete waste of time. That it because they have an agenda, and deride people as some racist/[insert grievance du jour here]-phobe if you don’t listen to them; but they think that if nobody listens to them they have the right to blow up the place to prove their point. “Activist” means not able or willing to get a job. People should be MUCH more aggressive in defending their property from such vandals.

  10. yeah, they are terrorists. Just like the guys that dressed up like natives and threw a bunch of tea in the harbor were terrorists.

  11. lotsalove

    funny, an act like this was termed “civil disobedience” 40 years or so ago and was taken in stride as protest… though destruction of private property is still a criminal act of course. but now an act like this is labeled as terrorism? the implications of the word “terrorism” have become frighteningly vague and widespread… be afraid, be VERY afraid.

  12. Houston

    Is it not terrorism? Do the ‘vandals’ not wish others to believe that future, more intense actions may occur IF their actions don’t change? Sounds like terrorism pretty much. Ask the people who will be working in those offices if they will now go through the day absent of thought of something much worse. This is NOT the way to get your point across. There may be no way to easily send a message but this is NOT it.

  13. lotsalove

    hmmm… that’s what i get for writing a response so late at night. you’re right, tim… perhaps “civic” disobedience is more applicable? either way, my point is still the same. an act that didn’t physically harm any single individual and is meant to bring light to a social (civic?) issue is immediately labeled as terrorism instead of “protest”… it opens the door for everything and everyone to fall under a grand new blanket of “terrorism” in seemingly ANY act they choose to engage in, peaceful or otherwise, in protest. whoever is responsible for the property damage should be held responsible, since it is a criminal act, but i find it intriguing that the incident as a whole has been labeled “terrorism”.

  14. mtndow

    Here’s Elf-y. Still crashed out from a tough night of civil bar-hopping. Lives off of Murdoch in a Beverly-Hanks owned rental. Mom is a realtor and Dad sells heavy equipment They pay for Elf-y’s shool, rent, car and phone. Elf-y can’t find a summer job that suits his political agenda. Maybe Dad will call Elf-y today and wake him up.

  15. sarahc

    mtn dow:
    that not exactly accurate. i really doubt that you know any of these individuals or you would know that most of them have very noble ideals, and lifestyles that reflect those ideals. it can be very easy to make those kinds of generalizations about activists’ middle-class backgrounds, but the reality is, a good deal of social protest has often come from those with ties to comfort and priveledge. this is where the opportunity to critique social structures come from.

    if you want to talk about hypocrosy, i would look at individuals like Mr Tim Peck, who defend ‘property rights’ (he’s running for city council as a “Libertarian”) while being employed by state-subsidized corporations like coca-cola, and currently, wall mart. coca cola has a well-documented history of human rights in columbia, and any american with half a social conscious knows wal-mart is one of those bastions of ‘free trade’ subsidized by massive federal handouts at a cost to taxpayers.

    so we’re all hypocrates in some way. but i willl say that an act like this ‘property destruction’ is inspiring in that it brings teeth to an issue that hasn’t had a lot of real force yet in this area. developers are allowed to do whatever they want to the land, to break rules and then ask forgiveness, to lie to the public, to permently destroy areas we know to be diverse, beautiful, natrual areas, all in the name of ‘individual rights.’ At what point are we, as citizens, to draw a line in the sand and say ‘there are things in this world more important than the constant, forward progression of developement and profit?’

    anarchy scares some, but i am glad that these folks, even if they are just immature kids, were willing to show, even in a small way, that there are people out there who are not interested in letting developers ruin this area we all love.

    lets not forget that the ‘extremists’ exists to make the current extreme’ seem moderate by comparison.

  16. mtndow

    True, True.
    Maybe ELF is a very upset County resident over by Bil///ENKA Lake.

  17. > if you want to talk about hypocrosy, i would look at individuals like Mr
    Tim Peck…

    1. Tim Peck is not a Libertarian; he is a libertarian.

    2. I’d love for you to review my entire, long resume sometime and give me some pointers. Better yet, you could offer me a job with a living wage.

    3. These irrational and immature acts of violence against private property will actually strengthen the very entities that they are designed to protest. If the protesters have valid argument, let’s hear it. If not, throw rocks.

    4. There are more important things than “the constant, forward progression of development and profit” <> Children bawling and kicking the ground in a tantrum will not get us there. Instead, it demonstrates the weaker position.

  18. sarahc

    Yes. Right. And we’ve seen how well level-headed, sober legislation has worked in keeping your former employer, coca-cola, from hiring (true) terror squads to kill union organizers in Columbia or to keep Wal Mart from illegally lableing conventional produce “Organic”.

    that worked out great.

    I agree with lotsolove. What’s frightening is that people are so willing to lable this terrorism. And, now, it can in fact be prosecuted as terrorism, under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in which any individual who can be shown to get in the way of ANY corporation’s profit can be labeld a terroist, whether you smash windows, or merely organize a successful boycot of the (illegal) Staples building on Merrimon.

    I remember being taught in grade school that the Boston Tea Party were patriots acting out civil disobediance. So blame my extremist leanings on those radicals in the Public Education system.

    The point is the lable of terrorist is a very slipery slope.

  19. “that worked out great”

    I guess I don’t get your point.

    Unless, that is, you are using my comments as a spring board to address a completely different issue and one I have NOT commented on.

    Also, if the Boston Tea Party is you model for “civil” disobedience, then perhaps you should focus your disgruntlement on the government and not the private sector.

  20. Bob Knodsen

    What do people expect other people to do when looking for a home to buy, purchase a lot next to a garbage dump so they don’t ruin your view? Give me a break!

    If someone takes advantage of the American Dream and is successful and wants to buy the best piece of property available then so be it. God Bless that person for their success.

    If someone is gonna sit in judgement of that type of person and whine like a baby b/c their view is ruined then we should escort that person out of the country and wave good-bye to them.

    Personally, I love McMansions on the mountain tops. It reminds me that the dream is still alive. You think it’s ugly, I think it’s great. It’s a subjective matter that shouldn’t be governed b/c 1 group doesn’t like it.

  21. silverman

    bob knobson

    thats the silliest thing i’ve ever heard.

    i guess we should let this area be permanently ruined because some very rich people want an unsustainable lifestyle?

    that isnt the american dream; taking all you can without any thought for the future. that is a very bad nightmare we will all be forcefully awakened from when the consequences of our short-sighted actions come home to roost.

    and when those mcmansions come crumbling down the mountain in a freak rainstorm in the next few years, will these proud, brave homeowners just accept it as a fact of life, or will they whine to our local and state government to subsidize them in some way?

    i mean, i just want to be build my retirement home in the middle of the national forest. i was thinking maybe on looking glass rock. whattya think? seems like it shuold be up for grabs since its my own little cream to own a home on top of looking glass rock.

  22. c.lacey

    this is very interesting. i am a developer/builder and have been for over 30 years, i studied archecture in the 70’s, however, i never went into practice. i can say this, i have seen some responsible developers and some real sh**heads over the years, and my guess is this trend will continue. what i find odd, however, is the simple fact that the progressive, level-headed folks of Asheville are missing a key player in this dealing: the local government. Most, if not all developers have a set of rules, regulations, codes, restrictions and guidelines that they have to play by…and they boil down to be law…laws that limit the actions of the developers. most successful developers wind up knowing the local rules and regs far better than the people sitting down at the city reviewing blueprints or interpreting zoning issues….its what they do for a living. if something is to be done to proctor the “unbridled growth” of this region, i suggest looking at the governing body that oversees such activities and bring these guys up to speed with more education, while holding them accountable for their approvals and decisions. if you don’t want it, then change your rules, dont throw rocks. remember, the only thing that beats the system, is a better system. while this type of civil outcry got some press, its prob not the kind that could do the most good. your voice cannot be heard through spray painted statements, no matter how valid the point may be. become involved & get to know the system, then change it from with-in….it is a time proven way to develop and foster a positive change. toughen the rules, and you will see the change

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