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March 23, 2024 162 mins

All of this week's episodes of It Could Happen Here put together in one large file.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let
you know this is a compilation episode. So every episode
of the week that just happened is here in one
convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to
listen to in a long stretch if you want. If
you've been listening to the episodes every day this week,
there's going to be nothing new here for you, but
you can make your own decisions.

Speaker 3 (00:27):
Get ready for anarchy in Atlanta.

Speaker 4 (00:32):
You got to or you won't be arend anarchists start work.
They struck again this week.

Speaker 5 (00:40):
Cops are approaching now.

Speaker 6 (00:46):
Obviously got a flashbawn.

Speaker 7 (00:48):
This is it could happen here. I'm Garrison Davis. For
the past three years, a wide range of people in Atlanta,
Georgia have been working to prevent the construction of a
now one hundred and ten million million dollar militarized police
training facility in the South River Forest in southeast Atlanta.
I've continuously covered the evolving struggle on it Could Happen

Here for the past few years.

Speaker 6 (01:11):

Speaker 7 (01:11):
In this episode, I will attempt to summarize some of
the actions from the past six months and the wave
of recent repression targeted against the movement. I will also
offer some analysis and critique on behalf of anonymous Force
defenders who spoke with me in dedicated conversations. After the
last week of action in summer of twenty twenty three,

it was clear the movement needed a new way of
people to engage in the struggle against Cop City. Beyond
the referendum and the occasional nighttime sabotage. Forest encampments were
essentially impossible, and the weeks of action seemed to expunge
their usefulness. A small group of people began organizing what
would become known as block cop City. The idea was

that on Monday, November thirteenth, a mass mobilization would descend
upon the Cop City construction site in an act of
non violent protest, and perhaps planted tree saplings where the
forest once stood. This marks the first time that the
framing of quote unquote strategic nonviolence and nonviolent direct action

were embraced for a mass action like this, hoping that
it may attract NGOs and activist groups to co sign
onto the action. Historically, throughout this struggle, such quote unquote
non violent framing was at least avoided if not explicitly
rejected as a limiting restriction toward achieving measurable victories against

the Atlanta Police Foundation and cop City contractors. Throughout the
end of summer and the start of fall, a speaking
tour for block cup City traveled to over eighty cities
around the country to promote the action and recruit people
to travel to Atlanta come November. Block cup City started
as a very vertical, top down plan. The central conceit

was decided upon by a small number of individuals, many
of whom were not from Atlanta, and the finer details
would be worked out in a series of public meetings
in the days before the action. Whether or not local
force defenders liked or disliked the proposal, block op City
acted as a gravity well, sucking nearly all of the energy, time,
and attention into its orbit for the entirety of a

fall in Atlanta. Throughout the nationwide block coop City speaking
to her a small subset of attendees voiced objections and
disagreements with the proposed to strategy and its use of
time and resources. Those opposed to block up City thought
the idea of a large public march to the work
site was going to put people in unnecessary harm without

doing much to achieve a measurable blow against cop city.
I'm going to quote from a report back that was
published online shortly after the action.

Speaker 6 (03:50):

Speaker 7 (03:51):
Something that tends to happen in autonomous action is that
there ends up being an inner circle at the core,
which can limit the scope of who is able to
meaningfully contribute to the direction of action because it creates
a hierarchy at spokes council. It felt like this at
times because it was primarily a small group of speakers
who were directing the entire block Copcity movement. This led

to dismissal of certain concerns which were brought up by
affinity groups. In the planning stages. Organizers pushed back on
the notion that getting arrested was a part of the plan,
but on the day before the November thirteenth action, a
block op City organizer told press and media in a
private meeting to have your cameras ready because there will

be arrests at noon, demonstrating some form of intent to
use people's safety and freedom as a way to generate
online buzz with the hope of inspiring people to once
again take action in the forest. The possibility of arrest
was obviously mentioned at the Spokes Council meetings, but was
framed as far from a certainty, with rallying cries insisting

that the march will be able to all leave together.
During the two days of Spokes Council meetings, the route
and formation of the march to the construction site was
decided upon, and quote unquote direct action trainings took place
to prepare people for the march on Monday morning, the
march was to be split into three distinct clusters, a frontline, middle,

and rear. Before the march, there was limited communication between clusters,
making it difficult to have informed expectations of how a
confrontation with police will happen. Part of the quote unquote
strategic non violence stipulation meant that throwne objects and projectiles
were explicitly disallowed. On the morning of the march, words

started to spread around that what was left of the
frontline cluster decided that only bullets will make the frontline
fall back and they would withstand all other forms of
police violence, mostly les, lethal rounds, tear gas, batons, etc. Now,
this whole thing about live rounds was not widely communicate

to people who just showed up for the action. On
Monday morning, during the spokes councils, it was learned that
a vast majority of attendees had never before been to
Atlanta or the Forest, and a great many of whom
had never attended a protest or engaged in a clash
with police before. Some local force defenders took issue with
the perceived strategy of primarily recruiting young people from across

the country with little to no experience going up against police.
Come Monday morning, the number of people gathered to march
on cop City was far fewer than what was initially hoped.
It's impossible to say for sure whether the limiting of
acceptable tactics and the non violent framing hurt or helped
the final number of attendees. Regardless, the four hundred or

so brave people that departed Gresham Park was not the
mass action initially envisioned by organizers.

Speaker 8 (06:54):
Got about three.

Speaker 5 (06:55):
Dozen riot cops and SWAT teams stationed here. Walking off
the road heading to the west, got police shields. We
have air of fifteen's, we have tactical response vehicles ATV,
A lot of cops behind us, a lot of cops
in front of us. We are completely sandwiched in by

the police.

Speaker 7 (07:19):
Right now, the front liners approached the police riot line
at the big intersection near the entrance to Entrenchment Creek Park.
Two large banners formed a V shaped wedge and the
crowd advanced into the police line.

Speaker 5 (07:33):
People are pushing through. Cops are putting up to fight.
People are continuing to move forward. The march is pushing
the cops back.

Speaker 7 (07:43):
Under the pressure from a few hundred people. The police
line was pushed back by one or two dozen feet
front liners. We stood police batons and leslie communitions. Steady
progress was being made. That was until tear gas got deployed.
Cops are continuing to loop back.

Speaker 6 (08:00):
Flash bang.

Speaker 7 (08:02):
We got gap csgas was first launched into the middle
of the crowd. Police paused to put on their own
gas masks, but instead of using this moment to advance further,
the bulk of the crowd held their position, with large
sections of the middle cluster subsequently entering into the tree
line of Entrenchment Creek Park. As continuing volleys of tear

gas were fired by police. This caused the front line
to retreat back, effectively ending the offensive portion of the action.
As the group that entered into the forest was later
escorted out by police, rejoined the march and eventually returned
to Gresham Park. Everyone knew that it was a near
certainty that police would confront a mobile crowd, and out

maneuvering police all the way to the construction site would
be highly unlikely. The only way a mass of people
would be able to get to the work site is
if police allowed it. Still, there's much to learn from
block cop City and even just the brief skirmish with police,
So forgive me for engaging in some tactical analysis based
on the good portion of my life spent in riot

jousts and input from others with more on the ground experience.
We first have to think about what will cause a
mass of people to break up, scatter, and retreat, both
on the protester side and on the police side. The
front lines are meant to act semi fluid. Typically, projectile
launchers are behind the front line and are designed to

scatter the opposing front line and middle sections of the
enemy side to disrupt an offensive formation so that it
loses its capacity for for momentum, or to stagger a
defensive line enough to force retreat, as was the case
on November thirteenth. When a layered defensive police line is
backed up with vehicles like a bear cat, the on

foot line will most likely not retreat back behind their vehicles. Frustratingly,
these these massive police vehicles occupy a sort of paradoxical
role as a ten ton roadblock that would force a
center advancing line to break apart in order to pass,
putting the advancing line in a less strategic position, even

though if the vehicle was threatened by being overrun, police
would probably attempt to pull the vehicle back, signifying retreat.
So how has this paradox been solved before? Well with
ranged attacks like bottles, fireworks and what the State of
Ukraine was teaching its civilians to make in the early
days of the Russian invasion. This is why projectiles are

of such a strategic importance. One cannot break through a
police line without employing violence. Utilizing projectiles is necessary to
force rear police vehicles to retreat, along with the CoP's
own projectile launchers placed behind their riot line, which are
used to break up the opposing front line. And police
have no such tactical non violence scruples against using projectiles.

Some Atlanta anarchists have also noted that the resources put
towards acquiring a great number of plants that ended up
just being abandoned could also have been used to acquire
gas masks for the middle cluster, reinforced shields, and ancillary
materials put towards prioritizing the crowd's efficacy and safety against
the use of crowd controlled munitions. Thankfully, there were no

arrests made in direct connection to the march, but I
don't believe this can be accredited to any comprehensive organizing.
When the day prior media was told that arrests would
be taking place by lunchtime, for whatever reason, the police
let a kettled crowd of people go free. We can
only speculate on why. Between the logistical hassles, the stretching

of prosecutor resources, and the bomb squad that was actively
sweeping the area of entrenchment Creek Park and checking all
of the bags and backpacks that were dropped in the
area where the splinter of the march was escorted out
by police with force. Defenders in Atlanta who've spent years
now engaging in militant struggle against police. They offered a

more fundamental critique of this action. If the choice to
employ a strategy of nonviolence is in response to grossly
inflated charges and repression the movement is facing, as some
block ops to the organizers have stated, that means that
you're allowing the state to determine your rules of engagement.
The entire idea of announcing your plan to walk onto

one of the most policed areas in the country did,
in fact prevent people with more on the ground experience
from participating on the day of the action. Risk requires reward.
A small core of organizers were so steadfast in one
particular version of how this event would take shape, branding
people with disagreements as all overly online disaffected nihilists no

longer involved in the struggle in Atlanta. Not only were
online critiques discarded, but opportunities for in person conversation as
an input from people with more on the ground experience
in Atlanta were also turned down. And I think it
is important to state hats off to the many young
people that traveled from around the country to participate in
this action. One can hope that block cop City broadly

and going up against this line of armed riot police
was a useful learning experience for whatever happens next in
these people's lives as we approach the twenty twenty four
election and who knows what is to come. The night

after Block cop City, six vehicles owned by the company
Earned Concrete were set on fire in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Earlier that fall, Ernst Concrete trucks were seen working on
the cop City construction site. After the arson, Ernst Concrete
released a statement saying that they were not going to
work on the cop City project. In an Atlanta Police

Department press conference from December twenty twenty three, Chief Darren
Sheerbaum discussed a wave of recent arsons Googa.

Speaker 3 (14:10):
The most recent one happened in Gwinnette County this past November.
This was Ernst Concrete when a number of construction equipment
was set on fire. Then we go to three arsons
that happened right here in Atlanta mcdonna Boulevard where a contractor,
a Brent Scarborough, was targeted three different times in the
month of October of this year, July of this year,
as well as April this year. We see that the

same group takes credit each and every time on their
source of giving information out and so it's likely to
be that same group, very small in number, moving from
state to state is likely the profile of these individuals.

Speaker 4 (14:44):
It's very very small.

Speaker 3 (14:45):
It is a handful of individuals that are having a
much larger impact on the safety of this city than
they should have.

Speaker 7 (14:51):
Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith and John King, the Georgia
Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner, both talked about how these
arsons negatively affect the contractors working to build cop city.

Speaker 6 (15:03):
As we talk.

Speaker 9 (15:03):
About impacts caused by arson, it affects our businesses, those
that are participating in helping out building Atlanta Public Safety
Training Center. We suffer from additional cost due to arson
that these companies face and individuals face.

Speaker 10 (15:23):
This affects every one of our citizens in the area
because all these losses. Yes, there's an insurance company that
will probably cover some of the costs, but those losses
will be passed on to customers, so we all will
take the losses.

Speaker 7 (15:36):
On January seventeenth, APD put out another press conference to
discuss even though the police are already doing such a
great job out stopping crime when it's fourteen degrees and
homicides continue to decline. Even still, a new state of
the art police training facility is vital to maintain safety
in the city of Atlanta.

Speaker 3 (15:55):
We've asked you to come together again today because there
is an effort underway by very smart individuals anarchists that
want to impact the safety of Atlanta, Georgia. Just yesterday,
a piece of equipment aligned with one of the construction
companies that is building the public safety training center for
every lantin was set on fire. Next door in a

neighboring state of South Carolina, we had a construction company
that had a loose connection to the project here in
Atlanta that was targeted by an individual that used one
of the tools of violence sphere and intimidation that has
been used mainly by this group, which is arson, set
equipment on fire, going after concrete trucks, and so soon
the individuals that have been in the dark of night

impacting every one of our neighborhoods will be held responsible
as we bring these individuals to justice.

Speaker 7 (16:43):
Police in South Carolina were able to identify a suspect
and ended up arresting and charging them with arson. The
fire chief elaborated on the theoretical risks of arson such
as injury to human life and the ugly sight of
burnt rubble left over in neighborhoods, as well as reiterating
how it affects the cop City project.

Speaker 6 (17:04):
What are the effects of arson financial?

Speaker 9 (17:07):
As we've heard earlier, the impact that the equipment being
burned plays of role with the company's working delays in
the project.

Speaker 6 (17:17):
Due to this.

Speaker 7 (17:19):
Less than a week later, the city had another press
conference in front of burnt husks of equipment outside a
construction site run by a cop City contractor.

Speaker 3 (17:28):
If you look over my shoulder, you will see the
equipment that was burned.

Speaker 4 (17:32):
It belongs to a private contractor.

Speaker 9 (17:35):
There were total four pieces of heavy construction equipment that
were damaged this morning.

Speaker 7 (17:39):
Chief Scheerbomb quickly linked the attack to stop cop City
due to a post online about the attack accompanied by
the hashtag stop cop City.

Speaker 4 (17:50):
The hashtag is present.

Speaker 7 (17:52):
Scherbomb also gave an updated account on the number of
arsen attacks which have targeted construction equipment.

Speaker 3 (17:58):
I believe now we're right at thirty five that have
occurred here in the state of Georgia and elsewhere. The
vast majority of them are concentrated in North Georgia, but
there are others that have occurred elsewhere. We're very fortunate
of an arrest in South Carolina. There's clearly at least
one other person. This individual or individuals don't care about
life and safety. If they firebombed police precincts, their go

is to a road, proper public safety infrastructure, and to
road the government.

Speaker 7 (18:24):
Very cool stuff. Indeed, I do believe that thirty four
number is a gross undercount, but hey, if they've forgotten
a few attacks, really no real harm in that. We have, however,
gotten a few recent numbers on the monetary damages caused
by stop Coop City activity. In a Georgia State Senate
committee meeting near the end of January, Senator Deborah Silcox

said that APD Chief Administrative Officer Peter Amman told her
earlier that day that the estimated cost of nationwide property
damage made in protest of cop City exceeds one hundred
million dollars. That beats the ELF numbers.

Speaker 5 (19:06):

Speaker 7 (19:07):
Four days later, the Atlanta Police Department tried to backtrack
that number to New York Times reporter Sean Keenan, now
saying that it was ten million dollars in property damage
a one thousand percent difference, which either way is a
massive amount of money. And we do know for sure
that the city has spent at least one point three
million dollars just in the legal fees related to cop City.

We know at least some of that one point three
million dollars was used to combat the Cop City referendum campaign,
an initiative started last summer to collect petition signatures to
put cop City on an upcoming ballot. I talked with
Sam Barnes of the Atlantic Community Press Collective to get
an update on the current state of the referendum.

Speaker 11 (19:52):
The referendum has more or less been stalled out since
last fall. In response to a lawsuit from Decab County
residents who claimed that their First Amendment rights were being
infringed upon because they were not allowed to canvas for signatures,

A Core issued down an injunction basically allowing the referendum
campaign to have additional time to collect and then turn
in signatures. The city then appealed that injunction. That whole
situation is currently before the US Court of Appeals, who

heard arguments from the city's lawyers and the vote campaign's
lawyers in January and who have not yet issued a
ruling on that appeal.

Speaker 7 (20:45):
The referendum campaign has turned in what they say are
one hundred and sixteen thousand signatures, which, if verified, should
be more than enough to get the referendum onto the ballot,
but the City of Atlanta has said that they cannot
start counting these signatures until the Court of Appeals issues
their ruling.

Speaker 11 (21:04):
It's not really clear of where in case law, or
in Georgia code, or wherever they are getting that legal
precedent from, but it is the line they are sticking to.
So long story short, even if the city was to
start counting votes today, and even if there were enough

to get this referendum on the ballot the next election,
it could appear on the ballot in is the general
election in November twenty twenty four, Popcity for APD and
the APF's repeated claims is going to open and fall
of twenty twenty four. Now, I don't personally have a
lot of faith in that at one point it was

going to open in August twenty twenty three, just the
simple fact of every construction project runs into delays. But
I think it is pretty clear, especially given the clear
cutting and the concrete pouring that has already happened on
the site that it will make significant progress by by November.

It's pretty obvious that the city's strategy here is to
just delay and delay and delay the referendum until the
thing gets built, effectively just making the referendum dead in
the water.

Speaker 7 (22:23):
On February eighth, the Federal Bureau of Investigation connected a
series of house rates on three homes in South Atlanta
that they suspected of being linked to Stop Coop City activists.
Phones and computers were seized, along with Stopcop City related
zines and posters. Occupants of the house were dragged outside,
sometimes literally. A few were detained for hours on end,

with one being driven to a police headquarters for interrogation,
but was released later that evening.

Speaker 3 (22:52):
This morning, at six am, investigators of the Alan of
Fire Rescue, Georgia Berl of Investigation, Federal Burial of Investigation,
Bureau of Alcohol to Back and Firearms, and the Atlanta
Police Department, joined by uniformed elements of this department at
Georgia State Patrol, executed search warrants signed by judges who'd
review the probable cause, allowing us to enter three locations
to seek evidence connected to acts of vandalism and arson

that have occurred over the last few months. As investigators
went to those locations, they were armed with an arrest warrant.

Speaker 7 (23:21):
It's worth noting that the search warrants cited federal statutes
on the destruction of vehicles and reco While executing one
of these raids, police located an individual whom an arrest
warrant was issued for days prior and brought them into custody.
This arrest, along with the one in South Carolina, also
marked the very first arrests linked to clandestine and nighttime

attacks in the three year history of the movement.

Speaker 3 (23:49):
We're processing all of the locations now. The evidence to
make that arrest had already been in possession of law
enforcement even before we executed the search warrants this morning,
So the arrest warrant was signed before today, and the
arrest work was not connected with the search morsols or
independent of the arrest would be making once we located
this gentleman.

Speaker 7 (24:06):
In a city press conference, the mayor opened by saying
this arrest was quote linked to multiple acts of vandalism
and arson unquote, yet they were only charged with one
account of first earrye Arsen, which police linked to the
burning of eight police motorcycles last July, near the end
of that summer's week of action. This particular arson is

unique from the many other cop city related arsons in
a few ways. This was not targeting construction equipment. Instead,
it was directly targeting police infrastructure. An unexploded plastic incendiary
device was left at the scene, and the police training
building that was singed. The city now claims was occupied
by a police officer.

Speaker 3 (24:48):
But was often overlooked as inside of that precinct was
a protector of the city Atlanta police officers inside.

Speaker 7 (24:55):
As police have said, they only had enough information to
make this war arrest linked to this one specific instance
of arson. Thus, these raids can be seen both as
an intimidation attempt and a last ditch effort to collect
additional information necessary to make future arrests.

Speaker 4 (25:14):
More rest will come. It will come soon and will continue.

Speaker 3 (25:17):
To hold people accountable to Everyone that has been involved
in these acts are in jail and before a judge.
The investigation is very active, ma'am. There's a reason we
serve three search warrants today.

Speaker 6 (25:27):
We do.

Speaker 4 (25:28):
We are looking at a wide range of areas.

Speaker 12 (25:29):
We believe evidence as hell that will.

Speaker 3 (25:31):
Identify who is responsible or the others, and who else
was responsible besides this gentleman.

Speaker 4 (25:36):
The investigation will play that out.

Speaker 3 (25:37):
But there are others that I anticipate will be resting
in the end of weeks to come.

Speaker 7 (25:41):
This messaging from Chief Sheerbaum is obviously meant to spread
panic and paranoia amongst activists, organizers, and the anarchists of Atlanta.
Those in Atlanta were quick to prove that repression would
not stifle attacks against copp City. On the night of
February ninth, a police car was torched outside of the
home of an APD officer officer in the Lakewood neighborhood

of Atlanta. The next day, police claimed that they tracked
the movements of two alleged arsonists via ring, doorbell and
street cameras to a house in Lakewood and conducted a
raid that afternoon. Nothing was found and no arrests were made.
The FBI and the ATF viewed the vehicle arsen outside
of the home of an Atlanta police officer as a

significant escalation and made their first on camera speaking appearance
on Channel two to discuss the possibility of introducing federal charges,
the house raids threats, doing all these press conferences, it's
all part of this media frenzy to elicit fear. Earlier
this year, Chief sheerbamb unveiled plans to put four hundred

and fifty billboards all across the country offering reward money
for information, specifically placed in cities they believe anarchists are
traveling from to set fires in Atlanta. Every single press
conference the police du they are desperately begging for members
of the public to snitch, saying the only way this
case will be solved is if anonymous tipsters come forward

with information, offering increasingly comical amounts of money if information
leads to a conviction. Fear is one of the greatest
tools this state has to bear. But through this sequence
of events, police and investigators are also kind of showing
their hand here, demonstrating the current limit of their actionable evidence.
It has now been well over a month since these raids,

and as of now, no subsequent arrests have been made.
The timing of these house raids also seemed intended to
disrupt an event planned for later that month called the

Nationwide Summit to Stop Cop City, a convergence located in Tucson, Arizona,
on Amazonia that was planned for February twenty third to
the twenty six I was not able to attend, but
I spoke with Sam from the Atlanta Community Press Collective
who covered the summit in person.

Speaker 11 (28:08):
It was a four day convergence in twoson Arizona, called
for by the pretty well entrenched radical organizing scene there
in Tucson that was just intended to be the kind
of summits we've seen here in Atlanta that are often
called weeks of Action that can no longer take place
here in Atlanta. So it was intended to be just
a gathering of like minded people to share ideas, build community,

have fun, frankly, and there also were some direct actions
that occurred during the week. The hub for the summit
was a park kind of on what i'd call the
north end of Tucson called Mansfield Park, and there was
a small camp space set up and organized by locals.
The structure of the summit and of the camp space

in general was again very familiar to anyone who has
attended any of the Weeks of Action in Atlanta. At meals, breakfast, lunch,
and dinner. There were camp announcements, a lot of spontaneous
activities within the camp. A couple movie nights were held.

Speaker 7 (29:09):
Tucson, Arizona on Amazonia, is about one hundred miles from
the US Mexico border. Sam told me about a panel
they attended on the intersections between the border, Gaza and Atlanta.
If you've been paying attention to the cop City struggle,
you're probably already familiar with these themes. The Atlanta Police
Department participates in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange the

GILLY program, where they trained with members of the IDF.

Speaker 11 (29:35):
The talk featured Jewish Americans, Palestinian Americans. A correspondent from
Indian Collective who was there to cover the summit as well,
also spoke during that event. And that intersection was I
think even before Aaron Bushnell self imilated that Sunday was

probably the most profound theme when I threw the weekend again,
especially with Tucson's proximity to the border and to native
lands that are on the border and which are often
surveilled using wait for it, Israeli military technology. The sort
of official name of the summit was the Nationwide Summit

to Stop coop City, which was a sort of winking
nudge nudge at Nationwide Insurance, which is the main underwriter
of the insurance policies that ensure what would be cop city.
Nationwide has a major corporate office in Scottsdale, Arizona, which

is in between Tucson and Phoenix.

Speaker 7 (30:47):
On the first night of the summit, a small group
of anonymous vandals attacked three subsidiaries of Nationwide Insurance in Tucson, Arizona, Tusan, Amazonia,
breaking windows and vandalizing their buildings. Later on in the week,
there were two more public direct actions that happened during
the summit. The first was a black block march on

the night of February twenty fifth in downtown Tucson, Arizona,
sun Arizonia. As a crowd of a little under one
hundred people moved through downtown stopcop City. Graffiti filled the plaza,
and a P and C bank as well as a
recently closed Wells Fargo branch, had their windows smashed. Wells
Fargo is affiliated with the Atlanta Police Foundation and PNC

is a financial backer of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in
the Appalachians. Police were able to arrest at least three
people suspected of participating in the march. Oddly, they were
charged with arson of an occupied building, I believe due
to fireworks being thrown in or near one of the banks.
Given the name of the nationwide summit, it was expected

that there would be a public action targeting nationwide insurance.

Speaker 11 (31:54):
So Monday morning we headed up to Scottsdale, Arizona, again
just outside of feat Phoenix is about two hours away,
where we stopped by a sort of sidewalk rally type
situation that was happening outside of the Nationwide Regional offices,
which was honestly quite locked down, quite hard to get

access to it. As we were leaving the sidewalk rally
and being followed by Scottsdale's finest bicycle riders, I thought
it was interesting that one of the bicycle cops had
a life behind Bars personalized painted bicycle bell. It was
Teal and said a Life behind Bars, And when we

asked him about it, he just said, I just thought
it was funny because you know, I'm a cop and
I'm behind bicycle bars.

Speaker 6 (32:47):
It was.

Speaker 11 (32:49):
Delightful and look forward to further coverage of this exciting
story in a soon to be released ACPC video feature.
So after the rally outside of nationwide offices, we got
a tip that a lockdown style action would be happening
somewhere in the Scottsdale Phoenix area that afternoon, So maybe

around four or five o'clock, we traveled to the hills
of Maricopa County, Arizona, formerly home to America's toughest sheriff,
Joe Arpaio, into this sort of enclave of gated, dead
end streets with fabulously expensive homes. One of these homes
is owned by a nationwide insurance executive. So the activists

that locked down placed their bodies in front of two
entrances to this enclave with the intention of disrupting the
evening of this nationwide executive and their neighbors. There were
six activists in total that locked down, three at each entry.

They used a device that has been ascribed to me
as being called a cupcake, meaning it was a bag
of concrete placed on the inside of a car tire
set with some rebar and a kind of pipe sticking
out of it where I assumed there was some sort
of like handcuff locking on the inside of the pipe.
The gates were also locked shut with like bicycle locks.

Speaker 7 (34:25):
People were locked to the entrance of the gated community
for almost four hours before being arrested. All six were
ultimately given misdemeanor charges and released within twenty four to
forty eight hours. Sam also talks to me about how
these big public gatherings like the summit in Tucson, Arizona,
so I'm not as Zunia, seem like they just can't
really happen in Atlanta anymore.

Speaker 4 (34:46):

Speaker 11 (34:46):
In November here in Atlanta, we had the Block Cop
City Convergence, which was organized to a pretty significant extent
by folks not from Atlanta. I know one reason I
heard for that. It's pretty well known that organizers in
Atlanta are tired, and there was a group of people

from outside of Atlanta that felt like they could carry
that lift to organize and action here in Atlanta. The
summit in Tucson, to my knowledge, is the first major
convergence that has been organized outside of Atlanta with a
call for folks to come from the nation over. It
was a very keen or a very sharp feeling of

grief that this was not happening in Atlanta, that could
not happen in Atlanta, both because the forest has had
a huge chunk of it bulldozed, but also due to
the police occupation of the forest, that this could not
happen in Atlanta right now in the Willani Forest, and

I think, especially given recent events in Atlanta, in anywhere
in Atlanta in Georgia.

Speaker 7 (35:59):
Frankly, even if due to continuating circumstances, events like this
may not be able to happen in Georgia. Sam told
me that once the summit kicked off and things got going,
it became clear that, of course, convergences can and probably
will continue to happen anywhere and everywhere. For a long time,
a slogan of this struggle has been cop City is everywhere.

Speaker 11 (36:22):
Even if there weren't similar cop city like facilities planned
or already being built all over the country. I believe
the latest count was sixty nine or seventy. I can't
quite remember who did that research, but even if it
wasn't for that, again to go back to like the

sharp through line of Gaza, the border, indigenous lands, Gilly
historial genocide, this struggle is the same everywhere. The police
are the same everywhere. As I was recently discussed on
this podcast.

Speaker 7 (37:03):
As this episode draws to a close, I'd like to
air out some thoughts I've had ruminating around my head
for a while about inter conflict as desperation. These comments
are not about any specific city or situation. This simply
reflects a pattern I've observed in various struggles caught in
a down spiral, particularly during the fallout of the twenty

twenty protests nationwide. Historically, I think Atlanta has actually proven
to be pretty resilient against this sort of thing, but
as the stakes are quite high, I would hate to
see something similar happen, as the cop city struggle here
in Atlanta seems to be entering its latter stages.

Speaker 6 (37:42):
First, I'd like.

Speaker 7 (37:43):
To say it's always a worrying ticking clock once people
start getting treated as disposable or as political props to
be sacrificed in the service of spectacle. But primarily I've
been thinking about at a certain point far enough within
a struggle, it becomes easy to fight each other than
it is to fight police. Which is not to say

all conflict is bad. Conflict can often be good. Tension
can result in a new innovative action that otherwise might
not materialize. But when said, actionable conflict starts to materialize
more frequently against each other rather than against the state.
That signals impending doom. Being able to consistently put your
beliefs into practice with a like minded group of people,

to directly engage against systems of oppression like the police
or the state, especially in your own city, is a
life affirming process, almost intoxicating. It's very easy to become
addicted to high intensity conflict. Unfortunately, the state is a
resilient bastard. Even if you can land a few sizeable blows.
Over time, this state can gather a lot of resources

to push back, and it take a few days, weeks, months,
or even years. Only in our minds may the glorious
first spark of uprising last forever, the burning of the
Third Precinct, or the first year or so of defend
the Atlanta Forest. But nostalgia is a trap, and eventually
the empire does in fact strike back. But as it

becomes harder, more dangerous, more frightening to engage against the state,
the desire for that rush of conflict stays. It lingers.
So what is one to do? The walls are closing in,
but you have this need to fight, so you take
out your anxiety, PTSD and frustration on those around you.
It is much more scary to fight the police. This,

by comparison, is easy while still feeding that conflict you
will drive we must keep on fighting, and since it's
harder and more scary to continually fight the cops or
the state, we instead are looking for ways to fight
each other, to find scapegoats to purge, often in service
of some unrelated personal grievance or in group self preservation

constant attack, constant strength, constant purity. These conflicts can take
form as blame as to why desired outcome is not
being achieved, intensified a stratifica of in group out group dynamics,
as in these are the bad people in the movement,
whereas we are the enlightened definity group with the only
successful strategy or conspiratorial co intel pro like actions such

as cop jacketing, snitch jacketing, and more general bad jacketing
against people who you have simple organizational disagreements with. This
can also manifest as a deep unwillingness to hear preemptive
critical commentary and the assumption that all criticism comes from
place of bad faith, A recent article in a popular
anarchist publication roped in genuine critique and disagreement as somehow

being in alignment with the state's motivations against the movement.
And this is not just a form of cop jacketing, saying
that if you disagree with a particular strategy, that means
you are in alignment with police because they also dislike
a particular strategy. But the police dislike the strategy for
a completely different reason, because they dislike any form of resistance.

Claiming that critique from an anarchists and criticism from the
state come from the same fundamental place is simply laughable.
It is in moments such as this, when repression is increasing,
that justified frustration and fear leading to paranoia can be
turned into a weapon by the state. At these moments,
people must be the most vigilant against their own fear,

resulting in retreat from battle against the state and turning
to intra conflict as a desperate form of alternative struggle. Solidarity,
love and care are paramount, including harsh love, including well
meaning critical commentary, debate, and constructive conversation. Well that's enough
of that. Finally, I'd like to give an update on

the Copcity construction timeline. The past few months, city officials
and the Atlanta Police Foundation have made a series of
statements claiming construction is very much on schedule and quickly
approaching completion.

Speaker 3 (41:54):
I want to say this, the construction of those training
centers on schedule.

Speaker 4 (41:59):
We will be moving in summer. It will be operational
this time next year.

Speaker 9 (42:02):
The new facility is almost seventy percent complete with construction.

Speaker 7 (42:08):
Many have pointed out that this is a ridiculously high number,
considering that a video published by the police just a
few days ago showed an unfinished foundation and a single
paved road. Now Sam from the Atlantic Community Press Collective
helped explain what this number might be referring to.

Speaker 11 (42:27):
There are no walls built, to say the least. I
personally believe that to be a very charitable reading of
a document with a construction timeline. We've seen as a
result of our open records requests that sort of break
the what a lay person such as myself would call
it the construction process up into things like permitting, pre construction, development, construction.

On that timeline, they were about seventy percent done with
the development, and they were also about seventy percent done
with the whole process ranging from permitting to cutting the
red ribbon. What again, as a layperson, I would also
call the construction process, meaning the whole you know, roof walls, doors,

thing on that particular document was zero percent complete or like,
I shouldn't say zero percent because they have like concrete
paths and stuff. I don't remember exactly what the date
on this document was, but it was zero to a
very small percentage of complete.

Speaker 6 (43:29):
So yes on the.

Speaker 11 (43:30):
Grand construction timeline of filing the first document to again
literal walls. Yeah, sure they're seventy percent complete by any
measure of construction to the average season. No, they are
not seventy percent complete.

Speaker 7 (43:46):
Before I close this episode out, I do want to
let listeners know about ways to support Jack, the person
rested in the house raid last month. In the show notes,
I will link to a fundraiser that goes towards his
legal fees, jail commissary, and phone calls. You can also
go to the website free Jack dot Co. That's free
Jack dot Co for information on how to mail letters

and books to Jack while he is currently being held
in jail without bond. Trials and court cases related to
the Georgia copcity recoindictment have all been delayed till at
least this summer. Follow the Atlantic Community Press Collective for
updates on that as they happen. See you on the
other side.

Speaker 6 (44:27):
Do you think he's glaed to stay?

Speaker 3 (44:29):
You know, obviously he's not here and we're seeking him,
and so we would ask him to come in and
answer our questions.

Speaker 13 (44:48):
Welcome, sick it up and here, I'm Andrew Siege from
the Channel andresm and say you will be shedding light
on a recently popular discussion on the problem with mod
cities and more specifically the growing absence of third places.
Now love them or hate them, cities are here to stay.

And if you spend any time on urban plan and
YouTube or really just looked around, you know they have
some issues. Traffic congestion is a big one, a notorious
nemesis of modern cities, stemming from increased population, poor urban planning,
and excessive vehicle usage, creating a big waste of time
and straining or well being. There also issues of physical

and mental health among city inhabitants. The environmental impact of
urban areas can be quite terrible.

Speaker 12 (45:39):
Housing issues seem to.

Speaker 14 (45:40):
Be globally hellish, but still people flock to cities because
that's where the opportunities are. Hence the growth of slums
and the overall straining infrastructure like utilities and transportation, and
the functionality of cities, many of which are currently well
above their capacity. Of course, many of these issues just
don't touch the wealthy in the same way. Within the

city's gleaming skyscrapers lie stock disparities and income access to
resources and opportunities. I for another issue, more relevantile discussionaire.
In the midst of a crowd, even dwellers often grapple
with feelings of loneliness and disconnection. The paradox are being
surrounded by people yet feeling totally alone. In a seminar work,

The Great Good Place, published in nineteen eighty nine, American
sociologist Ray Olenberg presents a captivator notion for a balance
and fulfilling life, a harmony among the three spheres, the home,
of the workplace, and the realm of third places. These
third places encompass inclusive social settings, crucial for community bonding
and faster and meaningful interactions. Now, as for what qualifies

a third place, common examples come to mind.

Speaker 12 (46:56):
Cafes, pubs, stoops parks.

Speaker 14 (46:58):
However, not every cafe, pubs, tupa park captures the essence
of a true third.

Speaker 12 (47:03):
Place as Oldenburg described it.

Speaker 14 (47:07):
Historically, their places have been a powerful force in shaping
the course of revolutions and cultural movements. During the American Revolution,
the tavern was a vital health of political discourse. In
the French Revolution, the cafe was a crucial meeting place
for the revolutionary, intelligentia and common people. During the Enlightenment,
coffeehouses in London assumed a central rule in fostering the

intellectual and cultural transformation of society, and during the Harlem Renaissance,
third places could be found in theaters, churches, jazz cafes
and more sivin as vital he runs for African American musicians, writers,
intellectuals the source to develop and celebrate their cultural identity.
Oldenburg outlines eight key characteristics that define the allure of

these communal spaces. He takes a rather strict approach, and
this is key, emphasizing that his description excludes the maturity
of venue even if they exhibit some of these defining traits.
And I suppose you can argue with that, but I
think that's equippal I've had with the discussions about third

places because people seem to be more infatuated with the
vague idea of them and not so much interested in
what the two has actually been coined to describe. See
end up with people label in all sorts of spaces, clubs,
and organizations third places.

Speaker 12 (48:27):
Even if they don't fit the criteria. At this point,
the Internet has.

Speaker 14 (48:31):
Seemingly lost the plot on third places and taken a
life on its own independent of what Oldenburg intended.

Speaker 12 (48:38):
But he's dead.

Speaker 14 (48:40):
His book is still around, but I don't think a
lot of people have read it. But I did in
preparation for this, and so we'll tell into some of
those characteristics now.

Speaker 12 (48:51):
For one, a third place lies on neutral ground.

Speaker 14 (48:54):
No one has expected to play host for the others,
no one is obligated to be there, and people are
comfortable and free to come and go as they please.
Third places are spaces where people can jest, be where
you can where opportunities can exist for fraternization in a
safe public setting that car be found in the privacy
of the home or the professional boundary.

Speaker 12 (49:15):
Of the workplace.

Speaker 14 (49:16):
A space where a variety of relationships can blossom, including
the ones that don't go any deeper than friendly public encounters. Secondly,
the third place is a level in place. It requires
no formal criteria for membership. In place, there's no emphasis
on one's social status, and provides the possibility for people
of a variety of backgrounds and experiences to associate on
the merit of their personality alone. Within third places, people

can find friendships with those who are under ordinary circumstances
that might never cross paths. The third characteristic of the
third place is that it's a place in which conversation
is meant to be the main activity.

Speaker 12 (49:52):
It doesn't have to be the only activity. For example,
card games or pool.

Speaker 14 (49:55):
Or dominoes make for an excellent social lubricant, but the
space should become enough to facilitate pleasurable, lighthearted, and entertaining conversation. Now,
it's not difficult to create a space that can facilitate
good conversation, but it's also easy to ruin the flow
of good conversation. Music, personal screens, ecosistical people. They can

all be quite ruinous to the social energy that a
good third place tries to foster.

Speaker 12 (50:20):
Fourthly, third places need to be open and readily accessible.

Speaker 14 (50:25):
That means being accessible in the sense of being in
a convenient location and open whenever the demons is holiness
or bortant strike, or when the depressures and frustrations of
the day call for relaxation a.

Speaker 12 (50:35):
Mid good company.

Speaker 14 (50:37):
In other words, third places are available when people need
them to be.

Speaker 12 (50:40):

Speaker 14 (50:41):
The form of accessibility that Wodenburg describes is not the
form of accessibility that disability just as advocates fight for,
And that is one of the quibbles that I have
with Wrotenberg's conception of third places that I'll get into
later next. Third places are given their appeal by their regulars,
who helps the mood of the space and provide a

welcoming environment for newcomers. Every regular was once a newcomer,
and the acceptance of newcomers is the central to the
sustained vitality of.

Speaker 12 (51:11):
The third place. Sixth, third places keep a low profile.

Speaker 14 (51:15):
They're not exclusive, extravagant, potentious to overly fancy. They're not
usually openly advertised, and they send to be older places
with a sort of a modest or even CD atmosphere.
They're certainly not tourist traps. Seventh, and we're almost done.
Third places have a playful mood. People go to third

places for the banter and the laughter, not tension and hostility,
so that's what the space is set up to encourage.

Speaker 12 (51:43):
And lastly, number eight, third places.

Speaker 14 (51:45):
Are meant to be home away from home, offering a
sense of intimacy, regeneration, and community that puts people at
ease in a warm and friendly atmosphere. So to summarize,
third places exist on neutral ground, function as equalizers social status.
Provide an environment where conversations or the center keep a
low profile, are open and accommodating, have an essence shape

by their regulars, characterized by playfulness and a sense of
home away from home. Third places, with their unique characteristics,
present an array of advantages. There are only a hands
in individual social and conversational skills, but also foster a
sense of genuine connection and belonging within the community. Third
places are arrested from the monot ney daily life under

the weight of modern capitalism. They inject much needed novelty
into our routines, often a diverse and free flow in
atmosphere that stands apart from the rigidity of our daily
crid There are bond for emotional wellbeing a spiritual tonic,
and the loss to tap into our creative and expressive selves.

Speaker 12 (52:46):
Crucially, third places offer.

Speaker 14 (52:48):
With Oldenberg coined as friends by the set, they provide
convenience paces for social gatherings, offering routine and reliable interactions
with a diverse array of individuals, both casually and intimately,
without the hassle of scheduling meetups. Unfortunately, third places kind
of fell off in many areas, obviously not everywhere, but

especially in places where American style urban sprawl and suburbia
has proliferated. I've been describing the characteristics and benefits and
historical potency of these spaces, but I've only gotten small
tastes of some of these myself and for a lot
of people, I think, particularly of my generation. Besides, perhaps
the approximate experience of a college common room, third places

are a distant cultural memory, not a lived experience. So
Oldenberg basically asks what's up with that? And according to him,
the blame for this mansion act falls squarely on the suburbs.
These sprawl and enclays prioritized private abodes over public spaces,
pfatuating and isolating narrative that confines the good life within

individual homes and yards. Wind designs often imposed by distant developers,
stifle community connections. Few opportunities exist within them for organic
social interaction beyond your immediate neighbors. The car centrical layout
further thoughts the revival of third places, as the reliance

and cars diminishes chance encounters and informal gathering spots along
daily routes, fostering a culture of detachment among neighbors. But
it's not just the suburbs suffering this issue. Urban environments
too have succumbed to efficiency and profit sacrifice in space
vir genuine human connection. Standardized franchise chains dominate eras in

the character and charm that encourage communal interaction, replacing.

Speaker 12 (54:43):
It sterile environments.

Speaker 14 (54:46):
And technology hasn't exactly aided third places either, as the
alert of the Internet has been a substitute for real
life interaction that tends to keep people indoors. Sure, you
can see the Internet as the frontier for new third places,
and in some ways they are, but not quite in
the same way.

Speaker 12 (55:04):
And of course I mean less qual its out even
though wordenburg doesn't.

Speaker 14 (55:08):
Capitalism plays a significant role in the decline of third places.
Work life imbalances leaves scant time for social engagements to
relentless commercialization, privatization of public spaces, gentrification, close intraditional hubs,
and profit driven urban designs all contribute to this decline.
The disappearance of third places isn't an accident of history,

but a consequence of our modern societal choices and systemic pressures.
So all those ideas have been catched on a lot lately,

especially with younger generations. Like I said, it's this distant
yet learned cultural memory for obvious reasons, though things kind
of suck right now, and a lot of people are
taken a half understood grasp of the concept and running
wild with it, Like for example, I Aliso see some
people like just Blankets applying the Internet as the new

third place.

Speaker 12 (56:14):
And while there are corners.

Speaker 14 (56:15):
Of the Internet that do approximate that experience, and I
recognize the potential virtual spaces such as Discord to embody
the characteristics of third places, I fully believe that virtual
third places lack the tangible elements inherent in traditional spaces
that are essential for fostering deep emotional connections and empathy
that are fighter for healthy community life. These social media platforms,

particularly sites like Twitter, often lack the authenticity and nuanced
communication president and face to face interactions. That's by design,
of course. Twitter thrives on conflict. That's why I'm not
there anymore. But it's all too easy on sites like
those demit interpret intentions or to use anonymity for negative
inter actions like cyber bullion, trolling, or online harassment. In

real life, trolls get kicked out, bulliers in some cases
are dealt with people who are harassing people also tend
to get kicked out, But online all those things often
run rampant. Moreover, the permanents of online interactions can hinder
the relaxed vulnerability often experience in traditional spaces, as everything

is recorded, which makes trust easier to breach.

Speaker 12 (57:33):
But despiteer critique of how.

Speaker 14 (57:35):
Some people have been run in with the term third places,
I think the actual book and its concepts do deserve
further scrutiny and in my view, radicalization. Wollmenburg's idea of
the whole in the workplace in the third place is a.

Speaker 12 (57:49):
Sort of a pecan order.

Speaker 14 (57:51):
It also really sidelines domestic labor as like not really
work as if it's separate from the workplace, and I
also don't like the idea of work being prioritized over
like essential social interaction.

Speaker 7 (58:05):
I think there's also the interesting aspect now that for
a lot of people like myself included, working home are
now the same spot and there is Ever since the pandemic,
there's been a large searge of people working from home,
which kind of complicates this dynamic.

Speaker 14 (58:23):
Yeah, yeah, pre industrialization, I think especially that idea also
coincide it you know, the first and the second place
to home. In the workplace, we're also a bit blurred.
And now I think we're witnessing a similar blurred today,
you know, post industrialization, and as a consequence of the pandemic,

with remote work really catching on and blurring those lines
for sure. I think another major oversighting Oldenbook's work is
the gender bias within historical and contemporary three Places. You know,
these spaces have been predominantly male dominated or gender segregated.
I think it's nostalgia for three Places, which you kind

of pick up on in the book, neglects the historical
limitations who women face and accessing these spaces. So I
think if three Places words make a resurgence, we would
definitely need to address these systemic barriers, like the double
shift that many women juggle to ensure.

Speaker 12 (59:21):
Their inclusion in future three places.

Speaker 14 (59:25):
I think another critique I would have is on ownership control.
You know, third spaces are touted as neutral, but when
they're operating under the whims of private owners or state authorities,
they very easily succumb to those profit drift at motives.

Speaker 12 (59:43):
I don't think a community.

Speaker 14 (59:44):
Space, a space that is to be sent that is
central to a community, should be so concentrated in the hands.

Speaker 12 (59:50):
Of private developers or private owners.

Speaker 14 (59:54):
I think those spaces are the types that should be
collectively stewarded. There's also the cost barrier of third places.
You know, due to financial constraints I have already's able to,
you know, spend the time there and spend the kind
of money there that those spaces kind of require for
you to stay there for extended periods of time, they

kindot have to buy something in all.

Speaker 12 (01:00:17):
Of those places.

Speaker 14 (01:00:19):
A lot of good places are alcohol oriented, which is
not exactly inclusive for people who are not interested in
alcohol consumption or recovering from addiction. But of course, speaking
of inclusivity, Willenberg's idea of accessibility, like I said before,
doesn't really come from a place of disability justice.

Speaker 12 (01:00:39):
But that has to change.

Speaker 14 (01:00:40):
You know, we in a broader grasp of accessibility, which
is why, despite my critiques, I do acknowledge the merits
of what are often tombed as virtual third places. They
save us more accessible alternatives for the immunal compromise or
disabled individuals. These spaces break down geographical barriers, uniting people

from diverse backgrounds, locations, fostering connections, base since shared interests, passions,
and identities with all the constraints of physical distance. And
unlike physical third places, vircial third places are offered around
the clock, case into users diverse lifestyles and rhythms, offering
a flexibility that is really rarely found in real life settings.

At the same time, though in Olenberg's defense, he does
point out that third places will not resonate with everyone.
There is this popular notion that third places have to
be for everybody, and then I see people criticize them, saying, oh, well,
I prefer to just stay at home.

Speaker 12 (01:01:41):
I don't really like the places.

Speaker 14 (01:01:42):
I don't like social interaction or whatever, or I don't
like that form of social interaction.

Speaker 12 (01:01:47):
And that's cool.

Speaker 14 (01:01:48):
You know third places shouldn't be the sole remedy or
the main remedy for social ills. Preferences will, of course vary,
and not everyone finds cafes or bars appealing. Fine, but
I still think we can radicalize their places a bit further,
not just in the sense of diversifying it, but also
in the sense of bringing it under popular power. I

see radical toy places in my version on content to
merely existing on neutral ground dictated by capital or stage initiatives.
Know the envision has collective grounds, common grounds where in
the vidual is not only frequent but co own. These
spaces invest in time, energy, and resources to ensure their survival.
Imagine spaces that transcend the typical lightheartedness associated with third places.

They wield the power to spark social revolutions, serving as
zones for decompression, rallying spots for union activities, and nurturing
grounds for mutual aid, a nucleus of community driven change.
But what says these radical spaces apart is not just
the accessibility in location operating ours, but also a culture

of inclusivity that goes beyond nostalgia for traditionally male dominated
three places. You know, it's about welcoming or broader spectrum
of perspectives againsties and abilities. Imagine this not just a
space away from home, but integrated with the neighborhoods and
mixed use buildings, fostering.

Speaker 12 (01:03:15):
Community into creation.

Speaker 14 (01:03:17):
As for how we bring these radical three places to life,
the Road Flora in Hamburg, Germany, and I think provides
some great inspiration. Formerly a theater, it was transformed into
a political and cultural hub by activists in nineteen eighty nine.
Today it stands as a symbol of resistance against against
social injustice and a space pulsating with artistic expression and

vibrant dialogue. They achieved that place through squatting and squattin
is risky yet revolutionary, but it isn't the only path
for secure in such spaces. I think we can mobilize communities,
empowering them to actively participate in shape in public spaces
instead of waiting for decisions from a I really like

the idea of camera.

Speaker 12 (01:04:03):
Where the team comes from. But it's gorilla urban planning.

Speaker 14 (01:04:09):
You know, painting lines on the on the pavement for
back paths, you know, reclaiming the sidewalk, claiming spaces in
your neighborhood, taking control and not asking for permission to
shape the park or the space that you share as
you see fit. It's really about, you know, co creating
our environment. It's not merely accepting what's imposed upon us.

Reformist strategies in instances like these can have their merits.
They don't exactly advance revolution, but you know, advocating for
walkable neighborhood to improve probably transportation doesn't you know, it
doesn't hurt. But the crocs remains, you know, these actions,
these pushing this, this effort to push for reform. You know,

it can solely accomplish potential some change, but the crux remains,
you know, empowering people to manage their own lives and spaces,
not relinquishing that power to uncare and autocrats. The decline
of their places might not be catastrophic, but until we
recognize and harness our power to shape physical environments, our

urban social life will continue to lack of vibrancy.

Speaker 12 (01:05:25):
I think we have to acknowledge our profound.

Speaker 14 (01:05:27):
Influence and our surroundings and seize our agency to actively
craft our spaces.

Speaker 12 (01:05:34):
All power to all the people. This is Andrew, This
is a.

Speaker 2 (01:05:40):
Peace welcome back to It could happen here, the podcast
that's happening here in your ear. And one of the

things that we love talking about here is a critical
ingredient towards creeping authoritarianism, towards growing corporate control and surveillance
over all of our lives, which is of course technology
that makes it even easier to monitor you than it
already is. We're not talking primarily about like the government

monitoring you, because they can, you know, do stuff like
just pull your phone data from a you know which
cell towers is pinged. We're talking about the kind of
stuff that allows basically whoever can get an app on
your phone to track and stalk you. And Yeah, I'm
going to first introduce Mia Wong. Mia, welcome to the
show that you also host. Yes, I'm here. So what

are we what are we talking about today? And who
are we talking with?

Speaker 6 (01:06:51):
Yeah? So we are talking about stalker war, which is
the sort of broad name for the category of software
that Robber's been talking about. And we are talking about
someone who hacked one well, a stoker wear stalker. Yeah,
one of the stockerware companies, my Aris and Crime, the
Fame Hacker, the No fly List. Yeah. Returning guests always

happy to have you on.

Speaker 15 (01:07:15):
Yeah, I always happy to be on. Yeah.

Speaker 6 (01:07:20):
So I think I think, I don't know, I think
there's a real tendency among and I see this among
leftists a lot for kind of good reasons and kind
of not good reasons to really only focus on state
and like large corporate actors in terms of surveillance. And

that's a mistake.

Speaker 15 (01:07:42):
Yeah, totally.

Speaker 6 (01:07:45):
Yeah, And so I guess I guess the place where
I want to start before we get into the specific
company that you do do is it still called owned?

Speaker 5 (01:07:53):
I kin't.

Speaker 15 (01:07:54):
It's fine to call it owned or pond or whatever.
I still do that. Sometimes people get confused.

Speaker 6 (01:08:01):
But yeah, yeah, But before we get into that, I
want to I want to ask you a bit because
you've done a lot of sort of I guess you
could call it research, both actual research wise and then
in terms of poking around their servers.

Speaker 15 (01:08:16):
Research and journalism and whatever you want to call it.

Speaker 6 (01:08:20):
Yeah, act Yeah, So I wanted to just start off
by asking if you can give sort of like a
brief summary of what stalker waar is.

Speaker 5 (01:08:30):

Speaker 15 (01:08:30):
So, so stalkerware like as a category, encompasses like a
number of different types of apps. Most of them, like
on the service, advertise themselves as like parental control software,
which is already bad enough. Just to be clear that
there's like advertised for like spying on your children's phone,
like seeing their location in real time, seeing their messages

that they receive, any photo they take. Ostensibly this is
to like prevent bullying and help with them when they
get depressed because they don't try you and talk to
you for whatever reason, but obviously a lot of these
are then furthermore, because that's like that, sure, that's a
like target audience, that's a demographic you can advertise too.
But then there's this even bigger potential target demographic of

people who are insecure in their relationship, mostly men, not
only men, but who are then solved this idea that
they can use software like this for stalking their partner,
for finding out if they are cheating on you, things
like that, which is obviously an even bigger problem, which
once again not to discount the problems that's spying on
your children is already like bad enough, but yeah, lead

this leads to this whole big industry of these apps
being used by partners against each other, like also just
by people like against anyone in the in their surroundings
that they suspect might be doing something shady, might be
like talking behind their backs. It often kind of turns
into like it obviously turns into this obsessive thing, especially

if you solve this idea that they this app can
magically solve like interpersonal issues, like with anything that sells you,
this magic idea of being able to solve any problem.
That these people start kind of spying on everyone in
their like circles to some of them, like not everyone,
most like a lot of people on the spying like
their partner or like their child or whatever. But it

often like spirals out of control into this like controlling
everyone in their surroundings, knowing what everyone is up to
where they are, and spending like hundreds of dollars a
month on doing so. And yeah, that's pretty fucked up
if you ask me.

Speaker 6 (01:10:32):
Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:10:34):
One of the things that's interesting too. It's also in
a lot of cases illegal. This is going to vary,
you know, from country to country, in state to state,
but in the US there are states like California, which
gets pointed out in the very good tech Crunch investigation
on truth Spy, where there are really strict laws that
journalists like you have to abide bias to when you
can record someone that these apps absolutely break.

Speaker 15 (01:10:55):
Yes, it's specifically a thing that doesn't. Most of these
app will have like a disclaimer at thebot that is
like this might be illegal and your jurisdiction and please
ask for consent before doing this, and then they have
lots of tutorials on how to install this in someone's
device without their consent. Yeah, but it's like always like
a we do not take any like we it's not
our fault if you break the law basically, which obviously,

like it's so far not a lot of this has
been challenged in court, but I don't think this would
hold up too long. I'm not a y, but I
don't think just saying we make a product to do
crimes with if you do crimes with it, it's not
I mean, it works for the gun industry.

Speaker 6 (01:11:32):
So yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:11:35):
The difference is that, like with the gun industry, it's
a product where there is a legal and an illegal,
like clear way to do it.

Speaker 15 (01:11:42):
The thing with stocker were as well is that like
a lot of them will also explicitly say the only
real use of this we allow you to to use
it for is to surveil your child, which unfortunately is
legal in most jurisdictions because children are property of their parents.
Yeah quotes because I do not agree with that, but.

Speaker 2 (01:12:01):
Yeah, it's one of those things where people using it,
like someone installing an app on their axes or their
partner's phone or whatever without consent, could very easily would
lose any court case, whether or not the company would
get in trouble. I think it's going to rely a
lot on the stuff the videos they're posting about, like
how to put how to get these apps on people's

phones without them knowing, but like they do have that
out with like no, it's just for surveilling children, which is.

Speaker 15 (01:12:26):
Great for anyone else you need consent or whatever. But
I think it is important, yeah, to point this out
very early for anyone who's listening to this because they
think they might have stock Aware on their phones, or
because they know they have Stockaware on their phones. You
can use this in a domestic abuse case, well immediately,
this is explicit proof that abuse is happening, no matter

anything else, because like that's the thing generally with domestic
abuse cases. It's really hard to prove abuses happening. Stalkerware
and any other type of spying device like also physical
GPS trackers and stuff that is immediate proof that there
is a there's controlling behavior going on, that you are
being spied on. This it cannot only be used and

there's explicit admissible evidence. This is also usually like makes
cases first like not not for you, like it just yeah,
it like can potentially add charges and make it more serious,
and that it can help making cops give a shit
about like abuse, which yeah, I hate that I need
to say that, but yeah, it's like it makes it

more serious because there's like spyware and whatever.

Speaker 2 (01:13:33):
It's easy evidence first off, like you can prove they're
spying on you, and second, if you are in one
of the states where that violates the law, then you
can immediately say this person is breaking the law, like
this is we don't have to debate whether or not
they've they've crossed the line.

Speaker 15 (01:13:47):
Yeah, And even if it doesn't directly break the law
to spy on someone on a partner like it, depending
on the on the on the region, it can be
kind of a hazy like thing, especially if it's a
device you might co own. If it's like a state
where you were with like code possession or whatever. In
the US, I do not know US law very much
around this, but yeah, there's like laws like that. But

usually still the fact that you're being spied on can
be used as proof for other abuse things you might
be alleging, because it's like hard proof that something is happening.
And also usually these companies will somewhat have to respond
to some point US, so they will have to give
out like who the account on there is behind like
the spying on your phone for some of them, we

can also there's also tools that help you find out
who is spying on you, or there's like someone with
forensic background can help.

Speaker 2 (01:14:35):
Yeah, and I think people One thing we should note
is that if you're kind of curious, has my device
been infected by some of these tools, the one that
we've been talking about most truth spy. If you go
to that tech Crunch article.

Speaker 15 (01:14:50):
Or to my article, it also has a link yet.

Speaker 2 (01:14:52):
Or to you to your article on your website. There's
a tool you can use where you it'll tell you
how to get your IMSI I think I must say,
I am ai, yeah, which you just dial a thing
on your phone and it gives you that number. It's
basically how you identify specific bones and you plug that in.
It will let you know if your device has been compromised.

Speaker 15 (01:15:13):
Now like December last year up until there is the
data and if you yeah, it can pretty much tell
you if you've been spined on using this specific tool
until then. For other stuff, there's also guides usually on
TechCrunch and otherwise also on Stop stockerwear dot ARC, which
is the US Coalition against Stalker War, and also just generally,
I think a lot of like more local anti stocking,

anti abuse orcs are not as informed yet as they
should be, but there's still a good point also to
reach out to or like.

Speaker 6 (01:15:43):
Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:15:45):
One of my questions about truth Spy that I'm hoping
you can answer is I know that you can like
text messages get transferred via it, your call records, all
that kind of stuff, get and who you were calling.
Does that include messages for like encrypted apps like Signal
or is that not accessible through this?

Speaker 15 (01:16:02):
It depends, like for for some of these, it will
like get signal messages, what's the messages and everything generally
by reading the notification content, because like from notifications, you know,
like what messages are have been like received. Sometimes it
will only then have the received messages and not the
set messages. Often these also include like a key logger
component that maps messages then sent back as well. It

depends a lot what these apps collect, but for most
of them, also the collection for other texting apps is
usually kind of broken. None of these apps are really
well maintained. They're mostly just quick cash graps. Yeah, are
there to maintain features usually don't really work.

Speaker 2 (01:16:42):
And it seems like based on that, one thing people
can do outside of checking to see if their device
has been compromised, is do stuff like turn off notifications
for appsling signal, right, like, and that's that's actually just
generally good advice. Notifications are are a promise of the
security that signal offers. Don't have them enabled, you know, yeah, or.

Speaker 15 (01:17:06):
At the very least disabled them on the lock screen
on Android.

Speaker 6 (01:17:08):
Yeah, I don't know how.

Speaker 15 (01:17:09):
I think that's also possible on iOS, but I think
I doesn't show message content on the lock screen anyways.
I'm not sure anymore. But yeah, it's just also small
things like that. And also like one of the key
tells that someone probably tampered with your phone, especially for
Android is if Google play Protect is disabled and you
do not remember disabling it for something else, it was

almost definitely disabled because someone installed something on your phone.
Just try re enabling it. Then they will probably tell
you something. The thing also to keep in mind if
you find stockaware on your phone, please get professional help.
Do not just delete it. Do not like necessarily confront
whoever you think might be your abuser about it unless
you're very sure that that's the situation you can handle,

because like, yeah, that is one of those things that
like bringing it up or just deleting it can very
quickly lead to like, yeah, yeah, complicating the situation a lot.

Speaker 6 (01:18:04):
You know what else complicates the situation.

Speaker 16 (01:18:07):
These ads and we are back.

Speaker 2 (01:18:21):
So when it comes to the actual fight against this stuff,
obviously what you're doing is a big part of it.
Getting inside these companies and finding out like what they're
doing and their capabilities is huge for in terms of
like what regular people are people who are interested in
becoming activists about this can do. What is the what
is the struggle to actually fight this stuff? Look like

like how do we how do we put a bullet
in this industry's head.

Speaker 15 (01:18:48):
I think one of the biggest things, and also like
why I do the work I do with like hacking
and with encouraging others to like send me data, be
that insiders from these companies sending it I do to
me or like TechCrunch specifically currently because like me and
tech crunch are like the only people really doing like
journalism on this like regularly. And the important thing with

like journalism and all of this is like awareness. It's
very important to create awareness about this. That's also why
I do the media work with like being on this
podcast and things like that. I think the most important
thing is to make people aware, like talk about this
in your feminist circles or whatever, things like that especially
bring it up just also in like general info things
about abuse or how to detect abuse. I think the

most important thing to do against stocker whereas demestify it
because most people don't even know that this is a thing,
that this is, like that there's just commercially available spyware
anyone can install on your phone. It's most important to
not like give in to some sort of paranoia. As
with any of these things, it's just important to like yeah,
generate awareness, talk about it, and like spread these articles.

Let friends know that this is a potential thing, and
then yeah, I The hard thing with this is that,
like obviously it should will probably help if there was
some sort of legislation against some of this, it's going
to be very hard to get any proper legislation that
ends this industry because in most Western countries, which are
the only countries which unfortunately would have enough power to

like actually get these apps shut down, because that's the
world we live in. But the problem there is usually
that like this notion that children are owned by their
parents is too strong to really make a full case
against these apps. And at the very best what I can,
like the very best time kind of hoping for from
from legislators is just a ban on advertising these apps

on use against other adults, which would be big already,
but that doesn't really solve the issue because there's still
going to be enough people who know of their use
for use against adults, and there's going to be enough
people on like credit threads talking about, hey, well yeah,
you oh you're not sure if your government is cheating
on you, look you can just use this app, you know.
That's also how most of this marketing for this works.

It's just yeah, at the end of the day, this
is like a patriarchal issue. So yeah, I think that's
also why, like I am so focused on like the
hacking and the like blowing these companies up and showing
like who's behind them. It's because at the end of
the day, the most effective thing we have against these
companies is like the grassroots movement of making them too

scared to run in this business, making it not profitable enough,
because as I said, most of this is like quick
cash grabs from like web design studios and outsourcing companies.
Yeah that a're just making a quick buck from this
because otherwise they don't get paid enough. Like that's the
sad thing really is how much of this industry is
in all of these countries. Western companies outsource their IT too,

because there's lots of IT companies there and they are
entirely reliant on like Western companies giving them very underpaid tasks.
And Yeah, this problem that you now have a bunch
of employees and not enough money to always pay them.
And what do you do, You like find some weird
niche of like a tech product you can quickly build. Yeah,
and this is like one of those easy niches it's

like always the scummy stuff and like yeah, it's that's
also why like so many of these companies are like
based out of Vietnam, out of Iran and whatever. It's
just companies that already have it hard enough to do
business globally, where the IT industry is like falling apart
because there's not enough like local customers and anything that's international.

You're just the cheap workforce, right, So yeah, it's it's
once again also like a class problem. I don't like
most people working in this industry know that they're working
in a like scummy industry.

Speaker 6 (01:22:42):
Yeah of course, but like yeah, you got to get
paid and that's.

Speaker 15 (01:22:46):
Yeah, And that's like why I think making it more
scary to operate in this industry is like, yes, the
way to go, because like with just like these like
four hacks that have happened against these companies over the
last like half a year, so two of them, three
of them, three of them have shut down completely. Others

seem to be slowly moving towards just building other software primarily. Yeah,
it's just like, yeah, it's like with any other like
shady industry that the best we can do is just
do not make it profitable to run the software because
at the very best, anything else we will get it's
just pushing them more into the shadows, which is not

going to solve the issue at all.

Speaker 6 (01:23:28):

Speaker 2 (01:23:29):
I think a lot about like strategic thinking, which I
do believe is kind of often in part because of
how rightfully negative most people on the left think about
the military. There's a tendency to ignore some of like
the theory around how to actually win a conflict and
all of it all strategy really, when you're talking about

like defeating an opponent, revolves around denying and taking operational
area from them, right Yeah, And that's what you're talking
about when you talk about what we need to stop this.
You know, one of the first things we can do
as part of fighting this is to stop them from
being able to advertise certain places. Right It's making sure
that they're not able to operate without being seen. It's
basically cutting down their area, their space to maneuver, their

ability to profit, which cuts down their money, their access
to people, their ability to actually like operate.

Speaker 4 (01:24:22):

Speaker 2 (01:24:22):
Like, that's what we're looking at in terms of how
do you kill this stuff. It's not one single really,
I use the comparison of like a bullet, but it's
never going to be one bullet. These things are too durable.
There's too many countries a delay to do that.

Speaker 15 (01:24:34):
Yeah, that's also why I put so much emphasis on
doing media work about this and getting more people to
talk about this and getting more awareness of this out there,
to the point where I'm willing to work with more
conservative newspapers on this because everyone needs to know about this.
At the end of the day, this is how we
stop people from falling victims to this. Most people who

are a victim of stocker apps have never heard of
stocker apps before, and I think that's like one of
the biggest ways to tackle this. And on the other hand,
we also have I think another big leverage point with
how many of these are getting hacked because none of
these apps are very secure. That's another thing is this
can also be leveraged against like the abusers in this scenario.

I think just pointing out to them that all of
these apps get hacked all the time and that this
is how they get found out, that that this is
how their data of them as abusers ends up landing
on the internet. I think it's also like a very
important angle at the end of the day. Is just
to make it clear, like yeah, no, not even you
are like secure from this having consequences for your life,

like beyond like direct interpersonal or legal consequences. This can
and in the past has resulted in like your email
adders being on a list of people who have do
abuse to people online. You don't want to be on
such a list. I think that's also important just to
like point out there isn't one stock of a app
that's not eventually going to get hacked. There is a

big war against these apps. They're all like there's so
many different hacking groups that keep sending me data from
these like I'm already working on another article that already
once again affects like the data of like I think
like eighty thousand more like abusers, and it's just the
abuser data this time. But I'm still going to report
on it, like it's it's it's this is not going

to stop. It's even also not going to stop when
I stop reporting on this myself, like I've there's been
work before me down on this. I also the first
time I got involved in finding stockerber was back in
twenty twenty. People have been hacking these apps forever and
will keep hacking them. Like just look at the Wikipedia
page for stockerver. There's an ever growing list of these

apps that have been hacked, and I think at this
point that like official count being kept by one of
the people at TechCrunch is at like thirteen apps, a
few of which have been hacked two or three times. Yeah,
these are not These are not secure apps for any.

Speaker 6 (01:27:00):
No, no, of course not.

Speaker 2 (01:27:01):
Yeah, and they yeah, I mean it makes sense that
like an app dedicated to violating people's privacy for money
would also basically violate the privacy of the people using it.

Speaker 15 (01:27:13):
Yeah, and also they don't care. Like I said, of
course it's a cash grap. It's nothing else. There's a
few apps that are like a little more than a
cash crap, but it's usually just because they're made, Like
there's still a cash grap, but they're like more well made,
but it's because they're a cash graph from a company
that has better developers or more money to do the

initial investment. The thing is also like most of these
companies don't have a lot of initial investment, And I
think the important thing to consider as well, here is
one big area of this that I have not yet
started tackling, but I do want to look into more. Sometimes.
Is a big reason this industry is so big and
most of these apps have a lot of users despite

there being so many of them, is the affiliate marketing industry.
Once again, very beloved friend. Yeah, all of these apps
are parts of various affiliate marketing networks, some of them
started by Stockerware Company, and some of them just other
like things to advertise all the shady things like all
those phone number locator apps or whatever, that's also part

of those same affiliate marketing networks. And there's lots of
money flowing here, and there's lots of money flowing to
very big tech YouTube channels, and I might soon have
some proof for some of that. But that's how these
are advertised. It's everyone who advertises stockerware to you, who
has a big platform, is doing that because they're getting money,
not for any other reason.

Speaker 6 (01:28:39):
We need to do more ads. We will be back shortly,
and we are back.

Speaker 2 (01:28:57):
Well that's all I had, Miya, what do you got?

Speaker 6 (01:29:00):
Yeah, I guess there's there's another thing I wanted to
ask a little bit about, which Zach Whitaker, who's been
one of the journal the journalists that tech Crunch doing
a lot of the research was great. One of the
things that he brings up that I think is another
I don't know, it's kind of a plane with fire
angle on them. But one of the issues that these
companies seem to have is payment platforms, because a lot

of payment platforms look at this and go wait, hold on, yeah,
so that's yeah. We've talked about that a little bit.

Speaker 15 (01:29:31):
That's an angle. We've also been a fighting on a lot.
Like me and Sick, we work on most of these
stories together. Like it's kind of funny. We both got
each other into the stockover thing back in twenty twenty.
As I mentioned, that was the first time I stumbled
into a stock cover app with a security issue. I
reached out to some random journalists that tech Crunch about it.
And now he is the only one talking about this

forever because I reached out to him that one time
and he got sucked into this horrible, horrible world of spying.
But yeah, like, one of the things we focus on
a lot is reporting these companies to their payment providers,
to their server hosters, to the point where sometimes like
for weeks, SAK will just wait for them to switch
to when you provider after we got them taken them

from like PayPal, and then from their other PayPal account
where they're just using like the checkout experience from one
of their completely unrelated software projects which they will later
claim is not related at all and there are different
companies and whatever. But then like eventually they get taken
down from that as well, and usually we can get
them taken them from most like Western hosters, like especially

US housters, will immediately take them down. You do not
want to risk being the company hosting spuywire on US grounds. Yeah, yeah,
it's just like same with EU hosters. Like the few
companies that we've seen that were on headsnerd, they immediately
react because it's like yeah no, like under EUO, you
don't want to like risk that. And also just because

you don't want to host that, like there's no reason
for you to host shit like that. It will have
like image consequences, and that's an important thing that is
maybe also something you can do as more like a
grassroots thing. It's also like if you find one of
these apps and if you see, oh they're using like
PayPal or whatever, just reach out. I think paper is

even harder to reach as like just an average lay person.
I don't expect them to reply. They might still take action,
you will have to manually check. PayPal doesn't really reply
to things ever, But yeah, same as like hosting company,
if it's either hosted on like a European or American
hosting company, I just just reach out be like, hey,
there's someone running spyware on your thing. Also used the

word spyware, not stocker, where they will not know what
that is, and it is spyware. So yeah, and that
can usually get them taken down. And often they don't
have proper backups and will have a few months of
data missing, and it's like, yeah, that's how you slowly
grind them to a halt. Yeah. And also once again
like if you have tips about it any of these companies,

be it having found the vulnerability just or insider info
especially I'm always very happy about the insider info. You
can reach out to either me or Sack with We're
both very happy to talk about this. Yeah.

Speaker 6 (01:32:13):
Yeah, that's something that's been used really effectively by right
wingers to target sex workers. There's been a huge thing,
there's been a bunch of campaigns to get platform companies
and yeah, so it's.

Speaker 15 (01:32:27):
It's interesting that for once we can use the very
restrictive and conservative rules of payment providers for our good Yeah.
But yeah, basically any of the big payment providers will
not respect something like this. Some of the small regional
odd ones probably won't really give a shit. They have
no reason to. It's like revenue for them. But yeah,

it's generally worth trying. And I'm always glad like if
someone just reaches out to these companies and we don't
have to do that ourselves. I think me and second
to few other people like actively working in this are
doing more than enough work currently. But yeah, just if
you find one of these things that don't go digging
too deep. It's a depressing world. But if you stumble
upon one of these somewhere or whatever, just just report them.

It's it's it's gonna disrupt their operations, and if it
happens often enough, they might just give up. Yeah, And
I mean, like in cases like the truth Spy, they
are willing to do extreme amounts of fraud to get
to money easily because they like started with like mostly
just in like with the market they could get with

their Vietnamese payment providers, right, and eventually they realized, well,
the US is like this really big market, right, but
for really easy like US stuff, we need like a
paypoal thing, right, So they might like over twelve fake
American identities with fake passports and fake addresses and sign
up to PayPal a whole bunch of times and had
various employees that the company move money around. Yeah, that's

obviously not a thing the US cover will like if
you do that. Generally speaking, they moved like millions like that,
so yeah, which is pretty crazy like that. The amount
of money that's moving in this industry is crazy, like yeah, actually,
like most of these app apps will be half broken,

which no one ever complains about because like it's shady,
like you don't expect like if you go online and
you search for something shady like anything like be it
piracy or whatever, you don't expect it to be the
best experience ever. Like you know, you're getting some weird
service and it's probably going to be half broken. But yeah,
like most of these talkover apps start at like forty
dollars a month and more, and then some days for

more features you pay like up to sixty or seventy
or so and then all of these have like tens
of thousands of users, sometimes hundreds of thousands of users. Yeah,
you can do them at yourself. It's crazy. This is
a really big industry, which makes it so crazy to
me that it's like not a thing that's talked about more,
especially like feminine spaces and things like that, because this

is such a like big angle of like modern tech
enabled abuse that they really think should should be more
of a topic, especially on the left, like this is
this is bad?

Speaker 2 (01:35:13):
Yeah, no, this is like critically bad. I agree entirely,
And also like that the whole thing with like all
of this data being so easily accept your data can
end up getting sold on some dark web forum. You're
both asked the abuse around that's the target, right, and
the government can find these like I have no like
this is this is not me making a statement of
that's a thing that's happening, but there's nothing preventing the

government from hacking these companies and getting like like I
sometimes like when whenever I get these data sets, and
it's always hard to work with data sets that include
like non consent essentially collected data of people, right, yes,
but like I do always like do some due diligence checks,
like mostly trying to find if the government is using
a specific app. Sometimes yes, there's always like the odd

correction facility for ser who has signed up for one
or two of these apps or like education people and whatever.
But then I also on the search through the text
message just for just some code words and the amount
of people moving drugs have Stocker were on their phones.
It's you know, yeah, and it's it's one of those

things where there are laws, like technically if I if
my understanding of the laws around this are correct, it
is illegal for an organization like the FBI to utilize
these apps.

Speaker 15 (01:36:29):
But yes, but we have an organized and called the
NSA who.

Speaker 2 (01:36:36):
And it is it is on paper illegal for them
to do this with a third party app. But one
thing that often gets done, particularly by the FBI, but
you know, not just by them, is it's not illegal
for law enforcement agencies to contract with private agencies. And
if those agencies you don't you just don't check in

on what they're doing. You know, what they're using.

Speaker 15 (01:36:59):
But like or like if an inform or like if
an informant like sends you the s data, like you're
not going to say.

Speaker 6 (01:37:05):
No, exactly exactly.

Speaker 15 (01:37:07):
And also you don't really need to disclose that because
it's information and got froment informant. You do not need
to disclose that informant in court ever. So yeah, it's
it's it's there.

Speaker 2 (01:37:17):
There are there are ways around, you know, the laws
that we put up, not that we shouldn't continue to
extend those laws, but you shouldn't like just because well
they're not allowed to use this doesn't mean they can't
get access to the info.

Speaker 4 (01:37:29):

Speaker 15 (01:37:30):
Yeah, And also there's all this important thing like there's
more like also globally, like there's other governments that can
just be using this. Like for one of the apps I.

Speaker 2 (01:37:37):
Got the government, the Russian government doesn't give a ship.

Speaker 15 (01:37:40):
That was also like another thing where I's like for
one of the apps I got data for. There was
some indication that at some point the Colombian National Police
did a bigger evaluation of using UH commercials spyware for
their use. Because you're in the country with not that
big of a like police budget in comparison, you cannot
afford like all the Coolestraeli tools everyone else has. So

what do you do? You just look for random apps
you can find you.

Speaker 2 (01:38:06):
Know, yeah you find the Walmart, the Kirklin.

Speaker 15 (01:38:09):
The Wish to the conversion I guess.

Speaker 6 (01:38:11):
Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah Ali baba spyware. Right. Yeah.

Speaker 15 (01:38:16):
I don't think most of them moved forward with this
because these apps fucking suck. Like they're bad, Like that's
that's the other thing, Like they don't even really do
their jump. Well, they're bad and you don't know who
is behind them. You cannot even go up to someone
and be like, yo, don't do this. You also kinnot
go to the cops and be like this company is
scamming me, because yeah, I assume some people have probably

done that before, but it does involve admitting to a crime.
So yeah, it's like, yeah, these companies just get away
with not giving a shit about their product because like.

Speaker 2 (01:38:47):
Yeah, yeah, well I think that's that's all we had.
Thank you Maya for both the work you're doing and
for talking to us. Yeah, is there anything you wanted
to plug before we all out here?

Speaker 16 (01:39:00):
Just my just my.

Speaker 15 (01:39:01):
Blog, I think where we're like, I do this journalistic
work and also more, there's about to be another cool
investigative piece out soon, which eventually involves more tracking and whatever,
and also involves like Hollywood and more. It's it's it's
it's a crazy big story. I promise that will be
out like hopefully in a month or so. But yeah,
my blog at Maya dot CRIMEU dot gay crime. You

as in crime, w yeah, and K as in gay yeah.

Speaker 4 (01:39:31):

Speaker 15 (01:39:32):
Just check out my blog at the bottom of the blog.
There's all my links to my social media for anyone
who's like listening to this and has been wondering where
I am. I am back on Twitter as well.

Speaker 2 (01:39:41):
Yeah for now, for now, that's for for all of
us these days. That's always like yeah at this.

Speaker 15 (01:39:48):
Point, but yeah, I am back on Twitter. I'm posting
there sometimes. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:39:55):
All right, well, thank you and thank you all for listening.
We will be back tomorrow unless this comes out on
a Friday, in which case we'll be back at some
other point but soon.

Speaker 6 (01:40:20):
Welcome Jacob app and here the podcast We're Getting Medication
takes like four fucking hours because of a bunch of
unbelievable bureaucratic bullshit. I your host Neo Wong, who was
asked by by pharmacists today and I quote, have you
been pregnant or have there been pregnancies?

Speaker 8 (01:40:38):
So I like, have that being pregnancies. Yeah, that was
what I was like, what involved shooting of human life?

Speaker 6 (01:40:49):
She like she walks up to the thing, right and
she she she puts the like she puts the meds
like like she's about to ring them up right, and
then she stops and then turns washed with other persons
start talking to her boss and then comes back and
they asked me pregnancy.

Speaker 16 (01:41:05):
So I'm like, what it's.

Speaker 6 (01:41:07):
Like, I am not passing, I'm just worrying. I'm just
wearying like jeans, like a mask. It's like a random coat.

Speaker 14 (01:41:15):
It is.

Speaker 6 (01:41:17):
So it's been a it's been a time.

Speaker 8 (01:41:20):
Yeah, achievement in the world of healthcare where they can
simultaneously like ask you for being pregnant and then make
you fucking labor unpaid for half a day to obtain
your like basic hormone therapy or whatever it is you need.
Like my favorite is when the health insurance makes me
this just existing podcast about health insurance and how we
hate it.

Speaker 6 (01:41:39):
Have you enjoying it?

Speaker 8 (01:41:41):
When they're like, hey, we need a doctor to confirm
you still need the instantly? What the fuck do you
think has happened? You would have heard about it. I
didn't at home pancreas transplant, didn't bill you guys for it.

Speaker 6 (01:41:56):
You're welcome. Yeah. With me is James, who is from
a country that is more normal about healthcare but is
now Yeah, more normal not the right word, but it's
less ship is the correct word, unless you're trends, in
which case it's about a toss.

Speaker 8 (01:42:14):
I was gonna say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, country which
has a different approach at least at least like has
accepted the fact that if we're going to have the
state pay for like sending bombs to kill little children
in Palestine, it should also pay for my incident, which
I think is is a good a good place to start.

Speaker 6 (01:42:29):
I guess, yeah, there's an ideal combination there, and no
we no one is yet reached. This is this is
this is the task of international socialism, et cetera, et cetera. Yeah.

Speaker 8 (01:42:44):
I will accept the necessity of the state only when
it funds incident.

Speaker 6 (01:42:47):
Not moms. Yeah, but we we are here to talk
about another incredibly violent state bureaucracy and the people who
run it. We're gonna be talking about a series of
very bizarre and incredibly authoritarian crackdown so that democratic well governors,
city councils. Many many such cases, yeah, have have been

have been invoking too nominally crack down on crime, a
thing that is down everywhere and has been down everywhere
for a long time.

Speaker 8 (01:43:23):
Yeah, in many such cases. It's great that the Democrat
like local politicians are now doing everything that we were
warned that Republican president would do four years ago.

Speaker 6 (01:43:33):
Yeah, it's really fun and I mean, this is one
of these things. So, so the place we're going to
start is New York governor cultural I think cutral. Yeah,
I don't know. New York keeps going through politicians faster
and I can learn how to pronounce their names. So
with what they're gonna have, like Andrew Cuomo, the fourth
in power, by the time this episode goes out, there'll

be like two there will have been two new Kings
of England. The secret sibling.

Speaker 8 (01:43:58):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're not making a podcast about the
royal family.

Speaker 6 (01:44:02):
Nonsense, we don't care. No, no, this is this is
this is the best that you're getting out of that.
But yeah, So Houtral has deployed seven hundred and fifty
National guardsmen to stand outside of some subway stations. That's
a tongue twister. Try saying that one five times is
fast in the mirror, to like do bag checks and
generally just sort of stand around and be intimidating.

Speaker 8 (01:44:23):
Yeah, it's great. I'm sure it's what those people signed
up to do. I'm sure they feel fulfilled, and I'm
sure everyone in New York feels safer and happier as
a result of random people in camouflage being standing around
a subway.

Speaker 6 (01:44:37):
Yeah, and we're going to get into this sort of
emotional effective aspect of this, because that is ultimately what
this is about. But I think, okay, there's a lot
of sort of interesting aspects of this. So Okay, there's
been a lot of talk about what the sort of
precursors to this are, and I'm gonna ask you about
because there's a lot of nationally, there's a lot of

very weird, absolutely dog shit National Guard deployment instead have happened.

Speaker 8 (01:45:02):
Yes, yeah, yes, there are I have uh yeah, yeah,
we can get onto that.

Speaker 6 (01:45:06):
Yeah, but I think I think the most immediate predecessor
to this, that that leaps to mind, this is some
thing I talk about on the show all the time
because everyone else seems to have completely forgotten it. I
refused to let this be memory hold, which is the
time that my previous shitty mayor ordered a bunch of
in twenty twenty ordered a bunch This is in February
twenty twents. This is this is pre uprising. Put just
started putting swat teams on subways, okay, and they immediately

did the thing that the swat team does, which they
started putting swat teams on the fucking red line. The
immediately shot a guy for no reason, like I think
I I if I'm remembering correctly, the thing that originally
they said it was fairrivation, and it wasn't fairrivation. It
was the guy walked from one train car to another
train car, a thing that like millions of people do

every day.

Speaker 8 (01:45:52):
Yeah, and capital punishment for faavation is also wrong and bad.

Speaker 6 (01:45:56):
Yeah, well look this guy somehow survived himack. But yeah,
they also tasted him a bunch of times and then
shot him, so right, good, yeah bad, However, thankfully this
guy survived. But yeah, but this is something that that happens.
This is only that you know, with with the current
crop of right wing mayors have been doing and you know,

the twenty twenty one and it was such a fiasco
that even even like Chicago's machine, while it wasn't really
quite thee but like even Chicago's right wing Democrats were like, Okay,
we probably shouldn't do this lest the SWAT teams have
their like start the killing moment. But you know, so
that that's like one sort of predecessor to this, and
the second one is I wanted to actually ask you

specifically about the Federal National Guard deployments on the border
because I think, yes, that's the part of this has
just been like disappeared, Yes, exactly.

Speaker 8 (01:46:49):
Again, those have been like completely overlooked and kind of
memory hold by most apparently, like since since Biden came
to power. Like there's there's a Texas state deployment right,
which will very familiar with. They get cheated out of
their benefits. They tend to die from suicide from bringing
their own firearms on deployment or getting drunk and driving around.

They've had like higher casualties, so they've had deployment to
a rock in the Texas deployment, right. Federal one is different.
I see these dudes often, it's nearly always dudes. I did,
of course, women could be deployed in that capacity. But
I haven't seen them, and they are for the most part,
like scared kids with firearms guarding prison camps full of children.

Like I had one of these guys go to drawers
pistol on me the other day because I was trying
to alert him. Yeah, I mean, like I guess, like
it's better in that situation that, like it's not my
first time having someone draw a pistol on me, and
I can tell them to sit down and stop being
a dick. But this in this case where someone was
experiencing cardiac distress and I'd gone to the nearest person

who I can do right, like I can't call an
ambulance and having to come in there have to go
to either get BP to radio or in this case
national guide. But what they're doing is, in addition to
like guarding these open air detention sites on and off,
is they are conducting kind of surveillance along the border.
So often I'll see them with like surveillance arraysed cameras.

I assume also like listening to radios and stuff like that.
They're not actually like interdicting or arresting vigrants. They're not
supposed to be anyway. But what it's supposed to be doing.
Is that like kind of having that surveillance capacity and
I guess protection when it comes to.

Speaker 6 (01:48:32):
The to the o ads.

Speaker 8 (01:48:34):
But yeah, they are everywhere, Like I see these people
all the time down here in you know, certainly on
the eastern San Diego County border, and and they're all
in rented vehicles as well, which is weird that they
haven't got their humvees or whatever. It must be a
significant expense. And obviously border crossings are not decreasing thanks

to them being there, right they you know, they mostly
like are always out doing a water drop on Sunday
and you'll see them creasing around the dirt roads and
then obviously people therefore just avoid the road. It doesn't
make it doesn't reduce migration like everything else. It just
makes it more dangerous. But yeah, they've been here for
a while.

Speaker 6 (01:49:16):
It's one of these things where you know they're they're
doing okay. So like the guys in New York just
basically seem to be standing around and doing bag checks,
whereas those guys are doing a lot more. But I
think there's one of the things that's been happening here,
and this has been this is you know, This is
not just the focus has been on on the like
the Republican Texas deployments, right, but this is something that

both the Republicans and the Democrats. This is from what
we're seeking to eat. Yes, and the federal government have
decided that, you know, the thing that we are going
to be doing is what are what are and I
mean active militia deployments Like that's insane, like that that
is a level of that is a level of authoritarianism,

that is you know that that has become effectively normal, right,
Like there was there wasn't. I mean, there was kind
of an outcry against the subway stuff, but like it
hasn't stopped because best I could tell, like they're still
out like yeah, like nothing on if it stopped it
that we've been you know what, the thing that we've
been forced to accept is not even not just you know,

because we've already been forced to accept the sort of
the militarization of the police, right, but now it's just
straight up the total militarization of society to the extent
that like, yeah, we just have a bunch of soldiers
wandering around doing like random security checks and doing surveillance
and like holding people in these open air.

Speaker 8 (01:50:38):
Prisons, Yeah, exactly, and like deployed way outside their stay
often right, Like I think so many people hear from
Missouri or Illinois, like some of them the less kind
of insane, are you? You know, the people who mistake
me if I guess for a member of the cartel
judging by that guy's actions or like some ridiculous somehow
a threat to him. You know that we can talk

to them and then yeah, it's a very bullshit mission.
And I think most of them would agree. Like further east,
they're just like standing around by the border wall and
the baking sne in the desert, just just yeah, doing
security theater, but with as you said, real consequences.

Speaker 6 (01:51:16):
Yeah, And it's like the thing that is happening is
these people have realized that the National Guard, if you
are a senior en of state official, is just your
private army. You could do whatever the fuck you want
with it. And this is the thing that they're doing
with it. And I think you should you know, it's
worth looking at what the sort of justification for this is, which.

Speaker 8 (01:51:32):
Are probably also I neglected to mention that there are
a dozen Republican governments, governors who have deployed their national
Guard to the border, right, like not as part of
the federal deployment, like to your private army thing. And
I believe that North Dakota it's funded by a private individual,
Like a private individual is covering the state's costs to

deploy them to the border. Like this is nuts, yeah,
fully insane, like serving as a fucking PMC.

Speaker 6 (01:52:02):
Yeah, but I mean we're seeing, you know, very explicitly,
we're seeing this fusion of like personal state and corporate
power and that's being used to just deploy a bunch
of guys with guns to a bunch of random places.
And you know, like it's worth mentioning that, Like crime
rates are down, they're down year on year, they're down,

like the broadshrend is down. They're down, like like outrageous,
Like I think it's not like almost like fifty percent
or something from the nineties, right Yeah.

Speaker 8 (01:52:32):
And likewise, the ratio of people crossing the border to
agents to process and is it's much lower than it
was in the nineties. You know, we have more border
patrol agents, we have a more militarized board patrol. They
have all these assets that were previously seen only like
see a black Hawk all the fucking time, so we
call it a scrap hawk. It's like it's like several

several black Hawks. It's like it's not any particular submodel
of black Hawk.

Speaker 12 (01:52:58):
It's like.

Speaker 8 (01:53:00):
The surviving pieces of several black Corks. But yeah, they
have a lot of kit that you would think would
be military. Kid.

Speaker 6 (01:53:06):
Yeah, and you know, I was. I so when I
was reading about this, I was like, Okay, so I'm
trying to figure out how many crimes are actually happening
on New York subway system. But I'm going to read
this paragraph from Reuters because it is. It is outrageous.
There were thirty eight robberies and seventy thefts including pickpocketing

on the subway system in February, compared to forty robberies
and ninety eight thefts in the same month last year.
According to police data, there were thirty five assaults, the
same number as for February twenty twenty three. About ninety
million trips were taken on the subway over the month.
Now that is nuts the subway including pickpocketing, right, You're

at about one hundred yeah, yeah.

Speaker 8 (01:53:55):
Reveal a trivial number of incidents.

Speaker 6 (01:53:57):
Ninety million trips. Right, this means that like per trip,
your odds of being pickpocketed are almost literally one in
a million. This is this is about the same odds
you have of being struck by lightning. You are seventeen
times more likely to get killed by a bee or
a wasp sting than you are in like pickpocket, like

pickpock not even robbed, pickpocketed on the subway. Right, So
there's I from what I can do, I think there
was three killings on the New York subway in February.

Speaker 8 (01:54:29):
Yeah, that was a shooting. I think today, Oh yesterday
wasn't that?

Speaker 6 (01:54:32):
Yeah? Yeah, But this is the thing, So these things
is gonna get a lot of attention. Right, But again,
thirty million trips, we're talking like maybe three maybe four
people getting killed a month, So that's like one in
thirty million rides. Yeah, someone gets shot. That is outrageously safe.
Like that is bafflingly starlingly safe. But this, this sort

of brings us to Wow, Okay, the thing, the thing
that this immediately brings us to is ad break. But
it will be a second thing.

Speaker 17 (01:55:03):
Yeah, great, ipe, it's a good one.

Speaker 6 (01:55:17):
All right, we're back for the ads. We're bringing you
actually amazingly advertisements part of what part of the whole
thing is happening here, because you know, one of the
big drivers of what's happening in New York and the
reason everyone thinks the subway is unsafe is New York's
media market. And very this is a like you know,
so like the media market in the US is not good, right,

but very specifically, the New York media market is absolutely batshit.
They are nuts. And this is one of these things
where you know, you may have like a one in
thirty million chance of getting killed on a subway, but
every single one of those thirty million like incidents, like
why all those one thirty million is every single one

of those is is like FrontPage news, right, because this
is you know this, this is both part of the
part of the actual sort of conservative politics of these
media organizations. They are you know, New York media market
is dominated by a bunch of right wing tabloids and
a bunch of newspapers that are normally not right wing
but are yeah, and so you know, there's this sort
of breathless coverage of every single time one of these

attacks happened, And this is one of one of the
things that Cutrol very much like literally says about this
and what you know, like we're at a point in
this sort of crime cycle where enough journalists have been
screamed at by people who are like the crime rates
are all down, that the journalists have to include in
the article a thing that's like the crime rates are down.
This took like four years of just screaming at them.

Eventually it worked. But you know, like Kucios like asked
about this and she goes, yeah, well it's it's it's
about people feeling. It's about like the feeling that people
have because they don't they don't seem to Yeah, yeah,
and you know, and this is one of these things
we're like, this is like how insane the New York
media market is over this off has had like an
actual substance of political impact. This is something that you know,

the Democrats embrace of this sort of like especially in
New York, this like tough on crime thing has gotten
to the point we're literally Eric Adams has to be
the guy who's like no, no, no, actually hold on,
like it's the New York is safe. Please stop panicking.
I got my bi got my police funding already, please stop,
like fleeing the city in terror.

Speaker 8 (01:57:25):
Yeah, it's amazing. Though, that's similar to what's happening in
San Diego, another city Democratic councilor mayor. Right, so we
have this Gloria terrible mayor, serial bullshitter. And in Gloria,
in the State of the City speech was saying we
should be locking up criminals, not laundry detergent.

Speaker 6 (01:57:40):
This this was his big line. He was very proud of.

Speaker 8 (01:57:43):
I have successfully purchased laundry detergent that was not incarcerated
since then. But I think he was talking about target.
I guess apparently he's legislating for the interest of target.
But you have then his opponent in the MAJORA race,
who's a former Marine corp Republican guy, being like, yo,
I think we fucked up on our homelessness policy. We're

just like criminalizing this is not just the answer. And
we've got glory to being like, no, lock them up,
you know, like they're trying.

Speaker 6 (01:58:11):
To push this.

Speaker 8 (01:58:12):
Is this continued, like this California bill that will force
incarcerated people with mental illness right against their will.

Speaker 6 (01:58:21):
Yeah, yeah, it's up.

Speaker 8 (01:58:22):
It's fucking I mean, it's not bizarre because like I
think so many Democrats, and like certainly publications here have
really leaned into like suburban grievance politics and you know,
like fixed the potholes and make it so I don't
have to see poor people is their entire ideology. But
it's still, I know, it's just kind of I'm struggling

for the words here. It makes me really fucking pissed off.
The people who showed up to one or two BLM
marches are now out there like barking for a second
border wall and machine gunning the unhoused.

Speaker 6 (01:58:58):
Yeah, and you know, and this is had a especially
in New York, this has had an actual this has
been having a substantive like electoral impact. One of the
stories that kind of got buried in twenty twenty two
is that you can actually, if you look at the
electoral map in twenty twenty two, you can actually literally

see where the New York media market ends, because all
of the districts in the New York media market became
significantly more conservative. And this is and this is not
a joke. This is literally this whole tough on crime
shit is literally the thing like and in this New
York media market, this, this is what caused the Democrats
the House because basically everywhere else in the country there

was okay, so like like red districts shifted red. Every
single district that was contested, like all of the sort
of like purple blah blah blah, like the districts they
all went They all shifted to the left because of
abortion stuff. But then specifically a bunch of the like
what are supposed to be like very safe blue districts
went red because they were all because all of them
were doing this in a tough on crime stuff. And yeah,

those seats, like the seats they lost in New York
are the reason the Republicans have control of the House.
So like, you know, this isn't working for them electorally,
but they're still doing it because it's their ideology. And
we're gonna get into a bit more about why about
that that part a second, but beffore we do that.
I want to talk about I think another one of

these things that has gotten kind of lost in the shuffle,
which is do you do you you heard about the
giant like DC Crime Omnibus bill.

Speaker 8 (02:00:31):
I've had about this, yeah, yeah, Like I will say
I'm not familiar with it other than like herring that
it's bad.

Speaker 6 (02:00:37):
Yeah, so okay, So so in DC, the City Council
passed this enormous sort of like giant set of like
omnibus set of like policies are supposed to be there,
like keep DC safe crime omnibus thing. I okay. There's
a couple of things to note about this. One is
that it's actually not as bad as it was originally

going to be because there was so much like uproar,
because I mean the original one like had provisions that
was like banning masks at protests and ship and it
was like it was really bad and it got like nuked.
But it's still really bad, and there's a lot of
it's a lot of really weird kind of grievance stuff,
Like there's this provision specifically that's supposed to be about

like like targeting quote quote organized retail theft, which is
one of the insane this is.

Speaker 8 (02:01:27):
Yeah, this is one of the most like storm in
a teacups that has been going for a while now.

Speaker 6 (02:01:33):
Yeah. But I mean there there's also kind of like
there's sister standard police stuff, which is it they're trying
to expand pre trial attention on which they did one
of the the absolutely insane ones that have been cleared unconstitutional,
but apparently they's just back now is allowing police chiefs
to designate certain areas quote drug free zones where yeah.

Speaker 8 (02:01:55):
See, I'm I'm so, I'm confused.

Speaker 6 (02:01:57):
But basically what it lets it basically, what it lets
you do is it lets the cops just harass a
bunch of people even more than they already do, like
mostly mostly what it does is just when you declare
one of these areas, it's where all the black people are,
and then the cops just have cops have like an incredible,
like incredibly increased ability to just randomly stop people and

search them.

Speaker 8 (02:02:19):
Right, and yeah, ship stop and frisk law.

Speaker 6 (02:02:22):
Yeah, there's there. So there there is a thing that
like part of the mask provision stayed in force, which
is that they're making it basically it's like like wearing
a mask with the intent to commit a crime is
a crime, right, the cops like determine, right, your intent,

So like, yeah, it's one of those laws.

Speaker 8 (02:02:47):
Like they do this a lot with gun laws, right,
they passed gun laws. It don't make anything that wasn't
already illegal illegal, They just make it so that if
they if you if you're if you're caught, you're going
to prison for longer.

Speaker 6 (02:02:58):
Now, Yeah, that this this actually there are there are
provisions like that in this too. There's also a bunch
of random like gun provisions. There's all the like more
nuts ones, like there's there's one where cops can arrest you.
So if if they're trying to cite you for not
paying a toll, if they they they claim that you
didn't pay a you didn't like pay a transit fare,

you have to give them your full name and address
and if they don't, and if you don't, they can
arrest you, which is nuts.

Speaker 8 (02:03:30):
This is like, don't disrespect me on the train in
front of everyone, nor, isn't it?

Speaker 6 (02:03:34):
That's what that is. There's another one. There's another one,
which is like, I I don't. I don't have another
way to describe it other than this is the uh,
this is the how to get away with murder bill,
which is this is so one of the things that
they're doing is letting cops review their own helmet footage
before police inquiries. Right, ah, this is this is this

is to get the narrative straight.

Speaker 8 (02:04:00):
Yeah, Bill, do you also get to edit it?

Speaker 10 (02:04:05):
I don't.

Speaker 6 (02:04:06):
Well, okay, so here's the thing about that quote unquote No,
however come these things mysteriously vanish time mysteriously disappears. Yeah,
there's also like a whole thing about like there are
certain groups of people who the cops can just like
force DNA collections from. Wow, which is it's a lot

less broad than it used to be. But yeah, it's
still a provision in there. But yeah, this is a
nightmarish bill that they've been able to pass. And you know,
I think it's worth thinking about why this is actually happening,
which is that all of this stuff, all of these
are sort of long range reaction to twenty twenty, right,
this is this, This was the sort of strategy after

twenty twenty for rebuilding legitimacy of the police, and you know,
and and also now rebuilding sort of rebuilding the I
don't know, psychological capacity, I guess to you know, I mean,
just deploy a bunch of troops on US soil, right, right, yeah,
sort of building up that tolerance. Yeah, and you know,

like this is all of this stuff is sort of
born on you know, on on on protest crackdowns on
one of the things that's also sort of worth noting about.
This is all of this stuff. I mean, the DC
crime build but in the works for a long time,
but the subway stuff is all stuff that happened like
pretty quickly after they are ambushnell self Imlaysia. So a

big part of this has been the sort of the
Democratic ruling class kind of losing their minds after watching
how widespread twenty twenty was, watching the extent to which
they were forced to like you know, like there are
democratic politicians in twenty twenty like talking about like I mean,

there are like a lucky people talking about defunding the police.
There are like they're all remember the weird like that
whole like kneed laying thing in Congress. They all do
oh yeah yeah.

Speaker 8 (02:06:04):
Have the pitched in the morning you can take with
yeah yeah, ooh yeah. That's a powerful incents of ringe.

Speaker 6 (02:06:12):
Yeah. But there's a lot of like you know, there's
there's this this sort of memory of that has been
has been sort of drilled deep into into the Democratic
party and so what what what has been happening like
like you know and that what's been happening and this
has been happening in blue states very explicitly is this
is this strategy of hypermilitarization with the explicit like not explicit, sorry,

with the implicit but not very well concealed goal of
putting everyone back in their place after twenty twenty, and
that is extremely grim. I mean, I think, I don't know,
I'm I'm glad the DC stuff isn't as bad as
it was originally because the original one we're just like
straight up a bunch of fascist ship. This is also
fascist shit, but like not as unhinged as the original

bills were, So you know, it's like like the tide
of this stuff isn't inevitable, right, but also very very
powerful factions of the Democratic Party have decided that this
is the thing that they want to do, and it
absolutely sucks, and you know, and and and and this
is you know, and this is in a similar way

to sort of the stuff on the border being by parties.
I mean, at some point I'm going to do an
episode about the absolute shit show that's been happening in
Chicago where yeah, they're like a a kid got fucking
measles in one of these and one of the micro
shelters in Pilsen in Chicago, and now the mayor's like
evicting a bunch of a bunch of people from the

bigrant shelters. Jesus, you know, so like there's a bip
I mean, this is the thing Like in Chicago, I
mean there's just outside of like you know, we're like
outside of just like basically every like Walgreens or just
on street corners, there's a bunch of refugee families like
just sitting out there in the cold, trying to get

some money because there's fucking nothing for them here. And
this is a bipartisan you know this, this is a
bipartisan political project. Yeah, you know, just sort of sheer
terror inflicted on most of the little people in society.

Speaker 8 (02:08:19):
Yeah, it's it's really depressing to hear that, just because
I know that, like, you know, I see people here
and then they get out, and my friends see them,
and we turn into the airport and my friends feed
them and look after them there, and they get on
their planes and we hope for the best for them,
you know, and then then yeah, they just go to
some other city where some other dog shit democrats who
lied four years ago is gonna do everything they can

to make life as hard for them as possible.

Speaker 12 (02:08:43):

Speaker 8 (02:08:43):
The good thing is you have to vote for them
while you're voting for Fascismoo horay, how sad?

Speaker 6 (02:08:51):
Yeah that that that That's what I got today. We'll
be back tomorrow with something. What are we back down?

Speaker 8 (02:08:58):
Yeah, it will be a podcast. It's with tomorrow's Friday.
Oh yeah, Torow's Gaza day. So it's not getting Anny
better for you. Yeah, lucky you, lucky you. Tomorrow we'll
be hearing from our friends at park or Gaza.

Speaker 7 (02:09:25):

Speaker 8 (02:09:26):
Everyone, it's me James, just introducing this podcast, and I'm
recording this the day after we recorded the episode to
today's Thursday, the twenty first of March. I wanted to
just update a couple of things and correct a couple
of things, so I've just listened through the episodes.

Speaker 6 (02:09:39):
I'm going to do that now.

Speaker 8 (02:09:41):
Firstly, I think I said Igler a couple of times
when I meant Strella. It's the Strella portable surface to
where missiles have been refitted with new batteries in the
Syrian Civil Wars specifically, and I've included a link to
a document about that in the show notes. So apologies
for getting those two things confused. They're both I guess
former Soviet service to a missile systems. The other things

I wanted to mention that a few like throughout this
episode we've used manpads, right, that's kind of the colloquial
term or the official term really for person boughtable anti
aircraft systems. Like obviously doesn't mean that you have to
be a man to use one, certainly like the fact

that the hPG are using them and that the Kurdish
Freedom Movement are using them. Obviously women can use them,
non binary folks can use them, to everyone can use them.
And finally, I just wanted to mention that there have
been some suggestions that the thing that was used to
shoot down the Bay Reptars was like loatering munition, which
is something that is often called a suicide drone. In

this case, it's not a loitering munition that impacts something
on the ground, but impacts something on the air. There's
an Iranian system that does that, but apparently it's possible
to replicate that with a large number of off the
shelf or sort of commercially available pieces.

Speaker 6 (02:11:00):
So maybe that's what's going on.

Speaker 8 (02:11:02):
This episode was a little bit speculative, and we still
don't have lots of hard answers, but we hope you'll
enjoy it because it represents a change in a relationship
between the state and people who are not the state,
and that's why it's important.

Speaker 6 (02:11:13):
Okay, hope you enjoy.

Speaker 8 (02:11:15):
Hello, podcast fans, Welcome back to the podcast. I'm joined
today by my friend Mia Himea.

Speaker 6 (02:11:21):
Hello, and we.

Speaker 8 (02:11:22):
Are talking about, of course, surface to wear missiles, a
topic that I'm sure is on the top of mind
for all of you as you drive to work this morning.
Where are we talking about surface to wear missiles today?

Speaker 6 (02:11:33):

Speaker 8 (02:11:34):
Today is It is Wednesday, the twentieth of March, and
today I'm sure maybe some of you would have seen
most of you probably will not as you go about
your daily life that the KSEK. The k CK is
the group, the Kurdistan Communities Union, the joint group between
the various groups in the different parts of Kurdistan. Right,

So you have the PKK, you have the Yea Yepiga
in Syria, PI k K and Turkey, right the p
JACK in Iran in the k like brings all these
groups together.

Speaker 1 (02:12:08):
Do they?

Speaker 6 (02:12:09):
Is there a name? Do they? Is there like an
Iraqi branch? That's the one that I don't know.

Speaker 8 (02:12:13):
You have the Yevish, the the Azdi group, right, yeah,
I think everyone I will reconsider my statement.

Speaker 6 (02:12:22):
The people who I have become aware of.

Speaker 8 (02:12:26):
Who are in Iraq, who are who I know about journalistically,
are k c K people. Okay, little little bit of
smoke and mirrors feed there, but yeah, the people the
people who I who I know who are in in
the Kurdistan Autonomous Region.

Speaker 6 (02:12:46):
Are ksey K.

Speaker 8 (02:12:47):
So I think that I think most of the sort
of people within the greater like Kurdish Freedom move and
the APOACHE people are ksey K.

Speaker 6 (02:12:56):
Within Iraq.

Speaker 8 (02:12:57):
It is in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region, So like Iraqi
in a technical sense, but only only really in a
technical sense. Like when you go to the Kurdistan Autonomous Region,
you don't even do Iraqi immigration. You do Kurdistan immigration,
which is nice because it's a lot easier. I was
there in October of twenty twenty three, and since February

of twenty twenty three, the KCK have announced they have
shut down thirteen Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles, right, which what
you and I would call drones. And we're not talking
about drones like your friend has a drone and they
use it to film you at the beach. Drones we're
talking about like Bairaktar drones, which are it's an aircraft, right,

Like if you saw one you would be like, oh,
there goes a plane.

Speaker 6 (02:13:45):
Yeah, it's like it's like the Turkish version of the
Predator drones and US users, Yeah, yeah, it's it's yeah,
it's a very similar thing.

Speaker 8 (02:13:51):
It's a very popular drone system actually, right, they've sold
bairaktars to I think dozens of countries, like they're i
mean all over yeah, thirty one countries that they've exported
the Biachta to, so that they're very widely used. They're
kind of the the sort of drone of choice for
people who are just like buying on the open market. Right,

Karta uses them, Ukraine uses them a lot, but even
countries like I'm looking here Bakina Faso has has bairactars.
So what's notable about this is they've also shot down
a kinchies A kinchiese are like the newer Bairaktar variant
that they make a slightly different noise. I've spent some
time in places that are being attacked by drones over

the last year, and it's it's a highly unpleasant experience.
But people who are used to this, which I am,
I guess thankfully not, will tell you that they can
tell the different about the noise at least these drones
to make. But there was a Kinchi for instance. I
believe it was in a Kinchi that did some of
the attacks that I was unfortunate enough to be nearby

when I was in ro in October. So what's notable
about this is like the k c K obviously, like
they're a non state actor, right, because there was not
a Kurdish state. There is a Kurdish nation, one might argue,
but it's split between four states Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey,

and so them being able to shoot down drones, it's
quite remarkable.

Speaker 6 (02:15:22):
Yeah, no, one's none of the non state actors really
in the last like twenty years have been able to
do this. Like everyone talks about how advanced like Isis'
capabilities were for a non state actor, and they were,
but they couldn't do it, Like it's wild, No, like who.

Speaker 8 (02:15:38):
These have shut down some reaper drones?

Speaker 6 (02:15:42):
Yeah, but they're but they're a state, Like that's the
thing like they'd have huge swaths of the regular you
many military are just like yeah.

Speaker 8 (02:15:50):
And then they're supplied by other state actors, right, like
very clearly as it's a little different. What Yeah, it's
this is relatively remarkable, right, they've been able to shoot
down like and not just it's not just like, oh
we've got Lucky, we got we've got lucky and dropped
a single drone. Ice has had, if I remember correctly,
isis had some Igler man pads, like the old Russian

man pads. The thing with those and we're going to
talk about this a little bit later. They they have
like a battery and that battery will run out over
a certain or they're sold that some of them are
just being sold on the black market without batteries. From
what I've seen, some folks in that we've seen in
the civil war in Syria have worked out how to

somehow make that battery work with or make another battery,
or make another electronic system for them. They don't have
like a lockout, right, they don't have a like we've detected,
you know, like your iPhone will sometimes get mad if
you're using a third party charger. Yeah, yeah, yeah, right,
So Tim Apple has was not involved in the design
of the ki Igler most pity, and so he wasn't

able to engineer it a third party. But those have
been repurposed. But yeah, we did not see the Islamic
state of Irak and al Sham dropping US drones. In fact,
the reason like the thing that allowed there were two
things that allowed the defeat of like the so called
Islamic state rate One, the heroism of the people who

fought against them, be they like Iraqi Kurdish, a lot
of people fought against a fifteen thousand kurt died fighting Isis.
But also the fact that the US had complete air
dominance and could just fucking obliterate things from the sky
whenever it wanted to it did. It did a lot
of obliterating things from the sky, right, And so the

ability to shoot down drones is something that has been
very hard for non state actors. And it's not like
it's not like the KCK has a state sponsor, right yeah.

Speaker 6 (02:17:53):
Yeah. Also so like like for example, like Hasbla has
shot down too, although these weren't actually they shut down
to Hermes like is really Hermes Jones. So though those
are just those are surveillance things. But the thing is,
like Hezbola did this by getting surface there missiles, like
getting surface there rockets from Iran. Yeah, so yeah, that's
why that's that's like, you know, the way that you

can do this is if either like Iran, the US,
I guess technically China and or and or Russia like
hand you them. But if but if none of those
four countries are willing to play ball or I mean,
I guess ithically the UK, yes, or like France could
send you one. But but like it's it's it's really
really like.

Speaker 1 (02:18:34):
I don't, I don't.

Speaker 6 (02:18:35):
I don't think any non state actor who wasn't being
just directly armed by one of those states has pulled
it off. No.

Speaker 8 (02:18:42):
The other non state actor who I've seen with man
pads very recently are the Koren, the current National Liberal
k in l A. The k and LA have been
putting out these pictures. This is this in memr Yes,
this is in Mema. So for folks who haven't listened
to our previous memp so to go and listen to them.
But yeah, there's some of the work I'm proud of.

But these k and LA guys have these photos, have
come out that then they're not not post photos, right,
they'lvery clearly they wanted these photos to come out, and
it shows them with these manpad system. I'm actually not
sure if it's a Streller or a Chinese. I think
it's called the eight N five the Chinese. It's essentially
the same thing, but they have the grip stock for them,

but they don't have the coolant ball and the battery
at the front, So like that they're what they have
is a fancy looking doesn't appear to my eyes to
be like fully functional, like in terms of tracking and
shooting down an aeroplane, although I have seen footage from
friends of Hunter aircraft deploying like flares over a current

state and then like turning around and leaving. So perhaps
there's something I'm missing here. Like it's entirely possible that
when they decided for these photos come out, they they
they're in a certain fashion. And like those guys have
engineered and tire arms industry of their own using Reddit
and Ali Express, Like I, if anybody can make something work,
they can make something work. I have great faith in

their ingenuity and as I said, like it it's people
in Syria have previously made systems like this work.

Speaker 6 (02:20:21):
They're not.

Speaker 8 (02:20:22):
They don't have that lockout, so it's quite possible that
they did. But I've not seen a video of anyone
in Mianmar shooting down and any kind of aircraft yet, right,
the Russian aircraft they have shot down aircraft Allegedly someone
shot one down with with a like a grenade launcher,

a single shot grenade.

Speaker 6 (02:20:44):
Launcher SOLI video.

Speaker 8 (02:20:46):
Yeah, it's one of the most chadly things that anyone's
ever done. It's it's some like modern warfare or whatever
whatever the computer game is called Battlefield, that's what it's called. Yeah,
talking of talking of for Chadley and exciting stuff, then
this might be an advert for like being a prison
guard or something exciting that we have to introduce. Now, okay,

don't be a prison guard. All right, and we're back.
I hope you found again from employment elsewhere outside of
the cast real system. And we're talking about service to
our missiles, particularly these thirteen serpace to our missile of

thirteen drones that the casey K have shut down. Right.
One thing I thought that was noticeable is that they
did say missiles they are people were able to pride
the missile system necessary. That so, like there's a theory
that I've seen that they were able to crash a
drone of their own into a bairactar like a kind

of like I guess like a suicide. I don't like
the word suicide drone because it's not the drone that's dying,
like normally when people talk about suicide drones, So theyre
killing people, Yeah, but like a ramming drone. Yeah yeah, yeah,
like a like a it's like robot Wars. But they
said missile on their press. Really, so you know, if

we take that on the if we take that on
the face of it, that that suggests that they shut
them down. Certainly there this like there is good video
evidence of the mirror and I just reviewed the video.
Incredible soundtrack. We'll link to it in the We'll link
to it in the show notes. In the videos, you

very clearly see, oh it's a drone. Oh it's a
huge explosion that gravity is now having its effect on
this drone, like it is plummeting to earth.

Speaker 6 (02:22:45):
Yeah, Like it's it's definitely not a like we've fired
a machine gun in the air and it hit it
somehow or something like it's right. It got it quite explosive. Yeah, yeah,
that's remarkable. Yeah.

Speaker 8 (02:22:59):
One of the Yeah, there was a shooting down of
an aircraft in the Amba. It wasn't one of them megs.
I forgot it might have been. It was a two
seater training plan. I can't remember quite what it was,
but that was shot down supposedly by small arms fire
or maybe like a Generally, the like the air defense
of most non state armed groups has been dushcuts, right,
like a it's a thing that you've seen in the
back of a pickup truck going like bang bang with

a big sort of spade grip. It's a classic technical gun.
But this isn't that, Like, this is something very different.
Something they're they're exploding when these drones get hit there
exploding and they've all been in I think, oh yeah.
All of them are in areas of the what we
call the Curtis Donal Autonomous Reach in a bit of

rock right, So some of them are in zap which
is near to howk but towards north of there.

Speaker 6 (02:23:52):
Some of them in the.

Speaker 8 (02:23:53):
Kandel Mountains, which is part of the Zagross Mountain Range.
Again it's it's in the north of that Curtis Done
Autonomous Region, and I think some of them are in it.
I think it's Gadat it's pronounced, but they're not in
like I think obviously when a lot of people think
about the Kurtis Down freedom movement and think about Rajava,

this isn't there. The US did shoot down a bay
Raktar or an a Kinchi over Rajava while I was there,
but they only shot it down because it flew over
their base. They continued to let the bay Raktars bomb
civilian infrastructure all over the A and E S.

Speaker 6 (02:24:30):
So these these are not there.

Speaker 8 (02:24:33):
These are so perhaps whatever they're using very interesting, right,
Like it's maybe it's not something they can take there,
or maybe it's not you know, like it's not they're
not able to get it out of the mountains.

Speaker 6 (02:24:44):
It's too much of a risk. No, it's it's interesting,
I mean for a number of reasons. Well, yeah, partially
that they're not using it in serior. Partially they're also they
don't seem to be using them in Turkey either.

Speaker 8 (02:24:57):
No, it's interesting when take off, it's not that like subtle, right,
it's a big aircraft, so they'll get some warning when
they take off and that would allow them, I guess,
to prepare their munitions. But yeah, they don't seem to
be using it. They seem to be using it in
like this this area. Whether they're very strong, right, whether
these mountains are extremely fortified. They've been fighting Turkey. There

are a lot in recent days and weeks. You can
always I mean, obviously you're going to see some somewhat
traumatic combat footage, but Garrilla TV always has like updates
on these things, so that's the sort of thing that
you you know, like to keep up to date with.
But yeah, they're not using them there, They're not using them.
They're they're very close to Turkey, right, but yeah, not

not quite in and Turkey soldiers do occupy some areas
inside the Iraqi curtash Down Autonomous Region, so like they
it's kind of all and Turkey seems to be kind
of trying to ramp up its operations against the Coast
Down Freedom movement inside the st An Autonomous Region, but

this is a significant impediment to that.

Speaker 4 (02:26:04):

Speaker 8 (02:26:04):
It's also very interesting that like we have not heard
shit about this from Turkey.

Speaker 6 (02:26:09):
No, Yeah, well, and I think I think part of
this is, you know, like I think It's something that
as an indication of how serious this is, because I mean,
this has been you know, the law of the twenty
first century is that if you're a state actor, you
have unlimited air superiority over any non state group you're bombing,
and you can, you know, especially like especially if you're
like the US, you can send bombers or drones into

like any country you want and you can bomb them. Yeah,
And that has been true. And this, this has been
the basis of US military power. It's also been the
basis of a lot of like, you know, the Turkey
obviously doesn't have the same air doctrine as the US does,
but like that's been the basis of a lot of
Turkish operations that they like, they're the people who have airpower.
And because they have airpower, because they have drones, because

you can't shoot back at them, they can do whatever
the fuck they want.

Speaker 8 (02:26:57):
Yeah, Like I've been in the situation where you are
completely powerless and very afraid because at some point something
could fall out the nights gy and kill you and
there's fuck all you can do about it. And yeah,
that has been the way of the world, like you say,
for this entire century. Right, it's what we've seen only Meanmar,

the pro democracy forces againing ground every day. They're doing
an incredible job. But like, I've also talked to people
whose whole unit has been wiped out and they've hidden
under the dead bodies of their friends because there's a
plane or a helicopter circling around and it's the one
area where they've really struggled to defend themselves. Right, It's
I'm writing a book about anarchist at war. Eventually I

will publish that book. But this is the thing that
defines then, like the state. Even when the state like
loses its monopoly on legitimate violence, it still has monopoly
on airborne violence. And the question that monopoly, like it
is incredibly dangerous for the state's ability to for the state,

I guess in general, like for it for its continued
ability to crush movements, be they liberatory or be they otherwise.

Speaker 6 (02:28:15):
Right, and we can Yeah, I mean, this is something
I think is really interesting. Is this is something that's
been a fear of I mean everyone from like Western
intelligence people through like I mean you can see people
in like Hollywood freaking out about this, Like like rebel
group gets access to a manpad is like one of
the most common like spy show plots. Yeah, and yeah,

it's like it's something that you know, you can you
can listen to, like the US military talking about this
is this is something that they're really concerned about.

Speaker 8 (02:28:48):
Yeah, they won't like it's their where. It's where they
draw the line with the groups who are quote unquote allies, right,
who'll be quote like the US will tell you that
the SDF for their allies in the fight against ISIS,
but they're willing to let their allies die rather than
give them manpads.

Speaker 6 (02:29:03):
Right, Like I've seen this.

Speaker 8 (02:29:05):
I have. I've seen the funerals, you know, because the
and the US. But I've also driven right past the
fucking US base and I know that there are plenty
of plenty of plenty of anti aircraft systems there because
they shot down a Turkish drone while I was there.
But they're not willing to give them to even the
people who they'll fight side by side with because their
fear of having manpads get into what they would maybe

term the wrong hands is is. Yeah, it's like the
the one area where they have I guess complete domination, right,
They've given them to Ukraine, of course, but despite like
repeated allegations, there is no evidence that Ukraine has sold
surface to wear systems anywhere, and they obviously won't give

them to me Anmar, right, So it's yeah, it if
this is what it appears to be, then it's a
really massive change. Talking of a massive change, you could
you know, you can make a massive change to your
financial situation by purchasing gold.

Speaker 6 (02:30:14):
We're back. Yeah. I think something that's really interesting about
the way that the sort of manpad getting to nonstate
actors has talked about is that usually the way that
it's like usually the US line on it is like
we can't like we can't let anyone get these yaus,
They're gonna use it to shoot down civilian airliners. Yes, yeah,

And now, to be fair, people do accidentally shoot down
like militaries accidentally shoot down civilian airliners all the time. Yeah,
that's a very common thing. But I think I think
that's that's a smoke screed, right because like even like
the actual thing that if you're if you're a militant group,
usually the thing that you want to be doing if
you have one of these weapons is shooting down the

things that people who are bombing you. Yeah, And I
think there's a really interesting sort of like psychological thing
going on here with this. Is this is the sort
of propaganda thing that that you know, to get to get,
like you random person to be terrified of, like you know,
the Kurds having surfaced air missiles. Is they used like
they use people's like fear of getting born up on
an airplane. It's like no, no, like click it, like

you know, evidence suggests that what is actually what actually
happens that is that they shoot down drones.

Speaker 8 (02:31:24):
Yeah, yes, exactly right, and not like the other thing,
which is somewhat remarkable. It's it would be one thing
to have got your hands on one or two, but
to have been to have shut down in a one year,
well just over one year, from February thirteenth, twenty twenty
three until Mike's the first twenty twenty four, they have
shot down fifteen UAVs like that. That's a that's a

decent number of manpads or maybe not man pads. That's
the other thing we kind of didn't mention, right, like
big reptas can fly very high. We were just sort
of checking this out before the show, and I think
they can fly around seven thousand meters, which within theory
about twenty five thousand feet, Yeah, which is about twice
the like the the height previous generation manpads like things

like stingers and iglers can can operate at I'm not
sure of the the what the for for an igler
reach targets and mactum altitude of twenty five hundred meters,
So yeah, that's a little under as high as these
as these like attack drones can fly. Maybe they have
to come lower to like launch their munitions, or maybe
they come lower to to search for people and presumably

looking for The Kurdistan Freedom Movement has gorillas all over
these mountains right here, extremely well camouflaged and extremely adept
at avoiding drone attacks because that is what they have
been doing for for a long time. So maybe that's how.
But also maybe maybe there's something that we're not aware
of or some kind of Maybe it's not a man

portable system at all. Maybe it's something that is like
fixed in place well in that in that.

Speaker 6 (02:33:00):
So, I think one of the one of the really
interesting questions to you, which is how on earth did
they get these? Yeah, like whatever system you're using, you know,
normally like the only way, like you know, like hesblah
or the Hoho thies get them from Iran, right, but
the Ridians are absolutely under no circumstances are they going
to I mean maybe if Turkey declared war on Iran,

there's like a five percent chance maybe in like their
darkest hour, they might try this, Like there's no way.

Speaker 8 (02:33:28):
Yeah, like Iraq and Iran have repeatedly attempted to mobilize
the Kurds against each other, right, but yeah, I think
that they would draw the line at handing over manpads
and yeah, and they're definitely not getting them from the US. No,
then they're using them in areas where they're with the
US and the US like.

Speaker 6 (02:33:48):
Like you know, it's it's it's definitely not I don't
think it's any other Western country either, Like it doesn't
make any sense, Like I mean maybe like based Sweden's
smothering pads in or something, but I really doubt it,
which leaves it really like up in the air. I mean,
like maybe Russia maybe somehow, I don't know. It's it's

it's all very weird.

Speaker 8 (02:34:12):
Yeah, And I mean like in recent months, the A
Side regime, which is backed by Russia has been an
open conflict with the SDF, So I think it's it's
very unlikely, like the side regime has been fighting with
and killing it and dying with Yepaga and in Syria,
so it seems very unlikely. Yeah, it's very That's what's

very strange, Like the there seems to be a couple
of different groups of people, right, like the Kuren have
popped up with these previous generations Igla.

Speaker 6 (02:34:44):
Kind of manpads.

Speaker 8 (02:34:45):
The Kitchen have shot down a lot of planes recently,
and it's not entirely clear how so the Kitchen or
another ethnic group in Miandmyre somewhat closer ties to the PRC.
The United ware State Army have man pads. They are
the sort of closest tied to the PRC of the
e Rros in Myanma. I'm using a lot of acronyms here.

Speaker 6 (02:35:07):
Yeah, this is just the problem we're talking about, Curtis
Group's not I'm talking about, yes, ye, like the two
great acronym like wars.

Speaker 8 (02:35:16):
Don't be overlooking the Spanish Civil War, the alphabet super conflicts. Yeah,
this is this is a life I've chosen for myself.
So yeah, the ethnic revolutionary organizations in Myanma the closest
to China, it's the United War State Army who have
been at the fringes of the conflict, but it's certainly
not fully committed to fighting against the Hunter in the

same way that the Karen, the Kachin, the Arakan Army,
the PDF for the other groups that form the resistance
in Burma or me m R. But there have definitely
been more planes shut down in Themma this year than
in the in the in the the last few years,
so there's perhaps there's some kind of source in the

world for these service to miss. There will come a
point in the human future, right when one of these
is either reverse engineered or someone just really, if someone
had said to you ten years ago that, like several
people online, some of whom I've spoken to, some of
whom our friend j Camera had spoken to, would be
able to construct a gun that you could print from

your computer, Like you'd have said, you're barking, right, And
at some point in the human future someone will work
out how to use things they already have to make
something that can shoot down aircraft. But yeah, it's baffling
like that. There seems to be no obvious answer as
to where what the source of these. The last thing

I will say is that there was a yakuzer boss. Yeah, yeah,
this guy legend. It's just like it like this man's
my Man's done nothing wrong. He was convicted of selling
trying to sell manpaed to the Karen and I think
to the Kachin I can't remember, definitely one of them
with the Kren, and he was trying to do so

very funny. He was calling them cake and ice cream,
incredibly incredibly good cipher it. It's a hell of a
it's a banger of an indictment. Everyone should read it.

Speaker 6 (02:37:16):
To Keshi.

Speaker 8 (02:37:16):
I forget what his last name was, but he he
was trying to sell them man pads and what he
was actually doing was being monitored by the DEA. But
the man pads that he thought that he had access
to were fictional, like it was. It was the It
was the FEDS who had conned him into thinking they
had man pads. They did have some eighty fours. He

met them in the Netherlands, took an incredible selfie with
a light anti tank weapon and you can look it up.
Leather jacket, like I think he's got Blue Aviators on
like my man's been arrested for having incredible drip and
it's very sad, But yeah, the man pads he thought
he was selling were fictional. But the fact that people
were like, yeah, this SMEs reasonable, like that people were like, okay,

we're prepared to went to deal with you. They weren't like,
what are you on about, suggests that maybe these things
are entering the market. People will always say that they
came from Afghanistan, like after the US left, But I
don't think the Taliban would have any reason to sell them.
They're getting bombed by Pakistan right now, Like what Yeah, yeah,

it doesn't seem it doesn't make sense to me that
they would sell them.

Speaker 15 (02:38:28):

Speaker 6 (02:38:28):
And one thing I should also mention is like every
single time there is a war anywhere in the world,
there are a trillion rumors that come out. They're like, oh,
there's like this guy is selling like ex weapons or whatever,
and it's like ninety nine percent of them are false.

Speaker 15 (02:38:42):

Speaker 6 (02:38:42):
Yeah, yeah, you hear this all the time and it's
never true. Yeah, so that makes it really hard to
sort out like where these things are coming from.

Speaker 8 (02:38:52):
Yeah, exactly. A friend of the podcast, Victor Boot. Is
he's free again, He's back. Maybe maybe he's gotten back.
Maybe the god of war is back. Baby. It would
be incredible. There would be an incredible narrative arc for
Victor Boot. But like as we said in that episode, right,

like it's very easy to point to Victor Boot as
being this evil guy, but in fact, like we've sort
of ship tourn of weapons to people who turned out
to be pretty pretty uncivil as the United States, a
lot more people working you know, all the other places
that have offices in San Diego made a lot more
money than he did selling weapons to people. So you know,
we ought to be you know, Popcorn and the cult

back a bit there, but clearly something is up with
surface to our missiles. I hope this makes your Spring
Bake flights more exciting, just gives it a little edge
as you.

Speaker 6 (02:39:44):
Take on't don't fly in Turkey.

Speaker 8 (02:39:46):
Yeah, yeah, that's the our tip is to to not
fly from not land. I guess in I mean, like
we said, the Casey King going to shoot down your
civilian plane. That then they're nice people. I'll just say
the K C. K and my experience have been very nice,
very forthcoming, extremely communicative and responsive to press requests, which

like much more so than a lot a lot of
other state actors. And I don't think you have any
worries about them shooting down your aircraft. But it's an
interesting development that like, yeah, will fundamentally challenge the way
that states are able to squash non state armed groups
going forward.

Speaker 6 (02:40:26):
Yeah, and if we if we figure out where they
got them from and that becomes public, well you'll you'll
see the next episode called we found Out where the
mad Pads are from?

Speaker 8 (02:40:39):
Yeah, yeah, I think in unlikelihood to no one's drest
and to to like announce where these are from. And
I don't think you know the ones in in Meanmar.
It's not inconceivable that they came either directly or indirectly
from China, certainly that that would be the most feasible,
but seeing them elsewhere, it's fascinating, Like it's you know,

if somebody has like either reverse engineered these are there's
large now RHITHM available on the black market, that would
be a sea change in the way conflict happens, right, like,
you know, it's rare. Right now, it's able to bomb
Palestine with complete impunity if non state arm groups had
access to manpads there that maybe wouldn't be the case,

but yeah, it's a change. It's a change in the
way the world goes to war. I think it's always interesting.
It's always interesting, like for a podcast that was built
on speculative picture about future collapses like this certainly is
something that challenges the monopoly of the state.

Speaker 6 (02:41:37):
So yeah, it's something to keep an eye on.

Speaker 8 (02:41:39):
I will attach in the notes the Guerrilla TV video
of the Beiractars being shot down. Please enjoyed the soundtrack.
Yeah it's banger, and will also include some links to
those videos of the Karen National Liberation Army with their
man pads. If you're a man pads understander, you know
you know where to find me. It's all over the internet.

Speaker 6 (02:42:00):
And yep.

Speaker 8 (02:42:00):
With that, I will leave you. Have a great weekend,
don't fly your sas news.

Speaker 2 (02:42:08):
Hey we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week
from now until the heat death of the universe.

Speaker 6 (02:42:13):
It could happen.

Speaker 1 (02:42:14):
Here is a production of cool Zone Media. For more
podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website Coolzonemedia dot com,
or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to podcasts, you can find sources
for It could happen here, Updated monthly at coolzonemedia dot
com slash sources. Thanks for listening.
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