New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

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Hey folks, please check out this new article by one of our collective members. It's his take on the recent police violence in Edgewood (Atlanta), the reasons surrounding it, and the resistance that's growing.

http://www.heatindexatl.info/archives/530

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Edgewood: Tensions Grow Between the Poor and the Police

In order to address the police brutality Edgewood is facing, we gotta stick on our historical goggles and use common sense. The east Atlanta neighborhood began as a working class community, and any of the remaining early-20th century architecture will show that simple bungalow style housing used to be home to Atlanta’s flourishing working class. However, through the years, white-flight and gentrification has taken a heavy toll on the area and people who call it home.

In 2004, a Florida based land developer, The Sembler Company, and the national construction firm TD Farrel began converting the land on Moreland Ave., that had formerly been owned by Atlanta Gas Light, into the “Edgewood Retail District,” or as many locals call it “Gentrification Station.” The nickname is an outright statement of the purposes of the district. Since then, inflated property values, new condominium housing, and school redistricting have been major forces at play by the city government and their business partners’ attempts at increasing the value of land for a stronger return on private real estate investments and tourism, the same way the BeltLine has been used in the adjacent poor neighborhoods of Reynoldstown and Old Forth Ward.

The City of Atlanta has property values to look after, and plain and simple: poor folks are bad for high property values. The City’s new plans to continue transforming Edgewood into a complex eerily similar to Atlantic Station is unveiled among increased reports of police harassment and violence from some of the remaining black and poor populations in the area. The city’s agenda is to push out the remaining black and poor residents of Edgewood in any and every way; economically, through rising taxes and rent; psychologically, through drastic changes in landscape and housing architecture; racially, in promoting white business, while ignoring black business; and physically, with the Atlanta Police Department’s goons.

In 2011, Atlanta was home to two murders committed by police. These murders heightened the distinctions between friend and foe for many poor residents who still remain in the city and who have been hip to the gentrification scheme since the Olympics bid. This year, in Edgewood, police harassment has been on an increase and on April 9th, Edgewood residents decided to let a little steam off.

April 8th saw a neighborhood kick-ball match across Hardee St. from Edgewood Courts, when the APD began arresting a man on charges currently unknown. When the crowd began issuing protest, police responded with violence. Accounts of pepper-spray, beatings, and death threats were heard and published by the neighborhood CopWatch.

Weeks earlier, a crowd of children were approached by police and asked to disperse. When the children asserted their right to assemble and refused to disperse, police responded with pepper spray and displayed a shotgun with threats of violence and death.

On the afternoon of April 9th, residents of Edgewood Courts and a few neighboring residents gathered to march through the neighborhood in support of victims of police brutality, and to state their sentiments and knowledge of the police’s role in applying violent pressure on poor and black people. Squad cars were placed nearly every block, and each one was surrounded and chased off by the crowd. A display of solidarity in in-town neighborhoods has only recently been seen surrounding eviction struggles, one such struggle in Edgewood was just won with the same community support, declaring Edgewood and “eviction free zone.”

Massive sequester cuts, rising rent and property taxes, with little to no increase in wages leaves poor people suffocated. The addition of police brutality has pushed the poor into a corner and the solution that has naturally flowered is solidarity. Could such community solidarity be the key to a “police free zone”? or even a “crime free zone”? Perhaps time will tell, but if April’s events can be any sort of compass, it appears that new solutions to old problems are on the horizon for Edgewood.

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www.heatindexatl.info

Heat Index is a group of anarchists in Atlanta–we’re all involved in various projects around town, including the IWW, the Atlanta Solidarity Network, anti-fascist organizing, anti-gentrification,  and others. With this blog we hope to present our thoughts and analysis on various issues in Atlanta and beyond through an anarchist lens–and in so doing clarify and develop our positions and strategies, to make our struggles more effective. We welcome discussion and hope that this blog can play even the smallest of parts in helping to create an atmosphere of collaborative critical evaluation within the Atlanta anarchist milieu.

Comments

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

@9:14

what do you think it means? what defines "crime"?

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

wat iz uhh khrime fr33 zon3?

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

#foreveryoung

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

Aristotle also thought that mirrors turned red when mestruating women gazed upon them.

He also said that young people, who want action and not knowledge, have no place in political discussions whatsoever.

trufax

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

on the murders, you're absolutely right. some editing needs to be done to put more emphasis on the police being a HUGE problem, and not just an annoyance. so, point taken, thank you ery much.

thanks for the comments, and for everyone else, i hope you enjoyed your nap.
-slim

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

The use of moderation is a practise used to aid in the cultivation of proper behaviour. This is not a top-down tactic of silencing. as those who have compared comment-moderation to policing have argued. Moderation is instead a gentle "push" toward one's own ethical resubjectivation. One becomes capable of re-imagining one's position in a situation, as in the way an irruptive moment might cause one to re-imagine one's own capacity to let bricks fly. Comment moderation is in this way analogous to the shouts of joy heard in the battlefield. These stimuli, albeit "external," are part of the situation, of "reality" as others have named it. They are therefore free-ing as the pressure against the existent limits of possibility.

It may be worthwhile to note that Aristotle himself set ethics as a practice of moderation. One's ethical state of character, he suggested, could be destroyed only by excess or deficiency, and preserved only by the intermediate.

Others have already argued that we must operate according to the logic and inclinations of our "rational selfs," but I would like for us all to challenge this simple division between "rationality" and "morality." Are rationality and morality not inexorably imbricated, with rationality constituting its own sets of moral codes and morality operating according to the rationality of its principles? We might strike a virtuous chord if we are to occupy the space between what has been posited as a dicohotomy -- the "intermediate," if you like.

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

maybe its irrelvant because some other Heat Index blog post said "Nothing's happening" and then 5 days later "Riot happened"

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

@11:00pm

u like proven the point with like not being able to keep cool. n e one kan us dis site

it is possible for anyone to troll or to mimic others styles

when considering the immediate accesibility of other forms and styles of writing readily available above or below it is possible to hide yourself in others image

In order to address the issue of trolling Atlanta Indyemdia is facing, we gotta put on our rational selfs and use common sense. The Atlanta Indymedia site began as a place for alternative media, and any of the remaining design features will show that simple layout and format used to be home to Atlanta’s alternative news. However, through the years, trolling and anonymity has taken a heavy toll on the site and readers who frequent it.

#trollbackmuhfucka

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

10:33

Know what the biggest fact of reality is? Capitalism. Guess we should just change the formal moderation of that too. After all, its worked so well in the past!

I see the light now. As you say, Its just a stupid "moral" argument to question the "facts of reality." We should just use a bunch of moderators to police the behavior that we can't control. Amirite?

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

10:25

Yes, we don't need the state to sow dischord. But the point I was making was that there is nothing keeping any right winger or liar or whoever from posting shit on this website, or any unmoderated website, that is destructive or disruptive to our activity.

The structure permits derailment and should, therefore, be discredited as a place to recieve last minute feedback, commenter critique etc. etc.

And, yes, anonymity does help to lift inhibitions. Stop making moral arguments against it though. It's a fact of the internet and a fact of reality. It's smarter to change structures around such that commenting is moderated to prevent spamming/trolling/misinformation/hate speech etc.

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

thats tru tho i dont normally curse in the real life but i totally can here becos its anonymus*rap
*eck
b*llsh*t
f*uck
*mm* g*ldm*n
l*n*n
str**ght*dg*

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

11:05

Total bullshit. You're trying to rationalize away cowardice and catty gossiping. Anonymity destroys your inhibitions even better than a fat old bottle of booze. This bullshit resentment is alive and well off of the internet, just one snide comment from the surface. Anarchists don't need the state to sow discord among themselves. The state is a total amateur in comparison.

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

this is the fucking internet.

 the criticism of irrelevancy is something to be considered. institutions and apparatuses of domination have shifted in social location and function since the formulation of older and too-often regurgitated "revolutionary" theory. our present actions and modes of though must reflect these changes. i mean this with a particular consequence for marxist and labor-centric conceptions of revolutionary activity -- and this might be a note taken from marx himself, whose world was not nearly as defined by the omnipresence of factories as it was several decades after his writing.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21346236/What-is-the-Contemporary-by-Agamben

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

troll = bad

emotional response = badder

read articles. not comments.

el fin

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

6:23


You'd be surprised how easy it is for a good writer to cloak their writting style or to adopt the style of others'. Please do not every assume you know who wrote what. Furthermore, for the zillionth time, all anonymous commenting sections/forums should be seen as illegitimate sources from which to acquire knowledge. Blogs, news sites, message/image boards etc. should all be considered places-an-agent-of-the-state-might-be-sowing-dischord-and-therefore-unworthy-of-consideration. That some such sites have accumulated cultural clout is more harmful than trolling in the long run.

All comments should be strictly moderated by whoever is running a website. We aren't liberals and we don't believe in democracy or universal inclusiveness. We have a political agenda: to create places for people to learn about anarchy on the internet. If that's true, then be discriminate about it! Be honest. No liberalism and no authoritarianism allowed. Sites like pugetsoundanarchists.org don't have any trolling...

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

@2:00am---i agree that historical context is important and i like how you phrased "proliferating a narrative", which I think is a good way of thinking about it.

 

@ 3:06pm---couldn't agree more. let's squash that shit, for real. absolutely no need for it. a troll is a troll, whatevs. but folks in Atlanta tearing each other down "anonymously" (not really that anonymous when everybody recognizes your writing voice) on Indymedia and whatnot has created actual problems in real life (and full disclosure, I fucked up once on that account, and apologized), because surprise surprise, actual people write these articles, read the comments, etc... And great point about conflating personal attacks with militancy, when like you said, it's actually quite reactionary. If we have disagreements about politics, life, whatever, let's talk about the substance of those disagreements. Unless of course, your only interest is in creating dischord among anarchists in Atlanta, in which case you are a pig or might as well be.

 

@ 1:48pm---I didn't write it- as the article indicates, my compa Slim wrote it. I happen to like it. I happen to like the SWARM piece too. Super excited about their upcoming forum. Also, not that your comment about the IWW has any relevance here, but if you have a problem with the IWW, don't join. Problem solved.

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

I am often filled with dismay that so many of the comments here seem animated by hatred. Killing one another socially is reactionary and a symptom of the alienating and depressing life under capitalism, but for some reason this type of behavior is often conflated with militancy.

One reason I think a lot of people toss "manarchist" around--which I agree is a heedless and wildly reductive word--is because even though some of the anger, critiques, passion, etc. displayed in threads like this could theoretically be shaped into something more humane, its current presentation is really alienating and intimidating.

Why would anybody with confidence issues or who might not be as articulate as others here want to participate if they use a word (just for example) like "rebellion" instead of "riot" and get called names because of it? Sometimes I get the feeling that some people just point their finger in all directions and declare, "Irrelevant!" unaware that doing so un-ironically diagnoses the politics of the finger's owner.

I wish we could just have one conversation without ripping each other apart. So much time is wasted on hating each other that we sometimes have little energy to spare for hating our real enemies. And yes, I know that these anon cyberspace flame fests shouldn't be taken seriously but they are coming from real people, at least somewhat, and that's the disturbing part. Almost all of us have been anon assholes at some point.

Toward the abolition of comments on this fucking site...

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

not as reactionary as what i would expect from a

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

to whoever wrote the snorefest comment that was a little harsh. but whatever the piece isnt as "cool or exciting" as the other recent articles but also theres no need to get all hurt because someone thinks your article is dry or boring regardless of the use. no one criticized that.

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

If we want to understand the present, we need to understand the past. The APD and chief turners spin team wants to decontextualize the recent rebellion, and an important part of countering that is proliferating a narrative of this neighborhoods history that places emphasis on the black working class that built this hood and is now being evicted from it.

 

Thanks heat index. I really do appreciate these reflective pieces from those who have a few more years under their belt

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

wow... where do i sign up for the snorefest?

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

what exactly is a "crime-free zone" ?

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

Great history lesson but could talk more about the present...

Re: New Heat Index blog post//"Edgewood: Tensions Increase Between the Poor and Police"

Only thing I want to point out is that there were two major, egregious murders at the end of 2011. Those were (of course) not the only ones. It's ambiguous in the post when it is talking about them. A naive or careless person will go "pft, only two? Shit, those are just bad apple cops"