Occupy-Update on NYC OWS “Black Bloc” riot action
Alexander Penley Nicholas Thommen Eric Marchese
More background on the OWS/”Black Bloc” “FTP” riot this past weekend.
Original story can be found here: http://citizenjournalistdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/two-arrested-after-nyc-ows-black-bloc-ftp-march/
While receiving broad local coverage, most of the MSM seemed to miss the OWS connection, despite the fact that the OWS involvement of at least two of the arrestees was easily ascertainable.
Alexander Penley and Nicholas Thommen were charged with assault on a police officer, menacing and inciting to riot after allegedly using a metal pipe to push back several cops in the Astor Place coffee clash Saturday night.
As we had noted, both Alexander Penley, 41, and Nicholas Thommen, 30, had connections with OWS; in fact, they were described on OWS twitter accounts as “organizers”. Twitter accounts also noted the “march” was full of OWS members. Additionally, OWS “jail support” was provided, and providing bail for the two men was discussed.
Both Penley and Thommen had prior records, despite Penley being an attorney. The New York Daily News noted:
Penley, who lives on the upper West Side, was charged 20 years ago with a entering a restricted area at a military facility in Boise, Idaho, the source said.
He also has arrests for marijuana possession with intent to distribute in Utah, for burglary, trespassing and vandalism in California and for failure to show up in court on a resisting arrest charge in Oregon.
Despite this prior arrest and charge of assault on a police officer, Penley was released without bail.
Penley can be seen on this “Occupii” page upon which he posted a video on the “Black Bloc tactics-10 Quick points”. http://occupii.org/profile/AlexanderPenley
Thommen also had prior arrests, in his home state of Oregon for driving with a revoked license, marijuana possession and harassment over the telephone, the source said. Thommen was held on $1000 bail.
The third man, Eric Marchese, 24, had a prior arrest in New Jersey for “improper behavior”, a disorderly persons offense.
Anarchist Book Fair and Judson Church:
We noted in our prior article that there were flyers given out for the march at the Anarchist Book Fair at Judson Church, and asked the question why would a church allow that.
Judson Church has housed various Occupy events, as well as Occupiers themselves, after they were evicted from Zuccotti Park. OWS allocated regular money payments to Judson as well as other churches who were housing Occupiers.
Lee Stranahan notes more on Alexander Penley and on some of the “talks” that one could have attended at the Book Fair at Judson. http://leestranahan.com/page/2
These talks included:
Self-defense and street combat for anarchists… – Sunday, 4:15-5:45pm Judson Assembly Room
J. “G.” J.
will provide a basic overview of offense and defense when dealing with recalcitrant fascists and/or pig police. We will deal with holds, strikes, traps and disarming techniques. No prior martial arts experience is necessary. The techniques are simple and effective, derived from the Yip family Wing Chun lineage (invented by a womyn, for wimmin and slight-bodied people). Anyone with experience, ideas and techniques of their own are welcome and encouraged to share! Come prepared to move, and preferably with someone you trust to work with. I try to make this as fun and non-triggering as possible! *appropriate for teens.
In all of this anarchist approach, we can see the nature of an altered reality. It is the view of the imagined police state that somehow will be negated by smashing windows and running through the streets. Where even children can be brought to the fray.
While we have seen OWS utilize “black bloc” most notably in Oakland prior to this past weekend, it hadn’t been a big part of the action in NYC.
However, OWS NYC has a “working group” called the “OWS Black Knights” who in their description describe themselves as “black bloc” (as well as Black Panther and Marine). This group has even requested funding for black clothing and capes, for their “security” role. Hard to know how much of that is hyperbole; there is no evidence that anyone involved in that working group has been involved in anything illegal. http://www.nycga.net/groups/ows-black-knights/events/
However, what is clear is as May 1 and the summer approaches, OWS will be trying to ramp up what action they can to get people’s attention. With “black bloc” which is as much an attitude as a tactic, OWS may be in for a rough summer of confrontation and a very unreceptive public.