White Anarchists Commit Crimes on Cherokee

Categories: Community, News
notearsfordeadcops1.JPG
This recently appeared at the intersection of South Jefferson Avenue and Cherokee Street.
The fledgling small businesses on Cherokee Street face plenty of hurdles on the path to sustainability. Now you can add anarchist mayhem to the list.

In the past week, anarchist graffiti (see photo) has appeared on both public and private structures; security cameras have been stolen or disabled; and now there's a graffiti campaign against -- that's right -- security cameras.

How does Daily RFT know it's all the same culprits? Because they were caught doing all of the above on security cameras.

Either these anarchists have an absurdist sense of humor, or, to put it politely, they're new at this.

anarchistsymbol1.jpg
Grafitti near South Jefferson and Cherokee.
Footage taken late in the evening of Friday, April 15, shows taggers painting an anarchy symbol inside Foam Coffee and Beer, then exiting onto Cherokee street. They turned north onto Texas Avenue, where they flipped a couch and climbed it like a ladder to tear a security camera off the brick garage owned by Jason Deem, president of the local business assocation.

With the stolen device in hand, the same group then walked right past two other cameras.

"There were six white guys and one white girl," says Deem, whose garage has been burglarized before. "Through mutual friends in the neighborhood, it was easy to identify at least four people."

He adds: "They looked like hipsters."

A few days earlier, the owners of The Mud House coffee shop discovered that one of their cameras had been swiped; another had its wires clipped.

"We don't have cameras to hurt anybody," says Casey Miller, who owns the cafe with her husband, Jeremy Miller. "We have them to keep our things safe."

When thieves steal the shop's tip jar and then flee down the street, she says, the Millers turn over the exterior camera tape to police. There's also a lens trained on their garden, where pots of herbs have been nabbed.

"It's just a bummer," she says. Her camera, like Deem's, was worth about $1,000, according to police reports. "These are people I've been nice to....I can't tell hipsters apart. You know anarchists like coffee. You know they like lunch.  I treat everybody with respect, and I feel like we deserve it back."

The issue came up Thursday evening at the monthly business association meeting inside El Torrito. Armed with a laptop, Carlos Dominguez -- owner of Carnicerìa Latino Americana -- showed other residents what his battery of cameras had recently captured: Young people tagging buildings. It wasn't immediately clear who they were.

Mike Glodeck, owner of Foam, points out that one of the anarchists' messages was, "No tears for dead cops."

"It's difficult to start a conversation with somebody that would write that," he says. 

Other recent tags next to anarchy symbols include "Work is terrorism," and "Fuck the system!" 

A person attending the meeting, who wished not to be identified by name, informed Daily RFT that the alleged anarchists were squatting in empty Paul McKee-owned properties up in the Old North neighborhood.

Deem told the roughly 30 people assembled that, although he knew the identities of some of the suspects, he's withholding them from the police until he decides on a course of action.

nocameras1.jpg
Why? So you won't get caught writing stuff like this?
Whoever the culprits are, they apparently aren't happy about being caught on tape. On the east wall of the Salvation Army thrift store, someone has written, "One Nation Under CCTV," a reference to "closed-circuit" security camera systems.

Yet such systems have proved indispensible in fighting crime in the neighborhood. In the wee hours of Sunday morning -- just five days ago -- a business in the neighborhood was broken into. Several thousands of dollars in electronics were carted off. But the burglar was caught on tape.

"The police evidence technician was able to see where he touched the door," a co-owner of the business says. "Now the police have a very solid lead."

Deem says he can't quite comprehend the backlash against the cameras. "We're not out to attack privacy," he says. "We're out to solve problems. We're out to catch people who are trying to rob us."


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200 comments
max stirner
max stirner

im an anti-social, anti-capitalist, american individualist anarchist. the stl collective I've met seem to be rich kids slumming & pretending to be working class because its cool. the so-called squatters I've met are a different pedigree. they know nothing of dumpster diving for food- rather get their shit DONATED from Trader Joe's because they're associated with a 501c3. they live, eat & shit BULLSHIT. they're a mockery of what the anarchist lifestyle is about. let them live their lie & pretend they've got it so rough... whilst the rest of us laugh @ their expense. bunch of jesus-freak morons if you ask me.

Anarchy Turd Burger
Anarchy Turd Burger

these shitbags need to move to the middle of some unpopulated fucking forest or desert, away from all this horrible small-business oppression and all these evil security cameras. assholes.

Mrbeckett81
Mrbeckett81

Please, don't let the actions of a few jerk-offs sour your opinions of anarchists. It's obvious that the group in question is simply out for vandalism and cheep (not so cheep for the business owners) thrills. Any social statement that they may claim they're making is mis-directed. I suggest they quit behaving like adolecsents and start focusing on a move toward liberation rather than vandalism.

Bestestinshow
Bestestinshow

These people (the North Side kids) are my neighbors. I have found them to be unfailingly polite, quiet, and just concerned with planting gardens and living their lives. As for the street they are on, they turned empty, derelict properties (which were attracting all kinds of crime and creatures) into livable housing that deterred, rather than attracted crime (not to mention rats or stray dogs). The neighborhood appreciates them because they have made it safer and more attractive, and have cared for and planted gardens in abandoned lots. I doubt VERY much it was them. Not only because of their character, but because they do not have cars. I can't see them walking all the way over from the North Side to Cherokee to do this - it would take them hours. I know and like the people on Cherokee, and count friends among the folks up there. However, it's incredibly irresponsible 1. to accuse people that you do not know for a fact are guilty, and 2. publish it on the blog of a mainstream weekly newspaper. There could be real ramifications for people who did not do anything at all - who are, in fact, having a very positive impact in another neighborhood. This is irresponsible in the same way that publishing that guy's resume, complete with address, phone number, etc. was irresponsible. Maybe more so. People should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law - and publishing anonymous and unfounded allegations does not help to that end.hide 1 reply reply

WritesL1 minute agoAgree wholeheartedly with this post. Straightforward, fair and intelligent. Thank you.

I also know a couple of the young people you refer to and I know they do homeless outreach and help each other with every human need. They cook for each other, garden, teach each other skills, do activism...

They also are extremely active people who work hard! Their work doesn't count to people who only value labor that is sold in service to someone else's profit. They have chosen to live intentionally and creatively. There is alot to admire there. I suspect there is no small amount of envy that is behind alot of the verbal attacks on them. I certainly feel envious at times at their bold choices they've made for their lives.

If they did commit the crime, I hope that the community will forgive it and reach out to them to see if they can work toward a solution and mutual understanding instead of reporting to the police.

reply

Logically infallible
Logically infallible

First, this is all hearsay and speculation.

Second, most of the arguments against anarchism/anarchists here use tactics like the ones I list below to discredit anyone who disagrees with a capitalist way of exploiting/being exploited...note that I put the real meanings of these epithets into parentheses to help school you further. ....

Basically, most of these horse shit posts are baiting with insults like "hipster"(meaningless and yet means all of these terms rolled up into one), "teenage" (ageism), economically priveledged (class-traitors), lazy (you wish you weren't breaking your back for the man either), naive (not shut down and cynical)....

I'm not saying I'm that brave either - I'm not an anarchist in practice, but in spirit, I'm right there with them.

Cordovablittering
Cordovablittering

These people (the North Side kids) are my neighbors. I have found them to be unfailingly polite, quiet, and just concerned with planting gardens and living their lives. As for the street they are on, they turned empty, derelict properties (which were attracting all kinds of crime and creatures) into livable housing that deterred, rather than attracted crime (not to mention rats or stray dogs). The neighborhood appreciates them because they have made it safer and more attractive, and have cared for and planted gardens in abandoned lots. I doubt VERY much it was them. Not only because of their character, but because they do not have cars. I can't see them walking all the way over from the North Side to Cherokee to do this - it would take them hours. I know and like the people on Cherokee, and count friends among the folks up there. However, it's incredibly irresponsible 1. to accuse people that you do not know for a fact are guilty, and 2. publish it on the blog of a mainstream weekly newspaper. There could be real ramifications for people who did not do anything at all - who are, in fact, having a very positive impact in another neighborhood. This is irresponsible in the same way that publishing that guy's resume, complete with address, phone number, etc. was irresponsible. Maybe more so. People should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law - and publishing anonymous and unfounded allegations does not help to that end.

Chris
Chris

what is productive about this? both the arguments and the actions...what is getting accomplished?

how oppressive are the things in question versus actual government oppression going overseas? how are our rights compared to women in the middle east?

how lucky are we to have running water, and are we taking things like that for granted?

i have spent some time in many different cities all over the country where kids who call themselves anarchist are constantly doing things like feeding the poor, building community gardens, demonstrating nonviolently, sharing their beer with the homeless, educating themselves and each other...there are people who call themselves anarchists in this country who go overseas to report of the front lines of somebody else's war, or who go to haiti to feed and give shelter to the hungry and dying.

these kids often do not like capitalism. so they do not spend money, nor do they work for money. they barter, or come up with something else. and then they treat people with respect, because who is to say they are right?

who is to say anybody is right?

are we, as americans, using our freedoms to their full advantage, or do we all have our head so far up our ass they come out our throats?

all i'm sayin' is...fuck it.

I hate suburbs
I hate suburbs

Holy shit, I knew that anarchists were kind of stupid, but I'll be damned if these these guys don't sound just like those fucking religious freaks that always post their bullshit on internet chat rooms or approach you on the street if you let them. I won't dignify these idiots by calling them terrorists but as a homeowner on the south side who has several cameras on his property, because assholes wouldn't stop breaking in before they were there, I have to say that if I catch you messing with my shit I am going to put you into the hospital.

As an aside after reading a few of the die hard types outlining their philosophy and hatred of capitalism like they were quoting from a religious text, I had to wonder if it was this type of idiots who went on the firebug spree a few years back torching condo developments on S. Grand and Lafayette Square. Oh no! Gentrification! I'm old enough to remember when both of these neighborhoods were rat infested slums rife with crime that were revitalized and reclaimed making them some of the most desired areas in the city. I don't remember any fucking anarchists being the ones who had a hand turning them around.

Eric
Eric

Jesus Fuck! How long are you all going to spend beating off your intellects and philosophies in each others' faces? Do you expect to seduce anyone into changing their mind and taking your side and giving you an IQ handjob? Why can't you all just agree to disembowel and move the fuck along already? I'm talking to all of you, both the anarchists and the ones who are obviously right.

removeyourpants
removeyourpants

Side eyeing all of you right now. I live two blocks north of Cherokee Street and several months ago, our neighborhood was literally bombarded with racist graffiti that spanned various houses, businesses, and even Benton Park itself. It was horrendous stuff to read, and even more horrendous to have it sprayed on the side of your personal property. And yet I guess since it wasn't an anarchist and it wasn't on Cherokee street, it is somehow less important than THIS graffiti. St. Louis exists of more than just S. Grand, Delmar, and Cherokee. Get your shit together please. This isn't about "white anarchism," it's about vandalism.

Chwt9
Chwt9

Note the section it's in . I don't wish to defend the rft as an objective news source by any means, but it is in the "news blog" section. Just sayin'...

no pity
no pity

just an observation:how come it mentions "white anarchists" so explicitly, but not "white business owners"? and are Blacks and other minorities just vandals who are expected to act "this way"? is this not a blogpost if some of us who have inhabited this neighborhood for 10 years, more even, spraypainted something against these small businesses? because this has happened before. you live in a city, people. graffiti exists. crime exists. you can't cover that up with cameras, you can't call the cops every time you stub your toe and try to make our neighborhoods into your white bohemia. this is cherokee street, if you know it's recent history like i do, born and raised south city, it's a rough neighborhood in a rough city. paint over the graffiti if it offends you, but these "white anarchists" are the least of your troubles down here.

Thnderus
Thnderus

Anarchists ? Wrong again.They are just a bunch lazy worthless children, who do not want to work for a living. They have no clue or even care about sweat, blood, and lives it took for the freedom they enjoy today. They do not qualify as being an adult, because they do not want to take responsibility for their actions. Are they trying to improve their lives or, are they just trying to make others as miserable as themselves. The world is tough right now, and they do not want to work to get ahead, they rather complain about the life they lead and blame others for their woes. Well boo hoo to them. Its rough for all of us, maybe we should all quit and live the life woo is me.

Chwt9
Chwt9

Hey people, this is a BLOG POST, not a "news article".

libertarian
libertarian

Funny, true anarchists are opposed to government control and support the individual's right to make their own living free from government intrusion. They also support private property. These attacks seem mostly against business owners and not the government. If they are "anarchists" they need to learn what an anarchist system really is. These vandals seem to follow a "anarcho-communism" system. Or as I like to call it "communism"

Conrad
Conrad

If they were real anarchists they'd target the city's infernal red-light cameras--no doubt the most obvious sign of governmental control they've witnessed in their pampered, fixie-rich lives. But they're not real anarchists, they're boy-pretenders who pick on small business owners and call it political action. Laughable pricks.

Dbcsdiuvfuir
Dbcsdiuvfuir

He is approximately 45 years old. White Male. Wil threaten to sue you if you talk to him. The alderman knows who he is.

Dbcsdiuvfuir
Dbcsdiuvfuir

There has been anarchist there for approximately four to five years at least. If you go search through the web or St. Louis Metropolitan Crime stats they have nicknames they use when they tag. They have in the past, around Cherokee, been cited for Property Destruction. I know one who uses the NAACP as a backing and has a gallery on the second floor of a house across from a church at Jefferson and Utah. He is on the corner of Jefferson and Utah. If I remember correctly there is a BP on the oppisite corner from him.

Anti-Cap
Anti-Cap

"how about blic blucs? Those are cool too."

Keep belittling worker solidarity and demonstration. They only profited you the 40-hour work week, weekends, minimum wage, benefits, etc. which employers are now forced to consent to.

When consciousness is raised and the revolution arrives you can still be in front of you screen talking about how small businesses are going to save the day.

Anti-Cap
Anti-Cap

"said Anti-Cap 48 minutes before this post. So...how do you rectify conflicting hyperbole? I'll bet it's more hyperbole."

Demonstrate the conflict.

The goal is the end of capitalism, until that society is reached your "choice" in the "free market" is an exploited existence selling your labor for a fraction of its value or starvation.

Or dropping-out which is the exact lifestyle the individuals who tagged a few businesses and called it an insurrection in their mind choose.

When the spineless call you hyperbolic, you know you are doing something right.

Alissa Nelson
Alissa Nelson

Want to say something about inequity in our society and how fucked up capitalism is? Tag up the two (TWO!!!) Rent-A-Centers on Cherokee! Smash the windows of a predatory tax prep business! Don't target immigrant business owners that have been working hard for over 10 years to cater to the people who live here.

fuckyou
fuckyou

@max stirner who are you? im so curious!

WritesL
WritesL

Agree wholeheartedly with this post. Straightforward, fair and intelligent. Thank you.

I also know a couple of the young people you refer to and I know they do homeless outreach and help each other with every human need. They cook for each other, garden, teach each other skills, do activism...

They also are extremely active people who work hard! Their work doesn't count to people who only value labor that is sold in service to someone else's profit. They have chosen to live intentionally and creatively. There is alot to admire there. I suspect there is no small amount of envy that is behind alot of the verbal attacks on them. I certainly feel envious at times at their bold choices they've made for their lives.

If they did commit the crime, I hope that the community will forgive it and reach out to them to see if they can work toward a solution and mutual understanding instead of reporting to the police.

Here we go again
Here we go again

Just to reply to a specific thing you mentioned. Most people you seeing protests "non-violently" have been treated the same as those who protest "violently", they just got tired of being beat / tazered / pepper-sprayed, hit with rubber bullets/ etc. You obviously your own approach to social change, which is fine, just don't think that those you see doing something different haven't exhausted all other options. And also, believe it or not, while some may spend 5% of their time trying "violent" methods, doesn't mean they're not experimenting with non-violent ones as well the other 95% of the time. History continues to show a progression of people trying to change things thru peaceful means, only to eventually try different methods.

(A)
(A)

Oh don't worry, anarchists got blamed for that too. We make very easy scapegoats. Just like this RFT article, someone watched a little too much C.S.I., or C.O.P.S., or Law & Order, or any other of those cop shows, and spread rumors that anarchists did it, and of course no one questioned it. And on it goes.

Gary Wirkes
Gary Wirkes

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought the RFT served as a news venue, and printed thousands of it's well-advertised paper and put it everywhere through-out the city and county. I don't know how I mistook them for a news venue.

Jeff
Jeff

It's just anarchy 'round here in the comments

Omar Khayyam
Omar Khayyam

Propertarians are not Anarchists. Anyone who is not in the Anarchist tradition of Proudhon, who wrote "What Is Property?", is not an Anarchist. No Anarchist supports the idea of exclusive private property!

You can "like" to call anything whatever you like, but you would be wrong. Anarchists and Marxists despise each other, and your attempt to conflate the two is simply against history and reality. If you really have an argument against Anarchism, then make it, rather than just making crap up.

Gary Wirkes
Gary Wirkes

Historically, libertarians have always been against the idea of property. But a political group in the U.S. has tarnished the word "libertarian".

JoyGrenade
JoyGrenade

No shit. How hard would it be to take one of the cameras down? You could sidle up at night, dressed all in black, and take it out with a rock. As a bonus, you could pretend you were in the PLO.

pietperson
pietperson

I'm just wondering, what kind of society do you support or believe in? Not trying to ridicule but am interested. Also private property, should I not own my own bicycle if I want it, why? Who should force me to share what I produce?

Chwt9
Chwt9

Anti Cap,You are hilarious, I can't tell if you're actually real or a parody. Unfortunately I think you might actually be real. I don't wish to engage in a discussion with you...just consider this: Your worldview is wildly distorted and intolerant. Come down from your pedastal and participate in life and society like the rest of us. You might learn something about life and the people you share the world with. That's all.

Tomas Dias
Tomas Dias

Me? I don't remember ever saying anything about what small businesses do or about anybody saving anything. I wasn't belittling workers. I was making fun of you which has been so hard to resist. I'm sincere in all of my comments about how I feel about worker/business relations. I just really have a hard time taking anybody seriously who thinks they can make assumptions about me based on their ideology.

Galt, Johnathan
Galt, Johnathan

Your reasoning is absolute shit.

"... selling your labor for a fraction of its value" -- In your dream world, the value of everyone's labor is an absolute. But it isn't, because in the real world people aren't equal in ability. And people of high ability wont settle for the same value as someone of lower ability... they wont submit to the idea. Most people understand the value of their own labor; anarchists don't understand that their labor has little or no value outside of the audience who's labor also doesn't have value.

"... or dropping-out..." -- This is a two-way street, and people of greater ability wont labor so that idiots can have a "fair" existence... because there isn't a universal definition of "fair". For instance, I think it is "fair" that you suck at life, because the only thing you have to "give" is in exchange with people that don't have anything to "give". The very existence of your ideals relies on everyone having the same value... and they don't. A person that is skilled at operating a machine doesn't have the same value as the person that invented the machine... because without the invention the operator doesn't get to exist as an operator. NOW, if machines just miraculously existed and people were allowed to exist as operators without the labor of someone else... then everyone's labor would have the same value.

Just because you identify yourself as an intellectual, and your surround yourself with others that identify themselves as intellectuals -- and you justify each other as intellectuals by agreeing with each other -- doesn't make you an intellectual. A group of idiots that believe themselves to be intellectuals is still just a group of idiots.

Tomas Dias
Tomas Dias

Really? Spineless? You know what I have weathered? You know what I have and have not stood up to? Because I disagree with you I'm spineless? In that post I was enjoying the image of somebody recognizing that they were (although unwilling) also an "economic entity" in the capitalist system and therefore started by overturning themselves. Maybe some somersaults. I don't even see the original post above here. Did I put it in the wrong place? If so, I apologize for the nonsequitor. Anyway, it's been fun rolling around this board with you, Anti. Good luck and much love.

Anti-Cap
Anti-Cap

Capitalism does not discriminate in its targets, why should its opponents?

The idea that the fundmental economic drive behind Rent-A-Center is different than your local falafel shop is naive.

Chris
Chris

ok...fine. is this going to keep them from putting up security cameras though? won't it just lead to more? i'm not saying you are wrong for wanting them down, and i certainly do not enjoy how dependent on technology the world is becoming. I also think privacy is a reasonable thing to want to fight for. But it just doesn't seem like these tactics are conducive to getting rid of any cameras.

anyway, you should have gone for the red light cameras. that shit's the system, if any camera is. there are companies investing in those that don't step foot in the towns that buy them, AND they are being used by the judicial system. Hell, if you knocked those motherfuckers down you'd be a goddamn hero.

I hate suburbs
I hate suburbs

No you dumb motherfucker, when I say rats I mean rats, the fucking disease spreading rodents that you assholes probably keep as pets because you think they make your 'home' smell better.

Chris
Chris

I have neighbors who have lived on South Grand when they were "rat-infested slums" and they freely admit that it was true.

anon
anon

Look at the top of your screen wise ass. I'm not defending the rft, the whole paper would be more accurately described as a blog, but it is in the "news blog" section.

Galt, Johnathan
Galt, Johnathan

And historically, Democrats are were completely against minority rights... so what is your point?

Sulambert
Sulambert

Anti cap is right about what he or she is saying, but it takes a willingness to imagine that there could be a better way than capitalism, and a better way than totalitarian communism a la China and Russia to be able to get it. Who still has the ability to use their imagination like that? To take risks that anti cap? To be that open to another way of being? Who can say what made it possible for Anti cap? One can only speculate that people who can't do this have been squelched, are stultified, or else they are grasping at what little piece of capitalist turf they've got and well, feeling pretty fat and priveledged.

In any case, Telling Anti cap that he or she must "come down to earth and accept reality as it is" is really quite a sad thing to say. It's like saying come on Anti cap, who are you to be so uppity as to believe that you and your fellow beings could live in a world that is better for all people, that doesn't exploit them, making some inferior and others superior? You uppity white hipster you! How dare you!

At least Anti cap is trying to use his or her mind and be awake to reality while he or she is alive.

view from the sidelines
view from the sidelines

“Capitalism does not discriminate in its targets, why should its opponents?”I will tell you why. Anti-cap, you clearly demonstrate your intellectual prowess, however, if this is a “class war” as hipster anarchists like you claim, you would take time to peel away from the angry, insurrectionary writings for a moment and read some basic strategy books. Then you might realize that even the lowest private in the army knows enough not to give away his position for a minor target. Never mind the fact that this journalist stretched the truth for sensationalism (i.e. there are no video images of the vandals and that graffiti has been there for years) as well as to undermine your movement. However, your pompousness is not helping. A revolution requires people, and lots of them, short-sighted actions like this only move the people away from your cause, not towards it. Had these “so called anarchists” been a little more discriminate in its targets, there would have been no uproar; there are a million more legitimate targets. But instead this immaturity and lack of foresight has set the movement back, again. In fact, your type of intellectual foolishness is the very reason the movement has never grown out of its underground, celebrated failures. Sadly, I don’t think that you really care about that because your inflated ego gets in the way. If you truly cared about those you were trying to “liberate”, you would understand the need for discrimination of targets, you would understand the necessity of humanizing the movement lest it become another heartless, soul-grinding machine; we already have that. Revolution is born out of love for all, not blind anger and hate. I applaud your zest and passion but when you grow older and expand your horizons, this will become clearer. The responsible anarchists in our community should take up a collection for these shop owners, it will go a long way in overcoming the prejudices perpetrated by this idiot journalist.

sulambert
sulambert

It's not really about Anti cap.

Anti-Crap
Anti-Crap

Before elevating Anti-Cap to any kind of pedestal, check out his condescending and insulting replies to people in this comments section. He isn't so much an idealist as an antagonistic ideologue.

Omar Khayyam
Omar Khayyam

I don't know about a collection, but you nailed it. If you're going to attack something, attack something people actually hate, like the police.

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