To Commander X – Stay Free, and Thanks!

February 23, 2012

First I’d just like to apologize for never sending off a letter care of your attorney in SoCal…but it’s far better to hear that I have no chance of contacting you now a’tall! (For, in case everyone hasn’t heard, Commander X, AKA Christopher Doyon, flew the coop a few weeks ago.)

Food Not Bombs is not exactly cut out to mesh with Anonymous. There were some silly things said and done that didn’t exactly sit well…particularly since I couldn’t help but hope the DNS attacks would have an impact.

But around the time Buddy Dyer’s name was being read and instantly despised by people all around the world, on BBC, Democracy Now, and so forth, mostly as a result of the hack attacks… a funny thing happened, at least in Fort Lauderjail. Some cities have still pushed ahead with discriminatory policies, but a feeding ban has been way, way off the table here. They’re  still sending their goons out to harass the homeless every day, sure, but it’s a quiet sort of detente. Similarly, Lake Eola is still rich-people-only, but Orlando FNB is able to share twice a week downtown, and I don’t think it would’ve been possible without the fact that Dyer’s name was a rising star amongst America’s most despised Mayors thanks to “Operation Orlando.”

So, thanks Commander X, and while I’m pretty sure a lot of FNB people think you’re a delusional pile of crap, others that are less chatty than me also probably agree with me as well. And as far as ducking the charges go? You were pretty clear from the start you didn’t believe in the authority that was trying to imprison you in the first place. The fact that you’ve been homeless for some time further illuminates the fact that being part of a nation, being privy to their laws…is a choice. It requires consent. So why would you let them follow through on locking you up? We need more people taking risks by defying the state, and not just making martyrs of themselves by complying with their own wrongful, fascistic imprisonments.  If I were to speculate, I should think you too know that you have a lot more to offer staying free north of the border. So good luck with that, freebird…

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10 Responses to To Commander X – Stay Free, and Thanks!

  1. James McNair Thompson on February 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    The entire post loses any legitimacy at this point: “Food Not Bombs is not exactly cut out to mesh with Anonymous.” Neither Food Not Bombs nor Anonymous “is” anything. The best explanation of the nature of movements such as Food Not Bombs or Anonymous is found in David Graeber’s “Direct Action: An Ethnography” at page 236: “A typical example is the story of Food Not Bombs, a group originally founded by a few friends from Boston who had been part of an affinity group providing food during the actions at Shoreham. In the early 1980s veterans of the affinity group set up shop in a squatted house in Boston and began dumpster – diving fresh produce cast off by supermarkets and restaurants, and preparing free vegetarian meals to distribute in public places. After a few years, one of the founding members moved to San Francisco and set up a similar operation there. Word spread (in part because of some dramatic, televised arrests) and, by the mid – 1990s autonomous chapters of FNB were appearing all over America, and Canada as well. By the turn of the millennium, there were literally hundreds. But Food Not Bombs is not an organization. There is no overarching structure, no membership or annual meetings. It’s just an idea – that food should go to those that need it, and in a way that those fed can themselves become part of the process if they want to – plus some basic how – to information (now easily available on the Internet), and a shared commitment to egalitarian decision – making and a do – it – yourself (DIY) spirit.”

    • patches on February 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Allow me to clarify why we “didn’t mesh well.”

      First of all, there are the 3 basic principles of Food Not Bombs that was ratified back in the 90s at an international gathering. Now we do agree that FNB can do whatever they want for the most part but one of the principles is strict adherence to non-violence, and I have been part of at least one extreme problem like this where we have had to release statements condemning someone who was with FNB for several years. So when Commander X was posting tweets suggesting that someone should shoot Mayor Dyer on our behalf, that does not look so great.

      Second point, I know from the time I spent in Orlando last summer that many members of OFNB in particular were not too happy about this happening. This is in part because OFNB is extremely dedicated and do not often seek the limelight. If people are contributing they generally want them helping homeless people, not doing hack attacks, etc.

      On a personal note, I do feel that FNB members should try to operate in the open when possible, particularly because we should be putting ourselves forwards as examples for how our society SHOULD be functioning. While in general it is cool that Anonymous operates from the shadows, it does lead to people acting less than exemplary, such as the threats C-X tweeted that I mentioned above.

      Lastly, you’re right about the legitimacy, none of us truly “speak” for Food Not Bombs. I’m just a member who set up this blog and am trying to keep it fresh with content. With that in mind, please feel free to submit an article, news, or opinion to this blog…thanks for your comment.

    • Keith McHenry on February 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      David Graeber has many details very wrong. I helped start Food Not Bombs in Boston. First we were an affinity group working with Clamshell Alliance protesting to shut down Seabrook Nuclear Power Station in New Hampshire not Shoreham. We also never dumpster dived food. I was a produce worker and took the discarded food out to share it with people living at the public housing projects on Portland Street in Cambridge. We also did not really squat our house at 195 Harvard Street. We intended to pay our rent but we were not able to pay for the first half year and had to seek better paying jobs to cover the rent. We organized a route picking up food put aside for us at grocery stores, the food coops and bakeries. Then I moved to San Francisco and started a second chapter also recovering food from local groceries and bakeries. The dumpster diving thing is some romantic idea of who knows where it came from. Maybe the police.
      We do have a very clear structure where we use the consensus process to make decisions. Each group is autonomous and had no leaders. As for the TV report it was one broadcast on CNN in August but really more important was smaller weekly papers and zines that shared news of the arrests in San Francisco.

      Then to the suggestion that states agree that sharing food is an unregulated activity is in no way counter to the philosophy of Food Not Bombs or our anarchist roots. Anarchists seek to change society so there are no rulers and provide a method for people to direct their own lives. Supporting that idea is central to the April 1st actions. The goal is to build a society based on the core principles of anarchism where we all take responsibility to direct our actions.

      While I was jailed Commander X was kind enough to organize a cyber protest against Orlando to support us. Once freed I realized the FBI had some idea I was involved. While honored I really had no hand in his wonderful effort.

      People might want to study the literature of pre Crimethink era Green Anarchy anarchists like Emma Goldman and the many other great thinkers of our movement. Thanks
      Keith McHenry

  2. dp on February 26, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Keith, are you aware that Commander X also hacked the Rotary Club and the Catholic Church on your behalf? (One helps vaccinate people worldwide against polio, and the other feeds hungry people worldwide and speaks up for the poor.) Is that what you call his “wonderful effort”? I think is a loose canon who thinks he can strike at anybody at random and win a moral war regardless of how immoral his actions. Commander X demands that his “targets” issue statements in support of whatever cause Commander X favors at the moment. For FNB, who is in part working for freedom of speech, it is unfortunate to turn around and praise Commander X for attempting to force unwilling speech out of others.

    • Keith McHenry on February 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I did not see any reports of his having hacked the Rotary or Catholic Church which are two very large organizations. He may have hacked a local Catholic charity that was seeking to shut down Food Not Bombs and as to the Rotary Club that may have been a local business person also seeking to shut down Food Not Bombs but we do work with people like those in the Catholic Workers Movement which have supported our right to share food. We also work with the Rotary in Africa seeking to provide food so we are not against all aspect so these organizations. I would doubt he such down the Vatican Website in support of Food Not Bombs or the main Rotary website. Doesn’t sound like anything anyone would do to support Food Not Bombs. Must have just been local sites of groups attacking the right to share food. I still think his efforts to support Food Not Bombs were generally positive and didn’t harm anyone when compared to the harm caused by governments and corporations and their assault on the rights of people to address the crisis they have caused with respect to the failing economy and the ruin of our environment. After all he was involved in cyber protesting and no one was made hungry, killed or injured in the process. Maybe send him a traffic ticket but 15 years in prison. That is crazy.

      • dp on February 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm

        You sound like Commander X. When he gives interviews and anybody asks him about the millions of people who’s privacy rights are violated, he avoids the question and says “what about the government?”

        Cop outs should be called what they are, and they are still cop outs.

        You can say “maybe” all you want, but you can’t change the facts that Commmander X cares not a whit about violating others’ free speech rights. You claim he did good for FNB, yet you admit you didn’t even know about two of his high profile targets.

        If this is the type of “supporter” you want to sleep with, consider me an ex- FNB supporter. I’ll have nothing to do with a human rights abuser like Commander X or those who justify his antics because it might be momentarily convenient.

        • patches on February 27, 2012 at 1:11 am

          Sounds like you’re already an ex-supporter, if you really equate DNS attacks with human rights abuse. I think it’s in incredibly poor taste you even pull that card against someone who has genuinely had their human rights violated, by the way.
          Did he occasionally pick less than stellar choices for attacks? Totally. (Are the Rotary Club & the Catholic Church really such upstanding bastions of goodness? sidebar argument.) Did he actually harm any of them? Of course not. You’re being ridiculous.

          • dp on February 27, 2012 at 4:09 am

            I’m afraid, patches, that you will not change my opinion to one that defends violations of free speech when it satisfies these conditions:

            1. It doesn’t “hurt anybody.”

            2. The person whose rights are being violated has different views than I have.

            I can also name many distinguished dictators in history who share the same view toward free speech.

            You are wrong that I was already an ex-supporter. Until today, I had no idea that FNB had reversed its previous disavowals of the hacking business.

            Isn’t the true test of devotion to free speech one that measures our willingness to defend it when we don’t hear what we like? After all, it’s easy to call for freedom of speech when you do like what’s being said.

          • patches on February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

            I am still at a loss as to how DNS attacks amount to denying people’s rights to free speech, let alone websites that are for non-profits and tax-exempt religious institutions, not an individuals’. By this same logic, temporarily the blocking entrance to the Rotary Club’s office would be denying their right to free speech. No one from these organizations ever claimed to be victims of first amendment violations.

  3. dp on February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    You win, patches.