Ted Kaczynski dies at 81

From Washington Post

For 17 years, he picked his victims with cold deliberation, leaving a grisly trail of nail- and razor-blade-packed pipe bombs across the nation that killed three people and injured 23 others, several of them maimed for life.

He knew none of his victims and struck unpredictably from coast to coast in seemingly random acts from 1978 to 1995, baffling law enforcement officers and gripping the country in a kind of menacing unease — until his capture in early 1996 in the remote mountains of Montana.

There, Ted Kaczynski, the scrawny, bearded anti-technology anarchist popularly known as the Unabomber, surrendered peaceably at the primitive plywood cabin he had called home for 25 years. He was escorted by federal agents through slushy snow down a backwoods road to the main highway and, ultimately, to prison for the rest of his life.

The Harvard-trained mathematics prodigy turned lone serial bomber died June 10 at a federal prison medical facility in Butner, N.C. He was 81.

Kristie Breshears, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Prisons, said Mr. Kaczynski “was found unresponsive in his cell” and was pronounced dead at 8 a.m. In December 2021, the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced that Mr. Kaczynski was moved to the North Carolina compound from a supermax prison in Florence, Colo.

In letters and a massive 35,000-word manifesto, Mr. Kaczynski freely acknowledged his acts and called them necessary to save humanity from itself.

“Science marches on blindly, without regard to the real welfare of the human race,” he wrote in the manifesto, tapped out on a battered typewriter in his mountain cabin and then sent to The Washington Post and New York Times with a demand to print it or risk further attacks.

At another point, using the plural “we” and “our” to suggest, falsely, that he had collaborators, he wrote: “To get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.”

Under pressure from federal authorities, The Post and the Times agreed to jointly print the manifesto in a special section of The Post in September 1995. It was an agonizing decision, but as Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. said at the time, “This is not a First Amendment issue. This centers on the role of a newspaper as part of a community.”

The papers consulted with FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and Attorney General Janet Reno. Both recommended publication in the uncertain hope it would stop the attacks and possibly lead to the Unabomber’s discovery. The decision paid off. There were no more bombings, and the Unabomber was in custody within seven months, identified by his brother.

Alston Chase, an author and longtime Unabomber researcher, described Mr. Kaczynski’s thinking as having evolved from his days at Harvard in the early 1960s.

For Mr. Kaczynski, Chase wrote in the June 2000 Atlantic magazine, “Technology and science were destroying liberty and nature. The system, of which Harvard was a part, served technology, which in turn required conformism. By advertising, propaganda and other techniques of behavior modification, this system sought to transform men into automatons, to serve the machine.”

In the manifesto and letters, Mr. Kaczynski blamed his parents for raising him in social isolation. His sense of rejection, he said, caused him to spurn authority and develop a belief that modern technology was destroying the natural world and usurping human autonomy.

“Electricity, indoor plumbing, rapid long-distance communications … how could one argue against any of these things?” he asked in the manifesto. “[Yet] all these technical advances taken together have created a world in which the average man’s fate is no longer in his own hands … but in those of politicians, corporate executives and remote, anonymous technicians and bureaucrats whom he as an individual has no power to influence.”

As it turned out, the Unabomber’s targets were not randomly chosen but specific individuals he associated with technology and the destroyers of nature, including a computer scientist, an advertising executive, an airline president and a timber industry lobbyist.

In some cases, his bombs, concealed in scrupulously crafted wooden boxes, were misdelivered or intercepted innocently by others. Mr. Kaczynski went to great effort to elude detection, erasing identification marks from bomb parts, even avoiding licking postage stamps to prevent DNA matching. Tracking down the Unabomber led to one of the nation’s longest and most expensive investigations.

A moody and withdrawn child

Then came years of research tracing his habits, propensities and psychological markers. Still, a veil of mystery remained over the ultimate purpose of his acts beyond simple anger at a world that wouldn’t listen to him. A moody and withdrawn child Theodore John Kaczynski was born May 22, 1942, in Chicago, where his father helped run the family’s successful sausage-making plant.

Early on, there were signs that Ted was different. Hospitalized in isolation at nine months for severe allergic reactions, the once-alert baby returned home moody and withdrawn, his mother, Wanda, later said.

In 1952, three years after his brother, David, was born, the family moved to Evergreen Park, a conservative, lower-middle-class suburb just south of Chicago, where the Kaczynskis were a family apart.

Although raised Roman Catholic like most of their neighbors, the parents were atheists, pursued liberal causes and often kept their children inside to read and do homework while other youngsters played outside. They emphasized academic excellence.

Ted, bookish and socially awkward, scored at genius level between 160 and 170 on IQ tests. He skipped sixth and 11th grades and was admitted to Harvard on a scholarship at 16.

There, his isolation deepened. He was physically and emotionally younger than his classmates, and a social gulf divided public high school graduates like himself and the dominant private-school crowd on campus. He interacted little with others and took a single room.

He participated in a study — part of the controversial Project MKUltra “mind-control” experiments of the 1950s led by Harvard psychologist Henry A. Murray and backed by the CIA — to measure the effects of extreme stress on student volunteers by subjecting them to unrelenting belittlement and humiliation.

Mr. Kaczynski graduated in 1962 with a degree in mathematics and moved on to the University of Michigan, where in five years he completed a doctorate in mathematics and landed a tenure-track teaching post at the University of California at Berkeley.

But he abruptly quit in 1969 and, two years later, cobbled together the money to buy a small lot near Lincoln, Mont. He built a single-room cabin with no electricity or running water. He tended a vegetable garden and hunted small game. He enriched the garden with compost from his own waste.

He rode a homemade bicycle into Lincoln for supplies and to visit the local library, where he read newspapers. Shelves in his cabin were crammed with books — from 19th-century classics to obscure tomes of political science. He seldom worked for pay and relied on small sums from his family for minimal needs and occasional travel.

In the cabin, he also started planning his serial terror attacks, the first of which involved a crude, low-impact device that went off in May 1978 at Northwestern University near Chicago and injured a campus security guard.

A second bomb also went off at Northwestern in May 1979, leaving a student with minor cuts and burns. But a third, which exploded in November 1979 in the hold of an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Washington, D.C., forced the plane to make an emergency landing. Twelve passengers were treated for smoke inhalation.

The FBI ramped up its investigation, noting similarities in the components of the three bombs. The bureau formed a special task force called UNABOM, so named because the early targets were a university and an airline. The media dubbed the unknown suspect the “Unabomber.”

Over the next 15 years, he unleashed 13 more bombs, killing three people and injuring nine — including the president of United Airlines, three professors and a geneticist — with increasingly sophisticated wiring, detonators and explosive materials. He also began leaving a unique signature, the letters “FC” imprinted on bomb parts found by investigators at blast scenes.

A six-year lull in the bombings occurred after a witness spotted a man in a hooded jacket and aviator glasses leaving a suspicious package outside a computer store in Salt Lake City in February 1987. When the package exploded, severely injuring the store owner, authorities circulated a flier nationwide depicting the suspect. Investigators speculated that the move spooked the Unabomber, causing him to lie low before resuming activities in 1993.

In September 1995, he sent his manifesto, titled “Industrial Society and Its Future,” to The Post and the Times. He also disclosed that “FC” stood for Freedom Club, suggesting vaguely it was an anarchist group helping him.

The rambling prose seemed eerily familiar to David Kaczynski, a social worker at an Albany, N.Y., shelter for runaway youths. He began to suspect, reluctantly, that his brother was the Unabomber. Pushed by his wife, Linda, through “thick layers of dread and denial,” he saw similarities between the manifesto and some of Ted’s earlier writings, according to David’s 2016 memoir, “Every Last Tie.”

David took his suspicions to the FBI, and analysts quickly spotted close parallels in phraseology, even misspellings. Directed by David, agents massed at the cabin in the Montana woods on April 3, 1996, and took Ted into custody. Inside the cabin, they found a cache of bombmaking components. David received the FBI’s $1 million reward and said he would use it to aid families who suffered because of his brother’s actions.

On Jan. 22, 1998, after extensive legal jockeying to avoid both the death penalty and an insanity defense, Mr. Kaczynski pleaded guilty and acknowledged all 16 bombings and the deaths and injuries they caused. Unrepentant, he was sentenced to four consecutive life terms plus 30 years by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. in Sacramento. Information on survivors was not immediately available.

Wanda Kaczynski, pondering the fate of her son, wondered in her later years how his life could have been different. “What could I have done to keep him out of the wilderness?” she asked in an interview with The Post in June 1996. “What could I have done to give him a happier life? … I just don't know."


The War In Front Of Us

Source: Scenes from the Atlanta Forest

There is a tension stewing right now, not simply between differing tactics but with the outright acceptance of the position we are currently in, that of a social war. The third day-long descent on the Atlanta City Council has again hammered home that legalistic attacks and appeals to the political machine are going to keep failing. Despite that being so overwhelmingly evident, the more progressive-inclined elements of the struggle continue to insist upon a peaceful endurance, one that refuses escalation and actual conflict for their safe, faux-radical abolitionism. We have been locked in this social war since the rebellion and the terrain needs to be read as such.

It’s a war that has to be fought on multiple fronts, but this current front, this specific front against the world of police, is in danger of becoming reserved and immobilizing itself, terrified of even approaching lines let alone crossing them. To be clear: We are in a war against the police. They are more than just a political entity with weaponry we can’t imagine, they are a cruel element as deeply embedded in daily life as capital itself. Now with the effort to converge popular momentum toward the voting booth in November, there must be a concentrated antagonism within the movement against political bargaining as an option.

There’s no negotiating with what kills you, there’s only the fight for your life, and the abolitionists are still trying to negotiate. Invoking the riot but afraid to set it off. Toeing the line between caution and cowardice while dressed up in revolutionary’s clothes. None of that was ever going to be sufficient and now it’s time to legitimately ponder the brick.

Additionally, there’s been a troubling emergence among parts of the anarchist and autonomist blocs in the movement that I wish to highlight and halt: one that omits the pertinence of black struggle. This has to do with the language used, attention paid, and efforts boosted, namely a pure defense of the forest and its representations. Proponents of a diversity of tactics and multipolarity would push back against this charge but with my own eyes and ears have I had to witness a dual name-checking of dead black people backed by incessant praise of multiracial formations and the self-proclaimed protagonism of the white anarchist and the white communist. While this piece isn’t a polemic against whiteness (or the forest defenders, green anarchists, ZAD fetishists, et al), I must reawaken the fact of anti-blackness among those who refuse to confront themselves behind silly declarations of self-abolition and race betrayal.

Considering black reaction to the death of Rayshard Brooks and the George Floyd Rebellion in general being the springboard for the facility’s construction, it should be imperative that, through this struggle, we make possible (and facilitate the assurance of) another black revolt.

Communiques, flyers, signs, and banners, have all displayed a deep reverence for the forest: natural, wild, a site of future possibility endangered by the encroachment of civilization and its death drive called progress. A world worth protecting behind the shields of sovereignty and sanctity. But to problematize orienting the forest defense behind a moral veneer of environmentalism is to critique its representations, for within the language of sovereignty and sanctity is what is then activated by its adherents: the simultaneous creation of an outside, a place of captivity and profanity, one essentially constituted of blood and bones. That outside, which would materialize in this instance in the successful construction of Cop City and the direct, trifold revitalization, militarization, and expansion of plantation society, is a place of horrific familiarity for black people. It’s where violence is a common non-occurrence, beyond the reach of logic, reason, or explanation (“when something happens in South Central Los Angeles, nothing happens, it’s just another nigga dead”). Fanon called it a zone of nonbeing; Wilderson short handed it to social death.

This is not to pit black people against the forest but to recalibrate the struggle as one against a society that even allows for there to be an outside. Sanctity as rights, whether of property or to existence, demands the acknowledgment of that dialectical relationship. On a metaphysical level it reaffirms the criterion of the human/non-human, which provides the context of what doesn’t receive the protections of the sovereign and sacred and why. On a material level it is represented by law and gratuitous violence, both legal and extralegal. It’s not that either we (black people) or the forest should have an inalienable right to an unimpeded existence but that the movement should refuse the assertion of rights in all contexts. Not only do they require a conversation with political and civil societies thus legitimizing them, they call for us to continuously assess who and what is to remain outside of sanctity and thus denied any sovereignty. We have to abandon such ethereal claims of bestowment, especially ones constructed within the boundaries of a Humanity with its own outside.

This is the point where we must name our stakes and accept their grim reality. To truly stop cop city, that is to say, to truly destroy the ever-expansive world of police, we must confront our own capacity for violence and its implementation. We have to face down fear, talk of cowardice caution, and the outward denial of ceaseless conflict. The world has to come to a halt and we have to refuse all calls for normalcy, lest we resign ourselves to small victories and the inevitable further entrenchment of the police into daily life. That is the war in front of us. The words rang out through city hall and they must not be rendered hollow threats.

So can we recalibrate the struggle against not just Cop City but against the world of police as one where black struggle sits irreducibly at its core, refusing dilution and eventual omission? Is it possible for us to embrace the negativity of the task at hand? To fully contend with death, not as a punishment meted out by the state and its lapdogs, but as the starting point of our struggle against the police and their false social peace? For what is the potential threat of death if not the same carrot we’ve been strung along by during “peace time” especially? Is this really living? Are we not already at death’s door?

– anonymous


Chatzianggelou in solidarity w/ Michailidis

Write an anarchist prisoner today!

From Athens Indymedia, translated by Act for freedom now!

Statement of solidarity of the imprisoned member of Anarchist Action Th. Chatzianggelou to the struggle of the anarchist hunger striker G. Michailidis (from 12/5), during the trial of the Anarchist Organisation Action on 25/5/23

In an era of political rot and the deadly rigidity of social competition, we have a duty to be the voice of those who cannot be heard. Those whose right meets walls and grids. We are here for each other, to carry the right of the uncontested, circulating the struggles. With a deep-rooted sense of collectivization and the need to continue to struggle to claim what we are deprived of. Because for us, nothing was ever taken for granted.

A few days before the neoliberal fiesta of the Mitsotakis family, the relevant ministries ordered the suspension of the promised educational leaves of comrade Giannis Michailidis. Loyal to the criminal management of prisoners, they want to drink our blood until the last drop. Our comrade has started, once again, a hunger strike since 12/5/23 to gain the obvious. Nothing more or less than what he is entitled to: the suspension of his sentence and his release.

In this trial, the captive voice of Anarchist Action is also the voice of comrade Giannis Michailidis, to make his right heard. To make his struggle and the passion of a disobedient fighter for freedom heard. Faced with neoliberalism’s dilemma of repentance or death, revolutionaries have proudly chosen their path. My thought and heart are at my comrade’s side, declaring that I reserve the use of every means of resistance and solidarity with this struggle.

We do not beg for the obvious – We do not negotiate with the non-negotiable

We fight together to the end

Victory in the struggle of comrade G.Michailidis

Thanos Chatzianggelou, captured member of the Anarchist Action Organization

Third Wing, Larissa Prison




Translated by Act for freedom now!


Anti-LGBTQ+ Neo-Nazi Chased out of Anarchist Bookstore

Support your local anarchist bookstore!

From It's Going Down

Full title: Anti-LGBTQ+ Neo-Nazi Chased out of Anarchist Bookstore in Philadelphia Has History of Exposing Himself to “Teenage Girls”

Report from Philadelphia Antifa on neo-Nazi recently driven from the Wooden Shoe bookstore.

Last week, a neo-Nazi entered the Wooden Shoe Books co-operative bookstore on South Street. He took a photo of a flyer hanging up there related to Paul Minton, the white supremacist groomer currently running “White Lives Matter PA” and “Embrace Struggle Active Club,” stole some Antifa stickers, and threatened a staff member. One of Minton’s far-Right telegram pages, “PA Antifa Watch” posted pictures from the incident, claiming they received them from “someone unknown to us.”

The neo-Nazi was driven from the area, but later posted a short video of the incident on a closed chat used by fascists. In the video, the neo-Nazi’s face is visible and easily identifiable as Ben Ryder.

Ryder is a white supremacist with a history of exposing himself and masturbating in front of women and young girls in public. Ryder was sentenced to 4-12 months in 2015 for approaching several women completely nude in a McDonald’s parking lot. He was sentenced to 1-2 years in prison in 2019 for another a similar crime. According to a local news report, in court Ryder “admitted that he targets teenage girls.”

As discussed in the Twitter thread above, Ryder was one of the neo-Nazis who picked a fight at a Trans Day of Vengeance demo at the Supreme Court. Ryder attempted to take out a knife during the fight, but was dropped and disarmed by protestors while DC police meandered over and eventually detained him.

Ryder is a registered sex offender, so he likely feels common cause with Minton and his crew, judging by their enthusiastic cross-promotion. Ryder was last known to be living in Glenside, PA on E. Pleasant Avenue. He may be working for Kevin Ryder, Inc., a trucking company (we presume to be run by a relative) in Ivyland, PA. Ben Ryder drives a black Jeep Grand Cherokee (PA KDK5085).

Ryder is clearly an unstable and dangerous person and those who encounter him should be mindful of that. Despite their attempts to market themselves as an elite vanguard of the “pro-white movement,” Active Club and their supporters continue to tend more towards disgusting and embarrassing cautionary tales.

Eternal war on the Hitler Youth Mickey D’s flasher division,

Philadelphia Antifa

About Wooden Shoe Books & Records

What Is Anarchism? What Is The Wooden Shoe? To put it simply, anarchism is the the political philosophy that people are better off making decisions for themselves, and communities making decisions for their communities, rather than having any centralized power/governing body do it for them. Furthermore, anarchism is opposed to capitalism and all systems of oppression that attempt to exploit or control.

Founded in 1976, the Wooden Shoe is an all volunteer, collectively-run, anarchist book store. Functioning within a system we oppose, we seek to be an example of one way things can function without anyone commanding or forcing us to think or act a certain way. We have no bosses, managers, or employees and make all of our decisions through consensus rather than majority rule voting so as to empower those involved. We also identify as an infoshop, meaning that we serve as a space for people to gather, learn, and find out more about like-minded activities happening in their communities.


Green Anarchy Graffiti Spotted In North Jersey

This piece reads “Fuck Civ! Fuck Society”

Anonymous Submission to Jersey Counter-Info

Recently on state “owned” land in so-called Northern NJ, green anarchist graffiti was spotted.

This piece reads “Fuck Civ! Fuck Society”

Massive development projects like the warehouse construction boom, the planned NJ Cop City, and new luxury apartment complexes are currently underway. The state and corporate entities have been pushing this kind of rapid rural and urban redevelopment for the last several years, so it’s no wonder people are fed up.


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