have protested in front of 221 W 6th St a lot. When Free Anons asked for solidarityevents for Jeremy birthday after he was sentenced to 10 years forpleading guilty to one count of for all the hacks he allegedly committedas part of Lulzec during the Arab Spring and Occupy insurgence, we knew wecould easily oblige. I sometimes refer toit as the Building of Evil: Chase Bank,Senator John Cornyn’s offices and of course Strategic Forecasting or Stratfor allreside here. My favorite time was the Occupy Austin street theater action placingJaime Dimon in stocks in front of Chase Bank. The only time I got “all the way inside” was into Senator John Cornyn’soffice to talk to his aides about why people are not corporations.
Since The End of Occupy I’m usually on this particular streetcorner Stratfor, where we have done three Jeremy Hammond birthday parties,one S action, and a NobodyFuck Sabu event after the snitch was sentenced totime served. I transitioned from doingjail release support for ccupiers to doing prisoner solidarity for ccupiersto PAPS, and it just so happens that of NATO 5, Cleveland 4 and BarrettBrown are out. (Granted, I don’t thinkBarrett Brown was much of an ccupier, but we all know I support him as anaccessory after the fact of the Stratfor hack, even though he’s an asshole who never writes back. But he’s a hilariousasshole, so send him some books and put money on his commissary so he can afford hoochmaking supplies and opioids.) Jeremy’smore of a black bloc anarchist and hacktivist than an ccupier to most people,but he took up space LaSalle andpresumably sparkled his fingers (most likely in a downward direction) while hewas there. The least we can do – those of us who were Occupy Austin, and thoseof us who have joined in writing to Jeremy since- is throw him a birthday partyin front of the Building of Evil.
Our most glorious moment trolling Stratfor at thisparticular location was when they evacuated their employees out the garageentrance on January 8th, 2014. We marched straight into the front lobby with a veganglutenfreebirthday cake and a “Free Them All” banner, wanting to share. ur most glorious momenttrolling Stratfor was the Book People signing, where George Friedman decided his friendly neighborhood bookstore wasn't. Which is why I have beentreating this year’s action as a bit of a “punch the clock” affair: go in, wishJeremy a happy birthday, hand out some fliers, get some folks to sign abirthday card, go get dinner and drinks, and eventually get smashed and ignorethe fact that I haven’t singlehandedly overthrown the state, abolishedprisons, and ended the globalintelligence-industrial complex, or even managedto really have good security practices any of my communications.
“It will be better next year”, I myselfsilently as I accept that my vehicle of comrades will eventually get to theaction – when Jeremy calls.
“I’m half an hour late to your birthday party” I tell himwhen he asks me how I am. “You’re not releasing actual cats into the building?”he asks, concerned for their welfare. I’m a little annoyed – doesn’t he trustme enough to know I would never piss off the entirety of Anonymous by engagingin cat cruelty, especially in support of a prisoner particularly well known forhis love of cats? I mean, I know that Ikick kittens for fun in my own spare time, but I would never do that whilerepresenting any member of LulzSec. I am tempted to shout out “’all we betterturn back and bring these cats back to the lab where got’em” to see if I canget the driver to make screeching car noises, but then decide thatJeremy’s getting up there and it might be better not to give him a heartattack. I’m getting to tell him aboutthe B hack that happened on the anniversary of the Stratfor hack, and hisdelight is palpable. I listen politelyas he describes the newest drink craze: tea, some sort of “milk” product, andsoda or kool-aid, depending on the fortitude of the drinker, which Jeremyadmits he’s starting to lose now that he’s all of 31. We agree he will call back in an hour so he canjoin us in front of Stratfor.
Our comrades are already there, meowing away with “Justice 4Bhopal” and “Happy Birthday Jeremy” banners. I was just getting into the swing of things when…
Dude, Where’s My Stratfor?
Imagine my surprise when a security guard comes out and,effectively, tells us it his first day and that he d know why wethere. He came back out and told us that Suite 400 is empty, but wouldn’t letus check for ourselves. “You might aswell go home, they’re not here”
Ingenious! Tell us that Stratfor moved so that we’ll goome. “I don’t believe you” I shoutedout. Surely this is a joke. They didn’t move their entire corporateheadquarters just to avoid our birthday party, right?
I mean, this is the Building of Evil. I don’t really care whI’m protesting outside it. I’m sureChase Bank finances the prison-industrial complex somehow (though I know ifprotesting immigrant detention centers, Wells Fargo is a far better target). Ifnot, Senator Cornyn probably had something to do with the C. Besides, Stratfor was herewhen Jeremy hacked them Lulzmas 2011. But, Jeremy’s calling in so we can singhim Happy Birthday in front of Stratforand I don’t know where my Stratfor is.
Kit O’Connell jumped on the case posthaste. “Google still lists them as being at thisaddress” he called out, “but their website both claims they have a PO box as anaddress and that they are open for office hours.” Kit then began a series of funny calls toStratfor, attempting to deliver our corporatepurchased cupcakes (we thoughtthe home-made vegan had put them off our first year). This video chronicles Kit calling their tech supporttrying to get their address.
This is embarrassing. We even had a National Lawyers Guildgreen hatlined up for this action, which is kind of a new thing to have inAustin. And we’re in front of the wrong building?
How are we going to take our dump tocelebrate Jeremy’s (data) dump in front of Stratfor if Stratfor is playinghide-and-go-seek? Maybe I should be homeanswering letters instead of trolling a corporation hired to keep tabs onactivists wanting to get Bhopal cleaned up the City of Austin better banking practices – what does this have to do withabolishing prisons anyway? Vince Kershaw of the PayPal14 came allthe way out here with his cat just to photobomb
Jeremy called, right on time, and we appraised him of ourcupcake flavors, as well as our current inability to locate Stratfor. But we still sang Happy Birthday, wherever wewere:
Just wish Jeremy weren’t where he is, no matter whereStratfor is.