2007/04/18 Los Angeles, CA
This show was the first live Open Source Resistance event.
Video formerly available on http://www.opensourceresistance.net/ , which now redirects to 42 Entertainment's Year Zero page.
Full Meeting Transcript (unofficial)
Amy. Michael. Russ. Jessica. Yuki. Laurel. Andrew. (Farrell?) Cheryl. Leah. Ray. Elaine-- two Elaines? One Elaine. We have Elaine. Michelle. Taryn. Robert. Carl. Margie. George. Crystal. Diana. Ryan. John. Hal. Adrian. Travis.
What the hell were you thinking? Just wanna start by saying: you're all dead. You were seen gathering around a piece of protest art. A shady guy in a van gave you resistance-themed material, and you took it. In public. Without knowing who we were. What if he was FBI? NSA?
We gave you phones. Cell phones send a signal out to the network every ten seconds or so. Remember after 9/11, there was a bioterrorism scare, some guy sending anthrax spores through the mail? The FBI caught him by triangulating on his cell phone signal.
So. You self-identified as dissidents. You kindly agreed to carry tracking devices on yourselves. You showed up for a resistance meeting and you signed a waiver that gave us permission to do anything to you. You allowed yourselves to be hustled onto a van. You let us take away any way of communicating with the outside world that you had. We then drove you to an unknown location and led you down into this room. If this was Nazi Germany, I would walk out that door laughing, and fucking Zyklon-B would start hissing out of the ventssssssssss. Learn the lesson, guys. In a real resistance, you don't get a lot of second chances.
Look, you've seen some scary websites about what the future might become. Me too. So let's start by saying you're not crazy, and I'm not crazy, and go from there. 'Cause like most people, I need a kick in the ass to change. I mean, I was sort of politically aware, I guess, but mostly than meant I read the Drudge Report every now and then, and felt guilty if I didn't get around to voting on Election Day. Then a while back, some people I know stumbled across a, uh...call it a transmission, a few broken pieces of the future. It's some scary shit. It shook my belief that, you know, "it can't happen here". The other weird thing was, we thought we recognized some things, a couple of names, a sentence style, or a piece of art, the sound of a clip of music. So we sent some of this stuff around to some people we thought we recognized. Obviously we didn't say, "dude, look! You're being beamed back from the future!" Because none of us want to be getting in on this Nurse Ratched and the psychiatric shit. What we did instead was we sent a piece of work to the person we thought created it, with a note attached like, "Hey, is somebody trying to copy your style?" Like that.
For instance, we sent a music thing to a certain artist and said, "hey, this sounds like something new. Is it a bootleg, or is it maybe someone trying to leak something out of the studio on you?" Couple days later, there's something in my inbox from this artist. The subject line is "how the fuck did you get this?" Turns out he had written the exact words down in a notebook a few days ago. He hadn't even started recording the song. The rest you know. We've been trying to find as many of these transmissions as possible, trying to get them out, and people are waking up to this shit! I mean, they're painting street art, they're writing songs. I'm involved with a website called Open Source Resistance, maybe you've seen it? Yeah!
Is this the future? I don't know. I sure as hell hope not. How about you?
Unfortunately, that future is closer than you think. Think about what you all have witnessed in the last few years, right here in America. In the aftermath of 9/11, the current administration has done unbelievable damage to civil liberties. If you are not a U.S. citizen and the government decides, God help you, that you are an enemy combatant-- which they can define pretty much at will-- they can throw you in jail and keep you there forever. Is there anyone here who is not a U.S. citizen? (points) Hey. Just being here at this meeting might be sufficient cause to call you an enemy combatant. Okay? If we were the Feds, we might have set this up to scare the shit out of everybody else, but you? You don't go home tonight. You get a one-way ticket to fuckin' Guantanamo Bay.
What about those of us who are citizens? Tonight, you're lucky. But what if there was another 9/11 attack? Big terrorist attack, something bigger even, something, say, right here in LA. Lots of people killed, big chunks of the city evacuated-- do you seriously think the Feds wouldn't extend the Ashcroft laws to make catching terrorists a priority? Listen, I don't want to have my plane hijacked by Islamic terrorists either, I'm not crazy. But in the big picture, there aren't lot of those guys, and they don't have a lot of money. The government has lots of money, and guns, and cops, and lawyers...you don't want them to get in the habit of using that shit on you. Keep them honest. Use your voice. Be heard.
So what are the ordinary, real things we can do to make a difference? Listen, you don't have to be Gandhi to get involved. If politics seems big and vague, cut it down to size. You don't have to stop the war in Iraq, but maybe you think you ought to give a shit about Iraq, but you just don't. Listen, I grew up in Orange County. When they built State Route 241 back in the 90's, I didn't pay attention. They said it would make the commute a lot easier, and I was all for that. Then they bulldozed right over the Laguna Hills. They literally cut the top off the hills and dumped the fill dirt in the valleys. They mutilated the place that I grew up. So now they want to build a southern extension to 241. They want to bulldoze it right through the San Mateo Creek Watershed, which has eleven federally recognized endangered species. They want to run it up to San Onofre State Park, and the Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy, and they want to wipe out the last piece of pristine coast in southern California. Which, by the way, would also wipe out Trestles, which surfer buddies of mine say is the best (place to ???) Do I look like a surfer? No. But I joined the Surfriders Association because those were the guys who were fighting the hardest against this thing, because it's local and they give a shit. (crowd: yeah!) Yeah. The last Attorney General threatened to sue the TCA if they went ahead with the 241 extension. If you give a damn, when you go home tonight, send an email to (? ?) Jerry Brown, our new Attorney General, and tell him you want him to do the exact same thing. That's all you have to do, just start it. That make sense?
Look, I'm not asking you to be Gandhi. I'm just asking you to stop and recognize what matters to you, and make the same effort to actually change your world that other people do to vote on American Idol. All I want is this: WAKE UP AND GIVE A SHIT. Open your eyes and pay attention. Don't just swallow the spin, everyone's fucking spinning-- governments, gangsters, the Fortune 500, the guy next door. Do not swallow what they are shoving down your throat. Wake up and give a shit! And for God's sake, please, do not blindly fall for the line of bullshit that I am giving you right now. I do not want you to buy what I am selling! What do I want? I want you to... (crowd: wake up and give a shit!) Nice.
Do your own thinking. Find out where you stand on things that matter to you.
I had this really nice thing that I was gonna say, about how glad I was that you all showed up tonight, and all that shit...let's skip the bullshit. The future is ours to change. We'd better fucking get on it.
It's time to move.
"It all began when I met the person with a cellphone at the parking lot of the LA Police Academy. We then headed over to Echo Park to wait for the phone call (though I got us a little lost along the way). The phone call gave us directions to a nearby parking lot. We milled around in the parking lot for a while before they roped us off into a corner and handed out release forms. The release forms were very entertaining; they said that we didn't know where we were going or what we were doing and that we were over 18 and ok with being filmed. We were searched (all electronics were put back in the car) and then loaded on a rickety bus, in which all of the windows and doors had been blacked out. I was definitely afraid that the bus wasn't going to make it up some of the hills, and there were a few rough bumps. There was a guy with a hand held camera filming us on the bus.
We pulled up to an abandoned warehouse; there were random people standing on the roof and around the entrance. We were led inside; there were more people inside, and AIR flags hanging from the roof. The people inside all had neat black shirts with white AIR flags on them. There also was a mural with the angel, the guy with the face mask, and the robot with a skull inside from the mural in London with "Art is Resistance" written on the bottom. There was a camera when we first walked in and then another one inside. Neil Czerno gave a talk about how we should give a shit and change the world. I was rather cynical about his talk at first, but he redeemed himself by noting that we shouldn't just blindly accept what he was saying and that we should change the world in small ways. He also told us that we were stupid for allowing them to herd us like cattle onto a bus to who knows where with no form of communication (and for carrying around cellphones like tracking devices) and that we'd be dead if they were really after us. After his talk, we were led over the river and through the woods (the warehouse complex was rather large). We were stopped briefly before we entered a room with many lights and lots of equipment.
The opening notes of TBOTE began playing, and I was 3 feet away from Jeordie White on the far end of the line (and 10ft away from Trent Reznor, that's the closest that I'll ever get to NIN). There were about 50 people there, so it was a very small, intimate show. They then played Survivalism, Last, MOTP, WITT, and then The Frail. I'd honestly thought that I was going to have to wait six months or more to hear TBOTE, Survivalism, Last, and WITT live. There were people there filming the show with cameras, and Rob was taking shots of the band. There was a large AIR flag painted on the wall behind the band. I knew that something was going to happen because you could see flashing lights outside during The Frail. Policemen in riot gear (they looked like carbon copies of the ones in the Survivalism video) entered the building. They also had quite a few devices like firecrackers that made noises that sounded like gun shots and that sparked; I got a very good look at them because I was near the door that they used to enter. The resistance personnel pushed us out of the rooms after the cops entered. There seemed to be a few people detained, but I'm not quite sure how they were chosen, because the six people were all cell phone people with their guests. I should have known that something was going to happen after I saw the 20 song set list that included The Perfect Drug. We were herded back on the bus after a run through the complex and driven back to our cars.
The people on the bus told us to be on the lookout for more graffiti, murals, and ads, and that they'd be in touch with the people with the cellphones."
"On the 101 I received a call at around 12:45 or so. They told me that at 6pm, I was to be within a 5 minute drive from the fountain at Echo Park. That they would contact me from there with further instructions, and to stay in the car.
6pm?! What was I going to do until then? Oh boy!
I eventually got to Hollywood, where I met up with Tracy (TrentRoxMe) at around 1:30pm. I picked up my extra pre-ordered copy of Year Zero at the Virgin Megastore on Hollywood and Highland.
From there we decided to get some lunch, which is of course when we went to Pinks Hot dogs (Always Pinks). We enjoyed a nice meal, and then headed to the Mural to bide our time. We checked out the mural for a while, took some photos and then walked up and down Melrose, checking out all the sex shops along the way (There are a LOT). Eventually we walked off most of the weight we gained from Pinks, and started walking back to the Mural.
I got a call from Adrienne, one of the other phone holders, telling me she was in the area. Tracy and I met up with her at Coffee Bean and we walked further along Melrose to the mural. We took some more photos and got to my car. Adrienne's guest (and ride) was still in class so we decided to help her out and give her a ride. We headed to the parking lot Tracy parked in so she could get her sweater. And then, Adrienne lived across the street so we went to her place to use the restrooms and stretch.
After a weird confrontation with some hippy about where I parked in front of her house, we proceeded to Echo Park.
Even though Tracy nearly got us lost, and late, we arrived with 20 minutes to spare. A few phone holders were chilling in the park, so we joined them for a bit. Chatted a bit, and then 5 minutes before 6 we all headed to our cars. Adrienne's roommate met up with us at this point (this perky blonde girl who has never listened to NIN before in her life, and had no idea what was going on beyond the phones).
At around 6:03 they call us and tell us directions to this parking lot about a mile or two from where we were. To park, and bring ourselves and our ID. We pull into a gated parking area in an alley, the gates are all masked with black sheets, so we can't see inside. We park at around 6:20, and get out.
We gather in little groups, Tracy, Jessica, Russ, Adrienne, I, and all our guests. And others. Eventually, like amoebas we all converge into a corner of the parking lot. All 45 of us. They wrap caution tape around the area and tell us that they are gonna start calling our OSR phones and that when that happens, us and our guest must step up and get wanded and patted down to make sure we were free of recording devices. Soon after they started handing out waivers, stating that we may be recorded and that we give up our rights to be recorded, and that we were going to be transported and that we okayed that too.
Fuck it. Signed.
They called my phone, we stepped up, and got a thorough pat down.
We loaded up onto an old coach bus, with windows completely taped up with black paper, and the front had a black curtain so we could absolutely not see where we were headed. After everyone loaded up we headed off to the super secret location.
After an entertaining 15 minute drive, we arrived. We all unloaded at this dilapidated old warehouse. There were OSR members everywhere. They were watching us from the roof, from windows, everywhere. Some of them even had cameras. We walked inside and there were seats and stage.
They sat us down and after a few quiet minutes a guy came out and gave us a very powerful speech about using our voices, waking up and making a difference. Not to necessarily listen to his opinion, but to realize we can form our own, and we have the power to use our voice. You can hear the whole spiel on the footage.
At the end they took us all and made us walk through this labyrinth of a warehouse. Up stairs, under pipes, through dark rooms, on bridges that connected buildings. For about 3-4 minutes. Eventually we arrived at an old elevator. We got inside the elevator, about half of us, the other half had to take the stairs.
The elevator goes down. Slowly...
And as we get further down, someone mentions amp lights.
Someone mentions a stage.
Oh fuck. Oh fuck fuck fuck.
Tracy grabs my arm and grips it hard. The elevator arrives and the door opens.
The OSR guys yell at us "Hurry, move, move!"
We don't need them to tell us, we're already half way there.
And there they are.
NINE INCH NAILS
In the dark, we see their shadows.
And then, before we even all arive to the stage (Which is not so much a stage but a few pieces of plywood, and Tracy and I are RIGHT IN FRONT, less than 3 feet away from touching Trent Reznor, literally), The Beginning of the End begins.
We all start going crazy.
After 6 amazing songs are played (Beginning of the End, Survivalism, Last, March of the Pigs, We're In This Together, and The Frail)....
The SWAT team BUSTS IN.
Alarms blare, the music ends, lights flashing... SWAT comes busting in through doors, through windows, guns and lights pointing at us. We hear gunfire and we all run. The OSR team is telling is to 'run and get to the bus!' and we do. We all run.
And we arrive at the bus. And we're all loaded up and we bolt out of there.
We get taken back to our cars.
And that's it.
They tell us they will be contacting us shortly on our OSR phones.
We all gather around the lot, talk about what we just experienced, and take some photos and we all leave.
The blonde newbie is ecstatic, calling all her friends and telling her all about the experience (Adrienne tells me she asked to have all the CDs burnt, niceeee)
We drop them off and then me and Tracy get Denny's.
We part ways.
And here I am."
According to the flood wreckage, years after the first Open Source Resistance meeting, people associated with the resistance movement were hunted down by the USBM and were often sent to Exterminal in Guam.
Behind the Scenes
Among the attendees was a planted stuntwoman, an attractive blonde meant to be memorable. During the SWAT team raid, the stuntwoman was grabbed from the audience by her hair and dragged out. Aaron North also volunteered to be slammed to the ground by the SWAT team, and you can see a brief clip of this in the large QuickTime movie that was posted to the OSR site.