The Assassinated Press
Elderly Up In Arms:
Underground Group Responds To Greenspan Remarks With More Violence:
Federal Reserve's Assault On Social Security, Wall Street Crime, Corporate Greed Foment Class Warfare
By YASO ADIODI
The Assassinated Press
Feb. 26, 2004.
Canton, Ohio--- It was like being in a Costa-Gavras movie or just a farmer in El Salvador in the 1980's or a go between in Falujjah. Around dawn I met 3 men, all in their eighties at a Denny's in Canton, Ohio. They introduced themselves to me as 'Che', 'Giap' and 'Augusto'. Real names were not used. After having a grand slam breakfast, we stuffed plastic Safeway bags at the all-you-can-eat breakfast bar with scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and skipped out on the check. "We have to conserve our money for gas," commented Che.
The sun was just coming up, surveiling us from behind empty warehouses and auto body shops as we made our way to a secret rendezvous point. "Here, put this on," said Che as he handed me a Adidas bandanna and made sure it was tightly affixed over my eyes. Someone, probably 'Augusto who was driving,' turned on the radio, but immediately Che snapped it off saying, "Keep it off. He," alluding to me "might be able to use it to figure out where we're going. I don't think we can expect much sympathy from these 20 something motherfuckers."
The situation was tense. The day before, John 'Turk' Gavarian, an 87 year old rubber factory worker from Akron who had been diagnosed with lung cancer had burst into the corporate offices of Goodyear Tire and detonated a bomb strapped to his body killing himself and a half dozen of Goodyear's top executives including its CEO, Robert Keegan. Another elderly man, Elroy Mann 89, also from Akron, created, what is believed by police to be a diversion, by stabbing a security guard, 28 year old Felix Walters. Mann then turned the knife on himself cutting his own throat. The octogenarian and former day laborer bled to death at the scene. Both were reported to be members of the Grey Wolves.
Now, not more than 24 hours after the attack, I'm riding with three of the top Lieutenants of the Grey Wolves, a well-organized domestic terrorist group who, as far as is known, is made up exclusively of senior citizens many of them well into their eighties.
Blindfolded I say to no one in particular, "Tell me about 'Turk' Gavarian."
"What's to tell?" Che's voice chimed in, "He got injured twice on the job. The second time he got mandatory retirement and half-benefit. The company insurance didn't cover medical care for his daughter who had leukemia. She died. Six months later his wife died. On top of the bum foot from the jobsite accident, he got diagnosed with liver cancer. He couldn't work. He had bills. Lost his house. Began rooming with an associate of ours, squeaking by on Social Security. Got radicalized. And boom!"
"Pretty typical stuff for our organization," came the gravely baritone of Augusto.
"What about Elroy," I asked.
"Elroy?" continued Augusto. "Elroy worked as a day laborer. He worked a hod until he was 80, but then he broke his hand. He didn't have any health insurance. His wife had a series of strokes and she's in a nursing home on Medicaid in Mitchellville. He ate dog food so he could save the cab fare to get there once a month. No bus service. Toward the end 'Giap' here took him. That's how he heard about our little group. His wife died about 8 months ago. The Wolves paid for her burial. And Elroy volunteered for yesterday's mission."
"That makes 67 corporate suits we've taken out, but who's counting," Giap said with a laugh.
"But you've killed dozens of innocent people in the process," I said,
"So. What's your point?," came back Augusto's baritone.
"What about you, Augusto? What's your story?" I asked.
"Fuck off. I was against bringing you out here to begin with," he replied.
As far as anyone knows, the Grey Wolves had their birth in Michigan among retirees who had been denied their pensions, lost their homes and health care benefits and/or were forced to live on social security and charity. Before the underground was organized many were homeless. But now what homes the radical seniors possess can be shelter for as many as a dozen members virtually all men in their 80's and 90's. Most are military veterans and terminally ill. Many are very familiar with guns, having been avid hunters and target shooters. And a smaller cadre have extensive experience with communications and explosives and such skills as operating heavy equipment. It was a retired heavy equipment operator, Carl Willis aka 'Lumumba', who commandeered a tank from a National Guard Post in Madison, Wisconsin and crashed it into a motorcade carrying executives from Milwaukee Tool & Dye killing 6 people including MT&D director of public relations, Edward Bernays.
So far the group has struck in Madison, Milwaukee, Detroit, Akron, Lima, Ohio, Cleveland, Springfield, Illinois and as far away as Arlington, Texas, Scottsdale, Arizona, Atlanta, Georgia, Daytona Beach, Florida and Washington DC. Their targets are corporate executives, often men nearly their own ages or a generation younger that they hold responsible for the abject poverty and degradation that many seniors and their families must endure before they die.
"Greedy, murderous motherfuckers," Augusto bellows in a voice, that in the darkness, sounds like a roar from a man half his 84 years. "They all deserve to die."
In an ominous development, some members of the Grey Wolves have circumvented the NAFTA and GATT trade agreements by meeting with union organizers in El Salvador and Mexico and leftist and Muslim guerrillas in Guatemala, Colombia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are also rumored to be raising working capital from the sale of illegal firearms and explosives donated by sympathetic members of the NRA and, after the escape of two high level forgers, retired Treasury Department engravers, the Gray Wolves have been implicated in currency and T-bill forgery.
"We're growing. No fuckin' doubt about that," offers Che. "But why? We're like every revolutionary group that isn't bought by some international power like the U.S. We're not stooging for anyone. So why the fuck would we want to live like this? Why would our friends in Central and South America want to live in the fuckin' jungle? Answer, we're forced to by our circumstances and the kleptocrats that created them. That's what we can't get across to you journalists. This ain't no level playing field no matter how many of these elitist motherfuckers we take down with us. We were fucked first. Our families were fucked. Our mothers, wives, children were fucked. We die miserable deaths while those fat pimps steal everything that isn't nailed down. And you people do nothin'."
"Let's dump the little fucker right here, Che," said Augusto. "You can tell from his shit, he never plans to be in our circumstance, which means he plans to be in theirs. He's a sellout. How old are you?"
"28 and he's already got it all figured out. I say, we kill him here. Send a message," Augusto continued.
"We're pullin' your leg, kid," Che laughed.
"That's right. We'll take you. God knows why," Giap said. "You gonna give us a sympathetic hearing? Don't do that. We don't want your sympathy." And the car fell into silence.
It was after dusk when we arrived at our destination but I didn't know if we had traveled in a circle and we're a mile from the Denny's or if we had crossed three state lines. After the scarf was removed it took a while for my eyes to adjust. By then I'd been led to a small three room house among a cluster of other small houses and bungalows interspersed between a half a dozen Quonset Huts. Che and Augusto were gone. Giap remained flanked by a man who looked to be in his mid-eighties. He shook my hand and gestured toward a seat across from him at a bare small table. Giap pulled up a chair to my right, slightly back and out of sight.
"Well, what do you want to know?" the old man asked with a gesture of questioning outstretched hands.
"First of all, you know my name. What's yours?"
. "Call me Mao," the elderly gentleman replied. "A skinny Mao."
He continued, "You see, Mao at my age was in charge. He'd won a revolution. This is not a revolt. We fucked ourselves because we bought into the American dream. While poor people around the world fought for their lives, we paid taxes to Ivy League plutocrats who sent us, our fathers and our sons to kill them. So fuck us. Now, when we're fucked, we turn to the world's poor for a little solidarity."
"If its not a revolt what is it?"
"It's an act of contrition. And it's a hobby."
"Yeah. A hobby. Beats watercolors and lookin' up the day nurses skirts. But even when you're dyin', it's still a hobby that requires balls."
"What about Alan Greenspan's recent remarks about dissolving Social Security and making the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent."
"We know what Greenspan's about. Social Security's dead. It was a ponzi scheme anyway, set up by that plutocrat, Roosevelt, so the country wouldn't go commie. You didn't need no demographer to know that the population was going to grow faster than the fund especially given the cheap labor needed to pamper those fat asses. When FDR's social programs don't pull the U.S. out of depression, he ignores all available intelligence about a Japanese attack including dispatches from Joseph Grew and gets his economy reviving war. Then the saltpeter wears off and all the horndogs come home and start screwing their brains out. But by then FDR's dead. As a good plutocrat, he kept the money flowing into the right capitalist coffers. Now, its people like Greenspan's turn to pick up the hammer and tell people what they can and cannot have.
"How many members does the Grey Wolves currently have?"
"Potentially millions. Billions."
"I didn't ask that. How many members are on your membership roles?"
"You don't get it do you. Do you think the attorney general can go to Marion and get some guy doing 20 years to turn in his pop? How many members do we have," he added derisively. "As many members as the fat, rich kleptocrats want us to have. And believe me they are glutting the world market with the angry and dispossessed. We don't send kids like you to die for us. We do our own dying and we choose to take our tormentors with us. You'd be surprised where some of our support comes from."
"NRA? China? Trade Unions?"
"I said, you'd be surprised."
"So you have no revolutionary agenda."
"Sometimes just changing the equation a little bit is enough to cause what you punks might call a revolution . But no, we don't select our targets as part of some grand strategy. We watch. We wait. We study. Sometimes we pick a target because some of our members remember the s.o.b. when they worked for his company. Occasionally, the bastards show up on network news. The alternative press is a good source. The right, though helpful as far as training and materiel tends to see the Fed as the bogie man when they're only stooges for the kleptocracy. We go right to the source."
"Is that what Jimmie Fitzgibbon and Estaban Ruiz did at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta?"
"Two federal reserve officials and a half a dozen Atlanta bankers and developers blown to MacNuggets? Yeah. I'd say that was going to the source. Interview over."
I bunked with eight other men in a 2 bedroom bungalow. Every one else was at least in their late seventies. At least, two were on oxygen and it smelled like incontinence was the norm. Two men in the kitchen seemed to be assembling remote control land mines like the ones used by the resistance in Iraq. A case of C-4 lay open on the floor. A third man was assembling and testing fuses. They didn't speak when I pressed them.
Breakfast was beans and rice or some of the Denny's purloined the morning before though I did, indeed, see an old man open a can of Alpo and attack it with relish, washing it down with draughts of black coffee. From the back porch I could see four men carrying what looked like a corpse in a blanket out to an area of scrub likely a 'martyr' who died before he saw any action.
By nine I was back in the car with Augusto and Che, my hands tied this time and my faced covered by a ski mask put on in reverse.
Almost as though Che could read my mind, he turned to me and said. "That guy we buried this morning. Cancer. He's gonna be missed. He built the bomb we used in Milwaukee."
We didn't reach our destination until nearly ten in the evening. Augusto untied me and pulled off the ski mask. The air was cold against my sweating face. I blinked several times and asked, "Where are we?" We'd agreed I be dropped off back at the same Denny's we rendezvoused at in the morning, but this was a granite quarry towering above a dormant brick works.
Without a word Augusto and Che got back into the car and drove off. After an all night trek I learned I was outside Mena, Arkansas 40 miles from Little Rock. Later that day I learned that two elderly men had machine gunned the CEO and the Comptroller of Diebold Corporation as well as 5 members of their security team in Canton, Ohio less than a mile from the Denny's I met the Grey Wolves at the day before. All seven men were fatally wounded.
The evening news identified the two assailants as 80 year old retired machinist Dennis Zygmunt and 83 year old retired baker Antonio 'Tony' Giambattista both killed in the attack. I knew the men as 'Giap' and 'Mao'.