October 04, 2006

Iowa: Anarchy-themed posters prompt police investigation

Des Moines police say they will investigate the recent discovery of posters and graffiti apparently linked to anti-government groups.

Investigators say they don't want to be caught off-guard if the messages represent more than simple vandalism.

One of the posters advises: "Punch cops in the face and get away with it." It includes the message: "If you treasure liberty - if you hunger for justice - if you crave revenge - join the Anarchists" and makes a reference to a Web site, www.crimethinc.com, that promotes anarchy and the use of graffiti to spread the word.

Police want to know if the propaganda, found on utility poles, utility boxes and bridges, is the work of a lone vandal or an organized group.

"We'll be trying to find out more about them," said Lt. Mark Morgan of the police intelligence unit.

Morgan said all such language that might represent a viable threat is taken seriously.

Anarchists believe in the overthrow of organized government. One of the posters found in Des Moines depicts a group of white people around a black couple with the words: "Be careful with each other - so you can be dangerous together."

The latest anarchist posting was found over the weekend on a MidAmerican Energy box in the 1400 block of Grand Avenue. It was accompanied by hand-written messages in yellow marker such as: "Make it all crash & let it all burn." Officials said a power washer will be needed to remove the messages.

"We're not surprised these posters showed up where they did," Morgan said. "We've seen them downtown before. It's not a huge trend or anything, as far as we know. So it's difficult to know what their beliefs are. If they're like a lot of these other groups; they have a few people who know what they are talking about and others who are just looking to join a group at all."


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