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The Death of David Pickett

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discussed and debated Amenity's "This Is Our Struggle"roared over the soundsystem Cigarette smoke rolled from one end of the bar to the other Ari had aRacer 5, Jesse a Black Damnation VI They faced the mirror behind the bar, withAri clockingToo bad about the fourth Intifada, Ari said, after a gulp "What withreduced to nuclear chaos, it looks like Gaza is going to get razed", Middle eastep"Dude Iotg that game,” Jesse said, and drank“ You winIconcede youre a better anti-Zionist jew than i amHey, dude, "Ari smirked "No more pissing contest, okay? Your sister istiloking hot chick isrMarriedwhat do you make of Picketts death?ay I heard it, he was down in Baja, working with the PRD-affiliatedAuthentic labor front ari watched theheadsashayed toward the bathroom

And there was something definitely not kosherabout his demisething, it appears that the arellagCartel had a hand inhelping the Federales run him off the road Fortheide of the border has any record of admitting him, alive or dead For a third, USauthorities are remarkably reticent about the circumstances around Davesdeathng thisAri said, finishing his pint He caugwink of astunning brunetthe mirror from behind hSo duderun GiveRomi my regardsJesse ordered a dark Armageddon ale and considered what he'd been toldTwo for and one against David Pickett's death being political And yet heonsidered the odds to be even, he thought as he systematically worked on thepint Stenny Amps was a freeloader and a bum and loved to exaggerate his ownexploits But he was not prone to wild conspiracy theorieseasoned, if darker, analysis of the political implications of Pickett's passing wasmore than offset by the tinfoil-hat idiocy of Angie Markham's alcohol-fueledconspiratorial ruminations SPStay fucking right there, Jesse Steinfeld! Angie's piercing screech cutthrough the dense barroom din, even as L7's "This Aint the stShe was small, barely over five feet, but Jesse could see herfrom across the room trying to shove her way through the unyielding throng Heguzzled the rest of his beer in record time as he lost sight of her, but he could

till hear her " Don' t you fucking leaveHe ducked down from his stoowove his way, crouching toward thedazzling light of the open door An agonizing minute later, he reached the door,the day, and freedom He looked back to see Angie standing at the doorwaydistraught Jesse raced down the sidewalk and turned the corner on fillmore hean past the grocery store murals, past Laussat Street, and past more muralsadorning a Cambodian restaurant Only then did he stop to catch his breathIt was late afternoon, approaching evening His smartphone kept ringingff An airbus wheezed down Fillmore He grabbed a ride byswiping his phone's Clipper app and settled into a seat next to an elderly maneffects of his three pints of strong ale, so when he switchedto wasdressed in a suit and tie and reading audibly from a bible JeMuni train atchurch headed for the park and the demonstration, he was feeling no pain TheIto that fog bank aboyPeaksThe Muni rattled up along the west side of Dolores Park, giviesse a viewof the rally in progress on the green soccer fields He disembarked Parrotseeled overhead, chirping and shrieking

He saw Toby Barnabas get off thetrain, too He was a tall lanky Mohawked man he knew from hanging around theperiphery of Pickett's militant circlesth a leathecket sporting the familiar Mohawked skulls of The Exploited,s Fuck theSystem album Toby walked, chatting with his uiber-Goth girlfriend, CynthiaTank gon her leather jacket They did not see jesselly Not rightbought four Bostocream donuts Then he circled around the rally, listening to the speeches asdarkness descended Perhaps four hundred people were standing around A copdrone lazily wheeled above the gatheUnlike the mob that immedidown the encroaching PUD earlier in the day, an air of impending trouble hungthee crow-Masny, Jesse nevepelled to stay by the threat ofHe thoughtw Ari moseamong the rabble, but lost sight of him a wind had started to whip up, blowingsnippets of words and sentences away Much of the rest echoed unintelligiblyaround the park, along with Public Enemy's"Party for Your Right to FightDavid Pickett was an enemy of the state, a target of every Americanpolice, security, and military agencyThe gathering was overwhelmingly young about evenly male and female,allblactobacco throughout those assembled People kept arriving as Jesse stayed at themargin Toby and Cynthia were in the thick of itckett's legacy was to stand for the helpless, to stand with the

downtrodden, to stand against the rich and powerful David Pickett was a friendof the impoverished multitude and an enemy of the wealthy few dThe crowd had swollen to well over a thousand and many were masked up Itwas fully dark now The clinking of glass bottles accompanied the smegasoline A tight knot of miscreants surrounded Toby and snickered at one of hisokes Toby flashed something, quickly and surreptitiously, then hid it in histime to avenge our fallen friend, our murdered brother, our ascomrade! It's time to wreak our havoc against the cops, against capital andstate, against all the powers-that-be! It's time to MOVEwere donned black bandannas were tied aroundfaces Full black-bloc mode

And the mob surged toward 18th and Dolores,oward rows of businesses toward the nearest police statiothree, four; this is fucking clasGlow sticks, flashlights, and lasers pierced the gloom Here and there, a fierytorch burned Jesse joined the crowd at the tail end as the crowd occupied themiddle of the street A second Pud joined the first, and both kept tabs on theRacist, sexist, anti-gay SFPD go awayTires popped, and car windows shattered Car alarms howled and squealedBystanders watched the unruly march from upper-story windows Gas masksappeared Lasers lanced up from the protest onto the UAVS, the crowd hoping toeep the drones blindedWhat do we wantDead“ When do we want thenNowsse could see the crowd marching toward the mission streetce stationHe moved to the sidewalk, where he watched the police quickly reinforce theline of officers behind the standing wall of steel barricades between the stationand the mob the black-clad rabble roared in responseWhose streets?”Our streetThe mob used paint bombs, bricks, bottles, rocks, metal hardware, andmarily against thedrones Dressed in fire-resistant riot suits, the cops raised their shields andsprayed the crowd with tear gas Pivoting UAVs also let loose a rain of pepperbombs and flash-bang grenades By then, Jesse had moved to the opposite

dewalk and pushed his way down Valencia, past the riot proper and out ofange of the gas The second wave involved smoke bombs to obscure the moband people hurling Molotov cocktails, until the line of cops appeared engulfed inflames One pud veered away and crash-landed behind the statshields and fire-retardant uniforms, plus a constantspray of sodiumbicarbonate from nozzles in the staThen the police launched liquid pepper spray and high-power microwavedesigned to dispense excruciating paintracranial sound The hpm antennas swiveled down from the roof andpowered up with subsonics The air above the riot rippled ominously The minion redoubled thestiles the paint and smoke bombsand the molotovsplus their ace: glitter bombs Thrown high into the air, theod estreamers, sheets of lightning, ball lightning erupted between falling glitter andthe microwave weapons in violent claps and crackles until the microwavedevices short-circuited and the police station roof caught fire Two PUDs shotsparks and careened into the buildingThe battle for the station proved only a diversion however As soon as theglitter bombsoff, the cops had to respond to their burning biorganized assault turned into absolute chaos as hordes of black-clad rioters ranto the heart of valencia street 's restaurant row Cars stores windowsrestaurants, pedestrians--everything was fair game Diners, indoors and out, ranhe sound of breaking glass punctuated the night Smoke bombsblew up, roping the night air with thick, acrid clouds Rioters brandishing pipesand wooden clubs felled gawkers and bystanders Gasoline bombs blossomedto conflasBroken glass carpeted the streetsesse ran through the spreading anarchy hoping to escapegasped, and his eyes wateredd, he froze

The plate-glass windows werebroken, but the blinking neon signage-"Spencerasn’tAbuman, dressed in chefs apron, barred the door to the partially trashed, emptyrestaurant The restaurateur held a pump-action shotgun across his chest "Comeone step further, assholes, he bellowed "And you'll be eating this!The crowd surrounded him in a half-circle, taunting him, butspectful distance Suddenly,anky, Mohawked man stepped into thebetween them He wore a black balaclava and his black leatThe exploited Fuck the System " Hthetty wagyou paid me and my fellow workers! Here's for David Pickett! "He yanked aGlock from his jacket and fired 9mm rounds into the restaurateur One TwoThree Four

TwOBloody sunrise seeped along the eastern sky Jesse huddled on the fire escapeItside his apartment To the northwest, the sights and sounds of the riot fadedHe hadn 't slept all night Terrible images burned his memory The guIflashing under streetlights Theible shots Each shot loud, tramurder through the dark airshooters arm recoiling The restaurateurcollapsing The smell of cordite The smell of blood Blood flowing across thesidewalk The shotgundewalJesse ran Everybody ran

He didn' t know how or when he got back home toapartmentremembered cowering in the daified CryingPrayingThe morning was painfully clear Not a shred of overcast in the sharp bluesky, not a wisp of fog over Twin Peaks The sun sluiced golden over East Bayshills Jesse unsteadily grabbed the railing to his fire escape and pulled himselfhe stumbledhis apartment, fumbled for the liglkitchenette, and turned on the coffeemaker He noticed the vaguely familiarAwfulpened the bag It was filled with crumbled donut cake, flaked chocolateicing, and smeared vanilla custard The stink punched him in the nose Jesseaned over the sink and vomitedcontinued to throonto the inoleum anclutched his aching stomachHe got back onto his feetand shaking he turned on the faucrinsed away the puke until thesmell of coffee replaced the rank odor oTime to get out into the morning and to the day's job Jesse showered, hosedomit from his mouth, put on an orange Burning Bush T-shirt and a graysweatshirt, and hefted an empty thermos He bought copies of the SF Chronicleand san Jose mercury News and drank half of the coffee before settling onto abench at the Mission Playground and Pool a police UAV floated along thestreetLocal Militant's Death Triggers Mission Ricthe chronicleproclaimed, whereas the Mercury News' headline was more blunt:"One Dead,326 Injured, 144 Arrested in Anarchist Riot He read the reports on theValencia Street riot, including the opinion pieces about the

The old, four-Story, red brick building occupied much of the block Kncthe redstone labor Temple, or simply the redstone Building, the structurewas home to scores of labor unions, nonprofit organizations, and various andsundry artists Jesse entereddbDigilock He had access thanks to his friendship with graphicer antsilkscreen artist Marco Loyola, who shared a fourth floor,westwith an artist collective calling itself Chicanosaurus Once in the funky, postersted lobby, he climbed the stairs He tread carefully down thefourth-floor hall because marco's fellow collective members were notwelcoming of Jesses white ass The door chimed with the opening notes ofVictor Jaras"Venceremos Fortunately, the musty office was unoccupiedesse had studied Library and Information Science at City College, internedDigital Archiving at UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, and had remainedsporadically employed ever since He'd met Marco through the william JamesWork Association, a worker-run temp agency operated by david Pickett's DUat the onset of the Marco' s multiple sclerosis Jesse started working for himscanning digitizing, massaging, and cataloguing the artist's work and paperssing Photoshop software and Macintosh computers Marco used the officpace primarily for storage of his prints and files, as advanced Ms now kept himconfined to his tiny Inner Mission cottageJesse had spent hours taking in the contents of the office while working forMarco

The floor-to-ceiling filing system that took up most of one wall; flat filedrawers and vertical hanging racks, constructed ofThe iconography in photography, silkscreening, painting, lithography, evergraffiti depicted historical political, religious, and artistic figlthe amerad out the contents of his knapsack over the work table bythe window the

n lifted the window shades mindful not to disturb the reflectorelescothe bart plaza a block away Pen-and-inkdrawings painstakingly rendering aspects of the plaza were taped on the windowambs near the telescopeThe Fetch picked up a Wi-Fi signal immediately and Marco'spasswordworked The office boombox had a mixtape of corridos and nortenos he playedscrupulously labeling and alphabetizing a cardboard box full of document chw He put in a solid two hours on Marco's archiving project In the process che discovered a cryptic item One CD in a worn white sleeve bore a dingy Post-itd:“ HOOLIGAN-X= D PICKETT?” CDs weld technologyand electronic players were ancient history, so he was at a loss He put the sleeveand its contents into the knapsack before turning his attention to Pickett and thet He looked up a number of local news websites, laid out the pages ripped



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This is a work of fiction Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the productsof the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner Any resemblance to actual persons, livingead, or actual events is purely coincidentalSBN:978-0-692-15710-762 Mile press84 Castro Street #107 San Francisco, CA 94114SS com

For karmyen grace

ONEDavid Pickett's death upset a lot of peopleJesse steinfeld heard abistate between sleep and wakefulness in his Mission District shoebox apartmentwhen his smartphone rang with the incessant guitar thrum of Leonard Cohen'sPartisan " He fumbled for the phone on the headboard as a breeze played withrapes and sunlightYo,” Jesse answeredDave pickett is dead " the shrill voice at thed belonged toAngie Markham "Dave was driving back from Baja with friends when their carflipped His abdomen was sliced open and he was bleeding out The Mexicanauthorities tried to medevac him, but he was declared doa at the hospital Theyfinally did"Huh? "He grunted, still chasing the tail end of a dream "Who did what toAssassinated dave, Ansd "CIA, Fbl nSA

AFL-CIO whoeverHavent you been listeningiked angieway of speakingeven when he'd had a brief relationship with her two years ago He eased out ofhis double bed and walked three steps into the kitchenette, where he turnedthe programmed coffeemaker He walked a half-dozen steps back the other wayIto the bathroom for a quick shower and shave, washing away the remnants oflast night's Retromingent concert at the Korova BarJesse knew David from the city's mcene and the bay area's politicalmilieu They'd met, in passing at the Skeleton Club back when he was stillleeping with Angie At a party, happening or concert he was aware ofcrew as the storm on the horizon and of david as the eye of that storm Jesse hadstumbled upon a provocative rally turned street fight staged by David and hiscohorts in support of bike messengers'rights a year ago, and had purchased sixdoses of a powerful designer psychedelic, jamrax, from David at Stumpy's sixmonths ago But Jesse still considered him only an acquaintance at bestThe aroma of colombian coffee saturatedent by the time heweled off He poured fragrant coffee into an oversized Foamy-the -squirebefedressed from a tiny closet in theHe put on black Converblack

Catholic Spit black-and-white band t-shirt, and a black dickies hoodthen took his coffee onto the fire escape and relaxedDavid Pickett had been a fixture of Bay Area progressive politics for the pastHe had a solid reputation as a community organizer, labor militant,and political powerhouse Yet David's notoriety in edge politics was even morepronounced as a commie impresario, a left of the left raconteur, and an anarclprovocateur He was the founder of what's Left?- an extremely populartile social networking site, andint-version zine withcirculation approaching two million His powerful speech duringuckWork, Fuck Borders"conference three years ago had gone viral, making him astar of the emerging revary Synarky movement And his poprpodcast series "FSU averaged more than eight million unique monthlyse soaked in the afternoon sun as he gradually caffeinated himself Theweather pattern was standard for San Francisco in midsummer; the overcast hadburned off, leaving blue skies The gray fog bank out past Twin Peaks lookedlike a line of surf threatening to break The smells from a taqueria downblock wafted up to the fire escape The thirty-six-ounce mug, having declaredSquirrelly rage”tothDavid pickett had also founded drinkers united international

an anti-unionof sorts inspired by Oscar Wilde's quip that "Work is the curse of the drinkingclasses Under his leadership, DUI gained prominence through its tireless reliefk for andof theafter the 2021 earthquakets various front activities included mobile hiring halls and interest-specificsocial clubs, dui became infamous however for a number of wildcat actionsing software coders, fast food workers,borers sex workers and thelike--actions with a flair for the spectacular that often turned violent Theviolent assault on the Bohemian grove in Monte rio by dul was the stuff ofJesse rinsed the empty mug in the sink and set up next morning 's drip, theook the stairs down to the street he had a freelance archiving job tomorrow butnothing that interfered with his boho lifestyle First stop, Sam's Sons Deli foreir Reuben sandwich Second stop was Stumpy's Pub for a pint or three ofsome of his frenemies and enemies, were already beginning to gatherDavid'salhappenstance He started on a refreshing walk up Guerrero, past the homelessencampment stirring to life at the corner of 24thAfter the 2021 tech bubble collapse out-of-work techies fled the mission

District, which effectively halted the neighborhood's contentious gentrificationBut the popular movement to declare autonomy for the Mission District, andcall itself the"Mission Commune, " had so far failed The City of San Franciscodisregardedns referenda elections demonstrations and street violencenstead, it increased surveillance and harassment of the indigent and destituteespecially around rich areas The Liberty Hill Historic District ahead was justchly neighborhood of mini-mansions and upscale condos in the midst ofthat escalated inth from east to west untias virtuallywalled enclave catercorner to Mission Dolores Park No surpriseresidents paid dearly for a variety of private security services to protectthemselves from the rabble living and breathing a mere street corner away

Topamong them were patrols by unmanned aerial vehiclesJesse saw the drone whir around the corner from 22nd street onto guerrerotoward Alvarado bearing logos for Ambassador Security and Bank of americaFucking PUD, "he said under his breath UAVs were often called PUDs, anacronym for the public-or private-urban drones deployed with increasingnd around the bay area like the word drf pud was asomewhat rude term that had entered the vernacular People who lived in thebeyond the general dislike for being watched in public spaces Except duringots, however, few people messed with heavily armedenforcement uavPrivate urban drones were another matter, even though more of the private oneswere allowed to carry and use weapons, thanks to California's castle doctrineThis one didThe reason that the drone ventured beyond its turf wasgreen lasers from farther down Guerrero pinned the PUD, barely visible inyet effective in causing the drone to react Instead of retreatinghowever, the uav held its ground, hovering above the led streetlightCease and desist a mechanical male voice boomed from the drone, youare in violation of section-Five more lasers targeted the drone ridpower catapults, stone bows, and human power to hurl rocks, pieces of brick,bottles, marbles, ball bearings, nuts, and bolts at the dronepummeled by projectiles, again the drone refused to retreat, for whatever reasonnd deThe pud crackled lost the fints before spiraling down to smash into two parked carsA roar of triumph greeted the Pud's crash and two dozen street people ran

for the drones twisted wreckage An SUV with Ambassador Security markingsskidded into the intersection and three men brandishing guns piled out But thecrowd brandished firearms, too The dozen individuals not holding guns begangging the broken drone down the street, screaming"Our streets! and"Backthe fuck off!The crowd moved toward a pickup truck that had just pulled up Three armedmen hauled the drone into the truck as the security guards yelled, "Stop,By the time two copoff and the other armed civilians melted into the neighborhood with the rest ofthe crowd, leaving both public and private cops frustrated talking to each othere reinforcements arrived he circumvented theconfrontation's denouement with Sams Sons Deli once again in mind, replayingthe fight as he picked up his sandwich A flock of iridescent green-and-redparrots squawked in the palm trees above him as he walked along doloresStumpy's was a dive bar, pure and proud, in the Lower Haight east of theWiggle Featuring a selection of sixty-plus draft and ninety-plus bottled beershad been unofficial headquarters for dui, and david pickett for the past fouryears Angie Markham also kept propaganda at the bar for her more staidPrecarious uwhich was a direct reaction to dui and to david's boldrabble-rousing pstyle

The rivalry between them often tried loyaltAngie was eighteen years older than Jesse, and their relationship had been rockyShe drank heavily, and was often passed out by evening He found her in herg, frantically brushing off imaginary spidedesperately searching for her car keys and the money to buy more alcoholShaken and unnerved, never having seen a case of the dts, Jesse neverthelesshad the presence of mind to hide her purseBlatz’s“ Fuk Shit Up” blasted from the open door in the red-and- blackfacade Jesse entered the dark bar, the atmosphere stinking of beer, sweatigarettes, and vomit, found a stool at the bar, and placed the sandwich on tlworn wooden countertopbe? "the heavily tattooed bartender askedPint of Lucifer, "Jesse said, and unwrapped his sandwich As he suspected,a sizable crowd in the back was talking up david Pickett's death and the radicaldemo in dolores park later that evening That and the takedown of the pud hedidn't recognize anyone so he started eating in peace The pint arrived Sam'sheJesse looked back up, Stenny Amps had materialized on the barstool next to himLong time, Jesse, Tenny said Jesse noted the covetous glance toward thesandwich and the lengthy longing look at the beer The stench of Stenny's crusty

othing assaulted his nose "Free Speech" by Citizen Fish playedbackgroundows the band going? "Jesse asked, quickly drainingpint "Whaname again?Dead Girls Can't Say No, " Tenny said, and watched as Jesse started in onther half of the Reuben " We've got a gig next Friday, at the ChatsubGood to hear it, " he said between bites "So, what's your take on DavidPickett?off-roading with a bunch of his Drinking United cadre in the Sonoran DesertFancy Yamaha motocross bikes He tooktainedof damage fromrocks, had a lot of internal injuries Died from an internal hemorrhage in thebdomen end ofot a goddamn nefarious thing aboutsse finished up the sandwich Glad to hear the real story Lots ofrumors going roundWell, I got the genuine report, "Stenny said "You heard about taking downthat PUD? I was right therewas half a block away, watching the whole thing

Jesse crumpled thesandwich paper and stuffed it into the bagOh, wasn't that something " Stenny offered a weak grin, then dodgedJesses eyes "Ya know, I'm a bit strapped for cash until our show, and I waHold that thought, Jesse said, and stood up from his stool, abandoning anempty pint glass and crumbsbe back got to take a wicked leakwhen Jesse got to the unisex bathrooms at mid-bar and turned back stenyhad evaporated Fucking moocher There wasnt much of a line, and he didntofback for another beAMoser came out of one of the toiletsWell, well, if it isn't Jesse the Zionist, "Ari said, with a sly smile " HowsRomi was Jesse's pretty younger sister whom Ari had been eager to sex up awhile back The man's desire to sleep with her had been inflamed by her makingiya and then joining up with the IdF for her mandatory military service, whereUS/Israeli nuclear operation Wrath of GodRomi is out of the army, Jesse said "Shes married and has a babyShame,” Ari mused" Buy you a beer?”They were still on the edge of the scrum in which Pickett's death was