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> Interview with a Neo-Anarchist, material from my game
Backgammon
post Oct 17 2009, 01:57 AM
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Ain Soph Aur
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Just wrote this for my game, but reading it over I don't see why others couldn't make use of it. Hope you enjoy!
*****

The New York Intelligencer sat down with Jason Almaeda, an influential member of the Neo-Anarchist movement based out of the Lower East Side (aka “The Pitt”).

Intelligencer: Mr Almaeda, can you tell our readers what the Neo-Anarchist movement is about?

Jason Almaeda: I’d love to. The Neo-Anarchist movement is actually a broad term that encompasses a lot of causes. We use the prefix “Neo” because the Anarchist ideology has a lot oh history behind it, but the cause we fight for now is different that the one our forefather fought for. It’s an old idea being applied in a very modern context. And that idea, fundamentally, hasn’t changed much. Neo-Anarchists strive for equality, justice and freedom.

I: How do you feel the world we live in lacks these things, especially in a place like New York?

JA: To anyone in the movement, anyone that has had his eyes open, it’s painfully obvious we live in a very unequal society. Particularly in New York - Manhattan to be specific. The so-called government has taken our city away from us. Why can’t I walk in certain neighbourhoods without sirens going off everywhere and police being dispatched to escort me away? Why must I travel at all time with my commlink on and broadcasting my Pass, so the authorities can know my every move? I have lived in New York my whole life, and I have never seen the Corporate Court building. Because I’m not allowed there. I have no “business” there. Isn’t it my city? What happened to my freedom, to go where I please? I have committed no crime, and intend to commit none. Yet I am supervised by some guardian, like a prisoner.

I: The advantages of living in such a safe city, versus these minor tradeoffs, can indeed be quite a debate. Can you tell me about the Lower East Side, or The Pitt as it is known?

JA: The Pitt is citizens reclaiming their city. Inside its borders, people are free to live their lives. There is no sensor net. No restricted areas. No fascist paramilitary police officer to bully and beat you. We trade and help each other out. We barter with money, yes, but also with favours and expertise. We are what this great city can be. Each citizen is responsible for himself and his community. Each person is his own leader. We are no children to be put to bed by overbearing parents. We are empowered individuals.

I: I understand there are few services. Running water, electricity, infrastructure maintenance, garbage disposal… People live in unsanitary conditions. Manhattan Development Consortium officials have often condemned the area as a potentially dangerous epidemic epicentre. Further, it is also more than rumour that The Pitt, however you make it sound, is a well known den of criminals. How do you respond to this?

JA: The MDC hates our community. In their perfectly controlled environment, we are the free agents, those that will not be told what to do. Their allegations are exaggerated or simply false. Through our community efforts, our homes remain clean, well maintained and well run. We are far better off that many of our brothers right outside the city gates, in desolate neighbourhoods in Queens, Brooklyn or The Bronx. What has the city done for them? As to being criminals, it is easy to be labelled as such by those of make up the laws.

I: Neo-Anarchists are widely portrayed as thugs with guns, ready to resort to acts of terrorism to have their way. There have, in fact, been many acts of vandalism, terrorism and violence linked to Neo-Anarchist affiliate groups, groups often operate out of The Pitt. What do you have to say about that?

JA: The MDC has resorted to propaganda, fear-mongering and smear campaigns to discredit our movement, and our ideals. We are branded as terrorists, the ultimate bogey-men, barbarians at the gate, ready to pounce out of the darkness and plunge the city back into the nightmare of the post-Quake horrors. These are all lies. We are the sons and daughters of the New Yorkers that remembered this great city as a place of freedom. The MDC is terrified that more join our cause and force them out of their tyranny. They are terrified that people hear our truths, and wake up from their slumber. We do not need the MDC. We are free men and women able to take our own decisions and take care of our own city.

I: The authorities have often talked about reclaiming The Pitt. Do you believe this may one day happen?

JA: The Pitt cannot be reclaimed. Freedom cannot be reclaimed. Ideology cannot be reclaimed. History has always shown that citizens will not suffer oppressiveness and tyranny for ever. But we are ready to defend ourselves should and willing to give our lives for freedom, as the forefathers of this great country once did.

I: You talked about your freedom being limited, of not being able to go wherever you want, but are you not also depriving citizens from your neighbourhood by barricading your borders?

JA: Not true! Our borders are open to any citizens. The Pitt is perfectly safe for any visitor, casual or otherwise, and one can purchase many items in our free markets. We welcome any visitor. And please do come, and see what a free city really is.

I: Mr Almaeda, thank you for your time.

JA: It is I that thanks you for listening.

>>>If Neo-Anarchists are a Shadowrunner’s best friend, The Pitt is a runner’s home away from home. Cops won’t chase you there and you can go about your business without the suffocating security apparatus of the MDC breathing down on you. And their markets do have many interesting items, if you know what I mean.
>>>> 2XL

>>>Why *hasn’t* the MDC obliterated The Pitt, anyway?
>>> Glitch

>>>There could be many reasons. It is darn practical to be able to point your finger at a boogey-man. You do need an enemy to justify all this security, though the Barbarians At The Gate that are the other Burroughs also do that well. Could be that with all the shadow activity going on in the city, a no-man’s land can come in useful. Maybe the MDC has some other reason to keep them around.
>>>> Snopes

>>>>Maybe you’re also giving the MDC too much credit. The Neo-As may publically be all talk, but these motherfraggers are armed to the teeth. We’re talking milspec weaponry. Where they get this kind of firepower from is another question, but if the MDC invaded, it would be a bloodbath, on both sides, that could quickly spiral out of control. The MDC would win in the end, but the PR damage would make it a pyrrhic victory.
>>>> Dr. Spin

>>>PR? Were talking about people that have Horizon on the board of members. They’ll spin it into a brave victory and the people of Manhattan will go back to sleep, no?
>>>> Kat o’Nine Tales

>>>>You have to keep your eye on the bigger picture. The MDC may be top-dog in New-York, but it has enemies to match. Both the UCAS government and elements with the United Nations would love nothing more than to destabilize the MDC. Too much violence and the UCAS could step in to “pacify” the situation, or whatever other excuse they’d care to give. Point is, there’s always a bigger picture.
>>>> Kay St. Irregular
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Blade
post Oct 19 2009, 08:20 AM
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In canon SR (according to NAGNA), Neo-A are all about a free market. They are close to today's Anarchocapitalism. But as said in your interview, the term can encompass a lot of different causes.
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 19 2009, 08:23 AM
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Manus Celer Dei
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This should really be reinforced; they spend a nontrivial amount of time talking about Pareto Optimality, for example. However, unlike Blade I would argue that the term cannot encompass a lot of different causes—they have a very specific manifesto. You're free to run your game as you like, of course, but if you want to fit it to canon material you probably want to pick a different term.

Though from my skimming of your later material you do start taking more of the anarcho-capitalist bent; maybe just toning down that one sentence would be enough.

~J
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