The Northern Wind
I found myself in a rough squat in the provincial capital 80Km from the edge of the Fortress where we based. The look and feel of the squat is instantly recognisable. Across the walls are anti-capitalist slogans and statements of affirmation to a fairer world in marker pen on A4 sheets hung on string lines across the room. A collection of couches of all sizes are scattered around the room and stray lengths of carpet with a small coffee table on top signify the living room in this open space. The squats looks to have been a small supermarket now unwanted in a depressed are of the town. We are going to meet Classified and Eva. As we walk in there are 4 people lounging on the sofas having a spliff. I ask if Eva or Classified are here but only get a disinterested no, with no further information forth coming. Finally Eva and Classified turn, apologise profusely five or six times and tell us how happy they are to be working with us. They had heard about us through the PLU and social media.
The Northern Wind is an interesting construction of a movement. It is a loose alliance of small groups and cells. The main targets of their operations are against the far right. They try and identify links between the far right, police and politicians. Between these groups there are often financial transactions back and forth. The Northern Wind fight on two fronts, trying to expose the links between the triangle of police, politicians and the far right as well to defund the triangle through hacking into financial service providers or forcing unintended funds transfers. The majority of the members of the Northern Wind were hackers and Marxist economists. The question we asked then was; where does the money go? With any money they recovered they channelled in to organisations that supported the victims of Fortress austerity and free trade as well as victims of racist and anti-immigrant discrimination and violence.
The defunding section of the operation is very low tech it involves a few people in the accounts section of the main bank in the country who generate additional transactions. The leakage from the far rights coffers then flow to a number of registered shelf businesses operated by the Northern Wind. The money then flows through to the Northern Wind’s supported organisations. The aim is to skim around 20% of the far rights accounts. What allows the system to work is that the transactions are similarly opaque as the transfers occurring between the police, politicians and far right. The factor in the groups favour is the banking sectors loose hold on its administrative standards. They ran away years ago with deregulation and financial crises and auditing the accounts has not been a high priority for many years. The Northern Winds forced funds leakage is minor compared to the more general corruption running rampant through the banking sector and general economy.
But still the question is what can the Northern Wind do for us? And what can we do for them? We need safe houses and transportation to move people to the centre of the fortress. I have no idea what we can offer them though.
It took us a long time to get to the point, mainly because I was fascinated with the Northern Wind and how they operate. They were also happy to chat as if time was no concern to them. I could see the afternoon fading to orange on wall behind me and thought I should get to the point. In the end they said they can help with one bus and they had a suitable safe house about 400km from here into the centre of the Fortress. From there it would be safe and easy to get across the border and to one of the big cities of the inner fortress. This would be enough to get us started with a more detailed plan. In the inner fortress there would be more possibilities to support the undocumented and connect up with some active groups, but this still had to be checked out and the Northern Wind said that will see what they can organise and let us concentrate of getting people out of detention.