Monday, January 11, 2010

Man About Town No More: Fuck Dennis Burke

A few days ago we assisted in the circulation of a statement prepared by the New York Anarchist Black Cross, the Love and Resistance collective, the Aftershock Action alliance and a few other groups upset with the behavior of one Thadeus D. Umpster, aka Dennis Burke, pictured left.

For a quick review, this was all brought to such a pitch after incidents at a collective house Burke lived in ended in people going to jail because he called the police. Quite frankly, the semantics or power struggles or whatever don't really concern us as an editorial, because we don't live at the house and have no real business commenting on that kind of stuff. What we do know is that there was a dispute that became quite confrontational, and Burke called the police to leverage his own side in a personal matter and it ended with two people in a jail cell. This is snitching, ladies and gentlemen, plain and simple. Burke called the police five times in less than a month, using the State as a tool for intervention and a weapon of leverage. This makes him a hazard to radical communities everywhere and it made people afraid to be in their own home.

In his defense, Burke is correct in saying that another person in this situation called the police. This person, who ended up going to jail, is not an anarchist and will not be held up to the same standards. Anarchists solve issues without State intervention. A non-anarchist in a violent confrontation in which police may already be on the way is probably pretty likely to call the police themselves because to a non-anarchist, that is the only way to mount a socially acceptable defense. We regret and attempt to negate this kind of social conditioning, but it is not fair to hold someone to ideals they do not believe in, especially in a violent confrontation.

As many can see, this has been a bit of a hot story that generated quite a bit of debate. For us, it has been kind of a case study and a learning experience. A lot has been said about what is and isn't a snitch. Should Dennis Burke be listed amongst the likes of traitors like Brandon Darby or undercover pigs like Anna? Our short answer, without resorting to petty (but likely valid) character assassination, is yes. A long history of manipulation and abuse with a penchant for evading accountability is always suspect, but those sort of things do not completely evaporate all chances for revolutionary potential. Those are things that can hopefully be addressed and worked on, ironed out for progression towards being a better person and a better anarchist.

However, couple an abusive and manipulative history with the reactionary bullshit we have seen from Burke himself and the few supporters he still has, and we have not just a snitch "without a payroll" but a danger to all radical communities and an asset to enemies. Over the last few days, we have documented bad jacketing, an extremely serious offense and a common tactic used by people held accountable for cooperating with authorities. This is not acceptable at all and it puts people in serious, serious danger. We have also documented multiple accounts coming to his defense as circulating from the same IP address, which we interpret as "sketchy as fuck" in so many words.

What started as an accountability process has seemingly ended in a cyber melee and a real world ousting. We would urge anyone still supporting Burke to take a serious look at the situation at hand and realize that they are being manipulated and used as tools for an abusive individual to evade responsibility. Allegations that the groups that crafted the original statement aren't real or are only staffed by a few anti-Thadeus kids are completely false. We have examined eyewitness accounts from both sides, corroborated story elements with multiple sources, even gleaned some audio and we concluded that Thadeus D. Umpster/Dennis Burke is a snitch who called the police several times and eventually led two people to jail. In his reaction to this, there were possible cases of bad jacketing which we will continue to investigate and we deplore the wanton disregard for security culture by Burke and his "supporters" in openly posting individuals' personal information on the internet without consent during an accountability process.

SnitchWire would continue to advise, as we did in endorsing the original statement, "that Burke is shunned from working any further on anarchist projects or campaigns and definitely turned away from any kind of collective living situation." The State preys on these kinds of social schisms and abusive, dangerous personalities to destabilize radical communities. This was all much more than scene drama, and Burke should realize he is no longer welcome amongst radicals.

Case closed, next case.


  1. This is a reasonable, well-written, straightforward, strong statement. Thanks for wrapping this sucker up.

  2. This is bullshit, no one was arrested as a result of Thadeaus calling the police and he didn't call five times. You have no proof and are simply excepting the word of known liars.

  3. It's no lie that Thadeaus is a manipulative, passive-aggressive control-freak.

    Those who know him know this first hand, without even having to resort to the testimony of the "known liars" - Thadeaus has absolutely no place amongst anyone trying to live in an anti-authoritarian community.

  4. You guys are all lying scenesters who wear stolen American Apparel clothes and try to discredit good, honest hardworking anarchists like me.

    I am just a nice guy who deserves to be King of Anarchy because everyone hates me. I am a permanent Victim and anyone who questions that is pure evil.

    Also, I only called the cops because those big black hoodlums tried to hurt me simply because of all of this scenester drama that isn't even real.

    That's why I'm casting an open call to any young GI's who want to participate in the Thadeaus Live/Work Residency Program to step forward and join the cause!

    This program is targeted at young ex-military and other Tuff Guys who want to participate in my personal protection/domination by living in my garage and threatening anyone who doesn't agree with me.

    The TLWRP program is designed to perpetually cast me as frail - I have cancer, remember! - so that we are justified in bullying everyone else. If you're interested, Join Today!



  5. awesomely amazing!

  6. boo hoo hooo, i've heard lies on both sides and apparently it has resulted on everyone SNITCHING on each other. i for one am sick of this shit. especially the I AM MORE OF AN ANARCHIST THAN YOU BROTHER! look, it's even gone cyber. WTF!?! kick em out forget em but stop the neverending juvinile crap that makes people turn off to even listening to the REAL problems! shit. now I'M PISSED. outta here and outta the stupid stupid games.

  7. "The TLWRP program is designed to perpetually cast me as frail - I have cancer, remember!"


  8. also, good job. this is a solid statement.

  9. First and foremost, a snitch is any person who implicates other activists as having participated in illegal or underground action. Someone who knowingly and intentionally provides information to further a law enforcement investigation into the movement and/or its members--no matter the reason--will be labeled as a snitch.

  10. thank you snitchiwre for a brilliant, thoughtful, solid anarchist statement!
    you rock!

  11. So what is the new definition of snitching? I am really curious. It seems like calling 911 for any reason now qualifies according to a number of posts I've seen on here.

  12. last line invokes a State perspective, if you want to get techincal. And anyone using other peoples real name... well, THAT is snitchin...
    Also, no details on what actually transpired, and whether or not someone was attcaked in their own home. Makes one very skeptical of this info source here.

  13. there are two people who think a forum where anyone can call out anyone else as a snitch is a good idea- naive idiots and the department of homeland security. bet they wished they had this kind of thing back in the 60 and 70s, cointelpro could've been wrapped up in about 10 minutes.

    failing to take that into account and then getting sketched out when people disagree with you several times "from the same IP address" (gasp!) is kind of stupid

    Maybe you could invite them over for coffee while you're at it.

  14. Apparently there is no universal definition of snitching and who is a snitch will be decided on a case by case basis.

  15. I have cancer, remember!

  16. This statement is well-writen. I still don't feel like a lot of stuff was addressed. I couldn't handle the I am more anarchist than you bullshit when I was next to it in that house either.By the definition someone gave above snitchwire totally snitched by posting full names attached to names gone by publicly(that name would have been plenty) and it is unfortunate that this page totally lost my respect and should lose the respect of others for that alone. Especially from people who have nothing to do with the situation.

    I find that to be closer to snitching than some situations in which cops could/would be called. Because the names are used to cover political activities and you just ousted someone for their political actions. Again, you just ousted someone for their political actions. Will you own that will you fix that in the future?-Concerned and almost impartial

  17. I will never live in collective housing again. I don't trust any Anarchist. Living with "Man-boy" has completly jaded me. FUCK Cops!

    If you want any first hand info about what happened from July to December 2009

  18. If you email alysepauline@gmail be sure to ask her why she thinks that it is okay to neglect and abuse her dog. When she arrived at the house she and her partner were offered a place to stay and soon after a room though with hesitation specifically because of they way the neglected their dog and left it for other residents to feed it, provide it with water or not. They were given a room but then refused to pay any rent and yet stayed for months without paying any rent or bills and left the place trashed. Fortunately the dog was rescued by a relative of AP's and if she tries to take it she does so under threat of arrest. I am not an anarchist so I'll say it good for the police. Fuck this animal abuser.
    -a non-anarchist friend of the house

  19. I am a little confused here.

    Are people accusing SnitchWire of snitching because we posted Umpster's real name? What the fuck kind of semantics are those? We participated in an ousting of someone who was a cop calling dangerous parasite on radical communities and you expect us to just post his pseudonym? What if he moves away from NYC and tries to pull the same abusive crap elsewhere? Is a picture of some asshole with a beard really enough to go on? I think somewhere else on this site said that this whole mentality that "it takes a snitch to out a snitch" needs to go. SnitchWire is first and foremost here to protect radical communities from dangerous individuals collaborating with the State and pursuing to have people incarcerated. Thadeus fit the bill and got the shit end of that stick and we aren't going to apologize for it.

    And stretching these logical fallacies about how people who get the authorities involved in domestic disputes or file restraining orders are snitches by "our" definition is so goddamn disingenuous it makes me want to spit blood. We aren't going to tell victims how to defend themselves in fucked up situations. We are here to expose informants. We already stated our opinion that Thadeus leveraged the State destructively against other people, and that constitutes actions fucked up enough for us to support a statement asking him to stay away.

    SnitchWire is an experiment in community defense. Instead of using the authorities as a tool to mediate problems, we use mass media to spread information to concerned individuals and groups about dangerous individuals or people you shouldn't ever disclose sensitive information to. If you don't like it, stay in ignorance or draw your own fucking conclusions. We're just an information service.

  20. I did not take the position that you, Snitchwire, were promoting the thing about domestic dispute police calling, others did do that in these comments though and that part of it was aimed at them.
    I am concerned about the use of the real name especially since it happened before the information was checked (as evidenced by your own text) and since this site is accesible by anyone.
    The problem I have is that even if this guy was being an asshole, if the cop-calling accusations
    proved false you would have already outed him to the police. That would make you a snitch yourself and clearly so. I am concerned about where you draw that line. There is defintely still dispute about what actually happened in the cop calling portions of the situation an it is not directly tied to any actions or politics. I do see how house issues could constitute doing that if the house is a known address for anarchists, which it probably is.
    At the same time I still think posting both names BEFORE really checking the story and getting clear on the details was irresponsible and could set a bad precedent.

    P.S.-The pictures would have to be enough since we don't check each others state identification and names are changed like underwear

  21. Snitchwire has acted as a snitch in this case by spreading vague, socially motivated and at times false accusations. In the least, it's been a source of extreme divisiveness, I mean how has this story helped out or brought the community together?

    What i find ridiculous is that in the most recent and most talked about accusation of the police being called it is now clear that Thaddeus did not call the police. He was assaulted in his home with a metal pipe and one of his assaulters called the police. His assaulters believed that by calling the cops they could attain a restraining order and force Thaddeus off of their lease.

    It is clear that thadeous, in at least that situation, did not call the cops. It was even video taped. So why doesn't snitchwire admit they were wrong about that part? If the other 4 times in the past (which haven't discussed here) were true why not say for the purposes of the truth "we fucked up on this part, but the rest is true and here's why"? Why give this guys real name without checking your facts first - seriously, even if all of this is true, which it's all not, thats what you did?

    Are the folks at snitchwire afraid that they'll be called out as snitches? I mean in this case they're clearly upholding partial lies that are promoting hostility instead of trying to understand and deal with what really happened.

    I don't care if this guy is, "sketchy as fuck" lets be honest here, the lines on how people feel about Thaddeus are the same, the people that were friends with him are still friends with him, and the people who weren't still hate his guts.

  22. Sorry to nerd out, but to me it's super sketchy that snithwire claims to not log people's ip addresses, and then claims that many comments were posted from the same ip address! Which statement are they lying about and why?

  23. This doesn't add up. If you want to publicly denounce and call someone out for being a "parasite" then that is one thing but if you want to say someone who has been actively involved in anarchist projects for more than a decade is a snitch, then you need to provide some evidence. Especially since not only have you called someone a snitch and put them in actual physical danger but you have also publicly revealed their supposed aliases and a photograph which may possibly exposes them to prosecution for political activities.

  24. One more question:

    If Thaddeus is a snitch, then who was snitched on? Because it seems pretty well understood now, that the two people who were arrested were not arrested as a result of Thaddeus going to the police, or talking to the police, or in other words "snitching" on them for having beat him and another person up.

  25. Really?

    We got 4 or 5 different "suspicious" emails that also included a case of bad jacketing from different email addresses all circulating from the same IP. It isn't rocket science.

    The story of what exactly happened is in dispute, but I know what I heard from who and will continue to stand by that. Fuck Thadeus and fuck any of his future "political activities." It appears that the lines on this are drawn for most people involved, and we'll just continue standing with NYC ABC and all the undersigned from the statement. I personally wouldn't work with Thadeus nor would I encourage anyone I know personally to.

    What is false and what is true has become completely subjective for most people at this point anyway. Thadeus called the police (got proof :) ) and two people were arrested. Moving on, fuck the haters.

  26. It seems like the last several support Deadbolt comments here are either willfully ignorant or duplicitous. Did you bother to read the original statement, undersigned by several groups, composed of many people, with long histories of work with him? Or did you not read the followup piece by snitchwire? Some Deadbolt defenders are trying to rewrite history, others are trying to confuse facts, and some are ignoring key elements.

    As for this being intra-scene drama, it isn't. This potentially affects people around the country. Deadbolt's history of manipulation,
    opportunism, and abuse have been confronted locally, to little effect. This has to do with his consistant attempts to minimize, neutralize, or deny his behavior. The difference now is his rush to use the state to leverage power over others. His time is up and he's not leaving without taking others with him and he's found a great weapon in the NYPD.

    The other ignored reality is this: Deadbolt threatened to call the district attorney's office and volunteer to testify against a roommate as a character witness. What does this have to do with Deadbolt's personal safety? Seriously. This is about one step from calling feds. And that is the kind of behavior that merits this dude being "outted." He is a threat to anyone who chooses to work with him and they should know that before making such a decision.

    Eventually the next group of transient people, in their late teens or early twenties, will end up in NYC and Deadbolt will be there to prey upon them. It's only responsible for them to be able to quickly realize just who they are dealing with.

  27. Yes Thadeaus called the police in mid-December and in January two people were arrested after brutally attacking Thadeaus and others in January. What do these things have to do with each other? Nothing, thus this is bullshit.

  28. Pay me the rent!

  29. putting this guy in the same category as brandon darby and other serious snitches is extremely fucked up. in toronto we just experienced two snitches sending our friends to jail, and now they face serious conspiracy charges which will put them in jail for years (the charges came after they were preemptively snatched from street corners or dragged out of their homes in the middle of the night). that is fucking different than someone calling the cops on people who beat the shit out of them. pretending it's not different is some ideological bullshit.
    maybe you should introduce a snitch scale. let's be serious. if you did, this guy would be .1 out of 10.

  30. Truth is that on the night in question police were called to the scene by people other than Thaddeaus (specifically his attackers, who he refuses to name).

    Thaddeaus did not name names, provide information, cooperate with an investigation, press charges or file a report. No one was prosecuted as a result of all this BS.

  31. Hi. My name is Jodi. It seems like I'm the first person commenting since the heinous act of arson which burnt down the Brooklyn Free Store.

    I have been participating in the very active In Our Hearts Collective since the summer of 2010. In Our Hearts is great, so was the Brooklyn Freestore, and it will be AGAIN whenever it is rebuilt! ****Also, I think Thadeaus is a cool dude who is respected by and respects the people I've seen him interacting with since I've known him which include his girlfriend, his roommates, and other people who have also organized with the Free Store and/or In Our Hearts, despite what the possibly/ or probably SLANDEROUS fundamentalist feminists have to say.
    I'm going to DEFINE fundamentalist - A *USUALLY* religious movement or point of view characterized by a ***return*** to fundamental principles, by *RIGID* adherence to those principles, and often by *INTOLERANCE* of other views... what should be changed in this definition as it relates to the people who are perpetuating these possibly slanderous allegations agaisnt Thadeaus is "RETURN!" Support NY, Bitches Roll Deep Anarcha-feminist collective (which seems to be defunct, or maybe never even existed), Aftershock Action Alliance, New York Anarchist Black Cross, and the other groups or collectives who have signed on and proliferated these statements against Thadeaus, are RIGID, INTOLERANT, VIOLENT, ANTAGONISTIC, but they are not returning to any fundamentals of whatever I understand feminsism to be or defending the rights of women or legitimate survivors. They seem to have some kind of agenda which I do not understand, but disturbs me because this AGENDA may dilute or even defile what really is considered a survivor and what is considered to be abuse in all forms covert, overt, physical, financial, sexual, etc. To paraphrase, this M. individual and her cohorts may be fucking it up for people who are actually and/or also LEGITIMATE SURVIVORS of ABUSE. Whoever is acting on behalf of Support NY, etc. have little or no credibility at this point, and that will soon become more and more apparent. For example, at the recent NYC Anarchist Book Fair, a man, male, gentleman, whatever you want to call it, D.S. or D--- S--------- attacked and verbally threatened a female individual who has also recently collaborated with In Our Hearts just because she is freinds with Thadeaus and chooses to continue being freinds with him by her own free will. So using violence and abuse against a woman to antagonize her for being friends with someone who is alleged to have used violence and abuse against a woman is OKAY by what logic?!?! NO CREDIBILITY! NO CREDIBILITY!!!
    Dave S. I was at the book fair, I affiliate with In Our Hearts, I go to Grub here and there, I've been to many of the Free Store events, and I intend to start going to Bushwick Food Not Bombs on occasion. We haven't had the oppurtunity to meet. But I advise that if you want to continue going around slapping books out of people's hands, pushing and shoving people, verbally abusing and threatening people (esp. females), and POSSIBLY lighting random shit on fire, or possibly showing up at parties/events intimidating people with your crew slugging around baseball bats, you should become familiar with my face and the details of who I am. If any of these thuggish antics happen in my presence this whole thing is going to turn into some OTHER SHIT!
    As the Jamaicans say "One Love" <3 :o)

    p.s. also, how convinient that Thadeaus should also be considered a "snitch" as well.


  32. "We have also documented multiple accounts coming to his defense as circulating from the same IP address, which we interpret as "sketchy as fuck" in so many words."

    wow. i find it pretty sketchy that you are tracking ips and correlating them. THAT is a tool of the state.

  33. Thadeus hit me in the head with a metal bat for merely being in his basement looking for my shit. I posed no threat to him and stated my intention, but he still started both swinging the bat and blocking my only exit. After wrestling the bat away from him he jumped on my back and pulled my hair. Then I handed the bat to a 3rd party and suggested we go outside to talk. He exhibited no remorse, though previously I had considered him a friend. My head was bleeding by then. He claims that I owed him a hundred dollars, skimmed from fellow renters or something when we changed over rooms. I disagreed, actually had money in my pocket that day to talk it out with him and reach an agreement. But when he saw me in the basement that day he just started swinging, guess cause I entered the apt without asking him. In my defense, I had lived there just a couple months previously and hadn't realized I had become such a persona non grata. Bleeding on his stoop I asked if my life was worth that much. He said, "apparently our friendship wasn't." Maybe we had a fallout or whatever, but you don't hit your friends or even ex-friends in the heads with bats over a hundred bucks. In fact, you don't charge a person with a bat if you're built like Thadeus because a person like me will take it away from you like a little kid. Dude exhibits sociopath behavior that day, I do not plan on ever interacting with him again because of it. Shook his hand, made my peace and moved on. But heads up, no pun intended, there's a screw loose with the fucker. Before I thought maybe just a little eccentric, but a fuckin bat to the head? Now I understand why he has so many enemies. IfI was an angrier person I'd have returned the favor, but the surrealness of the whole situation was just shocking. As it is, seems like he has enough reasons to watch his back, bad character is its own reward. Just keep this type of documented irrationality in mind if you're going to associate with him is my only advice. Would be happy to substantiate my story in person, there were witnesses, post on here and we'll figure a way to msg you my #. -David

  34. It looks like Thadeaus was actually attacked by people working as snitches / government agents and not one himself. -


  35. LOOKS LIKE SNITCH WIRE GOT SNITCH BAITED! Doing the work of the state for free, like true good anarchists who don't believe in money- Read this article:

    no don't just skim it, read it particularly the last few pages.

    Funny thing is the NYPD got caught in a lie (which they went on to tell activists in NYC knowing that it would imply that thaddeus was a snitch)- There was never a gun charge against thaddeus in that case, something easily verified in that article by his lawyer ron kuby- but why oh why would anyone make up a false gun charge about a successful activist in nyc and then spread that rumor to other activists in NYC?

    And since when is calling cops on a bunch of cowards who outnumber you and try to beat you up with bats after you come home from a cancer operation (and who also called the cops- but snitch wire isn't concerned about the details or semantics for some reason when it isn't thaddeus) the same as being brandon darby? Here's a bunch of testimonials from people who are not psychotic people who take pride in beating up cancer patients regarding thadeaus:

    Let's hope this shit is finally dead, rise above

  36. So so glad I found this. Dennis Burke is from Boston (the rich suburb Hingham, I believe, to be exact). He butted his way into our small collective/home in 1998 in Cambridge, ended up dating an ex of the group, and making their life hell. No one liked him at the beginning but they relaxed it a bit due to their friend now being in a relationship with him. I hadn't really heard what happened with his since 2000 or so. He was always dopily soft spoken but you slowly realized that this was part of the depths of his manipulation and projection of a human image. He has no soul.

    But what people should notice about his patterns of behavior is that this boy comes from DEEP, DEEP northeast privilege, and it comes out in things like calling the authorities on everything. I remember one specific incident where he, not knowing how people of lesser means (most everyone in the group) live, was complaining about the Volvo (or Saab or whatever) his parents bought him. He thinks he is entitled to everything. He views the people he snitches on as outside of his anarchist world so let the state power crush them for him. Leverage the evil to save the world (not realizing HE is the evil).

    Just another rich piece of shit pretending to be Kropotkin or something.

    He went to LA, I think, in 1999 and didn't make any friends there either.