Call for an Independent Materials Fair – Activity of the 6th International Week for Anarchist Prisoners (Brazil)
CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT MATERIALS FAIR – ACTIVITY OF THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL WEEK FOR ANARCHIST PRISONERS
In response to the call for a “Sixth International Week in Solidarity For Anarchist Prisoners,” which will take place all over the world from the 23rd to the 30th of August, there will be a first winter fair of independent materials on August 25th.
This is an open call for anyone who wants to send us proposals with an anti-authoritarian focus to add to the activity. In addition, it is mainly an invitation to participate in this initiative that will happen in the “Tia Estela Space” , a squat of homeless people located underneath the so-called “Alcântara Machado Bridge” in São Paulo. Any contribution to self-management of this space is welcome.
The struggle for freedom is impossible without fighting against prisons. These disgusting spaces are surrounded by walls, violent forms of control, security devices and constant vigilance. Without such a
structure it would be impossible for any state or any government to remain in power. It is necessary to see prison not only as the main tool of domination against the subversive people who prefer war to the passivity of the masses, but also as a laboratory of the system and one of the main means to perpetuate slavery and work.
A battle was lost but even behind the bars the struggle goes on. Within jail, in a contained and continuous way, are the conflicts against the juridical apparatuses of the nation states and all moralistic society that supports it. This reality prolongs the journey towards the destruction of civilization, the predatory machines of cybernetic and industrial world, all the grids, walls and borders that slaughter life on earth.
For these and much more, it is a lot necessary to support the anarchist prisoners, to not leave them alone and with this, to turn our eyes upon the pillars that give shape to the enemy.
“To live anarchy contains the risk of ending in prison” – Marco, Alexandria prison.
A full schedule will be available on August 23rd.
Send a message, send a contribution!
via A-Radio Network
This is episode number 13 of “B(A)D NEWS – Angry voices from around the world”, a news program from the international network of anarchist and antiauthoritarian radios, consisting of short news segments from different parts of the world.
– A Radio Berlin bringing us an introduction to Vedeng a Rojava a new podcast project created by people on the ground in Northern Syria
– From A Radio Vienna we hear information about a demonstration against an upcoming EU summation Austria in September as well as a callout for an international week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners
– Words about the upcoming national prison strike in the so-called United States from our friends at The Final Straw radio
– Dissident Island Radio in the UK bring you short updates from around the country touching on the enclosure of public space, immigration control, animal rights, and the ongoing struggle to stop fracking taking hold.
Please send feedback and comments at: a-radio-network/at/riseup(.)net
And more content is available at https://www.a-radio-network.org
or you can download it directly from archive.org here:
via MEL Magazine
Last year, squads of young men and women in black clothes, masks and bandanas crept out to the streets of Portland, Oregon, with bags of asphalt in hand. This wasn’t about Neo-Nazis, law enforcement, immigration rights or other prickly issues millennials have demonstrated a passion for. They took to the streets for one purpose only: to patch potholes, which had grown out of control as the city struggled with a backlog.
Peter, a self-identifying anarchist in his mid-30s, was a part of the grassroots crew, which dubbed itself Portland Anarchist Road Care. In his eyes, the city had let down too many people who frequently popped tires and crashed bikes on their way to work. Being critical of government was old hat to Peter, who had felt a distrust of authority from a young age and fed himself a steady stream of punk rock and Noam Chomsky in his 20s. For him, fixing potholes wasn’t just a kind volunteer act — it was a political statement.
“Like everyone else, we were just sitting around waiting for the city to deal with it, and then we realized, these are our streets,” he says. “And if we want to offer an alternative to state solutions to problems, why not show people that we can do things together, as a society, that the state fails to do for us?”
Over several months, the crew patched several dozen potholes — a small number in comparison to the hundreds the city ultimately fixed, but an achievement nonetheless for a band of unauthorized, self-organized workers. In the process, it became a curious new symbol for anarchism, a centuries-old political ideal that has long been misunderstood.
The ideology resurfaced into the mainstream when white nationalist Richard Spencer, dressed in a grey suit with his signature “Nazi haircut,” stood in front of a camera for an interview in January 2017. He had just wrapped up a rant about the aggressive tactics of leftist activists and started explaining the meaning of a Pepe the Frog pin on his lapel when, out of nowhere, a lanky black-clad man flew into him, throwing a right hook that hit Spencer square on the head and sent him fleeing.
That one punch captured the attention of the nation, triggering a flash flood of humorous memes, political analysis and outright condemnation. The puncher had dressed in the all-black uniform seen in a number of Antifa (anti-fascist) groups, which led media coverage to speculate that he was a member. More Antifa appearances around the country on Inauguration Day, in Berkeley in protest of Milo Yiannopoulos and at the deadly Charlottesville rally only helped bring exposure to the groups, which were at least partly composed of anarchists and influenced by anarchist tactics.
Search Google for the meaning of “anarchy” and the first result you see is a definition: “a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority,” with synonyms like “lawlessness,” “turmoil” and “mayhem.” Culturally, there’s long been a link between anarchy and chaos, signified by things like the Spencer punch, the rise of anarcho-punk bands in the 1970s and 1980s and the textbook The Anarchist Cookbook, which rose to infamy in the 1970s as a guide to cooking up homemade bombs and other weapons.
But those references distract from the fact that anarchism is, at its heart, a philosophy that simply works to minimize government’s inherent power over its citizens — and condemns the damage that power does to people, whether that’s domestically with abusive law enforcement or abroad with invasions and wars. Their activities may overlap with leftist groups like the Democratic Socialists of America, but anarchists reject government on principle rather than commit to working within its construct.
Anarchism has already been a valuable force for social and economic change in the U.S., among other things inspiring the massive labor movements to standardize an eight-hour workday, first in 1886 and again in 1890. As evidenced by Portland Anarchist Roadcare, today’s young anarchists are continuing that tradition of political action, through a wide range of groups and activities far beyond the physical violence and chaos that the mainstream media often ties to the ideology. “Anarchism is about the ability for everyday people to solve their own problems and create a world worth living in, outside of top-down hierarchies and politics,” says James, an editor of anarchist news site It’s Going Down (and who declined to reveal his full name, as with some other anarchists quoted in this piece). “The terrain that millennials are increasingly seeing is a nihilistic one. Despite what Trump says or even the cheerleaders of Obama said, things aren’t getting better for working-class people.”
This is the true fringe of the “Radical Left”: ambitious in theory, practical in action and driven by a desire to prove that people don’t need a nation-state to support fulfilling lives. Usually, that means tackling non-violent tasks to help vulnerable Americans without the assistance or permission of the government, as with the work of groups that bring aid to neighborhoods damaged by natural disasters, create humane conditions for prisoners and increase wages for poor workers.
And once in a while, it means punching fascists, too.
What Do Anarchists Do?
On Sept. 9, 2016, 24,000 incarcerated men and women in prisons across America collectively refused to do their assigned labor, ranging from building vehicle parts to sewing clothes to working as janitors or cooks. The work strike served to protest extremely low wages and unethical living conditions behind bars, and was led by the Free Alabama Movement and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), the latter being an arm of Industrial Workers of the World, one of the most influential anarchist-driven organizations in American history. IWOC staffers collaborated with incarcerated members behind prison walls, communicating with people using a series of contraband cell phones hidden in more than 20 prisons. Even some guards in Alabama got in on the strike.
While it’s hard to measure the actual impact of the work strike, advocates say it showed prison officials that political activism can bloom in unlikely (and oppressive) spaces, led by motivated individuals who face inhumane treatment on a daily basis. Now, anarchist activists like IWOC member Clayton Dewey are gearing up for another prison strike on August 21.
Dewey first began identifying as an anarchist when he was 16, inspired by punk bands like Anti-Flag, Fugazi and At the Drive-In. Later, he fought for political prisoners’ rights and helped organize protests against the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. In joining IWOC, Dewey was inspired by the sight of a national organization operating without hierarchy in command. “The real effective activity comes from local groups working off their own initiative. This upcoming strike is a good example. We’ll set out a larger framework of demands that you can use, but if your facility has something specific you want to fight for, we say take it and go with it,” Dewey notes. “It allows us to be flexible, and it’s more about trust and relationships. There’s no formal chain of command to get permission.”
Anarchists don’t buy into bowing to authority outside of their organizations, and will often not obey laws if they prevent direct aid to a community that needs it. That may include acts like rent strikes against landlords as a reaction to poor conditions or gentrification, or dropping into towns damaged by natural disasters to dispense fast and unauthorized help, as with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADR).
The group first formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as a reaction to the mass evacuations and building teardowns that many residents feared would lead to permanent evictions, despite government promises to the contrary. Today, MADR is composed of decentralized crews around the country with a small core committee that gives guidance to its many independent working groups.
MADR doesn’t label its politics, but its ranks feature a large number of anarchists, says co-founder Jimmy Dunson, 33. The crux of the group’s work is its belief that conventional government and nonprofit aid responses can serve as a form of “disaster capitalism,” in which institutions angle to best promote their agenda in the aftermath of a tragedy, rather than aid the survivors in the best way possible, Dunson says. The group recently funded and delivered a $60,000 solar energy microgrid to a Puerto Rican aid center, and toured around the nation to various chapters during the spring to encourage action and provide training. MADR emphasizes collaborating with locals in disaster areas whenever possible, to create recovery strategies beyond the charity of major institutions.
“The nonprofit-industrial complex and the state, with its military or police, often come into disaster areas and try to reestablish the status quo of the dominant social hierarchy in that area. We see colonizing forces setting up curfews and checkpoints, for instance,” Dunson adds. “Others may treat the community as passive aid recipients who don’t need to be involved in the recovery, even though they have valuable knowledge and goals. We’re creating alternatives to all of those problems.”
Other anarchists choose to set up residential communes, as with Detroit’s Trumbullplex, a community founded in 1993 when activists set up a nonprofit and purchased two Victorian homes and the small one-story art space that sat between them. Residents care for common spaces together, collaborate to host performances with visiting artists, and collectively run the zine “library,” which holds more than 2,000 pieces of literature to share within the commune and with the surrounding community. The individual “rent” of $300 a month is used to maintain operations, with no profit going to any member. Recently, the Trumbullplex anarchists won a major victory when they outbid a real estate developer for two lots next door to their complex, which they will use for more community events.
Where Did Anarchism Come From?
These kinds of practical, grassroots tactics promote ambitious ideas about an individual’s freedom, outlined in a number of historical texts that have crafted the philosophy around modern anarchism. The earliest recorded anarchistic ideals may have come from Chinese philosophers like Zhuang Zhou, who mulled over questions of liberty and state rule in 4 B.C. Others point to Jesus as being one of history’s earliest anarchists, given his own fight against state punishment. The moniker of “anarchism,” however, wouldn’t rise until French philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon identified himself as anarchist in his groundbreaking 1840 book, What Is Property?
In the text, Proudhon decried the institutions that allowed the powerful to accrue private property at the expense of the working class, setting the foundation for modern anarchist critique of capitalism and wealth inequality:
“The liberty and security of the rich do not suffer from the liberty and security of the poor; far from that, they mutually strengthen and sustain each other. The rich man’s right of property, on the contrary, has to be continually defended against the poor man’s desire for property.”
In 20th century America, anarchism and its followers helped birth influential community organizations and unions, most notably the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an international group that first formed in Chicago in 1905. While it didn’t identify as solely anarchist, the IWW championed many of its ideas. It stood as an alternative to larger labor groups like the American Federation of Labor, which the IWW criticized for excluding workers and giving too much power to employers.
The IWW exists today with much smaller decentralized chapters, but it hit the news this year when the Portland IWW chapter helped organize the first federally recognized fast-food union in the nation, the Burgerville Workers Union.
Are Anarchists Violent?
It is true that sometimes, anarchist action means committing to physical violence as a tool. Whether it be the 1886 bombing of Haymarket Square in Chicago, the violence of Earth Liberation Front members or fistfights at modern-day “black bloc” (where activists dress in black to disguise themselves, as with Antifa groups) counter-protests, the anarchist credo of direct action has long been intertwined with violent tactics — though public perception greatly exaggerates the link.
Portland’s Rose City Antifa (RCA), which was recently involved in a skirmish against a right-wing Patriot Prayer event, see violence as an option only in self-defense. The justification is a simple one for the group: The fact white nationalists feel emboldened enough to march in public stands as an existential risk to the communities and ideals they want to protect, says Joseph, a twentysomething representative of RCA. After all, despite the pearl-clutching reaction to Antifa fights, proponents argue the bigger problem appears to be that fascists now exist in all facets of American life — from the internet to public streets to the highest levels of government.
The political climate of the last decade has rapidly accelerated interest in joining Rose City Antifa, Joseph says. The group is led by the stated principle of fighting for a “free, classless society,” but its current actions focus on disrupting the ability for white nationalists and Neo-Nazis to organize. “Antifa opposition has diminished Patriot Prayer and the ability of like-minded groups to organize. They had hundreds of people last year, now it was 20 or 30 people this time,” Joseph says. “Community self-defense is a practical way to provide social consequences for Neo-Nazism. But beyond direct action, a lot of Antifa groups are focusing on the kinds of journalistic investigation we do to gather information and expose Neo-Nazis around the country.”
Antifa has been on the actual front lines of defending other peaceful protestors, as in Charlottesville. National media depicted the fights as being instigated by both alt-right and Antifa groups, but a number of witnesses said in the aftermath that Antifa had protected people from harassment and violence from alt-right crews. “I am a pastor in Charlottesville, and Antifa saved my life twice on Saturday. Indeed, they saved many lives from psychological and physical violence. I believe the body count could have been much worse, as hard as that is to believe,” Rev. Seth Wispelwey told Slate.
Why Do People Convert to Anarchism?
While anarchism has a number of major tenets, none may be bigger than the idea that an individual holding disproportionate power over another is bound to create institutional violence, whether economic or physical. Converts can come from the most unlikely of backgrounds, as with Carne Ross, who learned how toxic a chain of command could become when he served as a diplomat for Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1997 to 2004.
Most notably, he was Britain’s expert on the hypothetical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, representing the nation at the U.N. Security Council. He and other British civil servants had concluded that Iraq wasn’t a threat over his four and a half years of study, yet he watched on TV as Tony Blair joined forces with George W. Bush to justify a war to the public. It was a slap to the face of Ross, who heard their statements as outright lies. The moment made him reconsider actions he had defended previously — e.g., economic sanctions on Iraq. Why, he wondered, had he so readily backed the punishment of the Iraqi people?
He resigned from the Foreign Office in 2004 and soon found himself taking on the ideas of anarchism as an alternative to what he now saw as corrupt governments. Anarchism, he says, is both elegant and misunderstood: “A simple idea you can implement in almost any circumstance, but one that has a bad reputation.” The task is to find small ways to take back power from organized government, which Ross believes cannot give equality and freedom to the masses. “Any government, certainly as they’re currently constituted, exerts coercive authority over its population. Even so-called democratic governments give themselves the right to imprison people, kill people, wage war, things that are immoral for us as individuals,” Ross says. “But there’s no reason why in the current context of nation-states you can’t engage in anarchist action in your community. And, in fact, I think that’s the most plausible route of long-term revolution.”
Despite the negative attention, the ideas of anarchism have clearly struck a chord with young and working-class people around the country, says James, the It’s Going Down editor. He points to recent political polls that show widespread dissatisfaction with not just Donald Trump’s administration, but the inequality of the economy, the threats of climate change and beyond. “We see ourselves as wanting a conversation with the half of the population that’s sitting there, largely thinking that things just suck,” James says. “There are two corporate parties that represent huge tech capital on one side and right-wing industries on the other, with no real representation of the people stuck in the middle.”
Similarly, in Ross’ mind, the failure of the current system to uphold the needs of average Americans is becoming more and more obvious. He laughed out loud while recalling one time when he gave a presentation of his ideas to a group of venture capitalists. The first slide of the PowerPoint bluntly stated “Capitalism Isn’t Working.” He was shocked to see that nobody in the room even mustered a protest. It was another sign to Ross that even people profiting off the status quo couldn’t help but acknowledge something was wrong with it.
Does anarchism provide a blueprint for a whole alternative system of governance? Ross doesn’t think so. After all, being an anarchist doesn’t necessarily mean dropping all reliance on government services, or not paying taxes, or not voting, Ross notes — that would be unrealistic given the power structure of nation-states, he says. What anarchism can do is provide a value system for anyone who wants to effect change in their community today, and in this sense, Ross admits anarchism feels to him more like a spiritual way of viewing the world than a strict political theory.
“What all anarchists have in common is a rejection of one person having power over another,” he says. “And that’s a profound and important idea for us to wrangle with.”
LISTEN HERE: https://archive.org/details/0717201819
"breath at the threshold" by Joan Kovatch. 2.1 million year-old tools, pre-domestication bread. Over-heating, drought, fires, 4 mile wide Greenland iceberg event. Time now measurable at 100 billionth of a second. Good discussion of basic questions. Action briefs, 4 calls.
Another Word for White Ally is Coward – From Anti-State STL –
“The concept of the White Ally is bankrupt. One cannot be an ally to a category of people. To speak the words “I am a White Ally to people of color” is to commit an act of double speak, to internalize non-sense. There is no singular black voice that can be listened to, no authentic community leadership which to follow. There are only many different people with different ideas, life experiences and perspectives. To think otherwise, to think that all black people share a common opinion is extremely problematic, one might even say racist. One can be an ally to individuals though there are other words in the English language which describe this relationship with more grace: friend, lover, partner and sometimes cellmate or co-defendant.”
Music: Lil Boosie – Fuck the Police Ft. Webbie
Mirror image of Civilisation & Religion (PDF)
Small booklet compiling the recent texts critical to the so-called ‘Eco-Extremist’ trend written by nihilist-anarchists and anarchist-insurrectionalists from around the world.
Produced in collaboration with Verde Press.
Other expressions of authoritarianism and sacred thought
Given the recent proliferation of eco-extremism and some opinions expressed in the broadcast media related to this tendency, the need arises for this text. Without pretending to engage in a dialogue, we will clarify a few things that seem essential to us.
For several years now, various individuals from different parts of the American continent (especially from the territory dominated by the Mexican State) close to the positions and struggles against civilization, gave shape to a trend that they called “eco-extremism”.
What is eco-extremism? Although there are subtle differences between those who are placed under that concept, we can more or less talk about a consensus among them, since they see the whole of humanity as their enemy; that humanity and it’s civilization is incompatible with Wild Nature.
They understand that the war against civilization is indiscriminate, so any person would represent an enemy. Since humanity is the problem, anyone can be the target, regardless of gender, economic condition, age, etc. The forms of attack of these groups are inspired by the most diverse experiences, so they do not mind picking up the “teachings”(I) of religious fanatics such as ISIS or political parties that wager for national liberation, as their indiscriminate methods serve them.
One of the most emblematic action groups of this current is “Individuals Tending towards the Wild” (ITS). In 2011, several technological research centers began to be attacked with explosives in some Mexican cities. Over the years, the attacks continued and at the same time several related groups appeared, all of them having civilization as their common objective. In 2014, “Reacción Salvaje” (RS) appears, concentrating several eco-extremist groups and leaving aside the initials ITS. For 2016, ITS returns with the main objective of expanding the project to new locations. That same year from the Territories dominated by the Chilean, Argentine and Brazilian States arise attacks and claims related to ITS. There are also organizations sympathetic to this trend, ranging from an individualist perspective to anti-civilization, such as the Egoist Sects in Italy, and organisations have emerged related to eco-extremism in Germany, France, Finland, etc.
To achieve its objectives, which is the end of civilized humanity, there have been all kinds of attacks ranging from the abandonment of explosive devices on public roads during the day to fire, letters bombs and some murders.
In addition, they believe that every natural phenomenon that hurts humans in their lives and properties is akin to their principles of ending civilization, as for what they have claimed in their pages of internet tidal waves, earthquakes, snowfalls, etc.
Between aesthetic radicalism and the sacred
The eco-extremists call themselves individualistic and nihilistic, many of them come from anarchism and, according to their own words, approached anarchism seeking “salvation” and “free community” but only saw “a set of Christian moralists”, and so they chose to move towards something “more radical”. This search for “radicalism”, we understand it more as the appropriation of everything that is seen as “politically incorrect”, according to the parameters of what the citizenry collects. In this way, if tomorrow there is a new concept that bothers or disturbs the “normal human” beings, no doubt, they will appropriate it. Radicality is to finish with the root of the problem, not just going towards the extreme or provocative.
They have cemented their theoretical foundations in the study of some nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples; according to their own words, they have rescued pagan animism, however they have created a new faith based on different ancestral deities. Their sacred polytheistic thoughts are perhaps not as violent as the Christian God, but it is one (or some) All Powerful, after all…
We find it curious that they call themselves individualists and nihilists, being that they believe in entities that are above them, how can the individual be developed integrally if their reality is subject to something that controls them? We appeal and we fight to destroy all the chains, creeds and laws.
“We are and will be enemies of any religion, be it Christianity, animistic paganism or Wild Nature. No static doctrine is above us. Let us free ourselves from all that is sacred, we have neither faith nor law and our discourse will have neither.”
We see in their writings how they try to be masters of the Truth and how they sacralize their war against civilization into a kind of neo-inquisition against everything that, for them, is not correct or against everything that represents “civilized” values. By validating their position as “the only possible reality” they are necessarily above the rest, setting the standard of “good and bad”. Their evident authoritarian positions are closely linked to the absolutism of feeling possessed of a certain wisdom and of believing themselves to be the elect for the naturalistic Crusade.
“The sacred is then the highest of the essences and everything by which it is revealed or manifests itself, also sacred are those who recognize that supreme in their own being, that is, in its manifestations. What is sacred sanctifies in turn its worshiper, who by their worship makes it sacred; and in the same way sanctifies all that it does: holy commerce, holy thoughts, holy aspirations, holy actions, etc…” Max Stirner
On opportunistic criticism
As is good to affirm, we are different things, so we are not interested in criticizing their work, much less falling into the easy exit of insult. The questions that they ask of anarchism do not affect us, since we do not share the way they see it; as a doctrine with patterns of rigid and immovable behavior. We understand it and we live it as a set of anti-authoritarian ideas and practices that confront all forms of domination. It is a constant tension not an achievement or an ideology. It is the destruction of everything that makes us enslaved, building new ways of relating between all the beings that inhabit this world and others with the Earth.
When the anarchists are criticized for having a moral as if we were religious or owners of the Truth, we clearly say that we reject morality, understanding this as the institutionalization of certain patterns and behaviors that are immovable, that is, when it becomes a “just because” and not a learning based on the experience of what is beneficial to us. We prefer the terminology of ethics, which comes from ethos or custom, not referring to a tradition but to experience, to what is habitual. We are not ingenuous or conformist, we know that within anarchism there is a wide range of tendencies and that, among these, there are opposing tendencies. There are those who see anarchism as a dogma taking the postulates of some comrades of other times as if they were sacred writings. In this way, we think, individual freedom is restricted within its organizational forms. Criticisms to these forms of thought and the differences in what refers to the action exist since there are anarchists who took the wholeness of the individual and/or took a qualitative and radical leap in the forms of attack. The criticisms made by some eco-extremists about certain forms of anarchism are not new… There are some of us who have been doing it for several decades (not to say more than a century). We do not expect a day for the revolution, nor the legitimacy of the masses, and we do not have a uniform pattern of behavior to follow.
Our option is to destroy all authority
As we explained earlier, many of the eco-extremists come from the anarchic world, specifically from the eco-anarchist and primitivist struggle, so it is logical that there may be many things that we share, but there are many other fundamentals that put us on opposite sides. We could expand on several but we will specifically address the vision of authority. In a text that we find in their digital media entitled “Anarchist Myth” they point out:
“We understand that authority and hierarchical organization are neither “good” nor “bad” but are something that simply exist, like it or not, it’s something very natural in human behavior since forever. Therefore we can be false and fall into the hypocrisy of anarchists and “Anti-authoritarians” or we can accept the reality and use it for what suits us.”
However, curiously, in the same text they call themselves individualists who do not “bow their heads in front of anyone” and that “they do not need to be told what they have to think, do or what decisions to make “. This dichotomy that unites hierarchy and individual freedom expressed by the author or authors, seems profoundly contradictory. Our idea of individualism has part of the basis of placing the individual at the center of all actions, that is, it is not above the collective nor below it, nothing submits it. We are completely contradictory to the position of the eco-extremists, we are enemies of all forms of authority and we do not see hierarchy as something “very natural” in human organizations. To make it clear; Anarchy comes from the Greek prefix “an” which means “without” or “no” and from the root “arkê” that translates into “power” or “mandate”.
We understand that in order for power relations to be generated, there basically has to exist some kind of mandate and obedience, which can be coercive or not, but it does not stop at violence. To support their “natural hierarchy”, they usually analyze various behaviors of some hunter-gatherer peoples.
We will do the same. As stated by Pierre Clastres in “The Society against the State”, when studying the different behaviors of several tribes of the Southern Cone (yes, leaving aside the great civilizations of the Incas and Mayas), he says:
“A pertinent feature of the political organization of most indigenous societies is the lack of social stratification and authority of power: some of them, such as the Ona and Yagan (II) of Tierra del Fuego, do not even possess the institution of leadership; it is said of the Jíbaros (III) that their language has no term to designate the chief.”
Almost all the writings that are known about the behavior of many American native peoples are from evangelizing priests, European conquerors and contemporary researchers. The first and second came from lands where there were great kingdoms, so they knew perfectly well what obedience is, and subsequent studies reaffirmed the above.
Clastres explains it clearly; “However, the direct experience in the field, the investigators’ monographs and the oldest chronicles, leave no doubt about this: if there is something completely alien to an indigenous, it is the idea of giving an order or having to obey it, except in very special circumstances, such as the expedition of war.”
We look, analyze and learn from different peoples, but we are clear that we do not want to be like them and even from our western vision (which we try to destroy) there are many things that we find hard to understand. We want to end domination, and in that exercise we build new ways of relating, we create new dynamics and we do not we want those of others, be they parties, vanguards or indigenous people.
The most certain thing is that with what we’ve written we will labeled anthropocentric hyper-civilized Christians; We may be, it’s not our intent to try to give lessons to anyone, but we simply want to make things clear. We do not want to leave their shadows of this world, we want to destroy each of the links of this great chain that makes us all slaves, among them too we include civilization, since we are aware of the damage it does to everything that surrounds it, but with this we do not believe that the solution is misanthropy and sacralization of nature, in fact, we believe that it is part of the problem.
I We have found several articles referred as, according to the eco-extremists, “what can be learned from different groups for the war against civilization”, they mainly talk about collecting experiences, forms of attack, etc. To name a few examples is the article in the magazine Ajejema entitled “Paraguayan People’s Army” (EPP). Can you learn from them?, in which they point out: “Valuable things can be learned from both the left and the right armed groups, and we have no moral problem in admitting it because more than once we have claimed a marked tendency towards anti-politics and what anti-ideological”. And another in Extinction magazine n° 6 called “The lessons left by the Islamic State before its collapse”, in which they point out: “The war of the Islamic state is an authentic war against civilization, although, surely if they triumphed they would impose their Islamic civilization with an iron fist, it’s a war anyway, so personally, I have no moral problem in learning from it.” In the forms of attack the eco-extremists collect from ISIS, among other things, the use of hens, donkeys and even children with Down’s syndrome attached to bombs.
II Ona and Yagan, towns that resided in Tierra del Fuego. The Onas or Selknam are extinct, the last Yagan woman was killed in the year of 2006.
III Los Jíbaros is a derogatory name for the Shuar people, they are the most numerous Amazonian natives (approximately 80,000 individuals). The Shuar inhabit the jungles of Peru and Ecuador.
From Kalinov Most #1
Thoughts on the current #OccupyICEPHL and moving forward to #EndPARS
We are two weeks into #OccupyICEPHL. We have ceased occupying the ICE offices since July 5 and the current encampment at City Hall has lost a lot of its original momentum. The Left in Philly united on July 2nd for the original occupation, but it has been fractured by burnout and internal conflicts. A lot of us are wondering, how did we get here and how do we move forward?
The encampment at City Hall
After the camp was dismantled on July 5th by homeland security and Philly cops, a meeting took place in the evening. Hundreds gathered, sharing reflections and potential strategies for moving forward so that we could effectively pressure Mayor Kenney to not renew the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS) contract, which allows ICE access to the PPD’s database.
Following the meeting, an autonomous group decided that one strategy in continuing the fight was to begin a camp at City Hall in order to be a confrontational presence for city officials, and to educate the public about both PARS and ICE. Within minutes, they set up at City Hall, bringing yoga mats, signs, umbrellas, chairs, and food.
Picking up on the momentum of the previous camp, many came around to provide support. The camp was quickly built up with a medic and food storage tent, as well as a table of leftist literature, including flyers on both #EndPARS and #AbolishICE. Participants were flyering; workshops and teach-ins happened throughout the day; food and water and other supplies were consistently being dropped off; chants were constant; and general assemblies were held twice a day (and they still are).
That being said, within the past week, the energy at the camp has been fizzling out. I was at the camp this morning and counted around 15 present.
Skepticism of the new camp
A number of leftists in Philadelphia have expressed skepticism of the camp.
This is fair.
More than half of those present at most general assemblies are white, and a majority of the principal organizers are white. Whiteness is a destructive force for all, with material consequences for those that cannot access its privileges. For those who are white or can access whiteness, it hinders empathy and results in moral deterioration to those who reap benefits from whiteness. We need to see and combat the way whiteness operates among us, making it a priority to center the needs and the voices of POC. In my experience, this is a constant struggle in leftist spaces, and in this sense the encampment is not unique.
It seems that a major reason why people have either backed away or have chosen not to support this camp is because they see the occupation as ineffective and believe greater action is needed. What should be noted is that this camp began with this in mind. A diversity of tactics is sorely needed and this camp was never envisioned as THE tactic for all to take. This camp was started to agitate at City Hall as part of a larger project which would include the continuing work of the original #OccupyICEPHL coalition as well as autonomous actions.
There is also skepticism because of the camp’s independence from the original coalition. Those in the camp desire to work alongside the coalition but are intentionally not bound to the coalition, structured so that those on the ground and actively involved decide the direction of the camp.
Some skepticism feels neither political nor strategic, but personal.
Infighting among leftists has been present throughout the whole occupation, even prior to the new camp. The first night of the occupation included coalition organizers squabbling with a few anarchists of a more illegalist, insurrectionist tendency. This was aired out very publicly through a zine that was published online and passed out at the final assembly at the previous occupation.
Tensions between those of a more anarchist orientation and those of a more Marxist orientation were heightened.
Some smaller orgs, especially those with a more autonomous bent, have expressed that they felt unheard and even shut down by the larger coalition.
A skepticism of anarchist organizers continues, leading some to view the new encampment as an anarchist project. Though the organization of the new camp is more horizontal, it is not solely anarchist-organized. Such thinking dismisses those houseless folks who are actively flyering, chanting, and keeping the camp smoothly operating – that do not identify as anarchists – as well as the presence of Marxists.
Again, I think some of this skepticism is a projection of people’s personal issues with specific organizers.
The stress of the original occupation, where participants were constantly surrounded by cops and federal officers, exacerbated disagreements among organizers. I cannot blame individuals for withholding their support because of being made to feel unsafe by certain organizers, but it would be strategically unwise to fully dismiss this camp because of that.
In the past week hundreds have come together to publicly agitate at City Hall. This camp is not meant to last forever, but it would be wise to not let it sputter and die out on such a sour note in such a public space. The forces-that-be want our inactivity and burnout so that the PARS contract can be renewed without a fight.
This occupation ending in such a way will reflect badly on all of us, and even more importantly, could hinder and even sabotage the campaign to #EndPARS.
Last week, running off the energy of the first encampment, the camp became a base for activity.
Occupiers were constantly talking to those passing by, providing information on the PARS contract and getting folks to sign the petition put out by Juntos. Media and public attention on the camp highlighted the PARS contract. Mayor Kenney and other officials were flooded with phone calls.
This base is limited, as action-planning cannot occur in such a public space. That said, it has been a space for educating, connecting organizers and people of good conscience, and most importantly, a very public way of getting Kenney’s attention.
I don’t think as much energy needs to be put into this project as the first encampment, but I think it is worth actively supporting this camp in order to strengthen our message. If more people were out on the ground, more people could take shifts. The burden of this camp would not remain on the same 20-30 people, many of which have slept in their own beds only a handful of times since the original occupation.
But, again, we need to do more.
We need to continue calling city officials, handing out flyers, flooding social media with information on PARS; but we also need to begin agitating with more creativity. Perhaps also at other strategic locations – maybe not to the point of occupation, but at least picketing. We need to be creative in finding ways to get our message out to the public and to our so-called “leaders” as well as hinder ICE operations. We cannot afford to waste time on infighting. We cannot lose sight of the goal, and therefore we must not lose sight of our current moment. Upset over ICE continues, despite the media trying to move on. The time is ripe. We must act.
via Plain Words
Against the Machine: Selected Writings From Plain Words
Much of the theoretical writing submitted to Plain Words has been about information technology. This zine is a collection of those writings.
Rather than shame people for using their smartphones in public, these pieces are meant to demonstrate what we have to gain by fighting against the techno-nightmare. Specifically, they describe how these technologies impoverish our relationships, and dull our capacity for combative social struggle.
what is the goal of an anarchist, if not to escape? escape, that is, from the mundane, unpleasant, needless devouring insanity of modern ‘life’. life there wearing scare quotes because the stagnant uniformity of the modern landscape doesn't mix well with the motion and diversity i strongly associate with the vibrant phenomena of life on earth. perhaps this is because this city i live in is a two-bit refrigerated nightmare, but the clawing drone of rushhour tokyo is scarcely less oppressive. despite all its apparent motion, its glitter-ridden and glowing ediface, tokyo too wears that cloak of smog and stagnant philosophies, of mundaity and broken dreams, even if it does so with an alluring macabre flare and a spectacular grandiosity.
so what is the desire to escape if not healthy, hedonistic, honest? epicurean even, in the -relatively- colloqial sense? why does seemingly so little of our discussion involve what we as anarchists actually do to escape, how we actually spend our time? it seems like almost everyones’ instinct when confronted with this modern world weve worked so hard to create is to escape; quickly, and as much as possible, self identified anarchist or not. ive been on lefbook. ive walked around malls. it isnt the attempt at escape i find nauseating about those places, its the links that bring the would-be-escapee back to their cell, the links i see between the escape now, and the later return to this massifying leviathan. the consumerism, the bland philosophy, the fake smiles, the empty talk, the poses, the show, the spectacle. youve been outside too, you know what i mean. and yet stigma still sticks to the idea of escape, it stillholds that air of naughtiness, perhaps even criminality. we’re supposed to be working, we chide ourselves.
but work can get fucked. i work, and it can still get fucked. update; i used to work. work is a time for podcasts, music, and a healthy dose of air guitar and middle class leftovers whilst the chefs arent looking. the food waste in that miserable self-important canteen reduced me to -and would continue to reduce me to if i still worked there- actual salt-and-water tears. but i digress.
so what have i been doing to entertain myself? where has my time been going? the first time i tried to write this thing the answer was ‘nowhere pleasant’. indeed it was not a pleasant time for me, and i can probably expect many more periods like it, from now until the day i die. but ive bared with myself, and ive bared with the world -the world immediate that is-. the days have gotten colder, and so have my feet. it still rains in the kitchen. i havent hoovered my room in months, though ive gone over the rancid carpet of that upstairs bar far too many times. whoever put carpet in a bar can suck a rotten lemon. update; i have now hoovered my room.
one thing i have been doing though, probably adding to my image as a certified crazy-person to those with whom i am closest, is scribbling out a new code in which to write english; a new alphabet, after a sorts. its been very meditative, rushing my pen around to reveal shapes that i actually want to draw. the letter c can go fuck itself. ive tried to build in enough cryptological feautures so as to make it as unbreakable as i am capable, though of course keeping it off the internet was the first and most important step in keeping it secret. perhaps ill even teach to someone whose interested, if they exist, providing i know and trust them enough -including, but ot limited to themnotbeing a person of the internet variety-. of course, if everything goes well the code will never be tested. yet cryptology has always been an interest of mine, even if ive never been fantastic at it; not the making, or the breaking. indeed ive just found another potential topic, cryptology and anarchism. there were many labels i could hear applied to myself whenever i let my guard down, whenever my mind turned back on to its usual whirring overanalysis. many insults, many labels, many paranoid self-diagnoses. thats the usual for me. but ive been slowly learning to turn it back off. and i have page after pages of monotonous, meaningles frantic scribblings to thank for it! huzzah! theyre going onto the next fire of course; outwardly for secrecy, but who doesnt like a good ritual book burning?
ive been listening to audiobooks, going for walks. i sketched my leg a couple nights ago. i cuddle that person closest to me, we have pretty darn fun sex -not that i have much to compare it to, and indeed not that i care that much that i dont-. on that note though, my suspisciously-christian '''secular''' upbringing has left me woefully undeprepared for a grownup conversation about sex.
so now onto the discussion bit, where i invite yall to comment... what have you been doing? what do wish you were doing, and why dont you close this article and do it now? youll probably be glad you did. too tired? go to sleep, or drink a coffee -though not if its after lunchtime, lets be sensible-. nothing you want to do? i feel you, bare with yourself, smoke some weed, drop a tab -though remember to tripsafe-, go for a walk -and turn this screen of if you do, lets be sensible-. get chatting with friends -if you have any; i stuggle with that too-. perhaps you even think you cant do it, couldnt ever do it, so theres no point trying. well, you probably could. your more capable than you think, than the adverts selling you the enxt thing to make you happy are inclined to tell you, even if you tell yourself you dont listen to them. if you are around them, you do. but if you really honestly couldnt ever do it, well then, whats the point in wanting it?