"'Cause even when they kill me,
they can never take the game from a young G."
By the time I got to Riverside I was pretty tired and hungover. Having slept in Fresno the night before after a failed attempt at a benefit show for Modesto Needle Exchange, which was busted early this summer by a sting operation conducted by the Stanislaus Sheriff's Department, and spending several hours in a car with four other people and a dog, I was ready to crash. I was bummed that I didn't get to see my boy Emcee Lynx perform with his band, Beltain's Fire, but I heard his car got all fucked up, and besides, it would have sucked for them to come all the way to Fresno and play to an empty house.
I was asleep on the playground when my friends urged me to hide under the jungle gym. When the kids in Riverside told me that the pigs kick you out of the park, I thought they were talking about cops on foot, but no, they were talking about pigs in the sky. Suddenly a spot light appears and the only thing separating me from their watching gaze is a few inches of industrial plastic and metal that made up the jungle gym. A voice booms, "The park is closed, LEAVE NOW!" I guess the volleyball game is over sadly, as the collection of anarchists and punk kids empties the park and the pigs begin to follow us in our cars for a time. Nice to know they'll be shutting down homeless shelters, free clinics, and schools soon, yet they'll have enough money to keep those fuckers flying in the sky. Don't ask me how I feel about pigs getting laid off - fuck em. They've had it good for so long - cut em every chance you can get. You know it's bad when pigs in Modesto area getting laid off. Those fuckers are class traitors.
Also, went to a VERY up scale hotel and, I'll let Davey take this one:
Walking into the Mission Inn like we owned it brought a warm excitement only brought on by fear and happiness. We drank Expensive champagne and chocolate strawberry on it's rooftop, looking down at the unsuspecting city.
The anarchists in Riverside were interesting. Or I should say, the anarchist I spent time with in Riverside was interesting. Like myself, they had a pretty close connection to the city that they were in, and a feeling of a presence to their city that they were born to. Like a lot of anarchists, they seem to be caught up in this idea of "Trying to ask the community what it needs," and then trying to fill that need. I don't really see this as our role. Ask people what they need and they will say, "Jobs, money, better access to things." We can't supply people with employment, for example. Sure, we should be organizing for a reduction of the price of things, and fighting back against paying for more and getting less, but we aren't in a position to get people jobs or get even (often) more money in their pocket. I'm less interested in getting people groceries every week than I am opening up space to talk to people about why we should destroy class society. Than I am about existing within the tensions that are already there and trying to make them into ruptures. Giving confidence to the tendencies that already are among the class that are positive. Attacking the Left, white supremacy, and patriarchy within the class. Anarchists also put no strategy into their projects when they do take on a charity feel. Who cares if you feed people if it's not part of a wider project.
Anyway, left Riverside and headed into Phoenix, or more appropriately Tempe, a city outside of it. Roadside cameras dot the landscape, ready to snap your picture if you go over a certain speed. These cameras have lead to a variety of act of sabotage and resistance as of late, and continues to be an area of conflict. Tempe is a pretty cool place. If I had to live anywhere in the US right now I'd probably have to live there. The Phoenix Class War Council holds shit down here and puts out a fine publication, some cool stuff, and runs a blog that is worth checking out.
On the Light Rail today I watched a woman curse at some pigs who got her for not paying for the fair. Everyday is social war as they say...
I took the Light Rail to this place called Conspire today, kind of like an artsy/activist hangout/coffee house, with an 'anarchist library.' The library was mostly filled with books that looked like leftovers from garage sales and copies of magazines ranging from Slingshot to ISR. Urgh. Luckily, I left some copies of Vengeance, Modesto Anarcho, and Fire to the Prisons to help people try and figure their shit out.
Friday looks to be interesting. Here's there's this thing called "First Friday," kind of like a social happening where people come out and look at shit and take in new artwork. I guess last time around the police tried to fuck with people and people fought back. It's hot as fuck here but hopefully there are storm clouds on the horizon.
The youth culture here in Phoenix is also interesting. I went into a graffiti store today that was amazing. Lots of interesting graffiti and artwork everywhere. I seems slightly autonomous from middle class influence or university bullshit, which is interesting. The hip hop group the Insects is from here and I had the pleasure of meeting the singer which was great. If you aren't familiar with their stuff, check them out. I'm also addicted to the graphic novel series, Wet Moon now. Basically a soap opera graphic novel about young goth girls and their problems.
Back to the heat, lots of beer, and all the gorgeous women with better tattoos than me and the ability to somehow not sweat as much.