Monday, November 30, 2009

Put Your Hands Up - It's a Raid


The Bricks We Throw at Police Today Will Build the Liberation Schools of Tomorrow

From Indybay - by Three Non-Matriculating Proletarians

“If you’re scared today you'll be scared tomorrow as well and always and so you've got to make a start now right away we must show that in this school we aren't slaves we have to do it so we can do what they're doing in all other schools to show that we're the ones to decide because the school is ours.”


The Unseen, Nanni Balestrini


Days later, voices in unison still ring in our ears. “Who’s university?” At night in bed, we mumble the reply to ourselves in our dreams. “Our university!” And in the midst of building occupations and the festive and fierce skirmishes with the police, concepts like belonging and ownership take the opportunity to assume a wholly new character. Only the village idiot or, the modern equivalent, a bureaucrat in the university administration would think we were screaming about something as suffocating as property rights when last week we announced, “The School is Ours!” When the day erupted, when the escape plan from the drudgery of college life was hatched, it was clear to everyone that the university not only belonged to the students who were forcefully reasserting their claim but also to the faculty, to every professor and TA who wishes they could enliven the mandatory curriculum in their repetitive 101 class, to the service workers who can't wait for their shift to end, and to every other wage-earner on campus ensuring the daily functioning of the school.

Last week, the actualization of our communal will gave us a new clarity. The usual divisiveness of proprietorship was forcefully challenged; cascades of hidden meaning rush onto rigid notions of possession and our eyes look past surface appearances. So now when asked, “who does the university belong to?” we can't fail to recognize that the college itself was built by labor from generations past, the notebook paper is produced by workers in South America, the campus computers are the output of work in Chinese factories, the food in the student cafe is touched by innumerable hands before it reaches the plates, and all the furniture at UC Berkeley is produced by the incarcerated at San Quentin. Thus the university, its normal operation and existence, ought to be attributed to far more than it regularly is. To claim that the school is ours requires our definition of ownership to not only shatter the repressive myth that the college belongs to the State of California and the Regents but to also extend belonging past national and state borders and throughout time. It's clear, the entire university, for that matter, every university belongs to everyone, employed and unemployed, all students and all workers, to everyone of the global class that produces and reproduces the world as we now know it. The school is ours because it’s everyone's and the destruction of the property relation, with all its damaging and limiting consequences, is implicit in the affirmation of this truth. It's our university...

…but, as of now, in its present configuration, who would want something so disgusting as a school?

The Poverty of Student Life is the Poverty of Capitalist Society

It's now larger than any conspiratorial plot by Thomas Huxley. In fact, he could have never envisioned the extent to which contemporary class society would transform education as such into another separated activity, detached from the totality of life and devoid of any practical worth or good, while, simultaneously, being in perfect accord with the needs of capitalist production.

Learning is now sapped of all its content, education is but another part of the assembly line in the social factory, and the university itself serves an important function within the reproduction of disjointed life in this divided society. While the collegiate apparatus infests countless minds with the logic and technical knowledge of capital, the illusion is being sold that somehow academic labor is divorced from the world of work. Our apologies, but a term paper is not the production of autonomous and creative knowledge, it is work and therefore exploitation. It is human activity animated for the sake of capital not for humanity itself. The conditioning and preparation of students for a life crushed by regimented value creation is the essential purpose of the college: to teach the young how to give and take orders. Nothing about the university is neutral; its role in society is clear. The lines are being drawn.

The Representation of the Student Body Has Become an Enemy of the Student Body


You will always be offered dialogue as if that were its own end; it will die in bureaucracy's stale air, as if trapped in a soundless room. In insurrectionary times, action is the speech that can be heard.
-Slogan written on a Digital Wall


Far before last week’s events, we've located them in the enemy’s camp. Student activist-leaders shamed, begged, pleaded, and finally began to shriek and scream at us when we ignored their megaphone-amplified orders. In their last ditch effort to see their commands followed, they physically assisted the police in blocking us from occupying buildings and protected the outnumbered cops from our punches and shoves. It’s obvious they've chosen their side some time ago. These are the idiots who were telling people who tried to break down the door of California Hall on November 18th that they should not do so because “there was no consensus.” These are the same fools who sabotaged the attempted storming of the Regents meeting at UCLA and the occupation of Covel Hall, ruining months of self-directed planning, after declaring the crowd had become too “agitated.” The Cynthias, who later that day went on to disrupt the occupation of Carter-Huggins Hall. These are the same politicians, who grabbed the megaphone as students marched in to the President’s office in Downtown Oakland, prepared to raise utter hell and instead directed them into a dialogue with middle-level administrators, later issuing an order that the crowd must leave “peacefully.” Disgusting, yet typical. The only consensus they want is rallied around the social peace and the preservation of the existent institutions and the only alteration they want of the power structure is their ascent to the top of it. By actively collaborating with the administration and police, by orchestrating arrests, by frittering away the momentum of the angry, they validate the insults we flung at them and they revealed themselves for the “student cops,” “class traitors” and “snitches” they are.

For them it’s a knee-jerk reaction: challenge their power and they fall back on identity politics. If they don’t get their way they cry privilege. When the actions escalate, when we begin to feel our power, the self-appointed are waiting to remind us that there may be the undocumented present – the activist super-ego. Somehow in their tiny paternalistic brains they believe they know what’s best for immigrants implying that the undocumented are too stupid to understand the consequences of their actions and god granted the student leaders the wisdom to guide these lost souls. In their foolish heads, immigrants remain passive sheep, black people never confront the police and just enjoy the beatings they get, and the working class always takes orders from the boss.

In pseudo-progressive tongue they speak a state-like discourse of diversity; the groans of the student-activist zombie is the grammar of the dead revolutions of the past. Their vision of race politics ignores the triumphs and wallows in the failures of the 60’s movements. The stagnant ghosts of yesterday’s deadlocked struggle; they are the hated consequences of the civil rights era that produced a rainbow of tyranny with a Black president mutilating Afghanis, Asian cops brutalizing students on campus, and Latino prison guards chaining prisoners. In this same way, the opportunists act out their complicity with the structures of order. When students defy preset racial categories and unify in order to take action on their own behalf, the student cops attempt to reinforce the present day's violent separations and reestablish governance. They fail to recognize that divisions among proletarians are questioned only within the struggle itself and the festering scissions between the exploited can only be sutured with hands steadied by combat with the exploiters. Like a scalpel used to reopen stitched wounds, the student activists’ brand of multi-culturalism is undoubtedly a tool of state repression.

During the scuffle with the police in front of California Hall on the inaugural day of the strike, one of the student cops asked, “What’s going to happen when we get into the building?” For us, given the social context of the strike, the answer is obvious, for them, even the question is problematic because of the risk it poses to their position of dominance. In the moment of rupture, their role as managers becomes void. Self-directed action crowds out the programmatic. They forever need to stand on the edge of the reality that something could pop off, because it is in that possibility that they can control the situation and ensure that things do, in fact, move in their way towards nowhere. When things get hot, the self-elected of the student movement are waiting with their trusty fire extinguishers ready in hand because they know that when people act on their own and valorize their self-interest, their authority crumbles and everyone can see how bankrupt their strategy of social containment actually is. The student activist stutter-steps on the path of nothingness. But we hope to turn the mob against them. To seize their megaphones and declare: “Death to Bureaucracy!” Some may ask, “Why have these hooligans come to our campus?” “They’ve come to ruin everything!” the student leaders will say.

And for once, we agree.

We Are Not Students, We Are Dynamite!

A movement results from combinations that even its own participants cannot control. And that its enemies cannot calculate. It evolves in ways that cannot be predicted, and even those who foresee it are taken by surprise.
-Paco Ignacio Taibo


Many will ask then, why have we thrown ourselves into the ‘student movement?’ We are not students, at least not now and never in the UC system. It is not feasible for us to attend the UC in the first place, either because of the cost or the lack of desire to live the rest of our lives ridden with overwhelming debt.

We have not come to the university to make demands of the Board of Regents or the university administration. Nor do we wish to participate in some form of ‘democracy’ where the ‘student movement’ decides (or is told to do so by student leaders) how to negotiate with the power structure. For us, Sacramento and its budget referendums are as useless as the empty words spewing from the mouths of the union leaders and activists on campus. Nothing about the “democratizing” the school system or forcing it to become better managed or more “transparent” even mildly entices us. No, we didn’t join the student movement to obtain any of these paltry demands.

Last week, we began to attack the university not just because we are proletarians scorned by and excluded from the UC, or that we hope by resisting we may reduce costs and thus join the UC system and elevate our class positions. Our choice to collaborate in the assault on California’s school was driven solely by our own selfish class interest: to take its shit and use it for ourselves. Occupied buildings become spaces from which to further strike the exploiters of this world and, at the same time, disrupt and suppress the ability of the college to function.

Like any other institution structured by class society, the university is one of our targets. We made our presence in the student movement to break down the divisions between students angry over fee hikes, workers striking against lay offs, and faculty at odds with the administration over cuts and furloughs. These are not separate struggles over different issues, but sections of a class that have a clear and unified enemy. We have come for the same reason we intervene in any tension: to push for the total destruction of capitalist exploitation and for the re-composition of the proletariat towards communism.

And so, ask yourself how could one even go about reforming something as debilitating as a university? Demanding its democratization would only mean a reconfiguration of horror. To ask for transparency is nothing but a request for a front row seat to watch an atrocity exhibition. Even the seemingly reasonable appeal for reducing the cost of tuition will leave the noose of debt wrapped snuggly around our necks. There's nothing the university can give anyone, but last week’s accomplishments show that there is everything for us to take. If anything, our actions, as a means in themselves, were more important than any of the crumbs the UC system or the Regents Board might wipe off the table for us. During these days, we felt the need for obliterating renewal give rise to intense enthusiasm. We felt the spirit irradiate throughout campus and press everyone “to push the university struggle [not only] to its limits,” but to its ultimate conclusion: against the university itself.

…And So It Must Spread

“It is surely not difficult to see that our time is a time of birth and transition to a new period. The spirit has broken with what was hitherto the world of its existence and imagination and is about to submerge all this in the past; it is at work giving itself a new form."
-The Phenomenology of Spirit


The stench that the university emits has become unbearable and students everywhere are reacting against the institution that has perpetually rotted away their being via an arsenal of disciplinary techniques. At campuses across California the corrosion of life is brought to a quick halt when the college’s daily mechanism of power is given the Luddite treatment, and suddenly, studying becomes quite meaningless. Shamefully, the administration, terrified they are losing control and supervision of the pupils they spent so much time training, turn riot police on anyone ripping off their chains. At UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, SF State and CSU Fresno the unlimited occupations display the universal need for free and liberated space. The recalcitrance is spreading. In Austria, students left their occupied territory at the Fine Arts Academy to march on the US embassy in solidarity with the police repression on California campuses. On the same continent, the occupations in Greece have now extended outside the universities into the high schools and even the middle schools. Everywhere, the youth are recognizing the school as a vapid dungeon stunting their growth and, at the same time, they are refusing submission to the crushing of their bodily order. All over, a new generation is seeking the passion for the real, for what is immediately practicable, here and now.

The assaults on police officers, the confrontations with the administration, the refusal of lectures, and the squatted buildings point the objective struggle in the direction of the complete and total negation of the university. That is, brick by brick smashing the academic monolith into pieces and abolishing the college as a specialized institution restricted to a specific segment of society. This will require the instillation of technique known as learning to be wholly subverted and recomposing education as a generalized and practical activity of the entire population; an undermining through which the student shall auto-destruct.

Going halfway always spells defeat, and so, the spreading of movement is our only assurance against this stagnation. Complete self-abolition necessitates that the logic of revolt spill out of the universities and flood the entire social terrain. But the weapons of normalcy are concealed everywhere and especially within the most mundane characteristics of daily life. The allegiance to the bourgeois family structure and interruptions by holiday vacations and school breaks threaten to douse the fuse before its ignition and hinder our momentum.

Let us not lose sight of the tasks before us.

We must forcefully eject the police from the campus. Find their holes and burn them out. Block their movements near occupied spaces. Build barricades; protect that which has been re-taken. We need only to look to Chile or Greece to see the immense advantage movements possess once they seize territory and declare it free of police. Blockade the entrances and gates of the campus as the students have already begun to experiment with at UC Santa Cruz.

We must also denounce and destroy the student Left (the recuperative, the parasitic, the “representative”) that seeks to de-escalate the movement and integrate it back into politics. Our venom is not only directed at those who assisted the police in blocking angry students from entering California Hall at UC Berkeley or obstructed the crowds during the Regents meeting at UCLA but also of those who sought to negotiate with the police “on behalf” of the occupiers of Wheeler Hall. It is telling that the police will negotiate with them, because to the cops, they are reasonable. We are not, however, because we seek the immediate annihilation of both the pigs and the activists.

Renew the strikes and extend their reach. Occupy the student stores and loot them. Sell off the computers in the lab to raise funds. Set up social spaces for students and non-students alike to come in and use freely. Appropriate the copy machines and make news of the revolt. Takeover the cafeterias and bars and begin preparing the communal feast. Burn the debt records and the construction plans. Chisel away the statues and vandalize the pictures of the old order. In short, create not an ‘alternative’ that can easily make its fit within the existent, but rather a commune in which power is built to destroy capitalist society. When faced with a university building, the choices are limited; either convert it to ashes or begin the immediate materialization of the international soviet.

To all waged and unwaged workers – students or not, unemployed, precarious or criminal we call on you to join this struggle. The universities can become not only our playgrounds but also the foundations from which we can build a partisan war machine fit for the battle to retrieve our stolen lives.

And to the majority of the students, from those paying their way to those swimming in debt, all used as collateral by the Regents, who bravely occupied buildings across California and fought the police against the barricades – we say this clearly: we are with you! We stood by you as you faced down the police in the storming rain and defended the occupiers. Your actions are an inspiration to us all and we hope to meet you again on the front lines. In you we see the spirit of insurgent students everywhere.

As our Austrian friends recently told us, “Take out your hairspray and your lighter”! Tear down the education factory. Attack the Left and everything that it “represents.” Attack the new bosses before they become the old ones. Life serves the risk taker – and we’re rolling the fucking dice!

FOR ANARCHY AND COMMUNISM!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Non-Students Speak in Santa Cruz Tomorrow

Non-students caught up in the wave of occupations discuss their experiences and ask for your money in helping them out. Discussions and Q and A to follow.

Wednesday, November 25th, 7pm. SubRosa Infoshop.

Doug "G" and Rene Buonarroti, two non-students caught up in the week of occupations and facing charges from the state, are coming out to read a text they have prepared on the revolt and discuss the actions at UC Berkeley. Donations go to cover legal costs. Please come out!

SubRosa Infoshop 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz.

From Indybay

Unfortunately, Doug's case has not yet been dropped. There remains a weapons charge of "possession of a weapon on school grounds," which is entirely bogus.

If you have the time, please come out to support Doug!

Wednesday, November 25th.
Department 104, 9:00 AM
Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse
661 Washington Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Also, we are now accepting donations to support Doug through paypal at http://www.modestoanarcho.org/ . In addition to paying back some of the excellent folks who contributed to his bail, we will attempt to cover a fair bit of gas money for those involved in driving to and from Modesto for this case. Also, if we get excess money, we will be paying it forward to the cases of other arrestees from last week.

So, in sum: come out to court tomorrow! Donate through paypal if you can!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Don't you wish your work allowed you to slack, like me?"


Some new essays and texts floating around out there you should check out.

The first is from the Phoenix Class War Council, and deals with libertarian/right wing resistance to the border check points and speed cameras, and how they fit into a critique of white supremacy and control over movement. Also looks at the various forms of direct action and sabotage that has sought to attack the cameras. Check it out here.

The next is a text up on the 325 website, which is a flyer text for a call for a demo in solidarity with immigrants. Read that here.

A new blog has been started for Christos and Alfredo, the two anarchists arrested in Greece on October 1st for robbing a bank. It includes a text that's pretty good as well as some posters that you can make up. Check that out here.

There's a text out there that's been floating around called "The Team." The idea being you wear a button at work to let people know that you'll hook them up and then when you see others with it, you get hooked up. I was kind of skeptical of this at first, but it's won me over. "In the end, the point is not to establish some sort of alternative economy where we all just go on working our miserable jobs, but rather to help create a climate of subversion, to plant seeds that may manifest in various untold forms, to experiment, and above all to begin to attack the sources of misery." Read it here.

Lastily, there is a three day strike going down tomorrow across state schools. If you live by one or can make it out, looks like things are going to pop off. Check out some info and a quick occupation guide here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Looptroop Rockers



"I'm out there bombing trains, trying to bring back the days of 36' in Spain."

"Decapitating the dead monarchy, replace it with some fresh anarchy."

"Simple and dumb, you'll ask why, simple and plain pigs deserve to die. Slaughter your crew, yo fuck 5-0."

So, one of the best groups of all time, Looptroop Rockers, known sometime ago just as Looptroop (one of their members left the band, so they renamed themselves), are finally hitting the US on a tour on both coasts. They're playing in Berkeley and New York, so I might end up going to see them twice. Tickets aren't that much and from the videos I've seen online, they put on an awesome show. If you haven't heard Looptroop, check out their stuff online. Also, check out Promoe from Looptroop's solo stuff. They are one of the few "political" (I know Promoe at least calls himself an anarchist) groups out there that I can still really get into. They are also one of the few hip hop artists to really "speak" to the love of graffiti and the motivations behind it. "You claim it's not political, but to me, the whole art form questions private property. A political crime of passion, this one is for my train bombing, train trashing." Want a reason to get into LTR, look up Promoe's song, "These Walls Don't Lie" and Looptroops "Yes Ayah" on youtube. Become a fan.

Check out their site at: www.looptrooprockers.com. And see you in Berkeley and New York at the show?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Testament Video, Detourn of 'Run this Town'

I was told this was 'cool,' however I can't get sound on youtube for some reason. YOU DECIDE!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Phoenix: Where Anarchists Pack Heat and Send Nazis Packing


by Crudo
Special to Phoenix Class War Council

“Okay, you’re a goon, but what’s a goon to a goblin?”
– Lil Wayne

As I looked out from my appropriated aviator Forever 21 sunglasses – I won’t lie, I felt a little uneasy. “That’s a big group,” I thought, as a motley crew of mostly large men carrying American and swastika flags began to goosestep my way. On closer inspection, I realized that the large group that looked to be about 100, was in fact, mostly police. This of course didn’t make me feel any less uneasy…

So here I was, on the front line prepared to throw down against the “National Socialist Movement,” a political party that wants a fascist all-white America. The NSM has attempted to take over from where George Rockwell’s American Nazi Party left off in the 1960’s, and attempts to be a force within the White Nationalist movement as it continues to splinter, fracture, and die. I came to Phoenix hoping that the $180 greyhound bus ticket and the 18 hour ride sitting next to a bathroom door that continued to open (despite the ever so delicately placed blue tape over it) and smell the entire room up with rotten piss, would be worth it. It was – and the success of the confrontational and militant actions on the 7th brings up several things that anarchists everywhere can learn from.



Inglourious Basterds

Several weeks ago, a flyer started circulating on the internet produced by the Phoenix Class War Council (PCWC – say it like, Pee Cee Dub Cee) that encouraged people to confront the NSM at their scheduled rally on November 7th at the Arizona state capital in Phoenix. The flyer included an image from the popular new movie Inglourious Basterds, in which an elite group of American Jewish service men in WW II brutally track down and kill nazis in Europe. The looming showdown of anarchists and nazis created quiet a large buzz on the internet, getting coverage on several news sites, in the New Times (the major alternative Phoenix newspaper), as well as being picked up by some of the major Libertarian websites. The call to confront the NSM was followed by a well written piece entitled, “The NSM Offers Nothing for the Working Class but more Exploitation and Misery,” also posted on the PCWC blog and across the internet. The text argued an anarchist critique of the NSM and white supremacy, which was presented as a cross class alliance between working class whites and white elites that breaks up the unity of the working class and hindering possible united class action.

The media and internet was abuzz, and the fascists were stating in the press that they would being out 200 people for their “America First” rally, highlighting their opposition to “illegal immigration.” The stage was set for a showdown on Saturday – with only one side coming out on top.



Desert of the Real

Phoenix is a city divided by race politics and the immigration issue. Unlike many cities on the coast, while a left wing is present in the city, it also boasts strong Libertarian and Constitutionalist scenes, which holds a sizeable influence. Struggles against speed cameras for instance which ticket people for driving over the speed limit, have been headed largely by Libertarian type groups. This context makes organizing in Phoenix for anarchists quite different than say the bay area of California.

Probably the man that everyone has the biggest bone to pick with in town is Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has served as Sheriff since 1993. People fucking hate this guy. You see it on t-shirts, in the newspapers, and in the streets. Sheriff Joe has gained so much scorn because of his ‘tough on immigrants’ stance and his harsh management of prisoners. Under federal law 287(g), which gives Sheriff Joe and his deputies the ability to deport people, raids in the area have broken up families and displaced working class people from their means of existence and their loved ones. But while Sheriff Joe has been going after immigrants, Phoenix in the last few years has been the playground of groups like the Minutemen. One of the figures to emerge from this movement, and also known to hob nob with Sheriff Joe and State Senator Russell Pearce, is former Maricopa County Republican precinct committeeman, J.T. Ready – who also just happens to be a supporter of the National Socialist Movement.

J.T. Ready first started getting heat for his after hours fascist activity when photos of him at a National Socialist Movement rally surfaced in 2007 and Ready started handing out anti-Semitic and racist texts at the office. Ready was fired after the embarrassment hit the papers and his Republican bosses buckled, but he continued to be a fixture in the local political landscape. In the days leading up the NSM demo, Ready appeared on several television stations, claiming that while he was not a member of the NSM, (which is interesting because his license plate read “NSM USA”), he supports the NSM because it is a “white civil rights organization.” While J.T. Ready has been pushed out of most of the Nativist movement, he still has been welcomed with open arms by many within the far right of Phoenix, and even spoke at Tea Party rally on July 4th. The ability of very vocal neo-nazis to exist within the Arizona anti-immigrant and far right movement shows the degree in which racist ideas have a sea to swim in.



Reich Here, Reich Now?

With their nazi uniforms and flags, the NSM will appear laughable to many people. Despite this, it is worth while to look at them, their ideas, and their strategy. What becomes clear after watching videos online and sifting through NSM texts and literature, is that the NSM has become very media savvy after so much time in the spotlight. Getting time in the media is perhaps one of the only things that the NSM is able to do well – since the whole website designing, video making, and general writing thing ain’t going to well for them! The NSM knows how to work the media, because they are able to walk a line where they refer to themselves as “white nationalists” and “national socialists,” not “nazis” or “supremacists,” terms which they shy away from, and call themselves a “civil rights organization.” They are not “racist,” they are simply “pro-white.” All this is while they parade through the streets with stickers against “spics,” screaming “ZEEK-HAIL!,” and carrying Nazi flags. The media of course, does not call the NSM out on this and seems to take their claims at face value often – however it is clear to anyone who studies the NSM that they are a through and through a racist organization. So, while the whole nazi dress up thing gives the NSM the ability to make the press come to them, at the same time they must hide and dodge everything that makes them and their politics who they are. They are a living contradiction and know it and must constantly duck from the genocidal and racist nature of their political ideology. Their strategy in doing these little rallies of theirs seems to simply be to get their name out in the media – hoping that in doing so people will come to them and their movement will grow. In coming to Phoenix, the NSM hoped to make links with the anti-immigrant movement and build their influence outside of the skinhead and white power subculture – an effort that failed horribly on their part.

Image problems aside, a quick read through the NSM positions on their website tells a different story than the simple ‘merica lovers the NSM would like to portray themselves as. While the NSM states that they are “against illegal immigration,” they state clearly in their “25 Points of American National Socialism” that they are against any non-white migration into the United States. Once their party gains power they propose, they will then begin deporting all non-White people and Jews back to their original counties of origin, “peacefully or by force.” Being that the NSM couldn’t even get more than 40 people to show up to their rally (even after they bussed people in from out of state), I have serious doubts if they posses the organizational skills required to carry out such an operation!

As for all the “pro-white working class” rhetoric that the NSM pumps out, they are clear enemies to all working people: black, white, brown, and everything else. According to our would be fuhers, they want to do away with all “Marxist” trade unions, (by that I suppose they mean the ones that exist now?), and force workers to belong to National Socialist ones, ie, unions run by the state. While the NSM promotes a beefed up welfare state (money for schools and health care – not for Jews!), the NSM are not enemies of capitalism. Breathe easy big wigs and fat cats! In fact, despite all their attacks on “communists,” the NSM are bigger fans of the “nationalization” of major corporations than any Obamaites and probably most trustifarian college Trotskyist grad students that you’ll ever met! That’s right, in the state capitalist future of the NSM, you’ll work for a state run corporation, belong to a state run union, and live under the “unconditional authority of [a] political central parliament over the entire nation and its organizations.” Feel like a wage slave now? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

But that’s not all! In order to make sure that the white people who don’t get herded off into camps for having a Mexicano boyfriend or owning a copy of a Howard Zinn book don’t get any big ideas, they’re also going to control everything you read, see, and say! As the NSM wrote, they want their new government to “[Stop] the publishing of papers which are not conducive to the national welfare...We demand the legal prosecution of all those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand.” All of this of course means total political control, all run by the NSM political elites, which equates to a massive political and military hierarchy that can only be protected and backed up by an extensive police state and massive violence. For all their talk of destroying the “evil empire” of “the jews,” the NSM would replace the very real power of the upper class with their own ruling class.

Let’s go over this again, shall we? Under American National Socialism, you’re still a wage slave. You still will pay rent. You still will pay for things that you and other workers create at work. You still live in a class society of property owners and wage workers – only now, many of those property owners are now part of the government! You don’t work for private businesses, you work for state run corporations. You can’t participate in unions except ones that are run by the state. And, if you happen to have the hots for the foxy Korean woman down the street or happen to peep a gay porn website – you’re fucked! Be careful what you say and write as well, or the all-powerful NSM cadre just might pay you a visit. Despite the NSM’s standard line that they simply want to pressure politicians in the US to “put America first” and “end illegal immigration,” the NSM’s positions are very clear. They want a more bureaucratic and totalitarian version of the modern capitalist system. Think China but totally racist. Furthermore – their movement offers nothing for working people. Why drive across two states to a shitty rally with 30 other people who will probably be locked up for selling meth next week, when multi racial groups of workers are taking action all the time to actually better their conditions? For instance, the workers at the Republic Windows and Glass factory who occupied it together and won back their wages and benefits. I’d rather have ferrets dipped in Tapatio fight in my pants while I stand in line at the DMV than live in the America that the National Socialist Movement wants, but apparently a small amount of people would disagree with me – there in lies the conflict.



“IF YOU WANT BEEF THEN BRING THA RUCKUS – PHX AIN’T NUTHIN TA FUCK WITH!”

On November 7th, the anarchists of Arizona, made up of groups from Phoenix, Flagstaff, and elsewhere, numbered between 150-200. The coordination that allowed this to happen was in thanks larger to state wide gatherings that have been organized for several months. Joining the anarchists were Libertarian activists from various groups, as well as various veterans, leftists, queer folks, and Chicano activists. Another large contingent was Native youth, especially from the O’odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective, which was out in force as well as young people from various reservations across Arizona. Carrying huge banners that read, “THIS IS ANTI-FACISM: No States, No Borders,” and “No Foreclosures, No Deportations! Round Up Nazis Not Immigrants!,” and black flags, anarchists were clearly the largest group in vocal opposition. Most of the crowd wore black and covered their faces with masks. At this stand off, anarchists did several things right; firstly, they stayed ahead of the Nazis, and were able to physically attack them with rocks and paint bombs and did not allow the police to arrest anyone. Instead of physically being directly across form the Nazis, the anarchists tried to stay ahead of them in order to try and get into the street and confront them directly.

When the NSM group came up to where the anarchists where, police quickly moved them onto the side of the streets and kept the two sides from getting into the street. Several bottles where thrown at this point. The nazis then moved onto their rally site after having marched from their parking space a couple of blocks away. Hardly anyone was on the street at this point other than police, nazis, and anarchists. Anarchists made several attempts to get in the street and go at the nazis, but police on horses did there damnest to make sure we would not have the streets. After the nazis had gotten to their rally point, police at first attempted to separate everyone from their rally, which was simply held on the grass of the state capital (not on the steps like rallies in other states). This lasted for about 5 minutes, before people as a group said fuck that and rushed “the stage.” At this point police formed a line between the anarchists and the nazis, while brave souls threw rocks and paint bombs. Anarchists were able to use their large banners to create barriers between the prying eyes of the police and the large stones that littered the Phoenix ground and soon found themselves flying through the air. The NSM quickly responded by getting their “shield team” up in front, in an effort to deflect any projectiles on the leadership cadre. Despite the police presence that numbered at about 100, we should also keep in mind that comrades doing surveillance away from the rally also saw undercover SWAT team vehicles, filled with highly armed police that were ready and stomp anyone into the ground if a riot erupted. Even if we could have rolled on the nazis, we must keep in mind that the state holds much bigger guns.

The greatest irony of the NSM rally was that there was no one at the capital! They spoke to no one outside of those who heard their message through the media. The anarchists who surrounded them were so loud that they could barely even be heard. The speakers on the mike also spent most of their time calling the counter-protesters “faggots” and “jews” that they didn’t really have any time to address anything else. The police quickly had enough, and an hour and a half before they had to leave, the police made them take off and walked them back to their cars. Along the way, anarchists again attempted to get in the street and made several attempts to create barricades but quick police response resulted in botched attempts and several near arrests. Quick action by comrades however resulted in freedom for those grabbed by the police – as anarchists pulled their friends back and de-arrested them. The nazis, over half of which were from out of state (lots of Texas plates), got back in their cars and headed out. As we walked back to our cars, someone pulled up and screamed, “The nazis just got into a car accident and they’re outside of McDonalds!” We rushed to the scene to find a speaker for the NSM with a broken leg. Stephen Lemons of the New Times, wrote:

“The only casualty for the NSMers came as a result of their own error, when they caused an accident at 7th Avenue and Van Buren in one of the rental cars they left in after the demo. An unidentified Nazi was rushed away in an ambulance for an injury to his leg. Phoenix Police Sgt. Brian Murray confirmed at the scene that the accident was the fault of the Nazis, whose small white car collided with a large red truck.

None of the Nazis were taken into custody, though the truck's driver was arrested for not having I.D. and proof of insurance. Murray said the arrested driver would be ticketed and released as long as he had no outstanding warrants. The driver of the Nazi car was ticketed as well, but according to NSM spokesman Charles Wilson, the Nazi wheel man refused to sign the citation. Wilson later blamed the accident on the police, saying the cops were supposed to have kept the street clear for the Nazis' exit.”

Probably the best scene of the whole day was when workers at the stores next to the accident came out and laughed at the nazis as they drove away surrounded by police and people in cars passed by laughing their asses off. While the nazis did some salutes to the anarchists laughing across the street, people in cars were heard to be screaming, “Karma’s a bitch! Hahahaha!”



Stay Strapped

Anarchists carried at this event. Meaning: ANARCHISTS HAD GUNS! Out in the open, and it was legal. That’s right, it’s not just nazis and anti-immigrant types who are packing now at protests, it’s our side. In Arizona, it’s legal to openly carry firearms as long as your weapon is legally yours. This is the first time I have physically seen anarchists at demonstrations carry firearms with them – and I have to say that the experience was very empowering to see. Those in states with similar laws should considering getting firearms and doing the same if possible. This is not me fetishizing armed struggle or guns; the way forward is collective action by working people in their workplaces, communities, and the streets. But, if we are going to go up against people like the NSM, we should be prepared to defend ourselves especially if we can avoid legal risks while openly carrying weapons. It should be noted that members of the NSM have been seen carrying weapons while counter protesting pro-immigration marches. People like J.T. Ready have also been known to follow Mexicano people in the local area, often while armed, hoping to deport them.



Next Time

Confronting the NSM gave anarchists in Phoenix and the wider area a large amount of attention and also a chance to come together and act in a confrontational manner against their enemies. We had the chance to get in the street and see what each other were made of. We made plans, evaded and pushed back police, throw rocks, armed ourselves, and stood our ground. We need only take this experience and begin to apply it to the terrain of everyday life. As Stephen Lemons wrote, “Whatever bad rep the anarchists had before Saturday -- deserved or undeserved -- has now been absolved.” Any political capital that the NSM hoped to have gained from the event on the 7th obviously slid from their fingers. They failed to attract anyone from the surrounding area (outside of party members), not to mention white people from the anti-immigration movement. The media was very clear in all their reports that protestors against the NSM out numbered the NSM greatly. They failed to bring out 50 people, much less the 200 that they were banking on. In hoping to use the media to get the National Socialist Movement name out into the world, they have instead given the anarchists a platform due to their triumph over them. They question is, what are we going to do with?

Clearly, we have to shift the discourse away from a liberal, middle class one that is focused on the issue being simply about “hate.” Sure the NSM is hateful, but they are a political group that seeks to overthrow the US system and replace it with one that is much more totalitarian, bureaucratic, and violent. In the NSM’s America, the millions who demonstrated and took over the streets on May Day 2006 against borders would have been shot and deported. The workers at Republic Windows and Glass would have been labeled communists and shot. The student workers who today in California occupy their schools against budget cuts and fee hikes would have been called traitors to the state and shot. We must oppose the NSM not only because they are racist, but because politically they offer only a more monstrous version of capitalism than what we have today. Furthermore, attacking the NSM allows us space to attack Sheriff Joe and the wider system that attacks working class migrants. We can begin to combat white supremacy that seeks to divide the working class in this country, which stops working people from coming together against their class enemies. Furthermore, the NSM is a weak enemy and fighting them is good practice. Let us sharpen our knives, load our guns, and train now, as we look out for bigger and better foes.

Next time around, anarchists will have to be on the defensive much more. The police were slow to respond and make arrests on the 7th, and anarchists could have gotten away with a lot more attacks and rock throwing than they engaged in. As the struggles against the speed cameras, Sheriff Joe, in the traditional O’odham communities against freeway expansion, and a huge looming strike at various Arizona grocery store chains lies on the horizon, the possibilities of intervention for anarchists in Arizona remain. We must also stay on our guard against the NSM – unless of course they crash their cars on the way back to Texas. Now that, would be something to salute!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lynch All Landlords - In Solidarity with GPAC



The following text was sent to me by a comrade in Philly about the recent possible eviction of the GPAC space. Read other articles from GPAC about their attempted eviction from their space by 'anarchists' here and a reply from the landlords here.

“The potential gravedigger of the system is the same one who feeds it.”
Antagonism

Our relationship with the owners of 5001 Penn Avenue initially presented
itself superficially as an, albeit precarious, friendship. Their stated
desires to be part of a struggle against exploitation, their self-deluding
conception of themselves as anarchists, these pretenses brought us into
the present relationship.

The movement to, once and for all, bury the capitalist social relation
cannot be understood as a meeting of subjective desires. We all have our
objective positions in the economy, and our interest in maintaining or
destroying capitalist relations are based on these roles.

Our relationship with James Knopf and Laura Shaffer, then, must be
understood in objective terms, not obscured by stated political
affiliations, dietary restrictions, hair length, musical preference, yoga
positions, substances used, or subculture. Our relationship is that of
tenant and landlord, worker and boss, an interaction based upon our
corresponding roles in the economy. We work on the building, they make
profit, we spend 7 months on repairs, they prepare to sell the building
for 3 times what they paid for it a mere 3 years earlier. It is the same
relationship that has forced itself over the entirety of the globe, it is
older than our collective memory and broader than all of our imaginations.

It is the alienated activity of generations of people just like us, now
long dead, whose lives were appropriated to build the bricks that hold
this very building in place.

Accumulation

Wealth, most acutely concentrated in the hands of those who appropriate it
from the work of others, accumulates through generations. It is a dynamic
phenomenon, moving freely from hand to hand, presenting its possessor with
varying degrees of power in the economy. When, without any work of their
own, hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to James and Laura, they
decided to invest in, among other things (another property, thousands of
dollars in recording equipment, exotic spiritual escapades in southeast
Asia) a building on what is becoming the trendiest stretch of Penn Avenue.
Of course the value of a property in this “up-and coming” area would
appreciate, but surely not on its own. No, that would take far too long.
And so they put on their public facade
of radicalism and expressed a desire to provide a space for social
struggle.

And here we are, like those generations of people just like us,
now long dead, witnessing our lived activity being recuperated for the
profit of those who already had the world given to them.

And so it became apparent, through words and through gestures, that what
was initially conveyed as solidarity was, in actuality, a bizarrely
exploitative attempt at charity. As with Carnegie’s philanthropy a
century ago, they were searching for a way to absolve their consciences
while still being able to make a handsome profit at the end of the day.

As guilt gradually eroded, they became acquainted with others in their
economic position, and developed a cordial relationship with local
developers from the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, an organization whose
main objective is to encourage an appreciation of property values at all
costs, engaging in a blatant assault on the working class of the area.

Of course, it doesn't end there. James, now unencumbered by a previous
guilt, stated clearly how far he feels his influence should extend.

“Really what this comes down to in the end is I personally have
reservations about helping GPAC stay in the space by selling the building
to [a friend]. Most of all, I haven't been convinced that GPAC is a fit
for Garfield.”

His role in the economy has so emboldened him that he is no longer content
to merely exercise his power in the present, it is necessary that his
influence extend indefinitely into the future, shaping the landscape of
the neighborhood to his wealthy desires for generations to come.

How could he ever relate to Garfield? A rich bohemian, a white yuppie who
didn't even have to go through the trouble of working for his money.

But certainly, he knows what's best for Garfield. If strength of reason
fails him, his daddy's money makes him right.

Separation

It has recently come to our attention that there are people who have
maintained a distance from our space because they feel unwelcome. These
concerns are not unfounded. We never intended to reproduce problematic
relations through our activity, be it hostile behavior or patriarchal
dynamics, unfortunately, this is an area where we still need to improve.

Naturally, all of the reservations about involvement in the space aren't
contained in any single issue. Before we laid a hammer to the first nail
we indicated that we had no desire to create a space that promoted the
existence of anarchism as a subculture. We didn't intend to simply create
another hang out for young white kids to play mandolins or blow on jugs.
It is true that we do occasionally host events that cater to certain
subcultures (hip-hop, graffiti, etc.), subcultures that are by no means
associated with anarchism. We are interested in situations where
subculture can expand anarchism, not further isolate it. People from all
subcultures are always welcome at the space, however, we stated that we
were not interested in hosting events that have no relation to social
struggle yet somehow become conflated with anarchism due to a subcultural
affiliation.

What some of us experienced in the anti-police struggle of Oakland,
California, the riots of Toledo, Ohio, and the recent insurrection in
Greece indicated to us that the moment of revolutionary conflict
transcends the division separating the radical from the rest of society, a
division that we currently seek to destroy through our daily activity.

In the anarchist movement in La Paz, Bolivia and the autonomous
communities of southern Mexico we saw the development of genuine
relationships, the creation of alliances that, through the destruction of
separations, forged formidable revolutionary affinities.

When genuine conflict is reduced to subcultural ritual, it becomes
isolated, inaccessible, and ultimately marginalized by capital. This
stance, which we believed wouldn't be terribly contentious, seems to have
been met with an, at times, hostile response from certain
anarchists.

This wasn't our desire. Perhaps our stance has been misunderstood.

Make no mistake, I have no doubt that, at times, certain members of GPAC
have made inappropriate remarks about people due to their style of dress
or subculture. This problem has been addressed, however, it's apparent
that it needs to be revisited. None of us have any interest in engaging
in some dumbass battle between the norms and the punks, the hardcore kids
and the crusties, the soc's and the greasers or anything nearly that
idiotic. For the most part, people have understood this, but there have
been unfortunate exceptions.

Convergence

Despite the disagreements, the debates, the naturally occurring
differences arising from political discourse, we have always been there
for those who find themselves experiencing the brunt of repression.

When Landslide was threatened with eviction, we were there. When POG
needed muscle, we were there. When local graffiti writers found
themselves facing incarceration, we were there. We have supported
anti-fascists when they went to jail for taking literally the concept of
fighting oppression. When the Merton Center was in a dangerous situation,
we threw a block party and raised over $1000 to help it stay open. We
opened our homes to strangers when they were released from jail. Members
of our group have been involved in virtually every radical project in the
city of Pittsburgh, from Book 'Em to Food Not Bombs to the Big Idea to
POG.

We offered our full support to Chris Boette before unforeseen and
unfortunate circumstances forced us to, for our own safety, take a step
back.

Distance

Make no mistake, we stand by our severed ties. I won't use this time
to debate the morality concerning the merits of informing a Federal Grand
Jury of the illegal activities of anarchists. Arguments concerning the
subject have gotten us nowhere. The conversation is too subjective. Our
primary reason for distancing ourselves from Chris doesn't depend as much
on whether his actions were right or wrong or how terrible a predicament
he found himself in, but is born from a need to, in very real terms,
maintain the safety of our friends.

The same anarchists who might, in a different context, discuss the merits
of maintaining “safe spaces” where no one says anything to hurt their
feelings haven't seen a problem with hosting events with a known informant
being present.


Recent events have made it apparent that the state is engaging in a
dedicated assault against anarchists. The first of this month saw federal
agents kicking in the door of some trusted friends, spending 16 hours
sifting through personal items and removing everything they could get
their hands on. Another friend was subpoenaed to a Federal Grand Jury
last week. A member of GPAC sat in jail for 3 weeks after the G20, with
allegations against him surfacing on media sources across the country.

We are no longer playing children's games.

We never intended for our space to alienate people, but if they refuse to
respect our choice to take seriously the safety of our friends, or go so
far as to indicate that they too would inform on radicals, than we won't
give their departure a second thought.

Transcendence

We built this space so that we could, for once, create something that went
far beyond ourselves and the confines of our group of friends. Take Space
isn't just about GPAC, it is an anarchist social center open to all
forms of struggle against exploitation. The present conflict, then, isn't
between GPAC and James, but between the desire to maintain an always
improving radical center and the intransigent advances of gentrification
in our city.

Take Space is for everyone! It is not simply a space for GPAC, but a
center for all radicals to use to build alliances and increase antagonisms.

So I mean it when I say that we aren't asking you to fight for us. We are
only asking that you fight for yourselves.

Standing now at an impasse, we ask only that you walk with us.

From an old friend,

someone from philly

PS- And if tomorrow finds us without a space, we'll continue to strengthen
relationships and intensify conflicts.

First the Nazis - Then The BURRS!