Archive for the Labor Category

Oakland Commune Move-In Day

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Housing Rights, Labor, Police State, Revolution with tags , , on January 29, 2012 by Ⓐb Irato

On Move-In Day:

From Applied Nonexistence:

There is something to be said about the response of state apparatuses against an escalation in what is being billed as a popular, broad-based movement’s progression of objectives.  This afternoon was a rather sobering experience for the activist-left in the East Bay – and it’s probably for the better in terms of the evolution of tactical praxis which will ideally follow today’s events.  This afternoon’s action can be read in multiple ways yet we believe that the two most pertinent points are as follows:

ONE:

The sheer impossibility of Occupy taking and the immediate defense by OPD of the Kaiser convention center, proves that the timbre of Occupy Oakland’s demands moving into the realm of the acquisition of private property (indoor space in particular) is much more confrontational, and by extension more desirable, than the tamer stages of Occupy’s initial forays into the repurposing of the public commons.  If the implicit threat of taking an abandoned building was enough to warrant such a response which, tactically at least, completely nullified any potentiality which may or may not have existed in seeing this objective to its fruition, then it is telling that it is precisely along these lines which such energy needs to be propelled and proliferated.  In national states which have a much more visible squatter’s culture (The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Greece for example) the actual laws around the legitimacy of squatter’s rights and the legality of acquiring previously dormant physical spaces are actually much more lax than what we have here in the US.  Seen within this context, in the United States the occupation of private property with the aims of creating spaces for a distinct sociopolitical body is at once almost guaranteed to be impossible – but nonetheless desirable precisely because of this impossibility.

TWO:

Aside from the obvious critiques in terms of errors in the “on-the-ground” tactical maneuvering (i.e. bottlenecks at Laney/bridge-crossings, self-imposed kettling on E. 14th, linear confrontational exchanges in front of the Oakland Museum) we’d still like to make the case (the same redundant shit we here at AN always say) for “exploring” sites on the periphery.  While the carnivalesque atmosphere can often fulfill latent psychological manifestations for some individuals it often is not the most tactically sound site for engagement.  If anything it creates a veritable vacuum around the locus of contestation itself – and this is not something which has yet been explored in conjunction with high-profile events like today’s (this would look like “X” happens here, while “Y” happens there – where “X” is the much more high-profile and accessible action which commands ALL the resources of the authorities, and “Y” are a disparate number of smaller yet higher-stakes actions happening far away from the main spectacle).  While the locus always has an undeniable magnetism, laden with the desire to participate in narratives of resistance, the periphery is always more vulnerable and higher-stakes during such carnivalesque moments.  Explore the periphery.

Solidarity to the friends arrested and hurt. Solidarity to the FUCK THE POLICE 5 march about to pop off right now.

From Oakland with Love,

TEOAN

A letter from some friends in Oakland regarding the Jan. 28th events:

Let us start by apologizing; that our words may be incoherent, our thoughts scattered and our tone overly emotional. Forgive us, because the ringing in our ear continues to interrupt our thinking, because our eyes are bleary and we’re weighed upon by the anxiety and trauma of our injuries and the imprisonment of the ones we love. As most of you are well-aware: after a full day and night of street battles in Oakland, we were defeated in our efforts to occupy a large building for the purposes of establishing an social center. We’re writing, in part, to correct the inaccuracies and mystifications spewed by the scum Media. But more so as to convey the intensity and the urgency of the situation in Oakland to comrades abroad. To an extent, this is an impossible task. Video footage and mere words must inevitably fail at conveying the ineffable collective experiences of the past twenty-four hours. But as always, here goes.

Yesterday was one of the most intense days of our lives. We say this without hyperbole or bravado. The terror in the streets of Miami or St. Paul, the power in the streets of Pittsburgh or Oakland’s autumn; yesterday’s affect met or superseded each of these. The events of yesterday confronted us as a series of intensely beautiful and yet terrible moments.

An abbreviated sequence:

Beautiful words are delivered at Oscar Grant Plaza, urging us to cultivate our hatred for capitalism. Hundreds leave the plaza and quickly become thousands. The police attempt to seize the sound truck, but it is rescued by the swarming crowd. We turn towards our destination and are blocked. We turn another way and are blocked once more. We flood through the Laney campus and emerge to find that we’ve been headed off again. We make the next logical move and somehow the police don’t anticipate it. We’re closer to the building, now surrounded by fences and armed swine. We tear at the fences, downing them in some spots. The police begin their first barrage of gas and smoke. The initial fright passes. Calmly, we approach from another angle.

The pigs set their line on Oak. To our left, the museum; to our right, an apartment complex. Shields and reinforced barricades to the front; we push forwards. They launch flash bangs and bean bags and gas. We respond with rocks and flares and bottles. The shields move forward. Another volley from the swine. The shields deflect most of the projectiles. We crouch, wait, then push forward all together. They come at us again and again. We hurl their shit, our shit, and whatever we can find back at them. Some of us are hit by rubber bullets, others are burned by flashbang grenades. We see cops fall under the weight of perfectly-arced stones For what feels like an eternity, we exchange throws and shield one another. Nothing has felt like this before. Lovely souls in the apartment building hand pitchers of waters from their windows to cleanse our eyes. We’ll take a moment here to express our gratitude for the unprecedented bravery and finesse with which the shield-carrying strangers carried out their task. We retreat to the plaza, carrying and being carried by one another.

We re-group, scheme, and a thousand deep, set out an hour later. Failing to get into our second option, we march onwards towards a third. The police spring their trap: attempting to kettle us in the park alongside the 19th and Broadway lot that we’d previously occupied. Terror sets in; the’ve reinforced each of their lines. They start gassing again. More projectiles, our push is repelled. The intelligence of the crowd advances quickly. Tendrils of the crowd go after the fences. In an inversion of the moment where we first occupied this lot, the fences are downed to provide an escape route. We won’t try to explain the joy of a thousand wild-ones running full speed across the lot, downing the second line of fencing and spilling out into the freedom of the street. More of the cat and mouse. In front of the YMCA, they spring another kettle. This time they’re deeper and we have no flimsy fencing to push through. Their lines are deep. A few dozen act quickly to climb a nearby gate, jumping dangerously to the hard pavement below. Past the gate, the cluster of escapees find a row of several unguarded OPD vans: you can imagine what happened next. A complicit YMCA employee throws opens the door. Countless escape into the building and out the exits. The police become aware of both escape routes and begin attacking and trampling those who try but fail to get out. Those remaining in the kettle are further brutalized and resign to their arrest.

A few hundred keep going. Vengeance time. People break into city hall. Everything that can be trashed is trashed. Files thrown everywhere, computers get it too, windows smashed out. The american flags are brought outside and ceremoniously set to fire. A march to the jail, lots of graffiti, a news van gets wrecked, jail gates damaged. The pigs respond with fury. Wantonly beating, pushing, shooting whomever crosses their path. Many who escaped earlier kettles are had by snatch squads. Downtown reveals itself to be a fucking warzone. Those who are still flee to empty houses and loving arms.

A war-machine must intrinsically be also a machine of care. As we write, hundreds of our comrades remain behind bars. Countless others are wounded and traumatized. We’ve spent the last night literally stitching one another together and assuring each other that things will be okay. We still can’t find a lot of people in the system, rumors abound, some have been released, others held on serious charges and have bail set. This care-machine is as much of what we name the Oakland Commune as the encampment or the street fighting. We still can’t count the comrades we can’t find on all our hands combined.

We move through the sunny morning and the illusion of social peace has descended back upon Oakland. And yet everywhere is the evidence of what transpired. City workers struggle to fix their pathetic fences. Boards are affixed to the windows of city hall and to nearby banks (some to hide damage, others simply to hide behind). Power washer try to clear away the charred remains of the stupid flag. One literally cannot look anywhere along broadway without seeing graffiti defaming the police or hyping our teams (anarchy, nortes, the commune, even juggalos). A discerning eye can still find the remnants of teargas canisters and flashbang residue. At the coffeeshops and delis, friends and acquaintances find one another and share updates about who has been hurt and who has been had. Our wounds already begin to heal into what will eventually be scars or ridiculous disfigurements. We hope our lovers will forgive such ugliness, or can come to look at them as little instances of unique beauty. As our adrenaline fades and we each find moments of solitude, we are each hit by the gravity of the situation.

Having failed to take a building, our search continues. We continue to find the perfect combination of trust, planning, intensity and action that can make our struggle into a permanent presence. The commune has and will continue to slip out of time, interrupting the deadliness and horror of the day to day function of society. Threads of the commune continue uninterrupted as the relationships and affinity build over the past months. An insurrectionary process is the one that emboldens these relationships and multiplies the frequency with which the commune emerges to interrupt the empty forward-thrust of capitalist history. To push this process forward, our task is to continue the ceaseless experimentation and imagination which could illuminate different strategies and pathways beyond the current limits of the struggle. Sometimes to forget, sometimes to remember.

We’ll conclude with a plea to our friends throughout the country and across borders. You must absolutely not view the events here as a sequence that is separate from your own life. Between the beautiful and spectacular moments in the Bay, you’ll discover the same alienation and exploitation that characterizes your own situation. Please do not consume the images from the Bay as you would the images of overseas rioting or as a netflix subscription. Our hell is yours, and so too is our struggle.

And so please… if you love us as we believe you do, prove it. We wish so desperately that you were with us in body, but we know most of you cannot be. Spread the commune to your own locales. Ten cities have already announced their intentions to hold solidarity demonstrations tonight. Join them, call for your own. If you aren’t plugged into enough of a social force to do so, then find your own ways of demonstrating. With your friends or even alone: smash, attack, expropriate, blockade occupy. Do anything in your power to spread the prevalence and the perversity of our interruption.

for a prolonged conflict; for a permanent presence; for the commune;

some friends in Oakland.

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The revolt continues… until total liberation!

Posted in Anarchism, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Indigenous, Labor, Police State, Prisoner Support, Revolution, Student Movement, Work, Labor, & Wage Slavery with tags on September 14, 2011 by Ⓐb Irato

Circulo Individualista a veces el Fuego

“We fight for the liberation of the individual. For the conquest of life. For the triumph of our ideas. For the realization of our dreams. And if our ideas are dangerous, it is because we are those who love to live dangerously. And if our dreams are crazy, it is because we are crazy. But our madness is our great wisdom…” [1]

There they were, the voracious youth again, destroying everything, erecting barricades, clashing with police, nothing could stop them… There is fire and passion in their hearts, love and hatred on their insides, courage and decision. The beauty of chaos has returned to grace the streets, it is not only fire that adorns the asphalt, it is also the energy of the youth, the abolition of the sexes, everyone in the struggle…

Will this struggle bear fruit? To want to study just to be someone in life? The individual who goes searching for real happiness, does not stop at so little, she knows that she can educate herself, and although that path is longer, that doesn’t make it less interesting, because everything else is interminable…

To raze the school is possible today, like it was done in the colegio Guillermo Cruz de Estaciòn Central, in the colegio Gabriel Gonzales Videla, that sheltered the students of liceo Insuco 2 from the earthquake and also the Polytechnic of Arica; those places intentionally lit ablaze by those beautiful pajarillas who understand that this destruction is a great step towards the conquest of life…

The journey is intense and difficult, it always has been, when individuals fed up with their miserable conditions organize and attack. One cannot be afraid of those who organize only for one specific goal although it is only to destroy, because at this point we know that to build, we must destroy…

And all the reasoning these petty politicians supposedly have when they talk about the problem of education, does nothing for anyone, because the discontent grows and advances, although the bureaucrats and businessmen almost always end up winning.

And they believe that to repress passion is a simple thing, that with a little tear gas and a little water they will snuff it out, like any other flame, so they will have to be reminded that they are wrong, again and again, those idiots.

The night always illuminates our steps, just like free love allows us unlimited bliss, to find us with the beautiful silence of obscurity, or at the feet of the fresh rays of the rising sun; (rays which don’t caress those awkward workers drooling over the bus windows and subway glass), running into the heat of a barricade, it’s magic, like something supreme, or can only god be supreme? We burn the churches with their pedophile priests inside, we watch those cowardly abusers from the front to spit in their faces… another day comes, but this is one of the beautiful ones, because we will combine the sun that caresses us with its heat with an emancipatory fire full of joy and hope…

Here are the barricades again, with those sensual forms we are drawn by the fire, which one day happened to arrive at a La Polar warehouse stocked with dirty merchandise. But the good guys are coming, the firefighters, those most contemptible beings, those infamous voyeurs, who complain about being hit with rocks when they were going to put out the fire, but we still remember when they gave their ladders to the police to evict the people of Andha Chile who were squatting the Mapocho for a decent living; cowards always in the service of authority.

The individual who moves toward the greatest happiness possible, will never stumble, her journey is unique and without equal, there is nothing that can stop her, not the cops in red who beat her with sticks, not morality imposing its limits, not the police infiltrators who dirty her path, not the din of their sirens to silence her…

“We banish those terrible mores from ourselves completely, like evil men who for so long have caused us harm” [2], imposing norms, morals, discipline, gods and their idiotic doctrines, we always forget society and its dominions, and cast ourselves naked into an encounter with our inner beings.

Today it is time to kill the cops in our heads, and this, to be sure, is a great battle. It’s much easier to throw a rock at an armored truck and believe that, from this act, liberty closely follows. It’s much easier to spend hours and hours talking about revolution and organization. It’s much easier to believe that going to a free university will change the world.

Students, don’t be fooled, remember that those who control the world also attended the university, and to their disgrace, some studied for free. And what did they become? Heartless beings capable of torture in their jails and murder for a few cents, and what do you say now? That you’ll be another? This remains to be seen…

Liberty is a vital and absolute force, this must be what unites us, whatever other demand will fade away with time, but if we reach any understanding of the vitality of the conquest of the individual’s own life, there will be no law that can stop her, no fear that paralyzes her, no chains that bind her, no gods that punish her as she advances firmly toward total emancipation!

There are those who still believe in revolution, and to them we say that ours began long ago, at the moment we decided to stop being sheep and became individualist and nihilist anarchists.

So, we’re not scared to tell them that today, social revolution is impossible, because this society is rotten at its core, as a product of which the individual was slowly fitted with values and a moralism that destroys her completely, and how? A taste of the whip and its punishment, of a militarized education, of the opus dei of supernumerary catholicism, and of a bourgeois Christian democratic tradition; etc… basically, of the system.

And what’s worse, those people feel proud to be humans and not animals, and as though this was not enough, they enslave and indiscriminately use the animals to lengthen their miserable lives. Thus, we despise humanity, simply because their submissive and alienated behaviors that make them modern slaves, are not within us.

In this world of sickness, “we feel alive when we shudder with the perfume of the flowers, with the songs of the birds, with the crashing of the waves, the sound of the wind, the silence of solitude” [3], we feel alives when we tremble with the heat of the fire, with the caress of chaos, with the nights of revolt…

“We rushed into the chasm, to respond to the voices of our dead” [4], they who died fighting with weapons in their hands and immense golden stars in their eyes, those who are immortal like el punky Mauri, like Claudia Lopez, who on any given night found themselves facing death so gracefully. Yes, because those of us who choose to live an intense and dangerous life, death receives us with open arms, caresses us and kisses us…

Why don’t we fear death? Because “we are used to thinking that death is nothing to us, because everything, good and bad, resides within sensation and death is the deprivation of the senses. Death is nothing to us because when we exist, death is absent and, when death is present, then we no longer exist.” [5]

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Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Labor, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , on August 31, 2011 by Ⓐb Irato

Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity examines the ideological roots of the “austerity” agenda and proposes revolutionary paths out of the current crisis. The film features original interviews with Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Michael Hardt, Peter Gelderloos, Leo Panitch, David McNally, Richard J.F. Day, Imre Szeman, Wayne Price, and many more!

The 2008 “financial crisis” in the United States was a systemic fraud in which the wealthy finance capitalists stole trillions of public dollars. No one was jailed for this crime, the largest theft of public money in history.

Instead, the rich forced working people across the globe to pay for their “crisis” through punitive “austerity” programs that gutted public services and repealed workers’ rights.

Austerity was named “Word of the Year” for 2010.

This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future.

Special attention is devoted to the crisis in Greece, the 2010 G20 Summit protest in Toronto, Canada, and the remarkable surge of solidarity in Madison, Wisconsin.

It may be their crisis, but it’s our problem.

www.capitalismisthecrisis.net

Call-Out For Solidarity With Greek Struggle, May 13-15

Posted in Anarchism, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Labor, Police State, Revolution with tags , , on May 13, 2011 by Ⓐb Irato

In Athens, over the past three days, there have been two murders and one attempted murder. A Greek man was killed on May 10th in a largely immigrant district, triggering a police-sponsored fascist pogrom that is still taking place in the immigrant neighborhoods. Immigrants had their car windows smashed out while they were driving, many have been beaten on the street, and a Pakistani family had their house fire-bombed. This pogrom continued with the murder of a 21 year old immigrant by fascists in the early morning of May 12th. The police have been directly sponsoring and protecting this racist terror and have also cooperatively attacked the anarchist squats Skaramagka and Villa Amalias.

In the midst of this extremely volatile situation, the police attacked dozens of people during the May 11th General Strike and many of them had to be treated at the hospital. During this attack one protester had his skull smashed and is now in a deep coma. It is unclear whether he will survive the coming days.

It is with the utmost seriousness that solidarity is requested from all those outside Greece. It is asked that people choose one of these two general options for action.

1) Have a manifestation, action, or other such gesture that directly impacts the functioning of either a Greek National Tourism Office, Consulate, or Embassy. These efforts will be felt by the Greek State itself and would be direct solidarity with the struggle.

2) Have a manifestation, action, or other such gesture that is directly related to the struggle against the police in your own city or town. Information and leafleting about the situation in Athens will have little resonance there. Choose actions that will have the maximum resonance in your own geographical areas and help strengthen the international anarchist struggle against the police forces of each State.

The target date for these actions should be the weekend of May 13-15. This is short notice, and actions soon after this date will still be welcome. However, if possible, please act during this time period as the weekend is the time when the situation will likely intensify in Greece.

On the morning of May 12th, the Refectory of the University of Athens in Central Athens was occupied to be used as a base for counter-information and action. The building is located near to where the police attacked the demonstration. A demo is called today for 6 PM in Propylea. These are the first gestures in an escalation of the struggle against the State, their police, and their fascist paramilitary.

Statement from occupation here.