Tag Archives: Anarchism

AWU Statement on Russian Intervention in Crimea

Keeping up with the situation in Ukraine is, as with all volatile events, a full time job best handled by people at the heart of the matter. We’re not in Ukraine, but we do know people who are– the Autonomous Worker Union. Here is there is statement about the violent “pacification” of Crimea, and their plea for western leftists to cut ties with the so-called “anti-imperialism” which comes down to the support of the Putin’s regime against the US.

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On February 27, 2014, pro-Russian chauvinists of Crimea, supported by Berkut riot police and Russian Black Sea Fleet committed military coup in Crimea. Right now it’s already obvious that the government of “Russian Unity” movement headed by Aksionov is no more than a puppet of the Kremlin regime.
We don’t regard Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders as a value, we are against violent “pacification” of Crimea, but we think that the status of Crimea should be defined with due regard to the opinion of the Crimean Tatar minority.
The latest events show that Putin is not going to limit himself with the annexation of Crimea. The aim of the imperialist Kremlin regime is to expand the Russian practices on all territory of Ukraine.
Thereby the Russian regime proved to be the main threat to the interests of the proletariat at the post-Soviet area.
We are opponents of war and militarism. But we think that in this situation conscious proletarians can rely on nobody but themselves.
There’s no point in waiting for “rescue” from Nato. Ukrainian nationalist politicians can only organize defense of a part of territory at best. The war can be averted only if proletarians of all countries, first and foremost Ukrainian and Russian, together make a stand against the criminal regime of Putin.
Joint action by the Ukrainian and Russian proletariat and all progressive democratic forces which will put an end to Putin’s regime, will also mean an end to the current neoliberal-oriented nationalist regime in Ukraine.
While for the leftists and anarchists of the West it’s high time to cut ties with the so-called “anti-imperialism” which comes down to the support of the Putin’s regime against the US.
No war between nations, no peace between classes!

We agree!

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More on the crisis in the Ukraine

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“Volatile” does not even come close to describing the current political landscape in the Ukraine. As of the day this post is published, President Viktor Yanukovych has taken a “sick leave” and talks have stalled; prime minister Mykola Azarov resigned on the 27th of January and the parliament voted to repeal the anti-protest laws— though the laws won’t officially be repealed until the president signs off on them.

Now again, we feature work from our comrades in the Ukraine, this time in an interview with nihilist.li: “This interview with a comrade from the Autonomous Workers’ Union in Kiev was done on January 28, 2014. It sheds some light on the events around the Maidan: the array of reasons behind the protests, their focus on the hated president, the differences to the “orange revolution”, the role of the right, the weakness of social struggles and possible scenarios.

Here, they discuss the involvement of ultra-nationalist and neo-nazi groups in the protests:

Q: Right-wing parties and fascist groups play a role in the protests. How important are they actually? Do they get much support? How do other protesters relate to them?

A: Far right party Svoboda is the most organized of the three large political forces trying to control the protest. They are the only party which has real active cells in various regions, actual activist base. So, as the most organized and the most ideological of the three, they are gaining the most. Apart from Svoboda, there is an umbrella coalition of neo-nazi militant groups. It is called Right Sector. They were formed in the beginning of the protests, and by now they’ve succeeded to gain enormous prominence and conquer sympathies from apolitical and liberal people. They are mostly famous by their demonstrative militancy and aggression, and the public doesn’t see anything wrong with these cute young patriots. Lately, the same pattern repeats in other regions, where neo-nazi football hooligans turned out to be the main assault force fighting the police and pro-government thugs.

The fascist hegemony was indisputable until January 19th, when the protests were joined by lots of other people – random apolitical citizens, liberals and even the left. That happened because the agenda of the protests shifted to repealing the “dictatorship laws” passed on January 16. Since then they had to step back a bit but nevertheless it’s obvious that in the long run these protests will enormously benefit the far right, whoever wins. In the case of the victory of the opposition, they will surely get themselves the police forces, special services etc. If Yanukovych wins, this means that half of the country will become firm supporters of the far-right as supposedly the only patriotic radical force able to confront the dictator.

Meanwhile, most left activists also joined the protests after January 19 because those laws will severely damage them as well. They found their niche in infrastructural activities, such as vigils in emergency hospitals: they stay there in order to prevent police and thugs kidnap the wounded. Other area of left activity is the above mentioned attempt at igniting the political strike.

Read the entire interview here.

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The situation in the Ukraine

The situation in the Ukraine is complex and poorly reported in the west, with most stories framing it as a conflict between pro-Putin forces opposed to EU integration and liberal moderates who want to be a part of the EU. Completely omitted from these narratives are the details concerning Ukranian neo-nazis and Russian imperialists. For a far better account of what’s happening in the Ukraine, let’s turn towards people who are actually on the ground and in the streets.

Our comrades in the Ukraine have crafted these two brilliant analyses. First, this from nihilist.li:

The events in Kyiv’s Independence Square have been planned in advance by the current opposition in Ukraine, with their political masters from Berlin and Brussels. They were publicly announced in March 2013 by the Svoboda leader in an interview for a local paper. In actuality, there is no revolution taking place in Ukraine, but rather a political coup for regime-change – clearing the way for fascist opposition parties and the EU to tighten their hold.

We have seen large demonstrations, cries for (and of) revolution, riot police brutality and an apparent conflict between Russia and the EU, dramatized as a power grab over Ukraine or as a fight for democracy. (1) The people are legitimately fed up with rich, abusive and oppressive oligarchs; but are nowhere near ridding the country of them. A sustained effort to push power towards a coalition made up of conservative, far-right, and ultra-nationalist fascists is being marketed as “European”, “democratic” and liberal. (2)

Kiev’s Autonomous Worker Union has issued a stern condemnation of the neo-nazi seizure of the protests.

Meanwhile, we see that the situation at Euromaidan is fully controlled by the far-right. Ultra-nationalist rhetoric has securely crowded out all other topics there; the only slogan known to the protesters is “Hail to the nation, death to the enemies.” Most of the Neo-Nazi militants are controlled by the Svoboda party, but there are also other groups: UNSO, Tryzub, Social-Nationalist Assembly, etc. They are completely tolerated by the so-called “national democratic” opposition. One of the leaders of the Euromaidan, Yuriy Lutsenko, himself used to lead the Interior Ministry for four years, during which time he did nothing to stop police brutality or disband Berkut and other special forces. Instead, he promised to disperse protesting crowds with tear gas and became notorious for racial profiling of individuals of “Non-Slavic” nationalities and for his phrase: “You can call me a racist if you want.” Now at Euromaidan he publicly expressed his concern about the fate of “40 million educated white Christians.” Other opposition leaders also don’t have anything against the far-right. There are not only rallies towards physical violence but also poetry about “Yids” heard from the stage.

Here’s to a better 2014!

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Video: Noam Chomsky thinks your 9/11 conspiracy theories are stupid. We agree!

Every so often, a few lay people get it in their heads that they can either adequately debate Chomsky or that they’re able to trap him in a “gotcha” moment. Chomsky is a world-renowned linguist, and that there are people out there who think they can trip him up or expect to get a pat answer out of a few leading questions amuses us to no end. Case in point: this recent talk Chomsky gave at the University of Florida where a 9/11 truther asked him a long-winded, leading question about building seven. I guess it’s because they’ve heard two or three things Chomsky has said that dovetail into their conspiracy theories, but they seem to believe that simply because they agree with a few things Chomsky says, Chomsky must agree with everything they say.

The result is utterly devastating in a way that only a Noam Chomsky beatdown can be:

My favorite line?

“There happen to be a lot of people around who spent an hour on the internet and think they know a lot of physics, but it doesn’t work like that”

The truther who asked the question also put it up on his youtube channel, and he’s predictably baffled by Chomsky’s “shocking” response– which, of course, isn’t shocking at all if you’ve bothered to read any of his books.

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This Just In: International Meeting against fascism and racism, Athens, October 5-6, 2013

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International Meeting against fascism and racism, Athens, October 5-6, 2013
Faced with the rising threat of neo-Nazism, a new resistance movement unfolds and struggles to stop it before it’s too late. On January 19, in Athens and in over 40 countries, thousands marched against fascism and racism, as a signal that the hope that struggles bring can defeat despair and fear.Increasingly, governments are playing the card of racism  blaming immigrants for their dead-end crisis and mass unemployment. They want to turn immigrants into scapegoats for their bankruptcy.

Neo-nazis are bred by racism, the policies that build concentration camps for FRONTEX and the closure of the borders fortress Europe. They are also bred by the intensity of “anti-crime” policing, which governments attribute it to immigration, instead of blaming the poverty and misery that their policies bring. The neo-Nazis attempt to attract angry voters in a period of severe political crisis and undermining of democratic rights.

It’s time to escalate, to strengthen and coordinate all over Europe and the world our common steps to resist the threat of fascism and racism.

There can be no tolerance for the attempt to legitimize the fascists using the national elections, the European Parliament and  the local elections as a means to whitewash their criminal activity in the streets and our neighbourhoods. We need to build  the struggle to defend the unity and workers’ rights regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender, skin colour, sexual orientation. We need to defend the richness of multicultural society. Let’s make our neighbourhoods and our cities bridges of friendship and solidarity, away from rationales of separation. We should not allow the neo-Nazis to form attack squads, to raid and wreak terror by burning mosques and synagogues, beating migrants, refugees and Roma, attacking homosexuals and targeting militants of the left.

We urge the unions, youth organizations, the anti-racist and anti-fascist organizations, immigrant communities, movements defending the rights of gays, women, Roma to join us in the fight for a Europe and a world without racism and fascism, to block the lies, ignorance, fear and prejudice that breed racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and pave the way for the fascists.

Let’s unite against fascist organisations and  racism and islamophobia.

We invite you in Athens on 5-6 October to a first international meeting of antifascist and antiracist movements to coordinate our steps.

ΕΝΩΜΕΝΟΙ ΕΝΑΝΤΙΑ ΣΤΟ ΡΑΤΣΙΣΜΟ ΚΑΙ ΤΗ ΦΑΣΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΑΠΕΙΛΗ antiracismfascism@yahoo.gr

www.antiracismfascism.org

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Infiltrators of the Occupy Movement.

Popular activist movements attract all manner of scavengers and hangers-on, most of which seek to capitalize on the success of the more popular group to compensate for the fact that the majority of society regards them as a bunch of babbling kooks. The Occupy Movement is no different, with everyone from The American Spectator to Zeitgeist seeing the mass throng of people as easy pickings by which to enlarge their subscriber base and coffers. Some of these groups, however, see the Occupy Movement as a means to seek legitimacy for their own morally reprehensible causes, whether that takes the form of racism, fraud or selling out activists to the feds.

Here then, is a list of some of the most odious and dangerous groups and individuals currently sucking off the teat of the Occupy Movement. These people shouldn’t be considered part of the broader Occupy Movement, no matter what sort of “authority” they claim.

-Aaron Barr and Thomas Ryan

Yes, THAT Aaron Barr.

Aaron Barr? Again?! After sticking his dick in the hornets nest known as Anonymous, Barr faded from view– his career and home life in a shambles. Now he’s back, trying out his same old “I’m a security SOOPAR GEENIOUS” routine with defense contractor Sayres and Associates— presumably on some half-baked mission to “infiltrate” the Occupy movement. He’s also in the company of self-proclaimed Occupy Wall Street Snitch Thomas Ryan, who happens to be a blogger for the perpetually colicky Andrew Breitbart.

-AnonCMD (Arturas Rosenbacher)

AnonCMD

First came to prominence by hawking a bogus DDOS tool called #refref, which was promised to allow one solo user to take down any website. It was soon discovered that #refref was a total fraud, and AnonCMD was using this fake tool as a means to collect personal information on easily duped anons in order to “dox” them. He was run out of Anonops on a rail and has since turned up as the administrator for the Occupy Chicago Facebook group. During his time at the actual occupation in Chicago, he was heard to have been namedropping numerous prominent Anons as people he was allegedly friends with. This is classic snitch behavior– drop names of prominent activists as people you are “good friends with” in order to gain acceptance with higher-ups in another activist group, when in reality those “good friends” hate that snitch’s guts.

-Jaime Jo Corne and David Corne (AKA Presstorm and Vincubus)

Jaime Jo Lambertz/Corne

We have gone over this shitstorm with a fine toothed comb, and so have other sites. Presstorm’s involvement boils down to the actions of a typical grifter couple– Jaime, who has already been sent to jail for fraud, set up Presstorm to milk gullible anons and anon-supporters out of cash that would somehow “support anonymous.” Whatever. They’ve been outed as frauds, a bunch of people were embarrassed and they’re now on the run from the inescapable, unholy wrath of Anonymous. They wanted your money, now they probably want the world to forget them.

-National Democratic party of Sweden

Neo-nazis.

-Hoosier Nation and the Vinlander Social Club

Neo-nazis, interested in infiltrating Occupy Indianapolis.

-Zeitgeist

UFO cult associated with something called The Venus Project, which is debunked in a very thorough manner here. The long and short of it is that they want your money.

-Zendik Arts/Farm

Pseudo-hippie commune with a long history of former members with stories about various abuses and cult-like behavior perpetuated by Zendik leadership. They want all of your money.

-The Ron Paul Movement

Ron Paul cult of wackos

Personality cult built around a racist old coot. Why they’re involved with this is puzzling, because the overall thrust of the movement has been agitating for increased government oversight on Wall Street and banks and increased taxes on millionaires, which is something Ron Paul categorically opposes as being “un constitutional.” They want your money and your vote.

-Nordisk Ungdom (Nordic Youth)

Neo-nazis, involved heavily with Occupy Stockholm

-The American Spectator

Patrick Howley at the National Air and Space Museum.

American neo-conservative magazine whose editor Patrick Howley bragged about infiltrating the Occupy DC movement and subsequently led a group of protestors at the National Air and Space Museum to storm the doors, which resulted in several people being pepper-sprayed. Howley was sprayed twice and praised his attackers in a peice that has since been removed from the American Spectator’s website, replaced and edited numerous times– but not before the mainstream press wrote about it.

-Oath Keepers

Right wing militia group consisting of police officers and military personnel that– aside from REALLY HATING LEFTISTS– have attempted to be a large part of Occupy Los Angeles, going so far as to issue a really scary-sounding mission statement that does everything but state outright that they plan on staging a violent revolt against the US in general.

This part of their statement gets special notice: “Our government, over many generations has taken part in the destruction of the Constitution of the United States, the slow secretive theft of the rights from the American People, and during the un American acts, compromised the integrity of our nations great name. In light of these events, we now see ever so clearly that these leaders are no longer fit to represent the People of the Free World. We the People are now exercising our rights by way of the first two Amendments in order to Stand United for the Second American Revolution.”

The first two amendments? None of the Occupy groups has even remotely suggested any possibility of being even the slightest bit friendly to anything involving the second amendment, so this is what raises warning flags. This sort of vaguely-violent language comes directly out of the same scene that birthed the Alarm and Muster maniacs and the Sovereign Citizen movement. It’s dangerous and wholly at odds with the pacifist nature of the Occupy movement thus far; this just might be another American Spectator-esque stunt to discredit the movement as a whole.

We know these elements don’t hold any sway in the broader Occupy movement. We know that the mass media’s constant hammering of “the Occupy movement has no clear message” is bull– but it’s up to all of us to ensure that message doesn’t turn into “The occupy movement is just a bunch of paranoid, anti-Semitic UFO conspiracy theorists!”

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Welcome Back, Keith Olbermann!

NOW BRING BACK “WORST PERSON”

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The Hammer Comes Down on Andrew Crossley

Filesharing will kill music, just like the radio and the phonograph did.


Know what else was in those leaked emails from ACS:Law? Lists of users of Sky Internet and their pornography purchases. This isn’t just unethical, it’s blatantly illegal. The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority hit the tip of the iceberg of corruption that makes up ACS:Law. The thuggish and mafia-like behavior of the recording industry and its “anti-piracy” cronies are developing into a distinct pattern: illegal acts are justified if you are in the employ of a multi-billion dollar industry and are targeting college students, pensioners and people with no money. The gears of capitalist greed grind on– but not for long, it would seem. What greedy band of recording industry hitmen are next?

Here is Privacy International’s announcement.

Privacy International has announced that it is planning legal action against a UK law firm for breaching the privacy of internet users after a security breach.

The information held by ACS:Law, a law firm that has been tracking internet users to pursue legal action for breach of copyright, includes vast amounts of information on thousands of internet users. While the full extent of this breach is not yet known, one report stated that among the stolen files is a single email containing the personal information of approximately 10,000 people assumed to have been involved in file-sharing of pornographic works, exposing their names, addresses, postcodes, and Internet protocol addresses. Other reports indicate that credit card details have also been made available.

According to Alexander Hanff, PI Advisor: “This data breach is likely to result in significant harm to tens of thousands of people in the form of fraud, identity theft and severe emotional distress.”

“This firm collected this information by spying on internet users, and now it has placed thousands of innocent people at risk.”

PI has briefed the Information Commissioner’s Office and is preparing a complaint. PI is also accepting complaints directly from the public, and we urge anyone who is a victim of this breach to get in touch as soon as possible by emailing alex@privacy.org.

The BBC has more.

Simon Davis, from the watchdog Privacy International, said he would be asking the Information Commissioner to “conduct a full investigation” and hoped it would be “a test case of the Information Commissioner’s new powers”.

“You rarely find an aspect where almost every aspect of the Data Protection Act (DPA) has been breached, but this is one of them,” said Mr Davies.

“It fits perfectly for the term ‘egregious misuse’ of personal data,” he added.

Crossley’s reaction has been priceless, claiming that hackers broke into his site and uncovered classified material. This is another obvious and blatant lie. During the process of ACS:Law’s website being returned to operational status, administrators foolishly published the entire email database on a public page and made no effort to conceal this from the thousands of people then scouring their site with a fine-toothed comb. Crossley shot himself in the foot and is now trying to backpedal. Lolz.

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A New Communique from Anonymous

Andrew Crossley *PWND*!!!

Homepage of Operation Payback:
http://tieve.tk/
(Valid as of 24/09/10, things may have changed from then.)

To whom it concerns,

Over the past years we have seen an technological revolution. One where you are free, in the most extreme anarchistic sense, to share ideas. Some of these ideas are shared behind proxies, darknets, or similar “closed doors”, but the ideas are out there. This kind of revolution is of the mind, and its effects on respective societies is all but surprising. While the people embrace this revolution, this new “anarchy” of freedom to share, leaders have crushed and seek to crush it before it even begins in earnest.

These “anarchists”, who are only anarchists in the minds of leaders seeking to destroy this freedom, have succeeded en-mass in distributing content to the poor, the underpriveleged, the restricted. The most popular pirates are the chinese, whose content filters restrict a vast amount of content from them. The second most popular, the poor, who cannot afford things like college books or entertainment. Indeed, while mostly ignored, a vast amount of educational literature is available to the everyday pirate. Enough that saw me through college, even, when I otherwise could not have afforded it.

It is no different, though, than when these powers that be tried to silence the record player, the cassette, the CD. The same claims were made then, and they were ignored, so why now are they listened to? This flawed application of extremist capitalism upon what is considered sacred by any culture – knowledge – is treason upon every human. All should have the right to listen to that beat, experience that twist in a plot, or learn from the mass volumes of literature now made available.

You already know this, however. You know it when you freely give your unused software, illegally I might add (remember: You don’t own the software you buy [1]), to a friend or acquaintence. You know it when you give that old college book to a persin in need. You know it when little girls are basically raped in the name of “justice” [2]. You know it when thousands of bullshit legal letters are sent to SCARE money out of people [3]. You know it when such organizations lie through their teeth, produce false documents, and spread misinformation about its opponents [4]. You know that this is not right when your leaders inexplicably support massive capitalist enterprises over the majority opinion of their own people [5]. You know they are wrong when they use illegal means to get what they want, while simultaneously bashing us for doing the same [6].

If you were to assume the propaganda of various community-reputable organisations such as…

The Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA]
The Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA]
The British Phonographic Industry [BPI]
The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft [AFACT]
Stichting Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland [BREIN]

…you would have heard many a story that if you say, ‘pirate’ a film or an album, you are depriving a simple artist, actor or crewmember from their rightful wage. They won’t be able to break even for their next lot of groceries – and YOU robbed them of THEIR money. Money that they only see a small percentage of, they carefully omit. Do they ever tell you how small of a percentage most script writers, novelists, etc, actually make? No, and there is a reason why. Do they tell you how much THEY, the anti-piracy organizations, make? No, and there is a reason why.

In the end, our DDoS efforts have been compared to waiting for a train [7]. What do we have to do to be heard? To be taken seriously? Do we have to take to the streets, throwing molitovs, raiding offices of those we oppose? Realize, you are forcing our hand by ignoring us. You forced us to DDoS when you ignored the people, ATTACKED the people, LIED TO THE PEOPLE! You are forcing us to take more drastic action as you ignore us, THE PEOPLE, now.

We will not stop.

We will not forget.

We will prevail.

We are anonymous.

[1] http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/first-sale-doctrine/
[2] http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100722/09434710323.shtml
[3] http://technews.am/conversations/techdirt/acs_law_asks_those_who_deny_infringing_to_incriminate_themselves
[4] We DID NOT attack the pirate party, we ARE NOT affiliated with anti-scientology activism, and The Pirate Bay has not organized this.
[5] http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/01/acs-law-letter-writing-continues-197714
[6] http://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-boss-denies-dos-attacks-torrent-site-refutes-claim-100912/
[7] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/22/acs_4chan/

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“What I would do with $55,000: Our need for accountability and our failure to realize opportunities and build movements”


Every once in a while a really good article comes out of the movement. The kind of article that says what so many of us have been mulling around in our crazy heads, but never found the words or boldness to state it properly.

From the blog of the Four Star Anarchist Organization comes such an article

We thank them dearly for giving us the okay for reposting it via a mutual comrade.

What I would do with $55,000: Our need for accountability and our failure to realize opportunities and build movements
June 1, 2010 ·

On May 2nd 2010, I received an email in my inbox calling for “solidarity” and “emergency donations” to pay the bail of 11 self-identified anarchists in Asheville, North Carolina. They were alleged to have smashed ATMs, bank windows and small shops in celebration of May 1, International Workers’ Day. The price to bail out each of the 11 who were arrested? $5,000. As predictable as the paper-hawking of countless Communist factions at street demonstrations – anarchists locally and nationally got to work planning benefit events. Arrestee benefits are something we are always able to pull together. Yet our inability to create effective momentum, organization, and lasting impact, especially during economic and ecological crisis, is exacerbated by the fact that our “movement” allows anyone to identify as an anarchist, go on “the attack,” and turn months of potential movement-building efforts into benefit shows and talks about their actions.

I became an anarchist in the late 1990s. Since then, I’ve seen countless projects and groups fall apart due to lacking the resources and organization. Rarely do groups continue moving forward in a productive way. I started to ask myself how anarchists here in Chicago could use $55,000 to build and strengthen our movement. The numbers I use are obviously not exact. However, they point to the possibility of creating mass base movements instead of acting as an isolated political sect.

To strengthen our current movement, I would attempt to pay the rent of several existing anarchist and related projects for the year. To strengthen formal organizations and social centers I would pay Biblioteca Popular $9,600 and Locked Out $12,000; the I.W.W and Lucy Parsons Worker’s Center would get $4,300. That would leave $29,100. To strengthen community projects I would give Cop Watch $5,000 to buy new cameras, recorders, vests, and supplies for the communities that they organize in.

That would leave $24,100. I would use this money to address weaknesses in our movement, including our inability to effectively outreach and expand anarchist ideas outside of our circles. I would buy one industrial CD-R/DVD read and write drive for $1,000; a printing press for $5,000; and a screenprinting press for $8,000. This leaves a remainder of $16,100.

Opportunities that would exist outside of this budget would include buying land or buildings instead of renting. We could afford to operate a worker-managed bus program to combat the Chicago Transit Authority’s cuts and layoffs. We could fund, for an entire year, direct action worker centers throughout the Midwest. Most importantly, we could use the funds to build our capacity as organizers. We would finally have a chance to break out of being isolated militants.

This is all hypothetical, but remember that there is still $16,100 left. How would you use it to build models of anarchist resistance?

Chicago has made international headlines as being the most violent city in the United States. Not only are we the most violent, we also have 70,000-75,000 foreclosed homes in Metro Chicago. We also have the highest rates of foreclosure amongst small apartment owners, with Englewood ranking first, followed by Austin, West Englewood and then New City. Chicago’s unemployment rate hit 11.6% (which doesn’t include those who have given up looking for work). For African-American youth, the unemployment rate is the same as the unemployment rate for the general populace during the Great Depression. Do we even need to talk about the skyrocketing incarceration rate? It’s increased from 1.8 million in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2008. Furthermore, the immigrant deportation rate has doubled over a ten year period and continues to increase.

As anarchists, members of our movement are the first to cry out to build barricades, occupy buildings or even pick up arms. And yet, through labor organizing, I’ve seen workers who live in fear of writing their name on a petition for a list of demands. Clearly, we have a ways to go. To believe that we can reach a system without bosses through isolated window-smashing and “attacks” against the state is foolish. To believe that this system could defend itself against capitalists and fascists is absurd. While street fights in Greece have been very inspirational, they mainly appeal to our American love of good action movies and prime-time TV. But the insurrection isn’t the only part of their movement. We should not overlook the massive successes of Greek anarchists with organizing immigrants (particularly Afghani immigrants) in labor and social struggles.

The common person works 20 to 50 hours a week and, with limited time, spreads the remainder between family, bill-paying and personal time. Having the capacity to revolt against bosses, developers and landlords requires that we build our ability to organize and fight through continual work and dialogue with time- and money-stressed individuals. Dialogue and continual work, whether formally or informally, has the capacity to build a culture of resistance. But this method is only a revolutionary means, not an end. Take the Republic Windows occupation. During the struggle, Mexican-American workers stated that in Mexico, their union would occupy the factory when machinery was being moved. Here in the U.S, when the equipment was being removed and production relocated, they stuck with methods that they knew would solve the problem. This is important because it indicates that if you build a person’s capacity to self-organize, even using militant methods, that individual can defend their coworkers or community members – even in a new situation. We see from this example that it can not only happen across neighborhoods or industries, but also across borders.

We have to be critical of our movement and how it relates to the working class in which people of color face the most obvious blow from capitalists. Anarchists who put on ninja jammies and go on the attack in the “Berkeley” liberal town of Asheville demonstrate how cut off they are from working-class people. At a time when families are being evicted and lack work or healthcare, we have to ask: Was it really advantageous for the alleged attack against small businesses in a liberal Southern city? Thousands of families are being evicted from their homes and our response was to break an ATM? VIVA! Really? This is what we call a militant movement?

What we lack is continuous organization and participation in social struggle. This would allow us to analyze current political and economic conditions, learn from our mistakes, and build on past victories. How does informality and disorganization limit our opportunities to grow? Many of us have been involved in some sort of grassroots activity as anarchists – from food programs to prisoner support; from anti-police work to labor activity. Yet we’ve created no real “pull” or “mass” in society. During the 1960s, all of these activities were necessary for the growth of the Black Panther Party. But what we lack – and what they had — is a uniting theoretical message. We must foster unity while working together to build a popular movement. This unity must come with accountability to each other.

To counter the email that I received, I’m putting a call out for “solidarity” with working class people and asking for “emergency funds” to build an anarchist movement. This it to defend and aid those harmed most during this recession and by the state. It’s time to be serious about anarchism.

While I understand that one of the anarchists arrested in Asheville lived in Chicago for three years, and that many recognize him as a comrade, we have to be critical of our actions and theories. We must strive to be reflective in our practice. No matter how close those people are to us, their actions as individuals are not necessarily in our interests as a movement. I hope that this article challenges anarchists to think about their approach (or lack of it) to movement-building, and to create productive ideas for new directions.

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