Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Empire Is Losing Its Grip: An Interview with Joaquin Cienfuegos

Hi Everyone,

Please check out "The Empire Is Losing Its Grip: An Interview with
Joaquin Cienfuegos" at

Chuck Morse

The Empire Is Losing Its Grip: An Interview with Joaquin Cienfuegos

By Chuck Morse | October 29, 2008

Joaquin Cienfuegos, twenty-five, is a longtime anarchist militant, member of Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, Cop Watch Los Angeles, Anarchist People of Color (APOC), and one of the organizers of the first annual LA Anarchist Bookfair, which will occur on December 13, 2008. I spoke with Cienfuegos about his recent conflicts with law enforcement and his activism generally. ~ Chuck Morse

* * *

Can you tell us about your arrest in July and where your case stands at the moment?

On June 27, the police pulled me over as I was giving a compañero a ride to his house. They looked through my trunk and found fliers for the Summer Solidarity Festival for the Black Rider 3 (three political prisoners held on trumped up conspiracy and weapons charges) and then pulled out a black case holding my legally owned AR-15. They immediately took me into custody and charged me with unlawful possession of an assault rifle.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve dealt with political repression or with police harassment. Growing up Chicano in the neo-colonies of Fresno and South Central, Los Angeles, this is business as usual. Of course, the state wants to have a monopoly on guns and violence and views everyone in our communities as criminals. That is why they relate to us in the way they do and don’t hesitate to kill innocent people in our neighborhoods.

I’m fighting my case. My next court date is November 6. Guillermo Suarez, a radical civil rights attorney, is representing me. And people in the movement generally, and anarchists around the world in particular, have supported me, my family, and my organization.

What can people do to support you?

Any support is appreciated. I was bailed out thanks to the help of the people, my friends and comrades, and we want to pay those folks back. We have a website up where people can contribute at

Also, the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC), along with Anarchist People of Color (APOC), is building a defense fund so we will be prepared when something like this happens again in the future. We know that this isn’t the first or last time that there will be political repression.

You’re active in a wide range of local activities. Please tell us about these.

I’ve been involved in Cop Watch LA for almost three years. We came out of the STOP Coalition (Stop Terrorism and Oppression by the Police), the Los Angeles Chapter of the Southern California Anarchist Federation (SCAF), the Raise the Fist Direct Action Network, and youth involved in defending the South Central Farm.

Cop Watch is a tactic and an arm of a larger, multi-faceted strategy and movement. It’s a way for people to begin resisting, taking direct action, combating state terrorism, and building autonomous and liberated communities. Specifically, every week an organized group of three to five people patrol the neighborhoods they live in with cameras. Each person has a role in the patrol (like note taker, first camera person, second camera person, police liaison, and community outreach person). We encourage people to check out our site,

I’m a member of the Guerrilla Chapter of Cop Watch LA, which is made up of individuals from different communities who have made a commitment to building a mass movement against police terrorism. This is one of the community programs of the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities. RAC was formed after SCAF-LA disbanded by the working-class youth of color that continue to collectively fight for a revolutionary organization, vision, and strategy. We’re a horizontalist federation of indigenous people (people of color) living in the neo-colonies, who believe that we need to create our own vision and go back to our roots, where we feel that anarchism and/or anarcho-communism lives already. So, we take a lot from anarchist, Zapatista, and Magonista principles, and at the same time we want to create something that is relevant to our own unique conditions and experiences.

RAC has also created a food program in McArthur Park, in Pico Union. Every Sunday for the past year, RAC and supporters have fed about 200 people. We get food donations, and people bag and distribute healthy fruits and vegetables. We get financial donations so each person can get a bag of beans every week. It has grown thanks to ideas from the people who have taken ownership of the program. Our goal is to connect it to the broader struggle for land and liberty.

RAC began the food program after the repression of the immigrant rights march on May Day 2007, to build a base of support and to build trust. We’re doing this in a community that police, after the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion, described in this way: “If this was an insurrection, Pico Union would be considered enemy territory.” It is a community that has been terrorized by Rampart police, but also one that comes with experience of rebellion and civil war in Central America and has a hatred for US imperialism. We feel that the food program and Cop Watch LA are just the beginning. We hope to spread these programs and support others who wish to do the same.

RAC also produced a film called, “We’re Still Here, We Never Left,” which exposes the police repression on Mayday, 2007. We really want people to see it. To get a copy or discuss screening the film, please write

I’m also part of the collective organizing the first annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair on December 13, 2008, which will help raise money for our defense fund and the South West Regional APOC gathering. For more information, visit,

I’m part of APOC as well, which is growing and becoming a real network, and has the potential to grow into a revolutionary movement and become an intercommunalist force within the empire and beyond. Recently, there have been regional and local gatherings of Anarchists People of Color to build up to a inter-regional gathering. We have also discussed what APOC means and how it doesn’t just stand for Anarchist People of Color, but also Angry and Autonomous People of Color, and how all those things are unique and have their own definitions. (See

In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges facing the anarchist movement right now?

Many anarchists focus on solidarity work, which is a part of supporting revolution worldwide, but we have to move beyond solidarity and redefine what it means. Solidarity means that we fight alongside comrades and oppressed people everywhere, that we build the revolutionary process inside the empire, while sharing whatever resources we have with each other. In America, the anarchists have to begin to hold each other accountable and challenge each other’s privilege. We have to begin to break out of our sub-culture. We have to integrate into our communities and plant deep roots among the people as revolutionaries; to realize that our principles and ideas have to be popularized among the people, so they can take these up and make them their own. We have much more to learn than we have to teach, and not everyone will identify as an anarchist. Anarchists within the empire have to realize that there is so much privilege here, but also that there is what Huey Newton called the inner-third world—colonized people fighting within the empire—and their autonomy and self-determination should be supported.

Finally, if all your greatest dreams and hopes for the movement were to come true in, say, twenty years, what would the movement be? What would it be like?

I think there are two parts to this question: where would the people be in twenty years and where would the system of capitalism-imperialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy be by that time?

I can answer the second part quickly, because I don’t think that the system will last that long. The empire is losing its grip on the world and on the neo-colonies and people will free themselves of this horrible way of life. Of course nothing is certain, but we have to do the work.

My vision of liberated communes would be of people living their lives and realizing their full human potential; where we live in harmony with the planet and all beings; where a federation of communes shares resources, food, ideas, and other things with each other; where people are rebuilding and healing from years of oppressive social relationships and their effects on us and the Earth; where technology is used to benefit not destroy people and the environment. In twenty years, borders would begin to come down, and rebellion will liberate peoples and their lands. I dream of this world everyday, where oppression because of the color of your skin, your class, your gender, your sexuality, and so on, are not tolerated and where people realize that they have the power to deal with all of these problems themselves. Maybe the world will not be like this in twenty years, but I know that we’ll be closer to it than we are now. That world is possible. That world is necessary.

X-Vandals (videos) - "Sweatshop Basquiat," and "Life is Warfare"

"Sweatshop Basquiat"

"Life is Warfare"

Catch the X-Vandals and other dope artists in LA on Nov.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

"We're Still Here, We Never Left" Film Screenings



On October 22nd the film by the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, " We' re Still Here, We Never Left" was screened by RAC Supporters , Queens of Distinction, The Humboldt State University Black Student Union , and others in Arcata (Humboldt County)



1st Annual Los (A)ngeles Anarchist Bookfair


http://i120. photobucket. com/albums/o193/copwatchla/laabfflier. jpg

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Calling all Anarchists, Activists, and Supporters of our Freedom Fighters! Solidarity with Ojore Lutalo

Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 1:00 PM




Long-time New Afrikan Anarchist Prisoner of War, Ojore N. Lutalo is set to
max out after 26 years of imprisonment at New Jersey State Prison.

In other words, the department of correctional services is about to reach
their deadline for the maximum amount of time they can legally hold Ojore
Lutalo under the sentence mandated by the justice system (nevermind the
fact that as a Black Liberation Army Prisoner of War he should not have
been sentenced under a criminal court at all!).

While his exact release date is still not finalized, it will most likely
be late November or early December. The NJ DOC website has his max-out
date as December 25th. Ojore, with the help of a lawyer, is in the process
of working to get his good time/work credits restored, a result of his
victory in the NJ Superior Court in 2007, which overturned a charge the
prison convicted him of in 2005. This charge/conviction took away around a
year of good time/work credits. This process is still ongoing and we will
update people with any changes to his max-out date.

In the meantime, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF) is initiating
a fundraising drive to support Ojore, once he is released, in order for
him to transition back to the streets. Money is needed to help Ojore
secure housing, food and clothing. This financial assistance will allow
Ojore to make the transition more smoothly, knowing that money and housing
isn't an immediate pressing matter, giving him the needed time to readjust
to the outside world he hasn't seen since 1982.

We are calling for a National Weekend of Fundraising Events for Ojore
Lutalo to occur on the weekend of November 7th 2008. Now's a great
opportunity to show how our movements support our own!

As many former prisoners and their supporters know, coming back home after
a doing a long stretch in prison is difficult and without a support base
it will be even more difficult. The ABCF, anarchists and many PP/POW
activists who have maintained contact and supported Ojore over the years,
have benefited immensely from the example that he's set as what it means
to be a revolutionary. His untiring advice/criticism to us has helped many
of us and our organizations grow politically and deepen, not only our
commitment to the struggle to free political prisoners and prisoners of
war, but to that of building a revolutionary movement

It's our revolutionary duty ensure Ojore has all the support he needs
when hits the streets!

We encourage all activists to organize fundraisers or donate whatever they
can towards Ojore's release fund.

All funds, by check or money order, payable to TIM FASNACHT, can be sent to:

Philadelphia ABCF
P.O Box 42129
Philadelphia, Pa 19101

Thank you for your support of our comrade Ojore!

Bring them all home!
Solidarity and Struggle!

bio of Ojore Lutalo........

Ojore Lutalo is locked down in Trenton, New Jersey, for actions carried
out in the fight for Black Liberation.

In Ojore's own words, he is "serving a parole violation sentence (we
received 14 to 17 years) stemming from a 1977 conviction for expropriating
monies from a capitalist state bank (in order to finance our activities)
and engaging the political police in a gun battle in December 1975 in
order to effect our departure from the bank, and to ensure success of the
military operation..."

"After my parole violation term terminated in December 1987, I started
serving a forty year sentence with a twenty year parole ineligibility (I
was paroled in 1980, and I have been back in captivity since April 20,
1982) that I have received in 1982 for having a gun-fight with a drug
dealer. The overall strategy of assaulting a drug dealer is to secure
monies to finance one's activities, and to rid the oppressed communities
of drug dealers." Ojore was originally arrested with New Afrikan P.O.W.
Kojo Bomani Sababu, and was struggling with comrade Andaliwa Clark up
until the point that Andaliwa was killed in action within the confines of
New Jersey's infamous Trenton State Prison after he shot two prison's
security guards in the repressive Management Control Unit (M.C.U.) on
January 19th, 1976 when they tried to stop him from escaping from

Ojore was a comrade of the late Kuwasi Balagoon, a New Afrikan anarchist
P.O.W. "I've been involved in the struggle, the war against the
state since 1970. I've been an anarchist since 1975 without any regrets.
Prior to my involvement in the struggle, I was just another apolitical
lumpen (bandit) here in Amerika."

"I was... influenced and highly motivated by the Black Liberation Army
(B.L.A.) here in Amerika. These sisters and brothers were New Afrikans
just like me from the streets of the ghettos who took the initiative
militarily, to start assassinating members of the state's security forces
who were murdering black people in our communities. From the inception of
all revolutions, I feel that the people need armed combat units to check
state sponsored acts of terrorism by the government's security forces. In
addition, I feel that these armed combat units are necessary to show the
people that fascist acts of state-sponsored terrorism... will be responded
to militarily. In 1975 I became disillusioned with Marxism and became an
anarchist (thanks to Kuwasi Balagoon) due to the inactiveness and
ineffectiveness of Marxism in our communities along with repressive
bureaucracy that comes with Marxism. People aren't going to commit
themselves to a life and death struggle just because of grand ideas
someone might have floating around in their heads. I feel people will
commit themselves to a struggle if they can see progress being made
similar to the progress of anarchist collectives in Spain during the era
of the fascist Bahamonde..."

Ojore is presently locked down in an M.C.U. in Trenton. "I'm encased
in a
cage of steel and concrete surrounded by by high prison walls topped with
gun towers and rows of razor wire while being watched by sadistic fascist
pigs. Nevertheless, I'm not complaining because I have accepted
revolution, which is an armed struggle for me, and I have come to terms
with the prospects of death and captivity... The vast majority of the
Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners now being interned here in the
concentration camps of North Amerika aren't receiving any assistance
(e.g.: being liberated, assistance in liberating ourselves, financial
assistance needed to obtain food packages, winter clothing, reading
material and postage stamps) from the so-called progressive revolutionary
organizations, groups and individuals here in Amerika. With our talents,
we have been abandoned here in the state's numerous concentration camps
and our M.C.U.¹s by those out there in what we call minimum custody..."
don't need moral support because we have purpose. We don¹t need anyone to
tell us to stay strong because we are going to remain stead-fast anyway,
because we have come to terms with the prospects of death and captivity."

*Get Involved at the 1-2-3 Community Space!
123 Tompkins Ave btw Myrtle and Vernon, Bedstuy BK

Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211


Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!

The Sickly Season nites in mictlan

~~~THE SICKLY SEASON?nites in mictlan~~~

* nites in mictlan *

a Día de Los Muertos / SICKLY SINEMA fiesta

celebrating the end of
THE SICKLY SEASON?notes from mictlan zine

this free event will be hosted by
Ruben Mendoza & Lisa Núñez

on the rooftop of

* 120 South Vignes Street, LA, 90012 *

* Saturday, 25 October, 2008 | 7 pm onward *


7.00 pm | doors open

8.00 pm | readings by SICKLY SEASON contributors & others

10.30 pm | performances

all night | dancing & bacchanalia w/music by guest DJs

all night | screenings of cult films
>Kenneth Anger's _Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome_
>Alejandro Jodorowsky's _Holy Mountain_
>Jesús Franco's _Lesbos Vampyros_

cash bar | organic local homebrew ales & hard cider; cocktails

suggested | lawnchairs / blankets for seating

advised | kostumes / kalaveramasks; alter-egos / personas

rsvp/info | ? 213.321.0425 ? 310.652.9033

Here is the list of past contributors
a few possible future

José Luis Vargas, Jr.
Luis A. Vega
John Kawakami
Joaquin Cienfuegos
Joanna Aguirre
Neltí González
Johnny Ramirez
S. Gilmer
Steve Kisicki
Miranda Smith
Asolti Papalotl and Quetzalxoquiyae (Mariposa Sol)
Sara Monique Sifuentes
Pete Galindo
kwento (a.k.a., invisible ink)
Omar González
Daniel Valencia
Manuel Garcia, Jr.
L. R. Núñez
Rene Arriaga
Gloria Enedina Álvarez
Daniel Hernández
Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano

Monday, October 13, 2008

Texts: Our Culture, Our Resistance and Post-Colonial Anarchism

Post-Colonial Anarchism

Our Culture, Our Resistance

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Anarchist Reviews of Battle of Seattle

An anarchist review of Battle in Seattle
category north america / mexico | anarchist movement | feature author Sunday September 21, 2008 15:17author by Jen Rogue with Andrew Hedden - Class Action Alliance (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Lights! Camera! Direct Action!

featured image v>

An anarchist review of Stuart Townsend's Battle in Seattle, a fictionalized drama about the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, Washington by Seattle anarchists who were at the WTO protests.

I spent my nineteenth birthday in the cold and rain, breathing in tear gas and fleeing the police. It was 1999 and I was in Seattle, joining in the tens of thousands who descended on the city to protest the World Trade Organization’s first Ministerial Conference in the United States. I was sympathetic to the myriad of issues represented by the various sections of protestors, from the environment to workers struggles to access to medicine. I proudly marched with my banner reading, “Think the WTO is bad? Wait til you hear about capitalism!” The reasons to oppose the WTO were a thousand-fold, but central to me was the larger system at play: global capitalism.

Lights! Camera! Direct Action!
An anarchist review of Battle in Seattle

By Jen Rogue with Andrew Hedden

I spent my nineteenth birthday in the cold and rain, breathing in tear gas and fleeing the police. It was 1999 and I was in Seattle, joining in the tens of thousands who descended on the city to protest the World Trade Organization’s first Ministerial Conference in the United States. I was sympathetic to the myriad of issues represented by the various sections of protestors, from the environment to workers struggles to access to medicine. I proudly marched with my banner reading, “Think the WTO is bad? Wait til you hear about capitalism!” The reasons to oppose the WTO were a thousand-fold, but central to me was the larger system at play: global capitalism.

My fellow anarchists worked alongside union members, sea turtles, and activists of all kinds in an effort to shut down the WTO’s meeting. The diversity of the protesters brought with them a diversity of tactics, and the anarchists participated in many, from locking down in intersections and doorways, to squatting a building downtown, to breaking the windows of targeted multinational corporations. While the debate about the protests and aftermath has seen hundreds of opinions, perspectives and critiques, there is one thing most can agree on: the 1999 WTO protests brought American attention to global economic issues. In addition to successfully shutting down the meeting, activists in the U.S. illustrated an awareness of and resistance to the WTO’s repression and exploitation of peoples across the globe.

Almost ten years later, the protests have inspired a feature film. Directed by Stuart Townsend, Battle in Seattle is a clearly well-researched fictionalized drama taking place during the WTO protests. The pacing and general narrative is quite accurate to the events as they actually unfolded. This new, sympathetic attention to a pivotal moment of the anti-globalization movement brings up many old questions and debates, most of which still linger on today. The movie itself is engaging and likeable, with plenty of well-staged action to keep the viewer’s interest. Michelle Rodriguez, bad-ass as always, makes a fierce anarchist (in the interest of disclosure, I watched Blue Crush three times and Blood Rayne twice just for Rodriguez). The intentions of the film are clearly sympathetic to the protestors and seek to bring to light the motivations and ideas of the activists, which had not been well represented by the media.

The film is independently produced, not a product of Hollywood, though it uses Hollywood style to capture its audience. Like the popular Oscar-winner Crash, it weaves together individual stories and illustrates how they connect. For an effort as collective as the WTO protests, this approach ultimately focuses too much on individual people. One of the shortcomings of the film is the fact that it is comprised of anecdotes. Certainly, to be an entertaining movie, one has to tell the story of some compelling characters, but when telling the story of the WTO protests, this causes some key ideas to slip through the cracks. By focusing on the personal lives and motivations of a handful of characters, we miss the greater, systemic causes at play.

Consequently, the film focuses on the isolated “mistakes” of the Seattle police and to a lesser extent, the media. There is not a larger awareness of the fact that institutions like the WTO rely on media whitewash of their activities and a negative portrayal of protesters, not to mention police repression. Cops fighting protesters is (on a smaller scale) par for the course given the violence of the WTO (poverty, white supremacy, etc). Corporate media also has something to gain by dramatizing the conflict and making the protesters look bad; sensationalism is what gets the ratings, after all. There is a broader systemic analysis of capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy, their roles in the WTO and the states that control it, which is missing from the film.

Of all the characters in the film – a cop, his wife, the Mayor, an NGO professional, an African delegate – Director Stuart Townsend gives the most screen time to various activists. Townsend has explained that Battle in Seattle’s glorification of the professional activist is aimed at trying to inspire people to become more active in progressive causes, but in an effort to show them in a positive light, their achievements are overblown. The breakaway segment of the protest’s labor march was portrayed in the film as directed by the activists, when in fact it was led by the steelworkers and other militant union folks. Townsend does make activism look sexy and exciting (though Michelle Rodriguez could make doing laundry look sexy and exciting), but as a strategy with greater political goals, it is misguided. The movie unintentionally perpetuates the middle-class do-gooder cultural concept when a more important focus would be the large-scale popular movements. Individualist activist culture has a component of vanguardism and elitism, which the movie reinforces – the film’s activists all share various motivations, but none of them seek to change the conditions of their own lives. Any strategy that overlooks the people most affected by exploitation and oppression, neglecting to put grassroots social movements in the foreground, is unsustainable.

Battle in Seattle lacks an awareness of a major theme of the protests, perhaps their most successful element: solidarity. Many of the protesters were vocal in their solidarity with those around the world in resisting global capitalism, and that piece is largely missing from the film. The film overlooks the essential movement-building debates that followed the protests, namely those concerning race (Elizabeth Martinez’s “Where Was the Color in Seattle?”) and gender (such as The Rock Bloc Collective’s essay “Stick It to the Manarchy”). While some of the main character roles were people of color, the film lacks any important dialog regarding the general whiteness and affluence of the protest demographic As organizer Hop Hopkins explains in the WTO protest documentary This is What Democracy Looks Like, “Solidarity doesn’t mean we don’t talk about issues that separate us… You’ve got to take it a step further. Race, class, gender, sexism, heterosexism, the whole nine yards… If that’s not in your analysis, than you’re only half-stepping, and you’re not really working for revolution.”

By devoting more screen time to bouts of melodrama and hot, intense protest action than actual ideas, the film’s politics are exciting but sterile. The superficial politics end up misrepresenting many protesters, especially anarchists, even when it is unintended. With the exception of Michelle Rodriguez’s character Lou, anarchists are portrayed solely as macho insurrectionists. While there were certainly many of those types within anarchism, particularly at the WTO protests, the film neglects to mention there were anarchists participating in many, many types of actions. The diversity of thought and strategy within anarchism is ignored, and in its place is a one-dimensional, sensational caricature of anarchist politics, despite being slightly more educated then the usual media portrayal.

For all its errors, Battle in Seattle provides a fun opportunity to return to the question of why the WTO protests represented such a massive victory, and what we as anarchists should focus on in our political work nearly ten years later. After all, the film arrives in a year when protests are again in the news. The summit protest has again become a popular draw for new activists and old hands alike, as we have most recently seen here in the United States with the DNC protests in Denver and the RNC in St. Paul. After several years of involvement in the protest circuit, many anarchists are developing criticisms of the usual methods, creating alternatives, or withdrawing from that scene altogether (usually in favor of organizing grounded in local struggles and communities). The group Worker’s Solidarity Alliance, in a recent statement on the RNC protests, perhaps put it best. “Specifically, we must avoid playing into the hands of the state by using rhetoric, rituals, and tactics that isolate us from the majority of the world's population that suffers under capitalism. We call for a resistance based not exclusively on the advanced tactics of a jail-ready minority, but the solidarity and militancy of a revolutionary social bloc, organized in workplaces and neighborhoods, fighting for self-determination. As the raids on activists spaces have already shown, anything less is political suicide.”

Jen Rogue and Andrew Hedden are members of Class Action Alliance in Tacoma and Seattle, WA, USA.
Related Link:
The Real Battle in Seattle

By kate | September 19, 2008

September 19 marks the limited release of the long-awaited independent docu-drama Battle in Seattle, a film written and directed by Stuart Townsend, starring Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron, and Ray Liotta, among others, that portrays the epic protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle 1999.

It’s always a strange thing to see an event you know well in filmic form; the adaptation of beloved books to the big screen has always been a problematic encounter between different forms of storytelling, but when the adaptation has a real-life, and not a literary, counterpart, it’s hard to know what to make of it all.

The Real Battle in SeattleFor the past several months, a group of social justice activists, including David Solnit, author of the forthcoming AK Press book The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle and a key organizer of the demonstrations that shut down the city of Seattle and brought the WTO meetings to a halt nearly nine years ago, have been working to ensure that the real story of what went on in the streets in November 1999 isn’t lost in the shuffle, or swept up in bright and myth-making lights of the mainstream movie industry.

Listen to David, along with director Stuart Townsend, discussing the film and the activist response on Democracy Now!:

The Seattle WTO People’s History Collective has put out a call for activists to visit the Seattle People’s History website ( and share your stories from Seattle, your opinions, and commentary on the film, and your thoughts about the legacy of the Seattle WTO protests and where to go from here.

Below is a portion of the call to action issued by David and other members of the Seattle WTO People’s History Collective:


Battle in Seattle, the new fictionalized movie about the mass direct action shutdown of the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999, is opening in theaters across the US. Some global justice and anti-capitalist activists will intervene on the opening day of the movie to urge moviegoers to get the real story and make some history themselves.

For the last two years, since before the Battle in Seattle was filmed, we have struggled with how we and the movements we are part of should relate to the movie. Some of us have also engaged with and struggled with the film’s director Stuart Townsend to improve the film, with a small bit of success. Out of these discussions we have created the Seattle WTO People’s History Project (, an indymedia-style, participatory people’s history website of our movements’ own accounts, photos, videos and reflections from the Seattle WTO shutdown and resistance.

Can you help us give out “Real Battle in Seattle” postcards to moviegoers on Friday, September 19 in San Francisco, San Rafael, Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington DC? You can find files for print & distribution on the People’s History site:

Or can you distribute these postcards to members of your community, or to moviegoers at later screenings in Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Columbus (OH), Irvine, Santa Barbara, Philadelphia, Plano (TX), San Diego, San Jose, Denver, Charlotte, Cleveland, Portland (OR), Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Madison, Milwaukee and Olympia?

This website project, at, is an effort to popularize the “Battle of Seattle” in our own voices and from our movements. Its potential can be realized only if friends from popular movements step up, participate, post their accounts and reflections and get the world out widely! We aim to create a culture of memory and peoples’ history within today’s movements to take seriously documenting, popularizing and fighting for our histories and our victories.

We are a small collective of global justice, anti-capitalist, community and independent media organizers and activists—most of whom were involved in organizing to shut down the WTO and many of whom live or lived in Seattle. Please lend a hand: circulate this email, and check out and participate in the


Contact the Seattle WTO People’s History Collective at:

Friday, October 3, 2008

2 sides 2 every story

sick jam, there are always 2 sides 2 every story -- I've been feeling this. Revolt!