Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
By AK Press | December 19, 2008
We are writing as a group of world citizens to tell you that we are saddened by yet another police murder of a young person, Alexis Grigoropoulos. We do not see this as an isolated incident by one “bad cop” but as the direct result of a oppressive police force and repressive state. Alexis’ murder sparked a fire in Greece and has touched many all over the world. We are heartened by the response of our Greek comrades and write this letter in support of what has become a large-scale popular uprising in Greece with support worldwide. We applaud its principles and its targets - the police themselves, and the state institutions that create and feed the system of violence and oppression that they enforce. We will stand strong in whatever ways we can with the people of Greece who are making their voices heard. This struggle does not belong to Greece alone. The problems of Greece are problems of a deeply repressive capitalist world order. What is happening on the Greek barricades is happening elsewhere and everywhere. We hope that the fruits of our struggles and uprisings will yield a better and more just world for all. The time has come and the people will not back down.
The Alexander Berkman Social Club
Revolutionary Autonomous Communities
Cop Watch Los Angeles - Guerrilla Chapter
If you would like to add your name to the list signers, please write:
devilhoof@devinhoff platform. com
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The events that have taken place so far, both inside and outside of Greece, following the murder of 16-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos from the special guard Epaminondas Korkoneas, show clearly that we are in the midst of a popular insurrection. Ever growing segments of society (high school and university students, workers, unemployed, immigrants, detainees, poor,…) decide to come out in the streets and transform their rage for whatever oppresses them in every expression of their lives into action (dynamic mobilizations during which there are mass clashes with the forces of repression and attacks on government and capitalist targets, occupations of public buildings, open assemblies, counterinformation actions,…).
Within the frame of this insurrection, the City Hall of Aghios Dimitrios has been occupied since the morning of Thursday Dec. 11, so that it may become a place of counter-information, meeting, and self-organizing of the residents of the wider region and for the collective formation and implementation of actions. A main component of this occupation is the daily popular assembly with participation of up to 300 people, a process that functions in contrast to the entrusting of the management of our demands as well as of our struggles to whichever "representatives," elected or not. A process that tends to be implanted deeply into the consciousness of its participants on their role as political beings.
Without a doubt, this popular insurrection is clearly turning against the very structure of the current regime. Therefore, it follows that the subjects of this insurrection will face the repressive fury of the defenders of the system (the state, the businesses, the comfortable, …). Already there have been about 200 arrests around the country (often accompanied by violence and trumped up charges). Some of the charges, misdemeanors as well as felonies are: resisting arrest, disobedience, disturbing the peace, attempting to free detainees, use and possession of tools and explosives, attempt to inflict serious bodily harm, etc. In some instances, the state has prosecuted minors under anti-terrorist statutes (Larissa). Nevertheless, for us it is obvious that all these charges are political in nature. And of course the "not at all" predatory state (in conjunction with the "not at all" profiteering business people) has the audacity to prosecute so-called "looters".
By participating in the popular insurrection both inside and outside of the now liberated City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios, we express with our deeds our solidarity with those arrested and prosecuted for their actions in this social struggle. The struggle for their release and the cessation of prosecutions is absolutely connected with the very insurrection and must constitute a main demand.
A few lines above there was a reference to the defenders of the system. Unfortunately this category also includes those segments of society, which, while objectively belong on the side of the oppressed, whether by their opposition to the social struggle or whether by their silence (a result as much of the brainwashing from mass media as from the growing tendency to abandon collective claims and pursue individual solutions) end up playing the game of their oppressors. It is necessary that we realize what is the source of our problems and that all of us "below" are already on the crosshairs of the system, therefore it is to our advantage to join this insurrection.
DROP ALL CHARGES FOR THE EVENTS OF THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OFF ALL DETAINEES
THE SOCIAL STRUGGLES ARE NEITHER LEGAL NOR ILLEGAL – THEY ARE JUST.
RALLY – MARCH
Tuesday December 16, 2008, 7:00pm
at the liberated City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios"
"There is a pandemic of occupations of city halls, following the occupation of the city hall at Ag. Dimitrios. Saturday the old city hall of Halandri was occupied and today the city hall of Sykies, a suburb of Thessaloniki. Three people arrested and then released during this occupation. I will provide more news and translated statements as they become available.
Another quick translation. Letter from the friends of the boy killed by the police, posted on the blog of the Occupied Old City Hall of Halandri.
WE WANT A BETTER WORLD. HELP US
We are not terrorists, "hooded ones", "known-unknown".
WE ARE YOUR CHILDREN
These, the known-unknown....
We have dreams – don't kill our dreams.
We have momentum – don't stop our momentum.
REMEMBER. Once you were young as well.
Now you chase money, concern yourselves only with the "show case",
you got fat, bald,
We expected you will support us. We expected you will be interested, that for once you will make us proud. IN VAIN.
You live false lives, you have bowed your heads, you have lowered your pants
and are waiting for the day you will die.
You don't dream, you don't fall in love, you don't create.
You only sell and buy.
STUFF EVERYWHERE LOVE NOWHERE – TRUTH NOWHERE
Where are the parents?
Where are the artists?
Why don't they come out?
PS Don't hit us with any more tear gas. WE can cry on our own.
Letter of friends of Alexis
PRISON AND DEPORTATION
FOR HOLDING A CELLPHONE CHARGER
A wave of repression against immigrants during the riots in Greece
In the last few days, there has been an explosion of violence and racism against immigrants by the police and the courts. In Athens only, over 50 immigrants have been sent to trial in flagrante delicto, with ridiculously insignificant accusations. This is the general picture: Express trials, no legal representation, no interpreters and a pre-decided charge of 18 months in prison followed by deportation. Most immigrants were arrested on the streets and not inside shops. Some were found carrying looted wares, some weren't. In one characteristic case, an immigrant was charged with robbery while he insisted that the single cellphone he was found carrying was actually his own! He was imprisoned and is awaiting deportation. In another incident, an immigrant was incarcerated for carrying a cellphone charging device! He was also sent to prison. He will be deported too.
In Athens, Patras and other cities, cops, para-State groups and fascists seized the opportunity to organize pogroms against immigrants. According to the denouncement by Elias Ahmed, representative of the Union of Bangladeshi Workers: "In the last days extremist nationalists are ambushing immigrants' meeting places. Most immigrants return home late at night, since they work in restaurants or do other evening jobs, and wherever the nationalists find them, they beat them up and terrorize them." The representative of the Afghan Community Zacher Mahmat issued an accusation stating, amongst other things: "Two nights ago at Attiki Square 4 or 5 Syrians were beaten up. They were attacked by a group of 10 to 15 (…) Everyday policemen beat up immigrants".
The police is working hard these days, with the excuse of lootings and unrest: Multiple arrests of immigrants, threats of deportation, beatings and mass transportations to police stations. On Monday evening, in an exhibition of atrocious violence in Omonoia Square, policemen were beating up immigrants for hours on end and dragging them to the nearby police station to be held (- let us note here that the Omonoia police station is notorious for its brutality).
And while all this is happening, the sensitive Interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, -also head of the Greek Police (a post which he publicly announced he wanted to resign from, expecting that the prime minister would never accept his resignation)- is zealously getting on with his own business: On Friday 12 he and Merchant Marine, Aegean and Island Policy Minister Anastasis Papaligouras signed a declaration for the supply of equipment with the European agency FRONTEX, responsible for coordinating efforts to curb illegal immigration into Europe, at the former public order ministry with the executive director of FRONTEX Ilkka Laitinen. In other words, FRONTEX is congratulating the Greek police and coast guard for doing a good job and is offering them more arms and equipment…As minister Pavlopoulos proudly stated: "This initiative was taken by the Greek prime minister, and after this FRONTEX could eventually evolve into an organisation like Europol…I warmly thank mister Laitinen that the greatly successful NEPTUNE Operation [by FRONTEX], which was so important to us, was given an extension until March 1, 2009". Ilkka Laitinen returned the compliments by especially thanking the "Greek Police and the Greek Coast Guard for their cooperation".
But that is not the only cooperation beyond borders that is going on. The same goes for social struggle and solidarity. Governments in various European states are expressing their fear and caution…Let us prove them right.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALL IMPRISONED IMMIGRANTS
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALL THE PRISONERS OF THE LAST DAYS
We shall meet in the streets
A quick translation. I take responsibility for any errors. The original (in Greek) can be found at http://katadimadim.blogspot.com/
INVITATION TO THE OPEN POPULAR ASSEMBLY
OF THE LIBERATED CITY HALL OF AGHIOS DIMITRIOS
On December 6th, 2008, the special guardi Epaminondas Korkoneas pulled out his gun and murdered a citizen, a 16-year old kid. The rage that everyone feels is huge, despite all the attempts by the government and the mass media to disorient public opinion.
It is now certain that this insurrection is not only homage to the unjust loss of Alexandros Grigoropoulos. There has been a lot of talk since then about violence, thefts and pillages. For those in the media and power, violence is only what destroys the proper order.
For us however:
Violence is to work 40 years for crumbs and to wonder if you will ever retire.
Violence is the bonds, the stolen pensions, the securities fraud.
Violence is to be forced to take a housing loan that you will pay back through the nose.
Violence is the managerial right of the employer to fire you at will.
Violence is unemployment, temporary employment, 700 euros a monthii.
Violence is the "industrial accidents" because the bosses cut costs at the expense of worker safety.
Violence is to take psycho-medications and vitamins to withstand the exhaustive work schedule.
Violence is to be an immigrant, to live with the fear that you can be thrown out of the country at any time and to be in a state of constant insecurity.
Violence is to be simultaneously a wage worker, a housewife, and a mother.
Violence is to be worked to death and then to be told "smile, we are not asking that much of you."
The insurrection of high-school and university students, of temporary workers and immigrants broke this violence of normality. This insurrection must not stop! Syndicalists, political parties, priests, journalists and businesspeople do whatever they can to maintain the violence we described above.
It is not just them, but we too are responsible for the perpetuation of this situation. The insurrection opened a space where we can finally express ourselves freely. As a continuation of this opening we went forward with the occupation of the City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios and the formation of a popular assembly open to all.
An open space for communication, to break our silence, to undertake action for our life.
Saturday December 13 2008, 7:00pm, open popular assembly at the Ag. Dimitrios city hall.
NO PROSECUTION – IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALL THOSE ARRESTED
OCCUPATION OF AG. DIMITRIOS CITY HALL
iΕιδικοί Φρουροί , Special Guards, an elite force within the police department.
iiAverage salary in Greece, approx. US$930.00, not nearly enough to survive on.
"The following is a brief report from Larisa, a medium-sized city in central Greece. Please distribute as you see fit. My, very rough, translation.
The situation in Larisa reminds us of the junta [the dictatorship]. There are security [police, other paramilitary and "civilian"] everywhere and they stop everything that moves. Today there was an assembly with the parents of those arrested and it was agreed to have another march Monday.
Monday's demonstration had about 2,500 people, an unheard of number for Larisa and as a result 36 banks, the justice building, city hall, and the military justice center were attacked -- as well as 4 small unrelated shops which unfortunately we could not protect because there were a lot of very young people who didn't have any specific targets. Next day, Tuesday, there was an evening rally by high school students with very few incidents.
There are 19 people detained total. 8 have already been in court for their first hearing and 4 were ordered to be held in jail, 8 more are going to court today but we have not found out what happened yet. All the detainees are being processed under the anti-terrorist laws, accused of forming a terrorist group, etc."
taste blood, yours, or mine, flowing
from a sudden slash, than cut all day
with blunt scissors on dotted lines
like the teacher told."
-On Edges, Adrienne Rich
From the English webpage of the French CNT; An appeal by the red and black coordination and interview of Yannis from the ESE (union of libertarian syndicalists - Eleftheriaki Sindikalistiki Enosi)
http://www.cnt- f.org/spip. php?article865
GREECE IN FLAMES !
For days the young people of have been in the streets, venting their anger.
Anger against the police who murdered a 15 year-old in cold blood.
Anger towards a political class (those of all parties) which is infested with corruption and nepotism.
Their anger against this politcal class that privatises universities, casualises the young workforce and chips away at the gains of the workers (social security and retirement reforms)
In Paris, in Roma, in Madrid, in Warsaw, in Stockholm as in Athens...
Capitalism exploits, sacks and kills ; it criminalises workers’ movements ; it expels immigrants.
We are calling for with the students and workers of Greece in their struggle !
In Paris, in Roma, in Madrid, in Warsaw, in Stockholm as in Athens...
We need to globalise resistance !
We need a General Strike against Capital !
We need a General strike agaisnt State represion !
CNT (france), WORKERS INITIATIVE (Poland), CGT (Spain), USI (Italy), ESE (Greece), IWW (Great Britain), LA (Poland), SAC (Sweden), Solidaridad Obrera (Spain)
Interview with Yannis, international secretary of the ESE.
Can you describe the events surrounding the death of Alexis again ?
For the last three years the ’s strategy in Exârcheia, a district famous for popular struglle and home to many students., young people and libertarians, has been one of provocation. .
Police patrols have become more frequent recently and on a daily basis the police are insulting the people in the area.
When it comes to the murder of this 15 year-old boy all the witnesses (resdients, passers-by etc) state that the police were provoking a group of young people by insulting them. When the youths responded the police parked their car and then returned to where the youths were sitting then they fired three times. The witnesses state that the murderer fired directly at Alexis who died on the pavement.
What are the tatics of the Greek police ?
Since the end of the dictatorship of the Colonels dozens of Greeks have been killed by the police. Amongst the dead are : Mikalis Kaltezas, a 15 year-old anarchist militant killed in 1985 ; Issidoros Issidoropoulos, a 16 year-old extreme left-wing militant killed in 1976 ; Koumis and Kanellopoulou, two demonstrators and also a number of immigrants and people from ethnic minorities (gipsies and Thracian turks etc). Recently the police murdered a young disabled boy.
At the same time we’re seeing countless cases of militants, demonstrators and immigrants being tortured by the police ; as well as a systematic and unjustified use of tear gas bombs and other gas weapons at all demonstrations.
I’ll add a final note, a police officer has never been killed by a demonstrator, furthermore no police officer, has ever spent more than two and a half years in prison.
What exactly is happening across Greece ?
The revolt has exploded in virtually all the regional capitals. In Salonika, Agrinion, Yannena and across Crete there have been clashes between police and demonstrators. In Patras the police attacked demonstrators accompanied by a battalion of armed neo-nazis, so-called "outraged citizens".
Every day in Athens there are two or three different demonstrations, with tens of thousands of participants. In solidarity 20000 demonstrators attended the funeral of Alexandros Grigoropoulos. This isn’t about "blind rebellion" like the media claims, on the contrary it is a real movement and one that continues...
The targets of the demonstrators are the banks and the multinational enterprises that are the symbols of poverty and suffering.
The revolt unites young and old, militants and the non-politicised.
It is the largest revolt in Greece since the Second World War and the Civil War which folowed in Greece. It could be the largest revolt in the western world for the last forty years. For us this revol is a completely legitimate response.
Apart from the murder of this young man, what are the other reasons for this explosion of protests ? We are the first post-war generation to experience worse economic and employment conditions than our parents.
In Greece we often speak of the "700 euro generation". Without a doubt this slogan doesn’t express how bad things are. In fact the majority of people under 30 live on less than 700 euros a month. The only jobs available are casual or short term, a lot of people are forced to work on the black market. The bosses fire people, blaming the crisis, mean while Greek Capital is benefiting from the massive profits gained from the pillage of the balkans.
The situation is worse for immigrants who suffer from racist laws, widespread xenophobia and attacks from nazi groups which go unpunished. We must underline that immigrants have played a large part in this movement and, as usual, they have been the main victims of state repression. Of the 400 arrests so far, half have been of immigrants.
As far as politics and corruption goes I can briefly sum up the situation for you : Recently there was a scandal as the ’Vatopedia’ affair saw the government giving land to the church.
Two families, Papandreou of the centre left and Caramanlis of the right have governed Greece for 34 of the last 40 years.
To this we can add the disastrous mismanagement of the fires in 2007 and of the aftermath. The attacks on social security by the socialists in 2001 and the right in 2006. Privatisation of the electricity company, the ports and of Olympic Airways.
Interview by Jérémie International Secretary of the CNT
Publié le 13 décembre 2008.
Workers in occupy union offices
<http://libcom. org/files/ images/news/ offices%20occupa tion.jpg>
The historic central offices of the in Athens have been occupied by militant workers
The action forms part of a strategy to counteract the designs of the
union bureaucracy to distance its membership from the current revolt,
and protest its management and mediation of workers' struggles in
Greece. The occupants aim to create a space in which to facilitate a
grassroots and self organised workers response to the crisis, and
bring the wider working class into the events unfolding on the
streets of Greece. Town halls in Athens and Thessaloniki have also
been occupied in order to hold general assemblies.
The communique of the "General Assembly of Insurgent Workers" follows below:
We will either determine our history ourselves or let it be
determined without us
We, manual workers, employees, jobless, temporary workers, local or
migrants, are not passive tv-viewers. Since the murder of Alexandros
Grigoropoulos on Saturday night we participate in the demonstrations,
the clashes with the police, the occupations of the centre or the
neighborhoods. Time and again we had to leave work and our daily
obligations to take the streets with the students, the university
students and the other proletarians in struggle.
WE DECIDED TO OCCUPY THE BUILDING OF GSEE
-To turn it into a space of free expression and a meeting point of workers.
-To disperse the media-touted myth that the workers were and are
absent from the clashes, and that the rage of these days was an
affair of some 500 "mask-bearers" , "hooligans" or some other fairy
tale, while on the tv-screens the workers were presented as victims
of the clash, while the capitalist crisis in Greece and Worldwide
leads to countless layoffs that the media and their managers deal as
a "natural phenomenon".
-To flay and uncover the role of the trade union bureaucracy in the
undermining of the insurrection -and not only there. GSEE and the
entire trade union mechanism that supports it for decades and
decades, undermine the struggles, bargain our labor power for
crumblings, perpetuate the system of exploitation and wage slavery.
The stance of GSEE last Wednesday is quite telling: GSEE cancelled
the programmed strikers' demonstration, stopping short at the
organization of a brief gathering in Syntagma Sq., making
simultaneously sure that the people will be dispersed in a hurry from
the Square, fearing that they might get infected by the virus of insurrection.
-To open up this space for the first time -as a continuation of the
social opening created by the insurrection itself-, a space that has
been built by our contributions, a space from which we were excluded.
For all these years we trusted our fate on saviours of every kind,
and we end up losing our dignity. As workers we have to start
assuming our responsibilities, and to stop assigning our hopes to
wise leaders or "able" representatives. We have to acquire a voice of
our own, to meet up, to talk, to decide, and to act. Against the
generalized attack we endure. The creation of collective "grassroot"
resistances is the only way.
-To propagate the idea of self-organization and solidarity in working
places, struggle committees and collective grassroot procedures,
abolishing the bureaucrat trade unionists.
All these years we gulp the misery, the pandering, the violence in
work. We became accustomed to counting the crippled and our dead -
the so-called "labor accidents". We became accustomed to ingore the
migrants -our class brothers- getting killed. We are tired living
with the anxiety of securing a wage, revenue stamps, and a pension
that now feels like a distant dream.
As we struggle not to abandon our life in the hands of the bosses and
the trade union representatives, likewise we will not abandon no
arrested insurgent in the hands of the state and the juridical mechanism.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE DETAINED
NO CHARGE TO THE ARRESTED
SELF-ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKERS
WORKERS' ASSEMBLY IN THE "LIBERATED" BUILDING OF GSEE
Wendesday, 17 December 2008, 18:00
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers
A banner handing from the facade of the building reads:
From labor "accidents"
to the murders in cold blood
State - Capital kill
of the arrested
will become the bosses' grave
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
First Annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair: A Beginning Marker of Resistence
by Rockero Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 at 3:40 AM
Saturday, December 13, 2008 LOS ANGELES - The organizers of the first annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair sent out a call for "dreamers, fighters, organizers, and rebels to come, meet, strategize, learn from each other, get books, attend workshops, participate, and join the movement." And despite the state's efforts to squelch our efforts, come they did--more than 700 people, mostly from the greater Los Angeles area, although some came from as far as San Diego, the Bay Area, Oregon, New York, and even Canada, to participate in this herstory-making event.
But this Saturday we were able to transcend the harassment to convoke the community, share ideas, feed each other, challenge one another to grow in our skills, and strategize about how to create a better world, starting right here in Los Angeles.
Vendors began arriving at the Southern California Library before ten to begin setting their tables up around the perimeter of the main room, but the day truly began at about eleven with a ceremony by Danza Cuauhtémoc, who sanctified the space through dance. They reminded us all that the land upon which we were standing was once and always will be indigenous. With this consciousness, people eagerly began lining up to make their five-dollar entrance donation and begin looking at the books, zines, and pamphlets and start attending the talks and workshops.
I went to the workshop on Marxist economics, the financial crisis, and the current anarchist uprisings in Greece and found it to be the perfect way to start the day. We sat on the floor until the room was full, and then crowded around the open door. Although it was a space where the words of older men dominated, many people participated in the discussion. John Imani began with an explanation of the crisis that was meticulously-reasoned and solidly grounded in history and the present, and urged action from all revolutionaries. He enjoined us to "participate in the class struggle, articulate and experiment with models of non-hierarchical institution building so as to replace the hierarchical institutions of capitalism, and study Marx’s economics." The facilitator then asked a man with close ties to Greece to explain the actions of the autonomist youth there and why they receive so much support from mainstream Greek society. Then a member of Modesto Anarcho reported on responses to mass foreclosures in California's Central Valley, squatting, and his organization's efforts to support squatters. We discussed the sit-in at Republic Doors and Windows in Chicago, the current state of the Left, questioned where to go from here, and attempted to answer that question.
"What we need to think of is a society based on the common ownership of all, not some, not the major means, all, the means of wealth production and distribution."
"One of the main things that we need is alternatives, ans this is a good example, the Zapatista movement. They're having these proposals about how to be owners of their own work, so I belong to a collective, it's called Colectivo Tonantzín, and we're passing out that word. Just an example, coffee is just one thing, that we could work with like that, but we can do it with the other products: clothes, corn..."
"We've been dependent on this artificial system we've been stuck in for many many years. We just have to remember who we are as human beings, and communities will be the ones who decide what they need."
"Individuals have to look within themselves and see how much of the debris of the larger culture they're willing to jettison. You can't carry around the weight of the present culture with its privileges, depending on which part of the world you happened to have had the fortune or misfortune of being born in and then talk about wanting to bring about social change unless you're going to be willing to give up something that may be required of you to make that change possible. It has to start with the individual and their commitment to make their own lives reflect the change they avow."
While I was listening to the talk on economics, other people were upstairs at a talk on the militarization of the US-Mexico border with José Palafox and Budge, and yet another group was in the main room discussing local histories, including the history of our hosting facility of the SoCal Library and urban Zapatismo as practiced in LA.
During the next hour, the main room was filled with spectators eager to learn about Latin American movements. Pedro spoke about Brazilian anarchism, quickly giving an overview of the political history of the entire South American continent, and then Sirena went into detail about the lived experiences of Argentinian anarchists. Finally, Sara spoke on Bolivian and Chilean anarchism, especially that of the womens' groups. The panelists entertained questions, including one on anarcho-syndicalism in Argentina ("The anarchists were the ones who, of course, would radicalize the whole movement when it started to get co-opted by the liberal tendency that was interested mostly in going toward the elections,") and the extent to which the administration of Evo Morales has genuinely benefited the Bolivian people, "So to put Evo in power, sure, it can pass a lot of social improvements, but then they started questioning themselves: How much power can we really build, if only people can understand that this can get weaker at the top as we move stronger at the bottom."
During the talk on Latin American movements, some members of the guerrilla chapter of CopWatch-LA screened their documentary "We're Still Here, We Never Left," on the police brutality in MacArthur Park last May Day. They also gave a workshop on how to start a CopWatch, for those wanting to do so in their own areas. By this time people were starting to get pretty hungry, and were overjoyed by the arrival of Food not Bombs, who provided vegan lunch. Unfortunately, attendance was so high that it ran out. Fortunately, a compañero who is a vegan chef donated a hundred tamales and a pot of Oaxacan mole. Those who were still hungry gladly made donations to get their hands on them.
Following the talk on Latin America, the Anarchist/Autonomous/Angry people of color (APOC) met in the reading room, gently asking that their white allies respect the POC-only space. I went upstairs for the open-source software/indymedia workshop, where we talked about the importance of both institutions and shared the skills and software that facilitate the dissemination of media access. Outside in the garden, a compañera was leading a dating game that acknowledged that gender is not a simple dichotomy.
The next hour featured one of the most highly-anticipated panels: ABCs of Anarchism and Anarchist Tendencies. Tendencies represented included autonomism, anarcha-feminism, anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-punk, anarcho-communism, and green anarchism, whose exponent, John Zerzan, had flown in from Oregon to sit on the panel. This panel, too, entertained questions and listened to comments from the audience. One of Zerzan's comments called many of the pro-labor tendencies into question when he asked, in response to excitement about reclamation of factories, "What if, rather than being part of the solution, factories are actually the problem?"
Meanwhile, Harjit Singh Gill spoke on nationalism in India's Punjab, and three other compañeros lead a discussion on "creating anarchist think tanks."
The workshops scheduled for the four o'clock hour, which by this time had been pushed to 4:45, included "Queer and trans communities of color," led by volunteers from Q-Team. While not a self-identified anarchist group, Q-Team does a lot of positive work for and with youth in the community, especially on decolonization, and makes use of queer theory, which is itself quite revolutionary. However, rather than speaking on specific topics, the facilitators sought to open a space where dialogue could take place and as many people as possible could speak. They began by rearranging the chairs in the main room into a large circle. Topics of discussion included the recent efforts to oppose the homophobic proposition 8, gay marriage, and whether or not the struggle for marriage is or should be a priority among the queer and trans people of color community. One member of Q-Team mentioned that one strategy they have found to be successful was helping people reconnect with their spirituality, which raised the ire of some anti-religion fundamentalists. The issue of religion diverted the discussion from its productive path. Two individuals in particular, both of whom appeared to be white and who did not identify as queer during the discussion, talked about the need to "bring atheism to communities of color," going on to blame those communities for the passage of prop 8. Many people in the circle were offended and felt the need to respond, which led to a debate between the two antagonizers and the rest of the crowd. Before we realized it, the hour was nearly up and we realized we had spent a bit too long giving those two people a platform to voice their beliefs and we had not given very many other people the chance to talk, especially on other things we might have liked to discuss. But we consoled ourselves with the reminder that the conversations in which we were engaging that day were but the beginnings of a larger dialogue among ourselves and with the larger society.
While the Q-Team discussion was going on, Klee Benally, Michael Paul Hill, and Angela Mooney led a conversation on indigenous rights and self-determination. While, like Q-Team, not all the leaders of that discussion identified as anarchists, they were definitely seeking to restore autonomy to their communities, and shared how participants could show solidarity.
Upstairs, Lawrence Reyes from the Puerto Rican Alliance discussed some of the history of the Boricua independence movement, as well as giving an update on the status of five political prisoners/prisoners of war held in US jails.
Outdoors, a graduate of the Center for Non Violent Education and Parenting gave a talk on how to be a parent without being an authoritarian, a topic of keen interest for radical parents.
The next panel in the main room created a very positive buzz among the crowd. Four compañeras gathered at the front. Two of them led a highly-interactive discussion on anarcha-feminism. One member of the audience intoned, "for me, anarcha-feminism is taking up that struggle to address that very first, that very foundational hierarchical relationship between men and women." Liz summed up her thoughts, "Anarcha-feminism, its an inherent part of anarchism. If you're not an anracha-feminist, you're not a fucking anarchist." One of their goals of the anarcha-feminists, which is rooted in a need for community, is the creation of an anarcha-feminist women's group. So far, it has a web presence at email@example.com. "We're actually trying to start some sort of a critical movement in Los Angeles that has to do with issues that are important to anarcha-feminism." For the next part of the panel, Shannon spoke on the oft-overlooked political aspects of the riot grrl movement, which is often seen only as a 90s-era musical genre. And finally, Pati García spoke about ways for women to reclaim their bodies and their health. As time grew short, the panelists invited those interested in continuing the interaction upstairs, which would provide a more intimate space and adequate time to delve deeper into the topics brought up.
While the women led the panel in the main room, Shahid Buttar spoke on FBI surveillance and intelligence gathering and Ron Gochez from the Unión del Barrio and Frente Contra las Redadas gave a "know your rights" workshop that focussed on the rights of immigrants, particularly the undocumented.
Upstairs, Amitis Motevalli led an art workshop on collage and stencil-making. Satisfied artists carried radical stencils as they exited, armed to fight the revolution through art.
As the main room cleared out to make room for the "Black Panthers and Anarchism" panel, the women's circle regrouped upstairs among the remaining artists. Ashanti Alston, the New York-based former Black Panther and former political prisoner who is now active with the abolitionist Jericho Coalition, was one of the main attractions. Other panelists included Roland Freeman, who stood in for his brother Elder Freeman, and Wayne Pharr, both original members of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Members of LA's Black Rider Liberation Party, as well as KPFK host and Pan-Africanist Dedon Kamathi, also sat in on the panel.
The last panel of the day was "Anarchist People of Color in Practice," in which representatives from mostly Los Angeles-based organizations discussed their activities. Omar Ramirez spoke about his research on the history of Chican@ anarchism, which added greatly to the discussion by connecting what we were doing there that day to struggles dating back to the Flores-Magón brothers' pre-Mexican Revolutionary anarcho-syndicalist organizing with the Partido Liberal Mexicano and the Industrial Workers of the World in Los Angeles.
While the APOC in practice panel was going on, Pitzer College professor Dana Ward, who also is the main force behind the Anarchy Archives, gave his talk. "Alchemy in Clarens: Reclus, Kropotkin, and the origins of Anarcho-Communism" began by placing the anarchist movement into historical perspective. "Anarchism arose in Europe in the 19th century in response to the rise of capitalism and the modern state." He went on to characterize Reclus as the "quintessential anarchist" of the key ten-year period between the fall of the Paris Commune and the formal establishment of Anarcho-communism and as the key architect of the movement. He also went into Reclus' ideas, particularly those concerning the necessity of the collectivization not only of production, but also of consumption, an idea that was rooted in Reclus' work as a social geographer.
By the end of the APOC in practice panel and Dana Ward's talk, it was already nine o'clock. Needing some time to clean up and tie up loose ends before the library's closure, we were forced to forgo the popular assembly with which we had hoped to end. People milled about, making last minute purchases, getting phone numbers and e-mail addresses from newfound comrades, and making plans for subsequent gatherings and actions.
Videos from the Anarchist Bookfair
by Organic Raw Tofu Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 at 3:03 PM
More videos coming soon....
Ashanti Alston : Anarchist Black Panther
Interview with Neddel Callejo about the L.A. Anarchist Bookfair
Interview with Klee Benally about the L.A. Anarchist Bookfair
Bilal Ali : Black Panther Party at Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair
By AK Press | December 15, 2008
AK Press had a presence at the First Annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair held last weekend at the venerable Southern California Library in South Central LA. The event was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of the bookfair’s tireless organizers, attendees ready to dialogue and learn, and a spirit of resistance that seems to grow stronger everyday.
The following photos (all by Chuck Morse) will give you a feel for the event.
ABOVE: The crowded scene outside the library between workshops. Attendance at the event greatly exceeded the organizers expectations. It was packed! There were easily 600 to 700 people circulating at any given time.
ABOVE: A discussion in the Library’s courtyard.
ABOVE: People chatting between workshops in the Library’s “Reading Room.”
ABOVE: AK’s busy table!
ABOVE: A view of some of the other presses and publishers tabling at the event.
ABOVE: Participatory discussion during the “Queer and Trans Communities of Color” session.
ABOVE: Session organizers introducing the “Anarcha-Feminism/Women’s Health/Riot Grrl” session.
ABOVE: The “Black Panthers and Anarchism” session.
ABOVE: Ashanti Alston, “The Anarchist Panther,” speaks during the “Black Panthers and Anarchism” session.
URGENT CALL!!!! "EAST L.A. UNDERSIEGE" "WE DEMAND THE SHERIFFS TO STAND DOWN"
18 year old salvador zepeda, was gunned down and tortured
4 houses away from his home
To the east not even 3 blocks away the CHP Station to the north less then 4 blocks
Central Station of the Great Empire Sheriffs Dept.
A small community stands alone surrounded by freeways and main streets eastern
And floral. As you drive by and blink you would miss it
Predominately Chicano Latino families.
The chilling story of a young man in his early
Thriving years of life are gone. Loved by many, known as a young man that was seen as a happy Go lucky kid, had no priors of violence.
I stop and wonder why was he killed so brutally
What could he have done? As the palabra went out into the streets and the community.
..."The neighborhood is hot, worse then a fire cracker". Don't go there!
The stories got worse as I attempted to find out who is this young man who are his
Parents and worse of all I felt in my gut a great injustice being committed. I wasted no
Time and began’ to call my sources many eager to find out and assist.
Nearly 2 weeks went by
I finally received some good leads and decided to go in myself..............
It was true and much more.
I saw the flowers and the love of a community standing in mourning for this young man. As I parked those standing near moved quickly and began walking away,
I called out and they kept moving fast,
I knew this was not a natural way to perceive someone asking them to come. So I followed them and said I want to help you, I am not your enemy here is my card I need to speak to the family.
Immediately after they opened up I was asked to come in.
I Felt the spirit of the young man and others about, but a peace that I had finally found
The place I had been looking for.
A beautiful family the room filled with young women and children, sad
And in question, their eyes red filled with tears mourning for their lost.
The mother I could see was strong and in pain full of questions and desperate
For answers. Others were not certain if I was a spy
Or if in fact I could assist. The stories that came to my ears were confirmed,
This community is under siege
And not by another gang. Nor is this place in another country of war this is here in the USA Califas. EAST LOS ANGELES
A small community in an unincorporated place.
The face of the children in fear, the women concerned and nearly paralyzed, fumed with anger of Injustice.
One young lady stated, " They Come Every Day with their helicopters and sweep the streets beat on our young People, we are all traumatized".
The children once would say hello to the police are now in fear and you could see they
Are confused and do not trust them".
The East Los Angeles Sheriff Dept is holding this community hostage.
An unarmed young man had been harassed by one sheriff in particular,
Witness’s state that the young man was
Eventually gunned down, tortured and beat this young man Salvador Zepeda... eyewitness testify that 16 people were
Arrested as of today, on trumped up charges. Some cannot be located.......
This is an Urgent Call For Help" those of us that know of someone pls.
I need you to help us Help Them..... There have been continued sweeps,
Harassment, beatings and arrests to date.
Sheriffs continue to drive by and mock the death of the young man.
There is fear in the small streets
Of East Los Angeles. Not Iraq!!Our back yards.
TIME IS OF THE ECCENCE......
Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Mother For Justice-
1 killed, 1 hurt in shootings in L.A. County
December 1, 2008
A man, identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as 18-year-old Salvador Zepeda Alarcon,was killed today in the 800 block of Humphreys Avenue, near Folsom Street in East Los Angeles after L.A. County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of shots fired, said Sheriff's Deputy Oscar Butao.
The deputies fired several rounds at the man's chest, Butao said. Alarcon was pronounced dead at the scene, Butao said.
In a separate incident Saturday night, LAPD gang officers in South Los Angeles pulled over two males outside a liquor store at 98th and Main streets. After the stop, the officers followed the men inside the store, where an altercation ensued, said Los Angeles Police Officer Norma Eisenman.
The officers were not injured. Police did not release the name of the officer who fired his weapon.
In an unrelated incident Saturday night in San Pedro, two patrol officers saw two men walking near 3rd Street and Grand Avenue. One of the men appeared to be carrying a rifle partly concealed under a garment, LAPD Lt. Jim Cummings said. As officers approached, the men fled, and police pursued them.
The man suspected of carrying the weapon stopped, turned around and pointed it at the officers, Cummings said. Officers fired but did not hit the man, he said. The man dropped a rifle. He was arrested and is being charged with attempted murder of a police officer, Cummings said. The second man is still at large. Police did not identify either man.
The two officers were not injured in the incident. Further details were not immediately available, police said.
Villarreal is a Times staff writer.