Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Save the Peaks!

Please spread the word. If you cannot make it to Phoenix or Flagstaff please consider organizing a vigil, rally or event in your community!
If you would like to help with outreach you can pick up posters at Taala Hooghan infoshop in Flagstaff (1700 N 2nd St. near Rt 66 and 4th St.) or you can print your own from www.savethepeaks.org. Volunteer support is also needed, contact phxrally@savethepeaks.org.

- Klee

July 15th - 16th, 2010
Prayer Vigil • March • Rally

Arizona Snowbowl is attempting to expand development on the San Francisco Peaks and make fake snow out of treated sewage effluent on our public lands. This wastewater has been proven to contain harmful contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, hormones and cancer causing agents.

The US Forest Service has ignored public health concerns and approved this development without any tests to determine the health effects if our children eat the wastewater snow.

Snowbowl would be the only ski area in the world to use 100% wastewater to make snow. They would use 1.5 million gallons per day, storing and spraying this wastewater on a mountain that is holy to more than 13 Indigenous Nations.

Rideshare available: ride@savethepeaks.org
There is also a rideshare board at Taala Hooghan Infoshop
1704 N. 2nd St Flagstaff, AZ 86004



Taking Action for Healthy Communities
Free dinner and discussion - 6:30PM - 9:30PM

At Serena Juste (Padilla) Residence
Onk Akimel O'odham Nation (Salt River)
9312 E. Thomas Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Camping available
Please RSVP at www.savethepeaks.org


Sunrise Prayer Gathering for Protection of Sacred Places

At Serena Juste (Padilla) Residence
Onk Akimel O'odham Nation (Salt River)
9312 E. Thomas Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85256

NOON - Rally and March to Protect the Peaks
Wesley Bolin Memorial Park
1700 West Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

1:30 - 3:30 - Rally & Vigil
(Rally to continue outside for those who do not wish to enter courthouse)
Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse
401 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003-2118

2:30 - Courtroom Oral Arguments

Public is welcome! Bring picture ID

Flagstaff Solidarity Vigil: July 16th -- 2PM - 4PM City Hall Lawn

More information: www.savethepeaks.org


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Race and Anarchism: An Interview With Ernesto Aguilar

This was originally posted on peopleofcolororganize.com.

“Consider being part of a movement that claims to have everyone’s interests and true liberation as its prize. Now consider how that movement would make you feel as it adopted comparisons between two sets of experiences — comparing sexism to racism, alienation of whites and bigotry against people of color, or the rights of animals and the right of people to live free of racism, for example — that emphasized similarities and blotted out their unique aspects. Think of how you’d feel as that movement claimed to speak for all people, but in reality, spoke only for some; if that movement said it was “the anti-war movement,” but involved, had its meetings, was based in or reached out primarily to those beneficiaries of the colonial culture. Think of how that movement might bother you by justifying its exclusivity by implying non-colonial cultures could not relate to the dominant movement’s work, that it was degenerate (sexist/patriarchal, multilingual, etc.) or that they didn’t share the dominant’s values.

Then think of how one must fight back against the years of misleading stories and lies, only to hear from people who you thought were your comrades but can do nothing but talk about how they understand, or that they feel for you.”

Race, Anarchy and Roadblocks: An (Old) Interview on Anarchist People of Color (Plus New Reflections)

What changed since this 2003 interview on the roots of Anarchist People of Color was conducted with the zine The Female Species? Although old, many of the political points presented here are worthy of consideration. There are some points that got missed too.

Founded in 2001, APOC served as a pole of attraction for people of color to the anarchist movement, but many participants questioned whether anarchism was equipped to deal with people of color from different walks of life reinterpreting “its” politics. Such was idealistic, since virtually everyone willing to consider APOC as an entity was a.) probably familiar with anarchism, and b.) probably familiar with racial justice issues. Still, there were positives as well as negatives one leaves with when considering the potential for united-front politics.

APOC developed out of a unique period in North American anti-authoritarian history. Several collectives that preceded it, from the Black Federation of Community Partisans to Love & Rage to the anarchist newspaper The Blast tackled matters of race and anarchism, to varying degrees of success and failure. APOC went on, mostly, to contend within the anarchist movement on matters of diversity and how people of color operated in the anarchist space itself. Some outcomes of this included debates over people of color-only spaces, APOC blocs at actions like the FTAA demonstrations in Miami a few years ago and panels at conferences. Outside work as APOC was rare, though many supporters were active in varied struggles.

What issues led to problems in APOC? What can be learned? This interview gives some context, but there are more reflections at the end.

An Interview on Anarchist People of Color (APOC), its Roots and Elements

TFS: Who were the founders of the APOC? When was it started?

Ernesto Aguilar: The anarchist people of color movement has been around for a long time. Martin Sostre is one of the best-known people of color in contemporary history to articulate anarchist politics, as was Kuwasi Balagoon. Today, Ashanti Alston and Lorenzo Komboa Ervin are two of the most visible anti-authoritarians of color, but this movement is decentralized and diverse.

There is no formal APOC organization at this point. In 2001, I founded an email list and website called Anarchist People of Color, and much activity — including the conference — has developed out of them. Getting to that point owes a lot to the past, though.

My involvement was borne out of a few things. Back in the early 1990s, I was part of a Houston anarchist collective called Black Fist, which was active around issues of self-determination, anarchism and race. And I talked with so many other people of color who were, in essence, invisible in the movement. There was a lot of disillusionment out there, and many people I dialogued with just left the anarchist movement completely. By the time Black Fist folded, I had many of the same doubts. Somewhere along the line, I said ‘fuck it’ and tried to link up with other people of color who were fed up, essentially.

TFS: Is the American Anarchist community welcoming to people of color?

EA: My perception is that there are a few different responses to people of color who join up with white-led groups or scenes — whether they’re anarchist or otherwise, they’re pretty much the same.

There are, of course, people who are opponents of anarchist people of color movements and have lots of justifications. These go from totally bananas — ‘you are a bunch of racists’ and such — to very intellectualized nationalism rants. Both are, to me, of such little consequence that they’re not worth the time.

Also, there are people who genuinely respect what we’re doing as organizers. Not a lot, but enough to be memorable. Those are the people who offer solidarity without strings — not to say it is, to use a popular anarchist phrase. ‘uncritical support,’ but is, in reality, backup for the long haul.

The majority of it, I think, is conflicted. Some like the idea because it seems diverse or down, but aren’t digging the sharing of power in scenes. That is a much deeper problem, because it’s more than race, but people who aren’t trying to unlearn the competitive, egocentric relations of the dominant society. They simply like being able to do a protest or meeting or whatever with and among their little subculture of friends and groupies and thinking outside that is too much work. This happens with men and women and in-cliques and out-cliques in white-only circles.

Inserting people of color in the mix brings another dimension most white people battle because 99.9 percent haven’t dealt with internalized racism. In essence, equal power is talked about, but many white people aren’t actually prepared to share it with the world majority. Why should they? Giving up intoxicating power and influence over others and history is not easy.

Also essential to factor into the internalized racism of whites is the fact that people of color are working through their own internalized racism, although it’s completely different. Organizations rarely have a formal space to deconstruct racism and its impact, and the internalized racism for people of color feeds that same issue for whites.

Many white people can’t fathom how profoundly white supremacy functions in the lives of people of color because how they are raised to see it is dramatically different.

Consider living in a society where a colonial culture of which you are not a beneficiary is the standard for judging values and behavior. Or that such a society’s dominant culture defines reality as white, and convincing said people that it is their reality, the culture of white supremacy, is portrayed as universal, applying to all humankind. Think of education, labor, sport, entertainment, law, economics, politics, war and a host of things you, if you are white, take for granted but know, with some certainty, that treatment will favor you.

Consider being part of a movement that claims to have everyone’s interests and true liberation as its prize. Now consider how that movement would make you feel as it adopted comparisons between two sets of experiences — comparing sexism to racism, alienation of whites and bigotry against people of color, or the rights of animals and the right of people to live free of racism, for example — that emphasized similarities and blotted out their unique aspects. Think of how you’d feel as that movement claimed to speak for all people, but in reality, spoke only for some; if that movement said it was “the anti-war movement,” but involved, had its meetings, was based in or reached out primarily to those beneficiaries of the colonial culture. Think of how that movement might bother you by justifying its exclusivity by implying non-colonial cultures could not relate to the dominant movement’s work, that it was degenerate (sexist/patriarchal, multilingual, etc.) or that they didn’t share the dominant’s values.

Then think of how one must fight back against the years of misleading stories and lies, only to hear from people who you thought were your comrades but can do nothing but talk about how they understand, or that they feel for you.

Many people of color struggle with a society which uses code words to present us as inferior, denies us our contributions to this society — partly because to do so is implicitly an admission of guilt and partly because, as the slavemasters of old showed, once you strip people of their pasts and positive feelings about themselves, they are easily controlled.

I’m not really certain how to answer that question. ‘No’ is the short answer, but it’s a very complex problem that speaks to bigger issues.

TFS: For good reason the APOC is for people of color only. For those white Anarchists who are still ignorant on the issue, could you give the basic purpose and reason for making APOC for people of color only?

EA: I’ll try to paraphrase something on our website about that. The person who complained about it was saying what such folks usually say — we’re being separatist and so on.

The decision to make this a people of color-only space is a collective one. We have a right to determine how we dialogue about our experiences, our ideas and aspirations as anarchists of color. Does that mean there needs to be a white list too? Fine by me. There are plenty of those already.

Many people of color feel isolated and intimidated into silence by a movement and want a space where they can speak and not feel like their loyalty to the movement is being questioned by talking about racism. The anarchist movement is the equivalent to Alabama, 1952, if we’re talking a United States of consciousness. Most of the attitudes about race are frankly Neanderthal, and it’s no wonder so many of us are sometimes embarrassed to be called anarchists.

One Latino comrade I dealt with was told people of color could not support people of color and not be a racist. And he’s not alone. I’ve heard lots of stories of white anarchists who talk trash, I’m sure, solely because they can. It’s almost like a challenge. ‘Are your loyalties with us — your white comrades, and thus anarchism as a whole, as if that isn’t arrogant as hell — or your people and other oppressed people — and thus the ‘dark’ forces of nationalism and racism.’ Completely intellectually retarded shit, but it happens. If the anarchist movement was dealing with the overt and covert racists, the morons, the hippies who think we’re all alike and the overaggressive asshole crackers in its scenes — not to mention the lack of political clarity —instead of tolerating it, we’d have a different ballgame.

One of the reasons APOC as a forum exists is because the anarchist movement is a long way from being egalitarian, anti-racist and honest with itself about its history, our history and a means to make real change in real neighborhoods.

I state all this with the disclaimer that I only bother pointing these things out if asked. I’m not particularly interested in persuading a white anarchist who disagrees to see the perspective being articulated. I’m not here to be their teacher, and would expect them to figure it out. When the shit goes down, I know what side I’m on already.

TFS: What should white Anarchists be doing to support the work of Anarchists of color?

EA: Off the top of my head? Read a real history book before opening your mouth. Be ruthless in deconstructing internalized racism. Drop the pretentious attitudes about people of color. Stop blaming us for everything, especially your problems. Help empower people. Get out of white subcultural scenes. Grasp that because your grandparents weren’t slave owners or because you might have friends or lovers who were people of color makes no difference in the benefits you enjoy. And see that not as a guilt thing, but a reality thing. Speaking of reality, it is also necessary to start seeing beyond the box society places you in and look at the worlds others live as a function of how race works. Oh, and stop going to classes where white folks talk with other white folks about racism, and start listening to people of color and where we’re coming from, then act upon it.

I’d like to see more white anarchists challenge the anti-authoritarian orthodoxy over anarchism and nationalism, and grasp what it’s really about. As a teenager, revolutionary nationalism taught me to be proud of who I was, to understand the history taught in schools is history from the perspective of hunters rather than lions, and to see that my people hold low stations in this society not because we were inferior, but because we had been colonized, lynched and miseducated. To me and others politicized by movements of the oppressed, the whole nationalism critique by anarchists doesn’t really say anything. It’s like most of what we’re fed as people of color already — cops have lots of reasons why our organizations are gangs, politicians have lots of reasons why their border needs to be respected, and anarchists have lots of reasons why being free on our terms is racist. The anarchist critique is so painfully simplistic, I can’t believe it’s 2003 and people are still having 1980 debates where ‘so-and-so is a nationalist’ is used as an argument.

I spoke last year at the Anarchist Black Cross Network conference on organizing with communities of color, and something a young white woman said stuck with me because I think other white people think this. It bears repeating because it reflects how deeply woven racism is into the very lives of white folks. She said — and I am paraphrasing a bit — that she volunteered at a Native American center and was regularly treated with suspicion and a little disrespect, by being insulted, as a white woman on a reservation. She asked what she could do. My advice was to get some thick skin and get over it. She didn’t like my response. ‘How much longer do I need to have thick skin,’ was the reply. Though I have told no one until now, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

One of my abuelitas was one of those Mexican cleaning ladies everyone looks right past. Did it for over 35 years. She had no choice but to get some thick skin, because she was treated like ‘just a stupid Mexican who couldn’t speak English.’

Unspoken in that Native American reservation question, but on a deeper level, was the fact that the choices people of color have are far less generous. We get thick skin or we catch a case. We get thick skin or we lose our jobs. We get thick skin or we get killed. That community in question has probably seen their share of white people come to help and go when their consciences were better off or they were done slumming, but those people of color had no such options. Even if they buy into that whole ‘if you pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ Protestant work ethic bullshit, the chances they’ll end up in the kind of privileged position the white woman is in are slim. Yet, despite the fact Native Americans are justified in being suspicious of another white person coming in to help when the track record of helpful white people ain’t exactly great — I shouldn’t even need to go there about smallpox and blankets — the whole dialogue and potential to learn some lessons about race in the United States pretty much became about how she could feel better. Sad, but that’s what racism has taught all of us from birth.

I think about that white woman sometimes, and I hope the more progressive-minded white people out there can really grasp what this is all about. Ashanti Alston once wrote, “white anarchists: deal with being the best anti-racist allies you can. We need you — and you need us — but we will do this shit without you.” I couldn’t agree more.

TFS: Does the APOC align itself with any particular forms of Anarchism (anarcho-communism, primitivism, etc)?

EA: The APOC movement is a diverse one. There are as many kinds of perspectives as there are anarchists of color, I assure you! It really surprised me, to be honest. I like to say that we don’t have the power or privilege to start dividing up by ideology. We all have different views and respect each other for the most part. We have to — our unity is our strength.

TFS: Where does the APOC stand on the issue of Anarchist organization?

EA: I can’t speak for everyone, but I believe we all see the value of being organized. States don’t topple on their own and, bottom line, if we aren’t organized, our enemies of whatever stripes will be.

There are differing views on the kind of organizing that happens, or whether an organization is best. In my perspective, an organization is helpful if for nothing else but to help a tendency develop its voice.

TFS: Do you feel Anarchist groups in the United States (the NEFAC for example) offer equal opportunities for people of color?

EA: To me, most anarchist groups are reflective of the dominant society, and have thus struggled with addressing race. Not one I am aware of is particularly great at involving or working in solidarity with people of color. Not one. I’ve been involved with several, which I won’t name, and still stand by that assertion.

To me, equal opportunity means many things. To be free from appropriation, or from being objectified or romanticized, is key to equal opportunity as well as full personhood. All stripes of anarchism are at fault here. I’m talking about the types who wax poetic about movements of color, but have no active solidarity campaigns with the community, don’t dialogue with those movements, or who are hostile or have no position or actions based on the land, independence, self-determination and the problems affecting our communities, particularly asking our communities how we feel. I’m also referring to those who talk about the history of indigenous people, generally inaccurately, but fail to see that the objectification of indigenous culture is no better what is being wrought today. I could also fault the groupings whose theories about race boil it down purely to black and white and talk primarily about ‘confronting fascists’ or ‘treason to whiteness’ rather than active resistance and the roots of white supremacy. No hate intended to anyone named, but let’s come correct at least.

I have never been involved with NEFAC specifically so I can’t really speak on it. I have talked with many sharp folks in it, and have respect for their standing up for what they believe in. That alone takes courage and should be supported. Although I have criticisms of many movements, I am supportive of people willing to fight this system from the belly of the beast.

TFS: Your conference is coming up. What kind of meetings and workshops are going to be held? Are you expecting a good turnout?

EA: A lot of those items are still in the planning stages. I am hoping to see a good turnout, but want to be realistic. Whatever happens, I think this could be the start of great things in the future.

Recently, there have been claims that people have tried to undermine the upcoming APOC conference. Are these claims true and if so, what has the APOC done to make sure these attempts to undermine the conference are unsuccessful?

I’m less worried about people trying to undermine us and more about building a solid event, trust me.

TFS: Are there any particular books or writers that Anarchists should be reading?

EA: Read writings, particularly those by people of color or about our histories, which challenge your political views and prompt you to evaluate them. Read Che. Read Ho Chi Minh. Read thinkers and ideas that you know little about. Look at it with an open mind, and try to apply what you’ve learned, or how your current ideas relate to of refute them.

I think it is encouraging that so many anarchists have read about the Black Panther Party, but I am always disappointed to see how little anarchists know about the colonization of the Southwest and treatment of organizers in the occupied territories generally. Rodolfo Acuna’s Occupied America was written many years ago, but is still a classic. There are, in fact, a lot of great Mexicano writers, like Jose Angel Gutierrez, Reies Lopez Tijerina, Jesus Salvador Trevino and others who talk about our history.

Of course, J. Sakai’s Settlers is educational. There’s always a lot of debate about Sakai, and lots of people question Sakai’s take on history, but I think he raises some provocative points. Most importantly, I think Sakai puts the class-politics line on smash by exposing the role of poor and working-class whites in colonization and genocide. When I first read Settlers about 10 years back, that was a big question I had, ‘if this is mainly about ruling class against working class and class war, how was this land taken? Did all the rich Europeans-Spaniards charge into the Aztec nation and exterminate a million people on their own?’ Sakai spells out that working-class and poor whites were active, and oftentimes very enthusiastic, collaborators in colonization and the murder of people of color. I’ve never been a buyer of the working class-solidarity crack pipe — if white workers truly believed that, since they are a majority in the United States, we would live a lot different — but Sakai brings the heat major.

Those who haven’t read the Spear and Shield Collective’s Crossroad newsletter are missing out on some great stuff. Big ups to Hondo from Spear and Shield. He’s a righteous cat. People should also check out Ashanti’s Anarchist Panther zine, which is very tight. And, of course, Lorenzo is coming out with a full edition of Anarchism and the Black Revolution later in 2003, and people want to peep that. Union Del Barrio’s newspaper La Verdad is great, as is Guerrillos de la Pluma. That’s a short list. I am probably missing a lot.

TFS: While some Anarchists are satisfied with merely protesting against the WTO, the war, etc, members of the APOC have stressed community organizing. What kinds of action and organizing should Anarchists be doing?

EA: I don’t want to spend lots of time preaching about this, honestly. My answer is pretty simple: understand what your goals are and how you can accomplish them, involving and politicizing the greatest number of people in as many diverse communities as possible. Before engaging in this exercise, obviously, people will have to throw out all their preconceived notions about tactics and strategy, and really tailor solutions for your community. If there are community groups who are doing positive work, don’t hate. Find ways to unite and build solidarity. There are much smarter folks who have better answers to this. People are welcome to hit me up if they really want to get down on this topic. It’s pretty immense.

TFS: Are there any recent examples of successful Anarchist organizing that we can learn from?

EA: Speaking from a personal bias, as I co-founded the local group, I think Copwatch, when done in a broad way, can be very effective. We mix street tactics with media work and actions normally considered reformist, but keep our politics on point, and I think it’s been very innovative. Houston, Texas, where I live, has had many problems with cops beating up people of color, so this is a solution our communities can get with. It’s essential to keep the politics in command, or else you do, in fact, become a reformist exercise.

TFS: What role did the APOC play in organizing and acting against the war?

EA: We’ve been fighting the war for over 500 years.

TFS: What plans does the APOC have for the future?

EA: Hopefully growth and continued success.

Reflections on Anarchist People of Color (APOC)

As the founder of the Anarchist People of Color list from which activism flowered and a unique tendency was born, I am also keenly aware of APOC’s mistakes.

Perhaps no writing crystallized the problems APOC had (much could be similarly said of North American anarchism) more than Chris Day’s “The Historical Failure of Anarchism,” a searing indictment of anarchist politics and its limitations, especially as it relates to matters of race, diversity, struggle and solidarity. Day sums up contemporary anarchism as a politics removed from people of color-led anti-colonial struggles that defined revolutionary politics over the last four generations. Accurate, and related to APOC in a few respects.

Anarchist People of Color had a somewhat unexplored relationship with people of color-led anti-colonial struggles — simultaneously liking the upsurges of people of color, while not really understanding the complicated political aspirations and relationships within the movements. Not unlike the pop culture of today, one could witness shorthand references to Black Liberation icons, independista demands and indigenous hopes without context or history. Thus, like the white left, one could love “nice” post-Mecca Malcolm X without valuing the “bad” pre-Mecca Malcolm X that shaped him, or talk about self-determination without addressing the self-determination movements’ sincere calls for land rights and autonomy for their own governing bodies. I was as guilty as anyone of this mistake. It was, and is, a question APOC has yet to resolve.

Most notably of Day’s writing, he calls out anarchism’s supporters for collectively making up excuses — blaming others for its failures, cherrypicking historical moments to glorify those moments while ignoring stunning defeats, and being reduced to reactionary critique and smugness as a replacement of mass action — rather than subjecting the ideas to scrutiny. Day writes:

When anarchists encounter [failure] in other ideologies they never fail to tear it to shreds. Does Communism bear responsibility for the heaping piles of corpses produced by Communist regimes? Is Christianity to be blamed for the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Witch Hunts? Of course. We judge ideologies by their practical results in peoples lives not by their pie-in-the-sky promises. Anarchism in Spain raised the hopes of millions that a classless stateless society could be achieved in the here and now, lead them to the barricades to make it real, and failed abysmally. The Spanish people were condemned to forty years of fascist rule because of the failure. And yet while the anarchist movement of the past half century has produced an extensive literature extolling the momentary successes of the Spanish Revolution in the creation of peasant and workers collectives, there has been almost no serious effort to analyze how the anarchist movement contributed to its own defeat. Blaming one’s political enemies (fascists, Communists, or social-democrats) for behaving exactly as one would expect them to behave only further confuses matters. Betrayal, after all, is only possible on the part of someone trusted.

This problem is not isolated to APOC, obviously, but it was a problem nonetheless.

Many APOC supporters were (and are) enmeshed in majority-white anarchist subcultures and, at least from my experience, sadly brought baggage from that tendency along with them. Unfortunately, due to Left dynamics, it was easy to observe how much damage the worst anarchist habits — hateful sectarian positions, political intolerance and conservatism on matters of justice — could do when people of color were the ones expressing them. I often thought after my APOC tenure how much the majority-white anarchist groupings probably appreciated people of color calling something of another political persuasion racist (even if it was or wasn’t — the accusers were occasionally not the most politically developed or had other agendas) and it carrying an unquestioned gravity on the Left. The white anarchists certainly couldn’t attack such rivals and not be dismissed. The people of color, on the other hand, got more play on the white Left than white anti-authoritarians could.

A simmering debate that seemed to flash up at times — the Miami Autonomia action organizing comes to mind, but there are other instances — which never seemed to get resolved were questions of skin privilege, personal affiliation with white political contacts, lovers, et al. and what the overall sense of unity was for APOC groups. Skin privilege debates almost never addressed the political implications of anti-Blackness and instead became personalized manifestos in writeups like “APOC: Enough is Enough” — where the debate was ironically not unlike what whites threw at APOC, e.g. ‘it’s about me, not institutional problems.’ I recall similar disagreements over APOC supporters siding with white friends/contacts/girlfriends/boyfriends over questions of racism, which created tensions as well. Perhaps such problems are inherent in anarchism, which hinges itself on the ability of individuals to define their realities, no matter how accurate. Somehow there are ways of openly discussing privilege and unity that have yet to be plumbed.

Tragically, those of us in public positions were unable to win over people to understanding the far more political implications of race beyond simply being people of color as the brown faces in a white movement. A position of resistance to the dominant culture — in APOC’s case, creating a space where people of color could be visible in the anarchist movement as a differential to what people normally expect, a majority-white subculture — is still dependent on that culture, no matter how it is spun.

Fetishizing race as a political objective was, in this vacuum, an outcome. One activist once remarked of an experience where an APOC supporter flatly stated being a person of color inherently made them political. Although surely well-intentioned, such incoherent sentiments were not unusual. However, the ideas of the Black Liberation Movement (in this case, that every Black birth was political) were stolen without context or respect to the history Black people had endured during the Civil Rights struggle, of which such sentiments were borne.

As capital readjusted to internal pressures — think of the Nixon Administration likening “Black Power” to the power to purchase, own a business, et al. as post-Martin/Malcolm responses — what people of color face in the new century is a far cry from what they dealt with in late 1960s. Today, given the ascension of people of color of the middle class, from which anarchism derives fair numbers among its supporters, that political position is not so clear. Black people during the time of Stokley Carmichael didn’t have the same options or access Black people today do. Invisible minorities then are today assimilated in large numbers. Race is far more complex that simply claiming identity and politics are interchangeable.

APOC’s ultimate plunge into this sort of obscurantism was typified by a 2009 brawl in which APOC supporters, reportedly adamant about gentrification, chose to assault white anarchists as apparently the ultimate purveyors of oppression against people of color in the community. Years of APOC supporters permitting its political frame of reference to be representation in the anarchist movement, or simply laying claim to legitimacy as people of color with anarchist pretensions, had finally come home to roost in the sort of violent inwardness one simply couldn’t otherwise dream up.

Although many APOC supporters criticized the Philadelphia APOC group involved in the fight (a skirmish that clique bravely, though unconvincingly, defended with an essentially ‘you’re old, we’re young’ retort), no one really acknowledged the collective responsibility shared by all.

APOC was not so much a failed experiment as one that has the same problems all movements encounter. There is tremendous value in people of color organizing. One can only hope some basic issues in APOC and those inherent in anarchism get addressed.

The Calm Before the Storm….An Anarchist Perspective on Challenging the Violence of SB 1070.

The Calm Before the Storm….An Anarchist Perspective on Challenging the Violence of SB 1070.


A flock of racists slowly approach us on the wing of Arizona’s future. They are prepared to land on occupied Akimel O’odham Pi-Posh land (Phoenix). Like vultures they circle above us waiting for SB 1070 to go into effect. Spectators throughout the world wait eyes to the sky, ear to the ground for them to land. Unfortunately no one has stepped up to shoot them outta the sky just yet.

However a few warning shots have been fired in the air by radicals, some of them being, the march of black flags that busted through the seams of Phoenix’s business district hurling news-boxes in the street, the lock-down inside the Tucson Border Patrol Headquarters and the revolutionizing of everyday day life in Tempe through door-to-door organizing and demanding that the city council take a stance on racism in the form of SB 1070. We do recognize that for outsiders looking in it may appear as though things are much quieter than they are. The silence has only been due to the amount of much needed attention, intention and passion being poured into our vision for long-term resistance within the places we love and fight for. We promise you that without a doubt, a storm of insurrection approaches.

For radicals within the many occupied territories of Arizona our past months have consisted of day-to-day pondering on how to respond to the casualties of the US/Mexico border (reported deaths usually surpass 200 and often sit just beneath 300). Our nights are filled with starlit walks that spill into chatters of resistance welcomed by the sunrise of another day we fight together. These talks are the culmination of years of planning for so many of us. We pick up where the anti-minutemen meetings in San Diego left off. We are the reawakening of the energy within the 2007 No Borders Camp and expanding it to be as large as the international No Borders Movement erupting in one place. The student walkouts and riots within the mid-2000’s in response to HR4437. Are you getting the idea yet? Regardless of how the state feeds it’s vultures with SB 1070 we plan to unfurl our attack and make them pay! Regardless.

The Recent Bills and State Lead Attacks Within Arizona

Many of us have witnessed SB1070 transforming into the heaviest of rains in a continuous downpour of state sponsored racism. It trickles down the same path of other oppressive laws such as HB 2008 (a bill limiting the benefits undocumented families can receive from the government) and HB 2281 (A bill that explicitly prohibits classes that “advocate ethnic solidarity”). The introduction of each of these laws continues the institutionalized attack on the safety and mental well being of families and communities throughout Arizona.

As anarchists we unabashedly oppose all laws. The reality of the interconnectedness of these laws to the further exploitation of people through institutionalized capitalism is a grim truth Anarchists have always known. We also hear the call for solidarity from those that are indigenous to this land. We answer it with urgency and vigor.

We aim for our attack to be one that could trump the negativity to follow the instituting of SB 1070. We strive for our messaging to rise into a clear non-rhetorical context; One that provides a way to connect the dots between actions and targets. With that in mind, we also recognize the need for our actions to uncover the exploitative nature of capitalism and colonization. Between the diminishing economy and the blinding spectatorial spotlight covering Arizona’s politics the time to attack has never seemed riper.

Pushing our ability to both critically and creatively develop actions that are inclusive and within an accessible social context is a must. The fear and disruption that Arizona is forcing onto peoples lives is unacceptable. It is also something that would not be hard to recreate and throw back into the states face. This should be a goal of those orchestrating responses to SB 1070.

A common shortcoming within a majority of popular North American anarchist organizing is the inability to connect our actions to larger community experiences. With Arizona attacking it’s people from so many socially disruptive angles we are provided with a monumental context for our actions to play into.

Taking a glance at a few of the recent ripples the state of Arizona have sent into peoples lives provides a little insight into our motives for yearning to disrupt the lives of those in power. In the first weeks of June 2010, in Tempe, AZ The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office raided Arizona Mills Mall. They separated shoppers from employees and according to one employee they were also flashin guns at people. An employee, told a television station,

“They show me the gun and tell me I have to walk to the freakin’ break room.”

Weeks later Arpiao’s sheriffs raided two restaurants that they have been investigating for more than a year. In a statement following the raid Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the following:

“This is another example of a case where desperately needed jobs are being occupied by illegal aliens who have disregarded our laws and our borders,”

These borders and the laws that accompany them establish an almost impossible amount of silent borders in the everyday life of those they target.

In the fields of California’s Central Valley, a wall is placed in the lives of the farm workers that are repeatedly sprayed with pesticides and can’t seek medical help due to the fear of their deportation. Within the maquiladoras of Central and Southern America the health risks that the workers face are literally life threatening. Women working at these factories have been exposed to such high amounts of chemicals at the workplace that they often experience difficulties when going into labor. Many of their children are born with extreme cases of birth defects. The same companies often fire women immediately after discovering women are pregnant. What is mentioned is barely a fraction of the violence these workers face. Due to the amount of loopholes in capitalism no one is ever held accountable for these fucked up conditions. When families are torn apart through raids and deportations they are literally separated and often from there main source of income. While living in a constant fear of deportation a barrier is literally placed on families between them and their communities. A news report from Rio Rico, AZ reported that About 70 parents usually attend monthly parent-teacher meetings at their Pena Blanca Elementary School. In April of 2010, at the last meeting of this school year, only 20 showed up.

Connecting Indigenous Resistance and Addressing Colonization

“One of the central messages of colonization is the assertion that we are not entitled to autonomy over our own bodies—they are simply machines to be used in sweatshops, prisons and farms. Devoid of our own self-determination regarding sexuality and gender, we are as disposable as any other piece of equipment that has lost its use.” —Trishala Deb and Rafael Mutis of the Audre Lorde Project Conquest By Andrea Smith

Addressing the militarization of the O’odham border has become one of Arizona Anarchists main focuses this year. From the forming of the Diné, O’odham, anarchist/anti-authoritarian Bloc, to the recent Border Patrol lock-down we refuse to allow the invisibleness of Indigenous issue to continue. As you read this you can know for sure that there is a BP officer on the Tohono O’odham reservation looking for someone or something to target. The Tohono O’odham often have their houses raided by masked BP and homeland security agents. BP harasses elders travelling to sacred ceremonies and school children going to class; they steal the O’odhams horses and have even recently killed an O’odham youth. One of the most appalling facts that cease to see the light of day is how the building of the border literally dug up the bodies of O’odham ancestors. All this recent colonization comes on the back of 500+ years of Indigenous people being under attack. We say fuck that! It’s time to attack.

Reflecting on the Zapatistas struggle to the south of us we see one of the most obvious places to attack; that being any of the larger systems of infrastructure. Everyday, the results of NAFTA and “Free” Trade are felt in the bones of the people affected most by those policies.

“And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For them there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization are simply a question of relative strength.”
— Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)

Borders are strung together through intricate webs of capitalism. Their purpose, to protect capital. That is why attacking everything that resembles capital to those in power is an obvious target. The racist legislation we are up against is part of the same stranglehold that capitalism strong-arms people with all across the world. The unapologetic rate of Arizona’s—current institutionalized racism is still a bit alarming. Connecting the current state-sponsored abuse, international colonization and flexing of white supremacy based policies and that of similar occurrences within the recent past provides a clearer picture of our enemy rises.

We see the violence of the state suffocating our communities. We prepare today for the fights of years to come!

“The government has failed us you can’t deny that!” “Stop singin and start swingin!”

—Malcom X

Monday, June 21, 2010

Maywood to disband Police Department

Maywood to disband Police Department
Officials say the city lost its insurance partly because of too many claims against its troubled force, which also patrols Cudahy.
June 17, 2010|By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times

Barely a year after promising to reform its chronically troubled police force, the city of Maywood announced Wednesday that it would disband the 60-member department effective June 30.

City officials said the closure was caused by the city's loss of insurance. Earlier this month, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority notified Maywood that it was terminating general liability and workers' compensation coverage because the city posed too high a risk. An excessive number of claims filed against the Police Department, and the city's failure to hire a permanent city manager, were among the highest risk factors, according to the agency.

Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition

Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition

An Archive of Writings on the Platformist Tradition within Anarchism



Posted: April 18, 2010 by takver36 in 1. Introduction to 'The Platform'/Platformism

Anarcho-CommieThe Platformist tradition takes its name, in historical terms, from the Organisational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft) (1926) (also known as The Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists). It is also seen as based on the writings of the ‘Friends of Durruti’ grouping of CNT members during the Spanish Revolution, compiled in Towards A Fresh Revolution.

The Organisational Platform itself insisted that its approach drew directly on the views of Bakunin and Kropotkin, and was a restatement of classical anarchist thought. Bakunin and Kropotkin had been partisans of organisational dualism: the view that a specific, anarchist, political organisation was required to supplement popular movements like unions. Some would strongly argue that some of Bakunin’s writings on revolutionary organisation should also be included in any account of Platformism, notably his The Program of the International Brotherhood (1869) and The Rules and Program of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy (1868)

In the post war period many include documents like the Georges Fontenis pamphlet Manifesto of Libertarian Communism. This is somewhat controversial: different Platformists would have different amount of agreement and disagreement with each of these documents, particularly reservations about including the Manifesto at all. The Federation of Anarchist Communists of Bulgaria’s 1945 manifesto, on the other hand, is not well-known, but has a strong claim to be included in the Platformist tradition. The Especifismo conception of anarchist organisation, coined by the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation or FAU, and important in Latin America, has many similarities with Platformism. Like Bakunin, and the Platform itself, it advocates theoretical and tactical unity, collective responsibility, and federalism.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tierra Y Libertad Organization - TYLO FREEDOM SUMMER


Come support and learn how to get involved with TYLO in Collaboration with No More Deaths

Rechazamos El Racismo! We Reject Racism! Campaign Launch

When: This Saturday, June 12. 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Where: At the Sustainability Garden at Toltecalli Academy
On the southeast corner of Liberty Ave. and Irvington Rd.

- Come hear from youth about the TYLO Freedom Summer Youth Community Organizer Training
- Join us as Tierra Y Libertad Organization and No More Deaths launch the We Reject Racism / Rechazamos el Racismo Campaign against SB1070
- Learn about TYLO's community organizing work in the Barrio to build grassroots resistance against SB1070 and racism
- Learn about the campaign and sign up to volunteer
- Pick up a yard sign: Show your resistance against SB1070 and racism at your home or business

We will have refreshments, yard signs and Nopal Books will be tabling.

For more information about the launch event, please contact:
imeldac.tylo@gmail.com or (520) 481-2559


WANT TO GET INVOLVED? Join the We Reject Racism! Rechazmos El Racismo Campaign!

Callout for volunteers:

Join Tierra y Libertad Organization - TYLO and No More Deaths:


- Fight SB1070 and Racism

- Support visible resistance and the creation of safe spaces

- Build resources and networks of support for families and individuals affected by SB1070

- Help to build a sustainable grassroots movement for the rights of all people that builds power from the ground up and impacts politics in Arizona.

- Fight militarization of the border and our communities

We Reject Racism! Rechazamos El Racismo! Campaign Volunteers will participate by:

- Distributing yard and business signs that show resistance against SB1070 and racism and promote space spaces for all;

- Working with others in your neighborhood to build relationships with neighbors house-by-house

- Organizing within your own neighborhood or church/synagogue/mosque to host educational events and create a plan for supporting neighbors/church members affected by SB1070

- Help to shape the campaign and the movement against SB1070 and Racism

You can sign up at Saturday's launch to get involved, OR email us at: werejectracism@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Two people killed at the border by Border Patrol


Two people killed at the border:

Anastasio Hernandez was shocked to death by U.S. Border Patrol Agents in San Diego he was 42 yearsl old

Sergio Adrian Hernández, 15 years old, was shot in El Paso Texas by U.S. Border Patrol Agents
Death to Amerikkka!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Anarchists attack ICE facility in Loveland, Colorado

ICE Facility Attacked in Loveland

Over the weekend of the 15th of May, an ICE field office in Loveland, Colorado was attacked. Every window and door was shattered, totaling around twelve panes in all.

The unmarked facility is one of many such hidden ICE buildings in the U.S. that attempt to operate in secrecy. One tactic used by ICE to maintain this secrecy is to take people from their homes in the middle of the night to be "processed" before taken to privately-owned ICE prisons.

By operating in secrecy, ICE is able to maintain this particular sub-station within a shopping and residential district without revealing the repression used to create and sustain borders.

This action was taken in the climate typified by SB1070 in Arizona and local anti-immigrant sentiment. However, the ICE office would have been targeted regardless of legislation.

Resistance and attacks against manifestations of borders, prison and power will continue as long as families are separated and people are imprisoned, deported, and harassed.

As others have said-


Solidarity means attack,
some anarchists

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

(Reel) Machetero in Cali and NYC - Jun 5 and Jun 14th!!!


"Machetero is riveting! A great film with a passionate statement, well written dialogue and strong music by Ricanstruction" - Chuck D, MC of Public Enemy

"Finally a badddasss movie with the courage to produce a really alive and resurgent revolutionary DIY message from the unconquerable urban jibaro Underground spirit. This movie is a prescripton for doing the Impossible. What a breath of fresh puerto rican beach air in these stank neoliberal US imperial times! You can smell the thick sweet scent of insurgent Libertad! A must see. No really, a MUST see" - Ashanti Alston, former Black Panther/BLA/political prisoner

“A powerful piece of filmmaking.” - Sam Greenlee, author of The Spook Who Sat By The Door

The Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival will take place June 4th – 6th and will be held in the Regency Academy 6 Cinema at 1003 East Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA.

MACHETERO screens Saturday, June 5th @ 7PM on Screen B. Tickets are $10 for the screening.

Come out and support truly independent Latino films and filmmakers.


In Celebration Of The 82nd Birthday Of Che Guevara

"The Revolutionary Latino Film Festival"
Proudly presents:


on Monday, June 14, 2010, at 6:00pm
@ Maysles Cinema
343 Malcolm X Blvd. (Btwn. 127th -128th Sts.)
Harlem, NY

$10 Suggested Donation
(But no one will be turned away for the lack of funds)