anti~hierarchical movements reprint

Interview on FBI Raids, Grand Juries & Political Repression

by Will Potter on July 31, 2012

FBI training documents on anarchists
FBI agents being trained that anarchists are all "criminals seeking an ideology
I had a great discussion with independent journalist  about the recent raids in the Northwest seeking “anarchist literature,” grand juries, and the tactics the FBI has historically used against dissidents.
Gosztola posted a transcript of the interview on his site. Here’s an excerpt:
GOSZTOLA: How would you relate this to the other mechanism or tactic that the FBI uses, which is the infiltration—the sending in of people you could call provocateurs—as we’ve seen quite clearly in Cleveland and even in Chicago around the NATO summit? They’ve used coded language to specifically isolate individuals arrested and insert language and make it seem these are “self-proclaimed anarchists” intentionally. How would this relate to the grand jury use?
POTTER: I think that’s a great question. There are a couple immediate connections between them. One is that they are all part of the FBI’s obsession with identifying people perceived as leaders. The FBI historically has a difficult time conceptualizing anti-hierarchical movements. So, anarchists are very difficult for them to understand and they are always attempting to find the so-called leaders. And like you said, to point them out at protests for arrests, to target them with raids, grand juries, to some cases use entrapment attempts with informants.
More importantly, I think some of the parallels of the two are this criminalization of this ideology. I would argue that these entrapment attempts really grew out of not specific individuals and not the alleged crimes they were alleged to be a part of but their perceived politics. That’s what really happened everything that happened in Cleveland, everything that happened in Chicago. That’s what guided the timing of those announcements of the arrests of those people as “terrorists.” And that’s what guiding everything that’s going on in the Northwest with the focus on “anarchist literature.”
I think what we’re seeing is the scope of tactics that are being used against radical movements. In some cases, it’s extremely heavy-handed of directly targeting people through I would argue entrapment attempts, such as the five people in Chicago. In other cases, you have these raids and grand juries that are quite different and they’re not arresting and not charging them terrorists but the intent is to criminalize them because of their politics.
Read the full interview on FireDogLake’s “The Dissenter.”

items to be seized ~ black is the new black~ reprint

Black is the New Black

This comes to us from Green is the New Red, though I hear that Green is going out of season and Black is the color this summer.

FBI Agents Raid Homes in Search of “Anarchist Literature”

by Will Potter onJuly 30, 2012

When FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided multiple activist homes in the Northwest last week, they were in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature.”
The raids were part of a multi-state operation that targeted activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. Five people were served subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury on August 2nd in Seattle.
In addition to anarchist literature, the warrants also authorize agents to seize flags, flag-making material, cell phones, hard drives, address books, and black clothing.
The listing of black clothing and flags, along with comments made by police, indicates that the FBI may ostensibly be investigating “black bloc” tactics used during May Day protests in Seattle, which destroyed corporate property.
If that is true, how are books and literature evidence of criminal activity?
To answer that, we need to look at the increasing harassment, surveillance, and prosecution of anarchists and political activists associated with the Occupy Movement.
In some cases, such as the May Day arrests in Cleveland, the FBI has been so desperate to arrests “anarchist terrorists” that it supplied them with bomb-making materials and used an informant to entrap them. The same thing happened in Chicago.
The motivation for these operations, and the instruction that “anarchist” means “terrorist,” is coming straight from the top levels of the federal government. As I recently wrote, new documents show that the FBI is conducting “domestic terrorism” training presentations about anarchists.
The FBI presentation described anarchists as “criminals seeking an ideology to justify their activities.”
This is the guilt-by-association mentality that is guiding FBI and JTTF assaults on political activists; if agents find “anarchist literature” in a raid, it is evidence of criminal activity because anarchism, in and of itself, is criminal activity.
The Seattle grand jury may or may not be investigating May Day protests. What’s clear, though, is that the grand jury is being used as a tool in this criminalization of those suspected as “anarchists.” Grand juries are secretive processes that are frequently used against political activists in order to acquire information. They are fishing expeditions. If activists refuse to testify about their personal beliefs and political associations, they can be imprisoned. Jordan Halliday, for example, was recently released after serving more than six months in prison (and being imprisoned once already for four months) for asserting his First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to provide information about the animal rights movement.
As one organizer with Occupy Seattle said after the raid: “…we are not being raided for connection to any crime, but to some political ideology that the police think we have.
“I was just doing research on the old Pinkerton strikebreaking paramilitaries, so it’s kind of funny, you know, to have that old Red Scare history burst through my front door at six AM.”

Anaheim solidarity demo

Reportback from Anaheim Solidarity Demo

On Saturday, July 28th, a group of over 60 people met at Pratt Park in the Central District for a march against the police in solidarity with comrades fighting the police in Anaheim. After smoking a little weed and talking with people in the park, the crowd marched up to 23rd and proceeded to slowly march down one of the two main drags of the neighborhood. In the march were elders, families, and children.
The sentiment in the Central District was overwhelmingly supportive and it is clear that almost no one in the neighborhood desires the continued existence of the police. In addition to this, there were numerous people who had heard of Anaheim, indicating that anger over what is happening in Southern California is spreading beyond radical circles and into the general population.
After collecting several new people at the Wildcat social center, the crowd paused at the corner of 23rd and Union where an impromptu history lesson took place. People got to hear the story of the police killing an unarmed black man on that corner and the demonstrations that followed. They heard of how then-mayor Schell came to talk to the demonstrators and was then punched in the face and hospitalized. After much laughter, the crowd continued west towards the East Precinct.
When they arrived, the precinct was barricaded (since the day-time smashing of an SPD cruiser in front of the station in February, 2011, the police have barricaded the four surrounding blocks every time there is a demo). After lingering around two of the four barricades, the crowd eventually found itself confronting several high-profile pigs who they happened to stumble upon sitting in their cars. The twenty bike cops that had been trailing the march then moved in the protect the arch-swine from the furious crowd.
Eventually, the crowd began heading down Pine towards Broadway. Before they got there, a King5 news van drove into the crowd, hitting the people in the street. At this point it was attacked by several individuals, all of whom escaped the police assault that soon followed. In the attack, one person who had done nothing was singled out and arrested. Several other were successfully de-arrested in the fight.
While this was occurring, a large crowd began gathering that was not sympathetic to the police. Unfortunately, during the moment when the true magic could have begun, there were too few people in the street. However, let it be clearly stated: the cauldron of the summer is boiling. Let's all get out on the streets!
The person who was arrested has our complete solidarity. More details regarding his status will be posted once they are known.
Long live anarchy
Long live freedom


this is what the enemy looks like !

So what happened last night at ten pm is that A king 5 news van came threw the intersection of Broadway and pine and stopped in front of some protesters  just 40 feet down the street. 2 of The protesters jumped onto the hood of the  van. One of the protesters was dressed as a clown and there was also a another person. that jump on the hood and sat down. Then 30 seconds later  The news van started to move and the protesters reacted by banging on the van and telling driver  to stop. One of people that was sitting on the hood of the news van was also trying to get off and trying to tell the driver  to stop. But Instead the driver Drove  faster and eventually stopped 60 to 80 feet away.  and people got off the hood and The driver response was why He Drove faster because he Was Scared.  Reckless endangerment in WA state is defined as (1) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.  SEE THE RCW HERE  AND THE DEFINITION OF RECKLESS DRIVING IN wa state.  is Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.  SEE THE RCW HERE/LAW HERE 

because of this news crew Byrdie is in jail right now~ and for the rest of the weekend ~ K~5 better 

we were all Juvies once

i really love this shot looking up Denny~
the day Mee Mee and the kids flew off to NJ, NY, VT and DE the sunflowers pop

my tools of social change ~ out on poster patrol~ nice early morning ride on 2 flat tires

very proud of this subversion~

the poster wall as battle ground~ i just sneak in and smile

always sabotage advertizing ASA


give up Activism reprint

Give Up Activism

An important article from Do or Die issue 9 criticising the activist mentality in the direct action movement.
In 1999, in the aftermath of the June 18th global day of action, a pamphlet called Reflections on June 18th was produced by some people in London, as an open-access collection of "contributions on the politics behind the events that occurred in the City of London on June 18, 1999". Contained in this collection was an article called 'Give up Activism' which has generated quite a lot of discussion and debate both in the UK and internationally, being translated into several languages and reproduced in several different publications.[1] Here we republish the article together with a new postscript by the author addressing some comments and criticisms received since the original publication.
Give up Activism
One problem apparent in the June 18th day of action was the adoption of an activist mentality. This problem became particularly obvious with June 18th precisely because the people involved in organising it and the people involved on the day tried to push beyond these limitations. This piece is no criticism of anyone involved - rather an attempt to inspire some thought on the challenges that confront us if we are really serious in our intention of doing away with the capitalist mode of production.
By 'an activist mentality' what I mean is that people think of themselves primarily as activists and as belonging to some wider community of activists. The activist identifies with what they do and thinks of it as their role in life, like a job or career. In the same way some people will identify with their job as a doctor or a teacher, and instead of it being something they just happen to be doing, it becomes an essential part of their self-image.
The activist is a specialist or an expert in social change. To think of yourself as being an activist means to think of yourself as being somehow privileged or more advanced than others in your appreciation of the need for social change, in the knowledge of how to achieve it and as leading or being in the forefront of the practical struggle to create this change.
Activism, like all expert roles, has its basis in the division of labour - it is a specialised separate task. The division of labour is the foundation of class society, the fundamental division being that between mental and manual labour. The division of labour operates, for example, in medicine or education - instead of healing and bringing up kids being common knowledge and tasks that everyone has a hand in, this knowledge becomes the specialised property of doctors and teachers - experts that we must rely on to do these things for us. Experts jealously guard and mystify the skills they have. This keeps people separated and disempowered and reinforces hierarchical class society.
A division of labour implies that one person takes on a role on behalf of many others who relinquish this responsibility. A separation of tasks means that other people will grow your food and make your clothes and supply your electricity while you get on with achieving social change. The activist, being an expert in social change, assumes that other people aren't doing anything to change their lives and so feels a duty or a responsibility to do it on their behalf. Activists think they are compensating for the lack of activity by others. Defining ourselves as activists means defining our actions as the ones which will bring about social change, thus disregarding the activity of thousands upon thousands of other non-activists. Activism is based on this misconception that it is only activists who do social change - whereas of course class struggle is happening all the time.
Form and Content
The tension between the form of 'activism' in which our political activity appears and its increasingly radical content has only been growing over the last few years. The background of a lot of the people involved in June 18th is of being 'activists' who 'campaign' on an 'issue'. The political progress that has been made in the activist scene over the last few years has resulted in a situation where many people have moved beyond single issue campaigns against specific companies or developments to a rather ill-defined yet nonetheless promising anti-capitalist perspective. Yet although the content of the campaigning activity has altered, the form of activism has not. So instead of taking on Monsanto and going to their headquarters and occupying it, we have now seen beyond the single facet of capital represented by Monsanto and so develop a 'campaign' against capitalism. And where better to go and occupy than what is perceived as being the headquarters of capitalism - the City?
Our methods of operating are still the same as if we were taking on a specific corporation or development, despite the fact that capitalism is not at all the same sort of thing and the ways in which one might bring down a particular company are not at all the same as the ways in which you might bring down capitalism. For example, vigorous campaigning by animal rights activists has succeeded in wrecking both Consort dog breeders and Hillgrove Farm cat breeders. The businesses were ruined and went into receivership. Similarly the campaign waged against arch-vivisectionists Huntingdon Life Sciences succeeded in reducing their share price by 33%, but the company just about managed to survive by running a desperate PR campaign in the City to pick up prices.[2] Activism can very successfully accomplish bringing down a business, yet to bring down capitalism a lot more will be required than to simply extend this sort of activity to every business in every sector. Similarly with the targetting of butcher's shops by animal rights activists, the net result is probably only to aid the supermarkets in closing down all the small butcher's shops, thus assisting the process of competition and the 'natural selection' of the marketplace. Thus activists often succeed in destroying one small business while strengthening capital overall.
A similar thing applies with anti-roads activism. Wide-scale anti-roads protests have created opportunities for a whole new sector of capitalism - security, surveillance, tunnellers, climbers, experts and consultants. We are now one 'market risk' among others to be taken into account when bidding for a roads contract. We may have actually assisted the rule of market forces, by forcing out the companies that are weakest and least able to cope. Protest-bashing consultant Amanda Webster says: "The advent of the protest movement will actually provide market advantages to those contractors who can handle it effectively."[3] Again activism can bring down a business or stop a road but capitalism carries merrily on, if anything stronger than before.
These things are surely an indication, if one were needed, that tackling capitalism will require not only a quantitative change (more actions, more activists) but a qualitative one (we need to discover some more effective form of operating). It seems we have very little idea of what it might actually require to bring down capitalism. As if all it needed was some sort of critical mass of activists occupying offices to be reached and then we'd have a revolution...
The form of activism has been preserved even while the content of this activity has moved beyond the form that contains it. We still think in terms of being 'activists' doing a 'campaign' on an 'issue', and because we are 'direct action' activists we will go and 'do an action' against our target. The method of campaigning against specific developments or single companies has been carried over into this new thing of taking on capitalism. We're attempting to take on capitalism and conceptualising what we're doing in completely inappropriate terms, utilising a method of operating appropriate to liberal reformism. So we have the bizarre spectacle of 'doing an action' against capitalism - an utterly inadequate practice.
The role of the 'activist' is a role we adopt just like that of policeman, parent or priest - a strange psychological form we use to define ourselves and our relation to others. The 'activist' is a specialist or an expert in social change - yet the harder we cling to this role and notion of what we are, the more we actually impede the change we desire. A real revolution will involve the breaking out of all preconceived roles and the destruction of all specialism - the reclamation of our lives. The seizing control over our own destinies which is the act of revolution will involve the creation of new selves and new forms of interaction and community. 'Experts' in anything can only hinder this.
The Situationist International developed a stringent critique of roles and particularly the role of 'the militant'. Their criticism was mainly directed against leftist and social-democratic ideologies because that was mainly what they encountered. Although these forms of alienation still exist and are plain to be seen, in our particular milieu it is the liberal activist we encounter more often than the leftist militant. Nevertheless, they share many features in common (which of course is not surprising).
The Situationist Raoul Vaneigem defined roles like this: "Stereotypes are the dominant images of a period... The stereotype is the model of the role; the role is a model form of behaviour. The repetition of an attitude creates a role." To play a role is to cultivate an appearance to the neglect of everything authentic: "we succumb to the seduction of borrowed attitudes." As role-players we dwell in inauthenticity - reducing our lives to a string of clichés - "breaking [our] day down into a series of poses chosen more or less unconsciously from the range of dominant stereotypes."[4] This process has been at work since the early days of the anti-roads movement. At Twyford Down after Yellow Wednesday in December 92, press and media coverage focused on the Dongas Tribe and the dreadlocked countercultural aspect of the protests. Initially this was by no means the predominant element - there was a large group of ramblers at the eviction for example.[5] But people attracted to Twyford by the media coverage thought every single person there had dreadlocks. The media coverage had the effect of making 'ordinary' people stay away and more dreadlocked countercultural types turned up - decreasing the diversity of the protests. More recently, a similar thing has happened in the way in which people drawn to protest sites by the coverage of Swampy they had seen on TV began to replicate in their own lives the attitudes presented by the media as characteristic of the role of the 'eco-warrior'.[6]
"Just as the passivity of the consumer is an active passivity, so the passivity of the spectator lies in his ability to assimilate roles and play them according to official norms. The repetition of images and stereotypes offers a set of models from which everyone is supposed to choose a role."[7] The role of the militant or activist is just one of these roles, and therein, despite all the revolutionary rhetoric that goes with the role, lies its ultimate conservatism.
The supposedly revolutionary activity of the activist is a dull and sterile routine - a constant repetition of a few actions with no potential for change. Activists would probably resist change if it came because it would disrupt the easy certainties of their role and the nice little niche they've carved out for themselves. Like union bosses, activists are eternal representatives and mediators. In the same way as union leaders would be against their workers actually succeeding in their struggle because this would put them out of a job, the role of the activist is threatened by change. Indeed revolution, or even any real moves in that direction, would profoundly upset activists by depriving them of their role. If everyone is becoming revolutionary then you're not so special anymore, are you?
So why do we behave like activists? Simply because it's the easy cowards' option? It is easy to fall into playing the activist role because it fits into this society and doesn't challenge it - activism is an accepted form of dissent. Even if as activists we are doing things which are not accepted and are illegal, the form of activism itself - the way it is like a job - means that it fits in with our psychology and our upbringing. It has a certain attraction precisely because it is not revolutionary.
We Don't Need Any More Martyrs
The key to understanding both the role of the militant and the activist is self-sacrifice - the sacrifice of the self to 'the cause' which is seen as being separate from the self. This of course has nothing to do with real revolutionary activity which is the seizing of the self. Revolutionary martyrdom goes together with the identification of some cause separate from one's own life - an action against capitalism which identifies capitalism as 'out there' in the City is fundamentally mistaken - the real power of capital is right here in our everyday lives - we re-create its power every day because capital is not a thing but a social relation between people (and hence classes) mediated by things.
Of course I am not suggesting that everyone who was involved in June 18th shares in the adoption of this role and the self-sacrifice that goes with it to an equal extent. As I said above, the problem of activism was made particularly apparent by June 18th precisely because it was an attempt to break from these roles and our normal ways of operating. Much of what is outlined here is a 'worst case scenario' of what playing the role of an activist can lead to. The extent to which we can recognise this within our own movement will give us an indication of how much work there is still to be done.
The activist makes politics dull and sterile and drives people away from it, but playing the role also fucks up the activist herself. The role of the activist creates a separation between ends and means: self-sacrifice means creating a division between the revolution as love and joy in the future but duty and routine now. The worldview of activism is dominated by guilt and duty because the activist is not fighting for herself but for a separate cause: "All causes are equally inhuman."[8]
As an activist you have to deny your own desires because your political activity is defined such that these things do not count as 'politics'. You put 'politics' in a separate box to the rest of your life - it's like a job... you do 'politics' 9-5 and then go home and do something else. Because it is in this separate box, 'politics' exists unhampered by any real-world practical considerations of effectiveness. The activist feels obliged to keep plugging away at the same old routine unthinkingly, unable to stop or consider, the main thing being that the activist is kept busy and assuages her guilt by banging her head against a brick wall if necessary.
Part of being revolutionary might be knowing when to stop and wait. It might be important to know how and when to strike for maximum effectiveness and also how and when NOT to strike. Activists have this 'We must do something NOW!' attitude that seems fuelled by guilt. This is completely untactical.
The self-sacrifice of the militant or the activist is mirrored in their power over others as an expert - like a religion there is a kind of hierarchy of suffering and self-righteousness. The activist assumes power over others by virtue of her greater degree of suffering ('non-hierarchical' activist groups in fact form a 'dictatorship of the most committed'). The activist uses moral coercion and guilt to wield power over others less experienced in the theology of suffering. Their subordination of themselves goes hand in hand with their subordination of others - all enslaved to 'the cause'. Self-sacrificing politicos stunt their own lives and their own will to live - this generates a bitterness and an antipathy to life which is then turned outwards to wither everything else. They are "great despisers of life... the partisans of absolute self-sacrifice... their lives twisted by their monsterous asceticism."[9] We can see this in our own movement, for example on site, in the antagonism between the desire to sit around and have a good time versus the guilt-tripping build/fortify/barricade work ethic and in the sometimes excessive passion with which 'lunchouts' are denounced. The self-sacrificing martyr is offended and outraged when she sees others that are not sacrificing themselves. Like when the 'honest worker' attacks the scrounger or the layabout with such vitriol, we know it is actually because she hates her job and the martyrdom she has made of her life and therefore hates to see anyone escape this fate, hates to see anyone enjoying themselves while she is suffering - she must drag everyone down into the muck with her - an equality of self-sacrifice.
In the old religious cosmology, the successful martyr went to heaven. In the modern worldview, successful martyrs can look forward to going down in history. The greatest self-sacrifice, the greatest success in creating a role (or even better, in devising a whole new one for people to emulate - e.g. the eco-warrior) wins a reward in history - the bourgeois heaven.
The old left was quite open in its call for heroic sacrifice: "Sacrifice yourselves joyfully, brothers and sisters! For the Cause, for the Established Order, for the Party, for Unity, for Meat and Potatoes!"[10] But these days it is much more veiled: Vaneigem accuses "young leftist radicals" of "enter[ing] the service of a Cause - the 'best' of all Causes. The time they have for creative activity they squander on handing out leaflets, putting up posters, demonstrating or heckling local politicians. They become militants, fetishising action because others are doing their thinking for them."[11]
This resounds with us - particularly the thing about the fetishising of action - in left groups the militants are left free to engage in endless busywork because the group leader or guru has the 'theory' down pat, which is just accepted and lapped up - the 'party line'. With direct action activists it's slightly different - action is fetishised, but more out of an aversion to any theory whatsoever.
Although it is present, that element of the activist role which relies on self-sacrifice and duty was not so significant in June 18th. What is more of an issue for us is the feeling of separateness from 'ordinary people' that activism implies. People identify with some weird sub-culture or clique as being 'us' as opposed to the 'them' of everyone else in the world.
The activist role is a self-imposed isolation from all the people we should be connecting to. Taking on the role of an activist separates you from the rest of the human race as someone special and different. People tend to think of their own first person plural (who are you referring to when you say 'we'?) as referring to some community of activists, rather than a class. For example, for some time now in the activist milieu it has been popular to argue for 'no more single issues' and for the importance of 'making links'. However, many people's conception of what this involved was to 'make links' with other activists and other campaign groups. June 18th demonstrated this quite well, the whole idea being to get all the representatives of all the various different causes or issues in one place at one time, voluntarily relegating ourselves to the ghetto of good causes.
Similarly, the various networking forums that have recently sprung up around the country - the Rebel Alliance in Brighton, NASA in Nottingham, Riotous Assembly in Manchester, the London Underground etc. have a similar goal - to get all the activist groups in the area talking to each other. I'm not knocking this - it is an essential pre-requisite for any further action, but it should be recognised for the extremely limited form of 'making links' that it is. It is also interesting in that what the groups attending these meetings have in common is that they are activist groups - what they are actually concerned with seems to be a secondary consideration.
It is not enough merely to seek to link together all the activists in the world, neither is it enough to seek to transform more people into activists. Contrary to what some people may think, we will not be any closer to a revolution if lots and lots of people become activists. Some people seem to have the strange idea that what is needed is for everyone to be somehow persuaded into becoming activists like us and then we'll have a revolution. Vaneigem says: "Revolution is made everyday despite, and in opposition to, the specialists of revolution."[12]
The militant or activist is a specialist in social change or revolution. The specialist recruits others to her own tiny area of specialism in order to increase her own power and thus dispel the realisation of her own powerlessness. "The specialist... enrols himself in order to enrol others."[13] Like a pyramid selling scheme, the hierarchy is self-replicating - you are recruited and in order not to be at the bottom of the pyramid, you have to recruit more people to be under you, who then do exactly the same. The reproduction of the alienated society of roles is accomplished through specialists.
Jacques Camatte in his essay 'On Organization'[14] makes the astute point that political groupings often end up as "gangs" defining themselves by exclusion - the group member's first loyalty becomes to the group rather than to the struggle. His critique applies especially to the myriad of Left sects and groupuscules at which it was directed but it applies also to a lesser extent to the activist mentality.
The political group or party substitutes itself for the proletariat and its own survival and reproduction become paramount - revolutionary activity becomes synonymous with 'building the party' and recruiting members. The group takes itself to have a unique grasp on truth and everyone outside the group is treated like an idiot in need of education by this vanguard. Instead of an equal debate between comrades we get instead the separation of theory and propaganda, where the group has its own theory, which is almost kept secret in the belief that the inherently less mentally able punters must be lured in the organisation with some strategy of populism before the politics are sprung on them by surprise. This dishonest method of dealing with those outside of the group is similar to a religious cult - they will never tell you upfront what they are about.
We can see here some similarities with activism, in the way that the activist milieu acts like a leftist sect. Activism as a whole has some of the characteristics of a "gang". Activist gangs can often end up being cross-class alliances, including all sorts of liberal reformists because they too are 'activists'. People think of themselves primarily as activists and their primary loyalty becomes to the community of activists and not to the struggle as such. The "gang" is illusory community, distracting us from creating a wider community of resistance. The essence of Camatte's critique is an attack on the creation of an interior/exterior division between the group and the class. We come to think of ourselves as being activists and therefore as being separate from and having different interests from the mass of working class people.
Our activity should be the immediate expression of a real struggle, not the affirmation of the separateness and distinctness of a particular group. In Marxist groups the possession of 'theory' is the all-important thing determining power - it's different in the activist milieu, but not that different - the possession of the relevant 'social capital' - knowledge, experience, contacts, equipment etc. is the primary thing determining power.
Activism reproduces the structure of this society in its operations: "When the rebel begins to believe that he is fighting for a higher good, the authoritarian principle gets a fillip."[15] This is no trivial matter, but is at the basis of capitalist social relations. Capital is a social relation between people mediated by things - the basic principle of alienation is that we live our lives in the service of some thing that we ourselves have created. If we reproduce this structure in the name of politics that declares itself anti-capitalist, we have lost before we have begun. You cannot fight alienation by alienated means.
A Modest Proposal
This is a modest proposal that we should develop ways of operating that are adequate to our radical ideas. This task will not be easy and the writer of this short piece has no clearer insight into how we should go about this than anyone else. I am not arguing that June 18th should have been abandoned or attacked, indeed it was a valiant attempt to get beyond our limitations and to create something better than what we have at present. However, in its attempts to break with antique and formulaic ways of doing things it has made clear the ties that still bind us to the past. The criticisms of activism that I have expressed above do not all apply to June 18th. However there is a certain paradigm of activism which at its worst includes all that I have outlined above and June 18th shared in this paradigm to a certain extent. To exactly what extent is for you to decide.
Activism is a form partly forced upon us by weakness. Like the joint action taken by Reclaim the Streets and the Liverpool dockers - we find ourselves in times in which radical politics is often the product of mutual weakness and isolation. If this is the case, it may not even be within our power to break out of the role of activists. It may be that in times of a downturn in struggle, those who continue to work for social revolution become marginalised and come to be seen (and to see themselves) as a special separate group of people. It may be that this is only capable of being corrected by a general upsurge in struggle when we won't be weirdos and freaks any more but will seem simply to be stating what is on everybody's minds. However, to work to escalate the struggle it will be necessary to break with the role of activists to whatever extent is possible - to constantly try to push at the boundaries of our limitations and constraints.
Historically, those movements that have come the closest to de-stabilising or removing or going beyond capitalism have not at all taken the form of activism. Activism is essentially a political form and a method of operating suited to liberal reformism that is being pushed beyond its own limits and used for revolutionary purposes. The activist role in itself must be problematic for those who desire social revolution..
1) To my knowledge the article has been translated into French and published in Je sais tout (Association des 26-Cantons, 8, rue Lissignol CH-1201 Genève, Suisse) and in Échanges No. 93 (BP 241, 75866 Paris Cedex 18, France). It has been translated into Spanish and published in Ekintza Zuzena (Ediciones E.Z., Apdo. 235, 48080 Bilbo (Bizkaia), Spanish State). It has been republished in America in Collective Action Notes No. 16-17 (CAN, POB 22962, Baltimore, MD 21203, USA) and in the UK in Organise! No. 54 (AF, c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX, UK). It is also available on-line at: and If anyone knows of any other places it has been reproduced or critiqued, I would be grateful to hear of them, via Do or Die.
2) Squaring up to the Square Mile: A Rough Guide to the City of London (J18 Publications (UK), 1999) p.8
3) 'Direct Action: Six Years Down the Road' in Do or Die No. 7, p.3
4) Raoul Vaneigem - The Revolution of Everyday Life, (Left Bank Books/Rebel Press, 1994) - first published 1967, pp.131-3
5) 'The Day they Drove Twyford Down' in Do or Die No. 1, p.11
6) 'Personality Politics: The Spectacularisation of Fairmile' in Do or Die No. 7, p.35
7) Op. Cit. 4, p.128
8) Op. Cit. 4, p.107
9) Op. Cit. 4, p.109
10) Op. Cit. 4, p.108
11) Op. Cit. 4, p.109
12) Op. Cit. 4, p.111
13) Op. Cit. 4, p.143
14) Jacques Camatte - 'On Organization' (1969) in This World We Must Leave and Other Essays (New York, Autonomedia, 1995)
15) Op. Cit. 4, p.110

bike bloc needs you !

Everything for Everyone festival E4E

We received this from the Everything for Everyone Festival Coordinating Committee.  They ask that others repost and spread this press release.
Contact: Natalio Perez (347) 541-7305 @e4efestival

Seattle, WA - Seattle organizers announce a free, two-day, political and cultural festival called Everything for Everyone meant to connect people from around the country interested in taking the spirit of Occupy to a new level, aimed at changing everything.
Everything for Everyone will be fertile ground for developing a new political and cultural ecosystem where radical ideas, analysis and strategy are shared, debated, challenged, and advanced.
It begins outdoors on Saturday August 11th in Jefferson Park’s Northwest corner on Beacon Hill with a program running from 11am to 7pm, featuring guests from around the country. People will be participating in debates, workshops, panels, live music, and the arts.
On Sunday, August 12th, a plenary discussion will take place at the First Baptist Church on Capitol Hill from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  At 9:00 pm, the Festival comes to a close with a live concert and dance party at the nearby Highline Bar.
Organizer Carol Isaac says, ”Occupy’s explosion in the streets exposed the smoldering discontent of millions here and all around the globe.  From shutting down banks and the West Coast Ports to directly meeting the daily needs of the suffering, a new force has awakened to challenge the fundamentals of this system.  We aim to provide a national meeting toward that end.”
Endorsers of #e4e include the General Assemblies of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Seattle and Occupy Portland, as well as local and national organizations such as the Black Orchid Collective, the Red Spark Collective, Advance the Struggle and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.  A few of the performers over the two days will be: The Super 8, Suntonio Bandanaz, DJ Eazeman, JulieC and River Grimm.
A variety of panels, workshops and debates will focus on issues ranging from student and worker organizing, foreclosure defense, revolutionary strategy, and capitalism’s threats to our environment.  Other activities will include a film screening, a self-defense class and arts and theatre workshops.
A full schedule of events and more information can be found at

honest jacks automotive

rat couch

bike bloc

greatest painting. . . ever

thought Steven would get a kick out of these old inflatables

you should go to Honest Jacks automotive shop~ way down on Rainier ave. they sell oil paintings~ huh ?
NE!L~ behind the clouds

Solidarity statement from Members of Decolonize / Occupy Seattle

Early Tuesday  morning,  the  Seattle  Police  Department  raided  the  home  of our friends, community members, and key organizers in Decolonize/Occupy Seattle and the Red Spark Collective. They were faced with assault rifles to their heads, flash bang grenades and an armed SWAT team.
The  Seattle  Police  Department’s  (SPD)  harassment  of  our  community  has been ongoing. Only two weeks ago during Pride weekend, they attacked our friends.  Before  that,  they  arrested  members  of  the  Decolonize/Occupy  community for disrupting the mayor’s bogus meet and greet, a continual shielding of the SPD’s record of police brutality. The continual harassment by SPD is not surprising. It is their modus operandi. Their lousy attempts at renewing their image with the “SPD 20/20” further disgusts us.
The violent raid against our friends this week, in search of “anarchist materials” did  not  happen  in  a  vacuum.  These  are  times  of  mass  social  movements around the world. People are resisting in Seattle, across this country, and across the world. The powers that be fear these struggles will spread and they do their best to intimidate and stifle our dynamism.
Global  anti-capitalist  forces  face  constant  police  terrorism  from  the  global power elite. They will always find excuses to delegitimize us and to further prop themselves  up  as  the  bearers  of  public  safety  and  welfare.  Over  the  last few months, there have been several shootings in the city, in the Central District, the North end and South end. The police have used this as an excuse to militarize the streets. By overcompensating through extreme policing and tactics in the streets and at our homes, police forces legitimize their racial profiling and repression of people of color and poor folks.  This is the story you’ll never hear about  Seattle’s  militarized  racist  police  force. We  remember  John T Williams and Oscar Grant and are in solidarity with anyone who has experienced police and/or military repression and state violence.
We do not forget for a moment that the trauma and fear our friends experi-enced this past week takes place often in im/migrant communities during ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids. As radicals we understand the complexities of the legal system in relation to how the state reacts to resistance.
They scare us, intimidate us, arrest us, and dehumanize us, hoping that in the process that we, too, take out our anger on one another, so that our communities break down. We will not fall for that.
It is important for us to understand certain patterns in the police responses to the national Decolonize/Occupy movement. The police have justified their use of excessive force against many of us by claiming that we are all dangerous anarchists. In their book, anyone whose organizing is threatening to the status quo is depicted as “anarchists,” “black block,” and dangerous threats to public safety.
They  want  to  divide  us  into  good  protesters  and  bad  protesters.  The “good” protesters, in their eyes, do not inherently create an ideological threat to the exploitative foundations of the existing system with their organizing. The “bad protesters” however, do not follow their rules of engagement. We threaten the status quo. It is in the interest of the state to affirm the “good protesters,” so as to upkeep a pretense of free speech and democracy. Given that the facade of democracy is the excuse that the US military uses in its war efforts, it would be a shame if there was not a pretense at keeping it in the home country. Failing to understand the ideological reasons why the state props up “good protesters” over “bad protesters,” through the tactics of “anarchist baiting,” will cause us to debate endlessly about which tactic is more effective than others in changing the system. This not only causes us to attack one another, but is also a distraction. Being used by the state to delegitimize other political forces is not a sign of strength. It is a sign of being manipulated. Hopefully, the broader Decolonize/Occupy Seattle community is smarter than that and this is not a trap we will fall for.
Even as we may disagree with one another’s politics and tactics, we will understand that an injury to one is an injury to all. We refuse to let our differences strengthen the legitimacy of police violence.
Generating fear and paranoia were the goals of the SPD on Tuesday, when the SWAT team broke the door with guns drawn, threw concussion grenades, and  yanked  people,  including  two  female  bodied  people,  out  of  their  beds without allowing them to clothe themselves. Folks were held cuffed in a room while the  police  confiscated  clothing  and  literature.  The  unnecessary  trauma inflicted on these people through militarized police terrorism tactics was a result of the  SPD’s  goal  to  prevent  further  organizing.  The  organizing  in  this house involves building community gardens, holding community potlucks, organizing to shut down the juvenile prison (through healthy, supportive, healing alternatives), fighting gentrification, and hosting a completely free music, arts, and politics festival. The organizers in the house are resisting through creating and empowering. In opposition, the police are attempting to destroy through inflicting fear and trauma. Our community immediately mobilized to support the needs of our comrades as they dealt with the violence of the increasingly militarized Seattle Police. Our bonds and communities are only strengthening through this oppression.
We will continue to combat fear and trauma with love and resistance.

SPD swat team raids home for new outfit !

SWAT raid on organizers of Occupy Seattle & E4E

Posted by kasama on July 10, 2012
Door beaten in by SWAT police raid.
Kasama received this shortly after the police ended their ransacking of the Seattle apartment. We will cover events and statements as they emerge.
Early morning, July 10, SWAT police forced their way into the Seattle apartment of organizers from the Occupy movement. The sleeping residents scrambled to put on clothes as they were confronted with automatic weapons.
The neighbor Natalio Perez heard the attack from downstairs: “Suddenly we heard the bang of their grenade, and the crashing as police entered the apartment. The crashing and stomping continued for a long time as they tore the place apart.”
After the raid, the residents pored over the papers handed them by a detective. One explained: “This warrant says that they were specifically looking for ‘anarchist materials’ — which lays out the political police state nature of this right there. In addition they were looking for specific pieces of clothing supposedly connected with a May First incident.
When the police finally left, they did not arrest anyone.
This action targets well known activists from Occupy Seattle and the Red Spark Collective (part of the national Kasama network).
This apartment has been a hub for organizing the Everything 4 Everyone festival in August – to bring together West Coast forces for a cultural and political event building on the year of Occupy.

Room ransacked by police searching for “anarchist materials” and specific clothing.
The raid is a heavy-handed threat delivered by armed police aimed at intimidating specific people – but also st suppressing the work to continue the Occupy movement in Seattle, and create E4E as a space for radical gathering.
The E4E site will update this with more as we receive it, including hopefully statement from those involved.
Contact: Liam Wright, Red Spark Collective,

what if we tipped our teachers and closed the bars

painted these chalkboard /recycled /reusable skull-head protest signs

to fight the political powers within this city~ that want to raise 200 million dollars to incarcerate our youth

plain chalk messages to be added ~ individually~ Monday~ i don't do rhetoric

Supported by the website design company guide .

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