A not so new idea - Community Organising

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blackmasks
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Feb 19 2004 13:27
A not so new idea - Community Organising

While some people may critisize the Black Panthers as vanguardists etc.... We have to accept that they were "the biggest threat to national security" in the USA. Not bad fro a country that hates communists.

The reason they were that. Was that they were community based. They had schools, healthcare, creche's, etc.... they could provide a real alternative to capitalism, and the values of America.

When we look around the anarchist movement, theres nothing like that. Its just a few dirty squatters putting on a film night, which gets the same people every time.

Community organisation has to be the way forward. Once we have community then we are almost undefeatable.

any ideas/comments?

phoebe
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Feb 19 2004 14:57

um, I don't know about connecting it with the panthers, but I think organising working-scale community alternatives is important. On the downside they're a lot of work. On the upside if organised well they provide relief from the system, make government more redundant, and can help limit the infiltration of government and capital into people's daily lives.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Feb 19 2004 17:26

The Motherfuckers had lings with the panthers, they were broadly anarchist and considered highly dangerous by the US authorities, a street gang with a conscious perspective

Kalashnikov_Blues
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Feb 19 2004 20:37

Isn't the downside of most great ideas that they are alot of hard work?

But some sick bastard said that makes it all the more rewarding.

I'm glad to see someone looking at the Panthers in a positive light, as I think politics aside (I know, I know), what they acheived was amazing and alot can be learned from them.

I see no reason why it can't be done anywhere else by anyone one else.

And if a group of Anarchists can do even half way as successfully, maybe it will go a long way to smashing the beleif that we can't ogranise a piss up in a brewery which I do think is the case sometimes.

The Panthers started as a small group and grew to an astonishing size, with hands in many pies. All grass roots based and for the community, but they changed the US on a political and legal level not to mention social and intelectual.

So, yeah, political beliefs aside....

I think the big downside it all their work and any other revolutionary group's work is the stitch ups and murders by the Governement, that's gotta suck!

Hard work I can handle.

meanoldman
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Feb 19 2004 21:05

Do Or Die Issue 9 had a really good interview with a couple of ex-Black Panthers. They were fucking ace. black bloc [/url]

Yrwenot3?
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Mar 13 2004 11:53

That Do or Die article is brilliant - thanx!

I got to meet Robert King Wilkerson last year when he was over raising awareness about the Angola 3 and doing stuff around the prison/industrial complex. Write to Albert and Herman if you've got time - they need all the support they can get.

I'm a bit bemused that people associate the Panthers with Vangaurdism.

That's not how I understood it from reading stuff and talking to Robert and other Panthers.

In fact, at a meeting where Robert and Satpal Ram both spoke at a Black Arts Centre in Birmingham last year some uninformed Trot asked him about 'leading the Working Class'. He replied that the Panthers believed that we are all the Vanguard. That was enough for me to understand what the Panthers were about in terms of real empowerment and change.

AlexA
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Mar 14 2004 14:46

there's a short history of them too on the enrager history page - www.enrager.net/history

but they were vanguardists, they thought they were the vanguard, and later sections of the BPP thought that the weathermen were...

Yrwenot3?
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Mar 19 2004 12:12
alexa wrote:
there's a short history of them too on the enrager history page - www.enrager.net/history

but they were vanguardists, they thought they were the vanguard, and later sections of the BPP thought that the weathermen were...

ok, one step at a time...

what's a vanguard and how do you perceive them as a vanguard?

This interests me because the two black panthers I've met would take great issue with this comment.

thanx.

raw
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Mar 22 2004 15:57

"When we look around the anarchist movement, theres nothing like that. Its just a few dirty squatters putting on a film night, which gets the same people every time."

Speak for yourself! Theres upwards of 300 - 350 people coming to the occupied social centre every week. We now have 60 -70 school students in at around 1pm every day, some of them very political. We are also founding out about their struggles, the fact that they don't have a common room, that they can't afford to eat because they don't hav much money...etc. It's hard work -- maybe you wanna do a shift 'blackmask' and experience a project that is attempting to go beyond the usual "oh weren't the black panther great back then!" and see that alot alot of work is needed with things like this!

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pingtiao
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Mar 22 2004 16:11

Hello Raw. I can't help but think that you are exaggerating there. It is a slightly regrettable tendancy amongst the Wombles, from what I hear.

Also, where do you get the money to print your glossy leaflets (i'm thinking the new square Dublin Mayday one- which looks fucking ace by the way)?

ffaker
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Mar 22 2004 16:47

I'm not in the WOMBLES, but having been there for a benefit night they let us put on for the Hacklab (and actually did most of the work for us! Cheers - next time we will be more on the ball thou!) I can vouch for raw's figures. It's a really great space and if anything he's underestimating the amount of people who turn up. Its right on the corner of the high street and people just pop in out of curiosity. Some probably think its just a normal bar before they walk in!

Stop whining and do something about it!

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pingtiao
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Mar 22 2004 17:02

Ha! I'm not whining mate, just observing, and commenting on what other people have said. I have been along to the Fortress Road squat, and had a nice time with good people there.

If the numbers are accurate, then good bloody news!!

red n black star

ffaker
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Mar 22 2004 17:34

Cool smile

blackmasks
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Mar 22 2004 18:00
raw wrote:
"When we look around the anarchist movement, theres nothing like that. Its just a few dirty squatters putting on a film night, which gets the same people every time."

Speak for yourself! Theres upwards of 300 - 350 people coming to the occupied social centre every week. We now have 60 -70 school students in at around 1pm every day, some of them very political. We are also founding out about their struggles, the fact that they don't have a common room, that they can't afford to eat because they don't hav much money...etc. It's hard work -- maybe you wanna do a shift 'blackmask' and experience a project that is attempting to go beyond the usual "oh weren't the black panther great back then!" and see that alot alot of work is needed with things like this!

Ok, maybe your right...and its a valid step forward. But i myself am a school student...have been "involved" in the loosest sense for about a year..and im already completly depressed at the lack of anything happening.

I've been trying to get involved with kickstart cafe in manchester recently which seems to be a nice project.

I was just trying to use an example of a group that prospered and ask why it was not so with us.

Sorry if i have offended you confused

raw
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Mar 23 2004 00:57

Hi Blackmasks and pingtaio...

Hope I wasn't being too aggressive myself and I didn't want to sound too egotistically, it wasn't and still isn't my intention. I just wanted to show that people should be inspired by things which are happening now, and see what is possible now. It takes alot of hard hard work as you know.

As for the glossy leaflets, well we fundraise, some of us work and we do whip rounds in the meeting, after about a month we have enuff cash to get some glossy flyers. Also I don't think wombles exagerrate, perhaps sometimes we are too euthusiatic by a situation but sometimes thats the only way to stop becoming depressed and pessimistic about things....if you get what I mean.

anyway, we have had enuff "second-hand" criticism to last us a life-time so we've stopped justifying ourselves and our actions to the movement and just get on with it --[here comes the ego again] and have a successful social centre project, helped set-up the hacklab idea, and now mobilising for dublin...

I can't help myself

r circle A w

captainmission
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Mar 23 2004 19:06
blackmasks wrote:
But i myself am a school student...have been "involved" in the loosest sense for about a year..and im already completly depressed at the lack of anything happening.

I've been trying to get involved with kickstart cafe in manchester recently which seems to be a nice project.

things happen when you make them happen, I remeber being similarly depressed a year ago or so, but then realising if you want to get involved in self-organised projects then you have get together with some friends and organise it yourself. That's part of the problem about getting 'involed' - you all ways asume there's some really cool people out there doing stuff, you've just yet to find it or be let in on the secret. Well usually there ain't and you're way cooler than those bunch of wankers anyway.

p.s. has it been hard getting invovled with kickstart? You seem like such a challenge?

blackmasks
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Mar 25 2004 15:47

well its kinda hard for me with the whole meetings things cos i tend to do a lot of other stuff outside school time, and that often clashes with the meetings.

Also, the one time i did go i felt really out of place, like a really unwelcoming atmosphere...it felt really cliquey...which put me off going again i guess.

<edited by admins>

blackmasks
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Mar 25 2004 15:48

Plus i seem to feel rather marginalised by the general ideas of the Kickstart people... but i suppose thats just politics.

captainmission
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Mar 25 2004 16:01

what was it about the ideas or atmosphere that made you feel unwelcome? Most of these kind of things are done by groups of friends (under alot of stress usually), entering any pre-existing group of friend's can be alienating (not that makes there cliquesness acceptale). How do you suppose it could more welcoming?

blackmasks
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Mar 25 2004 16:06

im not sure really confused just a general observation...

I just kind of got the idea that i wasnt really wanted there....maybe i caught them at a bad time.

About the general ideas... I suppose the vegan bit, while i fully respect it, i just feel it alienates from the mass population.

Plus the things that get done seem to do the same. If a squat is found in a residential area, then it would be really nice to see it doing things like the kentish road squat (anti copywright film nights, creche's etc...) Things just seem more likley to work if they have a strong community base, rather than maybe 2 dozen people who already know and care about it.

this may be a totally wrong summation of kickstart....but thats my view as an outsider...and that haas to count for something right? wink

captainmission
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Mar 25 2004 16:27

it was always a bad time tongue

and tbh i think the issue of vegan food is a hang up of our 'movement' more than anything else. Don't think leak and potato soup or cake is to outlandish for the 'mass' consumpution.

And i'm not sure communities are stable social facts- just waiting out there, that we as 'activist' have somehow forever alienated are selfs from. We need to break down those divides, in part my stop always worrying about what some imagined 'mass' want. Community politics is as much creating sense of community rather than trying to cater for what we imagine our its needs. And even if it is two dozen people ain't that a community?

Anyway if you don't like how somethings going the best way to change that is to get inolved and change it Mr. T