So, I recently stumbled on a spectacularly odd piece of social media drama involving various people working themselves up into a froth about how Class War in the 80s were pro-cop, anti-rioter, got all their opinions from government propaganda, etc. Obviously, the whole kerfuffle itself is incredibly stupid, but it did make me think about the subject of autonomous/anti-state/non-police responses to drugs, gangs, and related issues. Below are a few examples, I'd welcome more either information about these, or other situations I'm not aware of. I'm also open to more theoretical stuff about what "drug policy" would be like in a communist society.
Anyway, historical instances I'm aware of, some of these are obviously more or less libertarian than others:
- the IWCA in Blackbird Leys. This one's relatively well-documented and easy to read up on in English.
- conflicts between anarchists and dealers/mafia in Exarchia. Possibly the most contemporary, also relatively well-documented.
- Christiana. Really don't know much about this beyond the basics, from what I understand there was a communal decision to allow weed-selling but ban hard drugs, can't remember exactly where I encountered it but I get the impression some people have also been critical of the effects that the weed market has had on the area over time with the anti-capitalist ethos being replaced with one of "alternative retail".
- for what it's worth, there's at least one text, maybe more, where the Wise brothers talk about coming into conflict with a crack gang in London in the 2000s, although as you might expect from them it's sort of buried in the middle of a very long text dealing with a whole host of other issues.
- Mexico. Really not an expert on this and the pros and cons of it, but I know there's some areas where "community police forces" have been formed independently of the state. Also there's Chiapas and all that, as I say I'm not an expert but I get the impression the Zapatistas and the cartels probably don't get on too well?
- the Panthers, George Jackson and subsequent "lumpen"/politicised gang formations in the US. I can't really think of one specific text I'd recommend on this, but I get the impression that the Panthers and those that came after them managed to avoid either moralistic condemnations of "lumpens"/petty criminals on one hand, or just saying "ripping off your own community is totally fine and you should carry on doing it" on the other. Obviously the heyday of the Panthers was prior to the crack epidemic, I'm sure there must have been responses to that as well but all I can think of off the top of my head are hiphop songs.
- probably not a model most of us would want to endorse, but I suppose it's worth mentioning the 'ra as well.
Does anyone have any other suggestions, or more in-depth analysis of any of the situations mentioned above?