Submitted by adri on June 3, 2020

Thought I'd go ahead and make a thread for discussion since it doesn't look like protesets are quieting down any. One of the positive developments I've seen is the vandalism/removal of racist monuments, statues etc. in Southern parts of the States/bible-belt (usually defended by right-wingers, who are typically also the pro-business-Fox-News-conservative types etc., as being part of their "heritage" ), which I imagine is a blow to American right-wing ideology in some respects. The Lee statue in Virginia is supposed to be officially removed.

sherbu-kteer

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I was surprised to not see a thread up on here sooner but I guess people are mainly discussing it on twitter/facebook/etc.

What impresses me about these ones is how wide-ranging they are. I'm not from the states but it filters down through social media and the like. I've got friends I've never seen talking politics ever suddenly posting about solidarity with the black struggle. Famous models are now recommending articles with titles like "in defense of looting", there's one decently popular comedian who is now posting Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin articles... It's really caught on (especially with young women, it seems like?), and you'd have to imagine the stresses COVID has placed on people is contributing to the widespread anger.

Anyway in Australia there have been protests already and there will be some bigger ones on the weekend. These will be in solidarity with George Floyd and black Americans but also with indigenous Australians who have been killed by police. Some of them are being framed by the organisers as a vigil to mourn at instead of a protest but I don't know how well the crowds are gonna follow that.

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, after this I really don't see how anyone can justify the idea that property damage and militant tactics (always) undermine movements and prevent them from having mainstream appeal. Posted an interview from Hard Crackers here on the subject, but one of the other aspects that really impressed me from the start was the bus driver thing, how quickly they've had at least a partial success at bridging the workplace/street divide.

sherbu-kteer

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I totally agree. The other day I found some posts I made on social media from about 6-7 years ago when I was an "anarcho-pacifist". Talk about cringe...

I will say though, all the property damage and militant tactics have been making the differences between the petty-bourgeoisie and regular people very visibly apparent. Some of the most anti-protest stuff I've seen has been from people who own small businesses in affected neighbourhoods and their family members; this includes many ethnic minorities and even some black people due to the trend of immigrants owning restaurants, corner shops, etc. Among the Arab community at least, videos of Yemenis defending their businesses from perceived threat of attack have gone viral. The "I support the protesters but don't like the rioters" attitude that was present among these people has given way in many instances to "they're all thugs and troublemakers".

In a way it seems like a rehashing of the "rooftop Koreans" thing from the LA riots that right-wingers harp on about. Part of the Korean community moved towards the Democratic party in an effort to make common cause with the mainline politics of other ethnic minorities while another part moved to the right and got closer to the Republicans, demanding expansion and militarisation of the police force to avoid a re-enactment of the LA situation where the police were unable to assist in the defence of their properties.

Guess time will tell what the repercussions will be

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As mentioned here, I would be curious to know about how North American affiliates of the ICT, or anyone else, are handling flyering - are you just accepting that it's not possible/worthwhile trying to maintain social distancing in this situation, or what? I've not got much experience of mass uprisings happening right in the middle of very deadly contagious pandemics to draw from.

Dyjbas

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R Totale, the use of gloves and masks reduces the risk a bit. And you social distance to the degree that it's possible in that situation. I know at least at some protests in the US and the UK masks and hand sanitiser have been distributed, in addition to water and milk.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's been a while since I've posted here, so I'm glad to be back. Especially with protesters rising up across the U.S. -- and across the world. And with streaming videos coming from many of these protests, I have spent much of the past 2 weeks watching these demonstrations live. Los Angeles, the site of the catalyst of the 1992 Rodney King Rebellion, was also where the most militant actions have occurred in the George Floyd Uprising. Sometimes, like last Saturday (30 May) there were simultaneous protests in at least 7 locations across Southern California. I literally watched live, from streaming video from a news helicopter, looting of shops like Gucci on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (perhaps the poshest 3 blocks of luxury shops in the U.S.). Then I watched recorded video clips of looters breaking into a Mercedes-Benz dealership in West L.A., where they liberated a Mercedes SUV and 2-door sports car. They hit L.A.'s hippest street, Melrose, and looted all the sneakers from the shop "Fight Club," literally running out the door with their arms full of boxes of $1,000 pairs of shoes.

Also, this past Wednesday, 3 June, I went to a demonstration with about 50,000 others in San Francisco. What's amazing is that it was organized by a 17-year-old high school student, who calls herself “Afrochicana” (dad from Haiti & mom from Mexico), and her friends. It was inspiring.
The rally started at San Francisco's Mission High School (the building with the tower in the left background), a politicized campus that's cleared out for plenty of protests. I remember that students marched through the city everyday, for nearly a week, to protest H.R. 4437, the Sensenbrenner Act in 2006 which would have criminalized undocumented immigrants (the May Day General Strike that year, with thousands of protest across the U.S., canceled the proposed law). They did the same on the day of Trump's inauguration, 20 January 2017, and passed my workplace in the Financial District that's 3 miles away.

The organizers of the demo distributed lots and lots of hand sanitizer, N95 and surgical masks, water, fruit, and snacks. Then during the march they set up tables to distribute these supplies throughout the march, which had large dispenser bottles of hand sanitizer to clean ones hands when grabbing these resources (San Francisco was under curfew that night after 8:00 p.m., with almost no public transit, so as I walked 5 miles to get home I noticed the excess was distributed to the countless unhoused people who stockpiled these into their tents). By my estimation, about 99% of people masked up -- and nearly everyone tried to keep 6' physical distancing, which as you'd imagine is near impossible yet everyone seemed conscious about trying to maintain. Which was helped by circles placed in Dolores Park (across the street from the high school, in the photos below) to encourage distancing on warm spring days during the coronavirus shelter-in-place requirements -- as San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to impose these rules on 16 March 2020 (and as of today, there have been only 43 COVID-19 deaths).

As for flyers, "boomers" just don't get it (count me among that demographic). No one, and this bears repeating, no one took any flyers. I saw one guy handing out quarter-sheet flyers and no one took one, so much so that he looked like a pariah and protesters literally avoided him. The Maoists in the RCP tried to distribute their newspaper, most of which I saw littering the ground. Times have changed and because of the pandemic no one will respond to flyers.

The most militant protests in the Bay Area have been in Oakland, but I've yet to attend any of these. This is the city where the Black Panthers were founded in 1966 and where the current phase of resistance to police killings kicked off with riots after Oscar Grant was killed by transit police in 2009. During Occupy, the site of the encampment was called Oscar Grant Plaza. Last week, there was much looting and protesters even liberated an SUV from a Honda dealership. They also trashed most cars in the showroom of a Mercedes-Benz dealership, which was a wasted effort as soon after they burned the building down. Oh well, duplication of efforts. I have compiled some accounts of the dozens of protests throughout the Bay Area that occur daily, which I'll post this weekend.

FUCK THE POLICE!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Brilliant, am looking forward to reading your full report! On the flyer thing, had been thinking of ways to usefully contribute and the two main ones I could think of, beyond just being there, were getting a decent amount of masks in (which I've failed to do, and I think my local organizers might have taken care of anyway) and handing out bust cards, but I suppose the moment might not be right for that particular form, even if the actual information on them is still very vital.

Lucky Black Cat

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just commenting so I can follow this thread in my "Track" tab.

There's been some talk of Minneapolis abolishing their police force, which is exciting, but I'll believe it when I see it. I'm skeptical it will happen and if it does, I'm skeptical about the organization they form to replace it. But any improvement would be a victory, even if only partial.

sherbu-kteer

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I just got back from the Sydney one, it went off great. Biggest protest I've seen in ages. Cops took the organisers to court yesterday to try and get it shut down, they won but the organisers lodged an appeal this morning. Thousands of people were coming in anyway and it seemed like there was gonna be some confrontations but miraculously it was announced five minutes before the scheduled start that the appeal had been successful and we were now fully legal.

On leafleting -- people did that and were reasonably successful but social distancing in general was kinda ignored. Australia has a much lower incidence of COVID so far and we've opened up a bit more anyway so people figure it's worth the risk. People were handing out hand sanitiser and masks as well.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Great to hear that the Australian demo(s) happened. My community radio station plays BBC news and they had bleated on and on about how they were going to be canceled, almost as though the media message was that they shouldn't happen. But I've also heard announcements of protests happening today in Seoul and Tokyo.

News update from the U.S.: the International Longhsore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 14,825 dockers at all 29 ports on the West Coast of North America (from San Diego in the south to Bellingham, Washington in the north, with sister union branches at British Columbia ports in Canada) will join with the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), which represents 65,000 dockers on East Coast of the U.S. and Canada, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and inland waterways (with approximately 200 local affiliates in those port cities), on Tuesday, 9 June to lay down their tools in a joint nationwide work stoppage lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds (the time a pig kept his knee on George Floyd's neck and killed him).

It's clearly symbolic, yet this is the first coordination of any kind of action since the radical Wobbly-influenced ILWU broke from the mob-corrupted and conservative ILA in 1937. Yet this is a amazing development. ILWU Local 10 in the Bay Area, which was born in the 4-day San Francisco General Strike in 1934, is majority black; Local 13 at the combined Los Angeles/Long Beach ports complex, is its biggest with 4,085 members, is heavily Latinx. ILA locals in the South and on the Gulf Coast have large numbers of black dockers. This response, driven by militants from the black (and brown) working class, shows the possibilities of resistance to racism being class based and focused on refusals of work (albeit brief and symbolic). But it is a start and hopefully this idea will spread by generalizing into broader strikes.

I'll post more details as they're confirmed . . .

wojtek

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is the goal of the BLM protest in the UK?

Where was Anthony Joshua's anti-racism when he fought in Saudi?

https://www.dawnbutler.org.uk/news/kilburn-times-article-labour-party-would-fund-10000-extra-police-officers/

https://mobile.twitter.com/DawnButlerBrent/status/1269539748495921152

Dyjbas

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

sherbu-kteer

On leafleting -- people did that and were reasonably successful but social distancing in general was kinda ignored.

Likewise. That ICT flyer has now been distributed in US, UK and Canada and no one's reported any difficulties giving it out (so far).

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yesterday was a busy day of protests across the world. It's getting kinda of overwhelming to keep track of them, especially in metropolitan areas in the U.S. where there are literally dozens in a single region. These events haven't dampened at all and are really increasing -- and are even spreading to rural hinterlands too.

The San Francisco Bay Area where I live, is comprised of 9 counties with 7.75 million people. Yesterday the Bay Area had at least 40 demonstrations (according a journalist on Twitter), from the suburban and rural counties to the north (the "wine country") to Silicon Valley down the peninsula near San Jose to the south, and across the Bay to Berkeley, Oakland and beyond to the mostly residential suburbs to the east. I kinda lost track of them and was relaxing at home, when I heard helicopters flying overhead. I looked on Twitter and saw live news streaming of protesters actually walking down the traffic lanes of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge that connects the city of San Francisco with the affluent Marin County to the north. In my lifetime, the cops have always been so well prepared that demonstrations have never moved off the sidewalk of the bridge. But yesterday the thousands of marchers overwhelmed the bridge police and the California Highway Patrol and marched on the vehicle traffic lanes. And again, the main organizer was a 17-year-old African American young woman.

My partner and I rapidly walked the 3 miles (5 km) to the bridge, but only got there as it was finishing. It wasn't a militant shutdown of the bridge, but instead was a pretty mainstream demo, with lots of kids, families and everyone carrying homemade signs (sorry comrades, I didn't see anyone handing out flyers) -- and protesters of all ethnicities. San Francisco is on the southern end of the bridge, which goes through the Presidio which was a massive military base (founded by the Spanish in 1776 and turned into a national park in 1994), which I passed through on my walk home. I went through the National Cemetery, stopping to pay homage to Howard Sperry, a longshore worker murdered by police and one of the two 1934 San Francisco General Strike martyrs (who's buried there because he was a World War I veteran). It got me thinking about how the current movement could escalate into strikes.

Then this morning I was reading The New York Times and came across this story:
[quote=NY Times]Activists call for a general strike in Washington State.

In an effort to build on the momentum of two weeks of street protests and growing calls for sweeping reform, activists in Washington State are calling for a statewide general strike on Friday and day of action to demand sustainable change for black people in the state.

General strikes, which involve a large proportion of the work force from a number of industries, have been used by activists in social movements to push for political and economic change. It was a general strike in Poland — started in a shipyard in Gdansk and spreading across the nation — that helped set the stage for the end of communist rule in the nation.

As recently as February, a general strike in France brought much of the country to a halt as workers pushed to stop the government from overhauling the nation’s pension system.

The call for a general strike in Washington State has particular historical resonance, since Seattle was home to one of the first major labor actions in the United States in the 20th century.

“Streetcar gongs ceased their clamor; newsboys cast their unsold papers into the street; from the doors of mill and factory, store and workshop, streamed sixty-five thousand working men,” Mayor Ole Hanson wrote after the first day of work stoppage in February 1919. “School children with fear in their hearts hurried homeward. The life stream of a great city stopped.”

Across the country, the life stream in cities has been slowed to a trickle by the coronavirus.

It is not clear what a general strike would look like set against a pandemic that has forced about 40 million people off the payrolls, but organizers from Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County said the strike on Friday would include a silent march in Seattle.

Organizers said they understood that some people might be uncomfortable joining a mass demonstration during the pandemic, and said they would work on ways to include those who cannot attend in person.[/quote]

Perhaps I'm an eternal optimist, but this is the direction I hope this movement takes. Hopefully pushed by the agency of rank-and-file workers. We can only hope.

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

What is the goal of the BLM protest in the UK?

I would have thought it was fairly straightforward, but some mixture of a) showing solidarity with the uprising abroad, and b) calling attention to the ongoing problems faced by Black people in the UK, including but not limited to state violence.
Hieronymous

Yesterday was a busy day of protests across the world. It's getting kinda of overwhelming to keep track of them, especially in metropolitan areas in the U.S. where there are literally dozens in a single region. These events haven't dampened at all and are really increasing -- and are even spreading to rural hinterlands too.

This is something I've been really impressed by (again, from a distance) - the libcom account was posting about BLM protests in Tunbridge Wells over here, and the fact of protests in place like Vidor, "the most hate-filled town in Texas" and rural Kentucky towns that similarly have a reputation as "sundown towns" is really impressive. In contrast to the normal rule of "never read the comments", I defy anyone to read the replies to this post and not be moved.

wojtek

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A giant Naked Gun condom over the Calston statue would have been funnier:
Polish city's new statue cuts a urinating Lenin down to size

I hope they vandalize Attlee next for deporting the Chinese, his imperial crimes:
https://www.londonremembers.com/memorials/clement-attlee-statue

sherbu-kteer

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Minneapolis council members vote to disband police force

You'd have to imagine they'll just rebrand it or make some reforms and give it a new name (eg RUC to PSNI in Northern Ireland), but still, pretty crazy how quickly things have moved. A month ago, would anyone have believed you if you said a major American city is going to disband its police force?

Black Badger

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this already happened in Camden, New Jersey in 2012

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, maybe talking about the Overton Window is a bit of a cliche by now, although I think it is a useful concept, and these past few weeks you really have been able to see the window shifting in real time at an impressive speed.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not a big fan of the left-liberal slightly left-of-center journalism of Democracy Now!, but it's an interesting development that in this video called "A Class Rebellion: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on How Racism & Racial Terrorism Fueled Nationwide," the interviewee finishes by saying this:

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

But we see a lot of — hundreds, if not thousands, of young white people in these uprisings, making these multiracial rebellions, really. And I think that that is important. Some people have sort of described the participation of white people as outside agitators, or I know that there are reports of white supremacists infiltrating some of the demonstrations. And I think that those are things that we have to pay attention to, keep track of and try to understand. But I think we cannot dismiss in a widespread way the participation of young white people, because we have to see that what has happened over the last decade has gutted their lives, too. And there has been some discussion about this with perhaps their parents’ generation, with the description of deaths by despair.

So, we know that the life expectancy of ordinary white men and women has gone into reverse — something, by the way, that does not typically happen in the developed world. And it is driven by opioid addiction, alcoholism and suicide. And so, this generation, whose lives really — you know, if you’ve graduated from college, your life has been bracketed by war at the turn of the 21st century, by recession and now by a deadly pandemic. And so, I think we’re seeing the convergence of a class rebellion with racism and racial terrorism at the center of it. And in many ways, we are in uncharted territory in the United States.

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New Chuang: http://chuangcn.org/2020/06/frontlines/
On a similar international note, Leila Al-Shami on lessons from Syria: https://www.aljumhuriya.net/en/content/us-protests-lessons-syria

Sike

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

sherbu-kteer

Minneapolis council members vote to disband police force

Other cities that have disbanded their police departments in the past, mostly due to budgetary issues, usually end up contracting policing for their city out to the county sheriff. However, according to this article, the county sheriff in Anoka County adjacent to Minneapolis says that his and other police agencies in the state don't want to take over policing for the city. In other words, the pigs are pissed and are sticking together.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The attempted ILWU-ILA nationwide joint action that I mentioned above fell through, with the ILA announcing that "Waterfront labor and management [will] unite to honor George Floyd and help heal the nation." This is fucked up, but as Howard Kimeldorf asks in his book Reds or Rackets?, meaning the left-leaning ILWU as opposed to the mob-up and corrupt ILA. The ILWU's roots are in the IWW -- it's motto is "An Injury to One is an Injury to All" -- and it is, despite its many limitations, still too principled for egregious class collaboration like ILA's joint action with the bosses.

UPDATE: Speaking of which, the rank-and-file of the ILWU voted today to stop work at all 29 West Coast ports on Juneteenth, the day the Emancipation Proclamation freed the last remaining slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, in honor of George Floyd.

Nymphalis Antiopa

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some stuff about US, France, Belgium (riot on June 7th) etc here:

https://dialectical-delinquents.com/contestavirus/june-2020/

Includes reflections on statue destruction, a St. Louis leaflet and other things.

https://dialectical-delinquents.com/contestavirus/may-2020/

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zugzwang

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/us/seattle-autonomous-zone.html

I've got mixed feelings toward the Seattle "AutoZone" (pun on american car parts retailer). It seems kind of like a resurrection of Occupy-style tactics and ideas. I don't see how temporarily occupying/squatting a few blocks (or permanently through having it "legally recognized", as the article mentions, like some type of commune) to distribute food and watch movies is challenging global capitalism, and the fact it has partial support from city officials also makes it suspect for me.

I mean, by definition anything anyone does in any single city, let alone a single neighbourhood, isn't really going to challenge global capitalism, and I also don't think "partial support from city officials" is a useful criteria to measure anything by - of course politicians are going to claim to endorse anything that seems vaguely popular. Taking that as being particularly meaningful reminds me of the tankies who start and end their evalution of movements in Iran, Hong Kong or wherever by pointing out that the US State Department claims to endorse them. I think it's fair to say that, compared to where Seattle (or anywhere) was a fortnight or so ago, the autozone is a considerable opening up of possibilities and potential, not a closing down.

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zugzwang

Huh?? Like city officials "supported" looting and property destruction in the early days, or like how the mayor of Minneapolis "supported" the more-than-vaguely popular calls to abolish or defund the police there?

Like how the Minneapolis city council endorsed those same calls, yes, exactly like that.

It should tell you something about how much of a threat the tacitly-approved "autonomous zone" is perceived that they haven't moved people out yet.

Eh? By the exact same logic, you could say "It should tell you something about how much of a threat the tacitly-approved "setting fire to a police department building" is perceived that they haven't stopped people doing it." Meanwhile, back in the real world:

As the protests against police brutality on Capitol Hill entered their tenth day, the Seattle Police Department issued a dispersal order as they threw tear gas, blast balls, pepper spray grenades at the crowd, which had moved the frontline barrier closer to 12th Ave than it had been in the previous week of demonstrations.
A prolonged and intense confrontation followed, with the police pushing protesters west down Pine and south down 11th Ave, where a gunman had shot a protester hours before.

Which would seem to suggest that the situation is less that the autonomous zone is tolerated, and more that attempts to issue dispersal orders, backed up by tear gas, blast balls and pepper spray grenades, have not yet succeeded in driving people off the streets.

Granted politicians do lie about what they support (!), and it's my suspicion they're maybe hoping this just dies down without escalation. In this case however there's literally nothing socialist/communist in the demands coming out of "CHAZ" I've read; just run-of-the-mill social democratic type demands that are maybe slightly to the left of what the Seattle mayor is saying here. I'm certain the reaction would be different if the prevailing ideas were not bourgeois drivel like support of small businesses.

https://medium.com/@seattleblmanon3/the-demands-of-the-collective-black-voices-at-free-capitol-hill-to-the-government-of-seattle-ddaee51d3e47

I mean, to me this is one of the problems with doing A Political Reading of the situation that prioritises stuff like legible demands, as if they were going to put out a statement saying "we demand the abolition of the commodity form", and they should be judged for not doing so. I'm not convinced that the politics of those demands are necessarily hegemonic, so much as they're reflective of that tendency within the autonomous zone that's most interested in and focused on things like issuing demands and entering into a dialogue with power, while people who are less interested in those things get on with other forms of activity.

Possibilities and potential for what exactly? The major stated objectives there, as touched on in the article, seem to just be decreasing police presence and investing more in their community (which I'm in no way against as concessions but I don't think should be viewed as an ultimate goal or solution to social ills flowing from capitalism).

Well, possibilities and potential for forms of activity that aren't primarily focused on the issuing of demands and neatly-written lists of stated objectives, for a start.

Spikymike

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well I'd recommend this IP text also posted just now to libcom:
https://internationalistperspective.org/why-we-cant-breathe/
relevant here to the broader discussion on this thread but also because it seems to take a more nuanced approach to the relative assessment of 'violent' destruction of police bases and the destruction of small local shops.

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zugzwang

Except if you bothered reading anything instead of just throwing in your uncritical support because you'd rather it be an "anti-capitalist anarchist autonomous zone under constant siege from police with people dying at the barricades", you'd know that it more or less has the approval of the the mayor, and that there haven't been confrontations with police since the 8th when police abondoned the police precinct.
The article is on the day police gave up the precinct and before the establishment of the so-called "autonomous zone".

Yeah, but that's hardly irrelevant, it's not like history just started anew on June 10th or whenever. The fact is still that the police withdrawal only came after repeated attempts to disperse protesters from the area had failed, and so the lack of a police presence doesn't necessarily indicate official approval any more than the lack of police presence in the Minneapolis 3rd precinct building does. It's hardly surprising that officials are going to claim to approve of something that they've failed to crush. What do you expect the mayor to say? "Well, we tried to clear the area but weren't able to do so?" This is more or less exactly the same move as is pulled by every single boss who, realising that they can't just beat a demand from their workforce by using the stick, then turns around and declares that they were always in favour of granting concessions out of the goodness of their hearts and any workplace militancy had nothing to do with it.

Which allows you to read into it whatever you please instead of confronting what it actually is based off what people there are actually putting out. If you don't think "supporting small busiensses" is the dominant type of political thinking of the "CHAZ" then substantiate that claim (which I'd be interested in myself).

I mean, it's a few days in and I don't live there, so I'm reluctant to claim any great analysis on the subject. But anyone with a bit of nous should know better than to just treat these kinds of "official" statements as being definitive, any more than I'd analyse the Poll Tax revolt based on the statements of Steve Nally and Tommy Sheridan, or reduce Occupy down to Micah White and David Graeber, or think that the series of events around Ferguson could be reduced down to Deray McKesson. For that matter, I probably wouldn't make the official demands on Father Gapon's petition a central feature of my analysis of events in Russia in 1905.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't live in Seattle either, but looking at it from afar it isn't radical -- but it definitely is welcomed and an exiting reflection on the current climate nationally -- and internationally. The Seattle police retreated, clearly, but not as though it was a tactical defeat but rather as a "concession" to the "growing backlash" over the widespread response to centuries of racist terror and the brutal police reaction to protests nationally, with full support of the Seattle city government (according to The New York Times). The backlash isn't being driven just by activists, it's from the whole political-economic establishment -- among whom you can count politicians from every demographic (urban/rural, liberal/conservative, young/old, Democrat/Republican, etc.), businesses small and large, military generals, and Republicans willing to stand up to Trump (like Mitt Romney marching in a DC protest and being filmed openly saying "Black Lives Matter").

I live in San Francisco, where the whole political establishment is restraining the pigs with new policies, most of which -- like in Seattle -- are as much a genuine response to local conditions as they are in reaction to the whole climate the George Floyd murder has created. For example, as of today:

1. SFPD will no longer respond to "non-criminal" calls, meaning NIMBY neighbors or "Karens" can't wield the armed might of the state to try to attack people with whom they're having conflicts, be they unhoused people living in a tent on the street or people doing things like bird-watching-while-Black (like what happened to Christian Cooper in Central Park in NYC)

2. SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin (son of former Weather Underground members David Gilbert & Kathy Boudin; Kamala Harris was once also SF DA, but was clearly not a reformer), basically the top cop for judicial prosecution, will now offer services (i.e., help with funeral expenses and medical bills, counseling, and other support services) for victims of police violence; he'd previously campaigned for office as DA by supporting elimination of cash bail

Are any of these things revolutionary? Hell no! But they are reforms activists had been demanding for decades -- to very limited success. Why now? Obviously, we are experiencing a drastically changed political climate where these reforms are not only palpable, but they are expected and welcomed. And this is an amazing turnabout.

On another front, I ventured to the next county south of mine (San Mateo, in the heart of Silicon Valley) yesterday for a medical appointment. What -- pleasantly -- shocked me was that when driving under every freeway overpass, there was a political banner strung up on the fencing, most in honor of George Floyd or supporting Black Lives Matter, with a few earlier ones thanking "essential workers." Some areas were majority white and sociologically middle-class. Before this current phase in history, things like this were unheard of. While in San Mateo County, what also shocked me were the number of petty bourgeois businesses with BLM signs in their windows, or if their windows were boarded up there were often spontaneous murals of George Floyd along with message denouncing racism.

As I drove home, I heard a traffic report on the radio that the main artery connecting Silicon Valley to San Francisco to the north, Interstate 101, was completely closed by "youthful" protesters in the town of Palo Alto, which is home to Stanford University (I took an alternative route, but now regret not trying to join the demo). Then a comrade told me that yesterday evening, here in San Francisco, around 500 nurses spontaneously organized a march that went 7 city blocks from their hospital to city hall, where they did a 8-minute 46-second kneeling tribute to George Floyd.

These protests are continuing to happen everyday, which is inspiring. Confederate statues are also being yanked down daily. Hopefully, these struggles will deepen and be further radicalized.

FURTHER QUESTIONS

How is Seattle's CHAZ, fully sanctioned -- and even defended -- by mayor Jenny Durkan, any different than Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser renaming 16th Street NW (in front of the White House) as "Black Lives Matter Plaza" and encouraging the painting of BLM and "DEFUND THE POLICE" on city streets?

Where does symbolism end and working class power begin, let alone begin to truly challenge the power of capital and the state? My mantra has always been:

You can't achieve radical (or revolutionary) ends with symbolic (or reformist) means

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zugzwang

We're talking about a six-block city-approved "autonomous zone" here, not the 2011 global Occupy movement. The list of thirty demands was shared around and had the overall approval of the people inside,1

Did you read your own link? Like god knows I don't want to endorse Sawant and CWI-brand Trotskyism, but the article is precisely about a march on City Hall demanding Durkan's resignation, which as that quote points out is not part of the official demands. So all that shows is that there are indeed various political tendencies with different perspectives within the movement, putting forward competiting visions of what it should be about.

and there's also a list of three demands on a wall that chime with that.

What, these three demands? "On a wall in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, three prominently posted demands are to defund the police, fund community health, and drop charges against protesters." Notice how none of those mention anything about the "support for small business" that you're so haunted by? I mean granted they're not "ABOLISH THE VALUE FORM RIGHT FUCKING NOW RIGHT THIS INSTANT", but those three all seem solid class demands to me. I mean, the last irl political activity I took part in before the pandemic started was supporting the UCU strikes, and that seemed worthwhile to me even though the UCU were not calling for international proletarian revolution and pointing out the ultimately futile attempts of tweaking at capitalism.

I would be pretty concerned if Democratic politicians were publicly defending my autonomous zone (especially one that was essentially given to me) and I would seek to know why that is. I doubt the mayor would take to twitter defending #CHAZ if instead of people there demanding the innocuous "support for small businesses", and to "invest in their community" (the latter demand I am again not against, but recognize its inadequacy), say, the CHAZ were calling for international proletarian revolution and pointing out the ultimately futile attempts of tweaking at capitalism.

It's perfectly bleedin' obvious why that is, it's because, as Hieronymous rightly says above, we're in a period of mass unrest where politicians are being forced to grant concessions that they would never grasp otherwise. I'm equally sure that the mayor would not be so keen to defend the CHAZ if this was happening in the social climate of a month or six months ago, she'd just evict it, but now things have shifted so that's no longer such a simple option. Again, this is politics at the level of "the US government said protests in Iran/Hong Kong are good therefore they must be bad".

  • 1"A list of demands has been published and has been shared widely by people on the ground and familiar with the reality of the situation in the CHAZ. The 30-point list is posted here [(hyperlink to list of demands)]. It is high-minded — “We demand the de-gentrification of Seattle, starting with rent control” — and much of it will take years. Removing Mayor Durkan, Sawant and her office should note, did not make the list." https://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2020/06/sawant-and-protesters-briefly-occupy-seattle-city-hall-as-capitol-hill-autonomous-zone-grows/

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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wojtek

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This article assesses the overwhelmingly negative reaction of African Americans to the speech delivered by Winston Churchill in Fulton, Missouri, in March 1946. ..

Reluctant partners: African Americans and the origins of the special relationship

When the governor wanted to abolish slavery there in 1921, Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for the colonies, replied that "the abolition of slavery could not, however, have any immediate beneficial effect on the finances of the colony" of Sierra Leone.
...Slavery was finally abolished in Sierra Leone on January 1 1928, nearly a century after the Abolition of Slavery Act.

Response The 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act didn't end the vile trade

There is an international school named after him in Freetown, SL. O.O

wojtek

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Angela Davis on the importance of the role of trans and non-binary people to feminist abolition:
https://mobile.twitter.com/nkate96/status/1272242894536138764

Black Badger

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

while i don't doubt her sincerity, perhaps i'm too cynical about Dr Davis and her unrepentant stalinism, but it seems to me that her embrace of trans and non-binary people is a late-to-the-game discovery of another (?) soft spot in the armour of capitalist statecraft.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Check out this bullshit straight outta Compton

https://twitter.com/jasmyne/status/1273734301507399680?s=21

Fucking hell, how many pigs for just one guy?

5 years ago I wrote a post that began as a review of the NWA movie (Straight Outta Compton), but the discussion thread soon had accounts of how the LA County Sheriffs make LAPD look like cub scouts. I’d say those pigs are the most brutal thugs in the U.S.

Here’s what I wrote about the LASD:

Hieronymous

My cousins grew up in . . .[unincorporated East LA], were half Chicanx, and constantly suffered the random intimidation and racial profiling of the LA County Sheriffs. One cousin explained the dynamic: the LA County Jails [the largest jail system in the U.S.] were administered by the Sheriffs Department and new recruits to the force had to work the jails for a couple years as their initiation before working the streets. And in the jails, the deputies ran a brutal regime; any time they were outside their cells, prisoners had to keep both hands in the pockets of their jail pants. Removing one's hands was seen by the jailers as an "assault" and it resulted in a severe beating. Those rookie sheriffs who couldn't show their brutality didn't survive this rite of passage and never made it onto the streets. So the ones who did make it were conditioned by regularly administering beatings.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The demos against white supremacy and the tearing down of monuments honoring racists have become so fluid that if you blink, you might miss some significant event. Yesterday, as part of the celebration of Juneteenth, many more statues were removed nationwide -- most by protesters, some by city and state officials trying to preempt their destruction. As part of this global movement, three statues were pulled down within the same small area along the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

I'm too old take FOMO seriously, but this was one case when I actually had that emotion. The following statues are literally a 3-minute walk from my apartment, but I wasn't paying attention to social media and missed out.

Here are the remains of the statues:

Junípero Serra was a Franciscan Spanish priest who led the violent colonization of California, beginning in 1769. Native Americans protested vehemently when he was canonized as a saint by the Catholic church in 1988. For decades his statue was surrounded by a wide thicket of thorny bushes. A few years ago, park gardeners removed that foliage, making me think they were inviting the removal of the tribute to this despot.

[quote=The Guardian]Contemporaries, including the French explorer Jean François de Galaup de la Pérouse, compared the Catholic missions the priest founded to slave plantations, where indigenous people were forced to work and harshly disciplined.

“By law, all baptized Indians subjected themselves completely to the authority of the Franciscans; they could be whipped, shackled or imprisoned for disobedience, and hunted down if they fled the mission grounds,” PBS News wrote in its biography of Serra. “Indian recruits, who were often forced to convert nearly at gunpoint, could be expected to survive mission life for only about 10 years."[/quote]

A video of the statue gloriously coming down: https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/1274182715068133377?s=20

Ulysses S Grant was the general who led Union armies to defeat the slave-owning Confederacy in the Civil War. He later became 18th president and was the last US president to have personally owned a slave. Although his father was an abolitionist, he married a woman from a slave-owning family and personally managed the labor of the slaves at their plantation in Missouri.

[quote=Smithsonian Magazine] as president Grant also “launched an illegal war against the Plains Indians, and then lied about it”.[/quote]

Francis Scott Key [whose statue once occupied the space under the arches in the monument above] composed America’s national anthem and . . .

[quote=The Guardian]. . .not only personally enslaved people but also tried to silence the free speech of abolitionists, using his position as district attorney for Washington DC in the 1830s to launch high-profile cases attacking the abolitionist movement.[/quote]

Video of Key's statue being pulled off the monument's pedestal: https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/1274190483804184583?s=20

wojtek

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What organisations are most influential in mobilising the protests,etc.? What ideology?

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's all co-ordinated by the Antifa Central Committee, obv :P. Nah, I'm speaking from a distance here, but at the risk of sounding over romantic, I think this is a genuinely "spontaneous" moment when formal organisations have very little influence, much like August 2011. Similarly fluid in ideological terms - we've seen "police abolition" going from an idea popular with tiny anarchist or black radical circles, something that most self-described socialists probably wouldn't even push as an immediate demand, to becoming a very mainstream talking point, but that definitely doesn't mean that everyone talking about police abolition has suddently taken on anarchism wholesale (or Pantherism or afropessimism or whatever).

R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Addresses for the three Brooklyn defendants:
SAMANTHA SHADER 83823-053

COLINFORD MATTIS #83821-053

Uroo Rahman #83822-053
(BOP has her in the system as "Uroo")
all at
MDC BROOKLYN
P.O. BOX 329002
BROOKLYN, NY 11232

People are encouraged to send them some mail to cheer them up, but don't send anything that you wouldn't want to hear read out in court.

wojtek

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Echoing Kwame Ture (here and here) I would have thought organisation is important to attain longevity. I need to read some more.

ajjohnstone

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would have thought organisation is important to attain longevity. I need to read some more.

There is an exchange on Libcom with ALB who was critical of some models of organisation that did not lead to a permanent structure. Sadly i cannot find the link due to this website's lack of search engine but it was a few years ago. Perhaps others who participated will have better success and provide you with the link.

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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R Totale

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

Echoing Kwame Ture (here and here) I would have thought organisation is important to attain longevity. I need to read some more.

I mean, I don't disagree with that as such, although I would add that organisation is still no guarantee of longevity - looking at the anti-Iraq war movement, they had a very well-defined national organisation, and the movement persisted in some form for a while, but Stop the War did suffer from diminishing results with pretty much everything after the start of the war.
Also, I don't have any very well-worked-out theory or anything to point at here, but it's my strong suspicion that organisations that are adequate to a moment are as likely, if not more so, to emerge out of that movement than they are to exist before that, so for instance I think the Black Panthers, DRUM and the like were organisations that came out of the Black Power movement. Similarly with how Mujeres Libres and the Friends of Durruti were organisations that emerged in the course of the Spanish revolution in response to specific situations, although I'm aware that's a very mixed example because there were definitely other anarchist organisations that existed before '36 there.
Also, just to make this even longer, there are of course forms of organisation that are important to a movement, but might not look like political organisation as such - so in Minneapolis, there's Northstar Health Collective, which does seem to be pretty long-lived, and which played a useful role by all accounts, but definitely isn't "an organisation" along the lines of DSA, PSL, or even IWW or whoever. Similarly with a lot of the bail funds across the country, some of which are pretty new but others have been going for a while. In terms of more traditional/formal style organisations, I have heard Black Visions Collective mentioned in the context of Minneapolis, but looking at their website I'm still no closer to grasping what their ideology actually is, and they're definitely a local group so certainly not co-ordinating anything outside of that one area.
Finally, I would recommend that the old Brighton SolFed Strategy and Struggle pamphlet is an interesting read for anyone thinking about organisation/s and what they're good for, if you've not read it already.

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

What organisations are most influential in mobilising the protests,etc.? What ideology?

This is such a crucial question. Unfortunately, I can't answer it.

I suspect that I'm getting too old to keep up with whatever communication channel -- be it Signal, TikTok, etc. -- that militant youth are using to coordinate and organize their actions.

Regardless, I'm inspired everyday when I walk across my city and see BLM window signs in every quadrant. It's so touching to see so many that obviously were hand-drawn by kids. They are literally on every block. As The Who said, "The kids are alright."

orange.ruffy

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey, been a long time since I've been on here but I'm appreciating this conversation. It's a complex dynamic to say the least. Many of the fractions that pushed the rebellion forward in the first week have since either retreated or are coming out in the streets on a totally different basis now that so many of the demos are civil. Thinking about the proletarian (and often suburban) black youth in places like the Bay and Atlanta, for example. On the other hand, there've been surprising eruptions of rage in college towns like Madison last night. Here's a couple recent pieces I've found helpful in sorting these complexities:

https://illwilleditions.com/theses-on-the-george-floyd-rebellion/

https://itsgoingdown.org/welcome-to-the-party-the-george-floyd-uprising-in-nyc/

Hieronymous

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

orange.ruffy

On the other hand, there've been surprising eruptions of rage in college towns like Madison last night.

I heard something on the radio about Madison, but I've yet to find a good analysis (just random social media posts). Please pass along anything you know of. Thanks.

adri

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

while i don't doubt her sincerity, perhaps i'm too cynical about Dr Davis and her unrepentant stalinism, but it seems to me that her embrace of trans and non-binary people is a late-to-the-game discovery of another (?) soft spot in the armour of capitalist statecraft.

I read Davis' Freedom is a Constant Struggle book a few years ago and don't recall being particularly impressed with it (no disrespect to Davis herself). It mostly goes on about single-issue stuff, prison abolition, freeing Palestine, neo-liberalism, etc. Davis does sometimes use marxist language, but the idea of workers' emancipation I think boils down to something like state-capitalism (Davis was also in the CPUSA up until the 90s).

I don't understand the prison abolition movement (or police abolition for that matter, which seems to be something new in the wake of George Floyd's murder, correct me if I'm wrong). Davis herself doesn't see prison abolition happening now but in a "transformed society," as she explains in her own words:

Davis

I do think that a society without prisons is a realistic future possibility, but in a transformed society, one in which people's needs, not profits, constitute the driving force.

It doesn't really need saying that in a transformed socialist/communist society, prisons, police, ICE and other instruments of the capitalist state would not just continue existing (not in any way to suggest that we should stop talking about those things).

Davis

Abolitionist advocacy can and should occur in relation to demands for quality education, for antiracist job strategies, for free health care, and within other progressive movements. It can help promote an anticapitalist critique and movements toward socialism.

I don't see how anti-capitalist politics are supposed to emerge from agitating for and pursuing capitalist reforms (she also doesn't reject the electoral arena, expressing the need for an "antiracist, feminist workers' political party", along with "grassroots activism" for building a "radical movement"), and I'm not all that optimistic about the conception of "socialism" there, etc.

Hieronymous

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tonight, a protester was fatally shot at a Breonna Taylor demonstration in Louisville, Kentucky. The details in corporate media are sparse as of now, but apparently someone shot at least a dozen times into the crowd, killing one man and injuring another.

Does anyone know anything else?

Nymphalis Antiopa

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.amwenglish.com/articles/police-precinct-set-on-fire-in-portland-oregon-as-uprising-continues/

Nymphalis Antiopa

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zugzwang:

I don't see how anti-capitalist politics are supposed to emerge from agitating for and pursuing capitalist reforms (she also doesn't reject the electoral arena, expressing the need for an "antiracist, feminist workers' political party", along with "grassroots activism" for building a "radical movement"), and I'm not all that optimistic about the conception of "socialism" there, etc.

Anti-capitalist politics are not supposed to emerge from agitating for and pursuing capitalist reforms - reformism, dressed up as an "anti-capitalism" compatible with social democracy, Keynesianism or state capitalism, ie something that appears to be different from neolliberalism, is supposed to emerge from these so-called anti-capitalist politics. Of course, if these struggles are independent and self-directed then an anti-capitalist "politics" could emerge but only if such anti-politics explicitly critiques the miserable and hierarchical content of what, for example, "free health care" does, would or did mean in such non-neoliberal capitalist economies (eg a critique of allopathic medicine and the pharmaceutical industry). Or asserts a radical notion of what "quality education" may mean (ie not something that takes place in school or university unless it's to occupy it or to wreck it). Or, re. "antiracist job strategies" critiques the whole notion firstly of jobs (ie the division of labour, wage labour as such and the division of leisure time from time spent on necessary and/or desirable tasks directed to transforming nature, things and social relations in general) and secondly what anti-racism means within capitalism (which is at best tokenism or cosmetic).

But then Stalinists only hope to become popular by not expressing their more radical critiques (if they have any) for fear of not being able to recruit people or for fear of putting people off with the subversive truth. And I, for one, don't want to repeat that history - ie the history of Stalinism and its ideological precedents in Lenin etc.

R Totale

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

https://www.amwenglish.com/articles/police-precinct-set-on-fire-in-portland-oregon-as-uprising-continues/

Nice, that'll teach me for thinking that the militant phase of this uprising seemed to be pretty much over. Although on the other hand, perhaps this is just me being a soppy liberal, but:

Some revolutionaries also attempted to barricade the North Precinct’s exit doors so that anyone inside the building could not get out.

Sounds like something that could have backfired really badly - the practice of forcing the cops to abandon certain areas and destroying their buildings, equipment, etc, is a good way of pushing back against their role and institution, but trying to trap people in a burning building just makes me think of Greece 2010 and everything that followed from that.

Anyway, a bit belated, but for anyone who's interested in hearing more first-hand reports from Capitol Hill, there's another interview here.

R Totale

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Terrorism charges in Oklahoma now - including, if I'm reading this right, one for someone who's not alleged to have actually done anything beyond talking overenthusiastically in a facebook video:

Charged with him in the terrorism case over the burned van was Eric Christopher Ruffin, 26, of Oklahoma City. Police reported he encouraged the "wanton destruction" and recorded it on Facebook Live. He is quoted from the Facebook video as saying every single one of those that kill Black people need to die and "that's what happens when you got numbers outside."

Also charged with terrorism in the damage to CJ's Bail Bonds was Malachai Davis, 18, of Edmond. He was identified as a suspect from a Facebook video that shows him with brass knuckles on a bloody hand outside the bail bond business. He is accused of breaking the windows.

His attorney, David McKenzie, said Friday that Davis is a good kid who smacked a window but did not break it. The attorney said Davis should not face an unconstitutional terrorism charge over this actions. The attorney also called it ironic that Davis was charged with terrorism when his father died in the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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Nymphalis Antiopa

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From here:
https://dialectical-delinquents.com/contestavirus/june-2020/

28/6/20:

US, St.Louis: a calm stroll through a gated community

Eyewitness account says:

"The march proceeded to the Mayor’s house which was surrounded by metal barriers and these were promptly removed and used to block off the intersection. Some protesters lounged on the lawn and some relieved their bladders on the house. Others busied themselves by painting the street with calls for the mayor to resign. Some neighbors were sympathetic and confused while wanting to protect their property. Others were hostile and aggressive while wanting to protect their property. A few tried to drive their Lexuses and Mercedes Benzes through the repurposed metal barriers but were unsuccessful. One guy ventured into the crowd with his phone filming, was surrounded and then extracted by his family or neighbors. Another guy almost pulled a gun to prevent people from touching his luxury car and spent the rest of the night sitting on his steps protecting his property which is only a few doors away from the Mayor’s house. Later as everyone was leaving he apparently threw M-80’s at the dispersing crowd (1/4 sticks of dynamite that make a loud bang but not much else) though I didn’t see this myself. That prompted a standoff with the remainder of the crowd with some returning fire with fireworks of their own and others breaking up a huge landscaping stone to throw at his house. At which point he began waving his gun around. Luckily no one was shot. It is illustrative of the disconnect with poor and working class realities that people like this and the McCloskey’s think they can act that way in front of their own homes. Doing so in a poor neighborhood would undoubtedly have consequences. Time will tell if the upper crust gets a real education in what life is like for the rest of us.

Despite these components of visceral class antagonism, the movement still hasn’t escaped the limitations imposed by the “organizer” role and its attempt to provide exclusive “leadership.” Many of the faces controlling the crowd are the same faces that controlled crowds in 2014, 2015 and 2017. While the protest side of the movement is more multi-racial than it was in 2014, the division between protester and rioter is still just as real. This time around there is no united front among the mostly young, black protest organizers and they are openly airing their conflicts in the street. Some “veterans” of Ferguson who haven’t maintained their roles seem somewhat jaded and disillusioned with the power struggle and general approach to movement of the new groups while others have doubled down and are attempting to recreate what they, somewhat narrowly, see as the successes of the protest component of the previous rebellions."

This - https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/29/couple-point-guns-protesters-calling-st-louis-mayor-resign/3277310001– claims ""When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves", but according to an eyewitness, "the claim that they armed themselves in response to anything but a mob of angry black and white working class people in their neighborhood is.... bullshit designed to deflect the hostility that is coming their way. There were armed protesters but they were asked to show up in response to the unhinged behavior of richie rich and his coked out wife and did not appear until much later."

R Totale

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh, two bits of media for if anyone has some time on their hands:
I've not listened to it all yet, but the new Final Straw is great so far - after a Sean Swain bit about confederate monuments (always skippable, although he has some good lines in this one), there's a 20-minute interview with Najiyyah Avery Williams, the mother of Lil Jerry Williams who was brutally murdered by the Asheville Police Department in 2016, which is absolutely harrowing but very powerful, a 10-minute audio report from a protest in a small town with a population of about 800 in rural North Carolina, and then a long interview with someone from the Prosecution Project analysing repression and charges against uprising participants. Also I'd not encountered the expression ACAB Spring before, but it's great.

Sub.media's style always walks a fine line between impressive and irritating for me, and their new show falls down on the "gratingly gimmicky" side imo, but is worth a watch, and has an interview with Oluchi Omeoga from the Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis. The interview starts at a bit after 16 minutes in, if anyone just wants to watch that and can't be bothered with watching sub.media doing sub.media stuff for a bit first.

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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adri

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone familiar with the NFAC ("Not Fucking Around Coalition")? Are they related to the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense? In any case they're reactionaries (anti-semitism, black nationalism etc.) and the Jay person is a moron.

R Totale

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Current fundraisers for people facing charges connected to alleged participation in the uprising:
Support for Marge C in Seattle
Lore Elisabeth in Philadelphia
Dylan Robinson facing arson charges for the Minneapolis Third Precinct building

Addresses that I'm aware of:
Samantha Shader, #83823-053, MDC Brooklyn, Metropolitan Detention Center, P.O. Box 329002, Brooklyn, NY, 11232

Margaret Channon, #49955-086, FDC SeaTac, Federal Detention Center, P.O. Box 13900, Seattle, WA 98198

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, #70002-066, FDC Philadelphia, Federal Detention Center, PO Box 562, Philadelphia, PA 19105

Not really sure if there's any point having the CHAZ/CHOP argument again, that Michael Reagan piece is decently nuanced imo.

Ugg

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have a couple questions about property damage and looting:

1. What happens to small businesses that are damaged and/or looted?

2. What happens to employees of both small and large businesses that are damaged and/or looted?

adri

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ugg

I have a couple questions about property damage and looting:

1. What happens to small businesses that are damaged and/or looted?

2. What happens to employees of both small and large businesses that are damaged and/or looted?

I'm not usually in favour of damages inflicted on smaller businesses, especially when they don't employ other workers (though I don't support them either, or their desire to expand). It's different when we're talking about multi-national billion dollar retailers or technology companies and so on (who enrich themselves off the wage-slavery of suppliers in so-called "developing countries"). It's absurd to think the owners of such corporations "personally created" the stuff they sell and that it therefore "belongs" to them. The ownership of the product under capitalism isn't based on the labor or "hard work" of the capitalist but on capitalist property rights;capitalism is based on social labor, where nobody can really "claim a product as their own", but capitalist/private appropriation. Workers employed by a capitalist (who likely doesn't even participate in the production process) couldn't just decide to sell the stuff they made for themselves, as might seem natural, because the capitalist would use the force/coercion of the capitalist state to ensure that doesn't happen.

As far as employees and their livelihoods, any type of strike for example would disrupt capitalist reproduction and affect other people, but that's no argument that workers should "never strike". I wouldn't really lose sleep over looting and property destruction. People are satisfying their needs (in some cases) while discussing how capitalists are "looters" themselves and capitalism in part was built on slavery etc.

edited for clarity

adri

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R Totale

There's this, which was written by a solidarity network of service industry workers in 2015: Smashed Up: Young service workers on the sanctity of small business.

I'd agree with that for the most part, but obviously not all small businesses are gentrifying and cater to rich white people as might be the case in parts of Oakland. I wouldn't think a leftist co-op bookshop for example really deserve to have their windows smashed (even though they're not fundamentally different from any other business).

Hieronymous

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zugzwang

R Totale

There's this, which was written by a solidarity network of service industry workers in 2015: Smashed Up: Young service workers on the sanctity of small business.

I'd agree with that for the most part, but obviously not all small businesses are gentrifying and cater to rich white people as might be the case in parts of Oakland. I wouldn't think a leftist co-op bookshop for example really deserve to have their windows smashed (even though they're not fundamentally different from any other business).

Since I think I know some of the white authors of this piece, I think its major flaw is because they hadn't lived in Oakland very long when they wrote it. Most graduated from university elsewhere and migrated to the Bay Area over the last decade. Meaning they missed the major shifts in class composition due to drastic changes in the political economy of the world over the last several decades.

I lived in north Oakland for 3 years in the early 1990s, and for the second half of the decade of the 1980s I lived in adjoining south Berkeley. What the SolNet comrades got wrong are the major demographic changes over a longer historical arc. Which has to account for deindustrialization that hit stride in the 1980s, which was exacerbated by the military base closures starting in 1988. Lots of the civilian workers at the Oakland Naval Hospital (closed in 1993), Oakland Naval Supply Center (also closed in 1993), and Oakland Army Base (closed in 1995) -- the latter 2 located in the midst of the Port of Oakland -- were people of color, mostly black, who often had unionized civil service jobs with good pay and benefits. When tens of thousands of those workers were laid off, Oakland and the surrounding East Bay, the local economy began to shift away from heavy industry and towards being even more of an entrepôt, increasingly receiving consumer durable goods from East Asia and shipping California's agricultural products to the Pacific Rim as they ramped up their market share in developing economies. This made Oakland more of an appendage of San Francisco, with rising service industries engaged in capturing more of the surplus value created elsewhere rather than generated locally through manufacturing.

As a case in point, when a black home-owning family (many of whom came during World War II to work in the defense industry and bought their houses then) who lived in West Oakland -- next to the port -- found fewer and fewer decent paying jobs, many realized their equity in their house was a cash cow -- especially in the early-mid 2000s -- and sold out and bought larger brandnew tract houses in outer suburbs like Vallejo to the north, or distant East Bay suburbs like Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and Oakley to the east. Some went even further to the adjacent parts of the Central Valley in Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto and Merced. Those in the last category suffered the housing crunch the worst, as the market in these towns faced the double tragedy of the highest foreclosure rates and unemployment in the country from 2008 and carrying on for the next half decade.

My point is that the SolNet comrades don't seem to realize that this process of hollowing out happened over decades and wasn't due to the "push" of white gentrifiers moving in, but rather was due to the "pull" of people of color -- mostly black families -- moving out. But it does reach a tipping point, where demographic changes drive market housing prices so high that the last survivors of a previous generation of industrial working class people of color are driven out. But that's the last phase of the process, rather than the dynamic force driving the whole process. Also, East Oakland -- which had once been the site of even more heavy industry -- went through a process where it shifted from being predominately black to being a immigrant ghetto for working class migrants from Latin American and Southeast Asia.

As in any arrival zone for immigrants anywhere in the world, petit-bourgeois businesses rise up to serve the specific needs of these communities. Many of the "mom-n-pop" stores in Oakland are run by immigrants. In North Oakland, it's mostly Ethiopians and Eritreans closer to the Berkeley border, and real estate developers have tagged the nearby area as "KoNo," as in Koreatown North Oakland. Whole parts of East Oakland are full of small, medium-sized and big businesses operated by immigrants from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, as well as the Fruitvale District and "Deep East" Oakland that's heavily immigrants from Latin America. What nearly all these recently arrived immigrants do is have their whole families work in the shop, only hiring employees if they expand. And given astronomically high real estate costs in the region, all businesses operate on razer-thin margins, even the large global chains. Many won't survive the present economic crisis -- and we'll have another round of business turnover and transformations in class relations.

What I'm reacting to is an account of naïve newcomers, who translate their own white guilt into a false narrative of changes in class composition, driven by major shifts in the political economy of the whole planet.

As for property damage, it takes you down a moralistic rabbit hole worrying about whether a business is suitable target or not. Sure, it sucks seeing some immigrant getting their tiny shop burned down or looted, but that's one of the risks of doing business in capitalism. During riots I've seen shops that I'd patronized get trashed, but I didn't lose any sleep over it.

R Totale

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

Since I think I know some of the white authors of this piece, I think its major flaw is because they hadn't lived in Oakland very long when they wrote it. Most graduated from university elsewhere and migrated to the Bay Area over the last decade. Meaning they missed the major shifts in class composition due to drastic changes in the political economy of the world over the last several decades.

...

What I'm reacting to is an account of naïve newcomers, who translate their own white guilt into a false narrative of changes in class composition, driven by major shifts in the political economy of the whole planet.

As for property damage, it takes you down a moralistic rabbit hole worrying about whether a business is suitable target or not. Sure, it sucks seeing some immigrant getting their tiny small shop getting burned down or looted, but that's one of the risks of doing business in capitalism. During riots I've seen shops that I'd patronized get trashed, but I didn't lose any sleep over it.

Your posts are always an education! In some ways I'm reminded of the "poor fetishes, poor critiques" article from a few years back, which may or may not be relevant here.

Ugg

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R Totale

As to the answer to 1, I was able to find these with a quick search:
Retailers take stock of insurance coverage after looting
Civil disorders and insurance

Whenever protestors smash windows or steal stuff people always act as if it will ruin small business owners. However I always thought property damage is covered by insurance and that protestors try to avoid attacking small businesses in the first place anyway.

According to the “Insurance Information Institute” blog you linked basic insurance plans SHOULD cover damages, looting and even potentially lost sales. In addition a spokesperson from the III is quoted in the slate article claiming that it’s highly unlikely premiums will go up. So from this it seems like small business owners themselves should be unaffected by the riots.

The first article makes it seem like there’s a potential that some businesses have weird plans that don’t cover riots or may have stopped paying insurance because of Covid 19 (which makes no sense to me unless they literally couldn’t afford it). Some places are offering businesses money to pay for damages if they need it. I wonder if maybe some businesses will be getting some bailout money because of Covid 19?

The article mentions something about how businesses can “claim catastrophe “because of the riots. But does this mean that businesses that have bad insurance plans or stopped paying insurance can claim this? The article is unclear.

R Totale

There's this, which was written by a solidarity network of service industry workers in 2015: Smashed Up: Young service workers on the sanctity of small business.

Yeah there’s that. I don’t mean to glorify small businesses, especially ones that exploit workers. They can sometimes be even worse than big businesses because they’re at a competitive disadvantage and the owners can be just as greedy. You could argue it might even be better for the average worker since big businesses create more jobs, provide more stability, and are easier to unionize and hold accountable for discrimination and other things.

On the other hand there are still some “mom and pop” stores that make modest incomes so I can understand not really wanting to see them suffer financially. The median retail store owner makes way more than the median American but obviously half of them make below this. Plus many at the lower end make thousands of dollars less than the median US income.

Thanks for the links btw.:D

Zugzwang

As far as employees and their livelihoods, any type of strike for example would disrupt capitalist reproduction and affect other people, but that's no argument that workers should "never strike". I wouldn't really lose sleep over looting and property destruction. People are satisfying their needs (in some cases) while discussing how capitalists are "looters" themselves and capitalism in part was built on slavery etc.

I get this. For example I can imagine workers being upset because their workplaces were shut down during the riots. But wouldn’t their workplaces be shut down because of the protests regardless of whether there was rioting? Does this mean there shouldn’t even be so-called “peaceful protests”?

I was worried about the employees of the burned down Wendy’s but apparently they are being paid. I don’t know how much or what may have happened to other workers at damaged stores though.

Before I heard about this arson I never really thought that workers could be negatively affected by riots. Normally when I hear about stores getting smashed I imagine that workers still continue to work there because all they have to do is clean up and take inventory. In fact you’d think workers could even get extra hours because of this!

A little while ago I was skimming a book I have about the black bloc tactic. It talked about how in Toronto some of the people who engaged in black bloc tactics held a fundraiser for businesses they thought shouldn’t have been attacked. I wonder if they can also do stuff like this for any employees negatively affected; sort of like a strike fund.

Hieronymous

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ugg

A little while ago I was skimming a book I have about the black bloc tactic. It talked about how in Toronto some of the people who engaged in black bloc tactics held a fundraiser for businesses they thought shouldn’t have been attacked.

Hey Ugg, I hate to come off as dickish and realize that you're only the messenger, but this is a really stupid idea.

Let's play this out: organize a punk show and all the proceeds (today, it would more likely be something like GoFundMe) go to the businesses. Money from activists and their friends (who I'd imagine are waged workers) is handed over to some petit-bourgeois shopkeeper who's, let's say for example, an immigrant that owns a liquor store. What's the money for? So they can replace the plate glass windows, replace doors with heavier more secure ones, install heavier grade steel roll down security gates, install security cameras at various angles around the building perimeter, and then . . . oh yeah, restock all the malt liquor, fortified wine, cheap liquor, junk food and cigarettes? Or will they use it for mortgage payments for their house in the suburbs? Or their kids tuition at college? Or a down payment on a new car?

While on the sidewalk in front of that shop, homeless people are huddled in tents, trying to eke out meager survival, while panhandling and living in squalor. If I had my druthers, I'd rather join the homeless comrades to loot some 40 oz.ers, booze and food from nearby stores.

But coming back to the question about trashing businesses, looting a liquor store makes complete sense. Just breaking the plate glass window without looting something to drink seems pointless. But who cares if a bank or the local franchise of a global chain gets destroyed? Actually, my feelings are indifferent about almost any kind of business. But damaging places of habitation is much, much different and is completely inexcusable.

Here I'd suggest being strategic. In the winter of 1970 in the beachside student ghetto of Isla Vista, right next to the University of California at Santa Barbara campus, there were a series of riots that was part of the global youth revolt of that era. There's the famous graphic of the burning of the Bank of America branch:
The most strategic targets were real estate offices, as there were just a handful of slumlords in Isla Vista at the time. Insurgents broke into these office and dragged all the rental records into the street and burned them in bonfires. After the riots, with no records remaining (this is well before the era of computerization) student -- and non-student -- tenants engaged in a de facto rent strike as the landlords had no legal documentation of the rent agreements. So radicals refused to cooperate in reestablishing rental contracts. And if you've ever passed through this micro-college town, it's still a shithole today. By all sociological definitions, it's a slum. Rioters chose a target that was the most vulnerable -- and did it with great precision and effectiveness.

So the next time you've chased the pigs off the street and have a brick in your hand, think twice before throwing it through the mom-n-pop immigrant-owned donut shop. Think about where the developers, real estate agents and landlords have their offices. You won't wipe out all their records like the rebels of Isla Vista, but they are more unambiguously our class enemies.

adri

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ugg

I was worried about the employees of the burned down Wendy’s but apparently they are being paid. I don’t know how much or what may have happened to other workers at damaged stores though.

Before I heard about this arson I never really thought that workers could be negatively affected by riots. Normally when I hear about stores getting smashed I imagine that workers still continue to work there because all they have to do is clean up and take inventory. In fact you’d think workers could even get extra hours because of this!.

I wouldn't think Wendy's workers would be mourning their workplace going up in flames. Fast food has a high "turnover" and pays workers the bare minimum to begin with. It likely wasn't doing much for them anyway, and as you say it seems like they're getting paid (not sure if they'd also be elgibile for benefits now for whatever that's worth; or they might have just been sent to another location).

adri

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://mynorthwest.com/2010212/seattle-council-veto-proof-majority-defund-police-50-percent/

Hieronymous

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

zugzwang

R Totale

There's this, which was written by a solidarity network of service industry workers in 2015: Smashed Up: Young service workers on the sanctity of small business.

I'd agree with that for the most part, but obviously not all small businesses are gentrifying and cater to rich white people as might be the case in parts of Oakland. I wouldn't think a leftist co-op bookshop for example really deserve to have their windows smashed (even though they're not fundamentally different from any other business).

Since I think I know some of the white authors of this piece, I think its major flaw is because they hadn't lived in Oakland very long when they wrote it. Most graduated from university elsewhere and migrated to the Bay Area over the last decade. Meaning they missed the major shifts in class composition due to drastic changes in the political economy of the world over the last several decades.

Revisiting this, I just read this local news story: "The Hidden Toll of California’s Black Exodus" that said:

KQED

. . . around 275,000 Black Californians . . . have left high-cost coastal cities in the last three decades, sometimes bound for other states or cities, but more often to seek their slice of the American dream in the state’s sprawling suburban backyard. Many transplants pack up for the promise of homeownership, safety and better schools. Housing-rich Elk Grove [which is 100 miles from Oakland] has gained nearly 18,000 Black residents since 1990 — a 5,100% jump mirrored by increases around the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, Southern California’s Inland Empire and the Central Valley.

[...]

After white flight, Black flight had accelerated in the 1980s. Outer suburbs like Palmdale, Antioch and Elk Grove saw exponential growth.

R Totale

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Detailed coverage of Portland from Robert Evans here: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2020/07/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-battle-of-portland/

R Totale

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New Phil Neel text over at the Brooklyn Rail, seems relevant to both this thread and the general Coronavirus one: https://brooklynrail.org/2020/07/field-notes/Crowned-Plague

Also, Final Straw has a new interview with Portland GDC folk up: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2020/08/02/keep-calm-and-get-prepared-a-look-into-month-3-and-beyond-of-the-portland-uprising-with-the-portland-gdc/

wojtek

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Greasy reformists fill the ideological and organisational vaccuum.
https://mobile.twitter.com/People4Bernie/status/1290867044011749376

R Totale

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's now a support site up for Minnesota defendants: https://mnuprising.wordpress.com/

adri

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Two people killed and one injured in Wisconsin last night during protests over police shooting of Jacob Blake on the 23rd. There's some pretty graphic content out there if you search around. I'll never understand Americans' fascination with guns (I mean I kind of understand right-wing extremists' interest with them), and I can't say I get organizations/groups like the Socialist Rifle Association, NFAC and others, and where they think any of that is leading to. Some info on the perpetrator, some impressionable right-wing teenager from Illinois who travelled there to "defend businesses":

https://www.insider.com/kyle-rittenhouse-who-shot-kenosha-protesters-was-obsessed-with-cops-2020-8

fischerzed

1 year 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We recently republished an article by Shemon "The Rise of Black Counter-Insurgency" that originally appeared on the Ill Will EDitions site. It is an astute analysis of the recuperation of what it calls “the George Floyd rebellion”, which merits reflection and debate. This is our introduction. Fischer

The movement ignited by the murder of George Floyd is not quite over, but a relative calm has returned. However, in this period, many struggles do not lead to either defeat or victory, but don’t go away entirely. The flames die down, but the embers keep smoldering. And the fuel for the fire keeps building.

At this moment, a lot of attention and energy is being sucked away by the US elections, which offer us the choice between Trump’s naked iron fist and Biden’s iron fist in a velvet glove. The first uses the movement to evoke a specter of chaos and ruin, even provoking battles to underscore its point as in Portland, and being helped by police departments of some large cities which seem to have decided to let more criminal activity (especially gang killings) occur. The second sucks up to the movement and makes promises which he neither can nor wants to keep.

Of course, the election spectacle is not the only reason why the movement lost strength. What was its strength? Most impressive was the speed with which this struggle against police repression (a pillar of capitalist society) spread all over the US and indeed the world, the vast scale of the movement, its multiracial solidarity, the determination it showed in confronting the police and other guardians of the capitalist order, its willingness to break the law and defy the authorities, whether Republican or Democrat. But then what? What’s the next step? It’s one thing to protest against injustice, racism, and repression, it’s quite another to imagine a world in which their cause is eradicated. It is still difficult to imagine a world which is not capitalist. So the next step isn’t clear. As a result, as Shemon puts it, “protests have gone into a zombie-like phase of endless marches”, without target or purpose. The next step could be to go massively to the work places to get our sisters and brothers in the factories, offices, schools, services and so on to join a struggle which is about more than racial injustice. It must become a general refusal of capitalism’s doomsday course. The work places are capitalism’s weakest point because of its dependency on the exploitation of labor. No surplus value, no profit. In the streets, the state will ultimately always have the upper hand. Militarily it will always be stronger, until it itself begins to fall apart. Conversely the work places is where the collective worker has the upper hand. Potentially.

So for the movement to strengthen further, linking with the proletariat in the work places was a necessary step, and one that implies a broader agenda than Black Lives Matter. But despite the fact that during this time numerous wildcat strikes occurred (most because of low wages and lack of covid-protection), this step was not taken.

We’re not there yet.

The absence of a proletarian answer to the ‘what’s next?’ question created room for the answer that reformism proposes, which is not to oppose capitalism but to improve it, to march and vote and sign petitions to force Congress to adopt better laws and so on. As we argued before, this is both futile (given its systemic crisis, the plagues of capitalism will only worsen) and deeply misleading.

Shemon blames the middle class for shifting the movement’s goal “from revolutionary abolition to reformist abolition”. “A counter-insurgency campaign has fundamentally altered the course of the movement.”, he writes. He blames the black middle class in particular. Although he uses the term ‘middle class’ numerous times, he never defines it. He assumes that it is well-known what it means. In fact it is a sociological term, based not on social function but on income. ‘Middle class’, then, encompasses all those who are neither rich or poor, and is further divided in an ‘upper middle class’ and a ‘lower middle class’. Some calculate that 80% of the US population is middle class. From a Marxist point of view, this is not a useful term. It encompasses both workers (the better paid segment) as well as (small) capitalists. In reality, capitalism tends to reduce the class composition of society to only two classes, melting the peasant class, to which until relatively recently the vast majority of humanity belonged, to an increasingly marginal size. There is the capitalist class, including not only the owners of capital but also its managers, of the state as well as of the economy, thus also the police and politicians. Opposed to it, there is the proletariat, or, to use a term which does not express its misery but its potential power, the collective worker, which comprises the vast majority of the world population. What exists between those two classes is not a class, but social layers with diverging interests: family-farmers and other independent producers, shop-keepers, food vendors and so on. These layers are not the enemy of the proletariat and should not be treated as such. They may aspire to obtain wealth and status by becoming capitalists, but at the same time they see they’re being crushed by capitalism. They can become allies in the struggle for liberation.

Shemon draws a sharp distinction between what happened in the daytime and at night during the heydays of the movement in late May. The demonstrations during the day were more massive, more white, more “middle class” according to Shemon, less confrontational than those at night. After sundown, “a Black led multi-racial proletarian rebellion burned down police stations, destroyed cop cars, attacked police, redistributed goods”. For him, that was the vanguard of the movement. Instead of begging for reforms, young proletarians attacked the capitalist order heads on.

Yes, that happened. But other things happened as well. It’s telling that in regard to the “redistribution of goods”, a.k.a. looting, Shemon mentions only (the chain store) Target and (the luxury store) Versace. He doesn’t write about the small stores and restaurants plundered and burned during these violent nights. We don’t want to inflate these incidents a la Fox News but we don’t want to shove them under the rug either. But Shemon does. Neither does he mention the looting for profit, mostly done by gangs, which are, essentially, capitalist enterprises [1] . And he does not criticize the destruction for destruction’s sake, even of useful things such as street lights, or burning bibles and other acts that serve no purpose but to divide the protesters and provide fodder for bourgeois propaganda. The nighttime actions were spontaneous and self-organized, but self-organization must imply a collective self-discipline, a proletarian consciousness reflected in the choice of targets.

Neither the daytime nor the nighttime protests were purely proletarian and neither had an answer to the ‘next step question’. Violently confronting the police is not a strategy in itself. It offers no perspective if it is not imbedded in a broader movement, as Shemon would agree. And that this movement must extend to the workplaces is also clear. The main battlefield is the mind of the collective worker.

The ‘George Floyd rebellion’, both in its daytime and nighttime manifestations, is a big step forward, but there’s a long road ahead. Yet the embers are still hot and capitalism’s crisis keeps adding fuel to what can become an even more intense proletarian firestorm, increasingly conscious of it anti-capitalist content.

INTERNATIONALIST PERSPECTIVE

August 24, 2020

Black Badger

1 year 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

a few things from ill will editions might be good, but their Instagram post from the other day definitely isn't an example of that. They say:
"The entire momentum of the revolutionary movement, as well as the networks that nourish it, took 10 years to build [sic].
It will all be wiped out if we allow the social revolution to devolve into an armed conflict between small, increasingly specialized groups..."

It's one thing not to publicly promote shooting back (it's the prudent course when posting on Instagram, the "fun" subsidiary of FedBook); it's something else altogether to promote pre-emptive, voluntary disarming of their "social revolution"...

Black Badger

1 year 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

R Totale

1 year 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Excellent report from Kenosha, including some intelligent discussion of the gun issue among other stuff: https://hardcrackers.com/eye-storm-report-kenosha/

R Totale

1 year 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fwiw, a bit late now, but I disagree with Black Badger's criticisms of the Ill Will instagram post above - I don't think that having a critique of small, specialized armed groups necessarily means that you're promoting disarmament.
Anyway, also on Ill Will, they recently put this out, which I think is interesting and thoughtful and I've seen going around a bit:
The Return of John Brown: White Race-Traitors in the 2020 Uprising

But then, a few days later, they published an interview with the stockbroker-academic Frank Wilderson. Now, it's true that I already had a pretty low opinion of Wilderson, so maybe I'm not reading it in the most charitable fashion, but it seems to be pretty much totally contradictory to the more useful material Ill Will puts out, with Wilderson repeating his standard themes - "anger towards... radical multiracial coalitions", not just writing off the white proletariat but also digs at all non-Black POC, along with a sort of flattening out of Blackness that erases any question of class and gender and so neatly dodges any question of whether, for instance, stockbroker-academics might have a different position to other Black people. Am I missing out on something really important here, or is this just Ill Will publishing an interview with a reactionary dick who argues against everything that's important in their other work?

Spikymike

1 year 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Further to posts #93 and #97 above IP have continued this critical discussion here:
https://internationalistperspective.org/streets-and-workplaces-race-and-class-part-1/ and
https://internationalistperspective.org/streets-and-workplaces-race-and-class-part-2/
Edit: Part 3 posted elsewhere on libcom now but also here for completeness:
https://internationalistperspective.org/streets-and-workplaces-race-and-class-part-3/

Spikymike

1 year 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another revolutionary communist group which was inspired by Shemon's artcle in 'Ill Will Editions' with a short critical comment and there own reflection on the movement that was sparked by the murder of George Floyd and which spread internationally is published elsewhere on libcom here:
https://libcom.org/news/class-war-122021-beyond-black-white-class-rebellion-against-violence-state-usa-23032021