Anarchy Magazine, NAMBLA, and Bookfair workshops on roadkill and herbal medicine

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Sep 9 2007 23:46
Anarchy Magazine, NAMBLA, and Bookfair workshops on roadkill and herbal medicine

The topic really says it all.

This weekend I attended, briefly, the 2nd annual victoria anarchist bookfair.

Before I begin, to be fair to the organizers, there were some success stories - they brought in AK Press to distro and some other groups, and at least 1/8th of the attendees were not crust punks. I have some respect for people on the organizing committee and it takes a lot of logistics to put these things together.

So, on with the show...

The fair took place in a fairly confined space - an undersized gym. Due to the nature of many of the participants, a foul odour quickly permeated the entire space, which made it difficult to stay for long periods of time.

The workshops all had a consistent theme - "poetics of dissent", "herbal medicine [with a focus on herbal-induced abortions]", - "de-colonializing mentalities" and so on. The coup de gras was an unofficial "guerilla workshop" [as they put it] held in the adjacent kitchen on "how to prepare and eat roadkill".

I talked to several vendors and ran into Aragorn! and Wolfi Landstreicher, of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed magazine. I asked if we could get a group photo taken but they declined, citing they were concerned I would post the photo on the internet.

Perusing the Anarchy Mag table, I noticed a couple books by Hakim Bey, equally famous for his misrepresentation of islamic mysticism as for his authorship of several articles in NAMBLA publications. I questioned why they would have an author associated with NAMBLA on their table, and they responded forcefully that they believed "age of consent" laws should be "abolished", that they were for "consensual man-boy love", and that the issue of what consituted "consent" was "up for debate". They further pressed the point and said that having an age of consent was un-anarchistic (!), and furthermore that many people were being persecuted and wrongly convicted for having consensual relationships with underage youth.

To say I was disturbed would be putting it mildly. I know the Trots [4th International] have this line - but does anyone else have it? Frankly this line is really embarassing and it makes me sick every time I encounter it.

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Sep 10 2007 00:10

rise

Urgh! The whole thing sounds awful - sorry you had to endure it!! sad

That paedo line isn't just embarrassing - it is sick and offensive and these are all either paedos themselves or the kind of weak, foolish and misguided people who will believe pretty much any old crap - as long as the right buzz-words are used. Do the 4th Int. really swallow this crap? They are even more misguided than i thought.

In future i think the right thing to do would be to nick all the offensive stuff off the table (including anything at all by Bey ) and burn it. black bloc (Obv. don't go alone. black bloc )

Love

LW XXX

Caiman del Barrio
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Sep 10 2007 01:09

Saii wrote a blog on paedophilia which I more or less agree with.

Now can admin please lock this thread before anyone finds it. Rise you may or may not know that paedophilia's one issue which simply can't be taken seriously on here, which is a pity, cos it's actually quite important to figure out an approach to it.

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Sep 10 2007 02:51
rise wrote:
They further pressed the point and said that having an age of consent was un-anarchistic (!), and furthermore that many people were being persecuted and wrongly convicted for having consensual relationships with underage youth.

I think the age of consent laws should be abolished and replaced by the formula (x/2 + 7) < y.

pgh2a
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Sep 10 2007 04:07

rise, stop oppressing the pedophiles. That conference sounds like a waste of space for its stated purpose. Though I do feel that abortion options (hopefully they actually work) and how to eat dead animals could be somewhat useful, it sounds like they were presented as part of a carnival of subculturals wink

Perhaps they can put the workshops into the next 'zine fair instead, and NAMBLA and Bey can hold a joint "autonomous zone" workshop on how to molest children.

j.rogue
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Sep 10 2007 04:44
revol68 wrote:
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Though I do feel that abortion options (hopefully they actually work)

Surely this DIY shit is just endemic of a retreat from politics into a pathetic DIY ethos, why not focus on mass campaigns to defend the right to abortion, so that it's accessible to for all women in safe environments rather than having to fuck about with homebrew kits like it's the fucking 1940's. I don't want any women I know having to use some fucking hippies recipe and instructions for a homebrew abortion sandwhiched inbetween an article about 'Loving your vagina' and shit poems about 'Mother nature'.

You should read about the history of the fight for abortion in the U.S., and maybe the notion of access to abortion in the hands of women will make more sense to you. I, myself, cringe when I see the info thrown around haphazardly, as getting it wrong can be quite dangerous, but where I live, abortions start at $500, so those of us on the broke side of things need options. And all the folks I know who engage in herbal abortion practices are out there, doing clinic defense, going to protests, working on access, etc etc, as well.

Feighnt
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Sep 10 2007 05:50

i'm terribly naive, but i'm a bit shocked to see them actually come out and defend pedophilia and nambla. i always just figured that folk who liked bey's (non-pedophile) writings just loved that stuff *so* much they tried to turn a blind eye to his pedophilia.

apparently, they knew quite well. and accept it. hm.

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Sep 10 2007 07:35

i know it's obvious to everyone here, but the fact that the age of consent is somewhat arbitrary doesn't logically mean there shouldn't be one. i mean it's not like the terrible oppressive capitalist state is going round locking up 16 year-olds with 15 year-old girlfriends en masse, although if they have sex it's technically rape. Of course, non sequiters are very handy if you want to fuck pre-pubescent kids in the name of anarchism.

yeah Saii's blog is pretty spot on iirc.

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Sep 10 2007 08:00
Joseph K. wrote:
i mean it's not like the terrible oppressive capitalist state is going round locking up 16 year-olds with 15 year-old girlfriends en masse, although if they have sex it's technically rape.

That said I'm sure I've read/heard about at least one young lad getting put on the sex offenders register as his partner was the wrong side of sixteen and he was the other.

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Sep 10 2007 08:07

yeah i'm sure it happens, but the vast majority of the time even the state manages to be far less letter-of-the-law than the NAMBLA lot claim - i mean i'd guess the instances of such 'rape' and subsequent legal action are at least 3 or 4 orders of magnitude apart, and yet there isn't the difficulty of establishing (lack of) consent there is with adult rape cases as the law just requires proof of sex (much easier). and even then, we're not talking about pre-pubescent kids getting fucked by 50 year-old beardy mystics, so there is an entirely different set of power relations at work and NAMBLA are drawing a false analogy.

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Sep 10 2007 08:41
rise wrote:
The coup de gras was an unofficial "guerilla workshop" [as they put it] held in the adjacent kitchen on "how to prepare and eat roadkill".
pghwob wrote:
how to eat dead animals could be somewhat useful

Thank god for that, being more urban than some of our American friends, I thought this was about cannibalism.

MJ wrote:
I think the age of consent laws should be abolished and replaced by the formula (x/2 + 7) < y.

What is somebody is 12*. Do the maths.

Devrim

*I didn't have sex at twelve, but there were girls in my class at school who were pregnant.

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Sep 10 2007 11:22
pghwob wrote:
rise, stop oppressing the pedophiles. That conference sounds like a waste of space for its stated purpose. Though I do feel that abortion options (hopefully they actually work) and how to eat dead animals could be somewhat useful,

That's a big fucking hope! DIY herbal abortions are dangerous, not properly tested, they don't work, and they can be lethal. I can't believe people can be allowed to promote this crap at "radical" events. You wouldn't let pharmaceutical company reps there, so why the snake oil salesmen?

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 11:23

A hippie herbalist saved my daughter all manner of physical discomfort, possibly some long term damage from reflux, and likely our family from bankruptcy. We'd probably still be traipsing from one specialist to another, without her help. (I was initially skeptical, but desperate enough to try it.) Medical doctors don't treat patients, they sell medicines. Market economics 101. So it really pisses me off to see herbalism grouped with pedophilia.

Moving on: If I am not mistaken, indecent exposure is a "sex offense". Get caught skinny dipping, go on the sex offender list for life (in the usa). So I wouldn't let a distaste for MBLA (ask any gun totin' good ole boy with a son or daughter, what he would do to a child abuser) blind us to the reality of the draconian measures being enacted by the state, to appease the Bush administration's fundamentalist constituency.

Of course, this may not be the forum for a serious discussion of the matters...

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 11:47

Also, it's painfully obvious (in the SE usa at least) that a 17 year old boy is more likely to be tried as an adult sex offender, if he is black and his 15 year old girlfriend is white. Which can be difficult to discern from news accounts, since the race of news subjects is routinely ignored. All in the interests of color blind objectivity, you know.

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Sep 10 2007 12:10
Randy wrote:
Medical doctors don't treat patients, they sell medicines. Market economics 101.

crass reductionism 101 - you think there aren't 'natural remedy' entrepreneurs? i've no problem with herbal remedies if they look good in double-blind RCTs, anecdote doesn't cut it with lives at stake.

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Sep 10 2007 12:13
Randy wrote:
Moving on: If I am not mistaken, indecent exposure is a "sex offense". Get caught skinny dipping, go on the sex offender list for life (in the usa). So I wouldn't let a distaste for MBLA (ask any gun totin' good ole boy with a son or daughter, what he would do to a child abuser) blind us to the reality of the draconian measures being enacted by the state, to appease the Bush administration's fundamentalist constituency.

Of course, this may not be the forum for a serious discussion of the matters...

yeah, but NAMBLA are using those concerns to promote fucking children. like saddam hussein really was a complete fucker, but i don't have any time for Bush's preaching about 'freedom and democracy' that has proved a treatment far worse than the disease

rata
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Sep 10 2007 12:23

When I was 16 I had sex with 31 years old woman. Will that be legal in libcom?

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Sep 10 2007 12:26

hmm lets see

31/2 = 15.5

+ 7 = 22.5

nope, you're a paedo.

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 12:28
Joseph K. wrote:
...
yeah, but NAMBLA are using those concerns to promote fucking children. ...

No shit? Point being, the Bush administration's fronting for it's racist, fundamentalist constituency (same as Nixon, Reagen ad naseum) is a major event in usa poltiical life. MBLA is a freak sideshow. Most folks have never heard of it.

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Sep 10 2007 12:37

Anarchism is hardly the word on everybody's lips either, and i think anarchists are entitled to get pissed off at people trying to appropriate their ideology to rationalise child abuse though.

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 12:39
Joseph K. wrote:
Randy wrote:
Medical doctors don't treat patients, they sell medicines. Market economics 101.

crass reductionism 101 - you think there aren't 'natural remedy' entrepreneurs? i've no problem with herbal remedies if they look good in double-blind RCTs, anecdote doesn't cut it with lives at stake.

Sooo, when the medical industry gives their approval to age old, time tested remedies, folks should give them a try, but not before? Don't hold your breath, the pharmaceutical companies will never allow it.

And bankruptcy via medial care is hardly anecdotal, either. Try reading about this thing called "a health care crisis". Like climate change, it's gotten so bad even the bourgeois media admits its existence!

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 12:43
Joseph K. wrote:
Anarchism is hardly the word on everybody's lips, i think people are entitled to get pissed off at people trying to appropriate their ideology to rationalise child abuse though.

Fine, be pissed off. I'll join you. One of my best friends used to regale us with tales of assaulting child molesters during his prison term.

But as political organizations, I would like to see us thinking in more relevant strategic terms, such as how best to oppose the fundamentalist tide.

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Sep 10 2007 12:44
Randy wrote:
Sooo, when the medical industry gives their approval to age old, time tested remedies, folks should give them a try, but not before? Don't hold your breath, the pharmaceutical companies will never allow it.

so when i write 'evidence' you read 'CORPORATIONS' - wtf? in what way does a randomised double-blind RCT equal 'the medical industry' - capital is more than happy to sell actual medicines and snake oil placebos, in matters of life and death i don't think asking for evidence is akin to blind faith in drug companies confused

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Sep 10 2007 12:47
Randy wrote:
Fine, be pissed off. I'll join you. One of my best friends used to regale us with tales of assaulting child molesters during his prison term.

But as political organizations, I would like to see us thinking in more relevant strategic terms, such as how best to oppose the fundamentalist tide.

yeah i don't think any anarchist organisations are organising against NAMBLA, let alone making them a strategic target. only thing i'm aware of is i think Freedom stopped carrying his books (iirc?).

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 13:02
Joseph K. wrote:
[...
yeah i don't think any anarchist organisations are organising against NAMBLA, let alone making them a strategic target. ...

But in the haste to distant themselves from NAMBLA (or whatever the acroynym is) some are making statements such as

Quote:
i mean it's not like the terrible oppressive capitalist state is going round locking up 16 year-olds with 15 year-old girlfriends en masse, although if they have sex it's technically rape.

Yes, that ishappening, though not (as you say) en masse. Worse, it is happening selectively. Depends on who your family is--money, social stauts, and yes, race-- whether or not you get prosecuted.

Randy
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Sep 10 2007 13:04
Joseph K. wrote:
...
so when i write 'evidence' you read 'CORPORATIONS' - wtf? in what way does a randomised double-blind RCT equal 'the medical industry' - ...

Pardon my ignorance. Who, aside from corporations and governmental bodies, performs these tests?

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Sep 10 2007 13:09

yeah sure, but like i say since it isn't happening en masse it isn't one of the major points of struggle - i mean the justice system is fucked - class-skewed, racist, you name it - in all sorts of ways. but i think if we are discussing it it's vital we differentiate ourselves from paedos, just like when discussing immigration it's important to distinguish ourselves from the far right or pro-cheap labour liberals.

edit: "it's vital we differentiate ourselves from paedos" - never thought i'd write that! tongue

rasputin
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Sep 10 2007 13:15

corporations and governmental bodies do all kinds of shit we need in order to survive, that it's done by Teh Man!!! doesn't automagically make it wrong. and I'd rather take something I have some reason to think will work than slurp fermented rat poo and hope for the best. this doesn't exclude natural remedies, it just means holding them to some standard of proof.

as regards age of consent: http://xkcd.com/314/ grin

oh, and paedos are shit.

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Sep 10 2007 13:20
Randy wrote:
Pardon my ignorance. Who, aside from corporations and governmental bodies, performs these tests?

going by the millions spent on 'alternative medicines' every year i don't think a lack of evidence is due to a lack of resources. in many cases (e.g. homoeopathy) there have been abundant trials that have shown it no better than a placebo - and homoeopathic remedies must be the perfect commodity (think of the mark-ups on pure water!) so if anything 'the medical industry' has a vested interest in pimping them.

so too with herbal remedies, if there's an active ingredient i'd be surprised if pharma companies weren't trying to identify it, concentrate it and sell it in pill form - to do that would require double-blind RCTs to establish an effect in the first place.

but even if all the gateways to evidence-based medicine are patrolled by corporations who filter out things they don't like (this is supposition as far as i'm aware, there may well be cases but i'm not sure it's the norm at all, let alone hegemonic), i'm still not happy to just take the advice of some random anarchist on anecdotal evidence, especially when they see e.g. herbal abortions as a point of political principle not a regrettable necessity.

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Sep 10 2007 13:26
Randy wrote:
Pardon my ignorance. Who, aside from corporations and governmental bodies, performs these tests?

This has to be a strong contender for "stupidest argument ever made on libcom."

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Sep 10 2007 13:35

Kids should be able to fool around with kids whenever they get the urge, and adults should stick to adults, its the inbetween zone thats kinda hard to nail down; thats why its so hard to nail down in the teens who is more adult or more child. Its different with every person, maturity cannot be pinned down to an age for all.

Speaking of reproductive justice; access to abortion is only half the issue as defined by white women's pursuit of their rights. Some of the most pressing issues for women of colour are protection from forced sterilization (or un-informed), forced abortion and lack of support for being a mother. There is a long history in the US atleast but probably Canada as well of women of colour being forcibly sterilized, this happened on massive scales to the black community and the indigenous population.

There are foundations in the US that support sterilization initiatives across the global south (third world). Control of women's bodies flows both ways, but is intimately tied to white supremacy as for choosing which women are desired by the social structure to have babies, and which babies people want to avoid. These developments are closely linked to capitalist expansion of markets and the anti-immigration movement in the US with ties to the right wing environmentalists.