Don’t Want to be Your “Second Pillar”: A Response to RED

from It’s Going Down

What follows is another essay on the ongoing dialog on syndicalism in the 21st Century. This essay in particular is a response to the Radical Education Department from the author of “Crafty Ghosts.”

The Radical Education Department, in their response to Nothing to Syndicate, asserts that Occupy, anti-ICE struggles, and anti-racist struggles were “almost always expressing precisely working class concerns”. This is blatantly untrue. ICE detainees generally identify first as migrants. Occupiers rallied in public parks, not workplaces. The unemployment rates in Ferguson were three times higher than the national rates. “Worker” is not an identity these people in revolt took for themselves, it is one that class-reductionist leftists foisted unto them.

RED might think that by spending the first half of their article describing a dynamic interrelationship between class and other identities and oppressive systemss they’ve thrown off the old “class reductionist” millstone, but we can see them pivoting away from those arguments before the conclusion. All their intersectional rhetoric unravels with statements like: “the resurging fascism in the US and beyond is only another step in a dynamic that lies at the very heart of capitalism,” and “we should not see recent uprisings as alternatives to worker struggle, but as channels into which working class radicalism is flowing”.

Since the situationists threw up “never work” tags in May of 68, social uprisings have been increasingly disinterested in letting “working class radicalism” flow through them. Leftitsts, please try to recognize this; people are not your ventriloquist dummies. Many understand their oppression and exploitation in terms that are NOT primarily economic, that do NOT involve identifying as workers, and while their ire may be aimed at the same wealthy elites as you, their relationship with those elites is often NOT mediated by a boss or a workplace hierarchy. Today, people find ourselves relating to our oppressors through police, ICE agents, prison guards, politicians, and, yes, internet aps.

Recognizing that digitization (and more importantly financialisation and precariatization) change people’s relationship with the mode of production is not “repeating the fever-dreams of the ruling class”, it is calling for an updated praxis.

 

Build the Revolution: Anarcho-Syndicalism in the 21st Century

from It’s Going Down

The Radical Education Department (RED) weighs in on the ongoing debate around syndicalism and organizing strategies, arguing that modern variations of syndicalism still offer powerful weapons for autonomous anti-capitalist struggles and movements.

Read and Print PDF HERE

Introduction

Anarchists are debating anarcho-syndicalism once again. If anarcho-syndicalism is a “ghost”—like some critics are claiming—it has proven extremely hard to exorcise. But it is something very different entirely.

The current debate was sparked by “Nothing to Syndicate,” which largely repeats standard criticisms of AS, some of the more recent of which can be seen here and here; see also the summaries here. Then came a critique of “Nothing” (“Aiming at Ghosts”), and then two replies defending the original piece (here and here). The debate has been fairly limited so far. The important first reply to “Nothing,” as well as the defenses that followed, have been wrestling over the details of the original piece. But what’s been missing is a comprehensive response to the original question. What does anarcho-syndicalism offer radicals in the 21st century US?

Some have given this kind of response to critics before, though often in more limited ways (like here). My goal is to go further and deeper. First, I give a systematic historical-materialist analysis of 21st century capitalism in the United States today: its basic drives, structures, and developments. Then I examine the profound limits facing anarchists and their revolutionary allies facing such conditions. (This section tacitly rejects the superficial analysis of the original article.)

And then I offer a vision of what anarcho-syndicalism has to offer. It is far from a ghost. It is a set of inherited, audacious, and sometimes conflicting experiments. Those experiments are still developing. (The ongoing evolution is obvious in more recent syndicalist praxis like green syndicalism and community syndicalism.)

I locate in AS explosive resources for our present—for moving past the fundamental limits of radical organizing today and building revolutionary power to strike at 21st century capital. Defending AS, I explore how its inner resources could be developed to meet the revolutionary needs of the moment.

Anarcho-syndicalism offers badly needed tools for building mass, durable, working-class autonomy inside and outside the workplace for the sake of the revolutionary overthrow of every institution of capitalist control. It is an idea whose time has come again.

Sabotages for Black December

Submission

Happy Holidays Motherfuckers!
We don’t know how to do Christmas. What do you give the greedy scrooges that already take everything? Instead of a goose, we gave gift cards up and glued into ATMs and locks.

*Sung to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas*
1 parking meter, 1 racist Starbucks, 1 Illegal Tacos
2 OCF cafes, 3 Citibike kiosks
5 realty offices, 110 ATMs

Except this wasn’t over 12 days it was in 1 night. This shit was fun and easy. Here’s some things to consider if you want to try this at home.
-Plan and dress for the weather.
-Set high goals.
-Watch each other’s backs.
-Invite more people to participate with you.
-If using cardboard instead of gift cards don’t drop it in a puddle.
-ATMs have high quality cameras, cover up well.
-Bring extra supplies in case an opportunity arises.
-Don’t blow up your spot, look jolly not grinchy.
-Many small groups can cover more ground than one big group.
-For information on sabotaging ATMs read these communiques.
https://phlanticap.noblogs.org/atm-attacks/ https://itsgoingdown.org/striking-back-banks-portland/

On Mikhail, on Alexis, on PZS, on Sebastian!

Solidarity with people facing repression near and far! Solidarity with the Vaughn 17!

Ten years since the insurrection in Greece!

For a Black December!

’Tis the season of rage!

Ghosts of No Christmas Future
Coordinated Cells of Grinches
War on Christmas
Ugly Christmas Sweater Moms

Report from End of the Year Critical Mass Ride on December 14.

Submission

I want to go over how the ride went and open a dialogue on the possibilities of bike demonstrations. Even though the demonstration was publicly called for, the location was not immediately posted online, police did not come to the starting location. The starting time of ride at 5PM was an excellent choice because the bikes could easily move through rush hour traffic and avoided a police tail for the entire ride. Police arrived at the end when people were gathered in the street blocking traffic for around 45 minutes. Some of the riders carried black and red flags, flares, or music. The colorful, loud, crowd drew attention in a way that wasn’t seen as threatening by most people on the street, which allowed for paint and flare throwing to take place in a setting without a hostile crowd. The ride went through multiple neighborhoods, disrupting traffic without sacrificing mobility. Chants against capital, and in memory of Pablo, an anarchist killed by a car while making food deliveries were shouted during the ride. During the ride I attempted to thrown paint balls at two symbols of capital. One against a Bank of America failed, the other was against a new luxury housing building. The former failed because I tried to thrown the paint ball from a moving bicycle, while the latter succeeded, that time I stopped and then threw. Throwing accurately from a moving bicycle is a lot harder than stopping for a moment and throwing. I don’t want to make the ride seem more confrontational than it was, most people in attendance were focused on making noise, slowing traffic, and bringing the memory of people killed by cars to the street.

Demonstrations on bikes seem underused among Philly anarchists and have potential for festive and offensive uses. An advantage of the bicycle demonstration is speed, it’s likely that police will not catch up with a demonstration moving through congested traffic faster than a car can. This can allow for offensive actions to be carried out across a large area without as much risk as a demonstration that marches. Using bikes brings up questions that aren’t addressing when marching on foot. The practice of anonymity is complicated when bicycles enter the picture, not everyone has extra anonymous bikes ready to use and potentially abandon. How can a bike be made nondescript?

Carrying the memory of the dead as a weapon
Furthering anarchist dialogue and action

Stand Against the Proud Boys on November 17th

from Philly IWW

The Philadelphia General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World voted unanimously at our October meeting to endorse Operation Pushback’s protest against the “We The People” rally hosted and endorsed by regional members of the Proud Boys and their paramilitary wing, the Alt Knights.

The Proud Boys seek to reinforce gendered, racial, and national divides among the working class, terminate financial aid for the poor, eliminate workers’ right to move to other countries, and deprive working-class women of employment and income so as to force them to become housewives. They openly glorify bosses and the rich (“entrepreneurs”) while misleading male workers into thinking they have common interests with wealthy men. They encourage chauvinist attitudes towards workers in other countries, inhibiting our ability to unify against multi-national corporations across borders by pitting workers in different countries against each other. For too long reactionaries have hidden behind “Free Speech” and “preserving the constitution,” but they do not sincerely want these freedoms and protections for the entirety of the population; they simply want to return to the days of white male supremacy and to maintain the rule of the wealthy.

The IWW, a pioneer of free speech advocacy, has long stood firmly against far-right hate groups, from the second Klu Klux Klan and the American Legion in the early twentieth-century to Vanguard America and the Proud Boys today. We call on all of our fellow union workers to join us on November 17th to let the Proud Boys know their semi-fascist rhetoric of hatred and militant sexism is not welcome in Philadelphia. If allowed to rampage around Philadelphia unchallenged the Proud Boys will commit hate crimes again. Please read the call from Operation Pushback, inform yourselves about the open hatred that the Proud Boys / Alt Knights espouse, and join us in the streets to celebrate a free and united Philadelphia.

As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation

from Google Calendar

A discussion with authors Zoe Samudzi and William Anderson.

In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay “The Anarchism of Blackness,” Samudzi and Anderson show the centrality of anti-Blackness to the foundational violence of the United States and to the racial structures upon which it is based as a nation. Racism is not, they say, simply a product of capitalism. Rather, we must understand how anti-Blackness shaped the contours and logics of European colonialism and its many legacies, to the extent that “Blackness” and “citizenship” are exclusive categories.

As Black As Resistance makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation.

When
Fri Jun 8, 2018 7pm – 9pm Eastern Time
Where
Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA (map)

All Out for Pablo

Submission

There was a call put out for a bike bloc to go” All Out for Pablo” and go all out we did. In response to our comrade Pablo Avendano being murdered by the gig economy relegating millenials to a precariat class, we set out on this bike bloc armed with bricks and ceramics. A car that was in a bike lane will need a new paint job after it met the force of our anger through a projectile brick. Pablo was murdered even though he was riding in a bike lane, it seems like drivers need to be reminded to stay the fuck out of our way. Pieces of brick were thrown at the windows of yuppie luxury condos, however the windows did not shatter :(. After the ghost bike memorial to Pablo, a fuck the police chant was started and a bank was attacked with bricks, unfortunately again the windows did not shatter. A mercedes benz was attacked with a piece of ceramic. Those scratches are probably costly $$$$, sorry not sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. A lock was thrown at the windows of the Law Enforcement Benefits office because fuck every LEO who has ever breathed (except Chris Dorner), unfortunately we missed the tiny windows. Some light barricades were built of tires and wooden police barricades, to stop traffic in commemoration of Pablo. This is a fun and interesting tactic to play with, a bunch of angry cyclists attacking capital and anything that gets in their way, moving swiftly in all black attire. It can also be said that many people who did not participate in the attacks did participate in the barricade building, showing that a few folx demonstrating the possibility of conflictuality can spread to others who may want to express their emotions in a more confrontational manner. Some set backs were our aim and force, it is difficult to throw things effectively and hit targets at a distance from the back of a bike, but this situation was more a test of the waters for this kind of action in broad daylight in Philly. Hopefully more rowdy black clad bike rides happen in Philly for less somber occasions.

We claim these actions with hate in our hearts for the bourgiosie and the cops who protect their dying world, and in commemoration of Pablo. May you rest in power comrade. We also act in solidarity with All prisoners in commemoration of June 11th. Until all prisons are ash we will never stop fighting.

May this dying society tremble at our anger, in it’s destruction may we find joy. Every time their society kills one of us, we will attack them with furious revenge in our hearts and a wild fire in our eyes. Our future is already dead, but in the rubble of modernity may we be able to live in the now.

-N0 0N3

HAPPY MAY DAY

Submission

The mindless nothingness of the morning work commute was a fine place to remind the drones that
WE DON’T WANT THEIR JOBS
WE DON’T WANT THEIR WORLD
FUCK CAPITALISM
HAPPY MAY DAY


Anti-Work Banner Over Highway

from instagram:

Someone really needs to quit their job. #mymorningcommute #philadelphia #goodmorning #goodidea

Have a great summer!

Submission

Happy May Day y’all. Since public marches aren’t quite our thing, we decided to head out into the night to cause some trouble as soon as the clock struck 12 am, May 1st. We wandered throughout the side streets of brewery town, giving plenty of those nice new Resnik developer buildings some much needed paint jobs, smashing windows is always a good time, but for this little adventure, we felt that it would cause just as much damage and cost as much money to fix if we painted their windows a nice sleek shade of black. We also took the time to sabotage their locks in a bunch of fun, easy to reproduce ways. On the way, we also stumbled across the vehicle of a yuppie “clean energy” company. We figured this would look much better with some big black streaks on it so we gave it a sweet paint job (free of charge of course). Hope that’s a friendly reminder that we don’t give a fuck about your capitalist version of sustainable future and more importantly, stay the fuck outta our hoods with your ugly gentrified houses.

We went on this little adventure with the memories of the anarchists slain both in the labor struggles in Haymarket square, and for those murdered in the struggle against domination, the memory of their attacks  have warmed our hearts and fueled our mischievous deeds. We also took these actions in memory of David Jones who was murdered by the terrorist pig Ryan Pownell, and in solidarity with those struggling against Temple’s new stadium, and our comrades arrested on May Day last year.

The Summer of Rage has begun! Get your sun screen on because it’s gonna be a hot one! From May 1st-September 21st, every troublemaker, criminal, anti fascist, crime-doer, and anti-authoritarian is invited to join the Summer of Rage Anarchist Crew. Plan some free picnics for your community, paint some fun slogans and pictures on those boring city walls, break whatever you want, have a bonfire with whoever you want wherever you want and most importantly, remind our friends at OCF, Resnik Developers, and all their little gentrifying buddies that Philly belongs to us. Have a great summer
-SORAC