“She Is An American Worker And Her Life is Not Her Own”

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

I talked to her because I knew her experience was shared by many, including myself, and would unfortunately continue to be shared long after the both of us were dead and buried.

You’ve probably seen Tara Johnson before. She’s a young black woman in her early 30’s, always smiling, and eager to help customers at the grocery store she works at. Since 2001 she’s helped maintain the store’s “friendly” image, a cheerful employee who gets up every day before the sun does, like a machine. Behind her smile lies a hidden story, one that seeps out in the tired way she walks or the exasperated way she speaks.

She is an American worker and her life is not her own.

“4 to 2’oclock. 4 am to 2pm, let’s say that.” That’s Tara’s everyday schedule, a week she describes as “extremely rough.” When she gets home she either passes out due to exhaustion or lingers on to pick up her girlfriend’s daughter and do homework.

Like most Americans, Tara spends the majority of her time in service to someone else. Americans work longer hours than anyone else in the world: 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers, all without any of the usual benefits the working class is allotted elsewhere; totally alien concepts like setting the maximum length of the work week, the global average of 20 paid vacation days, or even a parental leave benefit seem more like fairy tales than a possible political priority. Tara’s girlfriend still can’t afford healthcare, why waste the time and tears imagining a vacation?

Most people in the United States can’t imagine anything beyond work, a full 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females in America putting in more than 40 hours per week. Many do so across multiple jobs, barring them from overtime pay and leaving little time for anything beyond the bottom rungs of Maslow’s pyramid. Tara’s girlfriend works about the same hours she does, scrubbing apartments on top of cooking, cleaning, and raising a child. “She definitely got two jobs,”says Tara. “No doubt.”

Even with all this work, all this time devoted to anything other than themselves, half of non-retired adults (49%) said they were not confident they’d be financially secure enough to retire.

“A lot more people working similar hours and struggling,” she said.  “I can easily count out 10 right now, and that’s me not even thinking about it. Majority have kids.” She describes the life of the average American as one where you “do enough so you can pay ya’ bills and then die.”

Numbers do little to capture this reality. Facts and figures can’t accurately portray the sadness that drips from the faces I see, the shoulders perpetually bowed and wearied. I watch young people at the height of their health spend lightless days inside buildings, running from one workplace to the next all just to break even.

Scarcely fifty years ago Tara might have owned her own house, participated in a political organization, or even studied necromancy and how to awaken the Dead. Her life would have been far from ideal, especially as a woman of color, but certain benefits like time would have at least been around. Rough jobs with long hours have always existed, but they usually pay better because they’ve never been the norm.

Today even time has become a luxury under the American workload; “living” means little when you’re too tired to get off the couch. Tara and her girlfriend struggle to carry out a normal relationship, to make time for one another as a couple and as individuals.

She sees the problem everywhere. “Everybody’s too tired to do anything nowadays.” She’s crouched on the floor, opening boxes. “Work so many damn hours. Plus if you have children.”

20171019_081333

“Do you have any time to do anything for yourself?” I asked her. She paused for a while, greeting a customer as they walked by.

“Not at all. Maybe… maybe take a shower.” she says. “Watch a few tv channels, that’s it. Sleep, go home, go to work.” Once a month, if she’s very lucky, she tries to play basketball, a sport she once loved as a child, “but who has time for that?” Tara looks at me with eyes that ache, resignation pouring off her body. “Now you gotta pay bills so you gotta work.”

For nearly two-thirds of the U.S. labor force this is the only world they’ll ever know.

And by the gods, I’m one of them….

(Read the rest here)

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CNN Thinks Concern About Police Brutality Nothing More Than Russian ‘Meddling’

In what surely might go down as the penultimate symbol of everything vile about the Capitalist press CNN has alleged that concern for black lives harmed by police brutality is nothing more than a Russian psyop.

In a sputtering report that Donie O’Sullivan and Dylan Byer actually got paid to write, the “journalists” allege that “One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Pokémon Go and even contacted some reporters in an effort to exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans”

Of course! The ole’ highlight-actual-problems-that-people-are-being-killed-for bit, how dastardly! I mean if the police, you know, weren’t wantonly killing black people on a daily basis maybe this international subterfuge wouldn’t be an issue, but that’s not the narrative being pushed here.

Dare I ask what evidence CNN has to back up the outlandish tale that Russians were “meddling” in American affairs through a video game?

“CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the contest, or whether any of the Amazon Gift Cards that were promised were ever awarded — or, indeed, whether the people who designed the contest ever had any intention of awarding the prizes.”

Even dismissing the idiotic Pokemon go theory, what is CNN alleging? The big crime, indeed the whole theme of the investigation, is that the Russians are trying to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans.”

That’s right folks. Those damn Ruskies have the NERVE to point at the gross system of white supremacy that kills people, the same system that’s already gained international attention and caused other countries to issue advisories to people traveling here:

“Roughly 90% of Bahamas’ population is black — and young men were singled out to take special caution.

‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration has taken a note of the recent tensions in some American cities over shootings of young black males by police officers…In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police.”

And of course CNN seems to have forgotten the 117 countries who “meddled” in American affairs when the UN Human Rights Council chastised the US over its epidemic of racially based executions in May of 2015, a story that made international headlines yet failed to get any play by the “impartial” and “objective” American media.

Funnily enough these same reporters never seem to call any investigation and publication THEY DO as “meddling.” No no, that’s simply good journalism, and if Saudi Arabia deemed an American piece on its terrible human rights record as “the work of internet trolls” we’d all double over with laughter.

This trash by CNN is the perfect highlight of what American “journalism” really is. We’re confronted with the outlines of a wholly subjective and military-minded press corps, a broad ecosystem of talentless hacks parroting whatever narratives get handed down from the White House in exchange for access and continued privileges. CNN will never turn against the wealthy or their pet politicians because it needs them to survive; it will sit quietly when Trump beats them like a mangy dog because it doesn’t dare stray too far from the “accepted standards” of American journalism, a code word for never probing too far or asking too many questions as long as your subject has an American flag on their lapel.

CNN, just like every other capitalist mouthpiece, is not in the business of printing the truth. It is in the business of making money, and to do so it will swallow the hot load of anyone in power. Today CNN labels attempts to draw attention to our system of white supremacy as “meddling” because it serves the capitalists in power, tomorrow with the flick of a keyboard and a thumbs up from the White House they’ll refer to people seeking to end that system as “extremists” and “terrorists.”

When CNN got caught allowing officers from the army’s psychological operations division to write news stories where was the “outrage” over “meddling?” Where was the integrity to The Truth while CNN’s chief news executive systematically covered up stories of Iraqi atrocities for a decade, all to maintain CNN’s Baghdad bureau?

There is something ghastly and terrible about the idea that far away in some corporate office someone is sitting down for another workday, knowing full well they are being paid to lie and deceive on a massive scale. They drive a car better than you and I, they eat better than you and I, and as they gaze up at a journalism degree their parents paid for they can kick back with the top-shelf alcohol of their choice and feel absolutely nothing.

“You mean Russians were trying to draw attention to police violence? Black children bleeding to death on dirty streets?” He uncorks the twelve -year old Glenlivet. “Sounds like a damn good angle for an anti-Kremlin piece. Really push that ‘fake-news’ bit. Get me 1,000 words and be ready for video by 4pm. By the way, when are you taking your vacation?”

We peons sweat and die in the gutter, doomed to lives of “service” and personality amputation, while full-blown liars fit only to have their teeth bashed in with wrenches collect a hefty salary.

If that doesn’t make you a revolutionary, I don’t know what will.


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Rise of the Radical Reporter

(Originally published at Specter Rouge)

Anarchists have a long and bloody road through human history, filled with broken barricades and squats with busted windows; we fought a war in the 30’s, struck fear into governments, and created invisible networks of accomplices across continents. But times have changed, and Anarchists are only now beginning to adapt to a battlefield full of orbiting satellites, fascists blending memes with occult techniques, and a presidential twitter that determines foreign policy.

Take for instance the morning of October 2’nd, where the conservative media began spreading rumors that an “antifa chapter” was responsible for the largest mass shooting in American history.[1] As soon as the attack had been made, indeed before the bullet-ridden corpses began to cool, a constellation of fake facebooks, twitters, and “journalists” began to use the tragedy however they could to frame a simple argument: clearly this shooting at a country music concert is the work of leftist terrorists, and if it isn’t they sure do wish it was.

Ridiculous. Stupid. Yet it worked. Paul Joseph Watson, the man who honest to god thinks conservatism is “the new counterculture,” was quick to write an article about one individual on twitter who hoped “only Trump supporters got shot.” The title? “LEFTISTS CELEBRATE ‘WHITE TRUMP SUPPORTERS’ BEING KILLED IN LAS VEGAS MASSACRE“[2]. To the thousands of willing, voting, and probably armed Americans it didn’t matter that these posts meant literally nothing in the grand scheme of things. They saw a headline that told them Leftists were cruel, evil monsters that wanted them dead. That emotional reaction and mental signature will remain in their head every time they see that word or a person who bears the title. 4chan would join the effort, and exhort channers to “push the shooter was a commie on all social media.”[3]

Consider a headline put out by CNN, as Spanish cops who had been seen doing fascist salutes beat elderly people with impunity at the Catalonian vote for independence. Reporters described it as “clashes”[4] between protesters and cops, no doubt hinting to those digesting the story that clearly the two sides had been fighting each other. We don’t call the rape of a woman a “clash” between her and the perpetrator, yet in an uneven tone the article hints not to trust our lying eyes; that there must be some reason, some good cause, as to why that policeman in riot gear is throwing an old lady down a flight of stairs.

The list goes on. A nazi rally that beats the piss out of black people is a “peaceful march” while a kicked over trash can  is a “dangerous riot.” “Good people,” versus “sons of bitches.”

These headlines and articles all serve an important function: the viewer, seeking to understand what is happening around them, ingests not just a story but the framing and narrative of the story. Even something as bland as the BBC has an agenda, and every time that article is shared or read that agenda flashes in the skull of those ingesting it.

You may not be able to convince people to read the “truth” of your choice, but you sure as shit can get them to read the macabre and horrifying tale of for-profit prisons. And when you slip in lines like this:

Dehumanization is the point of it all, both for the entrapped and the onlooker. Shrieks ring out from Human Factory Farms, wailing people trapped in cages and gnawing on one another in between working for pennies. Long enough and they become lost, twisted and mangled living corpses who’ve internalized the system that devoured them. Their cries mix with the howls of cops roaming the streets, rabid bloodhounds hunting for families that escaped the end of slavery only to suffer it again. They kill with impunity and the people are powerless, shielded behind the idea that so much evil is needed. Natural. Always been this way, always had. Humans becoming cattle, individuals becoming dollars.”[5]

you can be damn sure the details of your particular ideology, if only for a moment, was successfully ingested and imagined by the reader.

The world is at war. We have the bodies, we are building organizations, and by the gods we are getting militant. What we don’t have is an Anarchist press capable of singing their praises, eulogizing their heroes, or pointing out just how goddamn awful the world is their trying to destroy.

We need a new front in the global insurrection. We need Radical Reporters.

The Future Was Yesterday. 

The revolution in media has gone largely unnoticed by the average anarchist. The established newshouses, whose words were once believed to be the gold standard for “the truth” are falling apart. The New York Times is renting out floors in a building it can barely afford[6] while Breitbart News, an agency almost 100% online and whose editor actually held office in Trump’s White House, reaches millions and was read daily by the president himself[7]; Occupy Democrats, with a reach of 300 million a week, claim they “want to give people the ammunition to engage in meme warfare” in an age where 45% of Americans get their news from Facebook[8].

40 years ago what we believed to be true came from someone in an office, at a desk, and with a salary. Now it’s whoever has the means, the style, and the time.

Think about that for a moment. I mean really, stop and think about. For the first time the state doesn’t have a monopoly on interpreting reality. White Supremacists, rogue Democrats, and tea party hopefuls have seized the opportunity by the kidneys and shotgunned their message and their reach.

Where’s the Anarchist equivalent?

Presently I’m writing this article from a beat-up leather chair missing an arm, a guest in a local tattoo shop. The artist, bearded and telling us about his hurricane experiences, changes subject and jokes about Special K. I have no degree and am guided by only a crude criminal instinct and books like Storycraft by Jack Hart.[9] The field is wide open and the people are hungry. I aim to write, as Novatore described, not as a demagogue, but as a inciting element, not as an apostle, but as a living, effective, destructive force…”[10]

Ole’ Bonsey will be spitting venom from the madhouse of Florida until the cops take me or break me. There’s no reason you can’t either.

I suppose the field isn’t completely vacant. We have a few sites discussing Anarchist “news” but it’s mostly about what we do rather than the world we’re combating; combine that with the acres of treatises on Anarchist sewer systems or idealized societies and you’ll quickly realize we’re woefully outgunned in an information-equivalent of an Old West shoot out:

The camera zooms in on the white nationalist press, firing shell after shell into the tottering body of mainstream conservatism. A club wielded by a “civic nationalist” smashes his skull and sprays brain-matter everywhere. The nationalist, who claims to not be racist yet sure as hell supports the killing of black people by police, picks up the rifle and begins labeling anything outside Peronism as “liberal” and “for cucks.” Across the street establishment Democrats and Huffington Post columnists use flamethrowers to smear anything beyond a “Chelsea Clinton 2020” campaign as “crazy” or “Alt Left.” As the camera pans down from the flames we’re taken deep into the sewers where spies dressed as fake Antifa accounts, throw grenades at anything sure to cause carnage, gleefully hoping their disguise inspires the troops they themselves cheer for to greater acts of brutality.

Above it all a zeppelin drops bombs of doubt on the idea of climate change, making sure all those fighting below ignore the fact the planet itself will boil them alive.

Magic Words That Bend Reality

Is it any wonder they won’t let me so much as sniff around a newspaper office? But that’s okay, because I’m not here to sell adspace in the Hometown News or do stories of cat parades and bake sales. If Anarchists are truly prepared for a revolutionary opportunity, if they really want an actual revolution and not activism, they would do well to pay attention to the thousands of American soldiers employed in Psychological Operations, the well-paid journalists capitalists keep on the payroll, or the fact that the forces in Rojava actually have soldiers dedicated to making memes.[11]

Hunter S. Thompson saw much the same purpose in gonzo journalism:

There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it ‘vengeful’ and ‘primitive’ and ‘perverse’ regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. ‘That kind of stuff is opinion,’ they say, ‘and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.’ Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends….In my case, using what politely might be called ‘advocacy journalism,’ I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.”[12]

Writing, reporting, journalism, all these aren’t just “things” but literal weapons we need to employ to ensure the field of affinity expands. Every moment of existence experienced by humanity is being broadcast 24 hours a day on devices most people always have at arm’s reach. I want those people to hear about something and reach for an Anarchist experience of it because if it isn’t, you can sure as shit bet it’s somebody else’s.

Journalists determine, in one flick of a keyboard, who the “hero” was, who the “bad guys” are, and what’s going on under the surface. They determine whether a riot is seen as the work of “thugs” and “outside agitators” or the justified uprising of an oppressed and exploited people. Describing someone as “idealistic,” “level-headed,” or “dirty with yellow-stained teeth” will either shut down or build-up an audience even before they know what was said.

That’s incredible power we can’t afford to give away.

Who will take the reins? The enemy? The white nationalists and militant forces of state ideology already lie about us. We are not here to impress or sway the individuals who would spend their free time hunting and persecuting us. But what of the common folk, the ones who gather around water coolers and talk about what they’ve heard on the news?

“You hear about those kids in California?”

The moustached man shakes his head. “Yeah, everybody has. So what do you think?”

“Well,” says the reader, pushing her fingers through her hair. “I think the world’s gone nuts.”

“Oh yeah.”

“But I can’t say these people don’t have an argument.”

“You too?”

“You’ve seen the news!”

“Yes! Quiet! Jesus, somebody’s going to hear you. I’ve been reading some of their stuff.”

“And?”

“And…well. I..I think they have the right idea. You know my cousin…:”

Whether you’re an individualist or socially-oriented such a situation holds extreme opportunity. For the daring a fertile field to swim in, a warm pool of sympathy and resources to further their own madcap existences; for the wider world the probability, on an almost mathematical level, that revolution increases in likelihood.

Where our philosophies may differ the field we wish them to operate in is the same. That’s about as much goddamn “left unity” you’re going to get in the real world. Why not roll with it?

Journalism doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be dry. We won’t ever get the office or the nice chair so we might as well do things our way. The doors and dreams we were fed as children are closed to us. Do what you can with what you have, and even if you’re writing one article a month because you’ve been worked to the bone you’re still doing something. Good reporting doesn’t need to be about triangle leads, naked facts, or sentences that sound like two pieces of dried wood rubbing up against each other. It can be fast and loud, big and mean, inspiring and warming and something that sounds like the bright song you’ve carried in your heart.

What did that sunrise coming over the horizon feel like? What did it mean?

What grim horror did you see in her eyes?

When he said he’d “never smelled anything like it” how did his body move?

Is the victim a lifelong gambler or a puritan? Is this unexpected? Par for the course? Why?

Details, life, everything and everything. If we can’t get the money and we can barely get the time we can at least put out stories more beautiful, more powerful, and all the more effective than the mainstream media or the psyops officer fresh from vacation.

If we lose, and make no mistake victory is far from assured, these tender and caustic thoughts may be all that’s left of us. As the planet changes and capitalism rises into space with machines for every purpose, those left coughing on the global desert will at least leave artifacts for the next civilization after our own.

We tried, reads a broken message on a rusty computer, and even with the best intentions it wasn’t enough. Never take the world that’s in your head for the world around you, and for god’s sake never put on a uniform!

So there it is, an open invitation. I’m too deep in a word addiction to ever let go. I’m going to continue to spit and howl at every injustice this world throws in my face as long as I’m wandering about in the World of the Living.

Hope to see you on the road.


 

[1]https://twitter.com/Ole_Bonsey/status/914853322393358337. Accessed 10/3

[2]https://www.infowars.com/leftist-teacher-celebrates-white-trump-supporters-being-killed-in-las-vegas-massacre/. Accessed 10/3

[3]https://twitter.com/broderick/status/914813878982332416. Accessed 10/3

[4]http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/10/01/spain-catalonia-referendum-vote-riot-police-soares.cnn. Accessed 10/3

[5]https://godsandradicals.org/2017/05/30/banish-the-police-and-burn-the-prisons/. Accessed 10/4

[6]https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-16/new-york-times-to-sublease-headquarters-space-in-revenue-search. Accessed 10/4/17

[7]http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37109970. Accessed 10/3

[8]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-jarvis/from-media-to-memes-lesso_b_11363938.html. Accessed 10/3

[9]Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Non-fiction by Jack Hart. University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (October 12, 2012)

[10]http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/renzo-novatore-anarchist-individualism-in-the-social-revolution. Accessed 10/4

[11]https://theoutline.com/post/2052/making-memes-in-a-warzone. Accessed 10/3

[12]Better than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie by Hunter S Thompson. Ballantine Books (August 22, 1995)

 

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Catalonia is a Weapon

withyermind

(Originally Published at Gods & Radicals)

“We do not only participate in insurrections led by anarchists but also in all the other insurrections that have the characteristics of the people in revolt, even if for some reason it is our future enemies, the Stalinists, that are leading them….

The revolutionary struggle is like a stormy sea against which to struggle would be vain folly, it is necessary to adapt ourselves to the direction of the waves, to swim sometimes strongly and sometimes lightly, to grasp the impetus of life which the sea hides within it to reach the desired goal.” – Alfredo M. Bonanno,“Why Insurrection”

The hour is 12:00am on a warm and windless Florida night, as I pace the room and chew on toothpicks. 4,636 miles away in Catalonia an uneasy calm hangs in the balance. Catalonia, rather than declare independence, has asked Spain to give it to her. Spain, ever prideful, calls this blackmail and “will not allow it.” The fight is far from over and now we wait, a spaceship with an unknown trajectory hurtling towards a future as yet undecided; swirling tendrils of quantum possibility slowly solidifying into manifested reality even as I type these words. Is nobody else kept up by standing hairs as the spirits whisper of chaos and madness?

No, perhaps it’s just me… perhaps the only way to truly understand the potential of Catalonia is with a Wizard’s eye.

History Doesn’t Repeat Itself But It Does Tend to RhymeTurpentine_workers_in_Florida

The Occultist views time very differently from your average meat-popsicle, and tends to drift to an alien, perhaps even cosmic, view on the nearby effects of distant actions. Take the time I’d lit a candle to soothe red-hot tensions between my wife and her mother, swaying and chanting as I felt “something” literally crawl down the air and hit the fire like an atom bomb.

“Dear GOD!” I shouted, falling over and shaking with sweat, unsure how but knowing on a cellular level the spell had already worked. The candle was barely lit, I had planned two more rounds of prayers, but none of that seemed to matter; out there in the distance of the future, a place right next-door if it wasn’t for my three-dimensional limitations, I could feelthe success leak back to me.

A few moments later things begin to crack. Viscous words, slammed doors. Had I been wrong? After an hour of war they sit down and talk, the earlier screams forcing long ignored issues to the surface. Discussion, agreement, peace. The spell had worked far beyond my expectations.

I knew it would, I just didn’t know the how. I keep my eye on the big picture and let reality design the details. Catalonia yearning for a boss in Barcelona is a finger pointing at the bigger picture.

A common mistake observers have made is believing Catalonia has been seeking independence only recently, that autonomy is nothing more than a shiny new prize for the drooling bourgeois in Barcelona. While there is no doubt independence offers lucrative financial opportunities, Catalonia has been hungry for self-rule since 1640, when the region first revolted against Spain and placed itself under the protection of Louis XIII of France. Since then Catalonia has long desired to be under its own command and militantly rebelled. This historic trend will continue regardless of how the events in Spain play out.

Let us be clear however: this is by no means a leftist or Anarchist revolution. While anarchist unions took a leading role in the General Strike on Oct 3rd and the Catalan parliament seems intent on passing progressive laws, this is far from a radical movement. Catalonia desires a republic, a dog-and-pony show where the local wealthy can fully call the shots without an honest-to-god King butting in. If anything this is a move to a more comfortable status quo: people will be free from the police of Madrid so long as they swear to obey the ones in Barcelona.

Even if Catalan elections were swept by the ghost of Marx no elected power could challenge the Masters of the Eurozone. Have we forgotten the horrible horsewhipping that was Syriza?

“In a nationwide referendum just last Sunday, nearly 62 per cent of voters rejected an austerity deal that had been offered by the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

There were scenes of wild jubilation across the country…

Fast forward just a few days, however, and Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, did the unthinkable… They will now have to accept a package that is even harsher than the one that was rejected in the referendum, to the tune of about €4 billion…

‘I feel like a slave. They do what they want, and we can’t participate.’”

Nothing Says “Democracy” Quite Like Riot Cops

trumpflag

So the “freedom” of Catalonia is out. What then? Is there anything here Anarchists can support or decry?

The massive police response to the vote for independence should be duly noted and filtered into propaganda without delay: Spanish cops beat more than 900 prospective voters for daring to voice an opinion. Does this not prove that the edicts of the government are more important to the dogs in uniform than the will of the people? Is there anything quite as vile as declaring an opinion “illegal” while invoking “the Law” to dropkick women and children?

When I see cops beating workers I don’t need to wonder which side I’m on; like an armadillo and a six-lane highway any cop and I are keenly opposed to one another. The entire policing institution is the most brutal expression of state-enforced dehumanization. Everything about it reeks of slavery. Again this is what States do regardless of size or shape; if the Catalan Republic decides its interests are at stake there is no question they’d do the same. The borders of nationhood are merely a fence for the human cattle who exist at the whim of capital and the politicians that represent them.

What of the EU, the enlightened and rational government that everyone insists must not be dissolved? Have they stopped the violence? Do they support the “popular will” or vision of the actual human beings the Spanish state claims to represent? If there were any lingering questions to how thoroughly un-democratic the EU actually is, just remember they are siding with a monarch who fails to see the irony in calling the independence vote “a mockery of democracy.”

 

 

 

(Read the rest here)

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Interview with Revolutionary Left Radio on the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) & Insurrectionary Political Violence

Content Warning: Descriptions of violence and sexual assault. Please be advised.

NSA Disclaimer: Revolutionary Left Radio and Dr. Bones do not advocate the use of political terrorism, the initiation of violence, or the breaking of any laws. This is a scholarly, journalistic approach to the theory and history of the FAI, not advocacy of them or their methodology.

Now that that’s out of the way please enjoy the wonderful discussion I had with Brett regarding the FAI (the Informal Anarchist Federation), the planets most die-hard and dangerous Anarchists. We discuss both the theories and ideas that motivate them, as well as some Direct Action they’ve committed.

Topics Include: Political terrorism, Propaganda of the Deed, Antifa, the history of insurrectionary anarchism, Red Brigades, Nihilism, Cell Structure, and much more.

The new outro music is “Red and Black” by The String-Bo String Duo which you can find here: https://tsbsd.bandcamp.com/album/smash-the-state-distribute-bread

Their FB: https://www.facebook.com/thestringbostringduo/

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What Poor People Do In A Hurricane

(Originally Posted at Gods & Radicals)

Turpentine_workers_in_Florida

I wonder how long I’ll be able to see the moon like this, every store and workshop closed by the fist of the goddess Irma. The night shift has been abolished and I’m playing outside with my friends simply because I can. I know it’ll end eventually, that the power will come back, so I’ve got to write down what it feels like. I have to remember what people are like after a hurricane, when the poor have nothing but each other to rely on. I have to remember how that girl almost got kidnapped and how big the blade was that saved her life. Have to remember before the commercials come back and I’m made to wonder how I lived without them. Have to remember…have to remember….

NIGHT OF
Temperature 77 Degrees

As the wind howls around us I can’t help but stare into the street. From torn and slightly battered black drapes I watch a world thought indestructible brought to a standstill. There are no shops open, no lights on, and nobody in the street save for the few police officers driving threateningly by, intent on making sure they don’t surrender their power; even here in the middle of the storm the vague promise of force looms in an attempt to keep the proles off the streets.

“Jesus CHRIST,” a loud slam startles me and turns my head from the window. “Did you hear that?”

“Is it something on the roof? Is the roof being hit with something?” My wife is in bed and packing a bowl, her hands moving from cellphone light to the darkness surrounding us. Green flashes pierce through the holes in curtains, the flames of another blown transformer obscured by sideways shooting rain.

“It’s….it’s the fucking tree. That oak next to the house, it’s slamming into it.”

“Are we going to be okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. As long as it doesn’t spawn any tornados. A little earlier I thou-LOOK! Look there! Hooooly shit look at that.” A sudden gust of wind rips a fence through the river that used to be our driveway, branches following like launched projectiles. The air doesn’t howl but screams, as if the very act of dragging itself along the land was painful.

As we stood in awe I struggle to take notes under the candles. No written description can capture the full gravity of what a hurricane is. 

Folks who’ve never tasted alligator and never will like to believe a hurricane is just like any other big storm. Nothing could be further from the truth. A tornado strikes out of nowhere, disappears and leaves a confused or dead populace; a blizzard pours sheets of sleet and snow but never gains a personality, never gains a spirit.

A hurricane is a different beast entirely. From the moment it is born on the coast of Africa it is named, tracked, and plotted by nearly 20 million Floridians, an energetic focus that might convince most chaos magicians to call it a goddess. It is alive, in every sense of the term, and power is added to it with each word spoken in hushed tones of fear and worry. A hurricane lingers long after the damage it leaves behind. Big storms will be spoken about like dragons seen once in a lifetime, plywood saved for the inevitable next storm bearing the names of previous combatants; these wood shields are often scrawled with dire prayers for the storm to spare them or intimidating calls to “go fuck yourself.”

There we were, members of the same species that dared to walk on the moon, huddled in darkness as wind and water took everything we built for its own. We don’t have money for plywood, and we can’t afford a generator. Whether we live or die may be a forgone conclusion. All we can do is arrange the details.

Or to put it another way, Hurricane Irma is now “the boss.”

“If it gets like that again for more than three minutes we need to go into the downstairs bathroom. That last gust had to be 130. If it stays that way for a set amount of time that’s a fucking tornado.”

Primeval conditions have brought about the abandonment of the merchant class’ territory. Everything seemed open to possibility. I wanted to be out there, wanted to do many things I could never write about publicly, the creative urge to destroy drowning my senses like a beach at high tide. I couldn’t shake the feeling that under this liminal time between worlds scores could be settled and new powers seized. Irma had, if only temporarily, halted Capital in ways most Anarchists could only dream of.

Instead I spent my time running downstairs to fervently mop the water coming up from the floor tiles and the streams of rain pouring through my door. We squeezed out mops by hand and cleaned what we could in the light of small flames; at one point we both held the windows, fearful of them flying away or breaking.

We paced and whispered as the candles flickered, trapped in the structure we were surrounded with. We could only monitor the leaks, tape the holes, and stare out at a watery and hostile realm where streets used to be. Through it all bangs, cracks, and snaps kept our anxiety at a max, hopes and prayers rising that whatever was making the noise would do no permanent damage to my jeep outside. If the gods were cruel we’d be unable to get cheap food or enjoy ac on the way to work; if they were kind I could continue to pay insurance and fear a rogue cop’s ticket destroying the meager savings we depended on.

After awhile it all became too much, and we flopped into bed, putting our faith in whatever dice rolls the spirits had in store for us. I remember praying, right before my eyes closed and I wiped sweat from my brow, that “someone” would watch over us.

BOOM BOOM BOOM

What. The. FUCK. Was. That? What time is it? 3:30am? No no doll, just wait. Let me listen. See? Nothing. Probably just a tree. Now if it were to happen again-

BOOM BOOM BOOM

FUCK! Okay, okay, who is that? Look at that wind! Those trees! That was a piece of goddamn fence right there, nobody’s out in that. What? The two-meth heads that tried to break into a neighbors house. You think? Or maybe the guy who robbed the elderly couple in broad daylight at the mall before that? Decided to try his luck under the cover of Irma? Who else would be out knocking on doors at 3:30am in the middle of a goddamn hurricane?

“What are you doing?” my wife asks as I make my way to the closet.

“Nothing,” I say, “nothing at all.” Six rounds slip into my revolver. “I’m just going to see who’s at the door. Might be somebody who needs my help.”

Silently head downstairs. Draped in darkness, nothing but memory and a heightened sense of adrenaline to guide me. I peer out the front door’s peephole. Nothing, nothing at all. Must have left. I’ll just go back-

BOOM BOOM BOOM!

Okay you fucks, here goes. Carefully now, duct tape peeling away from the edges of the door, water spilling out from behind them. A shadow in the crack, my finger on the trigger, look me in the eye as I make your head into a canoe you goddamn motherfu-

“Hey man, are you okay?”

“What?”

(Read the rest here…)


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Everything You Need to Know About the Nazi Terror Attack in Charlottesville

 

withyermind

Today the city of Charlottesville, after right-wing militias and Nazis had been driven out by brave antifascists, has become the scene of an American terror attack. Copying the same methods notoriously used by ISIS in Europe, a car has plowed into defenseless protesters.

Already one person, an IWW member, has been confirmed dead.

The attack was caught completely on camera, flying bodies and intense screams filling the air of what had previously been a joyous moment. This attack was planned and no mere “accident.”

The liberal establishment, fearing how such an attack might galvanize Leftist organizing, has already spread vicious lies in an attempt to paint the attack as “self-defense.”

Long time activists have come to expect this, and note it is a usual tactic used by the State whenever events transpire that might fuel revolutionary fires: take the event and shift the narrative, paint it in terms and language that fit the dominant ideology and preserve power.

Luckily capitalist and liberal lies are already being refuted, because WE ACTUALLY HAVE THE FUCKING VIDEO.

The terrorist attack in Charlottesville has proven that the far-right, protected by the dogs and servants of the State, will go to any lengths to enforce its twisted vision of White Supremacy. Antifascists, Anarchists, Communists, and radicals of all stripes must now understand that every protest could be your last and that the forces of Fascism are playing for blood.

And if you think the State gives a flying fuck you are severely mistaken.

The Left is under physical attack and these attacks have already claimed a life. The police do not care and will no doubt side with the racists who aimed to slaughter as many people as possible. How we organize today and how respond to such an attack in the future will determine how many more mangled and crumpled bodies we are forced to endure.

ANTIFASCISTS! ANARCHISTS! Blood now pours in the streets! Will you allow this to continue or will you organize for self-defense?

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The World Has Already Ended and YOU MAY DIE!!!

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

I imagine they held hands before they fell to their deaths.

Maybe there was a quiet moment shared between two lovers, an acknowledgement of all they’d been through. Perhaps there was a single tear and a calm squeeze of the hand. It’d all be okay, he says, we’ll be together and we won’t have to worry.

A pained smile, a small, almost depressing laugh. Yes, together. I love you.

I love you too, he says.

And then they step forward.

It was a small fall, all things considered, but certainly enough to do the job. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard what a falling body sounds like, but you can go into your kitchens right now, wet a rag, and throw it against the ground. In the pockets of their crumpled corpses were found two notes, both in plastic bags so they wouldn’t be soaked in blood. One had the title “WE HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE.’’

“We can not live with the financial reality,” the note said according to the Post, “We both have medical issues, we just can’t afford the health care.” This happened in NYC, a place where according to a 2016 GOBankingRates study, the No. 1 cause of financial stress is paying down debt, with the average balance per person hitting around $50,000; the same city is home to Wall Street and the largest amount of billionaires in the world.

In some places such pointless death might start a revolution, or at least a call for revenge against the wealthy. Normal human reactions like disgust funneling into rage. Such an event is an omen, a sign that all is not right with the world.

For Americans it’s business as usual. We’re the greatest country in the world. Splat. Highest life expectancy. Splat. Truly free and prosperous. Splat.

“Sweet god!” a voice cries out, “my arm!” Looks like a jumper survived, groans of pain reaching a piercing shriek. “My arm is fucking bent backwards! Oh god I can’t feel my legs. SWEET JESUS HELP ME! AAAAAAAAH! OH MY GAAAAAAHD! PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!”

Walk away, nothing to see here. Just some crazy. Hey, what’s the news look like today?

There appears to be a fog over the United States and its people, a weird haze that drips into every interaction. People drive and carry on like everything is normal, everything is fine, in a country where everything will be like it always has been, no matter who’s in office or how things change.

Something is happening though, and as much as the American people may deny it my wizard-sense is ablaze with the feelings of danger. Run Devil Run oil covers the doorframe and I’m quietly communicating with comrades that we have crossed a precipice. I am telling people to buy a little extra food and a little extra water, watching eyes explode with fear as I tell them the details I have pieced together. The fog is lifting and people are suddenly becoming terrified of the times we live in.

What was that? That sound? Probably more bodies hitting the pavement. Nothing to worry about, that’s always happened….right?

Just like the United States has always threatened to jail journalists who print government leaks. Right?

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a dramatic escalation in the U.S. government’s crackdown on leaks on Friday, threatening to subpoena news organizations for information about their sources even more frequently than the Obama administration… Sessions said that the Justice Department was reviewing Obama-era policies that set limits on its ability to subpoena journalists.”

Let me explain to you what this means: If a journalist or media company publishes a leak and the government subpoenas them, they have to testify in court. They will be asked who the leaker was. If the journalist or representative refuses to say they will be found in contempt of court and thrown in jail by the same Justice Department currently seeking to give protesters up to 75 years behind bars for “rioting.”

That sound like any particular political ideology to you?

Of course this isn’t new. Obama used the World War I-era Espionage Act to prosecute leakers more than all of his predecessors combined, and dramatically built up the Justice Department’s infrastructure for going after people who shared information with the press. But Trump has taken the ball and run with it, Sessions stating that the Justice Department has nearly tripled the number of active leak investigations it was conducting since the new administration took over in January.

But it doesn’t end there.

Who could forget the recent speech President Trump gave to an entire crowd of police officers? Apparently everybody has. Oh sure, you may have heard capitalist reporters mention a soundbite or two, but have you actually bothered to read it? The entire thing sounds like a speech Hitler might have given the Gestapo….

(Read the rest here..)

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The First Hopefully-Annual “Oh Fuck” Challenge

 “Oh fuck.”

It’s a phrase well-known to Anarchists and anybody that’s relied on the invisible dice-rolls of the universe to get by. It the sound of getting pulled over by a cop, being grabbed at a demo, getting evicted, or even being sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Oh fuck happens to alot of people, but when it involves prison you can be sure it’s going to be bad. Unless of course you have a magical t-shirt with charms written on it…but who has such a thing?’

To be an Anarchist in prison is to face extreme difficulties: you may be secluded from other inmates to insure you don’t “radicalize” them, you may be treated roughly and beaten by guards, and often family members abandon you because “you shouldn’t have gotten mixed up in this politics business anyway.” To go into prison is to go into a tomb, to lose lives and friends and memories as if you never existed. The poor bastard coming out looks like an alien dropped onto another planet, and will often have only the barest of resources to “re-adjust” to a system based on exploitation.

Oh, did I mention the slave labor they endure? Imagine working outside for hours on end, the goal of affording a bag of Doritos the goal for your week.

For many people it will be the worst experience of their entire lives, and if they don’t kill themselves some will wish they had.

But they don’t have to go it alone.

The Anarchist Black Cross is an organization that has been around since 1907 whose stated goal is to help our comrades behind bars. The ABC will:

  • Make sure impoverished comrades have enough money for food.
  • Send books and magazines to comrades who may have nothing to read but the bible.
  • Speak with media organizations and organize events to highlight the struggles of unjustly imprisoned comrades.
  • Ensure they get proper footwear and summer/winter clothing.
  • Write letters and visit with prisoners. Considering you can be thrown in solitary for your political associations this may be the only human contact some prisoners have.

The Anarchist Black Cross is doing life-saving work, and doing it all on a shoestring budget. Folks inside cells and outside of them are co-coordinating, organizing, and making due with the kind of cash most of us could blow in a crazed weekend.

The last week in August is the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners. This year lets help prove “solidarity” isn’t merely a leftist version of “I’ll pray for you.” This year, and hopefully every year after that, you and I are going to help them.

What’s in it For Me?

Why help? What makes this campaign different from any other hack with an outstretched hand looking for money?

Well besides helping a fantastic organization I made a magical t-shirt to help keep you out of prison and this is the only way to get it.

Over many moons and after consulting with various spirits I designed a charm in the Taoist Fu-style that would draw energy from anyone that looked at it. The charm funnels the energy of perception to the bearer to increase their luck and provide them victory over their enemies. I’ve blessed it, prayed over it, and handed it to a graphic designer who donated his time to fuse it with a bad-ass Illegalist t-shirt.

The t-shirt also has a modified Anarchist Black Cross logo. On the left we have the glyph Chet to correspond with the Chariot in the major Arcana of the tarot. On the right there’s Ior to invoke Jörmungandr who will die while killing Thor, a nice little protection against white nationalists using heathen imagery and highlighting victory against the forces of “order.”

In the center is 7 spades/swords, a reminder to work like the soldier sneaking into the enemy camp and stealing their swords before the day of battle. It also is a potent reminder of fallen comrades, tears, bloodshed and war.

Underneath it is the 29th hexagram from the I Ching known as “K’an.” It represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the principle of light closed in the dark, and points to water passing through a ravine. Water sets the  example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on, and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions, something that makes or breaks comrades behind bars.

It’s a potent design at 14 inches tall and 9 1/2 wide that sends occult victory to you and to those in capitalist prisons, a unique magical device unheard of anywhere else.

You can get it for $15 + $7 for shipping. 100% of the profits will be donated to the Anarchist Black Cross. 

The good folks at Stand Up and Fight Back, an Anarchist printer, have agreed to print these one-of-a-kind t-shirts in a limited run of 50 for no cost other than materials.

Once those 50 are gone they will not be made ever again. If you ever wanted a Dr. Bones t-shirt this is the only way to get it.

HOW CAN I GET THIS AMAZING THING?

  • Send an email to DrBonesConjure@gmail.com with the title “Oh Fuck Challenge”
  • Include what size you wear as well as your name and shipping address
  • I’ll send you an invoice for the cost of the shirt + shipping AS WELL as the ritual to empower the shirt and a prayer to say when you wear it.
  • Once we reach 50 orders I turn it into the printer, he churns them out, and I mail it to you once he gets it to me. Folks outside the US will be asked to pay extra for shipping.
  • A donation will be made with all the names of those involved to the Anarchist Black Cross.

First come, first serve, and once we hit 50 these shirts will not be printed again. I am a working person, as are my readers, so I know for many people electric bills and rent will take precedence over any luxury. If you can’t afford one consider at least sharing this article or asking other comrades to get one in your name.

Consider however given the current political climate there is a damn good chance you’ll be needing the help of the Anarchist Black Cross eventually. Ensuring the ABC is a strong organization capable of helping a large amount of comrades tilts the odds in your favor that, should the worst happen, you and your family can count on you being taken care of. This isn’t just about helping others but helping yourself, and if you’re part of the working poor like me it’s an insurance policy in a world that promises nothing.

If you haven’t contributed to Anarchist causes all year a mere $22 will ensure Anarchist prisoners get food, have human contact, and know that they have not been forgotten beyond the barbed wire. If not now, when? If not for comrades trapped in literal slave camps who else are you going to help this year?

It’s time for the Weird Left to take a stand and show we haven’t forgotten what solidarity really means. Till every prison is broken and every cage is smashed, none are free until they are free!

Yours in Insurrection,

Dr. Bones

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Individual In Revolt: An Egoist’s Report of Insurrection at G20

“The revolt of the individual against society is not given by that of the masses against governments. Even when the masses submit to governments, living in the sacred and shameful peace of their resignation, the anarchist individual lives against society because he is in a never-ending and irreconcilable war with it, but when, at a historical turning point, he comes together with the masses in revolt, he raises his black flag with them and throws his dynamite with them.

The anarchist individualist is in the Social Revolution, not as a demagogue, but as a inciting element, not as an apostle, but as a living, effective, destructive force…” – Renzo Novatore, “Anarchist Individualism in the Social Revolution”

Somewhere along the line, probably back in the 90’s when Kurt Cobain still had a face unmarred by shotgun pellets, a very weird and unhealthy idea spread like wildfire among the Individualist milieu: that revolt of any kind was a fool’s errand. I can’t say for sure what caused this, perhaps planetary influences or the mass arrival of demons, but most Egoists that hail from that weird era in American history seem to scoff and laugh at the mere notion of lifting the world’s boot off your neck. They laugh at Antifa, they laugh at riots, they laugh at their own impotency as a small dribble of piss curls down their leg and they dare to call it “Egoism.”

For Egoists like Emma Goldman, Novatore, Ravachol, Bonnot, and Marius Jacob one’s individuality could not be separated from the material reality of existence; to find one’s liberation required a changing of those conditions. Those ideas however became unfashionable in the United States, and we were left with a collection of authors and thinkers who considered not having kids the pinnacle of revolt while scoffing at the idea of armed insurrection.

These people of course irritate me like no other. Many a night I’ve paced back and forth, furiously chewing a toothpick and ruing the generation before mine. “It’s not that I want to kill them,” I tell my wife, “just maybe pull a few of their teeth out with pliers. Bash their kneecaps in with a wrench, fire a .357 into their foot. Kid stuff.” Those are the nights the high-octane rum comes out and you loom out your window like an unrepentant ghost, a twisted nightmare looking to fuck over the first living thing you see. No cure for it, strictly terminal, a vicious response to an existence modulating wildly between absolute disgust and pure fucking hatred; rage so deep for a system and its enablers you can feel it burn across previous lives.

But I mean you can’t write shit like that.

Maybe I take it too personally, but how could I not? These people took the philosophy that once assassinated Kings and Presidents and turned it into discourses on the morality of eating bacon; where once the Illegalists struck out at world that would deny them freedom these Nu-Egoists merely wanted a warm place to die. American Anarchism became unhindered masturbation and much like their hippy forebears Gen-X retreated from the world as soon as the WTO went home, happily clutching their Tool albums and snorting pure lines of hubris. They had it all figured out: you can’t change the world, man; don’t get caught up in society, dude.

All good and well for the white people living in Portland. For anyone darker than Greek yogurt the world chugged right along and at fullstop violence. Economic conditions fell, the housing market dried up, and now an entire generation looks out at a world with no future, no hope, and no way outside of juggling multiple jobs to keep from drowning in debt.

Times change, and while some Egoists confined themselves to journals and rural corners where they could get high in peace, others decided to fight back. Places like 325 and Insurrection News detailed thousands of actions, from arsons to bombings, by individuals around the world who refused to let Capital and the State have the final say on existence. A new black banner rose across the planet, a chorus of insurrectionary voices determined to destroy all that which desired to enslave them.

This is an interview with one of those voices.

Comrade Q(“as in Queer,” he would tell me) is an Egoist and Insurrectionist who took part in the massive G20 protests that saw 10,000 Leftists hit the streets and give Germany hell. He is an individual in revolt, an Egoist seeking to be free, and an example to all the puttering dipshits who cannot fathom the vulgar slavery that surrounds them.

***

Tell me what it was like, and how it fit with your politics

“For me as an egoist anarchist, my visit to the G20 protests was rewarding in many different ways. First and foremost there were many opportunities to express aspects of myself that I have wanted to express, feelings of rage and desire for vengeance for all the pain the system has caused me, frantic ecstatic joy as you see police-officers loose control over situations, the joy that everyday boredom became ruptured, the fear that you could get hurt, the adrenaline of causing problems – reminding me of my years in the prison called ‘school.’

Secondly it is also a means to increase your awareness of how bad the alternatives to egoist anarchism actually are, the people you are walking with that believe in ‘righteousness,’ ‘justice’, ‘a new order’ with religious fervor are so similar to devotees of Pentecostalism that when they truly get to express their principles in union with other like-minded people – the reality becomes clear. Walking through a Stalinist protest after acting together with other insurrectionary individuals is very much like walking by a Jehovah’s Witnesses stand after partying with a couple of friends.

It is one thing to inform myself and others about the disgusting system I find myself chained within and a completely different thing to be able to participate in a strong tidal wave against the system. For me, to participate in the insurrectionary tradition of trying to dismantle the statist-capitalist-patriarchal system is not a holy quest or something that ‘ought to be done’, but rather an expression of what I want to do – because I like to do it! Politically there was a lot of problems of course, collectivists, ideologues and hippies all participated shouting out their hatred towards ‘Capital’, in some sense the egoist who as seen through the veil of ignorance regarding all pretense of objective values is in an awkward position during such mass protests. But however, it was also quite clear that the Spectacle of mass protests during the G20 meeting actually enabled something entirely different (than saying things to people in power that never listen) – for a time there were areas in Hamburg where people actually did what they wanted (expropriated stuff from stores, attacked the pigs, built barricades and lit fires that very clearly reflected our rage). ”

What was the day-to-day like?

“To make a movie comparison it actually felt as if the working-class areas of Hamburg had a collective ‘Falling down’ moment during G20. Prior to the G20 meeting the police helicopters had been flying 24 hours a day for a week, regular people became infuriated with the level of social control and disruption caused by politicians who had decided to have a G20 meeting in a city famous for its anti-establishment leftist culture.

The bourgeois media of course emphasized the insurrectionary moments, probably thinking that by focusing on such activities the overall anti-establishment attitude of most Hamburg-citizens will not be the focus. All over the place store owners of local shops closed with notes saying ‘Next time we bring the party to you Merkel!’, ‘Fuck G20!’ and so on. Apart from politicians and police most people actually intensely disliked this meeting, in particular the people living in St. Pauli district (famous for its autonomous-left scene and soccer team with anti-fascist hooligans)

The day-to-day was busy, busy, busy; actions and spontaneous mass meetings happened all over the place. Wherever you went you found police occupying streets and causing problems – there was no discrete presence but it was pretty clear that the cops acted like a band of thugs looking for protesters to beat up. A lot of people were beaten and the cops didn’t even care to arrest people most of the time. At first we were really surprised that we only saw a single person arrested, but it became clear that for every single ‘block’ of policemen there was a person running in the back with a selfie-stick, filming every single thing that happened around the block. We heard rumors that the cops then moved on to the locations where people camped and pinpointed individuals they identified through surveillance responsible for ‘crime.'”

Did you guys feel like a revolution was at hand? What stopped the violence?

“As to why the violence stopped is was pretty clear that the sheer force of the militarized police with automatic rifles brought in during the insurrection in St. Pauli next to the social forum Rote Flora, stopped a lot of the insurrectionary comrades – for the moment. Even though the numbers and sympathy of local people was with the opposition, the final word is the gun – and the pigs had tons of them. You can never reach that far with rocks, glass-bottles and molotov cocktails against automatic weapons. In some sense we are nothing but angry schoolchildren causing a ruckus at the schoolyard as long as the real weaponry is in the hand of the pigs. What is burning a car compared to the a cop having a rifle that could kill 50 people in 5 minutes. Everybody knows that, the cop and the anarchist – which was why the stated goal of different coalitions of affinity groups in Hamburg was to ‘disrupt the meeting’ and that’s that. That goal was accomplished, Melanie Trump didn’t get her happy tour around Hamburg, the meeting didn’t go according to schedule and the state had to pay a lot more money than they probably expected. In order to get into a revolutionary situation, you would have to have a generalized conflict – where workplaces, homes and all social fields are destabilized. A battle for the streets is not sufficient to make the system crumble.

How do you see the Egoist fitting in revolution or social revolt?

“What place does the egoist anarchist have in a social revolt? I think that at some level it is a matter of interpretation, the religious socialists interpret situations like the Hamburg G20 protests according to abstract entities at action – rather than concrete persons making choices coordinated through spontaneous agreements. If egoist anarchism is about being personally committed to your own liberation from the chains that bind you and the hands that are currently suffocating your throat – social disruptions like mass protests are a very good occasion to practice what you want to do and grow in your commitment to your own liberation. It is also a perfect occasion to get move your motivations, dreams and desires from your mind to your entire body – moving in opposition and breathing in air of what freedom actually could be. It is an occasion to grow in courage, to destroy your own fears and for a moment really enjoy being a pebble in the shoe of authority.”

You mentioned the ultimate power the cops wield when they have guns. Do you think Anarchists should start arming themselves?

I think it is absolutely necessary that anarchists have the ability and resources necessary for armed attack. That is not to say that armed attack is the optimal strategy for spreading subversive attacks against the system for the moment, but without this capability our claims to be insurrectional remains a hogwash dream instead of an actual threat against the system.”

In your view how can actions like G20 spread? It caught on very fast, what was the organization behind it?

“There was a great variety of movements (reformist and revolutionary) behind the protests, but above all the instinctive and spontaneous reaction of socially excluded or ‘subversive’ individuals (read: excluded minorities), political dissidents against the centrist powers and the ‘common mass’ participated in a wide variety of protests. It was obvious that no particular organization can take credit for this situation – rather the people of Hamburg together with militants from other European countries cooperated according to solidarity in struggle and mutual aid.

Actions like the ones in Hamburg spread because the political establishment has very little influence in a significant portion of the Hamburgian social environment.

I think such successful attacks against the system depends on a broader subversive environment where the hegemonic ideology of the system has a weak support. Autonomous social centers, general social ‘problems’ like violent youth gangs/hooligans and so on all contribute to the possibility of a swift disruption of social fields.

How were the groups co-ordinated? Were you with other Egoists? How did you own organizing fit Stirner’s concept of “A Union of Egoists?”

“I wouldn’t say that self-identified egoists organized consciously in the sense that a particular group of union of egoists proclaimed an egoist message. But the general insurrectional anarchist tradition in Europe has very clear influence from Stirner. I would even say that loose networks of affinity groups correspond rather perfectly to Stirner’s ideal of a union of egoists”

What do you wish to tell the other Egoists of the world who say this can’t be done, or even worse that such mass actions should be avoided? If you could grab the entire scene by the ear and force them to listen to you, what would you say?

“I would say, if you sincerely believe that – then listen to the network of IAF (informal anarchist federation) and the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire. There is no reason to replace hegemonic ideologies with a supposed perfected egoist-nihilist method of action, rather form your own cell with people whom you share affinity and commit yourselves to direct action rather than babbling and wasting your time on the Internet. To people who understand the need of mass insurrection, make sure that you aren’t tricked by the almost religious ecstasy of mass protests, there are always tyrants willing to use such mass action for their own purposes. Rather participate and make sure your own aims of liberation are realized in the very act of insurrection against the system.

What I mean by listening to the IAF and Cells of Fire is that they can commit themselves to direct action outside the scope of mass protests. And that’s up to them of course, the individualist anarchist who has a too firm rejection of mass attacks against the system is really excluding the possibility that individuals participating in such protests actually act upon their own – though in sync with other people. As long as a particular ideological organization is absent as ‘leader’ you could even label it as individualist. The only thing common between people active were their common rejection of capitalism, which is a pretty small common denominator. It lacks the structure of formal anarchist or non-anarchist organizations and is basically just a mass get together of people with very different aims and ideas.”

***

For some Egoists and Individualists the world is far too scary to confront head on. It is easier for them to find small nests to hide in and quietly pray the screams of millions just go away. They can watch as the Earth is destroyed, as children go hungry, and as people are killed for the color of their skin. They have lived so long on their knees they can’t imagine doing anything else. These Egoists will be the ones staring into the sky as the last bourgeois shuttle breaks free from the atmosphere, coughing the poisonous fumes that pass for air as cancer slowly eats away at every cell.

They are a doomed lot and reek of cowardice. The less thought of them the better.

That doesn’t have to be our future.

Almost 100 years ago in pamphlets found at a series of bombings against capitalist targets American Anarchists wrote “We are not many, perhaps more than you dream of but are all determined to fight to the last…never hope that your cops, and your hounds will ever succeed in ridding the country of the anarchistic germ that pulses in our veins. We know how we stand with you and know how to take care of ourselves.”

Reading those words I can feel the microbes boiling my blood and inspiring my hands to action. On the barricades, in the riots, and in the hearts of Egoists like Comrade Q that anarchistic germ is once again on the rise.

Here’s to hoping it gives the world a violent and fatal infection.


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