November 13, 2011
Too Pre-Occupied to Occupy?
The Resistance to the Resistance
Blaming the 1% for the vast disparity of wealth distribution is like blaming Hitler for the Nazi regime: if millions hadn’t backed his views he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.
The 1% are comfortable with their wealth and feel they have earned at least most of it, through hard work, or cunning smarts, or being a trophy wife.
What we need to examine now are those among us who, even when the cage doors have been flung open, choose to stay in their cages.
Why are those of us in the most desperate economic situations siding against the Occupy movement?
In an organic nutshell, they are afraid and confused. So let’s break down what anarchy is and isn’t:
1) Anarchy is chaos
Many picture society after anarchy as somewhat like Biff’s futuristic gun-toting casino world in Back the Future II. No laws, everyone is a vigilante, you could get shot at any time.
Anarchism is not about everyone running wild and nothing getting done. It is about decentralizing the power and distributing it equally among the people so that we are living the lives we choose, not the lives others tells us we must just to survive.
There are still systems.
There are still responsibilities.
There are still manners.
We will always be units of a collective and there will always be compromises to make. The question is what type of collective that will be.
2) Anarchy is communism
Many people, including myself, fear that an anarchic takeover would include a loss of personal rights and freedoms for the greater good.
But how much power do you have now over your country’s decisions? The only power you have is to vote for someone else to represent you, so that you can perpetually cross your fingers that this person might maybe have some shred of influence over a government that doesn’t really have power anyway because it’s funded by private institutions.
Once these private institutions (big banks) are taken down, then the discussion can begin anew.
There is no need to fear sharing if there is always enough to go around.
There is no need to fear equality in decision making if we are an intelligent nation.
There is no need to fear a loss of individuality if we collectively value individuality.
3) Anarchy is gonna mess up my life
Many people enjoy their lives. Good news! We look at our loved ones and favourite sports and activities and shows and music and clothes and art and places and homes and pets, etc. and we think: calm down, shit disturbers – life is not so bad. “Sure, the government may be plummeting towards collapse, but I have a lot in my life to be appreciative of – can’t I just focus on that?”
Yes. Keep doing that.
But also pay attention to this movement and what role it is calling you to play.
You can still live your lives as this transformation takes place. Keep playing the violin as the Titanic goes down. But don’t deny that shit IS going down. The more people pay attention to the Occupy movement NOW, the faster all the drama will be over.
If you are above the Occupy movement, it’s precisely your attention that Occupy is trying to capture.
*Now – imagine all those small pleasures possible within a world that is not in debt to itself with 1/6 of its inhabitants starving to death and the rest of them eating away at the Earth’s resources like a cancer. You can live your lives on or off of a sinking ship: which do you choose?
4) Anarchy is dangerous
Many have seen the black block and mistaken them for ninjas, or seen ‘A’s spraypainted onto the places they get their favourite mocha frappuccinos, and felt that this behaviour is too extreme for them to relate to. Fair enough. We have been taught that vandalism is a crime and it took a while for me to understand that destruction of property is not violence (unless it hurts someone in the process).
But while some choose these methods to relay their concerns, others practice other types of resistance. Anything from standing their ground in the face of police presence to documenting the movement, or donating to it.
You don’t have to stand beside those whose tactics you don’t agree with to put forth the same message: the corporate oppression of our governments needs to end.
Show dissent in a way that feels comfortable to you, but do not use the extreme methods of others as an excuse not to act.
5) Anarchy doesn’t solve anything
My grandmother recently told me that Calgary has ‘squatters’ now. When I explained the economic situation that inspired their presence, her reaction was: that’s not the way to solve things, you should just go through government. This is a popular sentiment among those who pride themselves on being law-abiding citizens.
When has standing in the street ever solved anything? Well there was that small historic moment when women got the vote. And pretty much every other radical social change in the history of the planet.
The laws and law enforcement currently in place are there to protect decisions that have already been made by the faulty government, so it makes no sense to go through them to cause economic and social change. Makes more sense to go around them.
To those who look down on the Occupy protesters who take to the streets as wasting their time, acknowledge that at the very least we are talking about their presence.
6) Anarchy is for the young
Many people look at those participating in the Occupy movement and feel that it’s the flower children of the 70s revisited, kids going through their rebellious phase before they realize that it’s better to simmer down and make the best of the ‘real world’.
Look more closely at those involved. It is not just the young (or the mentally ill and drug addicted – although I don’t see why their opinions are not just as valid, lucid or not), it is people from all walks of life – the educated, the uneducated, those who have been to war and those who haven’t. Young/old, male/female/other, gay/straight, all races.
The only ones missing are the rich. And they are participating, too, from a distance.
They are the audience.
November 27, 2010
What is the Alternative to Protesting..?
I’ve been noticing that in my dreams I’m often on some mission that deters me from having fun. Usually, there’s a main event, but I can’t go because I have a cause to attend to – whether it’s an insignificant loose end to tie up, or a world to stop from ending, And of course, some of you may be aware of the affinity this blog has for protesting as a method to save the world. But, when you fight against something you give it power. Like quicksand. He who angers you conquers you.
So if protesting is not the most energy efficient way to change things, then what is the alternative..?
No really, I have no idea, I’m asking you. It’s taken a while, but I present you with
dawnofanewera’s 1st poll:
April 15, 2010
Squatters Turn £6.25 Million Townhouse into Anarchist Commune
Squatters have turned a £6.25 million townhouse in one of London’s most exclusive addresses into an anarchist commune.
The group, posing as workmen, climbed a ladder and forced their way in through an unlocked window at the vacant Grade II listed property on Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair.
Calling themselves the DA! collective, they claim they are turning the six-storey Georgian house into an artists’ studio and making it “live, through the exchange of knowledge and ideas”.
However, their artistic pretensions have failed to impress the neighbours, including those behind a new restaurant, Corrigan’s, which has just opened across the road.
Jacques Dejardin, the manager, was horrified by the unexpected influx.
“It’s rather bewildering. When you move into an address like this you don’t expect to have squatters as neighbours,” he said.
The property, which comprises 30 rooms, is only yards from Park Lane, close to the Grosvenor House Hotel and two doors away from the family home of Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitan Police.
A worker in the building said: “I’m not sure Sir Robert would be entirely supportive of the squatters.”
According to the Land Registry, the deeds belong to Deltaland Resources Ltd, a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands – whose consulate is two doors along.
The collective of foreign and British students had been watching the building for “at least six months” before they decided to try moving in.
Stephanie Smith, 21, one of the squatters, said: “We had put tape on the keyhole, and kept looking through the letterbox to see if anyone had been there.”
One night in October a number of the group dressed in high-visibility jackets, while Miss Smith wore a fur coat and carried a clipboard.
“I went across to the window and I couldn’t believe it when I found it was unlocked,” said one squatter, who declined to give his name.
“I was so happy. We didn’t really expect it to be open, so it was a really exciting moment.”
Since then they have reconnected the utilities and changed the locks, but have had no contact with Deltaland Resources. “Squatting is not a criminal offence, it’s a civil matter,” said Miss Smith.
“If the owners want to kick us out they will have to apply for an eviction notice at the county court.
“If anything, we are improving the building by mending leaks and things like that.
“The building is listed so English Heritage might be interested to see how the owners have let it disintegrate.” The squatters refused interviews yesterday, saying they were too busy preparing for an exhibition in the evening during which images were projected on to the windows at the front to give it the appearance of a doll’s house.
However, Miss Smith later appeared on the balcony and, standing near a black, ragged Union flag, read out a statement prepared by the collective.
“Who we are is not important. As a collective we have ‘squatted’ an empty, dilapidated building in Mayfair.
“We are making this place live through the exchange of knowledge and ideas,” she said.
The squat is less then 100 yards from the American embassy on Grovesnor Square.
Miss Smith said she was concerned that press reports which described the exhibition as a party would draw an unwanted crowd and bring the collective into conflict with the embassy. “We’re really worried that because of the coverage crowds of people will turn up this evening,” she said.
“It wasn’t our intention and I don’t expect the US Embassy will be very happy about it because there are obvious security implications.”
A spokesman for the embassy said it did not wish to comment on the squatters, adding: “This is something to do with the neighbourhood and British Law.”
The comments are really funny. You can hear them shaking their heads, but there’s an element of jealousy, too.
February 14, 2010
Clogging the Arteries of Vancouver
After thousands hit the streets yesterday to come together in protest of the 2010 Olympics, chaos broke out today in the downtown core of Vancouver, windows of various corporations smashed and doused in red paint, including The Royal Bank, The Bay, and Bell. The protesters, about 200, were in black bloc formation.
While some misguided protesters decided to vandalize personal property (?) others sent a strong anti-capitalist message to corporate sponsors. CBC is describing the group as “violent”, but it was the cops who committed violence – full on beatings with batons.
Property destruction is not the same as violence. Get your story straight CBC. Spin, spin, spin.
Personally, I think kicking over mopeds on the DTES is stupid, but it was a sight for sore eyes to see The Bay’s windows demolished. The Bay makes millions of dollars off the needlessly cruel fur industry and are very much deserving of anger coming their way. Vans parked on the sidewalk tried to cover the broken windows. A woman stood in front of a window after holding a cardboard sign that said something like “Douchebags breaking windows is not protesting.” Of course, I yelled something about how The Bay skins animals alive only to have the media cameras on her aim at me, asking: “What is freedom?” I replied:
“The end of all oppressive systems”
An explanation of the tactis used for Heart Attack 2010:
“Diversity of tactics means support for each others’ chosen method of resistance while not threatening the lives of those around us. It is a way by which we hope to create space for the realization of tension, uncertainty, action, humour and beauty as we strive for new ways to engage with each other and against a common enemy. While we may practice one tactic or action, we do not chose yours. As participants we agree to leave the policing of tactics to our oppressors, not our comrades; we will not attack each other for using methods that are not our own. Through a diversity of tactics we are stronger and more cohesive towards our goal of giving Capitalism a massive coronary.”
*More footage of the protest to come…
October 28, 2009
* a clue as to what I’m dressing up as for Halloween
October 11, 2009
September 10, 2009
Traces of anarchy everywhere you look…
“The very use of the word ‘violence’ to describe the actions of protesters in the face of the police state we witnessed is ridiculous. Pepper spraying a girl repeatedly in the face after she attempted to hand a flower to a police officer is violence. A broken Macy’s window is not. And even though some activists don’t prefer property damage as a tactic, maintaining some amount of perspective is important. What is a broken window compared to a million Iraqis killed, or entire cities destroyed by the U.S. occupation forces? A whole lot of windows get broken when the U.S. drops bombs. Which is the bigger concern?”
-Katrina Plotz, member of the Anti-War Committee and
the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War
July 15, 2009
When you realize that soylent green is made of sentient beings…
(*Isn’t that the prettiest symbol?)
Check it out yo:
“ Only a perspective and lifestyle based on true compassion can destroy the oppressive constructs of present society and begin anew in creating desirable relationships and realities.
“ To decide one oppression is valid and the other not is to consciously limit one’s understanding of the world; it is to engage oneself in voluntary ignorance, more often than not for personal convenience.
*You can download a free issue and/or print it out and circulate it.
What is Veganarchism???
Veganarchism is the political philosophy of veganism (more specifically animal liberation) and anarchism, creating a combined praxis as a means for social revolution. This encompasses viewing the state as unnecessary and harmful to animals, both human and non-human, whilst practising a vegan diet. It is either perceived as a combined theory, or that both philosophies are essentially the same. It is further described as an anti-speciesist perspective on green anarchism, or an anarchist perspective on animal liberation.
Veganarchists typically view oppressive dynamics within society to be interconnected – from capitalism, racisn, and sexism, to human supremacy, and redefine veganism as a radical philosophy that sees the state as harmful to animals. Ideologically, it is a human, animal, and Earth Liberation movement that is fought as part of the same struggle. Those who believe in veganarchy can be either against reform for animals or for it, although do not limit goals to changes within the law.
December 9, 2008
It’s the dawn of a new era every time we blink. Beginning, beginning, beginning… How do we make the moments last? How do we feel places? What would happen if we looked around instead of straight ahead? What would we notice was happening? What’s happening now?
Join us in the aesthetics of the mind’s journey as it nudges the present state.
A place of observations & interpretations.