Divest, Disrupt Destroy DAPL!

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divestdisruptdestroydapl

 

divestdisruptdestroydapl

 

 

Print up this poster! Show your support by putting this poster up to show your support to end the Dakota Access Pipeline. We encourage you to paste these up wherever. #NODAPL

Also, why not go further? The way that the water protectors are being treated is a disgusting example of why this system has to go.

Trump is invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline and has promised to escalate attacks on the people. Together we are building an anti-fascist resistance. We are learning  and growing together; teaching the system that we are ungovernable! Take an active role in this movement & help people know they aren’t alone.

Take an active role in building this movement & help people know they aren’t alone.

Put up posters for the resistance!

 

 

 

Some resources to get you started. Posters and how to put them up.

fuckyeahanarchistposters.tumblr.com/

 

Fascist Group Identity Evropa Begins Poster Campaign, Anti-Fascists Respond

 

 

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9th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair April 29th, 2017

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9thposter1                             Download the 8 1/2 x 11, poster here: 9thposter1


The 9th Humboldt Anarchist Bookfair, April 29th 2017 at the Manila community Center 1611 peninsula drive Arcata CA 95521

Yes! Almost a decade of the Humboldt Anarchist Bookfair! We are excited to have this coming book fair at a time when Anarchism is being increasingly put into action on a large scale in many  revolutionary  movements around the country and around the world. There is so much to be excited about and to take inspiration and ideas from as we come together to face some of the greatest challenges of our times.

 

We are paying close attention to the actions to end prison slavery. We have been studying autonomous democracy to undermine the material basis of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. We are living in a time where revolutionary movements are going beyond democracy and creating free societies, where all institutions exist to serve a function for those involved, where participation is voluntary.

Social movements are engaging in compelling experiments to create cop-free spaces and rapid response organizations to fill the emergency response role in their communities. The great struggles against the destruction of the forests, the earth, and the pollution of the water have brought many together as a force to be reckoned with.

There are so many ideas and opportunities we would like to explore with the community this coming Humboldt Anarchist Bookfair.

 

We invite you to share your ideas for presentations and send tabling requests to:

Humboldt grassroots [nospaces] at rise up dot net

https://www.facebook.com/humboldt.grassroots/

on twitter @humboldtgrassr1

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Calling BS on EPD’s PR Tricks

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9/28/2016

In response to Andy Mills outrageous OpEd on LoCo this morning: if the website for Redwood Curtain Copwatch weren’t currently being blocked, we would be able to provide you with a long list here of people who have been slain and/or brutalized by the EPD and other departments in Humboldt County. We’ll provide the list as soon as we can access it. The list will include people like Richie Estrada, a 17 year old boy from the Hoopa Valley Tribe, who was gunned down by a local CHP officer for allegedly wielding a knife, and Tommy McClain, a 22 year old man from Eureka, who was taken down in a shower of gunfire by the EPD in his own front yard, supposedly because of the BB gun that was still tucked into his waistband when he died.

Granted, from the list you would see that most of the victims of police brutality in Humboldt County are Indigenous and White, primarily poor. If you would peruse the latest Humboldt County census (http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/06023), you would also see that Black and African American people make up only 1.4% of Humboldt County’s population.

It is very easy for them to avoid the appearance of systemic violence against Black and African American people when they reside in an area of the system where Black and African American people are such a tiny portion of the population. This is not to say Andy Mills, the EPD, and the rest of Humboldt County law enforcement don’t show themselves to be complicit in upholding the same racist, classist, patriarchal, brutal system of capitalism as the rest of the police departments in the country. Shame on them for using Black and African American people, including the NAACP, in their publicity stunt. And shame on LoCo for being their unabashed lapdog. The idea that they have anything to teach the world about love is preposterous.

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More about  how and why the police are inherently oppressive, and ways to oppose, abolish and replace them here. http://www.redwoodcurtaincopwatch.net/, http://www.infoshop.org/pdfs/Our-Enemies-in-Blue.pdf  , https://mega.nz/#F!JoICRKza!ffnX_zHciASVxuQs6nxjsA

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8th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair January 23rd 2016

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Poster 8.5x11 2016

The year 2015  was one of inspiring resistance and revolution. Let’s carry that same ferocity into the new year! We are glad to be starting 2016 off with the 8th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair.

The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair plays a part in strengthening connections and solidarity for building a new world.

We are excited, as many of you are, about the Rojava revolution, along with the uprisings across the U.S. There is a lot happening; lots to talk about!

The 8th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair is bringing it January 23rd, 2016!

This is a FREE, all-day, radical event! Join us in the main hall at 10am to nourish your body with some of the FREE FOOD cooked up by Food Not Bombs and friends (which they’ll be serving up the whole day), browse the tables of radical publishers and community groups, mingle with some good, free-thinking folk, listen to a little comedy from Robo and poetry from Gork and Jovannah. This is a family-friendly event with the Kid’s Corner featuring FREE CHILD CARE and activities, hosted this year by The YES House. The kid’s can hang out there while you move between the two meeting rooms to catch inspiring presentations from authors and activists and share your own ideas and experiences during interactive discussions, beginning at 11am.

Here is the line-up so far:

11am:
Room A:
Black Rose Anarchist Federation:
Black Rose is a nation-wide, anarchist federation in the U.S. that formed in 2013 and has been involved in struggles from Ferguson to Rojava. Hear about this ambitious and exciting project from Francisco, a member of Black Rose LA.

 
Room B:
Earth First!
Tales of frontline forest defense in so-called “Humboldt County.” With the last bits of old-growth forests remaining and the system’s failure to protect them, we must do it ourselves. From road blockades to tree-sits, defeats to victories. Hear the wolves howling and the owls hooting. For the wild!

12pm:
Room A:
Addressing Our Needs Through Direct Action and Cooperation:
Come join us for an open discussion led by Ryan Ayala, a recent graduate from HSU in Psychology. Looking at the Queer community, he will discuss the challenges of bureaucracy in making social change and ways in which such topics as harm reduction can be approached in substance abuse.

Room B:
Workers Power Panel:
The Industrial Workers of the World will once again be present at the Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair. Providing a glimpse into the Wobblie’s secrets of on-the-job organizing and spells to rid workers of bosses and other demons set against the working class by the atrocities of Capitalism. Whether you toil away your days taking orders from moms and pops for minuscule pay at restaurants and boutiques or you work at low paying, part-time jobs with no benefits at chain stores, you may benefit from a few devices to wrangle profits from the profiteers. Learn about and discuss successful job actions like slow-downs, sick-outs, safety meetings, and such. Discuss how to organize the aforementioned. Stay on the job earning meagre wages (which pay the rent) while you stick it to the boss. Remember you are a member of the working class, with a union card in your pocket. Whether you ride the rails, study in the library or toss pizzas, the IWW is here every day and we don’t contribute to slick politicians that promise one thing and do another. If you work, organize to improve working conditions. If you don’t work for a boss, carry your union card wherever you go. Meet Steve and Bruce, longtime Wobbly organizers and twenty-year members of the IWW. Steve is currently a ferry boat deckhand on San Francisco Bay. Bruce is a former truck and bus driver among other jobs.

1pm:
Room A:
Lessons for Rural and Small Town Anarchists:
Doug Gilbert discusses strategies and lessons learned from his involvement in the group Modesto Anarcho, based out of Modesto, California located in the Central Valley. Modesto Anarcho published a magazine of the same name, ran a social space, Firehouse 51, and was involved in a variety of struggles including organizing with families of those killed by police, gentrification, foreclosures, and housing, and much more. More than just a history, Gilbert will discuss how anarchists in small and rural towns face special challenges, especially in areas that do not have established anarchist groups and spaces.

Room B:
Crimethinc: Democracy or Freedom?
CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective:
What’s the difference between democracy and anarchy?
Democracy is the most popular buzzword in politics. From the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the most radical social movements, nearly everyone claims to be democratic. In this provocative presentation, we will discuss what ties all these different understandings of democracy together and what sets anarchism apart. Reviewing how recent social movements have experimented with democratic rhetoric and practices, we will conclude by exploring other ways to understand what we are doing together when we make decisions.

2pm:

Room A:

The Governmentality of Immigration:

Human migration has created great challenges for both host societies and migrating communities, which have elicited dramatic responses from both populations. My academic and community work has examined the ways communities in Humboldt County have responded to changing social realities through the lens of governmentality (or the art and techniques of governance).  What I have attempted to do is to rigorously interrogate the various arts and techniques of governmentality. The investigation into this research topic is particularly timely because of the various legislative polices that are being advocated for on a local, state, and national level which has created an opportunity to further immigration advocacy work. Understanding that this is part of the work we must do because of the hardships the immigrant communities live under, it is not the end goal, which is to go beyond advocacy to dignity. My work uses the September 2008 raid on the Sun Valley Flower Farm as a starting point to explore the related social, political, economic, and cultural forces at play before, during, and after the raid. From there I continue the analysis to the current organizing efforts for immigrant policy reform in Humboldt County and beyond. Using militant research as a theoretical framework for the organizing work. I contend that the outcomes of this research can have local implications as it could inform local organizing efforts and unpack interlocking systems of oppression in operation in Humboldt County.

 
Room B:
Student Unions and Combative Syndicalism:
Fannie from Montreal will be Skyping in to talk about their experience in the largest and most successful student strike, which helped bring about the largest general strike in Canadian history. They will discuss the ideas, methods, and organization that made it all possible. There may also be organizers from HSU to present some of their organizing work.
http://freeeducationmontreal.org/confrontational-combative-syndicalism/

3pm:
Room A:
Anarchist Organizations In Social Movements Panel:
Members from Humboldt Grassroots, Black Rose Anarchist Federation LA, and Crimethinc will discuss how their organizations contribute to a wide variety of social movements and why it’s important to bring anarchist voices to these movements.

 
4pm:
Room A:
Slam Poetry Workshop:
Gork Burns and Jovannah Hoboo

Room B:
The Rojava Revolution:
Our keynote speaker will be Paul Z. Simmons, journalist, and author recently back from the Rojava Revolution. Writing under the pen name, El Errante, he is the author of a series of recent dispatches from the liberated territories of Rojava in Northern Syria. Simons has just returned from a region besieged by war yet is also in the midst of one of the most far-reaching social experiments of the 21st Century: the ‘Rojava Revolution.’ The liberated territories of Rojava are a thriving example in new forms of democratic practice and of a people who are overturning traditional, coercive institutions in favor of direct democracy and the empowerment and enfranchisement of women. Simons talks about his experiences including crossing international boundaries under false pretenses, attending commune meetings in Kobane, high-velocity detours around ISIS sympathetic villages, and the camaraderie of the YPG militias. Simons had full access to the various revolutionary organizations and militias and will discuss their mandates and implementation issues associated with realizing a new society. Paul Z. Simons’ report is a part adventure, part journalism, and part political analysis, of the Rojava Revolution.

We are sad to report that Michael Knapp, from TATORT Kurdistan, who was going to be visiting us from Berlin, Germany to discuss his own experience with the Rojava Revolution, has been denied entry by the U.S. government due to a recent policy which allows them to turn away without cause or explanation anyone who has even visited Northern Syria. How convenient during this refugee crisis. FUCK BORDERS!

5pm:
Room A:
Radical/ Independent Media Panel:
Greenfuse, Humboldt Free Radio Alliance, Slingshot, and 5th Estate.

You’re SO in, right?! Worried about how you’re gonna get there? We thought of that too! The Manila Community Center is one of the stops on the Redwood Transit Line that travels between Eureka and Arcata with stops in Manila. Get on the bus for us!

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To Change Everything: October 14, 2015

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imageTo Change Everything, Start Everywhere — including in Humboldt! Read more…

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“We’re going to shake the heavens!”-Mike Brown’s uncle called for continued protests, and the country is answering the call!

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It feels like revolution is in the air, it strikes like lighting across the country against the police state and the poverty and misery it enforces and  protects. Here on the west coast, big actions have taken place in LA,Oakland, Portland, Seattle. and smaller cities, and will likely be popping up again soon.

Justice for Mike Brown! Justice for Everyone who has been beaten or killed by the police. Honor the loved ones who are lost.

It is time to stand together and call out Darren Wilson as a murderer. Across the country, many other murderous cops are sitting in their positions of power, afflicting injustices upon the communities they are supposed to protect. The police have gotten away with murder for too long.

Even small towns are not safe from ruthless murder at the hands of the police. A wind is winding through the country, weaving through big cities to rural communities: we must save our friends, loved ones, and ourselves. We must stop police brutality and murder. Some of us cheer from the sidelines, while others  plan for the near future. It may be getting cold outside, but the street is getting hot.
( EPD murdered, Tommy McClain, on 9/17/2014 Steven Linfoot the shooter did not face charges.)

The police murder and intimidate us, spy on us, harass us, and do not help us. Poverty and debt grow as our rights slip away. We have nothing but each other, but together we need nothing else.

No more murders with impunity. The movement which demands justice will only grow, and cannot be sated by the very police state which violently upholds and defends injustice. The onslaught of the police will not be tolerated today or tomorrow. Our hope is that communities will cease to tolerate the injustice; the excesses have gone much too far and taken too many lives. Through SOLIDARITY, we have the power together. Thank you to all those who are planning and fighting, and to all supporting behind the lines. We love you.

Protesters act in self-defense. They embody a force of freedom and justice.  The oppressor’s fear is of the oppressed becoming aware of ourselves and our power to change and confront things directly. When we speak and act for ourselves, it is beautiful.

An awareness of what we can do together sparks political imagination. We can imagine the inter-workings of a world without cops murdering and brutalizing people. A world without prisons which operate expressly to exploit the labor of condemned communities. An end to the courts and prisons which create conditions where crimes are the only option. An end to inequality and oppression.The end to all of that would mean an end to capitalism, and the end of the state. People’s power, community self-organization, and direct action could be the new order of the day.

The media and the government fear their time may come to an abrupt end from widespread so-called “violent” protest. Protests are legitimate grievances that no one can deny.

It looks like a foreshadowing of revolutionary upheaval has been keeping the Bankers and the NSA up at night. The protesters’ actions speak so loud the president has to respond, and his words fail, and fall on deaf ears almost no one listening believes the lies.
The writing is on the wall… even the staunchest defenders of the system admit conditions and grievances in the USA look strikingly similar to those who fueled the French Revolution. Poverty and debt, murder with impunity by the state, prison and disgrace for the vast majority, More wealth and power and wealth for the ruling class than ever before.
They gave the bankers trillions. They cut social services and raised tuition. While urban schools decay. While medical bills and rent is hard to pay. When many working families cannot afford good food to last a month. The Government chose to militarize the police rather than meeting community needs.
The Government chose to allow the police to kill with impunity.

All that is a powder keg for social war. The system knows it, and it is just the beginning.

These are nationwide days of action, you decide where and when, hope to see you out there. Stay safe, Dress warm.

Solidarity,  Humboldt Grassroots

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  • Posted on November 27th, 2014
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The Police State Has To Go! : An Interview with Kristian Williams

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Humboldt Grassroots member Owl, Interviewed Kristian Williams author and long time member of Rose City Cop Watch. (http://www.kristianwilliams.com/ )10-7-2014

Owl: In your books Hurt and American Methods, you describe how law enforcement tactics are primarily used for intimidation and suppression of dissent, rather than actually preventing crime. How do these methods of control play out in our everyday lives?

In American Methods, and then in the collection Hurt, I focus specifically on torture. Largely I was driven to write on the subject because of the irresponsible way the Abu Ghraib scandal was being reported in the media. When those photos were released and Americans were confronted with this visceral evidence of torture, the dominant narrative treated it as some sort of anomaly –as though this handful of soldiers were somehow just uniquely sadistic. Every effort was made to divorce the abuse captured in those photos from the Bush administration’s policy decisions, and the nature of the invasion and occupation, and the institutional culture of the military. I wanted to push back on that. But I also wanted to push further. I wanted to show how those abuses connected to similar things done domestically, in prisons and at the hands of the police, and to consider what that might tell us about the nature of the state itself. What I found is, not only is torture much more common than we would like to think, but we can also find traces of it — or its threat — in many of the day-to-day operations of coercive institutions. Police make implicit (or sometimes explicit) threats in interrogation, they use “pain compliance” techniques to make people follow orders, they tighten handcuffs too tightly — which can cause a loss of circulation, and even nerve damage — to punish people for mouthing off. And then there’s the use of tasers and pepper spray against people who pose no credible threat, and sometimes people who have already been restrained. None of that is even out of the ordinary. In prisons, the list could be extended almost endlessly — strip searches, sleep deprivation, multi-point restraints, solitary confinement, rape. What I mean is, pain and humiliation are largely how those institutions work. How that affects your everyday life will depend, maybe more than anything else, on how privileged you are. If you’re a well-off white person, you may never even think about it. You surely know that police and prisons exist, and maybe you have some vague idea that they sometimes do bad things; or maybe you think they keep you safe — and yeah, depending on your race and class position, that may even be true. On the other hand, if you’re poor or a person of color — and especially if you’re poor and a person of color — it’s going to be a totally different story. There’s a good chance that you’d experience the criminal legal system as a permanent threat, with a realistic expectation that it doesn’t just promise arrest and imprisonment, but direct physical pain as well. Of course, that’s at the individual level. Socially, these institutions and their tactics help to maintain a system of stratification based on race and class, and that system determines practically everything about our daily lives — where we live, where we travel, who our friends are, what we do for work, our education, the quality of our health care, even our aspirations.

Owl: How do police enforce social hierarchy?

In Our Enemies in Blue, I argued that the main function of the police is to preserve existing inequalities, especially those based on race and class. That’s clear from the history, from use of force statistics, and it’s pretty obvious if you just look at who’s in prison. And that function informs everything they do, at every level — at the level of the officer on the street, at the level of department policy, at the level of the institution’s evolution. So for example, and most obviously, they maintain the hierarchy by enforcing laws that are themselves biased. I mean, it’s hardly a secret that, taken as a whole, the laws have a way of serving the interests of the rich. And then some laws specifically target poor people — laws against panhandling or sleeping on sidewalks, for example. I argue in the book that the whole concept of “public order,” as it’s generally understood, involves a large element of class and race bias, as the standards of order are typically the standards of the white (and historically, Protestant) middle and upper classes, and the job of the police is to impose them on communities that are poorer, Black, immigrant (and historically, Catholic). Then there’s the demonstrable fact that, even if the laws were somehow neutral, the enforcement is anything but. Police pay disproportionate attention to people who are relatively powerless — people of color and the poor especially. They stop them, search them, arrest them, hurt them, and kill them more than you’d expect just looking at the population statistics. That behavior doesn’t necessarily depend on the individual prejudices of the officers. It’s just that if you make trouble for powerful people, they’re likely to give you trouble back; if you make trouble for powerless people, you’re more likely to be rewarded. So the cops try to do their job in a way that maximizes the rewards and minimizes the hassle, which means they focus on powerless people, which in turn helps to keep those people powerless.

Owl: It’s clear that police enforce class and racial hierarchy. How do police enforce gender hierarchy?

They do, but not in the same way. Disproportionately — by a pretty wide margin — the police target men. Men are far more likely than women to be arrested, incarcerated, beaten, or killed by the cops. That’s not to say that women don’t suffer those same abuses; they do, but at lower rates. There are historical reasons for that: women have typically been disciplined more by other institutions, like mental hospitals or the family. Of course the police had a role there, too, facilitating the power of fathers and husbands by ignoring domestic violence. There’s also a patriarchal aspect to the public order question I was talking about a minute ago. The standards of order the police enforce, and the morality underlying those standards, historically entailed very strict gender roles, and to a lesser degree still do. Laws against cross-dressing have mostly fallen out of fashion, but the cops still treat transgender and other queer people as being suspicious as such. Women out alone at night — especially women of color — are pretty likely to be viewed by the cops as prostitutes. And, as far as that goes, the whole definition of prostitution as a police matter comes down to a question of enforcing sexual morality, the burden of which mostly falls on women. In general the history of public order policing was that it greatly limited the space available for women in public life, and left virtually no space for queers at all. That’s on top of the well-understood race and class biases. And then there are the police abuses that primarily affect women — like sexual harassment, inappropriate searches (including strip searches), sexual assault, and even rape. And again, our society being stratified as it is, the cops are far more likely to try that shit against women who are already marginalized in other ways — because of their race, poverty, immigration status, disability, and so on. Finally, there’s the awkward fact that when people offer the criminal justice system as a solution to sexual assault, domestic violence, forced prostitution, and rape, they’re essentially saying that the answer to male violence is more male violence. Violence here becomes a contest between men over the rights of women. Women are cast as passive victims, waiting to be saved — or not.

Owl: Restorative justice and transformative justice are the frameworks proposed to replace the current “injustice system” of police and prisons. What are they and how do they work?

If we’re serious about our anti-police, anti-prison politics, it’s important to come up with something that provides for safety but doesn’t reproduce the state’s punitive logic. So rather than approaching justice as a matter of catching bad guys and making them pay, transformative justice looks to repair harm done (so far as possible), and change the personal and social dynamics producing it. That means working with perpetrators to change their behavior, and working with communities to change the culture. Of course there’s no one correct way to do that. What works, or doesn’t, will depend very much on the context.

Owl: Does the radical movement already have alternatives to calling the police? Of course. Everybody does. In society as a whole, doing nothing is the most common response to crime. Most crime goes unreported. There are a lot of reasons for that, but I think the main one is that people don’t think the cops are going to help. And mostly they’re right. Another very common response to crime is simply more crime — individual acts of retaliation, group vendettas, that kind of thing. I think both the advantages and disadvantages of that approach are pretty clear. More useful, I think, are things like self-defense, or interrupting violence directly (for example, by breaking up a fight) — or better still, mediating conflicts before they escalate to that point. And then there are simple things like checking in with your drunk friends at a party and making sure they get home all right, or letting someone stay at your house if they don’t feel safe with their partner. I think there are two points to be made here. The first is that those are the sorts of things that people do all the time. The second is that the most successful alternatives to policing generally don’t get thought of in those terms because they intervene early enough that things never reach the point that cops would have seemed like a option. It’s much better to prevent a crisis than to respond to one.

 

Owl: Can a community currently help people with mental illness without using the police or prisons?

Sure, I think that’s mostly a matter of seeing what support people need and helping them get their needs met. That doesn’t just mean finding them counseling or whatever — that may not be what they need or want. It may mean something like offering to babysit their kids, so they can have some time to themselves. It may mean helping them break down a large task that feels overwhelming and seems impossible — like moving, or finding a job — into smaller tasks that feel more manageable. In our society, that sort of support is usually provided by friends and family, which poses all sort of difficulties if those people are also overburdened and there aren’t additional resources. It should also be pointed out, in this context, that most mentally ill people aren’t dangerous, even to themselves. At present, mental illness is seen as a police problem partly because other services have been defunded, and partly because harmless but abnormal behavior is criminalized. In Portland, where I live, there was a case a few years ago where the cops beat and killed a mentally ill man named James Chasse. Chasse wasn’t a criminal; he wasn’t even a suspect, in any real sense. The cops said later that they saw him on the street and thought he was acting “just odd.” So they approached him. He ran, they chased him. And when they caught him they beat him to death. Looking at this situation objectively: James Chasse was no threat to public safety, but the police really were.

Owl: Anarchists believe that community is based on strong relationships rather than a collection of people. What are some good ways of addressing social problems that build a stronger community?

In the long run, it’s the practice of working shit out together, even when it’s hard, even when people disagree — or especially then. I think we have to start by recognizing everyone’s humanity — victims, perpetrators, witnesses, the people who intervene. Literally, everyone. We also have to remember that the community isn’t just the people you happen to like. It’s your cranky neighbor, and the person who delivers the mail, and the people who go to the church down the street, and the kid who stole your bike. Community isn’t just the people you choose to relate to; even more it’s those people you can’t choose not to relate to, at least in some fashion. This is more than just a semantic question. If by “building community” we mean only our narrow friend group, then the anarchist movement will become increasingly isolated from our neighbors, families, co-workers and, in short, the rest of society. We’ll become more and more insular, irrelevant, and vulnerable to attack. Obviously, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t take care of their friends, form stronger ties with people they agree with ideologically, and all that sort of thing. But our political networks need to be rooted in the larger community. We need to look out as well as in. You’re right, of course, that a community is something more than a random assortment of people. It has to be built and sustained. Our society, especially in cities, and maybe even more so in suburbs, tends to be very isolating, very fragmented. The community ties are weak; people feel alone and powerless. Where we build stronger ties, where people know each other and know how to work together, that can change. When we build community, we also build a form of power. The state is very aware of that, and a lot of the practice of counterinsurgency is a matter of deciding which types of community — and therefore also, which types of power — to let develop. “Community policing”, in its fullest sense, is a strategy for fostering the types of community that the cops can control, those that provide them with support, intelligence, and legitimacy; and simultaneously, they try to disrupt those types of community that might form a basis for resistance. Our job, I think, is to do the reverse. As we do so, it will certainly help if we keep anarchist principles in mind: solidarity, mutual aid, reciprocity. Those don’t just characterize the kind of society we’d like to create; they are also the means by which we will build it.

Owl:People protested you at the Law and Disorder Conference because of an article calling out call-out culture and politics of denunciation. Can you tell us why they did that?

Well, the article was called the “Politics of Denunciation,” and you can find it at the Toward Freedom website. The point I was trying to make in it was that the tendency to denounce and exclude people — what’s sometimes broadly termed “call-out” culture — has some troubling political implications and may actually make it harder to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and other very real problems. Clearly there are some people who take issue with my view, or even with my right to have a view. But no one approached me about it before the event, so all I could really offer is my summary of what people said about it on the internet. Probably it’s better not to do that. If you want to know why people are angry with me, you should probably ask them.

Owl: Can you describe call-out culture? What I mean by call-out culture is the attempt to address harm — or sometimes, personal disagreements or ideological disputes — through individual vilification, public shaming, and social ostracism.

Owl: How does it differ from community accountability?

Call-out culture is implicitly punitive and often relies on rituals of humiliation. It generally offers no opportunities for any sort of resolution, or even reparations. I should say that I do think it’s sometimes important to involve the community in addressing a person’s misbehavior, and I think it sometimes makes sense to exclude people from particular places, events, or organizations. But exclusion on its own only solves the immediate problem, or may just re-locate it. It may remove a present danger, but people don’t just stop existing because we throw them out of the infoshop. So a transformative justice approach needs to give them both reasons and tools to change their behavior, while call-outs and ostracism basically just say, “Go be someone else’s problem.” And then there’s the issue of scale. If the only approach we have is denouncing and ostracizing people, what does that suggest about the society we’re trying to build?

Owl: How does a fixed dualism of victim and victimizer weaken a community’s potential to actually transform behavior?

Permanently branding someone as bad may make it hard to encourage personal change. And if the perpetrator starts thinking of himself as “a bad person,” rather than just a person who did some bad things, he may not even think it possible to change — especially if the people around him are telling him that it is impossible. Further, if the community’s response is to exclude people who are so stigmatized, the community effectively forfeits any opportunity to intervene in ways that would help push or support such change. All of that shifts the attention away from bad actions, the consequences, and the causes behind them (both personal and social) — and therefore also away from changes that might prevent future harm or help remedy past harm. Instead the focus becomes the identification and punishment of bad people. Given that we resist the punitive culture in the larger society, I think we shouldn’t reproduce it in the movement.

Owl: How does call-out culture weaken radical movements’ abilities to address violence, abuse and other impacts of patriarchy?

Individual vilification fails to address either the causes or the effects of patriarchy. It often substitutes denunciation of a perpetrator for actual accountability and supporting survivors. Because the focus is on punishing the perpetrator, the needs of the survivor — in terms of actual care work or even just personal safety — may be overlooked. Even if those things are central to the rhetoric, in practice the focus of the call-out is necessarily on the perpetrator. Also, when denunciations, shaming, and social exclusion are presented as the only possible responses, the effect is to treat all harm as the same. That makes it harder to address the underlying causes or the survivor’s individual needs. And it may well discourage some survivors from trying to address abuse if they don’t want to see the person who hurt them humiliated and ostracized. Likewise, public shaming makes it hard for perpetrators to admit that they’ve done something wrong, or try to atone for it. Then there’s the problem that people who work with a perpetrator to hold him accountable and change his behavior are themselves likely to get grief for not denouncing and ostracizing him. So, call-out culture produces all of these perverse incentives that make it harder to achieve justice, or personal transformation, or social change. Besides which, an environment where we believe every bad thing we ever hear about anyone else and automatically ostracize anyone who has done anything wrong creates all kinds of other problems. It practically guarantees that our movements will become more fragmented, more isolated, and more insular. The practices of denunciation and ostracism can be — and I would say, sometimes are being — used to silence questions and stifle political disagreements, making the movement less democratic and less able to improve its practices. And we have to expect that our enemies will notice and exploit these vulnerabilities. Documents from Britain’s GCHQ (their counterpart to the NSA) frankly discuss using fabricated allegations and anonymous blog posts to slander their targets, and leaked NSA documents show their strategists thinking along the same lines to discredit Muslim leaders. There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t do the same to anarchists.

Owl: Do anarchists know who they are and what they want?

Increasingly, no. At present, at least on the West Coast, anarchism exists as a kind of toxic cocktail blending elements of marxism, post-modernism, identity politics, deep ecology, and counter-culture lifestyle choices. As a result, the idea of a free and equal society is giving way to a creeping moralism spiced up with ultra-militant posturing. It’s pretty sad.

Owl:What is anarchism and how do we get there?

I believe anarchism is — or should be — both a philosophy and a movement. It represents an attempt to reorganize society based on the simple notion that decisions should be made by those most affected by them. The implications of that idea are radically egalitarian, require that power be decentralized and coercion minimized, and suggest that freedom must be exercised collectively as well as individually.

How do we get there? The only way is to build a movement capable of destroying the existing order and replacing it with something better. That will require the participation of millions of people, and they won’t all be queer punk vegan bicyclists living in West Coast cities. They won’t even all be people who consider themselves anarchists.

If we want to build a movement and change the world, we have to engage with society as it is, not try to remove ourselves from it. That’s hard, and it’s scary, and there’s no guarantee of success. But it is what we have to do.

 

Owl: Thank you Kristian, always a pleasure talking with you. Looking forward to seeing you 12/13/14 at the 7th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair at the Manila Community Center.

We in Humboldt Grassroots agree with your vision of anarchism. Anarchists should be engage with society as a whole to change it, specifically be in those movements with other oppressed people trying to create a better situation. Anarchism will always have a broader influence within communities when Anarchists are fighting along side others in a rainbow of struggles day to day to improve the situation in concrete ways through solidarity and direct action.

Luckily, the sad toxic cocktail you describe is not the whole story. There are also many signs that revolutionary anarchism is growing in depth and strength in this country.

One encouraging development is founding of *Black Rose Anarchist federation in early November 2013, class struggle groups convened for two-days in Chicago to form an anarchist federation within the United States. Some people from the Portland chapter of the BRAF are coming to speak at this years Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair also.

We’re stoked, thanks again for talking with me and for all of your great work.

 

 

*Black Rose Anarchist Federation check out: http://agendaforliberation.tumblr.com/, http://commonstruggle.org/node/2637

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The 7th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair

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                   The 7th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair!!!

Humboldt Anarchist Bookfair Schedule

Humboldt Anarchist Bookfair Schedule

Starting at 10 am to 6 pm Saturday December, 13th 12/13/2014 the second Saturday in December at 1611 Peninsula Drive, Manila (Arcata, CA), at the site of Redwood Coast Montessori School and the Manila Community Center. We’ll have publisher and campaign tables, a kid’s corner, and food in the main hall, and two rooms for presentations.

We are still looking for volunteers. The more the merrier, if you have an idea,  play an instrument, or want to help in any way get in touch.

We’re also looking for donations to help cover the costs of the space and travel for the speakers. If you want to help out in that way, you could get in contact, or use our new donation page: http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/54874

As always you can expect  free delicious food all day catered by Eureka & Arcata Food Not Bombs, and the food as usual will be so good! All the food cooked by FNB in past years has come from donations, and all the produce has been donated by local farmers. Coffee has been provided by  local roasters. The Book Fair is a day of community empowerment that tastes great!

Child care– The kids corner has drawings and books, puppets and toys, all sorts of fun stuff. Activities have included  face painting, paper making, readings, a puppet show, this year maybe a short play. We have the HGR-published coloring book The Walnut Tree by Kati Texas available at the kid’s corner for donation or free.

Activities in the kid’s corner depend on child interest, and adults will be around there for the whole event to entertain and supervise children.One year it became a child run discussion corner with story telling!

Pirate Radio! Humboldt Free Radio Alliance, will  MC the Anarchist Book Fair again

All the amazing publishers you have come to expect at The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair like Slingshot, AK, PM Long Haul and the rest will be there, along with some new ones.

The theme this year is sharing ideas that we can use to become stronger, healthier and freer. Great inspiring ideas to help us cultivate resilience, overcome this oppressive system, and live in balance with nature.The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair is chock full of ideas and practices that can be used day to day to create strong movements, to provoke life changing thoughts, all to help create a sustainable free cooperative society.

The Anarchist Book Fair builds bridges between people and social movements, It is a great time to get great books, learn about and get involved in amazing projects and that are happening.

Here is tentatively what you can expect this year. We are still in the process of organizing:

Andrej Grubacic

Andrej Grubacic is an anarchist dissident and historian who has written prolifically on anarchism and the history of the Balkans. He is a lecturer at the ZMedia Institute and University of San Francisco.  Author of Wobblies & Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism, and Radical history

Kurdish rebels are establishing self-rule in war-torn Syria, resembling the Zapatista experience and providing a democratic alternative for the region.

He will be returning from Turkey before the book fair. To discuss the influence of Anarchism in Kurdistan, the realities on the ground and the best ways to help those in the fight. In addition to  some possible lessons from the Kurdish experience.

International Solidarity is needed. This  presentation is urgently relevant, and tall order , Andre Grubacic will write a better description of his presentation soon

Eco-defense Panel

There have been many successes in our area lately! EF!   success in the Mattole and Strawberry Rock! Also we hope  defenders of the Klamath River will be joining the panel.

We will hear from  all of them at the 7th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair.

Anarchism and agriculture:

Permaculture , growing self reliant communities, Anarchist farming takes the stage third year in a row of this popular discussion and workshop (This is tentative- will be something around growing food and building sustainable communities—check for current details)

If you are interested  in contributing to this conversation contact us.

There will be a workshop on Building accountable communities

This is a workshop on community accountability from the a community that has practiced successful community accountability processes in Humboldt county. A more thorough Bio for this workshop is coming. We are all eager to hear what the presenters have to say.

There will be authors of  More Than Two, Eve Rickert and Franklin Veaux will be giving a presentation

http://www.morethantwo.com/

“Can you love more than one person? Have multiple romantic partners, without jealousy or cheating? Absolutely! Polyamorous people have been paving the way, through trial and painful error. Now there’s the new book More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory to help you find your own way. With completely new material and a fresh approach, my partner  to expand on and update the themes and ideas in this website. “

Kristian Williams author of our enemies in blue: police and power in America will be giving a talk He has written many important books and is a member rose city Copwatch in Portland.  His interview is on this site.

Doug Gilbert

Doug Gilbert lives in the East Bay area and contributes to FireWorks <http://fireworksbayarea.com/>. He has also written for publications like Modesto Anarcho, Fire to the Prisons, The Earth First! Journal, and Rolling Thunder. He is the author of the new book, *I Saw Fire: Reflections on Riots, Revolt, and the Black Bloc.*

Members of The Black Rose Anarchist Federation in Santa Rosa

Will do an audiovisual presentation via Skype on the work they have been doing, and why organizing with the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, is helpful for making strong anti-authoritarian movements and ultimately creating a better world through social revolution.

The Black Rose Anarchist Federation is a U.S wide Anarchist political organization that formed in 2013 in Chicago, made up of class struggle anarchist groups who have been working together for years. They have been building on successful organizing—it will be awesome to hear from them

a U.S wide Anarchist political organization that formed in 2013 in Chicago, made up of class struggle anarchist groups who have been working together for years. They have been building on successful organizing—it will be awesome to hear from them

We are still in the process of setting the schedule of talks workshops puppet shows the works. If you are interested in helping, presenting have a suggestion or want to help, contact us:

Call (707) 267-7817 or Humboldt grass roots at rise up dot net

You can help put up posters! Print them out 8.5 by 11 and 8.5  by 14

poster12 (this one is 11 by 17)

poster8.5×11

poster8.5×14

 

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Political Prisoner Letterwriting

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Displaying Political Prisoner Letterwriting - envelope in back.png

 

Hope to see you there!

 

“Any movement that fails to support its political internees is a sham movement” Ojore Lutalo

 

 

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  • Posted on May 19th, 2014
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Rhizome Info-shop Exits Ink Annex

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Rhizome Info-shop Exits Ink Annex

Thank you for the last two years of interest, participation, engagement, and volunteered hours. Without these forms of community support, the Rhizome Info-shop, project of Humboldt Grassroots would not have been possible. The Rhizome info-shop has moved out of the Ink Annex, and the library installment has been temporarily discontinued. The organizing that was done out of this space, the discussions that we held, the events and workshops that were coordinated, and the benefits that were celebrated have been empowering. These efforts have contributed to ongoing discussions about how we can recognize and challenge systemic forms of domination, such as Patriarchy, and confront the harm that these social forces inflict on our communities.

In the near future, comrades are seeking to open a social center with computer access, a lending library, and a collection of zines. In the meantime, an online lending library catalog will be set up. Soon, you will be able to access our inventory of books on topics that include anti-authoritarian struggle, popular social movements, anarchism, prison abolition, do-it-yourself projects, and more awesome literature over an online database.

With an emphasis on movement building, HGR will continue our work as an anarchist organization in Humboldt County. There are principles that motivate the work that we do such as exercising mutual aid, honoring self-determination, building resilient communities, resistance to class domination, and solidarity with all people who struggle against oppression. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved , then definitely check out our platform. Stay connected for a multi-platform media outlet, and other exciting projects that are coming.

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