Download Flyer Here
Volante en Espanol
On this Mayday 2013, to our Friends, Allies, Compañeras y Compañeros, the First of May Anarchist Alliance wishes warm and revolutionary greetings! To our enemies and those who continue to betray, exploit and oppress humanity, be warned, the struggles for liberation and social justice continue to press forward – sometimes in small gestures of love and decency, at other times in popular and social revolutionary insurrection.
We have witnessed two years of global upsurge and struggle – with its acute signs starting in Tunisia and Egypt and spreading out across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and a thousand points in between. As the resulting optimism has started to wane, we are now faced with the limits and complications of what has been an early stage of mass and radical social action. These struggles called into question the entire logic and authority of the System and in a fully democratic and “from below” fashion. All questions of politics and organization were put on the table, discussed, debated, tested and retested. We can’t ignore many of the real problems that the movements faced, but for a moment, and in such a dynamic way, the hegemony of the System was called into question. Its supremacy had been challenged.
We are still far from freedom, but its possibilities have been seen and have ignited new hearts while rekindling sparks within the minds of the older generations! Freedom is a flame that can’t be dimmed!
Now our tasks are two fold. On one hand we have to identify and promote the lessons from these last few years of struggle. This has to be done in a popular way through education and active participation in the ongoing social justice movements. Much has been done, we can’t lose sight of these exceptional experiences. For example, the centrality of class struggle was a running theme in movements across the world during this period, but as struggles have ebbed, many veterans have become confused on this score. First of May Anarchist Alliance reiterates our longstanding emphasis on a working class orientation for our own group and for social struggles more generally: where the class struggle has been joined, we are unequivocally on the side of the exploited and oppressed.
Second, the conscious revolutionary, anti-capitalist and libertarian movements must cohere themselves. We must engage all those who have been radicalized in this most recent period, developing an active periphery of thinkers and doers. Part of the importance of the period has been the explosion of all sorts of ideas within ongoing, participatory, and directly democratic frameworks. This is essential and underlies the type of movements we need. But part of this means being able to see what is important while also developing critical estimates of what has and hasn’t worked. As a group of anti-authoritarian and anarchist revolutionaries, First of May Anarchist Alliance is working to promote the necessity and importance of the radical and directly democratic features found in much of the struggle, while simultaneously attempting to clarify and build a new praxis based on these liberatory potentials.
We believe that the current task for our own group and for the broader liberation movements is to build real resistance to any and all ideas and practices that imprison, degrade and destroy humanity. The ruling classes (the bosses, multi-national corporations, and military institutions) represent the most organized anti-human system. However, other movements exist whose interests are at diametric ends from ours. We are and will remain in a struggle against reactionary, anti-human and fascist politics and movements, which themselves seek to challenge and destabilize the current order in the hopes of establishing new regimes. Whether these movements are comprised loosely of individuals alienated and detached from actual organizations, but who exercise lethal destructive force, or mass movements who exist as actual rivals to established governments, we oppose them.
The basis of these movements is a potent mixture of extreme authoritarianism, hierarchy, patriarchy, and chauvinism (racial, ethnic, national and religious). The ideologies, strategies and tactics of these movements reduce the world a simple schema of “what ever it takes is justified”. This is a dangerous tendency and it must be fought. Even amongst sections of the self-professed “Left” such views hold sway. War is a reality, but liberatory movements cannot succumb to elitism. Elitism is the politics of the ruling class and the fascists. We must choose a different path.
Against Capitalism and the State! For Dignity, Justice and Freedom – For Anarchy!
First of May Anarchist Alliance – Mayday 2013
Here is M1 Detroit’s Latest strategy
document regarding the eviction defense work we are engaged in:
1. Eviction Defense at a Crossroads April 2013
That is actually the third strategy document that M1 people have put forward publicly within the eviction defense work over the last year in a half. There have been a number of internal discussions but these documents were our public positions on what was happening The other two can be found here:
2. Eviction Defense Discussion Document September 2012
3. Thoughts on Organizing and Strategy Eviction Defense April 2012
*The April 2012 piece was submitted to Detroit Eviction Defense by our caucus within it at the time which was called The Committee for a General Strike. That what we were calling our grouping within the occupy and anti-eviction work and it was within this committee that the bulk of Detroit M1 came together based on political affinity which resulted in several of our joining M1.
It is useful to see how our thinking has developed from a year ago through these three pieces. Each piece is directly talking about what was happening within the work at the time so while you can’t exactly compare them, you can see what has come to the front of our thinking as most important and what now seems less important.
OVERTHROW THE DICTATORSHIP
OF THE BANKS!
Download the Flyer Here
DOWN WITH THE EMERGENCY MANAGER, THE GOVERNOR AND THE CITY GOVERNMENT
OVERTHROW THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE BANKS
NOT ONE PENNY TO THE BANKS WHICH HAVE DESTROYED OUR CITY
CANCEL THE DEBT
NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US;
WE CAN ONLY RELY ON OURSELVES
BUILD A GENERAL STRIKE OF ALL WORKERS AND THE COMMUNITY TO TAKE DIRECT CONTROL OF OUR CITY, OUR NEIGHBORHOODS AND OUR WORKPLACES
Rick Snyder has appointed an emergency manager as dictator of Detroit. Mayor Bing and the City Council have gone along. This comes a few months after the people of Michigan voted to overturn the emergency manager law by a solid majority. They stood in long lines to vote. It didn’t matter. A few weeks after the vote, the lame duck legislature passed a new emergency manager law to replace the old one. Business as usual. The vote of the people meant nothing. Capitalist democracy is a sham and a shell game to fool the people and to protect the rich and the powerful.
The central provision of the old emergency manager law and the new one is the same: take the assets and resources of the people of Detroit and pay the banks and the bondholders first and in full. Any crumbs left over can go to schools, ambulances, fire services and other city services. This means the banks and Continue Reading…
RtW Poem by Miriam of M1 12-12-12
RTW (for less) state
Right to Work
Right to Weasel
Right to War
On the Working Class
Vote with your feet.
You already voted
Waited in long lines
to vote for
one or the other
spender of billions
while we children
no toilet paper
in the fire stations
Time to strike
Time to organize
Time to go to meetings
Time to talk with your neighbor
your friend your family your peeps
Time to stand up
What do we need
And how can we
go about getting it
Vote with your feet.
12-11-12 Lansing, Michigan
Report by M1 member David
15,000 people gathered at the Lansing Capitol to protest the Right to Work for Less bill
Brief explanation of how ridiculously inaccurate it is to call this a right to work bill here
The bill is a lot more than just making Michigan the 24th right to work state, it has a number of things included that no one yet knows what there effects will be. This may have had something to do with it never making it out of committee but was added as an amendment to an appropriations bill and voted on the same day it was proposed. Since it is part of an appropriations bill, it cannot be overturned by referendum. For a full text of the bills.
This is one of several things happening in the Michigan Legislature this week. There is also a bill designed to prevent access to abortion by changing the rules about a range of things including the square footage requirements of reproductive health clinics.
The emergency manager law implemented two years ago by Rick Snyder, was partially overturned by a ballot proposal in November where people voted to strike down the law. Barely a month later, the legislature approved a new law that does the same thing as the old one, but offers “choices” on how it will be implemented. Don’t worry though since every choice is not really a choice at all.
Based on what had happened in the week preceding the protest, I was very worried that the mainstream unions will simply show up, yell all day and then calmly leave. Had that been the extent of their mobilization along with promising to “punish” the republicans in the 2014, then everyone, union or not, needs to make it clear that those are pitiful responses to this clear attack on working people, and that we demand more from those who say they act in our interest while giving only lip service to actually doing anything about it that matters. If the unions are going to fight, great. But we need to understand that there must also be a fight back that comes from regular people, union or not, that have ideas for ways forward beyond waiting for crumbs from politicians and union bureaucrats alike.
This flyer sums up what we should be expecting from anything calling itself a union or an organization fighting in workers’ interests. I handed out about 300 of these at the protest and had decent response.
In trying to connect the attack on workers with the attacks on
women’s reproductive rights, the backside of the flyer had this to say.
This comes from the radical antifascist news and research site, Three Way Fight.
Report on Successful Minneapolis Antifa Action: Disruption of David Irving Speaking Event
On November 16, 2012, David Irving, renowned Holocaust denier and Hitlerite disciple (though he prefers the phrase ‘controversial historian’) attempted to hold an event on his speaking tour, “Hitler and I,” at the Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. The Twin Cities, which has decades of successful antifascist and anti-racist organizing behind it, was ready for him. In a display of mass, disciplined, and coordinated action, we stood in defense of our fellow human beings.
Irving’s events have long been focused on four goals: the talks provide Irving with a venue at which to profit heavily from his work, both the books and movies he sells as well as from ticket sales for the event. Additionally, and of greater concern, these events legitimize fascism in the public eye, provide networking opportunities for local white supremacists and fascists, and provide infusions of cash to local fascist groups. The antifascists of Minneapolis and St. Paul recognize the real and present danger such events pose to our communities and loved ones, and organized to disrupt Irving’s event.
Having gotten past the lobby and up five floors of hotel elevators, we entered the room approximately 60 strong. While some antifascists videotaped attendees to help us identify local fascists, others seized the opportunity to destroy his books and dvds, depriving both him and his fascist sympathizers of much-needed funds for their violence and hatred.
Irving and his cronies are attempting to research members of the antifa crowd, posting their photos on his page, comparing to Facebook and other social and local media, and offering rewards. Their attempt to intimidate the people on the basis of their hateful property points out the common collusion of the fascists with law enforcement and the principle of capitalist profit. But not to worry: for the most part, their ‘intelligence’ is at the quality you’d expect of people often referred to as ‘boneheads,’ and has amused the local community, which long ago overcame its fear of fascists.
The photo below is from Irving’s own site, and indicates the level of
disruption we achieved.
This past October 25th, women on the South West Side of Detroit organized a rally/vigil and neighborhood patrol. This was a direct response to a series of attacks, rapes and murder of women in the neighborhoods. The South West Side is heavily immigrant Latina/o, working class and poor.
The organizing was spearheaded by the Detroit Colectivo de Muxeres. De Muxeres has been an informal alliance taking shape over this past year and is involved in various South West Side community and labor action.
Four women have been attacked and or murdered. Some of these women’s bodies dumped in local parks. De Muxeres have rallied others around their campaign and are attempting to intervene as women organizing with and for the defense of women as well as defense and solidarity in the broader communities.
First of May Anarchist Alliance supports and has members involved in the organizing with de Muxeres. As more information becomes known we will help to re-publish it.
See also the fliers they have been distributing, What is Violence?
Spanish Version, English Version
What is Violence?
Violence is not only the crime that we are shown on the TV news, it’s not only the hand holding the gun, the kicking and punching, or the bodies that are brutalized… like the deaths and victims that we remember today.
Violence is here with us each day: it comes from above and we reproduce it and suffer it down here.
Violence is a large part of the history of this imperialist country: slavery, the taking of others’ land, the killing of native peoples, and so many wars throughout the world.
Violence is the terror of war and the colonization by those in power.
Violence is also poverty, hunger and injustice in this land of so much wealth.
Violence is the exploitation of millions for a miserable wage, so that others may profit and become millionaires.
Violence is the impunity with which ICE detains our neighbors and loved ones, terrorizes us and separates our families.
Violence is the so many cases of rape not being investigated, supposedly for “lack of resources,” while millions being spent on political campaigns as we speak.
Violence is losing your house because the bank ripped you off with the lawyers, judges and interests.
Violence is when our schools do not give our children what they need, or when the city does not give our schools what the need.
Violence is the lack of lighting on these streets, around these houses and abandoned lots, the factories spilling out toxic waste, and the trash piling up because the city won’t pick it up.
Violence is a courtroom that fills prisons with poor people of color, but saves the banks and big businessmen by forgiving their white-collar robbery.
Violence is the lack of dignified, quality health care.
Violence is not being able to study in college.
And finally, violence is the sexism we observe every
day: when your spouse doesn’t let you work;
when women are used as a product to be consumed and desired on television;
when a man is paid more than a woman who does the same job; when you are only valued as a mother,
but not as a woman; when you aren’t allowed to go out to see your friends or family;
when the housework is only your responsibility;
when you are laughed at; yelled at;
when they force you to do something you don’t want to do using threats and fear;
when they force you to have sex;
when they blackmail you using your children;
when they treat you as if you were stupid or ignorant.
This culture of sexism is a very clear form of violence, and sexual attacks are a part of this violence.
We all deserve dignity – respect – we are all human beings, and we all have the same rights!
First they attacked sex workers, but I did nothing because I don’t exchange sex for money.
Then they attacked high school girls, but I did nothing because I have no children of that age.
Then they attacked homeless women, but I did nothing because I am lucky enough to have a house.
Then they attacked me, but it was too late, since there was nobody left to help me.
We must build an organized community to oppose against violence against women!
NO MORE VIOLENCE OF ANY KIND AGAINST ANY WOMAN SEXISM KILLS.
DETROIT COLLECTIVE OF MUXERES
BBC photo journalist, Jihad Misharawi and his wife mournthe murder of their 11th month old baby by Israeli bombing.
The Israeli government and military claim it is responding to attacks by Hamas and claim only to carry out “targeted” killings of Hamas leaders. The reality is that the overwhelming deaths, wounding and destruction of infrastructure is against the Palestinian people of Gaza as a whole – a form of “collective punishment”. At this stage 13 Palestinians have been killed. Over 113 Palestinians have been injured with widespread damage to neighborhoods. This comes on the heels of the Israeli killing of leading Hamas military commander, a killing which breaks the truce being brokered by Egyptian officials between Israel and Hamas.
The Palestinian People and Gaza in particular are under a state of siege. Demonstrations have been called across the world to protest Israeli actions and to act in solidarity with the Palestinians and people of Gaza.
What is Anarchism Flyer PDF
Sunday, November 18th 1:00pm
111 East Kirby St.
Detroit, MI 48202
We need a different kind of world – a world without war, exploitation, oppression and ecological devastation. We believe those conditions stem from a social system that ultimately favors only a small ruling class and that they won’t give up their profits or power without a struggle. Their system promotes a dog-eat-dog culture and seriously risks a common catastrophe for us all. To live and love, we must fight.
Anarchism is a revolutionary vision for life without bosses, landlords, police, racism or rape. It is also a method for organizing in the here and now based on solidarity, mutual aid, and direct action.
Come join a discussion of how anarchist ideas and methods are being used in struggles to defend homes from foreclosure, in the community, organizing workplaces, and in the labor, anti-fascist and Occupy movements.
Presented by: First of May Anarchist Alliance -
The Nature of the Period by Ron Tabor. The Utopian: A Journal of Anarchism and Libertarian Socialism. Submitted to the most recent membership conference of the First of May Anarchist Alliance as a discussion document.
Excerpt from, The Nature of the Period:
“Section D. The global dispersal of power, the economic crisis, and the government-imposed austerity programs have already brought about a substantial escalation in mass struggle. We can expect this to continue and, if anything, to increase. It was, at least in part, the declining influence of US imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa that provided the openings for revolutionary struggles to occur and, in some cases and in some measure, to succeed, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and most recently, Syria. While these movements have remained under the leadership of liberal bourgeois and Islamic elements, they have seriously altered the status quo in the area and frightened ruling classes (and encouraged radical forces) around the world. Taken together, the continued ebb of imperialist power and the growing effects of the economic crisis will almost guarantee the increase of mass struggles in this area and elsewhere in the Third World. Meanwhile, the same factors have already led to an intensification of struggles and augmented political polarization in the countries of Europe and (as will be discussed more below) in the United States.
The relative decline of the United States and western Europe may also elevate the attractiveness of alternative economic, social, and political models. Up until now, given the global hegemony of West European/North American societies (along with the collapse of the Soviet bloc), it seemed logical that those elites that were anxious to promote the economic development of their nations would attempt to emulate the world’s dominant powers, that is, to try to create “bourgeois democracies.” But with the economic crisis and the resulting political difficulties of the once-hegemonic powers, other models may become more alluring. These include the somewhat bizarre (and probably unstable) combination of dictatorial political control and free-wheeling capitalism currently characteristic of China, and more traditional statist models, including those seen in Japan, South Korea, and India.
As part of this, we can also expect to see a substantial revival of Marxism, which in fact is currently underway. Up until recently, Marxism seemed dead, except in small and marginal leftwing organizations. But the economic crisis, plus the inability of mainstream economics to predict, to prevent, or even to satisfactorily explain what happened, has substantially improved Marxism’s fortunes. Although the Marxian analysis of capitalism does not, contrary to superficial interpretations, offer a unified theory of the “business cycle” and of its periodic crises, it does at least insist that the cycle and its accompanying crashes are endemic to the system. This is in contrast to mainstream economics, which sees such events as anomalous phenomena, primarily the result of poorly functioning markets or of the failure of central banks to pursue sound monetary policies. With the Marxist economic analysis seemingly confirmed, and with traditional capitalist economies mired in long-term economic stagnation, the rest of Marxist ideology gets legitimized, particularly among newly radicalized layers of activists looking for answers. The problem for Marxism is that it offers no solution to the crisis except a drastic centralization of the economy (the nationalization of the “means of production” in the hands of the state) and the establishment of bureaucratic planning, both of which were discredited by the long-term stagnation and eventual collapse of the Soviet bloc, by China’s eventual abandonment of the system, and by the fact that such centralization is incompatible with developing and managing modern technology, providing satisfactory consumer goods, and solving long-standing social and environmental problems. Despite these and other weaknesses, Marxism, because of its allure to young radicals and left-wing intellectuals, looms as a serious challenge to the anti-authoritarian/anarchist movement.
On a brighter note, the current period will also see a continued growth of the anarchist movement. After many decades of being marginalized, anarchism has been embraced by substantial layers of young people, from both the middle class and the working class. As a result, there are mass anarchist movements in Greece, Italy, and elsewhere, which have already played prominent, if somewhat amorphous, roles in the popular protests against government-imposed austerity programs. Unfortunately, these movements have not had much of a programmatic impact on the broader struggles.”