A Discussion Document
by Bob D., a member of First of May Anarchist Alliance and an eviction defense activist in Detroit
The following is a discussion document drafted for both First of May Anarchist Alliance and the movements we are participants in. We welcome feedback.
“The Democrats and the Republicans are both the parties of the ruling class and the billionaires. They just have different strategies on how best to contain and oppress the working classes and poor people. The Democrats use the “smile in your face and stab you in the back” philosophy, talking about being concerned about “middle class families” and communities of color, while the Republicans don’t smile and just stab us in the back. Choose your poison.
What is different in the current election is the upsurge in struggle from Ferguson to Baltimore to Minneapolis to Milwaukee and beyond. Hundreds of thousands across the country have taken to the streets to resist the ongoing police attacks on communities of color and poor people. And the usual ruling class strategies are wearing thin.” Continue Reading…
by Bob D., a member of First of May Anarchist Alliance and an eviction defense activist in Detroit
Baton Rouge: For Alton Sterling and against the cops!
“We can’t reform white supremacy; we must destroy it. It is time to face this. We can fight for reforms. We can fight for justice. But we will not end the police murders of Black people and other innocent people until we end and destroy the system of white supremacy, until we end the system built on the wealth created by genocide, murder and slavery, and until we bring down the USA and the capitalist system, once and for all.”
PDF of flier, here.
The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) is a campaign to defend our Sisters and Brothers locked up and on the inside. The campaign works to build solidarity and aid for those in prison. IWOC works with their families, communities and allies on the outside. From everyday needs to the direct support for prisoner resistance, IWOC works to build the movement against injustice!
Prisoners are on the front lines of the struggle against wage slavery and forced slave labor conditions, where refusal to work while in prison results in inhumane retaliation. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has created IWOC which functions as a liaison for prisoners to organize each other, unionize, and to build solid bridges between prisoners on the inside and fellow workers on the outside. IWOC understands the importance of organizing with prisoners so that prisoners can directly challenge prison slavery, work conditions, and the system itself.
Join Us For Discussion Of IWOC
And It’s Organizing Possibilities In Detroit
Guest speaker is former prisoner and current national organizer for IWOC
Friday June 10th, 7PM
Old St John’s Church, 2120 Russell Street, Detroit
(Russell St south of Gratiot in the Eastern Market district)
IWOC: iwoc.noblogs.com – firstname.lastname@example.org – https://www.facebook.com/incarceratedworkers/
& First of May Anarchist Alliance: m1aa.org – email@example.com – https://www.facebook.com/1MayAA
Statement from our friends and comrades of the Twin Cities General Defense Committee
“The Twin Cities IWW General Defense Committee (GDC) wishes to make known a recent incident of state harassment directed at our organization and allied groups, and our work against police murder and brutality in Minnesota. We encourage our friends, families, co-workers, and all those struggling against injustice to be alert to the possibility of FBI harassment and intimidation. We want those that had hoped we would be scared or slowed down to know that we are just getting started…
…We should remind ourselves, our organizations and communities, of the importance of not cooperating with police or the Feds attempting to get information. They are not on our side, they are not trying to help, even if their questions at first seem innocuous – DON’T TALK TO THE FBI, DON’T TALK TO THE COPS. Do not let them in your home. If you are questioned by the police or the Feds, refuse to answer, ask if you are being held (and if not, leave), demand a lawyer – but whatever you say – SAY NOTHING. If you ARE visited by the police, make certain you tell others, so that everyone knows they’re creeping around.” Continue Reading…
The 4th Precinct: A Black Anarchist’s Perspective on Struggle in Minneapolis’ Northside Streets
by Ikemba Kuti
Pamphlet version here.
“As an anarchist, of African descent, I argue that we need revolutionary struggle controlled by the grassroots and not by top-down leaders. It was the domination of top-down leadership from BLM-Minneapolis, and their seemingly unconscious commitment to the system, that effectively steered Northside community militants away from 1) the encampment, 2) becoming further politicized, and 3) in playing any role in the organizing of their own communities self-determination. Their voices were effectively hushed; just as the system we function under has done for centuries to oppressed people of color.” Continue Reading…
PDF version here.
Resist the Attacks!
Flint & Detroit Fight Back
by First of May Anarchist Alliance – Detroit Collective
Feb 2, 2016
From Flint to Detroit residents, students and teachers are on the frontlines in defending themselves against attacks by the ruling classes, the politicians and their police. It is the people of Flint who have forced the politicians and media to listen and learn of the Flint water crisis. It has been Students, teachers and their allies who are resisting the breakup of public education and connecting the struggle of DPS to the ongoing crisis facing Detroit beyond the classroom.
Politicians make excuses while regular people offer solutions. As the struggle moves forward we say:
1) Free, clean and safe water for Flint. There is only one solution in Flint: a new water system. The state made this mess, now they need to clean it up. We want safe water to each home and school! Dig up the contaminated pipes and replace those pipes. Whatever it takes until water infrastructure is replaced. We support the creation of mass, collective resistance and the refusal to pay water and utility bills. This also means refunding peoples water payments. No payments for poison.
2) Money and resources for physical and mental health services must be made available to those poisoned by the state, especially children. Instead of paying PR firms, the state should be putting money towards clinics and health initiatives focused on minimizing the effects of poisoning your own people.
3) Down with the Emergency Manager (EM). We must work to undermine the authority and control of the racist and anti-working class EM and the system it serves. We argue for self-organization of the people at the local level, mass organizations for defense of our communities. These new and independent organizations of the people are the alternative to the government at all levels.
4) We oppose privatization and militarization of the distribution of water and resources. All distribution of water and resources must be under popular control at the local level by democratic institutions. The people of Flint must decide on the immediate response! We oppose corporations making profit off of this crisis and we oppose the National Guard, army or police being placed in charge of distribution of water and resources.
5) Hands off students and teachers of the Detroit Public Schools. Support the students who have organized walkouts in solidarity with their teachers. This means no suspensions or punitive actions! Defend all teachers facing harassment, intimidation and threat of firing or legal action! An injury to one is an injury to all!
We’ve gone forward with republishing our agitaional broadsheet. Now renamed, Anarchist Revolution/Revolución Anarquista. The broadsheet reflects the issues, organizing and struggles we and the movements we are a part of are engaged in. The Jan/Feb issue has short articles on struggles in Minneapolis, Detroit & Chicago.
PDF versions are available through this site:
For printed copies please contact us:
Detroit, MI 48215
Send donation or stamp.
By db, First of May Anarchist Alliance Minnesota Collective
What is at Stake in North Minneapolis and #Justice4Jamar
This article is written by member, db, a new school teacher and resident in North Minneapolis. The lessons and realities here come from conversations with hundreds of residents, students, neighbors, and protesters. As you’ll see the situation in N Mpls shares much in common with a city near you.
The horrific execution of an unarmed, handcuffed, on the ground black man in front of dozens of witnesses has led to an outburst of struggle whose fire is not spent and whose meaning is still being defined. In this article, I will argue that what is at stake in this struggle is the future of North Minneapolis, which, in miniature, is a question of the future of our cities and of working class people across the country.
Without going too deeply into one man’s life, we can see the overlapping forces of a city, state, and nation who choose to disinvest in his neighborhood, a school system that failed to provide him with sufficient opportunities or political consciousness, a prison system that would be happy to wastefully consume much of his life, and a status quo that wishes to see all people like him literally gone from the city, and perhaps the world. By the hand of a gun. By sentence to a prison cell, and the shift from freedom to actual existing slavery. By economic disinvestment and displacement, including fleeing the real and imagined school failures undermined by those seeking to make money off poor areas cleared of poor people. Continue Reading…
First of May Anarchist Alliance Detroit Collective
Ferguson, Roderick A. Aberrations in Black. Toward a Queer of Color Critique. (Minneapolis, London. University of Minnesota Press. 2004. Critical American Studies Series.)
I was drawn to this book because of the critical connections it makes between capitalism and left movements that claim to oppose capitalism: liberalism, marxism and revolutionary nationalism. It shows how the acceptance and defense of patriarchy and “normative” behavior serves the needs of capital. It starts from the point of view of people whose self definitions, behaviors and practices are seen as outside respectable, acceptable society: transpeople, people of color, queers, single women, juvenile delinquents, immigrants, prisoners – all of the “others” who have been repeatedly erased, their lives and experiences denied. The cultural site they/we occupy allows us to put forward strategies to demolish capitalism. If our needs are met, if we are a part of the liberatory force, with full respect and dignity, in coalition with others, we have a better chance to avoid cooptation by capitalist forces.
A part of the failure of the marxist and revolutionary nationalist left can be directly tied to their support of patriarchy, their erasure of the needs and experiences of queers and women, their valuing of the nation state as a positive good, able and necessary to achieve stability. Continue Reading…
Community mobilizations and occupation in front of 4th Precinct. Against police murder and fascist terror! Photo from Twin Cities IWW African People’s Caucus
Now is the Time – Community Self-Defense
Statement from First of May Anarchist Alliance, Nov 25, 2015
Last night’s shooting of several protesters by suspected white supremacists at the Justice for Jamar encampment outside the 4th precinct police station on the North side of Minneapolis was a major escalation of racist violence against the Black community here and reflective of a dangerous polarization taking place across the country.
We must understand the shooting last night where 5 protesters were wounded as an attempt to snuff out and repress the dynamic movement that has developed out of the campaign to win Justice for Jamar Clark (the unarmed young Black man shot in the head and killed by MPD while in hand-cuffs in mid-November). The Black-led, multi-racial movement has included an encampment outside and occupation inside the front of the northside 4th police precinct, mass blockade of a major interstate highway, and militant direct action against the station. The encampment has created an alternative community with donated and shared food, alternative media, political discussions, tactical arguments, and human bonding around the many bonfires deep into the night.
The sanctioning of the racist gunmen by the cops on duty at the station last night was apparent. Protesters who pleaded for help were ignored or mocked. These cops hate the north Minneapolis community and the movement for justice that has exposed police brutality. Both the liberal police chief, with her lies about “outside agitators” and the fascist police federation president, with his calls for a crackdown on the protesters, gave license to these racists who had made several appearances at the protests to carry out their attacks. Furthermore, the Presidential political campaign has given legitimacy to racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic rhetoric and violence.
We believe that this movement must not be intimidated or allowed to be coaxed into a more “respectable” (read: controlled) political process in the aftermath of this attack. There is no safety in conciliation and retreat. Instead we need to draw the sober lesson that we cannot and should not depend on the same institution for protection that we accuse of murder, brutality, and injustice. We must immediately begin building the foundations of real Community Self-Defense – both for the safety of the movement today and to start creating permanent alternatives to racist policing.
While we are proud of our work building workplace, anti-fascist, and anti-eviction defense organizations and have great affinity with the IWW African Peoples Caucus and General Defense Committee, our organized forces remain relatively small. Community Self-Defense will require encouraging and embracing many, many more people from churches and mosques, unions and student groups, GLBT groups and street organizations in a common effort.
The project must be based on collective self-reliance, self-management and self-defense. There must be room for democratic debate and decision making and accountability to the communities and movements in which they are based – while also taking security very seriously. There must be a spirit of solidarity and a refusal to replicate the racist, sexist and homophobic permanent police officers. We need to be connected with the various other important struggles for education and living wages, against gentrification and evictions. And finally we need an understanding of what we are up against and what it will take to win.
For us, as anarchists, that means a revolutionary struggle, controlled by the grassroots (not by top-down leaders), against this system of exploitation and oppression and the government and police that protects it.
It’s a big task, and Community Self-Defense is where we begin.