There’s no doubt about it folks, we are in hard times. This country is on the verge of waging a bloody interminable war. Jingoistic nationalism is on the rise. Our civil liberties are already being restricted. In addition, there is good chance that some of us may be looking out from the razor wire before very long. The only bright side of this is that we no longer have to preach quite so hard about the evils of corporate capitalism. The State will soon be graphically illustrating these evils more efficiently than we ever could.
People are not stupid. They will become either increasingly radicalized or increasingly nationalistic. We can discourage the nationalistic option by encouraging participation in any of the of the multitudinous anti-war, anti-racist, civil liberties, pro-justice groups in which they feel most comfortable. As this crisis continues, all these different groups will be forced to draw the same conclusions regarding Capitalism that we reached a long time ago. The remainder of this article consists of a series of tentative methods to facilitate self-organization in our communities.
Work within your own Community
Other groups must organize themselves. You are not going to be very effective if you are a white middle class adult, trying to affiliate yourself with young people of color in Oakland.
Instead, start talking to folks in your own neighborhood. You might be amazed how radicalized most people already are and what bullshit president-select Bush is flinging around when he brags about the unanimous American support for his pro-war and repressive ant-terrorist policies.
Discover what groups your neighbors are already participating in and work out ways of coordinating the efforts of their groups and yours. Suggest new groups that match their inclinations and existing political beliefs.
Encourage local homes and businesses to display flyers and/or posters that are both direct and explicit, while not endorsing a particular organization or cause. Excellent examples are the “Hate Free Zone” flyers made by Global Exchange, or the “War is Not the Answer” Poster by The Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance. Better yet, create your own. This will act as a counter-display to all of those frightening American flags that people are waving. It is also a display of both our solidarity and our diversity.
Nothing frightens and alienates people more than someone spewing a bunch of Marxist-Leninist bible-babble or politically correct bullshit at them. You will never communicate with people unless you talk to them about concrete immediate issues, while avoiding any diatribes.
Also, avoid the rhetoric and p.c. criticism within our own groups. We all have some racist, sexist, homophobic, and classist attitudes. We live in a society that has fostered those attitudes in us since birth. The best we can do is be aware of them and minimize them. Rhetoric only discourages individual participation in the group’s discussion. It deflects us from our immediate crucial goals.
Rhetoric also makes it incredibly easy for police agents to infiltrate our movements. The cops can mimic our jargon with few problems. It is much more difficult for them to imitate the way we actually think, feel and relate.
Discover Who Our Allies Are
These groups can range from the Animal Liberation Front to the American Friends Service Committee, from the Pagan Cluster to Jews for Economic Justice to a variety of Christian social justice organizations. Go to a variety of meetings and see if you can coordinate any activities. Alternatively, you could form a separate affinity group, dedicated to a specific action from like-minded people in these different organizations.
Be aware of the existence of these different groups although you might not want to participate. If you know of their existence, you can recommend them to your friends and neighbors.
Likewise, whenever you attend a mass demonstration, go there with the primary goal of connecting with people you don’t normally hang with. These folks might make you aware of further actions. On the other hand, you may want to connect with them at a future time.
Critically Examine All of the Above Statements
All of these suggestions are based solely on my personal experiences. I do not pretend to be an expert theorist and my experiences within the Anarchist movement have been limited. The only thing that I am sure of is this: We must build Solidarity while maintaining our Diversity. Any pre-defined system that replaces the capitalist state we have now will be just as evil.
LONG LIVE ANARCHY !!!