This is a brief statement followed by personal accounts detailing the events of a controversial disruption that happened at the end of the CrimethInc. Convergence in Pittsburgh this July. These texts have been written by some anarchist people of color who participated in the convergence and were present the night of the disruption. There has been some discussion about it on the internet, but we hope to offer people more context from our perspectives about that night. Still, mostly questions remain about how to proceed. Hopefully at least, these accounts will provoke honest, open, humble conversations about all of the issues raised, so that we can figure out how to move forward as radical communities in struggle.
There is so much ground to cover to convey what happened throughout the weeklong convergence. Check back soon for further reportbacks about the rest of the convergence.
– Tonight, the convergence space in the Twin Cities was raided by police officers brandishing a warrant to search for materials that they didn’t find. Afterward, they used the entry as an excuse to harass, invade, and repress the activists gathered there. This post was originally drafted to be a simple introduction to the logistics work done in Minnesota in preparation for the RNC — but as we were preparing it, news of the raid reached us (via Twin Cities Indymedia’s rss feed) and we had to quickly append this note. Read the RNCWC’s Press Statement for more info.
As tension builds in the Twin Cities, we thought it would be fun to share one of our contributions to the logistical organizing of the RNC Welcoming Committee. There should be no doubt that members of the RNCWC in Minneapolis/St. Paul have done an incredible job meeting the larger anarchist community’s enthusiasm for convention resistance. We were happy to pitch in by helping design some of their logistics literature.
Froseph is going on tour this summer with the Wild Nettle Bookmobile, an anarchist literature and arts & crafts distributor from Winona, MN and his latest album “Deep Breath.” The usual CrimethInc. wares will be accompanied by harder-to-find arts & crafts projects, CDs, shirts, patches, and zines, along with monsterous amounts of free literature. Also available will be an exciting project put together by the CrimethInc. Gleeful Ludic Throng. It’s a new Hunter/Gatherer Audio Zine with a haunting sound and fancy letterpressed casing.
The purpose of the Deep Breath Tour is very simple: To stimulate the magic and intimacy already present in the communities being visited while teaching and learning with one another to build a stronger network of resistance to dominant culture — this is a big summer and there is a lot to talk about.
We’ve repurposed some of our favorite May Day propaganda to spread the word of the upcoming CrimethInc. Convergence (July 16-20, near Milwaukee, WI). Please, download the new materials and spread them widely—bring them to anarchist social centers and infoshops, on your music and speaking tours: invite everyone!
The convergence will be several days of self-organized workshops, presentations, performances, and other activities where everyone can be a presenter—so bring your own ideas, not to mention camping gear and whatever resources you can share. This year there will be a focus on coordinating for the demonstrations at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as longer-range anarchist endeavors. Internationals will share experiences from overseas. Participation is free, of course, along with literature, food, child care, and camping space; the convergence will be a sober, consent-based space.
Two years ago we hosted the CrimethInc. Convergence in our town, Winona Minnesota. During that gathering, we attempted to organize Winona’s first Really Really Free Market. Foolishly, we had only promoted this ‘Free Market to the local liberal scene and circulated the news amongst our DIY community. That was a mistake—out of town participants outnumbered locals 20 to 1, our local liberal community didn’t come through, and all the items available at the ‘Free Market would only have appealed to DIY kids anyway. Though we considered that a defeat, we knew we’d try it again sometime.
For the past four years, we’ve had the essay “Wasted Indeed” available in half-sized zine format through our downloads section. The tract originally appeared in Inside Front #∞—this time, we’ve included the original companion piece “An anarcho-primitivist case for straight edge.” In our experience stocking literature tables, these texts have been widely well-received from drinkers and non-drinkers alike (See Matt Power’s Article in Harpers ) and this redesign and addition is long overdue. You will find the new has replaced the old in the Zine Downloads and is accompanied by a reading version for those maniacs who might choose pixels over paper.
Rolling Stone, part of “the American press [that] ignored Oaxaca” during the near-civil war of 2006 pictured in Rolling Thunder #4, has published a story on anarchist journalist Brad Will (presented in its entirety below). Brad was shot and killed by local government officials on October 27, at the peak of the conflict.
The article itself is supportive, having presumably been written by one of Brad’s countless friends, and even mentions Rolling Thunder. Thanks to such shining examples of journalistic integrity as Rolling Stone, it’s possible for revolutionaries outside the United States to get coverage—albeit only a few lines a year and a half late—in the US media. All they have to do is hope some sexy, well-connected US journalist gets killed beside the countless anonymous locals whose lives are ended by US-backed repression.
Let’s keep Brad’s memory alive by supporting all those who still struggle for freedom, in Oaxaca and around the world.
“Mindless violence is getting up each day and being complacent. Self-destructive behavior is worshipping routine for its security and praying to the market for happiness or adventure.”
After the presidential inauguration of 2005, nationwide mass mobilizations died down in the United States. Everyone from anarchists to liberals had rightly given up the idea that the Iraq war could be stopped by symbolic mass actions—smashing windows is no less symbolic than a candlelight vigil, unless you come back to smash them again the following week—and without the anti-globalization movement or the election circus to focus on, there wasn’t much left to mobilize people on a national scale besides the standard fare of ecological crises, labor struggles, disaster relief, and defendant support. Activists had to make good on all the rhetoric that had been thrown around about the shortcomings of summit-hopping by finally taking the time to focus on their local communities. In some areas, this has resulted in a lot of great community-based organizing—the recent proliferation of Really Really Free Markets brings to mind the spread of Food Not Bombs over a decade ago. While the relative quiet on the national scale gives the impression that anarchism is going through a minor recession, we won’t find out whether or not this is true until the next wave of mass actions—which we predict for 2008—shows what anarchists have been brewing in their communities.
An enthusiastic and delightful circus of outlaw engineers and charming maniacs are going on a nation-wide tour traveling from the Pacific Northwest across the country, down the East Coast and ending up at the 6th annual CrimethInc. Convergence—and they need your help to make it happen (see below). A dissected and rewired bus, resurrected by Winona Minnesota’s faction of the CrimethInc. Madass Scientists Guild will be converted into running on vegetable oil. Literally living off the fat of the land, this unstoppable veggie-oil guzzlin’ task force could be headed your way.
The purpose of this tour is to stimulate the magic and intimacy already present in the communities we plan on visiting.
From September 1st through 4th, 2008, the Republican National Convention will be held in St. Paul, MN.
As residents of the Twin Cities, as anti-authoritarians and anarchists, we, the RNC Welcoming Committee invite folks from all around the globe to show up and make something happen. Pull this movement out of its rut, or start something new. Let the up-tops know that we could give a shit about their suits, their speeches, their money. Bring your (A)-game, cause 2008 is ours.