Creative Responses to the Curriculum

Sometimes, writing a paper is not enough to get across what we have learned from readings or theories. Since I am a relatively creative person who has been overwhelmed by many of the topics this quarter, I have created this post to share certain artist means for me to express how I am processing all of the information.

During week 2, I read Emma Goldman’s Red Emma Speaks. I have always been inspired by Emma Goldman, but after reading so many of her works I needed a way to express how much of an impact her words have had on me this quarter. In response I have written a poem which is attached below as a Google Document.

Born in Fire: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vP6hMbiIutFTeoa8xtAZwAKd-vTDM1sXsAOG4K3bX-k/edit?usp=sharing

During week 5 and 6, I was reading Murray Bookchin and Lucy Parsons. Bookchin is an anarcho-communist and social ecologist, and Parsons was an ex-chattel slave who was an active anarchist during the Haymarket Affair in the late 1800’s. These two authors are extremely direct about how they think creativity is important in developing a society that meets the needs of all. Their writings encouraged me to write a song about how I’ve been feeling recently regarding capitalism, racism, and many other isms as well as wondering how we enjoy life when faced with the horrors of this system. Below, I have attached the youtube link for the video.

During Week 6 I read, A Lifelong Anarchist! by Lucy Parsons and Death in the Haymarket by James Green. Lucy Parsons was married to Albert Parsons, who was hung for allegedly participating in building and/or detonating a bomb that was thrown at a crowd of police officers. I wrote the following poem in response to the Haymarket murders and Lucy Parson’s take on the situation.

Death in the Haymarket was chosen as a reading for this curriculum because it is not written by someone who considers themselves an anarchist. Green is a professor who wrote about events that he had no part in, unlike many of the other authors. Even without an anarchist analysis, I valued his writing. The information and data that he used was well researched.

To open the poem, please download from this link: Ode to the Haymarket

During Week 7 I read The Struggle Against the State and Other Essays by Nestor Mahkno. His theories regarding the slaughter of anarchists by state communists during the Russian Revolution were mind-opening. There have always been tensions between anarchists and state communists, and even people who identify as anarcho-communist as Mahkno did have problems with many of the behaviors that come from states. This week I wrote a song with lyrics directly inspired by Mahkno’s essays, critiquing state communism (specifically Bolshevism). Below, there will be a link for the video and another link for the lyrics. *New version uploaded since I’m not sick anymore*

 

For Lyrics click here

During Week 8 I read Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, a French philosopher and participant in the Situationist International Movement in France from 1957-1972. In order to understand his philosophy regarding the spectacle of society, I also watched a short documentary titled, “The Situationist International.” This song is inspired by words spoken by, art made by, revolts sustained by, and propaganda produced by Situationists and other French rebels.

Debord believed that every meaningful part of life has been transformed into a spectacle, and we are isolated from real experiences as well as from each other by the capitalist system. Most people participate willingly in the spectacle because they know nothing else; they come to worship the spectacle as if it is a religion. This is why when you discuss alternatives to capitalism people get defensive and upset: capitalism is all they know and they are willing to defend it even if they feel deep down that something is not right about it. Through art, film, books, and propaganda the Situationists attempted to combat the spectacle by constructing and creating situations in which they could recapture and transform every day life.

“If we do not want to participate in the spectacle of the end of the world, we will have to work towards the end of the world of spectacle,” -Situationist International propaganda.

For lyrics click here.

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Writings on Historical Radical Movements

In this section, the reflective essays I write on radical historical movements will be posted on a bi-weekly basis, with a cumulative three papers in total at the end of spring quarter.

Week 3: The Paris Commune

Readings:

Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune by Kristin Ross

paris commune

Communards at the Paris Commune in 1871 (credit: LibCom).

Modern Movements and the Idea of Communal Luxury

Communal Luxury is the idea that humans who cooperate with those closest to them, as well as engaging in mutual aid with each other on a global scale, will be able to achieve equitable access to resources and the time and space to truly appreciate the beauty of living. At the Paris Commune in 1871, communities overtook the city of Paris and created a commune where religion was removed from education, workers owned the means of production and consumption, capitalism and class were eliminated, and federations were created to give the people control over their lives. A federation is a group of people, such as artists, teachers, or workers, that engages in direct democracy to make decisions and then interacts with other federations to meet goals for the broader community. The idea of a society outside of capitalism, where humans truly understand the idea of communal luxury, appeals to me as an anti-capitalist and an anti-authoritarian. Unlike the bourgeois luxury of the capitalist and dominating classes, founded on the exploitation of the masses and benefiting only a few, communal luxury benefits all and creates a new understanding of work and consumption.

To access the full essay, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_PL6mMVfxDt018dCujXcKIgC5XVq2ywa_73SxKKzWQM/edit?usp=sharing

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Media Journal: Actions/ Events/ Demonstrations/ Announcements

This is a media log of actions and announcements by radical groups throughout the world, with a focus on the United States. This specific project has been taken on because my ILC focuses on political theories, movements, and people who discuss or take action to try to improve the lives of oppressed groups of people or resist the systems that oppress them. In order to give some modern examples of organizing I have to keep up with what is happening in radical spaces, as well as spaces that do not necessarily identify as radical, but are taking action nonetheless.

Week 2: April 9-16, 2017

To view full reportback, please follow this link: Week 2 Media Log

This is just a brief summary. To find my full report back please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DGu3o7Q-3RQt3bmmHkums5-NjwBIMzuLsj1ZbbLlAE8/edit?usp=sharing

Supporters of the Sanctuary District Resolution in Milwaukee, WI. (Credit: Andrea Waxman).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, April 10). Students fight and win sanctuary district in Milwaukee against ICE. It’s Going Down.

Milwaukee School Board passes the Sanctuary District Resolution after hard work from students, groups, and community members.

 

Source: It’s Going Down. (2017, April 10). New Orleans, LA: Banner dropped in solidarity with those facing repression. It’s Going Down.

Banner drop in solidarity with Disrupt J20 arrestees in Louisiana attempting to fund raise for court fees.

Source: War and Peace Report (2017, April 14). 700 immigrants on hunger strike at for-profit prisons to protest conditions and $1/day wages. Democracy Now!

Tacoma, Washington, 700 prisoners

A banner outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma reads: Isolation Colonization Exploitation (ICE) and Greedy Exploitative Oppression (GEO). (Credit: Democracy Now!)

A banner reads: Isolation Colonization Exploitation (ICE) and Greedy Exploitative Oppression (GEO). (Credit: Democracy Now!

(out of he 1,575 prisoners) at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) have gone on strike to protest one-dollar a day wages and racist deportation and imprisonment tactics.

To access the full summaries of these events, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DGu3o7Q-3RQt3bmmHkums5-NjwBIMzuLsj1ZbbLlAE8/edit?usp=sharing

Week 3: April 17-23

For full reportback, please follow this link: Week 3 Media Log

Source: Anonymous. (2017, April 17). Phone zap: End retaliation against HH Gonzales, currently in solitary confinement. It’s Going Down.

Harold “H.H.” Gonzalez has been targeted for indefinite solitary confinement after a peaceful protest at Kinross Correctional Facility in 2016, and has reached out to those outside of prison to support him.

Protests broke out in Berkeley, Ca on April 15, 2017 (Credit: It's Going Down).


Protests broke out in Berkeley, Ca on April 15, 2017 (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, April 18). Mace, gas, and blood: A reportback from Berkeley. It’s Going Down.

As a Pro-Trump rally was held in Berkeley, physical confrontations between anti-fascists and alt-right supporters ensued, with injuries on both sides.

Flier created by Crimethinc (Credit: It's Going Down).

Flier created by Crimethinc (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Crimethinc Ex-Workers Collective. (2017, April 19). We’ll beat ‘em again!: Take the fight against fascism to the walls of your neighborhood. It’s Going Down.

The Crimethinc Ex-Workers collective put together some fliers against fascism that they are encouraging communities around the world to put up in their neighborhoods.

Photo of Umaji Peace Center (Credit: Displacement Stops Here).

Photo of Umaji Peace Center (Credit: Displacement Stops Here).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, April 19). Seattle, Wa: Police attempt violent eviction of Umojafest Peace Center. It’s Going Down.

In Seattle, Washington at 23rd and Union, a group in support of Displacement Stops Here at a building called Umoji Peace Center are facing violent eviction by police. Displacement Stops Here attempts to combat gentrification and displacement of black communities from Seattle.

Protesters against Charles Murray in Illinois outside his lecture (Credit: It's Going Down).

Protesters against Charles Murray in Illinois outside his lecture (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Rififibloomington. (2017, April 19). Bloomington, IN: Taking on Murray. It’s Going Down.

Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, was invited to present a lecture at Indiana University. Murray is an avid supporter of the psuedoscience of race, and argues that People of Color and women are inherently less intelligent and capable than white men. Police attempted to repress protesters violently and came in riot gear.

To access the full summaries of these events, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KUYx5p6jzXGCusMucbfe4WgDM8ddiq8wUQU_e8EDJy0/edit?usp=sharing

Week 4: April 24-30, 2017

NWDC resistance

Campers outside of the NWDC hang a banner on a fence that reads #Not1MoreDeportation (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Seattle General Defense Committee. (2017, April 24). Fierce resistance at the Northwest Detention Center. It’s Going Down.

Summary: Inside the Northwest Detention Center, detainees have engaged in work stoppages, hunger strikes, and commissary boycotts to demand that they get better working wages and living standards inside the prison. Though the strikes have been called off, the Northwest Detention Center Resistance is still calling for support for other actions happening in the following week.

Demonstrators carry a sign that reads "These lands belong to Armenia" with a map of Turkey (Credit: Democracy Now!).

Demonstrators carry a sign that reads “These lands belong to Armenia” with a map of Turkey (Credit: Democracy Now!).

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, April 25). Crowds march to Turkish Consulate in L.A. to commemorate Armenian genocide. Democracy Now!

Summary: Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched to the Turkish Consulate in L.A. on April 24, 2017, to demand that the Turkish state acknowledge the Armenian genocide 102 years ago, which the government still denies.

Source: Atlanta Anti-Fascists. (2017, April 26). Richard Spencer gets a not-so-warm welcome at Auburn University, Alabama, April 18, 2017. It’s Going Down.

Summary: At Auburn University in Alabama, Richard Spencer was scheduled to give a speech. Spencer is a white nationalist and white supremacist. When the student body protested, the school canceled his speech; Spencer got the law involved and was allowed to speak after getting a court order from a white nationalist lawyer. Protesters arrived on the scene and chased away multiple white nationalist and Alt-Right groups once the speech had ended.

Brazil-Indigenous

Demonstrators carry coffins to signify the deaths caused by genocidal actions of the Brazilian government against Indigenous communities (Credit: Democracy Now!).

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, April 26). Brazil: 3,000 Indigenous people protest land theft outside congress. Democracy Now!

Summary: Thousands of protesters, said to be mostly Indigenous, carried coffins and signs outside of congress on April 25, 2017, in order to protest the treatment of Indigenous lands and peoples in Brazil and the deaths that have been growing due to genocidal actions of the government. Police responded with tear gas and other violent means, while demonstrators threw spears and shot arrows back in self-defense.

H11_Drone_Protest

Protesters outside of Creedy Airforce Base (Credit: Democracy Now!).

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, April 27). Nevada: 7 arrested at air force base protesting U.S. drone attacks. Democracy Now!

Summary: A nonviolent protest was held in Nevada at an air force base to express dissent against U.S. airstrikes and drone use in the Middle East. Seven participants were arrested outside Creech Air Force Base northwest of Las Vegas for blockading a part of the highway.

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Indigenous protesters stand on the highway in Oaxaca, Mexico (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: It’s Going Down. (2017, April 28). Indigenous communities blockade highway in Oaxaca. It’s Going Down.

Summary: Indigenous community members in Oaxaca have set up a 24-hour barricade of the Trans-Isthmus Highway in Mexico in order to disrupt the flow of capital that continues to displace their families and destroy indigenous land. Women, children, and elders are participating.

To access the full summaries of these events, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b5HJ-CtfnDiLUJYsYTfA6GfFIs3hXDfDV3FAtHQkSSw/edit?usp=sharing

Week 5: May 1-7, 2017

For full reportback, please follow this link: Week 5 Media Log

Source: Anonymous. (2017. May 1). Happy May Day: Gentrifying Chicago Alderman’s office gets smashed up. It’s Going Down.

Summary: On April 30th, 2017, an anonymous group smashed the windows of Joe Moreno’s office in Chicago in response to the erasure of the history of May Day and the gentrification and displacement of the community.

colorado tags

Spray Paint that reads. “Death to Fascism//Death to Trump” with an antifascist symbol and an anarchist (A) (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 1). Denver, Co: Posters and graffiti in solidarity with those facing repression. It’s Going Down.

Summary: In response to the arrests of protesters on Resist J20 (inauguration day, 2017), people in Denver, Colorado have wheatpasted over forty-five posters and have left messages with spray paint around town throughout the month of April, 2017.

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 1). Down with the pipeline and its world. It’s Going Down.

Summary: A video was released by an anonymous tree-sitter at Camp White Pine in Canada, calling for action against capitalist modes of extraction, such as pipelines, on Indigenous land led by Indigenous leadership.

Source: One People’s Project. *2017, May 1). Kentucky fried chickenshit: Nazis come to PIke County, Ky. It’s Going Down.

kentucky

Demonstrators hold a banner that sayd, “Antifascists Worldwide United” (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Summary: White supremacist groups, such as the Nationalist Socialist Movement, the Traditionalist Worker Party, and the Nationalist Alliance showed up for a rally in Pike County, Kentucky. Antifascist and other antiracist community members showed up to defend their communities from the white supremacists.

Source: Conflict MN. (2017, May 2). Anti-War Committee protects fascist Trump supporter at May Day march. It’s Going Down.

Summary: On May 1, 2017 at the International Workers and Immigrants Day March in Minneapolis, protest security group, the Anti-War Committee,  stopped anyone from defending themselves against the neonazis who were photographing and calling out demonstrators.

Source: Twin Cities GDC. (2017, May 2). St. Paul, MN: Rally against advocates of race war May 6. It’s Going Down.

GDC minnesota

Twin Cities GDC members hold a banner at a demonstration (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Summary: The General Defense Committee, a part of the radical union Industrial Workers of the World, has called for a rally against racist, white supremacists, and white nationalists part of the groups Suidlanders at Minnesota State Capitol Building in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 6th, 2017 at 10am.

Source: Puget Sound Anarchists. (2017, May 3). Olympia, WA: May Day reportback. It’s Going Down.

Summary: In Olympia, WA on May Day (May 1, 2017), antifascists and anti-capitalists converged in downtown for a march of about 100 people. Soon after people took the streets and attempted to form a barricade, about 50 riot cops showed up. Protesters were heckled by neonazis and white supremacists. Bank and store windows were smashed in and nine demonstrators were arrested.

To access the full summaries of these events, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L70wQKeY7mhI11eutvu5BdrPEbRdBIOT0sIn7AsxWTM/edit?usp=sharing

Week 6: May 8-14, 2017

For full reportback, please follow this link: Week 6 Media Log

Eric King (Credit: It's Going Down).

Eric King (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Support Eric King. (2017, May 9). Announcing the first annual International Day of Solidarity with Eric King. It’s Going Down.

Summary: Eric King, in Missouri, was sentenced to  ten years for property destruction against a government building on June 28, 2016. June 28, 2017 has been announced as International Day of Solidarity with Eric King.

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, May 10). Florida: 3 arrested in airport revolt after Spirit Airlines canceled flights. Democracy Now!

Summary: Spirit Airlines, who is in a battle with employees over “poor working conditions, low pay, lack of profit sharing and… attempts to slow down contract negotiations” canceled flights for hundreds of people this week (Democracy Now!). At least three protesters were arrested in response to getting stranded at the airport. Workers and customers alike are upset with the way that Spirit Airlines has handled itself as an employer and a business.

Protesters arrested for demonstrating at 14 Chase banks in Seattle (Credit: Democracy Now!).

Protesters arrested for demonstrating at 14 Chase banks in Seattle (Credit: Democracy Now!).

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, May 10). Seattle: 26 activists arrested demanding JPMorgan Chase refuse to fund Keystone XL Pipeline. Democracy now!

Summary: On Monday, May 8, 2017, protesters in Seattle shut down fourteen JPMorgan Chase banks throughout the city. Their demand was that the bank pull its funding from the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Twenty-six protesters were arrested in Seattle for their attempts to shut the banks down.

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, May 10). Reporter arrested asking HHS head if domestic violence is pre-existing condition in GOP health plan. Democracy now!

Summary: Journalist Dan Heyman was arrested in West Virginia for asking the Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, if domestic violence was a pre-existing condition for health insurance while in the hallway at the West Virginia State Capitol.  When he did not get an answer, Heyman continued to ask the question and was arrested for “willful disruption of state government processes,” and was assigned a $5,000 bail.

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 10).

About 100 people showed up in North Carolina to protest white supremacy (Credit: It's Going Down).

About 100 people showed up in North Carolina to protest white supremacy (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Asheboro, NC: Report back from ‘Stand Against the Klan.’ It’s Going Down.

Summary: Local antifascist groups, the IWW, and Redneck Revolt organized an anti-white supremacy demonstration in Asheboro, North Carolina. Participants from several nearby states and counties attended. Riot police showed up but there were not any interactions between police and protestors.

Week 7: May 15-21

For full reportback, follow this link: Week 7 Media Log

Participants in "Free Speech Rally" in Boston carry Trump signs (Credit: It's Going Down).

Participants in “Free Speech Rally” in Boston carry Trump signs (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 15). Drinking from the cup of fascist tears: Boston report back. It’s Going Down.

Summary: On May 13, 2017, a “Free Speech Rally” hosted by multiple groups of fascists in Boston, Ma took place. Antifascists from Philadelphia drove to Boston in order to support Boston antifascists organizing against the fascist rally. The antifascist were better organized and held their ground against infiltrators. Although the antifascist bloc was outnumbered by about four to one, they were able to maintain a presence successfully.

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 15). Chicago stands in solidarity with incarcerated moms for #MothersDay. It’s Going Down.

Summary: Saturday, May 13, 2017, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration held a rally outside of Chicago’s Cook County Jail. They organized it in solidarity with mothers who are incarcerated. Black women are twice as likely to get incarcerated as white women, and rates of women’s imprisonment have been growing rapidly. The ralliers called to tear the jail down and redistribute the area back to the community rather than investing in incarceration any longer.

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, May 16). Why I am suing Trump: Washington State AG fights admin on Muslim Ban, drilling, drug war & more. Democracy Now!

Summary: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson spoke with Democracy Now! About President Trump’s second Muslim Ban. Outside the Federal Courthouse in Seattle while a hearing was being held regarding the travel ban, protesters held space and chanted “No Ban, No Wall!” Ferguson, who successfully aided blocking the first Muslim Ban through lawsuits, says that the Muslim bans violate the amount of power that a president should have according to the Constitution. People were being turned away at airports and at the border all over the U.S., and action had to be taken immediately in order to address the people being turned away. Hearings around the country have been relatively similar in challenging the Muslim bans that have been proposed twice.

chicago-324x235

Occupiers hang banners outside of their apartment complex (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 16). Chicago: Barnett Capital and police move to destroy squat for condos. It’s Going Down.

Summary: On May 11, squatters were woken by police breaking down their door and ordering them to get down. The property manager of Barnett Capital,Steve Mallon, came in and watched the squatters get handcuffed. The building was once a homeless shelter until purchased by Mallon. People have chosen to occupy it, with many different ages and identities occupying the space in the face of gentrification and eviction in Chicago. Barnett Capitol has been a key driving force in the gentrification of Chicago. Even though the eviction was illegal and there was no eviction notice, the police still aided.

Virginia pipelines

Photo of a pipeline being built (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 17). Against Virginia’s Proposed Pipelines. It’s Going Down.

Summary: Proposed pipelines in Virginia are threatening the livelihood of many people who live on or near the land that is potentially going to be drilled in coming months. Dominion and Duke the corporations proposing two pipelines, claim that the pipelines would produce mass profits for the economy without discussing the impacts on the environment or local people’s lives.

Source: Crimethinc. Ex-Workers Collective. (2017, May 17). If the FBI approaches you to become an informant: An FAQ. It’s Going Down.

Summary: If the FBI approaches you and asks you for help, or tells you that you will be in more trouble if you do not give information, do not believe their intentions are what they claim they are. The FBI has put in a lot of effort and has hurt many people to target people of color, militant organizing groups, and individuals who are anti-government or anti-capitalist.

Source: Democracy Now! (2017, May 17). Reporter “manhandled” by FCC security guards for asking question. Democracy Now!

Summary: John Donnelly, an award-winning reporter was attacked and made to leave the Federal Communications Commission headquarters on May 18, 2017. He was attempting to ask the FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly a question once the press conference ended, and was pinned up against a wall by security guards.

Week 8: May 22-28, 2017

anita

Banner hanging at Anita Place (Credit: It’s Going Down).

Volcano. (2017, May 23). Founding Declaration of Anita Place Tent City, Maple Ridge. It’s Going Down.

Summary: An encampment of formerly houseless people has been occupied land in British Columbia to challenge gentrification, evictions, and homelessness. They sent out a letter saying that they are using city land and are doing it in defense of their lives from property owners and governments. They are requesting that the land be publicly donated for housing.

Source: Submedia.tv. (2017, May 23). Montreal: ‘Week of Occupations’ kicks off as vacant hospital is taken. It’s Going Down.

Summary: People in Montreal took the streets on May 22, 2017 and marched to an abandoned hospital where they let themselves in and began occupying. When the police showed up, people barricaded the doors shut. A general assembly was held and more actions are planned for the rest of the week.

Source: Earth First! Journal. (2017, May 23). Longterm resistance encampment against fracking in Ohio. It’s Going Down.

Summary: Multiple groups participated in a three-day long action training camp hosted by Appalachia Resist!  in Ohio recently; over one hundred people participated. The American Indian Movement of Ohio, Keep Wayne Wild,  and Earth First! were among the participants. Appalachia Resist! is known for blockading oil and gas infrastructure. After the training, organizers agreed to establish a long-term occupation encampment to protect Wayne National Forest from the oil industry.

Since November, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management has rented about 2000 acres of land in the forest to fracking companies who come from mostly out of state.

Source: Anonymous. (2017, May 23). Call to action for Portland area anarchists: Feedings the people in solidarity with our comrades behind bars. It’s Going Down.

Summary: There has been a call to action for Portland anarchists to gather as much food as they can “by any means necessary,” and distribute it at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. They are suggesting handing out food as well as literature. Anarchism has been a hot social topic lately, and this article says that the people need to see that anarchism is not just about black bloc tactics. Anarchism is about cooperation and mutual aid.

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