A Liberal response or a Revolutionary response
Mass protests over the last year and a half have placed (1st world) anti-global-corporate struggles into the political limelight. Unfortunately this new-found public interest has been largely occupied by organizations and individuals who have an abundance of resources and politics which have taken us to where we are now; not far enough.
Along with the growing activist presence has been a growing state response - protests in Seattle, DC, Prague, Quebec, and most recently Genoa have each seen new levels of police violence, state repression and censorship. Each new level of state response calls into question not only the staying power of this movement but its purpose; clearly protest-only movements are not worth dying for, or even being beaten for, but as it stands "protest-only" is how this movement is being defined.
We have been continuously dissatisfied with the organized responses to state repression. We believe that the escalating reactions of the state offer this movement a challenge and an opportunity; and that the choice activists make will determine either victory or defeat. We are submitting the following points as one basis for debate within the movement, to offer a choice for a new direction, and possibly to serve as a rallying point for a section of the movement that has largely been without a voice. If the choice is between a revolutionary response and a liberal one, we think that a revolutionary response will include the points listed below.
1.We need to clearly define ourselves as an anti-capitalist force - not one interested in reforming the institutions we are protesting.
2. Anti-capitalism is a revolutionary stance; we are revolutionaries.
3. We must recognize that the state will defend itself with force. This means harassment, beatings, shootings and death. We cannot afford to respond to state violence with shock or moralistic calls for apology; death is part of any serious liberation struggle. We must also acknowledge that any violence leveled against us is nothing compared to the daily violence leveled by the state against oppressed communities nationally and internationally. Carlo Giuliani may have died for the cause, but so have hundreds of victims of police violence within the US last year, whose names we don't even know.
4. We are capable of forcing police into self-defense situations. We weaken ourselves when we pose as victims in an attempt to gain some kind of moral higher ground.
5. We need to publicly claim our place within the global revolutionary struggle and to claim solidarity with national and international movements from Cincinnati to Ecuador to Chiapas, and from Palestine to Columbia. More than claiming our place, we need to act in real solidarity with these struggles.
6. We refute any statement which claims that any White or European protestor is this movement's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. martyr. As revolutionaries within the framework of global revolutionary struggle, we hailed our first martyrs long ago.
7. We must publicly acknowledge that protest alone is not enough to create revolutionary change in the US or in any modern state.
8. We need to build a grass roots legitimacy for this movement - this means doing the "on the ground" daily organizing work which will build the current protests into a real mass movement.
9. In addition to building a mass base we need to build up revolutionary organizations so that the next time we are presented with a challenge we can more adequately respond.
People in general agreement with these points should be pushing for their inclusion in any relevant movement literature or propaganda leading up to the events in DC. We hope that these can serve as a basis for debate about the direction for the movement; within and without organizations they are involved with, and within and without the movement. Please distribute this pamphlet as widely as possible.
We will be in the streets in DC Sept 26 to Oct 4.
It takes a plan...