portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

N17 was a farce of morality

"Peaceseekers" who refuse to redress their society's mass greed and wantonness are the Pontius Pilates of Today, seeking to absolve their own guilt of a crime that they are perpetuating. Simplistic blame on cops, Bush, and other arms of the people ignore the causal relationship of bourgeois participation in capitalism and oppression. We must all stop oppression!
I call those who protested the war but then continued in a lifestyle that causes war, guilty. Every bit as guilty as the vast majority of those who stayed at home and observed the protest in a convenient news package the same size as news about Michael Jackson's nose or the assassination of 'suspected Al Queda' members by a drone.

To all of those who pointed fingers at Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft and others but turned a blind eye to their brothers, sisters, and selves as they filled their SUVs with gasoline, encouraged sexual objectification, treated a waiter like a servant and performed a hundred thousand other acts of subsidization for violence: trace the footprints of the national violence with that finger and see if it doesn't end up pointing at you.

Goddamn it, I can see the blood all over the people's hands. Don't you get it? Don't you understand why a march for peace that ignores the real causes of war isn't good enough? Look at each other! Look around you! Look at yourself! You are guilty of the oppression of millions!

I stand in solidarity with other anarchists. It isn't up to some prince of peace to come save the people. People must become their own leader. People become free by realizing and assuming their freedom. We all must rise up above the oppression, breaking the chains that bind us and ending our own oppression of others!

Wake up and be free! Your freedom is a ruse until you assume it. And, then, suddenly, you'll find that you are in conflict with the nation, law, policies, status quo, economics, and culture because our society is drowning in bloody oppression.

It all goes back to the pestilent idea that oppression is virtuous. That to control, enslave, and terrorize another through aggression and violence is something that is to be admired. The 'virtues' of competitiveness, aggressiveness, hurtfulness (called 'power' in this society), greed, indifference, vengefulness (called 'justice' in this society), and exploitation are taught from childhood onward. All those 'virtues' can be observed being sanctified in school, work, home life, and social relationships throughout our society.

This is because our society is heir to a lineage of oppressive societies that invaded other societies, murdered, raped, and enslaved the populace of the more peaceful societies, and then pillaged the land. In this war-like atmosphere, 'strength' (defined by these societies as the ability to oppress someone else) became the capital virtue by which all other things were subservient. Because, whatever other good could come about, if you could kill and rob or enslave the producers, you would have it.

The world suffers continually because of this exploitative selfishness. What a lonely existence to think that your life is the only one that matters. What a misguided quest for happiness that destroys every creator of happiness. We must learn to love the unique creative potential of every life, valuing freedom, diversity, and coexistence. It is time to rebel against societies built out of violence and fear.

The socialization of rape and enslavement of women by oppression and degradation is certainly at the core of the patriarchal, militaristic societies. This type of aggressive dominance is also carried out towards children, minorities, foreigners, and nearly everyone at some level. Even the aggressors are or have been the victims of aggression by others. The predatoriness of this social effect creates a vicious circle where people, out of fear, anger, and opportunism, oppress each other with violence.

Not everyone who is a victim considers it justification to victimize others, however, and many seek to defy and destroy the power structures that allow victimization and oppression to occur. But they must fight against more than individual oppressors. Let's not equivocate; most laws exist to protect the existing power structures. From threats to property 'rights', machoism, racism, sexism, authority, corporate enslavement, and the 'way of life' of Amerikans, the military (police) provides itself with justification to enslave, murder, and intimidate discontents into submission

If this is all because George W. Bush Jr. is alive, I'd be working towards ending that condition. If this is because cops are 'demons', I'd fight against them without mercy. But, there are many layers in oppressive societies and we must revolt against any and all authority to oppress.

Yes, the small top of the hierarchy controls most everything, but this control is allowed not simply out of fear of the military. The propaganda and constant appeals to selfishness, classism, and 'power' trump those who are content to allow others to suffer in order to secure their own comfort.

Especially, I am speaking of the bourgeois middle class who exhibit their laissez-faire indifference to the millions of lives enslaved to support their 'way of life' every time they vote in this farce of a democracy. Just like the purchase of neat styrofoam packages of meat, killing is made much easier when we've paid someone else to pull the trigger.

If you think that it is enough to simply say that you want peace, but, are unwilling to stop exploiting other human beings and the world at large, you are mistaken. Be assured that the oppressed will know your selfish intentions. We must stop the oppression not just complain that the guns are too loud!

Where there are those unwilling to stop oppressing others, I will condemn and fight against their power. I heard a speaker at the protest telling people that, as in an airplane emergency, we should help ourselves with oxygen before we help others in the plane. Yet, we all share the same air. We must stand together or we will fall. Solidarity!

No more complicity with oppression! Take a stand!! Smash the state!!
I call you a hypocrite 19.Nov.2002 14:09

dsfsdf

You join a mainstream march in order to add credibility to your position, then you *DESERT* the very people who gave you that credibility.

I call you a hypocrite and a fascist.

so some dumbshit got arrested 19.Nov.2002 14:18

.

Big deal. He'll get over it. Maybe he'll learn something. Like NOT TO JEOPARDIZE THE SAFETY AND COMPROMISE THE MESSAGE OF THE OTHER 9,999 PEOPLE IN THE MARCH.

What makes HIS little tantrum so much more important than the goals of 9,999 other marchers?

I'm glad they got him out of the march early on, I don't want to be associated with immature assholes like that.

i'm so glad we have cointelpro 19.Nov.2002 14:31

fuckyou

thanx peacenik assholes! your idea of solidarity is shopping at the same mall as the rest of you lameass minihitlers. it'll be great to watch the whitemiddleclass parade on tv and see you jack yourselves off on your self importance. hope you never need *my* help.

Can't We All Just Get Along? 19.Nov.2002 14:50

gfh

I've been completely apalled by the venom being hurled around following this last protest. Both "radicals" and "liberals" have been guilty of this and once again proved why we're being ruled by a bunch of conservative warmongers.

Some kid was arrested for spending about 2 seconds on the bumper of a cop car. I guess this was technically illegal, but did it really warrant the use of force and tax dollars the police expended to persecute him for his transgression? I'd say he got a little bit carried away, but he was, once again, just a kid. Why did the police need to get involved? I saw thousands of mother and father figures who could have given him a stern lecture and then sent him on his way.

This is the essence of why solidarity is so important. The whole reason this beautiful gathering of people has become a controversy is because we allowed the police to divide us. Make no mistake, that's what this was about. There were 10,000 individuals on the street united by one commonly held belief. By arresting this boy, the police divided us into 2 groups: one of radical young people who were sympathetic and another of liberal middle age people who were happy to march on. While the two categories weren't mutually exclusive, this seemed to be the general way that opinion within the PDX anti-war community is divided.

What needs to follow is an honest debate about solidarity and self-control. Both are essential. We need to discuss why, on the one hand, it's essential that we police ourselves and not allow law enforcement to interfere unnecessarily. At the same time, we have to discuss how what the boy did was innappropriate and risked the well being of others. I appreciate his enthusiasm, but the cops could have overreacted a lot more and set off a riot that would have effected people who didn't come prepared for that.

Until everyone opposed to injustice learns to respect each other, we're not going to stop this war, get rid of Bush, or protect our freedom.

Is a fake stand against war not hypocritical? 19.Nov.2002 15:06

greenman

Seeking 'mainstream' approval in order to acquire 'credibility' for the position of anarchy was distinctly not my purpose. I marched with other anti-imperialists and then joined the main march in solidarity against the war. I went and tried to raise awareness of and, especially, demonstrate against the capitalistic causes of the war.

However, the level of hypocrisy that I observed in the '9,999' protesters was disgusting. From people selling buttons to giving out bumper stickers (do you think these went on biodiesel vehicles??) to people drinking coffee and whining about republicans, I saw people who were deserting those whom they purported to wish to help by preventing the war: those oppressed by US policy.

I'm not here to give comfort food to all of those who want to think of themselves as charitable. I'm here to help in the fight for everyone's freedom, equality, and solidarity. And, if that means challenging the status quo, don't think that labeling me a 'fascist' (you mean like the Italian fascists who squashed the anarchist uprisings to protect capitalists with the help of reformist liberals who were even more 'radical' then most of the N17 marchers?) will keep me from standing up.

Here's something to think about: what if the police at the event started completely brutalizing a protester, maiming him or her in the process, because the protester called them 'pigs' or 'slaves'? How badly do you think he or she would have to be beaten, how minor would the infraction have to be before the people who were so 'concerned' with stopping war would have helped him or her?

We didn't know how bad it was until we got there; we just heard they the cops were beating someone up. We ran to find out what had happened and to help them if it was the right thing to do. Most people simply didn't come because they were afraid of being arrested, beat up, etc, etc, not because they knew that it was an 'immature asshole' with a 'tantrum'.

It was just a sign that most people didn't really care. They weren't willing to step out of their comfort zone in order to help people and that was exactly the point of my post. The protest was mainly an ideological absolution of guilt from the war. It was a feel-good exercise, not a real effort to stop the war.

Because, believe it or not, if people collectively limited or ceased their consumption of fossil fuels, if people refused to buy goods that were not made in fair conditions, if people selectively encouraged (through mutualism or participation) unions and union co-ops, if people siezed the land and means of work back from the capitalists, if people did a number of things, this war would not happen. Yet, people seem to think that raising a peace sign and condemning Bush is sufficient to change anything.

Someone wrote that protests were for 'peaceful and respectful' behaviour. I disagree with that. I protest because I dissent with what I am protesting against. I do not respect the 'right' of people to oppress. I do not believe in 'pacifism' that excludes direct action to prevent exploitation, violence, and environmental destruction. As if a teenager jumping on a car excuses a pacific notion to not interfere with that teenager being pummelled by numeruous officers! That's cowardice not pacifism!

If we want to end oppression we need to work hard and be willing to confront the skeletons in the closet. We need to protest, complain, dissent, argue, fight, and rebel against the things that trample freedom. Peace will come when we are all free from oppression and the violence that enforces it. That is what we must seek!

Various Leftist and liberal movements have consistently been the weak link in revolution, being instead reformist and supplanting existing authority with their own vangaurd authoritarianism. Where there is injustice, I seek to destroy it and nourish liberty in its place! This is true whether it is real fascists such as the SOA and Homeland Security politics or authoritarian yuppies that I fight against!

Viva la Revolution!

all or nothing? 19.Nov.2002 16:21

leftcoastdancer

I don't think that everything has to be just all or nothing. Bumper stickers are not evil. Cars are not evil.
Drinking coffee and whining about Republicans are not evil. Some things are neither good nor evil; they just are. I don't mean to tell you what to do, but I would suggest that you take care of your own shit and quit dissing everyone else who is taking care of things in their own way. Lighten up.

lighten up dude? 19.Nov.2002 17:15

go back to your bong

all those things might not be evil in and of themselves, but the complacency that usually accompanies them are. in times of crisis, neutral is evil.

The other requirements for peace 19.Nov.2002 17:16

greenman

I would like to point out that besides the active resistance to oppression that I emphasized in my previous (follow-up) post, the active construction of cooperative, egalitarian communes, unions, federations, relationships, etc is crucial to permentantly ending oppression.

It is also important to realize that anarchy is not an elitist, intellectual belief -- the transformative, fundamental experience of freedom is for everyone to have and use. My goal is not to alienate those who out of ignorance, habit, or even immorality are oppressive, but to expose and condemn such oppression.

There is a deluge of disinformation, propaganda, distractions, and desensitizations targeting the activity of the American conscious to prevent it from thinking for itself and absorbing the hard facts of the oppression that the 'American lifestyle' produces.

It may seem harsh or too critical to say that cars are 'evil', coffee is 'evil', capitalism is 'evil', or toy politics are 'evil. But, this is largely because the real damages being done by the cars, coffee, capitalism, and authoritarianism are hidden and obfuscated while we are cajoled by the 'innocence' and 'fun' of a luxurious lifestyle.

For a long time I've looked around for 'the enemy', trying to figure out who and what they are and how to defeat them. And, they are not hard to find. They would pop up like mushrooms (nothing against mushrooms), raining death and disease upon people in situations like Iraq, Chile, Vietnam, Wounded Knee, etc.

I could see that the aggression of these incidents was supported and, in fact, directed by power structures such as the corporations, the white house, the military-industrial complex, etc. And, I would wonder, how could the people in power, the people who were 'evil', able to justify their actions? Why did they oppress people?

And, I looked at society and saw the sexism, racism, classism, agism, etc, etc and all of the terrible violence of citizens against each other. I looked at the way people were enslaved by work, by their 'cards' in life, by the situations that they were in.

And, I experienced again and again that most people are aware that they are violent, oppressive, exploitative, and so on. But, some how, there is this acceptance of it. It is like there is a wish to just close our eyes and opiate our consciousnesses out of realizing the oppression that we cause.

And, then, I realized it doesn't have to be that way. As a matter of fact, I noticed that it took tremendous energy and life in order to support the authoritarian structures both big and small. In fact, capitalism and authoritarianism have to fight extremely hard to subdue the people into accepting their condition.

And, the worst of all enemies to the oppression, the greatest friend to the oppressed is this: The knowledge that we are free beings and are responsible for ourselves.

I will simply tell you know that that key knowledge has transformed me into an anarchist filled with hopefulness and determination. It has helped me realize that understanding and assuming that freedom is truly the key to ending oppression.

To do this, we must think for ourselves, so I will leave it up to the reader to consider why I think that the knowledge that you are free is the key to liberation from oppression and how that can be put into practice.

Liberty, equality, and solidarity!

P.U.! 19.Nov.2002 17:48

the nose

Your rhetoric stinks and you need some major help with social skills. Those who I knew before with the same sort of thinking (what? you believe you're an original?) ended up out in the stickerbushes alienated from almost everyone because they were so damned right. I don't think you're any better than a rightist wingnut-the other side of the coin is still the same coin, bucko. What i saw at the World Trade Center was a group of folks wedging themselves up against a wall with no exit and I don't bounce when trampled as good as I used to.

hey stinky 19.Nov.2002 18:00

8

you're invited to stay away. your NOSE must be plugged with your ignorance or you'd smell your own stench. i smelled you a mile away.

Keep in mind... 19.Nov.2002 20:05

anti-fascist

Keep in mind that reasonable liberal posts are routinely censored by IMC tyrants thus giving the appearance that the radicals are the majority. Whatever, the revolution has no room for tyrants.

Success 19.Nov.2002 23:41

Kateshvara

It's the largest event I've been to in the last year, and it was legal. I would call it a huge step for achieving plurality

LEGALITY IS THE ENEMY 20.Nov.2002 00:18

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. "
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Obedience has led to far worse evils than disobedience.
Just ask the Germans.

The crime was not a boy hopping on a car bumper for 2 seconds (which is all he did), the true crime was police viciously detaining a boy for doing that.

greenman, you're awesome 20.Nov.2002 01:48

spArk

you hit all the important nails square on the head in your original post and in your follow-ups. i agree that the main problem in the U.S. right now is the fact that people in such luxury at the expense of so many and are unwilling to admit it or give it up. it is selfishness at a personal level that results in very real oppression (including death) at the global level.

what most people don't do (even though every wise man and woman in the last 10,000 years has encouraged it) is to live simply and humbly, and to be as giving and loving as possible. the freedom that comes with lacking material things and emotional baggage is an incredible high, but is rarely experienced here, where people are obsessed with acquiring and consuming material things, and with filling their heads with mindless entertainment that drives out all true human emotion. it is very sad, really, and there's not much we can do except live as simply and humbley as possible, and give and love as much as we can, and hope that when people see how happy we are that they will want to give up their stuff and join us on our path.

and to enji: the liberal fetish with legality is truly myopic. there's plenty of things that are legal that are completely immoral, and there's plenty of things that are morally admirable (even necessary) that are illegal.

to spArk 20.Nov.2002 22:13

Enji

you're confusing me with the other Buddhist.

i agree with you, there are morally admirable activities that are illegal. i imagine we might disagree which ones are admirable.

regarding 'liberals' i don't think it's fetishism so much as inclusivism. there's a time and a place for those illegal heroisms, and there's a time and a place for inclusive, safe for older, and i mean middle-aged folks whose bodies aren't as resilient any more, and families, and that means legal.

i agree we shouldn't have to have permits to peacably assemble. since the city would make large assemblies without permits illegal, i agree, it is a morally admirable act to have a gathering that has no permit. i would disagree though that all assemblies that wish to make a point such as our peace rally last sunday should do so without permits.

we must pick our battles. there must be a multitude of strategies. that includes having rallies with permits and liaissons with the police.

i don't agree that any of those strategies should include aggressive actions towards other people, whether cops or reporters. aggressive actions are violent. violence is never a solution. karma, baby. cause and effect.

to greenman 20.Nov.2002 23:30

ittybitty

Thank you for writing all of what you did. The only thing that is pure is nature. We did not make it, it made us, and now we are destroying it. Every other "truth", every other "infaliable" or "dependable" structure of society is something that humans have created. Not all are evil, however I would assert that the majority of them are not good. We made religion, we made currency, we made cars, we made war, we made governments, and socialization, and schools, and bureaucracy, and hate, and violence. We made them, and we can take them away. The problem is that people have all these different structures engrained within their minds. We elevate them to the level of truth. It is false. Such a simple fact, that we made it all, yet so hard to come to terms with. The world is dying and it's our fault. We took ourselves away from what is real, and put all our beliefs, all our energies, all our resources into the lie.