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actions & protests | political theory selection 2004

Anarchist Voters in the Bay Area

This flyer has been anonymously circulated in the Bay Area. It is a response to the "Anarchists for Kerry" crowd. As some anarchists have been putting forward pro-voting drivel in the Portland area, I thought this text would be worth posting on the local Indymedia newswire.
The Long Haul is an anarcho-scene infoshop / hang out space in Berkeley.
POISON KOOL-AID PARTY FOR ANARCHIST VOTERS!

A celebration of San Francisco Bay Area anarchists' powerful embrace of the electoral process

ANARCHISTS ARE AGAINST VOTING -- EXCEPT IN NOVEMBER...

This November 2nd, the overwhelming majority of the Bay Area's anarchist and anti-authoritarian community will park their erstwhile convictions at the curb and run lemming-like into that Porta-Potty called the voting booth. Our dogma allows us to pose as the most intransigent of rebels. None of us has anything to gain in a contest between George Bush and John Kerry. But, on November 2nd, without the slightest hint of external coercion, we'll go out of our way to show our loyalty to the political process of capitalist America, and specifically to that faction of the elite that nuked Hiroshima, founded the CIA, accelerated US involvement in the Vietnam War, gutted the social welfare apparatus, and killed more than 600,000 children in Bill Clinton's starvation blockade of Iraq in the 1990's.

ANARCHISTS ARE AGAINST LEADERS -- BECAUSE ANARCHISTS ARE FOLLOWERS...

As anarchists, our votes for John Kerry will mean that we have effectively committed political suicide -- so why not commit physical suicide as well? Unlike the majority of the populace, who have wised up and won't be voting, we are virtual lemmings in the face of one of the most transparently bogus ideological hustles that the system has to offer. So let's get in touch with Wild Nature, like real lemmings do, and follow our democratic impulses to their logical conclusion!

Albert Camus said that the only remaining question in philosophy is the question of suicide -- this November we'll be getting way-helluv-philosophical!

REMEMBER, REMEMBER, THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER!

POISON KOOL-AID PARTY FOR ANARCHIST VOTERS!

at the Long Haul
3124 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California
(510) 540-0751

This will be a tobacco-free, alcohol-free, scent-free, and drug-free event -- except for cyanide.

Wheelchair-accessible. Extremely long-term childcare provided.

For any questions, contact us at
 http://www.dontjustvote.com

Thank you. Peace!
I can be an anarchist... 25.Oct.2004 18:11

Lucy Parsons

...and still be pro-voting!

[Let me say right away: I will not be voting for Kerry. Bleh!]

Look, we live in a system where voting is still one -- very small -- way to wield power. Unfortunately, we do NOT live in a system where not-voting is an act of any power. Sadly, not-voting is merely seen as apathy, not a challenge to the system.

There are a couple of reasons I vote: The biggest one is that I live in Oregon, and we have some fucking important ballot measures. If Measure 37 passes, huge swaths of still-wild land could become condos overnight. If Measure 36 is defeated, there's a slim possibility that my living-in-exile friends can bring their kids back to the U.S., where one of them holds citizenship, and where both of them face far less homophobia and violence every day.

Another reason I vote is "harm reduction." Voting for the Metro rep who wants to save wild places (that's Rob Liberty, for anyone interested) will slow destruction and give us an extra year to fight for a better world. Voting for the Pacific Greens for president lets the Democrats know that they need to move left, not right, each election -- and hopefully tells Kerry that some of us don't support his position on Iraq.

And you know what? Voting doesn't cost me shit. I'm gonna go to the library and drop off my ballot so I don't even need a stamp.

I don't suggest that voting is an effective way to make radical change. But it can be a way to make small, but important, gains for our planet and for people's lives. And during the 364 and 7/8 other days of the year, I'm spending my time on far more movement-building tasks.

I hate hierarchy and I hate bosses. And ain't I an anarchist?

Lemmings are not Suicidal 25.Oct.2004 18:31

.

ahem... the "lemmings off a cliff" incident which has become such a common metaphor in our culture was actually a fake: a walt disney film crew making a nature movie trapped some lemmings, dropped them into their staged "documentary" setting, and then chased them off a cliff.

on second thought, maybe not such a bad metaphor...