portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

political theory m19 2006

Your March Accomplished NOTHING! Now what?

Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is a sign of addiction. Peaceniks who claim to want to "End the War" have a habit worse than the junkie: using the same, bankrupt tactics that make them feel warm and fuzzy while the killing proceeds unabated. When you gonna kick?
The headline read: "Kidnapped Peace Activist Tom Fox Found Dead in Iraq.

The story: "In Iraq, the body of American peace activist Tom Fox has been found in Baghdad, over three months after he was kidnapped along with three other members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams. The whereabouts of the other three hostages remains unknown. The 54-year-old Fox opposed the U.S. invasion and occupation and had traveled to Iraq to help jailed Iraqis get in touch with their families. In his final email to friends, Fox explained why he was in Iraq. He wrote "We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls."

The seat of the global oppressor and the world's most wanted terrorists, the SOG as J.Edgar Hoover termed it, is right here in America, home to Reality TV and EggBeaters. Iraq and Israel are mere outposts in the imperial puzzle called the New World Order, yet, we got lefties goin' hither and yon runnin' from the fight to the fight. There's plenty o' red blooded, blue eyed oppression & dehumanization goin' on right here in Up South! Why can't ya'll stand with me and my Niggas in all the American NoPo's?

I'm putting an APB out for all the Tom Fox's and Rachel Corrie's: Come Home and FIGHT With Yo' Darker Siblings!!!!!!!!!!!

They marchin' agin' ['Stop the War: Part 2100.' The fact that this sequel hasn't come C(a)LOSE to toppling massa hasn't prevented these political Otto Premingers from re-producing the same ole movie madness.] Malcolm nailed it when he suggested that if your actions were to stop THE war or any war, you'd be too busy swingin' to be singin'!!!

At this most recent march (and I know you were there), did you listen carefully to the calls to action: write or email your Congressman or your Congresswoman - who is an equal opportunity turncoat in her own, liberated right, vote, listen to Air Hysterical, join Code Pink or mArCh. There were no calls to shut this mutha fucka a.k.a. the country/guv'ment down, march on the Congress and take it over, don't let the bizness of INjustice proceed until WE the people are finally in charge. Even though the Declaration of Independence makes clear that a government injurious to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness MUST be overturned, you're suddenly dyslexic.

Revolution! Revolution disrupts and destroys the machinery of demonic power; it doesn't feed it, coddle it, bargain with it, elect it, bark like a dog around it with NO bite. Where's your bite ya REVOLUTIONARY BEOTCH?!

Sadly, ya'll were invited yet again, on the leftwing Ferris Wheel to no where. Feeling a little queasy, are you? But that's the point, Yo! Your leaders are the 'Revolutionary Bulimics' - thumb down their esophagus, retching out the same ole Wheatina for mass consumption. Call it another Jim Jones Memorial banquet without the strychnine. You think you're being fed, but you're swallowing a mass delusion, an empty pot that's left you morally and intellectually emaciated.

Where's the strategy, where's the planning to actually "END THE WAR", some might ask? Why there's NONE required, since this 'two-step cha-cha' isn't action, but a pleasant fascimile of it. No, Sunday's attendees received yet again, the milky, regurgitated pus called a 'demonstraction', spoonfed us by white men and their henchwomen who look strangely - 'cept for their bizarre, unkempt hair - like the white men and women who run this alleged country.

You felt great after the march (car bombs and rising body count notwithstanding) - and that's the point; not social change, or justice. Handing back your white privilege, saying 'no thanks', being a 'John Brown' ally to people of color isn't high on your hemp radar screen just just yet.

The Rules For Radicals 21st Century Style are de-nutted, de-natured and keep the same white folks in the same position: the Missionary and fucking everybody and the planet!

I've been criticized for repeatedly saying the same thing about white liberals/radicals; but hey, Johnny Cochran said if the shoe fits you must convict. The conditions ain't changed so why change the tempo? I'm stayin' on message, babybubba, until this mess of a movement wakes up.

{{{{Actually, I have a better idea: @ PSU this summer or fall or SOME DAY, let's hold a Conference on the State of the Revolution. Let's invite blacks, browns, reds and even whites, to sit down and start analyzing and plannin' DIRECT ACTIONS to halt, disrupt, prevent the imperialist, facist un-government from operating. NOW! WE will plan our nation's future instead of reactively bitchin' or carefully plotting the next field trip through the Park Blocks.}}}}

Planning - not to walk or elect, but to create, in fact, a new paradigm. The old one is dead. We don't need the same, tired old, new age racist hippie-types and their colored lackeys who can't see 2 feet in front of their fudge caked noses mucking up the works any longer. (Where's Dr. Kervorkian when you need him?!)

We MUST de-colonize these brainwashed lefties who haven't met a slogan they didn't drool to write. We need to reprogram these Norman Bate's Knee-groes who are so in love with 60's tactics, that they'll clutch the skeletal hand of Bayard Rustin to their final reward.

If you came out of this march frustrated, pissed and disgusted by the delusional, happy faced, postive-spin-gurgling, professional protesters AND want to create REAL CHANGE - then email me at:  antibes13@hotmail.com. OR go to:'thefreeslave.blogspot.com and leave a message. Let's organize, baby.

So long, Rosa!!!!

homepage: homepage: http://thefreeslave.blogspot.com

Same old crap 22.Mar.2006 14:16

George Bender

Those who can't organize, criticize.


uhh, yeah... about that... 22.Mar.2006 14:49

some kid

you may be right. it may have accomplished nothing. my guess is that it accomlished somewhere inbetween nothing and something, but for the sake of the argument, sure, it may have accomplished nothing. Unfortunately, cynicism accomplishes nothing as well. You've gotta tell people "hey, you did a good job in these ways, but next time let's change these things". Also, abstract ideas about how to perpetuate a global revolution are a dime a dozen. it's the specific plans and logistics that are hard to come by. So go ahead, now and pick one of your ideas and make it happen. I'm sure it will accomplish infinitely more than posting a cynical indymedia report ever could.

thanks for trying,

some kid

D'oh! 22.Mar.2006 15:50

Candide

Shucks! I thought all we had to do to bring down this empire was march in the streets. :)

Really, 158 organizations that do day to day work for peace and social justice came together on Sunday. It dramatically illustrated the coming (here already?) tipping point against this regime and these wars. The rally exposed thousands of people to Iman from Bagdhad, and Jamilla from Afgahnistan. The rally again showcased Ramon Ramirez to thousands. Since he's at the front of the immigrants' rights struggle, this was a good thing. Thousands heard Rev Leroy Haynes speak. A founder of the Black Panther Party in Texas, a former staffer with SNCC and former organizer with SCLC (that's right, he can speak from experience about the three most relevant organizations in the civil rights movmement), it was important that thousands were exposed to him. And on and on in this vein. Thousands heard from Jewish and Palestinian spokespersons about the need to end the brutal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Luis Primo, labor leader from Venezuela, was speaking. Should this not have occured? Should we spend our energy plotting general strikes over coffee at the Red and Black? I mean, for how long can we do THAT?

But the action wasn't just about Sunday. All week, KBOO, a cosponsor of the action, featured these speakers, amplified their voices.

It created also these effects: two front page Oregonian articles critical of the war. Folks in Gresham, Tigard, Washington County, Clark County, learned from local TV news polls (which wouldn't have been run, otherwise) that more than 60 percent of Americans oppose these illegal wars.

Rallies and marches aren't enough. That's a axiomatic. I mean, really, who thinks they're the end all of organizing?! Not the organizers from all the groups that facilitated Sunday's action. But without them, the rallies and marches, we miss a vision of the scope of our numbers. We miss opportunities for solidarity and reciprocity.

If I can't dance...

The effects of schooling 22.Mar.2006 16:38

Brian

Most of us are products of public schooling. That system of indoctrination, after 12-16+ years lets us all know what is acceptable and what isn't. Of course the acceptable actions never change anything or else they'd move to the unacceptable list. Why else would the government come down so hard on eco-sabotours? Why else do they come down so hard on people who find a way out of this prison we call civilization?

Anyone who wants to escape the prison of civilization by fighting it directly ends up in prison or dead. The revolution we need cannot be a frontal assault because the system knows how to deal with frontal assaults and handles them well. Instead we need something different.

Something different would include an approach where we flat out stop supporting that which we oppose and earnestly start supporting that which we desire. Do you hate global warming, cars, pollution, giant energy companies, asphault, etc? STOP DRIVING.

Do you like bikes, local business, thriving neighborhoods, clean air? START WALKING OR BIKING.

We must pull our energy away from the global corporate rat race and put our energy into the local sustainable movement. That is how we bring one system down and replace it with something just and sustainable.

to drop assumptions 22.Mar.2006 17:09

been said before

Just because you didn't see something accomplished doesn't mean nothing was. A lot was accomplished but marches don't end occupations; that's not what they're effective at. That doesn't mean they're not useful. And I think Bender is right: don't criticize and tell other people what they should be doing. If you want to see something else, something better, step up and do it. Organize and create your vision (and I'm not assuming that you're not but it would be better to read something that says "I didn't like that so I'm doing this" rather than "I didn't like that and we (other people) should do this".

>> Rallies and marches aren't enough. That's a axiomatic. I mean, really, who thinks they're the end all of organizing?! Not the organizers from all the groups that facilitated Sunday's action. But without them, the rallies and marches, we miss a vision of the scope of our numbers. We miss opportunities for solidarity and reciprocity.

I've rarely seen it expressed better.

constructive criticism 22.Mar.2006 17:49

RELENTLESS

Over the top criticism is understandable in the circumstances - the demos 'were' fine - NOTE the past tense! The constructive approach to both parties would be - I imagine - CONTINUE TO MARCH ON THE CAPITAL - and do not depart until you have achieved your objective, the removal of Bush - this is not a big ask nor an impossible task, take a look at the recent past. The message is do not stop! Sacrifices have to be made - and what are they but a few that relate to comfort! The international mass media couldn't ignore that gesture and continued perseverence!

These issues relate to stamina, dedication and commitment - if you do not sustain your attack you will lose the battle - that simple. And guess who depends on your lack of commitment and endurance - no prizes.


Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results... 22.Mar.2006 18:18

redforestfox

...is actually a sign of insanity. But then you knew that.

I take it you're not a new age racist hippie-type or one of their colored lackeys? So run for local office and help unmuck the works.

when you're on a good thing 22.Mar.2006 18:45

hammer

nailing rascist's with the usual methods works well - care to come out of the woods - redneck?

too late 22.Mar.2006 18:56

kismo my ..

Hey redneck! "running for local office", did you say? Bit late for that - when the radical right pushes the WORLD beyond toleration - you can KISS your system goodbye - every political office in the USA is corrupt - prob by the likes of you and your ultra-right fixers - well, you've gone and done it this time dickhead! ;)) The world is moving on you or haven't you noticed yet. But i forgot, being totally divorced from reality like Cheney, Bush and Rice is the order of the day. Sweet dreams uncle.

Hey There 22.Mar.2006 19:30

Summer or Fall

You said
"There were no calls to shut this mutha fucka a.k.a. the country/guv'ment down, march on the Congress and take it over, don't let the bizness of INjustice proceed until WE the people are finally in charge"

Later you went on to say @PSU this summer or fall lets.....

No one silenced YOUR call - where was it? If you believe the time is NOW to act, why wait for summer or fall......are you waiting 4 some else?

Marching in Circles: The Tactics of Dizziness and Despair 22.Mar.2006 19:42

PATTRICE JONES

On the occasional weekend in Washington, DC, peace activists from all over the USA gather to give speeches to people who already agree with them. After applauding each other for their fine political insights, they set off on a circular march through empty streets. At no point does this parade without spectators impede the war machine. At best, the purely symbolic protest will merit a few paragraphs in one or more national newspapers or even a mention on the national television news. Most local media will not mention it at all. No one knows if the event has any impact at all on public opinion. Nonetheless, the activists go home feeling as though they have done something and that the vast expenditure of time, funds, and energy has been worthwhile.

This pattern persists despite the fact that the tactic of rallying and then marching in circles has not prevented or in any way mitigated past attacks on Iraq, Kosovo, or Afghanistan (or anywhere else since Vietnam). The pattern persists despite the fact that the demonstrations do little but supply fuel for the pro-war propaganda machine by helping to maintain the fiction of American democracy. (On 17 January of this year, the White House released a statement saying that "The president welcomes the fact that we are a democracy and that people in the United States, unlike Iraq, are free" to dissent.) The pattern persists despite the existence of alternative actions that might make more strategic sense.

The tendency toward self-satisfied speechifying and pointless marching is by no means a purely domestic proclivity. The Forum for Food Sovereignty in Rome last June might well have been subtitled "Let them eat words." Representatives from activist organizations from all over the world came together purportedly to share information and craft cooperative strategies for ending hunger and malnutrition. Instead, participants spent most of their time denouncing transnational corporations, UN-FAO, and the United States and then applauding each other for doing so. Since neither transnational corporations nor UN-FAO, nor the United States government were in attendance, the point of the denouncements was not evident.

Hunger was hardly ever mentioned. The ugly realities were eclipsed by an upbeat mood and occasional cheerful songs. Just as at the World Food Summit attended by the governments, the people living with acute hunger or chronic malnutrition were silent and invisible, lost in the pageantry. There was, of course, the obligatory march, this time at least through crowded streets. Most of the organizations were content to parade, making no effort to educate or inspire those observing the spectacle. While one coalition of Italian organizations did pass out literature intended for a popular audience, the rest talked only to each other.

Fast forward to the 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, where a similar pattern prevails. Sanctimonious speeches peppered with applause lines are the order of the day. Small workshops at which real work might be done are forced to compete with major events at which movement 'stars' tell the participants that they are already doing what they need to do. Needless to say, most people forgo potentially productive meetings for the excitement and feel-good mood of the big happenings.

Marches are in abundance. Poor Porto Alegre! It welcomes the World Social Forum with open arms and is rewarded by traffic jams. The march that opened the event would have been understandable, as a parade rather than a protest, were it not for the activists screaming at onlookers as if they didn't already agree. Of the subsequent marches, my personal favorite is the march against ALCA (aka FTAA). During rush hour on a blazing afternoon, activists tie up traffic for hours marching against US economic and military domination of Latin America. Never mind that US officials are nowhere in sight, that the Brazilian government is on the side of the activists, and that the people enduring the traffic jams are the very people oppressed by ALCA... marching is what we always have done and marching is what we will do now.

The marches through the Social Forum itself are also a treat. At unpredictable intervals, there are suddenly crowds of people, at least one of whom has a megaphone, marching and chanting among or even through the buildings in which other activists are trying to hold workshops. Inevitably the march is either for or against something that all Forum participants can be presumed to be for or against, so it's not clear who the marchers intend to influence or persuade.

As I write this, yet another group of people is marching, shouting, and shaking their fists as they wind their way through dense crowds of people who already agree with them. What, I wonder, are they hoping to achieve? What leads otherwise rational people to march in circles with no object at high noon on a hot summer day? Habit? Hope? Despair? Or, the pursuit of happiness? How might our precious time and energy be better spent, taking into account the need for both results and rewards?

Habit is the nemesis of effective activism. It's easy, so easy, to jump up and go, to act without thinking, to slip into comfortable routines ("you paint the banner, I'll write the chants"). With so much to be done, who has time to stop and think? But think we must if we want to make a difference rather than simply demonstrating our dissent.

We do hope to create change. Implicit in every march is the (often unrealistic) wish that this time will be different, that this time our walking will not be in vain. For some, this hope is rooted in memories of the days when rallies and marches did provoke change. For others, the hope springs from vague ideas about successful movements of the past. In both instances, marches are remembered out of context, as isolated actions, when in fact the successful marches of the past were usually well thought-out elements of larger strategies for social change.

The flip side of hope is despair. Activists who despair of ever creating change often march with a sense of futility. "I know it won't affect anything," they say, "but at least we have demonstrated our dissent." Marching in circles can be both cause and effect of such defeatism. Worn out after years of walking into walls, dissidents begin to assume that their efforts will be in vain. As a result, they no longer bother to try to come up with tactics and strategies that might have a tangible effect. Instead, they express their feelings of helplessness by engaging in sheerly symbolic actions. When those actions do not lead to change, the self-fulfilling prophesy of weakness in the face of power is affirmed.

To combat despair, we must keep our spirits up. Marching sometimes can help to do that, but only if it is clearly understood in advance that the purpose of the event is to motivate activists and that the parade is not in itself activism. Marchers must not be allowed to go home feeling as though they have already done something, because then they will be less motivated to take actions that have a better chance of success.

It's necessary, even critical, for activists to stop and celebrate themselves and their victories every once in a while. Marches also can help to do that. However, again, everyone must understand what is happening and why. Encouragement easily can contribute to denial. When people feel as though they have won or are in the process of winning when the opposite is true, they are unlikely to engage in the sober assessments and revisions of strategies that are needed in the course of a protracted struggle.

While marches and rallies can raise our spirits superficially and temporarily, I would argue that a much more profound and abiding happiness is possible. As the Wobblies like to say, "Direct action brings satisfaction." When your actions in some way, however small, actually impede what you oppose or facilitate what you support, you can go to bed at the end of the day knowing that you have made a concrete contribution. Anyone who has ever gone on strike, reclaimed land, squatted a building, given out clean needles or medical marijuana, or physically blocked a munitions train or a truck headed for the slaughterhouse knows this.

Direct action needn't be as dramatic as these examples. The simple act of withdrawing your implicit support from what you overtly oppose can feel just as good and make just as much of a difference. How many people have marched for peace but supported the war effort by their purchase of US corporate commodities and their excessive consumption of fossil fuel? What if everyone who opposes US attacks on Iraq were to collectively withhold their money from US corporations while also reducing their consumption of fossil fuel? Wouldn't promoting and participating in such a boycott (or any other direct action against the war) have a higher probability of making an impact than marching in circles and shouting slogans to people who already agree with you?

This is not to say that marching is never an effective tactic. Under certain circumstances, the trusty rally and march formula may be the action of choice. Here are some questions to ask to determine whether the time is right for marching:

* Is the proposed march an element of a well-reasoned strategic plan including clearly defined goals and tactics?

* Will the proposed march in any way actually impede what you oppose (i.e., by blocking relevant traffic) or facilitate what you support?

* If civil disobedience is planned, will that in any way actually impede what you oppose or facilitate what you support?

* If the purpose of the event is to rally the spirits of the activists, will the organizers ensure that participants go home motivated to take action rather than feeling as though they have already taken action?

* Will the organizers ensure that speeches and literature include pragmatic suggestions for practical action?

* Will the event take place in a locality (such as a rural small town) where residents have not been exposed to people who dissent from the mainstream views found in the local paper or television news?

* If one of the intentions of the march is to influence public opinion, will efforts be made to march where there will be observers who do not already agree with the marchers (or who have not yet expressed their agreement) and to engage those observers with easily understandable speeches and literature? Will the speeches and literature be tested beforehand to ensure that they really do make sense to the average citizen in the area where you will hold the event?

The slogan of the times is "Another World Is Possible." That's true, but making that possibility a reality will require more planful action and less self-indulgent expression. Let's stop marching in circles at least long enough to come up with a collective strategy that augments symbolic demonstrations with pragmatic direct action.

About the Author
Pattrice Jones coordinates the Eastern Shore Sanctuary and Education Center in rural Maryland. She has been an activist since the 1970s and previously taught a University of Michigan course on the theory and practice of social change.

some thoughts 22.Mar.2006 20:45

deva

Well, I came away from last Sunday's rally and march frustrated. I do not want to criticize the efforts of others, but inside I feel very disappointed by it.

Should I say nothing? Some people say go out and organize something yourself. But that is not such a good answer either. Come on, there are lots of people and organizations who are skilled, who have experience, who have done much organizing before and who already have mailing lists, networks etc. I do not see it as an answer if lots of people go out and try to organize something themselves.

I believe criticism of the march is valuable, and need not be met with 'shut up and do it yourself then'.

I believe a real opportunity was missed on Sunday. Months of effort to assemble 10,000+ people and the only call to action was to write letters and vote. Right then, pass out volunteer sign up sheets. Call on people to donate their time and energy. Every speaker should stress the importance of peoples dedication and regular effort. There could have been a sign up sheet for various actions and tasks.

Take a pledge from marchers to go talk to 25 neighbors over the next week.
Take a pledge from marchers to attend a demo at a recruiting center once a week.
Take a pledge from marchers to leaflet public events.
Ask for volunteers with skills to produce media to be distributed.
Ask for volunteers to host neighborhood forums every week to talk about the loss of civil rights and the growing fascist state.

These are just a few quick ideas of things to encourage people to do.

All those people right there, energized from some good speeches and the main thing... vote... ugh... voting is a long time in the future and with electronic voting machines, could be a dead end anyway. Additionally, the Democratic Party is actively undermining anti-war candidates so it is no sure thing there will even be a candidate worth voting for. I am not at all against marches, but let's use them for something more.

We've Got to Wisen Up 22.Mar.2006 21:59

Makhno

It seems there are still people who honestly think the war can be ended over the weekend, eh? Look, sure, the marches took place and the war is still going. They didn't end it but, then again, we didn't expect them to. Marches are but one of many steps we must take. Many steps.

The war won't end unless we're strongly committed and use a VARIETY of tactics. Not over a weekend but over the course of months and years. Don't whine because people aren't radical enough for you. Get out there and do your thing. No one is holding you back. Waiting until after the march, hopping online and throwing shit at participants in the protests, hoping to see what sticks, does absolutely nothing to end the war either. All it really does is demoralize the very people you're feably trying to inspire...

the limits of asceticism as activism 23.Mar.2006 02:26

...

> Something different would include an approach where we flat out stop supporting that which we
> oppose and earnestly start supporting that which we desire. Do you hate global warming, cars,
> pollution, giant energy companies, asphault, etc? STOP DRIVING.
>
> Do you like bikes, local business, thriving neighborhoods, clean air? START WALKING OR BIKING.
>
> We must pull our energy away from the global corporate rat race and put our energy into the local
> sustainable movement. That is how we bring one system down and replace it with something just and
> sustainable.

Great, except ... I did that already. I don't own a car, and the system goes along fine without me, but in the mean time I'm a second-class citizen. "We must pull our energy away from the rat race"? Have you pulled your energy out of the rat race or not? Did it change anything? Think about abolition, for instance. "Don't like slavery? Then don't own a slave!" Would that have solved the problem? Or is the owning class perfectly happy to see you leave its ranks, knowing that it's still got the land, the power, the capital, which it's happy to share among fewer people without you?

March AND resist 23.Mar.2006 07:32

Tom H Hastings

Marching has almost never been enough and it's almost always helped.

A huge rally is the golden organizing opportunity for a hundred schools of thought. Don't complain; take advantage.

But for those interested in taking it the next step, it's happened.

At the very first meeting to plan this rally, I suggested it's time for the mass rally to incorporate nonviolent civil resistance and to support it.

Naturally, folks were very nervous and even oppositional, since lawbreaking in Portland is associated with immature black bloc smash and dash tactics, Zapatista wannabee face masks and other infantilism. So I suggested, well, how about if we demonstrate to you all that we can execute a very dignified act that you might not see in that fashion? How about if we do it the next day, during business hours, so that you won't need to worry that our act of nonviolent resistance is going to tarnish your rally rep? And we got grudging support.

So we planned it over months. Boring and dignified it was. We occupied Ron Wyden's office and were treated well by everyone, even our Homeland Security arresting officers. We promised to be back. We will go to court June 2 and we will attempt to put this war and the politicians who support it on trial. We will do our best to make civil resistance look like the reasonable alternative, not the other way 'round.

We may fail. We may go to jail and achieve little. But we have now been arrested and cuffed for resisting this war and that ought to be part of being a good citizen in times like these, we believe.

If you send me an email at  pcwtom@gmail.com I'll put you on our list and you can see for yourself if we are making any sense to you. 19 arrests is not a general strike, but the way we did it may appeal to many more folks than enraged tiny handfuls of masked activists in the streets screaming about smashing stuff, confronting cops in spitting rage and carrying a sign that says Fuck the Troops. I'm just hoping we can get logical and strategic. Removing our cooperation will need to be massive to succeed and we think being respectful of all humans is the starting point.

Chipping at Hoover Dam with a prospector's pick 23.Mar.2006 08:30

and expecting it to collapse

How can Wyden be affected by your action? He isn't going to change things. It's not up to him. The Senate and the Congress don't work for 'we the people'. There are much greater forces (Bush is only one) that DEMAND we stay in the Middle East until we secure the area for Israel and for our oil. Meanwhile, killing Muslims who hate Christianity are a side benefit.

"Removing our cooperation will need to be massive to succeed and we think being respectful of all humans is the starting point."

This sounds like: we support the troops in these illegal, unjust wars. After all, the troops are OK, it's the wars that are bad. Who is actually doing the fighting, killing and torturing of the Iraqis? ...Bush? When a person hires a contract killer to kill someone because the person doing the hiring is gutless or scared to do the dirty work himself, and they both get caught, who gets the blame? Should the contract killer go free, and receive our support, just because he is doing a job for money? Maybe he is just too stupid to realize that killing innocent people is a very bad thing to do....

Should the German people have been respectful of the Gestapo and the German military forces? Should the Jews have been respectful of the Gestapo and the German military forces? After all, the German military was "just following orders" and "doing their job."

Should we also be respectful of our ignorant troops? Should we be respectful of our local cops who are just following the laws of the land (including the USAPATRIOT Act)?, Dept. of Homeland Security personnel, FBI, CIA, etc.?

Removing our cooperation includes removing our respect for the people who are THE ENEMY!

Ya gotta love these guys!... or 23.Mar.2006 08:42

Fuck the Troops!

"The growing evidence of retaliatory killings of unarmed Iraqi families, often including children, by US soldiers seemingly bent on punishing Iraqis after an attack, will spark comparisons with the massacre of Vietnamese villagers at My Lai in 1968.

US troops have been notorious among Iraqis for their willingness to shoot any Iraqi they see in the aftermath of an insurgent attack. But it is only now that convincing and detailed information is becoming available about the killings."

 http://www.counterpunch.org/patrick03222006.html

not so revolutionary middle-class 23.Mar.2006 11:12

ron

yes the anti-war movement is largely middle class. Middle class people have an interest in keeping the profit-system afloat, untill things crash that is. If you are one of the thousands of peace activists
who thinks that capitalism is fine, or needs to be 'reformed', you are a strong fortification in ensuring that war will continue well into the future.

United Anti-Imperialism 23.Mar.2006 13:09

Marik marik@aracnet.com

The single biggest reason the anti-war movement is ineffective, is because it is completely leashed by and for the liberal wing of U.S. imperialism. Why should the ruling class fear us, all we do is write letters. That's the big words of wisdom from the liberals on stage; you aren't writing enough letters! Call those senators...They can't hear us! As if they didn't know the populace of the United States and the world was against 'U.S. foreign policy'.

So that makes step 1, if we are to build a stronger movement, removing the leash from around it's neck. I received a leaflet from a group backed by pro-war Democrat Howard Dean. This is unacceptable. It was about stolen elections, 'vote fraud'...what a joke. What about elections stolen by billions of bourgeois dollars? What about elections that only represent continued Imperialist rule? Of course this all just the work of 'the neocons'. Bring democracy back to America!!

However, step 1 is a much bigger problem then one sentence can explain. The big liberal organizing groups have millions of bloody dollars in which to put the veil back over the class struggle..we do not have access to this kind of support. If we are going to stop this liquidation of the anti-war movement, we've got to get some grassroots colloboration between radical activists who understand the need for anti-imperialism. We are not capable, yet, of organizing 10,000 + in the streets of Portland. But it starts with a handful, getting together and communicating.

So I guess that puts the onus on us...e-mail me if your interested, and I will try to co-ordinate a meeting.


To "Fuck the Troops" 23.Mar.2006 18:39

Jody Paulson

What a wonderful tactic meant to divide people who could be great allies. The troops are royally being fucked over right now -- their benefits are being taken away, they are breathing depleated uranium and will probably have health problems for the rest of their lives -- because the chicken hawks in office who don't know what it means to make a sacrifice in the name of duty LIED to them, and continue to LIE to them. Still, the vast majority, 70%, want out of Iraq within the year. They know the war isn't working. Reaching out to them is the best tactic there is in getting this war stopped. Many have argued that it was, in fact, large-scale troop non-cooperation which ultimately put a stop to the Vietnam War, not the protests at home.

Jody 23.Mar.2006 19:14

Fuck the troops!

Please don't compare voluntary military service with involuntary military service. Apples and oranges.

American military personnel who refuse to kill innocent people, and refuse to become engaged in these illegal, immoral military invasions of foreign countries deserve our full support. Refuse-niks (the Israeli military has them too) and those going AWOL, deserve our full support. Returning military personnel who realize that they've been duped are on our side, and they also deserve our full support.

Fuck the troops who, for whatever reasons, are fully engaged in KILLING PEOPLE in these illegal, immoral wars!

MISSING THE STREAKERS!!!!!!!!!! 23.Mar.2006 19:47

mark holladaymark@yahoo.com

contact me and let's build a large contingent for a group to WALK the next parade sans. what you're feeling is repression, not depression.

All That Energy And Not One Piece of Infrastructure Attacked 23.Mar.2006 21:54

Monkeywrench

All those people, all that energy, and not one piece of imperial infrastructure attacked, impeded, or dismantled.

Did any speakers validate or promote support for the Iraqi Resistance when they kill genocidal, US soldiers?

How about the physical resistance to corporate land grabs going on in places like Ecuador and Indonesia? Are people looking to them for inspiration and how-to guidance? Did speakers talk about something more than victims? Or did they castrate themselves at the alter of Non-Violence, which only perpetuates their privilege and benefits through acquiescence.

Interesting strand of discussion 23.Mar.2006 23:00

(or, why I am no longer an activist)

I became an activist about 10 years ago, and my last major action was in Seattle. Since then I have utterly burned out.

I have been hearing the same old shit for the past ten years.

Look. We're all frustrated. We all know this system fucking sucks, is evil. But no one knows what to do. We are baffled. We act, and the wars continue. We chain ourselves, we march, we write letters, we blow up SUVs... we work within the system, we work outside of it. We combat it head on, we try to subvert it.

We are diverse. Some white middle class liberals, some are radical, some black liberationists, anarchists. Some wear black and hate cops, some have long hair and stand for nonviolence. Some democrats still believe in this system. Some believe in party politics and join the green party. Non-violence. Primitivists. PETA. Deep Ecologists. Social ecologists. Anarchists. Socialists. Musicians, actors, theater people, lawyers, factory workers.

Can we please, PLEASE, learn to WORK WITH WHAT WE'VE GOT instead of demanding that there is only ONE right way to do things? Instead of turning against EACH OTHER? This is the numero uno reason why I am no longer an activist. Who needs the right wing or the neoliberals-- you all are doing a good job of destroying your OWN movement.

What we've got isn't all that bad-- look at the diversity! This is something we need to learn to celebrate. Celebration and Mourning go hand in hand-- ask anyone who's ever been to a funeral in New Orleans. Out with the old, in with the new.

We don't know what the hell we're doing. How about we start by giving each other the benefit of the doubt that we're all doing our best.

This is an overwhelming situation. Let's just take a breather, stop freaking out on each other, smoke a bowl, and create some space to come into a rhythm again.

We're trying too hard...

Namaste.

reply 23.Mar.2006 23:26

deva

A huge rally is the golden organizing opportunity

reply

That opportunity was missed. The call from the stage was to write letters and vote? That is counter productive. It reinforces the idea that people do not need to do something in any immediate way. That they can continue to sit in their homes, follow their daily routines and that somehow the system will fix itself.

***

But for those interested in taking it the next step, it's happened.

reply

Taking it the next step. You say this like there is some fixed next step. Like there is some roadmap to follow. There was no need to call for civil disobedience from the stage or on the day. There was a need to encourage people to get engaged. To flyer, To table, To attend peaceful vigils at recruiting centers, To talk to their neighbors in organized meetings. Etc...

I disagree that symbolic protest to get arrested is the next step.

***

At the very first meeting to plan this rally, I suggested it's time for the mass rally to incorporate nonviolent civil resistance and to support it.

Naturally, folks were very nervous and even oppositional, since lawbreaking in Portland is associated with immature black bloc smash and dash tactics, Zapatista wannabee face masks and other infantilism. So I suggested, well, how about if we demonstrate to you all that we can execute a very dignified act that you might not see in that fashion? How about if we do it the next day, during business hours, so that you won't need to worry that our act of nonviolent resistance is going to tarnish your rally rep? And we got grudging support.

reply

Sure blame it on the youth who are trying to do something. You need to be called on your self righteous smokescreen. The young people out on the streets are trying to do something. They care. Their hearts yearn for better. They are trying a helluva lot harder than most people. It is the previous generations who are to blame if anyone is. They sold out for comfort, for status, for a piece of the pie. There are very few older activists who have any fire in the belly or who are willing to take a stand that is unpopular. It is the liberal activists who have betrayed the youth, left them hanging out on a limb, distanced themselves from them because they are afraid to take any heat by recognizing that they are doing the right thing, if not always in the right way.

You know why there are Zapatista wannabees? It is because the Zapatistas stand for something. They are inspiring and self empowered. They understand our social circumstance and are not seduced by power and position. They think outside established patterns. The mask is a symbol of resistance. Of refusal to obey. Of a different way of being and creating that is born of the spirit, and not some pathological pacifism.

The liberal peacenik scene is not inspiring. It offers very little that wants to be emulated. It shrinks from the demands of our times. It is pathologically obedient. It has very little fire or creative thought. If Ghandi were reincarnated here today, he would be denied as a radical by the liberal leadership of the anti-war movement which reveres his memory. He would be contained and controlled and if he refused, he would be denied. The anti-war movement will become more effective when it escapes liberal control. Cindy Sheehan sparked some enthusiasm because she took direct action, but then again the liberals have grabbed control and are again channeling people down a well worn rut. If any real success happens, it will be in spite of, not because of, liberal control.

For pure will 24.Mar.2006 00:28

unassuaged of purpose... delivered from the lust of result,

is in every way perfect.

re: no longer an activist 24.Mar.2006 09:36

deva

It is my view that you are incorrect in your assessment.

It is not a matter of allies who are fighting with each other.

There is an insidious influence of the establishment left to control the message and efforts of people who organize. This influence has asserted itself in many ways. It has shaped what messages/issues are focused on. It has shaped what avenues of redress are acceptable.

The establishment left is not an ally of a people's movement for social justice. It's domineering influence needs to be reduced, rejected, told NO, otherwise the organic unfoldment of peoples energies and visions will continue to be undermined and warped.

The level of frustration comes from two things. One, the obvious. The war, the current adminstrations impulse towards dictatorship. But the second is that many people are deeply frustrated by the leadership of the 'anti-war movement' which advocates voting and symbolic civil disobedience. It subtly channels people away from the spontaneous efforts like Camp Casey, because a real movement will be beyond easy control and there are vested interests at work.

I disagree with you. Chilling out and smoking a bowl is not helpful. The frustration is good, unpleasant, but good, because it will drive people to break free of the control that has been asserted over their expressions of dissent.

The journey to peace, is not peaceful. Spiritual awakening is a journey full with turmoil. A loving relationship will have conflict, and sometimes a fight is needed to break from habitual patterns. The same is so at the social level.

The Portland Bush protest in August 02 and the Day of Bombing protests come to mind. Spontaneous and less controlled, they ended with conflicts, but out of that a lawsuit was won, which funded the launch of the Constitutional Rights Center. That is clear positive outcome, a victory.

Measuring the success of something by whether it is enjoyable, or peaceful is an error. That does not mean to seek out discord, but it does need to be recognized as an inevitable and valuable facet of social change.

The pressure of our current predicament will strip away the false and reveal that which is true.

right on 24.Mar.2006 12:59

maskedup

beautifully expressed, deva. thank you.

Turning on each other or exposing denial 24.Mar.2006 13:26

Maxjulian antibes13@hotmail.com

"They've got the guns, we've got the numbers." I've tried to be a part of the movement for social change: labor organizing, marching, writing, speaking. I see holes in the movement, so I speak up. I'm ignored, chastised. I hold my tongue. I notice in this town how black folks are shut out, made unwelcome on so many levels, but must shockingly to me, among white progressives. So, I step back, try to understand what's happening. Maybe its me. I try again to connect with folks who want to do something. 'Let's work together.' Silence - unless you're a brown nosing Uncle Tom. 'I only dance when I hear music and I only scratch my head when it itches.' I ain't shufflin' for you.

I also recognize that in order for us to win, we need to be a bloc, not a splintered clique. A huge bloc, united. So, I try again to voice some things, to help the movement learn how to expand and welcome other perspectives so that we can be under the same umbrella. So that we can be maximally effective. But "you" don't want to hear what I'm saying. You know more than I do, after all, you're white. You don't have to listen to me.

You tell me to do my own thing, form my own clique if I don't like yours. In other words, 'NIGGA, go home!' We won't win if we're split up, AND if you don't want to hear another perspective than your own, we certainly can not win. You don't ask me in to try to learn from my perspective. Because you're white, you're bullet proof. What YOU learn something from ME?!

So, I've made sure that my message has bite. I'm not trying to be a diplomat; I'm trying to infuriate because you all should get stung for your inaction, your hubris, your closed ears and minds. Who I want to reach is that thimble few of HONEST white folks who are willing to listen, and, who once they hear, are willing to take action. I've found most white folks, no matter how you phrase it, don't want the bad news about themselves. That's probably true of all of us. Now, I certainly know that I could do more and take more actions; but as a nigga in a system of racism/white supremacy, I refuse to do (or undue) the work that white people have responsibility for. Its your society created and maintained for your benefit. I've joined your organizations and been fired from them, rejected by them or not even let in the door. And I'm not doing enough. YOU are the muthafucka that needs to do more. White people.

Malcolm X said, 'we didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on US!" When you help get Plymouth Rock off of all of our black asses, then I'll hold my tongue a little more. Until then...feel the fire.


not desperate enough to care enough 24.Mar.2006 18:05

max

yes this is a low energy protest movement. too much wealth in the pockets of protestors to care enough to talk to black folks, let alone be revolutionaries.

Right On! 24.Mar.2006 19:08

Maxjulian

Right on, Deva. You said so much in your posts, I had to re-read them; and I'm going to read them again. Thank you.

To me, you hit the nail on the head. The false does need to be stripped away and hopefully it will come to pass. We can't wait and I know you aren't advocating it, its these other people who are. The establishment/timid/forked tongue left is the Bermuda Fucking Triangle of real liberation. It siphons off those people who would be down for real action and points them in the direction of dead end, masturbatory behavior. During the Sixties, the FBI used informants/snitches/agent provocateurs to get activists to do outlandish, violent shit and then rat them out. These days, it appears the establishment left leadership is peopled by dentists who are injecting novocaine into us, whose job is to stymie and stifle, to keep the slaves on the plantation as Malcolm X said.

A very wise black woman said something I'll never forget: "To understand the intent, look at the effect." This movement doesn't inspire, it doesn't move, it doesn't act, it doesn't tell the truth, it doesn't analyze itself and it doesn't take criticism. This movement's intent must be to embalm, numb and destroy morale; it misuses our precious time and condemns us for pointing out the obvious. If these things are so, I must conclude that that has been the intent all along: to pretend to favor justice and democracy, but to suppport injustice and facism; to pretend to be anti-racist and to help racists steal the White House twice and poison the black community with crack and other drugs. These lefties favor comfort but they also provide aid and comfort to a criminal elite and the system that supports them both; while ya'll march around the Park Blocks, the people you claim you oppose march all the way to the bank.

I beg you to wake the fuck up!

Organization 24.Mar.2006 20:52

George Bender

I understand that you folks are frustrated. What I don't understand is why you don't do something about it besides bitch at those of us who are actually doing something. Where is your organization? Where are your projects? It seems that you are refusing to actually DO anything, while complaining that what we're doing isn't good enough for you. Why should we care what you want? You come across like a bunch of immature 19 year-olds. I would not want to work with you.

The price of admission is organization. People who want to do nonviolent marching or civil disobedience have already organized around that. We're not interested in listening to someone who comes to our business meetings, the purpose of which is to take care of business, and tells us we should be doing something else. We've already decided what strategy we're going to use, and we're not going to waste time debating it.

I would have a lot more respect for you if you would actually organize and DO something. We are not stopping you from doing that, except in your fantasies. Here is a reality flash: the masses do not want to get out in the streets and fight with the cops. If you want to do that I have no objection, but I won't join you. It is not in my self-interest. I will support any reasonable plan that does not mess up my life.

I actually liked what you folks did on the night the war started, occupying intersections and walking your bikes on the freeway. If I had been young I would have joined you. But I haven't heard of anything like that happening since. Why not? It sure as hell isn't because the liberals -- which I am not -- are taking up all the oxygen in the room. You people are living in a self-indulgent fantasy that absolves you from making any effort. You should either organize or shut up.


reply 24.Mar.2006 22:22

deva

We're not interested in listening to someone who comes to our business meetings, the purpose of which is to take care of business, and tells us we should be doing something else. We've already decided what strategy we're going to use, and we're not going to waste time debating it.



In otherwords, your mind is closed. You have a strategy fixed in stone and are gonna follow it regardless of whether it works, whether it inspires people, or whether that is the best use of time and resources. Your attitude in this regard is exactly what frustrates people. There is no room for other voices than a my way or the highway party line.

Gathering 10,000+ people together and marching is a fine idea, and kudos to the effort it took to make it happen. All the speakers telling people however, that the most important thing they can do is vote is absurd George. I know from your postings here that you are better informed than to support that idea, so if you are involved with the effort to organize that march, please raise this point.

And do stop assuming that those who offer criticism aren't also putting in their time and energy to effect positive change. That is really just an excuse to marginalize what people are saying and to keep the mind closed.

Marches and civil disobedience are not the only options. Good old fashioned organizing and getting people involved on a daily/weekly basis is what is needed most.

White Privilege At Work 24.Mar.2006 23:04

Maxjulian antibes13@hotmail.com

WE can't afford a splintered, cliquish, Klannish, uncommunicative, disconnected, uncoordinated movement. This is war - and we're being warred upon - if the troops aren't on the same page, they're gonna be picked off, bought off, co-opted, seduced, suckered. The white left has to be purged of its easy racism

Sadly, the Left is organized in a similar fashion to the ruling class; they're untouchable, walled behind intellectual, morally indefensible moats. Silence or contempt are some of their modes of operation.

George, I feel sorry for you. You assume that those of us who criticize people like you AREN'T doing anything. (I'm fighting people like you every day. That's heavy lifting, baby!)

In war, doing 'something' is not the same as doing what is 'necessary', or, having a strategy for victory. Or jettisoning an old strategy that's passe. Its great that you are doing "something," its just too bad its not leading you/us/anybody in the direction you indicate you're headed in; what you do does not serve anyone besides the elite and whites like yourself who are easily comforted.

Mindless action to keep up with the 'tie dyed Jones' is worse than doing nothing. Part of doing something is seeing if what we're doing is having the desired/intended effect. If no one ever stops to assess whether what WE are doing is working or effective - which is what you advocate - then you're a monkey dancing to the organ grinder's music, NOT a thinking, reflective, autonomous being. Or, worse; you are a bigot, a fool, an accessory or an accomplice in that which you claim to oppose.

George said:

{"We're not interested in listening to someone who comes to our business meetings, the purpose of which is to take care of business, and tells us we should be doing something else. We've already decided what strategy we're going to use, and we're not going to waste time debating it."}

"...'Our' business meetings'..." "...WE'VE already decided what strategy we're going to use..."

I've experienced too many times to mention that feeling of 'we're not interested in listening and we've already decided.' How dispiriting, how pathetic to seek out community or comrades to fight with and get THAT!

Obviously, George, you represent the enemy within the so-called progressive-bodysnatched movement. Your advocacy of unthinking, non-strategic, repetitive in-action is absurd. Your unwillingness to listen is a case study in insensitivity and stupidity. Or worse. For the hundreth time - white people like you are worse than the Klan because at least sheet wearers don't speak with a forked tongue.

What is your business, George, besides, "...my self-interest. I will support any reasonable plan that does not mess up my life." Your pretty as a picture lifestyle is fucking US up. What if being unreasonable is required or messiness? What if unity or working with others or welcoming people of color into your groups is required? What if a little humility or personal growth could help get us over the hump?


simple solution 25.Mar.2006 11:45

the zoon quoon

How about we all stage a tax out. Simply don't send the machine your tax dollars this year. Put the quid in the bank in escrow and send a letter saying that this is your voice of free speech since we know campaign finance spending is considered free speech.

So express yourself and free your speech and keep the peso in your palm since

....money talks and bullshit walks.

Can you imagine what would happen if more than a million people with-held their taxes?

Revolution anyone?

Taking Over Consciousness 25.Mar.2006 18:35

Hearts and Minds

I didn't go to last week's protest because I had mixed feelings about going to another march when I felt I could best contribute differently that day. But, after all the back and forth about the pointlessness/greatness of protesting, I have to chime in.

If the third anniversary of the day of bombing had gone by with the streets of Portland silent, it would have been an incredibly sad day. Of course, a day of marching is not going to stop this war and is symbolic. But, I feel that that symbolism is important and I also feel that marching, even if it has no impact whatsoever on this country's pathological political machine, is still valid.

If for nothing else, tens of thousands of people in the streets is often our only sign to the rest of the world and to the people of Iraq that this country still contains sparks of resistance and consciousness, and we are still alive and kicking on a massive scale. Of course, it's not massive enough and there are other tactics that may be more useful ways of spending individual time that don't get the global media's attention. But, adding our bodies to the global show of resistance is a pretty basic step number 1. Emphasis on step number 1. And having a day where the world can unite in this particular tactic makes a loud roar that may not sway Halliburton's politicians, but makes an impact on the world's consciousness. Day X should be set aside as a global day of mourning. It deserves ritual, it deserves solemn processions of grieving mothers and blind reporters to remember and mark its gravity, and any way that people feel they need to express their rage and saddness and hope is valid. If anything we need much much more of that in this world.

With regards to the concept of "doing the same thing, and expecting different results," it needs to be taken in the context of "doing the same thing for one day a year, and expecting different results" as insane. It doesn't matter what tactic we use to fill in the blank, any tactic however liberal or radical done last Sunday and last Sunday alone would be ineffective in stopping the war.

So on that note, with no illusions of ending the war, I feel like a massive procession can be seen as an appropriate way for Portland and the world to mark a horrible day in our history, and as a day to refeul us back into action for the other 364 days of the year. And it's the other 364 days that make the difference in ending this war. What's going on in France right now is not so much a matter of tactics, I believe, as a matter of persistance. If all of France nonviolently marched, or burned cars, or shut down schools for one day alone, it wouldn't have made the impact it is having. We all need to choose our preferred tactic, whatever that may be, and do it day after day after day across this country. Let's shift the conversation away from tactics (diversity is great!) and towards dedication and coordination, making the most of whichever tactics we choose.

On that point, Gandi's civil disobedience didn't change India with a few activists doing random things here and there, but with hundreds of thousands participating in civil disobedience nationwide. Not to poo-poo random actions, because any action at this point is needed and some are better done randomly or individually. But, imagine if not just Oregon congressmen, but every congressional office in all 50 states were simultaneously occupied with people demanding the passage of legislation to end the war and impeach Bush. Now that's what I would call effective civil disobedience. If it's on a random insignificant day, then so much the better. This is the kind of thing that needs to be coordinated day in and day out to get their attention. It's all about occupying as much of the public consciousness for as long as possible and in ways that get more and more people inspired to take part. We need to erase all public room for apathy and comfortably forgetting that this war continues day in and day out.

And, on that topic, lets think about our words as bodies in a march. This site is like a massive procesion. It is vital to feed solidarity, exchange ideas, inspire one another, and spread information. But at the same time, we need to be spending as much time getting these thoughts out into public spaces where they are absent. Any public space that is void of thoughts about the war is a space for complacency. So lets start occupying these spaces, whether they be the live Fox news broadcast, the McDonald's bathroom with stalls lacking food for thought, or the local street corner in need of improvement. If everyone commenting on this article put as much time into composing words for public spaces as they've put into composing words for this forum, we'd already be making a significant contribution to taking over mental room for the status-quo in this town.

white people suck 26.Mar.2006 04:36

when oh when will we measure up

As far as I can tell, Maxjulian's main contribution here is to take an argument about effectiveness and tactics, racialize it, and race-bait his opponents. He's found an audience of mostly white people eager to listen to generic and vague accusations of racism against them, people who (contrary to his constant insinuations) will not moderate him away despite his empty hostility -- and for that matter his misogyny ("Where's your bite ya REVOLUTIONARY BEOTCH?"). Maybe it's not misogyny, maybe it's just homophobia. Whatever. By contrast, any post that vilified black activists the way Max complains about "white people" would certainly be hidden if it weren't clearly identified as coming from a black person.

> I've joined your organizations and been fired from
> them, rejected by them or not even let in the door.

Quite a resume. I'm sure good things will happen if he finds his way into MY group.

> YOU are the muthafucka that needs to do more. White people

Maybe it's never occurred to him before, but giving people crap doesn't actually motivate them. This is the kind of shit that you talk to an enemy when the action you want is for them to run away. This is the kind of shit that drives people to abandon "the white left," which -- in Oregon, since apparently black leftists can't be bothered to organize and "do (or undue) the work that white people have responsibility for" -- is the only left available.

STUPID!... 26.Mar.2006 12:54

nadie

Problem is that the Bolshevic Revolution, The French Revolution, the Nazi Revolution (against the Weimar Republic), etc., all played into the hands of the same general class of people who are profiting off this war. In fact, those revolutions were largely orchestrated by the Anglo-American-Judaic subversive movements. Perhaps "orchestrated" is a an overstatement, but fomented and prodded is not. George H Walker, Averill Harriman, Prescott Bush, Percy Rockefeller, etc., all profited on both sides of WWII--the Nazi rise to power and its subsequent destruction. Bank of England and NM Rothschild profited handsomely from the French Revolution. All involved profited by the overthrow of Tzarist Russia.

Some real revolutions... Hmmm... The Klamath Indians against the U.S. Cavalry. The Boers in the Boers Wars. The Philipinos against American occupation in the 19th Century. The Chinese in Tieneman Square. All were brutally repressed and beaten back. Sure, let's riot and revolt with molotov cocktails and .38 specials. That's all the excuse the Bushies need to send tanks into the streets, declare martial law, and lock up dissidents in internment camps. Then what are you going to do, have a hunger strike?

....that's the problem, ain' it? 26.Mar.2006 14:07

occupied cascadian free_cascadia@hushmail.com

"I will support any reasonable plan that does not mess up my life."

And that's the problem with the authoritarian left. Really, this statement exemplifies exactly what folks are angry about. The authoritarian left that has positioned itself with its money to be the "leaders" of the anti-war movement for the most part aren't on the pointy end of the US government's stick. Capitalism benefits them, the war doesn't truly effect them, they're not subject to the "economic draft" and they're the beneficiaries of the neo-liberal agenda. Sure, they may not *like* the war. They may not *like* some US foreign policy, but, on the whole, it's not something that effects their day to day lives, so they have no compelling reason to do anything *other* than permitted marches with a heavy presence of our own US Gestapo.

My issue with permitted marches is that they're essentially feel good rallies for the converted that lend an air of legitimacy to the states claim of "democracy" but do little else. The state can always point to them and say "See how democratic we are! People can march without fear of reprisal. As long as they do it according to OUR rules. Free speech zones, permits, Fatherland sekurity! Ain't our 'democratic' way of life grand!" So, in the end, the permitted marches do little other than assisting the state in promoting their democracy fiction and give generally white middle class liberals a nice safe way to feel good once a year. The state loves this as these marches are no threat to their power, so they don't have to even respond to them (and they usually don't). It's the whole "What do we want? Moderate Reform! When do we want it? As soon as those in power deem it conveniant!"

George, and I say this in the kindest way I know how, you and your bretheren are this generations "Good Germans". Iraqis, Afghanis, the indigenous world wide, the poor, people of color, our forests, or biosphere, our entire fucking planets is being sent to the proverbial gas chambers and your concern is that any action you take doesn't fuck up your life (even though the actions you DON'T take may in the end fuck your life up even worse). You hold a sign while this planet is paved over for the benefit of the neo-liberal capitalist agenda and any life (human or otherwise) that gets in the way is paved under with it. That may be your definition of solidarity but it certainly isn't mine. Ask yourself this. In 20 years, when this planet is next to uninhabitable, when US power has rolled over country after country, destroying their people all to keep a bunch of rich folks even richer and to keep some of those in the US comfortable, can you look into the eyes of the next generation and tell them that you didn't revolt because you were too afraid that it would fuck up your life?

If we are going to stand in TRUE solidarity with those at the pointy end of this governments stick (whether those people exist here or abroad) then it will not be comfortable and it may, in the end, mess up our nice comfortable lives. I might add as well that our comfortable lives exist ONLY because a lot of people we don't have to see on a daily basis have their not so comfortable lives further fucked up all for our comfort.

We are all enslaved by this system, even though some of us have golden chains that mark us as the concentration camp capos, the prisoner that keeps the other prisoners in line for a few more scraps of bread and some extra soup. While there may be some benefit to a permitted march, in the end, a diversity of tactics will win this fight and free us from this system we all live under. If we want to effect radical change, our actions will have to become radical and actually pose a threat to those in power. They may even fuck up our lives for the short term. As it stands now, those in power will not listen because they don't really need to listen. What shall we threaten them with? Another march they can ignore? With demands that have no teeth behind them? That we'll vote for the other greedy capitalist bastard over them? With symbolic actions? If those you love were being threatrned with death would you symbolically protect them by holding a sign and chanting slogans at those who would do them harm? And if so, is that truly love for them?

One day George, you may well be on the pointy end of the stick. Hopefully it won't take that to bring you to realize what I'm saying. When and if you do realize this, I'll invite you to stand with us, hand in hand, as we tear this suicidal system down and begin anew. Until that day, you and others on the authoritarian left are at most an impediment and at worst a well disguised enemy. I beg you, if you are going to stand in solidarity with us, you will have to get off your knees and actually stand.

-Occupied Cascadian

Can we stop it with the Ghandi-MLK-Ghandi-MLK thing? 26.Mar.2006 14:13

occupied cascadian free_cascadia@hushmail.com

...it's historically incorrect.

Ghandi's civil disobedience didn't do anything for years. It wasn't until post-WWII after the English were stretched thin after fighting the germans, that it "worked". So, really the credit for Indian independance isn't so much Ghandi's as it is WWIIs.

White racists and their henchman and women suck! 27.Mar.2006 06:55

Maxjulian antibes13@hotmail.com

Dear "White People Suck":

Those white folks who have transcended their racism/white supremacist privilege get what I'm saying. Those who don't, respond to it like you did. FYI: I used to try to coddle white people and express myself in Tommish, slavish dis-passion. No more. I'm not a missionary, ain't out to convert or love no white folks though I do and I ain't no Morgan Freeman. I don't need to be liked; I just tell the truth as I see it. For me, speaking this way separates the honest white folks from the dishonest ones. In my experience, white people of the liberal persuasion - who sleeps on their racism - are the most cunning, duplicitous, silver tongued people on planet earth. Sorry.

To one of your indictments: I'm as homophobic and sexist as any black man born in Amerikkka should be; however, I'm willing to admit it and grow. And I have. (I just like black rhetoric for real. I bet I'm less homophobic and sexist than you are racist, though.)

I easily could have omitted the race stuff and written something similar to what Craig Rosebraugh wrote (a fine essay). But, I know white folks: there are two comments on his piece and frankly, it should be packed full of comments cuz the shit is totally on point. But racism is the one thing white folks of your typology hate to admit. So much of left activism is about your "image". So when somebody busts your bubble you take offense and sling your own do-do.

So, "Dear, White People Suck": if we can both agree that we have 'ISM-itis' and if we can both agree to work on our shit, are you willing, to work side by side and do what is necessary to defeat this imperialist, racist, sexist, homophobic behemoth that threatens life on planet earth?


dirty hands 28.Mar.2006 15:46

salamander

That's all the excuse the Bushies need to send tanks into the streets, declare martial law, and lock up dissidents in internment camps.


Ever the cry of the victim. If I just treat him nicer, maybe he wont hit me! You know what? They are gonna lock up dissidents anyway. They are already doing it. They are taking away you civil liberties and have guns pointed at your head. You, or your children, or your friends, or their children are going to be murdered, or tortured, or incarcerated. Your choice is to oppose it, or to continue to hope that somehow it is going to go away without you having to get your hands dirty.