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Smack a White Boy Part Two: CrimethInc. Eviction

Note:this is a brief summery of the actions that took place, and in no way describes the situation in full
Dread locked white punks, crusties with their scabies friends, and traveling college bros swarmed a space on the dividing line of gentrification in the Bloomfield/Garfield/Friendship area late July 09 in Pittsburgh for the annual CrimethInc convergence. Whereas previous CrimethInc convergences had been located deep in wooded areas, this particular one took place in a poor, black neighborhood that is being pushed to the borders by entering white progressive forces.

There were those that had experienced CrimethInc's oppressive culture and people for years and others who had experienced enough oppression after just a few days. Our goals were to stop CrimethInc, their gentrifying force, and to end the convergence right then and there for all that they had done.
[but then CT pulled a pincher move and brought in their reserves. We had no choice but to retreat...]

Just a few blocks away, eight anarchist/autonomous/*anti*-authoritarian
people of color* gathered to discuss a direct confrontation. We arrived from
different parts of these stolen lands of the Turtle Island. Some came from
the Midwest, some from the Northeast, some born and raised in Pittsburgh.
Altogether we represented 7 different locations, half of us socialized as
female a variety of sizes, skin color, with identities of queers, trans,
gender-queers, gender variants, and womyn. With little time and a desire for
full consensus, we quickly devised a plan. A local apocista offered safer
space housing for unarrestables, parents, and children of color, we planned
to extend that offer to the best of our abilities. We departed toward the
convergence from our local apoc Pittsburgh friends with complete support.

Upon entering the convergence space, we each immediately began to fulfill
our roles. One apocista's role was informing a mother of color and her child
about the action and then offering safer space housing for the duration of
their stay. This same apocista also began informing other POC that were not
already aware of our plan of what was about to take place and inviting them
to join us or to remove themselves from the area if they chose. Some
apocista checked in with allies about our time schedule, also ensuring that
there would be look outs for cops.

The majority of the CrimethInc kids were in the ballroom on the second floor
watching and participating in a cabaret. A group of us began gathering
attendees' packs, bags, shoes, banjos, and such from the other rooms on the
second floor and moving it all down the hallway towards the stairs. We had
gone pretty unnoticed, mostly due to lack of lighting.

Once those rooms had been emptied, it was time for the main event. We
gathered at the ballroom's doorway furthest from the stairs following the
final act of the cabaret.

"On the count of three. One, two, three!" one apocista said.

"Get the fuck out!", we all shouted.

And the eviction began. One apocer began reading 'An Open Letter to White
Radicals/Progressives', while the others began yelling at the attendees to
gather their things and leave. Irritated by their continued inaction after
about 10 minutes or so, one of the people involved in the action shouted,

"This is not an act! Get your shit, or we'll remove it for you!"

Some white people started grabbing their bags and heading towards the back,
but most stayed and watched as we piled their possessions in the hallway. Of
course, many of them stayed pulling back bags from our arms, physically
restraining us, attacking us, creating blockades, and trying to engage in
dialogue about what was happening. We were not open to negotiation and
stated such. There is no negotiation for colonization. As we were approached
with physical force one of us responded with,

"Don't try to fight us, we are not pacifists, we will defend ourselves!"

[a couple of hours of moving bags, being forcibly moved, blockaded,
physically and verbally attacked, and yes defending ourselves]

one apocista was pushed down stairs

one was pulled out of the room

one was picked up and taken out of the room

a female bodied persyn was almost punched in the face by a white male when 2
others pulled them back

female bodied persyn grabbed by a tall white man while others yelled get her

a mother of color came in to defend us and pull a poc organizer off one of
us

poc organizers forcibly closing door on us, crushing our bodies and heads.

One grabbed a big board that was used to push us out the door.

After quite a bit of time and effort used by folks to get us out of that
space, we remained standing.

The cops had approached, a call was made to one of us upstairs to inform us
that there was a policeman outside and they were being talked to by a police
liaison and the situation was under control. We looked around to see other
people of color and a medium sized group of mostly cis white males that were
left. While at this point mostly engaging in discussion with other poc and
poc organizers some people convinced the remaining stubborn white people to
leave, after telling the last white persyn there that they were not welcome
in this space, the doors were locked and caucusing began.

After 20 minutes or so, most everyone had expressed their opinion, people
were emotional, tired and the discussion ended. We removed ourselves from
the space. One apocista involved in the eviction conferred with a medic to
try to regain normal breathing due to an asthma attack that had been taking
place over the last 3 hours of the eviction. We all exited, we were greeted
by friends, allies, and others that had helped us by participating in the
action.

We said our goodbyes, and departed towards a locals house to debrief an
discuss the events that had just taken place.

*Why was the Crimethinc. Convergence specifically targeted? *

It had first been proposed by some Pittsburgh apoc that the conference, its
organizers, and its attendees be addressed initially by a boycott. There
were apocers from Pittsburgh who made a call for action and Smack a White
Boy Part Two was proposed and some local Apocers gave 100% support for an
action. This support for an action had much to do with the CrimethInc
organizers' disregard for the role they and CrimethInc attendees could play
in gentrifying the neighborhood in which it was held. In email
correspondence with one apocer that attended the convergence for its entire
duration, the CrimethInc. organizers refused to address that they were
organizing a white event (an event that, despite the attendance of a small
handful of poc, was structured for white people, largely by white people,
and as a white space). The organizers did not obtain the consent of any of
the relevant communities before arranging for a convergence and went so far
as to attempt to buy a building in a poor black neighborhood. By the lead of
the white man specifically, white people are still invading, stealing, and
colonizing. Organizers also implied that simply because they were no longer
buying a space for the convergence, concerns about its impact on surrounding
communities were invalid.

There were also apocers from around the country that had come to the
convergence with no knowledge of the previous conversations that had taken
place, yet were still appalled and disgusted upon entering the space. There
were people from other cities that were on call and ready to come help take
action once people attending the convergence and locals decided what kind of
confrontation was necessary.

Despite concerns, a large mass of white people were brought to a site of
gentrification and contributed to it, setting up a white space along Penn
Avenue. People of color both within that convergence and within the
communities it was situated were alienated. Many people of color attending
the convergence were regularly silenced and disrespected. One wonders also
how all the bros, overt perpetrators of white male power, can call
themselves anarchists. Similarly, those who spearheaded and those who
participated in the inappropriate jokes workshop, self-labeled though they
may be, are no anarchists in our eyes. To the contrary, within the
"movement" these people are some of the most overt perpetrators of
oppression. Setting up "safe space" for racist, sexist, homophobic, and
transphobic jokes is not anarchism, it is the continued violence of
white-led oppression verbally embodied.

To all those who hide your oppressiveness and your privilege behind
"anarchism," as you can see, your perpetuation of white supremacy and
patriarchy have not gone unnoticed. Throughout the convergence, you
disrespected peoples' gender identities, and lied to and ignored neighbors
of color. And many knew full well that there were at least two perpetrators
of sexual assault present at the convergence (which went against the
convergence's own policy), yet nobody said or did anything.

*Why CrimethInc.?*

CrimethInc has been/is the breeding ground for white anarchists. They
encourage the culture of dropping out of society, which makes the assumption
that the reader/attendee has that privilege and therefore their words speak
only to those that have it.

Refusing to try to create a culture of calling people out on their shit
allows for people in privilege to remain stagnant and thus creating "safe
spaces" for the oppressors.

CrimethInc organizers have on many occasions attempted to try to dominate
and control mass actions.

The furthering of our (oppressed peoples) silencing to create harmony to
just sit back and deal with the oppressive behavior that we face within the
"movement" for any oppression of that beyond class. The attitude that these
oppressions are either irrelevant or not as important

Having no effective or serious anti-oppressive analyses or stance shows us
that combating oppression is not in their interest

*Why the White "Anarchist" Movement?*

All of us who have participated in this action have interacted with white
anarchists for good amounts of time in our organizing and/or lives. Our
relationships with these folks have varied. But let us tell you this, not
one of us has been unaffected by the racism within the movement. Don't think
these are isolated instances. White supremacy plays a role in everything.
The anarchist scene reproduces the same oppressive social relationships we
face throughout society, and furthers the notion that oppression does not
exist within the movement. This silences many. [Note: watch Born In Flames]

We see this blatant oppressive behavior and failure to address privilege and
each individuals role in the furthering of oppression [see bottom
for:internalized fascism].

Most of us have to spend our lives in unsafe spaces, and it is worsened with
white peoples inability to help address oppression.

Euro-centric anarchism that also fetishizes people of colors struggles

Colorblind, Pretending we are all coming from an equal position

Failure to barely even question cultural appropriation.

Continuously fighting for the white issues in oppression. which has divided
the feminist movement, gay rights movement and the anarchist movement in the
US.

Failure to deconstruct white supremacy for what it truly is. meaning it's
not just about nazis.

The white race continues to be a parasitic force through cultural
appropriation, colonisation(they call it gentrification these days). They
brought and continue genocide. Disease, slavery, starvation, capitalism,
patriarchy, Christianity. Each and every white person benefits from white
supremacy and the oppression of people of color. ultimately they will serve
their own good. White anarchists tokenize/fetishize indigenous and other
people of color. We are objectified and become something to be managed and
be organised by whites, or educated by the white man. We are sexualized by
the white queer anarchist movement. From the eco, feminist, unionist,
student, communist, punk anarchists; in the end they show their white
supremacy.

*Things to address*

Apoc- the acronym stands for anarchist/anti-authoritarian/autonomous people
of color. It is the name of different collectives and groups. it is also an
individual identity, and a movement. Anyone who is such can claim the
acronym apoc. ie, you don't have to go to meetings to bash back, you don't
have to have a group to be apoc.

Our autonomy- the different people who participated in the "eviction" came
from all around the country to the CrimethInc convergence for their own
reasons. some were hoping to see some change in the role that white
supremacy plays, some went to "educate" white folks, some went to see
friends, and some for the sole purpose of taking action.

Race traitor- there are rumors afloat that the term "race traitor" was used
towards mixed people and other who weren't participating. this is untrue.
the word was used towards specific individuals and their personal history of
posturing a role in upholding, defending, and ultimately furthering white
supremacy. for instance, by the spreading the idea that it is because we are
not doing enough, that it is our fault that we are oppressed.

Unnarrestability of individuals- this convergence was filled with an
absolute disrespect for the unnarrestability of individuals persyns, even
when it was brought up repeatedly by them. For unarrestable people of color,
this is serious! It has nothing to do with not being anarchist or punk
enough and shouldn't be thought of that way at all. Undocumented people
especially shouldn't have to beg to be protected by the anarchist community
and those they call "friends". Consideration of unnarrestability is the MOST
basic thing white anarchists need to think about to have a mindset conscious
of undocumented people. Keep your fucking community safe. Until then, you
aren't any kind of ally.

For the unarrestables that were "evicted" at this convergence, you spoke
once and your voice was heard round the country, echoed throughout the
community, people spoke in defense of you, and against this action for you.
When we scream for support, we are not heard, and our struggles go
unnoticed, because we are invisible from the get go.

displacement and oppression of white people... I wont even give lip service
this to this point

tactics- This was a direct action, whether anyone likes it or not the
purpose was to end the convergence, and the convergence was ended
effectively and efficiently. Disgruntled attendees speculating on better
tactics or a better messege is fairly useless - the purpose has been
fulfilled

anarchist fox news, honestly, listen to yourself, can you not hear the white
supremacy in your own voice?

*Memorable Quotes*

"While we were bein' kicked out, I was looting the kitchen." -white attendee

"This is the most racist thing ever"-white convergence attendee"

"you're taking advantage of anarchists because you know they wont call the
cops" -organizer

"we don't know that, answer me a question, how many snitches at snitch camp
this year?"-:apocista

"race doesn't matter" -white attendee

"we're gonna have an orgy against this" -white attendees

"what are you still doing here, we've been doing the same thing before you
came here, while you are here, and will continue after you're gone'' -a
white convergence attendee

"we're all from africa" -white attendee

"you can't smash patriarchy, you can't destroy racism" - opposing poc

"what do you want me to do hate myself because i'm white" while
crying{whiteguilt}

"look around almost all thats left is cis white guys"

"in response to talk about genocide, rape,colonization, white people
responded with "that wasn't me"

"if you touch the puppets, i'll fight you"

"j, i'm gonna be picking you up now, can somebody please help me pick j
up{while trembling and screaming "i don't want to drop them, people will
think i'm racist" -white persyn

"somebody give me some mace, they need to get the fuck up outta here"
opposing poc in reference to apocista's taking action

"we're closing the door on you, as they precede to crush our bodies between
the door and door frame"

"i live in this neighborhood!" said by a few white people

"its a apoc black block performance about gentrification" after which many
preceded to clap

"me? did i do thesethings, little ian?"

"but i gave you a ride" white attendee

"lets organize a sit in against this!" white attendees congratulating
eachother

"why are you oppressing us?" -said by white folks

"apoc owes me a week of my life and i'm gonna get it back" -organizer
"i have a crush on all of you poc, i like big booties" - read from the crush
jar

"this temporary inconvenience is nothing compared to gentrification and its
permanent displacement" apocista to the crowd

"wait, i worked with you in new orleans!" -white attendee

"the neighbors liked our presence, and they are happy CrimethInc is here"
-organizer

"you're violating consent" -in response to taking action

"this is enough to call the cops" -said by multiple people at multiple times

"we're all anarchists here we're all fighting for the same thing" -white
persyn

*"People of Color refers to folks who self-identify as a person of color,
whether it be yellow, red, brown, black or mixed skinned people. People of
Color can include, but is not limited to African, South American, Central
American, American Indian, Caribbean, Southeastern Asian, Arab,
Mediterranean, Indigenous Turtle Island and Aboriginal descent."

 http://illvox.org/2008/05/an-open-letter-to-white-progressives-and-radicals/

 link to illvox.org

 http://illvox.org/2009/03/smack-a-white-boy-dc-apoc-reports-back/

*We would like to extend the invitation for any apocers that didn't
physically attack us to the apoc conference august 6-8th*

 http://illvox.org/ne-apoc-conference-09/
*
"We declare our right on this earth...to be a human being, to be respected
as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society,
on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any
means necessary." -Malcolm X*

another report 05.Aug.2009 09:36

floating around

As one of the 2009 crimethinc convergence 'disrupter's', I feel the need to share my experience with the wider movement, in the hopes that this never needs to be repeated.

I came to this years convergence, exhausted before I got there. The previous years gathering had not set well with me. It was a week of being ignored, marginalized, fetishized, tokenized, embarrassed, alienated, and generally unwelcome. It ended (after an APOC caucus of maybe 20 people) in a very offensive, and personally hurtful performance at the cabaret (which I'm sure everyone has heard about by now). So I didn't have very high hopes for this years. Lo and behold, I got what I expected. I was again ignored, marginalized, fetishized, tokenized, embarrassed, and alienated. Each day I was feeling more angry, more unwelcome, and even, ashamed of who I am. I shouldn't come to an anarchist convergence to hear racial slurs, or 'Indian' stereotypes, or black jokes, or why Palestinians are getting oppressed because they're inferior. Why do people ask me if I am 'a really good shot with a bow and arrow', or if I can 'speak to nature', or if I've written to Leonard Peltier? Why did NO ONE speak up for me when I was called a savage? Why do white people feel the need to repeat my last sentence, directly after I say it? Why did no one care when a Latino said that they could not be ID'd by police? Why when I call someone on some racist shit, am I 'playing the race card'? Why do white people feel the need to 'save' me and my people? This goes on and on. And its not just POCistas that felt the brunt of this internalized supremacy, trans-gendered people, queers, non-citizens, and even white people felt it too.
For days this was happening, then someone decided (for what reason I still don't really know) to let me in on the planning for the "SAWBP2" action. There were a few of us, all with very different politics and ideas, but we all felt that something had to be done. The plan was very vague, but I eagerly joined. I was excited to call all of these people on their prejudice.
As the plan morphed into a form that was close to what actually ended up happening, I felt conflicted and considered backing out, but ultimately decided to go through with it. Some of the reasons that were given for the action I still do not agree with. But all the racist shit going on had really pissed me off, and honestly, saddened me greatly. After a week of trying to explain to white people, of sitting through no less than 6 workshops on race, trying to gently coax the ideas out of them, I was done. Talking obviously was not working, as the content of the racial discussions was promptly forgotten (or ignored) I was ready to try screaming. A very emotional APOC caucus (about half last years size), coupled with "a safe space for racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, and trans-phobic humor" being scheduled during the caucus, was enough for me to support the action. Looking back, I realize that my decision to participate, was largely based on emotion.
So on Friday night, us few people of color consulted with some allies, got the one child out of the space, waited for the cabaret to be over and entered the room. (*** I just want to add that while the only visible 'disrupter's' were people of color, there were plenty of white people, trans-gendered people, and queers who knew of the action, supported it, and some helped to do it***) The letter was read loudly and we told everyone to leave. Looking at that many white people who appeared to want to beat my ass was terrifying. When no one moved we began to remove people bags from the room (something I never really agreed with, but nonetheless did). After a few minutes of the action, I was tripped in the hallway and thrown out (literally thrown). I couldn't get back in to help the disrupter's. When it looked as though the people outside were considering jumping me, I left Pittsburgh. I wasn't around for the later discussions, and therefore have no opinion of them.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about what went on that night. I don't agree with everything that 'we' did. But at the same time, people are like pressure cookers, you keep the lid on them long enough and they're going to blow. I was tired of people not hearing me, so I screamed. I'm sorry if my yelling was traumatic for you, but it was the inaction of people that caused the situation to escalate as far as it did.
Hindsight is 20-20, perhaps we were too inflammatory, and I wish it could have happened another way. But, I do not regret my participation entirely, nor do I regret that this happened at all. The whole reason I did it was to get people to hear me, to get them to understand my frustration and anger. I did it to bring the issue of prejudice, privilege, and white supremacy to the forefront, which hopefully has been accomplished. What I want to come out of this, is not some new dichotomy, or a split within the movement, but to have these issues at least heard. How many people would have left crimethinc thinking about these issues if the 'disruption' had not happened? What comes out of this, is what you make out of it. You can complain and decry our actions for the next 20 years, or you can try to understand why we did it, and hopefully it will never have to happen again.

I'm sorry (really) that we had to yell, but would we have had to, if only you had listened?

- In both hope and in fear,
Terijian, a 'disrupter' from Toledo


author: repost 05.Aug.2009 20:11

as in, not the original

The people who wrote this did not post it here. They are not reading your "replies."

This was found on a table the day after the action: 09.Aug.2009 05:20

A crimethinc ex-worker communique.

This was found on a table the day after the action:

Saturday, July 25, 2009
A crimethinc ex-worker communique.

The police will not respect your social views, sexual preferences, race or place of origin.
You are not here to hook up, you are here to organise.
If you are unprepaired for a raid of ANY KIND, then you will put everyone around you in jepardy.
This is not a joke, anarchy and activism is not a safe and cozy place.
It is tear gas, mace and barbed wire, people die for these causes.
Whatever was said last night, 100 people were caught by suprise,
100 people who will now be more effective activists.
Props to those members of APOC for shaking this convention.
Props to everyone here for not running and hiding, for staying to confront these issues.
For crimethinc organisers, a simulated raid should be part of every crimethinc covergance.


The consensus in this room is that this was an act of love and growth.
Relax, the future is not written.

A crimethinc ex-worker communique.