Olympia Anarchist Convergence April 20/21st
Why Insurrection? An Introduction to Contemporary Ideas in Anarchism
An incomplete, true, authentic and terrible history of social control and its discontents in the western world will set the stage for a critique of political parties, unions, assimilationist tendencies and other institutional and recuperative forces. The nightmare of Progress and the failures of activism, the left and democracy bode more than ever for a practice of direct action. Enter an introductory conversation about some of the increasingly influential concepts and principles involved in contemporary anarchy: affinity, autonomy, and insurrection.
-The origins and underpinnings of the "affinity group" model.
-The hidden history of our anarchistic forebears.
-The significance- for anarchist strategy and tactics- of the transition
from industrial to "post-industrial" society.
-The difference between insurrection and traditional concepts of revolution.
-Why "insurrection" is not merely a synonym for violence, hyper-militancy,
-The critical differences between insurrection and armed struggle,
-Some tentative definitions of self-activity, uncontrollability, and
-The tension between theory and practice, means and ends, the social and
-The distinction between informal and formal organization.
-The false problem of "individualism vs. communism."
... and more!
A plea to those who can hear to abandon moribund formulas. An important qualifier for some very old demands. And a contextualization of the last several years of upheaval and armed joy in the US context and beyond.
Not your typical "Anarchy 101," this talk is nonetheless being given primarily for those with limited prior exposure to anarchist and insurrectional ideas, and is intended to contextualize a good deal of the convergence weekend. It will hopefully provide a leg up for newcomers to get something more out of the other presentations, as well as to participate more readily in the in-depth conversations on Sunday. Participation and questions are encouraged after the beginning of the presentation. Free literature provided.
brief readings recommended in advance of the talk:
Instead of a Meeting:
link to theanarchistlibrary.org
Some Notes on Insurrectionary Anarchy:
link to theanarchistlibrary.org
On Branden Darby and the RNC
On the 2008 RNC/Brandon Darby/informants/security culture/masculinity in radical culture. A talk about what happened up in MN and in TX afterward.
The Prison Doula Project
Anarchist Response to Overall Crisis (John Zerzan)
A few comments on anarchy in the technoculture/eco-disaster era of mass society. The anarchist alternative is in the ascendant in many places it seems. But what are we talking about?
Internet and Tech Security
We will be discussing how to browse the internet anonymously using various web browsers and operating systems currently available, encrypting files securely and using encrypted email.
Permanent Counter-Revolution; how the Tradition of all Dead
Generations Weighs like a Nightmare on the Brains of the Living: A
Counter-revolution is as much a feature of capitalist life as wage-labor or the commodity, but it has a way of becoming invisible against the backdrop of spectacular society. In this talk, we'll discuss the ways that counter-revolution permeates the fabric of everyday life, the conditions that give rise to it, the traps it sets, and the possibility of overcoming it. Permanent counter-revolution is the process by which the world adjusts itself to the limits of capital, but it is also represents our own limit to understanding our conditions - still, we should not despair. As a well known rebel said, "There is no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons."
Revolt, Repression, and Grand Jury Resistance in the Northwest
Our friends have been imprisoned, others are on the lam, and the FBI is using a grand jury to try and peer into our social networks. This presentation and discussion is about the current wave of intensified state repression and the unstoppable tide of upheaval, subversion, and resistance to which it is a response. We will discuss May Day, the grand jury process and resistance to it, support for prisoners, a history of struggle in the Northwest, and ideas for action. Free literature and materials will be provided. The content will move from the story of this particular wave of repression and the resistance it has generated, including an explanation of the legal specifics of the grand jury system, to a broader discussion of the interplay between repression and revolt. Participation is encouraged.
The Ecology of Growing Up - An Anarchist Discussion on the Nature of Childhood and Parenting:
The dominant culture teaches ways of parenting that are, at their core, based on domination and suppression, and are damaging to us all. This will be a discussion about the experience of caregivers to children trying to develop and practice anti-authoritarian methods of raising children. It will be based largely on theories of human development and the history and anthropology of parenting in other societies, including those based on foraging. We will also be discussing natural learning versus compulsory education and a culture of respect for children, culture making through media, literature and language and why anarchists should be distinctly concerned with childhood and parenting.
Sunday (Panel and Group Discussions):
Panel: An Incomplete History of Anarchist Activity in the Pacific Northwest
This panel is made of anarchists with an astute familiarity or experience within the specific periods of activity that hold some significance for a contextualization of where we are today. The anarchist history panelists presentations will span the 20th and 21st century, but understand, this account of anarchist history in the Pacific Northwest will unavoidably be incomplete. Starting with an overview of anarchist activity in the PNW form 1919 to the 1980's, following there will panelists going over anarchist involvement in: The Green Scare, Port Military Resistance, Seattle Anti-Police Protests of 2011, Seattle Occupy, and The Pacific Northwest Grand Jury. There will be a Q/A session afterward that will extend into the lunch break.
The Past Doesn't Pass; The Constellation of Subversive History
This discussion will aim to focus on the importance of digging up historical moments of social revolt that often intentionally go untold and hidden by capital's historians, by examining the constellation in which these events unfold rather than the linear build-up of events that capitalists and Marxists would rather us believe in and by also discussing the events themselves.
Some questions to ponder...
What can Capitalism gain by consistently hiding and silencing moments of revolt, especially those of the past?
What can subversive communities/cultures gain from unearthing these hidden histories?
Why is it important to unearth these hidden histories?
What is the difference between the work of that of a standard historian and that of someone who searches and works to tell these untold stories?
Does the subversive "culture/community" in the United States, or more specifically Olympia, suffer from a cultural-amnesia? Does your scene of comrades and "co-conspirators" have a connection with those who tread the path of radical/anarchist politics 5, 10, 15+ years ago? What kind of affects can this have on "The Anarchist Project"?
No preliminary reading material required/requested. The presenters of this discussion will aim to keep the conversation as accessible as possible and far from the ivory tower of academia.
Further reading material for those willing to take the plunge will be provided however!
Identity and Attack!
At worst, identity politics serve to suppress revolt against capitalism, the state, and social oppression through the flattening of experience, favoring self-appointed leadership, and the use of guilt and fear. At the same time, anarchist scenes are not immune to dynamics of social oppression. We will highlight some flagrant examples of the failures of identity politics, as well as inspiring examples of convergence around shared subjectivity in order to attack systems of domination.
The bulk of the group discussion will center around the following questions:
Is there any value in converging around shared identity? If so, how can we do so without falling into the trap of identity politics?
How can we confront and attack intra-milieu hierarchy and domination without falling into the trap of identity politics?
Theses on Identity Politics: link to lumpenfag.tumblr.com
Anarcha-Feminists Take to the Streets: link to zinelibrary.info
We're also gonna pull a couple excerpts from Who Is Oakland: link to escalatingidentity.wordpress.com
What Is To Be Done?
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