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Why I am protesting J20 organizing
This time, i am protesting large demos organized by authoritarian groups who hide their party affiliations. i am protesting disempowering mass distractions where people actually believe they are doing something to challenge state power and Bush. I am protesting the illusion that those in power give a damn about these mass protests.
Why participate in a spectacle that only gives legitimacy to the process of stealing elections? Do you think you'll actually change something? For those that still believe in the voting process in America, do you think that even if you got your paper trail, that Bush Inc. would not have found another way to steal the election? You are crazy if you believe that.
Unlike Nixon during the Vietnam era, who was privately concerned about the governability of the country due to mass protests given the governments limited legal law enforcement powers, Bush Inc. not only has legitimate COINTELPRO type counter measures in the form of the Patriot Act et al, mass protests tend to 1) help release the steam built up into anger against Bush Inc., and 2) become immediately irrelevant due to the fact that the corporate media will ensure the irrelevance of the message people are tyring to send. This was not the case 30 years ago to the extent it is today.
I recognize the importance of "network" building and developing relationships, but at what expense to a real strategy? I favor getting together, but if that further perpetuates the illusion of impact on a ideologically driven administration, who will stop at nothing to institute their agenda in the coming years, then i must ask what is this top down type mass demo going to accomplish towards our goals. Granted, our goals vary, but one thing we might agree on is that we need to directly challenge and resist the impact of their policies on the most vulnerable. And the key word is "directly."
Further, the "opposition message" is diluted to the point of meaninglessness. The lack of serious political analysis in this country when it comes to organizing those outside of the anti-war movement is a disease. Why aren't we trying to understand why local communities in DC, for example, will not join the throngs of mostly white folks who are coming to their town to protest. Not to mention that these locals are being forced to pay for their "protection" and the enhancement of the local police state already in existence.
No. Something much more profound needs to happen. I do not proclaim to know what it is, but I would start by doing a real assessment of the effects of our actions on this administration. How has ANSWER/NION organizing actually affected policy? What are their goals? What are their successes? How has the rhetoric of anti-war politics worked to reach people?
I for one am sick and tired of ANSWER/NION and their top down style of organizing. I am sick of creating the illusion in peoples minds that walking down the street and throwing dollars into their buckets will actually change anything.
Should we challenge Bush? Of course. Should we keep our mouths shut and stay indoors? Of course not. But we should challenge traditional approaches so that we can expose the deeper flaws in this system. We need to make connections with "normal" people who might be willing to take all forms of non-violent direct action to challenge the legitimacy of this administrations policies if they understood how it directly affects their lives. We need to speak to people's hearts and experiences, not bombard them with sloganeering.
And for the individualistic anarchists, as opposed to the syndicalists and socialist varitey, whom i am very sympathetic, they have become a bizarre fashion cult unto themselves whose rhetoric and style is more consistent with narcissism than with politics. Their "black bloc" is a catwalk of individualism, where if you peeled off the black clothing you would primarily see white.
It is time to move beyond symbolic mass protest and towards community based organizing. It is time to move towards issues that *include* a sound economic analysis that speaks to people's
daily lives, and i am not talking about robot like leninist/stalinist/maoist/marxist "scientific" economic analysis. These people do not know the meaning of the word science or the scientific method, which if they did, they would have known that their various hypotheses of "scientific socialism" failed every experiment put to the test. That others either failed miserably within their ranks, or created totalitarian dungeons, doesn't seem to have sunk in. Or they simply don't care or make excuses as to why history will have Stalin "come down on the people's side" in the future as one RCP hack recently stated on a Pacifica radio station. Well, I suppose that's true if we let the RCP and Bob Avakian write the history books!
Here comes Argentina. We can learn something from these people. We can learn from the solidarity that exists between groups that come from a variety of backgrounds. We can learn that we don't need party bosses to take back factories, or city councils to institute rent control. These people take matters directly into their own hands and, often times, don't even recognize the authority of the state. I fear that many Americans aren't truly prepared for what could happen during an economic collapse, and would be ripe for a frightening form of authoritarianism and fascism to grow here as a result. We need to prepare for that, and we have to have relationships with folks before this happens. Ranting about marxist rhetoric or wearing stylistic black bandanas won't accomplish this. Get over yourselves and start thinking about why those locals in DC aren't participating in your righteous marches.
from the southwest United States in the land of neon and burgers.