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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism

Santa Cruz decries attack on mom n' pop Rolex store, corporate chains
by Anonimo
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 11:00 AM
In the wake of last week's May Day (uprising?) riots, Santa Cruz residents are still expressing shock at the brazen attacks on mom n' pop corporate chain stores and high end jewelry boutiques.
In the wake of last week's May Day (uprising?) riots, Santa Cruz residents are still expressing shock at the brazen attacks on mom n' pop corporate chain stores and high end jewelry boutiques. According to Dar Williamson, owner of the mom n' pop Williamson Rolex Emporium, last week's (uprising?) riots couldn't have come at a worse time for Rolex sales, which have been at an all time low. "I just don't understand it, everyone deserves the right to purchase a diamond studded gold Rolex."

Local resident Winifred Pennyfeather agrees, "I am shocked and outraged that anyone would even think poorly of our brave corporate franchises that do so much to ensure a homogenous shopping experience and prosperous future for everyone."

Pennyfeather, who also chairs Take Back Santa Cruz, a community organization dedicated to ignoring growing economic inequality and shifting the debate to preserving middle class values, believes the (uprising?) riots were a result of too much sugar in today's soft drinks. "It is a known fact that too much sugar leads to dancing, and dancing leads to rioting, and sometimes even sex," Pennyfeather said. She went on to advocate for 7pm curfews and mandatory family TV nights for all Santa Cruz residents.

But such measures don't go far enough for local politicians. In a joint statement today by city council members Lynn Robinson, Mike Rotkin, and Ryan Coonerty, the city is exploring ways to increase security for corporate chain franchises and high-end mom n' pop boutiques that cater to rich-as-shit tourists.

Plans include calling in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), former KGB agents, Mosaad, and the Coast Guard. Coonerty added that he's mulling calling in Blackwater to have mercenaries stationed on every corner.

"It is high time we all came together to defend commerce against these vile, scurrilous, senseless acts of violence on property and profits. We need some mustached-mercenaries on the streets to protect the bling bling, knowhatI'ssayin"?" Coonerty said.

Local radio talk show personality/old crotchety white guy John Sandidge agrees, "It's true I enjoy and promote the subversive music of the Devil Makes Three and Utah Phillips. I also give away tickets to Micheal Moore movies. But people need to understand that there's a huge difference between singing or watching a movie about the overthrow of capitalism and actually giving it a swift kick in the nuts."

Still, there is some dissension among the ranks of Santa Cruz's elite. Editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel (based in Scots Valley) Don Miller had this to offer, "You know, for a long time my paper has just been a sounding board for real estate agents, the police department, and local rednecks, but the May 1st (uprising?) riots have made me rethink my commitment to the logic of capital. I mean, there's a lot of class and racial disparity in this country and Santa Cruz County is no different. Maybe I should move my paper's headquarters to Watsonville and start publishing regular editorials by the Brown Berets."

Overall though, the consensus has been on the side of corporate chains and expensive jewelry stores. Sparky Boxcar McGill, an area homeless guy, thinks it's unfair that anarchists attacked Williamson Rolex Emporium. "It just ain't right. American Capitalism has long served the needs of everyone. Nobody goes hungry here and we're all treated equally under the eyes of the law and logic of commerce. I mean, I can walk into Urban Outfitters and try on some pants made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh just like anyone, right? And Rolex watches? I'm all up in that, once the economy gets back on its feet, I'm hookin' up myself with one of those doohickeys for sure...bling bling bitches!"

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by @
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 12:13 PM
But a little better suited for The Onion.
by Windsong
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 12:58 PM
I don't get why Indybay is allowing this on their site. None of it is true and, quite honestly, considering the tenor in town right now only bolsters people's anger at anarchist groups. People in town are upset enough by SubRosa's refusal to condemn the violence against these stores. Now you're laughing about it. Can't you see that this kind of sophomoric behavior actually hurts people's serious causes? You're adding fuel to the fire. Or is that the point? The only problem with doing that is you might get burned.
by Steven Argue
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 1:40 PM

Good work, funny stuff.

Here's a spoof I did of Santa Cruz politics on Indy Media a while back:

City Council Passes Resolution Preventing Vigilante Justice Against Homeless
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/08/21/18442098.php
by ME
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 4:06 PM
-War is Peace

-Freedom is Slavery

-Ignorance is strength


-Join the army and become a hero for capitalism

-It's serve good for democracy to toe the line everyday

-Don't ask questions.

-The police are your friends.

-Don't think outside the box.

Just conform!

When I say jump, you say how high!

by :)
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 4:27 PM
finally! this put a smile on my face....
by carl
( carl.unitehere [at] gmail.com ) Tuesday May 11th, 2010 5:24 PM
very clever and funny bit,

I do hope the addition of "uprising?" in the parentheses was part of the joke, though. I'm not so sure, though, given some anarchists' tendency to label their little macho window-destruction fits, which hardly anyone supports (not out of moral outrage at the destruction of private property and more because of the utter pointlessness of such actions), as "uprisings" and "rebellions." When you start getting thousands of people (not just white UCSC students or traveler-kids/lifestylists), and workers and immigrants, and many more, making rebellion against capitalism and the state, then maybe you can call your shit an uprising. but not 20 idiots who tried to hijack what everyone else expected to be a fun illegal dance party in the street, and managed to tarnish the name of the May Day and the struggle for immigrants' and workers rights in the process. not an uprising. just stupid and sad. And as always, people have to raise thousands of dollars to get people out of jail, when all of that money could be going to organizations of workers and people of color who are actually struggling for liberation and not just going around breaking shit like a bunch of 4 year-olds. Not that there's an option- people have to get out of jail. But it's just so fucking frustrating that the movement has to come to the rescue for a small handful of people who acted stupidly, without consulting anyone else in the movement or thinking about the consequences of their actions on the broader movement. bah, whatever. I hope Subrosa stops getting shit from people, but this was seriously ridiculous. Even you really wanna do damage to Urban Outfitters, or Peets, or whatever companies got attacked on May 1st, why not go to their corporate headquarters, or slash the CEO's tires or something? What ended up happening was that a bunch of workers (remember...May Day...for the workers...anybody?) had to come in early on their days off (my friend being one of them) to clean up glass all day. Now what part of that is somehow furthering the revolution against capitalism and the state? All it did was get people really pissed off at anarchists and look at me like I had something to do with it because people know I'm an anarchist.
It completely discredits all of us who work so hard every day to build a radical movement, out in the open, in a way thats accountable to other people and to the community. It makes our job, which is already hard as shit, that much harder. and we really don't need that right now.

so just stop breaking windows. no one is impressed. just put down the brick, pick up your phone, call some people, and build a movement. don't be afraid. it's a lot easier than spending a year in jail




by FUCK THE MOVEMENT!
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 6:36 PM
The only way to stop terrorists in the community (capitalists) is to drive them out! So what if you're taking heat. You think we don't take heat for being who we are. That comes with the job and if you don't dig, it ain't for you. Besides it;s not about you it's about the millions of wage slaves that have used peaceful protest to no avail. Should we just wait until America turns into a military dictatorship like Greece did so we can be justified in smashing capitalism to pieces and rethinking our respect for authority.

Why do poor people all over the world have to be subjugated to the majority of bourgeoisie Americans essentially being left at their mercy. The American people could end it right now but they are too wrapped up in their own material lives. They still have a warped understanding of what democracy and freedom is all about. Until the majority of Americans have lost everything they will never give up the republic no matter how many people die every day just so Americans can live a luxury life.

We don't need movements. All we need is DIY anti-authoritarian action!
by yes, uprising.
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 7:07 PM
that's fine if you don't want to participate in militant actions, but don't try to forbid others from engaging in the same. you sound like the protest-police. and sorry, no, anarchists don't consult with the rest of the movement before pulling shit like this as doing so would raise serious security issues.
carl, i completely agree. it's not an uprising if its mostly white people. the race of the anarchist participants is the deciding factor in whether or not an action is legitimate. everybody knows white people CANNOT have an uprising. only immigrant workers and queer people of color can have an uprising, and only if they're super peaceful and don't break anything.
by another @
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 10:59 PM
Militant direct action against commercial targets is a solid tactic used by people to directly interfere with capitalism all over the world. Good luck avoiding the police state and I hope there is legal support for the person who got arrested and any future arrests.

I don't think rebellious actions by mostly white crowds emerging from mostly white scenes/movements are illegitimate. They are the voice of that crowd. The voice of the crowd on May Day in Santa Cruz spoke for the people there, but not for most of the people in the city, Santa Cruz County, or the region and certainly did not speak for the migrants rights movement. And I doubt that the people who were at the center of that action would want to speak for anyone but themselves anyway. But what does that mean when the crowd is mostly white?

1) It means that it was not an uprising or rebellion because that would suggest something more generalized than the action taken by a small organized political formation and their networks. An uprising or rebellion would be where people from other communities (racial, generational, political) within the city or region join in the action and share in sustaining it.

2) It means that the action was limited in political meaning because it did not build or strengthen relationships with anticapitalist antiauthoritarian people and organizations from communities of color. They are there and they want revolution real bad, but the tactic was not inviting to them. The tactic (quick, direct, high risk) was selected because decentralized and informal styles of organization are the only forms of organization compatible with anti-organizational and individualist anarchist community (please correct me if this is not why the tactic was selected).
I am not knocking that and I appreciate the fact that you are not setting up structures or practices that will waste the time of your political community, will not help you carry out your projects, and might violate your security culture. I am not saying don't do high risk actions. What I am saying is that the high level of risk is not neutral in anarchist politics: it means that anarchists who have lots of responsibilities and vulnerabilities (especially dark skin given our white supremacist society) and with little money will not be coming along.

3) It means that because there are no formal structures where people from outside the mostly white social and political community of individualist or anti-organizational anarchists in Santa Cruz could easily come to give feedback, build relationships, or hold people accountable for their actions (as a group-of-sorts or as individuals) very easily, the grouping comes off as unaccountable, isolated, and insular. I'm sure that if someone wanted to spend time getting to know a couple of individuals over time they could build relationships and pass messages to you somehow, but for people who are busy with work, kids, other political projects, or who don't ride bikes, who eat meat, or who aren't punks or hipsters, or young, it would not be easy and will not happen very often.

Because the grouping appears largely white (although I'm sure there are people of color involved who face political invisibility precisely because of the whiteness of the grouping or scene) and appears insular and unaccountable, I couldn't involve myself or recommend getting involved to my comrades. Our vision of anarchism centers around relationship building with people doing ongoing political work against oppression in their communities in order to change the culture of anarchism from the largely white subcultural and lifestyle politics that it is largely composed of. That takes precedence over risky tactics.

That said, I appreciate the militant action taken by my grumpy angsty young white (anti)fashionable fellow anarchists for honoring International Workers Day in a way that the media cannot co-opt and that statists cannot endorse.

Revolutionary besos xo
by Window Man
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 11:17 PM
On May 1st Anti-Window activists committed the grave act of window genocide on Pacific Avenue. Windows everywhere watched in horror as their brothers in arms were smashed to pieces by masked militants bent on destroying all that windows stand for. We windows wish to condemn these henious acts of violence against our kind and ask that anyone and everyone who might have information on the perpetrators immediately inform the police. There will be JUSTICE against those who smashed the glass of my brothers and sisters.
We got to think global as if the borders that divide us no longer exist. Our struggle for a classless stateless society is not limited to white people in the united states. There are anarchists all over the world STICKING IT to the boss, ceo, cop, bank and corporation. Don't let the nay sayers get you down.

RESIST AT ALL COSTS!
by Carl
Wednesday May 12th, 2010 12:13 PM
Some really good points being made here, but I'll just touch on two:

1.) "Fuck the movement!" that's brilliant! Such insight, and historical understanding. If you hate the movement, then maybe you shouldn't celebrate May Day, whose origins are the MOVEMENT for the 8 hour work day, led by anarchists. And why we still celebrate May Day today is because workers all over the world, by the millions, ORGANIZED, built ORGANIZATIONS, and engaged in mass actions, general strikes, things of that nature. We do not celebrate May Day because 120 years ago in Chicago, 20 secretive would-be anarchists broke some windows. And I'm sure with the current state of the anarchist scene, if I were to suggest that anarchists focus on building mass organizations of workers to fight for a modest reform, i dunno, like the 5 hour work day? 4 hour work day? I would be called a statist, reformist, counter-revolutionary, not a real anarchist, "protest-police," or whatever. Even though that would be worlds closer to celebrating the anarchist tradition and the history of may day.

2.) Notice how I never said anything about "violence vs. nonviolence," as a tactic or a moral imperative, yet everyone was so quick to revert to that tired old argument when anyone questions their tactics. Remember that "diversity of tactics" does not mean "do whatever the fuck you want all the time without regard for others." It means employing the right tactic at the right time and utilizing the right tool for the right job. If criticizing random and pointless window destruction means I am excluded from all militant actions, then I hate to say it but that also means you exclude almost everybody from participating in your movement. Random destruction, with strategy, no plan, no organization or movement behind it, is pointless and extremely alienating. I am most definitely not a pacifist, but if militant action is not done within the context of some campaign or some broader goal, then no one is going to understand it, or support it. Even the people I talked to who worked at some of the places that were targeted on May Day have no problem, morally, with the breaking of their employers windows. But they also realize that that act did nothing to hurt the infrastructure of those companies, did not send any sort of message to the CEO's of that company, and only served to piss off the workers at those stores against anarchists. That is to say, they had no problem with someone attacking the shitty chain stores they work for, but they also didn't see the point in breaking those little windows, because the people running those companies could care less- they're not the ones that have to clean it up, and paying for new windows is chump change anyway.

3.) ok, seriously, last point. Yes, white people can engage in rebellions. What strikes me as so curious is that some anarchists are still so unwilling to acknowledge the glaring whiteness of their scenes. It doesn't mean you're a racist or that you can't do militant actions or be an anarchist. But that there are folks in the anarchist scene who get so defensive when someone points out how white it is, really shocks me. There may be a wide variety of reasons why many of these anarchist gatherings tend to be largely white, but there IS a reason. Any time you are in a space and there are few, if any, folks of color there, there is a reason, and you should think about that long and hard. For all their talk about dismantling hierarchy and authority and creating egalitarian societies, there are some anarchists today who refuse to even acknowledge that racism plays a huge factor in our organizing, and that being a solid ally and building multi-racial movements is absolutely key if we want to achieve liberation. Much of the defensiveness from anarchists when called out on their whiteness sounds eerily like the guilty "color-blind" liberal, who insists that "we're all part of the human race" so we don't have to question why our spaces are so white, why we don't have meaningful relationships with organizations and communities of color, etc. I am speaking of a, hopefully, small cross-section of the anarchist community. There are many white radicals out there today who are doing great work as allies and building an anti-racist consciousness into their movements. But there are far too many who think that they because they read the latest Rolling Thunder that they're down. I assure you, you're not.

by another @
Wednesday May 12th, 2010 2:59 PM
"Militant action is not all white"

...Except when it is taken by an all or mostly white bunch of people. The anarchist movement is made up of organizations and individuals around the world, you are right. However, the particular character of the anarchist movement here in California is dominated by white subcultural scenes and allowing it to remain that way upholds white supremacy by not actively working with antiauthoritarian people of color.

Unfortunately, the May Day action did nothing to address this. It wasn't wrong/bad/fucked-up to take the action the folks did... I am concerned that they didn't include antiauthoritarians of color in picking tactics or in their organizing. Not doing that puts us in the place of continuing the white subcultural privileged nature of the anarchist movement here which keeps the movement from developing into something worthy of the name anarchism.
by another @
Wednesday May 12th, 2010 3:01 PM
In a multiracial society, anarchism cannot be practiced by just one race, especially the most privileged one.
by OMFG dude.....
Wednesday May 12th, 2010 7:30 PM
"For all their talk about dismantling hierarchy and authority and creating egalitarian societies, there are some anarchists today who refuse to even acknowledge that racism plays a huge factor in our organizing, and that being a solid ally and building multi-racial movements is absolutely key if we want to achieve liberation."

what factor does racism play in our anarchist organizing? really, i'd like to know, because i had no idea we were such racists.

"Much of the defensiveness from anarchists when called out on their whiteness..."

"called out"? are you kidding me? is it a crime to be white? is it wrong for white anarchists to associate with each other?

"...so we don't have to question why our spaces are so white, why we don't have meaningful relationships with organizations and communities of color, etc."

i know why our spaces are so white, and i wish we could do something about it, but its hard enough to get ANYONE to join the movement, regardless of color. i think your criticisms are misplaced. the simple fact of the matter is, some comrades from santa cruz pulled off a sick ass action and gave everyone a preview of things to come. we should be applauding them. if you don't like their action, criticize the action, as you did, but don't criticize them for being white.
by here are some more questions
Wednesday May 12th, 2010 7:42 PM
why is santa cruz so white, even its homeless population?
why are so many of the shocked and upset business owners and other citizens white?
why are people obsessed with pointing out that activists are white in this town when this is a majority-white town and most of the menial workers commute from watsonville? santa cruz is structurally a white supremacist town and this not the anarchists' fault.

PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS:

more importantly, WHERE IS YOUR FUCKING OUTRAGE about the city council inviting the white supremacist terrorist organization ICE to come here and KIDNAP and deport brown people?
by whitey
Thursday May 13th, 2010 8:29 AM
dear person of color:
trying to figure out what where to go with your critiques...yes, santa cruz anarchism is white as is much in california...many reasons for this, including different issues, especially any kind of green anarchism that must see the influx of mexicans across the borders as overstressing the eco-system & creating a huge pool of labor for exploitative petro-chemical companies/agribusiness... why don't people of color come to anarchist events? are their/anarchist clothes not new enough, bathing habits regular enough, class backgrounds too divergent?? are people more inclined to fight for things that personally effect them?? are peoples comfort zones such that they can't visit one anothers spaces?? i've got another take, having spent some time down in mex lately. the u.$. of A. does not generally attract anarchist oriented mexicans to come here. what is attracted are people with very capitalist gold ru$h mentality mindsets, coming to earn some buck$, as white ancestors did in 1800's. immigrants are traditionally those the most patriotic in many ways, having sacrificed much to get here, make $, live the american dream...are anarchists really supposed to blindly and blanket support this? is there really that much common ground culturally & materially between the lower class immigrants & anarchists, or is it just some marxist reach @ vague solidarity with shades of mexican nationalism that somehow is supposed to supplant amerikan nationalism??...
by B
Thursday May 13th, 2010 10:35 AM
Nice to see a bit of satire on this issue. Good Job.
by Joe Friday
Friday May 14th, 2010 11:00 AM
What evidence exists that the May Day smashing of windows was done by anarchists?
The video footage shows hooded individuals breaking windows.
How do you know that they were anarchists?
by yeah
Friday May 14th, 2010 11:22 AM
well they were spray painting circle-a's all over the place

not to diss on it, just saying
by Cbelley
Monday May 31st, 2010 11:09 PM
Here's to all the folks that recognize the negative impact on low-wage workers post the May 1st melee. In Santa Cruz, as well as here in Oakland, or anywhere you go in the United States that employs people, broken glass has to get cleaned up. Remember also that the folks directed to clean up are NOT the CEOs or people with any sort of power within the corporation. Use that energy for something longer lasting and intellectually counter-hegemonic. I promise it will last longer and you will have more people on board. Because that is what a movement needs; People.