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Escalation and Orientation

by E and O
Let's strive to deepen the political horizons of this moment as much as the tactics.
The arrival of the "student intifada" on the political scene has captured the news cycle, inspired a lot of us, and—as these things often do—given a lot of people a rude awakening as to what the police are really all about. However...people have been "radicalized" before, yet the forces against which they fought remain dominant as ever generations later. What would it take to for us to learn from and build upon the liberation struggles of the past without merely reenacting them?

On a tactical level—actions groups of people can take to maintain, defend, and expand the encampments in the short term—coordinated efforts to escalate seem to be bearing fruit. But without turning up the heat politically, the best we'll end up with is "reform by riot". The grim truth is that every single U.S. university could divest from Israel tomorrow, the Israeli government could immediately declare a ceasefire and capitulate to all the immediate demands of the resistance factions in Gaza...and not only would there still be genocide in Palestine, but similarly horrific violence around the globe, happening to places and peoples with less popular support and media appeal. For many people, this would be good enough. My call for political escalation is directed at those of us who believe we can do better. We can start by fighting to destroy this colonial society, on a path towards ending all colonizing everywhere...

Others have elaborated this challenge well. I'll let their words fill this space.

"The Black Insurrectionary position seeks to replicate the destruction of “3rd Precinct” everyday and the takeover of an “Attica” every hour, until the amerikan project is deceased and the land has been reclaimed from those who it was stolen from. In other words, it seeks endless rebellion and uncompromising counter-violence to deconstruct our violent world into the peaceful one from which it came. Since the state and fascists will not hesitate to use all weapons at their disposal to achieve its aims, so will we to achieve the complete abolition of amerika as a nation-state in the social, economic, political, and cultural sense." - Black Armed Joy: Some Notes Towards a Black Theory of Insurrectionary Anarchy

"students do not have providential claim to the space currently captured by the university apparatus, certainly not in the context of institutions existing on stolen land whose infrastructure was often built via enslaved labor. Through its role in the reproduction of the hell around us, the university is a participant in the enforced suffering of so many beyond its walls. For all who oppose and wish to end this reproduction of suffering, the university is theirs to strike against, to undermine, to abolish and destroy so thoroughly that something else may finally be able to grow in its place." - The University, Too, Must be Destroyed: Identifying Antagonists in a World of Genocide

"social movements that lack actual (anonymous) infrastructure for those involved to safely and internally voice concerns or critique is not an “autonomous decentralized” movement. You will often be able to pull back the “invisible” curtain to see those with [more] power & access to resources as the main “decision makers” while those who organize in a movement (but do not sit behind the invisible curtain) and haven’t been ideologically trained to notice the curtain at all have a perfect illusion of “decision making” power." - Moving From a Reactionary To a More Responsive Critique of The Movement to Defend The Weelaunee Forest

"It’s about communities, not individuals. “Activists” tend to revolve around charismatic individuals, ideologies, and social media clout holders. The first are dangerous when not controlled by or accountable to a tight-knit, functional communal structure. The second are mostly hot air that you should avoid getting entangled in or taking too seriously - they usually don’t correspond to anything concrete or political (“political” meaning, actual power, not words) or tell you anything about how the people claiming them will act when it really gets real. The third - social media clout holders - should be avoided like the plague." - The Challenge of Autonomy: Prospects for Freedom Going Into 2021

Lastly, while I don't have a quote to pull from this introduction to pods and pod mapping, it's easy to forget the importance of creating and sustaining desirable relationships among aspiring opponents of this hellworld when we're caught up in moments of intense struggle or political analysis of those struggles. I hope building intentional interdependence can help us overcome these tendencies.

Until all empires fall...
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