imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Resistance is Not Quiet: 2009 Anarchist Activist Conference

by Rockero Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

About 100 activists, college students, and community members gathered yesterday for the anarchist activist conference at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. The conference was titled "The Resistance is Not Silent," and topics of discussion included the environment, the internet, immigrant rights, urban planning, poetry, bicycling, the anti-war anti-hunger network of collectives Food not Bombs, and non-violence. The event also included vegan food, music, and tables where vendors accepted donations for literature and t-shirts.

The Resistance is No...
2009aac-1.jpg, image/jpeg, 599x455

At a little after three in the afternoon, people began arriving at the Gold Student Center, many of them barefoot and sporting anarchist fashions. Most of them appeared to be college-aged, and there were a few people of color among them. Tablers began setting up, and an image of a capital "A" in a circle was projected onto a large screen.

Conference organizers handed out schedules and introduced themselves. "We're going to start with a sort of 'lightning round' of speakers, mostly on local topics, then we'll get into the main round of speakers, so make yourself comfortable." While waiting, we discussed the conference's line-up and local actions such as the previous day's protest of Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist.

The first speaker discussed the critical mass phenomenon and showed a YouTube trailer for the film Still We Ride, which documents police crackdowns on critical mass bike rides in New York.

He was followed by a speaker from the Friends of the Bernard Field Station. The field station is an undeveloped plot of land owned by the Claremont Colleges just north of the campuses, and he discussed efforts to preserve the land from development. "A lot of the issues that we're talking about with the field station is how, as a community, as a college community, how we use our space. And what we value, what our values are." He went on: "To students, it's a no-brainer that this should be--not only is this something that is good to not build on, but it should be the heart of the Claremont Colleges."

One audience member asked what the Friends of the Station were going to do during the summer to ensure that the land will not be developed while the students are away on break. "There are two reasons why they're not going to be building in the summer. One, the administrators have told us that." This answer elicited chuckles. "Secondly, because of the city of Claremont's permitting requirements, environmental impact reports, to get permits to build, some of us are registered to be informed if someone is planning on building on the station."

The third speaker was an expert on urban planning then shared some theory with us, explaining how social and political norms influence our urban environments. "Right now in the field of urban planning, desperation is very high. Current theory, I would say, is demented and blind and we need a new moral theory based not on ownership, but on anarchy."

"Ownership is the claim of exclusive control over a person, place, thing, or idea. Capitalism is the systematic implementation of that ownership construct. Authority or authoritarianism is the forced application of that ownership concept."

"This has repercussions in zoning and standardization in urban planning. In urban planning, we want everything the same. Capitalism wants this because it facilitates exchange in the marketplace."

The alternative she proposed for urban planners and others in the art design world was to strive for uniqueness. "Because when you make it more and more unique we all tend to assign more meaning to it."

A poet discussed the effort to recover the lost contributions of the anarchist poets, graphic artists, and writers of Argentina. The goal of the collective behind the Voices of the Lost Cannon Project is to "capture some of the lost canon of culture, art, poetry, of political thought that's been systematically excluded from the academy, from the English department, from the history department..." To do so, they are sifting through the archives of anarchist organizations, "particularly with the FLA of Argentina," and republishing writings and artwork they find there. They do this out of a belief that "the poetic expression of the anarchist movement from around the world is a vital resource to the continued struggle for social justice." The speaker talked about the authors of the poetry (most of them are anonymous) and then read several poems from the collective's first book.

The next speaker's mere presence caused some consternation among certain participants, and this is where the story gets a little weird. He is the webmaster of anarchy.net, and, lest the following reflect poorly on him, he may not be aware of what follows.

Apparently, anarchy.net is part of a large network of websites with extremist-sounding domain names. These names range from the far left (eg. fuckcapitalism.com, anarchy.net), to generally radical (eg. fuckchrist.com), to the racist far-right (eg. hessian.org, churcharson.com, and burzum.com, the website of a Norwegian hate-metal band). Some of these sites are just linkfarms to porn sites and the like, but most of them have political content and link to each other, a main site being corrupt.org. These domains are all registered to, or are sometimes separated by a degree or two from, "Throne Networks" based in McLean, Virginia.1

The common thread among these sites is support for a "third position" of "national anarchism." Trying to find the reason in this ideology is pointless; it soon reveals itself as nothing more than an "anarchist" front for white nationalism. This so-called "third position" is promoted by a small band of European racists (many of whom are former leftists), including Troy Southgate, the late Julius Evola, Richard Hunt, Flavio Gonçalves, Peter Topfer, Keith Preston (who is American), Hans Cany, and Otto Ernst Schuddekopp.2

The suspicion is that the intent of this network is to cast a "wide net" out to youth disaffected with the current political system, and use it to introduce fascist ideas to them.

Some activists spoke to some of the conference organizers about this weirdness prior to the conference, hoping they would un-invite the speaker in question. The action seemed a little drastic to them, and they assured the worried anti-fascists that they could bring the issue up during the question-and-answer session.

The speaker was credited with being the founder of anarchy.net, and the talk centered on a flowchart instructing members of the US Air Force on how to make pro-Air Force comments on blogs.3 The speaker informed us that "the US government is currently employing counter-bloggers to lurk insurgent websites," and that "[w]hat this all means for we, internet folk, is that the posts that we make are being watched by the US government in an attempt to change our view." These military people, he told us, "are told to act as civilians so perhaps people will just see a seemingly-intelligent post and not think of the [inaudible] plot [inaudible] media."

He then went on to talk about the website, reading aloud questions from readers and his answers. He took no questions.

The fourth and final speaker of the "lightning round" was Pitzer College professor Dana Ward, founder of the anarchy archives. His gave an overview of the archives and expressed a concern for the future of the study of anarchism at Pitzer once he's no longer there. He also discussed his research on Reclus and his intention to write the history of anarchism in the United States.

"The main focus of the archive, of course, is classical anarchism," he said, but he hopes to "expand anarchy archives to include a modern section." He elaborated, "it will basically be organized by blocs. (Have people talked about blocs yet? I just got here. Well basically, the modern anarchist movement is divided into four different blocs. Many of you may be familiar with the black bloc. They get a lot of the attention at the G8 or the G20 or in Seattle and so forth, and the black bloc is engaged in direct action. There is a white bloc that is also involved in direct action but the white bloc is non-violent direct action, the black bloc is willing to use violence to defend peoples' rights. There's also the green bloc, which is environmentally oriented, a pink bloc, which is organized around gender issues.) Anyway, that's what I hope students at Pitzer are going to be able to help me produce in the next coming years."

He emphasized the importance of the accessibility of anarchist texts. "Marxism has basically proven its incompatibility with human liberation, and the natural home then, for those who believe that we should live free lives, is anarchism."

The next speaker, from the Central Arizona Radicals Opposing Borders (CAROB) gave a well-researched and thought-provoking talk that centered on the criminalization of undocumented people, drawing several parallels between the war on immigrants and the drug war.

She was followed by a compañera who talked about Anarchist People of Color (APOC), which is "not an organization, it's more of a network, an affinity group, a series of gatherings." She briefed us on the history of APOC since 2003, and then provided updates on what is going on in Los Angeles. Finally, she discussed her academic research on anarchist theatre in Latin America, "to see how they're performing their politics today."

We took a break for some vegan eggrolls and noodles and to chat, before one of the conference organizers invited us back in for "the moment we've all been waiting for," an address by Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs.

Just prior to his introduction, Clair sounded an alert about an upcoming police checkpoint and briefly discussed the struggle against checkpoints in the local Latino community.

Then the co-founder of the recently-established Pomona Food Not Bombs introduced "a really cool guy."

Brimming with a smile, McHenry spoke for almost an hour, seemingly without taking a breath the whole time. His trajectory, beginning by studying under Howard Zinn at Boston University and getting involved in the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance, brought him into contact with nearly every social justice movement and action around the world over the past thirty years. He then showed a video about his trip to Nigeria and took a few questions from the audience.

One man stood up and asked, "It's kind of a pressing issue... in a couple weeks, May Day weekend, the city [of Santa Ana] is basically shutting down one of our last family shelters, which is going to put 150, 200 people out on our street with cops to beat them and move them, disappear them, whatever they do to them, just get them out of the area. How do we defend ourselves and our communities against that when we're being attacked violently? How do we react to that non-violently?"

McHenry suggested organizing a contingent to live in the shelter during the days leading up to the eviction to organize from within, and to simultaneously organize support outside the shelter. Then, on the day of the closure to organize a sit-down strike and occupy the shelter to keep it.

The last speaker, who appeared on the screen via Skype, was author Derrick Jensen, who began by addressing the issue of violence versus non-violence. This beginning did not sit well with certain sectors of the audienc, particularly the pacifist contingent, who objected to his acceptance of violence as a tactic in the struggle. His point was that the human race has inflicted so much harm on the Earth and the other species, a push for collapse would go a long way toward bringing about environmental justice. Many were not satisfied with his reasoning, and one person attacked him verbally. However, due to the technology involved in the connection, Jensen had difficulty hearing the discourse going on in the hall. He was nonetheless able to launch a counterattack. After the talk, the audience engaged in a debate, which, according to one conference organizer, "Unfortanetly people ended up focusing on the points where they disagree, over the points where we have commonality.... and it seemed ideological issues became more important than alliance-building or organizing."

One compañera asked an organizer what "the big deal" about Jensen was. He explained his perspective, "one of the reasons the Vietnam War ended, and this was one of the Trotskyists' strategies, is that they went into the army and started organizing from within. They started their own anti-imperialist newpapers at every base, and eventually started taking out their officers. Once that started happening, the troops got pulled out. Right now I don't see how anyone involved in Food Not Bombs, or who goes to anarchist meetings, could be involved in any kind of [violent] resistance. That's the thing about Derrick--he has the potential to reach people people in the army and the Marines who are disaffected and disillusioned with the system and who have the training and capability."

Despite the conflict, most people had positive responses to the conference overall. There was a lot of excitement about the participation of big-name anarchists McHenry and Jensen.

After the speakers, musicians performed, among them the group Lux Nova Umbra Est.

------------------------------------
1. Much of the investigation into this network is discussed in these two threads: http://libcom.org/forums/thought/anarcho-fascism-07022008 and http://libcom.org/forums/thought/anarchist-fascist-website-13032008

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National-Anarchism

3. Shachtman, Noah. "Air Force Releases 'Counter-Blog' Marching Orders. Wired.com, 2009-01-26. Accessed 2009-04-23. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/01/usaf-blog-respo.html



Many thanks to researcher Andrew Davis for his contributions to this article.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Critical Mass

by Rockero Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Critical Mass...
2009aac-2.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x792

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Urban planning

by Rockero Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Urban planning...
2009aac-3.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x445

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


The internet

by Rockero Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

The internet...
2009aac-4.jpg, image/jpeg, 445x594

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


The archives

by Rockero Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

The archives...
2009aac-5.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x792

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Food Not Bombs

by Rockero Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Food Not Bombs...
2009aac-6.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x792

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 11 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Love <3 Derrick Jensen Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 2:58 PM
The resistance is not quiet A.O.C. Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 3:48 PM
Hi A.O.C. David Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 5:34 PM
Different views of anarchy are healthy! anarchism & free speech; incompatible? Sunday, Apr. 26, 2009 at 12:05 PM
what? (A) Sunday, Apr. 26, 2009 at 4:23 PM
biased as fuck concerned wild one Sunday, Apr. 26, 2009 at 6:38 PM
not letting it go to shit debate coach Monday, Apr. 27, 2009 at 5:07 AM
burn baby burn the dead flag blues Monday, Apr. 27, 2009 at 8:47 AM
from athens, gr December 2008 Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM
Call to Unity? Anonymous Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2009 at 8:08 AM

Local News

Chris Ballew beat up by Pasadena police J05 5:01PM

Retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey explains how the LAPD's Board of Rights hearings work J05 3:40PM

An Ex-Cop Talks About Police Shootings J05 3:39PM

Do Nukes Kill? J02 4:40PM

Letter: Support Proportional Representation for the California State Legislature J01 1:23PM

Community Rallies in Santa Barbara in Solidarity with Inmate Firefighters D22 9:59PM

LAWSUIT ALLEGING FEDERAL VOTING RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KERN COUNTY D22 8:56PM

The Video ICE Wishes Was Never Made Public D22 8:39PM

Mitchell Englander going after homeless people D18 5:24PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” with Voice Artist Rob Paulsen, Sat., Jan. 20 in Santa Clarita D18 4:30PM

The Eagle Rock Peace Vigil Marks 15 Years N27 11:23AM

12/2-3 LA Binational Conference To Cancel NAFTA and Unite Workers Of Mexico and the US N27 3:44AM

Winter 2017 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! N26 9:22PM

Nuclear Shutdown News November 2017 N26 4:23PM

Report Back on November 18th Counter Demonstration Against Anti-Muslim March N20 10:57AM

Report Back on November 18th Counter Demonstration Against Anti-Muslim March N19 7:12PM

National US Gov as wellas EPA slow to act on Abandoned uranium Mines Cleanup in Southwest N15 10:50AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Comedy Fundraiser N14 10:47AM

BUSTED: Watch LAPD cops plant drugs in black suspect’s wallet – unaware body cams were on N10 5:32PM

lapd shootings 1998 - 2015 N06 11:21PM

“Oh Say Can You See” How the LAPD Singing the National Anthem Cost the Dodgers WS Game 7? N03 7:30AM

Car drives into immigration protesters outside Rep. Ed Royce's office in Brea N02 2:06PM

PACIFICA RADIO BOARD SECRETLY OK'S BANKRUPTCY FILING & SEEKS NY SIGNAL SWAP O25 4:49PM

LAUSD, Privatization, Charters And The Fight To Defend Public Education Education Conferen O04 12:10PM

Afghan Women Read RAWA.org founded 1977 S27 9:42PM

[France] The State Attacks Indymedia-Grenoble and Indymedia-Nantes… Solidarity! S25 5:18PM

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Tax Reform in the US: Trump's Attack on America J18 4:05AM

Paraphysique du No Future J18 2:14AM

Is Economic Speculation a Form of Structural Violence? J16 6:07AM

De Malik Oussekine à Rémi Fraisse, éréthisme policier J16 5:01AM

Epilogue: Pakistan on the chopping block in 2018? Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst J15 3:16PM

Friends J14 4:13PM

Pro domo J13 9:06PM

Part 3: Honduras Coup Repeat Update 15 December 2017 to 31 December 2017 J13 4:26AM

Paraphysique du fait divers J12 6:20PM

Brazil wants true justice for Lula! J12 4:14PM

Trilogy Exposing Crimes by fbi et al J11 8:22PM

The Shortwave Report 01/12/18 Listen Globally! J11 4:33PM

The Trump Election J11 4:43AM

Advocates for Terror: Why Ahed Tamimi and Her Family are No Heroes J10 9:47PM

Trial Starts for Woman with Erb’s Palsy Punched in Face Repeatedly by LAPD Officers J10 1:38PM

Dear District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Prosecute Killer Cops, Signed: Your Constituents J09 10:09PM

Free Fire Battlegrounds Diamond Cheats J09 3:44PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” with Voice Artist Rob Paulsen, Sat., Feb. 3 at the Tilles Center J09 11:41AM

BDS Palestine Movement J09 8:07AM

Rotule doublement cassée, ouverte, joyeux anniversaire J09 12:21AM

Anosognosie généralisée du capital J08 12:42AM

Great solidarity action today J06 10:22PM

How a Supreme Court Ruling Could Embolden Police Retaliation Against Political Speech J05 3:37PM

Baltimore Students Offer Solutions to Stop Police Brutality J05 3:35PM

Judge Orrick on Sanctuary Cities, 28 pp J05 1:12PM

The Perfect Totalitarian Rule: Orwell J05 3:55AM

The Shortwave Report 01/05/18 Listen Globally! J04 4:59PM

2 Alabama Hospitals as well as State of Mississippi file class action suit vs. opatecomp J02 7:17PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy