An exchange from Facebook, based upon a previous article I posted before the Friday night march at Westlake is support of punishing Ian Birk for the murder of John T. Williams. Italics are Swaneagle.
“I read what you wrote. What concerns me are blanket statements about great swaths of people who have limited exposure to information. When they do, it makes a great difference. First of all, those who walked into the streets Wednesday night are the best people to give further access to facets of healthy information. I do not believe those who showed up were sheeple. Once people understand the interconnectedness of issues and how media manipulates us, it becomes easier to participate in solution. All who feel the importance of resistance has facets of understanding to contribute. Respect for each voice is vital. We are all leaders and must treat each other as such.”
Sheeple is as sheeple does. Ignorance due to lack of a particular type of information may color the way one acts within the kkkapitalist superstructure, but the net consequences remain; since the way one acts (especially when facing economic challenges) are more influenced by an individual’s actual material interests more so than their self-professed ideological orientation (with a relative handful of notable exceptions). The majority of amerikkkans, so-called ‘white’ people in particular, willingly support imperialism at this time, and have no problem doing so. Those who do so out of ignorance or habit call it “obeying the law”, others do it out of “patriotism” and “duty to country”.
And why not? The immigrant from the 3rd world is grateful for the consistent electricity and indoor plumbing in his/her moldy-but-air-conditioned-apartment. And the settler-occupier, chillin in his/her “castle” with a two-car garage and a lawn the size of half a football field, is grateful for not only that, but also for the fact that “his” or “her” country (ha!) is not whatever “shit-hole” that 3rd world immigrant is from!
By virtue of living in a highly technologically advanced, first world country (who has the largest, most globally-involved military in the world) both parties are 15% of the world’s wealthiest. They/we are a GLOBAL petit-bourgeoisie economically and politically, even with the [often racialized] class stratifications and a small-but-vocal minority of radical activists and outright revolutionaries (who I call “the 5%”; not to be confused with the 5%’ers) within the borders of amerikkka itself. Regardless, the net effect is the same: the parasitic economic relationship between amerikkka and the world helps to keep workers within amerikkka largely supportive (even if its mostly ‘passive’) of kkkapitalism/imperialism/oppression in all forms. This has been true for a very long time. This is not opinion, it is a FACT. I have the research to back up what I have said. (1)
Go here for one small example, of many, of this fact:
Respect for each voice is indeed vital, and yes we are all leaders. But some voices are in fact the voices of “business as usual” who have decided to go “slumming” it amongst the most directly affected. As one of those who is directly affected, who to this day walks around with the Seattle Police Department rifle scope on his back 24/7/365 (regardless of whether I get directly involved in this particular struggle or not), I will not have those voices threatening my life in their current and historic role as agents of repression, or counter-revolution, or social-imperialism; be they Obamabots, oppressed nation pork chop/micro-nationalists, settler-nation leftists/mother-country radicals, or straight-up republikkkons.
Some voices who seek to lead lack experience, foresight, or a coherent analysis of this issue (let alone world around them). I have more patience for those voices, since they make it abundantly clear that nothing short of fundamental change from top to bottom (as in dig up the weed and plant something else) will satisfy them. I agree. I stay dissatisfied; good enough never is; especially when we’re talking about ending all forms of exploitation and oppression on the planet, not just in amerikkka, or Seattle. Those of us who know and understand, who are closest to the source(s) and transmitters of the empire’s power, have a special duty to assist in its suicide.
Even kkkapitalists bear witness that its collapse is inevitable. Keyesian economics are designed around this principle. Take note that the New Deal of FDR had the components of both job creation and mass incarceration; beginning with radicals, including many Native peoples who struggled against the forcible repossession of their land for the war effort; including the construction of internment camps for the Japanese, who were dispossessed before being locked up. Sadly, having no other place to go, many Native people joined the U.$. military; fighting and dying for the very demon that helped usher them into that situation.
“I believe it is up to white skinned privileged americans to lay their lives on the line to effectively resist genocide. A million people who are deeply committed and understand the structure of colonialism, capitalism, militarism; the place that the isms that divide us have in keeping trust from ever developing and recognize the power of privilege utilized to stand for those who have been downtrodden for centuries, which includes many of the very poor of all races. I believe some of us are deeply called to life and death resistance utilizing soul force way beyond what Gandhi and MLK accomplished. They laid groundwork for what MUST be furthered.“
I agree. If the peace activists are willing to risk death and incarceration, they should be applauded. But, so should the anarchists. Indeed, anyone who is a genuine revolutionary should receive a standing ovation.
“So easy to dismiss nonviolence, but i back all i say up with my very life. Imagine if millions of white people were to confront the military machine with all their hearts. It has not been done on such a massive scale nor has it had the full chance it deserves.“
I am a materialist, not an idealist. Contrary to popular belief, I am also an optimist. Really. But I am a SCIENTIST, not a spook-worshiper.
“Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill was a very damaging piece of propaganda.
Have you read it? The mocking tone was inaccurate in it’s assessments. I work closely with some of the people he mentioned.”
I have read it. Twice. Who are you speaking of that he mentioned? Can you factually disprove his thesis?
“I am not out to convince people to think like i do, but i am interested in sharing what i know about cross cultural bridge building, alliance formation, hearing and heeding direction from traditional Indigenous elders. They have a sophisticated knowledge of what is going on in the world having suffered the consequences of colonialist genocide for centuries in the context of still hanging on to traditions that have a deep relevance in these times.”
That’s why I was glad to meet you and I’m glad you took the time to reply. Many of the so-called ‘revolutionaries’ haven’t even read what I wrote, let alone what you have written here.
“I believe that some of the best anti oppression resources are available at School of the Americas Watch online website. Excellent information that is accessible. As long as we cannot listen to each other deeply enough to form alliance based on trust and understanding, then those who do not grasp what a cultural context is will continue running rough shod over traditional peoples who few truly understand. Their ways are crucial to solution. Land based peoples all over the earth are crucial to getting us out of this mess.“
I agree. “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not; use no way as a way.” – Bruce Lee. This debate goes on amongst indigenous forces all over the world. For every Communist Party of India-Maoist (The Naxals), there are several Indigenous, faith-based, and str8 up social-imperialist NGOs, all of whom uphold and proclaim “non-violence” as an ideology.
“I believe in forming communities of resistance based on trust, respect and cooperation much as the Zapatista communities have done as well as Indigenous resisters in many parts of the world who live out authentic equality.“
There is a qualitative difference between the non-violence of the EZLN support bases and that of Gandhi-inspired movements. That difference is imperialism. One is fighting it, like our EZLN example; the other is a product of it, designed to crush both the armed wing and non-violent support sections of groups like the EZLN; which is the ‘hidden’ mission of the majority of NGOs abroad and non-profits in amerikkka. Many are CIA or U.$. State Department creations.
As part of the PATRIOT Act, all non-profits face increased scrutiny, especially if they are based in the Middle East or Africa; which right off top greatly reduces their revolutionary capabilities, regardless of the actual ideological orientation of those who run it and lead it.
Or they find a religious organization to infiltrate, a was done to an NGO in Venezuela. Funny story, especially because its true: at the grand opening ceremony of a rural literacy and well-water project, Chavez included the seizure of the NGO staff’s passports and a 48 order-to-leave-the-country-or-go-to-jail-as-spies (based on information he received from Venezuelan intelligence), as part of his “thank you” speech to the organization. Lol. (No, seriously).
Indeed, wouldn’t you agree that one would be a privileged, junior imperialist hypocrite, based upon your own ideological line, as you have defined it for all to see, if one were to uphold the right and methodology of an ARMED group like the EZLN (example: the temporary seizure of power in Chiapas, via armed struggle, on the eve of NAFTA going into effect), even if it was considered “self-defense” by the most directly affected? Keep in mind, the EZLN advanced and took territory as they went.
Yes, it is their ancestral lands, and yes they have a right to it, but based upon their methodology, their armed methodology, and your stated support for the non-violent support bases that the EZLN was created to protect, the non-violence you espouse would then be tool of duplicitous sophistry, deceit, and dereliction of duty as a self-professed settler-nation supporter of self-determination for oppressed peoples, would it not!?
One could ask what right do you have to state what you THINK these elders would say; especially without a clear-headed assessment of “who’s who” amongst them politically? This a parallel problem to the settler-left in the cities, with their decidedly social-imperialist practice of reaching out to knee-grow preachers who aid and assist in keeping the majority of Black people docile and mentally dead, and conspire against genuine revolutionary forces within that oppressed community.
“This is a lot of stuff, getting long. I think it would be wonderful to have an open dialog about building such community inclusive to all who feel moved to go further than temporary protests or actions.“
Yes, Yes, YES! Absolutely. It’s important.
“I believe the style of the Brown Hoodie Block is dangerous for those who are left behind once they hit and run.”
No more dangerous than let out in Pioneer Square or Belltown at 2am. You’re more likely to get beat up or shot on a normal Friday or Saturday night than you are at a rally such as this one. Have you actually been in actual riot/rebellion before? I have. You had more to worry about from the police than the anarchists, I guarantee you.
Indeed, ask the older gentleman I PULLED TO SAFETY at Wednesday night’s parade when he was about to be RUN OVER BY A SEATTLE KKKOP ON HIS GOD DAMN MOTORCYCLE RACING UP THE MUTHAF—KING SIDEWALK w/o lights or sirens!
This gentleman is the father of prominent Seattle emcee Gabriel Teodros. I doubt the city wants this recording artist’s fans to join the fray en masse (tho they should, because the SPD essentially tried to harm Gabe’s dad through reckless endangerment. Attention fans: If you love Gabe and his music, love his family too. And tell the city that you do!).
“I have more respect for Rod Coronado than i do for the hit and runners. That style of action lays the portal for infiltration wide open as it is NOT based on mutual trust. The Indians felt sideswiped by the takeover of the march. That is simply wrong as they are furthering the already existing divides.“
I have more respect for tactics that come from dialectics, not metaphysics or one-sided “investigation” of phenomenon, based upon prejudiced assumptions and a material interest that is at odds with Indigenous people in Seattle and globally. Rod Coronado was on that, not random acts of property destruction. That’s true. I met him. My girlfriend at the time was part of his support committee when he was inside.
But he also disagreed with referring to anarchists as “cops”, “hooligans”, “provocateurs”, “nazis”, etc as you have done. Jesus Christ, you sound like a TEA-party activist with all that nonsense.
And the line you espouse does not gel with his. In fact, it is the exact polar OPPOSITE. So, please take his name out of your mouth immediately. Mutual respect also means not slandering other activists by not demonstrating a clear understanding of their espoused political line and observed practice. You do not understand neither his nor that of the anarchists: “No investigation, no right to speak.” -Mao.
“For too long, activists like Starhawk have been treating the black block with kid gloves whereas Medea Benjamin called the cops on them during the WTO. Interestingly she was ignored by said cops. Wonder about that. “
Medea Benjamin is no friend of the oppressed or the exploited. Nor is Starhawk. The police are not liberals (“friendly fascists”), they want to see infighting amongst the forces of progress. Benjamin is “friendly fascist”; specifically a non-profit profiteer. It is her actual material interests to call the police on forces that genuinely oppose her Obamabot/demokkkratic party masters. (2)
“Nonetheless, I think whatever direct action is taken on, it must examine the overall consequences. Telling people it is time for [others] to go home so the self appointed warriors can wreak havoc is not the answer. We all have courage to utilize and [are] needed. How we get there is the question. “
And the self-appointment misleadership of charlatans, pharisees, and pharaoh’s magicians surrounding the family, waiting for crumbs from master’s table is somehow a better alternative?
“There is not one male dominated way to do it. As long as it is based on patriarchal style, it is not egalitarian. Sexism, classism, racism, elitism, ablism, etc. all are means for infiltrators and the enemies of all life to keep us divided. THAT must be overcome.“
Absolutely. And this requires SCIENCE, not sophistry! Genuine analysis, not knee-jerk emotionalism. Truth, not lies.
Peace is the absence of all confusion.
Also: Check out the latest podcasts (#9 & #10) from Sensei Lewis and RAIM’s own Jacob Brown at allpowertothepositive.podomatic.com.