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19297, RE: Misunderstanding
Posted by guest, Sat Jan-20-01 10:58 AM
This is a flyer that a friend of mine (he's white, I'm black) gave me a while ago to distribute. typically I e-mail it to people, but I saw it as appropriate here. I will also be posting follow up comments to lot of the things I have read here.

Write Yourself in Next Election!
No One Can Represent You Like You Can!
by Lynx, of east bay Bay Area Anarchist Alliance

When you vote, you give your consent to be governed
by whoever wins that election. When the major
political parties of virtualy every industrialized
nation are so similar - in practice if not what
ideology they claim - is it any wonder that so many
people do not vote at all? The parties are all
similar in that they all claim to represent the common
good. They all claim to have a well worked out plan
that will solve whatever particular "crisis" the local
media is focussing on, and they all claim that using
the power of the state is the only way to solve those
problems. All of these claims are false. All political
parties rely on the flow of capital in order to stay
alive. Because of this they will always be more
responsive to the demands of that capital than to the
voters they claim to represent.
This is unacceptable.
If we want to succesfully change the social dynamics
of our society we are going to have to stop feeding
into the corrupt system that oppresses us. Voting for
a representative will never do that. Top-down systems
of government are inherently flawed. Any program or
reform passed by a government would rely upon the same
state machine that was created in order to help the
wealthy maintain control of the nations economy.
Because of the built in biases of that government
machine, it can never truly act in the interest of
working people. We have to realize that reform from
the inside cannot ever bring us freedom.
Not voting at all is equaly innefective. If we
refuse to participate in the voting proccess, as 60%
of US citizens currently do, our non-participation
can be misinterpreted as apathy, thus giving implicit
consent. It is not enough to simply refuse to
participate in the system, we have to ATTACK the
system by every means possible. We need to take the
tactic of active non-cooperation into their "temple of
democracy" - the voting booth - and show that temple
off for the sham that it is.
Come election day, vote for yourself. It is
possible to participate in the voting process in a way
which not only does not legitimize it, but actively
deligitimizes it. By writing yourself in, you
explicitly deny the validity of representative
democracy and state that you are capable of planning
and running your own life. Democracy is only
democracy when it's direct. So make it direct. No one
can represent you like YOU can.
When large numbes of people begin to write themselves
in we will drastically increase the cost of running
elections and the amount of time involved. If half of
the 60% of Americans that are already making a
statement by their refusal to participate begin to
actively monkey wrench that system, the electoral
college will be forced to give their votes to
candidates who have 30% of the vote - assuming that
everyone who currently plans on voting for the
republicrats continues to do so. The numbers for the
politicians would be even lower if everyone who writes
themselves in takes the maximum amount of time to
register their vote. We are capable of completely
shutting down their puppet show, and we don't even
have to break their laws to do it. This will expose
in clearly unmistakeable terms the dictatorship of the
elite class. From there, we can begin to attack the
system in a manner more consistent with its true
nature, and build a real alternative.

The Problem with Democracy
By chris crews

Listening to the radio while returning from work this
evening the announcer was relating the recent Supreme
Court ruling that placed the presidency, by a five to
four vote, into the hands of George W. Bush. Part of
this program included a short clip of protesters who
felt that the Supreme Court ruling was unfair, and
that they would not give up on Al Gore or making sure
that democracy was reclaimed. Reclaim democracy, I
thought to myself? The reverend who's voice came over
the speakers sounded reminiscent of Dr. King, as the
announcer was keen to point out. I couldn't help but
cringe. Here was a political protest and the
participants weren't being gassed or beaten, and the
radio was portraying them as almost patriotic in their
actions. It didn't make sense. The final blow was when
one person on the radio spoke about mending the tear
in democracy after the election debacle. Mend the tear
in democracy, I thought to myself, surely you must be
joking. How can you mend something that doesn't really
The past month's charades have only reinforced my
convictions that we truly do not live in a democratic
country, regardless of what we claim or preach. In
fact, students in Zimbabwe are studying the U.S.
elections to illustrate that electoral corruption and
politics do not exist only in the so called "third
world". What a grand day that students in Zimbabwe are
studying the faults of the might U.S., last bastion of
democracy and justice!
All this has added fuel to the fire for my brain. Why
do we continue to fool ourselves into this illusion of
participation in our own futures. One only need
listen to the pathetic excuses given my interviewees
as to why they voted this way or that. "Oh, you know,
I thought X would probably be better than Y". "I've
always voted this way, why should I change now?" Then
there is my personal favorite: "If I voted for Z I
would just be wasting my vote". Wake up people. You
can vote for X, Y, and Z, it won't matter. Nothing
will change. This country is no longer run by "we the
people" but now rather by "we the corporate elite". I
know, that's not true. Our vote really does still
matter. No really, it does still matter, right? I
mean, I voted because I think, well, but that's how
we've always done it. Besides, there's no other
alternatives. What do you want, chaos?
This is precisely the logic that I hear every day,
and I am sick and tired of it. This we live in a free
country dribble is making me sick. Yes, we do live in
a freer country than many, but at least there you can
see your chains. Here they are as invisible as spider
webs, and as strong. Oh yes, you are free, as long as
you don't rock the boat too much. Then we'll co-opt
you, or worse. Don't you remember, this country is
still run by the good old boys.


We are Anarchists.

This means that we oppose the state, all forms of
oppression, and all illegitimate authority.

What is the state?
The state is the police department, it is the prison
system, it is the INS, it is who you pay taxes to and
who uses those tax dollars - not to educate our
children - but to incarcerate them. The State is a
repressive organization.
Most of the problems in our society are directly
related to the existence of this monster. Whether the
problem is Drugs, lack of work, Police Brutality, food
unfit to eat, no health care, or the diseases they
give us by dumping toxic waste into our water and air;
it is the State itself at the root of the problem. We
survive in SPITE of the government and their attacks
on us, not because of it and its "protection." The
government schools teach our children that we cannot
survive without them, but this is a lie! We are the
PEOPLE! We have existed since the dawn of time and we
will exist long after the last capitalist has been
buried. They need us the way a parasite needs the dog
it feeds off of. We need to be rid of them just as
much as the dog needs to be rid of the parasite. We
prove this every day of our lives. Can you think of
one thing that the government does for you in your
everyday life that is relay necessary for you to Cary
out your everyday activities? The fact is that we,
as human beings with instincts and a will to live
provide for our own basic needs. It is we - the
working people - who grow the food, who harvest the
food, who ship it to the supermarkets, and who
distribute it. It is we who built the factories, make
the clothes, and work in the shops. We spend our days
looking for and working shit jobs that make rich
people richer, and we pay our own bills as best we
can, with only police harassment and intimidation to
help us do it! That is the aid and the "welfare" of
the state! It is a program of humiliation and
BULLSHIT, designed to keep us from rising against
them. We - all of us - do EVERYTHING that needs to be
done, all the government does is disempower and
punish! Their agencies are designed to step in and
police us, humiliate us, punish us, restrict our
freedom, and sap us of our strength and our will to
fight. The state is the institutionalization of
Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia. It exists to maintain
the divisions between those who have and who have not.

How does Capitalism fit into this?
The system we have now is a combination of Capitalism
and Government. The two are so intertwined they are
practically inseparable. The combination of these two
monsters is more dangerous than either on their own
because within this system the rich make the rules
that the state enforces against us. Capitalism is an
inherently greedy system that relies on taking out
more than it puts in - that is the basic law of
Profit. The only way the capitalist system can
continue to exist is if the working class, women, and
people of color are kept disempowered. This is done
by forcing us to work long hours at jobs no one should
have to do - McDonalds, dangerous factory work,
farmworker jobs that expose our people to toxic
chemicals that kill them!) - and making it impossible
for us to leave those jobs or work fewer hours for
fear of starvation. We spend our lives as prisoners,
killing our selves to survive, and making the rich
even richer. If we refuse to work for them the only
other choices are living on the streets, crime - which
tears up our communities, or a degrading and
humiliating system of workfare. Capitalism is built
on exploitation, and it cannot exist without the
divisions of class and race. We produce everything
and they make all the money, and then say that the
reason we don't have money is because we don't work
hard enough! Who works harder, the single mother
working two jobs to feed her children and pay the
rent, or some corporate CEO who gets paid to sit in a
big office and move papers around? Their immense
salaries are stolen DIRECTLY from US! We produce
everything useful, all they produce is oppression and
fear. So why do the police pull people of color over
for driving down the street? They do it because they
are Racists and assume we are all criminals! We are
not the Criminals! It is the Rich that steal from us
EVERY DAY! It is the Rich that destroy our
environment for their own profit! it is the Rich and
their pet police, politicians, and system of
oppression that will kill our entire PLANET if we do
not rise up and stop them! The upper class is a class
of thieves and murderers, and the middle class - the
managers, beaurocrats, administrators - are their
tools. The people of the middle class are not our
enemies, they are oppressed too, but we have to be
prepared to fight them to the extent that they remain
loyal to our oppressors. Anarchism seeks to unify all
our people across all lines of race, ethnicity,
gender, or sexuality. By working together without
giving anyone authority over others and letting people
run their own lives, we can create a world where
everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the things that
all our hard work has created.

Dispelling the Myths:
They say that people are naturally lazy and won't want
to work. the truth is that THEY are lazy and don't
want to work! We - the People - have always worked to
have what we need. In a society where a person gets
to keep the full value of their work there is a
greater incentive to do quality than in this corrupt
system where the boss steals half of what we produce.
Not only that, but when we get to keep the full value
of our labor, we will live better and work far fewer
hours than we do now - maybe four hours a day four
days a week, if that!
They say that without police our people would kill
each other. The truth is that it is their system of
poverty and exploitation that creates crime and
violence. When we all have access to a decent
standard of living, there will be no reason for people
to commit acts of violence in order to survive. The
police don't protect us from each other, they protect
the rich from us and serve as a tool to push us into
prisons where our family members are forced to work to
(you guessed it) increase the profits of rich people,
without even the normal shit wages that a worker
outside the prison receives.
They say that we need the government schools to
"educate" our children. This is pure bullshit. We
all know exactly what kind of education our children
receive in their schools - racially biased tracking
programs, state-mandated indoctrination, police in the
hallways, searches of lockers and backpacks without
reason or warrants, censorship on campus regarding
what students can and can't say, and a curriculum
designed to strip us of our personalities and teach
our children to take orders without asking questions.
In the world we are working to build, schools will be
based on cooperative learning with the teachers acting
as guides to help all our children reach their full
potential. All Students will have full access to good
books that don't distort history to reinforce the
power of some elite, the campuses will be clean and
kept in good condition without having to worry about
They say that without capitalism and the state we
would be unable to feed ourselves. What they relay
mean is that without capitalism and the state they
would have no way to force us to feed their lazy asses
while we starve! Every year the capitalists destroy
thousands of tons of food in order to keep prices
high, while homeless people starve in the streets!
Every intermediary step that that food goes through on
it's way from the farms our people work to the stores
where we buy it at hugely overinflated prices causes
waste. Not only that, but they take the good food of
the earth and process it and package it and strip it
of it's nutrition so that by the time it gets to us,
it's barely even worth eating any more! Once we have
torn down their system we can reorganize society so
that goods are exchanged directly from one group of
working people to another, without going through
middlemen and letting some fat fuck skim off the top
every step of the way. Not only that, but we can use
urban farming methods to make our cities greener and
grow food right where it will be consumed, and
eliminate the need to ship it across the entire
country and burn fossil fuel that pollutes our air.

Anarchism and AntiRacism
All true Anarchists are working people, and this
system keeps us down because of it. Right now many of
the people who openly call themselves Anarchists are
euro-americans, so even though they are oppressed by
the state they are not as brutally oppressed as people
of color. Something all of us understand is that
until all of our people, regardless of color, are
free; none of us can be free. For this reason many
euro-american Anarchists are committed to using that
little bit of breathing room that the system affords
them because of their color to attack the system in
every way possible. The Race system was created by
rich people to divide us from each other, and in order
for us to dismantle their power we have to first
dismantle the hierarchies of Racism, Sexism,
Homophobia, and all other forms of discrimination. We
wage our battles against the prison system, the
injustice of the courts, the police and their
brutality, against politicians that put all the sewage
plants and incinerators in neighborhoods of color,
against the racism of the school system, and against
the forces of Gentrification that are pushing us out
of our neighborhoods so that rich people can move in.
Anarchism is not identified with any one culture or
race. It is the struggle of all people, and of life
itself, to break through the barriers that would hold
us down and create a better life for our people, our
class, and our families.

Where we Come From:
Anarchism is as old as our species itself. The small
tribes of hunter-gatherers from which we are all
descended were anarchistic in their internal power
structures. Various indigenous peoples from all over
the world have preserved this mode of life right up to
the present time. The Pygmy people of Africa live
without any rulers or significant hierarchies, and
have done so for at least 10,000 years. The Nuer
tribe of Africa - one of the largest on the continent
- is also anarchistic in nature. Most north american
native tribes were also anarchistic, especially
noteworthy is the highly structured but decentralized
federation of the Iroquois League, which served as on
of the basic models upon which the Articles of
Confederation - the US's first constitution - was
built. The difference between the Iroquois and the
Colonies was, of course, capitalism. Because the
Colonies were using a capitalist economic system, the
articles of confederation were eventually scrapped
because they gave power to the local town councils and
to the people, and the big business interests of the
post-colonial US wanted a more centralized powerful
state that they could use to keep the people in check.

Anarchism as a mass movement has several distinct sets
of roots. In Asia the Taoists - who advocated the
abolition of government, harmony with nature, and
community based decision making - are the first
concrete example of Anarchist thought; beginning
around 400 BC and greatly influencing Buddhism, Sunni
Islam, and certain elements of Christian thought. In
Europe the Free Spirit movement, which began around
1200 AD, is the earliest known anarchist movement.
The Free Spirit's were christians who incorporated
elements of Buddhism (and Taoism) into their religious
practices. They denounced the use of money, private
ownership of land, the state, hierarchical churches,
and declared that each person was in fact an
incarnation of God and should thus be the master of
their own destiny. They lasted as a movement for
three hundred years and liberated huge areas of France
before being finally violently exterminated by order
of the Pope. A similar movement was inspired in
Russia by the work of Leo Tolstoy, who declared that
Jesus Christ was himself an Anarchist, and denounced
Capitalism, the Church, and the State as attempts to
limit the freedom of the people. The Tolstoyans were
pacifists, vegetarians, and lived on cooperatively run
communal farms.
Revolutionary Aanrchism's first major incarnation was
in the French revolution within the Paris commune,
later it was reincarnated in Ukraine, Krondstadt, and
Petrograd during the Russian Revolution, during the
Spanish Civil War - when the Anarchosyndicalist labor
Union, the CNT, succeeded in liberating over half of
Spain and was only crushed by the combined forces of
Fascist Spain, Germany, and Italy with backing from US
corporations like Ford and Texaco. - and in Korea
during the Revolution there. Every time the
Communists have sided with the Capitalists, the
Fascists, and the other Archists, and every time
Anarchists have stood solid with the people against
those who would ride the suffering of the poor into
Our movement is currently undergoing our fastest
period of growth on a global scale sine the 1920's,
and we have organized the bulk of the visible end of
the growing resistance to global capitalism. From
urban gardening in inner cities to community
empowerment, from pushing for militant on-the-job
tactics by union members to organizing militant
mass-protests, Anarchists of all colors and genders
are at the very center of the growing movement against
hierarchy and oppression. Marxism has proven over and
over to be a sure path to suicide, capitalism is
obviously not working for anyone but the rich -
Anarchism, with it's emphasis on direct democracy,
accountability, equality, cross-racial unity, and
class struggle; is the singe most viable choice
available for a world in crisis.
Our people have a clear choice. We can sit back and
let the Capitalists and their pet politicians continue
to rape our planet and oppress our people, or we can
stand together against them and all other forms of
hierarchy and oppression. It is no longer a matter of
talk, the survival of our species is at stake. We
don't have any time to waste on Marxist bullshit about
dictatorships bringing freedom, the choice is simple -
Anarchist Revolution or Death by Capitalism.

What Anarchists Want.

We are sick and tired of the mechanized lifestyle that
so many people lead without realizing there is a
better way. We refuse to spend our youth in
classrooms, our strength at shit jobs that produce
crap no one realy needs, and then retire and spend our
last days kept alive by a machine. The entire mode of
life that people in the developed capitalist nations -
especialythe US - lead is a massive waste of resources
and potential.




We want a world based on local level directly
democratic control of the economy, the workplace, and
the community.

We will destroy the old centralized factory-oriented
modes of production and replace them with smaller
decentralized cooperatively run shops that produce
things that people actually NEED, without harming the

We will eliminate monoculture mass-farming and replace
it with cooperative community gardens and urban
farming using permaculture and organic farming methods
to grow food where it will be consumed, and eliminate
the need to burn fuel shipping it across the country.

We will eliminate the damns, powerlines, and
combustion generators that are killing the fish, the
birds, the animals, destroying the air the water and
the earth to produce electricity so rich people can
forget to turn their lights off at night, and

We will eliminate the unsustainable forms of
architecture that require the rape of the forests and
the mountains, and replace them with sustainable
communities of homes and shops that produce their own
electricity - this can be done using already existing
sustainable architechture technology - and rebuilding
the infrastructure will allow us to dismantle the
power grid and cut pollution into virtual

We will eliminate the massive cattle ranches that have
destroyed the ecosystems all over the Great Plains and
the north west, and bring back the buffalo, the wolf,
and the native ecosystems.

We will eliminate the internal combustion engine, the
car, the highway, and the death of the planet that
they are causing; and replace that whole cancerous
mess with a network of electric trains and busses
powered through sustainable means, and supplemented by
bike co-ops.

We will make our workplaces run cooperatively,
directly democratically and without hierarchy.

We will eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, and
other forms of social hierarchy.

In short, we will create a sane world. A world which
in almost every way imaginable is the exact opposite
of the direction that Archists - left, right, or
otherwise - have been taking our world for the last
10,000 years.

We advocate not a "return" to some mythological
"pimitive" state, but a moving forward past the waste
and destruction of industrial capitalism. The problem
is not science and technology, these are only the
proccesses of learning how to build and create. The
problem is privatised, commodified, technology for
profit. As with everything else the Archists touch,
their greed and power-lust has transformed the quest
for knowledge into a quest for power over others.
We advocate a new technology to help people work
together on an egalitarian basis, a new science based
on the quest for knowledge and truth - free from the
profit motive.

We want to live in good homes, to wear quality
clothes, to know that our children will have enough.
We want access to education, to the great literature,
to art and music.
We want to dance, to sing, to sculpt, paint, and to
create. To live and love to the fullest every moment
of every day and not have our lives stolen from us by
a boss or a master.
We want to breath clean air, drink clean water. We
don't want to have to worry about what chemicals might
be lurking in the soil, in the paint, in the air.
We want to buld all of these things based on
cooperation and solidarity, and leave the coercion and
exploitation of capitalism behind us.
We have no interest in returning to the caves, as the
primitivists would suggest, nor do we have any
interest in the big-brother politics and mass murder
that accompanies Marxist regimes.
We know there is a better way.
We will buld our new world here. Now. We will become
the people we were born to become - free thinkers,
lovers, and fighters; and we will destroy their system
down to the last brick.


an interview with assata shakur:

Question: What advice would you have for activists in
the US?
Assata: (Summary) First of all we need to put real
democracy on the agenda
in the US, because there is no real democracy there
now. To go along with
the notion that there is democracy in the United
States, is like
perpetuating the fairy tale that the emperor has
clothes on. I also think we
need to treat activism as FUN- because it is fun. We
need to develop a
political style that's interesting and fun and
personal. To celebrate

Question: Cuba has been fighting against
globalization. What do
you think the potential for the anti-globalization
movement is?

Assata: I think that the movement against the policies
of the World Bank, of
the IMF, is very important. People are really
beginning to see the
mechanisms of imperialism. When colonialism existed
people could see
colonialism. When racial segregation existed in its
apartheid form, people
could see the "whites only" signs. But it's much more
difficult to see the
structures of neo-imperialism, neo-colonialism,

I think that the movement against the World Bank,
against the globalization
process that is happening, is very positive. We need a
globalization, a
globalization of people who are committed to social
justice, to economic
justice. We need a globalization of people who are
committed to saving this
earth, to making sure that the water is drinkable,
that the air is

When I was a child, if someone had talked to me about
buying water, I would
have thought it was a joke. If we are not committed to
saving this earth we
will be buying designer air filters and gas masks with
little Nike swishes
on them. (Laughter, applause)

The people who are running this planet are insane-they
are literally
destroying it. I don't know where they think they're
gonna drink water,
breathe air....This planet is a wonderful place, but a
vulnerable place. And
they are making and implementing policies that are
destroying the earth in
all kinds of ways.

The movement against the kind of global assassination
that is going on, in
terms of whole countries-because every African country
is facing an
ecological disaster in terms

of becoming deserts, in terms of fuel-Africa is one of
the richest
continents in the world but its people are the
poorest in the world. A lot
of that poverty is directly related to the policies of
the IMF and the World
Bank. Ending those policies is very important not only
to Cuba but to people
all over the world who want to see their children grow
up and have access to
health care, to live somewhere that is not a desert,
where they can drink
water, where they can breathe air. So I think that
movement against the IMF
and World Bank policies is one of the most important,
most optimistic
struggles that is going on at this moment.

on planning for the future:

Question: In 1965 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower
said the Pentagon was
planning for 100 years into the future. Most of us
don't even plan for 5
years ahead. I don't know how Cuba is coming along
with it's planning. But
most of us are always REACTING to what the world
powers do. What is our
pro-active plan for 5 or 10 years from now?

Assata: I wish (laughs) I had those answers. I believe
that the first part
of planning is to really believe that you can put your
plan into practise.
And I think that one of the problems that exists in
the United States and
in many places in the world is that people don't
believe that they
can make a difference. So a lot of times we're
defeated before we even

We've become consumers of a world vision, of Kentucky
Fried Chicken, of
McDonalds, and we're convinced that Kentucky Fried
Chicken tastes better
than any other thing, or that a hamburger made by
McDonalds is something
special. Other than a piece of greasy meat and some
bread. McDonald's is an
idea we've been sold. on. And we've also consumed the
idea of
powerlessness, of the idea that "you can't fight City
Hall"; of "you can't
change things, the government is strong, that's just
the way things are".

And as long as we continue to have that vision of the
world, the planning of
a better world is going to be a hard nut to crack. So
I think that one of
the things as a step towards the phase that WE plan
years and years ahead is
to actually believe that this world is redeemable,
changeable; that we can
eradicate poverty, that we can eradicate alienation,
that we can eradicate
this tremendous consumerism, this disease that we have
to buy everything
that exists, everything that the television says we
have to have.

We have to have a vision of the world we want to make
in 100 years. And
maybe when we have that vision, when we convince
enough people that that is
a realistic vision, and that the opposite vision is
basically that if we
don't do something in this 100 years, a hundred years
from now this world is
gonna be so destroyed, so raped and ravished that we
won't HAVE much of a
world to save.

Internalizing the importance of this century, and how
much work we have to
do, will give us at least some ways to invent a system
of planning. I think
it's really hard to plan if you don't believe you can
implement those plans.
I have faith in our ability to transform this world
from a hellish reality,
to one that will eventually lead us toward heaven.