Letter of Solidarity with those facing charges in Berkeley from a comrade in Davis also facing charges
06/04/2012 Comments Off on Letter of Solidarity with those facing charges in Berkeley from a comrade in Davis also facing charges
The University of California and its police department seems now to have realized that the spectacular violence of pepper spray and batons (not to mention other types of physical violence) do not lessen the intensity of demonstrations but rather increase them. As with the Occupy movement in California, a subtler form of violence has been adopted. Elites add the violence of criminal courts to that of the cops. Now sitting down in front of a bank results in criminal charges that possibly entail eleven years in prison. Even being beaten by a cop is a criminal offense!
The University of California is in crisis as the state of California is in crisis. The United States is in crisis as the world is in crisis. The economy, the global economy, is in crisis. Let us remember what the word crisis means. Crisis comes from the Greek. (Let us today take more from the Greeks!). It is the moment of a medical emergency in which an intervention is decisive, in which the action taken decides the outcome.
So let us reiterate, the University of California is in crisis, and WE ARE INTERVENING! The crisis is the end of an economic era that afforded the possibility, and created the necessity, to fund great social works like the highway system and cheap public education. With the crisis of this economic system, the institutions it brought about become unaffordable relics.
Cheap public education has become unaffordable, as it is paid for with tax revenue collected from the ever declining profit rates of American industry. This problem can only be solved by privatizing education, raising fees, making, as our Chancellor Linda Katehi said, education “more of a private good.” In other words, by eliminating public education itself.
We are adamantly opposed to this so-called solution, which ends the illness by killing the patient. We believe in, and are fighting for, a far more radical solution to this crisis: free, truly public education, something that recognizes the University for what it could be—a place of growth and collaborative learning—rather than what it is being turned into—a place to fool students into massive debt in hopes of joining the class of the exploiters.
It is unsurprising that the exploiting class is oppressing our movement through legal and extra-legal means. It is unsurprising, but it will not necessarily be successful. It is frightening to face these charges. This means that we need solidarity more than ever. We call to our friends in the Bay Area, in Davis, and in other parts of California to show solidarity, both symbolic and material, with all comrades facing charges. We must show that, like physical violence, the courts are ineffective means to suppress resistance.
We call the Yolo County DA and the Alameda County DA to drop the charges.
We call our comrades to continue the fight!
07/12/2011 Comments Off on notes on political love
Politics is exhausting.
Lately I have been tired but I cannot sleep. I joke now that I will get a full night’s sleep only after the abolition of capitalism. I have been tired because when I am awake I am organizing, and because I am always or nearly always awake. I am tired because I am tired of arguing about what to do next, arguing about whether those who run the system against which we are fighting, or those who wear a badge and use a gun to defend it, can join us as equals. I am tired because not all speech is free speech. Not all speech is equal speech and when we pretend all speech is equal we accept as given the same domination against which we are fighting.
Politics is heartbreaking.
I love you all. But sometimes you break my heart. Sometimes I break your heart.
Politics is profound.
I want to tell you a story. It happened on November 2nd at the port of Oakland. I was marching towards the front. I was part of a group that was supposed to be at the front and frequently we had to stop and reassemble, because bicyclists or less encumbered protesters were ahead of us. At one point we stopped because we heard that the march was too disperse, and needed to reassemble itself. We had been marching for awhile, for a couple miles. And we, and I was exhausted. I turned to my friend next to me and complained. “We look so odd. 1/3 of the march ahead of those of us with banners and signs, 2/3 of the march behind us. I thought we were supposed to be in front not nearly in the middle.” My friend advised me to turn around.
As far as I could see were people marching. Their bodies filled the long, wide road leading into the port. Their bodies scaled the overpass of this road. I did not know it then, but the news helicopters latter showed that their bodies went further back than that. This was only the first of three waves. We were innumerable. I was overwhelmed.
Politics is terrifying.
We are here to win. And we are winning, but we have not yet won. The gamble we are making is terrifying. We have the world to win, it is said, and only our chains to lose. But we can lose much more than that. We have lost much more than that. Today we have no choice but to win. Losing is not an option, it is not an option because we are past the point of redemption, it is not an option because tens of thousands die daily, because the planet dies daily, because the rich get richer daily and everyone else is dying.
It is a terrifying gamble because we cannot know what the future holds. Entering a realm of total uncertainty, we must shake off the comfort of habit. Life is shit for all but a few, but the known has a way of entrancing. We must give up our attachments to this shit. We must leave the known behind as we seek out the radically new. The stupid sign says, “the beginning is nigh.” I prefer Karl Krauss, “the origin is the goal.” Or Karl Marx, “Capitalism is the pre-history of humanity. Only with communism will genuine human history begin.”
We are on the brink of history, my friends, and I am scared, crying, laughing, and totally falling in love with you.
Politics is amorous
Everything I write is a love letter to my comrades, is a love letter to the revolution.
05/12/2011 Comments Off on interview