the ones who walk away…

the ones who walk away…

in the summer of 2009, a group of literary-minded
people hosted a “summer reading” series of events in
portland. one of the events featured ursula k leguin’s
short story THE ONES WHO WALK AWAY FROM OMELAS.

the story was posted online for interested parties to
read, and the author herself made an appearance at a
trendy watering hole to discuss it. no way i was going
to miss a chance to attend a (free) public event featuring
one of the most amazing writers in the science fiction genre.

instead of giving a summary of the story, i’ll paste it
below, then share my impressions of the crowd’s reaction.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

by Ursula K LeGuin – from The Wind’s Twelve Quarters

With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The ringing of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets betweenhouses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and gray, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked.

In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mud-stained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms,exercised their restive horses before the race. The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own. Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the darkblue of the sky. There was just enough wind to make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding throughout the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.

Joyous! How is one to tell about joy? How describe the citizens of Omelas?

They were not simple folk, you see, though they were happy. But we do not say the words of cheer much any more. All smiles have become archaic. Given a description such as this one tends to make certain assumptions. Given a description such as this one tends to look next for the King, mounted on a splendid stallion and surrounded by his
noble knights, or perhaps in a golden litter borne by great-muscled slaves. But there was no king. They did not use swords, or keep slaves. They were not barbarians, I do not know the rules and laws of their society, but I suspect that they were singularly few. As they did without monarchy and slavery, so they also got on without the stock exchange, the advertisement, the secret police, and the bomb. Yet I repeat that these were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians. There were not less complex than us.

The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy. How can I tell you about the people of Omelas? They were not naive and happy children–though their children were, in fact, happy. They were mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched. O miracle! But I wish I could describe it better. I wish I could convince you. Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time.

Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all. For instance, how about technology? I think that there would be no cars or helicopters in and above the streets; this follows from the fact that the people of Omelas are happy people. Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive. In the middle category, however – that of the unnecessary but undestructive, that of comfort, luxury, exuberance, etc.–they could perfectly well have central heating, subway trains, washing machines, and all kinds of marvelous devices not yet invented here, floating light-sources, fuelless power, a cure for the common cold. Or they could have none of that: it doesn’t matter. As you like it. I incline to think that people from towns up and down the coast have been coming to Omelas during the last days before the Festival on very fast little trains and double-decked trams, and that the trains station of Omelas is actually the handsomest building in town, though plainer than the magnificent Farmers’ Market. But even granted trains, I fear that Omelas so far strikes some of you as goody-goody. Smiles, bells, parades, horses, bleh. If so, please add an orgy. If an orgy would help, don’t hesitate. Let us not, however, have temples from which
issue beautiful nude priests and priestesses already half in ecstasy and ready to copulate with any man or woman, lover or stranger, who desires union with the deep godhead of the blood, although that was my first idea. But really it would be better not to have any temples in Omelas–at least, not manned temples. Religion yes, clergy no. Surely the beautiful nudes can just wander about, offering themselves like divine souffles to the hunger of the needy and the rapture of the flesh. Let them join the processions. Let tambourines be struck above the copulations, and the gory of desire be proclaimed upon the gongs, and (a not unimportant point) let the offspring of these delightful rituals be beloved and looked after by all. One thing I know there is none of in Omelas is guilt. But what else should there be? I thought at first there were no drugs, but that is puritanical. For those who like it, the faint insistent sweetness of drooz may perfume the ways of the city, drooz which first brings a great lightness and brilliance to the mind and limbs, and then after some hours a dreamy languor, and wonderful visions at last of the very arcane and inmost secrets of the Universe, as well as exciting the pleasure of sex beyond all belief; and it is not habit-forming. For more modest tastes I think there ought to be beer. What else, what else belongs in the joyous city? The sense of victory, surely, the celebration of courage. But as we did without clergy, let us do without soldiers. The joy built upon successful slaughter is not the right kind of joy; it will not do; it is fearful and it is trivial. A boundless and generous contentment, a magnanimous triumph felt not against some outer enemy but in communion with the finest and fairest in the souls of all men everywhere and the splendor of the world’s summer: This is what swells the hearts of the people of Omelas, and the victory they celebrate is that of life. I don’t think many of them need to take drooz.

Most of the processions have reached the Green Fields by now. A marvelous smell of cooking goes forth from the red and blue tents of the provisioners. The faces of small children are amiably sticky; in the benign gray beard of a man a couple of crumbs of rich pastry are entangled. The youths and girls have mounted their horses and are beginning to group around the starting line of the course. An old woman, small, fat, and laughing, is passing out flowers from a basket, and tall young men wear her flowers in their shining hair. A child of nine or ten sits at the edge of the crowd alone, playing on a wooden flute.

People pause to listen, and they smile, but they do not speak to him, for he never ceases playing and never sees them, his dark eyes wholly rapt in the sweet, thing magic of the tune.

He finishes, and slowly lowers his hands holding the wooden flute.

As if that little private silence were the signal, all at once a trumpet sounds from the pavilion near the starting line: imperious, melancholy, piercing. The horses rear on their slender legs, and some of them neigh in answer. Sober-faced, the young riders stroke the horses’ necks and soothe them, whispering. “Quiet, quiet, there my beauty, my hope…” They begin to form in rank along the starting line. The crowds along the racecourse are like a field of grass and flowers in the wind. The Festival of Summer has begun. Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No?

Then let me describe one more thing.

In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas, or perhaps in the cellar of one of its spacious private homes, there is a room. It has one locked door, and no window. A little light seeps in dustily between cracks in the boards, secondhand from a cobwebbed window somewhere across the cellar. In one corner of the little room a couple of mops, with stiff, clotted, foul-smelling heads, stand near a rusty bucket. The floor is dirt, a little damp to the touch, as cellar dirt usually is.

The room is about three paces long and two wide: a mere broom closet or disused tool room. In the room, a child is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect. It picks its nose and occasionally fumbles vaguely with its toes or genitals, as it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket and the two mops. It is afraid of the mops. It finds them horrible. It shuts its eyes, but it knows the mops are still standing there; and the door is locked; and nobody will come. The door is always locked; and nobody ever comes, except that sometimes  –the child has no understanding of time or interval – sometimes the door rattles terribly and opens, and a person, or several people, are there. One of them may come in and kick the child to make it stand up. The others never come close, but peer in at it with frightened, disgusted eyes. The food bowl and the water jug are hastily filled, the door is locked; the eyes disappear. The people at the door never say anything, but the child, who has not always lived in the tool room, and can remember sunlight and its mother’s voice, sometimes speaks. “I will be good, ” it says. “Please let me out. I will be good!” They never answer. The child used to scream for help at night, and cry a good deal, but now it only makes a kind of whining, “eh-haa, eh-haa,” and it speaks less and less often. It is so thin there are no calves to its legs; its belly protrudes; it lives on a half-bowl of corn meal and grease a day. It is naked. Its buttocks and thighs are a mass of festered sores, as it sits in its own excrement continually.

They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.

This is usually explained to children when they are between eight and twelve, whenever they seem capable of understanding; and most of those who come to see the child are young people, though often enough an adult comes, or comes back, to see the child. No matter how well the matter has been explained to them, these young spectators are always shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, which they had thought themselves superior to. They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the explanations. They would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do. If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of that vile place, if it were cleaned and fed and comforted, that would be a good thing, indeed; but if it were done, in that day and hour all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed. Those are the terms. To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement: to throw away the happiness of thousands for the chance of happiness of one: that would be to let guilt within the walls indeed.

The terms are strict and absolute; there may not even be a kind word spoken to the child.

Often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage, when they have seen the child and faced this terrible paradox. They may brood over it for weeks or years. But as time goes on they begin to realize that even if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom: a little vague pleasure of warmth and food, no real doubt, but little more. It is too degraded and imbecile to know any real joy. It has been afraid too long ever to be free of fear. Its habits are too uncouth for it to respond to humane treatment. Indeed, after so long it would probably be wretched without walls about it to protect it, and darkness for its eyes, and its own excrement to sit in. Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it. Yet it is their tears and anger, the trying of their generosity and the acceptance of their helplessness, which are perhaps the true source of the splendor of their lives. Theirs is no vapid, irresponsible happiness. They know that they, like the child, are not free. They know compassion. It is the existence of the child, and their knowledge of its existence, that makes possible the nobility of their architecture, the poignancy of their music, the profundity of their science. It is because of the child that they are so gentle with children. They know that if the wretched one were not there sniveling in the dark, the other one, the flute-player, could make no joyful music as the young riders line up in their beauty for the race in the sunlight of the first morning of summer.

Now do you believe them? Are they not more credible? But there is one more thing to tell, and this is quite incredible.

At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also a man or a woman much older falls silent for a day or two, then leaves home. These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl, man or woman.

Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow- lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

i arrived late to the event, and ms. leguin was addressing the overflow crowd. afterwards, a microphone was made available so that people could make comments or ask questions about the story.

archerthe reaction was pathetic. one speaker after another stepped up to demand that people would not tolerate such cruelty and that it was possible to show compassion for the sad, mistreated child, who suffered so that everyone else in omelas could live carefree, joyous lives. to me, the entire point of the story was that we, here in the nations formerly designated as the “first world,” enjoy lives of comfort and ease that the majority of the people in the world will never attain. instead – in africa, south and central america, polynesia, and asia –  millions of people live in squalor and destitution.

many of the regions with almost incalculable amounts of wealth in natural resources are also the location of failed nations, where the local inhabitants are massacred, the women raped, the children conscripted into service as slave laborers and soldiers by the latest rogue militia. why? because working people to death is cheaper than paying them.

the corporations that bankroll these atrocities make unbelievable profits from illegal mining and other resource extraction.

we all live in omelas, but the good, kind, happy citizens just aren’t interested enough about the lives of distant, dark-skinned people to be bothered to care about how much the opulence available to us causes suffering around the world, to billions of people. i get heartsick every time i think about this. isn’t it time for us to abandon this globalized deathcamp and create something different?

since there is no “away” for us to walk to, we’ll have to make our something different here. though this may seem like a dangerously daunting task, we must never forget is that we – the people –  made this country, and we can remake it according to our own desires. we should not be afraid of creating ruins.


	

The doctrine of discovery, establishment of the rule of law in the “new” world

this is the final part of a reflection on the controversy surrounding Black Flame. It’s nice to be a part of the conversation again, even though i know this will bring the haters out. what can you do? i appreciate constructive criticism, but that can only mean not referencing dead white guys. i don’t care much. sorry for you if you do.

to see the piece in its entirety, on one page, go to:

black flame burns anarchists enchanted by 19th century ideology

-ROMANUS PONTIFEX, JANUARY 8, 1455 - the doctrine of discovery

“[W]e bestow suitable favors and special graces on those Catholic kings and princes…intrepid champions of the Christian faith…to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and…to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate…possessions, and goods, and to convert them to…their use and profit…“

There you have it, spelt out in fairly clear language – His Excellency, Pope Babyraper the Umpteenth, authorized his co-conspirators to go out and rob, murder, rape, and plunder in every land which had not been “saved” by J-Zeus, the dying/resurrecting sun deity. At the time of the edict, that was around 80 percent of the inhabited world.

It’s easy enough to dismiss this document as an out-dated relic of a long-gone era.

The problem with that is, this is the SINGLE, LEGAL DOCUMENT that created the court systems of the US, Canada, Australia, much of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Philippines, most of Africa, swaths of Asia…

This single document is the foundation for laws before the US Supreme Court when considering matters of copyright, property, regulation of corporations, and trade agreements – including the current one. Yeah, all that bullshit about separation of Church and State…just window dressing. Without this Roman Catholic doctrine, the foundation for rule of law by the court systems in just about every nation on earth goes straight out the window.

Ever heard of a place called Latin America? No one spoke fucking Latin in the god-damn 15th century. Except for the Catholic Church clergy and Lawyers. Who established the court systems that preside over these places to this day! And that’s why it’s refered to as Latin America, because of their Latin legal systems.

Think this is a ridiculous over-simplification (I get that a lot)? Ever read a US law book? See all the Latin phrases? When exactly was it that Latin-speaking people inhabited the US? Isn’t US law supposed to be based on English court systems? And just what is the foundation of English law? Again, written in Latin. Little known fact – “Empress of the Holy Roman Empire” is one of Queen Lizzie the 2nd’s titles.

INTER CAETERA, MAY 3, 1493

“…in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and everywhere increased and spread…and that barbarous nations be overthrown…”

This Papal decree is so much a part of the Great American Mythology that it was referenced by none less than US Chief Justice John Marshall in an 1823 decision, JOHNSON v. MCINTOSH, 21 US 543 to assert American authority over indigenous Peoples. His decision legalized exploitation, theft, and genocide by establishing that indigenous Peoples were indeed not quite people, not being Christians and all, so anything done to or against them is all good and well, and the Good Lord’s work as well, hallelujah!

This decision has never been overturned (see “Native American Sovereignty: now you see it, now you don’t”).

And why should it be overturned? It’s necessary to dehumanize indigenous Peoples in order to rob, rape, and murder them wholesale, even over the objections of the more squeamish members of the invading society.

This notion that indigenous Peoples must be “saved” from their ignorant, savage existence by having the gifts of religion and poverty bestowed upon them fuels wars even in the 21st century. This idea has been enacted through many expressions over the years: saving souls, bringing them civilization, educating them, making them into citizens of the state. This is the doctrine of Manifest Destiny – that god almighty has given Europeans superior weapons in order to subjugate other Peoples. Most of whom were not warlike, and almost none of whom had standing armies.

oldGentThis is the notion of Progress. Lands previously untouched by the foul hand of the West had to be incorporated into the European legal systems in order to rule over them, for the benefit of the Europeans. It is solidly, irrefutably white supremacist to the core, an excuse to commit genocide and feel good, even proud, for doing it. There sure is a long list of names – venerated in every nation overrun by Europeans – of murdering, ignorant scum who slaughtered indigenous Peoples and later became well-respected members of the communities where they dwelt. Some of these genocidal pieces of shit are Saints in the Catholic church.

This Progressive ideology has never been refuted by anyone with a Eurocentric worldview. It enables people who depend on markets for everything they need for personal survival – but who must first find a master to serve in order to access markets – to think of indigenous Peoples as poor, filthy, ignorant savages. Even though the indigenous Peoples are able to hand craft everything they need. Food, clothing, shelter – what they can’t do for themselves, is often available from others, as sharing is much more widespread in Peoples who do not have the notion of “poverty” in their lives. They mostly live in abundance. Hell – right now, pharmaceutical corporations are falling all over themselves to get at indigenous healers in the field. They are making billions of dollars off of the knowledge and experience of indigenous Peoples, then they have the audacity to cry about “intellectual property rights.”

And to FINALLY arrive at the main point I want to make here – Socialism and Marxism are not in any way different from any of the other ideologies of Progress. Indeed, Marx himself stated that indigenous Peoples must submit to proletarianization or disappear from the world. Anyone who did not slave for a master for monetary gain was a lumpen, and Marx saw them – always the majority of the population in industrialized nations – as reactionary, enemies of the working class. He used much the same rationale we hear today from the far-right. Lumpen want to take our jobs (scabs). They are criminals. They are no-good layabout alcoholics and drug addicts. They are whores. They are ignorant. As someone who has spent much of his adult life either homeless or in prison, but always struggling against the coercive forces of elite rule, I gotta say a big, ol’ “Fuck you!” to orthodox Marxists.

There are Marxists I have some respect for, though – libertarian and autonomous Marxists are at least breaking from the orthodoxy of building a Party to centralize power. Some groups that started out as Marxists have evolved to the point that they no longer spout fiery working-class rhetoric. Instead, they humbly ask the communities they rely on for support what their group can do to help them. The trend in anarchy in the 21st century is for revolutionaries to focus on building autonomous communities instead of taking over industry. Except, of course – in the industrialized West.

vileFascismIn Europe and North America, the white working classes are terrified of losing the few precious scraps of privilege they’ve been allowed until now. Still clinging to their notion of Progress, orthodox Marxists, Anarcho-Communists, and Syndicalists refuse to let go of racist, outdated 19th century ideas that see them – the true and only revolutionaries – as the saviors of the world. Anyone who dares to challenge them to join the rest of humanity in the 21st century is silenced as “ignorant” or “reactionary” or “fascist.”

I’ve written before that Marxism’s main failure was that the working class never seized control of anything. I’m more of the opinion these days that the greatest failure was in only offering substitutions for the social order they were allegedly opposing. Substitute the Party for the working class. Substitute a Chairman for an emporer. Substitute expansion of the revolution for economic expansion. Substitute “safeguarding the revolution” for “protecting investments.” In short, Marxism has never offered anything but more of the same horrors, with just slightly different jargon. In function, the fascist state is little different than a communist one, and neither system is much different than democracies or republics. They all seek to divvy up the world’s resources for the enrichment of very few people, with treats for their lackeys, jails for the complainers, and bludgeons for the those who get in their way. Absolutely nothing has changed in the structure of civilized societies throughout history. They are slave systems.

wageSlaveryA few notes about this alleged “progress” of his-story

It took the old European colonial powers centuries to overrun the entire planet and install court systems acceptable to their aristocracies. But it pretty much took until the 20th century for whities to look around at the places they had conquered and think “hmmm – wonder what all that stuff is?”

Naturally, being the superior civilization and all, they had no need for anything the heathens had. Not their medicinal herbcrafting. Not their stories and legends about geological events. Not their ambitions, thoughts, and dreams. Not their extensive written histories which receded far, far past the time when the Christian book of lies was written. And especially not for their heathen technology, which was the work of demons, after all – amen.

Many of the civilizations annihilated by the invading savages (the invading forces were at least 95 percent illiterate, for what that’s worth) were far superior in every way to what existed in Europe at that time. There are irrigation systems in Peru that are thousands of years older than historians are willing to admit there have been people in the Americas. Megalithic ruins all over the world suggest that there was a one-world culture of sea-faring people who built magnificent cities globally, until just after the end of the last ice age, when climatic chaos destroyed many coastal areas. Thus, the universal flood myths in people’s written and oral histories.

I can write this with confidence because much of this is readily – even scientifically, if that’s your religion – verifiable now. As a matter of fact, it’s getting to be common knowledge. This may well be one reason why education systems are being undermined. There will be no way to keep this knowledge out of textbooks unless there is such tight control of publishing and educational institutions that traditional narratives remain unchallenged. Religious institutions worldwide depend on this forgetting of the human saga.

Almost all the great dietary “breakthroughs” constantly in vogue in the US have come about as American consumers somehow found out about Ayurvedic and Naturalpathic medicinal traditions in Asia. As mentioned before, pharmaceutical corporations are scouring Amazonia and Africa, looking for new drugs and other biological knowledge from shamans and traditional healers. That’s not Progress, that’s just more plunder. We could accumulate this knowledge ourselves by TALKING TO PEOPLE and LISTENING WITH RESPECT TO WHAT OTHER CULTURES HAVE TO SAY! Fucksake…

idiotsI’m gonna go ahead and put this out there; some people suspect that this one-world, seafaring culture still existed, here and there, until fairly recently. Until the era of conquest. Their civilization had collapsed, for the most part, and they had to rebuild. I’ll write a lot more about this in the future.

The point I want to make here is that Polynesian Peoples sailed thousands and thousands of miles of open, uninterrupted seas at times. The Hopi and some Australian aboriginal Peoples claim to have sailed to their continents around 30,000 years ago. Most of the older ruins in the Americas are along the Pacific rim. Mayan civilization had a written history that covered 30,000 years, including daily records. Tenochtitlan, the capitol city of the Mexica, was an engineering marvel unmatched by the West: huge stone plazas and gigantic, megalithic pyramids built on a swamp. There are irrigation systems so old, there are no records of their construction, nor memories; in SE Asia, Russia, Australia, South America…

And even the approved annuls of history tell of the constant attack on knowledge. Libraries burned by invading forces, almost always from Europe, in Alexandria, Heliopolis, Persepolis, Babylon, Palmyra…We will never know how much was destroyed in the era of conquest. How far back did that put the human race, as far as accumulated knowledge? So much for “progress.” Most of this knowledge was lost forever to us, some of it we are actually rediscovering.

One civilization succeeded in preserving some of this ancient knowledge in Buddhist temples, written in archaic forms of Sanskrit. If it isn’t being destroyed by some goddam government or another, that’s where we could find a lot of details about the things i’ve mentioned above.

The history we’ve been force-fed is so much just a load of bullshit, i’m not sure if we should believe anything written up until the end of the last century. EVERYTHING the education system has indoctrinated us into accepting is wrong. Fucking goddam Everything. I hope I can convince enough people in the anarchist movement of this that we can actually band together and use the new knowledge – the stuff being rediscovered – to our advantage.

to make things very clear;

the idea of “progressive” history is racist to it’s very core. not to mention complete Bullshit. anything coming from that tradition is nothing more or less than white supremacist propaganda. not just including Marxism, but ESPECIALLY Marxism because of its failure to understand that industrial society is not the Ultimate Achievement of humankind. Free living people do not have to be enslaved through employment in order to find liberation.

Here in the US, the Black Lives Matters movement opened a door to dialogue among radicals and activists that we haven’t had for a generation at least. Interest in Anarchist ideas are widespread in an entire, new generation of activist who are not at all interested in advancing the status of Movement Pimps and politicians. And…damn! If this generation isn’t sharp enough to see that “classic” Anarchism rarely – if ever – addressed issues of race. Since there is abundant cross-cultural discussion taking place between activists in the black, indigenous, latinx, asian, queer, and other communities around issues of white supremacy, police violence, mass incarceration, and what to do about them, we – everyone with dark skin and at least partially of non-european ethnicity – are becoming less and less concerned with what dead white guys had to say about ANYTHING. Except, of course, when they agree with us.

As for myself, i want no part of this wretched deathculture. it’s built on lies, fraud, genocide, rape, and plunder. we are capable of creating something so much better. we should get on with building it. now.

full disclosure; i AM going to be referencing a dead white guy in some of my future diatribes, but he just died like, a month ago, and i was hoping to have a beer and conversation with him one day…sad…

“what fools these wage slaves be!” illustration from the Industrial Worker.

Turkey set for general strike, school boycott after Ankara Massacre

Political parties, student groups, lawyers’ organizations and others have announced their backing for a two-day general strike starting Monday to protest the 10 October Ankara Massacre.

from the Guardian;

Mourners and protesters gather in Turkish capital, blaming Erdoġan’s government for twin bomb attacks in which over 100 civilians died

Unions and professional organizations that organized the 10 October Labor, Peace and Democracy Rally in Ankara have called for a general strike on Monday and Tuesday to protest a state-instigated massacre against more than 100 people early Saturday.

see update below:

In Turkey, Scuffles Break Out as Mourners Blocked From Bomb Site

“To honor our dead friends and to protest the fascist massacre, we are in mourning for three days and on strike on 12 and 13 October,” said the organizing committee, which includes the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Unions (KESK), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers And Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).

“To show that they will not be able to rule this country and this people with dictatorship, and to call those who murdered our friends to account, [we call on] all to stop their normal lives and join the People’s Strike,” People’s Houses (Halkevleri) Director Oya Ersoy said.

OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images Turkish riot police block Istiklal Avenue as thousands of protesters take part in a march against the deadly attack earlier in Ankara.
OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images
Turkish riot police block Istiklal Avenue as thousands of protesters take part in a march against the deadly attack earlier in Ankara.

“Let us abandon our offices, our construction sites and our workplaces to silence in the face of this massacre,” said the organization Politeknik.

“Whether in our workshops, factories or workplaces, let us support the call for a work stoppage,” said the Socialist People’s Party of the Oppressed (ESP).

“We call on students to boycott class, on tradespeople to halt their work, on drivers to turn off their engines and on all to make noise at night as they hit the streets to demand an account [for the massacre]. We must back the resistance everywhere. We must attach black ribbons to our houses, collars and cars.”

“We refuse to be accustomed to the idea that we are a country that has become synonymous with massacres,” said the Communist Party (KP) in announcing its support for the strike. “It is only the people’s determination and organizational strength that can halt the massacres committed by reactionaries and imperialists in collaboration.”

The Socialist Women’s Assemblies (SKM) also backed the labor action, noting that the murderers were well-known from recent attacks such as in Suruç and Cizre, the murder and exposure of PKK guerrilla Kevser Eltürk (Ekin Wan) and last week’s incident in which Turkish soldiers murdered amateur actor Hacı Lokman Birlik in Şırnak before dragging his body through the streets by the neck. “As oppressed women, we must step up for our martyrs together,” it said.

At universities, the Federation of Thought Clubs (FKF) backed the struggle, saying “Our pain is great, our anger is great. We are not fine, and we will not be fine” – referencing a famous social media message from LGBTİ activist Loren Elva after she was injured in an attack by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Suruç in July.

The Students’ Collective noted that there was “no other path – the palace will be destroyed.” Likewise the Labor Youth organization vowed not to step back in the face of the fascist onslaught. “We will not weaken when confronted by these massacres!”

At the same time, 11 lawyers’ organizations issued a call to bar associations, professional groups and lawyers to support the unions’ calls for a strike.

Source: Turkey set for general strike, school boycott after Ankara Massacre | Sendika.Org

10-ekim-ankara-katliami-181
photo via Sendika.Org

In Turkey, Scuffles Break Out as Mourners Blocked From Bomb Site

NBC makes propaganda for Turkey, NATO

Scuffles broke out in Turkey’s capital Sunday as police blocked mourners and politicians from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed nearly 100 people in the country’s deadliest attack in years.

The twin bombings Saturday targeted a peace rally in Ankara organized by labor unions and activists who were calling for the end of fighting between the Turkish state and Kurdish rebels, which erupted this summer after a three-year cease-fire.

Sunday, pro-Kurdish politicians planned to hold a memorial for victims in Ankara, but were held back by police, who said that they were still conducting investigations at the bombing sites.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Kurdish rebels and ISIS militants were the most likely culprits. (see the blatant lie? the Kurds would not bomb themselves, and Daesch are puppet terrorists controlled by Erdogan and NATO – rlr.)

photo via iCBC.ca
photo via iCBC.ca

Statement from Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF) on bombing in Ankara; also – police block ambulances, clash with survivors

twitter update:

Turkey: After the terrorist attack in , riot police of the Turkish regime attacked protesters.

see more, beneath DAF statement…

Today, bombs placed at a rally in the Turkish town of Ankara killed at least 86 people. This comes in the context of the bomb attacks in Amed in June, against an election rally; the attack on Kobanê from Turkey’s borders in June and the attack in in July in Suruç against a delegation bringing aid to Kobanê. Many comrades in Turkey and Kurdistan blame these attacks on the Turkish state.

ankara
demonstrators clear a path through the police lines to enable ambulances through. photo via reuters.

This statement has been released by Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF):

“CAN’T BE FORGOTTEN, CAN’T BE FORGIVEN

Today, on the 10th of October, the “Labor, Democracy and Peace Meeting” that was organized by various unions, associations and organizations has been attacked. Like in Amed on June and in Suruc in July, the bombs exploding in Ankara today has killed tens of people.

Thousands of people came together from many different cities of the geography against the politics of war, against war profiteering of different power groups.

Today, the bombs that exploded, murdered the people who wanted peace, life and freedom against war.

This explosion, in which more than 30 people have lost their lives until now, is a reflection of the blood thirsty greed of the powers. The ones who murdered in Amed, in Pirsus, in Cizir, are now trying to intimidate the peoples, frustrate with war politics and discourage from the struggle for freedom, by murdering tens of people in Ankara.

The powers should know that by any means, be it arrests or murder with bombs, we will not be afraid of the powers or submit to their war politics.

For a new world, a life of freedom, the murderers in Amed, in Pirsus, Cizir and Ankara, murdered ones CAN’T BE FORGOTTEN, the murderers CAN’T BE FORGIVEN.

Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF)

photo from anarkismo - http://www.anarkismo.net/
photo from anarkismo – http://www.anarkismo.net/

reposted from rabble.org.uk

IN WAKE OF TERRORIST BOMBING OF PEACE RALLY, PROTESTERS CLASH WITH POLICE, WHO WERE NOT ALLOWING AMBULANCES TO MOVE.

Protesters have clashed with police in Ankara after officers allegedly blocked a road being used by ambulances transporting victims of this morning’s bombing.

Bulent Tekdemir, who was at the rally, told the BBC that police used tear gas shortly after the explosions at 10am and “would not let ambulances through” in the aftermath.

Footage showed lines of riot officers appearing to block a road near the blast site, with ambulances parked in the background.

see more, from the independent

ANKARA TERROR ATTACK

photo via twitter user World Riots ‏@riots_world  "It was not terror that killed us, it was the state." graffiti at the site of the blast in #Ankara #Ankaradayız
photo via twitter user World Riots ‏@riots_world
“It was not terror that killed us, it was the state.” graffiti at the site of the blast in #Ankara #Ankaradayız

On Lâche Rien

On Lache Rien!(We Don’t Give Up!), is a rollicking song of revolt and determination from french band HK et Les Saltimbanks.

fortunately for us, youtube user TOKYOSPRING1created a version of the video with japanese subtitles, and has now posted the one below , with english subtitles (thanks to Maja and David).

an english translation was also posted to rabble.ca.

We Won’t Give A Fucking Inch

From the slums of my projects
To the depths of your suburbia
Oor reality ia the same
And revolt is brewing everywhere

In this world there’s no place for us
We don’t look the part
We’re not to the manor born
Not on daddy’s plastic

Homeless,Unemployed, workers
Farmers, immigrants, Undocumented
They wanted to divide us
And they succeeded

As long as it was every man for himself
Their system could prosper
But one day, inevitably, we woke up
Now. their heads have to roll

We’re Not Giving A Fucking Inch

They spoke about about equality
And like fools we believed them
“Democracy” makes me laugh
If we had had it we would have known it

What’s the worth of our votes
Up against the law of the market?
They say “my dear fellow countrymen”
But we’re fucked all the same

And what’s the worth of human rights
Up against the airbus sale?
The bottom line, there’s only one law, in sum:
“Sell yourself more to sell more.”

The republic is a whore
Walking the street of dictators
We no longer believe
Their beautiful words
Our leaders are liars

We’re Not Giving A Fucking Inch

So stupid, so trite,
To speak of peace and brotherhood
When the homeless are dying in the streets
And the undocumented are being driven out

They throw crumbs to us proles
Just shit to calm us down
So they won’t attack millionaire bosses
“Too important for our society”

It’s crazy how they’re protected
All the rich and powerful
Not to mention the help they get
For being the friends of the president

Dear comrades, dear “voters”
Dear “citizen-consumers”
The alarm has rung
It’s time
To reset to zero

As long as we’re fighting, there’s hope
As long as we’re alive, we’ll fight
As long as we’re fighting, we’re standing
Here’s the key
We’re standing, we won’t give an inch

The passion for victory runs in our blood
Now you know why we’re fighting
Our ideal, more than a dream
Another world, we have no choice

We’re Not Giving A Fucking Inch
Not a single motherfucking godamn inch

SALTIMBANKS

Hay un lugar: anarquistas en la Ciudad de México, una película de Abril Schmucler eng. subtitles.

El anarquismo es, dentro de las ideologías políticas modernas, la corriente más desconocida y calumniada. Este documental muestra qué es y qué ha hecho l anarquismo, narrado por quienes los construyen día a día, aquí a la vuelta, en la misma capital del país.

activist gone ballistik

Rapper/activist Biko from Zimbabwe, part of Soundz of the South, rapping live his original song ‘Balistick’ in the ‘Bolo’bolo: Anarchist Info Shop and Vegan Cafe, Observatory, Cape Town.

yes, do click on the link above! you’ll be glad you did. from their website;

The Soundz of the South (SOS) is a network of activists who use hip-hop and poetry to spread revolutionary messages, raise consciousness and critique neo-liberalism. The aim of the network is to facilitate and encourage a process of self-organisation against neoliberalism within communities as part of the broader struggle to emancipate us all.

SofSouth

Déclaration d’autonomie de la ZAD de NDDL en solidarité avec le Kurdistan

samedi 26 septembre 2015, par zadist

La ZAD se déclare “autonome”, tout comme l’ont fait certaines communes dans le Kurdistan nord (en Turquie) en réponse à la guerre déclarée par le gouvernement turc. Ces communes expérimentent déjà un certain degré d’auto-gestion, d’auto-gouvernance, d’autonomie donc. Face aux attaques féroces contre les populations par les forces spéciales de police et l’armée, plusieurs assemblées de quartier ont décidé de se déclarer autonomes, de refuser la légitimité de l’État et de ses forces répressives.

autoZAD

Déclaration d’autonomie de la ZAD de Nddl en réponse à l’appel du KCK (Confédération des communautés du Kurdistan)

À ceux et celles qui résistent au Kurdistan,

Nous suivons ce qui se passe actuellement en Turquie. Nous vous exprimons notre soutien face aux offensives de l’État turc.
Cette guerre en réaction à des résultats électoraux qui ne plaisent pas au président contraste avec la volonté d’un peuple de s’organiser horizontalement.

Nous avons entendu votre appel à se déclarer commune autonome, et par-delà les frontières et les montagnes, souhaitons aussi y répondre.

Nous suivons avec attention le processus du confédéralisme démocratique en cours au Kurdistan.

Nous nous sentons proches de votre recherche d’auto-organisation indépendante du projet de l’État-Nation par la mise en place de structures horizontales.

Nous admirons le processus impliquant toutes les populations sans critère religieux, ethnique, etc., alors qu’on sait que les États portent toujours des politiques d’assimilation ou d’annihilation.Nous partageons avec vous le rôle crucial du mouvement des femmes et la place du mouvement LGBTI dans la lutte.

Enfin nous respectons vos principes d’autodéfense et votre indépendance stratégique.

Nous parlons depuis la ZAD (« Zone à Défendre ») de Notre Dame des Landes, France, qui est occupée illégalement en opposition à un projet d’aménagement du territoire depuis 2009, au sein d’une lutte qui existe depuis 45 ans contre un projet d’aéroport. Nous avons repoussé des tentatives de travaux, et ensuite en 2012 résisté aux expulsions, grâce aux diverses pratiques d’autodéfense.

Aujourd’hui, plusieurs centaines de personnes venues d’horizons multiples continuent de vivre et s’organiser en autogestion de manières formelle et informelle. On tente de se réapproprier des manières de se soigner, se nourrir, se défendre face à la justice, se loger, et de communiser des savoirs, des ressources, des structures, et de partager cela avec d’autres luttes.

Ce qui se construit au Kurdistan, qui était déjà attaqué par l’État Islamique, se trouve à l’heure actuelle écrasé sous les bombes turques. L’État français, lorsqu’il cherchait des héros contre l’E.I, avait des louanges plein la bouche pour les Kurdes, et aujourd’hui il se tait honteusement face à la guerre menée par Erdogan, et continue de réprimer les militant-e-s kurdes sous couvert de lutte antiterroriste. Nous nous déclarons prêt-e-s à les accueillir!

Solidarité avec les populations du Bakûr (Kurdistan nord), et en particulier les villes assiégées!

Solidarité avec les Kurdes attaqué-e-s par les nationalistes turcs!

Solidarité avec le Rojava (Kurdistan ouest)!

reposted from the free

New Autonomous Zone Declared by ZAD NDDL in Solidarity with Kurdistan

autonomy-at-zad

You Will Learn A Few New Words In Resistance | MexicAnarchist

Juchari Uinápikua, Our Force, Our Strength.

The P’urhepecha people in Cherán rose up to defend their forests and community from cartel control and the corrupt police that partnered with organized crime. It was spearheaded by women who were tired of their sons and husbands disappearing into the void that is cartel abduction and violence.

They began by trying to protest against the cartel backed loggers on the streets, it ended with molotovs and the storming of police stations to gather assault rifles to defend themselves. There was no turning back at that point, they began to establish fogatas, something like a camp fire, in every block to keep watch and stay vigilant to any attack. This became a nightly routine, it was also in these community camp fires that they made decisions on what to do in their communities. You know it as direct democracy, they know it as decolonization. Through the process of decolonization, they also established their form of self defense, how their communities used to defend themselves in the past.

Ronda comunitaria. Communal self defense.

A literal translation wouldn’t work, so I gave you what it is in practice. I’ll explain what that practice is, and you can see it here.So a community kicks out cartel elements, and the police along with the politicians because they all knew these were all the many heads of the same hydra. Of course those they kicked out would attempt to return, angrily to be certain. Campfires on every block is good to stay vigilant, but how do you defend your community should these vile elements return? Ronda comunitaria was the traditional form of self defense, now in their modern form they used what used to be police vehicles and assault rifles that used to belong to the police. Instead of using those tools to repress, kidnap and help cartel forces like before, they used them to defend not just their community, but also their forest.

Naná Echeri, our mother earth, land.

The trucks that once belonged to corrupt police were used to patrol the forests to keep loggers out. They not only defended Naná Echeri, they also replenished her with reforestation efforts. Over 50 thousand trees were planted to help heal the damage the loggers had brought upon Naná Echeri. The people of Cherán not only defend, they also heal. Above that, they shine like a lighthouse guiding the lost ships in a violent cold sea to a vibrant Naná Echeri. Where once Tatá Jurhiata, father sun, gave his light to a land that was nothing but burned tree stumps, now nourishes the growing trees of Naná Echeri. The people of Cherán are now in direct control of not only their politics, lives and selves, but also their environment.

It is difficult to find an equivalent in so called modern societies, we claim democracy in Europe and the United States of America, but there is no self determination in either. In Cherán, an indigenous people became the Tatá Jurhiata for the rest of the world. I once thought it was just the light for Mexico, to show our people how to not only resist but flourish. It is the sun for the whole world to show you how to not just defend life, but how to nurture it so it can grow in many beautiful ways on Naná Echeri. They are now an autonomous community using traditional self governance. They’ve taught us so much. I hope the language is never lost upon you.

Juchari Uinápikuacherato

Source: You Will Learn A Few New Words In Resistance | MexicAnarchist

translating CrimethInc pamphlet results in investigation of south korean anarchists

Starting in spring, the anarchist appeal To Change Everything was adapted into Korean and distributed in paper and online in South Korea. Many welcomed it; the first printing ran out quickly.

It also provoked a strong reaction when the country’s major corporate news agency reported on it and on a project appearing on the appeal’s blog to gather and distribute songs against the National Security Law. The journalist even went to the prosecutor’s office, inquiring whether these activities constituted “aid to the enemy” (in other words, treason), which is what the National Security Law targets. The official’s response was that the answer “depends on an eventual analysis of whether this is part of an intention to threaten the national order.” In the corporate media, the numerous comments posted online with the article expressed a unanimous condemnation of these “pro-North Koreans” that we supposedly are (ignoring the “anarchist” reference), demanding even severer laws and repression. For example, “These pro-North Koreans should be sent to the good old ‘re-education camp’ to be reminded the fact that this country is still at war.”

“The Center for Citizens Action” fires a warning shot. A voluntary civil association of people with far-right politics who demonstrate dressed in the uniforms they retain from their conscription into active military service. Unlike any other civilians, these post-military fraternities have the unique right to carry weapons.
“The Center for Citizens Action” fires a warning shot. A voluntary civil association of people with far-right politics who demonstrate dressed in the uniforms they retain from their conscription into active military service. Unlike any other civilians, these post-military fraternities have the unique right to carry weapons.

This stir in the corporate media and the right-wing movement it fuels coincided with another one: a little witch-hunt following the arrest, investigation, and prosecution of someone on charges of having burned a Korean flag. On April 18, as a movement in response to the authorities’ cover-up of a ferry disaster last year converged in downtown Seoul, an exasperated youngster, provoked by journalists, picked up a paper national flag left on the ground and lit it on fire, making headlines in corporate media. Based on “CCTV and other evidence,” the police arrested him in the following days in another city. Using a warrant for search and seizure to discover his “affiliations,” the police raided his housing collective—which happens to be a center for diverse autonomous social movements including some recent anarchist activities, though the arrestee is not connected to them.

Though this kind of police repression combined with corporate and right-wing fervor is nothing new in this state of suspended civil war, this is a sign of what many feel to be a worsening political climate. Some Korean anarchists feel that we are isolated in a tightly controlled island, a prison. Nevertheless, by all means necessary, we must show that we are not so isolated.

A Call to Action

This wave of quasi-fascist nationalism provides an opportunity for inter-/anti-national solidarity actions to strategically provoke and subvert it. Here is a proposition for a simple action that, though it doesn’t entail much risk for participants outside Korea, could take advantage of that opportunity. It might even be fun.

Together, let’s defy the Korean National Security Law (국가보안법). Show solidarity with Korean people while expressing hostility to the Korean states and the order they incarnate. Through the image of “non-Koreans” attacking the symbols of the Korean state in solidarity with “Koreans,” let’s break down national divisions and the link between ethnicity and the state. Let’s take “outside agitation” to a new level.

Any format would do—but, because some images don’t need translation, accomplishing this visually by burning flags could be the simplest way. Don’t be misunderstood for a pro-North Korean (burn the northern flag too), a xenophobic nationalist (burn the flag of your own country), or an ideologue (burn an anarchist black flag if you want).

If you want to take your action to a relevant public space, don’t limit yourself to the Korean embassies. The major conglomerates Samsung, Hyundai, and LG together represent well over half of the South Korean economy, and their overseas offices can be considered places of state affairs. Korean cultural products are also understood as a spearhead of the economy because they are linked to IT products; the media pays great attention to overseas reactions to them.

As a slogan, one option is 무정부 통일 / mujeongbu tong-il, meaning “no-government” (a common translation of anarchy) + “reunification.”

Make your actions known directly or send us a report about them. You could also send us creative material such as songs, pictures, drawings, or video, to 3.1manse@riseup.net. We will compile and distribute these ourselves.

만세! (Manse)

see more on CrimethInc’s website,

Report from South Korea

May Day clashes in Seoul, 2015.
May Day clashes in Seoul, 2015.

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