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George Floyd, US and international protests

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zugzwang
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Jun 3 2020 22:48
George Floyd, US and international protests

Thought I'd go ahead and make a thread for discussion since it doesn't look like protesets are quieting down any. One of the positive developments I've seen is the vandalism/removal of racist monuments, statues etc. in Southern parts of the States/bible-belt (usually defended by right-wingers, who are typically also the pro-business-Fox-News-conservative types etc., as being part of their "heritage" ), which I imagine is a blow to American right-wing ideology in some respects. The Lee statue in Virginia is supposed to be officially removed.

wojtek
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Jun 4 2020 01:00

In Belgium too.

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sherbu-kteer
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Jun 4 2020 03:41

I was surprised to not see a thread up on here sooner but I guess people are mainly discussing it on twitter/facebook/etc.

What impresses me about these ones is how wide-ranging they are. I'm not from the states but it filters down through social media and the like. I've got friends I've never seen talking politics ever suddenly posting about solidarity with the black struggle. Famous models are now recommending articles with titles like "in defense of looting", there's one decently popular comedian who is now posting Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin articles... It's really caught on (especially with young women, it seems like?), and you'd have to imagine the stresses COVID has placed on people is contributing to the widespread anger.

Anyway in Australia there have been protests already and there will be some bigger ones on the weekend. These will be in solidarity with George Floyd and black Americans but also with indigenous Australians who have been killed by police. Some of them are being framed by the organisers as a vigil to mourn at instead of a protest but I don't know how well the crowds are gonna follow that.

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Jun 4 2020 08:12

Yeah, after this I really don't see how anyone can justify the idea that property damage and militant tactics (always) undermine movements and prevent them from having mainstream appeal. Posted an interview from Hard Crackers here on the subject, but one of the other aspects that really impressed me from the start was the bus driver thing, how quickly they've had at least a partial success at bridging the workplace/street divide.

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Jun 4 2020 11:08

I totally agree. The other day I found some posts I made on social media from about 6-7 years ago when I was an "anarcho-pacifist". Talk about cringe...

I will say though, all the property damage and militant tactics have been making the differences between the petty-bourgeoisie and regular people very visibly apparent. Some of the most anti-protest stuff I've seen has been from people who own small businesses in affected neighbourhoods and their family members; this includes many ethnic minorities and even some black people due to the trend of immigrants owning restaurants, corner shops, etc. Among the Arab community at least, videos of Yemenis defending their businesses from perceived threat of attack have gone viral. The "I support the protesters but don't like the rioters" attitude that was present among these people has given way in many instances to "they're all thugs and troublemakers".

In a way it seems like a rehashing of the "rooftop Koreans" thing from the LA riots that right-wingers harp on about. Part of the Korean community moved towards the Democratic party in an effort to make common cause with the mainline politics of other ethnic minorities while another part moved to the right and got closer to the Republicans, demanding expansion and militarisation of the police force to avoid a re-enactment of the LA situation where the police were unable to assist in the defence of their properties.

Guess time will tell what the repercussions will be

Dyjbas
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Jun 4 2020 14:04

Flyer by the North American affiliates of the ICT: Police Brutality & Class Struggle

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Jun 4 2020 17:49

As mentioned here, I would be curious to know about how North American affiliates of the ICT, or anyone else, are handling flyering - are you just accepting that it's not possible/worthwhile trying to maintain social distancing in this situation, or what? I've not got much experience of mass uprisings happening right in the middle of very deadly contagious pandemics to draw from.

Dyjbas
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Jun 5 2020 00:18

R Totale, the use of gloves and masks reduces the risk a bit. And you social distance to the degree that it's possible in that situation. I know at least at some protests in the US and the UK masks and hand sanitiser have been distributed, in addition to water and milk.

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Jun 6 2020 12:30

It's been a while since I've posted here, so I'm glad to be back. Especially with protesters rising up across the U.S. -- and across the world. And with streaming videos coming from many of these protests, I have spent much of the past 2 weeks watching these demonstrations live. Los Angeles, the site of the catalyst of the 1992 Rodney King Rebellion, was also where the most militant actions have occurred in the George Floyd Uprising. Sometimes, like last Saturday (30 May) there were simultaneous protests in at least 7 locations across Southern California. I literally watched live, from streaming video from a news helicopter, looting of shops like Gucci on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (perhaps the poshest 3 blocks of luxury shops in the U.S.). Then I watched recorded video clips of looters breaking into a Mercedes-Benz dealership in West L.A., where they liberated a Mercedes SUV and 2-door sports car. They hit L.A.'s hippest street, Melrose, and looted all the sneakers from the shop "Fight Club," literally running out the door with their arms full of boxes of $1,000 pairs of shoes.

Also, this past Wednesday, 3 June, I went to a demonstration with about 50,000 others in San Francisco. What's amazing is that it was organized by a 17-year-old high school student, who calls herself “Afrochicana” (dad from Haiti & mom from Mexico), and her friends. It was inspiring.
The rally started at San Francisco's Mission High School (the building with the tower in the left background), a politicized campus that's cleared out for plenty of protests. I remember that students marched through the city everyday, for nearly a week, to protest H.R. 4437, the Sensenbrenner Act in 2006 which would have criminalized undocumented immigrants (the May Day General Strike that year, with thousands of protest across the U.S., canceled the proposed law). They did the same on the day of Trump's inauguration, 20 January 2017, and passed my workplace in the Financial District that's 3 miles away.

The organizers of the demo distributed lots and lots of hand sanitizer, N95 and surgical masks, water, fruit, and snacks. Then during the march they set up tables to distribute these supplies throughout the march, which had large dispenser bottles of hand sanitizer to clean ones hands when grabbing these resources (San Francisco was under curfew that night after 8:00 p.m., with almost no public transit, so as I walked 5 miles to get home I noticed the excess was distributed to the countless unhoused people who stockpiled these into their tents). By my estimation, about 99% of people masked up -- and nearly everyone tried to keep 6' physical distancing, which as you'd imagine is near impossible yet everyone seemed conscious about trying to maintain. Which was helped by circles placed in Dolores Park (across the street from the high school, in the photos below) to encourage distancing on warm spring days during the coronavirus shelter-in-place requirements -- as San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to impose these rules on 16 March 2020 (and as of today, there have been only 43 COVID-19 deaths).

As for flyers, "boomers" just don't get it (count me among that demographic). No one, and this bears repeating, no one took any flyers. I saw one guy handing out quarter-sheet flyers and no one took one, so much so that he looked like a pariah and protesters literally avoided him. The Maoists in the RCP tried to distribute their newspaper, most of which I saw littering the ground. Times have changed and because of the pandemic no one will respond to flyers.

The most militant protests in the Bay Area have been in Oakland, but I've yet to attend any of these. This is the city where the Black Panthers were founded in 1966 and where the current phase of resistance to police killings kicked off with riots after Oscar Grant was killed by transit police in 2009. During Occupy, the site of the encampment was called Oscar Grant Plaza. Last week, there was much looting and protesters even liberated an SUV from a Honda dealership. They also trashed most cars in the showroom of a Mercedes-Benz dealership, which was a wasted effort as soon after they burned the building down. Oh well, duplication of efforts. I have compiled some accounts of the dozens of protests throughout the Bay Area that occur daily, which I'll post this weekend.

FUCK THE POLICE!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

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Jun 5 2020 18:16

Brilliant, am looking forward to reading your full report! On the flyer thing, had been thinking of ways to usefully contribute and the two main ones I could think of, beyond just being there, were getting a decent amount of masks in (which I've failed to do, and I think my local organizers might have taken care of anyway) and handing out bust cards, but I suppose the moment might not be right for that particular form, even if the actual information on them is still very vital.

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Jun 6 2020 01:00

Just commenting so I can follow this thread in my "Track" tab.

There's been some talk of Minneapolis abolishing their police force, which is exciting, but I'll believe it when I see it. I'm skeptical it will happen and if it does, I'm skeptical about the organization they form to replace it. But any improvement would be a victory, even if only partial.

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Jun 6 2020 10:13

I just got back from the Sydney one, it went off great. Biggest protest I've seen in ages. Cops took the organisers to court yesterday to try and get it shut down, they won but the organisers lodged an appeal this morning. Thousands of people were coming in anyway and it seemed like there was gonna be some confrontations but miraculously it was announced five minutes before the scheduled start that the appeal had been successful and we were now fully legal.

On leafleting -- people did that and were reasonably successful but social distancing in general was kinda ignored. Australia has a much lower incidence of COVID so far and we've opened up a bit more anyway so people figure it's worth the risk. People were handing out hand sanitiser and masks as well.

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Jun 6 2020 14:25

Great to hear that the Australian demo(s) happened. My community radio station plays BBC news and they had bleated on and on about how they were going to be canceled, almost as though the media message was that they shouldn't happen. But I've also heard announcements of protests happening today in Seoul and Tokyo.

News update from the U.S.: the International Longhsore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 14,825 dockers at all 29 ports on the West Coast of North America (from San Diego in the south to Bellingham, Washington in the north, with sister union branches at British Columbia ports in Canada) will join with the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), which represents 65,000 dockers on East Coast of the U.S. and Canada, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and inland waterways (with approximately 200 local affiliates in those port cities), on Tuesday, 9 June to lay down their tools in a joint nationwide work stoppage lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds (the time a pig kept his knee on George Floyd's neck and killed him).

It's clearly symbolic, yet this is the first coordination of any kind of action since the radical Wobbly-influenced ILWU broke from the mob-corrupted and conservative ILA in 1937. Yet this is a amazing development. ILWU Local 10 in the Bay Area, which was born in the 4-day San Francisco General Strike in 1934, is majority black; Local 13 at the combined Los Angeles/Long Beach ports complex, is its biggest with 4,085 members, is heavily Latinx. ILA locals in the South and on the Gulf Coast have large numbers of black dockers. This response, driven by militants from the black (and brown) working class, shows the possibilities of resistance to racism being class based and focused on refusals of work (albeit brief and symbolic). But it is a start and hopefully this idea will spread by generalizing into broader strikes.

I'll post more details as they're confirmed . . .

wojtek
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Jun 7 2020 12:11

What is the goal of the BLM protest in the UK?

Where was Anthony Joshua's anti-racism when he fought in Saudi?

https://www.dawnbutler.org.uk/news/kilburn-times-article-labour-party-wo...

https://mobile.twitter.com/DawnButlerBrent/status/1269539748495921152

Dyjbas
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Jun 7 2020 11:53
sherbu-kteer wrote:
On leafleting -- people did that and were reasonably successful but social distancing in general was kinda ignored.

Likewise. That ICT flyer has now been distributed in US, UK and Canada and no one's reported any difficulties giving it out (so far).

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Jun 7 2020 14:55

Yesterday was a busy day of protests across the world. It's getting kinda of overwhelming to keep track of them, especially in metropolitan areas in the U.S. where there are literally dozens in a single region. These events haven't dampened at all and are really increasing -- and are even spreading to rural hinterlands too.

The San Francisco Bay Area where I live, is comprised of 9 counties with 7.75 million people. Yesterday the Bay Area had at least 40 demonstrations (according a journalist on Twitter), from the suburban and rural counties to the north (the "wine country") to Silicon Valley down the peninsula near San Jose to the south, and across the Bay to Berkeley, Oakland and beyond to the mostly residential suburbs to the east. I kinda lost track of them and was relaxing at home, when I heard helicopters flying overhead. I looked on Twitter and saw live news streaming of protesters actually walking down the traffic lanes of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge that connects the city of San Francisco with the affluent Marin County to the north. In my lifetime, the cops have always been so well prepared that demonstrations have never moved off the sidewalk of the bridge. But yesterday the thousands of marchers overwhelmed the bridge police and the California Highway Patrol and marched on the vehicle traffic lanes. And again, the main organizer was a 17-year-old African American young woman.

My partner and I rapidly walked the 3 miles (5 km) to the bridge, but only got there as it was finishing. It wasn't a militant shutdown of the bridge, but instead was a pretty mainstream demo, with lots of kids, families and everyone carrying homemade signs (sorry comrades, I didn't see anyone handing out flyers) -- and protesters of all ethnicities. San Francisco is on the southern end of the bridge, which goes through the Presidio which was a massive military base (founded by the Spanish in 1776 and turned into a national park in 1994), which I passed through on my walk home. I went through the National Cemetery, stopping to pay homage to Howard Sperry, a longshore worker murdered by police and one of the two 1934 San Francisco General Strike martyrs (who's buried there because he was a World War I veteran). It got me thinking about how the current movement could escalate into strikes.

Then this morning I was reading The New York Times and came across this story:

NY Times wrote:
Activists call for a general strike in Washington State.

In an effort to build on the momentum of two weeks of street protests and growing calls for sweeping reform, activists in Washington State are calling for a statewide general strike on Friday and day of action to demand sustainable change for black people in the state.

General strikes, which involve a large proportion of the work force from a number of industries, have been used by activists in social movements to push for political and economic change. It was a general strike in Poland — started in a shipyard in Gdansk and spreading across the nation — that helped set the stage for the end of communist rule in the nation.

As recently as February, a general strike in France brought much of the country to a halt as workers pushed to stop the government from overhauling the nation’s pension system.

The call for a general strike in Washington State has particular historical resonance, since Seattle was home to one of the first major labor actions in the United States in the 20th century.

“Streetcar gongs ceased their clamor; newsboys cast their unsold papers into the street; from the doors of mill and factory, store and workshop, streamed sixty-five thousand working men,” Mayor Ole Hanson wrote after the first day of work stoppage in February 1919. “School children with fear in their hearts hurried homeward. The life stream of a great city stopped.”

Across the country, the life stream in cities has been slowed to a trickle by the coronavirus.

It is not clear what a general strike would look like set against a pandemic that has forced about 40 million people off the payrolls, but organizers from Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County said the strike on Friday would include a silent march in Seattle.

Organizers said they understood that some people might be uncomfortable joining a mass demonstration during the pandemic, and said they would work on ways to include those who cannot attend in person.

Perhaps I'm an eternal optimist, but this is the direction I hope this movement takes. Hopefully pushed by the agency of rank-and-file workers. We can only hope.

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Jun 7 2020 17:52
wojtek wrote:
What is the goal of the BLM protest in the UK?

I would have thought it was fairly straightforward, but some mixture of a) showing solidarity with the uprising abroad, and b) calling attention to the ongoing problems faced by Black people in the UK, including but not limited to state violence.

Hieronymous wrote:
Yesterday was a busy day of protests across the world. It's getting kinda of overwhelming to keep track of them, especially in metropolitan areas in the U.S. where there are literally dozens in a single region. These events haven't dampened at all and are really increasing -- and are even spreading to rural hinterlands too.

This is something I've been really impressed by (again, from a distance) - the libcom account was posting about BLM protests in Tunbridge Wells over here, and the fact of protests in place like Vidor, "the most hate-filled town in Texas" and rural Kentucky towns that similarly have a reputation as "sundown towns" is really impressive. In contrast to the normal rule of "never read the comments", I defy anyone to read the replies to this post and not be moved.

wojtek
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Jun 8 2020 02:39

A giant Naked Gun condom over the Calston statue would have been funnier:
Polish city's new statue cuts a urinating Lenin down to size

I hope they vandalize Attlee next for deporting the Chinese, his imperial crimes:
https://www.londonremembers.com/memorials/clement-attlee-statue

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Jun 8 2020 02:35

Minneapolis council members vote to disband police force

You'd have to imagine they'll just rebrand it or make some reforms and give it a new name (eg RUC to PSNI in Northern Ireland), but still, pretty crazy how quickly things have moved. A month ago, would anyone have believed you if you said a major American city is going to disband its police force?

Black Badger
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Jun 8 2020 04:27

this already happened in Camden, New Jersey in 2012

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Jun 8 2020 08:06

Yeah, maybe talking about the Overton Window is a bit of a cliche by now, although I think it is a useful concept, and these past few weeks you really have been able to see the window shifting in real time at an impressive speed.

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Jun 8 2020 17:30

I'm not a big fan of the left-liberal slightly left-of-center journalism of Democracy Now!, but it's an interesting development that in this video called "A Class Rebellion: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on How Racism & Racial Terrorism Fueled Nationwide," the interviewee finishes by saying this:

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote:
But we see a lot of — hundreds, if not thousands, of young white people in these uprisings, making these multiracial rebellions, really. And I think that that is important. Some people have sort of described the participation of white people as outside agitators, or I know that there are reports of white supremacists infiltrating some of the demonstrations. And I think that those are things that we have to pay attention to, keep track of and try to understand. But I think we cannot dismiss in a widespread way the participation of young white people, because we have to see that what has happened over the last decade has gutted their lives, too. And there has been some discussion about this with perhaps their parents’ generation, with the description of deaths by despair.

So, we know that the life expectancy of ordinary white men and women has gone into reverse — something, by the way, that does not typically happen in the developed world. And it is driven by opioid addiction, alcoholism and suicide. And so, this generation, whose lives really — you know, if you’ve graduated from college, your life has been bracketed by war at the turn of the 21st century, by recession and now by a deadly pandemic. And so, I think we’re seeing the convergence of a class rebellion with racism and racial terrorism at the center of it. And in many ways, we are in uncharted territory in the United States.

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Jun 8 2020 20:44

New Chuang: http://chuangcn.org/2020/06/frontlines/
On a similar international note, Leila Al-Shami on lessons from Syria: https://www.aljumhuriya.net/en/content/us-protests-lessons-syria

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Jun 8 2020 23:49

Other cities that have disbanded their police departments in the past, mostly due to budgetary issues, usually end up contracting policing for their city out to the county sheriff. However, according to this article, the county sheriff in Anoka County adjacent to Minneapolis says that his and other police agencies in the state don't want to take over policing for the city. In other words, the pigs are pissed and are sticking together.

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Jun 9 2020 03:23

The attempted ILWU-ILA nationwide joint action that I mentioned above fell through, with the ILA announcing that "Waterfront labor and management [will] unite to honor George Floyd and help heal the nation." This is fucked up, but as Howard Kimeldorf asks in his book Reds or Rackets?, meaning the left-leaning ILWU as opposed to the mob-up and corrupt ILA. The ILWU's roots are in the IWW -- it's motto is "An Injury to One is an Injury to All" -- and it is, despite its many limitations, still too principled for egregious class collaboration like ILA's joint action with the bosses.

UPDATE: Speaking of which, the rank-and-file of the ILWU voted today to stop work at all 29 West Coast ports on Juneteenth, the day the Emancipation Proclamation freed the last remaining slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, in honor of George Floyd.

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Jun 9 2020 07:49

Some stuff about US, France, Belgium (riot on June 7th) etc here:

https://dialectical-delinquents.com/contestavirus/june-2020/

Includes reflections on statue destruction, a St. Louis leaflet and other things.

https://dialectical-delinquents.com/contestavirus/may-2020/

zugzwang
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Jun 11 2020 13:46

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/us/seattle-autonomous-zone.html

I've got mixed feelings toward the Seattle "AutoZone" (pun on american car parts retailer). It seems kind of like a resurrection of Occupy-style tactics and ideas. I don't see how temporarily occupying/squatting a few blocks (or permanently through having it "legally recognized", as the article mentions, like some type of commune) to distribute food and watch movies is challenging global capitalism, and the fact it has partial support from city officials also makes it suspect for me:

Quote:
On Wednesday night, President Trump tried to portray the scenes in the city as something more sinister. He called for government leaders to crack down on the protesters, declaring on Twitter that “Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle.”

“Take back your city NOW,” Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet directed at Mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee. “If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game.”

Ms. Durkan responded with a tweet of her own: “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker.”

The protest zone has increasingly functioned with the tacit blessing of the city. Harold Scoggins, the fire chief, was there on Wednesday, chatting with protesters, helping set up a call with the police department and making sure the area had portable toilets and sanitation services.

“I have no idea where we’re headed,” Mr. Scoggins said in an interview. “We’ve been working step by step on how to build a relationship, build trust in small things, so we can figure this out together.”

The "take back our community" and "invest in our community" (which seem to be the prevailing ideas there) slogans might be achievable short-term demands to reduce police presence/murders and put money elsewhere, but as a conception of liberation it's lacking awareness of the hostage-like relation of people to capital (workers under capitalism require for their surival capitalists for wages; capitalists themselves are subjected to laws of competition etc.) Investing in the community requires there to be capitalist commodity production and exploitation for there to be a surplus. One of the functions of police is also defending capitalist property rights, so while the appropration of the social product by capitalists remains un-challenged there'll be in one form or another something enforcing that.

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Jun 11 2020 20:21
zugzwang wrote:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/us/seattle-autonomous-zone.html

I've got mixed feelings toward the Seattle "AutoZone" (pun on american car parts retailer). It seems kind of like a resurrection of Occupy-style tactics and ideas. I don't see how temporarily occupying/squatting a few blocks (or permanently through having it "legally recognized", as the article mentions, like some type of commune) to distribute food and watch movies is challenging global capitalism, and the fact it has partial support from city officials also makes it suspect for me.

I mean, by definition anything anyone does in any single city, let alone a single neighbourhood, isn't really going to challenge global capitalism, and I also don't think "partial support from city officials" is a useful criteria to measure anything by - of course politicians are going to claim to endorse anything that seems vaguely popular. Taking that as being particularly meaningful reminds me of the tankies who start and end their evalution of movements in Iran, Hong Kong or wherever by pointing out that the US State Department claims to endorse them. I think it's fair to say that, compared to where Seattle (or anywhere) was a fortnight or so ago, the autozone is a considerable opening up of possibilities and potential, not a closing down.

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Jun 12 2020 01:51
Quote:
I mean, by definition anything anyone does in any single city, let alone a single neighbourhood, isn't really going to challenge global capitalism

If abolishing global capitalism isn't among your stated priorities as "socialists/communists", but rather gaining legal recognition for your quirky leftist city-commune, then maybe you should look to different labels.

Quote:
of course politicians are going to claim to endorse anything that seems vaguely popular.

Huh?? Like city officials "supported" looting and property destruction in the early days, or like how the mayor of Minneapolis "supported" the more-than-vaguely popular calls to abolish or defund the police there? It should tell you something about how much of a threat the tacitly-approved "autonomous zone" is perceived that they haven't moved people out yet. I'm not sure if it needs saying but Democratic city officials don't share an interest in ending capitalist production for profit/exchange, so it should kind of raise an eyebrow when they support something "socialists/communists" say or do.

Granted politicians do lie about what they support (!), and it's my suspicion they're maybe hoping this just dies down without escalation. In this case however there's literally nothing socialist/communist in the demands coming out of "CHAZ" I've read; just run-of-the-mill social democratic type demands that are maybe slightly to the left of what the Seattle mayor is saying here. I'm certain the reaction would be different if the prevailing ideas were not bourgeois drivel like support of small businesses.

https://medium.com/@seattleblmanon3/the-demands-of-the-collective-black-...

Here's the demand to support small businesses:

CHAZ wrote:
We demand the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned businesses. Your money is our power and sustainability

Quote:
I think it's fair to say that, compared to where Seattle (or anywhere) was a fortnight or so ago, the autozone is a considerable opening up of possibilities and potential, not a closing down.

Possibilities and potential for what exactly? The major stated objectives there, as touched on in the article, seem to just be decreasing police presence and investing more in their community (which I'm in no way against as concessions but I don't think should be viewed as an ultimate goal or solution to social ills flowing from capitalism).

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Jun 12 2020 10:52
zugzwang wrote:
Huh?? Like city officials "supported" looting and property destruction in the early days, or like how the mayor of Minneapolis "supported" the more-than-vaguely popular calls to abolish or defund the police there?

Like how the Minneapolis city council endorsed those same calls, yes, exactly like that.

Quote:
It should tell you something about how much of a threat the tacitly-approved "autonomous zone" is perceived that they haven't moved people out yet.

Eh? By the exact same logic, you could say "It should tell you something about how much of a threat the tacitly-approved "setting fire to a police department building" is perceived that they haven't stopped people doing it." Meanwhile, back in the real world:

Quote:
As the protests against police brutality on Capitol Hill entered their tenth day, the Seattle Police Department issued a dispersal order as they threw tear gas, blast balls, pepper spray grenades at the crowd, which had moved the frontline barrier closer to 12th Ave than it had been in the previous week of demonstrations.
A prolonged and intense confrontation followed, with the police pushing protesters west down Pine and south down 11th Ave, where a gunman had shot a protester hours before.

Which would seem to suggest that the situation is less that the autonomous zone is tolerated, and more that attempts to issue dispersal orders, backed up by tear gas, blast balls and pepper spray grenades, have not yet succeeded in driving people off the streets.

Quote:
Granted politicians do lie about what they support (!), and it's my suspicion they're maybe hoping this just dies down without escalation. In this case however there's literally nothing socialist/communist in the demands coming out of "CHAZ" I've read; just run-of-the-mill social democratic type demands that are maybe slightly to the left of what the Seattle mayor is saying here. I'm certain the reaction would be different if the prevailing ideas were not bourgeois drivel like support of small businesses.

https://medium.com/@seattleblmanon3/the-demands-of-the-collective-black-...

I mean, to me this is one of the problems with doing A Political Reading of the situation that prioritises stuff like legible demands, as if they were going to put out a statement saying "we demand the abolition of the commodity form", and they should be judged for not doing so. I'm not convinced that the politics of those demands are necessarily hegemonic, so much as they're reflective of that tendency within the autonomous zone that's most interested in and focused on things like issuing demands and entering into a dialogue with power, while people who are less interested in those things get on with other forms of activity.

Quote:
Possibilities and potential for what exactly? The major stated objectives there, as touched on in the article, seem to just be decreasing police presence and investing more in their community (which I'm in no way against as concessions but I don't think should be viewed as an ultimate goal or solution to social ills flowing from capitalism).

Well, possibilities and potential for forms of activity that aren't primarily focused on the issuing of demands and neatly-written lists of stated objectives, for a start.

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Jun 12 2020 12:30

Well I'd recommend this IP text also posted just now to libcom:
https://internationalistperspective.org/why-we-cant-breathe/
relevant here to the broader discussion on this thread but also because it seems to take a more nuanced approach to the relative assessment of 'violent' destruction of police bases and the destruction of small local shops.