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LOCAL Commentary :: General

Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

Now is the Time? Now is the Time!
The Potential of the Gulf Coast Crisis: Points for Discussion and Intervention

We wrote this text because we felt the level of discussion regarding the aftermath of hurricane Katrina needs to move beyond the rhetoric of cheering or condemning looters, cheering or condemning the authorities, or simply crying for the victims. "Oh my god, I can't believe this is happening," or "I told you so," or "People are dying!" just send us talking in circles. We want the U.S. (and possibly the world) to launch into the unknown- the total breakdown of the social order- and then continue pushing for a self-organized society.

In wanting this, we encourage drawing out and publicly defending the liberatory activities of the last 6 days and deepening this social rupture by refusing to confine it to the Gulf Coast. Our idea of how: implement concrete forms of solidarity that do not just focus on defense, but on attack.

RIGHT NOW, THE SYSTEM IS EXTREMELY VULNERABLE.

* We are experiencing one one of the largest disruptions of the capitalist economy and the social order since perhaps the L.A.-fueled urban rebellions that rippled across the country in 1992.
* Morale among the authorities is low: One-third of the N.O. police force has deserted and the rest are operating with limited vehicles, fuel, weapons, and communications, National Guardsmen are openly questioning their intervention both in N.O. and Iraq, the N.O. Mayor has broken down publicly...
* Faith and trust in the federal and state authorities is evaporating as aid and rescue resources are strangely absent or diverted. Meanwhile, world watches the starving locals on the nightly news. The National Guard is physically blocking ordinary citizens trying drive aid into N.O.. Bush has his lowest approval rating ever. His rhetoric of 'death to the looters' confuses most people who have, in the last few days, began to sympathize with the looting (see next point). Disgust with the government, and perhaps with government itself, grows.
* Growing defense of unlawful acts. Many everyday Americans are breaking from their lawful routine to justify the looting. As the definition of crime (and survival) shifts, agents of social control begin to weaken.
* A second crisis is threatening the stability of the system: rising gasoline prices. People are asking, when will it stop, who is responsible, and why even pay? Gas theft has skyrocketed and street protests against the hikes are rumbling across the country. This is creating a double crisis and people are mobilizing with the regime up against the wall. Not to mention the military stalemate in Iraq. Can the system be overloaded to the point of collapse? How can we best participate in these crises?

FOLKS IN LOUISIANA AND MISSISSIPPI HAVE RECOGNIZED THIS VULNERABILITY AND ARE ACTIVELY ASSAULTING IT.

* They are physically attacking the social order. The stories of gunfights, arson, and looting keep surfacing: in New Orleans, organized and sporadic attacks on police stations, officers, and National Guard units since the time the hurricane hit (before the flooding) and now fires set to buildings, many of them previously untouchable in the eyes of the poor; and then there is the looting (most notably, guns to carry out further attacks on the system) on a scale far greater than what South Central L.A. experienced in 1992.
* They are undermining capital's dominant social relations. Mass looting throughout the Gulf Coast, some of it quite pre-meditated and some of it outside of the hurricane path. Every account reads as a festive (or nervous) atmosphere with every sector of the population partaking: black, white, Latino, men, women, children, old, young, and even cops and wealthy tourists. The normal forms of exchange have been abandoned and large free markets have been reported on the neutral ground (the median) down some New Orleans streets. And it's not just a big 'fuck you' to those who profit from their needs, but also a defiant stance that everyone is entitled to enjoy themselves- what some would call 'excesses:' beer, televisions, etc.
* The breakdown is spreading: reports of widespread looting in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg and now signs that Memphis and Houston may soon face unrest with all the refugees from N.O.

IF NOW IS THE TIME, THEN WHAT TO DO? (SOME POINTS TO DISCUSS, MODIFY, AND, OF COURSE, ACT UPON)

* Refugees coming to your town? The most significant difference between the L.A. revolt and that of New Orleans, is that L.A. still exists. So far we have seen looting spread to areas where the refugees are sent, so this seems the most obvious way to expand the attack. People used to one week of not paying for anything (and gunfights with the police) of course find it psychologically difficult to walk into a store and revert back to paying (or obey the police)- any petty thief can tell you this. Here in St. Louis, authorities have decided to house hundreds of refugees in an (not-so-) old county jail. Enough said.
* Target the agencies responsible for the brutal neglect and murder of the people of New Orleans. Salvation Army, Red Cross, FEMA, all U.S. Military branches, etc. (More perpetrators keep being uncovered- e.g. Outback Steakhouse was reported to be serving food to rescue workers but denying food to the refugees in central Louisiana.)
* Provide solidarity with 'insurgents' in N.O. It is a very real possibility that the next week will see the federal government engaged in a guerilla conflict with citizens intent on defending their city. Solidarity could means vocal support, material support, and/or attack on our own terrain to spread the insurgency and weaken the forces of order. Any revolt, no matter how wonderful, will suffocate if it's not spread. Their fight is our fight- refuse to be divided from and condemned by potential comrades.
* Be careful what you take from the media reports. Don't believe the government statements. First-hand accounts and even on-the-ground corporate media reports provide a vastly different story than the official line. And it is those stories that must surface so we can't be divided into bad looters and good looters, armed gangs and rescuers, unemployed and workers, etc.
* Harness the sudden spirit of mutual aid. Outsiders are offering help for the displaced. Feelings of mutual aid not only pervade in the looted street markets of battered N.O., but also in those who were not there. But, as usual, it is mostly misdirected to paternalistic aid organizations (Red Cross and Salvation Army- both of which have abandoned the survivors), though housing offers seem to be bypassing these large organizations.

- a handful of St. Louis' unwanted children of capital
September 3, 2005
------------------------------------

* This is the result of discussions between comrades here in St. Louis over the last 6 days concerning the situation just down-river from us- discussions which will no doubt continue. We want to encourage a breaking out of discussions across the country on the implications and potentialities of the post-catastrophe situation in America. This is a hastily written text that we acknowledge has many gaps. Please help us fill them and share any discussions you have had with comrades in your city, whether it be inside or outside the Gulf region. If you want to respond to us directly, please do so as a 'comment.'
 
 

Comments

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

I don't know if you are a jackass, or if you're just trying to grab attention with your stupid rhetoric. Either way, you're an idiot. Grow up a little.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

Those who have lost everything have nothing to lose.
Your're going to have to leave anyway...

WHY NOT MARCH ON WASHINGTON

neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2005/09/4299_comment.php
 

Exactly what are you proposing?

As usual with this kind of rhetoric, you are conveniently vague about what exactly you want people to do. But you seem to be implying that we should use this moment to expand the chaos and blooshed to the whole country, or world. This is just irresponsible and wishful thinking by people without a realistic outlook on social change.

However I agree with you about some points. Solidarity, mutual aid, critical analysis of the media - yes yes yes. And we should definitely discuss the lessons this disaster has taught, but seeking to amplify it is misguided at best, evil at worst.
 

Anarchy in LA! Vets for Peace plea for help...


"THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT HERE! This is anarchy. We need basic supplies ASAP!"

got this from a vet:

Where did the food go from Camp([search]) Casey in Crawford, TX? What about the Medical supplies? How about all the water that was never sucked up in the 109 degree heat of Camp Casey? It got loaded up by the team and members of the Veterans For Peace Chapter 116, Mendocino County, www.vfproadtrips.org and hauled out with Annie and Buddy Spell of the Louisiana Activist Network, coming all the way to as close as Camp Casey could get to the catastrophe in Louisiana. Alberto signed on the
tour in Austin and we were joined by Alex and Ella of Minnesota who spent a lot of time at Camp Casey the past month.

We are here, CAMP CASEY is alive, the food is cooking, and we are handing out supplies to the citizens of the community. We need help. Louisiana
Activist Network and the VFP Chapter 116 are the only ones here in Covington.

We are in the Same Camp, Different Ditch ---
96 degrees today

the ditch is at

Reverend Peter Atkins Park in Covington.
Corner of 28th and Tyler in
Covington. Louisiana

Where we can take mail: 124 E 14th Street, Covington, LA 70433

The Mendocino, CA Chapter (#116) of Veterans for Peace (www.vfproadtrips.org) has joined the Louisiana Activist Network on the corner of Tyler and 28th Street in Covington, LA where we have opened up a soup kitchen and medical station in a public park.

THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT HERE! THE LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD IS NOT HERE. ONLY WE ARE HERE AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS COMMUNITY ARE IN DISTRESS.

We need, immediately, the following:

WATER, WATER, WATER
ice chests with ice
baby supplies (diapers, formula, ointments)
low fat powdered milk
canned foods
fresh fruit
gasoline
additional generators
shelter
flash lights
portable toilets

We, the veterans and activists of Camp Casey are here to stay. Financial donations are useless under these circumstances. This is anarchy. We need basic supplies ASAP!

GEORGE BUSH HAS LET THESE PEOPLE DOWN! IT'S UP TO YOU AND US!

REVEREND PETER ATKINS PARK
CORNER OF 28TH AND TYLER
COVINGTON, LA
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

1st - this is not anarchy. this is disorder. anarchy describes a way of life amongst equal peers based on concensus decision making. armed groups of violent people who exert thier own authority using a gun are not anarchists. they are simply thugs who want to be in control. anarchists are anarchists by choice, through a decision. archist sheep who've lost thier leader and don't know what to do with themselves are not anarchists but they could be (more on that later).

2nd - this is NOT revolution. this is the survival response to a very bad situation. revolution requires planning, organization, resources, and a clear goal. specifically, revolutionary people need to have an idea about what they want to see changed, and then act to change it. merely being forced into a bad situation with no organization or basic survival needs does not consitute the basis of revolution.

all that said, this could be an opportunity to begin revolution.

you have - a lot of people. specifically a lot of people who are and have always been members of an archists society. currently those peoplehave lots thier leader, either through a lack of direct contact with thier leader or through a lack of faith in that leader. so you have a lot of people who are conditioned into being subordinates that have no one to subordinate themselves to. this WOULD be a good opportunity to captialize on that situation and try to build a group of armed revolutionaries, and perpaetuate the disorder in New Orleans, and possibly spread it from there.

however, you must realize that this is an archist behaviour, and would not be an anarchist revoultion.

there is no anarchism in the act of killing someone with a gun. there is no anarchism in controlling someone with the threat of death with a gun. there is no anarchism in attempting to manipulate vunerable people (sheep without a shepard) to further your own cause.

sometimes though, we must make a choice between anarchism and archism, violence and nonviolence. now IS a good opportunity to take care of some shit. it might be better to shelve your anarchist principles long enough to shake up the incredible bullshit of this country.

i personally will not be doing that, but i certainly wouldn't mind if someone else wanted to. and i'd be glad to contribute to any discussion planning or problem solving involved with such an effort.

you are very right that there is an opportunity for anarchism here, though. we have a lot of minds opened up, shocked out of thier pavlovian thinking and behaviour, that might be able to consider anarchism and might be able to critique the way of life they were so brutally and unexpectedly removed from due to this disaster.

now would be a good time to give these people information.

i think the best way for a group to do this would be to mobilize a massive Food Not Bombs effort and give out as much *literature*, food, clothing, shelter, and anything you can get to give to those people. now is the time to discuss how leaders fail you in times of need, how property is theft, and all the things about our current situation that needs to change and all the ways it would be easy for them to change it.

also, on a more directly active note - now would be the time to engage in property destruction in areas effected by this. everything in new orleans and the areas around it was not destroyed. many things were, but EVERYTHING was not. in fact, i'm sure there are LOTS of things that could use a little extra destruction while there isn't an organized police force to stop you from doing it and while the flood waters and chaos takes away any chances of gathering evidence about it, and while the poulation is so transient that a person coming in or going out would not be noticed.

so all you guys with your secret ELF plans that you're just waiting for the right time to implement - now would be the time to go get some shit done. get out the list, go see what can be done to cost those evil corporations a little more money than what nature already cost them.

but please don't hurt anyone, and please don't get hurt.

thanks,
t

(back from asia, but not in st. louis... stuck on the west coast, those of you who know me can email me at fnbmo (at) yahoo.com)
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

1st - this is not anarchy. this is disorder. anarchy describes a way of life amongst equal peers based on concensus decision making. armed groups of violent people who exert thier own authority using a gun are not anarchists. they are simply thugs who want to be in control. anarchists are anarchists by choice, through a decision. archist sheep who've lost thier leader and don't know what to do with themselves are not anarchists but they could be (more on that later).

2nd - this is NOT revolution. this is the survival response to a very bad situation. revolution requires planning, organization, resources, and a clear goal. specifically, revolutionary people need to have an idea about what they want to see changed, and then act to change it. merely being forced into a bad situation with no organization or basic survival needs does not consitute the basis of revolution.

all that said, this could be an opportunity to begin revolution.

you have - a lot of people. specifically a lot of people who are and have always been members of an archists society. currently those peoplehave lots thier leader, either through a lack of direct contact with thier leader or through a lack of faith in that leader. so you have a lot of people who are conditioned into being subordinates that have no one to subordinate themselves to. this WOULD be a good opportunity to captialize on that situation and try to build a group of armed revolutionaries, and perpaetuate the disorder in New Orleans, and possibly spread it from there.

however, you must realize that this is an archist behaviour, and would not be an anarchist revoultion.

there is no anarchism in the act of killing someone with a gun. there is no anarchism in controlling someone with the threat of death with a gun. there is no anarchism in attempting to manipulate vunerable people (sheep without a shepard) to further your own cause.

sometimes though, we must make a choice between anarchism and archism, violence and nonviolence. now IS a good opportunity to take care of some shit. it might be better to shelve your anarchist principles long enough to shake up the incredible bullshit of this country.

i personally will not be doing that, but i certainly wouldn't mind if someone else wanted to. and i'd be glad to contribute to any discussion planning or problem solving involved with such an effort.

you are very right that there is an opportunity for anarchism here, though. we have a lot of minds opened up, shocked out of thier pavlovian thinking and behaviour, that might be able to consider anarchism and might be able to critique the way of life they were so brutally and unexpectedly removed from due to this disaster.

now would be a good time to give these people information.

i think the best way for a group to do this would be to mobilize a massive Food Not Bombs effort and give out as much *literature*, food, clothing, shelter, and anything you can get to give to those people. now is the time to discuss how leaders fail you in times of need, how property is theft, and all the things about our current situation that needs to change and all the ways it would be easy for them to change it.

also, on a more directly active note - now would be the time to engage in property destruction in areas effected by this. everything in new orleans and the areas around it was not destroyed. many things were, but EVERYTHING was not. in fact, i'm sure there are LOTS of things that could use a little extra destruction while there isn't an organized police force to stop you from doing it and while the flood waters and chaos takes away any chances of gathering evidence about it, and while the poulation is so transient that a person coming in or going out would not be noticed.

so all you guys with your secret ELF plans that you're just waiting for the right time to implement - now would be the time to go get some shit done. get out the list, go see what can be done to cost those evil corporations a little more money than what nature already cost them.

but please don't hurt anyone, and please don't get hurt.

thanks,
t

(back from asia, but not in st. louis... stuck on the west coast, those of you who know me can email me at fnbmo (at) yahoo.com)
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

The only responsible thing to do in the disaster area is suspend ordinary rules of commerce and distribute necessary supplies where caches exist: grocery stores, drug stores, Wall Mart, etc. If this isn't being organized by owners, police or national guard, then it falls to whoever is willing to take charge of the situation. If authorities waste their attention on the collateral liberation of consumer electronics, then they need to examine their priorities.

This isn't about capitalism vs communism. The people of N.O. have merely filled a power vacuum, just as you would...or should. Until it's clear that they'll be surrendering to a more responsible and competent force, they should retain control. Help, properly, or get out of the way.

A story, which may or may not turn out to be true, was related by a newpaper publisher in N.O., yesterday, in which he maintains that police disarmed defenders of a business, which had been giving away supplies in an orderly manner, and once they were disarmed, the building succumed to arson, and this led to the chemical warehouse explosion and fire.

If true, there's an important lesson, here...in fact, it doesn't even have to be factual to be true: Halfway measures do more harm than good...until control can be transferred properly, let the people retain power, locally...and if they want to distribute the contents of a Wall Mart, recognize that they probably know some things you don't are probably doing the right thing in most cases. (And in the other cases, should we care right now?)
 

White & Black, Unite Against The Bush Nazis

All People MUST Unite & Not Fight Each Other

Regardless of our race, color, or religious beliefs, we must all come to understand the horrors which our evil "leaders" and their military personnel have brought upon this country and its people. We are now beginning to see how the Bush crime family under the cloak of freedom has brought us only misery, death and shame.

We are not alone; our struggle for justice, freedom and health trancends race and nationality.

Millions of Americans feel they may soon face a similar fate as that which has been perpetrated against the innocent nation of Iraq. The destruction of Iraqis' homes, the murders and tortures of their men, the rape of their women, have all served the U.S. military as a practice session to eventually be used against Americans too.

Others throughout the world have acknowledged the truth of this.

Liars, Thieves, Murderers All Of Them

It is becoming common knowledge that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell, Condi Rice and other traitors (quite possibly together with Israel([search])) helped orchestrate the World Trade Center demolitions on the morning of Sept 11th, 2001 in New York which killed thousands of innocent Americans. They then used the publicized 9/11 event to cultivate support for illegal invasions and to move America toward a police state.

The United States has been seized by a group of criminals; unless we as a people stand together, we will be helpless against them. The Bush crime family has enacted far reaching laws (The Patriot Act, etc.) which the average man doesn't even realize has robbed him of his rights. If we protest, if we speak too loudly now against the government (the President), we can be arrested, perhaps never to be seen again, sometimes even killed.

Do Not Trust The Media

We are not blind; informed Americans know that we have all been deceived by this administration and we are further collectively deceived by a willing, collusive and criminal media which conspires to promote racial hate where there is none.

God willing, the false president and whore George W. Bush and his murdering gang of global oil mongers (to whom his father has sold him) will all be held accountable in a world court for their crimes against humanity ...to suffer their much overdue punishment.

Until this happens, Americans must all be wary of the lies spun on national TV and in the papers. There are enemy saboteurs afoot who work day and night to create public unrest and mistrust between all races. Such an example are these agents firing upon Katrina rescuers, which the mainstream media then distorted and exploited.

What Can Americans Do?

Strive to love your neighbor and your fellow man. Treat them with as much respect, love and compassion as you would have them give you. This is the one, best solution to heal a country in despair and provides a stumbling block to an evil administration's plan to divide our nation.

Love your neighbor in spite of what the media is telling you.


.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

t wrote: 'm sure there are LOTS of things that could use a little extra destruction while there isn't an organized police force to stop you from doing it and while the flood waters and chaos takes away any chances of gathering evidence about it, and while the poulation is so transient that a person coming in or going out would not be noticed.

posse comitatus has been repealed, i believe. the military considers NO a "combat zone" now. [see the army times article linked to elsewhere] on the one hand, this is a blatant opportunity to push a military-as-heroes agenda for the fascist elements in power. OTOH, we have the start of a very ugly series of events, no doubt which can be quickly accelerated by placing the military, who are indoctrinated to kill, into policing capacities :
'Five shot dead' in New Orleans
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4214232.stm

At least five people have reportedly been shot dead by police in the US city of New Orleans
...
New Orleans Deputy Police Chief WJ Riley said the shooting took place while 14 contractors were crossing the Danziger Bridge under police escort.

The contractors came under fire from a group of armed thugs and police officers shot back, killing at least five of them.

None of the contractors was killed.
 

followup to 5 dead story

The Australian is reporting

At least five people shot dead by police as they walked across a New Orleans bridge yesterday were contractors working for the US Defence department...
...
A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers said the victims were contractors on their way to repair a canal, the new agency said, quoting a defence Department spokesman.
...
Early on Sunday, Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley of New Orleans said police shot at eight people, killing five or six.

www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,16494579%5E12377,00.html
 

Get a clue

The Austrailian?????
It makes sense that our most accurate information would be coming out of a newspaper headquarted over 26 hours flying time from New Orleans. Get a clue buddy.
 
Reply: do you have any info to share? / 05 Sep 2005
Reply: got plenty, thanks / 08 Sep 2005

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

I jut tried sending this letter to Cindy Sheehan and posting it to the Code Pink website:

r Cindy:

I've been trying to contact someone who could tell me where you are now and whether I could send $200 to a nearby Kinko's to print copies of the G.I. Rights Hotline poster. (I have a pdf file.)

It occurred to me today that soldiers of all sorts---Guardsmen, those in reserve units, and those from all branches of the Armed Forces---who have distressed or missing family, or family they can't contact in the hurricane zone should be eligible for hardship discharges, or, better yet, "compassionate reassignment" to the hurricane zone, described thus on the G.I. Rights Hotline website:

Hardship or Dependency
You may request a separation if your family or dependents are suffering severe financial, physical, or psychological problems. A few examples are: death of or divorce from your spouse, leaving you the sole parent of a child; disability or death of a parent, leaving others dependent on you for support; or, a long-term physical or mental illness of your spouse which requires your presence at home. There are many other possibilities.
To get this separation you must show that the hardship or dependency is not temporary and has become worse since you entered the military. You must also show that you have tried all possible alternatives to discharge but these attempts have failed and only a discharge can solve the problem.
A "dependent" must be a member of your immediate family and may be your spouse, child, parent, stepparent, sister, brother, or anyone under your legal custody or who depends on you for primary financial support.
If your application is approved, you may receive a complete discharge. Or you may be separated from active duty and transferred to the inactive reserves. If your command decides you do have a hardship, but could probably solve the problem without separation, you may receive a "compassionate reassignment" or "temporary duty" closer to home.

The reason "compassionate reassignment" or even "temporary duty" seem like better ideas than "hardship" discharges is:

1) The military paychecks and health benefits to military families may be the best that those soldiers can offer their families now, since there are no new jobs in the area and many of the old jobs have been destroyed. I know one guy from Vermont who's in Iraq because his wife has a rare illness and she has to have health insurance. So, for soldiers from the hurricane zone, "compassionate reassignment" closer to home might be the best choice---given the need for every sort of help in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama right now.

The problems I see with this strategy are:

1) The G.I. Rights Hotline is all volunteer and seems way understaffed. Often the best they can offer, from their 800 #, is an answering machine that promises a call back in no more than five days. A lot of these guys have probably never heard of a hardship discharge or the G.I. Rights Hotline and its (800) 394-9954 number.

2) If soldiers do learn that "compassionate reassignment," or "temporary duty" in the hurricane zone, or a hardship discharge to rejoin family, are options, the military seems unlikely to let that many soldiers out, even if they qualify. I'm guessing there may be a whole lot of soldiers from those three poor rural states, since the demographics of enlistment in all branches of the service, and in the Guard and Reserves, is more rural than anything else. The military might activate "stop loss" to keep them in Iraq or Afghanistan.

However, it seems like someone---perhaps yourself and/or Code Pink---might start a very persuasive campaign for the "compassionate reassignment" of all soldiers with family in the hurricane zone, to be near their families and help where they're truly needed.

I will try contacting Code Pink Founder Medea Benjamin about this on Tuesday and will also post this suggestion to the Code Pink website. --A.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

comrades;
I have posted your article in my comments section of my blog article a Paradox called Katrina at:
plawiuk.blogspot.com/2005/09/paradox-called-katrina.html
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

This is so full of romantic nonsense that the authors have lost any sense of decency and compassion.

Those suffering in New Orleans are the victims of a President and government agencies blinded by racism AND small bands of criminals raping and tormenting whoever they want.

Where's your sense of solidarity with a Black mother crying out for police or military protection when her daughters were being raped? Or your solidarity with stressed out, exhausted doctors and nurses having to move patients and barricade lower floors to hold off gangs trying to loot their medical supplies?

I saw first hand interviews with these people in the news. Do you think they flew in Hollywood actors to make it up and stage it?

We're not talking about taking food or pampers here. This is not even in the same ball park.

There are true heros in New Orleans. I saw two older Black men with their own boat, going over and over again, up and down what used to be streets, bringing their elderly or handicapped neighbors, to safety, at great personal risk to themselves. Celebrate them, not those with guns making people victims all over again.

And if you think this is falling into a trap of making a distinction between 'good' and 'bad' looters, then I can only pity your warped sense of moral judgement and corrupt notion of solidarity.

I would suggest that the 'St Louis Anarchists' try writing a tract that they could first read to the mother or the medics mentioned above, without turning red with shame, and work their way outwards from there.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

Please repost this in various google usenet groups like groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.noam-chomsky &
 

don't beg

I can't think of a less constructive way for these tens of thousands of dislocate and devestated families to spend their energy than in walking up the entire east coast to ask politicians for things (not to mention that DC is pretty much empty this time of year...maybe by the time they limped in, the politicians would be back from vacation?).

People in these communities need to use all their energy keep themselves together and rebuild their lives--and this will involve resisting military/corporate attempts to rebuild NO as a homogenised capitalist playground. We should use all our energy in solidarity with these efforts to construct new communities from the ground up.

The march on Washington idea goes completely counter to the spirit of the original article, which encourages an independent, insurrectionary and constructive spirit--not the familiar attitude of begging.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

The rupture in Louisiana is far greater than the impact of the 5 or 6 days of rebellion in L.A. in 1992 (slightly longer in Las Vegas) not only because the general destruction is so much greater, the exposure of the vile nature of the state so much more complete, and prospects of protracted struggle over the nature and terms of any recovery so much more intense, but because the entire state of US and even global capital is so much more precarious. In 1992, they moved swiftly to get rid of the first Bush and bring in "new Democrat" Clinton to seek neo-colonial solutions and pass NAFTA; simultaneously, the Federal reserve bank loosened credit dramatically, lowering interest rates and fueling the Clinton "boom" (for the well-to-do; Clinto of course was forced to scrap the welfare system and safety net). But there was lots of construction and money to be made in a wide spectrum. That's not the case anymore, with peak oil, military overextension and host of other ills besetting the rulers and society. Part of the reason the time is now is because they are incapable of ruling in the old way and have lost their moral authority to govern and their capacity to do so effectively. Here's a brief analysis from "Turning the Tide" which I will expand on at the end. it was written in the first couple of days and to fit a small window in that anti-racist journal.

ARA-LA/PART's PERSPECTIVE:
The New World Order, the New Iraq, New Orleans and New Afrika:
Death Throes of an Empire in Decay
by
Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-LA/People Against Racist Terror

Here's a quick pop quiz on meteorology, cosmology and sociology:

The destruction of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta by Hurricane Katrina, and the unrelieved suffering and deaths of tens of thousands, was caused by:

a) the vengeance on a Satanic/sinful/hypocritical America by Allah/Yahweh/Jehovah, for whom the last straw was Pat Robertson's call to assassinate Hugo Chavez
b) an unavoidable, horrific natural disaster that will give America a chance to show it can still roll up its sleeves and rebuild things better than they were before
c) the result of 500 years of racism, colonialism and industrialism, compounded by a decade of heedless profit-oriented neo-liberal and neo-conservative militarism

The answer is obvious even to those most blinded by religion or flag-waving. The heart-rending devastation and the terrible cost in human lives and destroyed homes are driving home to people throughout the U.S. what the people in the region are experiencing directly.

The U.S. social, political and economic system - the Empire - is not only incapable of meeting the most fundamental human needs - it is the immediate cause of irreversible calamity and destruction of the natural and social environment.

The evidence is clear. Scientific debate notwithstanding, the force of the hurricane was indisputably a result of the global warming caused by industrial pollution and its effects on atmospheric and oceanic temperatures. The inability of the New Orleans levee system to withstand the ocean surges and the rain was directly a result of decades of destruction of the surrounding wetlands, compounded by the diversion of needed funding to Iraq and "Homeland Security." The total lack of preparedness and evacuation measures, or of effective rescue operations, was a manifestation of deep-seated racism and class prejudice. It exposed a political economy and society based on individualism and privatization, compounded by the assignment of the bulk of the Mississippi and Louisiana National Guard and their equipment to military duty in Iraq.

The racism of the media that showed white survivors "finding" bread and soda in stores, while Black survivors "looted" supplies from the same stores in the same flood waters was matched only by the state's diversion of police and Guard troops from search and rescue operations to property protection under martial law. Bringing the National Guard troops home immediately from Iraq is all well and good, but what will it gain us if they are dispatched to wage war on the poor, Black and homeless residents of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta?

Reality has smacked us all upside the head with a tragic wake-up call. But where do we go with this new awareness? What do you do when you wake up and discover that the long national nightmare is just beginning?

We need to understand that total social, political and economic transformation - revolution - is on the agenda, now. The "American Way of Life" has demonstrated its unsustainability for all to see. Forget "The Day After Tomorrow" - Hollywood films cannot come close to the actual devastation we are facing today. Is Los Angeles more capable of dealing with the inevitable 9.0 earthquake?

The Empire does not only stand in the way of human and planetary survival; every day of its continued existence makes matters worse. We must begin immediately the process of de-colonization, democratization, decentralization and demilitarization that is our only hope.

For the people of African descent in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Carolina, along with their white and Mexicano/Caribbean neighbors, that means that the rebuilding process must be based in creating a new social order of liberation, collective responsibility and harmony - New Africa, not Dixieland. For the rest of us, it means beginning a similar process of dismantling and opposing the Empire by every means at our disposal. That means turning out massively to the border on September 17-18 to denounce the vigilantes, the coyotes and the Border Patrol. That means mobilizing massively on September 24-25 to demand immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and to stop the war machine. But even more, it means living each day to build unbreakable ties of human solidarity and community while reversing the damage caused by profligate waste of energy and poisoning of the water, air, and soil.

This is the lead editorial in the new issue of "Turning the Tide: Journal of Anti-Racist Action, Research & Education," published by ARA-LA/PART. A free sample copy in the US is available by writing to ARA-LA/PART, PO Box 1055, Culver City CA 90232, calling 310-495-0299, or emailing antiracistaction_la (at) yahoo.com. A one-year, six-issue subscription is $16 ($26US outside the US or to institutions) payable to Michael Novick at the above address.

THe problem is that al though they cannot rule in the old way, we are nowhere close to a capacity to replace them in any short term. Key to doing so is finally grasping the internal colonial nature of US society itself. We must dismantle the imperial state. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama are part of the historic land base of colonized African people in the US. The only way we will develop the capacity to challenge the empire is by breaking the empire down through decolonization, recognizing the sovereignty and self-determination of African, indigenous/Mexican people, supporting Hawaiian sovereignty -- did you know they are trying to liquidate Hawaiian nationality by "recognizing" the Hawaiians as "dependent people, wards of the state," like Native americans on reservations? These are acts of desperation pf am empire in terminal decay. But only by building up authentic class consciousness on the basis of decolonization and conscious resistance to empire can we move forward. Otherwise the likeliest outcome will be a brutal and nakedly white supremacist/"Christian" form of fascism.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

unwanted children of capital

mommy and daddy want nothing to do with them so they give them a lot of money to stay away from home and play at being revolutionaries. This way, they're not an embarrassment around the neighbors and relatives.
 

Real Anarchy in New orleans

sf.indymedia.org/news/2005/09/1719066_comment.php

French Quarter Holdouts Create 'Tribes'
By ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press Writer
Sunday, September 4, 2005

(09-04) 20:28 PDT New Orleans (AP) --

In the absence of information and outside assistance, groups of rich and poor banded together in the French Quarter, forming "tribes" and dividing up the labor.

As some went down to the river to do the wash, others remained behind to protect property. In a bar, a bartender put near-perfect stitches into the torn ear of a robbery victim.

While mold and contagion grew in the muck that engulfed most of the city, something else sprouted in this most decadent of American neighborhoods — humanity.

"Some people became animals," Vasilioas Tryphonas said Sunday morning as he sipped a hot beer in Johnny White's Sports Bar on Bourbon Street. "We became more civilized."

While hundreds of thousands fled the below-sea-level city before the storm, many refused to leave the Vieux Carre, or old quarter. Built on some of the highest ground around and equipped with underground power lines, residents considered it about the safest place to be.

Katrina blew off roof slates and knocked down some already-unstable buildings but otherwise left the 18th and 19th century homes with their trademark iron balconies intact. Even without water and power, most preferred it to the squalor and death in the emergency shelters set up at the Superdome and Convention Center.

But what had at first been a refuge soon became an ornate prison.

Police came through commandeering drivable vehicles and siphoning gas. Officials took over a hotel and ejected the guests.

An officer pumped his shotgun at a group trying to return to their hotel on Chartres Street.

"This is our block," he said, pointing the gun down a side street. "Go that way."

Jack Jones, a retired oil rig worker, bought a huge generator and stocked up on gasoline. But after hearing automatic gunfire on the next block one night, he became too afraid to use it — for fear of drawing attention.

Still, he continues to boil his clothes in vinegar and dip water out of neighbors' pools for toilet flushing and bathing.

"They may have to shoot me to get me out of here," he said. "I'm much better off here than anyplace they might take me."

Many in outlying areas consider the Quarter a playground for the rich and complain that the place gets special attention.

Yes, wealthy people feasted on steak and quaffed warm champagne in the days after the storm. But many who stayed behind were the working poor — residents of the cramped spaces above the restaurants and shops.

Tired of waiting for trucks to come with food and water, residents turned to each other.

Johnny White's is famous for never closing, even during a hurricane. The doors don't even have locks.

Since the storm, it has become more than a bar. Along with the warm beer and shots, the bartenders passed out scrounged military Meals Ready to Eat and bottled water to the people who drive the mule carts, bus the tables and hawk the T-shirts that keep the Quarter's economy humming.

"It's our community center," said Marcie Ramsey, 33, whom Katrina promoted from graveyard shift bartender to acting manager.

For some, the bar has also become a hospital.

Tryphonas, who restores buildings in the Quarter, left the neighborhood briefly Saturday. Someone hit him in the head with a 2-by-4 and stole his last $5.

When Tryphonas showed up at Johnny White's with his left ear split in two, Joseph Bellomy — a customer pressed into service as a bartender — put a wooden spoon between Tryphonas' teeth and used a needle and thread to sew it up. Military medics who later looked at Bellomy's handiwork decided to simply bandage the ear.

"That's my savior," Tryphonas said, raising his beer in salute to the former Air Force medical assistant.

A few blocks away, a dozen people in three houses got together and divided the labor. One group went to the Mississippi River to haul water, one cooked, one washed the dishes.

"We're the tribe of 12," 76-year-old Carolyn Krack said as she sat on the sidewalk with a cup of coffee, a packet of cigarettes and a box of pralines.

The tribe, whose members included a doctor, a merchant and a store clerk, improvised survival tactics. Krack, for example, brushed her dentures with antibacterial dish soap.

It had been a tribe of 13, but a member died Wednesday of a drug overdose. After some negotiating, the police carried the body out on the trunk of a car.

The neighbors knew the man only as Jersey.

Tribe member Dave Rabalais, a clothing store owner, said he thinks the authorities could restore utilities to the Quarter. But he knows that would only bring "resentment and the riffraff."

"The French Quarter is the blood line of New Orleans," he said. "They can't let anything happen to this."

On Sunday, the tribe of 12 became a tribe of eight.

Four white tour buses rolled into the Quarter under Humvee escort. National Guardsmen told residents they had one hour to gather their belongings and get a ride out. Four of the tribe members decided to leave.

"Hallelujah!" Teresa Lawson shouted as she dragged her suitcase down the road. "Thank you, Jesus!"

For Mark Rowland, the leaving was bittersweet.

"I'm heart-broken to leave the city that I love," Rowland said as he sat in the air-conditioned splendor of the bus. "It didn't have to be this way."
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

Finally, some discussion on the newswire, and some of it intelligent.

I agree with tipping points, pwicks, and Carl Davidson's comments.
 

French translation

French translation
Thanks please keep us in touch of any evolution.

[->http://paris.indymedia.org/article.php3?id_article=42417]
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

This is pretty lame.

This is not an oppurtuity for anarchists to "Spark" the masses, it's an opportunity for us to find out if anarchy really works in all situations. There are anarcists in New Orleans right now in Algiers, serving free food and providing free medical assistance, both to victims of the hurricane and to dis-illiusioned national guardsmen who still have trauma from Iraq.

This is not an uprising, it's a response to desperation. People doing laundry in the river arent doing it because they realized it's more "anarchic" or "tribal", theyre doing it because they're clothes are filthy with the shit from the flooded streets, or blood, or sitting in shit at the statdum or the convention center. The river is full of toxins, bodies, and shit as well.

The folks looting guns arent "planning fuutre attacks against the system", thats ridiculous. First-hand accounts say the folks taking guns were most likely involved drug gangs, which have a heavy hand in the New Orleans underground economy.

These folks arent looting food as a revolutionary attack on anything, they just need food. It's so fucked up for folks to treat this like some kind of urban rebellion against "the system". The rebellion is there, yes, through the struggle of the victim and the response of grassroots people, but it's not based on some set of politics. It's based on a fucked up situation.

Fellow anarchists, please don't treat this situation as a chance to spread politics. If people need help, it's an anarchist act to respond to that as best we can, to protect people without a demand for profit, to provide for the needs of others in times when they are vulnerable or helpless. Anarchism doesnt start with attacks against the state, it starts with compassion and love for each other. When we stop seeing people as people, anarchism is over.

I support protests and actions against the folks who fucked the relief effort up, red cross, fema, the NG, the police, the white house, etc. By all means, these folks are responsibile for un-counted deaths and tragedy. But this is not where our energy should be, it should be on providing real-life alternatives to what the government has lacked on, providing real help and problem solving to folks hurt by this storm.

Focus. Life is beautiful and anarchism is about the full experience of life. When folks are in need like this, politics aside, our energy should be there. None of this militant bullshit talk, it sounds like a bunch of people profiteering from disaster.

The best way to destroy the government is to replace the things it has co-opted and stolen with alternatives that work. Now is the time to get our asses in gear.
 

response to 'ryan'

the anarchists weren't trying to 'spark' the masses. the masses 'sparked' the anarchists. hence, they wrote this article.
 

I Agree with Ryan

Read Ryan's comment and Read Kropotkin's "An Appeal to the Young"

Young revolutionarys should also read Richard Shaull's "A Word About Strategy and Tactics." In "Containment and Change", C. Oglesby and Richard Shaull, The MacMillan Company, 1967.

Below are excerpts on the question of whether it is better to work for revolution on the inside or the outside. I happen to be on the inside. The revolution needs people in all places.

The Excerpts:

"The question of whether it is better to work for social renewal from inside or outside the structures has always plagued reformers"

He discusses the pros and cons of each... "Many people give the best years of their lives" on the inside "only to discover that their efforts have accomplished very little."

Those working from outside can "take a more radical position... and preserve their integrity as revolutionary movements..." but, "they may eventually wake up to discover that the battles which most concerned them has been going on elsewhere." Or they might start a new organization, which they might come to discover is "nothing more than an ineffective sect."

Then he goes on to explain that the revolution needs both insiders and outsiders. "A strategy of guerilla action offers the possibility for a redefinition of the problem. In this perspective, the important thing is not whether a group is working for radical change inside or outside the structure, but whether or not it has its own self-identity and base of operations, a clear definition of its goals, and a relevant plan of action -- whatever its relation to and position in a particular institution. From such a base, it may be able to challenge an organization to do what needs to be done, and carve out certain small spheres of relative freedom--within the stucture, where that is possible--from whichto get on with the job.

The important thing here is for those who are most commited to working for change in our society to have their own self-identity; that is, for them to be related to each other in such a way that they can take a position against the ideology, rules, and pressures in the area in which they are working. Only to the degree that this happens will it be possible to analyze a specific situation, develop a new perspective on it, create new models, and work out an effective strategy for action."

Skipping ahead, he says, "Such an approach should avoid doctrinaire attitudes.... These people who have chosen to fight the battle for renewal from position of power within the structures should not be condemned simply because they have chosen this road."

In short, we are many and varied. We all have our individual paths, our strengths and our weaknesses. The insiders strengths can support the outsiders weaknesses, and vice versa. We need each other. Lets follow the long arc toward revolution together.
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

Its tragic behond words what nature has thrust upon the good citizens of N.O.
My commpassion to all....
Im in agreeance that this is an opportunity where the otherwise powerfull control has dropped its gaurd and for those that understand the cultural war have a chance to strike back....
Yes...the cultural war is fighting the immoral self rightious fascists who have no human values....Fight until Bush is in front of a war crimes tribunal...Restore the constitution to how our forefathers intended for our continuing liberty..The people of America must restore this nation now.....The civil war is now..Learn the truth because it is time to decide
 

Re: Now is the Time? Now is the Time!

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
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