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More Tuition Riots in Montreal
04/26/2012, 7:15 PM
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Violence at the Palais Des Congres (montreal student riots)
04/22/2012, 12:10 AM
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le 15 mars, la vengeance – FUCK THE POLICE
03/16/2012, 7:28 PM
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From Anarchist News:

“We flipped over a policecar on rue Sainte-Catherine. Prole stroll. Everyone was like WHOO! and happy kids were dancing on the chassis, happy cuz they were right to be happy.

Banks got their windows broken. Fancy stores too. A lot of garbage got pulled into the streets, and pylons, and heavy signs. You know, the usual. But it’s the moments when the pigs backed off cuz they were scared! It’s the moments when you get away with political crimes in totalitarian Canada! It’s the moments when the pig cruiser is flipped over and you’re highfiving strangers becuz you’re happy and they’re happy and this is a moment to cherish. Prole stroll!

LE 15 MARS, LA VENGEANCE

We could’ve done better, but we did what we did, and this was the one day when the pacifists weren’t out in force and the people who get harassed by the police on a daily basis were letting loose and we got to share some knowing looks with some of the kids we haven’t seen since this time last year. This was our day, our night. Prole stroll!

SOME REACTIONARY MEDIA:
Journal de Montréal (en français): http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2012/03/15/le-spvm-demande-la-collabora…
et http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2012/03/15/manifestation-contre-la-brut… (en français aussi)

Montreal Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Anger+tears+anti+police+brutality+ma…

CTV News: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20120315/montreal-police-anti-viole…

CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/03/15/anti-police-brut…

Some comrades are in jail. Many people, perhaps not yet aware of the fact that we live in a surveillance society, did things that perhaps they should not have done with their faces unconcealed. What happens next is hard to say. Maybe the pacifists who got beaten with police batons when they sat in front of cops will have learned their lesson by now! And maybe anarchists can figure out a way to be half as badass as some of the people who were on the streets tonight.

The city is begging the province for more help with the security crisis: student demos everyday with more to come, and now this, the biggest March 15 in years, prole stroll like we ain’t seen outside of a hockey riot, what is sure to be a big embarassment to North America’s crowd control experts. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO DO. Onward to March 22, onward to May Day, onward to the continental general strike and the infinite strike! Until neither the SPVM nor any other police agency nor any other institution of domination exist, our work isn’t done.

And to the kids who looted Future Shop and got some PS3s, MAD RESPECT. We GET what we can TAKE.

Let’s save the lucid updates are for when the sun rises.”



The Chicago Conspiracy

The Burnt Bookmobile now carries copies of this documentary on DVD for $10 each.

Description from Subversive Action Films website:

“The Chicago Conspiracy is a documentary three years in the making. The project was filmed in Chile, and the story extends into the Mapuche indigenous lands of Wallmapu. The concept for the film was born with the death of a former military dictator. We celebrated in the streets of Santiago with thousands of people after hearing the news: General Augusto Pinochet was dead. His regime murdered thousands and tortured tens of thousands after the military coup on September 11, 1973. We celebrated both his death and the implication that the political and economic system which put him in power might itself be mortal. We began this documentary with the death of a dictator, but we continue with the legacy of a dictatorship.

The Chicago Conspiracy takes its name from the approximately 25 Chilean economists who attended the University of Chicago and other prestigious universities beginning in the 1960s to study under the neoliberal economists Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger. After embracing Friedman’s neoliberal ideas, these economists returned to assist Pinochet’s military regime in imposing free market policies. They privatized nearly every aspect of society, and Chile soon became a classic example of free market capitalism under the barrel of a gun.

The military coup was a conspiracy initiated by the upper classes in Chile and assisted by their international counterparts. The military’s action and its support from the CIA was executed on the pretext that the president at the time, Salvador Allende, a reformist and supporter of the democratic state, was actually a militant Marxist revolutionary. They claimed his government included a secret Plan Z that would establish a system similar to communist Cuba. The military has never successfully proven the existence of this plan.

he Chicago Conspiracyis a new vision of the military coup that does not focus on the story of the Allende government. Even before Allende’s election, there were armed revolutionary organizations throughout Chile, such as the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR). During the course of Allende’s rule, some factions believed that a reformist government would never bring an end to the capitalist system. This was the main group to lead an armed defense against the military once the coup was initiated. As the dictatorship took hold, the number of nationwide armed organizations grew to include MAPU-Lautaro and the communist Patriotic Front of Manuel Rodriguez (FPMR) in addition to the MIR.

The Chicago Conspiracy begins on March 29, 1985. On this day, two young brothers and militants of the MIR, Rafael and Eduardo Vergara, were gunned down by police as they walked through the politically active community Villa Francia. Recent investigations by the Chilean government have proven that the brothers were targeted by police; like so many young people before them, they were murdered by politically motivated assassins. Their community responded by creating a day of memory and protest, the Day of the Youth Combatant. Their older brother Pablo Vergara was later blown up in the southern Chilean city of Temuco in 1988.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about today. Following a national plebiscite in 1988, Pinochet ended his rule in 1990. The political classes in Chile only allowed the country to vote an end to the dictatorship out of growing fear of armed insurrection. 1990 brought a democratic government to Chile that continues to further the same neoliberal economic policies that were put into place by the dictatorship. Throughout the film, we follow the social discontent that exists to this day. We explore the legacy of a dictatorship.

The Chicago Conspiracyis about the students who fight a dictatorship-era educational law put into place on the last day of military rule. Over 700,000 students went on strike in 2006 to protest the privatized educational system. Police brutally repressed student marches and occupations.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the Day of the Youth Combatant. March 29 is not only about the Vergara brothers–it is a day to remember all youth combatants who have died under the dictatorship and current democratic regime.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the neighborhoods lining the outskirts of Santiago. They were originally land occupations, and later became centers of armed resistance against the military dictatorship. A number of them, such as la Victoria and Villa Francia, continue as areas of confrontational discontent to this day.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the Mapuche conflict. The Mapuche people valiantly resisted Spanish occupation, and continue to resist the Chilean state and the multinational corporations who strip Mapuche territory for forestry plantations, mines, dams, and farming plantations. The government has utilized the dictatorship-era anti-terrorism law to jail Mapuche community members in struggle. Two young weichafes (Mapuche warriors), Alex Lemún and Matías Catrileo, were recently killed by Chilean police-one in 2002, the other in 2008.

The Chicago Conspiracy is a response to a global conspiracy of neoliberalism, militarism, and authoritarianism.”



Strategizing for the Austerity Era

Some notes and reflections made by Crimethinc on the Look To Wisconsin Conference, which took place in Milwaukee last month (these are conclusions made by individuals from Crimethinc, and not some consensus made by the conference attendees):

On May 20-21, anarchists and fellow travelers gathered in Milwaukee for a small conference about the ongoing crisis of capitalism. In the final discussion, people from around the US compared notes on recent anti-austerity protests, focusing chiefly on the student movement in California and the recent protests in Wisconsin. We’ve summarized some of the conclusions here in hopes they can be useful in the next phase of anarchist organizing.

So far, anarchists have not been very successful in contributing to anti-austerity protests in the US. Starting in December 2008, anarchist participation in school occupations was instrumental in kick-starting a student movement, but by March 4, 2010 this movement was dominated by liberal and authoritarian organizing; it subsequently ran out of steam. More recently, anarchists participated in the occupation of the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin in protest against anti-union legislation and occupied a university building in Milwaukee, without substantial impact on the course of events.

It’s troubling that we’ve had such limited success in a context that should be conducive to our efforts. Eleven years ago, during the high point of the anti-globalization movement, anarchist participants were essentially the militant edge of an activist movement addressing issues that were distant from many people’s day-to-day needs. Today, the livelihoods of millions like us are on the line; people should be much more likely to join in revolt now than they were a decade ago. If this isn’t happening, it indicates that we’re failing to organize effectively, or that the models we’re offering aren’t useful.

European anarchists have had more success, but they benefit from a richer and more continuous lineage of social movements. In the US, the birthplace of the generation gap, our task is not just to intensify ongoing struggles, but to generate new fighting formations—a much greater challenge. We seem to go through one generation of anarchists after another without any gains. Although our predecessors rightly caution us against measuring our efforts in purely quantitative terms, we can’t hope to overthrow capitalism by our own isolated heroics, turning the world upside down one newspaper box at a time.

A small fire demands constant tending.
A bonfire can be let alone.
A conflagration spreads.

We have to figure out how to connect with everyone else who is suffering and angry. To that end, here are some observations and proposals derived from the conversations in Milwaukee.

—The anti-austerity protests in Wisconsin are not the last of their kind; on the contrary, they herald the arrival of a new era. It is paramount that we learn from our early failures to develop a more effective strategy for engaging in these conflicts.

—In Madison, anarchists largely focused on establishing infrastructure for the occupation. This is not the first time anarchists have contributed their organizational skills to an essentially liberal protest. At the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, about 100,000 people participated in demonstrations; this included thousands of anarchists, many of whom limited themselves to logistical roles. Afterwards, this was recognized as a tremendous missed opportunity—hence the efforts to take the lead in planning actions at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Our task is not just to facilitate protests of whatever kind, but to ensure that they threaten the flows of capital—that they create a situation in which people abandon their roles in maintaining the current order. To this end, we have to seize the initiative to organize actions as well as infrastructure. Clashes with the state will be more controversial than free meals and childcare, but this controversy has to play out if we are ever to get anywhere.

—A wide range of sources concur that the occupation of the capitol building in Madison was undermined one tiny compromise at a time. First the police politely asked people not to be in one room—and they were being so nice about everything that no one could say no. Then they gently asked people to vacate another, and so on until the dumbfounded former occupiers found themselves out on the pavement. This underlines an important lesson: the first compromise might as well be the last one. Whenever we concede anything, we set a precedent that will be repeated again and again; we also embolden our enemies. We have to be absolutely uncompromising from the beginning to the end.

In popular struggles, anarchists can be the force that refuses to yield. We can also pass on our hard-won analyses to less experienced protesters—for example, emphasizing that however friendly individual police officers might be, they cannot be trusted as long as they are police. To do these things, however, we have to be in the thick of things, not looking on from the margins.

—A common complaint from the more combative participants in the Madison occupation was that leftist organizations had already gained the initiative and determined the character of the protest. Anarchists were afraid to act, taking the leftist control of the narrative as an indication that there was nothing they could do. Indeed, after the end of the occupation, liberal organizers channeled the remaining momentum into a recall campaign confined to the electoral sphere.

In fact, in circumstances like the capitol occupation, there’s nothing to lose. The solutions promoted by authoritarian leftists and liberals don’t point beyond the horizon of capitalism; even when they aren’t utterly naïve, they’re no better than the right-wing agenda, in that they serve to distract and neutralize those who desire real change. Where the field is split between left-wing and right-wing, we may as well disrupt this dichotomy by acting outside of it. Even if we fail, at least we show that something else is possible.

—One Wisconsin anarchist proposed that we should distinguish between two strategic terrains for action. Some events, such as the occupation of the capitol building in Madison, function as tremendous spectacles; the most we can hope to accomplish is to interrupt them, forcing a more challenging narrative into the public discourse. Other spaces that are under less pressure, like the occupation of the theater building in Milwaukee, offer an opportunity to develop new social connections and critiques.

In the latter, we can create new channels for discussion and decision-making that will serve us well in subsequent confrontations. We can measure our effectiveness by how well we accomplish this, not just by the material damage inflicted on targets or the numbers of people who show up to demonstrations.

In upheavals such as the one in Wisconsin, we can unmask authoritarian domination of resistance movements and debunk the idea that the democratic system can solve the problems created by capitalism.

—At no point during the buildup to the protests of March 4, 2010 or the occupations in Wisconsin did anarchists establish an autonomous, public organizing body to play a role such as the RNC Welcoming Committee played at the 2008 RNC or the PGRP played at the 2009 G20. This was a strategic error that enabled liberal and authoritarian organizers to monopolize the public discourse around the protests and determine their character and conditions in advance. In the Bay Area, the word on the street was that anarchists had established some sort of back-room deal with public organizers that the latter reneged on. This betrayal should come as no surprise: without the leverage afforded by public organizing of our own, we can always expect to be hoodwinked and betrayed by those who don’t share our opposition to hierarchical power.

We need public, participatory calls and organizing structures, both to offer points of entry to everyone who might want to fight alongside us and to make it impossible for authoritarians to stifle revolt by arranging the battlefield to be unfavorable for it. Public organizing can complement other less public approaches; often, it’s necessary to render them possible in the first place. Compare the 2008 RNC and 2009 G20 to March 4, 2010.

—As capitalism renders more and more people precarious or redundant, it will be harder and harder to fight from recognized positions of legitimacy within the system such as “workers” or “students.” Last year’s students fighting tuition hikes are this year’s dropouts; last year’s workers fighting job cuts are this year’s unemployed. We have to legitimize fighting from outside, establishing a new narrative of struggle. Who is more entitled to occupy a school than those who cannot afford to attend it? Who is more entitled to occupy a workplace than those who have already lost their jobs?

If we can accomplish this, we will neutralize the allegations of being “outside agitators” that are always raised against those who revolt. Better, we will transform every austerity conflict into an opportunity to connect with everyone else that has been thrown away by capitalism. Our goal should not be to protect the privileges of those who retain their jobs and enrollment, but to channel outrage about everything that capitalism has taken from all of us.

—Anti-austerity protests may offer a new opportunity to resume the practice of convergence so important in the anti-globalization era. Anarchists could respond to upheavals like the one in Wisconsin by converging on these “hotspots” to force things to a head. But this would require local communities to be ready to host visitors—to have the necessary resources prepared in advance. These resources include food and housing, but also a relationship with the general public and leverage on the authorities, such as the Pittsburgh Organizing Group built up in the years leading up to the successful demonstrations against the 2009 G20.

—Between peaks of protest, we can attempt to connect with social circles that could be politicized. Punks entered the anti-globalization movement with a preexisting anticapitalist critique and antagonism towards authority, thanks to two decades of countercultural development. This enabled them to escalate the situation immediately, shifting the discourse from reform to revolution. The more people enter anti-austerity struggles thus equipped, the less time will be wasted relearning old lessons.

—In addition to exacerbating the contradictions inherent in the financial crisis, we should undertake to make life in upheavals more pleasurable and robust than workaday life. Those who participate in wildcat strikes and occupations should experience these as more exciting and fulfilling than their usual routines, to such an extent that it becomes possible to imagine life after capitalism. As many anarchists live in a permanent state of exclusion, making the best of it despite everything, we should be especially well-equipped to assist here.

In this regard, there is a real need for infrastructures that can provide for the practical needs of those who wrest themselves out of the functioning of the economy. But these infrastructures should not be simply ad hoc protest logistics; they must demonstrate the feasibility of radically different systems of production and distribution.

There is probably some new way of engaging, some “new intelligence” appropriate to this era that we haven’t discovered yet; the formats we retain from the past may not serve us now. There is much experimenting to be done. Dear friends, may you succeed where others have failed.



unlimited wild general strike

General Strike – \’jen-rəl ‘strɪk\  (noun) A mass strike in all trades, sectors, and industries in all parts of a city, state, or country.

Unlimited Strike – \un-‘li-mə-təd ‘strɪk\ (noun) An indefinite strike, which begins with no pre-established date for an ending, and will continue until the workers’ collectively decide on its conclusion.

Wildcat Strike – \’wɪ(-ə)l(d)-kat  ‘strɪk\ (noun) An unauthorized strike that has not been called or sanctioned by the bureaucracy of a labor union.

In the face of orderly protests and permitted rallies, Scott Walker’s coveted bill has unsurprisingly managed to slink its way through the legislature.  With only sanctioned protests on the horizon, appeals for calm are the only audible words to be heard, while a stifling silence has become the official response to any prospect for continued resistance.  The union bureaucrats, who yesterday thundered demands from the podiums, now quietly ask us to return to work in the very same voice they use to whisper in a politician’s ears.  Despite their various machinations to maintain passive consent and defeat, a specter continues to hover over the enraged state of Wisconsin: unlimited wild general strike.

In a strange mix of anger and excitement, we’ve watched each other change. As our confidence grew, we began to recognize a hidden potential we never thought we had.  If anything was achieved in the past few weeks it was this – and be sure nothing this powerful could ever be conceived in a boardroom with an executive mandate.  The storming of the Capitol building, the occupation of the theater, and the countless acts of sabotage were the undeniable manifestation of popular rage. Until everything around us reflects our newfound temperament, we’ll be forced to proceed with an ever-increasing fury. Each step forward makes turning back a more cowardly act of betrayal.  Every sign leads in one direction: unlimited wild general strike.

Students, abandon your desks.

Employees, desert your cubicles.

The grand finale will be staged on a crowded boulevard.

Anyone who tells you “no” has joined the other side.

Unlimited Wild General Strike.



Doors Superglued Before UWM Protests Over Walker Budget

According to TMJ4 (local news):

“MILWAUKEE – The fight over Governor Scott Walker’s budget is getting sticky.

Literally sticky.

TODAY’S TMJ4’s Diane Pathieu confirmed that doors at Chapman, Curtin, Mellencamp, Mitchell and Sabin Halls all had doors with superglue in the locks on Monday.

She said those doors were opened before 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.  No classes were affected.

Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s Jodi Becker confirmed that the doors to the Sendik’s on Downer Avenue were also glued shut.

UWM campus police believed it was a sign of protest, but organizers of a campus rally later Monday afternoon say they didn’t have anything to do with it.

College students are angry over what the bill may mean for them, and they are making their thoughts known in protests.

They were to hold a rally on Monday afternoon in reaction to Walker’s budget, which would split UWM and UW-Madison from the UW system.”

Video




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