Category Archives: anarchy

Islamophobia and Anarchism – call for articles

(English and French version below – contact dysophia~at~riseup.net

http://dysophia.wordpress.com

ديصوفيا هي مجلة أناركية مستقلة وذات ميزانية قليلة تنوي متابعة بحثها الناجح في موضوع معاداة السامية وذلك من خلال استكشاف قضايا حول الإسلام والعنصرية المعادية للإسلام من منظو أناركي. نحن على وعي كناشطيين مقرهم في المملكة المتحدة أن هناك الكثير من النقص لنقاش ذا نطاق أوسع وهناك حاجة لتحليل مفصل ودقيق.

بالتحديد نحن نود ان نكتشف كيف يمكن لأناركيو الغرب (وذلك بالمجتمعات التي تسودها المسيحية):

  • إظهار التضامن مع من يتعرض للعنصرية المعادية للإسلام

  • إظهار التضامن مع الرفاق اللذين يسكنون في مناطق يسود فيها الإسلام كنظام أيديولوجي

  • التقرب من التحديات التي تلقى من قبل الأصولية الإسلامية من غير لعب دور في الأغراض العنصرية الإمبريالية الحالية التي تشوه صورة المجتمعات المسلمة في الغرب بالإضافة على التأكيد على سياسة إثارة الحرب الإمبريالية الحالية

نحن نأمل أن يفتح هذا الإصدار الأبواب لنقاش نقدي ويأخذ بالحركة الأناركية للأمام. وبالتالي نحن نحث الأناركيين الذين يعيشون في مجتمعات يسود فيها الإسلام كقوة مسيطرة على تقديم أوراق بحث تناقش كل أو أحد المواضيع التالية:

  1. تواصل الأناركييون في المجتمعات الإسلامية مع الإسلام ذاته وكيفية تأثير ثقافة مجتمعاتهم على تشكيل توجهاتهم الاناركية

  2. كيفية فهم ال-إسلاموفوبيا (الخوف من الإسلام) والتعصب ذات الصلة في الغرب

  3. كيف يمكن للأناركييون في الغرب مناصرة رفاقهم من البلدان ذات الأغلبية المسلمة (من ضمنها كمثال التدخلات الغربية وتصوراتها في الربيع العربي)

  4. إمكانية الاناركيين الذين يقطنون في الغرب مناصرة المجتمعات المسلمة هناك وبنفس الوقت مواصلة مناصرهم للسياسات المناهضة للتمييز كتللك التي تتمحور حول الجندر والجنسانية وغيرها (على سبيل المثال: كيفية التجاوب مع المظاهرات المناهضة لقانون الشريعة وتركيز التيار اليميني على الجوانب الأصولية للدين وتبرير الإعتداءات بالإضافة الى تشويه صورة السكان المسلميين ومن ضمتها الكاريكاتور المسييء للرسول محمد)

  5. تأثير الحرب على الإرهابعلى نشاطهم السياسي

  6. المنظور الأناركي للطبقية والجندر والجنسانية في السياق الإسلامي

ثانيا نحن نود أن نسمع من الأناركيين الذين يعّرفون أنفسهم بأنهم من خلفية مسلمة والذين يعيشون في الغرب ومن يودون إيصال تجاربهم حول السياسات وال-إسلاموفوبيا (الخوف من الإسلام). نحن مهتمون أيضا بالسماع من أناركيين يعّرفون خلفيتهم الثقافية كغربية ولكنهم يمتلكون منظورا يودون المشاركة به.

وأخيرا نحن مهتمون بسماع وقائع من مجموعات اناركيية من دول أغلبيتها العظمى مسلمة وذلك لإتاحة فرصة التعلم عن نشاطاتهم التي لا تصل أخبارها لإولئك المهتمين في الغرب. في حال وصلنا العديد من هذه الوقائع سيتم نشرها في إصدار منفصل.

يمكن أن يصل حجم المقال الى حد 3000 كلمة ونحن نبحث عن أعمال سهلة اللغة للجميع بدلا من أوراق أكاديمية ملأى بلغة صعبة. نحن نرحب بأي مواد تصويرية أيضا. نحن ننشر إصداراتنا باللغة الإنجليزية ولكن في حال كانت كتاباتكم بلغات أخرى أو أنكم تجدون صعوبة باللغة الإنجليزية الرجاء الإتصال معنا بأقرب فرصة وذلك لبحث إمكانية توفر ترجمة من قبلنا. سيتم حماية السرية في حال تم طلب ذلك ومن خلال نماذج اتصال آمنة مثل (pgp/gpg). نود أن تصلنا كافة الأوراق بتاريخ 31 آذار كحد أقصى.

في حال وجود أي أسئلة الرجاء الإتصال بنا للإجابة عليها. الرجاء أيضا نشر هذا الإعلان لمن تجدوه مهتما.

محررو ديصوفيا

 

 

Dysophia, an independent anarchist zine, is planning a follow on from its successful look at antisemitism by exploring issues around Islam and anti-Muslim racism from an anarchist perspective. We are aware that, as UK-based activists, much is missing from the wider discussion and more nuanced analysis is needed.

In particular, we would like to explore how anarchists in the ‘West’ (that is, Christian-dominated societies) can:
* show solidarity with those experiencing anti-Muslim racism;
* show solidarity with comrades who live in places where Islam is a dominant ideology; and
* approach the challenges thrown up by Islamic fundamentalism without playing into current imperialist / racist tendencies that demonize Muslim communities in the West and underscore current imperialist warmongering.

We hope that this publication will open up critical discussion that can take the anarchist movement forward. Thus, we are soliciting articles from anarchists living in societies where Islam is a dominant force, which discuss all or some of the following issues:

i) how they relate to Islam itself and how the culture of their society affects and shapes their approaches to anarchism;

ii) how they perceive Islamophobia and related racisms in the ‘West’;

iii) how anarchists in the ‘West’ can show solidarity with comrades in Muslim-majority countries (including, for example, during Western states’ interventions in and portrayals of the ‘Arab spring’);

iv) how anarchists living in the West can demonstrate solidarity with Muslim communities here, while sustaining anti-discrimination politics such as that around gender, sexuality, etc. (for example, how could we respond to protests against sharia law, right wing focusing on fundamentalist elements of religion as an attack on all, demonisation of Muslim populations, cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed).

v) how the ‘War on Terror’ has affected their political activity;

vi) anarchist perspectives on class, gender and sexuality in the context of Islam.

Secondly, we would like to hear from anarchists who identify as having a Muslim background who live in the West and would like to communicate their experiences and politics around islamophobia. We are also interested in hearing from anarchists who cultural identification is Western, but feel they have a perspective they would like to contribute.

Finally, we are interested in hearing accounts from anarchist groups in Muslim-majority countries so that others can learn about their activities, as often those in the West do not get to hear about them. If there are enough of these, we will turn them into a separate publication.

Article size can be up three thousand words, and we are looking for pieces that are accessible to everyone rather than not jargon-heavy academic tracts. Images gratefully received. We will be publishing in English, though if you have writings in another language, or will struggle with English please get in contact first as we may be able to sort out translations. We will protect anonymity whenever requested and have secure forms of communication if desired, including pgp / gpg. We would like to get submissions in by 31st March if possible.

If you have any questions then do not hesitate to ask. Please feel free to forward on.

The Dysophia Editors

dysophia~at~riseup.net
http://dysophia.wordpress.com

————————————————————————–

L’APPEL (version française):

Suite au succès de son numéro sur l’antisémitisme, Dysophia, un zine anarchiste indépendant en anglais, a désormais décidé d’explorer la question de l’Islam et du racisme antimusulman d’un point de vue anarchiste. Nous sommes en effet conscients des limites du débat sur cette question au sein des cercles militants au Royaume-Uni, ainsi que de la nécessité d’une analyse plus nuancée.

Tout d’abord, nous tenons à poser la question de la possibilité pour les anarchistes des pays occidentaux (c’est-à-dire de sociétés influencés par le christianisme) de :

* Faire preuve de solidarité envers ceux qui sont victimes de racisme antimusulman ;
* Faire preuve de solidarité envers nos camarades qui vivent dans des lieux où l’islam est l’idéologie dominante ;
* Répondre aux défis posés par le fondamentalisme islamique tout en s’opposant aux tendances impérialistes et racistes qui diabolisent les communautés musulmanes en occident et qui apportent leur soutien au bellicisme et aux guerres impérialistes.

Nous espérons que cette publication ouvrira une discussion critique afin de faire avancer le mouvement anarchiste. Ainsi, nous souhaitons recevoir des articles écrits par des anarchistes qui vivent dans des sociétés où l’Islam est une force dominante et traitant des points suivants :

i) leur relation à l’Islam en soi, et la façon dont la culture de leur société modifie et façonne leurs approches de l’anarchisme ;

ii) la façon dont ils perçoivent l’islamophobie et le racisme lié a l’Islam en « occident » ;

iii) comment, selon eux, les anarchistes en « occident » peuvent faire preuve de solidarité avec leurs camarades dans les pays à majorité musulmane (y compris, par exemple, lors d’interventions militaires
occidentales ou par rapport aux représentations du « Printemps Arabe » par les médias et Etats occidentaux) ;

iv) comment les anarchistes peuvent faire preuve solidarité envers les communautés musulmanes en « occident », tout en conservant une ligne politique d’opposition à toute discrimination sur la base du sexe, de la sexualité, etc. (par exemple, comment réagir aux manifestations contre la loi de la charia, comment s’opposer au discours de la droite qui assimile toute la communauté musulmane à ses éléments les plus fondamentalistes, que faire face à la diabolisation des populations musulmanes ou encore
face aux dessins représentant le prophète Mahomet ?).

v) comment la « guerre contre le terrorisme » a-t-elle affecté leurs activités politiques ;

vi) le point-de-vue des anarchistes sur les problèmes de classe, de sexe et de sexualité dans le contexte de l’Islam.

Deuxièmement, nous recherchons des contributions d’anarchistes se considérant comme d’origine musulmane et vivant en «occident». Nous sommes intéressés par leurs expériences de l’islamophobie et leur action
politique en réponse. Les contributions d’anarchistes se considérant avant tout comme d’affiliation culturelle « occidentale » mais qui désirent proposer leur point-de-vue sur ces questions sont également bienvenues.

Enfin, nous sommes intéressés par des récits d’expériences de groupes anarchistes dans les pays à majorité musulmane afin que d’autres puissent découvrir leur activités, puisqu’il est rare que les anarchistes en «occident » aient l’occasion d’en entendre parler. S’il nous recevons suffisamment de contributions dans ce domaine, nous en ferons une publication séparée.

Les articles peuvent aller jusqu’à trois mille mots et doivent être rédigés de manière accessible à tous et dans la mesure du possible sans jargon académique. Les images et illustrations sont appréciées. *La
publication finale sera en anglais*, mais si vous écrivez dans une autre langue, contactez nous à l’adresse ci-dessous et nous essayerons d’organiser une traduction de votre article.

Provisoirement, la date limite d’envoi des contributions est fixée au 31 mars. Toutefois, contactez nous si vous avez l’intention de contribuer mais ne pouvez pas le faire pour cette date.

Nous protégeons l’anonymat de tous ceux qui le demandent et disposons également de moyens de communication sécurisés, y compris PGP / GPG, si nécessaires.

Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter et n’hésitez pas à faire circuler cet appel.

Merci par avance,

Les Editeurs de Dysophia
dysophia~at~riseup.net
http://dysophia.wordpress.com

 

 

Views on London Riots

Courtesy of Variant magazine from Glasgow.

Darcus Howe, a West Indian Writer and Broadcaster with a voice about the riots.

An open letter to those who condemn looting (Part one)

Anarchists respond to the London riots – Solidarity Federation

Britain and its Rabble

A message to a country on fire

Moral Economy of the Crowd

A CALL FOR MORE UNDERSTANDING AND LESS MORALISING

Nothing ‘mindless‘ about rioters

There is a context to London’s riots that can’t be ignored

via Mute – A quick round-up of media which doesn’t fall into the backlash category

Criminality and Rewards – Max von Sudo

Toronto G20 update

*please forward widely**

JUNE 2010 G8/G20 CONVERGENCE
http://g20.torontomobilize.org

Join our announcements list
email [email protected]

and the facebook group
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=236150947036

Twitter: http://twitter.com/g20mobilize

ANNOUNCEMENTS and EVENTS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Things are getting exciting!
2. Art all the time at the People’s Summit
3. You coming to Toronto in an Affinity Group?
4. Important news from the Legal Team
5. Please donate to the Convergence Centre
6. Dancing interlude! Listen to the new G8 remix

EVENTS

7. Workshop on Independent Media and Alternative Media
8. Convergence Centre Opening Part-ay!
9. Halladay Yes! G20 No!
10. Direct Action Training
11. Know Your Rights Training

*** 12. People’s Summit Final Plenary: the G20 and G8 – All of Your
Questions Answered!***

13. Week of Action!

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EXCITEMENT!
Just a shout out to all the folks in Toronto and beyond who have been working so hard to make this convergence an exciting one. We have our convergence centre up and running (1266 Queen Street West, at Noble) and people are slowing filtering into town and the buzz is in the town! We all look forward to building stronger relationships and showcasing the strength and creativity in our communities!

Just a reminder for folks that we still need housing for out of town activists. If you can adopt an activist, please go the below links to fill out a form.

• If you need housing, please go here:
http://g20.torontomobilize.org/visitorhousing

• If you can provide housing, please go here:
http://g20.torontomobilize.org/housingform

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ART ALL THE TIME AT PEOPLE’S SUMMIT

Art is a vital form of expression we have against the G20. The arts committee has been hard at work making banners and posters. If you want to get involved, you’ll have a chance to help out at the People’s Summit.

We’ll be meeting for the whole weekend at the Community Commons in the HUB Cafeteria to make beautiful art! And learn now!

Here is the breakdown of what is happening (but times are not set):

Saturday June 19:
Morning: hands on screen printing shirts and button making
Afternoon: Silk Screening

Sunday June 20
Morning: Placards
Afternoon: Puppets, Environmental Justice banner making and making hot pink capes and arm bands

If you can donate to the art committee, please bring the following supplies:

— paint brushes
— pink fabric
— green fabric
— staples for staple gun
— paint
— drop cloth
— screen printing inks, squeegees
— stencil/placard material
— markers, chalk, cutters

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CALL FOR AFFINITY GROUPS

Many of the actions during the G8/G20 are being organized around or welcome an affinity group structure. We encourage people to form affinity groups with trusted friends, lovers, comrades, etc.

An affinity group is a small group of people, about 3-10 or so, who are interested in similar tactics and have similar levels of comfort. They can be thought of as the basic building block of the larger, decentralized group that we will form during many of the actions. In a demonstration, affinity groups are able to communicate and make decisions quickly and autonomously, and can act with greater efficiency and safety.

We’ve got a month and a half to get ready for this! Let’s gather in the secret, quiet places, and discuss with our trusted buddies what would excite and inspire us. Then, once we share a vision, let us scheme how to create it. Here are some things to think about when preparing as an affinity group:

-Comfort level – what sort of things are you willing or not willing to do?

-Legal preparations – How will you deal with arrests?

-Getting used to working as a group – In the coming weeks, make some time to go adventuring together.

-Have a plan – What sort of roles will your affinity group take on during the events? What are you good at? How will you apply those skills?

-Material preparations – What will you need to bring to do what you need to do? Don’t forget water!

Once you have an affinity group, SOAR wants you to get involved with the planning of autonomous actions, particularly for Sunday, June 27th. In the coming weeks, SOAR will be organizing spokes councils, where representatives from affinity groups can come help plan the details of actions, and to plug in by committing to taking on certain roles as a group. If you are interested in attending such a meeting, drop a line to torontospokes @ ecologyfund.net. And of course, the internet is not a safe place to discuss any specifics of these actions.

All SOAR events celebrate a diversity of tactics, meaning that we support all the many different ways that people choose to resist our common enemies. We will not condemn or attempt to prevent or control actions being taken by others, and will vigorously resist state repression against anyone. That said, respect for diversity of tactics also means not smashing things while part of a child-friendly march.

The Toronto Community Mobilization Network statement on Respect and Solidarity can be found at:
http://g20.torontomobilize.org/SolidarityRespect

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE LEGAL TEAM!

The Legal Team has issued an important communiqué to help activists stay safe while in Toronto. To read the full statement, please go to
http://g20.torontomobilize.org/node/256

Important Legal numbers:
Up to June 18th if you are arrested or approached by police: 416 833 6137 June 18th and afterwards:
If you are arrested or see someone arrested: 416 273 6761
If you want to know about someone who was arrested: 416-273-6781
If you are deaf or hard of hearing: 416 531 0060

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CONVERGENCE CENTRE NEEDS DONATIONS

If you can donate any items to make the Convergence Centre as useful as possible, please drop them off at 1266 Queen Street West. We need shelves, toilet paper, tables, chairs, cleaning supplies and more.

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Amazing new G8 dance song by Maynooth DJ B#!

“Dance Dance Dance – The CLAC vs Lykkie Li

(we recommend you dance while listening)

http://soundcloud.com/b-shrp/dance-dance-dance-the-clac-vs-lykkie-li-buraka-som-sistema-rmx-g20-rmx

EVENTS

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Workshop: Independent Media and International Solidarity
A workshop with Stefan Christoff
Thursday June 17
6:30
Room 2212
OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
A workshop for independent and alternative journalists!
To read the full description, go here:
http://g20.torontomobilize.org/node/267

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Convergence Space Party!!!
COME KICK OFF THE JUNE 2010 RESISTANCE
8pm – 11pm
1266 QUEEN STREET WEST
(just west off Noble)

We’re going to warm up the convergence space! Let’s make the space ours!
We’ve got DJ’s food and a whole lot of fire in our hearts! Think of this
as a housewarming for the movement’s house! Let’s spend time together socializing and dancing before we take to the streets!
When: Thursday, June 17, 2010 8pm
What: MOVEMENT’s HOUSEWARMING PARTY
Where: OUR NEW CONVERGENCE SPACE! 1266 Queen Street West (just off of noble)

Things to consider bringing:
– friends, family and loved ones
– a “gift” for the convergence space (shelves, zine’s, office supplies, anything you have, that we might need, that you don’t need)
– a monetary donation to keep us going!

This is a sober space free of drugs and alcohol.
This space is accessible, however the washrooms are not.

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HALLIDAY YES! G20 NO!
Friday June 18
5:30 – 7:30
Front Street and Blue Jays Way (meet on the bridge south of Front)

Do you still love baseball? Do you still hate the G20?

Then join us Friday June 18th, at 5:45pm as we go into ‘extra innings’ to flyer the Rogers Center again!

On June 6th sports fans, upset with the cancellation of the Jays games on the weekend of June 25th talked to thousands of Jays fans about the G20. Now we want to do it again.

We know you’d love to go to the ball game, hear the sounds, see the sights, grab a few hot dogs and watch The Blue Jays host the return of Roy Halladay (currently basking in the glow of a ‘perfect game’).

But the G20 doesn’t want you to. They don’t want anyone in Toronto to have that pleasure. They’d prefer to give bank bailouts, stop taxes on the wealthy, cut women’s access to abortion, spend $1 billion on fences, close day-cares AND, just to add insult to injury, prevent Halladay from coming back to the pitch.

So we know you’re angry. We know you’re upset. And we think a lot of baseball fans are too. As protesters, we rarely get a chance to talk to the folks at the ball game about the issues. This time, we’ve got a good reason to head down and talk about these issues.

But we need your help. If you’re a baseball fan, or you hate the G20 and all they stand for (or both!) then meet us:

Friday, June 18th at 5:45pm
Main Entrance to the Rogers Center (on the bridge!)
1 Blue Jays Way

We bring: Flyers and a dislike of the G20
You bring: A love of baseball

Sincerely,

Sports fans against the G20

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DIRECT ACTION TRAININGS
At the People’s Summit

Saturday June 19 1pm SCC Room G (Ryerson University)
Sunday June 20 10am VIC 202 (Ryerson University)

Facilitators: Andrea Hatala and Terry Douglas

These sessions are intended to prepare and empower folks who are expecting to participate in some or all of the events planned for June 21 – 27, 2010. Topics covered may include preparing for a demo/action, common police tactics, basic legal briefing, working in affinity groups, etc. The sessions will consist of interactive discussions, role-play, and possibly other approaches.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WORKSHOPS
At the People’s Summit peoplessummit2010.ca

Saturday June 19 3pm SCC room G (Ryerson University)
Sunday June 20 10am VIC 104 (Ryerson University)

Members of the Summit Legal Support Project will prepare people for participation in the protests during the summits of the G8 and G20 in Huntsville and Toronto later in June. People will be informed of what their legal rights are, what preparations have been made for legal support during the demonstrations and what happens if one is arrested at a protest.

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The G8/G20 Week of Action – All of Your Questions Answered!
At the People’s Summit peoplessummit2010.ca

Sunday June 20 3pm Lib 72 – Auditorium (Ryerson University)

The G20 is convening in a week in their closed meetings!!

Come out and find out what is planned for the week ahead from a panel of organizers. Also find out from medics how to protect yourself and from the legal team on yourl egal right to organize and demonstrate.

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For more events, please go to g20.torontomobilize.org/schedule

J21, 1pm, Harper’s Attacks on Reproductive Rights at home and abroad, 25
Cecil Street, OCAC

J21, 2pm, Allan Gardens, March: “All Out In Defense of the Rights of All”

J22, Various Times/Locations, creative civic transformations and street
theatre for Gender Justice

J22, Creative Queer Resistance to the G20, 4:30pm Yonge and Queen, Tuesday

J23, 11am, Alexandra Park (Dundas and Bathurst St.) March: “Toxic Tour of
Toronto”

J23, 7pm, Ryerson Student Campus Centre (SCC115), 55 Gould St: People’s
Assembly on Climate Justice: Moving Forward from Cochabamba (Poster)
(Facebook)

J24, 11am, Queen’s Park, March: “Canada Can’t Hide Genocide: Indigenous
Day of Action”

J24, 5pm, Toronto Underground Cinema 186 Spadina Ave, “Six Miles Deep”
Documentary

J24, 8pm, 25 Cecil Street Steelworkers Hall, Forum: “Confront the Invasion!”

25-27 June 2010: DAYS OF ACTION

J25, 2:30pm, Allan Gardens (Carlton Street between Jarvis and Sherbourne
Street) Free the Streets! March. Block Party. Tent City: “Justice for Our
Communities”

J25, 6:00pm, Forum, Massey Hall: “Shout Out For Global Justice”

J26, 1:00pm, March, Queen’s Park: “People’s First. We Deserve Better”

J26, 1:00pm, March, Queen’s Park: “Get Off the Fence”

J26, Time/Location TBA, Radical Street Party: “Saturday Night Fever.”

J27, Time/Location TBA, Autonomous Direct Actions: “Getting Down to Business”

J27, 1pm, Location TBA, Bike Block action

J27, 2pm, St James Park (on King St. between Jarvis and Church), March:
“Funeral March”

J27, 3:33 PM, Anywhere, Make Believe Tea Party, (Flyer) (Handout)

J27, 5pm, Bruce Mackey Park (Dundas and Wardell), March:
Fire.Works.For.Prisons

_______________________________________________
community.mobilize mailing list
[email protected]
https://masses.tao.ca/lists/listinfo/community.mobilize

Vancouver Blac Bloc communiqué

Members of the “black bloc” defended their actions and explained their motives in a press release aimed at denouncing the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

On February 12th and 13th, 2010, thousands of courageous individuals came together to resist the 2010 Olympic police state and to attack the corporations plundering the land and deepening poverty. We write this communique as participants in and organizers of the black bloc presence at these demonstrations, known as “Take Back Our City” and “2010 Heart Attack.” On February 12th, the Vancouver Police Department pacified us with a force of mounted police. The next day during 2010 Heart Attack, they deployed riot police armed with M4 carbine assault rifles. They claim this was necessary in order to stop the march from “jeopardizing public safety” – yet the only threats to public safety were in their own hands. Participants in the demonstration only undertook strategic attacks against corporations sponsoring the Olympics and did not harm or attack bystanders.

The media are now busy denouncing the political violence of property destruction, such as the smashing of a Hudson’s Bay Company window, as though it were the only act of violence happening in this city. They forget that economic violence goes on daily in Vancouver. People are suffering and dying from preventable causes because welfare doesn’t give enough to afford rent, food or medicine, and because authorities routinely ignore the medical emergencies of poor or homeless individuals. This economic violence has gotten worse as we lose housing and social services because of the Olympic Games.

In response to this assault, thousands took to the streets, hundreds joining what is known as a black bloc.

The black bloc is not a formal organization; it has no leadership, membership, or headquarters. Instead, the black bloc is a tactic: it is something people do in order to accomplish a specific purpose. By wearing black clothing and masking our faces, the black bloc allows for greater protection to those who choose active self-defense. The majority of people involved in the black bloc do not participate in property destruction. However, in masking up they express their solidarity with those who choose to take autonomous direct action against the corporations, authorities and politicians who wage war on our communities.

Participation in the black bloc is an act of courage. With only the shirts on our backs and the masks on our faces, we took to the streets against Canada’s largest ever “peacetime” police force. Protected only by black fabric and the support of our comrades, we stood in front of anti-riot cops armed with assault rifles, pistols and batons. We proved that $1 billion of “security” couldn’t prevent us from clogging the heart of downtown Vancouver and crashing a party of 100 000 people — and getting away with it.

You won’t ever know who was in the black bloc this weekend, but you do know us. We are the people who organize community potlucks, who dance during street festivals, who make art, defend the land, build co-ops, bicycles and community gardens. When we put on our black clothing, we are not a threat to you, but to the elites.

Whoever you are, one day you will join us. As long as government and corporations attack our communities, we’re going defend – and that means attack.

Signed,

Two organizers and participants in the anarchist presence of the “Take back our city” demonstration and “2010 Heart Attack” street march, February 2010, Coast Salish Territory