Seattle May Day 2014: An Anti-Capitalist Tradition!


For the third year in a row, an explicitly anti-capitalist march was called for in Seattle for May Day. This year, there were two, one beginning on Capitol Hill and the other at the Youth Jail in the Central District. The two both began in the early evening and converged together, weaving from the Hill through Yesler Terrace, a site of ongoing gentrification, on through downtown. The march included hundreds of anti-capitalist demonstrators, some masked up, some carrying anarchist banners, and others chanting or yelling at the police. The overall atmosphere was one of celebration as well as antagonism.

May Day itself was born out of an antagonistic struggle against working conditions and has since become a symbol of celebration, for the fight for a better life, a life without the State or capital. In Seattle, the Immigrants’ Rights March organized by El Comité, has kept the May Day momentum alive for the last several years. However, since Occupy Seattle reinvigorated the spirit of rebellion in thousands of people, May Day has again become an explicitly anti-capitalist holiday for many.

The first anti-capitalist march occurred in 2012 as part of the final hooray of Occupy Seattle. The march was wild, full of riotous behavior and targeted property destruction including much of the commercial downtown area and a federal courthouse. However, many people forget that there were two more spirited marches later that day. There was a ‘Honor the Dead, Fight for the Living’ demonstration in which people called to the memory of those killed by the police such as local Native man, John T. Williams, as well as anarchist martyrs such as Louis Lingg. The march was full of scuffles with the police. Later on, there was an, ’Anti-Border, Anti-Prison’ demonstration that shared the same heightened energy from the previous two demonstrations of the day.

Last year, the second annual anti-capitalist march was called in the wake of the previous year’s momentum. It was a passionate affair. A couple hundred anti-capitalist demonstrators marched through the streets of Seattle, dancing, fighting the police, breaking a few windows and chanting together.

The police and the media attempt to paint the revitalization of the May Day tradition by anti-capitalists as a marginalized effort. Yet, the past three years have proved that May Day is in fact not a fluke, but a tradition that still contains the power of the anti-capitalist struggle that flourished in May 1886 in Chicago. Police, media, and enemies alike, often question the purpose or intent of a wild demonstration with seemingly no aim or demand. They themselves live inside a shortsighted framework, a stunted world. As anarchists, rebels, and antagonistic we have a history that extends hundreds of years, a proud history. Our struggle has been and will be endless, as long as the State, capital and all those that attempt to suppress and oppress us exist, we will remain uncontrollable. This is the reality we live in, one where our enemies our so vast and dominant that a simple demand or action on one day could never destroy them. Instead, the destruction of the State and capital will have to come from generations and centuries of undying bold conflict.

Yesterday, we marched through the streets, chanted slogans, danced in intersections, de-arrested each other, fought off the superheroes, threw bottles and bricks at the police, lit fireworks and flares, gathered around a bonfire in the middle of the street, and shared a collective moment of communal existence and freedom that we do not often experience in the banal existence of our daily lives. In these moments, we share a look into what the future could hold, what we hold in ourselves and with each other, and what our fellow rebels held in the past. Regardless of the level of our attack or activity, we were able to find each other last night and hopefully many of us are now reminded that we are not alone and that we never were. In the future, we may take over the empty condominium buildings, tear up the concrete and plant gardens, push out the police, occupy the schools, destroy the banks, and experience a long-lasting freedom that we have yet to imagine. Yet in this moment, we should be proud of where we stand today, as enemies of the State and capital, and as lovers of freedom and autonomy.

Here’s to building a long-lasting tradition of an anti-capitalist May Day in Seattle!

Freedom and Anarchy! Long Live the Memory of those Killed by the Police and the Borders! Long Live the Haymarket Anarchists!



photos at psa

This is great news, and thanks for sharing it here.

My only quibble is about this new hot buzzword, "antagonist." It frames us as reactive (so the state is the protagonist of the story). It also seems to imply that everyone who is willing to act out against the [current] authorities has something in common. Lessons of Ukraine, anyone?

Now, not everybody I want to roll with in the streets calls themselves anarchists, but it's not like they call themselves "antagonists" instead, so this new buzz phrase doesn't offer any improvements on the original a-word. We are for the destruction of all states, hierarchies, and mechanisms of inequality and control, not just "antagonism" as an end in itself. But I guess every new generation has to find a new cool thing to import from Greece or whatever.

Not to be Statler and Waldorf at you. It's great what happened in Seattle, under any verbiage.

What happened in Ukraine was an example of the tension between constituted and constituting power. This is a dialectic that is actually the lifeblood of democracy.

What would a power look like that destituted power instead of constituting it? Certainly it would have to be something and not nothing.

What was going on in Ukraine was beautiful. The interesting part of it has ended, however, in no small part thanks to the mechanics of democracy and the excitement of the fascists to be constitute new powers.

I also don't like the phrase "antagonist" too much. It may be the case, however, that the state is the protagonist of the story in some peoples eyes. Isn't that what nihilism is all about? - simply being against whatever emerges?

Luckily for us, identities do not automatically determine what occurs.

power power power

"What would a power look like that destituted power instead of constituting it?"

destitute |ˈdestiˌt(y)o͞ot| adjective
without the basic necessities of life: the charity cares for destitute children.

Not to tease, but you're using the word "destitute" in a way it is never used in English. (You don't simply mean a power that makes all power go hungry.) But I think I understand. You want a power that decentralizes legitimacy, that tends to create horizontal and decentralized nodes of power, something like that, maybe? Or would you say it differently? And no google translate Italian!

I'm afraid that what happened in Ukraine was never beautiful, as much as it shared in common with moments we so desperately wanted to beautiful here. Wanting beauty is no sin, but projecting it onto ugliness is risky at best.

I have yet to meet a nihilist who lives up to the label. I think they're just ashamed of what they are in favor of (in a sort of teenage way, like it's embarrassing to like stuff). Perhaps we should be, as well--is it really worthy of us?--but I'd rather be up front about what I want... so people can talk shit about it in venues like this, I guess.

destitute can be a verb, meaning to deprive of support/subsistence. it's unusual, and probably a good example of the stylistic shortcomings of the comment you're responding to, but not technically incorrect.

presumably op is referring to Agamben's recent piece, Toward a Theory of Destituent Power ( which for all that people hated on it because he presented it in a lecture to socialists, is still pretty good. Destitute may be the wrong word to make the theory legible in english, but look at the roots: destituere is "to forsake, to abandon"; thus destituent power is a power that can destroys or undoes, rather than constituting a new order. Not that far off, really; to render the state-form destitute--abandoned, forsaken, left behind rather than recreated. Based on google hits destituent looks like a neologism in english used only by agamben, but there are plenty of other such words that we have let enter our vocabulary: différance/différence, etc.

i agree with you about nihilists. Watch what happens when you ask a circle of nihilists about why they do what they do, or want what they want, and the moralism comes pouring back in. It's so much more interesting to stake out a position, anyway, no? To commit dreadfully to something, to follow a particular form-of-life intensely?

is what we are by this "Society" .Thanx for this very good post. A state similar to
Kristiva's concept of the "abject"; close to agamben's homo sacer,
bare life ,a stripped-down version of life. we are indeed
fighting for our very lives, even if at times doesn't seem so bad. the relentless effect on the soul
is enormous.

please don't generalize

mechanisms of inequality

What is financial currency? A mechanism for codifying and implementing inequality. I'm sure you're smart enough to work out what some of the other such mechanisms functioning in our society must be. Opposing these doesn't necessarily mean calling for a government (or whatever) to create equality for us; it could just mean we don't want such forms of inequality forced on us.

tradition, identity, ritual, spectacle....everything must go.

...and this rally never even took place, don't be fooled by photoshopped pics & made up reports!!

Wait, is this the same person who claimed that @'s with a mobile sound unit in Portland were FBI agents trying to interfere with the ability of people to hear chants? If not, you two should really try to team up to form a wing nut super group.

...that you are a government troll whose job it is to monitor sites like @news to make sure false accounts of rallies gets swallowed whole by uninformed anarchists? REAL anarchists no the deal, take your cointelpro outfit and your photoshop skills elsewhere please, thanks.

the interesting part of ukraine has just begun. the absolute culimination of streets politics and the riot has been reached, as we saw in egypt, i.e conflict between citizens. i speak of the fights in odessa wwhere ultra nationists burnt anti gov protesters alive in a trapped building, and conflict in kiev between maiden self defense force associated with svolba and ultranationists associated with right sector. 9there was a firefight between members of those 2 groups about a month agothats how that rad fasist got copkilled.0

a national guard has been formed controlle in part by sybolda and right sector advises members not to join.

and thats just street politics. right wing guerillas seize terrortory, harass minorities, exert political leverage, appropriate resources, and more recently assist the army or make indepedent attacks in the east.

anti gov insurgents set up checkpoints and capture gear. all this cant be separeted 2 diistintly from street politics, the antigovs are composed of a variety of skillsets and equipment inventories, and actions often have a large crowd context.

ah beutifulbcivil war.

now there are thse that have turned off ukraine in their head because it isnt authentic, its all just geopolitics or whatever. yeah of course russia is invovled giving weapons pressuring and sending special ops, just like the west did and is doing. but to say its just russia gov is silly, the antigovs have raided caches, are formal police or soldiars, have world travelers amongsrvthem (border crossing activists) and weapons are plentiful in east europe.

not that i care. who cares if russia is invovled or the us is invovled. civil war doesnt contaminate street war, and geowar/nation war doesnt contaminate civil war as many anarchists seem to think. its like unkraine has now been ruined orcsomething; its no longer a topic of convo.

if you think national conflict supersecedes and puts an end to all 'lower levels' of conflictlike some sort of recuperation, you have no idea of the chaos the motherfucking mayhem you are bracketing out of your 'revoltionary' history.

ukraine is a fucking feast right now. indulge.

so fucking gross. as if anywhere there's violence, it has something to do with freedom. i hate to break it to you, but not all civil war is cool. polarizing along nationalist lines like this reinforces statism and nationalism on both sides, suppressing the conflicts we want to see.

you say it yourself: right-wingers harass minorities, rival nationalists organized in military formation shoot and burn each other, any possibility of a struggle against all states has receded from view... and you're feasting... on the youtube footage of people getting killed over bullshit nationalist conflicts?

so. fucking. gross.

lol freedom? i never said anything about freedom. call me when ur not a libertarian anymore.

another thing i find fascinating is how much infastructure is being preserved. politicans that disagree are disseapered or kidnaped, or intinamadted, or replaced with indivuals sympathetic to cause. police stations and gov buildings are seized. cops are captured or escorted out buildinfg thru a tunnel of shame. a day or so ago activists surronded a police station and 'negioated'. the police will continue to exist but with people repuublic flag above building and self defense patrols are allowed to assistcops as part of agreement. similiar to svolba guarding the streets afterc flight of lastpresident and eventually particapting in formation of nationdal guard.

fucing interesting. i've heard of very little looting. rightz sector did some insurget sht iin the west (train robberies, seized factory, stole from some offical building, seized bank) and separtists were said to have grabbedacouple banks.

this feels all so new and interesting. feels really different. i knew it was from the moment i heard they were grabbing building instead of brning them. wish there was more info on this site.

~or politicans are turned into puppets, held hostage. this is what i really wanted to mention

Prisoners write our anarchist books-to-prisoners group asking for lots of different literature. Often they ask for science fiction, or crime fiction. Often they ask for stuff about the BP, or anarchism. For the most part, the folks who write seem like stand-up people. Sometimes, though, you get a creepy letter from somebody who wants reading material about their creepy fetish, like asphyxiation or whatever. It's OK to be like, naw, I'm not gonna send you that.

Same for you, commenter. You want to talk about your weird fetishes, but nobody else is interested. Thank goodness.

so ur fetish of suffocating poor defenseless black men with floods of iww literature is acceptable but literal asphyxiation isn't?

and the number of ex riot police from west or that wereactive in westthat make separtartist miltia or have joined pro separist police forces is also interesting.

its really the whole capture idea that blows my mind. so alien to us. the surrender and disarament of cops, and then they were held such as happwned in kiev beforeflight. some had their eyes cut out but eventally most were released a few turning up dead... and then the shame tunnels and cornering of thepolice. how many regiments acted mosty defensively and then surendered out of some sympathy to the caause... informal protester run prisons...

stuflike used to happen in seventies during protests at schools or job sites... capture... thedean BARRIcaded in some office.

I second the commenter who called you gross. A cheap holiday in other people's misery. Keeping the infrastructure of the state intact and passing it back and forth between competing would-be states is centuries old. Call *me* when you care about freedom, not just violence like it's some video game. Until then, you're just one more pathetic riot porn masturbator.

I think you're probably a 'national' (racist) anarchist, like some of right spektor. Die.

m) The work Les problèmes d’un problème (Paris, 1917), which discusses, in chronological order, the different solutions given to the illustrious problem of Achilles and the tortoise. Two editions of this book have appeared so far; the second bears as an epigraph Leibniz’s recommendation “Ne craignez point, monsieur, la tortue”

typical anarchist. your obsession with critique means that u perceive every engagement as the taking of some sort of a posistion. and since these events are impure i am impure. the only proper response is to disregard completely; that is why ukraine has now dropped of the menu as did syria and egypt once they reached a certain intensity and why india and africa and the middle east have never been a topic of convo. terroism and nationism; if they occur there is failure so lets move on and wait for the next big thing. i find this movement of attention and silence unsettling in the extreme.

thes2 things happen. to ignore them and remain within the comfort zone of the kegendary all negating riotis is a crippling i wil not perform on myself.

the images, the cops in kievs submissive frmations in some instants, their surrender of battle posistions and equipment, and thhe likewisesubmission of cops in jthe east, their piling of shields in a stack of surrender , their stripping of armoor; the peotest leaders insistance in kiev to not wound cops to badly and to keep buildings in pristne, andthe same in the east; the patrolling of streets with the intentto kee order; the cooperation or seizureof local gov in both east and west, this strategyvof controlling and working with gov, these scenes, especoally the visuals of cop surrender and escape, survival, and implied social reintegration are strking. it confirms whati thought buttoo actally see it, to see cops lead a way and survivingg,, not being massacre, a few zealous oldladiea hitng at them with with shoesperhaps blows my motherfucking mind.

What is your point? What are you talking about?

1. So you're not an anarchist. Care to say anything about your politics, besides that you're against "freedom"?

2. Personally, I haven't stopped paying attention to events in Ukraine, because I think there's plenty to learn from worst case scenarios, too. Anarchists are still trying and struggling and getting hurt in that mess; you can follow it on the AWU site, among other places. The difference between you and me is that it hurts, emotionally, watching what is going on there, the senselessness of the conflicts over which hierarchy gets to rule, the physical and emotional harm befalling people. Based on your comments on the events, you seem like a bona fide sociopath.

there seems to some contradiction between this empathy that im supposed tobelieve you have and deriding peoples feelings and struggles as 'senseless' in the next breath.

the awu offer moral condemations, vague generalities, 'programs' of action, and leftist denouciations. the fact that you consider this invovlement just attests to the extent of your impoversiment.

unkraine is the worst case? how fucking pathetic.

I don't identify with the AWU analysis or program, but they are more like comrades than other factions in Ukraine--or you, for that matter.

It's interesting to see how distraught you get when the contention between different hierarchies is described as senseless. Maybe you really are some kind of nationalist or fascist. Small wonder no one on an anarchist site feels empathy for you. If that distresses you, go elsewhere or get some better politics.

yes, i'm 'some kind of nationalist or fascist'. get over it. anarchism is the past. ukraine is the future. you anarchists are fucking pathetic.

trollololol. the plot thickens. pretending to be me, aye? I would never be that direct on anything lol but I love it.

seattle cops wear purple?

Security at demos is provided by members of Seattle Solidarity Network, who usually dress in purple to express their solidarity with all SEIU leaders.

Pretty sure those are the "superheroes" (something so fucking nerdy it could only happen in the northwest) who dress up like they are going to ComiCon and "fight crime"...

4th helicopter just got shot down today by machine gun fire. previous ones got downed earlier in week.

do you remember the social rupture blog, that would report on every act of littering and domestic dispute as if it was insurrectionary? you should go where it went.

a different helicopter fired missiles upon railtrain cars that anti-kiev insurgents were attempting to weaponize as armed cars in slovyansk.

in donetsk activists seized and roughed up (moderately) the headquarters of a pro-kiev iron baron's company. during match "coordinators" urged crowd to preserve gov buildings and not do to much damage; "we will match on kiev, this is our land here".

a bank hq belong belonging to another pro-kiev regional governor was burnt in marisupel. the bank has closed most it's locations in the east by now.

Hundreds of people were killed because of their ethnicity after South Sudan rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, the UN has said.

They were targeted at a mosque, a church and a hospital, the UN Mission in South Sudan said in a statement.

It added that hate speech was broadcast on local radio stations, saying certain groups should leave the town and urging men to rape women.

The Nuer community are seen as supporters of rebel leader Riek Machar.

President Salva Kiir is a member of the country's largest group, the Dinka.

Although both men have prominent supporters from various communities, there have been numerous reports of rebels killing ethnic Dinkas and the army targeting Nuers since the conflict broke out in December 2013.

Since then, more than a million people have fled their homes in what was already among the world's poorest nations.


now you getting it. I could not think of a better word to pair with anarchy beyond annoying, your really on track - altho I would never use such a nerdy term as social war.

At least three people were killed and dozens more wounded when bombs exploded in two buses on a busy highway in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Two privates buses were ripped apart by what is believed to be improvised explosive devices.

More than 60 people were taken to hospital, some of them in critical condition.

It is the second attack in Kenya in as many days after eight people died in three explosions in the coastal city of Mombasa on Saturday.

"Security agencies are in pursuit of the perpetrators of this heinous and cowardly act," Kenya's vice-president William Ruto said about the latest bombings.

Kenyan media reports said bombs appeared to have been planted on the buses, while unconfirmed reports said powerful grenades may have been thrown at them from the side of the road.

The buses blew up along the Thika Road highway, an area around eight kilometres north-east of Nairobi's city centre.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw a red passenger bus with a large hole in its side, and with the ripped panels spattered in blood.

Kenyan media also showed images of a green bus with its roof and sides buckled by an explosion.

The Nation newspaper said the 45-seater buses were almost full when the blasts occurred.

Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab intensifies campaign

The east African country has become increasingly dangerous in recent months.

The Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab has intensified its campaign - hoping to get Kenyan troops to withdraw from peacekeeping in Somalia.

The Islamist group claimed responsibility for the high-profile attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall last year in which at least 67 people were killed.

In March, two people were arrested in Mombasa along with a car expertly packed with explosives.

Intelligence sources say they believe the car was rigged in Somalia and driven into Kenya for a high-profile bombing.

Nairobi and Mombasa have also seen a string of smaller bombings and shootings blamed on Islamists, pushing national security to the top of the agenda in the east African nation - which once proudly identified itself as a bastion of stability in the region.

Kenyan police have also been under fire for an ongoing crackdown in Nairobi which has seen thousands of people detained - most of them Somalis or ethnic Somalis.

The operation has focused on Nairobi's main Somali district Eastleigh, and residents have accused police of indiscriminately arresting people of Somali origin.

Because it totally worked on me and then BAM, I realized you guys are advertising Russia Today news agency with saucy juicy Ukraine conflict discussion. Good job, way to go! Real top notch market strategies!

Because only stupid ass limey fuck boys would use the term advert instead of advertisement oi

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