This communiqué from comrades in Seattle comes to us as the night is ending there. They offer it as a partial report of the many events that transpired: some demoralizing, some inspiring, and some horrifying. Whatever their impact, all these event are representative of what is to come: crystallized examples of this political and historical moment.
The Day Begins
From Seattle Times
The typical media stereotype of a Seattle anarchist is a young person wearing black, smashing windows at a May Day march and screaming at nearby journalists and police officers.
But the Anarchist Book Fair at Washington Hall last Saturday felt more like being among hundreds of Quakers, most of whom just happened to be wearing black.
In the 1880s, U.S. anarchists, socialists, and unions sidestepped the stale reform-versus-revolution debate by fighting for the eight-hour workday. Their agitation and actions targeted both employers and the state. They declared on May 1st, 1886, the eight-hour day would be enacted, or they would shut down the country with a general strike. And on the day of, half a million people went out on strike.
For one reason or another folks have decided to start this years Seattle May Day Anticapitalist March in Westlake Park. Tactical concerns aside this May Day could make for a pretty wonderful time. The last several May Days have crafted a tradition of "riotous play" that continues to bring lived revolt against capitalism and the state to the streets of Seattle. If your reading this an wondering why capitalism and the state are undesirable suffice to say that all forms or rulership are undesirable. Capitalism is the rule of capital and the state is a entity who rules. Capitalism—along with its predecessors like mercantilism, different organized religions, feudalism, and so on—has worked in tandem with nation-states and empires to create this hellworld we now occupy. Poverty, in its totality, is not an accident. State violence, in its totality, is not an accident. These are the results of the current ruling order whose main pillars are white supremacy, heteronormativity, cisnormativity, capitalism, and statecraft.
Earlier this spring on May 21st, two young black men were inside the Safeway on Cooper Point Road in West Olympia. One of them decided there was no point in paying for a twenty-four pack of beer, so they attempted to just walk out the front door with it. But as is so often the case, a Safeway employee who makes less than 15 dollars an hour felt it necessary to prevent this horrible crime. When she attempted to stop the young man, he threw the beer at her and ran away with his friend. As it turned out, these two men were brothers, Andre and Bryson Chaplin.