Phoenix: Over sixty people gather to form the Valley Anarchist Circle

  • Posted on: 10 September 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>On one of the first cooler nights in Phoenix a large assorted group of individuals attended a meeting with the stated goal of forming a new anarchist organization. It had been over a decade since the now mostly defunct Phoenix Anarchist Coalition formed. This group, widely known throughout the states engaged in generalized organizing in the Phoenix Valley and beyond. Last year, prior to Occupy, the last few meetings of the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition were held. By this point most of the Phoenix militants who participated in the founding of the organization had moved on.

In order to understand why the move to form a new organization was made it is important to go back a bit further in time. The excitement after the Seattle '99 rebellion and local May Day organizing created a climate in Phoenix that necessitated further coordination amongst individuals and groups. Or at least at the time, it was the best idea we could come up with. The organization that was formed was general, with a basic mission statement and regular open meetings. Out of this group Phoenix radicalism slowly began to take shape. This group, which encouraged people to find affinity with others and build off their own ideas spawned many different projects. The organization itself, became a force in Phoenix politics to be reckoned with. Maybe most important, the individuals who were involved came from different subcultures, walks of life and age groups. This allowed a culture of resistance to build that would influence different segments of society. On a personal note, I think many anarchists who visit and meet folks from Phoenix notice this.</td><td><img title="goths & nerds UNITE!!!" src=""></td></tr><...
With the introduction of anti-union bills with no real opposition, a faltering pro-immigration movement and Occupations around the country some anarchists in Phoenix made the decision to intervene. Over the past year many of us have put a decent amount of work into propagandizing, inspiring organizing, and making new connections. The assumption was that this intersection would provide space for new groups of people to enter into a more radical struggle. It is worth noting that most if not all of the anarchists that initiated the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition understood the importance of this intervention.

It seemed that at this moment in time, if our cards were played right, a new organization similar to the one started a decade ago could be useful to a new set of people. Timing was key, Occupy served its course, the Left Immigration Movement suffered a major blow and radical action seemed disorganized and unpredictable.

A group of new and old anarchists got together and made the decision to initiate a new open organization that would welcome all and provide the same things we were provided over a decade ago. Nobody could have predicted the overflow crowd that showed up, over half of which being former Occupy and unnafiliated folks. We have a lot of fighting to do in Arizona, we are the frontline. Wish us luck, if you need to contact us we have bi-monthly meetings that we encourage anyone to come to. We are also available on the internet. If your city sounds like it could use something like this we would be happy to consult with you as well. Good Luck!


Sixty people would probably be a conservative estimate if you count the entirety of the meeting. This went really well, and seemed to inspire a lot of people, specifically new people.

Dearest Comrades,
I love to see such enthusiastic people subverting the dominant paradigm. I only wish the same circle extended to Tucson. Perhaps you could get the Dry River a little wet. I would like to give a bit of criticism, for the sake of persuading the mob residing between the imaginary lines bordering the land called, "Arizona". Language is a tool that can fight the largest armies, and persuade the most tyrannical men. Unfortunately, this article is in need of eloquence. If you still intend to create a zine/propaganda. Please find a writer with further clarity of prose. Any illiterate can pull out a box of crayons and start stabbing @ paper. But not anyone can articulate with the splendor of Chomsky, or Bakunin.

You want me to rewrite this update to sound more like Bakunin so that the people in Tucson will be able to get their shit together? LOL?

WOOOAAAAH. Phoenix is telling Tucson to get their shit together? That's hillarious

NO. That is actually not what anyone said at all during this entire conversation other than the person purportedly from Tucson. You should practice reading moar.

Chomsky is fucking boring as fuck. Seriously? Get THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.

Boring, really? Nobody's perfect, but I find him inspiring. Dude is part of the 7 that convinced the federal judge to overturn the NDAA indefinite detention proviso. Pretty cool in my book.

Don't forget Chris Hedges! He was one of the plaintiffs, too.

Hm. Dry River doesn't exist anymore. And you don't have to write "with eloquence" to get your point across. Isn't the point of communication with large groups of people to be accessible? Not everyone enjoys academic style prose, this author being one of them.

I really do h8 academic style prose. More like academic style bros

That kind of writing is so masculinist! It recreates all the suffering caused by patriarchy EVERYtime I hear it.

Eloquent is more accessible than talking to people like their dreams and ideals are formed by pop culture references. Eloquence isn't always self-consciously pretensious. But self consciously pretensious is alienating.

IGTT 2/10

my glucose levels are fucked.

Keep it up pals. Love and solidarity from Portland. That's really cool to hear that's happening in Phoenix.

thanks! Trying our best.


BAAHAHAHAHAHA that's fucking priceless.


Chomsky is so boring that he fills every venue he visits beyond their capacity... And Bakunin was so lame that his zines have been spread around the world for multiple generations... If you wish to keep things simple. Then by all means, get out your box of crayons and stab @ some paper. I suppose it was a naive assumption to believe that a new organization made up of social critics, would welcome criticism with open arms. I simply wished to raise the aspirations of a like-minded group of subverts. Last I heard, the Dry River is no-longer, because the collective was too weak to pay homage to the landlord. That doesn't mean Tucson is void of those same individuals that are possibly still full of similar dreams. I hope the roots of the Valley Anarchist circle grow stronger by the second.

I don't think you completely grasp why your initial comment may have came off as silly. That is ok, if you would like to start some stuff up in Tucson or call for a meeting like this please get in touch. I can't imagine that there isn't the same new pool of individuals down there that exist up here. Back in the day, there used to be a lot of coordination with militants in Tucson and many joint actions. Check out the poster that was made for this call, maybe it will give you some ideas:

And more importantly, never be afraid to push forward and start something new. Sometimes the old cranky anarchists need to chill out a bit. Don't let anyone discourage you. Coming from someone who knows the politics of Tucson quite well, I know how it can get trying to not step on toes. I say, step on the toes, if you have something good and different people will run with it.

Obama also "fills every venue he visits beyond capacity." Is your critique so weak as to not notice
how the dominant paradigm applauds those who do not really challenge it? Chomsky reinforces
the liberal shit and the liberals are grateful.

Chomsky's an anarchist?

Chomsky has identified himself as an anarchist for sometime.

Yes, but that doesn't make him one.

Obama is an anarchist?

That's right. The only people who are *true anarchists* are the ones who have been tested and properly graded by THE REAL ANARCHIST TESTING AND GRADING FACILITY.

Access is great for opening doors. But then people need to walk through the door. Ask an migrant how easy it is to get a complex point about the drug war without eloquence.

you've got to press the reply button or nobodies gonna know where you are trying to place your thoughts.

I've been touting PAC as a model that should be used locally. It really was responsible for the creation of a strong, vibrant anarchist movement in Phoenix. Sounds like you folks are ahead of the curve. I think the largest PAC meeting I attended was maybe 20-30 people. Really glad to see this. Keep us posted on how things develop.

There was a period during it's height, maybe 2001-2003, where it wasn't unheard of for a PAC meeting to have 40 or 50 people. Those days faded away though as many of the original militants drifted inevitably away to other projects and the liberal anti-war movement sucked the energy out of Phoenix. Many people moved on to the migrant movement and anti-fascist stuff for a few years until occupy re-created similar conditions as had prevailed when PAC was founded (the anti-glob movement was the context then). I think the turnout last Thursday is some proof of that. Interestingly, of the anarchists in the city who engaged and intervened in OPhx, it was primarily those who came up in anti-glob and early or o.g. PAC who were willing to jump in. Those anarchists who came along later tended to be much more skeptical (or even outright rejecting) of participating in any way with occupy. Looking around the gathering last Thursday, maybe half the people there came via OPhx, so I think it was the right move to jump in. I think we're in one of those moments again.

does it blow everyone's minds that people are actively organizing in the most hellhole metropolis in N. America? I hope so!

How does this all relate to the Phoenix Class War Council, if at all?

Privileged information, Comrade.

you can say THAT again!

I enjoyed the meeting for its lax approach to facilitating a group discussion of that size.

There was no "stack," or strict formulaic moderation, which kept the discussion, momentum, and topics from being channeled in to a deterring monotony that is all-too-common for meetings.

More meeting, less "Meetings!"

As for that Tucson kat who chimed in... I'm with you on the writing criticism, but I can't bear the irony of having suggested it with such lulling mediocrity. It seems suiting that their writing appears remedial while your own pleas for inclusion (wet the dryriver guyz!) are reminiscent of looking out the window across the street at little Bakunin's slumber party you incidentally weren't invited to.

"Goths and nerds unite!"

.... leave me alone.

The lax facilitation was ONLY possible due to the almost improbable fact that most who spoke behaved themselves in a manner that is not anywhere near normal for open meetings like that. In fact, I think it could have even been less controlled than it was.

Although, you probably missed the beginning when there were a few people who had to be asked to save it for later.

Solidarity with the comrades of Phoenix

From Oakland ;)

The picture is so cute I can't read the article.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the code without spaces.