January 20, 2018: Build the Base, Take the Initiative

  • Posted on: 16 November 2017
  • By: thecollective

via crimethinc.

A Call to Expand Our Capacity

On January 20, 2018, we invite you to join us in organizing events and gatherings in autonomous spaces, building capacity and community to sustain our movements and prepare for the year ahead.

This call is endorsed by the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network, subMedia, It’s Going Down, and CrimethInc.. If you want to endorse this call, pass it on to others, organize something for January 20, 2018, and email us at rollingthunder@crimethinc.com to have your name added here.

Last year, thousands gathered in Washington, DC and elsewhere around the US to start the Trump regime off with an inspiring display of defiance. Since that historic mobilization, many of us have been in action almost continuously, responding to one threat after another from the regime and its supporters.

We’ve participated in airport blockades opposing the Muslim Ban, mass mobilizations against the Alt-Right and other racists, weeks of action in solidarity with J20 defendants and Standing Rock arrestees, ongoing anti-colonial action against pipelines, and broad disaster relief efforts in the South and Puerto Rico. As a new year opens up before us, let’s come together to think about where we want to go from here.

We live in dynamic and dangerous times. The state is ramping up repression just as fewer and fewer people perceive the government to be legitimate. Many comrades are facing decades in prison, but many more are looking to get involved.

For this reason, we’re calling for people to gather in anarchist and autonomous spaces on the week of January 20, 2018 in order to reconnect to the roots from which our movements draw strength, discuss the path ahead, and gather resources for prisoners, relief efforts, and ongoing struggles.

Expand Networks, Strengthen Spaces

We propose to use the week of J20 2018 to reconnect with our networks, revitalize our spaces, organize new projects, hold special events, and bring people together to build our movements.

Autonomous spaces include infoshops, community centers, and bookstores. But an autonomous space can also be a public place you make a habit of gathering in or a territory you share and defend. Open spaces offer a way for people who are freshly curious about our movements to plug in, pick up literature, and begin fostering relationships.

Towards this end, we are encouraging people to organize on the week of J20:

  • Community events involving putting in work at autonomous spaces. This could mean fixing the bathroom or repainting the walls, or it could mean soliciting people to bring supplies, books, and other materials to add to the space. Let this be an opportunity for the community surrounding the space to strengthen and expand the physical infrastructure.
  • Block parties and celebrations around the space, reconnecting the wider community that uses and interacts with it and bringing in new people.
  • Fundraising events to support the space—this could include speaking events, film showings, and more.

Maintain Solidarity, Build Capacity

Let’s also use the week of J20 to organize events to raise money for J20 arrestees, gather supplies for disaster relief efforts, and prepare for ongoing struggles we are already engaged in such as antifascist action, supporting prison rebels, and the fight against pipelines.

This could include:

  • Fundraising events to support the J20 defendants. Host an open mic, show an episode of Trouble, bring a speaker to address an audience.
  • Letter writing events for political prisoners, community dinners and potlucks, and raffles.
  • Events to gather supplies and resources for disaster relief or to support a particular struggle.

Go on the Offensive

Finally, let’s use the week of J20 to look back on the past year of action and discuss what we want to accomplish in 2018—to evaluate our accomplishments with a critical eye and think strategically about where we want to go from here.

For example:

  • Presentations on struggles that have taken place over the past year.
  • Open salon discussions about the previous year and the path ahead.
  • Panel discussions featuring representatives from different organizations, struggles, and crews in the local area.

Conclude by identifying new issues that people in your neighborhood, city, or region are facing, and start an organizing project to address them in a way that puts our politics into practice. It’s time to find new ways to seize the initiative.

The path ahead won’t be easy, but it will offer us many opportunities. Let’s start 2018 strategically, on our own terms, and together.

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Comments

Think strategically but DO something. Always. Never stop!

Lol...more protesting? Don't you think we've tried that by now?

You just want a big red button that says revolution on it. So convenient!

And you're just one more protest away from total anarchy! So convenient. Go for it!

This is an anarchist website... Very few folks here are seriously arguing for "protest". You're just attacking a strawman for shits and giggles.

And yet, protest is precisely what this article is about. As we all know, anarchists rarely protest....oh wait.

rowdy protests are fun. huge adrenaline rush. idk anyone that thinks protests will overthrow the govt or whatever.

J20 took the state at its challenge when they and the news said "a peaceful transition of power". its not much, but like to be able to shift one small part of the narrative of the state is a small something. its still gonna chug along of course.

I was totally with you until you said it 'may be able to shift one part of the narrative...' Protest (without strategy) will never shift anything, but it is most definitely fun.

Right, let's not actually change anything or be effective....let's just have fun!

I didn't say that's what we should do... I said that's all protests are good for.

please enlighten us to your proven more effective methods. thanks.

It WAS a peaceful transtition of power. An unpeaceful transition of power is like the legislative assembly in Mexico when Calderon was sworn in office, amidst MPs fist-fighting in the assembly, or like that MP in South Korea who tear-gassed the assem;bly not long ago. But Trump came into office with the calm smiles of Clinton and Bush. Now the only official measure that can take down Trump -and is likely to succeed at impeaching him- is an FBI investigation on the Russian meddling. An as some may have noticed the Trump admin has been quite weak, as I predicted. He lost several of his cronies early in his "administration". A return to business as usual politics is to be expected soon.

As for the riotous stuff happened elsewhere in downtown DC, and even if it did achieve significant media coverage everyone was expecting for a protest to happen. It was all getting along with the program. Perhaps people could try something original and unexpected for once, so that it'd really take authorities by surprise?

But yeah, beyond doing it for a bit of fun, and looking edgy, I don't think there's any solid convincing cause in here. The desire to create a situation, by overutrning order, has been sucked out by fronting politics, the very same fronting promoted by this new "anarchist" media conglomerate (IGD, Crimethic, Submedia and co).

In other Anews, was there any corporate pharmaceuticals conference or assembly of university rectors disrupted recently? This is the stuff actual insurgent anarchists have been into, if you remember.

the transfer of power between the state actors happened in a peaceful way.

The day of the transition of power itself was not peaceful.

I don't think we disagree on that. I just guess its semantics as to whether the "transition of power" can only be evaluated based on what hte people in power did.

The transition of power was between people who are in charge of the government. Within a ruling elite. The transition ritual was not bombed or at least sprayed with shit juice. It just went on according with the program, just like these protests... It took a sovereign individualist fighter, an emperor of his own life, to go on the initiative and punch Spencer. This, along with maybe the burning limo. is the only part that got interesting.

Randos in the street or watching the telly are not in charge. Unless you believe in democracy, yet still if it'd exist, the "people" are always larger than the few randos

How dare you question protestiing. Protesting is all we've ever known. Why change now? There is no other way to make our voices heard to government and make them accountable. We still believe in the glory of the state! All power to the legislators!

Typical Crimethinc -- permanent involution. They have no conception of struggle other than protesty-protester shit.

Until we come to the part that says, "Conclude by identifying new issues that people in your neighborhood, city, or region are facing, and start an organizing project to address them in a way that puts our politics into practice. It’s time to find new ways to seize the initiative."

And, being Crimethinc, and having no actual lived experience of attempting to make their brand of anarchism relevant to anybody who does not get off on calling themselves an anarchism, the details of what this might amount to are nebulous as hell...

the 44th anniversary of the invasion of the Polytechneio in Athens by the forces of law and disorder, a watershed moment in Western anarchy that resonates to this day, and simultaneously functions as a refutation of the above communique from the Zeros--thought I'd throw in my two centavos.

First, lets be clear what this announcement is, an invitation for anarchists from across NA to begin the process of recruiting new anarchists via coordinated events (open mics, cleaning bathrooms, video showings--hell, quilting bees) at collective spaces. One further step towards commodifying and marketing a programme, a political agenda, in a word, an ideology. A process, by the way, that has been in the works for some time, the breaking down of anarchy into bite-size chunks by IGD and by subMedia. The relation to the dominant system is clear, in much the same way that Capital's gangs and organizations valorize humanity as being composed of producers or consumers, so the revolutionary gang valorizes the human species as being composed solely of potential converts (or funding sources), cannon fodder for the Great Day. Further, the idea of a continent-wide synchronized Day of Building the Base is anathema, an insult to spontaneity and a classic example of the organization's need to spatially and temporally define its boundaries, limits and events. Organized religions designation of certain Holy Days and the Sabbath are clearly precursors of this type of organizational regimentation. In the spatial context the Yoruba refer to the encroachment of civilization, Capital, and nation-state by designating those conquered areas as,"...the earth that has lines on its face."

But to what purpose? Let's assume that thousands "join up." Then what? Well, judging from the normal fare of IGD and subMedia, the next step is to wave signs, chant slogans, and hope (like Liebknecht) that one massive, balls-to-the-wall demo will initiate, if not Revolution, at least Renaissance. I would direct my Comrades to the not so subtle prompts of history, especially on this day as we commemorate the birth of insurgent Athens. It is not demos that build, it is collision. Not broad coalitions, but targeted confrontation.Our history is replete with this truth. The Communards didn't protest the moving of cannon from the Buttes des Montmartre, they seized the artillery pieces--and executed a few generals in the process. Makhno didn't protest the Czarist regime, he was a terrorist prior to forming the Insurgent Army. And I hardly need mention that the FAI disdained the gentle prodding by the Socialists via demonstration and reform legislation for the government to rule more with a gentle mailed fist. Further, this allows for individuals to enter anarchy of their own volition, they see what our tactics are and desire a place on the line--as opposed to cajoling Liberals to renounce their most sacred cow, the nation-state. Finally, and as Liebknecht and Luxembourg were to discover, demonstrations don't seed the ground with Revolution, rather they weaken the resolve by channeling energy into ultimately reformist demands. Plus, they're boring.

Last, I should say that I am in no way against collective spaces sponsoring events, book fairs, and the like. Rather when the call comes from someone outside the collective, when its stated goals is to recruit or garner funds, and when those who call for it can only see as far as the next demonstration---then I think the local groups need to rely on themselves, to decide what they'll do and when they'll do it. As an example, tonight in Athens anarchists of every tendency will descend on the Polytechneio and fight tooth and nail against the Social Enemy. Who called for this? No one and everyone. Is it meant to recruit? No. Will it be far more fun than any demo? Hell yes! And that is precisely what I'm talking about.

I'm afraid we're dealing with the same old crowd of crypto-maoist zombies campaign to recruit would-be anarchists and further justify their careers as elite militants in the milieus. Not very important that they're Maoists or not in fact. What matters is how they behave like sectarian, exploitative managers and channelers of "radical opposition". To me, Submedia has died with Stimulator's pseudonimous character (or moving to Montreal?). If this effort was anything authentic, it's been sucked away and swallowed by Left regressive, sectarian politics.

Also watch out for their support to some of the worst Islamic gangs, in the name of delonization...

"Careers as elite militants" <--- this is so demonstrably not-a-thing that it can only be code for "I resent various people who I didn't understand but I sensed they were way more badass than I will ever be so fuck them!!!"

Haha... I did way more badass shit than most of those cultists. The only place where they are better than I am is at herd gimmicks.

Supporting Islamists is badass... Sure lol. Just like the CIA... so badass.

Yeah, cause that's what I said. Basically I love the CIA and islam and that's clearly what I said.

I don't see a call for protest?

Towards this end, we are encouraging people to organize on the week of J20:

Community events involving putting in work at autonomous spaces. This could mean fixing the bathroom or repainting the walls, or it could mean soliciting people to bring supplies, books, and other materials to add to the space. Let this be an opportunity for the community surrounding the space to strengthen and expand the physical infrastructure.
Block parties and celebrations around the space, reconnecting the wider community that uses and interacts with it and bringing in new people.
Fundraising events to support the space—this could include speaking events, film showings, and more.

Yeah there's literally nothing about protest here, just a bunch of "triggers" for the sort of red-baiting trash who use the term "cryptomaoist".

What they mean to say is, "I'm pathologically hostile so when I see anarchists who aren't completely filled with bile and have friends, I hate them most of all!!!"

Correction: I suppose the reference to the J20 is technically a mention of a protest, although none of the support work qualifies as such.

Crimethinc might as well be the po'. they seem to want us in court just as much

Yes, they're clearly the ones jailing anarchists. By your logic, anyone who suggests anarchist politics should be active is literally Donald Trump.

The problem is serving (directly or indirectly) 3rd party non anarchist politics as opposed to making them serve Anarchism. Beyond anarchism there is anarchy which in embodiment is apolitical.

There was a time when you knew this. As Simba's father said from the clouds in The Lion King, Remember.

this is a call to organize for the Causes catered by the political and aesthetic framework of the signed organizations/groups. this is terribly vapid.

networking and expanding 'power', capacity and solidarity: put together as such these remain quite instrumental, wooden words (not to mention the language of the reigning spectacle). a whole callout blithely offering nothing but 'margarine words' as veiled pleas for financial and psychic allegiance, all to the detriment of creativity and anything that looks (even marginally) less like politics.

we are living in quite a sad time when this is what the dominant strains of anarchy offer. my thoughts (and humble deeds?) however are with those facing the state attempt at encirclement: i wish you many escapes.

used to represent the entry level anti-political strains of anarchism.

I read this as an attempt to answer critiques for more proactive (prefigurative?) energy. I was disappointed by the regurgitated rhetoric, but I maintain some hope that this conglomerate of anarchist thinkers will continue to move in the direction of housing, healthcare, food-security, social-space, autonomy. I am tired of watching people find joy and solidarity on the streets while I stay home, the major way to be any part of it being through GoFundMyBail, etc.

What direction would you like to see pressed by modern anarchy?

19:53 is posed to 19:31. I'll learn to address posts eventually.

Perhaps the two don't belong(at least directly).

im off to this protest to get arrested for having a can popprner opener.
http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/event/protestors-gather-against-universal-c......

I entirely certain that your struggle will meaningfully engage the better-natures of your representatives! You, dear comrade, open the can of inspiration to sustain the masses with your vision, your dedication! Shall we all pile food to climb into this glorious future. In solidarity, Che UK.

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