Black Rose Anarchist Federation NYC Local Statement on the Current Revolt

Black Rose Anarchist Federation NYC Local Statement on the Current Revolt

From Love and Rage media dot org

by Black Rose/Rosa Negra NYC Local

The explosive revolt following the murders of George Floyd, Raynard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Loreal Tsingine and Chantel Moore laid bare the collective anger that’s been simmering just below the surface in a U.S. society  founded on white supremacy and a capitalist system designed to enrich a very few haves at the expense of everyone else. The uprising was a revolt of the Black and Brown people and the have-nots sickened by seeing the video of a Black man being slowly lynched, and tired of living day-to-day with a dim future of precarious jobs, health and housing, unstable food, debt, a degrading climate, and a pandemic-induced depression. The system has failed the have-nots. It’s time to uproot it and replace it with a cooperative and democratic society.

The uprising has shifted the public conversation drastically. For example, three months ago the slogan ‘Defund the Police’ was something that had little circulation beyond anarchist and other radical circles. Today it’s mainstream and painted on streets with the permission of local authorities. Corporate politicians like Andrew Cuomo, hardly a ‘progressive’, suddenly began speaking of ‘systemic racism’ in the police, health, housing and jobs.

The murders of Mr. Floyd and the others also set off an eruption of potentially revolutionary energy—and liberal overdrive. The revolt put a big dent in the legitimacy of the police, and to a lesser extent, in the state and capitalism, in cities and towns as cops attacked marches of peaceful protesters. Masses of people took over streets, confronted and fought cops, destroyed police property, and pulled down white supremacist and colonialist statues. Aside from turning loose the cops, however, the authorities and their corporate allies spent more energy working overtime to divert the militant anger into channels that wouldn’t collapse the system. These efforts took three forms. First was the attempt to drive a wedge in the marchers by differentiating the ‘peaceful’ ones from the ‘thugs’ and ‘looters’. However, the authorities couldn’t quite get together exactly who these ‘thugs’ were: radical left ‘antifa’ or white supremacist boogaloo boys? (These same powers naturally ignored that the entire country was founded on looting of land from those who already lived here and the mass kidnapping of people from Africa, not to mention the wholesale looting of wealth over the past twelve years by an assortment of banks, hedge funds, private equity and other unaccountable institutions).

Second, the liberals and their friends have tried to narrow the issues to the police, ignoring jobs, health, housing, education, and crushing levels of debt. Even ‘Defund the Police’ got watered down, becoming instead proposals to ‘reimagine the police’, whatever that’s supposed to mean, or transfer some functions over to other state bureaucracies. ‘Abolish the Police’ turned into vague propositions to reorganize the departments or replace one police force with another. The aforementioned Cuomo is a case in point. Walking back his fine words about systemic racism, he has since told demonstrators after signing a weak ‘police reform’ bill that ‘you don’t need to protest’ anymore because ‘you’ve won’.

Third, the liberal ruling class is working feverishly to take advantage of the fact that, after marching for weeks, protesters are looking for next steps. The liberals are happy to provide in the form of moving from ‘protest’ to ‘politics’; that is, electoral politics, and the Democratic Party in particular. Fortunately, polls show large distrust in politicians and electoral politics in general. However, whether this sentiment can be cohered into blocs of militant activists will depend on the orientation and actions of revolutionary anarchists and others who see the need for non-electoral direct action.

Black Rose/Rosa Negra of the New York Metropolitan Area also sees the need for protesters to discuss next steps. we are calling for anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and revolutionaries to support the formation of Neighborhood Peoples’ Assemblies, independent from all political parties and candidates, across the city to discuss, coordinate and map out strategies to eliminate police terrorism, dismantle jails, raise wages, and create housing and quality education and healthcare that masses of people can afford.

Towards the revolutionary necessity for abolishing the police along with capitalism.

  1. Defund, Disarm, Disband the NYPD – We are fighting for a world without police. The oppressor classes require police. They are enemies of the masses of people, including Black, indigenous, and all others who are oppressed because of who their relationship to capitalism, white supremacy and settler colonialism. All police should be disbanded in a social revolution. That said, as immediate steps toward that goal, we demand to drastically slash the budget and the number of cops in the NYPD. Remove them from schools and hospitals. Disarm the department of military-grade weapons and vehicles, including chemical agents and rubber bullets. Abolish the bloated PR and media relations section. Disband the department without replacement by private security, metropolitan area forces, or a vast expansion of state social work bureaucracy. Redirect police funds toward restorative justice initiatives and social programs controlled by democratic and cooperative community organizations. Strong communities make the police obsolete.
  2. Eject ICE from the Metro Area – ICE should never have been established. We demand to remove this intrinsically oppressive agency from the metro area. Their overt cruelty has no place in our communities, and no place in our world. They cannot be given a safe haven to kidnap and disappear entire families into concentration camps. Open all borders.
  3. Dismantle All Prisons & Concentration Camps – We demand total abolition. Immediately release all non-violent prisoners. Immediately close the concentration camps detaining immigrant children and their families. Invest in community-controlled systems of restorative justice to deal with prisoners accused of violent crimes. Prisons do not prevent or solve violence. They cause, displace, and perpetuate it. The U.S. legal system is wholly inadequate for dispensing justice. It instead deals injustice. We demand closure of Rikers Island and all jails in the metro area under the direct guidance of democratic and cooperative community organizations. We need robust accountability structures in our communities, not human cages.
  4. Decommodify The Means to Survive – The freedom to work or starve is no freedom at all. Human survival cannot be a market commodity. We are in the most resource abundant civilization in any stage of human history, and in one of the wealthiest places on Earth. Food, water, health and shelter are basic human rights. Yet access to them is restricted to those who can pay. COVID19 has exposed the failure of a profit-driven healthcare system in causing the needless deaths of thousands. We demand universal, comprehensive and accessible healthcare. Rental housing leaves people precarious when they can’t work. End predatory real estate development, speculation, and further privatization of our housing stock. All sites where people live should be cooperative in nature, and people should be free to live where they wish. Access to money should not be a barrier to people’s basic needs.
  5. Direct Democracy & Self Governance Now – We demand freedom. Truly emancipatory freedom that can never be offered by any government or state agency. We have the ability to govern ourselves. We do not need politicians to do things for us. As such, we seek to establish a directly democratic libertarian socialist society. Let’s democratize all aspects of our lives, from the work that we do to places we live. We also recognize that U.S. capitalism was built on land stolen from indigenous people. Indigenous people have a right to their territory, their sacred sites and to self-determination. But a free and decolonial future will require organizing and struggle. We must organize at work and in our neighborhoods. We achieve our demands through the formation of popular assemblies in our own neighborhoods where we decide the fate of our communities together: actual democracy. All power to the people!
  6. Revolution: Destroy Capitalism & The Settler Colonialist State – All of the demands above require the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and the settler colonialist state. By the latter, we are referring to the colonialist tactics of displacement, erasure and extermination. By putting as many settlers as possible onto lands occupied by indigenous peoples and laying claim to those lands, colonizers set out to erase indigenous histories and exterminate their existence through killings, sterilization, blood quantum laws and cultural obliteration. In solidarity with indigenous communities, we call for decolonization of the settler colonial state through the abolition of whiteness ,and removing eurocentrist systems, ideas and practices from indigenous lands. The settler colonial state is the fabric of life as we know it in the U.S. and nothing short of revolution can ensure its undoing. The police are the enforcers of capitalist property laws and social relations. As long as private property, the state, and all other hierarchies intrinsic to capitalism remain intact, the police will be necessary to maintain those relationships. At the same time, we cannot simply pull out the rug from underneath our feet. Eliminating capitalism from our world will require a cooperative effort like we have never seen before. It is up to us to build the consciousness, institutions, networks, and alternative economic models that we need in order to rid ourselves of the tyranny of capitalist social relationships once and for all.

Black Rose/Rosa Negra also is working to coalesce a group of revolutionary anarchists. To that end we invite you to check out our program on our Facebook page.

There are 21 Comments

Dear liberals -- oops! I mean, US type anarchists...

"Destroy Capitalism & The Settler Colonialist State (sic)"

Congratulations on borrowing your theoretical underpinnings from 20th century Stalinism -- and Joltin' Joe himself! -- who claimed that black people in the U.S. are an oppressed nation of a new type, and which is where this 'settler-colonialism' ideological framework comes from.

Race-conscious liberals -- one more step if you wish to become revolutionaries!

yeah ... just no. why would you want to pretend colonialism couldn't be understand as a bad thing until stalin? all those millions of people being murdered and/or enslaved, all of them needed joe to explain to them that it sucked huh?

one of the more politically mobilized and with the federation infrastructure, is just recycling the anti "white supremacist" rhetoric just to basically stir the emotions of their fanbase. I would like to think that anarchists currently would try greater amounts of innovation and better/more insightful writing than just recycling 60's politics ad-infinitum. This is what happens when people ignore the critiques of left identity politics just for some cheap "movement building" sentiments. I mean there is so many things they could be doing, like, gosh!...taking steps to work towards their list of demands? Don't get me wrong, i don't have any hatred towards black rose anarchist federation, i'm just sick of all the major anarchist activists reverting to the same sets of ideas while we could all be doing more meaningful stuff on the ground outside of the internet. I'm totally lost about what kind of stuff i could be doing inside of my locale and ranting against white supremacists doesn't really help me personally. Despite what a lot of people have been saying, attacking racism does not dismantle a system that's designed to enrich a few wealthy at the expense of the dreams and desires of every single person.

uhm … or they actually use structural analysis in a sincere way? and it's accurate?

one of the main problems with liberal identity politics is when you misapply that structural analysis at the person level: for example, I find some random white boy and jam my finger in his face and be like

"YOU! this is yer fault cuz yer white, ya fukin whitey white boy!"

and he's like "huh?"

and you're like "called out motherfucker!" and then you spike the ball and do an end zone dance.

that's obviously stupid and idiots are doing it constantly as a form of cheap belligerence, especially online.

BUT structural white supremacy is as real as a heart attack and that hasn't ceased to be accurate analysis just because liberals don't know really what words mean or use them in bad faith.

misusing structural analysis of oppression doesn't negate it, much like how stalin and mao hijacked those revolutionary tendencies that they rode to power.

In structural analysis when you describe the US as being “white supremacist”, that’s only a small part of the infrastructure that’s used to keep people down, the fact that blacks are 3.5 likely to be killed by a cop reveals a bias, and reveals that the police like to screw with the vulnerable because they can, yet by this evidence alone think of all the white people getting Murdered by police.Also a lot of different kinds of people get falsely convicted of murder which imo is worse than getting abused by cops, yet nobody really talks about this last point because everyone assumes that just because there are violent/sadistic people out there they see this as a justification for the existence of the law.

… i think if you were to do more of the reading I've already alluded to, you'd find that it is not "only a small part" of the infrastructure. more like the foundational stones on which the rest of the apparatus is built. even Balko understands this and he's a liberal reformist, whats your excuse?

And just say that as far as welangshaungs are concerned, I find eugenics to be just as much of a problem as white supremacy, yet it’s old assumptions tend to get used on a regular basis.

Tended to be Marxist ideologues who were obsessed with binary struggle and statist frameworks. It makes perfect sense to bring up the Stalinistic factor(along with Maoism of course) as a key driver of anti-colonial discourse. The ultra left tends to be good on this issue when they go after their rival marxist ideologues though I disagree with their class emphasis and reductionism which remains rooted in a binary political lens.

The anarchist/anarch answer is, pure and simply, free association, elective affinity and discursive exit. Black Rose continues to be mired in the dead end leftist disenfranchised voice and binary elective struggle strategy. It's the worst kind of anarchism that basically tries to be 20th century Marxism.

Between Marxism and de-colonizers/leftist idpols but my issue is the latter 2 groups do engage in a type of reductionism where the lense of critique is always focused on the white colonizers, and the issue is always that modern racism is different and more complicated than it used to be:

It’s “only a small part of” everything not because it’s insignificant, but because it is just a little piece of the puzzle in terms of modern slavery.

yes ziggy, "it makes perfect sense to bring up stalin" if you're trying to collapse a massive, interesting and useful framework of understanding history in to petty red baiting bullshit that only fools dumbasses who had mccarthyism mixed in with their mother's milk.


with marxists/stalin/mao is better or worse than someone who just sits back and insults people and makes vague criticisms that don't really lead anywhere than "you could have read more stuff".

That link that i posted above explains what's been called "new racism" by sociologists and fleshes out how it works in a real settings, and also critiques those who refer to "the racists" by pointing out that people don't always act the same way in every situation, someone's racist biases can be evoked in one situation and not invoked in another.

dude … think harder then. obviously trying to red bait the horrors of history back in to some sort of cultural blind spot is worse. objectively. I see no reason to be polite to anybody trying to do that. me and ziggles mcgee have been bickering about this since before you turned up.

is like bill o'reilly, o i get it, so simple i just has to think a little harder thank you so much.

Kristian Williams "our enemies in blue" is a good place to start if you're interested in researching the topic.

and one thing he talks about is that cops use the fact that black people are already arrested for crimes to keep arresting, which isn't exactly something i would use the words "white supremacist" to describe, but racist, yes. More than anything that's BUREAUCRATIC and "detached", low self-awareness, though.

So once again you obviously have this pretension that you are schooling me yet all you did was say a name and book that i've already read a lot of. I think you have a classic inferiority complex, you rail against other people because you don't like yourself, you don't really try to investigate your disgust for other people but just stay stuck in your attempts to put other people down.

mod wipe! retry!

What I'm "putting down" was an attempt to deny the significance of white supremacy in the history of policing in america. something Hitler himself went out of his way to express admiration for! why would anyone want to dismiss that?

that doesn't make me hitler to disagree with black rose. The paper i posted talks about in crazy detail about how complex modern racism is, referring to "white supremacy" or "white supremacists" is a reference to a particular ideology or state of affairs. I don't think that if you are cautious about your word choices, and really want to neuter power authority, you should refer to the US as being "white supremacist", because it's simply not very accurate. Really if i was in Black Rose I would probably tell my fellow anarchists that we should choose one of those demands and work towards making them a reality instead of talk up a storm. However, i do appreciate the fact that they want to defund the police, and that they want prisons to not exist, so really my criticisms are just venting my frustrations with the repeated left identity politics.

And one of the things i said that got erased is basically in so many words that i don't like how you just call people stupid who you disagree with, and i don't understand why you think you know who deserves politeness and who doesn't. To a certain extent we all deserve kindness, but in certain situations people do not, and to that extent i agree with you. BUT, nobody in the comment section of this article was really insulting anyone until you stepped in. Maybe you could ask the above commenters how stalin is connected with any of this? Telling everyone they are stupid doesn't help clarify anything. I see a lot of things online that i don't agree with and am disgusted with and i don't respond to most of it

I didn't call you Hitler at all … I said when a state was praised by history's most famous white supremacist, that's pretty compelling. To assert that the US isn't founded in and continues to be a significantly white supremacist project, to me, demonstrates ignorance of the topic. That's my strong opinion but also, it's backed by mountains of data if you care to learn more. Or you can keep sounding off in radical spaces and expect similar reactions to the one you got from me. Or ppl will quietly decide you're a fool and ignore you.

I also agreed with some of the distinction I think you're trying to make at the beginning of this exchange. Differences between structure and liberal conceptions of identity, etc.

As for whining about how I talk … are you serious? When did I claim to be pleasant? Why would I care whether you like how I talk? I'm not a nice person. Deal with it.

You get flak from the mods here for being obnoxious, I leave it to them to decide which one of us is worse.

Not sure what you mean by that...they delete a lot of comments and i don't really blame them in the end.

But whatever, back to political discussion

"To assert that the US isn't founded in and continues to be a significantly white supremacist project, to me, demonstrates ignorance of the topic."

Yes the US was founded in both christianity and an idea that people who don't have civilization are inferior, there's an enormous amount of evidence to support that, and it was also founded in a desire to become wealthy and own land. At the time it happened it was characterized in an idea of "taming the savages", the spanish looked at black people from africa as being an inferior race, and so did the english, because they lived differently than they did with less wowy-wow and flashy objects. To characterize the current operations of the police and military as being "white supremacist" is just lazy thinking. I don't really feel like i should have to explain this to a fellow anarchist but a lot of people just believe in the rule of law. Some people are racists and white supremacists, and people who believe in the inferiority of non-white people are likely to see civilization as a necessary evil to keep the greater evils at bay. Nevertheless, the decimation of Iraq and Afghanistan were geo-political ploys to expand the influence of the United States . The role that white supremacy played in that? I have no idea, it certainly played a role but to characterize it one way or another seems kind of obtuse. Maybe "neo-liberal colonization" is probably the right word to use to describe that.

Left id-pols are like conspiracy theorists in the sense they make these fearful connections between a lot of different things and feel like they have a right to make word choices totally meaningless.

Anyone heard this history that during the 20th century the LAPD used to recruit their police from Alabama, Kentucky and other KKK run states because they were capable of extreme cruelty to black men, women and children which the mild mannered and sensitive Cali boys were mostly incapable of.
So which State one is speaking about defines the context to a large degree.

Add new comment