Sunday, September 7, 2008

WSA Statement on the RNC Protest

WSA Statement on the RNC Protest

In the opening days of September 2008 people from all over the country
came together in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St.
Paul to
protest the agenda of the Republican National Convention.
And in
response, police cracked down, hard.
And even before the events had
begun police responded to mere calls for protest through strong-arm
tactics reminiscent of a police state, including infiltration and
spying by state agents against protest organizations and preemptive
raids with guns drawn against private protest centers.
During the
event police responded with the indiscriminate arrest of hundreds of
protesters, and even journalists recording the event where arrested.

Decked out in full military garb masses of police indiscriminately
assaulted numerous protesters with batons, pepper spray and other
weapons, that though listed under the term "less then lethal"
nevertheless inflict great pain and suffering, and have been
implicated in
serious medical complications and even death.
Fortunately no one was
killed in the Twin Cities, but the use of tactics befitting a police
state should be a cause of grave concern for all people of good

In response we at the Worker Solidarity Alliance (WSA) call upon all
poor and working people everywhere to reach out in support of the 284
protesters that have been jailed by the cops.

Please make a donation to help cover the legal fees of our jailed
comrades, and to cover any medical fees that may arise among
protesters due to the brutal tactics utilized by police on behalf of
the Republican Party.
One place you can donate is the web site of the
Coldsnap Legal Collective: http://coldsnaplegal. wordpress. com/

Although the Workers Solidarity Alliance extends unconditional
solidarity and support to the victims of state repression during the
RNC, we also call for a critical evaluation of the approach taken by
anti-authoritarians and anarchists.
The repression of RNC activism
demonstrates that new organizing models will be needed if
anticapitalists are to mount a genuine challenge to the power of
capital and the state.
Specifically, we must avoid playing into the
hands of the state by using rhetoric, rituals, and tactics that
isolate us from the majority of the world's population that suffers
under capitalism.
We call for a resistance based not exclusively on
the advanced tactics of a jail-ready minority, but the
solidarity and militancy of a revolutionary social bloc, organized in
workplaces and neighborhoods, fighting for self-determination.
As the
raids on activists spaces have already shown, anything less is
political suicide.

The reasons people protested were varied, as was the political
background of the protesters.
Some of the protesters came seeking to
end the U.S.
military occupation of Iraq, some economic justice,
others out of criticism of the current Republican administration in
Some protesters came to voice their dissent and in support
of Obama.
Some came to protest the havoc that the endless pursuit for
capitalist profits has wrecked upon the environment.
And yet others
still came to protest the political rule of the U.S.
whether under the leadership of Republicans or Democrats, or other
would be contenders for the throne.

The "Red & Black Anti-Capitalist" contingent came to protest the war,
for economic justice, for a healthy environment, and against white
supremacy, nationalism, sexism and homophobia --- and to promote the
idea that simply changing office holders does not do away with
capitalism and the political state.
This contingent called for a new
world, a world without bosses, states and bureaucrats.

The Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA) seeks the self-empowerment of
ordinary poor and working class people through democratic
self-management of their workplaces and their communities without
mediation by elite's from above.
Those of the "Red & Black
Anti-Capitalist" contingent, and their supporters in the WSA and
elsewhere, are sick and tired of living in a society that is dominated
by the special interests of wealthy men and the political system that
these elites have set in motion to protect their interests at the
expense of the genuine interests, the aspirations and collective well
being of the vast majority of the population, the working class.
supporters of the "Red & Black Anti-Capitalist" contingent we of the
WSA denounce both the Republican and Democratic parties, as we
understand that the true motivating cause of all political parties, in
every part of the globe, is that of keeping a small elite entrenched
firmly in political and economic power over, and to the detriment, of
the working class across the earth.

The WSA also denounces the Patriot Act, under which the state has
charged eight (RNC 8) prominent protest organizers with "Conspiracy to
Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism," this despite the fact that the RNC
8 were arrested days prior to the beginning of both the convention and
the actual protests and had not carried out any actual protest actions
The provisions of the Patriot Act grants the state power
to charge people with "conspiracy" for simply planning a nonviolent
protest, and in turn to saddle them with a felony for making calls for
dissent to state policy.
Thus the true purpose of the Patriot Act is
to criminalize exercises of the right to free speech, peaceful
assembly and protest.
In light of the true intentions of the Patriot
Act the WSA calls for the working class to get together in solidarity
to put pressure upon the state to rescind and abolish the Patriot Act.

Yet despite all of the terror and mayhem unleashed by the police the
fact that ordinary people maintained their presence, their solidarity
and their dissent against the unjust policies of the political elite
for the duration of the convention is in the last analysis a
demonstration of the courage of the working class.
The protesters that
made up the "Red & Black Anti-Capitalist" contingent, and others as
well, have a positive vision of a better society.
A society in which
ordinary folks come together in brotherly solidarity to create a new
system based upon the moral value of "Mutual aid" and free from the
rule of a lying, scheming and predatory elite.
For a society in which
"freedom and liberty for all" are not mere sentiments regulated to
paper, or simply buzz words to throw about by self-interested
politicians looking for your votes, but are instead the overwhelming
living reality of society, and not just in the United States but
throughout the entire earth.

Workers Solidarity Alliance
339 Lafayette Street - Room 202
New York, NY 10012 USA
www. workersolidarity. org.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Zabalaza No.9 Now Available Online

Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Class Struggle Anarchism
Issue No.
9, September 2008

Issue number nine of the theoretical journal of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front is now available online.

In this issue...

Southern Africa:

* Workers, Bosses and the 2008 Pogroms
* "Ba Sebetsi Ba Afrika": Manifesto of the Industrial Workers of Africa, 1917
* Ninety Years of Working Class Internationalism in South Africa
* Unyawo Alunampumulo: Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement on the Xenophobic Attacks in Johannesburg
* Xenophobia, Nationalism and Greedy Bosses: An Interview with Alan Lipman
* Interview with Two Libertarian Socialist Activists from Zimbabwe


* Kenya's Troubles are Far from Over
* Will EU troops stop the Central African cycle of violence?
* Brutal Repression in Sidi Ifni (Morroco)


* Obama and Latin America: a Friendly Imperialism?


* Anarchism & Immigration
* The Poison of Nationalism
* Nostalgic Tribalism or Revolutionary Transformation?: A Critique of Anarchism & Revolution in Black Africa

A .
PDF version of the journal can be downloaded here: http://www. zabalaza. net/pdfs/sapams/zab09. pdf

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RNC protests

Hello Everyone,
Hope you all are doing well.

In case you haven't been following, the protests of the RNC have gotten started with a bang.

Yesterday (Monday), independent journalist Amy Goodman and two producers of acclaimed "Democracy Now" were arrested and detained simply for asking to speak with cops. They have since been released. This past Friday, St. Paul police raided the training headquarters for the RNC Welcoming Committee, the largest organizing group for the protest. At the time, occupants were eating dinner and watching films. Children and senior citizens were present, and cops busted down the doors with guns drawn.

Also over the weekend, police raided a couple of houses in the residential neighborhoods suspected of harboring information and supplies to create bombs, also with guns drawn. Who were occupying the houses? Members of Food Not Bombs - a group that prepares and serves free meals, and I-Witness Video, an independent media group. One of the houses actually were successful at deterring cops because the officials had the wrong address on their warrant - the address for the other side of the building. The building actually holds two addresses and two families.

If you haven't heard, Hurricane Gustav has stagnated many of the plans for the RNC. Bush and Cheney canceled their trips, and the convention itself has been drastically scaled down to just business. That hasn't stopped the protestors though. Video footage has captured many protestor groups in the streets using mail boxes as blockades and blocking traffic, as well as freeing their own people from police detainment.

Pepper spray and rubber bullets are already out in full force, according to participants.

Check out this site - SubMediaTv - for raw video. Check out the other features as well, such as the blog and shop - this is a great underground resource. By the way, SubMedia cameramen were also arrested and detained.

Here are a few more websites:

Democracy Now!

RNC Welcoming Committee

I-Witness Video

Brave New Films (contains lots of other videos from the protests)

Be sure to hit up the group discussion board to add your two cents on the rebellion in the Twin Cities. More news to come as it is made available.

Peace, Love and Freedom

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Anarchists" turn violent in march to GOP convention

Self described anarchists turned violent at the Republican National Convention according to news websites. Is the black bloc a positive or negative aspect of the anarchist and anti-war movements?

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Protesters attacked delegates, smashed windows, punctured car tires and threw bottles Monday, a violent counterpoint to an otherwise peaceful anti-war march at the Republican National Convention. Police wielding pepper spray arrested at least 56 people.

The trouble happened not far from the Xcel Energy Center convention site, and many of those involved in the more violent protest were clad in black and identified themselves to reporters as anarchists. They wrought havoc by damaging property and setting at least one fire. Most of the trouble was in pockets of a neighborhood near downtown, several blocks from where the convention was taking place.

Police estimates of the crowd shifted several times during the event, ranging from 2,000 to 10,000. The crowd was clearly in the thousands. Late Monday afternoon, long after the antiwar marchers had dispersed, police requested and got 150 Minnesota National Guard soldiers to help control splinter groups near downtown.

Members of the Connecticut delegation said they were attacked by protesters when they got off their bus near the Xcel Center, KMSP-TV reported. Delegate Rob Simmons told the station that a group of protesters came toward his delegation and tried to rip the credentials off their necks and sprayed them with a toxic substance that burned their eyes and stained their clothes.

One 80-year-old member of the delegation had to be treated for injuries, and several other delegates had to rinse their eyes and clothing, the station reported.

Five people were arrested for lighting a trash bin on fire and pushing it into a police car, St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh said. Authorities didn't have immediate details on the other arrests.

The antiwar march was organized by a group called the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, whose leaders said they hoped for a peaceful, family-friendly event. But police were on high alert after months of preparations by a self-described anarchist group called the RNC Welcoming Committee, which wasn't among the organizers of the march.

About 20 people dressed in black tried to block a key intersection. Police quickly dispersed the group, then shot two tear gas canisters at them as the fled.

Pictures taken by Associated Press photographers showed officers using pepper spray on people who appeared to be trying to block streets.

Up to 200 people from a group called Funk the War noisily staged their own march. Wearing black clothes, bandanas and gas masks, some of their members smashed windows of cars and stores. They tipped over newspaper boxes, pulled a big trash bin into the street, bent the rearview mirrors on a bus and flipped heavy stone garbage bins on the sidewalks.

One member of the group carried a yellow flag with the motto "Don't Tread on Me." The group chanted: "Whose streets? Our streets!"

At one point, people pushed a trash bin filled with trash and threw garbage in the streets and at cars. They also took down orange detour road signs. One of them used a screwdriver to puncture the back tire of a limousine waiting at an intersection and threw a wooden board at the vehicle, denting its side. Another hurled a glass bottle at a charter bus that had stopped at an intersection. The bottle smashed into pieces but didn't appear to damage the bus.

After the official march ended, police spent hours dispersing smaller groups of protesters, employing officers on horses, smoke bombs and tear gas.

Protesters put eye drops in each other's eyes after police used chemical irritants such as pepper spray and tear gas. Some wore bandanas and masks to protect themselves.

Protesters were seen lying on an interstate exit ramp to block traffic in downtown St. Paul and linking arms to block other roads.

Terry Butts, a former Alabama Supreme Court justice who is a convention delegate, was on a bus taking delegates to the arena when a brick through the window sprayed glass on him and two others. Butts said he wasn't hurt.

"It just left us a little shaken," he said. "It was sort of a frightening moment because it could have been a bomb or a Molotov cocktail."