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Commentary :: DNC : Organizing
An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
30 Jul 2004
So…… Now that the DNC is over perhaps there can be some assessment of the effectiveness of our strategy and organizing. I want to start with the good. It’s clear that logistics came together amazingly. The problem is the people simply didn’t come to take advantage of all the hard work that went into logistics, and there never was a real vision put forth for action.
So…… Now that the DNC is over perhaps there can be some assessment of the effectiveness of our strategy and organizing.

I want to start with the good. It’s clear that logistics came together amazingly. All of the food/medical/housing/website/resources/and other necessities were there. Stuff like that is critical if people are going to attend an event and take part in actions.

The problem is the people simply didn’t come to take advantage of all the hard work that went into logistics, and there never was a real vision put forth for action.

Simply put- Turnout was atrocious. This was a convergence worked on for months, heavily advertised around the country, and in the end a total of maybe 2,000 people from the entire country (including Boston) participated in counter convention events during the DNC, including those organized by groups that weren’t the anti-authoritarian Black Tea Society (BTS).

BTS managed to bring probably 150-200 people from outside the area to Boston and around that number participated in the 2 BTS marches. Contrast this with the fact 60-70 people participated in the February DNC consulta put together by BTS. This indicates that support never built, even within anarchist collectives, for the importance of coming to Boston. Turnout of radicals (and everyone else) was lower than Miami and even lower than during the Peoples Strike. In a report (from an Austin activist) about the Feb. Consulta forwarded by the BTS, it was said-

“Members of the BTS spoke with all of us about the questions they had dealt with in the weeks leading up to the consulta. The big one, they told us, concerned whether our community had reached a level of maturity where mass decentralized action was now possible. Their conclusion, based on long discussion, was that we, as an anarchist movement, were ready to take the next step.”

So did “mass decentralized action” materialize? I can’t see how anyone could argue it did. There were perhaps 3 or 4 decentralized actions during the entirety of the convention. None significantly disrupted business as usual, none did significant economic damage, and none garnered significant media attention. Only one- a storm through the gap by 10 or so people was anything particularly out of the ordinary and I fail to see the impact of that. The others, banner drops, confronting delegates, getting thrown out of the convention happen fairly regularly, and don’t see to have been in response to the BTS call for decentralized direct action.

What BTS argued was that the time had come to move beyond ineffectual marches and blocs toward a completely decentralized model where groups take actions independently of a larger and more coordinated framework. They sought to take the idea of the ACC’s “People Strike” in 2002 to “the next level”. Instead of a framework where decentralized actions would happen at the same time, and in conjunction with publicly announced marches and events, actions would happen throughout a day with no coordination.

The end result was that almost nothing happened and total resistance actually appeared to decrease. A couple weeks before the DNC the BTS finally changed their tune on whether to organize marches and put together 2. Although many people expected they would do this in the end, waiting so long to do so negated the positives they would have gotten from being able to advertise events groups could plug into, and it flew directly in the face of the arguments they had made for decentralization. What’s truly amazing is to think how the week would have been had these two marches not happened.

So why didn’t “decentralized direct actions” materialize and how did the plan affect turnout.

MANY groups didn’t come to Boston because they didn’t see a way that they could participate that would be effective. It just doesn’t work to ask an affinity groups to go out on its own and execute a potentially risky action in a city they don’t know, at a time when the area is saturated with police. There is no tactical sense to it and the case was never made by BTS for why and how actions could and should take place. Why not just stay at home and do an action there? What’s the real point of what was done in Boston if it doesn’t disrupt the DNC, doesn’t get media coverage that relates to the DNC, and doesn’t have any impact on the target? Sadly, calls for decentralized direct actions outside of a larger DA framework almost never materialize and have little to no effect.

To get people to attend an event you not only need to get them to agree with you at least partially on the issues, they need to believe they will be able to participate in an effective way. The call for “autonomous decentralized actions” just did not provide that and despite the self congrat’s being written about above the book is still out on whether a model of decentralization is possible.
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Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
30 Jul 2004
I'm glad that people didn't show up to protest the DNC. I don't think there was anything to protest. The Democrats are doing whatever they can to get the white house and the congress out of the hands of Bush and the GOP. I say great. Kerry seems like a pretty principled guy. He was a leader in the movement to end the Vietnam war. I think that most leftist people should respect that. Kerry chose to work within the system rather than outside the system, but that doesn't make him a bad person. Maybe he will do more good because of it. I say, before you protest Kerry, before you vote for Nader, I want you to really find out about Kerry, to actually give him a chance, to go beyond the superficial crap that is constantly repeated about him in the media.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
30 Jul 2004
Decentralized actions carried out by affinity groups work and have happened in many protests obviously, but the problem is the people who are going to understand this, plan for it, and have the friends down with it are only going to be a handful of the most entrenched in the (non-mainstream/anti-authoritarian/anarchist) activist subculture.

There are probably many people who sympathize with doing something different/creative, but don't have any friends down with it, don't have time to plan, aren't plugged into the "activist" subculture in their area, or don't really even have anything close to a subculture where they live.

I don't think the DA were the only problem here though, and perhaps this analysis places a bit too much emphasis on that.
Individuals can do decentralized actions solo.
30 Jul 2004
I know because I have. It takes a little more guts, but it is not difficult to do. The hardest part is having confidence in yourself.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
30 Jul 2004
To James:
err.. maybe you should find out more about Kerry yourself before urging people who protest Kerry to find out more about him before protesting him.
What he did years ago was admirable. Too bad he denounces it now, is now calling for 40,000 more troops in Iraq, is staunchly committed to a long-term occupation there, is disgustingly super-pro-Israel, and is making overtures about "intervening" in Venezuela.
a few thoughts
30 Jul 2004
i agree with this article, and the one directly before it.

putting out a call for massive decentralized actions is not going to bring in the masses from all parts of the country. a lot of people want to protest, but not everyone is comfortable in protesting in a very on-their-own do-it-yourself kind of way while in an unfamiliar city under complete lockdown.

however, at the same time, i know and agree with the arguments against massive demonstrations and marches. the "hey hey ho ho here is a weak chant now lets pack up and go" approach does nothing but fulfill the democracy illusion.

maybe what we need is a combination. a call for massive decentralized actions AND some kind of large and militant bloc style march and protest. i think it's possible to have the best of both worlds in this situation.

i don't have the answers, and this is not to put blame anywhere. i just think that the protests against the DNC, while noble, ultimately failed in their purposes.

now i am a little hesitant to protest in new york for the RNC. why? because the protests against the DNC and the RNC will be so uneven, that participating in a protest against bush without having had a STRONG show of protest against kerry makes me uncomfortable. i'm worried it will be like every other anti-bush protest i've been to; basically a democrat campaign ground.

and james, please. look at kerry's voting record, and his plans on how to solve the iraq problem. any bush hater who loves kerry is a downright hypocrite.
Decentralized resistance has never been billed as exclusive to centralized resistance.
30 Jul 2004
Decentralized resistance is a phenomenon that should run in parallel to organized resistance. There is an important role that organized resistance plays. The role of decentralized resistance, unlike organized resistance, is to overwhelm the ability of the state to respond while, simultaneously, giving space to individuals and anti-authoritarian groups to act autonomously and inspire other anti-authoritarians (perhaps untapped) to do the same.

I've never seen it as an either/or proposition.
DNC Protests Succesful
31 Jul 2004
As a DNC protester, I felt I was able to get my message out to the public and the media. The Really Really Democratic Bazaar was a blast, and I witnessed and participated in some great decentralized actions throughout the three days I was in Boston. True, the DNC protests were pretty relaxed and calm, but isn't that a good thing? After all, everyone's saving up their energy for the RNC...
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
It seemed that lots (but certainly not all) of the people who came to Boston were fairly young. Many of them had not participated in a mass mobilization or done militant street actions before; many had not experienced a Miami Model style police state.

I noticed the same thing in Miami, which worked against us when some people decided at the last minute to do a long march from the convergence center through deserted streets to meet the rest of the protesters (who were being tear gassed and shot at by the fence).

With this level of inexperience I would have liked to see more hands-on workshops at the convergence center on things like DA tactics, security culture, and jail solidarity and support (why were there only a few kids outside the jail on Thursday?).

I think the BTS was right - there are many collectives in this country that are capable of doing decentralized DA. Where the fuck were they? Where were they when Miami and Georgia were going down? We need to ask ourselves why people and collectives who have been around longer don't want to come to these mobilizations anymore.

That said, New York's gonna be a fucking riot.
well...
31 Jul 2004
lots of groups may have had lots of individual reasons for not coming. a lot of them may have had to do with not getting arrested before rnc. i don't think that's necessarily bad - personally i think the rnc will be fucking amazing - or more importantly, that you should be vilifying other collectives for not being as gung ho as you were about your own event. i appreciate your frustration but there's really just no point because it only sounds like whining. the problem was turnout.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
(As someone who was on the sidelines as a medic this week...)

Perhaps, instead of speculation and accusation, it would make more sense simply to put the question out to the vast majority of anarchists: so, what made you decide not to come out on the streets of Boston?

This angry "where were you in Miami"... "where were you in Brunswick"... "where were you in Boston" pattern doesn't seem to be opening up the right conversations.

Good post dfgdfhdfh.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
i agree with mj about this shit not opening up the right discussions and i'm frustrated by people who think that a. you can't be a teen and be more poltically conscious then many adults and b. the majority of folks in boston were teens. i was amazed to see the range in folks that did show up and the folks who did actions did them well. i only wish folks could see the link between the dnc and the rnc and how raising awareness about the dems is more important the the already bad guy republicans. it was pointed out to me that bts reached out to the folks who get this and that in away that was a form of success people who usually feel lost in a crowd of liberals or who feel that the organizing body doesn't represent their ideas of how large the problem is felt a voice here. we need to look at the fact that bts and the protests got an amazing amout of press coverage and scared the shit out of the dnc secuity despite our numbers. when you get press and the cops are scared you know you're doing something right. so maybe the movement isn't ready yet but by pushing decentralized d.a. anyway hopefully bts has pushed it in the right direction.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
That said, New York's gonna be a fucking riot

Well, comments like these may be a problem too. It's easy to sit around on a computer and write how the next big protest is going to be the biggest thing since whatever. We could try a little less hype and a little more participating and action.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
I'm not surprised about the low turnout. Look, we all know Bush is the problem. The Dems still cling to corporate donors but they're the only chance we've got to unseat the current cretins in power. And I don't want to imply that I'm only half-heartedly endorsing of Kerry. Yes, he flipped for the war and the Patriot Act. But he seems to be on the right path now and for the moment however, I'm buying the "help is on the way" line. I believe Sharpton, Kucinich, and Dean have had substantial influence on current D party line.
These guys aren't Nader, but they've got a chance. I'll bet the protest turnout for the Republican convention will be enormous.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
pfg - he is the only chance there is to unseat bush, you are correct.

but would you vote for a republican to unseat kerry in the next election, as a tactic to get him out of office, after comitting the various atrocities he is most likely going to commit? are you ready to explain this line of reasoning to his future victims, and his current ones?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
I really don't think you can assess the success of an event by
turnout. I went to the IMF/WB protests in DC on the weekend of
the March for Women's Lives, and I can't say it was successful.
I felt nothing much came of it. This past week in Boston just
felt different, and even though there were probably 1/4 the
number of protesters, there was a much more meaningful spirit.

There is something to be said for solidarity that stems from a
diminished presence. Everyone in Boston knew they were there
for the right reasons and our presence was crucial, and so each
and every soul who turned out made that much of a difference.

I'm not anarchist but I gained so much respect for how
ridiculously informed each one was, and how much courage
was displayed in confronting the police state. I also gained
tremendous respect for the NLG, BALM squad, and others who
put themselves in harm's way, who go out there and record the
abuses by our government like the MPs and Feds and Riot Pigs.

I hadn't heard a call for jail solidarity and was so tired that I wasn't in the right mindset afterwards to find this on my own.
But I regret not being a part of that. What's up with arrests now
and the legal fund and all that?

The other problem with the DNC vs RNC is that the whole world
is ready to get rid of Bush, and so there will be an international
day of protests for the RNC. It's hard to compete with GLOBAL SOLIDARITY as a motivating factor for action! See you in NYC!
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
BTS was the first major activist collective I have ever organized with and I can tell you the energy and spirit, the way things just came together over the past few months, the way conflict resolution was practiced and the way we all became this giant family was probably the most increddible experience of my life. I'd like to thank everyone individually for showing me that an anti-authoritarian movement DOES exist and its thriving right now here.

yes, the protests and marches were small, but the actions were so well executed, these kids were like seasoned pros. I'm proud of each and every person who made good use of the convergence space. from the pirates to the medics to the legal observers to the code pink crew, all of you were what made this experience incredible.

This isn't about the amount of arrests, how many numbers at the marches, or even whether kerry knew of our existance. And I do agree that a mix of DA and traditional protest/rally is probably the best thing we can do right now. This was about energy and spirit and the dedication people had to relaying a message. and goddamn, this small group of people singlehandedly renewed my faith in this movement.

I really look forward to working w/you people again. Everyone who missed this because of the ABB mentality should be ashamed of themselves.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
bts applied for march permits without really expecting to get them, and they dropped into our laps at the last minute. we didn't promote them particularly heavily because we would rather people go do decentralized actions than just go to a march like any other march.

also, i feel that the full extent of the decentralized actions probably have not been felt yet as reports have been trickling in over the past day about things that happened. i think the media profile is also low because the media only knows how to cover "protests" that fit the traditional model. the day of the black bloc may well be over, and if the decentralized actions in boston weren't as huge as they could have been, they still signal the sound of a movement shifting gears.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
i think that boston is a very important case study in the development of the contemporary anti-authoritarian movement. i think the biggest thing that came out of it probably was the bazaar. it was damn smack in the middle of boston with a lot of fuckin foot traffic (i had an amazing conversation with a local working class guy) as well as a great feeling of energy and strength. i wish it had been bigger personally, but it was bigger than was expected, and it was still amazing as far as i was concerned. promoting the positive is as every bit as important as protesting the negative.

secondly, while i think publicizing a BTS march would've been a better idea as far as a launching ground for DA as well as giving people something low-risk to plug into, i think the call for decentralized actions was a very good idea for several reasons. first, it challenged people to do creative things that engaged the people who witnessed them. second, it showed us just how alone we are as a movement when it really comes down to it. liberals and progressives can be our friends sometimes, but when it comes to situations like this year's DNC, we were on our own, while the rest of the left was twiddling their thumbs and watching the DNC speakers and entertainment on TV, reveling in an imminent kerry victory so that things can go back to normal. and after the elections, we can expect the turnout at the DNC to be commonplace for awhile. it will be us, the anarchists, who bring the antiwar movement back to life with a revolutionary twist.

it'll be hard for the reformists to argue for change occuring through working within the system when the only alternative to Bush brings Iraq 40,000 more troops and an Orwellian state that will make Bush look like a petty thug.

Finally, the only way we can manage to disallow the democrats to co-opt the RNC resistance is by fucking shit up as much as possible.
Decentralization
31 Jul 2004
I couldn't make it to boston but i'm glad to hear people are putting so much thought and work into strategy, logistics etc. and I saw some good pics at least, in spite of the low turnout..

Decentralized actions worked pretty well in S.F. in March 2003 because of large turnout (e.g. students walking out of high schools and colleges throughout the area; well over two thousand people arrested). There was of course some centralization in the form of a clear goal (shutting down street traffic and key buildings in the downtown area), long torturous spokescouncil meetings, a website, listserv, a map of intersections/areas "reserved" by various clusters, etc. The cluster concept of multiple affinity groups seemed to work well in forming groups large enough to actually do something.

For more info see http://www.actagainstwar.org/article.php?list=type&type=17 and http://www.actagainstwar.org/article.php?list=type&type=30. See you on the streets in nyc!
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
I think the reasson San Fran worked so well was that the people who were participating were from the city. They knew where things were, good escapre routes, and were comfortable. Also, SF was not completely decentralized. People knew when and where to re-group at certain intersections. I like this model, because if your actions gets fucked with/dispursed, you can always meet up with a group an hour later and start marching around (or whatever) again.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
It must have been very embarrassing for the Boston based "anarchists" and groups during the DNC. Now all the other states are going to think Boston is lame and the only thing radical about its protest groups are the haircuts and nose rings on these dungeons and dragons playing juvenile delinquents.

I guess comedy central had it right: "I'm sorry, I guess in Boston, Anarchist=pussy".
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
and where the fuck were you, elliot? with the riot cops? The only pussies here are the ABB people and cops.
Elliot's post is typical of those wishing to discourage...
31 Jul 2004
Now, let's think of who would like to discourage us:
FBI, DHS, BPD, FreeRepublic, General Rightwing Morons....
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
The problem is that the state won the game. Cops were everywhere. They infiltrated BTS, Grey Block, Medics, etc. Half the people in the marches were cops. They knew what we were going to do before some of us in the crowd knew, and the stormtroopers were waiting for us.Helicopters followed us. It wasn't BTS fault. How can a group with a few hundred dollars compete against police with $25 million?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
@'s increasingly shrill, defensive efforts to label any discussion of the shortcomings of the BTS decentralized action scenarios - particuarly turnout - as a nasty CoIntelPro plot to demoralize the movement is simply infantile.

A lot went right in Boston. But it's undeniable that the turnout was lower than expected - and that many autonomous and anarchist groups decided on the basis of limited resources to prioritize RNC actions. A revolt of sorts is also going on in the 'broader' anti-war movement as people react in disgust to UFPJ's capitulation over the march route imposed by the NYPD. The development of adecentralized direct action scenario - that will offer real choices to tens of thousands in NYC of people on A-29 who refuse to be penned up in an 'official" protest pit on the Westside Highway is now involving. Hopefully, the positive lessons of Boston - including the Really, Really Democratic Bazaar will prove inspirational.
Some thoughts from Arkansas
31 Jul 2004
Modified: 05:23:07 PM
The Original Post:
The original post that started all this discussion seemed to suggest that BTS' decentralized action strategy was the reason turnout was so low at the DNC. The problem with that analysis is that turnout has been extremely low at a number of national actions this summer. I agree with those here who say that we need a thoughtful discussion of why so few people are responding to the national calls for action.

Did We Miss The Decentralized Actions?

Boston Incubates Decentralized Resistance, the feature directly after this one on Boston IMC's front page, suggests that a number of decentralized actions did take place in Boston, usually below the media radar and thus not widely publicized. Only one or two comments in this discussion thread seemed to indicate awareness of such actions going on during the DNC. Did they occur below the threshold of our radar also? If so, what does that say about their effectiveness and/or our level of awareness?

Who Is Posting Here And Why?
Several of the posts in this thread seem at best to indicate an overload of male testerone. At worst, they may be a new form of COINTELPRO. It would not surprise me if the Feds deliberately planted inflammatory posts in discussions like this so they can go back later and use the same posts that they planted as "evidence" of "violent, terroristic" intent. Wouldn't be the first time they've done stuff like that.

Pretty sophisticated cop posts.
31 Jul 2004
Got to give them credit for pretending to be amongst us. Let's look at some of the above. First of all, who would know whether or not 50% of the marchers were cops (an absurd claim). Only a cop would know if 50% of the marchers were cops. If 50% of the marchers were cops, the cops wouldn't post that here unless much less than 50% of the marchers were cops.

The FBI has been quoted, with regards to their operations against dissidents, that they wish to provoke the belief that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox (i.e. induce paranoia). With that said, the posts above criticizing the alerts about COINTELPRO operations directed by police and manifested as posts on IndyMedia fit perfectly into the desired goal of the FBI.

Let me note too that many different activists are posting as "@". The cop singles out "@" for ideological reasons (that is, let's make them not feel comfortable about identifying themselves as anarchists).

I'm sure we'll see quite a few more of these below. Going over past threads like this, I think we'd be better of ignoring them from this point forward.
More reason to dismiss "martin."
31 Jul 2004
I just went over the thread. Martin makes a statement about "@"'s posts becoming "increasingly shrill." I see only two posts by "@" above and neither is shrill. Interesting, isn't it?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
I was there when the WTO came to Seattle in '99. The direct action that went on there was powerful, effective, and organized. Because of different opinions, some activists blocked police and delegates and some only blocked the police (saying that the delegates have a right to assemble, to which /i totally disagree- noone should be allowed to assemble so that they can figure out how best to exploit everything on earth-including us. Especially when those people actually have the power to do it and are not just being philosophical.)

Anyways, whay I have to say is this: Since then I have participated in other "decentralized actions" and there organizing. The problem with these is that dispite what people say, the planning of these thing IS centralized a central committee or spokescouncil of people are meeting and planning and deciding on what to do. The problem is most of these meetings drop the ball when it comes to planning action. BIG MISTAKE. I know everyione is afraid of cops finding out about plans, but during the WTO in Seattle the thing that made it affective was that everyone discussed (not in exact detail) what they were planning and it was effective because then everyone could act in coalition with each other. I have to go to work now. Bye.
I think they did a great job.
31 Jul 2004
The Black Tea Society, when you consider the number of people who came to protest, the number of cops deployed and the transportation nightmares facing them, did a great job.
i think this goes back to some original arguments of bush vs kerry
31 Jul 2004
i am a little bothered by the talk about the DNC as being some kind of stepping stone towards the RNC. is that REALLY why the numbers were low?

do people feel that the RNC is more important then the DNC was? why?

not to say that the RNC isn't as important as hell, but i am pretty sure both conventions need the same amount of protest.

kerry, through the DNC, has now come through as some kind of knight in shining armor, ready to save us from the evil scourge of bush. the democrats are united. and, when the RNC is protested, it will be seen that this country only thinks that our current president is the only problem we have.

maybe i'm wrong, i really am no authority on this.

why are we seeing more coddling of democrats then republicans? in the 2008 elections, are there going to only be 400 people marching against the RNC, with hundreds of thousands against the DNC?

i doubt it, i am sure the RNC will recieve more protestors then the DNC, again.

why is this? how can we stop this? how can we ensure protests against the entire system of oppression, and not just the republicans, who get themselves in trouble by mismanaging the american empire?

i have many more questions then answers
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
i left out an important point, the reason i started to write the above comment.

i wanted to say that i'm not sure anymore if it was any fault of BTS, at all. i'm sure there are things that could have probably be done better, somehow, but i don't really think that was the problem at all. BTS came through as the heros, as the hardworking organizors who made it all happen.

the question i'm posing now, is, where the hell was everybody? why was this not the same kind of priority as the RNC is to many people?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
spectator, that's what I've been asking all along. I'm really disturbed that people think the Dems don't need to be challenged in anyway.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
oh and its kinda scary that this election is eerily close to the kind of election held in the now ended comic series, "Transmetropolitan" (DC/Vertigo). There was this big election with a president that everyone wanted out at any cost and the opponent was a long chinned, charmer labelled "The Smiler" who championed for democratic ideals during the campaign and won in a landslide... only to "amend" the constitution "for the people's sake".

mind you, this comic ended two years ago.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
If # is accussing me of being a cop for seeing all the plainclothes cops out there, I think he/she better calm down and stop encouraging paranoia. Everyone knows what plainclothes cops look like. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that they were out in force.

http://boston.indymedia.org/feature/display/24611/index.php
What Worked
31 Jul 2004
The state fell on its $$$ to protect the elite. The mere possibility of dissent in the streets caused them to issue a bogus terror alert to justify a multi-million dollar lockdown of Boston. They can't keep this up forever: you can bleed the state dry of funds for protests that may never occur. Every overreaction by the government opens more people's eyes to the police state we live under, and strips away the illusion of freedom and Democracy that keeps them in power.

You won the media war on the "free speech zone." It's a black eye for Kerry and DHS. Revel in these small victories: you've made a dent in the battle for the public's mind.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
ALBATROSS:

What reason do you have to believe that the medic collective was infiltrated during the DNC?

I'm only asking because I was a medic and we did our best to deal with that shit beforehand. Proactively.


And also because there are some damn solid folks who were medics, who aren't punks or young, who were complaining this week about how they were sure they were being viewed as cops.

So, seriously. I want to hear. Why are you saying medics were infiltrated? Can you describe specific people who were part of the medic collective who you're pretty sure were cops? We need to know.

If not, it's fucking weak bullshit to just say that, as it makes our job a lot harder if people don't trust us to provide treatment on the streets when at the same time we're making a solid effort to check references and kick out undercovers.

If you don't want to respond onlist, email me at above address.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
For those who were worried that the FBI infilitrated the medics - despite the very careful vouching that occured with every single medic who ran with the BALM squad, - probably more comprehensive than most affinity groups who worked with BTS, here's a recommendation.

There is one powerful alternative to exclusively depending on action medics in any direct action scenario if you are really worried about security, and that is for affinity groups to acquire solid streetmedic training for your own vouched affinity group medic. ( which I note BTS also recommends in their posted document on forming affinity groups )

Boston affinity groups should contact BALM to find out how.
There is so many bogus cop posts in the above thread that I wouldn't take anything in it seriously.
31 Jul 2004
Yet a third person posting under "@"
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
Let's see where this thread is taking us.

- The FBI is posting to Indymedia in a cyber-war campaign to disillusion and demoralize activists.

- The medics were infilitrated by the cops

- Same with the convergence center.

- Hostile forces ( indoubtedly in the pay of the Department of Homeland Security ) are taking advantage of the undeniable low turnout to unfairly crticize the strategy and theory of decentralized action and criticize Boston folks who busted their asses for months to make this work.

- Plus, poor turnout is the really fault of all those anarchist collectives who didn't really grasp how important our work here was, and mobilize thousands to join us. Instead they have fallen prey to the ABB crowd and are concentrating on the RNC in New York.

This is what passes for a critical after action assessment in Boston?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
I felt we confused the hell out of the cops. Maybe one or two got inside, but mostly everyone who entered that convergence center was genuine.
midwest anarchist: another COINTELPRO hoax
31 Jul 2004
Now, why on Earth would an anarchist from the midwest post the above comment? Oh, I forgot, it's not an anarchist from the midwest.

There are people all over the planet posting here. Who would someone from "the midwest" conclude that this thread is Bostonian?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
"There is one powerful alternative to exclusively depending on action medics in any direct action scenario if you are really worried about security, and that is for affinity groups to acquire solid streetmedic training for your own vouched affinity group medic."

Yes! Yes! YAAAYYY!!!

People, this is going to be key if we're doing "autonomous decentralized actions." You can't expect a medic collective to be "on call" and fully operational, even for just a 24-hour period.

Affinity groups planning on doing DA should have their OWN legal person, their OWN documentation person, their OWN press spokesperson, and their OWN medics. That's why the affinity-group structure is especially relevant for DA...
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
like i said before, i think the decentralized actions were by their very nature a lot bigger than they looked, because we're used to the traditional "black bloc charges the fence, fights with cops" model of protest.

that, and if you have solid security culture, having undercover cops around barely matters.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
i think criticism is needed, even when it is unwarranted, and i don't think it is helpful to anything to accuse anyone that has negative or even unfair criticism of being a cop. is this how we should treat our own dissenters?

that said, even if mistakes were made, there is no reason to rub it in people's faces in accusatory manners. it is not constructive, it will not help build anything, it will only serve the state's overall goal of having us angry at eachother, instead of the state itself.

maybe now is the time to begin planning for the RNC, election day , and kerry's inauguration. next time, we should really show im what we got.

and yes, this is extraordinarily similar to transmetropolitan. there is a part of me that is certain this is a plot not by the oil industry, but by the multibillion dollar hollywood industry, prepping themselves to make a blockbuster movie about this whole period of time in 20 or 30 years ;)
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
if kerry gets in and no one's there force issues upon him and his yes-men at the inaugaration in January, I will lose faith in the entire left of this country.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
as an imcista who has been to several convergences, I can say that the sheer number of plainclothes cops was amazing to me. I had a nice long chat with a few of them (who did admit they were cops) and there will be an article about this in the coming days. As for infiltration, I am sure it has happened, and the question should be to what extent. It is far too easy to be overly paranoid, but at the same time there is a level of healthy paranoia; many of the cops we recognize are actually just "plain clothes" and are in a totally different category from "real" undercover cops.

In terms of cops getting through convergence center security, I know of one specific instance of a known infiltrator getting into the imc space. He was removed in miami do to being a security threat, and was quickly removed again in boston once he was recognized.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
mj

Re the medics being infiltrated, its what I heard. You're right, there's no proof. Maybe the police were just watching where they went and using them to predict. But there was some suspicion.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
"many of the cops we recognize are actually just "plain clothes" and are in a totally different category from "real" undercover cops."

Yes. I was thinking about this a lot in town this week... especially because there's so obviously a plainclothes "manual" that they try to follow... wrap a bandana around your crewcut; cover your walkie-talkie and/or gun with a big baggy t-shirt; wear "casual" pants and fresh running sneakers, etc.

It's easy to spot them because they're usually men, usually alone, might have a Che Guevara decal (or "Falun Gong/Falun Dafa") on their possibly tiedyed shirt, and after a while they check in with one another.

There were a TON of those people, and we should NOT let our guard down because they're easy to spot.

The actual undercover ones--especially the long-term deep undercover types--are much more of a threat to us. If a 16 year old bourgie kid can pull off the "crusty traveller punk" thing with minimal preparation, so can a well-salaried, intelligent, somewhat "rebellious" 27 year old detective.

The abundance of plainclothes cops encourages lazy counterculture profiling of the sort I saw at the door this week (I appreciate how hard it was to run security, but if we're honest...)

The only way to run "security culture" in the long run is to know people, not from protests/demos/actions, but from the political work we do in between them. Know where your comrades are from, what radicalized them, where their organizing priorities are at, what their favorite food is, what their fears and hopes are. Do perfectly legal, maybe even reformist, political work with them in your town/community. Argue with them and make up. Invite them over for dinner, and accept when they return the favor. Meet their partners, meet their siblings.

Soon you have a rock solid security culture around you, which has nothing to do with how well someone can deploy countercultural iconography and slogans, and which has everything to do with where people are at in revolutionary struggle. You can meet with a group of people, figure out who needs what skills, learn them, and form an affinity group that's cohesive in the streets. And then, at yer spokescouncil meetings, there'll be a bunch of people repping known and established groups and like two people who seem to be there by themselves. Kick 'em out and you're good to go...
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
"Re the medics being infiltrated, its what I heard. You're right, there's no proof. Maybe the police were just watching where they went and using them to predict. But there was some suspicion."

Okay. Please. Realize how hard bullshit like this makes our work.

We DID have to ask someone whose references weren't straight to butt out of our group. We can't prove that person was a cop, but IF they were, please understand that it was a big decision to ask them to leave, because they were pretty damn undercover and had a lot of people fooled.

There's no way to guarantee we were totally secure. There's no way to guarantee BTS was totally secure. I've heard rumors circulating about "NLG" people that I'd love to have confirmed or shot down. But, damnit, we made a serious fucking effort to provide non-cop medical presence, and if that effort is destroyed by some more-militant/more-paranoid-than-thou people making some offhanded remarks on IMC, we're fucking nowhere. Do you understand why this is important?

And how would the cops be using us to "predict" where people would go and what they would do? It was all we could fucking do to dispatch medics to FOLLOW people who were plainly trooping down the street in big groups. We stayed as far away from confidential information as we possibly could, for exactly that reason. There were cops following and searching MEDICS, but that's US being harassed.

This is just stupid. If people aren't responsible enough to take the time to form affinity groups with affinity group medics, and then spread macho arbitrary rumors about the medics who ARE trying to be present on the street being infiltrated by cops, or being cop magnets, or "there was some suspicion" in the totally unaccountable passive tense, then they don't fucking deserve medics. Okay?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
31 Jul 2004
(1) I wasn't disappointed, cuz I never had any sense of big numbers coming for the DNC. I knew locals who should have come but weren't planning to. Only something unexpected happening early in the week could have changed that, but nothing did....

(2) I expected worse from the authorities. Even so, they were so overbearing that lots of folks got a taste of Boston as a police state. Even people who were against us saw this. I think the fact we didn't disrupt anything made the govt's own disruptiveness clearer. And it gave a glipse of a "normalized" police state --empty streets, surveillance, random checkpoints, we had it all.

(3) Since I don't understand what we expected to achieve, it's hard to gauge what success would have meant, say if ten times as many people had participated. Surely disruptive actions are not an end in themselves.

(4) Once, I was where I believe a symbolically powerful event could have taken place. I think the authorities saw that we have no discipline in large groups, so in that situation they dissolved our demo by grabbing a few individuals. We behaved like a mere crowd, responding predictably by trying to protect those individuals from arrest, yelling Let em go, Let em go. We were easy money that day.

(5) BTS were just great. Without them there would have been nothing. I'm not big on compliments, but they were right in the breach, doing what needed to get done.

(6) John Kerry is not the issue here, but in case anyone cares, John Kerry was NEVER a leader in any movement. His LEADERSHIP consisted of giving well-rehearsed testimony to Congress. He got the spotlight because of his privileged background. This lovely speech was made possible by the Resistance of the Viet Namese people. John Kerry's candidacy is today made viable by the Iraqi Resistance. John Kerry... excuse me while I vomit....
Dfgdfhdfh, assessment is DEAD wrong.
31 Jul 2004
What did you expect? When the government turned Boston into speech-free zone and liberals
have done everything possible to undermine any radical/progressive opposition in this election year. Did you really expect tens of thousands of demonstrators under these conditions? You’re obviously not very politically astute. Did you miss what Liberals have done to the Green Party and the Nader campaign?How the Democratic Party machine commandeered the annual WTO/World Bank demonstration in DC, with their ‘March for Women's Lives’- vote for Kerry rah-rah. Michael Moore abandoning progressives to become a “Democratic” Party shrill?
Simply put- Turnout was NOT atrocious. You got several thousand people to turnout under difficult circumstance on week days in fact–that’s incredible. From what I’ve been reading, a lot of the attendees were impressed and thrilled, this is the most action or the first action they’ve ever seen. “What’s the real point of what was done in Boston if it doesn’t disrupt the DNC, doesn’t get media coverage” maybe to slap some reality into this movement’s head, supporting Kerry is suicidal. This did get media coverage, the most you could expect barring a riot. I haven’t seen this much ridiculous, unfounded defeatism since G8.

A better assessment of DNC strategy and organizing problem.

Dem Loyalists In UJP Blocked Anti-War Mobilization.
by dncwatch 27 Jul 2004
Major reason for relatively small turnout of anti-war protesters: In early February 2004, local leadership of Boston's United for Justice & Peace group (who are Democratic Party Loyalists embedded within the local Boston anti-war movement) decided, for politically opportunistic reasons, to block grassroots local anti-war activist attempts to mobilize New England and national anti-war protesters from confronting the DNC leadership over its decision to nominate a candidate, "Skull & Bones" Kerry who failed to resist the Viet Nam war in the 1960s, voted to support both Plan Colombia and the War in Iraq, and supports construction of the Sharon regime's land-grabbing/Apartheid Wall in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. Until the Democratic Party loyalists who manage the Boston area's UJP group chose not to organize a national protest against the DNC's complicity with the U.S. war machine in February, UJP people in NYC had actually originally endorsed the idea of a national anti-war mobilization against both the DNC and the RNC warmakers responsible for the current era of "permanent war" in the world. At the last minute, local Boston UJP/Democratic Party Loyalist leaders did throw together a few token anti-war protest events. But to really bring large numbers of anti-war demonstrators to protest at a DNC or RNC, has always meant at least 6 months of organizing around the country and contacting peace groups in every U.S. city, which local Boston UJP leaders refused to do, since they're apparently mostly Democratic Party loyalists masquerading as "anti-war activists”
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/24471/index.php

What the liberal establishment really wants is a return to those halcyon days of Clinton. When America had trounced all opposition. When “freedom” and “democracy” had triumphed. United States was the supreme moral and ideological leader of world. When history had ended and the thousand-year-Reich of Capitalism had dawned. Oh, when Israel could do no wrong (I support Israel but not an insane Israel)

What good is coming out of this election year madness is that liberals are being separated from progressives and we are seeing who is really committed to change and who merely want to maintain the status quo.
Jello Biafra was there, Billy Brag was there. There was The Boston Social Forum, the Really
Really Democratic Bazaar. You showed how democratic the Democratic party is. Maintained action for a week...and you kept hope alive.
Even managed to trash a GAP
Bravo for Red neck.
31 Jul 2004
I agree.

Correct assessment.

Fuck Kerry.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
01 Aug 2004
I could probably get my grandmother's bridge club to help beef up the numbers at the RNC. They're pretty radical, they all have blue hair.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
01 Aug 2004
hold up... jello biafra wasn't here. but he sure wanted to be...

and if he was here, that bastard! he told us he had a shitload of recording to do!
Response to comments that have been made
01 Aug 2004
To be clear I never intended my thoughts to be a well defined critique of the DA organizing for Boston. I wrote it as a comment posted to the feature “Boston Incubates Decentralized Resistance”, which I feel presents an overly positive and fundamentally flawed picture of what occurred during the DNC. IMC took my comment (which was long) and turned it into a post of it’s own (which I have no problem with).

Redneck:
You said “What did you expect? When the government turned Boston into speech-free zone and liberals have done everything possible to undermine any radical/progressive opposition in this election year. Did you really expect tens of thousands of demonstrators under these conditions? You’re obviously not very politically astute.”

No, I didn’t expect tens of thousands of demonstrators and I did expect the Miami model to be replicated. My critique was actually directed towards those who organized a Direct Action framework that could only succeed if large numbers of well-prepared affinity groups came or the state didn’t adequately prepare. The turnout was close to what I, and many others, expected. Perhaps you misunderstood my comments.

Why was the turnout soooo low- I think you can separate things into two categories, the things radical organizers in Boston could change and those they had no control over-

No control: You can not blame organizers for these, expect in the sense that it seems they never addressed these facts in the way in which they choose to organize.
The DNC taking place in a democratic stronghold. Boston still retains a lot of its old party machine trappings. There are a lot more classical liberals (the Ted Kennedy variety) in Boston than there are Progressives.
The national and local liberal and progressive groups not putting significant resources into mobilizing because they were more interested in defeating Bush then taking on the Dems.
The State turning Boston into an armed police camp with many of the things we saw in Miami

Control: where I think BTS failed that they could have changed. These are critiques they were aware of, and these are many of the reasons that Affinity Groups did not come to Boston.

The message that was put forth was one that pretty exclusively appealed to anarchists, focused on the idea of completely decentralized actions, indicated there wouldn’t be centralized events because they wouldn’t be effective, and gave the impression organizers anticipated a large turnout of radicals. All of these could have been different and would have affected turnout or perception of success after the event.

The failure to organize marches and other inclusive ACTION events until the very end. Many groups didn’t come because they didn’t feel it would be worth it. Like everyone else, people who tend to feel direct action/disruption/property damage is an effective way to create change are going to tend towards events that are consistent with their critique and ideas of what effective actions look like. Boston was organized in a way that achieved the critique part, but not the effective action part. Affinity groups did not see an effective way that they could participate besides going out alone, in a city swarming with cops and cameras, to do a risky action, that no one might see or hear about.

When BTS did the long-expected turnaround to organize marches it was too late to change groups minds on whether to go. If they had done so earlier it could have made a difference.

I can only speak for affinity groups that I am aware of, and it is no secret that although many-skipped Boston for reasons that had nothing to do with the organizing, there were a significant number who have attended events in the past year who didn’t come specifically because of the way in which things were organized.

Overall, I think a lot of the reason Boston has to be considered a failure in a tactical sense is that it didn’t achieve the GOAL that the BTS explicitly put forth. They argued for and tried a new style of organizing for direct action and “I” don’t believe it was a success. I think the way they organized came at the expense of achieving other more tangible goals.

Mass decentralized actions did not materialize. It’s as simple as that, and that can’t really be argued with. You can argue WHY it didn’t, but that kind of misses the point when the very things people point to (police state, low turnout) should either have easily been anticipated and taken into consideration as to reasons not to go with that kind of framework or were themselves a result of the framework itself. The FEW actions people have pointed to are not proof that the framework was a success and are in fact fewer autonomous actions than happened in Miami where there was not such an exclusive emphasis on decentralization, on the ground resources were almost non-existent, and the police state was in full affect.

Someone else posted here that BTS didn’t put much energy into publicizing the marches because they thought it might take away from decentralized actions. Can I ask if you still feel this was the correct decision in light of how few actions occurred. If you do, may I ask what actions you believe wouldn’t have occurred. If you feel that turnout at the marches wasn’t important can you post a defense of that opinion and let us know whether you would have felt that way had 50? 25? 10? People participated in them instead of 150.

As far as comments about centralization-decentralization not being a dichotomy I COMPLETELY agree. Decentralized autonomous actions work best in combination with well-organized and publicized centralized events (a la M20 in San Fran, N30 in Seattle, etc). During the DNC consulta, people from BTS fondly referred to a couple tires Bostonians threw into a road during the 2002 peoples strike in DC as an example of the greatness of decentralization and hence used the incident as one of the rational for the way in which they organized for the DNC. It was correctly pointed out in conversation that although those who threw the tire got away free many of those at the centralized actions got arrested. Unfortunately they completely missed the true point of the story. They were only able to throw the tire BECAUSE of the centralized actions. Had the people strike been nothing but a call for decentralized actions it’s likely the entire city would have been crawling with cops waiting for people to act and they would have been arrested shortly after throwing the tire. Those who participated in centralized actions created the space that allowed the tire incident to occur because the police were forced to focus resources on the publicly announced plans. That is why a combination of focuses is so important. Without the lockdowned affinity groups in Seattle there would have been no black bloc smashing up things, etc. There is a symbiotic relationship between centralization and decent. and saying one is better then the other is ridiculous and often leads to failure at mass mobilizations.
Undercover Cops
01 Aug 2004
Hi Guys and Gals. I'm a Cop. I was undercover. I was there. We won. You lost.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
01 Aug 2004
Still living in that crappy apartment? Did you know those gangsters you work for buried you pay raise in the Big Dig, you know what that rhymes with.

Were you at this demonstration, who won this one?

“As the third day of picketing led by the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association continued to hold up construction, Democratic leaders in Washington briefed the party's presumptive nominee on the problems in Boston and scrambled for ways out of the impasse. Construction delays are costing $100,000 a day, said a Democratic official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
A planned media walk-through Tuesday to show off progress on the $14 million conversion of the FleetCenter was postponed, a Democratic official said.”
“Early yesterday, some 200 pickets assembled at the FleetCenter, the site of the Democratic National Convention starting July 26, and a truck attempting to deliver steel turned around after a crowd of union members stood at a chain-link gate in front of the arena, shouting "back it up," and "respect the line, buddy."
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/conventions/articles/2004/06/11/judg

"Besides the threat of a terrorist attack at the Democratic National Convention here later this month, the police will have to deal with at least 70 sets of demonstrators, including opponents of abortion, particularly passionate in this heavily Roman Catholic area; Quakers who want to protest the war in Iraq with 800 pairs of empty combat boots and a plowshare forged from 10,000 spent bullet casings; anarchists; Buddhists — and even themselves.
That's right. Boston police officers, along with the city's firefighters, are locked in a long-running contract dispute and plan to picket several convention events, beginning with the 32 welcoming parties for various state delegations given by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.”
http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=04/07/20/152206

I’d like to thank the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association for their support.
If this doesn’t show how worthless the “Democratic” party is with police and firemen are protesting at their convention.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
02 Aug 2004
Well, Albatross still hasn't emailed me to let me know which members of the DNC medic organizing group were suspected of being undercover cops. Neither has anybody else.

Which sucks, because it would be something the local medic community would really need to know.

Albatross also hasn't explained why people thought cops were using medics to "predict" information that medics had no way of knowing.

So...

Careful with the rumors people. It's one thing to assume cops are listening/reading in the absence of solid security culture. It's quite another to name a specific collective or group of people and just say, totally out of your ass, that it probably had a cop infection. That's when the fear and paranoia part of COINTELPRO-style tactics start working.
Thanks for clearing some of this up.
02 Aug 2004
I didn’t know your article was a comment on another article, which throws it completely out of context. On the face of it your Article looks like your calling the action a flop, which it wasn't. We’re fighting for the heart and soul of this movement. I was fearing that absolutely no one would show up, which would have been a huge victory for liberals and major setback for our movement. I was pleasantly surprised.
I think activist in Boston won a big moral victory that going to bring “dividends” when this movement sheds its “ABB” hypnosis.
As far as your tactical criticism, I agree completely. “Decentralized autonomous actions work best in combination with well-organized and publicized centralized events”.
My major criticism is that most demonstrations are not well coordinated and the publicity and information is often dismal. Activists need to make their calls and actions, simple, direct and clear, “user-friendly”.
Obviously, you are astute. I love the Anonymity of the IMC.

You people in Boston with its tradition of activism and intellectualism got it easy.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
02 Aug 2004
I'm an Anarchist who has organized for a bunch of summits including A16, the last RNC, the WEF, People's Strike, etc. I echo the believe in the combination of mass actions, AND locally facilitated autonomous direct actions.

In NYC during the WEF, we planned a big march one day, and then a more militant day of action on another day. The militant day turned into a snake march, which turned into a slaughter by the pigs. I think we need to combine the huge actions, with the more militant affinity group stuff ON THE SAME DAY so as to thin out the enemies forces.

The ACC did a good job in the People's Strike in DC of coordinating with affinity groups, and they planned everything on one day. But we would have made much more of an impact if we got bigger numbers from the type of people who come in for the day on buses.

I have seen the call for "decentralized direct actions" fail on numerous occasions. We shouldn't be afraid of being coordinated and organized.

I'd also like to throw out there that if we got the unions to mobilize to do marches with us, both us and the unions would be stronger. They are the place we should look to for numbers.

Kudos to dfgdfhdfh for questioning the anti-organizationalist rhetoric.

solidarity,
Big Jim
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
02 Aug 2004
Just a note to strongly endorse the call for affinity groups to consider assigning a specific role for affinity group medic and encourage those that might be so inclined to do a full street medic training. AGM's are particularly critical in decentralized action scenarios where security culture is of concern. Plus it allows organized street medic collectives to focus on more effectively providing support to larger groups who may be less prepared. Think NYC in 4 weeks.

Shout outs to the BALM, MANY, BAHC, TRAM, BC and CAM action medics who ran in Boston and/or are gearing up to run at the RNC.

No pasaran
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
02 Aug 2004
Shit. I forgot the DC Action Medical Network ( DAMN ) Sorry, good medic folk from DC. You rock as well.
TO: JOE FRIDAY (THE COP)
04 Aug 2004
HEY JOE...NOBODY WON NOTHING! YOU KNOW WHY? YOU POLICE PARTICIPATED IN STOMPING ON OUR CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS! YOU IDIOTS CAVED IN TO THE SYSTEM! YOU WON NOTHING!!!
(NOW YOU CAN GO TO MICKY D'S AND SHOOT YOUR MOUTH OFF TO YOUR DOUGHNUT SUCKING BUDDY...ABOUT HOW YOU WERE A BIG MAN THROWING THE PROTESTER TO THE GROUND...WHILE HE DID NOTHING!)
Can any one say MANarchy...?
04 Aug 2004
um... cause i can. i think maybe we need to think about the process of things. i did not take part a lot in the pre-planning but from what i was a part of and from what i experienced at the DNC there was certainly a lot of manarchy (macho-male dominated unwelcoming).

Food not Bombs, Seeds of Peace, Frida Bus, and Spontaneous Celebrations were amazing though...
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
05 Aug 2004
To Spectator -- next election I'm voting for Nader. This election I'm voting for Kerry.

To Red Neck -- excellent and splenetic diatribe.

Okay, the Dems are indentured and worse. What's the alternative? As stated by a suit in the movie "The Corporation" what narrative can we replace the existing narrative with? The Free Mumia and Peltier crowd that always inhabit these protests, however valid their positions might be, are indicative of the fragmentation of the current progressive message. (It's interesting to learn that progressives are to the left of and distinct from liberals.) How about this for a coalescing point: in addition to the standard anti- exclamations, protesters push-push-push Economic Democracy, the system where the vast majority of companies are owned, managed, operated by employees. (Okay, someone's gonna say, look you're just replacing the current wretched plutocracy with another equally environmentally rapacious system of mass-production. To which I say, well you've got to start somewhere, and it's probably our next plausible evolutionary step. Counter argument: "Evolution, shit--we want revolution!" Well that's going to involve bloodshed on someone's part.) Got another viable alternative? Fine by me. I'll join the protest when we can concur on it. Until then, I don't care. I'm voting for Kerry. I want Bush out of there.
Bush NOT the problem, Don't Fixate
05 Aug 2004
"Every knows Bush is the problem..."

Close, but no cigar. Sure he's a simian, and Unckle Dick and Unkle Rumpy are the ones that call the shots in that cabal, but neither Chainy or Rumpsvelt are the problem.

The problem is will all of us.
The problems are with all of us.

We let this happen.
We allow the bullshit to continue.
We all sat on our hands while it's all gone down.
We have a system that allows psychopaths on the ballot.

"Autonomous Decentralized Action"

To the vast majority of our population, the above is nothing more than gibberish. Do any self-styled deep ecology anarcho vegans recognise they are an astonishingly niche culture, essentially with their own hyperpolysyllabic neologistisms that might as well be freaking Esperanto.

Am I saying Bakunin was a jerk, and that the notion of a society without oppressive autoritarian structures is stupi or utopian? No. Am I saying that protest is futile, and resistance is a dead end? Noway That shit rocks. So, break it down - digest instead of regurgitate, and to the best of your ability, drop the cant.

Just for once, try to speak in plain simple everyday language that most everyone can understand, and focus on the posatives.

For example, "Anarchism" a term much belaiden with a couple of centuries of baggage, plus it only speaks to what it is not: 'No rulers' - sounds great, but beyond what it is not, what about what it is. Can anyone think of a different term? I suggest 'LIFE'

At any rate, what I am saying is this: freshen up your minds. Get to know your neighbors. Walk up to people you don't know outside of your gender/age/race/economic/sexual orientation/etc-etc comfort group and start a conversation. Apply your best ideas to projects at your most very local level, and then build up from there.

Oh, and take deep look inside yourself not for what you are against, but what you are for. Look at your own bullshit. Realize that truely the only part of the entire univers you can change is you. Become your own superhero - try to live your highest ideals.

Forget Bush, or if you can't, don't hate him. Dude is fucked up to be sure, and just one of the ways he is different from the rest of us is the fact that he feeds on hate and fear. Why else would he (and his ilk) intentionally create so much at such scale? To hate or fear him feeds him and makes him stronger.

Instead try having compassion for him. Why? Because Georgie is gonna need a lotta love (and i do mean tough love) before he can join the rest of humanity. Think about how lonely he must be, think about how empty he must feel insde, for why else would engage in such remarkably unhealthy covetous behavior?

Aint gonna be no decent revolution until the is at least a bit of evolution. Start now.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
05 Aug 2004
XhopeX,

Could you elaborate on the "manarchy"?

It's something I saw going on too, and something that should be a topic of open discussion. But your only counterexamples were groups of cultural hippies. Were all the non-hippie men manarchists?
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
06 Aug 2004
honestly, bts seemed pretty gender balanced to me, especially among organizers who shouldered tremendous amounts of work.
what manarchy
06 Aug 2004
XhopeX, speaking as a female organizer of the now defunct-BTS, I have no idea what you're talking about. Women played a HUGE role in the organization of this and claiming what you saw was "manarchy" is an insult to every female who poured their heart and soul into BTS.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
10 Aug 2004
The BTS had tremendous gender balance. In fact, we went out of our way to make sure that was the case. Participation and organizing was about 50/50 male/female.
Re: An Assessment of DNC Strategy and Organizing
20 Aug 2004
Glad to see someone's trying to take the bull by the horns here -- though I doubt others have learned much yet. For the record: I could only listen to the DNC by Internet radio, and I soon gave up and turned to WBAI NY -- because the totally "spontaneous" approach at Boston IMC made for some PRET-TY pathetic radio! (at least someone's apparently writing a FAQ -- so the whole effort appears not to be a total loss...)

Maybe it's an advance that some people might now understand that "hard-working people" themselves aren't being dissed here: what the problem is, is not that people aren't working HARD -- it's that they're working to a BAD/INSUFFICIENT PLAN.

For years now, thru these exercises in mass opposition to neoliberalism around the planet, it's become clearly & objectively apparent to many that this fetish over "spontaneity" by the anarchist Left -- IMO an attempt to distance the "New & Improved" Left from the perceived & real "ridigity" & dogmatism of both the "New" & "Old" communist Left -- is ultimately a dead-end (my previous theoretical understanding of this fact aside).
Playing at revolution is _dangerous_, folks. Planning -- and lots of it -- is needed for the Movement. Badly. If we are to take on this Fascist Menace and BEAT it.

It's a lovely thought, and a sight to behold, the praxis of dancing and drumming in the streets, totally without "oppressive structures", etc., in an attempt to recapture what was best of the 1960's. But getting rid of capitalism is NOT child's play, and it is TIME TO PUT AWAY THE TOYS AND START WORKING: within _disciplined_ & _structured_ organizations (which doesn't mean at
all that they lack the best practices of democracy) -- because the enemy CAN and WILL *OUT-ORGANIZE* YOU. And BEAT you. And "the gods" help you then.

So let me add what many yet refuse to understand: there is no Royal, quick road to classless society; and class society *will* be with us FOR SOME TIME YET (it's *structural*, folks!) -- regardless of whether we pull off a successful socialist revolution or not in the meantime.
Consequently, *actual organizations* -- with (egad!) *STRUCTURE(!!)* -- WILL be required for quite some time yet. You WILL have to have a regular job.
If done right, however -- it WILL be revolutionary work -- and it will be SEEN to be revolutionary.
And I don't see why it can't be JUST as much fun as you-all are having today.

That being said: sock it to 'em in NYC!
La Luch Continua! Y Basta! No Pasaran!
beach
30 May 2006
Greetings!..
versia
04 Jun 2006
Very interesting website. Keep up the outstanding work and thank you...