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News ::
Festival Del Pueblo Concerns
06 May 2002
Modified: 13 May 2002
This is in response to comments to the newswire post http://boston.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=6207&group= Building Liberation post. I'm including the comment from ChuckO which is the last comment on that post.
From ChuckO: The North American anarchist movement has been dominated by white people for a long time, but that is changing pretty rapidly these days. It may have happened that this action involved mostly white anarchists (the critics who raise these concerns always disappear people of color who participate in these actions), but that is simply another thing that needs to be changed. Most left groups woul solve it by recruiting more people of color into the group. But anarchists do thing differently and anarchist groups in several cities are making good progress building ally relationships with community organizations dominated by people of color.
Hey, it's easy to throw the word "white privilege" around, especially if you are a white activist. It's more constructive to point out examples of what could be done differently.
If any of you posters are white non-anarchist leftists who are using this opportunity to trash talk anarchists, you better have fun while you can because we're all over this "race intervention" crap that you scumbags do.
--------

My reply:

I am very glad that the North American anarchist movement is changing rapidly in various regions. However, that was not evidenced at all at the Festival Del Pueblo in Boston. To start with the criticisms:

The vast majority of the group that turned out for the festival del pueblo was white. That’s not dissapearing people of color, that’s stating a fact that was obvious, and you can even see it quite well in the photos. The majority of people in the group were in their mid-teens to twenties, childless, able-bodied, and part of the punk scene. I was there, this is not disappearing people, this is just stating a fact.

For example – One woman brought her child to the march and bookfair, expecting child care that the fdp website had said would be available. However, there ended up being none, and she was told by the organizers that no childcare had been aranged since no one had replied saying they definitely would need childcare. That’s like saying no vegan food options were arranged because no vegans had said they’d be needing food there. It was assuming homogeneity. It wouldn’t have taken much at all to have some people prepared to do childcare, just in case someone needed it, instead of assuming that no one would – if no one did, those people would have been free to do something else. To the organizers’ credit, good childcare was made available the next day.

For example – Myself and some friends stayed with a fried of mine who is Puerto Rican, is middle aged, has four children, lives in Mattapan, and works in Boston and JP. He is also involved in various immigrant rights, political prisoners, and anarchist groups. Yet when I called him about 3 weeks prior to the event telling him I’d be in the area, he had never heard of Festival Del Pueblo (rather ironically named with the lack of spanish speaking people involved it seemed.) I live in central Maine, and had known about the festival for months. Why? I went to the anarchist bookfair in Amherst, MA, that last fall, and also had read the many posts about it on the Indymedia sites. I was not involved with organizing it, so I don’t know what else happened, but it seemed to me that the majority of outreach went on online, at anarchist bookfairs, and punk shows.

For example – At 3:30 pm on May 1st there was a large Immigrants Rights rally in Boston Commons. While there was brief mention of this rally in the FDP handbook, it did not list the time and place. Also, it was the same time as a number of workshops at the bookfair (some, ironically, dealing with issues of race and privilege). I found out, from a separate source, the time and place of the rally, and ended up going. Most of the people I talked to who didn’t attend the rally either didn’t go because they didn’t want to miss a certain workshop, or because they didn’t know it occured until afterward. The amount of people from FDP at the rally was accordingly very small.

- This is really minor, and may just be my personal weirdness, but it just seemed a bit odd for a group of largely white kids to be marching through the streets past construction workers, food service workers, and others, chanting a sing-songy “May Day, No Work.”

One problem it seemed was that this whole event somehow got marketed, as it were, just to the anarchist punk “scene” which, in new england at least, is largely, young, white, and childless, and arrangements were made accordingly. I probably wouldn’t have so much a problem with this if the festival hadn’t claimed to be something more than it was. It claimed “those of us who are sick and tired of being cold all winter, of living on too little food, on too little money, of being harassed for being the wrong color; those of us who are tired of struggling just to survive will come together in Boston in a struggle to truly live...” and that the focus would be on “Affordable Housing For All
* Universal Health Care For All
* Amnesty For All Immigrants
* the US Out of Latin America; Puerto Rican Independence; and an End to Plan Colombia
* An End to Police Brutality
* The Dismantlement of the Prison-Industrial Complex
* Women’s Reproductive Rights and An End to Sexism
* Sexual Liberation and An End to Homophobia and Transphobia
* A Sustainable Ecology; An End to the Poisoning Of Our Communities and the Earth
* Community Empowerment, Resistance, and Freedom”

Yet the people affected by and dealing with these issues, outside of the punk scene, seemed largely non-involved with the festival. And no, you can’t force people to attend, and we shouldn’t be trying only to get a more diverse group of people involved with “our” events, for the sake of our events looking diverse. But the preferable work of “progress building ally relationships with community organizations dominated by people of color” did not appear to have been done either.

You ask for people to be constructive and point out examples of what could be done differently – so here goes:

- Make sure the events you are organizing are accessable. That means handicapped accessable, childcare available, and outreach done in person and not focused just online.

- Make sure outreach is done outside of the anarchist “scene.” Anarchism is an ideal that should not be so scene-based as it seems to be. Too often I find, when people are referring to the anarchist movement, they are really referring to the anarchist punk scene, as typified by crimethinc and such. (Note: I respect and enjoy punk cultures, but I also respect and enjoy any number of other cultures, and am confused as to why anarchism seems so isolated in the US to the punk scene.) Make sure language is regular language, and not movement speak, or else we fall in the same hole as the Trotskyists and their crowd.

- Actually make an effort to connect with groups in your community working on the issues you’re focusing on. Go to their meetings, tell them about the event you’re organizing, ask if they want to be involved, what they think should be done differently, support their organizing and their events. Connect as people. Focusing on tenants rights? Maybe talk to a tenants union, or tenants in your area, organize an action with them. Focusing on immigrants rights? Maybe talk to immigrants in your area, organize an action with them. Focusing on sexual liberation, queer rights? Maybe talk to people involved with queer struggles in your area, organize an action with them. Learn what people who are directly affected by the issues are currently dealing with, what they think might be the most effective actions to take.

- Do a little research to find out what related events are going on during the gathering you are organizing. Find out how you can support each other, don’t schedule major events at the same time if possible.

- Even if it is just a temporary, symbolic action like a temporary building takeover in a community, you are *still in a community.* Make connections with members of that community beforehand, collaborate, learn from them.

Maybe this work was done for FDP, and I’m not aware of it. As I said, I wasn’t involved with organizing this festival, I know it’s always much easier to criticize from the outside, rather than getting involved. I apologise for my ignorance of what fully went on in the organizing of this gathering, and I do appreciate all the hard work that people put into making this happen. At the same time, I think these problems do need to be discussed and brought out in the open, so the problems do not occur again and again, so that we can actually learn and get closer to the communities and worlds that we want. We can’t continue to have little anarchist field trips where a ton of time and energy goes into feeling we’ve accomplished something major by marching and carrying some banners, taking symbolic actions, going to workshops, tabling, and having shows. We are doing a wonderful thing in reclaiming public space, freedom to play, freedom to teach ourselves, making personal connections with eachother – but so have so many intentional communities, rainbow gatherings, and the like. These are only a part of what we need to be doing if we want to be building true connections, working toward putting anarchist ideas into action, and creating any sort of real change.

be well,
sterren
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Why not pink
06 May 2002
I agree... Some steps have been taken I think at this Festival, but we still have a long way to go.... I think some of the people who attended still are in the process of learning about the whole movement, which is not to say that they don't have time...
The problem with the culture, when it comes from such a stong anti-everything sub-culture image network, is it becomes really hard for the rest of the world to connect to our struggles, and the struggles that we suppossedly support...
For instance, when we were on Newbury St. yesterday, I was paying close attention to the shopper's responses.. First of all, they had no idea what we were all about, they kept on asking me... I heard one woman say .. "That's what happens when they listen to too much Marilyn Manson...."
That just blew it over the top for me.. Do we really want to be associated with that juvenile shit... I wish we were more colorful and creative, less alienating,and still fucking shit up in a more interesting way, like the housing occupation, that was beautiful.....

As for the outreach into the ghetto, that was much more successful than I had thought it would be.... The general response seemed to be of support, rather than "who the hell do those white kids think they are...."

They definitely connected to the idea of giving people places to live before locking them up, but they couldn't get much more out of the whole thing...
I stayed behind to talk to these people, and they were impressed but confused.... They asked me where the organization was, how they could help, and I was rushingly trying to get words out.... "Just go to Lucy Parson's....."

After talking to this immigrant in a wheelchair, he followed or actually lead the front of the march the whole way with his fist in the air!!!!!

We really need more outreach.... There wasn't one person handing out flyers!!!

And the war against the cop thing.....
Yes, the cops were strangely too nice, suspicious, but I think they just had never dealt with these kind of tactics before, and saw people with video cameras etc and didn't want to make themselves look bad...

One bloc-er dropped his walky talky when he was jumping over a car, immediately after the window cracking.... A cop picked it up and the kid yelled to get it back, and the cop quickly handed it back over.... The kid then thanked the cop.. "Thanks big guy.."

It was so hilarious and great to see everyone working together.....
Some kids tipped over a fancy motor bike by accident and they rushed to pick it back up....

The Wake the Earth march was somewhat of a success too. If more of the kids who were too punk to march with a bunch of community groups had actually participated it would have been amazing...

We were communicating with the little tykes at the festival, getting them pumped, but most of the rest of the public were just bewildered by our squat-like presence....

I hope there's more great community collaborative efforts to come.. It is moving....

We have to smash down ALL WALLS !!!!
del pueblo etc.
06 May 2002
i agree with most of the above statements. for the most part i was very pleased with theoutcomes of the day. but, the public who witnessed what was going on, either in roxbury or on newbury etc. were left with nothing to hold onto etc. there definately should have been people running alongside, behind, and infront passing out flyers. this easily could have been done by 5 or so kids. that way these peopple would have been able to read about the issues which we all felt so strongly about.

as far as the cop issue goes i think they were generally surprised that there were 100-150 kids. they obviously knew it was going to happen, but at the beginning of the march there were only 2 officers in sight, right outside the roxbury t-stop. throughout the majority of the march i dont think there was more then one car or 2 motorbikes trailing us. it wasn't until newbury st. that they really started to gain numbers, which is exactly when we started to lose numbers. there should have been more chants going on down newbury st. because that was when there was more of a public to hear what we were marching for.

i was one of the kids who helped to pick up the motorbike, even though i didn't knock it over. i think what a lot of people need to realize is we weren't there to destory public property. corporate property is another issue. but, the reclaiming of the building in newbury was beautiul, but the fact that in doing so we blocked off an independentely owned business was discouraging. although i did see the owner and he didn't seem to upset or worried about anything. i believe there was someone there talking to him and letting him know what was going on etc., and we weren't protesting his business etc.

overall it was a great march, but there could and should have been A LOT more public outreach etc.
Problems of Sectarianism
06 May 2002
I was glad to read these thoughtful and comradely criticisms. I was very dissapointed with the organizing behind the event myself, though I must say I had a wonderful time while in Boston meeting many of the wonderful people there.

I do have sympathy for the situation of the organizers in terms of securing space. This was a difficulty througout the week. Its damn hard to do that in many urban environments and it is totally forgivable. We just need to be more creative and resourceful in securing space for events.

Another problem not brought up so far on this message board is what seams to me to be sectarianism. The Barricada Colelctive, one of the main organizing groups of the Festival Del Pueblo, in its self-description calls itself "non-partisan" (see: http://barricada.org/index2.html) What I am reffering to is an unwillingness to share power with other organizers. The goals of a "stateless classless society," or dare we say in the positive, a "free society" are goals that revolutionary social anarchists embrace. In this process, it is important that groups initiating new projects work hard to find other groups with whom to share power. For an anti-capitalsit focus for a week festival, it should not mean picking up any liberal group on a coalition and watering down the politics to a reformist program for sustaining capitalism in a less harmful form. It should mean being plain about our politics and more public about our politics. For this we must also be very clear about our politics.

My hope for Anarchists, particularly in North America is that they continue to clarify their ideas and work to bring their ideas to the public sphere. This does not mean abandoning one’s “sub-culture.” It does mean the creation of a politics that goes beyond that given subculture, that can be a positive force in society generally. In the most recent edition of Onward (http://www.onwardnewspaper.org/), my comrade Soliman Lawrance pointed out that for example, Marxists don’t have a particular style of dress or a particular style of music that is inseparable from their ideas. Social Anarchism or anarcho-communism (two ways of saying it that I like) needs to become a coherant, clearly articulated set of ideas that respect sub-cultures of extensive variety, transcend the limitations of Marxism, and develops revolutionary praxis for a free society.

I live in Vermont so I am unable to talk about the anarchist movement in Boston with great familiarity. I am hoping that anarchists in Boston and in other places can present their politics publically and as a dialogue with people in their communities that anti-authoritarian politics can become more widely accepted. As we develop new ideas about how society should work we can begin to create concrete institutions that express our politics. (I’m currently workign on an article about this topic, which I’ll post once completed)

It disturbs me that there was no widely publicized general meeting before the demonstration on May 5. To me simply getting a flyer with a location and time is not enough of a basis to go to a demopnstration. Days before the action I picked up a flyer that said there would be two marches. One militant march and one march that would not be militant. I decided not to go, partly because it seemed like a dangerous situation in which I would have little if any support. Later I found out that only one march actually occurred and that no arrests were made. This is a pattern of events that is becoming common place:

For the information leading up to an event, make it sound like it will be a very militant intense action, but organize primarily within the sub-culture of other young white anarchists. Tell everybody to organize autonoumously. Don’t put much care into organizational meetings leading up to the event. Tell people that they should come prepared for a militant action. People haven’t made concrete agreements with each other for the action, each person or in better cases, affinity groups is isolated from others participating. Then the action happens, and no substantial militant action occurs.

I am particularly reffering to the anti-WEF protests organized by the NYC anti-capitalist convergence last January. In that instance however, police made a pre-emptive strike against a large block of militant looking black-clad people. Perhaps this type of organizing is not directly hurting anyone but the anarchist movement itself.

We are living in mind-bogglingly counter-revolutionary times. Capitalist ideologues are saying we’ve reached the end of history and there’s no possibility to transcend the basic foundations of capitalist and state structures. Anyone organizing for revolutionary change in this situation is going to have a hard time. My solidarity to all who attended the march. I wish that I had been able to be with you. It would be wrong to expect that Festival Del Pueblo could have possibly done all the wonderful things we could imagine, but if we hope for such transformative community based initiative to occur in the future we need to change the direction of our organizing. I hope this can continue to be an open and frank dialougue without becoming a mean-spirited succession of tirades.

Solidarity and Revolution,

Ben Grosscup
some thoughts
07 May 2002
the FDP organizers undoubtedly put forth much time, effort, and money to make things run as smoothly as possible. we should all appreciate their work.

unfortunately, the FDP mobilization, with its fiery tone and complete commitment to building community empowerment led me, and probably others, to believe that immigrants, workers, and people beyond the white punk subculture would form the core of the FDP festival. this obviously didn't happen.

the majority of musical performances seemed to be punk rock bands, and this may have led to a strong showing of punks/anarchists. but the music cannot explain the absence of those beyond punk subculture because the festival billed itself as more than an anarcho-punk political event. the question we need to ask is: why is anarchism inaccessible beyond subcultures, and what more can we do to to make it accessible? as chuck0 has pointed out, we should not resort to vanguard tactics of recruiting and converting people. we should let our actions and efforts speak for themselves and demand participants, not followers; we just need to reconsider what those actions and efforts should be.

anarchists, for most apolitical people, appear to be mysterious, angry, and intimidating. the appearance of the participants during the may 5th march did not do much to change this. as some have already pointed out, we should've prepared flyers to pass out to people as we marched (or utilized spray paint). i heard one guy in boston commons comment, "these are 'down with america' people, can you imagine that? and damn, you smell them when they walked by?"

why did we visit newbury street?
there were virtually no attempts at property destruction on newbury street; if pd was not the purpose of our visit to newbury, then what were we doing there? we certainly could not have expected that the people shopping, or dining on the sidewalks would find our message appealing. in roxbury, our issues with capitalism related more directly with the people who witnessed the march. on newbury, we basically turned ourselves into an angry spectacle, intent on taunting the rich and making as many people feel uncomfortable and confused as possible.
sabatoging private property of the multinational corporate dimension, particularly fast food chains and clothing stores, may have lost its efficacy if one considers that its efficacy rested in its novelty and symbolism. that symbolism has nearly been exhausted; perhaps we should learn from the rioters this mayday in germany (or the people of argentina) who looted a supermarket. this action not only attacks a symbolic target, but it also, quite practically, challenges capitalist food distribution. when we smash a mcdonalds window, we don't run in demanding happy meals.
our numbers on sunday, which clearly diminished as the march continued, probably limited our options for action.
even if we didn't shatter newbury street (the only justifiable reason for visiting it), i must admit that it was an interesting social experiment to see the reactions on the faces of all those straight-looking boutiquers.

the date of the main march, may 5, did not bear any historical relevance that could have clarified our purpose for observers. may 1, on the other hand, would've coincided with marches taking place around the world, and would've carried more potential for worker participation. i understand that many people did also march on may 1, but the FDP mobilization seemed to make it clear that may 5 would be the day of the big march.

overall, i think we all had a good time this weekend, and we all learned more about what must be done to advance our struggle. nobody was arrested. many people from many places met and discussed things. an anarchist march (presumably unpermitted?) began in a downtrodden neighborhood instead of a downtown core and generally- when received- responses were positive. local issues were addressed in a direct, non-abstract way. considering all of this, FDP should be considered, with necessary criticism, as a worthwhile success.
Ready for the Second Annual
07 May 2002
I noticed alot of the same things pointed out above. I especially felt we should have had something to hand out to the crowds as we passed to explain what it all was about. This critical analysis of the event is great, and ensures that next year the second annual festival del pueblo will be even better (heh, well, here's to hoping.)
See also:
http://lunaticfringe.gomakross.org
Bostonian view
07 May 2002
In defense of the FDP organizers: I'm an activist in Boston who watched the FDP being planned and the outreach being done for 6 months beforehand. I was very impressed by the amount of outreach done by FDP organizers. They acted extremely diplomatic in their outreach to the local non-activist community, housing advocacy groups, labor groups, etc… I think it was a great beginning to building long-term relationships that will build a more inclusive leftist political movement. A lot of the community and coalition groups that have formed in Boston to confront the housing crisis, immigrant rights, workers' rights, etc. have taken years to build and for members to gain the trust and political awareness necessary to grow and to get people into the streets. Part of the reason the majority of participants were young white anarchists was because it is going to take time to do the relationship building necessary to grow past this stage.

Another, more important thing we have to do if we want to grow and be more inclusive is to ditch the prerequisite of participation in the "counter-cultural" aspect of the current North American anarchist movement. Politics should not dictate your clothing or hairstyle or vice-versa (or diet… ehmm vegans). I like punk music, I think the FDP participants and punk-rock scenesters are really hip dressers, but it may not be the best way to present a serious ideological movement for revolutionary change.

To take this even further maybe people should reevaluate the effectiveness of "blocking up" for small actions like this. It creates an "us" and "them" situation where everyday working people on the sidewalks don't see us as for what we are, but are rather terrified at the sight of masked people marching with giant circle A's. It can serve to negate the message on the banners, no matter how populist the message is. This tactic is obviously more cool on Newbury St, but way less cool for the beginning of the march.

We don't have to water-down our politics to deal with certain political and SOCIAL realities that confront us, but we should rethink our appearance and continue to do the hard long-term work ahead of us.

Anyway, thanks to the FDP organizers and all the cool kids I met last week.

-Brad
Handing Stuff Out.
07 May 2002
While it was possible that someone *could* have handed things out to people, nobody did. That is not the fault of the FDP organizers, rather, it is our collective fault. On a side note, I made several attempts to walk on the sidewalk, which were halted by the police. "GET INTO THE STREET" was said many times (first time I ever hear that by the way). So, even if we were prepared to hand flyers to people we would not have been permitted to do so (particularly after the window incident).

Regardless, I believe the community fest was the most successful part of the weekend. One can always say that we could have done more, however I think FDP was a huge success, and comparitivly to many other festivals or marches, or events very much community involved. It is the first time I have ever seen anarchists seen with the community playing games, and breaking down the "anarchy is chaos" stigma.
we tried... and, in many respects, failed
07 May 2002
Many FDP organizers would agree with many of these criticisms, and probably have even more of their own. It is unlikely that there will be a follow-up event next year.

Many of us are interested in focussing on more long-term campaigns and forms of activism that is rooted in the everday experience of the working class, and are finding ourselves increasingly less interested in giving a fuck about most of the "anarchist" scene... especially those who fucked us over, stole money from us, picked fights at shows, accused us of being capitalists, hypocrites and authoritarians, and criticized our efforts from the sidelines when they did absolutely nothing to contribute to the organizing or outreach process.

Although the bookfair, carnival and some of the workshops were great, and I met a number of inspiring people during the week, overall I think the FDP failed in everything we set out to accomplish and I feel a whole lot worse about anarchism in North America (especially the punk rock fuckheads attracted to it) than I did before this past week.

Whatever, the struggle continues...
shit happens
07 May 2002
From my view, the FDP organizers tried to make many of the links that people wanted them too. In alot of ways, it's alot easier for anarchists to participate in the local tennant's union, labor union, or community group as a member, than it is to get that same group to participate in what is (probably rightly) percieved as an anarchist event.

The march from Roxbury actually went down the same path that the FDP organizers originally started flyering for the FDP, 6 months before hand.

From what I hear, the cops did alot to try and get the Wake Up the Earth Festival to disassociate with the FDP, and... the FDP gave a bit in getting rid of a couple of the more "violent" carnival games (Bash the Fash, and Pin the Tail on the Pig). Still, the FDP was there and it was the most diverse event of the week.

Two seperate marches were originally planned. The red march didn't think it had the numbers, so it joined the yellow march instead. After the yellow march did the housing liberation action, the reds asked the march to switch to red, which it did (and some folks got out of the march). As there was a clandestine occupation team involved in the action for the yellow (purple) march, the route wasn't publicized; though further details were given out at the march itself.

Pity there couldn't have been more of a link up with the immigrant march. It's a shame lots of speakers flaked out and that venues were lost. All the fucked up shit that went down is really bad. And, ofcourse there were alot of ways things could have been better done (more flyering, outreach, etc...). But, as far as Anarchist May Day festivals go... this one atleast tried to bridge many of the divides. If it was just to be judged as a standard anarchist festival, then it was fairly well attendend considering the length and competition (other May Days).
It's failure was in that it tried to be more than that--but that's exactly what we need to be trying to do. We aren't going to succeed overwhelmingly at everything and now we have more difficult standards to judge actions (not just in the # of arrests, # of windows broken, # of sensational sound bites--but rather also the participation of the diversity of the working class, the immediate and long term gains of an action, the degree to which participants are radicalized, etc...) The partial failure just shows there is a long way to go.

Fight to Win!
re: brad
07 May 2002
. Politics should not dictate your clothing or hairstyle or vice-versa (or diet… ehmm vegans).

just a quick response to this comment: politics are very much connected to clothing and diet. since we live a capitalist society, every aspect of our lives is affected by this system, including food and clothing. a lot of vegans chose not eat animal products not only for the animal rights and health aspects of this lifestyle, but to consciously avoid being consumers of the meat/dairy/poultry industry (which has devestating effects on the environment and huge lobbying power in our government). also, many people chose to wear recycled/thrift and homemade clothing because much of what is sold new is made in sweatshops. a lot of other choices people make that affect their appearance, like hairstyle, shaving, etc, are often affected by whether they chose to accept the norms that the corporate media and advertising force on us.
two days after fdp
07 May 2002
I helped out with FDP. SInce then I have ran into several
people in boston who gave me extremely positive comments
on the FDP. Hip-hop artists, gay men who live in the south end near where the housing action took place, and a few other people who have nothing to do with punk or anarchism. Although the Festival was seemingly infested with anarcho-punks and crusties (whatever that means) there were some people not in this mold, not generally interested in the anarchist movement, who attended FDP.
I am by no means content with "its a start, a little at a time", for my understanding of the FDP, was to get a connection with the local communities, to focus on local issues that all people have problems with. We sought out anarchists and activists from around the continent to show "our" numbers, strengths etc..., but really, to all you anarchists who read this, the festival wasnt exclusivly for you. UNfortunatly you were the majority of people who showed up to most of the events (the carnival in wake up the earth was the exception.)
So it wasnt a smashing success in terms of community outreach, but, like I said, I have gotten some positive comments from people outside of the anarchist scene already. Thats worth something.
not all anarchists are punks . . .
07 May 2002
Well, I couldn't make it the FdP so I can't add much to this (refreshingly intelligent) discussion.

One thing I would like to point out is . . . not all anarchists are members of the punk subculture. Not all of us work in groups that are explicitly anarchists. Some of us work in groups that are mostly anarchists but include non-anarchists; some of us work with community groups that are composed mostly of people who think of themselves as "progressives" with little definition beyond this. Why? Because when you're working with non-anarchists, you can do outreach to them more effectively and inject a more anarchic bent to projects people rooted in wider communities are working on.

Is this the only way to organize? No. But too many Black Blockers (and my perception was that FdP was mainly a Black Bloc event) seem to think that they are "the" anarchists. Take a closer look and I think you'll find anarchists working with a number of community groups already. They're just not running around with black flags and clinging to nineteenth century strategies.
by comparison
08 May 2002
Here in San Francisco, we started out May Day with a maypole ceremony involving lots of different people - parents with kids, pagans, crusties, neo-hippies, etc., and then a march which met up with a worker/immigrant rally outside Senator Feinstein's office protesting recent INS crackdowns. Then the whole group marched together to the INS offices. That's diversity, and that's solidarity with people in real, immediate danger of state actions.

This is not meant to criticize the Boston actions at all, just to provide an example of something that went down pretty well.
Re: Animal Libertation table cut from FDP
13 May 2002
The "questionable comments" in question were indeed enough to drop the Boston Citizens for Animal Liberation (BCAL) group from participation, and it was agreed to do so at an assembly of 25+ people, not some small clique of fdp organizers who had it out for the animal lib kids.

Maybe in the future you will think twice about sending a delegate on your behalf who spouts off anti-choice rhetoric against reproductive rights being one of the areas of focus for FDP, and openly admits that he is against the FDP 'point of unity' because he doesn't agree with self-management or mutual aid.

The beauty of free association is that we can choose to disassociate ourselves from people like your boy who we consider to have totally repugnant politics.