Posts Tagged ‘J20’
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
Receive and transmit:
A critical and at times biting look back on the fight against J20 repression. This text will hopefully lead to more reflections, responses, and above all – critical reflection as we look back and assess our own activity.
I’m a former J20 defendant.
Off the bat, I want to say that I only speak for myself. I’ve learned this is important. No one has permission to speak for me, and I don’t permit myself to speak for anyone else. I think this is the common mistake made by “organizations” of any form, all these tiny Leviathans that pick up this or that cause, on behalf of such and such people: their project is still representation, the creation of subjects and sovereigns, still business as usual. In the end, I think they manage our struggles for us.
Our struggles need to be direct. They have to emerge directly from within our own lives, our particular situations, and we need to embrace a willingness to confront them. No one is coming to liberate us but ourselves. I think this is a good thing however, it means there’s no one to wait for.
I’m not going to discuss what happened on January 20th, 2017. The majority of ex-defendants had their charges dismissed without prejudice, and in addition to possibly placing them at risk, recounting a few (allegedly) shattered windows during a largely symbolic protest doesn’t mean nearly as much to me as the last eighteen months of concentrated, intense state repression. (more…)
Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Throughout my whole life, I’ve had a running list of worst fears that changed over the years, as many times as I have. My latest, having been the most likely to occur were fears of houseless-ness and prison. I used to have nightmares of the two where I would wake up in sweats. I’ve since been cured of them both but only by living through each.
With work inside our local communities, most, if not all, activists see people when they need solidarity the most. The houseless, the jobless, the drug addicts, the ones that have been tossed out, abused, and left for dead by our capitalistic system are the ones who we eat dinner with, laugh with, seek treatment with or aid mutually more than most others. A lot of these people have hit the preverbal bottom with unwavering abandonment from the state. The presence of these fears was only the state legitimizing itself in my subconscious mind. Facing my fear of houseless-ness was voluntary and a choice I made before leaving for Standing Rock last year. My arrest on Jan 21st was not voluntary what so ever and I would soon learn how to de-legitimize the state through control of ones own fears.
After the courts released me on January 26th, my fears were put into overdrive after five days in DC jails’ intake wing. Our culture is centered around punishment. Our TV’s highlight it, our movies romanticize it, our politicians run on it’s platform, and our judges make a mockery of it by sending youth to “Scared Straight” programs. The latter of these I had the honor of attending at the youthful age of 14. Having grown adults insinuate that they would kill you if given the chance at such a young age is a shining example of just how loving our justice system is. Occupied Turtle Islands’ obsession with punishment is unavoidable and a symptom of society’s sickness in the same way that cops are glorified and reality TV stars become president. (more…)