revolutionary movements

theres something rly fascinating to me abt faux-progressive lgbt people deliberately ignoring and erasing the actual decades-long history of “queer” being reclaimed in a revolutionary movement in order to pretend that “queer history” actually consists solely of violence and homo/transphobia, which of course IS part of the history of the word queer but IS NOT the entire history of it, to push their own narrative of ever using the word queer being bad & wrong and reassure themselves that theyre correct in openly, violently despising those of us who dare to be comfortable with engaging in the revolutionary movement of reclaiming queer for our own identities

Assata Shakur once said: if ever there was a decision between armed struggle and social programs (like free grocery programs, free health and education programs, free communal/local crime prevention programs etc), a revolutionary movement should always choose the social program approach.

Social programs represent an experimental view of the world we all strive for whereas an armed insurrection in the immediate present wouldn’t.

This isn’t to say that violence is completely barred – especially in terms of action and self defense against fascists, criminals, injustice, oppression, etc – in the mean time; only that a revolutionary movement shouldn’t put all of its efforts being armed to the teeth, ready to mobilize, and start destroying the state and capitalism at the drop of a hat when they can spend their time investing in social projects for the people’s immediate benefit while spreading ideals, goals, and principles for now and the future.

Armed struggle is an inescapable consequence for any revolutionary movement, however the result would be always be failure if the people don’t know what they’re fighting for and if they solely rely on the well-read militants for deciding what’s right and wrong.

A small movement that can’t defend itself but can understand itself is a seed that can grow; but a movement that can defend itself with no self understanding is a hollow shell.

The thing is, capitalism has never been reformed ‘peacefully’.

Reform movements which have formally disavowed violent means - from the Civil Rights movement in 1960s America, to Attlee’s Labour government in 1940s Britain - have only been historically successful because mass, organised, revolutionary movements of the politically disenfranchised outside of the formal reform movement have forced those benefiting from the status quo to cede concessions to non-violent, often middle-class, reformist leaders. Malcolm X, the Socialist Party of the USA and the Communist Party forced the American elite to come to the table with Dr. King; the syndicalist and communist trade unions in post-War Britain made opposition to Attlee’s NHS and limited nationalisations foolhardy.

Those who preach non-violence as a strategy rather than as a flexible tactic fatally mistake capitalism for a rational, logical system which plays by its own rules and respects human life.

We know better.

So what do we do? Where do we go? How do we stop the inevitable rise of a new American fascism and how do we survive these times? Americans must divest from empire. They must refuse to be complicit with atrocities committed in their name. They must reclaim their humanity and understand that their fate is tied to the fate of the rest of life on Earth. Americans must reject the parasitic relationship they have developed with the rest of humanity and they must join the growing revolutionary anti-imperialist movement while organizing to resist the empire’s interventions abroad. Americans must struggle in solidarity with the global south and the colonized people of this land to overthrow this empire, destroy capitalism, and with it racism and white supremacy. They must stand on the side of the coming global revolution.

Comrade Fidel Castro, presente!

“We have never aspired to having custody of the banners and principles which the revolutionary movement has defended throughout its heroic and inspiring history. However, if fate were to decree that, one day, we would be among the last defenders of socialism in a world in which US imperialism had realized Hitler’s dreams of world domination, we would defend this bulwark to the last drop of our blood.” - December 7, 1989

Long live the Cuban Revolution! Socialism or death!

Look, I don’t fucking care who’s name is on the front ok?  And to be honest?

Most people don’t even know what the difference between Marxist-Leninists and Anarchists are.  And they don’t care.  There aren’t enough anarchists or MLs together in the US to fill up a football league let alone fucking build some kind of broad revolutionary freaking movement.  If we’re just going to rely on people who ideologically agree with us then we’re going to be out in the cold.  

And this is a sign of how far we’ve fallen.  Leftism shouldn’t be about who’s fucking books you agree with.  We should be working with people, not as their self appointed intelligent leaders (and fuck this applies just as much to anarchists) but as another person who’s going to be marginalized under Trump.  Let’s build new organic ideologies out of this.  We can keep the basics but like I said, “who’s name’s gonna be on the door, are we building a state or not” is a question that’s not going to have an answer in 3 god damn months.  

Also, look

the whole “oh MLs/Anarchists are cops” thing was a point we’ve brought up in arguments with each other as a trump card but if we’re actually talking about doing shit right now, it’s a useless metric.  You know who’s read all your theory?  Who knows just what to say to you?  Feds.  Do you fucking think that a fed would be so stupid as to fucking pretend to be an opposing ideology in entrapping you?

If youre all about basing “the people” as the foundation for your revolutionary social movements, I say that movement is weak if it does nothing–if it has little intention–to empower the people themselves.

If youre only using the people as a stepping stool to achieve power only for your little merry band of radicals, if you only see community work as a means to recruit, if you harbor resentment towards “the uneducated” because they won’t support you, then you should really reevaluate the goals and objectives of your movement. Because, obviously, your people’s movement is doing nothing to actually benefit the people.

If you claim to be “for the people,” then invest in them. Teach them. Respect them. Empower them.

There can be no music without ideology. The old composers, whether they knew it or not, were upholding a political theory. Most of them, of course, were bolstering the rule of the upper classes. Only Beethoven was a forerunner of the revolutionary movement. If you read his letters, you will see how often he wrote to his friends that he wished to give new ideas to the public and rouse it to revolt against its masters.
—  Dmitri Shostakovich, interview from The New York Times, 1931.
2

In the oft-cited campfire scene near the end, Wyatt tells Billy, “We blew it.” That line has been taken as an indictment of the American counterculture, which, like so many protean revolutionary movements, started self-destructing once it gained enough power and prominence to effect real change. One can read it that way. But the line strikes me also as a more personal sort of confession, an admission that they have ultimately succumbed and bought into their own outlaw version of the capitalist rat race—the idea that a man is not a true success unless he has accumulated enough money to stop working and take it easy. 

Easy Rider: Wild at Heart

Anarchists unfurl “ROJAVA WILL BE THE GRAVEYARD OF TURKEY AND ISIS” banner in New York City

————-

While the world descends into a dark authoritarian nightmare, the guerrilla fighters in Rojava, in northern Syria, have forged a new path for revolutionaries everywhere. With a politic built on feminism, anti-capitalism, anti-state, and communal praxis, Kurdish revolutionaries assisted by anarchist and communist guerrillas are ushering in the most important revolution in the 21st century.

The primary fighting units in Rojava, the YPG and YPJ, have faced insurmountable odds, battling Daesh, Bashar Assad’s forces, and various other counter-revolutionary forces in Syria. Armed with conviction and fighting against some of the most fascist forces in the world their battlefield victories have resonated all over the globe. The YPG/YPJ’s successes are so profound that their political model is the only viable political option for Syria, and has created a viable alternative for revolutionary movements worldwide.

This is the exact reason Turkey’s fascist leader, Erdogan, has chosen to intervene in Syria. He recognizes that Rojava’s anti-state, anti-capitalist, and anti-patriarchal values are a direct threat to his chauvinistic throne. The Turkish state has undermined the revolution since its inception and has supported every reactionary force in the region to crush the revolutions gains: funding and granting political support to Daesh and Al Nusra and recently colluding with Assad’s forces against the movement.

Turkey condoned Daesh’s sex slavery, beheadings, and conquests; it harbored Daesh fighters, provided money and arms, explosives, purchased oil and helped Daesh organize combat operations.

Turkey has ridiculously attempted to claim that it is merely liberating towns from Daesh, while simultaneously naming its invasion Operation Euphrates Shield, since it is shielding the area west of the Euphrates from the Kurdish-led revolution.

Turkey’s goal is clear: destroy the capacity of the liberatory armed forces and put an end to the most promising revolutionary movement in the world. Every day that Turkish troops attack revolutionary operations aimed at liberating towns from Daesh are halted.

For those who have built a new life in liberated territory Turkey promises a return to the reactionary days of the past. But the revolution in Rojava has already faced great odds and excelled.

We, at NYC Anarchist Action, urge all people to increase resistance against Turkey and to support the struggle in Rojava as they carve out a way forward for the liberation of all humanity. We placed this banner in solidarity with the fighters of Rojava and in complicity with their struggle, over the FDR highway during the convening of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Rojava’s example will be expanded with action, not words!
Rojava will be the graveyard of Turkey and ISIS.

As they say, ‘Resistance is life, silence is death!’

Long live Rojava!
Long live free life!

‘U.S. Get Out Of Vietnam Now!! Year of Solidarity with Vietnam / October 8-11’, Sponsored by the Black Panther Party, Young Lords Organization, and Students for a Democratic Society / Revolutionary Youth Movement, Chicago, 1969.

to elaborate on bookshop’s thoughts, the reason that tonks/lupin was disappointing is not because the concept of tonks and lupin being in love is bad. it’s not. i shipped it way back when and i still do. the reason is that the romance was developed in a way that actively pushed back against queer interpretations of either character. as soon as it’s revealed they’re in love, their narrative becomes marriage-baby-settling-down so fast i think i got whiplash, suddenly he’s calling her “dora” instead of the gender-neutral name she tells people to call her, and pottermore tells us that she’s the only person he was ever in love with, which precludes the possibility of any previous same-gender relationships that might have led to a bisexual identity. it’s a huge disappointment, considering the fact that she’s important to a lot of readers as a gender-non-conforming-possibly-genderqueer character who doesn’t give a crap about others’ expectations and he’s deliberately, unsubtly queer-coded (jk rowling intended werewolves as a metaphor for aids stigma). the straightening of tonks and lupin and the related furthering of the series’ idealization of one way of living your life (“settling down,” nuclear family, putting radical ideas aside as you get older) are a big bummer.