The post La Resistencia Statement on Shooting Death of Northwest Detention Center Protester appeared first on It's Going Down.A statement from La Resistencia on the shooting death of Willem Van Spronsen by police outside of the Tacoma North West Detention Center. La Resistencia is a long-running immigrant led collective in Tacoma, Washington, fighting the Northwest Detention Center.
Tacoma, WA– Early this morning, a person who appears to have been engaged in protest against the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma was shot and killed by members of the Tacoma Police Department. Today marks yet another death linked to the detention center, and another death at the hands of the police. Based on available information, including the police scanner recording, Willem Van Spronsen, the protestor killed, appears to have been targeting not the detention center itself, as has been widely reported in the media, but the parking lot across the street from the detention center which houses the NWDC’s transportation infrastructure. This infrastructure includes a fleet of buses that transports immigrants to be caged at the detention center, and that transports immigrants from the detention center to the Yakima Airport, from which they are deported.
“Based on available information, including the police scanner recording, Willem Van Spronsen, the protestor killed, appears to have been targeting not the detention center itself, as has been widely reported in the media, but the parking lot across the street from the detention center which houses the NWDC’s transportation infrastructure.”
Mr. Van Spronsen was apparently trying to set the deportation buses on fire when he was shot and killed. His actions sadly reflect the level of desperation people across this country feel about the government’s outrageous violence against immigrants, which includes the use of detention centers to cage migrants both currently living in the U.S. and those seeking asylum. This death results from the federal government’s unresponsiveness to the anger and despair people feel at the horrors unfolding both at the border and in the interior, and from the inability of officers to de-escalate rather than shooting to kill.
But for the City of Tacoma allowing the GEO Group’s facility to be built and expanded in Tacoma, this death, and the death and suffering of those inside the detention center would have been avoided. The NWDC has become a liability not just for the tens of thousands who have been caged there, but for the city of Tacoma itself. It’s past time for the city of Tacoma to cancel GEO’s business license. It’s clear that this “business” is a deadly one, that has only brought pain and suffering to our region.
La Resistencia calls on the City of Tacoma to hold immediate public hearings addressing the Tacoma Police’s actions today that resulted in the loss of life at the Detention Center and why the City continues to allow GEO to operate with a city business license.
La Resistencia (formerly NWDC Resistance) is a grassroots collective led by undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens based in Tacoma, Washington. It is an unincorporated association founded to confront human rights violations at the Northwest Detention Center and dedicated to ending the detention and deportation of immigrants.
On July 13, Willem Van Spronsen was killed by police while apparently taking action to disable the fleet of buses that serve the Northwest Detention Center, a private immigration detainment facility. His final statement, reproduced below, conveys that he was acting in response to the continuous raids and deportations carried out by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). His action occurred on the one-year anniversary of a hunger strike inside the Northwest Detention Center and an encampment outside. You can read a list of other acts of resistance that have occurred inside the Northwest Detention Center here.
We understand why Willem Van Spronsen decided to give his life to interrupt the violence that is perpetrated against undocumented people in the United States every day.
It is not hyperbole to say that the ICE raids are targeting our friends and neighbors, people who have lived and worked alongside us for years or even decades. The vulnerability of long-term undocumented people as a hyper-exploitable class has helped billionaires like Donald Trump to profit even more than they could have by legal means. To put the icing on the cake, capitalists then turn to the other workers they are exploiting and tell them that the poverty and misfortunes they experience are the fault of those who are poorer and more oppressed than them. It’s hard to imagine a more cynical strategy.
The disparity in rights between the documented and undocumented is a construct—just as the disparity in value that the Nazis constructed between Jewish people and gentiles was a construct. Both are mere inventions; they have no intrinsic existence except as a means for a powerful group to justify violence against a less powerful group. Those who justify obedience to the law as a good in itself stand alongside the Nazis whose laws condemned millions to the death camps, not to mention the racists who passed the Fugitive Slave Act and the Jim Crow laws in the American South.
Laws are just constructs; they are valueless in and of themselves. Indeed, they often serve to legitimize injustice that people would otherwise take action to oppose.
The further that the proponents of racist violence are permitted to legitimize invented concepts like slavery and citizenship, the more violence they will perpetrate—up to and including roundups, concentration camps, and mass extermination. We have seen this before, in Nazi Germany and elsewhere, and we are seeing it again today in the United States. The thousands of deaths that take place in the borderlands and the thousands murdered by police are just a foretaste of what is possible.
In this regard, the Jewish people who are carrying out blockades against ICE are engaging in rational efforts to prevent the recurrence of the same unthinkable injustices that were perpetrated against their ancestors—just as Willem Van Spronsen, who grew up in the wake of World War II, made the rational decision that the time had come to fight the rise of fascism just as people did in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.
If more people had chosen to take action to fight the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany, the Second World War might have been averted, and with it millions upon millions of lives would have been saved. Let no one say it is “violent” to attack the infrastructure of ICE and the mercenaries who maintain it. The real violence is the complicity of the Good Americans who do nothing as their neighbors are disappeared, just like those Good Germans who choose to ignore what was being done to their neighbors in the 1930s.
Every day, mercenaries around the world risk their lives in service to the agenda of the rich and powerful, obeying orders thoughtlessly, squandering their capacity to think rationally, to feel compassion, to take responsibility for their actions. Millions of people kill and die every year simply to increase the wealth and power of the tyrants who manipulate them. Willem Van Spronsen chose to think for himself. He took personal responsibility and did what he could to put an end to what he recognized as injustice. He did not use the Nuremburg defense to excuse his actions the way that every police officer and prison guard does.
In those regards, what he did was heroic.
We recommend the statement about Willem Van Spronsen’s action posted by La Resistencia, a grassroots collective led by undocumented immigrants and US citizens based in Tacoma, Washington.
“Anyone who is determined to carry out his or her deed is not a courageous person. They are simply a person who has clarified their ideas, who has realized that it is pointless to make such an effort to play the part assigned to them by capital in the performance…
In doing so they realize themselves as human beings. They realize themselves in joy. The reign of death disappears before their eyes.”
Willem Van Spronsen’s Final Statement
There’s wrong and there’s right.
It’s time to take action against the forces of evil.
Evil says one life is worth less than another.
Evil says the flow of commerce is our purpose here.
Evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary.
The handmaid of evil says the concentration camps should be more humane.
Beware the centrist.
I have a father’s broken heart
I have a broken down body
And I have an unshakable abhorrence for injustice
That is what brings me here.
This is my clear opportunity to try to make a difference, I’d be an ingrate to be waiting for a more obvious invitation.
I follow three teachers:
Don Pritts, my spiritual guide. “Love without action is just a word.”
John Brown, my moral guide. “What is needed is action!”
Emma Goldman, my political guide. “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.”
I’m a head in the clouds dreamer, I believe in love and redemption.
I believe we’re going to win.
I’m joyfully revolutionary. (We all should have been reading Emma Goldman in school instead of the jingo drivel we were fed, but I digress.) (We should all be looking at the photos of the YPG heroes should we falter and think our dreams are impossible, but I double digress. Fight me.)
In these days of fascist hooligans preying on vulnerable people in our streets, in the name of the state or supported and defended by the state,
In these days of highly profitable detention/concentration camps and a battle over the semantics,
In these days of hopelessness, empty pursuit and empty yearning,
We are living in visible fascism ascendant. (I say visible, because those paying attention watched it survive and thrive under the protection of the state for decades. [See Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States.] Now it unabashedly follows its agenda with open and full cooperation from the government. From governments around the world.
Fascism serves the needs of the state serves the needs of business and at your expense. Who benefits? Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Betsy de Vos, George Soros, Donald Trump, and need I go on? Let me say it again: rich guys (who think you’re not really all that good), really dig government (every government everywhere, including “communist” governments), because they make the rules that make rich guys richer.
Don’t overthink it.
(Are you patriots in the back paying attention?)
When I was a boy, in post-war Holland, later France, my head was filled with stories of the rise of fascism in the ’30s. I promised myself that I would not be one of those who stands by as neighbors are torn from their homes and imprisoned for somehow being perceived as lesser.
You don’t have to burn the motherfucker down, but are you going to just stand by?
This is the test of our fundamental belief in real freedom and our responsibility to each other.
This is a call to patriots, too, to stand against this travesty against everything that you hold sacred. I know you. I know that in your hearts, you see the dishonor in these camps. It’s time for you, too, to stand up to the money pulling the strings of every goddamn puppet pretending to represent us.
I’m a man who loves you all and this spinning ball so much that I’m going to fulfill my childhood promise to myself to be noble.
Here it is, in these corporate for profit concentration camps.
Here it is, in Brown and non-conforming folks afraid to show their faces for fear of the police/migra/Proud Boys/the boss/beckies…
Here it is, a planet almost used up by the market’s greed.
I’m a black and white thinker.
Detention camps are an abomination.
I’m not standing by.
I really shouldn’t have to say any more than this.
I set aside my broken heart and I heal the only way I know how—by being useful.
I efficiently compartmentalize my pain…
And I joyfully go about this work.
(To those burdened with the wreckage from my actions, I hope that you will make the best use of that burden.)
To my comrades:
I regret that I will miss the rest of the revolution.
Thank you for the honor of having me in your midst.
Giving me space to be useful, to feel that I was fulfilling my ideals, has been the spiritual pinnacle of my life.
Doing what I can to help defend my precious and wondrous people is an experience too rich to describe.
My trans comrades have transformed me, solidifying my conviction that we will be guided to a dreamed-of future by those most marginalized among us today. I have dreamed it so clearly that I have no regret for not seeing how it turns out. Thank you for bringing me so far along.
I am antifa. I stand with comrades around the world who act from the love of life in every permutation. Comrades who understand that freedom means real freedom for all and a life worth living.
Keep the faith!
All power to the people!
Audio manifesto: thesuper8.bandcamp.com
Don’t let your silly government agencies spend money “investigating” this one. I was radicalized in civics class at 13 when we were taught about the electoral college. It was at that point that I decided that the status quo might be a house of cards. Further reading confirmed in the positive. I highly recommend reading!
I am not affiliated with any organization, I have disaffiliated from any organizations who disagree with my choice of tactics.
The semi-automatic weapon I used was a cheap, home-built unregistered “ghost” AR-15, it had six magazines. I strongly encourage comrades and incoming comrades to arm themselves. We are now responsible for defending people from the predatory state. Ignore the law in arming yourself if you have the luxury, I did.
From Puget Sound Anarchists, Submitted Anonymously
Early this morning around 4am our friend and comrade Will Van Spronsen was shot and killed by the Tacoma police. All we know about what lead up to this comes from the cops, who are notoriously corrupt and unreliable sources for such a narrative. The story that we do have is that Will attempted to set fire to several vehicles, outbuildings and a propane tank outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma which houses hundreds of immigrants awaiting hearings or deportations. He successfully set one vehicle on fire and then exchanged gunfire with Tacoma police officers who fatally shot him. He was pronounced dead on the scene. We find his actions inspiring. The vehicles outside the detention facility are used to forcibly remove people from their homes and deport them, often to situations where they will face severe danger or death. Those vehicles being destroyed is only a start of what is needed. We wish the fires Will set had freed all the inmates and razed the entire Northwest Detention Center to the ground. And we miss our friend and wish from the bottom of our hearts that his action had not ended in his death.
Will Van Spronsen was a long-time anarchist, anti-fascist and a kind, loving person. Here in Olympia some of us remember him as a skilled tarp structure builder from the Occupy encampment in 2011. Others remember him from the protests outside the NWDC last summer where he was accused of lunging at a cop and wrapping his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to arrest a 17-year-old protester. The very next day when he was released from jail he came right back to the encampment outside the center to support the other protesters. He is also remembered as a patient and thoughtful listener who was always willing to hear people out.
We are grief stricken, inspired and enraged by what occurred early this morning. ICE imprisons, tortures and deports hundreds of thousands of people and the brutality and scale of their harm is only escalating. We need every form of resistance, solidarity and passion to fight against ICE and the borders that they defend. Will gave his life fighting ICE we may never know what specifically was going through his head in the last hours of his life but we know that the NWDC must be destroyed and the prisoners must be freed. We do not need heroes, only friends and comrades. Will was simply a human being, and we wish that he was still with us. It’s doubtless that the cops and the media will attempt to paint him as some sort of monster, but in reality he was a comrade who fought for many years for what he believed in and this morning he was killed doing what he loved; fighting for a better world.
This evening around 8pm roughly 30 anarchists gathered at Percival landing in Olympia WA to remember Will Van Spronsen and to oppose ICE. We held road flares and banners reading “Rest In Power Will Van Spronsen” “Abolish ICE” “RIP Will” “Fire to the Prisons” and “Stop Deportation End Incarceration.” We shared stories and memories of Will with each other, laughed, and cried. Some people split off and plastered downtown Olympia with “Immigrants Welcome” stickers, while others drove circles around downtown flying the “Rest in Power Will” from the back of a truck.
May his memory be a blessing.
Love to those still fighting.Tags: OlympiaICEattackobituary
Appellate Court rejects Sandy Hook parents' lawsuit against Newtown; families plan appeal to Supreme Court
Appellate Court rejects Sandy Hook parents' lawsuit against Newtown; families plan appeal to Supreme Court | 12 July 2019 | (CT) The state Appellate Court Friday affirmed a lower court's decision to throw out a lawsuit against the town of Newtown and its school district by the parents of two children [allegedly] killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on the grounds of government immunity. The lawsuit, brought by the parents of Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner, claimed school officials didn't follow security procedures, including immediately ordering a school lockdown after Adam Lanza [allegedly] shot his way in. It also claimed school officials failed to adequately train staff for lockdowns, which it said may have saved lives. [Sandy Hoax can never go to court, because it never happened (as claimed) and officials would be perjuring themselves on the stand. Imagine what the discovery process would produce?]
Chevron oil spill dumps nearly 800,000 gallons of crude, water in California canyon | 13 July 2019 | Chevron crews have begun to clean up a massive and ongoing oil spill in California after nearly 800,000 gallons of oil and water were dumped into a canyon near Bakersfield in May. The company recently revealed that 794,000 gallons of water and oil have leaked out of the ground where Chevron uses steam injection to extract oil in the large Cymric Oil Field about 35 miles west of Bakersfield...The state has issued Chevron a notice of violation, ordering it to stop steam injections around the spill.
New York massive power outages darkens homes, streets and subway stations | 13 July 2019 | Tens of thousands of people were without power in Manhattan on Saturday evening, ConEdison said. There were 42,000 customers without power in New York, most of them in Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side, the utility company said. The city's fire department was responding to numerous transformer fires, the first of which occurred in Manhattan on West 64th Street and West End Avenue, officials said. Several Broadway and off-Broadway shows said they were canceling performances, according to tweets aggregated by The Broadway League.
Volunteers rush to transport shelter animals threatened by Barry out of storm's path | 13 July 2019 | A multistate rescue effort helped secure and transport more than 120 cats and dogs to safety on Friday, removing them from shelters in Louisiana in anticipation of Tropical Storm Barry. The D.C. based Humane Rescue Alliance teamed up with St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey to rescue the animals from two Louisiana shelters, St. Landry Animal Care and Control and St. Martin Animal Shelter, which are located in the path of the storm...Other animals were flown to shelters in New Jersey, Georgia and North Carolina as well to find adoptive homes.
Breaking: More than 43,000 without power in Manhattan after 'major disturbance' --Saturday marked the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 blackout, which affected much of the city for 48 hours | 13 July 2019 | A large-scale power outage in parts of New York City was reported Saturday evening, knocking out traffic lights, stalling elevators and limiting subway service. Con Edison reported that more than 43,000 customers were without power in an area that included Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweeted that there were outages at various underground stations...The A, C, F, D, and M subways lines were down, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted, adding that the utility had reported a "major disturbance" at a substation on West 49th Street.
'You're the member of Congress. Fix it!' Ex-ICE chief rips lawmaker who accused him of racism and tells Democrats to stop grandstanding and change the immigration laws
'You're the member of Congress. Fix it!' Ex-ICE chief rips lawmaker who accused him of racism and tells Democrats to stop grandstanding and change the immigration laws | 13 July 2019 | The former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has blasted a Democratic Congressman who accused him of racism, imploring lawmakers to stop grandstanding and change the laws to fix a broken immigration system. Tom Homan, who stepped down as acting director of ICE last month, delivered the fiery rebuke in testimony before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Friday...Homan delivered a fiery defense of border agents during the hearing, arguing that they were enforcing the law as written and charging Congress with fixing broken laws. 'If you don't like this, do your job. Fix it,' Homan said. 'Those men and women who chose a life of service to this nation deserve better, not only from the media but those in this committee and other members of Congress.'
Barry makes landfall in Louisiana, weakening slightly to a tropical storm --Oil and gas operators evacuated hundreds of platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 70% of Gulf oil production and 56% of gas production were turned off Saturday. | 13 July 2019 | Barry rolled into the Louisiana coast Saturday, flooding highways, forcing people to scramble to rooftops and dumping heavy rain that could test the levees and pumps that were bolstered after Hurricane Katrina [and the contractors who blew up the levees] devastated New Orleans in 2005. After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, the system quickly weakened to the tropical storm as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, about 160 miles west of New Orleans, with its winds falling to 70 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. But officials warned that it could still cause disastrous flooding across a wide stretch of the Gulf Coast.
Man accused of hurling incendiary devices at Washington ICE facility fatally shot by police | 13 July 2019 | An armed man was fatally shot early Saturday during a confrontation with police after he hurled incendiary devices at a Washington state immigration detention center, Tacoma police said. The shooting occurred about 4 a.m. local time outside the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Northwest Detention Center, where the armed man attempted to set the building and parked cars on fire, according to police spokeswoman Loretta Cool. Authorities did not immediately identify the man who was armed with a rifle, saying in a statement the "medical examiner will release the identity of the victim when it is appropriate."
Top Assange Defense Account Deleted by Twitter | 12 July 2019 | One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals. Any Assange supporter active on Twitter will be familiar with the Unity4J account, which originated to help boost the wildly successful Unity4J online vigils in which well-known Assange defenders would appear to speak out against his persecution. As of this writing, the account has been gone for a day and a half.
The post Danny Goldberg on Nirvana’s Endearing Rebellious Spirit appeared first on It's Going Down.
This episode, originally recorded for radio, features an interview with Danny Goldberg, a long-time author, activist, and former manager of the band Nirvana, who revolutionized music and brought the underground to the masses with the release of their second album, Nevermind.
Now 25 years after the passing of Nirvana’s front-man, Kurt Cobain, Goldberg looks back on his time with the band and discusses his brand new book, Serving the Servant: Remember Kurt Cobain. In this interview we talk about the working class backgrounds of the band, their punk ethos, and cultural and political beliefs which guided their art throughout their short but infamous career. Features a Q and A section with KPFA audience.
From Aotearoa/New Zealand Anti-Capitalist Green Front by Peter Gelderloos
How would anarchists suggest we reorganize society in order to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and to survive an already changed world?
There is no single anarchist position, and many anarchists refuse to offer any proposal at all, arguing that if society liberates itself from State and capitalism, it will change organically, not on the lines of any blueprint. Besides, the attitude of policy, seeing the world from above and imposing changes, is inextricable from the culture that is responsible for destroying the planet and oppressing its inhabitants.
Nonetheless, I want to outline one possible way we could organize our lives, not to make a concrete proposal, but because visions make us stronger, and we all need the courage to break once and for all with the existing institutions and the false solutions they offer. For the purposes of this text I’m not going to enter into any of the important debates regarding ideals — appropriate levels of technology, scale, organization, coordination, and formalization. I’m going to describe how an ecological, anti-authoritarian society could manifest itself, as it flows from the un-ideal complexity of the present moment. Also for simplicity’s sake, I won’t enter into the scientific debate around what is and isn’t sustainable. Those debates and the information they present are widely available, for those who want to do their own research.
I base the description of this future possible world both on what is physically necessary and what is ethically desirable, in accordance with the following premises.
- Fossil fuel extraction and consumption need to come to a full stop.
- Industrial food production must be replaced with the sustainable growing of food at the local level.
- Centralizing power structures are inherently exploitative of the environment and oppressive towards people.
- The mentality of quantitative value, accumulation, production, and consumption — that is to say, the mentality of the market — is inherently exploitative of the environment and oppressive towards people.
- Medical science is infused with a hatred of the body, and though it has perfected effective response to symptoms, it is damaging to our health as currently practiced.
- Decentralization, voluntary association, self-organization, mutual aid, and non-coercion are fully practical and have worked, both within and outside of Western Civilization, time and time again.
Welcome to the future. No one ever knew global society would look like this. Its defining feature is heterogeneity. Some cities have been abandoned, trees are growing up through their avenues, rivers rush where asphalt had once covered the ground, and skyscrapers crumble while deer forage at their foundations.
Other cities are thriving, but they have changed beyond recognition. Rooftops, vacant lots, and sidewalks have turned into gardens. Fruit- and nut-bearing trees line every block. Roosters welcome every dawn. About a tenth of the streets — the major thoroughfares — remain paved or gravelled, and buses running on biofuels traverse them regularly. Other streets have been consumed largely by the gardens and orchards, though bike paths run down the middle. The only buildings that have electricity twenty-four hours a day are the the water works, hospitals, and the radio stations. Theaters and community buildings get power until late on a rotating basis, so they can stay open for film nights or other events. Everyone has candles and wind-up lamps, though, so there’s a light on in many a window until late. But it’s nothing like how it used to be; at night you can see stars in the sky, and the children gape in disbelief when the old-timers tell how people had given that up.
Electricity is produced through a network of neighborhood-based power stations that burn agricultural waste (like corn cobs) and biofuels, and through a small number of wind turbines and solar panels. But the city works on just a fraction of what it used to. People heat and cool their homes through passive solar and efficient design, without any electricity. In the colder regions, people supplement this in the winter with the burning of renewable fuels, but houses are well insulated and ovens are designed with the greatest efficiency, so not much is needed. People also cook with fuel-burning ovens, or in sunnier climates solar ovens. Some cities that put more energy into manufacturing and maintaining renewable forms of electricity generation (solar, tidal, and wind) also cook with electricity. Many buildings have a shared washing machine, but all clothes drying is done the old-fashioned way: on a line.
No one has a refrigerator though every building or floor has a communal freezer. People store perishables like yogurt, eggs, and vegetables in a cool box or in a cellar, and they eat their food fresh or they can it. People grow half of their own produce in gardens on their block. Nearly all their food is grown within twenty miles of where they live. None of the food is genetically modified or produced with chemicals, and it is bred for taste and nutrition, not longevity and durability for transport. In other words, all the food tastes better, and people are far healthier. Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, among the greatest killers in capitalist society, have all but disappeared. The super viruses created under capitalism, that killed millions of people throughout the collapse, have largely disappeared, as the use of antibiotics has almost stopped, people live in healthier conditions globally and have stronger immune systems, and global travel is not so frequent or fast-paced. People also have a much greater environmental consciousness and personal connection with their bioregion because they eat what’s in season and what grows locally, and they help grow it themselves.
Every house has a compost toilet and running water, but no sewage. It’s become sort of an unwritten rule around the world that every community must remediate its own waste. Sending pollution downstream is the greatest taboo. The relatively few remaining factories use fungi and microbes, on great forested plots around the factory compound, to remediate whatever pollutants they produce. Neighborhoods turn all their waste into compost or fuel. The amount of available water is limited, so buildings are equipped with rainwater catchments for the gardens. Households that greatly exceed the recommended quota for water usage are publicly shamed. The recommended quota is not enforced; it is simply a suggestion distributed by those who work in the water syndicate, based on how much water the city is allowed to divert from the water source, as agreed upon by all the communities that share the watershed.
In most cities, people hold periodic or ad hoc neighborhood assemblies to maintain the gardens, paths, streets, and buildings, to organize daycare, and to mediate disputes. People also participate in meetings with whatever syndicate or infrastrucutral project they may dedicate some of their time to. These might include the water syndicate, the transportation syndicate, the electricity syndicate, a hospital, a builders’ union, a healers’ union (the vast majority of health care is done by herbalists, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists, midwives, and other specialists who make home visits), or a factory. Most of these are decentralized as much as possible, with individuals and small working groups trusted to know how to do their job, though when necessary they coordinate through meetings that usually run as open assemblies using consensus, with a preference for sharing perspectives and information over making decisions wherever possible. Sometimes, interregional meetings (such as for the communities of a watershed) are organized with a delegate structure, though meetings are always open to all, and always seek to reach decisions that satisfy everyone since there are no coercive institutions and coercion of any sort is widely frowned upon as “bringing back the old days.”
Because power is always localized to the greatest possible degree, the vast majority of decision-making is carried out by individuals or small groups that share affinity and regularly work together. Once there is no longer an emphasis, for purposes of control and accumulating power, on imposing homogeneity or singularity of outcomes, people have found that much coordination can simply take place organically, with different people making different decisions and figuring out for themselves how to reconcile these with the decisions of others.
Although today’s societies are structured to create feelings of community and mutuality, there is also a great amount of space for privacy and solitude. Many neighborhoods have communal kitchens and dining rooms, but people can and often do cook on their own and eat by themselves, when the mood strikes them. Some societies have public baths, while others do not, depending on cultural preference. The forced communalization of past experiments in socialist utopias is absent from this world. Private property has been abolished in the classical sense of the means of production that other people rely on for their survival, but anyone can have as many personal belongings as they can get — clothing, toys, a stash of candy or other goodies, a bicycle, etc.
The smaller or more intimate the community, the more likely it is to operate a gift economy — anything that you’re not using, you give away as a gift, strengthening your social ties and increasing the amount of goods in circulation — which is perhaps the longest lasting and most common economy in the history of the human species. Beyond the neighborhood level, or for items that are rare or not locally produced, people may trade. The syndicates of some cities may use a system of coupons for the distribution of things that are scarce or limited. If you work in the electricity syndicate, for example, you get a certain number of coupons that you can use to get things from the bicycle factory or from an out-of-town farmer.
The most common items produced in factories are bicycles, metal tools, cloth, paper, medical equipment, biofuels, and glass. More common than the factory is the workshop, in which people craft any number of things at a higher quality and slower, more dignified (and healthy) pace. Workshops usually use recycled material (after all, there are many old shopping malls filled with junk and scrap) and make things like toys, musical instruments, clothes, books, radios, electricity generation systems, bicycle and automobile parts.
Work is not compulsory, but nearly everyone does it. When they can be their own bosses, and make things that are useful, people tend to enjoy working. Those who don’t contribute by working in any way are often looked down on or excluded from the nicer aspects of living in society, but it is not considered acceptable to ever deny someone food or medical treatment. Because they don’t help others, they are unlikely to get fine foods, and healers are unlikely to give them consultations, massages, or accupuncture unless they have a specific problem, but they won’t be left to starve or die. It’s a small drain on the resources of the community, but nothing when compared to the parasitism of the bosses, politicians, and police forces of yesteryear.
There are no police anymore. Generally people are armed and trained in self-defense, and everyone’s daily life includes activities that foster a collective or communal sense of self-interest. People depend on cooperation and mutual aid for survival and happiness, so those who damage their social ties are above all harming and isolating themselves. People fought to overthrow their oppressors. They defeated the police and military forces of the ruling class, and they remember this victory. The imperative to never again be ruled forms a major part of their identity today. They are not about to be intimidated by the occasional psychopath or roving gang of protection racketeers.
In short, the city has a negligible environmental footprint. A high density of people live in an area that nonetheless has an impressive biodiversity, with many plant and animal species cohabiting the city. They don’t produce pollution that they don’t remediate themselves. They take some water from the watershed, but far less than a capitalist city, and in agreement with the other communities that use the watershed. They release some greenhouse gases through fuel burning, but it is less than the amount they take out of the atmosphere through their own agriculture (since all their fuels are agricultural, and the carbon they’re releasing is the same carbon those plants removed from the atmosphere as they grew). Nearly all their food is local and sustainably grown. They carry out a small amount of factory production, but most of it uses recycled materials.
Outside the city, the world is even more transformed. Deserts, jungles, mountainous regions, swamps, tundras, and other areas that cannot sustainably support high population densities have rewilded. No government programs were necessary to create nature preserves; it simply wasn’t worth the effort to remain there once fossil fuel production ended. Many of these areas have been reclaimed by their prior indigenous inhabitants. In many of them, people are again existing as hunter-gatherers, enacting the most intelligent form of economy possible in that bioregion and turning the conventional notion of what is futuristic on its head.
Some rural communities are self-sufficient, supporting themselves with garden agriculture and animal husbandry, or more intentionally with permaculture. Many people who moved out of the cities during the collapse set up these communes, and they’re happier and healthier than they’d ever been under capitalism. Some of the permaculture communities are composed of more traditional households, with each family tending an acre or two of land, spread out with a fairly homogenous distribution over a wide expanse of territory. Others comprise of a densely populated communal nucleus with several hundred inhabitants living on a dozen acres of intensively cultivated gardens, surrounded by orchards and pastures for fruit, nuts, and livestock, with an outer ring of natural forest as an ecological buffer and a place for occasional woodcutting, hunting, and wildcrafting. These rural communities are almost entirely self-sufficient, have a sustainable relationship with their landbase, encourage a high biodiversity, and produce no net release of greenhouse gases.
Rural communities in a tight radius around the cities carry out intensive agriculture aided by certain manufactured goods, in a symbiotic relationship with their urban neighbors. Every week, using horsecarts or biodiesel pickup trucks, they bring food and biofuels to a specific neighborhood in the city, and cart away compost (largely from the toilets, as food scraps go to feeding the urban chickens). With this rich compost, glass for greenhouses, metal tools, and the occasional tractor or mechanical plow shared among several farmsteads, they can produce high yields year round without destroying their soil or relying on chemicals and fossil fuels. They use intercropping and other permaculture methods to preserve soil health and discourage pests. These farms are dotted by orchards and small forests so there is a high biodiversity, including plenty of birds that eat the insects. Because they do not grow their plants in massive monocrop fields, pests and diseases don’t spread as uncontrollobly as in capitalist agriculture. The use of local plants, multiple breeds, the protection of the soil and the preservation of forests also mitigate the impacts of drought and other extreme weather caused by climate change.
There is still a fair amount of transportation between bioregions. Cities are linked by trains running on biofuel, and people regularly cross the oceans on boats powered primarily by the wind. A certain amount of interregional trade happens this way, but above all interregional transportation allows for the movement of people, ideas, and identities. People are less mobile than they were in the final days of capitalism, but on the other hand people are not compelled to follow the vagaries of the economy, to be uprooted in search of work. Bioregions are almost entirely self-sufficient economically, and people can support themselves. If they move, it’s because they want to travel, to see the world, and they are free to do so because there are no more borders.
Longer distance communication happens primarily through the radio. Most urban or semi-urban communities have telephone and internet. Highly toxic computer production has mostly ended, but a few cities use new, slower but cleaner methods to continue manufacturing computers at a minimal scale. However enough old parts are in circulation that most neighborhoods that want to can keep a few computers running. Many rural people live close enough to a city to access these forms of communication from time to time. People still get news from around the world, and they continue to cultivate an identity that is partly global.
The economic basis for society has greatly diversified within any linguistic community. In other words, someone may live on an agricultural commune with a technological level most similar to that of Western society in the 19th century, but next to them is a forest inhabited by hunter-gatherers, and a few times a year they go to a city organized by syndicates and neighborhood assemblies, where there is electricity, buses, a train station or a harbor, where they can watch movies or read the blog of someone on the other side of the world. Pictures and news from around the world pass through their commune on a fairly regular basis. They speak the same language and share a similar culture and history with these communities that are otherwise so different. An effect of this is that a clannish, insular identity that could lead to a number of problems, among them the potential regeneration of domineering and imperialistic behaviors, is constantly offset by the cultivation of a global identity and a mixing with highly different members of a broader community. In fact, because most linguistic communities extend far beyond a single bioregion and because people enjoy an unprecedented amount of social mobility, there is an unending circulation of people between these different communities, as every individual decides, when they come of age, whether they want to live in the city, the countryside, or the forest. Not only do borders no longer exist between artificially constructed nations; social borders no longer prevent movement between different identities and cultural categories.
For the older people, this way of living feels like paradise, mixed with the gritty details of reality — conflict, hard work, heartbreak, and petty drama. For the younger people, it just feels like common sense.
And every year, the world heals a little more from the ravages of industrial capitalism. The amount of real forest and wetlands have increased as some areas rewild, while heavily inhabited areas become healthy ecosystems thanks to gardening, permaculture, and the elimination of cars. Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are actually declining, albeit slowly, for the first time in ages, as carbon is returned to the soil, to forests and wetlands, to the newly green urban areas, and the burning of fossil fuels has stopped. Over a third of the species on the planet went extinct before people finally changed their ways, but now that habitat loss is being reversed, many species are coming back from the brink. As long as humanity doesn’t forget the hardest lesson it ever learned, in a few million years the biodiversity of planet earth will be as great as ever.
Dignified living has replaced profit as the new social yardstick, but in a coup against all the engineers of social planning, everyone is allowed to make their own measurements, to determine for themselves how to achieve this. People have regained the ability to feed and house themselves, and individual communities have proven that they are the best situated to craft a mode of sustenance that is best adapted to local conditions and the varied changes brought about by global warming. In the end it’s a no-brainer. The one solution that all those who were profitting off of climate change would never discuss was the only one that had a hope of working.
For the longest time, people didn’t give credence to those who were warning about climate change, about ecological collapse, about other problems created by government and capitalism; those who were calling for radical solutions. In the end they saw that the best decision they ever made was to stop trusting those in power, those responsible for all these problems, and instead to trust themselves, and take a plunge.
Those readers who doubt the possibility of this vision can check out Peter Kropotkin’s Field, Factories, and Workshops of Tomorrow, which scientifically lays out a similar proposition, over one hundred years ago. They can also look into how the native land they live on was organized before colonization. Where I’m from, the Powhatan Confederacy kept the peace and coordinated trade between several nations in the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. To the north, the Haudensaunne kept the peace among five, and later six nations, for hundreds of years. Both of these groups supported high population densities through intensive horticulture and fishing without degrading their environments.
Where I live now, in Barcelona, the workers took over the city and factories and ran everything themselves in 1936. And where I happen to be as I write this article, in Seattle, there was a monthlong general strike in 1919, and the workers there also proved themselves capable of organizing themselves and keeping the peace. This isn’t a dream. It’s an imminent possibility, but only if we have the courage to believe in it.Tags: global warmingPeter Gelderloos
The post Tampa Community Blanketed with Hundreds of Posters calling for ICE Subversion and Sabotage appeared first on It's Going Down.The following communique and photo was anonymously sent to It’s Going Down which we re-post below.
In an unassuming building in Ybor City, with no sign fronting what is happening within it’s walls, CBP had two security guards posted out front to defend its entrance.
However, they were so busy fumbling with their cooler and energy drinks that they didn’t notice the front and back of the building being stamped with posters calling for the abolition and sabotage of the agency’s border enforcement ops.
Bay area communities were blanketed with Know Your Rights and ICE subversion literature by the hundreds. …And hundreds more will continue to backdrop our community, a contribution to the rising culture of resistance to the national police delivering children into cages and severing families from one another through roundups, raids and forced repatriations into deadly situations that people risked their lives to escape. As, by the thousands, CBP mock their deaths and rejoice in sharing slurs against them on secret social media pages.
While ICE continues transforming our streets into their hunting grounds, we will continue to transform those grounds into points of exposure, subversion and resistance until abolition has been achieved.
You get the fuck out.
-Until every mechanism of the border regime is in ashes.
Robert Mueller public hearing to be delayed one week | 12 July 2019 | Robert Mueller's long-awaited testimony has been delayed a week, until July 24, to allow more time for Mueller to testify, House Democrats said in a statement late Friday. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said in a joint statement that Mueller's public appearance had been pushed back at the former special counsel's request, and that Mueller had agreed to appear for an extended period.
Acosta claimed Epstein 'belonged to intelligence,' report says --'Explosive enough to blow up a good portion of our system' | 12 July 2019 | According to investigative journalist Vickie Ward -- who has been covering the Jeffrey Epstein case since 2003 -- Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney who cut Epstein a sweetheart plea deal back in 2007, did so because he had been told to "back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade." "I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone," Acosta, who resigned as Secretary of Labor on Friday, reportedly claimed.
Trump admin asks Supreme Court to allow military funds for border wall construction | 12 July 2019 | The Trump administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to intervene and issue an order that would allow it to move forward and use military funds for a wall on the southern border. In the filing, the administration asked the court to lift a district court order that placed a permanent injunction on the Trump administration's diversion of some military funds for the border wall. Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in his filing that he is asking for the justices to issue an "immediate administrative stay" of the injunction, as the Department of Justice appeals it to the Ninth Circuit.
9th Circuit rules in favor of Trump admin in 'sanctuary city' case | 12 July 2019 | The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled in favor of the Trump administration's efforts to prioritize federal dollars for local policing to towns and cities that complied with certain immigration policies. The ruling, a split 2-1 decision, said the Department of Justice (DOJ) was within its rights to withhold Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants from sanctuary cities and states over their refusal to work with federal immigration enforcement authorities and instead prioritize agencies that focused on unauthorized immigration and agreed to give Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to jail records and immigrants in custody.
Yesterday, I stopped writing another story for DeSmog to get ready for what could likely become this year’s first hurricane in the U.S.
I live in Mandeville, Louisiana, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain across from New Orleans. My home is above sea level, unlike much of New Orleans, so I’m at a much lower risk for flooding impacts than residents of a city nearly synonymous with flooding.
However, like most residents in south coastal Louisiana, I’m bracing myself for a sustained barrage from the sky, as bands of rain and wind from Tropical Storm Barry arrived in parts of the state this morning. The entire Louisiana coast could be hit with the season’s first hurricane by Saturday.Tags: Hurricaneextreme weatherLouisianacancer alleypetrochemical development