Sunday, June 27, 2010

Support the Arpaio Five!

This is a reminder that several comrades of ours still face charges stemming from the police attack on the Dine', O'odham, anarchist/anti-authoritarian contingent (DO@) at the January 16th anti-Arpaio march. If you visit the support page, you can read updates and donate money for the defense. Please consider helping out our friends in their fight against this bullshit.

Rereading the DO@ statement lately, I'm impressed with how prescient it was, as well as how the problems within the movement that were highlighted in it remain with us. Indeed, the statement was a clear, unambiguous call for a new kind of movement that recognized that the fight against white supremacy and colonialism transcended the crass and limited opposition to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. This is a point that was brought clearly home the day that SB1070 passed and the movement in general was forced to recognize the truth, even if (as usual), the people who made that point earlier have continued to be ostracized and attacked.

In addition, it critiqued the boring repetition of useless marches and predicated and called for the rise of a direct action-oriented movement, which was ridiculed at the time but has since come to pass. There is certainly a time for marches and vigils, but I think it was clear to all of us involved in organizing and writing that statement that that time had long since passed, given the situation in Arizona. As I said, that logic, though lost on the conservative movement leadership (and other non-profiteer types outside the state) and various self-appointed gatekeepers, has found fertile ground in many people these days, as we saw most recently with the lock down of the Tucson border patrol office by an affinity group of anti-authoritarian, anarchist and indigenous militants.

But, perhaps most of all, it called for a broadening of the movement, of a reconsideration of the composition of the movement and for a radically democratic and participatory movement to replace the rigid, leftist, hierarchical movement that currently holds power. We see more and more evidence of this emerging these days, whether in the student self-organized walkouts during the week SB1070 passed to the neighborhood assemblies now forming in several cities in the Valley, originally initiated by anarchists and other residents in Tempe (including PCWC), that have begun to spread, prefiguring a new way of resisting the law and racism in general that bypasses both statewide government and the movement hacks, and determines to drill down as small as it takes to get a core that can set up resistance in collective, accountable and democratic fashion.

As men and women willing to stand up and defend that vision with their bodies and their futures, the Arpaio Five deserve our support. Please visit their page and make a donation. And continue to fight for the movement we want.

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