Saturday, September 11, 2010

PCWC on Relatos Zapatistas radio

Last weekend PCWC dispatched one of its secret cadre to the Bay to expropriate for us some vegan pulled pork sandwiches (the secret: it's made from jackfruit!) and to hand off the secret plans to the Death Star to our rebel contacts there.

While he was there, he managed to work in a brief introduction to the anarchist struggles around immigration in Arizona for interested locals, thanks to Modesto comrades who were also (coincidentally, don't get any ideas, coppers!) in town presenting a talk on revolutionary hip hop.

This presentation was recorded by our new compas at the Relatos Zapatistas Radio Show who chopped it up and aired it the other day. As many people know -- but not my boss -- I'm a fan of downloading radio shows and listening to them at work. I admit not to have listened to the Relatos Zapatistas show before, but now that I have I recommend it to anyone similarly inclined towards intelligent, creative analysis of the various movements we struggle and intervene in. Of course, we in PCWC have a deep affinity for the Zapatistas, so perhaps it was going to be a natural fit no matter what!

Above you will find the entire radio show for streaming. If for some reason blogger isn't cooperating with the stream, click here and you can stream it from Indybay instead. Thanks to these fine folks for finding time for the PCWC. Hopefully it helped shed a little more light on what's happening here in Arizona. For past audio from the show, go here. Below I'll post the description for this weeks show, which I recommend checking out in its entirety. If you're short on time and just want to hear our secret cadre speak, jump to forty or so minutes in.
The Spanish word "seguridad" can be translated into English in two ways: security and safety. What we are going to do on today’s show is try to articulate what we see as a series of fundamental tensions or distinctions between these two ways of conceptualizing "seguridad". On one hand, there is "security," which we might associate, for example, with the current doctrines and institutions of national security, which encompass the military, border patrol, homeland security, and ICE. Security as enacted within these institutions is not invested in the protection of people or communities but rather the protection of the flow of capital and the state’s ability to exercise power. Security can therefore be seen as a force that reproduces the state.

On the other hand, we could imagine safety in its most ideal form as the ability for individuals and communities to live their lives with dignity, freely and autonomously, without being subjected to the trauma and violence of precarious everyday life under the neoliberal state. We find safety in the formation of horizontal networks, friendships and communities. We also find it in people’s efforts and the inspiration that accompany those who attempt to imagine and bring to life otras formas de hacer política, other forms of doing politics. Safety happens from below and to the left, desde abajo y a la izquierda. Safety is the opposite of security.

In the first half of the show, we’re going to look at one small component of the security apparatus of the state, a mediatic component. From Chile to Mexico to Arizona and back to the Bay Area, we’ll trace the strategic appearance of concepts and terms like “anarchists,” “terrorists,” and “outside agitators” as rhetorical building blocks of police repression. Then, in the second half of the show, we’ll talk with some of the people who are trying to build autonomous communities capable of facilitating relations based on principles of safety, of putting safety into practice in material ways. From using hip hop as a form of alternative media in Modesto to the idea of creating a neighborhood council in West Oakland that could provide services to the community, we are interested in the point at which safety stops operating as an abstract concept and is transformed into concrete and realizable projects.

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