Friday, December 31, 2010

One final note for 2010

In these final hours of this year I'd like to recollect on some of the notable events, the highs and lows we experienced, and to share one last victory before hitting the town tonight.

2010 was defined by the struggle against racist legislative attacks (SB 1070, 287(g) secure communities) and the militarization of the border, so it was fitting that we kicked off this year with the force of the DO@ (Dine', O'odham, Anarchist) bloc. This contingent in the streets at January's anti-Arpaio march was a blueprint for the possibilities of solidarity between anti-authoritarians/anarchists and indigenous people after years of dialogue, action, and building trust through struggle and support. It is both a critique of the limitations of the movement and the marginalization of radical and indigenous voices, and a presence in the streets against the attacks on Latino, immigrant communities, and indigenous people across the state. The only response the state could muster was to attempt to isolate and silence those who resist by mounting a vicious attack on that section of the march.

Anarchists holding a banner at an anti-SB 1070 demo in May. Hacks (organizers) from the mainstream immigrant movement attempted to eject the comrades for bringing the "radical" message against the border.

Much of 2010 was spent in the defense of our comrades who were arrested at that march and faced a variety of penalties, but rather than let the authorities intimidate our movement into silence, we organized and pushed back. Anarchists across the valley continued to be a force at immigrant marches, even if the conservative immigrant leadership made it clear that anarchists and allies were not wanted.

Indigenous comrades and anarchists created a presence at the state capitol through out April, May, and June. Markers, paint, posters, and banners were made available for all who wanted to bring their own statement to the frequent immigrant rallies held at the capitol. This small camp came under frequent threat of removal by mainstream immigrant leaders, occasionally with implied arrest by state capitol police. Although one man tried to cut down the banners, the comrades stayed put, maintaining an anti-authoritarian presence through out the rallies leading up to the passage of SB 1070

Valley anarchists kept things interesting in the lead up to SB 1070 with unpermitted night time marches, a counter-rally with music, food, and free literature at a Phoenix park (that was forced out by dozens of Phoenix cops), hitting the streets with self organized copwatch patrols during the frequent immigrant sweeps carried out by Sheriff Arpaio and the MCSO, and through projects of solidarity supporting indigenous people and communities of color fighting back against repression and controls from the authorities.

We were inspired by the comrades from Tucson who blocked the highway to Mexico; there were those outside the state who dropped banners, locked down, and took to the streets in solidarity with those struggling here; and by those actions of the unknowns and disobedients who spray painted walls, left messages on the capitol, and confronted the wave of racism in their communities with night time actions and spontaneity. I know we at PCWC, were especially inspired by all the Latino and non-white youth from Arizona who walked out of class, attacked the racists and the police at the capitol, and confronted the system over the ethnic studies ban and the criminalization of their communities. These were truly some different days here in Arizona.

Indigenous, latin@, and anarchist allies shut down the lobby to the Tucson Border Patrol HQ in May. The comrades called for an end to the white supremacist and colonial attack on border communities through the laws, IDs, checkpoints, racial profiling, raids, deportations, and border militarization.

This was a banner year for Phoenix anarchists in so many other ways, we were fortunate enough to have a grip of speakers and presentations come through town, I know some of my favorites were having the Greek anarchists, John Zerzan, and Lawrence Jarach for their respective appearances at Beer and Revolution. I also admired all of the writing projects, art projects, and hard working distributors getting their hustle on in town.

The Tempe march against SB 1070. Door to door organizing initiated by anarchists and joined by their neighbors, resulted in community discussions, a march, and attempts at leveraging the city to take a non-enforcement stance on the anti-immigrant law.

Perhaps the finest moment of the year was the response to our call for a second Inglourious Basterds bloc to confront the small number of nazis from the National Socialist Movement who came from across the country to march against immigrants and in support of SB 1070. While the
nazis only made it to the federal court building because of the massive police presence and their liberal use of chemical weapons, it is widely agreed upon to have been a victory for Phoenix anarchists, anti-fa, anti-racists, and haters of nazis. However, it is in these final hours of this year that we claim one more win from these nazi chumps.

From the Feathered Bastard blog:
NSM "captain" Charles Wilson has informed me that the NSM may be back for another round in December.
Well, they didn't come back. They wanted to pretend that they weren't phased by their latest trip to the valley of the sun, and they threatened to march again a month later to prove it, which would have been sometime this December. They didn't. Something to keep this in mind if you're nursing a hangover tomorrow: we won, again.

Happy new year to you and yours!

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