All posts by Slingshot Readers

Communicate for Revolution

Glam DIsco Punk

Dear Slingshot,

This is Sean “Goblin”. Just read your “No War” issue #73. Generally it’s good stuff (aside from the ancient clip art). The whole September 11th deal awoke or rather jelled the repressed @narchist in me…which i had basically given up on during my burning out on punk rock years…. Anyhow, I’ve done a lot of thinking and soul searching since 1994 and i’m ready to have a go at the revolution again. While I don’t subscribe to any particular philosophies, generally I lean on the Black Panther/Sun Ra, Crass/Discharge, MC5/ Donovan, T-rex/Bohansson/Tolkien side of things…fantasy laden, esoteric/spiritual fueled Jazz Rock Funk Folk Metal Glam Disco Punk Biker deal. Anyhow, “Planning for Revolution Requires Communication” and that’s what I’m doing. Even though I thot you cats were a bunch of P.C. squares when I was younger and less focused, I’m down with the plan, I’m devoted to freedom and putting us, the earth and the aminals above systems and I’m in West Oakland. Also here’s some of my new comix. Enjoy. Protest and Survive, Sean

Don’t Discount Potential Allies

Dear Slingshot,

It’s too bad that some elements within the anarchist community are defensive about dealing with racism, both in the larger world and within our smaller community. This defensiveness is well illustrated by Pirate Prentice’s article “Planning For Revolution Requires Communication”. Many of the suggestions Pirate makes are good ideas, but for some reason, and in contradiction to many of the other suggestions, s/he specifically advises against working with youth of color. S/he also recommends that we not deal with racism, sexism, homophobia and classism within “our”own groups, since we’ve all been raised with that stuff and it can be divisive. Well, as a white anti-racist lower class woman, I’ll “divisive” myself right out of any group not willing to deal with this shit, and I suspect many other folks from historically oppressed groups feel the same way, which would explain why a majority of the people who hold long term places of influence and recognition within our local anarchist scene are straight white men.

We all need to work out asses off to stop the “War on Terrorism”, but we all also need to work our asses off to stop capitalism and the state (I mean, for revolution). I can’t imagine that the anarchist community will have much success in contributing to and participating in a broad based grass roots revolution if we insist on keeping ourselves in our self imposed ghetto, saying “other groups must organize themselves” and prioritizing work with groups like ALF, who are amazing and inspiring, no doubt, but not in the least revolutionary. Since the current war the United States is waging is very much grounded in racist ideas and assumptions, now is a really good time for us to explore what that means for us as an anarchist community and how to incorporate our understanding of the entrenched racism of the United States into our day to day networking, organizing, and action. Many communities of color, from youth in Oakland to Arab American groups everywhere, are providing amazing examples of resistance to the United States’ war machine and brutality. Now is not the time to hide behind our defensiveness about dealing with racism and other forms of oppression.

Pirate suggests we “discover who our allies are.” My allies are not only people who oppose this war, but who also oppose this entire messed up capitalist, patriarchal state, and I know for a fact that includes many youth of color.

These are hard times, and the work we have to do is hard. Discounting whole communities and potential allies will not stop the war and it will not help us down the road to positive revolution.

Thanks for putting out the special ’9-11′ issue.

Yours in struggle (with each other and the state), Rahula Janowski

Response

Rahula,

I agree that discounting whole communities will not stop the war or bring revolution but, then again, neither will misreading Slingshot articles.

Saying other groups must organize themselves is only the truth; I as a white person cannot organize in the Black community, they would laugh me out of there. And that was the point of the article, that older white guys trying to push their agenda onto youth of color doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t work at all with folks of color, but one should do it as equals not as an organizer going into a community pushing an agenda that may not be wanted.

The article did not “recommend that we not deal with racism, sexism, homophobia and classism” in our own groups. The article said to “avoid the rhetoric and p.c. criticism”, notice–avoid the rhetoric not avoid dealing with oppression. The point being that, yes we all share a culture steeped in racism, sexism, homophobia and classism and we all need to be aware of our behavior and language, but it doesn’t help if we jump down the throat of a comrade if he doesn’t use the approved language. Different people are going to have different levels of proficiency at P.C. talk, but we should be sure of what the intent of the person is before we spew anti-racist dogma at her to educate him in group think.

–zarfling

ACT-UP

Dear Slingshot:

I’m really upset to see that you listed act-up San Francisco as a contact in your organizers for 2002. This is a very right wing group with a gay twist. They work with right wing politicians to cut funding for aids drugs because they say hiv doesn’t lead to aids. They put out a lot of half truths and often manipulate facts. They also beat up people for taking aids drugs. They claim they just use “aggressive in your face tactics.” I seriously thought you people would know better. These people aren’t anarchists, they’re just conspiracy theorists.

-Joe Levasseur

Joe-we have already realized our mistake and they will certainly not be in next year’s organizer. -Astrogirl

Friends in Paris!!!

Dear Slingshot

Hi! Passing through San Francisco on November 14, I came upon a demonstration against the war, and someone gave me a flyer signed Jason Justice, from Slingshot. It is very comforting for some of us, in Europe, to see that Americans say everything we think. Of course we are in the same ship, against the same kind of power, for the same human world.

With a group of friends, we write a paper in Paris, France, for and with the people of our neighborhood – very pluri-ethnic and pluri-cultural. Our goal is to let people express their opinions and their creativity. We feel we have made a small step in the right direction when people of different origins speak to each other without referring to a French intermediary, when someone from Mauritania writes a paper on modern slavery with a Bangladeshi, or a Pakistanis reflections on terrorism with an Italian, when a Muslim woman who has never left her home before, comes and gives us a poem. Our paper is also multilingual. We try to have people write in their native language, and we translate in French, with the author’s help; for those who cannot understand. This is the reason why I was wondering if you would allow us to reprint one of your articles, the one that was handed to me and that uplifted my spirit or another from your paper (I found you on the web after I got back to Paris). We would love to have a fruitful exchange with you, so far and so close.

Peacefuly yours

Dominique, from the “Voice of Cultures”.

Jail Mail

Dear Slingshot:

Yet another year passes here in this Texas Gulag Hell Hole. Please note the above address and T.D.C.J. addition of two numeral slots on my prison number. We are in the millions now and still counting in State, Private, Federal prisons and jails. I have not moved physically, only in name.

Thanks for these past years in your mailings to me of Slingshot. You are the only one left who mails out on a regular basis. It seems all the others either have failed in some way, most probably financial, to be able to produce their periodicals and have ceased to exist are just barely able to get by at their home base.

It is a shame that it has to be that way, because it is the only way that I can get the truth in news with alternative reporting in the state of affairs be they local, state or global. Much unlike the News Hour Bullshit on TV.

I am an avid reader. Due to manpower shortages here the prison library on this unit has been closed to all non school participating prisoners such as me for going on four months. I have a prison job. I refuse to work since at my age and length of prison term most probably I will not live to see any possible prison release.

All that I have to do is read, do crossword puzzles, or listen to the radio. TV nor recreation is an option in my case.

So, if you or anyone else you may know of who might be able to help in any way it would help immensely. These few things are the crux of my ability to be able to cope with and this ass load of time in any sort of way easier than T.D.C.J. would have do it.

Again thanks to all at Slingshot. Please put my poor old ass in the mail hopper for another year.

One who love ya

Edgar

Edgar Waller #00738675 1800 Luther DR. O.L. Luther Unit Navasota, TX 77869