Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Students Arrested: A Review of the Leftist Protest at the Arizona State Capital, tactics, and the SB1070 9

We rate the tactics and actions which took place at the Arizona State Capital on April 20th by giving them 2 stars out of 5.

One star for doing more than holding signs and one star for effort. That being said, these actions are rife with inconsistencies and time will only tell, but we predict a ‘flop’. What follows is a review of the actions, implications, and discussions regarding the Protest and Arrest of 9 individuals at the Arizona State Capital. Those arrested are now given the moniker the SB1070 9.

The 9 arrested for chaining themselves to the Arizona Capital Museum performed their roles with passion, sitting pensively and meekly, reveling in passive inaction. That asshole Stephen “Two-Face” Lemons documents their performance as:waiting to be taken away. This display essentially misses the mark: chaining themselves to a door, ensuring a swift ticket to jail, while creating little disruption. Here we would like to interject that many of us, if asked, are more willing to support those who shoplift more than those who get arrested for performing civil disobedience. At least the shoplifter is putting herself at risk, and not taking questionably legal action, while simultaneously having a lawyer set up, the press around, and Copwatch to make sure everyone has a comfortable ride to jail. We only support the SB1070 9 because we are against all prisons, all laws, and all confining apparatuses.

Martyrdom is so passé, if you want to know the truth. While it may have been more eye and media-grabbing than complacently holding a sign, it had the same outcome. By the end of the day, they are not seen as a threat and very few care. Additionally, all of the 9 had lawyers set up when they eventually were carted off to jail and swiftly released. Such miniscule disruption incited moderate media coverage and a very little headache to the authorities, while those arrested stolidly traipsed to their incarceration. People and politicians don’t care how much anyone pleads out of desperation, how many signatures anyone has, or how pathetic anyone looks sitting in front of a building chained to the doors. It is a sign of defeat, demonstrating that they have nothing left to fight with. ...However what can we expect from a bunch of Leftists, who are practically defined by their defeatist and depressive orientation toward action and politics.

Leaving behind the tactic itself for a second, (we’ll be back to a discussion of tactics soon) the motivation behind chaining themselves to the Capital Museum was to grovel at the vile high heels of Governor Jan Brewer. Calls for Brewer to veto the bill SB 1070 can be heard in any video depicting the event. We are not entirely familiar with Ms. Brewer’s character, however, if she falls in line with most politicians she probably thought the begging was quaint, and reminiscent of an image of a previous time of Civil Disobedience... and then she went back to eating her lunch planning on signing the Bill just as soon as she can. This demonstrates that obviously the Left is running out of politicians to plead with. On the notion of Civil Disobedience, it is an outdated and impotent display, put on by those too afraid to actually go to war. That is not to say that it is ineffective all the time, it works sometimes, however, it only works side by side with violent attacks against infrastructure and capital, and only works to ameliorate a small degree of oppression, and not destroy all of it. Additionally, it saddens us that students with radical leanings, like the SB1070 9, are being coopted by Leftist and Reformist groups.

Back on the notion of tactics, we feel inclined to criticize these actions, because as anarchists, our tactics are criticized all the time. For once we would like to say: “a bunch of ‘self proclaimed’ advocates of non-violent civil disobedience showed up and ruined things for everyone!” Thus, if a fight is going to go down regarding tactics, as it most certainly will, we’d like to throw the first punch: non-violent civil disobedience is passive and defeatist and a waste of time.

With that out of the way, we can agree that a real diversity of tactics is what we all want. Some permutation between tactics garners all the advantages of one tactic without the disadvantages excluding the other tactic. Ultimately we respect what others do, and ask for similar respect. We’ll be ok with your civil disobedience, if you’ll be ok when we start smashing things.

Next, we feel that certain groups, sadly even anarchists too, have fallen into the trap of condoning the SB1070 9’s actions merely because they were done. We must refuse the desire to condone action simply because it happened. This plays into the logic of “at least something was done” which is at best, a defensive claim, and at worst, impotent and a waste of time.

Finally, to those who got arrested or are willing to put themselves at risk of arrest, we admire your passion. It is a brilliant departure from the disgusting malaise that society currently suffers.

That being said, if the passion burns hot enough, we suggest that there are more effective avenues to pursue. First off is the notion of ‘attack’. Such racist legislation legitimates an all out War against the established order. Anything less than a War would be complicit with racist laws and the accelerating degree of oppression. In the midst of War, we attack, we do not put hopes in symbolic arrests, and march into our enemies jaws naked and unarmed.

We, speaking for ourselves, are at War. Do what you will. You will probably not hear too much from us in writing in the future...we will be too busy fighting and taking action.

Not JUST No SB 1070,

NO Borders, NO Empire.


With love, forever irreverent,

The Bad Anarchists of Phoenix.

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