01/25/17In less than a week…

In less than a week…

— Dangerous and unpopular pipelines of questionable economic value to the US become a priority. Coincidentally, Trump has a financial interest in these projects.

— An executive order to begin rolling back the ACA, which will negatively affect the markets and leave millions unable to get health insurance.

— The abject dismissal of the largest public protest in American history.

— Confirmation that Trump will never release his taxes, despite repeated promises to do so. Although 65% of Americans want his taxes released and 200+K have signed a White House petition, the administration claims that people just don’t care.

— The first volley in an assault on women’s reproductive rights and women’s health in this country and abroad.

— Outright and obvious lies from the press secretary about crowd size to protect Trump’s fragile ego during perhaps the most embarrassing, “Baghdad Bob” style press conferences in modern American history.

— The notion of “alternative facts” is promoted by the highest levels of our government.

— A hiring freeze for federal workers (except the military!) based on the demonstrable lie that the government has seen a dramatic expansion in recent years.

— A federally funded investigation into the baseless claim that there were more than 3 million illegal votes cast against him, all to protect his fragile ego. (But not a word about Russian interference in the election, which our intelligence agencies have agreed upon.)

— Bans against communicating with and sharing scientific data with the public for agencies concerned with the environment and climate change.

— Continued threats against the Constitutionally guaranteed free press.

(written by David M. Russell)

– In addition: begins motion on building a wall against Mexico, taking funds from aid to Mexico to cover the idea that “mexico will pay for the wall”. Their aid package will be decreased so it will seem like they paid for it.  This, while homelessness is on the rise and the infrastructure of the USA (bridges and roads) needs support and immediate attention. What a waste of resources.

01/02/17Mexico Greg Bennick / Rene Espinoza 2017 “Counterintelligence: Spoken Word / Listening Tour”

GREG BENNICK / RENE ESPINOZA
COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SPOKEN WORD / LISTENING TOUR of MEXICO 2017
www.wordsasweapons.com
https://www.facebook.com/fuerzabooking

Like the rest of the world, I was shocked at the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency. Trump promotes racism through his anti-immigration policies and his promise to build a wall “and make Mexico pay for it” (regardless of whether or not he ever follows through with that plan). Racism and xenophobia are only two of multiple aspects of Trump which are threatening to human rights.

Trump being elected has empowered white supremacism in the USA. This means gun wielding border patrol patriots who will now feel even more protected as they shoot first and ask questions later. Trump is surrounding himself with people in his political cabinet who will help him achieve a goal of a stronger white America.

My idea was this:

• Since intelligence in a post-truth world is invalidated by emotional reaction to nonsensical misdirections: Trump’s tweets and so on, the more we react, we embolden the enemy. Burning an American flag for example provides propaganda tools for the opposition to use against us. We need to be thinking clearly, locally, immediately, openly, and calmly about strategy, and not reacting. The intelligence we need is counter to that information which is presented to us, not in line with it. We must burn our own course through this new era of thoughtless propagandizing.

• The idea: I would come to Mexico for the two weeks prior to the election (the 7th or 8th of January through the 21st which is the day after the inauguration)

• I would do a spoken word tour of Mexico (hardcore / punk shows, community centers, any gathering place) and spend 20-30 minutes each night speaking and sharing perspectives, then one hour each night LISTENING. Rene Espinoza of Fuerza Booking who would be promoting the tour would be with me helping to translate, compiling notes with me, and offering critical perspectives as a Mexican currently living in Mexico. We would be listening to local people describe their perspectives on Trump, on racism, on immigration, on NAFTA, on the economic conditions in Mexico….and what can be done about all of this.

• At the end of the tour, Rene and I would compile notes from each night and put it all together – in English and in Spanish – an action guide which would tell everyone in ALL of the cities, the ideas of all the other cities and share thoughts on what people are feeling and how they are thinking of reacting to this new political era.

We asked promoters across Mexico: is this tour a good idea, would it be useful or helpful, and do you want to participate? Everyone said “YES”.

These are the tour dates, and for more information contact Rene Espinoza at Fuerza Booking Mexico https://www.facebook.com/fuerzabooking

January 8th Tijuana w/Rats in the wall @ Bad Brew Bar
January 9th Hermosillo @ MiniBona/january 10th Culiacan @ Cafe Marimba
January 11th Durango @ mr ink /january 12th San Luis Potosi @Politica en el Bar
January 13th Guanajuato @ Bar Fly
January 14th Ciudad de Mexico @ Foro Bang Bang w/Xibalba
January 15th Guadalajara @ Foro Independencia w/Xibalba
January 16th Queretaro @ Cafe Grease Burger w/We believe
January 18th Gomez Palacio @ Secundaria Tecnica Maria del Refugio Zerchute de Padilla
January 19th Monterrey
January 20th Ciudad de Mexico @ Foro Alicia w/Madball

– – – – – – – – – –

Como el resto del mundo, estaba impactado por la reciente elección de Donald Trump a la presidencia de Los Estados Unidos. Trump promueve mediante sus políticas anti migratorias y con su promesa de “construir una barda y hacer que México pague por ella” ( se esto real o no) RACISMO.

El racismo y xenofobia son tan solo dos areas los cuales Trump promueve, violando de esta forma los derechos humanos.

Trump al ser elegido le ha dado poder a grupos que promueven la supremacist de la raza “blanca” en los Estados Unidos. Esto significa que los patriotas protectores de la fronteras ahora se sentirán con mayor derecho disparar primero y luego hacer preguntas. Trump esta rodeándose de personas en su gabinete que lo ayudaran su meta de construir América blanca.

Mi idea es la siguiente:

– desde que la inteligencia en el post-verdad a sido invalidada por reacciones emocionales a argumentos sin sentido tales como lo son lo siguiente: Trump con sus tweets busca generar reacciones de nuestra parte, entre más caso hagamos a este tipo de situación más poder estamos otorgando poder al enemigo. La quema de banderas por ejemplo provee herramientas a quienes nos oponemos para utilizarlas en nuestra contra.Debemos de pensar de manera inteligente con claridad, localmente, de forma inmediata, abierta y con tranquilidad sobre las estrategias que utilizaremos para contra restar los efectos generados por esta elección. La inteligencia que necesitamos deberá de ser contra restante a lo que se nos presenta y de ninguna manera debemos alinearnos a esta misma. Debemos de forjar nuestro propio curso de acción en esta era propaganda sin sustancia.

– La idea es la siguiente: visitar México durante las dos semanas previas a la toma de la presidencia ( 8 -21 de Enero)

– Llevaré acabo una gira de la platicas ( dentro de la escena Hardcore/punk, centros comunitarios, y cualquier otro tipo de puntos de reunión) y pasar entre 20-30 minutos cada noche conversando y compartiendo puntos de vista con los asistentes a las pláticas y escuchar a estos mismos. Rene Espinoza de Fuerza Booking estará promoviendo la gira ayudará traduciendo, compilando notas conmigo, y ofreciendo puntos de vista críticos como un mexicano que reside actualmente en este país. Escucharemos los puntos de vista de las personas de cada ciudad sobre Trump, con un enfoque en el racismo, políticas migratorias, el TLC, las condiciones económicas del país y lo que se puede hacer respecto a esto.

– Al final de la gira, Rene y yo compilaremos las notas que tuvimos después de cada fecha en las distintas ciudades, desarrollando una guía de acción la cual le comunicará al resto de las ciudades del país, las perspectivas e ideas sobre lo que las personas opinan y como se está reaccionando en esta nueva era política.

– Comentamos a varios promotores sobre la idea de realizar esta gira si sería útil y podría ayudar en algo, y si les gustaría ser partícipes estos nos dijeron que SI.

Estas son las fechas para la gira para mayores informes contacta a René en el siguiente sitio web:

www.facebook.com/fuerzabooking

January 8th Tijuana w/Rats in the wall @ Bad Brew Bar
January 9th Hermosillo @ MiniBona/january 10th Culiacan @ Cafe Marimba
January 11th Durango @ mr ink /january 12th San Luis Potosi @Politica en el Bar
January 13th Guanajuato @ Bar Fly
January 14th Ciudad de Mexico @ Foro Bang Bang w/Xibalba
January 15th Guadalajara @ Foro Independencia w/Xibalba
January 16th Queretaro @ Cafe Grease Burger w/We believe
January 18th Gomez Palacio @ Secundaria Tecnica Maria del Refugio Zerchute de Padilla
January 19th Monterrey
January 20th Ciudad de Mexico @ Foro Alicia w/Madball

11/22/16The Players and the Played: Maintaining Focus Amidst the News

I contemplating posting all day yesterday about the need to ready ourselves for direct action against fascists after The Atlantic reported on two hundred white supremacists shouting “Sieg Heil” at a pro-Trump event (if you haven’t seen the video google ‘atlantic sieg hell trump’). I read one person say that these people need “a brick to the face”. That got me instantly riled up and ready to fight. But I held off with the post. Then I was going to post about backlash against college professors who have been seen as critical of Trump (google ‘rutgers professor psych eval’). I held off on that one too. Then, finally confused, I was going to post as I caught up watching The Walking Dead about the probable story-behind-the-story: the way that we react instantly to controversial news articles which seem to constantly appear before us and in doing so we forget about the deeper issues: screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-26-16-amthe methodical building of Trump’s vast pro-white, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, pro-military cadre around him; his belligerence with the press; his denying of critical environmental issues; his one hundred day plan; his economic conflicts of interests…and the political demographics in the USA and how they are moving, shifting, and what can be done about it.

We are being played. Not that the stories aren’t valid and worthy of rage, but in that we react with instant intensity and in doing so forget the bigger picture. We get involved in back and forth banter online in arguments about moments, instances, and spectacle. This dulls our proverbial edge. It makes us unable to think as clearly about the bigger picture. At least it does for me.

People like Steve Bannon know how to use the media and social media. Let us never forget that he is both a media expert, a white supremacist and Chief Advisor to the president-elect (and please let us not use the term ‘alt-right’ casually. ‘Alt-right’ = white supremacist). He knows how to work the public. We respond on social media with rage in an instant instead of being methodical planners ourselves and working hard to create the reality that we want. No one is going to hand it to us.

I see the constant flow of insane Trump stories as being the same as offers to eat pizza when I really want to be in better shape. Getting in shape requires constant steady progress, with maybe an occasional slice of pizza along the way. But devouring every slice spiral-tapoffered – and they will be offered daily – means less progress long term towards the most important goals. The stories are valid, in the same way that pizza is delicious (google ‘Sizzle Pie Seattle’) but the effect is the same: no amount of pizza is ever enough to satisfy the illusion of my hunger…and no amount of responding to news will ever satisfy the illusion that rage will remove Trump from the presidency.

While I do believe it would be an excellent idea for each of us to consider (just for fun of course…entertainment purposes always) the weight of a brick in our hands and how far we might be able to throw it if we ever had to, for the moment greater progress will be made through strategy, consolidation of ideas, meeting and sharing thoughts with others, refinement of tactics, self-education, and most importantly monitoring our responses to stimuli. That doesn’t mean be less angry, less critical, less forgiving of a racist rapist xenophobic president-elect and the follower/supporters of his developing policies. Instead it means making sure that we are simultaneously more methodical, tactical, continually strategic, possibly even simmering with anger, but continually in process, and maintaining our greater focus.

11/18/16A trans woman’s voice amidst a Trump world

1. Tell us about you, Amy? What do you value? What do you love?

I value a lot of different things! I will say I value being able to connect through stories and shared experiences. I guess in a lot of ways you can say I value being able to communicate with others, particularly about issues and and topics that had made you the person you are today. Aside from the human connection I seek in my life, I really love to be out by the water, particularly the ocean. There is something soothing and grounding about being able to see such a massive system contain life and be so much more complex than I could ever know. It makes my problems feel like they are going to be ok.

2. How has this election affected you?

Oof. Where to begin…well I would say that this election has definitely made me fearful. As an example, I have recently come out very publicly as a trans woman and I had this idea I had carried for many years that I was stuck to only being able to living out safely in large cities like Seattle. This troubled me because I was saddened by the thought that my own ability to live safely in my country was severely limited to this liberal islands that are few and far between.

img_1881

During the fall I had started to believe that maybe I was wrong. Maybe the bubble wasn’t as small as I had previously imagined it to be. This election, however, has me thinking I was right to feel like my safety as an out trans woman of color is limited to just tiny pockets in the country. It feels deeply discouraging and even within large cities I feel like it would be unwise of me to travel even to a big city alone, and this really stinks, you know?

3. What was life like before the election?

So I had just come out publicly this year, so for me I was really feeling like my life had been shifting in a lot of ways. The safety of being able to walk down the street at night started disappearing as my body began to shift more and I started dressing more comfortably. I started noticing people staring a bit long at me on the bus in the morning, some looking as if they were insulted. It’s a really rough transition to suddenly get attention that feels like deliberate rejection. I started experiencing and meeting folks that felt similarly and I’ve concluded that even within Seattle it is hard to be trans/queer (or basically just not fitting into a normative binary). This election has only heightened all this and it’s been so much shittier to just get to work for fear that those negative stares would turn into something more. I’ve been lucky enough that this has not been the case for me, but I’ve known people that have been less fortunate since the election.

4. What forms of solidarity and support make you feel safer in general and what forms might now post-election?

I gathered a lot of support and solidarity from many different places. One of these places are groups on places like facebook or instagram. We share encouraging articles to each other that give names to our identities, share particular places where someone may have experienced some form of discrimination. We also have groups to trade/sell/buy furniture, clothing, or services from one another and I love that because it also means that you are helping each other in some way.

Other ways are support groups around Seattle that I have leaned on heavily at times. One group specifically that has been and continues to be a tremendous help for me and many other trans folks is the Ingersoll Gender center. They essentially provide spaces where folks know they wont be discriminated against for their gender or how they dress. It also gives us a space to be able to talk about trans issues together, share difficult experiences we may have had, and lift each other up. They have been blessings and I don’t know if I would be where I am today without them.

Also, books. I love reading books written by trans/POC authors. They can be poetry or their own written experiences and I’m absolutely on them. The first book that I found to be so comforting for me was “Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation” by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. The book basically gives a voice to trans narratives and it really helped me see that I wasn’t alone. The last book I read that I loved was “Whipping Girl” by Julia Serano.

Lastly, I have about 2 friends that I talk to on a daily basis. They mean the world to me and are also trans/queer/non-binary. We support each other on big to small issues and I love them <3 Honestly, I feel that my call to action has been to get the attention of the folks NOT in queer communities to speak up. I would feel safer seeing more cis folks listening to our issues. More white men coming and leaning in to hear what we have to say. More people that are not from queer communities attending protests and supporting their queer neighbors. This would make me feel safer, personally. img_1680

5. What forms make you feel less safe or even undermined?

When white or cis folks are unwilling to listen to how this election makes us feel. When they would rather tell us why we shouldn’t be complaining before they’ve even heard our stories. Basically when they use their voices to drown out ours. I feel then that because myself or my community is not heard that we dont matter. This is exactly the same issue, but it feels even more pressing for them to listen because I feel so many policies and attitudes in the United States is determined to change in a really bad way if our voices are not heard.

6. What are you looking forward to in the future?

I would say I’m looking forward to using this particular part of our history and my experiences to speak up. I’m seeing now the power in making my voice loud and my experiences known, because I’m not just speaking for myself anymore. That’s powerful to me because it is a way I can help my community. On a lighter note, I’m super excited for maxi dresses this next summer.

To reach Amy, use the contact form on this page. All messages sent through the contact form with subject line ‘AMY’ will be sent to and read only by her.

11/16/16So its been a week… (Commentary by David Grenier)

So it’s been a week.

In the simplest terms, what happened last week is that our side got out-organized by their side.

It’s still unclear if that’s because their side is naturally larger, was more organized, or more motivated.

The good thing is that a hell of a lot of people are getting active and engaged. There are street protests and people raising money for organizations that help those most likely to be effected by the Trump administration. There are people volunteering their time, and trying to figure out how to effectively organize.

There are a lot of folks who are discovering extraelectoral work for the first time.

We need to get more organized.

We need to join and build movements.

We need to build the strength to oppose Trumps agenda and the neofascist forces with an effective strategy.

For many of people, this means moving out of a comfort zone they’ve occupied their whole life. Most folks don’t even join a bowling league, never mind an antifacist cadre.

For many folks their whole life they’ve been told the only two ways to make change are voting in elections and shopping at Whole Foods (or whichever retailer most reinforces your ideological identity). Street protests, sit ins, strikes, literal fights with nazis, teach ins, workshops, and other organized resistance tactics are all really really new. Even the thought of going to any kind of meeting scares the fuck out of a lot of folks.

Everyone is handling this election differently. Some people are mourning and some people are organizing. Many folks are doing both.

One of the most important things we need to do is welcome new people to the movement, whatever part of the movement were connected to.

We need to stop criticizing people for not reacting the same way we are. For being too scared or not scared enough.

We need to understand that people will prioritize different issues. Some folks care about abortion rights and gay marriage the most. Some folks care about immigration and refugee rights the most. No one has infinite time and capacity to dedicate themselves 100% to every issue we face. So don’t get pissy with someone if your top priorities don’t match when we’re all on the same side.

We need to embrace a diversity of tactics. There is no one perfect tactic that is guaranteed to be effective with no collateral damage and that no one will find problematic. Some people will block traffic in street protests. Some people will try to disrupt businesses. Some people will wear a safety pin. Don’t do the enemy’s job for them by trying to quash all resistance that doesn’t take the exact form you think is perfect.

Some people who are new to the movement will have voted for Hillary. Some will have written in Bernie. Some will have voted third party. Some will not have voted. Hell, at some point some people who voted Trump may want to stand up and fight back. Fucking deal with it.

We need to accept that some new folks are not going to be “woke”. They might not have the cultural background to know the right words to use when discussing trans issues. They might not be as sensitive to disability issues. It is our job to either accept these folks for the good of the movement or positively educate them instead of attacking them or “calling them out” as an exercise in shaming and humiliating them.

In fact, many of the new folks will be the dreaded “white people” (or “Whypipo”) we love to mock. Maybe we need to get over that shit and realize constantly bashing white people or attacking newcomers over not properly being “an ally” doesn’t help build the kind of mass movement we need. Maybe we also need to give other people the same respect we want. We don’t get to call it a “microagression” when someone is shitty to us but “white tears/white fragility” when we’re shitty to somebody else. This isn’t middle school and we’re not trying to build the coolest clique of mean girls. This is antifacism and we need every single body we can get.

We have a chance to build a strong movement. It’s already starting to happen. The movement needs recruiters, not gatekeepers.

Let’s make it happen.

Fight Fair, Fight Unfair

A registry for Muslims.
A call for deportations.
A white supremacist as Chief Advisor.
That feeling you have that things just aren’t right.

Believe that feeling.

Under no circumstances should any of the following post be interpreted as being for anything other than entertainment purposes only.

Ongoing discussion, debate, argument: yes. Continual self education: yes. Supporting local communities: yes. Standing with marginalized people: yes. Getting off the internet and into the streets: yes.

Fight fair. Fight unfair. Refuse/resist.

Click to find out more.

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-12-56-59-pm

11/15/16All hands on deck…life in time of dissent

All hands on deck. All voices heard. Our president-elect just hired a white supremacist endorsed by the KKK as his Chief Advisor.

Refuse / resist.

The following are 198 methods of nonviolent protest.

Note: I neither advise, support, or suggest involvement with any specific item on this list. I am posting it for entertainment purposes only. Do with it what you will.

The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion

Formal Statements
1. Public Speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
31. “Haunting” officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
37. Singing

Processions
38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one’s back

The Methods of Social Noncooperation

Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. “Flight” of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts

Actions by Consumers
71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
78. Workmen’s boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo
95. International buyers’ embargo
96. International trade embargo

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: The Strike

Symbolic Strikes
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown

The Methods of Political Noncooperation

Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by
enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations

The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention

Psychological Intervention
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
a) Fast of moral pressure
b) Hunger strike
c) Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

11/09/16Election 2016: What Went Wrong

What went wrong tonight is that a disenfranchised and ignored America (and I won’t even try to compartmentalize them by “non college educated” or “rural” monikers etc because it’s too limiting to do so) who, starting after the American Dream post-WWII (where hard work yielded tangible life-enhancing results) began a long seventy year slide into futility and nothingness. They finally had enough. Hard work doesn’t any longer produce the realization of dreams. Their self esteem was cracked and broken by forces outside their control.

This is a demographic who continually saw their voices outshadowed by liberals who didn’t represent their values, and by establishment conservatives who only protected their own interests. People finally had it and wanted change. The republicans offered a radical (though sickening in basically every way) change agent. Democrats offered an establishment candidate, having pushed aside a radical (if wildly optimistic) change agent.

Donald Trump, a rapist fascist racist with no political experience whatsoever, showed up with a promise that spoke to the heart of the ignored masses: to make their lives great again. He offered real change. That promise is the one that the masses have felt was needed but ignored for the last seventy plus years.

And Trump then hammered his message home by speaking THEIR language, and by using a proven technique: he offered a psychological sense of defense from “others” who threatened to infiltrate and destroy the nation. These others, from Mexico, from abroad, and those differing others within the nation, threatened in Trump’s mindset and speeches to break the collective potential new-American sense of self worth by infiltrating and destroying the benefits that the Trump’s promise would otherwise bring.

Social scientists (google “terror management theory”) have shown that reminders of terrorism or death and threats to one’s personal belief system cause individuals to latch on to political candidates who promise safety through strength. Trump did exactly that with the ‘build a wall’ and terrorist language, and by adding Pence and his historical gay hate rhetoric. Their main constituencies were neither gay, Mexican, or so on. And so out groups were established.

Trump promised salvation from the past, hope for the future, and then through a commitment of an iron fist gave his word that he would defend that promise now. This is sociology and psychology combined and used for the worst possible personal gain. The saddest part is that the disenfranchised masses were and have been so upset that they were willing to put aside Trump’s rapes (in part because they themselves as citizens of fully fledged rape culture are so accustomed to rape and its language and actions that they don’t consider it an issue) and his other sickening negative qualities because the promise of a better tomorrow was far more important to them than hatred and issues affecting people who weren’t like them.

Trump’s inherent racism was actually an attractive quality to these voters. The nature of racism is to establish an out group and blame them for the ills of the world. Same psychology as before is seen here again: the threat, literal or perceived, by an out group who threaten our promise of a better future is soothed by supporting a candidate who offers to protect us from those others. This is true whether the voters felt uncomfortable about gays, foreigners, women, or any other “other” group the new leader established as an enemy. 

The charismatic leader who promises to destroy that other group is really promising to destroy that which threatens our concept of hope, our self esteem, and our future. Again it’s psychology used to enhance hatred through mass hysteria focused on everyone’s need for self worth regardless of the cost to other people.

What happened tonight is the perfect storm of history and psychology.

The next question is what to do next. My answer for the moment is this:

Fight hard, fight fair, fight unfair, fight relentlessly. Fight for compassion. Fight against hatred through your actions and words. Fight for what you feel is right. Speak out. Say something. Say it loud. Build local constituencies. Enhance representatives who truly speak for you, or who ARE you, while constantly remembering that no elected official will ever serve you better than you can serve yourself and your community. If we are silent now, we might as well roll over and die. And in doing so we will take the groups and individuals who are the focus of new-American hate with us. Now is the time to fight with our hearts and minds and voices and lives

The forces working against us are political, historical, and psychological. Tonight is just the beginning point. There is a long road ahead.

10/29/16Interview with Leslie James Pickering

Since the time he served as spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front Press Office between the late 90’s to the early 2000’s Leslie James Pickering has been continually active as an advocate for the earth and the autonomy of its creatures.

He has recently been under government surveillance along with his family and business, being branded as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI.  Here, in his own words, he describes his ideas, the background of his case, and discusses his upcoming speaking tour on which he will explore the nature of the claims against him and the implications they have for us all.

1. For those who are unfamiliar with you, your work as spokesperson for the ELF Press Office, and so on, can you give us an overview about who you are and why you’re you?

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING: I was just one of the young people drawn into the struggles for environmentalism and animal liberation during the 1990s.  I grew up here in Buffalo, skateboarding and listing to punk, hardcore and hip hop, and just soaking up all these ideas about how screwed up our society was.  I wasn’t into the American Dream thing so much.  My lesbian, counterculture aunt took me to a Bad Religion show in the 8th grade and things just kept snowballing.  At 15, I picked up some issues of Holocaust and Dressed In Black at an Earth Crisis show.  Those zines taught me about the Animal Libewegmans_surveillanceration Front, and I was completely won over.  At 16, I moved to SF with a potential future skateboarding, but I found something there much more compelling.  I hooked up with this group of people that were obsessed with getting arrested for protesting animal experimentation.  We were running around at night, climbing buildings with ski masks and radios… It was wild.  It felt like a calling or something.  At 17, I dropped out of school, left home and submerged myself in struggles for social justice.  I barely worked, got arrested a couple dozen times and was just doing whatever I could to fight for wilderness and autonomy.  I kept at it, and one thing led to another.  The Earth Liberation Front formed and started sending us their communiqués.  I guess I was just in the right place at the right time, but I also worked to put myself there.  My friend Craig and I formed the Earth Liberation Front Press Office, so that we could put all our energy into PR work for the ELF and better spread the word.  The ELF just blew up, became the FBI’s “#1 domestic terrorist priority.”  We were doing this crazy amount of national press and were getting regularly subpoenaed to federal grand juries and harassed and raided by the FBI…  Now I’m back here in Buffalo, have a family and we run Burning Books and the FBI’s saying that our bookstore is a front to form a 9-person eco-terrorist cell, and that I’m its “mastermind sociopath.”  For me, and a lot of our allies, this is just life.  We’re not looking to retire or anything.  Not expecting to get wealthy or appreciated.  We’re just in the struggle because that’s what you do.  When your people and your relations are being killed, oppressed and imprisoned, when the Earth is being ravaged like it is…that’s your calling.  You just find a way to answer it.

2. Why is everyone scared of Leslie James Pickering? 

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING:  Are they?  If the people in power are afraid of anything it’s being held accountable for the crimes they’ve committed against the rest of us.  Our movements threaten those kinds of consequences, but I like to think I’m a pretty nice guy.  I love my family, our communities and allies, the wilderness…  It seems silly to think that anyone would be afraid of me.  I am more than happy to be playing a role in this struggle, however.  There’s really nothing I’d rather do with my life.

3. What do you think has been the most important project or initiative you’ve been involved with?

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING: I’m always trying to figure that out, because I want to make the most of life and the future’s looking too grim to take lightly.  Asking that question was what moved Craig and I to form the Earth Liberation Front Press Office, and I think that was a pretty good project.  I’m really into Burning Books.  We’re working to build something solid that supports and legitimizes the struggle.  Its grueling work at times, but we need strong movement institutions if we want new and powerful formations to keep sprouting up.  The support work that we do for Seth Hayes, Jalil Muntaqim, David Gilbert and other political prisoners is important in the same way.  My support for political prisoners largely comes from my support of what they’ve contributed to the struggle.  How can we expect anyone to consider fighting today or tomorrow if we neglect our allies that are in prison for fighting yesterday?  I also see the more confrontational protests I got involved in early on as really important.  Learning is largely experiential, and those experiences shaped a generation of us that are still at it.  We really don’t have any time to waste.  Start a campaign.  Go to Standing Rock.  Throw yourself out there, follow your passions, but be smart.  The future is what the people struggle to make it.

4. Can you tell us why you are not a “domestic terrorist”?

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING: No, not really.  The way I see it, this is an international resistance movement against oppression.  I could try to claim to just be an activist who exercises free speech and other activities protected under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but what does that imply about our underground allies?  My work is a component of the overall struggle.  The goal is liberation, not to find an easy or comfortable way to simply voice a level of disseopenedandassigned02-01-2012nt.  If the Informal Anarchist Federation, ELF, ALF, Black Liberation Army, United Freedom Front, George Jackson Brigade, Weather Underground, AntiSec… are “terrorists,” then we should at least happy to be in good company.  There should be nothing new or surprising about being called nasty names by the system that we’re fighting for liberation from.

5. What is your upcoming tour about and what are the key messages you hope to convey?

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING: I’ll be showing a bunch of newly unclassified FBI documents and walking audiences through the 2-year attempt to frame Burning Books up on a fictitious eco-terrorism conspiracy.  Informants, federal grand juries and a wide array of
surveillance activities will be brought to light, detailing how repression works against our movements.  It should be pretty eye-opening.  It’s one thing to know about this stuff abstractly, but another to really see it up close.  I’ll emphasize how repression should be expected and needs to be resisted, but I’ll also stress how our own fear is the most powerful outcome of repression.  If you walk away simply afraid of the government, I’ve failed.  I got into this struggle because I was inspired by underground direct action.  The FBI focuses on our movements because we are so strong, because we have the potential to change the world.  My message is always that we can fight back.

6. When you consider the state of the world today environmentally, what are the issues you see as most dire (bonus question only if you have time: might you offer any ideas for how we can correct those situations?)

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING: There’s no time to waste when it comes to issues like the environment, police murder of people of color and incarceration, etc.  We already have plenty of examples of how we can fight and win.  We just have to start looking at them, and start acting on them much more intensely.  Whenever powerful movements sprout up, the state responds with repression and violence.  But it’s really our own apathy and fear that keep us down the most.  If we organize with the understanding that repression is an inevitable result of progress, and we really commit ourselves to the struggle, there’s nothing that can stop us.

 

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING – FALL 2016 TOUR SCHEDULE

7pm, Friday, November 4, 2016 = Artrage, 505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, New York – https://www.facebook.com/events/361648534181227/

7pm, Saturday, November 5, 2016 = Plainfield Co-op, 153 Main Street, Plainfield, Vermont

6pm, Sunday, November 6, 2016 = Dreamship Cooperative Community, 15 Boynton Street, Portland, Maine – https://www.facebook.com/events/347244938953207/

7pm, Thursday, November 10, 2016 = Wesleyan University, PAC 107, Middletown, Connecticut

5pm, Friday, November 11, 2016 = IWW Union Hall, 375 Smith St, Providence, Rhode Island – https://www.facebook.com/events/1117813588297496/

7pm, Saturday, November 12, 2016 = Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts – https://www.facebook.com/events/1134358393324836/

2pm, Sunday, November 13, 2016 = WESPAC, 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 403, White Plains, New York

LEARN MORE AT: http://www.lesliejamespickering.com

 

10/27/16Tour with Great Reversals…November 2016

Heading out on a five day spoken word tour in two weeks with my friends in Great Reversals. Hear me rant about our relationship with power/authority or our need for risk/connection, depending on the night. See you soon friends.

PITTSBURG PA November 10th:
https://www.facebook.com/events/740719986094316/

PHILADELPHIA PA November 11th with Toska and Pulling Punches:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1810231775902562/

BOONTON NEW JERSEY – November 12th with Hell Mary:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1778137169123860/

COLUMBUS OH – November 13th:
https://www.facebook.com/events/904335449697246/

DETROIT MI – November 14th with Bracewar, Bent Life, and Bitter Peace AD in Detroit:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1691888801130664/

Download the new Great Reversals record here for free:
https://gr8rev.bandcamp.com/album/mere-mortals

FOLLOWUP POST TOUR 11/15/2016

Just walked in the door after flying home from my spoken word tour with the passionate hardcore band Great Reversals: five excellent humans and truly sincere people.
 
So many people helped make this tour happen: in Pittsburg, Kristine Michelle Hayes is the embodiment of determination and courage. In Philadelphia, Andrew at Hydrogen Man Records put on a great show and Chris Striegel taught us how to eat in quantities that would kill a normal human. Paul Alan in New Jersey put on the only seven band show in history that ended early. Josh at Head2Wall Records in Columbus Ohio created a banger of a show which was a tour highlight featuring vegan Polish food(!). And Maxxwell Lange in Detroit managed to get 120 kids to come out to a Monday night show in a display of pure promotional genius.
 
So many bands to thank and for you to check out: Hell Mary, Northern Widows (like Nails on steroids), Pulling Punches, TOSKA, None Above All, Silence Equals Death (like One King Down for 2016), Bitter Peace A.D., Bent Life and so many more. Steven Muczynski lent us his van. Mike Moynihan took photos. I am forgetting key people I am sure. So many true friends.
 
Spoken word in the hardcore/punk scene is an exercise in honesty: getting out of your head, being present in the moment, and opening up as much as possible in front of strangers in new bizarre settings every night. Few things are more intimidating and as fulfilling. Thank you to everyone who interacted and engaged with ideas on what to do now that our future is entirely in our hands. Our heroes are dead. No kings or priests or leaders are coming to save us. Any hope is within each of our abilities to connect with and expand to others amidst insecurity and fear. Our communities, our world, and our lives depend on it.
 
See you next time, and there will be many more next times. xxx

gb-great-rev-tour-poster

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