A Message To Occupy Chicago (and to Occupy Everywhere)

Reposted from infoshop.org. Emphasis in bold belongs to the editor. Note that these messages are representative of the authors and do not include the opinions of all anarchists, as we are not homogeneous and hold a diversity of thoughts and opinions. That said, I think these letters have a lot of content worth considering.

Also see: “Open Letter To Occupy Chicago”
http://anarchistnews.org/node/15459

Occupy Chicago,

We approach you today from a curious position on the margins of your activity, lingering here because we don’t quite no what to make of you in many respects. We have friends that have been maced and kidnapped by the New York Police Department, and in many ways we are excited about the creation of new spaces in which bonds might be formed in struggle that will take us places further than just a symbolic encampment in the financial district. We have skills, ideas, and energy to make Occupy Chicago a greater force to be reckoned with. We also recognize that those who are a part of Occupy movements around the country are a part of the middle class that is being dismantled by austerity measures being put into place around the country, and have had little experience with conflict. Many want a return to the middle class, for it to be saved. But no such salvation can be delivered to the middle class for an economy in crisis. Instead, as some who have inhabited this dispossession most of our lives, we say: welcome home, but we still have a long way to travel together.

While we see potential in this activity, your general assemblies have drawn lines in the sand that make us reticent to open these lines of communication, and others that have made us cringe. In some respect, there is a good element things we have heard: recognizing that economic crisis is the work of government as a whole and not just one administration or party, that it is not necessarily just a class of greedy capitalists that want our money but rather a whole system that maintains our shitty living conditions, that it is not as much ideology that matters as much as it is activity. And we agree. Yet, this should not be a rally cry for Occupy Chicago to take a neutral position in what is a global war between those who want to manage economic crisis for their own ends and those of us, more and more every day, who have no future in this economic system known as capitalism, no matter how many reforms others call for. Occupy Chicago’s lines, however, do not reflect this struggle. They say, “We are saving America, and all Americans will benefit from restoring economic security and the freedom that America is based on.” For the descendants of the slaves who worked the fields to grow the wealth of this nation-state, for the trans women locked up and trying to survive in men’s prison, for the indigenous people who have survived our long-running genocide against the people who lived on this continent, for the undocumented people who risk deportation every day to survive, for all of abandoned children of a society and economy that never cared about our lives in the first place, these words are empty, and only reinforce that you will stand to preserve this system of benefit for yourself even if it means the continued dispossession of all lives that the democracy and capitalism never cared about unless they could be used for profit.

Worse than this patriotism, however, is the clear line that you’ve drawn in supporting the police. Despite much of the rhetoric about “blue-collar” and “white collar” police, there is no difference in the function of the police in relation to our lives. Whatever collar you may see, there is surely a brownshirt underneath. The police serve to keep those without power in line on a day-to-day basis, and especially when they rise up against systems that keep them in chains. We’ve smelled the tear gas in the air, watched our friends and families thrown to the ground and beaten. This is not police brutality, it is the cold fact that policing as a system defends the wealthy and will use deadly force to do so. And no apologies from police will make this any different. The Chicago Police Department, to whom your General Assembly has decided to extend olive branch, have held guns to our heads since time immemorial. In the first seven months of this year, they murdered 42 people. Between 1972 and 1991, they tortured more than 130 black men in secret jails with impunity. They break up all our fun parties. They turn over our friends to ICE. The CPD do not “make sacrifices” and “take risks” every day to “keep Chicago a safe community,” they risk their lives to murder, imprison, and torture those who refuse to be content with the poverty that this system has given us, and there is no room for friendship with those who seek cordial relations with those who terrorize us to keep us in line.

We know that these statements do not represent everyone currently occupying Chicago. We’ve seen the glazed over look in many participants’ eyes at the General Assemblies and the general lack of enthusiasm about this experiment in democracy. To those participants we say: perhaps we share something in common. The truth of this of course lies in whether or not you will choose to break the tyranny of silent consensus, the democracy that has so quickly taken the power from those who dare to dissent. Refuse to be silent about how this moment which could challenge so much oppression is being taken away from us, just like everything else has. Refuse the orders of the police. Challenge those who are limiting your ability to act within the occupation, for they also act as police. Occupy space that disrupts that normal flow of life. Find those friends who will dare to act with you and do the same. We will be there for you if you should choose to take your lives and your participation into your own hands. Are you occupying to become powerful or to give away your power to the systems that have gotten us into this mess?

some potential friends/enemies.
afriendoranenemy (at) http://gmail.com 

From the Anonymous Chi-town Window Smasher at Occupy Chicago

On October 5th, I attended one of the Occupy Chicago marches. Although I was glad to see people filling the streets against the bankers, I was already thoroughly disgusted by its predominantly statist and pacifist nature. Aside from the wingnuts that I assumed would be there, there were tons of people screaming and taking the streets without permission. I thought to myself; Maybe this Occupy Chicago thing wasn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe it had potential. That’s when I was grossly mistaken.

After smashing the living fuck out of the Walgreens window in a blatant attack on capitalism, several attendees of Occupy Chicago not only tried to kick me out of the march but actually chased me down and attempted to make a citizens arrest. They told me I did not represent them and tried to grab me, screaming for the police. I managed to throw them off as a few comrades in support delivered some street justice to the faces of the disgusting protectors of property.

It should be clear that the police, the boot boys for the 1%, who constantly enforce with brutality the racist laws and who are constantly engaging in violence for the purpose of protection of property and social control, are NOT part of the “99%” (and neither are the fascists.. Kansas City IWW). Those at the occupation who attempted to make a citizens arrest are acting under the guise of non-violence, while using force to display the blatant move beyond their theoretical support of the state and capitalism, towards physically maintaining it. In no way shape of form should those who don’t identify or agree with the smashing of corporate property attempt to make a citizens arrest against someone enacting a genuine display of rebellion against capital. The police know what side of the fence they are on… why don’t you?

A word to those at Occupy Chicago: stop disempowering us by begging the powers that be to meet your silly demands. Start attacking the conditions and symptoms that are behind these issues you attempt to address. I hope that this analytically weak “movement” can transform itself into something that isn’t so statist, that is truly threatening to the social order. We want revolution, an overthrow of the state and capitalism, and we will not be satisfied with petty reforms or purely symbolic change. We believe that militant direct action is the only real means of achieving this goal. Destruction against corporate property is not a violent act. Do not arrogantly attempt to maintain a monopoly of how folks are expected to resist against our exploitative conditions. You don’t have to agree with our choice of tactics, but stay out of our way, and don’t snitch to the police or else you better prepared to feel the wrath.

We won’t stop attacking until the last bureaucrat has been hung with the guts of the last capitalist.

Burn the state, Smash capitalism, and kill the Fascists

Y’all couldn’t catch me!!! —

Also see: “Open Letter To Occupy Chicago”
http://anarchistnews.org/node/15459

Occupy Chicago,

We approach you today from a curious position on the margins of your activity, lingering here because we don’t quite no what to make of you in many respects. We have friends that have been maced and kidnapped by the New York Police Department, and in many ways we are excited about the creation of new spaces in which bonds might be formed in struggle that will take us places further than just a symbolic encampment in the financial district. We have skills, ideas, and energy to make Occupy Chicago a greater force to be reckoned with. We also recognize that those who are a part of Occupy movements around the country are a part of the middle class that is being dismantled by austerity measures being put into place around the country, and have had little experience with conflict. Many want a return to the middle class, for it to be saved. But no such salvation can be delivered to the middle class for an economy in crisis. Instead, as some who have inhabited this dispossession most of our lives, we say: welcome home, but we still have a long way to travel together.

While we see potential in this activity, your general assemblies have drawn lines in the sand that make us reticent to open these lines of communication, and others that have made us cringe. In some respect, there is a good element things we have heard: recognizing that economic crisis is the work of government as a whole and not just one administration or party, that it is not necessarily just a class of greedy capitalists that want our money but rather a whole system that maintains our shitty living conditions, that it is not as much ideology that matters as much as it is activity. And we agree. Yet, this should not be a rally cry for Occupy Chicago to take a neutral position in what is a global war between those who want to manage economic crisis for their own ends and those of us, more and more every day, who have no future in this economic system known as capitalism, no matter how many reforms others call for. Occupy Chicago’s lines, however, do not reflect this struggle. They say, “We are saving America, and all Americans will benefit from restoring economic security and the freedom that America is based on.” For the descendants of the slaves who worked the fields to grow the wealth of this nation-state, for the trans women locked up and trying to survive in men’s prison, for the indigenous people who have survived our long-running genocide against the people who lived on this continent, for the undocumented people who risk deportation every day to survive, for all of abandoned children of a society and economy that never cared about our lives in the first place, these words are empty, and only reinforce that you will stand to preserve this system of benefit for yourself even if it means the continued dispossession of all lives that the democracy and capitalism never cared about unless they could be used for profit.

Worse than this patriotism, however, is the clear line that you’ve drawn in supporting the police. Despite much of the rhetoric about “blue-collar” and “white collar” police, there is no difference in the function of the police in relation to our lives. Whatever collar you may see, there is surely a brownshirt underneath. The police serve to keep those without power in line on a day-to-day basis, and especially when they rise up against systems that keep them in chains. We’ve smelled the tear gas in the air, watched our friends and families thrown to the ground and beaten. This is not police brutality, it is the cold fact that policing as a system defends the wealthy and will use deadly force to do so. And no apologies from police will make this any different. The Chicago Police Department, to whom your General Assembly has decided to extend olive branch, have held guns to our heads since time immemorial. In the first seven months of this year, they murdered 42 people. Between 1972 and 1991, they tortured more than 130 black men in secret jails with impunity. They break up all our fun parties. They turn over our friends to ICE. The CPD do not “make sacrifices” and “take risks” every day to “keep Chicago a safe community,” they risk their lives to murder, imprison, and torture those who refuse to be content with the poverty that this system has given us, and there is no room for friendship with those who seek cordial relations with those who terrorize us to keep us in line.

We know that these statements do not represent everyone currently occupying Chicago. We’ve seen the glazed over look in many participants’ eyes at the General Assemblies and the general lack of enthusiasm about this experiment in democracy. To those participants we say: perhaps we share something in common. The truth of this of course lies in whether or not you will choose to break the tyranny of silent consensus, the democracy that has so quickly taken the power from those who dare to dissent. Refuse to be silent about how this moment which could challenge so much oppression is being taken away from us, just like everything else has. Refuse the orders of the police. Challenge those who are limiting your ability to act within the occupation, for they also act as police. Occupy space that disrupts that normal flow of life. Find those friends who will dare to act with you and do the same. We will be there for you if you should choose to take your lives and your participation into your own hands. Are you occupying to become powerful or to give away your power to the systems that have gotten us into this mess?

some potential friends/enemies.
afriendoranenemy (at) http://gmail.com

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