The Ultimate Lesson of Game of Thrones: “Hoping Our Rulers to Do the Right Thing is Madness”

By Paul Messersmith-Glavin (May 13, 2019)

We watched Game of Thrones last night, along with 17 million others. If you saw it, you know how devastating and demoralizing it was.

I immediately thought of the US role in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, or the US war on Iraq, or countless others. Lara made the point that the rubble dust and total destruction evoked the mass murder by Assad in Syria. We talked afterwards about how the episode illustrates the perception that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and how people play out the roles assigned by institutional power despite, or because, of who they are before they inherit them. I think that’s important when looking at how those in power kill as banal routine: mass murder is par-for-the-course. It’s built into the fabric of the nation-state. Bush did it, Obama did it, Trump does it, Putin does it, and whoever follows Trump will do it too.

I have’t looked at the chatter today – and feel uninterested in it – but my friend and comrade Kieran Frazier Knutson summed up one of the most important insights to take from last’s night’s genocidal display. It’s this:

“Hoping our rulers will do the right thing is madness.”


Thank the Chicago Anarchists for Creating a Better World for Everyone

By Paul Messersmith-Glavin (May 1, 2019)

If you like the idea of only working an eight-hour day, as opposed to say, twelve, thank an anarchist.

This first of May – May Day – represents the day people around the world, for over a hundred years, celebrate and renew the commitment of anarchist organizers in Chicago in the 1800s to making the lives of poor and working people, many of them immigrants, better.

Those anarchists did this through militant agitation, workplace organizing, and confronting those who try to keep us all down and in line. They got in the faces of capitalists, bosses, cops, and politicians. They were not afraid to organize popular power – working people’s power – for a different world.

Learn about the Chicago anarchists – the Haymarket Martyrs – who were hung by the state for trying to create a better world for everyone. Feel the power of rising together with those around you.

Fight back, resist, dream and create a new world in their honor, and with their inspiration. Happy May Day!


Bookchin Helped Us Understand the Roots of the Ecological Crisis Today

By Paul Messersmith-Glavin (January 14, 2019)

Murray Bookchin would be 98 today.

Calling himself at times both a “Pleistocene Bear” and a “relic from a different age,” Murray was in many ways ahead of his time. He introduced ecology to the Left in the early sixties–before even Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring he would tireless point out–even raising climate change as an issue in “Ecology and Revolutionary Thought” in 1964. He welcomed the development of feminism, and was supportive and involved in developing what would come to be known as eco-feminism in the ’70s, while also heavily involved in the direct action movement against nuclear power in New England that decade.

There are plenty of critiques and problems with Murray one can point to but hey, today’s the old man’s birthday, so let’s save that for another day.

Murray’s most significant and lasting contribution, in my mind, is his observation that the ecological crisis is rooted in the crisis in society, that it is in fact a social crisis; that the attempt to dominate nature is based in humans dominating other humans, and that to solve the ecological crisis we must confront and overthrow things like racism, sexism, capitalism and the nation-state.

Cheers Murray, you’re missed.


What Works Against the Far Right

By Joseph Orosco (December 21, 2018)

Jason Wilson has written a good piece in The Guardian outlining how nonviolent action against far right and neo Nazi groups has been effective so far in dismembering those movements.

This has been on my mind this week since news broke that notorious Springfield neo-Nazi Jimmy Marr was hospitalized after an altercation with Corvallis activists. Marr has been in town over the past year several times to lend support to Andrew Oswalt, the OSU grad student who was recently convicted of felony hate crimes. The immediate buzz on local social media followed the usual paths: “Antifa” is a violent organization, “Antifa” is just as bad as Nazis in that they are willing to use violence against people they disagree with, Nazis will go away if you just ignore them, etc.

Wilson points out that doxxing of Nazis—identifying participants of far right protests, rallies, demonstrations, and street fights and sharing this information publicly, especially with employers—has been one successful way to disempower them. (This can go both ways though.  Apparently, neo Nazi groups have been trying to doxx the Corvalis antifa group that was arrested in the fight with Marr.  I’ve noticed this since one of the people arrested was Bart Bolger who I interviewed for Anarres Project a few years ago.  His interview has gotten significant hits in the last few days.)

Denying Nazis platforms has also worked in a variety of cases, the most notable one being Milo Yiannopolous, who has gone bankrupt. This is one of those tactics that seems to rile supporters of “free speech” who argue that Nazis have the same right to air their views in public as anyone else. I see a lot of citing of the famous Skokie case in which the Americans Civil Liberties Union defended the right of the National Socialist Party USA to march through a largely Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, Illinois. But times change. After the Charlottesville protest in 2017, the national ACLU seemed to suggest that it saw contemporary neo-Nazi and white supremacists groups in a different way and is not prepared to defend their right to the public square as quickly. The significant difference seems to be that the newest far right groups are explicitly coming to street brawl, armed with clubs, shields, armor, and guns.

At the same time, I started looking at scott crow’s newest collection Setting Sights: Histories and Reflections on Community Armed Self Defense. Crow is hoping to set up a theoretical framework for understanding and justifying the use of weapons for “liberatory community armed self-defense”. This is different than “armed struggle” which is the use of military style violence by guerilla armies or militia to accomplish political goals. Instead community armed self defense takes into “account unrecognized types of violence and the limits marginalized groups face in their ability to determine their own futures or collectively protect themselves” (p. 9) crow wants to bring out the stories of groups ranging from Spanish and Russian anarchists to AIM, the Deacons for Defense, the Black Panthers, the Zapatistas, and the modern group Redneck Revolt. In the process, he’s showing how many supposed nonviolent revolutions (such as the Civil Rights Movement) were undergird by organizations willing to use guns for self defense from white supremacist and other far right groups.  The book has a great promo video you can watch:

Post Modern Anarchist Revolution Coming (Hide the Meta-narratives)

By Joseph Orosco (October 30, 2018)

Ever wonder what the post modern anarchist revolution would look like?

“To have a successful post-modern anarchist revolution, it is necessary to pragmatically demolish, both conceptually and materially, bourgeois-capitalist socio-economic conditions; i.e., capitalist forces of production and capitalist relations of production, in order to install a patchwork plurality of autonomous-collectives, narratives and worker-cooperatives.

Specifically, a successful post-modern anarchist revolution will demolish the concept of private property and the bourgeois-state so as to foster forms of communal organization that maximize equality, autonomy and heterogeneity. To quote Bakunin, the goal is to have a society where all micro-narratives have equal access to resources, in relative equal measure, whereupon no-one is privileged over anyone else and “workers take possession of all [forms of] capital and the tools of production”, whether, these are conceptual tools and/or material tools. No meta-narrative must be allowed to have dominion over the plethora of micro-narratives, sharing the sum of capital, in relative equal measure.”

You can read more here.


Interview: Andrea Haverkamp–Laborwave Revolution Rado

andrea pic

Laborwave Revolution Radio is a podcast started in 2017 in Corvallis, Oregon.  It is regularly hosted by Andrea Anarchy and Person X.  This podcast features revolutionary news and activism commentary on a national and global level.  We interviewed one of the founders, Andrea Haverkamp, to talk about the goals of the program and to hear what inspired its creation.  You can listen to Laborwave on Soundcloud here.


What is your work with Laborwave Revolution Radio about and what do you hope to accomplish with it?


Laborwave Revolution Radio is a podcast for leftist politics, critique, news, and activist interviews. The inspiration for starting this podcast came from, myself, being a media consumer and seeing a big difference in media presence between political spheres. Conservative media is much larger in terms of numbers and content creators than liberal media, which itself dwarfs the amount of leftist or union oriented media out there. This includes podcasts – if you look on Apple Podcasts or Google Play, the most popular political podcasts are either right-wing or NPR-esque centrist reporting which leaves a lot of critiques out of their discussions. We wanted to add a podcast which advocated locally and nationally, in solidarity with all the groups that intersect struggles here at Oregon State. This brought myself and my co-conspirator Person X to Laborwave – Revolution Radio, Corvallis. Our name harkens back to New Wave music and Waves of activism, whether feminist or otherwise. A wave of labor with revolutionary politics is rising and we wanted to capture this. We have had the wonderful opportunity to interview national figure David Barsimian, feature speeches and presentations that occurred locally from Sylvia Federicci and Zoe Samudzi, and interview local activists such as Mickinai Arefaini and Paige Kreisman. We usually report on news local and national and present articles we enjoy from leftist publications, anti-racist movements, and union organizing. Together we hope that this spurs conversation and community in Corvallis and highlights to communities elsewhere the amazing work being done in this small town. Part of imagining the success of a radical social/political/economic revolution is reporting on it. It is occurring all around us!


Who would you consider your organizing heroes and what did you learn from them that inspires you?


My organizing hero – hands down – is Emma Goldman. The way she was able to agitate large numbers of people in her speeches on the street, the fire and ferocity in which she spoke, and the way her words incited other to radical action is so deeply inspiring. Her sharp writing and critical perspectives were decades ahead of her time, and she stands out as one of the most influential late 19th century to early 20th century anarchist theorists. Over a hundred years ago she argued for sexual liberation, an end to prisons and legal systems of border regulation, and remained staunchly opposed to the Women’s Suffrage movement on the grounds that women should band together to end the system of government voting writ large. Her and Eugene Debs were a few of the most targeted high profile revolutionaries by the U.S. government, leading to legislation to pass such as the 1912 Sedition Act which specifically sought to silence their speech. Subsequently, our anarchist history has been confiscated, criminalized, banned, and burned for a century. Even when Emma was deported she maintained her activism from abroad and never ceased to advocate for a new social order built upon egalitarian justice. I hope to be able to channel her fire, her passion, and her ability to draw thousands to her words in public spaces with her words. While our public spaces are now limited, and crowds rarely gather in such numbers on the streets these days. If Laborwave were able to reach the numbers she was able to draw a hundred years ago I would be fulfilled in life.


In her essay “Anarchism – What It Really Stands For” she defines anarchism as “The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.” This is a guiding principle for my own ever-developing political philosophy, especially as it has grown and developed through synthesis with black liberation movements and transnational feminism.


Emma Goldman speaking in New York’s Union Square, 1916, where over 3000 gathered to listen.


What gives you hope for the future?


I am inspired and moved by the power of new media – including the often ballyhooed social media – to connect radicals, share organizing strategies, experience one another’s stories, and build global class solidarity. When I grew up in the early 90s my eyes were opened by the internet which allowed me to explore concepts such as evolutionary biology and communism despite a sheltered upbringing in rural Kansas. The internet is far from an egalitarian service, riddled with surveillance and capitalist pressures,  but despite this the spread of information and connection has contributed enormously to the revolutionary struggle. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the connections we are forming. Podcasts such as Laborwave can spread political thought to the far reaches of the globe, and even sharing critical perspectives on Facebook leads to life changing conversations. Activists are not born overnight – we develop through a thousand tiny conversations. I believe the internet age has accelerated the rate in which these thousand conversations can occur. Additionally it allows us to intervene when toxic fascist conversations are occurring to interrupt their cycle of malicious recruiting.



What do you think are the most significant obstacles to social/economic justice in the future?


It might seem contradictory to what has given me hope, but I believe the Information Age has given us significant road blocks at the same time. Study after study show that we are becoming more insular and fragmented through the algorithms employed by Google and Facebook which tailor our daily internet experience to be the most agreeable to us. The same google searches on different computers will lead to wildly different results based on browsing history they have obtained. Famously during the turmoil in Egypt it was shown that one user account might see news on the social upheaval, while another may produce results highlighting tourism instead. The way that I interact – and distribute a podcast – with people very much like myself is a hurdle in our organizing. Emma Goldman was able to reach crowds of thousands of very different people. This occurs directly alongside our loss of public spaces. While we have gained the ability to connect and distribute with like minded individuals, it has distanced us wildly from those who need intervention the most. Public spaces where crowds meet and mingle are virtually non existent. There is simply no need to congregate in the fashion people did 100 years ago. The state has been very successful in squashing many of the societal support structures which allowed for most of the social movements over the past few decades. Ending the draft effectively took upper class and middle class comrades out of the subject population of oppressive military service. Contrary to many narratives, it allowed our government and influential citizens to become completely separated from the wars we instigate. The sky rocketing income inequality and inaccessibility of college tuition access has critically impacted leftist organizing. The economic ability for students to spend large amounts of time subsisting on small amounts of money – without tens of thousands of dollars in loans – squelched campus radicalism. We are shoved into wage work to pay off these loans right upon graduation. Myself, I am no exception. How can we build communal spaces and new commons when private landowners have rendered it economically impossible? Public spaces have been reduced, heavily regulated regulated, and organizing in them has been criminalized. Combined with Information Age fragmentation of our society into like-minded social sectors, it is difficult to see a clear path forward. This presents new challenges for decades old organizing strategies that I am sure we will overcome. We require rapidly shifting strategies and organizing innovations coming out of these challenges. The alt-right and nazi-ism has particularly capitalized upon new media, loss of the commons, and social fragmentation. I hope we are doing the same.


What books or movies or media would you recommend people study to learn about organizing and social change?


I am going to kick it off with a podcast I love – Kicking the Kyriarchy Kyriarchy is a theory that we live in a society not directly hierarchical or patriarchal, but that all of the axis of difference come together to form a system of power which may look more like a pyramid, complex and full of horizontal, vertical, downward, and ever-changing pressures. It is closely tied to intersectional feminist theory as a way to view social domination and subjugation. The wonderful producers, Elena and Sidonie, walk the listeners through various forms of oppression and the tangled knot they form in our every day lives. I can’t recommend it enough!


One of my favorite books is Captive Genders released through AK Press. In the age of rainbow capitalism, it could not be more important. It expertly outlines the social regulation of gender and sexuality through the prison system and administrative governance, which particularly enact violence on black and brown queer/trans bodies. It contains a collection of powerful essays and stories from a broad range of activists. It provides scathing critique of modern LGBTQ+ politics while simultaneously highlighting radical transformative justice organizations such as FIERCE! in New York City and Critical Resistance. Outlining strategies to build an abolitionist queer movement and providing educational materials for our communities, this is an essential volume to get ahold of.


I am a creature of the internet – I barely turn on a TV anymore. If you are prone to binge watch youtube videos, I gotta hand it to John Oliver.  John Oliver is certainly closer to NPR style politics than anything I engage in as an activist. But, regardless, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is often witty and intricate journalism which digs really deep into topics providing a lot of data, sources, and compelling narratives. I know we are all guilty of watching things that aren’t perfect – our quest for perfection can often stifle engagement. John Oliver’s topics for his 20-ish minute segments include sharp analysis of multi-level marketing’s targeting of women of color, of the private capitalist addition rehab industry, historical critiques on the mythos of Rudy Giuliani, and even the national boondoggle of government backed flood insurance. There are more than enough topics well worth a watch. His jokes rarely punch down, and instead punch up. But as an HBO political personality, he isn’t perfect. None of us are. I certainly am not. Go watch some John Oliver. Given the rising likelihood of national anti-reproduction rights being stifled, I highly recommend his videos on the sticky web of anti-abortion laws and tax payer funded crisis pregnancy centers . Each are roughly 20 minutes long and well worth it. I sure learned a lot.


Interviewed by Joseph Orosco, July 2018.

It is Moral Failure to Quit in a World Organized by Dominance

By Katherine Power (July 16, 2018)

I’ve been thinking about the difference between the situation of the children stranded in the Thai cave on the one hand, and on the other hand, the US border patrol’s separating children from their parents and putting them in cages.

In Thailand, everyone was working together, government was mobilized, volunteer specialists came from halfway around the world, nothing was held back because of a shortage of resources, there will be medical and psychological help for survivors, and no one even mentions that several of the trapped young people are stateless refugees. As in so many situations in human life, the ending could quite possibly have been tragic, but would try with all our might.

At the border, we have a brutal, uncaring government doing everything it can to escape accountability; the resources are being used to enrich corporate cronies; the parents and the children are despised as dangerous and unworthy foreigners. It seems like the disaster could go on forever.

The difference in outcome between the cave and the border could look like a moral failure, a difference in the value put on the lives of the people in the two groups. It seems to me, though, to be to be a perfect illustration of the difference between a world organized by cooperation and mutuality, and a world organized by dominance.

Notice the power, the immense energy and ingenuity brought to bear by people working together to rescue the children in the Thai cave. True, it was an acute problem of one moment, but the capacity to address it arose from a wealth of healthy civic, governmental, and social relationships and activities.

We are working together to rescue the children in the cages. We may not win in one jubilant moment. The moral failure would be to quit in despair.


This originally appeared on Katherine Power’s blog, Practical Peace.  You can see it here.

Freedom Depends on Enabling Institutions in Our Communities

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (May 24, 2018)

I study alienation and how freedom comes through well-ordered institutional structures, like marriage, employment, and politics. Our problem isn’t marriage, employment, or politics, the problem is that have a bad culture around institutions like marriage, employment or politics. We have bad marriages, bad jobs, and bad politics.

There are such things as a good marriage, a good job, and a good political disposition, and freedom is made concrete through working through these institutions, not by trying to avoid them or surrendering to their awful, conventional expressions. The problem isn’t teachers; the problem is bad teachers. The problem isn’t cops; it’s bad cops. (That one is complicated, but you get the point.)

Now the anarchists will say that these institutions entail coercion so they must be abolished. Everything except private property. What I’m saying is that you really can’t be free without enabling inter-personal institutions. And you can’t have enabling institutions without some sort of responsibility to each other.

These intermediary groups, from marriages to book clubs, enable freedom.

And make no mistake, to participate in any of these enabling institutions as a free person costs money. You have to pay dues. And to participate in any of these institutions with someone else, it means that every participant has to have money.

This just means that until all of your people have some independent money in their pockets, none of us are free. We are just going through (someone else’s) motions.

Community wide economic security doesn’t come from soft skills. It comes from political power used to secure good jobs.


Dreaming New Futures: Walidah Imarisha @ Radical Imagination Conference

Walidah Imarisha was one of the keynote speakers at the first Opening Space for the Radical Imagination Conference at Oregon State from April 6-8, 2018. Walidah Imarisha is co-editor of the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) book, co-published with AK Press, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements and author of IAS/AK Press book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption.

Her talk was entitled:  Dreaming New Futures:  Science Fiction and Social Change.

Locals Insurgency: A Call to Action for Unionists

By Alex Riccio (January 22, 2018)


A pending Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME, is all but guaranteed to pass in favor of the plaintiff. This decision will make Right to Work (aka Right to Greed) laws a national standard. For many who are involved in organized labor, this prospect is viewed as a threat to the very survival of unions. To prepare for “doomsday,” as I’ve heard it described, large unions have plans to cut staff by upwards of 30%. Unfortunately, this seems to be the bulk of their strategy.

Despite how common it is to hear about the decline of the labor movement, I don’t view Janus as the death of unions in the US. Or, to be more precise, I don’t think it has to mean the death of unions. Instead, it could prove to be a catalyst for the sorts of ambitious changes we need to revitalize the labor movement, and to feel confident in describing it as a ‘movement’ again.

Rather than posing a threat to the very survival of unions, Janus exposes the limits of one particular form of unionism; business unionism. Indeed, business unionism, the standard in organized labor today, has been a walking zombie for decades unaware (or possibly in denial) of its own undead condition. Come Spring, the zombie head will be lopped off once and for all.

While there’s no reason to mourn the killing of a zombie, now is not the time to wait and watch for what happens next; it’s time to create power. Two hurdles need to be overcome for labor to get back to being a movement—the working-class movement. Unions must develop an identity which goes beyond narrowed workplace concerns, and visionary rank-and-filers need to mount insurgencies against their parent union bureaucracies to take over the reins of leadership.

Partly to explain the existential dread amid many a unionist today is their inability to imagine union models outside the narrowed parameters of wage increases and grievance filings. Described as “Gomperism,” or “business unionism,” this approach to union organizing is geared toward winning contracts at all costs and is fixated on adding new members, all the time, to the union.

Union density has declined dramatically since the 1970s, but the bulk of labor’s problem is not with the number of unionized workers. There are millions of workers in unions in the US. The core problem, as thoroughly detailed in The Death and Life of American Labor by Stanley Aronowitz, is the lack of radical imagination within organized labor today.

I have personally been a part of grassroots organizations operating with zero dollars and sometimes as few as five people. Such scarcity did not prevent them from accomplishing tremendous victories. Unions have resources, people, and (most importantly) labor-power. Imagine, for a moment, the possibilities.

What if unions shifted the millions of dollars they dump into the Democrat party into the creation of cooperative living establishments? For union members, they would have access to lowered-rents or previously unavailable home ownership in areas where their neighbors are their union comrades (yes, they could begin seeing them as comrades instead of only co-workers).

Imagine, also, that they link these union neighborhoods with land trusts for sustainable farming, along with recreational centers for children and families. Such initiatives could go a tremendous way in capturing housing and food security for millions of workers and families across the country. Just think of the additional time people could have for engaging in civic matters without having to worry as much about their housing and food needs!

Above is simply one small thought experiment that began with the recognition that housing needs are union issues (something Gomperism does not often understand). Notice how quickly it expanded into a nearly utopian vision of possibilities. Unionists should do more of such imagining, and take time in their organizing for it. There are nearly limitless ways to reimagine the shape of unionism, but the best sorts of visions are those which come out of group conversations over needs and desires. Take the time for such envisioning. Resist the trap of constant ‘business’ meetings or before long you’ll be taking on the form of a zombie!

Labor cannot simply turn to community building alone. In order to fundamentally reshape the identity of mainstream unionism, any vision for a different kind of labor movement must center their strategies for accomplishing such visions through utilizing a union’s greatest weapon: strikes.

Jane McAlevey has explained perfectly the root of workers’ labor-power; to paraphrase, “the boss doesn’t need you as a worker, the boss needs you and all of your co-workers.” Strategies within organized labor need to consistently build toward strikes of all varieties—wildcat strikes, general strikes, single-day strikes, etc.—if they are to accomplish the kinds of radical gains necessary to mobilize the movement of the working-class.

In many ways, the work of rethinking organized labor’s identity simply requires learning our own union histories, which are ripe with working-class radicalism. Meaning the task is not really so daunting after all. What, then, explains the entrenched conservatism and staid routine within labor? Short answer—comfortable leadership buffered by bureaucratic regulation (both externally and self-imposed).

Yet, true as this may be, the rank-and-file can still reenergize their unions. Even though organized labor is bogged down by egotistical leaders (pointing at Richard Trumka) and a lot of pointless bureaucracy, on the whole unions are still very democratic. Indeed, the degree of democracy present in the labor movement (particularly in one’s own local) is measurably greater than what passes for “democracy” in the US electoral arena.

The story of CORE (the Caucus of Rank and File Educators) based in Chicago is instructive. They educated themselves on union history and neoliberalism, crafted an ambitious platform for reshaping their unions, developed a strategy oriented toward utilizing strikes, and then ran their own candidates for positions within their union leadership—and won. With their vision and leadership, CORE was able to revitalize their union and even beat back an assault hurled against them by the most powerful mayor in the country and former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel.

An open secret within organized labor is that radicals, socialists, anarchists, and communists are present in every union, and they are often great unionists. McCarthyism, which was facilitated by labor’s turn to Gomperism, still terrifies many of these folks to the point of their own self-censorship. Imagine if there was a groundswell of such radicals taking over leadership positions in organized labor. Forget about reforming the Democrat party, let’s radicalize the labor movement instead!

To the visionaries within labor: start an insurgency. Place yourselves at the vanguard of the labor movement, take advantage of the catalyst which you are being offered in the form of Janus, and enable labor to proclaim itself as what it can and should be—the vehicle for a working-class revolution.

I encourage folks to explore these ideas more and recommend this short list of works as something of a beginning:


Stanley Aronowitz, The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward New Worker’s Movement (London: Verso, 2014).

Jane McAlevey, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

David Bacon, A Radical Vision for Today’s Labor Movement, Monthly Review 2009

Janaé Bonsu, A Strike Against the New Jim Crow, Dissent Magazine 2017



Lessons on the Acquittal of the J20?

By Teka Lark and Arun Gupta (December 22, 2017)


Teka Lark:

We are celebrating people being acquitted of being charged with a crime for exercising their First Amendment rights against Trump?! We are celebrating that?! I am pissed! They should not have been charged in the first place.

If anyone on the left think this is a win for us, I hope to god you aren’t leading anything.

This is what it has come to please let me protest, please allow me sleep on the street, please let me work 20 hours a day with no health insurance….

Get off your damn knees and stop begging for your humanity, it is embarrassing.



Arun Gupta:

The first six defendants in the Trumped-up inauguration mass arrests have been found not guilty of all charges. This is a great relief, but at best it’s a highly qualified victory, and until the Left learns some basic lessons it will never progress beyond its impotent isolation.

This case was a blatant instance of not just prosecutorial overreach, but naked state repression.
For a year, about 200 defendants have been charged with bogus crimes that would put them in jail for 70 years. It was highly unlikely they would ever be found guilty because the arrestees were kettled and the state admitted there was no evidence they participated in the window smashing and limousine burning. But it was that level of property destruction enabled the prosecutors to file the felony riot charges.

In other words, it was the nihilistic smashy-smashy brigade that gave the state the hammer to use against the left. If there was no property destruction, those charges could not have been filed.

If you’ve never faced criminal charges, even false ones, you don’t know what it’s like to live under that fear and anxiety. Activists say this show trial has undermined organizing in the Washington-Baltimore region, where many of the arrestees live. In New Orleans, one young man charged with felonies related to J20 actions there committed suicide earlier this year.

These trials suck up resources. They require enormous fundraising and support networks

All of this is vital and necessary. But for the Left it’s a no-win situation. If convicted, people’s lives are destroyed. Even if everyone is found innocent, the state still wins because all that energy that could have gone into organizing is instead redirected into a purely reactive, defensive struggle. And for those who are acquitted, it doesn’t matter how much money they may get. This type of experience stays with you for the rest of your life, and colors all your future political activity. For the state, any settlement is just the cost of doing business.

The worst part is this didn’t have to happen.

Talking with other journalists and longtime organizers, there is evidence this may have been a state set-up from the beginning. I am not ready to name names, but given statements that were made before the protest by some involved, alarm bells should have ringing that J20 might be entrapment. (Please don’t speculate openly as to who or what I am referring to.)

Remember that J20 is the same demonstration where so many leftists were giddy that Richard Spencer got punched in the face. I hope half as much attention is paid to learning organizing lessons and how to confront state power in these dangerous times as was given to chuckling over Nazi-punching memes.