Against The Smart City

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

Starting April 20th, Hennepin County will be test driving a new self-driving, “smart” shuttle bus over the weekend. They chose a portion of the greenway bike path that passes through the heavily gentrified Uptown to demonstrate what is to come for other sections of the city slated for similar lines of development—as a laboratory of future control.

On the night before they unveiled their project to their corporate partners, some antagonists hung a banner right in the shuttle’s path, with the intention of physically blocking the sensors of the shuttle, thwarting the test, if only for a moment. Against The Smart City! it declares.

While touted as progress, there are still those of us who see these projects as only the further deepening of the desert. As our cities become increasingly automated, this process attempts to eclipse not only the possibilities of revolt, but even that of a life of anything but its perpetual (re)production. These automated shuttles will be yet another vehicle for funneling citizens between where the work, shop, and sleep, as mindlessly as the shuttle which carries them.

This action was intended to demonstrate that these projects will face resistance. It was simple to carry out and took very little planning. The smart city is fragile, and opportunities for disruption are everywhere. While their fantasy is to build a terrain where all that can happen is what has already been predicted and planned, we know that fundamentally life cannot be reduced to data and in its flux escapes prediction and control. Don’t wait for others to take action for you. Take it yourselves.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief On The Road

From Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Wednesday, May 2nd

Walker Church

3104 16th Ave S

6:00 PM

Part One: Protectors v. Profiteers (South Side)

An illustrated presentation about disaster capitalism and the rising resistance to it.

Thursday, May 3rd

UROC, Room 105

2001 Plymouth Ave N

6:00 PM

Part One: Protectors v. Profiteers (North Side)

An illustrated presentation about disaster capitalism and the rising resistance to it.

Friday, May 4th

Walker Church

3104 16th Ave S

1:00 PM

Part Two: Giving Our Best, Ready For The Worst

A participatory workshop about solidarity, building grassroots power, and community organizing as disaster preparedness.

Two Spirit, Trans, and Womxn’s Action Camp in So-Called Minnesota

From Earth First! Newswire

Anti Line 3 Action Camp (+ long term encampment with no cis doods*!)

A direct action camp with workshops, skill shares and comraderie for people who identify as two-spirit, womxn, trans &/or gender variant to come together, establish a resistance camp & fight the patriarchy!

Interested in attending, set up, training or facilitation? Email twats@riseup.net

The action camp is May 31st – June 5th but will continue on to be a long term encampment. Have you ever wanted to live in a pipeline resistance camp with no cis doods? Well this is your chance!

Come throw down in occupied Anishinaabe territory! So-called northern Minnesota.

Please bring your own shelter and a dog leash if you have a dog.

*Cis dood: someone who identifies with the gender of ‘male’ that they were assigned at birth

Who We Are

  • We are a collective of individuals, not a non-profit. We oppose the non-profit industrial complex, capitalism, white supremacy and heteropatriarchy.
  • We are a group of non-cis male people who have been fighting Line 3 and although we are not indigenous led, we focus on uplifting indigenous voices and being fiercely anti-colonial.
  • We operate through a consensus decision making process which will include daily check ins with the entire group at TTWAC.

Our Agreements

  • Cis men are core to the oppression of two-spirt, trans and gender variant folks and womxn. This is our space to be away from them, build skills and fight with a clear mind.
  • Our fight is not just against Line 3, it is to build a liberated future for TTW, black, indigenous and POC folks (The current Line 3 movement has emulated racism, patriarchy and transphobia in many ways and we intend to make a space hostile to these).
  • Thus, those who have or do make TTW and POC folks feel unsafe are not welcome.
  • We are hostile to cultural appropriation, sexism, racism, ableism and all oppressive isms.
  • Physical/sexual assault and abuse is not permitted at all. Perpetrators will be kicked out with no second chances. Other conflicts can be mediated through the conflict team.

Warmed By La ZAD

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

We met under the statue of Emiliano Zapata for this simple gesture on the second day (or third night) of the resistance to the eviction attempt by a small army of pigs against La ZAD (Zone to Defend) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It’s still winter in Minnesota and although there’s snow on the ground we’ve been feeling so near to you at La ZAD that we’ve felt warmed. Not only now, but since we learned of your beautiful existence, of this world which we believe is also a part of us too. We send you love and strength now and always.

All power to the communes!

ZAD Forever!

Tout le monde déteste la police!

 – Your Friends

Punishment Park – Film Screening

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

Thursday, April 19th

Boneshaker Books

2002 23rd Ave S

6:00 PM

“…an indictment against the United States.”

With escalating political unrest, a state of emergency is declared giving law enforcement the power to arrest anyone judged to be a security risk. Captured dissidents are given the option of participating in Punishment Park, where they have to fight for their lives as they are hunted down by the forces of law and order.

Love & Strength To La ZAD

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

Over the weekend a banner was hung in so-called Minneapolis reading Defend la ZAD. We take this opportunity to send a message of strength to the ZAD occupants on the eve of their eviction. The autonomous zone established in France has been the source of endless inspiration for rebels near and far—it will live on, regardless of what happens on Monday.

Prisoner Letter Writing Nights 2018

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

Third Thursdays

Walker Church

3104 16th Ave S

6:00 PM

Prisoner letter writing night is back! The third Thursday of every month at Walker Community Church from 6-8pm.

In hosting this event we will provide, monthly, a prisoner to write to who is generally referred to as a political prisoner, particularly/often around the time of their birthday in order to send them well wishes and cards—or if they’re undergoing tough times, etc.

Feel free to write in advance if you’d like, just know that sometimes the addresses are subject to change and it’s always good to check the address in advance.

However, we’re also hoping that this letter writing night will encourage folks to come prepared to engage in sustained relationships with folks locked up. We’re open to providing names of folks to write in the event that someone doesn’t have a pen pal but wants one.

Bring yr own envelopes and stamps if ya have em, if not, we’ll provide. Additionally, we have a p.o. box if you feel uncomfortable giving your home address as the return.


until all are free,
NMPSP

An Anti-Fascist’s Experiences From Eastern Europe

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

Saturday, April 7th

Boneshaker Books

2002 23rd Ave S

6:00 PM

In the last few years we have seen the far right taking more public space, in the news and in the streets of the U.S. Obviously there is a need to organize against it and increasingly people are seeing anti-fascism as a way to do that. To make our organizing more effective we should take into account experiences from other contexts. This presentation will be a critical introduction to the history of anti-fascism mostly in Russia but also Belarus and Ukraine spanning the last few decades. The talk will ask some critical questions and reflect on comrades’ experiences in Eastern Europe. What tactics, strategies, and organizing have been most useful? How do anti-fascist actions influence the anarchist movement, and does this collision with fascists change our collectives? How can we avoid ‘antifa’ becoming just another youth subculture and not a broader political movement? In Russia, how was it possible that anti-fascism became an essential part of state ideology, with clear conservative connotations? What actually is anti-fascism, and how can anarchists relate to such an ambiguous concept? Questions will be raised and discussion moderated by a visiting anarchist comrade from Russia.

Solidarity with the Revolution in Rojova

Anonymous submission to Conflict MN

In connection to the International day of Solidarity with Rojova on March 24th several posters went up in and around Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis, MN. The posters are a reminder of the struggles of Kurdish revolutionaries in Rojova. Several posters have a call out that was published after the city of Afrin was taken over by the Turkish state on March 18th, 2018 and calls for international solidarity and action in English, Spanish and Kurdish.

Death to Fascism!

Death to all States!

Defend the Revolution in Rojova!

To Those Mad, Sick, Crip Selves

From Triple Canopy

                  

Thursday, March 8th

Third Rail Quarterly

1237 Fourth St NE

7:00 PM

Can we imagine a doctor-patient relationship based on collaboration and trust, on a more holistic view of the patient? How can we conceive of the care we give and receive from others as being enmeshed with our political futures? In their recently published epistolary essay, “Letter to a Young Doctor,” Johanna Hedva reminds us of the importance of “finding a way toward healing—which is to say finding the way that is healing—but also toward how political resistance might work, toward justice.”

For To Those Mad, Sick, Crip Selves, Hedva will read excerpts from “Letter to A Young Doctor,” which is part of This Earth Our Hospital, a book in progress that consists of a series of essays and performances meditating on the politics of sickness, disability, and healing. They will also read from their forthcoming novella, On Hell, which envisions the insurrectionary potential of the crip, queer, sick body. The reading will be followed by a discussion moderated by Triple Canopy senior editor Lara Mimosa Montes.

Against The Super Bowl And Its World

From It’s Going Down

With frozen hands we reappropriated this city’s infrastructure to cast a few words of cold insurrection. A desire to set it all on fire sits just adjacent to the light-rail (which is dressed up as a carriage for the super rich—only Super Bowl ticket holders can ride this weekend!). An ode to the ZAD hangs above 35w from a bridge in South Minneapolis, welcoming tourists to a temporarily sterile downtown (they relocated the homeless for this special event). Helicopters flying over head, tanks on the ground—this is a sneak peak of a militarized police state. Lets not go down without a fight. Against the Super Bowl and its world!

 – some anarchists

Friendship & Resistance

From Nightfall

                  

We’ve now passed the one year mark of Trump’s presidency. This time last year we were fast learning what his reign had in store for us. Following the riotous eruptions nationwide on the day of his inauguration, immense numbers of people participated in Women’s Marches, others spontaneously blockaded airports, and hundreds stormed the UC Berkeley campus on February 1st and laid siege to the police-protected venue hosting Milo Yiannopolous.

In the year since nothing has slowed down. The regime continues to launch assaults on a daily basis: voting down net neutrality, revoking the temporary protected status of thousands of Central American migrants, allowing states to require people to work in order to acquire Medicaid. All of which was punctuated by scandal after scandal, provoking our indignation at Trump’s latest racist remark or indiscretion. Rage against the police as well as the far-right has escalated and spread to every corner of the country.

At the beginning of 2017, we published an essay “Autonomous Organizing in the Age of Trump” which looked to the year ahead while sketching the outline of a possible strategy for resistance. Without falling into passive retrospective we want to consider the past twelve months with this strategy in mind, and to see how we can prepare for the days, months, and years ahead.

Autonomous self-organization is the term we used to describe the approach we laid out. By autonomous we mean actions taken outside of formal organizations, parties, non-profits, etc. In place of organizations we suggest affinity groups, the close circle of friends whom one trusts deeply—as trust and a shared vision is necessary for acting together in a meaningful way. By self-organization we mean that there are no leaders to follow when acting, that affinity groups should strive to take active roles instead of passively participating. In addition to guarding against the threats posed by authoritarianism, repression, and co-optation, self-organization makes our struggles more vital and effective, taking away the passivity inherent in waiting for someone higher up to tell us how to achieve the world we want as well as the disappointments and frustrations we encounter when we go along with something that feels wrong to us just because the more experienced or legitimate people say it is the right path.

On January 20th, 2017 perhaps a thousand people marched from south Minneapolis to downtown against Trump’s inauguration. The night before, posters were wheatpasted along the route of the march with anti-state messages that interrupted the prevalent narrative that Trump was to blame rather than the whole system. After the mass march concluded in front of the county building, some came together on the light rail tracks and began shooting off fireworks, drawing in more and more people bored by the politicians’ speechifying before deciding to march. The crowd shot off more fireworks at the youth jail and vandalized the nearby Wells Fargo headquarters before quietly dispersing. By all accounts, there was no one in charge, just a convergence of affinity groups who each brought their own goals and contributions—fireworks, banners, spray paint, a sound system, etc—together forming a successful action.

Between larger public actions, single affinity groups can take action in a decentralized manner while honing their skills. For example, multiple vandalism attacks on gentrifying businesses in south Minneapolis took place over the past year, with at least three reported in February and one more on Halloween. Beyond these types of attacks, the idea of affinity groups applies more broadly to any time a crew of friends organizes together to accomplish a task, such as a crew of graffiti writers who steal spray cans before painting the town.

It is hard to think of a place where this approach was better put to into practice recently than at the G20 summit in Hamburg. When the police cracked down on the large demonstration on the eve of the summit, the crowd fragmented into smaller mobs that split up throughout the city center, wreaking havoc as they went. Smaller groups attacked police officers, burnt luxury cars, and blockaded intersections all night before crowds re-converged at dawn. The police, who had been prepared for the threat of a single enormous crowd, were powerless to contain the decentralized and autonomous resistance that spread throughout Hamburg. The police would not regain control of the city until the end of the summit. In the meantime, a liberated zone was established and people were free to do as they pleased—perhaps they enjoyed a drink outside with friends, covered the walls in artful slogans, or looted a convenience store. Speaking on revolutionary organization, the Invisible Committee write “by successfully reclaiming urban districts and areas of the countryside, by establishing relatively secure zones, it became possible to go beyond the stage of discrete, anonymous activity on the part of little groups.”

Approaching this question locally, we’re obviously starting from a much smaller scale. Still, there is something to think about when a masked individual steps away from an anti-fascist demonstration and tags “Antifa Zone” on a wall, as happened last August along Cedar Ave. It shows, first of all, that in this neighborhood we have some amount of power, that one could brazenly declare such a thing in broad daylight—if a right-winger could do the same with one of their own slogans, they haven’t dared to try it yet. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it shows that police control is not omnipotent, that there are gaps in the police’s ability to maintain order. It is by expanding these gaps in police power that we open up the potential to create a real “antifa zone” or a liberated space, just as the decentralized attacks in Hamburg opened up such a space despite the twenty thousand police officers summoned to the city.

To expand these gaps through decentralized actions, emphasis is placed on actions that are easy to do, with tools that are easy to acquire. Paint is cheap and easy to find—pouring it in a bottle and tossing it at a bank ATM is simple to accomplish. Ten more affinity groups inspired by the paint attack could easily do the same with a little effort. For example, from the end of summer until Columbus Day, the Pioneer Statue in northeast Minneapolis was vandalized at least four times, presumably by different people or groups. The first was communicated anonymously over counter-info site Conflict MN; those that followed it were apparently inspired by the initial defacement, finding it easy to repeat. Likewise with a wave of vandalism against the police also in northeast Minneapolis. Over the summer several anti-police slogans were seen spray painted in the area, and come autumn there were reports of graffiti at the police union headquarters, a cruiser and the MPD substation itself. From the hand styles it again seems safe to assume these were often from different individuals or affinity groups.

For these practices to truly proliferate, they must spread beyond any particular subculture, scene, or identity. The state and the media have latched onto the term “antifa” as an identity for a certain set of rebels who participate in militant actions. With this label, or any other, individuals are put at a distance from everyone else, making them appear foreign rather than as as one’s neighbor, one’s coworker, one’s friend. The goal with this maneuver is isolation, preventing rebellious practices from spreading all throughout society and reducing backlash when repression strikes.

Taking a step back, a fundamental component of affinity group-based autonomous organizing is of course affinity—that is, friendship. A lot of people don’t have a crew to go to a demonstration with, or go tagging with, or to even speak of these ideas with. Often, there isn’t anyone in our lives who we trust enough for these things, or who is even interested in them. Having public spaces to find each other in are vital to forming the bonds that grow into what we call affinity groups. Spending time together and sharing our lives with one another can strengthen these bonds over time and ultimately form the basis of the liberating experiences we create. Many who have spent time at Standing Rock or other protest encampments in the past have remarked that just the simple fact of living together, of making and sharing food around a fire day in and day out, caused their projects together to proliferate and bloom in ways that no amount of prearranged structure ever could. Putting our lives in common in such a way here in the city can be a more tricky proposition, as cities were in many ways designed to keep people locked into the role of isolated worker-consumers, but this doesn’t mean we can’t take small steps in such a direction. Reading groups, workshops, movie screenings, potlucks are a few of endless possibilities where we can come into contact with others who see the world as we do, with whom we experience community. Through these encounters, constellations of crews and affinity groups can emerge.

As a friend once said, the commune is that which sustains the attack and the attack is that which enlarges the commune. It is through friendship that we build the bonds necessary to self-organize and attack, and it is through attacking this world of misery that we can reclaim a sense of living, fighting because we have something to fight for: each other.