Extending the Conversation on Housing, Financialization, and Race in Minneapolis

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

Wednesday, May 29th

Boneshaker Books

2002 23rd Ave S

7:00 PM

A discussion on “It’s Own Peculiar Decor” by Chris Wright and the film Jim Crow of the North that reckons with settler colonialism and ways institutional racism is entrenched through credit and financialization. Film available to stream from Twin Cities Public Television’s website. This essay helps us understand a history of financialization in the US as it pertains to race, the home, and the suburbs. Part of the time will be spent discussing this history of property alongside a history of settler colonialism. Essay available online here and free printed copies also available at Boneshaker Books.

Fascism & Anti-Fascism In Present Day Austria

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

Thursday, May 30th

Boneshaker Books

2002 23rd Ave S

6:00 PM

As today’s extreme right wing Austrian government came into power in 2017, it fits well within the narrative of the european political atmosphere of racist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant tendencies—but how did it happen?

A short introduction to post World War II politics in Austria; why the government can be counted among the extreme far-right and what anti-fascists try to do about it.

Happy Birthday, Minnesota?

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

On May 11th, 1858, Minnesota became an official member of the United States of colonization. On this weekend of “celebration” in 2019, it’s clear we have no choice but to decolonize and build anew. As every day passes, it becomes more urgent. We cannot wait. We have little time left as the destruction of colonization harmed the land and water that gives us life. You need to walk no further than to the river right behind this bleeding statue to see it’s swollen banks. Those banks further downstream are currently flooding towns. In Iowa, these towns are flooded with both water and politicians. Politicians that promise a brighter future; that promise changes to reduce some harms. Words that are meaningless without radical change to end colonization, destructive capitalism, and the state itself. We can vote all we want in a crumbling empire and dying earth, but it doesn’t change enough to remove us from this path towards extinction.

The future is bleak, but life demands we struggle if we want to exist. May we struggle with those who push us forward and take actions that reduce harms. May we open our senses and be careful of all the distractions that blind us. Recently, the flood waters temporarily took back a colonizer statute in St. Louis. The flood waters won’t wait around for the next election.

Happy Birthday, flood waters. Here are our gifts. We won’t miss any statutes you take from us, but we grieve for the life that you take. In your path of destruction, may new seeds be planted if we have any time left at all.

Tripod Erected in Front of Enbridge Great Lakes Office

From Earth First! Newswire

This morning, water protectors erected a tripod in front of the Enbridge Great Lakes office in Superior, at the terminus of the proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline. One water protector locked down to the top of the tripod, with a message for the Enbridge shareholders: Line 3 will never be built in Minnesota.

Across northern Minnesota, water protectors gathered in Duluth and Bemidji, in solidarity against Enbridge’s promises to its shareholders that Line 3 will be fully operational by the second half of 2020. Enbridge lacks state permitting.

Resistance against new tar sands pipeline expansion projects has been fierce. Delays or cancellations of the Energy East pipeline, Keystone XL pipeline, TransMountain pipeline, and Line 3 pipeline resulted in an announcement by the Alberta Premiere that tar sands production would be reduced by 8.7% for 2019.

When asked why they would take such a personal risk to their own safety, Anthony Graham (Chumash) said, “I stand in solidarity with my relatives up north and across Turtle Island. This is for the future. We have to be brave and fight. The oil industry is trying to grow when we know climate change is killing us. No more tar sands.”

Minneapolis May Day: Communication and Conflict

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

May Day in Minneapolis is a unique experience. May 1st is known around the world as an anti-capitalist holiday. This tradition exists here as well, although like many cities in the so-called United States it has been severely tamed. However, the big attraction is the first Sunday’s May Day parade and festival. These festivities instead primarily draw their inspiration from the far older pagan traditions of welcoming Spring.

This year, 2019, a call was made for “autonomous and decentralized” actions on May 1st, drawing on these twin legacies, pushing to give them “new life.” And indeed, as the sun rose on May 1st, anti-fascist graffiti was seen adorning the city. A banner against the police was displayed over a highway. One crew claimed numerous acts of sabotage and vandalism overnight. At the same time, several signs had the name Lake Calhoun erased, in defiance of the legal system’s decision. And these are only the actions that were publicized in some way.

To communicate about an action is to undo the silence imposed when the streets are tidied up. The term “social peace” is often used to describe ways in which conflict, particularly political conflict, is obscured in favor of appearing as a harmonious and smoothly functioning society. While actions indeed speak for themselves, communicating about them amplifies their words.

These coinciding events around May Day provided a clear opportunity experiment with this communication. On the night before the festival, posters with different reports about actions on or around May Day were wheatpasted around Powderhorn Park. The goal being, as the park fills with people on Sunday they will be able to directly encounter word of these actions, without having to follow certain hashtags or check certain websites. And by doing so, contribute an element of combative joy to the festivities.

Prisoner Letter Writing Nights

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

First & Third Thursdays

Walker Church

3104 16th Ave S

6:00 PM

Minneapolis Anarchist Black Cross is a local anti-authoritarian prison abolition group. Come & join us in reaching out to folks trapped on the inside.

Making May Day A Threat Again

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

This May Day, we took to the night to capture American flags, sabotage rental bikes, and re-decorate the city in the name of our fallen friend, toor.

May Day has a long history, a history perpetually obscured by the leftist protest marches and sponsored parades. Yet underneath all of this, we know there is an insurgent legacy that still carries on today. May Day is our day to express the joy of living against the prevailing reign of death.

Toor’s memory lives on!

We are forever ungovernable!

– The 250 Crew

Everybody Hates The Police! May Day Banner Drop

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

On May Day 2019, answering the call for autonomous actions, a banner was hung over highway 94 in so-called Minneapolis.

Over the winter, the news reported the “crisis” facing police departments across the country. Fewer and fewer people are applying to join their ranks. They lament that it is a thankless job, while there is of course nothing to thank them for.

Here’s to reminding the police that nobody likes you.

Here’s to rebellious May Day.

Far-Right Mural Vandalized on Earth Day

From It’s Going Down

On the night of Earth Day the far-Right front group CFACT’s University of Minnesota mural was targeted with painted eggs. It seemed like an appropriate type of message to send them at the beginning of spring. Was it the Easter Bunny? Who knows?

We see through their psuedo-ecological front as the mural says “Free Market – Free Speech” and “Prosperity – Liberty – Nature.” The message is quite ironic considering the concept of Market and Prosperity are at war with Nature and Liberty or to say more simply that Capitalism exploits the Earth and All life that inhabits it.

They are funded by far-Right big oil billionaire bigots such as the Koch brothers whom are consistently destroying the earth. Over the past few years CFACT has brought many far-Right scumbag speakers to speak at the U of M such as Lauren Southern, Jeff Sessions, and Ben Shapiro. All have been met with opposition, but has is it been enough? We must shut these bigots down at all costs.

In a time of social, political, and environmental degradation the stakes are high. The situation calls for war against those who oppress us, against those who cage us, against those who seek to destroy us but we cannot only act in isolation. We call on you to join us whenever and wherever we can in solidarity, conspiracy, and revolt. We are together in random acts of liberation but also we are long overdue to meet in mass for the final collective act of revolution. We call on all people to come together to step it up fight back against all the forces of oppression. To carry out more acts of liberation, To organize, to disrupt, to destroy, to love, and to create a new world of true liberation for all.

Call For The Creative Destruction Of Rental Scooters

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

As rental scooters are poised to re-emerge on the thawed streets of Minneapolis, this call aims to encourage the disruption and subversion of their reintroduction to our city.

Rental scooters are coming back to the Twin Cities. There was little doubt that this was the case, but in the beginning of March the city of Minneapolis confirmed that as winter fades our streets will soon be littered with scooters once more. There will be more than triple the amount as last year, and featuring even more brands than before.

Why does this matter? Because these scooters are a hyper-visible manifestation of the high tech Silicon Valley-ization of daily life. These tech start-ups are reshaping what it means to move around the city with simply a few clicks on an app—smuggled right under our noses with claims of eco-friendliness. Rental scooters are emblematic of a way of living in which every aspect of our lives is made into data. This data is then tracked, studied and used to make algorithms with the intention of not only predicting but also producing normative behavior.

However, their visibility is also a vulnerability. They are easily accessible all over our streets, which means the opportunity to sabotage them is equally accessible. Because of this, the scooters have the potential to spread disruptive practices. While these scooters intend to shape particular ways of living, the ease of their destruction in fact allows for the subversion of this goal.

This potential can be seen already eslewhere, especially in California where companies like Bird and Lime have filled the streets to the brim with scooters since 2017. The most notorious Instagram page, @birdgraveyard, which recently surpassed the official Bird account for followers, regularly posts photos and videos of scooters being knocked over, broken, and even burned. The “guerrilla war” being waged has sparked coverage by the LA Times, which interviewed numerous southern California residents who complained about the scooters for a variety of reasons. In France—also home to rental scooters, which have been used as weapons by more than one yellow vest rioter—autonomous publication Lundi Matin wrote:

Bird Graveyard shows this: animosity towards scooters expresses itself in various ways and seems to have a multitude of reasons. We can make all kinds of assumptions: joy of destruction, not to participate, to be a grain of sand, hate of Silicon Valley, of capitalism, the privatization of the public space, the monetization of the all human activities, speed, obstruction of sidewalks, etc. – Lundi Matin #157, “Une Mystérieuse Vague de Vandalisme Contre les Trottinettes en Libre-Service”

This call is written for the purpose of better grasping this rich potential for disorder. There could not be a more simple and ironic way to undermine the cybernetic impulse than by the trashing of this latest start-up phenomena. To help, here is a brief list of possible methods of sabotage:

• The simplest tactic has also been the most prevalent—knocking the scooters over. This very likely has no effect on the scooter’s functioning, but still makes one’s discontent clear. Because it does not actually damage the scooter, there is almost no risk in doing this.

Covering up the QR code required to activate the scooter is a quick way to put the scooter out of use temporarily. There are countless ways to cover the QR code, like using markers or stickers. If you really want to go all out, you can also decorate the rest of the scooter too.

• To really put a scooter out of commission, you have to do some damage. Throwing it off of a ledge, snapping it on the ground, cutting the wires, or running it over with a car. People have gone so far as to set them on fire. Whatever it takes to make the scooter unrideable without professional repair.

• Last but certainly not least, scooters can be expropriated—they can be reprogrammed to ride for free. While involving a bit more effort, plus the roughly thirty dollars for a conversion kit, you can make a Bird scooter your own personal vehicle. Search online for the latest info about which scooter models can be liberated and how to buy the kits.

There are no concrete objectives presented here. No municipal measures could be enacted to placate our desires, nor is it likely that the scooter companies will withdraw. The goal is to elaborate a social tension, to spread the practices of disruption far and wide against the easiest of targets. But most importantly, the goal is to have fun—to find the joy in sabotage. Let’s take this opportunity to fuse the passion of creativity with that of destruction.

Autonomy Is In Our Hearts with Dylan Eldredge Fitzwater

From Boneshaker Books

Wednesday, May 8th

Boneshaker Books

2002 23rd Ave S

6:00 PM

The lessons offered by the Zapatista movement of Chiapas, Mexico are more pertinent now than ever. As the “pink tide” of left Latin American governments recede and the right resurges throughout the Americas and the world, the Zapatistas offer a different way forward. Instead of seeking state power, they have remained steadfast in their commitment to build an autonomous government system beyond the logic of capital and the nation state, and continuously resist attacks on their communities by all sides of the Mexican political spectrum, including the current “progressive” Lopez Obrador administration.

Autonomy Is in Our Hearts gives a detailed account of this autonomous government system based on hundreds of testimonies from within the Zapatista base communities. It is rooted in Dylan’s own experiences of years of Zapatista solidarity work and as a student of Tsotsil, a Mayan language indigenous to the highlands Zapatista communities of Chiapas.

Dylan Eldredge Fitzwater has encountered the Zapatistas as a human rights observer, as a participant in several international gatherings, and as a student at the Zapatista language school in Oventik. His most recent permanent residence was Portland, OR where he worked at Burgerville, a regional fast-food chain, and organized for the Burgerville Workers Union, an affiliate of the Industrial Workers of the World. He is currently on the road living out of a van and selling Zapatista coffee through MonkeyBear Coop.

Reading Group: Our History Is The Future

From Boneshaker Books

Wednesday, May 22nd

Boneshaker Books

2002 23rd Ave S

6:00 PM

Join us on Wednesday, May 22nd from 6-8pm for a discussion of Nick Estes’ Our History is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long History of Indigenous Resistance. With the climate crisis upon us, stopping Line 3 (a proposed tar sands pipeline expansion) from crossing Minnesota is critical. Our History is the Future will provide important context about organizing and activism from Standing Rock, and help us think about how to frame Line 3 in the long history of settler-colonialism in the United States. Copies of the book are available at Boneshaker for 20% off the cover price.

Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, author of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, says:

“In Our History Is the Future historian Nick Estes tells a spellbinding story of the 10 month Indigenous resistance at Standing Rock in 2016, animating the lives and characters of the leaders and organizers, emphasizing the powerful leadership of the women. Alone this would be a brilliant analysis of one of the most significant social movements of this century. But embedded in the story and inseparable from it is the centuries long history of the Oceti Sakowin’ resistance to United States’ genocidal wars and colonial institutions. And woven into these entwined stories of Indigenous resistance is the true history of the United States as a colonialist state and a global history of European colonialism. This book is a jewel—history and analysis that reads like the best poetry—certain to be a classic work as well as a study guide for continued and accelerated resistance.”

See Estes discuss the book on Democracy Now!, and hear him discuss the current fight for indigenous liberation on the podcast Better Off Red.

All are welcome!

May Day Is (Y)Ours: Call for Autonomous and Decentralized Anti-Capitalist Actions on May 1st in the Twin Cities

Anonymous submission to Conflict Minnesota

The first of May is a day for commemorating International Worker’s Day, and before that, the welcoming of Spring. While these traditions live on in near-petrified form, we can bring them a new life. We: you, and I, and all our friends.

This is a call for autonomous and decentralized anti-capitalist actions to take place on May Day around the Twin Cities. This means that anyone seeking a more dignified life—a life beyond cops, work, prisons and borders—take their own initiative to act in whatever way they see fit. Autonomous, so that we don’t need anyone else’s permission to act; decentralized, so that we can be everywhere, centering ourselves instead.

We wish to emphasize both creativity and flexibility in this call. Creativity can push us beyond the stale forms that activism accustoms us to, encouraging us to forge new paths of acting in the world. While centering ourselves means giving us an ease of flexibility by allowing anyone to act on their own time, with their own means.

Do not be daunted. Surely, it’s easier to show up to a protest march organized for you and follow along, but it’s far less fun. There is no greater feeling than acting in a way that is in every way y/our own. We are so used to being guided and governed by the economy, that even our resistance tends to fall along the same lines. This too we must refuse.

As others have said elsewhere “May Day is our day to imagine and bring forth a world of ecstatic sharing and joy in common.” So get going—make plans and together we can make May Day ours!