Fire Walk With Me: a report back from the indigenous anarchist convergence

I answered a call to gather around a fire with Black, Indigenous, People of Color in Kinłání at Táala Hooghan Infoshop. Somewhere at the gathering, I expected to be in the presence of indigenous anarchism. I did not know if indigenous anarchism was the fire we would gather around, if it was the individuals converging, or if it was an empty space where individuals were to ignite the flames. It’s safe to say, my expectations were met. I witnessed an indigenous anarchism but it was unfamiliar to me, a Diné anarchist. 

Truthfully, it’s inaccurate to say that the indigenous anarchism I saw was unfamiliar because that implies it possessed unidentifiable attributes. I, very much, recognized the features of the fire and I recognized the methods to build that fire. In this case, the features were global indigenous justice and the methods were university jargon of the humanities discipline. The social movement that will be the fires of this indigenous anarchism require more and more indigenous resistance as the fuel to grow and grow the burning. What happens when we run out of fuel? Who do we reach out to for a fresh supply? I ask myself those questions knowing full well they will be answered quickly, meaning uncritically, by any individual enthusiastic with my premonition. Admittedly, the fire I had gathered around was not so much unfamiliar as it was unappealing. 

This was unappealing because I also answered the call as an indigenous anarchist [“sickened by fascinations with dead white-men’s thoughts (and their academies and their laws), reformist & reactionary “decolonial activisms”, and the uninspired merry-go-round of leftist politics as a whole”]. However, I found that many of the people in attendance were academics, activists, de-colonizers, and leftists that were in very good health despite their proximity to these toxic superstructures. Academics vigorously drawing from their learning curated by western liberal intellectualism while being hungry for another direction with an agreeable pan-indigenous guide. Activists energetically sharing their praxis acquired from footage of Standing Rock while local indigenous struggles remained unknown. De-colonizers robustly calling out problematic land acknowledgements for not being inclusionary while missing the value of being specific to the land they’re on. Then finally, leftists focusing on their vision of centralized solidarity as one voice united to change the world while the incoherence from every voice making individual demands to exhaust authority was never considered. 

Yes, the indigenous anarchism I saw was kind of unfamiliar and mostly unappealing but I would not say the gathering was unsuccessful. I believe people will grow this indigenous anarchism. An ideology succinct enough for Instagram stories, 280 character limit tweets, and vibrant screen printed art, excuse me, memes. A movement global enough to essentialize a racial, humanist, and material struggle of indigeneity so others will comfortably speak for any absent voice. A resistance so monolithic the powers that be could easily identify then repress all indigenous anarchists. 

For me, success would be more disagreements that are challenging and hopefully with humor. I’d rather agree or disagree with a new suggestion rather than dispute laudatory presumptions grounded in radical liberalism that has been indigenized, north american style, only for flair. 

I understand an indigenous person can have a complicated personal relationship with their indigeneity and their role within the violent dominance of capitalist settler-colonialism. Additionally, I understand an individual’s linear journey to Anarchism began somewhere and maybe they still sympathetically carry ideological mementos from their past. Facetiousness aside, I am glad people may have found potential from this gathering to develop their indigenous anarchist ideas.

The potential I have discovered at the convergence is the particulars of Diné anarchy. Fires made from crystal and fires made from turquoise. Fires bright enough to find the light of other Diné anarchists in this dark world I find myself in. A world sickened from the industrialization of civilized humans whose culture of control and destruction forces all living things to adopt, adapt, or die. I suggest that Diné anarchy offers the addition of a choice to attack. An assault on our enemy that weakens their grip on, not only our glittering world, but the worlds of others. An opportunity for the anarchy of Ndee, of O’odham, and so on, to exact revenge on their colonizers. Until all that’s left for Diné anarchists is to dissuade the endorsements of the next idol expecting our obedience. 

An anarchist’s thoughts on the Proud Boys appearing at First Friday art walk

“not sure whats worse. proud boy march at first friday in phoenix or being made to feel like they dont belong at first friday. the art districts complicity with gentrification is functionally on the same level as the proud boy ethos. probably worse considering its success with terrorizing black brown indigenous people. the prosperity of liberal art galleries and western chauvinists only means more criminalizing and displacement of angry black and brown people.”

-an anarchist friend

Rosendo Dorame, Wobbly and militant

This is the resting place of Rosendo Dorame – an amazing member of both the IWW and the PLM. It is men like this that we must always remember.
Rosendo A. Dorame (1879-1932) was a Mexican Wobbly as well as a member of the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM.) His family originated from Sonora, Mexico but later moved to Florence, Arizona. He worked in several various occupations – barber, miner, carpenter and even briefly as a sheriff in Arizona. He joined the Western Federation of Miners and participated in the Colorado Cripple Creek miner’s strike, which lasted from 1903 to 1905.
Dorame actually helped form the Phoenix IWW local 272 in 1906. Three years later he assisted in the creation of the La Union Industrial, the only Spanish paper in the U.S. advocating industrial unionism.

In 1911, he recruited Mexican men from mining camps in Arizona and led one of the arms of the PLM invasion into Mexico. He was arrested and convicted on violating the neutrality law and spent one year in prison. After his release he organized a smelter strike in El Paso with another IWW-PLM member, Fernando Palomares. He also took part in the 1917 Bisbee, Arizona copper strike where he was a victim of the great deportation.

Sometime before 1920, he moved to Southern California and continued to raise his family until 1932, when he passed. His gravesite can be found at Evergreen Cemetery.

 

Rosendo Doarme in 1912, photo taken at Leavenworth Prison

August 2019: Indigenous Anarchist Convergence

SAVE THE DATE!

Indigenous Anarchist Convergence
Bookfair, discussions, workshops, & more.
August 16-18, 2019
Táala Hooghan Infoshop
Kinlani, Occupied Flagstaff, AZ
Food & limited accommodations will be provided.

Open to workshop & discussion proposals by Indigenous & POC.
Email discussion & workshop proposals to: taalahooghan[at]protonmail.com

Please provide the following info:

  • Email address
  • Short bio (introduce yourself so we know a bit about ya!)
  • Name & organization (if applicable)
  • Title of workshop or discussion
  • Please describe the content of the workshop, including the format.
  • Will you need financial support to attend? If so, please describe. (Please note that we have extremely limited funding and will not be able to provide support to all who need it.)

Anarchists drop banners in solidarity with Antonio Arce

Repression in Santa Ana, Sonora against Central American Exodus

This repression against the Central American Exodus occurred in occupied  Tohono O’odham territory, just south of the so-called border in northern Sonora near the town of Santa Ana.
Many thanks to the translator of this press release.

PRESS RELEASE
CENTRAL AMERICAN EXODUS

Hermosillo, Sonora
Thursday, November 15
11:00 pm

On Thursday, November 15 at 11 pm, two buses were stopped in which people from this exodus, including women and children, were being transported. The operation was carried out by personnel from the National Institute of Migration and Federal Police on the Hermosillo-Nogales Highway, 28 km before arriving in Santa Ana, Sonora.

Immediately after these acts, the National Human Rights Commission was informed that these agencies had been accompanying the caravan in the past few weeks.

The people on the first bus, including women and children, were taken from the bus and detained in immigration kennels. Those on the second bus resisted the order to disembark from the bus, so INM personnel got on and instructed the bus driver to proceed to the immigration kennels. They were escorted by federal police and taken to Hermosillo where they were told they were sure to start their deportation process.

Once in the migration facilities José Alfredo Lopez Mota of the CNDH the migrants were asked to get off the bus, but they refused, so the authorities began using force to get them off the bus.

We consider it extremely serious that the CNDH’s support was requested to monitor the due respect for the human rights of migrants, and it was precisely those CNDH personnel that collaborated with INM personnel to force migrants to get off the buses.

We demand that these migrants are not deported, since the right to request and receive asylum by people who require international protection must be respected and guaranteed, as well as the principles of family unity and the best interests of children.

We have been in contact with the detainees and as of 3:00 am on Friday, November 16, they are being transferred again in immigration kennels without having been informed of their destination.

We consider it necessary to point out that these same buses had previously refused to stop at the toll booth at km 15 of the Hermosillo-Nogales Highway for people to receive water and food, since those who moved had not eaten even once all day. Agents of the Federal Police obstructed the people who were there to help, with the argument that they would give them services in Pesqueira, something that did not happen.

So we are concerned about the integrity of those who are being detained for almost two days without food, water, or a safe place to rest. Above all, of children, women and sick people.

We call on society in general to demand respect for the human rights of all people within the national territory regardless of their migratory status, as established by Mexican laws and international treaties to which Mexico is bound.

Commission of management and dialogue of the Central American Exodus

Words from an anarchist on Armistice Day

i am old enough to remember when November 11th was “Armistice Day”, not Veterans Day. It was a day to celebrate the end of a war; a war so vast and deadly, so unlike any the world had ever seen that it was known simply as “The Great War”.

The change from a day to celebrate the end of a war to a day to celebrate warriors came in 1954. That year there was a Red under every bed, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were engaged in a (sometimes) “Cold War” by exploding larger and still larger thermo-nuclear bombs, and oh yes; the year i got my Polio shots. My mother wept, and laughed as she wept as she hugged me when it was announced there was a vaccine for Polio: But that’s another story.
With the hindsight of half a century it seems plain that a holiday to celebrate the end of a war went against the grain of a government with ambitions of Empire. How much better for instilling a martial spirit it would be to have a holiday honoring warriors, and by extension war! Then too, the draft had continued from December of 1941 to then (and would continue ’til 1973); it must have seemed an easy way to throw a bone to the millions of young men enslaved for two years.

Or perhaps the irony of celebrating the end of ‘The War To End All Wars’, the ‘War To Make The World Safe For Democracy’ doomed Armistice Day regardless. How much blood, how much treasure has been wasted since the first Armistice Day!

Still, it would be nice to have a day to honor and celebrate Peace…

krazy bill

All Out Tucson

from Tucson Anarchists

When: Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 10:30 AM
Where: Reid Park

The proto-fascist clowns of Patriot Movement AZ are coming back to Tucson. This is the same group that on August 4th of this year flew Nazi-inspired flags in Reid Park. Now, in the wake of anti-semitic and white supremacist shootings in Louisville and Pittsburgh, the far-right is seeking to show their strength and recruit new members here in our town. Make no mistake, the natural result of successful organizing by groups like Patriot Movement AZ is further attacks against vulnerable communities. If we hope to defend ourselves against racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic, islamaphobic, and other targeted violence, we must prevent PMAZ from continued organizing in our community.

Last time they came to town we prevented them from marching, and the only reason the fascists were able to rally at all is because Tucson Police surrounded and protected them. They even had to be escorted back to their cars. Let’s give PMAZ another taste of what Tucson thinks of them and their poisonous ideology.

Our response will take many forms and all are welcome. If you want to bring your kids and stay safely around the back with signs, you are welcomed. If you want to dress up like clowns or bring various forms of noise makers to humiliate or drown them out, you are welcomed. If you want to bring snacks, water, or medic skills, you are welcomed. If you want to cover your face to protect your identity while you protect the larger crowd from fascist or police violence, you are welcomed. There are many different approaches to dealing with hate and we need all of them. There are many forms of “yes” but one “no”. We say “no” to hate.

Standing together means that even if you do not agree exactly with the values of everyone in attendance, you will not put them at risk either from police or fascist violence. We will all keep each other safe and if anyone feels uncomfortable at any time they are free to leave or ask for support from others.

We need as many people as possible to come so that we can show that we support love and empathy, not hate and bigotry. So bring your friends and family and let us find joy in solidarity.

#AllOutTucson #StopTheHate

Bullet Points (9/3/18)


“To all you workers out there, every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death.”

•It’s Labor Day, and although I think most American anarchists see Labor Day as a bogus version of May Day, a video editorial from Joanna Allhands had me thinking more about it than usual this year.  I generally find the Arizona Republic oped writing from Allhands repulsively stupid and reactionary, but I was entertained by her Labor Day post in which she makes the case for doing nothing on the holiday. Not a particularly radical position, and her writing generally comes from a rightwing orientation, so of course she decries her imagined advocate of labor who would like you “to join a union, or protest, or at least do something productive to further workers’ rights on Labor Day”, so she instead calls for laziness maybe to irritate the leftwing busybodies.  What she has no imagination for, and sadly neither do many anarchists who want to build the struggle, is an intervention of the laziest sort, a ludic strike of play and rest, of creativity and spontaneity, a withholding of labor on a scale to bring capitalists to their knees, and may even keep the planet hospitable to humans.

Rather than sound off on some grand anarchist (Marxist informed) analysis that was TL;DR (and utterly unreadable to anyone outside of specialized Left circles) I thought I’d pull together some writings and things said  against work, along with some videos. But hey, if you’re still reading this on Labor Day, have the day off, and haven’t done enough of nothing yet (or whatever you like), feel free to put the device away and settle in for a nap.


“Workers of the World…Relax,” this is a bit of an odd video, but an entertaining interpretation of Bob Black’s Abolition of Work.

•HUMANITY WON’T BE HAPPY TILL THE LAST BUREAUCRAT IS HUNG WITH THE GUTS OF THE LAST CAPITALIST
-OCCUPATION COMMITTEE OF THE PEOPLE’S FREE SORBONNE UNIVERSITY
16 May 1968

•Although workplace utopians in France and Spain called on workers to take over the productive forces and construct a socialist or libertarian society, everyday contact with wage earners mitigated the Left’s theoretical commitment to productivism. During the nineteenth century and when out of power in the twentieth, working-class organizations usually supported their own constituents’ demands for less worktime. In fact, the organizations would probably have had fewer members if they had ignored workers’ demands to avoid work. But the advocacy of idleness per se never became a publicly proclaimed platform of the Left. In the 1930s leisure was frequently defended in productivist terms as restoration after work or as effective employment of the jobless. The more subversive forms of resistance—absenteeism, malingering, and sabotage—were officially ignored, except in situations like the Spanish Revolution and, to a much lesser extent, the French Popular Front, when the parties and the unions of the Left assumed some responsibility for the smooth functioning of the productive forces and were thus forced to combat resistance.
-Workers Against Work: Labor in Paris and Barcelona During the Popular Fronts by Michael Seidman

•Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving
through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a
job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and house you leave
empty all day in order to afford to live in it.
-Ellen Goodman

•Behind the glorification of “work” and the tireless talk of the “blessings of work” I find the same thought as behind the praise of impersonal activity for the public benefit: the fear of everything individual. At bottom, one feels now when confronted with work – and what is invariably meant is relentless industry from early till late – that such work is the best police, that it keeps everybody in harness and powerfully obstructs the development of reason, of covetousness, of the desire for independence. For it uses up a tremendous amount of nervous industry and takes it away from reflection, brooding, dreaming, worry, love, and hatred; it always sets a small goal before one’s eyes and permits easy and regular satisfaction. In that way a society in which the members continually work hard will have more security: and security is now adorned as the supreme goddess. And now – horrors! – it is precisely the “worker” who has become dangerous. Dangerous individuals are swarming all around. And behind them, the danger of dangers: the individual.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

•Too lazy to go to work, too lazy to go to war, too lazy to pay taxes…one big lazy general strike is our last hope

Tucson Jail Blockaded During “Evict ICE” March

Report from anarchists in Tucson on a recent march and blockade of an ICE building.

On Saturday, August 25th a group of over 100 people gathered in a park a few blocks away from the local jail in Tucson, Arizona, occupied Tohono O’odham land, in response to a call for a march to “evict ICE” from the Pima County Jail.

After a free meal from Food Not Bombs, the crowd took to the street, eventually marching onto busy Mission Road and blocking traffic. In front of the main entrance to the jail, the crowd split into two groups and moved to block both access roads to the jail employee parking lots. Thanks to some dedicated research and scouting, we knew the jail’s shift change occurs daily at 3 p.m., and the timing for the march was planned accordingly—by 2:45, all routes in and out of the corrections officer parking lot were blocked. The crowds held down these access roads for over an hour and half, thoroughly interfering with the normal operation of the jail.

Corrections officers trying to go home after the shift were trapped inside (except for a few who jumped a curb at high speed with their cars dangerously close to some demonstrators), and those arriving to start work had to be redirected a number of different times by Tucson Police, eventually parking in a neighborhood across a busy road from the jail and being forced to walk into work.

At around 4:30, the crowd gathered in the middle of the street in front of the jail to hear speakers explain the connections between settler-colonialism and ICE, share personal stories of how collaboration between local law enforcement and Border Patrol has ripped apart families here in Tucson, and decry the racialized violence of incarceration. The events of the day ended with a tired but triumphant return march to the park.

Things that went well:

The police showed up at the park before the march got underway and spent half an hour asking around to speak with an “event organizer.” In the past, this has been an effective tactic by the local cops to find a person they can put pressure on to control marches when they’ve gotten rowdy. On Saturday, everyone just ignored their questions, and eventually they left the park.

The timing was great and we definitely thoroughly disrupted the jail’s change of shift. The crowd was also very adaptive, so when folks noticed that Tucson Police were directing incoming guards into the visitation parking lot, people set up a soft blockade there as well: cars visiting their families could come in, jail employees could fuck off.

Things that could have gone better:

Midway through the march, some folks attempted a banner hang by throwing weighted ropes over a traffic light, but unfortunately the ropes got tangled together at the top, and it wasn’t possible to hoist the banner. It was really exciting to see this sort of clandestinely planned escalation mid-march, but it was a shame the banner didn’t end up on the traffic light.

While the messaging throughout the day was mostly really good—chants of “la policía, la migra, la misma porquería!” and “police, ICE, the same shit twice!”, jeers at the guards who eventually made it to the jail to “quit your jobs,” and a lot of connecting the short term goal of evicting ICE from the jail to broader visions of ICE, police, and prison abolition—there was an unfortunate lack of focus given to the prison strike. It was only mentioned once in passing by a speaker, but it seems like this would have been a great opportunity to talk about ongoing struggles inside of prisons throughout the country.

All said, it was a powerful march and blockade. Here’s hoping this marks the beginning of a trend towards escalation and interruption of the infrastructure of domination. The cops have been pretty hands off lately, let’s take this breathing room and run with it!

Tucson Anarchists