Anarchist Revolutionary and Former-Member of the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army
Ashanti Omowali Alston is an anarchist activist, speaker, and writer, and former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. From 1974-1985 he spent time as political prisoner which caused him to become engaged in politics. He is currently on the Steering Committee of the National Jericho Movement to free U.S. political prisoners and resides in Providence, Rhode Island. Alston grew up in the inner city of Plainfield, New Jersey, which he has described as being, at that time, "Niggertown with all the customs and traditions of racism, sexism and powerlessness". Alston was 11 years old during the assassination of Malcolm X and 13 years old during the 1967 Newark riots, events that both took place near his home town of Plainfield. In a 2010 interview, Alston said that he did not remember Malcolm X's death in 1965, but he began to understand the significance of Malcolm's legacy as rebellions occurred throughout the United States in 1967. Alston descri... (From: Wikipedia.org.)
One Journey into and out of the Anarchist … BLACK!
Anarchy as a journey in the human story has a long and crazy road. In fact, it is where the Human Story begins. It is the story of human life BEFORE the advent, the institutionalization of The Muthafuckas. (Eldridge Cleaverian definition, ha).
Increasingly, anthropologists, archaeologists, etc., have been finding pieces to a fantastic set of puzzles. And notice that I used the plural! As they begin to lay these pieces down, pictures are forming of our social beginnings that will shock, surprise and amaze many. Most of us may even find them revolting because these pictures go so extremely contrary to all that we’ve been raised to believe about the stories of the human species on this planet.
In the Beginning was the WORD? No.
In the Beginning was the WOMB! Hmm?
I remember one of Nikki Giovanni’s poems where she took us on a daydream journey into the land of New York City , USA before it was Babylon, when it “belonged” to the Indigenous Peoples; when there were no sky-scrapers, cars, pollutions, materialism, etc. It made me think how easy it is for us to take urbanism for granted, for the way it is and has always been. Point:
Take things back, de-volve in time to simpler and simpler realities. Or … minus buildings, minus cars, minus exploiters, protective forces, drugs, churches, marriages, etc. The further back we go, the simpler the ways of living and social arrangements were. Simple questions come to surface, like: If Iroquois didn’t have Pentagon, Executive Branch, CocaCola, CIA, Cop Joe Pig … then how did they (Iroquois) manage their affairs?
Come to find out that these so-called “savages” had some pretty simple, effective, direct ways of governing themselves and of living off the natural resources of the land (“Turtle Island”). These so-called savages were actually kinda peace loving and democratic in a way Babylon aint never been. Yet, in terms of written ideals, those White AngloSaxonProtestant “founding fathers” stole a lot of their ideas for their wonderful Declarations and Constitutions and Bills from these very human beings they labeled “savages.”
Next, I read this book, “When God Was A Women.” Its title was outrageous to begin with; not even worthy of serious inquiry. But I was in a situation where I had the time and the “outrageous” caught my attention, like seeing a porno magazine for the first time when nobody else was around. Again, I had always taken it for granted that this was a “Man’s World,” that “God” was a man (by verbal and painted word-pictures) and that Man was Supreme and His top position in society verified it. OR DOES IT? Was it possibly that such ideas and beliefs and practices just being continually REINFORCED by sexist, male-constructed culture made it seem to be common-sense, TRUE? Hmm?
To have a well-researched book challenge age-old ideas and beliefs that I had held about God as this book did, was to QUESTION MY OWN SANITY. God a Woman?
Is somebody looking at me? God as a His-storical idea/belief is definitely a SHORT story … in the overall Story. Possibly 5,000 to 10,000 years old. Compared to, what, hundreds of thousands and possibly a million years of human communities. Found deep within the earth of a East Afrikan basin, what could Lucy “the Afrikan” ancestor tell us now about our Beginnings. What might she startle us with?
Bible, Quran, Torah are definitely creation stories. But now, here were the summarized findings of many researchers, or searchers, period, who’s collective evidence pointed to societies, communes way, way older than Adam & Eve, and the One God stories we in the West have been spoon-fed. Their living arrangements have been labeled matriarchy, matrifocal, Mother-Right, etc. The available evidence points to simplicity and DIFFERENCE in creation stories, in governing and in living off the natural resources of the land. The available evidence also points to little or no violence, rape, rich/poor dichotomies, no pigs enforcing shit; no religious and philosophical rationalizations for accepting one’s constructed or contrived powerlessness, one’s need for muthafuckas called authorities to lead you, or one’s need to restrict the dynamic feel-good of pussy/dick/body/spirit and play…
Even today, we’d even feel crazy or a bit uncomfortable to shit or piss in the open or in an Out-house in the country. So uptight. We’re still uneasy about admitting that we masturbate. Lord knows what’s going through our minds when we see same-sex kiss and hug. Arab men do it in greeting. Gay and lesbian people do it in greeting and may do it also in passion. Parents of newborns just do it simply in the spell of JOY, greeting and passion. WHAT!!! Simple things. Sit quietly on a Harlem bench and watch the sunrise and feeling at one with the Cosmos. Crazy mutha…
Point: what happened when society grew so large, so complex, brutal and disorienting that we found ourselves LOST? Or: what happened BEFORE all this shit happened? How might we have experienced Life before “Civilization.” This is where my mind was leading me, provoking me to not only investigate and explore, but to be imaginative.
God? Lemme understand how and why some of these specific ideas about God came about and for whose benefit did it become canonized, organized, and institutionalized? That’s why it is so good that people debate religion versus spirituality today.
Civilization? What the fuck is so great about it when it has us on the brink of a total planetary pigocracy that is just destroying humanity. Whose idea was “civilization” and for whose benefit?
So, I had already accepted a new value in my life as being questioning, daring to question, humble and revolutionary enough to stand up for whatever my new findings, conclusions laid in my lap. It’s not an easy process. It’s rough. We’re all so thoroughly conditioned to purfumed bullshit, to shit that keeps us locked into, glued to the very Monster that is devouring us.
In the same vein, entrenched in the Nationalist, Marxist-Leninist and Maoist teachings, I had accepted their identification of The Enemy, the Opposition (Trotsky & the anarchists put in with the kapitalists) without even fully understanding WHY. In other words, why the hell didn’t I check “the Other” side of the story? I had never even availed myself to other Black revolutionary thinkers like CLR James, James and Grace Lee Boggs, Adolph Reed, Pat Robinson, Lucius Outlaw, James Cone, Audrey Lorde and the Combahee River Collective, the black critical theorists, the black existentialists, the black surrealists. Or even “the Other” European thinkers like Prince Kropotkin, Simone Beavoir, Sartre, the Situationists, Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Goodman, Antonio Gramsci, Malatesta, Regis Debray, Herbert Marcuse, etc.
The dialectical method had helped me tremendously in being personally analytical and critical in my thinking and viewing things. I am forever grateful to that skool to this day. But, I wouldn’t have put Marx and company and their ideas and prognosis under the same critical, scientific (my best) microscope. (The Panther Party DID, in fact, pull my coat to Mister Marx’s racism, which told me that he wasn’t no perfect mutha…) It had to happen with the interaction and urging of others of my comrades who had already made a similar journey as my own. And it wasn’t but two or three! So, when first exposed to anarchist literature, I rejected it with a biased boot, a fascistic boot. At some point, with the help of conversation and suggestions of humility, I relaxed a bit and read some of their shit, as I had read Islamic literature when trying to understand Muslim comrades beliefs and arguments.
Panther ideology had joined with other revolutionary theoreticians like James Boggs (“Racism and the Class Struggle”), in critiquing white kapitalist Babylon, and the traitorous role of its “working klass and trade unions” towards Black folks struggle for liberation and revolution within Babylon period. My own independent studies, provoked by Panther Frankie Ziths who gave me my first anarchist reading, verified that. Frankie’s hand-written notes on the sides of these readings would always relate the ‘lessons’, for example, on the Maknovists’ betrayal by the Russian communists, to our possible betrayal by white communists and other privileged white activists. So, when I read my first anarchist tract on “unions” and how their hierarchies consistently aligned themselves with patriotic materialism and pig boss management, I concluded that anar-KISM made some solid critiques. So, it can’t be that bad. But key in the anarchist critique was not so much Labor’s (our “natural ally”) treachery or incorporation into the System. It was Labor’s STRUCTURE and middle-klass goals and capitalist aspirations. But structure & culture was key! For, regardless of your rhetoric, even the most radical, if your structure and aspirations are basically in line with your enemy’s, then whatever you produce will be basically in line with your enemy. And being that Labor groups’ rhetoric was materialism and amerikan blindness to the root causes of racism, what else could it do BUT betray its alleged revolutionary potential and its allies …LIKE US NIGGUHS?
These little anarchist pamphlets were easily available from info-shops in Detroit and Canada, and they were getting to us in the prisons. I was no longer averse to reading and learning from them. But I only saw them as making a lot of good and interesting critiques of kapitalism and authoritarian opposition groups, like unions and vanguard parties.. Actually, I was reading and learning a lot from the works of the Frankfort skool of psychology (E. Fromm, Marcuse, W. Reich, etc.) and feminist literature (“The Black Woman” edited by Toni Cade Bambara, Third World Women’s Alliance, Sheila Rowbotham, interviews with women of the national liberation movements, Michelle Wallace’s “Black Macho…”, Merlin Stone’s “When God Was A Woman,” Angela Davis, etc.).
These readings eventually led me back to reading and re-reading anarchist works as a serious study of its frame of references, its principles, it’s style, and it’s contemporary relevance. This was all basically prison-time, thinking time, reflecting time. Rebel philosophy in prison is that you be pro-active when dealing with “KAPtured Time.” Don’t let time do you – you DO time. DO, as an active, aggressive, defiant verb. And as a POW I most certainly did. As POW Sundiata Acoli had said from the beginning of his kaptured-time: “Turn prison into your university.” I read till my eyes hurt!
Just a quick cruise through some of these major influences. Number one were Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver’s intellectual daringness and radical application of the Marxist dialectical method of thinking within the context of a highly technological and racist Babylonian empire; the “organic” or public intellectual-activists like James and Grace Lee Boggs, the Black and Asian revolutionary couple out of the Detroit auto plantation. They kept me ground in the larger meaning and power of Black Revolution. The book, “Racism and the Class Struggle” was required reading when I came into the New Jersey/New York Black Panther Party. They both described themselves as dialectical humanist, and in comparison with nationalists, marxists, leninists, trotskyists and maoists, I think they’d be considered “anti-authoritarian” because organizing was about raising the grade of the revolutionary in terms of personal responsibility in creating more democratically advanced, liberatory human and social relationships in governing.
Their thing was in creating ways to challenge people to take responsibility for their own lives and their own communities, from their personal relationships with their loved ones to neighborhood, national and world issues.
The Frankfort skool of psychology developed out of the Freudian skool. They dug many key limitations with Freud for various reasons. And they tended to be socialist, or socialistic and sometimes movement involved. They also tended to be critical of the State Forms of Official Socialism that had developed in the Soviet Union and other European nations. Erich Fromm’s works were the first to impact on me, my thinking. “The Art of Loving” was my first socialist-humanist break-down of love psychologically, romantically, socially and politically. I began to really understand the importance of Love as a power for healing and sustaining revolutionary struggle for the long-haul. “Escape From Freedom” awakened me to understandings of freedom that I had never grasped in terms of its psychological dimensions. Like, why were people AFRAID of freedom, how did this AUTHORITARIAN MENTALITY he talked about come into being and operate? Fromm also wrote about “socialized technology,” or how to humanize technology in the interest of PEOPLE, not profits (“Revolution of Hope”).
Bruno Bettlehiem and Victor Frankel also dealt with this authoritarian FASCIST mentality. What made their insights particularly powerful for me were their actual experiences under Nazi Europe and in Koncentration Kamps. Here were victims of that holocaust who defied submission and lived to pass their psychoanalytic insights on to generations to come. Immediately experienced BY ME were parallels between their predicaments and ours (Black folks and Native folks), here. Psychology, hmm … Powerful tool.
Of all the break-away students of Freud, Wilhelm Reich captured my attention the most. He was radical in analysis and in practice. He was involved in the Revolutionary Movement in Europe deeply. And his commitment to fact-finding and total liberation of humanity was extreme, so much so that the leading revolutionary organization (he was a member!) expelled him for developing new forms of struggle based on his concepts of revolutionary sexuality (critique of bourgeois morality and oppressive upbringing even within activists) and anti-fascist character-analysis (confronting the internalization of kapitalist, authoritarian culture EVEN within the revolutionary ranks). Having been run out of Germany by the Nazis, and kicked out of the “hung-up on bourgie morality” authoritarian revolutionary party and Freud’s Psychoanalytic Society, Reich eventually made his way to Babylon, USA. (That’s a whole notha story, so don’t ask me why?) Essential here is that he continued his search for deeper scientific insights into the character-structural fear of freedom (deeper than Fromm) and the “essence” of Life, of living and free human biological functioning leading to him developing the anarchistic concept of “Work-Democracy,” and what I might call “anti-authoritarian socialist revolution. I was following that and learning so much about people, personalities and roles as more than merely lip-service important. They held a certain “key” to understanding frustrations in our revolutionary behaviors.
Work-democracy in short was one of the most revolutionary concepts that I had come to understand. Borne in the midst of European fascism, Reich developed an anarchistic concept without even knowing it. Here he raised some very key things that could, on the one hand, begin to destroy the roots of fascism in the oppressed character-structure of the “mass individual,” and on the other, provide guidance on destroying the social ‘plague” of authoritarian, fascist order in general.
If George Orwell’s “1984” laid out that dreaded prognosis, then Reich offered us at least one way to un-ancor that shit out of our very souls. It didn’t matter whether this fascism was emanating from kapitalist metropoles of imperialism or socialist/communist metropoles of imperialism. Work-democracy based itself in the commitment to fact-finding, knowledge or information, through the honest work of scientific pursuit. Reich had this idea of the “human essence” which was basically expressed in his words, “Love, work and knowledge are the wellsprings of life. They should also govern it.” He felt that was the only purpose behind the honest pursuit of understanding life, especially if one wanted to change life. Reich felt that this search for practical, love-oriented knowledge was primary, that not even party or ideological loyalty could stop it or should interfere with the process and/or results being used to further the revolution of life. He said that the revolutionary basis of work-democracy was in the free, living functioning of the human organism which was oriented to pleasure in the biological sense and to the joy of life and life exploration in the social sense. Everyday Culture & Politics were frustrating that.
In his political experience, Reich found that the most revolutionary organization which did not challenge its cultural upbringing, which did not concern itself with helping people devise programs that addressed their everyday social and sexual misery and “existential angst” (my input), as it related to their struggles for self-determination, THEN they would help perpetuate the very society they were intellectually trying to destroy. Reich was just as concerned with why the revolutionary was reproducing the same authoritarian, life-negating society oppressing them within their own ranks. And he was on to something very basic to life with this attention he put on sexuality, the body and one’s ability or inability to make revolution as desire, desirable and pleasure-oriented. It was like, if you can’t shake from the hip and let-cha backbone slip, yo’ stiff ass can’t hardly make no revolution that will jingle and tingle with a life-affirming child-like social-ism. Rosa Luxemburg said it, in a twist-around of the Parliament of Funkadelic:
Free Yo’ Ass & Yo’ Mind Will Follow.
Again, Reich’s concern was character-structure caught up in the web of superstructure and political structure and economic structure. So, his concern was the concrete, immediate individual and his/her circumstances.
The Frankfort Skool, Reich … again, this strong psychological take on oppression and liberation/revolution, led me back to that very book Eldridge Cleaver called the Black Bible for the Revolutionary, “Wretched of the Earth.” Fanon. Fanon. Fanon.
Read it again, for what, the THIRD time? But why did it seem like the first time? Because my understandings and analyzes of things (things!) were evolving. Each time I re-read the works of Fanon I was grasping more, and for more. Psychological terms were clearer now. Symbolic cultural terms made more sense now (like the “veil”). Okay, “On Violence” – yeah, I got it. Strike my oppressor and a brick from the wall of fear gets dislodged. I feel better, empowered, etc. But now the chapter on “Colonial & Mental Disorders” comes to life! Not just mere warnings against uncritical nationalist trappings (read: european influenced ideas of Nation, Government, Flag, Representative Democracy, etc.)
But now a deeper look at what colonialism has done to us from a psychological perspective. Look at what we have internalized. Look at how we have hidden/covered over our own pain, our own wounds, and come to think of it, our own joys & possibilities for enjoying life’s many emanations. The makings of a NIGGER. Not only european values and ways of thinking, but also the initial traumas that ingrained within us a fear of “them” symbolically, and thus a fear of striking out for freedom. Fear of freedom … Erich Fromm, Reich, Frankel, Marcuse, Malcolm X, Greir & Cobbs, etc. Awareness, tie-ins are muthafuckas.
Reviewing one’s life over and over again has come to be a very necessary practice for a revolutionary dedicated to living revolution to its fullest. You read, you learn; you experience, you learn; you reflect on it all, you learn and hopefully grow or move beyond where you’d just arrived. The analysis of my Panther experience has evolved as my revolutionary concepts has evolved and as I have been exposed to new conceptual ways of viewing and analyzing the world. And the contexts have changed, so threw that in for yet more impermanence of both realities and concepts, period.
There is no one All-Embracing, All-Encompassing concept to contextualize experience: one’s own or one’s world. Like a light shining through a prism, it’s important to reflect on experience and analyze it from as many different angles as possible. Or at the least be open to more than just one (which is like being stuck on stupid). I was initially a nationalist a la Stokeley and H. Rap Brown.
The BPP jarred and angled me towards revolutionary Nationalism, which was nationalism informed by national liberation movement thinking cutting across Africa, Asia and Latin Amerika, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, Kim Il Sung’s Juche. The Boggs reinforced the creative use of the “dialectical method” and a radical Humanism; Reich’s character-analysis and work-democracy, and finally feminism, radical post-modernism and anarchism. The last three jarred and allowed me to look at any belief, concept, idea and practice AS TEMPORAL, DIALECTICAL IN HAVING A BIRTH & DEATH AND IT ALL BOTH USEFUL AND DISCARDABLE. Flesh out their hidden and not-so-hidden sexisms, authoritarianism, racisms, eurocentrisms chauvinisms and hierarchies. Therefore, it is not contradictory for me to say that Anarchism is about opening doors to greater learning and doing, even if it means its own death. That attitude was also a Panther attitude to knowledge and work which even Mao’s red book reinforced.
Some key words in the debate: The State, The “Masses,” and The Revolutionaries…And why do I see the differences.
I AM AN ANARCHIST WHO BELIEVES… that “The State” is inherently oppressive as a mechanism that cannot GIVE, GRANT, GUARANTEE OR PRESERVE Freedom, or make revolutionary change.
Without The State, anarchy has existed in varying forms since the earliest human social formations, because anarchists believe that people can govern their own lives, individually and collectively, based on commonly worked out and agreed upon visions, interests, mutual aid, non-hierarchical decision-making, codes of conduct, open collaborative theories and plans for direct and democratic control of the means of livelihood, and people’s power to bring about prosperity, peace, harmony, fun, adventure, protection, nurturance and an atmosphere for spiritually holistic well-being without adherence to private property, money, god, race supremacy, able-bodied supremacy, age-ism, imperialism, etc. Belief that organization and structure of any activity must be consistent and identical to that which would characterize the general picture of the new, free society (-ties) envisioned.(“prefigurative” as Cindy Milstein would say) These activities, anarchistic or communal inspired, must be the DNA in every social, political, economic and military endeavor that one or one’s group takes on in the course of the revolution.
If The State, and every institution within that Nation-State, is hierarchical, and uncritical hierarchy of any kind perpetuates or aids the oppressive State, then I believe it is a contradiction to the goals of a free society to adopt the same or similar models of the Enemies of Freedom.
I believe that “Vanguard Parties” are “The State in Embryo” and that historically they have led to the betrayal of the very “Masses” they initially championed. The only time that a vanguard party has not become The State is when they have LOST the battle. This has been so because, in the absence of a critique of culture, organization and the individual, they unconsciously (and Not-So-Unconsciously, but very clearly) reproduce their internalized oppressions. In this case, I specifically mean the reproduction of hierarchical relationships, elitist assumptions about people and knowledge and traditions within initially or potentially revolutionary formations and individuals. In this sense, The State is EVERYWHERE … damn-near. But so are FREE ACTIVITIES, and in many cases both exist in crazy and conflicting ways, side by side within people, communities, organizations and personalities. Real people, real mutha …
Nationalists, Marxist-Leninists, authoritarians in general see People as a “Mass Body” and believes that the “masses’ need an organization of professional revolutionaries to both educate and lead them.
The “masses’ need the “science” and the “plan”; they need their consciousness RAISED. The professionals have both the “science” and the ways and means to consciousness-raising and revolution-making. Thus, the ‘masses” have to be MOVED; they are DEAD, IGNORANT until The Enlightened Ones give them the breath of life and the light of knowledge. The Liberation or The Revolution will be achieved through the
...who proclaim themselves the “Representatives of the Masses.” The “masses” are seen as in a state of inertia UNTIL activated by the professionals.
Anarchists see People as individuals with the will to live, learn, love, work out their own individual and collective destinies instinctively or spontaneously. Human dignity is key. The People are their own liberators, foh-real. Anarchists also believe that the “masses” (oh, I hate that term!) are not only their own liberators but that they can discover their own ways to Revolution, organization and self-determination (the “science”) spontaneously or organically. In fact they/we are always resisting, fighting back in many hidden and not so hidden ways. This means that the same way these “professionals” came to consciousness is open to and possible for ALL. * And there is never only ONE way to consciousness. So, as long as those who know SHARE (mutual aid, network) and coordinate their visions and plans, then there be no need for the professional or vanguard as AUTHORITY, and any power won would remain grounded with those actually fought for and secured it.
Authoritarians see themselves as “vanguards”, leaders. As such, their “job” is to be in the forefront … leading. Leading whom? The Masses. They uncritically accept the common-sense/place/given that the “masses” are ignorant, stagnant, afraid to move. Therefore, they must BE MOVED, EDUCATED, ORGANIZED. And as possessors of that SPECIAL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE called SCIENCE, REVELATION, DIVINE WISDOM or the DIALECTICAL and HISTORICAL METHODS of THINKING, it is clear that ONLY they can give the “masses” what they need (even if they don’t want it!). Like children, you must lead the “masses” to power through the leadership of the Vanguard or The One who is convinced of its correctness or correct political line on success. They therefore promote correct-line thinking, ideological loyalty, chain-of-command, conquest of political power, class unity, class struggle, race nationalist unity, proper relationships, objectivity in analyzing REALITY, acting on self-proclaimed representations of the “masses” and you ALONE being able to clearly interpret their needs and desires for change.
Anarchists see themselves as part of the “masses” or (with more dignity and individuality) The People. Thus, their “job is to recognize their equal identity with the People as capable of theory and practice, consciousness, self-acting, self-determining. On the anarchist main tenets of MUTUAL AID AND COLLECTVE COORDINATION OF STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES, you share what you’ve got (knowledges, weapons, expertize, resources of all kinds) to get what you want. This way People at all levels of consciousness and expertize have the opportunity to mix and grow, learn and become empowered Revolutionaries within Mutual Aid formations. “Correct Lines” can now reflect true multi-level, multi-faceted, multi-experiential & experimental contributions of all, rather than the elitist “I KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU.” Anarchists therefore promote Participatory Democracy, Direct Democracy, consensus decision-making, nonhierarchical lifestyles, feminist praxis, organic intellectual daringness, creativity in action, art, carnival pleasure, as well as an ecological connectedness to All and permanent revolution.
Black Anarchists differ from Nationalists and M-L’s and most all Black community religionists (Christianity, Nation of Islam, Afrikan Islamic and orthodox groups, etc.) in that, with anarchists in general, we REJECT the need for a STATE in toto. The State is inherently “evil” and always leads to corruption, power mongering and oppression of some for the benefit of others.
Nationalists and religionists offer NO thorough critique of The State, its history, its historical “necessity,” its contradiction to the very concept and practice of freedom. They may criticize the neo-colonial State, the racist State, the welfare State, the police State, but that is a matter of reforming its behavior and/or replacing these aspects of oppressor States with a “black” State, a “black socialist workers” State, or a “United States of Afrika”.
M-L’s offer a similar critique. They will even admit that The State is inherently “evil” and oppressive, but they argue that it is a “necessary evil” for the successful transition from defeating kapitalism to constructing socialism in combating counter-revolutionaries and other plotting, hidden pigs bent on re-kapturing power and restoring things back to The Good Ole Days.
I say … Phuck That! All Power to the People. Through the People. No gimmicks, no fancy public relations. Either you respect people’s capacities to think for themselves, to govern themselves, to creatively devise their own best ways to make decisions, to be accountable, to relate, problem-solve, break-down isolation and commune in a thousand different ways … OR: you dis-respect them. You dis-respect ALL of us.
I don’t wanna give the impression that even ALL BLACK ANARCHISTS agree on everything. We are as diverse as anybody else. But what we do agree on is TRUE self-determination of the people, respect for the individual involved, REAL RESPECT. We place a high value on collectivity and communalism and other ways of living and fighting to end these many forms of oppression as “pre-figure (-actions)” of the kind of society we want to bring into existence.
This writing will give you an idea of what led me to becoming an anarchist. I want to share these thoughts with you as Anarchist Panther continues to come out and in speaking out when I can. I want a black anarchist “take” on things to be more in The Mix in our community of communities that are facing genocide. No longer should the prevalent nationalist, progressive and revolutionary ideologies and organizational approaches hold unopposed court when the rhetoric always says its about THE PEOPLE. If its truly about “The People” then let it be, and let us together find the ways to make that happen so that WE...WE...WE...can win and be free.
ALL POWER THROUGH THE PEOPLE!
From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org
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