Friday, April 23, 2010

Get Up, Stay Up


"Graffiti is a freedom crime, beautiful and revolutionary, suitable for revolutionaries.
On that road seldom travelled by the multitude, remember this when the cops come to fuck with you..."

- Looptroop Rockers

Graffiti is seen by those that control the city as a gateway crime. It is the broken window that supposedly other crimes stem from. It is vandalism that destroys communities and gives the okay for greater crimes to take place. Where I live, any sort of graffiti crime over $200 is considered a felony, and many find themselves caught up by the cops or locked in a prison cell for the crime of changing the color of a surface.

Why do we love and write graffiti? For one, is a culture and an art form that comes from us. From the urban poor. The working class. The criminal element. It is an activity that we do because we enjoy it. It is something that we have made ourselves, and despite every attempt to commercialize it, it stays illegal and autonomous from corporations and the rich. But, in order to become a graffiti writer, you need to act. To engage with the streets. To be up and stay up. Graffiti is not something you can be based on what you say, how you dress, or how you talk - it is only in action that can you be respected or be part of anything.

Graffiti does not ask for space. It takes space. It is the same as when skaters take over an area to skate board. When people occupy a park to hold a party. When people take over a vacant building to live in. When you shoplift in order to feed yourself. When you steal from your boss at work. Graffiti is not about dialog with those who run the city. It is about taking without asking from those who are not of the working and lower classes. It is about imposing what you need on a system that wants you to simply be a silent worker, a passive consumer, and subservient to the whims of the police, bosses, and politicians.

Graffiti is about feeling good in spaces that often make us feel bad. We live in environments policed by our enemies. Designed by upper class bosses, politicians, planners, and capitalists. We are bombarded with advertisements for everything from politics to skin cream. Graffiti is about rupture against this spectacle. It is about leaving something behind that we enjoy. It is about communication in a world that thrives on silence. It is about what we want, what we find beautiful, what we enjoy.

Graffiti is about not being afraid to attack what is ugly in this city. It is about not being afraid of the pigs. To go out and write. To engage with our environment instead of just letting it effect us in ways that it wants to. Graffiti will never be stopped because you can't stop the passion to live. To destroy. To create. Get up, stay up.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Are an Image With No Future


Class directed revolutionary violence towards enemies that builds our power shows the way only way forward...

"You have to be logical. You know?
If I know that in this hotel room

they have food every day, and I'm
knocking on the door every day to eat,

and they open the door,
let me see the party,

let me see them
throwing salami all over,

I mean, just throwing food around,
but they're telling me there's no food.

Every day, I'm standing outside
trying to sing my way in.

We are hungry, please let us in

After about a week that song
is gonna change to:

We hungry, we need some food

After two, three weeks, it's like:

Give me the food
Or I'm breaking down the door

After a year you're just like:

I'm picking the lock
Coming through the door blasting

It's like, you hungry,
you reached your level.

We asked ten years ago.
We was asking with the Panthers.

We was asking with them, the Civil
Rights Movement. We was asking.

Those people that asked
are dead and in jail.

So now what do you think
we're gonna do? Ask?"
-2pac

Things are not the same as when our parents were growing up. It is much harder to get work, and even harder to keep it. Everything costs more and jobs pay less. A college degree means less and obtaining one is often much harder as is finding a job after graduating. There are less handouts offered from the state in the way of assistance and student grants. We have little opportunities; we are inheriting a world without much breathing room or future. With nothing to do, many of us slide into alcholism and drug use. We waste hours away online or in front of the television. The recuperated and fake vehicles of working class struggle also ofter us nothing. The unions are not the fighting organs that they portray themselves as. Instead, they seek to integrate us into capitalism and help mitigrate which section of the proletariat will be laid off and who will suffer furlough days or pay cuts. With the government repression against the revolutionary formations of the 60's and 70's crushed and defeated, the "bastards of the parties" of yesteryear, the gangs, represent often the only organized social force for mobilizing working class people, all for the sake of generating profit in the street sales of narcotics. Gone are the social centers and union halls in which before we met after work to talk in groups about what is being done against us. Instead, we are left with mega-churches and nuclear family units that see the struggle of other proletarians as different from their own. We are at a point in history where class struggle is needed now more than ever - yes where is the class war being waged on our side?

Much has been written in regards to the poverty of identify or lifestyle politics, we need not beat a dead horse only to spray the reader with it's maggots, yet still, blood seems to continue to pump through this beast's veins. Capital will not whither away in the face of food not lawns, freegan dumpster shopping sprees, or more bicycle lanes. We take it for granted that the reader understands and knows this to be true. Nor do we see a point in organizing ourselves along the lines of an identity or box that capital places us. Instead, what we need is a uniting force that places together the entire proletariat into a social force that attacks and fights capital. That pushes back against it, gaining more room for ourselves. A push back that wins us victories for ourselves, but also in doing so creates the kind of relations that we seek in communism. Above all, we wish to be selfish little proletarians. We have a class interest in attack and struggle, and we have a desire for the extinction and eradication of the bourgeoisie as a class, as well as class society. Our class interests are not "bad." Nor is it bad to struggle for them. We spend many hours and years fighting for places and communities that we will never see, for struggles that we have no tangible connection to. How are we to spread revolt if we do not carry out attack based on our own needs? How are we to organize with others and link up if we can't even organize around our own direct needs? How can we push for others to be in confrontation with capital if we are not able to do so in our own lives in a meaningful and collective manner? Where are our examples in our workplaces, on the streets, and homes against class dictatorship? We must find and carry out these actions, looking for more and more people who are interested in tasting the fruits of our violence. The charity of the activist is over. Now is the period of selfish class interest.

We are not calling for egoism. Or for us to not care about others. This is a call for the basis of our attack and organization as proletarians to be based around attacking what directly hinders our own lives. Thus, it is also in our interest to act in solidarity with others and expand and help other struggles. However, we are not here to simply organize and fundraise for other struggles that have no relation to us. We have a reason to struggle and fight ourselves; and these struggles will be our own. For us, it makes more sense that revolt will become generalized when other people realize what we can get when we get crazy. If you want this shit, like we got this shit, come get this.

Where can we be greedy? Where can we be selfish? How and where does capital inflict it's violence against us and where can we take these situations in our everyday lives and look for possibilities of attack and rupture? Where can we force our own contradictions within class society that allow people to choose between the comradeship of the proletariat and the embrace of their class enemies? If we truly are a generation with no future, a youth with nothing to lose but the nothing that we will inherit, then struggle against work and our class position is the only hope we have of getting anything of any worth in the near future.

We can begin at the workplace. Many within the revolutionary milieu have an almost subterranean position within the workforce. We work in the service sector or in the blackmarket. We often have little connection to wider groups of workers or those that are in unions. We are almost always scrambling for money for our projects and to pay rent. In many cities that anarchists and communists flock to, we often bunch up together in shitty houses, paying large amounts of rent that could be put into savings or towards infrastructure and projects. We often see jobs simply as a task that we must engage in order to live a "revolutionary lifestyle" or in order to save up for a plane ticket to the next summit or bookfair. How can we begin to use our jobs as ways to struggle and get more and more for ourselves? How can we build power among proletarians so we can work less and get more? What about while renting? What about where we live? How can we drive out politics and those not of our class from our lives and bring those like us closer? In this, veganism, bikes, alternative culture mean nothing. They are like flies that attempt to speak in a strange language that mean nothing to us and annoy us. Kill them. Destroy them. Build solidarity among the class. This is not activism, this is how we step out of survival, and build the mafia that allows us to swim in a sea of solidarity and paves the way for an acceptance of the violence will we inact on the class that is not us.

Those that speak of solidarity with those that they do not know of people or cultures or communities that they have never met and do not struggle for themselves or their class are probably those that are middle class. Let them engage in their projects. They can do no harm from it. Let us raise the flag again of the proletarian movement. Let the rich know that they have one thing to fear, the coming to power of their executioners.