“Approximately 28% of the [FBI’s domestic covert action] efforts were designed to weaken groups by setting members against each other or to separate groups which might otherwise be allies and convert them into mutual enemies. The techniques used included… encouraging hostility up to and including gang warfare between rival groups…”
- Church Committee, U.S. Congressional Report: Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, 99th Congress, 2nd Session, Report No. 94-755 (1976)
According to penologists and pro-prison propagandists, the most common themes in U.S. prisons are gang violence and race wars. The jockeying for position of drug sales and territory. The inevitable rape, murder, and exhortative tendencies as a consequence of our need to carry on failed endeavors to wreak havoc on society before incarceration.
The prison administrations attempt to promote rehabilitation and positive change through hiring community members specializing in corrections; the implementing of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); the introduction of an ombudsman office to serve as an independent oversight in the event in-prison grievance channels fail.
And the justified use of solitary confinement, more repressive policies, excessive disciplinary punishment, denied parole reviews and the construction of more maximum security prisons, when the contradictions of an overcrowded prison create these very hostile conditions.
With the stroke of an ink pen, what really goes on behind the walls and razor-wire fences of America’s prisons is stylishly painted by wardens, grievance staff, ranking guards and their ilk – the penitentiary Picassos. Which is no different than the narratives I laid out about.
But what these admirers of fake news enjoy overlooking is the fact that a majority of the violence occurring in prisons is staff instigated. Some riots, murders and rapes could easily be prevented if wardens, Security Threat Groups (STG) and Offices of Inspectors General (OIG) actually investigated complaints and pre-warnings themselves, instead of deferring them to the ranking guards and investigators who the complaint alleged as culprits. Or by engaging in the covering up of paperwork that shows staff complicity following these deferred complaints.
In reality, guard brutality and torture are the common features of Texas prisons, and arguably of all American prisons. While mainstream corporate media and politicians hype up the U.S. penal system as a prototype to how the world over should run prisons.
Outside of civil lawsuit settlements, little if anything is said about the barbaric torture of prisoners following the 1971 Attica prison uprising. Or the Corcoran State Prison incident, where guards set up fights between prisoners, gambled on the outcomes and then shot the prisoners for fighting, between 1989 and 1994.
This resulted in over 40 shot, 8 killed, and others shot and killed with no justification.
Then there’s the long-running torture of over 100 Black men inside “Area 2” of Chicago’s jail system, who gave false confessions following increasing amounts of torture by investigators. The exposure of this led to 164 men being removed from Illinois’ death row, and full pardons being granted in four cases.
Despite exposure of these crimes against humanity, torture in Texas prisons persists. In situations where a guard can’t get his own hands dirty, he’ll pay an inmate in food and work duties to do it for him. When this proves impractical, he’ll instigate gang and race wars.
These environments I’m experiencing at Connally Unit afford some notable examples. Let’s look at work fights, then the gang and race war instigation.
Will fight for work – or food
In TDCJ, there are several kinds of custody levels a prisoner has, depending on behavior and disciplinary infractions. Outside trustee (G1) being the most honorable and close custody (G5) being the most restrictive. Solitary confinement is a whole other matter.
Medium custody (G4), which the examples in this essay focus on, is located in an isolated part of Connally Unit known as the island. In its coffers are some of the most savage, perverted, black hearted and unreasonably violent people I’ve ever lived around.
With its tendency to be a hub for young short sentence inmates, perpetually teetering from G4 to G5 their entire sentence, the reason this environment is the way it is should be obvious. Life on the island is the only life they know in prison, and seem to care for.
I witnessed one in particular arrive from the G5 pod in search of establishing a reputation. To achieve this end, he accepted a bribe from a guard to assault another prisoner for the absurd privilege of sweeping the pod with a shower scrubber brush. One bloody-nosed prisoner later, he strutted to and fro, here and there, with the broom and a grin. That’s until he was caught a month later, going all in for a bag of “free world” chips and a better broom.
Now he’s back in G5, probably waiting for his year’s stay to expire so he can have at it again. A very common dilemma.
Then there’s another similar incident. A prisoner exchanged words with a guard who’d denied him a visitation update form. An hour later, an inmate from another part of the building is given entry into the pod so he could earn food by putting the prisoner in line. The fight took place but the guard was dissatisfied with the results. No knockout equals no pay.
This is not a culture native to Connally Unit. It’s a circumstance that gets embedded into the minds and spirits of inmates and guards alike, as the former and the latter shuffle from pod to pod, unit to unit, etc. The symptoms of this disease only reinforce and justify acceptance of this behavior, since it’s already established throughout TDCJ.
Texas prisons in particular have a penchant for, and history of, inmates engaging in counter-productive conspiracies for small tokens and working rights.
I add more emphasis to this in the introduction of my paperback book available on amazon.com, “Reports From Within the Belly of the Beast: Torture and Injustice Inside Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”
Instigating Bully and Ranking Guard
A ranking guard, who prisoners identify as “Sergeant Motes”, learned years ago how to keep his hands clean in a shitty building.
Since an article I published several months ago led to staff having to honor our four hours a day recreation. He came up with a very effective way to deny all four hours at a moment’s notice, while forging a wedge between gangs and races; instigating hostility through these divisions and bullying low level guards into going along with the program.
Though the actions he takes are against TDCJ policy, state law, and the morals of any decent society, the overall ignorance of those working and living in this environment allow him to deploy his tyranny unchecked.
His game is spending time popping up on the pod unannounced, hoping to see at least one person on the second or third tier. In the event he does, he’ll encourage a guard to lock down the pod under a bogus “23 hour suspended activity” rule. Which ultimately punishes everybody for the actions of one person.
Not only is this illegal on its face, 23 hour suspended activity is reserved for multi-prisoner violence, riots, and any activity posting a safety risk to prisoners or staff, and can only be initiated with a justifiable reason signed off by the building captain, major or warden.
This can only suggest they are conspiring with him too, don’t give a damn about him breaking rules, or he’s taking it upon himself to do it behind their backs. Standing in front of someone’s door conversating doesn’t meet the 23 hour suspended activity threshold, and actual disciplinary measures exist for individuals that disobey or are found “out of place”, which is what he’s punishing everyone or.
Several people complained directly to him about this and were told to do whatever they need to do to stop second and third floor roaming.
A cross-fire of threats were announced to no-one in particular that any individual that caused a 23 hour lockdown for any reason would be punished by getting “lined up”, meaning an individual beating from each inmate of the rival gang or race, or by any that want to participate if the individual isn’t gang affiliated. And, in the event the individual manages to get through the gauntlet, a collective beatdown comes next.
This opened the doors for gangs disinterested in unnecessary violence to be ready to war with any gang or race that made an effort to assault anyone accused of causing a 23 hour suspended activity lockdown.
Up to this point, Motes routinely locked down the pods. And in the event no one roamed the tiers, out of frustration he’d lock the pod down anyways, claiming someone whistled out of their window at a fictitious white woman.
Even if such a thing is true, the guilty person is already in their cell and easily identifiable, which make punishing prisoners in the day room by locking them in a cell, an instigation to gang or race war.
Not to mention him occasionally pointing out the guilty person, then suggesting what they’d done in their own cell is why we have to join them.
This recently occurred on Nov 7 2022, and spilled over to Nov 8 2022, ultimately denying the second and third tier two days of dayroom rec since the 23 hours wasn’t up until after our scheduled recreation time on the 8th, and the lockdown occurred before our recreation in the dayroom began on the 7th.
Since we are still on lockdown at time of writing, any punishment or subsequent riots are pending.
While it can’t be denied that gang violence is a common occurrence in prisons and oppressed communities, what is rarely mentioned is that the American government and its henchmen has been behind instigating and spreading this violence and deliberately creating the conditions that gave rise to it.
To further distance as many white inmates as possible from the chaos that may or may not ensue, bellhop, broom boy and other off-the-record jobs were given to many by Motes and another ranking guarding who work the day shift during Motes’ days’ off.
In respect of this, these workers are immune from lockdowns and any punishment from causing lockdowns, since they are authorized to wander the tiers under the notion they are cleaning, and must be available to work, lockdown or not.
And it must be realized that ranking guards looking the other way so harmless prisoners can be attacked is a ploy specifically designed to keep a wedge between the unity of prisoners from different races, gangs and ideologies.
The minute a riot starts, they’ll use these chaotic conditions to vilify us and justify targeting us with tear gas and violent takedowns. Then, with the stoke of an ink pen, the penitentiary Picassos will paint a masterpiece for the world to see.
Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!
Call to Action
Readers, please file complaints with the Ombudsman and the warden’s office. An investigation needs to be launched to expose Sgt Motes, Cpt Guardiola, and 8 Building day shift staff’s role in abusing the 23-hour suspended activity rule by allowing lockdowns on medium custody pods as a pretest to deny dayroom and outside recreation, when the individual responsible for the lockdown didn’t violate any rule warranting a 23 hour lockdown. Also inquire if the warden or major is aware of this unjustified abuse of authority.
Editor’s note: you can contact the Connally Unit by emailing Edmundo.Cueto@tdcj.texas.gov or calling (830) 583-4003. The TDCJ Ombudsman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Renard Walker #1532092
899 FM 632
Kenedy, TX 78119
1. 2 doors
5. You ‘program’ in your cell
6. Rec is totally by yourself—indoor and outdoor
7. Bunk is made of concrete
8. Desk is made of concrete
9. Every door is 100% electronic
10. Every man is 2-man hold
11. Guards have batons in hand
12. No screaming or rapping-thank god
13. No one is ever coming and going, in the SHU people are constantly coming back with news or transferring, everyone is stationary here
14. We can wear sweatpants and shoes
15. We have to slide ‘cop-outs’ under the outside door. Never hand to hand.
16. No standing count ever
17. I control my lights
18. Guards drop off trays—if I don’t want I don’t have to say or interact in any way with them
19. I have all my sheets, blankets, and laundry. Tues and Thurs are laundry day
20. Often feel dizzy in these cells
21. Campers do laundry, canteen, and make our food
22. No radios
23. Hella coffee
24. Entire prison is on the same status, mostly
25. Heard absolutely zero shit talk or antagonism from staff – yet
26. It’s so quiet, eerily so
Eric King #27090-045
USP Florence ADMAX
PO Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226
Buy Eric books!tiny.cc/EK_Books
This essay is being written from prison. I am a political prisoner, which has made me strong in my convictions and allowed me to define myself and uproot patriarchal, racist, sexist, hierarchical, specieist and capitalist conditioning. But the programing has done damage deep within my mind, so I must struggle daily to change and grow in a more wholesome direction. I offer this self criticism, that I still regularly catch myself thinking and speaking from a sexist perspective. For example my cell mate, a gay black man named Muhammad, tested me with a simple riddle, which I failed. His riddle went like this: “A boy and his father are in a car crash. The father dies. He is taken to a hospital but the doctors says ‘I cannot operate on this boy for he is my son!’ Who is the doctor?” Obviously the doctor is the mother, but in my exhaustion at the end of a day of fitness exercises and stress in prison, I was assuming the doctor must be a man, as I thought it was a gay, progressive riddle. The riddle can be told with the mother dying in the car crash and the father being a nurse, a traditionally female role. So I still have a lot of work to do, if sexist tendencies come out when I am tired. This shows the depth of the patriarchal conditioning of my childhood, and the years of work I must still put in as a man to overcome that. Being a man I am fundamentally unfit to teach anyone about feminism, only women can teach us about feminism, and that is how I learned. This essay is part of my efforts to become a better man, a better member of my community, a better person in general, all gender aside, and to internalize and share what the brave and capable women of the YPJ have taught me. I hope men who read this will pass these words on to other men and do their own research, write essays and send me a copy so we can grow together. I would love for women who read this to offer me criticisms and teach me more about feminism, and I also need to hear from all of the other genders and everyone in between each gender. This work is incomplete until we have liberated transgender comrades, the full spectrum of gay friends and welcomed into the community everyone who does not easily fit into a male or female category. All of our fates are bound up together, and a bundle of sticks will not be broken.
The purpose of this essay is to acknowledge that a war against women exists, to share Her Story and to motivate all conscientious people to support the perennial rage of women, the most oppressed population. The Women’s Revolution in Iran, Rojava, Haiti, North America and the Chiapas needs all our support and efforts.
In this essay I will draw on the writings of Abdullah Ocalan, Mikhail Bakunin, Voltairine de Cleyre, Sam Dolgoff, Louise Michele, Lucy Parsons, Ruth Kinna, Jeff Conant, Comandante Durito, Subcomandante Marcos, “Strangers in a tangled wilderness” (a collective), Maxwell Schnurer, Pattrice Jones, Lynne Segal and Tom Wetzel, among others. I am simply expropriating their beautiful thoughts, realizations and ideas to paint a broad picture. I take no credit for the progress they have forged for us. I do take responsibility for all the faults of this essay.
Recent events in Iran, Haiti, North America, Rojava and the Chiapas mountains have inspired me to raise my own hoarse voice. I am most deeply moved by the liberation struggles of women, vulnerable populations and animals. All of these beings liberation are connected, as I will prove here shortly. This relates to the women’s struggles in Iran, and the Women’s Revolution is the foundation upon which all Revolutions are made. The workers of the world will win or die depending on how well women and animals are liberated. This essay will go in chronological order from ancient times to the present day struggles and explain why and how we resist patriarchy, support women and can win liberation for all beings in this lifetime, while creating the conditions for total liberation in the future.
In ancient times Neolithic society was based on women’s emotional intelligence, which is better developed than men’s analytical intelligence. Women have a stronger bond to life, being creators, mothers and complex social beings. But women are more than sister, mother, daughter and lover, and all men have a responsibility to see each woman and other genders as more than these gendered labels- as members of the community, as professionals and comrades and defenders and so on. It was the initial mistake of men identifying women with these roles that led to jealousy of women’s talents and hard won skills. Gathering fruits and vegetables, women had more knowledge of nature and how to sustain life, and it is women who invented gardening and farming and medicine. An example of this is the Sumerian word Amargi, meaning ‘return to the sacred mother and nature’. Family friendly conditions helped develop social intelligence and village structures in response to women’s needs for childbirth and parenting. Matriarchal family ties solidified around women’s social organization. This feminist ideology was expressed in religious symbolism, in which natural forces were portrayed as female goddesses. Women created pottery, pounded grains and stored them in vessels and wove clothing and shelter coverings. Women were the center of society for the largest part of human evolution. But at some point the strong hunting men became jealous.
Seeing the power women had over matriarchal society the strong male hunters plotted to seize the surplus of harvested crops to control the villages. They noticed that animals became docile when enclosed, so the now aging hunting men built walls to contain animals they formerly hunted. The old men recruited strong young hunters to capture sheep, cattle, chickens and other so-called livestock, and in doing so they invented animal husbandry. This became the basis of systematic captivity, rape and domination. There is a reason the word husbandry is used for the pastoral life, and that the term pastor is used for male religious leaders, who call their community a “flock” of sheep. They prepare them to be fleeced and exploited on every level, starting with the mind. Seeing their success in breeding slow, submissive livestock they began to practice animal husbandry on women and children. Animal husbandry is the basis of housewivisation of women. The housewivisation of women is the basis of all slavery. The housewivisation and enslavement of women is the basis of the enslavement of men and children. The hunting men usurped the villages women built, enforcing their will with violence. This gave rise to walled cities and gendered hierarchies of Sumerian society. Class hierarchies followed, initially being led by priestesses petitioning mother-goddess deities. But men appropriated the concept and wrote stories of the Babylonian mother-goddess Tiamat being killed by Enki’s son Marduk. Over time Marduk became a precursor to monotheism and patriarchy of Abraham. Sumerian temple priestesses were initially equal to male priests, but soon were confined to households or harems as housewives and temple prostitutes. This mirrored the systematic slaughter of livestock in the process of animal husbandry.
This was all facilitated with the construction of fences, borders, walls, violence, threats of violence and psychological walls as well. The practice of hunting was applied to women and men who rebelled against this system, and it was called war when humans were slaughtered. Women were bred like animals for traits that made them susceptible to being under control- smallness, exaggerated emotional and sexual traits and dependency. Women were then dethroned from the position of mother-goddess, and the father-god was invented to replace her. Previously a child’s father was unknown and unimportant. Now the father came to demand his name as the family name, the inheritance and control as head of the family, representing the rule of the patriarchal priests and masked god-kings of the walled cities, playing out the same coup on a larger scale. The goddess temple priestesses of Inanna and Ishtar were coerced over time into sexual slavery as prostitutes and their temples were turned into harems for the ruling men to enjoy. Male priests spiritualized their betrayal and made analytical intelligence appear sacred. They did the same with the male rulers. The young male hunters were now soldiers who police, capture and enslave women and rape flocks of slaves to keep the mass of workers from rising up to kill the priests and tyrannical rulers. This is seen in the very shape of the pyramids and ziggurats, with workers at the bottom, then soldiers, then priests, with brutal, masked god-kings at the top. At this point many people’s needs were met, and it became very difficult to convince men or women to struggle against their husband-king. They all became housewives of the state. It is still very difficult to convince a housewife to leave an abusive and even dangerous husband when all of her physical needs are being met. Patriarchal religions made this process easier for the rulers, and by making priestesses into prostitutes the sacred nature of intimate sex was commodified and industrialized.
All of this was done with the use of force. In captivity women were convinced that they were weaker and less intelligent than men, that her body was unholy, unclean and should be covered up behind veils and walls and kept indoors. The goddess became an emotional slave. Male gods replaced demonized goddesses, like the Indian goddess Kali. The creator Goddess was reduced to being created from the right rib of a human man. Women became subject to murder and abuse for the sake of men’s honor in the cases of promiscuity, both demanded and outlawed by men. The history of human civilization is the Herstory of women’s enslavement.
In reality women are the owners of the economy, the very word being Greek for women managing the village society. A man’s authority stops at the gates of the village and doorway of the home, despite men’s attempts to invade and colonize her body, home, village and garden. Even the tools for farm work were invented by Neolithic women, including the plough. The Goddess Athena was both a deity of war and wisdom, preferring to avoid conflict unless absolutely necessary, and then to win at combat with skill, deception and grace. Any disinterest in war and self defense on women’s part is a political ploy by patriarchal men to keep women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen as breeding stock.
As capitalism grew out of the roots of dynastic monarchies women were gain dethroned, now from the economy. Even today the female population of the world has been forced and fooled into unemployed housewivisation, supplying unpaid labor for the patriarchy. Housework is the most difficult work, but men disrespect it, calling it “women’s work”, along with childcare and emotional labor. Even housewives are expected to provide sexual labor, and be silent and obedient, according to the various scriptures of patriarchal cults.
History is whitewashed, herstory is ignored and truth is replaced with chauvinistic, patriotic cliches and propaganda. In this dystopian police state society novels must be used to safely warn people of their enslavement, spreading “dangerous” ideas, but generally only become effective when turned into movies, as workers are too busy surviving late stage capitalism to read good books. This is why only students and prisoners are so well read, but the cops make sure to spread drugs and distractions throughout prison and college populations and keep people mentally enslaved with television. We can use these medias against them. But agents of the state now continue to spread sexism like a disease, waging a war against women’s bodily autonomy. Many women are seduced by state agents, cops and soldiers, and find themselves trapped in an abusive, sexually unfulfilling marriage. Domesticated women, hierarchical patriarchy and state power form a comprehensive program of plantation slavery. The status of women deteriorated over time, in the civilizations of ancient Israel, Phoenicia, Greece and Rome, and all over the world during the middle ages.
The myths of these cultures tell us of the degradation of women. In poems, epics and myths, witches, priestesses and goddesses are dethroned, humiliated and murdered. Eventually they were erased from successive Sumerian pantheons with each rewriting of his story. Monotheism took this further, portraying women as deceitful creatures to be enslaved by Yahweh’s will. She was legally ordered to remain hidden at home and to keep her mouth shut. The ancient mother goddess as creator is replaced by Eve, created from Adam’s rib and blamed for original sin, seduction and deceiving Adam. Men used mythology as a means of legitimizing patriarchal hierarchies, and the general domination of women.
Male domination extends to every aspect of society and the patriarch is promoted to the title of representative of the father-god and the state ruler. All ancient mythology and religious texts should be read from the perspective of the sinister history of gender enslavement. This is seen in the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Alish. In early Sumerian myths Enki struggled for male dominance, first by compromising with powerful female deities. Later Babylonian myths glorify the young, valiant city god Marduk, who slaughters the demonized mother-goddess Tiamat. The first edition of this myth tells us how the masked god-kings consolidated power with the code of Hammurabi. In the second edition the dynasty of rulers left behind a code of world views that reflect Sumerian mythology and establish incontestable religious laws that document major herstorical events of class and gender oppression. These should be read from the perspective of the herstory of systematic oppression by patriarchy and monarchic authority. The absolute power of the ruler is claimed to be that of a god. Women were confined to slavery in private homes, and this practice was legally codified and institutionalized so that patriarchy permanently penetrated the very fabric of “civilization”. Polytheistic religions declined as monotheism grew.
So mythology is used to make humans the property of other humans. Strict codes of gender subordination relegated most women to positions at the very bottom of the social hierarchies. The primary targets of capture and enslavement were women. Many scholars argue that women’s enslavement originally generated wider patterns of social hierarchization.
Originally all deities were female. Women were responsible for the horticultural revolution. In the early periods of Sumer, Egypt and India, Divinity is expressed by a feminine prefix- the masculine qualities only appear later. All the great goddesses came from this age, such as Ishtar, Inanna, Isis, Demeter and Kybele. The religions of this age expressed social unity, family communities and tribes. The goddesses represent all the phenomena recognized as dangerous or useful forces of nature, and so they are named.
Women’s intelligence gave her social influence, which is reflected in this age of goddesses. Women provided knowledge of helpful plants, fruits, field work, housebuilding, child raising, several tools, such as the pick and the quern, and the first two wheeled cart. The mother-goddesses symbolize women’s role in this age of innovations.
Adam and Eve’s eviction from Eden and their condemnation to servitude was penned as society was divided into classes. “Eden” was the gardens of the ruling class and women were blamed for the fall from political favor. This is a simple strategy of ‘divide and conquer’. The mythological conflict between Enki and Ninhursang/Inanna shows that women’s creativity is suppressed and forced to the background, and people became servants and slaves. The way back to “Eden” was to submit to the masked god-king. Then patriarchal desert religions rose to power with the Abrahamic traditions. They highjacked Sumerian and Egyptian myths, such as the trinity, the story of a child put in a basket in the Nile River and the details of the creation story. There is a basic Sumerian religious concept of a father-god, and mother-goddess and a strong son. This is seen in the Enki myth and the Marduk myth of Babylon.
Women were demoted again when the myth of the virgin Mary was invented. The virgin Mary is very different from Inanna and Ishtar. Remember that in Babylon’s creation myth Marduk slaughters the mother-goddess Tiamat. Each generation of men in power sought to further degrade women, rewrite history, erase herstory and confine women to the house, as did Moses. His contribution to history used several myths to secure safety and power for himself and his people, but women continued to suffer. With the old testament women were denied the inspiration of any goddesses. Mary’s powerlessness can be ascribed to women’s degradation. After the Abrahamic religions rose to power the mother is only a former goddess, an obedient and chaste housewife. Her voice is no longer heard and her face is not allowed to be seen. She is banished behind a veil and handed over to the harem. The process continued with Moses and he contributed to the extent of enslavement that women face in Arabia today.
The virgin Mary can be seen as having been derived from a previous era who had originally enjoyed status as goddesses. Incessant loss of status had turned women into mere breeding machines by the time Jesus was born. From 2000 B.C.E. until 2000 C.E. women’s herstory, compared to men’s seizure of power and his ruthless methods of exploitation, was told as a history of the lowest class. Women have been subjected to multiple forms of enslavement. Even during the Babylonian epoch the mother-goddess Tiamat had been in the front ranks of those who put up a resistance; and Moses had to overcome heavy resistance on the part of his female relative Mariam, who did not want to bow down to his will.
The bible says Yahweh inseminated Mary and she bore a male child. This is an allegory of man’s absolute dominance over women, and limits women to the role of raising children. This act of spiritual rape is ascribed to the holy ghost. In this way the authorship of the creative act was taken from Mary and women in general. In Sumerian terms the holy spirit corresponded to the mother-goddess. This is very important because this created the ideological framework to continue to degrade women’s influence during the feudal period. Since then all Marys were faceless, silently weeping for their children, obedient to their husbands, as if they have always been captives. This temporary condition has nothing to do with ‘Women’s nature’; it is solely the result of men’s ambition for control. Where the mother-goddess had dominated during a previous age, male gods dominated in the age of classes and states. This reality, the reality of women being denied freedom, is often hidden behind so-called moral rules resulting in shame, veils and harems.
In Muhammad’s time men were honored for their tribal membership, women were despised, and little girls were abandoned to die in the desert, a form of late term abortion. Muhammad was influenced by his travels between Mecca and Damascus. He often dialogued with Christian Nestorian Priests. Khadijah, married to Muhammad, trusted him, love him, and educated him on many matters. She was been a widow when they married. She was primarily responsible for his relatively positive attitude towards women, in the context of those times. Without her influence and encouragement he would never have become a successful prophet or profitable merchant. Khadijah was much more influential than the virgin Mary, and for a short time she represented a return of the women to the status of mother-goddess. The only reason she is not given due credit is because of the patriarchal social structure of Arabia.
The first person in Mecca to support Muhammad was Khadijah. She owned her own caravan, was older, more wealthy and more powerful than Muhammad. Khadijah lived in permanent, dire conflict with the men of Mecca. It was this insane society that forced her to get the help of Muhammad through marriage. Together they organized the nucleus of an organization against the Meccan officials. The prophet did not marry another woman during her lifetime, not because he respected her or women in general, but because she was so powerful in spirit and material success. She was the first to legitimize his calling as a prophet. Soon after, his cousin Ali followed her example, as did Ali’s slave Zayd, who was released. This fact shaped the development of his thoughts.
This group of four was revolutionary for the times. Zayd was a released slave, Khadijah was a successful woman in a man’s world. Together these four represented a revolutionary zeitgeist. But after they died their intentions were betrayed and women continued to suffer.
An important intersectional class struggle within the field of human right is formed by the rights of the elderly, workers, women, children, and environmental rights. Women are the oldest oppressed nation, having been forced to endure exploitation and oppression throughout herstory, which has only recently begun to be addressed. This is still a world wide struggle. 5000 years of class history shows clearly that whenever people are plagued by inequality, discrimination or oppression, women suffered the most. Yet there is still barely any discussion- especially in the middle east- about recognizing all women’s natural rights, unconditionally. This is the most important issue in the world, and it even has it’s own category of social sciences. When a new civilization emerges, based on direct democracy and real freedom, women’s freedom will be the foundation of it.
Children’s rights should not be left to parents or the authorities alone. Leading a child to full development has never been undertaken with the necessary sensitivity. Apart from slaves, women and workers, children have always been a favorite target of male violence. Children were regularly sacrificed to the male gods in the beginning of classed ‘civilizations’. Modern sacrifices to capitalism take place in the form of famines and collateral damage at war, on the altar of war profiteering. An international declaration for the rights of children is required. Education, health, play, affection with healthy boundaries, and a peaceful life are necessary for the well being of children, especially girls.
It’s not enough to understand “human rights” and “women’s liberation” as catch phrases of capitalist society. These concepts, put into action, become all the more important as late stage capitalism collapses. Human rights and women’s rights are two foundational aspects of democratic society. They are held back by the classical traditional “civilization”, and can only advance as far as the destruction of the “civilization” of systematic domestication of housewives under captivity and the threat of the application of police and state violence and war.
The main points of our movement are women’s liberation, environmental protection and measures for reducing the detrimental effects of technology. These are not realizable under capitalism, which is based on competition and profits at others expense.
The new democratic civilization must be founded on the freedom and equality of women. Since the end of the Neolithic women have been eliminated from middle eastern society. Middle Eastern Women must take their rightful place in society as respected, free and equal beings. Women’s reality is a more concrete problem to solve than “proletariat” or “oppressed peoples”, which were so popular in the past. The extent of progress made in society will be determined and measured by the lived experienced of the progress of women. A permanent democracy will be built by women’s direct participation in social structures. The new social movement is founded on the uniqueness of women’s involvement in society.
Environmental issues are also necessary for a truly new beginning in the movement. Men’s antagonism towards the environment are as problematic as other social issues. We must protect the natural living condition, soil, plants, animal, water, air and climate. This kind of environmental conservation is a fundamental challenge that needs to be overcome.
The new democratic civilization is based on the liberation of women as much as the liberation of all beings. While bestowed with divine characteristics in the Neolithic, women have been oppressed through the history of class and hierarchy. History is thus male history. Dominating politics grew due to the influence of dominating males. This is why we say we must kill the dominant male, both practically as a strategy and tactic, and within our own hearts and minds. An essentially male society prevents research into gender questions in the middle east, and puts scientific study of women under social taboos that outweigh religious taboos. Women’s lives and rights have been destroyed by the idea of men’s honor. Women have been kept as slaves, prisoners and property of men, stripped of their personalities and identities. Many still are. This has more devastating effects than the formation of hierarchical social classes. The degree to which women of a society are enslaved is a measure of the degradation and enslavement of all the people in that society. “Witches” are still beheaded in Saudi Arabia.
It requires many consequential acts to end these conditions in society. Liberation of all beings can only come after the liberation of women, and the result will be enlightenment, the end of unnecessary suffering. This will lead everyone to the realization that peace is more valuable than war.
When people realize that peace is more valuable than war it will mean a victory for everyone. When the 21st century accomplishes women’s awakening, liberation and empowerment it will be an even greater accomplishment than class or national liberation. The rise of the new democratic civilization must be founded on the rise of women into true equality at all levels.
By the late 1800’s women’s enslavement changed names but largely stayed in place. Voltarine de Cleyre came to the conclusion that sex slavery was based on dependency. Domination was explained by men’s dependence on women for unpaid domestic work and women’s dependency on men for housing, income and food, and women’s subsequent enslavement, having been seduced by the social structure men used to profit from women’s labor. Borrowing Proudhon’s ideas, Voltarine realized that women were still the property of their nearest male relative, just as workers were enslaved by property owners and business owners. Unequal pay, marriage laws, unpaid domestic labor, the assumption that women were less intelligent, paternal rights that granted ownership of children to fathers and gave reproduction rights to husbands- these are the foundations of patriarchal regimes.
The moral cover for this tyranny was disguised as the “duty to protect”, provided by the church. This was a psychological operation that suffocated women’s minds through it’s institutions of pacification. Voltarine’s conclusion was that this mindset of male domination with survive the overthrow of the church and state, based on her interaction with male activists. In “They Who Marry Do Ill” Voltarine proved that marriage law is generally repressive, but the really tough message of her work was that slavery was reinforced by monogamy and co-habitation, not just by church and state control of intimate relationships. By accepting men’s offer of trading their freedom for the role of home maker women stripped themselves of their capacity to meet their own basic needs independently. Voltarine predicted that when women had a home of their own, free of male dominance, they would choose to have less babies, but this was not a call for abstinence. The constant innovation of anarchism required the end of shared living spaces for couples. Women should always be free to maintain their own living spaces, and should be provided the means to do so by the community, given men’s tendency to assert control over women in a shared house. In order to be truly independent women have to be free to live separately.
There are many aspects to women’s enslavement- economic, political, social, sexual, and more. Women’s domination is also bound to the state regulation of human affections. Love is weaponized as a conservative, regressive force when regulated by the state and the church. Even in sincerely affectionate relationships partners will censor themselves in order to not upset their partners and preserve friendships, even when those ‘friends’ have terrible politics and are actually contributing to the culture of suffering. In order for love to become a liberating force again the state family bonds must be abolished, the natural family allowed to flourish, fleeting romances must be allowed to be celebrated, childcare collectively organized, and individuals be fully recognized and allowed to express themselves. Voltarine spoke mostly to other women, but her words have serious implications for anyone who thinks liberation is exclusively a heterosexual affair. Voltarine argued that progress was measured by the “transition from content to discontent, from unconsciousness to consciousness.” Collective force and individual spontaneity both have a place in the movement. Conflict is inevitable because direct actions that threaten entrenched interests create a retaliatory response. The oppressed should expect ‘masters’ to counter attack with extreme prejudice to quell rebellions. Men’s feelings will be hurt when women demand independence and respect, and physical violence in this arena is unfortunately all too common.
When Voltarine argued “They have rights who dare maintain them” she knew the gravity of the forces that stood in the way of change. Slaves and prisoners can’t run with their feet shackled together, cannot cry out when they are gagged, or raise their hands up toward the sky when they are pinned on the ground. She was furious when asked why women “put up with their enslavement.” She said “Will you tell me where they shall go and what they shall do?” In those day fugitive slave laws allowed “men to catch their fellows more brutally than runaway dogs,” and chattel slaves at least had the chance to run away to Canada. There is nowhere for women to run to where men where not. Wherever women are they must dig their trenches and “win or die.”
Louise Michel, a scientist and militant feminist in the late 1800’s, noticed that her work was only considered interesting when she published under a male pseudonym. She was ridiculed for experimenting with plant vaccines in New Caledonia because she was a “mere woman-amature.” She also saw that special learning programs for girls only served to reinforce gendered hierarchy. Men were obviously content to keep women in a state of childlike ignorance. Men convinced themselves that women’s supposed cowardice required male bravery. Michel also declared women the slave of the proletarian, and the proletarian himself a slave. She saw the same power relations in New Caledonia as in France. The word that those indigenous people used for women was ‘nemo’ and it meant ‘nothing’. Michel realized that this was a universal characteristic of the patriarchy, to make women invisible.
Louise supported the brave nihilist women of Russia who killed their tyrannical rulers. She always made more room for scientific education for women, because she believed that women would lead the way to the future of scientific discoveries. She found that women were braver than men, less like to faint at the sight of blood and more willing to accept necessary but disagreeable circumstances. Men’s bruhaha exposed their own impotence, while women went to work quietly and made all the important decisions, daily tricking men into thinking they had come up with all the good ideas. Women were capable of acting without hate, without anger and without pity, unlike men. Michel saw that anarchism is nurtured by discipline and skill through hard work. She argued that women were also driven on by the crimes perpetrated against them: “We jeer at the incredible sight of big shots, cheap punks, hoods, old men, young men, scoundrels- all turned into idiots by accepting as truth a whole heap of nonsensical ideas which have dominated the thinking of the human race. We jeer at the sight of those male creatures judging women’s intellects by weighing the brains of women in their dirty paws.”
Lucy Parsons was to Chicago what Louise Michel was to Paris. Born a slave in 1851, Parsons witnessed class conflict through the eyes of he first American Civil War. She said, “Passivity while slavery is stealing over us is a crime.” When she spoke about the war she described the brutality of the fighting, the worthiness of the cause and the bitterness of its betrayal. It had been waged to end oppression, for liberation an to put an end to slavery. For her, this meant abolishing both chattel slavery and the structure of oppression it epitomized. Only one of those goals was accomplished. Lincoln freed the slaves but the oppression continued. When soldiers returned home from the front lines they realized that “bloated aristocracy” had won the war and their lives now depended on the benevolence of the “slimy cowards” who had profited from producing cheap “paste-bottom boots.”
“The overseer’s whip is now fully supplanted by the lash of hunger! And the auction block by the chain gang and convict cell!” The civil war was replaced by class war. It appeared less brutal and violent than the First Civil War but the oppressors pursued it with the same viciousness. Parsons explained to black workers: “The same land which you once tilled as a chattel slave you still till as a wage slave, and in the same cabin which you then entered at eve not knowing but what you would be sold from wife and little ones before the morrow’s setting sun, you now enter with dread lest you will be slain by the assassin hand of those who once would have sold you if they did not like you… Are you dead dumb and blind to the atrocities that you are subjected to? Have the gaping wounds of your dead comrades become so common that they no longer move you? Is your heart a heart of stone, or its palpitations of those of cowards, that you slink to your wretched abode and offer no resistance… Do you need more horrible realities than these to goad you on to deeds of revenge that will at least make your oppressors dread you?”
Parsons saw that all workers are exploited by capitalists but she also argued that the exploitation was experienced more sharply by women and minorities. Gender and race are separate but connected struggles.
For a long time women have been regarded as inferior to men, merely tolerated on the condition that the provide their masters with offspring and male heirs, being trained to become a household drudge. Some 20th century “new women” were able to escape the domestic sphere, get an education and enjoy independence. They had many inspiring role models to guide them. Florence Nightingale was one. They shone “like a pillar of light or a star of hope.” But most women were still “man tagged.” Those with a higher education were only groomed for domestic service and waitressing, where job descriptions required that applicant be “under forty, good looking and wholesome.” The lives of the rest were a grinding struggle. Parsons noticed in her visits to the city ghettos that the more “poverty stricken the appearance of the women the greater number of children they seem to have clinging to their skirts.”
They were “more ruthlessly exploited than the men” simply for being women. Women were still “the slaves of the slaves.” Parson reported that, in the south, “leering, white skinned, blackhearted brutes” stripped women bare, beat them senseless and “strangled them from the limbs of trees.” This was race war, intensified by gender discrimination and class hatred.
In 1905 Lucy Parsons joined the Industrial Workers of the World, the I.W.W., of which I am now also a member in present times. We are called Wobblies. All the main ideas of the I.W.W. are originally found in the old International Workingmen’s Association. The I.W.W. asserts that we “… must trace the ideas of modern revolutionary unionism to The International… many items in the program originally drafted by the famous anarchist Michael Bakunin, for The International in 1868, were similar to the twentieth century slogans of the I.W.W.”
Bakunin’s contribution to women’s liberation have not been given the attention they deserve. In both his personal relationships and in his writings Bakunin was a determined champion of the Women’s Revolution.
He scandalized his parents by supporting his sister Varvarna’s decision to escape from a loveless marriage. His wife Antonia had an affair with Carlo Gambuzzi, and Bakunin stated that she should be free to have sex with whoever she wanted to. He was not jealous and remained friends with Gambuzzi.
Bakunin was vitriolic in his criticism of the patriarchal family structure, the idea that a man should rule over his wife. He said “… the Russian household is a whitewashed graveyard…” Bakunin passionately defended the right of the princess Obolensky who rebelled against the authority of the czar and the “… orthodox popes of Moscow and St. Petersburg…” He celebrated her refusal to acknowledge the sanctity of the marriage vow, and her decision to leave Russia with her children to live her own life. Bakunin passionately denounced the Swiss government for allowing her husband to kidnap her children to Russia, and for forcing her and her lover to seek refuge in London. He also vehemently denounced the Swiss government for extraditing Madam Limousin to France at her nephew’s request, because said nephew disapproved of her marriage to a man with a modest income. The following manifesto was smuggled into Russia by Bakunin’s circle, the Russian Anarchist Collective in Switzerland. This “Manifesto of the Russian Revolutionary Association to the Oppressed Women of Russia on Women’s Liberation” first addresses the plight of the upper-middle class women and then the poor working class and peasant women.
“The law subjects you to the absolute domination of the man, In the eyes of the law, even the best educated, talented, intelligent woman is inferior to even the most ignorant man… You are not allowed to develop your faculties on an equal basis with men…”
“They teach you only how to dance, embroider, or play the piano; how to flirt, flatter your papa, your uncle, your fiance, your husband, and wheedle favors from them. They frustrate you; pervert your nature from birth, darken your best days; and this burden you carry with you for life.”
Bakunin described how many women are deeply oppressed by the roles they are expected to play, which prevent them from being with true loves who are they are passionate about, forcing them to lie, and to lie with men they do not love.
“If you dare break the chains that bind you to your husband and love another man, you will be punished by the civil authorities, excommunicated by the church, spat upon, and pilloried by society; and the depraved degenerate who judged you will try to make you his concubine.
So much for the upper/middle class woman. How about the poor underprivileged woman? If you do not sicken- perhaps die- of hunger and cold you may be seduced by some guard or police brute in the service of his royal highness. You may in desperation become forced to be a prostitute. If you are fortunate enough to avoid this cruel fate, you may become the slave of your husband, and your children, whom you love dearly, will be deprived of a decent education, condemned to a brutish life of servitude and degradation.
Many of you are trying to break out of the family and social straight-jacket. You have much in common with the revolutionists. Like you, they too are hunted and persecuted because they dare revolt against parasites and exploiters to fight for the emancipation of all- men, women and children. Equal rights to both men and women. Our women fellow workers, no longer depending on men for a livelihood, will at last become independent and free to forge their own way of life. Only when private property and the state have been abolished will the authoritarian juridical family disappear. No longer will anyone be deterred from living together without civil or religious marriage. All the old impediments to the full sexual freedom of women will no longer exist.
“Oppressed women! Your cause is indissolubly tied to the common cause of all the exploited workers- men and women!”
In “Revolutionary Catechism” Bakunin asserts that “Freedom is the absolute right of every adult man and woman to seek no other sanction for their acts than their own conscience and their own reason, being responsible first to themselves and then to the society which they have VOLUNTARILY accepted.” He called for “Abolition of classes, ranks and privileges; absolute equality of political rights for all men and women; universal suffrage.”
Bakunin declared “The right of every man, and woman, from birth to adulthood, to complete upkeep, clothes, food, shelter, care, guidance, education (public schools, primary, secondary, higher education, artistic, industrial, and scientific), all the the expense of society.”
Finally,. Bakunin proposed “Abolition, not of the natural family, but of the legal family founded on law and property, religious and civil marriage to be replaced by FREE marriage. Adult men and women have the right to unite and separate as they please, nor has society the right to hinder their union or force them to maintain it. With the abolition of the right of inheritance and the education of children assured by society, all the legal reason for the irrevocability of marriage will disappear. The union of a man and woman must be free, for a free choice is the indispensable condition for moral sincerity. In marriage, man and woman must enjoy absolute liberty. Neither violence nor passion nor rights surrendered in the past can justify an invasion by one of the the liberty of another, and every such invasion shall be considered a crime.” He also believed pregnant women and their children should be totally supported by society.
In the early 1900’s libertarian syndicalist influenced unions built alliances with women in Spain to fight against the rise of fascism in the Spanish Civil War. In this war we saw the first International Army of Volunteers, Anarchists, Feminists, Squatters, Environmentalists and Leftists, gathering together to organize and fight to the death. This started with the CNT Labor Unions and the Mujeres Libres in the Spanish Revolution in the 30’s. Mujeres Libres declare their determination to free women from the “triple enslavement” of “ignorance, enslavement as women and enslavement as workers.” They realized that the war against women was distinct from the class war, but also believed that the liberation of working class women was foundational to the freedom of the working class.
The organization developed in the early 1930’s out of a women’s convention in the CNT Unions in Barcelona. Their goal was to build the infrastructure for women to participate more effectively in the unions and in the struggle for liberation. To do this they followed in Louise Michel’s footsteps and created reading classes, study groups around social issues, public speaking classes and other related programs. They had to overcome machista (sexist) attitudes of the men- including CNT men. Mujeres Libres trained women to stand up to men in meetings and to debate successfully in order to defeat men who tried to speak down to them or over them.
In present day Spain the radical CGT union identifies with the legacy of the CNT’s revolutionary syndicalism, including the legacy of Mujeres Libres. In its workshops for working women the CGT quotes the legacy of Mujeres Libres in defining the union’s commitment to “anarchofeminismo” The CGT has a practice of organizing encuentros (meetings) and workshops of women members and has various women’s groups attached to local groups of unions. At nation-wide encuentros the CGT women plan campaigns on gender issues, like the CGT’s campaign for abortion on demand.
Unionism must be antiracist and feminist in order to unit workers who are subjected to oppression and exploitation. Racial and gender equality enter directly into the struggle in the workplace, as do struggles against racist and sexual harassment and discrimination.
Capitalism is a competitive system that puts different groups of workers into conflict with each other. If workers choose to go along with discrimination towards people who are different from them- women, gay people, people of color, immigrants, and so on, – it divides the working class in ways that prevent workers from building solidarity, cohesion and social unity to challenge the power of the ruling classes. This is why the working class needs a movement that supports struggles along all lines of oppression if it is going to build the communities that can challenge the capitalist class war.
When Spanish Anarcho-syndicalist women organized Mujeres Libres in the ’30’s some of the older men in the movement thought the idea of an autonomous women’s movement was “divisive”. Even within movements like the CNT the subordinate position of women in society infect the minds of the men, and even men who claim to work for “equality of the sexes” are unconsciously conditioned by the privileges they enjoy. The old men failed to realize that women’s liberation is not “reducible” to the general liberation of the proletariat.
Libertarian socialists have often realized the complexity of hierarchical structures of patriarchy- and so refused to “reduce” the state to just a classed capitalist caste system. Libertarian socialists were open to the idea that the oppression of women was a distinct front line where groups can organize a movement for liberation. Mujeres Libres also recognized that the oppression of women within capitalism in a part of class oppression and exploitation. It is the capitalist kleptocracy’s way of dividing and conquering the sexes and genders.
Murray Bookchin predicted the front line conflicts of gender and environmentalism erupting in the 1960’s and ’70’s. The struggles of the civil rights movements for black liberation and their attack on racist institutions broke out at the same time as women’s movements, and the gay and lesbian struggles joined forces with the left as they all realized that intersectional class struggle was necessary if anyone is going to be free. Libertarian syndicalists were influenced by this era.
The patterns of racism and gender based inequality seep into the work place, and the home, and manipulate the lives of the working class in many ways. Capitalism will always be a racist and sexist kleptocracy, a government based on the stolen profits of the working class’s labor, accomplished by creating privileged and underprivileged classes, and dividing the races, genders, and nations.
Our power is based on intersectional solidarity, summed up in the phrase “No one is free until everyone is free.” If any group is being exploited, be it with racism, sexual harassment, police killings, or attacking immigrants- to fail to take direct action in their support is to betray yourself to a life of silent desperation. It is in your best interests to put yourself in danger to rescue someone else who is in danger due to oppression and exploitation.
The workers will only liberate themselves when we can form ourselves into a movement who’s goal is total liberation for all beings, everywhere, solving issues like the dominating nature of the nation state, racism, sexism, gender issues and the way that capitalism ruins the environments it exploits, and trains it’s citizens to do the same. The workers will only defeat the ruling classes when we get diverse groups of people together to build infrastructure of mutual aid in each other’s struggles.
A “labor values” solution to worker’s remuneration in socialized production was also adopted by the CNT in its libertarian communist program of may 1936. Libertarian communism is true socialism, contrasted to authoritarian communism, which is exemplified by dictators like Stalin and their crimes. The Spanish Revolution was driven by goals like the sueldo unico, the single wage, or universal basic income. The revolutionary process of 1936 was not entirely successful in accomplishing this. The CNT and UGT unions seized the railroads in Northeast Spain and then they set up a new organization to manage the railroads, the Revolutionary Railway Federation, which equalized wage rates for everyone. Another example is the CNT’s Hospitalet De Llobregat. In the 1930’s this was a grimy industrial suburb in Barcelona full of metalworking plants, blast furnaces and textile mills. This was a CNT union town, which tended toward the revolutionary syndicalist motto “The union should take power.” So the CNT overthrew the city government and replaced it with a socialist council of delegates elected from the workplaces and union assemblies. They also expropriated the entire economy of the town and equalized wages for everyone. This was especially beneficial for working women who had been the lowest paid. Equalizing remuneration is a valuable tool for overcoming patters of inequality based on entrenched discriminations.
Back in the 19th century an intense system of gender inequality got entrenched in the U.$. because the costs associated with raising the next generation were dumped entirely on parents. Since women would be pregnant or nursing most of the time in this era they had less regular work. Men were likely to have a better chance of getting higher pay as a result. So it made more sense for men to do the wage work in this kind of society, and women were left with doing the unpaid house work, childcare and taking care of the men. This is a sexist, gender based division of labor and is enforced with policies of employers who refuse to hire women or who fire women as soon as they got married or pregnant.
This is how capitalism shifts costs and uses analytical intelligence to capture people in a losing game. Certain kinds of work are deemed “women’s work” and other kinds are considered “men’s work”. Women’s work is disrespected and this attitude becomes the foundation of a glass ceiling which justifies a lower wage for women working the same jobs as men. This pattern played itself out into the 20th century and continues today.
The costs of childcare cannot be placed directly on the shoulders of the parents if we want women to have equal pay. Society needs to provide funds for the expenses of childcare, and programs for the enrichments of children’s minds. These children will be the workers of the society one day, and we have evolved beyond the sexist systems that keeps women isolated in the home. This means we need universal childcare of the highest quality, and high quality preschool. The early years are so formative for children, and the shifting nature of reality is so unstable that we cannot depend on two people to provide everything that children need when these children will be the future of our species.
Daily acts of obedience to tyranny creates mindless drones who follow orders, even when those orders are to kill innocents. When it comes to the captivity and abuse of animals the great thinker Carol Adams argues that acts of violence are made acceptable through cultural symbols that reinforce the illusion of the superiority of humans over nature. Adams compares the oppression of animals to the oppression of women. She argues that humans are taught to ignore the lived experience of animals, and women, through a system of objectification, fragmentation and consumption.
Carol uses these three examples to show how violence against women becomes a normalized. She argues that objectification teaches men to see women as 2 dimensional objects, fragmentation allows men to sexualize parts of women’s bodies separate from her face and mind (ask any man what ‘butter face’ means), and consumption allows men to believe that women’s bodies are meant for their pleasure on demand, without consent (rape). Carol thus explains how the subject is turned into object in the case of humans and animals, and people can then perpetuate violence without feeling guilt or being held accountable to society. She shows that by refusing to accept this normalization of the cannibalism of non-human people, and the subsequent rape of women, we can help each other to realize what it is like to experience this humiliating, painful and deadly process for animals and women. This systematic normalization of animal slaughterhouses was clearly seen in the Holocaust, a human slaughterhouse. At the same time, out of respect for the Jewish Diaspora, we much acknowledge that the Holocaust was a uniquely terrible human event whose horror cannot be compared to other events. It cannot be allowed to happen again- never again. Women and animals are more than the sum of their body parts.
In Simha Rotem’s “Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter,” Jewish Resistance Organization Z.O.B. (Jewish Fighting Organization) is described: “The organization consisted almost entirely of young men and women (the oldest were in their late 20’s, most were between 18 and 21) who had virtually no weapons, no influence, no money and no experience in warfare. All they had were a remarkable strength of will, tremendous reserves of intelligence and courage, and amazing talents for initiative and innovation.”
Rotem described the outbreak of fighting in the ghetto: “I was nailed to the spot, almost paralyzed- a tremendous explosion! I had a fervent desire to see it with my own eyes. And I did see: crushed bodies of soldiers, limbs flying, cobble stones and fence crumbling, complete chaos. I saw and I didn’t believe; German soldiers screaming in panicky flight, leaving their wounded behind. I pulled out one grenade, and then another and tossed them. My comrades were also shooting and firing at them. We weren’t marksmen but we did hit some. The Germans took off. But they came back later, fearful, their fingers on their triggers. They didn’t walk, they ran next to the walls. We let the first group of six pass- a shame to waste ammunition on a small group. Then we burst out, with two homemade grenades, 10 Molotov cocktails and pistols in our hands. ‘Shlomek- the gasoline!’ I shouted to one of my comrades. We threw the Molotov cocktails at them and they burst into flames, so we shot at the fire.”
This is what is required to stop the systematic slaughter of women, prisoners and animals. If not for people like the Z.O.B. we would al be speaking German today, and there would be no Jewish Diaspora.
“Its necessity is its excuse for existence.” – Elizabeth Gurly Flynn, Sabotage, 1916. Elizabeth Gurly Flynn was a leader in the I.W.W. and a founder o the American Civil Liberties Union. You can read her essay on sabotage at
The black cat is a symbol of women, men and everyone in between, who take direct actions to defeat oppression. Harriet Tubman, Rosa parks, Wildcat strikes of I.W.W. Wobblies, all these are black cats. People have integrated formerly racist lunch counters in Tennessee, put their bodies in the path of troop transport trains, distributed illegal clean needles and birth control devices, boycotted chocolate and coca-cola, organized rent strikes and built tent cities for the homeless. All of these are direct actions against various forms of oppression. There are many diverse tactics and strategies for animal rights. People interfere with hunts, destroy fur coats, break eggs at stores, carry out overt and covert animal rescues from testing labs, fur farms and slaughterhouses, provide homes for rescued animals, block roads to slaughterhouses, destroy lab equipment of vivisectors, and simply stop buying and consuming animal products, like meat, dairy and leather. All of these directly and immediately impact the lives of animals, individually and collectively. Imagine being the being who is rescued, and how that would feel. For examples of black cats used as symbols of sabotage and other forms of direct action visit the I.W.W. online graphics library at
http://www.iww.org/graphics and click on ‘sabocats’.
Usually direct action black cats are assumed to be female, probably due to the association of witchcraft, the left-handed path of transgressive behavior and “female deception”. The black cat is a symbol of the most secret and underground forms of direct action, like the works of A.L.F. The kitten in the lab is the captured family of the black cat activist. It is her ongoing and inescapable pain that makes direct action against vivisection necessary. Before we criticize the apparently extreme methods of the A.L.F. to free animals and sabotage the animal slavery plantations, it’s necessary to remember that kitten, the cow crying for her baby, and the hens driven crazy by the battery cage.
Animal liberation is a feminist project. For many years women in the Chipko Andolan (the hugging movement) in India block bulldozers by wrapping their arms around trees. Sexism and specieism are the same thing under different labels, part of the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy of the patriarchy, going all the way back to the Neolithic. Women, children, animals, plants and the land itself have been seen as the property of the patriarchs of households throughout history. Patriarchy (male control of political and family life) and pastoralism (animal herding as a way of life) appeared at the same time together and cannot be separated, because they are justified and perpetuated by the same ideologies and practices. The spread of cattle herding led to the loss of matriarchal lineage in ancient Africa.
Men declare women and animals to be stupid and biologically inferior to men. Both are suffering by being reduced to bodies and body parts. There are whole genres of pornography dedicated to perpetuating this patriarchal propaganda. Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex: “Woman? Very simply, say the fanciers of simple formulation: She is a womb, an ovary; she is female- this word is sufficient to define her. In the mouth of the man the epithet ‘female’ has the sound of an insult.” Simone de Beauvoir explained, in her 1948 Ethics of Ambiguity, that action precedes ideals, meaning that one becomes an environmentalist by making environmentally sustainable choices and that one can’t be an environmentalist if one’s choices hurt the ecosystem.
The word ‘animal’ also sounds like an insult. Women are insulted as ‘fat cows’ and criticized for ‘cattiness.’ Karen Davis points out that even people who admire ‘wild and free’ animals display only contempt for the captive farmed animals “whose lives appear too slavishly, too boringly, too stupidly female.” Tactics such as objectification, ridicule and control of reproduction continue to be used to oppress and exploit animals, prisoners and women, and female prisoners.
Milk is a feminist issue. Milk is the exploitation of the reproductive capacities of the cow in order to produce profits for the dairy industry. Cows are forcibly and repeatedly impregnated so that their bodies will produce milk intended for their calves. People then steal both the milk and babies. The cows suffer painful diseases, like mastitis, and the emotional distress of losing their babies and their own freedom. Milk products are also responsible for the unhealthy acceleration in the onset of menses in human girls and are also connected with breast cancer in women. The mammary glands of cows are exploited in order to produce a product that harms the mammary glands of women. The medical industry profits from this racket.
Rape is an animal issue. 1 out of every 3 women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime- 1 in 4 before the age of 18. Experts agree that rape is about power, not sex. Rape treats women and children like objects that can be used for pleasure without considering their consent, pain or lived experience. The same attitude highlights a host of abusive practices towards animal, from circuses to factory farming. Animals are raped too, sometime for the pleasure of the human rapist (as in bestiality) but more often to control their reproduction so that corporations can have the pleasure of profits (as when bulls are electro-ejaculated and cows forcibly impregnated on what dairy farmers sometimes call the “rape racks”). U.$. soldiers are raped regularly yet they mock Middle Eastern men for raping sheep.
Cockfighting and dog fighting are feminist issues. Gender stereotypes hurt humans and nonhuman animals. In animal fighting the natural behavior of the animals is perverted in order to force them to act out patriarchal ideas about masculinity. The animals are traumatized and then deliberately placed in harm’s way so that their handlers can feel like big men. They die in ritualized spectacles of toxic masculinity that have more to do with patriarchal ideas about gender than natural animal behavior. Meanwhile human boys are also traumatized in order to make them conform to patriarchal ideas of masculinity. Those who do not distort themselves into stereotypes of ‘masculinity’ may find themselves gay bashed to death. These tactics are practiced in every military in order to train soldiers. The process is simulated in the homes of cops and soldiers on their own children. “The Killing Factory” by The Rolling Stones Magazine is a detailed description of the infantry school I was trained at, written while I was there.
Domestic violence is an animal issue. Domestic violence is one way that men maintain control of the women, children and animals in their households. The World Health Organization had identified domestic violence against women as a global public health emergency of the highest order. Here in the United $tates partner violence is the number one reason women visit the emergency room, and at least 2 out of every 10 pregnant women are beaten by their male partners. Very often, domestic violence weaponizes abuse of companion animals as a way to frighten, traumatize or control women. Many women stay in dangerous households because battered women’s shelters do not accept animals and they are afraid the abuser will kill their companion animal. Many companion animals are killed by domestic abusers, and many women die because they stay to protect a companion animal.
Premarin, eggs, sex tourism, lack of women’s rights enjoyed by men- all these and other problems have both sexist and specieist components. Premarin is harvested from cruelly confined pregnant horses and given to women who have been convinced that menopause should be treated like a disease. This is why so many of us insist that neither women nor animals can truly be free until both specieism and sexism are abolished.
The A.L.F. seeks the abolition of animal enslavement and exploitation. No one is free until everyone is free.
Ecofeminism understands that the exploitation of ecosystems, animals and women are all connected. The solution to these problems is to resituate people within nature, rather than outside or above, the web of life. Tree huggers in India, tree sitters in the U.$., oil refinery occupiers in Nigeria, road blockers in the U.K., all these ecofeminists express their kinship with people, plants and animals by using their own bodies to block the bulldozers and chainsaws coming to kill their non-human relatives. Tree sitters, such as Julia Butterfly Hill, live in the branches of trees that have been marked for cutting. In Nigeria women challenge the environmental and economic practices of Chevron-Texaco by occupying a major facility and stopping production.
There is no passive theory of ecofeminism- it is all about direct action. Theory isn’t useless, but it’s impossible to be an ecofeminist in theory alone, only in practicing direct action. The best ecofeminist theory comes from practical experience.
In order for our lives and our efforts to support women’s rage to be meaningful we must live out ecofeminist principles. The practical application of ecofeminist principles is a call to sabotage, in the same way that the Declaration of Independence demands the right and the duty to rebel against tyranny.
The A.L.F. is defined by action. Anyone who liberates animals and interferes with abuse of women in line with A.L.F.’s nonviolent principles is considered a member. Without direct action one is not a member of A.L.F. no matter how eloquent their speeches or how strongly they feel sympathy towards women and animals. Sentiment without action is worthless.
The A.L.F. is the opposite of armchair philosophy. It is a group of people actually involved in the difficult and perilous work of rescuing animals and supporting women’s rage towards abusers. In this way the A.L.F. is considered ecofeminist.
Ecofeminism is based on the consciousness of the necessity of diversity in ecosystems, and so its adherent realize that a balance is required to live a beautiful, meaningful life. All over the world, A.L.F. ‘cells’ are simply individuals and groups of like minded friends who love animals enough to do something about the cruelty non-human friends face on a daily basis. Their words and actions are like seeds that bloom and bear fruits in hearts and minds every time a rescue is carried out or a friends goes to prison for their compassionate action. Each member and group is unique and offers something to the global community, balancing out the more reserved animal activists.
Ecofeminism is deeply rooted in lived experience, analytical intelligence and emotional intelligence, which can be said to be spiritual wisdom. Abolitionist and suffragist Frederick Douglas reminds us that its not possible to have “rain without thunder” or “the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” The A.L.F. always brings the noise. As a result they face the risk of arrest and the criticism of friends who don’t realize the necessity of the strategy “negotiate while advancing.” Ecofeminists recognize the A.L.F. as a catalyst of change that is as vital as oxygen to fire.
In the same way that liberals are too afraid to publicly support the A.L.F., and so instead condemn them in their agitated fear of losing their precious privileges, anarcha-feminism has been upsetting anarchist men and mainstream cheerleaders for women’s rights since the early 1970’s. Instead of just analyzing the roots of oppression anarcha-feminists actually do something about it. In order to move forward without the same patterns of oppression, liberation movements but be non-hierarchical and practice selfless sacrifice. Otherwise the system of privileges based on private property and the applied and abstract mathematics of hierarchical duality will continue to divide and conquer us, pitting men against women, women against trans friends, straight against gay, humans against nature and human primates against non-human animals.
The A.L.F. is anti-egoist, horizontally and circularly structured as opposed to hierarchical selfishness. There is no leader of the A.L.F. and anyone who claims to take credit as a leader is a government agent. Selfless sacrifice is not made for a pat on the back, and by its nature it undermines the idea that human people are superior to non-humans. We may not even live to see the total liberation of animals in our lifetime but the way is being made.
Anarcha-feminists are involved in many movements, and collective working women have contributed to the largest portion of the work. Peggy Kornegger states that anarcha-feminists work to destroy power rather than take power, encourage both collectivism and individuality, and actively support both organized and spontaneous actions. For more on anarcha-feminism see “Quiet Rumors: An Anarcha-Feminists Anthology” published by Dark Star Rebel Press (UK) and available online at http://www.cluefactory.org.uk/ace/rumours
Everyone contributes to the dialogue by creating their own theories to give meaning to our suffering and our joy. In “Prison Notebooks” Antonio Gramsci defined the “organic intellectual” as someone who creates and communicates ideas that are based on lived experience rather than formal schooling. Organic intellectuals are present in all levels of society and are vital to liberation struggles. The slaughterhouse worker, who realizes and verbalizes the similarities between her company’s cruel treatment of animals and its lack of concern for the safety of the workers, is the consummate organic intellectual. Her description will be more accurate and influential than the best guesses of a so-called expert who has never seen the blood of butchered animals mixing with the blood of injured workers on the ground. An excellent example is Temple Grandin. In my own experience on the front likes at war I confirmed something I’d only heard before- that, when you are exhausted and starving in combat the smell of human bodies burning is exactly like pig’s flesh being cooked by humans. For this reason many ex-soldiers become vegetarians and vegans, but many become even more brutal than they were before.
One manifesto states that anarcha-feminists believe “The world obviously cannot survive many more decades of rule by gangs of armed males calling themselves governments.” So anarcha-feminists seek to survive by destabilizing and replacing governments, as opposed to joining and reforming them. These are acts of self defense, like the Catholic Workers Plowshares who take direct action against the use of nuclear weapons. The A.L.F. is anarchism in action and in ideology. Take careful note- anarchism is not anarchy. The goal is the official and permanent abolition of illegitimate and tyrannical authority in whatever form it may take. Direct actions of self defense in the face of world war and genocide are intended to undo power over animals, whether they are human or non-human. We are all animals on planet Earth, some of us just have fancy shoes and more complicated and neurotic communities. The greatest scams in history are the perpetuation of the ideas that humans are separate and superior to animals, and that the human mind is separate from the body. Humans and animals think, feel pain and want to live meaningful lives. A.L.F. activists don’t wait for governments to give them permission, they don’t wait for the rulers to save anyone for us, they do it themselves.
Anarcha-feminists encourage individuality within collective communities, supporting both the individual’s creativity and the strength of a unified group. In the same way anarcha-feminists expect spontaneous actions within the larger grand strategy. In it’s very structure the A.L.F. is individuality within collectivity. Individuals are free to apply skillful means within the moral framework of the ethics of ahimsa, no killing of humans and non-humans.
In the 1960’s and ’70’s radical feminists pulled off flamboyant direct actions to confront the problems that today are moderately addressed by meek and polite feminists, who in turn have lost the hard won progress made by our predecessors. The first safe houses for battered women were established by radical feminists, and it was these radicals who brought into public discourse previously unspeakable issues like the sexual abuse of children and rape. While radical feminists continue to work today the overall effort is not being carried on with sufficient energy by passive liberals. We need more troublemaking women to stand up, like the brave women in Iran, Rojava and Chiapas. And those troublemakers need our help.
Radical feminism identifies and uproots the very foundation of sexism, understanding that all slavery is based on the housewivisation of women, and housewivisation is based on animal husbandry. Because they actually care about themselves, their friends and loved ones and this beautiful world, radical feminists do the work of intellectual labor, cultural development and education in order to undo the unconscious thoughts and patterns of patriarchy, hierarchy and capitalism. These systems intentionally tell us what to think about sex and gender in order to sell us a product and brand our minds.
In order to fully understand the origins of sexism we have to return to the roots of patriarchy. As we confirmed earlier in this essay the development of animal husbandry, also called pastoralism, was sparked by the enclosure of free common ground and the enslavement of so called livestock and women in walled territories by armed men under threat of violence. Over and over, women and animals share a common fate throughout history. Her story is the history of enslavement.
The difference between mainstream and radical feminists is similar to the A.L.F. and animal welfare, and civil rights versus intersectional liberation. The goal is not simply to squeeze more rights out of a dystopian police state. The goal is total liberation, for all beings, everywhere, in this lifetime. The radical feminist recognizes the police as the strong arm of the patriarchal state, and so she works directly to protect women from that abuse rather than asking for more police to protect her from themselves. The man who raised me was a sheriff deputy to took my from my mom, despite not being genetically related to me at all, and he was a racist, sexist murderer who beat women. Male corrections officers rape female prisoners every single day in this country. In a recent case from earlier this year in the “free world” of Amerikkka, a woman witnessed a man raping an unconscious woman on a sidewalk and, instead of smashing the rapist’s head in with the nearest blunt object, ran to a police officer nearby who was sitting in a police car. The officer told her that he was off duty and refused to do anything. This rape by inaction was caught on the second woman’s smart phone. This is the difference between radical feminists and moderate women’s rights advocates. Radical feminists write the names of date rapists on bathroom walls and graffiti billboards of companies that exploit women’s bodies for profit. But these days even capitalism is trying to market woke moderate feminism, like the CVS commercial proclaiming their equal prices for mens and womens products. Radical feminists raise their voices and kick things off, literally. They lay down healthy boundaries and ensure consequences whenever violent behavior needs to be stopped. A radical feminist is the one you want to be around when you need direct action because regressive fundamentalists are shooting your friends at a protest while a cop is stomping on your head. I have seen a cop knock down a woman in a dress and stomp on her head at a protest, and I saw the crowd retaliate immediately and rescue the woman. Would you save her or will you hide behind the law?
Who would you want to come to the rescue if you are ever confined to cage, about to be forcibly impregnated? This is the reality for many animals, and women in U.$. prisons, and for women in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. Google the stories. When I got back from Rojava, Turkish soldiers regularly sent me death threats and videos of them abusing captured YPJ women soldiers and other Kurdish women who were fighting for their survival against Islamic terrorists, fighting against sex slavery and human trafficking. The Turkish soldiers cut off their breasts, execute them in the field and abuse their bodies. They make videos and pictures of this behavior in the present day.
Both radical feminists and the A.L.F. conduct what are often seen as extreme actions to accomplish the goal. It is a little known fact that the suffragettes were radicals, throwing rocks and starting fires. When sent to prison they demanded vegetarian food. Like the most radical women in Edwardian England, the feminists of the 1970’s realized that their activism naturally led them to vegetarianism.
Dan Baker 25765-509
PO Box 34550
Memphis, TN 38184
Scott Smith 278891 H3-124
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520
January 24, 2022
With immense sadness, I recently discovered most prisoners and free-world citizens do not know that, under the 13th amendment to the US Constitution, every person convicted of a crime is a slave. Most people, prisoners and citizens alike, believe slavery has been totally abolished and completely eradicated in the USA. Read the 13th Amendment for yourself. It is clear, edifying and unequivocal. Slavery is alive, well and thriving in the USA. In fact, there are more slaves now in the USA than ever before. Ostriches refuse to read the 13th Amendment, many hide from the truth. Sad, very sad.
After over 40 years in prison with no hope for release, I want to sincerely apologize to all my victims and their families. I am sorry. I am very sorry for all the crimes I committed, all the senseless pain I inflicted and the never-ending suffering I caused. It will never be enough for me to say, “I am sorry.” I feel so guilty for what I have done. I am helpless in being able to provide any form of comfort. I do not pretend to even begin to understand or imagine the magnitude of the impact of the pain and devastation I senselessly wreaked upon my victims and their families. Truly, I am sorry.
I was convicted of three murders under the felony murder doctrine of accomplice liability, which provides that being present during a crime is the same as committing the crime. I did not shoot anyone, nor did I ever possess a gun. However, I was present as an active participant in the robbery. I was acquitted of premeditated murder. I received more prison time than the actual shooter. I feel extremely horrible for my despicable participation in the robbery. I accept full responsibility for the murders and the concomitant victims.
I am a Japanese-American of the Kikuchi clan. I believe there was a racist element to my case. All the victims were white. My co-defendant, the shooter, was white The detective was white. The prosecutor was white. I was not the shooter. My assigned defense counsel was white. I never had a gun. I received more prison time than my white co-defendant, the shooter. I was the only half-breed (Asian-American) in the entire process. US Senator Reichert was the detective on my case. He came out strongly against me. He played politics with my case.
Moreover, upon my arrival in prison, I was classified as a white supremacist. I am not a white supremacist; and, I have never been a gang member. This caused me a lot of problems in prison. Part of the reason I got so many infractions. The other part of my infractions came from being in prison for life for murders I did not actually commit. I now understand the accomplice liability factor. But being young and not shooting anyone, but being given multiple life sentences for someone else’s murders made me highly despondent and rebellious.
As a final note, your children are your future. When society, the community, the church and the parents give-up on their children by discarding them in to the corrupt criminal punishment system, they are shipped to me.
You send your children to me for re-education, reformation and installation of a viable value system for them to succeed in the free world. Their arbitrary release date is selected by some self-aggrandizing court official, who erroneously claims perfection of character as a license to judge your children. Your children are sent to live in the uncivilized world of banishment, rejection and abandonment. Your children are housed in despondency and destitution, squalor and filth, bitterness and hatred. It is the inhumane cesspool of ruthless violence, total dependence on the state system or others, and where trust does not exist. Where a prisoner with an inscrutable or venerable disposition is a crude punchline for gossip, and an easy target for other prisoners to obscenely exploit for sport.
Your children are simply, overtly and actively abused by the vulgarities, profanities and selfishness of the inadequately trained and supervised prison guards. The pseudo-authoritarian turnkey jailers inflict devastating soul rending desolation until hatred and bitterness becomes the choice of every cynical social interaction. The deeply etched faces of your young children tell the dark unspoken stories of nightmarish betrayal, and the savagely echoing knell of terminal emptiness, oppressive loneliness and absolute despair.
Then, with no adequate resources, you have some esoteric expectation of having me create socially acceptable individuals from your lost, broken, abused, rejected and abandoned children. Ludicrous!
Your children only want your love. They only want you to be proud of them. Your children want you to listen to them and hear what they are trying to share with you. Love, Listen and Hear.
Your children need you. They love you. They miss you. Spend time with them before it is too late. Do it now.
Please stop sending your precious, beautiful and loving children to me.
Grace, Mercy and Peace.
Scott C. Smith
In a previous essay we explored how to cultivate motivation for direct actions, and to visualize how to make meaningful progress toward the liberation of all beings, in detail. We will now build on that with specific examples and further motivations. Obviously we can be moved by current events, like the Women’s Revolution in Rojava and the more recent uprising of women in Iran, and the global support pouring in for that struggle. There is also the regressive efforts of sexist religious fanatics in Amerikkka struggling to take away women’s bodily autonomy which need to be opposed. Ignoring these will only allow them to go further and further, slowing breaking down the healthy boundaries of progress that protect women’s rights.
If you still lack motivation to take direct actions then feel free to resort to the media of modern capitalism itself, which can be used against itself. I would like you, the reader, to respond to me directly. Tell me a revolutionary story. Tell me how someone defended the Earth, how someone resisted oppression. We have many examples, and we have many fictional stories too. The true stories of the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, Algeria, Vietnam, Kurdistan, Cuba, Venezuela and so on. A thrilling example is the movie “Beritan” which is available for free on YouTube. This film, produced by actual activists and revolutionaries, some of whom I was honored to meet in person in Rojava, tells the true story of a Kurdish woman named Beritan, who was a revolutionary guerilla fighting against forces of oppression. She and her lover sacrificed their relationship to join the revolution. I met the man who played Beritan’s lover in this movie. He has striking blue eyes. Beritan was betrayed and her team was attacked on a mountain, fighting to the last partisan. She refused to surrender, surrounded and outnumbered, and when she ran out of ammunition she smashed her own rifle and threw herself off a cliff rather face the humiliation of capture at the hands of misogynistic men. Her act of defiance moved the enemy deeply and many of them renounced their cause. Please watch this movie, it was filmed with real weapons instead of special effects, and realistically shows what modern combat is like. When I got home from Rojava I received death threats from Turkish soldiers who sent me pictures and videos of themselves killing and abusing Kurdish women. This struggle is still going on. Another more recent film is “Les Filles du Soleil”, “The Women of the Sun”, which shows Kurdish women organizing and fighting back against Islamic jihadis in Syria during the recent civil war, fighting to rescue their children and take back their homes. We grew up with shows and movies like Captain Planet, Fern Gulley, Hoot, Free Willy, Avatar the Last Airbender, Avatar (with the blue aliens), Star Wars, The Expanse, The Handmaid’s Tale, even Harry Potter. These shows include stories where the characters go ‘underground,’ live on the road, on the run, in resistance, going through hardships like lack of food, vitamins, nutrients, coffee, emotional and mental health support, facing violence of a large force of oppression that outnumbers and outguns them. They defend the environment from polluters and deforestation, protect endangered species, free animals from captivity and resist dogmatic mysticism and tyranny. There is a movie similar to Beritan, but I can’t remember the name, which is also on YouTube. This film shows two Kurdish men who are living in a hideout deep in the mountains. In their isolation they play chess, listen to the radio and await orders. They play guitar, smoke, eat poor quality food, discuss politics and ideology and read revolutionary books. One day, after many months of waiting, they get a call on the radio and dig themselves out of their snowed in shelter. They struggle through the difficult terrain in the freezing mountain weather. One of them gets sick. They hide from patrols of fascist forces and helicopters with clever means, like umbrellas and tarps painted white to look like snow drifts on rocks. Eventually, after dealing with twisted ankles, freezing mountain streams and dangerous climbs, they reach their target and attack, ambushing an enemy unseen to the viewer. The deplete their ammunition and retreat, pushing themselves across the treacherous terrain, unable to stop to build a fire. One of them succumbs to hypothermia and disease and eventually dies from the illness and freezing cold. His friend is filled with despair at the loss of his comrade, but they both seem to understand that this was the choice they made, to dedicate their lives, and deaths, to the struggle. In this they find meaning in their suffering. This is the reality of a revolutionary struggle. Other fictional accounts are found in the novels “Kraken Calling” and “After the Revolution.”
Previously we started where we are and radiate outward to make practical progress a reality. We do this again by focusing on the breath, wherever we are. We need fresh, clean air to breath, more than even water and food. In order to have clean air we need to transition away from fossil fuels and put an end to pollution. Major contributors to air pollution include the meat industry and coal burning. So these are sources we can bring our attentions to right away in order to defend our lives and the lives of others from needless suffering as the hands of those driven by profits. When you see a ‘coal roller’, a truck driver who has taken it upon themselves to attach devices to their vehicle which spew massive amounts of black smoke, take it upon yourself to shut that shit down. This is an act of self defense, the right to clean, fresh air, a life free of lung cancer. In the positive aspect we can plant trees and grow edible gardens and food forests in order to protect and purify the air. The act of planting trees helps us make acts that will bear fruit long after we are gone.
Clean drinking water is another basic human right. This was brought up in the previous essay. We can take direct actions to protect water where it is being polluted. Only by making in unprofitable for those who pollute the air and water can we defend our right to a healthy life free of preventable disease. We can go to where people are without clean drinking water and deliver bottled water to them in an emergency. But this is a temporary solution which only profits companies like Nestle, who actually try to patent water so they can monopolize the sale of drinkable water. This also simultaneously pollutes the environment with the water bottles. Every front like war zone is littered with as many empty water bottles as shell casings from expended ammunition. The Earth Liberation activists have made great examples for us to follow in defending the water, and the Water Protectors fighting against oil pipelines have also set the bar high for us. They need our help when they face the fury of the state for their actions of self defense. Jessica Reznicek is one such water protector. I offer the self criticism that years ago my friend Shareshten Kerry invited me to join her in defending the water at Standing Rock and I was not yet conscious enough to join her, distracted as I was by my own selfish ambitions and the struggle to survive late stage capitalism. But her efforts to raise my awareness did spark a chain reaction which led me to full time activism. I hope she reads this one day and knows that I respect and admire her.
Healthy food is another foundation of human rights and liberation. This is also related to clean air. We can grow our own food, collect food that capitalist supermarkets throw out and distribute it to the hungry. Food pantries and soup kitchens are needed now more than ever. My friends make great works in this area and I send them all my love and regards for their progress. They are doing this better than I ever did and I hope to keep up with them when I get out of prison. Everyone has a right to healthy food. One way to ensure this is to eat vegan or vegetarian. We should also be reasonable and not alienate allies who do not share our vegan lifestyle, and distribute whatever food is available, even giving meat to people who eat it. No one likes fanatics, but we can be radical in our own private spaces and in public when we are not feeding meat eaters. This also relates to the excellent works of Animal Liberation Activists, who free farm animals from lives of slavery and suffering, leading to mechanical death. They have liberated horses and cattle, sheep and animals slaughtered for their fur. This kind of liberation is very symbolic and powerful merit. When humans treat animals as commodities for meat and skin and fur they are really setting the stage for this kind of treatment for other people, in wars and prisons and factories. There is Hindu prophecy that says that one day humans with farm each other for meat in an age of degradation. This is already a reality in wars for profit and the prison and military industrial complexes. The reality is that meat is an emergency food for times of survival, but people have gotten so used to nation state’s constant forever wars that they live on canned foods, dehydrated foods and meat even when there is no war in their area at the time. So ideally we can distribute vegan food, vitamins and means of purifying water which do not corrupt the environment or put living beings in danger of extinction. Life straw water filters are a better solution than bottled water in my opinion. But I offer the self criticism that I have used much bottled water on the front lines and left many empty bottles there, contributing to the litter of the battlefield in the heat of the moment. All people need are fruits, veggies, carbohydrates and plant based proteins. The International Commune in Rojava is doing admirable work to find ways to provide these solutions for the community in sustainable and ecologically friendly ways, with ecological preserves, tree planting, organic farms, solar power, hydroelectric power and composting.
Everyone needs stable shelter. There is an illogical amount of homeless people in countries where empty homes sit unoccupied because no one can afford them. “Indecline” is one group who has taken a very creative direct action to help solve this problem. They cut up billboards own by big companies and used the material to fabricate small houses for homeless people. Then they dropped these structures off at homeless camps. I have spent many years struggle against homelessness after becoming alienated from my family, who are white Christian nationalists. Once you are on the street it is extremely difficult to get out of homelessness without a infusion of cash, a permanent shelter near sources of water, food, transportation, education, medical care and a trade to work. Squatting is another solution. People simply occupy spaces which are habitable because they are not currently being used. Profits for landlords, banks and property owners are not more important the survival of individual lives. If you have seasonal homes in different locations and do not house the needy then I feel personally insulted by your lifestyle. Your comfort is a threat to my existence and the existence of entire armies of homeless people all over the world. Consider doing something to help the situation rather than make it worse. You could give one of your homes to become a safe house for activists. I have stayed at places like this, and when safe houses were not available my life was infinitely more dangerous and difficult.
People need heath care for the effects of exposure, the stress of regular work and survival, and especially for the lifestyle of resistance. We need activists who are trained medics, EMT’s, Paramedics, Medical Assistants, Nurses, Doctors and caregivers. People are needed who can treat wounded fighters and help homeless populations address specific problems, like addiction and exposure to the elements, extreme temperatures and malnutrition. Even many housed up people living in poverty require basic medical care and suffer from preventable diseases. There is the example of the Rainbow Gathering, which is a roaming tribe of hippies and assorted types who caravan from national forest to national forest to live a lifestyle of protest by rejecting the material excess of conventional society, called Babylon. They need educated and skilled friends to contribute to the culture they are building.
There is a need for skilled mentors of trades and crafts, and schools of these skills for building shelters, infrastructure outside of the nation state. In the revolutionary movement there is a huge amount of respect for the foundational trades, like carpenters, plumbers, welders, iron workers, auto mechanics, electricians and so on.
These skills require 10 to 20 years of daily practice, training and application of skills to create competence, mastery and eventually intuition. We all have an obligation to humanity to master a skill in addition to a general ability to ‘adult’, and to pass on this skill to the net generation. Some people are very good at surviving on the road with very little, and this is valuable. These kinds of levels of mastery amount to 10,000 to 20,000 hours of applied practice and work. This can be art, construction, medical care, food production, agriculture, making clothes, anything which contributes to the movement. We are all interdependent on these various fields, none of us is truly independent. We all rely on immigrant farm workers and construction workers. We all rely on janitors and teachers. The idea that we are separate from one another is an illusion of the ego which stalls progress. It is like a wave or a series of mountains and valleys. We are individual waves of matter reaching for the sun and the stars, but we are still simultaneously and paradoxically one with the valley, just as much as we are individuals. This is why I recommend the mental exercise of reflecting on “no self, no negative self talk, no inherent existence, just emptiness”. This exercise is the first of a two part practice, the second being the visualization of a light manifesting as our ideal, our fullest potential, which is a compassionate and joyful member of a universal community complete with skillful means of accomplishing the liberation of all beings. So we are simultaneously hollow forms full of peaceful emptiness and we are, for all practical purposes, also individual and unique beings with specific needs and creative expressions. I don’t recommend engaging in the extremes of completely hopeless nihilism or the extreme of egotistical selfishness. The ego really is bullshit, just a compilation of memories without an inherent existence. If there s an eternal soul, which is debatable, it is not the collection of memories that is our organic brain. This organ will not survive death. Ask any raver tripping on psychedelics, any physicist, any yogi or serious meditator who is not completely brainwashed by religious of patriarchy and hierarchy. There is a reality which is the ground of all being from which all forms emerge and to which all forms return.
When we encounter obstacles in our movement we can consider the obstacles to be part of the path towards liberation. How we deal with obstacles is very important. It is crucial that we do not compromise our ideals in dealing with difficulties, so that we do not become the monsters and enemies that we struggle against. We have to take the moral high ground. both in our own eyes and the eyes of the world, who we are trying to call to arms in our cause. There is the saying that we can do better with honey than with vinegar, and that our kindness will be more effective to “force” a lover to kindness in return than force would move them to kindness by contrast.
Reflecting on these mental exercises can help us find an ideal as we strive to purify environments and bring everyone to liberation and their full potential. Fascists would have us believe that a great mass of workers toils so that a few can reach a state of superiority. This is the fundamental flaw of their ideology, that they must always strive against each other for superiority. We build each other up and strive for equality, so that everyone can experience the best of life in community with their neighbors, instead of at their expense. So we still have to dialogue with our allies and enemies and neutral parties in order to build and define ourselves and to struggle against those who consider themselves superior to others and harm the world in their attempts to dominate. We have an obligation to argue against terrible ideas, like slavery and caste and class. We must speak up when we hear these people, at work, at the market places, at parties and clubs and school, wherever they try to platform their hatred. It is a moral obligation and an act of self defense for those who are targeted and for all of humanity to fight against these ideas. We must destroy bias and prejudice. Even within our own hearts and minds we must “kill the dominant male.” Instead we cultivate love, compassion, joy and patience. Consider that a warrior monk who is attacked on the road does not consider it a “sin” to fight for survival, to teach a thief a magic life lesson by beating them within an inch of their life, but then also being responsible for nursing them back to health id the damage is extensive. When we hear people displaying racist “dog whistles”, microaggressions and outright hate speech, we have to say, “That’s racist, your ideas are trash, I fundamentally reject everything you just said, and you need to fuck all the way off right now.” We should always be ready to stand on our beliefs and fight for that. It s often dangerous. We can use “verbal judo” and “Jedi mind tricks”. While we should not assume that others will agree with us or harmonize with our ideas, even if they don’t openly disagree, we should not compromise on issues like racism, bigotry and sexism. We must cultivate the ability to argue patiently, with logic, wisdom, humor and wit. Don’t let bullies interrupt and talk over you- finish you complete sentence without raising your voice, making eye contact, with your arms crossed. Study body language and put it into practice. Don’t put blind faith in those who seem to agree with you, practice equanimity towards friends enemies and neutral parties- everyone is a potential spy, and 1 in 10 people are informants. Anyone with a loved one, an illness, addiction or a career can be used against you by states and organizations who have some leverage over them. So be careful about what you say and don’t go to far, while drawing your opponent out to extend themselves too far. Bring other in to a conversation to back you up, and go to the aid of those being bullied, verbally or otherwise.
Consider if you would be willing or able to commit your body, speech and mind to a total transformation towards your highest ideals. This involves uprooting the programing of capitalist propaganda, hierarchy, patriarchy, selfish egotism, individualism, racism, bigotry and domination. Honestly examine yourself and see if you have been tricked into sexualizing any of the unwholesome ideologies and ask yourself if this is really healthy or just an inherited trauma. Think of the sacrifices of the cadres of revolutionary guerilla worldwide over the years, from the beginning of “his” story, where resisters fought against the walled cities that enslaved countless peoples, especially women. The history of “civilization” is the history of the oppressions of women, also known as the domestication of cattle like people. There are also many peoples who have resisted for all time, like the Kurds, and they are naturally brave and strong, including the women, due to their preference for freedom over slavery. So we can help them and become like them by imitating them until we get used to living free. We can also donate to revolutionaries, and panhandlers. activists, disaster relief, political prisoners and join them. We can give heart felt home made gifts to friends without expectation of return. I will offer a self criticism here that I was not a better, more revolutionary kind of friend in Rojava, where my friend Hiwa gave me a very nice birthday present of seeds, because he saw that I like to garden and grow things, even when conditions are not ideal. There is a ragged beauty in dystopia gardens springing up from the rusty ruins of a war torn city. I feel the loss of Hiwa’s friendship deeply because he later shot himself in a fit of hopeless desperation. My other friend Dilsoz, whose name relates to the heart in Kurdish, gave me a very nice patch to wear on my uniform. I could have been a better friend, and I hope he is still doing well. I try to be a good friend to my defense committee back home, and remember birthdays and call and write them regularly. These connections define us and motivate us. We really must prioritize repaying other’s kindness, both the direct kindness of others and the indirect kindness of teaching us who ad what to avoid by negative interactions. Other self work includes uprooting attachment, to our homeland, to our ideas of what genders should be and how we want others to be, to political structures and luxuries and the illusion of security at the expense of real freedom. We can also uproot aversion, avoidance of discomfort, gossip and self centeredness. I will offer another self criticism, that on the front lines I failed to communicate effectively with my friend Karker while we were holding off the enemy jihadis. When we were ordered to take the VICE News journalists to safety Karker stayed behind with an Arab machine gunner and we were very worried about them. I felt torn because I was compelled to follow orders but I wanted to stay with my comrades. The next day we were all back in the same building on the front lines, minus the civilian reporters, who had been evacuated to safety. That day we were overrun and this time I made sure to communicate effectively and I was one of the last people to leave the building, after Karker and the Arab machine gunner went to safety before me. Myself and my team leader, a former Marine, stayed back and helped carry the wounded, cover those falling back, and carry the equipment left behind by the wounded, their weapons and bags. It was almost an argument between us, but my team leader turned out to be stronger with steadier nerves and he was the last to leave that day. I respect him for that. With his guidance I was able to focus through the stress to treat some of the wounded, and he even criticized and guided me through treating his own wounds later that day, when he was shot twice and slightly blown up. These are the high stress situations in which we really have to examine our hearts and decide what kind of person we want to be. Will you protect the civilians with your body and take them to safety? Will you stay and fight, and possible die or be captured, while your friends escape? Will you succumb to shock and injuries or make yourself useful and help others after treating your own wounds? It is better to do the thinking now, because when the time comes you won’t be able to keep up with the details if your haven’t done all the thinking before hand.
We can do some mental gymnastics to build up the fortitude for these situations, like cherishing our enemies. They teach is wisdom, force us to learn and use grand strategy and small scale tactics. Enemies make us learn self defense and cultivate fortitude, endurance, patience, and tolerance, both for friends and enemies. They give us a target for all of our primal energy, and help us define exactly what we are not, and who we are and want to be. In the absence of enemies we can made deals with our friends to cultivate a harmless rivalry in order to leap frog one another in skills. We can also equalize ourselves and others. Everyone fears death, all being avoid pain. So we can help others in that respect, to ease their pain and rescue them from death. Almost everyone has seen an automobile accident or knows someone dealing with pain. Get involved, personally, in other’s lives, if they give you consent. Unconsciousness in a life and death situation implies consent- you would probably want help if you were in a similar state. Out of ten patients they ma all need ten different treatments, and ten beggars may all have different needs, so we must learn various skills and cultivate the means to help others and create the conditions in which everyone can be happy, healthy and free. We can also help other equally. When I was at the CHAZ/CHOP barricades we were attacked by a car full of gang members with guns. They ha been provoked by someone in the crowd. They shot at me and my friends. I had been advised by the community not to bring firearms, so I didn’t. I did bring lots of emergency medical supplies. These kids who were shooting at us were eventually run down by people with firearms and they crashed. I rushed forward with several friends, other street medics, and we treated the wounds of the kids who had been shooting at us. We were able to save one of them, despite gunshot wounds to the head. We may have been able to save the other if the police had not confiscated my extensive medical supplies the day before. But the point is to help all “others” equally, and in doing so you may win allies who were previously enemies. Caregivers are admirable in this, that they skillfully help others even when they are being unpleasant or combative. One must also consider that current friends can become enemies and we should still help them in certain circumstances, like when they cannot hurt us.
So we can engage in writing, debating, politics, direct conflict, elections, and raising and teaching kids and future generations. But when we are interacting with young people we should not be overbearing and fanatical like religious zealots. That will only alienate people. Casual, conversational ideology put in action through words, deeds and lifestyle, is much more powerful than preaching. In “Life of Pi”, a lovely fictional story about an interfaith boy who survives a horrible situation at sea, Pi says that there would be more converts to Christianity if Christians said less and just left their Gideon Bibles in the hotel rooms for people to find when they need guidance during dark nights of the soul. In the same way we need to spread ideology, write books and pamphlets and leave them everywhere, without getting in the average pedestrians face and interfering with their routine. It’s like panhandling: no one likes aggressive panhandlers, scaring and bothering people, invading their personal space. Passive panhandling is much more effective, simply holding a sign at a busy intersection, perhaps at the top of a hill where it will take sometime for the light to turn and people will be slowly climbing the hill. This is even spiritualized by Buddhist monks, with specific guidelines for when and how it is appropriate to beg and preach. Media is also an important way of reaching others. Videos, documentaries, and music are all necessary for a successful movement. I was deeply moved by Lee Brickly’s music, and the revolutionary songs by Chumbawumba. Here are some more examples of Revolutionary music that moves me: ACAB by Iberia, ACAB by Sebastian Thunder/Babylon Race, ACAB by city morgue, ZillaKami and Nascar Aloe, Acid Rave Sex by Henrix, Animal Rights by deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner, BYOB by System of a Down, Bella Ciao, Bold Fenian Men by Judy Collins, everything by Anti Flag and Against Me!, Building the Barricades, Do You Hear the People Sing, and Red and Black in Les Miserables, Come out Ye Black and Tans, Fight for Your Right by the Beastie Boys, Forever Black America by Common and Gucci Mane, most of Rage Against the Machine songs, I Shall Be Released by Peter, Paul and Mary, I Shot the Sheriff by Bob Marley, War Is my Destiny and other songs by Immortal Technique and Ill Bill, I’m Gonna Join that One Big Union by Woodie Guthrie, Imagine, Lie, Cheat, Steal and other songs by Run the Jewels, Living with War by Neil Young, Louisiana 1927 by Randy Newman, Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday, Mississippi Goddamn, March of the Levelers, the Diggers Song, Masters of War, Megalomaniac, When the President Talks to God, War Pigs, Oxygen by Willie Mason, Religious Wars by Fuck You Pay Me, Modern Day Emma Goldman, Rifles of the IRA, Sacco and Vanzetti by Christy Moore, Smashing of the Van, Sound of da Police by KRS One, The Guillotine by The Coup, The Last Gasp of the Patriarchy by Kris Bowers, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gill Scott Heron, The Times They Are a Changin by Flogging Molly, This Land is Your Land, Waiting on a War by Foo Fighters, Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer, WAP by Cardin B and Meghan thee Stallion, War by Outkast, War by Screwdriver, White People for Peace, Baby I’m an Anarchist and I was a Teenage Anarchist by Against Me, Pussy Riot, and so on. Here are some examples of works of art from INDECLINE: in 2012 they installed billboards reading “Dying for Work” and “Hope You’re Happy Wall St.” with a dummy hanging from a noose. In 2015 they created the Largest Piece of Illegal Graffiti in the World, writing “This land WAS our land” on a disused military runway in the Mojave Desert at (35.280664*N 117.397822*W). The same year they responded to Donald Trump’s statement that illegal immigrants were “rapists” by spray painting a mural depicting Trump with the slogan “!Rape Trump!” on an old border wall on U.$. territory about a mile from the Tijuana airport. In 2016 they glued names of Black people killed by police over the names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. Also in 2016 they glued life sized nude statues of Trump to the sidewalk in Cleveland, LA, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. In 2017 they tagged several Union Pacific trains, one like a tiger. In response to the murder of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville they hung eight effigies of KKK hooded and robed clowns, calling it Ku Klux Klowns. A sign on one said “If attacked by a mob of clowns go for the juggler.” In 2020 they made silicone heads of world “leaders” who are known to be corrupt, like Jair Bolsonaro, Vladimir Putin and of course, Trump, then used them as soccer balls. I’d like to see this done with Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s synthetic silicone face, and Bashar al Assad’s likeness. These people admire Hitler and Mussolini and we know what happened to them. GWAR and Kathy Griffith have also made very nice political art effigies of terrible people who are famous. We can also create billboards of the martyrs and victims of police violence, like they do in the Middle East. So go forth and be creative! We have a duty to mock authoritarians.
Direct actions are self defense. Here are some examples from recent history: protecting the environment from urban sprawl, squatting, employing and housing the homeless, picking one homeless person to sponsor, studying pure mathematics, chemistry, engineering, physics, computer science, going camping, backpacking, learning and mastering a martial art, shooting safety, tactics and skills, practicing search and rescue drills, partner carry drills and learning emergency medical rescue basics. Create ethical rules of engagement, define yourself and how you will act in specific scenarios with detailed and repetitive drills. You can practice clearing buildings, defending a location and so on. There are many examples I cannot legally give here. So think about who and what you are willing to live and die for. Watch real combat footage and search and rescue videos. One source of these is a site called funker. There is an excellent channel on YouTube called Academy of Emergency Medicine, which is a long series of real life and death videos of combat medics in Iraq and Syria during the Syrian Civil War recently. From these you can learn how to treat gunshot wounds, sucking chest wounds, wounds to limbs and head, wounds with protruding organs, amputated and partially amputated limbs, shock, broken bones and more, including triage and how to deal with death and stress.
How would your ideal community’s self defense function? Invite neighbors to discuss grievances and work together to find solutions to your personal and interpersonal problems. Expect to find difficulties and to experience failures, then continue to work anyway. Practice builds skill over long periods of time, with trial and error. We also need to build unions where we work. If you are ready to dedicate your life to a movement then form a network of secret cadres whose members prepare the masses for revolution by helping them identify the enemies of humanity, building confidence through practice, creativity and actively struggling, fighting with mobility and at barricades. These people should reject power and only use grassroots organizing, spontaneously. There should be no ranks, only partisans and allies. When something dramatic and dangerous must be done, consider doing it alone without involving anyone else, so that there is no opportunity for informants to divide the movement. Divide to attack and unite to build up community infrastructure. In some circumstances this dynamic must be reversed, but that would come at a later stage. All ambitious charismatics must be rejected, criticized and stripped of power. There should be no public office or political power for these cadres, it would be too dangerous and create dictators. They should distribute ideas and organize the masses. Like waves in the sea, no one rises above the others.
We can cultivate the habit of free communal life by learning to disobey unjust laws while getting along with our comrades and neighbors by practicing solidarity. Also practice daily acts of resistance, defiance, disobedience and solidarity. Sometimes all we can do are small things. But look at the brave Persian and Kurdish women of Iran. Some of them can take up arms, others can only make rude gestures of disrespect towards the dictator and morality polices, others openly show their faces by removing their head scarves in public. Everyone does what they can and faces the consequences together or alone, as circumstances unfold. There is no army that can resist the will of the working class. Look at the examples of Vietnam, Afghanistan, India, the IWW, Tsarist Russia, the Chinese emperor, and so on. There is even an anarchist autonomous zone forming in the Ukraine, and there is modern resistance in North and South America, Russia and China. We are in global solidarity with all oppressed peoples everywhere. We do not want authoritarian communism, capitalism, democrats, republicans, or fascists.
Take inspiration from the myths of Prometheus and Lucifer, and ponder their so called crimes and fates in these fictional stories. A real life example we can draw practical inspiration from in the fight against the gods of slavery is Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha. Through seeking truth we incur the wrath of authorities and for that history will remember us and set the example for future generations.
There is a civil war looming on the horizon. “Oh the air is sultry and pregnant with lightning… The passion for destruction is a creative passion too!” – Mikhail Bakunin. It is time to pick a side, take a stand and build a brave new world in the ruins of the old pyramids and temples. Tear them down and use the bricks to build schools, homes and hospitals. If your “middle path” is an excuse to hide in your privilege and do nothing then you are really just demanding change but expecting others to do what you are too lazy and too afraid to do. This is not the The Middle Way, your frame of reference has been displaced by state propaganda. U.$. Democrats are center-right on the political compass in the eyes of the majority of the world beyond the border wall. We should use diplomacy but we should negotiate while advancing physically to add pressure. Do not trust diplomacy alone. It is a sacred duty to fight against oppressors, for all civil rights activists, rebels, revolutionaries, anarchists, leftists, true communists, communalists, communitarians, socialists, environmentalists, feminists, libertarians, humanitarians, medical personnel and lgbtq+ populations, with the battle cry of love and sympathy for all oppressed peoples, chanting the names of the martyrs. We have gotten used to the chains of wage slavery and bureaucratic “remedies”, we fail to realize our shameful state of captivity, limited in range by preventable disease and living expenses. No one is free until everyone is free. We demand true freedom, the freedom to survive the climate change genocide and inevitable supernova. We demand an end to all oppressors, whether Russian, Syrian, Turkish, Iranian, Amerikkkan, British monarch, Korean dictator, all monarchies, dictatorships, oligarchies and puppet and representative democracies. We need direct democracy. We don’t need borders, despots, states, patriotism or nationalities. Amerikkkan “freedom” is a lie sold by Walmart “culture”, shipped by FedEx and Amazon. I send all my support to the Amazon and FedEx workers going on strike to unionize.
Revolution is a necessary act of survival and self defense. Wherever one being is oppressed we are all held back from the stars. The practical application of ideals is a difficult task but inevitable- it cannot be done by passive discussion of dead ideas and failed models. We need goodwill and unanimous cooperation, faith in humanity. It is time to update the conditions of our present day structures. We no longer rely on myths for our hopes and dreams as we make them a reality.
Dan Baker 25765-509
PO Box 34550
Memphis, TN 38184
I just had another experience that’s been happening more frequently lately: A clumsy informant approaches me with flattery and feigned interest in politics and philosophy, then makes a bold and ridiculous statement, usually about how they “want to kill the President” or “make a bomb” or something equally reckless, and they try to draw me into their verbal trap.
I offer the following self criticisms and confessions: I regret that I have never, and never will plan or attempt any kind of violence to any politician, ever. I don’t want to kill the President, I don’t want to kill any past President, not even Trump, and I am ashamed of my cowardice on this subject. I offer this as a self criticism. Also, in Syria I did not actually shoot anyone, despite my previously bragging the opposite. I just wanted to be a medic and I was assigned to carry the sniper rifle. I intentionally missed every time I shot at ISIS Jihadis. My only goal was to drive them away while treating the wounded and leading civilians to safety.
For most of my life I’ve lived like a Buddhist monk, and that’s how I intend to spend the rest of my life. I may give my ideological support to freedom fighters and be a medic for them if I can, but I will be under intense scrutiny and observation, for life. Any hypothetical plot involving me would be doomed to failure. I can’t fight your battles for you.
If you want to do any direct action the keep it to yourself. If you want to lose a battle, than talk about it first. I’ve had undercovers and informants trying to bait me into fictional schemes to trap me for years. One tried to get me to discuss “robbing a bank”. Another tried to get me to say things about explosives and politicians. I have zero interest in such plots and I’m extremely suspicious of flattery, planned violence and strangers. In general I’m very lazy and peaceful, I just want to garden and do yoga.
Governments who fail to protect kids, because they are scared of school shooters, also criminalize otherwise harmless people, like myself, and parents of children being shot by school shooters. Cops need to justify bloated budgets by manufacturing crimes where there otherwise would be none. Don’t approach me with your wingnut plots. Anyone who does is a cop, a snitch, or an idiot.
For the rest of my life I will be laying low, staying out of trouble and living a peaceful life on non-violence. I’ll continue to be reading and writing, feeding people, being a medic and a caretaker. There is no plot to do anything violent, just a constant stream of criticism for all authority figures and mutual aid for political prisoners. So, if I’m brought up on charges in the future know that it’s a set up, and that right now, today in this prison, FCI Memphis, people working for cops and federal agents are still trying to bait me into false charges. To them I say: Leave me alone! Stop harassing me! I just want to live a quiet life!
I won’t be carrying guns or weapons. I don’t, and won’t and have never sold drugs. I forgive you feds and cops and lawyers. I don’t want revenge for you locking me up. All I want is to realize enlightenment and liberation while helping others through community service. To my more militant friends, I say “don’t talk about it, be about it” and “the medium is the message”. But, leave me out of it because I am being followed and watched, as are all people who have been to prison, especially federal prison.
To sum up this current situation, this government is continuing to try to set me up and accuse me of even more false charges. Please spread the word and raise awareness of this strategy. Help me and watch out for this in your lives. I’ll be sending this message out via email, snail mail, and by telephone. Even today I was approached by an informant who tried to bait me into saying terrible and ridiculous things. All of this is beyond me. I am a simple person and I want no part of any violence or deception.
Living a simple, honest, nonviolent life of growing fruits and vegetables and providing basic first aid and medical care is my life’s goal, along with the priority of yoga and meditation. I am retired from direct actions and I never did much in that arena anyway, which makes my imprisonment that much more ridiculous.
I have been all big talk in the past to dissuade bullies, but now I am afraid to exercise free speech in this country. I am even afraid to defend myself. I offer my forced silence and non-violence as a self criticism. I have no rights. The police and feds have ruined my life.
Candlelit Reflections: Volume 1
A collection of four essays: “Cut From a Different Cloth”, “Why Defunding Isn’t Enough”, “Theft”, and “The Golden Age of Mass Shootings”
Cut From a Different Cloth
Many anarchists are quite content to live in the shadows. To don the mask for a joyous occasion, perhaps a traditional protest or the more spectacular black bloc demonstration. These types live a luxurious lie, no doubt. A double life, precariously balancing upon the hope none will unearth their anarchist inclinations.
For some, this becomes an impossibility without publicly disparaging the cause. You are captured at an event, thrust into the public eye. A fascist obtains your personal information, possibly contacting your family or employer. I know you are afraid, comrade, and that should not be. For us to have our masks stripped, or even to do so voluntarily, we must grasp the power we each individually posses to form an anarchistic existence in our immediate present. To try and will things as they once were will only end in grief.
Why must we hide? Do the moralists offend you? Are you burdened with the attacks of respectability and posturing demanded? Have the terroristic threats from the fascist cause dealt their mark?
I have found far more joy with the mask pulled off my face, a true test of my drive and devotion. Every authority figure wants to put their words in my mouth, instead I get to embarrass them (at times, show their sympathies). I can be blunt, and I am afforded infinite more opportunities for propaganda. Sometimes merely by existing. The state will not kill me. Instead I will show you all how scared the state is of us seeing through the veil.
Nihilism has been my liberator – nothing truthfully matters. Why did I not yet live – I saw. When you have a foot in what is, when you feel you have something to lose: does propagating the conditions of capitalism ad nauseum, does existing merely to at one moment behold an aesthetical anarchist spectacle, really speak truth to your life? You should die by the sword, not bow to it. You should live as an anarchist, not merely aspire for anarchy to be.
A mask is a tool, as I see it its use is not mere social – do not take my words as opposition to crime. One is often emboldened by the comfort of anonymity, how it allows a daring voice to lead a boring life. Don’t let capitalist comforts rock you to sleep, with the lullaby of a revolution to come. Anarchy is not an apple to be taken from a tree when ripe. It is not an aesthetic to be donned for spectacular photography. Then again, maybe to you it is.
Are you committed to the Anarchist cause? Lets confront the causes of your fright. We should not be forced to hide. Must every newcomer to the cause hide in the shadows? I assure you, the state is likely already privy to your inclinations – why not make a better existence for those to come? I’d like for you to not cower in fear, as many are told to do.
I am as in the open as one could hope to be. Sure, I’ve lost my freedom, and I can not yet speak of life. Why does that matter? I can still speak of my principles, my ideals, with fervor – I will not blame myself for the state’s icy wrath. The state will not see its end by cowering in the shadows. If you will not be proudly anarchist, then know that here I lie.
No lie creepeth from my lips – I am an anarchist.
Why Defunding Isn’t Enough
The saying goes, very literally, to vote with one’s wallet. Really? As if I deny something funding, it ceases to exist? The police would still exist, they would be able to acquire resources, capital as it were, in other ways. Do we want policing to devolve, perhaps more so, into producing profit? We want total abolition. How is defunding, accomplishing this goal?
What of the terror and harm police are able to cause with minimal funding? Would a defunded police have murdered Jayland Walker with fewer bullets? WAs funding the cause, the allowing factor, in Derek Chauvin’s serial brutality, in George Floyd’s death? Do I need to list each-and-every police murder? Their goal, purpose, is to enact violence on the civilian populace, to coerce the poor into complacency, to kill those who defy the State’s will.
Its never about stopping crime – its about instilling fear, obedience. Maintaining a police means authority is taken as truth; authority existing at all, having power, institutional or social, affirms their seat, their position, gives authoritative control. You want a badge and the orders, demands, lack of consent that come with it; just that it not be as reprehensible as the star-spangled slavemasters. I desire the complete abolition of rule, ergo law. I want freedom, not just defunded tyrants that can still threaten me – no tyrants. An end to tyranny means an end to policing in any form.
Say I took away the horses and swords of a King’s loyal soldiers, as example. Would he not still posses a group of loyal servants who command his authority, his law? Even weakened, even lessened in numbers, police defunded exist.
If you are insistent on the need to defund rather than abolish, if your calls to defund aren’t part of a project of abolition, you assert a need for authority, a need for state-sanctioned violence. Those the police label bad, evil, unjust, will be faced with the righteous violence of the court.
Must we kill Socrates all over again? Have we learned nothing of being ruled by majority and morality at all? The most liberal, democratic, impoverished police are still police.
Theft is Good
I love to take what ought to be mine
To rob and loot from capitalist swine
Death to all of bourgeois society
Gimme. You’ve got such excess, babe – you want me to trade my being for your food? Oh, for paper. Same fucking shit. I’m here to take what I need. You don’t get to order that I starve, you won’t get to deny me life.
You sit upon your piles of accumulated wealth. Of course its fucking joyous, you damn near all to suffer. I’m here to take what’s mine, through deception or force. You commit acts of violence everyday by deceiving folks on what you own. Even acquiring what you claim has amounted to mere chance or sheer sociopathic greed. Oh, but you’re smart? You’ll still bleed.
It must be terrible to order others labor to your benefit. So terrible that I take what I need. I’ll still do it. I don’t give a shit about you. You reap what you sow; I have no empathy for tyrants. Give it to me babe, i’m not here for you to say no. The capitalistic hellscape you cater to, reproduce, doesn’t really ask politely. I’m here to take “your” shit. It’s mine.
You expect me to suffer without, so you may live in excess? Can you repeat that with a knife to your throat, or are you aware of what you demand? Don’t talk, just hand it over. I’ll take what you’ve tried to declare as yours, and all of mine you’ve tried to take for it. Well I need only to take yours, but I’m alluding to something here.
You’d rob me of any life, and make me call it honest, were I not to rob you of what’s mine. An honest day’s robbery – mine. Your property is mine.
You’re not as powerful as you look, is that why you cower under the apron of the state? You’re in for a rude awakening when our civilization collapses, when the state crumbles. If all you know how to do is exploit others, do you expect things to continue as they’ve been without your strong arm? I’m already tired of it.
I want what is within my power to take. I want my own. I want the whole world, I’m not going to have it handed to me.
I am a thief.
The Golden Age of Mass Shootings
Welcome to the golden age of mass shootings.
American heroes like Robert Crimo pursue the American Dream in the end stage of the commodification of human life- God’s not dead!
Law is failing to halt this rise in civilian slaughter. The state is opportunistically pushing to militarize schools or impose gun legislation. Will anything halt the carnage? Clearly for 77 minutes, the police won’t.
For next to nothing, a drop in the bucket, the disenfranchised, radicalized white youth can take life into their hands. Rather than be a nobody, a cog in the terrible existence they’ve beholden, a few magazines, a firearm, and the lack of empathy bred by capitalism are all one needs: week up week of news coverage await, and a much more fun time than wage slavery, school.
The glory of a mass shooter; a school shooter. Ramos will be remembered, even if only as a the Uvalde shooter, gunman, for time eternal. Mass shootings, to a very particular group, are glorified – the motivation is there. Can you not say you’ve seen mass, school shooting fetishism? Its online, mostly, sure. The results aren’t. Mass shooters will be remembered; you can try to rescind their names, but they’ll be remembered. We are in the golden age of mass shootings, where a cult fanbase keeps score and memorializes their fallen success stories, the shooters themselves.
We’ve reached a point where even just being “The Parkland Shooter” or “The Robb Elementary Shooter” sure beats being “The Janitor”, “The Chef”, or worse yet, “The Student.”
Your life, your creed, is in your hands – you know there’ll be others just like you. You are a mass shooter, knowing the normies will hate you; you have fans.
One of the most easily observable trends in mass shooting? – They’ve continued. Another? They’re defining moments in local history, sometimes national or global.
What marks this as the golden age for this niche breed of serial killer? Beyond the following, the notoriety, the culture, hell – the mass shooter pipeline? Well, I think two recent shootings, perhaps three if we are willing to accept mass shootings are inherently acts of fascism, paint the picture well.
Peyton slaughtered black civilians in an almost distinctly American fashion – right wing militancy. His act was designed to maximize harm to the black community, to the last detail. An everyday place was his target, it was all livestreamed, and most importantly, he targeted a predominantly black community. His attack, in closing tops exasperated the availability of food in the area. Basically until he took his plunge into the mass shooter hall of fame, he kept in close contact with an online group. He is the result of the mass shooter, or perhaps the alt-right, pipeline; PogChamp?
What can we take away from this? Well, a few things, but as there is overlap, lets get a larger picture.
Ramos hada cold disdain for life, he took his act as good, using it to flirt with girls prior to his murders. The specifics of his killing spree, that he murdered his family, took the family car, targeted a school, parallel the most notoriously “meme worthy” shooting – “Don’t go to the cafeteria today”. He’s been one of the younger modern school shooters, really showing the sheer speed at which the pipeline can scoop up kids, making them into weapons for the cause. His kill count, the length of time his shooting lasted. You will hear about Uvalde for a while, maybe forever, and, in whatever capacity you do – it’ll be because of him.
Robert Crimo the 3rd, the July 4th shooting. This shooting really epitomizes mass shootings, his rap career stocked with school scenery, his god-fearing art, and most importantly: he escaped the scene. His murder spree nearly extended from one event to the next, only halting due to his own willingness. I’m coming out of the closet and into the street, Robert showed just how much of a cat-and-mouse game being a serial killer is. Should his successor know how to steal a new car, to act with more speed and determination?
Killing sprees are not new, though the state is the only entity able to do it, justly, time and time again.
God has made – the school shooter –a plan, to work in His own, unique way. God loves his children: some are slaughtered like poultry, by his design, at their must vulnerable, and others go on to a life of serial killer stardom, infamy. God Bless America.
Mass shootings are a cornerstone of American culture, American life, American capitalism.
All is in place for one to be nurtured into a new serial killer, a mass shooter, by online sociopaths. Every mass shooting has evolved the mass shooting culture: more carnage, more planning, self-referential. Disregarding human life?
Happy July 4th.
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