January 6, 2022
Today is the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection in Washington DC, and I am angry. I write to you with love from federal prison. I hope this letter finds you happy and free, in good health and surrounded by friends, food and community.
Objectively the DC riots were a huge blow to Amerikkkan fascism. Racist cops were killed by racist Trump supporters, and racist baby killers were killed by racist federal agents. When our enemies are busy killing each other we should not interrupt them.
From another perspective we must remember that the Confederate flag was carried into the heart of the U$ Capital. Where I grew up, in Jupiter Farms, Florida, there is a very real and very well armed white Christian nationalist militia. They sincerely believe that “the south will rise again”. This means that they are actively working towards building Margaret Atwood’s Republic of Gilead from the Handmaid’s Tale. They recruit at churches, schools and even Wal-Mart, naturally. They go to the border of Texas and Mexico and shoot, kill people trying to cross. They brag about it. When I was kicked out of the Army they tried to recruit me. I declined. Instead I joined the YPG International Volunteer Battalion to fight against ISIS and defend Rojava. Now I am in prison.
My point is that there are militias like this everywhere, some more serious than others. The far right has Atomwaffen, the League of the South, the KKK, literal nazis and neo-nazis, to name a few. Instead of Rojava, they go to the Ukraine and join the Azov battalion to fight against Russia. They are also largely composed of former and current military and police. They have combat experience, have been to prison, and have no problem hunting and killing human beings.
At the same time, the left is composed of anarchists like myself, socialists, communists, some people of minority and low-income communities, the spectrum of queer communities, and, unfortunately, liberals. Liberals enable fascism with their passive, non-violent acceptance of abuse and oppression. Communists are just as authoritarian as fascists, but they may be evolving, and I respect their militant personality. If we are going to survive, we must all adapt militant personalities.
We must find common ground to unite on and practice mutual aid and better solidarity. There can be no progress without action and sacrifice. The powers that be and the warlords and dictators that would replace them will not relinquish power without a struggle. As we saw last January 6th, fascist U$A is willing to slaughter its most rabid patriots and loyal lapdogs. If they are willing to do that to themselves imagine what they will do to us. We are in this together and we will share the same fate unless we unite the left and take daily direct actions.
The liberals under Biden want us to tone it down and lick the boots of cops making public relations gestures. Where is your dignity? Where is your rage? White cops are still killing black people who are struggling to live under wage slavery. Let’s face it: In Amerikkka it is illegal to be poor, it is a crime to be a freed slave, a brown bodied human being. At the Capital insurrection one white woman cried that she was being treated like black people.
We can’t expect others to do what we are too lazy and too afraid to do. We can’t just sit around and wait to be treated with dignity, equity and respect. Real freedom comes from the barrel of a gun. If anyone tells you that guns are bad, they are cops at worst and at best – collaborators. We have to do things that are too dangerous to speak about. We have to do them alone because so many infiltrators and liberals have been conditioned to call the cops and fear prison. Prison ain’t shit. Far worse than jail is the poverty of spirit that leads to a pathetic and contemptable cowardice that gratefully accepts slavery.
A revolutionary consciousness has been reawakened in the United $tates and all over the world. The property of all police, the military and the prison industrial complex is fair game. The 2020 uprisings were just a gentle warm-up, the contractions that are leading to the birth of a brave new world. Worldwide, people are realizing that they can do anything the state takes credit for, and they can do it better. Autonomous zones are evolving from experiments into permanent stages of functional proficiency.
These Permanent Autonomous Zones must be defended. Black, brown and indigenous self-determination and the liberation of colonized ecosystems expose the illegitimacy of settlers and colonizer nation-states. All over the planet, people are seeing through the U$A’s lies and calling their forever-wars what they are – bullying, occupation and theft. If you can get to an autonomous zone like Rojava and Chiapas, then do so. If you are trapped in a fascist, dystopian police state like the U$, the UK, or Turkey, then resist where you are. The stakes are so high. Escape, undermine, subvert, and most important of all, resist! The world is dying and the people it have hard targets and fortresses to siege.
If you are in an occupied region then do not build fortresses to protect yourself. It is up to you to harass the fascist occupiers until it becomes more costly for them to be representatives of oppression than to change and practice social behavior. We must work both within the system and outside of it.
Inside the beast we must push for the abolition of police, prisons and the externally deployed military industrial complex. We must be specific and persistent. There must be small, small circles of activists, gears within the gears of this inhuman machine that grinds our life-blood as the lubrication for it’s function. The only function of the machine we are working to sabotage is to accumulate and retain power. It’s symbol is the boot stepping on the face of the commoner, for all of eternity. We commoners are monkey wrenches.
Work with no more than nine others. One in every ten people is an informant, either as a paid snitch or a volunteer patriot. Remember that all patriotic Amerikkkans are defending a white supremacist organization called the U$A. Within your circle of nine comrades test each other. Build loyalty through direct actions. Police will not strip naked, give up smart phones or publicly state their loyalty to revolution and opposition to racism, patriarchy and the United $tates government.
We share a rich heritage with international revolutionary movements. Here in the occupied United $tates we have a high standard set by indigenous resistance to colonizers, the black slave rebellions, and Irish and black insurrections of the northeast. There are also examples in Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico and many other Latin American countries. The middle east has Rojava, the Arab Spring in Egypt, and the PKK in Turkey. The IRA and Palestine are fierce allies against racist occupies. The French Commune, the French resistance in WWII and the Jewish resistance in the ghettos are no different from the revolutionary work of Black Panthers and other less scrupulous bands of revolutionary militants in occupied North America. It is the height of arrogance to assume that the working class of wage slaves in modern Amerikkka face more danger and repercussions than the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, than the Jews fighting nazis, the French fighting against monarchies and the Irish rebels fighting against the British empire. That attitude of hopeless resignment to U$ KKKops is nothing but cowardice and privileged domestication based on conditioned weakness.
Weakness is a temporary state. It is not your true self. Patriarchal forces have been selectively breeding for weak, stupid workers. It only takes a few years of training to undo this insidious practice, but it is up to you. Being weak is very painful. Being stupid is painful. Daily training is painful. Being strong and educated about the truth of the history and herstory of oppression is painful. To live is to experience suffering. But if we have a goal to live for then our suffering has meaning. Our lives have a purpose. Our purpose is to fight for a better world. This is an eternal struggle.
The enemy is training. White supremacist, interlocking systems of oppression, racism, sexism and colonialism are daily training with the fierce intensity of religious zealots. They spiritualize their struggle and appeal to irrational and vague, emotional notions to work themselves into a self destructive frenzy. While you are reading this, someone out there is training to outwork you and kill you. It is not by accident that toxic ideologies take power. They plan with anxious counsels over many years, saving resources and then going into violent actions. Whoever works harder in the off-season wins. We must show them that the love in our hearts is greater than the hate in theirs. We love life more than they love death. We have evolved beyond an innocence that can be nourished by myths and dreams.
In order to be successful we must blend individualism and community. We need infrastructure, food sharing, shelter, medicine, education and transportation. We need convicts and college students, Black feminists, radical queers, pacifists, anarchists, communists, indigenous resistance, insurrectionists, environmentalists, socialists and eco-terrorists. As individuals we take direct actions without warning or collaborators, and we don’t need to take credit or make any statements. The white supremacist nation-states are feeling billions of small bites. Come together to live and recover, separate to strike blows against capitalism. As needed we can reverse this dynamic.
Every day the representatives of the fascist nation states make fresh outrages against humanity. We need to share this with the world on the internet. Utilize social media and mass transportation. Travel to other states, countries and continents to support protests and provide emergency mutual aid and disaster relief. By car, truck, train and plane we must unite international revolutionary movements into one global revolutionary movement. Long live the worldwide revolutionary movements! Let each be unique to it’s own specific needs. Let each learn from each other. We must love and support one another. It is isolation and poverty that breed ignorance.
Reach out to your neighbors, block by block. Each of you can change one person’s life forever: “each one teach one”. All revolutions are based on land held in common. Eventually we must be able and willing to fight and win. I’ve had to censor myself so that I can continue to communicate with everyone and send messages. Please realize that everything I say is toned down. Take heart because you are not alone. The idea that any government is all powerful, all knowing and invincible is a myth. We will survive. We are learning and we are all equal in this struggle.
We take care of our people, the kids, the disabled, former prisoners and survivors of state and interpersonal violence. We are not perfect. We are often poor. But we are a tribe and a community without borders. We give and accept resources and criticism with equal enthusiasm and gratitude. There are no charismatic leaders. We are a radical democracy. There are no heroes, only the fallen are heroes. There are no saviors – we save ourselves and each other.
This is a class war. It has been going on since before we were born. It may continue long after we are dead. Our enemies are ignorance, hate, sexism, classism, patriarchy, racism, bigotry, and their representatives: cops, soldiers, prison guards, bureaucrats, capitalists, landlords, robber barons, plantation owners, fascists and bosses. Our goal is to empower individuals and collective groups to combat class traitors in ways that are inclusive, militant, uncompromising and most importantly – effective. We must set deadlines and aim for results. The goals include eradicating gendered and racist violence, exploitation, marginalization, domination, hierarchy and ableism. We must be careful to offer criticisms and accountability to ourselves and each other daily. If we become our enemies then we have failed. Please respond to this by offering me criticisms, both publicly on social media and privately to me in correspondence.
Expect contractions and expansions, failure and success, contradictions and harmony. Look out for opportunists. Be practical, logical and wary for security reasons. Be flexible and strong. Be critical and reach out to me to teach me something. Raise your voice – you are needed!
Dan Baker 25765-509
PO Box 34550
Memphis, TN 38184
4 thoughts on “In Pursuit of Permanent Autonomous Zones – by Dan Baker”
I love this, thank you. Been too long since I read a good call to action, and I especially appreciate the message about accepting critique and sacrifice, which I feel is the root of what’s missing in authoritarian movements – they just want whatever protects their feelings and egos.
I worry a little about the OpSec advice in the middle, though – most especially the idea that cops/collaborators will never strip naked, or denounce white supremacy. Brandon Darby did both and more. The UK’s counter-protest LEOs that were just exposed did both and more. So that advice may be misguided, and if people take it literally, may even be harmful. I also try to “never say never” about working with groups larger than 10, though I agree with where the idea is coming from. I think it’s case-by-case: some large organizing efforts, like those around big protest summits, can involve working with dozens of people, and still accomplish excellent work in something similar to safety. Of course, for more radical action, small affinity groups/cells are absolutely the way to go, but the piece makes it sound like it’s a rule for “all” organizing. Maybe I’m just mis-reading it.
In any case, I’m very grateful for this, am inspired by it, and deeply appreciate its humility and totally integral intersectional analysis (easily showing the lie behind class reductionist whining about “identity politics” as somehow interfering with class analysis. Fragile whiners gonna whine, I guess).
Stay strong, stay radical. We’ve got your backs.
Hey thanks for the feedback! Im glad that you got somethin out of the piece. I strongly encourage you to write Dan and offer up your critique:
Dan Baker 25765509
PO Box 34550
Memphis, TN 38184