(poster culled from strangers in a tangled wilderness, link goes to a pdf.)
Reposted from infoshop news:
A committee of outside agitators, ne’er-do-wells, unpredictables, and ungovernables gets excited about the G-20.
On September 24-25th, leaders from the 20 richest and most powerful economies of the world will assemble in Pittsburgh, PA to discuss how they can further entrench their power in the face of the most devastating global depression seen in the last 70 years. We will meet them there.
For most of you reading this text, the political grounds upon which we would oppose such a gathering are at this point common sense. Were we to make a laundry list of grievances, it would certainly not be a short one: the evictions, the food prices, the energy costs, the increase in racist and anti-immigrant attacks, the repression of social movements, the insane ecological collapse that industrial capitalism has spread out before us like a bright red carpet rolled out over the edge of a cliff.
And then there’s the domestic front. The new boss, same as the old boss, has already reneged on every single one of his meager campaign promises, throwing in a few extra treats for us, like billions of little paper handouts to bankers and this new thing called “clean coal.” Nobody is celebrating his inauguration anymore.
The G20 summit will also be used to renew the failed promises of past free trade agreements (FTAA, NAFTA, WTO). This is especially relevant considering the victory of anti-globalization movement of the early ’00. By all accounts, the “Washington consensus” was shattered by the blockades and disruptions of thousands in the US and abroad, and the Doha round of the WTO effectively collapsed. The G20 summit in Pittsburgh is an attempt to reorganize free trade and put a new face on these miserable economic policies in the wake of the current world economic crisis.
Summit-hopping again? or, Why We Shouldn’t Go to Pittsburgh
Many will accurately point out that the best way to deal with the aforementioned grievances—if we are to think of them as “issues”—is not in going to Pittsburgh. We are far better situated to know what kinds of direct action will be effective and what kinds of “alternatives” could be relevant in our own region than in a city 500 or 1000 miles away. We’ve already seen this happening, and are excited by the prospects: Northeastern anarchists have accomplished successful eviction defenses, North Carolinians have gone all crazy on a weird fascist group that is totally fleeing for its life, factory workers in Chicago staged an actual sit-in that won actual demands, the riots in Oakland over the death of Oscar Grant went wild, queers have literally been bashing back, some vivisectors are scared shitless on the west coast.
Others, after perhaps reading a little too much of one ancient Chinese military philosopher, will point out that we could be more effective if we hit the Authorities where they aren’t, as opposed to where they are. We could, perhaps, assemble with 50 of our closest friends somewhere totally unexpected, wreak some havoc, and then disperse. This has been done before, to some effect.
And then there are others who will claim that the time for direct action or militant protest is pretty much over, that it alienates people or that illegal actions inherently exclude oppressed folks, or that traveling out of town to a protest is privileged behavior, and therefore shouldn’t be done.
An Invitation, no RSVP Required
All of these arguments carry at least some merit, and all of them have been made many, many times before. And for these reasons, we’re not asking you to join us in Pittsburgh to put a stop to “clean coal” or housing foreclosures, or because we expect to have a quantifiable military victory over the forces of law and order, or because we think that “the public” or “the oppressed” at large will unanimously sympathize with our actions or even our frustrations.
We are asking you to join us because of those frustrations. We are asking you to come to Pittsburgh with every ounce of anger and rage that you feel when your local projects refuse to manifest into something larger, fiercer, or broader, or when that anger itself forces you into isolation or alienation. We want you to come with your own grievances and your own fears. We are asking you to turn the motivations and strategies of your local, daily resistance into a massive, national specter of disobedience. That specter is not a spectacle, to disappear on September 26th; it is a threat that must insistently, permanently haunt every aspect of every official response to the economic crisis.
Of course, we do not ask you to join us merely to satisfy some internal existential angst, or to work off some vague frustration before you go back to your regular life. We also feel the G-20 summit is of utmost strategic importance, in a broader sense, for anarchists in the US.
The Obama administration is yet to face any serious criticism or rebellion from any sector of the population, and the government’s accommodating treatment of minor resistance that has taken place, such as the Chicago Windows and Doors sit-in, have shown their skill in quickly co-opting such acts before they get out of hand. The strategic responsibility that lies before us as anarchists and anti-capitalists, then, is to get out of hand. The best venue for such a thing is naturally a national one, one where we can get enough people in one place to make something happen, where the dialogue is already focused on a topic (the economy) that everyone is talking about. The strategic opportunity this presents us is that of injecting a thousand stale debates about the economy with the whispers of anti-capitalism. Changing the discourse allows us to reframe small acts of rebellion as part of a larger, deeper whole: it’s no longer just a sit-in, a housing action, or vandalism, but instead understood as part of a larger anti-capitalist whole. This is already happening in Europe with the disruptive anti-G-20 protests in London, the massive rebellion of the young, migrants, and unemployed in Greece, the workers taking their bosses hostage in France.
We also believe that with the most “progressive” government in Washington in years, any rebellion against that government or its policies has the ability to move people toward a more systemic analysis. If the “best” politician in years is exposed as incapable of containing people’s anger and frustrations, then it is that much easier for us to argue that electoral politics are totally bankrupt. Part of this idea depends on the willingness of anarchists to take ownership over whatever ruckus we create in Pittsburgh from within their own local projects. We must be willing to point 500 miles away and say, “Those people are fighting back for the same reasons we’re fighting back. Those people are us.”
The G-20 can also be a place for us to find each other again, to keep strong whatever networks have been built up after the RNC and DNC of 2008, and to make regional plans for the rest of the year. Above all, Pittsburgh can be a place that we come together to feel powerful. Many anarchists in the US live in relatively small towns geographically spread out over hundreds of miles, and work on projects where the more radical of our goals are sidelined or made invisible. As we currently lack a coherent structure of national networks or organizations, these summits are among the few places where we can come together, see each other, and realize the power we have.
See You in the Rustbelt…
And so we ask you to join us, as fellow outside agitators, in Pittsburgh this September. The groundwork is already being laid, the plans are already being made by a large body of badass rebels from the Pittsburgh area. In the coming months, perhaps our networks can help create proposals for actions that will complement the plans of local organizers, and fill in whatever gaps there may be in the existing framework. Perhaps we can also help figure out what kinds of infrastructure support Pittsburgh will need from out-of-towners, and thus do what we can to create as broad a sense of ownership over this mobilization as possible. Ideally, everyone coming to Pittsburgh will have plans they’re excited about, and actions or infrastructure for which their skills are relevant.
For now, as the proud outside agitators we are, we are simply expressing our excitement and solidarity with those in the G-20 Resistance Project, and inviting others to do the same.
With a fierce desire for revenge,
A COMMITTEE of OUTSIDE AGITATORS, east coast local #3.
For more information about the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project’s original call, “visit” http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?…0074029154 or http://www.resistg20.org
To send questions about, support for, or endorsements of this original call from your organization/group/network/wing nut circle of friends, write to email@example.com