A lot of this seems like liberalism: an inability to simply distinguish who has power, only to fall back on a bianary moralism. Obviously, the main contention in the world isn't between various kinds of religious fundamentalism.
I plainly state I support Hamas. Afterall, they are the ones who are resisting. It's seems like a place of privilege to play lip service to supporting a given struggle, only to denounce the main groups leading it. I even question how much you support Palestinians, given that your strategic line on the issue ("Neither One State Nor Two States But No States" and your explicit stance against Palestinian nationalism) is completely Western, alien to Palestinians and even contradictory to the gist of their struggles. Your position seems completely opportunistic and chauvinistic.
I find your condemnations of Hamas as hilarious. On one hand you parrot Fox News, the Israeli State and Alex Jones (saying that Hamas uses human shields, making bad jacketting implication about connections to Mossad). On the other, you supplant a 'anarchist' dogma onto the situation in a way that suits your own world view (moralistic abstractions about the 'rulers and ruled.') On the real, I tell people that a person's support for Hamas, support for those actually resisting the imperialist-backed settler state, is a measure of if that person actually supports the Palestinian cause.
You say that Hamas 'opportunistically seized power.' I have to ask, is power just dangling on a string, waiting of one authoritarian ['oh my!'] or another to "seize" it? I suppose if Hamas had not of seized power, and the comprador PA retained power (the only other serious contender), this would have suited you.
Generally, "solutions" are something realistic, something that, through great struggle, can be attained. What you offer isn't solutions. You offer a moralistic fantasy that is "right." In the end, you don't support the Palestinian cause because you nit-pick it to death and base it upon conditionalities. It's not like your position is unique to the Amerikan psuedo-left either. United for Peace and Justice, 'Communist' Party USA, various Trotskyists and virtually all of the old 'New Left' basically carry the same position: supporting an abstract resistance on the part of Palestinians but not actually support their resistance. Congrats. You're a liberal in the waiting.
while i agree with others that you're post is totally racist, i think your general rhetorical point, whether i agree with your overall positionality on the matter or not, is that we must be clear what we are supporting, and must not wash over the authoritarian, patriarchal, and misogynist tendencies of others. to make a blanket statement regarding Palestinian or Arabic people would be inaccurate and inappropriate, but it would be equally inappropriate to pretend that politicized Islamic extremism is any less fucked up than, say, the authoritarian, patriarchal, and misogynist tendencies of politicized Christian or Zionist extremism (or Hindu or Buddhist extremism, for that matter [yes, that's right, there are Buddhist extremists]).
it is important to be clear on what we support, and what we oppose. standing in solidarity with the people of Gaza who are being brutalized at the hands of Israel does not mean supporting extremist Palestinian militants who opportunisticly seize upon crisis to gain political power (many of whom are also directly involved with Mossad and Israel in black ops). it is also important to remember that not all Palestinian militants are extremists and this stereotype is used to delegitimize and marginalize non-extremist and even secular resistance. the same goes for Israel. there are many dissenting Israeli citizens who oppose the actions of their state.
i am reminded of something that came out last year called "Neither One State Nor Two States But No States":
Statement from the Manchester branch of the Anarchist Federation on the Gaza war
One thing is absolutely clear about the current situation in Gaza: the Israeli state is committing atrocities which must end immediately. With hundreds dead and thousands wounded, it has become increasingly clear that the aim of the military operation, which has been in the planning stages since the signing of the original ceasefire in June, is to break Hamas completely. The attack follows the crippling blockade throughout the supposed ‘ceasefire’, which has destroyed the livelihoods of Gazans, ruined the civilian infrastructure and created a humanitarian disaster which anyone with an ounce of humanity would seek an end to.
But that’s not all there is to say about the situation. On both sides of the conflict, the idea that opposing Israel has to mean supporting Hamas and its ‘resistance’ movement is worryingly common. We totally reject this argument.
Just like any other set of rulers, Hamas, like all the other major Palestinian factions, are happy and willing to sacrifice ordinary Palestinians to increase their power. This isn’t some vague theoretical point — until recently most deaths in Gaza were a result of fighting between Hamas and Fatah. The ‘choices’ offered to ordinary Palestinian people are between Islamist gangsters (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) or nationalist gangsters (Fatah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades). These groups have shown their willingness to attack working class attempts to improve their living conditions, seizing union offices, kidnapping prominent trade unionists, and breaking strikes. One spectacular example is the destruction of Palestine Workers Radio by Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades, for “stoking internal conflicts”. Clearly, a “free Palestine” under the control of any of these groups would be nothing of the sort.
As anarchists, we are internationalists, opposing the idea that the rulers and ruled within a nation have any interests in common. Therefore, anarchists reject Palestinian nationalism just as we reject Israeli nationalism (Zionism). Ethnicity does not grant “rights” to lands, which require the state to enforce them. People, on the other hand, have a right to having their human needs met, and should be able to live where they choose, freely.
Therefore, against the divisions and false choices set up by nationalism, we fully support the ordinary inhabitants of Gaza and Israel against state warfare — not because of their nationality, ethnicity, or religion, but simply because they’re real living, feeling, thinking, suffering, struggling human beings. And this support has to mean total hostility to all those who would oppress and exploit them — the Israeli state and the Western governments and corporations that supply it with weapons, but also any other capitalist factions who seek to use ordinary working-class Palestinians as pawns in their power struggles. The only real solution is one which is collective, based on the fact that as a class, globally, we ultimately have nothing but our ability to work for others, and everything to gain in ending this system — capitalism — and the states and wars it needs.
That this seems like a “difficult” solution does not stop it from being the right one. Any “solution” that means endless cycles of conflict, which is what nationalism represents, is no solution at all. And if that is the case, the fact that it is “easier” is irrelevant. There are sectors of Palestinian society which are not dominated by the would-be rulers — protests organised by village committees in the West Bank for instance. These deserve our support. As do those in Israel who refuse to fight, and who resist the war. But not the groups who call on Palestinians to be slaughtered on their behalf by one of the most advanced armies in the world, and who wilfully attack civilians on the other side of the border.
WHOEVER DIES, HAMAS AND THE ISRAELI STATE WIN
I have read your letter on why you voted for H.Res. 867, and I find it both troubling and evasive. I have been an admirer of yours in the past, but that admiration has dissipated. I absolutely cannot understand why challenging and investigating war crimes should "drive people away from resuming negotiations toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." What people? And what will be the basis of those negotiations wireless internet providers? You say the death of innocent civilians must end. How can that happen if those deaths--many of them paid for by our tax dollars--are papered over and ignored by our representatives in Congress? You say you deplore inflammatory rhetoric. Have you read the Goldstone Report? It is a long, sober, and meticulously-researched document by one of the world's most eminent jurists. It contains no rhetoric of any sort. Truthfully, it seems to me that you know very little about this issue. That being the case you should not, in good conscience, have voted at all. I live in Boulder and I understand that my opinion need not concern you. (Jared Polis's response to my questions was to e-mail me the Abraham Foxman ADL handout that apparently served as the only research he bothered to do). Still,you must be aware that after the bloody and terrible events of the previous century, the world's most honorable thinkers--with the United States in the forefront--concluded that humanity's last, best hope was international law. To deliberately weaken that law as you all have done is to invite further bloodshed and chaos.
and that's probably why they asked how to make it happen.
Join us in solidarity with the
GAZA FREEDOM MARCH
We have joined forces with the Social Action Council of the
First Unitarian Church
1400 Lafayette Street, Denver
Thursday, December 31
6:00 pm - Indoor Vigil
Presenter: Gary Anderson, a civil engineer, who has lived and worked in Palestine and other Arab countries for some years. He was involved in water issues in Palestine for much of 2002-2007 and from late 2005 to early 2007 lived in Ramallah, managing a water distribution project in Gaza.
There will be music and refreshments followed by a
March down Colfax Avenue
PLEASE HELP US SHOW SUPPORT TO END THE SIEGE ON GAZA
Co-sponsors: Friends of Sabeel-Colorado; Aware!; Colorado Palestinian Community Network; Colorado Jews For a Just Peace; and others
Please Bring Flashlights, Glow Sticks, and Signs
For additional information and advocacy resources on the Palestinian- Israeli conflict:
"Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land" Watch it online: http://pppl.org/
Sign up to receive weekly reports of your representatives' votes in Congress: http://www.congress.org/congress...
At what point are existing social relations altered on any level besides subreformism and lifestylism?
We are anarcho-syndicalists on the shop floor, green anarchists in the woods, social anarchists in our communities, individualists when you catch us alone, anarcho-communists when there's something to share, insurrectionists when we strike a blow.
all this revolutionary/insurrectionary theory is just a bunch of fucking clicky ass in-fighting i mean the goverment doesnt even have to worry about a revolution because we are all to busy bickering over which theory will bring the masses in to revolt whether it be anarchism, maoism, communism, socialism, or what ever the fuck else you wanna identify as
i agree with tillitbreaks about needing everything for revolution from the stone chucking mob of angry youth to crowds of non-violent protesters whatever it takes to support your struggles get those yappy liberals to donate to your cause or start those stupid ass petitions whatever it takes to build, start, and spread the fire because in "theory" it will all burn
one last thing actions like this maybe useless and make 'working-class' people disenchanted with your struggle but you also inspire stupid kids like me to stand up, take a chance and keep fighting so lottsa love to fort collins keep up the good work
also hearts to tillitbreaks and everybody else with the courage to do the best they can to smash capitalism and the state
in solidarity and struggle + love from junktown
The GJ location has got a large unmarked building with a gated parking lot, four white vans with US government plates. There is no 'yard' so anyone detained there would have no chance for fresh air. There was no fence or barbwire. Very low key. Few cameras. Minus the federal vans it would be impossible to notice.
The point is revolution, not "acts of rebellion." It seems really childish to adulate minor acts without incorporating them into a realistic strategy and analysis for revolution (the kind that requires an actual revolution). In the end, the empty insurrectionist blathering sounds little different than the stale "working class" dogma.
Third issue is due January 1st but probably will be pushed back a month.
Your textual, (porno)graphic, and/or sexual submission can be made electronically to dragn[at]riseup[dot]net. You know what we want.
Also hit us up if you just wanna cyber... ; )
til it breaks offers so much solid analysis I can't believe it. When does issue three come out? Do you need help? : )
to ariel attack!
seriously one of the coolest people in Denver. ariel is AWESOME.
Yay! Glad to hear the deal worked out so well for you!!!! Ariel you're a fucking OG.
the wellspring of insurrection is either in the points of rupture present in society--the discontent of the tenant, clashes between police and people, struggles of the workplace, the rebellion of students--where anarchists can intervene through non-vanguardist methods to deepen and spread rupture while rejecting forces of mediation and recuperation, or else in our own daily refusal of the social order and what it foists onto us--namely boredom, alienation from our neighbors, the feeling we are spectators of our own lives, so on. at least, those are the theories that have been gifted to us, and we're not ready to burn them just yet.
"We want smashed prisons and the destruction of capitalism, not just windows--the question is how do we create moments in which insurrection is possible?"
either insurrection is possible in every moment, and is primarily a question of our consciousness and actions, or else it is impossible for us--as pro-revolutionaries isolated from the masses--to create moments of insurrection, and we must instead locate the moments that have been created by the inherent conflicts present in society, and then position ourselves in these territories for the purpose of attack. again, these are some positions that insurrectionary theory has taken.
it is crucial that insurrection consists of actions which tend toward generalization rather than isolation. the invisible committee argued that insurrection spreads by resonance rather than contamination; how well, then, does the sight of a boarded-up window at the bank resonate? how about the witnessing of a bank robbery?
it is interesting that in the week that the abovementioned bank was attacked, no less than fourteen banks were robbed in Denver. it seems there is something almost generalized about attacks on banks. neither expropriations nor attacks, however, not even robberies in which the money is burned, will destroy capitalism just like that. if we were asked what tactic is best, our favorite might be the method depicted in Lil Wayne's video Got Money--a bank robbery followed by the willy-nilly gifting of the money onto the asphalt. but really, we would have no strong preference except that they be generalized.
any of these actions, carried out broadly, are destructive of capitalism, at least, that's what we think. better yet, all of these and other rebellions including debtors' strikes, workplace occupations, and gardens, if generalized, would destroy capitalism. cool.
but the logic of generalization, if taken too far, leads toward some of the comments above. one might suggest we need open attacks rather than clandestine ones, or "the working class revolution" rather than attacks on banks (which are not valid targets because working class people work there[??!?]), to be doing it Correctly. we want open revolt and secret destruction, working-class power through petty vandalism, and whatever else is fun and sexy.
it is far too easy to criticize others, and the One True Revolutionaries just want us to rally behind their banner, their ideology, their way of doing things, what they used to call their Party.
"In an excessive perspective of liberation there are no such things as superior forms of struggle. Revolt needs everything: papers and books, arms and explosives, reflection and swearing, poison, daggers and arson. The only interesting question is how to combine them." -- At Daggers Drawn
so, let us take these contradictions--intervention versus refusal, generalization versus clandestinity, revolution versus vandalism--and not let ourselves become bound up trying to resolve them, but let their tensions act as a springboard into joyful insurrection.
mad love to all who attack capitalism, however incompletely, and desire to destroy all government rather than "change" (=steer) its fatal course,
crazy love to the 3 or 5 people who read this shit,
This is absolute stupidity. This is not the way forward to change the course of government. This is petty vandalism and the people that typically work at the Wells Fargo branches are of the working class. The people that are our brothers and sisters. This behaviour not only scares the people you should be protecting, but it also creates negative press for your cause. The way forward is the through the working class revolution, not immature college pranks.
and the Antinational Brigades!
More then 50 people took the streets of Grand Junction to demand No More Deaths on the streets of Grand Junction. Many more participated in the memorial service, in Hawthorn Park at the conclusion of the March. Will update with photos.
See you in the streets
Yes, there is only ONE way. You must be open.
Never clandestine. Or a creative combination of the two.
One-true-wayism works best for insurrectionists raised in a monotheistic, totalitarian culture. The one-true-way will set us free.
our revolt must be open.
clandestine actions at night do nothing to de-legitimize capitalism and the state. it just evades them to attack.
much better is to organize open revolt, open de-legitimizing actions of the state/capitalism (like building occupations, rent strike, etc...) or to organize a street party against banks where the windows are smashed during collective action and cheered by those around. when you smash the windows and hundreds do not stop you, that de-legitimizes the state's violence and capitalism.
smashing a window at night is easier, but it is MUCH better to stir open disregard for the laws of capitalism the state enforces.
organize, occupy, resist.
Federal taxpayer bailout received: $36.9 billion
Profits for the years 1998-2008*: $95.8 billion
Profits for the first half of 2009: $6.22 billion
Change in bank account fees (2003-08): +35.1%
Bank fees for first half of 2009: $2.84 billion
Credit card income for first half of 2009: $1.78 billion
Percent of first half 2009 profit from fees & credit cards: 74%
Median Wells Fargo bank teller wage: $10.28/hour or $21,392 annually
2007-08 Chairman Richard Kovacevich pay: $26.6 million (622 times median
2008 bonus pool†: $978 million‡
First half 2009 bonus and compensation pool: $13.2 billion
Cash bonuses (top 5 execs) last 10 years§: $254.9 million
Effective tax rate in 2008: 18.5%
Offshore subsidiaries in tax havens**: 77
Lobbying fees in 9 months after bailout: $2.5 million
Campaign contributions in 2008 federal elections:†† $4.7 million
Role in subprime crisis:
• Wells was a significant player in the subprime crisis. In 2006, the last year before the
subprime bubble started to burst, Wells originated or co-issued $74.2 billion worth of
subprime loans, making it one of the top subprime lenders in the country.
• As recently as September 2008, Wells still held $48 billion worth of subprime mortgages in
its servicing portfolio, making it the nation’s sixth largest subprime servicer.
Bailing out the Bank:
• Wells Fargo put taxpayers on the hook for up to $36.9 billion in bailout funds and programs
plus an unknown amount from the Federal Reserve’s $8 trillion in emergency programs.
This money was supposed to help the banks get the economy going again. But little of this
money has gone to relieve struggling homeowners and increase the flow of credit to small
• Despite its large portfolio of at risk mortgages, Wells Fargo has started trial mortgage
modifications for only 11% of its 292,515 borrowers who are eligible for the Obama
Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program (and are at least 60 days past due). At
Wachovia, which Wells Fargo acquired in 2008, the number is even lower, 2% of 74,231
* Includes profits for Wells Fargo for the last ten years ($57.1 billion) and Wachovia for the last nine years ($38.7 billion).
• Wells Fargo‡‡ lending to American small business fell by $233 million (a 23.9% drop)
through the SBA’s flagship 7a program, from 2008 to 2009 (measuring each only for the first
11 months of each fiscal year).
• Amidst popular outcry, Wells was forced to cancel a Las Vegas junket in February that
included 12 nights at the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas (two of the most expensive hotelcasinos
on the Strip) for its top mortgage officers.
• In response, the bank took out full page ads in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA
Today, and Wall Street Journal defending its right to hold such events. Full page ads in these
papers can range from $180,000 to $230,000. A company spokeswoman defended the ads,
saying “we felt this was a way we could publicly acknowledge [Wells employees’]
• Wells Fargo is paying $40 million for naming rights to the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia,
the home of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers. Wells Fargo also has its
name on the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines and Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo
Arena in Tempe.
• According to residents of an upscale Malibu neighborhood, a Wells Fargo executive took
over a $12-million, beachfront home that the bank had recently foreclosed on, using it as a
weekend residence and for extravagant parties.
Back to Bonuses as Usual:
• Wells Chairman Richard Kovacevich was reluctant to partake in Paulson’s program to take
equity stakes in banks, which nominally placed limits on executive compensation.
• Unlike his colleagues at the other leading banks, Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf was the only
CEO of a leading bank who had not voluntarily agreed to forego his 2008 bonus before the
February 11th, TARP CEO Congressional hearing. His compensation for 2008 was valued at
• In 2008, Wells Fargo§§ earned only $2.7 billion in income; and yet it awarded its employees
$977.5 million in bonuses, and spent almost $13 billion on total compensation.
• In August 2009, Wells Fargo’s board authorized increases in annual base salaries for Stumpf
and three other senior executives, a practice already implemented by its peers to get around
limits on bonuses for TARP recipients.
• Wells Fargo and Wachovia have made themselves the beneficiaries on $17.8 billion in life
insurance policies for its employees and former employees. The bank gets annual tax-free
income from investments in the insurance contracts, helping to offset executive
compensation expenses, and then receives another tax-free windfall when employees and
former employees die
Unreasonable bank fees
• When often unknowing customers made charges or withdrawals that overdrew an account
Wells Fargo charged them up to $35 per transaction. As a result, if a customer incurs a $100
overdraft that remains unpaid for seven days, the APR on what amounts to a consumer loan
would be a staggering 1,820%. Also Wells reorders transactions in such a way to maximize fee revenue. Now, even as its competitors are overhauling their overdraft policies in advance
of regulatory reform, Wells refuses to follow suit. With federal legislation to curb overdraft
fees imminent, Wells Fargo recently announced that it will not charge customers who exceed
their funds by $5 or less, but anything above is still subject to existing terms.
• Wachovia, which is now owned by Wells Fargo, is already facing overdraft fee litigation by
irate customers in federal courts in Atlanta, Miami, Camden, N.J., and in the northern district
of California -- all of which are seeking class action status.
• A recent report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) examining bank lending practices
in 2006 (the height of the housing boom) reveals that Wells Fargo was much more likely to
steer Black and Latino applicants than White applicants into higher priced subprime
mortgages: 47.3% of Black borrowers and 26.0% of Latino borrowers compared to 16.7% of
• The CAP report also shows the racial disparity was even greater for high-income borrowers:
26.2% of Black high-income borrowers and 16.3% of Latino high-income borrowers
compared to 6.4% of White borrowers. The extent of the disparity and its continuation among
higher income earners raise questions about discrimination in the bank’s lending practices.
This practice is known as reverse redlining and is prohibited under the federal Fair Housing
• The NAACP brought a lawsuit against Wells Fargo and HSBC in March 2009, alleging
“systemic, institutionalized racism” in their subprime lending. According to the lawsuit, the
banks gave subprime rates to African-American borrowers even though they qualified for
better rates, and they gave better rates to white borrowers with similar credit histories. Wells
denies these allegations.
• In January 2008, the City of Baltimore filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging that the
bank “targeted black neighborhoods for high-risk and unfairly priced loans,” according to the
Associated Press, leading to a concentration of Wells Fargo foreclosures in predominantly
African-American communities. In the spring of 2009, two former Wells Fargo employees
submitted affidavits detailing the operations and incentives in the practice, which employees
referred to as “ghetto loans.”
• In July 2009, the Illinois Attorney General filed another lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo of
discriminatory and deceptive mortgage lending practices. The lawsuit alleges not only that
race was a criteria for loan type, but also that Wells Fargo misrepresented the terms of the
loans and refinancing.
• In Los Angeles, a Superior Court judge recently certified a class action lawsuit alleging that
the Wells Fargo area manager denied minority applicants access to a special loan discount
program, costing them up to $10,000 in lost savings per loan.
• Wells Fargo is a major funder of the payday loan industry that preys on cash strapped
working families by providing short term loans with annual interest rates typically around
400%. Wells Fargo provides credit to six of the seven largest publicly traded payday lenders;
this credit is indispensable for the payday lenders’ operations.
• Wells Fargo also functions as a payday lender itself, despite the fact that regulatory agencies
have ruled against various forms of bank involvement in the industry on several occasions.
Since 1994, Wells Fargo has offered direct deposit cash advances that now have annualized
interest rates of 120%.
• Wells Fargo also helps to fund the merchant cash advance industry. Merchant cash advances
are a high cost form of financing to small businesses that is increasingly filling the credit
void at a time when banks have dramatically reduced their lending to small businesses.
Lobbying against workers and consumer interests
• Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf sits on the board of directors and executive committee of the
Financial Services Roundtable, which lobbied against the Employee Free Choice Act in every
quarter of 2008 and has made joining with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to defeat it a top
priority for 2009. The measure would make it easier for workers to bargain with employers for
better wages, benefits, and working conditions by ensuring that they can exercise a free choice
to join together in a union without management interference or intimidation.
• According to data obtained on Open Secrets, during 2008 and the first half of 2009, together
Wells Fargo and Wachovia spent $5.6 million on lobbying, of which $2.5 million was spent
during the three quarters since the bailout.
• Over the past two years the bank focused its lobbying on consumer issues like the mortgage
reform, foreclosure prevention, and anti-predatory lending (H.R. 3915, H.R.787, H.R. 3609,
S. 2636), as well as consumer overdraft and credit card protections (H.R. 946, H.R. 5546,
H.R. 1456, H.R.627, H.R.991, H.R.172.
† Does not include bonuses at Wachovia that was taken over by Wells Fargo.
‡ Before Wachovia merger
§ Includes bonuses at Wells Fargo for the last ten years ($156.8 million) and Wachovia for the last nine years ($98.1 million).
** Includes 18 Wells Fargo subsidiaries and 59 Wachovia subsidiaries.
†† Includes campaign contributions made by both Wells Fargo and by Wachovia during the 2008 federal election cycle. In both
cases, the contributions include those made by the banks’ political action committee and those made by their employees. Data
obtained from Open Secrets
‡‡ Combines lending by Wells Fargo and Wachovia.
§§ Before Wachovia merger