Tag Archives: oppression

This Is War- From Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants #5

17 Oct

<!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>This is an essay from the 5th issue of Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants. If you want to get the whole zine you can mail me 2 bux to Mo Karnage P.O. Box 6025 Richmond, Va 23222

This is War

 

This is War. We exist in a state of war. I strongly suspect that stating “This Is War” is going to be taken by some as a declaration of war. It is not. This is an observation of war. This is an acknowledgment of war. Anarchists are at war. People of color are at war. The poor are at war. Women are at war. Queers are at war. Animals, the environment, differently abled folks, and the elderly are at war.

This war was declared on us. And I think it might have always been a factor, since the beginning of human history, at least for some of these groups. Capitalism is a major factor in the way that today’s situation is played out- it defines the format of the struggles/war.

Let me break it down some. War is defined as- 1- a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations or -2- a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism- a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end.

Without even stretching the definition of war it is clear that the capitalist/straight/white/rich/male powers that be are at war with the rest of us. The capitalist system, as well as the governing system in the United States of Amerikka, depend on hierarchy to exist. And hierarchy is maintained by keeping certain people down/oppressed.

Memes like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs make this situation even more explicit. The bottom line is that for centuries people have been enslaved, hurt, tortured, harassed, sexually assaulted, imprisoned, massacred, murdered, executed, assassinated, assaulted, and generally speaking really fucking oppressed. Our side is losing and it hurts.

Memes like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs are also important to understand as meaning more than simply fighting drugs and fighting terror. Because there are basically certain groups of people who are more effected by these concepts than others. The War on Drugs is basically a cover for a racist and classist war against people of color and poor people. The War on Terror is racist, colonial and Islamaphobic, as well as clearly an oppressive political tool.

Why does this matter? Might be the question running through your head. I strongly believe that we need to conceptualize this situation as war in order to understand fully the gravity of it, as well as in order to develop appropriate and effective tactics and strategies. Continue reading

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Genderqueer

18 Aug

I think that there are many misconceptions about the concept of gender queer. It has not been a particularly mainstream idea for very long. Arguably, it still is not mainstream.

Genderqueer is essentially a rejection of the binary gender system (male or female, boy or girl, man or woman). Claiming gender queer is basically saying, fuck a binary gender system, these gender roles that exist are too confining/limiting/inaccurate/fucked up etc.

Claiming genderqueer is not the same thing as saying you are trans. There is definitely overlap. Many radical trans people will also identify as genderqueer because they see the gender binary system as inherently oppressive. Some genderqueer people choose that identity because they see more than 2 genders. Others, because they don’t feel comfortable as either of the 2 genders. There are many reasons people choose genderqueer. It is a fairly fluid concept, with the main point of unity being a rejection of the binary gender system.

Claiming genderqueer is not oppressive. Claiming genderqueer does not cancel out other privileges that one may have. It is not a way to deflect those privileges. If a male bodied person says they are genderqueer, but they frequently pass as male, they still ought to acknowledge the way that male privilege plays a role in their lives. If a white person is genderqueer, that does not in any way eliminate their white skin privilege. And I have never personally encountered anyone trying to use genderqueer as a way of avoiding accountability for their other privileges. Continue reading

Richmond Punk and DIY

28 Jun

When I was a young punk in Richmond I went to a ton of shows at the Nancy Raygun on Grace Street. The shows were cheap enough that I would just pay the 5 bucks and see what the band was, even if I had never heard of them. Then it later seemed like venues were charging more. And now even the venues that charge more, like Alley Katz are shutting down.

I’m really glad that we are having sober, all ages shows at the Wingnut. Yea, the music has to be acoustic since it is a DIY space. But I think it is worth it- better DIY acoustic than clear channel amplified. House shows are hard to have- but I strongly believe that by keeping them acoustic and sober we can prevent almost all of the problems and run-ins with the law that they often have.

I am really happy to be trying to promote local and travelling bands with positive messages and attitudes. Allies in the struggle against oppression, and really talented people who are excited to come entertain richmonders.

Hopefully, our space and shows there can avoid a lot of the macho bullshit that occurs frequently in the punk scene- where going to a show is more about showing how tough you are than enjoying music with people you enjoy.

I am excited at the concept of building SOLIDARITY, not a SCENE!!!!!

May- Memorial Month to People Murdered by State

22 Apr

The Wingnuts (see http://www.thewingnutrva.wordpress.com) have decided that MAY is the month we will dedicate to remembering people who have been killed by the cops/FBI/CIA/state/COINTELPRO etc.

We are compiling a list of names to be used in a ceremony at our Memorial Day Cookout on May 31st. The information will also be incorporated into a mural/monument at the Wingnut.

As part of this whole idea, I will be posting a daily blog during the month of May on a different victim of the state. So lookout in May for profiles/bios/stories/pictures of these people. Because we should never forget about the terrible oppressive violence practiced by the police and the state on a daily basis.

Anarchism- what it means

25 Feb

I believe that any anarchist who lets others know of their belief spends a lot of time fielding really pesky questions about what anarchism is and how it would work and isn’t that just chaos and blahblahblah.

And then as anarchists we also spend a lot of time working against the MANY facets of society that are all about repression, oppression, cruelty, greed etc. We do this because that is what we have to do to work towards the world of healthy communities that take care of each other that we want to see. A huge part of our task is this struggle.

And we get angry. We get so angry. And we should. And we have to. Because a lot of times the alternative is sad, the sort of sadness that is so completely disabling. It is better to have the fire of anger than to give up, than to let go, than to quit.

Anger can sometimes be useful, but sometimes that fire can be too all consuming. I believe that many times we forget what anarchism is really all about. Anarchism is about smashing the state, and it is about shutting down the corporations, and it is about destroying patriarchy and ending all the isms, about confronting and challenging privilege etc. We live is such a fucked up world that we have to spend so much time fighting to keep people from suffering.

People. Continue reading