Posts tagged ‘radical’

Mourning Ghost Ship Victims from Afar

​Watching the tragedy of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire via news outlets and friends who live in Oakland’s facebook feeds has been a heart wrenching journey. Unlike the Pusle shooting in Orlando, there is no clear villain. 

The “at blame” party in this case seems to include some combination of the building owner, the tenant(s), the city for failing to follow up on complaints, capitalism and gentrification for pushing poor people into marginalized spaces, and probably some.other potential villains I haven’t heard about. 

As usual, victim blaming is not a good direction to head in. In general, I think blaming any one party is this nightmare is not going to be useful. Sadly, the damage here is done, to so many young lives, including many POC and LGBTQ folks.

Survivors and folks who had been to that space, or even similar spaces, are speaking out about how they could only find safety and comfort in those types of places. Marginalized identities finding solace in marginal spaces.

I think this tragedy must serve as a push, going forward, for those inhabiting marginal spaces to do as much as they can to make those spaces safe, and not just safe from harassment.

I present this concept: the terribleness of capitalism and real estate and gentrification still do not make outsiders/radicals/artists/lgbtq/whatever subculture justified in being careless/dangerous/unsafe with eachother. 

We need to do a better job taking care of each other than the market does of taking care of us.

We need to do a better job taking care of each other than the market does of taking care of us.

Marginalized people living in substandard housing is pretty much par for the course. But like a lot of anarchist thought, it seems like it is up to anarchists to be accountable and responsible to forge something better.

 Things that are cheap and easy to do moving forward: smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, water filters, safe power strips, condoms, safe space heaters, first aid kits, etc. Self care can include this shit too. It isn’t blaming the victim to learn from tragedy and try to do better moving forward.

Don’t forget that taking care of eachother includes emotional and mental and health things too. Let’s build alternatives to capitalism that are better than, not just different. Let’s carve out our own clubs and forts and collectives and make safe spaces that are emotionally and physically safe.

Poor folks are routinely subjected to the dregs of capitalism. There is often a particular charm to these spaces, certainly the photos of the Ghost Ship are beautiful in certain ways. Revelling in the dregs is legit. But finding ways to make hazards of lead paint, yucky water, bad wiring, etc. Become minimized is going to be important.

Money might be able to solve these issues, but I think creative people can find creative solutions, including bartering, to make safer spaces. I am NOT arguing that all alternative spaces need to become legal. That is out of reach or undesireable in many cases. Spaces can still be marginal, while being improved, and while the cultures within them are improved, to lead to greater safety.

We need to do a better job taking care of each other than the market does of taking care of us.

The South is Still Rising Book for sale!

​Failing to understand the history of social movements and places hinders current social movements. Knowing history can prevent the same mistakes from being made and prevent people from reinventing the wheel. My book on a decade of Richmond radical activism is still available for sale. $10 in person! 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/113467534/the-south-is-still-rising-contemporary?ref=shop_home_active_1#


The South is Still Rising: Contemporary Radical and Anarchist Movements in Richmond, Virginia from 1994-2004 by Mo Karnage

The South is Still Rising explores the little known story of radical organizing in Richmond, Virginia in terms that Mo’s mom can understand. This story is contextualized in both within the history of Richmond and within the history of radical activism on a national and global scale.

The South is Still Rising reveals the things going on in the old capital of the Confederacy that are not played up in the media, and that many folks don’t get a chance to find out about. This is your window into a better understanding of what is actually going on in the South.

A new type of Southern Pride. A history that includes the resistance to racism, sexism, capitalism, and more!

Spring is coming haiku pt. 1

Half of my haiku from the winter/Spring.

Next Haiku battle in RVA will be on April 15th at 8pm at Balliceaux, so get to writing yours and come throw down after the Raise Up! Fight for $15 rally which is at 5pm in Monroe Park!!

When I like redneck
But they not like me back. So
Mad I spit my dip!!!

Might take zumba class
At the Y. Just because I
Like to say ZUMBA!

Raven Mack you are
My friend because you are one
Disgruntled redneck

embodiement of
Evil, winter sticks around
Pants oppressin me

Warm up the coffee
dads new dog from milwaukee
book on the couch me

Do you drive a big
Truck? Climate change in my pants
Rising tide pussy

Rain comes down today
Why do anything – ok
Going to the gym

Sometimes i feel like
Sobbing my honey bees left
And i am alone

No one will ever
Match the greatness of the dip
dick and diesel tour

Another year gone
Without seeing monster jam
My soul remains crushed

Bored broke basically
Freezing what are yall doing
This stupid evening?

Whats love got to do
With it? Fucking everything
Dont you get it yet

Heart hurting for good
Reasons. Hoping for the best
We can do it babe

An Anarchist Society – What Would It Look Like?

I often have the same conversation with folks about anarchism. People want to know what an anarchist world would look like. I tell them, that if someone has a plan for that future, an answer to that question, run in the opposite direction.

Anyone who says they know what will work is probably a liar. And of course any move towards an anarchist society needs to avoid recreating hierarchies. Anyone with a set idea in their head, is likely to work towards that idea, creating power around it and themselves. We need to avoid ego and avoid placing ideas on unwilling persons and communities to move forward. We have to respect autonomy of communities and individuals.

Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is ridiculous. I argue that our current society does exactly that. We are so wrapped up in the system of capitalism and ‘democracy’ that most don’t even see how these systems will never give us what we want. If what we want is freedom, justice, liberty, sustainability, etc.  We have a ton of historical examples that can be drawn from to move forward – from worker co-ops, to income sharing communities, to publishing collectives, to radical unions and more.  I think the trick here, is to not be sold on any one tactic off the bat.

Identifying with an idea is a dangerous start. When we create our identities we often become defensive about them. Working towards a better world, we are going to make mistakes. The key, in my opinion, is to not fear mistakes. The system we currently have does not work.

Let me say that again, the system we currently have does not work.

What are we so scared of? If we try something new, and it doesn’t work, then we have learned something important.

Fear generally, and fear of failure specifically, holds us back from attaining better things.

But if we start off identifying with an idea, building power around an idea, we will be less willing to admit when the idea does not work out. Instead, we could try ideas for set periods of time, or until the results were obvious. The possibilities are fairly endless.

We need ideas, and we need communities willing to try various ideas. And we probably need to create a method of documenting successes and failures of different ideas, so no one is forced to reinvent the wheel. Touring speakers, zines, books, documentaries, online articles and more could be our methods of dispersing ideas and lessons learned from their implementation.

This should also all be done in the context of recognizing that different things will work for different people in different places. Realities of environment and natural resources will impact what different communities will be able to do that will work for them. The more locally specific we make our ideas for communities, the better they will work out in the long run.

What would an Anarchist Society look like? What do you think?

A society which values autonomy, mutual aid, sustainability, non violence, liberty, AND  experimentation sounds like a good start to me.

Upcoming Events I’m Helping Organize

Here are fliers for several upcoming events I am helping to organize!

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Richmond’s A Christmas Carol – Past, Present, No Future #RVA ?


Soundtrack to the article…

 

The hope for every New Year is for a year that is better than the last. For Richmond, that hope is against all odds as our local government sets us up again and again for epic failures. It is up to you, the people of Richmond, to take a stand against the corruption, the incompetence, the utter lack of transparency, and the bad priorities pushed fervently by the local politicians and businessmen.

I present to Richmond, a slightly seasonally late Christmas Carol, with the hopes that being visited by the ghosts of Richmond’s past, present, and future will be a cautionary vision, leading the city to better decision making down the line.

I would compare Mayor Jones to Scrooge, and direct this message at him, but I’ve never been one to count on people in power or want to reinforce hierarchy, and frankly the man never has seemed to give a damn. Instead, this goes to the people of Richmond, the ones capable of rising up to change Richmond for the better and take it out of the hands of greedy developers and their ilk.

*chains rattling, fog rolls in*

ghostpastredskinsmascot

While there are many Ghosts of Richmond Past I could choose from, I’ll focus on a recent one – the Redskins Training Camp. The problems with the public spending on the Redskins Training Camp start with the bad investment, go to the bad decisions for the school system, the disproportionate spending of money in a patriarchical way, and end with the indisputable racism of the team’s name (ah but that doesn’t stop the white people). But the financial side of the Redskins Training Camp is what is relevant here, so let me run the numbers by you.

The City of Richmond paid about 10 million dollars for the original construction of the Redskins Training Camp. This of course happens at the same general time period where the City repeatedly refuses to put money towards public schools that are falling apart on students’ heads and relinquishes a public park to control by a private organization with gentrification plans over a measely 3 million dollars. (more…)

2015 New Years Resolutions!

2014 was overall an excellent year. I was able to travel to Key West and get a break from the winter. I drove a crazy bus full of dogs to Indiana and back, drove from California to Virginia, spent a week in the mountains, and went on numerous camping trips. I adopted a third dog, Tatertot, and learned to walk 3 pitbulls at the same time. I went to a variety of city council meetings and protests on issues from No Stadium in Shockoe Bottom to #blacklivesmatter to Monroe Park. I lost friends, among them amazing humans Ian Graham, Cayman Mooney, and Birch Wood. I worked, from writing, to editing, to babysitting, to stagehand, to carpentry, and starting my own business so I can work for myself. I supported neat projects my friends started, hosted bands, cooked for food not bombs, wrote zines, went to game nights and played games with friends, went to brunch several times, and held potluck events! I competed semi regularly in poetry events, took an herbal medicine class, made it to the Field Day of the Past and the State Fair! I did a lot of neato things and I can’t even remember all of them!

So here are my plans for 2015!!! I’m trying to set myself up for success by having starting dates and game plans for some of these goals. I’m ready!

1. Save up money using the plan where you match the dollar amount with the week number, so each week you save money, starting with $1 the first week and ending with $52. (more…)

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