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(en) US, DON'T JUST VOTE*, GET ACTIVE paper now available! and Update from Denver

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://www.dontjustvote.com)
Date Sat, 22 May 2004 12:42:09 +0200 (CEST)


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A free paper emphasizing the advantages of direct action
strategies over electoral politics-including the "don't just vote, get
active" call for direct action on election day, and two related
posters suitable for wheatpasting-is now available.
Bulk copies can be obtained in return for postage
donations-contact distro@dontjustvote.com , or write Don't Just
Vote Campaign, P.O. Box 2133, Greensboro, NC 27402 USA.
Please email us first or write to let us know how many copies you
want, and to arrange sending the correct amount to cover postage.

Please do get copies to distribute at schools, food co-ops,
infoshops, shows, and other community spaces and events-this
paper is designed to be accessible to a wide readership.

We want to offer these posters for free, but due to postage
expenses we need to ask for donations to be able to send these
out. The following is our suggested donations for various
amounts of papers. However if you want to distribute more papers
than you have funds for, let us know what you can contribute and
we'll figure something out. Again we want to make these as free
and accessible is possible, so we are flexible on donations. Also if
you are in a position to contribute more, please do so - to cover
for those who can't.

The papers come in bundles of 25. One bundle is $3.50
2-4 bundles are $2.50 each, 5-10 bundles or more are $2 each
Send us an email for the address of where to send your donation!

Update from Denver - by Johnny Applecore

Like so many on the left, even the punk scene seems to be
developing an unhealthy obsession with the mantra "Anyone But
Bush." Punk Planet, Fat Wreck Chords and Mike Park of Asian
Man Records are all promoting the ballot box for angry youth to
get their frustration out on the system.

While voting may have some political effect, one thing is for sure-
funnelling the energy of potentially radical youth in to something
as passive as checking a box will undoubtedly sterilize and
de-fang any sort of potential this community has of being "a
threat again".

In addition, the Plea for Peace tour this year featured spoken
word artist Saul Williams and indie-rock group, Cursive.
Obviously this line-up sought to reach beyond the punk
community as far as inspiring political action amongst the youth.

For this reason, a last-minute plan of action was developed in
Denver. There were only two of us, but that's all it needed. We
saw the new pamphlets put out by the Don't Just Vote campaign
and CrimethInc. and thought them especially good. They
effectively side-stepped the to-vote or not-to-vote question and
focus instead on the virtues of direct action.

Because of the lateness in organizing this action, we were unable
to receive bulk quantities of the propaganda, so instead we
modified it (added local contacts, reformatted a bit of it, etc.) and
printed out our own 100 copies courtesy of Office Max.

While concerns of anarcho-scenism, the stagnation of anarchist
thought in subcultural scenes, is certainly valid this action was by
no means preaching to the choir. Like mentioned before, the acts
featured didn't draw just the typical punk crowd. Also, since the
massive attention MTV and other corporate outlets have given to
punk, many punks are even unaware or misinformed on
anarchism and direct democracy.

After attending the show, it became increasingly apparent that
our presence was important. Not a single performer mentioned
work after the election. Also, many standard electoral arguments
were made that are absolutely fallacious- the idea that people
must be apathetic if they don't vote or that if you don't vote you
can't complain or that voting is the single most important political
act anyone can take. These are all undeniably false and investing
so much in a single election is extremely dangerous. At best we
usher in a Democrat who will continue imperialist, white
supremacist, patriarchal and capitalist endeavors(simply in
different ways) and with an appeased public. At worst we see
Bush win again, most likely leaving the vast majority of those
youth extremely disheartened from witnessing their supposedly
single most important action amount to nothing.

So, after the show we passed out the pamphlets. All in all they
were well received. People seemed eager to take in new literature
on what can be done to stop Bush. Luckily for us, we were giving
them options that went completely unmentioned on stage. We
even had people coming up asking us for extras to give to their
friends.

All in all I think the action was successful and we would
encourage others to attend the PFP Tour, talking to people about
options in addition to voting. It seems we can be most effective
with those people who have reached the point that they want to
take action against this system, but are unsure as to what can be
done. As well intentioned as folks like the Plea for Peace
organization might be, promoting liberal, reformist methods of
action and only those actions destroys any sort of possibilities to
fundamentally change this society. It is up to us radicals to be
there to make it known that we cannot dismantle the master's
house with the master's tools.


See also:
http://www.dontjustvote.com/
http://www.ainfos.ca/04/feb/ainfos00454.html
(en) US, Washington, Don't Just Vote, Get Active campaign -
Nationwide Call to Action

*[Ed. Note: This initiative was started by a group of
American anarchists who met after the NCOR conference
in Washington, DC in Janaury.]


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