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(en) US, Minneapolis, DAYBREAK #6 - Column: GF

Date Wed, 08 Jun 2005 07:26:57 +0300


As cheesy as it sounds, my friends are some of the most important
people in my life. I think “lifestyle activism” brings us all
together in a way that people from other walks of life can’t
understand. We live and bike and sleep and write newspapers
together. Last July, we waved goodbye as I caught my train for the
East Coast. Throughout that summer and into the fall I lived new
and unique experiences, but they left me feeling incomplete.
Without radicals, I felt alone and marginalized, but surround by
them I lost a sense of individual purpose. I was left juggling two
different worlds and two different parts of myself. And the higher
up one flew, the faster the other came crashing down.

Unrolling my sleeping bag under the first floor steps of that
hotel in Harrisburg, PA, and having taken off my boots, I heard a
guest say how it “reeked like B.O. in here.” Then there are
all the days in Boston eating nothing but pastries from the trash, in
New York City, marching, screaming, and sleeping in Union
Square Park by day, sleeping in a car on a Brooklyn side street, or
writing the next day’s press release by night. I try to live up to
my own fantasy of what a radical soldier should be. But, at the end
of the day I wonder, what was the point? What was our goal, and
did we accomplish it? Are we closer to revolution because the
world knows we like to burn shit? Was it about the message, and
is that message clarified by a longer arrest record? If it’s about
the battle and confrontation, then why are we going to the
locations where they are strongest and lying in wait for us? Basic
guerilla strategy (historically) says to hit where they are weak,
where you can win – then run like hell. So why is that ROTC
in Mankato not a pile of cinders?

Working so hard laying on a new roof that I climb down with
sunstroke – and am thrilled about it, knocking down walls,
scraping and painting. We are building an artist training center in
upstate New York, made to exist symbiotically with a restaurant
along the Delaware River. I feel healthy, strong, and constructive,
but I sometimes wonder if I’m laboring for something that
I’ll be proud of. Am I as in control of my labor as I think?
It’s hard to organize unhierarchically when you are the only
anarchist these friends have ever met. I’m unconvincing and
have no capital to back me up. I flip daily between bliss and some
sort of confused disappointment and I can’t tell if I’m
upset because we are buying antiques instead of health insurance,
of if it’s just because no one even thought to achieve
consensus. On the other hand, everyone uses the compost bin and
they don’t flush the toilet as much as they used to. Things
aren’t perfect, but maybe they’re better with me there. But
goddamit, is it so hard to understand how separate sex bathrooms
perpetuate binary gender paradigms? Returning finally to
Minneapolis, I look at friends with renewed appreciation. They
empower me. As much as I work to be strong as an individual,
their validation keeps me healthy. However, I realize how
counter-revolutionary it is to let these feelings blind me to life
outside our anarchist ghetto. I realize I’ve never before
knocked on my neighbor’s door just to say hello. What sort of
community is that? I think I’m going to try to get more
involved outside of my circle of comfort. I’m don’t know
what will happen, but I’m sure I’ll learn something new.
Maybe I’ll find the secret for sparking the revolution! I guess
you’ll have to keep reading Daybreak!… or risk being
counter-revolutionary.
===================================
Daybreak is an anarchist tabloid put out from Minneapolis.

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