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(en) US, Creating Local Autonomy and Solidarity in Hartford (CLASH Collective) - A Few Things About Us

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 31 Mar 2005 20:31:43 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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We are activists, involved in many struggles within the Hartford
area. Week in and week out, we sit in meetings with people who
genuinely care about what's going on in the world, here and abroad.
But whether we're against the war, government repression, or
discrimination, we can't help but think that what we've been doing
is simply not working. We're not so naive to think that we can stop
the war tomorrow just by doing something differently, but surely, another
protest in DC or New York isn't going to bring it to an end any sooner.
We believe that the movements for peace and justice are stagnating
in the boring old pool of activism, and that we have everything to
gain by jumping into the global stream of resistance that has
brought down regimes, summits and foreign occupations without
seizing power, without becoming corrupt and stale, and instead by
creating the world we want tomorrow in the now in our daily lives,
rather than waiting for somebody or something to give us the

In our bi-weekly zine, we'll bring news, opinions and updates
straight from the frontlines of the global and local struggles that
make up the movement that is changing the world without taking

What we do:
Spreading our ideas and keeping an open dialogue with others
through distribution of publications, pamphlets, and creating other
forums for resistance.
Organizing around issues, involving ourselves with various
struggles and helping to build other radical organizations and
campaigns to deal with local and global problems.
Holding protests, action trainings, and coordinating and taking part
in creative, innovative forms of action.

Peoples' Global Action Hallmarks
On March 16th, we consensed to endorse the PGA (http://agp.org)

1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism;
all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote
destructive globalisation.

2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and
discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and
religious fundamentalism of all creeds.
We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.

3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying
can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic
organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real

4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social
movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which
maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as
the construction of local alternatives to global capitalism.

5. An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and

Welcome to Our Site
This past Saturday, the big state wide antiwar protest in Hartford
was lovely. I want to share some thoughts on the organizing effort
and the rally itself.
First off, the big, big plus to this demo was the outreach that was
done. This was not just another "peace is patriotic" whites and
stripes fest in the predomonantly people of color city of Hartford.
Canvassing was huge, and I commend everybody who, unlike me,
had no phobia of going door to door. I did it as a job once, and that
was the last time I'll ever do it, personally.
I'm usually highly critical of peaceful, permitted protests, but that's
probably because none of the ones I've been to before have been
like this (except for the Poor People's March at the RNC). Big
mobilizations like this are good for getting people activated and into
the streets, and more importantly, into the meetings (which until
now have been whiter than the weather has been lately). Now, I
probably would have opted to organizing a series of direct action
trainings, rather than having one big protest like 3/19, but that's
me, and I still hope to do that. Which was the right course of
action? For now, I don't know. But it was a great course,
nonetheless. But regardless, I still think that our next move should
NOT be to have more protests like this. I think we should take the
energy and power that was stirred up in the lead-up to the protest to
really give people a creative and powerful outlet for their passion.
Direct action trainings are a must, and I'm working on it. But it
would be a lot easier if more people were on board with this. Lord
knows I'm not great at coordinating things, so this is gonna take
longer since I'm the one doing it. But enough bitching.
I for one recognize the importance for safety at demonstrations
such as this. However, if the protest wasn't such a great one as it
was, with diversity, democratic organizing and excitement, you can
bet I wouldn't have had any problem doing direct action. At boring
ANSWER demos with oppressive marshals every five feet, and no
one present who's not privileged enough to bail themselves out,
they're practically begging you to pull something fun and militant.
This was a permitted protest done right. It was diverse, well
promoted, openly and inclusively organized, and the marshals
promised to behave themselves, which is not the norm elsewhere in
the US. As one comrade put it recently, they sometimes treat
protesters worse than cops.
I think the counter-recruitment effort has been fantastic, though I
think Bush is doing a lot of the work for our movement. For the
second month in a row, recruitment goals have not been met
(hurrah!). Nonetheless, I think if this initiative grows and thrives,
we can seriously put a dent into the war machine (and prepare for
the draft), not to mention increase the youth participation within the
general movement.
Finally, it's also important to remember that counter-recruitment,
street protests, and direct action are but three corner-stones on the
foundation of a quadrilateral structure (wow, I remembered
something from high school math). The fourth is organizing bases
of resistance that are militant, democratic and revolutionary that
address bread and butter issues, as well as far-off issues like the war
and colonialism. These bases are on the one hand probably the
most potent anti-war forces we could ever hope for, but they would
also ensure a long-lasting movement for peace, justice and an
alternative to both the Evil Empire and the Rotten Republic.
The CLASH Collective is working for such a movement locally to
work with the movement globally to change the world without
taking power. We envision a whole local movement of Wobblies
(http://iww.org), tenants unions, neighborhood assemblies, tons of
alternative media (including a bigger and better
IMC/Undercurrent), and of course tons of affinity groups to turn up
the heat, just to name a few manifestations. The list can (and must!
AND DOES!!!) go on and on.
These are our humble goals, and we're not some kind of vanguard
handing down mandates for all you little worker bees to fulfill. We
want dialogue, and this is our contribution to it.

For a world without Presidents!

Another wonderful meeting tonight. Good amount accomplished,
and happy to say we had two more new great people tonight (and
not cops!).
So, we decided on a banner for 3/19, some content/artwork for the
zine, and we consensed to endorse the Peoples' Global Action
Hallmarks (see the About page). But mostly we just hung out and
talked. It's good to talk among comrades when you don't have
much of an opportunity to on a regular basis.
We also talked a little bit about some future projects like perhaps
organizing the homeless or having a summer North East Mutual
Aid gathering(see http://clevelandfoodnotbombs.org/nema for more

It's nice to have a collective - something to call our own.
Love and Solidarity,
m(A)tt, CLASH Collective


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