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(en) US, Lets take the struggle to our neighborhoods! - Baam! Boston

Date Wed, 20 Sep 2006 09:49:22 +0300


Calling All Boston Area Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians
BAAM Boston would like to encourage all Boston area anarchists and
anti-authoritarians to form collectives, organizations, or projects in their
neighborhoods and schools. We encourage these groups to first organize
themselves, and then tackle the issues present in their neighborhoods and
communities. Learn about ongoing struggles, and get involved. Start new
projects against oppression and exploitation, and invite your neighbors.
The anarchist movement in Boston has grinded to a stand still. What was a
healthy and ever-growing movement three years ago is now a struggle to
stay on that map. In our collectives and our groups, we are asking
ourselves, “Where do we go now? What did we do wrong?” One such
organization, BAAM Boston, has had this discussion as well, and has come
up with the following proposal:

This summer, we watched as our brothers and sisters in Oaxaca, Mexico
found strength in their neighborhoods, built popular assemblies, and
brought the powers of decision-making to the people. As September begins
anew the cycle of our transient city of Boston, and we move into our new
homes and apartments (or watch as other newcomers arrive), it is time to
reorganize ourselves. As college students move in, pushing more and more
working families out of the neighborhoods where they have lived for years,
as developers knock down low income housing to build luxury high rises,
as the police continue to criminalize the poor, the working, and the (poor
working) immigrant, we must focus our efforts to aid our neighbors and
defend our neighborhoods.

This is not to say, of course, that anarchists haven’t in the past or
present struggled alongside their neighbors and focused on community
issues. Many anarchists in our city have been working on these projects for
years, and we continue to applaud them. What we are proposing, however,
is to extend this work to all neighborhoods and communities that anarchists
are a part of, or as many as possible, with the hopes of building, in our
neighborhoods, the consciousness necessary to build our own popular
assemblies.

Therefore, BAAM Boston would like to encourage all Boston area
anarchists and anti-authoritarians to form collectives, organizations, or
projects in their neighborhoods and schools. We encourage these groups to
first organize themselves, and then tackle the issues present in their
neighborhoods and communities. Learn about ongoing struggles, and get
involved. Start new projects against oppression and exploitation, and invite
your neighbors. This should not be an intervention, because we will be
participating in struggles in the neighborhoods that we live in and the
communities we are a part of. While we may join in these struggles because
we are anarchists, because our love of justice and disdain for authority and
oppression drive us to do so, our role is not that of a vanguard, forcing our
ideas on people, or of a missionary recruiting soldiers to our cause. We
should not go into these struggles on high horses, or to push our political
agenda on our neighbors: that is not the role of the anarchists. Our role is
that of fellow neighbors, organized as we are in our communities, lending a
hand in the struggles that affect us all. Our role is to ask the people who are
already struggling, who have long been struggling, “What can we do to
help?” and where our neighbors are not struggling, find out why, start
up campaigns, agitate, and make a space for others to participate.

This does not mean that we should be embarrassed by our politics. If we are
asked who we are, what we stand for, we must be honest, open minded,
and patient. We must explain, “We are anarchists,” but must not
leave it at that. We cannot forget why our ideas are relevant to the
communities that we exist in, because anarchy is about
communities—neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, social
relations—organized without the domination of the politicians, bosses,
and authorities who rob us of a voice. We must remember, however, that
our politics are best explained in action, that the word anarchist can be a
dangerous and alienating term, and that we must gain the trust of our
neighbors by being good, committed allies in the struggles we hold
common.

We look to Jamaica Plain for inspiration, as anarchists there have worked
alongside their neighbors against gentrification, but there are hundreds of
neighborhoods across the region lacking a positive anarchist presence.
BAAM members have begun to organize collectives/groups in their own
neighborhoods and schools, and would love to help aid and/or coordinate
others looking to join neighborhood groups or form their own.

Please do not think you must be a member of BAAM, or ever want to be a
member of BAAM to join and/or form a group of this nature in your
neighborhood. There are many different types of communities, and we are
not looking to dogmatically centralize. However, BAAM members forming
these groups will be bringing their experiences and ideas back to BAAM
meetings for discussion and help, support and solidarity, and everyone is, of
course, welcome to do the same, in the spirit of mutual exchange.

So far, BAAM anarchists are forming groups in these following
neighborhoods. If you or someone you know lives in one of these places,
please get in touch. Also, if you would like to form a group in your
neighborhood, and would like help finding other like-minded people, please
contact us and we will help connect people.

The Anarchist Neighborhood Projects:
-Inman Square, contact Mothra: zenga9032 (at) hotmail.com
-Brighton/Allston, Contact Derek: derek2600 (at) yahoo.com and Jake:
trenchesfullofpoets (at) riseup.net
-North Somerville/Davis Square area, Contact Ted: cykros (at) gmail.com
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