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(en) US, Introduction to the Minnesota Anarchist Collective

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 8 Sep 2003 08:44:53 +0200 (CEST)

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The Midwest, and more specifically Minnesota, has a long history of
anarchist organizations and resistance. The great anarchist provocateur
Emma Goldman had traveled through Minnesota in 1911. First she traveled
to Duluth, then to Saint Paul, and finally to Minneapolis. Along the way
she spoke at meetings and met fellow anarchists and socialists that were
tiring of the old party politics. When she was in Minneapolis she spoke
at Nicollect and 7th Street at a place called McEleroys Hall. Emma
wrote of a woman she met in Minneapolis, Ruth justly says, all great
art is anarchism, the freedom of expression. These young rebels have
their own studio where they paint, dream, plan, and live on sandwiches
and spaghetti in the most exquisite spirit of mutual helpfulness and

In the past twenty years we have seen many anarchist and workers
collectives come and go but there has rarely been a moment where some
anarchist group did not exist. The Seward Caf? is one of the longest
running workers collectives in North America. In the eighties there was
RABL (Revolutionary Anarchist Bowling League), TCAF (Twin Cities
Anarchist Federation), ARA (Anti-Racist Action, which is still running
today), the beginning of Profane Existence, and The Emma Center (which
was an anarchist community center that offered free day care, shows,
books, and meeting space, and which sadly closed in the yearly
nineties). In the late eighties we saw the beginning of the Love and
Rage Federation (which sadly ended in the mid nineties) that had started
in Minneapolis. It could be argued that Love and Rage has been one of
the most important anarchist collectives in the past thirty years in
North America.

Since 2000 the revolutionary spirit has still not been squashed. We have
seen many anarchist zines come out and Profane Existence is still
running strong. We have also seen other collectives emerge like The
Daybreak Collective and RAMBL (which is the Revolutionary Activist
Mother and Baby League). Also there are other workers collective that
are newly emerging like the pizza collective and the beer collective.

The Minnesota Anarchist Collective emerged on the advent of Gulf War 2
mainly due to the frustration of the lack of presence of any real
anarchist force. On day X the day after the war began there was a
healthy anarchist Black Bloc that showed that there was still a strong
anarchist community within Minnesota, but one day later any one would
have had a hard time to see that there is any real solidarity left
amongst the anarchist community. The anarchist community within
Minnesota has become severely divided and destroyed by sectarianism.

One of the aims of the Minnesota Anarchist Collective is to try and
reconcile these sectarian divisions and try to help create a once again
thriving anarchist community. We believe that most anarchists have
certain aims that we all agree on, which include destroying capitalism,
racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and colonialism and to stop the
destructive nature of being ruled by an elite minority. We believe that
we can come together around these issues and show a strong and unified
anarchist community of resistance once again. The very nature of
capitalism is an on going battle to suppress dissent amongst the working
class and keep the rich in positions of power by any means necessary
(including war) makes it that much more important and imminent that our
resistance is strong and unified.

Another aim of the Minnesota Anarchist Collective is to try to get the
anarchist community out of the anarchist/activist ghetto. As anarchists,
we tend to come up with some of the most profound revolutionary
arguments and critiques, but we only try to spread those ideas amongst
each other. We need to try and win people over on to our side by talking
about our ideas and also listening to their concerns. When we go to
protest we need to bring anarchist literature to help spark these ideas.
At work we need to talk to other coworkers about these ideas when the
boss is cutting benefits and wages and hours (if one is scared of the
repercussions drop off literature in the break room). We need to go and
show support to peoples struggles where and when they manifest
themselves. We need to write our concerns and feelings to more
publications than just anarchist publications even if this includes the
mainstream press. We must emphasize direct action instead of relying on
politicians for political change. There are many more ways to reach out
beyond our community, but we need to remember to show each other support
and that were not alone.

The war has died down a little and the current administration is
drooling over themselves about what country to annex into their path of
destruction. It is more important now that anarchists show an active
anti-war critical mass that we need to fight for a real just and
sustainable future. As long as the capitalist system and state democracy
is in place these wars will be an on going battle. The Minnesota
Anarchist Collective realize that the revolutionary spirit is alive and
thriving as shown by recent historical events of Seattle 99 and the
Critical Mass protests of Feb. 15, 2003.

In solidarity and to the ongoing revolution,

Minnesota Anarchist Collective 2003

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