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celebratedrecluse wrote

Concrete, material things that were discussed:

Black Visions Collective partnered with the non-profit Nexus to create the Transformative Black Led Movement Fund to determine how to distribute $3.1 million that your groups had raised to Black people and Black-led groups in Minneapolis

you all had some success with that in 2019, when the City Council voted to move $242,000 from the police budget and into the Office of Violence Prevention

I’m talking about other Black folks that I’ve been having this conversation with. And the thing that comes up for them time and time again is, “I want a guarantee that this will never happen to me, my son, to anybody I know, anybody that looks like me, ever again.”

And so that’s kind of how I take it when I’m in those conversations. I think, as Reclaim the Block, we’ve always tried to put forward the idea that justice is when people have things that they need, when they have housing that is safe, that they can afford, when they have a clean environment that they can be in relationship with, when they have worker protection, when they’re not getting wage theft, when they, you know, all the other things that we’ve often had people organize with us to say, “Yes, we would like the money from the police because it will make us safe if we have the things that we build.”

in Minneapolis, one of the next immediate steps is in November that ballot amendment to take MPD out of the charter. Hopefully get it before the voters and hopefully we’ll have done enough work by then, that they understand why this is a good thing, and the kind of possibilities that it does open up. And even that, it doesn’t necessarily do anything on its own. It takes away some barriers within it. It puts that possibility in our hands, again, as organizers, as people that care about what a just, safe city looks like, who are able to see that safety and policing are not the safe things. And then to figure out what that means.


celebratedrecluse wrote

Essentially, the idea is to shift financial resources, using the state budgetary/taxation mechanisms to do so. Additionally, there is the idea of creating city structures that are different than the police. To some extent, this appears to be paired with a "dual power" sort of approach, which may be building the capacity for organization partially outside of the city. The way this works, is through the Non-Profit Organizational structure. All of these groups, appear to be incorporated legally with the state, and they want money from the state to operate at least in part.


celebratedrecluse wrote

One response I have to this is, in what ways is this simply not anarchist at all? What is the relationship of anarchists to these protest movements? It seems that there are exceedingly divergent interests in play here, but there is a hesitation from anarchists (especially the whites, and non-black anarchists in general) to really discuss this. The fear appears to be, I don't want to seem like I'm co-opting something. But liberalism, is by definition a co-optation, an accomodation with the structures that are opposed by abolitionist forces. And these goals and material aspirations of for example this conversation are, seemingly, clearly within that system, even as they discuss "dismantling it entirely" etc.

I think it's important to cut through the rhetoric and discuss what appears to be a contradiction, because that's where the food gets really spicey.


Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

It's not anarchist.

I'd put this in the realm of authoritarian radical reforms.

This is how I get there -

Authoritarian: if there are appeals to authority at all rather than mutualistic direct action.

Within that, there are two types of reforms; radical and reformist.

Radical reforms are more likely to incidentally help anarchists (while reaffirming a fundamentally undesirable mode of relating - authoritarianism), and are usually negations ("de-" words like defund and demilitarise and decriminalise). Say they take away the cops guns via official structures and ballots.

Reformist reforms capacitate the state, like cop training, more funds for body cameras, more sophisticated weapons etc.

Anarchist approach generally does not do any of these, rather it builds mutual aid networks/societies that are their own power.


celebratedrecluse wrote

I think that anarchist, worldwide, have a self-interest in articulating and acting autonomously from these para-authority moves. It's not about "splitting a/the group", but rather learning how to speak and act for ourselves without subsuming ourselves as part of anonther mass.

We don't need mass-- we need mutuality, like you say. Creating space for people to meaningfully choose to act in a liberated way, rather than printing blueprints for a chess game, is much more appealing to me. And, like you say, they aren't even always at odds-- there are ways that the liberal authoritarians can focus their energy as a negation of the state authorities, in a way that synergizes with anarchist activity. And, vice versa.

But there should be no confusion that we are two different parties, with two different approaches and different desires. I think the deconstruction of liberal authoritarianism, insofar as it fuels the identity politics of liberalism, is important as it is fraught, for anarchist to do in this tense moment in history.