An article for the fourth of July:
Dear Radical Left,
I love you. Okay, okay, don’t roll your eyes or get all overly mushy. It’s cool. But I do love you; we’ve been together a long time. Still, I have to be honest with you: you’re a hot mess right now. And that happens… to all of us. But I think it’s time – past time really – to turn it around.
I look back on your life and all the wonderful moments – moments that we shared and those that came before we met.
So many moments of rebellion and creation, tearing down old oppressive institutions and building new ways of living in this world. Together, we saved forests and created autonomous zones; we shook the corporate trade mechanisms to their very knees, we dismantled borders and walked across their false lines in the sand. We’ve attacked racism, attacked its police, we’ve fed everyone who showed up and taught men how to clean up. We’ve stood in solidarity as the world around us rose up in rebellion after rebellion, in protest, in refusal.
We’ve held each other, cried together, fought together, locked down, shut down, occupied and questioned it all. We’ve come together in the 10s of thousands and also in few, in small groups of affinity. We’ve been wrong, we’ve made mistakes but we’ve woken up to live and build and love another day. We’ve been our best and our world selves; we’ve always just wanted something better.
A world without capitalism, without borders or prisons or poverty or pain. We’ve fought for the freedom of our comrades and broke free our planet and the animals on it from their very literal bonds. We’ve done it ourselves, we’ve lived outside while we railed against from within. We’ve done a lot together and won many small battles if never the war.
But you are quiet now. Do not misunderstand. I mean no disrespect. I know that there are still moments, there are pockets of amazing work – I know it’s happening. Even that, though, feels small, scattered, isolated. We are not in movement. We have no common world we are building. We are not strong. And we are running out of time. We face the unbelievably fast approaching precipice of climate change. We face a rising fascism around much of the globe. We face never-ending war, ever expanding empire, austerity, species extinction and the list goes on. Unchecked global capitalism is driving us beyond the point of survival.
And YOU – WE together – are the best hope for a better tomorrow. So, I write this love letter to you, radical Left, because I love you enough to do my part to support you in pulling yourself back together, building yourself back up. You are needed more than ever. It’s time to rise. Let’s go.
in struggle; in resistance; in collective, creative, courageous rebuilding,
Orlando is a Call to Action – To Fight All Fundamentalism, To Abandon Assimilation, To Be a Part of Radical Movement
I write this for every queer who woke up today more scared of the possibility of violence against them than they did yesterday. I write this for every Latinx person more scared of the possibility of violence, for every person of color scared of the possibility of violence, for every queer Latinx, queer POC, for every Muslim person who woke up today more scared of the possibility of violence against them than they did yesterday, for every queer Muslim. I write this for every queer wrestling with that inside of themselves, stuck in this world that makes us Other, often in more ways than one. I write this for every woman, every indigenous person, every single one of us who faces violence daily in a way that is impossible to explain to any of you who do not live with that constant.
That’s where this must begin, where it must stay rooted. This is an act of hate and violence against queer people, specifically queer people of color. We cannot lose that in the media spin; and we cannot lose that that is what is at the base of this. But we also cannot forget that we queers have never been safe. This may be the worst attack on our community by size but around the country, everyday in every place imaginable, this is happening. I’ve been bashed in San Francisco, there have been shootings in the last couple of years at The 19 and The Saloon, both Minneapolis gay clubs – those are considered some of the most “gay-friendly” cities in the United States.
I write this because there is so very much wrapped up in it. It is a crime based in hate – hatred of The Other – the brown-skinned, black-skinned, the queer, the trans, the Muslim persons. This is about us. And it is also about so much more.
Hi. This is RebRattle. Welcome. Here’s the deal: it’s time – past time really – to rebuild the radical left. We are a mess. I can hear the critiques from all sides as these words are being written. Anarchists, artists, academics… people think things are fine or have self-opted out of the Left despite tradition. Well, I’m beginning this writing project because after a decade and a half of being an anarchist organizer and seeing first hand our capacity to be powerful and create change, it is a daily devastation to watch that have ebbed away, witnessing this currently broken and disempowered shell of a movement. We are what this world desperately needs right now as the climate crisis, right-wing fascism and empire continue to advance.
I hope to add more voices to this project but I want to get started. We’re already behind. So, I’m going to just begin; posting writings and ideas for how we build ourselves back up, re-organize, re-create, re-shape ourselves into a coherent force with solid strategies, goals and an ongoing attempt and momentum towards… well, basically… a new radical left.