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Morpheus at 1070 bill Rally courtesy of Anarcho Communist group

Written by Subject: Activism
The first is of someone known to PCWC, and with whom we have interacted very cordially at a variety of our events, but who I won't identify since I don't know if he wants to be named. Regular attendees of PCWC actions and events will probably know him. The video linked below, taken by someone in the counter-protest on Friday, shows this person bravely moving into the reactionary crowd and calling them out vigorously for their support of the bill. In true fanatical fashion, this man begins yelling forcefully "This bill is the mark of the beast!", "Prepare for the New World Order!" and "Who would Jesus hate?!".

This is important for a few reasons. One, it comes at the right reactionaries on terrain that they are familiar with. This is something that we, as anarchists are not able to do anywhere near as effectively. Two, it opens a front on the reactionaries from their rear, hitting them in a way and from a direction that they do not expect. Three, it comes as a heartfelt and genuine defense of the true values professed by the libertarian and even Christian right, while recognizing the general tendency not to live up to them in any meaningful way.
In my opinion the disconnect that is being called out between professed Christianity and actual results derives from their adherence to white supremacist values. They defend their cross-class alliance of whiteness over their professed values of Christian love for their brother and sister, effectively. And, probably most importantly, the charges made in the video demands accountability and asserts an either/or dichotomy that attempts to erase middle ground, asserting, will you be Christian or will you hate? Will you be Christian or will you support the "mark of the beast"?
This is very important because to oppose the bill in many ways contains within it the potentiality of refusing the alliance of whiteness. PCWC has spent quite a lot of effort encouraging this sort of thing and I welcome it and support it. Cheers for this revolt!
The second video is one published by Shelton at 4409. Shelton is perhaps best known amongst anarchists for his work around speed cameras. We have engaged on this front several times in the last year, encouraging their work but also being critical of pointing out what we perceive to be the unconscious white supremacist undercurrents of their strategy. I want to be clear, this is not to say that we consider Shelton a white supremacist or anything of the sort. Even though he opposes what he calls "amnesty" for the undocumented, we believe that the racism inherent in the argument he makes is not conscious or malicious: it is the sort of white supremacy that underlies most of the assumptions that underpin white organizing in general, whether of the left or right.
The flaw is not his in particular and it is important to separate it from the kind of overt racist strategy that we see being pursued by those who support the bill. And, indeed, the arguments that Shelton has made in the past against the bill are generally pretty good although, as with the anti-SB1070 current on the left, he suffers the same problem of demanding increased policing at the border.
On the left, this manifests in a demand for reform that included heightened border patrol enforcement at la linea itself. This is important for a lot of reasons, but not least of all because it sacrifices the lives of people that live on the border, specifically but not limited to the Tohono O'odham people, whose land down south is bisected by the border and who have an inherent right of travel across it. This right is currently under heavy assault by the very forces that many opponents of the bill propose to "secure" the border. On the right the opposition to SB1070 is weakened by a similar assertion that if policing at the border were increased, then there would be less need for internal surveillance and checks on movement.
Indeed, this is also the critical flaw in the libertarian/constitutionalist opposition to internal border patrol checkpoints. You can see how, ironically, these two positions, though from opposite poles of the political spectrum, suffer from the same problem.
The fact is, militarization of the border must be separated from the discussion of SB1070 (and, of course, it must be opposed). If not, it remains a devil's bargain that sells some out in the name of defending others. That's not solidarity. So, in that context, consider Shelton's interesting new video, in which he goes to the state capitol and confronts legislators on the bill and its effects. Aside from its entertaining nature, it is really informative about the kinds of opposition to this bill that could -- and sometimes does -- spread from the right.
This is a tendency that I continue to believe is worth engaging with and I would be very interested in developing some sort of way of further fleshing out common ground for critical solidarity with elements of this type that are interested in challenging the bill and constraints on free movement generally (the position we defend).
Of course, in the end, we will not accept any increased policing at the border because we believe in free movement for all. However, that in my opinion does not preclude the increasing investigation of points of common struggle within this milieu.


UPDATE June 10th 2010 council/SB1070-HB2162.PDF

We've been saying that it's section E, E1 and E2 under 11-1051 on page 1 which contains the exchange of law abiding citizens data with homeland security.
The "final" version of the bill has it in section F, F1 and F2.  Everyone I'm bccing have put E, E1 and E2 in their analysis.  Please change that to F, F1 and F2 and link using the link above which is the most up to date version.
I fully expect that once cogent criticisms of the above version circulate in the news, that Pearce will "find" the "real" final version of the bill and we'll get another version switching sections around again.  Just be prepared.  But right now, the provision handing over law abiding citizens data to homeland security, thereby turning Arizona licenses into national ids, is in 11-1051 F, F1 and F2.  Please update any analyses you have posted.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

@  Mike Renzulli:

You've kind of butchered our statement there, taking some of it and adding words of your own choosing.  First it should be pointed out that we do not identify as communists.  And there is no such thing as a "communist anarchist".  There are "anarcho-communists" and "anarchist-communists", though you really don't hear that used much these days. Either way, in both cases they are anti-state and anti-capitalist and should in no way be conflated with state communists or, in my opinion, with communists of any sort. 

Funny thing is at Saturday's rally I got in a quite heated confrontation with a communist. Likewise, PCWC confronted communists at the rally early last year.  We are no friends of communists.  At the anarchist bookfair in San Francisco last year, anarchists drove the Revolutionary Communist Party out of the fair grounds.  So, you shouldn't lump anarchists and communists together.  We know our history.  Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin killed plenty of anarchists and I am sure that they themselves would chuckle and reject your conflation of the two.

Thirdly, as we don't want a state to manage workers, and we don't want capitalists to exploit them, I fail to see the logic in your insinuation that we want "more bodies to exploit for the benefit of others".  Of course we want no such thing and I challenge you to find anything we have said or done that expresses anything but a complete, unending and uncompromising desire for absolute freedom of everyone from exploitation and domination.

The fact is, if you've lived here long enough, you know that the border has essentially always been open.  Free movement across it has been the rule and not the exception in this region.  In that sense, focusing on the border is to fall for a red herring.  The open border isn't the cause of exploitation.  Capitalism and the state are the causes of exploitation.

Further, setting aside the short-sightedness of the overall effects of more border policing, asking for increased militarization of the border in particular screws over, for one, the O'odham whose lands in the south of the state cross the border and extend for quite some way into Mexico.  When you militarize the border, you impede their traditional right to cross and that's hardly fair, given that they were here long before anyone else was. 

And of course it follows from there.  Next thing you know the government is setting up databases to determine who can and cannot work.  It's checking ID's at checkpoints.  It's synching up state, local and federal police and bureaucratic databases.  All because you want to close a border that has traditionally been open.

This is why I suggest to you that if you want to end exploitation, then you are far better turning away from calling for the state to attack migrant workers and their families (a contradictory position in my eyes if what you want to do is protect people from exploitation), and focusing on building solidarity with people across borders.  It's only through solidarity that we can end exploitation.

Comment by Mike Renzulli
Entered on:

PHOENIX CLASS WAR COUNCIL is a fanatical, communist anarchist group pressing the attack against all systems of hierarchy and oppression. Among the hierachies they claim to fight are "capitalism" and "the state". They consider themselves libertarian and libertine. However, any group dedicated to attacking capitalism should be suspect and considered, at best, communistic. Open immigration to communists means more bodies to exploit for the benefit of others. Great idea to sanction these guys by giving them publicity, Tom.

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