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Boston: Lets take the struggle to our neighborhoods!

category north america / mexico | anarchist movement | press release author Tuesday September 19, 2006 23:24author by Jake - Baam! Bostonauthor email trenchesfullofpoets at riseup dot net Report this post to the editors

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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