Desire Armed: An Introduction to Armed Resistance and Revolution (108-114)
The author begins by highlighting how firearms are as important as the slogans and graphics used in armed struggles. They are used in the armed struggle to kill, maim, subdue and enslave. Knowledge about the weapons used by an armed ruling class is essential to win any armed struggle or revolution. As part of the overall mass organizing, the revolutionaries should know how firearms owned by the ruling class work, how to disable them and those that use them, and how to evade them. Nowadays, many anarchists appear on posters and newspapers armed with rifles, explosives or incendiary devices that they know how to use.
Social organizing is central to winning any revolution. For an armed revolution to succeed, the training with weapons should be done with the same degree of revolutionary zeal as doing door to door campaigns. Abandonment of the social program and their willingness to go underground as an armed revolutionary wing was one of the main reasons the revolutionary movements of the 1970s failed since it alienated the People. Social organizing enables the revolutionaries to develop strategies in which to attack the enemy. Reliance on weapons will not bring about the victory we want since they are limited to the materials they are made from.
The people must know what they are fighting for and why they are putting their lives at risk. We should educate and inform individuals why they need to use weapons to defend themselves and their communities. Any revolution must come from the people not elite groups of a governing party, cadre or armed wings. A revolution with forced combatants or draftees is destined to fail before it achieves its objectives.
The first world privilege allows the debate whether "violence" is a legitimate tactic. The writer questions the argument by some people that people should not arm themselves because their lives are not at risk. He believes that capitalism, whose heart is in the United States, and the oppression of people in lower social statuses as the chief reasons why the citizens should arm themselves and fight against those opposing capitalism or defend themselves when faced with deadly situations
For any revolution to be successful the authors argue that we must live our lives in a way that expresses what we want to see in the new egalitarian world. We ought to develop a mentality where our desire for a new world is entwined in every interaction and facet of our lives. By asking ourselves questions on what type of world we want, and come up with real, tangible answers, we will be fathoming a social program which can be built be punctuating every aspect of our lives. This way, the anti-capitalist movements will be transformed from "weekend warrior" activism to revolutions
Not Only a Right but a Duty: The Industrial Workers of the World Take Up the Gun in Centralia, Washington, 1919 (Page 144-151)
This essay is about the events of Armistice Day, November 11, 1919, in Centralia, Washington. On this day the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) took up arms to defend their right to organize. Members of the union comprised of the region's loggers and harvest workers. They were protesting against the poor working and living conditions among the loggers in the state of Washington. The IWW followed what is today called nonviolent direct action policy to protest. This policy entailed work slowdowns, strikes, occasional equipment sabotage and "free speech fights" tactics.
Leaders of the lumber industry ignored and were unwilling to compromise on issues raised by the loggers such as the log work shifts, job sharks and better conditions in camps. They instead resorted suppressing free speech by using police and vigilantes to raid and smash up Wobbly halls, kidnapping, beating, tarring and feathering IWW organizers. Additionally, those who were jailed spent days in unheated cells without blankets or in overheated cells. This led to Wobblies dying in jail on hunger strikes against bad food and the rough treatment. The treatment of Wobblies worsened during the First World War. Violence and lynching targeting Wobbly organizers and membership became common.
The Wobblies tried all avenues to avoid raids without violence including; writing an appeal calling for the citizens of Centralia to take a stand against mob violence, appealing to the local law enforcement and writing to the governor about the situation. When all these tactics bore no fruit, the brave working men committed to bringing about a better world for working people unanimously chose to resist rather than submitting to the mob.
On the Armistice Day 1919, the union men of IWW took up the gun to defend one of their halls from vigilante raid. Many vigilantes and Wobblies died on this day, ten Wobblies and their lawyer were tried of capital murder and it was the last time an armed mob attacked a Wobbly hall. Though the men who were courageous enough to pick up the gun and face the mob in Centralia paid a horrible price, together with their families, they were able to bring attention to the oppression targeted at radical labor. They will forever be viewed as heroes who took a principled stand in the fight for working people under attack by lumber interests and the state.
Ampo Camp and the American Indian Movement: Native Resistance in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (253-264)
This essay gives the author's account of what American Indian Movement (AIM), a civil rights organization formed to protect indigenous sovereignty on Turtle Island (North America), stood for and how its members became targets. The movement was formed as a resistance to colonial oppression.
The author recounts of how after discussing with his tribal law professor on the paper he was presenting to a colloquium on the Supreme Court's decision denying the First Amendment freedom of religious rights of native elder Al Smith to use peyote in ceremony, he was approached by some AIMsters from South Dakota and Oregon. After meeting with Al Smith and other elders for various legal cases, documenting their testimony about the use of sacred sites, ceremonies, burial sites and other things of cultural significance, he is visited by FBI operatives the following day. The scrutiny from the government agencies strengthens his belief that he is fighting for a worthy cause.
AIM organized campaigns with members on constant move supporting local battles to save their sacred things. Supporters of the movement were all about attending ceremonies, singing songs, eating food, dressing the dress and speaking the language not the use of weapons. The author bemoans of how difficult it is to fight to maintain cultural norms when even the ancestor's bones are under attack, sacred areas are being destroyed and ceremonies are illegal.
The author goes on to explain the various injustices the indigenous people suffered as a result of observing their cultural norms. First, he details how they were followed to Ampo camp by white separatist paramilitaries who were allowed to operate automatic weapons throughout the night when it was illegal. He further explains how natives from Ampo camp were being arrested for minor violations and attacked by federal law enforcement. Secondly, the sun dance practice, a cornerstone of Indian culture, was suppressed and made illegal by U.S. and Canadian government. This suppression is viewed as a strategy of cultural genocide.
Lastly, the author reflects on how outright war to destroy native cultures continues to serve modern colonialism today. This is perpetuated through pretending there are no cultures or people in a given place to steal resources, systematic destruction of native sacred areas and attacks on native ceremonies. He finishes by stating that respecting diversity and sovereignty is important to exist together peacefully in this world.
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