sabato 5 maggio 2012

May Day in Chicago

A black bloc on May Day - okay, no surprise there. If anything, it would be fucking shocking to see an absence of masked rebels getting rowdy on the day we commemorate (among other things) some of the most well-known anarchists murdered by the state right here in Chicago. All the same, the crowd was small in comparison to the parade of socialists, unions, and reformist groups at the annual May Day march - and maybe smaller still in comparison to the hundreds and hundreds of cops lining every street on the route. Numbers aren't everything, that's for fucking sure, but a black bloc of maybe twenty, at most thirty people in a city of 2.5 million? Those numbers don't add up, to me. And of course, within the confines of the march, there was no chance for action, between an army of cops on all sides and the occasional self-important protest marshal screaming in peoples' faces and making it clear that they would do their best to undermine or punish any unplanned activity. Maybe attempting a black bloc at this march, rather than utilizing the time to do something more interesting elsewhere, was a strategic misstep - but I don't know if there was even an outlet for discussing strategy beforehand, so maybe it couldn't be avoided.
Hearing about crazy shit going down on the West Coast brightened my day, as it always does. But in my entire time here in Chicago, I've experienced so little that captures my imagination, so little that seems worthwhile, let alone exciting. Although, there was that one year when the anarchist Halloween parade went door-to-door at yuppie boutiques (and a Starbucks) and stole bunches of their merchandise, to the cheers of people passing by. . .
I know that not all activity is bound to be the kind of heroic, insurrectionary action that makes for good photographs. I'm sure the local IWW branch probably gets some important things done. Food Not Bombs supplies genuinely good food to hungry peeps and protestors. The occasional anarcho music shows raise money for prisoners and legal defense and other good shit. But where the fuck do I go to find people who are straight-up pursuing the destruction of capitalism and the state? Why is there no apparent point of entry for new people to join in the fun? How come so many other major metropolitan areas in the United States seem to always have something going down?
If the statements and assumptions in this piece of writing are totally unfounded, I apologize for the ignorance. I'm just tired of waiting and waiting for something to happen while nobody I know of, in person or otherwise, is suggesting anything. (Shit, I can't even remember the last @News article about Chicago, other than some call-outs for NATO. Maybe there's a reason for that.)
- an anarchist having an existential crisis

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