Posts Tagged ‘anarchism’

“A16″ Series

By mike flugennockThursday - January 27th, 2000Categories: Clintontime, Economy, Globalization, liberty

Oh, that old Spirit Of Seattle. Turtles’n'Teamsters everywhere.

But, seriously, folks… the mood and solidarity between different parts of The Movement — folks like old-line unionists and environmentalists discovering common goals and realizing they were fighting the same fight against the same enemy — were palpably electric and invigorating in the months following Seattle, and none quite like the personally charged feeling I got when, just a couple of weeks afterwards, I saw the mobilization action call posted in alt.activism for the April IMF/World Bank Meetings in Washington, DC, for April 16, 2000 — the now-legendary “A16″. At last, no more watching for little shreds of TV coverage, of scouring another city’s IMC postings — the revolution circus was coming to my town, and I was going to actually be in it, and photographing and taping it, and telling the story of that week for everybody else out there… and, the wheatpasting. Oh, yeah, the wheatpasting was going to go big-time (during the run-up to A16, the posse and I were followed around the streets awhile by an NBC crew one night after giving a class in wheatpaste-mixing and postering to a bunch of student activists at George Washington University).

moreworldA16series650wSeeing as how the newly-named Lamppost Liberation Front (our regular flypasting posse) were going to go big-time for a big-time event, the event and the mood called not just for a single poster, but a series, a complete iconography that signified concerned groups from all backgrounds uniting for social/economic justice, and all that other good stuff. Once again, I went for an image that everybody knows, usually used to symbolize humanity in some noble, artistic fashion or other. Also once again, I’m far from the first to rip off DaVinci’s famous Vitruvian drawing for analogy or satire, but everybody here thought the context was quite “fresh”.

This series also appeared on t-shirts sold to benefit the Mobilization for Global Justice. The t-shirts had their own special heroic history; maybe a couple of weeks before A16, the convergence space was raided and shut down by the cops and the fire marshal on trumped-up fire hazard (coleman stove brewing coffee) and explosives (coleman stove tank) charges and, in the process, a large number of the shirts were siezed. We managed to sell the rest, but it several months or so before we got our shirts back, meaning that there are a couple of small surviving batches of brand-new, unwashed, unworn A16 shirts out there at last report.

Blue-Collar Labor, medium-res jpg image 323k
Hippie, medium-res jpg image 323k
Office Worker no.1, medium-res jpg image 323k
Student, medium-res jpg image 323k
Office Worker no.2, medium-res jpg image 323k
Anarchist, medium-res jpg image 323k
Fast-Food Slave, medium-res jpg image 323k
Janitor, medium-res jpg image 323k
Environmentalist, medium-res jpg image 323k
Sushi Chef, medium-res jpg image 323k
Help! I’m a Cop! medium-res jpg image 323k

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Anarchist Liberty

By mike flugennockWednesday - December 8th, 1999Categories: Clintontime, Economy, Globalization, liberty

Give me your Starbuck’s, your Gap,
Your Nike Towns full of sweatshop inventory,
Your McDonald’s, gobbling profit and craving more,
Send these, and tacky corporate-branded outlet malls to me,
I put my Louisville Slugger through your plate-glass door!

Oh, alright, so I’m not the first to parody Emma Lazarus, but it seemed to fit so well here, and was one of my rare moments of lyric/poetic mockery inspiration; the verse just sort of sprang out of my head fully formed and ready, and it seemed a shame not to use it.

I’d also done several versions of Miss Liberty, but all of them portrayed as a victim, or as being set upon by mobs of born-again rightist nutcakes. This is the first time I’d done her as someone taking direct action on her own behalf, and with a downright awful attitude.

anarchist_liberty550w

This was a companion piece of sorts to Who Will Control The Government’s Guns?, addressing the whole question of corporate property destruction and what constitutes “violence” in the context of the mass actions in Seattle which shut down the WTO meetings that year.

Like Who Will Control…, this was done within a few days — if not the very day after — seeing TV footage of the night of November 30 and reading accounts via the Seattle IMC of police violence against nonviolent protests and Seattle city government abuses of the basic civil liberties of the general population. I ended up taking a position on the property destruction issue which, like my gun-law stance, provoked a lot of eyebrow-arching among the old-line “Gandhi Groupie” contingents in The Movementâ„¢. Basically, I decided that if no humans were targeted or injured in a Black Bloc-style attack on corporate property, it was OK, and that it didn’t constitute “violence”. What the hell, I thought; when the windows on big banks and the fronts of Nike Town or Starbucks are smashed all to hell, do all the un-smashed globalized chain stores’ windows organize a solidarity commmittee? When the windows on all the Navigators and Explorers are smashed out within five blocks of the WTO meeting, do all the other SUVs organize a collection to cover the repair bills? Besides, what about all the destruction of human lives and communities being carried out by the corporations whose windows were smashed out during WTO Week? Windows are comparitively cheaply and easily replaced.

I also suggested the reactionary Old New Left types consider the acts of the Berrigan Brothers who, by dragging cabinets full of draft records into a parking lot and setting them afire, helped impede business as usual for the Vietnam War, not to mention proabably saved a lot of young guys from dying in Vietnam. I also reminded the Gandhi Groupies to take a look outside the coddled world of US activists, and consider how demonstrations and direct action are done in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and pretty much the entire planet outside of the USA — the French students in 1968 flipping cars to use as barricades, striking Bolivian miners bringing dynamite sticks to protests because they know the police and soldiers aren’t there to protect them.

Medium-res jpg image, 323k

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