I want to paint a little picture for you, so please bear with me. Imagine if you will that people started disappearing. We don’t know when it started, we just start hearing rumors from other leftists about friends that are no longer around, people that we don’t hear from anymore, talk of alt-right gangs being granted special privileges, but nothing concrete. Nothing obvious.
We know that something is going on, but we don’t know what. Then, we start hearing more vivid stories from people who supposedly got away. As the rumors started circulating, apparently some people got more guarded and prepared. Now we have real stories about home raids in the middle of the night by people’s own neighbors. We have detailed accounts of how the local police were spearheading the operation and gathering information for months. We know that there is a conspiracy on the part of the authorities and the far right militias to round up leftist and imprison them, or worse.
We’d seen in the news and heard stories for a while about making protesting illegal and branding Antifa and other such groups as “terrorist” organizations. We knew that we were being slowly targeted that the weight of the system was firmly behind the alt-right and neo-nazis. We shouldn’t of been surprised, but we were.
We’d seen the set up and the power dynamics shifting for a long while. We’d seen people detained without cause on suspicion. We’ve seen people murdered and paper thin excuses as to why become enough a justification to acquit. We’ve seen the police be granted powers to override anything close to human rights and habeas corpus. We know that the state is wielding more and more power to detain, imprison, brutalize, disappear and murder whoever it deems as a “threat.” We’ve seen this in policies and the media. The normalization of state oppression for the sake of the country.
Groups like the right wing militias and ulltra nationalist fanatics were once opposed to this normalization and the infringing power of the government. But something changed. They were bought by the government. Granted concessions and privileges. They became an unofficial arm of the state and reaped the benefits as their values and the states began to align. All in the name of “patriotism” and “freedom.”
The liberals, for their part, were the buffers. The smoke screen. The calming voice that tells you; “everything is ok,” “peace, love and happiness,” “can’t we all just talk civilly to one another.” They were the ruse that kept us off guard. They were the anesthesia that kept us thinking we could talk to them. Radicalize them. Make them understand. They are the distraction. They are the time wasters. They benefit from the state in as much as the nazis and fascists. Their single minded “tolerance” is a tolerance for oppression and the maintenance of the status quo at the cost of millions of people being oppressed, brutalized, and silenced.
We didn’t see any of this, of course. We kept ourselves thinking that we had time to plan our revolution. We kept ourselves thinking we would be the ones to strike first. We kept thinking that we weren’t ready. We kept thinking until it was too late. Until we were scrambling to avoid the secret police. Until we were desperately trying to organize a resistance under the constant watch of the all knowing state. Until our homes were no longer safe and our neighbors the ones that were looking for us. Until the black bags fell over the heads of the most vocal and visible of us. We kept thinking.
This is our life. This is our future. Its dramatic and dark and paranoid and pulled roughly from the pages of history. The right has been preparing with thoughts like this for decades. They have organized militias and familiarized themselves with tactics, weapons, and training. They have learned how to manipulate the system. They are the system.
We know who we are. We know what we stand for. We know the core tenets of Anarchism. We know about oppression and privilege. We know that we defer to the oppressed. We know to check ourselves and our privilege. We know that these things are the fundamental characteristics that define our movement. Those oppressed define their oppression. Privileged people yield the floor to those oppressed. These are the basics of Anarchism.
What we need is to focus on the world in front of us. We need to internalize our understanding of Anarchism and reimagine the world through that lens. We need to recognize that we are hated. That the system is evolving to destroy us. We need to prepare for that. We need to understand the needs of those oppressed and move forward against our enemies with a clear understand of how we are going to incorporate their struggles in our defense. We need to plan. We need to train. We need to develop emergency plans if something happens.
This isn’t ableist. We all need to do whatever it is we can do. Able people need to account for those with disabilities. Disabled people need to consider what courses of action they can take to protect themselves when the above scenario plays out. Who can you trust? Where can you go? We need an infrastructure and supply lines for food, shelter, medicine, clothing, clean water. We need support systems and caregivers. We need sentries and fighters. We need technicians and fabricators. We need to pool our resources. We need to inventory our skills. We need to coalesces into a community and we need to be prepared to defend ourselves and our community.
There is nothing in this write up meant to make anyone think that we need to disregard the concerns of those oppressed. On the contrary, we need to be ever mindful of those concerns. They are our guide, our bedrock. Our concern for the concerns of those oppressed is what separates us from the fascists. We will not compromise our fundamental beliefs for our survival, because we cannot survive without those beliefs. Rather, this is a call to awareness. This is a call to focus on the field, because we are staring at a battle field and we need to internalize what our future looks like. We need to take this preparation into our daily lives where we can. We need to take it seriously and find ways to incorporate this line of thinking into our current routines.
I know the deck is already stacked against us, and the system, just as it is, already has many of our backs up against the wall. But, I am afraid things are going to get much worse. I am afraid for you. I am afraid for us. Things are always darkest before the dawn, and we are only approaching dusk. We have a long road ahead of us, and many of us have already been fighting their entire lives. We are not in control of when the fight will intensify. All we can do is try to prepare. Try to remain aware and organize. War is upon us, whether it is quiet and covert or loud and obvious is all that is up to us.