A Call for Revolutionary Abolitionist Anti-Repression Councils

Published November 8, 2020

A Call for Revolutionary Abolitionist Anti-Repression Councils

As the summer of the George Floyd uprising comes crashing into the chilling electoral politics in the winter of 2020, we face new dynamics and the challenges they present. The initial shock the pigs felt of a whole racial order flipped on its head; of entire swaths of the country losing their fear of the police, breaking out of quarantine, or out of frontline jobs, to wage a frontal assault against the carceral state, even if only for a few days in late May, is coalescing into a tightening of the repressive apparatus. The initial phases of counterinsurgency will be omnipresent; sewing confusion and conspiracy within the crowd; playing off white guilt and half-baked identity politics to nullify and police race lines among rebels in the streets. These classic tropes are waged to insidious effect by the state, by bad actors, and by those whose politics crumble against the grain of toxic critique; the acquiescing of liberalism back into itself; a state of listless deference to mild order against the threat of violence. We are now, however, entering a deeper stage, dovetailing with the election of a carceral democrat regime, which could invisibilize the coming storm of state repression.

As liberals celebrated the election of Biden/Harris, comrades in Atlanta and Philadelphia had their doors kicked in by agents of the state, their partners’ houses raided, phones and laptops seized, and now sit in cages. The NYPD announces the creation of an “anti-looting task force” and for a week straight, brutally squashes any attempt at protest in the city. This comes in the wake of 20k+ arrests in the US since the George Floyd uprising began in late May, an uprising in which dozens upon dozens upon dozens have been martyred by the police, in car attacks and by right wing terror. Countless people suffer lifelong injuries: permanent nerve damage in the hands, broken bones, eyes exploded by rubber bullets. We must not forget that many more have risked, or given their freedom for the most potent images which have sustained the uprising. Lessons the movement learned the hard way on good communication security and the dangers of photographers mean the threat of decades in prison for those unlucky enough to get caught. In New York City, the images of the paddy wagons on fire in Brooklyn and Manhattan translated into the possibility of 40+ year sentences for 2 young lawyers accused of throwing Molotovs [1]. These are our revolutionaries, and they cannot be forgotten.

We cannot help but notice that the new presidential regime are the architects of the American fascist prison nightmare. The author of the 1994 crime bill and California’s “top-cop,” serving as a blue fantasy cure-all for the blood red murder of Trump’s 2016-2020 reign, will attempt to pacify the left and the right by invisibilizing and crushing our movements. In the face of this state terror we propose a call for revolutionary abolitionist anti-repression councils.

Our strength is in our undying solidarity with those in struggle, and this capacity to materially and emotionally support those facing incarceration will be the real terrain in which anti-racist and liberatory politics is forged. Those facing charges will be the looters, they will be mothers, they may be our lovers or our teachers. While the state will attempt to atomize those it holds in its grasp as individual criminals, the movement must be there to support them and demonstrate a lived commitment to a revolutionary communism that builds and heals the wounds the state has inflicted on our communities. This may take different forms in different contexts and cities, but we have a rich framework to build from; there are Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) [2] chapters in many cities, Certain Days [3], Jericho Movement [4], Books Through Bars [5] projects and comrades with experience in bail funds have a tremendous amount to teach us.

As we go through different waves of exuberance and comedown from street actions, and for those of us who cannot risk arrest or physically participate, anti-repression work can serve as a healing space to do the slower work of rebuilding our communities and commitments to one another. It should serve as a model of mutual aid, in which driving people to visit friends and family behind bars, or when important, campaigning for and politicizing the trials of those facing the state, will allow us to learn from each other. This could be a meaningful beginning to breaking down the racial and class segregation that this country is built on and be an opening for revolutionary solidarity, building of trust and a demonstration of commitment to Black liberation and anti-racist politics by white comrades, who will undoubtedly be transformed by these experiences as well.

The anti-oppression and gender dynamics can be worked through in the act of doing these things together, and pre-figuative, abolitionist, revolutionary and even utopian dynamics could emerge from these social formations.

Let us turn the brutality of the US carceral state into the tool of its own destruction; Onward to Abolition!

[1] https://www.supporturooj.com

https://www.supportcolin.com

[2] https://www.abcf.net

[3] https://www.certaindays.org

[4] https://www.thejerichomovement.com/home

[5] https://booksthroughbarsnyc.org

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