Tag Archives: class

Hippies on Garbage: UCSC Dead Center

Went to visit the Dead Center at McHenry Library, UCSC, the other day, and was bedazzled by the print media shown there, which included old Rolling Stone issues (just as vapid as now only in a different way, a consequence of reliance on secondary sources) as well as Furry Freak Brothers and Zap, and the journal of the Diggers:

garbage or nothing

Now this is what I call relevant writing from the summer of love! In the Diggers’ magazine from 1968 I found an article that really touched my soul as an avid collector of and despairer over garbage: “Garbage or Nothing.” Turns out it’s online right here, so my photo was useless. The argumentation is definitely in a poetic vein, but the message is right on. Who’s going to collect the garbage?

Those of you who insist on focusing your call-out culture on exclusion, representation, etc., without ever coming finally around to a practical discussion of and action on behalf of CLASS, the existence of this article and persistence of its problem are my challenge to you!

The young people want no part of [the problem of garbage], what with garbage their natural matrix and medium … Produce it? Collect it? They want to fuck in it!

Sounds like the line for the Genius Bar, the spectral trash heap of Snapchat exhaust! Turns out that environment wasn’t just Joni Mitchell’s thing. Here we have an article about how consumption was then and now visibly remains the axis of determination for class: the consumer class into which workers, owners, students, the incarcerated, the elderly, are all forcing themselves and from which we have to free ourselves in order for our movements for social and environmental justice to ever really gain traction in western society. At the time of publication, the movement in question seemed to be the famous sexual one. Now it’s the famous representation one, or whichever totally off-mark and irrelevant clicktivist movement one should like to choose before the militarized cops and the student loan companies crush it.

The article’s logic is ropy in places, and conversely needs a guide to really explain what people talked about then and what it has to do with the words used therein, but it’s still relevant as ever. Check it out!

Time for Black Autodefensas in the US?

And now for some good news.
The corporate media have barely whispered the story about how openly-armed black citizens in the Huey P Newton Gun Club marched through downtown Dallas in late August to demand an end to police brutality in the US. This is a marked contrast to racist white open carry groups who march through black neighborhoods to duly intimidate the poor. But we must always remember that racism is an invention that covers up the real issue of class.
The Huey P Newton Gun Club, named of course for the co-founder of the Californian Black Panthers, has arisen only a year after the Autodefensa (self-defense) phenomenon in Mexico. The Autodefensas, loosely-organized groups of citizens, assumed security duty of some 400,000 people in the state of Michoacán. In the desperately violent state they’ve chased drug gangs out of towns, unfortunately through gun battles in some cases. They even bloodlessly disarmed police departments considered to be working for the narcos and used the armaments to fight off narcos. Unlike the autodefensas, North Americans have the right to have weapons of war under a majority of states’ laws.
A recent report by National Public Radio included in ‘This American Life’ highlights that Michoacán is the top producer of avocadoes probably in the world. These avocadoes are mostly ground up, pumped full of chemicals and frozen in plastic bags to be smeared on the food of people who don’t know what good is in North American restaurants like Chili’s, Quiznos and Appleby’s. Corruption and gang violence over Michoacán’s avocadoes reaches even into bad restaurants across North America, many of them staffed by minimum wage-earning black Americans.
Are black people in the US aware of the class oppression they share with the Autodefensas? Is it time for black people in the US to grow similar defense groups? That question, however, raises more important questions: will such black gun clubs work without bloodshed against their oppressors?
In Mexico the enemy of the people is drug trafficking. Our brave Mexican neighbors were, in the end, cleaning up what the police would not until their disarmament in summer 2014. But in the US police forces are close to 100% militarized, armed with leftovers from the massacres of Iraq and Afghanistan, just as our agricultural fields were polluted for the first time after WWII with nitrogen left over from munitions manufacture. Will militarized police forces listen to black defense clubs and end brutality, that they themselves perpetuate, without a fight?
The Dallas PD assure us via the National Review that they ‘support the constitutional rights of all.’ Their record shows, however, that the constitutional rights of the poor are not as respectable. Will it take a self-defense movement to convince all police to stop murdering the poor and observe due process of law?