Sep 3, 2005

I have been seeing various anarchist and far-Left online articles rejoicing in the shootings at cops and the National Guard in New Orleans. Some have even said (to paraphrase), "We should be figuring out ways to announce and support the Rebellion in NO. The oppressed have had it and are taking action against the State".

Some one made a comment to me privately that the 3Way Fight stuff isn't the priority (which I never thought it was or that it necessarilyily trumps everything else). My friend said that debates on the power grabs between various elites is not what we should be focusing on, there is armed action being undertaken by the Black oppressed of NO. The pissed off Black poor in NO is currently the vital element in the US social crisis - that is where we should be orienting.

My friend is from the Race Traitor school of action and thought. I don't dismiss his ideas on the oppressed being a type of lynch pin in society, especially right now with the mass disaster in NO and the surrounding areas. I'm not gonna drag out a debate on Race Traitor here, this isn't the post that will address that point, but for clarity, I sympathize with my friend on key questions regarding the struggle against White Skin privledge. But that is a different discussion...

As for a rebellion I have yet to see any evidence of that; at least a rebellion that has energized a mass of people to action and has some (if even minimal) objectives. What I see (from my detached, far off keyboard) is a social collapse and the lack of any ability to put into practice a new social program from below. I really am waiting to see more news and some substantial reporting on the situation from a perspective that isn't tied to the dominant logic of White Supremacist America.

Otherwise, the situation is absolutely crazy and with a multitude of complexities. There is defitnitley small scale actions that are being carried out by people trying to survive and help others do the same. For instance, the "renegade bus" incident where a 20 year old commandeered a bus, loaded it up with other folks and drove it to the Houston Astro Dome, in fact being the first bus there.

Or this story

AP wires - A woman at the city's convention center says she's barely seen the police. She says the thugs and the criminals are the ones who saved her from her flooded neighborhood, using a stolen speedboat and moving truck.

At the Superdome, another Katrina evacuee says the looters have been distributing food to the evacuees there. Otherwise, he says, they'd starve. Some looters have been anxious to show they need what they're taking. A gray-haired man at a Rite-Aid pulled up his T-shirt to show a surgery scar and explained that he needs pads for incontinence.

Another man showed a reporter toothpaste, tooth brushes and deodorant.

We can only assume that there are all kinds of social acts taking place in which folks are getting together and taking independent action in the void of State assistance.

But we are also hearing reports from everyday people caught in the crisis who are pleading for help to get away from New Orleans. There are reports of criminal elements terrorizing other poor people, there are reports of rapes and abuse. How much stock we can put in the media reports is always questionable, but I think we would be naive to discount these stories. I would really think that under the situation there is a wide spectrum of thinking and acting - some human and community minded, and then activity which represents the most abusive and anti social.

The following are some links to reports and stories

'This is criminal': Malik Rahim, a veteran Black Panther, reports from New Orleans.

Notes from Inside New Orleans By JORDAN FLAHERTY

Will the "New" New Orleans be Black? By Glen Ford, Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, of the Black Commentator

These are just a few useful links.

I am wary of the calls of Rebellion. Outrage and armed action are a definit. But attacks on the State, even by the oppressed, are not a simple turn towards a Left notion of revolt. Many of the poor of NO are a marginalized and desperate populace where all sorts of tendencies and valus are moving towards the surface. For many of us we can only wait and see what unfolds. Back in reality, I can only hope the folks who have been trapped in NO can get to safer ground.