Posts tagged activism
read the full interview, it’s really good
actually all of the ex-vegan interviews at Let Them Eat Meat are really interesting
veganism: I have complicated feelings about it!
The group used a combination of coordinated tactics — including the use of Facebook and Twitter — to deceive state security forces regarding their intentions. Strategy sessions were always conducted in different locations and, as an extra precaution, an “intelligence unit” conducted reconnaissance of the specified meeting places an hour in advance to ensure police were not lying in wait for them, said Faris. Mobile phones, which members believed to be under surveillance, were turned off during meetings. “We also took the batteries out, because the police have the ability to listen in even when phones are off,” said Salah.
Members of the group agreed not to sleep at their own houses one week before the Jan. 25 protest. When that day came, thousands of heavily armed Egyptian security forces were waiting, having fortified their positions at several key locations throughout Cairo. The government fell back on familiar tactics: enclose activists and force them to tire behind a thick cordon of baton-wielding riot troops, utilize violence at will, and detain protesters en masse to slow their momentum and instill fear.
Egyptian youth activists, however, attuned to security tactics following years of smaller-scale street protests, devised a “cat and mouse” strategy to conceal their launching points and surprise the police. Facebook groups, widely believed to have been under surveillance by security, were used as a diversion or decoy, not as the primary means of organization. “We knew the police were following us so we lied online,” said Faris.
It’s important to grasp the multiple levels of occurance and competency which come together to generate amazing things like what has happened in Egypt. Not just inspiration and vision, not only strategic thinking and timing, on top of union and grassroots organizing, but also very smart tactics such as disrupting routines of sleeping and meeting locations, to the remarkable use of social media as a deceptive diversion and decoy for the state.
i love to see a bit of healthy paranoia
All of this is inspired by
On Cartography on the SPEAK CD
and Monster Kanye West
I over identify with the term Monster in any of it’s forms .
I think of myself as a kind of monster .
A hulking busty big assed over tall she beast ( getting fatter as we speak )
And a lot of it is tied up into
I speak and understand
and commune with languages oddly
To describe my way of seeing the world
Look at the word
For my brain the word looks like a curve and a valley and a mountain and a valley
So if I don’t sit and force myself to pay attention
All of those look right to me
I am more likely to notice the spacing around , the offness of the red, the shape of the air in front of it
Except my secondary ( often primary now) language is french . So that last letter needs an accent , but as with most multiple language speakers
I’m not always thinking in the language I’m speaking and I don’t speak enough of ANY of them to be sure
so i don’t trust t
Instead of a focuser my brain acts like a splitter
I don’t/can’t trust the information I’m getting or the outcome of it or the relevance of the information to the situation at hand
and while all of this is happening in my head I’m hoping NO ONE NOTICES.
I’m feeling awkward or unsure and I’m lying through my teeth.
and dealing with the fact that a lot of my future lies in someone else’s whim
Here lies a monster
I’m sharing this with you because the last … about tokenism hit me and in a wya were I couldn’t keep it in.
If you find this self pitying or the like feel free to unfollow but
being a “monster” in your self view is about being unrelatable but disectable
undesireable but consumeable
unimportant but necessary
and vital but unacceptable
The word bothers/ed me so much because whenever I here unacceptable I associate it pain,control, and oppression
Bluntly put we don’t say unacceptable about things we consider our equals or things that we consider to have power.
We sayit about things we can eradicate
Usually with force ,
usually with malice
violence of oppression is deplorable , unbelievable
but it’s never treated as something we can weigh and measure and find wanting and dismissable
we can work against it
work within it
work away from it
judge and measure it ?
and it’sprobably do to my headspace
it freaks me out
because for me
when it comes to activism
I want no part of making ” better”, acceptable , palatable SELVES or views
we can do things more intentionally
we can be kinder
we can be more effective
but better and acceptable palatable
it makes me think that the idea of community is a new authority
where tastes and standards are set by someone new
and for ME that’s not a goal
makingi t to fit my tastes is not a desirable
We are beings worthy of our lives not to have to be measured against some line we don’t know
We can be harmful hurtful hateful
is something that portends destruction
and I reacted violently
these monster words happen
these evil non speaking beings happen
when there is no story there
there is no THERE to be with
only something to be tamed
When I say I’m a monster
I mean it
and always a part of that will be wistful that I ” fit”
that it made sense
that I was right
I have been /am /may always be a little monstrous
and that is because I live in someone elses story
when I am in my own
I know that this is a response to a specific situation which I have no comment on, but this feels relevant to a lot of other stuff happening at the moment.
The new thing I am going to be doing is trying to be a little bit more positive. I am going to be trying to not hate on everything all the time, trying to not to roll my eyes every time certain people’s names are mentioned, trying to not always start conversations with complaints, trying to not only ever talk about things in ways that “critically analyse”/tear them to shreds, trying to not always see the worst in everything and everyone. I’m also going to be limiting how much I read about people being fucked/situations being fucked/the world being fucked. I know it is and I don’t have to remind myself constantly. I’m going to direct more energy into good, productive and uplifting things and less into internally working myself up into states of anxiety, fear, paranoia, sadness or rage.
This doesn’t mean I won’t do these things ever or that I am now magically not a cynical, critical, pessimistic jerk. More that I’m going to be trying to be other things too. Things that are more likely to make me feel okay. I don’t think I really know what those are. Almost everything I’ve listed above is stuff I’m not going to do or be or act like. I think partly this is because I’ve learnt/been taught that in this sense it’s not acceptable to name positive things that I want or think would be good. This would be uncool or embarrassing to do and, perhaps most significatly, I don’t really deserve it. Thinking that whilst also not exactly knowing how to describe the positives states I want my life to be in - without doing it in a way that is essentially me being hyper-critical of myself - that’s a worry.
This isn’t about anyone else. I don’t think you’re no good or wrong or broken if you do these things. I simply need to try and enforce a little bit of a break from it on myself. I don’t know how successful I will actually be but I may as well give it a shot.
I have been working really hard on this for a long time. I have had more success recently because I’m trying not to waste time/energy on self-loathing. When I’ve said to myself “I want to talk more about things that I like and think are good because that makes me feel better and I think it’s more productive”, that’s worked a lot better than “I am a whining harpy, jesus christ, someone make me shut up”. which firms up my suspicion that positivity is generally more productive than negativity.
obviously critique is really important. I think it’s vital for people to fully understand the necessity of ripping the occasional thing to shreds; I don’t have much patience for the kind of vacuous “stay posi!” sentiments you hear from some quarters. but at some point you need to move on from destruction onto creation. you know, turn the shreds into a nice rag rug, or something.
Talking about things that I like or want makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. If you don’t like something other people like, it proves you have superior taste and judgement; if you like something other people don’t, you’re pretentious or stupid. I mean “cool” also means “unmoved”, you know? There is a certain cachet in being acerbic, cynical, bitter. I’m constantly surprised by how hard it is for me to say “I love X” without putting in six million qualifying statements.
and also sometimes the things I love feel stupid and small in the face of violence and oppression and grief. how can seedlings or red lipstick or a good book or feeding people good food or loving a few people possibly stand up to everything arrayed against them? and they are so personal and specific to me. they’re of no use to anyone else I might want to help. but that’s what we work for, to make more space for the things people love, a million small things, decentralised, individual, unique. and hope for something better needs to be our motivator, not fear or hatred. it’s okay to feel negative emotions, it’s unavoidable, it can be very useful, but you can’t run off them. we need all the hope we can get.
necroperformativitalisogemonyalism, I CAN MAKE UP WORDS TOO
some people (sup, academics) fucking love romanticizing and idealizing “community organizing” or “activism”… but when in the presence of people who produce different kinds of knowledge that aren’t contained within pretentious-ass, seven syllable-long words, they don’t value or care about listening to those who don’t have phds unless they’re tokenizing them or giving generous praise characteristic of a kind, indulging benefactor
and can’t seem to shut the fuck up about the shit that they know or stop theorizing about OUR experiences because in the end, they still think that they know better than everyone else does.
YOU CAN TALK ABOUT NEOLIBERALISM AND HOMONORMATIVITY AND HAVE “RADICAL POLITICS” AND STILL BE A HOMONORMATIVE ELITIST FUCK LOL WHO ARE YOU SHUT UP.
m & i were talking about self-care last night, about how hard it feels to step back sometimes because of all the responsibilities we hold. and how hard it is sometimes, to feel like others have our backs or that we actually can step back without things going awry.
i know that a lot of that is about pride and mistrust— and just as much of it is about love and care. when m and i, and so many others like us, organizeplanworklove, we do it deeply. “deep organizing” in the sense that we do hella shit behind the scenes that lay the foundations, create structure, connect different things and people. we live and breathe our work. we might not be at the forefront of your protest/s but we are constantly educating about what the fuck your protest is even about, and we’re almost always performing a type of care that is so crucial to “building community” even if that care is genderedracializedsexualized in particular ways, and erased. we do self-care in the sense that we provide care for each other and those around us. “self” as in “community”.
i know that individual self-care is necessary. sometimes you need to just kick it. sometimes you need to take a day off and sleep. you need to rest so that you aren’t eaten alive by the oppressive day-to-day bullshit of the university/npic/wherever you are. i’m learning the necessity of managing my schedule better so that it is less about managing my time than it is about managing my energy.
but i don’t think self-care means just leaving when shit gets hard. i think self-care means accountability to not only yourself but those who you are loving/fighting with. you can’t just bounce because you’re stressed, knowing that “they’ll just take care of it” because yes, while it might still get done, it gets done at the cost of hella stress and anxiety for others.
i don’t like how “self-care” is talked about in such an individualized way, or how it becomes an excuse for non-action, absence, or irresponsibility.
for myself, i’d like to see and enact better forms of accountability as self-care. accountability as in, holla back, i got your back as not just a fun closing to your event but as something you believe in. i want self-care as in collectively creating systems of support and committing to caring for each other. self-care as in seeing when your friend is struggling and offering your support, instead of turning a blind eye to it because you’re exhausted, too. self-care as in holding it down for each other even if you’re both having the shittiest weeks ever (thank you, a) because you know we’re ALL tired and fucked up and depressed and you’re still not about to let someone do it alone. self-care that is checking in with people about where you’re at and letting them know that you can’t commit as much time or energy, instead of peacing out abruptly when you realized you’re overwhelmed.
self-care as in doing the work together so you won’t feel all alone and burn out feeling isolated and abandoned (which means sharing responsibility, letting people know what’s up, not holding everything in/on your own). your homies will understand if you can’t do xyz anymore, and they’ll love/support you (or at least, should) when you’re going through a rough time. but support works both ways, and if you expect others to see your struggle then you should try to see theirs, too.
i dunno lol. i’ve failed so many times at all of these things/ i understand shit always comes up that you aren’t expecting/ i get that sometimes you really just do need to leave. i’ve had to be absent multiple times this quarter, but i do believe that at least a few of those times have been because of feeling completely overwhelmed on my own and feeling reluctant to ask for help, not just out of pride but also because i didn’t see or feel an active kind of support from a lot of people. i think burnout, in a lot of ways, comes from feeling like you’re doing it alone.
it bothers me a lot when “self-care” is made the responsibility of just the individual; of just you-to-yourself. if you’re working in a community then it’s obviously not like that. and then it becomes this obnoxious preachy bullshit of “self-care” that erases all the fucked up things that aren’t all your fault because you should have known better, that makes your burnout your fault. um, fuck you.
if this were about individual self-care then we wouldn’t fucking be doing this kind of work to begin with. i’m just sayin’.