An anti-gentrification strategy which counters the “good local business” to the “bad, ‘gentrifier’ business,” and thus does not question capitalism itself, is a strategy which may garner popular support, but it is one which is ultimately shallow & reformist in nature. It confuses the symptoms of gentrification for the causes. If we take gentrification as an opportunity to truly interrogate what housing means under capitalism for proletarians, we would see that this society will always have us living as close to the edge as possible.
We are happy to share the audio recorded by Marco Amador at the Contra Aztlán event which took place at La Conxa in Boyle Heights, a space run by Las Ovas on Sept 5th, 2018. The discussion here was frank, open and at times confrontational. Things were said that we did not agree with, but others in the group would interject and point out how so-and-so could be in the wrong, or mistaken. The participants spanned generations and different identities; would switch from English to Spanglish to Spanish; came from different political positions; but we all shared a desire to interrogate what is, not only, Chicano Nationalism but what is Chicanx identity in relation to other oppressed identities. We may help facilitate another event on this same topic in the coming weeks, so if you have any reactions to this audio please keep an eye out for a future event. If you cannot make it you can always send us your responses as a comment on here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have decided to undertake the task of translation the whole of CUARDERNOS DE NEGACIÓN 11th issue (May 2018), entitled “Contra la valorización de la vida” (tr. Against the valorization of life). Here we present the first part of our translation. What follows is their work. All footnotes are from CUADERNOS unless otherwise noted. We feel this issue functions as a great way to introduce value-form theory to those adverse to critiques using Marxian categories since CUADERNOS do not use them to merely prop up notions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or better management of production, or arguments for a transitional stage to communism: instead they show themselves to be clearly for the wholesale abolition of capitalism along with the features which weigh on those of us who are proletarians: work, our basic needs converted into commodities, wage-labor, general impoverishment, alienation and the general abstraction of daily life. A pdf of the text re-formatted into the design of the original can be found here..
As part of our event on September 5th, 2018 at 7PM at the radical autonomous space, La Conxa, an anarchist comrade shares with us her essay on Chicanismo & Chicano Nationalism which offers a necessary feminist critique of these two related ideas. She can be found on twitter at https://twitter.com/xicanarquista and you can help support her & her work by contributing at https://cash.me/$Carlavazquez.
We are excited to facilitate a class/discussion group on Chicano Nationalism and a variety of critiques of it as part of the F.T.P. series hosted by La Conxa. We will use a variety of analyses including: anarchist, anti-colonial, anti-blackness, anti-state communist, etc.
The basis for the discussion will be based off this text we published: https://ediciones-ineditos.com/2018/03/11/contra-aztlan-a-critique-of-chicano-nationalism/
We will also share, in a couple of days, another text that will aide our discussion.
As U.S. Nationalism begins to grow stronger once again, we found it important to also question Chicano Nationalism which is common among certain wings of the Chicanx radical milieu.
FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/687887254903991/
Why for anarchy and not for anarchism? This may seem like a small point to split hairs over but it is a point which is important to us. It is important because we are interested in a vital anarchist (anti-state communist) milieu. For us anarchism points to the notion that there could be a special set of practices (forms) which can be found out to be complentary for a free life for all. We feel this is foolish and assumes human life could ever take on a singular form. Life should take on the form necessary for its free reproduction, unlike its current state which only serves those who rule/control us.
As part of the Liberation School of Los Angeles summer 2018 set of classes we will be facilitating a study/discussion group on anti-work. We are sharing a guided reading list. We cut things into excerpts because the class will be soon, next week on July 12th. But links to whole texts are in the reading list.
Anti-work is a topic which has re-gained interest in the broader radical milieu though it is an idea that is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. With this class we hope to shed light on the historical and theoretical origins of anti-work. We will see how anti-work arose as a part of the broader anti-capitalist movement, with its own post-left anarchist and anti-state communist variations. Link to .pdf below.
Here is a flyer for the event:
Any questions? Hit us up: email@example.com
[images are of an intercepted attempt to install polling booths. the contents of which were then burned.]
The following text was published in Spanish by Comuna P’urépecha yesterday. A Facebook page dedicated to disseminating the history, knowledge, political education and struggles of the P’urépecha people1 in what is known as the Mexican state of Michoacán. So-called México is set to have presidential elections on July 1st, 2018.
What follows is our translation.
This essay was first published almost two years ago in August of 2016 by a friend of the project. We re-publish it here as we feel it is more timely than ever as the struggle grows against ICE, borders and, more generally, against this whole carceral society.
“Positioned increasingly as a ‘capital of capital’ in the Pacific Basin, Los Angeles has been surging toward the ranks of the three other capitals of global capital, New York, London, and Tokyo (its Pacific Rim cohort). […] Los Angeles broadcasts its self-imagery so widely that probably more people have seen this place – or at least fragments of it – than any other on the planet. As a result, the seers of Los Angeles have become countless, even more so as the progressive globalization of its urban political economy flows along similar channels, making Los Angeles perhaps the epitomizing world-city, une ville de venue monde.”
Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory1
Our Present Material Conditions in Los Angeles
“Los Angeles is barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward. We risk falling further behind in adapting to the realities of the 21st century and becoming a City in decline. […] Los Angeles is sinking into a future in which it no longer can provide the public services to which our people’s taxes entitle them and where the promises made to public employees about a decent and secure retirement simply cannot be kept. City revenues are in long-term stagnation and expenses are climbing. Year by year, our City – which once was a beacon of innovation and opportunity to the world – is becoming less livable”
The Los Angeles 2020 Commission (Dec. 2013)2
What follows is an essay we first learned of via our friend El Chavo! His description is an apt introduction to this important essay. The only thing we’ve done is removed the gendered language of some of the essay. Though we may not agree with everything in this essay, we think it stands as a powerful counter-narrative that viewed the Chicano riots of 1970 as merely a police riot. This essay has been pivotal to our own anti-political understanding of the possibilities for revolt and life in Los Angeles:
The following is a hard to find text about the 1970 Chicano riots in East LA, supposedly written by Herbert Marcuse but really written by the Bay Area 1044 situ group of that time. I find these essays on riots quite illuminating in their attempt to understand these periods of intensity as opposed to the typical lefty line of denouncing all violence.. Unfortunately, these views are rare in LA (or the rest of the world for that matter) and most locals subscribe to the line touted by whatever ideology is currently in favor.