Sunday, July 20, 2008

Motor City Is Burning - Remembering the 1967 Riots

July 23rd, 1967. After a raid by Detroit PD on an after hours drinking club located at 12th and Clairmount Ave, the U.S. became witness to the largest urban revolt in its history. 5 days of rioting with 43 dead, 1189 injured and 7000 arrested.

Detroit, a symbol of capitalist industry and urban planning became with the riots a symbol of the growing frustration and anger of the Black working class. A long history of racist abuse and exclusion, police brutality, lack of affordable housing, economic and social inequality, radical Black politics growing from the Civil Rights and Black Liberation movements, and a consciousness informed by both the U.S. imperialist war of Occupation in southeast Asia and the resistance to it by the Vietnamese people. All contributed to the mood of the times.

Detroit has never recovered from the '67 riots: White flight to the suburbs; decline in good paying manufacturing and auto jobs; a deep and lasting recession in the 70's - early '80's; and the continuing incompetence, mismanagement, and corruption of Detroit's City Hall, has led to poverty and neglect now felt by two generations of its citizens.

Below is the tale of the riots from Detroit's revolutionary rock band of that era, the MC5

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Call for an Anti-Capitalist Bloc (Red & Black Bloc) at the RNC Protests

September, 2008 * Twin Cities, Minnesota *

On "Labor Day" 2008, and throughout the Republican National Convention (RNC), tens of thousands of people from our community and from across the Unites States will protest against the GOP's pro-corporate policies of war and discrimination. The Anti-Capitalist Bloc will join these mobilizations not just to protest a bad president or failed policies, but to stand up against the whole system of exploitation and oppression: capitalism.

It is the inherent character of capitalism that is creating the current economic crisis. Tens of thousands of laid-off workers, thousands of homes in foreclosure, and quickening inflation of gas and food prices are all signs of a system out of control, a system where the sins of the bosses are visited on the masses of workers.

Capitalism needs wars and exploitation to maintain itself. The war in Iraq was not simply a blunder by W., but the extension of a long-term strategy of U.S. domination of that region. The forced displacement of the poor of New Orleans is a new episode in an old legacy of racist subjugation. The recent raids against immigrant workers show the insidious connection between racism, and the system's needs for a low waged precarious workforce. Continued oppression of women and the hatred whipped up against the GLBT community are designed to reinforce an authoritarian patriarchal culture.

Not a conspiracy or mistaken policy, capitalism is a system in which a small ruling class profits from the labor of the working class majority. The stolen wealth is used to dominate the political system (including both major political parties), and finance a massive apparatus of repression, cooptation and division necessary to maintain capitalist rule. While the earth warms, and bridges collapse, the capitalists continue to do whatever is necessary to increase their profits. To defeat their attacks we must defeat their entire system.

The Anti-Capitalist Bloc stands for solidarity, direct action, the general strike and revolution. We advocate an economic system controlled collectively and democratically, and an end to the racism, sexism and violence of the capitalist system.

Is this a black bloc like in Seattle?
No. While remaining tactically flexible, our goal is not a confrontation with the police, but to raise the profile of organized working class direct action against capitalism. The Anti-Capitalist Bloc is independent from, but not competitive with or hostile to the RNC Welcoming Committee.

Join Us Under the Red & Black flags of the Anti-Capitalist Bloc!

Tentative schedule of Anti-Capitalist Bloc events:

*Saturday Night August 30th
Bands and DJ's TBA

*Sunday Afternoon August 31st

*Monday September 1st "Labor Day"
ANTI-CAPITALIST BLOC in major march against the war

*Tuesday morning September 2nd
Anti-Capitalist Bloc Panel Discussion

*Tuesday afternoon September 2nd
*Solidarity with Independent Truckers Actions

To endorse the Anti-Capitalist Bloc, or to get more information: or 612-339-1266.

Some of the organizations that have already endorsed us are:
Capital Terminus Collective
PO Box 57314 Atlanta, GA 30343 *

Macalester College chapter Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) *

Milwaukee IWW
PO Box 07632, Milwaukee, WI 53207

North Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC) *

Solidarity & Defense
P.O.Box 15024 Detroit MI 48215 *

Twin Cities General Membership Branch Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) * 612-339-1266

Worker's Solidarity Alliance (WSA) *