> Right. One strength that the movement has right now is that it has no
> leaders. It's great to see a democratic structure set up with affinity
> groups and the like. Cops are already trying to target "leaders" like
> sellers--it must be confusing for them.
Yeah, they think we travelled via a time machine from the 1960s. They keep looking for Abbie Hoffman and Mario Savo, but they haven't figured out that we've changed.
> However, there is another side to it in which the reformist groups and some
> of the Marxist groups have tried to take control, limit democracy (dictating
> what we are going to do and when like what happened on Thurs. night), and
> divide the movement (such as when the Black Bloc was divided from the rest of
> the movement on the last night in LA). This concerns me because they seem to
> have little regard for what other people think. The ISO is in the middle of
> a smear campaign to eradicate or somehow get rid of the more militant wing of
> the movement.
What exactly happened Thursday night? I've been pretty outspoken about the ISO because I saw this coming. They are like the vampires of the Left. They smell fresh blood (i.e. new radicalism) and have to suck the energy out of the host. They are so focused on their goals that they don't realize what they are killing.
If you look at the ISO's internal documents, you can clearly see what they are trying to do and why. It's funny, I observed the ISO's behavior during the A16 planning process here in D.C. Some of their members did some excellent organizing work, as individuals. But then one night there were 20 ISO members at a planning meeting. All of their higher ups showed up, probably to witness all of the anarchy in action for themselves (in other words, the leaderless, consensus-driven process). In the weeks after that, the ISO disappeared. I had my hunches, which were confirmed several months later when I saw the ISO internal discussion bulletin from March.
The ISO has been having problems with their sister org, the SWP, in the U.K. In fact. I think they are going through divorce proceedings right now. The central committee in the U.K. scolded the ISO for "missing Seattle" and screwing up during the war with Yugoslavia. The March bulletin detailed plans to make an "intervention" into the A16 mobilization. It also showed how the leadership was worried about the A16 mobilization being too full of anarchists and too liberal in goals. The ISO/SWP leadership asked the chapters to spend more time on the anti-death penalty campaign (a movement which has been dominated by authoritarian Leftists, rendering it pretty ineffective) and the student anti-sweatshop movement. Based on some rumors I've heard about the recent anti-sweatshop conference in Eugene, we can thank the ISO for splitting up that movement in their stupid attempts to take it over.
The ISO smear campaign will be unsuccessful because some of us having been working on countermeasures for several months now. ;-)
> Like you said, ChuckO, looking at history this is what I'm seeing. And,
> those "good Germans" that feed the revolutionaries to the pigs might get a
> little political space if they get us all killed--but they'll be shot in the
> end too.
Right. They all need a refresher course in radical history.