[lbo-talk] Boots Riley on Occupy the Hood

123hop at comcast.net 123hop at comcast.net
Thu Dec 22 17:42:16 PST 2011

He's got a lot to say about puppets in his book, "Possibilities".

There's no way to provide a snippet. The chapter is called "On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets."

I recommend the chapter and the book.


----- Original Message ----- I'm reading Graeber's Direct Action, carrol. There's a section in here where the NY DAN is meeting with an activist named Starhawk to talk about the diversity of tactics for a Quebec City action that took place in 2003, IIRC.

She something which illustrates your point about "learning" in social struggles. In this case, she's been involved in developing DAN campaigns since the early 80s. She says it took years for them to figure out certain things but she notices how DAN has managed to preserve organizational learning so they don't have to reinvent the wheel.

The other things that's interesting, contrary some popular accounts, is that some of the things people have derided as "silly" (puppets, webs, etc.) are actually actions which people spend a lot of time thinking about and planning, wanting to make sure that the action illustrates their position/argument.

For instance, one of the reasons why actions have involved people dressed up in goofy ways is to counteract the claim that anarchists are scary violent people. By dressing up in silly costumes and doing silly things (such as the remote controlled surfer dude unleashed at the Miami actions awhile back) is demonstrate that, in spite of the way cops treat anarchists/Direct Actions as if they are evil terrorists out to blow up buildings, that is not their intention. They're hoping that there will be plenty of demonstrations of their non-violence to counteract the media's portrayal of the action as violent.

I haven't gotten to the part about puppets yet, but he says they are quasi-religious totems - half joking.

shag At 05:48 PM 12/18/2011, shag carpet bomb wrote:
>At 02:20 PM 12/18/2011, Carrol Cox wrote:
>> I'm glad
>>various people (shag in particular on this list) have been actively
>>exploring the inernal potential and/or 'meaning' of OWS, but the importance
>>of OWS does not depend on where OWS itself goes (or doesn't go).
>what i've been most interested in is why, on a local level, the ways of
>organizing OWS were already "in the air" where I live - and I assume many
>other places. A lot of the concepts they've put in place such as general
>assemblies, working groups, spokescouncils, consensus and modified
>consensus d-making, are pretty much what any young person active
>politically or involved in community projects (advocacy, cultural, art,
>music) is someone who quite naturally gravitates toward these methods,
>uses them to resolve disputes, get things going, etc.
>the answer, of course, is the huge influence of direct action networks.
>all of this then connects back to my critique of radical cultural feminism
>which I undertook back in 2005-2007. Radical feminism has strong ties with
>anarcho-feminism. As a movement, in the 70s and 80s it went into defensive
>mode. They retreated from a lot of overt political activities given
>various economic an dpolitical developments, primarily the domination of
>liberal and power feminism in the public sphere.
>Radical feminists, in defensive mode, just went to work: they built health
>clinics, communes, women-only spaces, rape crisis centers, alternative
>healthcare, birthing, mental health, and childcare centers, craftworks,
>farms, art collectives, etc. They got involved in local-based politics,
>and especially worked on issues related to sexuality, rape, prostitution,
>birth control, healthcare.
>One place they rarely went: academia. Instead, what happened, as they
>simply defended themselves from the onslaught of hostile politics, was
>that they become involved in increasing numbers of people's lives, having
>a huge influence on what feminism meant to people. It touched their lives
>in daily kinds of ways. They learned its principles and tenets in
>alternative health clinics, in conflict resolution centers, at daycare
>co-ops and mental health clinics. It was something you encountered in any
>sort of radical politics such as the antiwar movement, the anti-nuke
>movments, prison abolition, green party politics, GLBTQ struggles, labor
>and environmental movements.
>everywhere you turned, there were radical cultural feminists articulating
>its principles. Of course, popularized feminism is a watered down version
>of the radical cultural feminism of the sort I detailed on the list and at
>my blog for years. Still, the similarities are astonishing - to my mind.
>The feminism that burrowed its home in academia - some variant of
>socialist or marxist or postmodern or primarily liberal or power feminism
>(MacKinnon = power feminism) - has very little influence outside academia.
>And when it comes up agaisnt the pull and influence of radical feminism
>its simply no match. (This, of course, is a very superficial gloss. I'm
>too lazy to find the post I wrote here years ago on this history)
>I only got interested in this because radical cultural feminists have a
>self identity of being extremely marginalized and powerless. They portray
>all the other feminisms as dominant and trying to wedge them out of
>everything. They are especially irritated with academic feminists.
>But how, I wondered, could radical feminist ideas be so dominatn, part of
>the drinking water. I mean, women at this list, who claim they aren't
>feminists otherwise articulate radical cultural feminist ideas as if they
>aren't debatable, simply are.
>Well, the above gloss is an explanation. They burrowed in, like Marx's
>mole, and simply got busy at the local level and in creating alternative
>institutions to most everything else.
>And that is precisely what the horrid horrid activistists have done in
>DAN. of course, if you read Direct Action, you learn that its laughable to
>see them as people who are allergic to theory. Quite the opposite in fact.
>so, that's my 10 minute recap. Egg timer's done.
>Wear Clean Draws
>('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)

-- http://cleandraws.com Wear Clean Draws ('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)

___________________________________ http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list