Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

Last week, on February 6th, roughly 30 solidarians met to show support with the anarchist and antiauthoritarian revolutionaries in Egypt and their ongoing struggle against the state which is being met with repression.

We met at the plaza in Little 5 Points around a banner and passed out leaflets explaining the situation in Egypt. The crowd happily socialized in the plaza for roughly 45 minutes.

An undercover police officer filmed the gathering and local Copwatchers approached the man with their cameras before the crowd marched toward Moreland Avenue. The demo circled around the neighorhood chanting anti-police and revolutionary slogans while blocking traffic before dispersing with no arrests.


Not one step back, comrades.


Comments

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

What is the value of symbolic actions like this and the neighborhood parade that happened recently?


The point of this event was to express solidarity. I concieve of sotlidarity as recognition that you are in the same boat as someone else. That you fight the same fight as they do.


In the U.S. we often can't reproduce the "direct" activities that they can do in Egypt. We don't have the power to make the same physical protest given the outrageously efficient, militarized U.S. police force. So we demonstrate so that we can say, "We have heard you here in Atlanta, and we hope that you win. We cannot do a lot, but none of us is alone."


I don't know how satisfying that is. Deal with it.

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

Good answer, Marlon.


-2:48

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

In the postmodern spectacle that we call the future, it turns out it's symbols all the way down.  The question isn't whether action is symbolic or direct, because the answer is always "both".  Directly impacting what, and how, and for who?  Symbolizing what, and how strongly and to who?  Do we need more of one or the other in this particular case, and what flavors?

I know, I think it might be questions all the way down, too.

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

Also something to consider is that we can't mistake "direct action" for "revolutionary." There are a lot of things that are "direct" that don't matter. Charity-based programs "directly" change the relationship of people to their own hunger. Similarly, what passes for "direct action" these days is often mistaken. This society has no winter palace, if you will. It's hard to make direct attacks against it. That doesn't mean it's impossible but if it's a network of domination and not just a group of people we are against than one has to use creative means to interrupt power.


The best actions directly sabotage an apparatus of power in a way that contains symbolic significance to a broader context.

 

For instance, when people go out breaking surveillance cameras they are directly limiting the surveillance society but they are also symbolically attacking the apparatus of the panopticon; by attacking cameras, we are be reminded: surveillance isn't everywhere all of the time, it occurs in real-time with real locations and those means can be physically destroyed if we choose to do so.

 

Furthermore, solidarity gestures are of the utmost importance. Not that many people know, but after Occupy Atlanta was evicted, some anarchists in Denver smashed all of the windows out of a "Cop Shop" in solidarity with us. For some, this action had a resonance that encouraged us to amplify our attempts rather than to give up.

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

Pics and name of the Homeland Security detective that was at the rally published here:

http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/homeland-security-unit-detective-pb-j...

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

6:22 here, thank you to the previous commentator. I think that is a very thoughtful response and it really shows that there is a whole layer of complexity that a lot of people don't seem to acknowledge while they're busy hating on all the anarchists. I agree: I think there is some value in symbolic stuff but I am personally still trying to figure out how I relate to it and how it can support the broader, more material struggles that are ongoing here and elsewhere.

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

One participant responding to 6:22.

There is very little value in it.  Like you said this was mostly symbolic and not at all direct action.

To me, it was worth being with people I care about.  As a previous comment stated it at least was another opportunity to be visible and maintain a presence.  Considering the nature of the event, there was opportunity for antagonism. (The march was small and spontaneous but it did block some traffic and people had some fun.)

flyering etc...  All symbolic and all amount to appeals to others which I personally dont value much at all, however this was a response to a call made by comrades in Egypt who are taking some serrious risks and kicking ass.  This could help them just by amplifying their gestures.  While the best solidarity would be to continue our struggles here and fight tooth and nail (which we should be doing anyway), when it comes to expressions of solidarity with people on the other side of the globe, its often difficult to do anything other than symbolic actions like this one.  As long as our general activity does not remain confined to the populist, symbolic, or democratic, I see no prob with it.

Symbolic actions

What is the value of symbolic actions like this and the neighborhood parade that happened recently? This isn't a rhetorical question where the implicit answers is, "None." I really am asking what others think.

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

341

This was awesome!  I had a lot of fun.  Plus, it was great being out and visible.  I wish we had more chances to do this kind of shit. 
It's also pretty awesome that some of the very same people who would be spitting on anarchists just last year are now taking the streets and chanting anti-police chants with us.

Egypt! Atlanta!  You're doing it right!

Re: Reportback: Solidarity w/Egyptian Uprising

341

This was awesome!  I had a lot of fun.  Plus, it was great being out and visible.  I wish we had more chances to do this kind of shit. 
It's also pretty awesome that some of the very same people who would be spitting on anarchists just last year are now taking the streets and chanting anti-police chants with us.

Egypt! Atlanta!  You're doing it right!