Hello everyone, my name is Soviet Onion. I’m a big proponent of Agorism, left-libertarianism and
market anarchism, and a partisan to liberty in general. I’m also a concerned one. Radical
libertarianism, as a social movement, still barely exists. Our present state of affairs seems to be
one of isolation and atomization, even at the local level. Whatever activism does take place mostly
piggybacks on whatever political reformism the Libertarian Party or assorted
conservatives are involved in (seen by partyarchs as the alternative to
nothing). We’ve seen this recently with the Ron Paul phenomenon.
You’ll have to excuse this young anarchist, but this all seems terribly inappropriate. For a
libertarians, and libertarian anarchists especially, political success is less of matter of directing the
state toward certain favored ends and more a matter of blocking it from wreaking more evil. Directly
and immediately. The point is not to scribble libertarian amendments into the Constitution but to
make un-libertarian laws unenforceable, to make civil society ungovernable. With that in mind, and
to kick start some much needed organization, I propose that we converge on the coming Republican
National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Welcoming Commitee has been organizing a series of actions for over two
years. Their primary of objective is to halt the convention before it begins by blockading the major
streets and bridges around the Xcel Energy Center, sealing it off before the delegates arrive. A
detailed account of this strategy, and the reasons for selecting it, can be found here. Those
concerned about the residents’ welfare should note that the Feds are shutting down the city
anyway, so a blockade won’t cost merchants and residents any business or block any movement
that hasn’t already been taken from them by the Republicans. The only people we’d be impeding
are the delegates.
Summit hopping has it’s secondary benefits, as the social anarchists have noted over the years.
One of which is that it allows activists from distant locations to meet and devolop a geographic
sense of each other. As a currently dispersed and highly atomized tendency, there’s nothing we
need more. The Twin Cities will make an ideal focal point for that, do our part beside other members
of the RNC Welcoming Commitee in disrupting the political class, to distribute and disseminate
agorist ideas at the convergence spaces, and as an opportunity for members of our currently
far-flung milieu to meet and communicate face-face. Even if the proposed blockade fails, going
there together would be a boon to ourselves.
Eight months ago, this call was placed on the LeftLibertarian2 listserve by William Gillis, exhorting us
to join the opposition:
Hey folks, my name’s Will and I’m a big fan of Agorism, the Libertarian Left and Market Anarchism
in general. I’m also founding member of the RNC Welcoming Committee (a broad, non-sectarian
coalition of anarchists and anti-authoritarians in the Twin Cities working to give the Republican
Party a Minnesota-nice welcome to our state).
For over a year now we’ve been working to facilitate a diversity of tactics by Anarchists in
responding to and overshadowing the Republican National Convention being held next year in St.
Paul. The convention is a big propaganda show and it’s important that anarchist voices are
distinctly represented in the opposition. On the one hand whatever we do it’s a sure thing that
anarchists from around the country will flock to the Twin Cities with the intent of pulling militant
and dramatic direct action. On the other hand we have to live here and it’s not enough simply to
disrupt the political class, we have to sustain long-term projects towards autonomy and self
reliance in or communities. In part that means counter-economic organizing to create an
infrastructure for the anarchist response, but it also means respecting every perspective and not
trying to impose one set of solutions. We’re a diverse bunch of primitivists, insurrectionaries,
individualists, class-war reds, cyberpunks and generally uncategorizable anti-authoritarians. (You
can read our broad points of unity here <http://www.nornc.org/who-we-arepoints-of unity/> and
be sure to check out the definition of capitalism.)
A recently formed national network called Unconventional Action has called for a specific strategy
of Direct Action to block off the Convention on the fist day and ideally prevent any delegates from
arriving. But regardless of whether we succeed in denying the Republicans access to our city (a
city whose government has rolled over and coughed up millions of tax dollars and public property
for this charade) it’s important that we eclipse the convention. The plan is to have plenty of
events simultaneously and beyond direct resistance demonstrate to the world by example how a
better world is possible. In doing both we’ll crash their little staged show!
Even if it’s Ron Paul at the podium instead of Giuliani, it’s vital that the political class is not
afforded a moment or an iota of legitimacy.
Beyond direct action (whether it be conventionally
non-violent & passive or involving the
aggressive rejection of oligarchical property’s legitimacy) it’s important to use this opportunity to
build our movement, both within and without. The Welcoming Committee has been doing serious
work and the 08 RNC is gearing up to be a major event in activist history. That we Anarchists are
the ones best prepared and most visible of everyone organizing for the RNC (while the various
liberal and socialist groups are still floundering) speaks volumes.
While I can’t presume to personally speak for the Welcoming Committee, a Libertarian Left
presence at the counter-convention would be fondly appreciated. Any support you’d like to
individually or collectively (A3! ) contribute would be absolutely wonderful. Whether it’s just a
statement, participation in the actions (agorist affinity groups?!), a separate project, setting up a
symposium during the festivities, propping up a book cart in front of a convergence space, or
lending some mutual aid and helping us build the infrastructure needed to feed, shelter (etc) the
thousands upon thousands of anarchists descending on our fair cities. (Black Markets can also be
Gift Economies… hint, hint)
When I was in Seattle in ’99 there was one loud guy shouting above the din of the crowd that the
WTO was impeding Free Trade and globally raising cost-of-entry to the market, and that was it’s
crime! That one crazy guy had something of an effect upon me. Imagine how great it would be if
there was an entire bloc of them! ;)
This is our Call To Action: http://www.rncwelcomingcommittee.org/2007/09/30/crash-the-convention-2008-call-to-action/
Please take a look at it and consider participating however you feel comfortable. I guarantee you’ll
have a friend in the committee.
Transport and housing lists will available on the Welcoming Committe website, but won’t be fully
fleshed out about until a month beforehand… sorry, that’s the best they can do. The good news is
that for anyone under 25 and vaguely student-ish, Macalester SDS can provide literally unlimited
space (bring a sleeping bag and maybe a tent, whatever you need to be comfortable). Registration
is ongoing at http://minnesotasds.org/.
Those who are interested are invited to head over to this thread on the newly formed
LeftLibertarian forums, where we’ll discuss the tactics, group organization and ideal placement
within the greater range of activities. Even if you’re unable to come, you’re still welcome to drop
by and help us plan.
Give it some thought. If you know anyone else who might be interested, please pass the message
along to them. I’ll also be posting this message on some of the more public market anarchist
I look forward to hearing from you all.