I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Anarchists erect border in Downtown Phoenix

Remember all those protest photos I posted a few days ago? Many of the signs I shot around town were from last Sunday morning, April 25. From, here's a good account of what happened the night before I went for that main walk. It doesn't seem like a week has already elapsed; I meant to write something sooner as I was sure the mainstream press never picked it up.

Fortunately, my friend at Chaparral Respects No Borders found and posted the following article on her own site, which I just hit. It's better than what I would have come up with, and comes straight from the source. You should really check out my friend's blog, by the way. She regularly challenges me to think beyond my own conceptual framework for how things are, and to imagine new possibilities for social organization that most would say are out of reach. If we don't stretch ourselves, then they will forever be out of reach.

Anyway, I was present and accounted for by the Phoenix Police with this crowd last Saturday night (these folks kept holding up their banner for passers by while the cops were getting all our names - I think it said NO 1070 / No Border).

I sort of tag along with the anarchists sometimes; I'm kind of old and slow to keep up with them most days, and still too ignorant and inarticulate to call myself an anarchist, though I can't think of anything but Quakerism that comes closer to what I believe, politically, than what I've learned about anarchy this year.

They aren't all pacifists by any means, but they are definitely for human rights and universal liberation, and these folks have the same depth of conviction that I've seen among Quakers. They will risk jail or worse for what they believe in - and they don't latch onto causes or movements just because they're popular: they've been resisting this shit all along in a whole bunch of creative ways - including blogging. Their characterization of SB 1070 as "violent" is right on.

The charge against our friend, by the way, was indeed ridiculous. Two cops questioned him at the same time, asking different things. He said he didn't have ID (I think we all went undocumented); he wasn't refusing to identify himself. He just got a real SOB of a cop on his case who apparently wanted to bust at least one of us for something, and had nothing but that to go on. "Obstructing justice"? What BS - especially here and now. He did more than all those cops did that night to promote justice.

Anyway, while the "border" erection inconvenienced a few people, I thought it was a brilliant piece of guerrilla theatre (for which I can take absolutely no credit). It's important for America to know that there's considerable diversity of ideologies, tactics, and people among the Resistance here...

Here is one of the fliers we passed out that night:

The websites given at the bottom of the flier are listed at the top of this site for news of the local resistance...


Phoenix Anarchist Actions in Response to SB1070

On Friday morning, AZ governor Jan Brewer passed the newest and perhaps most violent in a succession of racist bills, 1070.

1070 means:

It is now illegal for any person to be on public or private land (meaning in any location within the state) without carrying verification proving citizenship or legal residency.

Every person must now carry proof of legal residency at all times in Arizona,and may legally be asked by any state employed to present documentation.

It is now illegal for any person to house or transport any person who cannot provide legal documentation within the United States.

It is now illegal for any person who cannot provide legal documentation to look for employment or to be employed in the state of Arizona.

1070 makes no bones about it: the bill is one of the most honest in demonstrating the progression of Arizona into the furthest depths of a Police State, and of the racism that necessitates it.

Phoenix area anarchists were quick to respond- in a matter of 2 days, a multitude of actions were organized around bringing the conflict more visibly to the streets of Phoenix (for the mainstream unaware of how issues of state racism and indigenous colonialism affect everyone).

With black flags, signs, and banners, a march of approximately 40 anarchists proceeded South on Central Avenue towards Van Buren. Pedestrians cheered as the group approached. The street, artistically peppered with messages of resistance- stickers, paintings and the like- became a ground for insurrectionary conflict as the loud cadre erected a border wall across Central Avenue: “DO NOT CROSS: VIOLATORS MIGHT GET FREE".

The business district was an obstacle course as drivers and passersby were forced to negotiate the obstruction of their space and the impediment of their movement- a burden placed daily on the shoulders of the indigenous whose land has been militarized and the undocumented- hunted daily.

As the public on Van Buren at Central were left to respond to the ruptures that their political complicity facilitated, the group rambunctiously proceeded along Van Buren to third street. “No Borders; No Nations; No Police Stations!” Chants rung about the cold concrete high rises as police suddenly and forcefully halted the march. Throwing marchers to the ground and threatening them with tasers and mace, the pigs detained the majority of march participants. The police demanded the names and birth dates of all detained at the threat of mass arrest. After approximately forty minutes all were released without charges or citation, except for one comrade who was arrested for “obstructing justice by not giving his true name”; a fabricated accusation.

Demonstrations this past week indicate an escalation in radical protest and dissent that will not be ameliorated by any form of legislation or representative polity. The popular resistance in Arizona thus identifies with anarchist principles, and Arizona anarchists locate themselves fittingly within a timely social war for total liberation.

Arizona: attack! Let’s get free.

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