AFFECT is a grouping of radicals based in New York City. We wish to add our voice to those denouncing the recent terroristic raids carried out on comrades’ homes in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the related federal grand jury, obviously intended to intimidate.
Battering rams, flash grenades, helicopters, search warrants, wrong houses . . . it shouldn’t surprise us that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Joint Terrorism Task Force have taken an interest in our comrades in the Pacific Northwest, but that their investigations are apparently most interested in our clothes and books seems a little disproportionate to such a show of force.
That our philosophical curiosities, potential politics, supposed ideologies might themselves be seen as some crime, means that more than ever, we should acknowledge that our movements towards liberation are real. We shouldn’t let the state take us more seriously than we take ourselves.
The illusions and pretensions of liberal democracy are rapidly dissolving in the heat of this clash of classes. Our abilities to express ourselves, form opinions, associate with others, to simply have friends – those basic “rights” we’re supposed to feel grateful for – are under constant attack. Prisons are overflowing with young Blacks, Latinos, and the poor, with the revolts inside multiplying. So-called “immigrants” who dare to ignore spurious divides imposed by the state are being imprisoned and deported by the millions. Muslims, as well as political dissenters, are finding themselves spied on, harassed, and locked in cages, too.
The United State government is increasingly centered on something it calls “Homeland Security,” seemingly oblivious to the various nightmares conjured up by this term, disasters that prided themselves on creating a “secure” – sealed and pure – “homeland.” Is it any surprise that anarchists, those who consider themselves to be without a homeland – or at least, without a state – should be targeted by the vast, cancerous police apparatus dedicated to “homeland security”? That this apparatus would attack those who understand that their real enemies – those who would control their lives – are not overseas, but at the summits of power in this country? More and more, the US finds itself in the clutches of a prison-security-industrial complex.
The US has long harassed, intimidated, imprisoned, and deported those it has seen as a threat to its interests. And its interests are now to defend a system that has brought a level of economic and social inequality unseen for generations. The state’s only response to our resistance against austerity and crisis is repression and brutality, all opportunities for economic re-integration having been exhausted.
We’d like to think that this attempt at intimidation will fail; that every act of state repression only increases our resolve. But for this to be real, our friends, spaces, projects, networks, groups, collectives, assemblies, will need to create even stronger shows of resistance and refusal; to activate and mobilize even more, or else we will continue to suffer such abuses. This should extend beyond signing statements, writing texts, sending messages to one another, dropping banners, spray-painting slogans, keying a cop car, etc. We will do all this and more, but let’s also commit ourselves to organizing against these conditions we’re in. This commitment is the only solidarity worth having. True solidarity means rejecting compromises with the system and immersing ourselves ever deeper in the struggles of our comrades and all the oppressed.
We are committed to supporting our comrades, those engaged in struggle against this world. Our love and solidarity goes out to those who find themselves on the front lines in Olympia, Portland, and Seattle.