Sarah Small: “Turn Moments of Repression into Moments of Resistance”

State repression is designed to make us believe that the price we pay for our political actions will be too high, that we should be willing to snitch on our friends and communities, and that we are better off not resisting in the first place. But the actions of the grand jury resistors in the Northwest, and the rich history of grand jury resistors and political prisoners that have come before them, demonstrates that we have the opportunity to turn moments of repression into moments of resistance. By showing our solidarity and unwavering support for those that refuse to cooperate with the state we can continue our work of building strong, resilient, and supportive communities that care for each other in moments of crisis. This solidarity helps lay the groundwork for strong movements that can continue the centuries of struggle against capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy. Support the grand jury resistors, and fight repression in all its forms!

Sarah Small is a member of the Wild Poppies Collective, a Philadelphia-based anti-imperialist group that works to end state repression and the prison industrial complex. She is also a founding member of Decarcerate PA, a campaign to stop the expansion of Pennsylvania’s prison system.


2 responses to “Sarah Small: “Turn Moments of Repression into Moments of Resistance”

  1. I support the goals listed here: i.e. Eliminating the prison-industrial complex and huge reductions in the numbers of our population incarcerated–minorities in particular. The poor are also disproportionately targeted with selective law enforcement. See:

  2. But many of the youthful anarchists are ill advised when it comes to fighting repression. You don’t achieve that goal be becoming repressive yourself. Threatening/intimidating/assaulting journalists is a repression of the public’s right to know (and cover) public events in public venues. When I covered the rally/demonstration on 9-13-12 in front of Seattle’s main federal courthouse (on 7th & Stewart), a number of young radical elements approached me throughout the day and challenged my ‘right’ (ergo, the public’s) to photograph them there–they asserted it was at least likely to incur difficulty in human relations. I was frank in emphasizing I wasn’t anyone’s pal/friend/confidante (especially a group associated with intimidating/threatening/assaulting journalists) or seeking their approval and I readily refused to ask for their ‘consent’/permission to photograph them. A couple of hours later, a KOMO photojournalist arrived. Unlike myself, I didn’t see anyone approach him and try to bully him into seeking their ‘consent’ to be photographed/videotaped. At one point, I introduced myself by jokingly telling him he hadn’t asked for the group’s permission to photograph or film them. Not knowing he I was, he didn’t appear amused or at ease. I told him to ignore my remark, I was simply pulling his leg. I introduced myself, then asked, “Do you normally ask people like the ones here today for their ‘permission’ to photograph them in a public venue such as this?” “No!” he said. I followed up with, “Neither do I.”

    It’s a fool’s errand to seek pubic support/approval by frightening them (street violence, trivialization of property destruction) and assaulting journalists. Yeah–antagonizing and assaulting the press is a brilliant strategy. Who came up with this masterpiece of thinking? Pete Bohmer?

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