Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Announcement, Community Organizing, Northwest
What would building dual-power on a neighborhood level look like? Symbiosis offers a proposal for a way forward.
If the current system doesn’t work, then what is the alternative? How do we get there? We do not believe meaningful police reform is possible. We know that the politicians, the puppets of the state, will never deliver justice, just more two-faced lies, hollow promises and movement hi-jacking. What we need is system change. Until then, everyday more youth of color are murdered and locked up by the state, and more protestors against this violence are run-over with trucks or mowed down by fascist’s bullets. In Portland some black mothers in the movement have called for the opening of a new front of struggle, taking the fight to the neighborhoods where we live. We agree and recognize the necessity of building a long-term community based dual-power, to render the police, the state and the capitalist class they serve obsolete through neighborhood organizing.
A dual-power strategy is one that focuses on developing an alternative directly-democratic self-governing social structure. One that consists of a diversity of communal social and economic institutions, existing in parallel opposition to the state and capitalism, that meets the daily material and political needs of the people. The state is the army, the navy, the police departments, the prisons and what have you. All the institutions of the state are intrinsically linked, simply removing one bad apple doesn’t solve the problem, we need to throw away the whole basket.
We have a beautiful new poster with our new name (Symbiosis Hub and Resource Exchange) and our newly changed hours. Going forward, SHaRE will still be open every Tuesday and Thursday, but for now only the first and third Sunday of every month. Our hours are still the same! (12-6) pic.twitter.com/B6nepYIVyc
— Symbiosis PDX (@Symbiosis_PDX) June 28, 2020
Underlying the nation-state is a colonial system dependent upon the domination of various tribal, ethnic and cultural groups and forcing their compliance to maintain its existence. We believe in the principle of oppressed communities absolute right to self-determination. The realization of this principle entails the unraveling of the nation-state, and the subsequent end to racialized violence that holds it together. As such, through Neighborhood Action Collectives, we are working to form a dual-power capable of revolutionary change through advancing the self-organization and federation of our region’s diverse communities. In defiance of the capitalist world-system and in solidarity with oppressed people’s struggles everywhere, we invite you to join us in building a network of Neighborhood Action Collectives (NACs) across Portland and beyond.
NACs are semi-autonomous neighborhood affinity groups who spark the infrastructure in their locals to build community based dual-power; including everything from alternatives to police, neighborhood mutual-aid projects, urban food-growing programs, direct-actions and community assemblies. NACs, as a particular form of neighborhood organizing, first arose in the people’s response to the 2016 presidential election. Communities in Seattle, Portland, Eugene and elsewhere came together to generate neighborhood projects to meet the crisis. At that time, NACs formed to facilitate self-defense classes, community projects to stop deportations, defend houseless neighbors from vigilante attacks, and to transform neighborhood associations into contested spaces of radical transformation.
Portland has a deep history of revolutionary neighborhood organizing stemming from the foundation of the Portland Black Panther Party who, in response to continual racist police violence in the 1960’s, fought for the autonomy of the Albina neighborhood (see Why We Must Abolish All Mayors for a more in-depth history). We believe that carrying further the torch of this local revolutionary tradition, and integrating the lessons hard learned over the years, offers the best solutions we have to the ever escalating crisis rooted in this state of dominion we endure. NACs present a strategy for new and existing affinity groups, mutual-aid crews and organizations to take on a broader collaborative effort towards the building of a revolutionary infrastructure needed to consolidate our movement to effectively meet our goals of real systemic change.
Black Panthers demonstrating dual power in action, by distributing meals to students as part of their Free Breakfast Program.
By forming NACs in neighborhoods across the city we can combine efforts to create food resiliency, coordinate the access of material needs for all the peoples inhabiting this region, create police free zones, form neighborhood communes and assemblies. We must build an entrenched patchwork of permanent autonomous-zones. With our combined efforts we can form a new directly-democratic form of communal self-governance to supplant our current city government’s oppressive state structure.
War was declared upon the oppressed people of this country long ago. Now is the time to kick the cops out of our city, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block. Heading into November we have to prepare for the worst. The re-election of Trump means exponential increase of police and right-wing terrorism against our communities. The election of Biden would only mean a delaying of the fascist executioner’s blade, as the machine of capitalist modernity continues it’s immiseration of all society to benefit the billionaires of the world. Our future is either to make revolution or face global annihilation. The revolution will not only be made in the streets but through the daily work we must do to change our material and social relations between each other and our planet. Teargas Ted will not keep us safe from the inevitable march towards fascism of the federal government. We keep us safe. It’s up to us to make the changes we want to see in the world, and if we do not make the long-term commitments to revolutionary community organizing needed to see it through, then who will?
Find out more about how to form a NAC in your neighborhood and check out our many guides and resources on how you can get organized today.