Today, SE Michigan anarchists expropriated the city-tolerated “graffiti alley” in the downtown of gentrifying Ann Arbor, during the huge corporate-sponsored #AnnArborArtFair, turning it into a temporary antifascist zone, really really free zine share, informal people’s assembly, outdoor social center, “Ask an Anarchist” infoshop, political street art canvas, and conversational outreach space for the #WeekOfSolidarity for the #J20Defendants.
Hundreds of J20 posters, along with flyers, zines, and posters on everything from street art to anarchism to antiracism to imagining a world without police were wheat-pasted during the days as hundreds of art fair goers stopped to watch and talk. Banners were hung, paint was sprayed into big red and black stars or ACAB, and stickers were stuck, and among the many, many fabulous, funny, and/or frustrating chats with people from all walks of life, a highlight was the guy who exclaimed, “Wow, I’ve never met a real anarchist,” and was met with “Well hello, we’re your friendly local anarchists and there are many of us,” then got a few sweet definitions and handshakes all around, or another guy who connected tomorrow’s 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion with the J20 rebellion, approvingly.
They take our world, we take it back, visibly, face-to-face, with the common sense beauty and joy of everyday anarchism in action, and by spending hours explaining and demonstrating to random passersby just what solidarity and self-organization feels like, looks like, and is.
Local anarchists spend hours doing face-to-face outreach today during the #WeekOfSolidarity for the #J20Defendants by posting up in “graffiti alley” in Ann Arbor, during the bustling downtown-wide art fair. Plenty of zines and flyers were given out. Abundant conversations were had. Wheat-paste, paint, pens, stickers, string, and tape aided in posters & a big banner filling the alley’s walls. But besides all the urban redecoration and Michigan-chatty dialogues, so many connections were made about the politics of what J20 represents: from anticapitalist and anti-white supremacist to prefigurative forms of mutual aid and solidarity, or a world without police in which people instead love, care for, and protect each other.
For more on J20, see @defendj20 or www.defendJ20resistance.org