A look back on 2018 from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) and some thoughts on the path ahead.
While the forces of fascism have been gaining power in the US and abroad and wielding it to wreak havoc on people’s lives this year, RAM has been steadily organizing and building. With our vision firmly fixed on a revolutionary solution, we have been taking steady, practical steps to build our groups, and spread horizontally through our communities.
As we faced a common enemy, with the battle lines so clearly drawn, we looked to the strength of our groups: our camaraderie, commitment, and drive to create a new way of relating to one other; the antidote to the supremacy of authoritarianism. Our chapters pulled together to create this revolutionary culture and we tried to reflect this culture through our actions: defining holidays and celebrations that would help us prepare our skills, and commemorate resistance.
We celebrated Nat Turner Day on the eve of the nation-wide prison strike. A burning effigy and noise demonstrations at prisons across the country set the tone for solidarity acts with prison strikers — the largest and most widespread in the history of the US. Our groups wrote letters to people inside the prisons, letting people know the strike was happening. We amplified the actions of the brave prison strikers, actions the prison industrial system wanted to silence, through outside propaganda, calls to prisons, and celebrating their actions.
We responded to the call for Juneteenth celebrations and protests with a challenge to capture blues lives matter flags. A salute goes out to all the groups who participated and pulled these and other flags of state oppression and fascism off their poles.
Our chapters built strong relationships with their local anti-authoritarian and autonomous groups this year by working together on events and projects. As these relationships multiply, our collective power will continue to grow.
With our bail fund, we freed many youth, and sat with their families as they tried to wade through the maze of entrapment of the courtroom, lawyers and social workers.
Many inside the prison stood up this year, and faced repression, as a result of prison uprisings. We sent support and solidarity for those in the belly of the beast who set an example for everyone outside who struggles for liberation.
Through Support Through The Walls, we sent radical literature to and developed correspondences with people locked up. We responded to their needs, sending commissary and food packages. But most importantly, we began forging meaningful relationships that transcend the walls of the state and will create the foundation of trust necessary for our revolutionary work.
We stood with many of our friends and neighbors as they faced deportation hearings, kidnapping, unreachable bails and helped arrange safe passage for them. We brought medical supplies to people in the Central American caravan that was attacked at the border of Mexico and California. We barricaded ICE buildings in support of people trying to remain with their friends and families.
In our quest to build revolutionary struggle across borders, we connected deeply with comrades and struggles around the world, participated in a conference of autonomous groups in Oaxaca, connected with those struggling against prisons in Montreal, built relationships with revolutionary groups all around the world: relationships of shared struggle and support.
As we organize our resistance, we honored the martyrs who gave their lives for the struggle. They are the legacy of the movement. Many comrades fell in Rojava, especially in Afrin, defending it against the onslaught of the Turkish state. From airport actions, to protests against Erdogan, to propaganda and solidarity videos to cheer on those on the front lines, we looked to forge methods of horizontal solidarity.
We also bid goodbye to our dear comrade Florent Sadiku, who himself fought the fascist Turkish state, and as a result was tortured and imprisoned, yet never gave up the insurgent spirit, and brought many revolutionaries together. His honest intentions will be a light for our way forward.
We salute those still kidnapped and locked up by the state. They are our inspiration for working ever harder. Comrade Keith Lamar was issued a date for his execution. Dwayne Staats of the Vaughn 17 received a guilty verdict for his alleged participation in that prison uprising. Keith Malik Washington and Ramsey Orta were tyrannized by prison guards – a direct result of standing up against repression. Black Liberation prisoner Jalil Muntaqim was sadly denied parole.
We send our love to longterm anarchist prisoners who face constant repression for their commitment to liberatory politics. We will continue to rally for the anarchists around the world who are facing repression. Over the year, we held events: letter writings, fundraiser parties, and solidarity actions for these comrades at home and abroad.
While we mourn the attacks on the black community and the ruthlessness of all states in the face of valiant resistance, we also look across the year at the many beautiful acts of defiance that gave rise to our martyrs, to those facing repression, and to those who were able to achieve their goals and escape to fight another day. We know that these acts of repression do not crush our spirit, but gives us infinitely more drive to build the movement.
Towards an insurgent 2019! May the movement grow and thrive as the vestiges of tyranny crumble!