Filed under: British Columbia, Publication
Announcing the third edition of Wreck. We are putting this out with the aims to create an anarchist discourse within so called Vancouver. Anarchist discourse is dominated by those with the loudest voices, from those who have podcasts to others who engage in social media. We want to create our own narratives, specific to our conditions. An anarchist perspective encourages those to speak who have passion, being a man or having a university education is no qualifier for a valued opinion.
This publication encourages various anarchist perspectives. We have been successful so far in that we have published articles ranging in subject matter, from social work to social war, relevant to us in this little corner of the world. These are conversations coming from our hearts. This is not just ideology, nor are these articles just ideas to us, but our lived experiences. These are expressions of our desires. We are anarchists and move in the direction of actualizing them. Publications are not the only way to go about that. In a context like Vancouver, where everything seems so dismal, there are plenty of opportunities for experimentation.
The increasing level of gentrification and property speculation is resulting in an increasing level of stress and alienation. As friends move away and memories are bulldozed, this process is also coinciding with increased levels of apathy. As the most solid people leave, those who stick around are desperate to cling to some kind of scene, and are unlikely to make waves or hold onto principles; too stressed at losing what little human interaction they have, superficial as most relationships in this city can be. Unlikely to break out into the world of possibilities.
As local anarcho-surrealist author from Sla-dai-aich (Inner Island), Ron Sakolsky has put it, many of our relationships and our manner of survival in this city (and throughout capitalist society), can be well described as mutual acquiescence. We simply accept our reality, and work together reproduce the conditions that feed our misery and anxiety.
And as Ron argues further, we can instead create moments and worlds, of mutual aid and solidarity, that meet our needs, dreams and desires, where the market never can. Where un-affordability is suffocating us, we can claim our dignity by squatting those rich peoples houses who are no where to be seen. Where the Friday night anxiety keeps us confined in the same drunken routine, we can practice autonomous forms of self-organization that attack, challenge, or critique the horrific reality we talk and “facebook share” about way too much, and party in between. Where the destruction of the land and water breaks our hearts and crushes our spirits, we can begin to practice our very own struggle against this process, that might actually honour the too often empty platitudes about acknowledging stolen lands. Where our relationships so often fail us, we can rush into an expansive revolt with the ones we find the most comfortable, rather than the retreat of a self-confined space or scene.
At a time like now, and as always before, we can dig back into our anarchist roots. And we can also dig into the roots or examples of people who refused to accept their oppressive realities since the dawn of time. Like the anarchist rebels: women, ex-prisoners, etc, who carried arms and supplies out into the Spanish countryside in 1936, not only to fight against the threat of fascism, but because they refused to accept the hospitality of a democratic regime. Like so many of our comrades now and before, who refuse to bow before the logic of political legitimacy, of reform, of civility, of making ourselves eternally useful to the progress of this death machine, and instead practice direct action in an infinite variety of forms. Or like the english settlers to Roanoke Island, who in 1587 abandoned the colonial project, leaving only a signpost saying “Croatoan”, who intermarried and culturally mixed with local native folks and who’s descendants became the Lumbee People. And like the descendants of these people, the Lowry gang, who were mostly Lumbees, who engaged in an insurgent guerrilla war with plantation society in North Carolina in the 1800’s.
Though never guaranteed, our acts of refusal and rebellion can have far reaching consequences, and can open up space for further acts of rebellion. If we can just begin, by honouring our own desires, we can castaway from the wreckage of this civilization, and find ourselves shipwrecked at a “Croatoan” of our own making! This is the provocation that is wreck!
In this issue, we have a couple articles that deal with the current context in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and accounts of struggle there. There is also an account of the struggle at Lax U’u’la (Lelu Island) where indigenous, anarchist and other forces are stopping the construction of a liquified natural gas plant. There is a review and analysis of the concepts and implication of a book written by a Yippie and anarchist from Vancouver and areas close by. There is a devastating critique of “safety” in the radical imagination. There is some coverage of events elsewhere on this continent that might be of interest to anarchists locally. And there is an account of a recent mobilization against a fascist lawyer and politician in Vancouver.