Once again, despite ourselves, we are thrust onto the front lines of history. In the midst of an economic crisis, the leaders of the wealthiest nations on earth are meeting in Pittsburgh to discuss how to preserve global capitalism and reform the loathsome International Monetary Fund—and we are hosting our convergence in Pittsburgh a mere two months earlier.
We hadn’t planned on this—perhaps we’d forgotten that we are in a war that is constantly unfolding, that doesn’t permit truce or respite. It’s hard to bear in mind at all times how much depends on us, to remember that we are responsible for making the kind of resistance we want to participate in come about in our lifetime. At the same time, we can’t only react to our enemies, even when they are constantly provoking us—we must also take the time to develop long-term relationships and projects, or else we’ll never be able to take the initiative.
So what will the convergence in Pittsburgh look like?
From Barnstorming to Barn-Raising …
Originally, our plans for this summer’s convergence were simple enough. Having perfected our previous format, the wilderness retreat, we were going to experiment with a new model. Staging our eighth convergence in an urban setting, we hoped to pioneer a way for a transitory nationwide event to contribute permanent infrastructure to ongoing local organizing.
Accordingly, we looked around for a building to purchase in Pittsburgh, with the intention of converting it into a working social center in the course of the gathering. As capitalism continues to decimate entire regions, it is up to us to collectivize the abandoned resources and demonstrate that our alternative can succeed where the so-called free market has failed. We’ve spent enough time talking about how things could be different—we have to find ways to make them different.
… and Back into the Teeth of the Storm
But the context looks a little different now that the G20 is slated for Pittsburgh. We can expect more pressure from our enemies, so some of our original plans may be more difficult to carry out. At the same time, we are still committed to organizing a convergence dedicated as much to building and questioning as to conflict with the state. This convergence will provide a wide range of points of departure—from a free health care clinic that will function for the course of the event to direct action trainings that will remain useful long after the G20 meetings, and everything else you can imagine as well.
The G20 does not make Pittsburgh any more or less an epicenter of capitalism than it already was. Even before Obama picked it as a shining model of economic recovery, Pittsburgh suffered from gentrification, structurally imposed white supremacy, and all the other scourges of a hierarchical society. These forces must be fought constantly and on a wide range of levels, not simply at global trade summits—though summits, too, offer a chance to fight, and this might be a historic opportunity.
All who are interested in the G20 protests should think critically about what they want out of them and begin talking about how to make those dreams come true. Pittsburgh is about to host a local meeting to discuss the infrastructure and format for the protests; we urge other interested communities to hold their own consultas, so by the time we see each other in July we will be able to compare notes.
Anarchists—whether or not you are invested in the G20 mobilization, we beseech you to bring your talents and projects to Pittsburgh this July. It has never been more important for us to find one another, to make something happen, to demonstrate all the different ways we can resist this world and create another. Help us write the next chapter in the struggle for our lives.
Call for Workshops, Skillshares, and Presentations!
If you would like to present a workshop, organize a discussion, show a film, or otherwise usefully engage the attention of other participants, please send us a description of your plans, and stipulate any limitations or requests.
Call for Workshop and Discussion REQUESTS!
This year, we will set aside time for people to present workshops on things they know about, and set aside a separate time for people who have questions they wish answered to share those. Formulate a question you’ve always wanted help with, and bring it to share with others.
For example: Were there women involved in the anarchist resistance in the Ukraine? (The answer is yes.) Are prisoners better off under Obama? (Unfortunately, the answer is no.) How do I get the alarm tags off the shoes at Exploitation Incorporated? (Come to Pittsburgh and find out!)
Alternately, it could be a question that has no easy answer, but that you are excited to discuss with others: Is polyamory inescapably wedded to drama? What agency, if any, can we have in bringing about a worldwide revolutionary struggle?
For best results, email your question to us now, so people can be thinking about it in advance: email@example.com
Call for Nighttime Entertainment!
Calling all performers: all musicians, all poets, drag troupes and puppeteers, all storytellers, all choreographed dance teams, comedians and surrealists, to participate in the Convergence Cabaret—a nightlong variety show, a spectacular spectacle showcasing all of your weird and wild talent.
AND … with no nighttime fire to gather around, we’re looking to put together some participatory, performative, exciting social spaces EVERY evening. Do you have a play to perform or one to cast during the convergence? Are you coming with your genderfucking square dance band? Contact us with your entertainment ideas, small and large.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up.
Call for Help! We Need the Following Resources …
If you can share any of these resources in advance, or any others that might be useful, please email email@example.com:
Store credit for Home Depot and Lowes Bike repair tools and bike parts A generator
Shipments or deliveries of specialized goods (e.g., boxes of Odwalla bars, cliff bars, etc.)
Tremendous quantities of food
A massage table
First aid supplies
Racks (as in ’zine racks!)
Seeds and starts, fruit trees, etc.
What Should I Bring?
Urban camping gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad), musical instruments, a laptop if you have one and wish to use it in the computer-based workshops, a bicycle (really useful!), mix tapes and seeds to swap, picture frames, gifts for other convergence attendees, ideas, games, workshops, much more …
Tours to the Convergence
We’ve been notified of a couple tours heading to the convergence. If you wish us to announce yours, email us about it. Here is a description of one such tour:
The cutthroat revolutionary puppeteers of The Mysterious Rabbit puppet Army are going on a one month tour to help do their part to overthrow the ruling social order. They will be performing several shows, including:
Donny Don’t—A puppet show about security culture Jack and the Beanstalk—A dramatic anti-capitalist retelling of the old fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood—An animal-centric look at a familiar story The Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army’s Guide To Landing Your Dream Job—Practical tips for weathering the storm
They’ll be distributing an absurd quantity of ’zines, posters, stickers, and books. If you live in a small town anywhere along the tour route and would like them to perform there, that can be arranged. To reach them for further information about any of these shows, or to invite them to your town, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MYSTERIOUS RABBIT PUPPET ARMY TOUR
Tuesday July 14th Richmond, VA
Wednesday July 15th Washington, D.C.
Thursday July 16th Baltimore, MD
Friday July 17th Philadelphia, PA
Saturday July 18th New Haven, CT
Sunday July 19th Allentown, PA
July 20th through 26th CrimethInc. Convergence
Monday July 27th Athens, OH
Tuesday July 28th Off
Wednesday July 29th Columbus, OH
Thursday July 30th Off
Friday July 31st Bloomington, IN
Saturday August 1st Off
Sunday August 2nd Louisville, KY
Monday August 3rd Off
Tuesday August 4th Nashville, TN
Wednesday August 5th Off
Thursday August 6th Asheville, NC
Friday August 7th Charlotte, NC
Saturday August 8th Greensboro, NC
Sunday August 9th Chapel Hill, NC
Next Time …
… We’ll announce some of the events scheduled for the convergence, offer a rudimentary schedule, and drop some hints as to our other plans. To contribute or make suggestions, please email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, meet at the Northside Commons (W. North Ave. and Brighton) by the pond, on Monday, July 20. The convergence runs July 20-26.