August 2010: We Are Everywhere

By now, anarchists and anti-authoritarians across the country have probably given up waiting for an announcement of the annual CrimethInc. Convergence. The truth is that as experienced organizers grow more weary of repeating themselves, and the emerging energetic anarchist communities are all tending to be less and less interested in organizing, few places seem to be appropriate candidates for this summer’s convergence. Moreover, by early spring it was already too late in the game for a community to come forward and offer to host the event, and interest simply had not surfaced.

In possibly the first great anarchist mistake of the decade, the CrimethInc. Experimental Committee was founded in late January. Their first assignment? To preserve and integrate the best elements of the convergence into a new model, adjust them to strengthen longstanding weaknesses, all the while upping the ante in a way that serves the anarchist community as a whole. At first, we thought their solution was a bad idea, so we commissioned a report and quickly changed our minds.

You’re being invited to participate in CrimethInc.’s next big experiment: a decentralized convergence.

THE OBJECTIVES

To create and maintain points of entry everywhere. To demonstrate our ability to work together despite internal differences and external obstacles. To invigorate anarchist infrastructure rather than lean on it. To orchestrate a show of force in solidarity with anti-authoritarians all over the world. To inspire curious newcomers without exhausting our vigor. To illuminate the map like a starchart of constellations. To remind ourselves – everyone – that we are everywhere.

THE CHALLENGE

Can anarchists mobilize to achieve these objectives with a tight deadline? In an effort to test and strengthen our potential, we’re inviting anarchists of all stripes and contexts to participate in a widespread and decentralized demonstration of outreach and infrastructure. To get involved, all that is required is that you facilitate or organize one or more events that will occur simultaneously across North America throughout the month of August.

THE PLAN

During August, we make anarchist principles and activity visible and accessible at a scale never before attempted. Consider it an international month of action; the activities can be of any caliber and temperament, and can appear anywhere: in the news, in the library, in the bedroom, in the supermarket, at the Really Really Free Market, on the streets, and so on. Use this as an opportunity to explore and experiment: if you aren’t typically involved in local mutual aid projects, give it a go; if you’ve never gone on a tour before, plan one with your friends; if you write zines, write banners; if you author theory, stage a reading; if you occupy classrooms, teach one for free. Whatever you do, wherever you go, wave the black flag for everyone to see –including, and perhaps especially for, our friends and comrades – and let the world see that we are everywhere.

THE SKELETON

To supplement the individual events we’re inviting people who’d like to teach workshops, perform skits and puppet shows, and share music and videos, to organize tours with their friends. The troupe could be just one person – you – or as many friends and companions as you can pack into a vehicle: whatever is doable and exciting. You could schedule events in a few towns in your region over a weekend, or cross the continent in a month. Your theme could be acute, spreading awareness about specific campaigns against mountain-top removal, evictions, state repression, the tar sands of Canada, the oil spill, oppression, or for mutual aid projects, solidarity with struggles happening here or elsewhere, or obscure theory. Or it could be more broad – raising awareness about anarchism itself.

Decentralized tours could the most appropriate and safe way for the anarchist community to achieve the objectives of the nationwide convergence. Accessible points of entry can emerge in all of the places that anarchists already are. Inspirational experiences can be had with new people. The diversity of anarchist perspectives and positions can be celebrated and affirmed in a way that allows them to work together, allowing us all to hold our commonalities close and activate our solidarity.

We’re pleased to announce that several tours have already signed up as endorsers: The Conspiracy Tour [USA], The Emergency Tour [USA-Midwest], and Testament & Illogick [Canada]. If you already plan on touring with a project during August, you can plug into the strategy with almost no additional effort. If you haven’t planned anything during August, please consider organizing a tour in solidarity with all those who will be organizing events in their hometowns. This goes most especially for everyone who has participated in CrimethInc Convergences in past years, and is able and willing. To help offset the price of fuel, you might consider distributing free literature for donations, and selling books and screenprinted items – if you’re partial, the Literature Distro Kit is one of the cheapest places to start.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be maintaining a list of tour dates both organized within our challenging timeframe and scheduled for the month of August. To add your project to the itinerary, please email experimental.committee@gmail.com as soon as possible, and we can publish your public events as they unfold.

THE NERVE

Drawing from the lessons of Steal Something From Work Day, our work should effectively utilize modern modes of communication and reclaim their functions when necessary.

Twitter – We can use Twitter to announce your events and simultaneously contribute to the volume of the phenomenon. If you use twitter, tag your tweets with #AnarchistsEverywhere to let people locate it in a search of the entire campaign. If we remember that these tweets are public and can function as promotional work, we can contribute to the campaign 140 characters at a time.

YouTube & Vimeo – We can upload short vignettes that promote the campaign and will be relevant for years to come. Our current recommendation is the proliferation of short 45 second clips ending in the slogan “WE ARE EVERYWHERE”. To avoid the alienation that can sometimes be felt when watching high-quality video production, it is encouraged that these clips be shot with cell phones to remind everyone that they can make their own. To contribute your video to the campaign, simply tag it with “AnarchistsEverywhere”.

Social Networking – Share this blog entry, and when more web projects and videos emerge share those too. Announce local events to everyone that you communicate with through that medium. While you’re at it, be mindful of the networks you imply on facebook.

Of course, it is also important that we create signposts in the real world too. Design posters, t-shirts, stencils, stickers, and other folk-art projects and spread them everywhere. See this appendix for helpful slogans.

THE HEART

Of course, each tour will make this campaign exponentially larger, but this August won’t be about tours. More important is what is going on in each place they pass through; if you are part of an active community – even if that community is just you –you can make your town another mark on our constellation map, which is a substantial contribution. In the context of this campaign, doing locally what tours cannot is considerably more effective than an elaborate schedule of tours. You are a part of the everywhere.

Ultimately, this campaign is about doing what we do every day. In working together as a decentralized concert of actions and activities we can collectively establish visibility for our local efforts and global struggles. For inspiration, check out Recipes for Disaster if you haven’t already, or you could plan a workshop, block party, public discussion group – even a bike ride. Put quite simply: if you’ve got a black flag and the will to fly it, this August the world will be watching.

Whatever you do, your contribution will be a part of an experiment to determine our collective power-to and solidarity-with – no amount of participation is too small, and everyone’s efforts will be counted.

THE DETAILS

Please read the arguments for decentralizing the CrimethInc. Convergence and the implications of a successful August 2010. Whether or not your project is a tour complete with a list of dates and venues, or a single event open to the public, it is still valuable and worthwhile to promote as a part of this campaign. Please email details to experimental.committee@gmail.com for help promoting your event.

APPENDIX of SLOGANS {not just a big joke}

In reclaiming and reworking modern marketing and advertisement strategies, we can re-appropriate the elements of our social conditions. Opportunities to do so will be self-evident: wherever capitalist imagery and sentiment competes for our attention. To do so effectively we would benefit from maintaining relative consistency throughout this campaign. This campaign is already built on a concept that both demands participation and refuses to be homogenized by those with particularly concentrated resources; the message is that we are everywhere and therefore the aesthetic will naturally benefit from the wide spectrum of positions from which these messages can emerge. Additionally, we cannot successfully demonstrate our prevalence without communicating things that describe our politics and the widespread nature of our resistance. That these things are true does not mean we cannot create a consistent and circular front of visibility – this can happen by taking advantage of the strategies outlined above in the nerve section and by making prolific use of, and following the various style guides accompanying, the following slogans:

  1. { for use wherever possible, and most appropriate }
  2. { for use in pre-august promotional material }
  3. { anytime you need a clever supplement }

These are appropriate for Anarchists without Adjectives and will work well in combination with any of the others. The use of any other slogans should be supplemented with these for best use of consistency:

  1. WE ARE EVERYWHERE

  2. WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS AUGUST?

  3. GET ALL OVER THE PLACE

  4. { The Circle A }

These Insurrectionist slogans are sure to be attractively confusing:

  1. DOING BEING EVERYWHERE
  2. PARTY THIS AUGUST
  3. MAKE TOTAL ALL OVER THE PLACE

The Anarchist People of Color who aren’t surprised that you assumed they weren’t involved in planning this campaign suggested:

  1. NO ONE IS ILLEGAL – WE ARE EVERYWHERE
  2. THE BLOCK IS HOT, AUGUST WILL BE HOTTER
  3. STOLEN LAND IS ALL OVER THE PLACE

Efficient use of these slogans are sure to aid the Anarcho-Syndicalist platform:

  1. AN INJURY SOMEPLACE IS AN INJURY EVERYWHERE
  2. TAKE IT OVER THIS AUGUST
  3. ONE BIG EVERYWHERE

If we would stop for a minute and listen for a change, the Anarcha-Feminist might recommend:

  1. OUR PLACE IS ALL OVER THE PLACE
  2. TAKE BACK THE NIGHT THIS AUGUST
  3. MOTHERS WORK EVERYWHERE

Anarchist Queers can pack these with their strap-ons and glitter-bombs:

  1. WE WANT YOU
  2. ANARCHISM IS IN THIS AUGUST
  3. BASH BACK EVERYWHERE

And lastly, if someone could tell the Anti-Civ folks about these slogans, that’d be great!

  1. AGAINST CAPTIVITY EVERYWHERE
  2. BREAK THROUGH THIS AUGUST
  3. GROW BACK ALL OVER THE PLACE