Aye so we are thinking about changing things up around here in terms or layouts, blog formats and everything so watch out. Just like this world, this blog is forever changing.
In the meantime I wanna give a few shout outs:
1. I cannot big up the following piece more than I already have but if you haven’t already read the latest post over at “Gathering Forces” then you are missing out. Wen (the author) breaks down the need for a third tendancy in the struggle for queer liberation and working class liberation. Here is an excert to get you hype for the theoretical spasms to come.
When the gay liberal assimilationists say to middle-class straight folks, “we are just like you,” and the queer separatists on the other say “hell no we are nothing like you” and form their own blocs, we should be the force that says to every day folks who struggle that “we are just like you, and you are actually just like us”–because queer folks have always been part of the working-class and we are not fundementally different from one another. Our oppression as queers is not a fixed pathology. It is a product of the heteronormative, homophobic society, and it does not have to stay that way forever. In fact, the essence of queer liberation lies within the ability for everyone to celebrate and experiment their sexuality, gender, and desire. It is not enough to only carve out another limited category of acceptable sexuality for a certain group of people. This kind of change is not liberation–it is a very limited imagination of freedom. We need to start off with this fundamental vision of uniting the working-class and queer struggles and ensure that not any part of ourselves will be forced to compromise in the movement.
2. There is a new blog entering the mix that we all need to pay attention to. If you haven’t already, check out “Kissing In The Dark”. Powerful sistah speaking truth to power.
3. Want some radical Bay Area history that has been lost? Check out the blog of the Oakland branch of the militant student group, Sudent Unity Power (SUP). The folks over at the Oakland branch have unearthed some serious work done by the Black Panther Party in the Peralta community college system in Oakland. Talk about building dual power. The Panthers along with some others put forth some major power plays beyond the regular gun totting people like the remember from them. Once again, here is a lil except to water your mouth.
We are often confronted by a legacy of the Panthers as either a detoothed community service organization or all claws. But the BPP experience at Peralta shows the work of a multifaceted organic expression of a specific section of Oakland’s working class to overturn institutions that claim to serve them and remake them into bases for struggle. When the Panthers spoke of occupying a building, it wasn’t (only) to appeal for more funds from the state, but to keep the state away from self-organized community programs. This meant not simply a negation of racist, authoritarian educational institutions, but their redefinition and reuse. As the editorial of the first issue of The Grapevine wrote,
To the continuing students and student-workers, right-on to the work you have done and the work you have inspired your communities to do, right-on to your moves to secure your community institution, to moving for freedom from oppression, to moving to make this a real community college – in practice. We still have work to do, but we have reached a higher level of organizing and our work will be even more effective in the future. We will win our fight to keep our community college and control it.
This is a message to today’s student movement. Beyond “demand[ing] affordable, accessible and quality education” or “keep[ing] California’s original promise of higher education” lies the seizure and re-invention of these institutions around fundamental principles of self-determination, self-management and freedom from oppression.