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The political bombings of the George Jackson Brigade

Not your hipster’s Seattle

by Amber Cortes Dominion Stories

» Download file 'OWR_20100826_George_Jackson_Brigade_AC_5-27.mp3' (5MB)

The five prominent members of the George Jackson Brigade
The five prominent members of the George Jackson Brigade

The George Jackson Brigade was an underground revolutionary collective active in the Seattle area. They set off 15 bombings in solidarity with the prison and labor movement in the mid-seventies. Most of their bombings either destroyed buildings or cut power to certain neighborhoods. However, one bombing, of a Safeway grocery store, injured several innocent people. A new book has come out documenting the hidden history of this group, and Amber Cortes has the story. This is part 1 of a 2-part series.

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Where is the fight?

Let's say the movement started robbing banks today. A very low percentage of money is denominated in physical bills and coins. It would be fairly easy for the mints of our various countries to replace money in circulation with marked bills or bills with RFID chips so that bank fund liberators could be tracked and caught immediately. These RFID chips are already being put into the higher denomination bills.

One argument expressed in this piece is [the rich won't just give their wealth up, we are going to have to take it]. Maybe, but what do we do, wealth is work, 'fixed' assets deteriorate. What system do we adopt for the distribution of wealth as it's created by work? Can we not create strong-holds of our own system somehow and start to slip their assets out form under them by encircling their system and rationales of property? Property isn't something 'out there' it's a cultural language about control, merit, etc. Have we really propagated an alternative language to the current cultural language of property? Or would we blow up and rob 'their shit' just to be brought into what hands?.. The hands of U.S. workers who fight tooth and nail just to prevent themselves getting socialized health care, who fought to defend the private profit off to their families and loved ones' sickness?

No, it's not an 'out-there' battle. To think of it as an external battle against a 'them' at this stage is little more than a romanticism mixed with defeatism borne from a lack of disciplined creativity to ariculate and build our alternative. An alternative, which we creatively propagate the memes and build capacity up towards.

'Anarchism is too important to be left to anarchists' is a lot of what I'm thinking these days. Suicidal and incomplete analysis is leading people away from responses and hard, constructive organizing and building. Because we don't have a destination (our own systemic alternative methodology for how a good world would actually work) we can't build towards it, let alone create gravitational field other than some romanticizing of violence, which is probably borne mostly out of the current culture of violence and war.

If you blow tare shit down, what are you creating in it's place? If you liberate wealth, what methods of distribution and valuation are you liberating it into? This isn't amorphous stuff, these are hard questions that have hardly been answered in all of history, and require detailed analysis and development. Parecon is probably the best methodology so far, do you know and understand it inside out? Some other economic methodology?... NO!? Then don't tare down a society you can't rebuild!

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