Draft thoughts on strategy for American anarchists

MB3-org.com

Draft thoughts on strategy for American anarchists

By: s.nappalos

Three decades of austerity is taking a toll on the dominant political forces in the US. People are simply getting sick of it and popular discontent is beginning to undermine the balance of forces within the ruling parties. There seems to be less capacity for both reaction and reform to deliver present and past goods both through the private sector and through their anemic attempts at public social welfare programs (at least thus far). Despite promises to the contrary living standards objectively are declining, and even reforms like Obamacare, which did put a bandaid on aspects of the healthcare crisis via Medicaid expansion, has been severely threatened by the runaway costs that the rulers were unable and unwilling to contain. This isn’t to say that some new remix or reform package won’t be able to successfully divert anger over shifting racial and class lines. We should expect that…

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1013 Involuntary Legal Hold for Mental Illness – WTF???

I hope I’m not the only one who’s heard of this shit before, but for those of you who don’t know what a 1013 is, here’s an idea: Even as an independent adult living away from home, if your family suddenly felt “concerned” enough for your well-being (especially as a known drug addict), you’re just a fucking “crisis center” hotline phone call away from being INCARCERATED in a hospital AGAINST YOUR WILL and INVOLUNTARILY detoxed from any and all legal/DOCTOR-PRESCRIBED medications (narcotics) they want to take from you.

For inpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • be in need of involuntary treatment AND
      • (1) imminent danger to self/others, evidenced by recent overt acts or expressed threats of violence OR
      • (2) unable to care for physical health and safety so as to create an imminently life-endangering crisis and in need of involuntary treatment.

    TreatmentAdvocacyCenter.org

Google seems to only turn up GA and FL laws regarding a 1013, maybe it’s called something else in other states? As you can see from the featured image and below, it’s a shockingly simple little form with a few check boxes that seem to unapologetically ignore civil rights and humanity in general… but that’s just from my own personal experience… Here’s someone else’s experience being “1013”ed, FYI.

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 5.49.18 AM

Anyway, I was just discharged today from such an experience, and it was unsettling enough to make me really want to study up on the legalities of this whole process. Also very curious to hear others’ experiences.

Before I start  that sure, I can see there being probable cause to maybe monitor me overnight or for a couple days, given the circumstances. I can understand my parents’ “concern” for my well-being/safety/mental state after finding my husband dead. Sure, given the cocktail of drugs found in my system, I understood and was cool with the familiar few day-stint in the local state-funded in-patient detox/crisis stabilization facility. Full Disclosure: My drug screen came up dirty for opiates (my prescribed methadone), benzos (Xanax), meth (per usual… :/), and cocaine (it was just one night!).
I’M NOT SAYING I DIDN’T NEED SOME KIND OF HELP, I’M JUST SAYING THIS WAS NOT THE WAY TO GO, AND FELT UNSHAKABLY FUCKED UP ON SO MANY LEVELS. It was a totally different experience than when I actually called the cops on myself about 2 years ago (right before meeting my husband… wow, I’ve come full circle), and willingly going to a short detox.

Summary of what happened:

  • Mom calls some state “crisis intervention” hotline (she now says she was just looking for grief counseling for me).
  • One minute I’m getting ready to head to the methadone clinic, arguing with my mom about borrowing their car, next thing I know there’s literally about 10 cops standing in my living room with some strange bitch I’ve never seen going, “We just want to talk to you for a minute…”, advancing toward me like they’re about to tackle me.
  • Frustrated after arguing with my mom, I refuse to talk to the bitch (who introduces herself as a social worker who “just has a few questions for me”). Without warning, she apparently puts a “1013” on me (see attached image below) – citing a Facebook post about my husband’s death and just my mom’s statement that I had threatened suicide after my husband’s death and was on drugs – ordering emergency transport to the hospital for psych evaluation.
  • EMT’s arrived to transport me, I went willingly and without any resistance, thinking I’d be in and out easily after explaining that this was all just a big misunderstanding and that I WAS NOT suicidal.
  • I KNOW I COULD NOT HAVE APPEARED PARTICULARLY FUCKED UP/INTOXICATED/TWEAKED OUT/INSANE/ETC., BECAUSE I HAD A LOVELY TALK WITH THE EMT WHO TRANSPORTED ME TO THE HOSPITAL. I explained the whole situation to her: My husband dying, my parents’ concern, full disclosure on the fact that I’d been getting fucked up but I wasn’t suicidal or a threat to myself, etc. We laughed about the fact that this is just how my mom/parents handle shit when they don’t know what to do with their kids. Just a few months prior to this, I was INFURIATED when my mom had my 10yr old sister locked down in a similar state-funded facility when she wouldn’t go to school, claiming her anxiety was too severe.
  • The EMT said she would put in a good word with the social worker for me.

Being held for 24 hours in a local hospital and then transported almost 2 hours away on a 1013 “involuntary legal hold” because I was deemed “a threat to myself or others” was a COMPLETELY different experience than admitting myself voluntarily, (in the exact same location). ALL I CAN SAY IS, IF IT WAS THAT EASY FOR MY FUCKING (ALSO) INSANE MOTHER TO COMMIT ME, ALMOST AS AN EXPERIMENT, I’M CURIOUS HOW EASY IT WOULD BE FOR ME TO GET HER LOCKED UP THE SAME WAY???

Just a few of the things that shocked and scared the shit out of me:

  • I learned quickly that the more I fought against the involuntary legal hold, the “crazier” I seemed to make myself appear. (The more heated I got in my arguing, the more they looked at me like I was “crazy”).
  • This realization came after meeting with my “doctor” on day 2/3 of my involuntary psychiatric/detox treatment. I was annoyed and terrified when he told me, almost with a smirk, that A.) I would be there longer than the 72 hours I was promised at the hospital, instead the average stay SENTENCE is 5 – 7 days, B.) not only would he NOT write an order for my methadone for my stay, C.) he would actually be detoxing me off it, and there was NOTHING I COULD DO TO STOP IT.
  • Legally prescribed medications (presumably if they’re of the narcotic variety) can be taken upon hospitalization, involuntarily detoxed out of your system and NOT GIVEN BACK.
  • The facility I was transported to BOAST ON THEIR WEBSITE ABOUT ELECTRO-SHOCK THERAPY as a treatment offered for depression. (Uhh, is it still the same century, or…?)

REFERENCES & TAKE ACTION NOW

 


For my own reference:

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Redefining Rape [Pt. 1]: Gender

In the public discussion and of rape, the term “women’s issue” tends to be synonymous. It wasn’t until my own rape as an adult that I realized just how skewed and dangerously misguided the public perception of rape actually is. While trying to come to terms with my own date rape, I found the vast majority of the resources available to victims of sex crimes (i.e. national and regional hotlines, websites and organizations) to be inexplicably unhelpful and discouraging.

While I want to focus more on the victims in this post, Lara Naughton of Bustle.com expresses a unique perspective about the relationship between victim and rapist (woman and man, in this case):

My rape threw me into a different orbit, and spun me around and around what I thought I knew about sexual violence. Once I regained a sense of equilibrium and assessed the ways I was altered, I recognized I had two new convictions. One: Rape is not a women’s issue. Two: If we want our rape culture to dissolve, we have to attend to the pain and suffering of men.

Naughton’s ability to recognize (or even care about) the suffering in her attacker might be somewhat hard to grasp for some. The last time I was raped, I literally saw my rapist as evil incarnate. I might’ve been hallucinating from whatever he’d put in my drink, but when I regained consciousness the next morning, looked at him and realized what had happened, I literally felt as though I was looking at a demon; the Devil in the flesh.

All victims of sexual violence react and deal with it in different ways. I think most of us ask “Why?” at some point. “Why did you do that to me?” This is a question Naughton addresses in her insightful piece “Why Rape is Not a Women’s Issue.” She goes on say,

When I was in the jungle with my rapist, I couldn’t run or fight. Compassion for him was my only defense.

Naughton’s poignant recollection of her trauma and the consequential permanent alteration of her psyche brings up a vital point: It’s not about what gender is victimized by sexual violence more frequently. While it is true that  “men… make up the overwhelming majority of people committing sexual assaults, and women the overwhelming majority of their victims,” focus needs to be shifted from statistics to WHY and WHAT drives a person to rape in the first place.

All victims who experience a sexual assault, including rape, deserve to be acknowledged, cared for with resources designed to help them move from trauma to well-being, and given a safe place in the judicial system free from blame and shame. But those measures are reactive to the issue — they’re not the issue itself.

References & further reading:

Osugi Sakae and Little Acts of Resistance

The small things that spark revolutions.

anarchopac

There’s a tendency for people on the radical left to focus on large acts of rebellion, such as general strikes, riots, or revolutions. The problem with doing this too much is that it is difficult to translate lessons from these massive events to our every day mundane lives. After all, I won’t be storming Parliament on Tuesday or abolishing wage labour on Friday. It is because of this that I think its very important to learn about tiny acts of resistance performed by normal people going about their lives. These more down to earth actions can inspire me to act differently in the here and now and thereby push against the cage that we all live in.

One little known example of such tiny resistance comes from the autobiography of Osugi Sakae. Sakae was an early 20th century Japanese anarchist. He was arrested a lot and as a result…

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“Blame The System, NOT the Victim!”

SlutWalk NYC

This slogan struck a chord with me when I saw it on picket signs in images of SlutWalk, inspiring me to do something about what happened to me Halloween of 2014. I went to the cops and reported the rape, but I could already tell before even finishing giving my report to the police that nothing would be done and I wouldn’t get justice through the U.S. “justice system.” The male detective’s questions were much more focused on my drinking habits, how drunk I was that night, how much I’d been drinking in the days leading up to it, etc., rather than the rape itself. I could tell that he was trying to judge whether or not I had a drinking problem, which it was pretty clear that I did. His opinion of me as an alcoholic definitely seemed to determine the questions he asked. I actually think he asked more questions about my drinking than the event itself, and he was not even remotely sensitive to what I had just been through. He treated me like I was the criminal, like I was the one who had done something wrong. The female detective who spoke with me afterward to get more of the details wasn’t much better, though she seemed to be more trained in dealing with victims of sex crimes. (She asked questions like, “What color were the sheets on the bed?” and “What was the furniture in the room? What did it look like/what color was it?” presumably to judge how intoxicated I was, how fuzzy my memory was, etc.)

The police, judges, courts and government that just pretend this is a non-issue, systematically allowing perpetrators of sexual violence to go free or receive light sentences while distracting victims and protestors from the real issues at hand – these are the entities we as victims of sexual violence should be focused on to demand justice, since they seem to think our rapists have done nothing wrong.

I was shocked and outraged at how I was treated by the male detective. He clearly had no training whatsoever in dealing with these sorts of sensitive matters, or at least he just didn’t care. Let me give some background info: I’m a white girl with long dreadlocks, a septum ring and tattoos. I live in a small backwoods town in Georgia where racism and discrimination is still very much alive and well. The second the detective laid cold, calculating eyes on me, I could sense him sizing me up and forming his judgements and prejudices. You would think maybe the fact that racism is rampant among the police force in this town might actually be an advantage to me in this case since my rapist was black, (*not to say that’s right), but it didn’t. The guy was a clean cut nerdy type who was in the military. It was my word against his, and the detective made it pretty clear from the beginning that he didn’t think a crime had been committed. He never came out and explicitly stated it, but it was obvious from his questions, his condescending attitude, and the insensitive way he treated me that he thought I was just a sloppy alcoholic who drank too much, had sex with a friend, regretted it the next day and was now trying to clear my name and conscious by accusing him of rape.

That’s why these types of cases have been referred to as “gray rape” – a term I have since learned is denounced in much of the online feminist community for implying that there are varying degrees of rape, some of which are not as “bad” – cases of rape accusations where consent is vague and hard to determine. Generally, “gray rape” refers to a sex act where consent was granted at some point but retracted later. (A common example given is where vaginal sex is consented to but oral or anal sex is not). In my case, I was drugged and had been drinking for days, so I was too intoxicated to give consent.

It’s been over a year since this happened to me, and as far as I know the man who raped me never went to jail, was never convicted of anything, probably was never even questioned by the police. This is the second time in my life I have reported a rape or sexual assault, and the assailant was never jailed or punished in any way. The same thing has happened to my 16-year-old sister multiple times just in the past couple years, and since my mother never talks much about her childhood but obviously was traumatized in some way, I have a feeling she’s probably been through it too. The pathetically small percentage of rapists, child molesters and abusers who are behind bars is infuriating and simply unacceptable. But what can be done about it? What can I do to ensure that my 10-year-old sister doesn’t have to go through the same thing?

“BLAME THE SYSTEM, NOT THE VICTIM.” A little lightbulb popped up over my head when I saw this: If my rapist gets away scot-free, where do I seek justice? Who do I blame? THE SYSTEM! The detective who handled my case so insensitively, who had already decided before I even opened my mouth that he didn’t like me and wasn’t going to help, who decided that it was MY fault I was taken advantage of while unconscious because I had a drinking problem. The police department employing the detective for obviously not training their detectives to be sensitive in handling cases of sexual assault and rape. The entire U.S. justice system for systematically allowing rapists to roam free while the victims are treated like criminals for reporting their rapists.

Who knows if it will do any good, but I am working on reporting the detective who took my report. I also intend on contacting the police department and finding out what kind of sensitivity training they put their employees through for dealing with victims of sex crimes, because they seriously need to step it up. I hope to inspire other victims to start thinking like this as well – looking to the SYSTEM to answer for these crimes, since they refuse to carry out justice for the victims.

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The “Impossibility” of Forgiving Myself

I am my own worst enemy.

Forgiving myself is by far the hardest thing I have ever attempted. I know that I am not unique in this; I know that many of us struggle desperately to cease the destructive cycle of merciless self-criticism and self-hatred that comes from making mistakes. The old cliche rings more true to me than any other. But then, just as powerful to me is the following quote (and don’t you dare look up the source):

I am mine own redeemer.

Despite the insanity and horrible decision-making of the past 3 – 4 weeks of my life, I have still somehow managed to feel a rare and special peace that only comes from true forgiveness and love. The source of this feeling of overwhelming benevolence and unconditional forgiveness is highly unlikely and frankly, quite odd.

I felt this forgiveness from a woman I wronged in a thoughtless, disgusting and inexcusable way. It seems too good to be true, but strangely enough, I felt this forgiveness from a woman who I only knew because I fucked her boyfriend last summer.

~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~

No, this is not the setup for another Dr. Phil episode where wives come face to face with their husband’s mistress for the first time. This is far deeper and more beautiful than two women bonding over their hatred and heartache caused by the same man.

The limitless capacity to forgive that I have seen in the woman who inspired me to write this is something that has truly restored a bit of my faith in humanity and in the innate goodness of human beings.

Despite my perpetual anger at the world for all the hurt everyone has caused me, despite my long-standing and deeply-rooted cynical belief that most people will fuck you over and hurt you every chance they get, despite my constant fuck-ups, embarrassing mistakes and the horrible and thoughtless ways I have hurt people and myself… This woman not only forgave me, she actually became a close friend.

After hearing that her ex and my ex-fling? ex-friend? was spending months in jail for domestic violence against her (not the first time), on a random whim I sent her a message (rather drunkenly, to be fair). The message was a characteristically long-winded, probably overdramatic ramble that was my attempt at a sincere apology for hurting her like I did, by sneaking around to talk to him on his cell phone that she paid for. For picking him up at her home where she took care of him like the overgrown, spoiled, psychotic man-baby that I now realize he has been all along. For totally disregarding her feelings by letting him stay with me in a hotel for an entire week in a grotesque, drug-fueled display of bullshit.

Through an hours-long exchange, she was a bit angry at first but never said an unkind word. She quickly admitted to the fact that she was more hurt than anything, but still apparently saw something good and genuine in me enough so that she could forgive me, befriend me, and even care about how the whole ordeal affected my own feelings.

~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~xx~

Just one of those random, undeserved acts of human kindness and love that can really make a person see the good in this world (even one as stuck on being miserable as me). I still have yet to completely forgive myself for this, but her love and compassion for me regardless of the mistakes I made – it’s really helping me heal. It’s helping me in ways she probably will never know.

Thank you, Tonya.

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Minority: Connotations of the Term

I’m in the middle of writing an essay that covers racism in the subtle forms of a supposedly post-racial era. Researching racism inevitably turns up numerous instances of the politically-correct term “minority.” I dislike this term on many levels. If I ever have to use it in my writing, I always put the term in quotes to indicate my disdain.

Minority: The smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half the whole number. / Children under the age of 18.

Surely I’m not the only person who has wondered why a term that clearly indicates inferiority would be so widely accepted. Google results on the subject suggest that “minority” be replaced by “people of color.” Hmm. It’d be lovely if people didn’t have to be divided and categorized by physical traits, but I guess it would be overly optimistic to imagine a world where everyone saw fellow humans before they saw a black guy or a redhead or whatever. Even white women can be labeled a minority, since apparently white males are the most superior of all lifeforms.

Whites are the accepted majority in America, but is the white population large enough to presume that anyone who isn’t white is a “minority?” Wikipedia lists whites as 72% of the population. Even if the demographic is larger, why would it be acceptable to group together everyone who isn’t white under one general term? It seems odd to me that most people don’t get pissed off about a term that means “not white” and “less than,” and is also used to refer to children. Maybe I’m just overanalyzing.

P.S. The existence of race is debatable, just came across that in my research… The argument is that race is not backed by biology and is discredited by the numerous variations within groups classified as the same race. I hate labels, pigeonholes and categories for people of any sort, but I guess they serve a purpose that isn’t always negative.

So, again, with that in mind, how can the word minority continue to be accepted? I cringe when I see or hear it. Ignorant on so many levels. What exactly even is “white” anyway? Is it only characterized by pale skin? There are plenty of people out there not of European descent who have pale skin… does that make them white too or do you have to be Caucasian? This is one of many social constructs I would love to see eradicated.

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We Have Nothing to Fear But Love Itself

coffee and a blank page

[CN: rape, emotional abuse] 

48715452_18ea44079c_o (1)(“So thick you couldn’t see the building.” photo by Vicky TH via)

The conversation we had begun that afternoon did not finish until after nine at night. I felt spent and numb, yet somehow giddy. My throat was raw. When I stood up, I rocked unsteadily on my feet.

“What now?” my mother asked. “Shall we go get dinner? What do you usually do after these kinds of talks?”

I blinked at her and shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never actually told my mother about being raped before.”

~ ~ ~

I am now going to tell you a story. That is, I am going to try. I suspect I will conceal more than I realize, and reveal more than I intend. Such is the nature of stories.

My mother would read the words I am about to write as violence. As betrayal.

She might not…

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Female Anger: A Taboo

A woman screaming in rage and anger is likely more feared than anything on this planet.

malala

Our culture conditions us to disregard levels of anger in women that make us uncomfortable, shrugging her rage off as just being “bitchy”… or oh no, better watch out, it’s her time of the month!

Women are absolutely not allowed the freedom to be angry as anyone else. If you’re angry about something and happen to be a woman, your anger will only be tolerated up to a certain point. Past that, you’re just being a bitch, or irrational, or emotional. Your feelings are disregarded if they’re too powerful for others to handle, or if they make someone uncomfortable.

As a woman, I recognize an almost unconscious restraint in expressing my anger. I know that I’ve been programmed to only be as angry as others are comfortable with, feeling pressured to always maintain some kind of composure even when expressing overwhelming emotion. Gotta try not to look ugly when you cry… Even I doubt my own feelings, constantly telling myself I’m just being dramatic.

You’re allowed to complain, but do it too much and you’re a nag. It’s ok if you want to be angry, but yell too much and you’re a bitch. We don’t mind if you want to fight for social justice or protest about whatever you’re butthurt about today, but if you get overly outraged and indignant, you’re a feminazi or a man-hating dyke. (Don’t even get me started on the feminist stigma).

I’m a woman and I’m fucking mad, outraged even. Just try to shut me up. I dare you.

coutney love angry

Who’s one of the most angry women in pop culture, and hands down the most infamously hated? Courtney Love. People come up with a million reasons to hate her: she killed Kurt, she did heroin when pregnant, whatever… I feel like it all really just comes down to the fact that Courtney Love is the poster child for an angry woman who gives absolutely no fucks whether you think she’s pretty or if her hair’s greasy. She’s the embodiment of loud, obnoxious, outspoken female rage and people either absolutely love it or can’t stand it. Whether you love her or hate her, Love’s original image is so commanding and powerful that even haters have to talk about how awful she is.

So why is it that Courtney Love is considered a gross whore and a junkie, but male equivalents are socially accepted as cool? Take Sid Viscious for example, or pick any of the numerous drug addicted rock stars who got sloppy but were still accepted because they were male.

Well not only is she a gigantic bitch, she also warps and distorts society’s sacred idea of femininity! She has the nerve to be kind of pretty, but in a really fucked up, grungy way. You can’t be that angry in such a pretty dress…

I repeat this quote so much it’s become a mantra of mine:

Your anger is a gift.

Name one time in history when anger has not been someone’s first step in changing the world. The heart of revolution is righteous anger. If you don’t get fucking pissed and outraged that something is being done that isn’t right, it just keeps happening.

So get mad. Get really mad. Get mad and get “ugly” and don’t care. Get as mad as you need to about people and things that hurt you, and use it as your motivation to take initiative and do something to change it.

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Survivors Who Changed the World

Even amidst fierce flames, the golden lotus can be planted.

Victims become survivors, and survivors can become leaders. Survivors in History is a study on those who have survived, thrived, and changed the world. Each post in this series will highlight a person who has not only survived, but gone on to shape history and change the world in one way or another.

Those featured in this series are not all necessarily survivors of sexual abuse, but all have survived and overcome some sort of trauma. The goal of this series is to give hope and inspire other survivors, and to demonstrate that those of us who have been through hell tend to be much stronger than we think.

Women of Caliber

No Boys Allowed... Unless Accompanied by a Responsible Girl

anarchopac

Anarchist & Marxist Theory & History

ANTI-MANARCHY

Writing for the vindication of the anarchafeminists forsaken by 2010s-era anarchism

Robert Graham's Anarchism Weblog

Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas

MB3-org.com

Anarchist Collective

THE FEMINIST HOUSEWIFE

because you CAN be both

Sergeant Polly

Feminism and the every day.

I was a high-school feminist

Feminist perspectives on everyday life

coffee and a blank page

a feminist writes, rants, remembers

Princess In Pain

Even royalty feels pain..