It is really easy to be hard on ourselves. We aren’t exactly in a time of libertarian social change and at best we have minor victories, over a window or maybe some Maoists, nothing serious. Nothing to get all gloat-y about. And we don’t. Mostly we beat each other up on the Internet, take ourselves too seriously, and it can be pretty depressing.
Last weekend was a little different. It’s possible to believe that you could be a social force when you are surrounded by friends (and frenemies). For a couple of days we laughed together and shared in stories that lead us to believe that we stand a chance. We do, and 8 days of anarchy is a time when it is affirmed.
The week was a smashing success until Wednesday morning. We were preparing to bid farewell to our new Greek friends from the Void Network when we woke up to discover a most American of phenomenon. In the middle of the night one of their car windows was smashed in and every bag and box within reach was grabbed. This meant the Void Network collective projector was gone. Three boxes of books intended to get the tour around the country (including the new book We Are An Image From the Future from AK Press, Anarchy Works from Ardent, and other books and pamphlets intended for distribution) were gone. DJ headphones were gone.
Given the attention that the tour had received up till now there were immediate responses from the web. Once the word went out (on Anarchist News, Infoshop, and Indybay) we were surprised to see a hundred dollars come in within the first 2 hours. Hurray!
Now, 3 days later that total has climbed to around $1000! We can barely believe it. The Greeks have left the Bay (and should be giving presentations in Portland as this is being written) and the immediate crisis (of the rest of the trip) seems to have passed. The next question is, “can we replace the Void Network projector?” LBC will meet up with the Void Network in a few weeks in NYC (at the NYC Anarchist Book Fair) and nothing would make us happier than to hand them a replacement projector when we see them.
But this is a time for pause. American anarchists self-organized an effort of real mutual aid in a very short period of time. It is an incredible thing and affirms our most positive feelings about continuing to work with anarchists on the greatest project of them all!