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Reading today:Emeute au Centre-Ville Le Journal de Montreal

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Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
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Friday, Oct. 17, 2003 - 4:31 a.m.

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Asshole Rioters are Not Anarchists

OK, sometimes I absolutely HATE DIARYLAND. Once again I wrote a whole goddamn entry, including links, images etc, and then as I hit "control V" to paste a quote, I hit the wrong key and lost the whole entry, because there is no "save and continue" function. After one has emptied one's guts, one just feels uninspired to start again from scratch. Esp at 4:30 am. But here goes again. Fuckin goddam shit. (that will put us in the mood for the image, which comes next: (by the way, this is the second entry tonight... the last one is here.

Le Journal de Montreal, mercredi 15 oct, 2003, page 2

This is what St-Denis St. looked like on the night of Tues Oct 14. Lovely lovely. Over a dozen cars overturned and torched. Many small businesses, including a small grocery and Archambault music which sells cds and musical instruments, were ransacked after all their windows were broken.

The reason? Fans of the 25 yr old hardcore UK punk group (the group is 25 yrs old, not the members)The Exploited rioted when the show at Le Medley was cancelled... the group's members were not let into Canada by Customs. Now one might think this was prejudice against their hairdos or lyrics. Actually they are renowned for ransacking hotel rooms, beating up bouncers and encouraging their listeners to riot outside. Not overthrow the ruling powers. No. riot outside. And the disappointed fans boasted to the papers:" We're going to destroy everything... they just had to NOT annul the show!". As if the Medley and Archambault music, or even Montreal police had anything to do with the fact that the band members were not in the country.

Now, it took riot police several hours, along with firemen, to bring the crowd under control. Incredibly only 7 people were arrested. But the papers had headlines about RIOTING PUNKS and ANARCHISTS TURN DOWNTOWN INTO BAGHDAD. Lovely lovely lovely.

Apparently no one even suspected that there would be a riot if a rock show was cancelled. Why should they? Tribe 8 were supposed to play here last year, and didnt make it. We just got a refund after speaking with the bouncer. I dont remember any punk dykes overturning cars and torching shops.

However, now the police have issued a statement that they want to be informed by venues in advance of any punk rock shows, as well as shows by any bands with violent lyrics, so that they can have riot police standing by. Wonderful wonderful. I always wanted to live in a police state. But shit... with the mess that was made, that is EXACTLY what riot police are for... unlike their muscular presence at diplomatic meetings of multinationals. How can we argue?

Now anyone with a funny haircut, dye, pierced nose, will be seen as those anarchist punk rioters. Yes, the rioters called themselves anarchists. One wonders if they have any clue.

< Personally I am a mixture of liberal (I think people should be left alone in their personal choices), socialist (I believe that the masses should pool their resources for the good of everyone in essential services such as food, health, education, water, energy, sewage etc) and a smidgen of Ayn Rand style individualism (though I think the smartest and strongest run amok probably inevitably leads to rampant power abuse and monopoly). But I still have a huge respect for anarchists such as Red Emma. She is the one who said:

when someone suggested she was not acting serious enough at a gathering after one of her (very serious) speeches.

Would Emma Goldman, anarchist extraordinaire, be suggesting that people break windows, steal cds, and burn people's cars when they didn't get to hear their favorite band play? Hardly. The woman was not thrown out of the States for smashing hotel rooms. She was thrown out for advocating workers' rights at a time where the average person worked 60 hour plus weeks in dangerous conditions for risible pay. She was thrown out for being for woman's suffrage, for birth control, for control over education, for free love, for disagreeing with compulsory conscription. She was for workers uniting together to demand respect for their labour, not for kids dyeing their hair, getting tattoos, begging in the streets, stealing and rioting. There is a difference between rioting to overthrow oppressive abusive power in the hands and rioting cuz you like smashing things when you are angry.

If Emma Goldman were one of those punks, she would have been writing speeches against the multilateral international agreements that take power over their own laws, ressources, labour, and welfare away from elected representatives and people in various countries, and puts it into the hands of multinational corporations. She would have been against the Iraq war and the loss of civil liberties in the states in the name of fighting terrorism. Here is a quote about her attitude concerning violence in the context of Russia, after the revolution there she had waited for eagerly:

"Her time in Russia led her to reassess her earlier belief that the end justifies the means. Goldman accepted that violence as a necessary evil in the process of social transformation. However, her experience in Russia forced a distinction. She wrote "I know that in the past every great political and social change, necessitated violence....Yet it is one thing to employ violence in combat as a means of defence. It is quiet another thing to make a principle of terrorism, to institutionalise it to assign it the most vital place in the social struggle. Such terrorism begets counter-revolution and in turn itself becomes counter-revolutionary."
Emma Goldman

I personally think she would be disgusted at the rioters calling themselves anarchists. It really is too bad.

(I listen to myself and laugh... i sound like my grandmother... "it really is too bad..."!! LOL!)

Anyways, I would encourage anyone interested to read Emma Goldman's writings. Incredibly she lived from 1869 to 1940, and her writings and speeches are still in print. Read her autobiography as well. She was a real woman. Not a dry political analyst. She worked in a factory, was a nurse to the poor, and had one hell of a fucked up lovelife. She had this huge thing for this guy with huge hands named Ben who ran around with women left and right, embezzled money from her, was weirdly hypnotic to her in a Rasputin sort of way, and who called her Mommy.

And unlike me and dozens of other quiet non-rabblerousers who have multiple piercings and dyed hair, she was rather quiet, unassuming and mousy in her looks, which got her under the radar of many a border patrol. Some leaders of wild rock bands might take her camouflage wisdom to heart. But then the Exploiters (oops sorry, the Exploit-ed) might sell fewer records and concert tickets to those who are more interested in hooplah than in changing the world to be a better place.

Anarchy is not and should not be violence and chaos.

Read my previous non-lecture entry of today as well HERE.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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