The project of self-realisation is born of the passion for creation, in the moment when subjectivity wells up and aspires to reign universally. The project of communication is born of the passion of love, whenever people discover that they share the same desire for amorous conquest. The project of participation is born of the passion for playing, whenever group activity facilitates the self-realisation of each individual.
Isolated, the three passions are perverted. Dissociated, the three projects are falsified. The will to self-realisation is turned into the will to power; sacrificed to status and role-playing, it reigns in a world of restrictions and illusions. The will to communication becomes objective dishonesty; based on relationships between objects, it provides the semiologists with signs to dress up in human guise. The will to participation serves to organise the loneliness of everyone in the crowd; it creates the tyranny of the illusion of community. -Raoul Vaneigem
Anarchist Black Cross originated in Tsarist Russia to organize aid for political prisoners. Today, ABC is found in many countries around the world. In the late 1960’s, the organistation worked to aid prisoners of the Spanish resistance fighting the dictator Franco’s police. The current evolution of ABC in Portland began in February of 2012. The Portland Anarchist Black Cross does more than just support political prisoners; although, it is central to what we do. We would very much enjoy one day living in a world with out prisons and recognize there are many variable steps, approaches and barriers to realizing the impossible, but we enjoy experimenting. First and foremost however the PDX ABC is an ANARCHIST organization we like the following definition”.
“As anarchism is the theory that we are the ones who directly engage with life, not representatives (whether politicians, NGOs, or community leaders), not systems of control (statistical, bureaucratic, or functional), and not specialists in freedom (authors, etc), then we embrace it. We doubly embrace it if somehow this engagement with life also means the absolute destruction of the system-as-it-is but we know that this destruction–whether called revolution, evolution, or communization–is not guaranteed or even likely in our lifetime. This means that our theory interfaces with the reality of politics and other people every day but without the burden of the correct revolutionary ideology that has in no way been more successful than anarchism, just more bloody.”-Aragorn
We do not believe that revolution will be happening tomorrow. We see capitalism and the state for what they are and acknowledge our meager resources and capacities to face such foes at the current time. We are building for the day when our foe takes a stumble and we get a shot. In the mean time we want to support all those bold brave bastards who have already done so and gotten locked up and have a good time doing it.
HOW WE OPERATE
The PDX ABC does not adhere to typical anarchist consensus models; however, we find the following principal to be more functional for our work.
“Everyone chooses their own level of involvement and no one is asked to care about anything that they do not care about. This will create an environment where people can find the most fun and inspiration and where flexibility is valued over process, bureaucracy, or compulsion.”-Little BLack Cart Books
Currently we are a small group of individuals who share a common general philosophical affinity (generally defined as Anarchist) and distaste for the world as it is with a particular emphasis on the prison/police system. We enjoy each others company and often work together on projects that mutually interests us in that vein. In that regard the ABC is a semi closed collective that is always welcome to new members given we get along, like being around each other and have some mutual interest in project to work on. In many ways our membership structure is matches that of the tried and true anarchist organizing model of the affinity group.
The PDX ABC has two monthly political prisoner letter writing nights one monthly open meeting and one monthly closed meeting for members. As a larger group we prioritize letter writing to those behind bars; however, we have four distinct focus areas. These groupings were created naturally from our small groups already existing interests; therefore, each area has at least one person who is primarily interested in bottom lining that type of work. We find it to be a more useful way to split up the work as individuals can join in where they have a common interest or desire to work on common projects instead of having to really/not really be involved with countless things that don’t interest them and then walk away board and confused.
-Community Organizing Initiative: Focuses on grass roots organizing projects such as the current street out reach for the know your rights when dealing with police project.
-Education and Fundraising Crew: People in this focus area are interested in creating workshops and presentations. It also has the focus of doing fundraising events like our upcoming PDX ABC Portland Punk Compilation CD.
– Infrastructure and Preparedness Cadre: These folks work on keep the infrastructure of the group alive. THey also work on projects that strengthen our conflict infrastructure. Current projecst we support in this vein include the cascadia Mesh network in Portland.
-POW Support Click: Folks here are primarily focused on pure prisoner support. They keep close tabs on individual prisoners and are stay in contact with the wider prisoner support community.
The best way to get involved with the PDX ABC is to come out to either open meetings or letter writings. If ya do well make sure to let you know what current projects need help with if you want to jump on one. Also try bottom linning some projects with your friends and let us know if you want to work on it with us and of course throw us some ideas for stuff we can get working on together!.
To contact us: