018 Violence, Curfews & Looting: An AnCom Perspective

Taking a breath to process what’s been going on over the past two weeks, we delve into the concepts of violence, curfews and looting from an AnCom (anarcho-communist) perspective to help make some sense of all the online chatter and hopefully give some organization of how to talk about these things to friends and family.

Pop Tops

We quickly cover a few news items this week, some good news and some proof of ACAB:

Joke

How do conservatives get their B12? (Thanks, Dimitry!)

Main Topic: Violence, Curfews and Looting

Property

Before we get deep into the concepts of violence, curfews and looting, we first define property, which is core to really understanding an anti-capitalist perspective:

Property: anarchists put forward a specific definition of property: ownership claims on those things that one neither occupies nor uses. Anarchists usually juxtapose this with possessions, or those things that we use or the homes that we live in (i.e. no anarchist wants to take your home or guitar away). This is how bosses and landlords exploit workers, by claiming to own the things they do not use or the places in which they do not live, then extracting rents and value from the people who do actually use them. In place of private ownership, anarchists put forward visions of a social system in which we produce for the needs of the people instead of the profits of capitalists.

FROM: C.B. Daring; J. Rogue; Deric Shannon; Abbey Volcano. Queering Anarchism (Kindle Locations 160-164). AK Press. Kindle Edition.

NOTE: The distinction of property vs possession is a VERY critical one to understand. This can help make sense of a lot of liberal arguments where these two concepts are often conflated.

Violence

We then explore the idea of violence from an anarchist perspective, of which there is of course no agreement but we generally define this along lines of a willingness to do destruction in order to move towards a goal of community care and breaking systems of oppression, as well as talk about how we see violence in things that expand beyond the borders of physical brutality. To this end, we critique a recent article by Nathan J. Robinson (link below) in Current Affairs that talks about how we define violence. While we agree with his overall premise and respect him greatly as a journalist, we thought the article was missing this anarchist perspective to allow for a larger definition of violence and even a claiming and acceptance of violence in a rebellion (rather than trying to run away from that label being put on destructive actions to try to sugarcoat the rebellion).

Curfews

Nichole snagged an awesome quote from Irami Osei-Frimpong about curfews (link to full video below): “Curfews are an escalation of violence: when you criminalize behavior you are legitimizing the people who will execute the violence in response to that behavior.”

Looting

Nichole outlines four key points around looting that she gathered from consuming a lot of black media throughout the last week or so:

  1. Looting is a valid rebellion tactic
  2. Looting can be a form of redistribution & community care
  3. Black folks built our wealth, they have every right to take it back
  4. Property is in and of itself a violence

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Transcript

Nichole [00:00:26] Hey, everyone, I’m Nichole.

Callie [00:00:30] And I’m Callie.

Nichole [00:00:31] And today we’ll be bitching about.

Callie [00:00:33] Whether or not property loss is violence.

Nichole [00:00:38] Yes. So before we get into that, I had a couple of news items that I wanted to share that are interesting. So some good news coming out of all of this is the Minneapolis Public School Board has voted to terminate its contract with police. So and also the University of Minnesota is ending contracts with Minneapolis police for certain activities like large events.

Nichole [00:01:08] Let’s see what else they said here…

Nichole [00:01:13] I think it was further up but yeah they’re, they’re not going to contract the police to be security for specialized services. So this is pretty encouraging. These are the kinds of things that we want to see happening because this is actual like systemic change where these contracts are going away and they’re going away because of police brutality. There’s also a deep connection which we may get into today just as we’re exploring stuff. But there is a deep connection between the amount that cities will spend on policing versus what they’ll spend on education. So we often see that police budgets will increase as public education budgets decrease. So there’s been a lot of, you know, social media going around about how much cities spend on which. And I think something like this is very powerful for these schools to not be funding the police through these contracts is a big is a big win. So I wanted to bring that up.

Callie [00:02:18] Nichole, I just have to interrupt and counteract your news because protests never work.

Nichole [00:02:26] That’s true.

Nichole [00:02:27] That’s true. What was I thinking?

Callie [00:02:30] Definitely protests never work. Looting never works like nothing that’s like violent ever actually encourages this change. OK, so you must be making all this up.

Callie [00:02:42] Fake news.

Nichole [00:02:44] Fake news. Yeah.

Nichole [00:02:46] And I think, you know, we talked about on the show, you know, in bits and pieces, but a big part of this this rebellion, this resistance is needing unions and needing these industries to move forward. I was just listening to an episode of By Any Means Necessary. And they were talking about, you know, they had a medical professional on who is talking about how we’re seeing more and more that medical professionals as well are stepping forward to, you know, say no more to publicly protest police brutality, to speak out against police during these protests have been attacking medical personnel, which is literally a war crime. And also speaking out about the ways in which, like, they’re starting to uncover that police. And, you know, there’s a lot of pressure for medical personnel to maybe testify a certain way or provide certain details of things. So there’s there is a movement happening. That’s very encouraging of these different industries that still manage to have at least some strength of union left that are stepping forward to say, look, we’re not we’re not doing this. And that’s huge because these are also a lot of the industries that if we moved to, you know, if this method of community care did not include police, these would be some of the people that we would need to have participate in the ways that we would take care of people going forward. So, for instance, if you saw someone who looked like they were drunk or maybe having a hard time or behaving erratically, instead of calling the police, you could call someone who specializes in addiction issues or you could call someone who specializes in mental health issues and they could come and just make sure that person is taking care of and get them anything they need. So so, yeah, it’s just I was thought that that was actually a really big positive piece of news to come out this week and wanted to share it. On the flip side and further evidence that there are no good cops there, a Buffalo cop lost her job and her pension after she intervened with a fellow officer who is choking and beating a suspect. So this is what we’ve talked about before. I’m pretty sure Callie brought it up and phrased it beautifully. But there really are no good cops because when there are, they tend to lose their jobs, if not their lives. So this is a perfect example of that. You know, this officer was choking someone he was behaving, you know, just using too much force with the person. And she intervened and she ended up losing her job. So fuck the cops is the point.

Callie [00:05:40] Fuck the cops just with our whole chest.

Nichole [00:05:47] Yeah.

Callie [00:05:49] Yeah. And similarly, I mean, this is bad everywhere. So this news comes as no surprise to anyone.

Callie [00:05:56] But we all heard about that story of the. And saw the video of the police in Buffalo, a couple officers that shoved a seventy five year old elderly white man down to the ground and he smacked his head quite hard on the pavement.

Callie [00:06:11] And we saw him bleeding, like you could see, even in a very short video, like the Nichole doesn’t like blood stuff.

Callie [00:06:21] So I won’t go into any more graphic detail.

Callie [00:06:23] But, you know, we could see that he was, like, seriously hurt. He was unmoving. The cops walked right by him while the protesters were yelling for help and a medic. And then further proving your point that there are no good cops.

Callie [00:06:42] All fifty seven of the Buffalo police officers that were on this like riot response team resigned in protest, not over their fuckin buddies harming this elderly man, but that they were being disciplined and suspended like two officers were suspended for shoving him and then not offering aid. And the rest of the fucking response team resigned because they were mad, you know, that they were being held accountable.

Nichole [00:07:13] I know. I know.

Nichole [00:07:17] I know.

Nichole [00:07:17] When I first saw the headline, I was like, yes, because it, you know, is like all the people resign over this incident. And then it was like because the cop got, you know, reprimanded. And I was like, WHAT.

Nichole [00:07:30] Like, are you serious? Like the video is so clear that it just was excessive force.

Nichole [00:07:37] And and everyone who stepped forward to try to intervene or do something was also arrested or it looked like from the video that I saw. And I think I don’t want to say most disturbing, but kind of in a way most disturbing to me was the cop who pushed the man actually like, you know, he could tell, like, oh, shit, like this guy. I just really hurt this guy. I don’t think he was actually concerned for the guy. I think he was concerned for himself. But he bent down to try to, like, check on him. And another cop who might have been his boss, like, pushed him away and was like, keep moving.

Nichole [00:08:18] And then was just calling stuff in and didn’t let anybody actually like physically attend to the guy. So and, you know, they were calling like the EMT, which, as we discussed last week, the EMT is tend to be kind of in a symbiotic relationship with police. So I think it is very telling that they didn’t want anyone to check on him that wasn’t an EMT. And like, we’re just forcing everyone to, like, leave him bleeding on the ground without any care. It’s really disturbing.

Callie [00:08:50] And they’re honestly like so many stories like this.

Nichole [00:08:54] Oh, yeah.

Callie [00:08:54] I mean, I, I really hesitate to, like, go into a lot of examples on this show. I think we need to like we’ll all kind of find that line and it’ll be different for all of us of like trying to get information out there and not just like just torturing people with like trauma story after trauma story of how bad the police are being because it’s a lot. But there are so many stories like that of the police, like harming like there was a video I saw of the police. They shot rubber bullets at someone and then he was injured and they and a bunch of protesters started carrying him to get him medical help. And then the cop started shooting rubber bullets at them.

Callie [00:09:36] Like I mean, what kind of evil, evil, sadistic asshole do you have to be to be acting like this?

Nichole [00:09:46] I know.

Callie [00:09:47] You know, and not one. It’s not in one city. It is across the board. It is everywhere, like.

Callie [00:09:55] The police force is absolutely needs to be like defunded and abolished. Like, we need community solutions. We need people that like when someone is when someone needs help because like that’s the thing, too, is whenever we talk about this sort of stuff, you know, people freak out. Right. Like the Normies freak. They’re like, no cops. Like, what would that mean? And it’s like, yeah, there are times where you’re going to need help, but usually the cops are not going to be the ones like showing up and giving you help. There could be someone that you call like if there seems to be someone who is like maybe trying to break into your house or maybe, you know, being kind of vaguely threatening, there’s someone to call for that. There’s people, different people to call when someone is in a mental health crisis and they need help. But the problem is, it’s like it’s like that old cliche of the hammer and the nails, like the police are hammers and every problem, they treat it like a nail. And that’s why we see time and time again that, you know, autistic individuals, people suffering from mental health, like people that are poor and just so many vulnerable communities, women like people that have been sexually violated, sex workers like every time the police show up. And they can only seem to treat people as criminals and then be violent against them. And and that’s that’s the fucking problem. And it’s really frustrating when people want to make these like, oh, my God. But who would help us? It’s like most of the time the cops aren’t helping you anyway. But setting that aside, like, yeah, there would be people to help. There’d be community standards, but they wouldn’t be like an armed military force marching down our fuckin streets, you know.

Nichole [00:11:42] Right.

Callie [00:11:42] Like, the fuck?!

Nichole [00:11:44] And I think it shows a lot of privilege when people don’t understand how things would work otherwise. Because when you see we were just chatting about this on Discord, but when you see. Like, when you’re out in these protests and you see, like people care for each other or people intervene, if someone’s doing something that the organizers or the other protesters don’t like, like they’ll intervene and they’ll resolve it peacefully among themselves. And a lot of these communities who have been the biggest victims of police brutality are also communities that are oppressed by this system and largely ignored in other ways by the system. And so have had to figure out how to support each other. So this concept isn’t so foreign to them. But I think for people who are used to having health care and having cops and, you know, things work a certain way, it just shows your privilege that you can’t imagine what it’s like to have to care for yourself as a community. But there’s so many communities that do because all of these systems are either setup to neglect them or to brutalize them.

Callie [00:13:00] Yeah, no, that’s such a good point. That’s such a good point.

Callie [00:13:05] And it it will take more work, like it will take us doing more work to come together to get to know your neighbors if you don’t already. And listen, I’m like the guiltiest person of that, OK?

Callie [00:13:17] I acknowledge it.

Nichole [00:13:20] Same. I’m like nobody talk to me.

Callie [00:13:24] But yeah, there is.

Callie [00:13:28] We need to start being like responsible to each other and for each other, you know? And the and the sad thing is, is like as scary as that is to a lot of people, I honestly think that’s what people want.

Callie [00:13:41] I mean, a lot of people feel so untether. They feel so lonely. You know, we’ve talked many times about this in the past about how most people, like the number of close friends that they’ve had has steadily decreased over the years. I mean, most young people now say they have maybe one close friend like that is sad, you know, and that’s and that’s not like blaming people for being antisocial. That’s like this culture that we live in. Right. That discourages like community building and relationship building. And I honestly think that being responsible to and for each other will make people happier, you know.

Callie [00:14:26] Yeah.

Nichole [00:14:27] It’s a human need to have that kind of that level of connection and to feel that the people in your community have your back. You know, that I think is the biggest thing that is alienating for us today is the sense that you’re on your own if something goes wrong. I think even people who have good family support may not feel like they have community support. And that makes a huge difference.

Nichole [00:14:55] If you know that, you know, something happens to me, all of my neighbors, all of my friends, my colleagues, my family, like everyone is going to be there to pitch in to make sure that I’m OK. And we’ll take care of it. And we do not have that today. Every problem is very individualized. And and it’s and it’s there’s a shame attached to it. Right. There’s very few things that you can experience nowadays where someone where you wouldn’t feel ashamed of having that experience and would then just further feel like you need to be isolated to fix it because you don’t want to put it on other people versus seeing, you know, these are largely systemic issues. So many people go through them. And there shouldn’t be any shame attached to it. But, you know, we have the marketing of rugged individualism in the U.S. specifically that just creates this this sense that, yeah, if something happens to me, I’m on my own. And not only that, but I’m going to be ashamed of my situation and it’s extremely isolating.

Callie [00:16:03] Yeah. Yeah. And capitalism just exacerbates all of this. Our consumer culture exacerbates it. And honestly, even kind of the quote unquote benefits of these culture is exacerbated because like, you know, someone like me, I really struggle, as I’m sure a lot of people do with like asking for help and being vulnerable in my relationships. It’s something Nichole and I work on with each other a lot. But it’s easy now to be like, oh, I if I’m sick, like I can get my groceries delivered, I don’t need to call a friend and be vulnerable and be like, can you go to the store and get me stuff, you know, or if I’m moving, like when I moved in this place I’m in now. I was able to, like, hire people to help me move instead of like having to, like, ask people to help me. And I think growing up the way I did and the way a lot of us do, I think contributes to that. And then now living in this, like, gig economy where like there’s even like these like TaskRabbit type apps. Right. Where it’s like, oh, you need a shelf or a curtain rod hung up, like, you can just order that on your fuckin phone and within an hour someone’s there. And I think it’s just like encouraging us to, like, drift further apart. And it reminds me a lot of the way we look at young children and the whole like whether or not they need, like, structure and discipline. And some people think like, oh, you don’t want to, like, restrict their freedom. But kids usually are actually a lot more comfortable with, like a structured environment with like when they’re held accountable and they’re like clear rules because there’s safety in that. Right. They know the boundaries. They know what happens.

Callie [00:17:45] And I think we’re kind of in this like in in our adult capitalist society of like we don’t really have responsibility to each other or for each other. And so it’s it’s actually we’re like bad teenagers, right? They’re like we can’t you know, we think we want this freedom of being like not having to ask friends and neighbors for help because we can order on an app. But I think it’s actually like deeply harming who we are as social creatures.

Callie [00:18:15] You know?

Nichole [00:18:16] No. Well and it’s reinforcing to that. You have to have money in order to deal with anything. Right. There is no other solution to anything anymore except for money. If you’re going to hire someone to help you, then you might be able to get out of a situation. But if you don’t have the money again and it also goes back to that shame, then you don’t want to ask people for help because you can’t compensate them. Right. And you’re taking something from them. And that that is very real. That’s a very real thing that a lot of people feel. And and it leads to, you know, the further externalization of the cost of capitalism, because it’s not only, you know, we see it now.

Nichole [00:18:59] If you don’t feel comfortable going to get groceries, you hire someone else to do it. And then they carry that risk for like minimum wage. So it’s a devaluing of of life too, the sense that, like minimum wage workers are worth less because there’s more of them. And we can just pay them to take on the risk of us because we have enough. Even those of us who don’t have much, you know, if you’re able to hire and outsource these risks to other people than you, then you are still considering a cut above the people that you’re hiring. And so, yeah, it’s just reinforcing hierarchies. It’s reinforcing capital as a solution to problems instead of community sourcing.

Nichole [00:19:43] And so, yeah, it’s no surprise that people can’t imagine a world without police, but it is. Hopefully starting to break through as we see, you know, again, I just go back, I think the public schools taking police out and refusing to work with them is a big step because think of how strangely normalized it is to be a child and have police officers around. And there never. I mean, maybe occasionally. But I know any cops that we had at my school, like we all were very suspicious of them and, you know, didn’t feel safe around them at all. So I kind of normalizes that sense is either going normalize the cops or your friends or it’s going to normalize that cops are not your friends, but that like they have a right to be there and to police you in any given situation.

Callie [00:20:33] Yeah. And that really came out of, you know, the school shootings. Right. We started to see, like, the. And this is the problem. Whenever we turn to, like, carceral politics as solutions for things because we don’t deal with like the mental health, we’re not asking why kids are like taking guns to school and being violent. Right. We’re just like put police officers in there. And what has happened? I have not heard of any stories, could be wrong, where police officers, like at schools, really prevented anything from happening. But we have seen a dramatic rise in them, like arresting kids from them, taking issues that would have been like school disciplinary issues and putting these kids, like, into the actual criminal justice system. Yeah. So, like, we have to stop treating police and law enforcement as like solutions to things.

Callie [00:21:30] It’s the same thing with like whenever I hear and I’m bringing him up because every time Joe fuckin Biden talk about what he’s done for women. Right. And it’s like you put cops into like highly vulnerable situations.

Callie [00:21:51] Like there was a really great episode, an early episode on a Vegan Vanguard that if you have not watched it, I always recommend it. It’s like carceral feminism. It’s really one of the earliest ones. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the number was (#9!), but it explains very clearly that some of the policies of this solution that Joe Biden and others created right. For, like domestic violence caused it. So like every time police get called now on a domestic violence call, like someone’s getting arrested, like they and they put that into place because mis- they were misguidedly thinking, like the problem was cops would show up to domestic violence situations and they would kind of tell the, you know, the abuser like, oh, go take a walk, you know, like they would tell the husband, like, go take a while to cool off. Everything’s fine. And then they would leave. Well, a lot of times things were not fine and the husband would not cool off and he’d beat the shit out of his wife again. And so this was like, oh, we’re going to force them to arrest someone. But, you know, it started happening.

Callie [00:22:52] The victims started getting arrested and a lot of cases.

Nichole [00:22:56] Funny how that works.

Callie [00:22:57] Right.

Callie [00:22:58] And you’re dealing with women who are also victimized by a carceral justice system. So it’s like it it’s just all bad. Whenever we try to think police are any sort of a solution to, like conflict or violence within society, it just ends up like further victimizing people.

Nichole [00:23:16] Yeah. One hundred percent.

Callie [00:23:18] So.

Nichole [00:23:19] So.

Nichole [00:23:21] So I think for me, I kind of want to do the rest of it as one as like the main topic.

Callie [00:23:27] Yeah, I’m done for that. I like that idea.

Nichole [00:23:30] That means.

Nichole [00:23:35] Dimitri just told this joke on Discord, and I was like, that’s the one. So Callie.

Callie [00:23:43] Yes.

Nichole [00:23:45] How do conservatives get their B12?

Callie [00:23:50] I don’t know.

Nichole [00:23:51] By licking boots.

Callie [00:23:54] OK, I like it!

Nichole [00:23:58] I was like I’m going to tell her cause she’ll like that one.

Callie [00:24:02] I was all prepared to be mad, but.

Nichole [00:24:05] I know. I tricked you.

Callie [00:24:07] I’m sorry I let everyone down on having a good joke reaction.

Callie [00:24:14] Then I will always stand for bootlicking jokes.

Nichole [00:24:20] Same. Send them our way because we love them.

Nichole [00:24:31] So today we wanted to talk about. We wanted to talk about a few things.

Nichole [00:24:36] And I felt like they were kind of connected to each other. So we’re going to do it all together. But there was a article by Current Affairs posted in our Facebook group that I wanted to I wanted to talk about a little bit, and I wanted to really get into sort of defining what we mean by property, what we mean by violence and how we talk about these things in terms of looting and the rebellions. And I also wanted to touch on curfews within that, because I think curfews are another thing that people are just kind of accepting is like a normal response to what’s going on. And they’re really not. I mean, their response has been used before, but it’s not something that we should accept as. Oh, yeah. That’s a good way to deal with this stuff. So, yeah. So I wanted to pull up me, see where I want to start. All right. So I want to talk about this article.

Nichole [00:25:44] OK, so this is on why damaging property isn’t the same as violence, and it’s by Nathan Robinson. And he says harm to objects is not the same as harm to people. And we have to keep the distinction in mind when evaluating protests. So overall, the the spirit of the article I do agree with. But it did make me think, as the anarchist, that there is a bit of a little slippery slope here in how he is talking about violence and trying to really distinguish like physical violence vs. other types of violence. So, again, as we go through, I think, defining property in a moment, we’ll make this more clear. I don’t disagree with him that the police brutality that we’re seeing is far different from someone, say, looting a Target or even burning down a Target. I agree with that. But I do also think, you know, we’ve talked a lot over the course of this podcast and our last podcast about violence and how the definition of that is should be much broader than what it typically is and definitely should extend beyond just physical violence. So I wanted to kind of discuss that today. And I wanted to start off with the definition here. So I’ve been reading a book, Callie and I are reading a book called Queering Anarchy. And I thought here, this definition of property was great. So it says anarchist put forward a specific definition of property: ownership claims on those things that one neither occupies or uses. Anarchists usually just juxtapose this with possessions or things that we use or the homes that we live in. So, for example, no anarchist wants to take your home or your guitar or your X box away. But this is how bosses and landlords exploit workers by claiming to own the things that they do not use or the places in which they do not live. Then extracting rents and value from the people who do actually use them or live in them. And in place of private ownership anarchists put forward visions of social system in which we produce for the needs of the people instead of profits for capitalists. So just starting with that, I think that’s a really I loved that definition of property and I think it helps to start to wrap our arms around this concept of violence. This concept of looting and what are we really talking about here? And then also, I always like to bring this up because I like to talk about. I know a lot of people who are who don’t understand anarchy or socialism or communism often think that’s what we mean. You see those tweets and things on social media all the time of like, oh, if you fucking want stuff for everybody, then, like move out of your house today and give it away to someone else.

Nichole [00:28:45] And it’s like, that’s not that’s all we’re talking about. In the case of.

Nichole [00:28:51] Yeah, maybe if you have a 20 bedroom house and there’s only one of you. Yeah. We probably would divide up your home for people who don’t have homes. Sure there are. There are cases in which like, you know, when you get into people who are wealthy and have really accumulated a lot of things that are even bigger than what they need. Yeah, there’s some space to talk about distribution there. But in general, your average person. Yeah. We’re not looking to take people’s homes away. We’re not looking to take their possessions away, the things that they use on a day to day basis. But what we’re saying is that capitalists would no longer be able to own and control things that the community needs. And there’s a lot of people out there, I think, Non Compete, and then specifically, Thought Slime have done really good series on kind of like an anarchy one or one series. And they talk about this at length in a way that’s really easy to understand. So I definitely recommend that and we’ll continue to talk about it ourselves. But I think understanding that alone can really help put some perspective on these conversations.

Callie [00:30:00] Yeah, absolutely. There is this. I just have to say, Thought Slime is series, it’s called “Q & Anarchy,” which like so cute.

Nichole [00:30:12] Oh it’s cute when HE makes a pun?

Callie [00:30:18] Yes. He has a pun free like exemption card. Yeah.

Callie [00:30:32] Oh, I love it. No.

Callie [00:30:36] So there does seem to be this like fundamental misunderstanding. Like people think like, oh, communism or anarchy would mean like no one has anything. And it’s.

Nichole [00:30:47] Yeah. And it’s just chaos and and people were running around just grabbing stuff.

Callie [00:30:52] Right. It’s like first of all, what do you really have in capitalism? Like what do you really have. Like most people do not like really own many things, you know, beyond like, you know, the trinkets and stuff that we have.

Callie [00:31:08] Right. Like, you don’t really own, like equity in things like you don’t really own wealth. But anyway. But, yeah, there is there is this clear difference for anarchists of like the personal property. And I like using the word possessions. I think that kind of helps, like separated out even more clearly. But put your personal possessions like no one’s coming for that. Like no one’s like, oh, we all have X boxes or no one does. It’s like that’s not how any of this is going to work. Like, no one’s coming for your personal stuff. No one’s coming for your personal home. Like there is. If anything, there’s more respect for like personal boundaries, for personal space and all of that kind of stuff. It’s just about not taking more than what you need when it’s taking from other people. Right.

Callie [00:31:59] It’s like owning things and then being able to, like, deprive others of those things is really the problem, which is also why I usually see a lot of, like anarchists and stuff whenever they, like, get involved in protest. There’s that saying and I’m like forgetting it right now. But like you, you’re not supposed to, like, go after, like, mom and pop shops, like you’re not supposed to steal from, like your local bodega or your local stores. Like it’s it’s about like it’s about harming the corporations that are like hoarding goods and wealth. Right. Most especially usually from the communities like something that I haven’t really heard a lot of people talk about with that infamous now target that was burned in Minneapolis.

Callie [00:32:46] Is that the target was there are reports that they were actually like denying protesters stuff like the protesters were needing, like water and food and like medical supplies. And the target was like turning them away. They were walking down. They weren’t letting anyone in. They were. So protesters are like, fuck this.

Callie [00:33:07] Like we’re gonna take what we need, right, to burn your shit down. Like you’re not part of our community.

Callie [00:33:12] And these are very like clear distinctions that people that, you know, bad actors make these like bad faith arguments. Right, of like who they’re coming for your fuckin sneakers. And it’s like no one’s coming for your shit.

Callie [00:33:28] Like, that’s not how this works.

Nichole [00:33:31] Yeah.

Nichole [00:33:32] I was going to say Cenk’s whole thing of like, I don’t want the government making my sneakers, like the government’s not going to make your sneakers.

Nichole [00:33:41] They’re not coming for your sneakers. Everyone’s sneakers will be fine. We promise.

Callie [00:33:46] That’s literally who I was thinking of. He is always talking about fucking sneakers. And it’s like, what a weird thing like. You’re going to deprive us all of like socialism because you because you’re so focused on having a plethora of options and sneakers. Yeah.

Nichole [00:34:06] Priorities, you know.

Callie [00:34:10] Yes.

Nichole [00:34:11] And so I think kind of working our way into the topic of violence. I think that we can see then that this is why anarchists say, you know, property is theft. This is why anarchists are very against property. Again, it is not because we want people to not have possessions. We’re fine with that. There is some conversation to be had, and this is with socialism and communism as well. There’s some conversation to be had about. If, you know, we still want to have luxury items, then, yeah, we might have to operate on something of a library system where we have fewer of these things, but people can check them out and use them when other people aren’t using them. So we have more of a sharing system.

Nichole [00:34:57] But things that you need and spaces that you want to have to yourself, that you would still be able to have that. So, for instance, I would probably share my Xbox in my PS4 because I only use the- or, I don’t have a PS4. That was wishful thinking.

Nichole [00:35:12] My PS2.

Callie [00:35:15] You have not bought a PS4 yet? How many more times are we gonna have this conversation.

Nichole [00:35:18] I know. Well girl the PS5 is coming out soon so it’s like.

Callie [00:35:23] Oh my god.

Nichole [00:35:24] Anyway. Yeah.

Nichole [00:35:27] These are things that I currently have not been using very much because I’ve been more on my computer and I use my computer for work and for leisure. And I’m just on, you know, it’s probably not great, but I’m on it like all day everyday. So I’d probably keep my computer, although I’d be happy to let someone come in and check their email or do something if they needed to. But but I would have other things of mine that now I would lend out to the community because I’m not using them all the time and then it would facilitate us having access to luxury items without us having to have this like mass production that we see today. So that’s kind of how it works. So yeah, as we can see with this definition, then actual property, this is why we call it theft and we consider it a form of violence because you are taking things that the community needs and holding them hostage.

Nichole [00:36:23] And oftentimes the people producing those goods who need those goods can’t afford them because of the wages they’re being paid, which is to us a form of violence.

Nichole [00:36:35] So I was trying to find a definite like an anarchist definition of violence. And of course, anarchists don’t agree on fucking anything.

Nichole [00:36:44] Besides that we don’t like property. Although probably not even that because there’s friggin AnCaps. So who knows?

Callie [00:36:49] But they’re not anarchists.

Nichole [00:36:52] I mean, I didn’t say it.

Callie [00:36:54] I will die on that hill.

Nichole [00:36:57] Say it.

Callie [00:36:58] You cannot be a capitalist and believe in anarchy.

Nichole [00:37:01] No, it doesn’t make any sense.

Callie [00:37:05] Dumbest shit I’ve ever heard.

Callie [00:37:06] The only reason we still have capitalism.

Callie [00:37:08] Sorry, I have to go on a little tangent is because the police are violently enforcing it like that is the only reason why anyone does any of this shit is because there is clearly a military force standing ready against us to like beat our heads in if we even ask them not to murder us, let alone if we stop, like, producing, like giving our labor away.

Callie [00:37:32] So it’s like you cannot have it would just be then like a privately hired military force. And at that point, like, you know, it’s not really different than the state and the police- fuck AnCaps, basically.

Nichole [00:37:48] Too long didn’t listen: Fuck AnCaps.

Callie [00:37:52] I may not know much about anarchy, but I know that at least.

Nichole [00:37:59] Baby’s first anarchy lesson.

Nichole [00:38:03] So yes and this is also why we say that the state has a sanction on violence because they protect property, as we now understand it. By this definition, the police functions to enforce the laws, which are laws around protecting property and thereby adding this additional layer of actual physical brutality to a system that is already violent in other ways, violent in terms of resources and access and things like that.

Nichole [00:38:39] So this is why with Nathan’s article, again, I don’t disagree with the distinction that he’s making. I it does piss me off that, you know, a target might be looted. And the news is like this protest turned violent.

Nichole [00:38:56] But they didn’t say that about like cops like breaking people’s skulls open with, you know, rubber bullets or shooting or releasing tear gas on crowds of people. So I agree. You know, I for me, though, I just think, like having a bit of that anarchist perspective in the article would have helped to flesh it out a little bit more, because I do think as an anarchist, there’s a lot of things that are not physical violence that are still very violent. And so I think clarifying that making that distinction would have helped to, like, flesh out the article for me.

Nichole [00:39:38] In that case, did you have anything about the article?

Callie [00:39:44] Yeah no, I think you said it.

Callie [00:39:46] I mean, it was funny when you when you pitched the article to me, I was like, oh, we may actually be, like, disagreeing on this episode.

Nichole [00:39:53] I know.

Callie [00:39:53] But, you know, but the longer I thought about it and reading and rereading the article, I do agree with you. I think it is kind of an interesting.

Callie [00:40:04] So we have been talking a lot over the last few years like we’ve gotten. We’ve been pointing out more and more ways in which, like we are living in a violent system where violence is being perpetuated against us or even the things that sometimes we can do to each other when we have like bad consent or bad communication skills, that those can be a form of violence. So now it is kind of this weird spot to be like, oh, like the only violence is like state viol-, you know, and not that that’s what the article is saying. I don’t mean to like, boil it down into overly simplistic terms and and paint Nathan as making a point that he wasn’t in this article, but. Yeah. I mean, it is violent to have your place of employment, like burn down.

Callie [00:40:51] Right. Like, as much as I’m like fuck target, I’m like, oh those target employees, like. Right. Don’t have a job now like that. Is that is violence for sure.

Callie [00:41:02] So yeah. It’s it’s all just a little. I’m really not saying anything, just anything right now.

Nichole [00:41:12] But then I think what you’re getting at is kind of like what I was getting out when I pitched the article to you is that there’s so I think part of anarchy. And again, like there’s a lot of different flavors of anarchy and people believe different things. There are certainly anarchists that are just like anti violence. But I think probably for most anarchists like there is, there’s a lot of conversation about I think what’s confused for chaos is an acceptance of a need for destruction in order to rebuild. So there’s these elements almost like a yin and yang to a lot of anarchists where they have a there’s a destructive tendency and but that leads to a creative tendency. So the aim of anarchy is always to build a better community and to provide for the people in your community and to get rid of hierarchies, which we think are inherently violent. But for a lot of us, there is not we’re not afraid of also using violence in order to get there to fight oppressive systems and oppressors. And so I think that’s where people get a little confused, too, about the whole thing, because, you know, anarchists are seen as violent. And it’s like, well, yeah, a lot of us are fine destroying property. A lot of us are fine interceding and things that may become violent like de-arresting where you hop in on someone getting arrested and use whatever force you have to to, like, help that person get away and protect them. But in and and I think the debate could be had whether we actually classify that as violence or not. But I think at the end of the day, the point is, is that we are fine with that and we feel like that’s as valid a tactic as anything else to get to the place that we need to be because we are living in a system that is extremely violent.

Nichole [00:43:06] And so having people who are willing to participate in that in order to do good and to tear these systems down to us is like a worthy cause. It just becomes, of course, keeping that in check and making sure that the violence is always constructive. And I think that’s a big difference that people miss with anarchy. They always think it’s just pure chaos. And it’s not necessarily and I’ll get into this a little bit more with looting, but it usually has some kind of purpose.

Nichole [00:43:36] And it’s you know, we need to break through this thing to get to a place where we can build something better and take care of people.

Callie [00:43:43] Yeah, absolutely. And we just got a really good comment that I think kind of makes the point that I was trying to make by Madison saying, that if we had a government that took care of people would be okay to lose your job. And I think that’s kind of what what makes all of this so tricky is that we’re living in this, like, capitalistic system. So we’re experiencing violence. That did doesn’t necessarily need to be violence. Like, if we had better solutions, you know, they mean. So, yeah, it’s just very tricky right now to kind of define what violence is. And then there’s also just the the kind of reaction of like responding to the fact that the state has a monopoly on violence. So like anything that’s done against the state, against hierarchy’s, against corporation is seen it as violence, whereas everything they’re doing is never kind of called violence. So, yeah.

Nichole [00:44:41] Yeah, yeah.

Nichole [00:44:42] It’s, um, that’s why I like to say, like, it’s state sanctioned, like state violence is the only like sanctioned violence because I think that makes it slightly more clear. I do also say they have a monopoly on violence because at the end of the day, I feel like that’s true. Again, if we’re using violence as a tactic, it’s still isn’t quite the same as this, like systemic enforced violence of the state. But, yeah, I love that you brought up that point of, you know, for instance, losing your job can be violent, but only because the government doesn’t take care of people who don’t have jobs. And that’s because we’ve criminalized poverty. And that’s because capital always needs this, you know, impoverished class to feed off of to make more and more profits and to scare the rest of us into that rugged individualism that we were talking about before. Into this idea that, you know, if I lose my job and I, you know, I could get evicted, I could go into debt, I could have. declare bankruptcy, I could die because they can’t afford health care, I lose my health insurance. So it just creates this this desperation and this this willingness to accept any working conditions in order to have at least the bare minimum protection against against that. But yeah if we lived in a world that didn’t criminalize poverty, then a lot of these violences would go away.

Callie [00:46:08] Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Callie [00:46:12] Absolutely.

Nichole [00:46:13] So within this, I watched the Funky Academic, one of my favorite YouTube channels, highly recommend. And he had a video recently where he is talking about a lot of different things, but he brought a curfews towards the end. And I just really loved how he defined them. So he talked about why he disagrees with curfews. And he said curfews are an escalation of violence. When you criminalize behavior, you’re legitimizing the people who will execute violence in response to that behavior. And I thought that that was beautifully put.

Callie [00:46:49] Yes. Could you say it again?

Nichole [00:46:52] Yeah. Absolutely. Curfews are an escalation of violence. When you criminalize behavior, you’re legitimizing the people who will execute the violence in response to that behavior.

Nichole [00:47:06] So he brought up, as you did, you know, I don’t know if he brought up that exact same example, but he talked about how well I think he did.

Nichole [00:47:14] He talked about how, like with domestic violence and with all these different things, we end up criminalizing the behavior and then that escalates police violence in that situation and the violence of the situation itself, because violence doesn’t solve anything. You know, carceral punishment doesn’t solve anything. So you’re just essentially legitimizing a violent response to any kind of behavior.

Nichole [00:47:38] And we see that again with how poverty, how mental illness, how all of these different things have been criminalized. You’ll have cops like beating up on a homeless person for no fucking reason, except that the homeless person just doesn’t have any systemic power. Right. Like, you should not be hurt because you’re sitting on a sidewalk somewhere. That should never happen. But we’ve instead of solving the problem of homelessness by giving people homes. We’ve criminalized it because we think that that will be a motivating force for people to get out of poverty like anyone chooses that. And and then that justifies now you see, you know, many people can look at a person experiencing homelessness, having violence, put upon them being arrested, which is another form of violence.

Nichole [00:48:33] You know, just having all these things happen to them and they can really think that that person deserves it or they don’t even see it. You know, and that’s how our system works.

Callie [00:48:42] Yeah. It’s so normalized that the state has power to basically do whatever they want. And I thought Nathan’s article did a really good job of of laying this out, especially in the first couple paragraphs of like anything that they do can be just written off and justified as like a response. You know, when when we see the media talking about the protests turned violent or when we see a protester doing something and then the police either in the case of the protesters or like that amazing example you just brought up of them, just like beating a homeless person or throwing their stuff away just because they’ve broken like they’ve committed the crime of being homeless. And so any of their. And this is why people say this state has a monopoly on violence, because they can act in violent ways. And the vast majority of society doesn’t even see that as violence. Like, they don’t think that it is violence and unjustified for the police to take these actions.

Nichole [00:49:46] Exactly. Exactly. And how cops can kill just because they feel vaguely threatened or now we’ve gotten to the point where it’s OK for them to kill someone because they mouthed off or resisted arrest or whatever. And I mean, the way that we interpret state violence has gone beyond any even logical or legal bounds. You talk about that all the time, all the different ways that cops constantly actually do things that are illegal or go against our documented rights. And it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You can know your rights and a cop’s still going to break your head any way and get away with it, you know? So, yeah, we’ve gotten to just an incredibly escalated version of this. And I think these rebellions are highlighting that for a lot of people who just couldn’t see before. Which is encouraging, but I think it it makes it more important than ever, and this is why we wanted to do this episode today, to be able to talk about it in these ways to help people, because people might sense that it’s wrong, but they may not have the language or the framework to really understand why or to just feel validated that their feelings are are right. Because they have all of mainstream media, all the fucking libs, you know, all the normies out there telling them. Still with this narrative, right. With this mother culture in their ear, little Ishmael throwback. Telling them that this state sanctioned violence is correct, even as they’re seeing things and feeling this doesn’t feel right. You know. And if we can get in there and we can have some of this language and we can help them understand why they’re they’re right. It’s not right. I think that that can be really powerful, especially as we have. You know, the protesters are demanding to defend the police, things like this. They think we really need to understand these basic concepts to help people envision what this world would look like without police and understand why it’s passed not only just possible, but necessary.

Callie [00:51:55] Yeah, absolutely. I am getting back to the point that kind of started all of this. The curfews. I was watching Tik-Tok the other day, and I’m. I saw this like, really, first of all, Tik-Tok has been radical, A.F..

Callie [00:52:13] OK.

Nichole [00:52:13] I’m like, I’m close to downloading it and I’m really trying to hold off because I’m now I don’t need to be stuck to another app.

Callie [00:52:19] But no, seriously. But like, the people have just been sharing, like, tips, like they’re like I saw one where this person was showing this kind of like string and I don’t remember what it was called. I I saved the video, so maybe I can share it in our group where it’s private. But this really strong hand has substance. And they were saying, like, use it as shoe laces. And and they actually demonstrated how, like, you can cut through like zip ties with this material.

Callie [00:52:49] Anyway, Tik-Tok Tik-Tok is like leading the rebellion ok. It’s crazy.

Callie [00:52:58] Yeah.

Callie [00:52:59] I’m like, okay, they’re really sharing some radical tips of how to deal with cops and stuff, but.

Nichole [00:53:06] Well I guess forget where I saw it, but someone posted I mean that was like Gen-Z won’t ask a waitress for extra ketchup, but they’ll body slam a cop.

Nichole [00:53:18] And I was like, yessss.

Callie [00:53:19] No. So good.

Nichole [00:53:22] Yeah, they’re fucking on it.

Callie [00:53:25] Like they don’t give a fuck. Like they’re too scared to like.

Callie [00:53:29] Yeah. Yeah. Even even get what they want. Like in a in a service interaction. But yeah don’t give a fuck about cops. But no. Like getting back to curfew.

Callie [00:53:41] So I saw this video and it was really heartbreaking because it was this black person and I don’t know their pronouns. So I’m going to be gender neutral here.

Callie [00:53:52] But they honestly started like crying in this video. They were talking about this curfew and how they were supposed to get off work earlier, but then their boss, like, forced them to stay. And they were like begging with their boss because the curfew started at like 8:00 and they were supposed to be off like 7:00 or whatever. And the boss was like, no, you need to stay. Like we had a customer come in, you need to stay. And this person started to, like, panic and get nervous and was like in their car, like relaying the story afterwards. And like when they finally were able to leave work, they got in their car and they like took their license and the registration and insurance all out of their wallet.

Callie [00:54:30] And they put it in like the visor so they wouldn’t have to reach for anything. And this person just like sobbing and being like, I now have to drive home after curfew, like as a black person who could get pulled over, like with the co-, like we gave cops an extra rule that they can enforce this curfew.

Nichole [00:54:50] Yeah, and take it out on anybody.

Callie [00:54:53] Right, that are making it easier for them to, like, pull people over, for them to like, go after them for violating this rule. And we know what happens.

Callie [00:55:02] The more cops have interactions, especially with black folks, like the damage that they’re doing and just seeing this person like like cry because they were leaving work late and were violating curfew and they really thought they wouldn’t make it home alive, like this person was sobbing that they would be killed going home from their job because of this. And like this is the system we’re living in like this. You know, and you see people screaming about how these protests need to remain like peaceful.

Callie [00:55:33] Right. Like peaceful protests.

Callie [00:55:35] And it’s like, where is the peace in someone being so terrorized, just living in this society that they feel like they’re not going to make it home alive from their job?

Nichole [00:55:46] Right. And how is that boss not considered a violent person?

Callie [00:55:53] Right. Right.

Nichole [00:55:55] That’s violence to say that instead of just taking care of that customer themselves. I’m going to make you stay and put you in danger. We’re telling the customer to fucking leave, right? Heaven forbid. We like let go of a dollar for someone’s life.

Nichole [00:56:12] That’s incredibly violent.

Nichole [00:56:15] Yeah, yeah. So the curfews, I’m just seeing so many posts by conservatives and anti protesters, I guess you could call them on online who like when people are filming police brutality. You know, they’re like it was after curfew and it’s like. Okay. So someone can get beat to shit? And they were saying to. I can’t remember if it was the Funky Academic or I. I’ve been listening to a lot of media, but coming through all of the stuff I’ve been consuming, they have talked about stuff like the reason Coronavirus is impacting the black community and like black and brown communities more is because they make up like eighty five percent of essential workers. So this is another way that the system is using class to impact and kill, essentially, black and brown people because the system is forcing them to be out in the streets. Then you add on top of that fucking curfews. So now you have people are being forced to be on the streets by their job, being exposed to Coronavirus and then now also being put at risk because of the curfews.

Nichole [00:57:33] And this is like several levels of state violence against black and brown people during fucking protests that are against police brutality and the murder of black people.

Nichole [00:57:49] It.

Nichole [00:57:51] Yeah.

Callie [00:57:52] It’s horrifying and honestly, a lot of people need to wake the fuck up.

Callie [00:57:57] Mostly white people, but, you know, to be honest, not just white people, like people that haven’t experienced their communities being constantly threatened and terrorized by the police. Like, don’t understand. You know, they they see like, oh, a curfew’s been set. If you don’t want anything to happen, then just be home by the curfew like they don’t see. First of all, the violence in just the curfew being set. Right. Like by some sort of like police state that can be like up. Guess what? Now we’re just going to force everyone to, like, be home by a certain time or else you get your ass beat. Like that makes no fucking sense. Way to live in a free society, by the way.

Nichole [00:58:36] Right.

Callie [00:58:37] But they don’t see that like the cops are using this. Like there’s so many reports of people being like we were out there protesting and all of a sudden they announced a curfew that was like in 15 minutes. Or they moved. The curfew was supposed to be at 8:00 and now it’s at 7:00, like. And the cops do this shit all the time. They you they bend the laws, they twist things. They set, you know, these commandments that they can just bend at will and they’re all tools to just give them an extra justification to, like, beat the fuck out of people. You know, and people just don’t understand, like, they don’t know.

Callie [00:59:16] And they should at this point. I mean, I get it because I, I very much grew up that way. Like, I lived in a lower middle class suburb.

Callie [00:59:24] Like I didn’t understand all the ways in which, like the police has really between like the FBI spying on people and the experiments that they’ve done and planting.

Callie [00:59:36] Like we you just can’t really fathom the the violence and the unethical behavior that the police take and just they will do anything they want in order to like I mean, they they all get off on the violence, you know, and there is still this, like, misunderstanding by a lot of privileged people, most in particular white people. And they just don’t understand that the police like they want to be doing this stuff. They like fucking with people. They like to keep people on their toes and say, like, guess what? Now we’re going to announce a curfew so that all of you are like out here and we get to do whatever we want. Like, they just don’t see that they’re still living by the rules. And they don’t understand that the rules change whenever the cops and the politicians want them to change.

Nichole [01:00:27] And I’ve said it a million times but this is another way that we’re living in an environment that is a model for an abusive home, because that is how abusive parents are too. The rule- or an abusive, intimate partner. The rules change all the time, arbitrarily, and it’s really just when that person wants to, like, fuck shit up. So all of a sudden you broke some unspoken rule that never existed before.

Nichole [01:00:53] And you deserve it because you should have somehow known.

Nichole [01:00:57] I’ve heard of curfews as early as 1:00 p.m. Even for an average citizen, maybe you need groceries, right? Like maybe just whatever happens and you need to go out. And they’ve had I’ve seen so many videos of people asking cops like, well, I need to get home and home is that way. Like, can I go that way? And they just won’t answer them because they’re like, no, we’re gonna beat the shit out of you in like ten minutes. You know, it’s fucking ridiculous. And yeah, again, just all the essential workers we have and just it’s not we we saw that with the lockdown. It’s not realistic that people can just not be out, period. So you are then- who are you putting at risk there? The people who can’t afford to not be out. Right. Because everyone else throwback to the beginning of this episode, everyone else can hire people to go take that risk for them. And they have to do it.

Callie [01:01:58] Yeah.

Nichole [01:02:00] I’m just like, can y’all stop lickin those boots? Because this is too like it’s a it’s an infringement on our First Amendment rights.

Nichole [01:02:11] Curfews are not constitutional or at least constitutionally questionable.

Callie [01:02:15] I mean, hello.

Nichole [01:02:17] So these same people, we were just talking about this, but the same people who are willing to, like, have a civil war over Second Amendment rights are also just like totally fine with our First Amendment rights being taken away until they want them. And then it’s a different story. But it’s like you have to be ideologically consistent, at least, you know, like there should be just as many people on- like conservatives out in the streets protesting a curfew as anyone else. But it doesn’t work that way.

Callie [01:02:50] No, I just wish all these people would be honest and just say that they like guns. You know, they just like having this powerful gun in their hand that they can do violence with whether they use it or not. I just wish they were honest. They don’t give a fuck about the actual Second Amendment. They don’t give a fuck about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights because they claim that they. That the Second Amendment is so important because that’s what means that they can protect their freedom. But then when anything happens, they’re just like, oh, you should have followed the curfew. It’s like what happened to like have a- needing to have a gun so you can protect against the government tyranny. Like, how do you not see that them enforcing a curfew and fucking tear gassing protesters and beating people up and shooting rubber bullets like at their faces, which is not how rubber bullets are even supposed to be used. They shouldn’t now be a thing anyway, but they’re not even using them correctly. They’re supposed to be like fired at the ground and they’re shooting directly at people. So it’s like, where the fuck are all of you 2Aers out here screaming about tyranny?

Nichole [01:04:01] Yeah, well and there is a girl, a twenty two year old girl.

Nichole [01:04:06] I just saw died because of tear gas.

Callie [01:04:09] I saw that, too.

Nichole [01:04:11] Like this shit.

Nichole [01:04:12] And the person who, like, shared the story was like, when are we going to. Like, why are we talking about how fucking deadly these things are that they’re using? People talk about tear gas and rubber bullets like they’re like, yeah, you know, feathers, like like it’s like nothing.

Callie [01:04:29] They’ve just accepted it.

Nichole [01:04:30] I know.

Nichole [01:04:31] I we just have such a weird view of violence, too. Like when something happens to us, everything is violent. But then when it happens to other people, there’s just such an apathy.

Nichole [01:04:43] And a- yeah an apathy like just an inability to think about what that would feel like or what it would be like to be in that situation that is really disturbing. Really disturbing.

Callie [01:04:55] Well, we’ve been, you know, indoctrinated we’ve been trained our whole lives to not lead with our emotions because that’s girly. And.

Nichole [01:05:05] Girls suck.

Callie [01:05:05] That right and to not lead with our emotions, to lead with our heads.

Callie [01:05:11] And like a lifetime of, like, cop shows and action hero movies teach us how to be like step in as the lawyers first. Like we want to. We want to be the detectives. We want to be the you know, it’s why anytime you try to engage people in a conversation, usually they’re gonna like, go right to devil’s advocate. They’re gonna go right to like, well, what really happened? Well, that doesn’t make sense because we’re so disconnected from our empathy and our emotions, you know, that people go straight to like, oh, well, I’m not going to I’m not going to even think about the fact that, like, why the fuck are police even shooting tear gas into crowds of protesters like you? We just accept it. And we just think, well, what do the protesters do?

Callie [01:05:54] They must have done something because we just can’t fathom, you know, having an emotional response.

Nichole [01:06:01] Yeah, and that’s another coping mechanism of abuse, is that you try to be the perfect child, you try to be the perfect partner.

Callie [01:06:09] Say it!

Nichole [01:06:10] And, you know, you end up victim blaming because you’re you’re trying to play this game where you want to believe that there is a safe path for you. And we just see this pathology like on a social level in our country of any of us. The same problem we have with dismantling rape culture. People do not want to accept the fact that it happens. It just happens to people all the time. And, you know, because that’s too painful. Because it’s too scary. Because people want to think it’s like a magical thinking, which also goes hand-in-hand with, like fundamental religions or like fervent religious belief. You know, it’s this magical thinking, like, well, if I do X, Y, Z, then I’m exempt and this will never happen to me.

Nichole [01:06:59] And then I can blame other people because they didn’t follow the rules.

Nichole [01:07:03] And it’s a it’s a real fucking problem.

Callie [01:07:07] Yeah.

Callie [01:07:07] We all literally are our entire society is basically the mindset of an abuse victim. And it’s like it’s really bad, like it is very fucked up. And you said it perfectly. Like we we all really are trained to act like the perfect victim. Like, if we just follow the rules good enough, then it won’t happen to us. And it’s like that’s not how any of this works, right?

Callie [01:07:39] It’s not. No, it’s just not.

Callie [01:07:40] Whether in a directly abusive relationship with an actual abuser or with the state, like, that’s just not- There’s no guarantees.

Nichole [01:07:49] Well and it goes back to what you said.

Nichole [01:07:50] It is just the rules are changing. That’s that’s what the abuser will do. Like, if you follow the rules, they just change rules.

Nichole [01:07:57] Yep. Because it’s not about the rules, right? It’s about the power and control. Of the situation of the person.

Callie [01:08:06] Yep keeping the system in place.

Nichole [01:08:09] Yeah.

Nichole [01:08:10] So now that we’ve talked about violence and property, I think we can address looting because I know we got a lot of questions from people just saying, you know, I’m on board. I agree with what’s happening or I understand like I don’t want to be a voice that’s harming the movement, but I don’t really know how to talk about looting to people. I don’t know how to properly defend it or how to contextualize it. So I have a few notes. This certainly isn’t like the end all be all for the discussion and I’ll linked to a few videos by black folks who are talking about the issue. I think it’s important to hear what they have to say about it. But just from everything I listened to and consume this week, I have a few talking points that I think can help us a lot in having these conversations.

Nichole [01:09:00] So first, maybe least probably the one that will appeal to Lib’s, the least that appeals to me the most is that looting is actually a very valid tactic for rebellions, protests, riots, whatever you want to call them, because it actually helps to spread police out across the city and keep them busy and distracted and cause a bit of chaos.

Nichole [01:09:29] This is, again, where anarchists like the chaos that we sow has a purpose. So that’s something to consider, is that the looting is not just people, you know, being animals and being out of control. It’s it can be a valid tactic as a way to disrupt the police force, thin them out and kind of help to get a bit more of advantage against a police force that clearly has so many advantages on their side. I mean, they’re they’re completely militarized. They’re geared up. They have all kinds of weapons. They’ve been doing all kinds of tactics where they’re like funneling people into, you know, closed alleys and stuff.

Nichole [01:10:12] And so they just have a lot of advantages there. So any time that we can use some of these tactics to disperse them and create some confusion is like a really good thing. So that’s talking point one again, won’t work with the Libs, but it’s good to know.

Nichole [01:10:30] Number two, a lot of looting is redistribution, which anarchist love, socialist love, communist love. So like Callie brought up, you know, the target, the target that will live on in infamy.

Nichole [01:10:47] I always think, like, well, history books like 10 or 20 years from now, there will be a picture of that Target?

Callie [01:10:53] I hope so.

Nichole [01:10:55] I mean, I hope so in the right way.

Callie [01:10:57] Yeah.

Nichole [01:10:58] And not like, you know.

Callie [01:11:00] It’ll be like our Paul Revere moment.

Callie [01:11:03] That’s a shot heard round the world or whatever. But yeah, I like that apartment building that was just like on like fully engulfed in flames.

Callie [01:11:13] I want to get that, like framed.

Nichole [01:11:21] There are a lot of- actually that’s not a bad idea.

Nichole [01:11:24] It’s a lot of like, beautiful imagery that’s come out of this so far. That would be really inspiring to have up around the place.

Nichole [01:11:32] It’s a good idea.

Callie [01:11:34] The stood needs them.

Nichole [01:11:36] Hey, the stood can always use some more rebellion.

Nichole [01:11:43] So, yeah.

Nichole [01:11:45] So a lot of looting is redistribution of goods. Yes, of course. There’s people who will loot like luxury items, stores and take stuff that they don’t need. Whatever. I mean, it is stuff that could possibly be resold, although I think that would probably be dangerous given that cops would be looking for that. But anyway, I think a lot of that falls in a category one of like it can be a tactic for confusion. And it’s also just a fuck you to the state and to capitalists. So, like, who gives a shit? But a lot of times when you have places like Target, CVS, Rite Aid, it just places like that that are looted. What people are noticing is that a lot of times people are just taking things that they need. They’re taking items that they can’t afford.

Nichole [01:12:30] And I don’t think that it’s okay to call that violence when you’re really just correcting a wrong that’s been done to you by the state and by capital. So if you can’t afford food and you go in and you take food, that’s not violent and it’s not stealing. It’s redistribution of wealth. It’s redistributing the goods that should have been given out to the community.

Nichole [01:12:52] And you’re just correcting that that mistake. You’re like I fixed it for you!

Callie [01:12:59] We’re doing you a favor. Oh, you must have meant for people to not have food and water. Oh, I’ll help you with that.

Nichole [01:13:05] Yeah. I know you’re busy. I got it. We’re good.

Nichole [01:13:11] And similarly, we’re seeing a lot of people will raid these stores. But then they will you’ll look and they’ll end up dropping these goods off either near protesters or in communities where people need these things. So you’ll see them taking, say, medical supplies, water, food and snacks, and they’ll be giving them to the protesters or someone who is even talking, I think is on by any means necessary.

Nichole [01:13:36] They were talking about how they were seeing things like people are stealing shoes from Payless and then leaving them in like poor neighborhoods. And they’re like, that’s not like, you know, stealing shoes from Payless. You know, they he was saying, like, they’re going to the places where, like, they get the things, you know, he’s like, if you’re living your best life, you’re not buying shoes from Payless. But like, if you’re a working class person, that’s probably where you buy your shoes, if that makes sense. So they’re so they’re going into these places to get the things that they they need that they can’t afford because capitalists a lot of whom own these establishments do not pay them a wage where they can afford these things that they need.

Nichole [01:14:17] So that’s one where, again, lips probably won’t like it, but you can only start to introduce these ideas to them of why people would do certain things.

Nichole [01:14:27] Yeah. The third one is that- actually libs probably won’t like any of these, but fuck them. So black folks built the wealth of this country.

Nichole [01:14:39] We know this, right? Like our country when not have anything that has today without the labor of black people. So there is this sense that if they want to destroy it, it’s their right. They built these things. If they want to tear them down. That’s their fucking business. And this is also a really good tactic of rebellion, because if they tear these things down that they built, then they can also refuse to build them back up. And that gives them political power where they may not have it otherwise. Now, there’s some danger in all of these things, because if it happens in these underdeveloped neighborhoods or these, you know, impoverished neighborhoods, it can lead to gentrification and or it can lead to people not building the neighborhood back up. As Callie mentioned before, you know, if you burn down a target, then people may lose their jobs. And that is something that has to be considered. But ultimately, if we have black movements and the organizers and participants there decide that this is what they want to do. This is part of why we should support them, because they essentially built the entire infrastructure of this country.

Nichole [01:15:50] And if they want to take a hand in destroying that to regain some political power, then we should absolutely be behind them in that.

Nichole [01:15:58] And then my final point is, if property is in and of itself violent, is it really violent to destroy it? And I think that’s what we’ve been kind of dancing around today. You know, is that I kind of like the idea of owning the violence of it to say, yeah, like we’re doing violence back to the state and back to the capitalists. But at the end of the day, it certainly is not. And this is what Nathan was getting to in his article. It’s certainly not the same kind of violence as a state sanctioned violence that we see out in the streets. Right. It’s a it’s a retribution. It’s it’s a redistribution. It’s a way to come back at a system that’s oppressing you. And so that’s not equal to the state, just brutalizing people who are trying to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Callie [01:16:46] Yeah, absolutely. I, I love all of the points you made. Some of them I hadn’t heard before. And I thought they were really well stated and incredibly effective in communicating the point. I mean, the the thing that I’ve just been keeping kind of front of mind is that, like, if if we’re going to value property more than lives, then then. Yeah, like, if that’s the only thing that’s going to matter to you, like white people or people in power is your things, then we are going to threaten them. If that’s the only way that you’ll listen, then yeah, I think we have to use what’s effective, you know. And we have to send a message in the way that the polite society cannot ignore, cannot put us on the fringes and silence us. We need. That’s why, like marches. And that’s why shutting down roads and streets and freeways and and sometimes even burning buildings down. It’s because, like, you cannot ignore this if you are going to value a target more than our lives, you’re gonna lose your fucking target. You know, sometimes we can only gain things by threatening to take what other people value. And if that stuff is like property, if if, then so be it. To be honest, you know. Right. But again, like we you know, as anarchists, like, we don’t believe in threatening people’s like homes.

Callie [01:18:14] You know, like we’re like we’re not talking about like burning down like working class people’s homes or the mom and pop shop. But it’s funny to me that, like even some of those stores.

Callie [01:18:25] Right. Like how many stories have we heard by someone in, like a family owned restaurant or a family owned bookstore? You know, by being basically being like we stand with Black Lives Matter. And I’m like, our stuff is insured. Like what whatever happens, happens.

Callie [01:18:41] But I’m not going to, like, come out here and condemn anyone for looting or violence or if my shop gets burned down. So it’s interesting. Right. Like the kind of talking points that are used about like big stores or about the people that aren’t really involved in their anger at the like.

Callie [01:18:59] What about all the vulnerable people? Like you’re gonna take someone’s like family owned business and it’s like, first of all, that’s gen- generally not happening.

Callie [01:19:09] And usually, if it is, it’s because it’s actually like instigators, like people are like undercover officers or undercover white supremacist groups that are trying to stir up police violence because most people out there are not going to be threatening like your neighborhood local establishments. Because it’s about like take retaking control of your home, of your community, and the target is not part of their community.

Nichole [01:19:37] Yes. Yeah, I was just going to add that in that that’s a really important distinction, is that when we talk about people and their own neighborhoods, we’re not talking about big corporations and franchises that have come in infiltrated and chased out small businesses or people might have been able to, like, make a decent wage and provide for their community. A lot of small, small, privately owned businesses can be like the backbone of a community of a neighborhood. I don’t agree with targeting those businesses. I’ve heard differing opinions on this and I want to be respectful of that. So I’m not like this isn’t a hill I would necessarily die on. But for those reasons, I you know, because not everyone has insurance. I mean, a lot of small businesses are very much a part of their community. A lot of them will give away. You know, if you have a restaurant, they’ll give away free food or they’ll do barter to, like, help other businesses and work with people. It’s not always the case. Sometimes they have assholes who do act like capitalists, even if they’re not actually that powerful or wealthy. But, yeah, I don’t think that, like, ravaging an actual community. You know, I think that that is a form of violence. But ultimately, overall. And I think we said this last week it might’ve been on a town hall, but I think part of the narrative that we need to push forward is that. We can’t undercut what’s happening in the movement by getting lost in these these like gotcha arguments. So, for instance, even for me, as someone who does not believe in damaging a home, even a housing projects, anything like that, just because of the impact that it will have to the people in their community. I’m not going to go online and like. Focus on that narrative. I’m going to focus on the stuff we’ve been talking about today, because whether it is people outside of the neighborhood, which I have to think it is, I can’t imagine like hurting any business in my neighborhood. It’s just you’re too close to them. So I think most most times it’s either cops or white supremacists or people outside of the neighborhood. But even when it’s not like I just don’t think it’s I think it’s a huge distraction from what’s going on. And I don’t think that it’s I think it’s worth talking about if you’re attending or organizing a protest and you’re talking about, like, you know, code of conduct and what the purpose of it is. I think that’s the time to have that conversation. But I just think out in the wider social media, it’s just a huge distraction and it just gives people ammo for trying to discredit what people are doing. And I really do hate that. And this is how I am about a lot of things. But I do really dislike that there hasn’t been a distinction made between this sort of thing. I feel like everyone is talking about looting and destruction at the same level, and they’re not distinguishing between like a target in your neighborhood or your neighborhood because those are two different things.

Callie [01:22:58] Yeah, no, I, I 100 percent agree with everything you just said. I definitely do not. I was bringing up that those business owners said that as a kind of counter to the n-.

Nichole [01:23:10] Oh yeah.

Callie [01:23:10] arrative. Yeah. I am not at all for.

Nichole [01:23:11] And I think that’s why they’re doing it too is because they understand like.

Callie [01:23:15] Right.

Nichole [01:23:16] Even if they don’t agree with that tactic, I’m not going to harm the movement by making this about me. I’m going to be fine. Yeah. Let’s move on.

Callie [01:23:24] Yeah. I’m not going to let the media focus on me and use me to, like, silence these protests, to silence the point of what people are trying to get across. Exactly. Yeah, obviously. I mean, and we saw that those businesses were like left alone, you know, like the family restaurants. And I think it was like a queer bookstore or something like that that, you know, people like supported. So, yeah, I am not for, like, burning down your own community whatsoever. And I think most like anarchists and and leftists would say the same thing. But it’s this kind of like.

Callie [01:24:02] It’s just unfortunate that because the way our media works, the way social media and everything so quick and fast and the arguments change and they’re all boiled down overly simplistically, that you feel like you have to kind of take a more extreme position than you would just to try to get it out there and to try to counteract the narratives that are coming out. And so this kind of like I’m not going to talk about violence at all.

Callie [01:24:26] You know, like I’m not going to like I’m not going to focus on I’m going to shut down any discussions I can involving me about, like property destruction. You kind of have to, like, take an extreme to like counteract the media narrative. Like the protests turned violent. And a target burned.

Callie [01:24:44] You know, I have to be like, well, fuck a target. I don’t know. But, you know, because it’s like you can only, like, talk in such short things, but then you have a longer conversation.

Callie [01:24:53] You’re like, well, that is a form of violence. Like, if people are losing their jobs and if you know, then that. So it’s.

Callie [01:25:00] As with everything, it’s like so much more nuanced. But there is clear separation between, like private homes, private possessions and like neighborhood benefiting businesses. You know, local restaurants like local stores as much different than like chains that come in and, like, put everyone out of business.

Nichole [01:25:23] Yeah. Exactly.

Nichole [01:25:24] And you never know, too.

Nichole [01:25:25] There could be some. Maybe there’s a business in the neighborhood that’s not beneficial to the neighborhood.

Nichole [01:25:34] You know, I watched the the Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. And he he was talking about like he was addressing, you know, that it was a Muslim person who called the cops on George Floyd and was like, you know, is a local small business owner in that neighborhood, but weaponized the police against one of the residents. And so, you know, maybe someone’s place like that gets targeted and there’s a reason because it’s the community dealing its own justice. And I think that’s part of why we can’t even though I generally have this stance of we shouldn’t be harming our own communities. You can’t. That’s what I mean. Like, you can’t judge when a community’s doing and you just kind of have to let it play out. I fucking hate the idea of, like, cops or, you know, white people going into these neighborhoods and doing this stuff for a multitude of reasons. But at the end of the day, you have to kind of just like let it be what it is and just support those communities the best that you can. And if you’re participating in these actions, then follow what leadership is telling you to do. And I think that’s where people get you know, I heard of one video where there is like a kid and he started breaking up the sidewalk and and the other protesters pulled him away. And were like no. And it’s like, yeah, like, you know, just they’ll figure it like everyone will figure it out. People know what they’re doing. And just if you’re participating in this stuff, don’t go like just do some random thing. Just make sure whatever you’re doing is in line with what the the organizers want to have happen and what the purpose of it is. And if you’re willing to, like, bust some hands or break some shit, then cool, let them know that and then let them like direct to and something that will be beneficial for them.

Callie [01:27:38] Yeah.

Nichole [01:27:39] Yeah.

Callie [01:27:40] Well and it’s it’s why we’ve said over and over with many different types of activism, like you shouldn’t ever be going into something that you’re not involved in. You know why. Like not going back when we were like a purely vegan show, we you know, we would talk about how like these activists that want to go in to, you know, different communities and be like, I’m a vegan, like, let me tell you how to eat. And it’s like that shit never works. Like you need to be part of a community.

Callie [01:28:05] There needs to be some mutual trust and understanding and an awareness of like what people are actually going through, you know, because they’ll know best in their neighborhoods, like which businesses are supportive and which, you know, are uplifting community members and which may be damaging them. Which essential services like our important like that. The video of the the woman who is like yelling at, I think, looters, like people that we’re breaking shit about how like the bus stops and things were destroyed and how they had harmed a. What kind of housing was it to remember? It wasn’t like low in it was like low income housing, but it was like a specific. It was like a group house kind of situation.

Nichole [01:28:50] Yeah.

Nichole [01:28:51] I don’t remember the exact, but yeah.

Callie [01:28:53] But you know, she’s like black. You don’t know, like you’re these are harming, like, our community members, like the people that like don’t have the power, like they need this stuff.

Callie [01:29:04] So. So that’s why like we can’t just be like I don’t know, like we need to be involved but we need to be involved in like local ways, like you need to understand what’s going on around you. So.

Nichole [01:29:16] Exactly.

Nichole [01:29:19] Yeah, well.

Nichole [01:29:22] Oh, and I just want to clarify, I brought up that that person was Muslim, not to, like, say that he was Muslim, but because then Hassan was putting a call out to other people of color to be like, this is the kind of shit like we need to be more in line and we need to, like, understand we can’t be fucking calling the cops on black people, you know, just because we’re trying to get, like, social status or protect our business or whatever. So it was it was a very powerful episode. And I’ll put that in the show notes as well, because I thought it was really, really well done. How he was talking about it and kind of like talking to his own people about how they need to do better.

Callie [01:30:03] Yeah.

Nichole [01:30:04] Yeah.

Callie [01:30:06] Yeah. Well, yeah.

Callie [01:30:09] I mean, I hope this is all like such a nuanced nuance discussion and I hope this helped maybe people kind of clarify or at least feel a little bit more comfortable in some of the positions that they’ve taken. I really appreciate Nichole that you, like, brought up this article and that you had these points. I think what you said on looting was awesome and really helps explain some of the reasons why we shouldn’t just like, not condemn looting, but why it can actually be an incredibly useful tool. I thought those were all quite brilliant. And then I think just our outlook in general on violence like it needs to be it needs to keep evolving. We need to keep talking about it. You know, we the biggest threat, I think, to any activist movement is for positions to become flattened. And we’re kind of always at risk of that because of the media, the mainstream media, and also just because of the tools that we need to use, you know, social media. Everything’s kind of about like it’s meme-able activism. It’s tweets of, you know, 140 characters. It’s like everything needs to be so short, but we need to be, like, constantly on guard about like allowing ourselves and our talking points to be shortened, flattened, to strip the nuance out of it. Cause even the word violence. I mean, there’s just such heavy, heavy history and connotation there and it can be very situational.

Nichole [01:31:39] Yeah. And it’s a way to control people and control a narrative. And we always need to dismantle that wherever we can. And yeah, I exactly agree with you. One last little thing I’ll leave everyone with was I can’t remember where I heard it, but they were talking about peaceful protests and how even the most peaceful protests in history always had some backing of, like military or armed force behind them, protecting them. So you would have like the Black Panthers, for instance, show up to protect people. I heard even Ghandi’s some of his nonviolent protest had I think the Navy ended up some people in the Navy ended up supporting it and backing them. So we really can’t.

Nichole [01:32:28] It’s funny because in one way, we need to increase.

Nichole [01:32:32] The importance of violence in the sense of like exposing all of these things that are violent that we typically don’t classify as violent. And talking about how bad that is and how we need to end it and what could be different. But then, on the other hand, we sort of need to de-escalate violence because it is just a part of if you’re in a violent system, then there’s gonna be some measure of needing that protection and needing people who are willing to step up in that way. And we shouldn’t see that as like that instantly makes you on the wrong side of things.

Callie [01:33:08] Yes.

Callie [01:33:10] Yes.

Nichole [01:33:10] So, yeah. So like you’re saying, it’s just such a nuanced and complex conversation that needs to be had in more detail. And there just needs to be better general understanding of violence on all sides of things.

Callie [01:33:27] Yeah, I could not agree more.

Callie [01:33:32] All to say, fuck the state, fuck the police.

Callie [01:33:35] Yeah.

Callie [01:33:37] Yeah. And there is nothing wrong with like if someone’s being violent against you, there’s nothing wrong with like being violent back.

Callie [01:33:46] You know, and that that’s, I think, the biggest thing that we need. We’re a generation that was raised on like zero strikes, right? Like a zero or three strikes. Zero tolerance. I blended the two.

Callie [01:34:01] So many.

Callie [01:34:03] But, you know, we were kind of taught like even if like, I remember being a little kid in school, being taught like, oh, even if someone, like, starts hitting you, you can’t hit back. But it’s like think about how like how much we’ve been indoctrinated in this. Like, no violence. Like nonviolence. Always. No matter what anyone has done to you. And it’s like that’s not how this shit goes like you can’t for generations, like violently oppress, murder, harass, terrorize, steal people’s wealth. And and just expect that all we’re gonna do is like ask you pretty please.

Callie [01:34:41] Just… So so yeah.

Nichole [01:34:47] You see it as part of the indoctrination, the fact that we vilify violence by the working class and the marginalized to the extent that we do, to the point where even a hint of that is justification for murder. And yet we glorify it in our police forces, in our military. Right. Like, we need to break that all down. And and get rid of this myth that it’s not okay to to fight back.

Nichole [01:35:19] But absolutley it is.

Callie [01:35:20] Yeah.

Nichole [01:35:21] Yeah. To defend yourself. Exactly.

Callie [01:35:23] Yeah.

Callie [01:35:25] Well, all right y’all. If you’re listening to the podcast, we will be ending the show here. Our live show schedule has been updated a little bit. We go live on YouTube with the podcast episodes at noon Pacific Time every Sunday. So if you want to watch as we are recording this show, live and then interact with us, you can find us on our YouTube channel, Bitchy Shitshow. And and then our town halls will now be on Thursday nights at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time and where we will discuss a news item of the week and take your comments and hangout. And if you watch us live on Sunday’s, then we will have our little afterparty, which has yet to be named. And so we’re getting ready to do that now, like hang out with the people that have been watching us now for like an hour and a half and get to chat with them.

Callie [01:36:21] So, yeah.

Nichole [01:36:22] So we will talk to you all next week.

Callie [01:36:25] Bye bye.

Nichole [01:36:26] Bye.

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