Friday, May 20, 2005

Worker-Bees Sympathizers, Not Enemies

Worker-Bees are Potential Sympathizers, Not Enemies

There is a misconception that claiming to be an anarchist requires you do insane amounts of work organizing, protesting and other such activities. This idea turns off a lot of people who mainly see themselves as worker bees trying to survive. Although they understand that there must be a better way, due to their conditions they may feel powerless to change anything. Our "vocal-ness" as Anarchists and our fierce passion scares a lot of these folks since they feel they have a lot to lose. However, they still agree with us.

We as anarchists who speak out against the obvious injustices that occur need to be aware of these folks and listen to them and their concerns. I say this because I am one of these people. Those who have a full time job/career, those who have responsibilities not just to themselves and to the cause, but to loved ones and children. The majority of the people within the movement are very young, usually in their late teens and early twenties who do not have these kinds of domestic responsibilities. Too often I hear these people in the movement disrespect and speak against these average worker bees for simply being afraid. Remember these are the people you are asking to sympathize with the movement; these are the people we will need to join us in our struggle when things go bad. Most young activists have no idea of the pressures us worker bees face on a daily basis, in our daily lives; the pressure to provide for the home, which goes along with the pressure to keep a job in the first place.
I say all of this because it is necessary to not isolate ourselves from these sympathizers. In any movement there are those who take action and those who help by sympathizing and understanding that some things need to be done. When a riot breaks out, we need people who will watch the madness on television and say, "Good for them, it had to be done."
How do we accomplish this? Very simply: by conversing. A lot of us wrapped up in the movement can scream and yell but this serves no purpose to the lumpen-proletariat. They don't really give a shit about what happens on the other side of the world since they have problems of their own. I heard Barry Pateman speak at the anarchist book fair and I was very impressed by what he said. He explained that we need not shout, but simply listen to their concerns, and speak to them about the truth. We don't have to be like jimmy fucking swaggart evangelizing about anarchism and the movement. Simply presenting our point of view, explaining the truth of our current government and its administration can pretty much open any rational person’s eyes.

We have nothing to gain by isolating ourselves from those we want liberated.

-by Ken of the Peninsula Anarchist Collective, May 2005.

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