Bigass Parkour Workshop in Berkley, Totally Sexy Discussions Follow
On Saturday August 12th between 25 and 30 radical activists attended a RAAN workshop on the art of military obstacle-coursing (Parkour) in Berkley, CA - the first of its kind on the West Coast, and by far the largest such event we've yet put together. Although one comrade slightly injured his head and the sheer number of people there provided for some interesting challenges in making sure that everyone got the most out of the workshop, altogether the event was met with an incredibly positive response and is likely to lead to the congregation of informal PK clubs in the Bay Area.
The Parkour training was followed by a spirited discussion regarding the methodology of the Red & Anarchist Action Network and local organizing strategies at Berkley's Long Haul Infoshop. This event was attended by some 20 radical activists, likewise making it one of the largest RAAN workshops to date. Unlike previous "Defining RAAN" discussions, this one had no basis in a pre-existing network cell and centered primarily around introducing RAANista concepts and definitions to a more-or-less decidedly "post-Leftist" grouping that would by all accounts consider itself in opposition to the network's project (and in particular our practical unity with anti-state communists and Marxists). Nevertheless the discussions were conducted in a very respectful manner and despite the scattered use of inside jokes to defuse tensions on both sides, will hopefully come to signify only the beginning of more frequent dialogues between all participants. A major sticking point throughout the night was the concept of a "no-bullshit" policy and practical unity through autonomous action which, while grasped intuitively by some, was considered by others to be far too vague.
These two workshops are only the first of at least seven similar RAAN events scheduled to take place in Northern California through September, and the organizers would like to extend a very heartfelt thanks to the Anarchy reading group in Berkley for having hosted us.
Solidarity with Blue Diamond Almond Workers!
On July 20th, two RAANista organizers in the town of Modesto, CA attended a meeting of the Almond Growers Board in solidarity with local and regional workers at Blue Diamond Almond Company, which has racked up 20 anti-union violations during a vicious campaign against workers' organization. About 15 members of the ILWU, local activists and community members attended the meeting in hopes of confronting the President of Blue Diamond, who sits on the Board. Workers distributed fliers at the public meeting and staged a dramatic walkout in protest of their being banned from speaking. RAAN was also able to liberate a company binder full of information on the Board's upcoming events, which will hopefully be used to intensify opposition in the coming months. We must also stress that our solidarity lies with the Almond workers of Northern California, and not the union bureaucrats who seek to coopt their struggle.
Philly Crew Hosts Free & Conscious Concert
On July 7, the Philadelphia RAAN crew hosted its first 'Free & Conscious Concert' with local bands Stiff Middle Finger (Oi!), The Cutbacks (Blues Rock) and Ryan Elias and the Skywalkers (Folk), as well as out-of-staters Son of Nun and Cypher:Dissident (both Hip-hop/Rap) at local venue The Rotunda. The event was attended by somewhere between 70-100 people and has been considered a great success, particularly as it is the first of its kind in the network's history. Against a backdrop of class-conscious and revolutionary music, organizers distributed various RAAN texts and got together for a collective banner-painting. Although one person was kicked out of the space for spewing misogynist and homophobic garbage during an open mic session and there were some near-brawls with Nazis after the show, by and large the event went off without a hitch and provided an excellent forum for crowd participation and autonomous youth culture in the city. Philly organizers would like to stress that the F&C event was not intended as a recruiting drive so as to "gain new affiliates", and should instead be seen in the context of a wider self-organization of independent RAANista culture as it seeks to forcibly create resources and spaces of resistance for emerging anti-political discontent.
For more information, check out www.phillyraan.net
Report from Indigenous Gathering at Tule River
At the end of July about tweleve members from the DAAA collective as well as one network organizer from the East Coast attended the 20th annual "Indians in Sobriety" campout at the Tule River Reservation in California. Representing merely an exciting first step in building contacts between indigenous and local anti-authoritarian communities, the campout was an amazing opportunity for those involved to participate in various rituals and provided for some of the face-to-face discussions necessary to our developing cooperation on issues such as homelessness and drug addiction.
Hub Website Bites the Dust
Due to various boring technical nonsense, the largest RAAN website went offline in early July. Although we expect it to return at some point in the future, for now all texts and archives can be accessed on the mirror at http://raan.fightcapitalism.net/www.redanarchist.org
RAAN Network News is a totally decentralized, all-volunteer, and incredibly sporadic one-page newsletter from the Red & Anarchist Action Network. Copy and distribute freely and widely!
RAANismo o muerte!