Many of us here in MPLS are a little shaken, but not at all surprised, after the verdict – not guilty on all counts – for Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony, MN cop who murdered Philando Castile. How to move forward, how to act, how to relate and continue to coexist with one another here in a state that speaks so highly of itself, yet knows full well that it must come to terms with both its past and present and future wrong-doings. The first step, as always, is to begin to unpack the nature of it all: how we see it, how we feel it, how our attitudes become formed into our institutions.
Earlier today, frequent squatter at the shop (and dear friend and conversation partner), Marlon James wrote a piece about his experiences being the “big, black guy” here in Minneapolis. Please take a moment to read it in full, and consider how, while this post-verdict moment may feel singular, that moment accumulated becomes the totality of public life for black American men and women.
You can change a system, an institution, a standard of measure, but until you work to change yourself, this shit’s gonna keep going down, and the experiences and daily dread Marlon describes will never go away. Our institutions our us, they do not change on their own.
The Zone to Defend is written by a collective residing on the zad, 4000 acres of liberated territory in North Western France, occupied against an airport and its world. The small book pulls you in through its dream-like narrative describing the almost unbelievable transformation of proposed infrastructure site into laboratory of commoning. The zad is a tangible act of hope against the wrecking of our worlds by the megamachines of profit and growth. With its 60 living collectives experimenting with a diversity of forms of life, and with popular support across the country, this occupied zone is a key front line struggle in Europe. The zone brings together farmers and activists in the fight for climate justice, against urban sprawl and for autonomy beyond the state, “its like living in the playground you always dreamt of as a child” is how one of its inhabitants describes life there.
It’s authors experiences on the edge of art and activism inform the books’ politics, and its voice documenting the ongoing struggle in relation both to French politics and, surprisingly, an art world that seeks to find a way out of endless cycles of symbolic struggle.
LA ZAD / THE ZONE TO DEFEND: A Liberated Territory Against an Airport and its World by Mauvaise Troupe (Amber Hickey- contributing editor, Alice Le Roy & Silvie Decaux- Translation) will be published summer of 2017 through the Tools in Common imprint Canary Press, a publishing collaboration between Marc Herbst (ed; Journal of Aesthetics and Protest) and Sam Gould (artist, editor; Red76 / Tools in Common / Beyond Repair).
We need a new way of doing politics, not just new politicians:
A politics that is really by and for the people.
A politics that works to combat economic inequality.
A politics that works for the common good.
A feminized politics, driven by collective intelligence and concrete action.
A politics with racial justice at its heart.
A participatory politics, where people have power more than once every four years.
An open source, flexible politics, that can be adapted to the contexts of our big cities and our rural communities.
An ethical politics, with zero tolerance for corruption and cronyism.
Join us on Sunday, June 18 @ 2pm for our second meeting on Municipalism. We will be meeting at, of course, The Future (2223 E 35th St).
During this meeting, we’ll get to know each other and discuss a draft statement of principles (quoted above) being written by US activists working with Barcelona en Comú international to define municipalism in a way that’s relevant and responsive to the US context.
We’ll use this meeting to talk with each other and to read, discuss, reflect and critique the document. We’ll send this feedback back to the working group as an illustration of the participatory politics we are striving to create.
A full first draft is still being prepared. We will distribute it before the meeting.
Time / Location
Sunday, June 18
2223 E 35th St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
See you at the Future!
Didn’t get the memo? What is Municipalism?
As we slip deeper into a presidential crisis, we direly need new social and political ideas. Municipalism is a social movement inspired by the idea of creating a new relationship between people and power: Municipalism isn’t about electing better politicians. Municipalism is about changing the relationship between institutions, social movements and citizens. Elected representatives are just the institutional branch of a movement that is based in the streets and neighborhoods, where the real power resides. Municipal movements work both inside and outside of institutions, building dual power and creating concrete solutions. Municipalism depends on active, organized and independent social movements that support representatives to enact their demands – and push them when they don’t… Find out more by coming to the meeting.
Rachel at work.
– Public Comment Hotline –
Louis made a new Pokémon drawing while hanging out at the shop today and we made copies in the Riso. This guy is the little capitalist that we don’t seem to have the capacity to be. He walked around the market and sold 14 of them for $1 a pop. (Edit: from last we wrote, Louis has earned $10 more and is now up to $24 in sales for the day. What the hell?! Furthermore, Louis just made a joke: “How much money did you earn today, Dad? Oh yeah, right… None!”)
The first billboard for this new project, Public Comment, coming out of the shop that Sam and Jonathan Herrera are working on went up outside of the offices of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) and CANDO, the Central neighborhood organization. The goal is to gather common, if not always complimentary in association, questions from around the neighborhood and to distill these gathered questions into a series of uniformly designed billboards, translated into the predominant languages spoken in the neighborhood. If you live in the Powderhorn, Central, or E. Philips neighborhoods of the 9th Ward and have a broad question concerning how we live with one another or might possibly in the future, call the Public Comment hotline and leave us a message: 1.800.536.0702 (special thanks to Aaron Johnson Ortiz at CTUL for the invitation to house the first billboard and to Rachel Hiltsley for her labor and insight into the project and its future). Also, if you are a commercial or residential property owner in the neighborhood and would like to host a billboard please get in touch. We’d love to collaborate with you as the project moves forward.
The May Day Parade, started by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, has been going strong and bringing the neighborhood out for more than 40yrs. For this May Day we felt it necessary to take stock of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we could go from here.
Obviously, shits been tough. MPLS winters are never easy. While mild, this one was bad. Many of us cloistering ourselves and wondering, not only “what can I do,” but also, “what’s next?!” This horror show of a country, and the various ways it has seeped into the everyday social landscape of the 9th Ward is no joke.
A means to engage the past in the present as a vehicle to consider our shared futures we created a series of socially and conceptually inter-connected masks (over 2000+) to be distributed around the neighborhood during the May Day celebration.
Joyous, while simultaneously informative, the masks featured the likenesses of, among others, James and Grace Lee Boggs, Voltairine de Cleyre, Emma Goldman, Ornette Coleman, Caetano Veloso, and Ursula K. le Guin.
Our hope was that, on this day in South MPLS, where everyone feels freed from the bonds and solitude of winter, where we come out and celebrate the good weather and our renewed closeness to one another, that we could, in a fun and celebratory way, also add a moment of reflection and sense of renewal and possibility to the proceedings.
“As to whether Marcos is gay: Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal,… a Jew in Germany, a Gypsy in Poland, a Mohawk in Quebec, a pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the Metro at 10pm, a peasant without land, a gang member in the slums, an unemployed worker, an unhappy student and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains.” – Subcomandante Marcos
“People can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. Show me any country and there’ll be people in it just trying to take their humanity back into the center of the ring. Follow that for a time. Y’know, think on that. Without people you’re nothing.” – Joe Strummer
“The task of teachers, those obscure soldiers of civilization, is to give to the people the intellectual means to revolt.” – Louise Michel
“Justice is not a flexible tool. Unless we all do our part to ensure that justice is applied equally to all human beings, we are a party to its abuse. We must stand together to protect the rights of others.” – Leonard Peltier
We’ve printed thousands of masks for a new project – Pattern Recognition – which will be distributed around the neighborhood during this years May Day parade. The masks, 16 different individuals ranging over 100+ years of transformative, inclusive radical human action, can be worn and shared with others. Quotes from each adorn the reverse side of the mask.