Defund the Police? Refund the People!!!
Social Margins: An Assembly in Text
As part of the Mt. Analogue class Fate is Kind, we are reading Ágnes Erőss’s Living Memorial and Frozen Monuments: The Role of Social Practice in Memorial Sites
How do we memorialize historical events, most especially when those events are not singular, linear, or even history for many, but continuous living arrangements that are yet to recognize any sense of finality or definitive social transformation? For the first workshop discussion in Fate is Kind: Abstraction & Patterning in a Life with Others Powderhorn neighbor and artist Xavier Tavera will join our discussion as we think through the role of monuments and memorials, the events of the MPLS Uprising, and the manner by which monuments as historical markers act as specific objects which can record, obscure, empower, and / or manipulate People’s History.
Another excursion behind the curtain to the other side of sound with the as-yet-to-be-named series.
Joining us at Assembly (2854 Columbus Ave S. MPLS, MN 55047) this evening will be long time friend and close collaborator, Gabriel Saloman. A Santa Cruz, California based musician and artist, Saloman has been performing experimental, conceptual and freely improvised music for over 15 years. He is best known for his work as half of Yellow Swans and currently composes and performs solo as GMS and Sade Sade. He also collaborates with Aja Rose Bond under the name Diadem and with MRed as Chambers.
PV Glob, aka Matt Wacker, will conjure wild exploration of off the map somethings are proven to be mind bending and cathartic.
Jonathan Zorn is a composer, performer, and curator of experimental, electronic, and improvised music. His electronic music pairs improvising musicians with interactive computer systems to create hybrid, human-machine ensembles. Zorn’s interest in vocal utterance has resulted in a series of pieces in which spoken language is interrupted by electronic forces, drawing attention to the gap between speech and sound. He is currently working on a suite of electroacoustic sound/text/video performance pieces. Zorn has been active as an improvisor on bass and electronics for 15 years and has performed at Red Cat, the Walker Art Center, the Verona Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, the Seattle Festival of Improvised Music, Line Space Line Festival, and the Chelsea Art Museum. He has performed under the direction of Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, and Alison Knowles. His work has been published in Ord und Bild, the SEAMUS Journal, Notations 21, and UbuWeb.
Suggested Donations $10 – 20 (No one will be turned away for lack of funds)
Glenn Jones is an instrumentalist of unparalleled skill and creativity. As a masterful raconteur Jones’ guitar work is both complex and sublime, intricate and emotional. His deep knowledge of the world of American Primitive music and his abilities on the fretboard have made Jones a pillar in his community. With each album Jones chronicles his experience, looking to the past or capturing the present with limber melodies that potently communicate the underlying emotions of the songs. Jones’ flair for storytelling shines in a live setting where origin stories are quite often the song’s introduction. It not only makes for an exceptional evening of listening, but one that draws on the deep traditions of country blues. The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar is Glenn Jones at his most vivid, exploring memories old and new through beautifully woven threads of melody.
Jones will be joined by Matt Sowell and John St. Pelvyn on the nights bill. A new chapbook will be available at the event on the life and influence of John Fahey. Edited by Sam Gould and Bradford Bailey (editor of The Hum), the booklet includes texts and interviews by Gould, Bailey, and Steve Lowenthal, author of the Fahey biography Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist
City as Commons Group Presents:
A Talk by Robby Herbst: Imagining A Different City/Llano Del Rio Rebel City Los Angeles
In this talk spanning sociology, movement theory, and urban practices, Robby Herbst of the Llano Del Rio Collective will introduce the new Rebel City Los Angeles guide; presenting the ideas behind the guide, the evolution of the collective’s work, and share their vision for what the city can be.
The Rebel City Los Angeles guide answers the question, what would Los Angeles look like if vertical power as we know it disappeared?. The illustrated two sided guide helps users visualize the city from below, providing details of a developing infrastructure of people-centered institutions supporting human activities outside corporate dominion; from electricity, housing, education, medicine, and banking. Los Angeles born saint Vaginal Davis said “riding on the subway system and buses,,, are the Southland’s true barometer and soul of the city” and the guide hopes to help you take the temperature. Publication lists over 60 sites, and includes essays by Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal and Robby Herbst. Rebel City Los Angeles is a part of the Llano Del Rio Rebel City Project.
Inspired by the 2015 movie Tangerine, the Spanish Municipalist Movement, and David Harvey’s book Rebel Cities, the illustrated two sided guide helps users imagine the city from below, providing details of an infrastructure of people-centered institutions supporting human activities outside corporate dominion; from electricity, housing, education, medicine, and banking. The publication lists nearly 100 sites and includes essays by Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal and Robby Herbst. It is a part of the wider Rebel City Los Angeles project.
Rebel City Los Angeles guide is the 6th guide to Los Angeles created by the Llano Del Rio Collective. Previous guides include: Power Points, Utopias of So.Cal., An Antagonists Guide to the Assholes of L.A., Scores For the City, and A Map For Another L.A.
Folks, what are you doing tomorrow night at 7pm? Join us for our last Assembly Reading Group meeting, as well as the beginning of something new. PM for details.
We couldn’t be more excited about this!
All municipalist meetings should be followed by a barbecue. Or, preceeded by, or take place during.
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?
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
Sunday’s Anarchy is Female workshop felt like exactly where we needed to be. A large group of people arrive at the shop ready to get to work; to plan and organize together, to imagine ways of being, acting, resisting, and re-imagining the world outside of, and in resplendent antagonism towards, the specter of patriarchy.
Many flags were hand-drawn and matchbooks stamped. Variations on the Anarchy is Female logo were printed. 200 were produced and handed out, many of these being delivered to Washington D.C. for the inauguration, and others staying here for various actions.
As the day ran on Crystal and Sam both thought the gathering shouldn’t simply occur just once. After the Inauguration we’ll re-group and plan on future, possibly monthly, Anarchy is Female gatherings. Stay tuned.
About a half-hour ago I was sitting here in Beyond Repair with Steven and had a bit of a shock. Who stepped into the Midtown Global Market, looking around, confused, not sure where to go? None other than MPD Police Federation President, Bob Kroll. He soon walked off, looking for something. Intrigued, I left Steven in the shop and walked around the market looking for Bob. Was he searching for us? If not, was he hungry? Where would he eat?
It seems though, while I was gone, Bobby found his way to the shop. He came in, saw a stack of Sgt. Kroll Goes to the Office, took about four or five, and avoiding any eye contact or interaction with Steven of any kind, quickly walked out.
I’ve been extremely happy, and frankly somewhat surprised, at the overwhelmingly positive reception this action has elicited. Both from the public at large, as well as elected officials in MPLS city government. Furthermore, it seems the action has been effective enough to get back to Lt. Kroll, and drive him across town to what he refers to in the comic as our “shit-hole neighborhood!” But hey, art will compel you into worlds that, prior to exposure, one would never dare to venture. I congratulate Lt. Kroll for, once again, braving the wilds of South MPLS.
All this said, I feel it is important for me to make this public; after the release of Sgt. Kroll Goes to the Office many people have urged me to publicly state the fact that Kroll, MPD, and their allies could retaliate in some way. Maybe, maybe not. But I agree that it is important to state that this possibility is, in fact, logical to consider and on my mind.
As an example, after the production of the comic was made public, but not yet released, the car in the above photo parked directly outside our home one afternoon. Having constructed low-wattage radio stations in the past I was interested, but also confused, by the DIY antenna apparatus on the roof of the vehicle. Something was off with its construction and orientation. I took a photo and sent it to a friend who is far more knowledgeable in that area than I am. He stated that, while not definitive, his guess was that it was a “cell phone sniffer.” What’s that? Well, myself and the small group who organized the visit to Mayor Hodges house last November, on the night the police were cracking down at the 4th Precinct Shutdown, are well aware of what it is. Area journalists, through a FOIA request, were able to find out as well. It’s a device that can read your text messages and listen in to your phone calls. It’s a tactic that MPD used that night and what allowed them to meet us at the Mayor’s house in advance of our arrival. And who knows, maybe it’s what is on top of the van outside our home in this photo. Or maybe not.
All of this sounds terribly psychotic and paranoid. But paranoia often arises out of social landscapes that speak towards something larger than each singular, seemingly fantastical, worry or suspicion. A kernel of truth exists in each.
So, if I start getting pulled over a lot; if we suddenly have numerous coding violations on our home; if, god forbid, DHS and MPD knock down our door over alleged child abuse accusations (which happened not long ago to a friend here in town who is critical of the police and their tactics; if I happen to be walking home and have the shit beat out of me, well, we all know who’s hand is at play. (Hi, Bobby!)
And this goes for ALL the artists involved in its production, and everyone else helping with its distribution as well.
I was sad to miss Bob when he visited the shop. I genuinely would have liked to have talked to him about his actions and ours. I called the Police Union a short while after we missed one another, but he wasn’t there. So I left a message on his voicemail inviting him to call me back to talk about the work. Maybe even have a book signing at the shop?
So Bob, it’s apparent that you are, in fact, paying attention to all this. I invite you to talk about it, but please don’t hit me – or accuse me of anything, or fuck with my kids, or listen into my phone calls or read my emails – let’s just talk.
I’ll be at Beyond Repair noon tomorrow. See you here. I’ll buy you a coffee.
A few weeks back we hosted Lisa Schonberg and Anthony Brisson – who perform together as Coordination – for a performance on the Midtown Greenway under the Bloomington Ave. bridge. We didn’t have permission to do so, but we did it because it felt right. It felt like sharing, not taking. Sharing should be encouraged.
Lisa is someone I’ve known for a long time. We lived around the corner from one another back in Portland, and she helped take care of Esme and Honora in the six months between the time they were born and we moved from Portland to Minneapolis. Lisa and Anthony were in town visiting Anthony’s family and since they’d be around we decided to do some work together. This turned out to be them creating a graphic score – a semi-sequential drawing to be played along to – which we printed at the shop, to be handed out on the Greenway as Coordination performed.
I was really interested in not simply setting up a show with Lisa but finding a space within the neighborhood which, however briefly, we could slightly, creatively disrupt and then, through our packing up and going home, leave the way we found it. Nonetheless, leaving the traces and residue of our convergence and trespassing, our reconfiguring of the space around us by altering its possibilities; bike lane, sunset stroll, weirdo setting up a generator and playing abstract compositions under a bridge. Yeah, why not? This sort of action was something, as kids in our early twenties, Lisa and I learned to adapt to, and find agency from in the pre-hipster Pacific Northwest.
Anthony and Lisa brought some equipment with them and borrowed a few items from Anthony’s father, an electrician out in White Bear Lake who also makes time to play music. Derek Maxwell, Beyond Repair’s current “public-maker in residence” helped source a drum set and a generator.
As we lugged the generator down the steps off Bloomington a small crowd began to gather. People asked us what we were up to as Lisa set up the kit. The sun, slowly began to set, lowering under each bridge, getting closer, and darker, one by one until all that was left was the light of the nearby buildings and the halogen lamps dotting the Greenway landscape.
To lessen the noise of the generator from interfering with the music, Derek and I moved it down the Greenway a bit, which shut it off with our jostling it back and forth. When I tried to start it again, the rope broke off in my hand. This led to our delaying the performance about an hour as, one by one, we went to one another’s houses looking for the right socket to unbolt the housing that would allow us into the start to re-spool the rope. The trouble didn’t end once we found the right socket. The generator didn’t fire up right away, and subsequent attempts broke the rope on multiple occasions. In the middle of this I had an idea. Our neighbor Jess had skateboarded down with her husband Tom and their kids. Jess was wearing running shoes with nylon laces, which to my estimation, were unlikely to break. In due time, tying Jess’s shoelace to the remaining rope and handle we got the generator back up and running and soon the performance began.
The crowd had dwindled a bit, but it didn’t really matter. It was the experience between us – all the folks who decided to take part in creating this convergence – that interested me most; a convening of intent and a question shared between us – “Well, what do we do after this?”
About three quarters into the performance a police cruiser rolled up. Both Lisa and I, from those days back when – in parks, basements, warehouses – figured we were packing it up. But Lisa and Anthony kept playing. The cop got out of his car, and walked over to the other side of the Greenway to watch and listen. I walked over to say hello. He asked what was going on, and I told him. We began to talk and he seemed interested in what we were up to. This looped into a long conversation about public space, performance, and simply folks getting together in the neighborhood to convene and make use of the vast, yet all too ofter underused, social and environmental landscape around us. Just as the cop was about to walk away I notice his badge – “Thunder.”
“Oh, wait a moment,” I said, “Officer Thunder, you’re our new beat cop, aren’t you?”
He grimaced for a moment, “Oh, yikes. What have you heard about me?”
I mentioned how I’d seen news about his new post, and that I was happy to see him out and about in the neighborhood, saying hello, checking up on things, and frankly, doing what a beat cop should be doing, in my mind: making their presence known and looking out for how to help and how they can be a part of the neighborhood.
I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Officer Thunder. With all the tumult of late, it was kind of amazing to have an unguarded and thoughtful conversation in public with a cop.
I wondered that night, and in the days following, what could be learned from that interaction, so different than any I have had in a long time. When was the last time I saw a cop smile at me, or anyone else for that matter? Not immediate become defensive, or keep their hands close to their weapons? Maybe I’m in the wrong company, but this often seems to be the case.
Officer Thunder opened up another idea of what police in our neighborhood could look like.
Almost here… the first edition of Publics and Publication Nº1; Emory Douglas. Rumor has it that our neighbor, Marlon James, is going to write the forward to it as well!
Here’s a bit of a primer to Emory’s genius.
Since the beginning of the year a group of 9th Ward neighbors, environmental explorers, and urban farmers have been meeting together with the Twin Cities Agricultural Land Trust at the experimental publication site, Beyond Repair, in the Midtown Global Market. We’ve called our get-togethers Food Enough? We’ve gathered to discuss ideas and possibilities around truly equitable food land use in the Twin Cities and how the meeting of like minded yet disparate skills and knowledge can help put into place a landscape that is more abundant and fruitful than we’ve yet to imagine.
On May 15, at 4:30pm, we invite you to bring a handful of soil to explore, and talk with the conveners of the Soil Lab project and neighbors interested in our relationships with soil. What lives in the soil here? What can we learn from soil about ourselves and our surrounding systems, and therefore what can it teach us about equity and inequity, about our neighborhoods and societies?
We invite you to join us, add your thoughts, and broaden the ideas and experiences within Food Enough? towards future conversations and actions.