May Day Riot in Santa Cruz (Video)

WATCH:Anarchy Riot Santa Cruz Ca May Day 2010” on YouTube by alansitarbrown & “Violent May Day March in Santa Cruz” on YouTube by ksbwtv

Santa Cruz has suffered an incident of mass vandalism that is being labeled an “anarchist riot” in the news media. Cowardly and misguided individuals appeared at an un-permitted “May Day party” in Downtown Santa Cruz with masks, spray cans, paint bombs and rocks to destroy the message of international workers’ rights. Instead they terrorized and destroyed our city, for the name of what exactly I’m not at all clear.

These nut jobs smashed a series of windows and sprayed anarchist graffiti on local businesses after turning a workers’ rights rally into a riot. Whatever misguided notions they have about anarchism, or whatever message they were trying to convey, was smashed right along with the glass. Compounded by that only cowards wear masks to get “the word out,” for whatever that means to them. If you have a cause that you are passionate enough to protest about, use your face and real name to stand behind this cause and not the cloak of a mask.

These supposed connections between a local “anarchist’s cafe” and the madness in Downtown are weak, in my mind. Those groups are usually book clubs, not bomb-throwers and masked vandals like in some common misconceptions. But I do not speak from any personal experience on this specific group.

I’ve asked around a little and nobody knows who did this. I’m going with the theory it’s just some cretins with no message at all beyond destruction and fear-mongering the public.

The real tragedy here is the taint to the righteous cause of workers’ rights worldwide that started when the organizing group, who are now under FBI scrutiny, refused to gather the proper permit.

I can report that unnamed local leaders were urging these people to file for the permit, hoping to close the open door to incidents like this one.

I think the poor police response time is the real story here. Reportedly, police were led away from the rally by a pair of false 911 calls designed to distract them from the situation brewing Downtown; however, according to multiple eyewitnesses (of which I am not one) as well as the included YouTube video the police took over an hour to respond.

Merced Sun-Star:

“We don’t think this was an unsophisticated group of protesters; we think this is an organized group of anarchists,” Santa Cruz Police spokesman Zach Friend said Monday, adding that investigators believe the anarchists had sought to strain city resources.

In the Political Internet this riot is being framed as having some connection to liberal progressives by the far right-wing. This is entirely untrue and goes to show how little these misguided conservatives understand how liberals feel about might-makes-right kind of messages like terrorizing people with riots and the mass destruction of property.

Unlike the cases of obvious tea party vandalism against pro-health care reform Democrats, there is no resounding vocal effort to excuse the actions of all these possibly politically motivated vandals and domestic terrorists on behalf of liberal progressives as there most certainly was on behalf of the “tea party conservatives.”

Whatever Free Speech you want to spread is fine, and odds are we’ll disagree about something somewhere, but making threats, inciting violence, destroying property and wearing masks is just the tactics of terrorists and fascists.

Anarchism Versus Populism

Ever reviled, accursed, ne’er understood,
Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
“Wreck of all order,” cry the multitude,
“Art thou, and war and murder’s endless rage.”
O, let them cry. To them that ne’er have striven.
The truth that lies behind a word to find,
To them the word’s right meaning was not given.
They shall continue blind among the blind.
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure.
Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
I give thee to the future! Thine secure.
When each at least unto himself shall waken.
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest’s thrill?
I cannot tell — but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will.
Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!

                       – John Henry Mackay

I draw your attention simply to the first nine lines of this quote, and have included it in it’s entirety for a full perspective.

I believe we have suffered this current Global / American Recession in a large part to the economic strategy of ‘greed is good’ and more specifically the enactment of Anarcho-Capitalism in our banking, mortgage and credits markets the United States of America.

A lack of sound order and a lack of logical policies, will only ultimately lead to a lack of accountability from authority.

A populist does not reject authority, or rule, outright. Rather a populist is prone to ask:

“By right to do govern? Whom do you serve?”

While I will express a degree of fondness for Pure Anarchism in which all property is outright theft … I find the whole ideology unworkable and only expressly attainable in small, sustainable, isolated communities. Much like Marxism is all looks good for an intellectual discussion and quid-pro-quo debating but in a real world setting the whole underlying concepts quickly become revealed as nothing but an ideologist’s dream work.

America of 2009 needs real solutions and not simply an outpouring of sentiment to ’make AIG pay you back’ but rather a hopeful outpouring of people willing to listen. People willing to engage.

The Presidency of Barack Obama is a stepping stone in a much larger and much longer road.

We must begin to demand the highest standards of our leaders on both Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

It is not not wrong to want justice. It is not wrong to want fairness. It is not wrong to question authority.

I am a Populist! Wherefore I will.
Not to rule, but to question the value of our rulers to us.