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EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE STRTEMENT . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 2
OL YMPIR BRSH BRCK! MEMBER SENTENC0 .. ...... .. .... .. .. ...... .. .... .. .. ...... .. .... .. .. . 2
RROICRL QUEER CONVERGENCE ANNOUNCEMENT . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 3
EXCERPT FROM TOWRROS THE QUEEREST INSURRECTION . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 4
A PREOCCUPATION WITH HRNDS . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 5
DRY OF REMEMBERRNCE SPEECH . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 6
TRRI NING COMMUNITIES TO BRSH BRCK .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 9
THE PATRIARCH . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 13
MELTI NG THE SNOW ..................................................................................... 14
0PEN ............................................................................................................ 17
A L.OVE WILLED QUEER .................................................................................. 18
BRSH BRCK! COMMUNIQUE #666 .. .. ...... .. .... .. .. ...... .. .... .. .. ...... .. .... .. .. ...... .. .... . 21
D
P!NK AND BlACK ATTACK
COLlECTIVE

Welcome to Pink and Black Attack_ a queer an-
rchist periodical based out of Olympia, WA. We
proudly join the recent wve of queer organiz-
and action with this publication. with which
twe hope to provide news, theory. analysis and an
elevant to queer anarchists. In short, this zine is by
IS and for us. We are nor affiliated tvith any ocga-
puzation. The opinions in the pieces that follow are
of their authors. and we as a collective do no
recessarily endorse everything that is primed. That
f>e:in ' g said. we do think that the following pieces
re valuable and worth reacting,
Pur next issue is due out in May. If you'd like
o submit anything to the zine. please send it to
pinkandblackattack@riseup.net by April 15th. Art
be in black and white.

and Black Attack Collective
of Unity:
We are queer anarchists. \Ve oppose the state and
p pitalism in all their forms.
We are anti-assimilationisr. \Ve reftLSe to beg the
tate for equality.
1We acti\'ely oppose heterose.lism, ttansphobia,
bleism, patriarchy. clas.sism. and white supremacy.
We believe in collective liberation for all people.
We believe in revolutionary solidarity with evecy-
pne in the struggle against the state and against d1e
of capitalism. We especially support
puc comrades who face legal trouble because of
fheir struggles-
BAtd(! ME-MBf"R AKll MAY OAV ARRmff
IN OlYMPIA
Active oommunity member and friend Forest Stu-
benhvas sentenced for events alleged to have happened
Day2008 in Olympia, Washington.
Forest took an Alfred plea bargain {saying he didnt

is pleading guilty because there is


lose in court), pleading a felony and a
down to two gross misdemeanors. For
plea does not implicate anyone else.
The court said that Forest ran alongside someone
police officer's cell phone and
trade clothes with this person. Forest denies this.
pointed a gun at him.
At the sentencing, Forest told the judge that he is
and has a lease on a house. He
he does for his communities, indud
but not limited to, sexual assault prevention. forests
the judge not to give him a harsher sentence
he was the arrest happened, and
and sentence political dis
which is what the j udge did.
For two gross misdemeanors, Forest Student of
WA was sentenced to 60 Days in jaiL forest was
for political reasons, charged for political reasons,
for political reasons, and sentenced for political
Forest will be serving the time via work release
means he has to sleep at the jail every night for 60
clays and will only be allowed out llhe 'dayj
go to work.. Forest has 30 days to start his jail time.
Forest is an active community member in Otympia,
He works in support of anti-imperialiststruggJes,
jassau1tt prevention/ destroying rape culture, is active in
mmtarization resistance, organizes against police and
poli<' :e violence and is an active member of the NW queer
trans community. Forest has court fees {totaling $700)
cover and rent to pay while he is in jail. lfyou can at all
monetarily it would be greatly appreciated. If you
your kind words and thoughts will be c:he1nshed
r'''cn. Support your community.
Solidarity,
t'riends of Forest
oontributions please contact Freeforest
ANNOilNtiN6:
NmlONAl. 1ll'1'f(l\f. QIJftR CONVfRMN(f
fMY
AnarclD-Queersl Tmnniesl Fairies! Penuts! Sex-V\Ukus! Sex-Radi-
cals!
Allie
'
s.
Bash Back! is ecstatic to announce a national radical queer
anve.rgence :to take pace in Chicago, May 28th through May 31st ci
2009!
)ieased to invite all mdical queers to join us foe a weekend ci
debauchery and :mischief. TIE last weekend ci May will pow! to
be four sdid days ci worksiDps, discussions, performances, games,
dancing and street adion!
hmdle tiE food and the musing. Yall bring tiE Ol"gY, en,
and decadence!
looking foe fOlks to facilitate discussions, put <n 'M.U'kslnps,
organize caucuses. share games, tell stories, get heavy in some theory,
or bottom-line a dance party. More specifically we're looking iDe
'mll'ksiDps themed around queer and tmns liberation, anti-mcism,
anfronting patriarc4', sex -.vk, ableism, self defense, DIY mental
and sexual health, radical history, or queer
are also looking tor c.oPous amounts ci glitter, safer sex puducts,
zines, tnme-made sex toys, balaclaws, pink and Hack flags, sequins,
bondage gear, md porn, flowers, strap-<ns, and assorted dumpstered
down?
M> RSVP, wlunteer for a -.vksiDp. get more information, or send us
dirty pictures.
email-
mdica)queer2009@gmail.com
and clEck out- BasbBackNews.V\OrdPress.Com
Lubing up the social war,
Bash Back!
D
an excerpt fran
11
t0\Nards
the queerest insurrection
by the mll'y nardini gMg
VII
THE PERSPECTivt Of QUEERS WITHIN THE HET
ERONORMATivt WORLD IS A LENS THROUGH
WHICH WE CAN CR.ITIQ!JE AND ATTACK THE AP.
PARATUS OF CAPITAUSM. WE CAN ANALYlE THE
WAYS IN WHIOI MEDIONF. THE Pl\ISON $YffiM.
THE CHURCH. THE STATE. MARRIAGE. THE ME-
DIA. BoRDERS. THE MILITARY AND I'OLI CE ARE
USED TO CONTROL AND DESTROY US. MORE
IMPORTANTIY. WE CAN USETHESE CASES TO AR
TICULATE A COHESIVE CRITIOSM Of EVERY WAY
TliAT WE ARE ALIENATED AND DOMINATED.
{lgEER IS A POSITION FROM WHICH TO ATTACK
THE NORMATIVE MORE. A !'OSITION FROM
WHIOI TO UNDERSTAND AND ATTACK THE
WAYS IN WHICH NORMAL IS REPROOUaD AND
REITERATED. IN DESTABILIZING AND PR06LEMA
TIZlNG NORMALCY. WE CAN DESTABILI ZE AND
BECOME A PROBUEM FOR THE ltrrALITY.
THE HISTORY OF ORGANIZED QliEERS WAS
BORNE OUT OF THIS POSITION. T li E MOST MAR
GINALIZID TRANSFOLK. PEOPLE OF ODLOR. SEX
WORKERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE CATALYSTs
FOR RIOTOUS EXPLOSIONS OF QJJER RESISTANCE.
ThESE EXPLOSIONS HAVi BEEN COUPLED WITH A
RADICAL ANALYSIS WHOLEHE.ARTEDLY ASSERT
lNG THAT THE LIBERATION FOR QliEER PEOPLE
IS INTRINSICALLY TIED TO THE ANNIHILATION
OF CAPITALISM AND THE STATE. IT IS NO WON
DER. THEN. Tli AT THE FIRST PEOPLE TO PUBLI CLY
SPEAK OF SEXUAL LIBERATION IN THIS COUNTRY
WERE ANARCHISTS. OR THAT THOSE IN THE
LAST CENTURY WHO STRUGGLIED R>R QJJEER
LIBERATION ALSO SIMULTANEOUSLY STRUGGLED
AGAINST CAPITALISM. RAOSM AND PATRIAROIY
AND EMPIRE. ThiS IS OUR HISTORY.
VIII
IF HISTORY PROVES ANYTHING. IT IS THAT CAPI
TALISM HAS A TREACI-IEROUS RECUPERATivt
TENDENCY TO PACIFY RADICAL SOCIAL MOVE-
MENTS. IT WORKS RATHER SIMPLY. ACTUAU.Y.
A GROUP GAINS Pit I VI LEGE AND POWER WITHIN
A MOvtMENT. AND SliORTLY THERE.AFTER SaL
THEIR COMRADES OUT. WITHIN A COUPLE
YE.ARS OF STONEWAll. AFFLUE.NT-GAY WHITE-
MALES HAD THOROUGHLY MARGINAUZlED
EvtRYONE THAT HAD MADE THEIR MOVIME.NT
POISI8LE AND ABANDONED THEIR REVOLUTION
WITH THEM.
IT WAS ONCE THAT TO BE QliEER WAS TO BE IN
DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE FORCES OF CON
TROLAND DOMINATION. Now. WE ARE FACED
WITH A CONDITION OF UTTER STAGNATION
AND STERILITY. AS ALWAYS. CAPITAL RECUPER
ATED BRICK THROWING STREET Ql!EENS INTO
SUITED POUTIOANS AND ACTIVISTS. ThERE ARE
LOG-CABIN R.fPuiiLICANS AND "'STONEWAll."
REFERS TO GAY 0EMOCR.ATS. ThERE ARE GAY
ENERGY DRINKS AND A "QJJEER TELEVlSION STA
TION THAT WAGES WAR ON THE MINDS. BODIES
AND ESmM OF IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH. ThE
"LGBT" POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT HAS BECOME
A FORCE OF ASSIMILATION. GENTRIFICATION.
CAPITAL AND STATE-POWER. GAY IDENTITY HAS
BECOME BOTH A MARKETABLE COMMODITY
D
AND A DEVICE Of WITHDRAWAL FROM STRUG- CONFLICT AND MAKE IT SPREAD.
GLE AGAINST DOMINATION.
NOW THEY DON'T CRITIQ!}E MARRIAGE.
MILITARY OR THE STATE RATHER WE HAVE
CAMPAIGNS FOR Q!}EER ASSIMILATION INTO
EACH. THEIR POLITICS IS ADVOCACY FOR SUCH
GRIEVOUS INSTITUTIONS. RATHER THAN THE
ANNIHILATION Of THEM ALL "GAYS CAN KILL
POOR PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD AS WELL
AS STRAIGHT PEOPLif "GAYS CAN HOLD THE
REIGNS Of THE STATE AND CAP1TAL AS WELL
STRAIGHT PEOPLE!' "WE ARE JUST UKE YOU".
ASSIMILATIONISTS WANT NOTHING LESS THAN
TO CONSTRUCT THE HOMOSEXUAL AS NOR
MAL WHITE. MONOGAMOUS. WEALTHY. 2S
CHILDREN. $ UVS WITH A WHITE P1CKET FENCE
THIS CONSTRUCTION. Of COURSE. REPRODUCES
THE STABILITY OF HETEROSEXUALITY. WHITENESS.
PATRIARCHY. THE GENDER BINARY. AND CAPI
TAUSM ITSELF.
IF WE GENUINELY WANT TO MAKE RUINS Of
THIS TOTALITY. WE NEED TO MAKE A BREAK.
WE DON'T NEED INCLUSION INTO MARRIAGE.
THE MILITARY AND THE STATE. WE NEED TO
END THEM. NO MORE GAY POUTIQANS. CEQs
AND ODP5. WE NEED TO SWIFTLY AND IMMEDI
ATELY ARTICULATE A WIDE GULF BETWEEN THE
POLITICS Of ASSIMILATION AND THE STRUGGLE
FOR LIBERATION. WE NEED TO REDISODVER OUR
RIOTOUS INHERITANCE AS Q!}EER ANARCHISTS.
WE NEED TO DESTROY ODNSTRUCTIONS OF
NORMALCY. AND CREATE INSTEAD A POSITION
BASED IN OUR ALIENATION FROM THIS NOR
MALCY. AND ONE CAPABLE Of DISMANTLING
IT. WE MUST USE THESE POSITIONS TO INSTIGATE
BREAKS. NOT JUST FROM THE ASSIMILATIONlST
MAINSTREAM. BUT FROM CAP1TALI5M ITSELF.
THESE POSITIONS CAN BECOME TOOLS OF A
SOCIAL FORCE READY TO CREATE A COMPLETE
RUPTURE WITH THIS WORLD.
O UR BODIES HAVE BEEN BORN INTO CONFLICT
WITH THIS SOCIAL ORDER. WE NEED TO DEEPEN
THAT
A PREOCCUPATION
WITH HANDS
BY BILLIE
the first girl I got wit h
co11ununicated lltult itudes
the first time
she gra bbed n1y hand
I followed her home
tipsy
the few n i ghts I spent in her bed
she told stories wit-h her hands
we wrote s tories with our hands
she said she liked t-he notion
of p r etty girls in her bed
she seen1ed to have the confidence
I lacked
we walked to the coffee shop
boldly I cl asped her hand
as we approached our friends
timidly
she dropped mine

D
DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
November 17, 2008
Hello ev eryone. My
name is Saffo and I am trans.
Some of you may know me
by my binh name, Fokion.
As many of you will al-
ready know, to many trans
people, changing our names
is an imponant rite of pas-
sage. Coming out as rrans,
choosing a new name and
rransirioning my identity
has been a difficult, beauti-
ful , emotionally exhausting,
revitalizing and spiritually
empowering process. Some
of you who have known me
for years have struggled to
remember to call me by my
new name, and by my new
preferred pr onoun. I assure
you that it's been even more
difficult for me, adjusting to
a new name, to a new rela-
tionship with rhe world. But
it is so important and I ap-
preciate the many people in
my life who have supponed
me through this struggle, as
well as the countless many
trans and gender variant
people who have struggled
and fought so hard before
me- many of whom have
sacrificed their lives for the
chance ro name themselves.
After all, today is the day
of remembrance, so I must
remember with a sense of
gratitude and humility those
who have fought before me
and made rhe ultimate sacri-
fice.
So whars in a name?
Many of us live our our
lives with names that were
given ro us by our parents.
which may or may not have
any real meaning or signifi-
cance. Your name is per-
haps rhe most important,
most deeply engrained so-
cial marker you will have in
your life. It claims to define
you- and yer most people
did nor choose their name,
or may nor feel char it has
any real meaning to them.
Coming out as trans has
given me a sense of solidar-
ity with people everywhere
who have chosen to rename
themselves. Similarly, it is
through this politics of nam-
ing that we are also able to
name the forces of violence
char oppress us. Transpho-
bia, Heterosexism, Racism,
Classism, Imperialism, Age-
ism, Ableism, Capitalism,
Sexual Assault and Violence,
rhe Prison Industrial Com-
plex. The list goes on. Nam-
ing the systems of violence
that oppress us and those
around us is a viral first step
in our various struggles
for lib eration. And so ir is
rhrough naming both our-
selves, our communities,
and the forces of violence
that oppress us that we are
able to fighr back.
So whars in my
name? I chose the name
Saffo for many reasons.
Those of you who knov.r
me probably know rhat I am
half Greek. My birrh name,
Fokion, is an ancient Greek
name. According to Greek
culture, a parent is supposed
ro name their child afrer her
or his grandparent, who is
supposed ro be named after
a saint. My mother, how-
ever, a devour atheist, chose
ro defy tradition, giving me
a name that was ancient
Greek. I was always proud
of this . I was drawn to rhe
name Saffo because it is nor
the name of a saint. Further-
more, for chose who don' t
know, Saffo was the ancient
poer from rhe island of Les-
bos who wrote love poems
ro other women. Hence
where the \ vorld "Lesbian"'
comes from. My choice of
name reflected a desire ro
connect my culture with my
queerness, while simulta-
neously resisting Christian
hegemony.
\Vith that said, we are
here today ro remember
rhe countless many trans
and gender non--conform-
ing people who have been
slaughrered by the sysremic
violence of trans phobia. By
an interest ing coincidence,
today happens ro be an im-
portant day for me both as a
tranny and as a greek. Today
is the 35th anniversary of the
Athens Polytechnic Massa-
cre. Let me explain. fn 1967,
as pan of the cold war, rhe
United Stares over
D
threw [he Greek govern-
ment and installed a military
dictatorship in Greece. In
November. 1973, students at
Athens Polytechnic went on
strike against the j unta and
rook over the school. The
government responded on
November 17th by crushing
down the gate of the school
with a tank. and slaughter-
ing the students. November
17th is an imponam date to
Greek people- a powetful
reminder of violence of the
state and US imperialism.
Thiny-five years ago today,
[he United States slaugh-
tered Greek students orga-
nizing to ovenhrow a repres-
sive right-wing regime that
the US had installed. This
is. of course. nor a unique
experience. The United
States has covertly and
overtly enacted tremendous
violence an over the world
from Manifest Destiny, to
the Vietnam \Var, to Pi-
nochet, to the war in fraq, to
the Spanish-American war,
ro the occupation of Pales-
tine. to Free Trade .. . and
that's just the beginning ...
As we speak right now, we
stand only a couple blocks
away from Textron world
headquarters- a company
[hat manufactures duster
bombs used to kill fraqi civil-
ians. VVe are living here in
the belly of the beast- the
United States empire, the
most powerful force of dea[h
and destruction in the his-
tory of the world.
So what does this
have to do with the reason
we are here today? I wanted
to bring up November t 7th
because today is a power-
ful day for me, on the 35th
anniversary of a date that
has been ingrained in my
head since r was a child. to
be recognizing my queer
sisters and brothers who
have fallen as pan of a dif-
ferent. but related struggle .
Some people might say, "but
[hose are separate issues ...
And r would respond, when
youre rising up to fight for
your life, there are no sepa-
rate issues." This touches
on something all-too-often
left out in mainstream queer
discourse- [he connection
between state violence and
violence against queer and
trans people . \Vhile out-
side our borders the United
States asserts its violent
hegemony through war,
. .
esplonage, secret pnsons,
the so-called drug war, and
the World Bank and IMF;
inside our borders we have
the largest prison population
in the history of the world .
There is an enormously
profitable industry built
around imprisoning people
in the US. This is the prison
indus[rial complex. \ V' hen
private prison companies be-
gan losing money recently,
the state responded by tar-
gering immigrants in order
that prison companies could
increase their profits. fmmi-
grams, communities of col-
or, queer. trans and gender
non-conforming people are
favorite targets of the prison
industria) complex.
VVithin prison walls,
queer, trans. and gender
non-conforming people are
routinely subject to rape, hu-
miliation, and other forms of
brutality- far more so than
our straight and cisgender
peers. Furthermore, trans
people are often placed in
rhe \vrong-gender section, or
are kept in solitary confine-
ment, and are frequently de-
nied access to medical treat-
ment. This is stare violence
against our community. lr
is important to recognize
that the mechanisms of state
violence that terrorize queer
and trans people are some of
rhe same that terrorize im-
migrants and communities
of color. \ V' e must recognize
chat different oppressions
function differently. as our
identities funclion differ-
ently. but ul[imately we have
more ro gain from build-
ing solidarity between our
various movements. Some
people. however, stubbornly
refuse to recognize the im-
portance of these connec-
nons.
Perhaps no\vhere is
[his hypocrisy more clear
than with the issue of hate-
crimes legislation. Many
trans people Jive in commu-
nities or neighborhoods that
are not supportive. \ V'e live
with the knowledge that,
were we ro be attacked,
D
our neighbors may not give
a shit about us. This is, in
pan , a result of the isolated
capitalist system in which
we live . Many people don' t
not ice their neighbors, don't
feel supponed by any son
of communiry, and hence,
when violence happens, the
only recourse we have is
the police. The same police
force that raided stonewall.
The same police force that
doesn't give two shirs abour
queers. I don't wam, in any
way, to de-legitimate rhe
experience of trans people
who are victims of hate
crime- or those of us \ vho
live with the fear every day
of being hate crimed. These
are very real forms of vio-
lence that terrorize us and
our community. \ Vhat I want
ro say is that we must begin
the work of building mean-
ingful alternatives to dealing
wirh violence besides more
violence. Imprisonment and
heavier sentencing is nor the
answer to dealing with vio-
lence againsr trans and queer
people. The prison indus-
trial complex fails every day
to reduce violence. That is
not its goal and it never has
been . Irs only goal is more
. . .
Lmpnsonmem, more VIo-
lence, more fear, for more
profir. We live in a world
where rhe US empire profits
off our struggles and wants
us ro remain afraid. The
capitalist system depends on
it.
I do not have the an-
S\ver as ro how to deal with
violence. \ Vhat l can say,
however, is that ir is time for
us ro recognize rhat all forms
of violence and oppression
feed off each other. Single
issue politics will not bring
us real liberarion. r once
heard someone say, "single-
issue politics doesn't work,
because we're nor dealing
with single-issue oppres-
sors.,. ft is rime for rhose do-
ing work to end gender and
sexual violence to recognize
rhe systemic racism and
classism in the prison system
in order to see that these are
nor viable options. It is rime
for srraight cisgender people
doing work to end the vio-
lence of rhe prison system to
rake up the burden of help-
ing ro end violence against
trans and queer people. Ul-
timately. r have fai th that we
can work together ro smash
the systems of violence rhat
oppress us all.
So, for these reasons,
I am honored to be here to-
day to commemorate those
who have fallen in all of our
various srruggles. \ Vherher
it be against US empire,
defending the rights of im-
migrants, working to abolish
prisons, or demanding the
right ro walk safely down
the street, we all fight every
day in our own ways. Bur
more importantly, I want to
celebrate those of us who
are alive and still fighring.
I wam to end on a positive
nore here by recognizing
and celebrating all of our
various differences while we
simultaneously recognize
and celebrate our common
shared humanity.
Human beings are
fragile creatures, and it is
only through mut ual sup-
port, through love , rhrough
compassion that we can
really make it through this
world rogerher. Trying ro
make it through rhis world
and survive has been a
spiritual process for me, and
naming myself has been yet
another step on a journey
rhat will last unril the day
I die. \ Ve each have our
own unique journeys, and
it jusr so happens rhat we
have been blessed today to
each cross paths being in
the same room at the same
rime. Some of us are born
being told \ ve're a woman,
and later decide we' re actu-
aUy men. Some of us are
born being rold we're a man,
and later decide we' re ac-
ruaUy women. \ Vhat's true
rhroughout, though, is that
it is only deep inside here
(heart) rhat we can really
name ourselves, that we can
find our own paths along
rhis fucked-up beautiful jour-
ney called life. Bur for each
of us that blazes another
path, we can know that \ IVe
have helped make rhe strug-
gle a little easier for those
who wiJI come next.
D
TRAINING COMMUNITIES TO BASH BACK
SELF DEFENSE AND SELF DETERMINATION
n cnse )OU bm"eel'i heard,
he recent upsu_rae in anti-
ueer violence h:ls been
niched by a radknl queer/
. ns insurgency. nre
e ywbeie. One m.me that
' "' use, in Cbicaao. Pbilty,
Memphis, Minnenpolis,
IJ)elrner, LnnsinQ. Olympia,
elsewhere. is Bash-
l&<:k! are mililnntly
.nizina ix our
. "' liberntion. lo
while
js, cism. hdemsexiSDl:
rnnspbobia, clljli.lnlism,
all the rest. Because of
be Jll""'alence of anti-queer
jvicolenoce, many queers are
!kina about <q:mirina
f defense. In doina so, we
re drawing from n f.tDUJOUtSJ
islory of queer seH defense
Compton
\ltll). and models of self
ense organ iz.ina (Block
, ntber P.uty ). ore atso
nfluenced by the models
self defense 0111anizing
-eloped lo confront do-
mestic violence am sexual
ss:wlt atpinst wimm.in
the largest by far being
ape Agaression Defense
AO). This is a model that
o.s certain strengths, but
lso needs lo be radically
-..structured
. .
semester-loog sd!-
ense (50) class that w:ts
is) offered free of cbtuae to
jsttxJenls at the smallliber-
-ar ls cdlege I went Jo, The
was RAI)-certi-
ied liu b.md:reds of other
jinstnx:tts who are pnrt of
"vlomen-on))'"
mostly
in martial ads cen-
ers and police deptr1menls.
k.ina the class foe free, in
free time, and foe c:redit.
' "" directly benefillina
Jf.n>m the while and middle-
ass privilege that b.-.d aJ'""'
oocess ID coiJese in the
ir st Jll.ce. I look. the clnss
l .'t'IU5e it mmln. ble to
nro because I iu>e>v that
,iv:n r tmnsi.tiooed frocn
liD'"" to female in the ne:tr
itUJttll'e, I ""s ""' likely to
be lnraeied by gender vio-
lleJ>Oe. I was not out as trans
n the class- I ptssed as
ale- but I look. il becnuse
WitS trans, and this shaped
experiences os much as
wh ill> ness <lid. (In spite
RAO's official ,vomen-
ty"' stnnce, my inshudoc
loJ>...,.d the class lo ever)One.
ople perceived as male, a s
' II see, were instructed
erentty.)
at struck me then- eren
re so now - is the fuilure
model of
0 bose<! on stmiaht w im-
p:mn's experiences load-
s the needs of queer.
Qellder-queer
II" . The RAO model of
defense is "iDe v.ornen,"
while their definition
'\0\0fD)'D is nc!ear from
il is clear
their model !bat the)'
"' no sense of queer and
rnns people and the vio-
"' we fuce. The instruc-
1' '\\OUJd occasionally turn
me nnd inixnl me tbatf
we """"' lenrnina SO for
jmen (RAO model). instead
beina assertive oro sir<lOQ
1o confront an at1acker
ho nssun-aes their target
's vulneroble), she .-'OUid
me llo de-esca.b.tef
jc down the at1acker. a
lo myself seem
s of a threat ( you know,
ike. -Hey it's cool man, I
.idn't know she '\\US )our
friend. Let me buy you
beer. No h:ud feetingsf
lokolY'?J-'Thrulkfu.IJy, I
rec.:el\e:J RAJ)'s trninina
for ,vomen,. but cleady the
binary-aen<Jered self de-
se model that RAO uses
us de\-eloped br people
itb normntn, aeniers-
be instruclor and abouJ
it->-tbirds of the par-
. nts in that class were
bite. There were"""""''
immin of color tnk.ing the
s. \ioJ I cannot re
member a sinale time that
race '\\'9.5 discussed during
the class, e>'ell though class
time wns split 50/50 be-
tween education and physi-
cal1rainina. At the time, I
didn't think twice about
the wny the class ignored
rnce, and I De\'e&' talked lo
my classmates about it, so I
don't know bow "'timmin
of cobr experienced the
class. I do know that I ex-
perienced it from a place of
white privilege, which I now
recognize.
It is from my position as a
white, class-Jxivileged, an-
archist 1ranspersyn that I
want lo examine the reality
of gender violence, privilege,
and self-defense in our cul-
ture.
An Analysis of Gender y,_
lence
First, definitions ... Gender
violence., is used io inch de
violence against wim.min
and queer and trans people.
"Domestic violence" (OV)
refers lo any sexual, physi-
cal, or emotional abuse that
is perpetrated by a partner,
brmer partner, family
tnember, or acquaintance.
"Stranger violence" (SV) is
a term loaded with racism
within the white-suprema-
cist ideology. I use it lo refer
lo assaults on the street, per-
petrated by stranaers, usu-
ally against people of color
(contrary lo the myths),
queer and trnns people, and
wimmin. "Institutional vio-
lence" (IV) is perpetrated by
institutions - police, crimi-
nal injustice system, prison
system, boroer patrol, ICE,
Bureau of Indian Affairs,
Planned &renJhood, bster
systems, schools, and hun-
dreds of other arms of the
state, cocporations, non-pot-
its, and other (non-familial)
institutions - mostly against
people of color and the pooc.
"Trnns" is an umbrella term
lOr people who are targetted
by transphobia becaues of
their gender presentation,
bodies and/ or idenJities.
"\Vh.ite supremacism" is
used instead of the hierar-
chy-blind term "racism."
All violence is systematic.
The political anai)'Sis of
most 5I) classes - the one
I heard in col.lege, the one
that brmed the basis lOr a
recent "anarchist" SO class
at a conference in Laramie
- bcuses on the system of
patriarchy. The analysis, if
it's gi\oen at all, states quite
accurately that wimmin are.
sexuaJJy assaulted by men
at extremely high rates -
a bout 1 in 3 wi.mmin will
be survivocs, studies say, and
99% of the perpetrators are
men - and then lem'E!S it at
that. The next step is, "so we
hm'e lo defend ourselves."
'frue enough. BuJ the ques-
tions of which people hm'e
the privilege lo defend them-
selves, what people face
institutional violence, what
people are prosecuted when
they defend themseh-es
against domestic or strnnaer
vimence, and what fadors in
addition lo being a womyn
affect a persyn's likelihood
of being assaulted, are usu-
ally left unasked and un-
answered. These questions
- and their ans'\i\rers - are
extremely importanJ.
In reality, as any good 5I)
instructor will teach, most
violence against white
straight wim.min is perpe-
trated by partners, family,
and acquaintances. Attacks
by straDQers and institutions
dispropoctionatejy target
people of color, queer and
trans people, sex workers,
and - 'vitb increasing sever-
ity - people who fit inlo two,
three, or bur of those de-
mographics.
" A disclaimer, I know
that this analysis is leavina
shit ouJ. rm certain that
a bleism, fatpbobia, age-
ism and e\'e&'}' other brm
of oppression conJribuJe lo
domestic, stranaer, and in-
stitutional violence. I am de-
liberately bcusing on white
supremacis111, heterosexism,
and transphobia, and their
intersections, lo the e><clu-
sion of other perspectives.
I am indebted to ll'o'OTE!
%men of Com Against Vio-
lence and wimmin of color
bbggers like brownfemip-
""'""' lOr my understandina
of The Cobr of Violence (as
the INCITE! anthology puts
it), especially institutional
violence.
10 illustrate the impact
of the white supremacist
state, as ,-veJ.l as bo1110phobia
and transphobia, on situa-
tions of violence and self-de-
fense, two recent example"
LJ
lawsuit was still in process. defend themseM:s against
On August 18, 2006, 5e\'ell - paraphmsed from Between violence. On the contrary,
)OUD8 African American The Lines News, issue 1616, this author is inspired by
lesbians tl'ln'eled lo New '\brk 11113/2008. and 5UJ'POC'fu'e of OC'llllniza-
City from their homes in tions like the former Black
Newruk fuc a regular night Any analysis of gender vio- Rlnther &rty. The point
out. When """kina down
lence that lhlls to acknowl- is that people of color often
the street, o man sexually edge. and deal with white face different forms of vio-
propositioned one of the suprem-acis111, hetetosexism, lence, which calls for differ-
women. After refusill8 lo and tmnsphobia is incom- ent models of self-defense.
take nob an n ~ u , he. plete. But, and this is far This reality is just as appu-
assaulted them. The women worse, a self-defense class ent lo peojlie of color as it is
tried to defend themseM:s, that fails lo acknowledge the ignored by white peope.
and fight broke out. The state's criminalization of
women were charged with POC self-defense, and the R.rt of what this means fuc
Gang Assault in the 2nd de- extent of state-perpetrated white people is that, any pro-
gree, a Class C Felony with o or state-sanctioned gender SO stance by white folks has
mandatory miniaaa m of 3.5 violence - in response to 1o aCOJUnt for white. privi-
)rears. Rttreese. Johnson was lege and stand in solidarity
additionally charged with .Jln anti-racist with people of color. An
1st Oearee Assault. Three
S'D yersyective
anti-racist SO perspectn"' is
of the -..omen accej:ted jliea not just about the defense
offers. On June lith, 2007 is not just a6out of the self, but the defense
'"'nice Brown (19), lerrain
tfie aefense of
of the comiD.lnity, and the
Dandridge (20), R.treese defense of peojlie (especially
Johnson (20 ), and Renafa tfie self, out tfie of color)'s right lo defend
Hill ('M) recei'ed sentences
aefense of tfie
thernseM:s. A white persyn
Q1l8ill8 from 3 112 lo 11 )'ears who believes in her own self
in prison. community, ana defense but chooses not lo
- quoted from free the new
tfie a ~ e n s e of
take action in supped of the
jersey i hlog V\'ebpage, httpo/ I NJi reinfucces a system thai
freen;t. V\'OI"dpress.COJll, ac- peoy (esyecia{{y mandates who may defend
cessed 12/6/2008.
of cot:or)'s r/fefit
herself (white wimmin),
and who may not ( wimmin,
In June 2008, Ouanna
to aefencft em-
queer, and trans people of
Johnson, a transgender
se{ves.
color).
v.om.an, u""aS arrested in
Memphis, TN on o prostitu- which (traditional) self-de- 10 add insult to injury, most
tion charge. Memphis lb- tense is simply not an oj:tion SO ctosses construct situo-
lice Officer Bridges McRae - sin:ulfaneously privileges tions, stories, and for-practice
called her o "he/she" and a white people, erases the ex- encounters that reini>rce
"faggot,'' and then beat her periences of peojlie of color, white supremacist stereo-
while Officer J. Swain held and lem'eS the state's white types. b'en after all the
her down. The beatill8 was supremacism unchalle.nQed. talk about acquainfance
video taped and Ouanna '""s In a standard SO class, white rape, V\'hen it comes down
in the process of suill8 the privilege is nothing if not lo the l1lO\"eS )OU learn and
city of Memphis, TN fuc po- foundaJiooal. the situations ')OU QO 0\'el' 1
lice brutality. She was found the perpetralor is cast as o
murdered in an alley on This is not lo soy that people stm118U who, fargetill8 )OUr
Na.'ember 9, 2008, while the of color cannot oc should not body or )OUr money, at
D
cks )OU on the street. In
he SO class I look, which
"OS led by a white '"'myn,
.. final exam" wns &o
end myself against a
n 'vho came at me front
hind while I " 'liS using
XfM, atte ina to steal
t s fwu(a come as
no suryrise, then,
that 'R:A'D seiJae-
fense classes are
taught 6y yo{ice
aeyartments to
civi{ian wimmin.
'Rather than cha
{enging tfie state,
tfiese classes rein-
orce the state's
unwritten ru{es
a6out wfio may
aefena herself,
aiuffww, ana
who may not.
money. These situations
re calculated, in the white
premacist im-aginary,
pay inlo stereotypical
mages of black oc brown
l""l8sers and black rapists. I
i'U'""'' that it works this way
cause that's J::Jc.m; if "''OI'k.s
n my <M'll head, and my
hite-sup-emocist social
is largely the
me as other white peoplecs
hese situations '\\'ere e\'lm
ated at the "anarchist"
0 class I alluded lo.lt ""s
by a white man, so this
uld not be loo surP"isiDII
friend of mine called out
his racism in a letter lo the
ganizers, and their re-
ponse did not e\'ell mention
ce, even 'vhile it '-vent on
on "responding" to our
jcOJocerns about trnnsphobio
disregard of surv.mxs'
eds ( castill8 both as our
' personal issues").
n gender violence lie the
ntersections of all of the
lowing i>rms of oppres-
! aJlX)Q8 others: sexism,
IJ>el:erosexism, trnnsphobia,
hite supremacism (white
pie hm-e the privilege of
lseiJf-,defense; people of co.loc
0 is criminafrred), clas-
. (homeless people and
x especially
'ah ie>-els of violence),
:ionalism, imperialism,
incarceration (gender
nee bema especially
emlent around borders,
"Or, and in jails &. prisons).
unlly, if is important 1o
nt out lo the anarchist
udience of this zine that
ss actions, especially con-
:rol.led .. riots," teJXI &o le:n-e
ippes of sexual assault and
tber focms of domestic vio-
pence. in their Wilke.
he white-supremacist state
s a line. beh\-een
o kinds of setf-defense:
he state-sanctioned, "''ell
, -touaht self defense of
ivileged people, and self
ense. that is criminalized
because of the lo1111 history
oppressed peope's re-
lsistance to the US, and the
dical threat it poses lo
he state. This second kind
setf defense has its roots
n black struaaJes against
ista..,..Y, indigenous struaaJes
:r land and survival, slm>e
lrel>ellio' ns, indiaenous up-
isill8s, the Underaround
ilrood, the Black &ntber
ty, and the American ln-
l""'.n Mo.>ement. Currently'
st of the wimmin on
ath row were convicted of
' llina their abusers. About
f are. 'vim.min of coJoc.
final critiques of main-
ream setf-defense classes.
ne is their (not sliding
ale) financial cost, which
kes them prohibith-ely
xpensM: lo many people,
institutionally classist.
he other is their general
of analysis, which re-
-es the context of vio-
jlei>ee. so that Yttimmin learn
0 as if violence weremn-
m rather fu'lll systematic,
as if it were inevitable.
his makes SO the responsi-
bifrty of the e.>en
'ni>rces victim-blaminll,
ther than understanding
ot causes atxl adwcatil18
he dismantling of patri-
rchy and other systems of
t sboukl come as no sur-
ise, then, that RAJ) self-
ense classes are touaht by
ice departments lo civil-
. n wimmin. Rather than
haliell8ing the state, these
lasses reini>rce the. state's
nwritten rules about who
llwiV deferod herself, and
, and who may not.
sested Models b- Self
IJ)elfeno;e OJ'!Ill11izina
t should be noted before
oontinue that my ideas
models ilr SO ocganiz-
are just theoretico.l at
. point. Also (again), I
white, and there are
iJ>ecpe-.of- color-led groups
models
self-defense OI'Qlllli zillQ.
f "'"are soill8 lo or-ganize
defense, we need lo take
re direction from people
coJoc than from this
lwJ:lil"le aufhoc. As this goes
tbe edilor, I run awaitina
text of a SO model <level
loJ>o<i by an INOTE! aroup in
ichigan, which I run sure
ill b-ee me lo rethink my
IWli>at .....wd a self-deter-
jmil>aticm model of SO look
"ke? The or-ganizers .....wd
her a group of inter-
sled people without p-e-
a syllabus, and
:ioritize the comruJnities
&ce tbe most systemat-
violence. The instrudor(s)
the class .....wd be those
lwJ:loo hln'e martial arts slUIIs
share, and .... ould not
lila'"' any greates- decision-
kina JlO"''er. In ti>ct, all
ipants would become
as individu-
' skills with, say' dealillQ
ifh transpbobia 01" queer-
shillQ would be areates-
n a straight instrudoc.
sharing what situa-
they -..m>t Jo learn so
, "'tbat situations disem-
;er them and what kind
violence they &ce or are
risk b-. Their ans-.."ers
jixlllltbe basis lOc tbe train-
syllabus, lOc exarqJ)e: ac
rape situations,
busive relahlosbips, queer
shillQ on tbe street, bath-
om confrontation of trans

police harassment,
ce sexual harass-
' and cat-calling.
his model ensures that tbe
tent of tbe SO training
s determined by its plrtici-
rather than the orga-
ln instrudol's, who are
"kely Jo have pivileaes that
Jo tbe needs of
Ill . ipants.
e patrwch
w those tear gas canister
e patrwch
hot those rubber bullets
e patrwch
rrested me on that bridge
spat in my face
ughed at me for being
n angry feminist
militant queer
shameless adulterer
n impolite l.itde girl
nd duew me in a cage.
en that piece of concus-
iongrenade
"t me in the head during
tmarch
woke up and screamed
ck you patriMch
am all of those things,
nd proud of it, too.
n1eltlng the snow:
a self defense workshop experience
Recently folks from BBI Denver
attended an anarchist regional
networking conference. The main
speaker was Anarchist jeff"The
Snowman" Monson of the Ultimate
Fighting Championship. who was
also going to lead a self defense
workshop. BBI Den\'er had been
talking a little about organizing
some rad self-defense for us queers
and trannies. so we were interested
to attend the workshop, learn from
an anarchist fighter, and see how
they handled all the issues that are
entangled with the topic of"self
defense:'
We came <M'3)' from that workshop
extremely disappointed and dis-
turbed (if not very surprised) by
the fact that there was a negligible
amount of analysis during - or
seemingly in the design of- the
workshop. \Ve had some serious
concerns and critiques of the whole
thing, which we talked out amongst
ourselves during the lunch break of
the conf. and which we mentioned
to a couple of the organizers with
hopes of having a comersation
about it.
Anarchist time being as it is. ev-
erything was late and delayed and
there ended up not being time to
talk specifically about the workshop
(probleJnatic itself?), so we wrote
up OW' concerns and critiques as an
email and sent it off to the organiz-
ers.
What follows here is that initial
c.ritique, and then the responses v.-e
got back from two of the organiz-
ers. Their responses really pissed us
off. (Note that these views may or
may not eA.-press the opinions of the
instructor of the workshop.)
We hope this can be useful for BBI
Chapters. first in articulating some
of the problems with "self defense
as it is normally talked about and
taught, even in "'radical,. spaces
(see also our other essay in this
line). And the responses we got
are a crystallizing e.tarnple of really
bow far we have to go e\'en within
our .. both around
queer/ trans issues, issues of race
and white supremadsm. and just in
general with owning our shit when
v.-e are called out.
for defense and offense, Sissy
Sparkle
[the original critique of the self de-
fense workshop, written mostly by
me who identities as queer, gender-
queer, and mLtedlatin.[
Last week, many of us attended the
RendezYous. We come from vari-
ous places: uncomentional demer,
Fort Collins Uproot, Bash Back!
Demer (radical trans and queer
folks), and/or an anarcha-feminist
backgrowtd. We are super -in"' -
pressed with the Facing the Wind
collective, got a lot out of the con-
ference, and went to a nwnber of
good workshops. However, we do
have a number of serious concerns
v.-e want to address, mostly around
the self defense workshop (SDW)
Jed by jeff Monson.
To start, we<.t like to say that we
understand a couple of mitigating
factors. The conference was run-
ning late, so there was less time for
the SDW than the instructor had
planned, which obviously affects
how well the topic can be covered
Also, we understand there was
some miscommunication between
the organizers and instructor about
whether it was intended for all au-
diences or only for .. women":
Our first concern begins with this
latter point - that the schedule
listed it as a "'women's self defense
workshop. Why was it gendered to
begin with? What was the analysis
that went into that decision? We
assume the reasoning was to create
a space for folks without a life of
male privilege, and we can get be-
hind that notion in many instances,
but felt it was problematicfor this
workshop. The term .. women,. is a
loaded one and feels exclusionary
to many trans and gender identities.
Those of us who are trans and gen-
derqueer didn't feel comfortable to
even be in the room. even though
""are more frequently targeted by
violence than those with normative
gender presentations and identities.
A more inclusive way to create such
spaces would be use terms like .. all
self-identified womyn,. or "'trans-in-
d usive,. or .. womyn and transfolx":
Next if it was supposed to be for
womyn and transfolks, why were
there self-identified men participat-
ing and even leading the workshop?
And why was this not addressed in
any fashion at the beginning?
It would have been extremely pro-
ductive and liberating to have de-
cided before we started- as a group
LJ
of those interested in attending
- how v.-e wanted the workshop to
go. We believe the most effective,
radical, and libemting way to orga-
nize a SOW is for the participants
themselves to decide the structure,
boundaries. the kind of situations
v.-e want to practice responding to.
etc.. Having had this conversation,
then we could have all been clear
on whether or not we wanted to
or should have been in that space.
We believe the intent was to create
.. safe"' space of sorts, but for the rea-
sons above it ended up feeling very
unsafe. exclusionary. and in fac.t a
little dangerous.
A final problem we see with the
.. self defense workshop'" is
tbat if it is not done If there
isn't a Jot of mdical analysis around
gender, patriarchy, race; In fact
around the whole of white suprem-
adst heteronormative patriarchy
and the many oppressions it mani-
fests; And spedfically around rape
culture in our sodety and in our
radical communities; if these issues
that cause and create the situations
where .. self defense"' is neCESsary are
not addressed Then the work v.-e
are doing is not radical but rather
a band-aid tbat gives womyn the
responsibility of defending them-
selves without acknowledging and
addressing underlying systems -
like patriarchy, which must them-
selves be eradicated. 1ben how is
our anarchist SOW any different
tban the one taught by the local
well-meaning" police department!
(In fact, tha(s that POs do classes-
they reinforce systems of oppres-
criminalization of people-of-color
self defense (e.g the New jersey
4), as well as the radal aspects of
violence - especially state violence
one cannot defend against without
breaking the law. That is, there
are ways in which self defense is
a white privilege, as well as racist
in its imaginings ofPOC attackers
against white victims.
Some speciJk examples from the
c. lass:
The myth of strangerrape
The scenarios the instructor pre-
sented- and that the participants
were to imitate and practice - were
all of the form "the stranger big bad
man attac:ks the lone weak woman"'.
This is an extremely disempower-
ingmodel to learn under, full of
unexamined stereotypes. And i(s
not even very accurate since we all
know that most violence, rapes.
physical abuse, and sexual as-
saults occur not between strangers
but between family friends lovers
acquaintances intimates. To not
address this reality perpetuates
the runnber one myth that mpe
culture promotes. We also know
tbat queer and transfolks are just as
likely to face domestic and intimate
violence as those
in traditionaliy-
gendered rela-
tionships. In fuct,
lgbtq folks are the
ones more likely
to encounter situ-
ations of stranger
violence, such as
queer-bashingin _,
the street.
sion in many ways. especially when
classes have disempowering models
and no analysis.)
No talk of
consent or
boundaries When holding a self defense
workshop. it's also important to
acknowledge and critique the
Once the stranger
attack scenario
was laid out and the instructor
showed the moves for defending
oursel\es, we were to practice the
moves with a partner. There was no
time, space, or suggestion to check-
in with our partners about issues of
consent. boundaries, triggers. etc
before doing these moves of physi-
cal doseness, vulnerability, power,
and emotional trawna In a room
with survivors and folks trauma-
tized and scarred- and probably
perpetrators as well - to skip these
c.omersations is negligent and po-
tentially retraumatizing.
The leg wrap-around move
For dealing with the situation of be-
ing on the ground with an attacker
coming down after you. the instruv
tor's suggested move was to reach
up and gmb the attacker between
your legs and pull them down
onto you and then also hold them
tight with your arms. While this is
probably a great move in a juijitru
match. it seemed problematic. in
this scenario. First to practice such
an intimate move without knowing
your partner's boundaries and trig-
gers. Second to not address issues
tbat this move ntight bring up for
people. SoeciJkallv what that
D
mo\'e and position might mean
for survhors. who are likely to be
retraumatized in any attac.k, much
Jess by having to hold a perpetrator
tight between their legs. When a
couple of us raised some concerns
about this, we felt the instructor's
response brushed aside our con-
cerns and showed little wtderstand-
ing of the deeper issues invohed
Further, we were taught how to get
into the bearhug position, but not
bow to get out of it again safely.
We offer these thoughts with the
hope that they'll be shared with the
organizers. the SOW instructor, and
the attendees of the Rendezvous.
We think it would be irresponsible
to continue doing Self Defense
Workshops in the same way as the
one that was done in Laramie, as
hopefully our analysis above made
dear. Some issues should be easy
to sohe, some will probably require
some hard comersations about how
to create the world v.-e want to live
in. If there is interest, we would be
willing to facilitate a dialogue on
the issues we've raised here the next
time we meet. We hope that this
letter can be a part of that con\'ersa-
tion about how our radical commu-
nities can continue to c.hange and
grow - and be strong enough to tear
down all the systems of oppression
[from an organizer who I'd assume
identifies as female and white.
-dkwJ
I have a couple questions regard-
ing your concerns- Wby when Jeff
asked "Is everyone
comfortable trying this?" you failed
to speak up? Wby, if you were un-
comfortable with the instructor did
you even stay? Why not go to the
free speec.h room and strike up a
comersation, or play ping-pong?,
have tea in the front room? You
may not be comfortable with e.ery
seminar you see and that is the
nature of free speec.h. I spent quite
a bit of time with Jeff and he is not
the type of man I think you are pro-
jecting him to be. He is not sexist
or homophobic- and he is has been
through a tren1endous an1ount of
personal pain. If you knew him you
would understand how sensiti\'e he
actually is. He looks very masculine
I know, and I supposed that proba-
bly triggered certain feeling in you-
but you really sbouldnt assume be
is not considerate of others needs.
There should be no issue with Jeff.
He neither said or did anything sex-
ist. Not everything will be pleasing
to eeryone in every possible way.
This is the nature of the world we
live. Thank you for your feedbac.k,
but please let's end this dialog.
[from an organizer who I'd assume
identifies as male and white. -dkwl
First and foremost, we are very
disappointed that men crashed the
seminar, Jeff dedded
not to ask any one to leave because
be felt (as you pointed out) the the
things be was
discussing could be used by anyone.
The idea to have it as ''Women's Self
defense crune
about because we felt if it was just a
"self defense" dass it may pro\'e to
be
uncomfortable for some people.
Jeff is in high demand for his senai -
nars and v.-e fek this
would avoid the probability of a
testosterone filled room.
"It would ha\'e been extremely
productive and liberating to ha\'e
decided before we
started - as a group of those inter-
ested in attending - how we wanted
the workshop to
go."
This is a bit disturbing, and frankly
against the spirit of the conference.
We felt that
individuals should have the free-
dom to e.tpress themselves in ways
they saw fit. We did
not think it appropriate to tell
people how to express themselves
or dictate bow they
v.-ere to share their information. All
who participated were allowed total
freedom of
e1.-pression. Jeff is a professional
fighter, not necessarily a scholar on
feminist
literature.
A more inclusive way to create
suc.h spaces would be use terms
like 'all self-identified womyn' or
'trans-inclusive or <v.omyn and
transfolx:"
This is unfortunate. I think the
nature of the presentations and the
atmosphere of the
conference made it dear that the
people attending would be accept-
ing. If someone felt
uncomfortable or Ull\>\'elcome I
think this reflects personal issues;
presentors and
organizers did all we could to make
all feel welcome. As far asspedfi-
cally stating
self-identified womyn. trans-in-
d ushe, t c . ~ that was implied, if it
needs to be
explidtly stated, that is unfortunate.
Also, se\'eral GLBT organizations
were asked (practically begged) to
present or at least table at the e.ent,
but they flaked out and didn't show.
We wanted to offset Jeff's outwardly
masculine presence with discussion
of important gender issues.
As far as the "wrap around leg
move" ... Jeff is a world champion
fighter, he knows what
works. Some people may feel awk-
ward doing this, but self defense
can often be awkward. By nature it
often imolves intimate contact.
'If there isn't a lot of radical analysis
around gender. patriarchy, race;
In fact around the whole of white
supremadst heteronormative patri-
archy and the many
oppressions it manifests;"
Again, this is not jeff's n"Jl"rtise.
Also. where does it end? Shouldn't
v.-e also discuss how meat eating re-
enforces ideas of
male dominance and violence to-
wards women? (see "Sexual Politics
of Meat")lt could get pretty silly and
so much discussion would ulti-
mately lea\'e no time for the actual
self
defense.
"No talk of consent or boundaries"
I eo.en heard him state that par-
ticipants should only do what
they were comfortable doing. And
partners v.-ere not assigned. so I
think this puts responsibility on
the individual to discuss boundries
with partners.
The Yery basic issue is freedom of
expression. Jeff expresses himself
through teaching
self defense. I do not think it is fair
to dictate his or an)ones way of
expression. If
he was sexist or homophobic he
would not ha\'e partid pated His
presentation was simply practical
self defense, called women's self
defense because v.-e wanted a safe
place for women to learn impor-
tant, potentially life saving informa-
tion. Despite the lilct that
some men imaded the space, I
think it was still a safe place for
women.
Furthermore, if women are wt-
comforatble with a man teaching
women's self defense, they simply
should not attend.
This issue has bothered me tremen-
dously as I think it will ultimately
do more damage than good. I
think the idea that groups should
dictate bow people express them-
selves to be abhorent and against
the principles of anarchism.
we called ourselves ,.open"
she said she liked the notion of
a pretty girl's open bed
where ever she roamed-
polyamory.
after ! left for Olympia
on the phone I said
I found another pretty girl' s bed
expecting
hoping
she'd be pleased
she sounded pleased
two days later she called
said she found another pretty girl's bed-
! was pleased
she said she was u, love"
a word we never used
I understood now
she was calling it off with me
polyamory is complicated
I miss her bright skin
and
inquisitive hands
this sucks
D

6:J.Jale cricket
A common cliche people proffer against anarchists,
dis.sidtcus. and radical=; from all walks of life IS that we
expend more energy aniculating what we are agaiuo;t
rather than what we are for. Thi-s critique was admira-
bly confronted by the Green Anarchy collectivo, which
suggested. ''while we can certainly agree on some basic
thing$ against... what we are for is virtually end-
less" (2004 ). Rewilding," a key conceptual Umol'>.tion
offered by the anti-ci\;Iizafioo anarchiSI pmpectin,
l'llCip$\lbtes this attitude of endlessness. ill a
wbere we are so often deluged with messages that we
mnSI "change the world," the phiiOS<lphy of rewilding
sugge:ns we take an alternative stance and view ow re-
lationship with the world in an inherently posillveman-
ner. Rewilding affirms the n1ysterious and
profotwd nattU'e of life and e:Ustence. eondudiug it's
'only' d>is dominant, civilized society tl10t's fucked.
What nevertheless bothers me the term ""'"1ding" is
that '\"1d" pan is so rarely and directly clefiDed. One
of the more popular rewi!ding mesuge boards on the
intemtt define< m>ilding as a n'!b, "to rerum to a more
namral or "ild state; the process of undoing doDIO$-
ticarion" (Rewilclinfo). Yet, this deflnirioo arricnlates
nothing of this "l>ild state." This often !ea,es me -..ith
the imprusioo that the "l>ilding" pan of the rewilding
is undeRtood and all that remains is for us to move to-
ward it. Many prescribe e.xactly this: a return to Stone
Age existence. This entails a set of often
known as primitive or earth skills. Nascent rewtlding
cultures ha\'e arricnlated these skills mu<:h as not only
but also relational ADd while these are impor.
tam and e\'al better tangible goals to undenal:o, they
speak notbmg of a '""Y mysterious, thought prol'oking,
and open-ended exploration which is not rooted in any
particuLv practice: namely, our prot.,. of disco,tring
what "ildness "is" and what it means, both subjtc:tivtly
and objtc:tively in the here and now.
Definitions of lli ld and wildernes.s
How have rewilders Wldertaken this exploratioo? Green
Anarchy posits as "the most refutable physi-
cal &ct that we are capable of obser\>ing: the re1ersion
of to wild fonn, uncontrolled by the domesticating grip
of (a portion) of one species" (2004). Martial ar>ist and
tracker Willem Larstn writes, "More than anything,
to me, wild means frte ... To set free, means to escape
dependence. To e.tJeape dependence, means to reclaim
one's natural gifts. To reclaim one's natural gifts me.ans
to become interdependent" (Wi!lem Larseu, The Col-
lege of Mythic Cartography, posted March I, 2001).
Prominent blogner Uti>an Scout's asks "How can
we define 1>ild?" He answers by way of comparison:
"The <lil'l'eretn bt<ween a "ild and free commensal
(sic) symbiotic relationship and a domestic pol'Mitic
one invohres the commilme.Dl to control or the will to
have power-o\'H rather than hal'< power-with" (Urban
Scout, The Adveuni!<S of Urban Scout, posted March
II, 2008).
What all of the above de:fi.uitious share. in common
is their generality. This is undoubtedly necessaty, as
generalizations exist promote a basic, if not
atic understanding of a word, tenn, or in this case, the
de;tructil.., teud..Oes of civilization and posstble al-
tematiw modH of existence. Hown"ef, in each case
above,. the writers in\"oke Stcoodary tenns (e.g. power,
relationship, domestication) that are subject to more
intense scrutiny than rhe primary term being defined.
Domestication. for irutance, has a precise scientific
definition ce.ntered on human manipulation of animal
and plant populations, but such de.finitions are rarely
applied to human thetll$tlves. This raises a number
of open questions with no definitive aus\1.rers: How do
humans fit into the process of domestication? Are they
themselves do""'sticated? How is this term biologi-
cally or cnlturally cleftnod? Domestication is seemingly
related to wilderness (it is what "ilderness is !lOt) bur
this c:ircular play of murually defining words does oot
reach toward lucid undentanding.
Academics have focused on wilderness in the of
lingui<tics. In the first paragraph of bis treatise Wilder-
nes..c; and the American Mind, environmental historian
Roderick Nash notes, "Wilderness, in short, is so heav.
ily ftigbtened with meaning of a symbolie,
and changing l:ind as to ruist easy definition" (196S,
1).1\e\'ertheless, Nash traces the el}mology of
the. term'\vild" to the. early Teutonic and Norse lan-
guages (from which English developed), finding "the
root seems to have been 'will with a descriptive mean-
ing of self-willed, or tmcontrollable. From
'willed' came. the. adjective '-nlj.td used to convey the
idea of being lost, unmly, disordered, or confused ...
the. Old English 'deor' (animal) was preft.xed with wild
to denote creatures not under the control of man" (ibid).
Nash concludes that "wilderness" etymologically trans-
lates to "the place. of wtld beasts" (1965, 2) and further
suggests that wild "is related to 'wealed' or 'woeld,' the
Old English terms for forest" (ibid.).
American Indian scholar Jay Hansford C. Vest's draws
from Nash's etj-mology, sinnlarly concluding that wil-
derness most c.losely means,"' self-willed-land or 'self-
willed-place' with an upon its own intrinsic
volition ... A wild animal is a 'self-willed animal' - an
tmdomesticated animal- similarity, wildland is 'self-
willed land"' (1985, 324). Contemporary dictionaries
define wilderness as "an area essentially undisturbed
by human activity together with its naturally developed
life comm\w.ity," "an empty or pathle.'is area or region"
(Merriam-Webster), or "uncultivated land" with "deso-
late c.harac.ter.. . in which one. wanders or loses one's
way" (Oxford English Dictionary). Nash adds: "Any
place in which a person feels stripped of guidance, lost,
and perplexed may be called a wilderness" suggesting
contemporary definitions of the teiUl are equally in-
formed by "the feelings they produce in the observer"
(1965, 2).
While Nash readily admits our "feelings" of wildness
may be subjective, he. \mwittingly separates hwnans
from the of embod:ying wildnes., instead of
merely experiencing it as something separate. or "out-
side" of us. Neither does he challenge or specify con-
temporary understandings of wilderness as "desolate."
or "be.ing lost," which tend to have negative cultural
connotations. Vest's essay also fails to make. connec-
tions between "self-willed" and "being lost" in any
positive manner.,. seemingly suggest they foreign, rather
than primary conditions of our e:Ustence.
While both authors admirably explore the multifacet-
ed definitions of '\vilderness, ... neither challenges the
idea of a hwnanlanimal separation. nor discusses the
possibility that humans as animals have been, are, and
can be. wild. These limitations need not be considered a
failure or end. Instead, they lead us in other directions
pathways for our journey to self-willed lands ...
Wilderness as soda!: queer desire and love
Love. is perhaps the easiest way to express and articu-
late the c.om1ections between queer desire. and wilder-
Feminist and cultural critic bell hooks' book All
About Love: New Visions cites self-help author M.
Scott Peck, who defined love as "the will to e.xtend
one's self for the. purpose of n\utwing ones own or
another's spiritual growth" (2000, 4). books' calls love
as an act of wilL a choice, rather than some-thing out of
our control or respoDSlbility. Love, she writes, "is most
often defined as a noun, yet ... we would all love. be-tter
if we used it as a verb" (2000, 4). What we do is ine\oi-
tably as. if not more important than what we say. This
places books' in close company with those who desire
to rewild the. English language. through "verbing" our
no\ms. reanimating fi. -xed concepts and ruming them
into processual-based ones (Antbropik, posted March
18, 2008). The expression of love for ourselves and
others aro\md is undoubtedly i'isues from the deepest
self-wtl led, wild places within and around us. This is
tmdoubtedly the. "spiritual" aspect that both Scott Peck
and hooks refer to.
Black feminist Audre Lorde's landmark essay "The
Uses of the Erotic," traces the etymological origins of
the. tem1 erotic to the. Greek 'Eros; the personifica-
tion of love in all its aspects (1984, 43). Eros/the erotic
includes our romantic, se.-.;;ual re-lationships with oth-
ers, but does not hierarchically value. such relationships
above others. Lorde writes, wrhere is a difference be-
tween painting a back fence and writing a poem, but
only one of quantity. And there is, for me, no differ-
ence between writing a good poem and moving into
sunlight against the body of a woman I love" (1984,
46). Lorde speaks of a moment of joy, of rapture, expe-
rienced from within a he-terosexist, patriarchal society.
Lordes joy is a direct assault on social institutions (and
their purveyors) that impose an implicit regime of love,
defined as a scarce resource. to be guarded, mea'iured,
kept and controlled. This reconceprualization of inti-
macy beyond heterosexual confines is a key contribu-
tion and critique that feminists have added to the larger
conversation about love. Thi'i critique shows up in a
nwnber of diverse. sources, from literature on the prac-
tice of alte-rnative. polyamorous or open relationships
to historical critiques of the nuclear family, marriage,
and institutionalized monogamy. Such perspec.tives are
,;tally important to the practice of rewilding.
Ecofentinist author Cbaia Heller further articulates
Lorde.'s notion of the erotic. In Heller's book The Ecol
LJ
ogy of Evei)day Life, she suggest the. erotic contains
both an implicitly anarchist >i ew of hwnan nature and
"an ethical dimension, establishing it a a quality of be-
ing against which all our actions may be measured for
ethical oontent and meaning" (1999, 85). Heller v.Tites,
"[I]f we were to demand from our everyday lives the
same. pleasure and pa'ision that we hope to find in sex-
uality, then we. would have. to make some pretty pro-
fo\md institutional changes. If such institutions as rac-
ism, sexi'iim.,. capitalism, and the state make. misery out
of our work in political engagement, in tum making a
mise!)' out of our and se.-.;ual relation-
ship; if hierarchy and authority inhibit lhe cultivation
of creativity, participation, and pleaure, then surely,
fighting to restore the. e-rotic means nothing short of a
social and political revolution" (ibid).
have. also exposed how wilderness has
been socially, hitorically, and culturally oonstmcted
by dominant ci>i lized cultures. Author/acti>i st Greta
Gaard shows how queers have experienced lhe bmnt
of such constructions. Christian-informed worldvie.ws
have. defined queers a-; simultaneomly natural and \Ul-
natural. They are a'isociated with a conceptualization of
nature as animali<Stic, less than human, and thus open
to violent e.'\.-ploitation. At the. same time, the. dominant
culture ha'i defined queerness as an ac.t that transgresses
the.natuml order (Gaard 1997, 120). The elfect, acoord-
ing to Gaard is "the ' nature' that queers are urged to
comply to is none olher !han the dominant paradigm
of heretosexuality" (1997, 121). This dangerous oon-
tradiction exposes the. way human biases shape our per-
ceptions of the world, and proves we cannot rest easy
with generalized, unarticulated ideas of wildness.
Queer theorists have pointed out that sexuality is not
mere a choice of bodtly attraction, but a historically
evol\oing, intellectually infonned, regulated cluster of
ideologies. The. regulation of sexuality is one. window
through which we can view deeper, interrelated power
operations such a<; ecosystem destruction, and genocide
of entire peoples and species. The. opening page of Eve
Sedgwick's very-influential text Epistomology of the
Closet asserts that any analysis of modem society is in-
complete '"without a critical analysis of modem homo/
definition" (1990, 1). The historical emer-
gence of this sexual fault line is of"deteJUlining impor-
tance in the lives of people. across a spectnun of se.xual-
ities" (ibid). For what is self-willed, what is joy, what is
love., has no role in civilized society. Beyond regulation
e.xists an \mspedfied queer, chaotic anarchic;tic
which radiates far beyond the homo-hetero divide.
and wilderness share a close affinity because
they are both sites that ultimately elude and exhaust
any inte-llectual e-xplorations we may \mdertake. This
does not render such \mdertakings fntitless. it
is the individual process of discovery that allows us to
name our self-willed places, beyond regulation, sym-
bolic representation and civi lization itself.
This is of bolh political and personal significance. For
if we are to overthrow the. present civilized order v.-i th
the. force of our collective we must be sure. to do
so from the. deepest, v.i ldest place. of our heatts.
References
Adventures of Urban Scout, The .. Domestication vs.
Rewtlding. http://www.urbanscout.org/domestication-
vs-rewildingl.
Anthropik Network, The. E-Primitive: Rewilding the
Englih Language. ht1pJ/anthropik.com12008103/e-
printirive-rewtlding-the-english-1angrtagel.
College ofMythic Cartogxaphy, The. httpJiwww.myth-
ic-canography.org/2007/ 03101/breaking-the-spell-re-
wilding/.
Gaard, Greta. 1997. Toward a queer ecofeminism. Hy-
patia vol. 12, no. 1: 114-137.
Green Anarchy Collective. 2004. Back to the. baics
volume lhree: rewilding. Green Anarchy 16: no page
n\unbers.
Heller, Chaia. 1999. The Ecoloogy of Everyday Life.
Montreal, Canada: Black Rose Books.
hooks, bell. 2000. All About Love: New Visions. New
York: Harper Perennial.
Lorde, Andre. 1984. Siter Outsider: E..says and
Speeches. Berkeley, California: Crossing Press.
Nah, Roderick. 1967. Wilderness and lhe American
Mind. London: Yale. Univeristy Press.
Rewild.info. http://www.rewild.info/.
Sedgwick, Eve. Kosofsky. 1990. Epistemology of the
Closet. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Vest, Jay Hanford C. 1985. Will-of-the-land; wilder-
ness among primal indo-europeans. Environmental Re-
>iew vol 9, no. 4: 323-329.
Bash Back! Communique #666
Greetings ass-pirates and carpet-
munc.hcrs,
As wcn: sure youvc alrc-..1dy boen
made aware, the ncwly dectcd
president of the United States has
committed to repelling the "'Dont
Ask Oont Tdf polk)' and will al-
low queers to serve openly in the
military. In the past, we at Bash
&dcl, have boen extn:mdy critical
of queer military service. wcvc boen
known to n-fer to DADT activists
as .. ro.dst. assimilationist fudcs,. or
"' imperialist tools,. or simply .. what
tUcking idiots ... Those f:.un..iliar with
o ur past position on the issue will be
surprisod to le..1.rn that we have had a
c.hangc of heart.
We are now complcrdy in b\'01" of
queer military scnice! We have come
to several rcaliurions and 3ppbud
the repeal of DADT for the foUow-
ing reasons:
The milit:.uy bas BIG wc-..1pons. In
o ur efforts to arm queers. BB! crews
have boen working to obtain insidi-
ous amounts of pepper spray and
other sdf defense we..1pons. However;.
if our opc:ratj ves can jnfiltntte the
milhry. we wiU ba\'e acCC'$ to bjgger
and bcttc:r tO)'S ( not to mention the
tn.Uning that goes whh thC'Ol). \'Q"e
alrc:ad)' fierce as fudc,. imagjne us
with military training.
After doing some on the js.
sue.. wc:'\'e disCO\c: nd that rjgbt wjng
cbrisdans, poHtidans. and military
in consensus on the
fact that queers jn the military will
completdy comprom.isC' unit cohc:
sion. OO.ttle re.lC.'liru::ss, and the O\tro.ll
strt:ngth of the armed forces. Being
that Bash Back! opposes milhrism,
imperialism and ALL forms of state
power, we are c:cstlltic about the
o pportunity to destroy the military
from the insjdd
Wl\'e boen w:.ttching a lor of military
porn and rt'ading a healthy amount
of "'barracks'" thC'Olc:d c:rotka lardy.
Noedlc:ss to say wc:'\'C' ckvdopc:d a bit
of a collc:cd\'e milbry ktJsh. Our
walls alrc:ad)' jn pre.cum
at the \'c:ry possibility of the orgks
we can jnsrjgatc: once wc:re bunk
ing up with a bunch of
s.Uiors.
In short, thank you. B31'3ck 0 b3Jllll
and the asshnil:ltjo njst gay establish.
mend
Truly yours,
the birds of a cummjng storm,
Bosh Back!
P.S. DADT actjvists stHlracisr.
tools of C'Olpjrt:.
P.P.S. Come to the radical quoer
comergc:nce jn May!
D
here is wha t i know.
bus stops in win tor ,
cold hands on your hot stomach.
i know kisses like s ink ing&: i know
watching you.
i know wet wei ght against mo ,
the thick smell of sweat and stale come.
1 know your hi ps in my lap and
my bones in your hands .
1 know your surrender , tho
child-like line between
humiliation and desi re.
h itting sparks at the paco of train tracks
and tides . i know beauty so gentle it is paralyzing.
( i know k issing you when you are
so close it is j ust your inhalation.)
pinkandblackattack@ riseup.net