The following a three part archival document that features Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin’s key role in catalyzing the Anarchist Black Cross movement in the 1990s. The first article is A Draft Proposal for an Anarchist Black Cross Network (1994) shows the Black radical foundations of the ABC’s revival at the turn of the century, calling to unite the existing ABC groups around the world into “a powerful tendency, with its own press, political orientation and agenda.” The second article, Statement by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin concerning the newly formed Anarchist Black Cross Network was penned in 2002, and read at the ABC Network’s founding conference in Texas. At this conference Ervin noteably remarks, “I would like to see a United Prison Front of both ABCN, ABCF, Critical Resistance, and all of the contemporary groups supporting prisoners and fighting racism, as well as Black/POC, women, Queer and other liberation groups, but of course that has to be your decision.” He also emphasizes the need for the ABC movement to have as its ultimate goal the abolition of prisons and the capitalist state. A third article, not included below but instead here published in 2014 on the Black Autonomy Federation’s blog after the Anarchist Black Cross conference in Denver. Here not only does the contradiction of internal racism in the ABC movement comes to the fore, but of whiteness and the structural antagonism of antiBlackness. This letter is vitally important, as it provides not only a needed criticism of serious historical oppression that must be accounted for in contemporary prison movement formations, but also provides literal steps to follow in order for white radicals to mitigate harm in their organizing spaces.
A Draft Proposal for an Anarchist Black Cross Network
By Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin
Preface to the Second Edition
This pamphlet is dedicated to all those suffering in the dungeons of North America and all those revolutionaries who have lost their lives in prison anywhere in the world. I first wrote it in 1979 in hopes that it would raise the issue of political prisoners and lead to the building of a prison support movement which could save those prisoners who followed me into the prisons of North America from a fate of living death like I suffered (15 years in jail), or from a violent death like comrade George Jackson, the Attica prisoners, scores of whom were murdered by State pigs at the orders of billionaire Governor John D. Rockefeller during the revolt at that camp in 1971; Black revolutionary Andaliwa Clark killed in New Jersey during an escape attempt; or the brutal assassination of Anarchist political prisoner Carl Harp, founder of the Anarchist Black Dragon Collective in Washington State prison, who was killed in 1981.
Ojore N. Lutalo, who describes himself as a New African Anarchist political prisoner, and is confined at the New Jersey State penitentiary at Trenton, has been quoted as saying that “any movement that does not support its political internees is a sham movement.” I obviously agree with this, and it is clear that we must turn the Anarchist Black Cross into a united mass movement, instead of just a number of isolated collectives who want to help particular prisoners. As one who went through this process myself, as a political prisoner (1969–1983), I know first hand that this piecemeal support structure will not work. What also will not work is sectarian support, and by that I mean not working with others because of ideology or refusing to support prisoners because of ideology. This is the antithesis of class war defense, and is really sellout opportunism. We must work with all those who believe in the democratic principle of class war defense, regardless of political disagreement.
Our objective is to build a mass movement strong enough to free all political prisoners, and to raze the prisons to the ground. Prisoners like Ojore rate our highest priority. We can and must free these prisoners, those imprisoned or tortured because of political beliefs or revolutionary activity. And if we had a strong movement we could free them today! This was proven in the case of the Anarchist prisoner Martin Sostre. He was framed and imprisoned in the 1960s, and was freed because of a mass movement made up of all kinds of radicals, prison supporters and others persons of conscience.
Not all can be freed by mass movements, but most can. We must also recognize that some will have to be freed through military action. The state simply has sworn not to release some persons while they still live because they represent such a threat to state security. George Jackson was obviously one such person, but there are others still alive and in the dungeon. The Anarchist and other radical movements in North America must build an underground struggle capable of taking action like the freeing of Assata Shakur in the late 1970s, and getting those persons to safe haven. It is not easy to do this, but it must be done. Prisoners must appreciate the difficulty involved in taking such military actions, while the comrades outside must appreciate the dire threat to life of those still left inside. This is not an easy issue, it a matter of life and death on both ends of the spectrum. Such a movement cannot be built overnight, but the problem is that we are no closer to it now than when I was in prison asking the same question this group of internees have asked themselves many times: have they forgotten about me? Must I fight this battle alone? This should not be the case, but it is. Here is the deal for all to see: if our revolutionary movements outside are weak, then we cannot build a movement capable enough to free prisoners or fight for social change.
The Anarchist Black Cross is an international network of autonomous groups of anarchists who work to ensure that Anarchist, class war, and other prisoners aren’t forgotten.
The Anarchist Red Cross was started in Tsarist Russia to organize aid for political prisoners captured by the police, and to organize self-defense against political raids by the Cossack Army. During the Russian civil war, they changed the name to the Black Cross in order to avoid confusion with the Red Cross who were organizing relief in the country. After the Bolsheviks seized power the Anarchist movement moved the ABC offices to Berlin and continued to aid prisoners of the new regime, as well as victims of Italian fascism and others. The Black Cross fell apart during the 1930s depression due to the incredible demand for its services and a decline in financial aid. But in the late 1960s the organization resurfaced in Britain, where it first worked to aid prisoners of the Spanish resistance, which had not in fact died after the civil war and were fighting the dictator Franco’s police. Now it has expanded and works in several areas, with contacts and other Black Cross groups in many countries around the world. The North American section started in the early 1980s.
The ABC hopes to bring attention to the plight of all prisoners including, psychiatric prisoners, with an emphasis on Anarchist and class war prisoners; and, through contact with and information about Anarchist prisoners, inspire an Anarchist resistance and support movement on the outside. Although we aren’t able (except with a few exceptions) to send regular financial aid to our comrades in prison, we do keep in regular contact with as many prisoners as possible, make visits and do whatever we can to prevent prisoners from becoming isolated. We fund-raise on behalf of prisoners or defense committees in need of funds for legal cases or otherwise, and organize demonstrations of solidarity with imprisoned Anarchists and other prisoners
We believe, as most Anarchists do, that prisons serve no useful function (except for the benefit of the ruling classes) and should be abolished along with the State. We differ from liberal prison reformists and groups like Amnesty International in two main ways: firstly, we believe in the abolition of both the prison system and the society which creates it, and we initiate all our actions with that in mind; secondly, we believe in direct resistance to achieve a stateless and classless society. Groups like Amnesty International balk at supporting anyone accused of so-called violent acts, thus insinuating that anyone who resists oppression and takes up arms in self-defense, or during a revolutionary insurrection, is not worthy of support. The message is clear: do not resist. Our message is exactly the opposite, and this is what we work to support. We share a commitment to revolutionary Anarchism as opposed to liberalism and individualism or legalism.
Outside of prison work, the ABC’s are committed to the wider resistance in which many of these prisoners are engaged. We see a real need for Anarchists to be militantly organized if we are to effectively meet the organized repression of the State and avoid defeat. What is also needed is commitment to revolutionary politics. We see the setting up of Anarchist defense organizations, such as the ABC, as a necessary part of the growth and development of an Anarchist resistance movement, not divorcing ourselves from the revolutionary struggle and then just fighting for prison reform.
As Anarchists we believe in the promotion of direct action and collective organization in the workplace, the schools, the community and the streets, as a means of regaining power over our own lives and creating a society based on mutual aid and cooperation.
Raze the prisons, free the prisoners!
Purpose of the Movement
The stated purpose of the Anarchist Black Cross Network is to actively assist prisoners in their fight to obtain their civil and human rights, and to aid them in their struggle against the State/Class penal and judicial system. The prison system is the armed fist of the State, and is a system for State slavery. It is not really for “criminals” or other “social deviants,” and it does not exist for the “protection of society.”
It is for State social control and political repression. Thus it must be opposed at every turn and ultimately destroyed altogether. The abolition of prisons, the system of Laws, and the Capitalist State is the ultimate objective of every true Anarchist, yet there seems to be no clear agreement by the Anarchist movement to put active effort to that anti-authoritarian desire. We must organize our resources to support all political/class war prisoners if we truly wish to be their ally, and we must give something more than lip service.
Organizing against the enemy legal and penal system is both offensive and defensive. It is carried on with individuals, groups and among the masses in the community. We must inform the people on a large scale of the atrocities and inhumanity of the prisons, the righteousness of our struggle, and the necessity of their full and support. We must organize our communities to attack the prison system as a moral and social abomination, and we must fight to free all political/class war prisoners.
Defensive work involves meeting the needs of the prisoners: whether those needs stem from the daily oppression of the prisons, police, courts, or the intensive repression by State/Class authorities of prison organizers. The prison support group meets these needs in two primary ways:
1. by educating the community about the class/racist nature of the prisons and the legal system and how to fight against it;
2. by forming outside support groups on a local and national basis in order to ensure prisoners’ defense and survival from enemy attack and from inhuman prison conditions. There should be Anarchist Black Cross Groups all over the continent.
Offensive work means directly challenging the existence of prisons and this work also involves actively campaigning against prison conditions, and propagandizing the actual cases of political/class war prisoners (i.e. prisoners jailed for specific political reasons and those who have become politically aware of the reasons for their oppression while in prison, as well as victims of frame-ups) to the largest possible audience.
We must do this in order to expose, embarrass, isolate, confuse and demoralize the enemy’s legal and penal system, and also to win community people over to support prisoners’ struggles.
Some of our protest activities include this 15 point program:
1. Organizing Political Prisoner Defense Committees on behalf of prisoners framed or railroaded through the Capitalist courts for their political and social beliefs or prison organizing. For a prisoner in the hands of the State on political frame-up charges, the Defense Committee is the most effective instrument to fight for their freedom!
2. Holding protest rallies, marches and street demonstrations in support of prisoners’ rights and against the repressive actions of State/Class authorities. Such protests can be held in and around prisons, Departments of “Corrections,” Courthouses (where political prisoners’ cases are being tried or prisoners’ rights lawsuits are being heard), at the White House, US Congress, State Legislatures, Governors’ Mansions and other symbols of class rule and prisoner oppression.
3. Writing press releases and holding news conferences for the Black, alternative and radical news media (and sometimes the Capitalist news media) appearing on television and radio news and/or talk shows to discuss prisons. Priority should also be given to starting a Prisoners’ newsletter or newspaper with an Anarchist focus . In fact, the old Black Flag, formerly the organ of the anarchist Black Cross Group in London, England (which has stopped publishing), should be started up again. (I remember what the HAPOTOC newsletter and the Black Flag did to publicize and politicize my case when I was in prison.)
4. Securing Anarchist and other revolutionary materials for prisoners to read, and fight for their right to receive this literature if prison officials try to ban or prohibit such literature for any reason.
5. Sending the prison officials and other State/Class authorities all over the continent a flood of telegrams, letters and petitions about the mistreatment of prisoners, and especially political prisoners and prison activists (who are ‘dangerous’ in the eyes of the prison officials). Let them know that there is someone who is watching their every move and that the prisoners are not alone!
6. Organize a telephone brigade to continually call “corrections” and other authorities about the treatment of prisoners. This is especially important if there is an enemy attack upon a political prisoner or an ongoing prison protest.
7. Organize a Legal Defense Fund to raise funds for legal fees and to secure the services of an attorney, where necessary, to assist prisoners with criminal or disciplinary cases growing out of their prison organizing or the harassment by prison officials.
8. Organizing and/or participating in coalitions with poor people’s movements, prison support, Black, Women’s rights, Gay, Church, Left-wing, and other diverse groups, so as to win them over and to integrate the prison struggle into the general movement for social change in North America.
9. Assist prisoners in getting parole, probation or a pardon by securing them a place to stay, a job, some references or names on a petition demanding their freedom when they become eligible for parole or are seeking executive clemency. It may be necessary to hold demonstrations and other protest actions to compel the release of certain prisoners whom officials are continuing to hold even though they should have been legally released.
10. Organize a Correspondence Committee of people to write to prisoners and find out about prison conditions and to show their solidarity and human concern. Also to write protest letters to prison officials, politicians, the news media, prison support groups, professional or legal organizations and other persons, about prison conditions. Also have the ABC’s to function as an Observer Committee to go into the prisons, visit the prisoners, investigate their complaints, question the officials and monitor the prison for violation of prisoners’ rights.
11. Work against the death penalty and expose it as an instrument of racial genocide and class and political repression. Never forget the Haymarket martyrs, Sacco and Vanzetti, and so many others put to death “legally” by the State, as well as those like Mumia Abu-Jamal, who have been sentenced to death.
12. Expose the fallacy of the Capitalist system of cops, laws and prisons being for the protection of society or as a social necessity. We should hold community forums on crime, the prison system, racism and Capitalism, to expose the system itself as the crime, and to show that there is another way to social peace and harmony: the Anarchist way.
13. Set up Black Cross Amnesty Committees all over the Continent to demand the freedom and amnesty of political/class war prisoners, and the abolition of prisons. Especially demand the immediate release of prisoners who have served unnecessarily lengthy sentences.
14. Demand the immediate closing of all Control Units in federal and state prisons. We should have mass marches at the prisons, in front of politicians offices, and at the “corrections” offices. We should make the issue of Control Units in North American prisons an international human rights issue, and in addition work to try to free all such prisoners on a strict timetable.
15. Those outside the prison support movement (and especially in underground units) must be willing to engage in armed support actions. Where the lives of political/class war prisoners are in immediate jeopardy, they must be forcibly liberated. This is an extreme measure for extreme conditions of repression. It cannot be taken lightly and without full understanding of the consequences. But because of the State’s bloody war against innocent victims it must be considered and done.
We have to be non-sectarian when it comes to fighting for the rights and freedom of the victims of prison state slavery. Our policy must be that we will work with and for any prisoner and prison support group, if they will work in sincerity and unity with us. We do this so as to obtain the widest possible mobilization on the part of the people in support of the prison movement and the cases of political/class war prisoners. However, we will not subordinate our ideals and identity as anti-authoritarians and Anarchists to any other struggle or group. And we will not sustain attacks or make apologies for our beliefs in a Libertarian world, rather than a State Socialist or Western Imperialist one. We won’t moderate our struggle or still our tongues concerning any injustice we see anywhere, in order to accommodate anyone, friend or foe.
The American State in the past has murdered and imprisoned far too many of our Anarchist comrades: Alexander Berkman, the Haymarket martyrs, IWW members (such as Joe Hill), Sacco and Vanzetti, Martin Sostre, Carl Harp and so many others. Also many Anarchist prisoners are in prison today such as Ojore N. Lutalo, Shaka Shakur, along with other political prisoners like those in the Black Liberation Army or formerly with Black Panther Party, like Herman Bell, Sundiata Acoli, Marshal Eddie Conway. We must organize to ensure that these comrades (and others now in prison) are freed and that further repression of our movement by State/Class rulers is prevented.
Therefore, we must talk about making the Anarchist Black Cross into a mass movement against State repression, one which can counter the drive of the State Capitalists towards a police state, along with our work in the anti-prison struggle. We cannot free any of the prisoners without building a mass movement which links up with all those in favor of democratic rights. That is why I said we cannot engage in sectarian politics. The case of Martin Sostre in the 1970s, who although an Anarchist, did not refuse the aid of Liberals, Communists, Christians, Muslims or anyone else who believed in the injustice of his frame-up conviction, should be a perfect example. The only reason he was freed was because of a mass ferment and agitation by a large sector of the population demanding his release. The governor of New York granted his pardon. It is political suicide for a political prisoner, and the movement which supports him or her, to take a sectarian position and refuse to work with others, even though we may vehemently disagree with them on a whole host of other issues. This is a matter of life and death, where the usual rules do not apply. The only issue here is the freedom of the prisoner. We have to work with all other political prisoner committees who will work with us.
This is not 1979, the time when I first wrote this pamphlet. There was no real ABC movement in North America like there is now. There may be fifty ABC units now worldwide. We must unite them into a powerful tendency, with its own press, political orientation and agenda. I hope we can formalize the group, while not necessarily centralizing the movement. We need to build an ABC Federation of groups so that we can raze the prisons and free all class war prisoners. We can build a powerful international revolutionary prison movement, since we now have activists in many countries which agree with the ABC. Many others would join with us, if they can find out what we are doing.
The ABC Network must strike out on its own at this stage, since there is no consensus among Anarchists about prisoner support generally, and revolutionary political prisoners specifically. No one else will take up this fight in either the Left or the Anarchist movements, and the inside prison movement cannot be effective without the outside active support. The ABC’s must join with the Black Cat Collective of the Black Panther movement, and with other political prisoner movements to make a mass coalition. I propose the convening of an ABC conference to unite the ABC’s and discuss the building of a mass political prisoner defense movement. It will have to have be a large conference to gather the forces needed to make this a real thing. This conference also should include the other movements as both observers and participants. Some of these groups are political prisoner defense committees and have been working on the cases of political prisoners for many years, such as those for Geronimo Pratt, Sundiata Acoli and other political prisoners. They have been very isolated and with few resources. But there are also groups like the Communist party-dominated National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which for years has had a questionable reputation in its dealings and with its tepid support of political prisoners, though it has tremendous resources to bear, legal and financial. Either they must support the liberation of prisoners in a real way or be exposed in the most ruthless fashion. We can no longer brook sell-out or opportunist groups in this struggle.
We can build this revolutionary ABC movement if we will but commit ourselves both prisoners and the movement outside. There is much we both must do, this is no cakewalk and is very serious. But the alternative of doing nothing is even more dangerous: more will suffer and die. Let us make a difference with a powerful Anarchist Black Cross Network.
We shall have our freedom, or we will level the Earth in our attempts to gain it!!!
Statement by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin concerning
the newly formed Anarchist Black Cross Network
Written after the 2002 Anarchist Black Cross Network Conference in Texas
( 2002 )
Comrades, Brothers & sisters (and Everyone):
Recently, the Anarchist Black Cross Network held its founding conference in Austin, Texas (July 27-29, 2002.) I was in attendance, was a keynote speaker, and spoke to many of the 150 or so delegates at workshops, and different stages of the conference, when it recessed.
So that there is no misunderstanding by anyone, I want to clarify my status in relation to the ABCN. I cannot function as a member of the group at this time, but I do want to service as an organization Mentor, because that is the best way I can help the group. It is also important that I maintain my neutrality around the internal politics of ABC movements generally, and cannot do that as a formal ABCN member. I do not want to see sectarianism become any worse in our movement, or serve as a distraction by folks wanting me to join this or that ABC tendency. The situation in Spain a few years ago let me know just how serious a problem this can become.
Coming in, I made it clear that I was only interested in the creation of a broader based Anarchist Black Cross as a viable movement in the United States, and saw the ABCN as a large part of that. I pointed out that I still supported the entire international ABC movement, even tendencies like the ABC Federation, that the leadership of this ABCN group might be opposed to. In fact, I would like to see a United Prison Front of both ABCN, ABCF, Critical Resistance, and all of the contemporary groups supporting prisoners and fighting racism, as well as Black/POC, women, Queer and other liberation groups, but of course that has to be your decision.
My sentiments have not changed, so only part of the reasons for this letter is to clarify my status. I support the ABC movement now the same as I always have, from back in the day when I was a prisoner myself serving life imprisonment during the 1970s-1980s; but I am interested in ABCN only so far that it carries out its mission in dealing with racism, the mass imprisonment of the poor and peoples of color, as well as supporting prisoners inside generally, with material aid and political support. I believe that is the way to advance Anarchist politics and the prison struggle in this period. This is not the 1970’s when there was still a revolutionary movement in this country on the outside, and a mass prison support movement already existed in the prisons and in the streets.
In fact, I remember the original Black Panther Party not only had a Prisoner Commissary Program, but also had buses for transportation in many states to transport family members to the prisons, free legal aid for prisoners, and a prison survival program for those released on parole. So, the ABC-F’s War-chest or the proposed Revolutonary Prisoners’ Fund are nothing new, but the Panthers understood that the material aid campaign had to be just a part of a political campaign against he prisons and the capitalist state. When George Jackson became Panther Field Marshall, he understood that there had to be a United Front for political Prisoners, and the prison struggle had to be part of a broad front for social change allied with the then unfolding revolutionary struggle of women, Blacks, Xicanos and other groups oppressed by this capitalist society. So material and campaigns themselves are nothing new, and cannot be the reason of the existence of an ABC movement. It must connect with the masses of people.
During the conference, I openly expressed my point of view that since the majority of prisoners in the U.S. prison system are now Black, Brown, Asian or Native American, then this new movement must reflect that fact in both its membership and mission, if it is to have any credibility as something more than yet another white Left tendency running away from these issues. The idea of a movement made up of white radicals on the outside just charitably helping peoples of color on the inside has always been a source of controversy. The question for me is whether real attempts will be made by this newly formed ABCN to connect with the families and communities of these prisoners of color, as well as poor working class communities generally, and make them a part of the ABC campaign. That will tell me how serious this group is.
For me, I realized that this would require drastic and serious commitment by any ABC movement at the outset to ensure that the organization adopts a new focus. I was disturbed that during the deliberative stage of the conference, nobody even saw the necessity of raising the issue, that is nobody but myself. I expected someone to talk about a People of Color committee to recruit and organize. But no matter, it has been raised, now it must be implemented!
But to be effective: the newly formed People of Color organizing Committee(?) needs to know where it is going, before it can then give guidance to the entire organization. Therefore, I want to make these points:
1. The POC body must be on par with every other deliberative body, and POC must be given a strong voice in all ABCN policies, and not be a mere token effort. The ABCN leadership must be challenged by this POC body to live up to its mission and to make the movement inclusive to all. As for the POC committee itself, it should have a majority of members who actually are POC, but there is no requirement of an absolute majority.
2. The communities of color for the ABCN leadership and membership could be a major base of support. The POC body of ABCN should be a pole of attraction to not only bring peoples of color into the organization, but to insure that they have an equal voice in all matters of substance in the organization. This body should be consulted and made part of any leadership. This recruitment has to be absolutely supported by the entire groups, and not be minimized in importance.
3. Working with the leadership and mass membership of ABCN, which can develop out of the work of the conference, can connect them with a number of oppressed communities in Texas and other states. Clearly the ABCN must not just repeat the work of the ABCF, and its mistakes in ignoring these matters, even if it is critical of other ABCF policies. It must deal with racism and the right-wing offensive of this period itself. The trans of political imprisonment of mass of people, based on race, class, and genocidal terror should be the basis of a new mass movement, not just traditional Anarchist politics.
4. The POC committee is the one body that has to raise the issues of shaping the ABCN organization as an anti-racist movement to challenge the government over its drug war and its mass imprisonment of youth of color. Again, this cannot be minimized or emphasized enough. Frankly, I have always believed that it is a minimal program just to provide for the material needs of prisoners alone, while huge numbers of people are forced into prison and the death chambers. We must deal with the political reasons they are in prison in the first place, and oppose a racist death penalty. Mumia Abu Jamal is just a symbol of the racist death penalty. We must call for an immediate national moratorium on the death penalty. Shaka Sankofa’s recent legal murder in Texas should tell us that we must organize in the streets to build a mass movement of poor and working class peoples, or Mumia is ultimately doomed. A movement of white radicals alone is neither desirable nor sustainable.
5. Two million people are in the U.S. prison system today, with a huge number coming from communities of color (50% or more.) The state of Texas incarcerates Blacks at a rate 7 times that of whites and has Chicanos/Mexicanos jailed as high as 20% of the state prison population. Similarly, 40% of the entire Black male and youth population in California is in prison; also 55% of the prison population of Pennsylvania is Black, though only constituting 10% of that state’s population. Similar statistics are to be found all over the country showing that racial minorities are incarcerated at a rate of 10-15 times that of whites This is clearly a new racism and a result of fascist social control, but we don’t have any evidence that the Anarchist Black Cross movement understands this or is responding in any way to such a reality. It continues to see itself as a support group which has a limited role of sending $20 a month, even though millions are now being incarcerated at an unprecedented rate. We cannot send aid to such a huge number, so we must tackle the root causes.
6. To have any relevance at all, the POC committee must be sure that ABCN leadership raises issues of fighting police brutality, police racial profiling, racist vigilantism, poverty, and other evils, and that they fight this in a revolutionary movement, not as a reformist group afraid to challenge the state on such matters.
7. I think that each on of the ABC chapters should have someone who handles the work of outreach to communities of color, and helps design policies for that chapter. If there is no one working on the local level, then this critical work simply will not be done.
8. The ABCN must fight for prison abolition as a goal, even while it fights for a moratorium on further prison construction and for redistribution of the money stolen from the school systems, hospitals, and other social sectors which have been de-funded to pay for prisons. We must oppose this mass incarceration and theft of money for social spending into prison construction.
9.I think that the ABCN must be willing to become part of mass coalitions around these issues, even while building its own politics and movement. For years, anarchists and their movements have been too white, middle class and self-absorbed, only willing to give lip service about racial justice, class-based unity, and a truly liberatory movement inclusive of all and their demands. Anarchism has been a white rights movement, and this must change. I believe that what we want the ABCN and the entire Anarchist movement to be is a grassroots, multiracial movement for justice. So, for the ABCN, this is both an opportunity as well as a challenge.
In my opinion, it is a good thing that the ABCN has had its founding conference, but that it must now be serious and committed enough to break new ground for the ABC movement. We must popularize Anarchist politics and organizing on a mass scale, so that poor and working class people can relate to it, not just middle class, college trained whites.
I have made constructive criticisms here, but offered them in good faith. In skeleton form, there is also a plan which others can build on. I am not sure if the ABCN leadership or the membership wants me to continue to work with this POC body, if I am not a full member or in response to my critical support. I offer my services nonetheless. you will have to decide what you want to do. I am not personally seeking to lead this movement. I am available for help, but I want to see things done right, and it is not a “given” that they will be. I wish you great success from hereon out, but you must make it real!
Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin