“Why we’re voting no and you should too”: A statement by the MARS Collective

<table><tr><td>From: <a href="http://minnehahafreespace.org/2012/10/29/why-were-voting-no-and-you-shou... Minnehaha Free Space</a>

<em>a project of the MARS (Minneapolis Autonomous Radical Space) collective</em>

The way we, the MARS Collective, have chosen to help create the world we want to see is outside electoral politics; we value self-determination, mutual aid, direct action, and autonomous community control. Voting for the specific ways in which our dignity will be taken away—whether by referenda or by politicians whose lives are utterly different than our own—is not a political system we see as legitimate.

Nonetheless, we view the proposed constitutional amendment of Voter ID/Voter Restriction here in MN as crucial to our struggles. Voter suppression, of which photo ID is just the latest tool, is a strategy devised by right-wing groups, especially the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), to strip away the dignity of marginalized communities (particularly people of color, immigrants, the poor, students, and the elderly) and to demoralize us and prevent us from organizing. It’s not that we see the electoral system as working and that this shift would break it, but rather we see this system as already a mechanism of exclusion and domination—such as with the disenfranchisement of undocumented immigrants and of felons in most states—and this amendment would be an expansion of such forms of oppression.</td><td><img title="I prefer Ares" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/mittclown.jpg"></td></tr></...

Voter suppression robs communities of their dignity. Whether or not we believe in the power of the vote, this amendment would take away even the choice of whether or not to participate on election day for hundreds of thousands of people in Minnesota. If passed, it would help the worst of the worst politicians get elected—making us spend more time fighting defensively for our basic needs like food stamps, reproductive health care, and affordable housing, rather than fighting for the radical, systemic change we really want.

Please take the time to VOTE NO (on both amendments) on November 6th. Talk to your friends & neighbors and ask them to do the same.

For more info, see:

Voices For Voting Rights – http://voicesforvotingrights.org/

- video testimonies of people from different communities, talking about how this amendment would negatively affect them.

Volunteer to Door Knock to Defeat the Voter Restriction Amendment – with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change – http://www.mnnoc.org/volunteer_calendar

“The Marriage Amendment as decoy and how to fight the real danger” by Ricardo Levins Morales – http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/blog/ricardo-m-levins-morales/marriage-amen...

Comments

Embarrassing.

me thinks thou dost protest too much. anarchists can vote, why not? its not like anyone is proposing this ideologically its strategic and pragmatic. you know what is embarrassing and keeping the anarchist movement from spreading in the states?

the inability of people to make clear nuanced supported arguments for their political practices and beliefs. have fun with your purist jerk off. MARS does a bunch of cool shit, this statement doesn't make them liberals.

Agreed. The really radical Anarchists I know work to undermine the system by working for free as Democratic Party organizers and getting people to vote Democrat Party. Along the way, they get free water and free "Vote Obama" bumperstickers. That's how you really screw over the system.

Anarchists United For A Democratic Party Majority

So you DON'T understand the difference between a tactic, a strategy and an ideology then... so so many of these comment threads could be improved by people working harder to clearly articulate these differeces. MARS is suggesting to vote as a tactic against this specific strategy of state enforcement. You are implying they are party liberals who believe in the ideology behind the voting system. Never shall these two paths cross. Its disengenuous to say that, and so you're just a troll.

so you DON'T understand what an Anarchist is then?

I understand the purist tendencies dooming the us @ scene to forever be a group of politically insular elitists. What is wrong with tactically voting against facsist municipal ID measures as one of many different attempts to resist state repression?

how does voting in any way resist state repression? and Its not about "purity" its about making sense.

Well some state laws increase survelliance, mandate longer prison terms etc and therefore increase state repression. Sb 1070 in AZ, three strikes you're out, mandatory minimum sentencing in CA to name a few. Voting against municipal representatives who support mass incarcertion affects shit. Especially when tied to broader community campaigns which discuss root economic causes. We can't be so intellectually lazy. D frequently = R but not always and direct voter referendums are strategically used by the far right quite effectively

"Well some state laws increase survelliance, mandate longer prison terms etc and therefore increase state repression."

No shit, Sherlock. That's law for you. Maybe you should read this:

http://www.akpress.org/ananarchistfaqakpress.html

Now, what's that about "root causes" again? I want to learn how be radical by being spurious...

Fuck this shit, I tried to respond in a clear accessible manner. That is law for you, some laws are worse than others. I'm actually not voting this year, but fuck all if I will making something as stupid as whether or not people vote a political litmus for my life...

Incidentally the mean spiritedness of your reply is not appreciated. You want to feel superior all the time instead of actually grappling with the challenges of recuperation and resistance then go ahead and pretend that "one size fits all", you'll reap what you god damn sow. Isolation and a political front which time and repression will slowly wear down.

Mmmkay, bye bye. Yes, I tend to get very mean with people who try to posit state collaboration (voting) as an anarchist strategy and do not apologize.

check your privilege and abolish yourself

Oh what the fuck ever.

funny that you posted a link to buy something instead of taking the time to explain!

You say "purist" like it's a bad thing. The reason anarchism, of whatever variety you mention, still offers a radical perspective and critique is because we (usually) have not compromised with state constructs. This isn't elitism, it's honesty and if you can't handle it go please join up with the democratic PAC that most resembles social democrats, because social democratic politics are essentially what you advocte.

Strategically voting against particularly fascist referendums isn't the same as "social democratic politics". This is the kind of lack of nuance that makes thoughtful people from affected communities not think anarchists are down or understand basic survival mechanisms under state repression.

Okay, sorry, nuance yourself into liberal oblivion. I'm sure you'll impress a lot of those "thoughtful people from affected communities" you patronize with your white middle class fetishism in the process.

we are not singular beings, one f-ing political act, especially something like voting or not does not define all other moments in ones life. Rejecting any of the possible modes of resistence is more of a fetish than being against prop 187 ever was...agh forget it. Yes write me off as a liberal.

No but it does define one's position at the time one votes. And whenever one votes, you're not just stating that "I endorse/reject this candidate/proposal" you're also stating that "I endorse electoral politics as a legitimate method of popular decision making" which is a cornerstone of liberalism. If you vote, you may as well join the Air Force and fly drones over Pakistan or sign up with Corrections to brutalize prisoners. You are giving your implicit consent for the state to govern, and to carry out all the various functions of government.

Voting like say for a referendum to abolish the death penalty is not the same thing as signing up with corrections to brutalize prisoners. It just isn't.

Yeah. It is. What are you voting for? Life imprisonment. Weighing in on the issue in an electoral manner, through the medium of government, is to legitimize incarceration itself. Might as well sign up with corrections if that's your bag.

How callously you dismiss the dfference between life imprisonment and death. I bet there are a few people on death row who would disagree.

The point called, you missed him a mile ago.

Some comrades on death row called they don't want to be a pawn in another political pissing match, even an anarchist one. You really think human life should be so expendible? Be a daring martyr if that's your calling but don't play so laid back with what's not yours.

"Some comrades on death row called they don't want to be a pawn in another political pissing match"

Guess you really let them down.

Its not hyperbolic to say that most death row inmates oppose the death penalty. Pawn implies false representation and abusive logic. Saying voting to abolish the death penalty is the same as brutilizing prisoners is disrespectful to the men and women serving prison terms who face the death penalty. I'm trying for an actual exchange of reasoned ideas not a series of gotchas. Oh its futile…wrong site

I agree with you if that's any consolation (it's probably not.)

"you're also stating that "I endorse electoral politics as a legitimate method of popular decision making""

Worst logic I've ever encountered. Do you then endorse the business practices of the company you give money to for internet? You supposed "purists" are just selfish scumbags who are more interested in your image than the welfare of others. If you really think people shouldn't vote to abolish the death penalty or to soften the effects of the 3 strikes law as you can in California this year, it should be clear to everyone that you only care about some ideology. Also, are you really going to claim you know more about anarchism than Noam Chomsky?

ewww... now I want to stay up past my bed time to see if anyone takes the bait....because you are trolling right?

No, Noam definitely knows more, but his positions suck and many hardly fall within the realm of anarchism, regardless of whatever affinity he claims with it. Much like yours.

again, all you kids care about is the ideology and image of anarchism. pretty fucking sad.

Oh, you mean that whole "resolute opposition to government" thing. Yeah, still care about that. Not really on the backburner just yet. I'm sure sooner or later I'll be down to have dinner with Trots and put my anti-capitalism before my anti-statism because there's a clear cut difference between the two, so keep your fingers crossed.

peoples lives are at stake. who's helped by you following imaginary rules like a religion?

Alright, enough of this dancing around with condemned prisoners in your halo to prove your point. I've had enough.

Peoples lives are ALWAYS at stake, you stupid fucking liberal. Are you gonna go and personally apologize to everyone who's been brutalized, raped, assaulted, tortured, killed by a system you legitimize by voting? And where does this "going through state channels to make a difference" bit stop after voting? Just there? Sorry if I don't believe you. Seriously, fuck you. You brought up death row inmates, you are using them for your argument, you made them pawns.

Lol wow. Thanks for clearing that up, I almost thought I was talking to someone with a brain. Just out of curiosity, does it mean you support the govt for using internet even though it was created with subsidies? How about roads? How about subsidized food? Of course peoples lives are always at stake, and you can help them by sending a piece of paper in the mail. Are you the type who'd be too proud to sacrifice your "purity" by accepting govt help to save lives, even though that says nothing about your stance or actions against this form of society? If so forgive me for not drooling out of jealousy for your selfish "purity".

Why are you quoting yourself?

Also, how many pieces of paper are you sending over those government roads to your beloved death row prisoners? Are they aware of your support, or are you just writing them letters through the ballot box?

You should really take the time I know you're spending replying to this and use it to write them a letter or two. It would mean a lot more than your vote, or whatever bullshit beat-around-the-bush comeback you're working on. For real.

Serious, you fucking liberals are always doing this to the subjects of state repression... it's patronizing and privileged as shit.

You cry about state repression like your honky ass knows anything about it. If I'm gonna write any letters it'll be to innocent victims who have their families literally blown apart by US imperialists. But if you think maintaining anarchist purity is more important than the slightest temporary compromise that will directly help people who can use it all I can say is hopefully you'll grow up eventually and be more likely to help the anti-authoritarian movement. What you're saying is you wouldn't even accept govt help to undermine the govt... Only thing that helps is your ego.

This probably coming from a white kid at least 5 years younger than me who isn't even a class struggle anarchist. Thanks Dad.

do you not see how you continually skirt the main points and keep falling back on your ego? these bullshit arguments about who's the most anarchist is what keeps anarchism from being a movement with any power.

I really like how post-leftists in graduate school have somehow managed to transcend ego. Please, don't ever come in my neighborhood, I will shoot your stupid, non ego-having, lily-white liberal ass.

yes because me pointing out the only thing supporting your "arguments" is your ego implies I have none. brilliant deduction there e-thug. very anarchist to shoot people with different opinions by the way lmao.

Actually, shooting counter-revolutionaries is anarchist as fuck. Of course I wouldn't consider liberal hollowpoint fodder such as yourself to agree. End of conversation.

ROFL counter-revolutionary? you're either trolling or more pathetic than I thought. IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THIS CLOWN IN THE SLIGHTEST YOU'RE A COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY GUYS! WATCH OUT! LOL

RAAN like a motherfucker!

"you wouldn't even accept govt help to undermine the govt"

and you are dumb enough to believe this happens.

"The reason anarchism, of whatever variety you mention, still offers a radical perspective and critique is because we (usually) have not compromised with state constructs. "

The problem is you "don't collaborate with state constructs" only formally and abstractly.

Huh?

You collaborate in a myriad other ways, and yet "voting is not anarchist" despite the fact it may be a tactic protecting the rights and lives of millions of people. Be a purist. Those people are just collateral damage so you can get your anarchist-purist card.

Oh, "rights". Would you like to buy a bridge from this friend of mine who happens to live at the North Pole while we're on the subject of "rights"?

Yeah, liberal.

Would you like to bleed to death in your bathtub after trying to give yourself an abortion? ha, ha, ah

Because people wouldn't belong to themselves unless the Supreme Court said so?

Tried to access abortion services lately? Yes unfortunately the supreme court has a say in the availability of abortions. Guess what there wasn't a Jane for everybody.

Troll yourself into oblivian, troll. A right-wing militia of 9000 virginal Ron Pauls will be waiting for you.

http://www.youtube.com/v/6tLrIkPK8kg&fs=1&source=uds&autoplay=1

So I guess you're done trying to buttress your argument then. That's good, because it seemed pretty weak to begin with.

oh, you're high on bath salts and feel a need to reveal you identity to me, then? okay (._.) Good luck to you.

?

This is comical.

It's almost as funny as the letter I wrote to your university today.

Oh please don't pull that "college kid" shit on me I invented that. Serious, what is this like your third semester? Picked up some Chomsky in your second? I will SERVE your ass for dinner, Sophomoron.

Are you saying you're a *pig fucker*?

9000 virginal Ron Pauls who share your liberal delusions about "rights"? Shudder to think!

Serious, you really ARE all about letting the state dictate terms, aren't you?

A vote for Romney is a vote for revolution

this, voting is just the immature buzzword a bunch of jerks like to latch onto.

Are you kidding? We all comprmise with state constructs. All the time and its painful. Why make voting your go to hissy fit?

because its one of the things you can go without doing while living in this world.

Free water... you mean like with a high concentration of fluoride?

Well those "really radical anarchists" you know are just liberal hipsters posing as anarchists to win vote for the party of Black Dubya Bush.

Anarchy is not democracy. If you can't put that in your head by now, you're a total idiot who's not on the right website.

What's embarrassing is that most anarchists are default right-wing republicans. and not just on this issue.

Get out of here, David Axelrod !

If you don't vote you can't complain, right?

Its the other way around: if you DO vote you cant complain.

I can't tell if the influx of comments is one maybe two writers of the statement or if @ news trolls are excited to test out their liberal voter identity.

The list of so-called anarchists who are actually liberals grows longer.

are you fucking kidding me?

why this here

whoever thinks this is embarrassing to anarchists really has no ability to reason. Anarchists that don't have the ability to reason is really embarrassing to me.

What is embarrassing is when anarchist attempt to identify their participatory group of predominantly upper/middle class white kids (students) as somehow a marginalized community

"marginalized communities (particularly people of color, immigrants, the poor, students, and the elderly)".......which of course is all code for college bred douche' baggery

"If passed, it would help the worst of the worst politicians get elected—making us spend more time fighting defensively for our basic needs like food stamps, reproductive health care, and affordable housing, rather than fighting for the radical, systemic change we really want."

We need to help make the state more of a modern liberal state so we can focus on the real work of undermining the state!

This sounds like a great opportunity to step up and start creating a parallel economy that could actually provide those things. Ahh, but that would be work; sorry, I forgot. Let's just go to protests and house shows and, if we're feeling really revolutionary, break a window.

This sounds like a great opportunity to step up and start creating a parallel economy that could actually provide those things. Ahh, but that would be work; sorry, I forgot. Let's just go to protests and house shows and, if we're feeling really revolutionary, we'll vote no.

lulz

The radical right is ?correct? are liberals undermining the state? or just social struggle

Welcome to Minneapolis.

Hopefully this hurricane changes paths. Seriously, these people aren't anarchists are they? There is no way in hell.

I cannot even formulate a response. Are you guys voting for Barack Obama too?

Can the MARS produce some candidate selections for the people?

Lets vote against voter ID, not because of the nationalistic nature of the system but because it disenfranchises voters.

Door to door the revolution begins! Vote Obama!

Voter ID is racist

Any real Anarchist stands up to racists and racism, whether or not they participate themselves in the election or whatever else is practicing racial and class discrimination.

Also, never forget that Voter ID is yet another effort to force people to get ID cards in the hope that they will then carry them. One of our goals should be to discredit all forms of ID documents in terms of their "reliability" while encouraging as many people as possible NOT to carry them. Needless to say, we should never carry ID ourselves! If you have a drivers license, keep it in your car if you have one, otherwise at home unless patronizing a club that requires ID. Seek alternatives to clubs that demand ID for that matter whenever you can.

The pigs tell a lot of lies claiming you are required to show and carry ID when they have been unable to get ID document posession laws in ANY state except for the SB1070 immigration document sort of thing. Needless to say, SB1070 is explicitly racist, and suit-and-tie Nazis were involved in drafting it.

Then we should be encouraging people to not carry IDs, and supporting those who are arrested for it.

The strategy is to go door to door to get more people to vote in the long run. More identification is only wrong because it suppresses the vote! Get out the vote!

Radical collectives need to be spending their time getting out the vote. As we all know the Democratic Party is hurting these days for funds. We need to make sure with our support they can stay afloat and push their important initiatives.

Radical door knocking!

Knock Knock whos there its a fucking liberal anarchist.

Why did the liberal anarchist cross the road, to knock on a fucking door.

This statement is so naive. Votes always shape policy decisions. All elections have some bearing on peoples lives. Voting results kill people all the damn time. And? What's so liberal about this is that it creates this false idea some votes don't matter in order to try to convince us this one actually does. This is the same shit democrats are always selling.

Naive, perfect way to describe this. It's like, there is a way, as radicals to oppose these sorts of things and actually impact legislation and politics. You can even vote against laws like this! But you are doing it real real wrong.

Ya. I mean goddamn. If you think this shit is ACTUALLY that critical... go throw up some barricades in rich republican areas you know are going to vote for it. If your strategic view is the vote has got to go a certain way fucking do something about it. There's a hundred things you could do that are going to impact the vote numbers more than some naive statement exhorting your friends to vote. Instead you post this turd with no analysis that parrots and reinforces the fucking system.

Damn, and motherfuckers on here give Cindy M. shit for that hope bloc.

and Starhawk for her spiral dance
Graeber for his umm's

But this is beyond the pale.

Graeber's umms are the best thing about him honestly he is somewhat of an adorable person

Dear supposed-anarchist ragging on this statement,

Get your ideals straight. What does anarchism actually mean to you? I'm so sick and tired of anarchist-clubhouse mentality-- calling out your comrades as not being radical enough to be an anarchist or being "liberals". WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO OUR MOVEMENTS?! You are rupturing them, splintering them, and reducing them to some simulacre of anarchist perfection that they become so weak, ideologically purist, and removed from real life that they will forever be forsaken to the depths of some punk house and watch while the world burns around you.

The MARS collective put out this statement because the ultra-right are engaging in a secret all-out war on the marginalized people of our country so they can secure their fascist power. They are the ones making sure poor people of color stay in private prisons in the name of "The War on Drugs" so that corporations get rich. They are the ones pushing heinous immigration laws to criminalize people for coming onto land that was once stolen from them. And they are the ones banking on the Voter ID amendment passing to ensure they can continue with their power grab.

Wake up, this isn't about Obama. Voting against the amendment does not legitimize the state. NOT voting legitimizes the state, that's exactly what they want you to do. All of you replying didn't fucking DIY your laptops, but your forking over a grand to Dell or Apple or whoever doesn't legitimize capitalism, legitimize the state? How can you excuse that action but then be so ideologically pure to claim others are not anarchist?

Well I say FUCK THAT. Stop policing our movements with your bullshit critiques and start learning how to create a new world through revolutionary love and solidarity.

~ a more holistic anarchist

"All of you replying didn't fucking DIY your laptops, but your forking over a grand to Dell or Apple or whoever doesn't legitimize capitalism, legitimize the state? How can you excuse that action but then be so ideologically pure to claim others are not anarchist?"
I was actually on the fence reading this until I got to this bit. Embarrassing. If someone was actually advocating buying laptops as a political strategy, then that would indeed be dodgy and they'd take shit for it. But no-one's advocating buying laptops as a form of political activity, they're advocating voting on this amendment, hence why it's what the discussion is about. The stuff people spend their money on is neither here nor there.

My laptop is stolen and my smartphone was the result of a scam.

"NOT voting legitimizes the state, that's exactly what they want you to do"

Actually, no. No to all.

HARSH CRITIQUE = POLICING "OUR" MOVEMENTS

what fucking movement are you talking about other than your bowel movements

Lets take this line by line:

"Get your ideals straight"
-Comrade, we are anarchists. We do not have ideals. Ideals are for idealist liberals. We have a material need to overthrow the state and capitalism.

"What does anarchism actually mean to you?"
- It means an ideology that supports the total overthrow of state and capitalism and all forms of hierarchy, using tactics appropriate to those ends. Voting is not and has never been one of these. Ever. In the history of all anarchism. Anarchists are opposed to voting, or participating in bourgeois politics in any way, on both principled and strategic grounds.

"I'm so sick and tired of anarchist-clubhouse mentality-- calling out your comrades as not being radical enough to be an anarchist or being "liberals" "You are rupturing them, splintering them, and reducing them to some simulacre of anarchist perfection that they become so weak, ideologically purist, and removed from real life" "
-So we shouldn't disagree strongly with people who do things we disagree strongly with, just becasue they call themselves anarchists? Critique is, and always should be part of our movement. There is a difference between ideological purism, and principled action and critique. Learn it you fucking opportunist leftist schmuck.

"...removed from real life that they will forever be forsaken to the depths of some punk house and watch while the world burns around you."
-So having a practical critique, or maybe actually just being to busy being engaged in actual anarchist projects to bother with your pro-voting shit means we are "separated from real life"? Cause nothing screams "not separated from real life" like fucking VOTING! Jesus christ you couldn't right the irony any closer. Also, btw, Lolz @ Punk House? Really? What is this 2002? Are you secretly just repeating the same critiques you gave to crimethic ten years ago.

"The MARS collective put out this statement because the ultra-right are engaging in a secret all-out war on the marginalized people of our country so they can secure their fascist power. They are the ones making sure poor people of color stay in private prisons in the name of "The War on Drugs" so that corporations get rich. They are the ones pushing heinous immigration laws to criminalize people for coming onto land that was once stolen from them. And they are the ones banking on the Voter ID amendment passing to ensure they can continue with their power grab"

- and nooooooowwwww out comes the real reason you are a liberal. becasue you don't actually hate capitalism or the state. you just hate the "unfriendly" parts of it. simple as that. Your liberal catchphrases that always conveniently skirt the center of the issue ("Corporations...getting rich", "the ultra-right", "the war on drugs") betray you here. You are just a ultra-democratic reformist.

"Voting against the amendment does not legitimize the state. NOT voting legitimizes the state" - that is so ass backwards I just don't even know what to say to that. Do you know what a state is, comrade? It seems like you are confusing "the state" with "the right wing of the state". Perhaps you need a little reminder that this is only a very small part of the state.

" All of you replying didn't fucking DIY your laptops, but your forking over a grand to Dell or Apple or whoever doesn't legitimize capitalism, legitimize the state?"

- Owning a computer, and trying to get anarchists supporting particular factions in bourgeois politics are totally different. Duh. One is living your life in the system that exists the best you can, the other is trying to actively get people to participate in politics. If you don't see how its not the same you are, quite frankly just dumb or and ideologue.

"Well I say FUCK THAT. Stop policing our movements with your bullshit critiques and start learning how to create a new world through revolutionary love and solidarity"

- lolololololololololololol. revolutionary love. lolololololololololol.

"

"Comrade, we are anarchists. We do not have ideals. Ideals are for idealist liberals. We have a material need to overthrow the state and capitalism."

-actually this is usually the line of communists, not anarchists. materialism and quantitative analysis are super marxist, and much of anarchist thought has come to reject this since its inception

Actually, it's a commonality. Quit equating your hippie ass art-school post-leftism with anarchism. And take a bath- Crimethinc was just joking about all that shit. thanks.

read a fuckin book

People giving a shit about 'legitimizing the state' thru voting are dumb. The idea that individual anarchists not voting has any impact on its legitimacy is silly self importance(short of a widespread boycott, which this ain't). Really why give a shit? Anarchists often pay taxes of various sorts, isn't that way worse? Still not that bad because there are so fucking few of us.

Your use of the word "ragging" betrays your manarchist principles. Thus, your argument is irrelevant.

David Axelrod 1, Anarchists 0

I thought from the title that this was going to be an anti-election statement, as in "voting no" to the system, refusing to make a false choice.

Turns out it was just a statement from the local chapter of Rock The Vote.

you are a god damn racist if you are not against voter ID! If you are against voter ID because it is an expansion of the surveillance state and not because it impacts the right to vote you are still a racist. racist.

You are a god damn racist if you think the foremost need of your beloved "marginalized communities" is to get in a voting booth. You are racist because you want to channel people's rage at the system into the electoral system. More importantly, you are counter-revolutionary in every sense of the term. Seriously, look it up, this is directly what counter-revolution (or a form of it) is: channeling people's energy back into the system and then using identity politics to defend yourself. I seriously hope you do not go around identifying as an anarchist, further shitting on a word that American activists have already given quite a beating.

*i was being sarcastic

Vote or Die !

- Sean "P Diddy" Combs with a gun

People commenting on this are acting as if the MARS collective identifies as Anarchist and they don't. They're hella radical though and really nice people, but they don't identify as Anarchist or necessarily as anti-capitalist.

from MARS about section "we emphasize the need to destroy capitalist, paternalist relations and replace them with mutual aid."

so....they aren't anti-capitalist they just want to destroy capitalist "relations" ???

They just want to vote the capitalist relations away.

HOLY COW ! I'm the person who posted the above about them not identifying as anti-capitalist.

I based this on my personal interactions with the MARS peoples. I actually didn't know they described themselves as being opposed to Capitalism...how odd.

I fail to see how they hella radical.

Radical Democrats

what does that even mean?

Democrats who during election time get everyone to vote Democrat. But, during non-electoral politics season, they come across as hardcore radicals. They talk about Democrats and Republicans being all the same. They refer to their religion as being "anti-capitalism" blah blah blah

But they do use anarchist lingo and imagery to get their progressive politics across...

http://minnehahafreespace.org/2012/09/30/voter-restriction-resistance-fo...

The whole idea of radical community spaces is based on anarchic ideas. They seem to be using this to win anarchists and radicals over to the Democratic Party.

You think MARS gives a shit about the Democratic Party? This isn't about Obama. This is about some racist bullshit the state is trying to pull. I live in mpls and know that MARS does some important support work for much anarchist organizing that happens here. To equate their work with Democrats because you don't agree with ONE of several ways they are confronting racism in our state is not helpful.

Woah woah hold up they're actually invoking Emma Goldman's "if voting changed anything they'd make it illegal" line as part of their campaign to actually GET people TO vote? The point being that the State thinks voting changes stuff so they're trying to make it illegal? The fuck? I don't think I've ever seen so-called "radicals" so clearly betray their confused-ass liberal politics.

So they're "hella radical" but they're not against capitalism? Sounds like a description of many right-wing extremists.

That was their old logo, back before they changed their name and got cursive.

Stop-gap measures are best left to social democrats and others who think they can tinker with the mechanisms of statecraft to make the lives of poor and working class people a little better by passing better laws and electing more enlightened leaders. Such nonsense is transparently un-anarchist.

"Voter suppression robs communities of their dignity."

Under an economic system as exploitative as capitalism, under a political system as brutal as the quasi-police state that exists in most urban centers, under a social system where voting is actively discouraged by elected officials, where is there such a thing as dignity? My understanding of dignity centers on being able to make and carry out the decisions that are meaningful to my existence. There's no dignity in working for a boss; no dignity in being bullied by cops; no dignity in helping to shape legislation. Anarcho-voters come up with all sorts of interesting mental gymnastics for why it's important - just this once! - to abandon one of the defining tactical and strategic aspects of anarchism (anti-electoralism). Anarchists worthy of the name have always understood that to play even a minor part in electoral circuses is to provide the state with that much more legitimacy. According to those who care, fewer voters means less legitimacy.

We do not call the state into question by supporting its self-serving mythology. We call the state into question by showing people that these incremental moves to disenfranchise people are inherent in the process of the consolidation of power into fewer and fewer hands, regardless of how many odes to democracy we have to endure. We call the state into question by showing people that the really important decisions are made and implemented by people who are appointed, not elected; it's federal judges who will eventually decide if these legislative shell games are constitutional or not, which ultimately takes all decisions out of the hands of the electorate.

Who is MARS trying to impress? To whom are they trying to prove their relevance? This is just pathetic.

So do I vote to repeal the death penalty in CA? I think potentialy saving a comrades life trumps anarchist dogma in this case.

The state will offer you anything you like, as long as the way you attempt to get it is through voting.

No surely that comrade will understand black and white anachronisms like pretending we never compromise are more important than not being killed by the state.

How many more will die because we focus on survival rather than revolution?

You should vote however you want. Nobody can stop you as long as you're legally entitled to it. No amount of "anarchist dogma" can stop you. But I don't think you understand what dogma is if you think anti-electoralism qualifies. There have been sound arguments against voting (across all different jurisdictions) from the time there have been self-identified anarchists. It's only "dogma" to you (and the other fake anarchists who vote without shame) because you disagree with a foundational anarchist principle. You do know what a principle is, don't you? It's only "purism" if you disagree with a strategy of abandoning a principle.

The illusion of democratic participation in the legislative process still holds you in its sway; again, the judges who are not elected are the ones who ultimately decide what legislation is acceptable. The ideology of democracy is upheld every time someone voluntarily sets foot in a polling station; it's upheld by a bureaucratic system and an interlocking web of institutions that continually spoonfeed "the people" with the quaint notion that their voices will magically be heard if they vote. Were you around when nearly 15 million people worldwide demonstrated against a war that hadn't even (officially) started yet? The politicians and capitalists who'd been planning the second Gulf Massacre didn't care, and there was no election or referendum either. So who's the dogmatic one again?

I am not gonna care if you go out and vote against specific laws. I won't tell you that you are not an anarchist if you do that. But the logic they use in this statement is the same logic you hear about why you should vote for Obama. It is the same, and it is sad they are unable to recognize it.

And if you vote for Obama, you are part of the problem.

if you vote you are part of the problem.

I'm not advocating voting as a mechanism for change. You dont have to be an anarchist to know that eloctoral politics suck. I am curious about this specific issue regarding the death penalty. Obviously we sacrafice a principle by going to the voting booth (unfortunately don't we do the same whenever we go to work or pay for anything), but does the benifit of saving prisoners from being executed by the state outway that loss of principle?

The only alternative sentence for someone facing the death penalty is life in prison. A vote against the death penalty is a vote FOR life in prison. And if you want to split hairs about death v.s. life in prison and talk about how you can have dignity in prison and a full life and shit I don't know what to tell you.

Anarchists in the U.S. do not at all view themselves as antagonistic to the state. These conversations shouldn't even be happening in a movement that is supposedly antagonistic to the state, especially in regards to our "comrades" that you are exploiting to defend electoral politics. If the state has captured a comrade and even gives the movement a direct choice of death or life in prison, are you really going to be excited about such a choice? And that's not even what's going on. Furthermore, what comrades are facing the death penalty? Only anarchist I can think of is that guy Andrew Mickel who killed the cop as a general action against the police state of America. He's the only anarchist in modern day America I've heard of being sentenced to death, so I don't know why this is even a discussion, because I know you're not talking about him because the movement doesn't care about him because he didn't talk about black nationalism when he was pulling the trigger. Oops, I said it.

hey are any anarchists going to help the prolos on the east coast getting hit by Sandy with relief? I'd love to help even if that means simply donating or publicizing from the west coast.

I feel like the people defending the statement (those who wrote it) are not getting that the problem is:

The way you just spent your time
Your strategy that lacks a radical analysis
Posting it to the public
The action you are going to take which reinforces liberal politics

Listen: There is way you can do what you are doing in a way that creates positive instead of negative waves for radicalism. That is why people are shaking their head at you, its not because the people here are more radical than thou (which they are generally) but because they understand this is ridic.

I am the first one to call people out on their isolationist idiocy. It is NOT the problem here.

wow this is the best (*totally NOT liberal* nuh-uh now way) analysis ever!

dude, right-wing militias probably *are* more radical than you

This is a liberal statement fool

Yeah, this person is clearly a liberal you can tell by the writing and how they didn't read the original statement. Liberals have a tendency to do that.

On behalf of minnesota @s, I just wanted to publicly apologize to all my anarchist friends for that "why we're voting" text that came out. And to my MN friends, here's why I'm apologizing: you're wrong. If you're already a registered voter in minnesota, not voting at all is counted as a vote against the constitutional amendment, since in MN, changes to the state constitution are made by majority against the registered voters, not majority in those who happen to vote. I wish I knew why the anarchists at the MFS have been so active in this campaign, but I'm going to guess it has something to do with "messing with the bull" and "getting the horns".

- T

wrong. changes to the state consitution are made by a majority of all voters’ *casting* ballots, not a majority of all registered voters. [https://www.revisor.mn.gov/constitution/#article_9]

even if you're already registered, your "non-vote" only counts if you physically show up and cast a ballot, whether or not you actually check the "no" box on that ballot. nice try, though!

Liberals!!!! Even if you identify as anarchists, I dont give a shit, your fucking anarcho-LIBERALS....yall just dont get the point do you?

People from MARS. That pretty much says it all.

Your the one who is fucking communities, by telling people that voting will let them keep their dignity, in the long run it will strip it all away. Anarchists my ass. Dont come up in here and act like you are an anarchist with that shitty analysis

Can I vote as long as I throw some motherfucking newspaper boxes in the street on the way home?

Insurrectionary Democrat

being against the death penalty is a terrible decision, even aside from the question of voting, because it simply means being in favor of incarceration

Wonder how the people on death row will be voting on this issue? Oh...oh yeah, right. They have no voice in this decision. Never mind.

check out this awesome anarchist rhetoric:

http://radspacetc.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/voteno-event-headerimage.jpg

Emma sez, "if voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal". GUESS WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO DO!? MAEK IT ILLEGAL!!!!!

Wisconsin is Milwaukee, except for Madison which is the Twin Cities.

Every anarchist who doesn't vote is a fascist victory. They celebrate having gotten inside your heads.

weak sauces
ya voter id is fuck, but voting is more fucked.
"Voter suppression robs communities of their dignity" voting/begging for you "rights" makes total destroy on communities dignity.
give up you dignity to peddle the vote if you wish, i see you at the voting booth the day we anarchist come to burn them.

ps fuck you all for using Emma Goldman anti-voting statement to peddle the vote. keep up the theft anarchist history for liberal bull shit and you going to get your windows bricked

Nobody gives a fuck about your "dignity," nor about the delusions you have around maintaining it when you sit home nursing your Pabsty-Nip saying, "Aha! I'm not voting...that'll show 'em."

Show who? Nobody gives a shit about you. You could die in the street of cirrhosis, and nobody would care.

A vote for romney is a vote for anarchy. Talk about anarchist strategy. God I've just become a genius. I deserve a medal.

Its probably better than drinking your hip import beer and saying "You know what I'm actually still a liberal no matter how much I "talk" about Anarchism...Reading history is so much fun. I'm going to get my PhD in Anarchist history with the Institute of Anarchist Studies with Noam Chomsky as my dissertation advisor. He believes that voting can be a good thing, so, therefore, ALL anarchists should believe the same thing AND THAT'S WHAT I HEARING AT EVERY GODDAMN FUCKING anarchist BOOKFAIR I HAVE EVER BEEN TO !"

Stop encouraging people to vote for the Democrat Party (or possibly Green Party.) Your "I Voted" sticker next to your Circle A pin may make you look cool to your hipster friends, but it just shows that you're an asshole confusing people on the philosophy of Anarchism.

For an "anarchist," you sure have a lot of rules.

Foe for Romney. I want to see riots.

Of course most of the rioters won't be anarchists but liberal Obama nuts who are as dumb as a fuckin doornail.

What "rules" does the person have ? I'm so confused. I think they're just making fun of anti-state identified people who vote for the state.

Anyone who orders somebody else to stop doing this or that is attempting to impose his or her rules on the other person. Calling somebody else an asshole, blah blah, at the drop of a hat indicates frequent disappointment in other people's perceived "failure" to follow those rules.

Oh, and anyone sporting a circle-A pin in the 21st century probably got it at Urban Outfitters - or maybe the Gap?

"impose his or her rules on the other person"

We're on the internet, Sherlock. I'm not imposing my rules on the person. This isn't a housing collective. I'm saying that please don't call yourself an anarchist and organize for the Democrat Party. That's not a rule, its a defense of anti-state philosophy.

If it's any consolation, I don't call myself an anarchist; I come here occasionally to chat with anarchists, but man, some of youse guys just seem miserably unhappy, and it looks like you spend a lot of time just fighting amongst yourselves, really. Not organizing for the Democratic party, either; just a passerby. I'm pretty familiar, though, with the kinds of people who don't want Americans to vote, and to them, your nonvote is a big Thumbs Up, whether you like it or not.

That said, whether you vote or not is your own business.

its not about showing some one, ding dong. i don't drink, i am not a home, i am 800+ miles from home fighting for the earth.
If i vote people will all of a sudden give a shit about me? i will show them I'll vote?

my hatred for the state, makes sick every time i think of how many fools participate in it i.e. vote.

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