Linggo, Pebrero 12, 2012

Mobile Anarchist School Project in 2012 Appeal for Solidarity (Philippines)

Mutual-cooperation and non-hierarchical relationship are social relations can be traced during Paleolithic age. Like many communities existed around the world, primitive communities in the archipelago had its tradition of such social relations. Though not visible at larger scale, due to the dominance of authoritarian regimes and centralistic politics; anarchistic relationships sporadically and spontaneously occur in our relationships in family, community, workplace, agricultural and fishing communities, community-based organizations, indigenous communities among others.

History as what it is portrayed in centennial celebration typically focuses on personality and events that reinforce the concept of nation-state. It has special attention to hosts of “heroes” who campaigned for the ouster of colonial administration while proposing another government that will reign over the archipelago. Many authors have the habit of appreciating the dominance of Spain over the archipelago by pointing out the superiority of Monarchial Spain and relating it to the inferiority of decentralized and autonomous communities and baranggays.In broad strokes, barangganic was the social set-up of the primitive communities in the archipelago encountered by the Spaniards. Every barangay was autonomous but connected to many baranggays and communities through primarily blood ties. Usually, confederation of large baranggays can be found in river mouths where trading activities taking place on a massive scale.  Magellan’s misfortune in 1521 was brought by unfriendly attitudes of other Cebuano communities; Raja Humabon was the only leader accepted him but changed his attitudes right after Lapu-Lapu’s forces massacred his men.

There were several expeditions followed the Portuguese route which was also unsuccessful. The network of support of primitive baranggays proved to be formidable that it's able to dish out outsiders who were not welcome and seen to be unfriendly. Ruy Gomez de Villalobos expedition in 1543-1545 had luck after 16 months wandering around the archipelago looking for food and waiting for winds that would blow them back to Mexico. They had made friends to dozens of local chiefs and able to gather detailed information about trading, foreign contacts, political and economic condition of the archipelago. Their valuable information was useful to preceding trading expeditions.      

Magellan’s mission based on the contract he signed by the King of Spain was basically to make trades with the locals, he was strictly advised not to use hostilities against Muslims and locals. The faith conversion could be seen as a tactic to make commercial negotiation effective, indeed our ancestors who were deeply religious changed their faith, local gods subdued and converted local chieftains into Christians and many communities follow suit and pledge allegiance and loyalty to Christ and priests. Countless resistance failed due to the betrayal of locals who kneeled down before Christ and dismissed Diwata, Batahala and other local gods. Scholars and historians commonly attributed the failure of local resistance to lack of centralized organizational pattern which the monarchial Spain has. Personalities like Rizal, del Pilar, Jacinto, Mabini, Aguinaldo, Bonifacio and many others were the activists highly influenced by republicanism; they advocated and campaigned to oust the colonial government to be replaced by the local version which is basically patterned to European design.

Isabelo de los Reyes did not take off from the monopolistic idea of nation-state; he rather started from the local communities. He studied local culture through folklore to enrich his understanding on the subject matter that he believed to be the contribution of the communities of the archipelago to humanity. Many years before the 1896 revolution broke out, Isabelo as a media man was one of the consistent critique of the colonial administration, he was said to be more popular than his contemporary activists who were based in Europe. Spanish authorities arrested him and jailed together with more than 300 dissents. When he released wrote another letter encouraging people to go to the mountains and launch guerilla warfare against Spain; he was arrested for the second time and exiled to Montjuich, Barcelona where he befriended with radical journalists suspected to be anarchists. When released participated the anarcho-syndicalist actions in Barcelona and other parts of Spain. In 1901, before Leon Colgosz assassinated McKinley, he returned home and initiated the establishment of Union Obrera Democratica or UOD, the first workers union in the archipelago.    
Authoritarian left was introduced in 1930s, Bolshevik influence started to dominate the resistance movement and eventually replaced the anarcho-syndicalist planted by Isabelo de los Reyes. The dictatorship of the proletariat became the viable alternative for the workers and marginalized communities, and the movement were organized under the centralized politics of the Communist Party adhering Marxist and Leninist ideology.  During the 60’s, Chinese idea of people’s protracted war through guerilla warfare begun to out fashion the insurrectionary method of the Bolshevik.  Marcos dictatorship provided a condition for uprising. Hundred thousands of people were organized by the leftist group were the National Democratic Front was the most influential. During the late 90’s, the largest left block started to decreased strength, an internal debate caused fragmentation and led to formation of smaller political blocs. Also during this period few anarchist individuals and collective surfaced and consciously presented anarchist alternatives and methodologies, many youth warmly accepted and embraced the idea and consistently and creatively conducted activities through non-hierarchical pattern. Currently, autonomous movement is exploring systems and exerting extra effort to install mechanisms which will ensure education that intended to increase the capacity of collectives and autonomous individuals in carrying-out autonomous actions. 

The Mobile Anarchist School Project

Volunteers of Indokumentado Productions and Mindsetbreaker Press who are currently active in autonomous movement utilizing various methods such as conferences, workshops, consultations and protests actions are proposing for a “Mobile Anarchist School” project in 2012. The need for education and advocacy work to amplify existing campaign that generally focus on environmental issues, political marginalization, patriarchy, poverty and hunger that is widespread throughout the archipelago are amongst the main area of concern that the two collectives wanted to work on.  The aim of the project is to provide information, analysis and plans to marginalized communities, students, out-of-school youth and Local Autonomous Network or LAN. The project is also intended to share skills to local network related to writing, advocacy, campaign, public speaking and research.

About Indokumentado and Mindsetbreaker Press

Indokumentado Productions was formed two years ago (2010), its primarily aimed to produce and distribute documents independently to cater the perceived needs of the autonomous movement. Autonomous activists in the archipelago has very limited materials focused on local context, most materials are barrowed or donated from the west. Written and video documents produced by Indokumentado are derived from local history, context, analysis and experience based on anarchist framework. Indokumentado is very active in various campaigns such as Occupy Luneta, Food Not Bombs, alternative education for marginalized communities and street actions. Mindsetbreaker Press was also formed in 2011. Its objective is to re-print and publish and distribute anarchist literature. Likewise Mindset is also active in autonomous movement in providing relevant materials and organizing events that would provide information and will lead to actions.  

Mindset and Indokumentado are both active in facilitating activities attracting youth and young professional in various activities. During 2011, volunteers of Indokumentado and Mindset were occupied of activities which follows: mini gathering of autonomous network which consist of sets of  activities involving workshops and discussions on history, prehistory, current issues, ecology and gender issues. Organized a protests action during state of the nation’s address. Regular conduct of food not bombs in various marginalized communities in Metropolis (Taguig, Makati, Sucat, and Luneta, Manila). Produced and reproduced materials and documents like journal, pamphlets, fliers, posters, stickers edited videos, and made media release. Organized gigs with discussions on currents issues and ideas on anarchism. Actively participated occupy Luneta and conducted series of activities and protest action in public national park drumbeating the issues on poverty and hunger. Participated public discussion also in national park on issue of hunger and poverty. Art workshop for kids. Free market and sharing of gathered toys , shoes, dress and other stuff. Some of the activities conducted in the first quarter of 2012 are spill over of lazy years momentum like food not bombs in Sucat combine with art workshop and discussions on gender and medical assistance for kids. Since the collectives and people involved in activities mentioned above do not had a venue to assess and reflect the events to measure success, it is safe to say that it provided critical information and skills to both public (external to the movement) and the movement. Thus, meeting new faces in every activity that the two collectives able to connect and coordinate.
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