STP Magazine – March 12, 2017

Scroll down to read through Serve the People’s first magazine:

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Free Food, Real Power

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Serve the People has been holding free food servings and free stores for over a year in Montopolis, but many people still ask us why are we doing this? Are we a charity? Are we like a food bank? What gives?

No, we ain’t a food bank. We are the opposite of organizations like the Central Texas Food Bank (CTFB), because unlike them we want there to be a revolution in society, political, economic, social and cultural.

Checking out CTFB’s website, you might think that they want real change too. Their mission statement is “to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger.” Sounds nice, but if you take a look at their history, you’ll see that it’s bullshit.

First of all, to the Food Bank, there are two kinds of people: hungry people and not hungry people. In this magical world they’ve created for themselves, the only problem that exists is that people are hungry. It is a problem that is growing, they admit, but as a registered non-profit, they can’t be political and so they can’t comment on the root cause of why people are hungry, nor can they educate the people they serve about why things are the way they are. Serve The People’s main mission, on the other hand, is to bring revolutionary knowledge to working people. We know that hunger is a class problem, meaning that the people who go hungry are not the bosses and rich fuckers at the top, it’s the people who have to work under bosses or people who can’t find work that are forced to starve. So the only way to solve it is to take power away from the bosses and rich assholes.

In other countries throughout history, political groups like Serve The People have organized the masses of working people to quit being played by those fools and to take control of the machinery that runs their country, and we study those examples so that we can share with you how that kind of revolution could happen right here in Austin and how we could end hunger for real. But wait that’s what the Food Bank wants to do to right? “Lead the community in ending hunger?”

Well, that wasn’t always part of their mission.

They added that part in 2006, around the same time that the city of Austin was starting to grow rapidly. That’s right. They aren’t serious about “ending hunger,” they used it as an excuse to grow as an organization.

Now growth isn’t a bad thing by itself, Serve the People wants to grow too. The difference is that when the Food Bank grows it means they’ll have to ask for more money from the federal government and from rich donors, in other words the enemies of working people and the power to end hunger will slip farther and farther out of the hands of the people who can really stop it people like you.

Serve the People doesn’t take any grants from the government or businesses, and all of our members are volunteers, and it will always be that way. When we grow, it is because more and more working people are standing together to put an end to hunger and the other problems we face in our communities the only way we can, by taking the power back from those shitheads who make us their wage slaves and by freeing ourselves from poverty once and for all!

 

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Del Valle Rising

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High School Administration threatens students with suspension and arrest for organizing protest of ICE Raids.

On March 9th, the Del Valle High School administration, led by Principal David Williams, carried out rampant political repression of student organizers. Students had originally planned a walk-out to protest recent ICE raids at 11:50AM, but under pressure from the administration, the students were forced to call off their protest and comply with a school-sanctioned ‘sit-in.’ “At first our movement hoped to cooperate with the school while maintaining our autonomy,” one of the student organizers said. “Once we decided to organize without their ‘help,’ our leaders were brought in and forced to accept the school-sanctioned event or face immediate suspension and detainment.”

Principal Williams originally released a memo on Monday threatening suspensions and arrests for walk-out participants. On Thursday, a few hours before the planned walkout, Principal Williams called a meeting with student organizers. He reiterated threats of suspension and arrest, and he demanded they accept the school’s plan for a sanctioned ‘sit-in’ at 4:15. Students felt they had no other choice but to cancel the walk-out.

There is no such thing as a ‘permitted protest’ that truly threatens those in power. We the people have the power ourselves to claim space in our communities, our streets, even our highways, to make demands of our oppressors on our own terms, not on theirs.

These students have a right to rebel against their conditions on their own terms. These aren’t just questions of ‘free speech’, but of our community’s survival.

The fact that this principal is a white man in the highest position of power within the school, controlling brown students, is not lost on us.

The administration had no qualms threatening first-generation and immigrant students with suspensions, even knowing some students have immigration statuses that would be put at risk with a suspension on their record.

Despite this repression, we know this experience will only empower these exemplary students. It is critical that our community view them not as troublemakers or criminals, but as our next leaders.

School walk-outs are a valid, necessary form of protest in our times. Students across Central Texas are recognizing that the daily life of our community can not continue uninterrupted as immigration agents are kidnapping their family members and friends. All of us should learn from the Del Valle students’ bravery.

Their rebellion is our rebellion, and therefore we stand fully behind these students. It is inevitable that we will push aside those clinging to power, or abandon those who choose to stick their heads in the sand even as fascism starts to sink its roots into our communities. We will always fight back, led by the demands of the youth who are claiming their destiny to live in a better world.

Defend the Youth!
Chinga la Migra!
Fight ICE with Fire!

“Catch Me Outside Donald Trump”- STP Newsletter Issue 01

The fireworks, the flags, and the feeling of unity seen in North Austin this month showed us all how beautiful and powerful rebellion can be.

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Day after day, we hustle for ourselves and for our families because we think that maybe tomorrow will be better. We hear about ICE raiding our neighborhoods, the police threatening our children, and the city standing by doing nothing, but we hold on to the hope that maybe we can get by and survive.

When ICE arrested a man at the Whatburger in North Austin Friday February 10th, and a video of the arrest spread on social media, that hope snapped. When we find that our faith has been betrayed, when it becomes crystal clear that this country doesn’t really give a shit about us, we act. We fight back.

People took to the streets that night at the intersection of Rundberg and Lamar to show the world that they are sick of being treated this way. Cumbia music blasted from speakers, Mexican, Honduran, and Puerto Rican flags waved in the air, and the people blocked traffic for hours while police stood by powerless.

“Catch me outside Donald Trump!” said one young man through a megaphone that night.
Another young man said through the megaphone, “I just want to let y’all know that if they come for the brown, they’ll have to come through the black.”

A young woman from North Austin told Montopolis Matters that the police were not on our side. “They better stay out of my way,” she said.

The rally that night was only the first. There have been dozens at the same intersection since then, many led by young people. The local media stations have made the rallies out to be “riots.” Of course this kind of talk is not surprising. They’re always trying to make working people out to be criminals or hot heads, as if we have nothing to be mad about!

Even worse, those lies are coming out of the mouths of people in our own communities. Anytime some of us take a stand against our enemies, there’s always some non-profit piece of shit there telling us to calm down.

Well enough is enough. It’s time we stopped blaming each other for the violence that is really coming from the rulers of our society. Trump is the ugly ass cheeto pendejo face of that ruling class, but there are a ton of rich, greedy bastards behind him, and if we don’t hit back, they will just keep on terrorizing us.

Montopolis and North Austin face the same bullshit, and the rage that exploded at Rundberg and Lamar is the same righteous anger that we all feel against those who would see our communities deported, imprisoned, and erased. It is not shameful to pop off when this country tells us to fuck off, it is not a crime to celebrate our cultures, and it is not extra to protect our families. It is right to rebel!

-Koba Kaboom

Montopolis Matters is a biweekly newsletter made for the people, by the people. If you would like to write for or contribute art to MM, email kobakaboom@protonmail.com

Las cuetes, las banderas, y el convivio entre el pueblo visto en el Norte de Austin este mes nos muestra lo hermosa y poderosa que puede ser la rebelión. 

Día tras día, chambeamos por nosotros mismos y por nuestras familias porque creemos que tal vez mañana será mejor. Escuchamos que hay redadas de ICE en nuestros barrios, que la policía amenaza a nuestros hij@s, y la ciudad haciendo nada, pero mantenemos la esperanza de que tal vez podemos continuar y sobrevivir.

Cuando ICE arrestó a un hombre en el Whataburger en Rundberg Rd. el viernes 10 de febrero, y un video de la detención se extendió a los medios sociales, esa esperanza se rompió. Cuando encontramos que nuestra fe ha sido traicionado, cuando es claro que este país no nos importa un pedo, hay que actuar. Luchamos.

La gente salió a las calles esa noche en la intersección de Rundberg y Lamar para mostrar al mundo que están hartos de ser tratados de esta manera. Las altavoces del coche tocaron la música de cumbia, las banderas de México, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, y más rica agitó en el aire, y la gente bloqueó el tráfico durante horas mientras la policía se quedó sin poder.

“Encuéntrame afuera, Donald Trump!” dijo un joven a través de un megáfono esa noche.
Otro joven dijo a través del megáfono, sólo quiero que sepan que “Si vienen por los morenos, tendrán que pasar por los negros.”

Una joven mujer del norte de Austin le dijo a Montopolis Matters que la policía no estaba en nuestro lado, “Mejor que se quede fuera de mi camino,” dijo.

La manifestación de esa noche sólo fue la primera. Han continuado las protestas en la misma intersección desde entonces, muchos dirigidas por los jóvenes. Los medios de comunicación locales han hecho que las manifestaciones son “disturbios.” Por supuesto que este tipo de conversación no es sorprendente. Siempre están tratando de pintar los trabajadores como criminales o fanáticos, como si no tenemos nada de qué preocuparse.

Incluso peor, esas mentiras están saliendo de la boca de las personas en nuestras propias comunidades. Cuando algunos de nosotros tomen una posición contra nuestros enemigos siempre hay un político o un representante de las organizaciones sin fines de lucro que nos dice que nos calma.

Ya basta! Es hora de dejar de culpar al pueblo trabajador por la violencia que realmente viene de los gobernantes de nuestra sociedad. Trump es el pendejo con cara de cheetoh de esa clase gobernante, pero hay un montón de bastardos ricos y codiciosos detrás de él, y si no los golpeamos, nos seguirán aterrorizando.

Montopolis y el Norte de Austin se enfrentan a la misma mierda, y la rabia en Rundberg y Lamar es la misma rabia justa que todos sentimos contra aquellos que han visto a nuestras comunidades deportados, encarcelados, desalojados y borrados. No hay verguenza en luchar cuando este país nos diga que nos va a chinga, no es un crimen celebrar nuestras culturas, y no es locura que que queremos proteger a nuestras familias y compañeros. La rebelión es justificada!

Montopolis Matters es un boletín quincenal hecho para la gente, por la gente. Si desea escribir un artículo o contribuir con ilustraciones para MM, envíe un correo electrónico a kobakaboom@protonmail.com

To Another Year of Serving the People

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Almost one year ago, Serve the People Austin embarked on launching a free grocery and meal program in southeast Austin’s Montopolis neighborhood. We have been honored to meet others in the community and break bread with so many people. We serve food every single Sunday, but it is not us who are heroes; it is the everyday working people who are our heroes because it is them that have the infinite potential to change this world for the better. It is the people who struggle just to make it and keep their heads up every single day that offer us the inspiration to continue fighting in the coming year.

Our program works off of hearing the ideas that the people have—ideas on how to change the world! We take these ideas and we do our very best to put them into practice. What are the most common ideas from the working folks in Austin? Something needs to be done about the drugs and the racist thugs in uniform. Serve the People Austin needs your help to begin addressing these major issues as we move on in this new year. We cannot do it with such a small organization, we need people power to push out the pigs and the pushers!foodserving

Some feel that there are dark and difficult days ahead, as Trump is moving into the White House. We see this concern every weekend and want to prepare to serve the people with all our might. Serve the People Austin has been on the front lines against the election and the election results. We have seen our members attacked by police and arrested for exercising their right to protest. The government and their pigs become more and more controlling, abusive, and violent to enforce the will and secure the interests of the rich and elite, the very class which produces monsters like Donald Trump. We stand by the slogan fuck Trump, organize community self-defense! To us, this means organizing against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, against the right wing and fascist monsters inspired by Trumps election, against the Islamophobic racists who attack Mosques or other places of worship. It means standing up and fighting where community members are at risk.

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If you would like to get involved with Serve the People, if you have a landlord who is fucking you over or a boss who is ripping you off, if you cannot stand the state of this country and want to fight back, email us, give our Facebook page a like or call our number listed at the bottom. We need you this year as we gear up to branch out into other parts of Austin and surrounding areas. If there is a specific service you can provide, let us know. We must come together and struggle to build a world where social wellbeing replaces private profit, where sexist, racist rich people bullshit will not be tolerated, and shelter, food, medicine, and education are basic rights enjoyed by all free of charge.  Serve the People has a vision, but we cannot reach it without your help. We have seen our grocery program blossom this past year and stood alongside the people in many struggles. This year, we will see more programs and even more intense struggles. We proceed with commitment and humility. Thank you for allowing us to be of service.

-Serve the People Austin

Telephone: (512) 522-9032

Email: servethepeopleaustin@gmail.com

January 2017

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Throw them both on their ass for their crimes and for their class!

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Serve The People Austin concluded our election boycott campaign tonight outside of the polling station in Montopolis. What do these candidates represent? Not democracy. We are for democracy, one where the workers who make this world run have direct control over their lives and no one is forced to go without. The sham democracy of the USA has us forced between choosing a war hawk Hillary Clinton, who is financed by the same corporations who are funding the Dakota Access Pipe Line, which is poisoning indigenous people. She represents the corporate class of thieves and scum who foam at the mouth to wage never ending war in other countries and poison people for profit here at home. Or we could choose Trump who is a virulent racist human hater, billionaire landlord and grifter. His right wing fanatics go on crime sprees burning the cars and churches of hardworking folks. Both of them represent death and poverty, so what do we do? We rebel!

A small protest and march was held to state loud and clear that we are not being fooled by this so-called “democracy” for the elite. We chanted that “every time the ruling class chooses- whoever wins the working class loses”, “1234 Slavery genocide and war- 5678 America was never great” and “Throw Trump/Clinton on his/her ass- for his/her crimes and for his/her class”. We got lots of honks in support from commuters and workers alike. Even those who were voting still showed signs of support with few exceptions- even those who still believe in voting know full well that neither of these presidential candidates really represents their interests.

Children from the community were mobilized fashioning make shift masks out of their t shirts and joining the protest, they grabbed signs and help with chants, the young comrades were most eager to take swings at both crooks in the form of Trump and Clinton piñatas. The young comrades showed what they would do if either of these rich scum had the nerve to show up in South East Austin! The piñatas were destroyed and candy was enjoyed by all. As the heads of two of the most hated candidates in American history hung like monuments from the trees, more local youth came to join in using their heads as punching bags until they fell to the ground finally becoming useful as soccer balls for the people, eventually the heads were kicked into the street and the cars finished what the youth had started. News media was on the scene but they did not stick around.  elect6
With no options representing the people we move into an uncertain future- one of crisis and continued poverty, and one of plunder of third world resources by the greedy hand of the US imperialist class. We know one thing that whoever wins it is no victory to the people and that tonight when the results are announced right wing conservatives, Neo-Nazis and other fascist slime will likely mobilize and make things worse, and come what may, these scum have to be stopped. Serve The People is committed to anti-fascism and the best force to fight the fascists are the people themselves. If you are sick of this system and of white racists showing their asses contact us and see how you can get involved or come to the Texas State Capital, Saturday November 19th at 11 am sharp; to confront and shut down the “white lives matter” white power rally. There will be only a handful of them so there must be hundreds of us.

Down with phony democracy!
The people’s democracy is in the streets!
To hell with the white racist enemies who run our world!

Read the Writing on the Wall, Fuck you Get Out!

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We at Serve the People are proud to stand with Defend Our Hoodz who leads the charge against local gentrification (violent urban removal of the working class). We support and endorse the boycott against Blue Cat Café as we have for over a year. People ask why? We understand that adopting cats is a great thing to do which is enough to earn the establishment an initial amount of support from casual observers, but please look a little closer.

Blue Cat Café sits on top of the ruins of Jumpolin which embodied the culture and climate of the east side when real estate developers illegally demolished it while it was stocked with piñatas. The community wasted no time organizing a boycott of F&F ventures. Rebecca Gray, now owner of Blue Cat, was made completely aware beforehand that anyone doing business with F&F on this site would be targeted. She did not heed the peoples’ warnings and has joined in with the likes of her landlord Jordan French in making wild allegations and hurling racist insults at the Chicano community of the east side.  Some might think that hiding behind some cats can absolve Rebecca Gray, and a very few even cross the picket line to stand up for her, like the neighbor who Rebecca has bribed with free coffee and donuts. It is good for us that the majority of folks are not that cheap and we keep on fighting.

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bccsideSo let’s talk about the cats. The Austin American Statesman wrote in their article yesterday while insinuating that Defend Our Hoodz were responsible for vandalism that “The owner of the Blue Cat Café discovered profane graffiti against “you gentrified scum” on the walls of the building early Friday after vandals glued the doors shut, trapping meowing cats inside the eatery.” This is an effort to get sympathy for Rebecca, not the cats. White people began crying online right away about these poor cats. What we want to know is how this actually put any cats at risk? Were they not left with food? How long did it take Rebecca to get into the building and was every entrance sealed? We highly doubt it. As can be seen while protesting, the place has multiple entry points. But the journalist hacks at The Statesman did not find this fact worth reporting. Not only do we applaud whoever it was who took this action, we hope that many diverse actions are taken against Blue Cat Café by the angry community which it sits upon like a blister. Gentrification is a cancer on this city and we want that cancer cut out by any means necessary, from protest to resistance to revolution. While Rebecca chose to keep her name out of the media because the community hates her so much, those who have actually known Rebecca for a long time have reached out to Serve the People, and we have been told the following from several people who we will not name, including former friends and associates: We have been told that Rebecca hates animals, that she used to casually threaten to poison her neighbor’s dog, that she is so unhinged that people have had to cut her out of their lives completely and that she would not allow one of her roommates to keep her cat at home. These are not the actions of a pet lover; these are the actions of a psycho. Rebecca Gray uses cats first as a gimmick to make money and second to gain sympathy for her despicable and vile behavior.

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At one point during the demonstration Rebecca came out to instigate protesters on camera, she accused one of our comrades of “making death threats” and she called the pigs. The pigs tried to convince the comrade to leave with them but the crowd told them to fuck off. The pigs failed to get even the slightest bit of compelling evidence, proving yet again that Rebecca was crying wolf; she is a liar and a wannabe snitch making shit up for pity and attention. People like that have short and miserable lives and they always catch karma sooner or later, so remember that Rebecca. The protest itself remained energetic and intense, Rebecca called out a small army of cops who eventually hid inside the café while protesters surrounded the windows shouting “cats yes, pigs no!” and “read the writing on the wall, fuck you get out!” The pigs felt the need to come out and tell us they were going to “let” us keep protesting but that we had to stay off the property. When the pigs themselves were shouted down, one of them made a gun hand gesture and a bang noise  while pointing it at an activist. These veiled death threats are nothing new for APD and they got a dose of anti-pig protests that night as chants for David Joseph, Larry Jackson, Byron Carter and others who have been murdered by APD could be heard loud and clear.

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This is what being an enemy of the people looks like; calling pigs to protect Blue Cat

The good news is Blue Cat Café is the only place in East Austin where you can buy an overpriced cup of tea, pet a cat suffering from worms and get a police escort thrown in for free. The Pigs had to escort the customers of Blue Cat past a mob of angry community members to their cars. While we had no intention of doing anything to these patrons past the point of educating them on the boycott, we find that it is important to note that the patrons are usually rich white hipsters or other types of rich white people. Maybe they should get the police to escort them through our neighborhood every time they come here. This was just a case of the settler police forces protecting settlers.

A simple conclusion to this is to ask our readers to become active against Blue Cat Café and anyone else who is part of the process of ripping our communities from under us. Whether you prefer protest or other methods the time is now to strike, picket, protest, resist, and most importantly – rebel!

Join Serve the People and 13 other community organizations who endorse the boycott against Blue Cat Café! Support Defend Our Hoodz and join in the resistance against gentrification. This is not the end but the beginning of a long fight for our homes, communities, culture, and dignity.

Serve the People – Austin
October 22nd, 2016

You can follow Defend Our Hoodz here: http://www.facebook.com/defendourhoodz

Why We Are Boycotting The Elections

While lots of working-class people have already lost interest in voting and know that we need much more than just votes to change this world, we still encounter many questions about our stance. We can address some of those here and hope to get others on board!

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1. Why go so far as a boycott?

The capitalist-imperialist system is one where the ruling class holds all the power, and because of that fact, the only democracy that exists is ruling-class “democracy”: it is democratic only for the ruling class, and workers are not represented. No matter who is elected or what their intentions are or what party they represent, the interests of the very rich owners of industry are always put first.

Many workers are already aware of this fact, so many in fact that this is reflected in the voter turnout of the last presidential elections in 2012, which was somewhere around 54%. The lowest percentage of voters is found in the section of the population making less than $20k per year. The fact that only about half the population even votes, with no indication that this number is growing, means that millions and millions of working-class people do not feel that voting is a productive or useful activity. These people are not wrong. What it means to us is that the masses are losing faith in the electoral system.

One of the main explanations given by people who did not vote but were registered to vote is usually being too busy with work to either follow the political circus closely or make it to the polling station. This is due to the fact that this system makes us break our backs daily with very little to get by on. It then taxes the shit out of us and lets our schools, streets, and houses fall apart. Meanwhile, politicians who pop up on TV tell lie after lie so many times that we have come to just stop listening to them. They make plenty of campaign promises and keep almost none of them. So many people were hopeful that change would come with Obama’s election just to be disappointed when black people were still being killed by police at an escalating rate, US bombs kept falling on the poorest nations on earth, and people continued to be broke and struggling right here.

Whichever party wins—even if their election campaign theatrics vary—their practice once they take office is still the same. The jobs exported under Reagan continued being shipped out by Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama. Whether a Democrat or a Republican was in office, US workers lost their jobs and faced harsh welfare cuts and a police force that looked more and more like an army. The military however still manages to receive enormous funding, and the gap between the working people and the rich has only increased. Some people call this “globalization” and blame secret organizations. We say that these groups are not very secret: they are the monopoly capitalist ruling class, who are few in numbers but run the country with a firm grip, and elections are just one way they exert their class dictatorship over the workers. The giant corporations and especially those who head them are engaged in a kind of decaying capitalism that spreads like a plague across the planet in search of profits and cheap resources to steal. When capitalism reaches such a stage it is what we identify as imperialism. US imperialism is the most aggressive in the world and has disastrous effects for workers here and abroad. It cannot be voted out. No matter who you vote for, the ruling class wins. No party running can be an alternative in such a rigged game.

After the same routine every four years with the exact same results, we are fed up with this shit and say enough is enough! We demand real change, which can only come about with an end to capitalism—an end to capitalism that means real democracy, for the majority, not one that is actually only for elite parasites at the top of a predatory food chain called capitalism. Every day we can feel the need for a better world where we can treat one another with love and respect, where we can all be equals. This world is not only possible, it is a necessity—only thing is, you can’t vote for it.

2. The myth that not voting helps the conservatives

There are those out there who are so drunk on voting that they will try and scare or shame others into doing it. They will tell us that by not voting we are allowing the right-wing to win. This is just illogical. Both the so-called left and the right alike use the exact same campaign measures, so not voting does not help or harm one side more than the other. This peer pressure tactic lacks analysis and clear thinking.

Both the major parties and all of the other ones for that matter support capitalism and are essentially the same on all important issues. In this system as we have seen the “third parties” do not stand a chance. This is not due to us not voting but due to the power that corporations and the ruling class possess over this so-called democracy. Even if these third parties stood a chance at winning, they still support capitalism and cannot stop imperialism just by holding office. These politicians are confined by a series of checks and balances that materially prevent them from getting rid of capitalism. Boycotting the elections is the only means at our disposal of breaking with this system, by seeing straight through this mess and identifying the whole system as the enemy.

3. Why we do not run candidates: no candidate can be a revolutionary

It’s simple: revolution means a drastic change, not a little unnoticeable one. Real change, the type this country desperately needs, does not and cannot come from the ballot box. The end of capitalism is what is required, and that requires millions of active participants. The same is true for any reforms. Reforms only happen when the ruling class is forced to act. The action that brings change always, without fail, has come from the people themselves and has been rooted in mass struggle. The capitalists and landlords may need to exploit us to live, but we do not need them at all! Real change comes from mass movements and revolutionary movements only. These movements do force the ruling class to make concessions here and there, but that is not enough, and if we stop struggling they take them back immediately. It will take a real revolution to stop the capitalists for good and liberate the people.

When they are elected all these politicians act the same. They extort taxes, go against the people, and serve their masters. They hurt people to stay in office and make more money for the rich, not just here but around the world. Due to this fact, all change comes from the outside of the electoral system. There are many examples of this. The civil rights movement is one example, where it was obviously the power of the people and not the politicians that made the changes (even though these changes were far from enough).

Revolutions do not fall out of the sky. They do not come from nowhere. They come from the intentional activity of the working class. Revolution requires a full ideological break with the ruling-class “democracy” and the electoral system that is in place. If we put up our own left-wing candidates, that would fail: it would fail to break fully with the ideology of capitalist elections, and it would also fail to help others to make this break as well. It would only add to the confusion. By refusing to help people break with what the capitalists are trying to sell us as “democracy,” we actually would perpetuate their ideology—dragging working-class and oppressed people back into the voting process, back into a system which they have already become disillusioned with and have largely abandoned. Most importantly, election boycotts allow us to organize with those who already see through the sham of capitalist “democracy” rather than pull them back into a system we see as undemocratic.

4. Why we don’t believe in changing the system from the inside

The whole system from the bottom to the top is set up to maintain capitalism. Even if a lot of progressive or “revolutionary” candidates were elected, the gigantic government bureaucracy with its millions of staff and managers and directors would still be in place, keeping things running business as usual—keeping the people down, no matter what. The loyal government staff sharply control the actions of anyone who gets elected. The state also rules through the courts, the police, the military, and the prison system, and none of them would sit idly by as real pro-people reforms were attempted. When socialists have been elected to high positions in countries around the world, they have most often been overthrown by their own military. There are also other things in place that are designed to safeguard capitalism—these include the school system, which insists on teaching racist, capitalist history regardless of the facts. There is a whole ideology of capitalism that rules over us on the TV, in the news, online—and all of them are controlled by corporations and the ruling elite. These servants of the ruling class cannot be voted away, and their power cannot be returned to the people only on the good intentions of a single progressive politician.

The state has one primary function—to serve capitalism, no matter who heads it up. We have never, not even once, seen the system truly change from “working on the inside.” And in almost every case it is the system that changes those who go into it, even those who start with the best intentions.

5. Why we don’t vote for “the lesser of two evils”

It is already evident that all this system offers us is shit, so why should we eat it? While candidates and parties differ on some issues, both operate within the boundaries of what is acceptable to the ruling class—without exception. There is really no lesser evil when both parties agree on robbery and war as a means to sustain capitalism. To vote for “the lesser of two evils,” we would have to sacrifice our politics and principles. We feel that everyone should be honest and open about their politics and not be forced to sacrifice their integrity every four years and cast votes for people who they still consider evil. The goalposts keep moving, and it seems with every four years that past, the lesser of two evils has become just as evil as the greater evil was last time! So we must ask: when the hell are we going to start actually fighting evil?

6. Boycotting vs. doing nothing

The reality is that almost half the population already engage in a passive boycott, just by not voting. This is why we insist on turning this passive boycott into an active boycott. An active boycott is not a call to do nothing: it is most clearly a call to get organized in an active, truly democratic, and revolutionary way. The way we see it, with how little voting has ever accomplished, voting is far closer to doing nothing, while actively organizing a boycott is no small task because it directly confronts and challenges the whole idea of this ruling-class “democracy” with revolutionary activism and revolutionary ideology. In short, we would rather spend our time building for revolution than continue for a moment to pretend the votes they give us mean anything.

Voting once every four years to see which stooge of the rich gets to lord over us is undesirable when it is put next to the unlimited possibility of an organized and militant working class. When we really consider our options we come to the conclusion that it is better to do everything in our power to change this system and not give in to the nothingness of voting.

7. The myth that only privileged people do not vote

Capitalism and its supporting structures—sexism, racism, and white supremacy—are what keep privilege intact, so only what stands in opposition to capitalism has any chance of restricting or abolishing privilege, domination, and exploitation. While voting alone cannot result in any serious changes, mass struggle will, and that is exactly what we are promoting by supporting a boycott.

On the contrary, we feel that those who are comfortable enough with the way things are have a certain amount of privilege that allows them to feel secure with the extremely limited methods the system offers. For poor working people and specific oppressed groups, voting does not offer liberation, security, or equality. So it is mostly white middle-class people who have enough privilege to rely exclusively on voting. The rest of us have to struggle a lot harder for something better.

8. How is boycotting any better?

While we do not think that boycotting the vote by itself will offer up any significant change—this boycott is part of a much larger strategy. Most importantly, it offers us a chance to promote an ideological break with this system, its elections, and its phony democracy. It offers us the opportunity to organize with others in the interest of building a real revolutionary movement that neither relies on nor operates within the perimeters of what is acceptable to the rich. It expresses our issues in a way that does not seek the approval of those who would keep us down. We see no need to appeal to the oppressor. The boycott is just one small aspect of our work. It is the start of something, not the end of it. We also actively run pop-up free stores and free food and grocery programs, and we are engaged in a number of pro-people activities, and we never ask for permission from this crooked system of the criminals at its helm. We are building people power every day and helping the working people in the city break from depending for their basic survival on the exact same system that keeps people down. Again, this system needs us, but we do not need it. There are so many organizations that put their own agendas before what the people need, but the people are our only agenda. We are not asking for votes, and we are not trying to sell anything.

9. On the question of throwing away our votes

Again, in actuality, we are expressing our anger much more clearly than voting—we are expressing an anger not just at the way these electoral politics work only for the rich but also at the whole system and at the rich themselves. We encourage a full break with this system—not casting blank votes, not voting for mock candidates who cannot win, and not writing in the names of people who do not exist. We are choosing to not vote because voting in any way gives legitimacy to a system that half the population already sees as illegitimate. We refuse to vote for an evil. We refuse to vote for the Green Party or a “socialist,” because all of them would be throwing away our votes. We are choosing to not vote because voting has lost meaning to us and has come to mean participation in this bogus system. By choosing to not vote, we demand revolutionary change and start out on that course. When we do finally vote, it will not be to toss our choice away on someone who could not care less about people and only cares about profit; when we do finally vote it will mean something, because it will be in a radical new revolutionary society where the workers are on top.

Contact Serve the People – Austin to see how you can get involved!

servethepeopleaustin@gmail.com

(512) 522-9032

Protest the pig pizza party! Solidarity with Charlotte, and justice for Keith L Scott!

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[Español abajo]

The cops who beat our heads in, arrest us, harass, abuse and kill our working class people are trying to buy the people off with free pizza. They are having an event called “pizza with a cop”. We serve food in this park every sunday and all these pigs do is ruin peoples lives.

We are going to protest their crimes against the people by giving away free food and free pizza to the community, so that no one has to lose their appetite by eating with a pig. We aim to see the neighborhood safe from the pigs and call for a cop free park. Please come out and let these pigs know they are not welcome in the hood. Bring signs, banners, noise makers, pots pans etc. If they wont give us peace we wont give them peace! Fuck The Police!

Serve The People, Stop The Pigs!

After Friday–when bloodthirsty pigs were caught on video in Tulsa, OK, murdering Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man with his hands in the air–yesterday in Charlotte, NC, pigs shot and killed another black man, Keith Lamont Scott, despite the fact that, as his family says, he was armed with only a book.

Hundreds of people in Charlotte, fed up with the brutal pig occupying army, took to streets and blocked off Interstate 85. Despite the pigs’ military-style repression tactics of riot gear, tear gas, and flash grenades, the people kept pushing back, throwing rocks, lighting fires, and injuring twelve pigs. We say hell yeah! It is more than right to rebel against the pigs–it is necessary for us to get out of this bullshit!

The pigs in Austin are just as murderous. As we protest the pigs’ attempts to buy off the community with nothing more than a few pizzas tomorrow, we must ask, are Byron Carter, Larry Jackson, David Joseph, and Nathaniel Sanders invited for pizza? Hell no they aren’t, they were murdered by APD in cold blood. We protest in solidarity with the people of Charlotte and say that it is great to resist, but we must also do more–we need to build our own revolutionary people’s organizations that can help resolve problems in the community, made up of regular people and accountable to the people–not to the bosses, landlords, and their crony politicians who live large while we break our backs every day just to live.

Los policías que nos golpean, acostan, abusan y matan a nuestra gente de la clase trabajadora están tratando de comprarnos con pizza gratis. Están teniendo un evento llamado “pizza con un policía”. Nosotros servimos comida en este parque todos los domingos y lo único que estos cerdos hacen es arruinar las vidas de nuestra gente.

Los cerdos creen que pueden abusar a la comunidad y luego comprarnos pizza y todo estará resuelto. El jueves a las 530 estamos protestando contra los cerdos @ Montopolis Recreation Center (1200 Montopolis Dr). Vengan a decirles que vemos a través de sus mentiras y a comer nuestra pizza + comida en lugar de la suya!

Tambien estamos protestando en solidaridad con la gente en Charlotte, donde ayer, en sangre fria, los cerdos asesinaron a Keith Lamont Scott, un hombre negro armado con solamente un libro.