Sunday, May 5, 2024

The Free Palestine Movement Could Finally Make the American Left Dangerous Again

 I grew up in the American far left and I'm really not exaggerating when I tell you that the movement saved my life. I discovered libertarian socialism and its various stateless sub species at an age when I was feeling increasingly endangered as the last genderqueer kid on earth in the thick of rural Pennsylvania's conservative Catholic pedophile country. I felt about as hopelessly 'other' as it gets until I discovered the Bush-era antiwar movement and began scraping the history books for other otherized voices like mine. 

I found them buried about a mile beneath the bullshit in the lost chapter on another antiwar movement, the very distinctly 'other' antiwar movement of the sixties and seventies. Boldly countercultural voices like those of Michel Foucault, Fred Hampton, Paul Goodman, Huey Newton, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, and Russell Means gave me something to believe in when I didn't even believe in myself. The fight against American imperialism at the bloody birth of the New American Century gave me a place to belong and a jihad to devote myself to long before I discovered that I wasn't in fact the last genderqueer kid on earth, and I will remain grateful for this gift unto my dying breath.

But over the last several years I have found what passes for the left in this country, even the "far left", to be disturbingly unrecognizable. I have seen an increasing willingness by so-called social anarchists to embrace downright authoritarian statism as the solution to nearly every social ill. I have seen seemingly lucid libertarian socialists galvanized behind the DNC's elderly trojan horse, Bernie Sanders, and his chickenshit saplings in the Squad. I have seen these same so-called leftists lionize neoliberal darlings like the White Helmets and Volodymyr Zelensky while making excuses for sending bombs to their friends in Al-Nusra and the Azov Battalion. Meanwhile, I have seen more consistently antiwar voices, including my own, silenced, canceled, and removed from supposedly left-wing platforms. 

I've been left with little other choice but to gasp in horror as the left that once inspired a weird teenager not to slit her wrists seems to have mutated into a censorious cult of Herbert Humphrey-style softcore social democrats willing to nail Rosa Luxemburg to the cross themselves as long as the Freikorps purge Trump from their ranks and hang a rainbow flag over the caskets of less compliant former comrades.

This grotesquely strange display of downright counterrevolutionary behavior has led me down some very strange roads in search of allies against empire. I've taken to self-identifying as a post-left anarchist and devoting myself entirely to the typically right libertarian principle of bottom unity while reaching out to other ideological heretics like so-called anarcho-capitalists, boogaloo boys, pan-Islamic nationalists, and heathen radical traditionalists. Meanwhile, I've also struggled to build a more tribal Queer identity that defies the left-right paradigm entirely and harkens back to a more primitive communal pagan consciousness. 

But at the end of the day, my heart will always bleed left. I will always be that same pissed-off Yippie anarcho-transfeminist that the Catholic Church failed to gag, and this is why I look to YouTube footage of the anti-Zionist swarms now engulfing college campuses from coast to coast with a level of cautious hope that my broken bleeding heart hasn't experienced in years.

Some call this the Free Palestine Movement, others call them Anti-Israel, but regardless of the labels, these kids have laid siege to hundreds of campuses across the country and across the globe, building nearly 80 encampments in the US alone in less than three weeks. They are jamming up traffic. They are occupying buildings. They are literally ruining parades by supergluing their bodies to the fucking blacktop. They are shutting down the Golden Gate Bridge. They are trolling Joe Biden on the campaign trail at every corner with jeers of "Genocide Joe!" They are relentless, furious, shameless, and absolutely fucking obnoxious and I couldn't love them more if they were my own goddamn children. 

All of this chaos is being raised not on behalf of some woke cause celebre, but on behalf of the most marginalized people on the planet, the 34,000+ Palestinians slaughtered in cold blood with American weapons by every liberal's favorite racist apartheid state in Israel. And the lives of millions more hang in the balance as Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to starve the Gaza Strip into submission in an open plot to push those Arab refugees into the desert wastelands of the Sinai Peninsula.

The only reason why any politician or media personality is even paying lip service to the notion of a ceasefire to this holocaust is because these beautiful obnoxious brats have gotten up in their fucking faces and refused to behave until the adults in the room address the mass grave of bodies decomposing in the backyard. They have burned every bridge, crossed every Rubicon, and crushed the toes of every institution of power within stomping distance and the system is stomping back with every jackboot they can shove their bloody feet into.

Every single newspaper and network from left to right has baselessly slandered these kids as antisemites with both parties joining the synergistic corporate chorus of condemnation. The universities who rely on their student's debt to turn a profit have teamed up with local police forces taking their marching orders directly from the Department of Homeland Security to brutally evict this anti-Zionist question by any means necessary. Batons, pepper spray, tear gas, flashbang grenades, rubber bullets, armored vehicles, everything south of cluster munitions seems to be on the table and I'm sure Tom Cotton is working on that.

Sadly, this story just seems to grow more sinister by the hour with each passing detail. In Ohio and Indiana, snipers have been photographed on the rooves of campus buildings with high-powered rifles trained on unarmed students and in Denver, CBS Colorado has reported that the state's National Guard are already among the law enforcement presence, which is precisely what GOP chickenhawks like House Speaker Mike Johnson are quite openly calling for, a repeat of Kent State.

Democrats and their neocon allies however seem to prefer a more federal final solution. Joe Biden, a man whose own political rap sheet would make a grand wizard shout "goddamn!" like a Black Baptist in a white whorehouse, is calling to "aggressively implement the first ever national strategy to counter antisemitism" which would include "the full force of the federal government" to crack down on dangerous speech which that old bitch tells us has "no place on college campuses." 

Meanwhile, a bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives is being waged to send government "antisemitism monitors" to every college campus funded by the federal government as part of their College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigation and Accountability or COLUMBIA Act, which would essentially turn the Department of Education into a veritable police force in charge of stamping out anything certain racists like Joe Biden and Mike Johnson deem antisemitic.

This may all sound terrifying, but it is also the fruit of a job well done. We haven't seen so many institutions of power gang up on teenagers like this since the age of the freaks who inspired me to spit in the Pope's eye. What these kids need now is us, the scary veteran extremists who the news loves to label as outside actors, but what we really are is a sort of campus counter-police force, elders with guns and skills. We need to join these brave kids, listen to what they have to teach us and pay it forward with black blocks and AR toting militias. The left is finally coming back around again to a grade of anti-imperialism that even the Squad can't seem to assimilate, and we should take this opportunity to welcome them home with loaded arms.

And to some of my new allies outside of the left who will bitch that the campus Free Palestine Movement is little more than a different strain of identity politics; I say so the fuck what. The culture war may have corrupted the antiwar movement, but the culture itself was never really the problem, the emphasis was. The truth is that it was the culture warriors of the Black Power Movement who radicalized the antiwar movement into something Nixon needed tin soldiers to put down and both the Chicano and Gay Liberation Movements were defined by their own indigenous oppositions to imperialism. 

This is what the radical left really needs right now to become truly radical again, not politics, but a culture defined by resistance to colonialism. This is what turned me on and turned me dangerous because it made the fight for peace in far-off places deeply personal. To put another long rant short: if we can convince Generation Z that smashing the American Empire is woke, then Babylon is officially fucked. Maybe that's a big 'if' but what else do we have to lose but bodies at this point?

We've got the momentum, freaky people, so let's make it fucking happen. Let's finally make the American left dangerous again.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Free Radicals by the Flaming Radicals

* For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield

* The Beautiful Ones by Suede

* All Born Screaming by St. Vincent

* Instant Karma by John Lennon

* Only by Nine Inch Nails

* I've Been Tired by the Pixies

* Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

* Riot Rhythm by Sleigh Bells

* Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

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