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Interview with former Black Panther Ashanti Alston in Ireland

category international | anti-capitalism | news report author Monday March 02, 2009 12:03author by Andrew Flood & Ashanti Alston - WSM (personal capacity)author email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

US Anarchist Ashanti Alston who is speaking at the Anarchist Bookfair in Dublin this March 7th has spent that last few days speaking at meetings in Cork and Galway and hanging out with anarchists in Dublin. In this interview recorded last night in Kilmainham he talks about his visit to Ireland, the post Seattle anarchist wave in the USA, the formation of Anarchist People Of Color (APOC) the current capitalist crisis and the need to seize the moment.
Ashanti speaking at Jericho demonstration in Philly
Ashanti speaking at Jericho demonstration in Philly

Ashanti is a former members of the Black Panther Party and former soldier in the Black Liberation Army in connection with which he served 14 years in prison in the US.

The interview/discussion is about 30 minutes long, here are some rough notes of what is talked about

A general impression of anarchism in North America following the Seattle wave
The inspiration of the Zapatistas and meeting with international anarchists in Chiapas
The growing number of people of color interested in anarchism and the formation of Anarchist People Of Color (APOC)
Building communication and networking between anarchists on the American continent
Bringing struggles together to build them into a powerful movement.
Continental organisation and the potential of Love & Rage
First impressions of Ireland - 'Like a dream come true'
The build up towards the March 30th strike - people are upset, people are frustrated, the rich folks ain't never gonna take no pain
Impressions of the anarchist movement in Ireland
For anarchists this is a moment we haven't had since the Spanish Civil War - Seize the time, seize the moment
The global nature of the anarchist movement today and the connections with indigenous movements that don't self define as anarchist
The internet and the need for face to face contact

Ashanti's website is at http://www.anarchistpanther.net/

Ashanti is speaking in Belfast on Tuesday night, see - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/91232
Ashanti is speaking at the Dublin anarchist bookfair on Saturday, see http://www.wsm.ie/blogs/bookfair09/?page_id=25

Note: This is part 1 of a two part interview, part 2 will be added as a comment to this thread when its ready.

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/public_newswire?topic_id=®ion_id=&type_id=14

audio Andrew Flood in discussion with Ashanti Alston part 1 15.11 Mb
author by Roxypublication date Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When did he speak in Galway?? I heard nothing about this.

author by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Mon Mar 02, 2009 16:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is part 2 of the interview/discussion, about 50 minutes worth this time

Again rough notes on what this section of the interview covers
The number of political prisoners still in US jails
The use of the police to keep people under control and the militarization of the police in the major cities
Cop Watch the deterrent power of videoing policing
Prison abolition
Security, provocation and paranoia and how to deal with the consequences on the movement
FBI crackdown on Earth First and Animal Liberation movements as well as SF 8 and Puerto Rican movements
How to get the people out of prison that have been there 10/20 years
Negative effects on paranoia on movement building and building links between movements
The police in North America schools, how schools and other institutions have become like jails
Talking about the Black Panthers in High Schools
The roles of schools in fortifying the system
The percentage of African American males who encounter the prison system
The matrix red pill, blue pill thing
Obama, the new American president
Powerful people have decided he would be a good face for the empire but you can't say that to folks from our (the black) community.
The Obama effect on radicalising people who previously had no interest in politics and the effect of expectations not being met.
It will bring a lot of people into different movements in different ways, on the negative side the right wing christians are buying record numbers of guns
Rising expectations were an important part of the movement in the 60's, we may see the same impact now.
The Obama honeymoon will not last long
The crisis once more - we have to organise from the bottom
We need to go way beyond what happened in the 60's
This might be the time where we get a chance to show some alternatives, everybody is going to have a part to play
Workers need to embrace their potential power
The 'resistance if futile' massive expansion of prison industrial complex under Clinton and the Bush's runs contradictory to the 'Hope' message
Can we use Obama's slogans for another purpose
Anarchists as being part of and not seperete from the community
Guriella cultural stuff
The crisis in Iceland as an indicator of a world wide crisis
The lefts historic overuse of the concept of capitalist crisis
Doug Henwood's podcast as a useful source of economic information
The crisis as a period of real change, the Wily Coyote moment
Getting people to think there are altenatives - its not rocket science
The failure to pull together a black movement out of hurricane Kathrina aftermath
The paralysis of the revolutionary forces, are we going to blow it, are we going to fight each other?

Note to eds - I spelt Ashanti's name wrong in the title of the article, be cool if you could fix that

audio Part 2 of Andrew Flood Ashanti Alston discussion 18.37 Mb
Related Link: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/user/andrewnflood
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