Last night I was thinking about Davin with nostalgia and though this may sound homoerotic i assure you this is not the case. I met Davin when he was trying to organize another chapter of IS and I decided to join. Needless to say the IS chapter was not formed and something
new and unique was born.Davin brought wityh him organizational skills, contacts and tshirts of his great uncle Joe Slovo, I brough with me street youth, anger and endless rhetoric of Mao, organizing the “lumpen prolteriate” and “Stalinism. We set about, with the help of others setting our thoughts in motion and putting our ideas into practise. Davin was the one with legitimacy and I was the firebrand who wanted to fight cops and Nazis and in the words of one kid who attended the Spot, a drop in centre run by the youth for the youth, Julian would have these crazy Ideas and Davin had the knowhow to make it happened. When our drop in centre first opened we would have pitch battlles in the streets with fascists that would come smash our windows etc., we would have supersoakers filled with boiled habanero peppers and sticks and would defend ourselves, while at the same time being under attack again and again by police. After the Nazis were liquidated as a force, our struggle didnt end but were intensified. Attacked by the police, arrested in and out of jail we fought because we believed that we were building socialism and whatever sacrifices we made were just because they were for the greater good. Our drop in centre was not heaven as we had to struggle against gangsterism and the false idea that street justice was revolutionary justice, and quite a few times we put our necks on the line to oppose this. I remember when one youth armed wanted to smash another youth i jumped in the way and said they had to get through me first he escaped out the back and my mom hid him while we dealt with the situation. Other times i would get a call from Davin and be told to get here now and it would be some sort of other crisis like police attacks, or dealing with gangsterism or other such things, everything was an emergency because we were in a state of crisis organizing, trying to implement our programs while at the same time dealing with our friends getting fucked up or arrested or other such stuff. When our student allies all walked out on us Davin stood with us, and we continued our struggle implementing peoples school, free food programs, case work for those kicked off of ow and odsp, sqats, international solidarity, copwatch programs and dealing with idiots like Kyle McGee. We set up our own courts to deal with internal problems. We set up portfolios and read the Red book, Che Guevara, Ward Churchill and others. While this was going on we had our own war on drugs and took a hardline on criminality while at the same time recognizing the reality that people faced. From Davins house getting smashed cause he lent me the keys to throw a party and different gangsters decided to come and fight putting heads in walls, losing davins tent cause the cops took it from a homeless friend (he travelled all across africa with it) to internal fights that led to hole in the walls of our drop in centre, to filling the courts with militants chanting off the pigs and free our comrades we through our lot in with the people and dealt with problems as they were seeking truth from facts and coming up with solutions. This hard work lead to the politicization of lots of streetyouth and increased repression, which led to increased resistance. While we were winning awards from the crime prevention councils many of our active members were getting arrested and thrown in jail, myself and Davin included. In the backdrop those that were not involved were very good at criticizing and demonizing us, telling us how everything we did was wrong and horrible, calling us criminals even though we were the ones fighting crime through our work of creating an alternative. All sorts of slanders were thrown against us and i remember one article that attacked and demonized davin taking his kind acts and twisting them. When under attack me and Davin would chit chat and support each other against these attacks and it was Davin, who with his contacts initially broke the isolation we were facing, this isolation was eventually smashed when we were both in jail and a solid campaign lead by people in the outside garnered mass support. Our Mayday conference that year that Davin Couldnt attend because he was in jail was successful.Myself under really fucked conditions couldnt leave the spot except to go to my house and was helpless to do anything other than make phone calls as heavily armed police smashed into the squat that the youth took arresting and brutalizing them, forcing one youth to jump out the window (he got snatched anyways).
Although we and Davin fought quite often, looking back the issues that we fought about were not as serious as they seemed back then Eg. putting people holding guns in our magazine etc. and despite his class background he did throw his lot with the people, living a meagre life in a room with just a mattress and some books. Still in terms of criticisms we had from those outside, Davin and his friends understood because they were part of the struggle and the youth we were organizing were not clients but our friends and comrades. Davin went to law school and became a lawyer, and im still doing the same work, creating alternatives, dealing with crisis after crisis, doing international solidarity which was always a key point of our work. Yet many of those around us who use to support us dont understand the way they did back then (im not talking about Davin). I have been told several times when people i know from back then relapsed and OD’ed or have gone to jail that I am too emotionally attached and everyday somewhere someones dieing etc.This unity from Davins friends has not only faded but the attacks we got back then have resurfaced and we have been told that the work we are doing with our peoples programs that we are still caring out is “not political”, and even though we have unity within our ranks, im at a point where i feel i no longer can sit and explain myself to people, I feel frustrated that people just dont get it. The actions that we did back then and were praised back then, as well as our jail comportment is now being labelled as adventurism, reckless and I have even been denounced as having anarchist tendencies.Yet although my decisions and the decisions of the collective i am part of can be explained and for the most part win victory I just feel that people who were on the periphery back then should understand. Other things, like need to know basis and being vague esp over the phone, and other sorts of deceptions that were taken for granted back then are now seen as overly paranoid etc.
The sense of isolation I feel explaining our politics or why we do what we do to others who should know really frustrates me and im at the point that I dont engage in dialogue with those who should know better, our politics are all we have. Sure we have middle class allies today but its not like i can call them and explain what the story is and they would sympathise or understand or even care, to them they care about the suffering of children in Ireland, yet are willing to turn a blind eye to the suffering children here. Its cooler after all to be compassionate as long as you dont have to humanize and deal with the people so brutalized by the system, that may jeopardise your activist outlook and after all its not as cool as a blockade.
Still despite this I am still fighting the fight,building socialism on the principles of self sacrifice, volunteerism, resistance and “adventurism” etc., still under threat from NAZIS and dealing with life as is and many are still fighting with me just wish i had someone like Davin to talk to, someone from that class who as different as he is from me at least tried to understand because he actually engaged in struggle.(in terms of AW@L they were and as individuals are of that caliber but thats another blog)
PS. Just talked about davin hes still pissed about the tent lol