by Miles Joyner
The Daily Attack
A convenience store in the town I grew up in getting robbed by over 50 teenagers marks one of several flash mob incidents that have taken place in East Coast cities ranging from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. The incidents have sparked several legal measures taken against gatherings of large groups youth in these cities, both from the local government and private merchants.
Very few people have spoken in support of the flash mobs, and it’s hard to argue against the reasons if you’re sympathetic with the employees or business owners dealing with mischevious teens. Not to mention that they probably cause a nuisance for bystanders. The targeted areas of the flash mobs range from simple convenience stores like I mentioned earlier to more gentrified areas like Dupont Circle in the DC area. Several people on the libertarian right are predictably writing off the kids as dead-end losers:
It goes without saying that there are just bad kids out there too. The kinds of kids that grow up to be criminals or asking if you’d like to upsize your Wendy’s value meal. Basic evolution tells you that some people just aren’t going to reach that next rung on life’s ladder. Of course this is not to suggest that we should just stand back and watch these kids ruin their lives but we should stop trying to have “conversations” and find “solutions” when these acts are really the fault of a few things: lack of personal responsibility, terrible parenting and basic Darwinism.
Ouch. Rebels, even ones without causes, are automatically useless? Even the morally rigid Nation of Islam recognizes the recruitment potential of convicts. I always scratched my head at libertarians being so quick to associate petty criminals as “the enemies.” After all, several of America’s most important rebels began behind bars or doing petty crimes. Malcolm X was serving a sentence for robbery before he converted to the NOI and began speaking out against the effects of colonialism. Several members of the Black Panther Party were street vagrants before being recruited to the cause for Black liberation. The fact is, especially for such a political movement that cries ‘anti-state’ like libertarianism or anarchism, radicals need to recruit from the State’s most oppressed victims which includes the criminal class. Otherwise, which demographics of the population will wish to end the State besides those who just happen to read alot of Libertarian literature?
The Uhuru Movement has quickly realized the potential that exist in these kinds of flash mobs:
These large groups of African youth are actually rising up, coming together to show their unity and resistance against a city [Philadelphia] that attacks African people.
Reports state these defiant youths are organized primarily through cell phone text messaging, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. One message sent travels through thousands of cell phones—resulting in thousands of African youth converging on a central location in the city.
Wow. How does anyone read this passage and not think to themselves the tools that the use are using are identical to the ones utilized in contemporary revolutionary movement ranging from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street? I do. It’s clear as day that these kids are waging open source warfare to get what they want. Sure, it’s nothing close to a valiant cause for “freedom” but it’s a successful tactic nonetheless.
Regardless of whether or not one sees any kind of positives within the flash mobs, it’s hard to argue with the Uhuru Movement’s claim that these East Coast’s cities’ funds don’t favor the city’s indigenous population:
Starting this fall, the District will have $1.25 million to offer new or existing retail businesses that are “small and unique” along H Street. A grant application, currently in development, will be available in September… Retail shops are eligible, excluding liquor stores, restaurants, bars, barbershops, hair salons and phone stores.
Similar public-private relationships exist throughout the country in countless urban cities to bring about the urban liberal utopia against the economic progress of the city’s indigenous population. It’s not a surprise, though. We all want the perfect urban landscape of diverse stores with peaceful residents. Yet, the reality in America is that the city is the site of some of the most disastrous policies that have created scarcity of capital. Redlining, blockbusting, zoning laws, licensing fees, expressways, etc. have all pushed the increases of black/grey markets in marginalized Black communities. This means a push for gaining capital through means that have low capital investment and high profits. Drugs, DVD piracy, prostitution, burglary, and when the realization that a higher number of participants can yield a better possibility, flash mob store robbery.
By all means, necessary actions need to be taken to defend one’s property or means of providing for themselves. However, those serious about organizing urban insurrection should pay attention to the tactics, not the misguided ideology of fast money, of youth engaging in criminal activity.
Reposted from The Daily Attack