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Radical/Anti-Capitalist Caucus Rejects Legitimacy of Elections

April 26, 2012

by the Radical Anti-Capitalist Caucus

With state primaries on the horizon, the Radical/Anti-Capitalist Caucus of Occupy Portland rejects the legitimacy of this year’s elections. We believe city problems are inadequately addressed by local elected officials. These problems can only be addressed by a politics of popular liberation and direct community empowerment. Regardless of who wins this year’s elections, these problems will continue to grow until the system of capitalism is destroyed.

As voters consider the decisions that will be put before them in the May 15 Oregon primary, the
Radical/Anti-Capitalist Caucus of Occupy Portland, ask occupants of the city of Portland, the state of Oregon and the United States to consider something of a more fundamental import. What does real democracy look like? In a world without political action committees, in a world without campaign donations or lobbyists, in a world without bureaucratic chicanery or corporate guile, what could a truly democratic society actually look like? In response to this inquiry, we find it necessary to reject the legitimacy of the upcoming city elections.

Problems faced every day by working class Portlanders cannot be adequately addressed by local elected officials. The city government has, time and again, proven itself to be unreliable when it comes to promoting the common interest of the people of Portland. It has proven this through an inability to adequately provide for the employment of its citizens. It has proven this through an inability to defend its children from attacks against their education. It has proven this through an inability to protect those presently housed from predatory practices of banks and financial institutions or landlords, and an inability to protect the unhoused from the indignities of a concrete & cardboard subsistence.

The city government has proven incompetent when it comes to holding its terrorist wing, the Portland Police Bureau, accountable for its abuses. In point of fact, it is likely beyond the scope of the city government to address these issues. It is our position that a government unable to stand guard against extant threats to the lives of those it governs is an illegitimate government. Subsequently, the processes through which the official power is transferred are equally illegitimate.

The solutions to our problems are not beyond our reach, and it is only through the politics of popular liberation and direct community empowerment that we will solve them. If we are to build a truly democratic Portland, we must vote with actions which promote such liberating empowerment within our communities. To this end, we affirm the following: We must liberate our work places! We must liberate our schools! We must liberate our homes and churches! We must liberate our communities from repression at the hands of those who would fight to stop us!

We recognize that this fight is part of a larger fight against the socio-economic ideology of greed which is at the heart of the American political system. Until the system of capitalism is finally and
permanently discredited and abandoned, we must continue our collective struggle for human dignity and freedom. So long as power is relegated to people in proportion to the amount of capital they control, ourdignity and freedom will continue to be under constant attack. All
power to the people, with no dinner scraps for corporations!

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One Response to Radical/Anti-Capitalist Caucus Rejects Legitimacy of Elections

  1. claudia krenz on April 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I vote although I know our system is fallible. I put energy into other imho civic endeavors like stapling Anonymous posters on Hawthorne telephone poles (for Operation Onslaught, which preceded OWS by about 2 months). Doing something at least increases your chance of success, achieving the goals so well articulated in your last paragraph.

    You don’t have to vote even if you’re a registered voter. AND, if you are a registered voter you can add your name to petitions endorsing Community Rights based local ordinances (here’s an example from the only West Coast city to have done so: http://coal-free-bellingham.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Ordinance-for-Bellingham-Final-1-26-12A.pdf). Bellingham’s problems are the same as Portland’s insofar as they stem from the rampages of the rapacious 1%.

    The issue is how to bring about the radical changes that the author rightly points out are needed. At a break-out session at the Global Teach-In, like a few days ago, I learned about the Community Rights movement (one example being the proposed Bellingham ordinance). Our signatures and votes *can* be a powerful force at the local level. We should use as many ways of making ourselves heard as we can find. And go for the low-hanging fruit first. One thing we can say about our current corrupt system: it’s target rich.

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