As the first part of a series along the theme of solidarity, last week we talked about Free Palestine. In discussion, we wondered why some struggles manage to have international appeal and mobilize solidarity more than others, albeit eliciting words, more often than deeds in support. Is distance or marketing the bigger limiting factor in mobilizing international support? What gets some struggles trending, while others remain obscure? In terms of branding, who did it best: Palestine, Zapatistas, Rojava, Occupy, Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter? Is spontaneous affinity, targeted propaganda or simply the news cycle more effective in garnering anarchists’ direct actions?
Some direct actions are more direct than others. Some intend to effect solidarity via proxy, choosing targets with the logic of six degrees of separation, counting on the transitive property of their attacks. Others place their hopes on the poetic transmutation of their symbolic gestures. Is there anything that can’t be solved with a banner and a march? Beyond making a critique of the effectiveness of tactics: How are each of these approaches responses to the question of how to deal with distance? What is the relation between proximity and effectiveness?
How does distance put a strain on solidarity as a long-distance relationship? Is there a difference between solidarity and relationships of mutual aid? You down with O.P.P. (Other People’s Plight), where activists parachute to where the grass is always greener? Does absence make the heart grow fonder, while familiarity with the hyperlocal breeds contempt? Can the clusterfuck of struggles coexist in a polycule, or is anarchy side piece or main?