David Shipko is a Los Angeles based scholar and writer.

Fuck Yeah, Let’s Fight

One day I got so fed up with everything that I made a bunch of flyers and headed to downtown Los Angeles, handing out the flyers to every worker that I saw: the bus driver, commuters and students, city workers, construction workers, fucking everyone, even a few pigs, just to fuck with them, just to see their faces when they read what was in the flyer. The front laid out in brief the condition of the contemporary worker, how we were getting royally screwed in our workplaces and communities, how we were having our life force sucked out of us and sold back to us in little chunks we could never really afford. The flip side told how it could be, how we could own everything, how we could have everything, how we deserved everything because it was our work and the work of our ancestors that had made everything—and then it said how we could take everything for ourselves: refuse, resist, revolt, reclaim. Refuse your work, it said, Resist all commands to work, it said, Revolt in your workplace and in the streets, it said, Reclaim what is rightfully ours. When I ran out, I printed more copies at the library. I distributed hundreds. On the streets I met some comrades who said they were down for some trouble, so we made more flyers and distributed them. We must’ve distributed thousands of flyers. By the end of the day we were just dumping them by the handful on every bench and in every stairwell that we passed. That night we went home and got pretty fucked up. The next morning we went back downtown and continued agitating. We distributed more flyers. We went to a construction site and distributed flyers and something one of us said struck a chord with many of the construction workers for soon more than a quarter of them had said fuck it and were ready for anything as long as it meant something would change. And we said fuck yeah let’s fight, and when the other construction workers saw that something real was happening, they started joining in, and soon the whole worksite had joined, except the foreman, but fuck him anyways, and some of the construction workers occupied their worksite and some others joined us on a march through downtown. We marched through the streets, through the office buildings, forcing our way onto floors where we were not allowed but who was going to stop us?, through warehouses and sweatshops, and everywhere we went more workers said fuck it let’s do this, and they joined us until we must have been more than ten thousand strong, and our column reached out into the surrounding neighborhoods and recruited workers and renters and homeless and criminals and everyone who was tired of getting fucked by the bosses. We had no idea how many of us there were, it was impossible to count, you would have had to calculate by volume, but there was no time for that, there were enough of us that we felt our strength, and the bosses and owners felt fear, we knew they felt fear because it wasn’t long before the cops that had been stalking us all day began to throw on riot gear and try to break us up with batons, shields, and tear gas. But we threw their tear gas grenades back in their faces, and we found rocks to throw at their shields, and we descended on them in waves massively outnumbering them, overwhelming them. To show them our power and our resolve, we started to break shit, everything in sight we broke, windows, traffic lights, police cars, buses, you name it we trashed it, we trashed it all because it all belonged to us and if they were going to use our own things to control us to exploit us, well then we would just break it all. We seized skyscrapers and we seized the trains and we seized every workplace and every means of production in downtown, and as the sun set that evening we knew it was setting on the bourgeoisie only, for their sunset was our dawn—Just kidding. This is America. I distributed the flyers. I met some comrades. We distributed flyers. Nobody gave a shit. That’s not true. Some gave a shit. We saw some real fucking lightbulbs go off in some heads, especially among students and workers our own age or younger. There were no occupations no marching no seizing no organizing no sunset for the bourgeoisie. That doesn’t mean we’re giving up. It just means we have a long way to go. I hope we get there. Most days I doubt we will. Today I think there is a chance. Tomorrow? We’ll see. 

Waiting

JFK Jr Is Alive