The state’s prosecution and media representations have alluded to Mateen as opportunistically using the protest to vent his personal frustrations around a situation with his partner and to become violent in the streets. This “emotional reaction” narrative has unfortunately also been taken up by many liberals and those in left circles when addressing Mateens case; however, this narrative conforms to the racist stereotype of the bestial black man operating purely out of emotions (as the state and media are attempting to frame him as an opportunistic “thug”). This framing enables the state to de-politicize the nature of events on that Thursday evening and thus delegitimize these heated protests as nothing more than opportunistic hooligans looking to blow steam; as opposed to, acknowledging the serious discontent against the establishment brewing in all sectors of society for sometime and the popular anger at the election of a blatant, vulgar and plain white supremacist to the most powerful position in the world. Clearly this situation has solicited an emotional reaction in millions, but as we know the political can often become emotional.
In reality we know that revolts of this nature are expressly political in that they are a rejection of a political totality rather or not the participants hold any revolutionary agendas or aspirations in the moment.
They are driven by a rejection of the inescapable material realities faced on a daily basis in capitalist city space and the constant reality of powerlessness in our urban metropolis. Mateen’s alleged targeted attacks against bourgeois car dealerships and other infrastructure such as electrical boxes expressly demonstrates this totalizing rejection in a precise manner.
This alienating capitalist infrastructure/built space that daily impresses the feelings of powerlessness and exclusion. A settler colonial city that everywhere possess an architecture of control, displacement, exploitation and white supremacy stretches its infrastructure the world over. Our alienating cities are places that extinguish humanity, a place where humanity can only be totally reclaimed through that space’s physical alteration and taking people power over the walls.
As a Portlander, this is precisely why I have no sympathy for local popular anarchist organizations. Lazy rhetoric, lazy tactics, misdirection and whining when held accountable.