This short zine offers a critique of the concept of “community.” Based on the writer(s) experiences at the 2015 occupation of the 4th Precinct police station in Minneapolis, the zine explores the ways in which “community” functions as a nebulous concept that has no real meaning. Instead, they argue that it is a contradictory term that means one thing to one group, another to another group, and still something entirely different to another group. Invoking the idea of “the community” is a hindrance to radicals rather than something that helps them, as it glosses over difference and nuance. Moreover, it is a concept that is routinely invoked by the state and others who seek to control social movements. Ultimately the authors conclude that there is nothing redeemable about the rhetoric of community.
Clash of Communities
In the end, there is no “Community” except as a meaningless abstraction. Let us drop this confusing term. Our tie to it is moral and not strategic. It transforms the dynamic relations between words and bodies into a mass of static bodies and “statements” removed from context. There are only communities (in the plural) flowing in and out of each other, forming conscious and subconscious bonds, exchanging words and telling stories, building fires and barricades, blocking police and policing others, throwing rocks and snitch-jacketing … When one invokes a single and unified “Community,” whether of a place or an entire race, it erases the essential and true differences that arise between the communities. This logic of sadness is the logic of pictures and theory, or, the logic of death and dead things.