Impeach the System
  
Our nation is witness to a corrupt presidential administration.  In just a few months, Donald Trump has repeatedly violated the oath of office he took to "execute the laws and the constitution."  From his Muslim travel ban, to his labeling the press as "the enemy of the people," Trump has shown a disregard for the very system that allowed him to come to power.

This abuse of power is nothing new.  The problem isn't one president, one politician, or one political party.  Under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, we've seen endless war and continued inequality.  The problem is a system that allows this.  Rather than create a system without war and inequality, our government continues to test how much is acceptable.

Over the past couple of centuries that electoral politics have existed, it's proponents have claimed that all we need to do is elect "the right people."  Despite having millions upon millions of elections around the world over the centuries we still haven't created a just and egalitarian world.  Poverty still exists everywhere.  Racism, patriarchy and homophobia still exist.  The world's ecology is still being destroyed.  Electoral politics will not, and cannot, solve these problems.

We are always being told that electoral politics are our voice.  The reality is that participating in electoral politics actually takes away our voice, and allows politicians to rule over us.  In fact, they basically get to be a group of dictators for a set period of time.

To quote the hip-hop group Rebel Diaz - "If you ain't down for revolution, what you waiting for?"  How bad do things have to get before you decide we deserve better and need to work to create it?  How many more black men have to die at the hands of the police?  How many more families have to be torn apart from deportation?  How many more wars must the government start?  How many more people have to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills?  How much larger must the prison population grow?  How many more Muslims must be attacked by bigots?  How many more degrees must the world warm?  How many more people who are trans must be murdered?  How much more must workers' pensions be gutted?  Where exactly is it that you draw the line and say this has gone too far?

It is clear that our political, economic, and social systems do not work.  We deserve so much better.  Join with us and help us shrug off these failed systems and build the world we deserve.

We seek to build a world without politicians or bosses; a world based on cooperation, not competition; a world where racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are not tolerated; a world without borders; a world where we seek to repair the damage we've done to the environment; a world that we can be proud to pass on to future generations.

What kind of world do you want to see?
  
Reclaim May Day
  
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Immigrants, labor and anarchists have a long history of struggling together for a better world.  In this country, it can be traced back at least to the fight for the 8-hour day.

On May 1st, 1886, hundreds of thousands of workers across the country went on strike to demand the 8-hour work day.  An estimated 340,000 men and women walked off the job.  Chicago alone accounted for nearly a quarter of the strikers.

On the third day of the strike, at the McCormick Harvester Works, workers were attacked by 200 police officers with clubs and a hail of gunfire.  At the end of it, at least 4 workers had been killed and many more were wounded.

A rally was called at Haymarket Square for the following evening to protest this attack. Over 3000 were in attendance. The speakers at this rally were well-known labor leaders who also happened to be anarchists.  The mayor attended to observe, and as he was leaving told the police that there was nothing to worry about, as it was a peaceful rally that was winding down.

Defying the mayor, 180 police moved in to break-up the gathering.  A bomb exploded killing one officer.  To this day, it is not known who threw the bomb.  In the confusion, the police widely opened fire, inadvertently killing seven of their own.  An unknown number of workers were killed and over 200 injured.

Repression was swift.  Eight well-known anarchist labor leaders were rounded up and accused of the bombing.  Most were not present at Haymarket at the time the bomb was thrown, and the two who were there were on the speakers platform in full view of everyone.


Reclaim May Day as a Day of Resistance!

Immigrants, labor and anarchists have a long history of struggling together for a better world.  In this country, it can be traced back at least to the fight for the 8-hour day.

On May 1st, 1886, hundreds of thousands of workers across the country went on strike to demand the 8-hour work day.  An estimated 340,000 men and women walked off the job.  Chicago alone accounted for nearly a quarter of the strikers.

On the third day of the strike, at the McCormick Harvester Works, workers were attacked by 200 police officers with clubs and a hail of gunfire.  At the end of it, at least 4 workers had been killed and many more were wounded.

A rally was called at Haymarket Square for the following evening to protest this attack. Over 3000 were in attendance. The speakers at this rally were well-known labor leaders who also happened to be anarchists.  The mayor attended to observe, and as he was leaving told the police that there was nothing to worry about, as it was a peaceful rally that was winding down.

Defying the mayor, 180 police moved in to break-up the gathering.  A bomb exploded killing one officer.  To this day, it is not known who threw the bomb.  In the confusion, the police widely opened fire, inadvertently killing seven of their own.  An unknown number of workers were killed and over 200 injured.

Repression was swift.  Eight well-known anarchist labor leaders were rounded up and accused of the bombing.  Most were not present at Haymarket at the time the bomb was thrown, and the two who were there were on the speakers platform in full view of everyone.

The focus of the trial was not about the bomb.  Instead, they were tried for who they were:  labor leaders, anarchists, and six of the eight were immigrants.  Because of this they were convicted.  One
was sentenced to 15 years and the rest were sentenced to death.  Two of the seven had their sentences eventually commuted to life.  One committed suicide on the eve of the execution.  The remaining four were hung.

It is widely accepted that all these men were, in fact, innocent.

Presently, in 2017, we are all threatened by the rising American fascism.  Immigrant communities are threatened with deportation and violence.  The very existence of unions is in danger.  Anarchists continue to face repression.

Invoking the spirit of the Haymarket Martyrs, Burning River Anarchist Collective calls on these communities to recognize that these are not separate struggles.  It is part of one struggle to create a more liberatory world.  Let us work together and reclaim May Day as a declaration that we will fight together for the future we dream of.
  
  
Resist the Electoral Trap
  
It is clear that we have entered a dangerous new era in not just the political sphere of this country but the economic and social spheres as well.  The leadership in the White House is filled with misogynistic white supremacists who are intent on crushing the labor movement, women’s rights, the civil rights of minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community, along with any and all environmental regulations.

On the economic front, we see the push for so-called “Right-to-Work” laws on the statewide and national level.  Prevailing wage laws, worker safety, overtime pay, and the ability to organize unions are all under attack.  A minimum wage that people can actually survive on is now a pipedream.

Across the country there has been an explosion of bigotry.  White supremacist groups have seen large jumps in supporters and are openly organizing.  Every day we see new reports of immigrants, minorities, the LGBT community, along with Muslims and Jewish folks being attacked or even murdered.  Misogynists are viewing this time as an open season on women.

We are in a very dangerous time and are witnessing the rise of fascism in this country.  Make no mistake, if it is allowed to continue it will get much worse.  It is the duty of each and every one of us to fight for a better future.  You must RESIST!

But don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that by focusing on electoral politics that you’re effectively resisting.  You aren’t.

The electoral strategy is for you to wait two years under a growing fascist government in order for you to vote for a few Democrats and hopefully they’ll manage to win back some seats.  But then you’re going to be pinning your hopes on a party that couldn’t even allow discussion of a single-payer system of healthcare when they controlled both Congress and the presidency.  Do you truly believe that they will have what it takes to fight back against fascism?

During those two years of waiting, what happens to the people on the ground, especially the most vulnerable, who will be under relentless attack?  We’ve already seen, numerous times, how the Democrats handle social movements.  They keep chipping away at them until there’s nothing left.  There’s a good reason why it’s said that the Democratic Party is where social movements go to die.

The defeat of fascism cannot be through the ballot box.  Even if it could be voted out, that leaves open the possibility that it can return through the ballot box.  Grassroots social movements are what is capable of actually defeating fascism.  We need to sever our emotional attachment to the US government and constitution and understand that they led us to this very dark moment.  We need to create something new that can actually build the world we dream about.  We just need the courage to do it.  Join us in the Resistance!
  
The World Needs Science
  
The world needs science.  The current trend in reactionary circles is an all out attack on science.  From the absurd flat-earth proponents, to the deadly serious climate change denial the anti-science rhetoric poses a threat to us and our world.  The current administration has already proposed legislation in the interest of propping up polluting industries so the rich can continue to get richer at our expense.  He has proposed gutting of funding to keep our lakes and rivers clean, cutting funds for public libraries, eliminating protections for national parks and on and on.
For Industrialist billionaires like “pharma-bro” Martin Shkreli who bought the rights to a cheap and effective drug Daraprim and then raised the price by 5000%; the well being of humanity takes a distant second to profit.  For them the question isn’t “do we need science,” it’s “how do I leverage it to make myself the most money?”  And there is no regard for lives that will be irreparably damaged in the process.
But it’s not just the reactionary right, science is under attack by privileged liberals as well.  Center left politicians are also pandering to anti-vaccine rhetoric espoused by the liberal privileged fringe.  This selfish behavior endangers the lives of members of our community for whom vaccination is not an option; those with autoimmune disorders, those who are immunosuppressed, or who are undergoing treatments for cancer or other diseases.  This is an appalling dismissal of scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and provide life saving immunity.
We here in Ohio and the surrounding great lakes region are currently under attack by the Trump administration who have proposed a budget which would eliminate funding for the protection of the great lakes.  The quality of our water is threatened by agricultural runoff, invasive species, and industrial pollutants.  We know that only the consistent effort of evidence based intervention can keep our great lakes safe and clean. 
There are heroes in this fight, like the Australian high school students who demonstrated that Martin Shkreli’s drug could be produced for $20 a dose.  Science is giving us ever more efficient and affordable alternative sources of energy, heartier disease and pest resistant crops that require fewer applications of chemicals to raise.  There are advances like Golden Rice, which while far from perfect, at least proves the concept that genetic modification has a potential to cure diseases of malnutrition.
Burning River supports our scientist comrades and heroes. We applaud those who are working diligently to tackle the impending environmental disaster.  Science for the sake of profit takes the humanitarian efforts of our society’s brightest minds and turns it into another means of oppression.  Only when we can emancipate science from the burden of capitalism can we hope to reap it’s benefits.
  
More Than A Vote
Women's March 2019
  
Women have always left their mark on the political landscape and greatly influenced social change. There are examples all throughout our history. Women like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Lucy Parsons, and Mother Jones and their commitment to class struggle and liberation helped shape the labor movement.  The actions of Marsha P. Johnson and other trans women during the Stonewall Riots sparked the Gay Liberation Movement.  Before Roe v. Wade, a group of Chicago women formed the Jane Collective and served over 11,000 women by performing safe abortions from 1969 to 1973.  These examples and so many others beg the questions:
Why would we limit our influence to the system of electoral politics?
Why should we continue to support and participate in a system that has never worked for women, the working class, people of color, the poor, the LGBTQA+ community, immigrants, etc.?
We are always being told that electoral politics are our voice.  The reality is that participating in electoral politics actually takes away our voice, and allows politicians to rule over us.  Since winning the right to vote, women have participated in thousands and thousands of elections both in the United States and around the world.  Despite this, patriarchy, racism, and homophobia still exist.  Women and girls still are being sexually assaulted and raped.  Women’s right to choose is still under constant threat and poverty exists everywhere.
This past election saw a record number of women sworn into Congress. However, despite having the right to vote in this country almost 100 years now, women still only hold 23.7% of the seats in Congress. Worldwide, women hold an average of only 24% of the seats in national parliaments.

Women are more than just a vote cast twice a year.  We should not limit the power we have to just the “power of the polls?”  We can use our influence by getting involved in where real change will come from – Building grassroot social movements.  Get active, act up, organize, cause trouble, smash the patriarchy, and change the world!