Last weekend eight Earth First!ers traveled across the Everglades to attend the eighth annual All Power to the Imagination! conference, where we met some anarchists who seemed to share our enthusiasm for exclamation-marked titles.
API! is a conference that New College of Florida students put on every year to “bridge the gap between radical theory and practice.” In other words, after all that book-learnin’, they’re hungry for something real. The workshops ranged from a talk on the Rojava revolution to an interrogation of white supremacy through dance—and of course the tree climbing and direct action training by EEF!. After two days of workshops there was a community-led march for justice in Newtown, a predominantly black area of Sarasota that has seen only disinvestment and apathy from the local government since its beginning.
As a New-College-student-turned-EEF!er, I was happy to go back to my old home and share direct action skills with some new faces. And believe me, Sarasota could use some direct action. Don’t be fooled by the nice face the city puts on for the public—from laws that criminalize houseless people to enormous food deserts and police murders, Sarasota is a hotbed of injustice in Florida and in need of some serious TLC (and by TLC, I mean direct action).
API! is taking the first steps in speaking out about these issues, and we hope there is more to come. And if, in some not-too-distant future, someone happens to lock their neck to the door of a City Council meeting while they discuss the next criminalizing measure against houseless people in the city, I’ll be on the next Greyhound bus over there to help with direct support.