The local elections are coming up. Politicians, contractors, and developers are greedily rubbing their hands together, anxious for the vote count to be over and their plans to be approved. The array of businessmen and politicians encouraging people to vote yes for King County Proposition 1 are hoping the public will not see through their pathetic fictions and will blindly approve this ballot measure. If enough people vote yes, developers will buy the county land surrounding the King County Juvenile Detention Center and erect new condominiums, apartments, and storefronts. In the place of the old detention center will rise a new structure that will blend seamlessly into the gentrification around it. Incarceration will become even more invisible than it is now.
Despite the fact that we are jaded and cynical about most political matters, the sight of King County Executive Dow Constantine addressing the drunken hordes at the Capitol Hill Block Party was one that truly inspired dread and terror. He told everyone to VOTE YES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES! and they all cheered and jumped and a few of them even felt the pangs of democratic joy in their weary hearts. Very few people in the crowd suspected that voting YES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES! actually meant making several guys rich, incarcerating child runaways and foster kids, and further gentrifying the neighborhood. No, they were simply happy to hear the music and were proud of the fact they could make a difference, that they could vote!
Witnessing this sight was a horrible experience but it also reminded us of the total failure and inherent corruption of what most people in the United States refer to as democracy. Many often wonder why anarchists are against democracy and often press us on this point. We hope the following words will serve as a definitive answer to those who are curious.
Enthusiastic campaigners have posted very simple pro-Prop 1 lawn signs on busy corners all around Seattle. They tell the viewer to VOTE YES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES! The YES stands out in yellow against a blue background. A nice family, holding hands, is walking in the ether, pleased with their lives. Below them are blue words on a yellow background that read King County Prop 1. This is what many people will see in their minds when they think of Prop 1: a nice family, holding hands.
Families are torn apart and traumatized in the current juvenile detention center. Having a family court in the new jail will only compound this. Children have and will continue to be raped and abused by guards behind its walls. There is nothing redemptive about this facility and there is no hope inside. It is a place of misery and suffering. It will always be so, no matter how nice the condos are around it.
Democracy allows people to feel good when they approve these horrendous practices. It hides its worst deeds and champions illusory ones. It is the greatest swindle that was ever created. Democracy allowed Hitler to rise to power, it justified the extermination of Native Americans, and it facilitated the mass-exploitation of the earth. Democracy will also allow the existence of a jail for children and it will go to the most shameless depths to do so.
With nothing more to say, the writers of Tides of Flame would like to clearly state:
VOTE NO FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES*
VOTE FOR NOTHING
VOTE FOR NOBODY
*Since this statement (which was meant to be ironic) evidently caused a lot of confusion among some fellow anarchists, we could like to more clearly restate: FUCK DEMOCRACY. We are not actually suggesting that anyone votes. We’re certainly not going to. We just meant to illustrate how ridiculous campaign slogans can be and how low politicians will actually go.