Binghamton not Bombs

A group of Binghamton-based anarchists and anti-authoritarians met in our secret lair and decided to form a collective called Binghamton Not Bombs and have that collective become an affiliate of the Northeast Anarchist Network. The Binghamton Not Bombs collective is based on the reclaiming of space in the Binghamton community. The goal of this strategy is to begin to expand, on a localized scale, decentralized collective forms of organization and living on the plane of everyday life. The collective will be engaged with projects such as squats/social centers, guerilla gardening, Food not Bombs, and really really free markets, as well as other programs which will be developed through the squatted social centers. We are also working with two separate groups on potential communal farms in the area.

Building on the community assemblies project, which has created assemblies in every neighborhood in the city, we are aiming at decentralizing political power by creating political space through action and community organization and solidarity through the grassroots community projects. We believe that in a town the size of Binghamton, which has around 40,000 people, that a dedicated campaign to reclaim space from the State can have major on-the-ground effects on the current socio-economic situation that this area is attempting to cope with.

Binghamton Not Bombs has squatted its first social center. On April 12th members of the collective entered a building that we had been scouting for weeks. The project is moving along quickly and we plan to open a community organizing center, free food and clothing distribution, an office for the Coalition Against Evictions (another building collective), serving area for Binghamton Food Not Bombs (which will start with the opening of the space), and an infoshop (The Sabocat Infoshop) at the space.

On March 18th, nine Binghamton activists were assaulted and arrested by Vestal, New York police during a march down the Vestal Parkway. The university attempted to launch on-campus judicial hearings against the arrestees. In a matter of weeks, hundreds of letters were generated, we got a statement of full support from the mayor’s office, dozens of faculty called and complained, whole departments full of graduate students signed statements of support, and finally a protest of 150 students took this demand, and a series of others, to the administration building and…we won! The charges got dropped on campus and now we are beginning to focus on our trials, which have been put off until the fall.

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