Portland Anarchists fixing potholes


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/05/portland-anarchists-fixing-pot.html


#2

Good job. They might actually be wrecking the street even further. Erosion can be accelerated or worsened with improper road patching.


#3

Am I in the past?


#4

Maybe, but I’ve heard that portland is really bad for maintenance, sooo…doing something is usually better than nothing, even if it makes things a little worse in the long run.


#5

Is this truly anarchical? It seems like they’re supporting a broken system.


#6

Yeah, what would be more anarchical would be to forge a new route through the backyards of the bourgeoisie.


#7

Problematic.

Who’s to stop them from wanting to police their own neighborhoods, or teach their own kids?


#8

They’re still fixing it?


#9

I don’t think they are. They are stepping into a vacuum. If the government is failing to do what the people expect and others step in to do it, the government has to either assert its authority by doing that thing or simply cede the authority and deteriorate.

In places where you have inadequate police service, you end up with organized crime being the police. I don’t think anyone would describe that as propping up the police, it’s taking over for them.

A few pot holes aren’t going to change the power structure of the city, the question is what happens if the operation grows, if they start solving other problems, if people start having more confidence in the anarchists than the in the city.


#10

They’re supporting their own living space.


#11

looks like the same hole to me


#12

I admire this group for being proactive, but there’s a very real chance they can be accelerating damage on the road if done improperly. City here recently did a temp patch on my road and by about 2 weeks there was a giant pot hole thankfully they are resurfacing the road this week, i drove into that damn pothole like 5 times


#13

“We don’t think the city should exist; we are only limited by our capacity and our imaginations,” says PARC. “We aren’t asking permission, because these are our streets. They belong to the people of Portland, and the people of Portland will fix them.”

Call me when you actually build the streets & put in the water mains, electrical etc.


#14

Feature, or bug?


#15

“When people ask anarchists, ‘Who will fix the roads?’ the answer is obvious: We will.”

Let’s see: Anarchists fixed 3 potholes in some unknown amount of time. City fixed 900 in a single day.

I doubt people are going to demand overthrow of the local government based on those metrics.


#16

lol, that is the real problem with anarchists; they are usually very well intentioned, but have no grasp of the larger picture.


#17

The problem is that what people expect and what they are willing to pay for often don’t match. People moan about potholes, but get frustrated about paying the taxes to fix them. And it’s actually a page straight out of the austerity playbook - I recall the Conservative government in the UK proposed a plan whereby the many services they planned to cut would thereafter be provided by volunteers.

You are right, in that a few potholes aren’t going to change anything - fixing potholes isn’t essential, at least in the short term. The question is what the anarchists will expect when they go beyond fixing potholes - what will the quid pro quo be?


#18

Some other anarchists would call you, but they are too busy fighting a war against ISIS and Turkey as well as rebuilding those things.


#19

Maybe. On the other hand, maybe they would like more of the taxes they do pay to be reallocated toward fixing the potholes.

In my city, the library system was always getting shortchanged. We were successful in getting the library its own dedicated millage rate. If the roads are that bad, perhaps a separate street maintenance millage is in order.


#20

I love this. ( As long as the government doesn’t end up paying some company to do the work that’s now already been done anyway. In which case this anarchic collective is just a convenient externality for some shitty capitalist )