Carpe Locus Collective (Profile and Analysis)

Carpe Locus is an Anarchist collective in the traditional sense, however they are also an activist group. Formed in 2013, the group formed with the goal of creating a common space similar to the now defunct Dry River center in Tucson, Arizona. A common space in collectivist terms is a home or structure where people can gather, rest, eat, find food, and work as a small community to survive. Often common spaces have gardens, donated clothing, donated food, a soup kitchen, and a stage for concerts. Carpe Locus’ original intent was to convert a house in Tempe, Arizona into a common space. There are unconfirmed reports the group was successful in finding a house in late 2014.

Where Carpe Locus is most effective is local activism. They are closely aligned with another anarchist inspired group, Wave of Action Phoenix. In terms of ideology, Carpe Locus is a traditional socialist-anarchist group, combined with the modern social justice movements. As such they are anti-statist, anti-police, pro-indigenous rights, and oppose male dominated entities and “white privilege.” They plan and participate in banner hangings, protests, direct-action, and counter protests. In late 2014 and early 2015 the group openly opposed any pro-police rally in the Phoenix metro area in support of the Ferguson movement.

With the decline of Occupy Phoenix, Carpe Locus became a mainstay in the Phoenix metropolitan anarchist community. They’ve participated in dozens of rallies and protests, usually in conjunction with other activist groups. Carpe Locus’ actual membership numbers are unknown, but estimates range from six to 12. The group maintains a robust social media presence where they do not hesitate to blast law enforcement, decry capitalism, and detail the ills of the American government.

The fundamental element in all anarchist collectives is community consensus. For example in common spaces, also known as a safe spaces, each aspect of the space is maintained by everyone in accordance with their skill set. Governance, as it were, is accomplished through the common good providing for the common need. Decisions are made through consensus, removing the risk of unjust governance. The template has been successful in other areas, including Tucson where a common space survived for just over six years. Unfortunately because the space is governed by a community, they often fall victim to apathy, low involvement, and decreased interest. The Dry River collective space in Tucson is an example of this downfall. For this reason, it was suspected Carpe Locus would not be able to create a common space in the Phoenix area, and if they did, it would be short-lived. As of January 2015, it was unclear if Carpe Locus secured a space. Given Arizona law enforcement’s focus on anarchist groups in the past, it is not uncommon to hear Carpe Locus members talk of being followed, having their phones bugged, or being subject to unjust arrest. There is no indication however law enforcement focuses more on Carpe Locus than other active groups.