Saturday, April 08, 2023

Main Blog Moved to Kersplebedeb.com!

Since March 2013, the main Kersplebedeb website has been migrated to a primarily wordpress format.

What this means in practical terms is that everything you are used to seeing on Sketchy Thoughts is now being posted straight to Kersplebedeb and simply being automatically mirrored here. So in general, you will probably have a better reading/viewing experience if you head over to Kersplebedeb.

For those who prefer the Sketchy Thoughts blogger layout for whatever reason, this page will continue to be automatically updated whenever something is posted to Kersplebedeb, for at least the short-term future. However, as additional functionality is added to the Kersplebedeb site via wordpress, the Sketchy Thoughts page will probably begin to show its age more and more.



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kersplebedeb at Left Forum, NYC: May 20-22

literature_kersplebedebHappy to say that for the first time ever, Kersplebedeb will have a table at the fabled Left Forum shindig happening this May 20th to 22nd at John Jay College in New York City. Unfortunately, I will not be there in person, however there will be a special Kersplebedeb table in the main exhibitors area, looked after by friends from AK Press.

A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each year in New York City.

So for those of you who will be attending, if you wanted to pick up any of the recent (or not so recent) Kersplebedeb publications, this is your chance!

You can Register for Left Forum HERE

 



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Monday, May 09, 2016

Confronting the Violence of Capital: Historical Materialism Toronto , May 13-15, 2016



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Toronto Keywords for Radicals Book Launch

keywordsWhen: Friday May 13th at 8 PM
Where: Imperial Pub (back room) 54 Dundas St. East Toronto
Facebook: http://ift.tt/1UOhMDW

Why, even among radicals, do we find ourselves using the same words—words like “community”, “privilege”, and “occupation” —but meaning different things? How does this dynamic arise and how might it be addressed?

Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (AK Press 2016) addresses precisely these questions. Join Keywords For Radicals contributors to explore the many antagonisms—but also the possibilities—suggested by the worlds within our words.

Books will be available!

For more information about Keywords for Radicals visit:http://ift.tt/1JRWwtlkeywords-for-radicals.html or
http://keywordsforradicals.net/

This event is wheelchair accessible.


 

About Keywords for Radicals

“An extraordinary volume that provides nothing less than a detailed cognitive mapping of the terrain for everyone who wants to engage in radical politics.”—Slavoj Žižek, author of Living in the End Times 

Keywords for Radicals recognizes that language is both a weapon and terrain of struggle, and that all of us committed to changing our social and material reality, to making a world justice-rich and oppression-free, cannot drop words such as ‘democracy,’ ‘occupation,’ ‘colonialism,’ ‘race,’ ‘sovereignty,’ or ‘love’ without a fight. —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“A primer for a new era of political protest.” —Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity

“This keywords upgrade puts powerful weapons into revolutionaries’ hands. Unexpected entries expand into new terrain.… Indispensable.” —Jodi Dean, author of The Communist Horizon

In Keywords (1976), Raymond Williams devised a “vocabulary” that reflected the vast social transformations of the post-war period. He revealed how these transformations could be grasped by investigating changes in word usage and meaning. Keywords for Radicals—part homage, part development—asks: What vocabulary might illuminate the social transformations marking our own contested present? How do these words define the imaginary of today’s radical left?

With insights from dozens of scholars and troublemakers, Keywords for Radicals explores the words that shape our political landscape. Each entry highlights a term’s contested variations, traces its evolving usage, and speculates about what its historical mutations can tell us. More than a glossary, this is a crucial study of the power of language and the social contradictions hidden within it.

Kelly Fritsch is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto.

Clare O’Connor is a doctoral student in Communication at the University of Southern California.

A.K. Thompson teaches social theory at Fordham University in New York.



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“…because my sister and I were very close”: An Interview with Ulrike Meinhof’s Sister Wienke

Ulrike MeinhofToday is the fortieth anniversary of the death in of Red Army Faction founding member Ulrike Meinhof.  On May 9, 1976, Mother’s Day that year, Ulrike was found hanged in her prison cell.  An International Commission of Investigation conducted an extensive investigation, presenting its conclusions in 1979.  The evidence, some of which is touched upon in this interview, strongly supported the claim that Ulrike had been murdered and then hanged to make it appear to be a suicide.  To mark the anniversary, former RAF member Ron Augustin interviewed Ulrike’s sister Wienke.  The original German-language interview appeared in the German left-wing daily junge Welts May 7-8, 2016 weekend supplement.  We publish the English translation here.

 

“…because my sister and I were very close”
An Interview with Ulrike Meinhof’s Sister Wienke

When Ulrike Meinhof died forty years ago, she was 41 years old, her sister Wienke, 44. The sisters each had their own political histories, from which they shared a lot with each other. After the arrest of her sister in 1972, Wienke became increasingly active in opposing the prison conditions and in support of the prisoners from the RAF and their release. In an interview with Ron Augustin, she speaks about Ulrike’s political development, incarceration and death.

RA:  There is a documentary on Patrice Lumumba (the first prime minister of the Congo) which shows that it took forty years to uncover the exact circumstances of his assassination. When you saw the movie, which was produced by Holger Meins’ fellow student Thomas Giefer,[1] you said, maybe it will take forty years before we know what happened in Stammheim. Are there any new developments?

W:  No, the findings of the International Commission of Investigation, which were announced at a press conference in Paris in 1979,[2] revealed so many inconsistencies in the official inquiry that virtually the only effort has been to sweep them under the carpet. I don’t want to enumerate them all again, but Ulrike is said to have hanged herself from a window bar which was hidden behind a thick wire-mesh screen. Police images in the files of the official inquiry show her left foot still rested on a chair when she was found. The loop in which she was hanging was so long and so fragile that her head would have slipped out or the strap would have torn if she had jumped. The lack of haemorrhaging in the eyes and other factors seemed to indicate external involvement, and the International Commission concluded that my sister must have been dead before she was hanged.

RA:  Who do you suspect?

W:  I can only speculate. But there was a fire escape, a completely separate stairwell which led from outside into the seventh floor directly next to her cell. So, anyone could have gained access without being seen.

RA:  How did you learn of her death? Were you able to see her?

W:  May 9, at 9 in the morning. I heard it on the news, so I immediately drove to Stammheim with her lawyer Axel Azzola. When we arrived, the body had already been removed. Gudrun Ensslin wanted to see her, but the federal prosecutor would not permit it. I had to identify my sister before the autopsy, but couldn’t see her other than that. Azzola managed to get permission for us to talk to Gudrun, and that’s when I saw her for the first time. She was so worn out that she could hardly speak. I don’t remember what exactly we discussed, but she told us about her last talk with Ulrike, the night before, at the window, where they had both been joking. The same day, the lawyers held a press conference in Stuttgart, where I got up and said that when she was still in Cologne-Ossendorf, Ulrike had clearly told me, “If something happens to me in prison, it will be murder, I will not hurt myself.” At that point, she was still in a dead wing, totally isolated.

RA:  Public prosecutor Kaul spread rumours in the media that there were tensions between the prisoners that had “driven the RAF’s chief ideologue to her death.” Some extracts from letters were published to prove it. In fact, these extracts had been taken from a discussion which had been difficult, but which at the time had been over and done with for almost a year. Gudrun mentioned a “process of consolidation” amongst them. Because the extracts from the letters had been taken out of context and were partly forged, the prisoners released the entire correspondence through their lawyers. Of course, the media never corrected their lies.

At the end, Ulrike and the others in Stammheim were working on texts for the trial. In the courtroom, on May 4th, 1976, they spoke about Germany’s role within the imperialist state system. At that moment, Ulrike was not in the room, but was in a visitors’ cell under the courtroom, where, with her lawyer Heldmann, she was preparing the next statement for the trial. This petition, on the role of (former German Chancellor) Willy Brandt and the Social Democratic Party in the Vietnam War, was presented at the trial by Andreas Baader. On May 6, she talked with her attorney Michael Oberwinder, with whom she had, in his words, “a sharp discussion, where Frau Meinhof explained the group’s point of view.” And on May 7th, two days before her death, she discussed the possibility of developing something around the political defence of prisoners in Europe, with the Italian lawyer Giovanni Capelli.

Even in 1971, when the search for Ulrike and the others was still going on, the media published rumours about “tensions” within the group in order to discredit her. She represented “the voice of the RAF,” and up to this day there are more than a few people who prefer to suggest that she was simply “seduced” into something, in order to “recuperate her for bourgeois society,” as a German newspaper recently put it. They deliberately forget that she was a committed communist, with a long political history reaching back into the fifties. I think the reason why I haven’t been influenced that much by the official versions is because my sister and I were very close.

RA:  When did you see her alive for the last time?

W:  The last visit was in March 1976. Afterwards, after her death, I was allowed to visit Jan Raspe, Gudrun and Andreas. With them, a trusting relationship developed on the basis of a kind of working context, for the creation of an International Commission of Investigation. I had one-and-a-half hour visits with each of them: normally one in the morning, one in the afternoon and another one the next morning. In that way, the prisoners could talk among themselves about what we had discussed, so not everything had to be repeated. And normally Gudrun was the last one, so often we said, ok, you discussed everything already, tell me, how are you, and things of the sort. We got along well. That was what was so impressive about all of these encounters. That’s also why I’m so sensitive to the ridiculous distortions in the media. You were dealing with real people behaving concretely in a concrete situation. That’s very helpful.

RA:  Let’s talk about the prison conditions. Your first prison visit was a week after Ulrike’s arrest. Did she tell you everything that had been done to her before her lawyer was finally allowed to see her?

W:  The visits always took place in the presence of state security officials. Usually Alfred Klaus of the BKA (Germany’s Federal Bureau of Investigation) was there: the “family pig” who had put together the first “psychogrammes” of RAF members. There was a lot we couldn’t say because of the threats to terminate the visit. From her lawyer, I knew that it took four days before they allowed him in, after a series of degrading physical examinations had been performed on her, with the threat of anaesthesia if she resisted. She must also have been beaten, because she had bruises everywhere. Jutta Ditfurth described all that in her biography.[3]

Ulrike was in Cologne-Ossendorf in a dead wing, i.e., in a prison unit which was acoustically isolated, and where there were no other prisoners. Isolation in the form of solitary confinement was known to us from the time of the ban on the Communist Party. From the communists who had been in prison in the fifties, we knew that they knocked on walls and pipes to communicate with each other from cell to cell. Ulrike was alone in the unit, so there was no sense in knocking. I told her about my experience with severely disabled persons, their isolation in this society and the fight against it, because isolation so terribly diminishes people. After she had been in that unit for eight months, and then again thereafter for some weeks, she wrote the text that starts with the sentence, “The feeling, one’s head explodes…,”[4] where she describes what it’s like in there.

The federal prosecution then tried to have her committed to a psychiatric institution for an expert opinion on her mental condition. When that didn’t work, a brain scintigraphy under forced anaesthesia was ordered, under the pretext that Ulrike had a brain tumour which could prove that she was not responsible for her actions, or which would justify a surgical intervention. What the media repeatedly presented as a brain tumour was a harmless strawberry mark which had been found and treated during her pregnancy in 1962. Although the prosecution was perfectly aware of the facts, they used this to question Ulrike’s state of mind. The psychiatric attempts could only be averted by a broad public mobilisation in the country and abroad.

Again and again, Ulrike is presented as someone who had let herself be seduced and exploited by others, particularly Andreas. But think about it, she was the one who had the longest political experience, and she was one of the most outspoken spokespersons of the student movement, more single-minded than many in those days. And she had a damn strong character. Underground and in prison she is identical with herself, writing and fighting alongside the others. The clichés in the media are always the same, punched out 45 years ago by her former husband Röhl and his friend Stefan Aust, in order to extinguish in her “the voice”, i.e., the political identity, of the group.

RA:  You were the director of a special school in Hessen province. Did you never have problems at your job or elsewhere due to the publicity around your sister?

W:  Oh, yes. The entire period between 1970 and 1972, when Ulrike was wanted, I was under constant police surveillance. Wherever I drove, I was observed by the police, often openly. Alfred Klaus of the BKA came to me twice, demanding that I meet with my sister to convince her to give herself up, because otherwise she would certainly be shot.

Then, the Christian Democratic Party started its election campaign in Hessen by attacking the Social Democrats for their school reform, the worst example of which was Ulrike Meinhof’s sister. I was not in the Social Democratic Party, so who cares, but it was clear that they tried to hold the local (social-democratic) government responsible for the fact that I was able to remain at my school, and that continued over the years. Of course, my political positions were also an issue. I was a leftist, I voiced a fundamental social criticism of the education system for disabled people across the country, and I also expressed solidarity for my sister – I didn’t dissociate myself from her.

During the prisoners’ hunger strike in 1974, I was once arrested as a result of my work with the support committees. Afterwards, this was reported on TV, and half an hour later the chairman of the school’s parents’ council, a railway worker, came to me to see if everything was alright, and then he organised a meeting of the parents, where they said: they can’t treat our director this way. So, there was something, a kind of solidarity, which also annoyed the school authorities intensely, of course. In the end, I applied for early retirement, which was accepted. They were happy to be rid of me.

After the press conference of the International Commission of Investigation in Paris in 1979, I was not allowed to visit any prisoners again until 1992, because I allegedly posed a danger to the “security and order of the institution.”

RA:  How did Ulrike and you discuss political developments? Did you have any idea of the decisive steps which led to the formation of the RAF?

W:  Ulrike and I each had our own political development, while sharing a lot with one another. For example, she was researching and writing on kids in special schools, so she came to my school. She was a lot of help in getting me the books of all the educationalists of the twenties, because these only existed in pirated editions, which she could get. We both developed politically in the movement against the rearmament of Germany and were both involved in the establishment of the German Peace Union DFU, as an attempt to create a broad left alliance. Ulrike was then a member of the illegal Communist Party for five years. Later, the Socialist German Student Association SDS became more radical, leading to the creation of the APO, the extraparliamentary opposition of the sixties.

Ulrike had interrupted her studies in order to devote herself entirely to her journalistic work, mainly on the editorial board of the student magazine konkret, but also for other publications and radio and TV. She was one of the most important voices of the rebelling student movement. Everyone in the movement eagerly awaited her thoroughly researched background articles. When we sisters met, we would talk about our children, but also about the political situation, the liberation movements, Vietnam. In February 1968, the International Vietnam Congress took place in Berlin. Ulrike had moved to Berlin four days prior to the event. In October, the trial regarding the fire bombs in two Frankfurt department stores started, which is where she got to know Andreas and Gudrun. At the time, she told me how impressed she was with their political ideas. She didn’t have much to do with konkret anymore, as she explained in one of her last articles under the heading “Columnism.”[5] She was still working on the movie Bambule, was working in a neighbourhood group in Berlin’s Märkische Viertel suburb and, most of all, was involved in important international discussions.

I didn’t know that Ulrike was going to participate in the attempt to free Andreas Baader. She had told me, however, that he had been arrested, and that somehow he had to get out of jail. Four weeks before she went underground, she came to me to make sure that I would take care of her kids if anything should happen. When the liberation of Andreas was reported in the news, it was clear to me that she had had something to do with that. She had not been mentioned as yet in the news, but I went home immediately, so that I would be there to take the kids. The whole thing with the kids then ended up unfolding differently, but, in any case, her decision was obvious. She later explained the step she had taken by saying that, for her, “political opposition and organising an underground structure had become identical.”[6]

[1] Thomas Giefer, Une mort de style colonial (Assassinats politiques), (Paris:  L’Harmattan, 2008).

[2] La mort d’Ulrike Meinhof, rapport de la commission internationale d’enquête, (Paris:  François Maspero/Cahiers libres, 1979), accessed at:  http://ift.tt/1XhvqQz

[3] A reference to the German-language biography:  Jutta Ditfurth, Ulrike Meinhof, (2007:  Ullstein Verlag, Berlin).

[4] Ulrike Meinhof on the Dead Wing, accessed at:  http://ift.tt/1XhvqQB

[5] Ulrike Meinhof, “Columnism,” Everybody Talks About the Weather … We Don’t:  The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof, Karin Bauer (ed.), (New York:  Seven Stories Press, New 2008), 249-253.

[6] Ulrike Meinhof, Stück zu Röhl, accessed at:  http://ift.tt/1XhvoIy



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La Meute, de groupe Facebook à groupe réel (repost)

(Québec) La Meute passe à «un nouveau chapitre» de son existence.

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La Meute, de groupe Facebook à groupe réel



(Québec) La Meute passe à «un nouveau chapitre» de son existence.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at La Meute, de groupe Facebook à groupe réel



Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Revolution Is More Than a Word: 23 Theses on Anarchism (repost from Alpine Anarchist Productions)

ANARCHY4(reposted from http://ift.tt/1SZkiou)

Intro

Since the turn of the millennium, anarchism has experienced a strong upswing. In a widely read 2004 article by David Graeber and Andrej Gruba?i?, it was announced as the “revolutionary movement of the twenty-first century”, and in a recent book on the Occupy Wall Street movement, titledTranslating Anarchy and based on interviews with numerous organizers, author Mark Bray contests that anarchist ideas were the driving ideological force behind it. Meanwhile, anarchist projects (journals, bookfairs, organizing groups) have increased significantly over the past twenty years. This is all great news.

At the same time, neoliberalism rules supreme, the gaps between the rich and the poor grow wider by the day, wars are waging, surveillance has surpassed Orwellian levels, and nothing seems able to stop the ecological destruction of the world as we know it. If the current order is challenged in any significant way, the agents are either religious fundamentalists, neofascists, or, in the best case, left-wing movements revolving around charismatic leaders and populist parties. Even if anarchists like to claim anarchist elements in uprisings, from Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, it is questionable whether self-declared anarchists really have played any significant role in these events. In short, despite the mentioned upswing, anarchism appears as marginalized as ever when it comes to the grand scale of things. In light of this, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on anarchism’s role in the overall political arena and to examine its strengths and weaknesses.

The contents of this text are presented in a concise and straightforward manner, which makes generalizations inevitable. They are based on experiences in Western and Northern Europe; readers will have to decide how much these experiences match their own and how relevant they are for the scenes they themselves are active in.

What is anarchism?

In postmodern times, it has become popular to forgo definitions, as they supposedly put our thoughts into cages. This is a cop-out. It is self-evident that definitions are but tools for communication and can’t lay claim on capturing the essence of a given phenomenon. A practical definition is based on certain criteria: the origin of a term and etymological aspects, its usage and change of meaning over time, and terminological coherence within the language system we are using. The following working definition of anarchism ought to be understood in that way.

Anarchism is, first, the attempt to establish an egalitarian society that allows for the freest development of its individual members possible. The egalitarianism is the necessary precondition for this free development being attainable for everyone and not just a chosen few. It is curtailed only by inhibiting the free development of others; clear boundaries can’t be drawn (where does one’s freedom end and another one’s begin?) but this does not mean that they can’t be negotiated.

So far, this definition doesn’t stray far from the Marxist idea of communism. The difference lies in its second part, namely the belief that the establishment of an egalitarian society enabling free individual development is dependent on political actors implementing the essential values of such a society immediately, in their ways of organizing, living, and fighting. Today, this is often called “prefigurative” politics. It implies that no dictatorship of the proletariat, no benevolent leaders, no well-meaning vanguards can pave the way to the society desired; the people have to do this themselves. The people also need to develop the structures necessary to defend and preserve such a society. Self-management, mutual aid, horizontal organization, and the fight against all forms of oppression are key principles of anarchism.

The origin of anarchism as a self-defined political movement dates back to the social question in mid-nineteenth-century Europe. Anarchists were part of the International Workingmen’s Association, better known as the First International, together with the political forces that would later turn into social democrats on the one hand and Leninists on the other. (1) We consider this origin important and see anarchism as part of the left-wing tradition. We are opposed to declaring anarchism a “philosophy”, an “ethic”, a “principle”, or a “way of life” rather than a political movement. An existential attitude is one thing; organizing for political change is another. Without proper organizing, anarchism is easily reduced to a noble idea, reflecting religion or hipsterism more than political ambition. At the same time, anarchism is not just antiauthoritarian class struggle. It is broader and includes activities that range from setting up social centers to deconstructing gender norms to conceiving alternative forms of transportation. Anarchism’s prefigurative dimension has always included questions that didn’t fit narrow definitions of the Left: dietary, sexual, and spiritual concerns as well as matters of personal ethics.

Anarchism and the Left: Social democracy and Leninism

As a political movement that historically belongs to the Left, the relationship between anarchism and social democracy as well as Leninism is of importance. We ought to remember that the ultimate goal – a stateless and classless society guaranteeing the free development of all – was originally the same for all three currents.

Often, the three currents are characterized as left (social democracy), radical left (Leninism), and ultra left (anarchism). We think this is misleading. We should rather think of a triangle where each current is equally far away from the other. While anarchism and Leninism share a revolutionary stance, and Leninism and social democracy Marxist roots, anarchism and social democracy both reject the dictatorship of the proletariat. Anarchism is as close to social democracy as it is to Leninism, and vice versa.

The major criticisms levied at anarchism from Marxist ideologues (social democratic or Leninist) are: a) anarchism is naïve, that is, it has an idealized understanding of human nature and social organization; b) anarchism is reckless, that is, it has no understanding of how to bring about political change and therefore encourages heedless action that, in the worst case, allows reactionary forces to prevail; c) anarchism is petty-bourgeois, that is, it is so much concerned with individual liberty that it disregards social justice.

Some of this criticism is valid, but it only concerns certain tendencies within anarchism. Overall, the anarchist understanding of human nature was, in fact, much more nuanced than that of other left-wing currents (for example, regarding the psychology of power). In terms of bringing about political change, some anarchist actions might have been reckless but most have been well-measured and thought-through. And while there have been individualistic tendencies, they never defined the movement as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, anarchism has, regardless of its true or alleged shortcomings, a number of advantages over its left-wing cousins:

* Anarchism has a stronger critique of the nature of authority. Whatever you want to say about the supposed simplicity of anarchist theory, in God and the State, written in 1871, Mikhail Bakunin summarized the fate of what would later become the Soviet Union in two pages. He predicted that a revolutionary party assuming power would form a new ruling elite, prevent people’s liberation, and effectively prepare its own downfall. Today, prominent Marxists such as John Holloway, Slavoj Žižek, and Alain Badiou speak of the need for a communism without the state and the party as if this was a new invention. Anarchists have been saying this all along.

* Anarchists have always paid strong attention to the cultural aspects of power, while, at the end of the day, Marxism has focused on economic relationships, with the economic base determining the cultural superstructure. While lip service has been paid to this relationship being dynamic and dialectical, it has seldom led Marxists to pay the same attention to cultural struggles as anarchists have.

* Not only cultural aspects of power have been emphasized by anarchists but also the multiplicity of oppression. Only some strains of anarchism have shared the Marxist inclination to delegate supposedly non-working-class struggles to side issues. Anarchists have, for example, formulated stronger critiques of patriarchy and nationalism. In a time when terms such as “multiple oppression” and “intersectionality” are in vogue, anarchism can rightfully claim a pioneering role.

* While – like their Marxist counterparts – most classical anarchists believed in scientific progress as a necessity for moving toward a liberated society, anarchism is characterized neither by a deterministic understanding of history nor by Eurocentric rationalism. Elitist concepts of scientists as a quasi-leading class were criticized early on, while utopian perspectives have been held in high regard rather than being dismissed as distractive pipe dreams. With historical materialism looking shakier than ever, this speaks in anarchism’s favor.

* At least some prominent anarchists, such as Leo Tolstoy and Gustav Landauer, understood the need for a “spiritual revolution”. Not to indulge in hocus-pocus but to emphasize the need of changing the human soul in order to change the world. A spiritual dimension makes radical politics richer, not poorer.

* Anarchists’ skepticism toward historical materialism has often earned them the Marxist accusation of being “voluntaristic”, that is, of believing that revolutionary processes are dependent on people choosing (having the will – voluntas) to support them. Marxists consider this shallow, insisting on economic realities determining individual consciousness and therefore individuals’ capacity for political action. It is the anarchists who are right. Social change comes from people wanting social change.

* In the work of later twentieth-century anarchists – for example, in that of Murray Bookchin, Paul Feyerabend, and the so-called anarcho-primitivists, with all their problems – the trust in technology has been challenged in ways that Marxist theory has not been able to rival. In times when technology’s role in the social and ecological crises we are facing becomes ever more evident, it is impossible not to give the anarchists credit for this.

* The anarchist is the permanent critic. With a strong skepticism toward both totalitarian ideologies and personality cults, anarchists have always been quick to point out flaws in political movements. While this has problematic connotations – from being a nuisance to, at times, hindering collective organizing – it is also essential for preventing power relations from becoming stale and dogmatic.

* Anarchism’s “prefigurative” politics give it a strong practical edge that allows for changes in everyday life that few other political ideologies have been able to generate.

* Anarchism’s focus on diversity begets rich forms of political intervention. In terms of creativity and innovation, anarchism easily outwits the Marxist Left.

Anarchism and revolution

The single biggest weakness of anarchism is the lack of a viable concept of revolution, meaning a radical redistribution of power and wealth. This is particularly striking when considering anarchism’s revolutionary claims. Distancing oneself from “reformist”, “liberal”, or “moderate” forces is an integral part of the anarchist identity.

No anarchist society of any significant scale has ever been established outside of circumstances of war. None of them lasted for more than a couple of years. Anarchists routinely blame the ruthlessness of the capitalists’ lackeys and the backstabbing nature of the Marxists for this. There is truth in both, but it is not a sufficient explanation for anarchism’s poor revolutionary record. An important factor is anarchists denying themselves – for good and honorable reasons – to occupy a role that most revolutions require. The often-quoted words of Friedrich Engels are true: “Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is an act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon, all of which are highly authoritarian means.” Anarchists have no satisfying answer to this dilemma. Attempts have been made, but none of them are compelling. The most significant ones can be summarized as follows:

a) A “dropping-out” approach, which received its strongest theoretical backing in the settlement theories of Gustav Landauer. Landauer suggested building an anarchist society through autonomous rural communities and cooperatives rather than through attacking the state. It is a beautiful idea, but radical communes have come and gone for about 150 years without ever substantially threatening capitalism and state power. As soon as they are bothersome they are destroyed or integrated into the capitalist market; in the past decades, the commercialization of “alternative culture” has been but one striking example of the latter.

b) A “radical reformist” approach, where people speak of a “revolution in stages” or of revolution as a “process” rather than a “rupture”. What hides behind these formula is usually little more than a traditional reformist approach peppered with radical rhetoric. It shouldn’t concern us much.

c) An “insurrectionist” approach that transfers the notion of revolution from structural change to a moment of blissful empowerment. There is nothing wrong with insurrections. They reveal social contradictions, they temporarily turn power relations upside down, they inspire, and more. But they do not change society’s basic power structures; and if they do contribute to the creation of a power vacuum, it might indeed be filled by reactionaries when radical counter-structures aren’t in place. While insurrections can be important elements of a revolution, conflating them with the revolution itself is like confusing a face-off with the game of hockey.

d) A “collapsist” approach, which deems any attempt to correct the current order futile, since only catastrophic events can and will bring its end. In this logic, anarchist activism means getting prepared for the catastrophe in order to replace the vanishing power structures (“civilization”) with small and independent anarchist communities. The main problem with this scenario is the absence of any mechanism other than the rule of force allowing us to deal with the inevitable social conflict it implies. In other words, collapsism easily lapses into Social Darwinism. And even if it doesn’t, assuming a collapse is no basis for sound political action. It is very daring – to say the least – to advocate no longer trying to correct the system because it will soon come down anyway. What if it won’t? Turning defeatism into a virtue won’t help us.

The fact that anarchism has no viable theory of revolution does not discredit it or suggest it to be insignificant. In fact, anarchism’s historical influence far exceeds even the estimations of most anarchists. Anarchism has always been an important engine for social change. The eight-hour work day, free speech, antimilitarism, abortion rights, LGBTQ liberation, antiauthoritarian pedagogy, veganism, etc. – once upon a time, all of these struggles were to a significant degree spearheaded by anarchists. It’s just that none of them proved revolutionary. Instead, they have mostly been integrated into the development of the capitalist nation state.

Anarchists need to be honest. Either they admit to being reformists with a radical edge (nothing wrong with that if made explicit), or they work on actually developing a revolutionary perspective. Radical posturing and dismissing “reformist”/“liberal”/“moderate” politics is embarrassing if your own politics aren’t any more revolutionary than those of NGOs, church groups, or welfare organizations.

Anarchism’s problems today

The problem of revolution has haunted anarchism since its inception. Other problems have come and gone, depending on historical circumstances and the state of the movement. Here are the main ones we’re able to identify today:

* There is an unfortunate sense of moral superiority, which often overshadows political work. The underlying problem seems to be that two motivations overlap when people become active in anarchist circles: one is that you want to change the world; the other is that you want to be better than the average person. The latter easily leads to self-marginalization since any sense of moral superiority relies on belonging to a selected few rather than the masses. When this becomes dominant, your identity takes precedent over your actions and pointing out the personal shortcomings of others over political change. Ironically, the main targets are often people from within our own ranks rather than the enemy, following the sorry logic of, “If you can’t hit the ones you need to hit, you hit those within arm’s reach.” The combination of judging outsiders while competing with insiders for the moral top-dog position is incompatible with any movement claiming revolutionary integrity.

* The anarchist movement is, by and large, a subculture. Subcultures are great. They provide a home to people (sometimes a life-saving one), they help preserve activist knowledge, they allow for experimentation, and so on. But dissent is not revolution. So if the politics are reduced to the subculture, the revolutionary rhetoric becomes empty and alienating. People hate this and fuck that, but to what end?

* The default mode (mood) of many anarchist circles ranges from grumpy to outright rude. At times, our supposed microcosms of a liberated world are among the most uninviting places imaginable: dark, dirty, and populated by folks who confuse unfriendliness with rebellion. Acting like a jerk does not make you more radical, it just makes you a jerk. Sadly, belligerence also characterizes internal debates. The threads on some anarchist online forums are among the safest means to turn people off anarchism for good. A radical approach to conflict is characterized by openness and self-criticism, not anonymous growling.

* Despite the theoretical embrace of individuality and diversity, many anarchist scenes are incredibly uniform. Any average coffee shop on main street brings together a wider variety of people than most anarchist venues. There are historical reasons for this, but essentially, anarchist culture – the language, the appearance, the social codes – is simply very homogenous. How anarchist are environments in which people feel uncomfortable because of what they wear, eat, or listen to?

* There is a crucial divide in anarchist circles between activists who are opposed to injustice and activists who experience injustice. All activists need to work together to effectively change anything, but the different motivations need to be considered. While people who follow a missionary call tend to be rather ideological, people affected by injustice are often more pragmatic. If such a difference is not recognized, people will drift apart. In the worst case, only the ideologues remain, with abstract debates about personal identity or acceptable language assuming the supposed forefront of radical politics while losing any connection with political work on the ground. Radical politics, then, becomes primarily an intellectual exercise that says next to nothing about the quality of its protagonists as dedicated and reliable comrades.

* The concepts of a free space and a safe space, respectively, are often confounded. Safe spaces, that is, spaces where people can count on finding care and support, are needed in the world we live in. But they are spaces that fulfill a certain purpose. They are not the free spaces we seek to establish, that is, spaces in which people speak their mind, engage in debate, and commonly solve the problems that arise in the process. What makes people safe in the long run is the collective ability to negotiate boundaries. Absolute safety is impossible. Vulnerabilities, misunderstandings, and irritations are part of social life and will not disappear even in the most anarchist of societies.

* The idea that everyone should be allowed to do everything is confused with the idea that everyone is able do everything. The introduction of skills or the passing on of knowledge by experienced activists and organizers is scoffed at. This leads to encountering the same pitfalls and reinventing the wheel over and over again.

* There exists an almost complete lack of vision and strategic orientation in the anarchist movement. In addition, organizational structures are in crisis. Spontaneity, the affinity group model, and a romanticized understanding of multiplicity have become hegemonic. All of these notions are riddled with flaws. The only longterm communities they allow consist of a handful of friends, which is an insufficient basis for the organizing required for broad social change. The main answer to this from within the anarchist movement, namely platformism, underestimates the importance of individual responsibility, which leads to a confusion of formality with efficiency (we will return to this in the final chapter).

What needs to be done?

The anarchist subculture is widespread. It enjoys a solid infrastructure and a steady flow of new recruits (albeit with a high turnover). It is easily able to sustain itself, it provides an identitarian haven for folks rejecting “mainstream”, “bourgeois”, or “straight” culture, and it has all the advantages that subcultures have (see above). Anarchism also produces influential ideas, inspiring forms of social interaction, and a lively culture of protest. All of this makes for an exciting political playground and confirms the relevance of anarchism in everyday life. So, if the lack of a revolutionary perspective doesn’t bother us, there is not much to worry about. The subculture is not threatened by the problems listed above. But if we find that giving up a revolutionary perspective is too much of a sacrifice (and if we don’t want to lose anarchist comrades with strong revolutionary commitments to orthodox Marxism), we need to make the development of such a perspective possible. Here are some suggestions:

1. Anarchists have to be clear about what they want and honest about what they can do.

2. The will to change society must be more important than promoting your identity as a holier-than-thou radical.

3. Anarchists have to speak in ways that people who are not part of an initiated scene are able to understand. Language is always in flux and problematic expressions must be challenged, but anarchist discussions need to be engaging not alienating.

4. We need visions. Contrary to what’s become a mantra for many anarchists, visions are not blueprints trying to dictate people’s behavior. Anarchist visions simply outline concrete ideas about what anarchists want. Without formulating such ideas, no one outside anarchist circles will give a damn about what anarchists have to say. To constantly prefigure is not enough. At some point, it is time to figure.

5. Strategy has been misconstrued as a rigid activist master plan. To develop strategy simply means to have a proposal for how to achieve what you want to achieve. If you give this up, you give up revolutionary work.

6. There is no contradiction between building autonomous structures and intervening in the dominant order. This is a bogus conflict that is unnecessary and hurtful. The same is true for the alleged conflict between personal praxis (“lifestyle”) and collective organizing. One strengthens the other.

7. We need a transformation of values. As long as we want all the stuff that is produced, we will not be able to downsize the political and economic system to a level that is both ecologically and socially sustainable.

8. A critique of technology must be a part of any revolutionary movement. Technology makes people dependent on systems they have no control over and require a complexity of social organization impossible to maintain on a grassroots level. We need to reject nuclear power and other supposed blessings holding the earth and humankind hostage, question progress as an indispensable means of making the world a better place, scrutinize rationalism and science, and focus on small-scale communities.

9. If you ask anarchists why they focus more on certain struggles than on others, the most usual reply is that “all struggles are important”. But that’s no answer to the question. The issue is not whether all struggles are important (of course they are), but why we prioritize some over others. Yes, subjective factors play a role: you focus on the struggles that most concern you or that you feel most competent in. Yet, if we claim to be revolutionaries, we also need to identify the struggles that hold the strongest revolutionary promise. Moral urgency does not necessarily correlate with revolutionary potential. Most struggles are not revolutionary in themselves, they need to be made revolutionary through concrete connections to revolutionary politics.

10. The embrace of diversity has always been one of anarchism’s strengths, but it must not become an excuse for neglecting analysis. Any nonsense can be justified with the “need for diversity”, as if this was a blank check for doing whatever you want. For example, not all tactics are equally useful at any given time; they have to be chosen according to our possibilities and the specific situation at hand. What do we want? Who is involved? What can realistically be done? What are our means? Diversity is good when it stands for openness, flexibility, and a range of options. But if it is celebrated as a virtue in itself, radical politics becomes like neoliberal shopping: you pick whatever tickles your fancy.

11. Open discussion is essential for both a fruitful intellectual environment and processes of liberation. When people say or do things that others consider problematic, they need to be involved in discussion rather than scolded, disciplined, or silenced.

12. Labels are a no-go for many anarchists. “It’s not important what you call yourself, it’s important what you do.” At face value this seems convincing. However, a label is but a word, words are tools for communication, and in communication we are reliant on shorthands. Putting a label on the contents of our politics allows others – friends and foes – to get an idea of what we stand for. This is how we build community and solidarity. There would have never been a “communist threat” had there not been a word for it. It is important for a social movement of like-minded people to have a common name.

13. We need to build organizations that are anarchist in nature – and openly so – but able to play a crucial role in broader social movements and people’s organizations (trade unions, tenant unions, consumer groups, sports associations, etc.). Anarchist organizations need to provide a network for discussion, common action, and mutual support. While this requires a certain degree of formality, formality must not be confused with efficiency. Efficiency always relies on the individual qualities of the organization’s members, that is, responsibility, reliability, and accountability. This is why platformism is no answer to the crisis in anarchist organizing. We need something more adaptable.

14. The importance of individual qualities must be taken seriously. If we reject top-down mechanisms to ensure that things get done, people must be committed to doing them themselves. The anarchist reality is far from this. Many anarchists only do things when they “feel inspired to”; many have all sorts of opinions about what others should do without ever doing anything themselves; many are unreliable and irresponsible, loving to denounce those calling them on their conduct as “authoritarians”; many use meetings for egocentric babble rather than sensible decision-making. If these tendencies prevail, there is no hope for anarchism to ever become a revolutionary movement.

15. There needs to be a new synthesis in anarchism. People with different focuses – the workplace, patriarchy, militarism, and so forth – need to work together, unite around a shared set of principles, and agree on a common strategy in which their different tactics are coordinated in the most beneficial way. Exclusive claims to anarchist representation do everyone harm, the respective group included.

16. Anarchists need to understand the limits of anarchists politics. Depending on the goals of a specific struggle, a social democratic or Leninist approach might be more appropriate. Defending the welfare state is a reformist struggle, and if anarchists deem it worthwhile, they might be most effective as extra-parliamentary support troops to social democratic efforts. Likewise, Indian farmers might consider a protracted people’s war – and therefore Leninism in its Maoist variety – the most promising response to the state repression they are facing; if anarchists want to support these farmers, they’ll have to make ideological concessions. Sectarianism within the Left needs to go, and anarchists have to do their part.

17. Many anarchists associate cadres exclusively with Leninist politics. This is unfortunate. Essentially, a cadre is but a full-time organizer, and there’s a difference between a full-time organizer and a weekend activist. Cadres deserve no privileges but their experiences and dedication need to be recognized – not for their own sake but for the sake of the movement. Cadres also need to prepare for revolutionary situations, the lack of which has been one of anarchism’s biggest historical weaknesses.

18. Stubbornly avoiding discussions about leadership hurts the anarchist movement. There are always leaders in social groups, whether you use the name or not. Only when this is acknowledged can the authoritarian and exploitative aspects of leadership be kept at bay. Otherwise, they will work in non-transparent and unaccountable ways, which is characteristic of many anarchist groups.

19. We must be aware of anarchism’s origins. Anarchism holds no monopoly on antiauthoritarian thought, which, in various shapes and forms, can be found across all cultures and ages. Yet, anarchism as a self-professed political movement is a product of the socio-political conditions of nineteenth-century Europe. This has cultural implications that characterize the movement to this day and prevent it from spreading they way most anarchists would like it to. The answer is not to claim that all antiauthoritarian currents are essentially “anarchist” (which, in the worst case, is a form of colonial co-optation; if people choose not to use the name “anarchism” for their politics, they have a reason). The answer is rather for anarchists to prove that they are worthy collaborators in a global struggle for liberation.

20. So-called ally politics can serve as a guiding principle for anarchists involved in social struggles carried by others, but the concept needs to be understood right. To mindlessly say yes to what someone else demands of you is self-abnegation and has nothing to do with radicalism. Besides, no one individual or group ever represents a community, so we can never surrender our own responsibility to make decisions by referring to someone else’s authority. We need to be accountable for the decisions we make. It can be mandatory to accept others’ leadership in struggle, but we always need to critically engage with them in order to collectively bring the struggle forward.

21. We need serious discussions about the possibilities and impossibilities of armed struggle; not a childish romanticization of rioting or crime, but an investigation into how power is distributed and maintained, and how this can be challenged militantly, which, in most cases of deepened social conflict, will be necessary. Furthermore, if we are really serious about revolution, we cannot make the army and the police the perpetual enemy. Almost all revolutions were reliant on bringing parts of the army and the police into their ranks, and the military options of guerrilla groups are decreasing drastically in times of high-tech warfare. This is a reality we need to deal with, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

22. We need to reconsider economic compensation. DIY culture is formidable in preserving independence, encouraging creativity, and nurturing resourcefulness. However, once the boundary to self-exploitation has been crossed, it is almost exclusively middle-class folks (predominantly male, predominantly white) who remain.

23. Pursuing revolution for revolution’s sake is pointless. The only thing justifying a revolution is that it makes people’s lives better. This must be reflected in everything revolutionaries do.

AAP
(May 2016)

(1) We meant to sidestep footnotes in this text but found a quick explanation of how we use the terms “social democracy”, “Leninism”, and “Marxism” unavoidable. While anarchism split from Marxist currents within the Left early on (the expulsion of Mikhail Bakunin and James Guillaume from the First International’s 1872 congress in The Hague is often regarded as a pivotal moment), the split between reformist social democrats and revolutionary Leninists only occurred with the Russian Revolution of 1917. At the time, both currents were still considered Marxist and committed to the creation of a socialist society. In the social democratic movement, this ideological orientation quickly faded amidst parliamentary realities and, by the 1930s, it had disappeared from basically all social democratic party constitutions. Today’s self-titled social democratic parties are out of touch with this history and pursue neoliberal politics with a whiff of Keynesianism. We do not refer to these parties when we speak of “social democracy” in this text but to a tradition of earnest Marxist politics within the realm of parliamentarianism. Some, albeit few, leftist parties today continue this tradition.



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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marx and Engels: On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly and the Working Class Movement

oncolonies_cover_front

Author: Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
Format: Paperback
Size: 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-894946-79-7
Publisher: Kersplebedeb Publishing
2016
Price:$10.00 (USD)

available for purchase from leftwingbooks.net

Originally compiled and edited by the Communist Working Circle (CWC) in 1972, this is a republished collection of excerpts from the corpus of Marx and Engels. These texts show the evolution of Marx and Engels’s ideas about the nascent labor aristocracy, and the enervating effects of colonialism and chauvinism on the British labour movement, with a focus on the British Empire of their time.

This edition of “On Colonies” includes a substantial introduction by Marxist economist Zak Cope and former CWC member Torkil Lauesen, centering these concepts in theory and history. Cope and Lauesen show how Marx and Engels’s initial belief that capitalism would expand seamlessly around the globe in the same way as it did in Europe was proven wrong by events, as instead worldwide imperialism spread capitalism as a polarizing process, not only between the bourgeoisie and the working class, but also as a division between an imperialist center and an exploited periphery. This fundamental contradiction gave capitalism completely new conditions of growth and accounts for its tragic longevity.

Both foundational and indispensable, “On Colonies” provides a useful introduction to “Third Worldist” analysis of global capitalism, tracing its roots back to Marxism’s earliest works.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Zak Cope is the author of Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism and co-editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism with Prof. Immanuel Ness.

Torkil Lauesen has since the late sixties been an anti-imperialist activist and writer. He is a former member of the Communist Working Circle in Denmark, and later the Manifest-Communist Workgroup (M-KA). In 1989 he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison, for his part in a series of robberies in which several million dollars were expropriated and diverted to Third World anti-imperialist struggles.



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AP: South Korea covered up mass abuse, killing of “vagrants” (repost)

BUSAN, South Korea — Three decades ago, a policeman tortured Choi Seung-woo over a piece of bread he found in the boy’s schoolbag. After being stripped and having a cigarette lighter repeatedly sparked near his genitals, the 14-year-old falsely confessed to stealing the bread.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at AP: South Korea covered up mass abuse, killing of “vagrants”



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Back on Track: the Object of Third Worldism (repost)

Posted by on 2014/07/28 in Africa, Asia, Colonialism, History, Imperialism, National Liberation, Neo-Colonialism, Revolution, Revolutionary Foreign Policy, Theory |

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AP: South Korea covered up mass abuse, killing of "vagrants"



BUSAN, South Korea -- Three decades ago, a policeman tortured Choi Seung-woo over a piece of bread he found in the boy's schoolbag. After being stripped and having a cigarette lighter repeatedly sparked near his genitals, the 14-year-old falsely confessed to stealing the bread.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at AP: South Korea covered up mass abuse, killing of "vagrants"



‘Widespread’ workplace abuse persists for Chinese restaurant workers (repost)

A new study finds some 43 per cent of Chinese restaurant workers earn less than minimum wage while more than half said they worked over 40 hours a week.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at ‘Widespread’ workplace abuse persists for Chinese restaurant workers



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Back on Track: the Object of Third Worldism



Posted by on 2014/07/28 in Africa, Asia, Colonialism, History, Imperialism, National Liberation, Neo-Colonialism, Revolution, Revolutionary Foreign Policy, Theory |

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Back on Track: the Object of Third Worldism



(repost)

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LGBT magazine editor stabbed dead at Dhaka home (repost)

Talking to The Daily Star, Mohammed Iqbal, officer-in-charge of Kalabagan Police Station, said they suspect the involvement of militants in the killing. Editor of LGBT magazine ‘Roopban’, Xulhaz Mannan was known for his gay rights activism.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at LGBT magazine editor stabbed dead at Dhaka home



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Philip K. Dick Conference disinvites white separatist (repost)

Organizers of an upcoming literary conference at California State University, Fullerton on the late science-fiction author Philip K.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Philip K. Dick Conference disinvites white separatist



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'Widespread' workplace abuse persists for Chinese restaurant workers



A new study finds some 43 per cent of Chinese restaurant workers earn less than minimum wage while more than half said they worked over 40 hours a week.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at 'Widespread' workplace abuse persists for Chinese restaurant workers







Read the rest of this post on the original site at



LGBT magazine editor stabbed dead at Dhaka home



Talking to The Daily Star, Mohammed Iqbal, officer-in-charge of Kalabagan Police Station, said they suspect the involvement of militants in the killing. Editor of LGBT magazine ‘Roopban’, Xulhaz Mannan was known for his gay rights activism.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at LGBT magazine editor stabbed dead at Dhaka home



Philip K. Dick Conference disinvites white separatist



Organizers of an upcoming literary conference at California State University, Fullerton on the late science-fiction author Philip K.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Philip K. Dick Conference disinvites white separatist



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oakland Book Release Party – Escaping the Prism … Fade to Black by Jalil Muntaqim

escapeprismWhen: Friday, April 29 at 7:30 PM – 10 PM in PDT
Where: Lighthouse Mosque, 620 42nd St, Oakland, California 94609
Facebook: http://ift.tt/1NvOB6Q

Details

as salamu alaykum,

Join us for an engaging evening to honor and celebrate our comrade/brother’s release of his book “Escaping the Prism … Fade to Black. Poetry and Essays by Jail Muntaqim” PP/POW.

We will have Speakers, Spoken Word Poetry, a few short Documentaries about Jalil, and Readings from his poetry book.

Speakers will discuss Jalil Muntaqim (PP/POW)-his life, his contributions, and struggle for liberation.
We will also discuss his upcoming parole hearing (June 2016) and the importance of his freedom in relationship to not only the community at large, but our struggle for ending oppression nationally as well as internationally.

Speakers will also discuss Imam Jamil Al-Amin (PP/POW) and the importance of supporting our beloved elders and freedom fighter’s who have been unjustly locked away for decades.

A halal Dinner will be provided by On Ceethiss Takeout & Catering and tables will be set up for the purchase of Jalil’s books as well as posters, balms, jewelry and other items. We will also have informational pamphlets and petitions for signatures.

As this is a fundraising event for Jalil’s parole campaign needs, all proceeds will go to Jalil.

We look forward to seeing you!

Host/MC

Opium/Elijah Sabbah

Speakers

Imam Zaid Shakur
Dave Brown – Jalil’s brother

Spoken Word & Performances

Opium
Others: TBD



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Friday, April 22, 2016

Salon du Livre Anarchiste de Montréal 2016

 

SALON20161

[SVP diffuser largement] [English: http://ift.tt/1iSm5pV]

[facebook: http://ift.tt/1YKBaRh]

Préparez vos calendriers …
LE SALON DU LIVRE ANARCHISTE DE MONTRÉAL 2016
samedi le 28 mai & dimanche le 29 mai
de 10h à 17h les deux jours
Notez bien :  les tables d’exposition prendront  place les deux journées.

Le Salon du livre anarchiste se tiendra dans deux bâtiments situés l’un en face de l’autre autour du Parc Vinet:
– Au Centre culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV), 2450 rue Workman
– Au Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA), 2515 rue Delisle

C’est à une courte distance du métro Lionel-Groulx.
CARTE : http://ift.tt/1FLoPm8

Ni dieu, ni maître; ni patron, ni frontière.
GRATUIT. Bienvenue à tous et toutes.
Pour les personnes curieuses de l’anarchisme.

+ Qu’est-ce qui se passe au Salon du livre anarchiste de Montréal? +
http://ift.tt/1r3ZiUg

-> APPEL À CONTRIBUTIONS (ateliers, tables d’expositions, oeuvres d’art, événements): http://ift.tt/1YKB8Ja ou lire ci-dessous.
-> SOUTIEN POUR LE SALON DU LIVRE ANARCHISTE: http://ift.tt/1G89XBY
-> TÉLÉCHARGEMENTS (affiches, dépliants, logos): http://ift.tt/1YKBb7O

* Des participantEs venant de partout au Québec et en Amérique du Nord : des libraires, éditeurs, ateliers, films, discussions, activités pour enfants, expositions d’arts et plus!
* Dans le cadre du Festival de l’Anarchie se déroulant tout le long du mois de mai 2016 (et juin aussi!) et offrant des activités dans différents lieux de Montréal.
* Les tables seront placées dans les auditoriums principaux des deux bâtiments : au CEDA et au Centre culturel Georges-Vanier.

Les espaces principaux du Salon du livre anarchiste de Montréal sont accessibles en fauteuil roulant; l’expo Art et Anarchie aura lieu au 3e étage du CEDA qui n’a pas d’ascenseur, le site n’est donc malheureusement pas complètement accessible.

– Énoncé d’accessibilité : http://ift.tt/1FLoPma
– Politique d’espaces plus inclusifs : http://ift.tt/1YKB8Zq
– Principes du Salon du livre : http://ift.tt/1G89VKD

Nous sommes à la recherche de bénévoles pour soutenir activement l’organisation de Salon du livre de cette année, à partir de maintenant! Si vous pouvez nous aider, entrer en contact: info@anarchistbookfair.ca
—–

APPEL À CONTRIBUTIONS:
ateliers, tables d’expositions, oeuvres d’art, Festival de l’anarchie,
salles thématiques
(date limite: 6 mai avant 23 h)

a) Ateliers

Nous vous encourageons à proposer des ateliers pour les deux jours du Salon du livre de cette année (le 28 et le 29 mai 2016). Vous pouvez proposer des ateliers qui sont: i) des introductions à l’anarchisme ou ii) des ateliers sur d’autres sujets liés à l’anarchisme qui explorent plus en profondeur une dimension de l’anarchisme.

–> S’il-vous-plaît consultez le lien suivant pour plus de détails sur les propositions d’ateliers, dont les directives: http://ift.tt/1YKB8Zs

La date limite pour toutes les propositions d’ateliers est le 6 mai 2016, avant 23h.

b) Kiosques

Le Salon du livre anarchiste inclus des libraires, distributeurs et distributrices, presses indépendantes et groupes politiques venant des quatre coins de Montréal, du Québec, de l’Amérique du Nord et d’ailleurs. Il y aura des tables au Salon du livre les DEUX JOURNÉES – samedi le 28 mai et dimanche le 29 mai, de 10h à 17h. Les kiosques se tiendront dans DEUX endroits différents qui sont situés l’un en face de l’autre : au Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV) au 2450 rue Workman ainsi qu’au Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA) au 2515 rue Delisle.

–> S’il-vous-plaît consultez le lien suivant pour plus de détails sur les propositions de tables d’expositions : http://ift.tt/1r3ZiUj

La date limite pour la réception des propositions de tables est le 6 mai 2016.

c) Oeuvres d’art

Art & Anarchie réunit les créations de douzaines d’organisateurs et d’organisatrices et d’artistes inspiréEs par l’anarchisme. Au cours des années précédentes, les expositions ont présenté des sculptures, peintures, affiches, bannières, dessins ainsi que d’autres formes d’art multimédia.

–> S’il-vous-plaît consultez le lien suivant pour plus de détails sur les propositions d’oeuvres d’art : http://ift.tt/1YKB8Zu

La date limite pour les propositions pour l’exposition artistique est maintenant le 6 mai 2016.

d) Festival de l’anarchie

Le mois de mai en entier (et une partie de juin) est consacré au Festival de l’Anarchie, un festival présentant différents événements à thématique anarchiste se produisant dans différents lieux de Montréal. Le Collectif du Salon du livre fait la compilation d’un calendrier du Festival de l’Anarchie, mais nous comptons sur vous pour organiser véritablement les événements du Festival de l’Anarchie. Contactez-nous pour réserver une date pour votre événement se tenant au mois de mai (les dates du calendrier sont réparties au « premier arrivé, premier servi »).

–> S’il-vous-plaît consultez le lien suivant pour plus de détails : http://ift.tt/1r3ZiUn

La date limite pour soumettre un événement pour le Festival est le 6 mai 2016, avant 23h. Nous enverrons un calendrier des événements autour le 1er mai, puis un mise à jour des événements après le 6 mai.

e) Salles thématiques

Une salle thématique réunit des ateliers et des présentations sur des sujets apparentés. Ceux-ci se déroulent donc en rafale entre 11h et 17h dans un espace unique. Voici quelques exemples de salles thématiques précédentes : Salle des médias autonomes (2015), Salle Anti-Canada (2015), Salle des médias autonomes (2014), Salle d’enfants, parents et camarades (2013), Salle des médias autonomes (2012), Salle des Parents et Enfants (2012), Salle des médias et technologies autonomes (2011), Salle de solidarité autochtone (2010), Salle de résistance anticapitaliste (2010), Salle de discussion pour parents anarchistes (2010).

–> S’il-vous-plaît consultez le lien suivant pour plus de détails sur les propositions des Salles thématiques: http://ift.tt/1YKB8Zw

La date limite pour toutes les propositions des salles thématiques est le 6 mai 2016, avant 23h.
—–

POUR INFORMATION :
-> Courriel : info@salonanarchiste.ca
-> Poste: Salon du livre Anarchiste de Montréal
1500 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Suite 204
Montréal, Québec H3G 1N1

POUR DES MISES- À-JOUR :
-> web: http://ift.tt/1wDugPo
-> liste d’envoi: http://ift.tt/1iSm3yl

MÉDIAS SOCIAUX :
-> facebook: http://ift.tt/1N608q4
-> twitter: @BookfairAnarMTL



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1SypZte



Montreal Anarchist Bookfair 2016

BOOKFAIR20161

[Please post and forward widely] [en français: http://ift.tt/1wDugPo]

[facebook: http://ift.tt/1YKBaRh]

Mark your calendars …
MONTREAL ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR 2016
Saturday, May 28 & Sunday, May 29
10am-5pm on both days
Note: Booksellers and vendors will be displaying on both days.

The Anarchist Bookfair takes place in two buildings across from each other in Parc Vinet:
– Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV), 2450 rue Workman
– Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA), 2515 rue Delisle

A short distance from Lionel-Groulx metro.
MAP: http://ift.tt/1FLoP5Q

No gods, no masters, no bosses, no borders.
FREE. Welcome to all!
For people curious about anarchism and wanting to learn more.

+ What Happens at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair? +
http://ift.tt/1YKBaRj-> CALLOUT FOR PROPOSALS (workshops, tables, art, events): http://ift.tt/1r3ZhzB or read below.
-> SUPPORT THE MONTREAL ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR: http://ift.tt/1fIN8JY

-> DOWNLOADS (posters, flyers, logos): http://ift.tt/1r3ZiDO

* Participants from all over Quebec and North America, booksellers and vendors, workshops, films, discussions, kids activities, art exhibits and more!
* Part of the month-long Festival of Anarchy held throughout May and part of June (2016) at venues and locations all over the island of Montreal.
* Tabling will take place in the main auditoriums of both our locations: Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA) and the Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV).
All main spaces of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair at both locations are accessible to people using wheelchairs; we regret that Art & Anarchy, on the 3rd floor of the CEDA, is only accessible by stairs.

– Accessibility Policy and Commitment: http://ift.tt/1FLoP5S
– Safe(r) Spaces Policy: http://ift.tt/1r3ZiDQ
– Principles: http://ift.tt/1G89XlI

We are looking for volunteers to actively support the organizing of this year’s Bookfair, starting now! If you can support us, get in touch:info@anarchistbookfair.ca
—–

CALLOUT FOR PROPOSALS:
Workshops, Tables, Art Exhibits, Festival of Anarchy Events, Theme Rooms

(deadline: May 6, before 11pm)
a) Workshop ProposalsWe encourage your workshop proposals for both days of this year’s Bookfair (May 28 or 29, 2016). You can submit workshops that are: i) introductions to anarchism or ii) workshops on other topics related to anarchism that explores an anarchism-themed topic in some depth.

–> For full information about making a workshop proposal, visit: http://ift.tt/1r3ZiDS

The deadline for all workshop proposals is May 6, 2016 before 11pm.

b) Tabling at the Bookfair

The Anarchist Bookfair includes booksellers, distributors, independent presses and political groups from all over Montreal, Quebec, North America, and abroad. This year, there will be Bookfair tabling on TWO days – Saturday, May 28 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, May 29 from 10am-5pm. Tabling will take place in TWO spaces that are located across from each other: the Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV) at 2450 rue Workman and the Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA) at 2515 rue Delisle.

–> For full information about requesting table space, visit: http://ift.tt/1YKBb7z

The deadline to request table space is May 6, 2016, 2016, before 11pm.

c) Art Exhibits

Art & Anarchy brings together the creations of dozens of anarchist-inspired artists and organizers. In previous years, exhibitions have included sculptures, paintings, posters, banners, drawings, and other multimedia forms. Art & Anarchy is displayed over the two days of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair.

–> For full information about making a art proposal, visit: http://ift.tt/1r3ZhzJ

The deadline to make an Art & Anarchy submission is May 6, 2016, before 11pm.

d) Festival of Anarchy Events

The entire month of May comprises the Festival of Anarchy, with diverse anarchist-themed events occurring at different venues in Montreal. The Bookfair collective compiles a Festival of Anarchy calendar, but we count on you to organize the actual Festival of Anarchy events. Get in touch to reserve a date for your event in May or early June (calendar dates are “first come first served”).

–> For full information about reserving a date for the Festival of Anarchy calendar, visit: http://ift.tt/1YKBb7B

The deadline to submit Festival of Anarchy events is May 6, 2016 before 11pm. We will be publicizing a Festival of Anarchy calendar around May 1, and then send an updated calendar shortly after May 6.

e) Theme Room Proposals

A theme room brings together related workshops and presentations in one space for a series of workshops between 11am to 5pm. Some examples of previous theme rooms include: Autonomous Media Room (2015), Anti-Canada Room (2015), Autonomous Media Room (2014), Kids, Comrades and Caregivers Theme Room (2013), Autonomous Media Room (2012), Anarchist Families Room (2012), Autonomous Media & Technology Room (2011), Indigenous Solidarity Room 2010, Anti-Capitalist Resistance Room 2010, Anarchist Parent’s Discussion Room 2010.

–> For full information about making a theme room proposal, visit: http://ift.tt/1r3ZiDU

The deadline for all Theme Room proposals is May 6, 2016, before 11pm.
—–

CONTACT INFORMATION:

-> e-mail: info@anarchistbookfair.ca
-> mail: Salon du livre Anarchiste de Montréal
1500 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Suite 204
Montréal, Québec H3G 1N1

FOR UPDATES:
-> web: http://ift.tt/1iSm5pV
-> announcements list: http://ift.tt/1iSm3yl

SOCIAL MEDIA:
-> facebook: http://ift.tt/1N608q4
-> twitter:  @BookfairAnarMTL



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1r3ZBOX



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What the Irish Ate Before Potatoes



This coming Sunday marks the celebration of the life of St. Patrick, the bishop who brought Christianity to Ireland some time in the early 400s. And if you eat at all on St.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at What the Irish Ate Before Potatoes



What the Irish Ate Before Potatoes (repost)

This coming Sunday marks the celebration of the life of St. Patrick, the bishop who brought Christianity to Ireland some time in the early 400s. And if you eat at all on St.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at What the Irish Ate Before Potatoes



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1qZg2Mp



Let Us Be Terrible:Considerations on the Jacobin Club (repost)

Let us be terrible, so that the people do not have to be.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Let Us Be Terrible:Considerations on the Jacobin Club



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/240a1xb



Let Us Be Terrible:Considerations on the Jacobin Club



Let us be terrible, so that the people do not have to be.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Let Us Be Terrible:Considerations on the Jacobin Club



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New light on Saskatoon's 'starlight tours'



On Jan. 28, 2000, two police officers drove Darrell Night five kilometres outside of Saskatoon and abandoned him in -22° C weather with just a T-shirt and jean jacket on his back.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at New light on Saskatoon's 'starlight tours'



From Siri to sexbots: Female AI reinforces a toxic desire for passive, agreeable and easily dominated women



A recent article titled “Why is AI Female?” made the connection that gendered labor, in service professions in particular, is fueling our expectations for gendered AI assistants and service robots.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at From Siri to sexbots: Female AI reinforces a toxic desire for passive, agreeable and easily dominated women



In Defence of Smashing Cameras



Anonymous submission. More seriously, we are making each other vulnerable. Photographers at demonstrations will soon outnumber demonstrators, those who are willing to take action. This is something we need to take a stand against.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at In Defence of Smashing Cameras



From Siri to sexbots: Female AI reinforces a toxic desire for passive, agreeable and easily dominated women (repost)

A recent article titled “Why is AI Female?” made the connection that gendered labor, in service professions in particular, is fueling our expectations for gendered AI assistants and service robots.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at From Siri to sexbots: Female AI reinforces a toxic desire for passive, agreeable and easily dominated women



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/23B7sRS



New light on Saskatoon’s ‘starlight tours’ (repost)

On Jan. 28, 2000, two police officers drove Darrell Night five kilometres outside of Saskatoon and abandoned him in -22° C weather with just a T-shirt and jean jacket on his back.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at New light on Saskatoon’s ‘starlight tours’



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/23rDlzV



In Defence of Smashing Cameras (repost)

Anonymous submission. More seriously, we are making each other vulnerable. Photographers at demonstrations will soon outnumber demonstrators, those who are willing to take action. This is something we need to take a stand against.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at In Defence of Smashing Cameras



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/23B7rh0



Wednesday, April 06, 2016

No apologies: anti-racism, multiculturalism and violence (repost)

The far-right are mobilising yet again for a demo in Dover and yet again anti-fascists are heading to the south-coast town intent on stopping them.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at No apologies: anti-racism, multiculturalism and violence



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1UHzx8u



Rethinking White Men Behind Bars: Incorrigible Supremacists or Allies in Waiting? (repost)

This original story saw the light of day thanks to support from readers like you. Help us publish more stories like it by donating to Truthout now! Moments after I arrived in the living unit at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, California, a young white man named Carl approached me.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Rethinking White Men Behind Bars: Incorrigible Supremacists or Allies in Waiting?



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1SOQPgC



No apologies: anti-racism, multiculturalism and violence



The far-right are mobilising yet again for a demo in Dover and yet again anti-fascists are heading to the south-coast town intent on stopping them.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at No apologies: anti-racism, multiculturalism and violence



Rethinking White Men Behind Bars: Incorrigible Supremacists or Allies in Waiting?



This original story saw the light of day thanks to support from readers like you. Help us publish more stories like it by donating to Truthout now! Moments after I arrived in the living unit at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, California, a young white man named Carl approached me.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Rethinking White Men Behind Bars: Incorrigible Supremacists or Allies in Waiting?



Sunday, April 03, 2016

Mass Line and Mass Movement in Health: A Case Study of the Alliance for People’s Health



This article is based on my experiences over the past 9 years of working with the Alliance for People’s Health (APH) as a founding member. I have permission of current APH collective members to post this article and am very grateful for their thoughtful comments and contributions.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Mass Line and Mass Movement in Health: A Case Study of the Alliance for People’s Health



Mass Line and Mass Movement in Health: A Case Study of the Alliance for People’s Health (repost)

This article is based on my experiences over the past 9 years of working with the Alliance for People’s Health (APH) as a founding member. I have permission of current APH collective members to post this article and am very grateful for their thoughtful comments and contributions.

Read the rest of this post on the original site at Mass Line and Mass Movement in Health: A Case Study of the Alliance for People’s Health



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/221iYU0



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Certain Days 2017 Call for Submissions: SUSTAINING MOVEMENTS

certaindays2016coverWhat: A call for art and article submissions on sustaining movements for the 2017 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar

Deadline: May 15, 2016

The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar collective (www.certaindays.org) is releasing its 16th calendar in the Fall of 2016. Over the years, we’ve turned our attention to various themes: grassroots organizing, resisting repression, and visions of justice. The theme for 2017 is focused on what it takes to sustain our movements.

We are looking for 12 works of art and 12 short articles to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 2,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world.

We encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work.

THEME GUIDELINES

Social justice movements face formidable challenges, from state repression to internal conflict to organizer burnout. Yet there are movements that manage to thrive and grow over time, welcoming new participants and contributing to ongoing struggles.

What do these sustained movements have in common? What does it take to keep on keepin’ on, over many years and hurdles? What groups can we look to and learn from as we try to find ways to strengthen our work? What lessons can we draw from liberation movement history? How can we envision our work spanning several generations?

Artists – is there a visual way to represent sustained struggles over time? What visual images from movement history prompt us to engage with these questions? (Both new and archival works are welcome).

As one of our editors Herman Bell writes, “[We need to] review the way we, the progressive community, do our business: In other words, review how we organize, how we elicit support from other groups in support of our particular issue(s); what do we say to them, how do we foster stronger support from them and they from us.”

We welcome both artwork and articles that explore this theme.

We encourage submissions from prisoners – please forward to any prison-based artists and writers.

FORMAT GUIDELINES

ARTICLES:

1. 500-600 words max. If you submit a longer piece, we will have to edit for length.

2. Please include a suggested title.

ART:

1. The calendar is 11” tall by 8.5” wide, so art with a ‘portrait’ orientation is preferred. Some

pieces may be printed with a border, so it need not fit those dimensions exactly.

2. We are interested in a diversity of media (paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, computer-designed graphics, collage, etc).

3. The calendar is printed in colour and we prefer colour images.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

1. Send your submissions by May 15, 2016 to info@certaindays.org.

2. ARTISTS: Please send images smaller than 10 MB. You can send a low-res file as a submission, but if your piece is chosen, we will need a high-res version of it to print (at least 300 dpi preferably 600).

3. You may send as many submissions as you like.

Chosen artists and authors will receive a free copy of the calendar and promotional postcards.

Because the calendar is a fundraiser, we cannot offer money to contributors.

ABOUT THE CALENDAR

The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Toronto, and New York, in partnership with three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. We are committed to doing work grounded in an anti-imperialist and anti-racist perspective. We work in solidarity with anti-colonial struggles, Political Prisoners and the rights of undocumented citizens and migrants. We are queer- and trans- liberationist. We raise awareness of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War in the United States and abroad, many of whom are now in their fourth decade of imprisonment. People on the streets should understand the history of today’s social justice movements and how that history is linked to solidarity for PPs/POWs. In addition to building that historical awareness, we emphasize the ongoing involvement and continued commitment of PPs/POWs in these same movements.

Proceeds from the calendar will be used for direct support work for Political Prisoners and anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist struggles in the U.S. and Canada.

 



on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1PwReiS