It was a cold night in late January 2012. The New York subway doors opened and a tall, dark-haired, 30-ish young man dressed entirely in black—leather jacket, jeans, and boots—stepped into the car. Hanging from his backpack were an orange plastic bullhorn and a small drum; tied on top was a thin sleeping mat.
Microcosm Publishing, a self-described “radical publishing house,” is distributing books through sweatshop apparel dealer Urban Outfitters, a corporation with a lengthy record of bigoted and exploitative policies. Last year, the dissolution of the Microcosm Collective left Microcosm Publishing under the sole ownership and management of founder Joe Biel, whom has an alarming history of exploitative and patriarchal behavior.
Uh-oh. There's that word again: Anarchy. Run. Hide. Call the swat teams. Etymologically, the word has been encrusted with as many definitions as the hordes of citizens who gathered in New York City's Zuccotti Park for two months and beyond in the fall of 2011. The park, a square block in Manhattan's financial district, was peopled by everyone from self-declared enemies of the state and the corporate oligarchy to fervent believers in the power of nonviolent mass protest to create justice-based communities.
In his latest communiqué Subcommandante Marcos takes a little time to respond to the anti-anarchist campaign launched by the Mexican media and part of the left. Marcos makes clear that those registered to the Escuelita who have asked the Zapatistas to not accept anarchists, and moreover “expected an apology and a purging of the registry”, are not welcome to the school. The Zapatistas invite Mexican anarchists to send them texts which will respond to the accusations against them, and which will be published on the EZLN website.
Ryan Shapiro has just wrapped up a talk at Boston's Suffolk University Law School, and as usual he's surrounded by a gaggle of admirers. The crowd, consisting of law students, academics, and activist types, is here for a panel discussion on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a 2006 law targeting activists whose protest actions lead to a "loss of profits" for industry.
I live in a co-operative housing community in Chicago. I am a renter, in an unconventional way. We, the residents in the co-op, are landlords, in an unconventional way. As a co-op committed to affordability, it is affordable, in unconventional ways. Conventional housing is individual ownership or rental of a house, condo (apartment), or townhouse. Home ownership is the centerpiece of our existing and dysfunctional American Dream. I am advocating a new American Dream where co-operative housing is the centerpiece. I want co-op housing communities to become viable alternatives to individual ownership or rental.
It’s a good bet a culture is in trouble when its best-known intellectuals start ransacking the cultural inventory of its ancestors and its contemporary inferiors for tips on how to live. The malaise is all the more remarkable when the culture in question is the modern American variant of Enlightenment rationalism and progress, a creed not known for self-doubt or failures of nerve. The deeper the trouble, the more we are seen to have lost our way, the further we must go spatially and temporally to find the cultural models that will help us. In the stronger versions of this quest, there is either a place – a Shangri-la – or a time, a Golden Age, that promises to reset our compass to true north.
It was two years ago when members of activist group Occupy Everywhere, as well as other groups of protestors, overtook the abandoned Yates Motor Company building at 419 W. Franklin St. Today the building still sits empty on Franklin Street — a point of contention to many of the protestors. According to a memorandum Police Chief Chris Blue sent to Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil in February 2012, there were approximately 65 to 75 protestors in and around the building the night of the incident on Nov. 13, 2011. In the memo, Blue said protestors were planning to hold down the building indefinitely.
Since Cinco de Mayo, when local anarchists and housing advocates organized a block party in the Mission to call attention to the ongoing onslaught of Ellis Act evictions, a new ground swell of support has risen for direct action against displacement and gentrification in San Francisco. In June, a two week occupation began of the Hayes Valley Farm to block the construction of condos and in solidarity with the Turkish Uprising around Gezi Park. As the summer wore on, a new organization was formed, Eviction Free SF, which vowed to take on landlords that were evicting tenants to pave the way for converting homes into condos.
In the Chinatown area of Los Angeles, over 50 people have been arrested during a protest demanding better wages for Walmart workers. The trade union organised action involved more than 200 trade unionists, Walmart workers, and their supporters, who gathered outside a new Walmart store and sat in the road – blocking the road for a period of time before being arrested and dragged off. The police kept all those arrested in jail overnight unless they could find $500 bail.
Hello Friends and Comrades,
1) Here is the extremely late political prisoner birthday poster for November and December. As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own. FYI, the graphic on the poster this month is a picture of a Russian activist who nailed his testicles to the ground at Red Square to protest the extension of the prison further into all parts of society.
Our anonymous interlocutor traces the prehistory and development of contemporary Israeli anarchism, touching on the origins of punk and the animal rights movement in Israel and presenting a critical analysis of the trajectory of Anarchists Against the Wall. He concludes by reflecting on the function of nonviolence rhetoric in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. We strongly recommend this interview to anyone interested in the Israel/Palestine conflict or, for that matter, in the strategic challenges of formulating an anarchist opposition in adverse conditions.
Projects that last, find their rhythm and stick with it. TCN is a very East Bay (as in it could only exist and be created here) kind of project and contorting it into another shape (as we implied in last episodes writeup) seems like a bad idea. We are going to continue to do TCN and keep it just the way it is. We’ll probably stick to the once a month schedule we have for now. That said we do have at least one other audio project in the works that will probably launch later this month. Keep an eye open for that.
The below is from from the Syrena (Siren) and Przychodnia (Clinic) collectives – radical autonomous spaces in the heart of Warsaw - doing incredible work with refugees, local tenants, street kids and families facing neoliberalism on speed in Poland today.
New from Combustion Books: The final 108-page issue of Occupied London, an anarchist journal of theory and action, is complete- put out by the minds behind From the Greek Streets, the premiere source of English-language updates and analysis related to the crisis in Greece.