As a small radical independent bookstore run on a non-profit basis, Left Bank Books aims to earn enough to pay the rent, minimum wage to the core collective members who anchor the record keeping and other essentials, and have enough money left to order books, as well as to publish books and pamphlets of specific interest to anarchists and anti-authoritarians.
The last Fire to the Prisons magazine came out in the Spring of 2011 as the Arab Spring was unfolding. Since then, we saw the rise and fall of Occupy, the unfolding anti-police rebellion in Ferguson, MI, as well as riots, strikes, and occupations from Hong Kong to Mexico, Brazil to Canada, France to Chile, Spain to Syria.
The heroic defence of Kobane against Isis brought the attention of many of us to the experiment in Democratic Autonomy said to be running in the region and in a North Kurdistan (Turkey). It's a controversal topic not least because its ideological roots are in the change in strategy Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the PKK, started to promote from his Turkish prison cell leading to significant changes in from the mid 2000s as new structures were created (and a wave of state repression directed at those structures which have seen over 8000 imprisoned). The goal was to be the development of "democratic, ecological, gender liberated society" in the shell of the existing society through co-operation between a political party taking power in elections (the BDP) and a parallel system of neighboorhood councils which would be really making the decisions. All this as part of an overall body called the Democratic Society Congress bringing together political parties, councils and civil society.
All unfree societies throughout history have been based on relations of domination and oppression as well as exploitation. Relations that are social rather than just personal. In pre-capitalist societies the relations of production were such that exploitation was imposed from the outside through the structures of domination. In such societies the relations of domination and exploitation are effectively one and the same. In capitalist society exploitation becomes integrated into the relation of production. Coercion appears as an anonymous force (poverty) and social relations are increasingly separated into political and economic spheres.
In the days after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to charge police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner, thousands of grieving and angry people have marched all over town, taking over streets, blocking intersections, disrupting holiday shopping, and repeatedly overwhelming police attempts to steer or stop their movement. The crowds—impassioned, racially diverse, with on-the-ground tactical direction from young people of color—have not only been venting rage and sorrow at yet another unpunished police killing. Along with their counterparts all across the country, these protesters have been staking out a bold new kind of street action, a fierce and uncompromising activism for our time.
Time and again, in uprisings that steal the spotlight and shine light on injustices that are otherwise ignored, we see these two elements—disruption and sacrifice—combining in forceful ways. Examining their strange alchemy yields many intriguing lessons.
A wild and growing anti-police revolt is in full swing across the Bay Area. It is a node in the growing national movement sparked by the insurrection in Ferguson following the police execution of Michael Brown, and at the same time it is a continuation of local struggles dating back at least to the 2009 Oscar Grant riots in Oakland. Some of us who have participated in events in the Bay over the past two and half weeks urgently desire to communicate to others around the world about what is unfolding here. Our aim is not to claim bragging rights or to establish Oakland as the riot capital of the United States.
Last week you released a statement addressing the Ferguson protests in Portland. Of the several concerns you have for future demonstrations you seem fixated on demonstrators blocking streets, intersections and highways. You add that blocking highways is "foolish and dangerous." There seems to be some confusion on your end in this regard. Blocking traffic is a sign of civil disobedience. It is illegal and it can also be dangerous but the reason demonstrators are doing it, and have been since the struggle for civil rights, is because it brings attention to your everyday, perhaps apathetic, citizens.
The killing of Michael Brown is one in a long line of murders of Black people, including women, children, and men, by police. In the past few months alone, Eric Garner, Darrien Hunt , John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Vonderrit Myers, Akai Gurley, Tanisha Anderson, Michelle Cusseaux and Tamir Rice have been killed. Most of them were unarmed. None of them had guns.
In mid-October of 2011, as the Occupy movement was springing up in more than eighty countries around the world, a crowd of protesters gathered in the public atrium of the HSBC headquarters on 1 Queen’s Road, in the Central district of Hong Kong. They put up anti-capitalist banners and began an occupation of the building. A core group of eight to twenty people ended up living there, forming an autonomous collective; the bank building, they quipped, had excellent feng shui.
There’s no better way for Washington to commemorate Human Rights Day than by letting the public finally learn the truth about torture. And there’s no better way for concerned Americans to do so than by raising our voices to challenge the compounding crimes of our lawless agencies.
Three Red Cross responders told ProPublica there was a ban. "We were told not to interact with Occupy," says one. While the Red Cross often didn't know where to send food, Occupy Sandy "had what we didn't: minute-by-minute information," another volunteer says.
Jen Angel: During the last few years, especially since Occupy, the mainstream media and public have been more interested in the ideas of anarchism than they have in my lifetime. Like Ryan said, the media often doesn't get it right, or they tend to interview the same anarchists over and over - partially because journalists don't know anything about anarchism and don't know who to interview. We started having these conversations about what would happen if we tried to intervene and give journalists better information - and what if we connected them to other anarchists they could interview?
From the initial revolt in Ferguson last August to the demonstrations in Oakland and Berkeley last week, property destruction has been central to a new wave of struggle against police violence. But what does vandalizing businesses have to do with protesting police brutality? Why break windows?
It is with great joy that we'd like to report a long period of collective malaise and depression in the Bay Area perhaps coming to an end. Almost in spite of ever worsening conditions – rapid development, escalating police occupation, mass displacement, ongoing violence against black and brown people– social conflict here remained ominously quiet for over a year. While the anger throughout the cities by the Bay has become palpable and apparent everywhere, the response from the Left has been lackluster at best. For too long, we have come to expect only the usual lowest common denominator activism: the usual suspects marching in circles, 'blockades' of tech buses which end when the police show up, symbolic would-be media spectacles that aren't all that spectacular anymore, and finally of course, monumental amounts of energy sunk into a referendum for paltry reforms and progressive mayoral candidates (which needless to say, failed, and nobody cared about it anyways).
A young black person was killed, many people brave enough to take to the streets in the aftermath were injured and arrested, and the only real consequences the police will face will be changes designed to increase their efficiency at spinning the news or handling the crowds, the next time they kill someone. Because amidst all the inane controversies, that is one fact that no one can dispute: the police will kill again, and again, and again. A disproportionate number of their targets will be young people of color and transgender people, but they have also killed older people, like John T. Williams, Bernard Monroe, and John Adams, and white people too. The Right has seized on a couple cases of white youth being killed by cops, like Dillon Taylor or Joseph Jennings, throwing questions of proportion out the window in a crass attempt to claim the police are not racist.
Who’s Afraid of the Black Blocs? Anarchy in Action Around the World by Francis Dupuis-Déri is an attempt to objectively explore and examine the black bloc tactic by casting aside the stereotypes and political dismissals common both in the mainstream media and amongst various radical groups. The book draws on extensive research including interviews with black bloc participants in various actions over the past 15 years (the Quebec student strike in 2012, the Toronto G20 Summit in 2010, the Évian G8 Meeting in 2003, and the Quebec City Summit of the Americas in 2001), research into publications (communiqués, zines, etc) by black bloc participants, and observations garnered from the street.