And After the Election, the Reaction


Could there be any better illustration of the shortcomings of representative democracy than this year’s Presidential campaign? For months upon tiresome months, the whole world has cringed as US voters struggled to identify the second worst of all possible evils. As anarchists who believe in bona fide self-determination, we have critiqued and mobilized against the reduction of freedom to electoral politics in every Presidential race since 1996. This time, it just seemed redundant.

But the 2016 election is practically over. What’s coming next is worse.

Read the analysis.

To Change Everything in 11 More Languages


We are pleased to present versions of To Change Everything in Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Cebuano, Dutch, Farsi, Malay, Maltese, and Serbo-Croatian, as well as the Latin American Spanish version and subtitles for the video in Tagalog and Slovak. This brings the grand total to 30 versions of the project in 28 languages.

In addition, we’ve added updated PDFs of the continental French, Italian, Portuguese, and Slovenian versions.

If you are interested in producing a version of To Change Everything for your own language or region, please contact us.

We are also pleased to announce new print runs in several languages, including Dutch, Malay, Serbo-Croat, and 500 copies for the islands of Malta. After an initial print run of 5000 copies of the Portuguese version, the Brazilian group has produced a run of 11,000 more, funded in part by last year’s “To Change Everything” tour in the US; a new German printing is soon to appear, bringing the total print run in Germany to 50,000. Comrades involved in solidarity efforts in Europe have been making the Arabic and Farsi versions available to migrants seeking to escape oppression, war, and economic turmoil.

We’ve also made available the Spanish version of “The Secret Is to Begin”, the follow-up to To Change Everything: El Secreto es Empezar: preguntas comunes sobre el anarquismo.

հայերեն / Armenian

   Screen PDF (Spread View) [6MB]

   View video here.

Cebuano and Tagalog

   Screen PDF (Spread View) [21MB]

*The pamphlet is in Cebuano; the video is in Tagalog.*

Español para América Latina / Latin America

   Screen PDF (Single Page View) [31MB]

   Screen PDF (Spread View) [14MB]

Nederlands / Dutch

   Screen PDF (Spread View) [4.7MB]

Slovenčina / Slovak

#50: The History and Future of Prison Strikes


#50: The History and Future of Prison Strikes and Solidarity — As we build momentum towards the September 9th national prison strike, we want to reflect on lessons learned from past generations of prison rebels, as well as how we can maintain energy on September 10th and beyond. In Episode 50 of the Ex-Worker, solidarity organizer Ben Turk fills us in on some history of prisoner organizing in recent decades, recaps some of the solidarity actions that have taken place leading up to this year’s historic strike, and offers perspective on continuing and deepening our resistance to prison society. We commemorate the death of Jordan MacTaggart, an American anarchist killed on the front lines in battle with the YPG against the Islamic State, and discuss international solidarity and the politics of martyrdom with Rojava Solidarity NYC. The death of John Timoney, former police chief and notorious foe of anarchists, prompts both glee and a somber reflection on the misery he inflicted on us. A member of Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF) in Istanbul discusses the background to the recent failed military coup as well as recent waves of anti-anarchist repression. A call for solidarity from la ZAD, news, events, and prisoner birthdays round out this packed episode.

You can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

A Fitting End: The Death of John Timoney


John Timoney is dead. “The world has lost a great man and a law enforcement giant,” says the Police Chief of Ferguson, Missouri, who learned his trade under Timoney in Miami. Well, that’s one perspective. For myself and many others across the world, his death is a relief. It would have been better if he had never been born.

Timoney held positions in the upper echelon of the law enforcement world for nearly thirty years. He was First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Police Commissioner of Philadelphia, Police Chief of Miami, and finally, private consultant to the kingdom of Bahrain. He played a major role in the repression of social movements in the United States during the summit protest era of the late nineties and early aughts, and a significant role in the suppression of the Arab Spring nearly ten years later. Those of us who were active in these movements came to know his methods well.

I am one of the countless people who suffered at the hands of John Timoney and the police he commanded. Although sixteen years have passed, I still prefer to tell this story anonymously.

Read on.

#49: September 9th National Prison Strike


#49: September 9th National Prison StrikeThe Ex-Worker is back! And just in time, because a potentially historic national prisoner strike is just around the corner. In our 49th episode, we discuss the upcoming September 9th strike to end prison slavery, with an interview with the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. You’ll also hear a review of Dan Berger’s book Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights
; an interview with an anarchist from the UK about the Brexit vote; listener feedback on Spanish revolutionary militias, Comintern, and parallels with Rojava; updates on Kara Wild, a trans anarchist incarcerated in Paris; a letter from trans anarchist prisoner Jennifer Gann; plus news, prisoner birthdays,
event announcements, and plenty more.

You can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

The Democracy of the Reaction, 1848-2011


What harm could possibly come of using the discourse of democracy to describe the object of our movements for liberation? We can answer this question with a fable drawn from history: the story of the uprising that took place in Paris in June 1848.

In addition, to commemorate the June 1848 uprising, 168 years ago this week, we’ve prepared a biography of one of its many colorful participants, including the first translation into English of the only surviving account from the proletarian side of the barricades.

Read on.

Democracy: The Patriotic Temptation


In this installment in our series exploring the anarchist critique of democracy, guest author Uri Gordon discusses the attractions and risks of democratic discourse.

Like most political words, democracy is an “essentially contested” concept—its meaning is itself a political battleground. What political ideologies do, as mass patterns of political expression, is to “de-contest” or fix the meaning of such concepts and place them in particular relationships. The term “equality,” for example, can mean equal access to advantage (liberalism), equal responsibility to the national community (fascism), or equal power in a classless society (anarchism). On such a reading, there is no way objectively to determine the meaning of such concepts—all that exists are distinct usages, each of them regularly grouped with other concepts in one or another ideological formation.

I would therefore like to suspend the discussion of the appropriate conceptual understanding of democracy, and instead ask about the strategic choice to employ the term. Is it worthwhile for anarchists to de-contest “democracy” in ways that point towards statelessness and non-domination? Two arguments follow. The first is that anarchist invocations of democracy are a relatively new and distinctly American phenomenon. The second is that the invocation is problematic, because its rhetorical structure and audience targeting almost inevitably end up appealing to patriotic sentiments and national origin myths.

Read the essay.

Rojava: Democracy and Commune


In the latest installment in our series exploring the anarchist critique of democracy, guest author Paul Z. Simons offers us a meditation on revolutionary forms of organization. Drawing on his experiences in Rojava in 2015, he contrasts conventional democratic practices with what he has seen of democratic confederalism and evaluates the federation of communes as a model for North American anarchists. At a time when the ruling order has been discredited but there are very few proposals for how else to shape our lives, Simons suggests some much-needed points of departure.

Read on.

Confronting Cops and Klan in Stone Mountain


On April 23, 2016, hundreds of people gathered to oppose a rally called by the Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain Park, Georgia. This convergence brought together a wide range of groups committed to shutting down the KKK. The crowd circumvented several blockades consisting of hundreds of local officers, riot police, and state SWAT teams to reach the parking lot where the white supremacists were assembling.

This was just one of many events in the wave of black-led revolt since the eruption in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014 following the murder of Mike Brown. To understand the context of what happened in Stone Mountain, we have to pan back across the struggles of the preceding years. In this report, we recount the demonstrations that led up to this one and offer a blow-by-blow account of the action for everyone who may have to mobilize in response to similar rallies in the years to come.

Full article after the break.

Born in Flames, Died in Plenums


In the latest installment of our series exploring the role of democracy in the struggles of the past decade, we trace the Bosnian uprising of 2014 from its first fiery days though the massive directly democratic plenums that swept the country to its rapid collapse and the return of business as usual. Enthusiasts of direct democracy all around the world reported eagerly on the plenums when they were at their peak, but within three months they had died away. What can we learn from this brief explosion of popular assemblies? What was its relationship with the riots that opened up an opportunity for social change? Why was it possible for the government to reestablish order?

Read the feature.