Steal Something from Work Day 2014

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Happy Steal Something from Work Day! Every April 15, on Tax Day, when the government robs us to pay for the police and bureaucrats who extort us, we observe Steal Something from Work Day. On this day—like every day of the year—millions of workers across the country smuggle whatever we can out of the workplace in a modest attempt to reclaim a little of the time and effort we are forced to sell. It’s a paltry substitute for the freedom we deserve, but pending revolution, we’ll take what we can get.

This year, in honor of all the workers whose stories are never told, we present the testimony of one wage slave who recalls his misspent youth in the stockroom of an upscale clothing store and recounts how he exacted his revenge, ultimately calling into question whether there is anything worth taking from the world of work at all.

More resources for the pilferous toiler:

A Theft or Work?—A grad student brings poststructuralist theory to bear on time theft, why the master’s degrees will never dismantle the master’s house, and how to resist work when it has spread so far beyond the workplace

Out Of Stock: Confessions Of A Grocery Store Guerrilla—A former Whole Foods employee recounts his efforts to run his employer out of business by means of sabotage, graffiti, and insubordination, reinterpreting William Butler Yeats’ line “The falcon cannot hear the falconer” from a bird’s-eye view.

Steal from Work to Create Autonomous Zones—The shocking true story of how a photocopy scam nearly escalated into global revolution.

And there’s more! Steal Something from Work Day videos, corporate media coverage, and even a journal (pdf, 4.3 MB).

Read this year’s account.

New Zine about Capitalism and Anxiety

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This week, our friends will be touring the Northwest to speak about the political dimensions of care and how it can perpetuate or subvert systems of oppression. Among other publications, they will be distributing a zine version of “We Are All Very Anxious: Six Theses on Anxiety and Why It is Effectively Preventing Militancy, and One Possible Strategy for Overcoming It,” a timely new text from the Institute for Precarious Consciousness in the UK discussing the affective dimensions of capitalism. We offer the zine here in printable pdf form, including a brief afterword of our own, in order that you might circulate and discuss it in your own community as well.

Download the zine.

Read the afterword.

Episode #21: Communism & Socialism, pt.2

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#21: Communism and Socialism, pt.2 – We’re back with the second installment of our exploration of anarchism’s complicated relationship with communism. Ex-worker’s Russia correspondents Misha and Anastasia come to us through the fuzzy airwaves of history, reporting live from the Russian revolution and what the anarchists are up to…. we’ll see how that goes. We’ll also hear some more feedback from everyone’s favorite gubernatorial candidate, anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, as well as extensive coverage of eco- and animal-liberation actions and prisoner rebellions from around the world.

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 podcast@crimethinc.com. You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

Presenting Rolling Thunder #11!

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This one goes to eleven! We are pleased to inaugurate the second series of Rolling Thunder, our anarchist journal of dangerous living, with a new issue full of adventure and analysis. Whether you’re a committed revolutionary looking for the latest strategic reflections from the front lines, or you simply enjoy the gripping tales of suspense and subversion, you can’t get this stuff anywhere else.

The issue opens with an epic account of prisoner resistance from anarchist Sean Swain, who met the dreaded Extraction Team of Mansfield Correctional Institution in open battle and lived to tell. Our central feature, “After the Crest,” analyzes the opportunities and risks in the waning phase of social movements, including case studies of Occupy Oakland and the 2012 student strike in Québec. We also present a narrative direct from the tear gas in Taksim Square, the epicenter of the uprising that rocked Turkey in June 2013.

Another feature tackles gentrification, recounting one neighborhood’s fierce struggle against development from multiple perspectives to pose questions about what we can hope to accomplish in such fights. Elsewhere, in a fascinating interview, a longtime Israeli anarchist reviews the history of anarchism in his region, from the Kibbutzim through punk and the animal rights movement to Anarchists Against the Wall, closing with some straight talk about nonviolence rhetoric in the Palestinian resistance.

In the theory department, we offer devastating critiques of ally politics and of the ideology coded into digital technology. The issue concludes with a discussion of Eternity by the Stars, the book by the notorious insurrectionist jailbird Auguste Blanqui that became so influential on Nietzsche, Borges, and Walter Benjamin. Francophiles and other bookish types will also enjoy some scathing gossip about Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire.

All this, plus the regular features, gorgeous artwork, and 16 pages in full color. At 128 pages, this is our thickest issue yet. Order your copy here, or better yet, subscribe, starting with this issue.

Read our notes about the new format after the jump.

CrimethInc. Events on Three Continents

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This April, CrimethInc. operatives will speak in ten countries on three continents. In Europe, we’ve organized a seven-nation speaking tour to discuss the role of anarchism in the unfolding wave of global revolts and promote the forthcoming German translation of Work from our friends with Black Mosquito. In the Pacific Northwest, contributors to Self as Other: Reflections on Self-Care offer another leg of their tour exploring the revolutionary potential of care. Finally, in Chile, another operative is attending the third Anarchist Book Fair in Santiago, Chile to present two workshops and table with a variety of English and Spanish literature.

If you are interested in setting up a speaking event where you are, email rollingthunder@crimethinc.com.

Tour dates, event descriptions, and more information!

Episode #20: Communism & Socialism, pt.1

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#20: Communism and Socialism, pt.1 – Your patience has paid off—we now present to you, dear listeners, the first part of a massive, two-part episode clarifying the age-old question: how are anarchists different from communists and socialists? In the first part, we’ll be covering some basic definitions of communism and socialism, and dive headlong into some heated historical splits between Marx and Bakunin. Spoiler alert: it gets UGLY. This episode includes statements from Jeremy Hammond, Marshall “Eddie” Conway, and some anarchist comrades holding it down in Ukraine, as well as an extensive interview with Anarcho-communist Wayne Price, who’ll share his opinions on how anarchists should be organizing, de-mystify the hyphen in anarcho-communism, and reveal his true feelings about Bob Avakian.

The second part will be coming at ya next week. Until then, 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 podcast@crimethinc.com. You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

Ukraine & the Future of Social Movements

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We have heard terrifying stories from the revolution in Ukraine: anarchists participating in anti-government street-fighting behind nationalist banners, anarchist slogans and historical figures appropriated by fascists… a dystopia in which familiar movements and strategies reappear with our enemies at the helm.

This text is a clumsy first attempt to identify the important questions for anarchists elsewhere around the world to discuss in the wake of the events in Ukraine. We present it humbly, acknowledging that our information is limited, hoping that others will correct our errors and improve on our analysis. It has been difficult to maintain contact with comrades in the thick of things; surely it is frustrating to be peppered with ill-informed questions amid the tragedies of civil war.

What is happening in Ukraine and Venezuela appears to be a reactionary counterattack within the space of social movements. This may be a sign of worse things to come—we can imagine a future of rival fascisms, in which the possibility of a struggle for real liberation becomes completely invisible. Here follow our hypotheses and an English-language reading list for those who are still catching up.

Read the analysis.

Ukraine: How Nationalists Took the Lead

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While Putin tries to change the subject from insurrection to war (perhaps in fear that the contagion of unrest will spread inside Russian borders), we believe it is especially important for anarchists and others with a stake in social movements to learn from the revolution in Ukraine. Specifically, we want to study how nationalist and fascist elements were able to take the initiative, and how to minimize the likelihood of this occurring elsewhere in the future.

To that purpose, we present an interview here with a member of the Autonomous Workers’ Union in Kiev, who discusses why groups like Svoboda and Pravy Sector were positioned to take advantage of the social movement, and evaluates the effectiveness of the various strategies anarchists and anti-fascists adopted in this unfavorable context.

Shortly, we will present our preliminary hypotheses about what anarchists elsewhere around the world can learn the Ukrainian example, along with a reading list of primary source materials available in English.

Read the interview.

CrimethInc. at the 2014 Bay Area Book Fair

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We will be tabling at this year’s Bay Area Book Fair on March 22, as we have for over a decade. We will bring the brand new issue of Rolling Thunder and a great deal of other exciting material. One of the authors of our zine Self as Other will be presenting the workshop “Beyond Self-Care: The Subversive Potential of Care”. That evening, Catharsis will be playing a single West Coast reunion show. If you live in the area, we hope to see you at one of these events! Stay tuned for Crimethinc. activities on at least three continents in April.

Continue reading

The Ex-Worker #19: Anarchists In Revolt

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#19: Anarchists In Revolt, From Bosnia to Peru – Our discussion of communism will have to wait… because post-socialist Bosnia is erupting in rebellion! In this episode, we share two interviews with anarchists from the Balkans reflecting on the current uprisings, along with recent updates and a Bosnian hip hop artist’s protest anthem. An Ex-Worker travels to Lima, Peru and sends back a report on a recent anarchist book and propaganda fair, including a group shout-out from a workshop about the podcast, live interviews and musical recordings. Listeners critique our treatment of market anarchism, an eco-defense prisoner explains police tactics, and news on state repression, prisoner strikes, and anti-extraction struggles round out our exploration of resistance to authority around the globe.

We’ll be back in two weeks with the episode we promised on what communists and socialists do (or don’t) have in common with anarchists. Until then, 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 podcast@crimethinc.com. You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.