From Occupy to Ferguson

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In early 2011, in response to austerity measures, protesters occupied the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a localized struggle, but it gained traction on the popular imagination out of all proportion to its size. This clearly indicated that something big was coming, and some of us even brainstormed about how to prepare for it—but all the same, the nationwide wave of Occupy a few months later caught us flat-footed.

In August 2014, after white police officer Darren Wilson killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a week and a half of pitched protests shook the town. Once again, these were localized, but they loomed big in the popular imagination. Police kill something like three people a day in the United States; over the past few years, we’ve seen a pattern of increasing outrage against these murders, but until that August it hadn’t gained much leverage on the public consciousness. What was new about the Ferguson protests was not just that people refused to cede the streets to the police for days on end, nor that they openly defied the “community leadership” that usually pacifies such revolts. It was also that all around the country, people were finally paying attention and expressing approval.

Like the occupation of the capitol building in Madison, this may portend things to come. Ferguson is a microcosm of the United States. Could we see an uprising like this spread nationwide? It seems almost possible, right now, as the governor of Missouri has declared a preemptive state of emergency and people all over the US are preparing demonstrations for the day that the grand jury refuses to indict Darren Wilson.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Ex-Worker #30: Anarchism in Chile, Part II

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#30: Anarchism in Chile, Part II – The Ex-worker keeps our eyes to the south as we continue our in-depth exploration of anarchism in Chile. While our last episode sought to provide context and history, this episode delves into two recent cases of repression by the Chilean State against anarchists and discusses the importance of prisoner support in the anarchist movement. We interview Victor Montoya, an anarchist who was framed up and spent 16 months in pretrial detention, as well as Luciano “Tortuga” Pitronello, a comrade who faced terrorism charges after a bomb he was carrying prematurely detonated. While Tortuga’s body was damaged in the course of this ordeal, his spirit remains resilient, and he shares inspiring stories and sage advice over vegan sandwiches at the autonomous library Sante Geronimo Caserio in Santiago. We’ll offer a review of the Chicago Conspiracy, a documentary film which illustrates some of Chile’s radical history and present through music, celebration, memory and riot, tackle some thoughtful listener feedback about democracy and anarchy, and top it all off with news from struggles around the globe.

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.

To Change Everything: Final Countdown

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One month ago, we announced the kickstarter for To Change Everything, our ambitious anarchist outreach project. The final hours of the fundraising campaign are upon us now. This is your last chance to help us get this project off the ground.

Since that announcement, we’ve confirmed translations in several more languages and arranged a separate printing of the English version for the UK and Europe. Programmers from Oregon to São Paulo are coding the websites; collectives from Russia to Maharlika (the so-called Philippines) are finalizing their renderings of the video and text. Altogether, the network producing different versions of To Change Everything spans twenty groups in as many countries.

Thanks to the generous support of hundreds of donors, we will be able to:

  • print 100,000 full-color copies of the English version of *To Change Everything*
  • send 2000 copies to prisoner support groups
  • produce 50,000 stickers promoting the online version
  • and donate $400 each to fund the print versions in Brazil, Argentina, Romania, and Slovenia.

We are still hoping to raise enough money to produce 10,000 copies of a full-color Spanish version for North America. We hope that in the remaining hours, enough last-minute donations will come in to cover this. If you’ve already donated, or you can’t afford to, please just do your part to bring this project to others’ attention. The limited edition shirts, stickers, and posters we’ve made for the fundraiser will not be available after Thursday evening.

We will be excited to put To Change Everything at your disposal, in its print, video, and web incarnations, about a month from now. Thanks to comrades like @thetinyraccoon and Mask Magazine for doing their part to support this project—and thank you.

Now Accepting Bitcoins

In response to a few folks who have requested it, we’re pleased to announce that we can now accept bitcoins as donations for To Change Everything. Click the button below to either pay with a Coinbase account or to get an address to send the ol’ bitcoins to. You’ll still qualify for the Kickstarter rewards: simply email us at ‘hello@crimethinc.com’ after sending the bitcoins and tell us the amount you sent, when you sent it, and what reward level you’d like to receive. Though your contribution won’t be added to the posted total on the Kickstarter page itself, we will dedicate those funds directly to the TCE project.

Donate Bitcoins

 

 

“We often thought that the French police were missing a splendid opportunity for ruining our paper by subscribing to a hundred copies and sending no voluntary contributions.”
-Peter Kropotkin, Memoirs of a Revolutionist

 

 

The Ex-Worker #29: Anarchism in Chile, Part I

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#29: Anarchism in Chile, Part I: From Popular Power to Social War – It’s been a busy fall here at the Ex-Worker podcast: demos, illnesses, and catastrophes of all sorts have slowed us down, but can’t stop us! Against the odds, we’ve returned with our 29th episode, the first of a two-episode series exploring anarchism in Chile. From its roots in the popular power of the Allende years and militant resistance to the Pinochet dictatorship to today’s clashes between encapuchados and Carabineros across burning barricades, we explore the history and background context necessary to understand the distinctive and militant anarchist struggles of contemporary Chile. From the recent anarchist book and propaganda fair in Santiago, several anarchists speak with us about the importance of radical neighborhoods, the evolution of public anarchist organizing, and political imprisonment in Chile. And as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got a report-back from the marches and actions of New York City Climate Convergence, with several interviewees reporting on their experiences and sharing their reflections on how anarchists connect to broader environmental movements. Listeners weigh in on historical dates, pronunciation mistakes, and mind-controlled drones, and a big helping of news plus events and prisoner birthdays puts the icing on the cake.

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.

New Project: To Change Everything

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For many months now, we’ve been hard at work on a new anarchist outreach project that picks up where Fighting for Our Lives left off—drawing on everything we’ve learned since then and updating the contents and format. Now that work is completed—we just need your help to get it into the world.

To Change Everything is a full-color 48-page booklet. In fresh, accessible language, it explores the virtues of self-determination, illuminates why authoritarian power structures cannot resolve the crises they produce, and discusses how to weave our personal revolts together into a collective struggle for liberation.

We want to print 100,000 copies and circulate it for free, so as to reach the generations radicalized by the global movements and catastrophes of the past few years. We’ve worked with Submedia.tv to produce an accompanying video; we’re coordinating with comrades around the world so the text will appear simultaneously on at least three continents in at least a dozen languages. The video and text will be available in all those languages on a fully responsive website. With your help, we can accomplish all this by the end of 2014.

We’re using Kickstarter to raise the funds to cover printing. If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, you can learn about how to use it here. If you’re curious why we’re using a fundraising platform for this project, read our explanation Why a Kickstarter? Why Now?. If you think we do good work, please help us—every little bit counts, and you’ll be ensuring that this project is available to everyone for free. To sweeten the pot, we’ve come up with some fancy rewards for donors, including our first-ever t-shirts.


Kickstarter To Change Everything

 
New anarchist outreach material is long overdue. Even entrenched representatives of the status quo are now admitting that it is necessary to change everything, but the best they can come up with is to appeal to the same authorities that are responsible for our problems in the first place. Meanwhile, the rise of the far right in Europe and the ongoing debacle in Ukraine show how high the stakes are and how bleak the future will be if fascists succeed in presenting themselves as the partisans of change. When the next round of uprisings arrives, it may be too late to reach out to people.

We don’t ask for much, but if ever there were a time for you to help us, this is it. Even if you can’t contribute financially, please send word of this project out on twitter or Facebook, yell it out from street corners. Thanks so much, dear friends.

Why a Kickstarter? Why Now?

The Ex-Worker #28: Anarcha-Feminism, Part II

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#28: Anarcha-Feminism, Part II: Early Critiques and Visions – Back in Episode 26, the Ex-Worker shared a panorama of dramatic stories from the lives and struggles of 19th and early 20th century anarchist women… but we didn’t focus much on their ideas. In the second episode of our three-part series on anarcha-feminism, we return our focus to the first generations of rebels who brought together anarchist and feminist currents, this time to explore their distinctive revolutionary visions. We survey the context of early revolutionary and feminist ideas, and the distinct perspectives of early anarcha-feminists on marriage, sexuality, economic and bodily autonomy, suffrage, revolutionary sexism, and strategies for women’s emancipation. The Chopping Block discusses Free Women of Spain, Martha Ackelsberg’s classic study of the Spanish anarchist women’s group Mujeres Libres. Listeners weigh in on sports, a special guest contributor offers a correction about indigenous resistance to fracking, and we begin a fascinating conversation on solidarity actions and anonymity amidst the news, event announcements, statements from political prisoners, and more.

Trigger warning: This episode includes a few passing references to sexual or domestic violence: nothing too graphic, but we wanted to give all of you a heads up. The references appear at 11:40, 35:50, 41:25, 1:04:50, and 1:33:44.

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.

CrimethInc. in Scandinavia and the Balkans

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This coming month, CrimethInc. operatives will offer two presentations in Scandinavia about the new wave of global revolts and a three-week speaking tour in the Balkans on the theme “After the Crest,” discussing the life cycle of social movements. Catharsis, one of the flagship bands of passionate anarchic hardcore, will also be playing a rare handful of shows in northern Europe.

Hope to see you at one of these events!

Consult the event descriptions and tour dates.

Ex-Worker #27: Anti-Police Riots in Ferguson

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#27: Anti-Police Riots in Ferguson – Since the murder of Mike Brown by police on August 9th, Ferguson, Missouri has been the site of intense riots, looting, and clashes with police. In this episode, we share first-hand accounts from participants and reflections on the rebellion, as well as an analysis which unpacks the designation of “outside agitators.” Two texts discussing other recent anti-police uprisings appear on the Chopping Block: “Unfinished Acts” a discussion of the Oscar Grant riots in Oakland, and “Unforgiving and Inconsolable”, a collection of texts about the response to the death of Chuy Huerta in Durham, North Carolina. Supporters of Luke O’Donovan update us on his trial and how to show solidarity. Clara and Alanis share a slew of listener feedback, exploring the origins of the term feminism, correcting some mistakes about the IWW, and getting into a testy debate over the politics of sports. News, prisoner birthdays, Contradictionary terms, and upcoming events round out another 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 podcast@crimethinc.com. You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

The Making of “Outside Agitators”

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On August 19, ten days after police murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a slew of corporate media stories appeared charging that “criminals” and “outside agitators” were responsible for clashes during the protests. CNN alleged that “all sides agree there are a select number of people—distinct from the majority of protesters—who are fomenting violence,” quoting a State Highway Patrol Captain, a State Senator, and a former FBI assistant director to confirm this.

But what exactly are “outside agitators”? Where does this concept come from, and how is it deployed? In this feature, we analyze this rhetoric, what functions it serves, and what it conceals.

Read The Making of “Outside Agitators.”

Meanwhile, in response to popular demand, we have made a hasty zine version of our previous article about the events in Ferguson, What They Mean when They Say Peace. Download a printable PDF here [7.1MB].

Finally, the above illustration is available in poster form from artist Corina Dross, to raise funds for arrestees in Ferguson.

What They Mean when They Say Peace

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“I’m committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said in Ferguson on Saturday, August 16, after a week of conflicts sparked by the police murder of teenager Michael Brown. “If we’re going to achieve justice, we first must have and maintain peace.”

Is that how it works—first you impose peace, then you achieve justice? And what does that mean, the forces of peace and justice? What kind of peace and justice are we talking about here?

Read the editorial.