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.
“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?
In view of the ongoing police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, comrades have requested that we post some new material about how participants in protests can protect themselves in the streets. If you are participating in dangerous protests, especially if you are part of a group targeted by police violence, please take steps to minimize the likelihood that police and other repressive entities will be able to capture or identify you. You deserve to be safe and free!
Here is a handout that was circulated during the protests in Durham, North Carolina against the killing of Jesus “Chuy” Huerta in November 2013. You can read a collection of texts about those protests here.
In addition, here is a short guide to being prepared for public order situations such as those unfolding in Ferguson right now. Thank you for your courage, and good luck.
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.
The past two weeks have seen a fierce new protest movement in Bosnia, commencing with the destruction of government buildings and continuing with the establishment of popular assemblies. Unlike the recent conflicts in Ukraine, this movement has eschewed nationalistic strife to focus on class issues. In a region infamous for ethnic bloodshed, this offers a more promising direction for the Eastern European uprisings to come.
To gain more insight into the protests, we conducted two interviews. The first is with a participant in Mostar, Bosnia, who describes the events firsthand. The second is with a comrade in a nearby part of the Balkans, who explains the larger context of the movement, evaluating its potential to spread to other parts of the region and to challenge capitalism and the state.
Last weekend, a CrimethInc. operative participated in the first Anarchist Book and Propaganda Fair in Lima, Peru. Here follows his detailed report, including photographs and a few comments on the situation of anarchists in Peru.
In hopes of fostering an exchange of tactics and momentum between liberation movements in North and South America, we have arranged a speaking tour of the East Coast for comrades from Brazil. In these presentations, they will explain the context of the new wave of unrest sweeping Brazil, tracing its trajectory and distilling lessons for anarchists and others organizing in the US. Don’t miss!
In activist circles and elsewhere, it has become commonplace to speak of self-care, taking for granted that the meaning of this expression is self-evident. But “self” and “care” are not static or monolithic; nor is “health.” How has this discourse been colonized by capitalist values? How could we expand our notion of care to encompass a transformative practice?
Following up our feature “For All We Care” analyzing the contradictory currents within the category of care, we present “Self as Other: Reconsidering Self-Care.” This zine combines that text with three more essays in which individuals recount their personal struggles with the concept and practice of care. Please print and photocopy these to share with anyone who is confronting the same issues!