Starting with the occupation of a park next to Wall Street on September 17, a new movement is spreading across the country in which people gather in public spaces in protest against social inequalities. We’ll present a full analysis of this phenomenon here shortly; in the meantime, here’s an open letter to the occupation movement, engaging with some of the issues that have arisen thus far. Please forward this widely and print out versions to distribute at the “Occupy” events!
“No One Is Illegal,” the latest video from Test Their Logik
Anarchist hip-hop duo Test Their Logik, fresh off G20 conspiracy charges and recently back from a coast-to-coast Canadian tour, are pleased to announce the release of their highly-anticipated debut album. Recorded, produced, and mixed by Illogik and mastered by Metalworks Studios (known for producing hip-hop acts such as Drake, DMX, and K-OS), “A” is uncompromising in both message and sound. Offering 11 new songs and 3 bonus tracks in just under an hour, it’s a lyrical explosion in the face of authority and oppression, a sonic boom in the ears of big brother, and a no-holds-barred escape into rebellion.
Ushering in a new era of subversive anti-authoritarian hip-hop, Test Their Logik delivers clear methodical rhymes alternating with rapid-fire lyrical assaults over dark bass- and synth-heavy beats. The album begins with a lyrical experiment never tried by even the most renowned lyricists: a full song only using words that start with the letter A. This title track sets the bar high for what comes next: everything from confrontation to reflection, to dancing, to imprisonment, and liberation.
Test Their Logik formed in the summer of 2009. They’ve toured extensively throughout North America, playing benefit shows for prisoners and grassroots projects and performing at anti-capitalist convergences including the protests against the Vancouver Olympics, the Toronto G20 summit, and the Cancún COP16 meeting. Their music has inspired revolutionaries around the world and been demonized by law enforcement agencies, corporate media outlets, and right-wing pundits. This is hip-hop as it should be: raw, forceful, polarizing, intelligent, and real.
To complement the Work book and poster, we’ve prepared a full array of additional posters and pamphlets expanding on the same issues. Print these out and cover your town with them! Used to transform public space, these will give yet another dimension to the Work project, starting conversations and foregrounding the possibility of anticapitalist resistance.
The archive currently offers 19 posters and 2 pamphlets, with more to come. If you see any of these in action, feel free to send us photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re relieved to announce that, at long last, the “new” printing of Work has arrived here in Salem. We’ve put the binding through extensive torture testing, and by all accounts it has held up extraordinarily—these are the books as they should have been the first time.
This ludicrous saga of faulty production has taken years from our lives, but sitting here, paging through a copy, makes it all worth it—we really love this book, and hope you do too. All backordered copies have been mailed out as of Saturday, to arrive in hands shortly. New orders will be shipped out immediately. Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding.
After so much technological progress, why do we have to work more than ever before? How is it that the harder we work, the poorer we end up compared to our bosses? When the economy crashes, why do people focus on protecting their jobs when no one likes working in the first place? Can capitalism survive another century of crises?
Our newest book, entitled Work, addresses these questions and a great many more. To answer them, we had to revisit our previous analysis of employment and develop a more nuanced understanding of the economy. We spent months studying obscure history and comparing notes about how we experience exploitation in our daily lives, slowly hammering out a grand unified theory of 21st century capitalism.
In addition to distilling our findings in this book, we’ve also prepared a poster to diagram the system it describes. The poster is based on the classic illustration of the pyramid of the capitalist system published in the Industrial Worker in 1911. With the assistance of Packard Jennings, we’ve created a new version, much more detailed than the original and updated to account for all the transformations of the past one hundred years.
In combination, the book and poster explore the positions we occupy within this pyramid and the mechanics that maintain it. From the industrial revolution to the internet, from the colonization of the Americas to the explosion of the service sector and the stock market, from the 2008 financial crisis to the upheavals taking place right now, Work offers an overview of how capitalism functions in the 21st century and what we can do to get beyond it it.
We chose these posters as a fundraiser because in contrast to our standard posters, which are designed for public wheatpasting and have to remain affordable to teenage vandals, oversize posters are a sort of luxury. We made them accordingly luxurious: they’re truly enormous (fully two feet by three feet), printed on durable, high-quality, recycled, matte-coated paper, and we mail them rolled up in a poly bag secured inside a poster tube to keep them in pristine condition. If you’re looking for a durable poster to put up in your classroom or kitchen, or if you simply want to help us keep going, feel free to order one. Even as a benefit, they’re still cheaper than anyone else would make them; and you can get a much cheaper price by ordering several, so perhaps they can serve to raise funds for your infoshop or literature distribution as well.
We’ve just reprinted three of our best-known titles: Days of War, Nights of Love, Expect Resistance, and Off the Map. For the new printing of Days of War, we went the extra mile and subtly improved the entire design from cover to cover. The lighthearted do-it-yourself aesthetic of our first book remains one of its charms, but we’ve learned a lot in the intervening decade and couldn’t resist the opportunity to polish it up a bit. When things here settle down a bit, we’ll post a thorough review of the changes and the ideas behind them. Needless to say, it’s a constant temptation to go back and improve older projects rather than focusing on new ones, but rest assured we’re not about to rest on our laurels any time soon. The new printings of Expect Resistance and Off the Map include no significant departures from the last ones—though a few small production gremlins that haunted the last printing of ER have been eradicated, and there is a tiny surprise awaiting people who receive this new version. Starting immediately, all orders will receive the ‘new’ versions.
As foreshadowed in our “State of the Union Address,” we’re also increasing the prices of our books slightly. This will help us stay solvent so we can take on other printing projects rather than simply retreating to the obscurity of virtual publishing. A quick glance at our colleagues’ prices will confirm that our books are still more affordable than almost anyone else’s.
The flip side of the price increases is that later in 2011 we plan to debut free electronic versions of all our books, refined, adjusted, and enhanced to make the most of various digital formats. These will take us some time to prepare, however, so please be patient.
For years, we’ve searched for a way people could watch our movies over the internet in the quality they deserve, rather than just pirating terrible low-quality versions. Finally, we’ve set up the CrimethInc. Emergency Broadcast System, an online movie-viewing theater. Four movies are currently available on the page: pickAxe, Breaking the Spell, The Miami Model, and Subversive Action Films‘ excellent The Chicago Conspiracy. The site is quite rudimentary right now, but we plan on having Spanish-subtitled versions up soon, adding more features, and expanding the collection as times goes on.
The first three of these are also available on our Guerilla Film Series DVD, along with five other video shorts; The Chicago Conspiracy is also available on DVD from the directors. We urge viewers to support the filmmakers who are sharing their work by buying their DVDs or donating to them: filmmaking is one of the most expensive mediums, and without financial support we can expect fewer and lower quality radical movies in the future, at precisely the time that more are needed.
In response, we released a collection of their material as a benefit for G20 defendants. Now that the prosecutors have admitted that their charges were groundless and dropped their no-contact injunction, Test Their Logik are back in action and coming harder than ever. Featuring a cameo by fan Glenn Beck of Fox News, their new video “Conspiracy Rap” sends a big fuck you to the ones who tried to stop them and offers a preview of their first official album, which we’ll be helping them release this May. Like “Crash The Meeting,” this video was produced by Anarkid, a self-taught multi-media warrior and VJ from Montreal bent on radicalizing the rave scene.
Test Their Logik will be touring extensively this spring to support the release of their new album, showing that resistance cannot be stopped by any amount of repression. Meanwhile, over a dozen people still face serious charges as part of the same conspiracy rap the Canadian government tried to pin on Test Their Logik; the Guelph Anarchist Black Cross has released this zine to publicize their situation, which we strongly encourage you to print out and distribute.
To be clear, we’re not certain that capitalism is about to collapse. However, we’re convinced that it is doomed–such a volatile and destructive system cannot possibly last forever–and that it is entering a new phase of crisis. All the old peace treaties are coming to an end: unions have been outflanked by globalization, while the Fordist compromise of higher wages for obedient workforces has given way in the course of the transition to a service-based economy. These peace treaties were not simply ways to pacify resistance movements–they also served to perpetuate capitalism itself. Without the higher wages won by the old labor movement, for example, consumers can’t afford to keep rates of profit up for capitalists. Consequently, at the moment of its worldwide triumph, capitalism has run out of ways to expand, heralding a new period of instability. The next several years will surely be marked by more upheavals like the ones in Greece and Egypt; these may even reach the United States.
In that context, a poster like this is really an attempt to cast a spell, to convey a vote of no confidence in capitalism in hopes that it will be infectious. If capitalism is indeed entering a period of crisis, anarchists must not miss this opportunity to spread a vision of an alternative. It is precisely before the upheavals that we can do this most effectively: people’s idea of what is possible can change very quickly in the midst of turmoil, but their idea of what is desirable often changes much more slowly. If we miss this opportunity, we may see yet another phase of revolutionary struggles fought merely for “better democracy”–wasting an opportunity that will not come again for a generation. Therefore, we invite you to join us in covering the walls of North America with posters like this, and to brainstorm ways to escalate the conflict that point towards real liberation.
We’ve been working feverishly on further projects to this end, which we will unveil shortly.