Over the past six years, cities around the world have seen peaks of anti-capitalist struggle: Athens, London, Barcelona, Cairo, Oakland, Montréal, Istanbul. A decade ago, anarchists would converge from around the world to participate in a single summit protest. Now many have participated in months-long upheavals in their own cities, and more surely loom ahead.
But what do we do after the crest? If a single upheaval won’t bring down capitalism, we have to ask what’s important about these high points: what we hope to get out of them, how they figure in our long-term vision, and how to make the most of the period that follows them. This is especially pressing today, when we can be sure that there are more upheavals on the way.
To this end, we’ve organized a dialogue with anarchists in some of the cities that have seen climaxes of conflict, including Oakland, Barcelona, and Montréal. Over the next several days, we will present the results of some of those discussions here, as a series of reflections on the opportunities and risks that arise during the declining phase of a movement.
This week, we will publish a four-part series analyzing what happens in the waning phase of movements, and how to recognize the opportunities and risks they pose. We have been working on this for months in dialogue with comrades around the world. We encourage our friends to continue this dialogue via formal or informal discussions, in hopes that we might be better prepared for the next crescendo of social struggle.
June 2013 saw the biggest wave of protest in Brazil’s recent history. Last month, we published a report from participants in this struggle, which began with demonstrations against a transit fare hike and quickly escalated into countrywide clashes. This is our second installment on the uprising, authored by another group, who offer a more critical perspective on the events.
In June 2013, immediately on the heels of the uprising in Turkey, Brazil erupted in nationwide turmoil. Beginning with protests against a public transit fare increase, this upheaval brought hundreds of thousands to the streets in open fighting with the police. The fare increase was soundly defeated, in one of the few victories of the past several years of global revolts. But the movement was a victim of its own success, as middle-class nationalists and pacifists joined in, clashing with other protesters and muddying the issues.
Although anarchists played a decisive role in these events, very little material about the upheaval has appeared in English from Brazilian anarchists. To correct this, we have solicited our comrades’ perspectives from inside the riots. This is the first of two collectively authored texts analyzing the conditions that produced the uprising and the lessons we can draw from it. We will publish the second shortly.
As corporations attempt to enter a new era of even dirtier fossil fuel production, indigenous communities are standing up to take direct action to protect Mother Earth. Some are pursuing legal challenges against violated treaties; others are creating internet-driven mass movements like Idle No More, or reclaiming their roots by going back to the land to assert traditional law. Among the latter are the Unist’ot’en, the People of the Headwater, whose lands encompass a wide swath of Northern British Columbia.
When companies like Enbridge and Apache announced plans to build a massive pipeline corridor through these lands, it provoked outrage from the Wet’suwet’en people whose traditional territory lies directly in its proposed path. Of the five Wet’suwet’en clans, the Unist’ot’en were the first to declare themselves opposed to all pipelines being proposed to cross their traditional territories. Now the Likhts’amisyu, Tsayu, and Git’dum’den clans have followed suit and momentum is growing.
This article tells the story from the perspective of the Unist’ot’en and their allies at the Unist’ot’en Camp through the winter of 2012-3; it has been collectively produced by both indigenous and settler voices. It recounts the development of a common front including the Unist’ot’en and anarchists and other proponents of grassroots resistance, describes the pipeline projects they are intent on thwarting, and explores the complex relationships that have arisen in the course of this struggle.
A group of people who have been directly harmed by informant provocateurs have put together this checklist, drawing on personal experiences as well as those of other activists and information from informant provocateurs who have gone public. We hope you can learn from the damage that has already been done, so these people can be stopped before they are able to harm you.
To follow up our coverage of the uprising in Turkey beginning from Taksim Square, we’ve conducted an interview with anarchists in İstanbul. They talk about the background of the revolt, the relationship between this uprising and others around the world, and its implications for the future of Turkey.
Canada’s premier anarchist hip hop outfit Test Their Logik have been notorious ever since they caught conspiracy charges for supposedly inspiring the rioting at the 2010 G20 summit with an incendiary rap video. Since their no-contact orders were dropped, the duo have roamed the earth from their hometown of Toronto to the streets of Cairo and the islands of the Pacific Rim, performing their firebrand breed of revolutionary rap. Last year, they released the best diss track on the 2012 elections. Wherever it’s going down, they’re on the front lines.
“We ain’t your ordinary criminals—not in it for the loot”
Now they’re back with their second full length. The backstory should give you an idea of their sound. This is an eerie, menacing, hypnotic record, tense like a standoff, explosive like a riot. They’ve finally got the polished production to match their rugged sound: the beats are frenetic and the singing on the hooks is fantastic. They come as relentless as ever with the politics, speaking from where they stand in the heart of anti-capitalist, ecological, and indigenous struggles. The 18 tracks clock in at a full hour–and that sample of Glenn Beck struggling to pronounce their name never gets old. Buy the record here.
The past three weeks have seen an eruption of popular resistance in Turkey, with protesters occupying parks and barricading cities; in response, the Turkish police have killed at least four people and injured thousands. To offer an inside perspective on these events, we present a chronological photoessay from Istanbul and an agitprop video from Ankara, both freshly translated into English. Stay tuned for more coverage.
Perhaps you’ve read about the recently revealed Prism program, through which the US National Security Agency has been harvesting data from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and other major internet corporations.
Remember, this is the tip of the iceberg. We can’t know how many similar projects are buried deeper in the apparatus of the surveillance state, unrevealed by daring whistleblowers. We do know that the NSA intercepts billions of emails, phone calls, and other forms of communication every day. What they can monitor they can also censor, à la China or Mubarak.
Many have championed the internet as an opportunity to create new commons, resources that can be shared rather than privately owned. But faced with the increasing state and corporate power over the structures through which we interact online, we have to consider the dystopian possibility that the internet represents a new enclosure of the commons: the channeling of communication into formats that can be mapped, patrolled, and controlled.