This is the final installment in our “After the Crest” series exploring how to navigate the waning phase of social movements. It is a personal reflection on anarchist participation in the 2012 student strike in Montréal and the disruptions that accompanied it. The product of much collective discussion, this article explores the opportunities anarchists missed during the high point of the conflict by limiting themselves to the framework of the strike, and the risks they incurred by attempting to maintain it once it had entered a reformist endgame.
We’re eager to hear from comrades around the world about your own experiences and conclusions regarding how to relate to the waning phase of movements, whether for inclusion in the forthcoming “After the Crest” podcast episode or elsewhere. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the third part in our “After the Crest” series, studying how we can make the most of the waning phase of upheavals. This installment analyzes the rhythms of struggle in Barcelona over the past several years, discussing the complex relationship between anarchists and larger social movements as popular struggles escalated and then subsided. It concludes with practical input on how anarchists can take advantage of a period of ebbing momentum.
For best results, read this text in combination with our earlier features on Barcelona: “Fire Extinguishers and Fire Starters,” describing the plaza occupation movement of spring 2011, and “The Rose of Fire Has Returned,”, focusing on the general strike of March 2012. Together, the three pieces trace the trajectory of an upheaval from its inspiring but ideologically murky inception through the high point of confrontation and into the aftermath.
This is the second part in our “After the Crest” series, studying what we can learn from the waning phase of social movements. In this installment, participants in Occupy Oakland trace its trajectory from origins to conclusion, exploring why it reached certain limits and what it will take for future movements to surpass them.
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.
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!
What’s all this talk about insurrection? We’ve been throwing around the term “insurrectionary anarchism” in recent discussions on The Ex-Worker, so in our ninth episode we seize the moment and dive headlong into this trajectory that has influenced so many contemporary anarchists. We explore its roots among Spanish guerrillas, Situationists, and Italian criminals, lay out its core ideas, and reflect on how anarchists are making use of them in struggles today. We also review Italian anarchist Alfredo Bonanno’s classic insurrectionary text Armed Joy; look back over a summer’s worth of animal liberation actions; interview a supporter of the California Prison Hunger Strike, as it enters its 55th day; share some more listener feedback on nihilism; and offer our usual array of resistance news, events, prisoner birthdays, Contradictionary terms, and more. Tune in—the time to act is now!
You can download this and all of our previous episodes on our podcast page. 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 email@example.com. A new episode is released on the first and third Sunday of every month.
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.
Though a week late (sorry!), the eighth episode of the Ex-Worker is our longest yet, and wraps up our series on prisons and police, as we look at ways to dismantle the prison industrial complex and to address harm directly without the state. We interview members of Critical Resistance and Support New York to learn about how prison abolition and community accountability processes play out in practice. You’ll also hear also a review of a new collection of writings from political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoats, responses to listener feedback and anarchist perspectives on gun control, plus a letter from revolutionary Tom Manning about his transfer from solitary confinement. And of course we’ve got news from struggles worldwide, event announcements, Contradictionary entries, and plenty more.
You can download this and all of our previous episodes on our podcast page. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. A new episode is supposed to be released on the first and third Sunday of every month.
A note for our open-source enthusiast listeners out there: we’ve added an OGG download alongside the MP3 for this episode as well as for all previous ones, and will make it standard practice for future releases.
Who monitors the monitors? Who looks through your Windows™? You read books, but e-books read you. To paraphrase Nietzsche, when you look into the screen, the screen looks back into you.
The recent PRISM scandal has threatened the otherwise spotless reputation of the National Security Agency. In response, we have partnered with our dear friends in the NSA to produce a Customer Appreciation Page for everyone’s favorite online profiling organization.
Our first outreach project to promote awareness about the PRISM program and the NSA in general is a state-of-the-art sticker suitable for mobile phones, computers, and a wide range of other electronic devices. Sport one of these on your laptop to let everyone know where you stand; take a roll of these to the computer lab to educate your fellow students or employees!