To Change Everything Eastern European Tour

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This May, to support the Czech, Polish, and German versions of To Change Everything, a rotating cast of participants from the US, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Balkans are presenting a series of speaking events in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Germany.

Coinciding with this, we have added the Polish and Czech versions of To Change Everything to the website, including PDFs of the print versions.

We are planning a full US tour for the fall, bringing together participants in To Change Everything from several continents. Email rollingthunder@crimethinc.com if you can help set up an event.

Tour dates after the jump.

Why We Don’t Make Demands

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On May 1, following a week of riots and demonstrations, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor filed charges against six police officers for the death of Freddie Gray—an almost unprecedented development in a nation in which police kill hundreds of people a year with impunity.

Does this prove that the system can work, provided we make our demands forcefully enough? One could conclude from these events that the best way to address injustice is a sort of hyper-militant reformism. Yet it is also possible to draw the opposite conclusion—that the only way to make any progress whatsoever is to stop petitioning the authorities and take action outside the structures of governance, as the courageous people of Baltimore demonstrated. The fact that it took such a massive upheaval simply for charges to be brought against Freddie Gray’s captors—to say nothing the fundamental changes that are desperately needed in this society—suggests that it is unrealistic to think we could reform the existing institutions one riot at a time.

In that case, what is promising about these moments of rebellion is that they could serve as steps towards determining what happens in our communities autonomously, in defiance of the state, its police, and hand-wringing newscasters. Perhaps the Baltimore Uprising doesn’t show us how to present demands to our rulers, but points the way beyond the politics of demands.

This is an old debate, but it has become more and more urgent through the global uprisings of the past decade. We present our contribution, the result of months of discussions with participants in movements around the globe.

Read the feature.

Episode 35: To Change Everything Audio Zine

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At long last, the Ex-Worker is back! We hope all of you had a riotous May Day. Please send us reports on what you did to observe it at podcast@crimethinc.com so we can include them in our next episode.

In celebration of the resistance unfolding around the world from Baltimore to Milan and beyond, we’re releasing our first audio zine! Inspired by others’ contributions to the project, we at the Ex-Worker podcast have produced an audio version of To Change Everything to support the print and video versions circulating across the world.

Listen to or download the audio zine To Change Everything.

We’ll be back in mid-May with our next regular episode, exploring the unfolding social revolution in Rojava that came into the media’s attention during the defense of the city of Kobane by self-organized militias against the Islamic State. Stay tuned!

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.

Tomorrow Is Steal Something from Work Day!

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Tomorrow, April 15, is tax day: the day by which you are required to file income tax returns so the US government can extort some of your earnings, the greatest part of which traditionally goes to funding the military and police without which such banditry would be impossible. Thanks to the tax breaks available to the wealthy, your employers may pay less in taxes than you, even as they take more profit home. Many corporations—like Citigroup and Bank of America—pay no federal taxes whatsoever.

In addition, April 15 is a nationwide day of protest under the banner Fight for $15, aimed at winning workers $15-an-hour wages and the right to unionize. Now, we’d love to think that a few protests would suffice to make corporations treat their employees better, or to make the government that exists to protect those corporations suddenly change sides… but we’re not holding our breath. If you’re participating in those actions, we wish you success; just don’t get so comfortable negotiating the details of our exploitation that you come to take it for granted. Even $150 an hour couldn’t justify the humiliating jobs many of us are forced to hold. Real dignity isn’t a question of getting higher wages to do the same thing; we deserve complete self-determination, not better compensation for squandering our lives.

April 15 is also the sixth annual Steal Something from Work Day. Whether or not your employer raises your wages or permits you to unionize, you can conspire with your fellow employees to expand your take-home pay yourselves. You can that do right now, on your own terms, without waiting for legislation, without opening negotiations with your enemies, without the assistance of paid organizers or condescending nonprofits, without struggling to get the attention of politicians who answer to the highest bidder. Sure, stealing from your workplace is dangerous, but it’s no more dangerous than the kind of pressure campaign it would take to win a living wage for everyone nationwide—consult the bloody history of the old US labor movement if you want to know how people won the right to unionize in the first place. And what is more likely to equip us to move towards a real revolution, collective illegal activity or legal reform campaigns? Not that you necessarily have to choose—try both, if you like.

Read on.

April Is Anarchist Book Fair Month

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On April 17, a CrimethInc. agent will present at the Base in New York City about To Change Everything, exploring its most provocative themes and tying it into struggles taking place around the world. The next day, on April 18, we will table at the New York City Anarchist Book Fair. The following weekend, on April 25, we will be tabling for our fifteenth consecutive year at the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair in Oakland. Come to any of these events for a heaping helping of free anarchist literature.

#34: Staying Safe To Be Dangerous Together

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#34: Staying Safe So We Can Be Dangerous Together – In our 34th episode, we follow themes of repression, security, and resistance through several different short features. In celebration of former Green Scare prisoner Eric McDavid‘s release after nine years inside, we reflect on the lessons of his case for our efforts to resist today. We share part of a recent CrimethInc. essay that assesses the possibilities and limits of whistleblowing, as well as an inspiring statement by Jason Hammond (sibling of incarcerated hacktivist Jeremy Hammond) as he heads to prison for his role in an anti-fascist action. Ramona Africa speaks to us about the MOVE 9 case and the life and death of Phil Africa, and an anarchist from Barcelona gives a report about the recent wave of repression by the Spanish state in Operation Pandora. Listeners weigh in on cable access TV, iTunes, and an insider view on security and entrapment strategies. We conclude with reflections on the lessons to be learned from these various cases and recent events on staying safe in order to be truly dangerous to authority. Plus as usual there are a lot of global news reports, event announcements, prisoner birthdays, and plenty more.

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.

Turkish Anarchists on the Fight for Kobanê

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In summer 2013, we published an interview with the Turkish group Revolutionary Anarchist Action (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet, or DAF) about the uprising that began in Gezi Park. At the end of summer 2014, we learned that DAF was supporting the fierce resistance that residents of the town of Kobanê in northern Syria were putting up to the incursion of the fundamentalist Islamic State.

In hopes of gaining more insight into the situation, we contacted our comrades of DAF once more. After months of waiting, we are finally able to present these two interviews—one offering general background on the struggle in Kobanê, the other delving into analytical detail about the geopolitical context and implications.

Read the feature.

Why Syriza Can’t Save Greece

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Since 2008, Greece has been a bellwether of crisis and resistance around the world: whatever happens in the social movements there is a pretty good indication of what lies ahead for the rest of us. Syriza, a new political party, took power in Greece last Sunday with the promise to rescue Greece from austerity programs in defiance of the international bankers and finance ministers at the helm of global capitalism. While conservative economists wring their hands, similar parties all over Europe are hailing this as a new model offering hope and change.

But in the long run, Syriza cannot solve the problems created by capitalism and the state, and their electoral victory may only hinder the revolutionary movements that could solve them. Here’s why.

Read the feature.

#33: The Ex-Worker’s 2014 Year in Review

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#33: The Ex-Worker’s 2014 Year in Review – From the Ukrainian revolution and war with Russia to the Bosnian uprisings, ISIS/Rojava/Kobane conflicts, the Brazilian World Cup protests, anti-police riots in Ferguson and beyond… 2014 was one hell of a depressing, inspiring, roller coaster of a year! In Episode 33 of the Ex-Worker, our year in review, we wrote to anarchists around the world to ask them what they thought were the most significant events of the last year and what they anticipate in 2015. Responses came in from correspondents as far off as Brazil, Russia, Colombia, Slovenia, Finland, and Germany, as well as across North America, with reports about 2014 and analysis of the possibilities for resistance in the upcoming year. We also stop to take stock of the last year of the Ex-Worker, and reveal some schemes and dreams for our next year of anarchist podcasting. And as if that wasn’t enough, we share an exclusive report on squatting, eviction, and resistance in Prague, an analysis of recent anti-police rioting in Oakland, and discussions on listener feedback about Agency’s Ebola article and the police in relation to the state, along with plenty of news, prisoner birthdays, and more. Merry Crisis and Happy New Fear!

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.

Announcing To Change Everything!

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After months of labor and coordination, we are proud to present our most ambitious effort yet. To Change Everything is a new multimedia overview of the anarchist project, updated for the 21st century. It is a primer for the curious, a polemic for the entrenched, a point of departure for everyone who longs for another world.

To Change Everything includes a free full-color 48-page print publication, a video by Submedia.tv, a responsive website featuring the text in 6 languages (with 14 more to come), and a sticker and poster campaign. Collectives in 19 countries across five continents have prepared two dozen different versions of the project, each tailored to match the local context.

Order copies to give out at events—distribute them around your neighborhood, college campus, community center, or workplace—leave one as your calling card when you interrupt business as usual. Put the sticker up on public transportation and anywhere else people might notice it. Circulate the website and video online, too!

Visit the website
Order print copies : EnglishEspañol

Another page, The Secret Is to Begin, offers an array of further resources as a next step for readers.

It’s high time for a project like this. All around the world, conflict is intensifying between human beings and authoritarian systems. We’re seeing uprisings from Bosnia to Brazil, autonomous zones in Greece and Rojava, fascist parties entering European parliaments. In the United States, successive waves of dispossession and injustice have swept new sectors of society into revolt one after another. The student movements of 2009, the Occupy movement of 2011, the unrest that spread from Ferguson in 2014—all of these have produced a population hungry for new visions. With faith in government, capitalism, policing, and all the other authoritarian institutions of our day at an all-time low, the time is ripe to open the way to liberation—and if we don’t seize the opportunity, others will exploit the situation for their own nefarious ends. To Change Everything steps into the breach.

When we first pitched this project, we promised to make 100,000 copies. We swiftly recognized that wouldn’t be enough. Supporters donated over $22,000 via Kickstarter, and a few generous comrades contributed over $10,000 more. Thanks to them, we’ve been able to deliver more than we originally envisioned. We’ve helped collectives in Brazil, Argentina, Romania, and Slovenia fund their print versions; we’ve earmarked 3000 copies for prisoner support groups to send to prisoners in the US; and we made almost twice as many print copies ourselves as we proposed to.

Altogether, we printed 175,000 copies for North America: 150,000 in English and 25,000 in Spanish. Active Distribution printed 10,000 more in English to distribute throughout the UK and Europe. The TCE group in Germany made 10,000 copies for their first print run; the group in Brazil has already gone through 4000 copies. Release events have taken place in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Croatia, and Slovenia, as well as the US.

All this is thanks to 100% volunteer labor. We extend our deepest appreciation to Submedia, Active Distribution, the dozens of translators and designers and publishers who crafted their own versions of this project, the hundreds of donors who sponsored them, and you for distributing them.

We still have some loose ends to tie up. We have at least 14 more languages to add to the website. The Ex-Worker is about to release an audio version. Please send us photos of To Change Everything in action to illustrate our updates!

We’re still seeking translators and publishers to prepare additional versions of this project. We would love to hear from comrades in Indonesia, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere. The idea is for you to craft a version of To Change Everything adapted to your context and your ideas. Also, prisoner support groups may request copies postage-free while supplies last. To invite a delegation to present To Change Everything where you are, or to speak on anarchist ideas and strategy in general, contact us.