I’ve wanted to reformat and redesign Recipes for Disaster for more than five years. Shortly after the dust had settled from the second printing, I had enough distance from working on the first edition to start noticing its flaws, or, more accurately, the mistakes I’d made. However, recognizing imperfections and failed objectives isn’t the same as finding solutions, and for years I’ve lived with the book, handling it nearly every day, sending out tens of thousands of copies to people and coordinating subsequent printings—all the while feeling like it wasn’t the absolute best version we could make. I made notes, registered feedback from readers, tinkered with prototype templates in InDesign, and—more than anything else—fretted. Today we announce the availability of the newly redesigned second edition, and holding it in my hands fills me with more than just relief, but also the sweet feeling of satisfaction. We really got it right.
What follows is a beyond-nerdy breakdown of the changes made in the second edition, the reasoning behind the changes, and a look into what led to the shortcomings of the first edition. To do that we’ll have to travel back to 2004, but first we’ll show off a few of the improvements . . .
Just in time for the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, we have the video footage of last Wednesday’s debate with Chris Hedges, courtesy of our comrades at Global Uprisings. We’re also including a summary of the results of the debate and some of the points we set out to make in it.
For many weeks now, our classic all-purpose anarchist cookbook, Recipes for Disaster has been out of stock. We’ve just received a flawless printed sample and are relieved to report that on September 24, a reformatted and enhanced second edition of the cookbook will be available.
Meanwhile, our Russian comrades have published their own version of Recipes for Disaster, which is available for free downloading. They have added many of their own recipes and adjusted others based on experience. Here, in their own words, are the contents of their version, which provide as entertaining a glimpse into the Russian anarchist context as the time capsule of our 2004 version offers into our own past:
At 7 pm on Wednesday, September 12, Chris Hedges, author of “The Cancer in Occupy,” and a participant in the CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective will meet for a pubic debate about tactics in the Occupy movement and beyond. The debate, free and open to the public, will take place in Proshansky Auditorium at CUNY in New York City.
For those who can’t attend, the debate will be live-streamed at http://www.crimethinc.com/livestream; the link won’t go live until the event proper begins, shortly after 6:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.
The livestream will be publicly screened at several events around the country, including:
At long last, Rolling Thunder #10 is back from the printers! The past two years have been a real roller coaster, so this one is packed.
We begin the issue with a reappraisal of the anarchist project in today’s context of crisis and technological transformation. From there, we chart the global trajectory of momentum: the student movements in the US and UK—the insurrections in Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond—the occupation movements in Spain, Greece, and finally the USA, from its awkward beginnings in Wisconsin to its aftereffects in Oakland. For case studies, we focus in on the anti-police struggles that catalyzed the rise of confrontational anarchism in Seattle, and scrutinize how US immigration policy is applied on the ground at the border to explain how its actual objectives differ from its ostensible purpose. The issue concludes with a historical review of Canadian anarchism, following it from its origins through the Olympics and G20 riots of 2010 and up to the present day.
Rolling Thunder #10 also features a graphic history from Argentine anarchism—24 pages in full color—and all the other bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from us times two. It was a long time coming, but the extra attention has only improved the final result.
This issue is funded in part by a legal settlement, the legacy of an earlier cycle of struggle. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who helped us get it published despite the usual host of challenges. Thank you for your faith in us. Everything you entrust we will return twofold to the struggle.
We won’t mince words, this issue of Rolling Thunder is very, very late. All we can offer is our sincere apology, and an assurance that it was not due to negligence—in the past year we’ve had both a death and a birth here at Far East HQ as well as truly dark times in our personal lives, and our operation, already pushed to the limits of human capacity, suffered greatly. While we’ve managed to keep on top of mailorder and the website, other projects like Rolling Thunder, the Recipes for Disaster redesign and reprint, and others yet to be revealed, have suffered setbacks and delays. Throughout it all, y’all have been very patient and understanding, and for that you have our true gratitude—it made a trying situation more bearable. Thank you.
We’ve struggled to find an equilibrium and while not there yet, the thread is in our grasp. We’re beginning to catch up and we can promise an action-packed last third of 2012 beginning now. To begin, we are releasing Rolling Thunder #10 today, which you can read about above. As a token of appreciation and thanks to all of those who subscribed to Rolling Thunder, we are sending this issue free to all current subscribers; in other words, if you subscribed to Rolling Thunder before today, your four issue subscription has just turned into a five issue subscription. It’s the least we could do to reward you for your support in light of the delay.
Speaking of transitions, Rolling Thunder is undergoing one itself. Our initial vision was a mass-distributed, inexpensive but high-quality journal that would come out in a timely manner and be a project that simply broke even for us financially. We tried to will it into existence by mass-producing it right from the get go, and offering it at a break even price, however sales never reached the needed levels to be sustainable—as the currently available ancient back issues will attest. RT is still very important to us, so rather than give it up, we’ve decided to print 33% less copies, at the same high-quality, and charge more, which is necessary because as the print-run lowers, cost-per-issue goes up. We believe this model will enable us to keep publishing it until there is no need for RT in this world.
Immediately before the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, we will meet Chris Hedges in New York City for a public debate about diversity of tactics. This debate will be free and open to the public, and livestreamed for those who can’t attend.
In February 2012, as the Occupy movement tapered off, a strike broke out against austerity measures in the Québécois higher education system. Prevented from occupying buildings as it had in 2005, the student movement shifted to a strategy of economic disruption: blockading businesses, interrupting conferences, and spreading chaos in the streets. At its peak, the resulting unrest surpassed any protest movement in North America for a generation.
To counteract the media blackout, we’ve worked with participants to prepare a two-part feature:
In this comprehensive report, we chart the strike action by action, from its awkward beginnings through the high point of the revolt and the emergency measures with which the government attempted to suppress it. At each stage in its development, we explore why the strike assumed the forms it did, and analyze the forces competing to push it forward, suppress it, or coopt it. Like the Oakland port blockade of November 2, 2011, the strike suggests a path forward out of the strategic impasse resulting from the Occupy evictions; it also demonstrates that building a capacity for confrontation is an infrastructural project, as much as any community institution.
At nearly 30,000 words and almost 100 photos and videos, be warned that the page may take some time to load.
The next chapter of the story is about to be written: militants have called for a convergence beginning August 13, to continue the strike in the face of government repression. Stay tuned.
On July 19, Kelly Rose Pflug-Back was sentenced to eleven more months in prison for her participation in the 2010 G20 protests in Toronto. She remains unapologetic about her role in the black bloc that caused so much disruption during the summit, demonstrating that the forces that impose capitalism and patriarchy are not invulnerable.
To support Kelly and the millions like her who are imprisoned for the inconveniences they pose to the powerful, we are proud to present her eloquent and thought-provoking memoir of the time she spent incarcerated after her original arrest: “Every Prisoner is a Political Prisoner.” In this account, Kelly powerfully evokes the experience of captivity and the importance of understanding all captives of the state as political prisoners.
Our friends Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness are publishing a book of Kelly’s poetry as a fundraiser to benefit her during her incarceration. Walt Whitman argued that “to have great poets there must be great audiences,” but audiences is precisely the opposite of what there must be. To have great poetry, there must be people who are willing to act on their ideals rather than just watch from the sidelines. We are deeply grateful to Kelly for finding the courage to live her poetry as well as writing it.
To complement the online edition of Vortext, we’ve uploaded its sister publication TERROR INCOGNITA in pdf form. Terror Incognita challenges conventional notions about consent, violence, sexuality, desire, and freedom, in hopes of pushing the discourse about these subjects far out of familiar territory.