Ukraine & the Future of Social Movements

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We have heard terrifying stories from the revolution in Ukraine: anarchists participating in anti-government street-fighting behind nationalist banners, anarchist slogans and historical figures appropriated by fascists… a dystopia in which familiar movements and strategies reappear with our enemies at the helm.

This text is a clumsy first attempt to identify the important questions for anarchists elsewhere around the world to discuss in the wake of the events in Ukraine. We present it humbly, acknowledging that our information is limited, hoping that others will correct our errors and improve on our analysis. It has been difficult to maintain contact with comrades in the thick of things; surely it is frustrating to be peppered with ill-informed questions amid the tragedies of civil war.

What is happening in Ukraine and Venezuela appears to be a reactionary counterattack within the space of social movements. This may be a sign of worse things to come—we can imagine a future of rival fascisms, in which the possibility of a struggle for real liberation becomes completely invisible. Here follow our hypotheses and an English-language reading list for those who are still catching up.

Read the analysis.

Ukraine: How Nationalists Took the Lead

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While Putin tries to change the subject from insurrection to war (perhaps in fear that the contagion of unrest will spread inside Russian borders), we believe it is especially important for anarchists and others with a stake in social movements to learn from the revolution in Ukraine. Specifically, we want to study how nationalist and fascist elements were able to take the initiative, and how to minimize the likelihood of this occurring elsewhere in the future.

To that purpose, we present an interview here with a member of the Autonomous Workers’ Union in Kiev, who discusses why groups like Svoboda and Pravy Sector were positioned to take advantage of the social movement, and evaluates the effectiveness of the various strategies anarchists and anti-fascists adopted in this unfavorable context.

Shortly, we will present our preliminary hypotheses about what anarchists elsewhere around the world can learn the Ukrainian example, along with a reading list of primary source materials available in English.

Read the interview.

CrimethInc. at the 2014 Bay Area Book Fair

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We will be tabling at this year’s Bay Area Book Fair on March 22, as we have for over a decade. We will bring the brand new issue of Rolling Thunder and a great deal of other exciting material. One of the authors of our zine Self as Other will be presenting the workshop “Beyond Self-Care: The Subversive Potential of Care”. That evening, Catharsis will be playing a single West Coast reunion show. If you live in the area, we hope to see you at one of these events! Stay tuned for Crimethinc. activities on at least three continents in April.

Continue reading

The Ex-Worker #19: Anarchists In Revolt

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#19: Anarchists In Revolt, From Bosnia to Peru – Our discussion of communism will have to wait… because post-socialist Bosnia is erupting in rebellion! In this episode, we share two interviews with anarchists from the Balkans reflecting on the current uprisings, along with recent updates and a Bosnian hip hop artist’s protest anthem. An Ex-Worker travels to Lima, Peru and sends back a report on a recent anarchist book and propaganda fair, including a group shout-out from a workshop about the podcast, live interviews and musical recordings. Listeners critique our treatment of market anarchism, an eco-defense prisoner explains police tactics, and news on state repression, prisoner strikes, and anti-extraction struggles round out our exploration of resistance to authority around the globe.

We’ll be back in two weeks with the episode we promised on what communists and socialists do (or don’t) have in common with anarchists. Until then, 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.

Rolling Thunder #11 Shipping Soon

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We are elated to announce that in just a couple short weeks we’ll be shipping out Rolling Thunder #11 to subscribers—we received the unbound, printed samples last week (pictured above) and they were absolutely perfect. Issue #11 begins what we consider to be the second series of Rolling Thunder and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the small improvements we’ve made.

Rolling Thunder subscribers: If you have moved, now is the time to send us your new address, if you haven’t already; shoot an email to rtsubs@crimethinc.com with your new address and we’ll take care of it. Also, if you are a subscriber and didn’t get our new issue notification email two weeks ago, it means either your email service marked it as spam, or the email address we have on record for you is no longer valid—if the later is the case, drop us a line and lets us know your preferred contact email. Our most sincere thanks for subscribing, it’s what makes Rolling Thunder possible.

If you are NOT a Rolling Thunder subscriber: Now is a great time to subscribe—you’ll be sent the new issue the second it’s available (and weeks before it’s available to non-subscribers), and it’ll save you a ton of money (see below) compared to buying the issues one at a time. Subscriptions are essential to Rolling Thunder’s continued survival; if you believe Rolling Thunder to be a project worth supporting, please subscribe.

Subscription Cost Per Issue vs. Single Issue Cost:

  • In the US, to order a single issue costs $11.37 ($8 + $3.37 Media Mail Shipping), versus subscribing which costs just $25 total for four issues ($6.25 per issue).
  • Outside the US, to order a single issue costs $32 ($8 + $24 Global Priority Mail), versus subscribing which costs just $35 total for four issues ($8.75 per issue).

Anarchists in the Bosnian Uprising

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The past two weeks have seen a fierce new protest movement in Bosnia, commencing with the destruction of government buildings and continuing with the establishment of popular assemblies. Unlike the recent conflicts in Ukraine, this movement has eschewed nationalistic strife to focus on class issues. In a region infamous for ethnic bloodshed, this offers a more promising direction for the Eastern European uprisings to come.

To gain more insight into the protests, we conducted two interviews. The first is with a participant in Mostar, Bosnia, who describes the events firsthand. The second is with a comrade in a nearby part of the Balkans, who explains the larger context of the movement, evaluating its potential to spread to other parts of the region and to challenge capitalism and the state.

Read on after the jump.

The Ex-Worker #18: Anarcho-Capitalism

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Anarchism ain’t what it used to be … if you search iTunes or Youtube these days, you’ll find defenders of capitalism and private property claiming the A word more than ever. In our 18th installment of the Ex-Worker, our twice monthly podcast, we kick off a two episode series discussing what anarchism isn’t, as Clara and Alanis step in to debunk anarcho-capitalism. Surveying the range of libertarian ideologies in the US, we assess the similarities and differences between these opponents of the state and anti-capitalist anarchists, while clarifying how their free market fantasies fall short of a genuinely anarchist vision of freedom. Our critiques of private property and the free market conclude with a hilarious interview with an anarchist graphic designer about their misadventures laying out a book on “market anarchism.” We also hear from recently released grand jury resister Jerry Koch about the insight he’s gained into the importance of prisoner solidarity to anarchist struggle, while his lawyer explains how grand juries are used as tools of political repression and how we can resist them. Listeners offer corrections, suggestions, and updates on prisoner struggles, while plenty of news updates and announcements round out our longest episode yet!

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.

Anarchist Book Fair in Lima, Peru: Report

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Last weekend, a CrimethInc. operative participated in the first Anarchist Book and Propaganda Fair in Lima, Peru. Here follows his detailed report, including photographs and a few comments on the situation of anarchists in Peru.

Read on after the jump.

The Ex-Worker #17: Conspiracy!

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Trial has begun for the NATO 3, Chicago anarchists facing domestic terrorism charges as a result of police infiltration during a 2012 protest summit. To understand the case and its context, Episode 17 of the Ex-Worker explores the state’s strategy to repress anarchists and social movements through the use of conspiracy charges and entrapment. We interview three activists from the front lines of anti-repression work: a member of the NATO 3 support team, a volunteer with the animal liberation counter-information collective Bite Back, and an anarchist supporter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation. Our Chopping Block review examines Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege while more listeners write in to share what anarchism means to them. News across the world includes anarchist typhoon relief efforts, Indiana prisoner resistance, and Christian anarchists striking back against sexism. A brief discussion by political prisoner Veronza Bowers, Jr. about repression against the Black Panther Party and an announcement from an organizer with Everglades Earth First! round out one of our most action-packed episodes to date.

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.

The Ex-Worker #16: Back to Black

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It’s a new year and a new episode of the Ex-Worker! In the sixteenth installment of our twice-monthly podcast, we backtrack a little to cover our biggest topic ever: what is anarchism? What pathways led today’s rebels to embrace anarchy, and what does it mean to them? We’ll hear from historical and contemporary anarchists in a collage weaving together first person experiences and definitions. Also, listeners write in to elaborate on the situation in Ukraine we reported on in our last episode, and to share a provocative perspective on the relationship between religion and anarchism. We’ve also got our usual news, upcoming events, and prisoner birthdays. Tune in to hear the poignant stories of an anarchist generation.

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.