Anarchist Struggle in the 1980s and 1990s by the Anarchist History Nerd Brigade
Anarchist Struggle in the 1980s and 1990s by the Anarchist History Nerd Brigade
I’m glad to be able to write that I’m in Oakland for the one year anniversary of the Hydra House’s being cracked open as a squat. Tomorrow I should be leaving for Sacto one way or another then hopefully heading back north.
Though there’s a great deal of noteworthy things going on in the Bay Area, I don’t feel like my presence is necessary at all. I know I’ve written about stopping using this blog before but right now is a good time because I’ve got all of the articles I’ve written for the last three or so years posted, so anything new I start can be a fresh break with the past.
If I come back I’m going to relate to things and people in a very different way. I’ve already stopped checking my last two e-mail addresses in preparation for this.
Out like spandex,
Voices of the Lucasville Uprising Volume 1
The Lucasville Uprising was a prison rebellion against oppression and racism in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) just outside of the village of Lucasville. Nine inmates and one guard were killed in what was the longest prison rebellion in which lives were lost in U$ history. I find it remarkable primarily for how it brought African American and white inmates together.
This ‘zine contains essays by abd one about people who were incarcerated in the SOCF during the 1993 uprising. There is also a few very well drawn pictures, done by one of the ex-Lucasville inmates who is on death row for his alleged role in the uprising. This ‘zine is a good place to start for those who want to learn more about the uprising, prisons, and the complexity of prisoners and their alliances whether one agrees with their politics or perhaps even oppose them. Includes prisoners’ contact info.
functionally ill #17
This is a ‘zine done by Laura-Marie, a 37 year old diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. This particular issue deals with therapy and Laura-Marie’s feelings for her therapist, experiencing rapid cycling of depression and mania’s ups and downs, body image, navigating through the process of trying to get on disability and dreams. Most of the stories are short but punchy, nicely formatted and the binding is hand stitched.
This is another oldie but goodie I found poking around the ‘net, a press release we started at a collective meeting but actually finished at my work while I was on the clock for the press conference we had with Chicago Direct Action Network (DAN)-Labor, the local Anarchist Black Cross (probably called Chicago ABC, it was part of the ABC Network as opposed to the ABC Federation back in 2004 when this happened), Not In Our Name (NION), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), president of the local National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and Fred Hampton Jr. when we found out the Chicago Police Department’s Red Squad had been re-activated to monitor the above named groups. You can read more about that in the ‘zine, The Autonomous Zone Infoshop: The A-Zone and a Decade of Anarchy in Chicago.
CHICAGO–We, the Autonomous Zone Collective, are an anti-authoritarian organization.
We have been operating infoshops in the Chicagoland area for ten years. Our spaces
are used to facilitate political-social events in a fight for liberation from state
We provided a space for some of the planning meetings around the time of the 2002
TABD Conference. Our group was one of the organizations that were infiltrated by the
Chicago Police Department in 2002 and some of our members were targeted for
harassment and false arrest.
The Chicago Police Department’s response is just another example of the state’s
historical systematic targeting of activists. Chicago’s history is rife with the
institutional abuse of power: from the genocide of the indigenous inhabitants of the
area to the repression we encounter today when people can’t organize against
military occupations abroad without being monitored secretly by the police.
It is illogical to say we are fighting for freedom abroad when our freedoms are
being siphoned away at home. Our government is perpetuating a climate of fear in
order to ensure compliance from the public. The security apparatus is designed to
protect the privileges of the minority of corporations and their politicians at the
cost of the civil liberties of the majority of the people.
Therefore, in defiance of this atmosphere of unwarranted fear, we feel it is
imperative to the survival of our freedom that we continue to organize against the
wars abroad and the incursions of our civil liberties at home.
Original notes posted here: http://ivcaminos.blogspot.com/2014/04/naomi-klein-revolution-of-climate-change.html.
Klein started off speaking about how she hasn’t given many public talks over the last four years because she has been working on a new book which is currently in the final edits called This Changes Everything, the “This” being climate change.
She talked about how long she was in soft denial of climate change, and systematically about the various ways people try to ignore it including personal struggles, but how Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy showed this is a struggle people cannot ignore.
Next Klein addressed the predictions for the rise of temperatures on our current trajectory as an example of what will happen if we do nothing, and why we need to change how we think, relate to each other, even govern, everything needs to change. I feel like such implications can’t be downplayed in their radical potential, but it seemed like most times this sort of rhetoric was used, it wasn’t expanded on much. There are all sorts of ways we can change how we think, relate to each other and govern that would not make things better for many or most people even if they dealt with climate change.
Klein backtracked to 1988 as being the starting point for the emergence of the science behind climate change being connected to greenhouse gases. She contextualized this by talking about how the Berlin Wall came down the next year and then began the era of global market fundamentalism that we are in, and has led to a 60% rise in emissions.
Klein considers it the fundamental problem that people consider the economic change we need, to be scarier than climate change. She said many of the necessary changes are exciting, and solve other problems we have anyways. She compared the transformation to the abolition of slavery and the New Deal. When talking about abolitionism, Klein stressed its initial grassroots nature and how it eventually came to totally change society in the U$. Talking about the era after the New Deal, she said she recently found out that in 1946 40% of the fresh produce consumed in the U$ was still being grown in the backyard Victory Gardens that had been a big part of the domestic side of the recently ended war drive, but what we need now will be bottom up.
The Ontario Green Energy plan to get off coal by 2015 was discussed next, and how they’ve been able to get down to just one coal burning plant when they used to be very dependent on it. This plan was a response to the high point of the current economic crisis which saw many plant closures from the Big Three U$ auto-manufacturers in that province. The Ontario government tried to offset these plant closures by creating Green jobs. 30,000 were created, and many ex-autoworkers started to make solar panels and wind turbines for local use. She emphasized how many of the workers and their families were proud of the work they did for the first time.
Because of protectionist, local sourcing written into the plan, Japan and the European Union took Canada to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and won, Ontario promptly shutting down its program. But this has caused many people to realize the need to change the laws that govern global trade. Similarly in Quebec, a fracking ban has been challenged by a U$ corporation under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Then the Transition Town Movement was discussed. When visiting its birthplace in the UK, Klein stressed how one of its major components isn’t just giving people bad news, but hanging out with people and creating the space to process the information and make plans for the change we need. She also emphasized how many of the participants in the Transition Town Movement had come out of other struggles such as the Women’s Movement. I think this was one of her most well articulated points when it came to exactly how a grassroots response to climate change will look from Klein’s perspective.
When asked about Green Washing, Klein responded with how it creates an illusion of the scale of the problem. It makes the threat seem small. She said in the 1980s many environmentalists decided to not go directly after polluters, and how carbon offsetting and many other bad ideas that won’t work came out of this and she thinks it’s “scandalous.” The emerging, grassroots climate movement will either turn to these groups to proper solutions or make them irrelevant. “We’re actually acting like this is a war ’cause it is.” The need to protect water is the driving force behind the movement against fossil fuels and it’s a largely women led movement all over the world, that’s exciting, and it starts with water and goes up.
As long as I’ve been reading her work I’ve felt like Klein dwells in a gray area between radical and liberal, and this talk seemed to bring that out in a more contradictory sense than anything else I’ve read or heard by her. Though she consistently emphasized grassroots and radical change on every level of society, when it came to actual examples of change she came back overwhelmingly to the state and corporations again and again. I caught myself wondering if she has taken a turn to the right or if she was playing down some of her more radical ideas since she was speaking in front of a big state school audience? I’m still very excited about her next book, though I’m a bit apprehensive now too.
The Baklava Autonomist Collective printed Wind Chill Factor and also started the Autonomous Zone Infoshop in Chicago: http://www.scribd.com/doc/219151997/The-Autonomous-Zone-Infoshop