Anarchists are some of the most interesting people out there—we wreak havoc in the streets, we innovate new social phenomena like Occupy and Twitter, and we participate in some downright bizarre subcultures. So, it should be no surprise that anarchists, and our projects, continually make the news.
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Billy Fong is out of a job. Until recently, this high school student had found a purpose helping Hong Kong’s demonstrators over the high median dividers cutting through their encampment in the city’s Admiralty district. Yet, as the occupation of Harcourt Road enters its fourth week, getting over the concrete walls has become easy: protesters handy with tools have made several sets of wooden stairs for them, complete with handrails. “I have somehow become useless,” says Fong, 17, standing idly at one such set of steps on a recent evening. “But it’s okay,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Now I have more leisure time.”
The FBI announced this week that the massive database system it had been building for eight years, pulling together stores of biometric information on millions of people, is at "full operational capacity." The Next Generation Identification (NGI) system is a vast, centralized surveillance tool — and the stuff of totalitarian dystopia: fingerprint databases, iris scan details, more than 50 million images used for facial recognition (a.k.a. "faceprints"), and the capacity to hoard information of individualizing details like gait, voice pattern, and tattoos. Yet aside from a flurry of pained press releases from privacy groups and civil libertarians, the news of Big Brother's ascension was met not with a yell but a whimper.
For those of us concerned with anarchist storytelling, Michael Moorcock’s 1978 essay Starship Stormtroopers simply knows no equal. Here is a science fiction legend, an anarchist himself, explaining the politics of the 1960-70s science fiction scene and ruthlessly attacking the reactionary and conservative elements in genre fiction. While much of the essay discusses stories that seem less relevant today, other parts tear apart many science fiction legends whose presence lingers on in the world. Of particular interest to me is how masterfully and concisely Moorcock pieces apart the romanticism that draws us to conservative writing.
Ursula K. Le Guin is being given an honorary National Book Award. That she deserves it is beyond question: at 84 years old, she’s run out of other prizes to win. In the science fiction and fantasy ghetto, she’s swept all the categories and can safely rest on her laurels as a Science Fiction Writers of America “Grand Master,” of which there are only thirty-one.
Villagers in southwest China have vowed to “fight to the death" after a long-running land dispute erupted into violence that left eight people dead and at least 18 injured. Hundreds of police were surrounding Fuyou village in Yunnan province on Thursday morning in the wake of pitched battles between local farmers and hundreds of unidentified men who launched a Tuesday afternoon assault on the community.
Villagers stand behind shields taken from police injured during clashes at Fuyou village
Baltimore Jimmy John’s worker and veteran James Hegler was fired on Sept. 5 in retaliation for organizing a union at his workplace and participating in concerted activity against low wages and appalling working conditions. On Sunday, Oct. 19, workers and supporters picketed outside the Pratt Street Jimmy John’s to demand both the reinstatement of James Hegler and an end to illegal retaliation against workers.
But pacifism is not the only dimension that this would apply to, anarchists in general have this zealous notion of the purity of the political. They are dismissive of anybody who defines themselves as being part of a national liberation movement, without examining that movement in any coherent way. When someone sits down and talks with them about it, well then their objections evaporate. But they won’t abandon the purity of whatever the particular posture is that they’re occupying long enough to become effective.
Authorities in the United Kingdom want Google, Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to help them track down terrorists and their sympathizers. The Islamic State publishes many of its beheading videos to social media, and officials are seeking to use the group’s penchant for propaganda against it, according to The Independent.
We are following a breaking situation here in Kansas City where 10 agents with Homeland Security arrested (and later released) a local printmaker for allegedly being involved in trademark infringement of the Kansas City Royals logo. They also seized panties from a local custom underwear boutique. The printmaker also made t-shirts for Ferguson protesters. Homeland Security has also been going after other people allegedly infringing on the Royals logo.
Erik Lindquist, via Facebook: "Homeland security sent out 10 officers to fuck with me today for printing a hand drawn KC (apparently if the K touches the C you're screwed). That's right a federal agency created to protect us from terrorism is protecting a god damned corporation instead. Fuck the MLB, Royals can go to hell."
This text was written as an answer to our foreign friends' questions about situation in the Eastern Ukraine and Russian anarchists' attitude towards that. We hope it will be of use to everybody interested in these matters. The situation is complex and controversial and you should understand that the text below does not (and can't) reflect the opinion of all Russian anti-fascists and anti-capitalists. We discussed this within our group, but even here we have a couple of contradicting points of view.
In September 2014 a new school board was elected in Jefferson County, Colorado, which had a very reactionary take on education. The school board officials wanted to do away with anything that made the United States look “bad,” including any reference to slavery and protest movements. These subjects were eliminated or at least deemphasized. In its place the students were to learn “patriotic history,” learning the values of “free enterprise” and respect for law and order. The move to change the history curriculum has been backed by many outside groups including Americans For Prosperity, which is controlled by the Koch Brothers.
The United Campaign Workers, a project of the Portland IWW, showed the depth of its campaigns as it organized at Grassroots Campaign Inc., where workers are raising money for "progressive" organizations like Planned Parenthood and The Nature Conservancy. The shocking working conditions were matched by union busting tactics against a workplace that saw 100% IWW membership.
The fifth Anarchist Book Fair in Carrboro, North Carolina is right around the corner, on the weekend of November 22. In this announcement, we offer a preview of the events, presenters, and participants, along with a bevy of new promotional materials. Don’t miss this opportunity to join anarchists and other brilliant, beautiful, and courageous individuals from around the world in strategizing against tyranny and celebrating our collective power.
Rent is Theft is different in that it shrugs off popular yet superficial condemnation of the upper-middle-class, and instead focuses on the fundamental social and economic structures that make gentrification possible, and offers radical solutions for a better world. In the first issue we focus on the argument against rent, the history of Bushwick, Brooklyn, the city policies of police violence, and the world we wish to see. Throughout the publication, we seek to make the case for instigating an indefinite rent strike, expropriating property from the landlords, and advocating for the renters taking control of their homes.
Here is our super duper late political prisoner birthday poster for October. As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own. This month's poster honors the life and work of Loukaniko, the Greek riot dog, who died this month following health troubles that some people believe stemmed from their repeated exposure to tear gas.
Vikki Law: Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons
By Angola 3 News
Activist and journalist Victoria Law is the author of "Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women" (PM Press, 2009). Law has previously been interviewed by Angola 3 News on two separate occasions. Our first interview focused on the torture of women prisoners in the US. The second interview looked at how the women's liberation movements of the 1970s advocated for the decriminalization of women's self defense. Taking this critique of the US criminal "justice" system one step further, Law presented a prison abolitionist critique of the how the mainstream women's movement, then and now, has embraced the same "justice" system as a vehicle for combating violence against women.
While citing the important work of INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence, Law argues that "today, abuse is treated as an individual pathology rather than a broader social issue rooted in centuries of patriarchy and misogyny. Viewing abuse as an individual problem has meant that the solution becomes intervening in and punishing individual abusers without looking at the overall conditions that allow abuse to go unchallenged and also allows the state to begin to co-opt concerns about gendered violence."
Furthermore, "the threat of imprisonment does not deter abuse; it simply drives it further underground. Remember that there are many forms of abuse and violence, and not all are illegal. It also sets up a false dichotomy in which the survivor has to choose between personal safety and criminalizing and/or imprisoning a loved one. Arrest and imprisonment does not reduce, let alone prevent, violence. Building structures and networks to address the lack of options and resources available to women is more effective. Challenging patriarchy and male supremacy is a much more effective solution, although it is not one that funders and the state want to see," says Law.