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#330 | Ecological Revolution From Below


The Power Of Land-Based Resistance w/ Peter Gelderloos

Anarchist writer and activist Peter Gelderloos returns to the podcast to discuss ecological revolution from below, beautifully documented in his book The Solutions are Already Here: Strategies for Ecological Revolution from Below, published this year by Pluto Press.

Nothing short of revolution is required to address the global ecological crisis. The technocratic solutions presented to us by various capitalist nation-states are less than sufficient in mitigating the most dire consequences of biospheric collapse and runaway climate change. In fact, more than just merely insufficient, these top-down so-called “solutions” reimpose the dominant socioeconomic and political order producing the crisis to begin with. As Gelderloos describes and points to The Solutions are Already Here, numerous land-based movements around the world are rising to the occasion — actively protecting territories from extractive capitalist enterprises, reclaiming what has been taken and exploited for industry, and building resilient autonomous communities and networks, many of which that span the artificially imposed rural-urban divide. To really grasp the scale and scope of this ecological revolution from below, Gelderloos lets representatives of these movements speak for themselves, weaving them into a tapestry that enlivens a radical imagination of what a post-capitalist world may hold. 

Peter Gelderloos is a writer and movement participant. He is the author of How Nonviolence Protects the State, Anarchy Works and Worshiping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation. He has contributed chapters to anthologies Keywords for Radicals and Riots and Militant Occupations.

Episode Notes: 
Purchase a copy of The Solutions are Already Here from Bookshop.

Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterGelderloos

Music credit: ”Journey To Ascend" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

Last Born In The Wilderness · #330 | Ecological Revolution From Below: The Power Of Land-Based Resistance w/ Peter Gelderloos
Tags: Peter Gelderloosinterviewaudiopodcastsolutionsrevolution

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Episode 441: Everything, Everywhere, is Coming Up Zizek

Diet Soap – a podcast
Douglas Lain
This video compares the Hegel of Zizek to the Hegel of Adorno, by considering Adorno’s theory of nonidentity to Zizek’s theory of the gap or parallax. And in an effort to make these abstractions from critical theory concrete and fun, in order to make these theories simple enough for idiots like myself to understand, I turn to the absurdist science fiction film “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” to provide some illustrations.

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Employers’ Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here’s How to Push Back

Michael Childers
This article, the first in a series on how to deal with workplace monitoring technology, focuses on grievances. Future articles will discuss organizing and preparing to bargain over these issues.

Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand.

Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards.

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H.R. 7589: REMOVE Copays Act

Major Legislative Activity – Tracked Events from GovTrack.us
Passed House (Senate next): Last Action: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
Explanation: This bill passed in the House on September 28, 2022 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

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Meaning of Onto-Theology Explained

Phenomenology and Existentialism
For Kant onto-theology is supposed to be a form of transcendental theology that does not understand God as part of human experiences, but rather relates to him through transcendental concepts and thinking.
While for Kant this term designates a speculative deduction of God based on his conception, Martin Heidegger saw onto-theology as the internal law of being and the origin of metaphysics.

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Frank H. Brooks – Ideology, Strategy, and Organization: Dyer Lum and the American Anarchist Movement

The Anarchist Library
Author: Frank H. Brooks
Title: Ideology, Strategy, and Organization: Dyer Lum and the American Anarchist Movement
Date: Winter 1993
Notes: This article originally appeared in Labor History, Volume 34, Number 1, Winter 1993, pp. 57-83.

Source: Retrieved on September 29, 2022 from https://azinelibrary.org

The mid-1880s, like the mid-1870s, were a time of considerable turmoil for American workers. Unemployment and wage cuts were widespread and workers responded with strikes, boycotts, union organizing, local labor tickets, and a bewildering variety of reform schemes and ideologies. Perhaps the central event of the 1880s was the Haymarket incident. The bomb and subsequent trial had a broad historical impact, sparking a red scare, blunting the eight-hour movement, establishing the stereotype of anarchists as wild-eyed, foreign bombthrowers, and intensifying calls for immigration restriction.

Haymarket, of course, had a profound impact on the American anarchist movement. The trial and executions deprived the movement of several capable leaders, drove away rank and file sympathizers, and changed sporadic public curiosity into widespread animosity. Yet Haymarket’s effects should not be overstated or simplified. Although American anarchism was a growing movement in the early 1880s, it already suffered from ideological, strategic, and ethnic divisions. Such divisions were hardly unique to anarchism, however. Most movements, particularly those that grew dramatically during periods of unrest, faced similar problems. Indeed, many also faced some form of repression and its long-term impact: exacerbating their internal divisions. Post-Haymarket repression solidified anarchism’s divisions, establishing two opposing camps: the "Boston anarchists," predominantly native-born, evolutionary and individualist, and the "Chicago anarchists," predominantly immigrant, revolutionary and collectivist. Yet both before and after Haymarket, several radicals sought to unite the movement around a common strategy and ideology.

The most interesting and well-qualified person to attempt such unification of anarchists was Dyer D. Lum. He could bridge ethnic differences, for despite being native-born, he had substantial contacts with immigrant radicals. He was also inclined to link anarchism firmly to the labor movement, in which he had been active for many years. Lum was widely known in radical and labor circles, as some of his obituaries attest: "well-known to the working men throughout the country as a thinker and writer on the labor question . . . a journalist of no mean ability . . . one of America’s leading and most aggressive anarchists . . . the brightest scholar, the profoundest thinker of the American Revolutionary movement."[1] Historians of American anarchism have also recognized Lum as an important and interesting figure in the 1880s and 1890s. For the most part, however, Lum has been considered as a comrade of other more famous anarchists such as Albert Parsons, Voltairine de Cleyre, or Benjamin Tucker, or as one individual in a general survey of American anarchists.[2]

More generally, historians of American anarchism have usually focused on one camp or the other, thus exaggerating their differences. Labor and leftist historians have naturally focused on the collectivist anarchists, as have those interested in immigrant cultures and social history. Bruce Nelson’s detailed study of the Chicago movement "beyond the martyrs" addresses such concerns admirably but, not surprisingly, downplays the significance of the scattered, primarily native, and multi-class individualist camp. Neither have the two major accounts of the Haymarket events paid much attention to the individualists, in part because they focus on just a few years in the development of American anarchism. On the other hand, accounts of the individualist camp often come from intellectual or economic historians and have stressed the Americanism, reformism, and radicalized liberal tendencies of anarchism. While historians of collectivist anarchism emphasize the irrelevance and anachronism of the individualists, historians of individualist anarchism, focus on the violence and alienness of the collectivists.[3]

Focusing on Dyer Lum and his attempt to bridge the differences can bring to light connections and similarities between the camps that have been obscured by previous one-sided analyses. A suggestive example of this is Lum’s attitude toward unions. Whereas individualists such as Tucker were usually unenthusiastic about unions, and collectivists’ preferences ran the gamut from no unions to craft unionism, industrial unionism, or protosyndicalism, Lum developed a "mutualist" theory of unions that led him first to activity within the Knights of Labor and then to promotion of antipolitical strategies in the American Federation of Labor. Actually, Lum was one of several anarchist labor activists that helped to shape the AFL’s shift toward "voluntarism," an unlikely trajectory. Ironically, then, the narrowness of studies focusing on one or the other of anarchism’s camps can be transcended by studying an individual radical like Dyer Lum. As a radical in several movements, in several towns and cities, and over a period of 25 years, Lum can act as a lens, magnifying the impact of factors usually associated exclusively with one camp or the other, factors such as ethnicity, religion, liberal ideology, and republicanism.

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This Right-Wing Faction Is Waging Civil War Inside the Libertarian Party

Kelly Weill
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyAs a third-party candidate, Joe Evans’ U.S. congressional chances were always slim. Cheerfully identifying as “bordering on anarchist,” Evans was a frequent Libertarian candidate for a reliably Republican seat in Idaho. Undeterred, Evans ran three campaigns before suddenly withdrawing his candidacy this summer.
It wasn’t Republicans who finally frustrated his efforts, he says—it was his own Libertarian party.
Across the country, aspiring Libertarian activists and entire state-level Libertarian parties are voluntarily quitting. On the same day in August, New Mexico’s Libertarian Party filed to disaffiliate from the national Libertarian Party (LP), and the Libertarian Party of Virginia filed to dissolve. Fed-up Libertarians have formed splinter groups in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. And in Evans’ state of Idaho, a contentious set of legal battles have drawn an iron curtain through the local Libertarian party, leaving Evans and other longtime associates on the outs.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

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Episode 440: Emotional Fads vs. Freedom (ft. Ashley Frawley)

Diet Soap – a podcast
Douglas Lain
 Ashley Frawley is hard at work revising her upcoming book "Significant Emotions: Rhetoric and Social Problems in a Vulnerable Age," and therefore this week, rather than interview an author from Sublation Magazine, Doug and Ashley will discuss the death of the subject, mindfulness, and emotions. 

Significant Emotions by Ashley Frawley

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Further Reflections on Anarchist Tendencies and Mutualist History

Shawn P. Wilbur
This is a collection of another Twitter thread, in the course of which I’ve been sharing some reminiscences on how "neo-proudhonian" mutualism emerged and how those who have adopted the label or encounter it in anarchist circles might understand the particular gambits involved in its construction. These things necessarily get away from us, once loosed upon the world—and that’s fine, perhaps simply as it should be—but I suspect they may serve others better if they retain some of the character of their origins.   […]

The post Further Reflections on Anarchist Tendencies and Mutualist History appeared first on The Libertarian Labyrinth.

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Phenomenology between Husserl and Heidegger – summary

Phenomenology and Existentialism
Heidegger rejected Husserl’s phenomenological reduction to a transcendental ego that confronted the world merely perceptively.
The shift from Husserl’s phenomenology to Heidegger’s can be pin-pointed to the idea the existence itself cannot be described by the phenomenological reduction and epoché .

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Issue #55 September 2022

Epoché Magazine
To the question “What is the point of philosophy today?” there is often a quick retort: that no other extant disciplines of knowledge can answer the question of how to, and what it means to, live well. In these opening moments of the 21st century, “the good” is the jewel philosophy tightly guards. And, if

The post Issue #55 September 2022 appeared first on Epoché Magazine.

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Different Types Of Garlic: All You Need To Know About Garlic

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
Garlic is a member of the allium family, which includes onions, shallots, chives and leeks. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Garlic can help reduce cholesterol levels and has shown some promise in preventing cancer. The ancient Egyptians believed that garlic was a gift from the gods and used it to treat […]

The post Different Types Of Garlic: All You Need To Know About Garlic first appeared on Daily Infographic.

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Midnight Notes Collective – ‘Exterminism’ or Class Struggle (1984)


Midnight Notes Collective essay written for Radical Science Journal #14.


Peter Linebaugh

Submitted by NYAOAM on September 28, 2022

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Midnight Notes Collective essay written for Radical Science Journal #14.

Midnight Notes Article.pdf
(1.79 MB)

Midnight Notes Collective
autonomist Marxism

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How Landlords Ruined Everything

Tom Nicholas (uploads) on YouTube
Tom Nicholas

Support Shelter’s vital work protecting renters from bad landlords by sponsoring me to run the London Marathon at http://tinyurl.com/tomsmarathon A video about the housing crisis and how landlords ruined everything. *Chapters* 00:00 1. The Room 05:26 A. A Guided Tour 07:05 2. Landlord Tetris 10:41 B. The Empty Building 12:47 3. Boiling Point 15:50 C. So, I’m Running the London Marathon 16:59 4. Shelter 19:33 D. 1,000 Miles Support the channel on Patreon at http://patreon.com/tomnicholas If you’ve enjoyed this video and would like to see more including my What The Theory? series in which I provide some snappy introductions to key theories in the humanities as well as video essays and more then do consider subscribing. Thanks for watching! Twitter: http://twitter.com/tom_nicholas Instagram: http://instagram.com/tomnicholaswtf Patreon: http://patreon.com/tomnicholas Website: http://www.tomnicholas.com Select footage courtesy of Getty #HousingCrisis #Landlords #RentFrom: Tom Nicholas

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The Rumors Are False — Neoliberalism Is Alive and Well

Mack Penner
Recent discussions about the supposed death of neoliberalism present a mirror image of past discussions about neoliberalism’s birth. For quite some time, scholars, intellectuals, and popularizers of many sorts were inclined to present neoliberalism as a mainly Anglo-American phenomenon that got its start in the late 1970s. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan have had the […]

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Iran’s Feminist Revolution—Women, Life, Liberty

From EmRaWi

Is it a feminist revolution

Is it a feminist revolution because they’re burning their hijab

Is it a feminist revolution because it was started and is led by women

Is it a feminist revolution if men are taking part

Is it a feminist revolution if nothing changes

What does hair have to do with the revolution

Glory and power to the women in Iran.

If we’re lucky, women are semi-colons in the stories written by men and other egomaniacs and “revolutionaries” who think we don’t know that they don’t know what they’re doing; who think we don’t know that they just want some more of that power that the State monopolizes and not liberation for us all.

Glory and power to the women in Iran who have seized the narrative and become object and subject. Women are too often the afterthought of a revolution, rarely its reason for being.

Listen to their chants: Jin Jiyan Azadi/Women Life Liberty!

Glory and power to the women in Iran for serving us this challenge: If women (and men) in one of the most perfect police states are this unscared, then what are you doing to fight your oppressors?

The thing about revolutions is that you can never unsee them. You can never see people who are no longer scared rise up.

Their courage will set your very guts on fire. And put you on notice that you are next, whether you are an oppressor with a small o or a big-O Oppressor.

Glory and power to the women in Iran who have seized the narrative and become object and subject.

In too many revolutions women have died, been beaten, shot at, and sexually assaulted, fighting alongside men to rid their countries of that uppercase Patriarch yet so many lowercase patriarchs still oppress us.

We are no longer scared.

Glory and power to the women in Iran who burn their hijabs and in so doing set our imaginations on fire. The Arab uprisings were sparked by a man — Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor–who set himself on fire and in so doing sparked revolutions and uprisings in the region that have stumbled and remain incomplete. And here now are Iranian women reigniting our revolutionary hearts with the feminism those Arab uprisings lacked.

Iran is not an Arab country but here come the women there to take up the baton, not by self-immolation but by setting alight a tool of their Patriarchy; a tool many other women in the countries around Iran recognize all too well.

When I heard that Mahsa Zhina Amini, a Kurdish woman in Iran, died after being in the custody of the “morality police” who had taken her in because she was not wearing a “proper hijab” I immediately thought of other female lives sacrificed on the altar of a piece of cloth.

I thought of the 15 girls who died in a school fire in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2002, after “morality police” in that country barred them from fleeing the burning building — and kept firefighters from rescuing them — because the girls were not wearing headscarves and cloaks required in public. And then, nothing happened. No one was put on trial. Parents were silenced. The only concession to the horror was that girls’ education was quietly taken away by then-Crown Prince Abdullah from the Salafi zealots, who have nonetheless managed to retain their vise-grip on the kingdom’s education system.

It is no surprise that the Iranian regime accuses the Saudi regime of orchestrating the revolution that has erupted in fury at Mahsa Zhina Amini’s death. Two theocracies so alike in their hatred for women and whose zealotry has for years wrecked lives in the region.

And that is why revolutions for and by women will liberate us all. Feminism liberates everyone. When women are free everyone is free.

The thing about revolutions is that you can never unsee them. You can never see people who are no longer scared rise up. Their courage will set your very guts on fire.

What does hair have to do with the revolution?

There is a scene in Abbas Kiarostami’s film Ten when a woman sitting in a car in Tehran traffic gingerly removes her hijab to reveal a shaved head. When I first saw that scene of the film, in New York City in 2003, I started to cry. It had been 11 years since I stopped wearing hijab and it would be another 17 years until I shaved off my own hair.

I rewatched the film soon after I shaved off my hair and that scene still seized me.

What does the revolution have to do with hair?

During the Irish Revolution, both sides would forcibly shave or cut off women’s hair as punishment as well as a way to control women’s bodies.

What does hair have to do with the revolution?

The Iranian Revolution was co-opted by the clerics who then claimed as an achievement the mass covering of an entire nation’s women’s hair. Who owns my hair, let alone my body, when a revolution in which women fought alongside men soon after declaring victory, enforced hijab? When you shave the hair under that enforced hijab, are you then the revolution of one, defying, disobeying, and disrupting? When you rip off that compulsory hijab in public and shave off your hair in public, are you finally completing the revolution that the theocrats and the misogynists stole from you?

You fucking bet you are.

You signal FUCK YOU, I OWN MY BODY in a way that both Patriarchy and patriarchy understand; oppressor and Oppressor comprehend.

We are more than what’s on our heads and what’s in between our legs.

During the Egyptian revolution, the chants were Bread Liberty Social Justice. The chants we hear in Iran’s revolutions today remind us that none of those are possible without feminism: Women Life Liberty.

Point to your “morality police” and what they have made compulsory and burn it to the ground.

A feminist revolution targets patriarchy in the State, Street, and the Home because it recognizes that there is no liberation without sexual liberation, without gender liberation, without queer liberation. It states as a revolutionary statement: I own my body, not the State, not the Street, not the Home. I do.

A feminist revolution dares to imagine liberation from the militarism of the State and from its echo in the conservatism of the Street and the Home. A feminist revolution recognizes that the hardest revolution of all is the one at the Home, because all dictators go home.

And a feminist revolution disobeys all those who insist “People are not ready,” because as revolutionaries we must recognize that if our communities are ready for us, we are too late.

Are you ready? If women (and men) in one of the most perfect police states are this unscared, what are you doing?

Theocracy must be fought by a feminist revolution otherwise it’s just another flavour of patriarchy

The thing about revolutions is that you can never unsee them. You can never unsee people who are no longer scared rise up. And their courage will set your very guts on fire.

As you see it, as you watch the glory and power of the feminist revolution in Iran right now, ask yourself (I’m looking at you people in the U.S. cheering on the feminist revolution against theocrats over there) what the fuck you are doing to fight theocrats and fascists over here, and make sure it’s more than hashtags and just voting.

Burn. Shit. Down.

Where is your feminist revolution against your theocrats?

Point to your “morality police” and what they have made compulsory and burn it to the ground.

Tags: feminismrevolutionIran

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Interview with Greek Anarchist Rouvikonas collective on the students protests

Via Enough14

In Greece, university students protested after the government passed a bill allowing police to enter campuses under the pretext of intervening in crime.

Originally published by Nûçe Ciwan.

GREECE – The University Institutions Protection Teams (OPPI) have been deployed in the four major universities in Athens and Thessaloniki on a pilot basis. This is part of the government’s plan to supposedly protect campuses from anarchism and vandalism. In order to resist students’ protest against the OPPI – who have been termed ‘University police’ – riot police have also been deployed on certain campuses. Progressives in Greece have already criticized the deployment of the University police as a right-wing ploy to subjugate free speech, dissent and radical student politics on campuses. Earlier in 2019, the ND government revoked the prohibition on police from entering university spaces.

Greece has a history of radical students’ movements and campus uprisings, the Athens Polytechnic Uprising of November 1973 being the most famous example. The deployment of the University police and increased surveillance of academic spaces has been widely perceived as an attempt to thwart radical mobilizations on campuses against the anti-people policies of the government.

In a statement issued on September 6, the MAS called on the University police to leave the campuses. It said that at a time when thousands of students do not know if they will be able to continue their education and despite the lack of dormitories, soaring rents and poor university funding, the government has allocated 50 million euros for the university police and for cameras and turnstiles inside campuses.

We talked to a member of the Anarchist Rouvikonas Collective about the current situation:

Tags: rouvikonasuniversitystudentsprotestsGreece

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Lead by Example Act, Republican stunt bill, would require EPA and Department of Energy set their…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
Lead by Example Act, Republican stunt bill, would require EPA and Department of Energy set their office temperatures to 78 degrees
The Lead by Example Act would mandate that both the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Department of Energy set their headquarters’ temperatures to at least 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Part One: Oskar Dirlwanger: The Worst Nazi

Behind the Bastards
Robert is joined by Matt Lieb to discuss Oskar Dirlwanger. 

(2 Part Series) 






See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Hundreds Take Part in Running Down the Walls Events, Raising Thousands for Political Prisoners

Anarchist Black Cross Federation
Report from the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABC-F) about Running Down the Walls events across the so-called US and Canada. In early September, various Anarchist Black Cross chapters held the annual Running Down the Walls 5K events. Since 1999, prisoners and supporters throughout North America have participated in Running Down the Walls (RDTW) often running… Read Full Article

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Proud Boys Try to Start Violent Confrontation at Children’s Event at Public Library, Fail

It’s Going Down
Anonymous Contributor
Report from Twin Cities Workers Defense Alliance about a successful mobilization against the Proud Boys, who attempted to disrupt a pro-LGBTQ youth event. cw: virulent transphobia, transphobic rhetoric, queerphobia photo: Ursula MPLS The Arlington Hills Public Library in St. Paul, Minnesota (so-called) held a Drag Queen Story Hour, where families with children from the neighborhood… Read Full Article

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Exarcheia turned into a battleground…

From Enough14

Full original title: Exarcheia turned into a battleground following the State’s decision to destroy its historic square [Athens]

Video from the protest and the riot that followed on Saturday 24 September 2022 in Exarcheia, (Athens, Greece) against the State’s decision to destroy the historic Exarcheia Square under the excuse of constructing a metro station on top of it. This was the 3d big protest against the metso on Exarcheia Square since August 2022. In the first one approximately 1.000 people took part, in the 2nd more than 2.000 and in this 3d one approximately 4.500 protesters. Following this big protest in the streets of Exarcheia in downtown Athens, riots broke out.

Originally published by Perseus999.

How it started (through the words of the Open Assembly No Metro Station on Exarchia Square):

“It was a hot, mid-summer night in central Athens. The city was silent and residents on holidays. Shops were closed. It was at that time, on 9 August 2022 at 4:30am, that the Greek State launched an unprecedented attack on one of Athens’ iconic spaces, Exarchia square. Hundreds of police flooded the streets around the square to impose the construction of an unpopular metro station and repress the citizens’ reactions against it. They have been there ever since; so have the people of Exarchia.

On the day of the operation, more than a thousand people took to the otherwise empty, summer Athenian streets to march in protest and solidarity with Exarchia. Hundreds have joined the open assemblies. Local businesses have submitted a restraining order against the (public) construction company. Dozens meet every day at 6 a.m. opposite to heavily armed police forces. Intellectuals, academics and artists have argued en masse against the project and the government’s authoritarian practices.

Exarchia square is a breathing space for residents, children, workers, visitors – a small square breaking the concrete monotony of central Athens. It is the home of fighting youth, radical ideas, students, artists and intellectuals. It is hard to find any newcomer, excluded or marginalised, any Athenian youth that has not socialised, flirted, chatted over a casual beer or coffee with peers, any visitor that has not attended cultural activities or taken refuge from the hot Athenian sun under the shadows of the square’s trees.

Exarchia square is an international symbol of resistance and political ferment. It is characterised by class solidarity, self-organisation, antiracism, coexistence and respect for different people, driven by the dream of a world of equality and justice. Over time, it has been a reference point for LGBTQI+ struggles and a safe space for all oppressed, persecuted or marginalised identities.

ALL THIS IS CURRENTLY ON THE LINE due to the obsession of a government to proceed with a project rejected by the people and to use our square, the square of all people, as a trophy and a milestone in its exclusivist agenda.

The design of the proposed metro station will destroy one of the few public spaces in the centre of Athens and the only square in the neighbourhood. In the midst of a climate crisis, 70 mature trees that are currently in the square will be sacrificed to create escalators and concrete ventilation boxes, turning our breathing space into an urban desert. Dust, noise and heavy traffic will further aggravate the daily life of our densely populated neighbourhood. It will precipitate the ongoing, uncontrolled increase of property values thus driving current renters and small businesses out and changing the character of the neighbourhood.

The construction of the metro station on Exarchia square is the jewel in the crown of violent gentrification and touristification of Athens city centre, which also includes:

1. Imposed “development” of the city centre and its transformation into a Tourist Hub, forcibly displacing present citizens.

2. Changing buildings that are part of the social fabric into museums

3. “Sterilisation” of public universities and institutions, strangling freedom of thought and activism

4. Demolition of public spaces and destruction of green areas

5. Increase of rents

6. Offering the nearby Strefi Hill to private interests

7. Conversion of the residential character of neighbourhoods into commercial zones.

Our petition aims to stop the construction of a metro station on Exarchia square on the grounds that it:

a. neglects the needs of our community;

b. undermines the quality of life offered to us and our children;

c. uses tax payers money to forward and ideological agenda and increase profits for private corporations;

d. normalises police brutality and repression.

Sign our petition at https://www.change.org/p/saving-the-historic-exarchia-square-our-neighbourhood-s-only-breathing-space?source_location=topic_page

– Help us stop their plans and resist the government’s authoritarianism and repression.

– Let’s demonstrate our numbers and the power of the many! – Hold out a hand of solidarity to a neighbourhood that has always been at the forefront of the struggle for life and dignity”.

Tags: exarcheiarepressionprotestsriots

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System Fail 15: The New Normal

SubMedia returns with w new episode of System Fail, which looks at global news from an anarchist perspective. As economic crises, climate catastrophe and war crimes become increasingly normalized, a creeping nihilism is starting to take hold. In Lebanon people have had enough of rampant corruption, inflation and limits on bank withdrawals. Without any other… Read Full Article

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IGD Turns 7: Support Grassroots Autonomous Media and Help Us Reach Our Summer Fundraising Goal!

It’s Going Down
This summer, It’s Going Down turned 7 years old. A lot has changed since 2015 when this project began, and after four years of seemingly non-stop activity under Trump, things are once again heating up on the streets. We’re proud of the work that we’ve put in over the past 7 years and are excited… Read Full Article

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Seattle Solidarity Network Wins Back nearly $900 in Stolen Wages

It’s Going Down
Seattle Solidarity Network
Seattle Solidarity Network reports on a successful campaign to win back stolen wages. When one  worker came to SeaSol, he had done nearly $900 in labor for his boss. When payday came, his boss gave him a check for a mere $448, a little more than half the owed wages. From speaking to some of… Read Full Article

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How Magic: The Gathering Crafts Its Zaniest Sets

io9 | Gizmodo
James Whitbrook
Image: Wizards of the CoastMagic: The Gathering is arguably weirder than it ever has been, whether it’s in its epic tales of spell-slinging Planeswakers in its primary card sets or its crossovers with everything from Street Fighter and Fortnite to Warhammer 40K and Lord of the Rings. But the series is often at its weirdest not when playing with someone else’s universe, but taking Magic as is and having fun with it.

This is never more clear than in what is known among players and Wizards of the Coast as the “Un-sets.” First starting with Unglued in 1998, there have been five of these casual sets across the card game’s history, cards that take a break from both the competitive and narrative seriousness of Magic and amp up the goofiness, mechanically and in flavor, to game-breaking levels of fun. Now the latest, Unfinity, is about to release, giving players a mystical carnival-themed round of cards to play with that are packed with fun art, goofy flavor text, and some extremely silly rules.
io9 has got your first look at five of the new cards in Unfinity, and their alternative art, but to learn more about the history of designing “Un-sets” and what to expect in the new release, we chatted with Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater and Wizards of the Coast senior copywriter Ari Zirulnik over email. Check out our interviews with both below, and then click through to see the new cards, and some of their variant art!
Mark Rosewater, Magic: The Gathering Head DesignerJames Whitbrook, io9: Tell me a little bit about how the core idea behind Unfinity first came about.
Mark Rosewater: When making an Un-set, I like to take some technique we use on normal sets and apply it to Un-sets. The idea behind Unfinity was let’s make a top-down set, that is a set where we make the mechanics match the flavor of some big idea. Innistrad was gothic horror, Throne of Eldraine was fairy tales. Theros was Greek mythology. What was a fun top-down idea that we might not do in a normal set? I went to my art director, Dawn Murin, and asked her to think of ideas. When we got back together, she said she wanted to do retro science fiction. I wanted to do a circus/carnival/amusement park. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s do both.”
io9: The theme this time around gives the set a carnival flair. How did you approach bringing some of that flavor to Unfinity mechanically? 
Rosewater: We started by making a list of every element of a circus, carnival, and/or amusement park we could. The two main mechanics of the set are attractions and stickers. Attractions ended up being all the things you can do at the space carnival, and the stickers ended up being all the stuff you could get while you’re there. We then made a lot of individual cards that represented all the aspect from who would work or visit there to objects you would see to things that would happen.
io9: What were the game ideas you were most excited to explore in the set? 
Rosewater: Minigames are when you stop the main game to play a very short, usually less than a minute, game that will then impact the larger game. The theme of games at a carnival played really well with this idea.
io9: Were there any mechanical ideas you had for the set that didn’t make it in, or were too far even for the Un-set’s noted bending of Magic’s design?
Rosewater: There’s always ideas left on the table, but I was really happy how much of the list we made when we started about things we wanted to be in the set ended up in the set. I did get a bunch of ideas though for future areas of design space to explore in other Un-sets.
io9: What do you think it is about these non-legal sets that have seen Magic players embrace them? 
Rosewater: Un-sets are all about embracing the fun, casual side of the game. Yes, it’s great that you can compete in serious tournament competition, but it’s also great you can hang around with your friends and laugh and create game moments that will be stories for the rest of your life.
io9: Where do you see Magic’s un-sets going from here? Do you already have ideas for what you’d want to do next? 

Rosewater: I already have the idea for the next Un-set figured out. Un-sets are just a way for us to explore the future of Magic, and the game is so robust, there’s lots of places to look to find the next cool thing.
Ari Zirulnik, Wizards of the Coast Senior CopywriterJames Whitbrook, io9: Tell me a bit about the process of writing copy at Wizards. How does your team handle the arrival of new sets like this?
Zirulnik: The typical creative text process starts after art and rules text are finished. We round up a team of talented contract writers and aim to tackle about 30-40 cards a week. Each writer submits multiple names and flavor text options for each card, and the best of the best make it to print.
io9: Do you approach a set like Unfinity differently as you would story on regular Magic sets?
Ari Zirulnik: Unfinity kept the same structure as a typical set, but we had some fun with the process. The first big difference was, uh, me. I’m not typically a creative text lead. While I do write the creative text for Secret Lair, Unfinity was my first time leading a team of writers. And what a team! I asked my boss if I could hire some “names” and I got permission to bring in some very funny folks from all corners of the internet.
The first writer on my list was pretty personal—the extremely funny/good at karate Seanbaby. His articles in EGM were highly formative to my own awful sense of humor, so working with him was kind of a dream come true. We poured some more comedy gas on this hilarious fire by hiring three heavy-hitters from Loading Ready Run: Kathleen De Vere, Cameron Lauder, and Graham Stark. This triumvirate of tee-hees were responsible for some of the most memorable lines in the set. We rounded out the team with Austin Bridges, one of our funniest go-to creative text writers (since hired full-time), Mark Rosewater (the man who puts the “un” in “pun”), and myself. I’d be remiss to leave out the World’s Tallest Editor, Matt Tabak, who was instrumental in searing all of the comedy fat into the delicious steak that is Unfinity. Metaphor!
The rest was mostly business as usual. There was a lot of collaborative back-and-forth between all these hilarious hires, and I could not be happier with how the set turned out.
io9: What’s the biggest challenges in crafting story and copy for an Un-set?
Zirulnik: As I previously mentioned, creative text starts after art and rules text are done. Sometimes this makes coming up with the right joke super hard—it’s sort of like trying super-duper hard to win 250 New Yorker caption contests. On the other hand, our writing team was so unfairly hilarious that picking a winner was sometimes very difficult. The duality of Un-set, ya know?
io9: Magic has always had a wry sense of humor, but the Un-sets are opportunities for it to get really zany. What’s it like stretching the comedy Magic can play with in your work on Unfinity?
Zirulnik: It was really important to me to include a wide variety of humor in Unfinity, especially the kinds of jokes you just can’t do on a normal Magic card. The flavor text on the card “Hat Trick,” for example, is a type of internet anti-humor that we could never do in a typical set. Being able to iterate a bunch of jokes across the different attraction printings was a real treat. I’d also say the ppc (puns per card) is higher than average.
io9: Worldbuilding and story has become steadily more important to Magic in recent years. Are there any lessons you take from writing for a set like Unfinity that you think apply to where Magic’s story progression is going in its regular set releases?
Zirulnik: Not really, unfortunately. Unfinity has a world but it doesn’t really have a story. I can say I’ve been personally inspired to take more risks on Secret Lair flavor text (see: Vengevine). I’d certainly run the next Un-set to learn some more lessons, though!
Magic: The Gathering – Unfinity releases October 7.
Image: Wizards of the CoastAstroquariam ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastHardy of Myra’s MarvelsImage: Wizards of the CoastHardy of Myra’s Marvels ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastHardy of Myra’s Marvels Booster Fun VariantImage: Wizards of the CoastIt Came From Planet GlurgImage: Wizards of the CoastIt Came From Planet Glurg ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastIt Came From Planet Glurg Booster Fun VariantImage: Wizards of the CoastStorybook RideImage: Wizards of the CoastStorybook Ride ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastVedalken Squirrel WhackerImage: Wizards of the CoastVedalken Squirrel Whacker ArtImage: Wizards of the Coast Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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No Fencing at the United States Supreme Court Act would ban permanent fencing there, as existed for…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
No Fencing at the United States Supreme Court Act would ban permanent fencing there, as existed for 3+ months this summer
Two days later, on May 5, law enforcement erected an eight-foot-tall “non-scalable” fence to protect the Supreme Court building against protesters .

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Hasbro’s Selfie Series Action Figures Will Be Available In the U.S. Starting Friday

io9 | Gizmodo
Andrew Liszewski
Image: HasbroBack in July, Hasbro revealed that it had partnered with the 3D-printing company, Formlabs, to allow San Diego Comic-Con attendees to create a custom action figure with their own likeness. Availability was very limited, but today Hasbro has finally revealed when anyone can order their own Selfie Series figure, and a price tag that’s unfortunately a bit higher now.
Starting this Friday, September 30, collectors who’ve always wanted to immortalize themselves as a six-inch action figure can download the Hasbro mobile app (on either Android or iOS) and use it to order a custom Selfie Series figure. But as you can probably imagine, placing an order is not quite as easy as buying a new release figure with a few clicks on the Hasbro Pulse website, given the customization involved with these.
Ordering is being limited to the Hasbro mobile app for the simple reason that anyone wanting a Selfie Series figure needs to submit headshot photos, and all modern smartphones include front-facing cameras with enough resolution to easily capture the images needed to generate a 3D model. The ordering process requires at least five headshots to be submitted, including a required front view, plus several angled shots from the left and right, with even lighting, nothing obstructing the face, and using the same facial expression in every photo.
Image: HasbroThe ordering process then requires customers to make several different decisions including selecting a hair style that best matches their own from one of 50 different options, their hair color, their facial hair style from one of 14 different options, and then what action figure they want to become. The choices include Stormtrooper, X-Wing pilot, Leia, Mandalorian, Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Red Power Ranger, Pink Power Ranger, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, and a male or female Ghostbuster.
Image: HasbroIn July, Hasbro specified a $60 price tag for the Selfie Series figures, but today the company announced that they’ll be slightly more expensive at $80 each, but will still include packaging tailored to the figure type selected. What hasn’t changed is how long it takes for the submitted photos to be turned into a 3D model and then 3D-printed. Delivery times start at 45 days from the time of ordering, but that can change over time as demand increases, up to 60 days.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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Leaking Passwords through the Spellchecker

Schneier on Security
Bruce Schneier
Sometimes browser spellcheckers leak passwords:

When using major web browsers like Chrome and Edge, your form data is transmitted to Google and Microsoft, respectively, should enhanced spellcheck features be enabled.

Depending on the website you visit, the form data may itself include PII­—including but not limited to Social Security Numbers (SSNs)/Social Insurance Numbers (SINs), name, address, email, date of birth (DOB), contact information, bank and payment information, and so on.

The solution is to only use the spellchecker options that keep the data on your computer—and don’t send it into the cloud…

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Pakistan floods: anarchist global relief effort of the WSF-IWA


The Workers Solidarity Federation, Pakistan section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association (IWA), are currently engaged in relief efforts to communities affected by the extraordinary floods caused by climate change.

Submitted by Craftwork on September 25, 2022

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Throughout 2022, Pakistan experienced an unusually intense heat-wave, with temperatures exceeding 50 degree celsius by May. With over 7,000 glaciers, Pakistan’s glacier count is only outnumbered by the polar regions1
, and the high temperatures, that affected much of South Asia, caused glacial melt, which in turn triggered the failure of ice dams and outburst floods. Water from these outburst flood travelled along tributaries and flowed into the main rivers, including the Indus River, Pakistan’s largest, causing their banks to break. The end result are the flash floods in Pakistan, exacerbated by the record monsoon rains that began in June. The events in Pakistan can be added to the list of spectacular instances of capitalism-induced climate breakdown.

The floods in Pakistan have so far affected two-thirds of Pakistan’s districts, destroyed two million acres of farmland, caused over 1500 deaths, and led to the displacement of 33 million people,2
with Unicef suggesting 16 million children affected so far. 3
All reasonable estimates indicate that millions in Pakistan now face the prospect of malnutrition and infections, particularly those caused by water-borne diseases.

In response to this, on 23rd August, members of the Workers Solidarity Federation, founded in May 2020 as the Pakistan section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association (IWA) established an emergency fund for disaster relief and began distributing food in flood-affected areas.4
In the course of the floods, some of their members involved in distributing aid in Balochistan became homeless5
, despite this they continued to distribute over 200 meals to families in the region.6
Since then, their relief efforts, supported by anarchists from around the world, have provided direct disaster relief to thousands of people affected by the ongoing floods in Balochistan and Sindh, in an extraordinary tale of mutual aid and transnational solidarity. On 4th September, WSF established a Flood Relief camp in Karachi.7
, distributing goods and cash to those in need.8
On 10th September, in Balochistan, WSF provided tents to people displaced by the floods. On 13th September, WSF members distributed food to people in the Dadu district of Sindh, travelling by boat across the flooded area9
, providing food supplies to 105 families10
. On 18th September, in Balochistan, WSF distributed food rations tents, mosquito nets, and infant care to the effected people in coming days.11
. On 25th September, WSF installed water tanks to provide clean water and distributed food.12
As at the time of writing, their relief efforts continue.

In the wake of any major disaster, where state and capital are absent, and a community is left to fend for itself, people self-organise on the basis of a need to survive. The self-organisation of disaster communities, to an extent, embodies anarchist principles of decentralised organisation, socialisation of resources, mutual aid, and co-operation. These principles come to the fore amidst disasters because they are taken as the most expedient option for maximising people’s chances of survival, but they are also measures that contradict the logic of capital and the state, which sooner or later will reclaim the lost territory, unless it is prevented from doing so by a large, armed, anarchist body.

The activities of the WSF-IWA are some of the most significant and heroic examples of anarchist praxis to date, and are particularly extraordinary considering that the WSF is only two years’ old.

To support the relief effort of the WSF, donate here: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8NfSnN0RXl13


International Workers’ Association (IWA)

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Deleuze: The Grandeur of Marx with Nick Thoburn

Acid Horizon Patrons
Was Gilles Deleuze a Marxist? Before his death in 1995, Deleuze had intended to write a book entitled The Grandeur of Marx, a work which would have consummated the role of Marx as long time mediator within Deleuze’s political writings. In the discussion, we unpack political concepts within Deleuze’s corpus, such as "minor politics", "a people to come", and "a new earth" and explore their resonances with Marx’s work. Moreover, we follow Thoburn in advancing the perhaps controversial idea that Deleuze proffered a new form of communism.

Anti-Book: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/anti-book

Matt’s blog post: https://destratified.com/2022/07/11/on-the-greatness-of-marx/

Support the podcast:

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/acidhorizon

Acid Horizon on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/acidhorizonpodcast

Merch: http://www.crit-drip.com

Preorder ‘The Philosopher’s Tarot’: https://repeaterbooks.com/product/the-philosophers-tarot/

Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/169wvvhi

Happy Hour at Hippel’s (Adam’s blog): https://happyhourathippels.wordpress.com

Destratified (Matt’s Blog): https://destratified.com/

​Revolting Bodies (Will’s Blog): https://revoltingbodies.com

​Split Infinities (Craig’s Substack): https://splitinfinities.substack.com/

​Music: https://sereptie.bandcamp.com/ and https://thecominginsurrection.bandcamp.com/

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We Can Reimagine Our Systems of Ownership and Control

Adrienne Buller
Throughout the pandemic and the period of economic pain it brought, the news cycle has been gripped by a series of mounting disasters. Global vaccine apartheid, the result of the Global North’s refusal to allow nonproprietary sharing of vaccine technology, meant that, by late 2021, 80 percent of adults in the EU were fully vaccinated, […]

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Raoul Vaneigem: The government of fear

Julius Gavroche
With gratitude to the notbored.org collective for sharing their translation of a recent text by Raoul Vaneigem, we gladly share it turn. “Only Fear Governs Us: From the Programmed Degradation of the Living to its Spontaneous Rebirth” Raoul Vaneigem[1] 1. … Continue reading →

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Husserl’s Logical Investigations – Summary

Phenomenology and Existentialism
One of the methods Husserl offers is the eidetic variation, which consists of comparing several intentional objects to highlight a common essence and to study it as a mere possibility.
Phenomenology appears in Logical Investigations as a science of essences that must proceed according to a strict scientific method.

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The Think Tanks Advising Congress on Military Spending Take Money From the Arms Industry

Stephen Semler
The Senate might vote on the fiscal year 2023 military budget this month. Or it might not; nobody’s sure. What’s for certain is that the bill the Senate considers will have at least as much as $850 billion for the Pentagon. In other words, we’re staring down a $72-billion year-to-year increase in military spending with this legislation: the FY 2022 version of […]

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Fascist-Sympathizing Newspaper Barons Were the Blueprint for Today’s Right-Wing Media

Kathryn Olmsted
In the 1930s, the owners of the most widely read newspapers in the United States and Britain married far-right, xenophobic politics with sensationalism. These press lords, as historian Kathryn Olmsted puts it in The Newspaper Axis: Six Press Barons Who Enabled Hitler, “trafficked in populist slogans but lived like kings.” Some identified with fascism, while […]

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6 Simple Steps On How To Make Sea Water Drinkable Using Plastic Bottle

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
Many people around the world have limited access to clean drinking water. This can be attributed to several factors including poor infrastructure and lack of safe drinking water sources. In such conditions, it’s important to find ways of making sea water drinkable. However, it should be noted that this method only works for small quantities […]

The post 6 Simple Steps On How To Make Sea Water Drinkable Using Plastic Bottle first appeared on Daily Infographic.

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Noam Chomsky on David Graeber’s Pirate Enlightenment

From ArtReview by Noam Chomsky and Nika Dubrovsky

Nika Dubrovsky speaks to Noam Chomsky about pirate societies, ‘bewildered herds’ and the fragility of the present in the context of the late anthropologist David Graeber’s final book

As questions of decolonisation rub up against the legacy of Enlightenment thinking in the West, anthropologist David Graeber argues in his posthumous book Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia (to be published early next year) that Enlightenment ideas themselves are not intrinsically European and were indeed shaped by non-European sources. The work focuses on the proto-democratic ways of pirate societies and particularly the Zana-Malata, an ethnic group formed of descendants of pirates who settled on Madagascar at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and whom Graeber encountered while conducting ethnographic research at the beginning of his academic career. 

Graeber, author of Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (2018), Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011) and The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (written with the archaeologist David Wengrow), died in 2020, but in a wide-ranging conversation for ArtReview, his widow, the artist and author Nika Dubrovsky, speaks with Noam Chomsky, an admirer of the anthropologist’s work, about Graeber’s last project, neoliberalism and democracy, Western empiricism and imperialism, free speech, Roe v. Wade in the US, the war in Ukraine and how Germany’s Documenta art exhibition has barely coped with inviting non-Western artists to direct it for the first time.

One of the left’s foremost thinkers, Chomsky has written major works that include Syntactic Structures (1957), Manufacturing Consent (1988) and, most recently, The Precipice: Neoliberalism, the Pandemic and Urgent Need for Radical Change (2021, with C. J. Polychroniou).

David Graeber. Courtesy Goldsmiths, London

Nika Dubrovsky Thank you very much for the interview. It’s a great honour. We wanted to discuss David’s last posthumous book, Pirate Enlightenment, which will be published in January 2023 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In this book, as in his other writings, David talked about the importance of dialogue. He describes how entire cultural traditions emerge from the creation of new stories and how these traditions are then remade and edited.

Noam Chomsky That was very interesting. Both in his essay ‘There Never Was a West’, but also in the book about the extensive contributions of Native American thinkers [The Dawn of Everything, 2021, with David Wengrow], Chinese thinkers and others who, as they point out, as David points out, were recognised as contributors at the time, but then wiped from the tradition. It was regarded as just a literary technique or something. But I think he makes it very clear that it was a substantive contribution.

The discussion in ‘There Never Was a West’, about the nature of influence, was quite enlightening. The different ways in which influence takes place, in which it’s interpreted, and – as the tradition is constructed later – is filtered out, as he points out, on the basis of arguments that, if they were applied generally, would wipe out almost everything, including the tradition itself.

One of the most interesting parts of The Dawn of Everything, I thought, were the sections on the interactions with the Native American philosopher and thinker, and his contributions to how Enlightenment thought was developed by leading figures.

ND Just before Thomas Hobbes wrote Leviathan, he had seen a play by Charles Johnson, The Successful Pyrate, performed on an English stage. David suggested that this experience with Madagascar pirates may have influenced Hobbes’s political thinking. The very idea that people could negotiate with each other; that power could be organised not only top-down but also horizontally, as it was in many pirate communities, and in some indigenous cultures, came as a surprise to Europeans. David often said that his task was to decolonise the Enlightenment; to change our ideas of what kind of society we would like to live in. If we rethink our ideas about the Enlightenment, about where it came from, how do you think this will change the public imagination?

NC I think we must pursue more carefully these insights into how that tradition, as he points out, becomes the reconstruction of the past by elite thinkers who reshape it into a particular form. But when you go back to the original interactions, as David did and as they do in The Dawn of Everything, you see that what was filtered to become the accepted tradition is a sharp reconstruction of what actually happened – eliminating many interactions and many kinds of drawing on different voices, different experiences into something that was then reshaped by elite opinions.

Particularly striking, I think, was his discussion, in ‘There Never Was a West’, of periods when state authority was inoperative for one reason or another, either not paying attention or weakened. It’s at that time that interactions at the ground level developed the basic meaningful contributions to whatever functions later as democracy.

That’s where they arose, that’s how they can develop. But not the top-down conceptions that are reconstructed as our traditional heritage. It has lots of implications for direct action in the present. I think his emphasis is on things like the Zapatistas in the past, on relatives, work on pirates and so on. Pirate democracy in Madagascar and others is quite striking in that respect.

A Betsimisarakian henhouse and rice barn, 1911, Fenerive, Madagascar, photo: Walter Kaudern. Public domain. A subset of the Betsimisaraka, termed the zana-malata, were the focus of David Graeber’s dissertation research, from which Pirate Enlightenment is derived

ND In the Malagasy society that David lived in for several years and knew very well, dialogue is used as a political tool to shape public space. In your book Manufacturing Consent [1988, with Edward S. Herman], you describe how public space and the public imagination in Western countries is controlled from the top down by powerful ideological institutions.

NC Ed Herman, who passed away recently, was the prime author of that. He was a specialist in finance and taught at the Wharton School. He was interested in the institutional structure of the media and how basic institutional factors lead to the shaping of the information system that’s created. We slightly differed on that, I should say. My own feeling is that while all of that is important, I don’t think it’s very different from the general intellectual culture. My own work has mostly been, actually, on elite intellectual culture, which doesn’t have those same institutional pressures, but nevertheless leads to a version of reality that’s not very different from what comes out of the media system.

The phrase ‘manufacturing consent’, of course, is not ours. That comes from [American political commentator] Walter Lippmann. Also Edward Bernays, the main founder of the public relations industry. The two of them were members of Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, the first major state propaganda agency, the so-called Creel Committee, which was designed to try to turn a pacifist population into raving anti-German fanatics as the Wilson administration moved into the war.

Both Lippmann and Bernays were very impressed by the success in creating a fabricated version of atrocities and so on, which in fact did change opinion dramatically. Lippmann called this technique ‘manufacturing consent’, which he called a new art in the practice of democracy. He thought that’s exactly the way things should work.

As David points out in his text, elite opinion has always been radically antidemocratic all the way through. Democracy is just regarded as ‘mob rule’, as Lippmann put it; the responsible men have to protect themselves from the roar and trampling of the bewildered herd. Lippmann, incidentally, was the leading liberal public intellectual in the twentieth century, a Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy liberal. But he was reflecting the general liberal conception of how the public has to be put in its place as spectators, while the serious guys – us – do the work of running society in the public interest.

This is almost universal. It’s not just in the media. People like Reinhold Niebuhr [an American theologian] and Harold Lasswell, one of the pioneers of modern political science. Bernays went on to be one of the founders of the public relations industry, which devotes hundreds of billions of dollars a year to these efforts to control opinion and attitudes. But it’s all based on the same conception that the public is a bewildered herd, stupid and too ignorant for their own good.

You have to control them in one way or another, not permit democratic tendencies. Perhaps you know the major scholarly work, the gold standard for scholarship on the Constitutional Convention, called The Framers’ Coup [2016, by Michael Klarman], the coup by the framers against democracy. They feared democracy, and they devised all kinds of techniques to prevent it effectively. If you look back at the Constitutional Convention, the only participant who objected to this was Benjamin Franklin. He went along, but he didn’t like it.

Yes, it is correct that this shows up in the media, but it seems to me to show up in the media not only because of the institutional structures that Herman’s work mostly outlined but also because of deeper currents in cultural history. It’s the same thing in the English Revolution in the seventeenth century when you didn’t have these structures, ‘The Men of the Best Quality’, as they called themselves, must subdue the rebel multitude.

When you read the history of the English Revolution, it looks as if it was a conflict between king and parliament, but that overlooks the public who were producing very extensive pamphlet literature and people travelling around giving talks and so on. They didn’t want to be ruled by a king or parliament. The way they put it was, “We want to be governed by people who know the people’s sores, people like us, not by knights and gentlemen who do just want to oppress us”. That’s the English Revolution, the major current that was of course suppressed mostly by violence.

The same thing shows up in the American Revolution a century later. David points out it’s a deep part of the Enlightenment. One of the striking points that he makes in the essay is that these concepts of human rights, Enlightenment, justice and so on, appeared in what’s called the West only at the time when they came into confrontation with other societies and cultures. In the whole long period before that, nobody ever bothered with such things. That can’t just be an accident. And I think we see it right through history, in a way, back to Aristotle’s Politics.

Betsimisaraka women in Madagascar, c. 1900. Public domain. A subset of the Betsimisaraka, termed the zana-malata, were the focus of David Graeber’s dissertation research, from which Pirate Enlightenment is derived

ND I found it very interesting how David links gender politics and the social status of women. Western societies in general are patriarchal, but the communities in Madagascar described by David in his book are not, so it is odd that it is us who are considered to be democratic.

NC Actually, that has very interesting, very current implications. The Roe v. Wade case, if you read [Supreme Court Justice Samuel] Alito’s actual opinion, his decision, is quite interesting. What he says is that there’s nothing in history and tradition that supports the idea that women have rights, which is quite true. If you look back at the constitution, the framers – for them women weren’t even persons. They were property. That’s Blackstone [Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765–69, by William Blackstone], English common law. Women are property owned by the father and handed over to the husband.

One of the arguments against allowing women to vote in the constitutional debates was it’s unfair to unmarried men because a married man would have two votes: himself and his property. This runs right through American history. It isn’t until 1975 that the Supreme Court officially determined that women are people, peers, who can serve on federal juries.

So Alito’s opinion is quite right. In all of American history and tradition, there’s nothing to suggest that women have rights. Therefore, Roe is breaking from the tradition by saying, ‘Yes, women should have rights’. It’s not exactly the message he wanted to convey, but it’s the essence in which his opinion is historically accurate.

It’s basically since the 1960s that there has been real pressure for not only women’s rights, but even freedom of speech. You look back at history, there’s no history of protection of freedom of speech. You begin to get the elements of it in the twentieth century, mostly in dissents. But it was not until the 60s that there was strong public popular pressure, sufficient for the Supreme Court to take a fairly strong position.

Actually, in the current regression, major figures in the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, are saying they want to rethink those decisions that establish freedom of speech, like Times v. Sullivan. We may go back to the tradition, just as we’re doing with the revision of Roe. These are very tenuous achievements. We have to struggle for them every minute.

ND The Paris salons, where many of these Enlightenment ideas were formed, mostly in endless conversations, were run largely by women. David’s Pirate Enlightenment talks a lot about war. He describes how the opposing sides put coloured signs on their foreheads, blue and yellow, to be able to distinguish one another in battle. War is also a dialogue, but a masculine one, where the instruments of communication are reduced exclusively to violence. For the characters in David’s book, however, the war ends in Assemblies, which restore complex human conversations. If we think about our current situation, what is most striking is the insistence on the abandonment of all dialogue and any exchange of opinions.

NC Yeah. That’s again a very timely issue. As you know, the NATO Summit [in Madrid at the end of June] received lots of attention, very positive attention. One crucial element of it, which hasn’t received much discussion, bears exactly on what you’re talking about. If you look at the NATO strategic statement, I think it’s Article 41, the basic thrust is we cannot have discussions and negotiations about Ukraine. It must be settled by violence. Those aren’t the words that are used, but that’s the meaning of the words.

What they say is that the question of admission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine into NATO is not up for discussion. No third party can have any voice in it. We will decide as we wish. That’s a way of saying, ‘There cannot be any negotiations’. It’s been understood for 30 years, long before Putin, that no Russian leader will ever accept having Georgia and Ukraine in a hostile military alliance. That would be lunacy from Russia’s strategic point of view.

Just look at a topographic map or the history of Operation Barbarossa [Nazi Germany’s 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union] and you can see why. That’s been understood by high US diplomats and directors of the CIA. All of them have warned against this. But NATO, meaning the US, just decided that doesn’t matter. We’re going to continue to insist that everything be settled by violence, not by negotiations. No dialogue. It’s probably the most important part of the NATO Summit, and it’s consistent with what US policy has been. No discussion, just force.

David Graeber hosts a debate at the London School of Economics during the campus-wide programme Resist: Festival of Ideas and Actions, 2016. Photo: Peter Marshall / Alamy Live News

ND You are a prominent scholar who has worked in Western academia for many years. I know nothing about academia except that David thought it was conservative and almost reactionary, and wrote extensively about it. Perhaps the very idea that it is possible to substitute dialogue with others for direct violence while preserving democracy and freedom within our own space is shaped and supported by the Western academic community.

NC My academic life has been for 70 years at the elite institutions: Cambridge, Mass; Harvard, MIT, others like them, Oxford and so on. All the same. Ideas of this kind can scarcely penetrate. They are immune to consideration of the fact that the system that they were embedded in is based on violence and suppression. The theories that are developed, like international relations theory, completely miss much of this.

The security of the population is almost never a consideration in formation of government policy. Security of elite interest, yes. Not security of the population. In fact, this shows up very dramatically if you look at contemporary documents. Take the NATO Summit again. The phrase ‘rules-based international order’ occurs repeatedly, over and over again. We have to preserve ‘the rules-based international order’. The phrase ‘UN-based international order’ never appears, not once. There is a UN-based international order, like the UN charter, but the US doesn’t accept it. It bars all the activities that the US carries out.

The big struggle with China, ideologically, is that China is insisting on the UN-based international order. The United States wants a rules-based order. The hidden assumption is the US makes the rules. We want an international order, which is basically the mafia. The godfather makes the rules, and everybody else obeys or else. That’s the rules-based international order. And you can demonstrate that that’s the way it works, but you can’t penetrate elite discussion with this. I can talk about my own experience, but it’s just anybody in the same system can talk about it.

My apartment in Cambridge was a couple of blocks away from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. I wasn’t allowed to cross the threshold unless they couldn’t prevent it. Like, if I was invited by an international organisation or the foreign press or a student group, then they had to allow it. But otherwise it was considered contaminating the premises by even talking about these topics.

ND Sometimes it feels like we’re seriously close to the end of the world. David, however, was an eternal optimist. No matter what was going on, he would say, “Okay, let’s look on the bright side. What can we do? How can we find a way out of it?”

He tried very seriously to help [former UK Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn, but when Corbyn got crushed, David almost fell into a depression for a while. Very soon, however, he focused on the Brain Trust Project, a group of academic and nonacademic activists and artists trying to create an independent thinktank to address climate change. Yet our current situation, the disasters we are facing on such a scale, it is difficult to keep being optimistic.

NC Whatever our personal sentiments are about the likelihood of disaster, we have to maintain the ‘optimism of the will’. There are opportunities, whatever they are, and we have to devote ourselves to them. Take Corbyn. Very significant. I mean, if Corbyn had become prime minister, as it seemed in 2017 that he might very well do, it could be a very different England. Instead of being just a vassal of the United States, which it is, it could have been an independent element in world affairs.

He could have joined with Europe to lead an independent Europe, which could have made accommodations with Russia prior to the invasion, when it was a possibility. Instead of just falling into the lap of the United States and becoming a total dependency, which is what happened.

The British establishment knew what it was doing. The establishment all the way over to The Guardian, the so-called left. It’s very dangerous to allow a person to gain power who’s trying to create a popular-based political party that will reflect the interests of its constituents instead of concentrated private power. He was succeeding in that, and that’s much too dangerous to allow.

So the whole establishment, from what’s called the left over to the right, just launched an incredible campaign to discredit him, very successfully. Totally fraudulent grounds, but a very interesting illustration of the manufacture of consent, which is much broader than just the institutional structures involved.

It’s based on a real understanding that popular power is just too dangerous to permit. It will threaten elite dominance in all domains and could lead to not only an independent popular-based democracy in England but even to independent moves in world affairs, which would undermine the mafialike structure. Quite a lot is at stake in keeping somebody like Corbyn out.

Courtesy Allen Lane

ND David vividly describes how the democratic structures of pirate communities were influenced by Madagascar’s traditions. The pirates chose a captain who had full authority over the crew during combat, but not in everyday life.

Many of these pirate traditions are strikingly similar to anarchist practices and are truly democratic, allowing each member of the community to shape the social environment around them, unlike our current ‘democracy’, which is built on institutions that prevent people from access to decisions about how they might live.

NC As he stressed greatly, you don’t have democracy if representation is of the kind that liberal theorists call for. So take the main liberal theorists of democracy, people like Walter Lippmann, for example, or Harold Lasswell, or others. In this picture, the public has a role. Their role is to show up periodically and cast their weight in favour of one or another member of the elite class that represents power, and then go home and let them run the world but don’t do anything more.

That’s what’s called democracy. And as David stressed, that has no resemblance to democracy. Democracy means direct participation in decision-making at every level. You can delegate responsibility to someone temporarily to carry out or play some administrative or another role.

For example, in the Native American tribes that he discussed, where you pick a war leader for a particular conflict and then listen to him during the conflict, then he goes back and joins everyone else. That’s like the pirates, in fact, electing a captain because they need somebody to make decisions and then take them back. But it’s the public itself that always has the power and can, if it wants, take over decision-making.

If you don’t have a structure like that, it’s not democracy. And of course, such structures can be developed. Let’s go back to Corbyn. If he had succeeded in creating the kind of Labour Party he was working for, it would have been a constituent-based party with local groups putting their input into direct decision-making and so on. It’s not what the parliamentary Labour Party wants. They want to make the decisions and everybody else should shut up and listen. That’s [Tony] Blair’s party, [Keir] Starmer’s party. The weight of the establishment was so strongly behind them that the effort to create a popular party was just crushed.

Interestingly, the campaign was successful among the constituency. I’ve talked to Labour activists who were knocking on doors. They said it really sold. People just didn’t want to hear about Corbyn, they didn’t want to hear about a four-day week or any of the economic proposals. Just save us from this person who’s trying to destroy Britain. It worked very effectively.

Welfare State rally in London, 2010. Photo: Theodore Liasi / Alamy Stock Photo

ND I want to share good news from the artworld, which is also a very powerful institution, very much like an academy, very much built on exclusion and big money, seriously connected to financial capital, taxes and, ultimately, the state. One of the largest art exhibitions in the world, Germany’s Documenta, has been curated by a collective from Indonesia, who are exhibiting almost no artwork or famous artists, in the traditional sense of the word. They invited different collectives, mostly from the Global South.

This is an amazing exhibition, in the sense that it shows not the artistic achievements of some individuals, but the useful, caring and beautiful human practices of different communities.

But then again, as with Jeremy Corbyn, they are now under tremendous attack, perhaps on the verge of being destroyed. The only hope is that, just as with Corbyn, the current exhibition in Documenta can show us a glimpse of another world, as if it were an escape route that could one day save us.

NC That’s very interesting. I remember about 20 years ago – unfortunately, I forgot the name – there was an art connoisseur, Canadian, I think, who curated exhibitions of rugs. He pointed out that for thousands of years there was a form of women’s art in the Middle East, creating these marvellous rugs with wonderful designs and structures and so on. But no one ever regarded it as art, because it was women’s work. But the materials were quite fantastic. He ran into plenty of resistance. Who cares about rugs? But if you look at Oriental rugs, they’re quite amazing. By now, this artform is disappearing because it’s being replaced by commercialised duplicates. But for literally thousands of years, it was a major collective creative artform. Individuals would create their own art. They would work with each other. Because, of course, it’s collective, you can’t make a rug yourself. They made some remarkable contributions to women’s work.

ND The artworld first and foremost stands for the separation of production and consumption so it is difficult for it to relate to collective works. Therefore, a significant artist, in the Western sense, is always a loner who is distinct from the rest of us. But the industrial workers, who collectively produce things we use every day, remain anonymous. The same separation results in all of us staying as spectators and consumers, and without engaging in collaborative creativity. Documenta 15 had changed this narrative. It brought to Germany artists from Bangladesh, Latin America, African countries, and their real stories of fighting for freedom, caring for children, cooking food and so on. They showed us Westerners that most people in the world are, in a sense, better off than we are, despite their lack of the art institutions, if only because a core value of their art is care.

NC I saw something a little bit like that at the World Social Forum back 20 years ago. The first meeting of the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. One of the collaborators was Via Campesina, the world’s major international peasant organisation. It facilitated areas where mostly women set up tables and shared their cultures – different societies, different languages, different ways of cooking, different kinds of seeds, and a lot of complex lore and understanding.

In fact, for the most part agriculture was a scientific activity in the hands of women. A woman would hand the knowledge down to her daughter, which seed you plant on which side of the hill because it gets the sun in the afternoon and all that kind of stuff. In fact, when scientific agriculture came in, it lowered yields because all of this knowledge was lost. But in these meetings of Via Campesina, it was all being brought back with individual understanding, complicated culinary arts, building things and exchanging ideas. It was quite amazing to watch. It’s disappearing, of course. The World Social Forum doesn’t have it anymore.

ND In Pirate Enlightenment, David describes a Marxist attitude to Madagascar’s history, where the main driving force is the struggle of the elites among themselves for the expansion of power.

David notes that it is a little strange to assume that any society is built according to this principle. But today’s Russia follows this logic: actively participating in the struggle between rival elites.

In the 1960s, the USSR pursued a different goal, supporting anticolonial movements worldwide with finance and arms.

NC Remember that Russia itself is an imperial system. You go back to the Duchy of Muscovy, which expanded over much of the world: all imperial conquests. There’s an interesting book, if you haven’t seen it yet, Crusade and Jihad [2018], by William Polk, a great historian who died recently, which is about the thousand-year war of the north, including Russia, against the mostly Muslim south. That’s why the regions that Putin is visiting right now [in July] are Muslim. They were all conquered within the expanding Russian empire. What we talk about as Russia, it’s like the United States. We think of the United States as a sovereign country, but only after it exterminated the inhabitants. Russia didn’t exterminate them, but it incorporated them.

It’s an imperial system, to begin with. And it’s mostly a war against the Global South, which happens to be mostly Muslim. As Polk discusses, it’s a major theme of the history of the past thousand years. Every form of resistance has been tried, and they all failed and end up being jihadis. That’s part of the sweep of world history. What’s bothering the West now is that it’s encroaching into Western territory. That you’re not allowed to do. You can kill anyone you want somewhere else, just the way we do. It’s very interesting to watch the reaction of the Global South to this conflict.

You read Western journals. They can’t understand why the countries of the Global South aren’t joining in with us. But these countries are laughing. What they say is, “Yes, of course it’s aggression, but what are you guys talking about? This is what you do to us all the time. We’re not going to join your crusade.”

ND A friend of mine who lives in the Middle East said: “With horror everyone watches white people kill white people. We’ve been living like this for a long time.”

NC David’s insights into all of this are very illuminating, and it undercuts a lot of conventional thinking. Also just pointing out the many options that there are for developing more enlightened, more free societies, not just the ones encoded in our artificial traditions, which exclude lots of what happened and reshape the rest into fitting into convenient frames for existing power systems. I think that’s a tremendous contribution.

Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia, by David Graeber, will be published in January 2023

Tags: Noam ChomskyDavid Graeberpiratesreview

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Iranian Anarchists on Protests in Response to Police Murder of Mahsa Amini

From Black Rose Anarchist Federation by Black Rose / Rosa Negra – International Relations Committee

On September 13th, 2022, 22 year old Mahsa Amini was arrested by an Iranian Guidance Patrol (also known as ‘morality police’). Mahsa was arrested in Tehran for not abiding by laws relating to dress. Three days later, on September 16th, police informed Mahsa’s family that she had “experienced heart failure” and had fallen into a coma for two days before passing away.

Eyewitness accounts, including that of her own brother, make clear that she was brutally beaten during her arrest. Leaked medical scans indicate that she had experienced a brain hemorrhage and stroke—trauma induced injuries which ultimately led to her death.

In the days since these details were revealed publicly, mass demonstrations have broken out across Iran decrying Mahsa’s murder at the hands of the police.

To better understand this rapidly changing situation, we conducted a very brief interview with the Federation of Anarchism Era, an organization with sections in Iran and Afghanistan.

This interview was conducted between the dates of 9/20/22 and 9/23/22.

Black Rose / Rosa Negra (BRRN): First, please give a brief description of the Anarchist Federation of Era.

Federation of Anarchism Era (FAE): The Federation of Anarchism Era is a local anarchist federation active in so-called Iran, Afghanistan, and beyond.

Our federation is based on the Synthesis Anarchism, accepting all anarchist tendencies except nationalist, religious, capitalist, and pacifist tendencies. Our many years of organizing experience within extremely oppressive environments like Iran have led us to develop and utilize insurrectionist organizational tactics and philosophy. 

We are an atheist organization, viewing religion as a hierarchical structure that is more ancient and enduring than almost all other authoritarian systems and much too similar to capitalism and other authoritarian social structures enslaving humanity today. Class warfare, from our perspective, includes warring against the clergy class who rob us of our freedom and self-autonomy by defining the sacred & taboo and enforcing them by coercion and violence.

BRRN: Who was Mahsa Amini? When, why, and how was she killed?

FAE: Mahsa Amini, know by her family as Zhina, was an ordinary 22-year-old Kurdish girl from the city of Saghez (Saqez) in Kurdistan.

She traveled with her family to Tehran to visit families. On September 13th, while with her brother, Kiaresh Amini, the morality police or the so-called “Guidance Patrol” arrested Mahsa for “improper hijab.” Her brother tried to resist the arrest, but the police used tear gas and beat Kiaresh as well.

Many other arrested women witnessed what happened in the police van. Along the way to the police station, there was an argument between detainee women and police officers. Mahsa Amini was one of the girls protesting their arrest. She was saying she was not from Tehran and should be let go.

The police used physical violence to shut all the detainee women up. Mahsa was beaten as well. The eyewitnesses said the police officers hit Mahsa’s head hard to the side of the police van.

She was still conscious when she arrived at Moral Security Agency, but the other detained women noticed that she looked unwell. The police were completely indifferent and accused her of acting. The women kept protesting to help Mahsa get the medical attention she needed. The protests were met with violence from the police. Mahsa Amini was beaten severely by police again and lost consciousness then.

Police then took notice and attempted to revive her by pumping her chest and raising and massaging her legs. After those attempts failed, the police attacked other women to confiscate all cellphones and cameras that may have recorded the incident.

After much delay and finding the lost keys to the ambulance, Mahsa was taken to Kasra Hospital.

The clinic which admitted Mahsa Amini claimed in an Instagram post that Mahsa was brain dead when she was admitted. That Instagram post was later deleted. 

On September 14th, a Twitter account with a friend working in Kasra Hospital told the story that the police threatened the doctors, nurses, and staff not to take any pictures or video evidence and to lie to Mahsa’s parents about the cause of the death. The hospital, being intimidated, complied with the police. They lied to the parents that she was in an “accident” and kept her on life-support for two days. Mahsa was declared dead on September 16th. Her cause of death from the medical scans, leaked by hacktivists, shows bone fractures, hemorrhage, and brain edema.

Demonstrators in Istanbul, Turkey hold up an image of Mahsa Amini.

BRRN: Did Mahsa’s identity as a Kurd play a role in her arrest and death?

FAE: Undoubtedly, being a Kurd in Tehran played a role in Mahsa’s eventual death. But, this is a reality all women in Iran experience. We don’t need to look far to find video footage of the morality police beating and forcing women into police vans, throwing women out on the street from a moving car, and being harassed by Hijabi women for their “improper hijab.” Those videos show just a tiny fraction of the hell women experience in Iran.

Mahsa being with her brother on the day of her arrest was not random happenstance. In Iran’s patriarchal society, women should bring a male relative, whether a father, husband, brother, or cousin, along with on their business to ward off the morality police and discourage any surly individuals in public. Young couples can’t be seen too close to each other in public or risk being beaten and arrested by the morality police. Relatives needed to have documents as proof of their claims to the police. Arresting women for lipsticks and nail polish was a reality many of us millennials in Iran remember vividly.

The threat of acid attacks for “bad hijab” is another nightmare women endure in Iran.

Patriarchy and religious autocracy affect all women.

BRRN: How did the Iranian people learn of Mahsa’s death? What was the initial popular response?

FAE: As we elaborated earlier, there were too many eyewitnesses. No amount of threats could have stopped the story of Mahsa’s death from leaking.

It is worth mentioning the doctor attending Mahsa and the photojournalist documenting Mahsa’s condition and her family in distress, were both arrested, and their current status is unknown.

The initial response was outrage. People were already sharing Mahsa’s story from September 14th. The outrage was not yet strong enough for protests and revolts. People still thought Mahsa was in a coma, and there was hope for her recovery. Then, She was declared dead on September 16th.

First, there were small protests at Kasra Hospital, which were scattered by the police. The sparks of the current uprising were lit in Saghez, Mahsa’s hometown.

A police motorcycle is burned at a demonstration in Tehran.

BRRN: What is the scale of the current demonstrations? In what areas of the country have the demonstrations been concentrated?

The situation is very dynamic and changing exceptionally rapidly. At the time of writing this, the flames of the uprising have set 29 out of 31 provinces of Iran on fire. One of the characteristics of this uprising is that it spread to major cities across Iran, such as Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, Ahvaz, Rasht, and others fast.

Qom and Mashhad, the ideological strongholds of the regime, have joined the uprising. Kish island, the capitalist and commerce center of the regime, has also revolted. This is the most diverse uprising we have witnessed in the last few years.

On September 23rd, the syndicalists are planning a general strike in favor of the protests.

The regime has an armed demonstration planned on the same day. A lot is happening.

BRRN: How has the Iranian state responded to these demonstrations?

The regime’s initial response was less brutal than we experienced before. One reason is that they got caught off-guard. They didn’t expect this strong response. The more important reason is that Ibrahim Raisi is at the UN. The lack of senior authority figures, publicized story of Mahsa and protests, and the pressure on the government being watched by the international community have stopped the massacre for now.

Don’t get us wrong. Police killed and injured many people from day one of the protests. Some among them were 10 years old children and 15 years old teenagers. But, we experienced November 2019 when the regime massacred many thousands of people in 3 days. 

In all the previous uprisings, the police were not directly the target of the ire of people. Not this time. They are the baddie this time, and people are out for their blood. This wears them down physically and mentally, which we take as good news.

Right now, Saghez and Sanandaj are experiencing ruthless suppression. The regime has brought tanks and heavy military vehicles to suppress the uprising there. There are many reports of live ammunition being shot at protestors.

The protests are still going. The police cars are being flipped. The police stations were scaled and burned down. We just need to arm ourselves by looting their armory. Then, we enter another phase of revolt altogether.

A barricade constructed at a demonstration in Tehran on 9/21/22.

BRRN: Is it accurate to call these demonstrations feminist in character?

FAE: Yes, Absolutely. Like all other uprisings, there were developments and movements beneath the surface.

It can be said that the recent crackdown on the Hijab and increased brutality of the morality police started in response to Iranian women’s spontaneous, autonomous, and feminist self-organization. Earlier this year, women in Iran began to black-list and boycott people and businesses, such as cafes, that strictly enforce the Hijab. The movement was decentralized and leaderless, aimed at creating safe spaces for women and members of the LGBTQ community.

That brutal oppression culminated at this moment where women are at the forefront everywhere, burning their scarves and beating down cops without Hijab. The main slogan of the uprising is also “Woman, Life, Freedom,” a slogan from Rojava, a society whose ambitions are based on anarchist, feminist, and secular ideology.

BRRN: What political elements (organizations, parties, groups) are present in the demonstrations, if any?

FAE: Many organizations, parties, and groups attempt to appropriate or influence the protests for their benefit at every uprising.

The majority of them ran into an unscalable problem during this uprising.

First, The monarchists. Reza Pahlavi, the deadbeat son of so very dead previous Shah of Iran, an individual being propped up by stolen money and media networks outside Iran, called for a national day of mourning amidst public outrage and initial protests instead of using his resources to assist the revolt. People finally saw him for the charlatan that he is. “Death to oppressors, whether Shah or Leader,” was heard all across Iran.

Then, MEK or Mujahedin Kalq. MEK has an ideological problem with this uprising. They are a cult whose women members are forced to wear red scarves. Their origin story is from combining Marxist and Islamic ideologies, hijacked by Marxist-Leninists before 1979, to the cult in service of capitalist and imperialist states today. Yet, the women in Iran are burning their headscarves and Quran. They have no say in this political climate.

Then, there are communist parties who despise Rojava and always speak ill of it. Their debunked and rusty class analysis doesn’t help them win hearts here.

With all their talks and propaganda of being proponents of secularism and feminism, they didn’t even have one slogan geared toward women’s liberation. And their ideology prevented them from chanting “Women, Life, Freedom.” They had nothing to say, so they shut up. Thanks to that, their presence is much weaker in the protests today.

The Anarchist movement is growing in Iran. This uprising, being leaderless, feminist, anti-authoritarianism, and chanting Rojava slogans, led to anarchists, affiliated and unaffiliated with the federation, having a strong presence in this uprising. Unfortunately, many have been arrested and injured as well.

We are working to realize the anticapitalist potential of this movement. Because the Islamic Republic is a death cult and religion, patriarchy, racism, and capitalism are its ideological pillars. For us to live, we need to be free; and that can’t be done without women’s liberation at the forefront.

University student demonstrators in Tehran on 9/19/22

BRRN: In solidarity. Thank you for your time.

FAE: Solidarity.

Be sure to follow Federation of Anarchism Era on twitter or telegram. If you enjoyed this article, we recommend Generations of Struggle: Interview with an Iranian Anarchist and The State of Cuba: Cuban Anarchist Reflections One Year After July 11th.

Tags: interviewIranBlack Rose Anarchist Federation

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Nick Heath. The Idea : Anarchist Communism, Past, Present and Future.


News about an important book on anarchist communism.

Submitted by Battlescarred on September 23, 2022

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Published by Just Books in Belfast, Nick Heath’s new book is a timely addition to the literature on Anarchist Communism.

Anarchist communism often hides in the shadows in the general works on anarchism available, only clearly emerging when the ideas of Kropotkin, Reclus and Malatesta are discussed. All too often, apart from the worthless speculations on various philosophers outside of the historic anarchist movement, anarchist communism is rejected as a poor relation to the mass movements launched by anarchosyndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism. Others state that the accommodation of anarchist communism to syndicalism, made it a simple variant of anarcho-syndicalism, that it failed to discover the causes of the counter-revolution initiated by the Bolsheviks, and that it died as a credible current with the aftermaths of the Mexican and Russian Revolutions and that it was absorbed or replaced by anarchosyndicalism. This book will seek to counter these assertions. Anarchist communism, as opposed to anarchist collectivism, is the only anarchist current that specifically argues for the end of the market economy and of exchange value. It has survived down to the present day and features as an important current in Russia, France, Latin America, Ukraine, China and Japan amongst other countries. This book seeks to rehabilitate the current of anarchist-communism and make it better known and understood; and to renovate and modernise it. It offers a prehistory of the idea, its origins in the First International and extensive chapters on the history of anarchist communism in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. As such it will be the first comprehensive work on anarchist communism, one where it is not sidelined or where it ends up as a footnote. As Brian Morris has correctly asserted, anarchist communism has been the main current within the body of anarchism and this book aims to stress that and to bring it out of the shadows.

Available from JUst Books, AK Press, PM Press and from the Anarchist Communist Group website

anarchist communism


11 hours 36 min ago

So great to hear! Congrats on finally releasing it. I can’t remember how many years you must have been working on this, when did you start again?

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How We Have Been Misled About Antidepressants

Critical Psychiatry Network
Tom Stockmann
BY JOANNA MONCRIEFF  Our umbrella review that revealed no links between serotonin and depression has caused shock waves among the general public, but has been dismissed as old news by psychiatric opinion leaders. This disjunction begs the questions of why the public has been fed this narrative for so long, and what antidepressants are actually doing if they are not

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Judge Reinstates Civil War-Era Ban on Virtually All Abortions in Arizona

Phoenix New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix New Times –
Katya Schwenk

A sweeping abortion ban that dates back to 1864 is once again the law of the land in Arizona, according to a Pima County judge. Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson issued her much-anticipated ruling in a key abortion case on Friday…

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Iran: World must take meaningful action against bloody crackdown as death toll rises

Amnesty International
Amnesty International
The bravery of protesters facing a spiralling deadly response by the Iranian security forces over the past days after the death of Mahsa Amini reveals the extent of outrage in Iran over abusive compulsory veiling laws, unlawful killings, and widespread repression, Amnesty International said today. Evidence gathered by the organization from the past two nights […]

The post Iran: World must take meaningful action against bloody crackdown as death toll rises appeared first on Amnesty International.

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Dave Foreman and the First Green Scare Case

From Counterpunch

Dave Foreman, whose vision spawned a radical wave of the US environmental movement, passed away this week at the age of 74 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was controversial, he was stubborn, but he wasn’t one to compromise the fight to save wilderness and open space. The following piece on Foreman’s foray with federal law enforcement first appeared in our book, The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink. – Jeffrey St. Clair & Joshua Frank

Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!, awoke at five in the morning on May 30, 1989, to the sound of three FBI agents shouting his name in his Tucson, Arizona home. Foreman’s wife Nancy answered the door frantically and was shoved aside by brawny FBI agents as they raced toward their master bedroom where her husband was sound asleep, naked under the sheets, with plugs jammed in his ears to drown out the noise of their neighbor’s barking Doberman pincher. By the time Foreman came to, the agents were surrounding his bed in bulletproof vests wielding .357 Magnums.

He immediately thought of the murder of Fred Hampton in Chicago, expecting to be shot in cold blood. But as Foreman put it, “Being a nice, middle-class honky male, they can’t get away with that stuff quite as easily as they could with Fred, or with all the Native people on the Pine Ridge Reservation back in the early 70s.”

So instead of firing off a few rounds, they jerked a dazed Foreman from his slumber, let him pull on a pair of shorts, and hauled him outside where they threw him in the back of an unmarked vehicle. It took over six hours before Foreman even knew why he had been accosted by Federal agents.

Foreman’s arrest was the culmination of three years and two million tax dollars spent in an attempt to frame a few Earth First! activists for conspiring to damage government and private property. The FBI infiltrated Earth First! groups in several states with informants and undercover agent-provocateurs. Over 500 hours of tape recordings of meetings, events, and casual conversations had been amassed. Phones had been tapped and homes were broken into. The FBI was doing its best to intimidate radical environmentalists across the country, marking them as a potential threat to national security.

It was the FBI’s first case of Green Scare.

The day before Foreman was yanked from bed and lugged into the warm Arizona morning, two so-called co-conspirators, biologist Marc Baker and antinuclear activist Mark Davis were arrested by some 50 agents on horseback and on foot, with a helicopter hovering above as they stood at the base of a power line tower in the middle of desert country in Wenden, Arizona, 200 miles northwest of Foreman’s home. The next day Peg Millet, a self-described “redneck woman for wilderness,” was arrested at a nearby Planned Parenthood where she worked. Millet earlier evaded the FBI’s dragnet.

Driven to the site by an undercover FBI agent, the entire episode, as Foreman put it, was the agent’s conception. Foreman, described by the bureau as the guru and financier of the operation, was also pegged for having thought up the whole elaborate scheme, despite the fact that their evidence was thin.

Back in the 1970s, the FBI issued a memo to their field offices stating that when attempting to break up dissident groups, the most effective route was to forget about hard intelligence or facts. Simply make a few arrests and hold a public press conference. Charges could later be dropped. It didn’t matter; by the time the news hit the airwaves and was printed up in the local newspapers, the damage had already been done.

It was the FBI’s assertion that the action stopped by the arrests under that Arizona power line in late May 1989, was to be a test run for a much grander plot involving Davis, Baker, Millet, and the group’s leader, Dave Foreman. The FBI charged the four with the intent to damage electrical transmission lines that lead to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility in Colorado.

“The big lie that the FBI pushed at their press conference the day after the arrests were that we were a bunch of terrorists conspiring to cut the power lines into the Palo Verde and Diablo Canyon nuclear facilities in order to cause a nuclear meltdown and threaten public health and safety,” explained Foreman.

In the late 1980s, the FBI launched operation THERMCON in response to an act of sabotage of the Arizona Snowbowl ski lift near Flagstaff, Arizona that occurred in October 1987, allegedly by Davis, Millet, and Baker. Acting under the quirky name, Evan Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy (EMETIC) — the eco-saboteurs wrecked several of the company’s ski lifts, claiming that structures were cutting into areas of significant biological importance.

This was not the first act the group claimed responsibility for. A year prior EMETIC sent a letter declaring they inflicted damage at the Fairfield Snow Bowl near Flagstaff. The group’s letter also included a jovial threat to “chain the Fairfield CEO to a tree at the 10,000-foot level and feed him shrubs and roots until he understands the suicidal folly of treating the planet primarily as a tool for making money.”

The group used an acetylene torch to cut bolts from several of the lift’s support towers, making them inoperable. Upon receiving the letter, the Arizona ski resort was forced to shut down the lift in order to do repairs, which rang up to over $50,000.

But the big allegations heaved at these eco-saboteurs weren’t for dislodging a few bolts at a quaint ski resort in the heart of the Arizona mountains, or for inconveniencing a few ski bums from their daily excursions. No, the big charges were levied at the group for allegedly plotting to disrupt the functions of the Rocky Flats nuclear facility hundreds of miles away. Ironically, at the moment of their arrests, the FBI was simultaneously looking into public health concerns due to an illegal radioactive waste leak at the nuclear power site, which led Earth First! activist Mike Roselle to quip, “ [the FBI] would have discharged its duty better by assisting in a conspiracy to cut power to Rocky Flats, instead of trying to stop one.”


Gerry Spence climbed into his private jet in Jackson, Wyoming estate almost immediately upon hearing about the FBI arrest of Dave Foreman in Arizona. Spence had made a name for himself among environmental activists in the late-1970s for his case against energy company Kerr-McGee, when he provided legal services to the family of former employee Karen Silkwood, who died suspiciously after she charged the company with environmental abuses at one of their most productive nuclear facilities. Silkwood, who made plutonium pellets for nuclear reactors, had been assigned by her union to investigate health and safety concerns at a Kerr-McGee plant near Crescent, Oklahoma. In her monitoring of the facility, Silkwood found dozens of evident regulatory violations, including faulty respiratory equipment as well as many cases of workers being exposed to radioactive material.

Silkwood went public after her employer ignored her and her union’s concerns, even going as far as to testify to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) about the issues, claiming that regulations were sidestepped in an attempt to up the speed of production. She also claimed that workers had been mishandling nuclear fuel rods, but the company has covered up the incidences by falsifying inspection reports.

On the night of November 13, 1974, Silkwood left a union meeting in Crescent with documents in hand to drive to Oklahoma City where she was to meet and discuss Kerr-McGee’s alleged violations with a union official and two New York Times reporters. She never made it. Silkwood’s body was found the next day in the driver’s seat of her car on the side of the road, stuck in a culvert. She was pronounced dead on the scene and no documents were found in her vehicle.

An independent private investigation revealed that Silkwood was in full control of her car when it was struck from behind and forced off to the side of the road. According to the private investigators, the steering wheel of her car was bent in a manner that showed conclusively that Silkwood was prepared for the blow of the accident as it occurred. She had not been asleep at the wheel as investigators initially thought. The coroner concluded she had not died as a result of the accident, but possibly from suffocation.

No arrests or charges were ever made. Silkwood’s children and father filed a lawsuit against Kerr-McGee on behalf of her estate. Gerry Spence was their lead attorney. An autopsy of Silkwood’s body showed extremely high levels of plutonium contamination. Lawyers for Kerr-McGee argued first that the levels found were in the normal range. but after evidence was presented to the contrary, they were forced to argue that Silkwood had likely poisoned herself.

Spence had been victorious. Kerr-McGee’s defense was caught in a series of unavoidable contradictions. Silkwood’s body was laden with poison as a result of her work at the nuclear facility. In her death, Spence vindicated her well-documented claims. The initial jury verdict was for the company to pay $505,000 in damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages. Kerr-McGee appealed and drastically reduced the jury’s verdict, but the initial ruling was later upheld by the Supreme Court. On the way to a retrial, the company agreed to pay $1.38 million to the Silkwood estate.

Gerry Spence was not cowed by the antics of the Kerr-McGee Corporation, and when he agreed to take on Dave Foreman’s case pro-bono, justice seemed to be on the horizon for Earth First! activists as well.

“Picture a little guy out there hacking at a dead steel pole, an inanimate object, with a blowtorch. He’s considered a criminal,” said Spence, explaining how he planned to steer the narrative of Foreman’s pending trial. “Now see the image of a beautiful, living, 400-year-old-tree, with an inanimate object hacking away at it. This non-living thing is corporate America, but the corporate executives are not considered criminals at all.”

Like so many of the FBI charges brought against radical activists throughout the years, the case against Dave Foreman was less exciting than the investigation that led up to his arrest. The bureau had done its best to make Foreman and Earth First! out to be the most threatening activists in America.

Spence was not impressed and in fact argued as much, stating the scope of the FBI’s operation THERMCON was “very similar to the procedures the FBI used during the 1960s against dissident groups.” Spence was right. Similar to the movement disruption exemplified by COINTELPRO against Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panthers, and the American Indian Movement, the FBI’s crackdown on Earth First! in the late 1980s had many alarming parallels to the agency of old.

“Essentially what we need to understand is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was formed during the Palmer Raids in 1921, was set up from the very beginning to inhibit internal political dissent. They rarely go after criminals. They’re thought police,” said Foreman of the FBI’s motives for targeting environmentalists. “Let’s face it, that’s what the whole government is. Foreman’s first law of government reads that the purpose of the state, and all its constituent elements, is the defense of an entrenched economic elite and philosophical orthodoxy. Thankfully, there’s a corollary to that law—they aren’t always very smart and competent in carrying out their plans.”

The man who was paid to infiltrate Earth First! under the guise of THERMCON was anything but competent. Special agent Michael A. Fain, stationed in the FBI’s Phoenix office, befriended Peg Millet and began attending Earth First! meetings in the area. Fain, who went by the alias, Mike Tait, posed as a Vietnam vet who dabbled in construction and gave up booze after his military service. On more than one occasion, while wearing a wire, Fain had tried to entice members of Earth First! in different acts of vandalism. They repeatedly refused.

During pre-trial evidence discovery, the defense was allowed to listen to hours of Fain’s wire-tapings, when they found that the not-so-careful agent inadvertently forgot to turn off his recorder. Fain, while having a conversation with two other agents at a Burger King after a brief meeting with Foreman, spoke about the status of his investigation, exclaiming, “I don’t really look for them to be doing a lot of hurting people… [Dave Foreman] isn’t really the guy we need to pop — I mean in terms of an actual perpetrator. This is the guy we need to pop to send a message. And that’s all we’re really doing… Uh-oh! We don’t need that on tape! Hoo boy!”

Here the FBI was publicly vilifying these Earth First!ers, while privately admitting that they posed no real threat. “[The agency is acting] as if [its] dealing with the most dangerous, violent terrorists that the country’s ever known,” explained Spence at the time. “And what we are really dealing with is ordinary, decent human beings who are trying to call the attention of America to the fact that the Earth is dying.”

The FBI’s rationale for targeting Foreman was purely political as he was one of the most prominent and well-spoken radical environmentalists of the time. Despite their claims that they were not directly targeting Earth First! or Foreman, and were instead investigating threats of sabotage of power lines that led to a nuclear power plant — their public indictment painted quite a different story.

“Mr. Foreman is the worst of the group,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Dokken announced to the court. “He sneaks around in the background … I don’t like to use the analogy of a Mafia boss, but they never do anything either. They just sent their munchkins out to do it.”

But agent Michael Fain’s on-tape gaffes were simply too much for the prosecution to manage, and the case against Foreman, having been deferred almost seven years, was finally reduced in 1996 to a single misdemeanor and a meager $250 in fines. The $2 million the FBI wasted tracking Earth First! over the latter part of the 1980s had only been nominally successful. Yet the alleged ringleader was still free. Unfortunately, the FBI may have gotten exactly what they wanted all along. Dave Foreman later stepped down as spokesman to Earth First! and inherited quite a different role in the environmental movement — one of invisibility and near silence.

Peg Millet, Mark Davis, and Marc Baker were all sentenced separately in 1991 for their involvement in their group EMETIC’s acts of ecotage against the expansion of Arizona Snowbowl. Davis got 6 years and $19,821 in restitution. Millet only 3 years, with the same fine, while Baker only received 6 months and a $5,000 fine.

Little did these activists know that their capture and subsequent arraignments were only the beginning. THERMCON’s crackdown of Earth First! would prove to be a dry-run for the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Tags: deathgreen scareearth first!anarchist adjacentenvironmental action

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Claims That Capitalism Is Eradicating Global Poverty Are Wildly Misleading

Jag Bhalla
Fans of our current global economic order often justify it by claims of great progress in lifting people out of extreme poverty. Rarely do they cite statistics on inequality, such as comparing the slice of the “world pie” that goes to the rich versus that which goes to the poor. Little wonder as that picture […]

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California just became first state to ban sale of gas vehicles by 2035; Options for Ownership Act…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
Introduced in response to California’s new rule, the Options for Ownership Act would withhold 15% of federal highway funding for any state that bans the sale of gas-powered vehicles.
Although California is the first state to ban gasoline-powered cars entirely, 17 other states have adopted rules requiring lower vehicle emissions, if not quite zero .

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The Structural Crisis of the New Deal Order Gave Us Neoliberalism

Colin Gordon
By any measure, economic inequality has shot up over the last half-century. Since 1970, the share of national income claimed by the bottom half of earners has fallen from 21.3 percent to just 13.6 percent, while the share pocketed by the top 1 percent has nearly doubled — from 11.6 percent to 19.1 percent. Although […]

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A Capitol Hill hearing on antisemitism and big tech turned acrimonious — and ended with warnings about legislation

The Forward
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The lawmakers thanked the representatives from the social networks giants for attending the Capitol Hill hearing on antisemitism — after all, it was not an official congressional hearing and no one was obliged to turn up. But then, after some tense exchanges last Friday, things got acrimonious quickly: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz,…

The post A Capitol Hill hearing on antisemitism and big tech turned acrimonious — and ended with warnings about legislation appeared first on The Forward.

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Noema and Noesis Explained (Phenomenology)

Phenomenology and Existentialism
“Noesis” means the way in which the act of consciousness relates to its object (believing, wanting, hating, loving) while “Noema” means how the object appears through the intentional noetic activity (believed, desired, hated, loved, etc.).
According to Husserl, the noema would be the “intentional” object of acts of consciousness,or object of thought (and not: the object “in itself”), therefore an object of consciousness as such.

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Proper Table Setting Guide [Infographic]

Best Infographics
It is no secret that preparing for a formal event takes a lot of work than a casual event. That applies to setting the table too. This infographic from HowLongToCook.org serves as a guide to table setting for casual and formal events:

The post Proper Table Setting Guide [Infographic] appeared first on Best Infographics.

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Hostis – Destituent Power

The Anarchist Library
Author: Hostis
Title: Destituent Power
Subtitle: An Incomplete Timeline
Date: November 1, 2020
Source: https://destituencies.com/2020/destituent-power-an-incomplete-timeline/

A Note For the Reader
A proper genealogy of the destitution thesis has yet to be written. The names, dates, and texts that follow are necessarily incomplete. This is because the very nature of destitution is something that interrupts. It robs assumed modes of power of their sure-footedness by suspending the judgement implied by “class,” “community,” “nation,” or “people” as the ground on which to found a new form of authority. Even the name “destituent power” feels paradoxical to us. Perhaps it is because the word “power” seems to only roll off the tongue of those thirsty for something more. This lust for abundance makes the power-hungry condescend to the destitute. At most they treat it as a means to an end as the cost of redemption, like a guerilla roughing it in the jungle until they capture the glittering palace like a prize. What if destitution itself was enough?

Despite its incompleteness, this timeline serves as a preliminary documentation of both its actualization and counter-actualization (i.e. the materialization of the idea and the idealization of matter). This line zig-zags from the recent to the past, beginning in December 2001 in the midst of an Argentine insurrection, next visiting reflections penned from 1920 in Berlin following a right-wing putsch, only after which the term arrives in roughly 2014 on the lips of radicals in the Global North. And like so many things before it, the concept is treated like a miracle delivered by a high priest (in this case, Giorgio Agamben) rather than a term forged in the fires of struggle.

Insurrection climaxed on the 19th and 20th of December 2001 in Argentina. Remembered through the chant “¡Que se vayan todos!” They all must go!, the packed streets rejected both political parties and union leadership. Perhaps for a time, it may have even seemed like the government would never prop itself back up – a string of officials foolishly ascended to the presidency only to fall. Participating in the events by way of militant-research, Colectivo Situaciones named the emptying out of government, “destituyente,” “power which… doesn’t create institutions but rather vacates them, dissolves them, empties them of their occupants and their power.”[1] Curious is how the socialist elements of North American anarchism reacted to these events. In contrast, they saw a democratic Leninism at play in the neighborhoods and streets. After touring the protests, they wrote back home about organizational forms for “building power” on a mass scale, touting it as a success story for ”direct democracy, popular assemblies, and self-management.”[2] The lesson such North American anarchists took from it had nothing to do with vacating institutions, but a testament to how to found alternative ones.

Flash-forward to a published conversation from 2002 between Paolo Virno of autonomia fame and two Colectivo members. About halfway into a discussion on general intellect and exodus, Virno interrupts the conversation to pose a question (a question that is laden with all of the eurocentric elitism that one may hear): “Among the cultivated Argentine comrades, Walter Benjamin is read?” To which, they appropriately reply: “(Laughter). Yes, of course…”[3] Of course… for it is Benjamin’s 1921 essay, “On the Critique of Violence” (“Zur Kritik der Gewalt”), with its technical usage of Entsetzung, which serves as the locus classicus of destituent power. Why? The events of 19th and 20th of December 2001 simultaneously marks both Entsetzung’s incarnation via collective social antagonism and the counter-actualization of destitution for understanding anti-state and anticapitalist struggles. When Colectivo Situaciones clarify what led them to the creation of ‘de-instituent’ power, they do so as part of a larger set of reflections whose themes are none other than suspended time, historical impasses, and what they call an exhaustion of a historical sense (or what Benjamin identified as the poverty of experience). The key: Entsetzung, which refers to the deposing of sovereign power without its replacement. Entsetzung serves as the ur-form of what now goes by the name of “destituent power,” understood not only as suspension, abolition, and deposing, but also in terms of die Entsetzung; that is, dispossession as our general condition.

Next comes 2014, which roughly marks the year of destituent powers’s popular reception within various leftist milieus in the global North. The two most widely circulated sources are speeches and fragments of Giorgio Agamben and the books of the Invisible Committee. Yes, a reception, but just as it is with every reception, a repetition. A repetition that refashions the weapons inherited from previous struggles. Consider two contrasting cases. In the closing pages of the second chapter of To Our Friends, the Invisible Committee writes, “Coming out of Argentina, the slogan ‘Que se vayan todos!’ jarred the ruling heads all over the world. There’s no counting the number of languages in which we’ve shouted our desire…to destitute the power in place.” By linking destitution to the announcement of a collective desire, the Committee directs our attention back toward the 2001 insurrections in order to grasp an arrested truth at the very moment of its realization. As Colectivo Situaciones put it, “The multitude does not present itself as people-agent of sovereignty. Nor does it operate according to its instituting power. We believe that the powers (potencias) of this new type of insurrection function in a ‘de-instituting’ way, as in the battle cry ‘Que se vayan todos!’ (all of them must go).” The same, however, cannot be said for Agamben. In place of the repetition at the heart of theoretical receptions, Agamben’s wager is that the destitution of capital and its nation-states is not a question of politics but of ontology; since the historical separation of life from its form is the separation of the Being of Humanity from itself. While this may seem a dubious characterization, Agamben himself formulates the primacy of ontology in no uncertain terms when he writes: “the machinery of government functions because it has captured within its empty heart the inactivity of the human essence. This inactivity is the political substance of the West, the glorious nourishment of all power.” On this account, destituent power is said to be the deactivation of the technique of sovereign power that splits forms-of-life into animal/human, bare life/power, household/city, and even constituent/constituted power.[4] That is, for Agamben, destituent power is an attribute of the inoperative/inactive subject that is the Being of Humanity; a power or capacity that wrests back life’s own most possibility for assuming any form whatsoever from the truncated existence that defines us as the subject of so many dispositifs.

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Hostis – Order Reigns But Doesn’t Govern

The Anarchist Library
Author: Hostis
Title: Order Reigns But Doesn’t Govern
Date: 1 December 2020
Source: https://incivility.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/doesnt-govern.pdf

The burning down of Minneapolis PD’s 3rd precinct; the subsequent national poll that reported 54% of the US population’s assessment of insurrectionary violence as a legitimate response to the murder of George Floyd; the fact that insurrectionary violence garnered more support than that of any elected president in recent memory; the various instances of militant eviction defense replete with novel forms of conflict infrastructure; the legal support and networks of solidarity established for every comrade arrested; the unapologetic composition of our very own “hot summer” as black/non-black poc and its disregard for legality; the week where the world learned of Trump’s positive covid test; the week where the world learned of Boris Johnson’s positive covid test, and of Bolsonaro’s, and Macron’s, and so on…

As incomplete of a summary as this may be, what can be said of a political sequence wherein a disparate set of events such as these come to serve as its inflection points?

They are, if anything, the serial expression of a collective desire for bringing about an end to this world. A collective desire whose content is not the restoration of dignified estrangement, but rather the termination of everything that forces us to be strangers to ourselves, our friends, comrades, and to the world. Unlike the “parties of Order” whose utopias are the fever dreams of the present; or the “progressive” Party’s that are nothing but the Left-wing of capital and tempt us with a world where all activity is validated as essential work; our utopias can be, tentatively, said to be utopias of rest. These are utopias whose destructive character is defined, not by the feeling that we are all essential workers, but by the feeling that labour is simply not worth the trouble. If it helps to use the language of the present, these utopias of rest show themselves to be destituent ones. These are non-worlds where the “strength of hatred in Marx” and the “fighting spirit of the dispossessed” coincide; where there is no longer any need for either fear or hope, but only the search for new weapons. And because these are of a destructive kind, they are utopias without interest or patience for any discourse on the universal. Rather, they are proposals for an everyday life that belongs to no world in particular precisely because they are, themselves, rich with the particular. For what else would it mean to be a partisan if not taking sides? If not participating in the defense of the Particular? As the saying goes: those who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring to everyday reality have a corpse in their mouth.

— Hostis, December 2020

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Iran: Statement of the Federation of Anarchism Era to Anonymous fellow confreres


“Anonymous” has managed to hack several government websites, including the hypocritical Radio & TV station (iribnews.ir) in recent days, after the Shia Islamic “Moral Security Police” brutal murder of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa (Jina) Amini. They support the uprising of the Iranian people against the ruling fascist Islamic State in Iran. We support Anonymous!

“Anonymous” hackers’ message in Persian against the hypocritical Shia Islamic Radio & TV – #OpIran #Anonymous:


Statement of the Federation of Anarchism Era to Anonymous fellow confreres

September 22, 2022

The Federation of Anarchism Era, as the main self-organized body of anarchists in the geographic region known as Afghanistan and Iran, appreciates and declares solidarity with the activity of anonymous hackers against the information and telecommunication system of the criminals ruling class of Iran and wants to communicate and cooperate with Anonymous as much as possible in order to deal with the government’s cyber forces, exposing government information and programs, and maintaining digital security of our fellow comrades on the Internet.

We have already discussed the importance of this relationship and cooperation with Anonymous hackers, but due to various reasons, including the complicity of governments to establish the Taliban in the geography of Afghanistan, the numerous crimes of the criminal government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the maximum pressure of this system against the anarchists of these two geographies, the process of writing and Communication was delayed.


Federation of Anarchism Era


Tags: IranAnonymouswomenamoralityvideo

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Podcast: Libre Intentional Artist Community

Atlas Obscura: Articles
The Podcast Team
Join us for a daily celebration of the world’s most wondrous, unexpected, even strange places.
Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps.

In this episode of The Atlas Obscura Podcast, we go with Luz Flemming to the place where he grew up—Libre, one of the longest lasting intentional communities that still exists.

Our podcast is an audio guide to the world’s wondrous, awe-inspiring, strange places. In under 15 minutes, we’ll take you to an incredible site, and along the way you’ll meet some fascinating people and hear their stories. Join us daily, Monday through Thursday, to explore a new wonder with cofounder Dylan Thuras and a neighborhood of Atlas Obscura reporters.

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USA: Torture and other ill-treatment of Haitian asylum seekers is rooted in anti-Black racism

Amnesty International
Amnesty International
US authorities have subjected Haitian asylum seekers to arbitrary detention and discriminatory and humiliating ill-treatment that amounts to race-based torture, said Amnesty International today in the new report, ‘They Did Not Treat Us Like People’: Race and Migration-Related Torture and Other Ill-Treatment of Haitians Seeking Safety in the USA. These human rights violations, along with […]

The post USA: Torture and other ill-treatment of Haitian asylum seekers is rooted in anti-Black racism appeared first on Amnesty International.

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Facebook Report Concludes Company Censorship Violated Palestinian Human Rights

The Intercept
Sam Biddle
The report, due out tomorrow, said Facebook and Instagram showed bias against Palestinians during a brutal Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip last May.

The post Facebook Report Concludes Company Censorship Violated Palestinian Human Rights appeared first on The Intercept.

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Iran on Flames after Morality Police murder of Mahsa Amini- Videos and Reports

Void Network
Iran has erupted over the death of a young woman in police custody for “improperly” wearing the hijab. In the context of a deep economic and political crisis, Iranians are also questioning their deeply unpopular regime and its brutal oppression of women. Last Tuesday evening, Mahsa (Zina) Amini, a 22-year-old ethnic Kurd from the western city of Saqez in the Kurdistan province, was detained outside a metro station in Tehran…

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Why I Got “Bread-Pilled” on Kropotkin’s Vision of Social Utopia

Anonymous Contributor
A short look at Kropotkin’s classic text, The Conquest of Bread, and some of the ideas that it promotes. by Hank Pellissier I just finished reading The Conquest of Bread by the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921). The book inspired Catalonia syndicalists in the Spanish Civil War, Magonism in Mexico, and the Occupy movement but… Read Full Article

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Marching on Rome: The Return of the Undead

William Wall
In a recent article in The Guardian, John Foot suggested that the extreme right was about to win the general election in Italy and, consequently, the next Prime Minister would be Giorgia Meloni, head of Frattelli D’Italia, a party which has roots in the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) which in turn was a direct descendant of Mussolini’s fascist […]

The post Marching on Rome: The Return of the Undead appeared first on Critical Legal Thinking.

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From Uprising to Plebiscite: Street Victories, Electoral Defeats : Perspectives from Chile on the Constitutional Plebiscite

In three interviews, Chileans reflect on the road from the uprising of 2019 to the defeat of the proposed new constitution in the plebiscite of 2022.

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Patriot Front Members Exposed in Parking Lot Clusterf*ck

Unicorn Riot
Fort Washington, MD – On Dec. 4, 2021 around 250 members of the neo-nazi group Patriot Front marched through Washington, D.C. wearing white masks. With aesthetics echoing the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Germany, they stopped to rally by the Capitol as their leader Thomas…

The post Patriot Front Members Exposed in Parking Lot Clusterf*ck appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

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The Janus Face of Public Debt

Ramaa Vasudevan
Public debt, the debt incurred by sovereign states, has surged from 75 percent of global GDP in 2008 to surpass 100 percent of global GDP, as states responded to the consequences of the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where public debt spiked to a fifty-year high in the […]

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William C. Anderson: Assassination: Anarchism and the Birth of the FBI

Lilias Adie
“The anarchists were reflex to an evil history which penetrated their own remarkable and macabre achievements.”– Cedric Robinson Offshoot Journal, September 6, 2022 The…

The post William C. Anderson: Assassination: Anarchism and the Birth of the FBI appeared first on Agency.

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Fuck the Queen – here’s King Mob

From Freedom News UK

Autonomous London defies national obsession with dead lizard

Sep 20th

On this most special day of the anarcho-calendar, we must say in unison: fuck the Queen, long live King Mob!

This weekend the autonomous movement of the Untied Krimdom came together to show the State that anarchy is alive, organized and fucking having it. In defiance of the national passion for monarchist bootlicking and despite the ultimate mega queue of grieving swan-fuckers, Anarcho-Xmas aka the Anarchist Bookfair in London took place across 4 offical venues and 3 more fringe events. Reports estimate attendance by more than 2000 people who had travelled from across the world to celebrate the most significant event of the anarchist calender. At the same time as Decolonisefest – the “punk festival by and for punx of colour” – took place in Haggerston featuring Gurnal Gadaffi, Dystopia and many more, simultaneously as a national day of action was organised to protest the homicide of Chris Kaba by cops. The bookfair itself was the climax of a week of self-organised education by the anti-university collectives.

Meanwhile, 1000s of serfs formed a 10-mile queue to see a box.

The staging of the festival is a triumphant continuation of the return to form demonstrated by the organizing crew and the autonomous community of London and beyond since the bookfair collapsed in 2017 after disruption by TERF activists. A molotov’s-throw from where anarchist bank-robbers killed 3 police officers as they raided a jewellery store to expropriate funds, the Bishopsgate Institute hosted over 40 stalls, including the Advisory Service for Squatters, Dog Section Press, Mangal Media, SolFed and many, many more.

The Toynbee Hall community centre, a charitable institution that works to address the causes and impacts of poverty in the East End of London, was plastered with images discussing forum theatre and hosted talks by Don’t Pay UK on payment strikes and community defence, Netpol on solutions and responses to the police labelling all anarchist ideas as “aggravated activism”, and Palestine Action on active resistance to the war machine, plus more.

Whitechapel Gallery, which exists just opposite Altab Ali Park – named for the 25-year-old British Bangladeshi clothing worker who was murdered in 1978 by three teenage boys as he walked home from work – provided rooms to host discussions on workplace organising by SolFed and Earth First! asking where next for the ecological movement, plus many more which as listed here.

Freedom Bookshop was open, with a creche for children in the UK’s smallest social space Decentre providing a programme on subjects such as stories about police, asking for help, community and the future. Meanwhile, Angel Alley was filled with stalls selling zines, T-shirts and much more from DIY and independent creatives, and featured street performances by militant-trans collective NFA Queer Punx and poems from Rojava by Matt Broomfield. Longtime DIY stalwarts Dissident Island Radio and sex-worker collective Radio Ava broadcast live reports from the event throughout the day.

London Action Resource Centre provided a fringe programme.

One of the Bookfair organisers said the following:

“Thank you to all in the organising collective and to all who who helped, but special thanks to all squatters, migrants, ravers, punks, queer punx, non-punk inclined queers, boat and van dwellers, artists, stoners, pranksters, crusties and the DIY-obsessed lot.

Your work often goes unacknowledged or taken for granted by the so-called “organisers” on the left, but the reality is that it is you who provided us with absolutely copious amounts of work and energy and resourcefulness and effort to make the Bookfair run as smoothly as it could. And that was pretty fucking smooth!”

After the daytime event, an afterparty featuring live 2-bit rave-punkers Killdren, honker-screechers Agents of the Lexicon and fuckloads of techno bassbeat took place at a specially seized warehouse in Edmonton that was attended by 100s of party people – no doubt rejoicing the death of the despot.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="50567" data-permalink="https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/09/20/fuck-the-queen-heres-king-mob-auto…" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar…" data-orig-size="1200,1600" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="AfterPartyFlyer" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar…" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar…" loading="lazy" width="640" height="853" src="https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar…" alt="" class="wp-image-50567" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar… 768w, https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar… 225w, https://i0.wp.com/freedomnews.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AfterPar…Image by oneslutriot

We pay tribute to our fallen comrades: Charlotte Dingle, who edited Freedom from 2013-14, who died last week; Iggy, for whom a memorial benefit was held in a squatted space near Canning Town on Saturday featuring live music from some of the finest of the underground punk scene, including Pisskreig, Eskorputas and more; Sheize, the founder of notorious chaos punk noise collective Litter Shitter; Alexia, in whose honour of a memorial gig was held at the Bird’s Nest on 3rd September, featuring the last ever Poisonous Cunt gig, for whom she drummed; we remember Agent Kingfisher – Tom Palmer – who once pissed on the doors of MI5; Dainis, the singer of the band Dearth; and the many, many more who we have lost in the struggle against State, domination and capital.

How can the loss of one lizard ever equate to the millions more who pass in anonymity?

Merry fucking anarcho-Xmas to one and all.

Next up – Temporary Autonomous Arts on the weekend of the 6/7/8 October. See you there.

Bookfair poster by Loki Gwynbleidd.

Tags: UKanarchist bookfairFreedom News UKfestivalannouncement

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Local News and Broadcast Media Preservation Act would repeal FCC’s limits on a single company…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
In order to promote a competitive media landscape, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) maintains rules which set caps on the number of television or radio stations that a single entity can own, whether a corporation or an individual person.
Local News and Broadcast Media Preservation Act would repeal FCC’s limits on a single company owning multiple radio or television stations in one market

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S. 169: Artistic Recognition for Talented Students Act

Major Legislative Activity – Tracked Events from GovTrack.us
Passed House & Senate (President next): Last Action: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
Explanation: This bill was passed by Congress on September 19, 2022 and goes to the President next.

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Life of Olga Taratuta and Anna Stepanova

From ABC Belarus

In this historical essay, we want to introduce you to the stories of two women activists of the ABC who stood at the foundation of the organized anarchist solidarity structure. This article and the portraits of the activists were prepared by the anarchist artist NoBonzo (https://twitter.com/NoBonzo).

This article is timed to coincide with the release of new ABC T-shirts, which can be purchased from our activists or from the Black Mosquito website (Taratuta, Stepanova).

Olga Taratuta was born as Elka Ruvinskaya into a Jewish family of a shopkeeper in 1876 in the village of Novodmitrovka, part of the Ekaterinoslav governate of the Russian Empire. She became one of the most significant figures of Russian anarchism spanning two generations of organizing and come to be known as the Grandmother of Russian anarchism. After her early schooling she trained to be a teacher and later transitioned to metal work. Her first arrest came at the age of 19 for “political suspicion” though she was released.

She joined the Social Democrats of Elisavetgrad in 1897 and participated in their committees and the South Russian Workers Union until 1901 when avoiding arrest she fled to live in Germany and Switzerland. It was here she met Lenin, her future jailer and executioner, as she worked alongside him on the Marxist text Iskra. Iskra was a project of the Social Democrat Labour Party of which Lenin along with Potresov and Martov saw themselves as a three man team who would lead their generation to revolution. The paper had to be smuggled into Russia at the time.

It was in the pages of the Iskra that Plekhanov attacked Lenin, predicting the man’s future, projecting that Lenin would use “the Central Committee everywhere liquidates the elements with which it is dissatisfied, everywhere seats its own creatures and, filling all the committees with these creatures, without difficulty guarantees itself a fully submissive majority at the congress. The congress, constituted of the creatures of the Central Committee, amiably cries Hurrah!, approves all its successful and unsuccessful actions, and applauds all its plans and initiatives.” Eventually, Lenin left the paper to create his own Bolshevik press.

In 1903 Olga joined a group of anarchists in Geneva and marry Alexander Taratuta, taking his last name. The two travelled back to Odessa at the beginning of 1904, the call of anarchism too strong to stay away. She and her husband joined the Union of the Irreconcilables with her sister Kahyla, a year her junior, and her sisters husband Kopel Moiseyevich Erdelevsky in 1903. The group organized underground printing houses and laboratories to make their bombs. On April 12th of 1904 the police raided and arrested 39 of their 80 members and destroy both their printing houses and literature. They regrouped from this attack into the South Russian Group of Anarchist Communists, the Rebel, then Bread and Freedom.

By Autumn their membership came back up to about 70 people and they had several hundred sympathizers. After a trip to Bialystok, Olga helped to establish an Odessa wing of the Black Banner. The Irreconciables had met the anarchists of Bialystok when a member had traveled to Odessa in search of aid for printing money after hearing of the group. Itsjok Blejer stowed away on a train to Odessa and slept in parks for three days while he searched for the anarchists. After three days he encountered an anarchist he knew from Bialystok who had moved to Odessa and joined the Irreconciables. He was warmly welcomed and given money and literature to aid the Bialystok anarchists in their endeavours.

Before her arrest for the Liebman cafe bombing, she was also arrested in 1904 but released due to a distinct lack of evidence. Then again in October 1905 but released under the October amnesty as a result of the revolution that same year. Khayla had been arrested in January 1905 during a search of Olga’s quarters and not released until April. Both sisters as prominent anarchists were subject to much scrutiny. When the Liebman attack happened, Olga’s 17 year sentence to hard labour came as no surprise, though she soon escaped in December of 1906. Running madly and bravely from the Odessa prison to the border, helped by her husband Alexander.

Kahyla this same year was sentenced to the death penalty for fighting in the armed resistance along with one of her comrades from the Black Banner Lev Tarlo, though her sentence was commuted to 20 years hard labour. The tsarists government of Bloody Nicholas had established a prison for women “terrorists” in eastern Siberia, Maltsev Prison, located in a remote mining district near the border with China. Her husband who had been arrested as well, died in 1908 when he took his own life after a many hours siege where police attempted to arrest him after two successful prison breaks. Though Kahyla was released in 1911 due to a diagnosis of epilepsy, she was sent to a settlement with her fate becoming unknown.

1906 saw some of the most active agitating from the anarchists of Odessa.They helped to form over 50 peasant organizations country wide and participated in joining the labor collectives of port workers and sailors. They organized strikes and held a line of utterly and unapologetic militant resistance. When a shipping company leadership tried to break the strike using members of the ultra nationalist Black-Hundreds (Union of the Russian People) who were the organizers of many pogroms on the Jewish population of Odessa, as scabs, they simply blew up a whole steamer. During Olga’s time in Odessa, she also threw bombs at the Black-Hundreds.

The Yekaterinoslav Anarchists who Olga and her sister had organized with issued this statement in the year

“Comrade workers!
We strongly believe that you will come to replenish our numbers, do not remain deaf to our call:
if you do not hear our propaganda in word, then our propaganda in deed will be heard, because our voice is the booming voice of browning, bomb, dynamite, hell machine.
Respond to violence with violence! Death to bloodsuckers-the bourgeois and its bloodthirsty dog-every government.
Eternal memory to the fallen freedom fighters.
Long live terror!
Long Live the Social Revolution!
Long live stateless socialism- Anarcho-Communism!”

For Olga, she had ran from the Odessa prison across borders to Geneva and back to Switzerland. There she joined the Buntar (Mutineers) formed by her almost Liebman co-defendent who had escaped to Switzerland, Erdelevskii, and edited the paper of the same name along with Alexander. She joined the Fighting International Detachment of Anarchist Communists, the first militant anarchist group in Switzerland. Here she reconnected with Rozalia Moiseyevna Tarlo, the mother of the anarchist Lev I. Tarlo murdered in 1907. Lev had been part of the same Black Banner organization Olga and her sister had belonged to in Odessa, organizing fighting detachments, bravely taking many risks before being captured and executed by the Tsarist forces. After the murder of her son, Rozalia had made it her life goal to take revenge. She and Olga returned to Odessa in 1907.

Olga went back to her work of planning and participating in expropriations and political assassinations joined by Rozalia and many others. The group even planning to target the commander of the Odessa military and its Governor, along with an explosion at the Odessa tribunal. Taratuta began her long career in aiding anarchist prisoners when she began plans to create an explosion in the Lukyanovka prison in Kiev and the escape of its many incarcerated. Sadly, she was arrested in December 1908 in Yekaterinoslav with a bag full of hand bombs and sentenced to 21 years in prison in Lukyanovskaya prison.

Rozalia was also arrested in 1908. The Black Banner group had had a police informant who turned her in. She sat for almost two years in prison before being released on lack of evidence. However, the informant, police agent Boris Chizikov came to an end May 25th, 1908 when he was killed in Geneva by the brother of a prominent anarchist. His position of trust within anarchist circles had given him the standing necessary to send many brave young people to Tsarist executioners and prisons.

Olga did not escape from the Lukyanovskaya and served nine years until the February Revolution freed thousands and thousand across the country. She emerged heart broken. Her child had been torn from her and had begun to grow up a stranger. Much of the old movement was gone. Many of her dear friends had paid with their lives. Her sister lost. Her brother-in-law dead. The strategies and tactics were changing too. Many of the current anarchists decried the terrorism of the past generation. Through 1912-1917 the anarchist syndicalists had been the main anarchists group to survive. Olga took months to herself to reflect and think, spending time with her son.

After a few months of rest Olga could no longer ignore the conditions in Ukraine, especially the brutality of Pavlo Skoropadsky. As a result of the February Revolution Pavlo, an aristocrat and military leader had seized power through a coup d’etat in Ukraine to become Hetman, a title used for military leaders and commanders. The coup had been sanctioned by the German Imperial Army and Pavlo was targeting Bolsheviks, anarchists, workers, peasants, and revolutionaries. She spent two years in Kiev working to support all victims of political terror.

Olga returned to organizing with the Anarchist Red Cross, the explicit Anarchist support group that had formed out of the Political Red Cross. The PRC formed in 1881 in response to the repression of the tsarists regime who supported all political prisoners regardless of their tendency. Though the Political Red Cross was supposed to support all prisoners, it wasn’t long before the Bolsheviks had taken control of the organization and funds dwindled to non Bolshevik prisoners. The anarchists in response formed the Anarchist Red Cross to continue to ensure their comrades and others received support.

The exact date ARC formed is unknown but it came somewhere between 1905 and 1907 quickly forming to an international aid organization. It carried out the mission initially intended by the Political Red Cross and supported all social revolutionaries, rather than just the preferred brand of political ideology practiced by the people holding its purse strings.

For Olga it was of the upmost importance that prisoners were not forgotten, and provided with food, money, letters, pressure for their release, and shelter on their exit. Just as she had worked in the Tsarist regime she continued under the Bolshevik one as well, going on to save or directly support hundreds and hundreds of prisoners across all political tendencies including the communists who came to be her jailers.

In June of 1920, she went to Ukraine and was elected to the secretariat of the Nabat, worked with Golos Truda, and became an elected a representative of the Maknovists in Kharkov. She often travelled to and from Kharkov to the Makhnovists camps and was much respected by Makhno. She was given 5 Million Rubles to begin the Ukrainian Anarchist Red Cross, which was renamed the Black Cross, and was promised in her role she recieved a wide berth and support from the Bolshevik. Their repression against the anarchists had been mounting. Through constant transfers they made it difficult to track prisoners and the conditions were unspeakably brutal. The ABC tracked, supported, and helped in the escapes planned by their incarcerated friends.

The Black Cross in Ukraine had unique characteristics different from many other Black Cross chapters, and were also organized along the lines of self defense and medical units. During times of active violence in the streets, members often distinguished themselves through wearing overalls and an arm band. They were never at the defensive level of the rebel insurgent army, but could be counted on to immediately organize a defensive unit when a threat appeared in their town.

One of her prominent co-organizers was Anna Ivanovna Stepanova, who was of her same generation and started as a teacher as well. Born in the Ekaterinoslav region in 1885 she joined the Black Banner and was arrested in 1908 for which she was sentenced in 1911 to four years hard labour. Her sentence was extended and she was released only after the February Revolution. She had suffered ongoing tuberculous and had seen her husband brutally murdered before her eyes, but she threw herself into political support work alongside Olga for which they both faced ongoing persecution.

Olga, along with so many others, was arrested during the Cheka raid at the Kharkov conference on April 26th. Stepanova was arrested a few months later in November and sent into exile. Just one of the hundreds and hundreds of betrayals from the Bolsheviks. The Black Cross’s center was targeted and destroyed. Makhno’s headquarters and the Golos Truda raided. Olga was beaten alongside Fanya and Leah in the Butyurki prison and transferred to the Ryazan with them. In January 1921 she along with 40 others were transported to Moscow, and on February 13th, she emerged from the prison for a day to carry Kropotkin’s coffin to his final resting place.

In May of 1921, the Soviets offered to release her for venerable age. She had been in her forties at the time of the February revolution and described by her friends as a gray haired lioness. Already adopting the nickname “babushka” or grandmother. Her release would only come if she made a statement of refusal to take action but she indignantly refused. A hard choice. She had been separated from her son again and he was ever on her mind. When comrades were doing a tour to write about the horrifying conditions of the gulags they met Olga at the Orel Central prison and write.

“…and here is Olga Taratuta, an old revolutionary terrorist, gray like a lioness, one of the representatives of the terror which as strongly developed in Southern Russia in 1905-1906. She was doing penal servitude when the Revolution came. Always courageous, jovial, her cheerfulness concealed in the wrinkles if her face a very poignant yearning. We knew one ailing string of her heart which we always avoided touching. She had a son, a grown-up boy. She lived very little with him; he grew up in her absence. How many times perhaps the heart of the mother would yearn toward her son.

Serving a long, long penal sentence, she hid in her soul the hope of seeing him, of living near him for awhile. In the penal prison, enveloped in the darkness of suffering, the anxious question would trouble her: Would he forgive, would he understand her noble aspirations, would he not damn the Revolution in the name of which his mother had “deserted” him? We learned that this did not occur.”

In Orel Central she participated in prisoner organizing against the brutal conditions. She took part in a hunger strike of 11 days to protest. It is during this strike that her friend and comrade Aron Baron was told of the murder of his beloved wife Fanya and his brother. The strike secured no results and conditions were not to improve. Olga developed a severe scurvy and lost almost all of her teeth. She later wrote that a year and a half in a Soviet prison had taken more of her life than ten years of hard labour in a Tsarist prison camp.

In 1922 she and Stepanova were deported to Voldoga in exile and released in 1924 where they moved to Kiev and joined the Society of Former Political Prisoners and Exiled Settlers. As part of the society they enjoyed a small stipend and the shared solidarity with other members. The Society was supposed to be a place where former political prisoners and exiles were welcome, operating autonomously and outside of any official party.

Sadly, the society soon came under the command of the Bolshevik and members were asked to sign commitments to various Bolshevik organizations. Articles began to be included in their declaration which led to the exclusion of some former political and exiles. Olga wrote a letter condemning and refusing to be part of the organization to which Stepanova signed onto and they both left. Both believed in the founding statement and aims of the Society, horrified to find it coming under the command of an authoritarian party. Olga’s letter ended with

“To the communist members of society I would like to remind them once again, that in the means of asserting themselves today, they have forgotten about tomorrow.
History is not made by them alone, though they try to seize it, and history does not end with them, even though they mount their horse victorious.
A distant but bright star, now dimmer behind the clouds, now re-emerging, a great revolution is coming to us, and victoriously it will come.
Once again the idea of a Society of the Political Convicts and Exile Prisoners in its original beauty and life has been suffocated in the grip of partisanship.

The living, powerful voice of the true history of the past revolutionary movement will once again ring out. History will take you to the pages of our past. History will also mark the emergence and spiritual death of our Society of Former Political Convicts and Exile Prisoners.

The Communist members of the Society will be marked with the seal of Cain-the Cains, the murderers of morals, and the murderers of their best comrades in the movement and the struggle against the enemies of the revolution yesterday and in the struggle for the coming tomorrow…”

After leaving the society, the two travelled to Kiev. Stepanova fell ill and Olga carefully took care of her until her death on October 27th, 1925. She wrote an article about her dear friend at the time and contributed an article on the conditions of the Lukyanka prison published in the book Kartoga and Exile: The History of the Revolutionary Movement in Russia published in 1924. She was arrested again in the middle of the year for continuing to distribute anarchist propaganda, but soon released.

From here she moved to Odessa in 1927. With leaflets appearing in the city advocating for various anarchist points, Olga was detained, but soon released for lack of evidence. When the arrest and prosecution of Sacco and Vanzetti occurred, outrage swept the worldwide community of anarchists. The Bureau of Anarchists for the Protection of Sacco and Vanzetti was illegally established in Moscow, and Olga was in correspondence with them. The anarchist N. Varshavsky travelled from Moscow to Odessa on September 22nd and meet with Olga, giving her many leaflets made by the bureau. The leaflet had included a call to decry the ongoing repression of anarchists by the Bolshevik, and they were quickly criminalized by the Bolshevik.

The next day, Olga’s apartment was searched and Varshavsky was arrested, charged with being an “anarchist activist,” and sentenced to three years. Olga was released but demanded her arrest in solidarity and protest for the treatment of Varshavsky. According to state surveillance at the time, she was considered valuable for gaining information on other anarchists and their activities so the choose not to arrest her. She wrote a piece condemning the prosecution of Vashavsky.

“While you are trying to exterminate all the Anarchists without sense or reason, why do you go about it in such an underhand and cowardly manner? If you are convinced that it is right for you to let all the Anarchists-idealists rot and die in prison, why do you get so excited when some one speaks about these facts or publishes them in the papers? If the Anarchist Appeal (the Sacco and Vanzetti leaflet) is criminal, then why don’t you arrest me for it? If the two copies of the Appeal found in my possession are not criminal, then why did you arrest those two comrades who, as you well know, had nothing to do with the publication and distribution of that leaflet?

“The shameful practice of the continuous persecution of Anarchists during the past ten years has stamped you as criminals even from the viewpoint of the law which you yourselves have made. On the basis of what paragraph of your Criminal Code have you the right to keep those two Anarchists in prison now for six weeks, without having brought any charge whatever against them? You pretend that you arrested them in connection with some other matter, but it is a lie and you know it! Your purpose and methods are too obvious. The contents of the Appeal do not justify you in arresting Olga Taratuta, because you know that her arrest for it would cause too much protest in Russia as well as abroad. But because you are afraid of the effect the ‘Appeal’ may have among the Russian masses, you revenge yourselves by arresting two innocent victims.

“I herewith declare to you most emphatically that your action is so contemptible and outrageous that it must be made known to the masses. I announce to you that I will use every means in my power to inform the workers about the matter. Full well I realize the consequences of this, my declaration. But remember that the methods employed by the Tsar failed to accomplish their purposes. Neither will you succeed in killing ideas by bullet and prison. As concerns myself, it is the same to me whether you put me into the smaller prison or leave me in the large one into which you have turned Soviet Russia.”

It was due to this repression of anarchist thought that Olga had organized a smuggling system of anarchist literature and publications in and out of the Soviet Union. She had established an illegal channel via the Soviet and Polish border near Rovno. The corridor was used by anarchists all over. Smuggling literature and letters to Ukraine, Moscow, Leningrad, Kursk, the Volga region and more. One of the few lifelines under Bolshevik domination. She used the corridor herself to write in avocation for the support of anarchist imprisoned by the Bolsheviks.

In 1927 she spoke at a memorial in dedication of Lev Tarlo so brutally murdered 20 years beforehand. Lev Tarlo’s remains had been moved from the prison cemetery and properly respectfully interred to the Second Jewish Cemetery. It was a solemn ceremony attended by approximately 20 anarchists. The brave young man she had fought alongside 20 years beforehand finally being openly mourned and celebrated, though under the scrutiny of secret police who recorded the event, attended by many dozens of anarchists.

In 1929 she moved back to Odessa where she was arrested again for two years, this time for helping to organize among rail workers. After her release in 1931 she then moved to Moscow where in her old age, health destroyed, she worked in a metal working plant as a drill operator. 6 years later she was arrested again and charged with the vague anti-Soviet activities. On February 8th, 1938, she was tried, sentenced to death, and shot in the same day.

From Anatolli Gorelik, who survived Russia to escape to Buenos Aires

Olga Taratuta belongs to the best of the old revolutionaries: She will not allow herself to be humiliated before the powers that be or the rulers.
She cannot, under any circumstances, succumb.

She is always proud, independent, with a strong character and an iron nature, as befits a woman of timeless honour. And for that alone, the Russian “communist” overlords decided to suppress and destroy her: it is only because of this that they have been starving, freezing, and poisoning her in their socialist prisons for more than a year now…

Such is the fate of our comrades in Russia

Tags: abc belarusanarchist history

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Illustrated Guide Version 15.6 Uploaded!

NYC Anarchist Black Cross
NYC Anarchist Black Cross
We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABC “Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing (and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for several prisoners.

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Lyotard or Marx? The Evil Legacy of ‘Libidinal Economy’

Acid Horizon Patrons
Acid Horizon hosts Cooper and Taylor of Machinic Unconscious Happy Hour to discuss Jean-François Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy, the infamous forceful poetic intervention which lambasted the French communism of the 1970s and the legacy of Marxism itself. This deep dive emerges out of Zer0’s postcapitalist desire reading group which covers the incomplete final lecture series of Mark Fisher. Lyotard was an important mediator in Fisher’s work and a pivotal figure in the accelerationist politics more broadly.  
The Wicked Lyotard series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhAQFtzY7fU

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6 Companies That Control Almost All Media You Consume

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
When you turn on the TV, stream a movie or listen to the radio, it’s likely that you’re consuming content from one of six companies. The companies behind these media giants—Comcast, Disney and Time Warner among them—have a lot to say about what you see, read and hear. But their control is often invisible: They […]

The post 6 Companies That Control Almost All Media You Consume first appeared on Daily Infographic.

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An Interview with The Federation of Anarchism Era (Part One)

From The Commoner

The Federation of Anarchism Era is an anarchist federation primarily located in Afghanistan and Iran. In this first half of a two-part interview, they talk about their perspective on anarchism and their on the ground experience with theocratic regimes. The group say they are well beyond their donation goals, and ask that people consider donating to other groups supporting local people.

This interview has been translated by a third-party, and then edited and cut for the purpose of readability. There may be some slight changes in meaning due to this.

What are the cultural roots of Iranian and Afghan anarchism?
Anarchism in Afghanistan has become more common due to the association of Afghans with Iran and Iranian anarchist artists, books, and articles that are translated in Iran.

It will be very important to identify art as well. Art is a special element in the struggle to create anarchism among the anarchists of Iran and Afghanistan.

Literature, music, cinema, and most of all, artistic texts, have played a special role in the formation of anarchist groups among us. In some ways, anarchism in these two countries may have arisen from a critical look at art and literature.

This is also the reason for our intimacy and teamwork. Iran and Afghanistan share a common language and common literary and artistic texts. In addition, in each of these two geographies, different languages ​​with different cultures are also common. So, to some extent, knowledge and art pass through government borders.

On the other hand, the geographical proximity and the existence of common historical pains and strains, which have been brutally inflicted by internal and external systems on the nations and ethnic groups living in the geography of the Anarchist Union of Afghanistan and Iran, continue.

What are the ideological foundations of your anarchism?
We may not be able to talk about the word ideology or ideological values in the anarchism we are considering. As we can see in the discussions among ourselves, the members of the union have never believed in ideology. For this reason, we have no unchangeable or inflexible principles in the union. Of course, it is possible that if we don’t take this seriously, the concept of anarchism may change and not remain what we want.

For example, our very serious opposition, based in power, will, and choice, or our disagreement with every idea leading to power or in the direction of power—such as capitalism and nationalism, pacifism and various mystical or religious attitudes—in in keeping with the views that federations and anarchist self-organisation within federations like the union have always relied on.

From our point of view, ideology is similar to religion, and it makes a person unilateral: that is to say, it sees the open space of the world that we desire from one point, and stays away from other angles. Therefore, we are not based in ideology, and we try to take planning more seriously in our activities. As an example, our theoretical attitude is that our plans should be anarchist in practice, so that our forces can remain free in the scope of their minds. When a plan is proposed, it is considered and everyone includes their opinion. The actors for this plan are selected based on their abilities, and they are mostly voluntary.

In this way, we can implement our goals in terms of human resources and structural bases and define everything else within the range of the plan and its needs.

This method is the answer for various reasons: for one, because it is limited in terms of time, and will soon show its good or bad results. Also, the people in the plan are not forced to pursue goals in all aspects of their lives that have been agreed upon in the union to promote the plan.

In fact, during every operation, there are specific methods that we temporarily use. These can keep the space of difference and change of thoughts among us. But intellectual and ideological foundations are not like that: they are limiting.

Most likely, anarchism is as old as the emergence of the first rulers in the history of human civilization. We really don’t know who proposed the idea of ​​rebellion and disobedience against the first rulers of their era. Is it possible that someone for the first time saw systematic and stratified oppression, called this ​​authoritarianism, and advocated self-management?

Different ideologies, such as religions or other schools of worldview, have their creators. To find their roots, we should return to the point of view of the person who proposed any given idea.

For example, Islam is an ideology that was founded by Muhammad bin Abdullah and later found its followers. This is not the case with anarchism. We only know that anarchism has roots in ancient Greece from the point of view of lexicology, and that the word dates back to the first Greek city-state.

Another example is Plato, who is called the father of idealism.

Even if we consider idealism at the beginning and the emergence of an ideology against realism, proving that anarchism was created through idealism is a very difficult task, because another question arises: before this time, did anyone or anyone stand up against a powerful government to get their human rights?

Were the slaves who built the three pyramids of Egypt generation after generation all obedient and enslaved for the pharaohs? Did they not object to their working conditions, which they traded in exchange for some food to survive?

Anarchism is an element of rebellion, an element that should have a role in the origin of every living being.

Just as other animals show a defensive reaction against threats and injustices that they endure, in a completely instinctive and natural way, without a doubt, humans are also aware of their natural and social rights in the face of any kind of bullying and harassment. From this point, humanity started disobeying and fighting.

Today, anarchists believe that the co-existence of governments with war-mongering, factories producing weapons of mass destruction, and the displacement of millions of people is completely related. We anarchists believe that the destruction of the environment and mass-extinction are due to the direct influence of the destructive and purely profit-seeking policies of the government and capitalists, and we stand ready to fight against all of them.

Most likely, a few thousand years ago, anarchists also believed that in exchange for farming the land, they should not have to pay taxes to the tyrannical rulers or give themselves up to serve in the armies of the expansionist and excessive harvesters.

With these interpretations, it is not really possible to classify anarchism through the lens of other existing ideologies, but it can be said that anarchism is a fluid thought and methodology of social-political struggle that intends to strengthen the will and power of the future. The people of the society should fight for a real revolution to take place, for classes to be destroyed, and for the conditions for liberation to be created.

Under these conditions, everyone can participate directly and freely in the management of affairs related to their personal and social life.

How does the structure of your organisation work? Who makes the decisions?
Just as we do not accept ideology dominating us, we also reject any decision that has a single point of reference. There is no decision-making authority in the Anarchist Union of Afghanistan and Iran except for the union itself, as a whole.

This explanation may make our point clearer:

A concept like the microcosm is much more visible in our activities than our large-scale decisions and long-term strategies. We are groups and individuals, each with specific characteristics of struggle; but according to our similarities, we wanted to work together in a network.

There may be differences among our thoughts and we may not even agree on them for a long time, but this cannot lead us to question our solidarity; because these differences are part of our will. Perhaps our policy in all dimensions can be summarised as the cooperation of volunteers who share commonalities.

We try to include everyone in the smallest activities, even in selecting a text for our social media accounts. Every text we write does not remain as it was in the beginning.

What does this mean? This means prioritising points of disagreement. We seek differences because we know that the motto “we are one, we are the same” is wrong.

From our point of view, which of course can be seen in our work, the world is made up of differences between specific territories. Small ones want more capability and capacity; so they try to enter into discussion, interaction and sometimes even opposition to acquire these abilities with one another.

Even opposition within a network of territories is acceptable, because interaction from this perspective does not just involve agreement.

The same attitude toward self-organised relations has led to the existence of different tendencies in the union, ranging from anarcho-egoist and anarcho-primitivist to anarcho-syndicalist and anarcho-transhumanist, etc.

We have briefly explained to you about the Union of Anarchists of Afghanistan and Iran, which is only part of the Federation of the Anarchist Era. Due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are now more focused on problems there: first, withdrawing all of our known forces completely. And once we overcome these problems, we have to focus on Iraq or Lebanon, and then on organising other parts of the region’s geography. Naturally, this takes a lot of time.

What niche does the Federation of Anarchism Era occupy among the other radical leftwing milieus in Iran and Afghanistan?
Anarchism Era has a much better situation in Iran, compared to the situation in Afghanistan. In Iran, the number of comrades is large, and from a historical point of view, anarchism has made critical and political space for itself.

In a way, it can be claimed that Anarchism Era in Iran has the necessary strength and capabilities for an anarchist movement and can reach stages where its activities can be distinguished from other protest movements.

Our Federation can clearly declare that it is an opposition that has a strong, active and militant social body in the entire geography of Iran. We see the seeds of anarchist organisation in different parts of Iran’s geography, despite the severe repression.

According to conversations with some of our radical anarchist colleagues inside Iran, the atheism proposed by anarchism, and especially, the anarchists’ response to the self-organisation of struggles under conditions of maximum suppression have attracted many of the eyes of the public, especially the youth. So much so, that the government is forced to create fake political currents. It is obvious that it will be open!

The people’s struggles in December 1990 and November 2010 were completely leaderless, self-organised, hostile and with revolutionary and anti-capitalist demands. Over the course of these two general and public uprisings, the government sent regiments of some of its paramilitary forces called Basiji throughout the entire geography of Iran, with slogans in praise of the Shah Pahlavi government! They distort the direction of resurrection.

In examining the official statistics published by this totalitarian government, no other factor can explain the 8000 additional deaths in the fall of 2008, except for the massacre of November 2009. The monthly data show that in November 2010, about 6000 more deaths were recorded than in November 2000. Yes, the numbers are correct: they surely killed more than 6000 people to put down the uprising.

Perhaps it can be said that anarchism in Afghanistan takes a different path. In this way, the first step was placed on the dead body of the democratic government, known as the Afghan Islamic Republic. The death of this type of government has been felt.

Since the former government had visible inefficiencies, it is obvious that the young anarchists who are familiar with it have understood the world policies and the concepts of their speech well.

As we have mentioned, migration has become a common thing among the anarchists of Iran and Afghanistan, and many of them now live in different countries. Still, if we consider migration only in the case of Afghan anarchists, it is a little different: Due to the small population, almost most of them have emigrated, but they can also influence the existing movements in Afghanistan from outside and rebuild themselves in Afghanistan with a young and fresh force, which is the core of the Federation.

Emigration is the beginning of crossing political boundaries: the practical beginning of dealing with border laws. At first glance, it seems simple, but conceptually, it is deeply anarchist.

How to introduce immigration as one of the anarchist platforms needs a lot of research and thinking. However, there is no doubt that it is possible and doable by immigrant anarchists themselves, especially since we have immigrant anarchists from both Iran and Afghanistan.

Anarchism Era was able to turn into an anarchist network from both points of view. We have been in close contact with immigrant anarchists and with anarchists in two geographies. Though mostly based in Iran, the network of Anarchism Era also contains many other conceptual and geographical regions.

Perhaps the biggest strength of anarchism is its diversity in different aspects. This is something that is characteristic of a network, which changes the relationship from the vertical form of hierarchy to the horizontal and rhizomatic form.

Federation of Anarchism Era seems to be one of the first groups translating anarchist texts into local languages in Iran and Afghanistan. What challenges are there in translating anarchism for a new audience?
The translation of anarchist books and even criticism of anarchism has been mostly done on an individual basis. Most of the translators do not have a specific plan other than the goal of translating any given book. This is at a time when the communists have acted purposefully in both Iran and Afghanistan, and the parties have been able to organise the translation of Marxist and communist texts.

Age of Anarchism is the only anarchist site in the two geographies of Iran and Afghanistan that publishes content in different languages. The Age of Anarchism website has tried to ensure that content is not only in Farsi and does not have linguistic limitations.

In Iran and Afghanistan, though there are several different languages, we have not yet been able to publish anarchist content in all of those languages. Still, for example, we have Arabic in the geography of Iran, and there has been a need to publish Arabic texts for countries such as Lebanon, Bahrain, etc., which are mostly Arab themselves, as well as to provide anarchist materials in Arabic for the site, which is used both in Iran and for Arab countries in the world. That is why we have contacts from different countries. On the one hand, unfortunately, because the work of translating books and articles is professional work, this part of our activity may proceed slowly.

The lack of familiarity most of our colleagues have with different languages, including English, is a huge obstacle in the way of translating anarchist texts.

We can also include not having enough personnel in media fields as another of our shortcomings in the translation of texts. Such a force could follow new articles and many peer-reviewed analyses about anarchism and anarchist activities in our time. But because we mainly use volunteers from outside Iran and Afghanistan for security and other reasons in the media sector, naturally, we cannot use all the forces and power of the Federation in this sector.

Another goal is the return of interviews with members of Anarchism Era, plus some articles and memoirs written by them. We are also looking to create an anarchist text. In our opinion, our experiences gained over several years can be useful for other anarchists in other languages.

In fact, to reiterate, the challenge we are facing is our lack of familiarity with different languages, which prevents the translation from those languages ​​into the target languages ​​of Anarchism Era, and creates a similar obstacle in its own image.

Perhaps, you can consider the lack of creation of anarchist texts in the range of languages ​​included in Anarchism Era and the unfamiliarity of the speakers of these languages ​​with other languages ​​in our network as other important challenges in terms of translation.

What are your experiences organising under authoritarian regimes such as the Iranian government or Taliban versus the previous Afghan government? What tips do you have for anarchists organising under authoritarian circumstances, especially with regard to political prisoners?
In authoritarian states, one of the biggest problems is that they deal with protesters and opponents under self-made and generally undefined titles, compared to the so-called democratic states.

For example, these authoritarians say: So-and-so woman has been arrested for the crime of seduction, or so-and-so has been accused of "disobeying" immoral things in society. These titles are specific and exclusive to the individual as much as the regulations of these states. As they are often rooted in religious beliefs, they are at times supported by the people, who might also guard silence about them.

In this case, sometimes even our associates do not recognize such accusations because they came out of this social context. In fact, authoritarian states do not share common legal systems with other countries, and this use of language also discourages expression by critics, protesters, and opponents.

From the indicators of such states in the Middle East, we can refer to their special definitions, or their own special narratives of religion: for instance, the Islamic Republic in Iran has its own narrative about religion. Likewise, the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, as well as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, etc…

This method has increased these states’ strength in the geographies under their control and, in the same way, it has reduced the possibility of cooperation and alliance between the revolutionary forces and those who support them.

Prominent weak points among opposition groups also originate from the same government policy. These opponents are busy with the special confrontations of the governments against themselves, and their battlefield is limited to the challenges and obstacles that the ruling government creates on its geography.

Even in dealing with religious rulers who are mostly Muslims, the possibility of dealing with mostly Muslim protesters is very limited, since the protesting forces are not only facing a religious and governmental approach. They are also trapped in their own special circle.

The solution and method of fighting against such a government is to build decentralised organisations. Only organisations that have a horizontal and shared structure can resist these governments.

This is what we call The Horizontal Formation:

A form of communication that includes cultural, ideological, linguistic, and ethnic boundaries in different sectors and geographies. As we have explained, our proposal is that every department and region face and centre on the specific methods of authoritarianism of its region. If every opposing force hidden in these regions has a relationship with other forces in other regions, the government cannot concentrate its repression, and will lose power.

To clarify this topic, we will give an example of the struggle with political Islam.

This movement has been able to grow a lot in Iran, to the point where we are sure that in the event of the destruction of the Islamic Republic in Iran, no other Islamic government will have the support of the people, and will not arise.

Let’s see what kind of government Iran is currently preparing, and when it can reach the stage where there is no government. The important thing is that now the struggle against Islamic politics and political Islam has turned into a powerful movement that has reached the border of neighboring countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and trampled fundamentalism there too.

Opponents of authoritarian governments, especially the religious-Islamic type, will only weaken the ruling government and bring down the Islamic Republic if they participate with anti-authoritarian force in other regions.

Discovering the common point of religious authoritarian states, such as with the Islamization of politics, and trying to map its various roots in different political geographies can be a solution. This solution would only be possible by creating a horizontal and decentralised network. Such networks would exist in various territories, with specific forces who are familiar with the environment and capable of fighting against a specific type of enemy.

Such a network has territory and also has a relationship with fighting forces in other places.

Like the slogan of young protesters in Iraq, addressing the protesters in Iran: ‘We hit the tail of the dragon (Islamic Republic), but you hit its head.’

Of course, the political conditions of Iran and Afghanistan are not the same as other geographies and regions and we don’t know about the complications of the social, political, and cultural conditions of our counterparts in other geographical areas, and even our plans and activities in Afghanistan are not the same as in Iran. Naturally, our federation’s communication with communities, workers and ordinary people is done through virtual networks.

Although access to many pages, networks and software products is blocked, with the use of different VPNs this problem can be solved without difficulty until the foreign internet is cut off. Iran has such a plan. Of course, we have been interviewed several times on TVs and radios, which allowed us to extend our voices to Iran through satellite TV a few times, even if this was not enough.

In Iran and Afghanistan, as we are a new and unknown force for society, we are also unknown for the repressive security forces in Iran and Afghanistan. In this way, a negative becomes a positive. On the other hand, anarchists have an advantage in the field of self-organisation, where they regularly change their form of self-organisation so that the security forces cannot penetrate it. The Federation is focused on the growth of the anarchist movement itself, without creating an organisational relationship between us and the anarchist social body. That is, our field of work in the self-organisation of the anarchist body is both a movement and not a movement. After a period of time, the Federation will no longer play a role in the growth of anarchism in Iran, as we will have a self-organising and self-governing social body, with anarchist activists forming individual cores. In other words, in the case of being hit, only one person gets hit, unlike a political party, where the security forces can easily cut off the entire head.

Our propaganda and media work is done outside the geography of Iran and Afghanistan, and there is no need for the activities of our forces of Iran and Afghanistan in this field. Those who are more focused on practical work do not use the Internet at all. And because we do not have public activities in Iran and Afghanistan, our forces within this geography operate in a secret and unknown manner. The Federation recruited its forces at a time when the security forces were unaware of our activities, and once their attention was drawn to us, we basically stopped recruiting. As we said, in relation to Iran, the Federation has done its job and the Iranian government’s attempt to attack us will not solve any problem for it. This is because the movement in Iran is not dependent on us and stands on its own feet. For example, we do not work in Afghanistan in the same way as we do in Iran, besides the fact that we are constantly changing the way we organise ourselves.

The diversity of anarchist struggles and its constant change makes the actions of anarchists unpredictable. The use of different fighting methods along with individual creativity has provided us with a variety of tactics, as a result of which the security apparatuses cannot put anarchists in a mould and framework for identification and confrontation.

Organisation and struggle with authoritarian regimes, especially religious ones, is very complicated and difficult—especially ideological governments like Iran. With continuous brainwashing and ideological and religious propaganda, it gathers its supporters in the form of military and paramilitary, information and security forces, schools, universities and all government and independent jobs, in all cities, villages, and mosques. They start assassinating opponents and opposing people inside and outside the country. Or with the thieves of the opposition activists abroad, the regime forcibly returns them to Iran and imprisons them, tortures them, drains them of information, and executes them in most cases.

The greatest danger for the opposition is their presence in the countries around Iran, so that even flying over the air border of Iran is dangerous for the forces opposing the system.

In these 43 years, the Islamic government in Iran has executed at least tens of thousands of political prisoners, and also, at least several thousand political prisoners have been tortured and forced to confess on television, even when they did not join any uprising.

If we look at the number of mosques and religious places in Iran and compare this with the number of libraries and hospitals, we see the result of a religious, ideological and terrorist government and what its priorities are.

Number of mosques: more than 70,000.

Number of Imamzadeh shrines: more than 11,000.

Number of libraries: about 3500.

Number of hospitals: less than 1000.

According to the information published until 2014 in Iran, there are 16 information and security institutions that are still active, but the existence of parallel information institutions that respond to different sources and are more or less in competition and challenge with each other is one of the heels of Achilles. On the other hand, this shows how much such governments are forced to pay financial and human costs to suppress the people, and how much they fear the people. We are faced with an unbelievable level of security institutions and repression in the geography of Iran.

In virtual space, the Islamic Government of Iran has created a cyber-army, which receives support and money for every activity, for which 1000 billion tomans have been allocated this year. As a result, activity in the virtual world is both very important and not an easy task. In addition to this, the Islamic Republic has used Dutch servers several times to spy on opponents abroad. In other words, we are not safe from the danger of hacking and espionage of the Islamic Republic in cyberspace. In these 43 years, several hundreds of opposition activists have been assassinated and killed outside the country, and we are also facing the danger of kidnapping by the regime’s security organisation.

The security institutions involved in the cybercrimes of the Islamic Republic were present in ten special projects, focusing on twelve countries of the world.

By using spyware, websites and messages infected with malware, they hack and provide fake copies of messenger software. They spy by sending contaminated links to Telegram channels and social networks, creating fake applications, and submitting them to the Google Store. These include a fake version of the "Mohsen Restaurant" application in Tehran, the spy application "Wallpaper" and a fake application for mobile security. Also, mobile phone information and the personal computers of more than 21,000 Iranian citizens were stolen. Apparently, only until February 2012, cyber-attacks under the support of the ruling regime continued against Iran.

One of the first cyber activities of the Islamic Republic was Operation INFY, known as "Iranian Prince," which dates back to the year 2007. It was aimed at spying on Iranians and targets in Europe.

But about the Taliban, it should be said that all of their oppressive actions in the last year have been a complete copy of the repressive actions of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, most of their future repressive actions can be predicted because we are familiar with the Islamic Republic’s repressive actions.

The Taliban have admitted that they have carried out 1,500 suicide operations, and they intend to create a special suicide unit in the Ministry of Defense to use during special operations. This simply shows that when an Islamist terrorist group reaches political power, we need proper and secret self-organization, and that in both Iran and Afghanistan, we must change our fighting and self-organization methods.

Of course, it is true that the Taliban’s military and intelligence methods are theocratic. As such, they are almost modelled after the Islamic Republic of Iran. But the agents of intelligence agencies from Pakistan and Arab countries are the trainers of these groups. That is, the methods and intellectual politics of the Taliban are produced and taught in Pakistan and Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, which will strengthen them financially and morally.

Prison is a factor that maintains tyranny; it is a roadblock to freedom. The fighter must break the prison to break the government and reach freedom.

The most important step for the abolitionist anarchist is pragmatism. First of all, we should know that contrary to popular belief, the government of the so-called Islamic Republic is very complicated and obsessed with repression, and it uses various methods to torture, break, and eliminate its opponents. Second, the global prison is very big and complex. This is especially true of the prisons of the current government of Iran.

Being incarcerated in Dovalf cell of the Tharallah Sepah prison is different from being incarcerated in Yakalf cell of the same prison. Each interrogator is different from another interrogator, each cell is different from another cell, each jailer is different from another jailer, and every day is different. Especially in prison, every moment seems different.

The combination of these differences creates very complicated conditions and situations, so that the only way to overcome them is to recognize the situations, increase self-knowledge and have a high goal and abundant motivations.

After gaining self-knowledge and knowing the complicated world known as prison, one can become a “third type” of prisoner.

A prisoner of the third type is someone who, unlike a prisoner of the first type, breaks into the prison and goes there to ruin it. The aim of their efforts and desires is to endure the conditions and build a life similar to the one outside his prison.

The third type of prisoner turns the prison into a place of struggle for petition and freedom. Not only do they not break, but they break the jailers and the prison.

The important stages are the stage of diagnosis and observation of various layers inside the prison.

Where does an anarchist prisoner find allies? Among the political celebrities who criticise on the surface but are actually a safety valve for the status quo? Among the wealthy prisoners connected to the government, who spend several mornings performing a show with corrupt businesspeople? Among the thousands of corrupt people, there are more corrupt people in prison, and prison is more comfortable for them than a hotel.

No, not in any of them. A fighter who fights for the freedom, justice, equality and self-determination of the people is a true anarchist. In prison they will unite with those who want change, the classes who need change and who do not tolerate the existing conditions.

Prison workers are those who have taken actions out of necessity that the government has called illegal. These might include a worker who lived for years and never received his wages and expenses and was forced to sell alcoholic beverages, or someone who failed in business, or is in prison for not being able to pay a dowry or small debts.

Now we are faced with a more important question, despite the existence of a repressive government that has turned many into informers and traffickers, in prisons full of closed-circuit security cameras: how can organisations be formed? And we have a useful answer for this: a person who exists in this darkness, saw the light and became an anarchist, is certainly sufficiently intelligent and able to find a way to overcome difficulties.

To explain these ways would not fit in one article, and it is inappropriate that a discussion of the methods of defeating the oppressors should be published publicly. What matters is the motivation and goals of the fighters: the difficult path to freedom cannot be paved by writing thousands of pages, but if the militant knows what a treasure freedom is, they will suffer every pain and go through every obstacle to reach it.

What is happening in Iran and what do anarchists do during times of unrest?
December 13, 2021, was the third day of the Iranian teachers’ strike, and several teachers were arrested in these strikes. In addition to severe physical torture, their families were subjected to strange threats from the government’s usual psychological torture machine.

Execution continues as always in Iran, which sometimes ranks first and sometimes second in the world from a statistical point of view. Executions of children, women and political prisoners also continue.

Protests and workers’ gatherings continue as always, and the Islamic government suppresses workers in various ways, as always.

On December 19, unfortunately, the Islamic Republic executed the political prisoner Haider Qurbani, a Kurdish prisoner. We have often witnessed such news of executions and the existence of many facing the death sentence.

As another example, on December 19, the political prisoner Abbas Dariss was in danger of execution, his brother was sentenced to life imprisonment, and his wife tragically lost her life due to the fear of execution. Prisoners at Urmia started a food strike to protest being transferred to unrelated cells and demanded to be returned to the standard cell from December 12.

People and farmers protested in the city of Isfahan at the end of November 2021, due to the deliberate drying of Zaindehrud River and the change of its course. More than 300 people were arrested, and more than 40 people killed as a result of the security forces’ shooting. The security forces shot the protesters mainly with rifles or shotguns from close range. The wounded also suffered from movement, hearing and speech disabilities due to bullets entering brain tissue. More than 40 people also lost their eyesight due to the tearing and destruction of their corneas. Most of the bullets were aimed at the heads and faces of the protesters.

Naturally, anarchists in Iran, like all the anarchists of the world, were present in the street struggles and with the people, as well as in all the widespread urban protests in 2009, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021, and in all the urban clashes.

The anarchist is against power and their motivation for activism is not to gain political power, but to fight for equality and to disempower the autocrat. Therefore, many of the anarchist initiatives are not in the dark, but they are still hidden. The ones that are obvious are field battles, such as clashing with government officials in marches, writing slogans, graffiti, Twitter storms, etc.

But many activists do not organise famous free educational groups that are held for children and even adults who are deprived of education, or programs related to the environment and animals. In Iran, we have many anarchist groups that volunteer to clean up nature, collect garbage, or provide services related to animals, especially stray and injured animals, etc.

In this sense, successful groups help the families of prisoners, promote the release of prisoners by paying off debt and providing money and help to the homeless. Some of these groups are anarchist, and some are natural anarchist behaviors.

What is happening in Afghanistan now, and what are the possibilities of resistance under a new Taliban regime?
Since the fall of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of the Islamic Emirate, the citizens of Afghanistan, including civil activists, journalists, women’s rights activists, athletes, artists, and freethinkers, have been forced to leave their homeland and emigrate to faraway countries.

With the establishment of the Islamic Emirate, women and young people lost all their jobs. Poverty, unemployment, and targeted killings have intensified every day.

We are in daily contact with many young people, and they are all worried, spending their days and nights full of fear and worry. Unfortunately, these young people are worried about their lives and have no hope for a better and brighter future. They have decided to emigrate because of the possibility that they will be assassinated in the future.

Unfortunately, these young people have no choice but to emigrate to Iran and Pakistan. These countries treat immigrants worse than the Taliban or any other terrorists. The police of the country of Iran have no humane relationship with the immigrants. Rather, the police insult, humiliate, and beat them.

The Wall Street Journal reported in its December 12, 2021, issue that between 2,500 and 4,000 Afghan asylum seekers are being deported by the Iranian authorities. According to this report, in the last year, Iran has expelled 1.02 million Afghans.

Among other things, we reported on November 16, 2021, that the Iranian police shot at a car carrying two women, one man, and a three-month-old immigrant child from Afghanistan. The passengers, including both women, were injured. The terrorist and bloodthirsty Islamic regime ruling Iran did not even allow them to be hospitalized. In the end, Iran sent them to the camp and then across the border.

In Afghanistan, up to now, more than 100 clerics, members of the former Afghan army, civil activists, and active women in Mazar-e-Sharif and others have been killed, disappeared and kidnapped by the Taliban, while the Taliban falsely announced amnesty. These are the people who should defeat the Taliban: the avengers of those who were killed during their 5-year government from 1996 to 2001, and for 20 years after that. So many ordinary people, children and women were killed by the suicide bombings of the Taliban, and now there is nothing but poverty. This poverty has led to the sale of children of families, together with Islamic reaction and the seclusion of women and school girls in the home. Such misery has also led to displacement across borders.

In Mazar-e-Sharif, the Taliban arrested more than 80 young people, students, and university students in a demonstration, tortured them, gave them electric shocks, and inflicted many harms on them, so that even their partners were not able to speak freely and leave.

In another incident, 7 women activists in Mazar-e-Sharif, including Forozan Safi, a university professor and a civic activist, were murdered in mysterious ways. Their bodies were found in a pit on the outskirts of Khaled Benhan Waleed city in Naheed.

It has been said that four of the active Afghan women were killed by gunfire when they were on their way to the airport to leave the country.

The family members of the civil activist and university professor Safi, who recovered her body from the morgue, claim that the bodies of dozens of young women are kept there, but no trace of their families has been found so far.

At least three types of resistance have been formed against the Taliban. One is multiple guerrilla and military fronts. The second is the resistance of protesting women, who have announced their presence and opposition in different provinces. Their repression is very high in all provinces, and most of the women activists are active in Kabul, where dozens of them were arrested.

The third resistance is the negative resistance taken up by the trained and specialised forces, who intentionally left Afghanistan so as not to serve the Taliban and their government.

One way that people show their disgust with the Taliban is by leaving Afghanistan behind. The presence of Afghans behind border crossings and smuggling routes is like a great protest against the Talibs’ presence.

Another thing is that with the departure of people from Afghanistan, the possibility of gaining power and forming political opponents and social activists outside will increase a lot. Yet, there is still a risk that, with the passage of time, the suffering of the people of Afghanistan will melt away in the minds of the people of other countries, and be forgotten.

Another issue is the emigration of specialists and educated people. The departure of educated cadres and individuals can be viewed as resistance against the Taliban’s consolidation of power. If such a thing is announced publicly by these individuals (experts), then they leave not only because of the danger to their lives, but also to protest the strengthening of the Taliban. Emigration will no longer just be an escape or refuge, but also a concept of fighting against the Taliban.

We have the experience of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and the Taliban will use the experience of the Islamic Republic to suppress opponents, especially women. Therefore, we are informed about the tactics and movements of the Taliban, because we know the Taliban receives the advice of the military and security advisors of at least Pakistan and Iran. However, the closest government to the Taliban is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Taliban will look for profit in suppression, and if 43 years ago the Iranian government did not have a model close to its own, the Taliban can use the experience of the Islamic government in Iran to be 43 years ahead. In this way, it can cover this path in just a few years.

But from the other side, we, who stand in opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran, know the way to confront the Taliban, because we know the way to confront the regime in Iran. For this reason, we have decided to withdraw our known forces from Afghanistan in order to preserve our strength, so that we can organise anarchist struggles with new forces in the coming years.

Tags: The CommonerThe Federation of Anarchism EraIranAfghanistanAnarchists Union of Afghanistan and Iraninterview

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

Call for the 1st International Anarchist Film Festival & Fair – January 2023

Dear kompitas, we have the tremendous pleasure of telling you that we are working to carry out the “1st INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND ANARCHIST FAIR” in $antiago, $hileno territory. Together with several accomplices compañerxs from different territories.

Raise the call to all those who carry out audiovisual work with social, libertarian content, whether with documentaries, short films, films, videos, etc. To which nxs send their material and can participate in the festival.

We also extend the invitation to all the kompas with Libertarian Fairs, Distros of books, records, propaganda, etc. What to join the festival.

Let the kompas be invited to participate in this beautiful initiative where we expect the participation of kompas from different territories.

Write to the email: ciclodecineanticarcelario@gmail.com








Soon we will have more updates.



Tags: chileanarchist filmsfilm festivalfilmanarchist bookfairinternational call

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When Marx Translated Capital

Marcello Musto
In February 1867, after more than two decades of herculean work, Karl Marx told his friend Friedrich Engels that the first part of his long-awaited critique of political economy was finally complete. Marx travelled from London to Hamburg to deliver the manuscript of Volume I (“The Process of Production of Capital”) of his magnum opus […]

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What Do We Really Know About the History of the Printing Press?

Atlas Obscura: Articles
Line Sidonie Talla Mafotsing
To get the whole story, you’ll need a particle accelerator. When Angelica Noh boarded a 12-hour flight from Seoul to San Francisco in July, she carried some unusual cargo. Traveling in business class with Noh, a program specialist at UNESCO whose focus is on endangered documentary heritage, was a locked carry-on bag containing 40 irreplaceable pages from historic Korean texts, some almost 900 years old.

From the outside, Noh’s bag was nondescript—she didn’t want to draw attention to herself—but inside, the leaves of mulberry paper were carefully packed. The team at UNESCO in South Korea had sandwiched each page between new blank sheets of mulberry paper and then put them in individual plastic folders before placing them in the suitcase. Making sure that these documents made it to California safely was key, as they could reveal previously unknown history about the evolution of the printing press.

During the summer of 2021, UNESCO’s International Center for Documentary Heritage (ICDH) built a team of nearly 50 people, including Noh, spanning across time zones and academic fields from physics to bookbinding preservation to study these and other historic texts to expand our knowledge of the culture and history of printing technology in the Eastern and Western worlds.

At Stanford University in California, where physicists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory eagerly awaited Noh and her luggage, researchers are now in the process of analyzing these texts. They want to know what happened in the history of printing between the production of the Jikji, a Korean Buddhist document published in Heungdeok Temple in 1377, the earliest printed book on record, and the Gutenberg Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany in 1455.

The 40 Korean pages as well as 20 Western pages—including an early printing of The Canterbury Tales— have been studied using a synchrotron, a type of particle accelerator, to take fluorescence scans. Think of it like the X-rays taken at a doctor’s visit. The radiation produced by the synchrotron takes a snapshot of the chemicals on the object that are invisible to the naked eye. These images will help scientists determine whether the moveable types used on each page left any residue, which would teach them more about the original printing process. Minhal Gardezi, a PhD student in physics at the University of Wisconsin Madison, says that the ultimate goal is to see if they can get traces of the printing press itself. “We can compare that against what the scholars know about what papers and inks were being used back then,” she says.

The process of understanding what these scanned images actually mean will take some time, but Gardezi is optimistic that the findings will be impactful. “Whether it proves a connection or disproves the connection, or does neither, we will learn a lot about these early printing presses that we didn’t know before,” she says.

If a connection between the two printing presses is revealed, it would introduce what Noh calls the Type Road, something like the transfer of culture that occurred along the Silk Road. “We could follow the trace of the Type Road not just to see Korean printing culture and German printing culture, but also other countries’ printing cultures,” she says.

But if scientists aren’t able to see a clear connection between early Eastern and Western texts, the project will still emphasize that our understanding of history is guided by who we tend to put at the center. “Oftentimes, history is Eurocentric, and even though we do learn about things that happened in Asia, or in other parts of the world, it’s sometimes hard to remember that that history is happening at the same time in both areas,” Gardezi explains.

What if Gutenberg was influenced by the printing press already existing in Korea? What if he actually did invent his press independently? So far, there is no strong evidence for either case but the possibilities are what makes this work exciting. “If there’s some sort of connection between East and West, it really puts a whole new light on the unification of these regions and how they’re organically impacting each other and how they may have been much more connected than we are inclined to believe,” Gardezi says.

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Is There a “Self” Left to Talk About? A Reply to Ash P. Morgans

Center for a Stateless Society
Andrew Kemle
Ash P. Morgans has a lengthy critique of the contributions made by a number of “moralists,” including myself. And in reading their response I realized that what I thought I had written—a relatively short piece with a narrow-focus—was, in fact, a confused mess. This doesn’t mean I now disagree with my arguments: I still think…

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Jeff Malpas, In the Brightness of Place: Topological Thinking In and After Heidegger – SUNY Press, September 2022

Phenomenology and Existentialism
Jeff Malpas, In the Brightness of Place: Topological Thinking In and After Heidegger – SUNY Press, September 2022 The work of Jeff Malpas is well-known for its contribution to contemporary thinking about place and space. In the Brightness of Place takes that … Continue reading →

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This Is America #174: Building Dual Power with Cooperation Tulsa and Defending Pride in Boise

It’s Going Down
Welcome, to This Is America, September 15th, 2022. On this episode, first we speak with Daniel, a member of Cooperation Tulsa, out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We discuss the group’s current fundraiser to benefit their community center, the greater historical context of Tulsa, the role of the community center in ongoing organizing efforts, and how it… Read Full Article

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Maskless Dystopia

Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
When I was growing up in the ’70s, a common vision of the dystopian future was a bleak, industrialized landscape where everyone has to wear gas-masks because of pollution. The image goes back further still; speaking on the campaign trail in 1968, RFK warned a classroom of children that unless the US did something, air More

The post Maskless Dystopia appeared first on CounterPunch.org.

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It’s a Capitalism-Induced Ecological Crisis

Erin McCarley
One-third of Pakistan is underwater. Record heat waves blanket the globe driving up temperatures beyond what humans can survive. Polar glaciers are melting much faster than scientists predicted. Droughts, fires and floods are ravaging the planet, forcing the displacement of tens of millions of people. And this is just the beginning. It’s time to tell More

The post It’s a Capitalism-Induced Ecological Crisis appeared first on CounterPunch.org.

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A Newsletter?

From Surviving Leviathan with Peter Gelderloos

by Peter Gelderloos, Sep 14

I feel contradicted about this newsletter, but really, it’s the simplest thing: every fortnight, I’m going to do my darndest to write a short essay or missive about anticapitalist theory, anarchist history, movement strategy, pop culture, mental health, the ecological crisis, patriarchy, the unfathomable travail of being. You know, that topic.

The simplest thing about it is, it’s not a newsletter. I rarely have any news that I’ll share, because I’m not used to blogging, I didn’t come up on social media, and I feel acutely awkward sharing details about my life with strangers.

And here I double back on a contradiction: I believe personal life, theory, and social movement strategy are indistinguishable categories, that the ideas we promote, communicate, and enact are indelibly informed by our lived experiences and we need to be more explicit about those connections and framings. And, as anyone who has wasted their time following me on Twitter these past two years might have noticed, Petey is missing some filters and sometimes just blabbers cryptically about personal life.

Here’s another simple thing: as this convoluted prologue no doubt suggests, these not-newsletters will not be short, not even by (not)newsletter standards. I like pulling on threads, seeing where they lead, what other threads they cross with, following those awhile. Those who don’t enjoy my writing might prefer another metaphor: that I can rarely resist another turn of the screw.

On top of that, and because I do sometimes tend towards the pedantic, I also believe we have a political responsibility to encourage, to defend, long form communication, whether that means listening to a grandparent tell a four hour long story or considering an essay that pushes four pages a reasonable afternoon read.

I don’t think that longer is necessarily better. Poetry is sacrosanct, but let’s be honest: not all of us are poets. And there is no doubt that capitalism, at the present moment, is waging war on our attention spans, and that the alibis of oppressive systems can more easily retain their masks in a tweet than in a weekend long debate.

Another contradiction is in my motivation. The fact is, I write a lot, too much, and some of the platforms on which I used to share my essays are either defunct or have shifted away from essays, whereas I am shifting towards an honest, open, (terrifying) acknowledgment of the things that make me, that make me think what I think, that I am responding to. And this kind of essay fits more in what the kids are calling a newsletter than it does on the standard radical news site these days. (To further set the scene, I’m nervous and evasive while writing this, beans and rice are cooking on the stove and having to get up periodically to stir or add new ingredients helps me constantly rethink this piece, and someone I love is sitting across from me but I haven’t decided yet if I’ll show this to her for feedback before I publish it).

Another factor: I’ve been spending too much time on Twitter. A couple years ago, a few friends made a concerted effort to get me onto social media; I never had been up to that point, not even a Myspace. What was the point, they asked (the demagogues!), of spending so much time writing if I wasn’t going to do a little more work getting my writing out there? And getting the word out, these days, is done on social media. Twitter has been an exercise in brevity, in being captive to an apparatus and making a promethean (or quixotic) effort to resist the architectural tendencies of the apparatus, in this case towards crass superficiality. I certainly fell into my fair share of superficiality, but I’ve also been expending increasing effort on crafting pretty damn long threads. So, I thought, why not engage with a medium that actually allows me to develop thoughts a little more.

This is all true. It is also an alibi. Here’s the rub, the sticking point, the contradiction that makes me feel like a well polished bible salesman: I’m also asking for money, and that’s why I’m here on Substack sending you this missive.

I will spare you all the Really Big Feelings and virtuous nail biting I have around asking for money (I had squelched ambitions as a theater kid in high school; the drama lives on in my internal ethical debates), so let me just say, more simply. It feels gross. Money is gross. That’s why we want to abolish it.

I don’t want to live in a world where our possibilities for survival are subordinated to money. I don’t want ideas and stories or even convoluted essays to be given a price.

But I do need money to survive. And I spend enough time writing, and also deal with certain health differences, to put many jobs beyond my reach.

I am not the most deserving person to be asking for money. I grew up solidly middle class. Not like, a trust fund and my parents pay for college middle class (do people these days consider millionaires upper middle class? because that seems obscene to me), but like, I grew up in an apartment and then houses and always had access to food and a highly rated public school system middle class.

On the other hand, since eighteen I’ve had to engage in wage labor, squatting, or theft to have access to food and housing. That’s still the case, and my income still puts me well below the poverty line, but as I get older there are more people I need to take care of and more health problems I need help taking care of.

Again, that is true of the vast majority of the world’s population, most of whom don’t have access to many of the advantages I got growing up. So: if you are not regularly giving money to a prisoner or a person with more health problems or fewer structural privileges, please do not give me money.

This newsletter or whatever it is will go out into the world for free. I don’t want to put a price on my writing. But since my friends are increasingly nagging me to get over my damn hang ups, and they say this sort of thing is so common these days as to be mundane, I am offering subscriptions for people who want to pay. Folks with a paid subscription will get a video or audio as a supplement to the newsletter, in which I go behind the scenes a little to talk about my thought processes or motivations, why I felt a need to write the newsletter, where it’s coming from. They can also send me questions or feedback and I will try to respond in the next installment.

And that’s the long and short of it.

Well, this first edition of my newsletter is certainly verbose, but not too too long in the end. In any case, I’ve gotta go: dinner is about to burn.

Until next time, take care of each other,


Links and Citations:

I hyperlinked to this piece, “Golem in the Catacombs,” for anyone who wants a semi-poetic, wintery exploration of what it means to be the captive of an apparatus.


Hollywood has decided it’s time to forget George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, and they’ve put out a new TV show about a funny, sassy FBI agent. Don’t watch it. Instead read this:

Assassination: Anarchism and the Birth of the FBI, by William C Anderson

It was recently the birthday of Leslie Feinberg, and I remembered how good Stone Butch Blues is, a historical novel with a strong element of autobiography that helped bring visibility and awareness to the movement for transgender liberation.

It was also recently the 51 year anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprising, which authorities repressed by murdering 33 prisoners. Tangential to that, and a good end-of-summer movie to watch, is Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino and John Cazale.

Thanks for reading Surviving Leviathan with Peter Gelderloos! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

Tags: blognewsletterPeter Gelderloos

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US Is Becoming a ‘Developing Country’ on Global Rankings That Measure Democracy, Inequality

The United States came in 41st worldwide on the UN’s 2022 sustainable development index, down nine spots from last year. A political historian explains the country’s dismal scores.

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The Border Patrol Has Vast, Largely Unchecked Powers That Are Expanding

Reece Jones
Inspired by the violent culture of the Texas Rangers, the US Border Patrol was established in 1924 as a relatively small agency with little oversight and limited domain. Existing only along the US-Mexico border, the agency’s early goal was to enforce immigration restrictions. Today, with more than 60,000 employees, seemingly endless jurisdiction, increasingly sophisticated use […]

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Defund Davos Act would ban federal money for World Economic Forum, famous for its annual…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
Defund Davos Act would ban federal money for World Economic Forum, famous for its annual Switzerland gathering of political and economic elites
Although the Forum is itself nongovernmental, various national governments do contribute money towards it — including the U.S. Last year, host country Switzerland attracted global headlines when they announced they would reduce their annual contribution by -30 percent .

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DSA Labor Launches National Solidarity Fund

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)
Democratic Socialist of America’s National Labor Commission (DSA Labor) just launched the National Labor Solidarity Fund to support DSA’s labor organizing and solidarity efforts! DSA Labor recognizes that socialists need to meet the moment of national labor upsurge — and DSA’s national labor solidarity fund is the resource which will power the solidarity campaigns of every…

The post DSA Labor Launches National Solidarity Fund appeared first on Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

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Big Alcohol vs. Working Class Joy / James Wilt

This Is Hell!
Today we have on James Wilt, author of, “Drinking Up the Revolution: How to Smash Big Alcohol and Reclaim Working-Class Joy.” James is a writer and PhD candidate based in Winnipeg, Canada. James discusses how working class people form their relationship with drugs and alcohol when these are commodified by big business interests as well as the way in which enforcement of norms surrounding drugs and alcohol are often racialized.

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If the U.S. had acted, Anne Frank might still be alive — Ken Burns on the Holocaust

The Forward
As America’s most famous TV documentarian, Ken Burns brings the spotlight to any topic to which he turns his camera. Over the past 40 years, these have included baseball, jazz, the national parks, the Civil War and the Statue of Liberty among many others. Announcement of a new project carries a certain amount of public…

The post If the U.S. had acted, Anne Frank might still be alive — Ken Burns on the Holocaust appeared first on The Forward.

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Visual Guide of Roman Emperors In History

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
The Roman Empire was a major political and military power in Europe and the Mediterranean for over 700 years. The empire came to power after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC and lasted until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. In its early years, Rome was ruled by kings. After the last king […]

The post Visual Guide of Roman Emperors In History first appeared on Daily Infographic.

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Rosa Luxemburg & International Law: online workshop followed by public lecture by Dana Mills

Critical Legal Thinking
About this event Register here About the project Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Luxemburg: a revolutionary theorist and political activist, whose work has provided important political economy critiques of imperialism, capitalism, nationalism and advocated for the collective commitment to social justice. While recent books have celebrated her life and […]

The post Rosa Luxemburg & International Law: online workshop followed by public lecture by Dana Mills appeared first on Critical Legal Thinking.

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Bob Black – FIJA

The Anarchist Library
Author: Bob Black
Title: FIJA
Subtitle: Monkeywrenching the Legal System
Date: 1997
Notes: Mike Hoy of Loompanics suggested the subject of this article, which was published in a Loompanics catalog supplement. A revised, greatly enlarged “academic” version has been accepted for publication by a law journal.
Source: Retrieved on Sept. 13, 2022 from: http://www.spunk.org/texts/writers/black/sp001673.html

You are a juror. These are the facts:

A young man is permanently paralysed from the neck down in a motorcycle accident. He is in unspeakable agony which will continue for the rest of his life. He begs his younger brother to kill him. The brother does, as he later explains, out of love. The charge: first-degree murder.[1] What is your verdict?

An unemployed black teenager, raised in a fatherless welfare family, robs a liquor store. When the white proprietor draws a gun, the startled youth shoots and kills him. The prosecutor asks for the death penalty. The charge: first-degree (felony) murder. In this Southern state, the jury determines guilt or innocence, but the judge sets the penalty.[2] You know that it is more than twice as likely that a black who has murdered a white will be sentenced to death than if his victim were black.[3] What is your verdict?

A wife has suffered years of violence at the hands of her husband, a foreign-born physician. One morning, after beating her, he threatened her with a gun and ordered her out of the house. When he put the gun down, she picked it up, shouting that “I am not going to leave you, I mean it,” and shot him to death. The charge: second-degree murder. The defense: self-defense.[4] What is your verdict?

A cocaine addict becomes a dealer in order to support his habit. During a traffic stop, police discover 1.5 pounds of cocaine. The charge: possession (not possession with intent to sell) of more than 650 grams of cocaine. In this state — and in this state alone — the penalty for this offense, even a first offense, is mandatory life imprisonment without possibility of parole.[5] What is your verdict?

A college student publicly announces his refusal to register with the Selective Service System. A libertarian, he believes conscription is a violation of natural law and his natural right of self-ownership of his person. As a male between the ages of 18 and 26 he is, nonetheless, required to register. The charge: nonregistration (a felony).[6] What is your verdict?

If in every one of these cases your verdict is “guilty,” you were — legally — absolutely right. And you are everything the law requires of a good juror: a good soldier who is “only obeying orders,” as the Nuremberg defendants used to say. In a jury trial, the orders are known as “instructions.” The judge informs the jurors what he considers the applicable law to be, and tells them to apply this judge-chosen (and often judge-made) “law” to the “facts.” Not all the facts, though — just the ones the judge allows the jury to “find” — facts filtered through the world’s most complex rules of evidence by (guess who?) the judge.[7] No juror, for example, ever gets to ask a witness a question she considers “relevant” and “material.” Nor may she make use of any facts about the case (even if they are relevant) learned out of court. Indeed, had it been known she possessed any such information, she would not have been allowed to be a juror at all. Even some information the jurors did acquire in court they will be, again, “instructed” to ignore if it was something the judge thinks the witness should not have said.

Thus, trial by jury as the judges envision it today is a black box set-up. The judge-given law is the box. The judge-filtered facts are put into the box. The verdict (and, in about 13 states, also the sentence[8]) comes out of the box. But if this is all there is to the jury’s role, trial by jury is obviously a costly, inefficient anachronism; no wonder the rest of the world has largely done away with it. The judge might as well “find” the facts himself, as indeed he does in the “bench trials” which comprise about one-third of all criminal trials.

Trial by jury would have gone the way of trial by ordeal or trial by battle except for one thing: the United States Constitution. In no less than three places the Constitution guarantees the right of trial by jury in certain civil and criminal cases.[9] Clearly the Founding Fathers envisioned a wider role for the jury than the judges now allow — and the historical record reveals exactly what juries then did and what they were supposed to do.

From the colonial era until well into the nineteenth century, American juries were judges of “law” as well as judges of “fact.”[10] This meant two things. First, juries didn’t have to take the judge’s word for it as to what the law was. This made good sense at the time. Most judges were not even lawyers; most lawyers for that matter were self-taught and less than learned in the law; and the sources of the law weren’t readily available (publication of judicial “opinions” was barely beginning).

Second, and more important, a jury had the right to “nullify” the law — to return a verdict in favor of a defendant even if, on the facts and given the applicable law, he was guilty of a crime or liable for damages in a civil suit. If the jury thought the applicable law was bad law, or ought not to be applied in the particular circumstances of the case, it nullified the law in the case at hand by finding for the defendant. Jurors could, and sometimes did, vote their consciences. Probably not very often. Most jurors don’t, and never did, have any principled objections to laws against murder, rape, robbery, reckless driving and so forth. Most crimes are not, for instance, by any stretch of the imagination “victimless.” And most jurors are not anarchists. But in a legal system otherwise completely dominated by officials and professionals, the jury — a temporary body of citizen-amateurs — still has the power to thwart the state. Here and only here “the people,” not their “representatives” or “public servants,” wield power directly.

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Parenthesis Eye Breaks Down His Anarchist Utopia

Cyber Dandy
From Cyber Dandy

We welcome back Parenthesis Eye to the show and discuss the down and dirty details of his Utopian Anarchism. Using his latest two blog entries as a guide, Parenthesis Eye addresses the theoretical influences on his utopian thinking and the practices that come from it!

Parenthesis Eye’s Blog – VISIT FOR ALL SORTS OF LINKS!:



Become a Patreon Patron:


Tags: Cyber DandyParenthesis Eyeutopiavideoanarchy tube

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Burn Wild: Episodes 1 & 2

From BBC Sounds

Leah Sottile presents a story of two fugitive environmentalists, an eco-terrorist cell and a burning question: How far is too far to go to save the planet?

Episodes 1 and 2 currently posted for listening here:



More information:

New podcast Burn Wild tells the story of two of America’s most wanted fugitive environmentalists

From BBC

On BBC Sounds and Radio 5 Live. Award-winning journalist and producer Leah Sottile and Georgia Catt present the gripping tale of environmental fugitives Joseph Mahmoud Dibee and Josephine Sunshine Overaker, an eco-terrorist cell, and ask the burning question: how far is too far to go to save the planet?

For over a decade the mugshots of Joseph Mahmoud Dibee and Josephine Sunshine Overaker sat side by side on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Domestic Terrorists.

Those pictures and the FBI’s descriptions have been about all that was known of two environmental fugitives. But now, after more than a decade on the run, one of them has been caught.

For the past two years journalist Leah Sottile, writer for the Washington Post and New York Times, and producer Georgia Catt, from award-winning podcast The Missing Cryptoqueen, have been granted unprecedented access, recording with Joseph Mahmoud Dibee – arrested in Cuba in 2018 after 12 years on the run – as his case goes through the courts in America and as he faces charges that could mean a sentence of more than 30 years in prison, ahead of his sentencing on 28 September.

In this eight-part investigative podcast, award-winning team Leah and Georgia team up to investigate what the truth is behind the mugshots, and how a group who never killed or injured anybody were, in 2005, declared by the then-Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI, as the number one domestic terror threat in America.

Understanding this has taken Leah and Georgia into environmental activist communities past and present on both sides of the Atlantic. They meet with people who were part of a group called the Earth Liberation Front, and who served lengthy sentences because of their crimes and have been branded as terrorists. People like Chelsea Gerlach – whose arson of a ski resort in Colorado caused $26 million in damages – who are finally ready, after all this time, to weigh up what they did.

They spend time with activists from contemporary groups including Earth First and the founders of Extinction Rebellion and ask: with environmental actions around the world becoming increasingly disruptive and widespread, how far is too far to go to save the planet? What are the ramifications of stepping over the line?

Leah Sottile says: “Burn Wild is an investigative deep dive into why one group of secretive activists decided to take radical action on behalf of the environment, long before we were all talking about climate change. This project takes a hard look at the ripple effects of those actions, and how they are perceived all these years later. And it happened in a place I hold dear – the forests of my home state – so this is a project that is deeply important to me.”

Georgia Catt says: “Burn Wild tells the high stakes, high-drama story of how a group of environmentalists became a domestic terror priority. But it’s also a way into something far more familiar. Leah and I grew up an ocean apart but are a similar age, and making this series has brought us face to face with questions we’ve both heard asked by environmentalists today – about what the most effective way to bring about change is. It couldn’t feel more urgent that we tell this story now.”

Much of this story is set deep in forests and composer and sound designer Phil Channell (The Missing Cryptoqueen, Death In Ice Valley, Things Fell Apart) has incorporated recordings high in the trees and out in nature with new music composition to create the sound for this programme.

The theme is an original, new composition by Echo Collective, composed, performed and produced by Neil Leiter and Margaret Hermant. Elements of that theme are incorporated throughout the main episode music in this series.

Burn Wild series trailer is available now on BBC Sounds.

Episode One of Burn Wild launches on 6 September and new episodes will be released weekly on BBC Sounds. The series will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Presenter: Leah Sottile

Producer: Georgia Catt

Written by: Leah Sottile and Georgia Catt

Series Editor: Philip Sellars

Commissioner: Dylan Haskins

Burn Wild is a BBC Audio Documentaries Production for BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Leah Sottile is an American freelance journalist whose investigative work on extremist ideologies, the anti-government movement and fringe cultures has been featured by the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, High Country News and several other publications. She is the author of the book When The Moon Turns To Blood (released June 2022) about religious extremism in the Western United States, and is the host and reporter of the podcast Bundyville: nominated twice for the National Magazine Award.

Georgia Catt is a producer for BBC Audio Documentaries. Series include: creator and producer of The Missing Cryptoqueen, The Untold: Missing, Green Inc, Two Minutes Past Nine, Life Chances.

Tags: podcastMSMELFattack

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Over 2,200 Israeli Raids Killed 140 Palestinians Thus Far in 2022

Unicorn Riot
Occupied West Bank, Palestine – A day after a ceasefire ended Israel’s deadly Operation Breaking Dawn on August 7, Israeli forces conducted a raid on Nablus using missiles and heavy weaponry to target a house where Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, the commander of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, was…

The post Over 2,200 Israeli Raids Killed 140 Palestinians Thus Far in 2022 appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

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Jean-Luc Godard, revolutionary filmmaker who polarized Jews with his Israel and Holocaust commentary, dies at 91

The Forward
(JTA) – In 2010, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced plans to award French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard an honorary Oscar. Many in the Jewish community revolted. Calling on the Academy to rescind the Oscar, the right-wing Zionist Organization of America called Godard a “virulent antisemite,” arguing that Godard had a record of…

The post Jean-Luc Godard, revolutionary filmmaker who polarized Jews with his Israel and Holocaust commentary, dies at 91 appeared first on The Forward.

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Redefining Antisemitism to Protect Israel From Scrutiny Won’t Make Jews Safer

Julia Bard
Over the past few years, antisemitism has become one of the most controversial political topics on both sides of the Atlantic. From Jeremy Corbyn to Rashida Tlaib and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, left-wing politicians have faced grave accusations of stoking up prejudice against Jewish people and communities. Yet some of those making such accusations have been willing […]

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The Beginnings of German Syndicalism

Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (New Zealand)
Rudolf Rocker(Translator’s note:- Expelled from Britain at the beginning of 1918, Rudolf Rocker resided at first in the Netherlands at the home of veteran libertarian socialist Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis; he returned to Germany in November at the personal invite of…

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Idaho’s Far Right Suffers Election Loss to 18-Year-Old Climate Activist

The Intercept
Robert Mackey
High school senior Shiva Rajbhandari won elected office in Boise, defeating an incumbent school board trustee backed by local extremists.

The post Idaho’s Far Right Suffers Election Loss to 18-Year-Old Climate Activist appeared first on The Intercept.

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The Socialist Case for Longtermism

Garrison Lovely
To state the obvious: vastly more people will live in the future than are alive today. Of course, there’s always the chance we’ll destroy ourselves within a matter of decades. But if we survive as long as the typical mammalian species, humans have around 700,000 years left, and the earth will remain habitable for hundreds […]

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“Authority, Obedience, and Justification” by Dempsey

NELB Staff
Michelle Madden Dempsey (Villanova University School of Law) has published "Authority, Obedience, and Justification" on SSRN. Here is the abstract: We have a duty to think for ourselves. The law claims authority over us. We have a duty, at least…

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“Dark Brandon” Is a Symptom of Powerlessness

Ben Burgis
The White House’s director of digital strategy, Rob Flaherty, celebrated the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by tweeting an image of Joe Biden with glowing red eyes. It was a mild example of a “Dark Brandon” meme. Other versions show Biden with lightning coming out of his hands, Biden with lasers shooting out […]

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The Different Types Of Potatoes & How To Cook Them

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
Potatoes are a staple in many kitchens and cuisines. They’re versatile, delicious, and can be prepared in a number of ways. We’ve outlined the different types of potatoes and how to cook them below! Potatoes are the most widely consumed vegetable in the world. That’s a pretty big deal for a tuber that grows underground […]

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

The leftists breaking the right’s chokehold on MMA

From Freedom News UK

October 11th, 2020. A bus pulls up outside of the Tampa Bay Convention Centre in Florida, USA. Of the suited delegates and bodyguards that emerge, one person cuts an unfamiliar figure. UFC star Jorge Masvidal, decked out in a black and gold tracksuit, walks around the side of the bus to stand in front of a large piece of text printed on the side: “Fighters Against Socialism,” it reads.

He is joined by a grinning Donald Trump Jr. Jr’s father is a close friend of UFC president Dana White and the first US president to host an MMA champion at the White House; Colby Covington, the former interim welterweight champion known for being the closest thing the UFC has to a professional wrestling ‘heel’, homophobic slurs, and MAGA rants accusing the Black Lives Matter movement of being “terrorists.”

Masvidal and Jr enter the convention centre, where, in front of a packed audience, the pair stand atop a stage designed to look like an MMA cage. They speak of the glory of Trump’s reign and the dangers of the left wing. Junior lambasts the “socialist” Democrats and their supposed role in the George Floyd protests, calling demonstrations a “planned and coordinated deal” where “vans of bricks and two by fours magically show up at locations for antifa.” Masvidal heaps praise on the Trump administration for reforging American dominance across the globe, urging the audience to “re-elect Trump and keep America great.” He ends on a comically patriotic note; “God bless America … God bless the greatest country in the fucking world.” The overall message is clear: anything short of a vote for Trump is a downslide into an impoverished, gulag-riddled, socialist hell-hole.

MMA has a right-wing problem.

From the capitalistic excesses of the big promotions to openly neo-Nazi competitors, as with most aspects of popular society, the right has staked its claim on the martial arts community. It’s nothing new; with their ideological fetishisation of physical dominance from the early days of fascism, hand-to-hand combat has been an obsession of right-wing ideologues. In Nazi Germany, despite their home-grown nationalistic pretences, the Japanese martial art of Jiu-Jitsu was adopted at a pace unmatched by most Western countries. Reports from 1937 show it included in Nazi leisure centre adverts for “typically German” disciplines such as swimming, horse-riding, and callisthenics.

Fast forward to the warmongers of today, and martial arts are still upheld as quintessential right-wing pursuits. Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin’s puppet dictator known for assassinating journalists and leading anti-gay purges, runs ‘Akhmat Fight Club’, an MMA school with 15 branches across the Chechen republic he lords over. In the UFC’s first show in Moscow in 2018, the warlord was front row royalty. On the other side of the frontlines, until its closure in 2019 over financial issues, the neo-Nazi members of Azov Battalion ran the ‘Reconquista Centre,’ a social club named after the 15th-century expulsion of Muslims from Spain. Pride of place in the centre of the fascist hangout was a bar built around an MMA octagon.

“There’s a few reasons why,” says Peter Irving, head coach at Newcastle Fight Centre. “Firstly, martial arts in general have a militaristic bent. ‘Martial arts’ is a misnomer really, and the term ‘mixed martial arts’ was just a piece of marketing to try to put a respectable sounding tag on to the Brazilian sport of Vale Tudo, or ‘no holds barred.’

Still, Jiu-Jitsu is steeped in essentially mythological Samurai origins, and in subtle ways, the implicit values have survived. The whole package of the hierarchical structure, divisions denoted as ‘ranks’ etc, and some inherent classist aspects of its growth in Brazil, along with Brazil’s political history that ran concurrent with the growth of the art, all make it an easy fit for the right wing.”

Irving used to train at a Muay Thai gym in Kent, in the town that birthed the National Front. Here he witnessed the unifying power of martial arts, where young white and black men who would otherwise be at each other’s throats came together to bond over a common purpose. Irving dedicated his life to it, and with 50+ professional fights across a range of disciplines, numerous British and European championships, and now a successful coaching career cornering fighters in the UFC, Bellator, and Cage Warriors, he is a legend in the UK MMA scene.

As an outspoken anarchist and antifascist, Irving is also well attuned to the pull of MMA for right-wingers. “It’s part of the mentality of a fighter that they are an extraordinary individualist,” he says. “It’s rather part of the problem that in order to gear yourself up to do some GBH on someone, you have to depersonalise them, and recognising someone as being precisely like you gets in the way of that. The notion that there’s not enough to go around, so it’s either them or me is very logical in the situation a prize-fighter finds themselves in. That’s why fighters can’t get behind a players association, which is what all other sports in the USA call the union, presumably to avoid the socialist implications of the word union. It’s why the NBA and NFL get around a 50% revenue split with athletes, and the UFC is under 10%.”

Irving also believes that the culture surrou