Celebrate Emma Goldman's birthday (belatedly) with this radical song

Musician/activist Evan Greer has released a new single called "Emma Goldman Would Have Beat Your Ass," to mark what would have been the 151st birthday (June 27th) of noted anarchist and feminist activist Emma Goldman. Greer writes:

This tranarcho-punk song is inspired by the time Emma Goldman literally whipped her former mentor in front of a crowd of people because he snitched out and condemned her lover after he tried to assassinate a fascist robber baron. Look it up.

If you purchase the song via BandCamp, all proceeds go to the Marsha P. Johnson institute. If you're interested in learning more about Goldman's radical life and philosophy, check out this collection of her writing from the University of Chicago and Archive.org; or via Project Gutenberg, LibriVox, and Anarchy Archives. I can't even remember which specific Goldman essays I've read and which ones I haven't, but suffice to say, I recommend them all. She was sometimes referred to as "the most dangerous woman in America," for saying things like:

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.

Read the rest

Fox News confused a Monty Python sketch with the Seattle CHAZ activists

To be fair, it would not be wholly inaccurate to describe the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone as an autonomous anarcho-syndicalist collective. But sadly, strange women in lakes and handing out swords might in fact be a better system of government than the one we tend to see promoted on Fox News. Read the rest

Seattle activists have established a 6-block autonomous zone around an abandoned police station

On Friday, June 5, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a 30-day ban on police using tear gas. By Sunday night, the police had already broken that rule. Come Monday, the Mayor announced that police would be abandoning the city's East Precinct, including the police station, which had been cordoned off for two weeks after a man drove a car through a crowd of protestors and shot one.

As soon as the police left the area, protestors repurposed the barricades, and turned the 6-block area into a makeshift anarchist enclave they're calling the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. (and yes, it already has its own Wikipedia page.)

Read the rest

Trump's tweets about Antifa show his ignorance of US law

On Sunday, May 31st, 2020, President Donald Trump tweeted that Antifa would be officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US government.

Despite his position in the highest seat of national power, Trump's tweets are (fortunately) not legally-binding. And even if they were, it wouldn't matter — the United States has no official statute for designating domestic terrorists, a fact which has ironically served to benefit homegrown mass murderers acting on white supremacist agendas. There's also the fact that Antifa is … not a formal organization. There is no hierarchy, no centralized leadership — it's just individuals, occasionally clustering together, engaging in direct action. Even if you could legally designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization, it would be impossible to develop any sort of criteria to decide who or what qualifies as "Antifa."

This is, unfortunately, the likely aim of Trump's provoke tweet: to invoke the chillingly Orwellian logic that "anti-fascist action equals terrorism."

Most of the criticism of "Antifa" is actually aimed at people employing Black Bloc tactics. Many of them are probably anarchists; many are probably not, and may just have legitimate reasons for protecting their identities. There are valid complaints about the effectiveness of these methods; there are also valid arguments that they ultimately work. But one thing is certain: no one in America has been killed by "Antifa" or Black Bloc tactics. I suppose one could argue that there is an intimidation factor to Black Bloc tactics, but it's hardly organized in the deliberate sense of most terrorism. Read the rest

Revolutionize your next Dungeons & Dragons game with this anticapitalist / anarchist campaign guide

From the Dungeon Masters Guild:

Eat the Rich is a collection of explicitly anticapitalist adventures for  the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Each original adventure dives into classic D&D tropes, and puts a new spin on them. Tackling issues of workers’ rights, health care, the prison industrial complex, the environment, animal rights, agriculture and more, these adventures will make you passionate to join the revolution.

Eat the Rich features 17 original adventures for tiers 1-4, in a 213 page colour PDF. Set in the Forgotten Realms, Ravnica, Eberron, or ready to be dropped into your own setting, the anthology features work by a global team of new and established designers and artists.

If you want to free the Goblins from the bonds of racial oppression and forge your dwarves together in an iron working union to face down the tyrannical production expectations of the rock giants, now's your chance.

Eat the Rich, Volume 1 [Dungeon Masters Guild]

Image: Huntleigh / Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0) Read the rest

An annotated bibliography of anarchism in science fiction

Ben Beck has relaunched his 30+ year-old AnarchySF site, with new contributions from Eden Kupermintz and Yanai Sened; it's billed as "an open-source repository of anarchist or anarchy-adjacent science fiction" and the relaunch incorporates "modern content management frameworks to allow a community to form around the archive and help maintain it." My cursory examination confirms that the site is an excellent resource already, but still really use work, especially on non-English sources. Read the rest

Portland Anarchists fixing potholes

Tired of waiting for city services to patch Portland's winter-wrecked streets, and also tired of state authority and the global structures of late capitalism that support it, anarchists are filling potholes.

They have patched holes on three city blocks and remain in a “constant state” of awareness to find other craters to fill, emails the anonymous PARC. Needless to say, they have yet to consult the municipality for any of these activities. “We don’t think the city should exist; we are only limited by our capacity and our imaginations,” says PARC. “We aren’t asking permission, because these are our streets. They belong to the people of Portland, and the people of Portland will fix them.”

Read the rest

Anarchist bitcoin hacker flies to Syria to join a 4-million person anarchist collective the size of Massachusetts

Amir Taaki is a well-known anarchist bitcoin hacker whose project, Dark Wallet, is meant to create strong anonymity for cryptocurrency transactions; when he discovered that anarchists around the world had gone to Rojava, a district in Kurdish Syria on the Turkish border, to found an anarchist collective with 4,000,000 members "based on principles of local direct democracy, collectivist anarchy, and equality for women," he left his home in the UK to defend it. Read the rest

The revolutionary life of Emma Goldman, anarchist legend

Emma Goldman was dubbed "one of the most dangerous women in America" by J. Edgar Hoover. But that's just the beginning of a legendary life of keen insight, uncompromising anarchism, and burned bridges. Read the rest

Kickstarting Bloc by Bloc: a game about radical insurrection

Rocket Lee writes, "In Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game, players struggle together to overthrow a repressive government and liberate a randomized city that changes with each game. To win, players must build barricades, loot shopping centers, occupy strategic locations, clash with riot cops and defend liberated zones before time runs out and the military arrives. Each player is also dealt an individual faction agenda and those with Vanguardist or Nihilist agendas are secretly playing to win the game alone." Read the rest

Crowdfunding Wooden Shoe, an anti-profit bookstore and infoshop in Philadelphia

Philadelphia's Wooden Shoe Bookstore is 40 years old: it's a collectively run, volunteer "anti-profit" bookstore; they're hoping to raise $25,000 for much-needed remodelling and refurbishment. Read the rest

World War 3 Illustrated: prescient outrage from the dawn of the Piketty apocalypse

The Reagan era kicked off a project to dismantle social mobility and equitable justice. This trenchant, angry, gorgeous graphic zine launched in response.

David Graeber's The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber follows up his magesterial Debt: The First 5000 Years with a slim, sprightly, acerbic attack on capitalism's love affair with bureaucracy, asking why the post-Soviet world has more paperwork, phone-trees and red-tape than ever, and why the Right are the only people who seem to notice or care.

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair this weekend

Hugh D'Andrade sez, "The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair takes place this weekend in San Francisco! I'll will be one of the speakers -- I am giving a slideshow all about the series of posters I have created for the Anarchist Bookfair over the last 10 years, called 'Anarchist Bookfair Artist: How I Tried and Failed to Solve the Anarchist Image Problem' on Sunday at 1pm. Here's my Flickr set of these 10 posters, each available for high-res download on a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license! And if you like, my Etsy shop, where I have these for sale."

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair Read the rest

London's FREEDOM anarchist bookstore firebombed

FREEDOM, a legendary anarchist bookstore in east London, was firebombed on Friday morning. This is the store that Peter Kropotkin helped found in the 19th century, and the home of a monthly newspaper that published Emma Goldman. No one was hurt, and no one seems to know who did it, or why. The store was uninsured.

They're having a community clean-up day today. I wish I could go, but it's my daughter's fifth birthday, so I'll be donating to the repair and rebuilding fund. This is a ghastly, senseless act.

The bookshop has been firebombed. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but there’s quite a lot of damage from both the fire and the water used to douse the flames.

If you’d like to help us sort out some of the mess, please come down to the shop on Saturday 2nd February from 1pm and give us a helping hand. See here for details.

We’re still assessing the damage, so watch this space for further news.

If you’d like help us out financially, cheques or postal orders made payable to Freedom Press can be sent to Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.

You can also help by ordering books through our website here and then emailing us at subs@freedompress.org.uk to let us know that your purchase was a donation.

I can't say enough about what a tragedy this is. FREEDOM is an institution and an incredible bookstore.

Freedom firebombed

(Photo: Read the rest

Fundraising the expansion of Red Emma's, Baltimore's amazing radical bookstore cafe

Red Emma's, Baltimore's astoundingly awesome collectively run radical bookstore/cafe, is having an Indiegogo fundraiser that's gone into its final stretch.

Official London anti-terrorist publication says anarchists should be reported to local police

The City Of Westminster Counter Terrorist Focus Desk publishes a weekly briefing on safety called Griffin Weekly, full of useful advice. For example, this week's briefing contains these helpful tips on Anarchism: "Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local Police."

Right, that's my weekend sorted -- I'll be down at my local police station, reading the works of Kropotkin aloud for the constables.

(More seriously: Seriously? These are the terrorism experts who are making official evaluations of risk and official plans to mitigate it? Seriously?)

City Of Westminster Counter Terrorist Focus Desk 29th July 2011 (PDF) Read the rest