2/15 – Books and Books (Digitally, featuring Margaret Killjoy and Benjamin S. Case) 7:00pm EST
2/26 – Spokane Library (featuring Joan Braune and Shon Meckfessel) 2pm PST
In your 2017 book Fascism Today you said, “The center of antifascism has always been resilient communities, those that are resistant to fascist incursion because of the strength of multiculturalism and their sturdy social networks.” Can you give us a few recent examples of resilient communities whose experiences provide hope and guidance for our present moment?
Yes, I think that the mass wave of mutual aid groups that very quickly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and other nearby crises, like the forest fires in places like Oregon and Northern California, show a real change in how people are thinking about problems. There is a consensus that the state is not naturally the place you would turn to survive these emergencies, and with such glaring failures, like the inability or unwillingness to have a massive federal response to COVID, people simply started building autonomous networks of resilience. This is a mass adoption of the thinking and methodology that many marginalized communities have used for decades, in some cases centuries, for what the Black Panther’s called “survival pending revolution.” These histories are perhaps the most vital to look to, such as how people received abortion care when it was labeled illegal, or how trans communities supported each other to get access to gender affirming care, or how communities defended themselves from white supremacists when the state both would not stop, and, in some cases, participated in the violence. Resilient communities are those that create safety and support structures that are not simply dependent on these larger systems of power, and that state failure is expanding and people are responding in kind.
The real story of the new century is these counter-networks, how communities increase resiliency outside the auspices of the state. History has shown that achieving some kind of wide-scale social democracy profound enough to solve these issues is unlikely, but more importantly, we have the ability to meet people’s needs right now and, in doing so, we create the kernels of a new revolutionary social arrangement.
Fascists in 2022 made a lot of headlines, from Patriot Front’s flash marches to Ye’s antisemitism and embrace of Hitlerism. How much do you think the movement gains traction from these viral blips versus the widespread condemnation we see in the culture?
I think they have the ability to gain a lot of ground, primarily when they operate outside of what people understand as fascism. We are seeing a few major shifts. On the one hand, the alt-right may have been destroyed and Trump may be out of office, but we are seeing a mass adoption of many of their ideas across the GOP: the National Conservatives, the MAGA movement conspiracy theorists, the massive upsurge in Christian nationalism. Because so many of these movements have institutional ties, it becomes hard for many to view them as fascist because for so long white nationalism was understood as a primarily outsider, insurgent movement. This is what has insulated people like Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist who was a part of the alt-right and who ducks that allegation by pointing to the elected leaders and media commentators who happily collaborate with him, such as Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene. At the same time, GOP figures like Steve King and Michelle Malkin are speaking at open white nationalist conferences, such as American Renaissance. So they are gaining ground by housing their movements inside of establishment communities.
The other problem is the syncretic nature of fascist movements, who often hold such profound internal contradictions that people find it hard to locate exactly what is happening politically. Ye’s behavior is a good example: a Black musician collaborating with a white nationalist and a conspiracy theorist to preach antisemitism. This feels incoherent and it is, but this is how fascist movements largely work, they bring together people of disparate identities and goals and even inculcate people who would be harmed by the political ideas they are espousing. This has only become more fractured and less ideologically constructed as the alt-right, which was a relatively complete white nationalist ideology, declines and there are few ideological thought leaders to maintain a straight forward trajectory. This will make it harder for people to really confront racist ideas since they are coming from what people read as unlikely sources.
As conservatives have normalized hate, conspiracy theories, and acceptance of political violence we see both their typical authoritarianism as well as rhetoric and action that can be labeled fascist. How do you suggest people parse out, discuss, and oppose contemporary conservatism when the overlap between business-as-usual and fascism seems to be increasing?
Yeah, this gets to what we were discussing earlier. Right now the GOP is in a battle for its future, with a segment of the party seeing how Trumpism can create unstable markets and potentially loses elections (as was seen very clearly in the midterms) and those who are unwilling to cut their MAGA ties, are declaring the election stolen, who believe COVID is largely an opportunistic hoax, whose founding ideologies are conspiracy theories, and who are moving even further to the right of where Trump was at. Figures like Wendy Rogers, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, J.D. Vance, candidates like Blake Masters, pundits like Tucker Carlson, state leaders across the country, and others, are dipping into the waters of a kind of “soft fascism” of vitriolic nationalism (though with an attempt at cosmopolitan branding), conspiracy theories (usually of the coded antisemitic variety), extreme anti-immigrant, queerphobic, and apocalyptic rhetoric. The move to demonize trans healthcare and LGBT existence is currently the sharp edge of this, but I think we can also expect a kind of ecofascist prioritization of closing the border as the climate crisis deepens and compels migration northward from the Global South.
As scholars like John S. Huntington have argued, there has always been a far-right ideological core to conservatism as a political movement, and the radicals and the more moderates still share some base ideological assumptions. As academics like George Hawley have tracked, the previous Buckleyite coalition of hawkish foreign policy, free market absolutism, and Christian-centric social conservatism has started to break down, and what we have ended up with is a choice between racist populism on the one hand, or pro-business obsessions on the other. The difference is in how certain they are that identity should determine a person’s slot in the social hierarchies, but don’t assume that makes any standard Republicans any less likely to push you off the cliff. They will just say it’s for economic rather than racial reasons.
One of the defining features of fascism is a belief in inequality. It animates its misogyny, racial and ethnic hatred, and breeds a cult of hierarchy and domination. Various “left” and radical traditions that claim to embrace equality retain subtle and not so subtle residues of inequality that impede solidarity. Who are your favorite thinkers that make the case for equality and equity as a countervail to inequality?
As Hawley also says, the left includes any movement that puts equality as its “highest value,” meaning that political and social decisions should be measured in their ability to promote equality. Surely other factors are involved, such as their ability to push scientific progress or, particularly with anarchists, to see freedom as an equally important point, but the leftist radical tradition is foundationally about the idea that we should actually live out the stated goals of liberal democracy.
The critique then from Proudhon and Marx all the way up to Occupy Wall Street is that society has failed, for structural reasons, to live up to the promise of equality that is central to the claims of the Enlightenment project, and therefore we need a cataclysmic change in our society to achieve this. The implications of this are clear in terms of economics, but we can also go at this inequality around gender, as radical feminists have, sexual orientation and gender presentation, as the revolutionary LGBT movement does, on race, as Critical Race Theory and antiracist activists have, and looking at radical, meaning foundational, ways to change society to promote equality on those metrics. It should go without saying, then, that to realize actual equality here or elsewhere we need an international revolutionary movement to change the very precepts of our society, such as those that underskirt capitalism, white supremacy, heteronormativity, and the state. Those systems are cultivated, systematized coercion meant to favor a ruling class and to keep the rest of us slotted in a hierarchy that does not ultimately serve us.
In a certain sense, the fascists get our society right. They know that we are not living in an age of equality, and they look at a society that presents itself as equalitarian and then says “it must be that not all humans are equal, after all.” So their revolutionary project (and it is fundamentally revolutionary) is to remake society to enforce that inequality along certain ideological lines, usually (but not always) focused on race. They don’t just want to move backwards, they want to intentionally codify inequality in a way that lacks the current anarchic quality of the market, which they believe promotes identity-blindness and allows some undeserving people too much control in society. The fascist approach is to pick up on the privilege of some members of the working class, such as white working men, and suggest that their problems are the result not of the rampant structural inequality imposed by an economic system that preferences the rich, but by the advances made by the left to realize equality. This is a powerful argument because people are desperate to alleviate this feeling of perpetual despair, and since the fascists can play on deeply lain biogtries that are learned through our societal training, they can take the impulse these members of the community are having to confront their own dispossession and transmuting it onto a racist, patriarchal narrative of domination.
The only thing that can make us more free is a revolutionary movement of the entire working class, and the only way to achieve that is to intentionally go after identity-based oppressions that necessarily break the solidarity necessary to build that movement. If white workers continue to choose white privilege over shared struggle with non-white people in similar situations, then we will never have the capacity to topple the system entirely. This is true of all the other forms of marginalization and dispossession that are not purely enacted economically, and they are the most effective ways of tricking workers to believe that their enemies are each other rather than those holding the purse strings. It has to be an absolute priority to confront white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, antisemitism and other forms of oppression in all instances because those very things, even when you are not the immediate receiver of the violence they cause, will harm your ability to become free. More than this, we need to bear witness to the incredible violence and suffering marginalized people are facing as this type of oppression only accelerates as economic and ecological crises transform the U.S.
Antifascists have used the “we go where they go” approach to stopping fascist public activity. It’s been effective in times of increased, acute fascist activity. What do you hope to see committed antifascists do in less, for lack of a better term, acute times?
There are two answers to this question, and I think it’s best to separate them from each other as much as possible.
First is continuing the antifascist work in the same way that they do, more or less, during those acute moments. This means keeping the organization functioning, doing housekeeping work, recruiting members, creating literature, all the things that are not time dependent but need to be done to maintain a functioning organization. Joint learning is also an important point of that, and political education, since this is complicated stuff, there is a lot you must know to be able to decode far-right ideas, and because antifascists offer a counter-strategy to fighting the far-right from what is generally offered by NGOs, politicians, and law enforcement. The point here is that organized antifascism needs long-term care to maintain the ability to respond effectively at all, particularly in being able to support, guide, and participate in mass mobilization moments, like those we saw in 2020, on short notice. Likewise, there are always going to be far-right groups (until we unseat the systems that create them), so there is always going to be work to do.
The second thing, and I do think this is different, is to work on the issues that create the far-right in the first place. If fascism is a response to the feelings of alienation that come from receiving inequality, such as having a precarious home life or a bad job, then working on those issues will disrupt the petri dish that grows the disease. What I think is most effective here is mutual aid organizing because this is an attempt to directly answer the issues that white nationalist and far-right groups often suggest they can fill. For example, in rural areas that do not have ambulance service, good social services, high speed internet, or other important supports, militia groups often offer those things, and thereby they become welcomed parts of the community and then supplant their narratives for where this crisis is coming from. Antifascists who are not just doing the focused and specific work of countering the far-right directly can work to build mutual aid networks, labor unions, tenant unions, and other groups that take on those foundational issues, showing people that solidarity is stronger than privilege and that fascists actually disrupt our ability to improve our situation.
That is the work that, frankly, the majority of us can, and should, be in, and then we can pivot our daily work at the behest of the antifascist organizations when they need a large mass of people and periphery to act in support. For example, if a far-right rally is planned and an antifascist group plans to disrupt it, they will need twenty times the number of members they have to show up to be able to use numbers to disrupt the event. This means that non-members are an essential part of the strategy of tight, membership-driven antifascist groups, so people need to be prepared to bridge those coalitions and support antifascist groups at peak moments, while going after some foundational, bread-and-butter issues when we are not in peak moments.
In No Pasarán, a member of Corvallis Antifa says “Many [antifascist groups] are forsaking mass mobilization and building holistic networks of community defense in favor of small-scale militant actions. Our enemies are coalescing and creating broad coalitions. We need to do the same with groups from across the left.” Do you agree about the need for mass mobilization and broad coalitions at this time?
Absolutely, I can’t say this enough. As a contributor to this book, David Renton, told me in a recent interview, there are reasons why a mass approach might not be used. For example, if you have a tiny National Socialist Movement meeting happening, maybe you don’t need a thousand people to push them out of the space. Maybe a small cadre of trained, educated, and committed people can handle disrupting the event until they leave. This is actually the approach advocated by some antifascists I’ve interviewed, who see some problems with having to rely on a mass approach each time. That is particularly true when some of the targets of antifascists are ostensibly on the left, such as antisemitic conspiracy theorists in anti-war movements, and so it can be a challenge to immediately build the consensus in the organized left to do something about it. Sometimes the antifascists have to take an unpopular position. It’s an interesting and useful debate, and we should listen to people more experienced than ourselves.
I generally think that mass approaches are best for a number of reasons. First, they are tactically effective, when we look at the inability of the alt-right to grow, and subsequently their implosion, it was because a density of protesters disallowed their access to space. They couldn’t hold their events, they couldn’t recruit, their members were doxxed and made unstable, which sent the message to less committed followers that it was not worth it, and everywhere they went they were hassled. You need a density of people to accomplish that.
Secondly, it is safer, more secure, and more inclusive, including allowing a space for those who favor strategic non-violence. When you have a large mass of people, activists are less likely to be successfully attacked and injured by the far-right, and the tactic itself is about denial of physical space and less about physical confrontation. Likewise, a large mass of people gives you different experiences, personalities, and tactics, meaning you can try so many more ideas that people have acquired from other social movements. How do labor strikes help? How does antifascist concerts and art events build power? There are a lot of options when you have a larger mass of people.
It also supports the building of larger alliances, coalitions, and the left itself, forcing organizers to talk to people about the issues and help move them along a political journey. When it is just done by a small, committed band of activists, then you do not get the opportunity to move the public along on these issues, which is a part of both inoculating them against fascist influence and to create a larger base for all social movements. We need our community, and a mass approach forces us to work with the communities we have.
Again, the counter argument to that is that what’s important in a given situation is shutting down the far-right before they metastasize and hurt people, not building the left necessarily. That is true, in acute situations, and outside of acute situations it’s good to build up those community bonds because, back into later acute situations, that community could be poised and ready to be involved in a mass strategy.
It’s also important to note that fascism requires a mass response because it is now a mass threat. We are not talking about isolated neo-Nazis groups, we are talking about white nationalism influencing mass electoral and street level politics, up to and including our last President. The scale of the problem is simply not something small groups can deal with, we have to build as big as possible. And I think we do that by having coalitions who, while working on multiple issues, have the ability to stay connected, learn what kind of solidarity they can offer to each other, and be prepared to act when called on.
Who is the most under-appreciated antifascist thinker right now that you’d like to see people engage with more?
I think Daryle Lamont Jenkins has been an incredible voice and I think deserves more of a platform, period. I think everyone featured in No Pasaran, such as Emily Gorcenski, Margaret Killjoy, Tal Lavin, Ryan Smith, Kim Kelly, so many others, have all taken different approaches to antifascism that, in their own ways, deviate from the caricature so many people have of what that word means, and because of that are all underappreciated thinkers in their own right. People considering how to take on subcultures, how to take on rural areas, how to fight within religious communities, we need to listen to them because they have authentically different experiences that hold unparalleled value.
One of the biggest problems in literature on antifascism is that it preferences white regions of the world, and largely white organizations. There is a reason for this: many of these antifascist groups took on this fight from a model of white accountability and had more access to and less vulnerability in white spaces, so there was an intentional tactical sensibility to it. But it also limits our understanding of antifascism to a white, subcultural framework. So we need to talk more about, in particular, Black antifascism (which both Mike Bento and Jeanelle Hope do in No Pasaran), with folks such as Robert F. Williams, Charles E. Cobb Jr, Robin D.G. Kelley (who graciously wrote a blurb for this book), Angela Davis and many others, who discuss Black self-defense against the Klan and other white supremacist groups. The same is true for newer organizers like Yellow Peril Tactical, organizing Asian Americans for self-defense. We have a huge gap in approaching antifascism from an international context, and we only scrape the surface in this book with essays by folks like Maia Ramnath and Mirna Wabi-Sabi. Fascist movements exist beyond the U.S. and Europe, so we want to hear more theorizing about places like South Asia, Iran, Syria, West Africa, Japan, and other places, and so I think some of the antifascist voices in those regions can be found amongst those people who are already discussing the political issues there.
I think people like Alex Di Braco, Alexandra Minna Stern, Joan Braune (also in No Pasaran), and others are bringing a clear eye at misogyny in the far-right and antifascist responses, and I think we are seeing a growing constellation of people who want to broaden how we build antifascism into a global movement. I also think going backwards more to some radical theory can be helpful, particularly in the realm of Critical Theory, with folks like Moishe Postone, Sina Arnold, Eva-Maria Ziege and Werner Bonefield helping to explain antisemitism in particular, but also the larger dynamic that births fascist movements. On the academic fascism studies side, I have found a lot of value in Roger Griffin, Janet Biehl, George E. Moose, Zeev Sternhell, Graham Macklin, Nigel Copsey (who blurbed this book), and many, many others. I think Tal Lavin has been a special influence on my work (who also wrote the Foreword), as well as Zoé Samudzi, J. Sakai and. Foundational writers on the far-right like Chip Berlet, Leonard Zeskind, and Elinor Langer are a major inspiration for how to tell these stories. Angela Saini, George Hawley, Linda Gordon, Camilla Schofield, Seyward Darby, Vegas Tenold,
Tell us about your new book with Ben Lorber and what readers can expect.
My colleague and friend Ben Lorber (a researcher at Political Research Associates) have been working on a book on antisemitism for the past three years, to be published by Melville House Books. After extensive research and interviews, we are writing about how to approach antisemitism from an intersectional, antiracist, and social justice framework, avoiding the conservative traps set by establishment Jewish organizations and “Countering Violent Extremism” groups, and bringing it right back to the movement space. We have conducted over a 150 interviews with people like Shaul Magid, Eric Ward, Magda Teter, Ben Case (also in No Pasaran), Ari Brostoff, and people from organizations like Bend the Arc, IfNotNow, Jews Against White Nationalism, Rebellious Anarchist Young Jews (RAYJ), Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and many others in an attempt to build an entirely new framework for understanding, and ultimately fighting, antisemitism. We see it as a form of structural oppression that demands solidarity as the answer for our safety.
Any predictions for their side in 2023? For ours?
This is a tough year to predict, particularly given that the election is next year. I think we will continue to see a lot of institution building on their side. People like Richard Spencer have been relegated back to the fringes, but he is building a new platform (on Substack, no less), as are a lot of the staple white nationalist publications and media projects like Counter-Currents. This includes the people from the Daily Shoah leading the National Justice Party, one of the few newer white nationalist projects that has some legs. The groyper movement and the American First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) will continue to have a lot of relevance, particularly as leader Nick Fuentes builds celebrity connections with Ye, Alex Jones, and, I suppose, Trump himself. He is the biggest remaining popular remnant of the alt-right and he has found a really solid niche that will allow him to continue building despite saying things that would have gotten him canceled from the Conservative Movement a decade ago.
While the alt-right had preferenced a kind of counter-cultural, artsy and online brand (at least early on), what’s en vogue right now is aggressive white Christian nationalism. I would say that Americanism is now back in full force and the open white nationalists are finding their energy by using a combination of MAGA language, antisemitic conspiracies that have now spread across the GOP, and Christinaity since it gives them an angle to attack queer people. I think Critical Race Theory, Drag Queen Story Hour, and trans healthcare clinics are the new “Confederate Monuments,” meaning this is where the far-right will mobilize around in an effort to pull from the slightly more moderate right that has been lured into their dog-whistle issues. I think queer spaces, particularly for trans healthcare, are the most vulnerable at the moment and there needs to be conversations about what is necessary to keep them safe (the same is true about abortion clinics, though drag shows and public LGBTQ events seem to be momentarily the focus). This has been aided by people like Chaya Raichak, Libs of Tik Tok, who is normalizing the worst homophobia we’ve seen in decades and using the disconnect with reality that conspiracism has wrought to do so.
She also represents another frightening trend: far-right Jews using antisemitism. Libs of Tik Tok mobilizes thinly veiled antisemitic conspiracy theories as a weapon against queer people, despite Raichik being an Orthodox Jew herself. There is a problem of the far-right, including white nationalist, politics in Orthodox circles, and this has included mirroring the slide into antisemitic conspiracy theories that, since they are coded, are claimed to be antisemitism-free.
You are also seeing extensive cross-racial organizing along two lines. One, antisemitism is bridging white nationalists with non-white folks who are attuned to white nationalist conspiracy theories (such as Ye), and, second, it is Jewish far-right activists collaborating with non-Jewish far-right activists in an effort to defend their whiteness or the Palestinian Occupation. As suggested earlier when discussing my book, any Jewish participation in the far-right ultimately makes Jews less safe. There is also a turn to hyperbolize “Black antisemitism” as some kind of trenchant threat, which it is not, and we need to resist efforts to use antisemitism accusations to attack communities of color.
There are a lot of conversations about tactics in antifascist circles, and I think that will continue as these internal debates are necessary for healthy movement development. More people are putting effort into mutual aid and alternative networks of care, and I think that will only continue as state services are received, healthcare becomes more inaccessible, and wealth inequality increases. The labor movement is exploding, as is tenant organizing, and we need to make these centerpieces of any coalition meant to make a better world.
This week, join the Anarchist Studies Network for the ASN 2022 Conference! This is a virtual conference. For more information regarding registration and a lineup for all speakers and workshops, click here.
Wednesday, August 24, 2022 6:45am – 8:15am (GMT+1) Anarchist Utopianism
Panelists: John Clark, Laurence Davis, Vandana Singh and Margaret Killjoy
What roles do art and literature play in envisioning anarchist futures? In this panel we explore the rich but still relatively neglected phenomenon of anarchist utopianism, especially but not exclusively in its literary forms. Unusually for a panel at an Anarchist Studies Network conference, the aim of this session is to bring together in dialogue both scholars of the anarchist utopian tradition with specialist expertise on its history and theory, and writers of contemporary speculative fiction who have engaged in original ways with anarchist or anarchistic forms of utopianism. More substantively, we aim to elucidate the distinctive ideological features of anarchist utopianism, its historical and contemporary political significance, and the imaginative challenges and affordances of crafting anarchist literary utopias in a 21st-century context. Eschewing simplistic and reductive readings of literary utopias as fixed blueprints for an ideologically defined future, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which anarchist literary utopias engage the reader in a complex dialogue about what is, what might be, and the relationship between the two, inviting us to participate in a time-sensitive journey of the utopian imagination complete with fundamental moral conflict, meaningful choice and continuing change, by the end of which we may return to the non-fictional present with a broader perspective on its latent emancipatory possibilities. Consistent with this emphasis on the importance of critical dialogue, we also hope to leave plenty of time for comments and questions, whether academic or otherwise!
Thursday, August 25, 2022 6:45am – 8:15am (GMT+1) Nuts and Bolts of the Future Society
Panelists: Thomas Pewton – A Future Food System
Robin Hahnel, Jason Chrysostomou & Anders Sandstrom – A Participatory Economy: a vision for an anarchist economy
Bernardo De Urquidi Gonzalez – Democracy by Average – a new horizontal decision making process
Thursday, August 25, 2022 8:30am – 10:00am (GMT+1) ‘Go Forth and Multiply’
Panelist: Carla Bergman – Trust Kids: Autonomy Begins at Home
The Anarchist Studies Network The Anarchist Studies Network is a support network for people working on, or incorporating in their work, the field of anarchism in its many forms. We encourage the study of anarchism within academia by building links between scholars across subject areas, as well as groups located outside the official sphere of academia, including those formed for activism and public intellectual life. We support people in collaborating and create an inclusive space to share ideas, thoughts, and research. We also aim to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue between anarchists and other scholars.
ASN hosts a variety of events and activities. The biennial Anarchist Studies Network conference is our flagship event which attracts people from all over the world. The conference is a focal point for many scholars to share new research, present ideas or simply meet like-minded people in convivial settings. The conference actively supports early-career or underfunded participants with grants and is committed to working on inclusion and dismantling structures of power within the space. We also organise smaller workshops and research activities lead by our members, notably through the PSA’s annual conferences. Our members actively contribute to an informal blog for more accessible anarchist writings and share knowledge and best practice through online discussions.
“For this impressive collection, Killjoy (the Danielle Cain series) brings together 21 speculative shorts tinged with just the right amount of horror to keep readers gloriously uncomfortable… Throughout, Killjoy showcases her gift for blending cerebral speculation with visceral thrills. There’s plenty to chew on here.” —Publishers Weekly
Margaret Killjoy’s stories have appeared for years in science fiction and fantasy magazines both major and indie. Here, we have collected the best previously published work along with brand new material. Ranging in theme and tone, these imaginative tales bring the reader on a wild and moving ride. They’ll encounter a hacker who programs drones to troll CEOs into quitting; a group of LARPers who decide to live as orcs in the burned forests of Oregon; queer, teen love in a death cult; the terraforming of a climate-changed Earth; polyamorous love on an anarchist tea farm during the apocalypse; and much more. Killjoy writes fearless, mind-expanding fiction.
Margaret Killjoy is a transfeminine author born and raised in Maryland who was spent her adult life traveling with no fixed home. A 2015 graduate of Clarion West, Margaret’s short fiction has been published by Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Vice’s Terraform, and Fireside Fiction, amongst others. She is the author of A Country of Ghosts, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, and The Barrow Will Send What it May. She is also the host of the podcast Live Like the World is Dying and Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff on iHeartRadio. She is based in rural West Virginia.
Tuesday, September 20 @ 7PM Gray Coast Guildhall 11 Old Church Road Quilcene, WA 98376
Thursday, September 22 @ 7PM Left Bank Books 92 Pike Seattle, WA 98101 *MASKS REQUIRED
Friday, September 23 @ 7PM with Robert Evans Powell’s City of Books 1005 W. Burnside Street Portland, OR 97209
Wednesday, September 28 @ 7PM Pageant Theater 351 East 6th Street Chico, CA 95928 *MASKS ENCOURAGED
VIRTUAL EVENT Thursday, September 29 @ 4PM PT /7PM ET with Cadwell Turnbull Firestorm Co-op RSVP
Saturday, October 1 @ 5PM Short Story Writing Workshop @ Sour Cherry Comics (Followed by book signing) 3187 16th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 Workshop RSVP (no RSVP necessary to attend book signing at 7PM)
Sunday, October 2 @ 6PM East Bay Booksellers 5433 College Avenue Oakland, CA 94618 *MASKS ENCOURAGED
Thursday, October 6 @ 7PM Chevalier’s Books 133 N. Larchmont Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90004
Wednesday, October 12 @ 7PM BCC Tucson 101 E. Ventura Street Tucson, AZ 85705
Saturday, October 15 @ 7PM Monkeywrench Books 110 N. Loop Blvd E Austin, TX 78751 *MASKS ENCOURAGED
Tuesday, October 18 @ 6:30PM The Montrose Center 401 Branard Street Room 107 Houston, TX 77006
Sunday, October 23 @ 11AM – 5PM (Reading at 2PM) A.C.A.B. Zine Fest Gasa Gasa 4920 Freret Street New Orleans, LA 70115
Tuesday, October 25 @ 6PM Atlanta Vintage Books 3660 Clairmont Road Atlanta, GA 30341
Wednesday, October 26 @ 6PM Durham County Library 300 N. Roxboro Street Durham, NC 27701 RSVP
Friday, October 28 @ 7PM Small Friend Records & Books 1 N. Lombardy Street Richmond, VA 23220 *MASKS REQUIRED
Saturday, October 29 @ 4PM (note new time!) F12 Infoshop 1740 Broadway Street Charlottesville, VA 22902
Wednesday, November 2 @ 7:30PM Lost City Books 2467 18th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009 RSVP
Thursday, November 3 @ 7PM Red Emma’s 3128 Greenmount Avenue Baltimore, MD 21218
Wednesday, November 9 @ 7PM The Word Is Change 368 Tompkins Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11216
Friday, November 18 @ 6:30pm The Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore 4812 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224 *MASKS REQUIRED
Saturday, November 19 @ 7PM Rhizome House 2174 Lee Rd. Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 *MASKS ENCOURAGED
Monday, November 21 @ 7PM Burning Books 420 Connecticut St. Buffalo, NY 14213
Tuesday, November 22 @ 6PM Akimbo Books 318b East Ave. Rochester, NY 14607
This weekend on August 6th & 7th, join us for the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. Don’t forget to swing by the AK Press table to say hi and grab some books! This event is free and open for anarchists and people curious about anarchism.
This metro station is wheelchair accessible (there is an elevator to both platform levels). This will only be useful if you are coming from one of the 6 other wheelchair accessible metro stations (Montmorency, de la Concorde, Cartier, Berri-UQAM, Henri-Bourassa or Côte-Vertu). Please note that all of these stations are along the orange Line of the system.
Lionel-Groulx Metro is also a major hub for buses. The following buses stop at Lionel-Groulx Metro during the regular daytime schedule. Beside each is a link to the online schedule. On the schedule, wheelchair accessible buses are marked by a star ( * ).
Charis welcomes Kung Li Sun in conversation with Mary Hooks for a celebration of Begin the World Over, a revolutionary tale of Black and Indigenous insurrection. History as it should have been. Begin the World Over is a counterfactual novel about the Founders’ greatest fear—that Black and Indigenous people might join forces to undo the newly formed United States of America—coming true.
In 1793, as revolutionaries in the West Indies take up arms, James Hemings has little interest in joining the fight for liberty –talented and favored, he is careful to protect his relative comforts as Thomas Jefferson’s enslaved chef. But when he meets Denmark Vesey, James is immediately smitten. The formidable first mate persuades James to board his ship, on its way to the revolt in Saint-Domingue. There and on the mainland they join forces with a diverse cast of characters, including a gender nonconforming prophetess, a formerly enslaved jockey, and a Muskogee horse trader. The resulting adventure masterfully mixes real historical figures and events with a riotous retelling of a possible history in which James must decide whether to return to his constrained but composed former life, or join the coalition of Black revolutionaries and Muskogee resistance to fight the American slavers and settlers.
Kung Li Sun is a lifelong southerner currently based on the Gulf Coast. As a public interest attorney in Atlanta, she brought class-action lawsuits on behalf of people in prisons and jails. He left lawyering to support undocumented and abolitionist organizers as a strategist and trainer, and to write. This is their first novel.
Mary Hooks is a Black, lesbian, feminist, mother and Field Secretary on the field team for the Movement for Black Lives. Mary is the former co-director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG). Mary joined SONG as a member in 2009 and began organizing with the organization in 2010. Growing up in a family that migrated from Mississippi to the Midwest, Mary’s commitment to liberation is rooted in her experiences and the impacts of the War on Drugs on her community.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle. Charis Circle’s mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
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The Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair is an annual event that brings together people interested and engaged in radical work to connect, learn, and discuss through books and information tables, workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, films, and more! We seek to create an inclusive space to introduce new folks to anarchism, foster a productive dialogue between various political traditions as well as anarchists from different milieus, and create an opportunity to dissect our movements’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and tactics.
Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism (ROAR) started as a conference in 2017 during the anti-fascist movement to translate the street protests that were happening all over the U.S. into a more radical analysis about racism’s key role in our entire social structure. We know it’s not enough to oppose street-level white supremacy and that ICE and the prisons are much more efficient institutions at upholding white supremacy and that if you are anti-racist, you must turn your attention to revolutionary politics. We’re happy you are here, and we hope you enjoy our revolutionary content.
This summer, investigative journalist and author Robert Evans will be on tour to promote the release of After the Revolution! Registration details below.
What will the fracturing of the United States look like? After the Revolution is an edge-of-your-seat answer to that question. In the year 2070, twenty years after a civil war and societal collapse of the “old” United States, extremist militias battle in the crumbling Republic of Texas. As the violence spreads like wildfire and threatens the Free City of Austin, three unlikely allies will have to work together in an act of resistance to stop the advance of the forces of the Christian ethnostate known as the “Heavenly Kingdom.”
Robert Evans, the author of A Brief History of Vice, has had an eclectic career as an investigative journalist reporting from war zones in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, and reporting on domestic radicalism in the US. He hosts the podcasts Behind the Bastards and It Could Happen Here for iHeartRadio, is a writer for the humor website Cracked, and an investigative journalist for Bellingcat. He resides in Portland, OR.
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05/17 Firestorm Co-op Virtual Event with Margaret Killjoy
NEW YORK 05/19 Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway 3rd Floor, Rare Book Room New York, NY 10036
Music is a huge part of everything that I do. I spend most of my time listening to music and looking for new music. It informs all of my politics and has been a radicalizing force in my life from my earliest days growing up in the church. Music isn’t a hobby or convenient distraction, it’s at the core of my being. I have been making playlists for years to try to help people through hard times with songs that inspire, comfort, and push me to action. I started doing this when I was working with the Praxis Center at Kalamazoo College as an editor for the race, class, and immigration section of their blog. I also made two during the pandemic when I was organizing, teaching, and writing. So, naturally, I made one to go with my book. You’ll see a few references to music throughout the text if you pick it up, but not nearly as many as I could have put. I think I’m going to have to write a book that’s strictly dedicated to music. It means too much to me not to. So, I’ve attached an accompanying playlist of songs related to this text. These are songs that inspired The Nation on No Map. Some complement the text and others conflict with it. Others are simply different songs I enjoyed while things were coming together on my journey to the last page. And some are symbolic. Hear me out!
If you’re willing to listen to my musical
selections, please also consider a short reading list of texts that could be
read alongside this book too. Many of them influenced this book and my thinking
about the topics at hand.
Featuring: An essay by William C. Anderson on ideology, Black anarchism, and his forthcoming book The Nation on No Map: Black Anarchism & Abolition.
one thing I learned from Black anarchism, it’s
to transcend. I am not just a Black anarchist because I want to systematize or
institutionalize Black anarchism. I’m
not wed to it and I’m
not dedicated to any cause like that because the entire point is not to be.
However, I have internalized its lessons and that’s why I wrote The Nation on No Map. The lessons
Black anarchism offers can help show us how to transcend the pre-arranged narratives
that hold us back. I believe that Black anarchism has done so in many ways and
provided a framework that we can observe. Social movements have long been
plagued with orthodoxy, cultism, and limitations that I feel have poisoned the
roots. People have put ideology before liberation at the expense of progress
and it’s blatant how much this is deterring us in a world that’s facing rapidly compounding unimaginable crises. I
learned a long time ago that a lot of people don’t actually want liberation, they just want control,
authority, and power. Furthermore, they don’t
make any distinctions between these things. Oftentimes with oppression, people
start thinking that having what the oppressor has (the ability to oppress) is
the goal; it’s
not. Ultimately, I think it’s
time to gather what we need from the history we’ve been offered and move beyond the stories we like to
tell ourselves about the past and the present for the realization of something
far greater. Black anarchism can provide helpful insights.
Founding Black anarchist Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin familiarized me with the task at hand to “raise the contradictions.” He was talking about exposing the inconsistencies between what the state, society, and what the world promises but does not deliver. I’d already been thinking about something similar in terms that expanded beyond ideological positions to something much deeper. I was beginning to ask questions about things that Marxism, classical anarchism, and doctrinaire politics could not answer. They have always had to be reshaped and extended in ways by those that are most marginalized within their ranks. This led me to interrogate questions of contradictions within ourselves and how we internalize them. Autonomous Black radicalisms of all sorts gave me a model and method which I found most useful in guiding my own political growth to do so.
The Nation on No Map is a humble attempt to use my own understanding and the lessons I’ve learned to trace a liberatory path. I believe that challenging the supposed necessity of the nation-state and removing the ways of thinking that feed into it are top priorities. I examine different relationships that Black America has with certain aspects of the past and use Black Anarchism to interrupt and trouble them as I look around. I can see clearly that the importance of an actual radical struggle is more important than just having the appearance of one. That is to say, some of the radicalism and revolutionary politics around us are held back by a lack of imagination. And we’re certainly going to need new ideas amid the flourishing discussions of abolition which I believe need an anti-state emphasis. A free future remains out of reach when antiquated, conservative ideas get repeatedly recycled. For Black America, the problems we experience as it relates to things like citizenship, migration, and nationhood illustrate the point I hope to make. The truth is in the mirror.
so much to talk about but there are barriers getting in the way of our growth
because people assume we’ve
already figured things out. We haven’t,
and we should call everything into question if we’re willing to admit as much. There are a wide array of
self-proclaimed liberatory politics we have before us that impede liberation
when they become cloaks for rigidity, religiosity and unthinking reformism. If
the answer to questions about the future is to endlessly parrot the dead
politics of yesteryear, we’re
failing. Not knowing things (yet) isn’t
always bad, but assuming we know everything already because we don’t want to question
prescribed beliefs is dangerous. What history gets overlooked? What questions
go unanswered? Whose stories get erased? Which ones get revised, edited, and
written over? The questions that go unanswered because some are unwilling to
ask are many.
I try my best to highlight this in my work. For example, this is a problem that plagues the Western left and radical movements who are drowning in their own dogma because of a staunch unwillingness to rise above doctrine. The left is stuck because it cannot get over the idea of itself and its self-centered infatuation with its past, and this prevents it from overcoming oppressions that are constantly reconfiguring. Our worst nightmares reorganize themselves while leftists desperately await the return of a dream they once had. They long to stay asleep, anticipating that the same heroes, villains, and storyline will reappear so they can reclaim the past fantasies they cling to. Sometimes when they can’t find victory around them, they’ll even excuse the very forms of violence they claim to be against as a means of defending ideological delusion, not oppressed people. Oppressors are warmly embraced by those who haven’t yet figured out, or are unwilling to admit, that tyranny can change clothes.
It’s this sort of orthodoxy and hagiography holding back our hopes of achieving liberation because they force creativity to fall by the wayside. Furthermore, they gloss over limitations and contradictions in favor of faithful dedication to ideas that may very well be expired, exhausted, or even lifeless. The new must be born so that we can overcome, but the movements and traditions I lament are overly obsessed with venerating what’s bygone to such an extent that they preserve too much of the old. That history is usually only recalled to be praised despite the horrors, killings, and betrayals that would tarnish the reputations of radicals’ favorite heroes if they even believe those things happened at all. Growth is lost because there are no recognizable problems to grow from. You can’t fix a historical issue you refuse to acknowledge. Patriots are patriots no matter where you go.
Maybe some critics will dislike my text and will attempt to make
it an ideological conflict, but the real confrontation is inside of us. It lies
in the hurdles we fail to surpass because we’re
more dedicated to supposedly being right than admitting what’s wrong. To make any of this simply about ideological
disagreements, is to attack a house The Nation on No Map is not even in.
This is one reason I find great parallels in the study of Zen Buddhism, which
carries strains of thought dedicated to a needed self-destruction. Those
insights underscore this entire book. The Nation on No Map is a
self-immolating text that I truly struggled to finish. I felt aflame while I
was writing it and the fear that arose imagining plumes of smoke around me made
it hard to focus. I fought amongst past and present versions of myself in a
furnace of my own making. When I completed this attempt and the ashes settled I
came across the death poem of the Zen monk, Kogaku Soko, who died at 84 years
of age in 1548 saying:
My final words are these:
As I fall I throw all on a high mountain peak –
Lo! All creation shatters; thus it is
That I destroy Zen doctrine.
The arrogance of orthodox ideology is the assumption that someone can know everything about the outside world while refusing to step outdoors to gain an internal critique. Self-reflection is crucial, but far too many among us are scared of the uncomfortable realization they might find. We will have to tear down idols and be willing to tell the truth about the monuments we’ve built. We will have to get over ourselves because a lot of us may very well be blocking our own path. Black anarchism can help us trace how that happens and give us organizing principles to fight back, meet material needs, and transcend radicalisms that are not taking us far enough, and that may not even be so radical at all. Much has to be overturned and some of that will occur from within. In order for revolution to happen, we will actually have to think and do things revolutionarily.
William C. Anderson is a writer and activist from Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of The Nation on No Map and the co-author of As Black as Resistance. He is the co-founder of Offshoot Journal and also provides creative direction as one of the producers of the Black Autonomy Podcast. His writings have been included in the anthologies, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? (Haymarket 2016) and No Selves to Defend (Mariame Kaba 2014).
Register here to attend the first webinar Lessons In Liberation: Grounding Education in Abolition on September 1, 2021 at 4:00pm PST.
All webinars will be streamed via YouTube and Facebook. ASL Interpretation will be provided by Certified Deaf Interpreters and Deaf Interpreters. We will also provide CART Captions. Please contact Sheeva (she or they) at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional accessibility needs or accessibility questions.
Demystifying forces of the state, gangs, and revolutionary violence.
In Gang Politics, Kristian Williams examines our society’s understanding of social and political violence, what gets romanticized, misunderstood, or muddled. He explores the complex intersections between “gangs” of all sorts—cops and criminals, Proud Boys and Antifa, Panthers and skinheads—arguing that government and criminality are intimately related, often sharing critical features. As society becomes more polarized and conflict more common, Williams’s analysis is a crucial corrective to our usual ideas about the role violence might or should play in our social struggles.
Kristian Williams is the author of six books, including Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Williams has been actively writing and leading discourse on anarchism in historical and present-day contexts, social inequalities, and critiques on police and political force since the 1990s. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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