Out of the dusty, desolate, dreary, dark depths of the Bay Area comes a ray of hope, a new ambition, a harbinger of good things: it is the Alexander Berkman Social Club!
The ABSC is a group of anarchists who want to talk about what anarchism is, how anarchists see things, and what anarchy could look like. Named after the editor of San Francisco’s mighty The Blast, they hold continual monthly meetings that are open to all.
Their second event, like the first, was a tremendous success. Held in commodious chambers on a third floor of San Francisco’s 522 Valencia Street, it featured a broad ranging discussion of anarchism and sexuality. Esteemed anarcho-archivist Jessica Moran began the discussion with a fascinating introduction to anarchism and free love in the United States in the late nineteenth century; AK author, Terence Kissack spoke about his excellent new book, Free Comrades: Anarchism and Sexuality in the United States, 1895-1917; and long-time Sanfranarchist, Joey Cain, brought the evening to a close with a thrilling presentation on Edward Carpenter, who was arguably the great grandfather of the modern gay rights movement. There were also delicious snacks and the (now world-famous) ASBC raffle!!
The next event will occur on Thursday, August 28 and will focus on prisons and prisoners. It will feature Barry Pateman, who will speak about the early days of the Anarchist Black Cross; Isaac Ontiveros from Critical Resistance, who will speak on prison abolition; and music by the ABSC house band, featuring Devin Hoff.
Jessica Moran, speaking on anarchism and free love in the US.
Terrance Kissack talking about his book, Free Comrades.
Joey Cain enlightening us about Edward Carpenter and, in fact, using his foot to make a point!
November 7-9, 2008 in Montpelier, Vermont
“Call for Proposals & Ideas”
The ninth edition of the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT) conference, sponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS), once again aims to provide a participatory and scholarly space in which to reexamine, reinvigorate, and make relevant the social and political tradition of anarchism.
Each year, RAT brings together anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and libertarian leftists who want to critically engage both the tradition itself and the world in which we live. Participants and presenters at the conference thereby contribute to developing a more rigorous contemporary theoretical framework for anarchism as well as a stronger basis from which nonhierarchical movements can organize and resist.
2008 is a strange time to be an anarchist in North America. Thomas Friedman is calling for a green revolution, and Bono is at the forefront of a global war on poverty. The bright light of the U.S. presidential election campaign, anointed by Silicon Valley capital, has harnessed massive popular desire for radical social transformation–“Change”–to propel himself toward the White House. The reception he receives abroad articulates a thirst for a genuine internationalism, even as he signals his readiness to command more of the same military interventionism that has devastated people and social movements around the world. As anarchists and anti-authoritarians, it is easy to feel marginal, dissipated, defeated, and irrelevant as we watch some of our dearest ideas co-opted, sucked of content, turned inside out, and projected into the mainstream political scene.
What better moment, then, to come together to reflect on and honestly appraise the practices, platforms, convictions, dogmas, truisms, and theories that anarchism offers? What better moment to reimbue that tradition with a crucial sense of urgency and the substance that can genuinely challenge racism, imperialism, sexism, colonial pillage, capitalist exploitation, and the multifold and mutually reinforcing forms of oppression and systems of domination?
RAT is also a place to discuss and share theoretical tools from beyond the anarchist tradition that can add to building more sustainable social movements and practices, and eventually a world characterized by freedom, justice, and dignity for all.
The first anarchist bookfair in Salamanca, Spain will begin on August 14 (today) and runs through August 17. There will be films, discussions, panels about new books, workshops on book production, music, and lots of vegan food. Attendance is free. Anyone interested in going can find out more here (site in Spanish).
Welcome to AK Press’s new blog, Revolution by the Book.
Our goal is to inform people about anarchist publishing in general and AK Press in particular.
We will post interviews with AK authors, reviews of and excerpts from AK books, and reports on the events at AK. We will also post news about other anarchist publishers and booksellers, translations, interviews with activists behind other projects, and lists of relevant conferences. We will use video and audio whenever possible.
Initially, we will post new material three times per week, although we hope to publish with greater frequency in the near future. We encourage anyone interested to subscribe to our RSS feed and stop by as often as possible.
We would also like to know what you think about this blog. Posters will be required to register (which you do here) and please bear in mind that we expect participants to be nice to each other (we will delete off-topic comments and ad-hominem attacks).
We would be honored if one day our friends and comrades count this blog among the many others in which important and helpful discussions occur.