Since the murder of Mike Brown by police on August 9th, Ferguson, Missouri has been the site of intense riots, looting, and clashes with police. In this episode, we share accounts from participants and reflections on the rebellion, as well as an analysis which unpacks the designation of "outside agitators." Two texts discussing other recent anti-police uprisings appear on the Chopping Block, while supporters of Luke O'Donovan update us on his trial and how to show solidarity. Clara and Alanis share a slew of listener feedback, exploring the origins of the term feminism, correcting some mistakes about the IWW, and getting into a testy debate over the politics of sports. News, prisoner birthdays, Contradictionary terms, and upcoming events round out another packed episode.
Notes and Links
For updates and analysis from folks in St. Louis who are on the streets in Ferguson, keep your eye on the Anti-State St. Louis blog, which formed the basis of some of our coverage.
For analysis of the political dimensions of state and media responses to the riots in Ferguson see/we drew on the recent CrimethInc. analyses “What They Mean When They Say Peace” and “The Making of Outside Agitators”.
To support Ferguson rebels, you can donate to the bail and legal fund established by supporters. Also see the new blog Ferguson and Further for a collection of texts and posters to print and share regarding the rebellions. Artist Corina Dross has produced a gorgeous poster for sale as a benefit to Ferguson arrestees.
Our friends at Mask Magazine published an excellent article called “Stop Riot Shaming”, which brilliantly breaks down and refutes the discourse used by police and their activist allies to delegitimize anti-police riots. Our nomination for quote of the year: “Police apologists: if you still think a few looted shops ‘distract from the message’, wait until you see the guillotines.”
We’re not the only anarchist audio project with coverage of the riots in Ferguson; our friends at The Final Straw have released an interview with a St. Louis anarchist discussing the situation; the folks at Free Radical Radio have also released an interview with St. Louis anarchists.
On the Chopping Block, we discussed “Unfinished Acts”, a discussion of the Oscar Grant riots in Oakland, and “Unforgiving and Inconsolable”, a collection of texts about the response to the death of Chuy Huerta in Durham, North Carolina.
Stay updated on Luke O’Donovan’s case and how to support him through letlukego.wordpress.com. Also see this Vice magazine article describing the trial. Solidarity actions so far have included an attack on a political party office in Germany, smashed police cars in North Carolina, graffiti in Minneapolis, a demo at the US embassy in Helsinki, Finland, a demonstration and march in the Hague, Netherlands and more.
In our listener feedback section, we mentioned utopian socialist Charles Fourier and Karen Offen’s refutation of the widely circulated claim that he coined the term feminism—you can only read the first two pages on the free preview online, but that was enough! Not that anyone else is as nerdy about these things as we are. We also got schooled by a listener over the IWW’s position on (not) being an anarchist union, which you can read on their website’s statement on “Political Parties and Anarchism”, along with their research into theories on the origin of the nickname “Wobbly”. And early 20th century Seattle anarchist Louise Olivereau, who we incorrectly called an IWW member, had a fascinating life; you can read more in Nick Heath’s short biography of her on libcom.org, or if you’ve got a well equipped library, dig up historian Sarah Sharbach’s articles “Louise Olivereau and the Seattle Radical Community, 1917–1923” (a 1986 master’s thesis) or “A Woman Acting Alone: Louise Olivereau and the First World War” from Pacific Northwest Quarterly 78 (1987).
Read the court statement from imprisoned Russian anti-fascist Alexei Gaskarov, recently sentenced to three and a half years in prison..
Hot Wire news briefs included: protests against Israel’s war in Gaza including preventing an Israeli ship from docking in the port of Oakland and the occupation of an Israeli weapons factory in the UK; anarchists sabotaging construction equipment at a McDonald’s in Portland, Oregon and attacked vehicles at a Nissan dealership in Olympia, Washington; eco-defense actions including an indigenous blockade of a copper and gold mine in British Columbia a treesit on an island in the Puget Sound near Seattle against a planned shopping mall, an office occupation in the UK by anti-fracking protestors, and the mass detention of anti-mining protestors in Nicaragua; a Pennsylvania seed library charged with “agri-terrorism”; police murder of a Kurdish protestor in Turkey; Indian hunger striker Irom Sharmila’s release after 14 years in prison; Texas Governor Rick Perry’s booking on corruption charges; and the sentencing of Bolotnaya Square rebels to prison terms and Russia’s rebuke to US criticism.
Upcoming events include the Philadelphia Anarchist Book Fair on 8/23 and the Seattle Anarchist Book Fair 8/23–24; the “Linen for Liberation” birthday pool party for Russell Maroon Shoatz, 8/23 in Philadelphia; the Connecting European Struggles gathering in Lund, Sweden and Rising Tide North America’s continental Mountain Justice gathering in Whitesburg, Kentucky, each 8/22–24; the anarchist book fair in Stockholm, Sweden, 8/31; the Libertarian Media Fair in Essen, Germany, 8/29–30; the Balkan Anarchist Book Fair in Mostar, Bosnia 9/5–6; the Torch Network antifascist conference in Chicago, 9/13; the North American Anarchist Black Cross gathering in Denver, 9/12–14; an anti-Tar Sands camp out in Utah and New York City Climate Convergence, each 9/19–21; and on 10/4, the tenth anniversary of the Really Really Free Market in Carrboro, NC and the global day of action against the use of drones for surveillance.
Upcoming prisoner birthdays:
Maliki Shakur Latine # 81-A–4469
Clinton Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 2000
Dannemora, New York 12929
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF–3855
P.O. Box 244
Graterford , PA 19426
Ronald Reed #2195311
Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights
5329 Osgood Avenue North
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082–1117
Central North Correctional Centre
1501 Fuller Avenue
Penetanguishene, Ontario L9M 2H4