In our first episode of the new year, the Ex-Worker looks back over 2015 and its highlights, lowlights, and everything in between. We summarize some of the year’s key news developments, including tech developments and struggles around gender, anarchist publishing and media, a hilarious look at mass media coverage of anarchism, and our reflections on the last year of the podcast itself and our new year’s resolutions. You’ll also hear some analysis of some of the important themes within anarchism and revolutionary struggles in 2015, including an extended discussion on identity and solidarity, a review of the AK Press anthology “Taking Sides”, and reflections on our relationship to mass movements. The anarchist news website “It’s Going Down” contributes their end of year thoughts, a new project called “The Spaces Between” sets out to document US anarchism outside of its major urban hotspots, and a supporter offers an important update on NATO 3 prisoner Jared “Jay” Chase. We also received a number of detailed and inspiring year in review reports from anarchists around the world … but we’ll save those for our next episode.
Notes and Links
- 2015 year in review [2:30]
- Tech developments and Backslash statement [12:23]
- Reflections on gender and identity [16:48]
- Chopping Block: “Taking Sides” review [28:47]
- “It’s Going Down” Year in Review [42:03]
- Anarchist publishing and media [53:44]
- Mass media coverage of anarchism [1:00:37]
- The last year of the Ex-Worker [1:13:55]
- Reflections on mass movements [1:18:48]
- The Ex-Worker’s new year’s resolutions [1:25:32]
- Next Week’s News [1:27:20]
- NATO 3 prisoner Jared “Jay Chase” update [1:31:55]
- Prisoner birthdays and outro [1:35:41]
In our roundup of the year’s developments in anarchist publishing and media, we mentioned Fifth Estate (happy 50th anniversary!), Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, and Fire to the Prisons, the insurrectionary “periodical of frustration” which, under new editors, released issue 12; in anarcho-primitivist and green/wild publishing, Black Seed, Black and Green Review, and The Wildernist; around queer/feminist/gender/sexuality, Baedan, and the LIES Journal; local or topical anarchist newsletters and small print publications, including such as Storming Heaven and The Transmetropolitan Review [Seattle]; Wildfire [anarchist prisoner solidarity], The Dirt, Anathema, [Philadelphia] FireWorks [the San Francisco Bay area], and Slingshot [Berkeley]; new AK Press titles, including Our Enemies In Blue, Robert Graham on the First International, Dixie Be Damned, Octavia’s Brood, and of course the reader Taking Sides, which we reviewed earlier in this episode; in podcasts, The Final Straw, Which Side, Free Radical Radio; John Zerzan’s Anarchy Radio; The Brilliant, and in particular Resonance: An Anarchist Audio Distro; and in video, Unicorn Riot and of course SubMedia.
We reviewed “Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism” on the Chopping Block. We recommend you get a copy from AK Press, but if you can’t or you want to get started right now, you can find most of the essays in it online. Here are links to The Poor Person’s Defense of Riots, Decolonize Together, the zine “Who is Oakland?” (a precursor to the “Dangerous Allies” piece), “A Critique of Ally Politics”, which also appeared in Rolling Thunder #12, Accomplices Not Allies, “Coconspirators”, the zine “You Can’t Shoot Us All” from which the piece “Outside Agitators” was excerpted, “Spread the Miracle - Abolish the Police”, “Not Murdered and Not Missing”, “In Support of Baltimore”, “Solidarity, as Weapon and Practice, versus Killer Cops and White Supremacy”.
Also, Resonance Anarchiust Audio Distro released an audio version of “Revolutionary Solidarity: A Critical Reader for Accomplices”, which was the precursor to “Taking Sides” and includes seven of its essays. That’s not the same as the one with the piece from the Italian anarchist Daniele Carmignani that we mentioned in Episode 28, which is also well worth reading.
We read a long excerpt from the “All the News You Didn’t Even Know Was Going Down” 2015 year in review from our friends at the excellent new anarchist media site It’s Going Down. Keep an eye out for their soon-to-be-launched crowdfunding campaign to raise money for their print magazine.
Our roundup of 2015 mass media coverage of anarchism included a Time Magazine article about the release of a Sex Pistols-themed credit card, Geraldo Rivera on Fox News, a “Police Magazine” article titled “Understanding the Black Bloc” Omaha, Nebraska news website report on a speech given by the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, a cop on CNN who was really butt-hurt about how the assembled masses of Baltimore have no use for him or his profession, and the cases of Samuel Bradbury and Joe Waugh.
Check out all the actions that happened under the auspices of “Black December”!
January 22nd has been declared an International Day of Solidarity with Trans Prisoners. The day is being spearheaded by Marius Mason, the trans Green Scare prisoner currently held in Texas. This annual event, led by trans prisoners and their supporters from around the world, offers a chance for those on the outside to remember those behind bars, give real solidarity and support and raise awareness about issues facing trans prisoners. It is a chance for those on the inside to have a voice and organize together. Events are scheduled all around the world, including letter writing gatherings, film screenings, public forums, workshops, vigils, fundraisers, shows, and actions. You can read more details at transprisoners.net And if you’re planning an event, send a message to email@example.com to let them know so they can add it to the website. We’ve posted the info along with a number of links related to trans prisoner solidarity on our website.
Please take a moment to support Jared “Jay” Chase of the NATO 3! You can attend his pre-trial court date on February 3rd in Chicago, follow his case on Twitter, Facebook, or the NATO 3 support page. You can also write to Jay at:
Jared Chase M44710
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764
Contact organizers from “The Spaces Between”, the publishing project and tour (dates February 20th - March 5th) focusing on the experiences of anarchists outside of major urban “strongholds” and cities with substantial institutional lefts, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the link we mentioned to the Intercept’s documentary chronicling Eric McDavid’s case using actual video and audio footage captured by the FBI in the course of his entrapment.
In our roundup of tech developments, we highlighted the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense page of “Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications” and the Backslash kit of devices to help protestors stay safe and connected during demonstrations.
In our discussion of identity and solidarity, we cited a New York Times Magazine article about 2015 called “The Year We Obsessed Over Identity”.
Black liberation prisoner Herman Bell is up for parole in February. While you won’t find us advocating that you sign petitions very often, this time around it could help make a concrete difference towards freeing a longtime fighter for liberation; take a look at this petition on his behalf to the parole board and sign it if you feel inclined. Also, if you’re in the Asheville, NC area, don’t miss this solidarity event for Herman on January 14th, his 68th birthday, at Firestorm Books & Coffee.
Upcoming Prisoner Birthdays:
Casey Brezik #1154765
Jefferson City Correctional Center
8200 No More Victims Road
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Oscar Lopez Rivera #87651–024
FCI Terre Haute
Post Office Box 33
Terre Haute, Indiana 47808
Jason Hammond M50190
Vandalia Correctional Center
Post Office Box 500
Vandalia, Illinois 62471
Jeremy Hammond #18729–424
Post Office Box 4000
Manchester, Kentucky 40962
Abdul Aziz (Warren Ballantine) #1415430
Golden Grove Prison
RR 1 Box 9955
Kings Hill, Saint Croix
Virgin Islands 00850
Please address envelope to Warren Ballantine, card/letter to Abdul (Aziz)
Herman Bell #79-C–0262
Great Meadow Correctional Facility
11739 State Route 22
Post Office Box 51
Comstock, New York 12821–0051
Sundiata Acoli (Clark Squire) #39794–066
Post Office Box 1000
Cumberland, Maryland 21501
Please address envelope to Clark Squire, card/letter to Sundiata Acoli
Joseph Bowen #AM 4272
SCI Coal Township
1 Kelley Drive
Coal Township, Pennsylvania 17866–1020
Marius (Marie) Mason #04672–061
Post Office Box 27137
Fort Worth, Texas 76127
*Please address envelope to Marie, card/letter to Marius *