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Combatting the industrial prison complex by advocating decriminalization of illicit drug use in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee–  On February 6th, 2018 local residents converged on the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville, Tennessee to encourage the Commissioner to support a bill that would effectively decriminalize marijuana use.  Local anarchists and antifascists (Nashville AntiFa, Nashville Anarchist Black Cross, and Middle Tennessee Autonomous Network) gathered to advocate for this bill.  Although the vast majority of citizens attending were advocating decriminalization to facilitate the utility of medical and recreational cannabis, anarchist and antifascist support was largely predicated on the fact that this bill would be an important cap in the prison pipeline for petty drug crimes.

Although anarchists do not seek to beg an authoritarian government for personal rights, this rally was an important event in which our collectives could engage in thoughtful dialogue and educate others in our community about the prison industrial complex, which profits from arresting non-violent marijuana users, and to advocate personal freedom and bodily autonomy.  “Our collectives firmly believe the government has no right to tell you what you can or cannot do with your own body,” one anarchist stated to a rally attendee. Continue reading Combatting the industrial prison complex by advocating decriminalization of illicit drug use in Nashville

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Emma Goldman and Johann Most: In Defence of #Anarchism

By 1896, anarchism was acquiring a fearsome reputation, largely due to the actions of a few self-proclaimed anarchists, particularly in France, where there was a series of bombings and assassinations. Emma Goldman and Johann Most were already notorious anarchists in the United States. Goldman’s comrade, Alexander Berkman, had tried to assassinate the industrialist Henry Clay Frick in 1892, after Frick had ordered the violent suppression of a strike at the Homestead steel plant, resulting in the deaths of several workers and some of the Pinkertons sent in to put down the strike. Despite the anti-anarchist atmosphere at the time, the Metropolitan Magazine, a New York literary and political magazine, printed this defence of anarchism by Goldman and Most (anglicizing his first name) in October 1896 (much later it sent John Reed to cover the Mexican Revolution). It is difficult to find English translations of Most’s work (thanks to the Anarchy Archives for finding this one). In Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included the Pittsburgh Proclamation, which was mainly written by Most, from the 1883 founding congress of the International Working People’s Association.

Robert Graham

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A-Radio #Berlin: The Chaos Communication Congress 2017 in Germany – an anarchist perspective

Radio podcast from A-Radio Berlin about Chaos Communication Congress (from December 2017) in Leipzig, Germany, from an anarchist perspective.

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Urgent Call to Continue the Solidarity Campaign with the Repressed Russian Anarchists

More arrests: In the Crimea, special services detained a local anarchist and social activist Yevgeny Karakashev (02/02). In Moscow, an anarchist Elena Gorban was arrested (13/02). On the same day, anarchist Alexei Kobaidze was detained and arrested. We are calling upon everybody to continue the solidarity campaign!

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Barbarians: Disordered Insurgence by Chrissus and Odotheus

Barbarians by Chris and Odotheus is a text of some importance for anarchists and anyone else who sincerely desires the destruction of this social world of exploitation and domination. It presents a devastating critique of a book that has become one of the most significant theoretical influences on a major part so-called anti-globalisation movement, Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Hardt and Negri claim to be post-dialectical and post-Marxist. It merely takes a slight rip of the veil to expose a historical determinism and a rigid dialectic of class struggle that reflects one of the crudest versions of Marxism.

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#Russia: Anarchists Yelena Gorban and Alexei Kobaidze Suspects in Vandalism Committed Outside of United Russia Office Sent to Temporary Detention Facility

Yelena Gorban and Alexei Kobaidze, suspects in the vandalism case (Russian Criminal Code Article 214) opened after a protest outside a United Russia party office on January 31, have been sent to Temporary Detention Facility No. 1 (Petrovka) in Moscow, as reported to OVD Info by their defense lawyers, Svetlana Sidorkina and Maxim Pashkov.

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Kaos GL Calls for the Trans Anarchist Prisoner #DirenCoşkun on Hunger Strike

Kaos GL Association made a statement with the title “Urgent Release” for trans-anarchist prisoner Diren Coskun held in Tekirdağ F-Type Prison No. 2, who entered the 21st day of hunger strike against the violation of rights in prison and for the right of surgery and treatment. In the statement published in Turkish and English it is called to meet Coşkun’s demands.

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Alfredo M. Bonanno: Insurrectionalist #Anarchism – Part One

Insurrectionalist Anarchism – Part One by Alfredo M. Bonanno. Contents: Introduction, Affinity, Informal Organisation, The Revolutionary Project.

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The Black Bloc Papers – Second Edition

The Black Bloc Papers second edition – An Anthology of Primary Texts From The North American Anarchist Black Bloc 1988-2005. The Battle of Seattle Through The Anti-War Movement. Edited and compiled by David Van Deusen and Xaviar Massot of The Green Mountain Anarchist Collective.

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#Russia: Arrested #Penza Antifascists Talk about Torture in Remand Prison

“He Would Check My Pulse by Touching My Neck and Monitor My Condition.” Arrested Penza Antifascists Talk about Electric Shock Torture in Remand Prison Basement.

Ilya Shakursky and Dmitry Pchelintsev, arrested in and charged with involvement in a “terrorist community,” have told their attorneys that Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers tortured them in the basement of the city’s remand prison. Mediazona has decided to publish the story told by Shakursky’s defense counsel and the transcript of what Pchelintsev relayed to his lawyer.

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Sabaté: Urban Guerrilla in #Spain

This Free book by Antonio Téllez tells of the life, the action, and the death of one of the best-known of all the Spanish resistance fighters: El Sabaté! Introduction by Alfredo M. Bonanno.

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Louise Michel: Why I am an Anarchist (1896)

The recent death of Ursula Le Guin reminded me of Louise Michel (1830-1905), the French revolutionary anarchist. For one thing, Michel wrote some anarchist science fiction herself in the 1880s, The Human Microbes (1887) and The New World (1888), sharing some similarities with Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. The New World features a utopian anarchist community in the arctic, an environment equally as inhospitable as the desert moon, Anarres, in The Dispossessed, from which the anarchists aim to migrate into space. Michel also reminds me a bit of Odo, the anarchist feminist sage who inspired the anarchists on Anarres. But Louis Michel, in contrast to Odo, was no pacifist. In this article from 1896, Michel explains why she is an anarchist, and refers to her coming to an anarchist position on her voyage to the French penal colony in New Caledonia after the fall of the Paris Commune. One of the people on that voyage who helped persuade her to adopt an anarchist stance was Nathalie Lemel, who also played an important role during the Commune. I included excerpts from Michel’s defiant speech to the military tribunal that condemned her to the penal colony, and her defence of women’s rights, in Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.

Robert Graham

Continue reading Louise Michel: Why I am an Anarchist (1896)