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Rhythm and Ritual: Composing Movement in #Portland’s 2020

While Portland’s uprising has been part of the general US #BLM movement, it has also been singular in many respects. Among its distinctive features are its continuing commitment to nightly action, the degree of popular support it enjoys from regular Portlanders, the rich new ecosystem of movement groups that provide it with its various functions, and the emergence of a popular, confrontational, fiery, but limited set of tactics. In spite of these impressive strengths, the uprising has struggled to develop a clear abolitionist vision or practice of community security, a fact which has generated a number of problems. To address this limitation, the authors look to the fabric of experiences that have become common in the streets, which they suggest already hint at a way forward. Beyond the more basic ‘diversity of tactics’ framework, they encourage the growth of a more robust model for composing popular power, capable of amplifying our decisiveness and increasing our capacity for practical coordination across differences. The path towards an autonomy-supporting culture is framed by a shared goal, namely, to grow the uprising’s power to change life. It is this more general commitment, they argue, that allows us to navigate many of the false oppositions the movement throws up at us.

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Jacques Camatte: Enmity and Extinction

In this text, first published in July of 2019 on thewebsite of the journal InvarianceFrench communist theorist Jacques Camatte retraces the techniques of separation that have divorced the human species from the natural world. For Camatte, it is this perilous detachment — and subsequent ‘wandering’ — that lies at the root of the pervasive enmity our species displays toward itself, toward its past, and toward nature as a whole. For those interested, several additional interviewstexts, and commentaries on Camatte can be found on Ill Will Editions.

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The Shifting Ground: a Conversation on the #GeorgeFloyd Rebellion

The murder of George Floyd catalyzed explosive social unrest of the sort not seen in this country in generations. Although things seemed to wane at a nationwide level by late June, the month of August saw a rapid resurgence of conflict, with mass looting taking place in Chicago, fierce clashes in several cities including Portland and Richmond, and a major revolt in the city of Kenosha, WI lasting three days and culminating in clashes and shootouts with the far-Right groups and local militia. In early September, Ill Will sat down with Jarrod Shanahan and Zhandarka Kurti, authors of the Brooklyn Rail piece, Prelude to a Hot American Summer,” to discuss this summer’s second wave of social unrest.

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As free as blackness will make them – An interview with Frank B. Wilderson III

The following interview was conducted August 20, 2020 by Gerardo Munoz and Ángel Octavio Álvarez Solis on Radio Ibero in Mexico City. Transcribed by Ill Will Editions, with light edits for readability. 

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The swarm approach to warfare – An introduction for frontliners

Introduction

The following is intended as an introduction to the concept of “swarming” as an approach to warfare, as theorized by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt in Swarming and the Future of Conflict, published in 2000 under the RAND Corporation’s National Defense Research Institute. It is hoped that the emergent frontliner tendencies that have migrated from the 2019 Hong Kong Democracy Movement to the 2020 George Floyd Rebellion can make use of swarm theory to elaborate the oft-cited maxim, “be water.” 

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The return of John Brown: White race traitors in the 2020 uprising

Dedicated to all the martyrs of the 2020 Uprising.

What is the prognosis? …The prognosis is in the hands of those who are willing to get rid of the worm-eaten roots of the structure.

Frantz Fanon
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The Rise of Black Counter-Insurgency

Introduction

From May 26 to June 1, 2020, a Black led multi-racial proletarian rebellion burned down police stations, destroyed cop cars, attacked police, redistributed goods, and took revenge for the murder of countless Black and non-Black people by the police. By the first week of June, everything seemed to have changed, everyone seemed to have forgotten that any of this happened, and instead we became good protestors, we became non-violent, and we became reformists. Instead of attacking police, we endured countless marches with no point other than to continue marching. From revolutionary abolitionists, we became reformist abolitionists. What happened? 

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