From ANews Podcast
Welcome to this week’s podcast. This podcast is on anarchist activity, ideas, and comments from the previous week on anarchistnews.org.Notes:
Written by chisel, read by chisel & deathmetalicious
A reading from theanarchistlibrary:
Anonymous – “Sacrificing Life”
Read & sound edited by Max Res
TOTW: For Those Who Gave All
w/ Max Res & octox
sound editing by octox
Samples & Music:
Story Of The Year – Until The Day I Die
Cigarettes After Sex – Apocalypse
Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero (Official Instrumental)
Ushio Kensuke – Purple Clouds (Heike Monogatari OST)
My Chemical Romance – Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back
Meat Loaf – I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) | Vkgoeswild piano cover
Lescop – La Forêt [slowed]Tags: ANews Podastanews has it the togetherestpodcastGreg
Humor, as a phenomenon, crosses all known cultural lines, predates written history, and leaves even the most serious researchers with little more than competing theories as to how it came to be. All the more appealing for anarchists, there’s no sole authority on what is funny or when something “becomes” so. The impulse to joke can stem from motivations as varied as the human experience and the consequences can be equally healing or destructive, depending on how it’s done.
Through humor, individuals are invited to transgress standards of acceptability and convention with a technique that emphasizes amusement and play. In this way, I’m reminded of the anarchist’s friend—the trickster figure—“who cares to balance the world between terminal creeds and humor with unusual manners and ecstatic strategies” to create new possibilities through more light-hearted strategy. This is particularly relevant as ideas of popular resistance and social revolution are fleeting.
Of course, keeping things light is a challenge (and not always the best response). With the heaviness of “staying informed” and our tendency to doom-scroll social media feeds, it can feel like the only likely outcomes are to transform into an anarcho-superhero to defeat Evil or be paralyzed into inaction. Neither of these outcomes is a laughing matter. Yet, when visiting online anarchist spaces (for example) a hodgepodge of absurd memes can be found alongside soul-crushing headlines, an odd juxtaposition to the unfamiliar eye.
How does humor inform your perspective as an anarchist? Is it simply a coping mechanism, or can it offer something more? How do you mix seriousness and levity?Tags: totwtopic of the weekhumorstrategyburnoutjokesanarchy is serious business!
From Acid Horizon
Catherine Malabou returns to the podcast on the eve of her most recent work being translated into English, a book entitled "Stop Thief! Anarchism and Philosophy". We revisit the arguments for ontological anarchism and attempt to elucidate a bridge between anarchy in philosophy and politics. Catherine also shares her views on cryptocurrency, AI, and other technological trends as they relate to the prospect of a "dawning anarchy". Moreover, we explore the distinction between liberatory and libertarian anarchisms as they both emerge on the cybernetic plane of the control society.
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The true, swashbuckling lives of matriarchs, anarchists, and pirates at the crossroads of the world.
January 24, 2023
By Cory Doctorow
The untimely death of activist/anthropologist/author David Graeber in 2020 tore a hole in the future, depriving us of not just Graeber's presence, but of the books he had left to write – incisive, brilliant, hilarious followups to the likes of Debt and Bullshit Jobs:
And what books Graeber had left in him! Just weeks prior to his death, Graber finished Dawn Of Everything, his ten-year collaboration with David Wengrow. It's a nose-to-tail reconsideration of everything we know about the civilizations of prehistory, and what they tell us about the essential nature of humanity:
Today, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux publishes Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia, billed as Graeber's "final posthumous work" (more on this later).
It's a reworking of Graeber's anthropology doctoral research, studying the Zana-Malata people of Madagascar, the living descendants of the feminist, anarchist pirates who ruled the island in the early 18th century.
I read a prepublication draft of the book for a blurb, and I was riveted. In the early 18th century, the Zana-Malata people – a new culture created jointly by pirates from around the world and Malagasy – came to dominate the island. They brought with them the democratic practices of pirate ships (where captains were elected and served at the pleasure of their crews) and the matriarchal traditions of some Malagasy, creating a feminist, anarchist "Libertalia."
Graeber retrieves and orders the history of this Libertalia from oral tradition, primary source documents, and records from around the world. Taken together, it's a tale that is rollicking and romantic, but also hilarious and eminently satisfying.
For example, the pirates of Madagascar found it useful (and amusing) to trick visitors into thinking the island had "pirate kings." They created sham courts, where Zana-Malata, Malagasy and pirates put on elaborate cons for visitors where they all pretended to be subjects of a pirate monarch whose treasures were borrowed for the duration of the show.
These shams, in turn, spawned a popular English literature, with the likes of Defoe penning bestselling, fantastical accounts of the pirate kings and their improbable adventures. Back in Madagascar, the Zana-Malata laughed themselves silly at the credulous crowds on the other side of the world.
18th century Madagascar was a crossroads of sea-traders, religious apostates (radical Jews!), exiles and sea-bums of every description. Graeber describes how the Zana-Malata's egalitarian made them resilient and adaptable, able to meet aggression with force when needed, or to turn it away when possible.
Graeber tells this tale as skillfully as any 18th century romantic pirate novelist, but grounded in academic rigor and careful research. "Pirate Enlightenment" is a swashbuckling, anti-authoritarian thrill-ride through the true pirates of the Indian Ocean, and the legacy they left behind.
One note on that "final posthumous work" epithet. I'm told that Graeber left behind a mountain of unpublished work, in various degrees of done-ness, ranging from notebooks to unpublished articles. I'd be very surprised if this was the last work of Graeber's we see in print.Tags: MadagascarDavid Graeberpirateslibertaliabook reviewanthropology
The Ex-Worker is back! After a hiatus to work on other projects, our newly reassembled audio affinity group is leading the charge to produce audio versions of a wide range of CrimethInc. materials. Stay tuned for updates!
Since Elon Musk kicked us off of Twitter at the urging of a certain far-right troll, we haven’t slowed down—you’ll find us publishing regularly here at crimethinc.com and circulating our texts and ideas through accounts on Mastodon, Kolektiva, and other platforms. But we want to make sure that the analysis, reporting on current events across the globe, historical accounts, calls for action, and other anarchist content we’ve been providing for over two decades can reach the widest possible audience.
To that end, the Ex-Worker Podcast has committed to producing audio versions of most of the new content we produce. Beginning this month, you’ll be able to find links at the top of each page to an audio version of the article you’re reading. You’ll also be able to get the latest audio releases from the Ex-Worker by streaming or downloading directly from the podcast page, through your favorite podcatcher, or from other audio/video platforms including YouTube and Soundcloud—stay tuned for updates as we roll these out.
Today, we’re releasing the first of two episodes on the struggle to Stop Cop City and defend the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta, Georgia. In the coming days, you’ll see episodes appear on our banning from Twitter and our analysis of social media, navigating fascism and left electoralism in Brazil, and an audio version of our article on the Battle of York in 2002. Stay tuned!
Additionally, we’re working our way through the back catalog of our most popular articles and zines that haven’t had audio versions produced yet. You can already find audio versions of some classics, including To Change Everything, From Democracy to Freedom, and our book No Wall They Can Build. Coming soon, you’ll be able to listen to a wide range of articles and zines, including Why We Don’t Make Demands, Against the Logic of the Guillotine, There’s No Such Thing as Revolutionary Government, and many more! If you’ve got requests for audio versions of your favorite article or zine, you can drop us a line to podcast at crimethinc dot com.
Finally, in response to popular demand, we’re working on a major project to produce an audiobook version of Work, our classic analysis of capitalism, economics, and resistance. Today, revolt against work is spreading across the world in the aftermath of the pandemic, and a wave of strikes and union organizing offers possibilities but also limits. We want to make sure that as many people as possible have tools for understanding the functioning of the economy from the bird’s-eye-view down to the cash register and the factory floor—and ideas about how to challenge the mythology of work and take action to escape from its clutches into a freer world. Stay tuned!
Since 2013, the Ex-Worker Podcast and our comrades at The Hotwire have offered an audio strike against a monotone world. The project has evolved over the years, and will continue to change as our lives and the terrain we’re fighting on goes on shifting. When we got started nearly ten years ago, other than our friends at The Final Straw Radio (who are still going strong!), there were hardly any anarchists working in the medium of podcasting. Today, we’re a part of the Channel Zero Network, which has hosted dozens of different audio projects produced by anarchists and anti-authoritarians. We have participated in international gatherings networking with podcasts, radio shows, and radio stations across dozens of countries.
But we still think there’s a vital role for audio projects in support of our broader mission to hasten the end of all forms of hierarchy and domination and dream a free world into being. From your headphones to the streets, we’ll be seeing you!
The Ex-Worker Podcast CollectiveTags: crimethinc.podcastthe ex-worker
From confirming his detention in 41 bis, the most afflictive detention regime in Italian prisons, to which Alfredo was transferred on May 5th.
In the face of this attempt at annihilation, it is of the utmost importance that the ideas, deeds, and contribution of the comrade are not forgotten, condemned to oblivion as desired by the repressive apparatuses with the Scripta Manent trial, Sibilla repressive operation, and the transfer to the 41 bis prison regime. To the isolation and censorship of the State and its prisons we oppose, today as yesterday, the tenacity and consistency of our ideas and practices.
“Allow me to say, with a modicum of pride, that my life (like the life of every anarchist worthy of the name) is characterised by the attempt to make theory and action coincide. To the servants of Power I say only one thing: you can keep me in jail for the rest of my life but resign yourself, you will not succeed in taking away my coherence and self-respect, let alone the pleasure and desire to fight you“.
(Alfredo Cospito, ‘About Sibilla Operation’, 2021)
An update on the current health condition: the comrade collapsed, the torturers took him to hospital and then returned him to 41 bis
Serious news is arriving from Bancali prison, where Alfredo Cospito has been on hunger strike for 99 days. Our comrade now moves around in a wheelchair, he has worrying microchemical values, he has serious thermoregulation problems, that is, he is getting colder and colder, he covers himself with many jumpers and several pairs of trousers.
Perhaps in order to warm himself up, he decided to take a shower last night, around 11:30 p.m.. There Alfredo allegedly collapsed, fell and broke his nose in a compound manner. In addition, due to low platelets, he allegedly started to lose a lot of blood from the wound. For these reasons he was rushed to the hospital in Sassari. After initial treatment, the murderers of the prison police took him back to prison.
A few hours earlier, yesterday [January 25th], came the Minister of Justice rejection of Alfredo’s transfer to a prison with a hospital ward: according to Nordio [Carlo Nordio is the Minister of Justice], Cospito is ‘in excellent health’…
The comrade’s health condition on the 99th day of hunger strike
On January 26th, the 99th day of the hunger strike against 41 bis and life imprisonment without possibility of parole, the antagonist radio station Radio Onda d’Urto broadcast a fifth speech by the doctor who is regularly visiting comrade Alfredo Cospito. As with the updates on the 71st (December 29th), 78th (January 5th) and 85th (January 12th) day of the hunger strike, we report a transcript of the broadcast:
“So […], I found him quite bad; quite bad because his thermoregulation is practically non-functional, that is, he can no longer thermoregulate: he’s in four shirts and three pairs of trousers, he’s always cold. As if that wasn’t enough, when last night to warm himself up he had the idea of taking a shower around 11.30 p.m., he fell ruinously to the floor because he had hypotension, so he landed on the shower tray with his face and found a decomposed fracture of the base of his nose, so he was taken to the emergency room where they reduced the fracture, which was later tamponaded in the otorhinic department, and sent back to prison. Now he has no pain, all in all the bleeding has reduced, but what is important is that the white series of the haemochrome has also been reduced, i.e. the lymphocytes, the leucocytes, that is, all those corpuscles that serve to fight infections. And the platelets have also been reduced, which is probably why he has lost more blood than he should have lost; today he still had his shirt all bloody because he went to bed, he slept very little, he’s starting to get insomnia, and the electrolyte drop continues, so we’re in a bit of a downhill situation. […] The discourse is that [the situation] can change from one moment to the next, it depends on how much his organism is still able to affect the proteins as little as possible and therefore to save them, because what concerns the blood series, the albumin […], also depends on this, so the moment he exceeds 50 per cent of the protein catabolism we are very, very, very much at risk. […] In my opinion, yes [the situation can become life-threatening at any moment]. […] Since the last time he lost 2.00 kg, all in all not very much, also because last week he had lost more because he kept on walking, so since there was no possibility to have a food intake, therefore an energetic production, the organism drew from the muscles, so the previous week he had had a muscular decrease, a very important muscular catabolism […]”.
The injunction issued by the Department of Penitentiary Administration to the trusted doctor and the health condition of the comrade on the 92nd day of hunger strike
On January 23rd, the comrade’s lawyer, receiving from the management of the Bancali prison the authorisation for the visit of the trustworthy doctor for the following January 26th, received jointly an injunction, addressed to the doctor herself, who is admonished not to give any more interviews to the radio station Radio Onda d’Urto “in order not to frustrate the purposes of the regime under the former article 41 bis of the penitentiary order. Further statements made in this sense, could lead […] to consider the revocation of the authorisation to access the Institute“. A threat, even more serious as it occurs in the days when the comrade’s condition is seriously worsening, which once again expresses all the will of isolation that the State officials intend to impose on the comrade and his condition.
In order to provide a picture as complete as possible of the serious worsening of the physical condition that has occurred in the last week, we also publish a transcript of the doctor’s fourth speech on Radio Onda d’Urto (dating from January 19th, 92nd day of hunger strike):
“[…] Despite the further weight loss – because today he weighed 87 kg, we are on the 90th day of the hunger strike, he has lost about 40 kg, starting from 115 kg – all in all his health condition is stable. Let’s say that we’ve reached the limit of what can be a precipitation of the precarious condition in which he now lives, because all his glucose reserves are practically exhausted, he no longer has any fat, and he’s heading towards muscle catabolism, as his muscles are greatly reduced in volume. He is, however, still conscious, he always uses the usual honey when he has periods of obnubilation, but all in all I can’t say that I found him bad today, he’s fairly well. We find ourselves in that situation where, a month ago, I could say that there was still a good margin for the situation not to deteriorate, whereas now this great margin is no longer there. […] So, no, he’s not sick, I wanted to say that what could have been the margin where the situation still had some time, quite a bit of time to be able to precipitate, now [instead] it can precipitate at any moment, that’s all [… ], we’re on a narrow path where there can be a trifle, even an emotional stress… So, he was telling me, for example, if it was good for him to walk during the hour of free time, because he was having a little fun with the other three people with whom he shared the hour of free time. Now, it is clear that a walk, to another ‘patient’, could be good, a good thing, because it is always good to move; in Alfredo’s case a further energy consumption, as there is no possibility of reintroducing these lost energies, is not. In fact, I told him: ‘walk as little as possible, stay in the free time break, this yes, but as physical activity at this time it is not indicated that you do it’ […]”.Tags: Alfredo Cospitohealthupdatehunger strikeanarchist prisonersItaly
Margaret and Nadia talk about harm reduction, what it is, how it relates to community preparedness, strategies for including harm reduction in your preparedness routines, and a little bit of history and legality as relates to different kinds of drug use.Guest Info
Nadia works with Next Distro and can be found at https://nextdistro.org/Host Info
This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.Transcript
LLWD: Nadia on Harm Reduction
Hello, and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I'm your host today, Margaret killjoy. And today, I am really excited about this episode, I think you'll all get a lot out of it. I guess I say that every time but I wouldn't record these episodes, if I didn't think you would get a lot out of them. Today, we are talking about harm reduction. And we were talking about preparedness that includes drug users. Because, if you think you don't know any drug users, you just don't know anyone who is willing to tell you that they're a drug user. And we will talk about that and a lot more. But first, this podcast is a proud member of the Channel Zero network of anarchists podcasts. And here's a jingle from another show on the network.
Okay, we're back. And if you could introduce yourself with your name, your pronouns. And then kind of a little bit about your background about the kind of stuff that we're gonna be talking about today.
Yeah, sure, hey, Margaret. My name is Nadia, I use they or she pronouns. And I am a harm reductionist, a drug user. And I have both worked at in-person syringe service programs, and currently work for an online meal based program, where we ship safer drinking supplies to folks all over the country.
That's cool. So we talked about having you on, because we wanted to talk about preparedness that includes the drug users in your community, whether the person listening to this as drug user, or whether they care about drug users in their community. And I know it's a big open question, but I kind of wanted to ask you that. How prepare that?
Well, you know, I think that when we talk about prepping, disaster prepping and harm reduction, they're really similar, because it's really boils down to a risk assessment and thinking critically, right? The world isn't black and white, it's not really an easy question to answer, for example, should I evacuate or not in a disaster? Similarly, how do I protect myself as a drug user, in a world that isn't concerned about my health or safety? And you know, for people who historically lack access to resources, and healthcare, I think talking about how to prepare or what readiness looks like, is especially important.
So, I guess I kind of want to start with some of the practical questions. It's like, what are the things that one should do that are different from what one would otherwise do? Like I'm like thinking about like, even for my own sake, right. Like, I'm like, like people say, like, carry Narcan, for example, like, how does one access that? What is the shelf life on that? Is that a thing that if community like mutual aid groups or individuals who have like large stashes of things or whatever? Is it like worth having a bunch of. Is it depend on community access? Is it better to just like, specifically coordinate with existing harm reduction and like needle exchange groups in your area? Like, it seems to me that like, like, one of the prepper mindset things is like, "Oh, there's a thing I need, I should go out and get a bunch of it". Right? And my instinct here is that maybe that rather than run out and get a bunch of say, Narcan, it would be more about like, be aware of how people can access that and which groups do distribute that and then maybe have like enough for me to carry around? I don't know. Yeah, like, I guess let's start with Narcan. What's What's the Narcan?
Sure. Um, so for folks that are listening that don't know, Narcan or naloxone is a medication that will reverse an opioid overdose. And you know, it, it should be kept in a relatively temperature stable area, but there's there's been a lot of studies on it. And they have shown that it maintains its efficacy, much past expiration dates and the kind of temperature parameters. So you don't want to keep it somewhere freezing or super hot, but it is more resilient than you think. And having some naloxone is better than having none. And you mentioned, you know, going out and sort of stocking up. And I think that this is a broader conversation about prepping too, the difference between being ready and hoarding, right, yeah, and sometimes that line definitely gets blurry. Do you really need 100 pounds of rice? Are you going to go through it before it gets bad? Do you have a proper place to store it? I mean, you can talk about naloxone in the same way. And you know, just like you can keep Narcan in your bag. If you're going to a show going to a bar, you can also keep some in your gobag, if you have one, to evacuate, for example.
What's the....you know, I usually present myself as sort of the the person who pretends like she doesn't know what she's asking in these episodes, but I actually don't know as much about this as I would like. Alot of my friends are way more knowledgeable about this stuff. Like what is the difference between Narcan and naloxone? And how would I go about getting some to carry around with me?
Sure. So Narcan is really just a brand name, that's the the nasal spray. Naloxone is the actual medication. You can pick it up from certain service programs in your area. If you don't have a needle exchange in your area, you can go just Google Next Distro. We mail Naloxone to folks, so just check the website, see if you live in a state or an area where we do that. But we do try to encourage people to sort of seek out resources where they live. But yeah, there's there's a lot of different organizations, everything from sort of anarchist collectives, running needle exchanges to health departments that are, you know, offering trainings and providing Narcan.
What's the legality of it?
So, as far as you know, carrying it with you, there is what is called a standing order. It's basically a sort of blanket prescription. You can go to the pharmacy, purchase Naloxone, it can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you don't have insurance, which is why I kind of mentioned, you know, needle exchanges and health departments first. But I think, you know, as far as having it on your person, it's not going to be a situation where it's illegal. However, we know that cops like to fuck with people. So if you do happen to have Naloxone, and you have syringes on you, I'm not going to say you'll be fine. However, the law is on your side in that regard. And another piece of that, too, is different states have different Good Samaritan laws. So if you are with someone that is experiencing an overdose, in many states, not all, you can call 911, without the fear or threat of potentially being arrested for small possession, or things like that. They are very narrow in a lot of places. But that's something that you're going to want to look into for your state.
So it's like, this makes sense, like so probably, if I have some drugs on me and my friend has some drugs on me and my friend overdoses. There's a fear of involving the medical establishment because there's a fear of me or the person who's overdosing getting arrested for what we have on them. Is that what you're saying that this law protects? Like, yeah, in some states protects people about?
So you know, there's, there's a lot of stigma, right? And you know, just the the illegality piece. And at the end of the day there, there is an overdose crisis in the United States, in many places. And so these laws are designed to sort of take some of that fear away. And if you are responding to someone who's experiencing an overdose, you don't have to tell 911 when you call that this person is on drugs or that they are overdosing. You can just merely describe the symptoms and what is happening to them. For example, this person is not breathing, they're turning blue. I can't hear a heartbeat, whatever it might be. And you know, if you do have to leave and you have given them Naloxone, you can just leave the vials or or the package next to the person that way when EMS does arrive, they do know "Okay, this person has been given Narcan, "and they can kind of go from there,
Right. Okay, so like if you have reasons that you don't want to interact with emergency personnel and need to leave the scene, okay.
Yeah, and you have options. And that's kind of the whole thing about harm reduction, right? It's a pragmatic approach to drug use and a realistic one. And so, you know, that's why there, there are no hard and fast rules of do this, or don't do this, but, you know, sort of a continuum of human behavior. And, you know, acknowledging the risks at any point of it.
I want to come back to that in a little bit, because I want to have this whole conversation about what harm reduction...like why the work that y'all do is so like, philosophically important, to like disaster preparedness, and probably life in general. But first, I want to, I want to keep talking about some of this stuff, like with, like, you're talking about the, you know, there's an overdose crisis in the United States, I feel like everyone, on some level knows that. And one of the things that's so interesting to me, I would think I was thinking about before we did this episode is that it's like, you know, this is all about like, disaster preparedness, right? The whole show. And it feels like a lot of communities and certainly including drug communities. I don't know the way phrase that.....
You can say, "people who use drugs."
Okay. But so there is a disaster happening right now. Like, there is a crisis. Like there's a reason we call it crisis, you know, it's like a really fucking bad thing. And I'm wondering if, without necessarily going into it, like, too great, but I'm curious, like, what is happening? Like, what is what's happening right now? Why is everyone OD'ing? ,
Well, you know, there's a lot of different facets to the overdose crisis and a lot of different solutions. Some of them sort of more triage, you know, we were just talking about Naloxone, and, and it's a great medication, it saves lives. But ultimately, what we really need is a safe supply of drugs. If people are aware and knowledgeable of what they're taking, how potent it is, if there are any adulterants in it, you know, that's where we would like to go. Obviously, drugs are illegal. Most drugs are illegal in most places in the United States. And, you know, there there has been pushes for access to safe supply in places like Canada in, you know, I believe Oregon has, has I think, legalized some drugs, right? You can purchase I think mushrooms now. Don't quote me on that. I'm not actually familiar with Oregon law.
Anyone listening this, you can go out and buy mushrooms legally. And if the police stop you, you can say "it''s okay. It's not a crime." Don't do that. Okay. Anyway. Yeah.
I mean, you know, philosophically, it's not a crime. It's not a crime to do drugs. And, you know, the, the idea that some of these drugs are illegal, and some of them aren't, really, is sort of goes back to like this puritanical history of our country. You know, why is alcohol legal when we know that drunk driving rates are through the roof, and you know, it can cause incredible damage to your body over time. But then, you know, smoking marijuana is, is still illegal in a lot of places. where I live, for sure, especially in the south. So, you know, I think that there's there's that moral component
So we should bring back prohibition?
Yeah, exactly. And so I think, you know, as far as having access to drugs that are safe, drugs, that that you know, what you're getting, you know, I think that we don't want to short....when I say 'we,' I mean people who use drugs, I mean, people in the harm reduction community. We don't want to shortchange ourselves. I don't want to say, "Oh, well, the overdose crisis would be so much better if everyone had not Narcan." Yes, that's true. But that's a temporary fix,
Right. It's...no, that's such a good point. Because I feel like that's like the...I know I owe came out the gate with like that as the first thing that was on my mind. And I, and I'm, like, kind of embarrassed about that because it's such the like, it's the band aid we always keep getting presented. And it's like a real good band aid. It's more like the tourniquet we keep getting presented. But, it does seem like yeah, what you're talking about decriminalization, it's almost like when you make things illegal, it doesn't make the problem go away.
Yeah, and you know, I think about it in terms of living under capitalism for so long our entire lives, right. And you get to a point where it's hard to think about solutions outside of the current system. We're so focused on kind of again, that that triage, right, how do we make things better within this oppressive state that we live in? But really, ultimately, the goal should be moving past that and moving beyond it, right?
Yeah. Yeah. So to go back with preparedness, I know that you do a little bit of preparedness yourself. We talked before we started recording about, you know, canned vegetables and things like that. How does it impact your preparedness, both that you are a drug user, and also that you, like, care about and take drug users into consideration in your preparedness?
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of it is planning, right? I'm gonna use the example of of evacuating, I lived in the Gulf South for a very long time. Hurricanes were a yearly occurrence. And so I had to think about it a lot. But, you know, just in terms of what your risk is, and making a decision based on that, for example, if you are evacuating, do you bring drugs with you and sort of chance getting pulled over? Or do you try and score in a new place? And you have to decide what the bigger risk is for you. For example, if I'm driving with five of my friends in an unregistered van with acab stickers all over it, I might not want to be riding dirty, I might not want to have drugs on me. Versus, you know, if I am going somewhere completely unfamiliar to me, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to score when I get there. It might be worth the risk, right? And so thinking of those things in advance is really important. And the longer you wait in an emergency situation, the longer it's going to take you to get out of that cone of impact, right? If you wait to the last minute, there's going to be you know, traffic on the road, it's harder to to get out, it's harder to find a hotel room, for example. So really, that thinking of it in advance, you know, I think can save you a lot of critical time when you need to act.
Yeah. Yeah, like, I don't envy a lot of my friends who live in the Gulf South, are like, "What do I need?" And I'm like, I don't know, a house in the mountains somewhere. And then I'm like, No, that doesn't. That doesn't help. You know, I can't just tell people that.
Well, and I mean, you know, we're talking about preparedness, we're talking about disaster prep. And, you know, a lot of places that haven't had to deal with disasters, like hurricanes or flooding, or wildfires are seeing more and more of that now. And there's a greater impact on bipoc, queer and trans folks, disabled people, you know, marginalized groups whose access to resources is already more limited. And, you know, I think we really need to look towards communities that have been repeatedly harmed, especially by structural and environmental racism, I think they're best informed as to how to survive and how to support each other. And I don't want to say just in the Gulf south, but I'm talking about Flint, Michigan, I'm talking about, you know, Jackson, Mississippi, there's a lot of places where, you know, people are painfully aware that no one is coming to save you. It could be weeks or months for FEMA to arrive. In many places, local governments rely on mutual aid networks and charity groups to provide support. And so that kind of vacuum speaks to the importance of building dual power. Because it leaves the field open, I think for kind of any group that wants to become entrenched or inevitability, to sort of step up, right, whether that's a homophobic church group, right wing militias, especially in rural or remote areas, because, people remember who took care of them. You know, that's one of the reasons why the Black Panthers were such a threat with free breakfast programs and community care, is why Food Not Bombs is illegal in some places. There's just there's a lot of power in community sufficiency.
Yeah. I mean, and so you, you mentioned that there's like lessons that you draw from these specific places, especially bipoc. communities that are under like constant threat. What are some of the lessons that you feel like you draw from that? I mean, besides the one that you just pointed out, maybe that's the answer to the question, what you point out that like, building mutual aid networks and stuff like that, but....
Yeah, absolutely, figuring out who is in your support network. Also in a disaster or crisis situation, how will you communicate with that network is really important. You know, do folks know where you're staying and vice versa? Yeah. Also, you know, we're talking right now and 2022, almost 2023, the COVID pandemic isn't over. So figuring out how you can shelter places safely, you know, do you have masks on hand? That sort of thing. And then going back to prepping for people who use drugs, stocking up on drugs, you know, you might be thinking, "Oh, well, after the fact, I can just XYZ," whatever your plan is, but what if your dealer evacuated? You know? And, you know, the, as far as staying with other people, how do they feel about drug use? Does everyone know where the naloxone is and how to use it, you know, disasters are stressful, you might be dealing with extreme temperatures, hunkering down with people and their different temperaments, and, you know, for most of us to, stress impacts drug use, and it's important to keep that in mind. If you're, you know, for example, trying to cut back or regulate your use. I think all of these things, you know, are useful for people who use drugs, but ultimately, I think they're all skills or at least, you know, aspects of preparing that are beneficial for anyone.
Yeah. Well, so interesting, because it you know, normally we think of like, okay, if you can get more of a medication that you need ahead of time, right? That's great. And, you know, there's this limitation, it's actually very similar limitation, the limitation is legality. In this case of like, you know, it's, it's sometimes very hard for people who even have a prescription to get more than, you know, a month's worth of supply or whatever, at a time of any given prescription. And it's, it's something that people run up against a lot. And then obviously, with, I don't know, whether the way to phrase it as street drugs or not, or like drugs that are not being bought through the pharmaceutical networks or whatever, you know, there's an accessibility that is hit and miss. And then there's also an increased danger of stockpiling, because it seems like the the level of risk that you're carrying for getting busted changes a lot based on how much of any given drug you have on you.
Yeah, definitely. And I do want to kind of speak to one of the pieces you talked about, as far as having medications, you know, if you're on prescription medications, you know, you can check in with your provider, see, if you can get a larger refill than normal say, you know, instead of 30 days, can you get a 60 day supply, especially for people who use drugs, who might be on, you know, medication assisted treatment, they might be taking methadone, naltrexone, and, you know, these are highly effective in terms of either regulating your use, or perhaps, you know, not using it all. But they can be difficult to access. And in some places, it's harder to pick up the prescription for Vivitrol or suboxone because of stigma, because pharmacists, you know, have this idea of, of drug users, or they just might not know the the regulations and laws in their area. And you might not know them either, because you're new. So, I think that checking in, like I said, with providers ahead of time, if that's possible, and you know, doing what you can in terms of stocking up, but this, that whole plan needs the assistance of people in the medical field. And even they have, you know, that kind of stigma, unfortunately,
Yeah, yeah. To self insert this, I got refused a COVID shot because I was wearing a harm reduction shirt once.
Wait, why what was the excuse that they gave you?
I went in, I was like this dirty punk wearing a Steady Collective shirt, which is the harm reduction group in Asheville, North Carolina. And I, it's funny, I feel like it's like Stolen Valor that I wear this shirt. Because people like when I wore in Asheville people were like, I love what you do. And "I'm like, thanks. What I do is I designed the logo." And the reason I wear the shirt is because I designed the logo for it. So I'm very proud of...and it's just crossed hypodermic needles. And
It's a cool logo.
Thanks. Thanks. And I was in like, rural fucking right wing California. And I wanted a COVID booster. And so I went into the pharmacy. I found out ahead of time that this particular pharmacy did walk ins. And I walked in, and the the pharmacist at the counter was talking to a doctor who was in line in front of me. And they were both just complaining about drug users. And they were just both sitting there being like, "Oh, these damned, you know, junkies," or whatever. I don't remember how they phrased it, but it wasn't polite. And then like the person finally leaves and I walk up and I'm like, Yall take walk ins? and she's like, "No." And I'm like, "Can I make an appointment? And she's like, "Not for today."
That is wild. I mean, also you have a lot of people in the medical community that don't really believe that COVID is a thing or that vaccines are effective. I mean, you can have an anti Vaxxer pharmacist, which is, yeah, I mean,
And, like, this is such a, like, I face stigma once....I so it's like, it's really easy for me to imagine after that, that like, of course, people face stigma coming in and picking up their fucking medications, if they're like, the kinds of medications that are, like methadone and stuff like that. That's fucked up. I don't know, that sucks.
Yeah, and I mean, you know, we're talking about COVID. And I think harm reduction is a huge piece of you know, how we can kind of move through the world right now. People are continuing to die and be disabled by COVID. And, you know, we were talking a little bit before, before we started about, you know, kind of the beginning of COVID. And I was really optimistic at first kind of seeing mutual aid networks spring up and more people coming to the realization that the government will kill us for the sake of the economy. But you know, now I think even in radical spaces, that sort of care and community level protection has given way to the more mainstream sentiment or desire to return to normalcy. And that's just something that isn't possible. And it's not desirable to many, many people for whom normalcy was oppressive and a danger. Yeah, you know, I think that, especially as anarchists or folks that consider themselves radical, preppers, as well, we know that we keep us safe, right? That's kind of the tagline. But, that should also apply to immunocompromised people as well, and disabled folks. And, you know, now, I think it's a really great time to take stock of your existing protocols, and safety measures and sort of ask if those things that you're doing or not doing are still in line with what our current risk is. And right now, going into winter, you know, nationally, over 10% of tests are coming back positive. And we know that we're severely under testing, and we know that COVID reinfections, wear down your immunity. That increases your risk for long COVID or kind of lingering COVID symptoms, and, you know, makes people more susceptible to things like the flu, RSV, or Strep A, all three of which we're seeing a surge of in this winter.
Yay. Yeah. I think about it, like the fact that...I don't know how to put this. Like, I wear a mask for the same reason I carry a gun. And it...and not that I want everyone to carry guns, that is a very personal decision based on the legality and the threat models that you're facing. Bu,t I carry a gun, so that it is harder for someone to murder me and it is harder for someone to murder the people I care about who are near me, right? I wear a mask, so that I am less likely to die, and other people around me are less likely to die. This seems like such a, like the idea that there's people who are like preppers or prepper adjacent, who are anti mask, and then anti vaccine is just so nonsensical to me. And I mean, I do think that like protocols do like, they do need to shift, we do need to realize it as we realize that this is endemic, and you know, we can't...like we probably can't just say no more live music in the course of human history. Right?
I would hope not.
But I especially like, when I walk into the grocery store, there is literally no cost to me to wear a mask. There is just, there's only positive effects of me wearing a mask minus social stigma.
You know, I think that we need, if we're going to survive, care, kindness, and a lot of grace. Which requires us to acknowledge that there's a huge cognitive dissonance people are dealing with right now. We're three years into a global pandemic that's killed six and a half million people around the world, the rise of fascism, I mean, there's a lot and people's responses are going to vary wildly. Kind of the metaphor I like to use is, it sort of feels like a house fire. And we've all just gone through this traumatic experience, and we've run out of the house in the middle of the night, and everyone is sort of behaving in a trauma informed way, some people are trying to run back into the house, some people are claiming that there was never a fire. And, you know, it's, it's trying to take care of each other, and hold ourselves accountable to being, you know, I think responsible for our communities, but while also acknowledging, you know, this is a weird fucking time. You know, I think too, this kind of goes back a little bit to our Naloxone conversation. You know, when we talk about masks, when we talk about boosters, these are sort of individual steps we can take, right? But ultimately, that's, that's only a piece of it, right? We need a societal shift. We need proper air filtration in schools, we need access to rapid testing, we need the working class to have the money and ability to take time off of work when they're sick. I mean, all of these things are sort of interconnected to this larger struggle. And one way that capitalism and our sort of overlords here and Imperial core, are able to shift blame is by you know, kind of making everything this individual choice and individual responsibility when it's not at all.
No, that's such a good point. And there's it, it shows that there's even like, some of those things are small scale community, things can be done as well, like, it would be a shame for a small scale community to have to suddenly like come up with the resources to provide rapid testing to everyone constantly or whatever, right. But like, I don't know, like, helping your local venues get real good air filtration systems, you know, or like, expanding outside infrastructure in climates that allow it, and like, there are the steps that we can take that are sort of medium. They're not....And I think that's actually where anarchists and radicals actually do best is not at the individual level. And frankly, if I if I'm being honest, not necessarily at the systemic level, but like this sort of in between level, this community based this community size level of like, how do we? Yeah, I mean, we can't....the punks or the anarchists, or whatever is can't pass a mask mandate, but like, we can create, like, cultures where, when there's no reason not to, we wear masks, and we work on our air filtration. And this is really just me thinking about COVID instead of the whole point of this conversation was drug use stuff, but...
Well I mean, they're, I think they're interrelated. You know, if you are putting on a punk show, is it accessible, right? Does that mean, you know, for folks in wheelchairs, folks with, you know, mobility aids, as well as immunocompromised people, and ensuring that you know, this is a place that they have access to? Or if it's not, saying that. I at least want you to say, "Hey, this is a dangerous place for you. And, making it accessible is not our priority or isn't possible in this situation. Therefore, you can make your own decision about whether or not you want to attend."
I've been in like, an now I can't remember if it was France or Montreal, somewhere where people spoke French. I've been in places where like any anarchist event will put on the fliers the accessibility or lack of accessibility for wheelchair access. And that's such an interesting, good point, right? Because if you have to flag on it, "This is not wheelchair accessible." It means you have to think about it when you do it, right. And like, Which isn't to say you shouldn't...I don't know one way or the other about what I'm about to say, which doesn't mean like you can't put on an event if you can't find it, accessible space, but you should have to own it, and you should have to be working on making the space more accessible. Is that, uh??? I'm really talking about my ass here. I haven't I haven't been part of these conversations. But.
I mean, as someone who is struggling with long COVID still a year in, you know, I am also new to the disability conversation. And I definitely feel grateful for the folks who have been activists and have been organizing around these issues for you know, forever, honestly. And it really was shocking to me, even though I'm fairly realistic about how our society treats folks they deem unworthy or undesirable, but it was really shocking the level to which you become invisible. All. And you know, I think, to sort of shoehorn a little segue back to our orginal conversation, people who use drugs also live in that sort of liminal space, right? There's so much that is invisible about drug use. But also, this kind of caricature of drug users is sort of trotted out anytime people want to talk about society's ills, right? When people are talking about folks without homes, inevitably drug use comes up as if people aren't sitting in their houses doing drugs. They just have walls and you can't see them.
Yeah, well, and then one of the things that I really appreciate about this conversation with you is that you're talking about the implication, or the the inference that I'm picking up on, is that basically saying, It's okay, if people use drugs, that is their choice, it seems to be like, like a lot of the conversation that I've feel like I'm exposed to is this, like, we should have pity for these poor drug users, and everyone is trying to stop using drugs. Whereas, it seems like you're trying to present an alternate case where people can choose whether or not they want to engage with drugs in different ways?
Yeah, I mean, you know, harm reduction is the sort of set of principles or tenants that allows for autonomy and allows for people to make informed decisions about what they do. You know, abstinence doesn't necessarily work or isn't feasible for everyone. And so, you know, giving people the space and acknowledging that there's always going to be some risk in the things that we do, you know, helps us kind of approach it with clear eyes. But the I think the moral question around using drugs really does us a disservice. Doing drugs is fun, and cool. And that is, I think, an important message to have out there because, you know, so often, we're just inundated with all of the terrible things that can happen to you. And again, this is normal human behavior. This is normal behavior in other other species, you've got monkeys eating, you know, fruit that's gone, gone bad and getting drunk, you've got bears eating psychedelic honey. We do this because it's enjoyable. And to deny it that, I think, sort of leaves us on our back foot in terms of "Okay, well, how do we do this safely?"
Yeah, presenting as this is a bad thing that someone shouldn't have done and now we have to deal with the bad parts, as compared to being like, every animal on the planet wants to do this, we should figure out ways that people can have freedom to do it as safely as they want or to not do it, if they don't want.
Right, and you know, both are fine. It's also cool to not do drugs. I do want to put that out there. But as a drug user, you know, this touches on our conversation about safe supply, right? When you're buying and you don't know the quality or if there's cross contamination, obviously, a lot of folks are very concerned about things like fentanyl right now. There's also you know, other sort of fillers or things people can use. Xylazine is something that is sort of making the rounds right now that can have potential, like negative health impacts. So yeah, I think this, this goes back to sort of those bigger picture solutions as opposed to the band aids.
Okay. And then, how useful is it? You know, like, as you pointed out earlier, right....Again, before, we had a long pre conversation. We knew each other back in the day for, now, people can know that about us, I guess. You know, pointing out because like, I mostly don't do drugs, but I do drink sometimes, right, and that is a drug and alcohol is absolutely a drug. It's a very dangerous drug. And it's one that I engage with very rarely, but I do engage with, and it does seem like a fairly useful comparison for talking about other drugs. Like cause there's this drug that is socially acceptable while also being massively destructive, right? And it seems like that actually maps fairly well to most of the other drugs that are like, problems for people. I don't know is that too simplistic?
No, I don't think so. You know, and that's also not to say that people don't struggle with their drug use that people you You know, might be really unhappy with their relationship to drugs. And, you know, the more openly we can talk about it and the more access to different options people have, that sort of allows them to, you know, find the most comfortable place for them. Right, there is this, you know, kind of individual piece to it, even though we're talking a lot about sort of community care,
Right. No, that's what I mean, that, in some ways, is part of why alcohol feels like such a good comparison. It's not even a comparison, it's literally a drug. It's a drug that is somehow held into a different class than the others, is that I think we all know people who....for whom alcohol is a problem. And we all know people for whom alcohol is not a problem. And then we all know, people who completely abstain from alcohol, who are in one of those two camps, if they weren't abstaining, you know? Hmm. I don't know, I'm having this like, epiphany, that should have been obvious a long time ago, I think about this.
Well, and, you know, thinking in terms of alcohol, and using that as an example of how constrained we are in terms of our choices, you know, if if you are someone that struggles with drinking, really the the options that are given to you are abstinence, right? 12 steps, complete sobriety, and the message that that is the only way that you will be able to, you know, become a functioning member of society. And the fact is that that's simply not true.You know, abstinence really doesn't work for many, many people. You know, I think most of us can remember the "Just Say No," campaigns of the 90s, or maybe the 80s, depending on how old you are. And we know those didn't work. It don't work for children, it doesn't work for adults. And, you know, I think I don't want to get too far down the rabbit hole. But I think it would be important for folks to sort of think about, "Well, why is alcohol illegal? And all these other drugs aren't?"And I think it all goes back to capitalism. It goes back to money. It goes back to social control.
Yeah. Well, ironically, one of the reasons that alcohol is legal, is that a bunch of people fought the KKK to the death to make alcohol legal. I only learned as kind of more recently when I did a bunch of....one of my other podcasts is a history podcast. And I didn't realize that the second incarnation of the KKK was like, one of their main things is that they were the foot soldiers of prohibition. They were like the Proud Boys of the prohibition era. And it was this whole thing where it was like Protestants versus everyone else, including reasonable Protestants. It was white Protestants against Irish Catholics, Italians, all of the people who were, you know, bootlegging, and all of that other stuff. And there were these like massive violent street fights. And I mean, mostly, it was massive violence, street fights about fuck you, you're the KKK, we want to...you can't run our town. But, what they wanted to do was run the town on a prohibition model. And there's this like, really interesting tie between white supremacy and prohibition. And it? I don't know, I mean, like, I know, I know how to immediately draw the same thing between the outline of weed and anti blackness. And I'm suspecting that if I dug very hard, I would find similar things with like, drugs, period. I don't know. I just got really excited about people beating up the KKK and that's why we're allowed to drink.
Yeah, that's always a win, both of those things.
But, what anyway, sorry, I got lost in rabbit hole thinking about that. Okay, so you've brought up this topic a couple times: harm reduction. And I suspect most people have at least an idea of what harm reduction is, but I'm wondering if you could kind of introduce it because, one, it feels very relevant to this specific conversation. But it also feels very relevant to conversations around disaster preparedness in general, because it seems to be implying that there is no perfect and that in some ways perfect is the enemy of good. And that we should just like, figure out what can go wrong and do the best we can rather than expect to succeed in everything. Maybe that's a misunderstanding.
That's, that is I think, a really core piece of it, you know, and I don't want to belie the the history behind harm reduction too, you know, this was a movement that was created in platformed by people who use drugs, by sex workers, especially during the HIV AIDS crisis. And again, you know, from groups of marginalized people that realize that they are the only ones looking out for each other. And you know, that many behaviors carry some form of risk. And so talking about that honestly, and figuring out how to mitigate that risk is far more helpful than shaming people and that is connected, you know, directly to the criminalization of HIV and AIDS too, you know, there's the sort of moralizing, right, when folks become sick. There's this idea, I think, that is rooted in very, like old school, Brimstone Christianity, that, you know, it's some form of punishment. And I think that the way our society looks at people who use drugs, and the potential risks are viewed as appropriate punishment for the behavior, which is wrong and fucked up.
Yeah. Okay, so. So what is harm reduction?
So, you know, I think that if we're specifically talking about drug use, that can be, you know, practical tips, anything from making sure that you're using sterile supplies, making sure that you have syringes, and you don't have to share them, to prevent the transmission of diseases, you know, that can be, you know, figuring out different routes of administration. So for example, if you're someone that likes to snort a lot of drugs, maybe you want to give your nostrils a break, and, you know, smoke or boof. There are a lot of things that you can kind of adjust, right? You don't even have to necessarily be adhering to this strict set of rules as far as your drug use, but really being sort of flexible based on your own needs.
Okay. And then, what are some of the ways that harm reduction either applies to other things besides drug use, or like has been successfully applied, or like some of the ways that like harm reduction, as jargon, has been, like, kind of co-opted by other things?
Yeah, I mean, I feel like especially after 2016, the the idea that voting is harm reduction really picked up speed. And I personally disagree.
For the most part, because harm reduction is something that you know, you can use for yourself, for your drug use, and so when we say voting is harm reduction, my question is, "Whose harm is being lessened?" You know, we currently have a Democratic president, and there's still concentration camps on our southern border, you still have Democratic mayors and city council's introducing regressive anti homelessness laws, throwing more money at more cops. And so I just think the notion that we can affect the kind of change necessary to liberate us by voting is....it's short sighted. And I think it can be an excuse for people to not have to invest so much in their allyship. Yeah, I think at its very base, most like literal definition, voting potentially reduces harm, but most of that is going to be in the immediate or short term.
Well, so that's really interesting to me, right? Because I think that I had a kind of misunderstanding of harm reduction in some ways, because from my point of view, I mean...voting as harm reduction just seemed to be the rephrasing of vote for the lesser evil. Because in my mind, voting for the lesser evil is acknowledging an evil, right, it is acknowledging like Like, like, Biden is an evil, the Democratic Party is an evil, that does evil things in the world. And so for me, there's a there's a sensibility to the argument of thinking that voting is how we make systemic change is terrible. And I actually thought that the kind of concept of, but they always lose their meaning, right, in the 80s. and 90s It was vote for the lesser evil and people were like, yeah, that's how we make things better. It's like, no, it's clearly not how to make things better. It's how you make things evil. You're just controlling the amount of evil. And then with harm reduction argument, the reason I bought it at first was because it was like, "Oh, yes, because it's, it's saying there is going to be harm, but we want to do less of it." But, with what you're talking about, about how drug use or sex as two of the spaces that we talk about harm reduction a lot, right? Like those things can rule, right? Like sex and drugs, there's a reason that people talk about them positively. They're very dangerous activities sometimes, right. And people should go into them as clear headed as...well, maybe not clear headed depending on their preferences, but you know, people should should be aware of the risks, but then go and have all the sex and drugs and rock and roll or whatever that they want, as compared to... and so this is where the metaphor to the political system seems to fall apart to me is because like, well, the existing political system that we have is just doing bad. And it's really about what tiny little bits of mitigation or picking, something's going to kill. It's the trolley problem, right? You're still killing people. And that's not fun and cool. That's not sex, drugs and rock and roll. I don't know. That's what I got.
Yeah. And, you know, I think that you really laid it out very well there. You know, yes, I can reduce the harm to myself if I am using drugs or having sex, but I can't get these politicians that I voted in to reduce the harm that they are causing. Because, you know, if you're voting for one of the two dominant political parties in the United States, I think you're just asking yourself, if you want to get to fascism, the short way or the long way, because I think, you know, voting in Democrats does make a material difference when it comes to some social services, and some environmental protections. But ultimately, both of these parties work at the behest of the ruling class. And capitalism requires ceaseless consumption and growth. And neither of those are sustainable. And they require the subjugation of working class people. So I think, you know, if, you know, it's, it's a question of capacity, if you and the people in your community that you organize with have the time and resources to engage in electoral politics, while simultaneously building dual power, and fighting encroaching fascism, like, go with God. There's space for a lot of tactics, and you gotta find where your skill set is and where your comfort lies. And I do just want to say this one last piece, too, when we talk about voting as harm reduction in the United States, that often I think tends to overlook the international implications of maintaining the current political system here,
Right, which is, that's where it becomes even more of the same as like, yeah, it's never...the solutions don't lie in the ballot box, and like, Oh, whatever. I'm just like, speaking cliches or whatever. But it's like, even if we can make things like slightly better, like, because like, literally, if someone was like, "Well, do you want fascism tomorrow? Do you want fascism in five years," I'd be like, "Five years, please, that gives me a little bit more time to try to fight it." But of course, the problem, obviously, we're way off topic, but the problem is, of course, then people think that like, oh, that's the solution. The solution is engaging with this political system that has no fucking reason for existing besides driving us closer to Ecocide and fascism.
Right. That's, that's the band aid. That's the triage. You know, there are so many different things that I think harm reduction principles can be applied to whether that's sex work, you know, mental health issues, eating disorders, tobacco use, I think there's a really natural evolution of the harm reduction philosophy to extend it to other health risk behaviors and to a broader audience in that way. I just, I think that, again, using harm reduction to sort of Pantious Pilate wash your hands of a lot of things and just say,"I voted and that's enough," is it's not going to work. It's not.
Okay. No, and now I'm thinking, I'm like, Oh, shit, is my like, I just carry around naloxone. Is that my, like, wash my hands of addressing the larger systemic things and like, well, it doesn't affect me, it clearly affects me because it affects people I care about and it like, I don't know, is the takeaways. Okay, wait, I'm gonna try and some of the takeaways I've gotten from you, is that carry Naloxone, but it's a band aid. And it is a useful one, but the larger systemic problems have to do with criminalization and they have to do with access to safe supply. And so working on the kind of pressure involved to fight for that is good having mutual aid networks....Oh, okay. One of the questions that kind of had actually is, in your experience existing mutual aid networks, how well do they get along with existing harm reduction networks? Does it tend to be the same players and everyone's excited, or do you run across some mutual aid networks do they kind of like to step up their game about actually care about, you know, drug users? Or like, How's that look right now,
In my personal experience, and I can't really speak to, you know, places I haven't lived or, you know, different communities that I'm not a part of. But there is a great deal of overlap. You know, a lot of folks that are working in harm reduction, people who use drugs and sex workers are sort of use to you know, fending for ourselves, we're used to creating these these networks of care that exist outside of the current system. And, you know, that's not to say that, when disaster strikes, it can sort of hit some folks harder than others. If the needle exchange in your town closes down, because there was a disaster. You know, there, there might be some time before they opened back up. And that's not going to stop people from using drugs. It will just create a situation where people have to use drugs more dangerously. And so, you know, yes, I think that there's a lot of overlap. But also, it shouldn't be this sort of jerry rigged, you know, last line of defense, the folks that have just experienced a disaster now having to turn around and all care for each other. Because again, no one is coming to save you.
Yeah. Yay. That's
that's the real point of it. Yes.
But I mean it's really liberating. I think that like, I'm not super into political nihilism, personally, a lot of my friends are and I don't mean to slight it. But, the thing that reminds me of what like my like nihilist friends get out of like hopelessness, not hopeless, whatever, out of nihilism is comparable to the like, I find something joyous and liberating about the realization that no one's coming to save us. Because it's this like concept, one of my favorite cliches from like, when I was a baby anarchist was just like, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." Because it's less about, no one is coming to save us, we're doomed. And it's more about like, it is up to us to build the power and capacity necessary to bring about the changes that we need to see in this world. And there's a lot of us, and there's a lot more of us all the time, and the problems we're facing, seem to be getting bigger and bigger, depending on the position you're coming from, right, the problems facing me have gotten bigger and bigger as all the anti trans stuff comes through, or whatever, you know, but there's also more of us. Even to just continue the trans thing as a metaphor. It's like, the reason there's all this anti trans shit is that we all came out of the fucking closet. Like, there's a ton of us. And like, there always were a ton of us, but we were all fucking scared. And like, and what they want to do is make us afraid and get back in the closet. And so I get a lot out of, 'no one is coming to save us.' Because of the flip side being. We're going to save us.
Yeah, I mean, I think it's really liberatory. That's something that I love about anarchism, too, you know, yes, that means that, you know, the system isn't here for us, because it's never been here for us. But ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our lives, for our communities, and for the future that we want, as opposed to sort of being handed these these goals and expectations, the rules that were supposed to have, the lives were supposed to lead. And you know, it can be scary to not have that safety net, but I think through, you know, both political discourse, but also just, you know, having lived a life, you quickly become aware that that safety net never actually existed in the first place.
Yeah. Well, are there any last words on preparedness that you want to, you want to shout out? Everyone should fill their basement with needles? I don't know.
Well, I mean, don't do that. Or if you do that, make sure that they are, you know, safely kept somwhere that only you have access to, or the folks that need them. You know, I know I've kind of hammered this home a lot. But, it really, when I say 'it,' I mean harm reduction. And I think what we're trying to do for ourselves really comes down to community and it comes down to having these bigger goals and not taking, 'no,' for an answer or taking, you know, half measures for an answer. The overdose crisis is very real. And there are pharmaceutical companies and families that have directly caused a lot of pain and death, and they should be held accountable. And that is slowly happening over time. But, I just want to keep clear, you know, who are the folks in our community who are doing the work? And who are maybe the people that are sort of preventing us from living our best lives?
Yeah. All right. Well, is there anything you want to shout out here at the end of like, what people...I don't know it was anything you want to draw attention to any projects? Any of your work?
You know, support your local needle exchange, support your local sex workers. You know, if there is a call to fight back against fascists, or show up at your local library, because people are doing some fuck shit against trans people, you should be there. That's my shout out. Yeah.
That's a good shout out. Well, thanks for being on...it's funny as like, every now and then I do these episodes where I'm like, it like challenges my own like weird....I don't want to say puritanical upbringing, I didn't have a puritanical upbringing. I was around a lot of people, you know, all my friends did a lot of drugs when I was in....whatever. And it's just like, interesting to every now and I'd have these episodes like, it's like the first couple times I did firearms episodes. I was like, It's not that I was like, Oh, I'm being so edgy. It was just being like, Oh, right. Information is dangerous because I and then I'm like, that's true about everything. I don't know where I'm going with this. Basically, thanks for coming on to talk about something that I feel like doesn't get talked about because people are afraid to acknowledge it, because we all walk around with this, like, 'drugs are bad,' and then we just secretly all do drugs. And so it's just better to just actually be like, drugs are complicated.
Yeah, and people are complicated.
What? Not me. I'm a paladin. I adhere to my moral code. That doesn't sound great. Okay. Yep. All right. Well, thank you for coming on this episode.
Thanks for having me.
All right. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please tell people about it by whatever means that you prefer to tell people about things, like skywriting, please sky write Live Like the World is Dying above a beach. Ooh, get one of those banners that goes behind the like little plane that flies by the beach and usually advertises auto insurance. And instead it should just say, "Live Like the World is Dying." Don't tell people it's a podcast. Just tell people to live like the world is dying and become a cool, no future punk or a only a future if we imagine it....Okay, I'm off track. So, yeah, you can tell people about it. You can also support us. This podcast is published by pa...not by Patreon, it's supported by Patreon. It's published by Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness, which is a publishing collective that I'm part of along with a bunch of other people. We put out books we recently put out Cindy, Barukh's Milstein's "Try Anarchism for Life" and soon possibly, actually, I don't know when this episode is gonna be released. February 1st, 2023, we are releasing my book, "Escape from Incel Island." If you're listening to this before February 1st, 2023, you can pre order it at tangledwilderness.org. If you're listening to it after February 1st, 2023, you can buy it wherever books are sold, or go to the library, or steal a copy from Barnes and Noble. I don't care. And but, don't steal it from an info shop. That's just, it's just mean. Why would you do that? Get a library to carry it and then get it, or steal it from a big corporate place. Whatever. You can support us on patreon at patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness and your donations, go to pay the transcriptionist and pay the audio editor to keep all of this stuff happening. And in particular, I want to thank Aly, and Paparouna, and Milica, and Boise Mutual Aid, Theo, Hunter, Shawn, SJ, Paige, Mikki, Nicole, David, Dana Chelsea, Kat J, Staro, Jenipher, Eleanor, Kirk, Sam, Michaiah, Chris, and Hoss the dog. I really appreciate all of you and I really appreciate that there's enough of you that I read your names fast and maybe that's like really rude. But, I just like I don't know, I'm kind of like humbled by the support that Strangers gets and I hope that you who are listening well I only hope you support us if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, just continue to get our shit for free. And that's the whole point of supporting, is it helps other people get our shit for free. Anyway I'll talk to you all soon be as well as you can
Find out more at https://live-like-the-world-is-dying.pinecast.coTags: Live Like the World is Dyingmargaret killjoyharm reductionpodcast
We just wrapped up a very special(?) episode of the Ego Death Podcast brought to by and for the commentariat of the @firstname.lastname@example.org comments section.
That’s right, through the magic of the internet so many folks chimed in on the thread about episode one that we felt compelled to put our noses to the proverbial grindstone and produce a quick and dirty conversation on anarchist justice, conflict and reformed (supposedly) troll and half of team Ego Death, Zach. This means that you have Lumpy, Sir Einzige, and all your beautiful anon (not verified) selves to thank for this conversation.
I’d like to personally thank you all for teaching me more about Zack and especially the amazing meme work. Whichever anon made that happen, I salute you.
Given the sensitivity of the subject, there was some emotion involved, and I hope we kept it light but also did the topic Justice (get it?). We managed to cover the trolling fiasco the milieu can’t seem to get enough of, justice, conflict resolution, and just plain old being nice. We also somehow managed to tie in Yang Chu, Foucault, Serres, Bataille, Montaigne,an old NPR podcast, AND a fun Buddhist parable about a murderous berserker. If you don’t have time to listen, moral of the story: Don’t be a dick.
Thanks for listening, and as always reach out with any questions, comments, and ideas here or hit me up at @ruin or Zack (if you dare) @zack over on the @ni.hil.ist instance and check @EgoDeathPodcast to keep up with whatever goodness we have in store.Tags: podcastEgo DeathZhachevjusticethis site
Portland Oregon Solidarity Action With Atlanta and the Atlanta Forest Defenders
“On 1/20/23 anarchists in Portland, Oregon went after the UPS shipping center in Portland in retaliation after a comrade was recently murdered by the Atlanta Police.
Anarchists broke somewhere between 10-15 large windows and started multiple small fires within the building. UPS is one of the biggest companies currently donating to the Cop City Project in Atlanta.
On 1/18/23 Atlanta police attempted a raid in the forest that was being protected by forest defenders and once they showed up they opened fire and killed a forest defender.
We want to express our love toward Tortuguita who was also known as Cami, as well as to all their comrades and loved ones.
Atlanta police stole a comrade and friend to many people from us on 1/18/23. few broken windows will never undo what the Atlanta police did but hopefully continued actions can bring the change that Cami wished for and hoped to see one day.
We call for more actions directly toward the companies that are donating to and funding the Cop City project in Atlanta. Forest defenders have a right to stay in the forest, and groups will continue to retaliate until the Cop City Project is cancelled.
Love from PDX to ATL”Tags: attack!solidarityDefend Atlanta ForestTortuguitaStop Cop Citysmashy smash
From Freedom News UK
In Sophie Scott-Brown’s excellent, well-researched and insightful biography of Colin Ward, one of Britain’s most interesting alternative thinkers of the twentieth century, the reader can find an in-depth analysis of the various stages and evolution of my dad’s work and life.
There are criticisms, some valid and others which I’m not really qualified to offer an opinion on, and there are typographical and factual errors, but these are minor weaknesses in a discourse which never fails to clarify and offer explanations for what Colin Ward did, and appreciates his contribution to positive changes in the way people can potentially live and think.
The foundations of Colin’s approach to the world are well described: his Labour Party background, architectural vocation and interest in reading and writing about ways in which ordinary people’s chances of a better life could be enhanced. Chapter Two is devoted to his five years of national service from nineteen forty-two to nineteen forty-seven, first in Glasgow and then in the more remote Orkney and Shetland Islands as, tellingly, the army became aware of his interest in anti-war literature and not following the government’s orders.
Sophie’s previous book, ‘The Histories of Raphael Samuel: A Portrait of A People’s Historian’, shed much light on the early- to mid-twentieth century socialist and communist ideological climate in Britain. It’s likely that she drew on this knowledge when describing anarchist culture. All these communities were within the overall national atmosphere, where everything is about class, and those who let middle class values and lifestyles into the doctrine are accused of selling out. She credits Colin with bridging the gap between the classes, engaging with ‘the people existing somewhere between workers and intellectuals’.
The titles of the book’s twelve chapters, eg ‘Domestic Anarchy’, ‘The Social Principle’ and ‘Autonomy’, are bang on in terms of the big-hearted way Colin thought and acted. Sophie admirably weaves a path, as did her subject, between his nine-to-five activity in the fifties, as a ‘drawing board man’ for the architectural partnership Bridgwater, Shepheard and Epstein, and his leisure activity of promoting anarchism as one of the editors of the long-running alternative paper, ‘Freedom’.
His experience working in the rebuilding of public housing after the war, in a climate where both the Labour and Conservative parties were boasting about the number of council houses they could build, helped formulate his non-centralist, neither-rural-nor-urban, philosophy of planning, which resulted in his job in the nineteen-seventies as Education Officer for the pressure group, the Town and Country Planning Association.
In the nineteen-sixties and seventies, amid changes in his personal and working lives and the world in general, Colin was the editor and driving force behind two regular publications, ‘Anarchy’ and ‘BEE’, the Bulletin for Environmental Education. Straddling these two eras was his job as a Liberal Studies teacher at Wandsworth Technical College.
Sophie gives each of these sections of his working life their due. She is particularly illuminating on BEE, whose aim was to get urban kids interested in their environment, setting up conferences, discussion groups and ultimately Urban Studies Centres. The nineteen-seventies were perhaps Colin’s heyday, bringing together his experiences as a persuasive writer, educator and analyser of the nuts and bolts of the average person’s life experience.
Regarding an anarchist writer’s position within the traditional Conservative/Labour divide, Sophie observes that when Labour was in power, Colin’s writing was more serious and theoretical. There was a chance that some of his positions on housing and education would actually influence policy. When there was a Conservative government, his style was more informal and anecdotal as, in his regular columns, he tried to exemplify an everyman bringing common sense to the materialist ideology. Ironically, it was a Blairite editor of New Statesman and Society who axed Colin’s weekly column in 1996, as only those supporting New Labour were allowed a voice. A quote I hadn’t seen before illustrates this:
‘I am plagued by other people’s ideologies. A whole series of writers, George Orwell, Colin MacInnes or Dora Russell have complained that they could say what they like in the uncommitted or even right-wing press. Only when they wrote for nothing in the left-wing press were they bullied into toeing someone else’s line.’
Some biographies, whether in book or film form, concentrate too much, in my view, on their subject’s early years and not enough on their later ones. Perhaps there is some of that here, but the quality of the analysis certainly doesn’t taper off. What I think of as some of Colin’s best books, ‘New Town, Home Town’ (Sophie unfortunately gets the title slightly wrong, or maybe it was Routledge’s editor) and ‘Reflected in Water’, were written in the nineties, when he was in his late sixtes and early seventies.
I think his mind was as lively as ever when, at the age of seventy-eight, he wrote to Oxford University Press suggesting that their ‘Very Short Introduction’ series should include one on anarchism, and that he should be the person to write it. This book has sold twenty-seven thousand copies at the time of writing. Sadly the publishers decided it was out of date thirteen years after its first publication and needed to be 75-85% rewritten.
In the afterword, Sophie asks if Colin’s work had a big impact on libertarian thinking, and I can’t think of a better one than the Very Short Introduction story above. This wasn’t in the book but is maybe worth mentioning.
On the book’s very last page, she comes up with a brilliant phrase that sums up Colin’s philosophy of non-confrontational subversion:
‘…we can never compromise on compromise.’
Later on the same page, another typo has crept into a Shakespeare quote. Things like this, along with misspellings of people’s names and small errors in Colin’s addresses, do tarnish the text a little. But that should not overshadow the overwhelmingly positive experience that independently-minded readers of this work will probably have.
Colin Ward and the Art of Everyday Anarchy is available here.
This review first appeared in benzwalker.com.Tags: reviewColin Ward
From Le Monde Libertaire
By Jacques Lesage of The Hague
December 5, 2022
Serge Livrozet has just left us, this November 29, 2022. He was 83 years old. When we met, in 1971, he had just left the Centrale de Melun. I had spent my years in prison at the Centrale de Caen. We immediately shared a common history. It was the time of the Groupe Information Prisons, (GIP) which had been created by Michel Foucault, assisted by many intellectuals such as Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Jacques Donzelot. Very quickly, Serge distinguished himself from the rest of the activists, shouting: “Only the jailers have the right to talk about jail. Foucault, helped by Daniel Defert, created the Association for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights (ADDD), which lasted a year. Serge Livrozet stood out from the intellectuals, by creating, in 1972, the Action Committee of Prisoners (CAP) which dissolved in 1980. Without delay,
He also participated in the creation, in 1974, of the Marge Movement and, in 1978, of the Collective and Individual Emancipation Movement (MECI). In 1990 he joined the Berneri Group of the Anarchist Federation. He also hosted for several years a program on Radio libertarian, “Humours Noires”.
Since 1972, we have shared many battles against prison. The prisoners' newspaper, which we called the CAP , after the group that published it, featured articles by prisoners, past and present. We sold it most of the time in front of the prisons. This earned us arrests and, for many, the fact of being released far away, in the open countryside. I remember Fresnes and Fleury-Mérogis…
What gave scope to our Committee was the creation of groups everywhere in the provinces, in Belgium and even in Switzerland. Shortly after, revolts broke out in many prisons, which led outside to the creation of collectives in Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nancy, Nantes, Rouen, Le Havre, Rennes and even in several countries of Europe.
We have had to support the fight of many prisoners and groups of detainees who have formed in Mende, Lille, Clairvaux, Moulins-Izeure and elsewhere. Let's not forget the rants of Serge, during a demonstration, shouting with his megaphone: "Mende, capital of Lozère and of torture" and, during a trial, where he had come to defend a convict, on reading the judgment, “ Rot of French justice! Having passed his baccalaureate in prison, Livrozet had learned to write as well as he spoke. This is what allowed him to write some resounding books. I retain, in particular From prison to revolt, his best work. He was the first of all those who were written in France, after him, on prison confinement. His second book, The Rage of the Walls, is a novel that takes up the same themes in a more personal way.
As for his third book, Diégo , he deepens the analogy, because the hero is a revolutionary dog…
Serge, years later, created a publishing house, Les Lettres libres, where he published works of which he was the author, as well as many other writers. Some of his main collaborators were, like him, former prisoners.
This is what leaves a confused veil hanging over the end of the adventure. In fact, there was the case of counterfeit money, seven million francs at the time… We couldn't help thinking that Serge Livrozet had been tricked. For several weeks, the police were hiding near the publishing house. Three people were arrested, including Serge.
A support committee has been set up. And, the day of the IPO of Paribas, about fifty people had padlocked all the entries of the Stock Exchange. At 1 p.m., during the opening, which did not happen, we threw in fake theater tickets, picked up hastily by the stockbrokers. ! Of course, Serge was cleared and released.
It is important to remember that, passing near a CRS bus, I heard one of them say: “ Do you realize, guys, they have closed the stock market! And another replied: “ They did well ”!
One of the axes of struggle and reflection of the Berneri group, of which Serge was a part, was to fight against all prisons, starting with those of our certainties, our prejudices, our daily cowardice. To be for the abolition of prison is the victory of life over death.Tags: obituaryFranceprisonsberneri group
Open (desperate) letter to those who eat our same bread
it is to you, and only you (‘wreckers’, not consensus interceptors; avowed dreamers, not pragmatists when required – militants and opportunists please refrain) that we are turning to in these dark times, when every horizon seems to be closing in on us. To you, known over the years in Italy and around the world, or even completely unknown, the only ones who can understand our current state of mind and our words.
Many argue that those who have no hope to convey should keep quiet. Although this would explain the silence into which many of us are sliding, we don’t agree. In fact, in a way we think exactly the opposite: those who should shut up are the ones who persist in peddling enchanting narratives (from heavenly paradise as a reward for earthly resignation to communism as the ineluctable outcome of capitalist development, passing through the insurrection that comes with every citizens’ mobilisation or street riot). Especially now – with humanity well on the way to extinction, a planet on the verge of ecological collapse, a social massacre that gets worse every day, a war that brandishes nuclear weapons, voluntary servitude so generalised as to make any aspiration to even the slightest freedom ridiculous – it seems to us more urgent and essential than ever to look deeply into reality and not to skim the surface of things in order to draw comforting illusions from it. That is why this letter is desperate, because it is born of discouragement in the face of a situation that in all respects appears hopeless, with no way out.
We are not hiding it. We have gambled on the encounter between thought and action, we are besieged by opinion and representation. We have invoked the Ego and its Own, we are surrounded by the Selfie and its vanity. We have tried to spread utopia, we are submerged in realism. We have loved the most excessive and singular ideas, we are at the mercy of the most homologising and massifying propaganda. We longed for the awakening of consciousness, we find ourselves trapped in the calculus of the algorithm. We have prioritised ethics, we are swept away by politics. Poetry may have survived Auschwitz (and television?), but critical thinking has been annihilated in Silicon Valley.
We have become like the German revolutionaries encountered by Stig Dagerman in the immediate post-war period: living ruins, dignified but unfrequentable.
And now? What ( do we ) have left to say now, when words have lost all meaning everywhere? High up as well as low down, in palaces as well as in the streets, everything has turned into querulous chatter, a huge farce that leaves one dismayed and bewildered. Yet another demonstration of this can be seen in recent days in the reaction to the indefinite hunger strike undertaken by the anarchist prisoner Alfredo Cospito, on whose announced, predicted, feared, desired by some, corpse, a true masquerade has unfolded.
Have you ever heard of Satanta, i.e. White Bear, chief warrior of the Kiowa, one of the many Native American tribes? Tall, of massive build, he took part in many battles, distinguishing himself by his courage. He was one of the first Indian chiefs to be tried by a white court. He served a couple of years in prison and was then released, but fearing that he might arouse the warlike instincts of the younger Indians, he was put back in prison again shortly afterwards. For some years White Bear spent hours and hours peering through the bars. His eyes looked north, the hunting ground of his people. When he realised that he would never again ride free in the middle of the forests and prairies, when he realised that he would never again sleep in a tepee (a tent with a circular base, symbol of movement and equality), when he realised that he would never see the other members of his tribe again, but would rot in a rectangular concrete cell, he decided to end it all. He threw himself out of a prison hospital window in Huntsville, Texas, on 11 October 1878. An understandable choice, his. A human choice.
Alfredo Cospito is also tall and until recently of massive build; he is not a Native American, he is an anarchist who ended up in prison over ten years ago for having shot the legs of the chief manager of atomic energy in Italy, CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare of Genova. He has been on hunger strike since October 20th in protest against the 41 bis prison regime, which he has been subjected to since last May. His life is in danger, but he has no intention of giving up. He says he will go on to his last breathe; knowing his stubbornness and determination, he is capable of it. He alone can say what he can and what he will not accept. He alone can decide what to do with his own body. How to live, how to die. And why.
So far, nothing to object to. To each his own choices, whether shared or not. However, unlike White Bear, Alfredo Cospito has made a political choice. He is defying death to pursue a specific claim. With his hunger strike he wants to obtain the abolition of 41 bis, i.e. means to push the State to delete the so-called ‘hard prison’ from its rules. As the days pass, as more or less resounding solidarity actions are spreading all over the world and as a tragic outcome approaches, his battle is stirring up more and more of an outcry. That reactionaries are outraged by this ‘blackmail’ of institutions by a convict is in the order of things and not worth dwelling on. In the same way, it is no wonder that progressives or pseudo-dissidents of various stripes are rushing to ride this ‘civilised, non-violent protest’, which is why we can only shrug our shoulders at the solidarity expressed by the usual beautiful souls (priests, intellectuals, artists), and turn our noses up at that expressed by the filthy figures (such as magistrates, ex-ministers and neo-fascists)… It is the game of sides, and there is no point in trying to make sense of it.
Having said that, however, we cannot help but pose a question to those with the ears and hearts to hear it: would so much honeyed cross-party interest have been possible if the underlying claim was not in itself of a political-humanitarian nature?
What we mean is well understood by the lawyer of the anarchist himself, when he declares that «the great merit of Cospito is to have brought back into the public debate what 41 bis is and whether or not it is compatible with the Constitution». These are not simply the words of a lawyer doing his job to the best of his ability, it is the only possible perspective of the question raised: if the task of prison is to re-educate, as they pretend to make us believe, what is the point of a harsh punitive regime such as 41 bis? Shouldn’t the State abolish it, or at least limit it as much as possible (to mafiosi who dissolve children in acid, goes the popular refrain, as if it were not well known that the State freed those mafiosi as soon as they repented)? It may be the subject of public debate, but it is still a purely institutional issue. Not social, nor popular, nor class, much less nihilist, but institutional. This is noted and reiterated in the appeal in favour of Cospito addressed ‘to the Prison Administration, the Minister of Justice and the Government’ and signed by dozens and dozens of jurists, magistrates and academics in various capacities: «To configure as defiance or blackmail the attitude of those who make the body the ultimate instrument of protest and affirmation of their identity is to betray our Constitution, which places human life and the dignity of the person at the top of the values, to whose protection the State is entrusted, for its own legitimacy and credibility, not as a concession to those who oppose it. Therein lies the difference between democratic States and authoritarian regimes».
Here, one only has to read such sentences and the names of the signatories to understand what really motivates their concern: the attempt to salvage what can be saved in the total shipwreck the law has run into. In a sense, those who say they want to save Alfredo Cospito to defend democracy, since the latter is so delegitimised that there is a need to counterbalance its aberrations with some noble gesture. Saving the life of an anarchist who has never killed anyone could be just the occasion. «Yes, it’s true, we killed the insurgent prisoners of Modena and slaughtered those of Ivrea, we have made the lives of millions of people impossible, but come on, after all, we were lenient with that anarchist…». This is what can drive Gherardo Colombo to be concerned about Cospito, he who will always be remembered as the judge who killed Pinelli a second time. Motivation that can also be extended to those who, like Adriano Sofri or Donatella Di Cesare, participated in the lynching of opponents of the health pass.
But all the occasional outpourings of good feelings in this world are no longer able to hide the stark fact: democracy is an authoritarian regime. And this, after three years of humiliation of human life and dignity by the State in the name of public health, is no longer a radical criticism formulated by a few hotheads; it is a banal observation.
You don’t need to be an anarchist to understand that the Constitution is nothing but arse-paper, one need only look at the repeated public use of it by its own admirers in recent times. Even those who have built up solid erudition and philosophical reputation on the interpretation of the law have recently been forced to admit that they can no longer confront a jurist or anyone who denounces the way in which the law and the constitution have been manipulated and betrayed, not put the law and the constitution in question in the first place. It is perhaps necessary, to not keep talking in the present tense, to recall that neither Mussolini nor Hitler needed to question existing constitutions in Italy and Germany, but found within them the devices they needed to establish their regimes? Is it possible, that is, that the gesture of those who are trying to base their battle on the constitution and rights today is already defeated at the outset? It is as if certain procedures or principles which we believed in or, rather, pretended to believe in have now shown their true face, which we cannot fail to see. It is paradoxical that what even an academic like Agamben has managed to understand escapes most of the subversives clamouring for an end to 41 bis today. Drawn by moral pressure to avert the death of an anarchist, they fail to see the point of their mobilisation.
Suffice it to observe how, on this ongoing hunger strike, the tone remains the same if you go from the palaces and courtrooms to the streets. In fact, you become pathetic, to say the least. Never mind the embarrassing panegyric to the sanctity of martyrdom. But what can we say about that continuous distinction between bad mafiosi and good anarchists, or the deplorable denunciation of the disproportion between deeds committed and punishments inflicted (certainly nothing new, given the 14 years’ imprisonment for the days of Genoa 2001), Appropriate points of merit in the courts, but decidedly nauseating in the mouths of those who no longer have the audacity to advocate always and only the destruction of prisons? What about the usual ‘quantitative mania’, which does so much to inflate but nothing to grow, cultivated by those who register the occasional burps of conscience from magistrates and intellectuals as evidence of broad consensus?
Well, it is certainly impossible to say what is more unintentionally comical, whether the proposal put forward by a Norwegian politician to award the Nobel Peace Prize to one of the greatest warlords (the NATO secretary), or the initiative of some ‘anarchists’ aimed at breaking the «deafening silence of the tenant of the Quirinale», to «awaken the conscience (and the blissful sleep…) of those who should protect the safeness ofAlfredo». In learning from those who never cease to declare themselves «in solidarity with Alfredo and his practices» that a head of State should watch over the health of an enemy of the State, one feels like paraphrasing the words of a famous French anarchist who went to the gallows – in the virtual war they have declared on the bourgeoisie, certain anarchists ask for protection; they do not give death, they demand not to suffer it.
Contrary to those who are basking in a mirage, inferring an electrifying weakness of the State from the expressions of some of the television journalists who comment on Cospito’s hunger strike, to us it seems on the contrary that it is the anarchists to have become more than weak, authentic caricatures, when they are reduced to becoming megaphones of constitutional political battles. The State no longer even needs to liquidate the anarchist movement, which has liquidated itself by renouncing its own ideas in order to implement pragmatic tactical convergences.
If so much of the left is aligning itself with the anarchists today, it is not because it is compelled to do so by the force of events, but because these anarchists are now almost the only ones left to take up the call to «say something left-wing, something even not left-wing, something civilised… something» – such as calling for the abolition of 41 bis. Incidentally, have you wondered what glimmer of victory is possible in such a battle? Given that the agony of an anarchist in prison and a few smashed windows are unlikely to succeed in 2023 in breaking the State any more than the mafia bombs that exploded thirty years ago, what else remains on the table? The remission in his case of detention from 41 bis and the non-application of life imprisonment without appeal? Wow, what a great victory: he would only be looking at twenty years in prison under a high-security regime…
Forty years ago there were those who criticised the proposed amnesty for political prisoners following this reasoning: the moral pressure of four thousand bodies dying in solitude cannot justify bargaining with the State, one must not demand the release of comrades to resume the struggle, one must resume the struggle to impose the release of comrades.
Even taking into account the different historical contexts, a millennium has indeed passed if today we have come to the point of making the change of prison regime for one anarchist (plus three stalinists and a few hundred alleged mafiosi) the aim of mobilising an entire movement. One has a fine tale to tell about the anarchist extrapotence in the Italian situation as a whole, imagining today hordes of bourgeois angry at the State guilty of having «unleashed» the anarchists, just as yesterday someone imagined the resurrection of the Paris Commune under the skies of Venaus.
The reality is that the State now dominates in such an unchallenged manner that it can afford anything, from letting anarchists rot in jail as it pleases to indicting trade unionists for extortion, to applying special surveillance to ecologist activists. Why shouldn’t it do this? Because it is unconstitutional? If it has locked up 60 million honest citizens with hardly a peep from anyone, indeed to the applause of many r-r-revolutionaries, it may well bury an anarchist dead or alive. Without even having to justify its actions. To whom should it be accountable? To the journalists? To the intellectuals? To the politicians? To jurists? To public opinion? To the subjects who are afraid of their own shadow and even of their own breath? To those subversives capable only of demanding that the State behave in a better, fairer, more just manner?
The victory of the State is truly total when its enemies are reduced to speaking its own language and show that they no longer want to storm the heavens (contenting themselves with defending a few dens on earth).
Alfredo Cospito is still alive and continues his hunger strike. He is doing what he can and what he can think of to get out of the hole in which he has been confined. But since he is in the hands of the State, and it is exclusively on institutional ground that this game is being played, there is no reason to be optimistic about his fate. The government has ample opportunity to juggle the situation. It may not give a damn and go ahead according to strutting patriotic tradition, it may prolong the prisoner’s ordeal with force-feeding, it may show magnanimity today in order to be more cruel tomorrow. It may even show some humanitarian disposition and then pull the plug («oops, a complication intervened, we’re sorry, we did everything, but you know how it is, his body was debilitated»). As every gambler knows, the house always wins in the long run.
«If the Sinopes condemned me to exile, I condemn them to stay in their homeland!” Diogenes the Cynic is said to have said. Art of putting on a good face or furious philosophy of life? Beloved comrades, we too are condemned to exile, to perpetual exile since there is no longer any place for us in this world.
One dream after another, one desire after another, one freedom after another, everything is being snatched away from us. And the knowledge that the extinction of the lovers of freedom will only just precede that of the advocates of authority is not much consolation to us. But here, in the midst of loneliness and despair, there is not only despondency, bitterness, melancholy, nausea. Here there is also what is called the courage of despair, that determination to try everything because one has nothing left to lose.
Let us find this courage. Let us condemn the domesticated bipeds to stay in their homeland, without wasting any more time chasing their parties, their classes, their movements. Let us enrich the ways of exile. Let us prepare to face solitude. Let us train ourselves to survive in the desert, to move in the desert, to fight in the desert. Without any more qualms, without any more pity. By furious philosophy of life, by vengeful philosophy of life.
Death, life lies in waiting.
From Act for Freedom Now!
Account from some anarchists who joined from out of town last saturday:
Shouting the whole way with passion and rage, 80 of us marched for over hour out of the town of Martorell, to the two prisons of Brians in the Catalan countryside. With chants, music and fireworks, we let the people held captive know they’re not forgotten, despite all the state’s intentions to isolate them. And through the walls and layers upon layers of fences, they called and whistled back.
The Catalan government want to build two more hellholes in the Zona Franca area of Barcelona by 2027: a 800-person “open regime” men’s prison, and a 600-person women’s prison to replace the existing one of Wad-Ras. Development has been delayed after the discovery of heavy metals in the soil. The government says it wants to develop the women’s prison “from a feminist perspective, describing the plans as “gender sensitive” and supporting “female empowerment”! Here we see the inevitable endgame of leftist politics: prison societies with enhanced perceptions of freedom, built on the dying embers of social war….
ABAJO LOS MUROS DE LAS PRISIONES!
DOWN WITH EVERY STATE AND NATION!
FOR FREEDOM, FOR ANARCHY.
Tags: demomarchreportbackSpainFTTPabolish prisonsCatalunya
From Avis de Tempetes
Storm warnings, anarchist bulletin for the social war, issue 57-58 (October 2022) came out. It is the full English translation of Avis de Tempêtes.
Storm warnings, issue 57-58 (October 15, 2022) :
“Europe is overflowing with hundreds of billions of dollars for its economic recovery and rearmament plans, quite the opposite of a reduction in its electricity production centers seems to be in the making, with Germany, for example, having just reactivated all of its hundred or so coaland
lignite-based power plants (including the 27 that had previously been suspended in order to meet its carbon emission goals), and also extended the operation of its last three nuclear power plants, which were due to be shut down by the end of 2022. This grandiose combination of 19th century
coal with 20th century nuclear power to feed the devouring requirements of 21st century industry and digital technology is not surprising…”
Tags: Storm WarningsAvis de Tempêtestranslationsocial warbulletin
From Freedom News UK
This is something I’ve been pondering a lot over the past year or two. As those of us whose political activism started in the 60s and has carried on until now, us older rebels are beginning to realise there’s little available where we can still ponder and have a good stimulating conversation with others the same age who still fancy overthrowing the state and fucking up capitalism. Physical ailments, frailties, mobility issues prevent us from getting out there on the livelier protests – apart from that we’d be in the way and be an ideal target for cops when the younger more agile comrades have managed to leg it. Then of course there’s the transport – my own main station into London is Norwood Junction: a very busy station that has no access for anyone in a wheelchair. Bollox innit.
So what do we do? I’m talking from experience – I’m in my 70s and full time carer for partner Ian who has advanced Parkinsons. I’ve been looking round Croydon at various day centres for Ian. I thought it might be an option for an occasional break for him, and a break from caring 24/7 for me. Plus these centres have on duty nursing care available should assistance be required with any of the undignified personal bodily functions that come with getting older. But the options are shit: the majority of the places offering day centre places are for dementia sufferers and those that aren’t seem to get treated like they got it anyway. The staff speak to the old ‘uns like we’re 5 years old, in these pitying little voices. “How are you today Poppet” “ooh don’t you look pretty today” etc. Crap below mediocre “entertainers” with Michael Fabricant wigs come to try to jolly everyone along with shit sexist jokes, a stupid puppet and singing along to songs that were popular two decades before these people were even born. There’s also such an assumption that because we’re old we’ve lost any interest in what’s going on, apart from of course assuming we’re all royalists and stick us in chairs with those crocheted square blankets and a little Union Jack flag to wave at the TV at any monarchist event. Cos old people love the Royals don’t they.
Something needs to be put in place for us current and future old rebels and I’m wondering how this would work in the UK. There’s this whole lot of us ageing anarchos with nowhere to fit in. Catching up soon will be the anarcho punks from the 1970s who will have as much luck settling into the present older care system as a fox at a hunt ball. And then everyone else following decade by decade.
My current thoughts are that there could be “Hubs” around led by people with sound politics and able to co-ordinate the personal care/mobility issues, arrange transport etc. Groups where discussions on political issues can take place, maybe films, a bit of reminiscence sharing about our best riots/ protests etc. And of course visits to the pub. Maybe even form groups where we go on the offensive with a “don’t mess with us you patronising wankers” message.
Present day care homes are also a major worry. When you’re too frail, unwell, or disabled to live independently, what is the option? Currently care homes have the same patronising attitude to older people as day centres but ten times worse as you’re stuck there 24/7. “Time for your bed/shower/now dear. The Mayor is coming to visit tomorrow and we want to look our best for him don’t we”. Well actually, no we fucking don’t.
There are a few ageing anarchists who have just given up trying to engage politically and have just chosen to isolate at home and withdraw, feeling like they’re “no use” any more and their views are worthless to the younger lot. Not in a self pitying way, but there is a tendency amongst some junior anarchists that we older lot don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about cos we’re not out there breaking into squats or living the perfect vision of an activist lifestyle, but mainly cos we’re old.
Other cultures and other countries have a much more integrated generational mix, where older people aren’t cast aside as useless old nuisances who know fuck all but are respected as elders.
Something’s got to change, but it’s got to come from us and not the ageist ideas borne from capitalism, and I think the younger anarchists need to start building on this if we can ever achieve a society based on mutual aid and looking out for our own. After all, one day they’ll be old too and unless things change they won’t be happy with what’s on offer.
Image: Rick The Draft DodgerTags: Freedom News UKagingageism
2 articles from Scenes from the Atlanta Forest
On the night of January 20th 2023, 30 mournful anarchists took vengeful action against our enemies for the murder of Cami/Tortuguita in the Atlanta Forest two days prior. We shattered dozens of windows along the glass facade of a Bank of America building in downtown Oakland, destroyed the ATM’s, and repainted the walls with people’s messages of love, memory, solidarity, and rage at the assassination of our comrade before lighting the place up with molotov cocktails.
Bank of America is an enemy of the people and life itself. They currently fund the construction of cop city in Atlanta, the same project that threatens the forest that Tortuguita died defending. They deserve no place in our landscape. We destroyed quickly but tirelessly. Like the peasants in the Jacquerie, the Luddite wreckers, or the Haitian revolutionaries, we seek liberation in the most obvious way: the destruction of what we know is the cause of our suffering. And if we destroy much, it is because we have suffered much. “Vengeance! Vengeance!” is our war-cry.
To our enemies who seek to liquidate our lives and the earth: you will not murder us with impunity! We will strike back, each time more fiercely than before. The more you take from us, the more we have to fight for—the less we have to lose.
To our fallen comrades: your deaths will never be in vain! We will avenge you one thousand times over! Your blood is our blood. Your lives light the path of our struggle, and this is only the beginning.
We support Tortuguita whether they shot at the pigs or not. A shot fired at police is an act of liberation.
TORTUGUITA VIVE, LA LUCHA SIGUE
MARTYRS NEVER DIE
THE FLAME OF ANARCHY BURNS BRIGHT
COP CITY WILL NEVER BE BUILT
FOR A WORLD FREE OF MONEY, COPS, AND PRISONS
FOR A WORLD FILLED WITH TREES, ANIMALS, AND LIFE
WEELAUNEE PEOPLE’S FOREST FOREVER
Submitted anonymously over email
On Saturday 1/21 there was a vigil for Tortuguita Manuel Teran. A group of about 40 adults and children placed candles and homemade signs by the turtle in Clark Park.
People spontaneously made speeches about Tortuguita’s death. The speeches touched on people’s experience of them, grief, martyrdom, and continuing to struggle. People called on each other to target cop city’s sponsors and the contractors responsible for building.
After people had been speaking for a while a small group broke off from the vigil. They took the street with banners. Barricades from a nearby construction site were pulled into the street to block cops and traffic. As the march moved graffiti memorializing Tortuguita and against police was tagged. A realty office had its windows smashed.
Even though Philly is far from Atlanta, Tortuguita’s death has been deeply felt here. We are angry. We are watching. We are acting. Cop city will never be built.
Neither innocent nor guilty
Neither terrorists nor protesters
A warm embrace to those arrested in Atlanta, Seattle and everywhere else
Death to civilization
Submitted anonymously over emailTags: OaklandPhiladelphiaTortuguitaDefend Atlanta Forest
From Anarkismo by Wayne Price
What Anarchists Can Learn from the Spanish Revolution & the Vietnam War
Anarchists can learn important lessons in relation to the Ukraine-Russia war by looking at the Spanish revolution of the thirties and the movement against the Vietnam-US war of the sixties.
The Ukraine-Russia war is shaking the world. Dealing with it, anarchists and other far-left radicals can learn much from contrasting it to previous conflicts. I chose to contrast it to two previous wars, the Spanish revolution (because of its importance in anarchist history) and the Vietnam-U.S. war (because I participated in the movement against the war).
Revolutionaries study revolutions. For example, the anarchist Peter Kropotkin wrote a history of the French Revolution. Yet I have seen little discussion of the present-day Ukrainian-Russian war which relates it to past revolutionary wars. (For the purpose of this essay, I am lumping together revolutions, civil wars, and wars of national liberation.)
The Ukrainian conflict is not an internal revolution or civil war—it is a war of national liberation, of an oppressed people against an imperialist invasion. But revolutionary anarchists and other anti-authoritarian radicals need a strategy to deal with it. They need to relate their activities in the war to their goal of an international revolution of the working class and all oppressed, winning a world of freedom, self-determination, and cooperation. This is a matter of general strategy, program and principles, not of immediate tactics and slogans. Those depend on the specific time and place and only Ukrainians can determine them. Yet general strategies, as developed in reaction to past revolutions, may be relevant to today’s conflicts.
The Spanish Revolution
Trotskyists focus on the Russian Revolution, Maoists on the Chinese Revolution, and anarchists on the Spanish revolution (1936—1939)—also called the Spanish civil war. Not that anarchists do not look at Russia, China, or other upheavals. But Spain had a revolution in which the anarchists (mostly anarcho-syndicalists) played a major role. They had a relatively large anarchist organization (the FAI—Iberian Anarchist Federation) which led a major union federation (the CNT—National Confederation of Labor). This held at least a half of the organized working class—the Socialist Party (Marxist reformists) led the union federation of the other half (the UGT—General Union of Workers). In the most industrialized region in Spain, Catalonia, with its capital of Barcelona, the anarchist-led union predominated. With these advantages, how did the Spanish anarchists do when a revolutionary civil war broke out in 1936?
In 1936, Spain had elected a Popular Front government, replacing the previous very conservative regime. The Popular Front was composed of liberal and moderate pro-capitalist parties, plus the Socialist Party and the Communist Party. In left terminology, a “Popular Front” is different from a “United Front.” The United Front is an alliance only of working class groupings, such as the Socialists, Communists, and anarchists, in class opposition to the parties of the capitalist class. A Popular Front is a cross-class alliance of workers’ parties with parties representing a wing of the capitalist class. By its very nature, it cannot go beyond the limits of capitalism, if it wants to work with a party committed to capitalism. During the civil war, this regime was known as “Republicans” (they rejected the return of a monarchy) or “Loyalists.”
Despite the moderation of the Popular Front government, the right attempted to overthrow it in July 1936. The core of the right was the military, led by a thoroughly reactionary officer corps (which the Popular Front had not tried to disband). It also included a self-declared fascist movement (the “Falange”), monarchists, and ultra-conservative Catholics. During the war, these were lumped together as “Fascists” or “Rebels.”
The soldiers left their barracks in Spain to seize the cities, while importing a mercenary army which was based in the colony of Morocco. The Popular Front politicians waffled, insisted that nothing was happening, and refused to give arms to the workers. But the workers, rose up, formed committees, seized arms and dynamite, and beat back the soldiers in most of the country. What was to have been a quick coup became a drawn-out and vicious civil war.
The anarchists’ leaders felt that they were in a quandary. The Republican state had essentially collapsed. The army, most of the police, and much of the government officials had gone over to the Fascists. So had the businesspeople and agrarian landlords. In their place were the working people, using the existing union structures but also organizing a multitude of committees for defense, policing the streets, distributing food, setting up militia forces to go fight the fascists, and taking over factories, farms, and businesses to keep them running.
Under these conditions it might have seemed logical for the anarchists (of the CNT union and FAI anarchist association) to “take power” at least in Catalonia. But they did not. (“Taking power”, if we use that phrase, for anarchists does not mean “taking state power.” It means the working people overthrow the state and capital and establish alternate, federated, participatory-democratic, institutions, but not a socially-alienated bureaucratic-military elite machine over the rest of society—that is, not a new state.)
The leading anarchists feared antagonizing the non-anarchists, who were half the organized working class. They argued that if their union took over, this would establish a “dictatorship.“ Better to have a “democratic” collaboration with pro-capitalist liberals! (This could have been approached by forming broad workers’ and peasants’ councils, in which members of all parties and unions could participate.) They feared losing the support of the Popular Front parties. They feared the reaction from the imperialist democracies (France, the UK, and also the US).
Instead of promoting a revolution from below, the anarchist leadership made alliances with the bourgeois Republican parties. Within a brief time period, they had joined the Popular Front, and entered the government (actually two governments, one at the regional level in Catalonia and the national state regime). Influential militants ended up supporting the capitalist state and serving in various administrative positions. The same was true of the smaller but still significant left-Marxists of the POUM (Party of Marxist Unification). Some of its leaders had previously been influenced by Leon Trotsky, but he denounced them for joining the Popular Front governments and broke with them. (Trotsky 1973) Whatever their subjective goals, the leaders of the CNT—FAI and of the POUM became complicit in the rebuilding of the state.
However, without the revolutionary spirit of the mass of people, and without the flexibility of the revolutionary forces, the war became a standard war. Urban uprisings and guerrilla tactics were ruled out. This gave the advantage to the regular Spanish army on the fascist side. This was especially true since Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were sending arms and soldiers to them, while the “democracies” would not send military aid to the Republic.
Comparing the current Ukrainian war with the Spanish civil war, the Ukrainian anarchists have not made this political mistake. As far as I know, even while supporting the Ukrainian side of the war, they have not voted for or endorsed V. Zelensky as president, nor his political party or any other party, nor joined the government as politicians or administrators. Nor have any of their left critics accused them of doing this. In fact they have opposed the government’s neo-liberal austerity program and anti-union policies.
A Revolutionary Anarchist Program
While the leadership of the anarchists became more and more drawn into supporting the state, opposition developed among other anarchists, especially in the ranks of the CNT and among women anarchists. One such group was the Friends of Durruti, but by no means the only one.
(This is covered extensively in Evans 2020. Also Guillamon 1996.) Diverse opinions were expressed, but overall there appeared a common revolutionary program, counterposed to that of the anarchist leadership.
This program included quitting the Popular Front and the capitalist government in all aspects. Expropriation of the capitalists and landlords and “socialization” of the economy—not government nationalization but industrial management by the workers, through their unions and/or workers’ councils, coordinating themselves, and peasant self-collectivization of agriculture. (Both were done, very successfully, in Catalonia and other parts of Spain; see Dolgoff 1974.) Arms for the fighters and militia people at the front, with the armed forces being voluntary and self-organized. “As to the army, we want a revolutionary one led exclusively by workers….” (Balius 1978; p. 37) Arms for the workers and peasants in the rear areas, distributed and organized by popular committees—replacing the police and rearguard armed forces.
Spreading the popular committees—for defense, policing, industrial production, farming, and decision-making, including all working people, regardless of union or party affiliation. These would centrally coordinate by federating regionally and nationally. The Friends of Durruti Group proposed to replace the state with a “Revolutionary Junta”—meaning a national coordinating council democratically elected by the workers, peasants, and militia fighters. “Unity of the barricades”—alliance of anarchists with all revolutionary forces, including left Marxists: the left of the POUM and the left of the Socialist Party.
The Spanish Trotskyists—not the POUM—supported this program, but were very small. (See Morrow 1974) This is not to go into the differences of their goals from the anarchists. Today’s Trotskyists sometimes condemn anarchism because the leading Spanish anarchists abandoned their program and joined the capitalist state. This is a valid criticism, but it ignores the fact that many anarchists disagreed with this policy. Also, that the big majority of Marxists—the Socialists, the Communists, the POUM—also joined the capitalist state.
There were other issues. Anarchist women organized for women’s open and equal participation in the armed struggle and in all areas of social life. They had to fight against patriarchal and sexist attitudes among many male anarchists. There was the question of national self-determination for the colony of Morocco. A large part of the Spanish army was composed of Moroccans. Their loyalty to the Fascist army might have been severely shaken if the Spanish Loyalists had promised Morocco independence, or at least, autonomy. Anarchists and Moroccan nationalists proposed this but the Popular Front politicians would not hear of it. Among other factors, such a move would have antagonized the French and British governments, who had their own large colonies in North Africa and the Middle East! (In the end, these governments, and the US, gave little help to the Republic, even though France also had a Popular Front government. The only government which did sell—not give—Spain much armament was the Soviet Union—at a high price, financially and politically.)
How would such a revolutionary program be achieved, with the civil war raging, in the lull between revolutionary upsurges? Just as some anarchists today do not support either side of the Ukrainian-Russian war, so some revolutionaries did not support either side in the Spanish civil war. This included the Bordiguists (the “Italian Faction” of “ultra-left,” authoritarian, and very sectarian Marxists) and some in the Trotskyist milieu who were to the left of Trotsky. These supported neither the Fascists nor the Republicans. The Republic, they pointed out, was a capitalist state as well as imperialist. Revolutionary socialists did not take sides in wars between capitalist states, they said.
A Bordiguist writes of Spain’s civil war, “War between a fascist state and an antifascist state is not a revolutionary class war. The proletariat’s intervention on one side is an indication that it has already been defeated….War on the military fronts implied abandonment of the class terrain…[and] defeat for the revolutionary process.” (Guillamon 1996; p. 10)
This sounds very similar to arguments being raised now by parts of the left, particularly anarchists, for not supporting the Ukrainians in their war of national defense and self-determination against imperialist Russia. Russia and Ukraine are both capitalist nation states, and Ukraine, if not also imperialist, is getting military aid from US imperialism.
In Spain, at the time, few if any anarchists accepted such arguments. They knew the workers would not understand this “radical” justification for non-participation in the fight against the Fascists. In World War I the main issue had been the imperialist competition for markets, profits, and power. In the Spanish civil war, imperialism was not the main issue. It was the fight to preserve workers’ freedoms and rights (even as limited as they were under bourgeois democracy) from fascism. Even more, the possibility of moving from capitalism to anarchist-socialism was infinitely greater if the Fascists were being defeated by the revolutionary struggles of the working class, even if it was, at first, under the rule of the Republican capitalists.
The left-anarchist Friends of Durruti Group laid out their approach this way:
“There must be no collaboration with capitalism whether outside the bourgeois state or from within the government itself. As producers our place is in the unions, reinforcing the only bodies that ought to survive a revolution by the workers. Class struggle is no obstacle to workers continuing at present to fight on the battlefields and working in the war industries….
“We are opposed to collaboration with bourgeois groups. We do not believe the class approach can be abandoned. Revolutionary workers must not shoulder official posts, nor establish themselves in ministries. For as long as the war lasts, collaboration is permissible—on the battlefield, in the trenches, on the parapets and in productive labor in the rearguard….” (Balius 1978; pp 35, 38)
In Spain, there was a second flair up of working class struggle in May 1937. There was a conflict between the CNT workers, who controlled the central telephone building in Barcelona, and the police, directed by the Communist Party (now completely Stalinist). The police attacked the telephone center, in an effort to take it away from the workers. They were driven off and the city’s workers rose up and took over the streets. A true revolution could have been consummated there, with the workers taking over a major region and appealing to the workers and peasants throughout Spain. Instead, the leaders of the CNT (and POUM) ordered the workers back to work, insisting on peace and cooperation with the Stalinized police (that is, capitulation to the re-consolidation of the capitalist state). After that, the war dragged on for a couple of years until the fascists won, but the possibility of revolution had been defeated.
Unfortunately, while the anarchist left had developed a program for revolution, it had not organized itself to fight for these policies. It was too tied to its traditional organizations and their leaders. There were elements of an organization that could have widely raised this program and organized an alternative to the established Socialists, POUMists, and influential anarchists. But these elements never coalesced into a single strong grouping or even into a united front of revolutionary groupings. (I am not speaking of a “party” in the sense of a centralized organization which aims to take power for itself, set up its own state, and rule over [“lead”] the people, but for an organization to fight for a revolutionary program.) So the programs of the “reasonable”, “practical,” anarchists and socialists, of allying with the capitalists and subordinating themselves to the Stalinists, led to disaster. As a world movement, anarchism received a great defeat.
There are justified wars (as evil as war always is), such as the Spanish civil war against fascism or the current Ukrainian war of national self-determination. While a capitalist state still rules, anarchists should not give any support to the government. They should politically criticize it and spread their own propaganda. Meanwhile they should participate in the just struggle, along with the rest of the working class and oppressed. They should work in the industries and serve in the armed forces, and do their best to defeat the enemy militarily. Their aim is to get enough support and agreement from the people so that at some point (during or after the war) the people will make a revolution. They will overthrow the state, expropriate the rich, and replace capitalism with a self-managed, free, and cooperative society.
How this general strategy is carried out, of course, depends on the concrete situation of the country and the world, the time and place. In Ukraine today, anarchists are a small political tendency, but almost all support the war against the invasion. None have given political support to the Zelensky government. Some engage in non-military activities, such as working in hospitals or feeding people. Others form anarchist and anti-fascist groups that become part of the Territorial Defense network. Others join the regular armed forces wherever they can. This does not stop them from being anarchists.
The Vietnam-U.S. War
The Vietnam-U.S. war (1960–-1975) was called the “Vietnam War” in the U.S. and the “American War” in Vietnam. Whether it was a revolution has been argued about. (But then, people are still arguing whether 1776 in the U.S. was a “revolution” or a “war for independence.”) Yet old ruling classes (semi-feudal landlords and royalty, French businesspeople, military officers, and U.S. officials) were thrown out and a new one took power. This was a state-capitalist Communist bureaucracy, not, alas, the peasants and workers of Vietnam. During the period of the war, a great many on the left had illusions that some sort of socialist people’s revolution was going on. They were wrong. (For an account by a Vietnamese socialist of the brutal, treacherous, and tyrannical history of Ho’s Communists, see Van 2010.)
My comments here focus on aspects of the U.S. anti-war movement. (In Vietnam itself, Trotskyists and other dissidents such as anarchists, had been ruthlessly eliminated by the Communists.) For those radicals who saw through the “socialist” and “democratic” veil covering the Vietnamese Stalinists, it was seen as a war for self-determination, unification, and independence, whatever we thought of Ho Chi Minh and his party. For historical reasons, the Communists had won the support of the people as the leaders of their national liberation struggle. The peasants and workers of Vietnam should be able to decide their own future, not the U.S. army nor the U.S.’s bought-and-paid-for puppets.
To an extent, the Vietnam-U.S. War was a mirror image of the Ukraine-Russia War. The imperialist power was the U.S.A., with Russia supporting the national rebellion. After the Vietnamese had kicked out the French imperialists, the U.S. moved in. The country had been divided into two, against the will of the people, with the Stalinists taking the North. The U.S. state supported local politicians and military figures, subsidizing these puppets, until it became clear that they could not hold South Vietnam against North Vietnam and their own people. Rather than giving it up as a bad job, the U.S. doubled down, pouring soldiers and money into South Vietnam. At its height there were 500 thousand U.S. soldiers there.
Supporters of the U.S. war effort, tried to make it look like the war in the South was not an indigenous rebellion against a reactionary ruling class and foreign occupation. They claimed that the Southern resistance (the National Liberation Front or NLF—called “Viet Cong” by the U.S. forces) were mere puppets of the Northern government. And that the government of North Vietnam was a mere puppet of either Maoist China or the Soviet Union—which were fiercely antagonistic to each other at the time. (North Vietnam very carefully did not take sides in the Russian/Chinese polemics against each other.)
In truth, the NLF was politically controlled by the Northern state (contrary to many leftists who had illusions in its independence). Yet it was supported by nationalist sentiment and a genuine popular hatred of the invaders. Russia gave military aid to the North, which Mao let them send through China. This aid, while far less than the U.S. sent to its agents, was extremely important to keep the North in the war. However, to see the North as a puppet of other countries was delusional.
After decades of struggle against the French and the U.S., the Vietnamese won their war. They won independence and unification. On a world scale, this was a great setback for U.S. imperialism. For years, U.S. leaders bemoaned the “Vietnam syndrome”—the reluctance of the U.S. population to support more foreign wars. This victory was won at a great cost of so many dead, so much destroyed, so much land and forest poisoned. The country was now taken over by a Communist Party dictatorship and a state-capitalist economy. Thousands fled, by land and sea. However, there was no widespread massacre, as did happen in neighboring Kampuchea (Cambodia) under ultra-Stalinist Pol Pot. There were wars between Vietnam and its “comradely” neighbors in China and Kampuchea. Today the rulers of Vietnam encourage U.S. capitalists to invest in their country, using their cheap labor and lack of independent unions as selling points.
This is not an overview of the Vietnam-U.S. war nor of the U.S. antiwar movement, which played a part in the defeat of the U.S. As a young man, I participated in the U.S. anti-war movement, as an anarchist-pacifist and then an unorthodox Trotskyist (eventually I evolved into a revolutionary anarchist-socialist). I observed the war very intently. Meanwhile I put a lot of effort to keep from being drafted into the army. (For an overview of the war and the anti-war movement, see Neale 2003.)
Lessons of the Vietnam-U.S. War for Supporters of Ukraine
The U.S. anti-war movement had various divisions. On the right were liberal Democrats and moderate pacifists, mostly supported by pro-Moscow Communists. Their slogan was “Negotiations Now!” They called on the U.S. government to negotiate with the North Vietnamese and the NLF. The right-wing was for relying on the Democrats, which was a limited approach given that the war had been initiated and expanded by Democratic presidents and politicians.
On the left were radical pacifists and various Trotskyists (there were a few anarchists and libertarian Marxists). Maoists went back and forth. The left wing opposed the slogan of “Negotiations.” What was there to negotiate? they asked. The slogan implied that both sides had legitimate interests to be discussed. But the U.S. had invaded Vietnam and it should immediately leave. Of course the war would end with talks, but that was beside the point; it was important to take a clear political and moral stance against the U.S. being in the war. Their slogans were “Immediate Withdrawal,” “Bring the Troops Home Now!” or simply “Out Now!” Over time, this view came to predominate in the movement. (There were other controversies, such as whether the movement should only deal with the war or should raise other issues, such as racism. I will not go into that here.)
The relevance of this debate to the Ukraine-Russia war is obvious. Many peace-loving, “anti-war,” people have called for “negotiations” to end the war—for the U.S. state to pressure the Ukrainians to negotiate with Putin. But the point is the same. What, in principle, is there to negotiate about? The Russians started the war by invading their neighbor. They have no legitimate interests in the internal affairs of Ukraine. The Russians should withdraw. Advocating anything less is to accept that Russia has good reasons to be in Ukraine, and to be implicitly on its side of the war. Of course there will be talks, but the central issue remains: the Russian military must leave Ukraine, all of Ukraine, every square inch. “Out Now!”
Another related issue is that of national self-determination versus support for the government. In the Vietnam-U.S. war, many on the left became fanatical supporters of the Stalinist leadership of the national struggle. But we unorthodox and dissident Trotskyists, libertarian Marxists, and anarchists knew better. We were not surprised when Vietnam became a repressive one-party dictatorship and (mixed) state-capitalist economy after the war. We had predicted it. Those of us who supported the Vietnamese side had not been supporters of the North Vietnamese state nor the leadership of the NLF. We had been in solidarity with the Vietnamese people, mainly its peasants and workers. We supported their right to determine their own future, their independence, their economic and political system, whatever we thought of it.
No one has illusions that Ukraine is a “socialist” country. It has a capitalist economy (dominated by “oligarchs”) and a bourgeois-democratic representative government. The government is notoriously corrupt. There is a nationalist, neo-Nazi, movement in the country, although it has limited political power. These facts are used by some to justify non-support for the Ukrainian side, treating it as just as bad as the Russian imperialist aggressors.
However, the issue is not whether to support Zelensky’s government, nor even the Ukrainian state. Revolutionary anarchists do not. It is whether we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Aside from the state or the “oligarchs,” they have their own interests in not being invaded, occupied, bombed, driven from their homes, their children taken away and sent to Russia, their language suppressed, their people tortured, raped, and murdered, and their national resources looted. At present they support capitalism and the state. Maybe that will change over time. Ukrainian anarchists and socialists are working for that. That is the peoples’ decision, not the decision of the U.S. left or foreign anarchists, anymore than it should be the decision of the Russian army or the Wagner mercenaries. It is a matter of national self-determination.
Another related issue is that of inter-imperialist conflict. U.S. apologists argued that the rebellion in South Vietnam was part of a spread of world Communism. It was supposedly masterminded by the Kremlin or maybe by Mao. They denied that the Vietnamese could be their own agents. Everything was reduced to Cold War platitudes.
The Russians and Chinese did provide important aid to North Vietnam (not much to the NLF in the South). Ho Chi Minh and his closest comrades had been disciplined supporters of Stalin for decades, following every twist and turn of international Communist politics. Yet he had his own national interests, which were not simply the same as Russia’s. And the Vietnamese people had been fighting for their national freedom for generations. They supported Ho and the Communists only because they believed that they were leading a fight for independence. While the rivalry between the U.S. state and Russia (and China) was a significant backdrop to the war, it was not the main issue. That was the struggle for Vietnam’s self-determination.
The same issue has come up in the Ukraine-Russia war. When Ukraine first showed that it could resist the Russian invasion, the Western imperialists decided to give it military and other aid, short of sending in troops (which the Ukrainians did not ask for). By now there is massive arms shipments, satellite and computer information, and troop training going from the U.S. and NATO to the Ukrainians.
Many on the left denounce this as essentially a war between imperialists, being a “proxy war” for the U.S. They focus on events leading up to the war, such as the expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders. They point out (correctly) that the U.S. is the strongest imperialist power on earth, in its wealth and its military power (even if in decline). Given the record of the U.S. (such as in Vietnam, not to speak of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Central America, Haiti, Cuba, Africa, and so on), the Western imperialists are not acting out of concern for democracy, freedom, and the rights of oppressed nations. They act on their interest in keeping the U.S. dominant in the world, beating back the Russians and making points to the Chinese rulers. Therefore many conclude that leftists should support any power that challenges the U.S., even if it is a rival imperialism or an oppressive dictatorship (this is “campism”).
While it is important to look at the inter-imperialist “background” of the war, it is also important to focus on the immediate “foreground.” This is the Russian imperialist invasion of a neighboring country (a capitalist but non-imperialist poor nation). Russia is not fighting a proxy war but is engaging in direct aggression. Nor are the Ukrainians fighting a proxy war. It is they who are spilling their blood, fighting directly against the invaders of their country. Whatever the U.S. is paying in armaments, the Ukrainians are paying with their lives. Whatever the motives of the U.S. and its NATO allies, and even whatever is the motivation of the Ukrainian state, the people have their own interest in driving out the occupiers and mass murderers. That they take arms from the Western governments means little—they need arms and where else can they get them? The Spanish Republic bought arms from Stalinist Russia and tried to get arms from France and the U.S. While libertarian radicals opposed the North Vietnamese state for its Stalinist authoritarianism, no one condemned it for taking arms from Russia.
This analysis would change under different circumstances. This would become mainly a war between imperialist sides if, for example, the U.S. were to send its army into Ukraine to fight the Russians, or if missiles were exchanged, back and forth, between Russia and the NATO countries. Then both sides should be opposed because the main issue would be the warfare between imperialist powers. But this has not happened.
It is not unknown, in a world divided by competing imperialisms, that one empire would give aid to the rebelling colonies of another. In World War II, the Nazis gave support to Arabs against their Western colonizers, and the Japanese posed as champions of Asians and Africans against British and French imperialists—while the U.S. and the Allies became all for the self-determination of occupied European and other countries (but not Ireland)..
In the Cold War, the Soviet Union gave support, even money, to national opponents of Western imperialism. This was not only to Communist movements and regimes such as in Vietnam or Cuba, but also to non-Communist nationalists in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Meanwhile the U.S. gave at least verbal support to the “captive nations” in Eastern Europe, against their Russian masters. So it is hardly surprising that the U.S. should give support to Ukraine as a way to kick Russia in the teeth, or to Taiwan to push back at the Chinese state. This says nothing about whether to support the self-determination of the Ukrainians or Taiwanese. The question is what do they want.
It may be objected that the Ukraine-Russia war is very different from either of my two examples. The position of anarchists in Ukraine, and their supporters around the world, is very different from that of the Spanish anarchists of the ‘thirties, or of anti-imperialist militants in the movement against the war in Vietnam. All of which is true.
But some important lessons may be learned by revolutionary anarchists. One is not to participate in capitalist states, parties, or administrations, or support such forces (including states and parties which claim to be “socialist” or “communist” but are really state-capitalist). Instead, we struggle for a non-state radically-democratic federation of workers’ and popular councils and assemblies.
So long as the people cannot overthrow the state and capitalism, anarchists should participate in the military struggle against fascists or imperialist invaders. Joining the military effort, production in workplaces, and civil mobilization, anarchists simultaneously engage in a political struggle against the dominant regime. It is not necessary to give “critical support”, “political support”, or any other kind of support to governments to be in solidarity with the people of a country fighting for independence, democratic self-determination, and (relative) national freedom.
Imperialist support for a rebelling people does not settle the nature of the conflict. There was British and French influence on the Loyalist side of the Spanish civil war and a degree of Russian support, but that did not determine the nature of the conflict. Russia and China gave aid to the Vietnamese forces, but that did not override the nature of the war as one for self-determination. Nor does U.S. aid to Ukraine deny that the war is essentially and mainly a war of defense and self-determination for the Ukrainian people.
These are some of the lessons we can all learn from studying past revolutions and wars.
Balius, Jaime (Ed.) (1978/1938). Towards a Fresh Revolution; The Friends of Durruti Group; Barcelona 1938. Sanda, Orkney UK: Cienfuegos Press.
Dolgoff, Sam (Ed.) (1974). The Anarchist Collectives; Workers’ Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution 1936—1939. NY: Free Life Editions.
Evans, Danny (2020). Revolution and the State; Anarchism in the Spanish Civil War 1936—1939. Chico CA: AK Press.
Guillamon, Agustin (1996). The Friends of Durruti Group: 1937—1939. (Paul Sharkey, Trans.) San Francisco CA: AK Press.
Morrow, Felix (1974). Revolution and Counterrevolution in Spain. NY: Pathfinder.
Neale, Jonathan (2003). A People’s History of the Vietnam War. NY: The New Press.
Trotsky, Leon (1973), The Spanish Revolution (1931—39). ( N. Allen & G. Breitman, Eds.) NY: Pathfinder Press.
Van, Ngo. (2010). In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary. (Ken Knabb & Helene Fleury, Eds.) Oakland CA: AK Press.
*written for Black Flag: Anarchist Review (virtual journal)Tags: ukrainerussiaSpanish RevolutionVietnam WarwarAnarkismo
Original title: CASE COSPITO, THE COMMITTEE AGAINST THE 41 BIS IS BORN. AND THE DAP DISTRUSTS THE DOCTOR FROM GIVING INTERVIEWS
Among the intellectual supporters, lawyers and artists such as Zerocalcare, Elio Germano, Ascanio Celestini, Luigi Manconi. The launch document of the initiative: "Hard prison is like the death penalty". The anarchist on hunger strike for 96 days. The defense: "he should be transferred to a prison equipped with a clinical center"
A committee for Alfredo Cospito and against the 41 bis, the request to transfer him from Sassari to a prison with a clinical centre, while a formal notice arrives from the Dap, the Department of Penitentiary Administration to the doctor who visits the imprisoned anarchist and on strike of hunger for 96 days to give interviews on his health conditions to a radio "antagonist". The battle against Cospito's harsh prison continues, even with the extreme challenge on his own body. Amnesty International argues that "it is the duty of the Italian authorities to fulfill the obligations of protection and respect for the human rights of the detainee, also taking into account the harsh conditions of the 41 bis regime to which he is subjected".
Against life imprisonment and 41 bis, about sixty groups and associations, and almost 150 artists, intellectuals, university professors, researchers, lawyers, activists have created and signed up to the newborn platform "To die of punishment". A project created in the wake of the uproar created by the case of Alfredo Cospito , the anarchist on hunger strike against the harsh prison regime to which he was subjected for having kicked the CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare, Roberto Adinolfi , in 2012 , and having placed in 2006 two explosive devices outside a barracks in Cuneo without casualties . Among the signatures are that of the cartoonist Zerocalcare , of the actors Elio Germano and Ascanio Celestini , of the musical groups 99 Posse and Assalti frontalis , of former senators Luigi Manconi and Heidi Giuliani .
“Damage to body and mind”
“Since its inception – reads the document of the promoter committee of the initiative, which started in Naples – the 41bis has shown itself as an instrument of blackmail to push prisoners to collaborate with the judiciary, based on practices of actual torture. The inhumane conditions of detention envisaged by this institute take the form of solitary confinement in cells of a few square metres, limitations on hours of fresh air, continuous surveillance, limitation or elimination of interviews with family members, control of the mail, limitation of objects in the cell even such as pens, notebooks and books. A progressive annihilation that causes incalculable damage to the body and psyche of the prisoners".
“Life imprisonment as capital punishment”
Life imprisonment is defined as "similar in all respects to the death penalty". "Over the next few weeks - explain the promoting committee - we will organize dissemination, awareness and debate initiatives in the main cities of Italy, because, starting from the struggle of Alfredo Cospito, whose life is at risk in the total indifference of the government and judiciary , the debate for the abolition of the inhuman institutions of life imprisonment and 41bis opens concrete possibilities for a necessary reform”.
The distrust of the Dap
Meanwhile, the Dap has sent Cospito's lawyer, Flavio Rossi Albertini , a warning against Dr. Alessandra Milia who periodically enters prison to visit the anarchist. The next appointment has been authorized for January 26th. But, reads the note, "Dr. Milia is warned to issue statements following visits to the radio station "Onda d'Urto", in order not to frustrate the purposes of 41bis". She under penalty of "revocation of authorization to access the institute".
The broadcaster, which defines itself as an antagonist, was born in '85 from a group of people from the '77 movements and has been close to the social centres.
“I'm shocked”, replied Milia hotly. “The warning about the interviews with Radio Wave of Shock is the only request that has been delivered to me. Maybe the broadcaster doesn't like it, it's not appreciated. I - she adds - have always confined myself to expressing Alfredo Cospito's conditions since he began his hunger strike. I have never commented on the prison conditions in which he lives, only once did I speak of the confined space of the hour of fresh air. Also because the prisoner is brought to me in the nursing home, I have never seen Alfredo's cell".
“I don't understand – adds the doctor – why I can't externalize Alfredo's health conditions who lost 10 kg in a week, so we are going at breakneck speed. I don't understand why it is claimed that I would frustrate the purposes of 41 bis. I don't speak in code, I speak about health issues. Unless they think that speaking, say, of potassium, I had other purposes, to say something else". For Radio Onda d'urto "they want to put a gag on information".
Case Cospito, the Committee against the 41 bis is born. And the Dap distrusts the doctor from giving interviews
A committee for Alfredo Cospito and against the 41 bis, the request to transfer him from Sassari to a prison with a clinical centre, while a formal notice arrives from the Dap, the prison administration department, to the doctor who visits the anarchist prisoner and on strike of hunger for 96 days to give interviews on his health conditions to an “antagonist” radio. She continues the battle against the harsh prison, even with the extreme challenge on her own body, of Cospito. Amnesty International maintains that “it is the duty of the Italian authorities to fulfill the obligations of protection and respect for the human rights of the detainee, also taking into account the harsh conditions of the 41 bis regime to which he is subjected”.
Against life imprisonment and 41 bis, about sixty groups and associations, and almost 150 including artists, intellectuals, university professors, researchers, lawyers, activists have created and subscribed to the newborn platform “To die of penalty”. A project created in the wake of the clamor created by the case of Alfredo Cospito, the anarchist on hunger strike against the harsh prison regime to which he was subjected for having kicked the CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare, Roberto Adinolfi, in the legs in 2012, and having placed in 2006, two explosive devices outside a barracks in Cuneo without casualties. Signatures include cartoonist Zerocalcare, actors Elio Germano and Ascanio Celestini, musical groups 99 Posse and Assalti frontali, former senators Luigi Manconi and Heidi Giuliani.
“Damage to body and mind”
“Since its inception – reads the document of the promoter committee of the initiative, which started from Naples – the 41bis has shown itself as an instrument of blackmail to push prisoners to collaborate with the judiciary, based on practices of real torture. The inhuman conditions of detention envisaged by this institute take the form of solitary confinement in cells of a few square metres, limitations on hours of fresh air, continuous surveillance, limitation or elimination of interviews with family members, control of the mail, limitation of objects in the cell even such as pens, notebooks and books. A progressive annihilation that causes incalculable damage to the body and psyche of the prisoners”.
“Life imprisonment as capital punishment”
Life imprisonment is defined as “similar in all respects to the death penalty”. “Over the next few weeks – explain the promoting committee – we will organize dissemination, awareness and debate initiatives in the main cities of Italy, because, starting from the struggle of Alfredo Cospito, whose life is at risk in the total indifference of the government and judiciary, the debate for the abolition of the inhuman institutions of life imprisonment and 41bis opens concrete possibilities for a necessary reform”.
The distrust of the Dap
Meanwhile, the Dap has sent Cospito's lawyer, Flavio Rossi Albertini, a formal notice against doctor Alessandra Milia who periodically enters prison to visit the anarchist. The next appointment has been authorized for January 26th. But, the note reads, “Dr. Milia is warned to release statements to the radio station “Onda d'Urto” following visits, in order not to frustrate the purposes of 41bis”. Under penalty of “revocation of authorization to access the institution”.
The broadcaster, which defines itself as an antagonist, was born in '85 from a group of people from the '77 movements and has been close to the social centres.
“I'm appalled,” Milia retorted hotly. “The formal notice on the interviews with Radio Onda d'Urto is the only request that has been sent to me. Perhaps the broadcaster does not like it, it is not appreciated. I – he adds – have always limited myself to expressing Alfredo Cospito's conditions since he started his hunger strike. I have never commented on the prison conditions in which he lives, only once did I speak of the restricted space of the hour of fresh air. Also because the prisoner is brought to me in the nursing station, I have never seen a prison cell Alfred”.
“I don't understand – adds the doctor again – why I can't externalize Alfredo's health conditions who lost 10 kg in a week, so we are going at breakneck speed. I don't understand why it is argued that I would frustrate the purposes of 41a. I don't I speak in code, I speak of health issues. Unless they think that speaking, I don't know, of potassium, I had other purposes, to say something else”. For Radio Onda d'urto “they want to put a gag on information”.
A committee in favor of Alfredo Cospito and against the 41 bis, the solicitation of transfer from Sassari to a penitentiary center with a clinic center, links an oficio of the Dap, the department of penitentiary administration, to the doctor who visits the anarchist suspect and en huelga de hambre de 96 días para dar entrevistas sobre su estado de salud a una radio “antagonisto”. The battle against the hard prison continued, including with the extreme desafío sobre su propio cuerpo of him, de Cospito. Amnistía Internacional argues that “the Italian authorities must fulfill their obligations to protect and respect the human rights of the pressures, also keeping in mind the harsh conditions of the régimen 41 bis to which there are some tidos”.
Against the perpetual cadena and the 41 bis, there are groups and associations, and 150 cases between artists, intellectuals, university professors, investigators, abogados, activists have created and subscribed the recién nacida platform “To die of punishment”. A project born to the cause of the clamor aroused by the case of Alfredo Cospito, the anarquist ensued in hambre against the harsh penitentiary regime to which he was sometido by haber pateado en las piernas al director general of Ansaldo Nucleare, Roberto Adinolfi, in 2012, y habiendo colocado en 2006, dos artefactos explosivos fuera de un cuartel en Cuneo sin víctimas. The signatures include the publisher Zerocalcare, the actors Elio Germano and Ascanio Celestini, the musical groups 99 Posse and Frontal Assaults, the exsenadores Luigi Manconi and Heidi Giuliani.
“Damage to the body and mind”
“Desde sus inicios – se lee in the document of the comité promotor de la iniciativa, que partió de Nápoles – el 41bis se ha provado como un instrumento de chantaje para empujar a los presos a colaborar con el poder judicial, based in prácticas de torture real . The inhumane detention conditions foreseen by this institution are implemented in solitary confinement in cells of few square meters, limitation of hours of fresh air, continuous vigilance, limitation or elimination of interviews with relatives, control of correspondence, limitation of objects in the cell included like pens, notebooks and books. A progressive anequilamiento that causes incalculable damage to the body and the psyche of the pressures”.
“Perpetual cadena as a capital punishment”
The perpetual cadena is defined as "similar in all aspects to the death penalty". “During the next few weeks - explains the promotor committee - we will organize initiatives for dissemination, awareness and debate in the main cities of Italy, therefore, starting from the fight of Alfredo Cospito, where life runs dangerously in the total indiference of the government and the judiciary, the debate for the abolition of the inhuman institutions of the perpetual cycle and the 41bis open concrete possibilities for a necessary reform”.
The desconfianza of the Dap
Meanwhile, the Dap sent to the defendant of Cospito, Flavio Rossi Albertini, a letter of accusation against the doctor Alessandra Milia, who was periodically imprisoned to visit the anarquist. The next quote has been authorized for the 26th of January. However, says the note, "advierte Dr. Milia that he has made declarations to the radio station 'Onda d'Urto' between visits, to not frustrate the proposals of 41bis". Under penalty of "revocation of the authorization to access the institution".
The locutor, who is defined as an antagonist, was born in 1985 of a group of people from the movements of 1977 and was in search of the social centers.
“Estoy horrorizada,” Milia replied warmly. “The communication about the interviews with Radio Onda d'Urto is the only pedigree they sent me. Quizás a la locutora no le gusta, lei no se agradece. Yo -añade- I always limited myself to expressing Alfredo Cospito's opinion on the conditions from which he started on the huelga de hambre. He never commented on the prison conditions in which he lives, only once he was able to enter the restricted space at the time of fresh air. Also because the prisoner takes him to me in the nursing home, I have never seen a prison cell Alfred”.
“No entiendo -agrega el medico nuevamente- because I cannot externalize Alfredo's health conditions, who lost 10 kg in a week, we were going at a vertigo speed. No entiendo por que se argumenta que me frustraría. the ends of 41 bis. Yo no hablo en clave, hablo de temas de salud. A no ser que piensen que speaking, no se, de potasio, tenía otros fines, para decir otra cosa”. For Radio Onda d'urto “le quieren poner un gag a la información”.
Un comité pour Alfredo Cospito et contre le 41 bis, la demande de le transférer de Sassari dans une prison avec un center clinique, alors qu'une mise en demeure arrive du Dap, le service de l'administration pénitentiaire, au médecin qui visita le prisonnier anarchist and on the grave of the faim de 96 jours pour donner des interviews sur son état de santé à une radio “antagoniste”. La bataille contre la dure prison continue, même avec le défi extrême sur son propre corps di lui, de Cospito. Amnesty International affirms that “il est du devoir des autorités italiennes to fulfill the obligations of protector and to respect the human rights of prisoners, en tenant également compte des dures conditions du régime 41 bis auquel ils sont soumis”.
Contre la perpétuité et le 41 bis, une soixantaine de collectifs et associations, et près de 150 dont des artists, des intellectuels, des universitaires, des chercheurs, des avocats, des militants ont créé et souscrit à la plateforme naissante “Mourir de peine” . A project créé à la suite de la clameur créée par l'affaire Alfredo Cospito, the anarchist en grève de la faim contre le régime prison sévère auquel il a été soumis pour avoir donné un coup de pied au PDG d'Ansaldo Nucleare, Roberto Adinolfi, in les jambes in 2012, and avoir placé in 2006, two engines exploded in the extérieur of a barracks in Cuneo sans faire de victimes. The signatures include the caricaturists Zerocalcare, the actors Elio Germano and Ascanio Celestini, the musical groups 99 Posse and Assalti frontali, the ancient sénateurs Luigi Manconi and Heidi Giuliani.
“Dommages au corps et à l'esprit”
“Depuis sa création – lit le document du comité promoteur de l'initiative, parti de Naples – le 41bis s'est révélé as an instrument de chantage pour pousser les prisonniers à collaborer avec la justice, sur la base de pratiques de véritable torture. The inhuman conditions of detention envisaged by this institute prennent the form of cell isolation in the cells of those mètres carrés, limitations of the hours of air frais, continuous surveillance, limitation or suppression of entretiens with the members of the family , de contrôle du courrier, de limitation des objets dans la cell même comme des stylos, des cahiers et des livres. Un anéantissement progressif qui cause des dommages incalculables au corps et à la psyché des prisonniers ».
“La réclusion à perpétuité comme peine capital”
La réclusion à perpétuité est définie comme “semblable à tous égards à la peine de mort”. “Au cours des prochaines semaines – explique le comité de promotion – nous organiserons des initiatives de diffusion, de sensibilisation et de débat dans les principalis villes d'Italie, car, à partir de la lutte d'Alfredo Cospito, dont la vie est en danger dans l'indifférence total du gouvernement et judiciaire, le débat pour l'abolition des institutions inhumaines de la réclusion à perpétuité et 41bis ouvre des perspectives crètes pour une necessaire réforme ».
La méfiance du Dap
Entre-temps, le Dap a envoyé à l'avocat de Cospito, Flavio Rossi Albertini, une mise en demeure contre le docteur Alessandra Milia qui entre périodiquement en prison pour rendre visita à l'anarchiste. Le prochain rendezvous a été autoresé pour le 26 janvier. Mais, lit-on dans la note, “Le Dr Milia est averti de publier des déclarations à la station de radio “Onda d'Urto” à la suite de visites, afin de ne pas contrecarrer les objectifs du 41bis”. Sous peine de « retrait d'authorisation d'accès à l'établissement ».
Le diffuseur, qui se définit comme un antagoniste, est né en 85 d'un groupe de personnes issues des mouvements de 77 et a été proche des centers sociaux.
“Je suis consterné,” rétorqua vivement Milia. “La mise en demeure sur les entretiens avec Radio Onda d'Urto est la seule demande qui m'a été envoyée. Peut-être que le diffuseur ne l'aime pas, ce n'est pas apprécié. Je – ajoute-t-il – me suis toujours limité à expresse les propos d'Alfredo Cospito. conditions depuis qu'il a commencé sa grève de la faim. Je n'ai jamais commenté les conditions incarceras dans lesquelles il vit, une seule fois j'ai parlé de l'espace restreint de l'heure d'air frais. Also because the prisoner I'm happy in the infirmary, Je n'ai jamais vu une cell de prison Alfred”.
“Je ne comprends pas – ajoute encore le médecin – pourquoi je ne peux pas extérioriser les problèmes de santé d'Alfredo qui a perdu 10 kg en une semaine, alors nous allons à une vitesse vertigineuse. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi on prétend que je frustrerais les finités de l'article 41 bis. Je ne parle pas en code, je parle de problèmes de santé. A moins qu'ils pensent qu'en parlant, je ne sais pas, de potassium, j'avais d'autres finalités, pour dire autre chose ». Pour Radio Shockwave “ils veulent bâillonner l'information”.
Μια επιτροπή για τον Alfredo Cospito και κατά του 41 bis, το αίτημα μεταφοράς του από το Sassari σε μια φυλακή με κλινικό κέντρο, ενώ μια επίσημη ειδοποίηση φτάνει από το Dap, το τμήμα διοίκησης φυλακών, στον γιατρό που επισκέπτεται τον αναρχικό κρατούμενο και απεργία πείνας για 96 ημέρες για να δώσει συνεντεύξεις για την κατάσταση της υγείας του σε «ανταγωνιστικό» ρα Η μάχη ενάντια στη σκληρή φυλακή συνεχί█, ακόμα και με μην ακραία πρόκληση στο ίδιου το σώμα, του sole. Η Διεθνής Αμνηστία υποστηρίζει ότι «είναι καθήκον των ιταλικών αρχών να εκπληρώσουν τις υποχρεώσεις τους για προστασία και σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων των κρατουμένων, λαμβάνοντας επίσης υπόψη τις σκληρές συνθήκες του καθεστώτος 41 bis στο οποίο υπόκεινται».
Κατά της ισόβιας κάθειρξης και 41 bis, περίπου εξήντα ομάδες και ενώσεις, και σχεδόν 150, συμπεριλαμβανομένων καλλιτεχνών, διανοουμένων, καθηγητών πανεπιστημίου, ερευνητών, δικηγόρων, ακτιβιστών, δημιούργησαν και προσυπέγραψαν τη νεογέννητη πλατφόρμα «To die of penalty». Ένα έργο που δημιουργήθηκε στον απόηχο της κατακραυγής που δημιουργήθηκε από την περίπτωση του Alfredo Cospito, του αναρχικού σε απεργία πείνας εναντίον του σκληρού καθεστώτος των φυλακών στο οποίο υποβλήθηκε επειδή κλώτσησε τον διευθύνοντα σύμβουλο της Ansaldo Nucleare, Roberto Adinolfi, στα πόδια το 2012. και έχοντας τοποθετήσει το 2006 δύο εκρηκτικούς μηχανισμούς έξω από στρατώνα στο Cuneo χωρίς θύματα. Οι υπογραφές περιλαμβάνουν τον σκιτσογράφο Zerocalcare, τους ηθοποιούς Elio Germano και Ascanio Celestini, τα μουσικά σχήματα Frontal Posse σχήμα9
«Βλάβη στο σώμα και στο μυαλό»
«Από την ίδρυσή του – αναφέρει το έγγραφο της επιτροπής υποστηρικτών της πρωτοβουλίας, που ξεκίνησε από τη Νάπολη – το 41bis έχει αποδειχθεί ως όργανο εκβιασμού για να ωθήσει τους κρατούμενους να συνεργαστούν με το δικαστικό σώμα, βάσει πρακτικών πραγματικών βασανιστηρίων. Οι απάνθρωπες συνθήκες Η κράτηση που προβλέπει αυτό το ίδρυμα έχει τη μορφή απομόνωσης σε κελιά λίγων τετραγωνικών μέτρων, περιορισμούς στις ώρες καθαρού αέρα, συνεχούς επιτήρησης, περιορισμού ή εξάλειψης συνεντεύξεων με μέλη της οικογένειας, ελέγχου της αλληλογραφίας, περιορισμού αντικειμένων στο κελί ακόμη και όπως στυλό , τετράδια και βιβλία.μια προδευτική ε maliντωση που προκαλεί ανυπολόγιστη ζημιά στο σώμαι τον ψυχισμό τω=
«Η ισόβια κάθειρξη ως θανατική ποινή»
Η ισόβια κάθειρξη ορίζεται ως «παρόμοια από κάθε άποψη με τη θανατική ποινή». «Τις επόμενες εβδομάδες -εξήγησε η επιτροπή προώθησης- θα οργανώσουμε πρωτοβουλίες διάδοσης, ευαισθητοποίησης και συζήτησης στις κύριες πόλεις της Ιταλίας, επειδή, ξεκινώντας από τον αγώνα του Alfredo Cospito, του οποίου η ζωή κινδυνεύει στην απόλυτη αδιαφορία της κυβέρνησης και της δικαιοσύνης, η συζήτηση για την κατάργηση των απάνθρων θεσμών της ισόβιας κάθειρfully και του 41bis ανοίγει συγκεκριμsis δυνατότητες γ.
Η δυσπιστία του Δαπ
Εν τω μεταξύ, το Dap έστειλε στον δικηγόρο του Cospito, Flavio Rossi Albertini, μια επίσημη ειδοποίηση κατά της γιατρού Alessandra Milia που μπαίνει περιοδικά στη φυλακή για να επισκεφτεί τον αναρχικό. Το επόμενο ραντεβού έχει εξουσιοδοτηθεί για τις 26 Ιανουαρίου. Όμως, αναφέρει το σημείωμα, «η Δρ Μηλιά προειδοποιείται να δώσει δηλώσεις στον ραδιοφωνικό σταθμό «Onda d'Urto» μετά από επισκέψεις, προκειμένου να μην ματαιωθούν οι σκοποί του 41bis». Με την ποινή της «αναίρεσης άδειας πρόσβασης στο ίδρυμα».
Ο ραδιοτηλεοπτικός φορέας, που αυτοπροσδιορίζεται ως ανταγωνιστής, γεννήθηκε το '85 από μια ομάδα ανθρώπων από τα κινήματα του '77 και ήταν κοντά στα κοινωνικά κέντρα.
«Έχω τρομάξει», απάντησε η Μίλια θερμά. “Η επίσημη ειδοποίηση για τις συνεντεύξεις με το Shockwave Radio είναι το μόνο αίτημα που μου έχει σταλε. Ίσως δεν αρέσει στον ραδιοτηλεοπτικό φορέα, δεν εκτιμάται. Εγώ - προσθέτει lei - πάντα περιορορόμουν στο να εκφράσω τις απόψεις του alfredo soitito συνθήκες από τότε που ξεκίνησε την απεργία. Δεν έχω σχολιάσει ποτέ τις συνθήκες της φυλακής που ζει, μόνο μια φορά μίλησα για τον περιορισμένο χώρο της ώρας του καθαρού αέρα.Επίσης επειδή μου φέρνουν τον κρατούμενο στο γηροκομείο, Δεν έχω δει ποτέ κελί φυλακής Άλφρεντ».
“Δεν καταλαβαίνω – προσθέτει ξανά ο γιατρός – γιατί δεν μπορώ να εξωτερικεύσω τις συνθήκες υγείας του Αλφρέντο που έχασε 10 κιλά σε μια εβδομάδα, άρα πάμε με ιλιγγιώδη ταχύτητα. Δεν καταλαβαίνω γιατί he υποστηρίζεται ότι he θα απογοήτευα τους σκοπούς του 41 δις. Δεν μιλάω κωδικοποιημένα, μιλάω για θέματα υγείας. Εκτός αν νομίζουν ότι μιλώντας, δεν ξέρω, για κάλιο, είχα άλλους σκοπούς, να πω κάτιο άλλλ». Για το Radio Shock wave «θέλουν να βάλουν φίμωση στην ενημέρωση»Tags: CospitointernationalItalyFAIabolish prisons
Anarchist letterpress printers and presses from the late 1800s through the 1940s is the focus of a new book by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Political Science and Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies faculty member.
Professor Kathy Ferguson’s work Letterpress Revolution: The Politics of Anarchist Print Culture, details the importance of printed materials that galvanized anarchist movements across the U.S. and Great Britain. The book will be released on February 24, and is published by Duke University Press.
Anarchism is a political movement that is skeptical of all justifications for authority and holds all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary. Ferguson shows how printers arranged text, ink, images, graphic markers and blank space within the design of a page. Their extensive correspondence with fellow anarchists and publishing their radical ideas brought the decentralized anarchist movements together. By diving deeper into the practices of anarchist print culture, Ferguson points to possible methods for cultivating contemporary political resistance.
Professor Kathy Ferguson
“The anarchists organized a remarkable political movement largely through their print culture: writing, printing, distributing, reading, and archiving their publications brought them together. Their success suggests that the act of making things together generates political energy,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson is the author of several books, including Emma Goldman: Political Thinking in the Streets, which is about a central figure in the anarchist movement. She is working on another book on women in the anarchist movement whose contributions have been underrated or lost. Ferguson’s goal when writing these two books is to bring women more fully into anarchism, and at the same time to bring anarchism more fully into feminism. She hopes to bring these radical histories to light to make our understanding of them more robust so that we can use them better today.
The Department of Political Science and Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies are housed in the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences.Tags: bookpressanarchist historyacademicprintprinting
From Ego Death Podcast
Hey there internet folks. We're Zack and Josh and Ego Death is our first foray into podcasting.
This project is very much a work in progress, but the gist is that we're having conversations we'd have with each other, or friends anyway, and recording them for anyone that might have interest.
We settled on the name Ego Death because it sounds edgy but isn't, kinda like us. You can expect thoughtful (maybe humorous) treatment of provocative issues, something we both feel is a bit lacking in online and irl discourse.
If you're into nihilism, anarchism, philosophy, and similar you're probably someone we'd like to talk to. Please feel free to reach out with praise, outrage, topics you'd like to hear discussed, suggestions for improvements, or any other comments. You can contact us at @email@example.com or harass me personally (Josh) at @firstname.lastname@example.org if you're really pissed at something I said. (Zack does all the actual work, so I won't have him take the heat for my mouthing off.)
Thanks for checking out the podcast. We look forward to talking with you.Tags: nihilismanarchismphilosophypodcast