We thecollective invite you to discuss your favorite anarchist actions from the distant and/or recent past, or in an imaginary future. Of course, definitions of "anarchist action" will be questioned as well and we expect to see many different ideas about the designation of an action as anarchist. However, this thecollective contributor suspects that even those that would dismiss the idea of an "anarchist action" completely still have a special place in their hearts for some kinds of behavior. What might those be?
In the next round of trials against people charged with rioting during President Donald Trump's inauguration, federal prosecutors want to put a witness on the stand under an alias who spent two years undercover with "an anarchist extremist group" in New York.
Prosecutors said in court papers filed March 2 that the witness, referred to as "Julie McMahon," is no longer working undercover, but they warned that revealing her identity could jeopardize ongoing "covert operations" and also put her security at risk. McMahon will testify about the use of the "black bloc" tactic during protests on Jan. 20, 2017, according to the government.
Weird Science - The Shoddy Condition of Anarchist Climate Study
How Do We Know If Science is "Good Science?"
A strange article popped up this past week, on an otherwise mostly rational, scientific blog: Arctic News. I had appreciated what appeared to be the raw data on the site:
How do we mourn?
Many anarchists reject the conventions of faith-based rituals. No gods, no masters, no religion… seems to be the line most anarchists draw. We talk a good line of not falling in to religion, but like so many other spooks, the stink of religion lingers when we look at how we treat the dead.
Artists and criminals are often the first to push the boundaries of technology. Barrett Brown is a criminal who has actually helped inspire art — the TV show Mr. Robot. Its protagonist is a hacktivist — a hacker who breaks into computer systems to promote a cause.
Brown was connected to Anonymous, a group that hacked a private security firm to reveal secrets. He is now out and living in a halfway house in Dallas.
We’ve just published the incredibly important (if we do say so ourselves) English translation of Anarchism in Latin America, Ángel Cappelletti’s sweeping overview of the movement’s origins and development across the region, from the Caribbean to Mexico and Central and South America. It’s hard to choose an excerpt, given the varied histories Cappelletti shares, but this snippet of a few pages from his Preface should give you a good sense of the book—and of Gabriel Palmer-Fernández’s wonderful translation.
For better or for worse anarchists are lauded with the responsibility for the failure and success of the Occupy movement. We can squirm at this but there is one point that is worth reflecting on. For the past decade anarchists (and friends) have argued, when asked and involved, for a "no demands" attitude towards the MSM and agents of the state. We understand, and agree, that this is aligned with an anarchist approach to politics (ie only negative).
One of the major problems that anarchists wrestle with is what James C. Scott terms “legibility” - that is, “the state's attempt..to arrange the population in ways that simplif[y] the classic state functions of taxation, conscription, and prevention of rebellion”. For Scott, this attempt at simplification includes large-scale centrally planned projects like relocating peasants and developing the streets of Paris to prevent rioting as well as standardized measurements and the encouragement of crop systems that lend themselves more easily to being taxed.
There is a tension between people who don't/would never call themselves anarchist but agree with (some) anarchist principles, and people who own the label. Projects like Crimethinc have perfected (?) the naming of things as anarchist, when some would call those things simple human behavior (like, making and eating meals with friends, etc). Obviously the main point of this sort of practice is to de-mystify anarchy and anarchists, to put the bomb-throwing in a larger, less scary context, or to negate the scary bits altogether.
The Zapatistas have a saying, “preguntando caminamos.”
We don’t need to be perfectionists. We don’t need to have all the answers before starting a project or pursuing a course of action—we can get started and work out the details along the way. Rapid prototyping, the process of ‘failing as fast as possible’ in order to gather feedback about what works and what doesn’t is an effective strategy for completing successful projects. But, to take a step back, why are we even motivated to work on projects or pursue any goals at all—why do we even walk in the first place?