It’s been one year since the Olympia railroad blockade of 2016 found itself growing for 7 rainy days and nights, prompted by solidarity actions with Standing Rock and eventually culminating in a fierce street fight with the police, while the baleful sound of the train whistle announced the resumption of business as usual. One year after this rupture, one revolution around the sun later, an assortment of the brave and the heartbroken, the tender and the enraged, are at it again. The hot, communal mess splayed across the train tracks has been resurrected, appearing again like a recurrent dream. Immediately, it feels like it never left us. Immediately we know that it never did.
We close our series – without for a moment suggesting that this is the last word – on the russian revolution of 1917 with an interview with Carlos Taibo, author of the recent work, in spanish, Anarquismo y revolución en Rusia (1917-1921). Though the interview focuses on Taibo’s concern with calling attention to the role of anarchists and libertarians in the events of the russian revolution, it takes us beyond the past; the revolution remains a lens through which to think through our political present.
Originally published in Contexto y acción, we present the essay below in translation.
ed. note: The Black Bookfair is underway this weekend. Find more information on their website here
by Karen Cheung, via Still/Loud
When Ahkok attended London’s anarchist book fair last year, he was stunned by the scale of it all: some 60 booths and 50 forums, from heated discussions—one was cut short by a fight—to emotional healing workshops for social activists. There was even a section for kids, because “Why can’t there be more play facilities for children at protest sites?”
Ahkok and his friends soon decided that Hong Kong, too, needs an anarchist book fair.
From the Chicago Tribune
By Mark Jacob
Lucy Parsons, an anarchist firebrand who was one of the most enigmatic Chicagoans ever, might fit in better today than she did during her own time a century ago.
She was a black woman married to a white man. Scandalous then, no big thing now.
I was reading on Contrainfo concerning an anarchist blood drive for a comrade injured in a foiled attempt to set a bus on fire. According to the communique:
During the night of October 26, 2017, at about 9:30 p.m. a group decides to go out into the street and face the imposed normality near the faculty Juan Gomez Milla of the University of Chile.
It is right in the street intersecting Captain Ignacio Carrera Pinto with Passage Challacollo where they decide to intercept a micro-bus of the route 325, managing to stop it and bring down the 12 passengers who were traveling. At the same time benzene is sprayed into the machinery and they struggle with the driver to make him descend.
”I am speaking neither as an anarchist nor as a member of the C.C.F.” Christos Tsakalos clarified as we spoke on the phone. ”I am speaking as a member of the Committee of Struggle from Korydallos Prison, which represents 1500 prisoners who have been protesting the past two weeks against the new correctional code, which will result in the violation of the basic rights of prisoners in case it passes”, he explains and highlights that there is an existing network in Greece’s prisons and the mobilizations will escalate if the government does not make concessions.
He also stated that a Ministry of Justice official who went to Korydallos Prison and discussed these matters with the committee found the demands to be fair. Nevertheless, he clarified that this was his own personal stance and not that of the Ministry. ”We will go to extremes because we understand that they are trying to create a prison within the prison” says Christos, who was detained in solitary confinement from 2015 through to 2017, on the other end of the phone line.
‘The loneliness of the crowd’ – Another reflection on the events at this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair (UK)
Anarchists are no strangers to conflict or violence. Yet we feel that the way the conflict unfolded at this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair was deeply disturbing and should have nothing to do with anarchism. The organising collective have, as a result of events on the day and subsequent reactions, issued a statement announcing that they will not be doing a Bookfair again next year. What we would like to talk about here though is the worrying climate in which the events took place, and the dangers of dogmas in the anarchist milieu.
From Mpalothia by Imprisoned Conspiracy of Cells of Fire FAI-IRF Member Panagiotis Argyrou
Time is the illness of reality. In prison, time seems to poison the atmosphere. The air thickens as though it is flooded with lead filings and each and every day our lungs are infested with this oxygen so toxic that it weighs on us again and again, more so with each passing day.
via Freedom News
Following a confrontation at this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair sparked by two people handing out anti-trans leaflets, and a subsequent online firestorm, the Bookfair organisers have released two statements on what happened, announcing they will not be holding one in 2018.
The decision ends a 34-year run for the event, which was the largest of its kind. The collective’s statement is reproduced below: