anarchist notes (february 6, 2012)

Gabriel Kuhn has written an interesting review of some of the definitional problems that emerge from Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt’s book Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism (AK Press, 2009) in Perspectives 2011 (Institute for Anarchist Studies).

Also of interest is the new publishing project LBC Books. Among their first few titles is Occupy Everything — “a book where anarchists, in their own words, express how and why they engaged in Occupy, what methods they used, and evaluates the success of Occupy on anarchist terms”. (See also : AK Press, Ardent Press, Autonomedia, Black & Red Books, Christie Books, CrimethInc, Eberhadt Press, Freedom Press and PM Press. Oh and Digital Elephant…).

disaccords is a new blog documenting political upset, social turmoil and lulz in Australia. “By choosing to report an incident here, we make no claims as to the (political) motivations of any actors. We just want to amplify the news of incidents that shatter, however briefly, the myth of consensus and social peace, and show that various forms of resistance are possible – are present – here.”

*Another, forthcoming (anarchist, group) blog is titled Anarchist Perspective — more on that later.

In a few weeks (Saturday, February 25), a new, local anarchist publication called Sedition will be launched. Sedition is a joint by Jura (Sydney), the Melbourne Anarchist Club (Melbourne) and Organise! (Adelaide).

In March (10/11/12), an anarchist gathering known as Camp Anarchy will be taking place @ Yarra Junction. So too Such is Life (9/10/11), “a DIY punk festival organised on a not-for-profit basis. It first took place in 2004 and is the only festival of its kind happening in Australia.” This year it’s taking place @ Goongerah.

Meanwhile, in Egypt (Egyptian anarchists seek self-governed society, The Daily News, January 20, 2012):

Horizontal authority

Instead of vertical authority, anarchists call for horizontal cooperatives organized “by the people, for the people”. Supporting multi-independent syndicates is one of their goals. They support the idea of workers taking over factories and companies which will be self-managed by elected workers committees.

Abdullah gave the example of the Ultras, Egypt’s organized football fans. These groups are horizontal networking movements with grassroots support. They are leaderless and have joined the revolutionaries in the common fight against police brutality, and so they share common ground with anarchists.

The ultras are also being slaughtered by the Egyptian state:

Egyptian football protests: death toll reaches 11
Ten protesters and one security officer killed in Cairo and Suez in aftermath of deadly football violence
David Batty and agencies
February 4, 2012

At least 11 people have been killed in clashes with Egyptian security forces amid ongoing fallout from the 74 deaths at a football match in Port Said earlier this week.

Five people were killed when hundreds of demonstrators in Cairo clashed with police near the interior ministry on Saturday morning. The protesters are demanding an end to military rule and retribution for those killed in the riots after Wednesday’s match…

There have been accusations that plainclothes officers took part in the riot. Some have alleged that riot police intentionally allowed the violence in Port Said to happen to retaliate against fans of the visiting team Al Ahly, known as ultras, who played a key role in clashes with security forces during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

See also : Whose Egypt?, Adam Shatz, London Review of Books, Vol.34, No.1, January 5, 2012.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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5 Responses to anarchist notes (february 6, 2012)

  1. LeftInternationalist says:

    Verso Books has got a book out on Occupy as well. They’ve also reissued in a new edition a fantastic sounding novel called “The Unseen” which is about a young man in 1970s Italy. Here’s a summary:

    “For a brief explosive period in the mid-1970s, the young and the unemployed of Italy’s cities joined the workers in an unexpectedly militant movement known simply as Autonomy (Autonomia). Its “politics of refusal” united its opponents behind draconian measures more severe than any seen since the war.

    Nanni Balestrini, the poet of youth rebellion, himself a victim of that repression, has invented a remarkable fictional form to express the hopes and conflicts of the movement. In spare but vivid prose, The Unseen follows Autonomy’s trajectory through the eyes of a single working-class protagonist—from high-school rebellion, squatting and attempts to set up a free radio station to arrest and the brutalities of imprisonment. This is a powerful and gripping novel: a rare evocation of the intensity of commitment, the passion of politics.”

  2. @ndy says:

    See also : Steve Wright, Storming Heaven, Pluto Press, 2002 and Phil Edwards, More work! Less pay!, Manchester University Press, 2010. Wu Ming Foundation is also neat: I actually really enjoyed reading Q.

    Oh and of course Sharon Stone and Andrew McCarthy in…


  3. Phil Edwards says:

    Cheers, @ndy!

    I hadn’t heard about the new edition of The Unseen. I read it in the original (it was called Gli invisibili, “The invisible ones”) and thought it was fantastic. Bleak as hell but hopeful – time and again the narrator describes some appalling defeat & then goes straight on to say “so what we did then was…” He never even thinks of giving up. (He doesn’t win, but he never gives up.) I used a quote as the epigraph of my book.

    I wrote something about Occupy for the LRB the other day, btw.

  4. @ndy says:

    Hey Phil,

    Cool. I’ll have to check it (The Unseen) out. Re Occupy, people in Melbourne have been gathering in the City Square (from which Occupy was violently evicted back in October) every Friday for the last two months or so doing a range of things including talking ’bout OMGWTF ‘critical theory’ (ie, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Deleuze, Foucault, Lazzarato, Butler, Benjamin, Derrida and Arendt — but no Debord).

  5. @ndy says:


    In Italy in the 70s the art-school element was only part of a much broader movement: ‘occupation’ in that context included people occupying universities as a form of protest, but it also meant occupying squats to have somewhere to live and occupying your own house because you couldn’t afford the rent.

    This kinda monkey business has been happening to a (very) limited extent in Sydney and various cities in the United States but with far less support and (seemingly) far greater levels of repression. That said, the PIGS (including of course I but more notably G and S) seem to be kicking some goals still…

    Okupación from Christopher Patz on Vimeo.

    Tonight, Australian current affairs show Dateline even featured some Spanish folk collectively refusing to pay fares…


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