Hurrah for Anarchy: Mayday as Celebrated by the Anarchists

Mayday, to the anarchists, is a holiday of remembrance. Perhaps you’ve heard the communists and liberals say that it’s a celebration of the eight-hour workday. I suppose it’s that too. But for me, it’s a holiday to remember when the State put anarchism itself on trial. In 1886, the line was drawn and the US radicals lost their innocence; the illusion of “free speech” and free association was shattered. Let that illusion never re-form.

Mayday is our holiday. Mayday is a celebration of anarchism, of our history of defiance. It has a lot to do with labor, but Mayday has nothing to do with electoral politics, with the American flag. “Labor day” was invented and implemented to distract people from the radical history of labor.

Mayday is also, of course, the celebration of Beltane — a religious and spiritual holiday that celebrates springtime. And for the past decade at least, it’s the day of protest and action in response to the US treatment of immigrants. It’s a big enough holiday to share, and anarchists are present in those movements as well.

Myself, on Mayday, I remember five people who were killed for being anarchists.
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La Vida Sin La Ley

Una Introduccion al Anarquismo

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Este documento radical ha sido traducido con orgullo por Camarada P.M.A Vazquez, también conocido por su seudónimo “Columbus Bull”

“Quiero la libertad, el derecho a la auto-expresión, el derecho de todo el mundo a las cosas hermosas, radiante.”
—Emma Goldman, 1931

Un anarquista es alguien que rechaza la dominación de una persona o clase de personas sobre otra. El anarquismo es un término general muy amplio para un grupo de filosofías políticas que se basan en la idea de que podemos vivir como anarquistas. Nosotros los anarquistas queremos un mundo sin naciones, gobiernos, capitalismo, racismo, sexismo, homofobia … sin ninguno de los numerosos y interconnectados sistemas de dominación que el mundo soporta el peso en estos dias.

No hay una única expresión perfecta del anarquismo, porque el anarquismo es una telaraña de ideas en lugar de una sola filosofía dogmática. Y lo preferimos de esa manera.
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Our Work Has Begun; the Future is Coming

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We’ve had almost two months for it to sink in: Donald Trump is the president-elect of the most powerful military power on Earth. As anarchists, we know the cliche that whomever we vote for, the government always wins. But still, for most of us, this election has felt different. Wren Awry has collected this short anthology of anarchist responses to the election that we hope will help us consider what to do in the near future. Some of it is strategic musing, some of it is emotional. Some of it has been published by us or elsewhere already, some of it appears herein for the first time. Feel free to print out a copy of the included PDF.
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The Days After the Election and the Days Before the Revolution

by Anarchist Resistance NYC

Today, many radicals are asking themselves how they could be waking up to President Trump. Our question instead is what does this mean for the Left in this country. Paralyzing myths have now been shattered, and this situation could, with a lot of work, passion, and clear thinking, lead to a strategy of action and a far greater positive change than voting for the status quo. The change we are talking about is generational and will have a far greater effect than any string of elections, no matter how repugnant they may be.
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The Criminal Legal System for Radicals

Setting and Balancing Personal, Political, and Legal Goals

by the Tilted Scales Collective

This text is a chapter-length excerpt from the upcoming A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant, to be released ideally near the end of 2016 by Combustion Books.

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As a political defendant, you will be dealing with the criminal legal system on its own turf. The political level of your situation includes largely unfathomable technicalities and procedures that are designed to disempower you and make it necessary to hire an expert (i.e., a lawyer). You can also approach your predicament on a political level, which may be more familiar ground to you and your supporters. A political defense may be less limited by the court’s rules, ranging from complete disregard of those rules to calculated rebellions against the court’s authority while attempting not to jeopardize your case entirely. Regardless of the balance you strike between political and legal defenses, you will also need to think about the personal level: what you want to achieve and what you are willing to endure.

This chapter is meant to help you think about your charges in broad, strategic terms. We explore three goal areas in this chapter: personal, political, and legal. These goal areas overlap a lot, but we have broken them down to facilitate their exploration. We also offer thoughts on ways to effectively balance these goal areas, although we do not presume to be able to tell anyone how they should handle their case. Rather, we encourage all defendants to consider the different ways in which their decisions affect them and others before committing to a course of action. Our social movements do not need more prisoners, yet when people are thrust into these situations, our movements do need dedicated, smart, and informed defendants who hold strong in the face of terrible consequences.
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Baba Yaga Burns Paris to the Ground

by Wren Awry

To Begin . . .

“I’m interested in myths,” Angela Carter wrote, “Just because they are extraordinary lies designed to make people unfree.”

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Carter was among the first to imitate fairy tales in her fiction (a little tome called The Bloody Chamber, anyone?), and her work highlighted the patriarchy and violence of the classic stories. While the myths Carter re-tooled came from story books, history is also rife with myths that made the world — myths that are ripe for turning inside out. It is these historical myths, and their connections to fairy tales, that fascinate me. I’m especially intrigued by one of them: that of the pétroleuses, fire-wielding women who supposedly set Paris ablaze during the Commune of 1871.

Furies glide through the rich quarters […] and fling their little vials of petrol, their devil’s matches, their burning rags.

The myth of the pétroleuses was certainly invented to make people unfree (in this case, by the Communardes’ conservative opponents and yellow journalists). [note] But I like pétroleuses because their fire and ferocity hint at interesting predecessors. Born of the collective fear of a power-hungry elite, pétroleuses follow in a long line of mythologized fire-wielding devil-women — women like Baba Yaga, the youngest sister in the Grimms’ “Fitcher’s Bird,” and the women burned during the great witch hunts of early Modern Europe.
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A Mountain River Has Many Bends

The History and Context of the Rojava Revolution

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This text is the introduction to our book A Small Key Can Open A Large Door.
This text is the introduction to our book A Small Key Can Open A Large Door.
In Northern Syria, 2.5 million people are living in a stateless, feminist, religiously tolerant, anti-capitalist society of their own creation. They call their territory Rojava, and they defend it fiercely. They’re at war with the extremist group ISIS, and they’re doing better than anyone in the world expected — least of all the Western powers who seek to treat them as pawns.

It’s a complicated situation, but we in the rest of the world have much to learn from the Rojava revolution. To that end, we offer this long-form introduction to the history and the present struggle of the Kurdish people.

Long live the Rojava revolution!

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A personal zine. From the first page:

this zine is about hope.

it’s about how i hope i have made something better.

it’s entirely about true stories of sexual and domestic violence.

We first found this zine in 2013, and now, two years later, are excited to bring out a second edition. 23 is a personal story about accountability within social movements and survivors’ experiences in society at large, written by an anarchist social worker with an incredible talent for storytelling.

Lawful Ain’t Good

lawfulaintgood-coverLawful Ain’t Good
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In most editions of the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, there are nine “alignments” a character may choose between, roughly aligning to that character’s moral compass. For better or worse, this system has influenced untold thousands of players, at the table and beyond.

Herein we reproduce two essays to further our understanding of this system: “The Nine Alignments” and “Lawful Ain’t Good.”

The first, an anonymous essay from a long-extinct corner of the internet, is arguably the most complete understanding of the nine alignment system. The second, first published by Anarcho-Geek Review, makes the bold claim that there are only eight alignments. Lawful Good, as it argues, is an oxymoron.

In the wider scheme of things, this doesn’t matter at all. But for those of us who grew up imagining ourselves as warriors and witches, slaying dragons and evil kings, the alignment system is one of the cornerstones of our ethical understandings. For us, the incongruity between Law and Good is vital to our understanding of the world.