A Fascist by Any Other Name
In the streets of Washington DC on Inauguration Day, Black Bloc protesters notoriously smashed windows and set a limousine on fire. Fortunately, I wound up on the other side of the police lines when the cops sealed off the area and herded some 200 into pens of metal barricades, where they were kept waiting in the cold for hours before being hauled off to jail.
Apr 10, 2017
Anarchy in Belarus
Anti-authoritarian Voices in Uprising Against the Dictatorship
The former Soviet republic of Belarus exploded into angry protests last August in the wake of contested presidential elections resulting in a totally implausible landslide victory for long-ruling strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Police, riot squads and army troops unleashed harsh repression, using rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and water-hoses against demonstrators who objected to the results in the capital of Minsk and other cities.
May 9, 2021
Bob McGlynn Dies at 60
Visionary of NYC and International Anarchist Scene
Bob McGlynn, a longtime fighter, organizer and visionary in New York City’s anarchist scene, who became known internationally for his solidarity work with activists in the East Bloc, died of a heart attack Aug. 23 at his home in Yonkers. He was 60 years old.
With his long hair, army boots, sleeveless denim jacket and prize-fighter’s build, McGlynn could be taken for a biker. But he was motivated by an intense idealism.
Dec 12, 2016
Clinton Threatened Nukes in Gulf
Amid all the media saturation about oral sex in the Oval Office, it went almost unnoticed that Bill Clinton considered use of nuclear weapons against Iraq to take out Saddam Hussein’s underground complexes, or to retaliate for an Iraqi chemical or biological attack by issuing Presidential Policy Directive 60 (PPD 60).
Feb 4, 2016
Cuba Turns ‘Green Scare’ Fugitive Over to US
Are The Black And Puerto Rican Exiles in the Country Safe?
Joseph Mahmoud Dibee, a fugitive animal-rights activist, was intercepted by Cuban authorities in early August and turned over to the FBI.
Popped by Cuban cops on an INTERPOL Red Notice, Dibee was flown to Portland, Ore., where he pleaded not guilty to taking part in a 1997 arson attack on a meatpacking plant—the first of several charges he faces.
Nov 29, 2018
East/West World Dominance Game
a review of
Ukraine & the Empire of Capital: From Marketisation to Armed Conflict by Yuliya Yurchenko. Pluto Press, 2018
This book was written four years before Russia massively invaded Ukraine, but is in some ways even more relevant now.
Yurchenko is a democratic socialist, yet takes a more rigorous neither/nor position regarding Russia and the West than some figures associated with the Western anarchist left, such as Noam Chomsky.
Feb 5, 2023
World War 3 Illustrated
a review of
World War 3 Illustrated
Assorted Authors & Artists
AK Press akpress.org ww3.nyc
This graphic zine started by art-activists and squatters on New York’s Lower East Side back in the Reagan 1980s (hence, the apocalyptic name), has just published its 51st issue.
There’s the sense of an historical cycle completing, as this edition grapples with the actually near-apocalyptic realities of Trump’s America—and windows of possibility they open. “Pandemic as Portal,” announces a full-page image by artist Kill Joy; “The time is now—imagine another world and fight for it.”
Nov 21, 2020
How the American Left Abets Genocide in Syria
Today, many American leftists are accepting and even promoting the propaganda of the dictatorial regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They overwhelmingly stand on the side of fascism and genocide in that ravaged country.
Nov 8, 2016
a review of
Impossible Revolution: Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy by Yassin al-Haj Saleh. Haymarket Books 2017
This book is a necessary corrective to the dominant perception—left, right and center—that the opposition in Syria are all jihadists and dictator Bashar Assad the best bet for stability.
Sep 12, 2018
In Defense of Tactical Voting
With No Illusions!
My attitude about voting has been like the old Jewish joke about chicken soup when you’ve got a cold—it may not help very much, but it can’t hurt. The more ideological argue that voting legitimizes the system, and they’ve got a point. The more pragmatic counter that such a purist position is an irresponsible luxury in the face of emergency—such as we in the United States are clearly now facing.
Mar 3, 2018
Magonismo Hits the Mainstream
The Magon Brothers, Anarchism, & the Mexican Revolution
a review of
Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands by Kelly Lytle Hernández. WW Norton, New York, 2022
It is definitely a hopeful sign that a briskly selling book from a mainstream publisher (one long-listed for the National Book Award) not only features anarchists, but actually treats them with seriousness and presents them as the good guys—even heroes.
Jun 27, 2023
Museum Chronicles Fightback & Victories Against Gentrification
Squats & Community Gardens Saved by Direct Action & Solidarity
Above the front door to C-Squat, on Ave. C on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a weather-worn sign hangs from the fire escape reading “THIS LAND IS OURS, NOT FOR SALE,” with the squatter symbol of a circle bisected by a lightning bolt. It dates back to the 1980s, when the building was taken over by anarcho-punk squatters. Below, on the window of the storefront, a much newer sign reads, Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS).
Jan 5, 2020
Positively Quilca Street
Lima anarchist scene survives official clean up
When Lutxo Rodríguez recalls the local punks and social outcasts of the downtown Lima, Peru district he habituates “dressing in black in the ‘80s,” I smile wryly, remembering the Lower East Side of my own youth. But the urban decay that allowed for the florescence of bohemia and an anarcho-punk scene in this small enclave of a South American capital came “in the context of political violence,” he says.
Mar 3, 2018
Anarchists Must Not Take the Bait
Fascists are seeking to exploit and co-opt anti-war forces in the US, and build support for war criminals like Assad and Putin. Anarchists have a responsibility to reject such overtures and offer solidarity to those resisting in Syria.
Following the chemical gas attack on the rebel-held Syrian city of Douma in April, Trump staged retaliatory air-strikes, and a protest against the U.S. military actions was held in Los Angeles.
Aug 24, 2018
Rome Squatters Face Clampdown
Immigrant Centers are the Target
It was a multicultural crowd that gathered in Rome’s Plaza San Silvestro to oppose the draconian Security Decree then pending in the Italian parliament. Popularly called the Salvini Law after Italy’s far-right Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, the Decree was aimed at two broadly overlapping groups: immigrants and squatters.
Mar 31, 2019
Syria’s Kurdish Revolution
The Anarchist Element & the Challenge of Solidarity
The north Syrian town of Kobani has been under siege since mid-September by forces of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, popularly known as ISIS. Early in the siege, world leaders spoke as if they expected it to fall.
The US took its bombing campaign against ISIS to Syria, but targeted the jihadists’ de facto capital, Raqqa, not the ISIS forces closing the ring on Kobani. But the vastly outgunned and outnumbered Kurdish militia defending Kobani began to turn the tide, while issuing desperate appeals for aid from the outside world.
Feb 7, 2015
The Anarchist Alternative in Cuba
A former community center that hosted a youth rock scene is now being occupied by activists, seemingly ignored by the authorities. A few blocks away, urban farms are bright patches of green in the landscape, producing vegetables and fruits for the community.
Oakland? Detroit? Manhattan’s Lower East Side?
Oct 31, 2017
a review of
True Stories: Tales from the Generation of a New World Culture by Garrick Beck. iUniverse, 2017
Garrick Beck spans a personal journey through radical bohemia in the 1950s, hippie utopianism in the 1960s, back-to-the-land communalism in the 1970s, to applying those ethics today through community work and urban Land-reclamation back in the New York City of his youth.
Sep 28, 2018
Two Faces of Fascism
COVID-19 New Normal and Trump Backlash Pose Grave Threats to Freedom
Around Lower Manhattan, storefronts have been boarded up since the looting in June. The plywood has been covered with murals and graffiti art on the theme of Black Lives Matter. Throughout June, angry protests were a daily affair, as in cities across the country.
Since the murder of George Floyd, the moment seems ripe with potential for a truly revolutionary situation. Anarchist ideas like abolishing the police are entering mainstream discourse with astonishing rapidity.
Sep 11, 2020
a review of
Underground Asia: Global Revolutionaries and the Assault on Empire by Tim Harper. Harvard University Press 2021
This dauntingly detailed book on the roots of Asia’s anti-colonial movements documents the early influence of anarchism, and how it was ultimately displaced by nationalisms of different stripes.
Dec 13, 2021