From Sprout Distro
The following zines were published (or made available online) over the past month. They address variety of different themes of interest to the broad anarchist space. As always, inclusion in this monthly blog post doesn’t imply endorsement. We encourage you to copy and distribute these zines as you see fit.
If you have suggestions for next time, please contact us.
Zines & Pamphlets Published in January 2018
Cameras Everywhere Safety Nowhere
This is a short piece by Crimethinc that argues against the idea that police body cameras will make people safer and will stop police from murdering people. The opening gives a good indication of the content: “police get away with murder not because we don’t see it, but because they’re part of a larger system that tells them it’s reasonable to kill people. From lawmakers, judges, and prosecutors to juries, citizens, and the media, every level of society uncritically supports and transmits the police point of view.” It’s not a new argument for anarchists, but it is a zine that would be no doubt helpful for people looking to resist liberal cooptation of anti-police struggles.
The Wisdom of Rioters
This text is a reprint of an article that was published on the French website Lundi Matin. It’s an attempt to respond to the question of who are the “rioters” (or casseurs as they are called in French) that took to the streets in the movement against the Loi Travail. It’s a sort-of poetic attempt to answer the question by asserting that “the rioter is the sage who descends into the city” that carries within themselves and their actions a sort of “truth.”
Dispatches from Charlottesville
This zine collects five texts originally published in the immediate aftermath of the Charlottesville protests against the “Unite the Right” rally and the fascist murder of Heather Heyer. The texts attempt to analyze the climate after Charlottesville, exploring the affect the events had on both the “alt-right”/white supremacist movement as well as the anti-fascist and anarchist movement that successfully beat the fascists in the streets. There is a lot of thorough analysis and while conditions continue to change, this zine remains relevant both as an artifact of that event as well as a means of ensuring that people won’t forget and can continue to learn from Charlottesville over time.
How Anti-Fascists Won the Battles of Berkeley
This is a thorough analysis of the various confrontations that happened in the Bay area of California between anti-fascists and fascists over the course of 2017. Beginning with the up-tick in fascist activity in 2016 during Trump’s campaign and the large clash in Sacramento, the text moves through the many visible confrontations that happened in 2017. It’s both a history of these events as well as an analysis rooted in what the past year means for future struggles. Regardless of where one lives, it has a lot of useful insight into antifascist struggles and insights that could be transferable to different contexts.
Everybody Hates the Police
This is a chapter from the recently published book Now by the Invisible Committee that discusses the role of police in society and offers some suggestions on how revolutionaries should relate to them. Rather than seeking a military victory over the police – which would be impossible due to their strength – the authors argue that the goal is to out-maneuver the police and render their attempts at control obsolete. They argue that “the police are a target and not an objective, an obstacle and not an opponent,” and suggest that we aim beyond the police by way of a mix of what they label “a subtle interplay between the visible and the invisible, the public and the clandestine, the legal and the illegal.”
Civil War Revisited
This is a chapter excerpted from The Savage Peace by Sash Durakov which was published in 2017 by the Belli Research Institute. It’s a short piece offering several thoughts on the idea that there is a “civil war” in the so-called United States. Rather than asserting that the civil war is a symmetrical conflict between two different sides, the author offers the idea that civil war is something that is always existing under the surface and ever changing. The piece is primarily concerned with the way in which civil war produces disorder and how those disorders can be used to our advantage. Much of the content is rooted in the Twin Cities and as such identifies “the Left” and non-profits as two of the most visible roadblocks in presenting people from taking advantage of the disorder of civil war.
Protect Our Farmland
This zine documents a squatting action that took place between June 2nd and June 13th 2016 in Hong Kong. As such it offers a window into resistance in a corner of the world that many who read primarily English don’t often see. The text is a mix of chronologically presented updates/communiques from the occupation interspersed with pictures.
Weathering Jail and Prison
Sub-titled “Tips from Anarchist Prisoners Dane Powell & Joseph Buddenburg” this zine seeks to demystify prison for radicals who might be facing the prospect of prison, people who are supporting someone through a sentence, or just those who are just curious to learn more about prison. The authors are Dane Powell, who served four months for their activity at the 2017 inauguration protests and Joseph Buddenburg, who is serving 2 years for “Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.” It’s a helpful overview with tips on dealing with jail in Washington DC, being transferred between jails, and a lengthy guide to serving time in federal custody.
Gender Abolition in the 21st Century
This is a zine-formatted version of a text titled “Abolitionism in the 21st Century: From Communization as the End of Sex, to Revolutionary Transfeminism” that was originally published online in Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry. It’s an assessment of where gender abolition as a theoretical idea is at, with the starting point being Theorie Communiste’s call for the abolition of gender. From there it discusses other attempts to engage with the topic, from Endnotes to a smattering of anarchist publications such as the journal Baedan and Towards An Insurrectionary Transfeminism. Overall, it offers a somewhat helpful assessment of the state of gender abolition as a theoretical idea.
A Short Introduction to the Politics of Cruelty
This zine is a reformatted version of the introduction to the Hostis journal that came out a few years ago. It attempts to outline a practice of “partisanship” that rejects ethics, democracy, and prefiguration. It has a lot of strong words for altruism, masochism, civil disobedience, and other such concepts. It’s heavily infused with the ideas of Tiqqun, arguing for a concept of “civil war” that is similar to what Tiqqun outlined in Introduction to Civil War.
From the inside cover:
“The following pamphlet is a collection of antagonism in the Twin Cities and beyond. The bulk of the pamphlet are communiques and reports gathered from Conflict MN, supplemented with several news stories of attacks. The final pages also include a gallery and a short resources section.
As with the previous year’s compilation, the reports are meant to speak for themselves.”
Anathema – January 2018
This is the latest edition of Anathema, an anarchist publication out of Philadelphia. It continues to be a strong example of what a local counter-information project can look like with reports on anarchist activity in Philadelphia, analysis of what is happening in the city, etc. This issue features a lengthy reflection on the anarchist space over the past year with insights that could be useful for people outside of Philadelphia.
No More Illusions #5
This is a frequently published journal of Solidarity & Defense, a statewide organization in Michigan “fighting to oppose fascist and racist attacks wherever they occur and to unite our forces to build strong community self defense”. As such, it includes updates on the white nationalist Richard Spencer coming to speak at Michigan State University (MSU), an article on racist police in Northern Michigan, a piece critiquing whiteness, and a report on actions titled “Fuck the Democratic Party, Here’s the Real Resistance.”
This is a short excerpt from the book The Savage Peace: Democracy’s 2500 Years of Failure and the Global Legacy of Civil War. This excerpt looks at the American Revolution and examines why that conflict is referred to as a “revolution” rather than a “civil war”. At the center of this text is the idea that the “Revolution” was less about ensuring egalitarianism and more about managing the various conflicts that existed along racial, class, and other lines. This is a useful text for sharpening our collective critique of democracy.
This is an English translation of a zine that originally was published in German by Capulcu Productions. It intends to reframe technological progress as “technological attack” and asserts that technology is not neutral. From the introduction:
“For many years now, we’ve been assailed by a wave of technological attacks. We misconstrue this attack as a supposedly neutral ‘technological development’ and play along willingly. It’s time for a well-founded analysis, it’s time for a plot against the dramatically increasing heternomy.” This is one of the few projects that attempts to engage with technology in such a critical manner and it presents a convincing case.
This zine is a collection of responses to the Invisible Committee’s recently published book Now. The essays are drawn from the website Autonomies.org and attempt to clarify and expand on the arguments presented in the text. It’s no doubt more useful if it was to be read alongside Now, but as a stand alone text it could also serve as a brief introduction for those who don’t want to commit to reading the Invisible Committee.