By Joshua Stephens
“I’m honestly still trying to kick the nationalist habit,” jokes activist Ahmad Nimer, as we talk outside a Ramallah cafe. Our topic of conversation seems an unlikely one: living as an anarchist in Palestine. “In a colonized country, it’s quite difficult to convince people of non-authoritarian, non-state solutions. You encounter, pretty much, a strictly anticolonial – often narrowly nationalist – mentality,” laments Nimer. Indeed, anarchists in Palestine currently have a visibility problem. Despite high-profile international and Israeli anarchist activity, there doesn’t seem to be a matching awareness of anarchism among many Palestinians themselves.
“Contemporary discussion of anarchist themes shifts emphasis towards more of an approach to power: rejecting power over, in favor of power with. “When you talk about anarchism as a political concept, it is defined as rejecting the state,” explains Saed Abu-Hijleh, a human geography lecturer at An-Najah University in Nablus. “It talks about freedom and society organizing itself without the interference of the state.” But, how do a stateless people engage with anarchism, a term that implies opposition to some form of state as a condition of its existence?
August 17th, 7:30pm @ Red and Black Cafe ~ 400 SE 12th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97214 RSVP here. Within anarchism, the topic of decolonization has yielded much useful terrain for examining themes like identity and national liberation, solidarity and self-determination, and the right of the … Read more