Video of Lara and Paul Messersmith-Glavin, of the IAS, talking about organizing against climate catastrophe.

Lara and Paul Messersmith-Glavin, of the Institute for Anarchist Studies, the Perspectives journal crew, and the Hella 503 Collective in Portland, Oregon, discuss lessons from a recent grassroots organizing effort against climate change in a working class North Portland neighborhood. Lara and Paul discuss the anti-capitalist assumptions they have, how capitalism intersects with other forms of oppression like patriarchy and racism, and what it’ll take to stop the climate from changing, arguing that the climate crisis offers an opportunity to fundamental transform society.
systemchange5_0

Read more

Meditation on Domestic Violence Intervention: A Personal Narrative, by Sara Rahnoma-Galindo

(This essay appears in the new issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, available from AK Press here.)
I come from a family of short, strong, resilient women. My maternal grandmother, Antonina, ground corn in a molino, or mill. She lived on the southern side of town, the poor side of town, and her clients came to her mill not only to grind their corn, but to share with her their happiness, laughter, sorrows, and tears. In this impoverished community—where women would wake up at 3:00am to cook their corn, stand in line by 4:00am to see those same kernels ground into powder, and then take this masa home again to turn it into dough, into tortillas, into the basic caloric morning meal—this was the only place outside their homes where they could share topics they were too ashamed or scared to talk about elsewhere. Most of these talks were about love, betrayal, violence, and rage.
SaraImage

Read more

Organizing Against Climate Catastrophe

Organizing_updated-3
Lara and Paul Messersmith-Glavin, of the IAS and Perspectives on Anarchist Theory collectives, will reflect on the lessons of an organizing campaign done in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.  St. Johns is a conduit of fossil fuel exports in the Pacific Northwest, and was the site of the blockade of the Shell contracted ice-breaker Fennica – trying to reach the Arctic to assist in drilling for oil – involving people suspended from the bridge, people in kayaks on the water, and people on the land.

Read more

Support Radical Writing!

The current issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, N. 28 on Justice, available here, features two essays written by people financially supported by a grant from the Institute for Anarchist Studies. The money for these grants come from donations from people like yourself, and allow these, and many other folks, to complete their writing projects. It allows them to do things like take time off work, or hire childcare, so they can write.
Layne Mullett, who wrote “Brick by Brick: Creating a World Without Prisons,” in the current issue, had this to say, “Getting a grant from the Institute for Anarchist studies allowed me to carve out time to think through and put down on paper some of the lessons I’ve learned from years of doing anti-prison organizing. The patient, thoughtful engagement and assistance from my (IAS) grant adviser pushed me to move forward with a project I otherwise would have given up on and helped deepen my political thinking about the daily work of building a movement to end mass incarceration.”

Read more

2015 IAS Writing Grants

The IAS received over 35 applications for writing grants in 2015, many of them outstanding. We awarded money to support the writing of two. The grants awarded are for projects by Laura Hall and E Ornelas.

Read more

Interviews from an Uprising, by Sarah Coffey

This essay appears in the current print edition of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, N. 28 on Justice, available from AK Press here.
In the United States, the cops and the courts are essentially the same thing.  Witness Ferguson, Missouri, 2014, a typical but nonetheless shocking systemic failure of justice—starting with the execution of an unarmed 18 year old Black man by a police officer, escalating into a secret trial manufactured to protect the killer by a cop-loving prosecutor1, culminating in a military exercise in the modern police state with more felony prosecutions than any protest scenario in the last 20 years2.ferguson police(by Jacob Crawford)
In the Ferguson/St. Louis3 area and across the country, people are pushing back against the systems of injustice and white supremacy that maintain societal control in the hands of the powerful few. Because the issues underlying the tragedy of August 9th go to the heart of systemic oppression in the US, the popular response has broad implications for the political future of the country.

Read more

Against Deep Green Resistance, by Michelle Renée Matisons and Alexander Reid Ross

The Radical Turn?
For a book that advertises itself as a “shift in strategy and tactics,” Deep Green Resistance (DGR) has an overwhelmingly dispiriting tone, and is riddled with contradictions.[1] While DGR provocatively addresses many pressing social and ecological issues, its opportunistic, loose-cannon theoretical approach and highly controversial tactics leaves it emulating right-wing militia rhetoric, with the accompanying hierarchical vanguardism, personality cultism, and reactionary moralism. By providing a negative example, DGR does us the service of compounding issues into one book. Take it as a warning. As we grasp for solutions to multiple and compounding social and ecological crises, quick fixes, dogmatism, and power grabbing may grow as temptations. By reviewing DGR, we are also defending necessary minimal criteria for movements today: inclusivity, democracy, honesty, and (dare we suggest) even humility in the face of the complex problems we collectively face. None of these criteria can be found in DGR, and its own shortcomings are a telling lesson for us all.
DGR_graphic

Read more

Call for Submissions for Perspectives on Anarcha-Feminisms

Are you an organizer or activist currently engaged in movement work?  Are you interested in taking time to reflect on the lessons and ideals of this work in order to help advance anarchist praxis? Do you have ideas, experiences, or questions that you would like to develop and share with a wider audience?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Perspectives on Anarchist Theory editorial collective would like to hear from you.  As the global political terrain continues to shift and tremble, it is crucial that those of us with visions of a free society share our work and ideas so that we can create a solid, common foundation on which to build a better world.
EmmaGoldmanQuote2000
We are currently interested in reading work related to the following themes on Anarcha-Feminisms for our next issue.

Read more

Justice, by Irina Ceric

Justice-960x960
Justice is one of the great aspirational, universal values, meaning of course, that it is also infinitely malleable. Notions of justice have ancient roots, often religious but also secular, and usually framed as part of a broader ethical framework. Variations abound – cultural, historic, ideological – but justice is more often than not equated with fairness, equality and the absence of unfulfilled needs. Yet contemporary notions of justice almost inevitably overlap with law, in terms of both process and content. Justice is implicated in both negative and positive guises – law is the site where injustices are ostensibly remedied as well as the repository for justice guarantees, primarily through constitutional, civil and human rights instruments.
Communitarian and antiauthoritarian traditions resonate deeply with foundational approaches to justice and often add a crucial focus on collectivity and interdependence through notions such as solidarity, mutual aid and cooperative action. Kropotkin argued that social organization is based upon notions of “equity, mutual aid, and mutual support – of common law, in a word.” Radical approaches to justice can help revive – and even expand – the ethical and moral ideals underpinning ancient precepts of equity, generosity and truth in our relationships with one another. In other words, there appears to be a core of justice, as an ideal, a goal or as a good seen mainly through its absence, that progressive organizers and activists ought to claim as our own. In the North American context however, that core is often coopted by the legal system and/or hidden by the cozy relationship between dominant paradigms of justice and the tenets of liberalism.

Read more