Angels with Dirty Faces Book Launch!

Fresh from co-editing the wildly successful sci fi collection Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements for AK Press and the IAS, Walidah Imarisha gets very real in her new book about prisons and the legal system, Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemtion (AK/IAS). Join us at Powell’s on Hawthorne (3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd) in Portland, Oregon on Monday, March 14th at 7:30 for the Angels with Dirty Faces book launch!
This is no romanticized tale of crime and punishment. The three lives in this creative nonfiction account are united by the presence of actual harm—sometimes horrific violence. Imarisha, dealing with the complexities of her own experience with sexual assault and accountability, brings us behind prison walls to visit her adopted brother Kakamia and his fellow inmate Jimmy “Mac” McElroy, a member of the brutal Irish gang the Westies. Together they explore the questions: People can do unimaginable damage to one another—and then what? What do we as a society do? What might redemption look like?Imarisha-e1390515471565

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Support the Publication of Perspectives on Anarcha-Feminisms!

We are a group of six people in Canada and the US who collectively publish Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, the journal of the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
Perspectives, published since 1997, has gone through various editors and styles, but the current version has been published since 2010 with layout, art, and design done by Josh MacPhee of Justseeds Cooperative. We all donate countless hours to this work, because we love doing it. About our current issue, CrimethInc. said, “this journal is setting out to do something different. It manages to present a wide array of nuanced and critical articles while remaining accessible, which is quite refreshing … Perspectives on Anarchist Theory is well worth a read for anyone interested in insightful reflections on contemporary struggles from an antiauthoritarian viewpoint.”
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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.
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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.
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Organizing Against Climate Catastrophe

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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CONFRONTING VIGILANTE RESPONSES IN ACCOUNTABILITY WORK: THE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN EVERYTHING WE DO, by Romina Akemi

This piece was originally published in the current print issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, #28 on Justice and is available for purchase from AK Press.
On June 7,th 2014 multiple organizations in the Los Angeles-area hosted an event called “Transformative Justice: Our Movements and Our Struggle” at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice space in downtown Los Angeles. The event sponsors included the LA Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Communities Organizing in Liberation (COiL), La Voz de l@s Trabajadores, and included the efforts of multiple other individuals in Los Angeles and other cities. Participants came from as far as Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis, sharing their own experiences with accountability processes and transformative justice. The event was ambitious because it was a daylong event, separated into multiple areas of discussion. Due to the subject matter and the need for discussion, the organizers found it necessary to set up an unusually long set of presentations and discussions. Close to one hundred people participated in the event throughout the day. The majority of participants were women of color, workers, and college students.
The Transformative Justice event was organized in response to a series of incidents of both sexual assault and major disagreements in our organizing spaces about what to do with perpetrators of assault. Those who came together and the organizers of this event realized that the heart of the problem was that our organizing spaces never held serious discussions about the subject. We were all aware of our opposition to patriarchy, sexual assault, and gender violence, yet there was no commonality about how to support survivors of assault and how movements should engage with perpetrators.
Many revolutionaries and activists found themselves conflicted since California is where the prison industrial complex exploded and our political work has been impacted by questions of prison abolition. How can we oppose the police and prisons and yet support acts that parallel state violence? There were also assumptions being made that because we are all part of social movement organizing that we share similar visions of how to confront these issues. These disagreements led to long lasting fissures in our political circles. This was not a development particular to Los Angeles, and there is a striking similarity with political debates in other cities.

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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.
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