History

After the Crest: Part 1

This is the introductory piece to a collection of essays by Crimethinc that examine the rise and fall of social movements and how anarchists respond to this phenomenon. It is an important exploration that offers ideas on how to position ourselves in relation to social struggles, how to participate, how to anticipate future struggles, and what to do in the low points between highly visible and broader struggles. The other three zines in the series look at Occupy Oakland, the upheavals in Barcelona from 2010-2012, and the student strike in Montreal.

After the Crest: Part 2 – Oakland

The second zine in the “After the Crest” series explores the rise and fall of Occupy Oakland. Its a thorough overview of anarchist participation in Occupy Oakland that offers helpful ideas and lessons that can be applied anywhere.

After the Crest: Part 3 - Barcelona

The third zine in the “After the Crest” series explores anarchist participation in upheavals and social struggles in Barcelona, Spain during the years 2010-2012. While the context always varies from location to location, this zine is written in a way that offers a lot of valuable insight for anarchists who find themselves participating in social struggles in which they may not be the dominant tendency.

After the Crest: Part 4 – Montreal

The fourth zine in the “After the Crest” series looks at the student strike of 2012 that took place in Montreal, Canada. Anarchists were heavily involved in the struggle and this essay explores the ways in which anarchists participated, what they gained, what they lost, and what could have been done better. As with other zines in the series, it is written in such a way that at least some of the lessons learned can be used in drastically different contexts.

Breaking with Convention: Remembering where our Power Lies

breaking with convention zine cover

This zine – originally published on the anarchist counter-information website Its Going Down – presents an analysis of the protests against the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland. Drawing on both events in the streets in 2016 and lessons gleaned from the past 16 years of convention protests, the zine argues that anarchists engage best with these events when they take the time to put in solid work towards mobilizing folks, providing infrastructure, and making plans. Still, even when those efforts are undertaken in a coordinated way, convention protests seem as likely to be failures as successes. This zine offers a helpful history for people looking back at the recent history of anarchist street protests, as well as for those making plans to organize similar events in the future.

Can't Stop Kaos: A Brief History of the Black Bloc

Can't Stop Chaos

This Canadian zine provides a historical overview of the black bloc tactic and anarchists’ use of it. It looks into the origins of the black bloc tactic in the Automen (Autonomist) squatting movement in the 1980s in Germany and its spread across Europe and to North America. In addition, the zine delves into the some of the philosophy underlying black blocs, talks about the concept of “diversity of tactics” and the need for militant resistance, and provides examples of black bloc tactics.

Claim No Easy Victories

“Claim No Easy Victories” is a reprint of an article by Rory McGowan on the history of Anti-Racist Action (ARA). It not only gives an excellent overview of the history of ARA from its beginnings in the late 1980s up to the early 2000s, but provides some analysis of the political and theoretical development of ARA. The organization was one larger anarchist (or at least anti-authoritarian) projects of the 1990s and as such its history is worth studying. ARA helped to popularize the street tactics that would be taken up by anarchists against globalization in the early 2000s.

Industrial Domestication

With the sub-title “Industry as the Origins of Modern Domination,” this zine analyzes the industrial revolution happening roughly between 1750 and 1850 in the West. In it, the author argues that industrialization was part of domestication process that was built on discipline, control, and surveillance. The essay originally appeared in the anarchist magazine Fifth Estate.

Koukoulofori: Stories, Lessons, and Inspiration from the Greek Anarchist Movement

Koukoulofori

For years, the Greek anarchist “space” has been a source of inspiration and interest for many folks here in the United States. Koukoulofori is a zine that aims to provide some much needed political background on the Greek anarchists. The zine explores some of the political context and the organizational forms and methods used by the anarchists. It contains excerpts from the book We Are An Image From The Future as well as few essays written by anarchists interested in exploring what Greece means for anarchists in the U.S.

Mob Action Against The State

This zine is a reprinted version of a booklet published in 1987 called “Mob Action Against The State: Haymarket Remembered …An Anarchist Convention.” It consists of reflections from participants on the 1986 Haymarket Remembered Convention organized in Chicago to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Haymarket affair. In many ways, the event was an important point in the history of the modern anarchist movement in the United States, leading to a series of national conventions, organizing efforts, and more. It’s also an important snapshot of where anarchists were at at the time.

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, Vol. 1

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, Volume 1

In this first volume of Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, topics include the German anarchist movement in Grand Rapids during the 1880s and its connections to Chicago and the International Workingpeople’s Association (IWPA), the famous anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre who lived in Grand Rapids for a few years, Jo Labadie and his visits to Grand Rapids, and the repression following the assassination of President William McKinley.

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids is a four volume exploration of the history of anarchists in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While a mid-sized town with a reputation for conservative views, below the surface Grand Rapids has a history of radicalism that has largely gone unexplored. Part of that history includes the presence of anarchists active in a number of different ways since the 1880s. Anarchist activity has often connected to what anarchists have been doing in the larger U.S. context and as such this history situates Grand Rapids anarchists in larger national trends.

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, Vol. 2

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, Volume 2 covers a number of different topics pertaining to anarchist activity in Grand Rapids in the early 1900s. We look at the Dutch anarchism of Hendrik Meijer (yes, of groccery store fame) who brought the ideas of Dutch anarchist Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis to West Michigan, recount Emma Goldman’s several visits to Grand Rapids, tell the story of the solider-turned-anarchist William Buwalda, and explore the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and their activity in Grand Rapids in the 1910s, including their role in the famous Furniture Strike of 1911. As with the first volume in the series, the majority of these topics have gone unexplored elsewhere and the zine draws from a wide range of sources.

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, Vol. 3

In the third volume of Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, topics include the story of Charles Bergman, an anarchist from the Grand Rapids area who organized talks in Grand Rapids for Emma Goldman and printed anarchist propaganda, the repression that anarchists and other radicals faced during World War I and the years immediately following the War, the efforts to keep anarchist resistance alive during the 1920s through the 1950s, and the resurgence of anarchy in the 1960s. Where activity in Grand Rapids could not be found, Mob Work fills the gaps by looking at anarchist activity on a national level. In terms of “the sixties” movement, the zine presents generally unexplored history of anti-war and counter-cultural resistance in Grand Rapids, including an examination of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), local underground newspapers, and the anti-police riots that took place in the late 1960s.

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids is a four volume exploration of the history of anarchists in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While a mid-sized town with a reputation for conservative views, below the surface Grand Rapids has a history of radicalism that has largely gone unexplored. Part of that history includes the presence of anarchists active in a number of different ways since the 1880s. Anarchist activity has often connected to what anarchists have been doing in the larger U.S. context and as such this history situates Grand Rapids anarchists in larger national trends.

Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, Vol. 4

In the fourth volume of Mob Work: Anarchists in Grand Rapids, relatively recent anarchist history is the topic of discussion with the 1980s through the 1990s being explored. In Grand Rapids, as was the case nationally, these years continued a resurgence in anarchist activity that started in the 1960s. Volume Four begins with an overview of what was happening on a national level during these years, looking at efforts around publishing, networking, and organizing. This overview provides an important outline of a history that often goes untold. Following this, the zine explores anarchist activity in Grand Rapids. Topics include anarchist visibility in the punk scene, various groups that were around over the years, organizing against police brutality and white supremacy, and participation in national efforts such as the Anarchist Black Cross and Food Not Bombs.

N30: The Seattle WTO Protests

N30

With the sub-title “The Seattle WTO Protests: A memoir and analysis, with an eye to the future,” N30 is an excellent overview by Crimethinc of the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO). For better or worst, the Seattle WTO was one of the pivotal moments in recent anarchist history in the U.S. The zine combines an exciting personal account of the protests with a somewhat more academic—but nevertheless interesting—analysis of the protest from the RAND Corporation. Very long and very detailed!

Nothing is Finished

Nothing Is Finished

This lengthy zine explores a recent (2011) effort aimed at preventing the construction an immigrant detention center in Steenokkerzeel, Belgium. The zine chronicles an attempt at crafting an insurrectionary practice around a specific goal, with reflections on the actions, successes, and challenges faced by such a project. Along with the analysis on the specific struggle, the zine also includes a piece titled “Archipelago: Affinity, Informal Organization, & Insurrectional Projects” which provides a theoretical foundation for understanding the ways in which anarchists chose to act. Overall, the zine is inspiring and provides an interesting snapshot of insurrectionary anarchy in Belgium, while at the same time offering a compelling argument in favor of informal organization.

Openings: Anarchist Reflections on Occupy Grand Rapids

Openings: Anarchist Reflections on Occupy Grand Rapids is a look back at the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon as it manifested itself in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The zine explores how anarchists engaged with and participated in Occupy. From the initial start of Occupy Grand Rapids, to its effective conclusion after a failed “re-occupation,” this zine looks at Occupy’s use of anarchist ideas, the debate over demands, the participation of the left, and the response of the traditional activist groups in town. The zine uses lessons from Occupy to raise larger questions about anarchist action.

Prologue: A Brief History of Capitalism

This short comic zine is an excerpt from Gord Hill’s The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book: From the WTO to G20. It presents a brief history of the development of capitalism in Europe with the efforts to enslave formerly tribal people’s in Europe, the expansion into the Americas, and the development of capitalism on a world scale. It ends in the 1990s with the fall of Communism, the rise of indigenous resistance, and the emergency of Neo-liberalism.

Smashing the Orderly Party

Sub-titled “An Anarchists’ Critique of Leninism,” this zine does what it sets out to do—presents a critique of the political theory of Leninism. It provides a good overview of why anarchists are against Leninists and the failings of Leninism as a political theory. It covers both historical aspects and contemporary aspects of Leninism. Compared to other texts on the topic it doesn’t dwell on history, but rather seeks to show how Leninism both in its historical and contemporary manifestations is an authoritarian and reformist theory that fails to challenge the state and capitalism.

The A-Zone & A Decade Of Anarchy In Chicago

This is the 2nd edition of an excellent zine on the history of the A-Zone (The Autonomous Zone) in Chicago. The A-Zone was one of dozens of infoshops started in the 1990s by anarchists experimenting in counter-institutions and organizing. The zine presents a history of the A-Zone as well as personal reflections from people who were involved and/or regularly visited the space. Beyond the A-Zone, the zine discusses projects that preceded the A-Zone in Chicago as well as projects such as the Network of Anarchist Collectives and Love & Rage that were large parts of the anarchist space in the 1990s. It gives an excellent overview of both the A-Zone and the larger infoshop movement.

The Political Pre-History of Love & Rage

This zine is sub-titled “Anarchist Struggle in the 1980s and 1990s” and it consists of a reprinted section from a Love & Rage convention bulletin on the history of anarchist organizing in North America (primarily in the United States). It covers the national gatherings that took place, street protests, campaigns, publications, and more. While most of the interpretations are presented through the lens of Love & Rage and should be treated with some skepticism, it provides a history that has been largely forgotten.

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

This zine is a reprint of an essay by Jared Diamond that explores the ways in which the development of agriculture had a detrimental affect on humans. Diamond argues that for most of human history humans supported themselves as hunter-gatherers and that the development of agriculture brought a number of negative impacts in terms of health, class divisions, and warfare.

Unions against Revolution

Unions Against Revolution

This zine—compiled in 2010—features reprints of two classic critiques of labor unions: “Unions against Revolution” by G. Munis and “Organized Labor versus ‘The Revolt against Work’” by John Zerzan. The two essays are accompanied by a critical introduction that explains their relevancy some 35 years after their initial publishing. The essays provide strong arguments against unions, primarily focusing on the ways in which unions have acted to limit class struggle by managing workers and allying with capitalists. While originally written in the 1970s, unions have only become less relevant over time and these essays provide an excellent critique of unions as “false opposition.”

Women, Witchunts, and the Reproduction of the Capitalist World

This zine is an interview with author Silvia Federici who is well-known for her book “Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation.” The interview—which was conducted when her book was released in German in 2012—explores Federici’s work and both introduces and expands on the concepts she presents in “Caliban and the Witch.” The interview is a good introduction to her ideas and the relationship between the development of capitalism, patriarchy, the enclosure of the commons, and the witchhunts in Europe and North America.

Yalensky's Fable

This zine is a reprint of an article by Matthew Hart on the history of the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC). The author traces the history of the Anarchist Black Cross back to the struggle against the Tsar in Russia in the late 19th Century and follows that history into the early 2000s. They talk about the activities of the Anarchist Black Cross in supporting anarchist prisoners at various points in anarchist history and talk about the resurgence of the Anarchist Black Cross in the 1960s. Ultimately, the zine makes the argument that prisoner support is one of anarchists longest ranging commitments.

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