5,000 people have been killed in a murderous attack just a few days ago, clearly stemming from past events in the Middle East. Although the President of the United States correctly refers to this as “acts of war”, he does not tell us that this war has been raging for many years, and is fueled by long standing American support of Israel, acting as its military proxy. The US is “no peace loving country,” it is the world’s largest salesmen of military armaments and has its hands in most of the wars waging around the globe.
Although millions have died around the world because of these wars, thousands have now died in this country because of the militaristic policies of this government, not just because of some sca... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Dedication For the second edition of Anarchism and the Black Revolution
I dedicate this second edition of Anarchism and the Black Revolution to Comrade Ginger Katz, one of the founders of the original North American Anarchist Black Cross almost 15 years ago. It was Ginger Katz who almost single-handedly arranged for the typesetting, publishing and printing of the first edition, and then she went out and sold them by the thousands. Without her, this second edition would not have been possible.
She had to fight to get the books published, and to get a hearing for myself and other Black Anarchists, who had things to say about the direction of the movement. The “Anarchist purists,” who wanted to keep the movement all white and a... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Kaif Syed: Welcome to Rustbelt Abolition Radio, my name is Kaif Syed. In this special bonus episode, we present a conversation between True Leap Press and Lorenzo Ervin and JoNina Abron-Ervin, recorded in Chicago earlier last month. Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin is an anarchist writer, organizer, and former political prisoner who came up through the Black Panther Party in the 1960’s. Among other works, he is the author of the pamphlet “Anarchism and the Black Revolution”, which introduces the principles of class struggle anarchism and discusses its relevance to the black liberation struggle. JoNina Abron-Ervin is a journalist, retired educator, and a former member of the Detroit chapter of the Black Panther Party. As a write... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana had the reputation of being the most racist and brutal prison in the federal prison system. The city of Terre haute itself had been known in the 1920s as one of the strongest base areas for the Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest. As I was to discover later, many prison guards were Klan members or sympathizers. There were no black guards at the time I entered it, in the summer of 1970.
The most famous inmate to do time at the prison was the 1950s rock and roll singer, Chuck Berry, during the early 1960s, and reportedly he spoke disparagingly about the state of Indiana for years afterwards and said he would never have a concert in the city of Terre Haute. I do not know if this is true.
Usually racis... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) There are no fair elections in America, certainly when the questions of race and political power are evident. It's interesting therefore to look at the presidential election of the year 2000. Many things have not been widely reported, which shows that this electoral race has come so close to political violence, if not outright fascism. The right-wing, including paramilitary militias in Florida and other states, have been planning for a civil war for quite some time. Now they have a genuine "excuse" for political violence.
For instance, shortly after the first recounts began in Florida, the most extreme elements of the Republicans, bolstered by gunmen began taking about "blood in the streets." Even the USA Today began to write articles abou... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction – Black Rose Anarchist Federation
In the expansive terrain of anarchist history, few events loom as large as the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Countless books, films, songs, pamphlets, buttons, t-shirts, and more are rightfully devoted to this transformative struggle for social revolution by Spanish workers and peasants. But digging through the mountain of available material, little can be found on black militants in the Spanish revolution, like the one featured in the powerful photo on the cover of this reader — a member of the Bakunin Barracks in Barcelona, Spain 1936, and a symbol of both the profound presence and absence of Black anarchism internationally.
For more than 150 years, black anarchists hav... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) However, we also have differences with the Black (and other race) nationalists, although we may share many basic ideas with them on cultural autonomy. We also believe in and treasure many of the traditions and history of our peoples, but believe it must be ‘demystified’ and made into a culture of resistance, rather than personality cults or escapism from the reality of fighting racism. Further, we categorically do not believe in any “race nationalism”, which demonizes white people and advocates some sort of biological determinism. We are not xenophobic; so do not entertain any race mythology about European peoples as either a superior species or as devils. And although we recognize the necessity of autonomous struggl... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In May 2000 two anarchist ex-Black Panthers from America did a British speaking tour. Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin and JoNina Abron talked to groups ranging from white anarchos to mass black meetings on police racism. Between them they have 70 years of political activity spanning lives that have included everything from teaching at a revolutionary community school to hijacking a plane and taking it to Cuba. They conceded to being interviewed in sunny Brighton after a record buying spree (for their pirate radio station) to dazzle the gods. Both are now involved in the Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers.
Perhaps you could tell us how you both got radicalized?
JoNina The thing that actually got me was the assassination of Martin Luther ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Ralph Williams is a city bus driver for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) in Chattanooga, Tenn. He has worked for the bus company for almost ten years, and in that time has seen all kinds of racial discrimination, both in hiring and disciplinary practices. He has seen every Black worker who spoke out against company policies harassed and fired. Conditions are so bad that Black workers call CARTA “the plantation” and chafe at being treated as nothing but slaves. In 1993, however, all this began to change when a Black worker — James Jones, who was fired because of his wife’s civil right activism — wouldn’t take his dismissal lying down and filed a discrimination complaint with t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Part 1
Some — usually comfortable Black middle class professionals, politicians or businessmen who rode the 1960s Civil rights movement into power or prominence — will say there is no longer any necessity to struggle in the streets during the 1990s for Black freedom. They say we have “arrived” and are now “almost free.” They say our only struggle now is to “integrate the money,” or win wealth for themselves and members of their social class, even though they give lip service to “empowering the poor.” Look, they say, we can vote, our Black faces are all over TV in commercials and situation comedies, there are hundreds of Black millionaires, and we have political representatives i... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A right-wing Republican angrily wrote me a letter last week, something to the effect like: “why don’t you Blacks just give it up about charges of fraud [?]... your man [Gore] just lost, and hey Bush has now appointed Black people to high positions in this administration, which shows he is not a racist.” Well, yes, the Grinch (aka as George W. Bush) has now appointed a number of Black and Brown faces to his Presidential Cabinet, and we are supposed to believed that this “diversity” means something to moderate our views of him for the theft of the election and installation of a racist government. It is supposed to show Black people how “compassionate” this conservative is, just as his father, George S... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) So, I have been approached several times about what I think about Ferguson by activists who say that all street protests are “useless”, ineffective and should be stopped, and we should just go straight over to armed self-defense. I do not think that is the only lesson to be drawn from the Ferguson insurrection.
First, let me say that the insurrection in Ferguson was a local protest, although it has had national and even international effects. The fact is that we have no ability to control such events, and should not seek to “take them over”. We also are not strong enough at this moment, nor well armed or well organized enough to go over strictly to armed self-defense alone. We need to win the masses of our people ov... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A couple of weekends ago, the Southwest Michigan Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality conducted a community workshop in Kalamazoo on racial profiling. From the questions that followed after my presentation, one thing that stood out is that although we hear about all these terms in the media like "driving while Black", "police brutality","racial profiling", most of us don't really know what all this means.
Racial profiling, the systematic use of police detention and traffic stops of a racial or cultural group, without probable cause or at least some reasonable suspicion of the actual commission of a crime, is a form of racism and police brutality, not just "bad policing by rogue cops". It is social control of the Black community by... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Back in March of this year, I took a trip to Belgium [with a side-trip to Holland], which lasted for about ten days. This trip was extremely educational in that it let me see for the first time how many Africans and other peoples of color have moved into the European countries in the last 30 years since I had been there. During the 1960's when I was an American soldier based in West Germany, it was rare to see a black face among the sea of whiteness in Europe, with the only exceptions being France and England, which had substantial nonwhite immigration going at the time to fuel its service and mercantile industries. It needed those people then, but it does not feel it needs them now and have withdrawn the welcome mat.
Many of the major cit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) If there is going to be real class unity or solidarity, there is no way forward for white Anarchists, Socialists, or autonomous people of color except to recognize the necessity of organizing movements based on new conceptions of class and race. We have to reject the hypocritical Anarchist or white radical rhetoric that Autonomist movements are somehow based mechanically on race and that a “mainstream” white radical movement is based on a superior conception of class or political unity. The conditions of Blacks and peoples of color require a new political assessment, and must be made a cardinal part of any radical tendency.
We demand our right to be culturally and politically different and further demand that white Anarchists/r... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Recently Governor John Engler, Republican Governor of the state of Michigan, sponsored legislation which outlawed so-called "Living Wage" laws, championed by both civil rights and labor groups, in the state. This far reaching legislation not only outlawed existing laws in several cities, including Detroit, but also prevented other cities from adopting it.
This action is in line with other acts of Governor Engler, who was elected as part of former Newt Gingrich's right-wing Republican mafia, that took over Congress and got elected in several of the states in the early 1990's, on an anti-worker, anti-Black, anti-gay, pro big business campaign. One of the first acts of his administration was to do away with welfare, most worker rights legisla... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The Commune: Community Control of the Poor Community
“How do we raise a new revolutionary consciousness against a system programmed against our old methods?... We must use a new approach and revolutionize the [ ] Central City Commune, and slowly provide the people with the incentive to fight by allowing them to create programs that will meet all their social, political, and economic needs. We must fill the vacuums left by the established order... In return, we must teach them the benefits of our revolutionary ideals.... We must build a subsistence economy and a socio-political infrastructure so that we can become an example for all revolutionary people”
Blood in My Eye
The idea behind a mass co... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Preface to the Second Edition
This pamphlet is dedicated to all those suffering in the dungeons of North America and all those revolutionaries who have lost their lives in prison anywhere in the world. I first wrote it in 1979 in hopes that it would raise the issue of political prisoners and lead to the building of a prison support movement which could save those prisoners who followed me into the prisons of North America from a fate of living death like I suffered (15 years in jail), or from a violent death like comrade George Jackson, the Attica prisoners, scores of whom were murdered by State pigs at the orders of billionaire Governor John D. Rockefeller during the revolt at that camp in 1971; Black revolutionary Andaliwa Clark killed... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) History of the IWPA
The International Working Peoples Association was first founded by the German Anarchist, Johann Most, in 1883. Among its membership and two of its most active militants were August Spies and Albert Parsons, later hanged in the notorious legal lynching known as the Haymarket case. It was the IWPA which led the fight for the 8-hour work day, and against any employer discrimination towards women, Black, or foreign-born workers. It was a revolutionary labor organization which stood for the overthrow of Capitalism and reconstruction of society on the basis of Workers’ self-management. The Libertarian Socialist movement in America at this time was split into various sections with diverse ideas on Anarchism. It was the... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Comrades,
I was very excited to see a copy of Love and Rage. This is the best revolutionary anarchist publication I have ever seen, including Canada’s Open Road. What I especially like is that contrary to most anarchists of the 1970s and 80’s, when my revolutionary pamphlets “Anarchism and the Black Revolution” was published, your group seems to understand the dynamics of white supremacy and why it must be fought. You can’t imagine the kind of “cop-out” racist capitualtionism that the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) and most anarchist groups were guilty of then.
I was one of a small number of anarchists or libertarian socialists of African descent. Since I alone was not numerically powerf... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) We are coming upon the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, and there are some things which have a direct bearing on the present moment. We need to know that back then there had been two wings of the civil rights movement, that which emanated from the 1955–57 Montgomery Bus Boycott, which produced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national leader and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In the period of 1960–1963, the youth-based Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had taken the early initiative away from King and SCLC, and were the ones who had called for and organized the 1963 March on Washington originally.
They envisioned a much more militant anti-government protest movement, which was coming for ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Black People Have a Right to Rebel
A massive anti-cop rebellion has broken out in Cincinnati over the police shootings of 15 Black men, ranging in ages of 12-44 years old, all unarmed. The latest case of Timothy Thomas, a 19-year old brother, allegedly wanted for misdemeanor traffic offenses, was gunned down last week by a crazed white cop. The Black community has risen up in a massive protest against this racist occupying army, poverty, and other forms of mistreatment. Now, we are being told by various White politicians and their paid Uncle Toms that even more massive police violence should be trained on us "to keep the peace", and "stop the violence". Not the cop violence and murder, which has gone on for years, but the current rebelli... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Here is how Anarchists of color (specifically we within Black Autonomy) see the world: It is a situation presently organized into competing nation-states, in military and political alliances. Through international institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, the Capitalist Western nations have been responsible for most of the world’s famine, imperialism and exploitation of the economic resources of nonwhite peoples of the earth. But in fact, Anarchists hold all nation-states are instruments of oppression. Even though there are governments that claim to be “workers states,” “Socialist countries” or so-called “Revolutionary governments,” in essence th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin’s story could have come out of the pages of fiction. The fact that we were privileged to hear him speak and interview him is easily the best thing to come out of the “Ten Days” debacle. Even Ian Bone admitted that at least it was worth it to “get Lorenzo over here”.
However, Lorenzo’s visit is a classic case of how not to organize a speaking tour by a foreign comrade. It was shameful that it wasn’t until three days before his departure that he got his full fare refunded to him. Equally, he had to fill in for so many other advertised but absent speakers it did not present a good view of what anarchists in Britain are capable of. Fortunately, speaking is something Lorenzo ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Lorenzo Kom’Boa Ervin was a former Black Panther who fled to Cuba in 1969 after an FBI shoot to kill order was issued on him. Later arrested and imprisoned he was released in 1983 after serving 15 years for hijacking the plane he escaped from the USA in. Whilst inside he continued the struggle, acting as a jailhouse lawyer and prison unionist and developing his political philosophy. Author of Anarchism and the Black Revolution, Lorenzo spoke to Organize! during his speaking tour of Britain in May. For reasons of space, this interview has been edited. A full transcript can be obtained by writing to Newcastle ACF(See inside back page for address).
Organize!: On this tour you have stated that the working class has changed and is chan... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In one of my columns about racial profiling and the Michigan police, a white “radical” wrote in “chastising” me about referring to this form of police harassment as “Driving While Black”, since he said that he as a white male had on occasion been stopped by the cops himself because of his “long hair.” He also went on to say that I should concentrate on “class politics”, instead of “mere racial issues.” Since I didn’t want to answer him in a personal letter, frankly didn’t have the inclination to engage in this discussion with yet another smug white middle class “radical”, I decided to do it in my column.
I think that many white people just don&r... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Foreword to the Second Edition
When I first wrote this pamphlet in 1979, Communism was still going strong in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries. However, with the collapse of communism during the late 1980s (and also into the 90s) in East Europe and other parts of the so-called “socialist” world, leading to the partial discredit of Marxism-Leninism, this is a time for new revolutionary ideas and startling social change.
Anarchism and its known variants: Anarcho-Syndicalism, Council Communism, Libertarian Socialism, Situationism and the so-called Autonomist movement, and new forms not yet seen will arise and become immensely popular, in many respects, this process of political or ideological fertilization has alread... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Even in this generation, many young activists know of George Jackson, aka “Comrade George,” Black Panther leader, revolutionary prison writer and organizer who was assassinated in August, 1971, in the California penitentiary, San Quentin.
Yet, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Martin Sostre (1923-2015) was every bit as well known as a prison activist, revolutionary, and jailhouse lawyer, who almost single-handedly won democratic rights for prisoners to receive and read revolutionary literature, write books, worship alternative religious faiths, to not be held indefinitely in solitary confinement, and to obtain legal rights to have access to legal rights at disciplinary proceedings. He was the one responsible for ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Chris Gatewood is the outspoken leader of the Durham, North Carolina branch of the National Asociation Advancement of Colored Peoples . He recently made “controversial”, though truthful and courageous remarks denouncing the United States government for planning military retaliation for the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks, and the use of Black males as cannon fodder and mercenaries in any front line attack.
At a September 15th monthly local NAACP meeting, he said that African Americans should not have to fight in any military action, and that a violent U.S. counterattack would be wrong. “Black males can no longer be used as sacrificial lambs at the time of war,” he said in his three-page statement.
“Th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Police death squads in American cities are a sign of the times. Every year in the USA anywhere about 800-1,000 persons are killed in police custody. Like the nine people in Detroit this year, Amadou Diallo in NYC, Tiyesha Miller in Riverside, California, and many others whose names we don't know, they were undeniably slaughtered by the police. But these were no accidents, idle acts of racism, or even isolated vigilante actions by crazed cops. No, these death squads are carrying out government policy to rid the cities of "undesirables". In that sense, they are little different than the death squads in Latin America, who kill poor people and street kids in Brazil, Leftists and labor leaders in Guatemala, or police goon squads in any military ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)