Stamps of Approval
Some things have come out that deserve a plug:
Promissory Notes: from Crisis to Commons
A pamphlet on the crisis by Midnight Notes and Friends
After five hundred years of existence, capitalists are once again announcing to us that their system is in crisis. They are urging everyone to make sacrifices to save its life. We are told that if we do not make these sacrifices, we together face the prospect of a mutual shipwreck. Such threats should be taken seriously. Already in every part of the planet, workers are paying the price of the crisis in retrenchment, mass unemployment, lost pensions, foreclosures, and death."
So begins the Midnight Notes collective's latest effort to help us understand the currently unravelling financial crisis in terms that are radical and rooted in an autonomous anticapitalist perspective, which is especially refreshing amidst the barrage of liberal noise on how to save capitalism. The pamphlet attempts to wind it's way through sources of the crisis, providing some useful historical background and concludes with thoughts on revolutionary struggles that move beyond capital. The left in general (like most of the country) has been caught in this economic crisis largely unprepared. Promissory Notes may be the a good jumping off point for folks interested in figuring out our place in midst of this mess.
You can download Promissory Notes at http://defenestrator.org/promissory_notes
Midnight Notes website can be found at: http://www.midnightnotes.org
Some more bits on the crisis compiled by a local reading group on the crisis can be found here: http://econcrisisphilly.blogspot.com/
Unfinished Acts – January Rebellions
A great pamphlet on the experience of some comrades in the East Bay from the January riots following the point blank execution of Oscar Grant by the Oakland PD this New Years. The authors share their experiences in the streets during the rebellion, provide some background on Oakland street culture and political scene and explore some of the attempts from the state and the NGOized left to contain and derail spontaneous angry protests by Oakland youth and other uncontainable political groupings. This pamphlet should be read by anyone who anticipates the moment when Philly explodes. Numerous scenarios in the Unfinished Acts have all the hallmarks of a Philly rebellion. Lessons we can all learn from.
Pick it up at Wooden Shoe Books or read the online version below:
Upping the Anti #8
I should also mention the recent issue of Upping the Anti, a Canadian autonomous journal in which Philadelphians and def contributors Dan Berger and Suzy Subways contributed some interesting pieces. Dan's piece on Study groups, a round table interview with different groups across the US, may speak to the dozen or so radical study groups sprinkled around Philly who are attempting to put their discussing into praxis. Suzy's round table on the experiences of women from the Student Liberation Action Movement will definitely speak to those of us who've struggled with building multi-racial and multi-tendency organizations. SLAM had fought against tuition increases at CUNY in NY and later joined the struggles to free Mumia Abu Jamal, and against police violence in NY and faced off with cops with us here in Philly during the 2000 RNC. Conversations with SLAM feel especially relevant these days in Philly where a number of younger activists have been struggling with similar issues in current political work. Again, pick it up at Wooden Shoe Books. The SLAM piece can be found at http://defenestrator.org/SLAM_interviews which is part of a larger project of documenting the group's herstory which can be found at http://slamherstory.wordpress.com.