Welcome! Newsletter number 33.
Last month I wrote that I’d try to make up for the missing review with two new ones in October, and I managed. The reviews are short, but the books are good. The anthology With Freedom in Our Ears: Histories of Jewish Anarchism is one of them, Manny Ness’s Migration as Economic Imperialism the other.
The month started with a visit to a “summer camp” organized in Varna, Bulgaria, by Kon-flikt and the AngryWorkers. It was great, interesting debates about both political and union organizing in a real-socialist retro setting by the beach. There are worse ways to end the summer. I facilitated a workshop on “Experiences of Current Syndicalism”. On the way, in Sofia, I visited the people behind the fabulous hardcore punk website DIY Conspiracy and had a talk about anarchism at the “Autonomous Factory”. As always in Eastern Europe, it was very enlightening – the different twentieth-century political histories of Europe’s East and West still cast their shadows, not least on the understanding of anarchism and respective movements. On the occasion, I also found out that my text “Revolution Is More Than a Word: 23 Theses on Anarchism” has been translated into Bulgarian. It’s easily the most translated of my texts by now, which doesn’t say much, but one of them has to be.
The union job at the SAC remains interesting but, sadly, leaves little time for writing. Still, I have a little book publication to announce, but it pretty much fell into my laps. In the early 2000s, when I published pamphlets through Alpine Anarchist Productions, I released one under the title Antiindividualistic Individuality. It was, basically, an English translation of the key chapter of Jenseits von Staat und Individuum, a university-paper-turned-book in German. When, in 2007, I uploaded a bunch of the Alpine Anarchist pamphlets I had done online, I was unhappy enough about this particular translation that I did not include it. Nonetheless, more than fiteen years later, a small publishing outlet in the UK, Laniakea Books, got in touch, suggesting to bring out the text as a booklet. So, I edited the previous translation, and now there’s a neat little publication trying to inspire anarchist theorizing on lonely nights when there is absolutely nothing else to do – even Spanish readers can join in, as someone has already done a translation in said language. Kudos to the folks at Laniakea who made it all possible!
There’ve been a few media appearances, partly related to SAC duties, partly not. Among the former are an interview with the good fellows from the Übertage podcast in Germany, an SAC feature on the Danish website Autonom Infoservice, and an Arbetarbladet article about the Joe Hill House in Gävle, which the SAC owns and which you should visit if you ever make it there. It’s a wonderful place, and the little museum is great! Among the latter is an article about pirates in the Basque magazine naiz:, based on the Spanish edition of my pirate book. Some of the photos are good, some borderline. My book Liberating Sápmi was honored with a reading circle at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, which I was happy about.
Speaking of Sápmi, there has been an underreported protest happening outside the Norwegian parliament for the last three weeks, with young reindeer herder Mihkkal Haetta denouncing the lack of government action since the Norwegian Supreme Court declared two wind parks on the Fosen peninsula to violate the Sámi’s rights as indigenous people. There’ll be more to come, as Sámi activists are at the forefront not only of the struggle for indigenous rights but also for climate justice.
There’ve been a few kind reviews of our Swedish book Frihetens fönster: kamp i Latinamerika och exil i Sverige, and my co-editor Dharana and I had a nice presentation in Gothenburg at the end of the month. Dharana also did a much appreciated presentation in Malmö while I was in Bulgaria. A fabulous comrade to work with!
More next month. Stay safe!