Together, We Can Get Free: A Review of Towards Collective Liberation, by Chris Crass

9 May

by Sasha

Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy, by Chris Crass (PM Press 2013), is a challenging collection of essays and interviews. The concept of collective liberation, gleaned initially from radical scholar bell hooks, connotes a struggle lodged deep in the tradition of liberation movements—black liberation, GLBQTTI liberation, women’s liberation, and so on. CC insists, “we need liberation movements of millions of people, from all backgrounds, from all walks of life, with a wide range of experience, playing many different roles… everyone reading this book is needed in the process of building the powerful and successful movements we need to make the changes crucial for our future.” For liberation movements to connect at crucial strategic and ideological intersections, activists must overcome the problem by which “processes of inclusions and exclusions are reproduced in our organizing.” For collective movement organization to succeed, we need “a commitment to use different strategies and approaches.” The message of Towards Collective Liberation is that love, openness, and patient determination will prevail. It is an imperative lesson for everyone.

Chris Crass begins the book with essays steeped in the anarchist tradition: “there has never been a monolithic anarchist theory, tendency, or movement throughout history;” he explains, “there is not one anarchism, but many.” Towards Collective Liberation tells a history of non-hierarchical organizing throughout the world, leading to the modern notions of dual power and prefigurative politics exhibited by CC’s autobiographical discussion of the emergence of the San Francisco Food Not Bombs. The analysis of Food Not Bombs in San Francisco feels forthright and sensitive, mixing anti-oppression theory with a systematic conceptualization of major problems into an easy-to-digest text with stimulating tastes that travel to the untrammeled recesses of the heart. Perhaps the decisive declaration of CC’s proposal is to “imagine and create prefigurative organizing practices that work for people of different ages, cultures, capabilities, economic classes, responsibilities, and capacities.” While he does not delve into the more overarching, systemic critiques of Food Not Bombs, CC’s detailing of his personal experiences with the difficulties of patriarchy and white supremacy opens space for “new theorizing and practice.”

Reading Towards Collective Liberation is a lesson in patience, accountability, and praxis more than a lesson in Food Not Bombs. “A group can choose to also have anti-racism shape its politics and practice,” says CC, “but that must be a conscious decision with a plan for moving it forward… The point is not to become ‘perfect’ but to become praxis-oriented and understand change as a long-term process.” Chris Crass’s ideation of praxis adapts decision-making to objectives and experiences within a non-hierarchical framework, and superbly deployed in several examples and models. Practical gems, such as the twenty careful steps towards anti-sexist action, make Towards Collective Liberation a book to pass around amongst friends as well as a greater organizing and educational tool. Its simplicity of style, which indicates the diligence of CC’s writing as well as organizing with the Catalyst Project, will benefit radical collectives as much as any work place.

The last section of Towards Collective Liberation is comprised of several interviews with anti-oppression activists operating in extraordinarily difficult environments. Several members of the Heads Up Collective discuss the founding labors of collective organizing. The Rural Organizing Project in Oregon answers questions on broaching political issues with tact and confidence, while maintaining the radical patience that it takes to communicate with people on their level. The thrust of these interviews leads to a kind of acknowledgment of generalized oppression, and a willingness to transform the social relations by any (non-violent) means necessary. Kentucky-based organization, Fairness, puts forward an incredibly interesting example of equalizing antiracism and anti-homophobia over and against of the problems that activists face of “divide and conquer,” where a person of color’s voice is marginalized in the GLBT movement or visa versa. These interviews provide extraordinarily interesting insights into radical organizing on a personal level, and Chris Crass is to be commended for stepping back and allowing other voices to emerge, making the book a real experience in collective liberation.

Though Earth First! is acknowledged several times throughout Towards Collective Liberation, the arc of the book avoids the politics of animal and earth liberation. Because the book focuses directly on liberation movements, themselves, we do not have stories of the radical ecology movement working towards earth liberation with an antiracist analysis. If Towards Collective Liberation keeps biocentric analysis at the periphery, the question remains: are animal and earth liberation movements peripheral, or should the very problem of their marginalization within collective liberation struggles motivate us towards strengthening our absolute commitment towards the collective liberation of all species. The marginalization of animal and earth liberation movements is not simply a symptom of a Popular Front style of organizing; it is a serious problem within the movements themselves (ie, self-marginalization) that must be openly discussed in order to ensure that our movements stand unequivocally with other movements for collective liberation.

I caught up with Chris Crass by email, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about non-anthropocentric liberation.

Towards Collective Liberation (of all species): An interview with Chris Crass

“There is no doubt that environmentalists need more training on antioppression, but do you think that earth and animal liberation thought have a place in collective liberation as well?”

Absolutely. Earth and animal liberation both bring critically important insights, visions, strategies and ethics for the world we want to live in, the way we live in harmony with all life, and how we can take steps here and now to get there. Animal liberation was actually really important to my early activism. Going vegetarian was a concrete way I could practice my politics and animal liberation was an important gateway for tens of thousands of young people to come into radical politics.

I moved away from animal liberation as a central part of my politics as I focused more on systemic inequality in capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and imperialism. I did that because I found that many with a central focus on animal liberation regularly ignored or trivialized struggles in working class communities and communities of color. Nevertheless, I do think that animal liberation is important in an overall collective liberation vision, and when we talk about a socialist and cooperative economy and society, ethics of animal liberation should be part of that vision.

“What can animal and earth liberation groups do in their own hermetic (protesting HLS, for instance) to gain recognition within the broader CL analysis as more than a marginal opinion-oriented ideology—as part of the general movement for collective liberation?”

I worked closely in the 1990s with many who had a strong animal liberation and earth liberation politics. A significant split happened at the time of the global justice movement following Seattle in 1999. There were those who held an animal and earth liberation politics that largely dismissed and trivialized systemic inequality and struggles in working class communities and communities of color. Then there were many who united animal and earth liberation with a larger vision, analysis and strategy of working for justice for all people, and the need to build broad-based mass movements of everyday people.

Many animal and earth liberation activists who went towards a broader movement orientation to work for collective liberation joined with the environmental justice movement rooted in working class communities and communities of color. There are so many incredible examples of animal and earth liberation activists bringing their experience with direct action organizing into their community organizing efforts. The Ruckus Society that trains hundreds of people in direct action is a great example of this. They went from an almost exclusive focus on direct action-based environmental struggles and expanded into a direct action justice struggles-based group that supports communities of color, Indigenous communities, and working class communities to use creative and courageous direct action tactics. I believe this is what is needed.

We need the militant direct action orientation of the animal and earth liberation movement, but grounded in a larger strategy and practice of community organizing that is working to build up popular people’s power to win and create systemic change. Another good example of the kind of union of earth liberation and liberation for all people politics is Movement Generation. They are a political education and movement building group that is putting forward cutting edge analysis and strategies on how to work for the world we want in the face of ecological and economic crisis. A good resource on this analysis and approach is the booklet “Organizing Cools the Planet: tools and resources to navigate the climate crisis” by Hilary Moore and Joshua Kahn Russell.   

“What is the difference between revolution and collective liberation, and is a popular front-style mass movement the apparatus of collective liberation (as the cover art seems to suggest)?”

 I believe in the need for revolutionary change. I believe that revolution will include periods of mass popular uprising and change, but it also needs to be rooted in everyday struggles to transform conditions and consciousness in all our communities.

I do not believe that there will be a mass insurrection that will change everything. We cannot focus only on demolishing existing institutions of exploitation and oppression and expect that new liberating institutions capable of long lasting self-governance will simply emerge. Many anarchists and socialists have believed and some continue to believe this will happen. But history has shown, over and over again, that this is not the case.

I believe in the power of everyday people’s movements as the primary force for moving our societies towards collective liberation, and revolutionary politics, vision, and strategy are an important part of that. I don’t think that revolution is something that will just happen, and revolution will take care of all our problems. With that thinking we get into ends justifying the means, because if revolution will take care of all our problems, then whatever we do to speed up the process of revolution us justified. A good essay that explores this in more depth, that is really worth studying is “You Can’t Blow Up a Social Relationship: The Anarchist Case Against Terrorism”. If we see revolutionary change as an on-going process, one marked by periods of mass uprising and popular resistance, then the means of working towards liberation are actually helping us create the ends we want. Therefore the values of a liberated society are values we work to live in the here and now.

Yes we need popular mass movements. Yes we need revolutionary politics and strategy to help us win and create collective liberation. Yes, out of everyday people’s struggles, new forms of social organization will emerge. And yes, we need to actively incorporate anti-racist, feminist, queer liberationist, socialist values and politics into our education, organization and institution building, and our work in our families, communities, and lives as part of an on-going process of social and personal revolution.

Reviewer Conclusion: If Towards Collective Liberation challenges people in the movement to face the problems of patriarchy and white supremacy, EF!ers will accept and welcome this challenge, while upping the ante not only by insisting on a safe(r) space to talk about animal liberation and earth, but by actively working on campaigns for economic, food, and environmental justice with our allies. The Earth First! Journal has an antioppression policy, and Earth First! is serious about accountability and antioppression organizing. Towards Collective Liberation will help EF!ers take the next step in working in rural and urban environments, and it is time to move forward with the analysis to help realize collective liberation against anthropocentrism with a biocentric analysis.

11 Responses to “Together, We Can Get Free: A Review of Towards Collective Liberation, by Chris Crass”

  1. weaksauce May 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    From his wikipedia page:
    “Crass and the Catalyst Project have both been widely critiqued by other sections of the anarchist movement, specifically for collaboration with the city government, liberal NGO’s and the police during the Oscar Grant riot , as well acting as for outside agitators and erasing the participation of people of color in the name of “anti-racism” during Occupy Oakland. On a more general level Crass and the Catalyst project have been critiqued by other anarchists for the limits of their “privilege politics” in relation to actual social struggle, particularly in light of their failure to engage constructively with recent social unrest in the Bay Area. Crass has also been critiqued for his apparent careerism.”

  2. weaksauce May 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Listen, trying to make FNB fit into an anti-racist paradigm is stupid, because FNB is stupid and fucking irrelevant as hell.

    On the follow up interview I want to say that it’s disingenuous as hell on Crass’ part to say “sure, the environmental movement is welcome to jump in and forward our goals with your tactics. That’s a great way to further our vision of a giant people powered NGO.” Tactics and goals are different.

    This guy tells us how to be a boring non-profit that gets the poc vote of approval but ultimately supports the white supremacist power structure. White supremacy and environmental destruction have a huge physical component and we need to be attacking that.

    Also, fuck white guilt hand ringing bullshit.

    • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      “trying to make FNB fit into an anti-racist paradigm is stupid, because FNB is stupid and fucking irrelevant as hell”

      lol (not really a great critique, and though I have heard them all, I am less than convinced)

      “From his wikipedia page:”

      lol (can u point to a valid source here?)

      “That’s a great way to further our vision of a giant people powered NGO.”

      nobody said nething about NGOs — wtf, cray cray

      “Also, fuck white guilt hand ringing bullshit.”

      word!! good thing half/three-quarters of this is about feminism and GLBQTTI activism! kick ass!

      • weaksauce May 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

        The wikipedia quote is backed up by the zine unfinished acts which documents the Oscar Grant rebellion in Oakland. The zine “Who is Oakland?” talks about the Occupy Oakland bit.

        Of course he didn’t say anything about NGO’s, but that is his praxis and that’s where his organizing models and crews he runs with come from. This is relevant part of this up with people big tent conversation. They aren’t us. They’re paid hacks.

        It’s Chris Crass, of course it’s about white guilt.

        Sorry to diss FNB, it’s just that it doesn’t do anything. But, whatever floats your boat.

    • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      just read that zine. it is a bit off for a couple of reasons. first, one of the authors was recently called out for a pattern of sexual assault, and the tone is a little over the top. second, it’s general ideology is exclusionary anarchism, which i generally feel is boring and counter-intuitive.

      Neither Chris Crass nor the Catalyst Project are mentioned in the zine. There are two sections where we could project them onto what is being said, but that would require a stretch. For arguments sake, here they are:

      – “The naiveté of identity politics fails us in this way, both in its obsessions with ranking and compartmentalizing privileges and disadvantages and in ignoring instances where actual human beings, their struggles and relationships to one another are far more complex than their identities would tell us”

      Although it’s interesting to get into the micro-power relationships within identity, I have a problem with this critique of identity politics, because I think it is limiting and reactionary. Instead of addressing what “identity politics” does—open up race, sex and gender for discussion and exploration, such that these micro-power relationships can be investigated further—the critique does a one-off dismissal of “compartmentalizing privilege.” Now, we all know that white people have privilege that POC do not. Should we analyze the “Kyriarchy” and micro-power dynamics involved? Yes! Should we throw out identity politics or dismiss it as naive? naaaaaawwww….

      – “It’s more obvious than ever that leftist politicians and NGO admins with grant money dollar signs in their eyes have done and will do very little to address every day problems for —or with— folks from Oakland’s hoods. The question that anarchists must seriously grapple with is, do we blow just as much hot air as our leftist enemies?”

      Wow! Talk about hot air! “Leftist enemies?” Ok, sure, critique NGOs and the nonprofit industry complex as much as me, and you’ll be scraping by for kale and black beans just as much as I do. Then again, those people are more like liberals, less like real, genuine leftists. I’m talking about the Left of the IWW, the Left of Judi Bari, Black Panthers, and the MOVE organization. I have never been a believer in the “Anarchist Right Wing” and I never will be. I’m from Texas. I don’t think “Right Wing Anarchists” really know what the right wing is — I’m talking about death squads, I’m talking about Milton Friedman, Pat Buchanan, nazis that burn down your local infoshop, and so on and so forth.

      – “It’s not that Black and Brown rebels are people to feel sorry for and “help,” nor feel protective of and “keep safe” as they rage in the streets, as paternalistic leftists might suggest.”

      Granted, but I think the “paternalistic” ppl they are referring to are the Youth Uprising group mentioned later on in the zine. btw, here I would totally put “leftist” in quotes, as they are not really talking about the actual Left… no word about Catalyst, either… Maybe you could provide something more detailed about their involvement in that moment of Bay history?

      ~

      With regards to “Who is Oakland?” I found this zine to be written way better than the former one. First of all, it is a call to solidarity for antiracist organizing, rather than a big “fuck you” to the Left. Second of all, it makes valid points that are obviously coming from POC and not from anarchists who think that rioting = solidarity (still doesn’t mention Chris Crass though). Here’s one excellent point:

      – “a critique of “white privilege” has become a kind of blanket, reflexive condemnation of any variety of confrontational, disruptive protest while bringing the focus back to reforming the behavior and beliefs of individuals”

      You could definitely see where a critique of CC’s politics could come into play here, as CC is dedicated, he says, to nonviolence! however, there could be a double-reflexivity here, as a critique of violence could be dually condemned as a blanket ideological claim of “authoritarian identity politics.” Not accusing the zine authors of that. Also, I’m not a non-violent organizer by any means, but I do think that it has it’s time and place (and yes, the non violent ppl annoy me when they throw bricks through the windows of my fav coffee shop, because it is worker-owned and therefore anarchistly violent). I’m just saying, when ppl argue, angels lose their wings and kittens cry.

      – “There is a difference between a politics which places an idealized and homogenizing cultural heritage at the center of its analysis of oppression, and autonomous organizing against forms of oppression which impact members of marginalized groups unevenly.”

      yes, and this is what Towards Collective Liberation is about…

      The big critique of the Catalyst Project comes when their “white allies” attempt to rename the group “Decolonize/Liberate Oakland,” it was blown up into a racial clash rather than a problem that anti-oppression politics doesn’t understand or recognize. I can see how this would happen, and I also agree that it might represent a general problem in how deeply affected white anti-oppression organizers can totally fail to (a) bring their message across, (b) actually represent the politics that they put forward, and (c) take the humble pie of anti-oppression, and take a support, rather than leadership, role, when they can…

      That said, in this instance, it seems like a place where anti-oppression activism fails to do what it should, not a place where anti-oppression ideas ought to be tossed out or broadly dismissed as “white”. If that occurs, then there is another dialectical problem that appears—people who say that anti-oppression is ineffective because it spends too much time calling people out for being privileged, are then saying that anti-oppression organizers are privileged and need to dismiss themselves from the front lines, or whatever. I don’t think that’s what the zine is doing; It is actually a pretty nuanced and sensitive appreciation of the contradictions in the movement. Just some thoughts…

      It’s a good think to talk about. At the same time, I stand by the review above, because it really doesn’t have anything to do with NGOs. Note that when talking about animal and earth liberation militancy, CC mentions Movement Generation. That’s not some big NGO like Puente that sells out its indigenous allies, that’s a real grassroots movement building organization.

      Anyway, we can agree to disagree, it’s all good🙂

  3. Edgewatch May 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Being more familiar with the project than the book I’ll say this, in our area there is a whole generation of anarchists who used to do bad ass shit, at some point pilgrimages to California for Catalyst workshops became trendy the thing to do. Nearly every person who went out there came back, scolded the rest for being racist and dropped out, not to work on other projects, just to feel guilty and, when possible, make others feel guilty and share their new found paralysis. I’ll echo Weaksauce’s use of the phrase hand-wringing in that it really does seem to be what folks who’ve gone through their workshops do best. I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine who’d been in this area all her life and has watched a couple full turnovers, when discussing this really bad ass older activist in our community with a kid, my friend paused and wistfully mentioned “She’s like what ____ and _____ would be doing right now if they hadn’t gone to Catalyst project”.

    • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      That’s crucial input, homie. Thanks for the heads up.
      I know some folks who went from Oregon to an action camp in California recently where Catalyst gave a workshop, and they came back fully energized to do Rising Tide community organizing in North Portland. I get that you have the opposite experiences, but I also feel like giving Catalyst Project the blame for brainwashing activists into passive bystanders is only going half-way. We need to recognize in our communities that it is up to us to keep things going.
      EF! has so much reactionary sentiment about “the good old days” of patriarchal and racist leaders who weren’t afraid to openly spike trees or pull up survey stakes, I just hear alarms going off when ppl start talking about older activists and the good old days (as if a lot of that stupid “openness,” which Judi Bari likened to a “panty raid” didn’t lead to the crazy repression we face today). A lot of the antioppression stuff going on that CC is talking about in the book is built up in the 1990s, and he mentions EF! along with FNB and Love and Rage in this history. The split btwn Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia EF!, for instance, was about antioppression, where mostly female bodied ppl felt alienated by the punk rock boys club and a “cult of power and violent” developing around Jeff “Free” Luers, and others. I don’t necessarily think all that’s true at all, but CFD are still around and kind of kicking ass. The antioppression analysis can be divisive at times, but that can also lead to further growth and maturity.
      I got a lot out of the book — which hardly talks about Catalyst Project at all — because it wasn’t hand-wringing or guilt soaked. It seemed like a good retelling of some interesting activist history, along with some real practical tools…

      • Edgewatch May 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        I’m not talking about 80’s earth first here, I’m talking about the first generation of crimethincers, the folks who put out DIY Gynecology guides and the gender poster, who smashed the fuck out of patriarchy and bullshit beauty standards but who dropped out to THINK a lot about their privilege instead of doing anti-prison organizing with the rest of us or sat home critiquing white privilege while others of us teamed up with the Latin Kings to oppose solitary confinement. North Carolina has “Kept things going” as everybody knows, but we’ve had to do it with out the leftist casualties of Catalyst. Also, the zine he recommends is the “Organizing cools the earth” or whatever is the depths of self hating leftist guilt. The whole zine is about “finding your front line community and following their lead” as if hydrofracking and GE tree farms aren’t happening in my home and I gotta go find somebody somewhere to help. This is the same shit Chris is on, “allies” as leaders who we shut up and follow (this leads often to following so called community leaders like the heads of church groups instead of backing rioters who you may share more affinity with). An ally is somebody who shares your interests and so you eachother’s backs.

  4. Edgewatch May 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I know earth first is super hung up on the crimes of our predecessors but real talk, foreman was 23 years ago and we’re like the only people who still bring him up in a weird character self assassination ritual. The anarchist milieu got over Chris like a decade ago, I hope earth first isn’t really stuck in the 90’s like all my non-EF friends say we are.

    • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      You make a lot of great points here.

      1) The “Olympia Anarchists” were the famous folks who came to destroy patriarchy in EF! in 1989. We’re not still hung up on the 90s so much as we are still moving in that tradition, with crimethinc, whose first contribution to the EF! Journal was in 1998 (about gearing up for the 1999 WTO protest, lol!). Crimethinc came around basically at the same time as Chris’s organizing started to get bigger—in the late ’90s. There’s an important comparison there, because the two are almost like antipodes—peaceful communitarians versus vanguard criminalists.
      I am torn, because there are things I appreciate about both sides. It seems to me that within the anarchist milieu, we can turn this opposition into something genuinely new coming out of EF!. In this way, I’m saying we shouldn’t be doing the self-assassination thing—we should not be hung up on the 1990s, and we deeeeeefinitely shouldn’t be hung up in the 1980s… If we look back, say, ten years ago, where you’re saying Chris lost a lot of cred, in 2003 EF! had several sits and a bunch of ELF glam going on. It was an exciting movement, and it was also very intent on antioppression organizing. This was the time when the connections between Social Ecology and Deep Ecology were pretty much assumed, and critiques were just starting to solidify around summit hopping (particularly with some crazy shit that had happened in LA).
      So while more people were drifting towards anti-infrastructure campaigns rather than summit hopping, they were also just getting over the peak of reclaim the streets actions, critical mass bike rides, and so on. Then around 2005-6, the Green Scare, the Miami summit, and the NYC national convention all came together, and ppl realized some stuff had to change—that’s also when the migrant deaths were going crazy and MTR was just starting out, and EF!ers started doing stuff like the No Borders Camp, extended Mountain Justice actions, and anti-infrastructure/industry stuff.
      It’s interesting, because more recently, after Humboldt EF! won the years-long treesit against Blue Diamond, and Cascadia Forest Defenders won the campaign against clearcutting the Elliot, there is a bit of a lull here on the west coast. Still, anti-fracking campaigns in the east coast are having some important victories with Marcellus EF!, and Everglades EF! has beaten SCRIPPS out of some crucial forest (although that fight is far from done). Mountain Justice has been kicking some ass in Appalachia, getting some crucial land protected from MTR in historic cases, and the BFC is still doing what it does (not to mention Rising Tide and stuff). Not to mention yall in kakalak! So basically, I don’t think there’s a lot of self-assassination happening in EF! (or, if there is, so the fuck what, let’s let it happen and then pour sand in a crank case!). It’s still a radical movement, and internalizing antioppression is still important in that process.
      As I showed in the interview, the problem I have with Chris’s book is that it didn’t even try to explore stuff from a bio-centric analysis. The answers he gave in the interview seemed a bit cagey, too—he just expressed that he left bio-centrism when he found others who didn’t care about social justice, but that seems like an excuse to me. At the same time, I think it’s just as much of an excuse to say that ppl go to Catalyst Project workshops and cop out w/o any agency on their part. It seems like people make those choices and implement them in whatever honest/dishonest ways. It all comes around, so consequences become important. There’s the populist organizing road, and then there’s the individualist/collectivist/mutualist road, and sometimes they can make beautiful things happen (as with the I-69 campaign, which was heavily focused on antioppression), but I think that the negation (or perhaps lazy acceptance) of both of them is more important.

      2) I know exactly what you mean about the “Organizing Cools the Planet” zine. I read it and was like, “why should activists try to seek out communities to lead, while acting like they are really just following those communities?” I emailed both organizers and asked if I could interview them, and they didn’t get back to me. In the end, I refused to review the book, because it seemed like there were good parts, but no overall thread that I could tease out of the text. The only other book that I can recall actively refusing to review after having read it, by the way, is a book called “Possibilism” by some neoconservative fool. That said, I’m a pretty easy reviewer, and most books coming from movement perspective (particularly anarchist) will likely get the thumbs up from me. If you want to get down on reviewing some books, holla at me, and we’ll work something out with some publishers.

      3) In the long run, it’s important to reach out to underprivileged communities and build relationships, but it’s stupid to further your own repression in trying to build liberation for others, because they’re just going to get frustrated and pissed at you for being powerless and silly. That’s why I’m against the “savior” mentality of short-run activism, although I had to learn that lesson the hard way (as in, 2 years means short-run, 20 years means you mean it). Generally, though, this leads to an over-all need for anarchist organizers to stay put, and be consistent. This means keeping traveling to under six months out of the year, and actually living in a place as your home so that people start to know you over the long term. Here is where Chris does touch the right nerves for me, whereas a lot of the more mendicant traveller kids are great and sweet and dear to my heart, but I want to hand them this book and suggest that they really contemplate when they want to settle down and get organized.
      It’s like reading some of Francis Fox Piven’s stuff, where you’re just like, “damn it’s time to help less fortunate people!” It’s not so much white guilt as “power to the people!”
      That’s just my sense, anyway…

    • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      sorry for the reaaaaally long response, btw…

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