Post-Trump North American left trends

126 posts / 0 new
Last post
Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Jul 25 2018 14:50

IIRC, Black Rose are establishing new locals in Canada now.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Offline
Joined: 5-07-09
Jul 25 2018 23:06
Khawaga wrote:
IIRC, Black Rose are establishing new locals in Canada now.

I'm in BRRN. Pretty sure this is not happening. If so first I've heard of it and I stay pretty up to date.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Jul 26 2018 01:39

Fair enough, I heard from a few old comrades they were trying to start a local chapter of BR, but I guess that didn't work out then.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 26 2018 05:35
Juan Conatz wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
Can someone explain the difference between First of May Anarchist Alliance and Black Rose?

Simply put, Black Rose largely comes from the generation of pro-organizational anarchists inspired by platformism and especifismo, while First of May comes from the generation of anarchists inspired by ARA and Love and Rage.

OK but didn't some Love and Rage people go on to form NEFAC which then turned into Common Struggle which then merged into Black Rose? Is First of May the people who didn't follow that trajectory then? But I found https://m1aa.org/?page_id=57 which explains it, they don't like Marx, they think Platformists are too similar to trots, they think anarcho-syndicalism is class reductionist etc.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
Jul 26 2018 05:53

Also, geographically I get the impression May 1st are all in the Midwest and BR/RN are more coastal. I don't think either group are that easy to pigeonhole politically - a few years back M1 came out with some stuff about supporting Ukraine's right to self-determination which seemed kind of yikes to me: http://m1aa.org/?p=997 but I dunno how reflective that is of their approach as a whole.
Other new kids on the block since then, as well as the DSA-LSC, include the Cutting Class network: https://cuttingclass.noblogs.org/about/ and RAM, who seem kind of like an attempt to mix anarchism, apoism/Rojavaism and stuff coming out of the black radical tradition: https://www.revolutionaryabolition.org/about/

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Jul 26 2018 12:11
Mike Harman wrote:
OK but didn't some Love and Rage people go on to form NEFAC which then turned into Common Struggle which then merged into Black Rose?

I'm not absolutely sure, but I don't think there were any former Love & Rage people involved in the founding of NEFAC. Regardless of whether there were, NEFAC/Common Struggle/Black Rose are all very reflective of pro-organizational American anarchism post-Seattle '99.

Quote:
Is First of May the people who didn't follow that trajectory then? But I found https://m1aa.org/?page_id=57 which explains it, they don't like Marx, they think Platformists are too similar to trots, they think anarcho-syndicalism is class reductionist etc.

They have idiosyncratic politics that are reflective of their roots in 1990s American anarchism. First of May partially comes out of Solidarity & Defense, which partially came out of the Michigan-Minnesota Affinity Group, which were all former Love & Rage/ARA people (think some of them were in FRAC too).

R Totale wrote:
the Cutting Class network: https://cuttingclass.noblogs.org/about/ and RAM, who seem kind of like an attempt to mix anarchism, apoism/Rojavaism and stuff coming out of the black radical tradition: https://www.revolutionaryabolition.org/about/

Never heard of them. TBH, if it isn't posted here I'm not aware of any developments in American anarchism...

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
Jul 26 2018 12:44
Juan Conatz wrote:

Never heard of them. TBH, if it isn't posted here I'm not aware of any developments in American anarchism...

Fair enough. Fwiw, I think a lot of the most interesting stuff anarchists do doesn't necessarily have red/black flags and circle-As attached - so, "what became of the solidarity network trend?" could be one question worth discussing, and similarly I'd say that up in Canada, Parkdale Organize and the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network seem like really worthwhile class-struggle initiatives that clearly have some substantial anarchist influence.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Jul 26 2018 13:40
Juan Conatz wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
OK but didn't some Love and Rage people go on to form NEFAC which then turned into Common Struggle which then merged into Black Rose?

I'm not absolutely sure, but I don't think there were any former Love & Rage people involved in the founding of NEFAC. Regardless of whether there were, NEFAC/Common Struggle/Black Rose are all very reflective of pro-organizational American anarchism post-Seattle '99.

Pretty sure Wayne Price was a founding member of NEFAC, but was definitely involved from very early on if not, and he had been in the RSL that went into Love and Rage.

Speaking of people who write and organize very publicly under their names and where it's never been an issue to mention them by name on this site (including to criticize their political activity or the things they write)...

R. Spourgitis
Offline
Joined: 27-03-12
Jul 26 2018 16:13

M1 and WSA were both involved in what ended up becoming Black Rose, coming out of the Class Struggle Anarchist Conferences of the late '00s-early '10s. M1 withdrew earlier owing to some political divergences and the sense that these were not being addressed (not incorrectly, as came later), WSA withdrew just shortly before the finalizing conference over what seems in reflection a mixture of personality conflicts and legitimate political differences over founding documents' wording and principles. Having been a part of that and spent a tremendous amount of time in the first two years on the BR organization, I think these were early warning signs of a very loose paper unity. When my local left it was entirely owing to a combination of internal toxic environment and a complete lack of willingness, if not outright hostility, to address different political tendencies, holding members accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, or even to generally foster critical discussion on strategy and politics -- let alone unified actions or messaging. I have yet to see that the organization has gone beyond this, while I'm not in anymore, it really doesn't seem too different than it was, more a loose federation of locals with the semblance of unity on paper.

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Jul 26 2018 21:35
OliverTwister wrote:
Juan Conatz wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
OK but didn't some Love and Rage people go on to form NEFAC which then turned into Common Struggle which then merged into Black Rose?

I'm not absolutely sure, but I don't think there were any former Love & Rage people involved in the founding of NEFAC. Regardless of whether there were, NEFAC/Common Struggle/Black Rose are all very reflective of pro-organizational American anarchism post-Seattle '99.

Pretty sure Wayne Price was a founding member of NEFAC, but was definitely involved from very early on if not, and he had been in the RSL that went into Love and Rage.

Speaking of people who write and organize very publicly under their names and where it's never been an issue to mention them by name on this site (including to criticize their political activity or the things they write)...

Without getting into the name game, my understanding of the RSL-L&R-NEFAC-M1-BR trajectory is something like this.

Former RSLers are significant part of L&R. Former RSL/L&R folks who remained active in NYC
went into NEFAC, with one going into BR.. RSL/L&R Detroit into Solidarity & Def/M1, with some former NY/other exRSLers eventually into and out of M1, forming the on-line mag "The Utopian".

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Jul 26 2018 21:41
Quote:
Juan Conatz

WSA is/was at its lowest point membership-wise. Is that still true?

Actually WSA stands at 60 heavily paper members. Thus far we have not played any meaningful organizational role in the "resistance". Though individual members are engaged on various levels.WSA has some newer more active members who are seeking to rebuild WSA. Been an up and down road since we first formed in 1984.

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Jul 26 2018 22:06
Quote:
WSA withdrew just shortly before the finalizing conference over what seems in reflection a mixture of personality conflicts and legitimate political differences over founding documents' wording and principles.

This, in the main, is accurate.

Prolly on the personality part, this got exacerbated towards the end of the process. But not something I didn't see coming. If folks just left the regroupment thing alone, then there may have been some more organic unity reached. Just a shame that, in the end, some relations have taken a hit.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Jul 27 2018 00:34

Ok, well my main point to Mike was that the simplest way to describe the difference between Black Rose and M1 is that the former is more informed by the developments of pro-organizational anarchism in the 2000s while the latter is more informed by those developments in the 1990s. If there's a better way to describe the differences without getting into lengthy quotes, readings etc, have at it.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Offline
Joined: 5-07-09
Jul 30 2018 13:12

And WSA the 80s. wink

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Jul 30 2018 15:53
klas batalo wrote:
And WSA the 80s. ;)

Yup, since 1984, with roots back into the 1970s

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Aug 7 2018 13:10

Looks like Black Rose just had its 5th annual conference recently.

It's hard to tell how many locals they have or how active they are since the website seems pretty out of date, at least when it comes to posting anything past early 2017 from the locals.

They also just put out this pamphlet: http://blackrosefed.org/will-be-free-libertarian-socialism/

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Aug 7 2018 15:34

Not exactly an anarchist organisation as such, but it seems from a distance like anarchism is a pretty significant current within the pretty explosive (it seems) growth in "antifa" stuff in the US. Also it seems like It's Going Down, the anarchist media outlet, has done very well (with a strong anti-fascist, and general action-ist focus).

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Offline
Joined: 5-07-09
Aug 7 2018 21:29

For BRRN the locals on the site are accurate for now. Membership has doubled and more gender / racially diverse vs 5 years ago. I say this having just been at the conference and quite surprised by the change in composition, though there is still a lot of work to do. Most work is being done in the labor and prison sectors, and we are focusing on fostering more development in education and the community.

Greetings to the Argentinian Feminist Movement from Black Rose/Rosa Negra

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Aug 8 2018 12:16
Steven. wrote:
Not exactly an anarchist organisation as such, but it seems from a distance like anarchism is a pretty significant current within the pretty explosive (it seems) growth in "antifa" stuff in the US. Also it seems like It's Going Down, the anarchist media outlet, has done very well (with a strong anti-fascist, and general action-ist focus).

Yep. Not sure if you've followed the thread much, but R. Spourgitis mentions this and there is also significant discussion about the disputes in the IWW over antifascism, which arguably has some strong lessons/connections to American anarchism.

If I remember correctly, It's Going Down was initially an effort of crudo and people formerly involved in Modesto Anarcho Crew. I assume it has grown beyond that though. I haven't followed them closely due to the 'action-ist' perspective, which, at age 35, doesn't really interest me anymore unsurprisingly.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Aug 8 2018 12:47

It's Going Down is a good source of news for IWW-related stuff, often much better than IWW.org. The podcast has interviewed members of the Burgerville Workers Union, IWOC, some of us involved around the West Virginia teacher's strike. The IWOC interview also talked about the ICL founding congress in Parma, and they've had folks on from the CNT twice to talk about the Catalan General Strike and then the Feminist General Strike.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
Aug 8 2018 12:58

Yeah, it feels like an interesting shift away from the days of very strong polarization between insurrecto/anti-organisational folks and pro-organisational/"class struggle" people.
Also, took me a while to get my head around this, but there really isn't a US equivalent to UAF/Stand Up to Racism, is there?
Also, this may be just me, but was anyone else kinda disappointed that Olivia Laing's new novel is not actually a deep dive into the world of 2000s California insurrectionism, despite the name?

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Aug 9 2018 14:12

The Modesto Crew wrote some cool stuff BITD. IGD would be quite good if it wasn't for the pro-Rojava nonsense.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Offline
Joined: 5-07-09
Aug 13 2018 16:38

Black Rose / Rosa Negra 2018 Convention

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
Aug 13 2018 20:56

At the risk of sounding very predictable, I think the upcoming prison strike will be an interesting marker of "post-Trump left trends" in that in many ways it's a repeat of events that happened exactly two years ago, so it'll be a chance to measure how the past two years have affected the strength of a pole that I guess we could broadly define as being at least hostile to current state institutions, if not necessarily the state as such, and focused primarily on mass direct actions/the refusal of work more than on lobbying and electoralism - as far as I can see, this seems to be mainly people from the black liberation/black radical tradition, anarcho/wobbly folks, and then some currents within DSA, but maybe it looks different from other perspectives, I dunno.

Salvoechea
Offline
Joined: 17-05-04
Aug 24 2018 22:42

The Anarchism of Blackness
https://roarmag.org/magazine/black-liberation-anti-fascism/

Just curious. Any idea of which is the aprox rate of afroamerican people or POC in the wide anarchist movt in the USA?

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
Aug 29 2018 18:36

A fairly positive look at contemporary NA left trends here: http://libcom.org/blog/angryworkers-go-stateside-visit-us-29082018

EdmontonWobbly's picture
EdmontonWobbly
Offline
Joined: 25-03-06
Aug 30 2018 19:55

"We decided to try and recruit every person who was mad about Trump and just open the flood gates. Now all of the problems of the activist scene are the problems of the iww. Where we were once an island of a bit of sanity we have now been overrun with people, lots of whom are actually opposed to workplace organizing."

Just for the record this was me again and I stand by this comment. Also acknowledge fully that as of last year I was definitely defending a minority position inside the IWW. I also think that position is gaining ground and closing the gap every month as time goes on. *shrugs* You don't win them all I guess.

Also "the new reality" of mass leftist electoral politics in the USA isn't very new anywhere else. So you may all think this is a big deal right now but some of us have been building our politics with adjacent political parties that claim some sort of socialist politics for quite a while. Most of the world has in fact. Had we adapted to this new reality the way some people wanted us to the way we did in the USA it would mean our traditions wouldn't exist.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Aug 30 2018 23:58
Edmonton Wobbly wrote:
Also "the new reality" of mass leftist electoral politics in the USA isn't very new anywhere else.

Isn't the issue here though that a lot of the people joining DSA (whether it's 1,000 or 10,000 of the new joiners) aren't electoralist but simply joining it because it's the main place to find 'left' people in their area? Then some of the new joiners end up doing strike support or opposing fascist demos in their town, and some of them end up canvassing for 'left' Democrats - but this depends on local groups or even divisions within local groups. The DSA as an organisation funnels people towards electoralism, but this doesn't mean that's the reason people join it. It's quite possible there'll be a massive attrition of membership or an organised split in the next months or years as some of these contradictions play out. There's also not a strict dichotomy between workplace organising and electoralism - Burgerville IWW members posing with Bernie Sanders vs. tenant organisers who don't, for one example.

It really seems a big difference to the UK where a load of anarchists, some of whom had been around for decades, just up and joined the Labour Party as soon as Corbyn got elected leader, and while many people argued Momentum branches would end up getting involved in grassroots organising efforts, that just has not happened.

EdmontonWobbly's picture
EdmontonWobbly
Offline
Joined: 25-03-06
Aug 31 2018 03:14

Of course there is no strict dichotomy necessarily between electoralism and workplace organising. Most unions support "left" candidates. For decades in Canada the Communist Party couldn't muster the numbers to hold more than one seat in Parliament but had a strong presence, sometimes even a majority in some cities in city hall. Also yes, lots of Anarchists jump on any electoral prospects because frankly a reprieve from the crushing austerity that is being rolled out across the board is really appealing.

It also isn't unusual to have people involved in other stuff than just electoralism in a left election project. That makes them more effective and bringing everyone in line the closer they get to power, not less effective. This dynamic isn't at all special or unique and it is only a huge game changer because the USA never sees this stuff.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Aug 31 2018 04:07
EdmontonWobbly wrote:
Of course there is no strict dichotomy necessarily between electoralism and workplace organising. Most unions support "left" candidates. For decades in Canada the Communist Party couldn't muster the numbers to hold more than one seat in Parliament but had a strong presence, sometimes even a majority in some cities in city hall. Also yes, lots of Anarchists jump on any electoral prospects because frankly a reprieve from the crushing austerity that is being rolled out across the board is really appealing.

But then there is also activity outside of strict workplace organising which doesn't lead to electoralism. Like organising against landlords or some of the GDC stuff.

EdmontonWobbly wrote:
It also isn't unusual to have people involved in other stuff than just electoralism in a left election project. That makes them more effective and bringing everyone in line the closer they get to power, not less effective. This dynamic isn't at all special or unique and it is only a huge game changer because the USA never sees this stuff.

This is very true, but some of the people doing this within the DSA are anti-electoralist at least subjectively.

We can disagree with them joining the DSA, and think that the other activity they're doing objectively allows the DSA electoralists to capitalise on it, even endorsing random liberals like Ocasio-Cortez or Cynthia Nixon (ffs), but I can still recognise that people have joined it who oppose all that bullshit. And it seems odd from there to go 'well actually DSA is the right place for all those people and I'm glad they went there' (apologies if this isn't your stance, but not sure what it is if not), when there's a good chance it's going to horribly burn people out who are generally decent.