An issue of the London-based class struggle anarchist magazine Black Flag, from the 2000s.
Welcome to issue 224 of Black Flag. You will find the usual mix of articles, interviews and reviews. Whether it is on the Zapatista's or the Miner's strike, we hope you will find something of interest. We also have interviews with anarchists from Argentina, Ireland and South Africa. May Day saw our Irish comrades at the end of a particularly mad anti-anarchist media onslaught. We found out what they had been up to, We have also included a lengthy interview with comrades from South Africa, people who don't get much coverage in the Western anarchist press. We also have a longer than usual reviews section, the bulk of which is a review and critique of the Scottish Socialist Party's libertarian-sounding social democratic ideas.
Now the bad news. This is (possibly?/probably?) the last one for a while. This is not due to lack of people interested in buying it. Far from it. The magazine is still as popular as it used to be. The sad fact is that unless more people get involved this issue of Black Flag will be the last. This should come as no surprise. The last few issues have asked people to get involved, with no avail. We had hoped that seeing these appeals for help and the fact that our plans to go back to quarterly have not materialised would have made some people think about helping out but no volunteers have come forward.
Obviously, we don't want to do this as we all think that Black Flag is a good resource for the movement. However, if we are simply producing another commodity which is passively consumed by others then it seems pointless. Particularly as the members of the collective have pressing personal commitments which make it difficult to give the magazine the time it deserves, especially if we want it to be more than annual as it is now.
So here is the situation. Unless you get involved then it simply will not happen. An anarchist magazine can survive only if the wider movement takes an active interest in it. The movement in the UK is not as healthy as in sonic countries, but surely it is big and active enough to support a magazine like Black Flag? Now that Freedom has become an anarchist paper again, it would snake sense to complement it with a quarterly magazine which contains longer, more in depth, articles and analysis that Freedom cannot handle.
So it makes sense to keep Black Flag going. It can potentially be a resource which can be used by anarchists to discuss ideas and issues in more depth and it has a reputation for quality that many other anarchists journals envy. That a quarterly magazine which complements a fortnightly newspaper would be a massive boost to the British anarchist movement goes without saying. It would show a serious movement aiming to change the world rather than just moaning about it in the pub.
If this appeals, what can you do to help? We are looking for people who can commit to handling distribution, finances, editing, replying to mail, and/or writing. So as well as producing copy we need people to help with the administrative side of the magazine. As far as writing goes, we don't need essays or long articles (although these are always welcome, they can be daunting for new writers). We need reports on demos, actions and events as well as reviews of books, cds, duds and so on. Currently, the editorial meetings are geographically based in and around London. However, if you have email you can get involved. If you want to help, we will find a way to include you.
Will Black Flag continue? Ultimately, it is up to you.
- A Year Of Our Lives: 20 years since the great coal strike of 1984/5 - Dave Douglass
- Zapatistas Put Autonomy Into Practice
- An Interview with a Piquetera
- Mayday In Dublin
- Spirit Of Rebellion (upturn in workplace struggles)
- Sucking The Golden Egg - a platformist response to "post-anarchism" - Michael Schmidt
- Anarchy In Southern Africa: interview with Zabalaza Action Group.
- Anarchism and Community Politics (critique of Independent Working Class Association)
- Review: What Is Anarchism by Alexander Berkman
- Review: Mayday And Anarchism by Anna Key
- Review: Syndicalism and the Co-operative Commonwealth by Emile Patoud and Emile Pouget
- Review: Imagine - A Socialist Vision For The 21st Century by Tommy Sheridan and Alan McCoombes
- Review: Emma Goldman's "My Disillusionment With Russia" and Peter Kropotkin's "Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings"