Bob McGlynn has died

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syndicalist
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Aug 26 2016 15:24
Bob McGlynn has died

It is with sad and heavy heart that I report on the untimely death of Nu Yawk (New York) anarchist and all around trouble maker Bob McGlynn. Apparently he died of a heart attack. He was about 61 and suffering from health issues for some time.

Many of you might recall Bob McG from "Neither East-Nor West" and "Trust Group" days. More likely recall "On Golol Boulevard" ( http://www.spunk.org/texts/pubs/ajoda/37/sp000793.txt ) (http://news.infoshop.org/features/neither-east-nor-west ) I believe his one lib com posting can be found: https://libcom.org/news/statement-rojava-17082015

I hope to write something more extensive later. For now, let me just share these words I posted on FB:

"Bob and our NY comrades go back to the late 1970s...from bike messengers, to east-west stuff, the Awareness League, so many other campaigns and good times. A hard drinker and wild at that in his prime, but you would not have found a more dedicated soul...both to the movement and those he had a special relationship with.

Dear friend, comrade, I never would've thought it would come to such a short end. You fought your demons, your demons fought you. You fought the good fight for freedom, be it in the capitalist world or the so-called "communist". You were such a nutter at times, but no one could every question your sincerity, your heart and funny ass soul. Time may not have always been good, but brother, you were "there" in so many ways. Big hug comrade, many tears to shed, many good memories to recall and write about, but the fight will go on, just as you would wish.

Those of us who knew you well will miss you in ways that go beyond words. Until we are on the same side of the barricade again.... Bob McGlynn...PRESENTE!"

syndicalist
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Aug 26 2016 15:52

Although a remix of previously written stuff, I believe this was the last version, by Bob, of the history of "Neither East Nor West" / "On Golog Boulevard" .... http://www.fifthestate.org/archive/391-springsummer-2014/neither-east-we...

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Steven.
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Aug 26 2016 16:36

Sorry to hear this, my condolences to you and others who knew him

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syndicalistcat
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Aug 26 2016 17:47

Well that's sad to hear. Some of his health problems were job related, from his days as a bike messenger, I remember him saying. I think I may have met him briefly once with local people I was visiting.

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Hieronymous
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Aug 26 2016 18:00

I remember reading Neither East Nor West decades ago. Sad news.

R.I.P. Bob.

svartfrosk
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Aug 26 2016 20:09

I am very sorry to hear this - I met Bob at the Neither East nor West meeting in Prague in 1994 or 95 (I also met Felix Frost there for the first time). He was a larger than life guy who was very knowledgeable. We kept in touch for a bit after but it drifted away. I still have photos somewhere of him from that conference (and the associated socialising).

I came away from that meeting with a lot, both personally and politically - but I think nearly all of it happened outside of the main meetings. Isn't it always the way?

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Sike
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Aug 26 2016 20:17

Very sorry to hear this and my condolences to syndicalist and all who knew him.

BTW, I really enjoyed Bob's article Neither East Nor West, very inspiring stuff. A different era for sure, but given the resurgent militarism and reaction in Putin's Russia, as well the never abated militarism and reaction of the NATO/U.S. alliance, one perhaps can't help but think that similar efforts are necessary today. Perhaps Bob's writings could help to inspire to action new generations of anti-militarist's on both sides of the pond.

syndicalist
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Aug 26 2016 22:13
Sike wrote:
Very sorry to hear this and my condolences to syndicalist and all who knew him.

BTW, I really enjoyed Bob's article Neither East Nor West, very inspiring stuff. A different era for sure, but given the resurgent militarism and reaction in Putin's Russia, as well the never abated militarism and reaction of the NATO/U.S. alliance, one perhaps can't help but think that similar efforts are necessary today. Perhaps Bob's writings could help to inspire to action new generations of anti-militarist's on both sides of the pond.

For sure it was a different era. Most comrades sorta look at us with glazed eyes when we talk about it. And about the rethorc some use today that those of an older generation would not touch without a hyphenated version.

syndicalist
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Aug 27 2016 02:57

My fav Bob story....

Chicago 1986, 100th Haymarket Anniversary. Marching they Pilsen, action faction gets rowdy. McGlynn never wanting not to be center stage was doing or whatever something. Cops grab him and another couple of folks. I was nearby and inserted my short ass self into the mix. The comrades were in the back if the paddy wagon. The crowd chanting. The cops willing to drive off with the comrades but really not looking for a fight. I dunno, maybe symbolic busts. So I'm looking at Bob, he's looking at me. I ask the brass and officers around the back of the paddy wagon whats it gonna take to get the comrades released right then and there. They asked me if I was a lawyer or the leader. Said no, said I had no authority or power or money. Just a working stiff looking to free the three or glue in the wagon. The cop with the gold braids said if I can get folks to agree to match through Pilsen on the sidewalk and not the no sanctioned street they would let them go. So here I am an out of towner no one knows standing before the several hundred marchers. I laid it out that we could do the sidewalk march and the folks would be key go. Or they can street march and send the comrades to the pokey. I don't recall much after thst. Basically some booing and whatever, but laid the scenario out again. Folks started to drift towards the sidewalk and that was basically it. Bob look at me like how the duck did I do that as he was being let free. All these years later I can say that was the best negotiating session I ever was in. And Bob and my friendship was quietly sealed forever.

fnbrilll
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Aug 27 2016 03:41

yep, I witnessed that @syndicalist

syndicalist
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Aug 27 2016 03:52
fnbrilll wrote:
yep, I witnessed that @syndicalist

Cool and thanks for remembering.

The one thing which is a blur was the reaction if the audience as I was trying to lay it out
I remember some booing. I sorta recall the RCP calling me a sell out, but not much more

fnbrilll
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Aug 27 2016 04:06

You ain't done nothing if you haven't been called a sell out by the RCP?

syndicalist
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Aug 27 2016 14:49

I'll try and scan a few "Bob things" today
Maybe just the Trust Group thing at first

syndicalist
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Aug 30 2016 22:28

Some of you influenced by the former "Love & Rage" organization might find this of interest, as it is taken form a L&R electronic bulletin. I believe Bob may have been a member of some form, surely he hung around and worked with NYC members. The newspaper "L&R" was also a regular source of publication for the Neither East Nor West publication "On Gogol Boulevard". This scribe, Mike Harris, was a member of NENW.

Quote:
TO THE NETWORK FROM OGB

So were we only a novelty? And now the excitement with us is over?

--Agnes Hochberg, Hungarian anarcho-feminist

We protest the authoritarian and chauvinist (to the easterners)
manner in which the On Gogol Boulevard (O.G.B.) page (produced by
Neither East Nor West-NYC (N.E.N.W-N.Y.C.) in conjunction with
easterners) was canceled in Love and Rage at Love and Rage's
Atlanta Nov 1992 conference: with no prior consultation with
N.E.N.W-N.Y.C., nor with any easterners, nor with the effective
representation necessary of N.E.N.W.-N.Y.C. in Atlanta
(N.E.N.W.-N.Y.C.'s O.G.B. coordinator was too ill to attend).
(Readers, please understand, WE DID NOT QUIT, as some abroad are
interpreting it!)

N.E.N.W.-N.Y.C. is a popular and well known group of longevity and
substance. Among our mandates are to print the activist oriented
text of alternative radicals in Communist/ex-Communist countries.
The east is still very much the east and no less relevant. Now
suddenly the rug has been pulled out from under us disrupting our
unique work. (And the technical and political problems that arose
with our text in the first Love and Rage without OGB proper (Vol.
4 No. 1) underscores our need for autonomy. See end of article to
get our take on it.)

The opposition to this is substantial and visceral. Many other
publications have come forward to ongoingly/temporarily fill in the
gap (Profane Existence, Anarchy, Fifth Estate, the Anarchist Youth
Federation Bulletin). But we want our proper place back in Love and
Rage (whom we helped found and who have the activist bent and
international distribution relevant to our work).

We're seeking support for our demand of restoration of our
autonomous section, and will ask that this be put on the agenda of
this summer's Love and Rage Network gathering.

In the meantime we're collecting signatures of individuals/groups
supporting us (please send them directly to NENW-NYC). And we need
a subsidy to mail the other publications carrying our news to the
east/third world, none of whom have the type of foreign circulation
that Love and Rage has. Checks can be made to On Gogol Boulevard,
or tax-deductible contributions can be made to: the Aspect
Foundation (and again mailed to us).

For $1 and an S.A.S.E. we've a much longer and detailed version of
this letter (votes in the Production Group were going against it,
so we pulled it), plus a lengthy criticism of the Atlanta decision
by an individual N.E.N.W.-N.Y.C. member.

We also have available petitions supporting our case in English and
Russian.

The members of Neither East Nor West-N.Y.C.:

Matt Lore, Mary Shelly, Ivo Scoric, Eldon Garcia, Neil Farber,
Agnes Hochberg, Tom Mauer, Bob McGlynn, Alexandre Rubchenko, Bill
Weinberg, Mike Harris, Polina Mograchyova, Malgorzata Tarasiewicz,
Adam Jagusiak

(In our present membership are reps from Croatia, Russia, Hungary
and Poland who've moved here, are here on extended stays, or visit
often)

Neither East Nor West, 528 5th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tel (718) 499-7720
http://mirror.bagelwood.com/textfiles/magazines/LNR/lnr493.pt4

syndicalist
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Aug 30 2016 22:40

A sample of some of the information published in "On Gogol Boulevard". Bob was persistent in getting OGB in every place possible. Known as been a real pain, the news was valuable and folks usually gave in to Bo's persistence. This come from a longer section in the anarchist publication "Profane Existance"

Quote:
Following is an article from a four page paper called Over the Walls of Nationalism and War. It was produced and distributed throughout ex-Yugoslavia by anarchists from Serbia and Croatia.

Yugoslavia was bound to disintegrate; as any other "real-socialist" country, she was a dictatorship, a bureaucratic authoritarian regime that canceled freedoms. The so-called freedom that was intrinsic to "our" country compared to the other Eastern European countries was nothing but an illusion; again, whoever raised a voice against it, could expect a police baton.

Our abundantly praised self-management was yet another illusion; did working people have an opportunity freely to associate, to reproduce and to exchange their products benefiting everyone? No, they did not.

On the other hand we should not have illusions now about the Western capitalist chimera, which is no better; the "free" market is just another apparition ruled by the interests of the rich and powerful. It's foundations are savage competition and exploitation of human by human and of nature by human. It brings wealth and privileges to a minority, and repression, poverty and famine to the majority.

Due to the collapse of Yugoslavia a lot of state bureaucrats were left without their dole. Those who always wanted power masterminded the way to realize their ugly goals: new nationalist countries were born out of the will for power among the old and the new power-hungry nomenclature (administrative officials under Communism). The clash of their overlaying appetites caused the war. They are the ones who painted the picture of an enemy aggressor (Albanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian, Muslim, ...) using the mass-media. Just the ideological facade changed; now it was nationalism, no more socialism. The enormous need for being in power at any cost behind the facade did not change at all.

The same responsibility bear international business and political structures too. They actually profit from continuation of this war; multinational corporations would get more things to rebuild, the U.N. will confirm its role as a world policeman of the New World Order, manufacturers and dealers of arms will make more profits quietly and "peacefully" supplying warring ethnocracies, various state run humanitarian organizations hiding in the guise of humanitarian aid take their government's side in the conflict. All of them are just speculators that build their financial, political, denominational and military power on violence and exploitation.

Therefore, we should remove the rag they put over our eyes: our enemy is not a Serb, a Croat or a Muslim. The aggressors and occupiers are states, all states, and masters, political leaders, the military and clerics. The victims are all exploited, hard working people, unemployed, retired, students - regardless of what nationality they belong to. Real solidarity shows through direct action against the causes of war. Anything else is manipulation, the inclination to war profiteering and an attempt to bring about an "armed peace" which exposes itself best in the present nationalist madness.

Up to date the powerful of all colors used us for their dirty games, giving to us war, death, violence, unemployment, destitution and despair in exchange for that. Enough! Rebel!

WE WANT TO ABOLISH ALL ARMIES, TO OPPOSE ALL WHO ARE IN POWER, TO DISABLE THOSE WHO USE WAR TO GAIN AND MAINTAIN THEIR POWER.

We wish to regain control over our lives to create a society without a state, without borders, without exploitation, a society based on free association between free individuals so each one of us may fulfill his/her needs and not lose empathy for the needs of others.

LET US NOT BE AT REST WITH THOSE WHO WISH WAR!

The purpose of this announcement:

This little newsletter, that gathers free-spirited people in Croatia and Serbia, signifies the beginning of co-operation between geographically distant friends, which are at the same time close in their thoughts, feelings and ideas. From this moment on starts our common cause to disseminate information in struggle for a classless and authority-less society.

Each article published here expresses individual opinion. All articles are published in the language in which they were written, and we are sure that they should be easily read by a lot of people living in the territories of former Yugoslavia.

Addresses:

ZAP (Zagreb Anarchist Organization) c/o ARK, Tkalciceva 38, 41000 Zagreb, Croatia

CRNI GAVRAN (Black Raven) c/o Dragon Marcovic, Filipa Visnjica 10, 11420 Smed Palanka, Serbia-Yugoslavia

TORPEDO c/o Milan Djuric, M. Velikog 12/10, 11300 Smederevo, Serbia-Yugoslavia

TRANSLATED AND DISTRIBUTED IN ENGLISH BY NEITHER EAST NOR WEST, 528 5TH ST., BROOKLYN, NY 11215, U.S., TEL:718-499-7720, 212-979-8353

http://www.menvafan.net/bocker/Pe28/PE28OGB.html

Bob would sign off in many ways. Sometimes pretty straight forward and clam. Other times, as he was known to be, a bit free flow and wildest.... a man who believed in a free tongue as well as freedom........

Quote:
YOU CAN HELP THIS MAN SPREAD ANARCHY, PUNK & CHAOS WORLD-WIDE!

'Madman' Ivo Scoric in one of his usual poses. Ivo ditched Croatia years ago to stay out of the army. He now lives in NYC and works with Neither East Nor West... a one person army promoting the alternative ex-Yugoslav opposition.

On Gogol Boulevard (OGB) is the irregular bulletin of New York City Neither East Nor West, networking East and West alternative oppositions and printing news and documents unavailable in the corporate and "left" media, using mostly material from Communist/ex-Communist countries. We singularly fill a void and we use this needed Eastern specialty as a doorway to incorporating concerns of "Third World" and "Fourth World" (land-based Indigenous peoples) struggles, with a particular focus on supporting activists with antiauthoritarian and anti-Stalinist perspectives.

This OGB New Service section in Profane Existence and other papers serve the same function. We encourage all those involved in "Neither East Nor West"-type activity to regularly contribute to this section. Please address letters, reports, documents, debates, graphics, photos, etc. directly to OGB. This is not a section for anarchists only. We are interested in all things promoting freedom, workers; rights, womens', minority and gay rights, environmental, self-determination and antimilitarist issues-any struggle pursuing paths outside the capitalist and state bureaucratic models.

Our title refers to Moscow's Gogol Boulevard - a favorite hangout for the counterculture youth dissidents, anti-war, and human rights activists. On May 3, 1987 this milieu braved poking a hole in the Soviet dictatorship by organizing a small art exhibit / demonstration on Gogol Boulevard. It was met with a violent riot by plainclothes agents, police, and special internal forces soldiers. On May 4, blood was spilled again with Gogol Boulevard being raided and swept with mass arrests. On May 10 Gogol Boulevard witnessed one of the Glasnost era's first ever youth demonstrations that openly called for human rights. Though also repressed, it was a formative event, and we take our name from that week. See you on Gogol Boulevard!

syndicalist
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Aug 30 2016 22:49

Links to some other materials either written by Bob or circulated by Neither East Nor West:
http://flag.blackened.net/agony/nenw.html

Battlescarred
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Aug 31 2016 11:31

I always read the On Gogol Boulevard stuff with great interest.Very sorry to hear of comrade McGlynn's passing.

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Steven.
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Aug 31 2016 21:44
syndicalist wrote:
Links to some other materials either written by Bob or circulated by Neither East Nor West:
http://flag.blackened.net/agony/nenw.html

would be good to get all of those texts up here in our library or history sections!

syndicalist
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Aug 31 2016 22:30

"Anarchist rally in Chattanooga"
By Bob McGlynn

http://www.spunk.org/texts/pubs/ajoda/39/sp000749.txt

syndicalist
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Aug 31 2016 22:35

Another "more Bob" version of the history of Neither East Nor West.

NEITHER EAST NOR WEST NYC
a De Facto Anarchist Black Cross History, 1980-1994

https://anarchisthistory.noblogs.org/files/2015/01/nenw-history-SCREEN.p...

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2016 01:32

Old friend and comrade Neil Farber writes:

Quote:
I met Bob back around 1980 around the anti-nuclear power movement, then got to working with him quite a bit on support for the dissident and anti-war movement in Eastern Europe, not just letting folks in the West that there were real ant-authoritarian forces on the 'other side' but doing what we could to support them and build solidarity. It's worth noting that years later Bob found out that the Stasi (the East German secret police) had built quite a file on him, and that the authorities in the Soviet bloc were quite interested in the work that we were doing. As it was once said, "To be attacked by the enemy is a good thing, not a bad one."

As M.... noted, Bob had many challenges with his physical and emotional health, the toll of being a bike messenger on the tough streets of NYC was a big part of that. Still, his rebel spirit and wicked sense of humor always managed to come through. He was 100% committed to the cause of freedom, and in many ways was more an anarchist at heart than I could ever hope to be. He certainly could be over the top some times, but his big heart and personal warmth often made you forget his more 'interesting' moments.

There are not many like Bob, and my life and the lives of many others are richer for knowing him and for the good fight that he fought. He will be missed.

Vigo
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Sep 3 2016 22:37

My memories of Bob go back to the early 1980s when very few of us in North America were publicizing the plight of progressive opposition to the State Capitalist systems of Eastern Europe. Though we lived on different coasts, we regularly collaborated on Neither East Nor West in publications as well as coordinated protests and demonstrations. And we managed to get together in person several times per year. And even though we had some severe lifestyle differences (at that time I didn’t drink!), we hung out and had a good time, as well as did some really important political work together.

Bob was a fountain of relentless energy! When most of the rest of us were worn out from a particular campaign, Bob continued to push for us to do more. He had an unending passion for helping foreign comrades in trouble, and even exhaustion couldn’t stop him. He worked hard and he partied hard.

One of my fondest memories is of his arrest/detention during the 1986 Pilsen march as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Haymarket Affair in Chicago (which someone else has chronicled in this blog).

Another fond memory is of the two of us sitting in a bar across from Tompkins Square watching TV coverage of the Berlin Wall starting to be dismantled by activists. We were both hugely happy at the fall of the East German police state and the ripple effect that was coming across most of the Eastern Europen State Capitalist regimes. But even during our initial excitement for our comrades there, we spent a lot of time speculating about the specter of the triumph of western-style capitalism there.

Over the past week I've been having great memories re-reading hundreds of emails from "b"oB. Topics ranging from Polish Anarchists jailed in Chechnya, to whether Love & Rage retained some of its RSL Leninist roots, to pie-throwing activists, to WBAI issues, and (of course) many many messages about Eastern Europe. But what had slipped my mind was messages about Anarchist struggles in Nigeria and the Philippines. Though he mostly focused on struggles in NYC and Eastern Europe, he still had a voracious interest in the struggle of comrades throughout the world.

Bob was a one-of-a-kind individual who defied any type of stereotype. He could rapidly move from serious to frenetic. And his writing could go from organized and cogent to stream-of-consciousness. Here's how he referred to himself in one 2005 email: ""b"oB McGlynn (Joey Homicides)The KIng Of All Bike Messengers, wino and womanizer". Bob was a real character, and he will be sorely missed!

syndicalist
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Sep 3 2016 23:32

^^^^. Right on!

syndicalist
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Sep 10 2016 23:09

Good article from another perspective by Bill Weinberg:

Bob McGlynn, linked Tompkins protests and glasnost
http://thevillager.com/2016/09/08/bob-mcglynn-linked-tompkins-protests-a...

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Felix Frost
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Sep 18 2016 18:41

I'm sad to hear the news about Bob. Bob was someone I always enjoyed spending time with then I lived in the New York area.

svartfrosk wrote:
I am very sorry to hear this - I met Bob at the Neither East nor West meeting in Prague in 1994 or 95 (I also met Felix Frost there for the first time). He was a larger than life guy who was very knowledgeable. We kept in touch for a bit after but it drifted away. I still have photos somewhere of him from that conference (and the associated socialising).

I came away from that meeting with a lot, both personally and politically - but I think nearly all of it happened outside of the main meetings. Isn't it always the way?

This was my first meeting with Bob also, and yeah, that conference was even more disorganised than usual, but the socialising outside the meetings was excellent.

When I moved to the Brooklyn a couple years later, I got involved with trying to keep the Neither East Nor West group going, but most of the air had gone out of the project by then. One of the things I did was set up the NENW webpage that Syndicalist linked to earlier. This was possibly the first webpage I ever did. I'm kinda impressed that it's still up.

syndicalist
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Oct 4 2016 02:25

In memory of the "King of Bike Messengers", please find this 1985 article by the late Bob McGlynn .

Bob was instrumental in launching some of the earlier worker organizing amongst bike messengers.
A few years after the NYC messengers started to organize the Couriers in London began there efforts.

Please find a 1985 article by Bob on the trials and travails of being a bike messenger in NYC

http://www.processedworld.com/Issues/issue15/15nyc_bike.htm

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R Totale
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Jan 13 2020 20:59

I still haven't got around to actually listening to it yet, but people involved in NENW might be interested to see that work gets cited as inspiration in this new interview with Iranian anarchists: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2020/01/12/perspectives-from...

syndicalist
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Jan 14 2020 03:24
R Totale wrote:
I still haven't got around to actually listening to it yet, but people involved in NENW might be interested to see that work gets cited as inspiration in this new interview with Iranian anarchists: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2020/01/12/perspectives-from...

That’s cool. I’m sure Bob would relish in this cudos if he knew.
Having been a part of this history, it just reconvinces me that
even small and often isolated activities can serve valuable services in times of struggle,Periods up hill attempts at education. And can leave some form
of historical legacy to learn from and build upon in a way contemporary to whatever moment in time of replication

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R Totale
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Jan 14 2020 19:46
syndicalist wrote:
That’s cool. I’m sure Bob would relish in this cudos if he knew.
Having been a part of this history, it just reconvinces me that
even small and often isolated activities can serve valuable services in times of struggle,Periods up hill attempts at education. And can leave some form
of historical legacy to learn from and build upon in a way contemporary to whatever moment in time of replication

Having now got around to actually listening to it, the interviewer mentions regretting never getting to interview Bob while he was alive, which got me thinking - as someone who was there for some of this history, would you (or other people on this thread, tbh) be interested in doing an interview the Final Straw folk about NENW and other projects from that time? I'm not actually involved so I can't speak for them, but I think they'd probably be up for helping to preserve and share that historical legacy you mention.