We’ve published a new zine, “Neither East Nor West NYC: A De Facto Anarchist Black Cross History, 1980-1994.” The zine is a reformatted version of an essay by Bob McGlynn that explores the history of the group Neither East Nor West. The group was formed in the 1980s in New York City as a way of extending solidarity to comrades in the East (Communist Bloc). Their activities included a variety of educational and organizing efforts. One of their most prominent contribution was the production of On Gogol Boulevard, a publication that provide updates on activities in the East. It was published both as a standalone publication and also appeared as a section in major anarchist publications of the period including Fifth Estate, Anarchy, The Shadow, and Profane Existence. With its focus on political prisoners, Neither East Nor West NYC in many ways functioned as a de facto Anarchist Black Cross.
We’re excited to announce the completion of our latest project, an updated version of the zine The A-Zone & A Decade Of Anarchy In Chicago.
In this new edition, editor Alex Iwasa expands on their previously published history of The Autonomous Zone (The A-Zone) in Chicago and shares new research that provides additional information about both the A-Zone and the larger context of the U.S. anarchist space in the 1990s and early 2000s. A new contribution in this edition adds additional reflections on the A-Zone, joining an interview and two reflective essays that appeared in the original edition of the zine.
The history of the Autonomous Zone has a relevance for those outside of Chicago, as the A-Zone was typical of anarchist experiments in counter-institutions and infoshops undertaken by anarchists in the 1990s and as such the writings within cover an important aspect of recent anarchist history. It gives an interesting snapshot of the infoshops of the 1990s and the related anarchist milieu. Beyond the A-Zone, the zine talks about the Love & Rage anarchist federation, the anarchist networking project (Dis)Connections and the related Network of Anarchist Collectives, as well as the Chicago-based projects Baklava Collective and Wind Chill Factor. Also covered are Food Not Bombs, Anarchist Black Cross, and Anti-Racist Action.
Claim No Easy Victories: A History and Analysis of Anti-Racist Action is a piece that was written by Rory McGowan in the early 2000s on the history of Anti-Racist Action (ARA). The article originally appeared in the Northeastern Anarchist, a magazine published by the North Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC).
We reprinted it as a zine because there unfortunately aren’t many histories of Anti-Racist Action (ARA) out there despite its role in recent anarchist history.
You can download it here.
This zine is a reprinted version of Mob Action Against the State: Haymarket Remembered …An Anarchist Convention, a long out of print book that provides a collection of experiences from the 1986 Haymarket Remembered conference in Chicago.
You can download the zine here.
The Political Pre-History of Love & Rage: Anarchist Struggle in the 1980s and 1990s presents a history of anarchist organizing efforts in North America. From the introduction:
This zine presents one version of the history of the anarchist context out of which the Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation emerged in the early 1990s. There is no doubt much that could be said about the period and many different conclusions could be drawn. One route some anarchists took – very controversial at the time – was to form a federation to increase the level of organization amongst anarchists in the U.S.
Love and Rage broke apart in 1998 following wide-ranging internal debates over politics and goals (for example, some folks became Marxists). AK Press published a short book titled A New World In Our Hearts: Eight Years of Writings from the Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation on the federation, but folks would do well to dig up the various critiques of Love & Rage’s politics (and practice) that circulated within the anarchist space.
This zine presents Love & Rage’s interpretation of anarchist struggle in the 1980s and 1990s (the history originally appeared in the “1997 Member Handbook” published by the New York Local, it’s been trimmed here for relevance). To be sure, its bias is towards making the case for a federation style of organization. Setting that aside (as hard as that may be), it presents a history that has been largely lost. We present it not to advocate for federations (which have a rather long history of not working out so well), but rather out of interest in the accomplishments and missteps of previous generations of anarchists.
You can download the zine here.