Thanks to the new (at least to us) publishing operation Rise Like Lions for putting together a PDF pamphlet version of my recent essay "Union of Arsonists" faster than I could get one done myself. And it looks damn good, too! Cheers to them for a job well done.
I also like RLL's mission statement:
Rise Like Lions is an anarchist project with the aim to place beautiful and dangerous anarchist writing into the hands of the multitude. Our personal history is that of the lower class, the disposable class, and the texts that we select for publication are texts we wish had been put in our hands when we were young, full of hate and contempt for our jobs and society, and had no hope that another world was possible.I like and share their recognition that different struggles in different places may have different characteristics and that these don't make one superior to the other. We need to evaluate each of our specific conditions carefully in the light of other struggles, but not dictated by them. RLL's similar rejection of the elevating of specific tactics over others sits just right with me, as well. While our actions are guided by our politics in specific ways, the right anarchist tactics are the anarchist tactics that work where and when you are, not necessarily the ones that are working somewhere else or at another time.
The texts we choose are texts that show that another world is possible, and that in fact, another world is inevitable, for better or for worse. These texts promote and document the attack on a society that is dead to us, a society that would crush every hope and dream we have of living wild and free, a society that is fit to be destroyed.
The pamphlets we create are meant to be placed into the hands of anyone that can identify with them: the workers, the drop-outs, those who are without, the dispossessed. They are to be handed out at community potlucks, anti-police rallies, social centers, and to be given to your friends, your neighbors, and your parents. This shit right here? This is for the proles on their strolls.
Though a good portion of the texts we choose to publish can be labeled as insurrectionary, we hesitate to label this project as such. We refuse any sort of dichotomy that would attempt to split the anarchist movement into different “factions” with essential characteristics, and we will never print any text that would promote a specific milieu at the expense of another. We recognize the necessity of both the daytime and the nighttime attack, the smashing of windows, the burning of cop cars, while also seeing the empowerment felt by communities coming together and organizing under a specific identity. Effective resistance can look radically different between differing geographical locations, circumstances, and cultures, and we choose to promote a complete diversity of tactics.
No war but social war!
From occupied Coast Salish territory,
rise like lions at riseup dot net
As a general looting of the broad anarchist canon and tactical manual has always appealed to my anarcho-sensibilities, I am also quite fond of their rejection of sectarianism within our movement and their wise determination to avoid playing into the what I think is a false game of division within movements and scenes over this or that particular anarchist politics (with, of course, the obvious exceptions when it comes to so-called 'anarcho-capitalists' and 'national anarchists', of course, who deserve the full force of our wrath).
Finally, I also like their determination to inspire with their publications. When the Greek anarchists were here they made a point to tell us that they showed images of victory in their presentations, not of police brutality or of defeat. That really struck a chord with us here at PCWC, because we've always thought it was very important to create and celebrate our victories. (And along those lines, here's some other reading material that might be relevant to upcoming events.)
So, cheers, Rise Like Lions! Here's to you, and good luck! A breath of fresh air, indeed!
In related news, I'm about halfway through putting together a pamphlet version of my examination of the anti-speed camera struggles in the Valley, "When the Border is Everywhere". Look for that to be posted up soon. I've also been having some thoughts about a Phoenix anarchist book/pamphlet fair some time this winter. No solid plans, but something to think about for the future. I'm interested in feedback on such a thing were one to be organized, so let me know your thoughts if you have any on it.
You can download RLL's delightful pamphlet version of "Union of Arsonists" here.