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Wobblies and Zapatistas goes on tour...

Northwest Common Action Presents:

Anarchism for the 21st Century: Building Movements for Lasting Change


Andrej Grubačić is a radical historian- or, more accurately, an anarchist historian- from the Balkans. Formerly based in Belgrade, post-Yugoslavia, but after many adventures and misadventures he found himself in Fernand Braudel Center at SUNY Binghamton. Andrej teaches at ZMedia Institute and most recently at the University of San Francisco. As an   anarchist organizer who has been part of many networks (DSM!, Peoples Global Action, WSF, Freedom Fight, and many others) he is one of the founding members of the Global Balkans– a network of Balkan anti-capitalists in diaspora and the ZBalkans-  a Balkan edition of Z Magazine. Most recently he co-authored the book Wobblies and Zapatistas with Staughton Lynd.

Seattle:
Thursday, May 14th, 7pm - 2100 Building (2100 24th Ave.)

Olympia:
Friday, May 15th, Noon - Evergreen State College - (Seminar II, Bldg B, Rm 1105)

Tacoma:
Saturday, May 16th, 3pm - Tacoma Public Library (1102 Tacoma Ave. S)

Olympia:
Sunday, May 17th, 7:30pm  - Traditions Cafe (300 5th Ave. SW)

Portland:
Monday, May 18th, 6pm - Red and Black Cafe (400 SE 12th Ave.)

For more information, contact nwcommonaction@gmail.com or visit the Northwest Common Action website.

Click here to download the flyer...

More on Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism, and Radical History

Wobblies and Zapatistas offers the reader an encounter between two generations and two traditions. Andrej Grubacic is an anarchist from the Balkans. Staughton Lynd is a lifelong pacifist, influenced by Marxism. They meet in dialogue in an effort to bring together the anarchist and Marxist traditions, to discuss the writing of history by those who make it, and to remind us of the idea that "my country is the world." Encompassing a Left libertarian perspective and an emphatically activist standpoint, these conversations are meant to be read in the clubs and affinity groups of the new Movement.

The authors accompany us on a journey through modern revolutions, direct actions, anti-globalist counter summits, Freedom Schools, Zapatista cooperatives, Haymarket and Petrograd, Hanoi and Belgrade,  'intentional' communities, wildcat strikes, early Protestant communities, Native American democratic practices, the Workers' Solidarity Club of Youngstown, occupied factories, self-organized councils and soviets, the lives of forgotten revolutionaries, Quaker meetings, antiwar movements, and prison rebellions. Neglected and forgotten moments of interracial self-activity are brought to light. The book invites the attention of readers who believe that a better world, on the other side of capitalism and state bureaucracy, may indeed be possible.


"I have been in regular contact with Andrej Grubacic for many years, and have been most impressed by his searching intelligence, broad knowledge, lucid judgment, and penetrating commentary on contemporary affairs and their historical roots. He is an original thinker and dedicated activist, who brings deep understanding and outstanding personal qualities to everything he does." --
Noam Chomsky

Buy the book now | For more information and reviews




PM Press Announces New Titles!

This work of art is credited to volunteers Lauren Cooper and Craig O'Hara, all 48 pages of it. A labor of love by all concerned, as are all of the books, CDs and DVDs that PM Press brings you. We have theory:

 

 

The theory we love and that is so hard to find anywhere else, like C.L.R. James, Gustav Landauer, Joseph Dietzgen and Paul Goodman. We have Albert Meltzer and Stuart Christie opening the Floodgates of Anarchy, and a voluminous history of anarchism from Peter Marshall.

Art brings political enlightenment to the other side of your brain, Josh MacPhee has put together a collection of beautiful political graphics, and we have the amazing Peter Kuper's account of Oaxaca during the uprisings.

 

 

We're working with some amazing innovative partners to bring you the best through our imprints and co-pubs with folks like Busboys and Poets out of the DC area, Kersplebedeb, Derrick Jensen, Reach and Teach, and Tofu Hound (we're tackling all of the senses here at PM, here we give you taste and smell):

 

 

And of course, the best in new (and out of print) fiction perfect for those lighter moments, the ones where you want to stay wide awake and indulge in all the pleasures of good literature. We have Switchblade, hardboiled noir with a radical slant. Spectacular Fiction, that tests the limits of what has been and what could be. PM Outspoken Authors that connects short fiction to long bios and in depth interviews with your favorite authors. And Found in Translation, bringing you the very best in thought provoking stories you can't find anywhere else:

 

 

With new CD's of spoken word from people like Noam Chomsky and Raj Patel and a partnership with Trade Root Music, new DVDs including a lecture from Naomi Klein and co-pubs with Big Noise Films...

 

 

There's no way I can talk up all of the amazing stuff soon to come out and already available. So this is just a teaser, we hope you download the catalog, read through it at your leisure, and treat yourself, your friends, and your right-wing family members to something special.

Love it all? Can't decide? For only $25 a month you can become a Friend of PM and get a copy of everything in print as it is released OR all audio and video delivered to your door. For $40 you can get both! You also ensure a vital source of income that we need every month to continue publishing. For more info click here. We know times are hard, but here before you is proof of just how far we can stretch a shoestring ... 

Download pdf of full catalog of PM Press titles here 




The Angola 3: Torture in Our Own Backyard

By Hans Bennett
Alternet

Together, Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace have spent more than 100 years in solitary confinement.

"My soul cries from all that I witnessed and endured. It does more than cry, it mourns continuously," said Black Panther Robert Hillary King, following his release from the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola in 2001, after serving his last 29 years in continuous solitary confinement. King argues that slavery persists in Angola and other U.S. prisons, citing the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which legalizes slavery in prisons as "a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." King says: "You can be legally incarcerated but morally innocent."

Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace are known as the "Angola Three," a trio of political prisoners whose supporters include Amnesty International, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Congressman John Conyers, and the ACLU. Kgalema Mothlante, the President of South Africa says their case "has the potential of laying bare, exposing the shortcomings, in the entire U.S. system." Woodfox and Wallace are the two co-founders of the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) -- the only official prison chapter of the BPP. Both convicted in the highly contested stabbing death of white prison guard Brent Miller, Woodfox and Wallace have now spent over 36 years in solitary confinement.

The joint federal civil rights lawsuit of King, Woodfox, and Wallace, alleging that their time in solitary confinement is "cruel and unusual punishment," will go to trial any month in Baton Rouge, at the U.S. Middle District Court. Herman Wallace's appeal against his murder conviction is currently pending in the Louisiana Supreme Court, and on March 18, he was transferred to the Hunt Correctional Facility in St. Gabrielo, Louisiana, where he remains in solitary confinement. On March 2, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court heard oral arguments regarding Albert Woodfox's conviction, after the Louisiana Attorney General appealed a lower court's ruling that overturned the conviction.

An 18,000-acre former slave plantation in rural Louisiana, Angola is the largest prison in the U.S. Today, with African Americans composing over 75% of Angola's 5,108 prisoners, prison guards known as "free men," a forced 40-hour workweek, and four cents an hour as minimum wage, the resemblance to antebellum U.S. slavery is striking. In the early 1970s, it was even worse, as prisoners were forced to work 96-hour weeks (16 hours a day/six days a week) with two cents an hour as minimum wage. Officially considered (according to its own website) the "Bloodiest Prison in the South" at this time, violence from guards and between prisoners was endemic. Prison authorities sanctioned prisoner rape, and according to former Prison Warden Murray Henderson, the prison guards actually helped facilitate a brutal system of sexual slavery where the younger and physically weaker prisoners were bought and sold into submission. As part of the notorious "inmate trusty guard" system, responsible for killing 40 prisoners and seriously maiming 350 between 1972-75, some prisoners were given state-issued weapons and ordered to enforce this sexual slavery, as well as the prison's many other injustices. Life at Angola was living hell -- a 20th century slave plantation.

The Angola Panthers saw life at Angola as modern-day slavery and fought back with non-violent hunger strikes and work strikes. Prison authorities were outraged by the BPP's organizing, and overwhelming evidence has since emerged that authorities retaliated by framing these three BPP organizers for murders that they did not commit.

Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace

Both convicted of murder for the April 17, 1972 stabbing death of white prison guard Brent Miller, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have recently had major victories in court that may soon lead to their release. In response, Angola Warden Burl Cain and the Louisiana State Attorney General, James "Buddy" Caldwell, are doing everything they can to resist this and to keep the two in solitary confinement. In sharp contrast, Miller's widow, Leontine Verrett, now questions their guilt. Interviewed in March, 2008, by NBC Nightly News, she called for a new investigation into the case: "What I want is justice. If these two men did not do this, I think they need to be out."

Woodfox and Wallace were inmates at Angola, resulting from separate robbery convictions, when they co-founded the Angola BPP chapter in 1971. Woodfox had escaped from New Orleans Parish Prison and fled to New York City, where he met BPP members, including the New York 21, before he was recaptured and sent to Angola. Wallace had met members of the Louisiana State Chapter of the BPP, including the New Orleans 12, while imprisoned at Orleans Parish.

On September 19, 2006, State Judicial Commissioner Rachel Morgan recommended overturning Wallace's conviction, on grounds that prison officials had withheld evidence from the jury that prison officials had bribed the prosecution's key eyewitness in return for his testimony. However, in May 2008, in a 2-1 vote, the State Appeals Court rejected Morgan's recommendation and refused to overturn the conviction. Wallace's appeal is now pending in the State Supreme Court, with a decision expected any month.

On June 10th, 2008, Federal Magistrate Christine Noland recommended overturning Woodfox's conviction, citing evidence of inadequate representation, prosecutorial misconduct, suppression of exculpatory evidence, and racial discrimination. Then, on November 25, U.S. District Court Judge James Brady upheld Noland's recommendation, overturned the conviction, and granted bail. Attorney General Caldwell responded by appealing to the U.S. Fifth Circuit. In December, the Fifth Circuit granted Caldwell's request to deny Woodfox bail, but indicated sympathy for the overturning of the conviction, writing: "We are not now convinced that the State has established a likelihood of success on the merits." On March 3, oral arguments were heard by appellate Judges Carolyn Dineen King, Carl E. Steart and Leslie H. Southwick, and a decision from them is now expected within six months. If the three judge panel affirms the overturning of Woodfox's conviction, the state will have 120 days to either accept the ruling or to retry Woodfox. The state has already vowed to retry him if necessary. If the Fifth Circuit rules for the state, Woodfox's conviction will be reinstated.

Ira Glasser, formerly of the ACLU, criticized AG Caldwell, writing that following the October 2008 announcement that Woodfox's niece had agreed to take him in if granted bail, Caldwell "embarked upon a public scare campaign reminiscent of the kind of inflammatory hysteria that once was used to provoke lynch mobs. He called Woodfox a violent rapist, even though he had never been charged, let alone convicted, of rape; he sent emails to [Woodfox's niece's] neighbors calling Woodfox a convicted murderer and violent rapist; and neighbors were urged to sign petitions opposing his release. In the end, his niece and family were sufficiently frightened and threatened that Woodfox rejected the plan to live with them while on bail." In his Nov. 25 ruling, Judge Brady himself criticized the intimidation campaign: "it is apparent that the [neighborhood] association was not told Mr. Woodfox is frail, sickly, and has a clean conduct record for more than twenty years."

When the October 27-29 National Public Radio (NPR) series on the case reported directly from Angola, reporter Laura Sullivan observed, "a hundred black men are in the field, bent over picking tomatoes. A single white officer on a horse sits above them, a shotgun in his lap … It's the same as it looked 40 years ago, and 100 years ago." Commenting that many at Angola today "seem to want to bury this case in a place no one will find it," NPR reported that Warden Burl Cain and others refused to comment. However, Caldwell told NPR he is convinced that Woodfox and Wallace are guilty, and that he will appeal Woodfox's case all the way to the US Supreme Court. "This is a very dangerous person," Caldwell says. "This is the most dangerous person on the planet."

As NPR documented, there is no physical evidence linking Woodfox or Wallace to the murder. A bloody fingerprint was found at the scene but it matches neither prisoner's prints. Prison officials have always refused to test that fingerprint against their own inmate fingerprint database. Caldwell vows to continue this policy, telling NPR: "A fingerprint can come from anywhere … We're not going to be fooled by that."

Caldwell also told NPR that he firmly believes the testimony of the prosecution's key eyewitness, Hezekiah Brown, a serial rapist who had been sentenced to life without parole. Brown first told prison officials that he didn't know anything, but he later testified to seeing Miller stabbed to death by four inmates: Woodfox and Wallace, and two others who are now deceased: Chester Jackson (who testified for the state and pled guilty to a lesser charge) and Gilbert Montegut (who was acquitted after an officer provided an alibi).

Pardoned in 1986, and now deceased, Brown always denied receiving special favors from prison authorities in exchange for his testimony. However, prison documents reveal special treatment, including special housing and a carton of cigarettes given to him every week. Testifying at Woodfox's 1998 retrial, former Warden Murray Henderson admitted telling Brown that if he provided testimony helping to "crack the case," he would reward him by lobbying for his pardon.

Solitary Confinement for "Black Pantherism"

In early 2008, a 25,000-signature petition initiated by ColorOfChange.org, calling for an investigation into Woodfox and Wallace's convictions and solitary confinement, was delivered to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal by the head of the State Legislature's Judiciary Committee, Cedric Richmond. To this day, Jindal remains silent on the case.

In March, 2008, following a visit from Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee; Innocence Project founder Barry Scheck; and Cedric Richmond, Wallace and Woodfox were transferred from solitary and housed together in a newly-built maximum security dormitory for twenty men. This temporary release from solitary lasted for eight months, during which time Woodfox reflected: "The thing I noticed most about being with Herman is the laughing, the talking, the bumping up against one another … we've been denied this for so long. And every once in a while he'll put his arm around me or I'll put my arm around him. It's those kinds of things that make you human. And we're truly enjoying that."

In April, following his visit, Conyers wrote a letter to the FBI requesting their documents relating to the case, stating: "I am deeply troubled by what evidence suggests was a tragic miscarriage of justice with regard to these men. There is significant evidence that suggests not only their innocence, but also troubling misconduct by prison officials." The FBI responded by claiming that they had no files on the case, because, they had supposedly been destroyed.

In his deposition taken October 22, 2008, Warden Burl Cain explained why he opposed granting Woodfox bail and removing him from solitary confinement. Asked what gave him "such concern" about Woodfox, Cain stated: "He wants to demonstrate. He wants to organize. He wants to be defiant … A hunger strike is really, really bad, because you could see he admitted that he was organizing a peaceful demonstration. There is no such thing as a peaceful demonstration in prison." Cain then stated that even if Woodfox were innocent of the murder, he would still want to keep him in solitary, because "I still know he has a propensity for violence … he is still trying to practice Black Pantherism, and I still would not want him walking around my prison because he would organize the young new inmates. I would have me all kinds of problems, more than I could stand, and I would have the blacks chasing after them. I would have chaos and conflict, and I believe that."

The only other known U.S. prisoner to have spent so many years in solitary confinement is Hugo Pinell, in California. One of the San Quentin Six, Pinell was a close comrade of Black Panther and prison author, George Jackson. Currently housed in Pelican Bay State Prison's notorious "Security Housing Unit", Pinell has been in continuous solitary since at least 1971. The recently freed Angola 3 prisoner Robert Hillary King says Pinell "is a clear example of a political prisoner." This January, Pinell was denied parole for the next 15 years, which King says "is a sentence to die in prison. This is cruel and unusual punishment, which may be legal but is definitely not moral."

Robert Hillary King

The new book From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Robert Hillary King has just been released by PM Press. This inspiring book tells of King's triumph over the horrors of Angola. Born poor in rural Louisiana, he was raised mostly by his heroic grandmother, who King recounts "worked the sugar cane fields from sun up 'til sun down for less than a dollar a day. During the off-season, she washed, ironed clothes, and scrubbed floors for whites for pennies a day or for leftover food. Her bunions and blisters told a bitter but vivid tale of her travails."

King first entered Angola at the age of 18, for a robbery conviction. In his book, he admits to doing some non-violent burglaries at the time, but maintains his innocence regarding this conviction and every one since. Granted parole in 1965, at the age of 22, he returned to New Orleans, got married, and began a brief semi-pro boxing career as "Speedy King." He was then arrested on charges of robbery, just weeks before his wife Clara gave birth to their son. After being held for over 11 months, his friend pled guilty to a lesser charge and was released on time served. Simultaneously, the DA dropped the charges against King, but he was not released, because his arrest, coupled with his friend's guilty plea was deemed a parole violation. Therefore, King was sent back to Angola where he served 15 months and was released again in 1969.

Upon release, King was again arrested on robbery charges, and was convicted, even though his co-defendant testified that he had only picked King out of a mug shot lineup after being tortured by police into making a false statement. King appealed, and while being held at New Orleans Parish Prison, he escaped, but was re-captured weeks later. Upon returning to Orleans Parish he met some of the New Orleans 12--BPP members arrested after a confrontation with police at a housing project. He was radicalized and worked with the Panthers organizing non-violent hunger strikes, and engaging in self-defense against violent attacks from prison authorities.

In 1972, King moved to Angola shortly after the death of prison guard Brent Miller. Upon arrival, on grounds that King "wanted to play lawyer for another inmate," he was immediately put into solitary confinement: first in the "dungeon," then the "Red Hat," and finally to the Closed Correction Cell (CCR) unit, where he remained until his 2001 release. At CCR, King writes that the Angola BPP chapter and others continued to struggle, using the one hour a day outside their cells (when they were allowed to shower and interact in the walkway) to organize: "That was how we talked, passed papers, educated each other, and coordinated our actions."

King writes about the fight, started in 1977, to end the practice of routine rectal searches of prisoners: "Coming to a consensus conclusion that this practice was a carryover from slavery (before being sold, the slave had to be stripped and subjected to anal examination), and after months of appealing to our keepers, we decided to take a bold step: we would simply refuse a voluntary anal search. We would not be willing participants in our own degradation." When King and others refused, they were viciously beaten. Woodfox hired a lawyer on the prisoners' behalf and they filed a successful civil suit. The court ruled to ban "routine anal searches." Another victory came after a one month hunger strike that stopped the unhealthy and dehumanizing practice of putting the inmate's food on the floor to be slid underneath the cell door, whereby food would often be lost and the remaining food would usually get dirty.

In 1973, King was accused of murdering another prisoner, and was convicted at a trial where he was bound and gagged. After years of maintaining his innocence and appealing, his conviction was overturned in 2001, after he reluctantly pled guilty to a lesser charge of "conspiracy to commit murder" and was released on time served.

Kenny "Zulu" Whitmore

On June 21, 2008, Robert King attended the unveiling of a 40-foot mosaic dedicated to Angola prisoner and Angola BPP member Kenneth "Zulu" Whitmore, launching the "Free Zulu" campaign. King is working to publicize his case, saying "Zulu is a true warrior, Panther, a servant of the people. He has fought a good battle, for so long, unrecognized, unsupported!"

The mosaic adorns the back of activist/artist Carrie Reichardt's home in the West London suburb of Chiswick. Reichardt says "we chose to base the design around a modern day interpretation of the Goddess Kali. She is considered the goddess of liberation, time and transformation. We wanted to use a strong, positive image of a female that would give hope and encourage others to join the struggle to bring about social change. Her speech bubble says 'The revolution is now'."

Imprisoned since 1977, Whitmore met Herman Wallace while imprisoned in 1973 at the East Baton Rouge Prison. Whitmore was released but then arrested and subsequently imprisoned at Angola when he was convicted of robbery and second-degree murder after he had returned to the community and been a political organizer. Just like the Angola 3, the case against him is full of holes, and he is appealing his conviction. Whitmore does not have a lawyer yet, so the freezulu.co.uk website is raising money to support his appeal.

Angola: The Last Slave Plantation

Three court cases are now pending: the federal civil rights lawsuit at the U.S. Middle District Court, Albert Woodfox's appeal at the U.S. Fifth Circuit, and Wallace's appeal at the State Supreme Court. At this critical stage, a new DVD has just been released by PM Press, titled The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation. The DVD is narrated by death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, and features footage of King's 2001 release, as well as an interview with King and a variety of former Panthers and other supporters of the Angola 3, including Bo Brown, David Hilliard, Geronimo Ji Jaga (formerly Pratt), Marion Brown, Luis Talamantez, Noelle Hanrahan, Malik Rahim, and the late Anita Roddick.

The perpetuation of white supremacy and slavery at Angola is a central theme throughout the film. Fred Hampton Jr., emphasizes that "we've got to make the connection between these modern day plantations, and what went down with chattel slavery." Scott Fleming, a lawyer for the Angola 3, says: "That prison is still run like a slave plantation … People like Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace are the example of what will happen to you if you resist that system."

Longtime Japanese-American activist Yuri Kochiyama says that Woodfox and Wallace "love people and will fight for justice even if it puts them on the spot. I think of them as real heroes … who hated to see people in the prison get hurt." San Francisco journalist and former BPP member Kiilu Nyasha adds that "it behooves us to not forget those who were on the frontlines for us. … We need to come to their rescue because they came to ours."

The many years of repression and torture have failed to extinguish the Angola 3's spirit or will to resist, as Woodfox explains in the DVD: "At heart, mind and spirit, we're still Black Panthers. We still believe in the same principles as the BPP, we still advocate the ten point program. We still advocate that all prisoners, black or white, are human beings. They deserve to be treated as human beings."

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Ron Jacobs Reviews The Red Army Faction PLUS Listen to a KPFK Interview

We're thrilled that Ron Jacobs wrote the following review on Daring to Struggle, Failing to Win. 

The editor of the book was interviewed on KPFK and we're also pleased to provide you with an opportunity to listen to that interview right here!

 

RAF

Daring to Struggle, Failing to Win

By Ron Jacobs
Counterpunch


Much has been written about the German leftist guerrilla group the Red Army Fraction (RAF).  Naturally, most of what has been written is in German. Most of what has been written (or translated into) English has generally been of a sensationalist nature and composed mostly of information taken from the files of the German mainstream media and law enforcement bureaucracy. The reasons for this approach include, among others, the nature of the RAF's politics. Leftist in the extreme, they lay beyond the realm of what can be expressed in media that exists to support the capitalist state. Add to this the criminal nature of their actions and the way lay clear for media coverage that ignored the intrinsically political reasons for the group and its acts. We see a similar type of anti-political coverage today when the capitalist media covers the actions undertaken by anarchists and others at international meetings of the capitalist governments and imperial defense pacts like NATO. By deemphasizing the politics of the protesters, the actions of the State seem to be a rational response to the average reader.

Although it is difficult to separate the RAF's theory from their actions--actions which included murder--if one does so they find an application of left theory that perceived the anti-imperialist resistance in the advanced industrial nations (First World, if you will) as just another part of the worldwide anti-imperialist movement. It was this conclusion that the RAF used to rationalize their attacks on US military installations in 1972 during their anti-imperialist offensive. They did not believe the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to be in a revolutionary situation, but justified their attacks via the argument that the US and other imperial forces (German and British) should be attacked wherever they were, not just in Vietnam or another country where they were engaged in overt warfare. This approach echoed the slogan popularized by the Weatherman organization in the US-Bring the War Home.

I lived in Frankfurt am Main, Germany during this period. I attended protests against the Vietnam War, in support of the burgeoning squatters movement (and against property speculation) in Frankfurt, against the Shah of Iran, in support of gastarbeiters rights and against the repressive regimes in Turkey and Greece. I also attended concerts and street festivals where the German counterculture mingled flamboyantly with the US servicemen and adolescents that abounded in the country then. When the IG Farben building and Officer's Club in Frankfurt am Main were attacked by the RAF, a serious security effort became part of our daily lives. School buses taking us to the American High School  in Frankfurt were boarded by military police who checked out bags while other GIs used long-handled mirrors to check underneath the buses for explosive devices. 

German police and military set up shop at airports and train stations, holding automatic weapons.  Autobahn exits were the site of roadblocks. Wanted posters featuring the faces of the RAF members appeared everywhere.  The Goethe University in Frankfurt came under increased police surveillance, especially after the playing of a tape-recorded message from RAF member Ulrike Meinhof at a national conference there.  A protest held against the US mining of northern Vietnamese harbors and intensified bombing of the Vietnamese people was patrolled by police armed with automatic weapons. Nonetheless, many of the protesters chanted "Fur den Sieg des VietCong, Bomben auf das Pentagon!" (For the victory of the NLF, bomb the Pentagon). The following day, the Pentagon was bombed by the Weather Underground.

Recently, PM Press in California published the book The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History: Volume 1: Projectiles For The People. This voluminous work includes virtually all of the communiques and theoretical pamphlets published by the RAF from 1970 to 1977. This period is considered the first period of the RAF--an organization that saw its original leadership imprisoned after the aforementioned bombing offensive against US military installations in Germany. These members were followed by another set of individuals drawn to the RAF mostly through support organizations that developed to protest the conditions of the RAF's imprisonment and their eventual deaths that many still believe were state-sanctioned murders. Over the next two decades , hundreds of others would join the organization to replace those imprisoned and killed. Besides the text written by the RAF, the editors have written an accompanying text that  provides a take on the history of post World War Two West Germany that has been mostly unavailable to English readers.

The RAF was an intensely sectarian organization. They saw most of the rest of the German Left as revisionist or opportunist, unwilling to make the commitment armed struggle required. Besides invalidating the gains won by the autonomist squatters' movement and other independent groupings, this analysis ignored the fact that other approaches might have been more effective in the long term. By positioning itself to the left of all other leftist groups in Germany, the RAF insured its limited effectiveness. Once the State was able to capture its primary membership and literally isolate them in prisons, the RAF's purpose moved away from challenging the imperialists to one of staying alive inside a draconian and psychologically debilitating prison environment.

Indeed, as this book clearly demarcates, the bulk of the work of the RAF in the 1970s centered around the nature of their existence in prison. In what would become a harbinger of the future we live in, the German prison authority and its departmental ally the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) developed an architecture and series of mechanisms designed to destroy the minds of the RAF prisoners. Isolation cells painted completely in white where the neon light never went off.  No contact with any human for months at a time. The use of informers and ultimately a trial held in a specially designed prison courthouse that took place without the defendants or their attorneys. In addition, laws were passed that criminalized not only the act taken by the attorneys to defend their clients but also the acts of any individuals who opposed the actions taken by the State against the RAF prisoners. Of course, this enabled the RAF to point out the unity of purpose between the right wing CDU-CSU West German government and the SPD (with obvious comparisons to the role played by the German Social Democrats after World War I when they used the rightwing militia known as the Freikorps to kill members of the revolutionary Spartacists).  Indeed, the special laws enacted against the RAF and its supporters contained many elements of laws now in existence in the US, realized most fully in the Patriot Act.

While the RAF was certainly successful in exposing the fundamental authoritarianism of the modern capitalist state through their hunger strikes and other actions, they did nothing towards rebuilding the anti-imperialist movement that the 1972 actions were conceived in. This created a situation where their developing analysis of imperialism and the struggle against it became essentially moribund. In other words, the repression by the German government and its allies was successful.

The editors of this work, J. Smith and André Moncourt, have created an intelligently political work that honestly discusses the politics of the Red Army Fraktion during its early years. Their commentary explains the theoretical writings of the RAF from a left perspective and puts their politics and actions in the context of the situation present in Germany and the world at the time. It is an extended work that is worth the commitment required to read and digest it. Not only a historical document, the fact that it is history provides us with the ability to comprehend the phenomenon that was the RAF in ways not possible thirty years ago.

Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625@charter.net

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PM Noir


logoSwitchblade—a different slice of hardboiled fiction where the dreamers and the schemers, the dispossessed and the damned, and the hobos and the rebels tango at the edge of society.

"If readers haven’t gotten hip to Switchblade yet they need to . . . they are very much like the Black Lizard of the new century, especially when it comes to finding the new talent that the community hasn’t heard of yet."
Spinetingler Magazine

"My current publisher crush has got to be PM Press’s Switchblade line."
Jedidiah Ayres, Ransom Notes: the Barnes & Noble Mystery Blog

If you feel like rocking out while reading our fine selection of heartfelt radical violence, and rocking it loud, we've even got a song for you, courtesy of Chris La Tray's old band the Lazerwolfs. Name of Switchblade if you couldn't guess. Makes us happier than a barrel of full-metal monkeys.

Switchblade


Switchblade is a noir imprint showcasing the grittiest in new work, illuminating the lamentably unavailable classics in the genre, and highlighting the shadows on the margins of the dark end of the street.

Series Editors: Gary Phillips and Andrea Gibbons

1. The Jook - Gary Phillips
2. I-5: A Novel of Crime, Transport, and Sex - Summer Brenner
3. Pike - Benjamin Whitmer
4. The Chieu Hoi Saloon - Michael Harris
5. The Wrong Thing - Barry Graham
6. Send My Love and A Molotov Cocktail - edited by Gary Phillips and Andrea Gibbons
7. Prudence Couldn't Swim - James Kilgore
8. Nearly Nowhere - Summer Brenner

pike


Nearly Nowhere
Author: Summer Brenner
Publisher: PM Press/Switchblade
ISBN: 978-1-60486-306-2
Published August 2012
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 by 5.5
Page count: 200 Pages
Subjects: Fiction
$15.95

With her teen daughter Ruby, Kate Ryan moved to the secluded village of Zamora to have a quiet life off the grid beside her poor neighbors, the Spanish farmers of northern New Mexico. When Kate invites the wrong drifter home, the delicate peace of her domain shatters. Troy is the bad smell that refuses to go away.

Finally, Kate bribes him into leaving with a few hundred dollars and a ride to Santa Fe. In town, Troy hustles his way into another woman's life and returns to Zamora to prove he's not the man Kate thinks he is. No? He's way worse. After Troy is shot and Ruby disappears, the village erupts with fear and confusion.

Like a Greek chorus, the Spanish farmers camp outside the Ryan house and offer their comments, both quixotic and profound, on mayhem, murder, invasion, conquest, and drought. Meanwhile, coming and going are the sheriff, the local doctor, Ruby's friend, his mother, and the clinic's nurse, each with a different theory on Troy's assailant, Ruby's kidnapping, and the discovery of an unidentified corpse. Steadfast throughout is Kate's love for her daughter and her willingness to risk everything to find her.

Brenner writes in prose as stark and beautiful as New Mexico's landscape where violence bursts in starts and fits like the summer monsoons. All the more terrifying for its understated brutality, Nearly Nowhere is filled with ominous surprises as it travels the back roads from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to Idaho’s Bitterroot Wilderness.

About the Author:

Summer Brenner was raised in Georgia and drifted northeast to Boston, over the Atlantic, out west to New Mexico, and eventually to the Bay Area where she has been a long-time resident.

Currently, she works in Richmond, California, focusing on literacy and youth. She is author of a dozen books of poetry and fiction, including the noir thriller from PM, I-5, A Novel of Crime, Transport, and Sex; and short story collection, My Life in Clothes. Forthcoming from PM is Nearly Nowhere, first published in France by Gallimard's la serie noire.

Praise:

“With her beautifully wrought sentences and dialogue that bring characters alive, Summer Brenner weaves a gripping and dark tale of mysterious crime based in spiritually and naturally rich northern New Mexico and beyond.” —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico

“Summer Brenner's Nearly Nowhere has the breathless momentum of the white-water river some of her characters must navigate en route from a isolated village in New Mexico to a neo-Nazi camp in Idaho. A flawed but loving single mother, a troubled teen girl, a good doctor with a secret, a murderous sociopath—this short novel packs enough into its pages to fight well above its weight class.” —Michael Harris, author of The Chieu Hoi Saloon

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Summer Brenner's Page 

 

Prudence Couldn’t Swim
Author: James Kilgore
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-495-3
Published 2011
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 x 5
Page count: 208
Subjects: Fiction

$14.95

Set in Oakland, CA, white ex-convict Cal Winter returns home one day to find his gorgeous, young, black wife, Prudence, drowned in the swimming pool. Prudence couldn’t swim and Cal concludes she didn’t go in the water willingly. Though theirs was a marriage of convenience, he takes the murder personally. Along with his prison homie Red Eye, Cal sets out to find out who did Prudence in. His convoluted and often darkly humorous journey takes him deep into the world of the sexual urges of the rich and powerful, and gradually reveals the many layers of his wife's complex identity. While doing so, Cal and Red Eye must confront their own racially charged pasts if the killer is to be caught.

Author James Kilgore has woven together strands of his own quixotic and complicated life—twenty-seven years as a political fugitive, two decades as a teacher in Africa, and six years in prison—into a heady tale of mystery and consequences.

About the Author:

James Kilgore was a 1960s political activist in California, who ultimately became involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army.  In 1975, he fled a Federal explosives charge and remained a fugitive for 27 years. During that time, he rejected the politics of small group violence and built a life as an educator, researcher, activist, parent and husband in Southern Africa. Using the pseudonym of John Pape, he earned a  Ph.D. and authored a number of academic articles and educational materials and co-edited the acclaimed 2002 anthology: Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa (HSRC, Cape Town and Zed Press, London).  Authorities arrested Kilgore in November 2002 and extradited him to California where he served six and a half years in state and Federal prison. While incarcerated, he worked as a teachers’ assistant and also completed the drafts of eight novels and a screenplay. Umuzi Publishers (Cape Town) released his first work, We Are All Zimbabweans Now, in June of 2009. Two of his subsequent novels are contracted for release in 2011, Prudence Couldn’t Swim (PM Press, Oakland, CA) and Freedom Never Rests: A Novel of Democracy in South Africa (Jacana Media, Johannesburg).
 
Praise:

"James Kilgore is a masterful writer, and as a US activist who has lived in Africa most of his adult life, Kilgore is able to connect us to politics and culture as no other writer. This character driven mystery promises to find a devoted following."
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War.

"James Kilgore’s writing is a refreshing blend of literary talent and political insight ; something  sorely missing from much of the fiction penned by writers on the Left. His wit, swift pacing, and dead-on characterization are skillfully woven into an unflinching vision for radical change and social justice. So often we are told that a commitment to radical change and a rollicking good read mix like oil and water. Along comes Kilgore to put that lie to rest!"
Frank B. Wilderson III, Author of Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid, Winner American Book Award, 2008

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | James Kilgore's Page 

 
 
Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail! Stories of Crime, Love and Rebellion
Edited by Gary Phillips and Andrea Gibbons
ISBN: 978-1-60486-096-2
Published November 2011
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 by 5.5
Page count: 368 Pages
Subjects: Fiction Anthology

$19.95

Burn, Baby, Burn.

An incendiary mixture of genres and voices, this collection of short stories compiles a unique set of work that revolves around riots, revolts, and revolution. From the turbulent days of unionism in the streets of New York City during the Great Depression to a group of old women who meet at their local café to plan a radical act that will change the world forever, these original and once out-of-print stories capture the various ways people rise up to challenge the status quo and change up the relationships of power. Ideal for any fan of noir, science fiction, and revolution and mayhem, this collection includes works from Sara Paretsky, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Cory Doctorow, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Summer Brenner.

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Gary Phillips's Page | Andrea Gibbons's page

 

The Wrong Thing
By Barry Graham
ISBN: 978-1-60486-451-9
Published July 2011
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 by 5.5
Page count: 172 Pages
Subjects: Fiction

$14.95

They call him the Kid. He's a killer, a dark Latino legend of the Southwest's urban badlands, "a child who terrifies adults." They speak of him in whispers in dive bars near closing time. Some claim to have met him. Others say he doesn't exist, a phantom blamed for every unsolved act of violence, a ghost who haunts every blood-splattered crime scene.

But he is real. He's a young man with a love of cooking and reading, an abiding loneliness and an appetite for violence. He is a cipher, a projection of the dreams and nightmares of people ignored by Phoenix’s economic boom…and a contemporary outlaw in search of an ordinary life. Love brings him the chance at a new life in the form of Vanjii, a beautiful, damaged woman. But try as he might to abandon the past, his past won't abandon him. The Kid fights back in the only way he knows – and sets in motion a tragic sequence of events that lead him to an explosive conclusion shocking in its brutality and tenderness.

About the Author:

Barry Graham is a former boxer, former gravedigger and a current novelist,  journalist and tireless blogger whose reporting has appeared in magazines ranging from Harper's to Flaunt. He is the author of five other books, including The Book of Man, which was named one of the best books of 1995 by the American Library Association. His article "Why I Watch People Die," about the two executions he has witnessed, won a FOLIO Silver Medal in the Best Single Article Category in 2008. The French magazine Transfuge has called him "one of the great post-realist authors."

Praise:

"Graham's words are raw and gritty, and his observations unrelenting and brutally honest." Booklist

"Graham's stories are peopled with the desperate and the mad. A . . . master." —Times

"Vivid, almost lurid, prose . . . a talented author." Time Out (London)

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Barry Graham's Page


The Chieu Hoi Saloon
By Michael Harris
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60486-112-9
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 320
Dimensions: 8 by 5
Subjects: Fiction

$19.95

Los Angeles, 1992. Three people's lives are about to collide against the flaming backdrop of the Rodney King riots. Vietnam vet Harry Hudson is a rootless journalist fleeing a fear-ridden childhood, the specter of a civilian he shot in Vietnam for reasons he has yet to fathom, and the drowning of his 2-year-old daughter while he sat by drunk.

He stutters and wrestles with depression, aware he's passed the point at which victim becomes victimizer. Drawn remorselessly to the lowest dives where he feels at home, he meets Mama Thuy, a bombshell struggling to run a Navy bar in a tough Long Beach neighborhood, and Kelly Crenshaw, a prostitute whose husband is in prison.

The Chieu Hoi Saloon as character study hauls you kicking into humanity's very depths, and then drives you through the darkness as thriller: Will Harry find the love and redemption he seeks or, blinded by loneliness and need, will he commit yet another crime?

About the Author:

Michael Harris grew up in a little railroad town in Northern California, in the loom of Mt. Shasta, whose mystic influence shadowed him from the University of Oregon to Harvard to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. An army veteran of Vietnam, he has worked as a Forest Service aide, a janitor and an English conversation teacher in Tokyo. For thirty years, he was a reporter, editor and book reviewer for West Coast newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. Like his alter ego, Harry Hudson, he stutters and is a gloomy cuss. He lives with his wife in Long Beach; they have a grown son. The Chieu Hoi Saloon is his first novel.   

Praise:

"Mike Harris' novel has all the brave force and arresting power of Celine and Dostoevsky in its descent into the depths of human anguish and that peculiar gallantry of the moral soul that is caught up in irrational self-punishment at its own failings. Yet Harris manages an amazing and transforming affirmation—the novel floats above all its pain on pure delight in the variety of the human condition. It is a story of those sainted souls who live in bars, retreating from defeat but rendered with such vividness and sensitivity that it is impossible not to care deeply about these figures from our own waking dreams. In an age less obsessed by sentimentality and mawkish 'uplift,' this book would be studied and celebrated and emulated."
—John Shannon, author of The Taking of the Waters and the Jack Liffey mysteries

"Michael Harris is a realist with a realist's unflinching eye for the hard truths of contemporary times. Yet in The Chieu Hoi Saloon, he gives us a hero worth admiring: the passive, overweight, depressed and sex-obsessed Harry Hudson, who in the face of almost overwhelming despair still manages to lead a valorous life of deep faith. In this powerful and compelling first novel, Harris makes roses bloom in the gray underworld of porno shops, bars and brothels by compassionately revealing the yearning loneliness beneath the grime—our universal human loneliness that seeks transcendence through love."
—Paula Huston, author of Daughters of Song and The Holy Way

"The Chieu Hoi Saloon concerns one Harry Hudson, the literary bastard son of David Goodis and Dorothy Hughes. Hardcore and unsparing, the story takes you on a ride with Harry in his bucket of a car and pulls you into his subterranean existence in bright daylight and gloomy shadow. One sweet read."
—Gary Phillips, author of The Jook

"Michael Harris is one of those rare beings: a natural writer, with insight, sensitivity and enviable talent."
—Charlotte Vale Allen, author of Daddy's Girl and Mood Indigo
 

 

Pike
By Benjamin Whitmer
ISBN: 978-1-60486-089-4
Published July 2010
Format: Paperback
Size: 5 by 8
Page count: 224 Pages
Subjects: Fiction, Thriller

$15.95

Douglas Pike is no longer the murderous hustler he was in his youth, but reforming hasn't made him much kinder. He's just living out his life in his Appalachian hometown, working odd jobs with his partner, Rory, hemming in his demons the best he can. And his best seems just good enough until his estranged daughter overdoses and he takes in his twelve-year-old granddaughter, Wendy.

Just as the two are beginning to forge a relationship, Derrick Kreiger, a dirty Cincinnati cop, starts to take an unhealthy interest in the girl. Pike and Rory head to Cincinnati to learn what they can about Derrick and the death of Pike’s daughter, and the three men circle, evenly matched predators in a human wilderness of junkie squats, roadhouse bars and homeless Vietnam vet encampments.

About the Author:

Benjamin Whitmer was born in 1972 and raised on back-to-the-land communes and counterculture enclaves ranging from Southern Ohio to Upstate New York. One of his earliest and happiest memories is of standing by the side of a country road with his mother, hitchhiking to parts unknown.  Since then, he has been a factory grunt, a vacuum salesman, a convalescent, a high-school dropout, a semi-truck loader, an activist, a kitchen-table gunsmith, a squatter, a college professor, a dishwasher, a technical writer, and a petty thief. He has also published fiction and non-fiction in a number of magazines, anthologies, and essay collections. Pike is his first novel.

Praise:

"Benjamin Whitmer’s novel Pike is the most exciting, kick ass debut of the year."
Jedidiah Ayres, Hardboiled Wonderland

"Pike may just be the best noir novel that we’ve seen in years, a true black novel if there ever was one. I won’t name names but much of the purported noir class of crime fiction just can’t hold a candle to what is on display here, Pike is hardcore and the real deal all others are pale imitators."
Spinetingler Magazine

“Without so much as a sideways glance towards gentility, Pike is one righteous mutherfucker of a read. I move that we put Whitmer’s balls in a vise and keep slowly notching up the torque until he’s willing to divulge the secret of how he managed to hit such a perfect stride his first time out of the blocks.”
—Ward Churchill

"Benjamin Whitmer’s Pike captures the grime and the rage of my not-so fair city with disturbing precision. The words don’t just tell a story here, they scream, bleed, and burst into flames. Pike, like its eponymous main character, is a vicious punisher that doesn’t mince words or take prisoners, and no one walks away unscathed. This one’s going to haunt me for quite some time."
—Nathan Singer 

"This is what noir is, what it can be when it stops playing nice—blunt force drama stripped down to the bone, then made to dance across the page."
—Stephen Graham Jones

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Benjamin Whitmer's Page

 

I-5I-5: A Novel of Crime, Transport and Sex
By Summer Brenner
Published April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60486-019-1
Size: 5 by 8
Page count: 256 Pages
Subjects: Fiction, Thriller

$15.95

A novel of crime, transport, and sex, I-5 tells the bleak and brutal story of Anya and her journey north from Los Angeles to Oakland on the interstate that bisects the Central Valley of California.

Anya is the victim of a deep deception. Someone has lied to her; and because of this lie, she is kept under lock and key, used by her employer to service men, and indebted for the privilege. In exchange, she lives in the United States and fantasizes on a future American freedom. Or as she remarks to a friend, "Would she rather be fucking a dog...or living like a dog?" In Anya’s world, it’s a reasonable question.

Much of I-5 transpires on the eponymous interstate. Anya travels with her “manager” and driver from Los Angeles to Oakland. It’s a macabre journey: a drop at Denny’s, a bad patch of fog, a visit to a “correctional facility,” a rendezvous with an organ grinder, and a dramatic entry across Oakland’s city limits.

About the Author:

Summer Brenner was raised in Georgia and migrated west, first to New Mexico and eventually to northern California where she has been a long-time resident. She has published books of both poetry and fiction and given scores of readings in the United States, France, and Japan. In addition to I-5, her nine books include: Ivy, Tale of a Homeless Girl in San Francisco, Dancers & the Dance, and The Soft Room

Praise:

"It has a quality very rare in literature: a subtle, dark humor that’s only perceivable when one goes deep into the heart of this world’s absurd tragedy, or tragic absurdity."
R. Crumb  

"Insightful, innovative and riveting. After its lyrical beginning inside Anya's head, I-5 shifts momentum into a rollicking gangsters-on-the-lam tale that is in turns blackly humorous, suspenseful, heartbreaking and always populated by intriguing characters. Anya is a wonderful, believable heroine, her tragic tale told from the inside out, without a shred of sentimental pity, which makes it all the stronger. A twisty, fast-paced ride you won't soon forget."
—Denise Hamilton, author of the L.A.Times bestseller The Last Embrace. 

"I'm in awe. I-5 moves so fast you can barely catch your breath. It's as tough as tires, as real and nasty as road rage, and best of all, it careens at breakneck speed over as many twists and turns as you'll find on The Grapevine. What a ride! I-5's a hard-boiled standout."
--Julie Smith, editor of New Orleans Noir and author of the Skip Langdon and Talba Wallis crime novel series

"In I-5, Summer Brenner deals with the onerous and gruesome subject of sex trafficking calmly and forcefully, making the reader feel the pain of its victims. The trick to forging a successful narrative is always in the details, and I-5 provides them in abundance. This book bleeds truth--after you finish it, the blood will be on your hands." 
--Barry Gifford, author, poet and screenwriter

 

The JookThe Jook
By Gary Phillips
ISBN: 978-1-60486-040-5
Published March 2009
Format: Paperback
Size: 5 by 8
Page count: 256 Pages
Subjects: Fiction, Thriller

$15.95

Zelmont Raines has slid a long way since his ability to jook, to out maneuver his opponents on the field, made him a Super Bowl winning wide receiver, earning him lucrative endorsement deals and more than his share of female attention. But Zee hasn’t always been good at saying no, so a series of missteps involving drugs, a paternity suit or two, legal entanglements, shaky investments and recurring injuries have virtually sidelined his career.

That is until Los Angeles gets a new pro franchise, the Barons, and Zelmont has one last chance at the big time he dearly misses. Just as it seems he might be getting back in the flow, he’s enraptured by Wilma Wells, the leggy and brainy lawyer for the team--who has a ruthless game plan all her own. And it’s Zelmont who might get jooked.

About the Author:

Gary Phillips' twenty-five years of community activism in Los Angeles on issues ranging from affordable housing to gang intervention to neighborhood empowerment served him well when he began writing crime novels. He has worked as a union organizer, political campaign coordinator, radio talk show host and teacher. He has written op-ed pieces for the L.A. Times Magazine, San Francisco Examiner, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald and other newspapers. His novels include: The Perpetrators (2002), Bangers (2003) and  the seven books in the Ivan Monk and Martha Chainey series. Gary has also contribued to and edited many short stories collections such as: The Cocaine Chronicles, Politics Noir, Orange County Noir, and The Darker Mask.

Praise:

"Phillips, author of the acclaimed Ivan Monk series, takes elements of Jim Thompson (the ending), black-exploitation flicks (the profanity-fueled dialogue), and Penthouse magazine (the sex is anatomically correct) to create an over-the-top violent caper in which there is no honor, no respect, no love, and plenty of money. Anyone who liked George Pelecanos' King Suckerman is going to love this even-grittier take on many of the same themes."
—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

“Enough gritty gossip, blistering action and trash talk to make real life L.A. seem comparatively wholesome.”
Kirkus Reviews  

“Gary Phillips writes tough and gritty parables about life and death on the mean streets--a place where sometimes just surviving is a noble enough cause.  His is a voice that should be heard and celebrated.  It rings true once again in The Jook, a story where all of Phillips’ talents are on display.” 
—Michael Connelly, author of the Harry Bosch books




Real Cost of Prisons and From the Bottom of the Heap Win Pass Award!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

 
The  
National Council on Crime and Delinquency  
Announces
 
The 2008 PASS Award Winners

 
 
Oakland, CA, March 20
 
The National Council on Crime and Delinquency is pleased to announce the 2008 Winners of its respected PASS Awards (Prevention for a Safer Society). NCCD honors the media’s success and vital role in illuminating the people and programs that uncover the root causes of crime and those that promise to protect our most precious resource—our youth—against involvement in crime. A list of the 2008 PASS Award recipients is posted on our website at www.nccd-crc.org
 
We are currently accepting entries for the 2009 calendar year. Complete instructions and a printable entry form can also be found on the PASS Awards page of our website.
 
A critical link in successful policies related to youth and justice is the education of the public. The media is uniquely positioned to be this link, and we gratefully acknowledge their efforts to fulfill that responsibility. Each year the PASS Awards honor media professionals in the fields of print, literature, broadcast media, television, and film in recognition of thoughtful and factual coverage of the issues. Special consideration is given to those stories that highlight solutions to criminal and juvenile justice and child welfare problems.  
 
NCCD is the nation=s oldest private organization working to attain responsive and effective criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. For over 100 years, NCCD has been committed to promoting criminal justice strategies that are fair, humane, cost-effective, and uncompromising in public safety. The issues that have defined NCCD since its inception are the need for a separate and humane justice system for children, alternatives to incarceration, and the fundamental connection between social justice and public safety. For more information on NCCD, please visit our website at www.nccd-crc.org
 

 
CONTACT: Susan Marchionna, smarchionna@sf.nccd-crc.org or (510) 208-0500 x346

For more on The Real Cost of Prisons Comix click below:

 

 

 

 

For more on From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King click below:

 




PM Press in NYC

The schedule is packed! The weekend of the 11th-12th we are tabling at the New York Anarchist Bookfair and will have a load of panelists. With events at Bluestockings Bookstore and the Brecht Forum throughout the week, and everything culminating at the Left Forum the following weekend with a sprinkiling of outside events...well you can see we will be busy! And we hope to see you around, it's going to be an amazing week indeed. So have a scroll through to see what's on, or use the quick links below to jump to a particular day.

table
Saturday, April 11

Sunday, April 12
Monday, April 13
Tuesday, April 14
Wednesday, April 15
Thursday, April 16
Friday, April 17
Saturday, April 18
Sunday, April 19

Saturday, April 11th


Prison/State: Anarchist Perspectives on Incarceration, Resistance, and Abolition

ResistanceNew York Anarchist Bookfair, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Manhattan
11:15 AM
With Danielle, Victoria Law, Kyung Ji Kate Rhee, Viviane Saleh-Hanna, and Brendan Story

This panel will explore a variety of anarchist perspectives on the origins and impacts of incarceration, strategies and opportunities for resistance and prisoner support, and prison abolition. Dr. Viviane Saleh-Hanna will begin our discussion with a focus on the racialized militarization of justice, linking contemporary mass incarceration to a long-standing, white-supremacist confinement and genocide of Africans. Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, and Kyung Ji Kate Rhee will go on to examine the particular challenges facing incarcerated women and youth, discussing current strategies of resistance carried out by those behind bars, opportunities for solidarity and support from people on the outside, and ways abolitionists can support reform without inadvertently strengthening the prison system. Finally, Brendan Story of the NY Anarchist Black Cross will discuss the importance of supporting political prisoners and how those efforts contribute to prison abolition more broadly. There will be time for questions and discussions following brief presentations by the speakers as well as opportunities to get involved in anti-prison work.

 

"The Crisis in Anarchist Publishing and Distribution"

New York Anarchist Bookfair, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Manhattan
2:45 PM
With Ramsey Kanaan, Kate Khatib, Joe Biel, Microscosm, and Alexander Dwinell

These are hardly auspicious times for media, publishing, and the dissemination of words and ideas. Since the rise of the movement -- radical publishers, bookstores, magazines et al in the 60s -- publishing has taken a beating. The growth of the chain-stores and then the rise of the Internet have hardly been kind, long before the current recession sparked a further hemorrhaging of staff, sales, and profitability across the mainstream and Left publishing houses and media institutions, and the closure of numerous stores, infoshops, magazines, and publishers. The panel, chaired by Ramsey Kanaan, will attempt to further illuminate this sad state of affairs, examine whether the wounds are somewhat self-inflicted, and probe the eternal what is to be done?


Book Launch: Karl Kersplebedeb “The Red Army Faction”

RAFBluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7 PM

The Red Army Faction produced some of the most (in)famous urban guerrillas to come out of the 1960’s revolt in Europe. Please join Kersplebedeb for a release party and a discussion of The Red Army Faction: Projectiles for the People, the first English language collection of Red Army Faction writings, manifestos, and communiqués.


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Sunday, April 12th


"Let Freedom Ring"

New York Anarchist Bookfair, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Manhattan
4:00 PM
With Paulette D'Auteuil, Ana M. Lopez, Matt Meyer, and Ashanti Alston

Drawing from panelists' experiences on both sides of the wall, this workshop will detail key campaigns of the past two decades regarding prisoner rights and political prisoners. Lifelong Puerto Rican independentista Prof. Ana Lopez of CUNY/Hostos will discuss the principles of non-collaboration, especially as they relate to her current work as coordinator of the Hostos Grand Jury Resistance Campaign. D'Auteuil, a leader of the New York Jericho Movement who has worked for decades to free imprisoned American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier, will report on current cases of vital importance to the movement. And Meyer, editor of the recently published Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free US Political Prisoners, will kick off a participatory discussion on the significance of political prisoners to the overall justice and peace movement.


Illustrating Resistance: Art and Activism

Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7 PM
With Kevin Caplicki, Molly J. Fair, Kevin Pyle, Erik Ruin, Seth Tobocman and Susan Willmarth

Come out for a discussion about art, activism, and creating visual tools for social movements. Seth Tobocman will present drawings from his latest book Disaster and Resistance. Kevin Pyle and Susan Willmarth will discuss their contributions to The Real Cost of Prisons Comix. Erik Ruin and Kevin Caplicki will discuss Voices from Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex, a portfolio created by Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative.

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Monday, April 13th


Becoming the Media: A Critical History of Clamor Magazine

becomingBluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7 PM

Clamor was a movement magazine published from 1999-2000. Join Jen Angel and other special guests to talk about Clamor's history, the role of independent media in social movements, and building institutions on the left.

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Tuesday, April 14th


Resistance Behind - and Beyond - Bars

Rsistance

Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7 PM

Join us for an evening of discussion and readings about incarceration and resistance. Ashanti Alston (former BLA member and Prisoner of War, current co-chair of the Jericho Movement) will read from his upcoming let freedommemoir. Victoria Law (author, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women) will talk about issues facing incarcerated women and their resistance and individual organizing; Matt Meyer (editor of Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movement to Free
Political Prisoners
) and Lynne Stewart (attorney and contributor to Let Freedom Ring) will discuss the movement to free political prisoners in the U.S.

 

Film screening and discussion of Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out Discussion with filmmaker Clifton Ross

venezuelaBrecht Forum - 451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets, New York, NY 10014
7:30 PM
 
Clifton Ross is a writer, translator, teacher and video activist who has worked in, and reported from, Latin America for more than twenty-five years. In addition to editing and translating several books of Latin American poetry, he translated and co-edited, with Ben Clarke, the first book of Zapatista writings to appear in English: Voice of Fire (New
Earth Publications, 1994). In 2005 he represented the U.S. in the World Poetry Festival of Venezuela and his book of poetry, translated into Spanish, is set to be published there this year (Traducir el Silencio, Editorial Perro y Rana). His first feature-length movie, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out is a critical look at the Bolivarian Process drawn mostly from the experience of the participants themselves.

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Wednesday, April 15th


Direct Action Labor Struggle and Social Change


laborBluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7:00 PM

The panel will combine shop-floor practitioners, scholars, and legal thinkers to examine the possibilities of returning to a labor and social movement based on direct action and rank n' file control.  The panelists wil assess prospects for moving toward anti-authoritarian organizing around transformative workplace demands.

Cesar Barturen - immigrant sweatshop worker and rank n' file leader of high-profile workplace justice campaign against a prominent food distribution company in New York, Wild Edibles, Inc.
Daniel Gross - organizer and workers' rights attorney; founding director of Brandworkers, a non-profit for retail and fast food workers; co-author of Labor Law for the Rank & Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law.
Liberte Locke - Starbucks barista and rank n' file leader of the Industrial Workers of the World campaign at Starbucks

 

The Crisis In (Left) Publishing

Brecht Forum, 451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets, New York, NY 10014
7:30 PM

With Rev. Rachel Guidera, Ramsey Kanaan, Colin Robinson & Amy Scholder
These are hardly auspicious times for media, publishing, and the dissemination of words, and ideas. Since the rise of ‘movement’ and radical publishers, bookstores, magazines et al in the 60s, publishing has taken a beating. The growth of the chain-stores, then the internet have hardly been kind, long before the current recession sparked a further hemorrhaging of staff, sales, and profitability, across the mainstreamand Left publishing houses and media institutions. The panel – chaired by Ramsey Kanaan -  will attempt to further illuminate this sad state of affairs, examine whether the wounds are somewhat self-inflicted, and probe the eternal ‘what is to be done?’

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Thursday, April 16th


Through the Lens Series: Venezuela: Revolution From The Inside Out, with film-maker Clif Ross doing the Q & A.

venezuelaBluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7:00 PM

Clifton Ross is a writer, translator, teacher and video activist who has worked in, and reported from, Latin America for more than twenty-five years. In addition to editing and translating several books of Latin American poetry, he translated and co-edited, with Ben Clarke, the first book of Zapatista writings to appear in English: Voice of Fire (New
Earth Publications, 1994). In 2005 he represented the U.S. in the World Poetry Festival of Venezuela and his book of poetry, translated into Spanish, is set to be published there this year (Traducir el Silencio, Editorial Perro y Rana). His first feature-length movie, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out is a critical look at the Bolivarian Process drawn mostly from the experience of the participants themselves.

 

FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEAP: A Talk by Robert Hillary King, the Only Freed Member of the Angola 3

Fron the BottomNew York University (exact location TBA). Free and open to the public.
7:30 PM

In 1970, a jury convicted Robert Hillary King of a crime he did not commit and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He became a member of the Black Panther Party while in Angola State Penitentiary, successfully organizing prisoners to improve conditions. In return, prison authorities beat him, starved him, and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a six by nine foot cell for 29 years as one of the Angola 3. In 2001, the state grudgingly acknowledged his innocence and set him free. This is his story.

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Friday, April 17th


Robert King Live with Herb Boyd

Fron the BottomCity College of New York, Harlem Campus, Lecture Hall 0-201, The North Academic Center
6:30 PM

The City College Black Studies Department & The Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community & Student Center Proudly Presents: Straight Out Of Harlem: "Live With Herb Boyd" Harlem's Own Internationally Renowned Author & Award Winning Journalist Herb Boyd To Host A Double Book Signing, Film & Live Conversation: With 32 Year Former "Angola 3" Political Prisoner, Robert Hillary King

Come join Bro. Herb as former U.S. held Political Prisoner "King Wilkerson" shares his story as a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Black Panther Party; His 32 years of illegal torture and imprisonment in the infamous Angola Prison and; His continuing struggle to free the remaining two "Angola 3" Political Prisoners: Herman Wallace & Albert Woodfox who still remain in solitary confinement

Sponsored By: The East Regional Black Panther Party Commemoration Committee; The Safiya Bukhari-Albert Nuh Washington Foundation; The NBPP/Harlem Chapter And; The Universal Zulu Nation

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Saturday, April 18th


Let Freedom Ring: Turning Points for the Movements to Free US Political Prisoners

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
10:00 AM
Moderator: Ashanti Alston, co-chair, National Jericho Movement;former BLA political prisoner

Drawing from panelists’ experiences on both sides of the wall, this workshop will detail key campaigns of the past two decades regarding prisoner rights and political prisoners. King, recounting stories from his three decades in solitary confinement in the notorious Angola Correctional Facility, will share excerpts from his recently released autobiography, From the Bottom of the Heap. Lifelong Puerto Rican independentista Prof. Ana Lopez of CUNY/Hostos will discuss the principles of non-collaboration, especially as they relate to her current work as coordinator of the Hostos Grand Jury Resistance Campaign. D’Auteuil, a leader of the New York Jericho Movement who has worked for decades to free imprisoned American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier, will report on current cases of vital importance to the movement. And Meyer, editor of the recently published Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free US Political Prisoners, will kick off a participatory discussion on the significance of political prisoners to the overall justice and peace movement.

Mini-bios of panelists & moderator:

Robert Hillary King, aka Robert King Wilkerson, is part of a trio of American political prisoners collectively known as The Angola 3, who formed a Black Panther Party chapter inside Louisiana’s Angola State Penitentiary. In 2001, King was found innocent and walked out after 31 years of incarceration, 29 of them in solitary confinement. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to free his Angola comrades Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who remain political prisoners.

Paulette D’Auteuil is a longtime political organizer and teacher who has been supporting political prisoners for three decades. She is a leader of the Jericho Movement’s New York City chapter and is active in the Leonard Peltier Support Group.

Ana M. Lopez is an adjunct assistant professor of the Humanities Department at Hostos Community College; a longtime pro-independence activist, educator and fighter; NY coordinator of the former National Committee to Free Puerto Rican POWs and Political prisoners in the 1980-1999; and, presently, spokesperson of the Hostos Grand Jury Resistance Campaign, a coalition that defends resisters who take the principle position of "non-collaboration.”

Matt Meyer, editor of Let Freedom Ring, is the former national chair of the War Resisters League, and is a founding member of Resistance in Brooklyn (RnB). Educational Director of a Manhattan- based public alternative high school, Meyer is also the author of Time is Tight: Urgent Tasks for Educational Transformation-Eritrea, South Africa, and the USA, as well as several other titles from Africa World Press.

Ashanti Alston, co-chair of the National Jericho Movement, which seeks amnesty for all political prisoners, is an anarchist Panther who spent 14 years behind bars. Active with Critical Resistance and with the pro-Zapatista Estacion Libre, he is also a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.


 
Anarchist Cinema—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Arena

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
10:00 AM

A new anthology, Arena—On Anarchist Cinema, takes a backward glance at early twentieth century attempts to synthesis film and anti-authoritarian militancy (the French “pedagogical cinema” movement, the film produced by the CNT during the Spanish Revolution) while also assessing current permutations in anarchist cinema (films on globalization, web-based activism). The panel will take this volume as a departure point and endeavor to survey both past and present trends and provide a context for placing anarchist film within the broader spectrum of left political cinema—e.g. the traditions of documentary filmmaking, Italian neorealism, and avant-garde cinema. Panelists will also consider how new technologies will continue to enrich anarchist film practice.

Panelists:  Richard Porton is one of the editors of Cineaste in New York and has taught film history at various universities in the New York area. He is the author of Film and the Anarchist Imaginaiton  (Verso) and the editor of two forthcoming anthologies—Arena: On Anarchist Cinema (PM Press) and Dekalog 3: On Film Festivals.

Howard Besser is Professor of Cinema Studies and Director of New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program.   His current research projects include preserving digital public television, preserving and providing digital access to dance performance, and issues around copyright and fair use.

Andrew H. Lee is currently a librarian at New York University’s Tamiment Library where he is also completing his doctoral dissertation on Gender and the Family in the Work of Federica Montseny. 

 

Resistance Struggles on the Inside: Political Organizing Behind Bars

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
12:00 PM
Moderator: Meg Starr, founding member of Resistance in Brooklyn, longtime activist in support of political prisoners

This illuminating and inspiring panel will highlight past and present struggles of prisoners trying to do political organizing while locked up. King will relate his experiences inside Louisiana’s notorious Angola State Penitentiary, where in the early 1970s he and Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace — collectively known as The Angola 3 — formed a Black Panther Party chapter and organized prisoners to improve their conditions. Around the same time, prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute in Walpole, Massachusetts, began a move for reform that led to the prisoners winning control of the maximum-security facility’s day-to-day operations for a year; Bissonette, author of When the Prisoners Ran Walpole, will relate key events from this amazing true story. Finally, Law will fast-forward to the present and discuss contemporary resistance struggles and organizing, particularly inside women’s prisons.

Mini-bios of panelists & moderator:

Robert Hillary King, aka Robert King Wilkerson, is part of a trio of American political prisoners collectively known as The Angola 3, who formed a Black Panther Party chapter inside Louisiana’s Angola State Penitentiary. In 2001, King was found innocent and walked out after 31 years of incarceration, 29 of them in solitary confinement. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to free his Angola comrades Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who remain political prisoners. He is the author of From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King (PM Press, 2008).

Jamie Bissonette is Missisquoi Abenaki. She coordinates the Criminal Justice Program for the American Friends Service Committee in New England, which campaigns to end the use of Solitary Confinement and to educate communities about the Prison Industrial Complex. She is the author of When the Prisoners Ran Walpole: A True Story in the Movement for Prison Abolition (South End Press, 2008).

Victoria Law is a writer, mother, and photographer. She’s also the co-founder of Books Through Bars—NYC and publisher of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison. Her new book, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM
Press, 2009), is the culmination of 8 years of research, writing and listening to the stories of incarcerated women.

 

Laboring American Culture: The Politics and Practices of Studs Terkel, Herbert Gutman, Staughton Lynd, and Archie Green


Labor LawLeft Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
3:00 PM

Sean Burns (Chair) - History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz
. Andrej Grubacic - ZMedia Institute, Sociology, University of San Francisco.
 Steve Brier - CUNY
Al Stein - Consortium for Oral History Educators and a lecturer at Chicago State University

 

Counter Culture Industries: Capitalist, Anti-capitalist, Non-capitalist


Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
3:00 PM

Jesse Goldstein (Chair) - Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
David Spataro - Geography, CUNY Graduate Center
, Brandon Joyce - Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Studies, 
Stephen Duncombe - Gallatin School, New York University
, Chris Carlsson - author, "Nowtopia!", 
Tianna Kennedy - artist and curator,  
Josh Macphee - author and curator

 

The Crisis In (Left) Publishing

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
3:00 PM 

These are hardly auspicious times for media, publishing, and the dissemination of words, and ideas. Since the rise of ‘movement’ and radical publishers, bookstores, magazines et al in the 60s, publishing has taken a beating. The growth of the chain-stores, then the internet have hardly been kind, long before the current recession sparked a further hemorrhaging of staff, sales, and profitability, across the mainstream and Left publishing houses and media institutions. The panel – chaired by Ramsey Kanaan -  will attempt to further illuminate this sad state of affairs, examine whether the wounds are somewhat self-inflicted, and probe the eternal ‘what is to be done?’

Colin Robinson has worked on a variety of progressive books at Verso, the New Press and, until recently, Scribner.  Over the last 20 plus years he’s worked variously as Managing Director at Verso, Publisher at the New Press, and Senior Editor at Scribner.

Rev. Rachel Guidera is the former Czarina of Verso (where she reigned for a decade) and is currently the Sales & Marketing chump for The New Press. She spends her days sending the same email over and over to people in hopes of hearing back.

Amy Scholder is the Editorial Director of the Feminist Press. She has previously worked as Editor-in-Chief of Seven Stories Press and US Publisher of Verso Books. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

Ramsey Kanaan founded the Anarchist publisher and distributor AK Press (named after his mother) from his bedroom in Stirling, Scotland nearly three decades ago. He co-founded the very Left publisher PM Press (named after a collective failure of the imagination) from his bedroom in Oakland, CA, a scant 13 months ago.

 

Direct Action Labor Struggle and Social Change

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
5:00 PM  

The panel will combine shop-floor practitioners, scholars, and legal thinkers to examine the possibilities of returning to a labor and social movement based on direct action and rank n' file control.  The panelists will assess prospects for moving toward aggressive organizing around transformative demands.

Cesar Barturen - immigrant sweatshop worker and rank n' file leader of high-profile workplace justice campaign against a prominent food distribution company in New York, Wild Edibles, Inc.

Daniel Gross (Chair)- workers' rights attorney and founding director of Brandworkers, a non-profit for retail and fast food workers; co-author of Labor Law for the Rank & Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law.

Andrej Grubacic - radical activist and scholar, co-author most recently of Wobblies and Zapatistas.

Liberte Locke - Starbucks barista and rank n' file of leader of the Industrial Workers of the World campaign at Starbucks

 

Radical Left/International Film Makers


Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
5:00 PM  

Big Noise Collective Members
,
 Clifton Ross

 

 

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Sunday, April 19th


Venezuela: Revolution From The Inside Out

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
10:00 AM

Clifton Ross is a writer, translator, teacher and video activist who has worked in, and reported from, Latin America for more than twenty-five years. In addition to editing and translating several books of Latin American poetry, he translated and co-edited, with Ben Clarke, the first book of Zapatista writings to appear in English: Voice of Fire (New Earth Publications, 1994). In 2005 he represented the U.S. in the World Poetry Festival of Venezuela and his book of poetry, translated into Spanish, is set to be published there this year (Traducir el Silencio, Editorial Perro y Rana). His first feature-length movie, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out is now available from PM Press. In 2008 Clifton traveled through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina gathering material for his new film and writing for www.upsidedown.world and www.dissidentvoice.org . He teaches creative writing and English at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, California.

Clifton Ross will show excerpts from his film, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out (2008, PM Press), a critical look at the Bolivarian Process drawn mostly from the experience of the participants themselves. In the section entitled: "Building Socialism: One Cooperative at a Time" participants in cooperatives reveal the enormous contradictions they face: their own capitalist inclinations, their hunger for a new society and their love and commitment to the "revolución bonita" ("pretty revolution"). Ross will also talk about the social movements in Latin America and their prospects for the future.

 

Women on the Margins: Incarceration and Resistance in the Current Era


resistanceLeft Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
12:00 PM

Diana Block (Chair) - California Coalition for Women Prisoners, 
Pilar Maschi - Critical Resistance NYC & a formerly incarcerated woman, 
Joanne Macri - Immigrant Defense Project, 
Laura Whitehorn - former anti-imperialist political prisoner & editor of POZ
, Susan Rosenberg - former anti-imperialist political prisoner
, Victoria Law - Books Through Bars—NYC

 

A Panel Discussion on Anarchism and Marxism


wobbliesLeft Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
12:00 PM

Andrej Grubacic (Chair) - Sociology, University of San Francisco. 
Staughton Lynd - Radical historian, Local Education Coordinator for Teamsters Local 377 in Youngstown. 
Denis O'Hearn - Sociology, Queens College, Belfast
. Cindy Milstein - Institute for Anarchist Studies
. Prof. Ziga Vodovnik - University of Ljubljana

 
Illustrating Resistance: Art, Activism and Popular Education

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
3:00 PM

This panel will explore the intersections of art, activism, and popular education. The panelists are artists who create visual tools and resources for social movements and community empowerment.  They will discuss the different dimensions of their relationships with social movements, as artist, witness, teacher and documentarian.  The panel will address various collective art-making practices, strategies for teaching art-making techniques that can be used for grassroots political campaigns, and the possibility of creating radical change through the distribution and dissemination of graphics and information in print, on the street, and on the web.  The panelists will present examples of their work and graphics that are relevant to these themes. These will include the comics created by Kevin Pyle and Susan Willmarth for The Real Cost of Prisons Project, Peter Kuper's documentation and sketches of his experiences living in Oaxaca, Mexico during times of popular uprising, and Josh Macphee's compilation of political graphics, Reproduce and Revolt/Reproduce Y Rebélate.  The panelists will also discuss their involvement in collective projects such as World War 3 Illustrated, INX, and Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative.

Peter Kuper co-founded the political graphics magazine World War 3 Illustrated in 1979 and remains on its editorial board to this day.  He has taught at New York's School of Visual Arts since 1986 and Parsons school of design and is also an art director of INX a political illustration group syndicated through the web at inxart.com.  Peter has done covers for Time and Newsweek and his illustrations and comics have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Mother Jones, The Nation, Harpers, Virginia Quarterly Review as well as MAD where he has been writing and drawing SPY vs. SPY every month since 1997. He has written and illustrated dozens of books, among them his wordless graphic novel, Sticks and Stones, which won the New York Society of Illustrators gold medal. Peter lived in Oaxaca, Mexico with his wife and daughter from 2006-2008 and a compilation of his sketchbooks and writing about the experience, Diario De Oaxaca will be published this spring.

Josh MacPhee is an artist, writer, curator and activist. His work often revolves around themes of radical politics, privatization and public space. His most recent book is Reproduce & Revolt/Reproduce Y Rebélate (Soft Skull Press, 2008, co-edited with Favianna Rodriguez). His other books include Stencil Pirates, and Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority. He also organizes the Celebrate People's History Poster Project, an ongoing poster series in which different artists create posters to document and remember moments in radical history. He is the founder of Justseeds, which has become a radical artists' cooperative, a decentralized group of artists and printmakers doing collaborative projects and distributing their work.

Kevin Pyle began contributing and co-editing World War 3 illustrated, America’s longest-running radical comics anthology, in the mid 1990's. Much of the work done for WW3 illustrated was collected in his 2001 docu-comic, Lab U.S.A.: illuminated documents (autonomedia, 2001). A non-fiction comic investigation of clandestine racist and authoritarian science, Lab U.S.A. won the Silver Medal for Sequential Art from the Society of Illustrators. He has done performance and installations based on the text that have been exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Mass MOCA, and numerous gallery settings. In 2005 he wrote and illustrated Prison Town, an activist comic about the financing and siting of prisons published by The Real Cost of Prisons Project. He is also the author of the graphic novels Blindspot and the forthcoming Katman.

Susan Willmarth is an artist, activist, and co-editor of World War 3 Illustrated. She wrote and illustrated Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children for The Real Cost of Prisons Project, which includes stories about women trapped by mandatory sentencing and the "costs" of incarceration for women and their families. She also illustrated several of the 'For Beginners' book series on topics including Black History, linguistics, Marshall McLuhan, and opera.

Molly Fair is an artist and activist interested in grassroots media production. She has taught workshops on stencil and printmaking, street art, and video. She was a founding member of Visual Resistance, and worked on projects such as the No RNC Poster Project and ghost bike memorials in NYC. She has collaborated with numerous groups including Groundswell Mural Project and Deep Dish Television. She is a member of the Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative. 


Obama's Iraq

Left Forum, One Pace Plaza
, New York, NY 10038
3:00 PM

Film screening by Big Noise Films.


Robert Hillary King: keynote speaker at Jericho 4th Annual Day in Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners


Fron the BottomSolidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St., 5th Floor
3:00-7:00 PM

Sponsored by: NYC Jericho Movement, NYC Anarchist Black Cross Federation, NYC Free Mumia Coalition. For more information: nycjericho@gmail.com / www.jerichony.org / 718-853-0893

 

 
Wobblies & Zapatistas: Conversations On Anarchism, Marxism, And History From Below

wobbliesBluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
7:00 PM

Wobblies and Zapatistas offers the reader an encounter between two generations and two traditions. Andrej Grubacic is an anarchist from the Balkans. Staughton Lynd is a lifelong pacifist, influenced by Marxism. They meet in dialogue in an effort to bring together the anarchist and Marxist traditions, to discuss the writing of history by those who make it, and to remind us of the idea that "my country is the world." Encompassing a Left libertarian perspective and an emphatically activist standpoint, these conversations are meant to be read in the clubs and affinity groups of the new Movement. Andrej, at least, will present his side of the story!

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Robert King's Northeast Speaking Tour

From the Bottom of the Heap


FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEAP
A Talk by Robert Hillary King, the Only Freed Member of the Angola 3

You will see new events confirmed as of April 14th in red...


U.S. NORTHEAST SPEAKING TOUR: APRIL 4-22, 2009 -- WITH STOPS IN:
MA: Roxbury, Boston, Springfield, Northampton, Amherst
VT: Brattleboro
CT: Hartford, Middletown
NY: Troy-Albany, Rochester, New York
PA: Philadelphia
& more TBA

 

NEW YORK, NY- Tuesday, April 14, 6:00 p.m. – Fordham University - Midtown Campus (Lincoln Center, Room 109, 155 W. 60th St. entrance). Free and open to the public.

NEW YORK, NY- Friday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.- Booksigning, Film & Conversation – The Harlem Campus of the City College of New York, Lecture Hall 0-201 in The North Academic Center (NAC Building), W. 137th Street between Amsterdam & Convent Avenues. Presented by the City College Black Studies Dept. & the Eastern Regional Black Panther Commemoration Committee. For more information: 212-650-5008; 718-231-7379; 646-920-6730.

NEW YORK, NY- Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. -- New York University (Room 405, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South). Free and open to the public.

NEW YORK, NY- Friday, April 17-Sunday, April 19 -- Left Forum, Pace University (One Pace Plaza, across from City Hall). King will be participating on two panels: "Let Freedom Ring: Strategies to Free US Political Prisoners Today" on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and "Resistance Struggles on the Inside: Political Organizing Behind Bars" on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. For more information: http://www.leftforum.org / 212-817-2003.

New York, NY - Friday, April 17th, 6:30 PM -- Harlem Campus of the City College of NY, Lecture Hall 0-201, The North Academic Center. The City College Black Studies Department & The Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community & Student Center Proudly Presents: Straight Out Of Harlem: "Live With Herb Boyd" Harlem's Own Internationally Renowned Author & Award Winning Journalist Herb Boyd To Host A Double Book Signing, Film & Live Conversation: With 32 Year Former "Angola 3" Political Prisoner, Robert Hillary King

NEW YORK, NY- Sunday, April 19 -- Solidarity Center (55 W. 17th St., 5th Floor). Keynote speaker at Jericho 4th Annual Day in Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners. Sponsored by: NYC Jericho Movement, NYC Anarchist Black Cross Federation, NYC Free Mumia Coalition. For more information: nycjericho@gmail.com / www.jerichony.org / 718-853-0893

NEW YORK, NY- Monday, April 20, 12:00 p.m.
-- Brooklyn College, Penthouse of Student Union Building (2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn). Free and open to the public.

STORRS, CT- Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 p.m.“Injustice and the Case of the Angola 3.” Part of Human Rights Awareness Week, University of Connecticut (Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center). Free and open to the public. For more information: elaine.mccafferty@uconn.edu / 203-297-1740.

PHILADELPHIA, PA- Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. -- University of Pennsylvania (Terrace room in Claudia Cohen Hall - 249 South 36th Street, Philadelphia). Free and open to the public


*Signed copies of Robert Hillary King's autobiography From the Bottom of the Heap (PM Press, 2008) will be available for purchase at all events.


BACKGROUND:

“I was born in the U.S.A.  Born black, born poor. Is it then any wonder that I have spent most of my life in prison?” —Robert Hillary King

In 1970, a jury convicted Robert Hillary King (formerly known as Robert King Wilkerson) of a crime he did not commit and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He became a member of the Black Panther Party while in Angola State Penitentiary, successfully organizing prisoners to improve conditions. In return, prison authorities beat him, starved him, and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a six-by-nine foot cell for 29 years as one of "the Angola 3." In 2001, the state grudgingly acknowledged his innocence and set him free.

In his autobiography, From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King (PM Press, 2008), King begins his story at the beginning: born black, born poor, born in Louisiana in 1942. At the age of 15, King journeyed to Chicago as a hobo. He came back to Louisiana, married and had a child, and briefly pursued a semi-pro boxing career to help provide for his family. Just a teenager when he entered the Louisiana penal system for the first time, King tells of his attempts to break out of this system, and his persistent pursuit of justice where there is none.

The conditions King endured in Angola almost defy description, yet King never gave up his humanity, nor his tireless work towards justice for all prisoners. That work continues to this day, now "from the outside" — as he speaks out against the failures and inequities of the criminal injustice system, and fights to free his Angola 3 comrades Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who have been behind bars for 36 years, most of them in solitary confinement.

Robert King's story is one of inspiration, courage, and the triumph of the human spirit. Says Malik Rahim, co-founder of Common Ground Collective (in post-Katrina New Orleans): "For a person to go through 29 years in one of the most brutal prisons in America and still maintain his sanity and humanity, that's what makes people want to listen to Robert."


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
http://www.aidandabet.org/roster/king
http://www.kingsfreelines.com/
http://www.angola3.org
http://www.a3grassroots.org


Justine Johnson
Publicist, Aid & Abet
http://www.aidandabet.org
Cell: 413-695-1721
Email: justine@aidandabet.org




PM Press at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair

It's that time again! The 14th Annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair is this weekend, and we hope to see many of you there! Apart from the incredible bounty of the PM table with all of our wares, there is an amazing lineup of PM authors to educate and inspire you...and sign your new books. So mark your calenders now.

 


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How Shall I Live My Life?

PM Press is excited to offer this collection of interviews in which Derrick Jensen discusses the destructive dominant culture with ten people who have devoted their lives to undermining it.

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