#47: Introducing the Anarchist Critique of Democracy


Anarchy vs. democracy; Huye, Hombre, Huye; political prisoner updates; Adbusters

Listen to the Episode — 96 min


Is Democracy what we’re fighting for, as anarchists? In episode 47 of the Ex-Worker Podcast, a contentious debate between Clara and Alanis on this topic sets the stage for an upcoming, in-depth engagement with the topic of Democracy. In addition, we clean out our backlog of listener feedback, clarifying our trash-talking of both the Bay Area and Adbusters in past episodes, as well as hearing from a listener in Australia about various online resources for finding out what’s happening with anarchist and anti-fascists in the land down under. NYC Anarchist Black Cross provides us with thorough political prisoner updates, and we share a review of the book Huye Hombre Huye, available from Little Black Cart. As always, the episode is bookended with global news updates, plus prisoner birthdays, a whole slew of upcoming anarchist bookfairs and other events and more. {March 16, 2016}

Notes and Links

  • Table of Contents:
    The Hot Wire – 2:10
    Listener feedback – 9:47
    • The Bay Area – 9:55
    • Adbusters and the Billion People March – 16:15
    • Occupations and tactics – 27:56
    • Australia – 35:04
    • SoleCast – 38:41
    Political Prisoner Updates – 40:25
    Introducing the Anarchist Critique of Democracy – 47:13
    The Chopping Block: “Huye, Hombre, Huye” Review – 1:22:52
    Next Week’s News – 1:30:30
    Prisoner Birthdays – 1:32:58
    Conclusion – 1:34:05
  • The Bay Area – 9:55
  • Adbusters and the Billion People March – 16:15
  • Occupations and tactics – 27:56
  • Australia – 35:04
  • SoleCast – 38:41
  • New York Anarchist Black Cross (NYC ABC) is doing a fantastic job of keeping us updated on political prisoners and prisoners of war. If you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of political prisoners in the US, you can check out their new Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners. It’s got detailed info on all their cases including up to date mailing addresses plus tips on writing to prisoners; it’s a great overview if you want to support radical prisoners but aren’t sure where to start.

  • Dr. Mutulu Shakur, a longtime black liberation prisoner who helped Assata Shakur escape to freedom, was supposed to be released from prison in February… but his release was denied at the last minute. He’ll be facing the parole board later this spring. Here’s a link to a statement he wrote explaining the situation with more info on how to show support. Supporters have also launched a new website at MutuluIsWelcomeHere.com to gather stories describing his the positive impacts he has made and to organize solidarity events leading up to his parole hearing.

  • Former Black Panther Maliki Shakur Latine will also be heading to the parole board in April, and he’s collecting parole letters; check out justiceformaliki.org for details.

  • Supporters of Brandon Baxter (one of the Cleveland Four, anarchists active in the Occupy movement who were entrapped in an FBI plot) are doing a small fundraising campaign right now to help with costs to get him some visitors in his new digs at FCI Terre Haute in Indiana. Brandon hasn’t received any visitors since his sentencing, and he’s never had a in person visit since his arrest. He’s about 11 hours away from his supporters who plan to visit and they need to raise some money for a car rental. They’re only a couple of hundred bucks short, so even if you can throw in a few dollars it’ll make a difference. Any donations not used for this trip will go into the general fund to support the Cleveland Four getting visitors. To learn more about their case, check out cleveland4solidarity.org or listen to Episode 17 on Conspiracy.

  • Eric King, an anarchist from Kansas City accused of an alleged attack on a politician’s office, has accepted a non-cooperating plea deal for a ten year prison sentence; after time served, he’s got eight and a half years left to go. On top of this, the facility where he’s locked up CCA is now on lock-down, and Eric has been put in solitary confinement. Please take a few minutes to send Eric a postcard or letter to remind him that folks are thinking of him.

    Eric King 27090045
    CCA Leavenworth
    100 Highway Terrace
    Leavenworth, KS 66048

  • Former earth liberation prisoner Daniel McGowan will be in court on March 15th in Washington, DC to support the Center for Constitutional Rights’ case against the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ “Communication Management Units.” The CMUs are experimental prison units that impose severe restrictions on prisoners’ communications, both within the prison and with the outside world. If you’re in the DC area and you want to show some solidarity against a particularly vicious form of repression - one that has primarily targeted Muslims and political radicals - you can find the info on our website.

  • On March 23, Tyler Lang has his sentencing hearing for his charges under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for releasing thousands of animals from a fur farm. If you can be in Chicago, please attend the hearing to show support for Tyler. It is important that on this difficult day for Tyler that he feel surrounded by love and solidarity, and that the judge see that Tyler is part of a community that is there for him. His co-defendant Kevin Olliff was sentenced to three years, which with time serve means he’s only got about three months left to go!

  • J ay Chase of the NATO 3 has one more pretrial hearing in Chicago on March 23rd - actually at the same time as Tyler Lang’s sentencing hearing, though in a different courtroom, before he goes to trial on April 11th. Supporters ask anyone to come out who’s able and to continue sending Jay support through letters or mailing softcover books. Stay posted on updates at freethenato3.wordpress.com.

  • Solecast, the excellent anarchist podcast we mentioned at the end of the listener feedback, can be found on it’s website here and on iTunes. We highly recommend that you check it out!

  • As we mentioned, anarchist in Belgium are facing repression and prison time for alleged property destruction related to a long struggle against the construction of a Maxi-Prison in Haren. A little more information about the struggle and information about how to send money or otherwise show solidarity can be found here.

  • Our listener Cut Snake wrote in response to our request to send us a list of blogs and websites that publish news of interest to anarchists and antifascists from Australia. This should keep us all busy for a while:

  • Huye Hombre Huye, the book we reviewed on today’s chopping block, is available from little black cart on their website.

  • The material from our theme segment today was inspired by the new 10-part Crimethinc. Feature critiquing democracy. It’s not posted yet, but when it is it’ll be up at crimethinc.com. And don’t forget to stay tuned to the podcast for our upcoming audio version, plus more information about how to plug into reading groups.

  • The theme segment also mentioned and quoted from another piece called ‘Breaking with Consensus Reality,’ from the zine Terror Incognita, released in the U.S. around the time of the Occupy movement.

  • From March 18th to 20th in Athens, Ohio, Appalachia Resist! will host an action camp in to connect environmental justice and social justice efforts in the Appalachian region. Here’s how they describe themselves: Appalachia Resist! is a small group of rural activists who use direct action as a tactic to resist the fracking industry in our region. We work and live in a rural working class community that is predominant white. We see that struggles for environmental justice and the ongoing fight for racial justice are linked. We want to articulate that link and find concrete ways to work together to push back against a system that brutalizes and sees as disposable the bodies of low income rural people, people of color, gender nonconforming people, women, native, and undocumented people. Mentioning all these people together should not be a way of erasing difference (this is not “all lives matter”) but a way of seeking actual solidarity based on mutual liberation. This is a monumental task, and we are definitely not experts. But we think it’s important and necessary. They’re encouraging regional activists working on racial justice, anti-rape culture, prison solidarity and prison abolition, environmental justice and anti-extraction, and other struggles to take part.

  • In Seoul, South Korea, the Anarchist Film Festival of Hannam-dong will open March 24th through 26th at “Take Out Drawing”, an art space standing in defiance of gentrification in downtown Seoul.

  • On April 23rd at Stone Mountain, outside Atlanta, Georgia, there’s a big white supremacist rally planned, and anti-fascists around the region are gearing up to shut it down. Check out the website alloutatl.com for more info on the mobilization; it articulates some shared principles that address some of the nuances of diverse anti-racist mobilizations in a particularly thoughtful way.

  • The anarchist book fair season kicks off in earnest in April, with book fairs in Zagreb, Croatia on the 8th through 10th; Dublin, Ireland on the 15th and 16th; Sheffield, UK on the 23rd, Oakland, California on the 26th, and Bristol, UK on the 30th, followed by Bern, Switzerland on May 6th and 7th.

  • Prisoner birthdays this Month:

    Luke O’Donovan #1001372271
    Washington State Prison
    P.O. Box 206
    Davisboro, GA 31018
    (March 2nd)

    Reverend Joy Powell #07G0632
    Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
    P.O. Box 1000
    Bedford Hills, NY 10507–2499
    (March 5)

    Ruchell Cinque Magee #A92051
    Calif. State Prison, D–5 #1, P.O. Box 4670
    Los Angeles County, Lancaster, CA 93539
    (March 17)

    Jaan Laaman #10372–016
    USP Tucson
    P.O. Box 24550
    Tucson, AZ 85734
    (March 21)

    Kevin Olliff
    KEVIN JOHNSON 47353–424
    MCC Chicago
    Metropolitan Correctional Center
    71 West Van Buren Street
    Chicago, IL 60605
    (March 27)

    Delbert Orr Africa #AM4985
    SCI Dallas
    1000 Follies Road
    Dallas, PA 18612
    (April 2)

    Charles Sims Africa #AM4975
    SCI Dallas
    1000 Follies Rd.
    Dallas, PA 18612
    (April 2)