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Our Best of 2019: Readings for Popular Power

In a world where everything seems to change in the blink of an eye and all that is solid melts into air almost as quickly, reflection can be a radical act. With this in mind we reviewed our blog content for 2019 to select twelve key statements and articles providing lessons and examples that we hope to take into 2020.

-Black Rose/Rosa Negra Social Media Team

Los Angeles performance of “Un violador en tu camino.”

1. Viral Chilean Feminist Anthem Hits the US: “Un Violador En Tu Camino”

The Chilean feminist anthem “Un Violador En Tu Camino” (A Rapist in Your Way) has spread across Latin America and the globe, including the U.S. This piece presents three personal accounts of performances in U.S. cities.

2. Bolivia: Commentary on the Coup Underway

Shortly after the coup in Bolivia, a Black Rose/Rosa Negra comrade and Latin American historian from Chile offered a brief commentary on the situation.

3. Statement: One Month Since the Popular Revolt in Chile

An analysis of the Chilean uprising based on a collaboration between Black Rose/Rosa Negra, Solidaridad (Chile), and Acción Socialista Libertaria (Argentina):

“The current tasks, agenda, and emancipatory perspective must be those visions and demands put forward by working people in the streets, workplaces, schools and universities. Organizing and supporting the growth of popular neighborhood assemblies independent from political parties allows the grassroots blossoming of debates to initiate and build a program of demands in the short, medium, and long-term.”

4. Wildcat Strike Launched by UC Santa Cruz Grad Student Workers

Striking graduate student worker Cameron A. writes: “This was the reality that I walked into when I accepted an offer to join a graduate program at UC Santa Cruz. Assuring myself that my conditions couldn’t be any more dire than those I had faced throughout my many years working in the service industries of Los Angeles and the Bay Area — I soon came to the realization that I was completely mistaken.”

5. Anarcha-Feminism: To Destroy Domination in All Forms

It is often said that history is a weapon but it also serves as a reflection of the past through which we make better sense of the present. Julia Tenenbaum’s narrative provides a much needed overview of anarchist feminism which emerged as a distinct current from the larger radicalization of the 1960s and 70s period. (Originally published in Perspectives)

6. Green Power: Strong Movements to Face the Climate Crisis

Seattle, WA based Arthur Pye talks on It’s Going Down podcast providing a survey of the ecological crisis, various responses on the left, and above all stresses that building popular power outside of the constraints of institutional forces is what will push the dramatic changes necessary to address climate change.

7. Means and Ends: The Anarchist Critique of Seizing Power

Guest contributor and our favorite YouTube blogger Anarchopac writes: “The anarchist critique of seizing state power is often caricatured as being based on an abstract moral opposition to the state that ignores the harsh realities we are currently facing. Upon carefully reading historical anarchist authors, however, one discovers that the real reason why they argued that revolutionaries should not seize existing state power was because it was impractical for achieving their goals.”

8. Climbing The Ladder: Brown Politicians Will Not Save Us

Much needed words from Ella Mendoza: “From the very beginning of this political race, I knew none of the smiling faces in suits cared about my existence, and why would they? Sinema getting sworn in with the Constitution instead of a religious text may have been a huzzah moment for atheists worldwide, but to me, it was a reminder that no matter how friendly and feminist this “new system” might become, I was still subject to its laws. Laws that have declared my body illegal, my actions unforgivable. It doesn’t matter how old I was when I crossed the border, or how the actions of this country have had an impact on my homeland, how these very actions started the chain of events that led to me immigrating here. In this world of neoliberal feminism, we worship laws and we follow them.”

March for abortion rights in Chile. Women in fore ground, green banner in background.

9. Lessons From Latin American Feminism – Video Presentation

In this video presentation recorded at the 2018 Boston Anarchist Bookfair, Bree Busk and Romina Akemi discuss the global implications of the current upsurge of feminist activity in Latin America with a focus on Chile and Argentina. The presentation expands on many of the topics discussed in Bree Busk’s “Chile’s Feminists Inspire a New Era of Social Struggle” published by ROAR Magazine, which is a summation of the longer piece “A Feminist Movements to End Capitalism, Part I” published here.

Neighborhood street lined with snow covered cars.

10. The Warmth Fund: Solidarity Response to Extreme Cold in Chicago

“Chicago anarchists took to the streets and started organizing immediately to ensure that folks who didn’t have permanent shelter could at least get a ride to one of the warming shelters set up around the city overnight. With funds raised through a paypal pool raising over $6,000 in five days, supplies were distributed across the city, from Roger’s Park to Hyde Park and in between.”

11. Concentration Camps: The Imperial Legacy of Migrant Detention

A contribution to the debate over Trump’s policy of terror directed towards migrants and the appropriate use of the term “concentration camp.” The authors make the case for why it’s important to place what’s happening today within the context of U.S and colonial history. 

12. The State of Labor: Beyond Unions, But Not Without Them

Released on May 1st, International Workers Day, the Black Rose/Rosa Negra Labor Sector Committee offers it’s collective reflection on the current state of the U.S. labor movement – both their optimism around recent strikes and stressing the need to transform the labor movement towards its revolutionary potential. The Labor Sector Committee of Black Rose/Rosa Negra works to coordinate common strategy within labor struggles.

If you enjoyed this list of top articles we recommend this statement with a variety of introductory and recommended pieces related to our politics, “Instead of Impeachment: Indict the System.”