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New Media We Recommend

December 29, 2012

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.detail_496_Accompanyingfront300_copy

Accompanying: Pathways to Social Change, by Staughton and Alice Lynd – Long time activists and insurgent historians, Staughton and Alice Lynd give us another gem. Building on their own experiences of doing anti-racist work, union organizing, prison solidarity and anti-war activism, the authors present to us the idea of accompanying. Accompanying is another way of describing solidarity, but it is more relational in nature and operates on the premise of being present with others in the struggle. This is a term that we used when I worked in Latin America, where we would accompany people who were receiving death threats from government or paramilitary groups. The authors talk about their experiences of accompaniment in the 60s civil rights years and while doing prison solidarity. However, the longest chapter, and the one that best describes accompaniment, is the chapter on slain Salvadoran bishop Oscar Romero. A powerful and inspiring book about how we are present with each other in the struggle for justice.

9781849351164We are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategies, From Occupation to Liberation, edited by Kate Khatib, Margaret Killjoy and Mike McGuire – Of all the anthologies on since the Occupy Movement rose up in the fall of 2011, this collection of essays are by far the most dynamic and comprehensive. There are numerous personal testimonies from those who have been part of occupy experiments across the country, but what makes this collection of writings so powerful is both the critical assessment it provides of Occupy and lessons learned from the insurgent movement(s) in the US over the past year. Some authors provide brilliant analysis of what went wrong and what grassroots groups/movements still need to come to terms with when these kinds of revolutionary manifestations occur. Other contributors provide fabulous toolkits on everything from how to deal with cops, the importance of research and the value of autonomy. A wonderful collection that should be read widely and shared enthusiastically.Picture 1

Colonialism, by Mia Ramnath – This is the fifth in a series of zines we have looked at from the Institute for Anarchist Studies. Mia Ramnath, author of the book Decolonizing Anarchism, provides us with a wonderful essay that articulates the essence of what colonialism is a historical context and looks at how traditional colonialism has evolved since WWII. Ramnath makes it clear that the US engages in colonialism through direct military occupation, the use of proxy forces and global economic institutions like the IMF and World Bank. In addition, this intelligently delicious zine talks about resistance movements abroad and in the US as essentially decolonizing movements that reclaim space that has been taken over by colonizing forces. This is what makes the zine so powerful, in that it expands our notion of colonialism as something beyond history. Highly recommended.

8: The Mormon Proposition (DVD) – This documentary exposes the Mormon Church’s historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8 and the religion’s ongoing campaign against gay rights. The film takes place in California and Utah as Mormons, following their prophet’s call to action, wage spiritual warfare with money and misinformation against gay citizens, doing everything they can to deny them of marriage and the rights that come with it. An important contribution for understanding the some of the anti-LGBTQ forces in the US.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe Walker permalink
    December 30, 2012 1:20 pm

    Sounds good to me! Happy New Year Jeff!

  2. December 30, 2012 10:34 pm

    Happy New Year Joe!

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