October anarchist bazaar and reading discussion

Enjoy some much-needed and rarely gotten face-to-face time with other anarchists on Saturday, October 3rd as we gather for a discussion of the essay Social War, Antisocial Tension by Josep Gardenyes.

When an old lady marches in a protest and imagines the street free of cars and full of gardens; when a young boy lights fire to a shopping center that he and his friends have filled with gas cans and imagines a forest growing out of the ruins; when a mother entertains the fantasy of conducting her own birthing with friends in a free community where her daughter will never know of prison, of marriage, of advertising that assaults her self-esteem, of pollution, of institutional education; when all those worlds flourish parallel to our own, we will be stronger than ever.

Find the whole text here

We’ll be meeting in Clark Park again, this time at the dog bowl – discussion starts at 1:15, come around 1 for social time. As usual, we’ll have some books and pamphlets for viewing and purchase.

Mid-September online discussion

For those who missed our in-person discussion of Monsieur DuPont’s “Your face is so mysteriously kind” (or those who didn’t and have more to say) we’ll be hosting a second round of discussion online this coming Sunday, September 13th.

Life is best in idleness and comfort; intelligence and sensitivity are characteristic of a subject position squeezed from sunshine and soft clothing like red juice from a pomegranate. Revolution is the actualisation of human beings as the object of their subjectivity, it is not religious martyrdom minus the religion. If the walls are not made of paper, don’t punch them, if the bars are not made of chocolate, don’t eat them. If you cannot win, refuse the fight.

You can find the text on the anarchist library here: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/monsieur-dupont-your-face-is-so-mysteriously-kind

Reading discussion starts at 2 pm EST on jitsi: meet.mayfirst.org/viscerapvd

August Anarchist bazaar and reading discussion

Join us for our first incision into Philly with a reading discussion and social time in person (!) in Clark Park (tentatively) on the last Sunday in August!

Discussion starts at 1:30 with some hangout time beforehand, we’ll also have some books and pamphlets on hand for sale.

This month’s reading will be Monsieur Dupont’s “Your face is so mysteriously kind,” which you can find on the anarchist library here.

We look forward to seeing all of your mysteriously kind, masked faces! See you there!

August virtual anarchist discussion: Cyber-nihilism

Join us Saturday, August 1st for our next virtual reading discussion and hang-out! We went into the woods with Seaweed last time, and this time we’ll be reading something… a little different.

There is no human nature, whether that be a natural state of “wildness”, or killing each other if there’s no State, or cooperating perfectly in mutual aid in an anarcho-communist society, or whatever. Cyber-nihilists reject all essentialism and are viciously misanthropic, and therefore we also fully support the proliferation of technology. Let it cover the Earth’s surface until there is nothing that is not a part of the Wired, let Nature complete its next metamorphosis into something more sublime than anything to exist yet.

Our next reading is Hello from the Wired and its afterwords by n1x. You can find the essay on the anarchist library here – the afterwords are on their website along with the essay in hot pink text. You can also find it in aesthetic zine form with lots of screenshots from Serial Experiments Lain here.

As usual, we’ll be meeting on jitsi in room Viscerapvd – the password changes each time, so contact us beforehand! Casual discussion from 1:30-2:30, reading discussion until 4!

Mid-July virtual anarchist discussion: land and freedom

Join us Sunday, July 19th for our next virtual reading discussion and hang-out! We’ll be reading Seaweed’s Land and Freedom:

Drawing from histories of rebellion, Seaweed begins a conversation with fellow anarchists about struggle, strategy, subsistenence, or past, and our future. What kind of communities do we need to exist to support long-term rebellion against Capitalism? What would it mean to create insurrectionary movements for subsistence? What kind of relationships might arise from long-term ecologically-based struggles? This book is an invitation to explore these ideas.

(Note that this is the full version, not the excerpts uploaded to the anarchist library – you can also buy the book in full from us or Little Black Cart)

Related, optional pieces to consider are Seaweed’s appearance on The Brilliant as well as Bellamy Fitzpatrick’s An Invitation to Desertion for comparison (or here for the pdf).

As usual, we’ll be meeting on jitsi in room Viscerapvd – the password changes each time, so contact us beforehand! Casual discussion from 1:30-2:30, reading discussion until 4!

July virtual anarchist discussion: reparations and riots

Join us Sunday, July 5th for our next virtual discussion, where we’ll be revisiting the subject of race! We have two pieces on blackness in the US and the struggle against white supremacy, a very short one from from the Salish Sea Black Autonomists critiquing reparations, and a longer interview with Vicky Osterweil (author of In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action) by Zoé Samudzi on the topic of slavery, looting, and freedom.

Obviously, riots are not the revolution in and of themselves. But they gesture towards the world to come, where the streets are spaces where we are free to be happy, and be with each other, and care for each other.

Salish Sea Black Autonomists – Reparations as a verb

Zoé Samudzi and Vicky Osterweil – Stealing away in America

Casual discussion from 1:30-2:30, reading discussion from 2:30-4ish. We’ll be using jitsi once again, please contact us for the password as it’s different each time.

Mid-June special: the end of policing?

Teargas and revolt still linger in the air, but beautiful chaos gives way to the question – what next? “Defund the police” has become the slogan of the day, but anarchists are looking for something bigger. Our next event’s readings will be two pieces on the limits of reforming the police (particularly “community policing”) and consider some anarchist alternatives to policing. Join us on Sunday, June 21st from 1:30-4 on jitsi for light conversation and a discussion of these readings!

Kristian Williams – Making police obsolete (excerpt from Our Enemies in Blue)
https://libcom.org/files/Williams%20-%20Our%20Enemies%20in%20Blue%20Police%20Power.pdf (pages 223-236)

Stuart Schrader – Against the romance of community policing
https://stuartschrader.com/blog/against-romance-community-policing

Discussion will once again be online using jitsi. Usual hangout from 1:30-2:30, discussion after that. The password for the chat is different each time so PM us for the new one!

June virtual anarchist discussion

Join us in the aether once again for an discussion about Wolfi Landsreicher’s classic series of essays gathered under the title Against the Logic of Submission.

To live as a rebel, as a self-willed anarchist revolutionary, requires a great deal of will, determination and spirit in the face of dizzying odds. Thus, one essential aspect of developing an insurrectional practice is the transformation of oneself into such a spirited, willful being. Such a transformation does not take place through therapy but through attacking the social order both in its manifestations in the world and in oneself and one’s relationships.

With this rebellious work, we open a new front in our never-ending war on the existent as we relocate to Philadelphia. Join us on Jitsi from 1:30-2:30 to enjoy each other’s company, and then from 2:30 to 4 for reading discussion. Message us for the password!

Find the reading here: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/wolfi-landstreicher-against-the-logic-of-submission

Mid-May Discussion: What the Virus Said and Eco-Fascism

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our last discussion! It’s been such a blast that, for now, we will keep with our every-two-weeks virtual format!

Join us on Sunday, May 17th for another virtual discussion via Jitsi Meet (email/dm us for the room name and password)!

We’ll discuss two readings: the first piece, What the Virus Said, considers the virus as a life form, one that has come to disrupt the day-to-day workings of the capitalist machine:

Thank me for the truth test of the coming weeks ; you’re finally going to inhabit your own life, without the thousand escapes that, good year bad year, hold the untenable together. Without your realizing it, you had never taken up residence in your own existence. You were there among your boxes, and you didn’t know it. Now you will live with your kindreds. You will be at home. You will cease to be in transit towards death. Perhaps you will hate your husband. Maybe your children won’t be able to stand you. Maybe you will feel like blowing up the décor of your everyday life. The truth is that you were no longer in the world, in those metropolises of separation. Your world was no longer livable in any of its guises unless you were constantly fleeing. One had to make do with movement and distractions in the face of the hideousness that had taken hold. And the spectral that reigned between beings. Everything had become so efficient that nothing made any sense any longer. Thank me for all that, and welcome back to earth !

The second piece, Eco-Fascism: The Rhetoric of the Virus by Jay Fraser, discusses the recent obsession with the idea that the natural world is healing as a result of our staying home. The mainstream media (and many of our Facebook friends) would have us believe that dolphins are returning to the canals of Venice. Are humans the real virus? And if so, which ones?

Reading discussion will start at 2:30pm Eastern time – but we’ll gather at 1:30pm to enjoy each other’s virtual company. See you then!

May virtual bazaar: Ivan Illich and where we stand

We’ll be meeting in the aether again next month, with our regular monthly event happening Sunday, May 3rd from 1:30-4 EST. We’ll be on jitsi again in room viscerapvd, message us directly for the password because it changes each time.

Continuing with the theme of pandemic, we’ve got two very interesting pieces on perspective, one challenging how medicine conceives of people and populations and the other on how anarchists need to think critically about the questions they’re asking at this time. How are we flattening ourselves when we think of flattening the curve? What does it mean to take calculated risks and build relationships of affinity during a pandemic, as we discussed with last time’s article on social distancing? Foucault! Schmitt! Life and death! All this and more for your delectation.

Within this new “system analytic discourse,” as Illich named it, the characteristic state of people is disembodiment. This is a paradox, obviously, since what Illich called “the pathogenic pursuit of health” may involve an intense, unremitting and virtually narcissistic preoccupation with one’s bodily state. Why Illich conceived it as disembodying can best be understood by the example of “risk awareness” which he called “the most important religiously celebrated ideology today.” Risk was disembodying, he said, because “it is a strictly mathematical concept.” It does not pertain to persons but to populations – no one knows what will happen to this or that person, but what will happen to the aggregate of such persons can be expressed as a probability. To identify oneself with this statistical figment is to engage, Illich said, in “intensive self-algorithmization.”

David Cayley, Questions about the current pandemic from the point of view of Ivan Illich

For me, a starting point is that my project as an anarchist is to create the conditions for free and meaningful lives, not just ones that are as long as possible.

Anonymous, Ask a different question: Reclaiming autonomy during the virus

Reading discussion starts at 2:30, join us beforehand for much-needed socializing.