2 Anarchy Alive! sit-down. Anarchy Alive! is an anarchist book about anarchism. It explores org/homepage/resources/PDF/annualreview2005.pdf. Austrian

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First published 2008 by Pluto Press 345 Archway Road, London N6 5AA and 839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 www.plutobooks.com Copyright © Uri Gordon 2008 The right of Uri Gordon to be identifi ed as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Hardback ISBN-13 978 0 7453 2684 9 ISBN-10 0 7453 2684 6 Paperback ISBN-13 978 0 7453 2683 2 ISBN-10 0 7453 2683 8 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data applied for This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Designed and produced for Pluto Press by Chase Publishing Services Ltd, Fortescue, Sidmouth, EX10 9QG, England Typeset from disk by Stanford DTP Services, Northampton, England Printed and bound in the European Union by CPI Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham and Eastbourne, England Gordon 00 pre ivGordon 00 pre iv25/9/07 13:04:2925/9/07 13:04:29

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ContentsAcknowledgements vi Introduction 11 What Moves the Movement? Anarchism as a Political Culture 11 2 Anarchism Reloaded Network Convergence and Political Content 28 3 Power and Anarchy In/equality + In/visibility in Autonomous Politics 47 4 Peace, Love and Petrol Bombs Anarchism and Violence Revisited 78 5 Luddites, Hackers and Gardeners Anarchism and the Politics of Technology 109 6 HomeLandAnarchy and Joint Struggle in Palestine/Israel 139 7 Conclusion 163 Bibliography 165 Index 180 Gordon 00 pre vGordon 00 pre v25/9/07 13:04:2925/9/07 13:04:29

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AcknowledgementsThis book began its unlikely life as my doctoral project at Oxford University. My foremost gratitude is to my supervisor, Michael Freeden, who in his patient and insightful way provided invaluable perspective and a great deal of useful criticism. David Miller and Elizabeth Frazer read drafts of four of the chapters that eventually made their way into this book, and offered important suggestions. Katherine Morris, my advisor at Mans˚ eld College, was also a great source of support during the dif˚ cult and anxious process of writing. In developing the material into this book I am grateful to have had the bene˚ t of comments and support from Ronald Craigh, Laurence Davis, Marianne Enckel, Benjamin Franks, Sharif Gemie, David Graeber, Andrej Grubacic, Ruth Kinna, Cindy Milstein, Alex Plows, Stephen Shukaitis, Starhawk and Stuart White. So many other friends, comrades and colleagues have contributed to the ideas expressed in this book without reading my written work that I could never mention some without doing injustice to others. If you, reader, have ever exchanged ideas with me in conversation then something of the following pages is yours, as are my heartfelt thanks and solidarity. During my research I have also enjoyed the hospitality of several autonomous spaces, whose living example of ‚anarchy in action™ will always be remembered: Can Masdeu (Barcelona), Centre Autonome (Lausanne), Cecco Rivolta (Firenze), CIA (Amsterdam), Dragon˜ y (Oxford), Equinox (Manchester) Eurodusnie (Leiden), Forte Prenestino (Roma), Les Naus (Barcelona), Les Tanneries (Dijon), La Tour (Genève), Ragman™s Lane (Wye Valley), Salon Mazal (Tel Aviv) and Talamh (Lanarkshire). Earlier versions of Chapters 2 and 6 have appeared as academic articles in the Journal of Political Ideologies and in Anarchist Studies , respectively. I thank the editors and the anonymous reviewers who contributed useful comments on these versions. The editors and staff at Pluto Press have been of invaluable assistance in bringing this book to print, and my thanks goes to David Castle, Helen Grif˚ ths, Melanie Patrick, Stuart Tolley and Robert Webb. During work on this book I was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel-Aviv University. viGordon 00 pre viGordon 00 pre vi25/9/07 13:04:2925/9/07 13:04:29

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Finally, my parents Ze™ev and Shifra, my sisters Noa and If™at, and my partner, Lucy Michaels, have been there for me throughout to offer their unconditional love and support. It is to them that I am ultimately indebted.Acknowledgements vii Gordon 00 pre viiGordon 00 pre vii25/9/07 13:04:2925/9/07 13:04:29

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IntroductionStirling, Scotland Œ 6 July 2005: 2 a.m. From the ‚Hori-Zone™ eco- village and protest camp, where ˚ ve thousand anti-G8 activists have been staying in tents for the past week, a mass exodus is in progress. The rain pours down steadily as they trek in small groups through ˚ elds and hills, heading for the A9. The plan: to prevent delegates and staff from arriving at the prestigious Gleneagles hotel, where the heads of the world™s eight most powerful countries meet this morning. It is still dark when police vans make their appearance at the camp™s one exit, but by now most of the activists are long gone. Minutes later, a remaining thousand or so rush out the gate, many of them in black clothes and with covered faces. In the front is a small group with a few thick pieces of wood around seven feet long. Others wear bicycle helmets, have foam padding taped on their limbs, or carry trash-can lids as shields. Two more groups have mobile walls made of in˜ ated tyre-liners, four in a line fastened with Gaffa tape. These are used to push back the police line, while the bloc swarms out and starts moving down the road. Passing through the nearby industrial estate, some people build a barricade on the retreat line, others collect rocks in trollies, and another group breaks off for a moment to deface a bank and a Burger King. Pushing towards the M9 motorway as the day breaks, the march evades or ˚ ghts its way through four more police lines, this time with more than in˜ ated tyres. On the way, someone sprays graf˚ ti on a wall: Anarchists=2 : Police=0. Back on the A9, hundreds of people are obstructing the road along a few miles, using branches and concrete slabs or staging mass sit- downs. The cops are vastly outnumbered and outmanoeuvred, dragging one group off the tarmac only to have another block the road a few hundred metres down. Then, miles away, six af˚ nity groups simultaneously blockade carefully-selected junctions and bridges in a ring surrounding Gleneagles, throwing the entire region into a gridlock. There is no exit from Perth and Crieff. In Muthill people lie on the ground with limbs connected through metal tubes. In Yetts o™ Muckhart they use bicycle D-locks to fasten themselves by the neck to an obstructing vehicle. At Kinkell Bridge there is a mass 1Gordon 01 intro 1Gordon 01 intro 125/9/07 12:18:0025/9/07 12:18:00

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2 Anarchy Alive! sit-down. The railway approach to Gleneagles has also been disabled Œ tracks raised off the ground with a compressor, tyres set a˜ ame as a warning. Two decades of accumulated experience in non-violent direct action Œ only a few hours to turn Perthshire into one big traf˚ c jam. In it, hundreds of secretaries, translators, businessmen and spin doctors are beginning one very long morning. Earlier that week, at the ‚Make Poverty History™ march in Edinburgh, a lea˜ et was distributed where the blockaders made plain of their cause:Make History; Shut Down the G8 The G8 have shown time and time again that they are unable to do anything but further the destruction of this world we all share. Can we really believe that the G8 will ‘Make Poverty History’ when their only response is to continue their colonial pillage of Africa through corporate privatisation? Can we expect them to tackle climate change when whether or not it is a serious problem is up for debate, as their own leaked documents show? Marching is only the fi rst step. More is needed as marches are often ignored: think back to the mega-marches against the Iraq war. The G8 need to be given a message they can’t ignore. They can’t ignore us blocking the roads to their golf course, disrupting their meeting and saying with our bodies what we believe in – a better world. However, we don’t need to ask the G8 to create a better world. We can start right now, for example, with thousands of people converging together to demonstrate practical solutions to global problems in an eco-village off the road to Gleneagles – based on co-operation and respect for the planet. Starting today we can take responsibility for our actions and the world we will inherit tomorrow. We can all make history. In case someone hasn™t noticed, anarchism is alive and kicking. The past decade or so has seen the full revival of a global anarchist movement on a scale and on levels of unity and diversity unseen since the 1930s. From anti-capitalist social centres and eco-feminist farms to community organising, blockades of international summits, daily direct actions and a mass of publications and websites Œ anarchy lives at the heart of the global movement that declares: ‚another world is possible™. Far from the end of history predicted in 1989, the circulation and spread of anarchist struggles and politics Œ largely in advanced capitalist countries Œ has been a vital force behind resistance to neo-liberalism and the Permanent War. The Gordon 01 intro 2Gordon 01 intro 225/9/07 12:18:0125/9/07 12:18:01

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Introduction 3 a-word itself can be a source of pride, an unnecessary liability or an insigni˚ cant accessory. Its euphemisms are legion: anti-authoritarian, autonomous, horizontalist – but you know it when you see it, and anarchy is everywhere. I arrived in Europe in October 2000. The ostensible purpose was to write a PhD about environmental ethics, but the IMF/World Bank protests in Prague had just happened, the fresh buzz of anti-capitalism was palpably in the air, and I was eager to get a piece of the action. I had done some peace and environmental activism in Israel, and had read my Marx, Marcuse and Kropotkin. Now I went to a report-back meeting by activists who had returned from Prague, and within a few weeks we were organising a demo outside an Oxford lecture hall, where former IMF chief Michel Camdessus was being honoured. I soon ended up doing much more activism than studying. I became more and more involved in alternative globalisation networks, and did a fair bit of what activists snidely refer to as summit hopping. I was tear-gassed in Nice, corralled in London and narrowly escaped a pretty horrible beating in Genoa. After September 11 there were the anti-war movements and, increasingly, the line between reformers and revolutionaries was being drawn in the sand. About the same time I also realised that what I was doing was not neglecting my studies at all. I could easily construe my activism as ˚ eldwork, and actually gear my academic work to the needs of activists. This book is the result.Anarchy Alive! is an anarchist book about anarchism. It explores the development of anarchist groups, actions and ideas in recent years, and aims to demonstrate what a theory based on practice can achieve when applied to central debates and dilemmas in the movement today. While the content will most immediately interest anarchists and others quite familiar with the topic Œ to whom I would probably recommend skipping straight to Chapters 3Œ6, where the real juice begins Œ this book is also a way to learn about anarchism and explore the ideas that feature prominently in direct-action networks today. Still, the major aim is to make a contribution within anarchist theory, without having to apologise about it.Chapter 1 offers a basic framework for thinking about anarchism, not in terms of its content, but in terms of what kind of thing anarchism is. I propose to understand anarchism as at least three things. First, anarchism is a contemporary social movement, composed of dense networks of individuals, af˚ nity groups and collectives which communicate and coordinate intensively, sometimes across Gordon 01 intro 3Gordon 01 intro 325/9/07 12:18:0125/9/07 12:18:01

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4 Anarchy Alive! the globe, and generate innumerable direct actions and sustained projects. What is sometimes confusing about the anarchist movement is that it is so thoroughly decentralised and networked Œ all this activity usually happens without formal membership or ˚ xed organi- sational boundaries. Second, anarchism is a name for the intricate political culture which animates these networks and infuses them with content Œ the term being understood here as a family of shared orientations to doing and talking about politics, and to living everyday life. Some of this culture™s major features are: A shared repertoire of political action based on direct action, building grassroots alternatives, community outreach and confrontation. Shared forms of organising Œ decentralised, horizontal and consensus-seeking. Broader cultural expression in areas as diverse as art, music, dress and diet, often associated with prominent western subcultures. Shared political language that emphasises resistance to capitalism, the state, patriarchy and more generally to hierarchy and domination.Anarchist political language, for its part, conveys a third sense of anarchism Œ anarchism as a collection of ideas. Anarchist ideas are serious and sophisticated as well as ˜ uid and constantly evolving. The content of central anarchist ideas changes from one generation to another, and can only be understood against the background of the movements and cultures in and by which they are expressed. To map the ideas of the contemporary anarchist movement, Chapter 2 points to three themes that appear central to anarchist political language today. The ˚ rst is the rejection of all forms of domination, a term that includes the manifold social institutions and dynamics Œ most aspects of modern society, in fact Œ which anarchists seek to uncover, challenge, erode, and ultimately overthrow. The second is the ethos of direct action, which stresses un-mediated intervention to confront injustices and build alternatives to capitalism Œ in destructive and defensive forms such as industrial sabotage or forest occupations, or in constructive and enabling ones such as social centres, community gardens and cooperatives. The idea of direct action is also related to the emphasis on ‚pre˚ gurative politics™, or Gordon 01 intro 4Gordon 01 intro 425/9/07 12:18:0125/9/07 12:18:01

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