Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This is Not a Personal Blog...

but life is always personal...

my partner of twenty years is currently very sick, and i am unsure how often i will be able to update or even think of this blog in the weeks ahead.

He is the love of my life, and currently he is fighting for his life.

So we'll see what if anything i do here in the foreseeable future...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stefan Aust (interviewed on NZ radio)

Stefan Aust, Germany's leading liberal authority of the RAF, interviewed by Radio New Zealand. It's a short little interview, but it gives a flavour of the man's way of looking at things.

While i certainly disagree with his spin, Aust is someone i think you have to pay attention to if you're interested in the history of the Red Army Faction, if only because his view has come to be the "official unofficial" one we're supposed to have of the group: cold blooded, psychologically warped, cruel, obsessive... oh but they didn't start out so bad.

Similarly: they killed themselves, just like the state says they did, in prison they managed to get guns, set up a clandestine radio system, do themselves in (coincidentally on the night that the prison's video surveillance system mysteriously malfunctioned, and that's not the least of the discrepancies)... oh but someone in power probably knew they were planning this. So the state is not blameless.

Aust pushes a line of equivocation, with the psychological having primacy over the political every time someone steps to the left of social democracy. Which is fine - he is a liberal, that's what one would expect him to think.

But he's also someone with a bit of obsession about the RAF (he was briefly friends with Meinhof before she went under), and as such he's done an inordinate amount of research into the RAF's early history (until 77). His account - contained in his book The Baader Meinhof Complex, and regurgitated in the recent Uli Edel film of the same name - is marred by his seeming disinterest in the RAF's politics, or the broader political context, beyond some impressionistic "those were the daze" anecdotes. Similarly marred by his own psychological need to frame Ulrike Meinhof - the group's chief theoretician in the early years - as an innocent victim led astray by the nasty guerillas, so that every rumour or story of someone else in the group not getting along with Meinhof is zeroed in on.

Like i said, the psychological having primacy over the political.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 21st in Montreal: Whatever Happened to Armed Struggle?

Whatever Happened to Armed Struggle?

Thursday, May 21st, at 7pm
Concordia Co-op Bookstore
2150 Bishop
(metro Guy Concordia)

whisper translation will be available from English to French

Time and time again when revolutionary movements have gone on the offensive, some people have taken the step to pick up arms in their struggle against capitalism and the state.

Armed struggle was one of the most controversial yet widespread phenomena of the worldwide upsurge in the 1960s and 1970s. Inspired by theorists from the Third World liberation movements, it became a daring gambit engaged in by thousands of people within the imperialist west, many of whom were made to pay dearly for it. Even today, dozens of radicals from the 1960s and 70s continue to languish in United States prisons, testimony to just how scared those in power were of losing it all.

On Thursday, May 21st, join us at the Concordia Co-op Bookstore for the book launch of Projectiles for the People, the first volume of The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History, published by PM Press and Kersplebedeb earlier this year.

Speakers will discuss women’s experiences in armed struggle, the continuing incarceration of political prisoners in the United States and local Montreal efforts to offer them support, as well as an examination of the history and legacies of West Germany’s Red Army Faction, perhaps the most famous – and most demonized – of the urban guerilla groups to struggle from within the imperialist west.


Concordia Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop (metro Guy Concordia)


Thursday, May 21st, at 7pm

English to French whisper translation will be available

For more information, see http://www.germanguerilla.com/events
Or email info@kersplebedeb.com

Sponsored by the Concordia Co-op Bookstore, the Certain Days Calendar Committee, and Kersplebedeb Publishing.

A proud part of Montreal's Festival of Anarchy

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May 16: Laura Whitehorn and Susie Day Speaking in Montreal

Radical movements from the Weather Underground
to Prisons to Palestine

Featuring: Laura Whitehorn & Susie Day, with an introduction by a member of Montreal's Prisoner Correspondence Project.

Saturday, May 16 2009, 7pm
1400 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Room LB-125
(de Sève Cinema, Concordia University)

Former member of the Weather Underground and ex-political prisoner Laura Whitehorn and writer and activist Susie Day talk about radical activism from the sixties to the present day, how this history influences our organizing, and the connections between struggles such as anti-imperialist organizing, queer liberation, and political prisoner movements.

Limited seating available, please arrive early to avoid disappointment. This venue is wheelchair accessible. Presentations will be made in English with whisper translation into French. For childcare or other accessibility needs, please get in touch 48 hours prior to the event.

Presented by members of Certain Days Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, Open Door Books, Prisoner Correspondence Project, Project 10, Q-Team, and Tadamon!

Contact: 514 664 1036 / qteam@riseup.net

This event is taking place as part of Montreal's Festival of Anarchy: www.anarchistbookfair.ca

Speaker Bios:

Laura Whitehorn: After a relatively middle class beginning in New Rochelle, NY, Laura joined the Weather Underground Organization and later spent over 14 years in prison for a series of property bombings that protested racism and the imperial policies of the U.S. government. She's been an out lesbian most of her life and, for almost 10 years, she's been out of prison. Laura is now a senior editor at POZ, a magazine for HIV-positive people.

Susie Day: Suzie clawed her way up from the lower middle class of Kansas City to work as a hip New York City paralegal and occasional activist. She's written for various queer and leftist publications about political prisoners and labor issues. She also writes a monthly political satire column that nets her sometimes as much as 50 dollars.