"Earlier, many of us saw themselves as anarchists, Spontis, or communists, while some had vague, individual ideas about a liberated life. Then we all became Autonome."
Monday, May 28 at 7PM
La Belle Epoque
Black blocs, squats, riots and urban guerillas - but also base groups in the factories, "free spaces", antinuclear occupations, and alternative lifestylism - all of these formed the context, the terrain, and the world of Germany's Autonomous movement during its high point in the 1980s. Today best known for the militant street fighting tactics they exemplified, the Autonomen opposed the capitalist State while purposefully not putting forward any kind of blueprint for what would replace it, an ethos summed up in the slogan, "No power to no one!"
The challenges faced by the Autonomen - repression from the police, integration from the reformist left - and the way in which they were met, provide a look forward to what may face our own movements in the time to come. As the current capitalist crisis leads to new surges in protest, with radical elements try to break out of the reformist structures and defeatist traditions meant to hold us back, Germany in the 1980s doesn't seem so far away.
Fire and Flames was the first comprehensive study of the German autonomous movement ever published. Released in 1990, it reached its fifth edition by 1997, with the legendary German Konkret journal concluding that "the movement had produced its own classic." This is the first english translation ever published.
The author, writing under the pseudonym of Geronimo, has been an Autonomous activist since the movement burst onto the scene in the early 80s. His book is not an academic study, but a movement history produced by a participant in the events, for all of us engaged in building resistance to capitalism, and fighting for a liberatory future.
This book launch will include a brief overview of the Fire and Flames as well as several readings from the book, and a brief presentation about how the German movement responded to repression similar to what is happening today in Montreal. This will hopefully be followed by a discussion of how this relates to current struggles occurring here today. A short film will also be shown.
Whisper translation between english and french will be provided.
Refreshments will be served.
Copies of Fire and Flames will be available at the discounted price of $16 (normal price is $20)