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Occupied London – Revolt and Crisis in Greece

Revolt and Crisis in Greece: Between a Present Yet to Pass and a Future Still to Come is a collective attempt to grapple with these questions. A collaboration between anarchist publishing collectives Occupied London and AK Press, this timely new volume traces Greece’s long moment of transition from the revolt of 2008 to the economic crisis that followed. In its twenty chapters, authors from around the world—including those on the ground in Greece—analyse how December became possible, exploring its legacies and the position of the social antagonist movement in face of the economic crisis and the arrival of the International Monetary Fund.

In the essays collected here, over two dozen writers offer historical analysis of the factors that gave birth to December and the potentialities it has opened up in face of the capitalist crisis. Yet the book also highlights the dilemmas the antagonist movement has been faced with since: the book is an open question and a call to the global antagonist movement, and its allies around the world, to radically rethink and redefine our tactics in a rapidly changing landscape where crises and potentialities are engaged in a fierce battle with an uncertain outcome.

Contributors include Vaso Makrygianni, Haris Tsavdaroglou, Christos Filippidis, Christos Giovanopoulos, TPTG, Metropolitan Sirens, Yannis Kallianos, Hara Kouki, Kirilov, Some of Us, Soula M., Christos Lynteris, Yiannis Kaplanis, David Graeber, Christos Boukalas, Alex Trocchi, Antonis Vradis, Dimitris Dalakoglou and the Occupied London Collective. Art and design by Leandros, Klara Jaya Brekke and Tim Simons. Edited by Antonis Vradis and Dimitris Dalakoglou of Occupied London.

The Priest and the Devil by Féodor Dostoyevsky

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(The Russian realist, 1821–1881, wrote this little story upon the wall of his Siberian prison)

“HELLO, you little fat father!” the devil said to the priest. “What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don’t you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don’t you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make them suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. Don’t you know this? Well, then, come with me!”

The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there running and hurrying to and fro, and toiling in the scorching heat. Very soon the thick, heavy air and the heat are too much for the priest. With tears in his eyes, he pleads with the devil: “Let me go! Let me leave this hell!”

“Oh, my dear friend, I must show you many more places.” The devil gets hold of him again and drags him off to a farm. There he sees workmen threshing the grain. The dust and heat are insufferable. The overseer carries a knout, and unmercifully beats anyone who falls to the ground overcome by hard toil or hunger.
Next the priest is taken to the huts where these same workers live with their families—dirty, cold, smoky, ill-smelling holes. The devil grins. He points out the poverty and hardships which are at home here.
“Well, isn’t this enough?” he asks. And it seems as if even he, the devil, pities the people. The pious servant of God can hardly bear it. With uplifted hands he begs: “Let me go away from here. Yes, yes! This is hell on earth!”
“Well, then, you see. And you still promise them another hell. You torment them, torture them to death mentally when they are already all but dead physically. Come on! I will show you one more hell—one more, the very worst.”
He took him to a prison and showed him a dungeon, with its foul air and the many human forms, robbed of all health and energy, lying on the floor, covered with vermin that were devouring their poor, naked, emaciated bodies.
“Take off your silken clothes,” said the devil to the priest, “put on your ankles heavy chains such as these poor unfortunates wear; lie down on the cold and filthy floor—and then talk to them about a hell that still awaits them!”
“No, no!” answered the priest, “I cannot think of anything more dreadful than this. I entreat you, let me go away from here!”
“Yes, this is hell. There can be no worse hell than this. Did you not know it? Did you not know that these men and women whom you are frightening with the picture of a hell hereafter—did you not know that they are in hell right here, before they die?”

Occupied London issue #5: ‘Disorder of the Day’

Post image for Occupied London issue #5: ‘Disorder of the Day’

As the frames of revolt reach a dazzling speed, this last issue of the anarchist journal takes a step back to reflect on the uprisings of recent years.

Editorial by the Occupied London collective:

This is the last issue of Occupied London, a journal that started in the political freeze-frame that was London in the mid 00s. In December 2008, at the continent’s other end, the frames started moving again; as they sped up, new movements, revolts, ripples of transformation appeared. We changed our shape to respond to this unfolding condition. For a few years, we focused on regular blog updates from the streets in Greece; then, taking a few steps back and a deep breath, we put a book together, trying to understand the state of the antagonist movement in Greece with our comrades.

And now? The frames have reached a dazzling speed; the consensus of democracy’s good ol’ times has broken and sheds its glass all over the continent, and beyond: the old world is in crisis, and along with it is its previously imposed global consensus on what counts as “progress”, “democracy” or “development”. Are these the creaks and sighs of a new global order settling, are they the early days of global economic fascism, or, could they be the cracks and moaning of its collapse?

The change in everything that we live through is dramatic — and the only way to respond to this new landscape is by changing the format through which we act, communicate, the way we do and spread our politics. If there is a lesson that we should have learned by now in this prolonged moment of crisis, it is that political action that isn’t versatile is doomed to be paralysed in a radical milieu that becomes rapidly outpaced, superseded by the anger of peoples the world over. What has it ever meant to be underground or radical? Whatever the answer, it had already mattered less and less so in, say, struggles over gender, race, or sexuality — now, with revolts becoming the (dis)order of the day, old identifications become obsolete in street politics, too.

And so, this issue is an end and a beginning. It is the end of Occupied London as it existed so far: as irregular journal issues and as a single blog. From now on, we want to be able to respond faster and more acutely to what is playing out around us. Over the coming months, we will be working on both an expanded version of our “From the Greek Streets” blog and on a web platform that will allow for in-depth analysis of our time of global revolt. And then, on much more… We will not reveal much more about the full future format of Occupied London; suffice to say, we will continue updating the blog while we work on the shape of things to come.

Around four years since our last print issue, we have decided to end this phase of the Occupied London project with one final tribute to our journal format. This, our last issue, features reflections from many recent sites of mass revolts from the past few years: it is reminiscent and eagerly awaiting the times to come…

Download a PDF version of Occupied London #5 here.

Occupied London issue #5: ‘Disorder of the Day’

Democracy Street Issue I – September 2013

Democracy Street political magazine was created in summer 2013 by a group of writers, journalists and political researchers and theorists. The Democracy Street team focuses on campaigning for social emancipation, promoting the project of collective and individual autonomy, aiming to the self-transformation of society, recognizing the creative and non-determinable nature of the socio-political realm. Democracy Street consists of a collectivity of local campaign groups based in England, Greece, Netherlands and Sweden. It operates on a voluntary basis and issues twice a year. The first issue of is now available.

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Mexican student activists Sandra Patargo and Eduardo Velasco (involved in the movement #YoSoy132) are interviewed by Levi Misli. They talk about the teachers’ struggle in Mexico and recount their visit to the Zapatista rebel territory this summer where they participated in the new initiative of the EZLN, the “Escuelitas”.

Words from both sides of the Wall is a fieldwork of an activist who visited the West Bank (Palestine) and talks about the living conditions of the Palestinians and the defeatist spirit of many Israeli activists who resist militarism. The central question of the piece is the anarchist stance towards the creation of a Palestinian nation-state.

The rest of the articles are concerned with political theory and deal with a variety of issues, such like political apathy, multiculturalism, racism, the work ethic, as well as the European Union and direct democracy.

To receive a copy use this contact form. Alternatively click here

Points of distribution:

  • London:  Freedom Bookstore (Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street), and available at the Anarchist Bookfair 2013 (London).
  • Amsterdam: Anarchistische Bibliotheek (Bollox, Eerste Schinkelstraat 14-16)

Hannah Arendt – Between Past and Future

This book – initially published in 1961 by The Viking Press in the United States and by Faber and Faber Ltd in Great Britain – is consisted by a collection of eight exercises in political thought and offers a key account of western politics. Arendt analyzes the philosophical roots of occidental political traditions with deep understanding of the Greek and Roman traditions, which have been largely abandoned.

Arendt attempts to propose solutions for humans to re-think about their role in the world by reviving what has been lost through centuries, given that modern philosophy has not succeeded in helping humans to live correctly. Arendt’s clarity of thought should be read, admired, and emulated.