Crimethinc return with a new issue of Rolling Thunder to show how beautiful anarchist journals can be.
Two articles really stood out for me in this issue. The first ‘Going it alone’ a report back from the Republican and Democrat national conventions is possibly the most comprehensive appraisal of a movement and series of actions that I have ever seen. Complete with maps, wonderous photographs and close to thousands of words it gives a full explanation of what happened from the eyes of those who were there organising, the political motivations, the repurcussions and possible futures of anarchy in the USA.
Just before reading this I was bemoaning anarchists inability to produce records of what we do; snatched reports on Indymedia and transient, overwhelmingly biased, accounts from the mainstream media are normally all that can be produced to back up an event. The new issue of Rolling Thunder shows what’s possible with some imagination and time producing a document of the event that whilst only their opinion, or the opinion of the author(s) is nonetheless a real overview of all the events, and a spark for future discussions.
“People talk about ‘preaching to the converted’ – well who fucking converted them?”
The second article that stood out for me was a short essay about ‘Music as a weapon: The contentious symbiosis of punk rock and anarchism’. An essay that is worth reading for anyone, but particularly struck a chord with my own personal experience of trying to exist both in the punk scene and anti-authoritarian community. A quote from Penny Rimbaud, of Crass fame, kicked off the article asking the prescient question, “People talk about ‘preaching to the converted’ – well who fucking converted them?” Looking at the DIY community as a space to coalesce and regroup, a space which has, in a strange turn of phrase, “helped keep anarchist ideas alive over the past thirty years in the same way that monasteries preserved science and literature through the Dark Ages.” It was interesting because it asked some interesting questions of punk rock without really coming to any firm conclusions. To be critical I think a very American view of what DIY and punk rock mean was taken, but overall it was an article worth reading.
But this shouldn’t be mistaken for me saying that the rest of the issue was only mediocore. Far from it. Cover to cover there are beautiful images, exceptional design and erudite analysis of capitalism in crisis, reports on what happened in Oakland in January, how to organise in small-towns as well as a fascinating interview with an anonymous Greek organiser about the uprising there last December.