I’m appearing this Sunday at the Houston Anarchist Bookfair along with my educational collective, Oh Shit! What Now? I’ll teach a revised version of our class, “Punching Nazis” from 11:15am to 12:15pm at MECA Houston (1900 Kane St) on September 24, 2017. The event is free and open to the public.
In a recent episode of Act Out! inspired by Hurricane Harvey, Eleanor Goldfield looks back at disaster relief and disaster capitalism after Hurricane Katrina. From there, she pivots to a critique of Chris Hedges recent garbage take on antifa, using my recent article on antifascist disaster relief as evidence that antifascists are building a more just world through mutual aid in addition to fighting nazis in the streets.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, is a bipartisan effort before congress to legalize agricultural hemp. However, it’s deeply flawed in its current form. And a recent study on CBD oil shows many people are giving up prescription pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs in favor of CBD.
Finally, who are the antifascists? What is black bloc? Why do activists wear masks? And how are antifa getting involved in Harvey relief efforts?
Black bloc are the masked activists in matching black clothes you may have seen at protests or on TV. There are many misconceptions about black bloc, especially about who they are and why they look the way they do.
One common misconception is that antifa (antifascists) and black bloc are one and the same, or that block bloc are all members of a particular activist movement. In reality, black bloc is not a movement but a tactic that has been used by diverse groups and movements over the years. Originally developed by autonomists in Europe, black bloc tactics first came to America during the protests against the World Trade Organization, including the famous “Battle of Seattle” in 1999.
By wearing masks and near identical clothing, activists in a black bloc protect their identities while creating a sense of unity and common purpose. While acts of property destruction by masked individuals tend to receive most media attention, one of the most common purposes of a black bloc is to protect other activists from attacks by police and fascists.
Kit O’Connell talks with Scott Harris of Counterpoint Radio about Antifa’s philosophy and views on the danger posed by the Trump presidency and the rise of white supremacist, Neo-Nazi, KKK and “Alt-Right” groups nationwide. He also examines the media coverage Antifa has received, much of it demonizing the movement’s activists as committing indiscriminate violence equivalent to that of extreme right wing groups.
My Gonzo Notes essay on “Antifa & Hurricane Harvey” was quoted in the UK Paper, The Independent.