Post Colonial Anarchism: Essays on race, repression and culture in communities of color 1999-2004

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It’s not immediately clear that anarchists of color (APOC), as a group, have any basic philosophical or strategic differences with our white allies and fellow travelers in the ‘movement.’ We don’t exist as a formal, national organization (probably a good thing). Many of our experiences in anarchist scenes have been characterized by a mixture of racial isolation and patronizing tokenism. Some of us are just now beginning to break out of this social and political box.

But just because our ties are not immediately clear doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. What connects anarchists of color, I think, is our common history of victimization and struggle against white supremacy, capitalism and other forms of social domination, our common experiences of marginalization in various anarchist circles, and our respective spiritual/ cultural traditions that gave our ancestors inspiration to fight in the face of odds even more daunting than the ones we face today. Our comparable histories of victimization and struggle, our social experiences from within the movement and our cultural traditions provide APOC’s with a common ground to build trust and unity.

These short essays, written between Fall 1999 to Fall 2004 are an attempt to articulate some of those points of contact between colored organizers, activists, cultural and support workers in the movement against authority and capitalism. I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself and those who agree with me but don’t have time to sit around writing essays. The topics range from re-thinking the traditional anarchist stance on electoral involvement to punk to the fight against the prison industrial complex. There are themes that run throughout. The need for anarchists of color to develop our own analysis, priorities and ideals. The need to re-construct the history of non- white anti- authoritarian societies and struggles so we can develop and pass down our own traditions of resistance to youth of color. The need for us to create our own institutions and organizations in order to produce a legacy of struggle of our own.

All over the U.S. anarchists of color are communicating, building and struggling together. This may prove to be one of the most important developments in the North American movement against social domination in the years to come.

Table of Contents

Towards a Different Path


Post Colonial Anarchism
On Separatism
Identity Politics and Essentialism
Group X Lessons in Multiracial Anarchist Organizing
The Political Ghetto of Whiteness: Race and anarchist organization
How Can We Dance? A Brief Look at Post Left Anarchism
Roots and White Supremacy
The Struggle Against Immigrant Prisons
The Voting Anarchist
Our Own Traditions: Anti-authoritarianism in Our Histories of Struggle
Goodbye, You Ain’t All That
No Second Chance: How Crime-Free Multi-Housing Programs are Unfair to Ex-Prisoners
A Note on the Guardians of Anarchy


Where are the Grassroots in the Movement?
Sloppy Justice in Oakland Car Seizure Programs
One Strike Public Housing Policy Unfair
Oakland’s Lip Service to Needle Exchange
Gramm Amendment to Welfare Reform Targets Women
Feds Call off the Party
Oakland Parolees Targeted by OPD
DEA Pot Raids Reveal Real Face of Drug War
Ethnic Cleansing in Tulia
Oakland Anti-loitering Bill a Step in the Wrong Direction
Drug Warriors Target Native American Kids for Dog Searches
The Royal Thai Massacres Bush Complicity in Drug War Atrocities in Thailand


Bodily Autonomy and Liberation
Sexual Liberation and Anarchism: Unfinished Business
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Willful Ignorance in U.S. Sexual Politics
A Dissent From Decency
Anorexia Nervosa and White Supremacy
Sexual Danger and the Sex Positive Movement


The Punk Scapegoat: Why Punk Rock is not an Anarchist Albatross
The Feminist Roots of Punk
This Time the Revolution Will be Televised


Impeaching Clinton
The 2000 Election Debacle
Spook in the Spotlight
Recall Fiasco?
The Authority State and Personal Freedom in Market Society
Sometimes Solidarity is Hard to Do
The Politics of Brutality
Senator’s Racist Death Penalty Standard
Nothing New About NEO
Oakland Peace and Justice Summit a Huge Success
9/11 and Submission to the Will of America
Weak Kneed Progressives Buckle Under Democrat Pressure