Its green in Seattle

Lenin in Seattle Well Florida was green too buts its nice to be somewhere northern where everything is not the muddy brown of winter.

Hal Draper, Numpty!

(I've changed the title from Muppet to Numpty, which is a good Scots word meaning "Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others." I've also taken the opportunity of improving the writing somewhat.)

At Arise in Minneapolis

Arise bookshop Last nights meeting at the Arise bookshop in Minneapolis was packed out, I counted over 40 people crammed into the limited space. Minneapolis is the last of the mid-west stops, its on to Seattle and the west coast today.

Mutual Aid -- suggestions please!

I've been asked by Freedom Press to do the introduction to their new edition of Kropotkin's Mutual Aid.

I can cover the political aspects of it well enough, how it fits into communist-anarchism as well as how others have misrepresented it. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some resources on how it has stood the test of time in biology/evolutionary circles?

Many thanks!

At Finding our Roots, Chicago

The river running through downtown Chicago

The Chicago meeting took place Saturday 19th April as part of the 'Finding our roots' conference at the Roosevelt University.  This was the second Finding our Roots conference and was on the topic of  “Anarchist Organizing in the Midwest.”  The trip from Lansing to Chicago was the only one I made south of the border by Amtrak train – or rather partly by bus from Lansing to the nearest active station and then by train.  


Lansing I've been moving along so fast this week that I've fallen behind on blog updates and the updates are short - I may expand some of these later.

Detroit meeting and interview

Ruined factory in DetroitDetroit is a city of legends for the left arising from the level of mass worker militancy there during the 1960's and 1970's.  But it is also a city legendary for its decay in the years since and the anti-social crime that accompanies urban decay.  Some months before I arrived I'd done one of the very first meetings of the tour just a km away across the river in the Canadian city of Windsor and been told all sorts of horror stories by the four people who had crossed the border from Detroit for this meeting.  As I looked across the river the next morning and wondered how two cities so close together could be so different I'd not guessed I'd be in Detroit just a few months later.

At Cleveland C-Space

C spaceI was lucky to get a lift from Kent down to Cleveland for my next engagement. Cleveland is another rust belt city that has seen its population drop in half since the 1950's.  It was so industrial that in 1969 the  Cuyahoga River famously went on fire such was the volume of pollutants in it.  On December 15, 1978 it became the first American city since the great depression to default on its loans and became know as  "the mistake on the lake." Today the economy is still clearly struggling, a fact given away by the hope placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located there.

Cutting wages and solving the crisis...

While it has not become widespread, yet, we are sure to see calls for wage cuts to solve the current economic crisis. We must, apparently, tighten our belts in order to make more profits for the idiots who got us into this mess...

Yet, it is hard on the surface to advance such a call. As one left-wing Keynesian notes:

"This dismal experience comes on top of three decades of wage stagnation during which household income only grew because of longer working hours and having both household heads work."

Kent State University

Most of the second leg of the rust belt stops city stops had been put together by either NEFAC members or anarchists who I knew already.  The one exception was Kent, Ohio.  Now I'd have known nothing about Ohio at all before the tour but when I got an email from the Kent Anti-Racist Action chapter offering to host a talk I recognised 'Kent State University' as the site of the massacre on May 4th 1970 when four people were killed when the National Guard fired into an anti-war demonstration.


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