From Collective Refusal to Collective Liberation
An Introduction to Chris Crass’ new book Towards Collective Liberation: anti-racist organizing, feminist praxis, and movement building strategy from PM PressTransformative social movements are always much more dynamic and intelligent than individual organizers, no matter how reflective, tireless, and courageous such individuals may be. This is one of many amazing things about collective struggles for justice. At the same time, there are always individuals who crystallize movement experiences, who distill and share hard-won insights and help to catalyze much-needed discussions. Chris Crass is one of these people. For two decades, he has consistently given expression to the ideas, questions, and lessons of a generational cohort of radical organizers and activists in the United States.
Towards Collective Liberation collects and refines some of the most generative of these insights. Drawing on a wealth of experiences—his own and those of other conscious organizers—Crass grapples with the big question that all of us committed to social transformation face: How can we overcome the interconnected systems of oppression and exploitation that structure our society? How can we struggle towards collective liberation? In response, he highlights a relevant radical politics that people are already building as they struggle for justice and dignity. As Crass describes in his opening essay, this is a politics based in grassroots organizing, participatory democracy, coalitional work across differences, creative direct action, organization-building, strategy rooted in vision for a better world, and unapologetic love. At the core of this politics is a profound commitment to building anti-racist, multiracial, feminist, and queer liberationist movements against capitalism.
This book, in a certain sense, follows Crass’ life for the last twenty-three years—from his early days as an activist with Love and Rage in the suburbs of Southern California and a core organizer in San Francisco Food Not Bombs to his more recent work as a leading anti-racist organizer and educator. Crass, like many of us deeply influenced by feminism, takes seriously that “the personal” and “the political” cannot be strictly separated: genuinely transformative politics have to be rooted in—but never restricted to—our life experiences. As his writing demonstrates, even relatively privileged people can delve into their lives to learn about how power works in our society, as well as possibilities and challenges for visionary organizing. Towards Collective Liberation reflects this commitment, developing political analysis through story-telling and critical reflection. This is a hallmark of Crass’ writing.
What is most important about this book is not the story it tells about Chris Crass, but rather the lessons it shares for all of our social justice efforts today. The concerns that Crass has consistently taken up in his organizing and writing—movement-building, challenging white supremacy, strategic planning, and learning from previous movement experiences—continue to be some of most pressing for activists and organizers, especially as new movements are emerging in this time of crisis. While Crass’ reflections are rooted in specific experiences, they are relevant for people struggling around a wide range of issues and in a variety of circumstances across the United States.
These lessons and reflections have grown out of a history that is not widely known. This is the history of a political generation that grew up in a time of right-wing counterrevolution symbolized by Ronald Reagan, and was radicalized with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first Gulf War, and the Rodney King verdict. As leading ideologues celebrated the collapse of the Soviet Union and proclaimed “the end of history,” this political generation significantly gravitated toward anarchist politics and activism. Over the course of the 1990s, many in this generation increasingly focused on building broad radical movements and turned especially to the ideas and practices of anti-racist feminism. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, these activists played leading roles in the global justice movement and were part of a crucial movement-wide learning process about power, privilege, solidarity, and organizing. Over the last decade, they have taken lessons from this experience into a range of campaigns, organizations, and movements. Through these efforts, they are helping to develop a new radical political synthesis that moves past some debilitating ideological conflicts and pulls together useful ideas and practices from a range of left traditions.
Crass, through his organizing, writing, and political education work, has been a key figure in this history. Indeed, we cannot fully appreciate him and his efforts without understanding the movement trajectory that has shaped him and he has helped to shape. So, as a movement historian and someone who has also been deeply involved in this trajectory, let me briefly lay out the story here, following 1990s anarchism into anti-racist feminism, the global justice movement, and today’s organizing towards collective liberation. While some readers will be familiar with this history and politics, many may find it altogether new. My main hope is to help explain the significance of the writings in this collection and ground their vital political insights. I also humbly hope for what I offer to illuminate one strand of movement history in the last two decades and, more importantly, contribute to building the liberatory movements that we need.
As Crass explains in the essay “A New World in Our Hearts,” anarchism has its origins in the working-class socialist movements of the late nineteenthcentury. This was a politics based on opposition to capitalism and the state as fundamental forms of domination, along with a commitment to self-management, solidarity, and social equality. While rooted in this tradition, the anarchism taken up and developed by activists in the 1990s was also a product of movement experiences of the preceding four decades. The Black freedom movement, the women’s liberation movement, and other liberation movements of the 1960s deeply influenced forms of radical politics that involved embodying liberatory values in organizing, creating alternatives to top-down organizations, and challenging multiple forms of oppression.
Starting in the 1970s, a chain of movement experiences melded many of these political forms together with anarchism. Three of the most important links in this chain were the nonviolent direct action movement (sometimes known as the “anti-nuke movement”), the direct action AIDS activism associated with the radical queer group ACT UP, and the environmental defense mobilizations of Earth First! These movement experiences fused together a set of activist practices that included militant and often large-scale civil disobedience actions; decentralized coordination through small groups called “affinity groups”; use of consensus decision-making process (originally called “feminist process”); and a focus on developing new ways of relating through things such as housing collectives and anti-racism trainings.
By the 1990s, anarchism in the United States was synonymous with this set of practices, the general aspirations of the historic anarchist tradition, and a far-reaching critique of domination. It was characterized by a shared counterculture and template of activities, connecting mostly young people through a series of predominantly white and middle-class subcultural scenes, often rooted in punk rock, across the country. These activists participated in a wide range of campaigns, engaged in confrontational direct actions, supported political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, worked to inject art and imagination into activism, organized anarchist convergences across North America, and developed a network of anarchist bookstores and political spaces.
One of the most widespread and active initiatives linking these scenes was the Food Not Bombs (FNB) network. In the early 1990s, dozens of FNB chapters throughout the United States regularly served free food in public spaces, visibly challenging a social order that produces poverty and violence. San Francisco FNB was a central node in the network, as it maintained the contact list for the network, sent out “how to start an FNB group” guides, published an international newsletter and impressively organized against a vicious campaign by the city government to shut down its servings. Crass was deeply involved in all of this and, by the mid-1990s, was well-known as a leading FNB organizer on the West Coast. In 1995, he wrote “Towards A Non-Violent Society: A Position Paper on Anarchism, Social Change, and Food Not Bombs” in consultation with others in San Francisco FNB; this paper was widely circulated and discussed throughout the FNB network in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
As Crass points out, FNB (then as now) functioned as a form of gateway activism for tens of thousands of mostly young people. Through FNB, countless activists have learned about economic inequality and the role of the state in preserving it, and have experienced their own power to take direct action and create alternative institutions. FNB groups have also struggled practically around questions related to community organizing, leadership, strategy, organizational structure, and power relations. In the essay “Food Not Bombs and the Building of a Grassroots Anarchist Left,” Crass offers an in-depth history of San Francisco FNB in the 1990s and shares the rich lessons that developed out of it.
Crass and many of his comrades in San Francisco FNB were part of a growing anarchist tendency that sought to break out of the anarchist subcultural milieu and build broader movements. Anarchist publications such as The Blast! in Minneapolis, for example, intentionally tried to move beyond punk scenes and connect with community-based struggles. The Love and Rage anarchist network, which started in 1989 and solidified into a formal membership organization in 1993, began to identify strategic priorities and areas of common political work, wrestled with key political questions around race and racism, and attempted to construct a continental revolutionary anarchist federation. Anarchists also organized two groundbreaking “Active Resistance” conferences—in Chicago in 1996 and in Toronto in 1998—that explicitly centered themes such as community organizing and movement-building.
All of these efforts, in different but overlapping ways, tried to push anarchism into a more intentional orientation toward struggles rooted in working-class communities and communities of color. While uneven, these efforts were still significant. They contributed to developing (or returning to) a kind of movement-based anarchism that was less about sustaining a subculture and more about furthering popular struggles for justice and dignity. They also helped to produce anarchist politics that had wider relevance outside of white middle-class activist scenes.
Many 1990s activists saw the persistence of dynamics of privilege and oppression in organizing work as a major barrier to building a vibrant movement-based anarchism. With women, people of color, queer, and working-class activists in the lead, they increasingly identified ways in which the social hierarchies that structure our society were being reproduced in movement spaces, sustaining longstanding exclusions, and severely hindering overall efforts for radical change. Searching for ways forward, some activists began working to build stronger analysis and practice around feminism, anti-racism, and queer liberation. They turned especially to the ideas and experiences of anti-racist feminism.
Rooted in the liberation movements of the 1960s, anti-racist feminism is a political strand that bloomed in the 1970s and 1980s. It started with the efforts of radical women of color, many of them lesbians, to challenge the limitations of existing movements in being able to account for their complex experiences of oppression based on race, class, gender, and sexuality. Coming together in groups, conferences, and publishing collectives, these activists began creating shared politics grounded in their lives and struggles. The Combahee River Collective, a Black feminist group in Boston, summed up these emerging politics in an historic 1977 statement in which they called for developing an “integrated analysis” of oppression. This analysis suggests that systems of racism, capitalism, hetero-patriarchy, and ableism operate with and through each other—they are interconnected. Truly revolutionary politics, in short, necessarily involves fighting against multiple forms of oppression.
Anarchist-influenced activists in the 1990s increasingly took up this “integrated analysis,” often called “intersectionality” in academic contexts. Indeed, those who went to college benefited from a previous generation’s struggles to win Third World Studies, Women’s Studies, Labor Studies, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. These efforts created the institutional space for feminist and anti-racist scholars to bring intersectional ideas into classrooms. As a result, student activists and others were reading work by radical feminists of color, such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Angela Davis, bell hooks, June Jordan, Joanna Kadi, and Barbara Smith. This work resonated with and deepened the critique of domination that was so central for anarchists, even as it raised difficult questions for the predominantly white and frequently male-dominated anarchist movement.
In grappling with these questions, activists began to investigate their own social locations within a nexus of privilege and oppression. They also started crafting tools for more equitable, inclusive, and participatory organizing. While women and genderqueer organizers tended to be at the forefront of this, some white men also worked to develop anti-racist feminist practice among anarchist-leaning activists. Crass became one of the most prominent activists in this 1990s tendency through his organizing work in FNB and as his writing began to circulate into wider activist networks.
The second section of this book, “We Make the Road by Walking,” includes some of Crass’ most important contributions to this movement-wide effort as he frankly discusses his own experiences of coming into feminist and anti-racist consciousness, frequently through challenges by activists with direct experiences of oppression, and makes concrete suggestions for organizing. “Against Patriarchy: Tools for Men to Help Further Feminist Revolution,” for example, boils down many of these suggestions into a thought-provoking primer. A central theme in these writings, as in all of Crass’ work, is that systems of oppression consistently sabotage social change efforts—they limit analysis, undercut alliance-building, corrode organizations, and constrain strategy. Developing anti-racist feminist practice in our collective political work is thus essential for building resilient and visionary movements.
The Global Justice Movement
While U.S. anarchists were getting more serious and organized, a revolt against neoliberalism was brewing, starting in the global South. Building on legacies of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles, this revolt started in the 1980s with widespread popular mobilizations against austerity measures mandated by the International Monetary Fund. By the early 1990s, meetings of neoliberal institutions such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) faced massive protests from Bangalore to Berlin. And then, on January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation stepped onto the world stage by seizing seven cities in Chiapas, Mexico. “Ya Basta!” they said in opposition to the Mexican government and neoliberalism. Bringing together aspects of Marxism, anarchism, and Mayan traditions, the Zapatistas offered an autonomous politics based on listening and dialogue, building democratic power from below, and creating self-governing communities.
The Zapatistas also facilitated important transnational connections among movements. In the late 1990s, they sponsored two face-to-face global Encuentros that served as key meeting points for what was becoming the global justice movement. The second of these led to the formation of the Peoples’ Global Action (PGA) network, which brought together massive movements in the global South along with generally smaller organizations and collectives in the North to develop horizontal links in the struggle against neoliberalism. As the new millennium approached, anarchism in the North and autonomous movements in the South were thus increasingly connected.
U.S. anarchists were both deeply inspired by the Zapatistas and among the earliest Zapatista supporters, translating their declarations into English, sending material aid, and demonstrating against their repression by the Mexican government. U.S. anarchists were also some of the first to work with the PGA. Following the example of their European counterparts, many began organizing around the PGA’s calls for “global days of action” involving coordinated international protests against institutions leading and legitimating neoliberalism. Though there had been previous summit protests in North America, the week of successful demonstrations and direct actions against the 1999 WTO ministerial in Seattle garnered significant and widespread attention.
Involving more than 50,000 people, the Seattle protests came out of groundbreaking—but often uneasy—coalitions among popular organizations in the global South, and labor unions, environmental groups, and others in the global North. Anarchists played leading roles in planning and coordinating the mass blockades and street battles there, using direct action, consensus decision-making, and affinity groups. Crass was among them. In the wake of the successful disruption of the Seattle ministerial, the global justice movement carried the coalitions and momentum into other demonstrations against major meetings of the wealthy and powerful. The next few years saw showdowns between protestors and police from Washington DC to Los Angeles, Quebec City to Miami, and U.S. activists traveled to mobilizations at summits around the world.
Through the global justice movement, tens of thousands of people participated in anarchist-influenced approaches and politics. At the same time, this cycle of struggle provided opportunities for activists to wrestle with their own limitations in the context of a growing movement. Longtime activist and writer Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez raised some of these in her widely circulated 2000 essay “Where Was the Color in Seattle?” This critical intervention and subsequent ones kicked off discussions about race in the movement and, more generally, the key role of white supremacy in undermining U.S. movements. These interventions also opened up space for conversations about a range of related issues, including movement strategy, community organizing, transnational solidarity, alliance-building, and social hierarchies based on gender, class, sexuality, and age. Building on work in the 1990s, anti-racist feminism was a touchstone for many of these challenging and productive discussions.
Crass was uniquely situated to contribute to these efforts. While organizing in the global justice movement, he had also developed relationships with 1960s and ‘70s liberation movement elders such as Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Sharon Martinas. As Crass describes in “‘By All Means, Keep Moving’: Towards Anti-Racist Politics and Practice,” when the Seattle protests happened, he was participating in an anti-racism study group organized by Martinas, who ran the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop (CWS) series in San Francisco. He was also meeting regularly with Dunbar-Ortiz and Martinez to discuss lessons from past movements and strategy for current organizing. With the encouragement and support of Dunbar-Ortiz, Martinas, and Martinez, Crass and others developed a new CWS training program called “Anti-Racism for Global Justice,” which worked with a younger generation of white activists in the global justice movement. This program, which eventually became the well-known Catalyst Project, offered anti-racism training to activists across the United States.
Crass also worked with radical women of color organizers Pauline Hwang and Helen Luu to launch Colours of Resistance (COR), a network that sought to develop feminist, multiracial, anti-racist, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist politics in the global justice movement. Active from 2000-2006, this network built relationships among dozens of activists and organizers across North America who were grappling with similar questions around what was increasingly called “anti-oppression politics” as well as grassroots organizing and broader movement-building. COR also developed lively email lists and an influential online clearinghouse of articles and resources related to these and other pressing questions for the movement.
As in all times of upsurge, this was a period of rich reflection and exchange. In a movement on the move, many activists began writing and the Internet made it easier than ever before to share ideas. Building on some of his earlier work, Crass leapt into this explosion of movement writing, encouraging others to write, interviewing leading organizers, and writing many articles himself. Beginning with his 2000 essay “Beyond the Whiteness—Global Capitalism and White Supremacy,” Crass consistently emphasized opportunities for the mostly white sections of the global justice movement to work in solidarity with community-based struggles for racial justice. With subsequent work, he delved into a range of issues connected to white anti-racist organizing, always prioritizing the perspectives of people of color, women, queers, and working-class people. During this prolific period, Crass’ writings were featured regularly in publications such as Clamor, Heart Attack, and Onward, and on websites such as COR, Infoshop.org, and Znet. Judging from the circulation and popularity of his work around the country and internationally, it clearly struck a resonant chord.
Section Three of this book, “Because Good Ideas Are Not Enough,” brings together two of Crass’ landmark articles from this time. Each digs into topics that are particularly difficult for anarchist-influenced activists to talk about because they challenge prevailing ideas about how social change happens. In “Looking to the Light of Freedom,” Crass draws on the experience of the Civil Rights Movement to advocate for a political approach based on organizing—bringing people together to reflect on their lived experiences, develop political analysis, take action, and build collective power. He also introduces the issue of leadership in activist groups, a topic that he more fully engages in “‘But We Don’t Have Leaders.’” In that piece, Crass returns to his experiences in FNB to examine how leadership manifests even when activists don’t acknowledge it, and to look at anti-authoritarian ways of developing leadership.
Organizing Towards Collective Liberation
By the early 2000s, the global justice movement was waning in the United States due to both its inability to fully resolve the challenging questions it faced and the profound shift in political climate after the events of September 11, 2001. Influenced by the post-Seattle discussions, thousands of activists who had participated in the movement also consciously moved their energy into more long-term local organizing efforts, which contributed to the decline of the more visible mass mobilizations. However, the global justice movement has had a lasting impact. In providing a space to grapple with key issues, the movement enabled many activists to develop more complex forms of analysis and practice. These combined anarchist and anti-racist feminist politics with an orientation toward organizing to build popular power and broad-based movements. Activists have taken these increasingly sophisticated politics with them into the anti-war, environmental, immigrant rights, labor, prison abolition, and queer liberation movements, among others.
Catalyst Project, with Crass as a core staff member until 2011, has played a key role in circulating and deepening these politics over the last decade. Focusing on the mostly white sectors of left movements, Catalyst has influenced tens of thousands of activists through one-time workshops, dedicated organizing support, leadership development, and intensive organizer training programs. They have developed close relationships with base-building organizations rooted in working-class communities of color, and they have been deeply involved in national-level organizing related to grassroots reconstruction efforts in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, anti-militarism and GI resistance, and immigrant rights struggles in Arizona and Alabama. As a testament to its influence, Catalyst has popularized the formulation “collective liberation” as an affirmative way to talk about fighting interconnected power relations, emphasizing that everyone has a stake in transforming systems of oppression.
In doing this work, Catalyst has tapped into a distinguished history. Indeed, along with dozens of other organizations across the United States, they have revitalized a longstanding tradition of anti-racist organizing in white communities as part of building liberatory multiracial movements. This tradition has its origins in the radical wing of the nineteenth century abolitionist movement, which included white activists such as John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison, Sarah and Angelina Grimké, and Abby Kelley who fought not only against slavery but also for racial equality. This tradition continued during the first part of the twentieth century in the labor movement as white anarchists and socialists in the Industrial Workers of the World and later the Congress of Industrial Organizations helped to create the first unions open to workers of all races and genders. In the 1950s and 1960s, another wave of white organizers, such as Anne and Carl Braden, Myles and Zilphia Horton, and Howard Zinn, followed in this tradition as they helped build the Civil Rights Movement in the South against Jim Crow.
By the late 1960s and into the 1970s, many white radicals in the anti-war movement took up this tradition as they struggled against racism at home and U.S. imperialism abroad in Students for a Democratic Society and then the Weather Underground, Prairie Fire, and the New Communist Movement. At the same time, following a somewhat different strand of this tradition, other white radicals turned toward anti-capitalist and anti-racist community organizing in poor and working-class white communities, forming organizations such as the Young Patriots, Rising Up Angry, and White Lightening. In the 1970s and 1980s, a cohort of white lesbian feminists, including Suzanne Pharr, Adrienne Rich, Mab Segrest, and Laura Whitehorn, redefined this tradition as they worked alongside radical women of color in developing a rigorously anti-racist feminist politics and practice. During the 1990s, a further wave of white anarchists and socialists turned to this tradition through anti-racist organizing in Anarchist Black Cross, Anti-Racist Action, the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, and Love and Rage.
Building on this historical tradition, Section Four of this book, “Love in Our Hearts and Eyes on the Prize,” explores the work of Catalyst along with four other leading anti-racist organizations in the 2000s. All have focused on grassroots organizing in white communities as strategically necessary work for challenging racism and laying the basis for transformative movements. Just as so many previous anti-racist efforts were deeply influenced by left leadership and organizing in communities of color, so too is this white anti-racist organizing today.
Catalyst has worked to foster a culture of white anti-racist organizing that values reflection, strategy, vision and compassion. In “What We Mean by White Anti-Racist Organizing,” Crass usefully defines the strategy behind this organizing work. The final piece in this section is an interview with the Catalyst collective, laying out the unique approach it has crafted around political education, leadership development, left strategy, and building multiracial movements.
Alongside his work with Catalyst, Crass also helped to form the Heads Up Collective. Launched in direct response to the post-September 11 “war on terror,” Heads Up was an all-volunteer white anti-racist, anti-imperialist group in the San Francisco Bay Area that existed from 2001 to 2008. Heads Up initially formed to bring political lessons and energy from the global justice movement into the nascent anti-war movement, where it played an important role during the mass direct action in San Francisco against the 2003 U.S. ground invasion of Iraq.
One of the main goals of Heads Up was to help unite the majority white sections of the anti-war movement with people of color-led anti-war efforts that had a focus on economic and racial justice at home and abroad. Heads Up did this primarily through Palestine solidarity and immigrant rights organizing. Along the way, the collective developed an innovative organizational structure and culture based on self-education, clearly designated roles, strategic planning, regular group visioning, shared leadership, and accountable partnerships with organizations led by radicals of color. “Strategic Opportunities” is an interview with former members of Heads Up about their collective work and practice.
The remaining chapters in this section profile important organizations in other parts of the United States. In “A Struggle for Our Lives,” an organizer from the Oregon-based Rural Organizing Project talks about their inventive statewide strategy for base-building in rural white communities. While the right claims the rural white United States as its base and the left pays little attention to rural communities, ROP has set out to reinvigorate rural organizing for economic justice and democracy for all, with anti-racism at the center. This chapter looks at concrete examples of their organizing efforts throughout the state, including their groundbreaking immigrant rights work.
Crass also explores the Southern anti-racist queer organizing of the Fairness Campaign in Louisville, Kentucky. Fairness has won landmark legislation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) rights while working from a broad strategy of multiracial movement-building for collective liberation. In contrast to national organizations pursuing a narrow agenda of LGBT rights, Fairness has effectively built political power for an agenda that includes legal protections for LGBT people, living wages, immigrant rights, and an end to police violence. This interview with a founding leader of Fairness looks at stories and lessons from their work.
Finally, Crass asks members of the Groundwork Collective in Madison, Wisconsin, to reflect on their organizing during the 2011 popular occupation of the state capitol in response to the Governor’s attack on unions and deep cuts to social services. In many ways, the working-class Wisconsin uprising reignited mass economic justice struggle in the United States. Groundwork was in the thick of it, supporting leadership from economic and racial justice organizations in communities of color and leading efforts to move white working- and middle-class people toward a more radical multiracial justice agenda. The interview also draws lessons from the past ten years of Groundwork’s efforts, including their more recent work in the Occupy movement, and insights about their organizational structure and sustainability as an all-volunteer collective focused on local and statewide anti-racist organizing in the Midwest.
Using his distinctive interview approach, Crass prompts people from each of these groups to share challenges they have faced and distill concrete organizing lessons from their experiences. Together, these interviews demonstrate the ongoing vitality of the white anti-racist organizing tradition grounded, as it must be, in broader left movements. They also highlight valuable questions, innovations, and suggestions. In his concluding essay “We Can Do This: Key Lessons for More Effective and Healthy Liberation Praxis,” Crass synthesizes these and other lessons from throughout the book into a set of powerful recommendations for current and future organizing efforts.
By the time you get to the end of this book, you will see that one of Crass’ favorite words is “praxis.” This concept is important to a lot of us who care about changing the world. Sometimes, however, “praxis” is understood in an unfortunate way as simply “action + reflection” or “theory + practice.” But there is no static formula for praxis. Instead, as Crass demonstrates again and again in these pages, genuine praxis has to be dynamic, grounded, and ongoing. As activists and organizers, we develop praxis by investigating our circumstances, assessing our resources and limitations, developing plans, taking audacious collective action, making mistakes, winning victories, deepening our understanding based on our experiences, reinvigorating our vision and analysis with lessons we have learned, taking more action, and so on. This book, full of love and hope, is a major contribution to the collective praxis for social transformation that, together, we can and must create. Wherever you live and whatever kind of activist work you do, there is critical insight here for you.
Chris Dixon, originally from Alaska, is a longtime anarchist organizer, writer, and educator with a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz. His writing has appeared in numerous book collections as well as periodicals such as Anarchist Studies, Clamor, Left Turn, and Social Movement Studies. Dixon is currently completing a book based on interviews with organizers across the U.S. and Canada focusing on anti-authoritarian politics in broader-based movements, which is forthcoming from the University of California Press. He serves on the board of the Institute for Anarchist Studies and the advisory board for the activist journal Upping the Anti. Dixon lives in Ottawa, Ontario, unceded Algonquin Territory, where he is involved with Indigenous solidarity organizing.
 On the history of anarchism, see Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (London: Fontana Press, 1993); Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt, Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism (Oakland: AK Press, 2009).
 For a sense of these movement contributions, see Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995); Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967-1975 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989); George Katsiaficas, The Imagination of the New Left: A Global Analysis of 1968 (Boston: South End Press, 1987); Charles Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).
 On this chain of movements, see Douglas Bevington, The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear (Washington: Island Press, 2009), chap. 3; Andrew Cornell, Oppose and Propose! Lessons from Movement for a New Society (Oakland: AK Press, 2011); Barbara Epstein, Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); Deborah Gould, Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight Against AIDS (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009); L.A. Kauffman, “Who Are Those Masked Anarchists?,” in The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization, ed. Eddie Yuen, Daniel Burton Rose, and George Katsiaficas (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2001), 124–129; Benjamin Shepard and Ronald Hayduk, eds., From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization (London: Verso, 2002).
 For a glimpse into 1990s anarchism, see Allan Antliff, ed., Only A Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004).
 For an introduction to FNB, see C.T. Lawrence Butler and Keith McHenry, Food Not Bombs: How to Feed the Hungry and Build Community (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1992).
 On Love and Rage, see Roy San Filippo, ed., A New World in Our Hearts: Eight Years of Writings from the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (Oakland: AK Press, 2003). Also, a very influential book for many in this tendency was Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin, Anarchism and the Black Revolution (Philadelphia: Monkeywrench Press, 1994).
 For histories of women of color feminism, see Benita Roth, Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Kimberly Springer, Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005); Becky Thompson, A Promise and a Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), chap. 5.
 Combahee River Collective, “The Combahee River Collective Statement,” in Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, ed. Barbara Smith (New York: Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, 1983), 272.
 Important publications that have developed this analysis include Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987); Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (New York: Routledge, 1991); Angela Davis, Women, Race & Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1981); Joyce Green, ed., Making Space for Indigenous Feminism (Black Point, NS: Fernwood, 2007); bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1984); June Jordan, On Call: Political Essays (Boston: South End Press, 1985); Joanna Kadi, ed., Food for Our Grandmothers: Writings by Arab-American and Arab-Canadian Feminists (Boston: South End Press, 1994); Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider (Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1996); Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (New York: Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press, 1983); Sonia Shah, ed., Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (Boston: South End Press, 1997); Barbara Smith, The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998).
 Although the concept of intersectionality has roots in earlier women of color feminist work, it was first introduced in Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color,” Stanford Law Review 43, no. 6 (1991): 1241–1299.
 On this global revolt against neoliberalism, see George Caffentzis and Silvia Federici, “A Brief History of Resistance to Structural Adjustment,” in Democratizing the Global Economy: The Battle Against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, ed. Kevin Danaher (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2001), 139–144; George Katsiaficas, “Seattle Was Not the Beginning,” in The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization, ed. Eddie Yuen, George Katsiaficas, and Daniel Burton Rose (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2001), 29–35.
 For an introduction to the Zapatistas, see Alex Khasnabish, Zapatistas: Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2010). For more in-depth history, see Gloria Muñoz Ramírez, The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2008).
 On this cycle of struggle, see Dissent Editorial Collective, ed., Days of Dissent: Reflections on Summit Mobilisations (London: Dissent! Network, 2004); Notes from Nowhere, ed., We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism (London: Verso, 2003); Eddie Yuen, George Katsiaficas, and Daniel Burton Rose, eds., Confronting Capitalism: Dispatches from a Global Movement (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2004).
 Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez, “Where Was the Color in Seattle? Looking for Reasons Why the Great Battle Was so White,” ColorLines 3, no. 1 (2000): 11–2.
 Many of the contributions to these discussions are available at the Colours of Resistance Archive: http://www.coloursofresistance.org.
 For a collection of some of this work, see Chris Crass, Collective Liberation on My Mind: Essays by Chris Crass (Montreal, QC: Kersplebdeb, 2001).
 On various parts of this tradition, see Dan Berger, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity (Oakland: AK Press, 2006); Fergus Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (New York: Amistad, 2005); Paul Buhle and Nicole Schulman, eds., Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World (London: Verso, 2005); Peter Cole, Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007); Max Elbaum, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che (London: Verso, 2002); Catherine Fosl, Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002); Myles Horton, The Long Haul: An Autobiography (New York: Teachers College Press, 1997); Gerda Lerner, The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Woman’s Rights and Abolition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); Henry Mayer, All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2000); David Reynolds, John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005); Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times (Melville House, 2011); Dorothy Sterling, Ahead of Her Time: Abby Kelley & the Politics of Antislavery (New York: W W Norton, 1992); Thompson, A Promise and a Way of Life; Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times (Boston: Beacon Press, 2002).