About This Issue – ARB #7 Winter/Spring 2024

Welcome to the seventh issue of the Anarchist Review of Books, produced by a collective based in Atlanta, Chicago, Exarchia, New York, Berkeley, Richmond, and Seattle.

We go to press as tens of thousands are being murdered in the Middle East in the name of nationalism and fundamentalism. The bombardment and eviction of Gaza, like the bombardment of Baghdad, like the bombing of Puerto Rico, like the El Mozote massacre, like the Guangxi Massacre, like the bombing of Cambodia, like the bombing of Hiroshima, like the bombing of Dresden, like the bombing of London, like the bombing of Lviv, like the crematoriums of Auschwitz, like the slaughter in the Katyn Forest, like the invasion of Mexico, like the Moriori genocide, like the Uyghur genocide, like the Burundi genocide, like the Rwandan genocide, like the Armenian genocide, like the occupation of Algiers, like the mass rape of Bengalis, like the thousands of pogroms in Ukraine, like the forced starvation of Ireland, like the enslavement of Black Americans, like the Indigenous genocides, has put the world to shame.

Control, displacement, extraction and annihilation is the business of the state.
Every war is a war of the state against the people, and the current war on Gaza is a new front in that war. Nationalist aggression has never been contained by laws, borders, or human sympathy. Laws, borders, and human sympathy are fictions to tyrants, rules that apply only to the subjugated.

The Nazi German state based the “Final Solution” on the earlier ethnic cleansing of Indigenous people by U.S. settlers. And Zionists sought the solution to their repression in founding their own nation, in the very same dream of occupation and expansion.
As this new front opens before us, the words of artist Emily Jacir resonate: “Not only have we had to endure this genocide, be deprived space to grieve our kin, respond to state propaganda accusing us of killing ourselves, in the midst of it all we are targeted by the most advanced technologies and misinformation campaigns to try to silence our voices.”

With every new act of aggression by the state, free speech is curtailed. This past year we have seen journalists targeted and executed in Gaza, Ukraine, Latin America, Haiti, Syria and Lebanon; artists censored and labeled terrorists in Europe, the U.S., and Asia; teachers of every topic and every political persuasion threatened with censure and job loss.

From Iran to Cambodia, to Chile, to East Timor, we have witnessed the hijacking of popular revolutions by religious fundamentalists and authoritarian nationalists whose first acts were to imprison or murder anarchists, non-statist communists, socialists and intellectuals, and to establish class, race, and gender-based systems of oppression that reinforce their control.

There will always be reasons to despair the cruelty of the state. But we are not without power. In this dark moment we remind our readers that it is the people not their “representatives” who build peace, safety, security, and community.
Rejection of the war in Gaza since October has led to massive demonstrations worldwide at U.S. and Israeli embassies, to documentation of war crimes and to demands for ceasefire. These are small acts of resistance, crossing state, religious and ethnic boundaries, creating small pockets of trust.

In New York and Chicago, citywide mutual aid collectives are providing support, resources and housing for thousands of migrants. Mutual aid groups from Vermont to the Italian countryside have come together to help victims of flooding and fires. Resistance to deforestation and expanded police training has galvanized youth in the American south.

Greek squats providing food pantries, meal programs, and libraries for the community that were evicted last summer by the state, were re-occupied this winter with mass support of neighbors and comrades.

If it’s peace, safety, security, and community that you want, there is no flag to wave but the black flag.

In this issue, we bring you dispatches from Atlanta, Exarchia, and Emilia-Romagna; the Mad Housers lay out their plans, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore touches the art, Ashlyn Mooney reviews Bev Grant’s candid photographs, Panagiotis Kechagias takes stock, Shellyne Rodriguez illuminates on assimilation and the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, and Cara Hoffman gabs with Peter Werbe. All this and art by Chitra Ghanesh, Médar de la Cruz, Jenny Polak, Sameena Sitabkhan, Ellen Lesperance, Dianna Settles, N. Masani Landfair and ZOLA.

All power to the people

For a no-state solution


Cara Hoffman, January 2024