The 5th Annual Seattle Anarchist Book Fair is nearly upon us!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2013 by prisoners' dilemma

2013 Seattle Anarchist Book fa

(this is a link to a really awesome poster for the book fair, but wordpress is being dumb again… surprise, surprise!)

And we will be there tabling. Looks to be a great event. Check it out:

www.seattleanarchistbookfair.org

Issue five is now available.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2012 by prisoners' dilemma

But for some reason our friends the wordpress gods are making it difficult to post images. Contents include interviews with Keith McHenry (Food Not Bombs), traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg, a piece revisiting Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, a look at the connection between the Gates Foundation, Monsanto and the green revolution, and a look at the Tea Party, Occupy and the Arab Spring. Plus our normal ramblings and rantings.

May 1st 2012: No work, no school. Everything stops.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 12, 2012 by prisoners' dilemma

Enough with history, our time is now!

Seattle General Strike Article Now Available on The Anarchist Library

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2011 by prisoners' dilemma

Longtime collaborator Jeremy Main’s excellent analysis of the 1919 Seattle General Strike Obtained, which was first published in Prisoners Dilemma #4 is now available in an easy to print pdf thanks to the tireless work of the folks at The Anarchist Library. Check it out. This is a particularly timely piece to have widely available now with the #Occupy Movement doing it’s thing and debating just what that thing actually is [editors note: all of it! diversify your tactics].

2011 Seattle Anarchist Book Fair

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2011 by prisoners' dilemma
August 20 & 21st, 2011

http://seattleanarchistbookfair.org/

Anarchists are pissed at assface cops in the northwest!

Posted in News on February 22, 2011 by prisoners' dilemma

dude, where's my window?

Some angry motherfuckers gave the police what they deserve! Police = total fail! Check out the video of the cop who forgot to park his car and hit a police van for lulz!

http://www.pugetsoundanarchists.org/node/215

😉 suzy

Strive to Survive Causing the Least Suffering Possible

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2010 by prisoners' dilemma
 

Ingrate

I spend so much of my time thinking about food, it really isn’t funny. Partly this is because most of my work life has involved food to some degree, as have my extra-curricular activities from (poorly) maintaining a vegetable garden to cooking (moderately well) for friends, to my ongoing work with Seattle Food Not Bombs, food permeates my being in more ways than could be summarized by the adage, “you are what you eat.” Strangely though, that is a big part of not just how food permeates my being but why. Although the practical aspects of food are present too, mostly, I find myself thinking about the politics of food; of what I put in my mouth, and when and why I put it there.

I am not a foodie – the joy foodies find in eating is most always interrupted for me by the questions and implications of the food at hand (at fork?). Who made it? Who grew it? Where did it come from? Who was it? The din of questions fills my ears more often than I am able to simply enjoy a fabulous meal sans thoughts of its production and the horrors connected with it. For this reason I call myself vegan, and maintain a vegan diet, but I suspect the vegan police/mafia/death squad would consign me to their (animal friendly) gas chambers.

The thing is, despite my being vegan, I am unconvinced that veganism is a solution to the world’s problems. Not even just those that deal with what we eat. Before a righteous crowd of vengeful animal rights folks abduct me, bind me, hang me upside down, and then slit my throat, allowing me to bleed out while thrashing desperately for life (or am just given a cayenne pepper pie to the face) let me explain:

I do not want to harm other beings. I currently live with two other adult humans, two children, two dogs, a cat, and more fish than I can count. In fact, for most of my life, excepting a period in my early twenties, when it really was undeniably for the best that I and those I lived with not be responsible for the well-being of anyone else, I have always lived with non-humans. I have maintained a vegan diet for the past 15 years now; with about as few fuck ups as one can expect living in a world of omnivores. During that time, I have varyingly felt an affinity or connection to the animal rights and/or animal liberation movements (and I would argue that they are not one and the same).

My desire to do no harm came out of an expansive sense of egalitarianism and an atheism that has informed most of my life. The same bits of my worldview, from my perspective now, also influence my affinity for anarchism. Simply put, if there is no god, and we are simply animals who have evolved in our unique ways, this means we are no more special than any other animals that have evolved in their unique ways. It also follows that if god did not, in fact, create a man, steal his rib to make a woman for him, and give him all the plants and animals to exploit, and if, in fact, we are so highly dependent upon a complex interrelationship of species, then dominating any of those species, or men dominating women, or white people dominating black people makes no sense. Because we are all basically the same – we all die, and we are all essentially carbon, water and minerals, with a bit of electricity.

It took very little for me to realize that just as I was opposed to slavery and the systemic murder of war and the state, it made sense to be opposed to the slavery and systemic murder involved in animal agriculture. Mine was not the veganism of a bleeding heart who felt personally for each and every cow killed, it was more of an equation. Still, I threw myself in with the passionate advocates of animal rights on more than one occasion.

The cracks in the façade started to appear when the Makah (or in their own language, q^idiDDaGAtX – pronounced,  kwih-dich-chuh-ahtx) nation, who have resided on the most north west point of the Olympic peninsula for thousands of years,  resumed whaling. I at once had friends actively involved in direct action against the whale hunt, and felt repulsed by the questionable statements of many of the anti-whaling protesters, including those made by the Sea Sheppard Conservation Society, especially their willingness to act in alliance with an openly racist member of congress, Jack Metcalf. I remember my disgust at some people I knew wholeheartedly and uncritically using the slogan, “save a whale, harpoon a Makah.” This incident, and the  way in which those who were opposed to whaling so easily found affinity with those who were actually anti-Makah brought to the fore what I had been noticing for some time in the animal rights milieu – a single-mindedness which often excluded other issues and struggles, or at least marginalized them*.

While it has been said before, it needs to be said again – there is no hierarchy of oppression. At certain times and in certain situations, combating one form over another is tactically necessary and effective, there is no ethical (much less moral) obligation to elevate one form of oppression over any other. This applies as much to animal liberation as it does to the working class, and to identity politics as well. All of these are fronts on which battles for total liberation, fronts on which tactics and means will shift, as times and situations shift.

Specific to talking about diet and, in particular veganism, this means that, as I said before, veganism is not always going to be the best or most appropriate choice for individuals or groups of people. As someone critical of industrial civilization, and with it the industrialized production of food for human consumption, I do not foresee a future in which I want to live that does not include populations of humans gaining sustenance from animal proteins.  This might mean gathering and scavenging, it might mean hunting, what is important is to look at the methods with which this protein is acquired.

Again, this is a case of means. My concerns around meat eating (aside from being personally grossed out by it at this point) have to do with the industrial production which turns the living into products, as well as the processes of domestication which lead up to that point. Within most of the world, but especially the global north, and in particular North America, most animal protein is not garnered from animals who have lived full lives, but rather animals who have existed in total confinement, with their fate written before even their (artificially forced) conception. It is not the violence per se inherent to an animal-based diet that I object to, it is the systemized violence.

Of course, as any primitivists, and other insightful critics would probably quickly point out, a vegan diet (or at least my vegan diet) is still dependent upon industrial civilization. The tofu I eat? Monocropped (and likely genetically modified) soy. The pasta? Industrially produced wheat. The tomato sauce I put on that pasta? Ditto (and picked not by machine, but most likely by underpaid and exploited workers**). While my vegan diet might (somewhat) ameliorate my feelings about the treatment of (non-human) animals in our civilization, it does very little to confront the totality of the shit show we are a part of. While I previously said that I do not want to harm other beings, the reality of being a living, breathing, eating creature is that we are harming other beings. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day.

At risk of pissing off my vegan and animal rights oriented friends even further, I think it is important to point out that humans did not evolve as herbivores, but as scavenging omnivores. While the image of “man the hunter” is certainly less accurate than that of “woman the gatherer” in terms of primary food sources for our ancestors and current non-civilized people, human diets have, so far as I know, always included animal proteins to some extent, except where a conscious choice has been made for ethical, moral, or religious reasons. I see no real reason why this would change. I am not a utopian, and I do not think that we will ever live in a world free from all violence. Life feeds on other life, and there is nothing wrong with that. I absolutely reject views that we should “evolve” to a more “enlightened” form which lives lives of absolute harmony with all other beings at all times. This is simply mysticism half-wrapped in scientific terms, but upon close analysis has much more to do with ideas coming from religion and spirituality.

It also evidences a misunderstanding of what evolution actually is, or how it works. Evolution is not a linear progression from point A to point B. Evolution is about adaptation, about fits & starts, about things changing as conditions change. It is about cooperation and symbiosis, yes, but it is also about competition, and even violence. Even optimists such as Petr Kropotkin, author of the groundbreaking anarchist work “Mutual Aid” saw fit to subtitle the book “A Factor of Evolution” as opposed to “The Factor.” Even in his (understandable) enthusiasm to debunk social Darwinists such as Thomas Huxley and the conception of evolution as a struggle of what Thomas Hobbes had, two-plus centuries previous described as “bella omnium contra omnus” as just the newest twist on an old justification for the state, and now with it, capitalism and the growing disproportionality of wealth and living conditions resultant from it, Kropotkin refused to ignore the role which conflict plays in change and adaptation.

What we have now is not conflict- it is oppression, plain and simple. We have turned all life into commodity. What we can’t imprison, subjugate, repackage, retail and, ultimately, consume we eliminate entirely. If this is war, it has been, to this point, truly one sided. And that makes me lose my appetite. I long for a world in which the food that sustains me is not based on such an uneven, unfair, and alienating mode of production. I long for a much more active role in the collection of my food than the options currently allowed by capitalism. I long to live in a world where the food I eat is related intimately to where I am, even if that means that I don’t get to eat the things I currently know as comfort foods. I don’t know that I will ever see that world, but I think there are concrete actions that we can take to move in that direction.

Sourdough Huckleberry Pancakes

Serves 4 – 6

1 C Flour

1 C Water

2 C Sourdough starter

2+ Tbsp Unrefined sugar

¼ C Vegetable oil

¼ C Egg Replacer

½ Tsp Salt

1 (or more) C Huckleberries (some people like the blue kind, but I prefer the red ones). I have also used salal, or one might choose to use blueberries.

1 Tsp Baking soda

Before bed the night before,  mix the flour, water and starter together in a bowl, alow it to sit, covered and unrefrigerated overnight.

The following morning, combine the starter mix, sugar, oil, egg replacer and salt, let it rest a few minutes, and then stir in the huckleberries. Sprinkle the baking soda over this mixture, and gently fold it in. “Now the magic begins.” (the recipe card I was gifted says that, quotation marks and all – thanks Chris!) Batter will start to rise and thicken – begin cooking now! You have twenty minutes to do so.

*This is not to say that this paucity of worldview was shared by all involved in direct action against whaling or in the animal rights and liberation movements as a whole- individuals such as Josh Harper, Rod Coronado, and many others have maintained a fierce dedication to the nonhumans we share the earth with, while being able to ground that focus in a liberatory politic that sees explicit correlations between animal-murder, the trampling of human freedom, and the despoliation of the earth.  In addition, it should be completely obvious that this is not a trait of animal rights/lib alone – many people who become aware of the pain, torment, and utter emptiness of industrial capitalist civilization quickly latch on to an answer – any answer, as the one way out of the morass.

**For a great piece on tomato pickers, check out “Report from the Hothouse: Tomato Pickers”, in Rolling Thunder #3 (available as a pdf at http://thecloud.crimethinc.com/pdfs/rolling_thunder_3.pdf)