After 15 months, 44 cities, and 72 events, the Another Politics Tour is done. I have been completely blown away by all of the inspiring people I’ve encountered, across North America, working diligently and creatively to build effective, visionary movements. I’ve learned so much from you all, and I hope I’ve managed to circulate some useful lessons coming out of our collective experiences. Many thanks to the University of California Press for publishing the book and to AK Press for helping to distribute it. Thanks too to my comrades in the Punch Up Collective, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, Upping the Anti, and Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar for their consistent support. And most of all, I offer tremendous gratitude to the hundreds of activists, organizers, visionaries, and fighters whose efforts made the four tour legs possible. I am awed by everyone who put me in touch with reliable local activists, set up events, spoke alongside me, offered childcare, provided food, oriented me in unfamiliar cities, hosted me in their homes, gave me rides, raised funds, invited me into their classes, received boxes of books in the mail, attended events, contributed thoughts to discussions, and/or shared experiences in late-night conversations. As some of you know, I take my motto from the radical German death metal band Heaven Shall Burn: “Nothing, just nothing, nothing will wipe this heart out.” This, I’m fully convinced now, is a heart that we sustain together.
Image created by Dalia Shevin
Chris – loved the piece in Briarpatch. First off – if you have not seen it or read – one of our elders, Myles Horton, one of the founders of Highlander Folk School in Tennessee and a location of civil rights organizing and ‘extractivism’ has an autobiography called “The Long Haul” and it was one of his ongoing themes though out his active life. Loved the theme on suspicion and dismissal. I think it’s also a phase of becoming a critical thinker – ‘review all, analyse all” but difficult to deal with in building unity and understanding. I’ve been in community organizations and the labour movement and unions often draw cynicism from other movements just for being who we are – there are many reasons to rebuke and challenge us but not for just being who we are. Also appreciated the organizational legacy segment. Capital has constant maneuverability. We make victories and even change culture but without some legacy of organization or even memory the elites through their systemic power erode what’s been built. Thanks and solidarity.
Thanks so much for your responses and appreciations, David! I’ve heard about Myles Horton and have had many comrades who have been deeply influenced by Highlander. I’ll definitely check out that autobiography. And that’s a good point about suspicion and dismissal being part of the process of becoming a critical thinker. I’ll need to reflect more on that.