The Personal is Political by Carol Hanisch (1969)

Feminist Reading Group

This classic essay is available on Carol Hanisch’s website here.

In her 2006 follow-up, Hanisch mentions one of feminism’s biggest challenges.

I wish we could have anticipated all the ways that “The Personal Is Political” and “The Pro-Woman Line” would be revised and misused. Like most of the theory created by the Pro-Woman Line radical feminists, these ideas have been revised or ripped off or even stood on their head and used against their original, radical intent. While it’s necessary that theories take their knocks in the real world, like everything else, many of us have learned that once they leave our hands, they need to be defended against revisionism and misuse.

OUCH. That’s real, sisters. Even as we attempt to move forward, we must vigilantly watch our backs (see: legal erosion of abortion access) and ensure that our theories are not co-opted for anti-feminist purposes (see: trans politics).

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My review of “Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope”.

lipstick socialist

why we MARCH

On 21 January 2017 several hundred women (and  some men) gathered in Albert Square in Manchester in support of women’s rights,  and in solidarity with similar events taking place in Washington DC on Trump’s first full day as President. The organisers stressed that it was not a march,  but a peaceful, non-partisan protest with music and placards.  It was noticeable that many of the women taking place were middle-class, fairly typical of a class of people that live in the centre of Manchester these days or the affluent south of the city.

womens march manchesterWhy We March is a pictorial history of the Women’s March on  21 January  2017,  which took place worldwide: inspiring people from Antartica  to Zimbabwe.

The book includes 500 photographs, mainly from cities in the USA,  which demonstrate how  millions of women, men and children raised their voices and placards  on issues such reproductive rights, migrant rights, police…

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Anti fracking camp at Leith Hill, Surrey, call out for support.

Wessex Solidarity

Europa Oil & Gas are nearing the end of the legal process giving them permission to carry out unconventional drilling in the Surrey Hills, despite massive community opposition. A phase of direct action is likely to begin once the site traffic starts to arrive in October. If you’d like to find out more, see the Leith Hill Protection Camp Facebook page or come and visit the Leith Hill Protection Camp which is in Coldharbour Lane near Dorking, opposite the intended drill site. If you’d like to join the camp, please visit first to meet the core crew.

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The Diggers and the Levellers

Surrey and Hampshire Anarchist Federation

An article written by a blogger called Steven on LibCom about the history of the Diggers also known as the “True Levellers” and the Levellers themselves.

A history of the radical movements the Diggers and the Levellers which sprung up around the English Civil War. The political and social upheaval that resulted from the English Civil War in the seventeenth century [effectively two conflicts between 1642 -1646 and 1647/48] led to the development of a set of radical ideas centred around movements known as ‘Diggers’ and ‘Levellers’

The Diggers [or ‘True Levellers’] were led by William Everard who had served in the New Model Army. As the name implies, the diggers aimed to use the earth to reclaim the freedom that they felt had been lost partly through the Norman Conquest; by seizing the land and owning it ‘in common’ they would challenge what they considered to be the slavery of property…

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Advance notice – March of the towers!

The South Essex STIRRER

We’ll be going along to this to show our solidarity with housing struggles in East London: March of the towers!https://www.facebook.com/events/1951128301839783/

Date: Saturday August 12th

Join us for a march and speak out to demand safe homes, not social cleansing in East London.

The flats of Ferrier Point and Tanner Point are both tower blocks with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower. Carpenters Estate in Stratford is marked for demolition by Newham Labour council.

Let us meet to raise the issues of secure housing in our local community and demand that the council provides suitable housing for residents.

Meet 12 midday: Ferrier Point, Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town E16 and/or 1pm: Tanner Point, Pelly Road, Plaistow E13.

From there we will be marching to the Carpenters Estate, Stratford E15.

And from 2.30pm we will be having a ‘hands around the Carpenters Estate’ solidarity event and speak out with residents to…

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Perspectives on Anarchist Theory Call for Contributions: Beyond the Crisis

Institute for Anarchist Studies

Rapid policy changes, funding shifts and cuts, spikes in hate crimes, inflammatory rhetoric, corrupt democratic processes, and international etiquette blunders characterize the current political situation in the United States.  Since the new regime assumed power, the immediate dangers to people of color, immigrants, queer folks, and the poor have escalated. We respond with the urgency of firefighters, racing from hot spot to hot spot, putting out flames where they threaten to consume our communities. We remain on constant high alert to respond to the next hate crime, the next anti-immigrant raid, the next attack on the planet.

IMG_2657 (Roger Peet, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative)

In these moments of urgency, it can feel as if we will never be able to do enough—as if our long-term campaigns are too slow to develop, our reach too short.  How do we respond? Does this cycle require us to drop everything in order to react? Must we…

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My review of Milosz: A Biography by Andrzej Franaszek

lipstick socialist

 

milosz

Andrzej Franaszek’s biography of  the great Polish poet Czeslaw  Milosz is more than the story of one man’s life: it is a compelling history of Eastern Europe in the  twentieth century.  Milosz was born in 1911 in Lithuania but during  his lifetime the whole geography of his homeland was redrawn. Reading this book,  it  feels as if one is travelling with Milosz as he navigates  the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Nazi invasion and occupation of his homeland,  and the new world order post-1945 when Poland became part of the Soviet sphere.

The narrative runs alongside the numerous poems and prose writings through which Milosz tried to make sense of his constantly changing world. In  his poetry he tried to explain his experiences as he lived through different kinds of exile,  until he finally defected from Poland to the West  in 1951.

Milosz might have physically left…

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