For Wayne Shorter (1933-2023)

Photo by Robert Ascroft via Blue Note Records

The potential cannot be given or rehearsed, it has to be found. And the thing is, to find the potential of anything, all these musicians have to be courageous and humble enough to not want to flaunt their musical credentials. Sometimes you put on display things that you have learned in packages and the packages are supposed to be consumed by applause and sales, and there has to be an expectant with this package, but if no one knows what’s coming, it’s going to take as much courage for the audience to seek the unexpected as we are, thinking we are finding it, finding, finding the way to use potential.

Wayne Shorter

Words can never capture or exhaust great artistic creation, and more often than not, they distract, or worse, distort.

And what can we possibly say to add to the beauty of Wayne Shorter’s music?

If we mourn and celebrate his passing, it is because his extraordinary body of work will live on, and in some sense, through it, he will as well, along with the many musicians that created and played with him. Shorter often said that there is no beginning or end to things; they rather emerge from the cosmos, from life, only to return to it in death, in a perpetual flow of metamorphoses. In some sense, his musical life was one such journey as he moved through different jazz styles and genres, learning and playing with some of the most renowned jazz musicians of his time, while mentoring those who came after.

Without straining or forcing the analogy too much, there is a freedom to the way jazz music is played, or that it can be played by artists such as Wayne Shorter, that speaks perhaps to what anarchism could or should be – not as an ideology, but as a way of life.

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For René Schérer (1922-2023): An anarchist/ic life

Réne Schérer photographed in September 2004, by Louis Monier

For René Schérer, who died this last February 1st.

The work of René Schérer, anarchist and philosopher of anarchy, is sadly little known in the english speaking world. In a modest effort to fill this lacunae, we publish below an excellent essay by Diane Morgan, generously shared with us by the author, preceded by a short tribute to Schérer by Patrick Schindler published with Le Monde Libertaire (16/02/2023), with an english language translation available at the website (26/02/2023).

Diane Morgan’s essay, “Anarchism, Utopianism and Hospitality: The Work of René Schérer”, was originally published in the journal, Modern and Contemporary France, Volume 24 (2), 2016.

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For Alfred Cospito

After Supreme Court Confirmed 41Bis, Anarchist Comrade Alfredo Cospito Returned to Opera Prison in Milan

We have learned that the anarchist comrade Alfredo Cospito, who has been on hunger strike for 131 days, today, on February 27, was moved by the medical department of the San Paolo hospital to the intensive care unit of the Milan Opera prison, where he was located before he was moved to San Paolo on February 11th.

The hearing before the Supreme Court on February 24, in which the detention regulation in 41BIs was confirmed, finally confirmed the will of the state to destroy our companions – a will that already emerged in December with the result of the hearing before the surveillance court in Rome. The latest relocation from San Paolo to Opera is all about this will to exterminate. You intend to destroy a comrade and believe that it is a warning to the revolutionary struggle in this country. However, the intention is in vain: the need to fight against the state and the capital is insatiable, the desire to overthrow this authoritarian social reality is insatiable.

Death to the state, always for the anarchy

The address of the comrade is:

Alfredo Cospito

Milan opera prison

Via Camporgnago 40

20141 Milan

(From Abolition Media/ – 27/02/2023)

Italy: To The Comrades

To the comrades

Nothing will ever be the same as before

We receive these words, which we make our own:

They decided to kill Alfredo with the coldness of executioners. Democracy is simply this: inquests, media spectacles, death sentences.

If all this had passed in silence or in the ruthless dehumanized staging of the opinion makers of the day, it would have been grave and unforgivable. But that was not what happened. In all these months, and well before, the molecules of this heterogeneous anarchist body have never stopped, despite the weight that was already bearing down on many of them. But that’s the way of things.

These seconds and minutes following the death sentence passed by the Supreme Court against Alfredo are interminable. But pain is different from surprise. We feel pain now, tremendous pain. But not surprise. And the pain that permeates our every cell is piercing, total.

Total pain.

Who can now feel that tomorrow will be a day they could already have imagined? For months we have been sounding out hypotheses, scenarios, possibilities, but who really had a clear idea of what they would feel?

Nothing will ever be the same again.

In the face of all this, the silence created by such raw clarity almost clouds the mind, overwhelms everything. It is right that we shed tears, it is human that we clench each other and take time to let go of the tension that has been mounting for months.

We need time for the pain because, if nothing will ever be the same again, tomorrow’s lucidity will have to be greater than yesterday’s.

(From for freedom now – 24/02/2023)

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Fraguas Communique February 2023

From El Lokal (24/02/2023)

Call for solidarity to prevent the incarceration of the Fraguas 6

In 2013, the Fraguas Revive project was born in a town abandoned since 1968, expropriated (forcibly and fraudulently) by the Franco regime and destroyed with military practices. The project has tried to rebuild the town of Fraguas around values such as self-sufficiency, ecology, the recovery of heritage and community life. Despite being a project with a positive impact on demography and the local economy (since it is located in one of the most unpopulated areas in Europe), despite having the support and help of the former inhabitants and despite being strongly backed by civil society, the Castilla la Mancha government, which owns the land, does not see it favorably.

For these reasons, 6 people were sentenced as real estate speculators, even though the requirements for the judgement were not met: they had not built anything new, it has not been urbanised and everything is susceptible to being authorised. In addition, we were not allowed to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court, thus violating our right of defense. Nor has the scientific community been heard, which has alerted on several occasions, both to the administration and the judge, the illegality of the sentence, which seeks to demolish Fraguas, assuming it as an irrecoverable loss of heritage.

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Ukraine: Listening to voices “from below”

A woman standing outside the maternity hospital in Mariupol after it was shelled by Russia. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

It is one year today that Russia invaded Ukraine, with all of the horror and barbarism that follows any war.

Over this time, we have sought to understand the conflict as best we can from a distance, without premade judgements.

What we have not been able to understand is how “leftists”, from a distance and of many different colours, have been able to defend “realist” political interpretations of the conflict – e.g., that NATO is responsible for the Russian invasion or that Ukraine is merely a proxy of U.S. imperialism –, and/or abstract “revolutionary defeatism”, opposing “class war” to “inter-state” war, when Ukrainians are faced with the immediacy of an invasion by an authoritarian state, and/or an equally abstract anti-militarism and anti-nationalism, when the invasion is a military invasion and when the immediate frame of the war is nationalism, with the invasion justified in nationalist terms, something which however does not and never exhausts the motivations and aims of those who take up arms to defend themselves as a community – nationally identified or not – against imperialist conquest.

Would a pacifist response, a strategy of passive resistance, to the invasion have been possible? Who can categorically say, yes? And what could this have possibly looked like, when pacifist responses to war in Russia to Russian wars is repressed?

Anarchists historically have been overwhelmingly anti-militarists and internationalists. Yet, equally, historically, for reasons that may be judged – usually in hindsight – as good or bad, anarchists have participated in military engagements and in what have often been national contexts, without thereby feeling themselves to be “traitors to the cause”.

Judgements come easy. To listen is much more difficult. And to act from what one hears is inevitably fraught with uncertainty, regardless of what “our ideologies” may suggest.

We share below a video report by Enguerran Carrier entitled Ukraine: Revolutionaries at war, along with two published interviews with Carrier.

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Italy: Autonomia (20) –  Porto Marghera: the last firebrands

We close our brief selection of texts dedicated to Italy’s operaismo and Autonomia returning to where in some sense it all began, amidst the workers of the country’s large industrial complexes and their struggles for dignity as workers, but struggles which they themselves over time realised went beyond the “factory”, and put into question a kind of society, a world, in which they and life could be made disposable. The remarkable film Porto Marghera: gli ultimi fuochi/Porto Marghera: the last firebrands (2004) by Manuela Pellarin tells the story of the experience of autonomous workers’ organisation in the industrial area around Venice, Italy in the late 60s and early 70s. The film was released with an excellent short book, which we share below, along with the film (with English subtitles).

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Italy: Autonomia (19) – Feminism: Carla Lonzi

Carla Lonzi

Woman must not be defined in relation to man. This awareness is the foundation of both our struggle and our liberation.

Man is not the model to hold up for the process of woman’s self-discovery.

Woman is the other in relation to man. Man is the other in relation to woman. Equality is an ideological attempt to subject woman even further.

The identification of woman with man means annulling the ultimate means of liberation.

Liberation for woman does not mean accepting the life man leads, because it is unliveable; on the contrary, it means expressing her own sense of existence.

Woman as subject does not reject man as subject but she rejects him as an absolute role, In society she rejects him as an authoritarian role.

Manfesto di Rivolta Femminile, 1970

In 1970 Carla Lonzi, Carla Accardi and Elvira Banotti founded Rivolta Femminile, an Italian feminist collective. Their first action, in July 1970, consisted of plastering the walls of Rome with copies of the “Manifesto di Rivolta Femminile“. The politics of Rivolta Femminile were largely grounded in “autocoscienza” theory and practices. “Autocoscienza“, meaning a heightened sense of self-consciousness or self-awareness, was a collective exercise of feminist “consciousness-raising.” (Wikipedia)

Carla Lonzi’s writings would have an enormous impact on feminism, both in and beyond Italy. Below, we share here brilliant text, Let’s Spit on Hegel (1970). And by way of an introduction, for those not familiar with the essay, we share a part of a larger reflection by Alexander R. Galloway on the same.

If we were to summarise the essay’s central thesis, it would be that liberation from oppression cannot be measured, thought or decided in relation to the perspective and world of the “master” – of a grounding master-slave dialectic. To do otherwise is both to reproduce the master’s world and to ignore that there are many slaves who may not fall under or who may be ignored, marginalised, by any singular master-slave dialectic. For Lonzi, the Hegelian-Marxist dialectic is just one such matrix of exclusion, for it is itself conceived of in masculine terms. And thus any emancipatory politics based upon it is illusory. Freedom lies elsewhere, in the potentiality that erupts at the margins/outside the frame of the dialectic.

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Italy: Autonomia (18) – Feminism: Silvia Federici

Italian autonomist Silvia Federici on wages and housework.

Federici was co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, and an organizer with the wages for housework campaign. In 1973, she helped start Wages for Housework groups in the US. In 1975 she published Wages Against Housework, the book most commonly associated with the wages for housework movement.

She has, since that period, written some of the most important essays within the tradition of radical feminism.

Wages against housework (1974)

Silvia Federici

They say it is love. We say it is unwaged work.

They call it frigidity. We call it absenteeism.

Every miscarriage is a work accident.

Homosexuality and heterosexuality are both working conditions…but homosexuality is workers’ control of production, not the end of work.

More smiles? More money. Nothing will be so powerful in destroying the healing virtues of a smile.

Neuroses, suicides, desexualization: occupational diseases of the housewife.

Many times the difficulties and ambiguities which women express in discussing wages for housework stem from the reduction of wages for housework to a thing, a lump of money, instead of viewing it as a political perspective. The difference between these two standpoints is enormous. To view wages for housework as a thing rather than a perspective is to detach the end result of our struggle from the struggle itself and to miss its significance in demystifying and subverting the role to which women have been confined in capitalist society.

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Italy: Autonomia (17) – Feminism: Leopoldina Fortunati

A personal reflection on the feminist movement within Italy’s Autonomia.

Learning to struggle: my story between workerism and feminism

When I encoun­tered work­erism, I was 19 years old. I was a grass­roots mil­i­tant of the stu­dents’ move­ment from the Uni­ver­sity of Padua. I was young, and thus I was silent and I learned. I remem­ber that in many meet­ings I wanted to say things, but I was shy and inse­cure and there­fore I pre­ferred to keep quiet. The lead­ers of the move­ment were gen­er­ally stu­dents who had already learned to do pol­i­tics because they had some pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence of party or polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions. In con­trast, I had only my beliefs about the need to change the world for the tri­umph of equal­ity, free­dom, and justice.

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Italy: Autonomia (16) – Feminism: Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James

We share below the brilliant and very influential pamphlet The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James of 1972 that used a feminist reading of Marx to challenge Left orthodoxy on the role of women, their labour and their struggles. (From

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