Introduction

Aidan Conway, Erin Gray, Tom Keefer, and Sharmeen Khan

Welcome to the third issue of Upping the Anti. After all the usual hard work and delays, we’re happy to once again present these pages. As always, our content is devoted to discussing both the successes and shortcomings of contemporary movements for social change.

We kick off this issue with a series of exchanges in the Letters section, where readers respond to content from Upping The Anti 2. We’re pleased that UTA is generating these kinds of engaging debates, and we encourage readers to write us with their thoughts and perspectives on the articles and interviews we print. Stay tuned for our online discussion board accessible from the Autonomy and Solidarity website: http://auto_sol.tao.ca.

In this issue, our editorial tries to assess the difficult space in which the North American anti-war movement presently finds itself. Despite the fact that, now more than ever, a massive anti-war movement with strong anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist tendencies is needed, the Canadian anti-war movement has not been able to deliver the goods. We attempt to analyze why anti-war organizers have overlooked the positive contributions of the anti-globalization movement and conclude by suggesting that the way forward lies in transcending the antithetical terms of our present struggles, where small direct actions stand in opposition to larger but depoliticized single day protests against the war. While we know that it’s impossible to resolve this dialectic on paper, we offer up the editorial in the hope of sharpening the terms of debate. Nothing would make us happier than to see others throw their hats into the ring.

This issue also contains two interviews, both with renowned scholar-activists. The interview with Aijaz Ahmad addresses fundamental questions of revolution and organization, and reflects on the complexities of Islamic and anti-imperialist movements in Asia and the Middle East. William Robinson discusses Latin American resistance to neoliberalism in the changing context of global capitalism and considers how these movements are relating to the state.

In our articles section, AK Thompson critically engages the arguments of Richard Day’s Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements and discusses whether or not the orientation to “affinity” expressed by the newest social movements is adequate to the task of making meaningful social change. Following Thompson’s piece, Isabel MacDonald writes on Canadian complicity in the occupation of Haiti, outlining both the horrific oppression visited upon the Haitian people and the difficulties faced by the solidarity movement in support of Haiti. Subsequently, RJ Maccani investigates the Zapatista experience and outlines the lessons to be drawn north of the Rio Grande amidst Mexico’s changing political terrain. As in the interview section, Maccani’s piece engages the question of the relationship between anti-capitalist movements and the state. Our final article finds Jen Plyler writing about the need for sustainable movements to develop supportive conditions that can help organizers to ‘keep on keeping on.’

Our roundtable section is devoted entirely to the struggle of the Six Nations people of the Grand River territory – one of the most important indigenous social movements taking place in Canada today. While currently focusing on the reclamation of a suburban housing estate, the struggle highlights larger issues of political sovereignty and settler colonialism. Tom Keefer provides an overview and background to the situation, while in the roundtable, participants focus on the role of non-native solidarity activists in supporting this indigenous movement. We interview Brian Skye, a member of the Cayuga nation who has been very active at the site, on his perspectives on solidarity organizing. We also interview Jan Watson, a non-native Caledonia, Ontario resident who has been centrally involved in organizing against racism directed against the people of Six Nations. The roundtable concludes with reflections by AJ Withers, Josh Zucker and Stefanie Gude, focusing on the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s role in supporting the Six Nations struggle.

In the reviews section, Scott Neigh reflects on the connections between activism and research explored in Sociology for Changing the World: Social Movements/Social Research, edited by Caelie Frampton et al. Yutaka Dirk considers Dan Bergers’s assessment of the Weather Underground: Outlaws of America and Sharmeen Khan interrogates the white anti-racism of Inga Muscio’s Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage our supporters to contribute financially to help us continue this project. Our journal is entirely “independent.” For those of you not keeping up with contemporary euphemisms, “independent” means we have no money. Basically, we’re broke. So, if you like what we do and would like us to keep on doing it, you should consider making a financial donation to the project. That way, you can be independent, too.

With your help, we hope to publish Upping the Anti twice a year. A one year subscription to the journal is $20, a two year subscription is $35, and back issues of Volumes 1 and 2 are available for $10 each. We especially encourage those who are financially endowed (like the professionals who feel sorry for us, the class traitors who envy us, and the organizations dying to keep it real) to consider purchasing a lifetime subscription to the journal for $250. This lifetime subscription (your life or ours – whichever expires first!) entitles you to all back and future issues of Upping the Anti, along with other non journal materials, including pamphlets and DVDs that are currently in the works.

We need other kinds of help, too. Although we have successfully distributed Upping the Anti throughout Canada and internationally with the help of distributors in our network, we welcome any further assistance with distribution. If you would like to distribute the journal in your area, please arrange to receive bulk copies of Upping the Anti at a discounted price by emailing uta_distro@yahoo.ca. If you are a distributor who owes us money from previous issues, don’t be shy about getting in touch with us to cut a deal and arrange to receive copies of the new issue!

Our next issue will be coming out in the spring of 2007. The final deadline for content is February 28, 2007 and articles can be emailed to us at uppingtheanti@gmail.com. You can keep appraised of our progress through our web site at http://auto_sol.tao.ca.

In Solidarity and Struggle,
Aidan Conway, Erin Gray, Tom Keefer, and Sharmeen Khan
Toronto, November 6, 2006.