Introduction

Upping the Anti Editorial Committee

In the summer of 2015, as we prepare to release Issue 17 of Upping the Anti, there is no shortage of examples of global resistance to systems of oppression and exploitation. The Black Lives Matter movement initiated global protests and vigils against anti-Black racism, and racist police and judicial systems. While transgender people are still targeted and murdered on a daily basis, the oppression of transgender people is gradually starting to be featured in mainstream media outlets and confronted within movements. Indigenous people and warriors and their supporters continue to resist colonization in the form of resource extraction, the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women, and through settler-colonial legal regimes.

While inspiring examples of resistance are manifold, systems of oppression and exploitation continue unabated, signifying the depth and breadth of work that remains for us.  The outpouring of Islamophobia during the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ debacle charged racial hatred throughout Europe and North America, resulting in more attacks on Muslim and Arab institutions, communities, and bodies. The rising tide of bigotry is further fuelled by the growing assault on nations in the Middle East in the name of ‘the war on terror,’ while the thousands murdered by colonial and tyrannical regimes in Palestine and Syria continue to be ignored.  In Canada expanding xenophobic migration policies have locked up thousands of people without trial or due process in a system of indefinite detention, and international resource extraction pipelines are approved even as climate collapse grows ever more imminent. We fiercely resist, but at times it feels as though we barely make a dent.  In this, Upping the Anti’s 17th issue, we strive to continue our tradition of bringing you a set of intertwining readings that, together, reflect upon our shared resistances to global systems of exploitation and oppression.

In an age that has seen the rise of digital media and dwindling attention spans, it is no small feat to keep publishing radical print media. With Issue 17 we celebrate 10 years of publication. Our successes in this long decade are due to the hard work of our editorial collective and advisory board, but also in huge part to your submissions, subscriptions, donations, and readership. Without readers and writers we would be a small project indeed.

Our 10th year has been a difficult one, with many setbacks. Although we increased our fundraising and tabling efforts over the winter, we were also robbed of a huge sum of our money from these endeavours, setting us back an issue. Our online fundraising plea helped rally our spirits, as the response to recover the funds and allow us to publish was overwhelming. Though it has been a challenge dealing with these setbacks, we are happy to present you with Issue 17.

The past few months have seen some members leave our collective, only to see a new batch of volunteers join.  Sadly, Cara Fabre has resigned as an editor as she takes on other political projects and work. We also bid founding editor Tom Keefer goodbye, who submitted his own resignation recently. Tom Keefer started the journal ten years ago with Aidan Conway and Sharmeen Khan, putting in personal resources, a great deal of labour, and vision for the project. But in the midst of these resignations we have welcomed Devin Clancy and Jasmine to the editorial collective. We also welcome Karl Gardner as a new associate editor and Thomas Saczowski onto the advisory board.

Issue 17 begins with our editorial, which investigates the role of international solidarity and the connections between the local and the global. We begin by questioning the political moment in terms of international solidarity, situating the moment historically. By looking at various examples from communist and anarchist traditions, as well as from contemporary efforts, we work through the possibilities of reviving the connections between local and international struggles.

The interview section starts out with narratives of Indigenous sovereignty and resisting resource extraction from Freda Huson and Toghestiy of the Unist’ot’en Camp. Next, Sheila Sampath, Nicole Cohen, and Melinda Mattos from Shameless Magazine discuss ten years of radical print publication as a feminist magazine for girls and trans* youth. We then have an interview with Seattle revolutionary and media maker Sensei Gregory C. Lewis on his role in documenting Black Lives Matter.

In our articles section, Sedge Ruiz and Alexander Reid Ross discuss contradictions in ‘green’ capitalism in their article “Energizing the Climate Movement.” In “Gaza, Lynchings and the Genocidal Logics of Settler Colonialism,” Linda Tabar offers analysis of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in the summer of 2014. She cites examples of the escalation of white settler colonial violence perpetrated against Palestinian native life and the pressing urgency of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

The importance of BDS is similarly highlighted in this issue’s roundtables section. Greg Shupak leads a conversation with activists from Canada, the US, and Palestine on the tactics, victories, and criticisms of BDS as a strategy in the Palestine solidarity movement – especially following the 2014 Gaza attacks. Following this roundtable is a conversation led by Scott Price on oral history and its importance to radical movements across North America.

In our book review section, Tyler McCreary covers Chris Dixon’s new book, Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements, a thorough overview of North American anti-authoritarian resistance in which Dixon offers insights on autonomy, self-determination, and grassroots community organizing. Craig Fortier reviews Glen Sean Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition in which Coulthard reveals the politics of recognition and reconciliation as yet another mode of settler colonialism and emphasizes the need to supplant colonial attacks with Indigenous resurgence and sovereignty. The issue finishes with Jenna M. Loyd’s review of Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention by Tings Chak, a Toronto architect and community organizer, who lays bare the interiors and exteriors of Canadian migrant detention. With a mix of graphic and analytical content, Undocumented reveals how spaces of detention attempt to bolster the divide between free/unfree, status/non-status, legal/illegal. We are also very grateful to Tings Chak for providing us with Issue 17’s amazing cover art depicting themes from Undocumented.

As always, UTA strives to cover topics that pique our readers’ interests and to continue to inspire debate about the systems that structure our worlds and the ways we resist them. We strive to publish your letters on the previous issues’ content in order to continue generating discussions on dismantling and replacing oppressive systems. Please consider sustaining us with donations, endorsements, and advertising, or with your ideas by submitting a pitch or a letter relating to the content of Issue 17 for our next issue.
The pitch deadline for any content will be September 15, 2015. Please visit www.uppingtheanti.org for more information on submission deadlines and guidelines, and on the many ways to contribute to Upping the Anti.  We are also looking for new editorial members in the Toronto area or associate editors and advisory board members if you want to help with the project outside of Toronto.

Thank you to all our contributors, sustainers, editors, and advisors. It has been a challenging year for UTA and this issue wouldn’t have been possible without your support, strength, and wisdom: Jillian Tobin, Geordie Dent, Tyler McCreary, Megan Hope, Natalia Saavedra, Ayesha Basit, Tom Keefer, Joanna Adamiak, Anabel Khoo, Adrie Naylor, Nate Prier, Salmaan Khan, Maija Duncan and Manuel Marqués-Bonilla.

We hope you enjoy your read, and continue to support Upping the Anti as we enter a new decade of alternative print media!


In struggle and solidarity,

Jasmine, Devin Clancy, Lindsay Hart
Sharmeen Khan,  Amelia Spedaliere, and Elise Thorburn

Toronto, August 2015