Life During Wartime

Book review by Nemeton

Kristian Williams, Will Munger and Lara Messersmith-Glaving, eds. Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency. Oakland: AK Press, 2013.

The 439-page book Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency is a collection of articles organized thematically that elucidate the central argument that the doctrine of counterinsurgency (COIN) deployed by the US government and military in international arenas such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been concurrently executed in the US mainland by a myriad of local, state and federal policing organizations and security apparatuses against political dissidents and activists. Various articles focus on the theories and deployment of COIN strategies, as well as methods of resistance, from diverse perspectives of individuals, groups and networks in Occupy, ecological, anarchist and anti-globalization struggles, as well as activists against border control, gang injunctions and the prison industrial complex. This book is an important contribution to the wider discourses about the domestic security state and political organizing, and has clear, continuing relevance given the ongoing deployment of COIN, current and pending trials, and ongoing diverse political actions. The book was published prior to the exposure by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and others, based on leaked documents provided by Edward Snowden, of the NSA’s international and domestic spying regime on all electronic, internet and phone communications, as well as a plethora of other personal information. It would be very useful to have updates by the authors of these articles and activists about how they view COIN in relation to those revelations. There appears to be no mechanism, as of yet, for how activists or targets of COIN could discover if they were subject to NSA spying, and learn how that information could have been used against them, but certain articles in this book elucidate methods of FBI, police and COIN methods in spying, surveillance and infiltration. This book is the culmination of work started at the “Counter Counter-Insurgency Convergence” at Reed College in Portland, Oregon during 2011. The book articles are reworks of the conference presentations given by activists, researchers, academics, organizers and others. Two of the editors have gone on a networked book publicity tour around the US, including in Los Angeles, where I saw them give talks based on their articles. [Read more →]

One Night in Stammheim

Book review by Christoph Fringeli

Helge Lehmann: Die Todesnacht in Stammheim – Eine Untersuchung. Indizienprozess gegen die staatsoffizielle Darstellung und das Todesermittlungsverfahren. 2nd printing 2012, Pahl-Rugenstein, Cologne.

On October 18, 1977 at 8:53 am, the German news agency dpa sent out a news bulletin announcing “Baader and Ensslin have committed suicide.”

What had happened? [Read more →]

White Power Music – Scenes of Extreme Right Cultural Resistance

Anton Shekhovtsov, Paul Jackson (Eds): White Power Music – Scenes of Extreme Right Cultural Resistance.Mapping the Far-Right, Volume 2, Searchlight Magazine/Radicalism and New Media Research Group, August 2012.

This volume shines a spotlight on various far right musical scenes all over Europe. The first part of the book is made up of country-specific looks at the scenes in Germany, France, Sweden, Greece, Hungary and Romania, and the Czech Republic. The second part consists of three articles: one about the memory of Ian Stuart Donaldson, one about women in White Power music, and one about „White Power music and censorship in the Information Age“.

The articles differ a great deal in how they approach the issues. The article about the German „Rechtsrock“ scene limits itself largely to that particular brand of white power rock, and is basing itself to a considerable degree on the reports of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV). These should be taken with a grain of salt as we have seen in the context of the murders of the National Socialist Underground. The author is staying close to the music associated with traditional neo-Nazism (NPD and DVU parties) and doesn’t investigate the more transversal forms of far-right subcultures. Nevertheless it can serve as an introduction to a particular field of German far-right music to a reader unfamiliar with the topic.

The second article is concerned with France, starting off with the phenomenon of „rock identitaire“, and the involvment of protagonist Fabrice Robert in various national-revolutionary and national-Bolshevik sects until his recent activities as a leader of Bloc Identitaire. The article traces the nationalist rock back to the 70’s and the influence of the Italian Janus group up to the present via skinhead hate rock and NSBM, expanding the spectrum into far right techno since the 90’s. [Read more →]

Dub in Babylon (book review)

Christopher Partridge –
Dub In Babylon (Equinox)
reviewed by John Eden

The subtitle is “Understanding the evolution and significance of dub reggae in Jamaica and Britain from King Tubby to Post-Punk”. Which is right up my street. This is an academic book, but it manages to avoid the worst excesses of post-modern jargon and so should be readable to most. The first couple of chapters deal briefly with the history of Rastafari and dub and are OK, not exactly exciting if you have ever read a book on the subject before. Partridge writes well and quotes from a gratifyingly diverse set of sources which suggests he’s put the work in.
The pace then picks up as we move onto an examination of “Sound-system Culture and Jamaican Dub in the UK”. [Read more →]

Kroker/Weinstein: Data Trash Book Review (1995)

DATA TRASH
Arthur Kroker & Michael Weinstein [New World Perspectives – Montreal 1994]
(Review published in Alien Underground 0.1, 1995)

“Take your choice: The VR Helmet or the disciplinary state” [Read more →]

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