Tagged ‘Resistance‘

Globalize the Intifada: Regional Resistance, International Struggle & Palestinian Liberation on the 36th Anniversary of the Great Intifada

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

December 10, 2023


Amid the ongoing genocide in Gaza carried out by the Zionist regime and the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people, December 7-9 2023 marks the 36th anniversary of the launch of the great popular Palestinian Intifada of 1987, one of the longest sustained grassroots uprisings in history and an example, like today’s battle, of the leadership of the Palestinian working class and popular masses in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine against Zionism, imperialism and their reactionary partners in the region. As Palestinians fight, mourn, love and struggle in the face of an all-out U.S./Israeli assault on their lives, existence and future, they not only defend their land and people but stand with their allies in the regional resistance and around the world on the frontlines of a truly globalized Intifada.

The Great Intifada launched from Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, often called Mukhayyam al-Thawra, the camp of revolution. Today, the people of Jabaliya camp, themselves refugees of the 1947-48 Nakba, once again resist displacement and the Israeli attempts to push them to the south of Gaza and then to Sinai in Egypt. They remain firmly rooted in the North of Gaza, living through starvation, torture, massive aerial bombing, siege and invasion in order to resist the genocide of their entire people.

On 8 December 1987, the murder of four Palestinian workers, mowed down by an Israeli occupation army truck in Jabaliya camp, led Palestinians to take the streets in massive numbers, building their movement, collectives and institutions, uniting around the messages of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising, boycotting Israel and practicing all elements of popular struggle and collective resistance. Today, as we take to the streets once again, 36 years of Intifada stretch forward to the current Palestinian revolution against a barbaric Israeli genocide.

The prisoners’ movement and the Intifada

As we commemorate this 36th anniversary of years of struggle, of the imprisonment of over 600,000 Palestinians, of Yitzhak Rabin’s “breaking bones” strategy reenacted in mass slaughter in Gaza, we are also facing attempts to render the Palestinian struggle unspeakable, even as it is clear that the Palestinian people and their resistance, along with their allies, are not defeated but are instead exacting a significant cost on the occupier, defending their land toward victory, return and liberation despite the genocide. 

Today, there are nearly 8,000 Palestinian prisoners locked behind Israeli bars. The prisoners liberated during the one-week “humanitarian pause” by the Palestinian resistance through an exchange agreement relayed the severe situation of the captives today, subject to torture, abuse, malnutrition and mistreatment. Six Palestinian prisoners have been assassinated so far behind bars. Every day, the Zionist regime publishes new propaganda photos of Palestinian civilians being stripped and abused, in an attempt to break the will of the people and their resistance.

In 1987, the Intifada was preceded by the self-liberation of Palestinian prisoners; and in 2023, the prisoners’ movement, its strikes, uprisings and ongoing liberation struggles, has clearly pointed the compass toward return and liberation. In fact, the great Intifada was in many places led by Palestinian prisoners who had been liberated by the Resistance in the great 1985 prisoner exchange; today’s resistance is also led by freed Palestinian prisoners who honed their commitment to the struggle in the “revolutionary schools” established by the prisoners themselves, particularly during the Intifada. There is a direct throughline from 1987 to today, through the prisoners’ movement and its leading role in the collective liberation struggle.

The liberation of the prisoners is so precious to the Palestinian people everywhere that the resistance is unwilling to exchange its prisoners of war for anything other than the liberation of the imprisoned heroes of the Palestinian people in Zionist jails, on the terms of the resistance, despite the genocidal bombardment.

The liberation of the prisoners – including those held in international imperialist jails, like Georges Abdallah in France; the Holy Land Foundation prisoners Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi and Mufid Abdulqader in the United States; and Amin Abu Rashed in the Netherlands – is once again central to today’s global intifada.

The globalized Intifada

“From New York to Gaza…From Vancouver to Gaza….From Berlin to Gaza…From London to Gaza…From Cape Town to Gaza…From Sao Paulo to Gaza….From Paris to Gaza, Globalize the Intifada!”

The call rings out around the world, as hundreds of thousands – indeed, millions – march against the ongoing Zionist genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. This phrase is not only an expression of sympathy with the Palestinian people and their heroic resistance fighting by all means for the liberation of Palestine, but also a reflection of the international, Arab and Palestinian nature of the Palestinian cause.

Today, the regional resistance is on the front lines of this globalized Intifada that presents a meaningful potential for sweeping the Arab region free of U.S.-led imperialism, including its European and British partners. It is worth recalling that, prior to the 1987 launch of the Intifada, the Palestinian cause seemed at a desperate point, at risk of liquidation, after the Palestinian resistance had been forced from Lebanon under Zionist invasion, while the camps were under siege. The Intifada came to reorient the compass and set the liberation struggle once again on a clear path forward.

Once again, today, prior to 7 October, the drive toward normalization with the Zionist regime seemed inevitable to many, while others bemoaned the disunity of the Palestinian movement; the struggle today has, once more, clarified the role of all forces in the region and the world, uniting the Palestinian people and their Arab and international allies toward liberation and return.

Palestine to Yemen to Lebanon and Beyond: Regional Resistance, Regional Revolution

In Yemen, the mobilized Yemeni people and their armed forces have shut down the Red Sea to Zionist naval traffic after seizing the “Galaxy Leader” ship owned by an Israeli businessman. They have consistently taken action to directly intervene in support of Palestine, imposing a truly material economic cost on the Zionist regime. The Yemeni people and their armed forces have brilliantly illustrated their own triumph over years of siege imposed by reactionary Arab regimes at the behest of Zionism and imperialism through this substantive form of boycott, divestment and sanctions: isolating the Zionist regime and advancing real Arab sovereignty over land, water and resources.

The people of Yemen are, of course, joined in this Intifada by the Lebanese Resistance, who through their participation in the battle of Al-Aqsa Flood, in the resistance to the genocide, have imposed significant military, economic and social costs on the Israeli regime. Over 20 years after the liberation of the South of Lebanon in May 2000 – one of the major factors in sparking the Al-Aqsa Intifada that began in 2000, often called the “Second Intifada”, the Lebanese Resistance is a full partner of the Palestinian Resistance on the field of battle and on the strategic level, enacting the unity of all fronts in order to confront the alliance between “Israel” and the imperialist forces, led by the United States alongside Germany, France, Britain, Canada and their partners. This regional alliance of resistance stretches from Palestine, Yemen and Lebanon, to Iraq, where the U.S. bases remain under ongoing fire and resistance to finally bring that occupation to an end, to Syria, Iran and beyond.

The international popular cradle of the Resistance

Everywhere around the world, the broad masses of the people, from the heart of the Global South to the center of the imperial core, are expressing a clear and thorough rejection of the ongoing genocide that has quickly accelerated to a firm revulsion to the Zionist ideology and Zionist project as a whole and to solidarity with and inspiration by the Palestinian people and their heroic resistance in all forms, particularly the armed resistance. The “red triangle” over targets featured in the resistance videos of Al-Qassam Brigades, Saraya al-Quds and other resistance forces has become an online shorthand for the triumph of the people, their determination, their love for their land and their community over the automated, technologized forces of death and destruction represented by the Merkava tanks and military bases of the US/Israeli war machine.

The “Dahiyeh doctrine” of mass destruction of civilian lives and infrastructure failed in Lebanon in 2006 because the people were a popular cradle, a source of nourishment, growth and sustenance, of the resistance, because the resistance was of, by and for the masses; today, it is failing once again in its full genocidal furor in Gaza for the same reason. This Resistance emerges from the very camps of refugees, denied their right to return home for the past 75 years, that the Zionists seek to destroy and drive into a new displacement today. Globalizing the intifada today means developing the international popular cradle of the resistance – the growing recognition that the Resistance of the Palestinian people, joined by their comrades, brothers and sisters in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and beyond, today represent the hope of humanity on our collective front lines.

Like the great popular Intifada of 1987, today’s Palestinian, Arab and international globalized intifada is an anti-imperialist cause. It is a movement against colonialism, imperialism, racism and oppression everywhere. The Palestinian flag is not only a symbol of Palestinian national liberation, but of a commitment to anti-colonial principles, to Indigenous sovereignty, to the fight against exploitation, to the fight to end the extraction of wealth, labour and resources by the United States and its imperialist cohort in Europe.

The anti-imperialist nature of the Palestinian cause has perhaps never been more clear than in the present day, where every imperialist power has clearly aligned itself with the Zionist regime with unparalleled fervor, sending billions of dollars in weaponry for genocidal aerial bombing of the Palestinian people in Gaza; banning demonstrations and Palestinian and Palestine solidarity organizations, including Samidoun in Germany; arresting and prosecuting demonstrators and organizers in France, the United States, Canada and elsewhere; setting up new parliamentary and congressional bodies meant to silence and suppress the growing movement and releasing a torrent of deceptive propaganda; and unleashing a wave of social terror in the academy. It is clear that the imperialist powers are doing this because they see the events of October 7 and the rising regional and global resistance as a threat to their continued domination and extraction of wealth from the region and view the Zionist regime as their mechanism to hold on to such power through genocidal violence.

The imperialist powers, led by the United States, have always viewed Zionism as a mechanism to extract wealth from the people of the region while denying the Arab nation sovereignty over its land, wealth and resources. From the Zionist colonization of Palestine, directed by Britain, through the Nakba, the 1967 occupation, the Intifada to the Zionist genocide today, the imperialist powers have always been the central enemy of the Palestinian people, and every rock, every bullet and every strike that confronts “Israel” also confronts imperialism.

Today’s international popular cradle of the resistance, this globalized intifada, stretches from Gaza, Sanaa, Beirut, Baghdad and Damascus to the streets of Havana, Caracas, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg to the heart of the imperial core, raising a collective voice and developing an international struggle against imperialism and its murderous wars, sanctions and siege, with Palestine at the center.

The working class and the masses lead the struggle

Also like the great Intifada of 1987, we are in a clear era of unity of the Palestinian cause despite the lingering near-afterlife of the collaborationist Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The Palestinian people throughout occupied Palestine and everywhere in exile and diaspora are united to bring an end to the genocide, unified behind the Resistance, forming a global resistance front that also embraces popular mobilization, arts, culture, political engagement and grassroots organizing as central to the liberation struggle. On this 36th anniversary, we recall that the siege of the camps in Lebanon was finally broken by the eruption of the Intifada inside occupied Palestine in 1987. Today, we look forward to breaking the siege on Gaza, not only through the strength and resilience of the Palestinian people in Gaza, but through the uprising elsewhere and everywhere.

The popular leadership of the working class, based in the unions and organizations of Palestinian workers, farmers, peasants, women, students, fishers, teachers and other social sectors, was central to the development of the Intifada of 1987, a highly organized movement that governed its activities through committees, strong political representation, and central statements that nonetheless provided for widespread popular participation and meaningful engagement in the revolutionary cause.

The Palestinian masses have risen up time and again in revolutionary struggle; even between 1987 and today, we see the second Intifada and upsurge after upsurge, confronting the ongoing home demolitions, land confiscations, mass imprisonment, colonial settlement, killings, denial of the right to return, uniting Palestinians inside and outside occupied Palestine.

Today’s Resistance is a highly organized movement, today led by the Islamic resistance movements in direct alliance with the revolutionary left and Palestinian national forces. It involves the participation of not only the Palestinian people in Gaza and throughout occupied Palestine, but everywhere in exile and diaspora, fighting, organizing, speaking and revolting for liberation and return. Its base is once again deeply rooted in the working class and popular masses of Palestine, as it always has been, from the 1936 revolution to the post-October 7 Palestinian revolutionary struggle. It has always been the workers, peasants and refugees of Palestine who have led the movement, who have given thousands upon thousands of martyrs, who have spent years upon years in prison, and who have raised young strugglers to fight generation after generation until total liberation.

The war on the Intifada

From members of U.S. Congress, to university officials, to German security services, to British police, to the French interior ministry, imperialist forces are attempting to criminalize, suppress and silence clear speech for Palestine. They seek to turn reality inside out, whereby “intifada” – the term reflecting resistance to genocide and oppression – is redefined as itself “genocidal.” These propaganda campaigns aim to empty the term “genocide” of meaning and legal weight and to attempt to reclaim control over the discussion of the Palestinian cause, a control that has been swept away by decades of struggle, and has been rendered unrecoverable after October 7. They also seek to target the growing role and organization of Palestinians in exile and diaspora, reclaiming their role in their national liberation movement stripped from them through the years of the Oslo liquidation process.

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Long live the Intifada. Victory to the Palestinian Resistance. Stand with the Palestinian armed struggle. Zionism is racism. Imperialism will be defeated. These slogans are ringing out everywhere around the world, and now is the time to declare them, more loudly and clearly than ever. There are no slogans or statements that will satisfy Zionism and imperialism – on the contrary, they wish to strip our movement of our most effective advocacy and our most unifying vision, the vision and promise that enables people to continue to fight, to resist, and to move toward victory in the most extreme conditions of genocide and deprivation.

The great popular Intifada that began in 1987, the great sacrifices and accomplishments of the Palestinian people, were confiscated by U.S. imperialism and Arab reactionary regimes in alliance with a sector of the Palestinian ruling class. This came first through the Madrid conference of 1991 and then by the notorious Oslo accords signed in Washington, D.C., in 1993, a liquidationist attempt to transform the revolutionary aspirations of the Palestinian people into a mere self-rule project adjacent to Zionist colonialism. It developed amid dangerous international conditions – from the fall of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc states, the threat of US imperialism dominating a unipolar world, and the first Iraq War and the attack on Arab self-determination.

Today, as the U.S. casts its veto in the United Nations against a ceasefire in Gaza, voting for ongoing genocide, it declared that the bombing must continue because Hamas, and thus the Palestinian Resistance, “does not accept a two-state solution.” Indeed, the strugglers of today have learned the bitter lessons of the past diversion of their cause and reliance on the primacy of imperialism, with the U.S. as a “broker.”

Today’s Intifada, on all levels, the Arab, regional, and international Intifada, against a genocidal enemy fully revealed in its atrocities before the world, has only one path forward: no cooptation, no normalization and no concessions, but the defeat of Zionism and the liberation of all of Palestine, the central key for the liberation of the entire Arab nation and the broader region from U.S.-led imperialism and its agents.

On the 36th anniversary of the continuing Intifada, amid today’s global Intifada against genocide, Zionism and imperialism, in honour of all those who sacrificed and fought for freedom, in salute to the over 17,000 martyrs of Gaza, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network pledges to continue the struggle – until return, until liberation, from the river to the sea.




WATCH: ‘They Call Us Terrorists’: Inside the Palestinian Resistance Forces of Jenin, West Bank

The Real News Network

Nov 13, 2023


Why are so many Westerners reluctant to support armed resistance to defeat Zionism?
Answers on a postcard

–November 13, 2023, NoDealForNature, Twitter/X, ? #StopGreenColonialism #StopGenocide ? [Int’l campaign opposing a genocidal land grab (#NewDealforNature / #NaturePositive / #30×30) marketed as a $olution to “protecting and restoring nature”]

“The resistance will never be crushed… Any people under occupation have the right to resist. This is the case for all colonized people.”

“People in the West think we have no ambition. It’s not true. I was studying computer engineering and I had an invention. All Palestinians have been subjected to the injustice of occupation. We grew up with ambition. We grew up playing in the street. Children around the world may play ordinary games, like PlayStation. Here we are forced to play with stones. There are no conditions for life here. No life… We had ambitions to become scientists, doctors, and engineers, but the occupation opted for violence.”


Israel continues to unleash hell upon the 22-by-5-mile concentrated area of Gaza, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with relentless airstrikes and indiscriminate bombings of hospitals, residential buildings, schools, and other civilian sites. As besieged Palestinians shelter and flee and die within the walls of their cage in Gaza, Resistance forces are mobilizing to rise up against an Occupation that has presided over lives for 75 years.

Where there is occupation, there is resistance, and numerous Palestinian resistance groups exist across the Occupied Territories. These groups consist of occupied subjects turned freedom fighters—those who have been directly targeted by Israel, who have witnessed their friends and families die at the hands of occupying forces, and who have been labeled “terrorists” for resisting their slow extermination. In Jenin, a 1km square ghetto-like refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, and the target of numerous Israeli incursions, there are many who have chosen the path of armed resistance, and many who felt they had no other choice.

For those who suffer under the direct oppression and daily practices of apartheid—including the suspension of human and civil rights, military-imposed blockades and checkpoints restricting people’s movements, the demolition of homes and killing of family members—there comes a breaking point. Generations of Palestinians, born into Occupation and violence, do not live a life of dignity. As they describe, under these conditions, they have nothing to live for and nothing to lose, and they have everything to fight for.

In July of this year, before the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks and Israel’s genocidal retaliatory offensive in Gaza, The Real News Network spoke to members of the community in Jenin refugee camp about their lives under Occupation, the role of the Resistance there, and the fight for freedom.

Produced and edited by Ross Domoney. Filming by Ahmad Al Bazz . Writing, narration, and research by Nadia Péridot.


“Historical Forces” – Stokely Carmichael Lecture at the University of Georgia


Parts 1 & 2

University of Georgia Media Archives

February 1, 1979



“It’s the historical forces.

Once it comes, you have only two alternatives.

Either you are with the people, or you are against the people.

It’s very simple.”


–Stokely Carmichael



Leila Khaled’s Key Note at the International Dilemmas of Humanity Conference

SABC News, Africa

Oct 14, 2023

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, NUMSA is hosting the third International Dilemmas of Humanity conference in Johannesburg. The Dilemmas of Humanity process began in 2004 when popular organizations and movements from all over the world came together to confront the crisis of humanity caused by capitalism with concrete alternatives and solutions. Palestinian activist Leila Khaled delivers the key note address.

Despite What you Think, Palestinians are Not Celebrating Death

The Diaspora Journal

By Hebn Jamal 

October 9, 2023



The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.

– Maya Angelou


Despite what you might think, no Palestinians are not celebrating death. We do not look at the news and rejoice over the number of Israelis killed. We do not salivate at the sight of blood drenched bodies. Despite what you might think we are not well. We do not look at death and feel happiness.

The “joy” you might be seeing is the idea that for the first time in history we might have a chance to reclaim our land. We might have a chance to end the occupation, we might have a chance to open Gaza’s borders, to visit our family without reprisal and to escape from torturous prisons- this time without a spoon in our hand.

Yet, even then, what is it to label it as “joy.”

Yesterday, my cousin-in law: my husband’s first cousin and my mother in law’s nephew was killed by the settler colonial state-Majed. He was beautiful and just graduated tawhiji last year. He was only 20. Now he is gone. We are in a deep phase of mourning, anger and confusion as to how this happened to us so quickly, so soon. Our tears have simply dried on our faces as there weren’t enough tissues to hold them.

Majed Suleibi, 20

My family’s neighbors’ are annihilated. A whole family was wiped out yesterday , the Abu Daqqa family, with 5 beautiful children that were killed. We are now getting reports of 19 members of the same family killed in a single Israeli air strike last night in the besieged strip. Old and young: men, women and children.. all..just gone.

Then this morning we learn that Israel is using white phosphorus gas on Palestinians in Gaza- a dangerous chemical that continues to burns the skin even if met with water. My husband recalls they did the same in 2008 when he was a child, “the gas can only be covered, but once it was uncovered it burned again for days and days” he said.

In the West Bank settlers are being instructed to kill Palestinians on-sight, and we read our Facebook homepages like they are obituaries. Seeing dozens of people we broke bread with disappear in a single moment.

When I read posts shocked at how I am not condemning Palestinian militants in this point in time, I feel once again inferior. My value as a human is not seen the same. While we are in the most traumatic and gut wrenching moments of our lives there are some who believe now it is the time to say that we have to condemn. We have to say that love trumps all.

I wish. I truly Goddamn wish that love trumps all. That it is love that leads revolutions. I wanted for my whole life to believe that by protesting long enough, by supporting BDS long enough, by writing long enough I am actively making a difference.

Well I wasn’t. Not in the way that might save my people’s existence.

In Gaza, despite bombs being dropped overhead, despite us losing tens and tens of our family members right this very second, they know that if it is not now, it will be later. They know this because their whole lives that is all they had to see. They had to see mutilated bodies, they had to see their children dismembered in front of them, and they had to see their futures destroyed.

2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023..

Each war and assault on Gaza it is the same. Each war the amount dead was dismissed and treated lesser than. Our humanity is not valued. For if it was, so would be our pursuit for liberation.

There has not been success in changing the perception of the Israeli public- to actually see us as humans and to accept we will not live in a cage. Whenever Israelis have an election we brace ourselves , because we know the only way you get polling numbers is by bombing or raiding or arresting us senseless. Usually when they bang the war drums, public support comes running. I am unsure how the colonized mind will decolonize itself to give us our freedom. It has not happened and I don’t think it ever will.

We demand and yell on the streets everywhere in the world “Gaza, gaza don’t you cry..we will never let you die.” We march in front of the Zionist embassies and write to politicians and we demand them to stop sending aid. We make vigils and hand out posters for them to be ripped up in bins. While our family dies we have to watch the apathy of Westerners who will never join our struggle for liberation, who will never see us as humans, who will never allow us to breathe.

I have anti-Zionist Jewish friends who are rightfully scared. Who are conflicted and hate that this has happened. I understand, because for a majority of your life this fear was only an abstract concept. The damage that has transpired was only described theoretically in the past and you worked tirelessly to try and change it. However, at the at the end of the day you can maybe turn your minds off, go to a cafe or enjoy a glass of wine, because it wasn’t your pain.

We couldn’t. We never could.

After we worked together, at the end of the day us Palestinians went back to mourning. Our pain never ended after the protest or the vigil. We had to deconstruct our pain to therapists we couldn’t afford and try to move on from the death..from the tragedies..from the violence because we couldn’t do anything else. At some point, this became too too much.

I pray for the day to walk through Jerusalem or to feel Yafa’s waters, or to sit at Acre’s ports with people of all faiths who see me as a human. I hope for open borders and the destruction of walls and for the ability walk side by side with you all for it is not us who has never seen your humanity.

I do not rejoice over death. I rejoice over the possibility to live.

We are simply tired, and hurt, and grieving and I cannot condemn the militants if I believe even for a second that there might be a possibility of all of this finally coming to an end..

“The Bulldozer” – Palestinian artist Beesan Arafat


[Hebn Jamal writes about the Palestinian cause and diaspora, state sanctioned violence, and Islamophobia.]


Perpetual War and Permanent Unrest: The Battle of Algiers After 9/11



By Sohail Daulatzai21

December 2016

“The Battle of Algiers, a 1966 film that poetically captures Algerian resistance to French colonial occupation, is widely considered one of the greatest political films of all time. With an artistic defiance that matched the boldness of the anticolonial struggles of the time, it was embraced across the political spectrum—from leftist groups like the Black Panther Party and the Palestine Liberation Organization to right-wing juntas in the 1970s and later, the Pentagon in 2003. With a philosophical nod to Frantz Fanon, Sohail Daulatzai demonstrates that tracing the film’s afterlife reveals a larger story about how dreams of freedom were shared and crushed in the fifty years since its release. As the War on Terror expands and the “threat” of the Muslim looms, The Battle of Algiers is more than an artifact of the past—it’s a prophetic testament to the present and a cautionary tale of an imperial future, as perpetual war has been declared on permanent unrest.”


This essay is excerpted from Sohail Daulatzai’s Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue, published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Though it is both troubling and telling, the screening of the film by the Pentagon in the aftermath of 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan is only the latest chapter in the afterlife of The Battle of Algiers. In many ways, the film is a battleground and a microcosm of the enduring struggles between the West and the Rest, whiteness and its others. But in a post- 9/11 moment, it’s hard to ignore the ways in which the centrality and omnipresence of the figure of the Muslim and the “War on Terror” have not only coded and shaped every aspect of social life but have also sought to undermine the power and politics of The Battle of Algiers.

In many ways, the “War on Terror” has used the pretense of “antiterrorism” and the haunting figure of the Muslim to garner public support and generate political will to usher in new repressive measures on a global scale. Occupying what Fanon called a “zone of non-being,” the figure of the Muslim has authorized permanent war abroad and repression at home, the expansion of police powers and the deepening of the surveillance state, the undermining of women’s liberation and the criminalization of migrants, indefinite detention and the legitimacy of torture, the silencing of speech, and the disciplining of dissent. But the screening of the film at the Pentagon and its use as a training tool in the “War on Terror” have — through appropriation and revisionism — sought to control the memory of The Battle of Algiers and have also deflected and undermined many of the urgent questions and concerns that decolonization and the Third World Project sought to address. Despite this, the Battle of Algiers in many ways resists this kind of imperial containment, and in nuanced and sophisticated ways, the film provides an opportunity to probe more deeply into the contemporary moment, as many of its central themes still resonate today.


In a moment of profound cinematic reversal, and one that had prophetic echoes across the Tricontinental and the landscape of Bandung, is the scene from The Battle of Algiers when Ben H’midi, the leader of the FLN, is captured and paraded as a spectacle in front of a preening press. Asked about his use of guerrilla war and the FLN’s targeting of civilians, Ben H’midi replied, “Isn’t it even more cowardly to attack defenseless villages with napalm bombs that kill thousands more? Obviously planes would make things easier for us. Give us your bombers and you can have our baskets.”

Ben H’midi’s and, by extension, the film’s sympathetic portrayal of guerrilla warfare targeting colonial occupying forces and settler-civilians resonated across the Third World and shook the colonial and imperial foundations of international law. From France to Israel, South Africa to Brazil, the film was banned precisely because of its ethical endorsement of guerrilla war against occupying forces and repressive, Western-backed dictatorships. In profound ways, this has arguably been the central and enduring legacy of the film, inaugurating a debate within the United Nations and among political theorists and policy makers about what constitutes “terrorism” and legitimate resistance, conventional war and asymmetric guerrilla warfare.

The Battle of Algiers gave ethical sanction to armed struggle and popular resistance to colonial occupation and imperial power. But in the current “War on Terror,” the ruling paradigm of “counter-terrorism” and the language and logic of “terror/- ism/- ist” have created a security logic that not only has served to delegitimize and criminalize armed struggle but also has had a profound chilling effect on speech, dissent, and other forms of political activity. In fact, in an era of the “post-racial,” the language of “terrorism” has been used as a language of racecraft that is a twenty-first-century way of saying “savage,” of rekindling in somewhat stark terms the colonial discourse of “civilization” and “savagery.” As dog whistle terminology for invoking race and Otherness, the logic of “terror” (like “savage” before it) determines who is human (read: White) and who is not by excluding particular ideas, bodies, regions, and collectives from the political community of rights. As subjects who exist outside the law, Muslims, then, are not only not due protection by the law; they are also subject to the full force of the “law” and all manner of “extralegal” force (torture, invasion, warfare, drones, indefinite detention, incarceration, etc.) to protect the rights of those deemed human. By ushering in a new architecture of control, the “War on Terror” has marked “terrorism” as illegitimate speech and activity, creating a legal framework for prosecuting it, policing powers to manage it, and a military response for executing it.

This framing of Muslim being, agency, and resistance outside the bounds of the human and what is deemed legitimate political activity is central to understanding the rewriting of the film and its legacy in the post-9/11 context. The embrace of the film during its release by a broad and diverse group of radicals and revolutionaries — from the IRA to the PLO, Baader-Meinhoff to the Black Panthers, Marxists to nationalists — speaks to its universal appeal. Yes, the film stood for militancy and revolutionary action writ large, one that was only nominally about Muslims per se — as Third World decolonization and international solidarity gave The Battle of Algiers a more universal appeal that was so vital at the time.

But in the post- 9/11 context, with the decimation of the Third World Project and also the viability and visibility of a coherent global Left, this kind of radical universality that was the film’s appeal has been replaced by a more troubling and particularist reading that The Battle of Algiers isn’t simply a film about Muslims resisting the occupation of their lands by the West (in this case, the French); it is a film that sympathetically portrays that resistance. But in a post- 9/11 context, armed struggle — let alone resistance of any kind — by Muslims is seen as dangerous, as worthy of death, and is targeted by the state through legal, political, and military regimes of violence.

During decolonization, the film provided a space for the ways in which the Muslims of Algeria were an entrée into a larger panorama of anticolonial resistance. But in the lingua franca of imperial culture today, the Muslim now stands in for the limits and poverty of armed struggle and radical activity writ large. This overdetermined framing lends itself to a reading of the film where not only is the past rewritten — as Algerian resistance to French colonialism is delegitimized through the contemporary “War on Terror” — but so too is the current project of empire coded as innocent, one where there is a historical continuity between the French of yesterday and the Americans of today.

According to the Directorate for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in charge of the screening of The Battle of Algiers at the Pentagon in 2003, “showing the film offers historical insight into the conduct of French operations in Algeria, and was intended to prompt informative discussion of the challenges faced by the French.” The Pentagon’s screening signaled an attempt by the military establishment to reframe the film not as text about decolonization and anti-imperialism but instead as a manual for “how to do counterinsurgency,” not only stripping the film of its radical impulses but also erasing the violent history of colonialism as the determining force for Algerian resistance. This reversal and act of appropriation not only purified the colonial past; it was also an attempt to sanitize and strip away the current moment of U.S. empire and frame contemporary Muslim struggles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and elsewhere within the ruling paradigm of “terrorism” that has to be crushed. But this revisionism is only possible because the ideological space available to understand Muslim agency, Muslim subjectivity, and Muslim being has eroded and withered away in the post- 9/11 moment, so that the very thing that made the film so groundbreaking — its ability to dignify Algerian struggles and elicit sympathy from viewers for their cause — is almost unimaginable today: a move that situates French colonialism as just, and the current U.S. imperial footprint as necessary.


The opening scene of The Battle of Algiers plunges the viewer into a kind of complicity. Having just finished torturing Sedek, the French now know where the last cell, which includes the elusive Ali La Pointe — is located. As the viewer, we don’t witness the torture firsthand, but we know it happened. We are left instead with the aftermath. Much like with the torture-porn of Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantánamo, and other “black sites,” we are also witnesses, carrying the burden of knowing.

By opening with a scene of torture, The Battle of Algiers presents the stark violence that has been at the heart of the colonial encounter: not just the violence of the act of torture itself — the electrical shock, the fists, the waterboarding, and the death — but also the violent conditions of colonialism that made a rebellion necessary in the first place. In fact, as Fanon has argued, violence structures the colonial encounter and the relationship between the empire and its Others, and this is brilliantly mirrored in the way the film’s narrative is in fact structured by torture and colonial violence.

The film brilliantly shows Fanon’s ideas about the segregation of colonial space, between “white” Algiers and the Casbah (where the Algerians were confined). Through the film, we see the barricades and the barbed wire, the checkpoints and the surveillance cameras — a space of violence where the police and the military are the enforcers of colonial authority. There is also the prison where Ali La Pointe is radicalized into political consciousness — à la Malcolm X — his eyes peering through the prison bars as a rebel is walked to the guillotine. The blade is dropped but an awareness is raised as chants of “Long Live Algeria!” and “Allah U Akbar!” echo through the prison walls. And there is the torture, shown in almost operatic and elegiac ways that, though brutal, still didn’t reveal the extent of the French torture program, which included the rape and torture of Algerian women, sometimes in their own homes.

But in terms of what it does show, the sense of realism the film conveyed made it seem shocking and unbelievable. To the deniers of empire and apologists of colonialism, The Battle of Algiers was too real, shattering a world of white invincibility and colonial authority that Algerians and the larger Third World had so desperately sought to tear down. Maybe the film was shocking to so many because resistance to colonialism is real and because colonial authority and popular discourse around empire have sanitized and presented a Eurocentric world so bloodlessly, one where the flags of empires — British, French, Dutch, Italian, U.S. — fly so benevolently. The shock, then, shouldn’t have been directed at the means the Algerians used to usurp and throw off the shackles of white colonial power but rather at the centuries-long violence that has been used to keep Algerians, and the larger Global South, subjugated for so long.

Despite the guerrilla actions by the Algerians in the film, the overwhelming violence throughout the history of colonialism in Algeria (1830– 1962) and during the Algerian War of Independence (1954– 62) was committed by the French. To establish their presence in Algeria, the French ushered in policies where mass displacement of Algerians took place as well as dispossession of the land, including the pacification of the country that led to the violent crushing of nationalist uprisings against French rule and death by famine, war, and disease. Robert Stam cites the writer Victor Hugo, who, in his book Choses Vues, discusses a conversation he had with a French general two decades after French colonization of Algeria began. Hugo reports that at that October 16, 1852, meeting, the general told him, “It was not rare, during the French attacks, to see soldiers throwing Algerian children out of the window onto the waiting bayonets of their fellow soldiers. They would rip the earrings off the women, along with the ears, and cut off their hands and fingers to get the rings.

During the War of Independence, the French executed more than three thousand prisoners, and during which time estimates claim that twenty thousand French soldiers and upward of 1.5 million Algerians were killed. The French used helicopters, tanks, and planes; airstrikes on civilians; and advanced rifles and grenades as well as the creation of internment camps and the destruction of thousands of villages, not to mention systematic and routinized forms of torture. But we have to understand violence in more systemic forms as well that don’t include only the bomb, the gun, or the tool of torture. Violence is also the exploitation of the country, the seizing of land and its resources, the legal and political codes that enforced the destruction of Algerian social life, and the wealth accumulation that structured the asymmetries of political, diplomatic, and military power. And then there is the epistemic violence that imposed French history and language within schools, and other institutions of the country that marginalized the varieties of Algerian social and cultural lives to be expressed and to flourish. Colonialism is indeed a violent phenomenon, and we have to be attuned to the myriad forms this violence takes and through which it is routinized and normalized within the everyday functioning of empire. If we do, then we cannot create a moral or ethical equivalence between French violence to crush the national liberation struggle and Algerian resistance to French colonialism. To do so is not just ahistorical; it’s unethical.

On the question of torture, many scholars have pointed out that for the colonial and imperial powers, torture is not an aberration but rather is central to the foundation and maintenance of modern liberal democracy. In France during the Algerian War of Independence, the specter of torture marked the French empire. Two books, Henri Alleg’s The Question (1958) and The Gangrene (1959), were banned by the French government. Alleg was a French Communist, and counter to the official French Communist Party position, which backed colonial control of Algeria, Alleg advocated through his journalism for Algerian independence. His memoir — The Question — was based on his arrest and torture by the French and became a best seller, though it was soon censored by the French government as the Algerian independence struggle intensified. Another searing indictment was the book The Gangrene, which struck a deep chord and was immediately censored, as the French government confiscated all copies by pulling them from the shelves and storming the publishing house. The book told the true story of four Algerians living in Paris who were arrested and brutally tortured by French police for their suspected ties to the Algerian independence struggle. The book revealed the widespread use of torture against Algerians taking place in France, although no French official was ever held responsible. And then, of course, there are the cases of two Algerian women, Djamila Bouhired and Djamila Boupacha. Bouhired, who was captured and tortured by the French, was depicted in The Battle of Algiers as one of the three women bombers, while also being the subject of the 1958 Youssef Chahine film Jamila, the Algerian. Boupacha’s case became a cause célèbre among the intellectual and artistic Left, as figures such as Simone de Beauvoir, Henri Alleg, and Pablo Picasso rallied to her support after her torture and rape while in prison brought attention to the widespread systematic use of sexual violence by the French.

In the film, when he is asked about torture at the press conference, Matthieu claims that “the word torture does not appear in our orders,” a claim that was eerily echoed by U.S. president George W. Bush when the Abu Ghraib tortures were revealed, saying “we do not torture” and instead preferring the Orwellian euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Like Bush, Matthieu also said that he had to “interrogate,” but he went on to say, “And that’s where we find ourselves hindered by a conspiracy of laws and regulations that continue to operate as if Algiers were a holiday resort and not a battleground. . . . Should we remain in Algeria? If you answer yes, then you must accept all the necessary consequences.”

This sentiment was echoed by a U.S. solider when the tortures at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were first revealed: “It’s a little like the French colonel in The Battle of Algiers. You’re all complaining about the tactics I’m using to win the war, but that’s what I’m doing, winning the war.” Not surprisingly, it’s no coincidence that the blueprint for U.S. counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan — the Petraeus Doctrine — is deeply influenced by and borrows heavily from the work of French military specialist David Galula, whose Counterinsurgency Warfare and Pacification in Algeria are central to U.S. policy in the “War on Terror.”

But despite its glorification in films like Zero Dark Thirty (2012), in the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture, and in the self- righteous “debate” that ensued between those who claimed that “to torture is un-American and betrays our values” and that “torture is a necessary evil to stop an imminent attack,” torture is normalized as an expedient means by which Western democracies constitute and imagine themselves. In fact, torture has been central to U.S. national security, including its use against Black prisoners domestically as a means of social control. According to historian Alfred McCoy, “at the deepest level, the abuse[s] at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Kabul are manifestations of a long history of a distinctive U.S. covert warfare doctrine developed since World War II.” McCoy continues by claiming that the U.S. “torture paradigm can be seen in the recurrence of the same techniques used by American and allied security agencies in Vietnam during the 1960’s, Central America in the 1980’s and Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. Across the span of three continents and four decades, there is a striking similarity in U.S. torture techniques — from the C.I.A.’s original Kubark interrogation manual, to the agency’s 1983 Honduras training book, all the way to Ricardo Sanchez’s 2003 orders for interrogation in Iraq.”

In The Battle of Algiers, Matthieu is not presented as evil. Instead, his dispassionate persona and rational, matter-of-fact style suggest that the violence from colonialism and empire is not simply the product of evil men with bad morals and intentions but the product of the workings of a system in which many are complicit. Hanna Arendt referred to this as the “banality of evil” in reference to Nazi Germany, and Matthieu’s comments at his impromptu press conference regarding the need to accept “all necessary consequences” can be seen in a similar light, as he points out the hypocrisies of even the liberal establishment, which criticized the means and methods of war. Matthieu unwittingly held up a mirror to both the Left and the Right of French society, and his comments can also be read as a cautionary tale to future empires, like the United States today, where a series of similar ethical questions might be posed: “If you and your citizens want that lifestyle of comfort, of excess and pleasure, then just know what it takes to get it, and don’t complain or rely on liberal platitudes about how ‘America has lost its way.’ That oil? Those cell phones and laptops? The clothes on your backs? Or even the land you live on? If you value this lifestyle, then don’t complain about the methods needed to maintain it.” The implications are stunning and disturbing, penetrating, and indicting.


Central to the structuring of the Muslim outside the category of the human is the role of gender. In a powerful scene, The Battle of Algiers challenges the racial and gendered logics of colonialism by subverting the “discourse of the veil.” The film’s portrayal of Zohra, Hassiba, and Djamila, three women who “looked” as though they had embraced European values of modernity — only to pass through a checkpoint without being searched and then successfully plant bombs among French settler-civilians — revealed the veil, and, more important, Western feminist values, to be overdetermined and, ultimately, a ruse.

Deeply reflective of what has been called feminist Orientalism, or imperial feminism, First Lady Laura Bush addressed the nation soon after the invasion of Afghanistan, saying, “The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.” Her comments about the connections between women’s rights and war are a contemporary expression of a centuries-long project of Western colonialism and intervention that privileges not just white feminism but also Western models of liberation. But as Leila Ahmed, Lila Abu-Lughod, and others have pointed out, contemporary debates about women’s rights, freedom, and equality can be traced back to earlier colonial and missionary ideas and rhetorics about Muslim women.

In the current post-9/11 context, the figure of the Muslim woman has been used to make claims about Islam and Muslim societies as the sole and exclusive sites of patriarchy and misogyny, as the question of women’s rights has become the legitimizing discourse for the claims that Islam and Muslim societies are fundamentally illiberal and antimodern. In fact, the figure of the Muslim woman has been central to expanding the logic of the “War on Terror” by further racializing Muslim communities and marshaling support from both feminists and conservatives, liberals and leftists, for military expansion, imperial war, and nation building. As scholar Sherene Razack has argued, the imperiled Muslim woman has become an archetype, one who must be rescued from genital mutilation, forced marriage, and the veil and saved in the West, becoming “a rationale for engaging in the surveillance and disciplining of the Muslim man and of Muslim communities.”

Echoing Fanon’s famous — and controversial — essay “Algeria Unveiled,” the film suggests that the conventional Western logic that the veil is a sign of repression and that its removal means freedom is troubled. In the film, scenes depicted Muslim women with the veil as “dangerous,” for they could hide weapons beneath their clothes. But in the scene where the women “de-veil,” the film suggests that Muslim women without the veil, looking “Western,” are potentially even more dangerous, for they passed as “civilized” and “modern,” no longer enslaved by their traditions and their men, as the colonial logic would dictate. Muslim women now had agency, could speak, and could act on their own accord. And in the turning point of the film, the Muslim woman expresses her “agency” — limited though it is — but not as the French would have liked. Instead, it is her resemblance to the French, or her “aspirations” to be “modern,” that grants her access to “choice.” And because she looks that way, still appealing to the (white) male gaze, she is able to pass through the checkpoint and plant the bombs in the cafés and airport terminals. In this radical moment of subversion, the film suggests the poverty in the “discourse of the veil” and the colonial logic of “saving Muslim women.” For to de-veil and to “look” European or modern is a ruse, for it can seemingly suggest that an embrace of European or Western values about feminism is where “freedom” resides. But as numerous feminist scholars and the film itself suggest, it’s the subjectivities and the embodiment of them that ultimately provide value and meaning and that must be understood in a wider social and political context.

These claims about the veil as oppressive not only present the West as egalitarian and free from patriarchy but also ignore the work of Muslim women both in the West and in Muslim societies struggling and fighting against the structural forces that shape women’s inequality. In doing so, imperial feminism conveniently masks how patriarchy is actually operating and rooted throughout the world, including in the West. For it is often the case that when the patriarchy and misogyny of Muslims is brought up, the women of the West, and their male accomplices, turn away from domination at home, ignoring the structures that subjugate women in the West, while also ignoring how patriarchy in Muslim societies, and the Global South more broadly, is rooted and maintained by institutions and state-building initiatives that are tied to larger political and economic questions about IMF and neoliberal policy, war, and poverty, that are a direct product of the legacies of colonialism and the violent continuation of Western intervention. As Charles Hirschkind and Saba Mahmood ask, “why were conditions of war, militarization, and starvation considered to be less injurious to women than the lack of education, employment, and, most notably, Western dress styles?

It is this continued legacy of colonialism today and the unfinished project of decolonization that continue to haunt the present and make The Battle of Algiers an urgent and prescient film. Though The Battle of Algiers captured the demand for national liberation, one of the more striking moments in the film was the rooftop scene between Ali La Pointe and FLN leader Ben H’midi, who tells the younger Ali, “It’s hard enough to start a revolution, even harder to sustain it, and hardest of all to win it. But it’s only afterwards, once we’ve won, that the real difficulties begin.” Filmed in 1965 just after the military overthrow of Ahmed Ben Bella that brought Houari Boumediene to power and placed Ben Bella under house arrest, this scene is not only a reflection of the internecine fighting of the FLN three years after the end of the war but also a larger cautionary tale about the difficulties of nation building in the postindependence period for the broader Global South. Fanon warned us about this in The Wretched of the Earth, where he expressed a deep skepticism of nationalist elites whom he felt, after independence, would betray the popular will and the project of liberation by continuing to do Europe’s bidding by proxy.

This is why the film is significant today: not because it seemingly captures “terrorists at work,” and thereby provides a kind of voyeurism or even “teaching tool” in the post- 9/11 climate, but because it helps to reveal the continuities between the era of decolonization and the present. That is, the “War on Terror” is not a rupture per se but is rather another chapter in an ongoing campaign of counterinsurgency against the Global South, one that of course started centuries ago with colonialism proper, continued with neocolonial control through Bretton Woods, the IMF, and Third World debt, extended with the Cold War, deepened with “globalization” and neoliberalism, and continues today under the rubric of the “War on Terror.” The Battle of Algiers, then, is relevant precisely because the very issues the film raised about self-determination have yet to be fully contended with.

[Sohail Daulatzai is the author of Fifty Years of “The Battle of Algiers”: Past as Prologue, as well as Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America and co-editor of Born to Use Mics, a literary remix of Nas’s album Illmatic. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies, the Department of African American Studies, and the Program in Global Middle East Studies at the University of California, Irvine. More of his work can be found at]


Colorado’s Scripted Environmentalism is an Impostor for the Real Thing

Colorado’s Scripted Environmentalism is an Impostor for the Real Thing

Boulder Weekly

September 27, 2019

Joel Dyer


By 2011, when my family came face to face with fracking, Colorado was already 40,000 wells into “responsible oil and gas development.” At that time, politicians, industry and various Democratic Party front groups tightly controlled how people and communities were allowed to object. That tight control allowed wells to be drilled in a predictable and orderly way under a grand project former Governor Bill Ritter and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) called the New Energy Economy.

Around 2012, a few communities broke from that scripted model of environmentalism. Longmont enacted a fracking ban. Although primarily a ban on a drilling technique, many of us in Lafayette misinterpreted Longmont’s ban as expansive, community-led civil disobedience for the environment and took off from there. Nonetheless, this first shot across the bow drove new ballot initiatives, organizing and protest that the political class just wasn’t used to. The situation got bad enough that then Governor John Hickenlooper, after joining the COGA lawsuit against Longmont in 2013, was effectively run out of that town by a group of 300 angry residents.

The place was never the same again. That said, the political forces behind oil and gas attempted to rein in rebellious communities and force them back to the original script.

At every stage, little grassroots efforts like our own East Boulder County United were attacked over and over for pointing out how this process of political weakening, aka scripted environmentalism, works and to what effect. Behind it all is the state’s compulsion to force people back to the political class’s original definition of “environmentalism”:

1) A subservient and codependent relationship with the Democratic Party

2) Activism dominated by professionals, who are in continual need of funding sources

3) Demands that rely for resolution on the same system that created the ecological disaster Colorado has become.

4) An acceptance that environmentalism is a negotiation between the political class, industry and communities around the terms by which environmental exploitation will take place.

These elements are as much the nature of scripted environmentalism today as they were in 2011. In fact, 2011’s version of state-sanctioned environmentalism, which was referred to as the “Colorado Model” by political and industry insiders, was and still is being exported nationally.

Nearly all environmental groups now work within this model. And now that the state is turning the corner on approving another 6,000 drilling permits, the “important” people are once again acting from a pre-2012 script. “The Colorado oil and gas wars are over,” is the new refrain of current Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Boulder Representative K.C. Becker. Unfortunately, it’s a line from a play about promoting the free flow of investment money and oil profits — not saving the environment.

There is deep political toxicity on the shale. The Boulder political class and its allies need to erase their long partnership and complicity with the oil and gas industry. That is why grassroots groups like East Boulder County United are so deeply opposed to what is happening. We are informed by history, educated by it, and must now act because of it. It’s my opinion that there’s no turning back for the Democrats or the rest of the world, Colorado included. The political class better get used to losing the narrative and make way for the people. The global environmental apocalypse is only going to make this battle far sharper.


[Cliff Willmeng – is a real activist]

Just Say No to Fake Action

Just Say No to Fake Action

Art for Culture Change

September 19, 2019




March 8, 2017

Another experimental animated short from Indie Grits alum (and 2014 Helen Hill award winner) Kelly Gallagher:

“‘To-day at last we know: John Brown was right.’ -W.E.B. Du Bois. This film is an experimental essay in three movements that explores the importance of being more than an ‘ally’ in struggle, by sharing histories of committed accomplices John Brown, Marilyn Buck, and others. The film also delves into the history of the landscape and former prairie that was the earth on which Brown’s militants trained. In the face of exploitation of people and destruction of land, radical struggle cultivates new life.”




Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex

WATCH: More Dangerous Than a Thousand Rioters: The Revolutionary Life of Lucy Parsons

March 7, 2017


An experimental animated short from Indie Grits alum (and 2014 Helen Hill award winner) Kelly Gallagher:

“In these difficult times, I find myself turning to a woefully underappreciated and under-studied woman named Lucy Parsons.

Parsons was an organizer first and foremost, and she led an inspiring life of revolutionary struggle and solidarity. As a woman of color who was married to a famous white male anarchist, she is often unfairly and frustratingly overlooked in many labor histories. Born in the early 1850s, Parsons moved to Chicago as an adult, where her politics radicalized as she witnessed the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. Parsons began writing for several socialist and anarchist publications while supporting her family as a dressmaker, while also organizing garment workers across Chicago. Parsons would go on to become one of the most powerful voices in the labor movement, helping to found the legendary Industrial Workers of the World. She spent her entire life fighting for the rights of the disenfranchised.

I made this short animated-documentary, as a celebration for and appreciation of Lucy Parsons—but mostly I made it because if we are to find a way forward out of the mess that is coming our way, we will need to actively seek out revolutionary heroes who struggled before us. Those who risked their lives for struggle every day—those who fought tirelessly against the ruling class and the rule of capital.” [Source: The Nation]