Michael Loadenthal presents The Politics of Attack

Wednesday March 21, 7:30PM

@ Red Emma's

Postponed due to snow! Rescheduling for May, stay tuned!

This study is an exploration of insurrectionary anarchist praxis, with a particular focus on how the rhetoric, discourse, and theory is both informed and conveyed through communiques. It challenges the reader to consider the marginalized ideas put forth by those political actors that communicate through bombs, arson, and broken windows, who are rejected through the state’s construction of terrorism. When a police station is firebombed, the subsequent discussions focus more on the illegality of the act rather than the sociopolitical critique the actor put forth. What if we were to embrace the means through which the militant ‘organic intellectual’ acts, and consider the communique’s content, the way one would consider any political text? This inter-textual analysis is presented within a political and historical context, with the hopes of elevating the discussion of insurrectionary praxis beyond notions of terrorism and securitization and towards its application for intersectional challenges to structural violence and domination.

In the social war being waged by insurrectionary anarchists, small acts of violence are announced and contextualized through written communiques, which are posted online, translated, and circulated globally. This book offers the first contemporary history of these post-millennial, digitally-mediated, insurrectionary anarchist networks, and seeks to locate this tendency within anti-state struggles form the past. Through an examination of thousands of movement documents, this book presents the discourse offered by clandestine, urban guerrillas fighting capitalism, the state, and the omnipresent forces of violence and coercion.

Michael Loadenthal is Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Justice at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio and Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.

More upcoming events

(Postponed until 3/27 due to inclement weather!) Between 1963 and 1972 America experienced over 750 urban revolts. Considered collectively, they comprise what Peter Levy terms a 'Great Uprising'. Levy examines these uprisings over the arc of the entire decade, in various cities across America. He challenges both conservative and liberal interpretations, emphasizing that these riots must be placed within historical context to be properly understood. By focusing on three specific cities as case studies - Cambridge and Baltimore, Maryland, and York, Pennsylvania - Levy demonstrates the impact which these uprisings had on millions of ordinary Americans. He shows how conservatives profited politically by constructing a misleading narrative of their causes, and also suggests that the riots did not represent a sharp break or rupture from the civil rights movement. Finally, Levy presents a cautionary tale by challenging us to consider if the conditions that produced this 'Great Uprising' are still predominant in American culture today.

Have you ever been worried about a friend in an abusive situation, but didn’t know how you could help? As part of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, join the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care and House of Ruth Maryland for a panel discussion and Q&A that will highlight the dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the LGBTQ community from an intersectional framework, resources for those currently in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, and resources for survivors of IPV. This discussion will be facilitated by Kate Bishop of Chase Brexton and FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. Panelists include Randall Leonard and Lauren Vaszil from Chase Brexton and Sean Smith from House of Ruth Maryland.

Although LGBTQ+-identified individuals experience IPV at rates similar to or slightly higher than their heterosexual counterparts, they routinely face a plethora of specific challenges and barriers in seeking services. As a community, we deserve space to engage in transparent, culturally targeted, and safe dialogue, fostering a layered awareness about the prevalence of IPV and LGBTQ-affirming resources available to victims and survivors.

@ Red Emma's

In March of 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. travelled to Memphis to support striking sanitation workers demanding union recognition and higher wages. The strike is perhaps best remembered as the precursor to King's assassination: on April 4, at the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis. But the Memphis Sanitation Strike is also a critical example of the power and fearlessness of black workers to stand up and demand recognition, and to win, against all odds. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the strike, we invite you to join us for a screening of the excellent film At the River I Stand, a a talk by Austin Veale, a Baltimore resident who travelled to Memphis in 1968 as the president of the AFSCME State Workers Council to support the strikers. Moderated and introduced by local labor historian Bill Barry.

@ Red Emma's

Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington D.C. began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. These tenants were creating a commons, taking a resource- housing- that had been used to extract profit from them, and reshaping it as a resource that was collectively owned and governed by them. In Carving Out the Commons, Amanda Huron theorizes the practice of urban commoning through a close investigation of the city's limited-equity housing cooperatives. Drawing on feminist and anticapitalist perspectives, Huron asks whether a commons can work in a city where land and other resources are scarce, and how strangers who may not share a past or future come together to create an maintain commonly-held spaces in the midst of capitalism. Arguing against the romanticization of the commons, she instead positions the urban commons as a pragmatic practice. Through the practice of commoning, she contends, we can learn to build communities to challenge capitalism's totalizing claims over life. 

In ‘“You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones”: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education’, three distinguished educators, scholars, and activists flip the script on many enduring and popular myths about teachers, teachers' unions, and education that permeate our culture. By unpacking these myths, and underscoring the necessity of strong and vital public schools as a common good, the authors challenge readers--whether parents, community members, policymakers, union activists, or educators themselves--to rethink their assumptions.

@ Red Emma's

Dubbed as a popular social media hashtag, one commemorating millennials celebrating their 23rd year of life, poet and writer Wallace Lane put a spin on the term “Jordan Year” and wrote an honest reflection about his journey of growing up in West Baltimore-- a journey in his case like an in depth mixtape, beginning with the birth of his son and rewinding as far back to the 90’s where monumental milestones and struggles could only be told from the mouth and lenses of a black boy in urban America. Jordan Year is a big step for writer and poet Wallace Lane, as it’s the author’s first book; it’s self-published and in some weaving in-and-out-method-of-narration, between his life and other black boys he has mentored and taught in Baltimore City; it’s auto-biographical. It’s a collection of poetry that holds a certain significance for Wallace, one he explains in the poem Jordan Year which analyzes and nuances his father’s experience of fatherhood in the grit of the 90’s: He was a young man then, 23 years young, his Jordan Year, he barely knew what his life meant to himself or his family. New York Times Best Selling Author D. Watkins says,”...some poems are painful, razor sharp and challenging, while others are both delicate and hilarious. There is a journey on each page.” And poet and University of Baltimore professor Steven Leyva says,” Both Baltimore and black masculinity are caught up in the glow of this collection.” Wallace is working steadily on his second collection of poetry, but for now he is still basking in what this collection means to him and his community. Join Wallace as he reads from his book and offers visual interpretations for each poem.

@ Red Emma's

In the tradition of bell hooks, Roxane Gay and Audre Lorde, America’s leading young black feminist celebrates dissent—both personal and public. So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.

Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Eloquent Rage shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less.

@ Red Emma's

For National Poetry Month, The Baltimore Scene awards a talented adult poet with $700 in cash!

For the last nine years, poets from all over the country have competed to be the winner of the largest and longest running adult slam on the East Coast. The event is curated by Chin-yer, Director of The Baltimore Scene and Director of DewMore Baltimore's Maya Baraka Writer's Institute, and hosted by Word War 8 Champion Kenneth Something.

Word War 9 will also feature performances by Baltimore City's 2018 Youth Poetry Slam Team!

This event is FREE to the public. We will be passing a hat to raise money for our youth to represent our city this summer at Brave New Voices in Houston, Texas.
@ Red Emma's

In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood. This compelling book shows how the new tropes of womanhood that they created--the “Militant Black Domestic,” the “Revolutionary Black Woman,” and the “Third World Woman,” for instance--spurred debate among activists over the importance of women and gender to Black Power organizing, causing many of the era’s organizations and leaders to critique patriarchy and support gender equality.

@ Red Emma's

Join the authors of the new book Police: A Field Guide for a wide-ranging conversation on the language of policing, the limits of police reform, and ideas for changing how we talk about policing and eventually be free from police brutality and the institution itself.

Police: A Field Guide is an illustrated handbook to the methods, mythologies, and history that animate today’s police. It is a survival manual for encounters with cops and police logic, whether it arrives in the shape of officer friendly, Tasers, curfews, non-compliance, or reformist discourses about so-called bad apples. In a series of short chapters, each focusing on a single term, such as the beat, order, badge, throw-down weapon, and much more, authors David Correia and Tyler Wall present a guide that reinvents and demystifies the language of policing in order to better prepare activists—and anyone with an open mind—on one of the key issues of our time: police brutality. In doing so, they begin to chart a future free of this violence—and of police.

@ Red Emma's

Red Emma’s is excited to welcome Alex Vitale to discuss his book The End of Policing! Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.

Cosponsored by Not Without Black Women!

In 1932, Mittie Maude Lena Gordon spoke to a crowd of black Chicagoans at the old Jack Johnson boxing ring, rallying their support for emigration to West Africa. In 1937, Celia Jane Allen traveled to Jim Crow Mississippi to organize rural black workers around black nationalist causes. In the late 1940s, from her home in Kingston, Jamaica, Amy Jacques Garvey launched an extensive letter-writing campaign to defend the Greater Liberia Bill, which would relocate 13 million black Americans to West Africa.

Gordon, Allen, and Jacques Garvey—as well as Maymie De Mena, Ethel Collins, Amy Ashwood, and Ethel Waddell—are part of an overlooked and understudied group of black women who take center stage in Set the World on Fire, the first book to examine how black nationalist women engaged in national and global politics from the early twentieth century to the 1960s. Historians of the era generally portray the period between the Garvey movement of the 1920s and the Black Power movement of the 1960s as an era of declining black nationalist activism, but Keisha N. Blain reframes the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War as significant eras of black nationalist—and particularly, black nationalist women's—ferment.

In Chicago, Harlem, and the Mississippi Delta, from Britain to Jamaica, these women built alliances with people of color around the globe, agitating for the rights and liberation of black people in the United States and across the African diaspora. As pragmatic activists, they employed multiple protest strategies and tactics, combined numerous religious and political ideologies, and forged unlikely alliances in their struggles for freedom. Drawing on a variety of previously untapped sources, including newspapers, government records, songs, and poetry, Set the World on Fire highlights the flexibility, adaptability, and experimentation of black women leaders who demanded equal recognition and participation in global civil society.