The Ex-Worker



an audio strike against a monotone world a podcast of anarchist ideas and action for everyone who dreams of a life off the clock


  • #79 – The *Real* Truth About Today’s Anarchists: The Ex-Worker Responds to the New York Times

    05/10/2020 Duración: 01h05min

    Anarchists and anti-fascists in general, and CrimethInc. in particular, have been the focus of intense hostile government and right-wing attention and censorship efforts in recent weeks. The latest salvo comes from the New York Times, which on June 30th published “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists,” drawing on conspiracy theorists and right-wing talking points to argue that violent anarchists are somehow controlling the ongoing countrywide protests, but don’t actually care about Black lives. The article actually calls out The Ex-Worker Podcast by name! While we’re flattered for the attention—who knew we were such a threat?—the article is both inaccurate and dangerous; more importantly, it touches on critical issues about today’s movements for liberation that we need to clarify. So in this episode, the Ex-Worker lays out the truth about “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists”, refuting the article’s bogus claims one by one, and offering a more accurate perspective on the relationships between anarchists and th

  • #78: June 11th—Prisoner Solidarity, COVID-19, and Anti-Police Rebellion

    11/06/2020 Duración: 02h02min

    Today we celebrate June 11th, an international day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners. While this is the sixteenth year this date has been observed, 2020 presents an unprecedented context: both the COVID–19 pandemic and the massive uprising sparked by the police murder of George Floyd have shifted our focus and sense of what’s possible. In solidarity with all prisoners, with particular care for anarchists in long-term confinement, we begin by sharing an excerpt from a history of June 11th as a day of prisoner solidarity along with the June 11th call issued for 2020. To these we add a short interview with a June 11th organizer and supporter of anarchist Green Scare prisoner Marius Mason. As politicians raise the specter of “antifa” to divide and defuse the militant anti-police resistance that has swept the US and beyond, we explore state repression of antifascists through an interview with antifascist prisoner David Campbell and his support crew. Another interview with a participant in the South

  • #77: Minneapolis Uprising, Part 1—How to Abolish the Police

    11/06/2020 Duración: 01h20min

    The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has sparked a nationwide rebellion against the police and global solidarity efforts. One of the most striking developments is the announcement on Sunday, June 7 by a majority of Minneapolis City Council members that they intend to dismantle the city’s police department. In Episode 77 of the Ex-Worker—the first in a series covering the Minneapolis uprising and its national and global implications—we return to the question of abolishing the police. The episode kicks off with our reflections from these unprecedented first two weeks of rebellion, then shares an essay exploring the question we’re all asking: What Will it Take to Stop the Police From Killing? Next, we share an anonymous report on the siege of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis, analyzing how a diverse “compositional” crowd was able to defeat the police. An anarchist from Minneapolis who attended the rally where the City Council declared their intention to end the police department shares their take

  • #76: Anarchist Nurses Speak Out on Survival and Resistance

    08/04/2020 Duración: 01h56min

    Here at the Ex-Worker, we continue to navigate the COVID–19 crisis by seeking guidance and insight from three anarchist nurses who are working on the frontlines of the pandemic. First, we hear from an anarchist ER nurse from the southwest US who offers reflections on individual and community health, mutual aid projects, and how to stay safe through the epidemic. You’ll hear a brief discussion of the promise and peril of antibody testing and the concept of an immunity passport. After that, we share a long conversation with two anarchist nurses from New Orleans, Louisiana on a wide range of topics, including harm reduction, how to support healthcare workers, the legacy of AIDS activism, delineating between authority and expertise, and lots more. We close out the show with urgent appeals of support for families at Black Mesa as well as incarcerated radicals , Kijana Tashiri Askari, Leonard Peltier, David Campbell, and all prisoners trapped on the inside through the pandemic. {April 8th, 2020}   -------SHOW NOTE

  • #75: Rent Strike!

    31/03/2020 Duración: 01h24min

    This April 1st, people around the world will go on strike and refuse to pay rent. In the midst of the pandemic, we are confronted not only with a virus, but with the murderous logic of the market. Before COVID–19 hit, millions already struggled to afford rent, mortgage, or loan payments; today, all but the wealthiest face ruin, caught between either sickness or poverty. It’s inevitable that most of us will not be able to pay the bills next month—but what we do about it is up to us. This episode offers tools, examples, and history to support you and your neighbors in withdrawing your support from the regime of rent and debt and to devote what resources you have to nourishing yourself and your community through mutual aid. We’ll share excerpts from CrimethInc. texts promoting the strike, discuss the 5 Demands framework and anarchist critiques of it, work through concrete tactical suggestions from a rent strike tool kit, present an invitation to a strike from the West Coast and an interview with the radical ho

  • #74: Surviving the Virus—An Anarchist Introduction to Pandemic Life

    31/03/2020 Duración: 54min

    The COVID–19 crisis presents both extreme dangers and opportunities. As our lives are threatened by a new virus, our freedom is menaced by authoritarians intent on using this opportunity to set new precedents for state intervention and control. On the other hand, the collapse of the global capitalist economy and unprecedented social crisis are opening possibilities for refusal and resistance that we could not have imagined even a month ago. How can we keep ourselves healthy while resisting the intensification of control and pressing our advantage to undo capitalist relations? To open our discussion of life and resistance in the new pandemic landscape, we present the recent CrimethInc. text Surviving the Virus: An Anarchist Guide, which explores how to apply anarchist tools such as affinity groups and security culture to organizing our lives during the pandemic. We discuss the significance of nationalism and xenophobia in political discourse around pandemics today and in history, including the intriguing sto

  • #73: Radio Evasión—Dispatches from Chile Part 4

    17/01/2020 Duración: 02h20min

    DESCARGAR AQUÍ LAS ENTREVISTAS EN ESPAÑOL Just days into the new year, masked encapuchados circle-pitted while burning the church of the Carabineros. That’s how fierce the Friday protests continue to be. Action has somewhat (not entirely!) slowed down on the other days of the week, but anarchists have taken advantage of the extra time to pour energy into organizing: neighborhood assemblies, prisoner defense, and anarchist congresses. Students are burning their university entrance exams—a preview of what’s to come when the school year begins anew in February. We have interviews from the streets, from the anarchist congresses, and with an anarcho-syndicalist healthcare workers’ union. With everything going on, we feel like we have to leave the podcast behind and film a documentary. Check out our wishlist and get in touch if you can help us get the gear we need: {January 17th, 2020}   -------SHOW NOTES------   Table of Contents: Help Us Make a Documentary! {:00} Introduction {6:10} Dec

  • #72: Radio Evasión—Dispatches from Chile Part 3

    29/11/2019 Duración: 02h22min

    DESCARGAR AQUÍ EL EPISODIO EN ESPAÑOL Has normality returned to Chile? NO! Social peace? Neither! The people don’t want peace without dignity. To borrow a phrase from the situationists, the people don’t want the peace of the graveyard. The revolt has been going on for over a month now. In this episode we have two reports about the day-to-day reality of the demonstrations in downtown Santiago, two interview with anarchists in Santiago and Valparaiso, an analysis on the April 2020 constitutional plebiscite, and a couple of strange, surprise interviews too. If you can help us with Spanish translation or transcription, please write us at {November 29th, 2019}   -------SHOW NOTES------   Table of Contents: Introduction {0:00} November 25 report {00:02:55} November 12: A view from the streets {00:27:40} Not Falling for It: How the Uprising in Chile Has Outlasted State Repression And the Questions for Movements to Come {00:49:35} Rara Señal interview {01:01:45} Santiago anarchist interview

  • #71: Radio Evasión—Dispatches from Chile Part 2

    01/11/2019 Duración: 02h43min

    Two weeks of revolt in Chile and there are no signs of it slowing down! In this Radio Evasión dispatch, we bring you up to speed on all the developments in the past week: the president’s attempts to quell the protests with reforms, the lifting of Martial Law, and the cancellation of the upcoming APEC trade summit. We have two communiqués translated into English from Chile, and eight interviews! This episode we tried to focus on not just the combative protests at Plaza Italia downtown, but also represent a little bit of how the neighborhoods on the periphery of the city are getting organized with cacerolazos, cultural events, barricades, and people’s assemblies.For feedback, ideas for interview questions, or to contribute material, send us an e-mail at {November 1st, 2019}   -------SHOW NOTES------   Table of Contents: Introduction {0:00} Update since last episode {1:54} From Civil Disobedience to Popular Insurrection: A Reflection on Revolt and State Repression in the Chilean Region

  • The Ex-Worker #70: Radio Evasión—dispatches from Chile Part 1

    25/10/2019 Duración: 01h02min

    Beginning last Monday, October 14, high school students in Santiago, Chile kicked off a campaign of mass fare-dodging, or evasiones, in response to a 30 peso fare hike. The movement grew quickly and, before anyone knew it, revolt spread all across Chile. On the one hand, the government declared a State of Exception, including a military-imposed curfew. On the other hand, the president and congress have been working hard to offer trablescrap reforms to satisfy the angry and exploited. However, neither the repression nor the reforms have been able to quell the resistance, which today celebrates its anniversary of one week in the streets. To catch you up on what’s been happening, we bring you an overview timeline of the revolt, along with four interviews from the streets. We’re not sure if this will be a one-off episode or the first in a series of updates from Chile, it all depends on how things go—whether they heat up or cool down, but for feedback, ideas for interview questions, or to contribute material, se

  • #69: Defend Rojava! Part 4, More Interviews on Revolution and Solidarity

    23/10/2019 Duración: 01h06min

    As the news breaks of a Russian-Turkish alliance determined to stamp out Kurdish autonomy, what’s at stake in the international fight to defend Rojava? This episode continues our exploration of the embattled revolution in northeastern Syria through interviews with a variety of anarchists who have engaged in international solidarity work there. One recounts the women’s movement and the impact on gender roles of the autonomous social experiments in Rojava, while another provides an inside look at the armed forces and the struggle against ISIS. Participants in the Internationalist Commune describe their educational and ecological projects, and two anarchist combat medics serving with the SDF in the war zone describe their experiences. We hope these will deepen your understanding of this complex effort to remake society from the ground up amidst war and fascism on all sides—and strengthen your solidarity efforts, as we fight to support the resistance in Rojava. As we mentioned last time: even though we’re focusin

  • #68: Defend Rojava! Part 3, The So-Called “Ceasefire” and What’s at Stake

    22/10/2019 Duración: 01h28min

    The revolutionary social experiments in the Kurdish territories of northeastern Syria remain under attack. As SDF forces mount fierce resistance in Sêre Kaniyê and waves of outraged protest sweep the world, the news in recent days has been full of the “ceasefire” negotiated by Turkey and US Vice President Pence. But what is really going on? And why is it so important to aspiring revolutionaries around the world? In Episode 68 of The Ex-Worker, we begin by deconstructing this so-called ceasefire, drawing on an account and analysis shared by anarchist volunteer currently in the war zone. But the bulk of this episode consists of an in-depth interview with an anarchist from the US who participated in a solidarity education delegation in Rojava this summer. She offers detailed insights into daily life amidst revolution and war, the council system and other social and political institutions, the role of military veterans and martyrs in public life, processes for absorbing criticisms and revising revolutionary prax

  • #67: Defend Rojava! Part 2, Understanding the Kurdish Resistance

    16/10/2019 Duración: 01h10min

    As the crisis in Rojava deepens and political turmoil spreads across the world, it’s critical for us to understand how we got here. Who exactly are the Kurds, and why have so many thousands of them been willing to risk their lives fighting against ISIS and to defend their autonomy? What can we learn from their struggle? In this episode, we examine the historical background to today’s conflict by looking at the decades of militant Kurdish resistance that led up to the formation of the autonomous cantons of Rojava. You’ll hear an audio version of CrimethInc.’s detailed 2015 essay “Understanding the Kurdish Resistance: A Historical Overview and Eyewitness Report,” which tracks the emergence of the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) and its conflicts with Turkish nationalism, waves of insurgency and repression, the evolution of Kurdish radical thought, the Revolutionary Patriotic Youth Movement, the Gezi Park uprising in Istanbul, the siege of Kobane, and lots more. To bring you up to date on developments since then, w

  • #66: Defend Rojava! Part 1, The Turkish Invasion

    14/10/2019 Duración: 01h09min

    An urgent crisis is unfolding in northern Syria, with implications for global geopolitics and revolutionary possibilities for years to come. In response to US troop withdrawal and a green light from President Trump, the Turkish military has invaded Rojava, an autonomous Kurdish region within the borders of Syria, killing hundreds and displacing over 100,000 so far. Activists around the world have condemned the invasion as a boon to ISIS, a prelude to ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish population, and an effort to destroy an important experiment in self-organization by an increasingly fascist regime. The Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces have just struck a deal with the regime of Bashar al-Assad to bring Russian-backed Syrian government troops into Rojava in hopes of halting the Turkish advance. The experiments in autonomy and democratic confederalism enacted in the cantons of Rojava have been inspiring to many anarchists; but the combination of the dire threat of annihilation by the Turkish military and the pain

  • #65: Greek Anarchists Fight Back in Exarchia

    18/09/2019 Duración: 01h38min

    On August 26th, riot police under orders from the newly elected right-wing government stormed and evicted four squatted social centers in the Exarchia neighborhood of Athens, Greece, in a serious attack on both precarious migrants and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian movements. In response, Greek anarchists have organized assemblies and demonstrations, while solidarity efforts have poured out from across the world. Both shaken and inspired by these events, the Ex-Worker podcast has emerged from hibernation to ask anarchists in Exarchia what’s going on and what needs to be done. This episode explores the situation in Exarchia through three interviews with anarchist residents of the renowned radical neighborhood. The first is an audio version of “The New War on Immigrants and Anarchists in Greece,” published on the CrimethInc. blog on August 28th, which gives an in-depth analysis of the evictions with historical context and insight into the dynamics of the Greek anarchist movement, supplemented by an excer

  • No Wall They Can Build, Episode 11: From East to West, Part II: Solidarity, and Home

    13/06/2019 Duración: 23min

    Welcome to Episode 11, the final installment of No Wall They Can Build, the Ex-Worker Podcast’s serialized audiobook exploring borders and migration across North America. This episode concludes the book with personal reflections about the author’s own journey in and out of the desert and the unavoidable links that bind all of us across all borders. To become a real force for change, those who would act in solidarity must overcome the limits of privilege politics and guilt, understanding our activities as fighting for our own lives and dismantling the illusion of separation between ourselves and others. What links migrants, solidarity workers, and all people struggling to survive amidst the disorienting nightmare of postmodern civilization is the pursuit of dignity—a sentiment beautifully expressed in a message sent by Rachel Corrie, an American solidarity worker in occupied Palestine, to her mother in 2003 just weeks before she was murdered by an Israeli bulldozer while attempting to stop a home demolition.

  • No Wall They Can Build, Episode 10: From East to West, Part I - Chaos and Order, and Transformation

    06/06/2019 Duración: 41min

    Welcome to Episode 10 of No Wall They Can Build, the Ex-Worker Podcast’s serialized audiobook exploring borders and migration across North America. Over the past two months, we’ve explored the ins and outs of irregular migration across the US/Mexico border. Where does it leave us? As the crises produced by climate change and economic exploitations intensify across the world, revolutions turn in to wars, which beget tyranny, which in turn provoke revolutions. In this climate of escalating chaos, what can we do? This episode explores the meaning of revolution in the twenty-first century, looking at the forms it has taken and assessing what it would take to defend it today. The Zapatista struggle offers one of the most durable and promising models of autonomy we’ve seen in recent decades—yet the limits it has encountered point towards unavoidable contradictions facing those who wish to avoid warfare and bloodshed but also cannot defend their achievements against remorseless foes without the force of arms. A harr

  • No Wall They Can Build, Episode 9: The North

    29/05/2019 Duración: 40min

    Welcome to Episode 9 of No Wall They Can Build, the Ex-Worker Podcast’s serialized audiobook exploring borders and migration across North America. The border doesn’t end at the border: the violent regime of citizenship constrains and ruins lives throughout the north, as a chilling story of a narrow escape from death makes clear. Yet this ongoing migration constitutes, against all odds, a powerful form of resistance that is changing the United States in unpredictable ways. This installment begins to explore what it might take to actually end death in the desert—which would also mean dismantling the global systems of exploitation, colonialism, white supremacy, and state power that lie at its roots. We can take inspiration and strategic guidance from some of the stories that appear in this episode, ranging from an extraordinary migrant whose ingenuity and determination helped him to survive multiple crossings against unthinkable odds to a team of civil disobedience activists whose simple action managed to briefl

  • No Wall They Can Build, Episode 8: Designed to Kill, Part II – The Border Patrol, The Game, and The Desert

    22/05/2019 Duración: 20min

    Welcome to Episode 8 of No Wall They Can Build, the Ex-Worker Podcast’s serialized audiobook exploring borders and migration across North America. This installment continues to explore the reality of border policy by taking a closer look at the agency that enforces it, describing the atrocities that its agents perpetrate and their mindsets to justify it. The Border Patrol is merely one of the largest and most vicious players in a game that brings lucrative profits to a host of players on both sides of the border, at the expense of the vulnerable migrants who are driven into the desert. The episode concludes with a discussion of the environmental landscape of the desert itself and a poignant reflection on its harsh beauty, envisioning the healing of the land when one day it will no longer be scarred by borders. {May 22, 2019}   -------SHOW NOTES------   Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} Story #1: Fleeing the Dogs {0:46} Assata Shakur: On Morality and Power {4:32} The Border Patrol {4:49} Story #2: The H

  • No Wall They Can Build, Episode 7: Designed to Kill, Part I – Who Benefits?

    15/05/2019 Duración: 43min

    Welcome to Episode 7 of No Wall They Can Build, the Ex-Worker Podcast’s serialized audiobook exploring borders and migration across North America. The Border Patrol, with its swollen budget and lavish technologies, clearly has the technical capacity to stop most, if not all, traffic across the border, yet their behavior seems to be at odds with their stated objective. This installment investigates the actual goal of border policy—which is not to end “illegal immigration,” but to control and manage it. While preventing this migration altogether would have catastrophic effects on the US economy, using selective enforcement to funnel traffic into increasingly remote areas while militarizing and hyper-policing certain areas maintains the labor supply while ratcheting up the profits to be made at every step in the process. A variety of stories—some heartbreaking, some hilarious—illustrate how this approach to enforcement impacts the lives of everyday people as they attempt to travel north into the United States. T

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