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Introduction to issue two

We are some anarchists writing and living in Sydney. We are interested in exploring the particulars of our situation here while remaining connected to struggle everywhere. We are interested in reflecting on the spaces we inhabit within capitalism, on what cracks appear and what opportunities for resistance are present. When we return to anarchism, it’s not as an identity or a creed but as a space we move through, a point of attraction, an accumulation of ideas of liberation and attack.

We are told that there is crisis. That it lurks in the dark, waiting to strike. That we must huddle even closer together and cling to the structures we know and it may just pass us by. That it already exists over there, yet we have a chance if we stay suspicious and vigilant.

But crisis is already here. How could it not be, in a place whose wealth is based on the profits of genocide and violent displacement? And it flows down the line from those brutal origins to our everyday. It is in the daily tasks of keeping those proverbial wolves from the door. Of the struggle to pay the rent, to get what we need to live, to have the time to play when and where we want, to love who and how we want. It is the struggle against the alienation of capitalism that made our lives into a race we never chose to begin. And this struggle leaves us withdrawn and defensive, afraid to take any more risks.

It’s not that we are always obedient. We express our frustration and dissent in numerous ways. We look to the spaces where we might be able to connect with others who we know must feel similar. There is ‘The Left’ and protests and campaigns to be part of and sometimes they do improve our collective capacity to survive capitalism – both in material terms and psychologically. But sometimes these seem to be completely apart from the struggles of our lives.

And they too are imbued with a defensiveness that is the product of this ever-present sense of crisis. Campaigns that end up resembling little more than a collective version of keeping the wolves at bay – whether it’s preventing more land becoming a mine or uranium dumping ground, campaigning to end mandatory detention or fighting against job cuts. Important connections are made and we build solidarity but struggle to know how to change gears, how to attack.

And there are times when we do make the sense of crisis more visible and more present. Spectacular explosions of resistance, times of inspiration and genuine excitement… yet these never sustain on their own and we find it hard to make them resonate when we return to the normality of our everyday lives.

We want to invert this problem. We want to bring these moments of collective strength and freedom to the everyday struggles of our lives.

In talking about ‘activism’ it’s tempting to say that we want to break from it completely. But the thing is, it has its moments: it’s just that these moments are in the times it breaks from the routines and limits of activism. When a demonstration about an issue becomes a fight for communal space against police control: for example, a student protest that becomes an occupation that re-claims the university. Sometimes a desire for change that has been focussed onto a single issue breaks out to be expressed as a desire for a whole new life.
The perimeter doesn’t need to be breached, the fortress walls do not need to be torn down because we’re already here. We are the wolves at the door. We are the crisis.