“Anarchy is not chaos, anarchy is self organization at its root. It’s the belief that any of us can get together and make decisions, that we don’t need someone 3,000 miles away to tell us what to do in our neighborhoods.”—scott crow
My friend scott crow (sic) has penned a new book about the community-based revolution that fomented in the neighborhoods of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 called Black Flags and Windmills.
When Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and devastated the region, New Orleans’ poorly maintained levees broke and flooded the city. The privileged few were able to flee the disaster while thousands more were left in flooded streets. As soon as the storm hit, scott traveled to New Orleans to rescue a friend who’d lost contact during the storm. Out of that rescue mission emerged the largest anarchist-inspired organization in recent U.S. history—Common Ground Relief Effort.
When the “state” collapsed and was unable to provide relief, scott, former Black Panther Malik Rahim, and others from the informal network of radicals and anarchists from around the world stepped in to provide solidarity for those impacted by the horrible storm and it’s after effects.
Common Ground established emergency food banks, medical clinics, free schools, they gutted mold-covered homes and advocated for residents even as the government (i.e the New Orleans PD, the Dept. of Homeland Security, the National Guard, etc.) tried to impede their efforts with violence and intimidation.
Black Flags and Windmills is very much a story about climate justice and how Common Ground responded to traditionally marginalized communities after a super-hurricane created by escalating climate change struck in a way that shook New Orleans to its core. Common Ground responded not by telling these people what they needed to do, but by knocking on doors and asking the community what they needed.
Black Flags and Windmills comes out this fall. In the meantime, check out the trailer for the book put together by PM Press.