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Joined 1 year, 6 months ago



i like reading and imagining beautiful futures.

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Ssquiggle's books

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2024 Reading Goal

58% complete! Ssquiggle has read 7 of 12 books.

David Tomas, Emory Douglas, Marc James Léger: Zapantera Negra (2022, Common Notions) No rating

When the government looks at the Zapatistas and says they're rebels it's really not true. What the people really want is to live without injustice. [Saúl shows a canvas, painted with words and stars beside each word.] These are the Zapatista demands: the earth, education, health, food, life, work, liberty, justice, democracy, independence, culture, information, peace. These basic things are very natural. It's what we need to live. They're the same things that the Black Panthers were asking for. These are what the stars are. If the communities had all of these things, then there would be no reason to protest. There would be no reason to rebel. If the people of Central America already had these basic rights there would not be people trying to emigrate, going on the trains and falling off of the trains, risking their lives joining criminal gangs. If the Black Panthers at that time had these basic rights as well they would not have risen up.

This is what art comes from. It comes from the need to create change. This is what creates Zapantera Negra as well.

Zapantera Negra by , ,

A quote by Saúl Kak, answering a question on what developed his art practice.

Sim Kern: The Free People's Village (2023, Levine Querido) 3 stars

In an alternate 2020 timeline, Al Gore won the 2000 election and declared a War …

Hard to get into, but finished strong

3 stars

Going into the book, it was really hard to read the story through Maddie's voice. She was incredibly annoying, and reminded me a lot of being in university and meeting white college students who would "invade" local organizing spaces and center movements around themselves. I guess in a lot of ways, she reminded me of a younger version of myself that didn't know how to navigate my (relative) privilege in spaces, and maybe I'm embarrassed for that version of my self.

But somehow this story ended up resonating with me, and revealing a lot of the lessons that need to be learned if you want to try to make change in the world. This book felt very much grounded in Sim's own experiences in organizing, especially how large mass movements can be breeding grounds for conflicts between different (and often legitimate) tactics and approaches.

I think the book ends on …

Susan Abulhawa: Against the Loveless World (2020, Atria Books) 5 stars

A sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes …

"... if we had not loved each other none of us would have survived."

"Do you think that's how we've survived?" I asked.

He put the book down, thought for a moment, and looked at me. "I don't see how anyone can survive colonialism. Understanding our own condition, I think in saying 'loved each other,' Baldwin doesn't just mean the living. To survive by loving each other means to love our ancestors too. To know their pain, struggles, and joys. It means to love our collective memory, who we are, where we come from," he said, and after a silence for both of us to soak up that thought, he continued reading.

"There is no reason for you to try to become like white people and there is no basis whatever for their impertinent assumption that they must accept you. The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them. And I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love. For these innocent people have no other hope. They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, but as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger."

Against the Loveless World by 

Incredibly poignant, and I think a big core of what this book is about, and I also think a core understanding of what it means to engage in revolutionary struggle against colonialism and imperialism. To clarify, which topic are you wanting to learn more about? Are you wanting to learn more about direct action, or environmental justice (EJ)? Maybe even personal accounts of movement building? This book does touch on a lot of topics. Depending on what you want to learn, I also might not have an immediate answer - I am learning mostly through organizational political education. But I would love to find an answer for you!

Also, I will clarify: I don't necessarily think that this book is harmful, and I do think it would be a good primer for folks who are new to political organizing. I just think it's really important to understand that this book offers a pretty narrow perspective.

Ruthanna Emrys: A Half-Built Garden (EBook, 2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown …

It was okay and cute

3 stars

I wanted to like this book more. And the beginning and the ending were compelling and easy to get through. I really liked the ideas about decentralized systems that was part of the world building, and how technology and nature can exist in symbiosis.

That said, perhaps I wasn't a fan of the writing style? There was a family drama in the center of the story, but I did not find those conflicts to add a lot of meaningful tension to the overall story.

Andreas Malm: How to Blow up a Pipeline (2020, Verso Books) 3 stars

Why resisting climate change means combatting the fossil fuel industry

The science on climate change …

Maybe better suited to newcomers

2 stars

My number one critique of this book is that it had so many opportunities to share and relate revolutionary movements throughout history to the climate movement, and it did not. Even worse, there were parts of the book that critiqued attacks on oil pipelines in the SWANA region that were connected to local anti-imperialist movements, without drawing the connection between anti imperialism and the climate movement (embarrassing, frankly).

That said, I think the book is a fine introduction to the idea that violence in the form of property destruction is a legitimate action to take, although I wish the book made a stronger case to the idea of armed resistance in the pursuit of national democracy and socialism. I also think the last chapter of the book was the strongest, since it offered good critiques of climate doomerism.

Anyway, I shouldn't be surprised lol, but whatever, it was fine.