Stand with Anarchist Publishers Banned by Facebook
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Sign our open letter to oppose Facebook's "both sides" narrative as they align with the Trump administration to suppress the voices of activists and media producers associated with left protest movements.
As publishers, authors, educators, activists, and media producers, we are deeply troubled by Facebook's decision to ban itsgoingdown.org, crimethinc.com, and several other publishers, authors, and activists on account of their association with anarchism. This decision is explicitly politically motivated. Facebook is suppressing their voices because of their beliefs and because they provide a venue for the perspectives of participants in left social movements.
In a statement justifying the bans, Facebook acknowledged that these groups have no role in organizing violence, but abstractly alleges that they are “tied to violence” or “have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior”—a description so broad that it could designate countless pages that remain active on Facebook. The anarchist publishers and authors in question are being targeted for reasons that are ultimately about political beliefs, not "violence." If this decision goes unchallenged, it will set a precedent that will be used again and again to target dissent.
In their statement, Facebook categorizes anarchists with far-right militias that support the Trump administration, linking two groups that are fundamentally dissimilar and opposed. This echoes Attorney General William Barr’s decision to create a Department of Justice task force focused on “anti-government extremists” that targets self-proclaimed fascists and anti-fascists alike, drawing a false equivalence between those who orchestrate white supremacist attacks and those who organize to protect their communities against them.
At a time when demonstrations have played an essential role in creating a nationwide dialogue about racism, violence, and oppression, we see Facebook's ban on anarchist publishers in the context of the Trump administration's ongoing efforts to clamp down on protest. For months, Donald Trump has explicitly blamed anarchists for the countrywide wave of protest precipitated by persistent police violence in the United States. A decade ago, Facebook representatives proudly touted their role in the horizontal social movements that toppled tyrants in Egypt and elsewhere. Today, their decision to ban publishers who provide a venue for participants in protests shows that they are taking their cues about what should constitute acceptable speech from those at the top of the power structure.
Facebook's decision is part of a pattern that will go much further if we don't respond. Readers deserve to be able to hear voices from within protest movements against police brutality and racism, even controversial ones. Authors and publishers should not be suppressed for promoting solidarity and self-determination.
Join us in condemning this ban and defending the legitimacy of the voices of anarchists specifically and protesters generally. To add your name to this list, sign the Change.org petition and put your title and a statement of support in the comment box and it will be added to the list below.
Editorial Collective, Agency
Evan Henshaw-Plath (@rabble), Twitter founding team member and first employee
Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, and political activist
Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of Jacobin
Dr. Cory Doctorow (h.c.), Visiting Professor of Practice UNC School of Library Science, author of Little Brother and Walkaway
Hedi El Kholti, Managing Editor, Semiotext(e) Press
Christopher Mathias, senior reporter at HuffPost
Abby Martin (@abbymartin), founder of The Empire Files
Jason Wilson, journalist (@jason_a_w)
Natasha Lennard, journalist at The Intercept (@natashalennard)
Molly Crabapple, journalist (@mollycrabapple)
Robert Evans (@IwriteOK), investigative journalist with Bellingcat
Kim Kelly, journalist at Teen Vogue (@GrimKim)
Vicky Osterweil, author
Moxie Marlinspike (@moxie)
Shane Bauer, journalist
Mark Bray, Rutgers University
David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years
Nathan Jun, Professor of Philosophy, Midwestern State University
George Ciccariello-Maher, author and Visiting Associate Professor of Global Political Theory at Vassar College
Cindy Milstein, author of Rebellious Mourning
Alexander Reid Ross, Doctoral Fellow, Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right
Marina Sitrin, Associate Professor at Binghamton University and author of Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina
Brendan McQuade, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Maine and author of Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision
Alex Vitale, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and author of End of Policing
Andrew Cornell, author of Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the 20th Century
Aaron Benanav, researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin
Cory Elia, Managing Editor for Village Portland
John Knefel, journalist (@johnknefel)
Jake Hanrahan, founder of Popular Front
John Duda, Executive Director, The Real News Network
Yael Grauer, journalist (@yaelwrites)
Donna Minkowitz, journalist
Kelly Weill, journalist (@KELLYWEILL)
Andrew Hurley, musician
AK Press, publisher
Janus Rose, journalist at Vice Magazine
Rachel Kushner, novelist
Madeline ffitch, novelist (madelineffitch.com)
Rachel E. Pollock, author and educator
Hồng-Ân Trương, artist and educator
Shane Burley, journalist and author of "Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It"
Spencer Sunshine, researcher and writer
Megan Squire, Professor of Computer Science at Elon University, Sr. Fellow at Center for Analysis of the Radical Right
scott crow, author of Black Flags and Windmills
Emily Gorcenski, researcher
carla bergman, co-author of Joyful Militancy
Matthew N. Lyons, blogger at ThreeWayFight.blogspot.com and author of Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right's Challenge to State and Empire
Hannah Shaw, author of Tiny But Mighty
Cindy Crabb, author, editor of Learning Good Consent
William Budington, Electronic Frontier Foundation, NAASN
Michael Edison Hayden, investigative reporter
Hannah Gais, journalist and researcher
Ross E. Lockhart, publisher, Word Horde
Sam Richard, author and owner of Weirdpunk Books
Laurie Raye, Editor of Gwyllion Magazine
Madeline Lane-McKinley, author and co-editor of Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry
Eva Schörkhuber, Schrifstellerin und Kulturwissenschaftlerin (Author and cultural scientist)
Uri Gordon, author and educator
Olivia Katbi Smith, co-chair of Portland Democratic Socialists of America
David Forbes, writer and journalist
Laurie Penny, author and screenwriter
Kitty Stryker, journalist
Margaret Killjoy, author of The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion
Daryle Lamont Jenkins, founder of One People's Project
Eleanor Goldfield, artist, organizer, journalist, filmmaker
Andreas Pavlic and Peter Haumer, Autoren, Anarchismusforscher Wien
Jaym Gates, Editorial Director, Nisaba Press
Black Powder Press
Combustion Books, publisher
Earth First Journal! Media from the Frontlines of Ecological Resistance
Andrew Zonneveld, managing editor, On Our Own Authority! Publishing
Jonathan Penton of Unlikely Books
Nick Walker, Managing Editor, Autonomous Press
Firestorm Books & Coffee
Z. Zane McNeill, activist, scholar, and author
Scott Parkin, writer, producer, co-host, Green and Red Podcast; organizer,
Rising Tide North America
Kenyon Zimmer, historian and author
MC Sole, the Solecast
Channel Zero podcast network
Rebel Steps podcast (@RebelSteps)
The Is It Transphobic Podcast
Simon Berman, publisher, Strix Publishing
Fabio Fernandes, writer, editor, translator, and journalist
Rosemeire Gonçales Garcia, Brazil
James Lindenschmidt, writer/producer
Diego Flores Magón, Casa del Hijo del Ahuizote (@casadelahuizote)
Portland Anarchist Road Care
Franklin Lopez, anarchist filmmaker
Elle McKenna, anarchist, activist, researcher, author, and CrimethInc. collaborator
The Final Straw Radio
Zosia Brom, Freedom News editor
Stephanie Wilkinson, Senior Director of Engineering, anarchist, mom
Lindsey Bieda, Lead Software Engineer and Activist
B. Lana Guggenheim, journalist
Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists
Raechel Anne Jolie, writer and educator
Siskiyou Rising Tide
Agência de Notícias Anarquistas-ana, Brazil
Audrey Eschright, publisher of The Recompiler
Luis Othoniel Rosa, novelist and professor, author of Down with Gargamel!
Nancy Piñeiro, activist, translator, researcher from Argentina
Julianna Stone Neuhouser, literary translator
Julie Pagano, principal software engineer
Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground
Struggalo Circus (@StruggaloCircus)
Siskiyou Abolition Project
Anarchist Radio Berlin
Coffee with Comrades
Fire and Flames Music and Clothing
Silver Threads Podcast
Kurtis Rainbolt-Greene, Difference Engineers
Alley Valkyrie, writer and podcaster, co-founder of Gods & Radicals
David McDonald, software engineer
S. Brackett Robertson, writer
Patrick Farnsworth, host of Last Born In The Wilderness
Justin Bendell, writer and co-host of Point Blank Hardboiled, Noir, and Detective Fiction Podcast
Kurt Ellison, co-host of Point Blank: Hardboiled, Noir, and Detective Fiction Podcast
Ariel Howland: LGBT community activist and contributor to “Resilience: Surviving in the Face of Everything” anthology
Kat Maddox, tech writer and organizer
N.O. Bonzo, artist- B. Remy Cross, researcher and author
Multiversidad Libertaria, educational anarchist platform, Nicaragua
Taller Nepantla, anarchist art collective
Jake Johnson, Writer, Reporter, Artist
DiDi Delgado, Activist and Author of "Mark Zuckerberg Hates Black People"
Marin Youth Liberation Front
Inhabit the Chaos Southern Oregon Rural Anarchists
Steven R. Stewart, author of Generation One: Children of Mars
Hester L. Furey, writer and editor
AntiFash Gordon, far-right researcher
Jesse Bullington/Alex Marshall, author and editor
Carlo Romani, Professor of Contemporary History at the Federal
University of the State of Rio de Janeiro
Dan Arel, journalist
Suzy Subways, co-editor, Prison Health News
Ryan Smith, author of The Way of Fire & Ice
Eleanor Saitta, security strategist and writer
Ryan Harvey, musician, activist and host of the Hope Dies Last podcast
Keffy Kehrli, writer and editor
Kyle Kern, writer, educator, co-host Protean Pirate Radio
Arun Gupta, investigative reporter
Liz Gorinsky, Publisher, Erewhon Books
Mixæl Laufer, Four Thieves Vinegar Collective
PM Press (pmpress.org)
Cullen Beckhorn, Creative Director of Bellingham Alternative Library
Linda Rose Anarchist/Journalist Subversion41312.org
Willow Idlewild, organizer
Stanimir Panayotov, philosopher, fellow at CAS – Sofia, Bulgaria
Kelly Pflug-Back, author of The Hammer of Witches
Richard Gilman-Opalsky, University of Illinois
Eric Carl Chamberlin MA, MLIS, Ed Spec
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume, writer
Bob Buzzanco, Professor of History and co-host of Green and Red Podcast
lundimatin (France), journal
Cerveaux Non Disponible (France), journal
Nantes Révoltée (France), journal
Serge Quadruppani (France), writer
Gassan Salhab, film director (Lebanon)
Babylonia (Greece), journal
Camas Books & Infoshop
Center for a Stateless Society
William Gillis, Coordinating Director at C4SS
Neil Campau, author of Building, musician/artist, and founder of DoDIY.org
Eli Valley, Comic Artist
Robert Ovetz, author of When Workers Shot Back
Alain Damasio (France), writer
Revolutionary Socialist Network
Anarchistisches Kollektiv Glitzerkatapult
Cat Brooks, journalist, activist, artist
Ben Reynolds, writer and activist
Tyler Walicek, writer and editor, Protean Magazine
Safe Access For Everyone (@bouldersafe)
El Enemigo Común
Colorado State University YDSA
S.O.S. Digital (Bolivia)
David Neiwert, staff writer at Daily Kos, author of “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump”
Devin Zane Shaw, Douglas College
Abolish ICE Denver
RefuseFascism.org Editorial Board
anarkism.info (Swedish Language Anarchist Media Project)
Kate Sharpley Library
The Utopian Tendency, published online: The Utopian; Journal of Anarchism & Libertarian Socialism
Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross
Black Rose Books
Kevin Van Meter
Morgan Holleb, pink peacock anarchist cafe
& an estimated 1,500 others
Note: This is meant as an open letter not as a petition to Facebook. The letter has been posted here as a means to easily collect signatures in support of the statement above. This statement will also live on the Agency website. All signers and will be added to that version periodically.
"Alongside groups openly committed to genocidal white supremacy, which constitute a very real threat to Black and Indigenous communities, as well as other people of color, Facebook also shut down the pages of numerous antifascist, anti-capitalist news, organizing, and information sites. The move follows a pattern now well-established by the Trump administration—and unchallenged by most every mainstream media outlet—that draws indefensible false equivalences between organized, racist fascists and the antifascists who vigorously oppose them."
—Natasha Lennard "Facebook’s Ban on Far-Left Pages Is an Extension of Trump Propaganda" The Intercept, 2020-08-20
“Facebook’s ban has nothing to do with stopping violence and everything to do with cracking down on protest movements. The banning of CrimethInc., It’s Going Down, Truthout author Chris Steele, musician MC Sole, and other left media outlets and journalists in the name of opposing violence is disingenuous. Facebook continues to host and profit off of right-wing media outlets like Daily Wire that regularly promote violent racist ideology and conspiracy theories that have catalyzed and influenced violent fascists and white supremacists on the right. This is political censorship, plain and simple.”
—scott crow, longtime anarchist organizer and author of Black Flags and Windmills
“CrimethInc. are the poets and intellectuals of a truly free society, and if anarchist publishing has any common theme, it is to dream of a society in which organized violence and the threat of systematic violence would not exist, where there would never be a situation in which groups of men with sticks and guns and bombs would be able to threaten others. This is not just a legitimate political position, it’s a vital, essential, necessary one. Nothing could conceivably be more violent than to tell us—and particularly our young people—we are forbidden to even dream of a peaceful, caring, world.”
—David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years and professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, in response to the Facebook ban
"I have no words for the callousness and cruelty of Facebook's decision. They did it for political cover so the right-wing media they fear would be less angry about the banning of various militia and QAnon pages. But by banning Crimethinc, It's Going Down, MC Sole and numerous anti-fascist accounts, Facebook has equated nonviolence with mass murder and dissent with genocide. They announced their willingness to participate with the U.S. government in the purges that are to come."
—Robert Evans, investigative journalist with Bellingcat and host of the Behind the Bastards podcast on iHeartRadio
"From the Myanmar genocide scandal to the constant censorship of Kurdish activism, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have proven time again that they are in favour of censorship and state-oppression. This recent wave of removal of anti-fascist accounts is just another example of their willingness to shut down anything that itsn't advertiser friendly. It's no surprise, but due to the sheer grip Facebook has on the internet, their censorship must be called out at every opportunity."
—Jake Hanrahan, independent journalist and documentary filmmaker. Founder of Popular Front.
"The ban of 'Antifacist' accounts on Facebook is simply driven by political agenda. Mainly that of our current presidential administration and its right-wing following, that are ofttimes of a violent extremist nature themselves. If you truly wish to reduce harm, ban the president's image, for he spreads false information and abstract hatred with his every statement. These bans are a direct and deliberate assault on the first amendment rights of individuals whose political ideologies don't fit the current administration's views."
—Cory Elia, Managing Editor for Village Portland, podcaster, radio news broadcaster with KBOO Community radio, and board member for PSU's Student Media Board
"When neo-Nazis were planning terrorism and violence in Charlottesville, they took to Facebook to organize. There, they were allowed to share posts calling for the raising of an army, the rasing of able-bodied fighters, and the harassment of Black and Jewish people in Charlottesville. When local organizers pushed back to prevent the violence, CrimethInc. was one of the only outlets to publish local concerns accurately and openly. As a survivor of the terrorism and violence, I find it unconscionable that Facebook can take action against one of the few organizations who was willing and able to help my community and me prevent the violence, when Facebook was a passive participant in helping those promote and encourage the terror."
"Facebook's decision to ban anarchist publishers has nothing to do with 'stopping violence' and everything to do with silencing those who speak out against a brutal, repressive system that no longer works for 99% of the world. We could point to supporters of violently racist ideology such as Breitbart or Daily Wire, whose advertisement money Facebook welcomes, but the hypocrisy is beyond the point. Anarchists dream of a world where peace and dignity for all is the norm, and no longer something that must be fought for by staring down the barrel of a tear gas launcher. By banning publishers who openly advocate for building a better world without unquestioned power and oppression, Facebook has very much made it clear where they stand on the issue of 'violence.'"
The recent unfair Facebook ban of anarchist publishers and artist is like banning love. These folks are writing about and fighting for a better and just world. One where dignity and autonomy replace state and corporate violence and suffering. We desperately need these dreamers and voices to imagine a way to save the planet and all living beings on it. To silence these voices is coming out supporting the corporate ruling class, and the injustices that continue to grow under these brutal systems.
—carla bergman, anarchist, organizer, and co-author of Joyful Militancy
"It should be no surprise that companies like Facebook are bowing to political pressure to appear "neutral," despite being nothing of the sort. Twitter and Facebook have been constantly and baselessly accused of anti-conservative bias by right-wing pundits and politicians, even though violent racists and far-right conspiracy theories continue to thrive on both platforms. As part of its reelection bid, the Trump campaign has consistently manufactured the spectre of left-wing "antifa violence" in an attempt to stoke fear and rally his base. The Department of Homeland Security has also justified crackdowns against anti-racist protesters by invoking the threat of "violent anarchists," conflating graffiti and property damage with terrorism"
—Janus Rose, "Facebook Is Treating Anti-Fascism the Same as Murder-Linked Conspiracy Groups" VICE, 2020-08-20
“Facebook’s actions show how much power tech capitalists have over free speech and should be viewed as an attack on the entire workers’ movement. We stand in solidarity with all those targeted.”
— Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of Jacobin
"In a moment where large numbers of people around the world are coming together to resist police violence and racism, it is particularly bleak that Facebook has chosen to ban some of the most insightful and thoughtful analysis that provides context, history, and additional voice to these events as they unfold. Rather than honestly reckoning with the content and online behaviors they are incentivizing through algorithms designed to maximize advertising returns rather than public good, Facebook has instead decided to blunder through banning some of the most needed voices and outlets focused on creating a more just world for everyone."
— Moxie Marlinspike
"That the U.S. government is working overtime to suppress dissenting voices is nothing new, nor is its dangerous revulsion for anarchists specifically, but each time they attack our community and ideology, more damage is done to the broader struggle against fascism, and for liberation. Facebook's decision to ban a number of anarchist, antifascist, and anti-capitalist pages has made clear both their bias against the left, and their commitment to furthering the same "both sides" rhetoric that Trump and his lapdogs have used to deflect from their own firm support for violent white supremacist groups. The fact that this ban specifically targeted vital movement publications like It's Going Down and CrimethInc. only underlines the fact that the so-called free press is under attack, and yet the mealy-mouthed centrists and liberals who spend their time hand-wringing over "cancel culture" have said nothing. Those outside of the anarchist and antifascist community ignore this at their peril, because as we know full well, first, they'll come for the radicals–but they'll be coming for everyone else next."
— Kim Kelly, journalist, author, and A12 Charlottesville attack survivor
"It has been three years but Facebook has never taken responsibility for the deadly Unite the Right event being planned and propagandized on their platform. It is nothing short of shameful for Facebook to now sit in judgment of the same groups and people who stood up against white supremacist violence that day."
— Megan Squire, Professor of Computer Science at Elon University, Sr. Fellow at Center for Analysis of the Radical Right
"At a time when elites in media and academia fret about 'cancel culture' and object to principled criticism, Facebook is showing the world that the real 'cancel culture" is corporate control of media platforms. Self defense is not violence. Anarchists are trying defend against us all against fascist violence and the nightmare future it portends. Facebook and other corporate media platforms are complicit in the violence of the fascists that they platform. We shouldn't let liberals and others vested in the status quo muddle the issue by normalizing false equivalency between fascists and the anarchists and anti-authoritarians resisting them. Down with fascism! Stand with all anti-fascists!"
— Brendan McQuade, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Maine and author of Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision
"This is the latest wave in oppressive Facebook censorship that has cast a wide net targeting radicals and leftists around the globe. While fascist pages, persons and groups are allowed to openly call for violence, those who stand against fascism and for justice are not only sidelined but silenced. We must amplify these voices now more than ever, but more than that, we must find ways to organize, tell our truths and build without having to rely only on the structures and platforms of the oppressors."
— Eleanor Goldfield, artist, organizer, journalist, filmmaker
"We have all known for some time that Facebook does not exist for any reason except to maintain their own profits, which rest squarely on the bedrock of a repressive government doing everything it can to quell dissent. Silencing the voices of anti-fascists and anarchists, who publish news and analysis about people who fight for a better world, comes as no surprise in this context of state and corporate interests colluding to maintain their existing power structures. They actively work to keep us from even communicating about standing up against the countless injustices our world has to offer, and at the same time, continue to promote corporate cheerleading for state sanctioned violence at the hands of the polcie. We stand in solidarity with all those silenced by Facebook, and our resolve is only hardened by this act as we press forward with our struggle for a better world."
— Black Powder Press
"With this wave of bans, Facebook has attempted to claim that they are neutral, or centrist in their approach to censoring political speech. What they have actually done is controlled the dialog, towards their own political aims, towards a conservative and capitalist worldview. Under the guise of neutrality they have made it so that anyone wishing to exist in their online space must not oppose fascism and far right violence in any meaningful way. They have thrown the weight of their platform behind the very notion that resisting genocide is violent in nature. What is considered acceptable political dialog in society generally creeps to the right over time. It is not often that we see such a blatant action taken to push the dialog in that direction. These are moments that we cannot allow to pass by silently. Fascism has brought about the most horrific acts of violence the world has ever seen. Opposing fascism is non violence by definition."
— Portland Anarchist Road Care
"The ban of CrimethInc. and other anarchist groups by Facebook is a clear step further into a fascist American state. The Earth First! Journal stands in firm solidarity with all anarchist groups currently facing repression. Smash the state, for the wild!"
— The Earth First! Journal
"Banning antifascists, anarchists and other related dreamers and resisters of fascism and totalitarianism on facebook leads us to only one conclusion – a side is being taken, and it is not the one of freedom and antifascism. Silencing dissent of totalitarians and movements against racists and xenophobes is a slippery slope to siding with those same people and movements. We are living in a moment when sides need to be taken, a time period we have seen before, and siding with the silencing of antifascists and anarchists is to side with totalitarianism and potential fascism.
— Marina Sitrin, Associate Professor at Binghamton University and author of Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina
“Facebook’s recent decision to ban radical leftist and antifascist groups that call for fighting back against the forces of fascism, genocide, and those that would wipe out our communities, while allowing, and even glorifying state-affiliated and sponsored groups that call for violence as well as right-wing militias is yet another example of tech companies finding it easier to punch down. Facebook’s decision reinforces the dangerous and false rhetoric emanating from right-wing media and politicians that seeks to demonize left-liberation movements at a time when they are being actively targeted and hunted by those in positions of authority. While hardly surprising, this decision by Facebook once again shows a willingness to put profits and access to politicians above scruples or access to diverse viewpoints.”
—B. Remy Cross
“Facebook’s decision to ban anti-fascist and anarchist pages at the same time they ban violent Militia’s and QAnon pages is unfortunately unsurprising and all too familiar. This is done as a visual sacrifice in the name of misguided attempts at centrism and being ‘fair.’ Anti-fascist and anarchist resources on the internet seek to create community defense against bigoted violence and share information about how communities can take care of problems that governments don’t prioritize as important to address. The problem with this decision is that the very real problems created by violent racist militias and absurd conspiracy theories are actively opposed in cities all around the work by anti-fascists and anarchists. This decision does not help communities become safer, in fact it makes them even more vulnerable. This decision shows Facebook’s lack of a spine and lack of a moral compass. I am proud to stand in solidarity with Anarchist Publishers to condemn this ban; but I am furious that I need to do so.”
—Jake Johnson, artist, writer, reporter
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