If Black Women Were Free: Part 1&2 Practising transformative justice in Black communities

Transformative justice (TJ) grew out of these histories of Black feminist organizing, and has become widely influential in Black communities and in wider left organizing spaces.

In contrast with more mainstream approaches like restorative justice, TJ is effective in contexts in which deep, structural change is the goal. There cannot, as many organizers have noted, be restorative justice when the systemic relationships to be “restored” are inherently oppressive.

TJ centres Black women’s experiences of violence while resisting the notion that speaking about violence detracts from organizing: men who cause harm can be understood simultaneously as effective or well-loved organizers and as perpetrators of misogynistic violence. In this sense, TJ is open-armed – naming violence committed while leaving room for those who have caused harm to be accountable and to come back into the fold.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.


Living The Dream Amidst A Non-Binding Postal Survey On Same-Sex Marriage

Australia is currently in the midst of a non-binding postal survey on same-sex marriage and it seems likely that the ‘Yes’ vote will win by a massive majority. Yet the ‘Left’ and supporters of same-sex marriage seem miserable and downcast about this. In this episode Simon Copland (@SimonCopland) helps Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) make sense of it all. We talk about the role that homophobia and sexuality plays in capitalism, the histories of Queer struggles within neoliberalism, and how certain sections of the Yes campaign have internalised a pessimistic perspective about people and democracy. We finish on a high-note about what the expected resounding Yes vote will mean for Australian society and the possibility of further struggles.

Listen here – The Word From Struggle Street.

IRL closed for next two weeks

Hotshots is closing for a couple of weeks, so we will also be closed until Sunday 8th October.

We are also moving soon, so at the end of October we will close for a couple of months to go through our collection and make it smaller and more up to date. We will be open Sundays during October, and at the end of the month we’ll have a moving party, with readings, food etc – look out for more updates.


If you have any books out on loan, please return them during October. If you can’t make it to the library during our opening hours, we have drop off points in Sunshine, Footscray, Kensington and Brunswick that you can take them to at any time – just email us for the address.

Racial Capitalocene Is the Anthropocene racial?

If anyone wants to buy this for the library that would be great 😉

Futures of Black Radicalism, edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin, brings together 17 essays on the development of the black radical tradition, all informed by both the groundbreaking work of Cedric J. Robinson and the contemporary flourishing of black political movements.

Included in the collection is the essay by Françoise Vergès reprinted below. Vergès examines how most theories of the anthropocene have failed to reckon with the ways in which racism and imperialism structure the uneven distribution of climate catastrophe. These reflections take on additional urgency in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, whose ongoing effects can already be seen to be shaped by race and class — and the extreme flooding that has swept through South Asia this summer.

In the debates on the “Anthropocene,” global warming, and climate change, voices of the South and of minorities — the prime victims of these phenomena’s consequences — have developed an analysis that brings together race, capitalism, imperialism, and gender. This analysis rests on past struggles, such as the organization of farmworkers led by Cesar Chavez in California in the early 1960s for workplace rights, including protection from toxic pesticides, and of African American students in 1967 to oppose a city dump and in 1979 to oppose a landfill in Houston. Environmental racism became a site of struggle. The publication in 1987 of Toxic Waste and Race in the United States, a report by the Commission for Racial Justice of the United Church of Christ, was a turning point. 1 It showed that race was the single most important factor in determining where toxic waste facilities were sited in the United States and that the siting of these facilities in communities of color was the intentional result of local, state, and federal land-use policies. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration’s practice of cutting the budgets of federal environmental agencies had aggravated racist decisions. The report demonstrated that “three out of every five Black and Hispanic Americans lived in communities with uncontrolled toxic waste sites.” 2 Twenty years later, the United Church of Christ published another report confirming that “people of color make up the majority of those living in host neighborhoods within 3 km of the nation’s hazardous waste facilities. Racial and ethnic disparities are prevalent throughout the country.” 3

Continue reading here: