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From the Stacks: The Struggle Is Our Inheritance

 by Lisa Gulya


Tags: Politics, U.S., cultural criticism, From the Stacks, zines, The Struggle Is Our Inheritance,

The Struggle Is Our Inheritance: A History of Radical MinnesotaThe RNC Welcoming Committee, a group organizing radical activity during September’s Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, has created a pre-convention primer, The Struggle Is Our Inheritance: A History of Radical Minnesota

The anti-authoritarian zine has the expected flaws—unattributed authorship that will make the Wikipedia-wary reader skeptical, and a broken link to download the zine on the RNC Welcoming Committee website, now defunct. (I eventually found a copy of the zine at Arise! Resource Center and Bookstore in Minneapolis.)

Nitpicking aside, the zine is an intriguing introduction to Minnesota radicalism over the last 150 years—union strikes, weapons manufacturing protests, the birth of the American Indian Movement, anti-racist Skinheads. The zine’s closing essay reminds readers that mass demonstrations like the ones planned for the RNC have only “a small place in something much bigger,” i.e. the radical tradition laid out in the zine. The “real work” ought to be long-term community building, writes the author, even though demonstrations do have their appeal:

...though it’s important not to let an affinity for symbolism and theater drive our strategy, it’s equally important to recognize that orchestrating massive coordinated resistance for a few days in 2008 could have a profound impact on our collective morale, fueling a broad escalation in the radical, community-based work we should all be engaged in.

UPDATE: Commenter Tony tells us the RNC Welcoming Committee's website is temporarily down, but should be up and running again soon. Thanks for the info, Tony.