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Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective

A vivid memoir of a turbulent time when Common Ground did what FEMA couldn't or wouldn't do in New Orleans after the storm, resisting indifference and rebuilding hope amidst the ruins.

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When both levees and governments failed in New Orleans in the Fall of 2005, scott crow headed into the political storm, co-founding a relief effort called the Common Ground Collective. In the absence of local government, FEMA, and the Red Cross, this unusual volunteer organization, based on ‘solidarity not charity,’ built medical clinics, set up food and water distribution, and created community gardens. They also resisted home demolitions, white militias, police brutality and FEMA incompetence side by side with the people of New Orleans.

crow’s vivid memoir maps the intertwining of his radical experience and ideas with Katrina’s reality, and community efforts to translate ideals into action. It is a story of resisting indifference, rebuilding hope amidst collapse, and struggling against the grain. Black Flags and Windmills invites and challenges all of us to learn from our histories, and dream of better worlds. And gives us some of the tools to do so.

Praise:

“It is a brilliant, detailed, and humble book written with total frankness and at the same time a revolutionary poet’s passion. It makes the reader feel that we too, with our emergency heart as our guide, can do anything; we only need to begin.”
—Marina Sitrin, author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina

“This book is a key document in that real and a remarkable story of an activist’s personal and philosophical evolution.”
—Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster

“This is a compelling tale for our times.”
—Bill Ayers, author of Fugitive Days

 “ … crow is a puppetmaster...”
--Federal Bureau of Investigation

 “For decades scott crow has approached his political organizing with humility, resilience, and honesty, and he continues to do so in Black Flags and Windmills.”
—Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege

About the Author:

scott crow is an Austin, TX based anarchist community organizer, writer, and trainer who began working on anti-apartheid, international political prisoner and animal rights issues in the mid 1980s. He is the co-founder and co-organizer of several social justice groups and education projects throughout Texas and the South including Common Ground Collective (with Malik Rahim), Radical Encuentro Camp, UPROAR (United People Resisting Oppression and Racism), Dirty South Earth First!, and North Texas Coalition for a Just Peace. He has trained and organized for Greenpeace, Ruckus Society, Rainforest Action Network, A.C.O.R.N., Forest Ethics, and Ralph Nader, and many smaller grassroots groups. He is currently collaborating on long-term sustainable democratic economic mutual aid projects within Austin.

Product Details:

Author: scott crow with a Foreword by Kathleen Cleaver
Publisher: PM Press
Published: Oct. 2011 - 2nd edition 2015
ISBN: 978-1-60486-077-1
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 256
Dimensions: 9 by 6
Subjects: Politics, Current Events

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