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  • The Autonomous Research Institute for Direct-Democracy and Social Ecology

    We are excited to announce that in 2019, On Our Own Authority! will begin our collaboration with the Autonomous Research Institute for Direct Democracy and Social Ecology (ARIDDSE), located in Midway, Georgia. As part of this initiative, we will co-publish several books, including new works from Modibo Kadalie, Janis Coombs Reid, and Olga Cielemecka. More informa about ARIDDSE can be found online at www.ariddse.org. Below is an excerpt from their website:

    The Autonomous Research Institute for Direct Democracy and Social Ecology is an organization of independent activists and scholars dedicated to the documentation and study of ordinary people’s social revolutions throughout history.  As the name of our institute implies, we also investigate the relationship of these social movements to the natural world. We hope our work will illustrate that the well-being of our ecology is intimately connected to the abolition of all hierarchy and oppression in human society and that all ecological crises are also social crises. 

    Based in Midway, Georgia the scope of our work is simultaneously local and global.  Our scholars and activists have studied (and in many cases, participated in) direct-democratic liberation movements around the globe and across the reach of history: from the Ogeechee Insurrections to Pan-Africanism; from the Civil Rights/Black Power movement to the Occupy movement, and beyond.

    Through our research, writing, and activism, we hope to critically chronicle social movements from the past and become an intricate part of these diverse movements and moments in the present, placing them into conversation with one another as we uncover their common thread of ordinary people’s self-organization and social liberation.

    Throughout history, ordinary working-class people have consistently resisted the imposition of hierarchy and coercive authority through revolutionary movements of their own creation and direction. They have organized and re-organized themselves over time into new and ever more democratic social institutions that arise from the bottom ranks of society. In doing so, this human collective has also asserted their interdependence with the rest of the natural world. This historical process of creating self-organized and directly democratic institutions gives us the hope of a viable collective social and ecological future.

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  • Eusi Kwayana's 90th Birthday

    Today is the 90th birthday of Eusi Kwayana, a revolutionary Pan-Africanist and independent socialist activist, teacher, and writer from Guyana. During the struggle for Guyanese independence, Kwayana was imprisoned by the British army in 1954. In 1956, he founded County High School (later renamed Republic Cooperative High School) in Buxton, Guyana. In 1964, he co-founded the African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa (ASCRIA), an Afro-Guyanese socialist and anti-colonialist organization. In 1974, ASCRIA joined the Working People's Alliance, which is famously affiliated with another Guyanese revolutionary, Walter Rodney, who was assassinated in 1980.

    Throughout his lifetime of social activism, Eusi Kwayana has advocated politics of direct democracy and working-class self-management. In his writings, he emphasizes that revolutionary change comes from among the ranks or ordinary people, through their own self-organization. His book The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics (1972) documents an early 1970s bauxite miners' strike in Guyana during which striking workers organized themselves under the slogan "Every man is his own leader and we are leaderless" and directed their strike efforts through mass assemblies and direct-democratic councils.

    Kwayana is also the author of several other books, including Next Witness, Scars of Bondage, Guyana: No Guilty Race, Walter Rodney: His Last Days and Campaigns, and Buxton Friendship in Print and Memory.

    The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics was republished by On Our Own Authority! in 2012. That same year, Eusi Kwayana visited Atlanta to launch the book and deliver a talk at the Auburn Avenue Research Library for African American History and Culture (the top photo was taken during the event). The newest edition of the book is available for sale at the link below and includes an appendix of rare documents published by ASCRIA in the early 1970s.

    It is impossible to summarize the life and significance of such a celebrated figure as Baba Eusi Kwayana within the confines of one blog post. We are honored to have worked with Eusi over the past three years and look forward to continuing that work into the future.

    We are all sending you our warmest congratulations on your 90th year, Baba Eusi! As you are known for saying, Walk Good!

    Kwayana, THE BAUXITE STRIKE AND THE OLD POLITICS on Square Market

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