Common Notions

Common Notions Common Notions is a publishing house and programming platform that advances new formulations of liberation and living autonomy. Our books provide timely reflections, clear critiques, and inspiring strategies that amplify movements for social justice.

Our books provide timely re

Mission: By any media necessary, Common Notions seeks to nourish the imagination and generalize common notions about the creation of other worlds beyond state and capital. Our publications trace a constellation of critical and visionary meditations on the organization of freedom and provide resources for a collective reading of struggles past, present, and to come.

Operating as usual

Reading Struggles
09/29/2020

Reading Struggles

Another day, another great book!

Fantastic translation of Mario Tronti’s essays by Andrew Anastasi out now on Common Notions!

#readrevoltrepeat

07/11/2020
Out of the Woods Collective, an interview on eco-fascism

An interview with Out of the Woods

We wanted to speak with Out of the Woods because of their close engagement with debates around the particular dangers of ecofascism, as well as the potential of locally-oriented networks of care and anti-fascist resistance. Our conversation occurred right as their new book Hope Against Hope: Writings on Ecological Crisis (New York: Common Notions, 2020) was being published, and therefore draws heavily on ideas explored within the book.

Out of the Woods is a transnational political research and theory collective, a loose grouping of decolonial, small-c communist, antiracist queer-feminist thinkers working together to think through the problem of ecological crisis.

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Editors: Can you start by sharing a bit about the Out of the Woods collective? When did you start writing together, and what are your central concerns?

We wanted to speak with Out of the Woods because of their close engagement with debates around the particular dangers of ecofascism, as well as the potential of locally-oriented networks of care and anti-fascist resistance. Our conversation occurred right as their new book Hope Against Hope: Writing...

// Twitter Takeover // Out of the Woods  // Tuesday 4-5pm EDT // @CommonNotions // Hope Against Hope // For Disaster Com...
06/16/2020

// Twitter Takeover // Out of the Woods // Tuesday 4-5pm EDT // @CommonNotions // Hope Against Hope // For Disaster Communism

06/06/2020
Black Philly Radical Collective

We Want Freedom for Black Philly Now!

FULLY TEXT VERSION

WE WANT FREEDOM
End the War Against Black Philadelphians NOW!

During this time of rebellion against police terrorism and state violence, we, the radical Black organizing community in Philadelphia, make the following immediately actionable demands upon the City of Philadelphia to abolish–by which we mean to permanently and holistically eliminate–the structures of policing and related state violence endangering our communities. Until our demands are met, we will be in the streets demanding justice for the Black community:

1. NO to Philadelphia Police Department Budget Increase

We demand that the City of Philadelphia immediately cease all plans to increase the police budget by $14 million. We specifically demand that City Council vote “no” on the proposed police budget increase. Our city has already significantly defunded our public schools, libraries, recreation centers, and other community institutions. We want public funds to enrich our neighborhoods, not the police. Programs like Operation Pinpoint and Focused Deterrence must be defunded immediately. We demand the proposed $14 million budget increase go instead to the Philadelphia School District budget for the removal of environmental hazards from schools, namely, asbestos and lead paint, which is estimated to cost $25 million per year.

2. Immediately Cease the Criminalization of Black Resistance

We will not permit the Black community’s legitimate struggle against white supremacy to be criminalized during this time of rebellion. We demand an end to the use of tear gas, grenades, assault rifles and surveillance in our neighborhoods. We further demand that DA Larry Krasner drop all arrests and charges against community members and activists in relation to the rebellion and no future detainment, arrests or charges be made.

3. Immediately & Permanently Remove All Symbols of State Violence

After decades of work by Philadelphia’s Black organizers and community members, Mayor Kenney has finally conceded to the demand to remove the statue of Frank Rizzo. We further demand the immediate public destruction of this white supremacist symbol of hate, oppression and violence so that it can never be erected elsewhere. The street sign honoring Wilson Goode is an equally flagrant symbol of state violence against Black Philadelphia, as former mayor Goode presided over the bombing of our city and the murder of 11 members of the MOVE family, including 5 children in 1985. We demand that the street be reverted to its original name. We further demand legislation that removes all other existing monuments of state violence and ensures that no future symbols of state violence against Black, Indigenous, or Brown people be permitted in the city of Philadelphia.

4. End the Military Occupation of the Black Community

We demand the complete demilitarization of the Philadelphia police and the police occupation of Black communities. The Black community is consistently targeted by SWAT teams armed with military grade equipment. We demand the city end any participation in the US Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, and return any equipment acquired through it, and refuse any participation in Operation Relentless Pursuit, the Department of Justice’s newest “war on crime” tactic. A local police force should not have the ability to engage with community members like enemy combatants.

5. Protection for Black Philadelphia

We acknowledge the severity of gun violence in our communities. Dismantling the structural violence of poverty, and not applying discriminatory gun laws is the only way to create safe communities. Anti-Black violence, which is emboldened in the current white supremacist climate, is an ever increasing threat to Black communities. Pockets of white Philadelphians are currently roaming the city with guns, axes, and other deadly weapons in the wake of the rebellion. These extralegal white terrorist groups pose a significant risk to the Black community. We assert that Black Philadelphians have the ability to defend ourselves. We will no longer be criminalized for enjoying the 2nd Amendment rights that are permitted to all other Pennsylvanians. We demand that no current or future conceal/carry violations are registered as a felony in Philadelphia.

6. End All Carceral Systems

The destructive effect of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and communities extends beyond the prison walls. We demand an immediate end to the criminalization of poverty through the multiple carceral systems that target Black Philadelphians. We demand the dismissal of warrants, cash bail, and the end to probation and parole systems that target our community members for prison retraumatization rather than provide support for individual and communal restoration. We demand an end to the separation of Black families through the forcible removal of our children by the Department of Human Services. Children must be returned to willing parents and caregivers without ransoming their return with bureaucracy. We demand the City of Philadelphia live up to its promise as a Sanctuary City, immediately disband all Immigration and Customs Enforcement activities, and reunite individuals and families that have been separated as a result of ICE detainments in Philadelphia.

7. Fund Communities, Not Cops

We demand an immediate decrease in the Philadelphia Police Department’s budget over five years until the PPD is fully defunded. We demand these resources be diverted from policing to longstanding community-led organizations working to support returning citizens and build strategies that enable Black people to address their own conflicts and struggles in a manner that centers transformative justice and eliminates punitive systems of behavior change. We demand the redistribution of these funds be decided by those who are directly impacted by the criminal legal system, including returning citizens, sex workers, our members of the disabled community, our LGBTQIA+ communities, and members of undocumented communities.

8. Immediate Permanent Release of Mumia Abu Jamal, Major Tillery, Arthur Cetawayo Johnson, Russell "Maroon" Shoatz, Omar Askia, Joseph "Jo-Jo" Bowen, and all Black Political Prisoners

The Philadelphia “justice system” that arrested and tried Mumia is the same racist and immoral system that dropped a bomb on 11 civilians including 5 children of the MOVE family 35 years ago. The fact that Mumia’s trial was built on false evidence is without question, and serves as proof of the history of Philadelphia police targeting those who speak out against state violence. This denial of justice will no longer be tolerated as a stall tactic. In this period of COVID19, we demand that Mumia, Major, Cetawayo, Maroon, Omar, Jo-Jo, and all Black political prisoners be immediately released. They are all seniors, members of a vulnerable population whose incarceration by any measure does not serve our communities or justice.

9. Swift Firing of Killer Cops and Community Response

We demand an end to superficial policies that assign desk duty and administrative leave for officer-involved shootings. If a police officer murders someone, they should be immediately and permanently fired and referred to counseling. The retirement funds of killer cops must be frozen during all parts of the legal process. If the officer is convicted, their pensions will be seized and transferred to victims and the victim's families.

10. Abolish the Fraternal Order of Police & the Police Advisory Committee

The current overlap of financial and personal relationships between elected city officials, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Police Advisory Commission paired with the PPD’s ability to conduct internal investigations on itself when misconduct arises makes it impossible for police to be held accountable for their actions. The PAC should not be simply reformed, repackaged, and presented to the community as a progressive change as indicated by the recent city and state police reform proposals. We demand that the Police Advisory Commission be abolished, and replaced with a fully funded Community Control Board provided from the budget of the Philadelphia police. The Board must have the exclusive power to hire and fire police officers. Board members will be elected through a transparent process that is created by individuals whose leadership is accepted by the community they will be representing. The members of this Board cannot be law enforcement or elected officials. The Board must also comprise community members most directly impacted by the system of policing. Their ultimate charge must be to remove all cops from our neighborhoods within five years. We also demand the FOP be dissolved immediately and police bargaining shifted into the municipal unions of the City of Philadelphia until the police are disbanded. The Fraternal Order of Police, its President, and agenda is more committed to defending police violence, terror and mass incarceration than it is in protecting and serving Black Philadelphians. Through intimidation, bullying and political intrigue it has set itself up as an unaccountable power bloc and political lobby that is a threat to our city's democracy.

11. Immediate Release of All Vulnerable Individuals in Prison

Accelerate the release of the 1,800 individuals eligible under the reprieve order signed April 10, 2020 and expand this order so that all eligible individuals are released by the end of June, 2020. Include in your reprieve all individuals who are medically vulnerable regardless of their offense. Secretary Wetzel estimated that there are approximately ​12,000 people​ currently incarcerated that the CDC would be considered “medically vulnerable.” The order signed April 10th states: “Vulnerable inmates shall include inmates at risk based upon age, anyone with autoimmune disorders, who is pregnant, or who has serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, bone marrow or organ transplantation, severe obesity, kidney disease, liver disease, hepatitis, and cancer, or other medical condition that places them at higher risk for coronavirus, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

12. Disband All Private Police Departments

Black Philadelphians are policed in virtually every area of our lives. Due to jurisdiction overlaps, a Philadelphian may be policed by PHA police, transit police, university police departments, and city police simultaneously. We demand that the Philadelphia Police Department immediately end all Memorandums of Understanding with private police which allows access to JBAND frequency. We further demand that legislation be passed that mandates all public and private institutions, including educational institutions and transit and housing authorities, disband their police forces in the interest of public safety.

13. Economic Justice NOW!

We demand reparative economic justice for the aforementioned harms to Black communities. The government must repair the damage it has done. Current policies are designed to perpetuate racial and economic injustice against Black communities. We demand a participatory approach to public budgets that is under community control to ensure that resources are equitably distributed and meet the needs of Black communities which have been purposefully and systematically under-resourced.

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CONFIRMED SIGNATORIES

Philly for REAL Justice
Black Lives Matter Philly
Black Alliance for Peace
Black & Brown Workers Co-op
Abolitionist Law Center Philadelphia
Abolitionist Law Center Pittsburgh
Human Rights Coalition PA Philadelphia
Human Rights Coalition Pittsburgh
Mike Africa Jr. of MOVE
Mobilization4Mumia
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Philly Chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Common Notions's cover photo
04/07/2020

Common Notions's cover photo

Radix Media
03/31/2020
Radix Media

Radix Media

The COVID-19 pandemic is shedding a light on the need to abolish capitalism. What role can publishing play in building a new world? Watch this recap from a panel we co-hosted with Common Notions!

Hyperallergic names AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POLITICAL RECORD LABELS by Josh MacPhee a Best Book of 2019!
12/13/2019
Best of 2019: Our Top 25 Books

Hyperallergic names AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POLITICAL RECORD LABELS by Josh MacPhee a Best Book of 2019!

Here are our favorite books of 2019, brought to you by the writers and editors of Hyperallergic.

Did you spot this interview with Tasos Theofilou in this morning’s Publishers Lunch?“32 Steps carries a Sisyphian essenc...
12/12/2019
What It’s Like to Write a Book in Prison

Did you spot this interview with Tasos Theofilou in this morning’s Publishers Lunch?

“32 Steps carries a Sisyphian essence. That is, Theofilou and the rest of the book’s characters exist in a parallel reality that’s set them up to fail. Indeed, their plight — and the plight of all others who have taken pen to paper in prison, or simply found themselves behind bars — could be summed up with this line from Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus: “If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him?”

Tasos Theofilou spent nearly six years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. The only way for him to stave off the desperation of his plight was to take pen to paper

10/03/2019

Josh MacPhee will be live on WFMU today from ~10:30am-11:30am EST talking all things AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POLITICAL RECORD LABELS. Tune in!

Happy pub day to AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POLITICAL RECORD LABELS by Josh MacPhee!Celebrate alongside us by reading this inter...
10/01/2019
Making Political Music

Happy pub day to AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POLITICAL RECORD LABELS by Josh MacPhee!

Celebrate alongside us by reading this interview Josh recently did with Steven Heller for Design Observer.

Politics and music historically go hand-in-fist from left, right, and center, on all sides of the barricades, battlefields, and battlements.

All out for tomorrow's opening of "The Most Revolutionary: LGBTQ Politics and the Radical Left, 1969-1999"—an exhibition...
09/26/2019

All out for tomorrow's opening of "The Most Revolutionary: LGBTQ Politics and the Radical Left, 1969-1999"—an exhibition that tells the hidden history of LGBTQ politics and the radical left in the three decades following Stonewall.

The exhibition tells the often untold story of LGBTQ history by shining a spotlight on the anarchists, rabble-rousers, reds and revolutionaries who demanded more than just their rights; they demanded a world without oppression and exploitation.

"The Most Revolutionary" includes archival materials from organizations such as the Lavender Left, Revolutionary Socialist League, Communist Workers Party, Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation, Movement for a New Society, Gay Liberation Front, Penniless Anarchist Queer Nuisance, Combahee River Collective, Lavender & Red Union, and many more.

Co-curated by Brad Duncan and John Anderies.
Brad Duncan is coeditor of Finally Got the News: The Printed Legacy of the US Radical Left, 1970–1979.

The opening party (tomorrow, Friday September 27th) and additional programming throughout the course of the three-month exhibition are at the William Way LGBTQ Community Center.

Poster by Josh MacPhee.

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Apply now! The Institute for Advanced Troublemaking has limited space for its third annual Anarchist Summer School, for adults of all ages. The eight-day school offers an immersive, prefigurative, and provocative space of co-learning, co-cultivating a caring community, and serious play. There’s limited spots, so apply for early admission (deadline Feb 1 and you’ll hear back by March 15) or “regular” admission (deadline April 2 and you’ll hear back by May 15). Spread the word to folks you think might love this! advancedtroublemaking.wordpress.com (design by ZOLA street art; typography by LOKI)
Zapantera Negra in my class!