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21st Century American Militarism: Occupation Abroad and Resistance at Home

16554_544389308932057_1452596991_nFour Star has endorsed this event and will be tabling for the duration. Come say “hi!” We’d love to see you.

After more than ten years of occupations, drone strikes, torture campaigns and ecological devastation, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) continues to organize and fight against US militarism.

For this plenary panel and fundraising event during IVAW’s National Convention IVAW is proud to have guest speakers, writer & professor Christian Parenti, Iraqi-American artist & professor Michael Rakowitz, Afghans United for Justice member & organizer Suraia Sahar, historian & writer Nick Turse, along with other great speakers for an evening of commentary, discussion and analysis of the state and future of U.S. Militarism.

Please come out and support IVAW for this special evening.

Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian, essayist, the managing editor of, the co-founder of Dispatch Books, and a fellow at the Nation Institute. He is the author of ‘Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam’ (2013) and several other books including ‘The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyber Warfare’ (2012) and ‘The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives’ (2008).

Christian Parenti, is a professor of sustainable development at the School for International Training, Graduate Institute. He a Nation contributing editor and the author of Lockdown America The Soft Cage, The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq and most recently Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (Nation Books, July 2011). He has a Ph.D. in geogrphy and sociology from the London School of Economics.

Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-Amaerican artist and Northwestern University professor whose work addresses complex political and social issues through personal and intimate means. His works, such as paraSite, Return, The invisible enemy should not exist, Enemy Kitchen, and others have grappled with issues of poverty, political conflict, the Iraq War, popular culture, and personal narrative.

Suraia Sahar was born in Kabul, Afghanistan during the Soviet Occupation and left as a refugee in the late 1980’s. She briefly lived in India before moving to Toronto, Canada where she was raised. She comes from a military family which has been an influence during her upbringing. She was a cofounder of Afghans for Peace (AFP), and is a current cofounder of Afghans United for Justice.

Suraia has spoken out against the war since the US-led invasion and is actively involved in mobilizing the Afghan community both in Toronto and abroad against the NATO-led occupation and war. She has spoken at anti-war events across North America.


WHAT: 21st Century American Militarism: Occupation Abroad and Resistance at Home – Plenary Panel of IVAW National Convention with Guest Speakers Christain Parenti, Michael Rakowitz, Suraia Sahar, Nick Turse, & More!

WHEN: Friday, August 2nd, 7pm

DONATION: $10 Suggested Donation ( No one turned away)


ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS: Afghans United for Justice, American Friends Service Committee, Anti-War Committee- Chicago, Catalyst Project, Center for Constitutional Rights, Chicago Area Peace Action, Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, Chicago Cuba Committee, Chicago Grey Panthers, Civilian-Soldier Alliance, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, Four Star Anarchist Organization, Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice, Gay Liberation Network, Haymarket Press, Illinois Coalition Against Torture, Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, Labor Beat/Labor Express, Mental Health Movement, Military Law Task Force, National Nurses United, National Writers Union, Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice, Peace Action – National, PM Press, Radical Public Health, Third Unitarian Church Social Action Committee, Unity Temple Congregation Action Network, UE- Western Region, U.S. Labor Against the War, Veterans for Peace- Chicago, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, War Resisters League – Chicago, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ

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A Fracking Manifesto


A Fracking Manifesto
from the people of Illinois to the nation
May 30, 2013

(endorsed by Four Star Anarchist Organization)

We know that high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracking (HVHF) is an accidentprone, inherently dangerous industrial process with risks that include catastrophic and irremediable damage to our health and environment.

    We know that HVHF and its attendant technologies—

  • contribute to groundwater contamination, including 219 cases in Pennsylvania alone.
  • turn massive amounts of fresh, drinkable water into massive amounts of briny, poisonous flowback fluid for which there is no failsafe disposal solution.
  • vent hazardous air pollutants that are associated with cancer, asthma, heart attack, stroke, and preterm birth.
  • release radioactive substances—including radon, which is the number two cause of lung cancer—and benzene, which is a proven cause of leukemia, from deep geological strata.
  • fragment forests in ways that decimate birds and wildlife, sabotage natural flood control systems, and pour sediment into rivers and streams.
  • industrialize communities in ways that vastly increase truck traffic, noise pollution, light pollution, stress, crime, and the need for emergency services.
  • offer jobs that are dangerous, toxic, and temporary with a fatality rate seven times that of other industries.
  • leak prodigious amounts of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas.

We know these problems cannot be prevented by any set of rules or government office, let alone state agencies like those in Illinois, which have been cut to the bone by budget cuts and cannot be counted on for regulatory enforcement.

We have heard the warnings of our brothers and sisters living in the gasfields of Pennsylvania and Ohio, whose children, pets, and livestock are sick, whose property values are ruined, whose water is undrinkable. We have heard the pleas of our neighbors in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, where stripmining for frac sand has devastated communities, destroyed landscapes, and filled the air with carcinogenic silica dust.

We are aware that our own beloved Starved Rock State Park is already threatened by industrial mining of silica sand used for fracking operations and that the pressure to stripmine Illinois for sand will only increase with every well that is drilled and fracked.

We assert that fracking is a moral crisis. In a time of climate emergency, it is wrong to further deepen our dependency on fossil fuels. In a state such as Illinois, where chronic drought and water shortages are already forecast for our children’s future, it is wrong to destroy fresh water resources in order to bring new sources of climate-killing gas and oil out of the ground.

We reject the legitimacy of Illinois’ fracking regulatory bill, which was the result of closed-door negotiations between industry representatives and compromise-oriented environmental organizations. Responsible only to their funders and their members, these environmental groups do not represent us nor are they empowered to negotiate on our behalf. We consider the fracking regulatory bill to be a subversion of both science and democracy. Throughout its creation, no comprehensive health study or environmental impact study was ever commissioned. No public hearings or public comment periods ever took place. And yet it is the public that is being compelled to live with the risks sanctioned by this bill. It is an unjust law.

Knowing that our own government has abdicated its responsibility to protect the safety and wellbeing of the citizenry, knowing that no one is coming to save us, we declare our intent to save ourselves from the ravages of shale gas and oil extraction via HVHF. We declare our intent to join together in a fracking abolitionist movement.

As such, no longer shall national environmental organizations based far from impacted realities make decisions that will have life-changing impacts on the people living in impacted zones. We will call out organizations that betray core values and integrity. We will openly inform their membership and their funders and reveal the truth of where they stand and at whose expense.

We call for a mobilization that brings fracking realities to the rest of the nation. If our elected officials refuse to visit the fracking fields, then we will bring the fracking fields to them—in the form of science, stories, photographs, film, lectures, hearings, and journalism. If elected officials refuse to defend our land, water, air, and health against those who would despoil them for their own profit, then we will do it ourselves, using peaceful, non-violent methods.

We hereby commit ourselves to building a powerful movement that will protect Illinois’ children—and safeguard the living ecosystem on which their lives depend—for generations to come. In short, we declare our intent to take the future into our hands. And that future is unfractured.

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Chicago Anarchist Film Festival 2013 – Reportback


The weekend of April 26th, we held the 13th (mostly) annual Chicago Anarchist Film Festival (CAFF) at Metzli Gallery in Pilsen. It was three days of radical cinema from all over the world including animation, shorts, documentaries, and feature length films. To celebrate our lucky 13th year, we adopted the black cat as our logo and mascot. This kitty (associated with superstition, wildcat strikes, and industrial sabotage) is referred to endearingly as “Sabo” by many anarchists.  Each day of films was themed around this anti-authoritarian icon — ‘Sabotage’, ‘Wild Cat Strikes Again’, and ‘Nine Lives’.

Friday evening was all about ‘Sabotage’. It began with a few solemn films on state repression and how the State sabotages radical moments – from COINTELPRO and the arrest of Martin Sostre to the current imprisonment of the Pacific Northwest grand jury resisters. Following these films, members of Four Star facilitated a discussion with the attendees on issues of security culture, agent provocateurs, snitching, and ways to keep organizing while facing repression. Following the discussion, the tone of the evening took a turn for the positive with films on fighting back or “sabotage as direct action.” The feature film this evening was Just Do It!: A Tale of Modern Day Outlaws, a full length documentary about “professional domestic extremists” in England.

Saturday was all about ‘Wild Cat Strikes Again!’, paying homage to the wildcat strike tactic where workers take direct action by going on strike without the official authorization of their trade union. We watched a series of short films, including Kawomms! The Workers Crown, a 14 minute pencil drawn animated film about workers and industrialism, which was particularly interesting and is available on both Youtube and Vimeo. This evening’s feature film was Greening the Revolution. It shared a detailed vision of how capitalism affects farming across the globe and what workers in the agricultural industry are doing to fight back. Both Friday and Saturday evenings saw a full house with standing room only.

Sunday was my favorite day of the festival. The theme of the afternoon matinee was ‘Nine Lives: The Future is Still Unwritten,’ with the feature film being Ghosts with Shit Jobs in its Chicago debut. This film gives us insight into what would happen if China and North America switched places in the future and what that would look like for workers in both countries. We follow workers in the digital janitor, baby making, human spam, and silk gathering industries to see what it’s like in North America in 2040. The filmmaker, Jim Munroe, was in attendance and led a very interesting discussion and Q&A after the movie. After this lively talk, everyone headed to Township in Logan Square for the CAFF fundraiser of Punk Rock Karaoke. The bar was packed, the energy was great, money was raised, and it was the perfect way to end this amazing Chicago weekend.

We had awesome raffle prizes from local businesses and organizations such as Revolution Brewery, Handlebar, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW),  PM press, and many more. Several local organizations also came out to table CAFF. We had Four Star Anarchist Organization, South Side Anti-Racist Action, IWW, NATO 3 Defense Committee, & the Blair Pathways Music Project. All in all, between CAFF & Punk Rock Karaoke, we raised enough money to not only cover all the costs of this year’s event, but to actually get us ahead in planning for next year. All of this was done on a sliding scale donation with no one turned away for lack of funds. Anarchy is the best.

Report provided by Wren, a creative and hard-working member of Four Star and a CAFF 2013 organizer.

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May Day . . . Remembering the Past, Fighting for Tomorrow



The first of May is a moment for us to remember the Chicago Haymarket Martyrs of 127 years ago. These Chicago anarchists helped to lead the major battle of the day, not only for the 8 Hour Day, but also for social liberation.

The origins of May Day go back to May 4, 1886, marking the Haymarket Massacre. This memorable day began as a rally of striking workers who were demanding an eight-hour work day, climaxing with a bomb produced by an unknown individual while the police dispersed the peaceful rally. The blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.

Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy during the legal proceedings that followed. Although the evidence was scarce, and it could not be proven that any of the eight defendants had thrown the explosive projectile, seven were sentenced to death and one to 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted to life in prison, and another committed suicide before his hanging. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois’ new governor pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the evidence that was used during trial.

Since this day, we honor those who have fought, sacrificed and died for the defense and advancement of the working class.


Since the events of Haymarket, we have wrestled much from the capitalist class and the state through struggle. During the past 30 years, these forces have attacked our small, yet hard-fought-for gains. Continued attacks on working conditions, increasingly precarious and low wage work, deindustrialization, and marginalization have become the new normal. Governments have imposed round after round of social austerity measures, where workers and families have been expected to swallow cuts to public funding of services so that the richest can continue to profit from the fruits of our labor.


Despite this grim situation, today we have much to celebrate and look forward to. Over the last year, we have seen in Québec the biggest social movements in Canadian history spearheaded by combative unions to fight against neoliberal cuts to education and for quality free education. The Chicago Teachers Union went on strike and joined with parents and community members to protect their bargaining rights and working conditions and fight school closures. Workers from various fast food chains, warehouses, car washes and superstores, which have historically been near impossible to organize into business unions, have been participating in strike actions and various direct action in the demand for better working conditions. Unionized longshore workers have been fighting to hold the line on additional concessions to the bosses in one of the last bastions of union density and shopfloor power.  While we celebrate these efforts and whatever small victories gained thus far, working class victory can only come from struggles owned and controlled by the workers themselves, not from above but from below and built with their own self-activities.

These developments within the broader labor movement are a welcome sight in comparison to what is seen by some as a decade of relative inactivity. We see it as important that the workers and community partners involved in these campaigns recognize that they are confronting head-on the relationship between the ruling and working classes, and that successfully challenging this relationship will require more than one-day strikes and solidarity rallies. It will require nothing less than workers forcefully overcoming barriers of race, migration status, gender, sexuality, and gender identity to unite as one class, bound by continuous solidarity, and always pushing forward through escalations of action.


We hope this new, combative spirit by some workers invigorates a new and militant workers’ movement in North America—a workers’ movement that will no longer wait for politicians and bureaucrats to resolve the growing inequalities and oppressions. This spirit might bring a new wave of workers to replace the stale unionism with more democratic, combative and autonomous labor organizations which realize that laws and political institutions are put in place for the defense of the ruling class, and that only our own labor organizations, autonomous from the political institutions, can bring about the effective fighting force needed to replace the current, and build a new world.

This new workers’ movement should be allied with supportive movements, such as those against cuts to social services and education, and those movements against all forms of oppression and inequality. We see the interconnectedness of various forms of oppression as we wage these struggles, along with the fights against the expansion of and brutality of police forces and prisons, the criminalization of the poor and undocumented, and the continued attacks on reproductive freedoms. As these and many other forms of oppression work in conjunction with class exploitation, we must build movements which see common interest in these struggles and which actively and mutually oppose the assaults on one another.

By engaging in these struggles, we gain necessary experience, initiate needed debates, and confront the current austerity agenda of the elite outside of current labor laws. Through struggle, we lay the possible foundations of a future world. Through struggle, we can as a class start to imagine and organize for a classless society and one completely emancipated from all forms of oppression. This May Day, just like every other, is a call for workers to organize against the everyday exploitation of capitalism. In the spirit of those who fought for the eight hour day, let us continue the fight for the advancement of our class.

We need to look toward building a society without power, profit, and privilege, in which working people in workplaces and communities make the decisions about how our work is done and what we want from it. We need a movement that fights for real gains within the context of this society while using its own organizations as the basis for a new one.

In Struggle & Solidarity,

Prairie Struggle Organization

Wild Rose Collective

Four Star Anarchist Organization

Common Struggle/Lucha Común

Workers Solidarity Alliance

Free Association of Anarchists

Miami Autonomy & Solidarity

Printable version for distribution:

Mayday Joint Statement (side-1).jpg

Mayday Joint Statement (side-2).jpg

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Join Four Star Anarchist Organization and friends for a lively discussion event marking the 5th anniversary of our founding. A variety of local organizers will reflect on their areas of struggle, including labor, housing, immigration, education, and environmental justice, through the lens of a larger anarchist perspective.

More information to come, including an after-party!


This event is one of many being planned in celebration of May Day.
For more information, please follow:

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Four Star Anarchists recall when NATO came to town.

Four Star Anarchist Organization isn’t a faceless political group — we’re a collection of unique Chicagoans with a variety of experiences, perspectives, and ways of expressing ourselves. Our diverse strengths have never been more apparent than when NATO came to town last May. We had members marching with their union, providing crucial medical care, distributing protest survival kits, rejecting their military service medals, and taking arrests in defense of their comrades. Some of us stayed home with our phone ringers turned up, frantically refreshing our newsfeeds and hoping for nothing but good news. Several of us worked with a photographer who wanted to document a Chicago radical group planning for NATO — you can view a slideshow of the photos here.

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July 31st Day of Action Against Racism & Fascism

July 31st is the international day of action against racism and fascism. To add to the festivities, Four Star Anarchist Organization put on a film screening of the movie Antifa: Chasseurs de Skins. Short for “anti-fascism,” Antifa is an international movement of radicals organizing direct action against fascism of all forms. The film is about early Antifa groups in Paris and what they did to fight a re-surging fascism in their hometown.

The party started around 7:15pm with the excellent film. We packed quite a few people into the Mess Hall, including people from the Chicago Commune and South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action. The popcorn and goodies went quickly during our discussion on historic and modern Antifa work. It was really great to be able to talk with others pretty intimately about a form of work so many Chicago anarchists and radicals can get behind. This kind of coming together of tendencies doesn’t happen often in Chicago; we hope this event inspires more of its kind.

For every attendee, Four Star Anarchist Organization donated $5 to the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, the group the Tinely Park 5 allegedly are from.

For a fascism free future!

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Four Star stands in solidarity with targets of FBI repression!

On Wednesday July 26th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.

Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state’s agenda. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person’s needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.

This attack does not occur in a vacuum. Around the country and around the world, people have been rising up and resisting an economic system that puts the endless pursuit of profit ahead of the basic needs of humanity and the Earth. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement to now Anaheim, people are taking to the streets. In each of these cases, the state has responded with brutal political repression. This is not a coincidence. It is a long-term strategy by state agencies to stop legitimate political challenges to a status quo that exploits most of the world’s people.

We, the undersigned, condemn this and all other political repression. While we may have differences in ideology or chose to use different tactics, we understand that we are in a shared struggle to create a just, free, and liberated world, and that we can only do this if we stand together. We will not let scare tactics or smear campaigns divide us, intimidate us, or stop us from organizing and working for a better world.

No more witch-hunts! An injury to one is an injury to all.

For more information, click here.

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Post-NATO Discourse on Agent Provocateurs & Entrapment

(Notes from the Four Star News Desk)

Bounty Hunters and Child Predators: Inside the FBI Entrapment Strategy
The FBI’s latest targets of infiltration and legal repression seem to indicate a new approach to disrupting radical movements — instead of targeting high profile individuals or leaders, a new narrative is being built to conflate those who defend themselves in the face of police repression with terrorists. In this article, Crimethinc gives some possible reasons why.

How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing ‘Terrorists’ – and Letting Bad Guys Off the Hook
Typical Rolling Stone rambling, but brings up some interesting points about the State’s priorities. The far right’s prolific tendency towards murder warrants almost no strategy of disruption like the anarchists face, according to the FBI.

Domestic Terrorism — Anarchist Extremism: A Primer
The FBI has given primers on four domestic terrorist threats – eco-terrorists/animal rights extremists, lone offenders, the sovereign citizens movement, and… anarchists! Considering that the “eco-terrorist/animal rights extremist” movement in North America shares a great deal of ground with the anarchist movement, this article indicates that the State finds our radical social movements to be more of a threat than people who are crazed murderers.

Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.
In this article, the New York Times questions the legitimacy of post 9/11 entrapment tactics. They show how easily someone can be transformed into a rabid, American-hating terrorist by the profit motive. How many lives have to be ruined by the FBI’s eagerness to get a conviction?

NATO 3 Indicted. The Charges: We’ll Get Back to You on That.


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“Whence Anarchism? The historical conjuncture of #Occupy”

Members of Four Star were invited to speak at the Fourth Annual International Convention of the Platypus Affiliated Society. John Slavin accepted the opportunity to speak in personal capacity. Please enjoy the audio track!

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