142 episodes

Welcome to the Ex-Worker: an audio strike against a monotone world! This twice-monthly podcast explores a wide range of anarchist ideas and action. In each episode, we take an in-depth look at a different topic, introducing various manifestations of the struggle for liberation, and round it off with news, reviews, profiles of current anarchist projects, upcoming events, and more. If you're curious about anarchist visions of freedom—or if you dream of a world off the clock—tune in!

The Ex-Worker CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective

    • News
    • 4.7 • 242 Ratings

Welcome to the Ex-Worker: an audio strike against a monotone world! This twice-monthly podcast explores a wide range of anarchist ideas and action. In each episode, we take an in-depth look at a different topic, introducing various manifestations of the struggle for liberation, and round it off with news, reviews, profiles of current anarchist projects, upcoming events, and more. If you're curious about anarchist visions of freedom—or if you dream of a world off the clock—tune in!

    #84: Steal Something From Work Day 2022

    #84: Steal Something From Work Day 2022

    April 15th is Steal Something From Work Day! For over a decade, we’ve celebrated the everyday resistance that workers undertake to challenge their exploitation when the boss isn’t watching. Whether in factories or coffee shops, under capitalism or socialism, workers have always pilfered from their workplaces—not just as a way to survive or get revenge for exploitation, but as a way to channel their creativity and humanity. In this episode, we introduce listeners to our favorite holiday, answer common questions about it, and share some fascinating accounts and analyses. A “grocery store guerrilla” shares a story of theft and resistance, while a network of workplace rebels describe how they formed “The Team” to expand their class war efforts. A factory worker in Soviet Hungary relates a fascinating story of how illicitly making personal items in factories provides a window into what free creative activity could look like beyond the world of work, whether enforced by capitalist or socialist bosses. A 2020 analysis from the early days of the pandemic explores what stealing from work at the end of the world can look like, whether you’re an “essential” or remote worker. And we wrap up with a reflection on the revolutionary horizons of struggle against capitalism through and beyond stealing from work. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more audio projects exploring work, capitalism, and resistance! {April 15, 2022}  
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    Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} Steal Something From Work! {8:08} Frequently Asked Questions {10:20} Out Of Stock: Confessions Of A Grocery Store Guerrilla {17:40} The Team Is Real {28:00} Yes, We Even Stole from Work under Socialism {34:44} Stealing from Work at the End of the World {56:24} Beyond Stealing From Work {1:07:00} Conclusion {1:12:35} This episode celebrates Steal Something From Work Day. It includes a range of accounts and analyses, including our Frequently Asked Questions, “Out of Stock: Confessions of a Grocery Store Guerrilla”, which is dedicated to the rebels who attacked a Whole Foods during the 2011 Oakland general strike; “The Team is Real”; “Yes, We Even Stole From Work Under Socialism”, an excerpt from Milos Haraszti’s 1972 book A Worker in a Worker’s State; “Stealing From Work at the End of the World”, written in spring 2020 in the early weeks of the pandemic; and “Beyond Stealing From Work”.
    But there’s more! If you want to spread the word about Steal Something From Work Day, you can check out all of our outreach materials, including stickers, posters, pamphlets, postcards, and Heist, our journal of workplace theft!
    Got a story to share? Send in your own account of stealing from work to contact[at]crimethinc[dot]com!
    Another exciting project of worker resistance is the Russian website “Anti-Job,” whose creators we interviewed last month.
    On the new unionization campaigns, you can check out our analysis of the graduate student worker’s strike at Columbia, and this report of one pending at the University of Indiana, as well as coverage of the recent Amazon warehouse workers victory.
    Stay tuned for the forthcoming audio version of our classic book Work! In the meantime, did you know that we have an audio book of No Wall They Can Build and an audio zine version of From Democracy to Freedom?
    The Ex-Worker is a proud member of the Channel Zero Network, an English-language anarchist radio and podcast network run by radical media makers.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    #83: Anti-War Resistance in Russia

    #83: Anti-War Resistance in Russia

    Even as Russian forces continue their brutal assault on Ukraine, a growing domestic uprising is challenging the empire from within. This episode of the Ex-Worker focuses on the anti-war movement in Russia, analyzing it from an anarchist perspective and assessing the regime's power and vulnerability. The episode opens with a call to action from the March 6th day of protest across Russia and a summary of militant direct actions against the war machine. An anarchist in the provinces shares a first-person reflection on the evolution of the anti-authoritarian movement and its prospects in today's crisis, while an analysis from Autonomous Action considers Putin's miscalculations, the information war, international dynamics, and possibilities for resistance. An independent journalist discusses the nature of the protests, police responses, migration and diaspora, censorship, the role of NATO, and lessons to learn from the invasion and the protest movement. We close out with a Syrian refugee collective's reflections on how their experiences in the Syrian revolution and civil war can inform how international observers relate to the conflict. And just for fun, we throw in some hair-raising Russian songs related to protest and war. We'll continue our coverage of the crises in Ukraine and Russia—and much more—in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. {March 11, 2022}  
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    Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} [Protester’s Song From a Russian Police Van] {5:29} Spring is Coming: March 6th Call to Action {6:38} Anarchist Fighter on Radical Anti-War Actions {12:57} My Days in Russia {20:31} The Kremlin’s Fatal Miscalculation {32:36} Interview with Dmitrii {47:05} War in Ukraine: Ten Lessons From Syria {1:18:09} Conclusion {1:42:23} This episode includes Spring is Coming: March 6th Call to Action, and the piece “My Days in Russia,” originally published as part of the article “The View From Ukraine, The View From Russia”.
    The piece “The Kremlin’s Fatal Miscalculation” is a translation of the transcript of the March 6 episode of Trends in Order and Chaos, the podcast from the anarchist media platform Autonomous Action.
    The roundup of radical actions by Anarchist Fighter included references to an auto attack on a police cordon in Pushkinskaya Square, a molotov cocktail attack on a military registration/enlistment office in Voronezh, an anti-war attack on the Kremlin wall, and the teenage anarchist Mikhail Zhlobitsky, who died in a 2018 attack on the FSB headquarters in Arkhangelsk.
    During our interview, Dmitrii recommended a few English-language news sources on Russian politics, including Open Democracy, Meduza, and The Russian Reader.
    By the way: if you have any trouble with the accent or wording in the live interview, you can always read along with the transcription in our full transcript, which is lightly edited for easier understanding.
    The episode concludes with the piece War in Ukraine: Ten Lessons From Syria, written by participants in La Cantine Syrienne, a transnational collective of Syrian refugees based in the suburbs outside of Paris, France. For further background on the Syrian Revolution, civil war, the refugee crisis it spawned, and “anti-imperialism,” see our coverage on The Syrian Underground Railroad and Understanding the Kurdish Resistance, and other pieces such as “Safe,” by the Edge of Syria, “The Anti-Imperialism of Idiots” by Leila Al Shami, etc.
    The music we included in this episode includes the spine-tingling singing of a group of young Russian protestors detained in a police van on their way to jail and an old Soviet song sung during the USSR’s doomed Afghan war, “Just don’t tell mom I’m in Afghanistan” – also see a follow-up to the same song from the next Russian regime’s bloody imperial folly, “Just don’t tell mom I’m in Chechnya”.
    The Ex-Worker is a proud member of the Channel Zero Network, an Englis

    • 1 hr 45 min
    #82: Invasion and Resistance in Ukraine, Part II

    #82: Invasion and Resistance in Ukraine, Part II

    As the Russian invasion of Ukraine proceeds, anarchists on both sides of the border are mobilizing to resist. This episode collects a variety of statements and accounts from anti-authoritarians explaining their opposition to Putin's bloodthirsty imperialism while rejecting nationalism and the state. We share messages from the newly formed anarchist Committee of Resistance in Kyiv, as well as from Russian anarchist groups including Food Not Bombs Moscow, Anarchist Fighter, and St. Petersburg's Anarchist Black Cross. These testimonies refute Russian state and authoritarian leftist propaganda about the invasion and emphasize the possibilities for resistance and solidarity. An anarchist refugee attempting to escape the war zone gives a detailed report on daily life in the midst of war, martial law, the political composition of the armed forces, the grassroots mobilization of society for defense and mutual aid, the situation at the border, and ways to show support. Stay tuned for more coverage of anarchist analysis and resistance from the front lines of imperial war. {March 4, 2022}  
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    Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} Russia and Ukraine: Grassroots Resistance to Putin’s Invasion {4:05} Moscow Food Not Bombs Statement {4:35} Interview: The Committee of Resistance, Kyiv {6:23} Additional Statement From the Committee of Resistance {12:04} Russian Anarchists on the Invasion of Ukraine: Updates and Analysis {19:30} Anarchist Militant’s Position on Russia’s Attack on Ukraine {20:39} The Dusk before Dawn {26:06} The Anarchist Black Cross of St. Petersburg Statement against the War {34:40} Interview with Anarchist Refugee In Ukraine {36:31} Conclusion {1:06:09} This episode draws on the materials collected in Russia and Ukraine: Grassroots Resistance to Putin’s Invasion and Russian Anarchists on the Invasion of Ukraine: Updates and Analysis.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #81– Invasion and Resistance in Ukraine, Part I

    #81– Invasion and Resistance in Ukraine, Part I

    As Russian tanks encircle Kyiv and hundreds of thousands of refugees flee, our hearts go out to our comrades in Ukraine resisting the Russian invasion—and to the Russian anti-war movement bringing the resistance home. In this episode, we explore the history and background context to the current crisis in Ukraine. A variety of firsthand accounts from the weeks leading up to the invasion discuss differing perspectives on the threat of war, the complexities of anti-fascism, the role of NATO, and possibilities for principled resistance in times of severe threat. We share an excerpt from an interview by Elephant in the Room with a Ukrainian anarchist discussing the political history of Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet empire, Putin's vulnerabilities, and the character of the current Ukrainian regime. A long essay written by group of Ukrainian anarchists maps out the political landscape from the Maidan protests through the present crisis, with special attention to the evolution of the anarchist movement in recent years. And a statement from Russian anarchists on the eve of the invasion highlights the shared commitment of anarchists in the region to resisting Russian imperialism while working towards a broader vision of liberation. {March 2, 2022}  
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    Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} Between Two Fires: Ukrainian Anarchists on the Looming Threat of War {5:18} Interview Excerpt: “Anarchists and War in Ukraine” {18:11} A View From Kyiv {32:18} War and Anarchists: Anti-Authoritarian Perspectives in Ukraine {41:58} The Maidan Protests in Kyiv {43:32} The Role of Anarchists in the Protests of 2014 {47:21} The Beginning of the War: The Annexation of Crimea {50:34} Disinformation {52:12} Armed Conflict in the East of Ukraine {53:38} Supporters of the Unrecognized Republics {57:23} The Rise of the Far Right in Ukraine {59:02} Anarchists’ and Anti-Fascists’ Activity during the War {1:02:39} Pro-Ukrainians {1:03:05} Pro-Russians {1:05:55} Is There a Threat of Full-Scale War with Russia? An Anarchist Position {1:11:28} The Current Situation of Anarchists in Ukraine and New Challenges {1:19:00} Against Annexations and Imperial Aggression: A Statement from Russian Anarchists {1:24:43} Conclusion {1:31:04} We begin the episode with Between Two Fires: Ukrainian Anarchists on the Looming Threat of War. The article includes excerpts from “Why should we support Ukraine?,” by Finnish anarchist Antti Rautiainen, “If Only There Was No War” by anarchists from Belarus, and this communique from Swedish anarchists about their solidarity action with rebels in Kazakhstan.
    We played some short excerpts from an interview with a Ukrainian anarchist originally released by Elephant in the Room, a Dresden-based anarchist audio project. Highly recommended to listen to the whole interview! You can also read an edited transcription later on in the Between Two Fires article.
    For more background on the 2013–14 Maidan protests, see “The Ukrainian Revolution and the Future of Social Movements”, “Ukraine: How Nationalists Took the Lead”, or this account from Lviv, February 19–21, 2014.
    The long essay we share is titled “War and Anarchists: Anti-Authoritarian Perspectives From Ukraine. It references the text by murdered anarchist Sergei Kemsky titled “Do You Hear It, Maidan?”
    We close the episode with the statement Against Annexations and Imperial Aggression: A Statement from Russian Anarchists from Autonomous Action.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    #80 – Ill Winds From Ottawa

    #80 – Ill Winds From Ottawa

    Opponents of vaccine mandates have established protest encampments in Ottawa and elsewhere around Canada, blockading several routes crossing the United States border. Far-right organizers and former police officers have prominent positions in this movement, and police have taken a relatively hands-off approach thus far; it appears likely that the model currently being tested in Canada will appear elsewhere around the world shortly. In this episode, we present an audio version of the article Ill Winds From Ottawa: Thinking Through the Threats and Opportunities as a Far-Right Initiative Gains Momentum, in which our correspondent in Montréal explores the sequence of events that led up to these developments, reviews the agendas of the various forces vying for control, and reflects on what we can do in a situation in which the far right has gained the initiative.
    {February 17, 2022}
     
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    Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} Preface: A Movement for “Freedom”? {1:56} Ottawa is Just the Tip of the Iceberg {4:36} Timeline {8:47} Update: Trudeau Invokes the Emergencies Act {16:45} Why Has the Situation in Ottawa Gone on So Long?{18:23} By the Way, We Probably Shouldn’t Call These People “Truckers” {24:02} Beyond Ottawa: The Movement in the Streets {27:23} Obstacles and Hazards {31:57} Conclusion {52:30} This episode offers an audio version of the CrimethInc. text Ill Winds From Ottawa: Thinking Through the Threats and Opportunities as a Far-Right Initiative Gains Momentum. In lieu of a full transcript, please check out the print article for the text, links, and more information.
    Since the above article was written, an important development has taken place, which we describe in the episode as such:
    As we prepare to release this podcast, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act, temporarily granting the federal government sweeping powers. Among other things, this enables banks to freeze personal and business accounts suspected of being used to further the blockades—and they can freeze them without obtaining a court order. It is easy to imagine how this precedent could pave the way for the US government to freeze bail funds and other accounts serving protesters in the US, as well—including anti-fascists and anarchists.

    This drives home that we are in a three-way contest with both far-right nationalists and centrist state authorities, in which the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. Any power that we permit either of these adversaries to gain will ultimately be used against us, as well. If we legitimize any repressive measures that the Canadian state takes against these protesters, it will only be easier for the authorities to take the same measures against us when we try to change society for the better. (We made this same point about liberals who celebrated the repressive measures, ranging from facial recognition software to crowdsourced social media snitching, used against right-wing participants in the January 6th disorder at the US Capitol.) This is why grassroots resistance to fascism is so important: it is the only way to defend ourselves and our neighbors without contributing to the development of an invasive and unaccountable centralized power.

    • 53 min
    #79 – The *Real* Truth About Today’s Anarchists: The Ex-Worker Responds to the New York Times

    #79 – The *Real* Truth About Today’s Anarchists: The Ex-Worker Responds to the New York Times

    Anarchists and anti-fascists in general, and CrimethInc. in particular, have been the focus of intense hostile government and right-wing attention and censorship efforts in recent weeks. The latest salvo comes from the New York Times, which on June 30th published “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists,” drawing on conspiracy theorists and right-wing talking points to argue that violent anarchists are somehow controlling the ongoing countrywide protests, but don’t actually care about Black lives. The article actually calls out The Ex-Worker Podcast by name! While we’re flattered for the attention—who knew we were such a threat?—the article is both inaccurate and dangerous; more importantly, it touches on critical issues about today’s movements for liberation that we need to clarify. So in this episode, the Ex-Worker lays out the truth about “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists”, refuting the article’s bogus claims one by one, and offering a more accurate perspective on the relationships between anarchists and the ongoing movement to end white supremacy and police violence. We conclude with an audio version of an article we published with Agency in June called This Is Anarchy: Eight Ways the Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd Protests Reflect Anarchist Ideas in Action. This episode challenges the myths and distortions about anarchism offered across the spectrum from Trump to the New York Times to provide insight into what anarchists today are really fighting for.
    {October 5, 2020}
     
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    Table of Contents: Introduction {0:01} The Truth About ‘The Truth About Today’s Anarchists’: The Ex-Worker Responds to the New York Times {6:21} This Is Anarchy: Eight Ways the Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd Protests Reflect Anarchist Ideas in Action {40:52} Conclusion {1:02:15} This episode focuses on our response to the wretched New York Times opinion piece “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists” by Farah Stockman. We published our rebuttal the following day as “The Truth About ‘The Truth About Today’s Anarchists’: The Ex-Worker Responds to the New York Times.” Our colleagues at It’s Going Down have published a lengthy thread going into many of the specific problems with amateur conspiracy theorist Jeremy Lee Quinn’s reporting (which is Stockman’s main source) in detail, if you want to dig deeper. For a laugh, you can also check out the appallingly bad Network Contagion Research Institute report “NETWORK-ENABLED ANARCHY: How Militant Anarcho-Socialist Networks Use Social Media to Instigate Widespread Violence Against Political Opponents and Law Enforcement”—which Stockman also uncritically promotes. To offer a different perspective on anarchist participation in the Black Lives Matter rebellions of the past months, we’ve also included an audio version of a piece co-published with Agency back in June, “This Is Anarchy: Eight Ways the Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd Protests Reflect Anarchist Ideas in Action.” To read our own account of how the uprising spread and why the authorities themselves were chiefly responsible for the widespread adoption of confrontational tactics, check out the CrimethInc. article “Snapshots from the Uprising.” If you want to know more about what anarchists believe and desire, start with To Change Everything: An Anarchist Appeal. On Facebook’s decision to ban and censor anarchist pages, including CrimethInc.’s, check out our response, “On Facebook Banning Pages Associated with Anarchism, and the Digital Censorshop to Come.” Also check out the open letter of support signed by hundreds of publuishers, journalists, educators, and activists to show solidarity. Also check out media projects like It’s Going Down, who’ve also been under heavy fire from the right wing, as well as The Final Straw, Rebel Steps, and all the other excellent podcasts from the Channel Zero Ne

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
242 Ratings

242 Ratings

Lori7607 ,

Rise up!

You can sit in a puddle of your own urine and complain or you can ride up and do something about it.

Durruti Lives! ,

Possibly my favorite

When it comes to politics, this is definitely my favorite podcast. These folks are able to speak about anarchism in such a way that even my neoliberal dad can tolerate an episode once in a while 🏴

jamespina ,

Yesss!!

Great podcast. Good info for humans.

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