Academic journal article Anarchist Studies

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

Academic journal article Anarchist Studies

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

Article excerpt

Scott Crow, Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2014; 223pp; ISBN 9781604860771.

In August 2005 Mother Nature unleashed the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina. Massive damage was wreaked as Katrina moved inland over New Orleans but the government's total neglect of the people there was the true devastation. Parts of New Orleans were below sea level and the levees that the Army Corps of Engineers built could not withstand the force of 100mph+ winds. The levees broke, Mother Nature took over, and afterwards, the government abandoned its people. Not just any of its people, but mostly the poor and the working class of the Lower 9th Ward.

Scott Crow's journey begins in this devastated and neglected community 'with a question of life and death' concerning his friend Robert H. King. King (a.k.a. Robert King Wilkerson) is a former Black Panther Party member who was unjustly sentenced to twenty-nine years in Louisiana's Angola Prison and it was Crow's ties to King that drew him into the recovery and aid efforts in the Lower 9th Ward in the aftermath of Katrina. What he found in New Orleans was that the government was doing little to help, and even less to account for its own neglect and inability to help. This void was filled, among others, by the Common Ground Collective.

The Common Ground Collective's story is of a political activist and social organiser bringing help to those in need while government agencies fight over who will be in charge and people starve because aid is stalled. …

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