On Our Own Authority! Publishing (OooA!) is an autonomous research press based in Atlanta, Georgia. Specializing in anarchist and radical literature, we publish intellectual history, social movement history, and studies of global political thought, emphasizing themes of anti-colonialism, direct democracy, and workers’ self-management.
About the Authors
Lenni Brenner was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. He became an atheist at 10, and a left political activist at 15. His involvement with the Black civil rights movement began on his first day in the organized left, when he met James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality, later the organizer of the “freedom rides” of the early 60s. He was active in the mid 50s with Bayard Rustin, later the organizer of Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I had a dream” March on Washington.
He was arrested 3 times during civil rights sit-ins in the San Francisco Bay Area. He spent 39 months in prison when a court revoked his probation for marijuana possession, because of his activities during the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech Movement at the University of California. Immediately on imprisonment, he spent 4 days in intense discussion with Huey Newton, later the founder of the Black Panther Party, who he encountered in the court holding tank. Subsequently, upon his release in 1968, he worked with Kathy Cleaver and other Panthers.
Brenner was an antiwar activist from the 1st days of the Vietnam war, speaking frequently at rallies in the Bay Area. In 1963 he organized the Committee for Narcotic Reform in Berkeley. In 1968 he co-founded the National Association for Irish Justice, the American affiliate of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.
He worked with Kwame Ture (AKA Stokely Carmichael), the legendary “Black Power” leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in the Committee against Zionism and Racism, from 1985 until Ture’s death in 1998.
Brenner is the author of four books: Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, Jews in America Today, and The Lesser Evil: A study of the Democratic Party. In 2002 he edited 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis, which contains complete translations of many of the documents quoted in Zionism in the Age of the Dictators and The Iron Wall. In 2004 he edited Jefferson & Madison On Separation of Church and State: Writings on Religion and Secularism. His books have been favorably reviewed in 11 languages by prominent publications, including the London Times, The London Review of Books, Moscow’sIzvestia and the Jerusalem Post.
Brenner has written over 100 articles for many publications, including New York’sAmsterdam News, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, The Atlanta Constitution,CounterPunch, The Jewish Guardian, The Nation, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Middle East International, The Journal of Palestine Studies, The New Statesman of London, Al-Fajr in Jerusalem and Dublin’s United Irishman.
Maurice Brinton was the pseudonym of Chris Pallis (1923-2005), a prominent intellectual figure affiliated with Solidarity, a British libertarian socialist group for whom he wrote or translated numerous pamphlets from the 1960s through the 1980s.
His most impressive and influential pamphlet,The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control 1917-1921: The State and Counter-Revolution, offers its reader a critical understanding of Revolutionary Russia from the year 1917 to 1921. Brinton’s writings expose the Leninist counter-revolution, and how its notions of state-subordinate “workers’ control” violently conflicted with and ultimately suppressed the Russian workers’ own revolutionary aspirations towards self-management.
On Our Own Authority! has recently released a new edition of Maurice Brinton’s The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control. Our staff would like to thank Jeanne Pallis and David Goodway for helping make this republication of Brinton’s work possible.
Joseph Edwards (born George Myers, also known as Fundi, the “Caribbean Situationist,” and Montgomery Stone) was a Jamaican refrigeration mechanic and labor organizer from West Kingston. Edwards led a wildcat strike and workers’ council at Western Meat Packers in Westmoreland, and was a major organizer of the Unemployed Workers Council and Independent Trade Union Advisory Council.
A profound critic of electoral party politics and trade union hierarchy, Edwards was among the most proletarian theorists of his generation. His pamphlets, written in the 1970s and ’80s, survey attempts to organize workers in banana and sugar cane fields, bauxite mines, clerical offices, and industrial factories. His unique writing is animated by a Rastafarian-influenced philosophy of history and direct democratic politics that emphasize the role of workers’ and village councils in Caribbean class struggle. The first published collection of writings by Joseph Edwards, Workers Self-Management in the Caribbean is now available from our ONLINE BOOKSTORE.
Nani Ferreira-Mathews is a freelance journalist and independent musician from Vidalia, Georgia, currently living in New York City. In 2011, she was an activist during the most radical days of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
She is the author of Birthright? A Radical Memoir (forthcoming from OooA! Publishing), a critical study and personal account documenting themes of racism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, and militarism that she experienced as a participant in the popular Jewish-only “birthright” trips to Israel/Palestine.
As an independent scholar, Ferreira-Mathews has an interest in communication and decision-making practices within communal lifestyles. She has studied squats, communes, and intentional communities in the North America, Europe, South America, and the Middle East.
During the 1970s, Modibo Kadalie was an active member of Detroit’s League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), and other radical political organizations. Kadalie was involved in the movement for the sixth Pan-African Congress as a member of its North American Delegation and the North American Left Revolutionary Pan-African Caucus. In 1972, Kadalie was cited by Kimathi Mohammed in his classic revolutionary pamphlet Organization and Spontaneity as being central to its creation and distribution.
Modibo Kadalie is the author of Internationalism, Pan-Africanism, and the Struggle of Social Classes (One Quest Press, 2000) and has contributed a new introduction to our new edition of Kimathi Mohammed’s Organization and Spontaneity.
Kadalie holds degrees from Morehouse College, Howard University and Atlanta University was an Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Savannah State University. He has recently retired from his teaching position Fayetteville State University.
Eusi Kwayana is a Pan African and independent socialist activist, teacher and writer from Guyana. He has been a colleague, critic, and mentor to Cheddi Jagan, Forbes Burnham, and Walter Rodney, who are often regarded as the triumvirate of major personalities that have shaped Guyana’s political history. His political analysis has anticipated direct democracy and workers self-management as synonymous with the spirit of Black autonomy and multiracialism among the Caribbean New Left.
Kwayana is the author of The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics. A classic of Caribbean radical history, this text leads its reader to reconsider the nature of representative government and electoral politics. Through Kwayana’s detailed engagement with bauxite workers in Guyana during a period of heightened class conflict, Black Power became synonymous with Black workers control, and stood opposed to hierarchies of Black capitalism and state power.
Kwayana is also the author (with Tchaiko Kwayana) of Scars of Bondage: A First Study of the Slave Colonial Experience of Africans in Guyana.
Kimathi Mohammed was an intellectual personality affiliated with the political network surrounding the the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW) in 1970s Detroit, and the author of the classic 1974 pamphlet Organization and Spontaneity. This remarkable and concise work plainly asserted that the Black working class must take the lead in the struggle for Black autonomy, and called for a break with Leninist conceptions of party organization and the emerging Black political class.
Our new, updated edition of Organization and Spontaneity includes a later essay by Mohammed titled “Beyond Measure: CLR James’ Influence on the League of Revolutionary Black Workers,” and additional material by Modibo Kadalie and Matthew Quest. We would like to thank Patricia West and Dedan McClinton for helping to make this republication of Mohammed’s work possible.
Matthew Quest is a member of the State Committee of the Georgia Green Party and editor of Lynch Law in Georgia & Other Writings, a new collection of selected pamphlets by Ida B. Wells, for which he also authored an extensive introduction. Matthew is also the editor of Workers’ Self-Management in the Caribbean, a collection of essays and pamphlets by the Jamaican libertarian socialist activist, Joseph Edwards. In 2013, he co-authored Black Liberation and Palestine Solidarity with Lenni Brenner.
Dr. Quest received his PhD in American Civilization from Brown University and has taught American History, World History, Caribbean History and Africana Studies most recently at Georgia State University.
David Weir received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University. He is the author of Decadence and the Making of Modernism (University of Massachusetts Press, 1995), James Joyce and the Art of Mediation (University of Michigan Press, 1996), Anarchy and Culture: The Aesthetic Politics of Modernism (University of Massachusetts Press, 1997), Brahma in the West: William Blake and the Oriental Renaissance (State University of New York Press, 2003), Decadent Culture in the United States: Art and Literature against the American Grain, 1890-1926, and American Orient: Imagining the East from the Colonial Era through the Twentieth Century (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011).
Dr. Weir is also the author of Jean Vigo and the Anarchist Eye (On Our Own Authority!, 2015), a forthcoming study of the french anarchist filmmaker, Jean Vigo.
Andrew Zonneveld is an independent scholar, writer, and musician from Atlanta, Georgia, where he currently lives with his wife and daughter.
Andrew is the editor of The Commune: Paris, 1871, a collection of classic anarchist and libertarian socialist studies of the Paris Commune. He also co-authored “Radical Politics, Labor Revolt, and the Life of Sen Katayama” (with Robert Sabatino), an extensive introductory essay to Katayama’s classicThe Labor Movement in Japan. He is also the editor of To Remain Silent is Impossible: Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman in Russia, a collection of Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman’s critical reflections on their exile in Lenin’s Russia.
Andrew’s current resaerch interests include the history of the Japanese anarchist movement in the early 20th century, and anarchist critiques of science and education.