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Edited by Notes from Nowhere, 'We Are Everywhere: the Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism'

Verso, 2003; ISBN 1 85984 447 2; £10.99; 530pp

“...The rebels search each other out. They walk toward one another. They find each other and together break other fences.” Part of the scene-setting statement from the latest volume to claim space on the shelf marked “new world order, resistance to”. Have we been here before? And yet... sometimes a book, a film, an action, grouping or artefact feels like a step shift, feels like it embodies a significant new dimension of thought or relevance.

With this 500 page “brick” of a book, designed, as the ubiquitous Luther Blissett declares, “to shatter cynicism”, there's a real intimation of a fresh democracy and genuinely open engagement at work in conveying the struggles of the decade old anti-capitalist movement.

Produced wage-free and anticopyright by an international editorial team directly involved in popular mobilisations across the planet, it's at once a chronology of the global uprising since the 1 January 1994 emergence of the Zapatistas, a manual towards direct action, a mass memoir and an inspirational weave; actively inspiring, if the original root meaning of the word is considered.

It breathes new life into us. It tells us, drenched and cold and blockading bases and ministries, placarding power or laying our sometimes few bodies down on the universal street, that we are not alone. As transparently as any editorial process can, it collages innumerable stories of actions large and small, stepping way off the crudely delineated “riot” map constantly unrolled by the mainstream media.

Chaptered more or less chronologically, it examines networks, autonomy, carnival, clandestinity, power and, crucially, walking, to shape a manifesto that centres imagination, the body and lived realities in the dreamed realisation of a future that it would actually be worth existing in. Brief examination of the closing bibliographies reveals the breadth of the influences. And perhaps most importantly, the pivotally significant models of participation come from “the South”, from Argentina, Mexico and similar.

Utopian in title and authorship, it posits a multifarious response to hydra-headed oppressions. Embedding the mutually sustaining relationship of ideas to action, it's an anthology that, as much as any collection can that's bound between covers, encourages its continuous writing beyond the page and into the world.