These Burning Streets, a poetry book by and fundraiser for Kelly Rose Pflug-Back

I’ve been working for awhile with the now-imprisoned anti-g20 activist Kelly Rose Pflug-Back to put out her first book of poetry, These Burning Streets. She got sentenced yesterday to fifteen months for her part in protesting the g20 in Toronto a few years ago.

Kelly is an inspiration to me, for any number of reasons. Try this: if you google her name, the top results are a mixed bag of published poetry (and people lauding her poetry) and mainstream news reports about how she’s an evil terrorist black bloc rioter. And, of course, mixed in with those is her blog, which has a good deal of her poetry on it.

Or try this article about how badass she was at her sentencing:

Kelly Pflug-Back calmly smiled at friends after Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon denounced her leadership role, albeit limited, in the June 26, 2010, rampage.

“Ms Pflug-Back appears nonchalant and has not acknowledged that her actions were not an appropriate way to get her message across,” McMahon said.

He noted that during previous sentencing sessions the 23-year-old social activist from Guelph has appeared indifferent, yawning and playing with her hair.

and what leadership role was that?

The Wilfrid Laurier University student wielded a pole to smash windows and directed fellow rioters to avoid smaller stores.

I can never be happy when someone I know is led away to spend almost a year of their life locked in a cage, but I’m happy to know that she’s loved and supported by so many.

What we’ve done is put out her book as a fundraiser for her. Combustion Books is distributing These Burning Streets for $8, with all but postage and printing costs going directly to Kelly. AK Press has agreed to carry the book under the same fundraising terms as well. The book is out at the printer at the moment, but we’ll send out any copies that get ordered as soon as we get it back from the printer.

For more on Kelly’s story, check out this profane existence interview with her.

2 thoughts on “These Burning Streets, a poetry book by and fundraiser for Kelly Rose Pflug-Back”

  1. It sucks that they arrested your friend, but may I ask what the ostensible purpose of breaking things is? I don’t mean to be entirely antagonistic (and I’m NOT saying it’s immoral due to property rights blah de blah), but I just don’t see how it achieves anything.

    1. I’m not specifically interested in the black bloc tactic personally, but I understand why people are drawn to it. There are any number of reasons people use it, any number of things that people might be trying to accomplish. I REALLY can’t speak for her or anyone else and can only basically synthesize some of what I’ve read. A big part of it is about “breaking the spell,” about disrupting the flows of capital and control, about showing that these forces of social control are, in some ways, as fragile as glass. There’s also, frankly but at the risk of sounding cute, an advantage in being ungovernable when you’re trying to not be governed (in this case by the g20).

      Does it work? I don’t know. I also don’t know what else works. But I appreciate when people try to stop global governance.

Leave a Reply