Archive for March 3rd, 2015

March 3, 2015

Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers

hate parade

The Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers (often referred to as simply ‘The Motherfuckers,’ or UAW/MF) was an anarchist affinity group based in New York City. This ‘street gang with analysis’ was famous for its Lower East Side direct action and is said to have inspired members of the Weather Underground (a radical leftist group), as well as counterculture leader Abbie Hoffman’s Yippies.

The Motherfuckers grew out of a Dada-influenced art group called Black Mask with some additional people involved with the anti-Vietnam War ‘Angry Arts’ week, held in January 1967. Formed in 1966 by painter Ben Morea and the poet Dan Georgakas, Black Mask produced a broadside of the same name and declared that revolutionary art should be ‘an integral part of life, as in primitive society, and not an appendage to wealth.’ In May 1968, Black Mask changed its name and went underground. Their new name, ‘Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers,’ came from a poem by Amiri Baraka. Abbie Hoffman characterized them as ‘the middle-class nightmare… an anti-media media phenomenon simply because their name could not be printed.’

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