Nov. 6, 2018
From Anarchist. TransFeminist. Amazon. by Jennifer Amelia Rose (author's profile)


Last Act of the Circus Animals
by Travis Washington and Sean Swain
LBC Books, Berkeley, CA, 2017

This book uses the analogy of circus animals as prisoners to demonstrate the ugly realities of class warfare and racial oppression.

Last Act of the Circus Animals was written by revolutionary political prisoners. Travis Washington and Sean Swain, as a three-part zine distributed by So. Chicago ABC, with introductions by Anthony Rayson, imprisoned anarchist Jeremy Hammond, and former political prisoner Comrade Migs.

As the story goes in Last Act, the panther being representative of the politically conscious prisoner educates and persuades the other circus animals of their need to overthrow the ringmaster and escape captivity back to the world of the free. The ringmaster is representative of the warden, capitalist bosses, or the president.

At the end of the story, in the Writer's Note, the authors give a poignant statement of intent and critical analysis of the political underpinnings of this work. "We wanted the circus animals' liberation struggle to parallel that of prisoners against the deepest state and also that of workers against the oppressive system of global capital."

Last Act, if not for the brutality and profanity, would have the likeness of a children's book and it's just as easy to understand. I would highly recommend it to people of all ages and political persuasions!

—Jennifer Gann


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