The North American Anarchist is deeply saddened by the loss of esteemed activist, writer, scholar, and comrade Joel Olson, who passed away while on sabbatical in Europe.
Joel was Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he specialized in political theory. A noted expert on racial politics and extremist ideologies, he was the author of The Abolition of White Democracy (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) as well as numerous articles and reviews. Joel was working on a second book, entitled American Zealot: Fanaticism and Democracy in the United States, at the time of his death.
During the 1990s Joel was involved with Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation and later went on to form Bring the Ruckus! He was a well-known figure in the anti-racist and pro-immigrant movements in Arizona, working with grassroots groups including Copwatch and the Repeal Coalition.
As our friends at New Clear Vision note, "Joel was a powerful voice in radical politics, a dedicated father, and someone who worked tirelessly through his words and deeds to raise critical consciousness and promote justice in the world. He will be missed by all of us here at NCV, and we ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts." We, Joel's comrades in the NAASN, could not agree more. Let us give flowers to this fallen rebel, always looking ahead to the new dawn.