February 9, 2023
Perspectives on Anarchist Theory
As the new issue of Perspectives is at the press, we are deeply saddened to learn that long-time anarchist activist, dear friend, and co-founder of Agency: An Anarchist PR Project, among so many other incredible projects, has died. This is from Jen Angel’s Team:
“It’s with a heavy heart that we share that Oakland baker, small business owner, social justice activist, and community member Jen Angel has been medically declared to have lost all brain function and will not regain consciousness. Her official time of death was 5:48pm (PT).
Friends and family of Jen hope that the story of this last chapter of her brilliant, full, dynamic life is one focused on her commitment to community, on the care bestowed upon her and her family by the people who loved her, and on the generous and courageous role of countless health care workers and public servants who fought to preserve her life. We know Jen would not want to continue the cycle of harm by bringing state-sanctioned violence to those involved in her death or to other members of Oakland’s rich community.
As a long-time social movement activist and anarchist, Jen did not believe in state violence, carceral punishment, or incarceration as an effective or just solution to social violence and inequity. The outpouring of support and care for Jen, her family and friends, and the values she held dear is a resounding demonstration of the response to harm that Jen believed in: community members relying on one another, leading with love, centering the needs of the most vulnerable, and not resorting to vengeance and inflicting more harm.
Jen believed in a world where everyone has the ability to live a dignified and joyful life and worked toward an ecologically sustainable and deeply participatory society in which all people have access to the things they need, decisions are made by those most directly affected by them, and all people are free and equal.
Angel Cakes, the popular community-based bakery that Jen founded in 2008, will remain open, supported by Jen’s estate, and staffed by the talented team that Jen built. Community members who wish to support the bakery can especially help through buying gift certificates and committing to long-term patronage.
Per Jen’s wishes, her organs will be donated, and her committed medical team has informed the family that those organs will serve to lengthen and improve the lives of up to seventy people.
If the Oakland Police Department does make an arrest in this case, the family is committed to pursuing all available alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as restorative justice. Jen’s family and close friends ask that the media respect this request and carry forward the story of her life with celebration and clarity about the world she aimed to build. Jen’s family and friends ask that stories referencing Jen’s life do not use her legacy of care and community to further inflame narratives of fear, hatred, and vengeance, nor to advance putting public resources into policing, incarceration, or other state violence that perpetuates the cycles of violence that resulted in this tragedy.
We wish for Jen’s legacy to be one of deep commitment to safety and dignity for everyone.
Offers of support to Jen’s Family & Community: here.
— with Jen Angel, always.