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Rome [Italy]: Atennas and phone masts torched (12/02/2018)

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 15:16


On the night of 12 February, in the vicinity of metro/bus station Ponte Mammolo in Rome, antennas and cell masts have been torched.

Against technological domination, let’s sabotage the alienation caused by smartphones, social networks e by everything that produces fictive social interactions and misery of human relations.

Solidarity to all anarchist prisoners locked up in jails.

A greeting to Cello, Greg and Ghespe

Tags: sabotageitalyanti-technologycategory: Actions
Categories: News

Bra$il: Meeting in solidarity, against operation “Érebo” (04/03/2018)

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 15:14


On Sunday (04/03), at 4:00 p.m., there will be a talk in solidarity with the anarchists persecuted in the southern region of the territory dominated by the Brazilian state.

The meeting will take place in the “center of social culture”, in São Paulo downtown.

During our conversation, there will be reading of counter-informatives and exchange of similar ideas.

For this, we prepared a booklet with some of the texts written on this subject. The material is available in Portuguese, Spanish, English and Italian for free distribution.

From reading... to complicity...

Tags: Operation Érebobrazilcategory: International
Categories: News

Revolutionary Organizing: Black Rose Interview with Revolutionary Left Radio

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 19:34

via Black Rose Anarchist Federation / Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra

Revolutionary Left Radio is a top source for discussion of radical left politics and ideas and is unique in hosting guests from a range of political ideologies and organizations that you won’t hear anywhere else. We were humbled to be featured on their most recent episode, “Revolutionary Organizing,” discussing our ideas on revolutionary political organization, relationships to social movements, state power, feminism and more.

The two members of Black Rose Anarchist Federation interviewed are Jen Rogue and Servio. Jen Rogue is based in Austin, Texas and is active around healthcare, feminist and queer social struggles. Her writings on feminism, queer politics and intersectionality can be found here and here. Servio is based in Providence, Rhode Island and is active in student struggles, the Anti-Criminalization Committee of Black Rose as well as the IWW and it’s Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee. He was also one of the editors of the Black Anarchism Reader.

Listen to: Revolutionary Organizing with Revolutionary Left Radio

We also recommend checking out other podcasts featuring members of Black Rose Anarchist Federation / Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra:

Tags: revolutionary left radiopodcastBlack Roseorganizingcategory: Projects
Categories: News

Hamilton, Ontario: Action against Hamilton pig mobiles

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 19:34
Hamilton, bookfair

Posters and stickers have been distributed for an upcoming anarchist bookfair in Hamilton on March 3 and 4 2018.

Why not have the pigs advertise the event for us!

Stickers with adhesive were placed on the bumpers of pig mobiles.

Tags: hamiltonbookfaircategory: Actions
Categories: News

Athens, Greece: Anarchists Trash Stores on Ermou Street, 5th Most Expensive Shopping District in Europe, In Solidarity with Konstantinos Yiagtzoglou

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 16:25

via insurrection news - see more images there

28.02.18: We attacked last night in the heart of the metropolis, just a few meters away from units of the DIAS (Hellenic Police) and the MAT (Riot Police) squad, breaking the windows of various stores without being detected. This action is part of the general wave of solidarity that has broken out for our imprisoned comrade, K. Yiagtzoglou who is on hunger and thirst strike. We will destroy the city if they continue to delay their response to his fair request for a transfer to Korydallos Prison.



Tags: vandalismanarchist solidarityKonstantinos GiagtozglouGreececategory: Actions
Categories: News

Anarchy Radio 02-27-2018

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 05:40


Cliff co-hosts. FRR's send-up of Anarchy Radio. "What's Up With Derrick Jensen?"
Hunter-gatherer story-telling. 32* at the North Pole - 50 degrees above normal.
"Tech Eyes the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City." Alexa everywhere, action briefs,
crypto-currencies NOT de-centralized.

Tags: CliffjzKarlpodcastanarchy radiocategory: Projects
Categories: News

An Anarchist Explains How Hackers Could Cause Global Chaos

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 01:24

From all tech considered: NPR

Artists and criminals are often the first to push the boundaries of technology. Barrett Brown is a criminal who has actually helped inspire art — the TV show Mr. Robot. Its protagonist is a hacktivist — a hacker who breaks into computer systems to promote a cause.

Brown was connected to Anonymous, a group that hacked a private security firm to reveal secrets. He is now out and living in a halfway house in Dallas.

He had spent years in a prison cell thinking about what he might do when he got out. And he says he is ready to change, so next time he gets involved in hacking a corporation he is able to inflict maximum damage.

"Certainly, I haven't gotten any less militant in the course of having these things done to me," Brown says.

Since most hacktivists operate in the shadows, Brown offers the best look at these cyber-revolutionaries and their motivations.

The 36-year-old Brown was born in Dallas. His father was a wealthy real estate investor, until he was investigated by the FBI for fraud. Brown's father was never charged, but the family lost all its money and his parents divorced.

"It was something that I'm sure instilled in me the idea that there was a degree of arbitrary power out there that could come down at any time and disrupt your life, as it did to me when I was a child," Brown says.

He hates arbitrary power and always has. He is an anarchist who believes the U.S. government is fundamentally corrupt. And he says most Americans are too complacent to do anything about it.

"That's what ... in part brings me to contempt for the American citizenry," he says. "Obviously, I have no respect for the laws, for the government or for the voters."

Instead, he says, his own code of values drives him.

He became a radical intellectual — more interested in spreading revolutionary ideas than in protesting in the streets. But in 2006, Brown saw a potential outlet for his anarchist dreams — the hacktivist group Anonymous. It was leaderless, crowdsourced and militant.

Anonymous managed to organize a massive attack on Scientology, even taking down its website. Brown started covering Anonymous as a journalist but soon became deeply involved.

"I saw this as the very first ripples in something that would grow to be one of the great dynamics of the 21st century, that we would see more of this emergence [of] online warfare essentially against institutions including nation-states," he says.

For many years, Brown was a sort of unofficial spokesman for Anonymous, appearing in interviews dressed in a beige corduroy or navy blue jacket and dress shirt, a cigarette dangling from his hand. He looked more like a preppy than a revolutionary.

In 2011, the group began targeting companies that contracted with the U.S. government. One of them was Stratfor — a global intelligence firm. Emails released after an Anonymous hack included sensitive information on top-secret government missions like the killing of Osama bin Laden. The emails also show Dow Chemical hired Stratfor to spy on activists trying to get money for families who suffered during the Bhopal disaster.

Brown viewed this as a private corporate version of COINTELPRO — the FBI's effort in the 1960s to discredit activists like Martin Luther King Jr.

Brown created Project PM, an online chatroom where participants looked through thousands of hacked emails to find the most incriminating. One email contained thousands of credit card numbers — and stealing credit cards is a crime.

In September 2012, Brown was at home talking online with members of Project PM. "I heard a rustling at my door and I walked over to the door. I was holding a beer in my hand," he says. "[I] thought it was another friend of mine."

But when he opened the door there was a SWAT team equipped with shields and helmets. Brown says they were yelling, "Put your hands up buddy." Brown says they had him on the floor and put a boot on his back. The audio of the arrest was recorded by someone in the Project PM chatroom.

Brown faced up to 100 years in prison. His mother was charged with hiding his laptops.

Brown admits he went a bit off the rails. He posted a video on YouTube attacking an FBI agent.

"I was a former heroin addict," Brown says. "I was getting off Suboxone at the time, which is a synthetic opiate. And I was sort of suddenly feeling emotions again that have been kind of bottled, kept down a few months. I was very upset about my mother being threatened with indictment."

Still, Brown was a cause célèbre among certain activists and journalists. Many felt he was being put away for simply looking through hacked emails — something any journalist would do.

Brown eventually pleaded guilty to threatening a federal officer and to two other charges. The government imprisoned other members of Anonymous. The group kind of faded away, but its tactics did not.

During the 2016 election, Russian state-supported hackers used some of the same tools as Anonymous — hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee and posting them on WikiLeaks to embarrass Hillary Clinton.

I wondered, is there really any difference between a foreign agent trying to undermine our democracy and hacktivists like Anonymous? Is Brown a hero or a villain?

I turned to an unlikely expert to help me figure that out — Sam Esmail, the creator of the TV show Mr. Robot. "Their spirit is in activism," Esmail says. "Their spirit is in exposing these frauds and abuses by people in power. And that's just something on a human level I respect."

But Mr. Robot is hardly a glowing portrait of hacktivists. Its hero, Elliot, is a drug addict who can't access his own emotions. Sound familiar? Elliot leads a group called fsociety that takes down the world's largest corporation — erasing everyone's debt. Chaos erupts.

Esmail says he is looking at an age-old dilemma. "Do we commit a criminal act for something that we feel is just, even though the consequences could be great?" he says. "That's such a kind of loaded, huge, but very relevant question today."

Brown doesn't seem interested in examining the moral ambiguity of hacktivist crimes. But he says he is learning from past mistakes. Ultimately, Brown feels that Anonymous was disorganized and lacked leadership.

So he is designing a software program called Pursuance, which he says will take hacktivism into the future. It will be fully encrypted, anyone could use it to sort through a trove of hacked documents, and it could even be used to recruit a team of hackers.

Brown says when people tweet and post their opinions on social media it's just "slactivism." "The next great act of hacktivism, if it really is going to be great, it has to be an act of reaffirming the idea of civic duty," he says. He says he wants to provide a mechanism for people who do feel that sense of civic duty to really have impact.

Brown is ready to be a martyr for the cause if he has to be. He would even go back to prison.

"I want to be in a position to defeat my powerful adversaries in public," he says, "where everyone could admire the pluck in which I did it."

Brown is casting himself in a starring role in the new world. And in his mind Mr. Robot is no fantasy. It's what the future really looks like.

Tags: hack the planetprisonanonymoustechnologypodcastcategory: Other
Categories: News

Greece: Update on the Hunger & Thirst Strike of Anarchist Comrade K. Yiagtzoglou & Latest Solidarity Actions

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 16:25

via insurrection news

Received on 27.02.18:

Comrade Konstantinos Giagtzoglou is now on hunger strike for 5 days and on thirst strike for 2 days. Today he was taken to the prison infirmary after feeling heavily illdisposed. He now weighs 55 kg (he originally weighed 61 kg). Despite their promises, there is no news today (Monday) from the Justice Department regarding his demand to be permanently transferred to Korydallos prison.

As far as solidarity actions are concerned, a few dozen anarchists have occupied the central building of the National University of Athens which is located right in the middle of the city.

There have also been a few more attacks in the name of Dinos:

  • A group of anarchists attacked the outside area of Volos prison with Molotov cocktails on 25/02/2018
  • A group of anarchists attacked some riot police squads that were stationed around Exarcheia neighborhood in Athens with Molotov cocktails on 25/02/2018
  • A group of anarchists attacked banks and corporate offices in the central street of Patras on 26/02/2018
  • A FAI cell called “Collaboration of Unyielding Anarchists -FAI/IRF” claimed responsibility for 5 incendiary attacks against a known fascist’s cars, the offices of an extreme right wing TV station, a diplomatic vehicle and the offices of a fashion design firm that belongs to the wife of the leader of the “New Democracy” political party (it’s the largest right-wing party in Greece and also the leading opposition in the parliament nowdays)
Tags: Konstantinos GiagtozglouGreeceanarchist prisoneranarchist solidaritycategory: International
Categories: News

Land and Liberty: A Review of Anarchism in Latin America

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 16:07

by Sasha Berkman, via Black Rose Anarchist Federation / Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra

Review of “Anarchism in Latin America” by Ángel Cappelletti. Translation by Gabriel Palmer-Fernández with introduction by Romina Akemi and Javier Sethness-Castro. AK Press, 2018.

The translation of Ángel Cappelletti’s expansive Anarchism in Latin America, itself a small preface for an even more expansive anthology of Latin American Anarchist texts, into English is a welcome crash-course into a virtually unknown past (at least north of the Rio Grande). As Cappelletti notes in the preface, the history of Anarchism in Latin America has been largely downplayed and obscured by professional historians (liberal, revisionist, and Marxist) for perhaps obvious reasons. And as Romina Akemi and Javier Sethness-Castro remark in their thoughtful introduction to this translation: “[t]he publishing [of Anarchism in Latin America]…feeds a growing hunger by Latinx anarchists who want to read more about their history, and for gringo anarchists to become further acquainted with a history to which they are historically bound.” The book at times reads like a breathless series of heroic strikes and near revolutionary climaxes, at other times like a bibliographic list of revolutionary figures, books, poems, newspapers, and plays. The book lands short of its mark in a few significant regards, but it accomplishes a great deal in its ambitious endeavor.

Compelling and a breakneck pace

Anarchism in Latin America is at its most compelling when it recounts, at breakneck pace, the lives of the revolutionaries who managed to fit what seems like several lifetimes of work into one. Towering figures such as the Spanish-born anarchist Diego Abad de Santillan who moved to Argentina at a young age loom large across several decades and numerous countries. A participant and chronicler of the Latin American anarchist movements, he also edited La Protesta the most influential anarchist newspaper in Argentina, was a militant in the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA), helped found the Asociación Internacional de los Trabajadores, and was one of the primary economic theoreticians of revolutionary Spain. Many of his works are yet untranslated into English, including a documentary detailing the rise and fall of revolutionary Catalonia from the perspective of its participants.

The book makes anarchisms’ immense influence throughout Latin America evident, he weaves his way from the Southern Cone north to the Rio Grande, country by country laying out the general structure of the movement. From Argentina, where the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA) led the workers to expel the ruling class in a fierce general strike that nearly turned insurrectionary and was subsequently bloodily repressed in what has come to be known as Tragic Week. To Mexico, where the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM) led by figures such as Ricardo Flores Magón and Práxedis Guerrero helped topple the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, fought for libertarian communism, and even gave the Zapatista movement it’s slogan “Tierra y Libertad!”. Not to mention the many combative workers federations in Cuba, Brazil, and others. Even in the countries that did not have fully realized anarchist movements such as Bolivia, many dedicated anarchists organized in local unions, ran newspapers advocating for libertarian communism, and faced repression as a result.

The “Why?” of Anarchism in Latin America

Cappelletti largely attributes the growth of Anarchism in Latin America to the influence of the large immigrant populations from Europe. As in the United States, Latin America experienced large waves of European immigration throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. To give just one indication of the extent of immigration, according to Cappelletti in the early 20th century nearly half of the economically active population in Argentina was foreign born. These immigrants were primarily from Spain and Italy, two of the countries most influenced by the Anarchism of Bakunin and Proudhon. While certainly important, the texts reliance on the thesis of European influences in Latin America is one of its primary weakness. As Akemi and Sethness-Castro in their introduction so acutely diagnose, “…[Cappelletti] begins his historical arch with Spanish, Italians, and Greek proselytizers of the faith as active subjects while indigenous and mestizo people are described as the object’s who consume the faith.”

It is a strange oversight, that a book so dedicated to retrieving a lost history would not grapple in a more nuanced way with the question: why was anarchism was so successful in so many Latin American countries?

The important question of, “Why?,” is left unexplored in several significant ways. Cappelletti doesn’t tend to highlight the ties of the anarchist movement to the indigenous communities (ideologically or materially). To his credit he does, though almost in passing, suggest that there were commonalities and intentional efforts by anarchists to make explicit connections to indigenous systems of communal agrarianism (such as the Andean ayllu and the Aztec calpulli social systems). One of the more interesting episodes noted in the book was the short-lived Peruvian Federacion Regional Obrera Indios which according to Cappelletti was, “…immediately and violently repressed by the government, which declared it a special danger.” The nature of this “special danger” is left for the readers speculation, but can almost certainly be attributed to the threat such a multiracial, anti-colonial challenge might pose. Additionally, Cappelletti notes that the anarchist movement was derided by the Leninists for its strong overlap with indigenous forms of organization, with the typical racist derision applied to indigenous thought by more crude Marxists (“romantics”, “idealists”, “utopian”, etc). Its curious then that Cappelletti shys away from highlighting that connection and the potential strength of the anarchists to appeal to indigenous modes of organization and thinking. This connection may have exposed a bit more clearly the unique character of the anarchist movement in Latin America, if not at least have vindicated the anarchist position morally.

The question of anarchist women is also noticeably overlooked. Again, the introduction smartly remarks that while the book notes some of the women leaders in the movement it, “…nevertheless overlooks the contributions by women in the development of Latin American anarchism.” A serious history of revolutionary movements, in order to avoid simplifications and romanticization, should contend both with the contributions made by women to the movements growth and the limitations of the movement in it’s reproduction of patriarchal and misogynistic antagonisms (subordinating women and non-men to gendered roles, etc).

Remains lucid and groundbreaking

Nonetheless, Anarchism in Latin America lucidly details numerous successful movements and gives an amazing cross-section of the “resistance communities” which built robust and in some respects prefigurative proletarian and peasant social organs. In Brazil for instance, unions and mutual aid societies created: a Universidad Popular in the city of Santos offering hundreds of courses, a workers’ commission to aid drought victims, workers’ lecture halls featuring libertarian writers and speakers, and more. And of course, the brilliance of the workers’ federations, many of which were founded partially if not primarily by anarchists and had explicit goals of establishing libertarian socialist societies. Organizations such as: the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina, the Federación Obrera Regional del Peru, Federación Obrera Regional Uruguay, the Confederación Nacional Obrera de Cuba, the Partido Liberal Mexicano, and others gave the worker’s movement its bite throughout Latin America. As many organizations grapple with how to build movements independent of election cycles that can supplant and ultimately replace established power understanding these mass organizations may prove instructive.

Despite its limitations, Cappelletti’s work, as the introduction so aptly describes, is “groundbreaking,” if for no other reason than its ambitious scope. Anarchism in Latin America is hopefully just the beginning in a series of reflective studies, translations, and “rediscoveries” of anarchist literature and thought from throughout Latin America. Cappelletti argues that anarchisms eventual decline was largely tied to the rise of dictatorships in the 1930’s (in Argentina, Brazil, and elsewhere) and the rise of Bolshevism throughout Latin America in the wake of the Russian Revolution. A century later, authoritarianism and fascism are experiencing an ominous resurgence and state socialism has largely collapsed. Against this rising tide, decentralised resistance movements have begun to take shape and anarchism has to a certain degree become in vogue. New libertarian and socialist resistance movements may do well to draw lessons and inspiration from the expansive history of Latin American anarchism.

If you are interested in learning more about the book, we recommend checking out an excerpt of the introduction to the book, “Anarchism in Latin America: The Re-Emergence of a Viable Current.” The book is available for purchase from AK Press.

Tags: anarchism in latin americabook reviewcategory: Essays
Categories: News

Review of repressions against anarchists in Russia

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 15:57

via Freedom News

Moscow Anarchist Black Cross released the review of repression of anarchists by Russian state in 2017 and early 2018. During this period, the authorities continue to frame and persecute the Russian comrades. Anarchists are also a subject of repressions in prisons. Here is the extract of recently published list of repression in Russia.

St. Petersburg and Penza

In October 2017, Russian Special Services (FSB) fabricated a large-scale criminal case against anarchists and anti-fascists, whom they declared members of the terrorist organisation called The Network. Russian authorities allege that the accused planned and prepared terrorist acts to be conducted during the coming presidential elections in March 2018 and the World Cup over Summer the same year.

In Penza, Yegor Zorin, Ilya Shakursky, Vasily Kuksov, Dmitry Pchelintsev, Arman Sagynbaev and Andrei Chernov were detained. In St. Petersburg, the cops arrested Victor Filinkov and Igor Shishkin. The relatives of the arestees reported that their loved ones were tortured in order to extract confessions from them. All detainees in this case are in a difficult situation, under the threat of repetition of tortures, and very much need your support – and your solidarity. You can make a donation towards their legal costs here. The arrested will also be delighted to recieve letters of support. Here are their addresses:

St. Petersburg: 191123, St. Petersburg, Shpalernaya St., 25 PKU SIZO-3 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia Shishkin Igor Dmitrievich
Filinkov Victor Sergeevich
In Penza:
PKU SIZO-1, st. Karakozova, 30, Penza, Penza region, Russia, 440039 Shakursky Ilya Alexandrovich Pchelintsev Dmitry Dmitrievich Chernov Andrey Sergeevich Sagynbaev Arman Dauletovich Moscow

Two activists, Elena Gorban and Alexei Kobaidze, are charged with criminal damage of Putin’s United Russia Party offices. They were charged after, at the end of January 2018, unknown activists smashed the window of one of the branches of the United Russia Party in Moscow and threw a fire inside in protest against the upcoming presidential elections.

“No matter who becomes president, their policy is always the oppression and exploitation of a simple working people. We, as anarchists, offer self-government and direct democracy in exchange for presidents and other state institutions. Join our fight! “- the people responsible for that action in their statement.

The police broke into the apartments where Gorban and Kobaidze lived on February 13. After the interrogations, the activists were released on bail, and now they are on the run.

Chelyabinsk: criminal case for anti- FSB banner

In Chelyabinsk, five activists were detained on 19th February 2018 after the action near the local branch of the FSB. Persons unknown hanged a banner saying “FSB – the main terrorist” and threw a smoke bomb over the fence of the FSB property. The action was held in support of the anarchists arrested in Penza.

The activists, who prefer their names to be published, reported that the FSB officers tortured them with a taser gun, demanding that they admit that they hung the banner. They were eventually released on bail, but with a condition preventing them from leaving the country or changing address. You can help them with legal costs by transferring money

Crimea: Yevgeny Karakashev arrested for “justifying terrorism”

In February 2018, Crimean FSB arrested anarchist Yevgeny Karakashev. He is accused of “inciting hatred” and “justification of terrorism”, or in other words, posting a video on Russian social media page VKontakte. Karakashev is currently under arrest.

Eugene has been busy with activism for some time. Prior to his arrest, he took part in a picket near the FSB building in Crimean city Simferopol, and in November 2016, along with like-minded people, planned to hold a picket “against police arbitrariness in the Crimea” near the building of the Ministry of the Interior. This picket was banned by the local authorities.

Administrative Persecution of Anarchists

In Janury 2017, on the anniversary of the political assassination of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, there were memorial events across the country, which the cops tried to break. Anarchists were detained in Moscow, Petersburg, Murmansk and Sevastopol. The police conducted more arrests this year during commemoration actions for Markelov and Baburova.

On 23rd February 2017, dozens of people were detained on left-wing “Desertir Fest” in the southeast of Moscow. The festival was held in protest against army conscription. The police considered such a cause unduly radical. In 2018 the festival did not take place because the cops prevented it in advance.

In Irkutsk in April 2017 searches were conducted with the participation of the SOBR (Russian Special Forces) unit and the Center for Countering Extremism. Nine people were detained. With regard to one of the activists – Dmitry Litvin – under Article 148 of the Criminal Code (insulting religion). The rest were interrogated as witnesses in the case – the detainees themselves were sure that the main reason is different: local anarchists are the most active participants political life of the city and repeatedly intensified social protest.

In November 2017, when Russian antifascist traditionally commemorate Timur Kacharava: a musician and antifascist murdered by neo- nazis, the police broke the celebrations. As result, one person was arrested.

Persecution of Russian Activists Abroad

In April 2017, an anarchist Alexei Polykhovich was deported from Belarus after 12 days of arrest for participating in a rally in Minsk, where people protested against new taxes. During Summer, in the Belarusian city of Baranovichi, the riot police rushed into the lecture of Alexei Sutugi. The subject of the lecture was how to oppose the authorities from prison. Almost all those present were detained until evening. On October 12, a local court the materials confiscated at the lecture were extremist.

In October 2017 in the Belarusian city of Grodno the riot police interrupted a lecture of the philosopher Pyotr Ryabov. Pyotr Ryabov is sympathetic to anarchists associate professor of philosophy at the Moscow State Pedagogical University. He specialises in the history of anarchist thought. After the lecture entitled “Informal movement of Belarus 1991-2010” in Baranovichi, Ryabov was sentenced to 6 days of arrest for “dissemination of extremist materials”. After that, the Citizenship and Migration Department of the local militia deport Ryabov and barred him from entering the country for 10 years. In Moscow, a series of pickets took place against the arrest of Pyotr Ryabov in front of the embassy of Belarus.

“The state overestimated my contribution to revolutionary propaganda: several of my lectures would have produced less hype than their prohibition. I think that the whole thing is in the term “anarchism”. The authorities remember, and the fact that the anarchists were condemned for the arson of the Russian embassy in 2010, and the fact that the anarchists in many cases led a mass protest against the law on parasitism, Ryabov in an interview after his release.

In 2017 anarchists of Belarus were the most active force of protests against the tax on parasitism, which the Belarusian authorities wanted to introduce for the unemployed.

News from prisons

The Crimean anarchist Alexander Kolchenko celebrated his 28th birthday in prison where he is still kept – despite the recent exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia. On his birthday, the anarchists from Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland held actions at airports in solidarity with him.

Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the case of the so-called “Crimean terrorists” – he participated in actions against the entry of Russian troops on the peninsula, in particular, the arson of the local branch of United Russia and the office of the nationalist Russian community of Crimea. In November, the convict was diagnosed with a “weight deficit”. At the same time, the FSIN denied him the opportunity to study in absentia at a Ukrainian university.

You can write a letter to Alexander Kolchenko at the address: 456612, Chelyabinsk Region, Kopeysk, ul. Kemerovskaya, 20, IK-6, detachment 4, Kolchenko Alexander Aleksandrovich.

In Mordovia, anarchist Ilya Romanov continues to serve his sentence for terrorism: a conviction he acquired after he was injured with fireworks in October 2013. Due to the accident, Romanov lost his hand, but still, he was convicted for terrorism and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In April, the ECHR considered one of the complaints of Romanov and awarded him 3,400 Euro in compensation for unreasonably long detention during the investigation. However, it is unclear how the prisoner will be able to receive this money – all his accounts are blocked by the state. The elderly relatives of Romanov, who tried to transfer the money to Ilya via the post office, were detained by the police. In May, Romanov was placed in solitary for four months, and in July, new terrorist case against him was launched

Ilya Romanov is detained in IK-22 Mordovia, the address: 431130, Mordovia, Zubovo-Poliansky district, st. Potma, n. Lepley. Write a letter to him, he will really appreciate it.

Finally free

In May 2017, anarchist Alexei Sutuga was released from prison. In September 2014 Sutuga, known by the nickname Socrates, was convicted to three years and a month after he allegedly took part in a fight in a cafe. The anti-fascist himself did not admit guilt: he says that he tried to break the fight, but he did not beat anyone. The victims in the case were Russian neo-Nazis.

In October 2017, the antifascist from Tomsk, Yegor Alekseev, before he was due to be sentenced for “public calls for extremist activity”, or posting a YouTube video on his social media profile. At the moment he is safe in unknown location. According to Yegor, he decided to hide from the Russian justice system, fearing to get a conviction with a real term of imprisonment.

In early November 2017, historian and anarchist Dmitry Buchenkov escaped from house arrest and is currently in undisclosed European country. His escape was possible because he was not fit with electronic bracelet due to lack of resources. According to investigators, on May 6, 2012, Buchenkov allegedly attacked a policemen.He was charged despite of evidence clearly indicating that on the day of alleged attack he wasn’t even present: he was visiting his family in other town. The complaint of his arrest and politically motivated persecution is directed to the European Court of Human Rights.

This review was prepared by the team of the ABC-Moscow. It is not a complete list of the prosecutions of anarchists by Russian state – at the request of some of the comrades, the review does not mention all the misadventures of post-Soviet anarchists. If you want to help, you can find out how to transfer money for the needs of the ABC Russia .

Source and pic: Avtonom This text is machine translated and edited by Freedom News for clarity. Any issues, do let us know. Tags: anarchists in troubleRussiacategory: International
Categories: News

Introducing the International Anarchist Defense Fund

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 15:47


An introduction to the International Anarchist Defense Fund, a project which aims to offer aid to those in legal trouble who are in need of funds.

Worldwide the forces of repression are cracking down on anarchists. In the summer of 2017 a few activists discussed the idea of creating an International Anarchist Defense Fund (A-Fund) and today it’s finally in action.

Our collective support structure provides support to anarchists around the world who are persecuted or find themselves in a difficult life situation because of their political ideas or activities.

We are very much different from other solidarity structures in the way that we offer direct involvement into distribution of funds instead of usual charity-style solidarity. The Anarchist Defense Fund incorporates the model of solidarity introduced by the International Anti-Fascist Defense Fund.

We think it’s important to organize something like the international A-Fund because it’s a very easy and successful way of informing people about repressions and involving them into direct financial support and solidarity. There are not enough ABC (Anarchist Black Cross) groups in the world where people can ask for support, and most local groups have a lot of pressure, if the context is highly repressive or if the movement is really small and lack funds to support local anarchists. With the Fund, they have easy access to international finance from anywhere.

We are a collective structure because anyone who makes an annual donation of $20U.S./€20/£15 can join the decision-making body that determines if a certain request is supported by the Fund. Decisions are taken online by consensus, or by a simple majority vote if consensus is not possible.

Join us in the struggle for a better world and supporting comrades who strive for the same goals! You can donate to the Fund and become part of the decision-making crew, or even join the collective which is keeping the whole structure going. Donations will help us a lot especially now that we are just starting. We are welcoming any attempts to collect money for the fund in places you live by organizing benefits or other means necessary.

We are also already open for requests for support, though you should not expect the support to be substantial until we are able to build a strong base of donors.

Until all are free!

Find us: Tags: international anarchist defense funddefense fundanarchist solidaritycategory: Projects
Categories: News

Greece: Update on anarchist hunger striker Ntinos Giagtzoglou (25/02/2018)

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 22:38


Today, 24/02, early in the morning, a group of police special forces (EKAM) entered Korydallos prison and abducted comrade Konstantinos Giagtzoglou (who is on hunger strike since 21/02 demanding his permanent transfer in Korydallos prison, located in Athens) in order to transfer him to Larisa prison. Th comrade fought back which resulted in him being injured by the pigs. He wasn’t allowed to take any of his stuff, not even his medicine.
As an immediate response, the rest of the prisoners rose up and captured all prison wings, demanding a meeting with a representative of the Justice Department. They demand the immediate return of Konstantinos in Korydallos prison.
As a result of the massive mobilization in Korydallos, Malandrino and Chania prisons, a representative of the Justice Department has met with representatives of the prisoners in Korydallos prison (the whole prison was occupied by the prisoners for 5 hours) and has promised them that there will be a new council in session in Monday to examine our comrade’s demand. The prisoners ended the occupation warning him that they will take action again if the comrade’s demand is not met.
Ntinos is now in Larisa prison and announced that he will escalate his hunger strike to thirst strike starting from Sunday, 25/02/2018. He has also published a letter about his struggle.
The comrade’s letter:

I am currently in Larissa prison after the police operation carried out by police special forces (EKAM) today at dawn in the first wing of Korydallos prison where I was transferred for court reasons. The cops invaded my wing and my cell, while I was bedridden as a hunger striker, after a faint episode I had in the evening, they carried me out of the prison building while beating me and threw me into the prisoner transfer vehicle. At this point, I resisted as much as I could while demanding my personal items (shoes, clothes, medicines, etc.) which I never got. They did not even allow me to take a bottle of water I had in my cell although they knew that my health was in bad condition due to my hunger strike. As far as I am concerned, I have to say that the authoritarian circles’ attempt to bend my morale will be for nothing...

“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained” William Blake

At first, my capture does not in any way imply my moral and political defeat. Since as long as I stand on my feet and breathe through my lungs, my values ​​and my principles are non-negotiable, because my decision to revolt against power will not be stopped by no dungeon and no “exile”. And this message is a promise to all comrades.

But it seems that my imprisonment alone, as well as my long-standing conviction, which has been announced by the investigating authorities (in the draft indictment it is stated that the acts I am accused οf are punishable by life sentence) are not enough for power. Authority wants, in addition to depriving myself of my physical freedom, to impose an informal “exile” on me. Thus, prosecutor Raikou, instead of ordering my detention in Korydallos prison, where every person that is arrested in Athens is jailed while awaiting trial, “exiled” me to Larisa prison. An “exile” that aims to:

Firstly, to take me away from my friends and families, making their visits practically impossible, forcing my relatives to travel enormous distances crossing half the country burdening them physically and financially just to see me a few minutes behind a glass.

Secondly, to alienate me from the complex and huge dossier of the case that keeps me in jail, as the lawyers are unable to travel to Larissa in order to have have frequent and uninterrupted communication with me. Also, the very nature of the case file (thousands of pages in electronic form, video, etc.) makes it impossible even after so many months to be accessed from Larisa prison as there is no proper equipment.

Thirdly, to make it possible to supervise, control and severely restrict my communication with other imprisoned anarchists and comrades in solidarity with me, in an effort to isolate me.

Lastly, to basically condemn me before the trial in a state of forgetfulness, “forgotten in the warehouses of defective and redundant human goods”...

This practice of authority is not unprecedented. However, its strong implementation by the Greek state was evident during the two years 2010–2011, when the wave of suppression that resulted in the arrest of dozens of anarchist comrades was followed by their dispersion in prisons throughout Greece (Grevena, Malandrinos, Corfu, Trikala, Komotini, Domokos etc.) despite the fact that they were accused of the same deeds. A guide to this practice was the anti-insurrectional repressive method applied by other states abroad, like in Spain for example, where ETA fighters were transferred 700 kilometers away from the Basque country in order for them not to have prison visits or communication witch each other.

The informal “exile” in my case (without it being the only one that has taken place recently) seems to me to be a test of authority in view of the new Penal Code, as it is in some way a precondition for some of its provisions. In particular, authority reopens the subject of special detention conditions for anarchist prisoners. It has not been many months since the anti-criminal policy secretary of the Justice Department, Eftihis Fytrakis, stated that “no anarchist will come back to Korydallos prison”. Now my “exile” in Larissa, tomorrow the special wards for all political and unruly prisoners. Of course, the experimentation we have mentioned above is based on the gauging of our reactions, and especially the anarchists’ reflexes outside the walls and of the movements in solidarity with the struggles of the prisoners.

“It is also no coincidence the fact that my transfer to Korydallos to be tried for another case (an arrest in clashes with the police after an anti-memorandum demonstration on 11 May 2011) took place just 1 day before the trial! This is indicative of the fast track procedures they want to implement in my case, as there are political pressures from the high levels of Dominion and their “justice” works on demand...

The ethical resoluteness of one who abandons and attacks the power structures is a perception, a moment in which one tastes the beauty of one’s comrades and the misery of obligation and submission. “I rebel, therefore I am” is a phrase from Camus that never ceases to charm me as only a reason for life can do. In the face of a world that presents ethics as the space of authority and law, I think that there is no ethical dimension except in revolt, in risk, in the dream. The survival in which we are confined is unjust because it brutalizes and uglifies.” Massimo Passamani

For all these reasons, I REFUSE to passively accept the state of “exile” and the transfers-abductions overnight. I stand fiercely opposed against these machinations with words and actions. Because my deep conviction is that our actions and attitude should not be trapped between the repression-anti-repression dipole but should permeate every aspect of our being, let my actions now be still another blare of attack aiming to open cracks of freedom in the multiple and multiform cells within society — prison. An attack, a product of rebellion, which, if it doesn't happen at present time, will never be a future option...

The fact that I am a prisoner of war in the Hellenic Republic does not mean that I left my dignity at the entrance of the prison and that I bent my knee. On the contrary, in prison, in the courtyard, in the cell, in the prisoner transfer vehicle, I carry on my pure passion for freedom, every single gesture of solidarity, every act of revolutionary complicity that lowers the walls of the prison and a decision to fight for anarchy TO THE END.

That is why, since 21/02/2018, I am on a hunger strike demanding that my transfer to Korydallos prison be formalized and my informal state of “exile” to be stopped. The first transfer request I had deposited since my first week in jail was rejected, confirming the decision of authority to put me in a “political quarantine” in Larisa prison in order to be forgotten here. But the power and will for the continuous anarchist rebellion is capable of overturning every decision of those who think they can rule our lives at no cost. No enemy of freedom is unapproachable and no imprisoned comrade is alone...

I also announce that from tomorrow, Sunday 25/2, I will start a thirst strike as an escalation from the hunger strike I’m already on. I thank from the bottom of my heart the thousands of prisoners in Korydallos prison who have today showed, that when they hurt and offend a single prisoner, they hurt and offend all of us. United we will win. Their strength gives me the strength to reach the end to win the fight I give.








Konstantinos Giagtzoglou

General information about the case:

Anarchist comrade Konstantinos Giagtzoglou was arrested on October 28th 2017, while exiting a hideout rented by him under a false identity and while transferring guns and explosive materials. Ntinos is accused of being a member of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and for sending parcel bombs to various E.U. officials including the former prime minister of Greece, Loukas Papadimos. The cops’ accusations are based on a mixed DNA sample and on the fact that Dinos was visiting a former anarchist prisoner in Korydallos prison in early 2013. The comrade stated that both renting the apartment and transferring the equipment were part of “revolutionary solidarity” and denies all other charges.

The judicial authorities aim to isolate him by assigning him to Larisa prison for his pre-trial detention, in a city 355 kilometers away from Athens where his family, friends and comrades are. Ntinos was transferred in Korydallos prison a few days ago to be tried for an older case (he was arrested in Athens, in 2011 during massive clashes with riot police). While there, he was informed that his official request to remain in Athens (Korydallos prison) until his new trial was denied by the Central Committee for Prison Transfers. As a response, the comrade decided to go on a hunger strike on 21/02, demanding his permanent transfer in Korydallos prison until the time of his trial.

There have been a few attacks here in Greece in solidarity with the comrade during the past few months of his incarceration:

— A group called “Cracks in normality” heavily vandalized two SYRIZA local offices (largest party of the government coalition) and a post office in Athens, on 26/01/2018

— A FAI cell called “FAI-IRF Cell” planted an incendiary device at a post office in Patras (western part of Greece), on 06/01/2018

— A group called “Destroyers of social peace” heavily vandalized a post office and a local branch of Piraeus bank in Athens, on 18/01/2018

— A FAI cell called “Revolutionary Cells of Action” planted an incendiary device at a local branch of Piraeus bank in Athens, on 26/01/2018

— A group called “Anarchist Cell – Destruction of the existent” torched a local electricity station that belonged to the National Company of Telecommunications (OTE) in Thessaloniki, on 14/12/217

There have also been a few small solidarity gatherings and some banners were hanged around the city of Athens along with posters etc.

All info are compiled and translated in English by a group of Ntinos’ comrades

Tags: Konstantinos Giagtozglouanarchist prisonerGreececategory: International
Categories: News

Anarchism in Latin America, (an excerpt)

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 16:52

via AK Press

We’ve just published the incredibly important (if we do say so ourselves) English translation of Anarchism in Latin America, Ángel Cappelletti’s sweeping overview of the movement’s origins and development across the region, from the Caribbean to Mexico and Central and South America. It’s hard to choose an excerpt, given the varied histories Cappelletti shares, but this snippet of a few pages from his Preface should give you a good sense of the book—and of Gabriel Palmer-Fernández’s wonderful translation.


As with other ideas of European origin, anarchist ideology was a product imported to Latin America. But ideas are not simply products. They are also living organisms and, as such, ought to adapt themselves to new environments; in so doing, they evolve in lesser or greater ways. To say that European immigrants brought anarchism to these shores states only the obvious. And to take that as a kind of weakness is plain stupidity. Like the very ideas of nation and of a nationalistic ideology, anarchism comes to us from Europe.

Anarchism is not merely the ideology of the working and peasant masses who, arriving in the new continent, are robbed of their hopes for a better life and witness the exchange of oppression by the ancient monarchies for the no less brutal oppression of the new republican oligarchies. Soon some of the native and also indigenous masses adopt the anarchist view of the world and society, from Mexico to Argentina, and from Francisco Zalacosta in the Chalco to Facón Grande in Patagonia. It is seldom noted that the anarchist doctrine of self-managed collectivism has a close resemblance to the ancient ways of life and organizations of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Peru, ways of life that were practiced prior to the imperialism of not only the Spanish, but also the Aztecs and Inca before them. To the extent that anarchists reached the indigenous, they did not have to inculcate exotic ideologies but only to make conscious the ancient peasant ideologies of the Matagalpan calpulli and the Andean ayllu.[1]

At the same time, a tendency towards liberty and indifference towards all forms of statist structure was already present in the Creole population. When that tendency was not usurped by the ways of the feudal caudillos, it proved fertile soil for a libertarian ideology. Few mention the existence of an anarchist gauchaje in Argentina and Uruguay, or its literary expression in libertarian payadores.[2] But those matters aside—undoubtedly they will be looked upon as having little consequence by academic and Marxist historians—without hesitation we can say that anarchism took root much more deeply and extensively among indigenous workers than did Marxism, perhaps with the exception of Chile.

It is important to note that from a theoretical perspective, even if the Latin American movement did not make fundamental contributions to anarchist thought, it did produce forms of organization and praxis that were unknown in Europe. For example, the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA), a labor union that was majoritarian (becoming almost the only union), never conceded to syndical bureaucracy, and developed an organizational form as different from the Confederación National del Trabajo (CNT) and other European anarcho-syndicalist unions as it was from the North American Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). A second example, typically Latin American, is the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM). Primarily through the efforts of Ricardo Flores Magón, within a few years of its founding it adopted an ideology that was unquestionably anarchist, nonetheless keeping its name while continuing as a political party, and thereby earning sharp criticism from some European orthodox thinkers like Jean Grave.

With the exception of that singular case, anarchism in Latin America is nearly always anarcho-syndicalism and is essentially linked to workers’ and peasants’ organizations. To be sure, there were some anarcho-individualists in Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, and other places, as well as anarcho-communists, the latter foes of the syndical organization in Buenos Aires in the 1880s and 1890s. But the vast majority of Latin American anarchists were adherents of a revolutionary and anti-political syndicalism—not, as some say, a-political. That is an important difference between Latin and North American anarchism. An anarchist syndicalism was evident in the United States and its greatest witness was the sacrifice of the Chicago martyrs. It represented the continuation of the anti-slavery movement into the industrial context, and was promoted by Italians, Germans, and Slavic immigrants, with the German Johann Most as its revolutionary prototype. Later a revolutionary syndicalism emerged (anarchist or quasi-anarchist) among the working classes, organized through the IWW. There was also an earlier movement unrelated to the working classes, represented by important literary figures such as Thoreau and Emerson. Its predecessor is found in the liberal radicalism of Jefferson and other eighteenth century thinkers, and is perhaps represented today by what is known as “libertarianism.” While it was not an anti-workers’ ideology—although today there are Right-libertarians—it developed along lines quite alien to the struggles of the working classes, and its principal concerns include individual human rights, anti-militarism, and the abolition of bureaucracy and the State.

But anarchism developed in different ways in the various Latin American countries. In Argentina, FORA was sufficiently radical to be considered extremist by the Spanish CNT. In Uruguay it tended to be nonviolent, as Max Nettlau notes, perhaps because it was less persecuted, except during the last dictatorship. In Mexico it influenced government not only because of Magonist participation in the revolution against Porfirio Díaz, but also because La Casa del Obrero Mundial provided Venustiano Carranza his “red battalions” in the fight against Villa and Zapata, and because the leadership of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) engaged President Obregón in public political debates. In Brazil, on the other hand, it was always at the margins of the state, and the military-oligarchic republic did nothing but persecute, ostracize, or assassinate its leaders. A phenomenon common in several Latin American countries between 1918 and 1923 was anarcho-Bolshevism. Following the Bolshevik revolution many anarchists in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and especially Mexico supported Lenin and declared their unconditional support of the Soviet government, yet still considered themselves anarchists. With Lenin’s death this trend disappeared. Those who still chose to follow Stalin no longer dared to call themselves anarchists.

In addition to a vast newspaper propaganda and extensive bibliography, anarchism in all Latin American countries produced many poets and writers who were among the most prominent in their respective national literatures. They were not, however, equally numerous and important in all regions. It is safe to say that in Argentina and Uruguay most writers publishing between 1890 and 1920 were at one time or another anarchists. Likewise in Brazil and Chile, where during this time there were more than a few literary anarchist writers, though not as many as in the Río de la Plata region. In Columbia, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico, if a properly anarchist literature did not fully flourish, the influence of a libertarian ideology was greater among writers and poets than in the workers’ movement. But even in those places where literature and anarchism were nearly synonymous, as in the Río de la Plata, anarchist intellectuals never played the role of elite or revolutionary vanguard, nor did they have any dealings with universities or official culture. In this respect anarchism’s trajectory differs profoundly from that of Marxism.

The decline of the anarchist movement in Latin America (which does not imply its total disappearance) may be attributed to three causes. First is a series of coups d’état, mostly fascist, in the 1930s—Uriburu in Argentina, Vargas in Brazil, Terra in Uruguay. All are characterized by a general repression of the workers’ movement, Left-leaning groups, and particularly of anarchists. In certain cases (e.g., Argentina) the state achieved the total dismantlement of the organizational and propagandistic structure of the workers’ anarcho-syndicalist federations. A second factor is the founding of communist parties (Bolsheviks). The support of the Soviet Union and of affiliated European parties gave them a strength sorely lacking in anarchist organizations, which had no other resources than the dues paid by their own militants. Some anarchists chose to join the communist party, more in some countries (Brazil) and fewer in others (Argentina). Finally, the emergence of nationalist-populist sentiments more or less linked to the armed forces and, in a few cases, with the promoters of fascist coups completes the factors that caused anarchism’s decline.

The unique situation of dependence in which Latin American countries found themselves with regard to European and, above all, North American imperialism caused the class struggle to be substituted by struggles for national liberation. Consequently, workers conceived of their exploitation as arising from foreign powers. The bourgeoisie, both domestic and foreign, together with various sectors of the military and the Catholic church, convinced them that the enemy was not Capital and State as such, but foreign Capital and State. Skillfully manipulated, this very conviction was the principal cause of the decline of anarchism. All else is secondary, even the intrinsic difficulties faced by anarchist organizations in the actual world, such as the need to make unions function without bureaucracy or the impossibility, real or apparent, of concrete proposals.



1 In the language of the Matagalpan Indians calpulli refers to a group constituting the fundamental unit of Aztec society. Ayllus were the basic political and social units of pre-Inca life (Trans).

2 In Argentina, Uruguay, southern regions of Brazil, as well as in parts of Paraguay and Chile, a musical form accompanied by guitar (Trans).

Tags: ak pressanarchism in latin americacategory: Other
Categories: News

Only Some Power Comes from the Barrel of a Gun

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 16:44

by Magpie, via birds before the storm

Content note: article contains some descriptions of violence. It also doesn’t come down on one side or the other of gun control arguments.

In June 2016, someone who doesn’t deserve to be remembered by name shot up a gay club in Orlando. A lot of people shouted for gun control, but myself, I suddenly wanted a gun. In February 2017, two months after I came out as trans, I watched a video of Dandara dos Santos, a trans woman from Brazil, begging for her life before she was beaten to death with a 2×4.

All I could think was: if I carried a gun, no one could beat me to death with a 2×4.

Now, in February 2018, after another mass shooting at another high school, gun control is on everyone’s minds. Students around the country are organizing, because they don’t want to live in a country where every Tom, Dick, and Nikolas has an AR-15.

As an anarchist, I don’t tend to believe in legislative solutions to problems. As a trans woman, I desire to own the means by which to defend myself with lethal force. As a human, though, I don’t like when people shoot people and that people are going to bat so hard to defend people’s right to own the things that shoot people.

In the wake of the most recent shooting, I think it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not just created by access to guns. Mass shootings are the result of the toxic aspects in contemporary masculinity. Mass shootings are the result of homophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy. Mass shootings are the result of a cultural meme — that is, a self-replicating idea that has taken on a life of its own — currently embedded into America.

Yet… mass shootings might also be the result of access to guns. Guns are power. Power — unevenly distributed — is always the problem.

* * *

Maybe three years back, an organization asked me to write a position paper on gun control from an anarchist point of view. “No sweat,” I told them. Then I spent several months discussing the issue with other anarchists, who all held wildly different opinions on the matter. Almost all their arguments were convincing.

I gave up on the article.

Not only can I not write anything for anarchism in general that comes down on one side or the other on the issue of gun control, I don’t think I can do so for myself personally. Both sides of the debate are flawed. Gun control is racist: it is disproportionately used against people of color, and modern gun control laws were a response to armed people of color advocating for their freedom. Gun advocacy is also racist: the second amendment was likely not written so that Americans could defend themselves from the British or other tyrannical governments, as is popularly supposed, but so that white, settler Americans could participate in the ad-hoc extermination of the indigenous people of this continent. Today, the NRA is far from objective in whose right to carry guns they seek to protect. It’s not particularly hard to understand that America is so racist that both sides of the debate are being turned to racist ends.

We need to question the dichotomous framework that’s been presented to us — the issue is more complex than pro-gun versus anti-gun. It’s always been more complex than that.

Understanding power relations is key to understanding political issues. There’s a phrase people use, “punch up, not down.” The idea behind it is simple: don’t attack people with less power than you, attack people with more power than you. For example, women, as a group, lashing out at men, as a group, are acting appropriately because they are attacking a group that holds institutional and cultural power over them. They are “punching up” and disrupting an existing power hierarchy. Men, however, lashing out at women are “punching down” and reinforcing that hierarchy.

The issue with guns isn’t about punching up versus down exactly, but it is about power relationships, more than a lot of people realize. If at all possible, our aim as radicals should be to correct power imbalances. Overall, the people with guns in this society are also the people with power — this is probably not a coincidence.

The police in this country are heavily armed. They also continue to show themselves racist, classist, sexist, and homophobic not just as individuals (though so many cops are) but on an institutional level: they enforce laws unequally and the laws themselves are unequal. Any argument for the disarmament of our society that does not discuss disarming the police is not one that interests me, because it continues to leave guns in the hands of a group that has proven itself exceedingly oppressive and violent. Gun control arguments that exclude police say two things: we should trust the police to solve our problems for us and that fundamentally, guns are necessary for problem-solving, it’s just that civilians shouldn’t be trusted to do that on their own. I don’t agree with either of those sentiments.

Then, of course, there is the other heavily armed group in America: civilian gun culture. Not everyone who owns a gun (or even owns thirty guns) in this society is part of the subsection of gun culture that is racist and/or nationalistic, but let’s be honest: the overlap is huge. This is where the idea of gun control begins to sound appealing. Fewer guns in the hands of racists, misogynists, and homophobes will translate into fewer of us dying at those hands. Strategically speaking, we would be unlikely to win an arms race with the militia movement, for example, and it’s probably for the best if we focus on different methods of engagement than militaristic most of the time.

Of course, because of the overlap between those two armed groups (racist police and racist civilians), there’s no particular reason to believe that any efforts at gun control would target nationalistic whites instead of who gun control laws have always targeted: already-criminalized urban people of color. Those who make half a revolution dig their own graves. A small, liberal shift in legislation seems unlikely to do more than put still more power into the hands of the police while doing nothing to address the power held by nationalistic gun culture.

This is where the counter-argument becomes appealing: instead of passing gun laws that are unlikely to accomplish what we hope, we could focus on arming people of color, women, queers, and other people who are targeted for violence at a systemic level. Escalation is a terrible policy at any kind of large scale, however. A gun in my purse makes me safer. A gun in every purse and pocket in America makes everyone substantially less safe.

I’m willing to navigate the tension between the needs of an individual and the needs of a society, even if I don’t know exactly the right way to do so. I’ll side-eye anyone who assumes that they do, on either side of the debate.

I’m skeptical of legislative changes, to be sure. I think anyone serious about living in a less armed society who expects lawmakers to deliver that is going to be disappointed. They will be disappointed by who new laws target and who they don’t. They will be disappointed by the byzantine structures of the legal world that exist to prevent fundamental changes to capitalist rule of the country.

Still, I can’t say that anarchism or the Left are any further along here in heavily-armed America than they are in other countries. There’s just no evidence that access to arms would make or break any resistance movement here. All I can say is that I don’t want to be beat to death by a 2×4, and I hope that when people demonize guns and gun owners at large they think about why someone like me might want one.

* * *

The students who are organizing against gun violence? I am excited to see them learn the power they can wield — because not all power comes from the barrel of the gun and the best forms of power never do. I hope they realize that they can push for changes that don’t just address gun ownership but also the ways in which those laws might be enforced; I hope they push for changes that don’t empower the police, but instead look to disempower nationalists and misogynists. I hope they see the problem of violence in our society is more than a single issue and that the gun issue itself as more than just black and white.

I hope they — we, all of us — keep fighting until we shape society into something without these institutions and hierarchies of power that muck up this issue so utterly.

If you appreciate my writing and want to help me do more of it, please consider supporting me via Patreon.

Tags: gunsviolencegun controlpolicemagpiecategory: Essays
Categories: News

Athens, Greece: Attack Against the HQ of Novartis by Anarchist Collective Rouvikonas

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 16:28

via insurrection news

Today, Sunday, February 2nd, 2018 at 06:00 a group of comrades from Anarchist Collective Rouvikonas attacked the headquarters of Novartis in Athens using hammers and bottles of paint.

Novartis is a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation that does business in the pharmaceutical sector. This monstrous company stands accused in many countries throughout the world in multiple cases of corruption, manipulation of the medicine market and money laundering.

In Greece, the so-called Novartis Gate involves politicians, directors of the health sector and several hundred doctors. The total loss for the public health sector caused by the activities of the company are estimated at being between 28 to 50 billion Euros over a period of 10 to 15 years.

We took this action to declare our opposition to such activities as they are against the public interest.

Video of Action Here

Note from Insurrection News: Novartis is also linked to Huntington Life Sciences. A campaign began in the late 1990s against Huntington Life Sciences who ran the largest vivisection labaratory in Europe, where thousands of animals were deprived of their freedom and subjected to continuous torture for the economic benefit of a few companies. More info:

Tags: Greecevandalismnovartiscategory: Actions
Categories: News

Athens, Greece: Grenade Attack Against Kaisariani Police Station in Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoner K. Giagtzoglou

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 12:55

“The ethical resoluteness of one who abandons and attacks the power structures is a perception, a moment in which one tastes the beauty of one’s comrades and the misery of obligation and submission. “I rebel, therefore I am” is a phrase from Camus that never ceases to charm me as only a reason for life can do.

In the face of a world that presents ethics as the space of authority and law, I think that there is no ethical dimension except in revolt, in risk, in the dream. The survival in which we are confined is unjust because it brutalizes and uglifies”.

– Massimo Passamani

In the early hours of Monday morning we attacked Kaisariani Police Station with a hand grenade in solidarity with the hunger and thirst striker Konstantinos Giagtzoglou.




A full communique regarding the attack will follow

(via Athens Indymedia, translated by Insurrection News & Mpalothia)

Tags: Greeceathensanarchist prisonersdirect actionKonstantinos Giagtozgloucategory: International
Categories: News

TOTW - Where did we go wrong

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 06:41

For better or for worse anarchists are lauded with the responsibility for the failure and success of the Occupy movement. We can squirm at this but there is one point that is worth reflecting on. For the past decade anarchists (and friends) have argued, when asked and involved, for a "no demands" attitude towards the MSM and agents of the state. We understand, and agree, that this is aligned with an anarchist approach to politics (ie only negative).

But has it been effective? If the effectiveness of Occupy is measured by tents on the ground, or the length of time people used the word Occupy in a sentence how was the uncompromising "no demands" attitude of anarchists helpful or not? How about the argument that politicians were probably willing, in certain cities, to dish out money for a reform or two, maybe even a building or two, which could have been the foundation of a movement along a certain line (say homelessness) but was never on the table and therefore never even discussed.

Is the no demands attitude and practice helping anarchists maintain our political line or is it isolating us from possible allies who might take our ideas seriously if we were willing to actually help them out? Have we been clear enough in our messaging about why we don't want to negotiate with authority in the first place?

Tags: totwOccupymovementno demandsattackcategory: Other
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FRR Mockcasts Episode 1: Anarchy Radio

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 00:14

Listen Here:

JZ hosts a special episode of Anarchy Radio, the New Sunday Show. The show begins with JZ discussing yet another set of car recalls, this time it's the good ol' Prius. 42 million Priuses in Berkeley, CA were recalled over the weekend. JZ then takes a call from local future primitve and master rewilder Billy. Billy discusses his relationship with his dog Sooki and moving out to the city after his wife left him alone. Then another call from Josh, who discusses feelings of alienation and despair and JZ and Josh get into a spirited debate over egoism and nihilism. The show ends with JZ recapping the call with Josh and asserting his opinions on Nihilism, Egoism, and Leftism.

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Categories: News

Anarchist Communism In Britain: Part One

Sun, 02/25/2018 - 18:00

From London Anarchist Communists

Anarchist communism in Britain: Part One
The following is a chapter from the forthcoming book The Idea: Anarchist Communism, Past Present and Future
In Britain there was a parallel figure to Babeuf in 1792 in London. This was Thomas Spence, who had developed advanced views in Newcastle on Tyne inside the Newcastle Philosophical Society. Within this rather genteel group, the plebeian Spence began to develop ideas of land communism expressed in his Plan. He first lectured on these ideas within the Society at the age of 25. “The land or earth, in any country or neighbourhood, with everything in it or the same, or pertaining thereto, belongs at all times to the living inhabitants of the said country or neighbourhood in an equal manner”. He believed that each parish should take the land back into their possession and form themselves into corporations. The land becomes the property of the parish.

Spence in no way envisages the end of the money system. He oictures people paying rent to the parish for usufruct rights to the land. This rent would be paid into a parish treasury to support the poor and unemployed, and for the maintenance of lands and highways etc. The government, a democratic assembly of representatives, and elected by secret ballot, was seen by Spence as having limited functions, and would not meddle in the functioning of the parishes.

Spence chose to go beyond the gentlemanly hobbies of the Philosophical Society by disseminating his ideas through the publication of a halfpenny ballad in 1775-6. For this he was expelled from the Society, and subsequently lost his job as a teacher. Spence eventually resolved to go to London, because his radical ideas had little audience in Newcastle.

Spence’s arrival coincided with the founding of the London Corresponding Society, set up by the shoemaker Thomas Hardy, and which consisted of tradesmen, shopkeepers and mechanics. The Society’s aims were the discussion of parliamentary reform, and put forward demands for universal suffrage and annual parliaments.
Spence influenced members of the Society, among who was Thomas Evans. He gathered a small group around him and began to propagandise the ideas contained within his plan. This included methods of propagation similar to those of the Babeuvists: chalk and charcoal notices on walls and public places, debates and public meetings, and the sale or distribution of handbills, broadsheets, tracts and pamphlets.
Spence was jailed several times for steadfast adherence to his ideas. His greatest period of activity was between 1792 and 1801 and he continued with intermittent publication of his ideas until his death in 1814. Evans and Allen Davenport formed a Spencean Society to propagate his ideas around 1807. With the death of Davenport Evans founded the Society for Spencean Philanthropists which continued with the propagation of Spence’s ideas. The Spenceans were at the forefront of the working class demonstrations in London between 1815 and 1820. Some Spenceans were implicated in the Cato Street conspiracy in 1820. The repression which followed led to the disappearance of the Society and the extinction of the Spencean current, although his continuing influence on British radicalism should not be ignored.

Spence’s emphasis was on land communism, and he saw “Private Property in land” as the main evil within society. The abolition of private property in land would of course mean the suppression of the aristocracy and “Lordship”. However goods, merchandise and cattle would not face similar communalisation.
Spence symbolises a radical current within the great movement that was emerging around Chartism and the demands for universal suffrage and annual parliaments. Spence expressly came to London to propagate his ideas there because he sensed that his ideas might have a certain resonance within this movement. The fact that he was not able to move beyond land communism to general communism is a result of the limits imposed by the class of artisans and “mechanics”, of which he was an advanced spokesman, which was yet to develop into the working class.

Alongside his advocacy of land communism was the concept of a federation of parishes administering the economic process and with a system of social welfare. In this Spence prefigures the notion of the commune or municipality as the basic unit of society as developed by anarchist communist thinkers. Spence sees the parishes as providing public grain stores, free schools, libraries, public baths and hospitals. Spence was very wary of centralised State solutions to economic inequality and he believed that a bottom-up revolution was necessary which might well involve the use of physical force to overthrow the old ruling class.

Brian Morris has been instrumental in rescuing the important figure of Spence from obscurity. As he notes: “Neither the sans-culottes nor the enrages nor that much-neglected socialist Thomas Spence fully and explicitly articulated anarchism as a political doctrine. What they had in common was that they stressed local and popular democracy and were hostile toward big capital, whether of the merchant class or of the capitalist landlords. Their social idea was that of an egalitarian society consisting of independent artisans and small peasant farmers. Even Spence, though he advocated communal property in land, parish democracy, and parish militias….allowed for a structure of provincial and national assemblies. Even so, like the sans-culottes, he tended to see the parish or local commune as the fundamental unit of society and sought any means to limit the power of the central government.” (pp101-102 The sans-culottes and the enrages: libertarian movements within the French Revolution in Ecology and Anarchism).

Spence needs to take his rightful place as one of the precursors within Britain of the libertarian communist current that was to emerge with the emergence of the working class.

The working class activists Frank Kitz and Joe Lane provided a link between the old Chartist movement, Owenism, the British section of the First International, the free speech fights of the 1870s and the newly emergent socialism of the 1880s. Lane developed anti-state ideas early on, even before he came to call himself a socialist in 1881. A real power-house of an activist, he set up the Homerton Social Democratic Club in that year and attended the international Social Revolutionary and Anarchist Congress as its delegate. Kitz also attended as delegate from the Rose Street Club. Kitz met the German Anarchists Johann Most and Victor Dave there and was deeply influenced by them. With the help of Ambrose Barker, who was based in Stratford in east London, Lane and Kitz launched the Labour Emancipation League. The LEL was in many ways an organisation that represented the transition of radical ideas from Chartism to revolutionary socialism. The demands for universal adult suffrage, freedom of speech, free administration of justice, etc, sat alongside the demand for the expropriation of the capitalist class. The main role of the LEL was that it was to offer a forum for discussion and education amongst advanced workers in London, with 7 branches in East London and regular open-air meetings in Millwall, Clerkenwell, Stratford and on the Mile End Waste. Nevertheless, anti-parliamentarism was already developing in the LEL.

The LEL succeeded in moving the Democratic Federation of Hyndman over to more radical positions. The intellectual and artist William Morris had recently joined this group and Lane was to have an important influence on him for several years. The organisation changed its name to the Social Democratic Federation. The autocracy and authoritarianism of Hyndman repulsed many members and a split took place in 1884. Morris, Belfort Bax, Eleanor Marx (Karl Marx’s daughter) Edward Aveling and most of the LEL left to form the Socialist League. The League itself contained both anti-parliamentarians and supporters of parliamentary action, who had been united by their opposition to Hyndman. A draft parliamentarist constitution inspired by Engels was rejected, but the divisions continued. One of the results of this was Lane’s Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto, which had originally been a policy statement that had been rejected by the parliamentarist majority on the policy subcommittee.

The Anti Statist Communist Manifesto is not a brilliantly written or particularly well argued document. Nevertheless it stands as probably the first English home grown libertarian communist statement. It spends too long talking about religion. It rejects reformism through parliament or the trade unions. It calls for mass revolutionary action. In the Manifesto, Lane describes his ideas as Revolutionary Socialist or Free Communist. He never publicly used the word Anarchist to describe his politics, feeling that the word put too many people off, and wishing to distinguish himself from individualists. In private he was sympathetic to openly declared Anarchists and remarked about the Manifesto: "I do not claim that I have expounded anarchy; it is for others to judge". Lane must be considered as one of the most important pioneers of libertarian communism in Britain.

Whilst Anarchism was self-developing within the League, and attempting to achieve coherence, other developments were taking place. The veteran Dan Chatterton, who had participated in the Chartist agitations of 1848, produced his own Anarchist paper Chatterton’s Commune-the Atheist Communistic Scorcher. This ran for 42 issues from 1884, produced in conditions of extreme poverty. Meanwhile one of the pioneers of Anarchist Communism, the Russian Piotr Kropotkin, had arrived in Britain. Kropotkin’s lectures to many Socialist League branches reinforced the Anarchist tendencies among many of its members. Charles Mowbray, a tailor from Durham, active in the London Socialist League, was one of the first to specifically call himself an Anarchist Communist. Kropotkin also helped set up the paper Freedom which was specifically Anarchist Communist. The Freedom Group also undertook the organisation of large public meetings and open-air public speaking. As a result a number of workers, especially from the Social Democratic Federation, were won to Anarchist Communism, like the compositors Charles Morton and W. Pearson, whilst Socialist League members like Alfred Marsh and John Turner joined the Freedom Group. Regrettably, whist Socialist League branches distributed Freedom around the country there was a certain antipathy between the Leaguers and the Freedomites. As the Anarchist historian Nettlau was to remark, Kropotkin’s failure to work within the Socialist League was:

"regrettable, for in 1886 and 1887 the League contained the very best Socialist elements of the time, men (sic) who had deliberately rejected Parliamentarianism and reformism and who worked for the splendid free Communism of William Morris or for broadminded revolutionary Anarchism. If Kropotkin’s experience and ardour had helped this movement we might say today Kropotkin and William Morris as we say Elisee Reclus and Kropotkin...There was a latent lack of sympathy between the Anarchists of the League and those of the Freedom Group in those early years; the latter were believed by the former to display some sense of superiority, being in possession of definitely elaborated Anarchist-Communist theories...if both efforts had been coordinated a much stronger movement would have been created".

By 1890 Anarchism had made considerable progress within the League. In London there were 2 specific Anarchist Communist groups, one in St Pancras mostly formed from Freedom Group members, the other in East London, members of the Clerkenwell Socialist League in different hats, which produced the free handout the Anarchist Labour Leaf.

1888 saw the withdrawal of the parliamentarians from the League. There was still tension between those who like Morris, did not describe themselves as Anarchists but as free communists. This tension was aggravated by a pedantic approach among some of the League Anarchists. The Anarchists insisted too much on philosophical principle and not enough on social practice. Morris wrote: "I am not pleading for any form of arbitrary or unreasonable authority, but for a public conscience as a rule of action: and by all means let us have the least possible exercise of authority. I suspect that many of our Communist-Anarchist friends do really mean that, when they pronounce against all authority”. The Anarchists H.Davis and James Blackwell were too ready to take issue with Morris’s phrase "the least possible exercise of authority", failing to see that the ‘public conscience’ he proposed as the basis of Communism was the culmination of the voluntary principle in a society where it had become custom and habit. If Morris chose to call that a situation where authority was exercised then the dispute was semantic. (The Slow Burning Fuse, John Quail.)

Morris’s tendency felt that far more propaganda and education needed to be done before the Revolution could come about. Many Anarchists felt that mass action was in itself educational, transforming those taking part. Both were right, but only partially so. There should have been a dynamic dialogue between these two positions. This was not to happen. The dead-end of the advocacy of individual acts of ’propaganda by the deed’ couched in fiery language meant the departure of Morris, not to mention Kitz and Lane. It also meant the infiltration of the movement by police agents, and a resulting clamp-down by the State. Some Anarchist Communists like Samuels were ferocious advocates of ’propaganda by the deed’ others like Tochatti, were just as ferociously opposed to such tactics. The loss of Morris, the withdrawal of Lane and the temporary withdrawal of Kitz were a disaster for the development of libertarian communism in Britain. The Socialist League collapsed nationally.


A number of specific Anarchist groups emerged from the ruins of the League. In fact despite the repression, in the period 1892-4 the movement had a massive growth. For example, Morris had estimated the membership of the League in London as 120 in 1891. In 1894, Quail estimates the Anarchist movement in London as up to 2,000. (see work cited above). The ’bomb’ faction had lost out, and the ’revolutionist’ tendency was re-affirming itself. As a veteran of the League, David Nicoll was to say in the Anarchist which he brought out in Sheffield in 1894: "We are Communists. We do not seek to establish an improved wages system like the Fabian Social Democrats. Our work for the present lies in spreading our ideas among the workers in their clubs and organisations as well as in the open street". The revival was not to last. An attempt to unite the fragmented groups by James Tochatti and Louisa Sarah Bevington in 1895 - the Anarchist Communist Alliance - was stillborn and the movement was in definite decline by the following year. A period of reaction and lack of struggle within the working class as well as bitter internal conflicts was sapping the movement.

There was to be no revival till mid-1903. The growing industrial unrest, the growth of syndicalism and industrial unionism, were to be contributory factors to the refound vigour of the Anarchist movement. Examples of the returning strength of the movement can be seen in the secession of a group from the Social Democratic Federation in Plymouth, the majority of whom set up an Anarchist Communist group in 1910, and a similar secession from the industrial unionist Industrialist League in Hull in 1913. That year was to see considerable agitation in the South Wales valleys, where small propaganda groups were set up, called Workers Freedom Groups. At a meeting in Ammonford with 120 present, a Communist club house was opened. It was reported that: "The Constitution and programme of the Workers Freedom Groups have been shaped upon the model of future society at which they aim, namely Anarchist-Communism". A Workers Freedom Group was established in the pit village of Chopwell in Durham, by among others Will Lawther (later to be a right-wing miners’ leader.) The Chopwell Anarchists also set up a Communist Club. Anarchists set up a Communist Club in Stockport in the following year. In London groups mushroomed and agitation was intense. Here Guy Aldred, a young man who had started out as a Christian preacher, moving through secularism and then the SDF to Anarchism, began to attempt to synthesise his earlier Marxism with his Anarchism in 1910. He had set up a Communist Propaganda Group in 1907 and he now revived this, and helped set up several Communist Groups in the London area, as well as travelling regularly to Glasgow and helping form the Glasgow Communist Group there. He had serious criticisms of trade unions and had fallen out with the Freedom Group because one of its members, John Turner, was a leading trade union official. As Aldred noted: "...I gradually fell out with the Freedom Anarchists...Their Anarchy was merely Trade Union activity which they miscalled Direct Action. Their anger knew no bounds when I insisted that Trades Unionism was the basis of Labour Parliamentarianism."

But now the First World War loomed and its outbreak and repercussions were to have cataclysmic effects on the whole revolutionary movement, not least the Anarchists.

The Anarchist movement, not just in Britain, but world-wide was shaken to its foundations by the news that Kropotkin and others were supporting the Allies against Germany and Austria-Hungary. To their credit, the majority of Anarchists took a revolutionary abstentionist anti-war position, including Freedom and the Spur, edited by Aldred. A fiercely active anti-war propaganda took place within the North London Herald League, where Anarchists worked alongside socialists from different organisations. This joint activity was reflected right across Britain. Indeed the Anarchists were beginning to have a growing influence among the latter.

Aldred was to remark on the growing number of "Marxian anarchists" within the movement, who accepted a Marxian analysis of the State and of the importance of class struggle. These activists were becoming impatient with those, who to quote Freda Cohen of the Glasgow Anarchist Group, were satisfied with "fine phrases or poetical visioning". Alongside this was the heritage of Morris and Co within the broad socialist movement, which was asserting itself within the Socialist Labour Party, the British Socialist Party, (the successor of the SDF) and the Independent Labour Party. Antiparliamentary ideas were re-emerging within these organisations- for instance, within the Socialist Labour Party, members were questioning the pro-parliamentary ideas of DeLeon who had founded the Party. Some left to become Anarchists.

An attempt was made to unite the Anarchists around Freedom and the Spur, edited by Aldred, with the anti-parliamentary dissidents of the SLP. This initiative came from within the SLP and at a unity conference in March 1919 the Communist League was founded, with a paper the Communist. In it George Rose was to remark: "we know that there must develop the great working class anti-Statist movement, showing the way to Communist society. The Communist League is the standard bearer of the movement; and all the hosts of Communists in the various other Socialist organisations will in good time see that Parliamentary action will lead them, not to Communist but to bureaucratic Statism...Therefore, we identify ourselves with the Third International, with the Communism of Marx, and with that personification of the spirit of revolt, Bakunin, of whom the Third International is but the natural and logical outcome." Rose shows himself under the influence of Aldred, who looked for a fusion between Bakuninism and Marxism, in the process glossing over some fundamental differences. Indeed an initial report in Freedom on the conference, whilst noting that the League was not an Anarchist organisation, remarked that the "repudiation of Parliament is a long step in our direction", but on the other hand there was a sharp exchange between Anarchists and League members over the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat and economic determinism. At a Conference of London Anarchists it was remarked that, "The anti-parliamentary attitude of many Socialists and Communists was greatly due to our propaganda in the past, and good results would undoubtedly follow if we worked with them". A resulting conference was very friendly in tone, although controversy over the dictatorship of the proletariat was not absent. However, this initiative of cooperation between revolutionary anti-parliamentarians was to evaporate when the Communist League disappeared without trace at the end of 1919.

The attempts at cooperation and unity continued however, although the whole process was clouded by the issue of the Russian revolution and support for the Bolsheviks. Aldred himself was at first a staunch supporter of the Bolsheviks, hardly surprising considering the lack of any hard information about Lenin’s Party in Britain. (This was reflected in general ignorance in the revolutionary movement throughout the world). A series of critical articles by an Austrian Anarchist which were printed in the Spur in September 1919 were lambasted by Aldred and others, although in time he came to the same conclusions as he gained more solid information. Most revolutionaries, however were the slaves of wishful thinking, despite evidence that all was not well in Russia. This attitude, the unity-at-all-costs syndrome and "loyalty to the world revolution" position (Translation=slavishly carry out whatever Lenin and the Bolsheviks tell you to do) was to have disastrous consequences for the British revolutionary movement. As Bob Jones says in his pamphlet Left-Wing Communism in Britain 1917-21: "There was, as happens repeatedly in the history of British socialism in the twentieth century, a complete abdication of critical judgement when basic principles and beliefs are put to the test by supposed friends and allies". This is something that should be borne in mind at the present with various "unity" moves.

Despite the continuing growth of anti-parliamentarianism in both the SLP and BSP, Lenin was to insist that: "British communists should participate in parliamentary action... from within Parliament help the masses of the workers to see the results of a Henderson and Snowden government in practice". In practical terms this meant affiliation to the Labour Party and the call for a Labour vote, despite the (yes, even then!) reactionary role and nature of Labour. This position, which Anarchist Communists have consistently argued against in the 20th Century, is still very much an obstacle to the creation of a revolutionary movement in this country.

Sylvia Pankhurst

Anti-parliamentary communism had also developed inside the Workers’ Socialist Federation (WSF). This had evolved out of the Women’s Suffrage Federation based around Sylvia Pankhurst in the East End of London, above all in the Bow and Bromley districts. With her mother Emmeline and sister Christabel she had led a vigorous and militant campaign for votes for women. But differences developed between her and them over a number of issues, including Sylvia’s emphasis for activity among the working class, and for joint action between working class women and men for common demands. This gap was widened by the War, which Emmeline and Christabel fiercely supported, whilst Sylvia came out in opposition. During the war the WSF were very active among the East London working class, setting up free or cut price restaurants, day nurseries for children of working mothers, and distributing free milk for babies. In this period it dawned on Sylvia Pankhurst that capitalism could not be reformed, but must be destroyed and replaced by a free communist society. She saw in the Russian revolution the model for a revolution based on workers councils, where committees of recallable and mandated delegates would be elected and answerable to mass assemblies of the working class. She rejected parliamentary action and the domination of leaders, calling for the development of self-organisation and self-initative through class struggle. Indeed at the time of the 1923 General Election when 8 women M.P.s were elected she remarked: "Women can no more put virtue into the decaying parliamentary institution than can men: it is past reform and must disappear...the woman professional politician is neither more nor less desirable than the man professional politician: the less the world has of either the better it is for it... To the women, as to men, the hope of the future lies not through Parliamentary reform, but free Communism and soviets".

Unfortunately, like Aldred, Pankhurst was a headstrong and egotistical individual. Like him, she often put the narrow interests of her own group before that of the revolutionary movement as a whole. So, she and the WSF rejected a merger with the Communist League because the two organisations were too similar for that to be necessary! The WSF then in June 1919 transformed itself into the Communist Party. Lenin put pressure on the Pankhurst group to arrange talks with other groups for a unity conference, at the same time fearing the establishment of a Communist Party that had pronounced anti-parliamentary positions. In his attack on left and council communists Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder he singled out Pankhurst, along with the Council Communists Pannekoek and Gorter. Another singled out was Willie Gallagher, who had left the SDF to join the Glasgow Anarchist Group in 1912. Gallagher, an admirer of Bakunin, was now a member of the Scottish Workers Council, which promoted ‘communes’. In his pamphlet Lenin quoted Gallagher: "The Council is definitely anti-parliamentarian, and has behind it the Left Wing of the various political bodies". For his staunch anti-parliamentarianism (not so staunch as it turned out) Gallagher was chosen to represent the Scottish Workers Councils at the second congress of the Third International in Moscow. Gallagher pleaded with the delegates not to force on the Scottish revolutionaries: "resolutions which they are not in a position to defend, being contradictory to all they have been standing for until now." Lenin singled Gallagher and his associates out at this Congress, winning him over completely to his positions. From then on Gallagher was a loyal servant to Lenin,(and then to Stalin) working towards the establishment of a Communist Party of Great Britain which appeared in January 1921. The manoeuvres of Lenin and Gallagher were sharply attacked by Aldred in his new paper the Spur and by Pankhurst in the paper of the re-established WSF the Workers Dreadnought.

Pankhurst continued with her criticisms of Leninism. In 1924 she condemned the new rulers of Russia as: "Prophets of centralised efficiency, trustification, State control, and the discipline of the proletariat in the interests of increased production...the Russian workers remain wage slaves, and very poor ones, working not from free will, but under compulsion of economic need, and kept in their subordinate position by State coercion." The WSF was very close to the positions of the Dutch and German council communists, evolving increasingly Anarchist Communist positions by 1924, when it disappeared.

The collapse of the revolutionary wave of 1917-21, the Bolshevisation of the movement, and the repression of 1921, during which time Pankhurst and Aldred were both jailed had taken its toll. Many had been won to Bolshevik positions, whilst many others dropped out including Pankhurst herself, who ended up as a supporter of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, with a burial in Addis Ababa.

The Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation
The anti-parliamentary opposition to Lenin’s positions coalesced around the Glasgow Anarchist Group and Aldred. It was to express solidarity with the Russian Revolution that this changed its name to the Glasgow Communist Group in 1920. This became the nucleus of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation set up in January 1921.

In many ways the APCF was an unstable alliance of those who accepted Anarchist Communist views and those who took a Council Communist position. Aldred and Co. still kept up illusions in the Russian Revolution up till 1924, flirting with the newly emergent Trotskyism for a while and launching attacks on Anarchist individuals and groups. As one member of the APCF in Leicester remarked in a letter to the editor of Freedom in 1924, Aldred was "running with Communism and hunting with Anarchism". Aldred also insisted on what he called the Sinn Fein tactic of running as an anti-parliamentary candidate in the 1922 General Election. This was opposed in the APCF by Henry Sara, who left to join the Pankhurst group, and Willie McDougall and Jane Patrick. Other differences were over the question of economic determinism, with economic development as the motor to social change, and over the need for a transitional workers state.
The APCF had branches in London, the Midlands and North of England, although its base was primarily Scotland. It published the monthly The Commune from 1923-9. The seething differences over the use of anti-parliamentary candidates erupted in 1933 when Aldred left over these differences to form the Workers Open Forum.

Aldred claimed that the APCF stagnated after his departure. However, this is not true as the activity of the APCF continued unabated. Further splits were to come with the Spanish Revolution and Civil War. The APCF uncritically supported the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists of the CNT-FAI, the notion of anti-fascism with its unity at all costs message, and the false ideas of democracy versus fascism. They published, without comment or criticism, a statement by Federica Montseny, one of the chief Anarchist advocates of anti-fascist unity and Anarchist participation in the Spanish Republican government. Jane Patrick was one of the first to question these positions after her visits to Spain. She was disowned by the APCF, and went off to join Aldred’s group, now called the United Socialist Movement. The uncritical attitude continued in the APCF, though it published several articles in its new paper Solidarity including a statement from the Friends of Durruti (see Stormy Petrel pamphlet on the Friends of Durruti). A split took place in the APCF in 1937 when some Anarchists left in 1937 to set up the Glasgow Anarchist Communist Federation, although the reasons for this remain obscure. This evolved into the Glasgow Group of the Anarchist Federation of Britain, active during the Second World War.

The APCF for its part redeemed itself during the War by adopting a revolutionary defeatist position, with opposition to both sides. However as was stated in the Wildcat pamphlet on the APCF: "...the APCF was too tolerant in allowing views fundamentally opposed to their own to appear unchallenged in the paper. These included at various times, pacifism, trade unionism, and ‘critical’ support for Russia...". Wildcat also noted that: " The APCF also seemed to suffer from a lack of proper organisation. It appeared to be content to remain a locally based group, with no interest in trying to form a national or international organisation. It is sometimes argued that revolutionaries should only organise informally in local groups, to avoid the dangers associated with larger organisations...These dangers have to be faced up to, not run away from". These comments should be taken seriously by revolutionaries at the present time.

The APCF with Willie McDougall as its leading light, transformed itself into the Workers Revolutionary League in 1942, eventually becoming a Workers Open Forum and continuing into the 50s.
As for Aldred and Patrick, their United Socialist Movement had become a populist organisation, espousing things like World Government and fellow-travelling with Russia after Stalin’s death. As Nicolas Walter notes in (Raven No1.), Aldred was an: "extraordinarily courageous but essentially solitary man whose vanity and oddity prevented him from taking the part which his ability and energy seemed to create for him in the revolutionary socialist movement". Like Pankhurst, Aldred’s egotism contributed towards hindering the development of a libertarian communist movement in this country, as did the differences between Anarchist Communists and Council Communists which were at first swept under the carpet and then totally polarised with no attempt to work out a practical synthesis.

Despite all this, the contributions of these groups and individuals were important. They courageously pursued revolutionary politics at a time of great isolation. They must be recognised as the forebears of present day libertarian communism in this country.


A specific libertarian communist current did not re-emerge in Britain until the sixties and seventies. Anarcho-syndicalism was to be the dominant current within the Anarchist movement, alongside the newly emerging ‘liberal’ anarchism that was developing through the likes of people like George Woodcock. In one part, this was a response to the major defeats of both revolutionary Anarchism and the working class movement as a whole, in another part it was an uncritical adaptation to the rise of the anti-war movement (Committee of 100 and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). It was, of course, correct for Anarchists to aim their propaganda at mass movements, putting a revolutionary case against capitalism and the State as the root causes of war. What was lacking however was a theoretical strength that allowed for the recruiting of activists from C100 and CND that fought against the dilution of ideas and transformed these activists into fully-fledged revolutionaries. This was not the case, however, and the revolutionary core of Anarchism, already deeply effected by the erroneous ideas of the Synthesis as devised by Voline and Faure (which sought a fusion between individualism, syndicalism and libertarian communism within the same organisation) was further diluted in Britain. The development of the hippy and alternative culture movements were to further dilute and confuse the movement, as once again the Anarchist movement showed itself wanting in ways of relating to these movements on a revolutionary basis without surrendering to pacifism and marginalisation.

One healthy development was the group of activists who had been expelled from the Trotskyist Socialist Labour League of Gerry Healy in 1959, many of whom had served on its Central Committee. Revolted by the authoritarianism of Healyism, this group began to develop libertarian socialist ideas, continuing to base themselves on class struggle and class analysis. They began to edit a journal, Solidarity, from October 1960, as well as a flurry of pamphlets, at first on a monthly basis! They developed trenchant analyses of the industrial struggle as well as the peace movement, and their analysis of the unions was a huge step forward, as was their rejection of syndicalism. As time progressed Solidarity began to identify themselves more and more as libertarian communists. However, they had developed a distrust of organisation as such as a result of their experiences of Healyism. Their unflagging publishing programme and their perceptive analyses had gained a great deal of respect among many activists. Their wilful failure to translate this into the establishment of a national organisation was a disaster, as International Socialism (the precursor of the Socialist Workers Party) was able to build on this territory abandoned by Solidarity (and by the Anarchist Federation of Britain). They failed to engage as fully with the Anarchist movement as much as they could have, as their contributions at meetings and conferences could have considerably strengthened the class struggle current within it. Finally, there was their use of the ambiguous term self-management (which could be open to a number of interpretations, including one involving a market society) and their assertion that the main differences in society were not so much between classes as between order-givers and order-takers. In the end the contents of the magazine became less and less distinguishable from the contents of Freedom, with, for example, long articles on Gandhi. Solidarity magazine stopped appearing in the early 90s and the group is to all intents and purposes, dead.-failing to live up to its promises of the 60s.

The Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists (ORA)
The Anarchist Federation of Britain (AFB) had slowly emerged in the aftermath of the political dead-end and decline of the Committee of 100 and the growing new radicalism of the 1960s, with its founding conference in Bristol in 1963. There was an impressive list of group and individual contacts featured in Freedom. National conferences began to be organised that were well attended. On the face of it things looked very good indeed, with the potential for an Anarchist movement to grow and once again have some influence as the pre-WWI movement had. In reality things were far from rosy. Anyone could attend conferences, often to make contributions and then never to be seen again. There was no structure of decision-making, and therefore no decisions made at conference. There was no paper controlled by the AFB, and often groups loosely affiliated within it contained all sorts of ‘anarchists’ from individualists, pacifists and gradualists, lifestylists and agrarian communards, through to syndicalists and anarchist communists. No clear analysis could be developed because of the huge array of differing and opposing ideas. Indeed the AFB only had an internal bulletin from late 1969.

The AFB was unable to respond to the huge potential offered to it, and began to drift. Indeed there was a massive exodus of activists to International Socialism (IS) and the International Marxist Group (IMG). A group emerged in the AFB around Keith Nathan and Ro Atkins, the former who had been a driving force in the very active Harlow Anarchist Group. This group produced a document called Towards a History and Critique of the Anarchist Movement in Modern Times as a discussion paper for a conference of Northern Anarchists in November 1970. Militants in Lancaster and Swansea (including Ian Bone, the future founder of Class War) also had criticisms of the AFB. The people in Swansea dropped out of the fray after their open letter was published, but their action had encouraged people in Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester and York to put a motion to the AFB that it call a ‘reorganisation conference’ to discuss the criticisms raised" (from The Newsletter, bulletin of the ORA May 1971). The Critique and a joint statement produced by all the critics were taken from the conference to the AFB conference in Liverpool the same month. It should be pointed out that this critical current was made up of both anarchist communists and anarcho-syndicalists as well as those who had no specific identification other than Anarchist.

The Critique was a trenchant and deeply honest document. It is worth quoting at length on the state of the Anarchist movement: "the omission of an attempt to link present short term action with the totality of capitalist society and with the totality of the future alternative society, means that when the short term issue dies, as it will, then so does the consciousness created by this short term action. ....bitter personal disputes based upon spuriously advanced positions; battles for the soul of the revolution / movement / Individual / reified anything, fought in reams of paper attacking and defending positions long since overrun by time. This is our ‘theory’. Usually it totally replaces even the pretence of activity".

Following on from the Liverpool Conference the group in York decided to set up the Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists to act as a ginger group within the AFB. The attention at this time was not to leave the AFB. It wanted the AFB to open its doors to other libertarian tendencies e.g. Solidarity. "...The ORA people do not want to form another sect-we see our role as acting within and on the libertarian movement in general, as well as initiating our own work...we hope it can act as a link and a catalyst not only for ORA and the AFB but also to all libertarians". (ORA Newsletter see above).

ORA’s objections to the traditional anarchist movement then, were more on the level of organisation than of theory. Their advocacy of collective responsibility, the use of a Chair and voting to take decisions at meetings, formal membership and a paper under the control of its "writers, sellers and readers" while warmly greeted in some quarters for example the May 1971 Scottish Anarchist Federation Conference was viciously attacked by others.

But the ORA itself was a hotchpotch including all sorts of anarchists, including syndicalists and those who argued for a pacifist strategy. When the ORA decided to bring out a monthly paper, Libertarian Struggle, in February 1973, it proved to be a forcing house for the development of the group, and these elements fell away. Also significant were contacts with the Organisation Révolutionnaire Anarchiste in France which had developed along similar lines within the Federation Anarchiste. Through the French ORA the British discovered the pamphlet the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists which had been written by a group of Russian and Ukrainian Anarchists, including Nestor Makhno and Piotr Arshinov. This argued for a specific anarchist communist organisation, and ideological and tactical unity.

The ORA produced a number of pamphlets and a regular monthly paper. At first this was lacking in theoretical content, in the main consisting of short factual articles on various struggles. Quite correctly, Libertarian Struggle gave extensive coverage to both industrial struggles and struggles outside the workplace, including tenants struggles, squatting, women’s liberation and gay liberation. By issue 8 a greater analytical and theoretical content emerged. For example in an article on the Spanish Revolution of 1936 in Libertarian Struggle 1973 we can read about: "The failure of the anarcho-syndicalists who make a far too ready identification of their union with the working class as a whole. The way forward in a revolutionary situation is the rapid building of workers councils...union committees are no substitute for direct workers power". These anarchist-communist criticisms of anarcho-syndicalism were to be further developed within the libertarian communist movement over the years.

Similarly, the analysis of Labour was to be a consistent feature of British anarchist-communism over the following years. For example we can read in Libertarian Struggle November 1973: "Only by carefully explaining and exposing the role of the Labour Party to the working class can any progress be made to building a revolutionary anarchist alternative...It cannot be done by first insisting we vote Labour". The Labour Party was defined as a bourgeois party.

On the unions, however, the ORA was not so clear. The criticisms of the union bureaucracies were clear enough, and this included the ‘left’ NUM leadership. Also clear was the call to create workers action committees leading to the establishment of workers councils. However this was mixed up with calls to democratise the unions (!) and to democratise the various Rank and Files (all of which were IS fronts).

The events of 1974, the Miners Strike and the 3-Day week, led many to think (falsely) that revolution was just around the corner. This led to the formation of the Left Tendency inside the ORA. They concluded that it was in the nature of anarchism that the attempts to form a national organisation were bound to fail, and turned to Trotskyism. Most of this group ended up in the horrific authoritarian Healeyite outfit, the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), whilst others joined IS. Nathan himself, whilst not a supporter of the Left Tendency, also left at this time to join the WRP.

The Left Tendency had called for an elected Editorial Board rather than a paper edited in rotation by each group and for a "more coherent position on Ireland" among other things. The organisation came to a virtual standstill, as these members had been among the most active, and many others, who were not prepared to take on the workload, dropped out. Amongst those who remained, some took the initiative to revive the organisation. A limited edition (1,000) Libertarian Struggle was put out in November 1974 and sold out in 10 days. There followed a period of recruitment and consolidation, until May 1975 when the paper began to appear again on a regular monthly basis.

The Anarchist Workers Association

At the beginning of 1975 ORA changed its name to the Anarchist Workers Association, which it was felt implied more of a class commitment, although others criticised this change as a mistake, implying workerism, and a too narrow obsession with the workplace. It was true that most of the membership in this period were heavily involved in workplace activity.

By 1976 the AWA had 50 members, most of them active, with 3 groups in London, groups in Oxford, Yorkshire, Leicester, and Scotland. The paper now called itself Anarchist Worker, was a regular monthly with sales of 1,500-2,000, mostly street sales. It was to some extent ‘a libertarian version of Socialist Worker’ but the coverage was wider, for example covering the struggles of claimants and squatters and provocatively questioning the work ethic.

The organisation went through a vicious split between Spring 1976 and Spring 1977. The Towards a Programme (TAP) Tendency was founded primarily to change the 1976 Conference decision on Ireland, where the majority, had argued for an abstentionist, anti-Republican position on Ireland, and that "Troops Out" was only meaningful if they withdrew through united class action. The TAP kept to the classic ‘Troops Out’ formula as well as the leftist "Self-determination for the Irish people as a whole". The TAP also argued for a less "ultra-left " position on the unions that is for "democratisation of the unions", "extend unionisation" etc. This tendency included Nathan who had returned to the fold.

The AWA did not have a tradition of political debate. Much of the debate there was conducted at a puerile level. The TAP tendency accused their opponents of "traditional anarchism" and wishing to "lead the AWA back to the days of the AFB" whilst the TAP tendency was accused by its opponents of "Trotskyism". The debate was clouded by controversy over the issue of abortion with a leading opponent of the TAP tendency taking an anti-abortion position., as well as some of the opponents of TAP (though only a small minority) taking increasingly anti-organisational positions.


Eventually at a conference in May 1977, on a motion sprung from the floor expulsions against the opposition to the TAP tendency was carried by 2 votes, with no prior notice or discussion at previous meetings or in the Internal Bulletin. Others left the organisation in disgust at these manoeuvres.
The expelled comrades committed to organisational politics regrouped under the title ‘Provisional AWA’ which then changed its name to the Anarchist Communist Association, producing a paper Bread and Roses and an introductory pamphlet to the ACA. The internal disputes had proved debilitating, however, and the ACA disappeared in 1980. The ACA had attempted to carry on some of the better traditions of ORA/AWA
As for the TAP tendency and those others who remained in the AWA, the coming period was to be one of complete capitulation to leftism. The name of the organisation was changed to the Libertarian Communist Group, there were defections to the International Marxist Group, and then the LCG announced that it had moved from class struggle anarchism to a "libertarian, critical, Marxism". The LCG backed "United Front Work" which in practice meant working in the Socialist Teachers Alliance, and the Socialist Student Alliance, fronts dominated by the IMG. This United Front work which in practice meant collaboration with leftist political formations, led to the LCG committing one of their most heinous errors-entering an electoral front set up by IMG called Socialist Unity (SU) and backed by other groups like Big Flame. Socialist Unity put up candidates where it felt they had the strength, and advanced the slogan "Vote Labour But Build a Socialist Alternative" where it did not. The LCG was supposed to be "critically" supporting SU, but failed to make any serious criticisms of this support for Labour. The SWP for their part, peeved by the SU running candidates, and perceiving this as a threat, decided to stand their own candidates. The LCG endorsed these candidates as well, completely forgetting all the criticisms it had made of electoralism and of the nature of the Leninist groups. Finally, after the IMG, in their usual fashion, got bored with SU as a way of recruiting, it was wound up. The LCG failed to deliver any post-mortem on this.

The end was soon to come. The LCG compounded these errors by supporting a slate run by an anti-cuts group called Resistance (Keith Nathan and friends) for council elections in Leeds.

The LCG moved for fusion with the "libertarian Marxist" group Big Flame in 1980. This organisation had been previously described in Anarchist Worker as "schizophrenic libertarians/Leninists": "Big Flame leads in uncritical copying of Lotta Continua in Italy, from their spontaneism to softness on Stalinism". For its part Big Flame was unable to withstand the instabilities of its politics. The ‘left’ "victory" orchestrated by Tony Benn in the Labour Party resulted in the collapse of Big Flame as most of its members decided to enter the Labour Party, where they eventually wound up as apologists for Kinnock. The LCG had argued that they were "too small to give us an acceptable forum for political discussion" and that there were "no serious political differences between the two organisations". The LCG had relinquished any idea of constructing a specific libertarian communist organisation as well as any serious political analysis. But in any case, the politics of the LCG had transformed so much that there really was little difference between their leftism and that of Big Flame.


This history of the ORA/AWA/LCG with its history of splits, defections and gross political errors is far from inspiring. But these developments, sometimes as unedifying as they were, signal the first attempts of libertarian communism to re-emerge in the post-World War II period. These attempts to re-emerge were as one member of the ACF noted in 1991 bound to be effected by the "present comparatively weak state of anarchist communism". Two "magnetic poles of attraction" would be at work, he went on to say. One would be Leninism, which would exert its influence through comrades moving physically and ideologically over to Leninist outfits, or adopting Leninist style politics whist still professing to be within the revolutionary anarchist movement as happened with the LCG, and later with the Anarchist Workers Group.
The other pole of attraction would involve comrades committing some of the errors associated with parts of the left communist milieu-spontaneism, refusal to construct a revolutionary organisation, and where theoretical elaboration was divorced from effective practice and intervention, and seemed to involve finding as many differences as possible between comrades.

The appearance of the Anarchist Communist Federation marked a dramatic move forward, a significant development in both the strengthening and elaboration of Anarchist Communist theory, as well as an ongoing practice.

Thomas Spence: Morris, Brian (1996), The agrarian socialism of Thomas Spence in Ecology & Anarchism, Images Publishing, Malvern Wells; Rudkin, Olive D (1927) Thomas Spence and his Connections
Kitz, Lane, Mowbray and the Socialist League: Quail, John, The slow burning fuse, Picador, London
Organise 42, publication of the Anarchist Communist Federation

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Crossword #40: Alfredo M. Bonanno

Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:25

This weeks crossword puzzle is on Alfredo M. Bonanno

Download it here:


From LBC about the book:

For those anarchistnews fans who miss Worker's acerbic and insightful bon mots on modern-day anarchy and anarchists, here is a fix (however temporary) for you.

Fifty crossword puzzles of occasionally ludicrous difficulty (there are scattered puff questions throughout also, for those of you, like me, who are terrible at these kind of games) are featured for your education and amusement. is the most popular, utilized, and non-sectarian news source pertaining to anarchists in North America. Its open commenting system continues to be one of the few spaces in which anarchists, nationally and internationally, converse about topics of the day, challenge each other, and critically engage with a wide variety of issues and events.

Worker retired from running the site after eleven years... Since then they have reflected on their time in the daily trenches of running the site, and this book is the result. These crossword puzzles speak to the years of comment threads, the ridiculousness and wonderfulness of the anarchist space in North America, and finally the absurdity of working with cantankerous, stubborn, and self-righteous people by way of essay or manifesto.

These puzzles should probably be done by a reading group or a group of friends. They are supposed to make you think, laugh, and perhaps smack your head. A more perfect metaphor for North American anarchism cannot be found.


[ Here are the solutions! Don’t peek!: ]

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