Shapark Shajarizadeh was one of 29 women who undertook individual protests against the wearing of the hijab in Iran in February. Last month her lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who specializes in human rights and also represented other women involved in the protests, was arrested.
It appears that 42-year-old Shapark was subjected to beatings and torture after her arrest. Another 31-year old who took part in the protests is also rumored to have been arrested.
Penalties for women revealing their hair in public in Iran range from the equivalent of a £19 fine to a prison sentence.
Shapark was sentenced to two years in prison and 18 years suspended prison sentence. On Instagram she said “This means that I will have to be silent for 20 year... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) At the first coordination meeting of the Anarchist Communist Group since its founding congress in February, comrades from Leicester, London, Surrey and Scotland met together in London to coordinate activities and propaganda.
There was an in-depth discussion on the National Health Service. At the end of the discussion it was decided to produce a pamphlet on the NHS which should be out later in the year, as well as leaflets and detailed analysis on ACG social media.
There was further discussion on bringing out a third issue of our news sheet, Jackdaw, which would be an 8 page issue. This will appear at the beginning of September.
It was also decided to bring out other pamphlets in addition to our NHS pamphlet. These would include The Itali... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) We deplore the invasion of the city of Afrin by the Turkish state and its armed forces. The main reason for this military adventure is Turkish government concerns that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – primarily controlled by Kurdish forces, which include the PYD (Democratic Union Party), the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), closely affiliated to the PKK, the Kurdish nationalist party operating within the borders of the Turkish state – have attempted to set up a zone of influence close to Turkey’s borders. Having a Kurdish zone so close by scares the Erdoğan regime in Turkey, which dreads the encouragement this would give to the 16 million Kurds living within t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) At the end of February a private event took place at which Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief adviser, unaffectionately nicknamed the Gollum, summed up the then current approach of the government on coronavirus. Those who attended described his position as “herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad”. A “senior Conservative source” was quoted as describing Cummings’ views as, “let old people die”.
This policy of herd immunity, which means allowing the virus to spread through the mass of the population fairly quickly and in the process allegedly establish mass immunity to the virus, is basically an experiment in eugenics. Wikipedia describes eugenics as &... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) During 2017 the fracking industry’s activity continued but strong, well organized and imaginative community opposition resulted in delays and heavy costs for the corporations involved. This year promises to be another grinding, slow slog for the fracking industry with money being lost hand over fist due to community opposition around the UK.
The fracking industry has to artificially crank up the possibility of profit to draw in investment capital that is its life blood. But there are over 300 local groups in the anti-fracking movement which has successfully increased in numbers, strength and motivation. It is this direct action movement which threatens to bleed the fracking industry of its profit and stop it dead in its tracks.
Last... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Watching Johnson and his lackeys deliver the daily bulletin or explain the new lockdown rules makes you want to scream with despair and anger. How can they be so incompetent?
There is an element in which our leaders are ill-equipped to do the job at hand. Being educated in the public school system and getting where they are through money and connections does not prepare people to manage a serious crisis. ‘I say old chap- bit of a problem we’ve got on our hands’ just doesn’t cut it. This is not the first time that the ruling elite has made a mess of things. The two world wars are examples of the Oxbridge officer class making decisions that led to millions dying. They didn’t spare themselves, though; many of the... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Facebook is a highly profitable way of garnering information from individuals and then selling it on to advertizers and other companies who can then target individuals. It is a highly effective way of gathering such information, far better than the methods used by PR consultants for many years.
What the Cambridge Analytica uproar is about is that outfit got hold of the profiles of 50 million Facebook users via a psychology professor and then used the information in various political campaigns like the Trump election and Brexit.
This is hardly new information but papers like the Guardian have used the so called scandal to mount attacks on social media. They do this partly due to their liberal outrage over a perceived attack on the liberal ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Something this pandemic has revealed is just what we do and don’t need. Down here where I live in Kent, Fenwicks (a luxury department store in Canterbury), as well as most of the shops, are closed. Poor people can’t usually afford to buy things from places like Fenwicks anyway, but it just shows that we don’t need these luxury places and their goods.
What we do need are essential goods like food (particularly food that is nutritious and might boost our immune systems) and other useful products that we use in our day to day lives, as well as medication, if we rely upon it.
We need infrasture (such as decent healthcare) and goods, but do we really need expensive luxuries? Especially lines and lines of different types of ex... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) We TOTALLY respect, appreciate and support all that those in the NHS are doing and putting themselves through, along with millions of other essential workers. But, we have concerns that the Clap For Carers gesture will be seen as a smoke screen for the government’s handling of the current situation.
Whilst it was a way for ordinary people to show their genuine support for care workers, it also takes the spotlight off the state for their pathetic attempts at protecting and supporting essential workers, whilst at the same time shoring up the business sector and donors to their parties. The governments lack of foresight and mismanagement is nothing short of astounding.
Our care workers need more than a two-minute round of applause &nda... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The COVID-19 crisis has thrown a glaring searchlight on the state of health of capitalism. Here we analyze in detail the origins of the disease, its global consequences and what we, the working class can do about it.
First of all we have to look at how COVID-19 originated and at the same time dispose of various conspiracy theories that are circulating like how it was invented by the Chinese government to cull the elderly and infirm. The Coronavirus crisis must not be used to scapegoat Chinese, Italian or Spanish people here in the UK and throughout the world.
In 1970 there was a famine in China which affected more than 36 million people. The Beijing regime failed to adequately deal with the famine. As a result, it let go of its state hold... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A large number of people are due to die of coronavirus and many countries have mobilized against the spread of the virus. Without in any way wishing to downplay the gravity of the situation, we should get some perspective on the situation.
Roughly 9.1 million people die of hunger each year, and that can sometimes be 25,000 a day. Why is there no global mobilization against these horrendous figures? Why has this been allowed to go on for so long? There is easily enough food to feed the world’s population but the capitalist class believes in making profits out of food, and limits the supply.
The same goes for HIV/AIDS. It has killed a grand total of 35 million since its appearance in the 1980s, that’s an average of 9.1 million d... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The first coronavirus murder has been reported in the UK. A 67- year old woman was murdered by her husband when they were both in self-isolation.
This illustrates the great dangers that women face as a result of lockdown, not just here but over the world. Domestic abuse cases soared in France, with at least two murders of women. Women’s organizations there are warning of worsening situations as regards domestic abuse. Globally, one in three women face physical and sexual violence, in many cases from someone in their family. In China, local police stations reported a threefold increase in domestic violence cases in February, compared to the same time last year. In the USA, calls to some domestic abuse helplines doubled.
Self-isolatio... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) If you needed further convincing that our mainstream and even fringe political parties have only their own interests at heart, then join us as we take a look at the aimless mess that is the upcoming European Elections.
The Big Two
A divided Labor Party continues to struggle with internal battles between “democratic socialist” Corbynites and business friendly vaguely left leaning liberals. Both sides use Brexit, not as a way to try and help the voters they represent, but rather as a chance to weaken their internal opposition.
Local elections saw support for Labor fall as identity problems continue to confuse potential supporters of “a party with socialists in it”.
The Conservatives handling of Brexit has been se... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Extinction Rebellion has managed to organize an impressive number of people into a civil disobedience movement. They have managed to shut down and occupy significant parts of London including numerous major road junctions over the past week. They have many admirable principles such as “breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation” and “creating a world that is fit for generations to come”. However, is civil disobedience really the best method for getting action to be taken on climate change?
The aim of Extinction Rebellion’s civil disobedience campaign is to attempt to cause enough disruption so that the State meets their demands to bring back order – as appearing to have order and... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On Saturday 17th February, anarchist communist militants met in Leicester to found a new organization, the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG). Those present adopted Aims and Principles and a constitution. The preamble to the Aims and Principles reads:
“We are a revolutionary anarchist communist organization made up of local groups and individuals who seek a complete transformation of society, and the creation of anarchist communism. This will mean the working class overthrowing capitalism, abolishing the State, getting rid of exploitation, hierarchies and oppressions, and halting the destruction of the environment. To contribute to the building of a revolutionary anarchist movement we believe it is important to be organized. We are comm... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The following are the notes from the talk given at the ACG public meeting in Leicester on 10th November
In this centenary of the end of the First World War and the media hyping of Remembrance Day we have stories like “How Lloyd George Ended the War” along with praise for Marshal Petain, the arch-militarist and leader of the Vichy regime from French President Macron. We are told the Allies were fighting for “civilization” and democracy against Prussian militarism. Curiously the German Empire from 1871 to 1918 (and the North German Confederation before it in 1867) had universal male suffrage whereas universal male suffrage was not introduced in Britain until 1918 (women in both Britain and Germany had to wait until af... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) If we stop, the world stops
Millions of women around the world participated in events for International Women’s Day (IWD) on March the 8th. The most militant action was in the growth of the ‘Women’s Strike’, with 5.3 million people on strike in Spain. In Britain, the interest in the tactics of the strike on IWD is relatively new, yet still 7,000 women pledged to strike. In addition, links were made to grass roots unions such as the Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union (CAIUW) with support for their pickets for a Living Wage. Sex workers also co-ordinated their own actions for decriminalization and trans women held an action over the problems of access to NHS services.
The organizers in Britain made it cl... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) From the mines around the world to the corporate power centers of London
Low wages and appalling working conditions, environmental destruction, corporate greed- all these are components of the mining and extractive industries. We have seen the treatment of miners in this country and also the problem with extracting fossil fuels when we desperately need to deal with climate change. Fracking is currently one of the main battle fields. However, the worst of the mining industry is seen abroad, in the global south, as companies benefit from the colonial legacy. Mining is spread to even the remotest parts of the globe, completely destroying the environment and cultures of indigenous peoples.
It is not just the mines but it is also the processin... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) After the “moderate” cleric Hassan Rouhani was reelected in the Iranian presidential elections of 2017 his regime which had been pushing neo-liberal ideas continued on the same course. The public health service has been slashed so much it hardly exists, and job and workplace security have gone. Many jobs are now precarious (short-term contracts etc.) whilst the professionals-doctors, technicians, etc. have seen their living standards pushed down drastically. Whilst the capital Tehran has been allowed to grow, many regional cities and towns have seen conditions deteriorate, and the same goes for provision to the various ethnic groups within Iran.
Many people have been forced to cut back drastically on foodstuffs they had previou... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Is Class Still Relevant? An Anarchist Communist Perspective
The following was a talk given by an ACG member at a Rebel City Collective meeting at the recent AntiUniversity in London
It has become increasingly popular among academics and others that the working class is either tiny or no longer a key player in the struggle for a new society. They base this on the fact that in many western countries, eg the US, the industrial working class has declined as a result of deindustrialization and the movement of factory production overseas. The implication is that ‘class struggle’ is less important and the focus should be on ‘people’ or other oppressed groups. In fact some would go so far as to argue that the white, male w... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) When Boris Johnson breezed into Number 10 Downing Street, he must have thought what a lark it all was. A long held desire to be Leader has motivated him for decades and finally he got his wish. Granted, he had the difficult job of sorting out Brexit, but he had won the election on such a basis and wasn’t really thinking ahead.
Johnson’s time as London Mayor illustrated how when it came to it, any commitment to a leadership role has been part-time. What he did as London Mayor, he is doing now.
He missed the first five meetings of Cobra, the cross-departmental meetings that are meant to respond to emergencies, concerning the coronavirus. On January 31st, he turned down the European scheme to supply PPE equipment, and on February... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The slogan ‘Land and Liberty’ has long been an anarchist slogan. It was the name of the Russian revolutionary organization ‘Zemlya i Volya’ in 1878 and was used by the peasants in the Russian Revolution. When women marched in St Petersburg on the 8th of March, 1917, helping to kick off the revolution, the slogan was Bread, Land and Peace. ‘Tierra y Libertad’ was prominent in the Mexican and Spanish Revolutions and is still used today as the name of the Iberian Anarchist Federation paper.
It is not surprising that land is a key demand. Rural land workers represented the majority of the working population well into the 20th century in much of the world. Land ownership was concentrated in the hands of a few... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) “The first of May is the symbol of a new era in the life and struggle of the toilers, an era that each year offers the toilers fresh, increasingly tough and decisive battles against the bourgeoisie, for the freedom and independence wrested from them, for their social ideal.”
The Anarchist Origins of 1st May
The idea of turning the 1st of May into a day of action for workers was first proposed at the 4th congress of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). It was decided to launch, starting from the 1st of May 1886, a wide campaign of agitation and struggle focused on limiting the working week to forty hours. The most radical actions took place in Chicago. At that time, Chicago had the most developed workers ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Here’s what we’ve got back from members so far…
ACGers in London attended the capital’s main May Day demo. The march set of from Clerkenwell and the vibe was very much TUC meets global Stalinfest plus Ocalan/PKK personality cult loyalists. At the Parliament Square rally, there were also more Momentum types as well as Extinction Rebellion people. There were the usual speeches from various on the left and trade union movement, such as Matt Wrack (FBU) and Ash Sarkar (Novara journo). Our friends from the CWO were also handing out their paper Aurora. Sadly, apart from ourselves, there appeared to be no presence from any of the other UK anarchist and libertarian organizations. AGC members meanwhile shifted a f... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The recent massive victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador who headed up a left populist movement in Mexico was greeted with jubilation by the Left in this country and worldwide.
Obrador is the leader of the left populist Movement For National Regeneration -Morena. He formed an electoral coalition with the Workers Party (PT) and the right wing evangelical Christian grouping, Social Encounter Party (PES). This coalition is known as AMLO. Perhaps readers might cast their minds back to the election of the leftist Syriza in Greece who were in electoral alliance with the right wing nationalist Independent Greeks (ANEL). Syriza swept into power with massive popular support in the same way as Obrador and his party coalition have done... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) “One sad conclusion of the confused, fragmented, and variable response of the NHS to COVID-19 is that…we do not have a National Health Service at all.”
Professor Richard Horton, Editor in Chief, The Lancet, April 1st 2020
After more than a decade of financial cuts, fragmentation, part-privatization, frozen salaries and massive shortages of staff, what remains of our public health service is on its knees, struggling to deal with a pandemic that has swept the world.
Everywhere posters, newspaper headlines, television and Facebook proclaim their support for “our NHS heroes”. Frontline health workers face sickness and death for themselves and their families dealing with the effects of the virus.
The same p... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A hundred cruise missiles were launched against the military installations of the Assad regime. In the aftermath the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stated that the United States was “locked and loaded”. Together the US, France and Britain have engaged in bombings that will be of no benefit to the Syrian masses suffering under the murderous regime of Bashar Assad.
It can be seen that all three regimes in the USA, France and Britain have their own domestic problems, and that a military adventure is always a good ploy to divert attention. Trump is wrestling with the ongoing Muller investigation, the revelations of ex-FBI Director Comey, and ongoing legal wrangles with porn star Stormy Daniels and polls that show... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchist Communist Group members are saddened to hear about the death of veteran Irish anarchist, Alan MacSimoin.
Alan started his political life with Official Sinn Fein’s youth organization when still at school but broke with republicanism and went on to help set up Dublin Anarchist Group in 1978. Later he was involved in setting up the Anarchist Workers Alliance and later still he was a founder member of the Workers Solidarity Movement. Although Alan parted company with the WSM more recently, he nevertheless continued to be active politically until his death. Alan was on the platformist wing of the libertarian movement.
A number of ACG members have had comradely dealings with Alan over the decades. One ACG member says:
I am shoc... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of our Bulgarian comrade, Alexander Nakov, who died in Pernik on 10th November 2018, aged 99 years. The Anarchist Communist Group sends its heartfelt sympathy and solidarity to Alexander’s family, friends and comrades, both in Bulgaria and around the world.
Alexander became an anarchist in 1936, inspired by news of the Spanish revolution. He remained steadfastly committed to his anarchist principles for the rest of his life. He joined the Federation of Anarchist Communists in Bulgaria (FACB) and was highly active in what was effectively a mass anarcho-communist organization with deep roots in the urban and rural working class, before it was crushed by the Stalinist governmen... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) This is a reply to the three texts World Transformed/the Labor Party and the Libertarian Left,/Dreams, Memes, Labor and Us and Corbynism from (the great) below, written by members of Plan C. We felt we had to reply to these texts as part of the libertarian left, members of the Anarchist Federation, and one-time members of Big Flame.
We welcomed the appearance of Plan C when it first appeared and were pleased by its determination to develop a Plan C in response to the Plan B of social democracy and Laborism. Plan C seemed like a bright new star on the libertarian left. The “C” could be interpreted as either “Commons” or “Communism”.
Now however Plan C’s initial aims seem to be disoriented by the ri... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)