THIS YEAR sees the celebrations of the ‘discovery’ of America in 1492 by Columbus. The celebrations have generated some debate about the rights and wrongs of the events which followed the discovery. In Spain itself, Seville has seen riots as marches protesting at the celebration have been broken up by the police.
America was not discovered, it was already populated by many nations of people. Some of them were composed of primitive communistic societies of hunter-gathers. It was these peoples that the European merchants first found and exploited to extermination. In Mexico and Peru two military empires were in existence, the Azetcs and the Inca’s
A TIME AND A PLACE
America was ‘discovered’ at a time when Eu... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchist communists have no principled objection to insurrections, our movement has been built out of the tradition of insurrections within anarchism and we draw inspiration from many of those involved in such insurrections. In the present, we continue to defy the limitations the state seeks to put on protest where ever doing so carries the struggle forward. Again that is not just a judgment for us to make — in cases where we claim to be acting in solidarity with a group (eg of striking workers) then it must be that group that dictates the limits of the tactics that can be used in their struggle.
Insurrectionalism offers a useful critique of much that is standard left practice. But it falsely tries to extend that critique to all for... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The WSM has always said socialists should not support any intervention by the UN anywhere. What is currently happening in Bosnia and Rwanda demonstrates the reasons why we should not call on the UN to intervene.
In Europe most people have favored intervention from an early period in ex-Yugoslavia. Initially this would have been in the support of Croatia, now it would be for Bosnia. Yet despite the popular acclaim such intervention would receive (in its early days), it has not happened. Why? Because our rulers have decided it is not in their interests to do so.
The TV coverage in Ireland of Bosnia and Rwanda has been horrific. It included footage of people being clubbed to death within about 300m of UN forces and also of an incident where ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) THE 12th OF JULY, always a high point of tension, was used this year by the ‘respectable’ unionist parties to try to provoke the IRA into breaking the ceasefire. Nothing made this clearer than the events surrounding the attempts of Orangemen in Portadown to march through the Garvaghy Road nationalist estate. The ceasefire was already under strain from the release of Lee Clegg, and unionist politicians were quick to seize on the confrontation there as an opportunity to push republican patience to breaking point.
Many people who tuned in to the news late on the evening of July 10th to hear the wild rumors arising from of the loyalist siege of Garvaghy Road must have thought they were hearing the end of the ceasefire. It was said ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) HERE IT COMES, there it goes. Another doling out of our share of “democracy”. Where will we put our ‘X’. Who do we want to rule us for another five years? The answer for anarchists to this question is easy, nobody.
The right to the vote was part of the hard won struggles of workers (and suffragettes!) over the last couple of hundred years. Even the most flawed democracies are forced to concede rights that dictatorships do not, such as relative independence for trade unions, the right to limited demonstrations and a certain amount of free speech.
However it is clear that none of these are absolutes, as anti-trade union legislation like the Industrial Relations Act, Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act, and the refusal... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) FEW GENUINE socialists would claim the Irish Labor Party has any sort of glorious socialist past, outside of Connolly’s involvement in setting it up. It’s record is one of abstention from real struggles, attacks on the left and, in coalition, attacks on Irish workers. Many of its supporters believe Labor can come to power in Ireland in the long term through an alliance with the Workers Party.
This article takes a brief look at the British Labor Party. It demonstrates how the same problems arise in an organization which has been able to form majority governments. We are looking at the history of the British Labor Party because it is to this organization that many socialists in the Irish Labor Party look for inspiration.
In Irel... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) THE LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS is now being debated openly by sections of the European ruling class. In localized areas like Amsterdam they have been conducting a 20 year experiment into the effects of legalization. In Switzerland they are experimenting with the de-criminalization of small quantities of heroin. According to the British Guardian one well-known brewery, Carlsberg-Tetley, has been investigating the hash cafes of Amsterdam with a view to running similar establishments in Britain. In Italy a referendum in March of 1993 ended the obligatory penal sentence for cannabis possession and in Germany earlier this year the Supreme Court suggested personal possession of drugs should not be prosecuted.
Even senior police are getting in on t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The Orange Order: an enemy of ALL workers
It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the ‘marching season’ fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed neutrality of the northern regime and the RUC in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, Protestant and Catholic, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into ‘their own’ communities.
The reality of the Orange Order is that it is a counter-revolutionary institution set up and maintained to target not just Catholics but also ‘disloyal’ Protestants. It&rsqu... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) ANARCHISTS SAY that capitalism can not be reformed away. We say it must be overthrown through a revolution. Many people however believe that the failure of the Russian revolution of 1917 shows revolutions just replace one set of rulers with another. The failures of the revolutions in Nicaragua, Iran and Cuba to fundamentally change life for the workers of these countries seems to point to the same thing. So why all this talk of revolution?
A revolution essentially is a sudden upheaval in society which fundamentally alters the way that society operates or who that society is run by. It occurs when the mass of the people desire change that their rulers are unwilling or unable to grant. It can not be the result of the action of a small group ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In the last issue of Workers Solidarity we mentioned the anarchist electronic library Spunk Press. Some of our readers may have seen it mentioned since in the Sunday Times (British) as part of a complicated conspiracy theory which attempted to link it to everything from drug making to school riots to bank-robbing to “outlawed loyalist paramilitary groups”!!
The same weekend a computer bulletin board was raided in Italy and the administrators of it charged with “association with intent to subvert the democratic order”. This is a charge which carries a penalty for those convicted of 7 to 15 years imprisonment. More recently articles in the US media and a paper published by the Rand institute have warned of the danger ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchists are for the defeat of British imperialism. We would like to see an end to the killings in the 6 counties but we understand that the ultimate cause of the troubles lies at the feet of Britain and the northern sectarian statelet. But we want more, we stand for the creation of a new society in the interests of the working class and against the bosses, both orange and green.
This is very different from the politics of Sinn Fein. We see the way forward as unity of Catholic and Protestant workers in a common fight against capitalism. They look for alliances of bosses and workers. Their interest in Protestant workers seems to stop at who can best control them. Hence Gerry Adams speech at this years Ard Fheis said that Protestants neede... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Internationally there is a long and close historical relationship between anarchism and what in English is often referred to as syndicalism or revolutionary unionism. Such unions have no bureaucracy, all decisions being made by their membership and include among their aims the abolition of capitalism and its replacement with libertarian communism. Recently we received details of one of the newer syndicalist unions, the Siberian Confederation of Labor (SKT).
Anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism were reborn in the USSR in the opening created by Gorbachev’s ‘glasnost’ in the late 1980’s. Lenin and the Bolsheviks physically destroyed the previous movements of the 1917 to 21 period. Not only were the anarchist organizations... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) THE ONGOING economic slump has seen the ruling class trying to make us pay for their crisis. The employers wish for a free hand to introduce wage cuts and speedups while the government cuts deeper into the social wage. They don’t quite have it all their way however as the unions, although greatly weakened, can still fight back — particularly in the public service.
One weapon the employers have used in the last few years to weaken workplace organization and to drive wages down is casualization. This normally involves replacing full time jobs with pensions, sick pay and holiday rights with part time workers who are commonly employed on a week to week basis and have few rights. Another part of the same process is the hiring of wor... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)