“Bay Kou, bliye. Pote mak, sonje”
(“He who strikes, forgets. He who’s scarred remembers”- Haitian proverb)
5 years have passed since Ayiti, paradoxically the first Latin American republic to emancipate itself from the yoke of colonialism, found itself under foreign military occupation. Strictly speaking, it is the only Latin American country under military occupation at the present moment.
Situated in the middle of the Caribbean, sharing a landmass with the Dominican Republic and facing Florida and Cuba, this small nation has for a long time been occupied by 7,036 U.N soldiers and 2,053 U.N policemen (which form part of a “humanitarian” mission – MINUSTAH). It is not the first time Ayit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A Sunday Times review of a theater play by Christopher Hart turned into a relentless attack on the Palestinian right to resist the colonialist-settler Israeli occupation...
I never read Sunday Papers. I think they are an absolute waste of time. They are often a sanctuary for mediocre writers that cannot make it to the proper news during the week, and where they can indulge in a massive display of bigotry as well as in a complete disregard for facts.
But on Sunday (15/02), somehow, an issue of the Sunday Times made it home. Bad as it is, they have the nerve of having a so-called “Culture” supplement. And as I was checking the Review of Theater plays, I bumped into a piece written by Christopher Hart that reviewed both a G... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) We begin in 1872, when the Chilean Section of the International Working Men’s Association was established in Valparaiso, a major coastal city. Tragically, this was also the year of the anarchists’ expulsion from the International, and the section was not destined to last for long. However, it planted the seeds among the workers, for the growth of a strong and developing movement, spreading libertarian ideas throughout syndicates and work-places. Libertarian ideas were becoming particularly strong among the Nitrate miners in the North of the country.
But this process was interrupted by the outbreak in 1879 of the Pacific war. Chili had occupied Antofagasta in the North (then Bolivian territory, and rich in Nitrate deposits) and ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) As anarchists start discussing the prospects for anarchist activity in the medium term, the link becomes clearer between strategy and tactics: that is to say, what we see as our goal, the libertarian society, and the means through which we are going to reach it. Considering the strong rejection of traditional anarchism of the artificial distinction between “means” and “ends”, it is very surprising how often they are divorced in anarchist practice. This is caused mainly due to the lack of strategic planning, what should create the bridge to link the “distant future”, and the day to day issues we deal with. There is little chance of disagreement in any of the two, both the daily issues and the distant futur... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) By late 2019, a historic wave of anti-government protests was sweeping through Latin America, with unprecedented uprisings taking place in Chili, Ecuador, Peru, Haiti and Colombia. For the besieged governments that were part of a new pack of right-wing parties that had come to power after the receding of the pink tide, help arrived in the form of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing national lockdowns which effectively — but temporarily — quelled the protests.
Now, the break appears to be over. In Bolivia, after months of street-level resistance, the coup government was unceremoniously ousted from power through the ballot-box, exposing the lack of legitimacy of that racist clique handsomely supported by the European Uni... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On December 5th we were pained to hear about the untimely death of Alan MacSimóin, veteran anarchist, trade unionist and tireless organizer in Ireland. Today we said farewell to him at Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin, where many other revolutionaries before him have been put to rest. Many friends and comrades from all parties and movements of the left joined his family to bid farewell to this exceptional man. SIPTU, his trade union, had arranged a guard of honor for him. The previous night, the wake at the Teachers’ Club was equally well attended by comrades of all persuasions: from the Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party, Sinn Féin, Workers Solidarity Movement, Workers’ Party, even La... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Every time there are elections, the walls of the streets are all painted with the name of this or that candidate, with this or that slogan, with promises that, this time we mean it, things will change. The people passing by are well accustomed to this familiar view, repeated every couple of years: the streets end up filthy with all that rubbish that will only be washed away by winter’s rain.
And among all that bunch of candidates and slogans, there are, of course, the always present slogans calling not to vote: in this camp it is almost all of the left that proclaims itself to be revolutionary. That said, many among them are calling not to vote because of their own inability to carry their own candidates and not really for any deeper... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) These days, we find ourselves in an extremely propitious moment, not only because of the development of libertarian practices, born from the fire of the various social struggles, but also because of having to raise seriously the question of anarcho-communist organization. For a couple of years now, discussion on forms of organization and on the need for anarchists to organize, has not just been a series of philosophical speculations but rather a succession of equally valid political possibilities. Since 1999, however, we have seen an increase, unexpected for many, in the anarchist presence in a certain number of social struggles and organizations. There have been solid examples of libertarian organization in various towns throughout Chili (... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The unexpected cancellation of the fourth round of negotiations for the Association Agreement (AA) of the European Union and the Andean Community (EU-CAN), which should have taken place between the 7th and the 11th of July, has evidenced the serious difficulties this AA is going through in the current situation and which compromise its viability, at least in the terms in which it had originally been presented. In this article we intend to provide an overview of the milestones in this negotiation and, while at it, to reveal its true nature: that of a new Neo-liberal colonialist imposition disguised as an “association”.
The EU-CAN AA: a wedge for imposing a FTA
The EU-CAN AA is an instrument that intends to re-define relations... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) 1. How were the Newroz celebrations this year (ie. the Kurdish new year)? With all the Arab revolts going on it is certainly an interesting time...
This year the Newroz celebrations were carried out in an absolutely enthusiastic atmosphere; millions of people participated in the celebrations all around Kurdistan and abroad. For decades, Newroz has not only been a national celebration, but has also been a demonstration which represents the tough and longstanding struggle for the liberation of the Kurds. As a matter of fact, we have fought for having the right to celebrate it for over a decade. Nevertheless, this year, what gave real motivation to the millions of Kurds who celebrated Newroz was the splendid revolt wave in the Middle East and... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) It seems that all of a sudden massive waves of protests are shaking the foundations of long standing oppressive regimes in the Arab world... were there any signs that these protests could happen?
That is one of the interesting things about this revolutionary wave spreading in the Arab world, it struck exactly when almost no one was expecting it. Few days only before the mass demonstrations in Egypt, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, declared the Egyptian government to be stable, and now nothing is stable in the area: the masses are on revolt and everywhere the repressive regimes are expecting the worst. There are things in common to these big incidents, which went unnoticed to the regimes, the statesmen and even the intellectuals... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) As we enter the fifth day of mass direct action by the Egyptian people all over the country against the ruling military council (the SCAF), we talked with our anarchist-communist comrades in Cairo to know what demonstrators on the streets think about the dealings between the political parties and the SCAF to speed up the power transfer deal and the possible referendum on this issue.
Protests are expanding all over Egypt: millions have taken to the streets not only in Cairo, but also in Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Aswan, Mahalla, Luxor, Mansoura and Ismailia among many others. All over the country people are mobilizing against the military council (the SCAF) and demanding their resignation, to complete their revolution started in January.... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Haiti makes it to the news only when there’s turmoil or a disaster. But for most of the year, the silent drama of the poorest country of the Western hemisphere is conveniently ignored by the world. Last year, on the 13th of February, Haiti made it to the news as the masses took to the streets to denounce electoral fraud and defend the most popular candidate in an election with over 50 presidential candidates that were nothing but a bunch of makouts and businessmen devoid of any political proposal. This candidate was Erné García Préval, former prime minister of Aristide (1990) and former president (1995–2000). He was seen by the masses as a figure they associated with the populist Aristide, up to this day ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) “I’ve come to help”. These were the words of the grotesque dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier after his return — in glory and majesty — to Haiti, a country that between 1971 and 1986, was subject to bloodshed, murder, torture and the loss of its finest to exile, while his kleptocratic regime embezzled the nation with the complicity of France and the USA. Since then, Baby Doc has been living in luxurious exile in a villa on the Côte d’Azur, while in Haiti the dechoukaj unfolded, a popular revolution of huge proportions in which the people sought to uproot and demolish all remnants of the hated Duvalier. In the late ‘80s, Haiti seemed to be on the verge of social revolution.
M... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The regular contributor of Anarkismo.net, Wayne Price, comes back with a book that details the anarchist-communist criticism of the State both from a theoretical as well as historical point of view. Because of the magnitude of such a task, it is impossible for such a book to examine in length the various aspects of this. But the book is full of ideas and notions that can be developed further. The whole of the book is free of heavy academic jargon, quite easy reading and thought provoking.
The biggest merit of the book is to put forward the anarchist case against the State in a very commonsensical fashion, free of any deliberately hard to follow rhetoric. Anarchism is desirable and easy enough to grasp, and when properly explained –as... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Thought Crime Ink Ed., have done a great job in putting this interesting and thought-provoking book together in a stylish and sober presentation. Most of the material in this book I have already read, although the versions finally published in the book have been polished and have some changes. A lot of them had previously been published as essays for www.anarkismo.net. But all of them put together gives a new dimension to the overall work: this is not a simple collection of “selected writings” on disparate subjects. All of these articles have themes in common and create a consistent unity, defining a particular approach to anarchism and to the problem of revolution, influenced by the author’s personal reflections and exper... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) “Anarchism in Korea. Independence, Transnationalism, and the Question of National Development 1919–1984”
Dongyoun Hwang (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2016)
Dongyoun Hwang has been working for many years recovering the history of Korean anarchism, a movement which has been remarkably important for the history of its own country, to the point that anarchism was even mentioned by some South Korean scholars as one of the ten more influential ideas ushering Korea into the 20th century (p.1). Notwithstanding its relevance, it has been largely overlooked by anarchists elsewhere and whose history has been inscribed in a nationalist narrative which misrepresents it. Like Nestor Makhno in Ukraine, in Korea, important anarchist histori... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) With the occasion of the recent centenary of the Russian Revolution of October, 1917, Anthony Zurbrugg has edited a wonderful contribution to our understanding of those turbulent times. As the revolution turned into a bitter civil war, exacerbated by the blockade of Soviet Russia by the allies of the Entente –mostly France, Britain and the US-, news of what was really going on in Russia were scarce. While the bourgeois press published horror stories, the left-wing movements associated to the Bolshevik movement reproduced propaganda documents which idealized everything Soviet. It was only in 1920 that it became possible for foreigners to visit the Soviet Union, and many unionists and revolutionaries from all over the world did so in or... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A.W. Zurbrugg has edited and worked on some very interesting contributions on historical anarchism: his selection of Bakunin’s texts and his book on anarchists’ impressions on the Russian Revolution, had both been reviewed in anarkismo.net before and I absolutely recommend them to anyone interested in anarchism. Now Zurbrugg comes back with a more ambitious project: an international historical recount of anarchism in the 20th century in four volumes, of which the first one was published under the title “Anarchist Perspectives in Peace and War 1900–1918”.
So what’s different in this attempt at an international history of anarchism from others? This is, above all, a history of the anarchist movement from t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) This was a much awaited book. Published originally in French back in 1982, its English version was advertised for a couple of years by AK Press, until it finally saw the light of day, and the wait was well worth it. This fine edition includes the interesting photographs of the original edition, plus a new appendix to discuss the state of the research around the Makhnovist movement after the date of its first edition. It constitutes an invaluable document in anarchist history, and provides a vivid glimpse of the anarchist principles in action and of a number of good lessons to be drawn for tomorrow’s revolutions. Needless to say, we’re very glad to have such a book available in English.
For those who are not familiar with the su... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Mikhail Aleksandrovic Bakunin (1814–1876) is a towering figure of the revolutionary ideas and a key figure to the development and expansion of socialist thought in the world at the end of the 19th century. Recently, we commemorated the 200th anniversary of his birth, yet he remains an underappreciated revolutionary thinker and activist, best known for his polemics with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the early 1870s. There are already some great compilations in the English language of his work, to be sure. Among this, we can find Sam Dolgoff’s ‘Bakunin on Anarchism’ and G.P. Maximoff’s ‘The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism’ . Both of them provide a splendid recollections of... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Craib narrates to us skillfully a story that certainly deserves to be told: a history of repression and resistance, of savagery and hope, built by a radical coalition of workers and students in the late part of the 1910s and 1920 in Santiago de Chili. Although this is a book about a particular time and place populated by people who make sense in this very specific context, it has much to teach radicals today facing similar challenges.
“The Cry of the Renegade” is one of the latest contributions in critical academia to the rich history of anarchism in Latin America, a movement which, far from confined to history books, it is still very much alive. Although much of these studies –whereas on anarchism on radical labor- are ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Pluto Press has done a wonderful service in publishing a “Revolution in Rojava”, a first-hand account of the alternative social project being implemented at this very moment in the area called, in Kurdish, Rojava, or West -three cantons in the north of Syria with a sizable Kurdish population, but which is home also to Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans, Turkmen, Armenians and Chechens. As the world has shown images of armed Kurdish guerrillas, the YPG, and as their female counterparts, the YPJ, have made it to the front news, while leading the struggle against the Islamic State (IS). As the world looked in horror at the spread of IS which seemed for some time unstoppable, this group of determined fighters not only held them b... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The following is an interview with Ashanti Alston Omowali, an African descent anarchist activist, who started his political militancy back in the ‘60s in the Black Panther Party. He was also a member of the Black Liberation Army, and because of his revolutionary activities spent more than a decade in prison. In prison he moved forward to anarchism and after his release he has participated with numerous libertarian initiatives and publications, and is one of the founders of Anarchist People of Color (APOC), a network that brings together anarchists of color in the remarkably racist US. Ashanti also participates in a number of initiatives ranging from solidarity with political prisoners in the US to the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The news that the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerrillas was rejected by voters in a national referendum last Sunday, October 2, sent shockwaves around the world. It was close, but a victory for the “no” campaign nonetheless: 50 percent against 49 percent.
As a matter of fact, the “no” campaign did not actually have to win more votes than the “yes” campaign in order to claim a victory. For them it would have sufficed to collect enough votes to put the legitimacy of the agreement into question. Nonetheless, they managed to win in spite of the fact that all of the media, the international community and the vast majority of political and public figures in the country wer... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On March 26th there was a popular referendum in the heart of Colombia, in the town of Cajamarca, in the department of Tolima, to decide whether the citizens agreed with gold mining in their territory or not. In this municipality the transnational corporation AngloGold Ashanti has been for years pushing for the exploitation of a gold mine they call La Colosa (Colossus), which is reputedly the largest gold mine in the Western Hemisphere: 60% of the municipal territory — 30,440 hectares — has been granted to AngloGold Ashanti for mining purposes. 98% of voters rejected mining in Cajamarca, mostly because of the fact that gold has no use other than producing profits and it is a most destructive activity against the environment. You ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On January 28th, we had the chance to have a telephone talk with Camilla Chalmers, from the Plateforme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif (Haitian Platform in Defense o fan Alternative Development, PAPDA), in Port-au-Prince. Here we transcribe the questions and answers we could exchange in spite of the natural difficulties of communication in these circumstances. We believe his opinions represent a contribution to understand what’s really going on in Haiti, they contradict the official version of the media and give us a very precise notion of the type of solidarity that the Haitian people need –and that we should not fail to give.
1. What do you think of all the signs of solidarity of the peopl... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In the middle of a hectic week of the crisis between the central government in Madrid and the Catalan government, Anarkismo spoke with the Foreign Secretary of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), Miguel Pérez. In this interview, he discusses the position that has been maintained by the anarcho-syndicalist organization in Catalonia and the scenarios that the current situation opens for the class, libertarian and revolutionary sectors, throughout the Spanish state. “It is not just a question of redrawing a border, but of reformulating the structures and state system.”
1. What characterization do you, as CNT, have of the crisis in Catalonia and the Spanish state? What is really at stake?
At CNT we are not ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The consequences that this earthquake will have for the Chilean people are frightening. It is estimated that at present 2,000,0000 people have lost their homes and are literally on the streets. We’re talking of more than 10% of the total population, which gives you an idea of the daunting task of reconstruction ahead.
Chili has again been hit by an earthquake of apocalyptic magnitude, like in the earthquakes of 1938, 1960 and 1985. With the precision of a Swiss watch, the center and south of the country is hit every 25 years by a seismic movement that puts the country in a state of deep shock. The earthquake we saw on 27 February was one of the strongest recorded in history — 8.8 degrees on the Richter scale, 9 on the Mer... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Over the last couple of days we have witnessed massive media hysteria about the case of Maria, a young girl supposedly abducted by a Roma couple in Greece. DNA tests and Lombroso-style racial profiling  have come into action in a case that has stirred the irrational anxiety that feeds racism and bigotry. Beyond the fact that child abduction is a serious issue, the “whiteness” and “blondeness” of the alleged victim have been emphasized together with the “Roma” condition of the alleged culprits. Let us remember that this is taking place in Greece, a country where blatant racism (as expressed by Golden Dawn) is on the rise, so there are good reasons to be cautious about this whole case.
Now this hysteria... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)