The international anarchist movement will be saddened at the belated news of the death of Wilstar Choongo, founder of the Anarchist & Workers’ Solidarity Movement (AWSM) of Zambia.
A self-taught anarchist activist, Wilstar first came to the attention of the movement in 1996 through his lone battle to improve the salaries of employes at the University of Zambia (UNZA) where he worked as a librarian – and where he built up a formidable collection of anarchist works for the use of students.
Zambia, a former British colony, gained its independence without much of a struggle in 1964. The 30-year African socialist regime of Kenneth Kaunda proved disastrous. The economy remained essentially extractive, agriculture shriveled as fa... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In June 2009, one of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s most renowned accusers, Judge Juan Salvador Guzmán Tapia, visited South Africa on a speaking tour. Dean of the Law School at the Universidad Central de Chili in Santiago, and also a lecturer in human rights at the School of Journalism at the Universidad de la República, Guzmán was originally a Pinochet supporter, but turned against him after being selected by judicial lottery in 1998 to hear the 186 criminal charges against the man who, until his death in 2006, cast such long shadows over Chilean political life.
For those Chileans who took to the streets of their poblaciones in the early 1970s and mid-1980s to demand the release from Robben Island of Nelson... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Overshadowed in most histories by the Spanish anarchist movement next door, the Portuguese movement may have been numerically smaller but was relatively, by head of population, a larger movement, with the anarchosyndicalist CGT achieving an almost totally hegemonic position in the working class until the rise of what became the quasi-fascist New State in 1927, the suppression of free labor and the imposition of what was tellingly named “national syndicalism”. Its impact was also felt as far afield as Brazil and Lisbon’s colonies such as Mozambique or Macau, where the early labor movements were built in part by exiled Portuguese anarchists.
I guess it’s easy to forget that because that authoritarian state of affairs ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) RELIGIOUS fundamentalism, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu or other deserves to be closely examined by anarchists because it has increasingly become a player on the world stage in recent years.
On the one hand, many media commentators and pro-war agitators were not slow to characterize the wars in the former Yugoslavia, Sudan, Chechnya, Palestine/Israel and Afghanistan as “crusades” against the Muslim populations or “jihads” against Christian or Jewish people.
On the other hand, many religious working class peoples who have borne the brunt of these wars — especially when driven by US imperialism as in Afghanistan — have succumbed to the false belief that they are being protected by their domestic theocr... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) US President Barack Obama’s military regime (for as commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military machine, his is not merely a mild “administration”), has proven once again that when it comes to American imperialism’s dealing with the darker majority of humanity, having a black man in the Oval Office simply doesn’t matter.
As we argued in the last edition of Zabalaza, the widespread myth that Obama’s skin-color automatically made him a better man was a deeply racist argument that would be proven to be threadbare as soon as Obama ordered the invasion of his first “country of color” – and this happened in under a month of his inauguration when he authorized sending 17,000 extra... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The most crucial issue facing the global anarchist movement today is not only how to win the battle for the leadership of ideas among the anti-capitalist movement, but how to ensure that direct action, mutual aid, collective decision-making, horizontal networks, and other principles of anarchist organizing become the living practices of the social movements. We will examine the examples of Latin American anarchist organizations to see how they ensured what they call “social insertion” – that they as militants and revolutionaries are at the heart of the social struggles and not mere (cheer)leaders in the margins. This is a core question not only because it demands a definition of the role of the revolutionary organization, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) 23. March 2005
Revolutionary syndicalist greetings to the FWUCI from the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) of southern Africa. [“Zabalaza” means “Struggle” in Zulu & Xhosa].
We are friends with a veteran of the 300-strong Shagila, which split from the Iraqi Communist Party (HCI) in 1973 and waged a guerrilla war against the Ba’athist security police and whose members crossed into Iran to support the worker’s Shorahs and community Kommitehs during the Iranian Revolution 1978–1979. As as opponents of the US-lead invasion of Iraq, we have a great interest in your organization.
We are a revolutionary organization — not a party! — that advocates direct democr... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Recently, much debate has been generated in South Africa by the announcement by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) that it was launching a campaign against joblessness and poverty with a “united front” similar to the united democratic front that fought apartheid in the 1980s — and which was unilaterally disbanded by the now-ruling African National Congress (ANC) in 1990 because of its potential to pit the grassroots against the emerging ANC elite.
COSATU has remained an ANC loyalist organization — despite the 1-million job-losses under ANC rule and the current rash of hundreds of thousands of mine, municipal and other workers out on strike. but it has recently made approaches to the Social Movements... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) What the Institute for Anarchist Studies’ Maia Ramnath has achieved with these two books whose angles of approach differ yet which form companion volumes in that they intersect on the little-known anarchist movement of South Asia, is a breathtaking, sorely-needed re-envisioning of anarchism’s forgotten organizational strength in the colonial world which points to its great potential to pragmatically combat imperialism today.
Anarchism’s Anti-imperialism Enabled its Global Reach
To paint the backdrop to Ramnath’s work, we need to break with conventional anarchist histories. Lucien van der Walt and Steven Hirsch’s Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Post-Colonial World (2010) states: “The Firs... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) We, the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) of southern Africa, stand foursquare with the working and poor people who were apparently the targets of the craven July 7th bus and train bombings in London. We were previously called to task by another leftist revolutionary organization for offering similar sympathies in the wake of the Madrid train bombing on March 11th last year. But we are unrepentant in our bitter opposition to terrorism in all its forms, whether driven by state or sub-state opportunism.
It matters little to us that a supposed “Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe” has claimed responsibility for randomly slaughtering at least 33 ordinary travelers today and injuring scores more. It matters little... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Smoky cloud rolled down from shrouded crown of the volcano Santiaguito, chilling my skin, as yellow-rimmed fissures hissed stinking sulfur across the rutted track. Far below, on the slopes, Mayan peasants in fuchsia blouses, looking for all the world like giant frangipanis, hacked at the mud with hoes. A dented pick-up truck had just dropped myself and my companion high up in the mountains of Guatemala.
An ethereal peace seeped through the scene — Santiaguito was dormant after all, its last bout of bad behavior having been the 1902 leveling of the nearby mountain city of Quezaltenango — but as so much with this troubled land, all was not as it seemed.
It was early 1996, at the bitter end of a drawn-out 36-year civil war, the l... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchism is not an abstract ideal of freedom springing out of the brain of some intellectual. It is not a dream of utopia unconnected to reality. It is a movement of the exploited workers; beginning in their daily material struggles; and its history is marked by a sustained link between anarchist theory and the continuing struggles of mass working class movements.
This was the perspective of Mikhail Bakunin, the founding theorist of anarchism, whose revolutionary ideas grew out of his experience in the 19th century working class movement of the First International. It was the perspective of the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft), drafted by Nestor Makhno and other Ukrainian and Russian anarchists in respons... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction: A Dispatch from the Hyperpower
As the US enters yet another election cycle (though it is hard to say whether the US is ever not in election mode these days), it is worth interrogating the current state of the world’s unipolar hyperpower – and of the foreign policy, red in tooth and claw, that affects us all.
I arrived in the USA on the eve of the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, spent just over a month there, and left just after visiting the Occupy Wall Street sit-in on Columbus Day. Book-ended by these two great, emotive American commemorations, my visit to the US was the first I had made there in 27 years and I was very curious to see how things had changed since the Wild West heyday of Reagano... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The children playing happily in the school-yard of Tonga View Primary School in the Nkomazi district of Mpumalanga belie the use of their classrooms for the training of an alleged guerrilla army.
The Saturday Star was taken to the school by a young Swaziland Youth Congress (Swayoco) member of 12 years’ standing, who claimed he and fellow trainees of the secret army — Swaziland Liberation — had received ideological training there from ANC tripartite alliance militants.
His claim was supported by the man who organized the political education sessions, Young Communist League (YCL) district chairperson Godfrey Sibiya — though Sibiya denied any knowledge that his Swazi students were being trained to wage war.
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