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[l] at 1/21/22 4:30pm
Author: The Umeå Local of SACTitle: New declaration of principles for Swedish syndicalists?Date: June 14, 2021Source: Retrived on January 22, 2022 from: www.sac.se This text is taken from the official website of the Umeå Local. This Local has submitted a proposal for a new Declaration of principles to the SAC Congress of 2022. The text is in line with a new introductory book on syndicalism. The current Declaration of principles has two shortcomings: the language is unnecessarily complicated and the requirements for membership are unclear. It should be made clear that the SAC is a popular movement with low thresholds, not a group only for super active and convinced activists. We want the Congress to adopt a new and clear Declaration of principles without changing the syndicalist message. The text should be no longer than an A4 page, so that our colleagues can easily read the text at work and become members immediately. We suggest that the Congress adopt the following text: Syndicalism is an international trade union movement. In Sweden, the movement is represented primarily by the Central Organization of Workers in Sweden (SAC). This Declaration of principles expresses the current approach and aspirations of SAC. The text will therefore need to change as the organizing work through our union and the surrounding society develop. SAC holds that trade unions have a dual function. In the short term, the struggle through unions is about enforcing immediate improvements in living conditions: higher wages, reduced stress, shorter working hours, an end to sexual harassment, better balance between work and leisure time/family, etc. In the long term, trade unions are tools for democratizing workplaces and thereby building equal societies. The production of goods and services must be managed by us who do the work. The production must also be radically changed in order to be adapted to human needs and the framework of the ecosystem. The democratic guiding star of SAC is that everyone affected by decisions should have the right to influence decisions. By building member-run unions, employees can develop the collective strength and competence to introduce staff-driven workplaces in all industries. SAC believes that the only legitimate management is the management that workers have elected, that follows directives from the shop floor and that can be recalled immediately from below. At each workplace where there are at least three syndicalists, an operating section can be formed. Such a section is a local union for all occupations except the bosses. Our sections practice self-determination in local affairs and direct democracy. Syndicalists can also form cross-union groups for all employees except bosses. Such groups can be supported by trade unions or function as an independent collaboration between colleagues. Syndicalists put the common interests of the work force first. Syndicalists promote cross-union cohesion between all employees. The long-term purpose of building operating sections and cross-union cooperation is for the working population to take over the operation of the economy as a whole. SAC regards direct action as the means to change workplaces and society at large. Direct action is action without representatives, carried out by the workers concerned themselves: strikes, blockades, slow-down actions, work-to-rule, etc. Democracy in the workplace means that the concentration of economic power is dissolved. The long-term vision of SAC is that the concentration of political power in state and supranational bodies should be dissolved as well. Power must be brought down to the people. Just as every workplace should be governed by the staff, so too should every community be governed by the population. Democracy in the workplace is a necessary precondition for a classless society, but not a sufficient condition for an equal society. An equal society presupposes that the social hierarchies based on gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and functional variation are also abolished. SAC conducts labour struggles with a feminist and anti-racist perspective. This perspective is a prerequisite for building union solidarity and, in the long run, introducing an equal society. SAC is an organization for the working class as a whole. All employees except the bosses are welcome as members. The requirement for membership is that you respect the union democracy, act in solidarity at work and respect the union’s independence from all religious and political organizations. Everyone who is not a wage earner is also welcome as a member. In our class organization, all members are important, from the most active to the least active. Syndicalists build a militant international trade union movement. Such a movement opens a historic opportunity to introduce equal societies around the world. Thus, a libertarian socialism will be realized. This is the alternative to both “state socialism” of the former Soviet Union and the global capitalism of today. Our vision is nothing less than a world of free and equal people. THE UMEÅ LOCAL

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:30pm
Author: The Umeå LocalTitle: New declaration of principles for Swedish syndicalists?Subtitle: A proposal from the Umeå Local of SACDate: June 14, 2021Source: Retrived on January 22, 2022 from: www.sac.se This text is taken from the official website of the Umeå Local. This Local has submitted a proposal for a new Declaration of principles to the SAC Congress of 2022. The text is in line with a new introductory book on syndicalism. The current Declaration of principles has two shortcomings: the language is unnecessarily complicated and the requirements for membership are unclear. It should be made clear that the SAC is a popular movement with low thresholds, not a group only for super active and convinced activists. We want the Congress to adopt a new and clear Declaration of principles without changing the syndicalist message. The text should be no longer than an A4 page, so that our colleagues can easily read the text at work and become members immediately. We suggest that the Congress adopt the following text: Syndicalism is an international trade union movement. In Sweden, the movement is represented primarily by the Central Organization of Workers in Sweden (SAC). This Declaration of principles expresses the current approach and aspirations of SAC. The text will therefore need to change as the organizing work through our union and the surrounding society develop. SAC holds that trade unions have a dual function. In the short term, the struggle through unions is about enforcing immediate improvements in living conditions: higher wages, reduced stress, shorter working hours, an end to sexual harassment, better balance between work and leisure time/family, etc. In the long term, trade unions are tools for democratizing workplaces and thereby building equal societies. The production of goods and services must be managed by us who do the work. The production must also be radically changed in order to be adapted to human needs and the framework of the ecosystem. The democratic guiding star of SAC is that everyone affected by decisions should have the right to influence decisions. By building member-run unions, employees can develop the collective strength and competence to introduce staff-driven workplaces in all industries. SAC believes that the only legitimate management is the management that workers have elected, that follows directives from the shop floor and that can be recalled immediately from below. At each workplace where there are at least three syndicalists, an operating section can be formed. Such a section is a local union for all occupations except the bosses. Our sections practice self-determination in local affairs and direct democracy. Syndicalists can also form cross-union groups for all employees except bosses. Such groups can be supported by trade unions or function as an independent collaboration between colleagues. Syndicalists put the common interests of the work force first. Syndicalists promote cross-union cohesion between all employees. The long-term purpose of building operating sections and cross-union cooperation is for the working population to take over the operation of the economy as a whole. SAC regards direct action as the means to change workplaces and society at large. Direct action is action without representatives, carried out by the workers concerned themselves: strikes, blockades, slow-down actions, work-to-rule, etc. Democracy in the workplace means that the concentration of economic power is dissolved. The long-term vision of SAC is that the concentration of political power in state and supranational bodies should be dissolved as well. Power must be brought down to the people. Just as every workplace should be governed by the staff, so too should every community be governed by the population. Democracy in the workplace is a necessary precondition for a classless society, but not a sufficient condition for an equal society. An equal society presupposes that the social hierarchies based on gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and functional variation are also abolished. SAC conducts labour struggles with a feminist and anti-racist perspective. This perspective is a prerequisite for building union solidarity and, in the long run, introducing an equal society. SAC is an organization for the working class as a whole. All employees except the bosses are welcome as members. The requirement for membership is that you respect the union democracy, act in solidarity at work and respect the union’s independence from all religious and political organizations. Everyone who is not a wage earner is also welcome as a member. In our class organization, all members are important, from the most active to the least active. Syndicalists build a militant international trade union movement. Such a movement opens a historic opportunity to introduce equal societies around the world. Thus, a libertarian socialism will be realized. This is the alternative to both “state socialism” of the former Soviet Union and the global capitalism of today. Our vision is nothing less than a world of free and equal people. THE UMEÅ LOCAL

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[l] at 1/21/22 3:24pm
Author: By Rasmus HästbackaTitle: Syndicalists shouldn’t have a black-and-white view on organizingSubtitle: A debate on the future of the Swedish union SACDate: January 20, 2022Source: Retrieved on January 21, 2022 from: syndicalist.us This article was first published on the ASR website on January 20, 2022. It is the last in a series of three articles. In a previous article I made a distinction between three types of organizations: narrow cadre unions, broad popular movement unions and networks of workplace organizers. I hope that we in Sweden will develop the syndicalist SAC as a popular movement union (or, if one prefers the term: open class organization). Such a union can also build various forms of cross-union cooperation: forums, groups and networks of workplace organizers. My article was to a large extent a critical response to articles written by Gabriel Kuhn (also a member of SAC). Gabriel then replied. He doesn’t want to turn SAC into a cadre union. He is skeptical of the prospects for building a popular movement union and leans towards building a network of workplace organizers. In my article, I argued against this black-and-white view, this either-or thinking. Why not build both a union and an even bigger movement through cross-union networks of organizers? I find it tricky to respond to Gabriels reply since it is primarily a replay of what he has already written. He writes: “I believe that syndicalist unions focusing on a strong, active base of workplace organizers rather than on membership numbers are better equipped to radicalize labor conflicts and strengthen the position of the class in the struggles to come.” Again, why not do both? Should organizers who win the trust of co-workers refrain from welcoming them to our union? Why not recruit and educate as many organizers as possible? Furthermore, organizers need a union support structure, otherwise their burden will be too heavy (frankly inhuman). The best support structure are our Locals, industrial branches and workplace sections. These cannot exist without many members. The black-and-white view is repeated in Gabriel’s most recent text. Either we build a small network of (hyper) active organizers or a large service union of passive members. He does not see that we can develop SAC as a popular movement union that is superior to both small networks and large service unions. Syndicalists can do this by welcoming all their co-workers to the union, by encouraging everyone to be active and at the same time value all so called “passive” members. A growing number of members is an indication of the validity of syndicalism. If syndicalism is so good for the working class, shouldn’t we be able to attract broad masses? On the other hand, if the goal of building a big union is so unrealistic that the goal should be abandoned, shouldn’t we also abandon the goal of establishing a libertarian socialist society? Let us at least make a serious effort. How, then, can SAC avoid becoming just a big service union? By being clear – very clear – on the following point. A member who wants the union to pursue her individual case must be active in that case. A member who chooses not to be active at all has also chosen that her case should not be pursued by the union. Every member should also be informed that we prioritize support to workplace organizers and collective struggles, not support in individual cases. The point of recruiting members (both active and “passive”) is not just to collect membership fees. A growing syndicalist section can reach, educate and learn from more and more workers. Thus, more and more workers can be united and mobilized. Then we have a chance of moving towards a future of libertarian socialism. Rasmus Hästbacka, member of the Umeå Local of SAC

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[l] at 1/21/22 3:24pm
Author: By Rasmus Hästbacka, member of the Umeå Local of SACTitle: Syndicalists shouldn’t have a black-and-white view on organizingSubtitle: A debate on the future of the Swedish union SACDate: January 20, 2022Notes: By Rasmus Hästbacka, member of the Umeå Local of the syndicalist union SAC in SwedenSource: Retrieved on January 21, 2022 from: syndicalist.us In a previous article I made a distinction between three types of organizations: narrow cadre unions, broad popular movement unions and networks of workplace organizers. I hope that we in Sweden will develop the syndicalist SAC as a popular movement union (or, if one prefers the term: open class organization). Such a union can also build various forms of cross-union cooperation: forums, groups and networks of workplace organizers. My article was to a large extent a critical response to articles written by Gabriel Kuhn (also a member of SAC). Gabriel then replied. He doesn’t want to turn SAC into a cadre union. He is skeptical of the prospects for building a popular movement union and leans towards building a network of workplace organizers. In my article, I argued against this black-and-white view, this either-or thinking. Why not build both a union and an even bigger movement through cross-union networks of organizers? I find it tricky to respond to Gabriels reply since it is primarily a replay of what he has already written. He writes: “I believe that syndicalist unions focusing on a strong, active base of workplace organizers rather than on membership numbers are better equipped to radicalize labor conflicts and strengthen the position of the class in the struggles to come.” Again, why not do both? Should organizers who win the trust of co-workers refrain from welcoming them to our union? Why not recruit and educate as many organizers as possible? Furthermore, organizers need a union support structure, otherwise their burden will be too heavy (frankly inhuman). The best support structure are our Locals, industrial branches and workplace sections. These cannot exist without many members. The black-and-white view is repeated in Gabriel’s most recent text. Either we build a small network of (hyper) active organizers or a large service union of passive members. He does not see that we can develop SAC as a popular movement union that is superior to both small networks and large service unions. Syndicalists can do this by welcoming all their co-workers to the union, by encouraging everyone to be active and at the same time value all so called “passive” members. A growing number of members is an indication of the validity of syndicalism. If syndicalism is so good for the working class, shouldn’t we be able to attract broad masses? On the other hand, if the goal of building a big union is so unrealistic that the goal should be abandoned, shouldn’t we also abandon the goal of establishing a libertarian socialist society? Let us at least make a serious effort. How, then, can SAC avoid becoming just a big service union? By being clear – very clear – on the following point. A member who wants the union to pursue her individual case must be active in that case. A member who chooses not to be active at all has also chosen that her case should not be pursued by the union. Every member should also be informed that we prioritize support to workplace organizers and collective struggles, not support in individual cases. The point of recruiting members (both active and “passive”) is not just to collect membership fees. A growing syndicalist section can reach, educate and learn from more and more workers. Thus, more and more workers can be united and mobilized. Then we have a chance of moving towards a future of libertarian socialism.

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:24am
Author: John R.Title: How to organise a meetingDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Organising requires getting together and making decisions, sharing information and organisational work. It only takes a few informal chats among any group of people before it becomes obvious that some structure is greatly needed in facilitating group functioning. Without structures and procedures people often forget what was agreed, what tasks were to be done and by whom, or when the next meeting is. People often get frustrated that they never get to have their say, or that meetings go on for ages with no decisions made, not to mention people jumping from one topic to another. Fortunately a long history of activism and anarchist organising has led to the development of methods for dealing with these problems and arranging meetings so that they can be effective. Whatever meeting process your group agrees on will probably naturally end up being tailored to your particular group. There are no hard and fast rules, just guidelines and suggested roles. One of the most important, that immediately begins to bring order to a group’s meetings is a rule that people raise their hands to indicate they wish to contribute, and then speakers are taken in order. This requires someone to take on the role of facilitator and bring those whose turn it is to speak into the discussion. In meetings of 8 or more people it’s very useful to have the queue of speakers’ names visible (on a whiteboard or similar) so that everyone knows when their turn is coming and how long they’re likely to be waiting. The facilitator’s role is to help the group have a well run and inclusive meeting, encouraging similar levels of input from everyone, keeping the meeting focussed on one item at a time until a decision is reached by the group. The facilitator does not direct the group or make decisions for them, and the role should be rotated through all group members, it is a skill that almost anyone can learn. At the beginning of a meeting, figuring out what points are to be discussed and writing up the agenda in a prominent place creates a very useful tool. It gives the group a good idea of the scope of the meeting, of how long the meeting is likely to take, and allows the items to be discussed to be ordered in a way that makes sense — usually moving the weightiest, most time consuming items to the end, and trimming some items if it looks like the meeting will run too long. The facilitator should ensure that the outcome of each agenda item is recorded, this can be done by a separate minute taker, to relieve the facilitator of some of the effort of running the meeting. Each agenda item will probably lead to a decision by the group. How decisions are made is something that should be explicitly agreed upon by the group, most groups use consensus-based decision making (where all decisions are agreed to, or at least not disagreed with, by all members). The outcome of each decision should be recorded by the minute-taker, this is quite likely to involve an action (i.e. a task to be carried out by one or more members of the group) and/or an agenda item at a later meeting — if further discussion or a report-back after an action is required. If meetings tend to run too long, adding a time limit to each agenda item can help meetings to run to schedule. Time limits do not have to be rigidly adhered to but it will help the group to be aware of how long the meeting will take, and decide whether or not to continue on a point if it’s likely to make the meeting run longer. As agenda items are discussed and dealt with, the facilitator should try to regulate the flow of conversation to ensure roughly equal participation from all members. Quieter members should be encouraged to participate in discussion, with no individual being allowed to dominate and more vocal members asked to hold back. There are many tools available for aiding with this, the use of hand signals (see end of this article), a conch or talking-stick, if the group is large, breaking it up into smaller discussion groups, using go-arounds (i.e. taking input from everyone in turn) to get each attendee to express their thoughts on a point or issue. As proposals are made the facilitator should summarize them for the group and make sure everyone agrees with what is proposed. It can be useful to write proposals up where they can be seen by all meeting attendees. If agreement hasn’t been reached after a reasonable amount of time and discussion the item may be tabled until the next meeting. The facilitator should try to keep the meeting moving forward but make sure each item is sufficiently discussed , ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to input, and not mistaking silence for agreement. Vibe-watching is another important aspect of facilitation. Meetings are necessary for getting things discussed and agreed upon but also for group-maintenance — ensuring everyone feels fully involved and empowered in the group and encouraging solidarity and connection between group members. Vibe-watch includes keeping an eye on the atmosphere of the meeting, helping the groups deal with conflict and distress, and watching for members being affected. If the group is becoming restless, bored or tired, the facilitator (or vibe-watcher if the role has been assigned to someone else) can call for a break or run a quick energising activity. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:22am
Author: Fionnghuala N. R.Title: Interview: Belfast Co-operatives.Date: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Belfast has seen something of a surge of co-operatively run businesses in recent years as more people are faced with the choice between precarious work and unemployment with meagre dole payments. Belfast is now home to a taxi co-op, Union Taxis, a cleaning co-op, Belfast Cleaning Society, a co-operatively run café, Lúnasa, and a digital media co-op, The Creative Workers’ Co-Op — to name but a few. We sat down with Clem and Colin, two of the three members of the Creative Workers’ Co-Op, and Elena from Lúnasa to get their thoughts on co-ops in Belfast. Common Threads (CT): Why did you want to start a co-op? Elena: I had been working for other people for a long time, since I was very young. I’ve been a union member from the beginning of my working years too. For me, working in a co-op was and is the only moral and ideologically sane alternative. Clem: I was working in various jobs in the media industry and it was a very unstable and precarious market. The newspaper I was working for closed down. We were working in precarious, zero-hour contract jobs. Gerard and I were working in jobs that paid very little with very little prospects, he was a photographer I was a graphic designer we put our heads together and said “right will we just open a co-operative?” I was involved with a trade union, the Independant Workers Union, that was very supportive of the idea. We talked about it for quite a bit, we thrashed out the idea. There were a couple of other people who were interested but didn’t follow through when it became a project. CT: How did you start off? Clem: It was myself and Gerard who initially started off, we sort of grew a wee bit and gained two other members who then, for different reasons went on to different jobs, but we very slowly started to build up a base of clients we worked with which were NGOs, Trade Unions, Unity groups, some private companies, but essentially we were just building up a base. Colin: I worked freelance for two years when I was studying; it was low paid with very few prospects. I came in here one day and asked the guys to do a newsletter when I quickly realised it was a job interview, we went for lunch and they said “Right is this the new member then?” From there we just started getting stuff together to register, to get the bank account set up all that there stuff, all the stuff that we weren’t used to doing.We got some advice from the Co-Operative Development Hub and got up and running. CT: Do you find that the co-op model is becoming more well received as the economic situation continues to worsen? Clem: Not really, it’s a very very small movement across Ireland. One example is the credit union movement, they are essentially co-operatives. They survived the bulwark of the crisis because they weren’t speculating on people’s money and they’re quite autonomous and ingrained in Irish society. It’s a functioning model of co-operation within communities and people don’t even think of them as a radical idea but they are very radical in terms of what they do, in terms of gathering a community’s money together and loaning it out to those within that community who need it. There’s probably very few people who haven’t had experience with them and it’s mostly a positive experience — but outside of that, in your workplace or how you live your life, there isn’t much in terms of co-operation. So you have a credit union movement which is the largest density of co-ops in Ireland but outside of that there was very large agricultural co-ops that were set up in different phases but outside of the financial credit union type things there’s a tiny amount of worker co-operatives and most people having lived through a capitalist, individualistic system for so long haven’t seized on them mostly because they’re very difficult to set up. A lot of places that do have successful co-operative movements have universities dedicated to teaching people how to co-operate. It may seem counter intuitive but it’s a very difficult thing to do, based on a lot of compromises between workers and how they operate and dealing with work on a day to day basis, especially if you have a flat structure. It’s completely different to the management structures of a normal business: in a co-op you’re the boss as well, you have the responsibilities that go along with that, it isn’t like going to a normal waged job. Colin: People are used to a certain way of working. People know to talk and communicate with each other to get the job done, but in other jobs you do your bit and then other people do theirs, but in a co-op you need agreement on every step of the way, every part of the job and that means compromise. In terms of setting it up, there are a few different options but the biggest thing that other people have found is difficulty in getting funding. We’ve never taken funding which is why we’ve never had difficulty in it. But in terms of the state, the government doesn’t have a definition of co-ops and doesn’t have a structure for it, so you have to decide if you’re going to be a company limited by guarantee, a partnership or if you’re going to go down the Industrial and Provident Society route and that’s as close as you’ll possibly get to what a co-op is. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:20am
Author: John R.Title: What Is Anarchism?Date: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Like almost any political term, ‘anarchism’ is very broad in scope and covers a huge range of ideas and practice. Instead of trying to give an exhaustive description, or detail everything that is and isn’t anarchism, this article will attempt to get to the heart of it, and capture the essence, as far as possible, at the core of anarchism. Giving a complete definition of such a broad term would take many more words than will fit here and has been done well in other places (e.g. An Anarchist FAQ). Any short, simple statement trying to define anarchism will necessarily fall short: it will lack nuance, depth, and be open to misinterpretation. However, if a concise defining phrase is what we’re seeking then, “favouring cooperation over authority”, seems about as complete and accurate as can be captured in just a few words, though it does, of course, leave a huge amount of room for discussion. Anarchism embodies a kind of skepticism of power and domination in that it assumes that the burden of proof lies with those who wish to exert them. In other words, I don’t have to give reasons why I should be free, you have to give reasons (and good ones!) why I shouldn’t be. The definition given above naturally splits in two: favouring cooperation and disfavouring authority. On the pro-cooperation aspect, anarchism proposes alternate (leaderless) models of organisation and concepts for better, more egalitarian organisational mechanisms and structures. On the anti-authority aspect we find analysis of the current system, criticism of its manifestations, exposition of its lies and machinations, and challenges to its institutions through direct action. There are many myths and misconceptions about anarchism and, though this will not be an exhaustive list, it seems useful to address a couple of the more common ones. The first is that anarchy equals chaos and no rules, and anarchists are those who want chaos (or bomb-throwing mayhem) and a society where everyone simply does whatever they feel like all the time. There may very well be some people who wish for this, but no one can seriously expect to be able to run a complex society this way. However this seems to be the definition most often upheld by the mainstream. Beyond simple misunderstandings of the term, the most common criticism of anarchism is that it is utopian and therefore unrealistic. That it requires that all ill intentions cease in the absence of repressive force, and everyone becomes something like a perfect being. Anarchism makes no promises of such an idealistic world to come, only one to strive for — and this it surely has in common with most any other ideology. Dictionaries tend to define anarchism in terms of its opposition to governments, but this is really something that comes out of anarchism rather than being a defining feature. The fundamental question underlying any political philosophy is: what values or ideals do we wish to promote and emphasise, and which ones will we devalue and de-emphasise? In the state-capitalist world in which we live, one of the main values that underpins the political system is authority — the right for someone to have control over others’ actions. Some people are in charge of others and make decisions for them, or on their behalf. We are expected to (for the most part) obey those who are in charge of us, and be obeyed by those we are in charge of. This is how most of society’s organisations are arranged, there is a hierarchy of authority from the ‘ordinary’ members or workers, up through some sort of management structure to a single person and/or small committee at the top (board of directors, council, etc). The main value that’s sacrificed under this system is freedom. The freedom for people to decide for themselves — or even, in many cases, have any input into decisions that affect them — is ceded to managers or, within the electoral system, ‘representatives’. What we’re supposed to gain from this sacrifice is order, and a well functioning system. This rests on the assumption that outside of authoritative systems order is impossible. History has tested this assumption many times and has found it wanting: the Paris commune, the Spanish Revolution, the Limerick Soviet. These are just some examples of events in history in which communities decided to favour the value of freedom over authority and oppression. Devaluing authority as an ideal doesn’t mean we eliminate it completely. This would be undesirable, and surely impossible. One can think of many examples where authority is not only favourable but essential. For example, if we see a toddler about to run out on the road into oncoming traffic, we would exercise authority over the child in order to physically prevent them from doing so. Instead of seeking to abolish authority, anarchism prescribes that authority requires justification. Strong justification. This justification is primarily owed to those over whom authority is to be wielded, If I wish to exercise authority over a group of people the best way to justify it would be to get their agreement. This, of course, does not always make sense and is not always possible, as in the example above — we do not stop to get the child’s permission before we prevent them from running into traffic. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:17am
Author: Workers Solidarity MovementTitle: Domination, Capitalism, and Economic CrisesDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie The history of capitalism has been a of history domination; of landowners’ domination over tenants, of bosses’ domination over workers, of economically robust countries’ domination over developing economies. of bloody labour struggles, social struggles, and of many crises, which have the most devastating effect on the working class, those furthest away from the levers of power and influence. As the framework of capitalism has developed, its systems have expanded in complexity, but paradoxically also in fragility. As Marx discussed, crises which litter capitalism’s history were often the result of contradictions in the internal logic of capitalism. The crash of 2008 and the ensuing economic meltdown was such a crisis. The crash of 2008 was a moment of immense significance in the history of capitalism.[1] Over the course of a few months $40 trillion worth of equity (around 18% of global GDP) had evaporated. In the US alone $14 trillion of household wealth disappeared, along with 700,000 jobs a month. GDP growth ground to a halt as the global economy plunged into the depths of the great recession, unparalleled by anything since the crash of 1929. As the stock markets in New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo all recorded record losses, the giant banks, hedge funds and insurance corporations of the financial industry gradually revealed their exposure and the likelihood of their imminent collapse. By way of response, US and EU government officials, comprising mainly of staunch neoliberals (‘free-market’ ideologues who proudly touted rhetoric of minimal government interference in the market place) went on a tax-funded spending spree of mass nationalisations and bank guarantees, unprecedented in recent history. While these points provide a glimpse of the systemic collapse that was capitalism hitting the self-destruct button in 2008, they fail to fully capture the scale, complexities, or significance of the event, or of the aftermath in which we remain. This article briefly outlines the immediate causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis — the trigger of the Global Economic Crisis, which still very much plagues the global economy today. Of more interest however, we look at how the conditions which precipitated the financial and economic crises were the result of the engineering of imbalanced geopolitical economic systems, designed and implemented by the United States and its international institutions, for the purpose of geopolitical hegemony and effective domination of the capitalist world. The Financial Crisis in Brief Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes a bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When capital development becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.- John Maynard Keynes, 1936. Since the 1970s the political response to downturns in economic growth has been a simple one. Money. By reducing interest rates, Central Banks can reduce the ‘cost’ for businesses (investors) of acquiring capital, in effect pouring money into the beleaguered market. The increased liquidity causes an upsurge in confidence, hence demand, and the recessionary feedback of falling demand = falling output/redundancies = falling demand can be happily avoided. Overuse of this policy however creates an abundance of money, flowing around the markets looking for the most profitable investment, which often (usually) is in speculative finance — an enterprise which produces nothing, except profit. In the early 2000s in response to the economic shocks following 9/11 and the bursting of the dotcom bubble (a speculative bubble which inflated the shares of internet based companies), the US federal reserve held interest rates at a ground level 1%. The result was an abundance of cash which predatory banks put to use in the fuelling of major bubbles in the US mortgage and credit markets. In Ireland and peripheral Europe, swathes of cheap money (a result of currency union) flowing from central Europe in search of higher returns similarly fuelled bubbles in credit and real estate. In the US what was developed was called the ‘subprime mortgage market’. Loans were given to ‘subprime borrowers’ – people on low incomes who had poor creditworthiness, often with no collateral. False assurances and propaganda from the banks convinced people of the wisdom of taking out mortgages to buy houses they couldn’t afford at artificially inflated prices. One might fairly ask, what lender would possibly find it advantageous to give money to somebody with poor credit, to buy an inflated asset which will probably have collapsed in value by the time the borrower fails to repay? This is where the magic of financial ingenuity, and financial deregulation allow predatory capitalism to enter full flight in its departure from reason and self-preservation. In the early 2000s, after rounds of financial deregulation under Clinton, bright minds in finance were busy developing new economic models, and financial instruments which would allow them to eliminate risk from the system of money lending; or so they believed. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:15am
Author: Workers Solidarity MovementTitle: Yes Equality?Subtitle: The limitations of the marriage equality referendum victoryDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie We don’t understand words as simply words on their own, entirely dependent on their definition, as one word can have many different meanings. Context plays a big part in our understanding of words. There are some words that leave context with the responsibility of our understanding of what has just been said. The word “buckle”, for example, can either mean “to connect” or “to collapse”, two meanings opposite to each other, leaving us in need of context in order to understand the usage of the word. The mainstream voices in our society would lead you to believe that last May we voted for equality. Going by the definition of “equality” alone, without any context, one would believe that we voted in favour of everyone being equal, no one worth more or deserving of less than anyone else, all of us with the same status in society. In reality, this did not happen, not by a long shot. After the votes were counted and the Yes side won, equality did not sweep across Ireland. Class society was not abolished, the 8th amendment was not repealed, white supremacy was not eradicated, and those on the lowest rung of society were not suddenly placed on an even keel with the privileged minority. When we add the context we see that this vote for “equality” was in regards to marriage. The right of a man and a woman to enter into the tradition of marriage was extended to LGB+ couples. That is what equality meant in this context. It did not take long for the façade of “equality” to crumble away. The slogan of “Yes Equality” was replaced with “We Need To Look After Our Own First” when the refugee crisis was intensely brought to our attention in September last year through the tragic image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s dead body on a Turkish shore. The Irish have a long history of fleeing destitution on this island in search of a better life elsewhere. We have songs, poetry, and folklore to remind us that hardship once drove us from our homes to foreign lands — that is if we survived the journey unlike the many who fell victim to the coffin ships. Yet, in spite of this we treat those who come to us in need of the very thing that our ancestors searched for with contempt and disdain. Those who somehow make it to Ireland are placed into the system of Direct Provision. Within Direct Provision adults are given an allowance of €19.10 a week with an added €9.60 for every child they have. This meagre allowance is all they have to buy food, clothes, cleaning products, and everything else that human beings needs in order to survive, and they are denied this without the right to work. To top off our world famous Irish hospitality, refugees must live in cramped, overcrowded accommodation with no control over where this will be and without the right to rent somewhere else. Some have been kept in this system and in these conditions for up to ten years. While Ireland committed to placing 4,000 Syrian refugees into this system a number of months ago we have thus far taken in 10. For queer asylum seekers who have been locked out of Irish society at every turn — alongside their straight counterparts — “Yes Equality” was not for them, and it did nothing to help them in their circumstances, (not that our racist laws permitted them to cast a vote anyway). Last October, “We Need To Look After Our Own First” was edited to “We Need To Look After Our Own — Except Travellers” when a fire broke out at a holding site for Travellers in Carrickmines. The fire claimed the lives of ten people, five of whom were children as well as the homes of 15 people, the very people who should fall under the category of “Our Own”. Yet when those 15 people were being re-located to a temporary site the entrance to the new location was blocked by local residences, further exposing how shallow our notion of “Yes Equality” was. The usual bigotry was thrown around “You don’t have to live next to them, you don’t understand”. This clearly exemplified that despite the fact that 60% of us had voted for “equality” Ireland very clearly remains a terribly unequal state with no understanding of what true equality means. This may have something to do with the fact that “equality”, within or without the context of marriage, had nothing to do with the equality referendum vote. The vote was about validating the idea that queer people can be just like the normal, traditional family that fills our TV screens. They can meet someone that they care for and enter into a monogamous committed relationship that can lead to a piece of paper that grants the couple access to certain state benefits and privileges and maybe even somewhere along the way, or indeed after the piece of paper is obtained, they can have a child or two running about the place. Historically, marriage was designed as a patriarchal tool to trap women; to trap them financially and sexually as well as to lock them into their social position. Within it, women have suffered, and still to this day continue to suffer, both physical and mental abuse, rape and even murder at the hands of a husband. The economic side of marriage has been and continues to be instrumental in concentrating wealth, power, and privilege into familial ties. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:13am
Author: Workers Solidarity MovementTitle: Border Crisis: Migration and EuropeDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie For over a year, the European Union (one of the most prosperous areas on the planet), has been embroiled in a ‘crisis of immigration’ — the result of failed government responses to increased population inflows coming from the Middle East and Africa. The hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to travel to Europe are refused conventional safe entry and are forced to rely on criminal smugglers and dangerous land and sea routes. The predictable result has been a massive humanitarian crisis, concentrated at bottleneck transit points such as the Greek islands, and in sprawling migrant camps within and outside Europe. Since January this year, every day, eight people on average have drowned in the Aegean Sea alone, on transit between Turkey and Greece. Thousands more are killed on other sea crossings and excruciating cross-country journeys, by disease, exhaustion and exposure in small towns, cities, and in inadequate camps in Europe. Survivors go through hunger and medical deficiency as, often entire families travel with no money, protection, or access to shelter. Each person travels toward an uncertain future; their hope of fair and decent lives in Europe degrades along with their spirit, with each incident of police brutality, each forced border stop, each night in a freezing wet camp that’s likely to be under provisioned, often lacking even basic supplies. They are herded and controlled like animals by ‘state officials’ who are granted the right by governments to stop and turn people away, and to employ violence against them should they resist. In spite of the rhetoric used by the media — who frame this array of needless suffering and death as a “refugee crisis”, or “migrant crisis” — it is an issue which is much more reasonably and logically observed as a border crisis. Discussing the problem as a “migrant crisis” does however have the convenient benefit of implying that the sole source of the problem is the migrants themselves. This in effect shifts the burden of responsibility from us, as residents of Europe, onto those suffering and dying in transit – victim blaming. It also has the important benefit of narrowing the window of follow-on discussion to a conversation, focused not on the existence of borders and the policies enforced by our European governments, but on ‘swarms’ of foreigners attempting to gain access to your country – appealing to that base note of fear and xenophobia, which still permeates our societies. The responsibility for the ongoing crisis rests unambiguously on the desire of European governments to manage and control the type of person allowed to gain entry into ‘their’ countries. Governments have claimed the right to police arbitrary, invisible lines on the Earth. Using the threat of, or real violence against those who attempt to cross without having appealed to their power through bureaucratic channels, European countries overtly discriminate against people based on their nationality, wealth and by default their race and religion. In the context of an external shock such as the Syrian civil war, where millions of people are forced to abandon their homes in search of new ones, a system of coercive exclusion naturally comes under strain. The closed border policy then necessitates the employment of violence against migrants — the result being many thousands of men, women and children, murdered by the determination to keep them out — as well as the suffering of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who cannot find the legal means to enter, forced to live along roadsides and in dangerous camps in transit. In order to properly address the misery and death — the humanitarian crisis which now exists on our continent — it is necessary to address the totalitarian nature of the policies governing Europe’s borders. An obvious challenge is the question of whether any group of people or institutions possess the right to forcefully exclude fellow humans from venturing onto specific areas of land, for the disadvantage of having come there second? A second, more practical question is whether we have the right to maintain borders which openly discriminate against the powerless while being easily traversed by those of wealth, of ‘good’ nationality, or by capital and money — which flows seamlessly across nations to the detriment of working people everywhere? Finally, do we as Europeans, who in general have profited from economic and military imperialism which has laid the ground for mass immigrations (to the detriment of those outside Europe), have the right to force children onto dangerous dinghies, to force people to live in camps more degrading and brutal than the worst prisons, to imprison and deport humans for crossing borders, and to deny people the right to live in dignity — while we possess such affluence, albeit poorly distributed? To answer, as any decent person would, ‘no’ to at least some of these questions is to privately challenge Europe’s policy of closed borders. Aside from the moral implications of refusing people the right of safe passage, the governing powers of Europe are now being forced to address the feasibility of such closed border policies. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:09am
Author: Brian A.Title: From apathy to rebellion: the water war in IrelandDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie No one saw this coming, not even the veteran activists. Hundreds of thousands resisting neoliberal economic policies would have been difficult to imagine even at the height of the Campaign Against Home and Water Charges. Although that campaign, primarily fighting against the regressive Household Charge and the subsequent Property Tax, was nationwide, it never quite built the momentum that we’ve seen with the anti-water charges campaign, though not for lack of effort on the part of activists. The CAHWT failed in its objective of defeating the Property Tax, the resistance effort however was not in vain; it prepared the ground for the current phase of struggle. In grassroots communities across the country, CAHWT community groups gained confidence and experience in how to organise while building lasting networks with each other. Importantly, the CAHWT also normalised political protest; people grew accustomed to seeing protesters and sympathised with them, however in this instance when it came to the crunch they still paid up when the government told them to. So despite some positive outcomes, the CAHWT failed, leaving many campaigners thoroughly demoralised as they had campaigned hard for over two years only to see the majority of people pay the new regressive taxes. As 2014 was coming to an end, the government began to prepare for the implementation of water charges after their success with implementing the Property Tax and many exhausted CAHWT groups felt there was not much point in fighting it based on the public reaction to the last government attack. As Irish Water began its program of water meter installations nationwide, likely targeting the areas of high compliance with the Property Tax first, they were unexpectedly met with localised resistance. Water meter contractors would arrive in an area to carry out some minor excavation works and meter installations to find members of the local community dismantling their safety barriers, climbing on their equipment, or standing so close to machinery that it could not safely be operated. These efforts were widely publicised on social media, particularly Facebook, where they received significant levels of support. Many of the people involved in this direct action were elderly people or people who had not been involved in anything like this before. Anti-water charges campaign groups began to form on their own, in areas where there was no recent history of resistance. Momentum appeared to be building but still exhausted CAHWT groups were trying to recover their energy and were not as active as they had previously been. The Right2Water campaign, composed primarily of trade unions and left wing politicians and parties, launched in August 2014 with a loose set of criteria for joining: “All you need to be part of the campaign is to believe that water is a human right and that water charges should be abolished.” The campaign came to serve as an umbrella group for community groups, left wing parties and trade unions to affiliate with, but did not have a formal democratic structure and could not direct members to particular courses of action. Then on October 11th 2014 a large anti-water charges demonstration exploded onto the scene, with attendance in the tens of thousands and a vibrant energy that further added to the sense that a new wave of people was indeed ready to stand and fight. Many were new to political activism but their energy boosted the veteran campaigners whose organising experience meant this new anti-water charges campaign hit the ground running. This surge in working class activity has been building for a long time, fostered both by constant government attacks on our public services and standards of living and also by the persistent and extraordinary efforts of the ordinary people who fought these attacks. While this campaign has been extremely popular by any measure, many of its participants view it in different ways and are hoping for different outcomes. Political parties normally look at campaigns like these as a way to gain publicity and to pull in a few more activists with the aim of increasing their share of the vote come election time. From that perspective, campaigns are just things that you participate in to strengthen the party, not to strengthen the working class. Anarchists look at campaigns like this as an opportunity for working class people to build our own knowledge, confidence, networks, organisational capacities and political consciousness so that no matter who is in government, we will be able to organise to defend ourselves. State power The world that we want will never and can never be delivered through the state. Though many engaged in struggles around water charges and housing sincerely believe that the capture of state power through parliamentary means can be used to end poverty and homelessness, this is simply not possible. While elections appear to be a shortcut to political power, in reality they are a trap, designed to undermine, split, roll back and destroy working class political power and organisations. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:05am
Author: Sinead RedmondTitle: The political and personal landscape of choice in IrelandDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie It is all but impossible, both in theory and in practice, to legally obtain an abortion on the island of Ireland, both north and south of the imaginary border that divides this island. It is completely impossible to safely and legally obtain an abortion anywhere in Ireland; the legal framework in the south specifically requires that in order to obtain an abortion without being criminalised for so doing, the woman who needs it must be ill enough to die; thus it is rendered impossible for her to be safe in access to legal abortion. In the north, the Offences Against the Person Act dating from 1861 — over a century and a half ago — is what renders women taking control of whether or not they give birth and remain pregnant illegal. It describes abortion as ‘procuring miscarriage’, a description which is very apt for what those who need abortions in the north of Ireland today are forced to do by this archaic bit piece of legislation; obtain the abortion pill illegally online via organisations like Women on Web, Women Help Women, or less reputable means. It states that anyone who does this “shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable [..] to be kept in penal servitude for life”. However there was an exception made to this under the Criminal Justices Act of 1945. This Act, while it created the offence of “child destruction”, defining it as “any wilful act [that] causes a child to die before it has an existence independent of its mother” allowed that such a “destruction” could be carried out without legal penalty if one is acting in good faith to preserve the life of the “mother”. Unlike in the south, this has been interpreted by subsequent judgements to mean not only that the woman must be on the brink of death, but also that the woman’s health was important as well. (In the south, the Supreme Court ruling on X in 1992 specifically excludes the woman’s or girl’s health from being in any way relevant to whether she is permitted to access an abortion.) In 1994 a court in the north found that this “does not relate only to some life-threatening situation. Life in this context means that physical or mental health or well-being of the mother and the doctor’s act is lawful where the continuance of the pregnancy would adversely affect the mental or physical health of the mother. The adverse effect must however be a real and serious one and there will always be a question of fact and degree whether the perceived effect of non-termination is sufficiently grave to warrant terminating the unborn child.” However it is very difficult to establish clearly the criteria under which this is deemed to be the case.; On the 26th of March of this year the Northern Ireland Executive finally agreed to publish guidelines for healthcare professionals on when it is legal for women to access abortion. This was following enormous pressure on the Executive owing to a ruling from Belfast High Court in November 2015 which found that to deny abortions to women carrying pregnancies that will not survive to term, or beyond birth, or pregnant as a result of “sexual crime” was a breach of their human rights. Again, as in the south, this legislative framework ensures that a woman cannot be safe if she is unwell and endangered enough to fit the criteria of being ‘permitted’ to access a legal abortion. Despite the obvious outdatedness of the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861, there are nonetheless not one, but two pending prosecutions in Belfast at the moment under it. One is of a woman who procured the abortion pill for her teenage daughter; subsequent to its administration they both presented at a hospital in search of medical treatment, worried for the daughter’s well-being. Though details of the case are as yet unclear, it seems that a (presumably anti-choice) medical professional they encountered there felt the need to report them to the police for something twhat would render them open to life imprisonment. The second pending prosecution is of a woman in her twenties who obtained the abortion pill for herself and apparently for others. Again, details of her situation are unclear, but given that there is no prosecution or pursuit of any of the over 200 women from the north who haves openly and deliberately incriminated themselves under their full names in repeated open letters and publications in various media as people who have needed access to the abortion pill, it seems likely that this prosecution too came about under pressure from another party. The legal structure in the south of Ireland is the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution. It states that “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” The obvious afterthought of the right to life of the carrier of the foetus granted was only included in the wording after a vigorous campaign from feminist groups of the time. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 5:02am
Author: Tom MurrayTitle: A City in CommonSubtitle: The Radical Potential of Ireland’s Eco-Transport StrugglesDate: April 2016Notes: Published in Common Threads Issue 1 — April 2016.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Could climate change become a catalysing force for radical social transformation in Ireland? Recent struggles around public transport in Ireland prompt us to think along these lines. During the spring of 2016, Luas workers went on strike for decent pay and for terms and conditions similar to workers in other public transport services [1]. Similarly, in Autumn 2015, Irish Rail workers went on strike, primarily in opposition to the EU Commission and the Irish government’s gradual moves towards privatisation [2]. Previously, in Spring 2015, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann workers went on strike over plans by the National Transport Authority to tender out 10% of public routes to private operators. SIPTU’s banner at Liberty Hall outlined why: ‘Say No to Privatisation; privatisation results in fare increase, reduced services, a threat to free travel, a bad deal for taxpayers and job cuts’. SIPTU and NBRU members and strike organisers have emphasised the damage privatisation will do to society, primarily concentrating on the loss of community services and the race to the bottom in bus drivers’ terms and conditions [3]. The striking workers deserve our support and their claims should be taken seriously. This is definitely the case when the regime media adhere to a deeply unimaginative line, loudly declaiming traffic disruption to an imagined city of angry consumers and silently accepting the hollowing out of public services [4]. At the same time, however, we also need to think about what’s not being said, about the words that don’t make it on to the papers or the banner. The missing planet In these recent clashes between the defenders of public services and the agents of privatisation, an articulated concern for the planet’s capacity to sustain life is strangely missing. This is, perhaps, unsurprising. In Ireland, as elsewhere, the crisis of 2007 and ensuing recession have provided governments of both left- and right-wing hues with a pretext to accelerate fossil fuel extraction in pursuit of ‘growth’. Fighting austerity, it seems, has swept discussions of climate change to the margins of electoral and movement-based politics. All the while, capitalism’s ‘grow or die’ imperative continues to take a toll on a finite planet. The same week as the Dublin bus strike, scientists observed record carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere. This 400ppm (parts per million) record is a milestone for global warming and comes nearly three decades after what is considered the ‘safe’ level of 350ppm was passed [5]. Public transport clearly plays a crucial role here: each full standard bus can take more than 50 cars off the road while a full train can eliminate over 600[6]. In these circumstances, failing to link public transport with environmental sustainability is not just strange oversight but suicidal blindness. Part of not seeing the problem involves seeing phantom solutions. As Prole.info puts it, whenever the need for a real critique of the capitalist system is strongly felt, distorted, self-defeating, pseudocritiques multiply [7]. “an estimated 380,000 people living in rural areas do not have access to the transport services they require” The climate crisis will not be resolved in such a way as to sustain a life-supporting ecosystem by corporate philanthropy, by miraculous scientific fixes or by individuals greening their consumption habits or lifestyles. Similarly, the profit margins that might attract private capital into green production or sustainable transport are not there [8]. A good example of this occurred in March 2014 when air pollution in French cities reached danger ously high levels. Officials in Paris decided to discourage car use by making public transit free for three days. Private transport operators would strenuously resist such measures, and yet these are precisely the kinds of actions that need to occur to battle increasing levels of atmospheric carbon. “Rather than allowing bus fares to rise while service erodes, we need to be lowering prices and expanding services – regardless of the costs’ [9]. While there may be debate and discussion about the best way to respond to climate change, there is absolutely no scenario in which we can avoid large-scale social transformation while sustaining decent human survival. Wartime mobilisations provide the closest historical precedent for reducing carbon emissions on the scale that climate scientists indicate is necessary. During World War Two, for example, as pleasure driving was virtually eliminated to conserve fuel, the use of public transport increased by 87 per cent in the US and by 95 per cent in Canada [10]. Today, it is no mystery where the vast work of ecological transition needs to take place. Much of it needs to happen in ambitious emission-reducing projects – smart grids, light rail and public transport systems, citywide composting systems, building retrofits, and urban redesigns to keep us from spending half our lives in traffic jams [11]. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:45am
Author: Cathal Larkin and Liam HoughTitle: Anarchist Studies Network Conference 2: ‘Making Connections”Date: 9 December 2012Notes: Published in the Irish Anarchist Review Issue 6 — Winter 2012.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie It’s a strange anomaly that anarchism is so marginal an idea in academia despite it being a major influence on contemporary social movement praxis, as well as having been the dominant proletarian ideology worldwide for decades leading up to the Russian Revolution. As a framework for radical theorising, it is far less common than both Marxism and oppositional postmodernism (two traditions whose strong points anarchist-communism has the potential to synthesise quite well, by the way). However, there are many signs this is changing. This last decade has seen an explosion in anarchist academic work and the creation of anarchist studies networks based in North America and Britain. One such grouping, the ASN, held a three-day conference this summer in Loughborough, England, that two of the editorial collective were able to attend. There were roughly around 200 people in attendance, mostly from Europe and North America. The Anarchist Studies Network should be commended for generously subsidising the costs and fees of unemployed and student attendees. At times the programme had up to seven sessions were running simultaneously, so our short feedback here is obviously quite partial, based as it is on what we attended and the general feeling we got from others we spoke with. Also, the scope of the programme was pretty eclectic, with streams themed under anarchism and education, religion, disability, non-domination, anarchism in different national contexts, post- qnarchism and art, and bodily anarchy, to name a few. One highlight was a roundtable discussion with members of various Industrial Workers of the World branches, in particular hearing about recent organising successes by Pizza Hut workers in Sheffield. Two of the best sessions made use of an open slot allocated for spontaneous discussions, workshops and so on. Gabriel Kuhn called a session that has resulted in the creation of an Independent Anarchist Scholars Network. It has started as an email list but it is hoped to grow to be a vibrant network of mutual support for anarchist scholarly work outside of the university. A much warranted session on feminism (with possibly the highest attendance we witnessed of any billing in the programme) created space to look at the lack of concrete sessions on feminism in the conference programme, and also to discuss the dynamics of the conference overall in terms of what and who was lacking in terms of representation. There were other related criticisms of the balance of content within the programme – possibly reflective of the general focus of many anarchist academics. While Occupy was discussed a lot, we didn’t see many papers relating to the current European austerity agenda, the broader global capitalist crisis and the fight against them. Perhaps it is reflective of a strong post- structuralist influence on contemporary anarchist theorising that the big picture analyses were so rare. With some exceptions, the format of the sessions was of a conventional academic nature, not particularly participatory or inclusive, with the little time given to discussion often thus dominated by those who are more familiar and comfortable in such settings. While it could be tempting to suggest that the increasing prevalence of anarchist theory and research within academia is something of an inevitability, we shouldn’t take it that its course is mapped out by any means. We would hope that such a development would not reproduce some of the pitfalls of academic theorising in its detachment from wider society and general depoliticisation, but would build on the many existing links that are there, in and outside of universities, with real social movements. Overall, we saw much potential in this event to strengthen such links (and met a bunch of great people).

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:44am
Author: Kevin DoyleTitle: Mentioning the War: Essays and Reviews 1999–2011 by Kevin HigginsDate: 9 December 2012Notes: Published in the Irish Anarchist Review Issue 6 — Winter 2012.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Kevin Higgins is a poet from Galway and a long-standing contributor to the independent left publication Red Banner Magazine. A former member of the Militant Tendency (now the Socialist Party), he has played no small part in making the world of writing a more accessible and pleasant place to be in this country – not least for those who don’t normally find themselves welcome in the hallowed, middle class halls of Literativille. His approach is no accident. Higgins knows that good writing can be found anywhere and is not the preserve of the privileged or the best educated. But importantly too in terms of writing (and poetry in particular) he is committed to high standards. ‘Political poetry’ with little poetry in it, as well as doggerel in general, are two of his bête noires. His poetry should be treasured on the left (but it isn’t of course) in particular because we have so few poets who cherish the streets we wander along. Dave Lordan or Diarmuid O’ Dalaigh in Cork might appear to fit that role too, but their concerns in the main are with the world outside the left. Higgins in contrast often looks in at where we are and there is much that is valuable and sobering in what he sees. His poetry I recommend highly but his essays, collected here by Salmon Poetry, are much more of a mixed bag. One problem to be pointed out at the outset is that a fair number of his reviews (mostly attributed to The Galway Advertiser) are simply too short to be of much value. I am all for brevity but with many of these, interesting points are raised only to be left hanging in their entirety at conclusion of said review. A case in point being that of Lorna Siggins’ Once Upon A Time In The West which is strangely equivocal. As I said, it would be interesting to know more about Kevin Higgins thinks about the significant yet tragically defeated protest centred on the Corrib gas fields. When Kevin does have space to elaborate, he is invariably interesting and informative. He is good at explaining and is always interesting and clear when writing about literature and poetry. This is a real asset and rarer than you might imagine. Not surprisingly his way with words is one of his strongest suits. Generally he is even handed (see his review of Michael D’s last collection of poems) but he can be ruthless too, as with his hilarious review of Ruairí Quinn’s Straight Left – A Journey Into Politics. Such an opus was bound to provoke Kevin Higgin’s ire and it sure does. Among many fitting observations about the Labour Party’s ultimate clown is the comment that Quinn “as a writer is dull beyond belief”. Since this collection has been reviewed elsewhere by general left commentators I will focus for the remainder on what anarchists and libertarian socialists might find interesting. On the positive side Kevin is one of the few socialists who is prepared to face up to the authoritarianism (some call it the Leninist or Stalinist mindset) that is, even now, a significant feature of the serious left, both here and abroad. This is big plus for me. The disaster that befell us all when the idea of socialism became inextricably linked to censorship, the Gulags, show trials, self- criticism sessions and so on and so forth (stand up Lenin, Trotsky and the others), is too easily glossed over by many within the Marxist left. Some don’t see the huge prob- lem even now or imagine it to be some past aberration or some plot by the CIA to denigrate our ultimate goal. Not Kevin Higgins, I feel. He knows, as many of us do to our cost (I came across it myself only recently in the Anti-Household Tax Campaign) that the toxic world of authoritarian left politics is still very real and debilitating. On the negative side, Kevin is just a bit too prone to lampooning the left, in contexts that are often not clear. Some of this, I am guessing, is scar tissue from his Militant Tendency days, but often the swipes are too easy and undiscerning. They are to be found here and there in this collection but an example is his observation about a speaker at a left meeting who was ‘earnest but dead-in-the-mouth’. Of course this could well be true (and who hasn’t been at such meetings?) but the problem is that there’s loads of mundanity in trying to organise even the smallest of protests. Our resources are almost pitiful when compared against those ranged against us, and I just wonder, in places, where the empathy is for the countless individuals who have been the foot-soldiers of important (and un-newsworthy) protests – against deportations, against the household tax, for choice around pregnancy termination? Anarchists will find much of interest in this collection but there will be dissatisfaction too. Like many from within the Marxist tradition, Kevin Higgins shows much insight into the problems of the authoritarian left. But more searching scrutiny is not developed here.

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:41am
Author: Dermot FreemanTitle: Marx’s Economics for Anarchists by Wayne PriceDate: 9 December 2012Notes: Published in the Irish Anarchist Review Issue 6 — Winter 2012.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie One of the chapters in Wayne Price’s invaluable book is entitled ‘The Capitalist Epoch of Decline’ and it is hard to imagine that we are living in anything else. All of capitalism’s men are rushing around attempting to get the wheels back on the cart that is taking us ever-faster to hell. For many people at this stage it has become obvious that putting the wheels back on does nothing for the ultimate destination. One man put forth an alternate economic theory to capitalism, and that fellow’s name was Karl Marx. For some, they exalted him into a deity, for others he’s been vilified, but his ideas have been interpreted and re-interpreted, and distilledfor years. For Anarchists, we have a difficult time with Marx which goes all the way back to the First International split of 1872 and continues down a line from the many Leninist parties who interpreted him in many ways up to and includ- ing the termination of many anarchists as being ‘the right thing to do’. Wayne Price has attempted in this book to give us a synopsis of what Marx wrote in his three main volumes of Capital, and the Grundrisse. He is well aware of the difficult relationship Anarchists have with Marx, but it is important to look at the main ideas contained within these works. He is to be welcomed in this as I don’t know about you, but I have no intention of ever getting around to reading the 1072 page Capital in my brief time on this planet. Read this book instead. Marx himself said a few things which I think we need to remember from the outset. He said ‘I am not a Marxist’ but he also set out to understand how capitalism worked in order to destroy it. Know thine enemy, as the proverb said. The author takes us on a tour of the essential ideas of Marx around economic theory. We look at ‘alienation’ brought about by working for someone else, for profits, along with the nature of value and how we get from value to price. There are interesting ideas around ‘fetishism’, how owning a product (i-Phone anyone?) can make people feel better about themselves, which appears very prescient by Herr Marx. Other central ideas which are explained are ‘the labour theory of value’, ‘surplus value’, profit, ‘the declining rate of profit’, and how capitalism enters into cycles from booms to busts. The key part here is that Wayne Price is imparting the central themes that emerge from Capital and what we can learn from Marx’s work. There is a joke in this book which goes that “Marxist economists have predicted 20 of the last 5 recessions.” As Price puts it, “Marx’s critique of political economy is a set of useful theoretical tools for understanding the present conditions of the capitalist economy and its likely future developments.” As anarchists who wish to bring about the demise of capitalism we should use these tools as best we can. He gives us a method to understand the processes at work in the heart of capitalism. Marx saw capitalism creating the seeds of its own demise, as it would create a strong, super- exploited, organised working class who would destroy the oppressor. That has not necessarily been the case. Capitalism has been remarkably adept at being a shape-shifter, which allowed it to continue its rapacious nature and increase the level of ex- ploitation and suffering in this world. As Murray Bookchin noted, we are faced with ‘anarchism or annihilation’ and Wayne Price has given us a chance with this book to equip ourselves with the tools to understand this beast which we fight. It is a fight for survival. Marx wanted something like what happened in the Paris Commune, but his interpretation of what the future could be like was narrow, centralised, and open to corruption. Anarchists know that the State does not ‘die out’ as Marx and Engels expected. It is something that has to be destroyed. But via its destruction comes the federated mechanisms for direct democracy which will replace it. Capitalism the great shape-shifter may be in cri- sis, but it doesn’t mean that whatever follows it will be better. Revolutionaries will~preach revolu- tion. Capitalism remains the enemy of the work- ing class; it is the enemy of the world which it destroys for its own purposes. Marx helps us to understand our enemy, and Wayne Price should be commended for helping us understand him.

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:38am
Author: Liam HoughTitle: Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen JonesDate: 9 December 2012Notes: Published in the Irish Anarchist Review Issue 6 — Winter 2012.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Released in Summer 2011 and now in its second edition, Chavs is Owen Jones’ attempt to help rescussitate debate around class within mainstream outdated concept and political discourse. Broadly speaking, it is focused on the fate of working class communities in Britain since the Thatcher era and the disappearance of working class political representation, and puts forward some possible ideas to envision a renewed class politics for today. The book has proven a popular one and has propelled its author’s public status as a prominent left-wing commentator, and one of the main voices of initiatives to reclaim the Labour Party as a working class organisation. As Jones is quick to point out in the preface to the new edition, had it been released a couple of years earlier, when class denial was still a more viable ideological line, then Chavs would likely have remained a more obscure work. But, given its convergence with the current crisis and the riots that spread throughout various British cities last August, Chavs arrived on the market at a time when issues of wealth and power have become far more pressing to a wider public. That said, no matter how many new billionaires this crisis has managed to create, the author is well aware that much of society’s frustrations can still more easily be channelled against ‘welfare dependents’, as it can against powerful elites. The book offers a thorough mapping of how the neoliberal project has taken shape in Britain. It documents the shifts in social structure brought about by the steep decline of traditional industries and with them, trade unions, the corresponding rise of the service industries and the increasing dominance of the financial sector. These are related to changes in popular cultural and political discourse, centred on the mantras of individual aspiration and personal responsibility, showing how the forms of exclusion and inequality that are the effects of deindustrialisation and the chasm it left behind are today ex- plained in terms of their ‘anti-social’ symptoms. One familiar example: if people are unemployed, it’s because they’re too lazy to get a job, not because of the lack of jobs. It is a credit to the author that he’s managed to cover so much material in a style that is clear and easy to read, incorporating a broad stock of secondary research to support his own case studies on the media, the party system, changes in occupation and the emergence of the ‘flexible’ workforce, education and cultural capital, the post-welfare vacuum, and the rise of far-right politics. Indeed, every chapter could be read in its own right as a primer on class in each of these areas of society. ‘Middle Britain’ The title, Chavs, was chosen because, according to Jones, it encapsulates the kind of class disdain that has become totally acceptable in much of British culture over the last 30 years. In a culture increasingly more dominated by middle-class ideals, the world ‘below’ this norm is framed as one of feckless single-mothers, hoodied teenagers and welfare dependants, liv- ing undisciplined lives on council estates and in high-rise tower blocks. The core myths on which this ‘middle Britain’ consensus is based are that ‘we are all middle- class now’, that class is an outdated concept and that social problems can be explained as the moral or even genetic failings of individuals or families. To understand how these ideas have become so normalised, it is necessary to see them as a symptom of the broader social changes that have taken place in Britain since the 1970’s and how the ideals of the welfare state have been supplanted by free-market individualism. Jones develops his argument by first leading the reader through an analysis of the media, examining the ideological role it plays in imprint- ing the myth that most people now live cosy middle-class lives except for ‘a problematic ‘chav rump’ left on the wrong side of history.’ It is a clever way to open up the study, as it builds on the most familiar of images and narratives we are fed today, situating media production and consumption in a wider context, and illustrating the political function of such representations. His analysis of popular culture covers everything from the relative absence of plausible working class characters on television, to the gross marketisation of English football as a global brand, that has ultimately excluded a whole swath of supporters who can no longer afford to go see their local team. Farewell to the Working Class? Probably the most substantial and valuable sections of the book try to answer the question of just who is the working class today. Jones is well aware that the working class could never be defined as homogeneous, that there ‘have always been different groups within it, not all of whom have sat comfortably together’. Taking a definition of working class in both material terms of having to sell one’s labour on the market, with little autonomy over this labour, and also in cultural terms as something that shape’s one’s identity, sense of history, place, language, shared experience and expectations of life, Jones attempts to give a sketch of today’s working conditions and the shape of communities that were once centred around the factory, the mine or the docks. What we find is a fragmented class certainly no more homogeneous than at other phases in recent history, yet whose interests can still be broadly defined as antagonistic to those of a small minority who benefit most off their labour – waged or otherwise. ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:35am
Author: Liam O’RourkeTitle: Brave New North: Neoliberalism in the Six CountiesDate: 10 December 2012Notes: Published in the Irish Anarchist Review Issue 6 — Winter 2012.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie Guest writer Liam O’Rourke casts his eye over the neo-liberal project of regeneration in the six counties. He notes that the elite sections of both communities have no problem uniting around what he describes as the “shared non-sectarian identity of the consumer” which reduces shared space to “commercial shared space”. Yet the fact that working class people have seen little of the promised “peace dividend” has not lead to heightened class consciousness so much as it has to increased sectarian division. Today, the core assumption of the dominant classes in regards to the six counties of ‘Northern Ireland’ is that economic liberalism goes hand in hand with sustainable peace – in other words, neoliberal social and economic policies plus peace process equals prosperity. With its ‘propaganda of peace’, the media is giving the public an explicit narrative of ‘an end to violence’ and of a ‘political settlement’ having been achieved, as well as an implicit narrative according to which Northern Ireland is at present fit ‘for integration into the consumerist society and the global economic order’. [1] The image of Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley ringing the trading bell of the Nasdaq in December 2007 symbolises the idea that if the ‘invisible hand’ of the market gets its way, it will provide lasting peace and reconciliation. Economic development agencies from countries like Kosovo and Iraq have even been brought on official visits to the north to witness the success of that idea. Under the ‘new dispensation’, governance structures have been assembled to reconfigure post-conflict economic space. ‘The onset of devolution has promoted a mix between ethno-sectarian resource competition and a constantly expanding neoliberal model of governance.’ All governing parties subscribe to the virtues of free market enterprise, austerity finance, urban regeneration, public-private partnership, private-finance initiatives, and foreign direct investment by global multinationals. Neo liberal principles of privatisation, fiscal conservatism and low social welfare are seen as the main engines of social and economic peace dividend. [2] Peace has in effect been ‘privatised’. The Mask of Neoliberalism In opposition to the destructive antagonism be- tween Republicanism and Unionism, the neolib- eral project of governing elites promotes the the ‘shared non-sectarian identity’ of the consumer. It seeks to normalise the north by reducing ‘shared space’ to commercial shared space. Critics point that this idea is fundamentally to ‘provide a mask or a ‘Potemkin Village’ to obscure the poverty and sectarianism hidden behind’. [3] The recently opened Titanic Belfast project is a prime example of such a ‘Potemkin Village’ promoted by this ‘propaganda of peace’. A lecturer in History of Design at the University of Ulster has described the likes of the Titanic Project and the Laganside Development as the city’s largest ‘normalisation project’ and contrasts the ‘propaganda drive to make Belfast appear as normal’ to the fact that at the same time the population has become even more divided and segregated. [4] This project of ‘rebranding’ the six counties is there to hide the fact that Northern Ireland is a failed economic entity. It is fiscally dependent on the rest of the UK ; its annual deficit stands at £9 billion (€10.6 billion) a year, equivalent to £5,000 a person. Public spending accounts to almost 70 percent of its gross domestic product. Economic output is 20 percent below the British average, 30 percent of the population is economically inactive and it continues to experience the lowest private sector productivity of all UK regions. It is the only part of the UK where weekly wages in the public sector –where over 30 percent of the workforce is employed- are on average £105 higher than the private sector. Growth rates have consistently trailed behind the UK average. All this puts in doubt whether ‘Northern Ireland’ can become an attractive option never mind a shining example for global capital. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Economic Outlook report published in August 2012, not only is the north’s economy facing ‘very serious problems’ and lagging behind the rest of the UK, but the prognosis is even worse, with predictions for the regional economy to shrink even further. [5] Esmond Birnie, an Ulster Unionist and a senior economist at Pricewater- HouseCoopers admitted last year: ‘Over three decades, the standard of living has remained flat. The reliance on the public sector still remains very high. We’ve had a high decline in manufacturing...and while there has been growth in the service sector, these are low wage, low productivity jobs — no compensation for the loss of traditional industries. The Northern Ireland economy only grows when there is a massive increase in public spending and another increase in public spending is not realistic.’[6] So much for Northern Ireland PLC! The Spoils of Peace There were hopes that the cessation of violence would be followed by a ‘peace dividend’. A detailed study of the evolution of the northern economy in the ten years since following the Belfast Agreement seriously questions the degree to which the peace process has engendered a general and sustainable ‘peace dividend’, especially for the marginalized populations who suffered most during the conflict. [7] Even Ian Coulter, the chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, stated earlier this year that despite the political peace dividend in the last 14 years, there has been no real economic dividend and the north’s economy has not moved on since 1998. [8] Her Majesty’s Treasury provided this assessment in a paper published last year: ‘Peace has not in itself been sufficient to raise Northern Ireland prosperity to the UK average or even to the UK average excluding South East England. Northern Ireland still has one of the weakest economies in the UK.’ [9] And since the start of the great recession ‘the much-heralded prospects of a peace dividend have simply evap- orated following the meltdown of global financial markets. Negative equity, job fears and the cost of living dominate the domestic economic horizon.’ [10] ...

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[l] at 1/21/22 4:27am
Author: Leticia OrtegaTitle: Sex and Sex Work from an Anarcha-Feminist perspectiveDate: 7 December 2012Notes: Published in the Irish Anarchist Review Issue 6 — Winter 2012.Source: Retrieved on 21st January 2022 from www.wsm.ie In “Sex and Sex Work from and anarcha-feminist perspective”, Leticia looks at the theoretical background to the debate between those who argue for decriminalisation and those who “see sex work (or even sex in general) as violence against women”. She argues that because sex is commodified, sex workers should be treated in the same way as others who engage in exploitative labour. There is an on-going debate within anarchism about sex work, feminism and sex in general. While there is general agreement on the differ- ence between sexual freedom and sexual exploitation, there is conflict between anarchists who argue for decriminalisation and those with radical feminist tendencies who see sex work (or even sex in general) as violence against women. The latter are mainly influenced by Andrea Dworkin and Melissa Farley. Anarcha-Feminism or Radical Feminism? Dworkin ́s analysis of heterosexual sex and porn in her book Intercourse concludes that intercourse is a synonym for rape. She tries to clarify at the end that what she really means is that ̈ sex must not put women in a subordinate position. It must be reciprocal and not an act of aggression from a man looking only to satisfy himself. ̈ Melissa Farley, an academic left wing radical feminist, believes that the only feminist approach to sex work should be abolition. Farley has said that “If we view prostitution as violence against women, it makes no sense to legalize or decriminalize prostitution.” From an anarcha-feminist perspective, this approach is problematic. When radical feminists (‘good’ women) feel they have the privilege and the right to exercise power to force sex workers ( ̈bad ̈ women) to adapt to the dominant cultural norms with regard to sex, they are simply using the same tools that patriarchy has used historically in order to dictate the social norms that control the lives of women. This poses several questions: what kind of feminist ‘assists’ other women without asking them what kind of assistance they really want? What kind of feminist ‘assists’ other women by treating them as if they were unable to decide for themselves what is best for them? What kind of feminist ‘assists’ other women with methods that these women believe in fact to be harmful? The Commodification of Sex Sex work however, is more diverse and has many different fields than prostitution. A sex worker refers to any person who is paid to engage physically in a sexual way with clients: prostitutes, street workers, brothel workers, in- call or out-call workers, escorts, call boys, call girls, rent boys, bar girls, in-house prostitutes, adult film actors or actresses. Other sex workers are paid to engage in sexual performance directly or indirectly: exotic lap dancers, adult film producers, phone sex operators, nude models, full body masseuses, pimps, madams, strippers, escort service owners, webcam models, adult website owners. Sex is a commodity because as much as we like it or not, everything under capitalism tends towards commodification. I find that a lot of the anarchist arguments about sex in general are puritanical and conservative about our sexuality, rather than just seeing it as exploitative work. If we see all work to be exploitative, why is sex work different? Class, Gender and Morality For example, in Madrid there was a campaign to shut down a brothel a few years ago. I don ́t know how many anarchists were involved in this action but a lot of my comrades thought it was a positive campaign. But what of the people who were working there who relied on that work for their income? What is the difference between this and people trying to shut down a supermarket where many workers who are also exploited will lose their jobs. Why should we have a different attitude? There is a history of puritanical and conservative approaches in anarchism. There is the very famous scene of Emma Goldman being confronted for dancing with the lads by a comrade; and during the Spanish Revolution a lot of male CNT members believed that revolutionary anarcho- communists should live like nuns and monks for the spirit of the revolution. Sex is still a big taboo in anarchist and left wing circles. People who choose to attack the brothel but not their local McDonalds do so because of sexual morality. Sex is made into a moral issue because we are not only taking about an economic relationship. So when some anarchists have a problem with a brothel or with a specific sex shop, it is not just a class or gender analysis that informs them, it is also what they think is morally good or bad for the rest of us. Further Debate and New Approaches Sex is a very big part of our lives. The anarchist attitude to sex and sexuality should be that sexual activities and relations should be safe, free, diverse and consensual; acknowledging that people are trans, queer, bi or hetero, from the monogamous to the polyamourous, from the asexual to the polysexual. In relation to sex work, I also believe that anarcho-communist critiques of work, of legislation and of trade union structures have the potential to move forward the entrenched debate between those either advocating for the sex industry or fighting stigma, and those calling for its abolition through state legislation. I would like to see future discussions in anarchist circles of ways forward for grassroots organising by prostitutes and sex workers against their control by the state, the sex industry and the market.

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[l] at 1/20/22 4:38pm
Author: Full Stop AffinityTitle: Why Is Youth Liberation So Important in the Climate Movement?Date: December 2021Notes: ed. – By UK youth liberation ecoanarchists Full Stop Affinity, reviled by the Left for autonomous action and targeted with transphobia until their disillusion.]Source: Retrieved on 1/20/2022 from returnfire.noblogs.org/files/2021/12/Return-Fire-vol.6-chap.3-pg151-pg234CORRECTED.pdf The environment will collapse before some of us reach our thirties. Our future has been stolen from us by the state. Children are an oppressed group and we will fight for our freedom. Older generations repeatedly look down on us and presume we know nothing. Parents and guardians treat us like property, censoring what we say, stopping us from acting. Youth liberation is necessary. We must be free. The state repeatedly tries to fuck us around, turn us into a statistic. Keep us preoccupied so we can’t see the murder and devastation they cause. But we see it. We will not surrender to the state. We may not believe the revolution will happen but we will continue to fight because it’s the right thing to do. Older generations have repeatedly shown that they don’t care about climate change. They know they’ll be dead before it becomes devastating. And they don’t want us young people changing how they have to live or, in their words, “inconveniencing” them. We the young people have no future. We must fight for our liberation, like any oppressed group. Climate change affects us. Climate change will kill us. We refuse to go without a fight. In the last year, we the young people have scared the shit out of the state with demos and direct action. It’s important our older comrades do not try to control us, or police us, in our fight for freedom. Youth liberation is especially important to the climate movement as we are the ones that will suffer. We are the ones that are acting. We don’t mean “acting” as in the same sense as XRY [ed. – youth wing of Extinction Rebellion; see Rebellion Extinction], or even the youth strikes. We are taking direct action against our oppressors. Gluing and chaining ourselves to roads and fences while relying on state empathy will get us nowhere. A to B marches will get us nowhere. Only chaos will change things. For too long older people have been made the face of the climate movement, with liberal groups pushing an image of older people, grandparents, to the front of their activism. You aren’t fighting for your grandchildren’s future by submitting yourself to the state. Only complete insurrectionist action will cause change. Punch the enemy, do not rely on their empathy. We are the climate movement, not grandparents who chant “police we love you. We’re doing this for your children”. Corporations know their actions are unjust, they rely on the compliance of the people and this is why we, the youth, pose such a threat. It’s a time where values are experimented with, boundaries are broken and it signifies the end of relying on our oppressors for sympathy. This, along with the youths ability to begin organising independently, combine to make young people such a genuine threat to climatemassacring corporations and the oppressive structures they rely on. Youth comes with an aspect of autonomy, which many other social groups lack. This is why the established system views young people as such a threat. We have a crucial role in acting for social change and we will fulfil it. No matter how much they try to force and control us, there is no place for us in the state hierarchy and therefore their ideas of correctness. We can’t be placed in a section. This is why youth movements and youth themselves are so often belittled and put down by media and corporations and tried to be controlled by schools and classrooms; because by its very nature, youth works against the state’s ideas of hierarchy and control. This is why in movements such as the climate movement, which heavily relies on youth liberation, is important as its existence works against the hierarchies the movements desire and need to remove. Young people are a determining dynamic force [ed. – see Return Fire vol.2 pg27]. All throughout history, exploited youth fight against the state and those who oppress them and encourage the people around them to do the same. Smash the state. Set fire to the prisons. From the streets to the schools, remain ungovernable!

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[l] at 1/18/22 3:28am
Author: AnonymousTitle: Black Armed JoySubtitle: Some Notes Towards a Black Theory of Insurrectionary AnarchyDate: 2022Notes: Note from haters cafe: This essay was submitted to us by a group of Black anarchists that wish to remain anonymous, the haters collective are not the authors. As always, you can find a zine version of this essay here, please feel free to print and distribute it.Source: Retrieved on 2022-01-18 from haters.noblogs.org/post/2022/01/18/black-armed-joy-some-notes-towards-a-black-theory-of-insurrectionary-anarchy This essay is dedicated to the memory of our revolutionary elder, theorist, and warrior Russell Maroon Shoatz This essay was inspired partially by one of our comrades while we were discussing the failures of non-violence as a tactic and philosophy. She said something along the lines of “I was raised by radicals from the 1960s and 1970s. If you were a Panther and you got caught, you were doing something wrong.” The zine is a product of a variety of conversations among Black anarchists in the post-George Floyd rebellion although many of these strands of thought have existed prior to this moment. We have three questions we hope to address in this zine. What would an insurrectionary anarchist position thoroughly rooted in black radicalism and black revolt mean? How does the current white insurrectionary anarchist milieu fail? How can Black revolutionaries extend the insurrection? What is Insurrectionary Anarchy? To those who are unfamiliar, “anarchism” does not mean “chaos” nor does “insurrection” mean “mindless destruction.” Anarchism is the concept of social self-rule etymologically translating from “anarkhos” in Greek meaning “no rulers.” Therefore, In the words of Elder Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, “Anarchists are social revolutionaries, who seek a stateless, classless, voluntary, cooperative federation of decentralized communes-based upon social ownership, individual liberty and autonomous self-management of social and economic life.” When we discuss insurrectionary anarchism, we are discussing a tendency within the anarchist movement that focuses on insurrection as the primary revolutionary practice. Insurrection meaning, the social phenomena of unmitigated rebellion; the forceful redistribution of private property, land, and justice by the unsettled masses. The concept of attack and constant conflictuality with hierarchical forces is central to insurrectionary anarchism. Insurrectionary anarchists do not believe that we can simply “dual power” or “vote” our way to freedom. The institutions which currently uphold racial capitalism and all other forces of domination must be smashed. There can be no revolution without revolutionaries who must be engaged in taking militant actions against the State and Capital. Finally, insurrectionary anarchists value the self activity of the masses as important. While not neglecting organization, insurrectionary anarchists understand that insurrections as a revolutionary phenomenon are social, not military. The self activity of the exploited and the oppressed drives revolution, not the actions of Leninist parties or so-called revolutionary unions. Insurrectionists emphasize the informal nature of revolution and organization. The revolution to destroy this world happens from the bottom up and includes all or does not occur at all. We define the terms of insurrectionary anarchism here before we launch into our critique to clarify for readers who are unfamiliar and to avoid any confusion. Towards a Black Insurrectionist Anarchy “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” – Assata Shakur The Critical Moment It is imperative that we develop a Black insurrectionary anarchist position. The history of Black struggle in this kountry is a history of revolt by any means necessary. It is a history of constant attack by the Black masses against the capitalist and colonial powers which enslaved Black people. 2020 reminded many of us of this history and legacy. Despite this, many Black liberals hope to erase the George Floyd rebellion from our memories. Many on the Black “Left” hope to do the same so they can suck us into the same 50 year old organizations that have failed to produce anything other than symbolic protests and useless conferences. Our History Going even further, many on the more reformist and authoritarian ends of the Black Left wish to reduce the history of Black people and Black radicals down to simply formal organization. Despite lifting up figures such as Assata, they label any sort of Black rebellious activity as “too fast” or “not ready” or complain about the ultra-left “ruining” their plans for revolution despite the rebellious actions of Black youth in the summer of 2020. They do not want black people to study the Black Liberation Army’s tactics. They wish to erase Kuwasi Balagoon and his rebellious ways. They wish to erase how Assata Shakur was liberated. They wish to erase the general strike of the Slaves. They wish to ignore the Maroons. They just want us to participate in their reformist campaigns to “Defund the Police” or “Community Control of the Police.” The Black insurrectionary must reject these positions. The Coming Insurrection We seek unmediated and uncompromising conflict with State and Capital. It is abundantly clear that last summer, the Black masses proved they were uninterested in “Defund” or “Community Control” instead opting to fight cops and loot businesses. We reject non-violence and compromise. In the words of Elder George Jackson, “We must accept the eventuality of bringing the U.S.A. to its knees; accept the closing off of critical sections of the city with barbed wire, armored pig carriers criss-crossing streets, soldiers everywhere, tommy guns pointed at stomach level, smoke curling black against the daylight sky, the smell of cordite, house-to-house searches, doors being kicked in, the commonness of death.” We all saw the Third Precinct in Minneapolis burnt to ashes. We reject “tactical” arrest. We reject symbolic protests and marches that continually lead to more violence from the police with nothing in return. We share a fundamental belief that the Black insurrectionist should seek to dismantle all oppressive systems even within the so-called “radical” organizations and scenes. Living anarchy means living by principle. Living by principle means we dismantle systems (as best we can) in this world at this moment. ...

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[l] at 1/9/22 9:39am
E-mail: library@angrylists.com Live chat: See /special/webchat Wiki: https://bookshelf.theanarchistlibrary.org theanarchistlibrary.org is (despite its name) an archive focusing on anarchism and anarchist texts. Within the scope of our use of the term “anarchism” we have been quite broad, but broad does not mean infinite, and basically shrinks down to a set of ideas against the State and capital. This immediately rules out the so-called “anarcho-capitalism”, “anarcho-nationalism” and similar crap. What is so special about this site? The library provides a high quality online web browser version of the text along with various other formats, like PDFs, plain text, HTML, EPUB, and XeLaTeX. We actively encourage the DIY printing and the distribution of the texts, so there is no need to ask us for permission to use the texts. The site provides a way for distributors and friends to change the layout of the PDFs and to create collections of an arbitrary number of texts (1 or more). See the bookbuilder page. The site also provides an advanced search engine. All these features come with some responsibility for the people who want to contribute to the library. We ask that uploaders contribute a logical representation of the text, with headings, emphasis, quotation blocks, etc. marked up appropriately. The site provides some tools (inside the web interface) to make this process easy, but some attention and some care is still required. Please be sure to read the manual if you plan to join the project for the mid- to long-term. I have a text I’d like to see in the library. May I submit it? Yes, you may! You don’t need an account. Just click Add to Library and read the instructions. I uploaded something, but you censored me! When we choose not to publish something, it is usually because the content is not anarchist. There are also a few other reasons why your text may not have been published, including but not limited to, it being in an incorrect format like an image of PDF file, original work for an unknown previously unpublished author (the library is not a self-publishing website), and finally a common reason is due to the poor text formatting submitted by the user. Please take due diligence to fix your footnotes, headers, and spacing. Consult the manual for AMUSE markup. When submitting a text, you are welcome to leave an email address for contact, but it is not necessary. It is recommended to leave a contact if the content and formatting of the text are in question, so that librarians can email with any questions or recommendations for formatting changes. You can also contact the library project over Internet Relay Chat (IRC) if you would like to say hello and make a case for the publishing of a particular text. On the IRC, if you ask a question, please be patient as people are not always around. What about my zine? If you want to publish your zine here, keep in mind that we can’t accept PDFs or raw scans. The texts here are processed to produce various formats, including but not limited to PDF. Even if inserting images in the text is fully supported, this archive may not be the best solution for graphically heavy texts. If you think your text only makes sense alongside specific layout (like cut and paste zine), it is best to publish it elsewhere. What about my scans? Texts that have been scanned are welcome, but you have to use optical character recognition (OCR) and then follow the library markup to format them. Broken, unreadable texts are rejected. We prefer quality over quantity and are happy to help guide you in formatting your work. Hey, you started without me. Can I join you? Sure, you can join the crew. We have a mailing list (library@angrylists.com) and a IRC channel. What about support for other languages? It’s a reality. There are already projects in: anarhisticka-biblioteka.net, Spanish, French, Dutch, Danish, Russian, Italian, Macedonian, German, Swedish, Polish, Finnish, Turkish, Korean, Greek, South East Asia, Esperanto, Portuguese, and Chinese. If you are interested in creating a new language project, please read this documentation first, and then please contact us. Of note, at the bottom of the translation documentation we have listed another project anarchistlibraries.net which can also help host your project if you so choose. You can check out their project at the website: anarchistlibraries.net Tell us about your technology. All the various components use free software and the code is freely available at https://amusewiki.org. Why don’t you do X Perhaps because we haven’t got around to it. Perhaps we have other reasons for not doing X. If you want X to happen at the Anarchist Library, feel free to log onto the IRC channel and talk to us about how X will rock our world, and how to make X happen. We are probably open to do it.

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[l] at 12/23/21 6:11am
Matrix Matrix channel: https://matrix.to/#/#theanarchistlibrary:riot.anarchyplanet.org (it's bridged with the IRC channel) IRC (Internet Relay Chat) webchat: https://irc.anarchyplanet.org/#library or point your preferred IRC client towards the server and port listed below (regular, SSL, and via Tor): server: irc.anarchyplanet.org channel: #library port: 6667 (for regular), 6697 (for SSL), (for Tor both ports work) Tor: i2b23rgkhpfcwyi5v7yyaeyhcarbqxxdm76ommzpno6245aufja5arqd.onion

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[l] at 9/25/21 6:56pm
Welcome to the Anarchist Library! Want to get started? Try browsing the Popular Texts and Introductory Texts. September 2021 New library announcement

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[l] at 9/6/21 10:38pm
You can access The Anarchist Library over Tor through this link: libraryqxxiqakubqv3dc2bend2koqsndbwox2johfywcatxie26bsad.onion Depending on the level of security of your Tor browser, some buttons and menus may not work. Downgrading the security from Safest to Safer seems to get most elements to work again when using the Tor browser.

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As of 1/22/22 10:53am. Last new 1/22/22 7:32am.

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