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New Anarchist-Communist Organisation Launched in Aotearoa / New Zealand

category aotearoa / pacific islands | anarchist movement | feature author Wednesday December 10, 2008 23:36author by International Secretary - Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movementauthor email international at awsm dot org dot nz Report this post to the editors

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Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement

A new organisation has been formed with the aim of building a serious revolutionary anarchist-communist movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand. For now, we are a small organisation with members in Wellington, Christchurch and a few smaller towns across the country.

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New Anarchist-Communist Organisation Launched in Aotearoa / New Zealand


A new organisation has been formed with the aim of building a serious revolutionary anarchist-communist movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand. For now, we are a small organisation with members in Wellington, Christchurch and a few smaller towns across the country

AWSM came together when a few anarchists saw the need for a coherent and organised group of anarchist communists, inspired by the platformist strand of anarchist thought (amongst other things). Informal chats over the last few years turned into serious planning a few months ago and a little conference at Labour weekend (late October) in Wellington.

As class struggle anarchists our priority is active involvement in workplace struggles and industrial action as well as community based campaigns in our neighbourhoods. We aim to publish a monthly newspaper starting in 2009, and a less frequent but more in-depth theoretical magazine as well.

Being located in the bottom of the South Pacific makes us very isolated, however we hope to maintain a good level of contact with like minded groups overseas, which is why you are recieving this announcement. Our international secretary is mandated to keep up this contact, which we hope will be a two-way street - if we are able to cooperate on common projects, this is obviously worthwhile, as any genuine social revolution must be international.

Our website, http://www.awsm.org.nz, will be kept up to date with our activity.

In solidarity,
International Secretary
Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement
international [at] awsm.org.nz


Aims & Principles


1: The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand.

2: Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class. But inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of race, gender, sexuality, health, ability, age etc, and in these ways one section of the working class oppresses another. This divides us, causing a lack of class unity in struggle that benefits the ruling class. Oppressed groups are strengthened by autonomous action which challenges social and economic power relationships. To achieve our goal we must relinquish power over each other on a personal as well as a political level.

3: We believe that fighting all forms of oppression and exploitation is necessary. Anarchist-Communism cannot be achieved while sexism and racism still exist. In order to be effective in their struggle against their oppression both within society and within the working class, oppressed groups may at times need to organise independently. However, this should be as working class people only, as cross-class movements hide real class differences and achieve little for those in the oppressed groups. Full emancipation cannot be achieved without the abolition of capitalism.

4: We support Tino Rangatiratanga and stand in solidarity with grassroots indigenous struggle and direct action, while not supporting Maori capitalism and corporatisation (we acknowledge the lack of anarchist theory on the indigenous struggle in Aotearoa / New Zealand and are in the process of researching, debating and discussing a more detailed position on this point).

5: While trade unions can never be revolutionary, we recognise that the majority of collective workplace struggle today occurs within unions and therefore our members should join unions where they exist in their workplace, while being wary of any attempts by union bureauracrats to stifle rank and file struggle. Where unions do not exist we encourage our members to engage with their fellow workers to initiate collective action.

6: We recognise that the general strike is one of the working class’ most powerful weapons and oppose all restrictions on worker’s rights to take collective action, including strikes.

7: As well as exploiting and oppressing the majority of people worldwide, Capitalism threatens the planet through war and the destruction of the environment.

8: It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve anarchist communism. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation.

9: We acknowledge that by implementing the organisation section of the The Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists - theoretical unity, tactical unity, collective responsibility and federalism - we will be best able to move forward in promoting the aims and principles of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement.

Related Link: http://www.awsm.org.nz
author by Michael Schmidt - ZACFpublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 17:39Report this post to the editors

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) of South Africa is delighted to welcome the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) to the international anarchist-communist fold. We have watched developments in Aotearoa/New Zealand with interest for some years now, especially since my own visit there in 2004 during which I met with members of the then-Anarchist Round Table in Christchurch such as Frank Prebble, and with other militants in Dunedin such as Toby Boraman, and in Wellington such as Mark Eden. We have greatly benefited, for instance, from Boraman’s work on the radical labour history of the islands and are pleased that the formation of AWSM is likely to increase the exchange of ideas between us bilaterally and within the broader movement – and help entrench anarchist-communist practices within your country’s oppressed classes. We would encourage the AWSM to sign up to the anarkismo.net project in order to integrate itself into the anarchist-communist movement, and to establish close ties with your neighbours of the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG), with whom we presume you are already in touch. So, warm greetings from all of us at the ZACF!

Red & black regards
Michael Schmidt (ZACF International Secretary & anarkismo.net co-editor)

CC: Jonathan Payn, ZACF Regional Secretary

ZACF
C/o Postnet Suite #47
Private Bag X1
Fordsburg
South Africa
2033

www.zabalaza.net

www.anarkismo.net

author by Eric Dondero - Worldwide Libertypublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 18:47author email ericdondero at yahoo dot comauthor address Houston TexasReport this post to the editors

Excuse me, but has anyone bothered to point out to you all before that Libertarian is the exact polar opposite of Communist? You cannot get any futher away on the political spectrum from Communist than Libertarian.

Communists support total government. Libertarians want extremely limited government.

Kindly stop soiling our libertarian label by associating your group with us libertarians.

Thank you,

Eric Dondero, Publisher
Worldwide Liberty blog

Related Link: http://www.worldwideliberty.blogspot.com
author by Andrewpublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 19:30Report this post to the editors

The terms Libertarian and libertarian communist have been in common use in Europe and elsewhere since the 1880's if not earlier and all over the world today. The weird US use of it to mean the dictatorship of the bosses is very recent (1970's) and almost completely confined to the Anglo areas of North America (in both Qubec and Mexico its not used in your sense, nor is it in migrant communities within the US and Anglo Canada), Military power might allow the US to try and control all sorts of stuff outside your borders but how people use words is not really one of these.

As you've probably noticed this site is neither North American based nor majority English speaking so if you hang around you'll have to learn that libertarian and communist belong in close proximity.

author by nestorpublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 20:54Report this post to the editors

Neither has communism anything to do with "total government". The totalitarian so-called "communist" States such as the USSR did not actually have communist economies.

author by Eric Dondero - Worldwide Libertypublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 20:55author email ericdondero at yahoo dot comauthor address Houston, TexasReport this post to the editors

The term "libertarian" here in the United States can be traced back to the 1930s, and Philosopher Isabel Patterson, H.L. Mencken and a small group that met in New York weekly, calling themselves the "libertarian remnent."

It was used also in the 1940s and 50s by Frank Chodorov, Leonard Reed and the Foundation of Economic Education based in New York. It was picked up by some of Bill Buckley's staff at National Review in the early 1960s. And Karl Hess, American Libertarian Philosopher, and Barry Goldwater's speechwriter greatly popularized the term in a 1969, full-length article in Playboy Magazine.

So, to say that it's been around since the 1970s in its current form is entirely inaccurate. 1930s at the very least.

You also say that overseas the term "Libertarian" is used differently. This is simply not the case. In Australia, there's the Libertarian Society of Australia, which is wholly compatible with their American counterparts. In the UK just last week the Libertarian Party of the United Kingdom held their first organizing meeting. UK Libertarians are identitical to their counterparts in the US.

Again, kindly cease and desist from using the libertarian label in any manner, shape or form in association with your Communist organization. As a US Libertarian who has traveled the world, to some 25 different nations, on 5 different continents, and who speaks over a dozen languages, I can tell you that there's nothing libertarian at all about Communism.

author by nestorpublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 22:12Report this post to the editors

"You also say that overseas the term "Libertarian" is used differently. This is simply not the case. In Australia, there's the Libertarian Society of Australia, which is wholly compatible with their American counterparts. In the UK just last week the Libertarian Party of the United Kingdom held their first organizing meeting. UK Libertarians are identitical to their counterparts in the US."

So "overseas" in your opinion consists of Australia and the UK? No doubt the other 194 countries in the world would agree with you...

The "Libertarian" Party of the UK has existed since last week? Wow, that's a long history. I'm sure no-one else in the UK has EVER used the word "libertarian".

And I suppose the fact that we have been using the term since the 1800s is entirely irrelevant, too?

"Again, kindly cease and desist from using the libertarian label in any manner, shape or form in association with your Communist organization."

"Cease and desist"? Who the fuck do you think you are?

"As a US Libertarian who has traveled the world, to some 25 different nations, on 5 different continents, and who speaks over a dozen languages, I can tell you that there's nothing libertarian at all about Communism."

So over a century's-worth of libertarian communist thought and action all over the world counts for nothing because you speak "over a dozen languages" and have travelled a bit? Have you any idea what Communism really is (and not what people have been led to believe it is by capitalist and Leninist propaganda)?

Do you know that the term "libertarian" was first used by the French anarchist communist Joseph Dejacque? Do you care? You think you have some sort of copyright on the word just because your party of exploiters uses it? Do you know that the term "libertarian communist" was first used in 1880, that's... oh let me see... 91 years before your party was born.

You might be better off if you quit spouting shit until you learn something more about us and our long history.

author by Eric Dondero - Worldwide Libertypublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 22:39author email ericdondero at yahoo dot comauthor address Houston, TexasReport this post to the editors

Firstly, I'm actually not affiliated with the Libertarian Party, though I support their efforts. I'm a proud member of the Republican Party USA. Most libertarians in the United States are active within the Republican Party, as witnessed by Sarah Palin, and other elected libertarians like Congressmen Tom McClintock of California, and Jeff Flake of Arizona, Governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Butch Otter of Idaho, and numerous others.

If you want to play the "we used it first game," well, you can trace support for liberty or libertarianism way back centuries in fact. Cato Institute VP Dave Boaz, wrote a book a few years ago titled, "Libertarianism," where he traced back the philosophy and term way back to the Roman Empire.

Yes, I am aware that the term was used even prior to the 1930s, mainly in France. But you're being rather selective. Everything I've read has it used by rightwingers like Frederic Bastiat, and other European intellectuals on the Right.

And no, I only cited Australia and the UK because that's just what came to mind. If you visit the ISIL website, International Society for Individual Liberty, which is the official worldwide organization for the libertarian movement, you'll find affiliated groups in over 80 different countries.

Here's another for example, actually two:

In Peru, Hernando de Soto internationally acclaimed Economist and Author, head up the Instituto Libertario.

In Costa Rica, there's a very active and growing Libertarian Party, called Partido Libertario. They've elected 4 or 5 members of Parliament.

Again, you are soiling the good name of liberty, by associating the term "libertarian" with your completely authoritarian group. I ask you kindly to cease and desist.

Why not call yourselves Liberals? That's what Liberals have become these days, Communists. They're basically one in the same. Obama's a flaming Marxist, for example. But here in the US the media calls him simply a "Liberal."

We US Libertarians would be perfectly fine with you all using the term "Liberal" to describe your Communist selves.

Related Link: http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com
author by nestorpublication date Fri Dec 05, 2008 22:56Report this post to the editors

I'm not the one distorting the meaning of the word "libertarian" in insisting we "cease and desist" from using the word... where's our liberty in that? I have no problem with you using the word (though personally I believe you are the ones are distorting its meaning, a meaning which existed before right-wingers latched onto it). So you keep going, by all means.

I would, however, be genuinely interested to know what you think Communism is. Your use of the word would seem to indicate total ignorance of it. (And I can't help feeling that if you're so wrong on "communism", you're probably not terribly reliable on "libertarian", either.)

I look forward to your explanation.

author by mitch - WSA (per. cap.)publication date Sat Dec 06, 2008 23:24author email wsany at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Friends, comrades..... the gentleman who claims to have knowledge of libertarian history seems to have a limited one.

The origins of the word "libertarian" in the US goes back many decades before the 1930s. The term was generally used in two ways. The first, being in the tradition of individual liberty as expounded upon by L. Spooner , J. Tucker and others.

The second has been used by those of us on the left. It has been used interchangerabbly as libertaian socialsm, libertarian communism or, during the immeidate dark days of the cold war a euphomism for anarchism.

Here in NY, the Libertarian Book Club (organized in 1948) was started by various anarchists. Some were anarcho-syndicalists, some anarchist-communists, some individualists (of the old school variety). There was never any question that the greater goal is a free society built along libertarian socialistic lines.

Our own group, the Libertarian Workers Group (now NY-NJ WSA) was clearlly founded on anarcho-syndicalist and anarchist-communist principles. At points continuing to use the term "libertarian" became a challenge for us. By the late 1970s the term was rapidly being mis-used by free-marketeers on the right.

Now, I will grant that the term "libertarian" has been mis-used by those on the right. For them, it has strictly become an unmitigated ideology of simple individual freedom and an ecomonic system (or lack thereof) of markets and people running wild. Ok, this isn't how they would put it, but the reality is there is no cooperative social order. Or ways and means for all to live in a stateless society where all share the wealth in meaningful ways.

In Europe, as the good comrades have pointed out, the term libertarian has always been used in an anarchist or left wing libertarian context.

I would suggest to the gentleman he do a bit of historical and theoretical research before he continues to make the broad and wild claims he has made here.

author by Anarchopublication date Thu Dec 11, 2008 17:45Report this post to the editors

What is really ironic about this is that this year marks the 150th anniversary of anarchist (and specifically communist-anarchist!) use of the term "libertarian" to describe their ideas!

There is a post for it at An Anarchist FAQ's blog:

150 years of Libertarian
http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/150-years-of-libert...arian

Which puts attempts by the right to date it back to a few individuals in the 1930s seem lame, particularly as the Spanish anarchists had created a mass organisation called the Libertarian Youth in 1932! Not to mention that genuine anarchists had been using "libertarian", in English too, long before that!

Anyways, the blog entry goes into the details if anyone is interested.

Related Link: http://www.anarchistfaq.org.uk
author by secondnature - Common Causepublication date Fri Dec 12, 2008 08:09Report this post to the editors

Yo. I don't care what you believe as long as you respect the unions and grassroots organizations in your community. I would also ask that you don't try to interfere with our movement's attempts to establish liberty through derict democracy, solidarity, and social justice.

Otherwise, debate is intellectually healthy for us all. If you are a genuine right-libertarian, I think we share some ground on free speech, racism, reproductive rights, sexual freedom, and war. I respect "classic" (bourgeois) liberal thinkers like Locke, Smith, Mill, and Spencer for contributing to the notion of freedom.

But you need to get hip to the fact that it wasn't just TERM "libertarian" that came from the left. Over the years it's been working class, revolutionary, and community based organizations that have been confronting the state to defend free speech, forward human rights, and resist war. Meanwhile, capitalists have been all too happy to profit from war, call for more police presence, and interfere with freedom of association. . It was capitalists that funded and supported fascist movements on both sides of the Atlantic before WWII, and in Latin America after WWII. Capitalists have always been at the forefront of eugenics and other extreme forms of social control. And that's when they're not walking around, commanding other human beings to do things in the institutions that they own and control.

Why do you act astonished when people want to pursue liberty through socialist and communist forms when they are abused and maniipulated in capitalist institutions? Do you really believe the capitalist workplaces, shopping malls, and media networks are places of freedom? It must take tremendous talent to ignore the social relationships of domination that happen daily and in plain view.

author by Larry Gambonepublication date Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:34author email redlionpress at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

I have been an anarchist for 40 years. My first contact with anarchists was with Freedom Press - they were founded in 1886 by Peter Kropotkin and are an anarchist communist paper. They began using the term "libertarian" as a synonymy for anarchism right from the beginning. Later I ran into the French Anarchist Federation and their paper Monde Libertaire. They have been in existence since WW1. Don't be foolish. Actually go to the trouble of Googling "anarchist communism" and "libertarian communism" and you will see they have NOTHING to do with state socialism what so ever. And don't be such a hypocrite - supporting Palin and claiming to be a libertarian! If you really want to support a right wing libertarian at least have the decency to support Ron Paul and not that neo-nazi lunatic.

author by Larry gambonepublication date Sun Dec 14, 2008 01:31author email redlionpress at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

"Why not call yourselves Liberals? That's what Liberals have become these days, Communists. They're basically one in the same. Obama's a flaming Marxist, for example. But here in the US the media calls him simply a "Liberal." "

So says Eric Dondoro. Brilliant political analysis there! US liberals are center-right, as is Obama, and yet to this raving ignoramus they are Marxist. Furthermore, he thinks that by calling us by extension, Marxist he is making some kind of scoring point. Evidently he has never heard of anarchism before and the Bakunin-Marx dispute.

But that's alright. The fact that the US right is overwhelmingly made up of lunatics and the cow-like stupid is advantageous to us.

And Dondoro, if you really want to get your shorts in a knot, - as if libertarian communism wasn't bad enough - check out http://www.mutualist.org/ and discover market, anti-capitalist anarchism.

author by Derek Wall - Green Leftpublication date Sun Mar 08, 2009 07:27author email wallddd at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Many socialists use the title libertarian...there is no monopoly on those who want to replace capitalism with an alternative but reject the centralised state, using the label.

I am not personally an anarchist but its respectable tradition, given the excess of various forms of statist socialism.

Free market US libertarians should run into a cupboard and have a good cry about Ayn Rand and the implosion of capitalism rather than telling anarchists in New Zeland, that they have a copy write on their title and are going to sue!

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Issue #3 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective

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Aotearoa / Pacific Islands | Anarchist movement | en

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Solidarity #16 - July 2011 imageSolidarity #16 - July 2011 15:24 Sun 03 Jul by Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

The 14th issue of Solidarity, free newssheet of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement. Visit the AWSM website to read the contents online and to download the .pdf (0.5MB).

solidarityissue11.jpg imageSolidarity #11 - August 2010 17:18 Sun 01 Aug by Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

The eleventh issue of Solidarity, free newssheet of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement. Visit the AWSM website to download a .pdf copy or read the articles online.

awsm.jpg imageAotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement 2010 Conference Report 13:59 Wed 16 Jun by Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

Over the weekend of June 5-6th, the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement held its 3rd national conference since it was founded in October 2008. Almost all members were able to attend, meaning people from 5 different regions across the country were present, at the fantastic venue of the Wellington People's Centre. The weekend was spent reflecting on and discussing our activity over the previous 12 months, making some changes to our core politics (as written in our Aims & Principles) and how we work (detailed in our Constitution) and coming up with plans for the next 12 months, plus some longer term thinking as well.

textIntroduction to Anarchist-Communism Jun 10 by Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

On June 5th, the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement held a public talk introducing the ideas of anarchist-communism, followed by a screening of the film Living Utopia, about the Spanish Revolution and Civil War of 1936-9. About 40 people attended the event, held at the New Crossways Community Centre in Mt. Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand.

textFor Revolutionary Struggle... Jun 22 by Asher 0 comments

Article from the anarchist journal "Imminent rebellion" #9, from Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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