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Recent articles by Prairie Struggle Organization
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Could a Revolution Happen in the US? Nov 13 14
The creation of Prairie Struggle Organization, its politics and its goals
north america / mexico | anarchist movement | news report Tuesday June 05, 2012 16:00 by Prairie Struggle Organization prairie_struggle at riseup dot net
Continuing the task of building towards a working class revolution
In the last 5 months, some anarchists from Regina have been engaged in the difficult process of creating a revolutionary anarchist organization and debating its political influences. As a result of these meetings and debates, we are proud to finally announce the existence of Prairie Struggle Organization based in Regina. To hopefully start a dialogue with anarchists in the west of Canada and beyond, we feel it important to let you know why anarchist politics in Regina are taking this direction.
Continuing the task of building towards a working class revolution
The creation of Prairie Struggle Organization, its politics and its goals
Dear comrades, in the last 5 months, some anarchists from Regina have been engaged in the difficult process of creating a revolutionary anarchist organization and debating its political influences. As a result of these meetings and debates, we are proud to finally announce the existence of Prairie Struggle Organization based in Regina. To hopefully start a dialogue with anarchists in the west of Canada and beyond, we feel it important to let you know why anarchist politics in Regina are taking this direction.
The west of Canada and the state of the anarchist movementBefore we explain to you the specific road we have chosen for our organization, we must first look at the state of the anarchist movement in Saskatchewan and in the west of Canada. Since the end of the 80's the majority of the broader anarchist movement has directed its energy in building counter culture movements based on life style politics and personal activism resembling more ''responsible” consumerism(vegetarianism, veganism, straight edge, fare trade movements, dumpster diving ect.) than a mass class based resistance to capitalism. We acknowledge that there is no individual solution to a collective problem, and even if there were, abstaining from oppressive activities does nothing to replace the system and only reinforces it by our collective complacency.
Since the arrival of the individualist tendency within anarchism and the collapse of the broader left, the traditional areas of agitation and organizing like unions, social movements, communities and the work place have been abandoned and in some cases condemned. The organizational culture that brought workers so many victories in the past has been left behind in the face of movements focusing on identity, and ego. For some, anarchism has become a synonym for romanticized politics, and pleasure. Some comrades, fatigued and burned out by working class agitation, have turned to propagandist politics while neglecting action and movement building. While Prairie Struggle certainly internalizes some of the elements of these politics as vital to the struggle, we hold they cannot be the sole focus of a movement. Speaking specifically of the anarchist movement, which used to pose a well organized and formidable resistance to capitalism; in some areas, has been reduced to no more then a stereotyped image of rebellion that is used against the working class at times to characturize the politics of class antagonism.
Today we are told by the elite that there is no class war, or that our western culture is exceptional to such politics. Sadly, even within the broader anarchist movement we are seeing this capitalist influence attack class politics through primitivism, anarcho-capitalism, libertarianism and some forms of insurrectionism that deny class as a founding principle within anarchism. To further worsen the problem, these counter revolutionary tendencies within our movement attack one of the only weapons we still have to defeat capitalism, the power of the working class to mobilize within sustained organizations.
Movement building and a sustained organizationOver the past few years there have been various revolutionary groups that have been created and disbanded. Many other groups focus on only one issue. A majority of groups have been co-opted by electoral politics and other pro-capitalist, pro- reform groups. Thus, reflecting on our history and its consequences,with intention to avoid these setbacks, we wanted to organize in a way that would be based on class struggle and anti-capitalism in order to fight all oppressions that the working class is subject to. To this end, we organize as Anarchist-communists; a tradition that has always focused on organizing the working class into a revolutionary force. Anarchist-communism enables us to build sustained struggles and organizations rather than starting at ground zero and constantly having to resort to organization building at the arrival of new struggles. Part of this tradition we embrace is Platformism. It is founded on organizing as a union of anarchists with a common set of principles. Our platform is not a manifesto, nor a set of policies, but a toolbox we use to organize around so that the Prairie Struggle Organization can remain longstanding, proactive, and focused on expanding these struggles rather than constantly refocusing on our group. Typically, our platform focuses on organizing around the areas of theoretical unity, tactical unity, collective responsibility and federalism. People are not expected to agree on how we depart from these stances as that will likely never occur. These points simply allows us to build upon our victories, learn from our mistakes and build towards a revolutionary working class.
Federalism and the need to organize beyond our local citiesIn the past year, the occupy movement has revealed many of our weaknesses and challenges to overcome. Between our individual cities, there are few radicals involved in anarchist politics, and when we try and build struggle, we often don’t have the resources, experience and people power to win our battles, let alone be influential. In the areas where the situation is less dyer, we are often disconnected due to our isolation and never reach beyond our individual cities. Thus far, the anarchist movement in the prairies, due to its juvenile state in most areas, holds little opportunity for broader cooperation, coordination and networking. Funds,resources and experience are in short supply which leads to most of us in the long run burning out quick. This is a situation that is a barrier to building towards revolution, and especially to envisioning a better world on anarchist lines. We believe that the west of Canada would benefit greatly from some form of anarchist organization that spreads beyond the local sphere. Federalism aims to achieve this by allowing us to work together, build together and participate in each other’s struggles in a way that overcomes the barriers geography presents. We may be few in our respective cities but we would be stronger under the same roof.
Our platform also focuses on federalist direct democracy, and aims to combat authoritarianism through the direct democratic principles of anarchism rather than subjecting those who participate in it. Also, a special note should be made on the point of federalist direct democracy. Federalism has been badly bastardized by states, NGOs and many others, so it is important to understand anarchist federalism as fundamentally different from these groups. Anarchist federalism is based on a free agreement to work collectively towards common goals, and depends on the strength of direct democratic organizing. Critics accuse anarchist federalism as being a form a hierarchy but nothing can be further from the truth. Decision making power and free choice still lies in our own local groups, and communities; afterall, it is our local groups and community members organizing our local struggles. However, federalism is an acknowledgement that vast geographies have a disorganizing, and alienating effect. Federalism overcomes this by connecting struggles despite vast geography so that we can collectively fight common oppressions that know no boundaries. Many of the most productive anarchist groups today are founded upon federations. These include Common Cause based in Ontario, The Union of libertarian communists based in Quebec, Common Struggle based in the North eastern United states,The Workers’ Solidarity Movement in Ireland, and the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation in South Africa. These federations cooperate, coordinate, and support eachother's struggles through Anarchismo, a global network of Platformist organizations.
ConclusionOur hope for Prairie Struggle is that something similar can be built in the prairie region, and potentially further west. This is our focus and we will strive for a closer collaboration with Common Cause in Ontario, UCL in Quebec, The IWW in Edmonton, and various radical groups and unions in the Canadian and American west. We also hope that the relationships that will come of this collaboration will spark willingness to move forward as a movement and possibly bring about the creation of a federation. One that we will build together.
We encourage everyone reading this who are interested or even intrigued by this introduction to learn more about our politics as stated in the Prairie Struggle principles and aims document, and our platform. Inquiries into these documents can be sent to:
We believe that revolution in the west is possible, but only if we can escape the confines of our geographical prison. The time is ripe to organize a unified anarchist movement.
The Prairie Struggle Organization
Sat 28 Mar, 18:04
Communiqué of the Mexican Anarchist Black Cross following the declarations of the FD Govt. 23:15 Tue 18 Dec 0 comments
In recent days, following the events of the demonstrations on December 1st for the presidential inauguration of Enrique Peña Nieto, during which the police forces, both of the Federal [national] and Federal District [Mexico City] forces, brutally repressed demonstrators - officials of the Federal District government, amongst whom were the head of government of the FD and the capital's attorney, have made statements declaring that those responsible for the clashes are anarchist groups.[Castellano] [Français] [Deutsch]
Northeastern Anarchist #15 available now! 23:54 Thu 05 May 0 comments
This issue is on Ecology, Industry, Crisis and Alternatives: bell hooks on Intersectionalism, Transit Organizing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City; Indoor Fish Farms, Solar Power, Green Building, "The Vegetarian Myth", Ecological & Economic Crisis, and more...
Actions + Conversations + Intersections 2010: Second Annual Los Ángeles Anarchist Bookfair 06:07 Sat 30 Jan 1 comments
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Black Flame launch in Mexico 17:16 Mon 23 Nov 3 comments
Black Flame co-author Michael Schmidt held a mini-launch of the book at a colloquium with professors of journalism and international affairs at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico, on October 26. Schmidt was invited to Mexico to train Tec students in covering conflict in transitional societies, especially given the drug war currently ravaging Mexican society. Extracts of his talk, “The Journalist as Activist,” in which he located activist journalism within the Mexican anarchist tradition, follow:
The UCL campaign! 09:11 Thu 17 Sep 0 comments
This fall, the Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL) will launch a campaign against the economic crisis. Besides a poster and a 4-page analysis, the organization wants to organize a provincial tour with an Argentine anarchist militant to talk about their experiences during the severe economic crisis that hit there and was the scene of a real popular uprising.
‘Ruptures’ – Spring 2009 special edition 23:12 Thu 30 Jul 3 comments
In May 2009 a new organisation in Canada’s Francophone Quebec, the Libertarian Communist Union (UCL), published a special edition of their ‘Ruptures’ journal on the internet. Here you can read an English translation of the (French in original) editorial:
Common Action General Assembly Report, April 2009 23:45 Wed 06 May 0 comments
From Saturday, April 25 to Sunday, April 26, members of the anarchist organization Common Action met in Seattle, WA for our fourth general assembly. Members from Seattle, Bremerton, Tacoma and Olympia were in attendance, as well as a guest from Portland. We came together to continue developing our politics together, start work on new Common Action projects - and sing lots of karaoke.
Common Action General Assembly Report 05:13 Thu 12 Feb 0 comments
The weekend of January 17-18, members of Common Action, an anarchist organization in the Northwest United States, traveled from across the region to convene in Olympia, WA for our third general assembly. Members representing the cities of Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Portland were in attendance.
Good Bye 2008 ! 21:23 Mon 29 Dec 0 comments
This is the annual retrospective of the Collectif anarchiste La Nuit (Quebec-City UCL local collective). It's a way to answer the question "but what does an anarchist collective eat in winter" and measure the progress made...
Anarchy from A to Z: U for Unity 19:02 Wed 01 Oct 0 comments
The Quebec collectives of NEFAC are re-organizing themselves. Basically, the Quebec and American sections of the Federation have decided to form two solid but independent organizations. On 22 and 23 November, we will be holding a congress at the Métropole where the manifesto and constitution of a new Quebec-specific anarchist communist organization will be adopted. We will be taking the opportunity to begin a dialogue with comrades who are close to us and see whether it is possible to integrate more militants in this process which will affect all parts of Quebec. Français]more >>
Anarchism and the Philosophy of Pragmatism May 06 1 comments
Anarchism and the philosophy of pragmatism can add to each other. Pragmatism is explained as a philosophy of active experience and experimental naturalism. Pragmatism advocates radical, decentrlized democracy and industrial self-management, which is very close to anarchism. However pragmatists have often opposed reformist perspectives to revolution. The case for revolution is presented.
Should Anarchists Raise a Program of Demands? Jan 21 1 comments
This essay is slightly expanded from one which was rejected by a US anarchist magazine for political reasons. It deals with a disagreement among activists: Should we propose that the movement raise a program of demands? I think that anarchists should, but with a more libertarian-democratic version than the liberals and state socialists. The essay is followed by a response to the political points raised by the editors of the anarchist journal.
Fighting for the Future Apr 17 0 comments
This essay is an argument for moving towards national organization in the United States. It explores the limitations of political organization today, recent positive experiences, and possible ways to build on the present to push forward.
Building Power and Advancing: For Reforms, Not Reformism Mar 03 0 comments
"We shall carry out all possible reforms in the spirit in which an army advances ever forwards by snatching the enemy-occupied territory in its path." - Errico Malatesta(1)
Platform of Rochester Red & Black Dec 31 0 comments
These are the points of unity for the entire collective, reflecting the ideas that inform our organizing work.more >>
New Atlanta Anarchist Blog Nov 13 Heat Index 0 comments
Announcing the Heat Index blog at www.heatindexatl.info
Workers Solidarity Alliance Holds 2012 Continental Conference Aug 22 Workers Solidarity Alliance 0 comments
A post-conference report from the Workers Solidarity Alliance's 2012 Gathering in St. Louis MO
M1 Mayday Statement Apr 30 First of May Anarchist Alliance 0 comments
Since May 1, 2006 we have seen a slow opening up of mass struggles on a scale not seen in recent memory, amplified by the silent economic crash in 2008. From the massive day without an immigrant to the historic Arab Spring; the Wisconsin workers uprising to the prisoners strikes in Georgia and California; Occupy Wall Street to the rallies for Justice for Trayvon Martin; General strikes of students in Chile and Quebec and of workers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. People committed to real change cannot help but feel the wind in our sails. People are rising and refusing, struggles are igniting, common ground is revealing itself, we are beginning to feel and take back our power, everywhere.
last call for NYC Anarchist Book Fair workshop Proposals Mar 15 0 comments
The 6th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair will be held on Saturday April 14th, 2012 @ Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York City with workshops continuing through April 15th
Mayday Greetings from the First of May Anarchist Alliance May 02 First of May Anarchist Alliance 0 comments
Mayday is not only a time to remember the sacrifices of so many before us who fought against all authority – capitalism and the state, patriarchy and white supremacy, empire and ecocide – but also a time to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of our movements today. In recent months the world has again been changed by the actions of masses of ordinary people.more >>